egg and bacon muffins

All you ever wanted for breakfast in one neat little parcel! These are adapted from Sarah Wilson’s recipe – I’ve just used persian fetta because it’s the best – fetta in oil (so there’s no need to grease the muffin tray), marinated with thyme, garlic, bay leaves and peppercorns. Brilliant.

These tasty protein pockets were a great favourite at the breakfast table on Easter morning. My folks are always looking for ways to use up the copious amount of eggs their chooks lay about the farm. While I always buy free range, nothing beats the bright yellow yolks and the creamy texture of freshly laid eggs. After I served the urban-version to their rumbling tummys, I get the feeling they’ll be taking a little bit of the city back to the country…

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To make six muffins:

  • 4-6 rashers bacon
  • 6 eggs
  • Persian fetta
  • Chives, chopped finely

Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice the bacon so that it lines the edges of 6 muffin cups. Line the bottom with any any broken bits.
Crumble a teaspoon of fetta into each muffin cup and sprinkle with chives.

Crack one egg into each and gently poke a knife through the yoke so that it breaks ever so slightly.

Bake for 15 minutes, until the egg is white and set. Remove from the oven an let sit for a minute or two.

Run a knife between to the bacon and the muffin tray to separate any bits that are stuck and then use a spoon to gently remove the muffins from the tray.

Serve with crusty bread, some avocado, and perhaps a little slice of lemon on the side. There’s really no need for any extra seasoning as the bacon provides enough salt and the fetta is infused with pepper. But pop it on the table for sheer aesthetics alone – and marvel at how no one even bats an eye.

Tastes like home…

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seafood and avocado salad

This fresh little beauty is adapted from Lee Holmes’ Supercharged Food. Her selection of tasty recipes and simple dressings make feeding the masses that much more joyful.

Regarding the health benefits of this salad, she writes:

An exceedingly good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, prawns also contain high levels of vitamin B12 – an important vitamin for those with digestive difficulties, as it is essential for making blood red blood cells and nerve cells. Prawns also contain immune system boosters such as zinc, phosphorus, potassium and selenium, as well as iron, calcium and magnesium.

Excellent. So with this – and Easter traditions – in mind, I went one step further with an all out seafood salad fiesta. This went to the table alongside my ruby red grapefruit, smoked salmon and roquette salad for Easter Sunday lunch in my attempts to nourish and impress my beloved family on their trip to Sydney for the long weekend. Dare I say, I think it worked… With a splash of pinot gris in our glasses, this proved to be a delightfully festive yet simple, light lunch with all the feel good factors – tasty and healthy – WIN!

  • 12 cos lettuce leaves
  • 2 avocados, sliced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber (or half a continental), thinly sliced
  • Half a punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 red onion (optional, or sliced so that it’s easy to dodge!)
  • 1 cup cooked prawns, shelled and cleaned
  • 1 cup cooked crab meat

Lemon & Garlic Dressing:

  • 125mls extra virgin olive oil
  • 125mls grape seed oil
  • 2 tblsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 2 tblsp lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper

(This dressing will keep in fridge for up to 5 days.)

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I bought my prawns and crabmeat from my local fish shop – shelled, cleaned, cooked and just asking to be tossed around with a bunch of greens. Too easy. Arrange the lettuce so that it lines a big salad bowl. Toss the rest of the ingredients in on top, leaving the seafood to sit on top. Drizzle with the dressing – you will only need about half of the mixture so pop the rest in the fridge ready for other salad concoctions – and serve.

Serves four.

buttermilk pancakes with berry compote

20130401-124029.jpgOk, so I cheated on this one. Don’t judge me. While I juggled the egg cracking, hot cross bun buttering, avo slicing, toast popping and table setting hoopla, Mum graciously set to work on the pancake pan with this wonder-cheat. Woolworths saved the pre-prep day (and time and money) with their gluten, wheat, yeast free Buttermilk Pancake Mix. Just add water, a hot pan and Mum! While she was an invaluable assistant, Mum’s heavy sighs of ‘Oh darn! I’ve stuffed up flipping another one!’ soon started to glean an air of highly suspicious behaviour. Particularly once she’d set herself up with a ‘demolition pancake plate’ and intermittently lowered her voice ever so slightly, exclaiming ‘I’ll just have to eat this one too! They really are good just on their own..20130401-144647.jpg.’

Hiding the evidence, huh? Sneaky Mumma, very sneaky…

Unfortunately this mix is not dairy free, if that’s your bag, but there were no complaints from the family breakfast table come Easter Sunday. Oh no! They were too busy lip smacking, berry splatting, sugar tossing, lemon squeezing, banana mashing and reaching for seconds with their mouths still full. Needless to say, they went down a treat – both in the kitchen and at the breakfast table.

The berry compote is super easy. It goes a little something like this…

  • 1 coffee mug of frozen berries
  • 1 tsp vanilla concentrated extract
  • 1 tblsp rice malt syrup

Boil the kettle and poor hot water over the berries to defrost for a minute or two. Pour the mixture into a saucepan and add the vanilla and syrup and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about ten minutes while you build your pile of pancakes.

Once the pancakes are golden brown, drizzle with berry compote and top with sliced banana.

Now thats what I call soul food.

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triple berry chocolate ripple

So this was meant to be my attempt at making  a sweet treat for the Easter lunch I was planning for my family. It never made it that far…So please – tread carefully! It took all my strength not to eat the entire tray in the first sitting. So I ate the rest the next night instead…for dinner. Apologies to my poor family who missed out on account of my inability to reign in my tastebuds!

  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp Nuttelex
  • 2 tblsp cocoa
  • 1 tblsp rice malt syrup
  • 1/3 cup coconut, shredded
  • 1/3 cup of frozen berries
  • Salt

Melt the Nuttelex and oil in a saucepan or in the microwave…the oil takes longer to melt so add the butter a little after. Stir in the cocoa and syrup. Salt to taste. Arrange the berries and coconut on a small baking tray. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the top and pop in the fridge for an hour or the freezer for 20 minutes and serve.

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ruby red grapefruit, smoked salmon and roquette

This fresh, summery salad is ridiculously quick and easy. Inspired by a love of Japanese food, it’s perfect as a delicate little entree, a light lunch or for all those ‘I-can’t-be-bothered-cooking’ dinners. In fact, I couldn’t even be bothered crushing the cashews on this particular occasion. Reckless or just plain lazy? Who cares! Less chat. More salad tossing.

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  • 300g smoked sliced salmon
  • 2 ruby red grapefruits
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 150g mizuna (a Japanese mustard leaf) or roquette
  • 1/3 cup roasted cashews, chopped coarsely

Optional additions…

  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thinly (frucmal friends – I left this one off!)
  • 3-4 tsp capers

Pop four slices of salmon aside and slice the rest into thick pieces.

Segment the grapefruit over a large bowl and slice along the spine of each to remove any pips and release some of the juice. Add oil, mustard, mizuna or roquette, nuts and salmon slices. Mix gently.

Divide salad among serving plates and top with the remaining salmon. Serves four.

Note…I’ve used a couple of generous handfuls of roquette here as mizuna was nowhere to be found at the time I happened to pop to the shops. It has a similar bold, bitter mustardy character so the two are easily interchangeable.

easy peasy pancakes

This is one recipe I won’t be giving up for Lent! As the first Tuesday of the Easter season rolls around, in my nostalgic world that means PANCAKES! I’ve stumbled across many gluten-free recipes with a billion obscure flours that just might take most of a Saturday afternoon to track down. But who’s got the time?! The simpler the better, I say. And it just so happens that there are a few recipes floating around advocating just that.

Did someone say two ingredients? Sweet!

  • a large banana, mashed (1/3-1/2 cup when mashed)
  • 2 eggs

The smooth optional add ins:

  • 1/8 tsp baking powder (this will make them light and fluffy)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp nut butter (peanut, almond, cashew), almond meal, LSA, chia seeds or dessicated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

The chunky optional add ins:

  • 1/4 cup blueberries/ raspberries/ chopped nuts
  • 2 tbsp mini chocolate chips

Peel and mash the banana, stir in the egg. Mix in any smooth ingredients. For a really smooth batter consistency, blend with a food processor or stick blender.

Heat a non stick skillet and lightly spray with oil or melt a nob of butter (use Nuttelex for a dairy-free option) on the pan. Tun the heat down to medium-low.

Pour about 1 or 2 tbsp of batter in circles onto the pan.

Cook until golden brown on the underside (around 1 minute) sprinkle on any chunky ingredients, then flip with a spatula and cook until golden brown on the other side (30 seconds to 1 minute).

Serve warm with a drizzle of your favourite syrup, yoghurt or a pile of fresh fruit on top.