Tag Archives: Spinach

Something Fishy…

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This recipe was meant to be last nights dinner. I had it all planned out and had even cut up the onion, opened the tin of salmon and sliced the tomato when I realised that I only  had one egg left. Fail. So into the fridge all the ingredients went and out came frozen left overs from last week. At least this meant that when I went to cook lunch today everything was nicely prepped for me.

This quick recipe was another recipe inspired by the random items left over before grocery shopping day. The little salmon quinoa cakes are baked in a muffin pan. The quinoa helps add a little crunch to the outer shell of the cake and prevents them from being watery. If you don’t mind spending a little extra, use red salmon instead of pink. I think the taste is far nicer.

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Salmon Quinoa Cake Recipe

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 red onion, finely diced
  • 210g canned red salmon, drained
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of whole grain mustard
  • 4 egg whites, lightly whisked
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Method

1. Boil quinoa in 2/3 cup of water for approximately 15 minutes, until the water is absorbed
2. Microwave onion for 2 minutes in a medium bowl to soften
3. Add baby spinach to quinoa once it is cooked and keep over heat until the spinach has wilted
4. Add baby spinach, quinoa and all other remaining ingredients to onion
5. Stir gently to combine. I tried to keep small hunks of salmon instead of making it into a paste but it’s up to what texture you prefer.
6. Spoon mixture into 6 muffin holes, lightly sprayed with cooking oil
7. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown

I served my salmon quinoa cakes with tomatoes roasted in balsamic vinegar, rosemary and olive oil, on top of some iceberg lettuce leaves. This was the perfect fast, high-protein lunch after a heavy morning gym session.

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Comfort & Nourishment

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Today didn’t go to plan. I went to work thinking I would be caring for patients but instead I was the one lying down getting my obs taken after seeing stars and nearly hitting the deck halfway during a procedure. They hadn’t even got to the gory part yet! Turns out I had a fever and was coming down with something – no fun.

I have to be practically dead to loose my appetite completely so I wanted something that was going to be good for my body for dinner and that required minimal energy cook. Grocery shopping was out of the question so I adapted Stephen’s Healthy Lentil Bowl by (NeverHome)Maker to what I had in the cupboards. The result was a simple and satisfying one-dish dinner in half an hour. The list of spices is long but the taste was more subtle than overbearing, perfect for an unhappy tummy.

Lentil and Chickpea Bowl Recipe (adapted from Stephen’s Healthy Lentil Bowl)

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 3C water
  • 1C red lentils (raw)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1t canola oil
  • 2 onions
  • 1/2t curry powder
  • 1/2t turmeric
  • 1/2t cardamom
  • 1/2t paprika
  • 1/2t coriander
  • 1/2t mustard seeds
  • 3C spinach
  • 1/4C trim milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

P1020651 1. Simmer lentils in water until softened (~8minutes). They will still be in quite a bit of liquid.
P1020656 2. Sauté onions in canola oil until translucent.
P1020659 3. Add spices to onions and sauté a further minute.
P1020666 4. Add lentils and chickpeas and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently so the mixture does not stick to the pan.
P1020670 5. Add spinach and milk. Cook, stirring often, until spinach is wilted and heated through. The lentils will partially dissolve, making the mixture thick and creamy.
P1020678 6. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with bread to dunk.
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Easy Miso Vege Soup

This soup has been one of my staples this winter. It’s nothing gourmet but I like it because it is warming, satisfying and an easy source of lots of vegetables and protein. Perfect for when all you want to do is snuggle up under a warm blanket and keep warm! It also reheats nicely for lunch or dinner the next day.

Easy Miso Vege Soup Recipe

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 3C water
  • 3TBSP miso paste
  • 1/2t ginger, minced
  • 1/2t garlic, minced
  • 1TBSP tamari
  • 200g pumpkin, chopped into cubes
  • 1/4 cauliflower head, chopped into florets
  • 1/3C dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 block tofu, cubed
  • 1 large handful baby spinach leaves
  • 1 spring onion, chopped finely
  • 1 sheet nori (seaweed), cut into thin strips  (I roll my nori up like a cigar before cutting it to save time)

Method

1. Bring water to the boil in a medium saucepan
2. In the meantime, chop the pumpkin, tofu and cauliflower
3. Whisk miso paste, ginger, garlic and tamari into water then add pumpkin, tofu, cauliflower and mushrooms
4. Once the pumpkin is tender (about 12 minutes depending on the size of your cubes) add the spinach leaves and heat until wilted.
5. Serve the soup in bowls and sprinkle spring onion and nori on top

This is another recipe that lends itself to using up left over veges lingering in your fridge. I have used kumara, broccoli, beans, carrots and snow peas before. Rice noodles would be another nice addition if you wanted to bulk it out a bit.

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My First Green Monster


Angela from Oh She Glows started the Green Monster Movement to spread the word about nutrient and energy packed green smoothies she makes. The smoothies have spinach/kale (which gives them their VERY green colour), banana, milk, ice and pretty much anything else you feel like throwing in like chia seeds, flax seeds, supplement powders, coconut milk etc. Apparently you can’t even taste the green stuff…

Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept of a green monster but the thing I just couldn’t get my head around was that they are GREEN. After some excessive Friday night fruit pie eating, I felt like a healthy kick after my workout this morning and the bag of spinach in the fridge was staring me down so I decided I’d finally try my first Green Monster. I used spinach, banana, oats, vanilla whey powder, milk and yogurt.

The smoothie tasted great! It was sweet and smooth. If you were colour-blind you would have no idea it had veges packed into it! Apparently if you are concerned about your iron intake you can steam the spinach first to make it easier for your body to absorb but I didn’t bother with this.

Mim’s Green Monster Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 generous handfuls of spinach
  • 1/4C trim milk
  • 1/4C unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/4C rolled oats
  • ice

I didn’t add ice because I was concerned my feeble excuse of a blender wouldn’t cope, but I should’ve definitely either refrigerated or frozen my banana beforehand or added ice because it was a bit warm. I can’t wait to try this smoothie again with different ingredients. I think a peanut butter-banana smoothie may work quite nicely!

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Lentil Dahl

Don’t be put off by the long list of spices for this recipe.  Although there are lots are ingredients, it is still a quick and easy dinner to throw together on a weeknight. I use the half  hour the recipe takes to simmer to tidy the kitchen, make my lunch or prepare some dessert. I used canned lentils because that is what I had in my cupboard but you could most definitely use dried lentils and it wouldn’t take much, if any, longer to prepare. You would just need to increase the amount of stock so the lentils have enough moisture to absorb.

Lentil Dahl Recipe

adapted from Joe Rich’s Red Lentil Dahl recipe

(serves 2 as a main or 4 with rice and vegetables)

Ingredients

  • 1tsp cumin seeds
  • 2tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2tsp fennel seeds
  • 1tsp ground coriander
  • 1tsp cardamom
  • 1/2tsp ground chili
  • 1/4tsp cinnamon
  • 1 lug olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1TBSP minced garlic (3-4 garlic cloves)
  • 1TBSP minced ginger
  • 1/2tsp salt
  • 3TBSP tomato paste
  • 1/2C vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 can lentils
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1TBSP lime juice
  • few handfuls of baby spinach leaves

Method

1. Gently heat spices in a saucepan with oil until fragrant
2. Add onion and saute until softened and translucent
3. Add garlic and ginger and cook for a further few minutes
4. Add salt, tomato paste, stock, lentils & tomatoes
5. Cook for 20-30 minutes until mixture is thickened
6. Add lime juice and spinach, stir until wilted

I just had this plain but plain yogurt and some coriander leaves on top would have just made it. The flavour is quite ‘tomato-ey’ and has a just a little heat. It’s definitely not authentic Indian by any stretch of the imagination but still yummy.

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Frugal Frittata

For dinner tonight I wanted to make something light, healthy and use up the withering vegetables in my fridge and cupboard. At the start of the week I realised I had somehow managed to accumulate 3 cartons of eggs so, a frittata it was.
Inspired by the Healthy Food Guide recipe for Potato and Spinach Tortilla I put together the following dish.

Frugal Frittata Recipe

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • ~2c vegetable, chopped into cubes (I used kumara, pumpkin and potato but I’m sure you could also use parsnip, carrot, courgette or broccoli)
  • 4 eggs
  •  1 TBSP cottage cheese
  • 2c baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4t nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Roast or fry vegetables until tender in a splash of olive oil until tender
  2. Whisk remain ingredients together and stir through cooked vegetables
  3. Bake until golden, puffed up and firm to the touch (about 20 minutes in my oven)

I served this easy meal with some crisp cos leaves, some cottage cheese and a teaspoon of chutney. Not the most attractive looking dish but it tasted good.

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