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Cherry Tomato & Green Bean Salad With Lemon

I love to make this dish, which can be served either hot or cold, during the festive season, as it reminds me of Christmas trees and Christmas Baubles, but you can definitely enjoy it right through the year!

700 g green beans, topped and tailed
5 ml canola or coconut oil
1 large onion, sliced
zest of 1 large lemon, finely chopped
5 ml crushed garlic or garlic & herb seasoning
500 g cherry tomatoes
2.5 ml salt or seasoning of your choice
freshly ground black pepper

  1. Weigh the beans with an electronic kitchen scale to determine the weight if you don’t have the exact amount.
  2. Cut the beans into 3 cm sections and rinse the beans in a colander under running water.
  3. Steam the beans for 5 to 8 minutes in a steaming basket on the stove, in an electric steamer or in the microwave.  Be careful not to overcook the beans – they need to be firm and crisp.
  4. Rinse the beans under cold water and set it aside.
  5. Zest the lemon with a zester and chop the zest finely.  Set it aside.
  6. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, lemon zest, garlic or garlic and herb seasoning and stir-fry with a turner for a few minutes until tender.
  7. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry for a further 2 to 3 minutes. The tomatoes must still be whole, i.e. remove the saucepan from the stove before they burst open.
  8. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
  9. Add the green beans and heat through.
  10. Transfer the bean mixture to a serving dish and serve hot or at room temperature as a vegetable side dish.

8 to 10 servings.

Variation
Add slivers of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese to the beans when ready to serve.

CherryTomato&GreenBeanSalad

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Quick All-day Cheese Puffs

Feather-light cheesy puffs baked in mini muffin tins to serve as tempting snacks or in medium muffin tins to serve with soup or stews.

250 ml self-raising self-binding rice flour plus 5 ml baking powder OR
or gluten-free cake flour or flour mix plus 10 ml baking powder
2 ml salt
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
pinch mustard powder (optional)
100 g/250 ml grated Cheddar cheese
250 ml milk
1 large egg
15 ml oil
paprika or garlic and herb seasoning to sprinkle

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 º C and grease the cups of a mini muffin tray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Beat together the milk, egg and oil in a measuring jug and add to the bowl with dry ingredients.  Mix lightly only until combined.
  4. Divide the mixture, with the aid of two teaspoons, between the prepared cups and sprinkle with paprika or garlic and herb seasoning.
  5. Bake the muffins for about 10 minutes or until well risen and light golden.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature, as is or with butter and/or any savoury filling preferred.

18 to 24 mini puffs.

Variations

Parsley, spring onion or herb puffs
Add 15 ml chopped parsley and/or 30 ml chopped spring onion to the dry ingredients.

Goats cheese and peppadew puffs
Replace half of the Cheddar cheese with crumbled soft goats cheese (Chevin) or grated firm goats cheese (Gotino) and add 4 to 6 chopped mild or hot peppadews.

Cheese and biltong puffs
Add about 60 ml finely grated or chopped biltong to the batter.

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Wheat-free Vegetable Tart or Quiche

There is no reason why quiche cannot be enjoyed by people that are wheat and/or gluten-intolerant or celiacs.

Crust
250 ml rice flour
50 ml corn flour
50 ml potato flour or 60 ml soya flour
125 g chilled butter or margarine, grated
1 large egg
± 50 ml water

Vegetable filling
2 tsp (10 ml) oil
250 ml leek, very coarsely chopped
250 ml finely diced pumpkin or butternut?
60 ml) halved and sliced courgette (1 small)
60 ml trimmed and sliced young green beans or additional courgette
1 small or ½ large red capsicum, seeded and cut into strips
2,5 ml crushed garlic
2,5 ml salt
2 fresh basil leaves, shredded (optional)
250 ml milk
3 large eggs
125 ml grated strong cheese such as Edam or Parmesan or ½ of each
freshly ground black pepper

To serve and garnish
salad garnish as preferred including sliced cucumber and chives

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 °C and grease a medium pie dish (24 to 26 cm) with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. To make the pastry, place the dry ingredients and butter or margarine into the bowl of a food processor and process on pulse until crumbly.
  3. Add the water a few drops at a time until the pastry holds together and is neither dry nor sticky.
  4. Knead the pastry gently on a surface sprinkled with any of the flours used just until smooth.
  5. Spoon the soft pastry into the pie dish and with the back of a spoon, spread it evenly over the base and sides, making sure to spread out thinly in the corners.  Refrigerate the pie dish while making the filling.
  6. To make the filling, heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the leek.  Cook over moderate heat for 3 minutes, stirring until softened but not at all browned.
  7. Add the pumpkin or butternut  and cook and stir 3 minutes more.
  8. Add all the vegetable ingredients including the basil, stir and cook 3 minutes and set aside to cool.
  9. Beat together the milk and eggs in a measuring jug and set aside.
  10. Spoon the vegetable mixture evenly over the crust, pour the milk and egg mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with cheese and freshly ground black pepper.
  11. Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden and set.
  12. Allow to rest a short while before cutting into neat triangles.
  13. Serve warm with any preferred salad garnish.

8 servings.

 

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Wheat-free Rusks or Biscotti

This light and delicious sponge base can be baked as sponge cake layers, as cup cakes or cut into fingers and dried out to make low-fat rusks or biscotti-style biscuits.  Add any typical  ingredients to flavour the biscotti. A combination of 75 ml chopped pecan nuts or sunflower seeds and red cherries makes a delicious biscuit cum rusk.     

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Wheat-free Pizza Muffins

These muffins will be a hit with young and old alike!

500 ml rice flour or gluten-free flour mix
20 ml baking powder
5 ml salt
5 ml garlic and herb seasoning
5 ml dried origanum
10 ml mixed dried herbs
1 ml cayenne pepper (optional)
100 ml finely chopped spring onion
50 g/125 ml grated Cheddar cheese
100 g/250 ml finely diced Mozzarella cheese
100 g ham, coarsely chopped (optional)
300 ml milk
2 large eggs
100 ml oil
30 ml tomato puree or pizza or pasta topping sauce

  1. Preheat oven to 200 °C Grease 12 medium or 8 jumbo muffin cups generously with margarine.
  2. Place the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir until evenly combined. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients.
  3. Combine the milk, eggs, oil and tomato puree in a measuring jug and add it to the well in the dry ingredients.  Mix only until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
  4. Divide the batter between the greased cups and bake 10 minutes at 200 ° C.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 180 ° C and bake 8 to 10 minutes more or until golden and firm.
  6. Cool in the muffin cups a few minutes, loosen, lift out and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  7. Store in an airtight container.

12 medium muffins.

Recipe by Carolié de Koster.

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Seed Clusters

These healthy biscuits can be served with tea or as snacks.  It is great for including in lunch boxes for kids as well as for mom and dad!

250 ml sunflower seeds, toasted
250 ml pumpkin seeds, toasted
125 ml sesame seeds, toasted
125 ml coconut chips or flakes, toasted
60 ml soft brown sugar (Treacle or Demarera)
60 ml honey
125 ml dried cranberries, sultana’s or raisins
2 extra large egg whites

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 º C and line two large baking trays with Wizbake baking sheets or a 48-hole macaron mat.
  2. Toast the seeds and coconut chips one ingredient at a time in a single layer in a large saucepan until light brown – watch it carefully as it can burn very quickly.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well.
  4. Place heaped teaspoonfuls 2 cm apart on the Wizbake sheet or place on the “holes” of the macaron mat and flatten with the back of the teaspoon.
  5. Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden.
  6. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool before transferring the clusters to a airtight container.

Makes 60 small clusters or 30 medium clusters.

Variation:

  • Drizzle a little melted white or dark chocolate over the clusters once they are cool.

 

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Low Carb Oopsies

Oopsie bread or Oopsies is all the rage these days due to the fact that it is low in carbs.  Nothing more than an improved version of the Atkins Revolution Roll, Oopsie bread provides a gluten-free alternative to bread and even to some types of cakes!  The texture is similar to choux pastry and the taste is neutral, not eggy at all as one would expect.  It can therefor be served with either sweet or savoury dishes.  I prefer to bake Oopsies in a muffin pan (or a swiss roll tin for roulade).  I have successfully used Philadelphia cream cheese, creamed cottage cheese and cream cheese.  By simply adding sweet or savoury ingredients Oopsies can easily be turned into classic sweet or savory recipes.  See my recipes for Low Carb Tuna Roulade and Low Carb Raspberry & Cream Roulade.

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Paella

Paella takes its name from the typical wide, shallow saucepan used for this ever-popular Spanish rice dish with magnificent contrasting flavours, colours and textures. To simplify and save time, cook the ingredients simultaneously in two smaller saucepans and the large shallow paella-style pan.  Read more about National Spanish Paella Day here.

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