recipes for autumn 2016
The Healthy Chef whips up a fresh and fast meal for any time of the day and a fibre-packed bread that’s kind to your digestive system.
The perfect paleo omelette
Here’s a quick and easy recipe for a delicious omelette. They take around 5 minutes to rustle up and make a delicious brunch or simple, healthy dinner. I’ve provided two options below – my husband loves the one with shaved organic ham and I can’t get enough of greens so I always opt for the kale and spinach filling. It’s best to serve the omelettes as soon as they are made, and enjoy them with fresh pineapple and cucumber juice.
What’s great about it?
Eggs are high in protein and contain all the essential amino acids needed for growth and repair. Including quality protein sources in your meals every day supports weight loss and healthy metabolism, maintains a healthy immune system, curbs appetite and helps to sustain lean muscle. Tomato is full of antioxidants, in particular lycopene that may help prevent a number of diseases including cancer and heart disease. Green super foods such as kale and spinach help to increase alkalinity and detoxification in your body that can promote healing. They are also rich in vitamins A, C and K and folic acid, as well as calcium, potassium, copper and iron. These nutrients are necessary for healthy bones, skin and eyes. If you’re sipping a little cucumber and pineapple juice on the side, you can take pleasure in knowing that the pineapple contains bromelain, that aids digestion and has anti-inflammatory properties.
50g organic or free range ham off the bone – shaved thinly
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 organic eggs
1 ripe tomato, chopped
handful micro herbs or other greens
Sauté ham in a little olive oil in a 20cm quality stainless steel pan or cast iron pan over a medium heat until you have a few little crisp edges. Lightly beat your eggs in a bowl and season with a little pepper. Don’t over-mix your eggs, they should just be incorporated and I like to still make out bits of yolks and some white. Add eggs to the pan and gently stir through with a fork during the cooking process until the eggs are cooked to your liking – ideally they should resemble very moist scrambled eggs at this stage. Leave the pan on the heat for a few seconds to set the base and then top with tomato and micro herbs. Serve immediately in the pan or on a wooden board and enjoy.
Add 1 tablespoon of basil pesto for extra flavour and goodness.
For a vegetarian option, use the above recipe but replace the ham with a power-packed alkalinising green option of kale and spinach. Wash and trim a bunch of kale leaves, removing the tough inner stalks. Shred the leaves finely and place into a large bowl. Heat a large pot over a medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sauté the kale for 3 minutes or until leaves have softened and then add spinach and mix through for 30 seconds until starting to wilt. Season with sea salt, pepper, parsley and a little lemon juice. Spoon over the top of your omelette and top with goat’s feta.
Apple and cinnamon bread
My favourite fruit this time of year is the fuji apple. They are wonderfully sweet and juicy to eat, so they are the perfect ingredient to make my purely delicious apple and cinnamon bread. This no fuss, one-bowl bread can be easily whipped up in around 10 minutes. Your whole kitchen will smell amazing when it’s being baked as the cinnamon apple aroma floats through the air. There is no need to add any sugar as the apple provides a subtle sweetness that can marry with lots of toppings, both sweet and savoury: my favourites are macadamia nut butter, tahini or a generous spread of deli style ricotta. Macadamia nut oil adds a lovely buttery flavour which I love – but you can also use olive oil, butter or coconut oil. This bread can keep for a good week in your fridge.
What’s great about it?
Apples contain around 5g of fibre (of both the soluble and insoluble varieties), which is great for your digestive system. The soluble fibre is known as pectin, which has the power to help lower cholesterol, keep you regular and stabilise blood sugar, as well as decrease the appetite and fill you up for hours. Spelt is an ancient grain that is related to wheat, but has a lower gluten content so it’s kinder to the digestive system. Spelt is also a good source of protein and has around 20 per cent more protein and up to 65 per cent more amino acids than traditional wheat flours. A touch of cinnamon has the power to help your body metabolise sugar and reduce insulin levels.
450g (3 cups) grated fuji apple (or other sweet apple of your choice)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 organic free range eggs (see Inspiration for vegan option)
¼ cup (60ml) macadamia nut oil (or your choice of coconut oil, olive oil, butter)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
2 cups (260g) wholemeal spelt flour (see Inspiration on gluten free)
Preheat oven to 180oC. Combine apple, baking powder, salt, eggs, oil, cinnamon and vanilla into a bowl and mix well. I love using my hands for this to make sure all the ingredients gets around the grated apple. It’s important to remember that the sweetness comes from the raw grated apple which produces a lovely wholegrain bread that is only slightly sweet and purely delicious, so don’t be tempted to add extra sugar. Add the wholemeal spelt flour and mix through lightly, just until it’s combined. As an optional extra, you may choose to fold through half a cup of chopped walnuts. Line a loaf tin with baking paper at the base and the sides (10½cm wide by 26cm long work well.) Spoon mixture into the loaf tin. At this stage you can choose to bake as is or garnish your bread with sliced apple and a little cinnamon or coconut sugar that will create a lovely caramelised flavour over the top of the apple.
Bake for 1 hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Times may vary, so check after 45 minutes and cover with foil if necessary. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour before removing from the tin. Enjoy alone or topped with macadamia nut or almond butter, or deli style ricotta and roasted figs.
For a vegan option, omit eggs and add 60ml (1/4 cup) of your choice of milk (almond, rice, oat, coconut) and 2 tablespoons of chia seeds. The vegan option is a much denser style of bread, and has less volume than the version with eggs.
For a gluten free option, use 200g (2 cups) of almond meal/ground almonds in place of the spelt flour and use gluten free baking powder or ½ teaspoon bicarb soda and 2 tablespoons lemon juice.
Teresa Cutter, aka The Healthy Chef, is one of Australia’s leading authorities on healthy cooking and the author of the Purely Delicious recipe book. A chef, nutritionist and fitness professional, she combines her knowledge of food, diet and exercise to develop delicious recipes that maximise health and wellbeing. thehealthychef.com