recipes for spring 2014

We’ve all heard of the Spring chicken, but how about Spring eggs? And dairy-free chocolate ‘mylk’? The Healthy Chef gets creative with arguably the world’s most versatile food, and reinvents a classic feel-good drink.

This recipe re-imagines a classic feel-good treat to create a drink that will leave you feeling nourished and revitalised! My Chocolate Almond Mylk takes just a few minutes to make and can be enjoyed ice cold as a quick pick-me-up vitality drink, or as a warm and nourishing hot chocolate that will enliven the senses and heal the body, mind and soul. You’ll notice that the ratio of almonds to water is 1:6 – I like the lightness of this combination with the subtle hint of sweetness that comes from the dates and vanilla bean in the Naked Chocolat.


Chocolate Almond Mylk

This recipe makes about 1½ litres of purely delicious chocolate goodness. I make a large batch and pour it into glass jars that I keep in the fridge. If I want to enjoy my Chocolate Almond Mylk hot then I just pour one jar into a small pot and heat it gently on the stove – then savour the goodness.

What’s great about it?

This is an amazing recovery drink that’s bursting with antioxidants and essential minerals. Naked Chocolat powder (available from thehealthychef.com) is made with rich cacao, carob, maca, cinnamon and pure vanilla bean – ingredients that help to provide sustained energy and to support the endocrine and immune systems. Cacao is rich in magnesium and antioxidants that assist with muscle repair and recovery. Almonds are high in magnesium and potassium that is essential for muscle and nerve function. They are also high in protein to promote recovery and support the immune system. Maca helps to promote energy and stamina and Tahitian vanilla and cinnamon helps boost mental performance. The Journal of Medicine and Sports Science says that consuming chocolate milk immediately post-exercise and again two hours after appears to be optimal for exercise recovery.

Serves 6
Time: 5mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 6 cups filtered pure water (use less water for a creamier mylk)
  • 4 fresh pitted dates (adjust accordingly to taste)
  • 2 tablespoons Healthy Chef Naked Chocolat or cacao powder

Combine almonds, water, dates and Naked Chocolat into a high speed blender. Blend for 30 seconds until smooth and creamy. Strain through a muslin or a nut milk bag. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge until needed. Serve cold over ice and enjoy

Inspiration

If you’re having this cold then you can pump up the protein by adding a few scoops of Healthy Chef Pure Protein before blending.


Smashed Organic Eggs with Mustardy French Dressing

One of my all-time favourite foods is organic free range eggs. We always have a dozen in the fridge as they make a perfect quick and healthy meal for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. I remember my Great Aunty cooking up lots of egg dishes when I was growing up. We used to raise our own hens and grow our own veggies, so a lot of our meals were based on egg and vegetable dishes. I love to eat eggs pretty much any way, but one of my favourites is to smash them with aromatics such as fresh garden herbs and a homemade French dressing scented with a hint of Dijon mustard. These smashed organic eggs are perfect over steamed or braised green vegetables such as asparagus, kale, spinach or cabbage. They are also delicious folded through pan roasted cauliflower with a light sprinkle of crushed pistachio. I love the simplicity of these eggs and the flavours marry perfectly.

What’s great about it?

Eggs are a great source of complete protein which will keep you fuller for longer as well as help maintain a healthy immune system, cell growth and tissue repair. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity suggests that the inclusion of eggs in a weight management program may help increase satiety and enhance weight loss. The lecithin in egg yolks is also rich in choline, which is involved in the transport of cholesterol in the bloodstream and in fat metabolism, which can be useful in treating fat accumulation in the liver.

Serves 2
Time: 30mins (includes 20mins to cook eggs)

Ingredients

  • 4 organic eggs, hard boiled (see notes below on how to cook to perfection)
  • 1 small bunch parsley, chopped
  • 2 spring onions or 1/3 red onion, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 bunches asparagus, trimmed
  • Mustardy French Dressing
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil

Chop the hard boiled eggs with a large knife on a chopping board. Place the eggs into a bowl and combine with onion, salt, pepper and parsley. Combine the apple cider vinegar with the mustard and cold-pressed olive oil until smooth and emulsified in a separate bowl. Spoon the dressing into the smashed eggs and fold through. Blanch or steam asparagus for 30 seconds. Arrange asparagus onto a serving plate and spoon over the smashed eggs. Serve with a light drizzle of extra dressing and enjoy.

How to hard boil eggs perfectly

Use room temperature eggs (not straight from the fridge). Place eggs in a small saucepan and cover completely with cold water about 2cm above the top of the eggs. Slowly bring the water to the boil over a medium heat. Once the water is boiling, simmer the eggs for 7 minutes. Cool eggs immediately under cold running water. Crack the shells on a hard surface, then peel the eggs gently. Rinse the eggs again after peeling to make sure there are no bits of shell left clinging to the egg. Store covered in the fridge until needed.

Inspiration

While the freshest eggs are ideal for frying and poaching, eggs that are a week or so old are actually better for hard boiling.


Teresa Cutter, aka The Healthy Chef, is one of Australia’s leading authorities on healthy cooking. An experienced chef, as well as a nutritionist and fitness professional, she combines her knowledge of food, diet and exercise to develop delicious recipes that maximise health and wellbeing. thehealthychef.com