Saturday, June 28, 2014

Spicy Kale Chips

Super easy one today.  I had a bunch of kale sitting in my fridge - some of which I had juiced, but there was still lots leftover.  So I decided to make a batch of kale chips.  The spices made them super tasty and these babies didn't last long after I had baked them!  As a side note, anyone with hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) needs to be careful when consuming cruciferous veggies such as kale as these types of veggies have been linked to suppressing thyroid function.  I personally don't have an underactive thyroid, however kale also contains oxalates - which when consumed, bind strongly to iron (and some other minerals) in your body and the iron is then excreted.  Not ideal for those of us (like me) who have iron deficiency.  So this is definitely one of a number of foods that I only like to enjoy every now and then.  

- 1 bunch of kale
- 1 tbsp macadamia oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder

1.  Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line 2 large baking trays with baking paper

2.  Separate the kale leaves from the stems and discard the stems.  Wash the kale leaves and then dry well.  Break up the kale leaves into chunks.

3.  In a large bowl, toss the remaining ingredients through the kale leaves.  Spread out onto the baking trays.  Bake for around 10 minutes or until the kale starts browning around the edges.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Apple & Cinnamon Brown Rice Waffles

Some lazy weekend mornings I love to put a bit of extra effort into breakfast... and by extra effort I usually mean preparing some of the ingredients the night before.  This is the case with this recipe.  I grind my brown rice down into flour (or you can buy brown rice flour) the night before and I soak it overnight in some liquid with a bit of apple cider vinegar.  Soaking grains in an acidic medium allows the phytic acid in the grain to be neutralised, and this allows our digestive tract to more easily absorb the nutrients from the grain.  It really doesn't take very long to prepare these babies, just a few minutes of prep time the night before!

Ingredients (makes 8 waffles):
- 2 cups brown rice flour (or brown rice, ground in Thermomix for 1min/sp9)
- 400ml can coconut cream
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup rapadura sugar
- 2 free range eggs
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tsp vanilla essence
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 large apple, grated (please peel if not organic)

1.  Combine the brown rice flour, coconut cream and apple cider vinegar in a large bowl.  Cover and leave overnight to soak (I leave mine on the bench but if you're not comfortable doing this, you can pop it in the fridge).

2.  In the morning, add the remaining ingredients and whisk together.  Preheat a waffle iron and cook the waffles in batches.  I find that cooking them a little longer allows them to hold together a lot better.  Serve with fruit, yoghurt, maple syrup, honey etc.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Spelt Pizza Base

I really should be studying right now for my last exam for the semester.... but I'm looking for every excuse under the sun not to!  I made this pizza for dinner tonight and as it turned out, my sister and super fussy 3yo nephew dropped by.  My nephew had 3 slices of pizza - you know a food is good when he eats it!  This recipe makes 2 large pizzas.  If you don't want to make 2 pizzas at once - you can freeze half the dough once the proving has finished, roll it into a ball and wrap in cling wrap, then pop into the freezer.  When you're ready to use the dough, you just take it out of the freezer and allow to thaw out on a baking paper lined pizza tray until it's soft enough to flatten and roll out.

- 1 cup of water
- 1 sachet (7g) dried yeast
- 4 cups unbleached spelt flour
- 1 tbsp macadamia oil + 1 tbsp extra
- Pinch of sea salt

Whatever you want - but this is what I used tonight:
- 4 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
- 100g nitrate-free ham, chopped
- 2 cups cheese (please grate it yourself to avoid anti caking agents often added to pre-shredded cheeses) - I used mozzarella and parmesan (grated in my Thermie for 10 seconds on speed 9)

1.  Heat water until lukewarm and stir the yeast in.  Cover and allow to sit for 10 minutes or until yeast is frothy and activated.

(Thermomix - add water and yeast to TM bowl and warm for 2min/37deg/sp1.  Allow to activate for 10 minutes or so)

2.  Tip the yeast mixture into a large bowl.  Add the flour, 1 tbsp of oil and a pinch of salt and combine with your hands.  Tip the dough mixture out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Using the remaining 1tbsp of macadamia oil, grease a large bowl and put your dough in.  Cover and allow to prove on the bench for around 1 hour or until doubled in size.

(Thermomix - add flour, 1tbsp oil and pinch of salt.  Mix 5sec/sp6.  Knead for 30 seconds using the knead function.  Transfer the dough into a bowl greased with remaining macadamia oil, cover and allow to prove on the bench for around 1 hour or until doubled in size)

3.  After the dough has doubled in size, I then put the bowl of dough in the fridge for another 2 hours.  It continues to grow but much more slowly.

4.  Preheat oven to 220 degrees and line 2 pizza trays with baking paper.  Divide the dough in half and roll out onto each tray.  Top with whichever toppings you like and bake for around 15 minutes, until the dough is cooked through.