Deep filled Spinach & feta pie

This was inspired by the pie at Muffin Break. I’d never seen so much spinach packed into anything before, especially not anything this delicious!  Great to boost those iron & vitamin levels too 🙂

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Ingredients – makes one 10″ pie

250g pastry of choice (we used puff pastry – but use your favourite)
1kg spinach, frozen or fresh
2 medium onions
2 medium – large carrots
1 sweet pointed red pepper (ramiro)
150g crumbled feta cheese (up to 300g if you prefer)
3 egg whites or 2 small whole eggs
1/2 cup mature grated cheddar to top
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 level tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
3-5 tbsp olive oil to fry
3 tbsp dried or 5 tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.  Place a large saucepan with the oil on a medium heat.
2. Peel & quarter onions then finely chop in food processor (don’t wash it yet, we still need it). Add to pan and fry until translucent.
3. Peel and cut carrots into chunks then process until finely chopped. Add to pan & fry 1-2 min.
4. De-seed pepper & food process until fine. Add to pan & fry for 2 mins. Tip filling into a large bowl. (now you can wash the food processor)
5. Fry spinach in the pan until wilted and the juices are starting to run out. You need to reduce the liquid so you can either squeeze it out carefully using ladles and spoons before placing in the filling bowl, or fry until the liquid dries up. Either way, spinach less water goes into the bowl.
6. stir in all of the other ingredients except the pastry and cheddar. This is your filling, hooray!
7. Line or grease (or both) a deep 10″ pan, I used a cake tin lined with foil, should have greased it too as it stuck a little. Roll out the pastry to cover the base & edges in a very thin layer.
8. Spoon filling into pastry, top with cheese then bake for around 1 hour, or until set in the centre & cheese is golden.
slice when cool for best results
Enjoy!

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Sweet potato and spinach curry with rice

This was too good of an experiment not to write down. Toooo good. Hot, spicy, satisfying, slightly sweet from the onion & sweet potatoes, perfect on a fluffy bed of buttered rice.  Not as fast as most of my recipes, but so, so worth it.

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Ingredients: serves 3-4
4 small yellow onions, peeled & diced
4-6 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil (we used untoasted sesame oil – anything with no strong flavour)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
250g cherry tomatoes
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 rounded tsp each of: ground cumin, hot paprika (use something hotter if that’s what you like), garam masala (or mild curry powder as we used, not having anything else in the house)
2 rounded tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
Pinch of chilli flakes
Salt to taste (about 1 level tsp)
1 very large sweet potato, peeled & cubed (about 500g)
Half a bag of fresh spinach, chopped (about 100g)
4 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped

Rice: serves 2-3 (nb: less than the curry serves. Just how it worked out)
1 builder’s mug full of good quality basmati rice (about 250g, we used Tilda)
450g water
2tbsp butter
1tsp salt, or to taste

Method:
1. Heat the oil on a medium low heat, in a large saucepan.  Add onion & garlic, cover and let cook for about 15 mins.
2. Add cherry tomatoes and cook for another 20-25 mins until everything is very soft and mushy (I start the rice now so it’s ready with the curry, see below)
3. Put the spices in and fry for 2-3 mins until fragrant. 
4. Add the sweet potatoes and enough water to cover at least 2/3 of them, about 3 cups. Cover. Bring to the boil.
5.  simmer curry 10 or so mins or until potatoes are soft. Break them up somewhat with a spoon to thicken the sauce.
6. Add spinach & fresh coriander and cook for another 2-5 mins.
7. Test seasoning, then serve.

Rice:
1. put the rice in a microwave rice steamer (or large bowl, or saucepan with a vented lid) and soak in lots of clean water.
2. once rice has soaked for a minimum of 5 min – drain water, rinse in fresh water then drain well again. Place in chosen receptacle (we used a microwave rice steamer) and add 450ml fresh water.
3. Affix lid (or cover bowl in cling film, pierce, then place whole bowl in a larger bowl) and microwave at 900W for 12 min, or until all the water has disappeared and rice is fluffy & soft.  If using saucepan, add water, cover & bring to the boil on a medium heat until water is absorbed (don’t uncover too much but make sure it doesn’t boil dry. 
4. Allow to stand 3 min before stirring in butter.
Serve.
Enjoy!

Superhealthy green omelet

This was our lunch for today. Another superfast dish (literally 5 minutes), low in fat, low in carbs, high in protein, bursting full of iron and vitamins from all those leafy greens… Great with flat bread, or just on its own. You can truly eat as much as you like of this meal without feeling any guilt at all… In fact, you should feel very proud of yourself for how good you’ve been 🙂

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Here it is coming out of the grill… Yum 🙂

Ingredients – serves 2
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 small leek (or 2 spring onions /scallions) , sliced finely
150g fresh baby spinach
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, or herbs of choice
200ml pourable egg whites, or 4 whole eggs, beaten
Grated extra mature cheddar or other Paleo-friendly hard cheese such as parmesan
Sea salt to taste

1. Preheat the grill /broiler to high. In a large saucepan, heat the oil on high heat (on the hob, not under the grill!)
2. Fry the leeks/ onions for a few minutes until soft, like so

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3. Add the spinach. It will seem like a lot but trust me.

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4. Fry the spinach, using the spatula to ensure every leaf sees the heat. The spinach will wilt down significantly, until you get something that looks like this:

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5. Add the chopped herbs and toss for one more minute, then pour the egg over the top

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The bottom will set immediately (your heat should still be on high), leaving the top wobbly. Turn off the hob.
6. Grate the cheese over the omelet, then transfer to the grill to finish cooking. Watch it closely, and remove from the grill as soon as the cheese has melted and the egg is set.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Simple poached salmon salad with lemon creme fraiche dressing

This salad is a healthy, delicious and superfast light meal which I whip up whenever we’re feeling like we need to detox. The cool, refreshing mix of crisp leaves, creamy lemony dressing and the warm salmon flakes make this a great recipe for the summer months, perfect with a glass of homemade lemonade 🙂

Because this dish is so simple, it relies on the freshness and quality of the ingredients. Don’t be tempted to use tinned salmon, or any fresh or frozen variety which has a large layer of that bitter, metallic tasting brown meat anywhere in it – cut that off or remove it after poaching if you need to.

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Ingredients – serves 2
2 good quality large salmon fillets, fresh or frozen
1 lemon
2 small avocados
1 apple (we used pink lady, use your favourite type)
2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
4 tbsp creme fraiche
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Poach or steam the salmon. You can do this in the microwave if you know how (make sure you don’t do it too long or you’ll end up with a salmon biscuit), or place in a steamer above a boiling pan of water for 4-5 minutes (depending on how thick your fish is). If poaching, bring half a pan of salted water (add onion /herbs if you wish) to a gentle boil, slip in the fish, boil for about a minute then cover and remove from the heat, leaving it for 10 minutes without uncovering. Whichever method you choose, at the end break the fish apart in the centre (or thickest point) to make sure it’s done.
2. Remove fish to a cool plate and let sit until you are able to handle it. In the mean time, prepare the other ingredients.
3. Split and de-stone the avocado. Arrange on plates as shown with the spinach. Cut the apple and half the lemon into wedges and add them.
4. Flake the salmon gently with your fingers and arrange it in the centre of the dishes.
5. Mix the creme fraiche, the juice and zest of the remaining half lemon and a little salt & pepper to taste (remember the fish is bland so it needs a little more than you think). Pour over the fish.
6. Serve immediately. Enjoy!