Cranberry & Quinoa Turkey Stuffing

OK.. So.. The Christmas Dinner Stuffing – It’s one of the most important components of the Christmas Dinner and one of everyone’s favourite sides.
Families and hosts choose to do their stuffing in many different ways so you can interpret this recipe and serving suggestion to whatever method suits you and your meal. This is a quirky version of the staple side but trust me when I tell you it is actually so tasty and works incredibly well as a stuffing. This can be made in advance too as it freezes so well and can be taken out the night before for your prep.

Again, you can twist this recipe to make it your own by adding different types of nuts or extra seasoning of what you deem suitable. Other fruits such as pears can also be added.
Make sure to make plenty if the people you are cooking for are anything like my family – the stuffing is always one of the first dishes to be finished first and you always need to keep some for the sandwiches later that night and the next day – essential!

Ingredients

100 grams Quinoa, rinsed
400 ml Water (or stock)
1 Brown Onion, finely chopped
1 Red Apple, grated
¼ cup Pine Nuts
¼ cup Dried Cranberries
¼ cup Chopped Hazelnuts
1 clove Garlic, crushed
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dash of Olive Oil

Method

If you prefer Stuffing as a Side Dish:
In a pot on the hob, cook the quinoa as directed on the packet. I usually follow the instructions of bringing the quinoa to the boil, reducing the heat and simmering for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and let stand for about 10 minutes until all the excess water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
Heat some olive oil on a hot pan and add the brown onion, garlic and pine nuts and cook lightly until browned.
Add the mix from the pan and all of the other ingredients to the cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly.
Serve with your main meal as desired.

If you prefer Stuffing your Turkey before cooking:
In a pot on the hob, cook the quinoa as directed on the packet. I usually follow the instructions of bringing the quinoa to the boil, reducing the heat and simmering for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and let stand for about 10 minutes until all the excess water has been absorbed. Fluff with a fork.
Add all remaining ingredients to the cooked quinoa and mix thoroughly.
Pack lightly into uncooked turkey.
Roast turkey as directed.

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The Salad Bar – Sweet Potato & Fig Salad

I ordered this salad in a bar in Australia a few years ago and have been obsessed with it ever since.
It’s such a simple combination of ingredients but I would have never thought to combine them and now I’m so glad I have because the taste is something serious.
With its sweet against salty combination, this salad will certainly satisfy your taste buds and also impress your friends at that Summer Barbeque.

Ingredients

100 grams Fresh Baby Spinach
1 medium Sweet Potato, diced
1 cup Greek Feta, diced
1 cup Dried Figs, halved
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 Degrees C and cover an oven tray with greaseproof paper.
Spread out the sweet potato cubes on the tray and spray with olive oil.
Pop the tray in the oven and roast the cubes until cooked through, about 20 minutes usually.
Remove the sweet potato from the oven and leave to cool for about 10-15 minutes.
While you’re waiting for the cubes to cool, add spinach, feta and figs to a large salad bowl.
Add the balsamic vinegar and toss.
When the sweet potato has cooled, add this to the salad bowl and give it another toss.
Pour yourself a glass of wine, grab a fork and sit out the back to enjoy.
Hashtag Summer 🙂

Homemade Fit Food- Blueberry Power Muffins

The next instalment of my Fit Food Series are the little beauties I like to call Blueberry Power Muffins.
This Fit Food has a similar recipe to my Porridge Bread so if you’ve tried that you’ll know they’re cheap and cheerful to whack together.
My Power Muffins are packed with energy, protein and anti-oxidants so they’re well worth giving a go.
Have Fun!

Ingredients

1 x 500  ml cup Greek Style Yogurt
2 cup Porridge Oats (rinse out yogurt tub and fill twice with oats)
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tbsp. Stevia Sweetener
1 small punnet Fresh Blueberries
1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1 egg, beaten
Olive Oil Cooking Spray

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees C.
Spray a muffin tray with olive oil spray and set to one side.
In a large mixing bowl, add yogurt, baking soda and stevia sweetener and stir briskly until the mix starts to rise.
Pour oats in gradually and stir until fully covered by yogurt.
Add blueberries and beaten egg and continue to mix until you’ve created an even dough-like mixture.
Scoop out the mix bit by bit into the muffin cases until all the mix has been used up.
Sprinkle the chia seeds and some porridge oats over each muffin and push down with the back of a spoon so they’ll stick.
Pop the muffin tray in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes.’
They may need a little longer so judge this by how moist the dough in the middle of one muffin is until you’re happy they’re cooked though.
Once cooked, leave the muffins to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes.

These Power Muffins are great to throw in your lunch box or gym bag and have as a mid-morning or pre workout snack.
Leave a comment and let me know what you think 😉

The Salad Bar – Tomato & Chick Pea Salad

This is such a good On-The-Go salad to have made up or it can be used as a side dish to a main meal.It takes 5 minutes to put together and tastes fab. Its super filling and packed with fibre too.

Ingredients

1 tin Chick Peas
6 small – medium Tomatoes
1 Tbsp. Turmeric
1 Tbsp. Cracked Black Pepper
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 Sprig of Fresh Parsley

Method

Empty the tin of chick peas into a colander and rinse thoroughly.
Leave to one side and let the excess water dry off.
Chop the tomatoes into quarters and add to a large mixing bowl.
Finely chop the fresh parsley and add to the bowl along with the pepper and turmeric.
Add the chick peas and the olive oil to the bowl now and then mix it all up so that your seasoning and oil covers the
tomatoes and chick peas evenly.
Easy Peasy!

Clo’s Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

250 ml Passata
2 Tbsp. Balsamic Vinegar
2 clove Garlic, crushed
1 medium brown Onion, finely chopped
1 punnet Field Mushrooms
2 Carrots, diced
1 Red Pepper, chopped
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
2 Tbsp. Mixed Dried Herbs
½ Tbsp. Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Heat the olive oil on a pan and add both your onions and garlic.
Once they begin to brown, add the carrots, mushrooms and peppers and stir continuously.
As the veg starts to soften, pour in the passata and mix it through.
Reduce the heat and let the sauce bubble for a couple of minutes.
Add your seasoning and balsamic vinegar at this stage and stir through evenly.
Leave the sauce to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
This sauce goes great over Zucchini Pasta as well as regular pasta and you can pour it over some turkey meatballs too.

If you want to make this a mince Bolognese, add your mince before your vegetables and cook through before continuing with the rest of the instructions.
When I’m making a mince Bolognese, I crumble a beef stock cube through the mince as it’s browning for some extras flave.
I usually use either 500 grams turkey mince of 500 grams lean beef mince.

This sauce stores really well so you can use it for a few days or freeze some off for next time.

Green & Greek Yogurt Dips

If you are trying to make a few small changes to your diet but still find yourself unsure with certain condiments such as salad dressings,
what oils to use, full fat or fat free, this post might be able to help out a bit.
An ideal way to swap out the Ceaser or sour cream is to whip up some Greek Yogurt with a few other ingredients to fuse together a fine substitute.
Greek yogurt is a staple in my diet and I try to use it wherever possible. Below are a few ways I dress it up to make it even more delicious and versatile.

Avocado and Greek Yogurt Dip and Dressing

Ingredients

1 Avocado
150 grams (low fat) Grek Yogurt
1 Clove Garlic
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Sprig Fresh Parsley

Method

Throw all of your ingredients into a food blender or processor and whizz until smooth and creamy.
That is literally it!
If you want to use this as a salad dressing, just add the juice of another 1/2 lemon and 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil to the ingredients list.

Cucumber Dip / Tzatziki

Ingredients

1/2 regular Cucumber, chopped
150 grams (low fat) Grek Yogurt
1 Clove Garlic
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Sprig Fresh Dill
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Combine all your ingredients in a blender or processor until even and smooth.
Done!
This one goes great with lamb or in a wrap.

Yogurt and Mint Dip

Ingredients

1 cup Fresh Mint
150 grams (low fat) Grek Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

You’ve guessed it – Throw it all in the blender and whizz until smooth.

I also like to add some garlic and herbs to his one and marinate some chicken fillets in it.
After about 4 hours of marinating, place chicken fillet in the oven and bake.
Guilt free and gorgeous!

Smoothies Any Which Way

Smoothies and Juices are a wonderful way to up your 5-A-Day intake
and for the obsessive compulsive in me;
they’re quick, clean and are a great way to use up any bits of
fruit and veg that are on the way out.
The beauty of the smoothie is that you can pretty much combine any
ingredients you have available and it’s bound to taste delish!
The best formula to use when creating your own recipe
is as follows and this can be interpreted any way you like;

smoothie3

1 Part Thickener + 1 Part Liquid + 1 Cup Fruit + 1 Part Veg + 1 Part Booster

Here are some examples of each component;

Thickener

Your Smoothie Thickener should fill about ¼ of your cup
Banana
Avocado
Natural or Greek Yoghurt
Mango
Ice Cubes

Liquid

Approx. 250ml
Filtered Water
Coconut Water
Aloe water
Almond Milk
Soy Milk
Coconut Milk

Fruit

About a handful
The list is endless here. You really can use any fruit you like.
My favourites are mixed frozen berries, apples, pears, blueberries, strawberries,
raspberries, mango, frozen or fresh pineapple.

Veg

A good handful
The best veg to use is definitely dark, leafy greens.
They are packed with nutrients and dont take up that much room in your smoothie cup.
My two staples are spinach and kale. You can buy them either fresh or frozen to use.
I will also try to use beetroot wherever I can as it’s such a super Superfood!

Boosters

1 Tablespoon
Almonds
Cashew Nuts
Walnuts
Peanut Butter
Almond Butter
Cashew Butter
Chia Seeds
Flax Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Goji Berries
Coconut Chips
Cacao Nibs
Ginger Root
Honey
Cinnamon Stick
Vanilla Pod
Protein Powder
Lemon Juice
Lime Juice

Green Juices

Green juices have become so popular the last couple of years but they really do have
the right to be the A-List celeb in the Smoothie and Juice community.
They make take a bit of getting used to but they are seriously worth it.
I am a self proclaimed green juice addict but only because
I have personally felt the beneficial effects.
My energy is through the roof (you can ask my poor housemates),
my skin glows more than ever and my (very poor) digestion is improving all the time.
Like smoothies, you can use whatever is lying around in the fridge or the fruit bowl, the greener the better!
1/3 a cup of liquid with 2/3 a cup of greens and an extra booster or two
will combine to make a delish and ridiculously healthy juice.

smoothie4