Zucchini, Pea & Feta Fritters

Zucchini, Pea & Feta Fritters

If you like your fritters crispy then you are going to LOVE this Zucchini, Pea and Feta Fritters recipe! These crispy zucchini fritters make a great breakfast, lunch, starter or side dish.

They are a great way to use up all those summer zucchinis that will soon be taking over gardens, off loaded by family and friends or sitting in the bottom of the fridge patiently waiting to be used up. A guaranteed favourite!

Ingredients:

  • 3 small (or 2 large) zucchinis, grated
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup flour
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 spring onions (green and white parts)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Small handful of fresh mint
  • ½ cup feta cheese

Method:

  1. Grate the zucchini and place it in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Leave it to sit for 10 minutes to remove excess water.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the peas, garlic, flour, eggs, onions, mint, feta and salt/pepper. Squeeze out the excess moisture from the zucchini (give it a few good squeezes) using your hands or a chux cloth. Add the zucchini into the bowl and give it a good mix.
  3. In a pan over medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil. Once it has heated, add in a scoop of the fritter batter. Leave them to cook until golden on one side, or until bubbles appear on the uncooked side. This is a signal to turn them over! Once you turn them over, you can flatten them a bit. I would do 3 or 4 at a time, depending on the size of your pan.
  4. Once they are cooked and golden on both sides, transfer them to a plate and they’re good to go!

 

Recipe by Charlotte from @TheNuttyGritty

Simple Bruschetta

Simple Bruschetta

There aren’t many foods that complement each other as well as tomatoes and basil. This simple bruschetta showcases just that. All you will need to add is toast and some of your favourite cheese.

Prepping time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

Ingredients:

  • Tomatoes
  • ½ Red onion, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • Small bunch Basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprinkle Fetta or goats cheese (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to season
  • Sourdough bread

Method:

  1. Chop up tomatoes and red onion, and add into a mixing bowl with balsamic vinegar, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and mix to combine
  2. Toast your bread
  3. Place your tomato mixture on your toasted bread and sprinkle over the cheese

Recipe by Charlotte from @TheNuttyGritty

Simple Roast Veggies

Simple Roast Veggies

As we move from warming winter meals to fresh, vibrant spring dishes, a humble staple that is perfect for all seasons is simple roasted veggies. All you need are your favourite veggies, herbs and spices of your liking and some extra virgin olive oil. Here I chose to bake some pumpkin, cauli and sweet potato, but be guided by the seasons and your own preferences. Roasted vegetables are a great addition to any meal and, in my opinion, even better as a snack throughout the day!

Prepping time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ Pumpkin
  • ¼ Cauliflower
  • 1 Sweet potato
  • 1 Garlic bulb
  • 1 Carrot
  • Mixed herbs (oregano, Italian herbs, parsley etc)
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Chop up your veggies and lay them evenly in a baking dish. If you are using garlic, cut it lengthways, keeping the skin on, and place in the dish.
  3. Drizzle over olive oil, salt, pepper and any herbs you love.
  4. Roast for 45 minutes, checking on the veg halfway and turning them over to roast evenly.
  5. Once ready, squeeze out the garlic from the skin and enjoy!

Recipe by Charlotte from @TheNuttyGritty

Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry and Dark Choc Muffins

There is something unique about baking muffins from scratch – the aroma, the taste and the way it makes me feel. What better way to end your weekend, then cooking these delightful muffins to snack on throughout the week, or as a gift to a loved one.

Serves: Makes 6 individual muffins

Prepping time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of self raising flour
  • 1 egg, whisked before adding
  • 1/2 cup of sugar (any type- brown, white, honey, syrup)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup milk (any type)
  • 1 punnet of raspberries
  • 1/2 block of choc, chopped

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius.
  2. Whisk the eggs in a large mixing bowl, until they become pale and creamy.
  3. Combine all ingredients in the bowl with the eggs, and mix until all ingredients are just combined.
  4. Add in raspberries and dark chocolate chunks, and mix through gently.
  5. Line the muffin moulds with oil, butter or muffin liners and place the batter into each one.
  6. Cook for 20-25 minutes. To check if they are cooked through, place a skewer or knife into the muffin, if it comes out clean it’s cooked!

Recipe by Charlotte @TheNuttyGritty

Basil Pesto

Basil Pesto 

One of my favourite things about cooking is adapting the recipe to my own taste, what’s available in the pantry and considering what produce is in season. Pesto is a recipe that ticks all of these boxes – you can change up what type of herbs, nuts, seeds, oil and cheese you use and make your own unique version. Here we have a traditional basil and pine nut pesto, a yummy addition to salads, pasta, pizzas, even as a dip.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large bunches of basil, leaves and stems separated
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (or as many or little as you like)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to your taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Lightly toast pine nuts in a frypan over low to medium heat. The pine nuts can brown very quickly, so try to keep an eye on them! When they are toasted to your liking, remove them from the heat and set aside.
  2. Combine all ingredients except for the olive oil, in a food processor.
  3. Slowly add in the olive oil, in a narrow stream and combine to your liking – with chunks or smooth.
  4. Store in an airtight jar for in the fridge. The pesto will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge.

Recipe by Charlotte @TheNuttyGritty

‘Emotional Eating’ Explored Differently: How Food Can Fit In Your Toolbox For Self Care.

Take a moment to think about the thoughts that come to mind when you hear ‘emotional eating’.

 

We are conditioned to think of emotional eating as something unequivocally bad.

 

But I hope to help you see it from a different perspective by the end of this blog.

 

What role can food play?

I’d like you to think about the role food plays in our lives. Yes food satisfies a physical need through providing energy and nourishment. However food can also satisfy our emotional needs. These emotions can range from happy to sad. Think about it… food is core part of celebrations. Some people eat food when they feel happy. Others eat to help soothe and distract from deeper emotions.

 

Food provides safety

Food provides safety from the moment we are born. A baby’s innate instinct allows them to find the breast in order to receive nourishment. Throughout life this then evolves into further intuitive behaviours around food. However for those who may have grown up in less fortunate situations; who experienced trauma; or with less access to supportive and trusting role models, food can naturally fill that space and provide a source of comfort in ones life.

Has food been your main source of comfort that helped you through tough times?

 

Has food acted as your main tool for self-care?

 

Then maybe food might need a thank you for keeping you safe.

 

The relationship with the brain

Eating for comfort can become a learned behaviour throughout childhood and can continue later in life. Overtime, eating certain foods triggers the release of dopamine (happy hormone) from the pleasure centre of our brain. Our brain then down regulates and becomes less sensitive to this response. Overtime this might mean that we require more food for the same comforting effect. So if you find that you have needed more and more food to make you feel good, this is biology at play, not an absence of control on your part.

 

So….

With all this information in mind, I invite you to think about what role food plays in your life and whether it is truly helping you manage your emotional well-being.

We can recognise that food is a valid coping mechanism and comfort, whilst also exploring what other forms of self-care may support us in the long-term. We may like to think of food as one tool in our self-care toolbox amongst others as we know a toolbox is most useful when there are multiple tools we can choose for different occasions.

Please reach out to your trusted Dietitian or other Health Care Professional to support you through this journey.

Delicious and Quick Christmas Recipe Ideas

Glow Group Health and Well Being

We’ve all been there. Caught at the last minute, you are now invited to the street Christmas BBQ.

“Just bring a salad” they say. Panic sets in.

So you run to the shops, but the pre-made options are looking a little uninspiring.

Behold! A list of delicious and fancy looking salads that can be thrown together in less than 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

 

Pecan and Cranberry Salad

Ingredients

• 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
• 3/4 cup olive oil
• 1 medium bag of mixed greens (300g)
• 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
• 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
• 1 1/2 cups pecans or walnuts
• 150g fresh goat cheese/feta, crumbled (about 1 1/4 cups)

METHOD

Whisk vinegar, mustard, and thyme in small bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Season dressing with salt and pepper.

Mix greens, cranberries, and onion in large bowl. Mix in enough dressing to coat. Sprinkle with nuts and cheese.

 

Green Bean and Radish Salad with Shallot Dressing

Ingredients

• 500g green bean, trimmed
• 1 x banana shallot, finely diced
• 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
• 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
• juice of half lemon
• 250g radish thinly sliced

METHOD

Boil a large pan of water. Tip in the beans and cook for 4-5 mins until just tender. Meanwhile, mix the shallot, mustard, oil and lemon juice with a little salt and pepper.

Drain the beans well, then toss with the radishes and dressing. Serve warm.

 

Smoked Salmon Pasta Salad

Ingredients

• 500g trofie or other short pasta
• 2 bunches asparagus, woody ends trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
• 3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/4 cup dill, finely chopped, plus extra sprigs to serve
• 1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
• Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus juice of 1/2 lemon
• 1/4 cup salted baby capers, rinsed, drained
• 2 cups rocket leaves, roughly chopped
• 200g smoked salmon, sliced into thin strips

METHOD

Cook pasta in a large pan of boiling salted water according to packet instructions, adding asparagus for final 1-2 minutes. Drain, refresh, then cool completely.

Meanwhile, whisk the creme fraiche, olive oil, dill, garlic, lemon juice, half the zest and 2 tablespoons water together in a small bowl, then season and set aside.

When pasta is cool, toss with dressing, capers, rocket, remaining zest and smoked salmon. Serve with extra dill sprigs.

Picnic Ideas For a Fabulous Summer

Glow Group Health and Well Being

It’s getting hotter (but not too hot) so it’s a perfect time to get out those picnic rugs and get out with loved ones to soak up some vitamin D and delicious food and drink.

 

If you are around the Sydney area, below are some quick links to search some top picnic areas.

https://www.timeout.com/sydney/things-to-do/the-best-picnic-spots-in-sydney

https://eatdrinkplay.com/sydney/best-picnic-spots/

 

Once you find the area, next step is to plan what food to pack. Below are just a few ideas to help you out:

Your favourite fruit for something quite refreshing. You can even make a fruit salad and add some passionfruit pulp for extra zing. Even serve with a plain yoghurt

Image result for fruit salad"

You can make your own quiche or frittata  with your favourite ingredients. Even making them in muffin tins can be an easier way to share around

Build your own antipasto plate with some cured meats, cheese, dips, crackers, Turkish bread, olives, pickled veg, plain veg and even dried fruit

Image result for antipasto platter"

Some salad ideas to match your meals could be: pumpkin and feta with pine nut, tabouli, watermelon mint and feta, haloumi salad, chicken Caesar, cous-cous salad, garden salad or Greek salad (these are just a few options)

You can get creative with a cob loaf- have a search on the net for all different varieties!

Image result for cob loaf"

You might like to build your own wraps, sandwiches or burgers. This can make sharing easier and gives people the opportunity to chose their favourite ingredients and fillings

If you are a lover of meats and there’s going to be a BBQ (pack your knife, chopping board, foil, oil, paper towel or whatever you need) to hit the BBQ and cook up some meat. A BBQ can also be a great place to cook up some veggies, onion, corn cobs, potato jackets… all those classics

Image result for bbq meat and veg"

If there’s no BBQ access at the picnic area, consider cooking up some meat before hand and keeping it hot (wrapped in foil). Slow-cooker recipes can be quick easy and handy for these occasions. For example a pulled pork or shredded chicken breast

Don’t forget dessert if that’s your thing, or your favourite drinks- whether it is alcohol, or non-alcoholic. Have a go at even making your own mocktail/cocktail

 

Hope this gives you a few ideas! Happy picnicking everyone!

An Intuitive Guide to Meal Planning

Glow Group Health and Well Being

Co Written by Georgia Gray

 

You might be thinking that the act of meal planning is too structural to fit in with the principles of Intuitive eating. For that reason, I like to think of it as menu planning, or providing yourself with a menu of options for the week. To understand it a bit differently, let’s talk about the difference between a meal plan and menu planning.

 

Meal plans vs. menu planning

 

Meal plans

  • Provide a rigid structure on what and when to eat meals
  • Usually prescribed for calorie control or weight loss
  • Mostly followed in the short term however become unsustainable
  • Often lack variety
  • Can be associated with feelings of guilt or failure if not followed strictly

 

Menu planning 

  • More flexible guide of what to eat during the week
  • Reduces pressure always having to think of what to eat each week
  • More centred around organisation and preparation of meals and snacks
  • Provide a menu of options to choose from more intuitively
  • Not focused on calorie counting
  • Generally more sustainable to continue in the long-term.

 

Ok, so now that we’ve painted a picture of the difference, let’s talk about the how of menu planning and where to start. Below I will share some tips to guide you on how to take an intuitive approach to menu planning. 

 

Preparation is key. A big part of menu planning is about making sure you are prepared with all the ingredients in the cupboard to allow you to make all of your favourite meals during the week. Try setting aside time each week where you can, to go to the supermarket.

 

Stock up on staple itemsSo you are at the supermarket, but don’t know what to buy? Try stocking up on all of your favourite staples that you often find yourself incorporating into a number of meals. This could include selecting a range of grains, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meat. Canned beans, tomatoes and tuna are all things that I find easy to use in a number of meals. Cheese, yoghurt and pasta are a few more examples of other great staples. Even keeping some meat in the freezer.

 

Try out new recipes. This can help to give you ideas about how to incorporate new flavours and ingredients into your meals. It’s also a great way to explore different tastes and cuisines, and find out what you like!

 

Get baking. Baking can be a great way to have fun in the kitchen and create some extra snacks to have throughout the week. Try making a big batch of your favourite muffins, cookies or slice. Putting away some extras in the freezer can help on days when you need a quick snack.

 

Experiment with new flavours. Cooking is all about being creative. Experimenting with different combinations of herbs and spices can be a great way to incorporate some fresh new flavours into your meals.

 

Allow yourself to be flexible. Sometimes you may not have time (or feel like) making a proper meal at lunch or dinner time, and that’s okay. Similarly, if you have plans with friends, remember that it is okay to eat things that are a bit different than what you would usually have at home.

 

Get creative with leftoversIf you are anything like me, you might find the thought of eating the same thing day after day a little boring. Leftovers don’t have to be this way! Simply adding a few extra ingredients and toppings, or making them a side to your next meal can help to keep things interesting