Well it’s pouring outside, the temperature has dropped, and it’s basically PERFECT fireplace-and-red-wine weather… This is a real thing. My wine has been replaced with hot chocolate, which will have to do for now, and I am loving how cozy this weather is getting.
For dinner last night I decided to make a crustless quiche. This is kind of my jam at the moment, because it helps me use up any vegetables that are on their last leg, it packs a nice protein punch, and it’s incredibly forgiving.
As long as you get the basics right (oven temp, cooking time, number of eggs), you can really make this recipe your own and switch it up every time. Personally, I love throwing in as many green vegetables as I can find.
- Make sure your vegetables are cooked before adding them to the quiche.
- If you’re working with watery or freshly steamed vegetables, strain them for 15 minutes to get rid of excess fluid.
- Season the vegetables, not the egg mixture. Either one will result in a decent quiche, but I’ve found the flavor is stronger and better distributed if I season the vegetables.
- Letting the quiche stand and set for 10 minutes once it’s out of the oven, is essential, don’t skip this step.
2 cups of chopped cooked vegetables (for the quiche in the picture I used one large bunch of spinach, 1/2 a caramelized onion, and a small pack of frozen peas)
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2-1 tsp of salt
- Preheat oven to 175C/350F and grease a 9 or 10 inch pie pan with a little butter or coconut oil.
- If your vegetables aren’t cooked, steam or saute them. Once cooked, place the vegetables in a colander to drain any excess fluid. You can also manually squeeze water out of vegetables like spinach.
- Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and set aside.
- Place the vegetables in a clean bowl and mix in garlic, salt, pepper, and any other spices/seasoning of choice.
- Spread the vegetables evenly onto the greased pan and pour the whisked eggs over the vegetables.
- Bake until the eggs have set, this will depend on how many eggs you’ve used, but 30-35 minutes usually does the trick.
- Let the quiche stand and cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Serve with a salad and/or fresh bread, and you’ve got a quick and easy dinner. Let me know if you give it a shot!
A few months ago we received some very special news… our duo is becoming a trio! I’m pregnant, and so so excited!
It’s funny how something of this magnitude can cause such a rush a different emotions. I went from “OH MY GOD!”, to “damn… no travelling for a while” (we were planning on going to Peru in 2016…), to “BAAAAABY!!!!!”, back to “OH MY GOD!”, to “we’ve got this”, and then all the feelings courtesy of hormones, of course.
I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share any of my pregnancy on the blog, but then a friend encouraged me to get back into blogging because it would be a nice way to journal the process and look back at my experience one day.
So here are a few things I’ve learned so far, and a few things I’ve experienced:
- The amount of information out there is overwhelming, as is the amount of cuteness… thank god for Pinterest. Pacing oneself is essential.
- While I’ve tried to stay healthy, sometimes you get a craving! I’ve found that over-eating and especially over-eating crappy food, makes me feel awful. Like, laying-on-the-bed-with-a-stomachache awful. My solution: healthy and lighter versions of whatever I’m craving. Currently, this means baked “fried” chicken. Gimme dat.
- The pickle thing is real. Why are they so good???
- I’ve never missed my family more, yet at the same time, in my nearly 7 years away, I’ve never felt closer to them.
- A few pieces of advice from other mommas that have helped me wrap my head around this entire experience:
- “There are a lot of ways to get parenting right, and only a few ways to get it wrong”
- “There aren’t enough books to read to prepare you for parenthood”
- “Trust your instincts”
- I didn’t realize I would see Matt so differently, and I’m sure I’ll go through that all over again once the baby is here. Love really is infinite, and I really am lucky.
(can’t wait for our little South African baba)
Hurry up, August :)
Hi there! Long time no see and hellooooo November! Wow, where has this year gone?
When I was in college my friend and room mate, Rachel, was also a morning person like me. Most mornings we would sit in the living room or at the dining room table and have coffee chats. This entailed conversations that ranged from life’s uncertainties, hopes, and dreams, to gossip and laughing about our previous night’s antics. Oh, college. Anyway, it was a time for reflection, sharing, bonding, and generally just forced us to be present.
Years later, I still try to keep that mindset when I’m sipping on my morning cup of Joe, and it’s the reason I won’t give it up. If you have something in your routine that makes your happy and centered, keep it. A little coffee can be good for you, especially if it’s also feeding your soul.
In the interest of keeping this routine clean and healthy, but also sweet and creamy (because that’s how I take my coffee), I made a delicious all-natural vegan vanilla coffee creamer. Cheers!
Vanilla Coffee Creamer
1 cup of coconut milk
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (almond, cashew, soy, etc)
4 TBS liquid sweetener of choice (I used honey, but maple syrup would also be delicious)
1 TBS vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Put all ingredients into a saucepan and whisk together while slowly heating. Bring the mixture to simmer for a minute. Whisk a little more until everything is combined. Allow to cool. Enjoy!
We’ve recently had a cold front come through the Lowveld, the mountains are looking particularly misty and there is a serious nip in the air. I don’t mind, subconsciously late September to me is still the beginnings of Autumn not Spring, and along with most of the USA, I’ve been having a hankering for pumpkin-flavored everything.
Butternut is often my pumpkin substitute in certain dishes because it is readily available and equally delicious. When the weather cools down, I love the idea of a warm salad with wilted greens with roasted vegetables. I originally made this Autumn inspired salad with butternut, but pumpkin would be a delicious and suitable replacement. This salad is tangy with a bit of sweet from the maple syrup and caramelized onions, and it also has that roasty flavor from the root vegetables. It is very nutritious and would make an excellent side or main dish.
for the salad:
1 large head of kale
2-3 cups of raw cubed butternut
3 cubed beetroots
1 tablespoon of olive or coconut oil, plus 1 teaspoon
salt and pepper
for the dressing:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
1 tsp of maple syrup
- Preheat your oven to 200C/400F
- Wash and dry the beetroots and cut off the stems. You can peel the beetroots if you want to, I never do though because I like the crispy skin once they’re roasted. Chop the beetroots, and place them in a bowl.
- Wash and cube the butternut and add to the bowl with the beetroots.
- Drizzle one tablespoon of the olive or coconut oil over the butternut and beetroot and toss. Season with salt and pepper and place on a baking tray. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until cooked.
- While the vegetables are roasting, start caramelizing your onion. Cut the ends of the onion and slice in half through the root. Slice the onion thinly lengthwise.
- Heat the other teaspoon of olive or coconut oil in a saute pan, and add your onions. Gently saute the onions for about 10 minutes, reduce the heat if you see them burning or drying out. Season with salt and continue to saute for another 10 minutes or until you are happy with their consistency. True caramelization takes a bit longer, but it’s up to you.
- Rinse and chop the kale. Add the chopped kale to the onions and saute until only slightly wilted. The water from the kale will have a light steaming effect on the greens, you can even put a cover over the pan for a minute to speed up the process. Don’t leave it on the heat too long though, it should only have a slight wilt, not be fully steamed.
- Mix the dressing ingredients together, pour and toss the roasted vegetables and kale/onion mix together very gently, serve immediately.
Hope you give it a shot… and stay warm!
Summer is definitely on its way. The past few days have been very warm and I feel like my relationship with the pool is officially complicated. Part of me can’t wait for summer days of lounging by the pool and soaking up the sun, the other part of me isn’t ready to say goodbye to the coziness of winter and my boots. I know… life is hard.
Boots aside, I also have this thing with soup and I always look forward to making all the soups when the temperature drops. With soup comes something important: bread. It’s really important. Fresh bread is one of life’s greatest pleasures and you shouldn’t have to give that up over something like a gluten intolerance. For this recipe I used rice flour which resulted in a much denser bread, I think a blend of gluten-free flours could result in something fluffier, but I love a dense bread so I didn’t mind. This is a good base to work with and you can play around with the flours to see what texture you like best. It can also easily be made vegan if you use a non-dairy milk. I’m looking forward to trying it with buckwheat or quinoa flours to see how it comes out with a pseudocereal, I’ll keep you posted on the results🙂
yields 1 loaf adapted from Fork & Beans
2 1/2 tsp of yeast
1 cup of warm milk (dairy or non-dairy)
2 tsp of sugar
1 cup of warm water
5 TBS of ground flaxseed
3 TBS of olive oil
2 tsp of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar
3 cups of rice flour
1/4 cup of oats ground into a flour OR buckwheat flour
1 tsp of baking powder
1/2 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
- In a medium bowl combine the warmed milk with the yeast and sugar, allow to proof until frothy (approx.10 minutes). Add the water, olive oil, lemon juice, and ground flaxseeds and whisk until well-combined, then allow to sit for a few minutes while the flaxseeds thicken the mixture.
- In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the wet mixture and mix until just combined.
- Place mixture into a greased bread pan, pressing the mixture lightly into the pan. Cover with a light towel or loosely with saran wrap, and allow the bread to rise in the pan in a warm part of the kitchen. The bread should be just above the pan before going into the oven, this will take 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 190C (350F) and bake the bread for 60 minutes. Allow the bread to cool completely in the pan before removing it.
- Enjoy! Preferably with some homemade soup, this one is always a favorite.
Enjoy your week!
Matt comes from a Greek family that is quickly helping me become well-versed in Greek cuisine. Greek food is delicious, fresh, unique, and I rarely get tired of it. Greek food also seems to have two sides: naughty and nice. On the one hand we have tzatziki, Greek salads, melitzanosalta, plenty of grilled seafood, souvlaki, etc. On the other hand we have heavier things like moussaka, taramasalata (MY FAVORITE!), gyros, and… Keftedes. Keftedes are deliciously seasoned fried meatballs that are perfect paired with some creamy tzatziki. In the past I have replaced ground beef with lentils when I want to turn a traditionally meat dish vegan, so I decided to use this method and attempt a vegan keftede. The result was tasty, healthy, and easy enough to add to my weekday dinner line-up.
2 cups of cooked lentils (these can be plain or seasoned, just watch the salt if they’re already seasoned)
1/2 cup of ground flaxseed
1/3 cup of water
2 TSB of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp of dry oregano
1/4 cup of chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup of chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper to taste
polenta or cornmeal for rolling
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
- Place the lentils, flaxseed, water, and olive oil in bowl and mash until you have a consistency that is malleable but still has some whole lentils for texture.
- Add the minced garlic, oregano, mint, and parsley and mix together with a spoon. Then add the salt and pepper and taste. It’s ok to go a little over salty on this one as the saltiness will lessen once they are cooked.
- Pour some polenta on a working space and roll 1-2TBS size balls of the mixture in your hands and then in the polenta to give the exterior a nice crunch coat.
- Grease a baking sheet, line up the balls, and bake for 20 minutes, turning the keftedes halfway through.
- Serve with tzatziki and enjoy!
These are high in fiber, vegan, gluten-free, and naturally healthy. We enjoyed ours with tzatziki, a salad, and rice🙂
Hope you have a happy Friday!
(jasmine, bougainvillea, and an intoxicating scent that I wish this picture could portray)
About a month ago, I returned from a 10 week trip to the States. Three weddings, two bachelorette parties, some birthdays, and a whole lotta family/friend time later, I am happily back in South Africa with my main squeeze and my fur babies. Some things I’ve learned in the last few months:
- I am truly blessed in the family-department. Like, hashtag blessed. The same applies for the friend department.
- South Africa has amazing produce, and the fact that big, ripe avocados are readily available 9 months out of the year, is something I will never take for granted.
- Having a garden and collecting your harvest is one of the most satisfying feelings. While I was away, Matt planted an organic veggie garden and every few days we collect kale, spinach, rocket, etc, and enjoy our fresh harvest. I highly recommend planting a garden, regardless of size, even a little herb garden can make you do a happy dance.
- “Cheap” wine in the States is equivalent in price to a higher-end wine in South Africa. Just saying…
- Juicing and Smoothies have truly taken over some parts of the world and I’m loving it. It’s so easy to find a fresh juice or green smoothie nowadays!
- One message I feel passionate about, is that healthy living is accessible and does not have to be expensive. Unfortunately, many of the current holistic/healthy living industry leaders, are purists in their messages and make this lifestyle seem intimidating. You don’t need the top of the line juicer or blender, you don’t need all the superfoods, you don’t need to be vegan, you don’t need to only eat raw foods, and you definitely don’t need to label your lifestyle. Rather, people should try and focus on the baby steps and make changes where they can, because that contributes more to the big picture in the long-run, and that is something every one can do.
Enjoy your Monday, and see you soon for a new recipe post!🙂