I have to admit to being a creature of habit with my weekday breakfasts, but on the weekend I love to do something different. These wraps filled with scrambled eggs and veggies are so delicious, they fit the bill for a leisurely Sunday morning meal. I've used a sandwich press to toast the wraps, but if you don’t have one you can do this in a large non-stick frying pan instead.
Serves 4 Time 40 minutes
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 garlic clove, crushed
8 button mushrooms, sliced (see note)
70 g (21/2 oz) rocket (arugula) leaves
8 free-range or organic eggs
125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) light milk
4 thin wholegrain wraps
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
Pinch of salt flakes
Preheat the oven to fan-forced 160°C (315°F/Gas 2–3). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Put the tomatoes on the tray, drizzle with 2 teaspoons of the extra virgin olive oil and the balsamic vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and slightly caramelised. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Preheat a sandwich press, if using.
Heat a teaspoon of the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and mushrooms and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until browned. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl and whisk together with the milk.
Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set aside.
Wipe the pan with paper towel and place over medium heat. Drizzle the pan with the remaining teaspoon of olive oil and pour in the egg mixture. Cook gently, moving the eggs with a wooden spoon until just set (they should still be slightly wet as the mixture will continue to cook off the heat). Remove from the heat and set aside.
Lay out the wraps on your work surface. Divide the rocket between the wraps and place in the centre of each one, then top with the sautéed mushrooms, slow-roasted tomatoes and the scrambled eggs. Fold the bottom of the wrap up into the centre, then fold each side over the other to enclose the filling and form a parcel, open only at the top.
Place in the preheated sandwich press or in a frying pan over medium heat and cook for 1–2 minutes until sealed and heated through. If cooking in a frying pan, turn over after 1 minute to toast the other side.
Note: I've just used button mushrooms here, but you could also try chestnut, shiitake or any other type of small mushroom. All mushrooms have an impressive nutrition profile and are a worthy addition to your diet.
I'm always looking for ways of improving the nutritional profile of recipes made with flour, while keeping the end result delicious. Lupin flour is well worth looking for with this in mind. Lupin is a legume, but it's unusual in that it has a low carbohydrate content (less than 10 per cent dry weight) and is higher in protein than almost all other plant foods. It works really well when used to substitute some of the flour in a baking recipe or, as I have done here, to make hotcakes.
Serves 6 Time 30 minutes
Juice and grated zest of 1/2 orange
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla paste)
125 g (41/2 oz) blueberries, plus extra to serve
2 free-range or organic eggs
375 ml (13 fl oz/11/2 cups) buttermilk (or mix half and half milk and natural yoghurt if you don't have buttermilk)
140 g (5 oz/1 cup) lupin flour
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
140 g (5 oz/1 cup) spelt wholegrain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for frying
1/4 teaspoon iodised salt
Whisk together the eggs, extra virgin olive oil, buttermilk, orange juice and zest, vanilla seeds and maple syrup in a bowl. In a separate bowl, sift in the flours and add the baking powder and salt.
Pour the wet ingredient mixture into the dry, and gently combine, taking care not to over-mix. Fold through the blueberries and set aside to rest for a few minutes.
Preheat the oven to fan-forced 140°C (275°F/Gas 1).
Heat a pancake pan or hotplate over medium heat and spray or brush with olive oil. Pour 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) of the batter into the pan to form a circle. Depending on the size of your pan, you will be able to cook more than one hotcake at a time. Just ensure you leave enough room between hotcakes so they don't stick together. Cook for 1-2 minutes until beginning to bubble and then flip. Cook for a further 1-2 minutes until a nice golden colour. Place on an ovenproof plate lined with paper towel and transfer into the oven to keep warm while you cook the remaining hotcakes. Repeat, until all the batter is used - this quantity makes 12 hotcakes. Be sure to place a sheet of paper towel between each layer.
Serve the hotcakes topped with light cream cheese or ricotta and, if you like, a teaspoon of pure fruit spread or raspberry purée.
Note: Spelt is an ancient variety of wheat that is making a comeback, largely due to anecdotal accounts of people claiming they have problems digesting regular modern wheat, yet are fine with spelt. Any differences have not yet been conclusively confirmed in research, but I'm all for diversifying the grain types in our diets and if you do have trouble with wheat, why not try it? For those without any intolerances you can happily substitute a regular whole-wheat flour here - they're certainly cheaper.
I love the fresh flavours of Vietnamese food. In this recipe the Thai basil, chilli and fresh lime juice give a real zing to the salad. It's light, incredibly tasty and rich in protein to keep hunger pangs at bay. As is traditional in this dish, I've used vermicelli noodles. These are very thin noodles made from rice. Do look for those made with brown rice. They are a little harder to find but many supermarkets and health food stores now stock them.
2 long red chillies, sliced (optional)
4 spring onions (scallions), sliced
1 red capsicum (pepper), thinly sliced
2 carrots, julienned
4 handfuls Thai basil, leaves picked
100 g (31/2 oz) snow peas (mangetout), trimmed and sliced
1 Lebanese (short) cucumber, thinly sliced
40 g (11/2 oz/1/3 cup) bean sprouts (sometimes called mung bean sprouts)
2 tablespoons dried shallots, to serve (you'll find these in good grocers or Asian food stores - you can simply omit if you can't find them)
400 g (14 oz) pork fillet
160 g (51/2 oz) rice vermicelli noodles (preferably brown, see note)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
50 g (1¾ oz/1/3 cup) chopped unsalted peanuts, to serve
Juice of 1 lime
60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) fish sauce (check this is a gluten-free brand if coeliac)
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
Put the noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to soak for about 5 minutes until soft and tender. Strain off the water and rinse the noodles under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the pork and pan-fry for about 8 minutes, turning a few times to brown on all sides and cook through. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside to rest for 2-4 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the prepared veggies in a bowl and combine with the noodles. Make the dressing by mixing together the lime juice, fish sauce and brown sugar in a small bowl. Drizzle over the salad and toss to combine.
Slice the pork to the thickness of your liking, add to the bowl and toss. Serve sprinkled with the chopped peanuts and dried shallots.
Note: Because the portion size is small, and its combined with plenty of protein and good fats which slow digestion, even if you use regular vermicelli noodles the result is a well-balanced, nutritious meal. If you are coeliac do double check that the noodles are made from 100 per cent rice and therefore gluten free.
This is such a simple cake recipe, yet you won't believe how beautiful it tastes. I use blood oranges when they are in season. If you can't get hold of any, simply use navel oranges instead. The almonds have been roasted before grinding them to give a deeper depth of flavour. You don't have to do this and can simply use almond meal instead if you prefer. The recipe as it stands is dairy free, but it is delicious served with a spoonful of Greek-style yoghurt.
Serves 6 Time 2 hours 15 minutes
4 blood oranges, skin on, plus extra orange segments to serve
Mint leaves, to serve
6 large free-range or organic eggs
175 g (6 oz/1/2 cup) pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil to grease
the baking tin
250 g (9 oz) flaked almonds, pan-roasted, then ground (alternatively, you can use almond meal, see note)
Handful whole almonds, to serve
Put the oranges in a saucepan and cover with water. Place a piece of baking paper over the top of the oranges - this helps keep the oranges from bobbing on the water surface. Gently bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to fan-forced 180°C (350°F/Gas 4). Brush a round 22 cm (81/2 inch) springform cake tin with the extra virgin olive oil and line with baking paper.
Drain the oranges and slice in half, removing any pips. Using a food processor or a Vitamix on level 10, blitz the oranges to a paste. Add the eggs and blitz again. Then add the maple syrup and baking powder, and mix together well.
Pour the mixture into the tin and bake in the oven for about 1 hour. To test that the cake is ready, insert a skewer into the centre of the cake and if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
Remove the cake from the tin, decorate with fresh blood orange segments, whole almonds and mint leaves, and serve.
Note: Using nut meal in place of flour keeps the cake gluten free and since nuts are already high in fat you don't need to add additional butter or oil as with a traditional cake. This, of course, also ensures you have all good fats present. You do, however, need to be careful with your portion size,
as nut meal is energy dense - not always easy with a delicious cake! Just be sure to cut each quarter of the cake into a further four slices to keep your kilojoules appropriate for a snack.