About Good Food Everyday

Writer, broadcaster, chef Recent work: TV: Lea's Good Food Everyday, Kalamita, Cooking with Lea, Indigo) RADIO: RTK 103 FM, ONE Radio, Kottoner 98FM Publications: current: Sunday Times, Orizzont, ED (Eating and Dining Magazine with The Sunday Times), Brilliant Baking UK

Nutrient-dense smoothie bowls

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Kiwi and Kale Smoothie Bowl with dragon fruit stars and chia seeds

Smoothie bowls are a big craze that started on Instagram with photos of the prettiest recipes that can possibly be created. They are eaten with a spoon to replace a light meal and provide a healthy food source that is quick to prepare. As there is some chewing involved, this triggers the…

Source: Sunday Times Nutrient-dense smoothie bowls

My fruit and vegetables come from Big Fresh in Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables in Paola and Barbuto for Organic.  I used seeds and nuts by Good Earth 

What to eat in February

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Nettle Soup fortified with spirulina and served with fresh burrata in today’s Sunday Times. Photo CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show.

 

February is the time when winter starts to become spring. These recipes feature in-season ingre­dients and some carnival treats. Nettle leaves are young and tender this month, and as we approach the summer the leaves toughen up, so now is the time to make use of them. Use gloves and scissors to…

Source Sunday Times: What to eat in February

I use fresh vegetables by Big Fresh, spirulina by Good Earth and olive oil by Costa d’Oro at J Calleja Import Export Ltd

Eating in: Easy TexMex

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Easy TexMex in today’s Sunday Times  Photo taken by George Aquilina during a live tv show

We associate Mexican diner food with restaurant food, but creating these dishes at home could not be easier as most of the food can be prepared the day before, making it excellent for entertaining a crowd. It is quick and inexpensive, and an ideal choice for non-confident or starter cooks and for…

Source Sunday Times: A taste of Mexico

Mushroom Almond Pilaf Pie

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Mushroom Almond Pilaf Pie, photo by CJ during a live tv show

‘The mushroom and pilaf pie I made on tv this morning really appeals to me.  The organic leaves of cavolo vecchio encase an aromatic mushroom and almond pilaf fortified with fresh turmeric and with those spices that bring back memories of the Middle East – cardamon, cloves and cinnamon.  The leaves crisp up and the rice remains so moist’

You will need:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon butter
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
200g mushrooms, sliced
100g beetroot stems
100g swede [nevew in maltese], peeled and chopped
100g toasted flaked almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, sliced
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon fresh turmeric, grated
1 teaspoon chopped fresh herbs
200g brown rice
1 all natural stock cube
1 tablespoon grated citrus zest
1 cinnamon stick
4 whole cloves
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cardamon pods
salt and pepper to season

To make the pie:  10 large steamed leaves [kale or nettle or cavolo vecchio or chard]
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 egg, beaten
4 tablespoons hard grated goats cheese
springform cake tin of 18cm

Heat the oil and butter in a large pan, then fry the onion over low heat until it softens and becomes translucent. Add the spices and grated fresh turmeric. Then add the rice and stock cube and enough water according to the instructions of the pack you are using. Add the chopped swede. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until all the water is absorbed. In the meantime add the chopped beetroot stems and fresh herbs. Cook for 10 mins, then add the grated citrus zest, salt and pepper. Add the toasted almonds. Give it a good stir and remove from heat.

The rice can be served as it is and you can go on to make the pie.

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Aromatic mushroom almond pilaf with fresh turmeric, photo by CJ during a live tv show

Preheat the oven to 200C. Brush a springform tin with olive oil. Line it with the steamed leaves. Fill the cavity with the rice pilaf. Press down and fill it to the top. Cover the top with a layer of leaves and tuck the ends in. Bake for 25 minutes in a hot oven. Remove from the oven and allow to rest of 20 minutes before serving. This dish can also be served cold.

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Baked mushroom almond pilaf baked in cavolo vecchio leaves, photo by CJ during a live tv show

This recipe is gluten free.

My vegetables come from Big Fresh and Barbuto [organic], Brown Rice by Flora and spices by Schwartz at PJ Sutters, natural stock cubes by Kallo and flaked almonds by Good Earth, olive oil by Costa d’Oro  Kitchenware by Tescoma, Tableware by Loft

Lea’s Good Food Everyday is available via Midsea Books</p

Cooking with Amaranth

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Purple Carrot Soup with Crispy Kale thickened with Amaranth.  Photo by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

Amaranth is an ancient, gluten-free superfood associated with the Aztec empire. When raw, it appears to be similar to quinoa but changes completely in texture when it is cooked. Amaranth seeds are nutrient-dense and high in protein and amino acids, calcium and iron. It is comparable to a…

Source The Sunday Times: Superfoods: cooking with Amaranth

Nourishing comfort food in today’s Sunday Times

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Healthier Lax Pudding and other comfort food in today’s Sunday Times  Photo C J Baldacchino during a live tv show

In the cold winter, we all want warm and healthy food that is comforting and nutritious, yet still quick to prepare. According to Webster’s Dictionary, the term ‘comfort food’ first appeared in the 1970s and we associate it with home-cooked meals that are nostalgic and foods that boost our mood…

Source Sunday Times: Nourishing comfort food

Amaranth Porridge Bowl with Berries

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Amaranth Porridge with berries and cashew milk.  This photo was taken by CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show

I love Amaranth because it is such a versatile ingredient.  During our tv show I have recently popped it, serve it instead of mash and use it to thicken soups.  I particularly love this amaranth porridge.  As a rough guide use 1 part amaranth to 3 parts liquid and cook until all the liquid is absorbed.  Remove the mixture from the heat to prevent it from becoming overcooked and gummy in texture. Is there a better way to start the day during a cold winter?

You will need:

1/2 cup amaranth
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup cashew milk
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon agave or stevia [or honey for non-vegan]
vanilla
1 cinnamon stick
a pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest

Top with:  200g mixed berries and I use blueberries, strawberries, pecans, hazelnuts, mint leaves

Soak the amaranth overnight in water if you have the time.  Rinse then place in a saucepan and add 1 1/2 cups water.  Add the vanilla, cinnamon stick broken in half, lemon juice and a pinch of salt.    Bring to boil and reduce to heat.  Cover and simmer for 25 minutes stirring constantly.  Add the cashew milk and cook for another 5 minutes.    Remove from the heat and add the agave/stevia or honey.   Stir and add the lemon zest.

Pour half the mixture into a bowl.  Puree half the berries and add to the other half of the amaranth porridge.  Mix it in then pour it into the bowl and use a fork or knife to make some swirls to create a marbled effect.  Decorate the amaranth bowl with a mix of berries, nuts and mint leaves.  Serve while still hot.

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My fresh fruit and vegetables today come from Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables in Paola.  My Tunisian fresh dates come from Deyma Shop Gzira

My cashew milk by Alpro and amaranth come from Good Earth.  My daily selection of fresh fruit and vegetables comes from Big Fresh in Mosta, Oscar’s Fruit and Vegetables in Paola and Barbuto in Sicily for organic vegetables.

Black Forest Smoothie Bowl fortified with Aronia

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‘Nothing tastes better than fresh ingredients and this black forest smoothie bowl is the ultimate breakfast or dessert.  I poured melted chocolate over the ice cold mix and it solidified in a few seconds.  My photos are taken by CJ during a live tv show’

You will need:

1/2 purple raw carrot
1/2 cooked beetroot
4 dates
2 kale leaves
1/4 peeled apple
2 frozen bananas
2 cups mixed frozen cherries and cranberries
1 teaspoon agave
2 tablespoons aronia concentrate
2 cups cashew milk
3 tablespoons oats

Top with : 100g fresh cherries, 50g dry roasted flaked almonds and 50g melted dark sugar free chocolate, baby chard

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Add all the ingredients to the blender and combine until it is a smooth consistency.

While you are doing this melt the dark chocolate in a bain marie.

Pour into a bowl.

Arrange the fresh cherries on top of the smoothie mix.

Add some dry roasted flaked almonds.

Pour melted chocolate on the surface of the smoothie mix. It will solidify and makes the smoothie mix taste even more amazing.

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My fresh fruit and vegetables come from Big Fresh, frozen fruit from PJ Sutters, nuts, oats, agave and cashew milk from Good Earth, sugar-free chocolate by Valor and aronia concentrate from J Calleja Import Export Ltd

Fortifying food with fresh ginger

Fresh ginger is one of the most widely used spices in both eastern and western cuisines and is known for its medicinal properties. I like its versatility as it blends well with breakfast cereals and savory or sweet dishes. It can be pickled, made into tea, gingerbread, cakes, sweets and beer. If…

Source Sunday Times: Fortifying food with fresh ginger

What to eat in January

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What to eat and drink in January in today’s Sunday Times.  Photo CJ Baldacchino during a live tv show. 

January sees us spending more time indoors to recharge our minds and bodies after the recent festivities. The fresh food we find shifts by season and there is a distinct difference in the market especially when it comes to fresh fruit, herbs and vegetables.

Source The Sunday Times : What to eat in January

I use fresh fruit and vegetables from Big Fresh in Mosta and Oscars Fruit and Vegetables in Paola, meats by Ta Cancu Butcher in Zejtun and Majjal ta’ Malta [KIM].  My organic produce comes from Barbuto .  I use natural food ingredients by Good Earth.