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

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.

Cooking with borage in today’s Sunday Times

I was delighted to find borage in my organic box delivery recently and I put it to good use. Borage (fidloqqom) is also known as starflower and is easily recognisable by its edible, bright blue flowers with five pointed petals. It attracts pollinators and acts as a natural fertiliser as it…

Source Sunday Times: Cooking with borage

Lea’s new book  Good Food Everyday is available via Midsea Books and major bookshops in Malta and Gozo.

I use borage from Barbuto Sicily and Big Fresh in Mosta

What to eat on Boxing Day

We are often exhausted after the celebrations but still need to make use of all the bits and pieces from Christmas Day. Today’s recipes turn leftovers into another meal enabling us to serve food again without appearing too dry or recycled. Seared brussels sprouts couscous with cranberries and…

Source Sunday Times: What to eat on Boxing Day

Cranberry Coconut Muffins [Lactose Free with Stevia] and making fresh home-made almond milk

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Lactose-Free cranberry coconut muffins with Stevia, photo taken during a live tv show by CJ Baldacchino

‘I use tofu in this recipe instead of butter or oil to make these light cranberry and coconut muffins, sweetened with Stevia. To add lightness to the mix and intensify the cranberry flavour, I use Organic Sparkling Cranberry Drink by Whole Earth.    I used the ginger drink when I made gingerbread with aquafaba a few weeks ago.  This recipe also works well with ricotta instead of tofu.  For the lightest possible muffins, fold in the liquids into the dry ingredients and do not overmix.’

You will need:

3 cups self raising flour
2 cups coconut
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a few drops good vanilla extract
1 cup tofu
4 eggs
6 tablespoons cranberry sauce [I use the one I made 2 weeks ago during the show]
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 1/2 cups stevia [I use Tate & Lyle but check the label on your jar or packet for the conversion of 1 1/2 cups sugar]
8 – 10 tablespoons Organic Sparkling Cranberry Drink

1 muffin tin and muffin cases

In a large bowl sieve the flour and cornflour twice. Add the bicarbonate of soda and coconut. Mix.
In another bowl use a hand blender to process the tofu with the cranberry sauce, lemon juice, eggs and vanilla
Add the dry ingredient mixture, a little at a time and fold in using a large metal spoon. Then add 8 – 10 tablespoons of organic sparkling cranberry drink until you have a dropping consistency.
Immediately pour the cake mix into a prepared cake tin and bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 35 minutes.

And today I also made fresh home-made almond milk and you will need:

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Delicious fresh home made almond milk made during our tv show today, Photography C J Baldacchino

1 cup almonds
3 cups bottled water
a pinch of salt
2 dates

Soak the almonds overnight.
Drain the water and rinse the almonds.
Place the almonds in a blender and add 3 cups of bottled water.  Add the dates and a pinch of salt.
Blend on high speed until the mixture is well blended, the almonds totally ground and the mixture appears consistent.
Strain the almonds by placing them in a colander covered with muslin or a clean dishcloth.
Squeeze out the almond milk into a container by wringing the dishcloth or muslin. Do not discard the ground almonds [tomorrow afternoon we will use them 🙂 ]
Refrigerate and serve.

Borage, Mushroom and Potato Omelette

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Borage, Mushroom and Potato Omelette.  This photo was taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri

I used borage [in Maltese fidloqqom] during the show for the first time today.  It was brought to me with my organic box that arrives from Barbuto in Sicily every week.  I was curious and very pleasantly surprised because it is delicious.  The raw leaves are hairy and I cooked them in the same way you would cook spinach.  

I added no salt or seasoning as I wanted to taste the natural flavour.  I drained the leaves in a colander.  The cooked leaves remained whole and intact.  The colour intensified to a more vibrant green and the texture was smooth and satiny, the hairy surface and stem smoothed out.  And the taste?  Just delicious, and I am nearly sure I prefer it to kale, spinach or chard.  

Borage is a big thumbs up from me and if you can get your hands on some, do try it.  I see it becoming as popular as kale very soon’

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Cooked borage on the plate with the raw leaves at the side.  This photo was taken during a live tv show by Marconia Schembri

For my omelet you will need:

about 4 large cooked borage leaves, chopped
2 eggs
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons cooked fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon cooked onion, chopped
1 medium cooked potato, peeled and chopped
salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a frying pan. Add the cooked onions, mushrooms and potatoes. Add the chopped borage leaves Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat. Beat the eggs and season. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and potatoes. Reduce the heat and cook until the bottom starts to brown. Invert the omelet or fold it in half. Serve immediately.

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Raw borage leaves, as seen on tv today

 

Organic borage is available from Barbuto, Sicily with deliveries to Malta every Thursday.

Quinoa Falafel Balls

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Quinoa falafel.  This photo was taken during a live tv show by CJ Baldacchino

‘As part of the series on healthy food for babies and kids every Thursday, I made these quinoa balls suitable for the whole family.  The recipe here has extra spices to suit adult tastes.   For babies, I pureed some quinoa, carrots and chickpeas before using the mix to make the rest of the balls.’

You will need:

250g cooked chickpeas
150g cooked quinoa
1 egg
150g gram flour (chickpea flour)
1 clove garlic
a pinch of cumin
1/4 teaspoon coriander
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
salt and pepper

In a large bowl mix the chickpeas, 50g of the quinoa, the egg, 100g of the gram flour, the garlic clove, cumin, coriander and parsley. Use a hand held blender to make a smooth puree. Mix in the rest of the quinoa. Ideally leave the mixture in the fridge for an hour or overnight. On tv we make the balls straight away and therefore had to fry them to hold their shape as they did not have enough time to bind well enough to bake.

On a clean flat surface, sift the rest of the gram flour.
Use a tablespoon and drop the mixture onto the gram flour and roll quickly with your hands. Repeat until you have finished all the mixture.

Bake the balls in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 minutes, turn over and bake for a further 20 minutes OR fry in hot oil. Drain and leave on kitchen towel to soak up the excess oil. Serve with dips of your choice.

My chickpea flour is by Le Farine Magiche and Fresh Vegetables by Big Fresh in Mosta and Barbuto.  I use Quinoa by Peak’s Free From at J Calleja Import Export