Courgette and Cannelini Bean Fry-up

Today’s recipe is brought to you by the letter “C”….

~Courgette and Cannelini Bean Fry-up~

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Gluten-free and Dairy-free if you use oil instead of butter (but if you can, butter and courgette are a match made in heaven!)

By now anyone who has been following me for awhile will know I love these creamy beans nearly as much as I love Jamie Oliver!!!! They are just so versatile, pull out a can from the cupboard and whip up so many satisfying meals. They are super affordable (scrooge big tick) and you can even get nice Organic ones at the supermarket for not too much. So if you haven’t tried them yet, get some, give them a go and let me know what you think.

For this satisfying wee lunch time fry-up:

  • 2 cups diced Courgette
    1 tin Cannelini Beans
    1-2 big cloves Garlic – crushed
    1-2 inch “knob” of salami – diced
    2 chopped tomatoes
    1 tsp wholegrain mustard
    salt/pepper/ground kelp*
    Big TBSP Butter

Heat the butter in a pan and add the courgette, let it cook for a few minutes until it just starts to soften. Add in the garlic and salami, give it a few more minutes to impart their glorious flavour!  Now add everything else and season to taste. Leave it to cook for a few minutes more until the tomatoes begin to “melt down” a little.

Serve it all up drizzled with some good quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil and even a sprinkle of Parmesan if you have it on hand.

This can be eaten fresh or put in the fridge for workday lunches.

*NOTE on the ground kelp. I like to add ground kelp to my cooking as it is a great source of minerals, and in particular iodine. If you use himalayan pink salt or sea salt rather than a standard iodized table salt, it is good to add some kelp into your diet. A lot of people are deficient in iodine as it is often deficient in our soil and not commonly found in a lot of our foods.
60% of the bodies iodine is stored in the thyroid gland and is necessary to produce thyroid hormones. Thyroid hormones control loads of functions in the body but in particular our Metabolic rate and Immune system. This means basically iodine is a key mineral necessary for helping us #1) not to get sick easily and #2) helping us to process calories efficiently, not store them as fat, but use them for sustained energy throughout the day.

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You can buy ground kelp on its own, or try this lovely blend of kelp and sea salt from Harker Herbals. 

https://www.harkerherbals.com/

 

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Quick and Easy One pan Lunch

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This is not an uncommon breakfast or lunch for round here these days…. throw some tomatoes and mushrooms in a pan for a few minutes, add in a fried egg. Plate it up with some chopped salad bits and top it all with a sprinkle of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice.

It’s tasty
It’s satisfying
and its nutritionally (fairly) complete!

Heres the breakdown:

*1 or 2 eggs. This is your protein component, not to mention minerals, some iron, essential fatty acids and so on. It will keep you going over the day and provide the amino acids needed to rebuild and repair muscles and tissue.

*BIG pile of mushrooms – mushrooms are high in B vitamins, which being water soluble we need to provide in our diet or supplement on a daily basis. B vitamins a so critical for nearly every aspect of our health from immunity to nerve function, brain clarity, stress response and glowing skin. There are even studies out there that have found people that substitute a red meat meal for mushrooms a couple of times a week see significant weight-loss benefits

* Tomato – bright red and packed full of phytonutrients, antioxidants and carotenoids. Studies have linked tomato consumption with improved cardiovascular health in 2 specific areas 1) free-radical protection of the blood vessels and heart tissue due to the high level of anti-oxidants. 2) lowered levels of total cholesterol in the blood. They are also brimming with nutrients that help us to have beautiful clear skin and eyes.

*1/2 Avocado – this is great for sustaining energy levels throughout the day, the good fat helps you to metabolize all the fat soluble vitamins in the tomatoes and mushrooms, and the essential fatty acids help to build good cell walls for beautiful skin, they also provide energy for the brain to avoid the mid-afternoon brain fog. Don’t be afraid of the fat! The fat you eat is NOT the fat you wear (unless your gorging fries for lunch – naughty)

* Something fresh and green – today I had cucumber, but it could be some shredded spinach or kale or lettuce or broccoli or yeah anything green. Not only does this component round out the flavours well from a satisfactory point of view, and offer some fresh crunch and body to the meal, its your vitamin C hit, your magnesium hit, maybe a bit of iron, some beta-carotene etc etc.

*seasoning – sprinkle with some Himalayan pink salt and ground kelp for iodine and loads of other essential minerals, a bit of cracked pepper for flavour and a wee squeeze of lemon juice to tie it all together.

So there you go, with a couple of minutes in a pan you have a plate full of protein, vitamins, minerals and essential fats that will fuel your day and help to build a strong and healthy body. Eating for good health is not just about today either, its about looking ahead and thinking “what kind of body do I want to live in in 10 years or 20 years time?” Just like a car, keeping our body in mint condition now is always going to look (and feel) better than patching it up later on.

Caribbean Pork w/ Mango and Coconut Rice

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I have been buying mangoes lately, lots of mangoes!

I prefer to eat local fruits and vegetables mostly but I can’t help myself when it comes to mangoes. I always do check them though, mangoes are one product that are often irradiated, and if they have been I don’t bother with them.

On a side note, all products that have been irradiated, by law must be labelled as so in New Zealand, so check the produce sticker.

Anyway I had a wee burst of inspiration yesterday and thought I would make something with a slightly different flavour twist to what I might normally make and I was rather happy with it, if I do say so….. of course its not traditional, but when do I ever cook traditional flavours?

Caribbean Mango Pork

400g diced pork
1 red onion – diced
3 big cloves new season garlic – crushed
1 TBSP coconut oil
CARIBBEAN SPICE MIX:
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp salt
2 tsps brown sugar
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1 cup tomato passata
1 TBSP worcester sauce
1 mango – diced

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and saute the red onion and garlic, add the pork pieces and brown. Sprinkle over the spice mix and add a little more coconut oil if too dry. Fry for another minute to pep up the spices. Add the tomato passata and the worchester sauce. Bring to a gentle bubble on the stove and then mix in the diced mango. Allow to simmer on low heat, stirring occassionally while the rice is cooking.

For the rice:
1 cup coconut cream
1 cup water
good big pinch of salt
cracked pepper
1 cup rice

Bring the coconut cream and water to the boil in a pot with the salt and pepper. Add the rice, turn heat down to low and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Keep and eye on it though as the coconut cream will make it boil up and over. Check if the rice is done when all the moisture has been absorbed and add a dash more water if it needs a little more cooking. Fluff up with a fork when cooked and add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice

Serve it all up with a nice shredded salad, I made a fairly basic coleslaw with some bits and bobs from the fridge and mixed through a little whole egg mayo with a tiny grating of fresh ginger for bite.

Yum yum…. this pork would also serve up well with some tortillas or even over corn chips to be honest, its super tasty, just a little spicy and just a little sweet.

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How time has flown…

Goodness me, I had no idea it had been so long since I last posted an update here at “The Health Conscious Scrooge”!!! I have been throwing the odd thing here and there up on my Facebook page and Instagram, but have been sadly neglecting to include the ol’ blog.

A lot has been happening in life over the last few months, and though good food has still been being made and eaten, I don’t always get a chance to take pics and write about it. Something I intend to remedy, after all what better time to have great aspirations than today, New Years Day 2017!

Anyway, so 2 days ago I finished work at the Pharmacy, for 6-7 months off and am due to have baby number 2 in the next few weeks. Excuse number one for not posting recently 🙂  and I have to say I am pretty excited at the prospect of a few months with some time at home to get some study done and feel re-inspired to cook. Fingers-crossed for that one.

The other BIG change that has been taking place in our life…..

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The beautiful Kaikoura Coast… pre-earthquake!

We have finally moved into our house-bus. This has been one long time in coming dream of ours and it feels pretty good (and strangely normal) to finally be in it. It has and is taking some adapting, especially on the food front. Less food storage space, less appliances and serve/cook ware, small but usable gas oven etc.

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Small but workable

So while the focus of my blog will remain on affordable, nutritious and every day food, there will be the odd twist in there from time to time of practical food made in a small (and in our case, mobile) kitchen.

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Housebus style dinner – cooked on the BBQ and eaten out side. No complaints there!
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How a lot of our meals look these days. Tasty but easy, finger foods piled high on a board and everyone just digs in. Saves on dishes and that is a bonus!
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AND…. I have even been squeezing in a bit of “wild fermentation” where I can. Absolutely delicious, and  entirely experimental Loganberry and Blackcurrant Kvass I made for Christmas. (I intend to make some more over the next wee bit and will post a method for it when I do)

So that is a bit of an update on what I have been up to. Bring on an exciting new year filled with amazing food, nutritious and real inspiration, good health and fun filled times. And if you like what I put up here but want more, by all means check out my facebook page and follow me on instagram.

Happy New Year to you all from my family to yours!!!

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Bright and Sunny –  playing lego in the bus!

“Real Food” Homemade Chocolate

 

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There are a million and one recipes out there at the moment for homemade healthy chocolate and they all look utterly amaze-balls!!!

So here is my version, well lets be honest, it’s today’s version. Meaning it is what I made today based on what I had in the cupboard after all health consious scrooging is about using what you have in you cupboard….. and they are GOOD! 🙂

Real Food Chocolate

Dairy/Gluten and Refined Sugar Free

2 TBSP Coconut Oil
2 TBSP Organic/ Fairtrade cocoa
2 TBSP Pics Peanut Butter (the bee’s knee’s of peanut butter!)
1 TBSP Local Honey
1 tsp Natural Vanilla Essence

Put them all in a pot and heat very slowly and gently until all melted together. Spoon into muffin papers or silicone molds or icecube trays or whatever. Freeze for 20 minutes or so and then store in the fridge or freezer. EASY!

And because we can here is a wee nutritional breakdown:

Coconut oil is an excellent healthy source of saturated fats. Every cell in our body is surrounded by a double layer of phospholipids which are made up of saturated fats and other molecules.

Healthy levels of saturated fats give our cells structure and stability….. in the simplest language, they keep us looking young.
Good fat is also essential for brain health, our brain is made up of approx 60% fat, and healthy nerve function. Our nerve cells are protected by a myelin sheath which is also made up of fat.

In other words whoever came up with the concept of “low fat diets”, either had NO IDEA or they wanted us all to look old, saggy, brain-less and have nerve problems! Pretty rude I think.

Cocoa truly is a superfood, it is really high in phytochemicals (antioxidants) and minerals including magnesium calcium and potassium. It relaxes us and causes the release of endorphin’s (feel good factor)

Peanut Butter is just good, it tastes good, its satisfying and Pics Peanut Butter is made close to home in Nelson, New Zealand with just peanuts and salt. Too GOOD!

Local, raw honey is a great natural sweetener, however “natural” is not a license to eat as much as you want. Arsenic is natural too but we all know not to go hard on that.

The benefits of honey instead of refined white sugar is that it is as close as possible to its naturally occurring form, and in my head that makes so much more sense than eating loads of a refined white powder that has absolutely NO nutritional value.
Another interesting point on local honey is that there is some evidence to suggest that eating your local honey can provide you with some immunity to allergens in your area, meaning you may cope better when it comes to hay-fever season. Cool aye…. I think thats cool.

Vanilla, yum. Only don’t use that “IMITATION” vanilla essence, it is merely a chemical cocktail made to trick your brain into thinking it is getting vanilla. Natural Vanilla Essence, or better still vanilla pods are the way to go.

So there you have it, a rather long winded break down on a simple chocolate treat.

ENJOY 🙂

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Family-sized Stash of Meatballs

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Following on for my “Friday Scrooging Tip” post a couple of weeks back, where one reader suggested meatballs as a good “bulk” meat option for making up and having in the fridge for easy lunches and dinners.  🙂

Great idea! $11 worth of beef mince, a mish-mash of herbs and spices and a little time and I have a big roasting dish of meatballs in the fridge. Now the question is what to do with them????

I am thinking….. Meatball Pizza (using my homemade Jamie Oliver inspired Hidden Veg Tomato Sauce)

Maybe a nice Rice Salad with loads of fresh vegetables, a curry dressing and some meatballs thrown in.

Or how about an easy tea of Baked Potatoes with Meatballs crumbled over top with cheese and a big side of Coleslaw

Or even just munching on a couple for a snack after work/preschool???? Whole lot more nutrition there than a bag of chips!

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Smokey Spiced Paprika Chickpeas

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I got home later than usual the other evening and so my “go-to” quick tea of Spicy Wedges with Salad and Eggs was out of the question. I/we just couldn’t wait an hour for wedges to cook. We had all had sandwiches for lunch that day so pasta was out of the question. I try and stick to my rule of only one wheat based meal per day at the most.

So this little recipe/idea was what popped into my mind. It was quick and satisfying. Super easy and really affordable. Ticks all the Health Conscious Scrooge boxes, and went down really well with some Crumbed Schnitzel and a big pile of vegetables with some pickles on the side.

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For Matt, Macey and myself (three chickpea loving people) I used 2 tins of chickpeas and that was plenty for tea and enough for the wee guy for lunch at preschool the next day. So here is what I did…

2 Tins Chickpeas
1 TBSP Butter (coconut oil would work if you want a dairy-free option)
2 TBSP Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic – finely chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 lemon- juice and zest
small handful fresh rosemary
salt and pepper

Melt the butter and olive oil in a pan over moderate/high heat. Saute the garlic and ginger for about a minute and add in the chickpeas. Stir everything well to coat the chickpeas with oil/butter/garlic etc. Sprinkle over the paprika, lemon, rosemary and salt and pepper. Continue to cook for a few more minutes until the chickpeas start popping and frying. Check the seasoning and serve up with whatever tickles your fancy.

Happy Scrooging Days and a brilliant way to add, fibre, bulk, protein and nutrients to your meal. Chickpeas or Garbanzo beans are excellent for helping to balance blood sugar levels, avoid insulin spikes and the fibre is great for bowel health (something no-one wants to know about but statistics say we, especially  here in New Zealand, need to start taking seriously) Dig in!

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