I really love super thick Greek Style yoghurt! I much prefer really thick tangy yoghurt that doesn’t have any sweeteners added to it! I’ve been making yoghurt since I was a little kid with my mum (however lots of soy yoghurt back then) and I love it!
But last year I figured out how to get that super luscious thick yoghurt (almost Greek yoghurt type thickness but without straining off the whey) at home using a very simple method! My sister in law saw gourmet farmer using an esky for his yoghurt, and how well it worked! This is loosely based on his method, however tailored to using the Thermomix which gives the ability to get really accurate temperatures easily!
In the recipe when you’re heating up the milk I say to keep the milk at 90ºC for a longer time. The reason being, if you hold the milk at a stable temperature for longer it will make the yoghurt thicker by driving out the oxygen and helping in the fermentation process along with helping the proteins to hydrate well and bind as much water as possible. As this isn’t a strained Greek Yoghurt, there will still be some whey that gathers with the yoghurt remaining in the jar when you scoop your spoon of yoghurt into a bowl. You can either leave it in, (it will make the yoghurt a bit more watery) or you can just spoon it out to use in another recipe or dispose of it.
Once you have heated the milk it is important to cool the milk quickly. This helps to produce a thicker curd also. You can cool the milk quicker by filling a bowl with cold water, adding some ice cubes and setting the bowl of heated milk on top.
I’ve learnt that sometimes a less is more approach works best when it comes to the culture, which is why I only use 1-2 Tbsp of yoghurt as a starter. I like to use Jalna Greek Yoghurt for my starter, it always produces a really beautiful yoghurt.
If your family uses a lot of yoghurt, you can double this recipe very easily. Just increase the time of heating the milk and make sure once the 2L of milk reaches 90ºC to hold it at that temperature for at lease another 10 minutes. (Should take around 30-40 mins) and use 2 x 1L glass jars. They should fit side by side in your 10L esky quite easily.
For different flavoured yoghurts you can add vanilla beans or bean paste or for fruit flavours rather than adding fresh fruit that will water down the yoghurt, add fruit compotes or homemade refined sugar free jams.
It’s really quite easy to make beautiful yoghurt at home! I hope you enjoy!
- 1 Litre Non-homogenised Organic Milk
- 1-2 Tbsp Greek Style Yoghurt (with live cultures - I like Jalna)
- 1 Thermomix or a Pot & Thermometer
- 2 Medium Stainless Steel Bowls
- 1 Thermometer
- 1L Glass Jar
- Take the starter culture out of the fridge to bring to room temperature.
- Place the milk into the Thermomix and heat 20 Mins/90º/Speed 3. You will notice that the milk will reach 90º at around the 10 minute mark, but hold it at that temperature for the full 20 minutes. (Read why in the notes above the recipe)
- Fill a medium bowl with water and some ice cubes and place another bowl on top to make an ice bath. Pour the warmed milk into the bowl on top and let sit to cool to 38º - 40ºC. Check the temperature with a thermometer. Be careful that it doesn't drop below 35º. This should take about 20 minutes. It's important to reduce the heat quickly to produce a nice thick curd. (Alternatively, you can keep pouring the milk back into the Thermomix to check the temperature, but I find it easier to just use a Thermometer.)
- While the milk is cooling, place 2 Litres of water into the Thermomix and heat 3 Mins/45º/Speed 3. Pour the warmed water into a small 10L esky. Repeat this process. Depending on the height of the jars you use to set your yoghurt, you will need 3-4L of water.
- Remove a cup of the cooled milk into a cup or bowl, and stir or whisk in the starter so its smooth and there are no lumps.
- Pour this mixture back into the bowl of cooled milk and stir to combine briefly before pouring into a 1L glass jar. Secure the lid and place the jar into your esky filled with water. The water should be surrounding the jar but not covering the lid.
- Leave the jar in the water for 12-24 hours to incubate and ferment. Depending on how tart you like your yoghurt will determine how you long you leave the yoghurt to ferment. Around the 12-14 hours mark you will have a really lovely mildly tart yoghurt. Around this time is when I like to take mine out and place straight into the fridge to set firm.
- Once completely cooled, your yoghurt is ready to eat!
- And don't forget to save a couple of Tbsp for your next batch of yoghurt!
- Try not to disturb the yoghurt in the first 6 hours when the yoghurt is incubating as this can interfere with the yoghurt setting properly.
These little quiches are the perfect thing to put into lunch boxes! Protein, veggies, and a little carb, they are an excellent source of protein, fat and carbohydrates.
They make for the perfect adult or childs lunchbox, party or barbecue or gathering where you need to take a plate! They also make the perfect go-to in the fridge for busy mums! And even better they freeze well.
I use wholemeal and white spelt flours in these, however you can use plain wheat flours interchangeably with spelt.
I like to use spelt in my kitchen as it’s a more ancient form of wheat and is less modified and processed and is easier to digest.
A recipe testers for The 4 Blades Magazine says “They looked really nice and we all loved the flavours of the filling. They make a nice tasty summer meal to have on their own or with a salad.” Tina
You can substitute the filling around with ingredients in your fridge. If you don’t have pumpkin you could use sweet potato and any choice of herbs you like.
The egg mixture is the same as the other savoury tart recipes. It works a treat for so many things!
Roast Pumpkin, Thyme & Goat’s Cheese Mini Quiches
These delicious quiches make the perfect addition to a lunchbox for kids and adults!
- 100g Wholemeal Spelt Flour
- 100g White Spelt Flour
- 100g Organic Butter
- 1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
- 40g Water
- 400g Butternut or Jap Pumpkin, peeled and cubed into 1-2cm pieces
- 1/4 tsp salt
- few sprigs thyme leaves
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 4 Med Brown Onions, peeled and sliced thinly
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar or White Wine
- 1 Tbsp Rapadura Sugar
- 100g Baby Spinach
- 100g Goats Cheese of Feta
- 4 Organic Eggs
- 60g Sour Cream or Coconut Cream
- 60g Milk or Almond Milk
- 1/2 tsp Celtic Salt
- 1/2 Bunch Onion Chives, finely chopped
- few sprigs Italian parsley, finely chopped
- To make the pastry place the flours, butter and salt into the Thermomix and process 10 Sec/Speed 6 or until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add the water and knead 10-20 Sec.
- Transfer the dough to a sheet of clingfilm, press the dough together, cover in clingfilm, flatten into a disc and place into the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Lightly grease the muffin tin and set aside.
- Roll out the dough to approx 2mm thick, and using a 9cm round pastry cutter, cut 14 rounds from the pastry. Press the pastry rounds into a non stick muffin tin sprayed with oil. Place into the freezer for 15 minutes to firm.
- Cut 14 very small baking paper rounds to one the pastry base, before topping with baking beads and blind baking for 15 minutes.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes before removing the baking beads, Set aside in the tins until you are ready to proceed with the filling.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the pumpkin, salt, thyme and olive oil onto the tray and toss together. Spread the pumpkin out evenly over the tray and roast for 15 minutes or until just tender.
- To make the caramelised onions, heat the remaining 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat and add the onions.
- Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until very well browned. The thinner the onions are sliced the batter the caramelisation you will get. Add the vinegar and sugar right at the end and stir to combine.
- Push the onions over to one side of the pan and dd the baby spinach, stirring until just wilted. It should retain it’s vibrant green colour! Take off the heat and set aside.
- Place the eggs, sour cream, milk, salt, chives and parsley into the Thermomix bowl and mix 10 Sec/Speed 4.
- To assemble, scatter the onions evenly over the base of the quiches, follow with the cooked pumpkin, spinach and goat’s cheese.
- Pour the egg mix over to complete the fillings Bake for 20-25 minutes or until just set and golden brown. Cool for a few minutes in the tray before cooling completely on a wire cooling rack. Serve warm or cold.
- You can substitute spelt flour for regular wheat flour.
- You can substitute pumpkin for sweet potato or any other favourite vegetable you have!
- You can also substitute the herbs according to your likes as well.
Imagine this gorgeous salad as part of a beautiful Christmas banquet. Adding so much colour, and fresh and light crunch this salad is one that pleases the eye and the palette!
I’ve been getting such a gorgeous steady supply of these beautiful golden yellow coloured beetroots and I really love them! I love them because they are different, but they also have a slightly more subtle light flavour so they are perfect for a salad like this!
For this salad, I haven’t peeled the beets, as they washed up really nicely, but you could do that if you preferred.
If you haven’t got roasted hazelnuts in the pantry just roast them for 10 minutes at 180ºC, or until golden in colour. The skins should begin to just fall on when rubbed gently.
There are a number of different ways to extract pomegranate seeds. I like to slice the top off, slice down the ridges, give a good tap and break the segments apart, letting all the seeds just pop out. Perhaps I should do a video on it sometime!
The balsamic reduction is really straightforward to make in the Thermomix. Super easy! You just combine 500g balsamic & 50g honey into the Thermomix and cook 25-30 Mins/Varoma/Speed 3, with the simmering basket on top.
- 125ml Rice Wine Vinegar
- 125ml Water
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- 1/2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 1 Star Anise
- 2 Pieces Orange Peel
- 1 Large Bunch Watercress
- 2 Medium Golden Beetroots
- 1 Medium Bulb Fennel
- 1/2 Pomegranate Seeds
- 50g Roasted Hazelnuts, halved
- 1-2 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Black Salt
- Micro Watercress
- Micro Radish
- 2 Tbsp Balsamic Reduction
- Place the pickling ingredients into the thermomix and heat 10 Mins/100º/Speed 1.
- Finely slice the fennel on a mandolin and place into a small bowl.
- Finely slice the golden beetroot on a mandolin and place into another small bowl.
- Pour the pickling liquid over the fennel to cover and leave for 10 minutes. Strain the pickling liquid over the beetroot to cover and leave that to pickle for 10 minutes.
- Once the fennel and beetroot is pickled, set them aside for plating.
- Place the watercress on a large platter and arrange slices of the pickled beetroot nicely around the plate. Place handfuls of the pickled fennel around the platter. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds & roasted hazelnuts.
- Drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with black salt.
- Top the salad with some delicate sprigs of the micro herbs and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.
- Serve immediately.
Beautiful days with friends relaxing on their family farm, eating fluffy carrot cupcakes and sharing sweet memories.
These cupcakes came about like that! My friend had had all sorts of hassles with an oven not working, having to put the prepared batter in the fridge overnight and then trying to figure out how to fix them the next day so they would rise!
Well look what happened! The end result were the fluffiest, most moist and delicious cupcakes ever!
I came home and had this beautiful bunch of purple carrots starring at me in the fridge along with my beautiful local fresh market blueberries! The thought came! Do a twist on a traditional carrot cake muffin with sultanas and use blueberries instead and purple carrots for a deep purple colour!
The colour is fabulous when baked! A very deep colour with even richer blueberry purple coloured pops throughout! Yum!
The molasses can easily be replaced with another syrup sweetener, but the molasses does have a rich type flavour and is also very mineral rich.
I use an Avocado oil from Costco which is a beautiful neutral flavour and light in colour. After some research we have found out that it’s not produced with hexanes or other harmful chemicals etc so is great for making cakes or mayonnaises.
You can easily use orange carrots in the muffins instead of the purple ones. They are often available at my farmers market and thought this was a perfect use for them!
Enjoy these gorgeous muffins! I’m sure neither you or your kids will be disappointed!
- 100g Organic White Spelt Flour
- 100g Wholemeal Spelt Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Bicarb Soda
- 120g Rapadura Sugar
- 1 tsp Pimento
- 1/2 Orange, tested
- 150ml Avocado or Macadamia Oil
- 20g Mollasses or Coconut Flower Nectar
- 2 Organic Eggs
- 200g Purple Carrots, grated
- 100g Blueberries
- 250g Cream Cheese
- 80g Organic Butter
- 50-80g Honey or Maple Syrup (for really white icing use milled raw sugar)
- 1 Tbsp Lemon Juice or 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with baking paper or muffin cases.
- Place the flours, baking powder & soda, rapadura & pimento into the Theromix mixing bowl and mix 5 Sec/Speed 5.
- Add the orange zest, oil, molasses & eggs and bring the mix together Speed 4/5 Sec.
- Add the carrot & blueberries and mix together 5-10 Sec/Reverse/Speed 2.
- Divide the mixture among the paper cases and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, before cooling completely on a wire rack.
- Place all ingredients into the Thermomix mixing bowl and mix 20 Sec/Speed 4. Pipe frosting with desired piping nozzles onto cooled muffins.
- *The molasses can easily be replaced with another syrup sweetener, but the molasses does have a rich type flavour and is also very mineral rich.
- *I use an Avocado oil from Costco which is a beautiful neutral flavour and light in colour. After some research we have found out that it's not produced with hexanes or other harmful chemicals etc so is great for making cakes or mayonnaises.
- *You can easily use orange carrots in the muffins instead of the purple ones. They are often available at my farmers market and thought this was a perfect use for them!
So I can’t really remember the first time I made these delightful tarts, however I do remember one of the most recent times when I made them! It was for my sons 3rd birthday last year! To set the scene a little, I decided to buy year passes to our local zoo, and take along a picnic lunch, a perfect simple birthday cake and these pretty little things!
Well that particular day turned out to be a scorching 30°C day! I got up early before it was that hot, baked a delicious flourless 2 tier chocolate cake, my old recipe that I used to do every week at the health retreat. I topped it with a beautiful dairy free chocolate ganache. Not realising how hot the day would be I poured it on, decorated it with all manner of adorable edible flowers, chocolate shards, raspberries, strawberries and blueberries! It looked a real picture!!….But if only I had one! In it went into the container…we packed up and off we went to the zoo. Off we went into the zoo to catch the croc show and low and behold what did I leave in the car, but the cake!!!!!!
Back to the car after only what seemed like 1/2 an hour and I grabbed that little darling, opened it’s lid….and what did I find??? A great big puddle of slidden, sloppy, melted, ganache drenched decadent deliciousness!!! And with that we sang Happy Birthday Z!! It almost seemed unbelievable, but I assure you there was no fixing that leaning tower of cake puddle! My dearest friends who know how perfectionistic I am, gave me an extra tight squeeze, helped me realise it wasn’t the end of the world…almost…and we just slapped it onto our plates…not it wasn’t even sliceable! What we ate was something delicious, despite its unfavourable looks!
That night I brought the remainder home, chucked it into the Thermomix and chopped it all up, then rolled it into balls and froze them. Oh my word, how a seemingly total disaster can be turned into pure delight. This was one of them! Fudgy, rich, and ultra delicious!
What did end up as pretty as a picture and a total hit were these awesome Choc Raspberry Tarts!!
So here you are! Enjoy!
- 50g Coconut Palm Sugar
- 150g Almond Meal
- 50g Coconut Flour
- 30g Arrowroot
- 100g Organic Butter
- 1/2 Lemon, zested
- 1 Organic Egg, lightly beaten
- 60g Hazelnuts, roasted
- 80g Coconut Oil
- 80g Coconut Milk
- 120g Maple Syrup (approx. 5 Tbsp)
- 50g Raw Cacao Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- pinch salt
- 250g Fresh Raspberries
- Place the sugar into the Thermomix bowl and mill 10 Sec/Speed 9.
- Add the almond meal, coconut flour, arrowroot, butter and lemon zest to the bowl and blend 10 Sec/Speed 6.
- Add the egg and Knead 15 Sec.
- Wrap in plastic wrap, flatten, and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C.
- Once the dough is chilled, roll out to 2-3mm thickness between 2 sheets of baking paper.
- Peel off the top sheet of baking paper, and using an 8cm round pastry cutter, cut 18 circles from the pastry. You may need to re-roll to get the 18 circles.
- Place the cut circles back into the fridge for 5 mins to firm slightly before pressing into 7cm fluted tart shells. Neatly trim the tops and if there are any tares, just use a little of the excess dough to carefully patch it, being careful to maintain an even thickness.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, let sit in the moulds for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.* (They will feel very soft as soon as you take them out of the oven but as they cool, the base will harden. If the underside of the bases still feels a little damp once cool, you can turn them upside down and return to the oven for 5 or so minutes to dry out a little further.)
- If you need to roast the nuts, place onto a baking tray and roast for 10-15 minutes on 180°C. Let cool before using your hands to rub the nuts together to get rid of the skins.
- Place the hazelnuts into the Thermomix and mill 10 Sec/Speed 9.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and cook 2 Mins/50°/Speed 3.
- Pour the filling into the cooled tart shells and set in the fridge for 30 mins before topping each tart with 3 raspberries and returning to the fridge to set firm.
- *They will feel very soft as soon as you take them out of the oven but as they cool, the base will harden. If the underside of the bases still feels a little damp once cool, you can turn them upside down and return to the oven for 5 or so minutes to dry out a little further.
- *This is the same filling as I use in my Paleo Chocolate Mango Tart
- *This is the same base as I use in my Lemon Tart
It should have been 1 of the first things I put up, but I wanted to do a really big post with a number of different flavours, but alas that might be another year away, so without further ado, I present you with one of the best green smoothies you will ever drink!!
We make them all the time in our house, my kids love them!! Well especially my little 17 month old! Mr 3 used to love them too, but he’s a little bit hit and miss these days! But alas that is fickle kids for you! Today he will drink a few sips and tomorrow he’ll drink a whole cup! The best thing I can do is to keep offering healthy food, it will pay off!
The key to a good or should I say great green smoothie is citrus, mint and parsley! These flavours disguise the strong flavour of spinach or kale and make it much more palatable. My favourite is lime, however orange, blood orange, lemon or grapefruit are also great!
Another essential ingredient in a green smoothie is avocado for creaminess! It is so much better with it!
Ice is also really important! The colder the smoothie the nicer it will be!
This is a bit strange but drinking through a straw also makes a green smoothie extra delicious! Try it and I’m sure you’ll know what I mean!
Here is a basic Green Smoothie guide:
Choose 400ml Base: Almond/Nut Milk, Coconut Cream/Milk, Coconut Water
Choose 100-200g Leafy Greens: Spinach, Asian greens, Cucumber, Zucchini, Celery
Choose 1 Citrus: Lime, Lemon, Grapefruit, Orange, Blood Orange
Choose 200-300g Fruits: Berries, Pineapple, Papaya, Mango, Peaches or Nectarines
Choose 1-2 Tbsp Thickeners: Chia or Hemp Seeds, Nut Butters
Choose a Power Up Booster: Mesquite, Lucuma, Maca Powder, Raw Cacao Powder, Medjool dates, Coconut oil, Acai, Cinnamon, Vanilla, Green Powders, or Protein Powders.
There are lots of others but this gives you a guide to go and create your own delightful flavours!
If you haven’t tried a green smoothie before, then give this one a go! It’s such a fabulous way of getting greens into the diet and is such a wonderful way to start the day! Adding some protein powder also makes it a perfect change to eggs for breakfast if you’re heading out the door and in a hurry!
- 150g Frozen Bananas
- 1 Green Apple, cored & quartered, or Kiwi Fruit or Pear
- 1/2 Avocado
- 1 Lime, half skin removed
- 100g Ice
- 250ml Coconut Water
- 150ml Coconut Cream or Milk
- 4 Sprigs Fresh Mint, leaves only
- 4 Sprigs Fresh Italian Parsely, leaves only
- 1/2-3/4 Bunch Kale, de-veined
- 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup (optional)
- Place all the ingredients into the Thermomix bowl and blend 1 Min/Speed 9.
- Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
- You can use water in place of the coconut water, but I do suggest adding the coconut cream/milk as it will make it nice and creamy.
It’s rich, decadently fudgy, brownie-like and yet delightfully healthier than a cake made with jarred crap!
The Nutella part is not that yucky stuff off the shelf! (Sorry if I offend any Nutella lovers!!) But I make my own healthier chocolate-hazelnut spread and use that in place! So if you can forget that it’s not out of a packaged jar, and delight yourself in the flavours that make you think all things nutella, I can tell you that you won’t be disappointed!!…And neither will your body! Shop bought Nutella is full of all sorts of trans-fats, white sugar and who knows what other junk! This is a much better option!!
In the title I’ve stated that it’s Paleo, now in my nutella recipe I do use organic butter as opposed to coconut oil, so more Primal than Paleo, and I do use Organic Dark Chocolate. If you want it to be completely Paleo, then use a dairy free dark chocolate of your choice.
So a bit of history, this gorgeous cake originates from my beautiful sister-in-laws kitchen. Sarah is a wonderful homely cook for her family. Her kitchen always smells of beautiful stocks simmering on the stove, hearty, flavoursome family meals and the sweet aroma of baked cakes or sweet delights! Oh and of course the fermenting crocks of kombucha and marinating feta! And albeit most of it is gluten free and grain free!
We just love to cook together. With families to feed our individual homes centre much around the kitchen, and with our similar cooking styles, we have loads of fun when we get together!
This cake is best served straight from the fridge. You can leave it out, however the nutella softens and the cake texture is more like a cake. I prefer the more set nutella texture and that real fudgy brownie-like crumb!Print
Sarah’s Paleo Nutella Cake
Deliciously fudgy healthy nutella cake perfect for just about any occasion!
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 60
- Yield: 30
- 60g Roasted Hazelnuts
- 75g Coconut Palm Sugar
- 100g Organic 70% Dark Chocolate (Use Dairy Free for complete Paleo)
- 100g Almond Milk
- 70g Butter or Coconut Oil
- 30g Raw Cacao Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 250g Cashew Butter
- 160g Rice Malt Syrup
- 100g Coconut Oil
- 500g Nutella, plus extra for icing (Double batch of the above recipe)
- 200g Almond Meal
- 60g Coconut Flour
- 2 tsp Baking Soda
- 2 tsp Vanilla Essence
- 120g Roasted Hazelnuts, halved
- Place the sugar into the mixing bowl and mill 10 Sec/Speed 9.
- Add the hazelnuts and mill 8 Sec/Speed 9.
- Add the dark chocolate and mill 10 Sec/speed 9.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and cook 6 Mins/60°/Speed 3.
- Place into jars and store in the fridge or set aside in a large bowl for use in the cake.
- Begin by making a double batch of nutella. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C and grease and line a large rectangular baking tray.
- If you need to make your own almond meal simply place 200g almonds into the bowl and mill 8 Sec/Speed 9. Set aside.
- If you need to make your own cashew butter, add 250g cashews to the mixing bowl. Mill 15 Sec/Speed 9. Scrape down the sides and continue 20 Sec/Speed 5 or until a nice nut butter consistency forms.
- Add the rice malt syrup & coconut oil and mix 1 Min/50°/Speed 3.
- Add the nutella (500g only) and mix 10 Sec/Speed 5. (Keep the excess nutella aside for icing later.)
- Add the almond meal, coconut flour, baking soda and vanilla and mix together 30 Sec/Speed 6. (As the mixture gets very very thick at this point, during this 30 seconds, you may like to get your spatula in through the mixing bowl lid to help stir the mixture through.)
- Add the hazelnuts and stir into the thick batter with a spatula. Pour into the prepared baking tray and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out just clean. Leave the cake to cool in the baking tray for 1 hour.
- Spread the remaining nutella evenly over the cake. Tap the tray down gently on the bench to smooth out the icing and then place into the fridge to set.
- Once set, remove and slice into 30 squares (5 x 6) or 24 (4 x 6) larger squares and serve.
- This cake will keep in the fridge well for up to a week or can be frozen. Perfect for lunchboxes.
My sister-in-law and I always used to make this salad with cous cous. It’s merged over the years to have quinoa instead as its a healthier option & of course gluten free. It’s delicious with the cous cous, however I think it’s better with quinoa!
I love quinoa, it’s little nutty tasting, soft textured balls make for a delicious bowl of goodness!
I sear the chicken in a pan and then if necessary finish in the oven. It gives the breast some nice caramelisation which I really love! You can do this too, or if you like the chicken steamed you can steam it on the Varoma tray 17-20 Mins/Varoma/Speed 2, whilst you are cooking the quinoa.
Or if you have 500g pre-cooked and shredded chicken you can toss that into the salad!
My kids love this salad, especially my little 17 month old! As you can see by the picture she really loves to eat it right when mummy wants to take photos! Of course…it’s much too yummy to be looked at, it is to be eaten after all!
- 2 Organic Chicken Breasts
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 tsp Italian Herbs
- 1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
- 1/2 Lemon, zested
- 170g White Quinoa
- 800ml Water
- 400g (1 Tin) Cooked Chickpeas
- 250g Cherry Tomatoes (halved)
- 1/2 Red Onion, sliced into thin wedges
- 1 Bunch Fresh Italian Parsley, leaves only, chopped roughly
- 1/3-1/2 Bunch Fresh Mint, leaves only, chopped roughly
- 60ml Olive Oil
- 20ml Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Italian Herbs
- 1 tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 2 tsp Celtic Sea Salt
- Soak the quinoa 30 minutes prior to cooking this recipe.
- Toss the chicken in the herbs, spices and lemon. Heat a fry pan over medium heat and sear the chicken breasts until golden brown on each side. If not fully cooked through, place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with foil and finish cooking in the oven 10-15 Mins/180°C.*(Alternatively, you can slice the breast into strips before marinating and cook in the Varoma tray above the quinoa for 17-20 Mins/Varoma/Speed 2.)
- Once the chicken is cooked and cooled sightly, shred the chicken into pieces by hand or place into the Thermomix and shred 3-4 Sec/Speed 4-5/Reverse (keeping a close eye on it that it doesn't turn into paste!) Set aside.
- Place the soaked quinoa into the simmering basket. Place the water into the mixing bowl and insert the basket. Cook for 20-25 Mins/Varoma/Speed 2. Remove the simmering basket and set aside to drain. Place the quinoa into a large mixing bowl to cool down.
- Once cooled, add the chicken along with all the remaining ingredients.
- Place the dressing ingredients into the Thermomix and mix 3 Sec/Speed 5. Pour over the salad just prior to serving and toss to combine! Yum!
- *When cooking the chicken breast, if you have really thick breasts you can slice them horizontally to make them a little thinner so that the meat will cook more evenly.
- * This makes an awesome salad in a jar too! Place the dressing on the base of the jar, followed by the chicken, quinoa, tomatoes, onion, and herbs on top!
White Nectarines are so often sweeter than yellow! I remember eating very sweet yellow ones as a kid, however they just don’t seem to be what they used to be, unless from a beautiful ancient grandma tree!
I think the idea of white nectarine & coconut goes so perfectly together too! The light and white flesh and fresh taste of the nectarine goes so well with white summery coconut!
In my Kitch’n Thyme, I don’t use Organic Raw Sugar too often. I prefer to stick to the brown less refined sugars like coconut sugar or rapadura, however this time I wanted to keep the crumb nice and white, so I’ve opted for the raw sugar. I’ve significantly reduced the sugar since the first time I made it!
This cake is quite tall so you could afford to cut the cake into 16 pieces; I’ve even cut it smaller than that. But based on 16 pieces, that’s approximately 2.8 tsp of sugar per slice (not including the sugar content of the fruit). So not too bad, but definitely a treat! One to keep for a special occasion. We all are going to eat sugar at various times in life, I think the important thing is just to be mindful about it when we do eat something sweet, and not get in the trap of eating too much ‘hidden sugar’!
The flour mix is made up of rice, potato, & tapioca. Some people try to avoid the starches because of the low nutritional value, however as a gluten free option to wheat, which once again has a low nutrional value, the starches aren’t necessarily a totally bad option occasionally. Yes they are carbohydrates, but so is wheat, largely. They give a gluten free product a great texture, and make ‘gluten free’ a whole lot more enjoyable for some.
The icing is a really quick lemon coconut butter! It’s super speedy to make and is a better option to a traditional sugar lemon icing!
This cake would make the perfect treat for any birthday party or special occasion. Enjoy!
- 170g White or Brown Rice
- 115g Potato Starch
- 75g Tapioca Flour
- 15g Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Guar Gum
- 180g Organic Raw Sugar
- 250g Organic Butter
- 4 Organic Eggs
- 250ml Coconut Milk
- 40g Shredded Coconut
- 4 White Flesh Nectarines, each cut into 8 wedges
- 1 Tbsp Rice Flour
- Handful Toasted Coconut Chips, for decorating
- 2 Extra White Flesh Nectarines, for decorating
- Edible Flowers, for decorating (optional)
- 130g Coconut Butter
- 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
- 50ml Maple Syrup
- 50ml Coconut Oil
- 50ml Water
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lightly grease and line a 9" (or 24cm) round cake tin and set aside.
- Place the rice into the Thermomix and mill 1 Min/Speed 9.
- Add the potato starch, tapioca, baking powder & guar gum and mix to combine 10 Sec/Speed 6. Set aside.
- Place the sugar into the Thermomix and mill 10 Sec/Speed 9. Set aside.
- Place the butter into the Thermomix and melt 2 Mins/50°/Speed 4.Set aside.
- Without rinsing the bowl, place the reserved sugar into the mixing bowl along with the eggs. Mix 20 Sec/Speed 5.
- Add half the flour mixture and the reserved butter and mix 5 Sec/Speed 5.
- Add the remaining flour and the coconut milk and mix 10 Sec/Speed 3.5.
- Add the shredded coconut and mix 5 Sec/Speed 4/Reverse.
- In a small bowl, toss the nectarines with the rice flour, before adding to the Thermomix mixing bowl. Gently stir through the batter with a spatula before pouring into the prepared tin.
- Bake for 60-70 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. (I usually place a rack over the over the topside of the cake and turn it out upside down. This way you end up with a flat surface to finish and it looks much nicer when the icing goes on!)
- Place all the ingredients into the Thermomix mixing bowl and mix 5-10 Sec/Speed 3.5. Pour over the completely cooled cake and let it run over the sides a little. Top with the toasted coconut chips, the fresh nectarine slices and the edible flowers and serve.
- *Tossing the nectarine with a Tbsp of flour will stop the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the cake!
- *I usually place a rack over the over the topside of the cake and turn it out upside down. This way you end up with a flat surface to finish and it looks much nicer when the icing goes on!
- *Make my Coconut Butter here!
- * I suggest pouring the icing over the cake quite close to serving. The moisture in the icing tends to soak into the cake if left too long.