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Fast Food

I have many recipes that utilise leftovers, and where I don’t already have a recipe I usually invent one.  My usual advice would be to only cook what you’re going to eat, to prevent food waste… but as you gain more confidence in measuring, experimenting, and planning in advance, I would actually encourage you to cook a little extra when you’re doing a family dinner, knowing you’re going to put a little aside for another dish or two.

Root vegetables keep especially well and are quite versatile.  You may roast up a whole bunch for a family barbecue or cosy winter dinner – just throw a few extra in the pan to utilise later. This saves time, work and prevents that whole ‘what are we going to eat?’ conversation we can prolong in our heads for all too long.

Beetroot are so incredibly delicious, versatile and good for you, but they can be a little off putting when it comes to how they can stain our hands, clothes and chopping boards.  So, I’ve got a few tips to lessen this concern.  One of my favourite methods is to wrap each beetroot, skin on; you can trim the stalks off if you don’t have time to wash them thoroughly, in aluminium foil with a little drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.  I roast these tasty little beetroot packages for 30-60mins at 180° Celsius depending on their size. 

After that time, carefully release some of the steam from each package away from your face and body to prevent any burns – this will allow a small amount of cooling.  Using the foil as a guard to prevent staining, gently push and slip the beetroot skin away – you may be surprised how easy this is to do.  This method really does help sweeten and soften the beetroot too, a beautiful way to eat them as a side or centrepiece to any course.  Alternatively, use gloves – simple!


Free Food

Being gluten free and watching my sugar in-take too (an unfortunate consequence of being insulin resistant), I thought I would share with you an undeniable food staple, something most of us hate to love and definitely something that needs to be a free food for me….Bread. 

I don’t eat a huge amount of bread, but to have the option on hand is convenient. I keep mine in the freezer to prolong its longevity and to allow for my intermittent toast cravings.

Here’s a favourite bread recipe of mine, of which there are several easy variations depending on your personal preference.  It doesn’t require kneading or proving; it’s filling, satisfying and above all it’s delicious!


Fast Food

When you choose to purchase and eat your fruit and vegetables seasonally, you will often find there are often days, weeks, even months of an abundance of more than one of them. One season, every friend and neighbour of ours received a pumpkin as a gift, from our little backyard patch and we still had stacks spare. Eating one thing cooked the same way can give you flavour fatigue, it’s a thing, I’m sure. I think it also possibly extends to texture fatigue. Who wants pumpkin soup every day for a month?! Not when you can roast it, put chunks into curries, thinly slice and grill it, change the cuisine profile and be use a knife and fork once in a while… Variety is after all, the spice of life – spices both savoury and sweet compliment pumpkin tremendously by the way.

Excess and abundance is often when creativity is born. How many ways can you skin a carrot? Carrot skin chips are quite delicious too, a little olive oil and salt, on a single layer, in at 80-100° degrees for about 60 minutes – great for roasts or an alternative to croutons! I’m distracted now… Let’s think about a week of cooking for the family, housemates, yourself or your partner.

Maybe you blanched a whole stack of snow peas and asparagus to go along with your salmon steaks; it’d be easy to quickly put some on ice to keep them crispy and vibrant. Did you buy whole celery? Leaves and tips straight into a soup base. Tougher bottom section can be slowly braised and the gorgeous middle bits can become snacking sticks. You purchased seven eggplants but the recipe you’re making only requires four… oh the dilemma! Why not roast all of them together and put some aside for this delicious dip?

All of these items are already in your fridge. Ready and waiting for that unexpected visitor who didn’t have lunch but can’t stay for dinner. Less than 2 minutes later you’re serving up a roasted eggplant dip with three different green veggies sticks for scooping and dipping. A few veggies never spoiled anyone’s dinner or diet. But they certainly allowed you the freedom to sit down, have a chat, share a snack whilst keeping it healthy and utilising what may have been a sad bunch of limp, fridge drawer, veggies that required a swift free throw into the bin at the end of the week.

No visitors, no problem, dip for dinner – done!


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