Welcome to Eat Well Every Day

Welcome to Eat Well Every Day!

I've spent years researching nutritional information, food ideas and recipes, because cooking and eating - especially with family & friends - are some of life's great pleasures. And guess what- healthy food doesn't have to be boring! It can be exciting and delicious!


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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn!

Now that the debilitating migraine-inducing humid summer weather is (hopefully) finally gone, and autumn has officially started with end of Daylight Saving, I can enjoy sharing some more food and nutrition ideas with you. I promised more apple recipes in my last post, but not today. Today, in salute to the end of summer, I give an easily adapted leek frittata, and pear and raspberry bread.

Leeks are available all year round, but psychologically, feel more like an autumn food to me. Others may disagree, but it's when the heat and humidity start to ebb that I remember the pleasures of leeks. Related to garlic and onions, leeks offer all the health benefits of garlic, including antioxidants and antibiotic properties, but are milder and sweeter in flavour. Leeks were favoured by the Egyptians when they were building pyramids, and the Welsh have a leek as their national symbol. Perhaps it's the Welsh in me from my grandfather that makes me love the leek!

Pear and raspberry bread has become very popular on the Sydney cafe scene, so I determined to make some myself. I don't claim this recipe as an original so much as an amalgam of the various recipes I found on the web. Mine uses frozen raspberries, as fresh ones have such a short season and are ridiculously expensive, unless you live in a raspberry growing area, or have raspberry bushes in your garden. Frozen raspberries are not as delicious as fresh picked ones still warm from the sun, but they are an adequate substitute that you can have year round. Raspberries have good levels of Vitamin C, even the frozen ones. My only gripe with the frozen ones is they go purple when baked!,

So, to the recipes:

Leek Frittata
The name 'frittata' is a bit of a misnomer, as I actually bake it in a 26x16x5cm (10x61/4x2inch) pyrex lasagne dish. It's an adaptation of a frittata recipe from the early 90s; I gave up trying to fry it, as I always made a mess! The beauty of this recipe is you can substitute the cheese with whatever you have in the fridge or feel like eating - extra tasty cheddar, Swiss, fetta, whatever takes your fancy. Ditto with the zucchinis. I often swap them with celery, a flavour that goes well with leeks. You can also substitute the herbs. I like dill, but try oregano, marjoram or tarragon. Be adventurous!

• A good slurp of olive oil
• 3 small leeks or 2 large ones, thinly sliced
• 2 medium zucchinis (courgettes), julienned (matchsticks)
• at least 1 clove of garlic , chopped fine
• 5 eggs lightly beaten
 • 11/2 cups milk, or milk and yoghurt blend
 • 4 tablesp freshly grated Parmesan cheese (NOT the packaged powdered stuff!)
 • 4 tablesp of another cheese, cubed (cubes can be as large or small as you like)
 • 2 tablesp plain (all purpose) flour with a good pinch of baking powder
 • salt and pepper to taste (white pepper is better than black in this pale dish)
• 2 teasp dried dill

Sauté the leeks in the oil, until starting to soften, cover and cook on low for 10 minutes. Add your garlic and julienned zucchini, stir, and cook covered for another 10 minutes. If substituting celery for the zucchini, sautée it with the leeks, and make sure all vegetables are very soft before you do the next step.

Tip into a large bowl and leave to cool. When cool, mix in the cheeses and herbs.
In a large bowl or glass jug, mix the flour carefully with a little of the milk to make a smooth paste. Stir in the beaten eggs. Add the rest of the milk and the seasonings, stirring well to eliminate any lumps.

Spread the cheesy vegetable mix over the base of your oiled dish, pour in the milkand eggs, and stir gently until well combined.

Bake in the middle of a 180C (350F) oven for 25-30 minutes. at the 25 minute mark, test with a skewer to see how close to cooked it is. It should be slightly runny in the middle. If so, turn the oven off for the last 5 minutes to avoid overcooking.

Leave to cool completely before you attempt to cut it; this allows it to firm up.

Sue's Gluten-free Café-style Pear & Raspberry Bread
This is yummy toasted and spread with butter or smooth ricotta, and makes a great breakfast loaf. (Toast under a griller, not in a pop-up toaster - it will stick and burn.)

• 4 medium cooking pears, peeled, cored and grated or chopped fine.
 • 1 tablesp lemon juice
• 3 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
 • 1 teasp bicarb (baking soda) and 1/2 teasp baking powder
 • 3/4 cup melted butter
 • 3 eggs
 • 2 teasp vanilla essence
 • 2 tablesp milk
 • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries (or fresh, if you can)
 • 3/4 cup sugar, preferably brown, but raw or white are good

Grate or chop pears and toss in the lemon juice to prevent them browning. make sure all the juice from the pears goes in the bowl.

Sift together the dry ingredients. Whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla, add the melted butter and whisk until blended.

Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, add the pears and mix until combined, but do not overmix. Fold in the raspberries.

Pour batter into a greased and lined large loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake in 180C (350F) oven for an hour, checking with a skewer at the 55 minute mark. You might need to reduce the temperature a few degrees if the top is browned but the inside is not yet cooked.

Leave cake in its pan for at least 15 minutes to cool and firm before removing it. Place on a rack to cool completely before cutting.
Buon Appetito!