A perfectly balanced meal that's not just a delicious lunch packed full of vegetables, but also a great choice for breakfast or dinner. You will find the not so popular sweet flavoured vegetable, swede (rutabaga) hidden in this dish. Swede is very high in dietary fibre and a good source of magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins B6 and C, zinc and so much more.
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Preheat oven to 180c (fan-forced). Grease an ovenproof dish with ghee or coconut oil (30 x 20cm rectangle dish).
Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add 1/2 tablespoon of ghee, bacon and onion, cook for approximately 4 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and cook a further minute. Remove from the heat and set aside
Add the grated vegetables to a clean tea towel, press firmly to squeeze out the excess liquid.
Add the grated vegetables, onion and bacon mixture, shredded spinach, parsley, coconut flour, nutritional yeast flakes, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Mix well to distribute the ingredients throughout.
Whisk the eggs and coconut milk together in a medium bowl. Pour into the vegetable and bacon mixture and stir well to combine. Spoon into the prepared dish and level the top using a fork.
Bake for 45 - 50 minutes or until lightly brown and top is set.
Cut into squares to serve warm or cold with salad. Suitable to freeze (cut into serving sizes before freezing).
Ghee is a lactose-free ancient superfood. It is made by slow cooking and clarifying butter to remove the milk solids and lactose, it's pure butter fat. You can get the flavour of butter in your cooking without the dairy (please don't consume if you have an allergy to ghee). My favourite brands are Organic Valley Purity Farms or Puresoul grass-fed. It is also very easy to make yourself. Ghee has a high smoke point 485F/250C.
Choose grass-fed bacon that is nitrate free to avoid added chemicals and additives.
In my recipes when listing onion I am referring to a brown (also called yellow) onion. Onions are members of the allium plant family which also includes garlic, leeks, spring onions and shallots. Onions are valued more for the flavour they impart in cooking than for their nutritional content. Onions are know for their antibacterial effect helping to prevent superficial infections and their sulfur compounds may block carcinogens.
Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).
The vegetable swede is also know as rutabaga in North America. Swede is a root vegetable that is a similar shape to a turnip but larger, it's flavour is sweeter than a turnip and cream in colour, with some purple on top. The leaves can be eaten as a leaf vegetable. Swede is an excellent substitute for white potato, it can be roasted, baked, boiled, mashed, sauteed and delicious added to soups and stews. Swede can also be thinly julienned or grated uncooked and added to salads or coleslaw. It's a winter vegetable and stores well. Swede is high in vitamin C and provides antioxidants and immune support, helping protect the cells from free radical damage and assists in the thyroid hormone thyroxine. Swedes are rich in beta carotene and also an excellent source of iron, potassium and manganese, a good source of fiber, thiamin, vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus.
This crunchy orange root vegetable is rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. They are good for the eyes and improve night vision. You get vitamin A and a host of other powerful health benefits from carrots, including cancer prevention, helps prevent infections and heart disease, protects teeth and gums and promotes healthier skin.
A zucchini is also called a courgette or summer squash depending on which country you live in. Zucchini looks similar to a cucumber and is usually served cooked with it's skin left on. Zucchini contains a good amount of folate, potassium, vitamin A,C and fibre.
I use English baby spinach leaves in my recipes. This more modern variety of spinach is more tender than older varieties and has small flat leaves. They can be eaten raw or lightly cooked. Spinach is a powerhouse food, it contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Spinach is low in carbs but high in insoluble fibre and may improve eye health, and help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Parsley would be the most widely used herb worldwide. Curly leaf parsley is often used as a garnish. Fresh parsley contains useful amounts of vitamin C, calcium, iron and potassium. Parsley is also high in bioflavonoids and other anticancer compounds.
Coconut flour is made by drying and grinding the meat of a coconut to a fine texture. Coconut flour is a low-carb flour that's an excellent source of dietary fibre and protein. It's a good grain-free and nut-free alternative but does require a larger amount of liquid than normal when used for baked goods. When replacing in a recipe that calls for wheat flour (or almond meal), use this guide; 1 cup of regular flour = 1/3 cup coconut flour, add an extra egg and an extra 1/3 cup of liquid. It can be used in soups, gravies and stews as a thickener and adds a boost of nutrition. Coconut flour may promote stable blood sugar levels and a healthy heart. In addition, it may have antibacterial properties and aid digestion and weight loss. There are now quite a few brands of coconut flour available and they all seem to perform differently depending on how coarse the texture is. In my recipes, I used Organic Coconut Flour from 'Let's Do Organic' and 'Red Tractor Foods' I like their finer texture.
Also know as Savoury Yeast Flakes. It’s a fermented and deactivated yeast, which means it isn’t going to grow (and has nothing to do with brewer’s yeast or bakers’ yeast). It has a creamy cheesy flavour and I’ve used it in a few recipes to create a cheese flavour. Vegans use it as a condiment and a cheese substitute, and to also add additional protein and vitamins to their diet (it’s a complete protein). Nutritional yeast flakes are free from sugar, dairy, grains and gluten. Do not confuse it with yeast extract (MSG). Purchase from health food stores or in the health food aisle of supermarkets.
Raw pink Himalayan salt crystals is unlike common table salt which can be a highly refined industrial byproduct, otherwise know as sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is completely pure and may naturally balance the body's alkaline/acidity and regulate water content. In addition Himalayan salt helps in the absorption of nutrients from food and contains many trace minerals for healthy cell structure. I purchase fine pink Himalayan crystal salt so I can use it in my shaker and for cooking.
Black and white pepper both come from the fruit of a tropical vine. Black pepper is the cooked and dried unripe fruit, know as a peppercorn and white pepper is from the ripe fruit seed. Pepper is usually coupled with salt, sprinkled over or added to food.
I have used large free range or organic eggs from a 700g carton in my recipes. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids, also studies have shown that lutein (yellow colour) in egg yolks protects against the progress of early heart disease.
I use this extensively throughout my recipes; from soups to dinners to desserts and cakes. I think it is the best dairy-free alternative. It gives so much flavour and creaminess to a wide variety of dishes. See coconut milk recipe on page 299 of The JOYful Table cookbook. If purchasing in the can read your labels, even some organic brands contain gums and thickeners, choose full-fat not low-fat versions. I use Honest To Goodness organic cream 400ml and Ayam which isn't organic but has no additives or thickeners and is much creamier and thicker than other brands (that's why I love it), it comes in 400ml, 270ml and 140ml size cans.