Cake on fast day? Yes you can

Leftover vegetable and haloumi frittata. Picture: Rob Palmer
Leftover vegetable and haloumi frittata. Picture: Rob Palmer

So many people can benefit from part-day fasting, says accredited practising dietitian and nutritionist Jaime Rose Chambers. The reason she loves this method and uses it herself - and suggests it to many of her patients - is that it is the most user friendly and, she believes, the easiest health strategy to work into most lifestyles. Almost anyone can benefit from intermittent fasting on some level because it's flexible and not too extreme. It's also safe for most people, and as long as there is a focus on eating a (mostly) nutritious diet with some variety, nutritional needs can be met with no compromise.

This book contains everything you need to know about intermittent fasting, including: the latest science on 16:8, showing how intermittent fasting can not only help you control your weight, but also helps lower cholesterol, reduce blood pressure and protect against heart disease; 50 delicious, nutritionally replete recipes; and advice on how to set up a personalised fasting program that suits your lifestyle and individual health needs.

  • Recipes from 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Plan, by Jamie Rose Chambers. Macmillan Australia, $34.99. Photography by Rob Palmer.
Recipes from 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Plan, by Jamie Rose Chambers. Macmillan Australia, $34.99. Photography by Rob Palmer.

Recipes from 16:8 Intermittent Fasting Lifestyle Plan, by Jamie Rose Chambers. Macmillan Australia, $34.99. Photography by Rob Palmer.

Leftover vegetable and haloumi frittata

Whether the leftover veggies you have are roasted or steamed, I find they each make a great filling for a frittata. Then all you need for this recipe is a handful of pantry staples, which makes it an ideal dinner when there's not much left in the cupboards. It is also delicious cold or warm the next day, for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Ingredients

2 cups roasted or steamed vegetables (see note)

6 eggs

2 tbsp unsweetened milk of your choice

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

small handful of roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

50g halloumi, grated

Optional:

side salad

4 slices grainy or sourdough toast

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease the base of a small- to medium-sized baking dish or pie dish (you could even use a large ovenproof frying pan) with cooking spray, or use a pastry brush or a piece of baking paper to rub a drizzle of oil around the dish.

2. Place the vegetables in the dish or frying pan. Crack the eggs into a large jug or bowl, add the milk and season with salt and pepper. Whisk well, then pour over the vegetables. Move the vegetables around so they are evenly distributed within the egg mixture.

3. Top with a sprinkle of parsley and the grated halloumi, then bake for 10-15 minutes, or until just set and golden on top. Cut into four wedges and enjoy hot or cold with a side salad or grainy or sourdough toast.

Note: Vegetables that work well include potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, carrot, broccoli, cauliflower, corn, peas, brussels sprouts, capsicum and onion.

Serves 4.

Super green omelette

Super green omelette. Picture: Rob Palmer

Super green omelette. Picture: Rob Palmer

Ingredients

3 eggs (you can use 2 eggs if you prefer a smaller omelette)

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup firmly packed spinach

1 tbsp roughly chopped soft green herbs of your choice (flat-leaf parsley, basil or coriander work best)

1 shallot, trimmed and roughly chopped

2 tsp olive oil

1/4 cup ricotta

1/4 cup coarsely grated tasty cheddar or mozzarella

Method

1. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.

2. Add the eggs, salt and pepper, spinach, herbs and shallot to a blender or food processor. Process until well combined - the mixture should be "super green".

3. Heat a small ovenproof frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Pour the green egg mixture into the pan and immediately swirl around until it's evenly distributed.

4. Place teaspoon-sized dollops of the ricotta evenly over the omelette, then sprinkle over the grated cheese.

5. Allow the bottom of the omelette to cook for one to two minutes or until you can see the edges are cooked, then place the entire frying pan under the grill for two to three minutes, or until the egg mixture is firm and the top is golden and melted. Your omelette should slide perfectly out onto a plate.

Serves 1.

Leftover chicken and veggie pie

There's nothing better than a homemade chicken pie, but it can be so fiddly and quite unhealthy once you add the creamy filling and all that pastry! My version is packed with leftover vegetables and shredded chicken, and the pastry is only used on top so you get to enjoy that golden pastry crunch, without all the calories of a regular pie.

Ingredients

extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, roughly chopped

1 large carrot, roughly chopped

1 celery stalk, roughly chopped

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tbsp plain flour (I add wholemeal spelt flour for extra fibre)

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock

500g shredded leftover chicken

1/3 cup cream

2 cups chopped leftover steamed or roasted mixed vegetables (see note)

small handful of roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 sheet premade puff pastry

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tbsp sesame seeds

To serve (optional):

side salad

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220C. Use a pastry brush or paper towel to grease a pie dish with olive oil.

2. Place a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon olive oil, then the onion, carrot and celery and season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about five minutes or until the vegetables have softened.

3. Add the flour and cook until the mixture starts to clump and thicken. Gradually stir in the wine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Add the stock along with the chicken and stir well. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer for about five minutes. Stir in the ream, then gently fold in the leftover vegetables and parsley.

4. Pour the filling into the pie dish and use the back of a spoon or spatula to distribute the filling around the dish. Set aside to cool slightly for 10 minutes.

5. Place the pastry sheet over the top of the dish and trim the edges, then press a fork all the way around to seal the pie and use a sharp knife to slice a small hole in the centre of the pastry to allow steam to escape.

6. Brush the top of the pastry with the egg, then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.

7. Bake for 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Slice the pie and serve by itself or with a side salad.

Note: Potato, sweet potato, pumpkin, peas, corn, zucchini and carrot all work well in this pie.

Serves 4.

Apple, coconut and macadamia cake

Apple, coconut and macadamia cake. Picture: Rob Palmer

Apple, coconut and macadamia cake. Picture: Rob Palmer

There's no denying that I love a loaf and make one every week or two for the family, but I was getting a little tired of my usual banana and berry variety so this recipe was born out of part boredom and part needing to use up what I had available in the fridge and cupboards. Enter the Apple, coconut and macadamia cake!

Ingredients

1 1/2 cups almond meal (or you can use 1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour)

1 cup desiccated coconut

2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla bean paste

2 bananas, mashed

2 tbsp maple syrup or honey

2 apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated

1/2 cup macadamias, roughly chopped, plus extra, chopped

yoghurt (plain or coconut), to serve

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Grease a 20cm springform cake tin, then line with baking paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix the almond meal or flour, coconut and baking powder together.

3. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the olive oil, eggs, vanilla, banana and maple syrup or honey. Pour the wet mixture into the large bowl and stir together well, but don't overmix. Fold in the grated apple and macadamias.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and smooth out the top with a spatula. Sprinkle a handful or two of macadamias over the top.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden on top and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.

6. Allow to sit for five minutes then turn out onto a wire cooling rack.

7. Slice into wedges and enjoy cold or warm by itself or with a dollop of yoghurt.

Serves 8-10.

This story Flavour on fasting day first appeared on The Canberra Times.