4 chicken breasts, skinless
¼ cup pepitas, crushed
2 tbsp sesame seeds
½ cup almond meal
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
½ handful fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 tomatoes, diced
¼ cup red wine vinegar
100g ricotta, drained
Heat your grill to medium heat. Sandwich each chicken breast between two sheets of plastic wrapping, and bash the chicken to between half a centimetre and one centimetre thick with a mallet.
In a mixing bowl combine the almond meal, salt, sesame seeds and crushed pepitas. Pour the mixture onto a plate.
Coat each side of the chicken breasts in the almond meal mix. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside or in the fridge.
Brown the onion and garlic and add the tomatoes. Cook through for six minutes.
Add the tomato paste, basil, fennel seeds and red wine vinegar. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes with the lid off to reduce and thicken the sauce.
Add the olive oil to a separate frypan on a high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for one minute on each side or until golden. Transfer to a lined baking tray, top with two tablespoons of the tomato sauce and then finish with one spoonful of ricotta before putting under the grill for a final minute.
Serve with the Italian quinoa salad or the good old fashioned sweet potato chips.
Flourless banana bread
3 eggs, separated
2 tbsp honey or agave
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
1 cup sifted almond meal
¼ cup walnuts, crushed
1 tsp chia seeds
Heat the oven to 160C. Halve one banana lengthways and set it aside. Thinly slice the other two bananas and use the back of a fork to mash them. You don't want the banana to be completely smooth, but definitely well mashed.
Whisk the egg yolks with the honey until smooth. Add the mashed banana, cinnamon, chia seeds and allspice and combine.
Whisk the egg whites with an electric mixer until they reach soft peaks, then add ⅓ of the yolk mix. Use a plastic spatula to carefully fold the mixtures together, making sure not to release too much air. Once combined, add another third of the yolk mix and repeat the folding action. Repeat with the final third.
Carefully fold the almond meal through.
Line a bread-baking dish with baking paper (I scrunch it up so it fits into the corners) and pour the mix in.
Evenly distribute the walnuts about the mix and use a butter knife to push them deep into the tray.
Carefully put the ½ banana slices, cut side up, across the top of the mix and sprinkle over extra chia seeds.
Cook in the oven for 18-22 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.
Oven baked trout
1 whole trout, gutted and scaled
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper1 knob of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
juice & zest of a lemon
Heat the oven to 180C. Stir the garlic, ginger, lemon juice and olive oil together in a bowl. On a chopping board, slice four to five little cuts, one centimetre apart, on one side of the fish so you can see its flesh. This will be your top side.
Spoon the lemon mixture over each side of the fish and rub it into the cuts with your hand. Remove one of the top racks from the oven and put it down on a heatproof surface. Place the fish on top of the hot rack, sprinkle it with salt and pepper and place it back in the oven, with a roasting tray directly beneath it to catch all the juices, for 12-15 minutes or until cooked.
To test if the fish is cooked, insert a knife into the thickest part of the fish then touch it to your bottom lip. If it is cold it is undercooked You want it warm to hot. If it's burning hot then, well ... you do the math.
Remove from the oven and spoon the reserved juices over the top of the fish. Serve whole at the table with sweet potato rosti.
The Healthy Cook, by Dan Churchill. (Allen & Unwin, $35.) For more recipes visit danielchurchill.com.