Make healthy food your passion

GRAHAM HAWKES
Last updated 15:29 09/07/2014
Southland Times photo
NICOLE GOURLEY/Fairfax NZ
Kumara frittata with tomato salsa.

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It's all about moderation. Boy how many times have we heard that? But it is so true.

And I like many forget that from time to time - as has been witnessed by many - I spend a lot of hours pounding the pavement or wearing out the stop bank walking along the Waihopai River. Penance for my sins of over indulgence, created simply through my passion of enjoying good, tasty food.

At the same time I also have a passion for healthy food. I'm a great believer in the 5+ A Day and very much keep in moderation the consuming of rich dairy foods and anything out of the fryer. To me, keeping fit and eating well go hand in hand. Sadly demands of our occupations don't always allow that. More so at this busy time of the year. Then to me holiday times should be exactly that - it should not be a time when we have to skimp or go short on what we really want to enjoy.

As with most things in life choosing the right ingredients is a core to healthy eating. Now that's not a simple matter of ensuring you select the leanest cuts of meat or reduce the amount of fat you consume - it also means reading the ingredients on the packet at the time of purchase and also selecting ingredients when they are absolutely at their peak, ensuring you consume them while they are still fresh and at their best.

It also means eating regularly and not surviving on snacks and pickings as many of us do at this busy time of the year.

Holiday time is a great time to enjoy a good healthy cooked breakfast or brunch.

Again, it is no secret that I am a huge fan of brunch and since it is holiday time let's have a look at a wonderful kumara frittata with a really fresh tomato salsa, one I can't claim to be entirely mine as the inspiration did come from something I picked up from Gordon Ramsay.

KUMARA FRITTATA WITH TOMATO SALSA AND POACHED EGGS (serves 4)

For frittata base
2 large kumara (450-500 gm)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small pickling onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 large eggs
1 Tbsp chopped chives
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
For the tomato salsa
500g vine ripened tomatoes
4 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
healthy handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
juice of 1 lemon
6 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
good splash of tabasco sauce
1 tsp castor sugar

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METHOD

1. To make the salsa quarter the tomatoes and place in a good sized bowl. Add all the other ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, adding the sugar.

2. Set aside to allow the flavour to develop on the bench.

3. For the frittata, heat the grill in your oven to its highest setting.

4. Peel the kumara and cut into 1 cm cubes.

5. In a non-stick pan or heavy based frying pan (one that is suitable to place under your grill) add the olive oil.

6. Once hot toss the kumara along with the onion, and a good seasoning with the sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook over a medium heat stirring for 4-5 minutes until the kumara are just tender and lightly golden around the edges.

7. Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl, add the chives and pour over the kumara. Shake the pan gently to distribute the ingredients and cook over a low heat without stirring for a few minutes until the eggs are beginning to set at the bottom and around the sides.

8. Place the pan under the hot grill briefly until the top of the frittata has set. Take care not to overcook the eggs or they will turn rubbery. Leave to stand for a moment or so then run a heat proof plastic spatula around the sides of the pan and invert the frittata onto a large serving plate. Spoon the tomato salsa in a nice neat pile on top.

9. Place a litre of water in a good sized pan adding a teaspoon of salt and bring the water to a simmer adding the salt and vinegar.

10. Once simmering crack the egg carefully into the water, then repeat with the other eggs.

11. Cook your eggs to the desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes then remove from the water with a slotted spoon and serve on top of the frittata and salsa.

Graham Hawkes operates Paddington Arms at the Queens Dr/ Bainfield Rd roundabout.

- The Southland Times

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