Category Archives: Quick Healthy Meals

Chicken, Coriander and Corn Dumplings

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I think we have already established that I am a bit of an Asian food fanatic and my latest escapades in the kitchen definitely do not suggest otherwise! Though these little morsels may look complicated and perhaps more effort than they’re worth..think again!! Once you’ve got all the ingredients in front of you they are actually super easy to prepare and only take a few minutes to cook!  And the best part? You can alter the filling ingredients all you like to keep things interesting! I’m thinking adding some seafood into the mix may be next on my list of things to try! These dumplings are the perfect party starters or as a delicious little meal on their own!

Chicken, Coriander and Corn Dumplings

(Makes 20-25 dumplings. Serves 5-6 for Entree)

What you need…IMG_5143

  • 250g chicken breast mince
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • ¼ bunch coriander, finely chopped, plus extra to garnish
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • kernels from 1 large corn cob
  • ½ packet round wonton wrappers

For the dipping sauce:

  • 2-3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil

What to do…

For the dipping sauce, place all ingredients in a small serving bowl and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the dumplings, place all the filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix well to combine. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling onto one half of each wrapper. Then run a damp finger around the edge of the wrapper before folding and pleating the

edges to seal. Set aside under a damp cloth until ready to cook.

Place a large steamer lined with baking paper over a large saucepan or wok of simmering water. Steam the dumplings in batches for 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer to a serving plate to cover and keep warm.

Serve with the homemade dipping sauce and enjoy with friends over a lovely glass of Pinot Gris or crisp lager.

Enjoy!

A

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Dry Red Prawn, Sweet Potato and Green Bean Curry

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Dry Red Prawn, Sweet Potato and Green Bean Curry IMG_4921

(Serves 4 people) 

When I think of curries in general I usually think of rich heavy meals laden with meat and creamy sauces that taste bloody amazing but probably aren’t so great for our waistlines! But as I recently discovered, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case, as this little beauty of a recipe that we whipped up the other weekend was a serious game changer! Not only is this recipe, light, fresh, and full of nutritious goodness but it just tastes so. damn. good!! I will eat my hat if it doesn’t win over in the hardest of critics! And the best part? It is super quick and easy to prepare..just keep reading and you’ll see what i mean!

What you need…

  • 1 tbsp red curry paste (adjust to taste)
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced
  • peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tsp palm sugar
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, very

    finely diced

  • 400ml tin coconut milk or cream (adjust quantities to your liking)
  • 500g green prawns, peeled
  • 500g sweet potato, peeled, cubed
  • 400g green beans, washed
  • fresh corriander and lime wedges to serve
  • steamed quinoa or jasmine rice to serve

What to do…

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Lay the sweet potato out on a lined baking tray and drizzle with oil. Place in the oven and allow to roast until the sweet potato is soft and slightly browned around the edges. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside for later.

Add a good dollop of peanut oil to a large heavy based frypan or wok and saute the onion until soft and translucent. Next add add the garlic and chilli and saute for another minute. Then add the curry paste, cooking until the flavours are well infused.

Next add the fish sauce, kaffir lime leaves and palm sugar, mixing well to combine. Add the coconut milk and allow to simmer for 5-10mins to allow to reduce slightly. Throw in your prawns and stir through, allowing to cook for 2-3 mins before adding the green beans for the final 2 minutes of cooking. Once the prawns and beans are cooked to your liking, remove from the heat and stir through the sweet potato.

Serve with some steamed rice or quinoa and sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Deeeelish!! 🙂

A

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Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Chilli Salsa

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finalWell if there is one thing for sure…summer is definitely on its way! With temperatures up in the high 30’s yesterday I could think of nothing worse than slaving away in a hot, sweaty kitchen for hours to whip something up for my parents who just happened to be passing through town! As it turns out, this little recipe creation turned out to be the perfect solution to my dilemma!

Fast, fresh and super healthy, these Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes and require minimal cooking time, keeping the heat out of the kitchen and essentially making them the perfect choice for these balmy (almost) summer nights! Not only are they ridiculously easy to make, but they are also gluten free, packed full of high quality lean protein and loads of veggies to further boost their nutrient profile and fibre content.

Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Chilli Salsa

(Serves 4 people)

What you need..

– 500g chicken breast, roughly chopped

– 1 large carrot, grated

– 1 large zucchini, gratedIMG_5726

– 1 egg, whisked

– large handful coriander, chopped

– 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1 tsp ginger, grated

– 1.5 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

– 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked and drained

– extra chilli flakes or fresh chilli (if desired)

– sesame seeds for rolling

For the salsa:

– 2 roma tomatoes, deseeded, dicedIMG_5728 2

– 1/2 lebanese cucumber, diced

– 1/2 red onion, diced

– 1 tbsp sweet chill sauce

– handful coriander, chopped

– juice of 1 lime

– 2 tsp fish sauce

What to do…

Throw all the ingredients for the chicken and quinoa cakes, other than the quinoa and sesame seeds into a food processor and blend until well combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir through the cooked quinoa. Place in the fridge until ready to roll and cook.

For the salsa, chop the tomatoes into quarters and discard the soft centre parts. Dice the tomatoes and add to a small serving bowl along with the other salsa ingredients. Stir to combine.

When ready to cook, place a large non-stick fry pan on medium heat and add a drop of olive or peanut oil. While the pan is heating up roll the chicken mixture into pattie shapes and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Add a batch of the chicken and quinoa cakes to the hot pan and squish them down with a spatula so that they cook quickly and evenly. Once cooked, remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Team these bad boys with a light summer salad and the zesty salsa and you have yourself one ridiculously tasty, light summer meal in minutes!

Enjoy!

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Home-made Tandoori Paste

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IMG_4681Sick of buying commercial marinades that are more often than not loaded with artificial flavours, preservatives and additives? Why not try whipping up your own? This easy peasy tandoori paste recipe takes just minutes to prepare and pretty much leaves those store bought pastes for dead when it comes to flavour and overall nutritional value!

What you need…

–       1 tsp coriander seeds

–       1 tsp black mustard seeds

–       1 tsp fennel seeds

–       1 tsp cumin

–       2 tsp paprika

–       1 tsp turmeric

–       1 tsp cayenne pepper

–       1 tsp dried chilli

–       2 garlic cloves

–       juice of a lemon

What to do…

Throw all the ingredients into a mortar and pestle and bash and grind away until the mixture forms a thick paste. Note: You may need to add a dash of water to help it come together.

Smear the marinade over your favourite cut of lamb, pork or chicken and you will have the smells of India wafting through your kitchen in minutes! Deeelish!

NOTE: you may also like to mix a dollop of natural yoghurt through the marinade for a slightly more subtle, creamier texture!

Enjoy!

A

Zucchini Noodles with Healthy Bolognaise

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IMG_4663MMMmmm MMMMMmmm a big bowl of steaming spag bol on these chilly winter nights? Yes please!!! Traditionally not always considered the healthiest of evening meals, my healthy spag bol is low in fat, “carb friendly” and packed full of veges making it sure to please even the most health conscious of guests! Swapping the traditional wheat based spaghetti for some green goodness this veggie based “pasta” dish is gluten free and looooaaaded with fibre and essential nutrients to help keep us looking and feeling our best from winter’s beginning til end! Give it a whirl..I promise it wont disappoint!

Zucchini Noodles with Healthy Bolognaise

(Serves 4 people)

 

–       4x zucchinis

–       1 large red chilli, seeds removed, finely diced

–       2 cloves garlic, crushed

–       1 brown onion, diced

–       400g lean beef or pork mince

–       2 tbsp salt reduced tomato paste

–       1 can diced tomatoes

–       1 large carrot, grated

–       ¾ cup brown lentils

–       ½ capsicum, diced

–       1 cup mushrooms, chopped

–       ½ cup torn basil leaves

 

Firstly, to prepare your zucchini noodles use either a peeler, julienne peeler or mandolin. For wide fettuccini style “pasta” use a standard vegetable peeler. Spaghetti-like noodles can be achieved using a julienne peeler or mandolin.

Whichever you choose, cut the ends off the zucchinis and start peeling lengthways. When you approach the seeds, turn the zucchini and continue slicing. Discard the middle section with the seeds, as they will prevent the noodles from holding together. Once you have finished, set the noodles aside until ready to serve. Note: You do not need to cook the noodles, as the hot bolognaise sauce should warm them up nicely!

Place a large heavy based saucepan over high heat on the stove and add a dash of oil before browning the mince. Remove mince from the saucepan before returning pan to the heat.

Next sauté the onion until soft before adding the crushed garlic and the chilli. Once fragrant, add the mince back in and cook over medium heat for 1-2mins.

Then add the mushrooms, carrot and capsicum, followed by the tomato paste. Stir to combine and then add the tin of crushed tomatoes. Throw in the lentils and allow to simmer on low heat for as long as you desire. Just before you are ready to serve, season well with salt and pepper and add in the basil leaves.

Serve on a bed of fresh zucchini noodles and garnish with some fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired.

Enjoy!

A

 

Gluten Free Zucchini Crust Pizza

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IMG_4137Wow this pizza may not look like much but boy was it tasty!!! Though the base tastes nothing like normal pizza dough…I have to say I think it taste a whole lot better!! Packed full of flavour with all the herbs and spices and with a lovely chewy texture this pizza crust is perfect for all those die hard pizza fans out there who are unlucky enough to have a gluten intolerance! Though I am do not have coeliac disease myself, I really enjoy trying and creating gluten free alternatives for some of our usual not so gluten free friendly favourites so that no one has to miss out!

The base was super easy to whip up and then the toppings??…well that is entirely up to you but I will give you an idea of what tasty morsels I sprinkled over my pizza last night to make my pizza so irresistibly tasty! This recipe below makes 2 decent sized pizzas, but I must warn you..dont expect any leftovers as you are likely going to be able eat a whole one on your own they are just so delicious!

What you need…

For the base:

  • 2 large zucchinis, grated
  • 1/4cup almond meal (or you could use brown rice flour)
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (you can adjust this based on your spice preference!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh or dried oregano
  • salt n pepper
  • 1 egg

Suggested Toppings:

  • 90g smoked salmon
  • 2 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • bunch of fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 50g fetta cheese
  • fresh argula leaves and some homemade basil pesto to garnish

What to do…

IMG_4126Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (fan forced).

For the base, place the grated zucchini in a bowl sprinkle over about 1/2 tsp salt and mix well. Allow to sit for 20mins to draw the moisture out. Then place the zucchini in a clean cheese cloth (chux cloth) and squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can. Note: You want your zucchini to be as dry as possible so that the base doesn’t become soggy!

Next throw all the base ingredients together in a bowl and mix well to combine before turning the mixture out on a piece of baking paper. Use you fingers to press the mixture down to form a large flat circle about 1/2 an inch thick.

 

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You need to pre-cook the base before adding your toppings, so when ready, carefully slide the pizza base on the baking paper onto a rack in the oven and cook for 8-10mins or until nicely browned around the edges. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool.

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While your base is in the oven, crack on with preparing your toppings…whatever they might be! I have included what I threw on my pizza last night in the ingredients list above but go crazy and throw on what ever toppings you like! That is really the best thing about pizzas…there is just ENDLESS possibilities of tasty topping combinations, making it possible to tailor each pizza to suit the palette (and cravings) of each and every diner! So let your imagination run wild and throw on whatever you can find in your garden, pantry and fridge!

 

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Once you have concocted your ultimate pizza combo, slide the pizza (still on the baking paper) onto a tray and into the oven and cook on high heat for 5-8mins or until your toppings are cooked to your liking.

Remove from the oven, top with some fresh argula leaves, slice and dice your pizza and you’re good to go!

Oh and don’t forget to team your meal with a lovely glass of red if you’re looking for the ultimate Italian feast experience!!

Enjoy!

A

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Red Rice and Quinoa Salad

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quinoa + red rice saladWith a delicious whole baked coral trout on the menu last night I decided that this salad would make the perfect accompaniment..and being the food fanatic that I am decided to make an extra big salad so we could all eat leftovers the next day…turns out the salad was just a little too moreish as there wasn’t a grain left in the bowl by the time we left the table!

Loaded with fibre, heart healthy fats and essential nutrients this is not only the perfect accompaniment for just about any type of fish, meat or chicken dish, but it would also be a perfectly balanced meal just its own!

This dish serves 4 people.

What you need….

– 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

– 1/2 cup red rice (or can use a mixture of red & brown rice like I did for a little extra texture contrast!)

– 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

– 1 small lebanese cucumber, sliced into quarters

– 1 red onion, thinly sliced

– 1 clove garlic, crushedfish and salad

– rind and juice of 1 orange

– juice of 1 lemon

– 2 tbsp preserved lemon, finely sliced

– 1/3 cup currants

– 1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

– 1 tbsp pepitas (optional extra)

– 1/2 punnet rocquette or spinach leaves

– 1/2 cup mint leaves

– olive oil

-salt and pepper

What to do….

Firstly, cook your rice in one saucepan and the quinoa in a seperate saucepan as per packet instructions. Rinse, drain and set aside to cool. This can even be done ahead of time, just make sure you bring the rice and quinoa back to room temperature before assembling the salad.

Meanwhile, heat a small non-stick frypan and add a dash of oil to the pan before adding the red onion and sauteing til soft and slightly translucent. Set aside to cool.

Next add the juice of an orange, 1.5 tsp of orange rind, the juice of one lemon, about 2 tbsp olive oil and the crushed garlic to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Then throw in the rice, quinoa, rocquette leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, mint leaves, currants, preserved lemons and toss to combine.

Finally, sprinkle over your pepitas and toasted almonds just prior to serving and there you have super light summer salad that will be sure to please even the toughest crowd! Oh and did i mention its gluten free for all those with gluten sensitive tummies!

Here is sneak peak at the delicious whole baked coral trout that was served up last night with the salad! Yum yum yummm!

 

fresh fishbbq'd trout

Happy Sunday Everyone!

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