Tag Archives: coeliac

Healthy Pork and Bean “Tacos”

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A slightly healthier take on one of my all time favourite dishes….Tacos!! These little babies are not only LOADED with protein, fibre and other essential nutrients but they are also very low in carbs and fat yet still taste pretty damn out of this world! They’re also super easy to prepare and make great leftovers! And yes if you haven’t guessed already, I am a pretty solid Mexican food fan! But then again..who isn’t?!

Pork, Bean and Vegetable Tacos with allll the trimmings…only a much healthier version! 

(For 4-6people)

What you need…IMG_6828

  • 1 iceberg lettuce, washed and leaves seperated
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 carrot, diced or grated
  • 1/2 red or yellow capsicum, diced
  • 1 zucchini diced or grated
  • 5 button mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 tin brown lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tin red kidney beans
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup low fat plain greek or natural yoghurt

For the salsa:

  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 lebanese cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • lemon

What to do…

Heat a large non stick fry pan or casserole dish over med-high heat. Add a dash of oil and then add then add the pork mince. Once just cooked through, remove from the heat and transfer the mince to a bowl and set aside.

Place the fry pan back on the heat and add another dash of oil. Sauté the onion until soft then add the garlic and taco seasoning. Cook for a further 2 mins. Throw the mince back in, followed by all the vegetables and stir over medium heat until well combined. Then add in your tomato paste and mix through, followed by the tinned tomatoes.

Finally add the beans and lentils and then allow to simmer over medium heat for 5-10mins.

Meanwhile, throw all of the salsa ingredients in a bowl and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Place on the table along with the lettuce cups and  bowls of diced avocado and natural yoghurt.

Once the taco mix is ready, remove from the heat and you are ready to dig in!

Enjoy!

A

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My final days as a Coeliac… Did someone say pizza??

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So the weekend seemed to disappear in the blink of an eye and my gluten free challenge is over! Now I have to be honest and say that following a totally GF diet became a whole lot harder over the weekend, as my meals prepared and eaten at home became less frequent and spur of the moment decisions came into play! Weekends for me are a time for rest and relaxation and catching up with friends, making planning ahead and being pre-prepared for meal times MUCH more difficult!

On Saturday after my nutrition seminar I made a made a mad dash for my local farmers markets in west end to scavange for some super cheap fruit and veggies for the week to come! As it was getting late in the day most stalls were packing up or trying to sell off their left over produce at ridiculously cheap prices but as I was walking out I stumbled across a wonderful spanish food stall where people were STILL lining up to get their hands on whatever tastey morsels were left! Being the inquisitive type, I joined the queue just to see what all the fuss was about! And in managing to score some of the last few items left I instantly understood why there were still so many people milling around! In keeping with my GF challenge I chose a spanish rice salad that was wonderfully simple yet ridiculously good! Made from spanish rice, loads of parsely, lemon, mustard and perhaps some paprika or something of the sort it made the perfect lunch after a busy Saturday morning!

Dinner that night was very spur of the moment, as after going to the footy at Suncorp, we all headed for the nearest cosy bar for a glass of red and a few tastey nibbles! Starting with some baby figs wrapped in proscuitto followed by a big share plate of slow cooked lamb shoulder, I could have died and gone straight to heaven then and there! pizza1

On my last day of my challenge, which just so happened to be Sunday..the day of “rest and relaxation” Mark and I decided to go all out and try making a traditionally very gluten laiden meal… yep you guessed it..PIZZA! Though we would normally make the dough using normal baking flour, I have included a very simple GF dough recipe that proved to be alllmost just as tastey! I discovered this fantastic method of making pizza in watching my food idol..Jamie Oliver in one of his 30minute meals episodes last year and Mark and I have been making them this way ever since!

What you need… (makes 2 pizzas)

For the dough…

2.5 cups gluten free pizza and pastry flour

7g sachet dried yeast

pinch salt

1 cup water

good drizzle of olive oil

Toppings:

sm tub of salt reduced tomato paste

2 cloves garlic crushed

100g GF proscuitto

150g pumpkin (cut into thin slices)

basil pesto

6 button mushrooms

1/2 tub cherry tomatoes

goats cheese

mozzarella cheese

fresh basil leaves

handful pinenuts

What to do…..

For the dough, add all your ingredients to a mix master and whizz for a minute or 2 until the mixture as formed a firm ball. If the ball of dough is springy to the touch set aside until ready to roll out. For the toppings, add your garlic to the tomato paste and mix to combine. Then grab your pumpkin and steam in the microwave for 1 minute. Cut your cherry toms in half and your mushies into thin slices. Turn your oven on to moderate 180degrees fan forced.

When you’re ready to roll out the dough, sprinkle the table top with a layer of GF flour and begin to roll the dough out until you have a nice THIN base. Then grab your rolled out dough and place it in a large fry pan. Smother your pizza base with a layer of tomato paste and place the fry pan over a medium heat. Leave the base there, checking that the bottom isn’t burning for about 3- 4 minutes or so, or until the base is slightly browned the edges are starting to go a little crispy. Once it is cooked pull the pan off the heat and begin adding all your toppings…how you want to do this is ENTIRELY up to you! Once you’ve created your masterpiece, place the pan into the oven and leave it to cook for about 4 mins, or until the cheese has melted and browned slightly and the pizza dough looks cooked through. pizza2

And your done! A slightly healthier take on everyone’s favourite Sunday guilty pleasure! yummm!

 

Gluten Free Pasta with chicken, goats cheese and homemade pesto

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mungbean pasta

Days 4 & 5 of my Gluten Free Challenge

Sorry to have left you hanging ladies and gents! I have been super busy over the past few days so the blog has been a bit neglected! So, to fill you in on my last few days I will start by saying that  although following a gluten free diet is much much much easier than it probably once was, it still requires a great deal of planning and thinking ahead of time!

For breaky I have generally been sticking to my usual bowl of frozen mixed berries with natural (GF) yoghurt with a sprinkling of nuts and seeds…oh and my daily cappaccino of course!

Lunch on the other hand, I have found tends to be the tricky one, especially if you are out and about during the day. Lucky for me I am a bit of a salad lover, so provided that I think about what dressings they come with and avoid any with pasta or croutons etc my decisions on what to have for lunch are usually pretty easy! For those that don’t really like salads though, the options aren’t overly inviting! No pasta salads..no sandwiches or rolls, no burgers, no chips or other deep dried foods, no pies or sausage rolls, or couscous or pizzas! Or is there?

Thanks to this new challenge I have started taking much more notice of what options there are out there for are gluten intolerant friends and I have to say I am delighted at just how many places I have come across that offer a range of GF options! So if you are a coeliac and struggle to plan ahead and pack your own lunches, it seems luck is on your side in the GF options department..you just need to keep your eyes peeled!

As for dinners, they seem to be the easiest! On Thursday I joined some friends for a round of Trivia at the New Farm Bowls Club (which was so much fun by the way!) and had no problems finding something tastey to eat that was GF! Though there were a few salads on the menu that probably would have been fine, how could I go past the crispy skin salmon with chat potatoes and wilted spinach?! Yum!

Last night I thought it was about time I stepped outside my comfort zone slightly and try using some GF ingredients that are relatively foreign to me! So after an interesting trip to the local health food shop I came home with a packet of “mungbean pasta”which was actually really good!! My my aren’t they getting creative?! and there was also a “blackbean” pasta there that I shall definitely be investing in next time I am having a pasta craving! The mungbean pasta tasted a little bit like your normal spinach flavoured pasta and when mixed with some homemade pesto, chicken, goats cheese and roasted toms, pumpkin and pinenuts I had myself one seriously tastey meal!

Intrigued? Recipe as follows!

What you need (for 2 people)…

1 chicken breast (poached or pan fried)

100g pumpkin

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes

1/4 sm packet pinenuts (toasted)

big bunch of parsley or basil

1 large clove garlic

1 lemon

olive oil

1/2 packet of Mungbean pasta (or you can use whatever variety of GF pasta you like!)

soft goats cheese

What to do…..

Firstly put your water on to boil and turn the oven on to moderate (180degrees) fan forced. Cut your pumpkin into small cubes and cut your cherry toms in half. Lay both the pumpkin and cherry toms on a baking tray and sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and leave them for 15-20mins or until cooked and slightly crispy around the edges. mungbean pasta3

For the pesto add your garlic, parsely/basil/large handful of pinenuts (or cashews), a good splash of olive oil, juice of half a lemon (or whole lemon if only small) to a mini mix master/blender and whiz until it forms a nice runny paste. Add a little more olive oil or lemon juice if you need and season with salt and pepper (easy on the salt).

Your pasta will take about 8mins to cook so when you are almost ready to put it all together place your pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente! Drain your pasta and rinse through with warm water. Then the only thing left to do is mix everything together! So shred your chicken and add it to your cooked pasta along with your homemade pesto, tomatoes, pumpkin, a handful of toasted pine nuts and a sprinkling of soft goats cheese and you’re done! Tastey, nutritious AND gluten free!! winner all round!

Until tomorrow!

A

Day 2: Baked Chicken Breast with lentil tabbouleh (GF)

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GF chicken and tabbouleh

So day 2 of my Gluten Free Challenge and so far I haven’t really had any dramas in finding enough to eat without eating any gluten containing  foods!

To curb my sudden craving for greek, tonight I whipped up a simple lentil tabbouleh and marinated a chicken breast before baking it in the oven..and it actually turned out way better than I was expecting considering the little amount of effort that went into making it!

 

If you want to try out this recipe for yourself (which made enough for two people) you will need…

1 large chicken breast (or 2 smaller ones)

large handful of parsely

sm handful of mint

1 lemon

2 roma tomatoes

1/2 lebanese cucumber

1/2 – 3/4 tin of lentils (can use dried if you wish but I am all about saving time!)

1/2 red onion

3-4 lg button mushrooms

2 florets of broccoli (steamed)

2 cloves garlic (crushed)

1 tbs capers

Fat free Natural Yoghurt

What to do…

Grab a bowl and mix most of the garlic up with the rind of 1 lemon, handful of chopped parsley, splash of olive oil, paprika and salt and pepper. Add the chicken and rub marinade into the meat. If you have time, do this ahead of time and then cover and leave in the fridge to marinate until ready to cook.

To cook the chicken place in a lined baking tray and cook in a moderate oven for approximately 20-25mins (will depend on size of pieces of chicken).

To make the salad, cut your mushrooms into quarters and saute them with the left over garlic and a splash of olive oil in a hot pan. Steam your broccoli for 1-2 mins and then cut up into mini florets. Then dice your tomatoes, cucumber and red onion and add to a salad bowl along with the washed and drained lentils. Add a good bunch of chopped parsley and the mint, along with the capers, broccoli and the mushrooms. To dress the salad squeeze over the juice of the lemon, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad until all ingredients are well combined.

Serve with a dollop of minted yoghurt and you’ve got yourself one seriously tastey, super healthy, gluten free dinner in less than 30mins!

A