Tag Archives: delicious food

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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Thai Lime and Coconut Salmon Parcels with Lemongrass Infused Rice

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IMG_4541Planning a “dinner for two” but stuck for ideas and can’t bare the thought of spending the whole evening slaving away in the kitchen? Why not try this amazing little dinner and dessert combo that is packed full of flavour, easy on the eye and sure to please even the toughest of critics. Despite looking like something you would see served up at a fine dining restaurant, both of these recipes are very simple and easy to prepare, leaving you plenty of time to sit back, relax and enjoy yourself.

Thai Lime and Coconut Salmon Parcels with Lemongrass Infused Rice

 What you need…

  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 fresh lime, thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, finely diced
  • small bunch coriander, choppedIMG_4519
  • 1 tsp green curry paste
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, bruised
  • ½ Chinese wombok, finely sliced
  • 1 cup Jasmine rice, rinsed and drained
  • ½ tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • Steamed greens to serve

What to do…

Pre-heat fan forced oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

Next place 2 cups of water in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add a pinch of salt, the lemongrass and the rice. Turn the heat down to a simmer, cover with a tight lid and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed.

Meanwhile, spread two large pieces of alfoil down on a clean working surface and then place a piece of baking paper over the top. Divide the wombok amongst the sheets of paper and then top each with a salmon fillet. Next start layering the salmon fillets with the fresh lime slices followed by the shallots, garlic, coriander, chilli and kaffir lime leaves.

Add the coconut milk, fish sauce and curry paste to a bowl and stir well to combine. Fold up the sides of each of the salmon parcels and then pour the coconut mixture over the fillets. Wrap each parcel up like a big present.

Place in the oven and cook for approximately 15-20minutes depending on the thickness of your salmon fillets. To test, open one of the packets, insert a fork into the centre of the fillet and gently pull back. If the inside flesh is opaque the fish is cooked. If not, return to the oven for another 5-10 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and serve with some steamed greens and the lemongrass infused rice sprinkled with the toasted sesame seeds.

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Choc Coconut Dipped Strawberries with Pistachio Crumb

What you need…

  • 1 punnet fresh strawberries, rinsed and drained IMG_4557
  • 200g dark cooking chocolate
  • 200ml coconut milk or cream
  • 2 tbsp pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp desiccated coconut
  • 1 tbsp almond meal

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan forced. To make the crumb, mix the pistachios, almond meal and coconut together and spread over a baking tray lined with baking paper. Spray lightly with oil and place in the oven for about 5-7 minutes or until the edges of the mixture just start to brown slightly. Remove the oven and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, use a double boiler or microwave to melt the chocolate and coconut cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.

Transfer the chocolate to a bowl and assemble on a platter with the beautiful fresh strawberries and the pistachio crumb.

Enjoy!

A

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Christmas Highlights Part 2: Prawn, Mango & Avocado Salad with Raspberry Sauce

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Nothing conjures fond memories of big family Christmas banquets gone past like the traditional Aussie inspired Prawn, Mango and Avocado Salad! Thanks to the 40 PLUS degree heat us Queenslanders seem to be blessed with at Christmas each year, the thought of the old traditional roast meat and veggies with all the trimmings really doesn’t seem to fit! Hence why this delicious, nutritious and light summer salad makes an appearance on our Christmas table year after year!

Just to spice things up a bit and add a bit of Christmas colour to this Aussie icon dish my creative minded sister suggested a raspberry reduction sauce to replace the traditional creamy based one…creating a culinary masterpiece both aesthetically and taste wise! Recipe as follows…

What you need… (Salad will serve 6-8 people)

– 2x QLD Bowen Mangoes, sliced

– 1 extra large Avocado, sliced

– 200g mixed leavesphoto

– 200g baby rocket or spinach

– 1/2 cup lightly toasted macadamias

– 2kg cooked Mooloolaba Prawns

For the Raspberry Reduction sauce:

– 1 cup frozen raspberries

– 1/4 cup water

– 1 tsp caster sugar

– balsamic vinegar

What to do…

For the sauce, place the raspberries, sugar and water into a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Allow to simmer for 5-10mins, adding a touch more water if necessary. Remove from the heat and allow to cool before straining into a small jug. Add a dash to balsamic vinegar and taste. Add more vinegar if necessary. Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Peel the prawns and place in an ice slurry until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, grab a big serving platter and toss the lettuce and rocket leaves across the base. Slice up the mango and avocado into long strips and arrange over the platter. Drain the prawns and add to the salad. Scatter over the toasted macadamias and then pour over the raspberry sauce and you have one seriously delicious fresh summer salad ready for any occasion in less than 30 mins! Yummm!

Enjoy!

A

Chilli Chicken, Pumpkin and Cashew Stir-fry

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chilli chicken cashewGetting home late from work last night I needed to come up with something fast, nutritious and tasty based on what i had lurking in my fridge and this is what I came up with! And I’m not going to lie..it certainly did pack a nutritional punch without skimping on flavour!

What you need… (for 2 people)

350g chicken breast, sliced

2 tsp chilli flakes (or 2 dried chillis)

1 tsp grated ginger

3 cloves garlic, finely diced

1/2 large brown onion, finely sliced

handful of snow peas

large handful green beans, halved,

1/2 small capsicum, sliced

1 cup broccoli florets

1/4 small pumpkin, cut into thin strips

rice bran or peanut oil

For the sauce:

1 tbsp light soy sauce (or tamari for GF version)

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tsp fish sauce

1 tbsp kecap manis

juice of half a lime

 

What to do…

Add all the sauce ingredients to a small mixing bowl and mix well to combine. Set aside.

Secondly throw a handful of cashews into a small non-stick fry pan and lightly toast. Remove from the heat and set aside.

For the pumpkin, steam it for 3-4 mins in the microwave then allow to drain.

Meanwhile, heat a small amount of oil in a wok and add the sliced chicken. Once cooked through, remove from the wok and set aside.

Add a smidge more oil to the wok and then saute the onion for 2-3 mins or until soft. Add the ginger, garlic and chilli flakes and cook for another 1-2 mins.

Add the mushrooms and capsicum and cook for 2 mins before adding the remaining veggies and then the chicken back in.Pour the sauce over the top, add the chopped corriander and then mix well to combine. Remove from the heat once the veggies are cooked to your liking.

 

Nutritional Breakdown:

Pros:

Low carb, Low fat/calories, high in good quality protein and packed full of nutrients!….

The chicken breast provides a perfect lean source of protein with about 20g of high quality protein per 100g. The cashews on the other hand are not only high in magnesium which is essential for nerve and muscle conduction but they are also made up of 75% oleic acid, the same heart healthy fat found in olive oil.

Meanwhile the mixture of veggies all add their own unique nutritional qualities to the dish. All veggies contain different types of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so the more colour on your plate, the better better off you will be from a nutritional perspective! Studies also show that the more variety in colour on your plate the higher your satisfaction levels will be with your meal! Interesting huh?

Firstly, broccoli is hard to beat when it comes to its nutritional qualities, as it is not only a great source of iron, magnesium and folate but like all green cruciferous veggies broccoli contains high levels of “isothiocyanates” which are compounds that help to generate mitachondria (the part of our cells responsible for converting glucose to energy (ATP)…Making them a serious powerhouse when it comes to energy production!

Capsicum is a great source of vitamin C and beta-carotene whilst the snow peas are super low in calories, high in fibre and contain important vitamins and minerals like vitamin C,  B Complex vitamins and folate.

Despite its starchy texture and sweet taste, pumpkin is actually quite low in carbohydrates so is a great alternative to high carb veggies like sweet potato and corn! It is also contains impressive amounts of essential vitamins and minerals like beta carotene, vitamins A, E and K and potassium and phosphorus!

So moral of the story? This dish just about covers all bases from a nutritional perspective!

Cons:

Welllll correct me if I’m wrong but I cant really think of any! 😉

Enjoy!

A

Thai Chicken Rissoles with Clean Crunchy Asian Slaw & Greens

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rissoles and slawStaying true to my love of Asian inspired cuisine and fresh summer salads, tonight I whipped up a dinner that really ticked all the boxes for me! Fresh, healthy, packed full of flavour and the perfect combination of textures, this is one I will definitely be making again soon!

The chicken rissoles are super healthy as they were made using chicken breast mince which is really lean and then i packed them full of freshly grated veggies, ginger, garlic and herbs, all of which helped to keep the rissoles from becoming dry and bland. The Clean Asisan Slaw on the other hand, only took about 5mins to put together but was seriously delicious and complemented the rissoles perfectly by adding another whole dimension of textures and flavours to the dish. And the mixed steam greens? Well what’s not to love about them!? Packed full of vitmains and minerals and containing virtually almost no calories, a side of steamed greens is the perfect accompaniment to any dish! Green cruciferous vegetables like broccoli in particular are energy powerhouses, as they contain isothiocyanates, which are naturally occuring compounds that help to generate mitachondria (the part of our cells responsible for converting glucose to energy or ATP. The more mitachondria you have the more efficiently your bodies cells will work, preventing fatigue! Enough said!

Ok so if you are wanting to give this dish a crack, here is what you will need…

For the thai chicken rissoles:

– 500g chicken breast mince (or you could use turkey mince)steamed greens

– 1 red onion, finely diced

– 2 cloves garlic, crushed

– 1.5 tsp grated ginger

– 1 large carrot, grated

– 1 zucchini, grated

– 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (plus extra to serve)

– coriander

– 1 red chilli, finely dicedslaw

1 tbsp sesame seeds

For the salad:

– 1/2 wombok salad, finely sliced

– 1 carrot, grated

– 2 shallots, finely sliced

– 1 cup finely sliced red cabbage

– 1/4 cup slivered almonds, lightly toastedphoto[3]

– juice of 1-2 limes

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 1 tbsp tamari sauce

– 1 tsp palm sugar (or you can just use brown sugar)

For the veggies:

– 2 cups of whatever green veggies you have in your fridge (ie snow peas, broccoli, bok choy, beans etc)
What to do…

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan forced.

In a large bowl add the chicken mince, grated veggies, onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander and sweet chilli and mix well to combine using your hands.

With your hands, roll the mixture into patties and place on a tray. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and then cover and then place in the fridge until you are ready to cook.

For the salad, place the wombok, shallots, cabbage, carrot and a large handful of torn coriander leavess in a salad bowl and mix well to combine. Sprinkle over the almonds and set aside until ready to serve.

For the dressing add the lime juice, tamari, oil and sugar into a small jug or glass and stir to combine. Set aside.

Just before you are ready to cook the rissoles, boil some water and get your green veggies ready to steam. (you can also steam them in the microwave if you are short on time!).

To cook the rissoles, heat a small amount of ricebran oil in a non stick fry pan and add the rissoles to brown them quickly all over before placing them in the oven. This just helps to keep all the juices in and give them a bit of colour.

When ready to serve, pour over the salad dressing and serve up with the rissoles and freshly steamed veggies.

Enjoy!

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Healthy Beef Burgers

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healthy burgersNow lets be honest…everyone (and i mean everyone) loves a good burger..especially for a lazy Sunday night feed! Usually however, one would associate a burger from your local takeaway joint with huge beef patties with melted cheese, onions and all the trimmings, followed by a smidge of regret whilst polishing off the last bite knowing that you probably just ate about a whole days worth of calories in one sitting!…and that’s without the side of chips!

Well for those of you who have been avoiding the burgers lately for such reasons this one is for you!! With burgers being the general consensus amongst my household for dinner last night I decided to see if i could convince the crew that healthy food can be just as tasty and just as satisfying as your favourite takeout burger joint! And I am pleased to say, the healthy homemade burgers I made for a hungry hoard of male housmeates last night definitely weren’t lacking flavour nor was there a scrap of food left on any of their plates…mission accomplished dont you think? Next time youve got a hankering for a greasy takeaway feed, do yourself a favour and give these burgers a crack!

What you need…

(This serves 4-5 people)

For the beef patties:

– 500g extra lean beef mince

– 1 brown onion, diced

– 2 cloves garlic

– 1 carrot, grated

– 1 tbsp BBQ sauce

– 2 tsp fresh or dried thyme

– 1 tsp cumin

– 1 tsp garam massala

For everything else:

– Loads of salad veggies  (eg. grated carrot, slices of cucumber, tomato, tinned beetroot, mixed leaves etc)

1 avocado, sliced

– 1 brown onion, sliced

–  balsamic vinegar

– 4 large field mushrooms

– thin slices of low fat cheddar cheese OR low fat tzatziki

– hot tomato relish

– 4 wholegrain burger buns

 

What to do…

For the burger patties, place all ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix well with your hands. Season with salt and pepper. Roll the mixture tennis ball sized rissoles then set aside until ready to cook.

Place a non-stick fry pan over medium heat and add a tsp of olive oil before throwing in the onions. Sautee for 2-3 mins then add the balsamic vinegar. Sautee for another 2-3 mins or until soft.

Next take the stalk out of the mushies and add them face up to the same pan. Spray lightly with olive oil and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Cook face up for 3 mins, before flipping over, rubbing lightly with olive oil and cooking for a further 3 mins or so. Remove from the heat and set aside with the onions. Cover with foil to keep them warm.

Once everything is prepared, place the non-stick fry pan back on the heat, add 2 tsp of oil and cook the beef patties for about 3 mins each side. (Note: you will need to squish the patties down to help them cook faster. Their cooking time will depend how thick your patties are).

And the final step of assembling I am going to leave up to you, as I think everyone has their own favourite  little burger concoction!

Good luck!

 

 

My take on the traditional Nicoise Salad

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salmon niscoiseHi everyone! Has been awhile but I’m back and man do I have something for you! Now that the weather is warming up again I am happy to say the soups are just about out and the salads are coming back in avengeance! With a hankering for salmon I decided to combine the two and create my own take on the traditional salmon (or more traditionally tuna) Nicoise Salad! Tried and tested on my other half earlier this evening this dish is a winner all round. Packed full of flavour, complementing textures, healthy fats and a tonne of fresh, crunchy salad veggies to up your vitamin and mineral intake there is really nothing not to like about this dish!

As a bit of an experimenter in the kitchen, I decided to mix things up a  bit and swapped the traditional steamed spuds for roasted sweet potato, swapped the boiled eggs for poached and added a sprinkling of lightly toasted almonds for an extra crunch!

Not only did the sweet potato add a tonne of flavour to the dish but from a nutritional perspective, using this lovely starchy vege instead of plain old potatoes helped to lower the overall GI (glycemic index) of the dish ever so slightly! Sweet potato also contains betacarotene which is a precursor for vitamin A (a vitamin essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, skin integrity and eyes). Furthermore, not only did adding the crunchy almonds create a textural party in your mouth but they are also a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats…Great for your general health AND lowering your cholesterol! As are the omega 3 fats found in the salmon… Winning!! The boiled eggs on the other hand were really just there for show, but I have to say, they were delicious, as they just oozed over the salad to create a lovely creamy textured sauce for the dish!

To recreate this dish here is what you will need for 2 people:

For the salad:

x2 Salmon fillets

olive oil

paprika

handful of green beans, halved

small handful of kalamata olives

1/2 bag of mixed leaves

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes

1 small sweet potato, chopped into bite sized chunks

2 tbsp toasted slivered almonds

2 eggs

For the dressing:

1 tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

1 tsp seeded mustard

salt & pepper to taste

1/2 tsp minced garlic

What to do…

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees fan forced.

Place the chopped sweet potato on a lined baking tray, spray with olive oil and season with salt and pepper and a sprinkling of paprika. Cook in a moderate oven for 20-25mins or until soft and slightly browned around the edges.

Begin constructing the salad by adding the mixed leaves, olives and the chopped cherry tomatoes. Then steam the green beans and once cool add them to the salad.

For the dressing, add all of the ingredients to a small bowl and mix well. Set aside until ready to serve.

Meanwhile, boil some water in a saucepan and allow to simmer on low heat until you are ready to poach your eggs.
While your water is simmering away, place a non-stick frypan over moderate heat on the stove and spray with oil. Pat dry your salmon fillet and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place your salmon to the pan skin down and leave for 4-5mins before turning. Leave facedown for a further 2 mins (or until cooked to your liking) before removing from the heat.

Leave the salmon to rest while you quickly poach your eggs which should only take 2-3 mins. (Make sure the water is only simmering when you drop your eggs in otherwise the whites will go everywhere! ) Once cooked to your liking remove the eggs from the water and set aside while you assemble the rest of the salad.

To finish off the salad, gently break the salmon into large chunky flakes or pieces and scatter over the salad along with the roasted sweet potato before dividing the salad amongst your serving bowls.

Finally top each salad bowl with a poached egg, a sprinkling of toasted almonds and a drizzle of the homemade salad dressing!

Delish!

And a point to note, if you wanted to jazz up this salad a little further you could always add in some avocado or a sprinkling of marianted fetta cheese for a little extra indulgence!

Hope you enjoy this one as much as I did!

A

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