Tag Archives: delicious

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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Warm Lamb Salad with Baby Beets, Labneh and Candied Walnuts

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IMG_3If you are looking to whip up some tasty salads this spring but are in need of some foodie inspiration then its time to jump on
the Beet train! Fast becoming one of the most fashionable vegetables of 2014 it’s not hard to see why the humble old beetroot is making a comeback. With a seriously impressive nutrient profile, beets offer a range of health benefits to keep you looking a feeling your best. Available just about all year round these colourful little flavour bombs are the perfect accompaniment to just about any dish. If you want to find out what all the fuss is about, give this recipe a go, it will not disappoint!

Warm Lamb and Veggie Salad with Baby Beets, Labneh and Candied Walnuts

(Serves 2 people)

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh baby beetroots, peeled and trimmed
  • 200g pumpkin, cut into 1cm thick slicesIMG_2
  • 1 small eggplant, cut into 1cm thick slices
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1x red onion, quartered
  • 100g baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 250g lamb loin (backstrap), trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100g marinated labneh or fetta cheese
  • fresh thyme
  • olive oil
  • balsamic vinegar

What to do…

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.IMG_5

Place the lamb in a bowl and rub with olive oil and the crushed garlic. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Top and tail and then peel the beets. Slice them in half and then add to a lined baking dish along with the sliced eggplant, pumpkin, red onion and cherry tomatoes.

Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with some fresh thyme leaves and place in the oven to cook for approximately 45mins or until the veggies are soft and slightly browned.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick fry pan over a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts, maple syrup and a light sprinkling of sea salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized and nuts are toasted, about 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

When almost ready to serve, place a non-stick fry pan over med-high heat and cook the lamb. Approximately 3 minutes each side for medium rare. Once cooked to your liking remove from the heat and set aside to rest for 4-5mins before slicing.

Meanwhile, layer the baby spinach leaves over a large serving platter and then top with the roasted vegetables. Finally add the sliced lamb and sprinkle over the candied walnuts and labneh.

Enjoy!

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Pesto Chicken Zucchini Pasta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes and Pine Nuts

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Trying to cut down on carbohydrates but just can’t seem to give up those delicious big bowls of steaming pasta? Well, now you don’t have to, thanks to this simple culinary creation transforming the humble old zucchini into a nice pile of nutritious noodles!  Gluten free, “paleo-friendly” and packed full of flavour, this meal is a winner all round!

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto Chicken and Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Serves 4 people

What you need:Image1_Ingredients

–        4 medium zucchinis

–        500g chicken breast, fat trimmed

–        250g tub cherry tomatoes

–        1 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

–        2 cloves garlic, finely sliced

–        Extra virgin olive oil

 

For the pesto:

–        2 cups packed fresh basil leaves

–        2 cloves garlic, peeledImage2_pesto

–        ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

–        2 tbsp water

–        1/4 cup pine nuts

–        1/4 walnuts

–        juice of 1 lemon

–        salt and pepper

 

What to do:

To make the pesto, simply place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend until well combined. Check the balance of flavours and add extra seasoning or lemon juice or olive oil as required. Cover and set aside.

NOTE: Although your regular basil pesto is usually just made on pine nuts or cashews, I also added some walnuts into mine to add some extra heart healthy omega 3 fats without compromising on flavour! I also left out the parmesan cheese to cut down on saturated fats and calories, and I can promise you, you wont even notice the difference! 😉

chickenPre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Next take a large baking dish, line with baking paper and fill with the chicken breasts and cherry tomatoes. Sprinkle over the sliced garlic and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and cover with alfoil.

Place in the oven to cook for about 20 minutes. Remove the alfoil and cook for another 5 mins or until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are soft and are starting to blister. Remove the chicken from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into thin slices.

Next place a large saucepan of water on the stove and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, use either a peeler, julienne peeler or mandolin to prepare your zucchini noodles. 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 boiling noodlesapproach 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, pop the noodles into the boiling water to blanch for 1 minute and then drain.

To serve, divide the noodles into pasta bowls and top with the sliced chicken breast, cherry tomatoes and pesto.

Garnish with the toasted pinenuts and some fresh sprigs of basil. You could also add a sprinkling of good quality parmesan cheese for a slightly more authentic Italian experience.

 

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Christmas Highlights: Part 1 – Healthy Pre-Dinner Snacks

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So Christmas is done and dusted for another year, but I have no doubts the memories (and delicious food) shared amongst family and friends are likely to be treasured for a long time to come! Though it all seemed to whizz past in the blink of an eye, I managed to take a few snap shots of some of the tasty delights that my family and I managed to whip up over the Christmas break which I thought I would share with you, as you all prepare for another exciting year ahead!

Though these dishes will always remind me of Christmas in some way, they can really be made to share amongst family and friends at any time of year! Firstly I thought I would share a couple of my favourite simple, pre-dinner nibbles that were created in our kitchen over Christmas. Though one may conjure images of pre-packaged calorie-laden dips, chips and cheeses when the idea of pre-dinner “nibbles” are mentioned, but I like to keep things light, simple, and relatively healthy, as there is really no need to fill up on loads of unhealthy foods before sitting down to eat a big meal!

So, here are a couple of my favourite, healthier options!

1. Christmas Spiced Almonds with Mixed Olives

spiced almondsWhat you need…

  • 250g raw almonds
  • olive oil spray
  • 3 long sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • sea salt flakes

What to do…

Heat a large fry pan over the stove and throw in the almonds. Spray generously with olive oil spray and stir constantly over the heat for 5-10mins.

Sprinkle over the spices and cook for another 1-2 mins. Remove from the heat and add a good sprinkling of Maldon sea salt flakes. Set aside and allow to cool before serving.

Serve with a selection of mixed olives for the perfect pre-dinner snack to serve with a glass of bubbly or cold ale!

“Papa”-ganoush (Eggplant dip)

What you need…papa ganoush

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 3 tablespoons tahini paste
  • ½ – 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt and pepper

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.  Wrap the garlic in aluminum foil and place in the oven to roast for 15-20mins. Once soft, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

Pierce the skins of your eggplant with a fork then place onto a lined baking tray. Roast in the oven until the skin blackens and the flesh is soft and creamy.
Remove from the oven and place the eggplant into a colander to allow excess juices from the eggplant to run out and cool.
Remove the inside flesh from the eggplant and throw into a blender along with the tahini paste, juice and zest from ½ a lemon. Then scrape out the creamy flesh from the roasted garlic cloves and add to the eggplant before seasoning with salt and pepper.

Blend until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl and add a sprinkling of toasted pine nuts for garnish. Drizzle with olive oil and your “papa” ganoush is ready to serve!

Best served with some cut up veggie sticks, home-made pita crisps or some gluten free rice crackers.

Stay tuned, as there is more to come on my favourite Christmas Foodie Highlights!

Happy New Year Everyone!

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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Zarzuela – Amazing Spanish Seafood Soup!

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zarzuelaYep you guessed it… yet another Spanish dish!!!…ole ole ole!! But I promise you this dish will not disappoint! In fact I would go as far as saying that this dish is my new found FAVOURITE dish of all time! But I guess when you combine my two favourite things..good seafood and Spanish flavours (tomatoes, olive oil and saffron) it would have been pretty hard to go wrong! I am telling you though..I could not get over the depth of flavour in this dish! It was devine! And it seemed that no one around the table could hold back from going back for seconds..or maybe even thirds?! If you’ve got the time and are a seafood lover like myself, invite some friends around and whip up a storm in the kitchen with this Spanish masterpiece! Though this recipe is primarily adapted from a recipe off the internet I couldnt help but add in a few of my own ideas as well so here is what I did from memory…
What you need…
For the Picada Sauce:
 Olive oil
2 slices bread
3 cloves garlic
bunch of parsley
1/2 cup blanched almonds
For the soup:
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves garlic crushed
pinch of saffron
1 heaped tsp paprika
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 fresh squid tube, cleaned and cut into triangular pieces
Spanish brandy (or any Brandy will do!)
1.5 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups clam juice or seafood stock
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
300g white fish (we used beautiful fresh snapper but any firm white fish will do)
250g salmon fillet
500g green tiger prawns
1kg fresh clams, scrubbed
(or put together your own combination of seafood…this combination is just what was available/looked the best at the seafood market!)
1 recipe Picada (see recipe below)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Loaf crusty bread
What to do….
For the Picada sauce (make this beforehand):
To prepare your picada sauce, lightly toast your almonds over medium heat and set aside while you use the same pan to pan fry the 2 slices of bread in a good dash of olive oil. Then break up your bread into chunks and add to a food processor along with almonds, garlic and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper before blitzing it into a fine crumb mixture. Then add enough olive oil to make a nice think paste (approx 3 tbsp). Set aside for later! 🙂
For the soup…
In a large heavy based pot, over medium heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute until wilted then add the garlic as well as a good pinch of saffron and the paprika and saute for another minute or two. Season the squid with salt and pepper. Add to the onions and saute for 1 minute.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the brandy and carefully flame. Shake the pan back and forth several times until the flame dies out. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the seafood stock and tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil. Add the balsamic vinegar and sugar and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the clams, prawns and fish fillets to the pot, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until all of the shells have opened and the prawns are fully cooked.  Stir in the picada sauce. Remove from the heat and ladle into serving bowls. Garnish with parsley and serve with crusty bread heated up in the oven.

Not only does this dish taste ridiculously AMAZING it is also a very heart healthy meal with plenty of good fats – omega 3’s from the seafood and monounsaturated fats from the nuts and olive oil and very low in the nasty saturated fats!

So while it is probably not an every day meal..it sure makes a good dinner party dish and will be sure to please the crowds!
Enjoy!
A