Tag Archives: fresh

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!

dinner

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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

xx

Mussels in Spicy Tomato Broth

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musselsAs a serious seafood lover it probably isn’t hard to believe that I seriously love mussels..especially the big juicey kinds. Combine these with a tasty spicy tomato broth and some crusty ciabatta and I am in seventh heaven! Now that the nights are getting cooler, there is really nothing better than sitting down to a big steaming pot of fresh mussels in a hearty tomato broth and the one I dished up on Thursday night certainly did not disappoint!

Not only is this delicious but it is also very low in fat and mussels are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, selenium (an antioxidant compound that fights free radicals in the blood stream) and iodine (which plays an essential role in the production of our thyroid hormones that essentially help control our metabolism.) Mussels are also good sources of protein, iron and vitamin B12 (a vitamin found predominantly in animal food sources that plays a role in the metabolism of every cell in our bodies and is essential for normal brain and nerve functioning.)

Ok so now that I have managed to convince you all that mussels will probably be featuring on your dinner tables tonight I suppose I should probably give you the recipe!

What you need…

1 kg punnet of fresh mussels

2 tins of crushed tomatoes

1 cup white wine

2 brown onions

2 button mushrooms

3 cloves garlic

handful of pitted kalamata olives

bunch of parsley

1 fresh red chilli or chilli flakes

lemon

2 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

pinch of saffron

loaf of ciabatta/sourdough

What to do…

Turn on your oven to moderate heat (180degrees).

Finely dice the onion and chilli and slice up the garlic as finely as you can. Add the onion to a large saucepan/pot over medium heat with a good splash of olive oil. Saute until soft and cooked through then add your chilli, garlic and the other spices and cook for a further 1-2mins. Grate half the lemon and add the rind to the pot along with the mushrooms, tinned tomatoes, chopped olives and white wine, stir through and then allow to simmer on low heat for about 5-10minutes.

Place your bread on a tray and chuck it in the oven to crisp up for 5 or so minutes.

Add your mussels and the juice of half the lemon then cover with a lid for about 5mins or until all of the mussels have opened up nice and wide. (if any are still firmly shut discard them!)

Have a taste of your broth and if you think it could do with some more spice sprinkle over some chilli flakes and some chopped parsely.

Grab your bread out of the oven and you’re good to go!

Enjoy!

A

My version of Jamie’s 15 minute Greek Feast!

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jamies greek feast 3 Another 15 minute meal done and dusted and believe it or not but I somehow managed to whip up this wickedly delicious (yet relatively healthy) Greek feast in less than 15minutes! 14mins and 39seconds to be exact!! Although Jamie uses lamb mince in his recipe to make Greek lamb koftas, I was lucky enough to find some lamb (home grown on my parents farm) hiding in the back of my freezer this morning! So, instead of going out and buying lamb mince, which is often quite high in fat (particularly saturated fat), I just cut off any excess fat and diced up my lamb into bite sized chunks. Then cooked it in much the same way as Jamie’s Koftas! I also left out the pita pockets as there seemed to be plenty of food to go round without them but they are definitely a nice addition when feeding a crew and are fun alternative for scooping up food than the boring old knife and fork!

What you need… (for 2 people)

1 lamb backstrap (or a shoulder or leg could also be used if you are feeding a crowd!)

small handful of raw pistachios

honey

1 glove garlic (crushed)

2 tsp garam massala

fresh thyme (or oregano)

1 small cos lettuce

handful of cherry tomatoes

1  tbs of low fat fetta or cottage cheese

1 lemon

1/2 small lebanese cucumber

1/2 small red onion

small handful of kalamata olives

olive oil

1/2 cup cous cous

large handful of mint

handful of parsley

1 chilli

1/2 cup fat free natural yoghurt

What to do….

Turn on your kettle and while the water is boiling add your handful of mint and the chilli to a food processor with a pinch of salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. Remove the blade then throw in half a cup of cous cous and about half a cup of boiling water. Then cover with the lid and set aside.

Next, place a non-stick frying pan over high heat, and while it is heating up, add your lamb to a bowl along with the garam massala, season with salt and pepper and mix well to allow the spice to infuse into the meat. Once the pan is hot, add a dash of olive oil to the pan before throwing in your lamb, turning regularly so it browns nicely all over.

Meanwhile, quickly chop up your lettuce into chunks and throw onto to a serving board along with your cherry tomatoes (halved). Coarsely grate you cucumber and red onion, place in a bowl and then season lightly with salt. Then squeeze out the excess salty fluid before sprinkling over the lettuce, along with the your crumbled fetta/cottage cheese, chopped parsely and olives.

Bash the pistachios with a mortar and pestle and then throw them over your sizzling lamb along with a drizzle of honey, your chopped thyme or oregano leaves and I also added a sprinkling of sesame seeds for good measure then toss well to combine. Remove your lamb from the heat and assemble next to the salad on your serving board.

Fluff up your cous cous and transfer to a serving bowl. The last thing to do is to pour your yoghurt into a serving dish and squeeze over some lemon juice, mix through and you’re good to go!

Good Luck!

A

jamies greek feast2

Sticky Kickin’ Chicken and Crunchy Asian Salad (Jamie Oliver Style!)

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kickin chicken 2

Healthy Fast Food – Sticky Kicking Chicken (Jamie Oliver Style!)

In keeping with my promise to trial some of Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals,  on the menu at my house tonight was a delicious mish mash of some of Jamie’s healthy “fast food” concoctions. Rather than going out and buying a heap of ingredients to make one of his dishes exactly as is written in the book, I had a good scout around my fridge and pantry to see what I had on hand and came up with my own meal combination of Jamie’s famous Sticky Kickin’ Chicken, Crunchy Asian Salad and his Szechuan Eggy rice! And believe it or not, being spontaneous in the kitchen can definitely pay off, as it all seemed to work perfectly together!

What you need…. (for 2 people)

The chicken:

3 x chicken thigh fillets (trimmed of excess fat)

1 tbs Chinese five spice

1.5 tbs sweet chilli sauce

1 tbs sesame seeds

sesame oil

light soy sauce or tamari (GF)

1 clove garlic (optional)

Crunchy Salad:

1 carrot

1/2 small lebanese cucumber

handful of snow peas (or sugar snap peas)

1 juicy lime

handful of coriander

The Rice:

2 x 250g packets of cooked brown rice (or if you have the time cook your own brown rice to save yourself some $$$)

2 eggs

2 tbs sweet chilli sauce

light soy sauce/tamari (GF)

1 large juicy lemon

1/2 cup frozen/fresh peas

(NOTE: we had a HEAP of rice left over so maybe try halving this rice recipe…unless you are a fan of left overs the next day like myself!).

What to do….

Trim your chicken of excess fat and place on a large piece of baking paper. Sprinkle over the Chinese 5 spice and season with salt and pepper before rubbing the spice into the meat. Fold over the baking paper then bash and flatten the chicken to about 1.5cm thick with a rolling pin or other large blunt kitchen utensil. Throw the chicken into a hot frying pan with a good dash of rice bran or canola oil. Turning after 3-4 mins, until nicely charred and cooked through.

Meanwhile, grab your rice and pour it into another frying pan over medium heat and then sprinkle over your schezuan pepper and the frozen or fresh peas. Squeeze over your lemon juice, and then leave to heat through, tossing it regularly to stop it from sticking to the pan.

Then, for your chicken marinade, mix together your sweet chilli sauce, a small dash of soy sauce and a clove of crushed garlic in a small bowl before pouring it over your chicken and leave it to sizzle and caramelise away!

While the rice is heating up and your chicken is sizzling nicely, quickly slice up your salad veggies (either by hand or in a food processor) and throw in your coriander before dressing the salad with a drizzle of soy sauce and a good squeeze of lime juice. Assemble your salad on one side of a large serving board or platter.

Now back to the rice… push all the rice to one side, pour your sweet chilli sauce over the space on the hot pan and let it bubble away. Crack your eggs into the pan then slowly circulate a fork through the egg and sweet chilli mixture, gradually pulling in the rice until mixed through nicely.

Grab your sizzling kickin’ chicken off the stove and onto a cutting board to slice it up, then assemble on the serving board with the salad. Finally throw your rice into a serving bowl and you’re ready to go!

AND guess how long it took me to whip this little cracker of a dish up?….. 16 minutes!! not bad for my first “healthy fast food” challenge!! So, next time you think it’s too much effort to cook dinner and are about to reach for the boring old takeout menu… think about what you’re missing out on! Go on..give this dish a crack and see how long it takes..I dare you!

A

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Vegetarian San Choy Bow

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TVP SCB 3

Now I’m sure at some stage many of you will have heard the term “Meat Free Mondays” before..but what the hell is it and why on earth would anyone want to eat vegetarian style once a week? Well firstly, it is highly recommended that everyone should try to have at least one meat free night a week..why? Because it’s an easy way to cut down on the “bad” saturated fats in our diet, as these fats are predominantly found in animal based products like meat!

It’s also good for the environment, as a vegetarian diet is very sustainable and cutting down on your meat consumption will help cut down on green house gases! double tick! The trick with vegetable based dishes is to make sure you include some protein based foods like legumes, nuts or in this case, textured vegetable protein (TVP) which is dehydrated soya protein that can be used like normal mince!

In keeping with the philosophy of “Meat Free Mondays” tonight I made a vegetarian friendly version of my san choy bow using some TVP instead of chicken/pork mince. And you know what..we honestly hardly noticed the difference! The TVP works really well with this dish, as it is very absorbent and takes on all the other strong flavours of the dish.

Low fat, high in protein, vegetarian friendly and packed full of veggies that provide loads of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, this dish is the perfect “Meat Free Monday” meal….and better still, the rest of the family won’t be any the wiser that there is not a skerric of meat on their plates!

What you need…(enough for 4 people)

1 cup TVP (dry)

1 cup chicken stock

1 large brown onion (diced)

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp grated ginger

1 large red chilli (chopped finely)

2 es  TVP SCB 2 hallots (chopped)

4 – 5 mushies (chopped)

1 large carrot (diced)

1 small tin water chestnuts

1/4 yellow capsicum (diced)

1/2 red capsicum (diced)

1/2 zucchini (diced)

handful of bean sprouts

handful of coriander (chopped)

1 tbs oyster sauce

tsp sesame oil

2 tsp salt reduced soy sauce or tamari

good sprinkle of sesame seeds

1/2 lime

1 small cos lettuce

What to do…

Pour 1 cup of stock into a sauce pan and bring to the boil, (or you can just add 1 stock cube to 1cup of boiling water). Place your TVP in a large bowl and pour the stock over it and leave to absorb while you cut up your veggies!

Once you’ve chopped up all your veggies, heat some rice bran, peanut or canola oil in a large deep frypan or wok and then add your onion. Saute for a couple of minutes on medium heat, then add your garlic, eshallots, chilli and ginger, cooking for 1-2 mins.

Then add your mushies and saute for a couple of minutes before adding your sesame seeds, carrot, zucchini and capsicum. After a minute or so, add your TVP mince and stir through the veggies.

Now for the sauces! Add your oyster sauce, soy sauce and sesame oil and stir through until well combined. Finally add your bean sprouts and coriander and stir through. Before serving squeeze some fresh lime juice over the mince to give it a bit of zing! Serve with a plate of cos lettuce leaves and it’s time to dig in!

Meat free Mondays sorted! TVP SCB 5

Enjoy!

A

Roast Veggie Salad

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veggie salad 3Due to the cooler weather up the coast today I was hankering for something a little heartier and more satisfying to the old summer green salad, so upon investigating what was lurking in the depths of the fridge this is what I came up with… a warm roast veggie salad (using what ever veggies I could find!) to go with some delicious eye fillet steak.. oh and a little side salad just for some greenery!

Though I made this veggie salad to go with the steak you could easily just double the quantity and serve it up on it’s own! Actually I can verify that this salad makes a damn fine meal on its own, as this salad is actually my take on a beautiful salad my Auntie made for us all for dinner on good Friday last weekend! Full of hearty, nutritious vegetables this salad is sure to please even your biggest meat loving friends!

What you need…

1/2 capsicum

1 small zuchhini

3 large field mushrooms

1 red onion

1 -2 baby eggplants

1-2 truss tomatoes

1/4 cup pinenuts

olive oil

splash of balsamic vinegar

dried oregano

50g low fat fetta (could also use low fat cottage cheese or goats cheese)

What to do…

Turn your oven onto moderate heat (180 degrees fan forced). Cut your eggplants, zuchhini, capsicum, sweet potato, mushies, red onion and tomatoes into large chunks or quarters and place in a large baking dish. Crumble the feta over the veggies and then sprinkle over the pine nuts and dried oregano. Drizzle over some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss the salad around to mix through all the ingredients. Please in a moderate oven and cook for 20 minutes or so, or until all the veggies are cooked through!

Whether you choose to serve this dish with meat or not is entirely up to you but I can guarantee it will taste just as delicious either way!

A

veggie salad