Tag Archives: healthy fats

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 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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Roasted Beetroot and Mint Dip

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This dip is seriously delicious if I may say so myself! Had some left over roasted beets that needed using up from a salad the night before so this is what I threw together!! Not only is this dip easy on the eye but it is also packed full of fibre, essential vitamins minerals (like magnesium, zinc, potassium and calcium), good heart healthy fats and powerful antioxidants! Did you know that the vibrant purple colour of beets is due to the high levels of anthocyanins, a powerful type of antioxidant found in most blue and purple fruit and vege. Beets are also believed to help control blood pressure along with a myriad of other health benefits! So, if you’re wanting to give this simple, tasty dip a go here is what you’ll need!

What you need…IMG_3607

– 4 cooked beets, skin removed

– 1 tbsp tahini paste

– 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

– 2/3 cup low fat natural yoghurt

– salt and pepper

 

NOTE: if you dont have time to roast the beets yourself (they usually take about half n hour or so) try picking up a packet of the freshly cooked beets in the fruit and vege section of your local supermarket. There is a great brand that sell just this called Love Beets Australia that I have seen just about everywhere and they are great for those with busy schedules!

What to do…

Throw the cooked beets, yoghurt, mint leaves and tahini paste into a food processor or blender, season lightly with salt and pepper and whiz away until it reaches the consistency you’re after! Check the balance of flavours and add extra seasoning or tahini if required!

And there you have a delicious, nutritious dip in less than 5 minutes!! Yum!

Enjoy!

A

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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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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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