Tag Archives: healthy recipes

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 Chicken and Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Chilli Salsa

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finalWell if there is one thing for sure…summer is definitely on its way! With temperatures up in the high 30’s yesterday I could think of nothing worse than slaving away in a hot, sweaty kitchen for hours to whip something up for my parents who just happened to be passing through town! As it turns out, this little recipe creation turned out to be the perfect solution to my dilemma!

Fast, fresh and super healthy, these Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes and require minimal cooking time, keeping the heat out of the kitchen and essentially making them the perfect choice for these balmy (almost) summer nights! Not only are they ridiculously easy to make, but they are also gluten free, packed full of high quality lean protein and loads of veggies to further boost their nutrient profile and fibre content.

Thai Chicken and Quinoa Cakes with Sweet Chilli Salsa

(Serves 4 people)

What you need..

– 500g chicken breast, roughly chopped

– 1 large carrot, grated

– 1 large zucchini, gratedIMG_5726

– 1 egg, whisked

– large handful coriander, chopped

– 4 kaffir lime leaves, finely chopped

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1 tsp ginger, grated

– 1.5 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

– 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked and drained

– extra chilli flakes or fresh chilli (if desired)

– sesame seeds for rolling

For the salsa:

– 2 roma tomatoes, deseeded, dicedIMG_5728 2

– 1/2 lebanese cucumber, diced

– 1/2 red onion, diced

– 1 tbsp sweet chill sauce

– handful coriander, chopped

– juice of 1 lime

– 2 tsp fish sauce

What to do…

Throw all the ingredients for the chicken and quinoa cakes, other than the quinoa and sesame seeds into a food processor and blend until well combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir through the cooked quinoa. Place in the fridge until ready to roll and cook.

For the salsa, chop the tomatoes into quarters and discard the soft centre parts. Dice the tomatoes and add to a small serving bowl along with the other salsa ingredients. Stir to combine.

When ready to cook, place a large non-stick fry pan on medium heat and add a drop of olive or peanut oil. While the pan is heating up roll the chicken mixture into pattie shapes and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Add a batch of the chicken and quinoa cakes to the hot pan and squish them down with a spatula so that they cook quickly and evenly. Once cooked, remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Team these bad boys with a light summer salad and the zesty salsa and you have yourself one ridiculously tasty, light summer meal in minutes!

Enjoy!

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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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Zucchini Noodles with Healthy Bolognaise

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IMG_4663MMMmmm MMMMMmmm a big bowl of steaming spag bol on these chilly winter nights? Yes please!!! Traditionally not always considered the healthiest of evening meals, my healthy spag bol is low in fat, “carb friendly” and packed full of veges making it sure to please even the most health conscious of guests! Swapping the traditional wheat based spaghetti for some green goodness this veggie based “pasta” dish is gluten free and looooaaaded with fibre and essential nutrients to help keep us looking and feeling our best from winter’s beginning til end! Give it a whirl..I promise it wont disappoint!

Zucchini Noodles with Healthy Bolognaise

(Serves 4 people)

 

–       4x zucchinis

–       1 large red chilli, seeds removed, finely diced

–       2 cloves garlic, crushed

–       1 brown onion, diced

–       400g lean beef or pork mince

–       2 tbsp salt reduced tomato paste

–       1 can diced tomatoes

–       1 large carrot, grated

–       ¾ cup brown lentils

–       ½ capsicum, diced

–       1 cup mushrooms, chopped

–       ½ cup torn basil leaves

 

Firstly, to prepare your zucchini noodles use either a peeler, julienne peeler or mandolin. 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 approach 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, set the noodles aside until ready to serve. Note: You do not need to cook the noodles, as the hot bolognaise sauce should warm them up nicely!

Place a large heavy based saucepan over high heat on the stove and add a dash of oil before browning the mince. Remove mince from the saucepan before returning pan to the heat.

Next sauté the onion until soft before adding the crushed garlic and the chilli. Once fragrant, add the mince back in and cook over medium heat for 1-2mins.

Then add the mushrooms, carrot and capsicum, followed by the tomato paste. Stir to combine and then add the tin of crushed tomatoes. Throw in the lentils and allow to simmer on low heat for as long as you desire. Just before you are ready to serve, season well with salt and pepper and add in the basil leaves.

Serve on a bed of fresh zucchini noodles and garnish with some fresh parsley and parmesan cheese if desired.

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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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!