Tag Archives: low fat

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!

AIMG_5727

Red Rice and Quinoa Salad

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quinoa + red rice saladWith a delicious whole baked coral trout on the menu last night I decided that this salad would make the perfect accompaniment..and being the food fanatic that I am decided to make an extra big salad so we could all eat leftovers the next day…turns out the salad was just a little too moreish as there wasn’t a grain left in the bowl by the time we left the table!

Loaded with fibre, heart healthy fats and essential nutrients this is not only the perfect accompaniment for just about any type of fish, meat or chicken dish, but it would also be a perfectly balanced meal just its own!

This dish serves 4 people.

What you need….

– 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed

– 1/2 cup red rice (or can use a mixture of red & brown rice like I did for a little extra texture contrast!)

– 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

– 1 small lebanese cucumber, sliced into quarters

– 1 red onion, thinly sliced

– 1 clove garlic, crushedfish and salad

– rind and juice of 1 orange

– juice of 1 lemon

– 2 tbsp preserved lemon, finely sliced

– 1/3 cup currants

– 1/3 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted

– 1 tbsp pepitas (optional extra)

– 1/2 punnet rocquette or spinach leaves

– 1/2 cup mint leaves

– olive oil

-salt and pepper

What to do….

Firstly, cook your rice in one saucepan and the quinoa in a seperate saucepan as per packet instructions. Rinse, drain and set aside to cool. This can even be done ahead of time, just make sure you bring the rice and quinoa back to room temperature before assembling the salad.

Meanwhile, heat a small non-stick frypan and add a dash of oil to the pan before adding the red onion and sauteing til soft and slightly translucent. Set aside to cool.

Next add the juice of an orange, 1.5 tsp of orange rind, the juice of one lemon, about 2 tbsp olive oil and the crushed garlic to a large bowl, season with salt and pepper and mix to combine. Then throw in the rice, quinoa, rocquette leaves, cucumber, tomatoes, mint leaves, currants, preserved lemons and toss to combine.

Finally, sprinkle over your pepitas and toasted almonds just prior to serving and there you have super light summer salad that will be sure to please even the toughest crowd! Oh and did i mention its gluten free for all those with gluten sensitive tummies!

Here is sneak peak at the delicious whole baked coral trout that was served up last night with the salad! Yum yum yummm!

 

fresh fishbbq'd trout

Happy Sunday Everyone!

A

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

Blackened Cajun Salmon with Mango Avocado Salsa

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salmon and salsa With Christmas (and the peak of summer) just around the corner this dish is sure to be a crowd pleaser, especially on these hot balmy summer nights! Being one of my all-time favourite food combinations – mango avocado and some lovely fresh seafood this dish has quickly worked its way up the ranks of my favourite dinner time creations! Packed with loads of essential vitamins and minerals and heart healthy fats you will be doing your whole body a favour..not just your taste buds! Though it may sound very exotic, this dish is super quick and easy to prepare. So if you’re keen to give this one a whirl please read on…

What you need…

  • 4 x salmon fillets
  • Cajun seasoning
  • 1x sweet potato, thinly sliced
  • smoked paprika
  • Steamed green veggies to serve (optional)

For the salsa:

  • 1 ripe mango, cut into cubes
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • 1 long red chilli, finely diced
  • 2-3 kaffir lime leaves, very finely diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 Lebanese cucumber, diced
  • ½ red onion, finely diced
  • Juice of a fresh lime
  • handful of fresh mint leaves, torn

What to do…

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Then rub the Cajun seasoning mix into the salmon fillets and then set aside until ready to cook.

Slice up the sweet potato into thin slices and throw them onto a lined baking tray. Spray over some olive oil and sprinkle with smoked paprika and salt and pepper. Place in the oven and leave for 20-25mins or until soft to touch and slightly crispy and browned across the top.

Meanwhile add all of the chopped salsa ingredients to a serving bowl and then tare up the mint leaves before mixing them through. Squeeze over the fresh lime juice and a light drizzle of olive oil.

For the salmon, preheat a non-stick fry pan  and then add the salmon skin side down. Cook for about 3-4 mins and skin is nice and crispy before flipping and lthe fillets and cooking for a further 2-3 mins or until cooked to your liking. (Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fillets.

Grab the sweet potato from the oven and serve up with the salmon and sexy, fresh salsa!
Enjoy!

A

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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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