Tag Archives: nutrition

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

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

 

Gluten Free Zucchini Crust Pizza

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IMG_4137Wow this pizza may not look like much but boy was it tasty!!! Though the base tastes nothing like normal pizza dough…I have to say I think it taste a whole lot better!! Packed full of flavour with all the herbs and spices and with a lovely chewy texture this pizza crust is perfect for all those die hard pizza fans out there who are unlucky enough to have a gluten intolerance! Though I am do not have coeliac disease myself, I really enjoy trying and creating gluten free alternatives for some of our usual not so gluten free friendly favourites so that no one has to miss out!

The base was super easy to whip up and then the toppings??…well that is entirely up to you but I will give you an idea of what tasty morsels I sprinkled over my pizza last night to make my pizza so irresistibly tasty! This recipe below makes 2 decent sized pizzas, but I must warn you..dont expect any leftovers as you are likely going to be able eat a whole one on your own they are just so delicious!

What you need…

For the base:

  • 2 large zucchinis, grated
  • 1/4cup almond meal (or you could use brown rice flour)
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (you can adjust this based on your spice preference!)
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh or dried oregano
  • salt n pepper
  • 1 egg

Suggested Toppings:

  • 90g smoked salmon
  • 2 button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • bunch of fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 50g fetta cheese
  • fresh argula leaves and some homemade basil pesto to garnish

What to do…

IMG_4126Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (fan forced).

For the base, place the grated zucchini in a bowl sprinkle over about 1/2 tsp salt and mix well. Allow to sit for 20mins to draw the moisture out. Then place the zucchini in a clean cheese cloth (chux cloth) and squeeze out as much of the moisture as you can. Note: You want your zucchini to be as dry as possible so that the base doesn’t become soggy!

Next throw all the base ingredients together in a bowl and mix well to combine before turning the mixture out on a piece of baking paper. Use you fingers to press the mixture down to form a large flat circle about 1/2 an inch thick.

 

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You need to pre-cook the base before adding your toppings, so when ready, carefully slide the pizza base on the baking paper onto a rack in the oven and cook for 8-10mins or until nicely browned around the edges. Once cooked remove from the oven and allow to cool.

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While your base is in the oven, crack on with preparing your toppings…whatever they might be! I have included what I threw on my pizza last night in the ingredients list above but go crazy and throw on what ever toppings you like! That is really the best thing about pizzas…there is just ENDLESS possibilities of tasty topping combinations, making it possible to tailor each pizza to suit the palette (and cravings) of each and every diner! So let your imagination run wild and throw on whatever you can find in your garden, pantry and fridge!

 

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Once you have concocted your ultimate pizza combo, slide the pizza (still on the baking paper) onto a tray and into the oven and cook on high heat for 5-8mins or until your toppings are cooked to your liking.

Remove from the oven, top with some fresh argula leaves, slice and dice your pizza and you’re good to go!

Oh and don’t forget to team your meal with a lovely glass of red if you’re looking for the ultimate Italian feast experience!!

Enjoy!

A

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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!

 

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Happy Sunday Everyone!

A