Tag Archives: nutritious

Jamie’s jerk pork, grilled corn and crunchy tortilla salad


jerkpork2Jamie Oliver…you did it again!! I have never been much of a pork fan and have rarely used it in my cooking, but as this week is all about experimenting and trying new things I decided to give his Jerk pork recipe a go..and I can tell you now I was not disappointed! Actually no, I would maybe even go as far as saying that the flavours in this dish blew my mind and I have no doubt it will be making an appearance on the dinner table at my place again soon!

Not only did I love the combination of flavours in this dish but when looking at it from a nutritional point of view, it ticks alot of boxes! Pork fillet for one, is one of the leanest cuts of pork with only around 1-2g of fat per 100g, making it a fantastic low fat source of quality protein.Pork also contains a range of other important nutrients including essential vitamins such as B12, B6, thiamin, niacin, as well as minerals such as zinc, selenium, iron and magnesium.

With plenty of vitamin C from the chillies and coriander and an impressive dose of antioxidants from the tomatoes the Jerk sauce also certainly packs an impressive nutritional punch! And as for the salad? What’s not to love about a delicious combination of fresh salad veggies(full of important vitamins and minerals, avocado (rich in the “good” monounsaturated fats that help lower cholesterol) and the satisfying crunch of toasted low fat corn tortillas? Nothing! It was all delicious and I highly reccommmend you try this one!

Rather than re-writing out this whole delicious recipe I thought I would just share a link to Jamie’s 15 minute meals video which explains the whole recipe step by step by the king of healthy fast food himself! Thanks Jamie!



Grilled Atlantic Salmon and Black Rice Salad


black rice salad and pumpkinSo after a 4day foodie adventure in Melbourne (where I probably ate a few too many ridiculously tastey meals and drank a few too many delicious vinos) I needed something fresh and healthy for dinner..and what spells fresh and healthy better than a nice piece of grilled salmon and a nutritious black rice salad?!

Never used black rice before? Long been treasured in Ancient China as a luxury food, back in those days black rice soon became known as the “forbidden rice” as it was cultivated exclusively for royalty ONLY and all others were banned from eating it. Fortunately these days black rice is available for everyone to enjoy right around the globe! Though perhaps a little more expensive than your standard wholegrain rice, black rice makes a great addition to just about any dish. Not only adding more depth, texture and flavour to your meal but also obviously adding a whole heap of extra important vitamins and minerals! Hailed by many as being a “superfood” black rice contains significant amounts of the vitamin Niacin (needed to release energy from food, to control blood sugars and also plays a role in maintaining healthy skin, nervous system and digestive system), thiamin (required for optimum growth in childhood and fertility) and magnesium (essential for regulating blood pressure and in nerve and muscle function). It is also obviously a great source of fibre to keep our digestive systems healthy! The grain’s magnificent colour is due to a naturally occurring antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is also responsible for the vibrant colour of blueberries and blackberries! So really…what’s not to love about this tastey, nutritious grain?!

Ok so back to my nutritious dinner… I served up some fresh grilled atlantic salmon with roast pumpkin, a brown and black rice salad and some home made pesto! Deslishhh!

Here is what you’ll need….black rice salad1

2 salmon fillets

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice

1/2 cup uncooked black rice

big bunch of parsley

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes

1/2 can cannelini beans (rinsed)

1 small red onion

1/3 cup currants

handful of washed roquette leaves

1/4 cup mixed seeds (pepitas, pumpkin seeds, linseeds etc) OR i think a pistachios would also go really nicely with this dish!

juice of a lime

1 tbs soy/tamari sauce

1 tsp brown sugar

olive oil

sesame oil (optional)

Home made pesto (see previous salmon recipes for how instructions on how to whip this up)

200g chopped pumpkin

What to do…

Firstly turn your oven onto moderate heat (180degrees fan forced). Chop up your pumpkin and place it on a small baking tray, spray with olive oil and a sprinkling of pepper and then place in the oven to bake for around 25-30mins (or until it is soft and slightly crispy around the edges).

As for the pesto.. it was just a last minute idea and you can, of course, always just use a bought pesto or replace it with a dollop of tzatziki or chilli jam! It’s totally up to you! I was just going with what I could find hiding in the fridge! But if you are after the recipe for this have a look at my previous posts as I have explained the process a couple of times in previous recipes!

Although I cooked both lots of rice seperately (as per instructions on the back of the packets). You could also just buy a packet of already par cooked brown rice to save yourself some time and then just cook the black rice using the packet instructions. As they both take the same amount of time to cook however, it is almost just as easy to cook them both separately!

I think that the absorption method is best for the black rice (1 part rice : 1.75 parts water) where after rinsing your rice first, you just place your water and rice in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer, and then cover and leave for about 25mins or until all the water has all been absorbed.

As for the brown rice I just filled a saucepan 2/3 full with water then brought it to the boil before adding the rice and then leaving it for around 25mins or until the rice was “aldente” and still slightly chewy.

However you choose to cook your rice, I’m sure it will work out just fine! Now onto the rest of the salad.. chop your cherry tomatoes in half, chop up your big bunch of parsley and finely dice your red onion before adding them all to a large salad bowl along with the rice. Add your rinsed lentils and the currants and mix all the ingredients through really well.

In a small jug add your lime juice, tamari/soy sauce, a dash of olive oil (or sesame oil) and the sugar and stir well to combine. Pour over the salad and mix well. Just before serving you can add in your nuts/seeds so that they are nice and crunchy!

When you are almost ready to serve, heat a non stick frying pan, spray with olive oil and when it is nice and hot, place your salmon skin side down and leave to cook on that side for 3-4 mins, then flip over and cook the other side for 1-2mins. (the cooking times will obviously vary depending how thick your pieces of salmon are!)

And it’s serving time!! (Oh yeh and I should probably let you know that I actually made this salad for 2 but it could easily have fed 4 or maybe even 6 people!! oh well lots of left overs for me! yay!)



Roast Veggie Salad


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!


veggie salad

Tuna Sashimi Rice Paper Rolls



If you are after something fresh, tastey and super healthy then I have just the thing for you!! These rice paper rolls are devilishly delicious and super easy to put together! All you need is a good fish monger who sell good quality tuna (or salmon) and wakame seaweed salad. I made these today for a lazy Easter Monday lunch and I’m not going to deny they were a bit o f a hit! Now unfortunately I can’t really take all the credit for this recipe as it is pretty much my take on the ricepaper rolls from my FAVOURITE Vietnamese takeaway joint in the world..Miss Chu, which now have stalls in Melbourne and Sydney..(am praying Brisbane is next on their hit list!) But either way they are delicious and sure to cure any sashimi craving!

What you need…tuna rolls 2

150g of fresh sashimi grade tuna

small rice paper rolls

rice vermicilli noodles


1/2 an avo

1/2 lebanese cucumber


sesame seeds

1 small container of wakame salad

handful of basil leaves

Low fat mayonnaise

For the dipping sauce…

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tsp sugar

juice of 1 lime

2 tbs rice wine vinegar

hot water

1/2 red chili

sesame oil

What to do..

To make your dipping sauce, add the sugar and a splash of boiling water to a small bowl and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Then add your fish sauce, vinegar, lime juice and a splash of sesame oil. Slice your chilli into thin slices and sprinkle over the top of the dipping sauce along with a handful of chopped coriander.

Firstly boil the kettle with hot water and pour some over a bowl with your rice vermicilli noodles and leave them to cook for 5 or so minutes. Meanwhile slice your tuna into thick slices and drizzle over some sesame oil and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Mix through and leave in the fridge til ready to assemble! Cut your avo and cucumber into thin slices. Once your noodles are soft drain them and set them aside. Lastly add a tablespoon of mayo to a good tsp (or 2) or wasabi and mix together.

Now you’re ready for assembly! So basically this part is entirely up to you as to how you want to build your rice paper rolls but this is pretty much how my assembly line looked..

Use a bowl of boiling water to soften a sheet of rice paper (don’t leave it in there for more than a couple of seconds as it will go soggy and wont stick together properly!). Then start with a couple of basil leaves followed by a small handful of rice noodles and wakame salad. Then add a couple of slices of tuna and spread a thin layer of wasabi mayo over your sashimi before topping with a couple of slices of your avo and cucumber. Finally sprinkle over some chopped coriander and then you’re ready to roll!

If you’re struggling with the rolling part.. start by putting all your fillings close to one side of the roll. Then start rolling from that side, turning your sides in just before you finish rolling up the last part of your sheet of ricepaper! Easy peasy! Oh and try not to eat them all before they even make it onto the serving plate! Believe me..it’s harder than it sounds!

Have fun and happy Easter Monday everyone!


tuna rolls1

Healthy Chocolate Easter Treats!


IMG_0683So I’m not too sure what happened to the last 12 months but somehow it’s Easter time again already and I know what you’re all thinking… “woooo a 4 day pass to ditch the diet and eat AS MUCH CHOCOLATE AS POSSIBLE before Monday rolls around!!”

Well before you all go roaming the isles of your local supermarkets topping up your trollies full of all sorts of delicious chocolate Easter treats hear me out! Why? Because I think I have just the thing you need to curb those Monday night guilts after demolishing almost your own body weight in chocolate over the weekend!

This afternoon I put together a much healthier alternative chocolate treat that will not only cure any chocolate craving but will also be much kinder on the hips! Packed full of protein, antioxidants and poly and monounsaturated fats (the good stuff), these choc protein balls are the perfect healthy alternative to boring old chocolate egg! AND they’re GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE!!!

Healthy Choc Protein Balls

What you need…

1 cup of pitted mejoole dates (or the packet varieties if you can’t find fresh ones!)

1 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup pistachios

1/2 cup raw cocao powder

1/2 cup natural whey protein powder

drizzle of honey

splash of water if necessary

desiccated coconut

What to do…

Throw your dates and nuts into a mix master/blender and blend until they are the consistency of fine pebbles.

Then add all remaining ingredients except the water and coconut and blend until well combined. If it looks a bit dry and isn’t really coming together add a splash of water.

Once combined roll the mixture into bite sized balls and roll them in the desiccated coconut before placing them in the freezer to let them firm up! They will keep really well in there so they make the perfect snack to keep on hand as well! Easter Treats for anytime of year! yum!

Of course you can always mix it up with the ingredients and use whatever nuts or dried fruit your heart desires! You could also add some tahini paste or other sort of nut paste (cashew/almond etc) to give it a slightly more nutty flavour and bump up the amount of protein and other essential nutrients in them!

Also I put a drizzle of honey in but you probably don’t even need it as they are already pretty sweet with natural sugars from the dates!

Healthy, nutritious and delicious!

Happy Easter Everyone!!


Homemade vietnamese rice paper rolls


One of the easiest meals to whip together, ricepaper rolls have long been one of my go to’s when I’m after something quick, fresh and healthy! Low in fat and packed full of fresh salad veggies and lean grilled chicken breast this meal really can’t be beat in the health department…not to mention they taste amazing!

So what you need….

mini rice paper rollsricepaper rolls3

1/4 packet rice vermicelli noodles

1 large chicken breast (sliced)

2 cloves garlic

tsp grated ginger

2 tsp fish sauce

juice of half a lime

1 tbs sweet chilli sauce


1/4 capsicum

half an avocado

1 large carrot grated

a couple of iceburg lettuce cups

1/2 lebanese cucumber (cut into long thin strips)

handful of fresh mint leaves (or vietnamese mint!)

For the dipping sauce….¬† ricepaper rolls4

juice of a lime

1 tsp brown sugar

2 tbs white vinegar

3 tsp fish sauce

splash of sesame oil

sm handful coriander (finely chopped)

1/2 red chili (sliced)

What to do….

For the chicken marinade, crush up your garlic and add to a bowl with your grated ginger, fish sauce, sweet chilli sauce, lime juice and a handful of chopped coriander. Mix together and then add in your chicken, mixing it around to coat all of the meat. Set aside until ready to cook. (if possible try and do this an hour or 2 earlier to give it time to marinate!)

Then for the dipping sauce, add all your ingredients to a small serving bowl..and you’re done here!

Place your noodles into a bowl and pour over boiling water until they are all covered. Set aside for a couple of minutes until they are cooked through and then pour into a drainer and leave aside to drain well. For the salad veggies, grate your carrot, and slice up your avo, capsicum and cucumber into thin slices. Put on a serving tray/plate with the lettuce and herbs.

When you’re almost ready to serve heat some ricebran or canola oil in a fry pan and pan fry your chicken in batches.

Annnd that’s about it! Next time you’re feeling like something light and fresh while spending minimal time in the kitchen I highly recommend giving these a go! They are delicious!

ricepaper rolls5

Gluten Free Pasta with chicken, goats cheese and homemade pesto


mungbean pasta

Days 4 & 5 of my Gluten Free Challenge

Sorry to have left you hanging ladies and gents! I have been super busy over the past few days so the blog has been a bit neglected! So, to fill you in on my last few days I will start by saying that  although following a gluten free diet is much much much easier than it probably once was, it still requires a great deal of planning and thinking ahead of time!

For breaky I have generally been sticking to my usual bowl of frozen mixed berries with natural (GF) yoghurt with a sprinkling of nuts and seeds…oh and my daily cappaccino of course!

Lunch on the other hand, I have found tends to be the tricky one, especially if you are out and about during the day. Lucky for me I am a bit of a salad lover, so provided that I think about what dressings they come with and avoid any with pasta or croutons etc my decisions on what to have for lunch are usually pretty easy! For those that don’t really like salads though, the options aren’t overly inviting! No pasta salads..no sandwiches or rolls, no burgers, no chips or other deep dried foods, no pies or sausage rolls, or couscous or pizzas! Or is there?

Thanks to this new challenge I have started taking much more notice of what options there are out there for are gluten intolerant friends and I have to say I am delighted at just how many places I have come across that offer a range of GF options! So if you are a coeliac and struggle to plan ahead and pack your own lunches, it seems luck is on your side in the GF options department..you just need to keep your eyes peeled!

As for dinners, they seem to be the easiest! On Thursday I joined some friends for a round of Trivia at the New Farm Bowls Club (which was so much fun by the way!) and had no problems finding something tastey to eat that was GF! Though there were a few salads on the menu that probably would have been fine, how could I go past the crispy skin salmon with chat potatoes and wilted spinach?! Yum!

Last night I thought it was about time I stepped outside my comfort zone slightly and try using some GF ingredients that are relatively foreign to me! So after an interesting trip to the local health food shop I came home with a packet of “mungbean pasta”which was actually really good!! My my aren’t they getting creative?! and there was also a “blackbean” pasta there that I shall definitely be investing in next time I am having a pasta craving! The mungbean pasta tasted a little bit like your normal spinach flavoured pasta and when mixed with some homemade pesto, chicken, goats cheese and roasted toms, pumpkin and pinenuts I had myself one seriously tastey meal!

Intrigued? Recipe as follows!

What you need (for 2 people)…

1 chicken breast (poached or pan fried)

100g pumpkin

1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes

1/4 sm packet pinenuts (toasted)

big bunch of parsley or basil

1 large clove garlic

1 lemon

olive oil

1/2 packet of Mungbean pasta (or you can use whatever variety of GF pasta you like!)

soft goats cheese

What to do…..

Firstly put your water on to boil and turn the oven on to moderate (180degrees) fan forced. Cut your pumpkin into small cubes and cut your cherry toms in half. Lay both the pumpkin and cherry toms on a baking tray and sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and leave them for 15-20mins or until cooked and slightly crispy around the edges. mungbean pasta3

For the pesto add your garlic, parsely/basil/large handful of pinenuts (or cashews), a good splash of olive oil, juice of half a lemon (or whole lemon if only small) to a mini mix master/blender and whiz until it forms a nice runny paste. Add a little more olive oil or lemon juice if you need and season with salt and pepper (easy on the salt).

Your pasta will take about 8mins to cook so when you are almost ready to put it all together place your pasta in the boiling water and cook until al dente! Drain your pasta and rinse through with warm water. Then the only thing left to do is mix everything together! So shred your chicken and add it to your cooked pasta along with your homemade pesto, tomatoes, pumpkin, a handful of toasted pine nuts and a sprinkling of soft goats cheese and you’re done! Tastey, nutritious AND gluten free!! winner all round!

Until tomorrow!