Tag Archives: vegetables

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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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

Day 3: Tom Yum Soup

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tom yum soupIf you haven’t noticed already, I kind of have a bit of a thing for Asian food..I’m not sure if its their impeccable ability to hit all 4 S’s, namely our salty, sweet, savoury and sour sensations or just that Asian’s love to use lots of fresh herbs and vegetables, but either way I LOVE all types of Asian cuisine and I thoroughly enjoy cooking it as much as eating it!

So tonight, in keeping with my Gluten Free challenge, I double checked all my ingredients before whipping up a simple chicken tom yum soup! If you would like to try this recipe for yourselves, please make sure you carefully check the nutrition panels of every ingredient if you really are gluten intolerant!

What you need… (serves 2)

200-250g chicken breast (I just used my left over baked chicken breast from last night but use whatever you like!)

1 tbs GF laksa paste

1 lg red chilli (sliced)

1 tsp grated ginger

1/2 stem lemon grass (sliced) – I didn’t have any tonight and it seemed to taste almost just as good without it!)

2 cloves garlic (sliced)

1/2 brown onion (sliced)

2 kaffir lime leaves (ripped into sm pieces)

4 -6 button mushies

2 roma tomatoes

3 broccoli florets

1/4 red capsicum

handful of beans

1 lime

2 tsp GF fish sauce

1/4 packet flat rice noodles

tsp sesame oil

bean sprouts and coriander to serve

What to do…

Cut up your garlic, chili, onions, and salad vegetables. Add onion to a large saucepan and once onion is semi transparent and your garlic, chili and ginger. Then add in your Laksa paste and lime leaves and stir over medium heat for about a minute. Then add about 3 cups of water (or chicken stock) and then your tomatoes and mushies.

Next add in your chicken breast (cut into strips) and let the chicken poach all the way through. Once the chicken is cooked and your rice noodles and let the pot simmer over medium heat until the noodles are soft. Finally add all the remaining vegetables and remove from the heat after about 1 minute.

Pour soup into serving bowls and add a dash of sesame oil to each and garnish with coriander and bean sprouts.

And you’re done! Another healthy, GF dinner ready to be devoured!

Enjoy!

Day 5: Time for some Thai

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My love Affair for Pad See Yew reignited….pad see yew

Being Friday night I decided it was time to step out of the kitchen and have a night off! So while Mark stayed home, glued to the TV watching football I caught up with some friends and indulged in some Thai food! Probably not the healthiest of choices but figured they at least have plenty of vegetarian and seafood dishes to cater for vegetarians/pescetarians like myself (for another 2 days anyway)!!  Sticking with my “meat free” rule I chose a prawn pad see yew dish and dammmnnn was it tastey! Definitely not the wisest choice with the dish ringing true to the saying of “a moment on the lips..a life time on the hips” but I fell in love with this dish whilst travelling through Thailand a couple of years ago and now every now and then I have no choice but to succumb to my cravings!! But at least I stuck to my no red/white meat rule right?? Trust me, if you like noodle dishes, you wont be disappointed with this one! It’s delicious and usually has a heap more veggies in it than your usual pad thai! Like most Thai curries and stir fries though its pretty high in fat so maybe save this one for special occasions! Perhaps a wiser choice than some of your favourite coconut based curries though which are higher in saturated fats due to the copious amounts of coconut milk and cream they use to make them! If you’ve never had the pleasure of trying pad see yew before and you’re thinking about indulging in one I have one word of warning..this dish is HIGHLY addictive so proceed with caution!

A