Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Easy Scones

5 cups self raising flour
300ml cream
1 can lemonade
1/4 cup plain flour

Preheat oven to 210C
Sprinkle a little plain flour on baking tray
Mix flour, cream and lemonade with a spoon then knead gently until smooth (do not overwork or scones will be tough)
Sprinkle a little plain flour on bench and gently pat dough to approx 2cm thick
Sprinkle a little plain flour around edges of a glass and press into dough to make scone shapes or cut into squares
Place on baking tray and cook in oven for 11 mins

Serve with jam and cream or butter

NOTE: You can also add sultanas or dried fruit

Baked Sweet Potato

Wrap sweet potato in foil
Cook in oven at 180C
Check by softly squeezing - when very soft it is ready
Unwrap and scoop flesh out from skin
Serve when cooled slightly

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hot Chocolate

This incredible drink serves 2-4 in small cups - or more if served in demi tasse coffee cups. It is very rich so small serves are plenty!

100g plain dark chocolate
2 cups milk
1/3 cup cream whipped
Cinnamon quill for stirring - optional

In a small saucepan heat the milk gently and add the chocolate broken into pieces. Stir till chocolate is completely melted. Do not boil! Place a dollop of whipped cream in the bottom of each cup and gently pour in the hot chocolate so the cream rises and diffuses into the mixture. Add marshmallows if you must or use a cinnamon quill, or mint sticks to stir

Monday, September 6, 2010

Breakfast Smoothies

Tropical Dream Smoothie
200g tub vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped mango
1/4 cup chopped banana
toasted shredded coconut, for sprinkling

Mixed Berry Combo Smoothie
200g tub vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup mixed berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries)

Spiced Vanilla And Banana Smoothie
200g tub vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup milk
pinch cinnamon
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup banana
extra cinnamon, for sprinkling

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
Pour into 2 tall glasses and serve with a straw.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Orange Polenta Cake

200g melted butter and 1/2 cup polenta
1 cup cake flour plain
1 cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
Zest of one orange
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoon orange juice
2 tablespoons castor sugar (extra)

Preheat oven to 180C
Melt butter.
Combine all dry ingredients with orange zest and put aside.
In a mixer whisk eggs until light and fluffy; approx 5 minutes.
Slowly pour in melted butter and continue whisking for 1-2 minutes
Turn whisk to low and gradually pour in dry ingredients and zest.
When just combined add milk and orange juice and fold with spatula. Once combined pour the mixture into a funnel springform cake tin that has been greased well.
Bake in oven for 45 minutes. Remove and cool on wire rack.
While cooling add remaining 2 tablespoons of orange juice and extra sugar in a small saucepan, sir on high heat and bring to the boil. Boil for 2 minutes then remove and brush syrup over orange cake.

Banana, yoghurt & walnut muffins

Makes: 18 Prep: 10 mins Cook: 22 mins

1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup rice flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseeds
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup plain yoghurt
3 medium, ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup golden syrup
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/4 cup walnuts

Preheat oven to 190°C.
In a large bowl, whisk together oats, flour, flaxseeds, baking powder and baking soda.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, yoghurt, bananas, syrup and oil. Add flour mixture and fold in walnuts.
Divide batter into paper-lined muffin cups. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Cool on a wire rack.

Per muffin: 615kJ, 7g fat (1g saturated fat), 103mg sodium, 20g carbs, 2g fibre, 3g protein

PMS-busting meal plan

Try this combo of mood-boosting, cramp-curing meals for a week and watch your symptoms fade:

Breakfast
Cottage cheese, berries + OJ 
OR 
Oatmeal + skim milk + whole wheat toast

Lunch
Spinach salad, salmon + glass of skim milk 
OR 
Tuna, low-fat mayo, whole-wheat bread + rockmelon

Snack
Air-popped popcorn (no butter) drizzled with fat-free chocolate sauce 
OR 
Whole wheat bran muffin + nonfat yoghurt with honey 
OR 
Low-fat cheese + whole-wheat crackers

Dinner
Whole-wheat pasta + garlic, mushrooms, onions in a tomato sauce 
OR 
Broiled salmon + brown rice + steamed broccoli + blueberries

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Panko-Crusted Eggplant Parmesan

I grabbed some panko crumbs the other day and have been searching for some good recipes to test out. I'm not sure how H will feel about a meatless meal so I might have to save this for his next work trip..

3/4 cup panko Japanese bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 egg whites
1 large eggplant, about 1 1/2 pounds, cut into 1/2-inch slices (about 16 slices)

Sauce and Pasta
4 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
1/2 pound angel hair pasta, cooked following package directions

Eggplant: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a large rack on a baking sheet and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a pie plate, mix together panko, Parmesan cheese, oregano, salt and pepper. In a second pie plate, lightly whisk egg whites.
Dip each slice of eggplant into egg whites and then into panko mixture, coating both sides. Place eggplant on prepared baking rack. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes, until browned and tender.
Sauce: While eggplant is baking, make sauce. Coat a medium-size nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Cook garlic until lightly browned, about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, oregano, salt and red pepper flakes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Tear basil into bite-size pieces and stir in.
Overlap eggplant slices slightly on the baking sheet, making four piles. Spoon sauce evenly over each portion (reserve a quarter of it for serving) and evenly sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes.
Serve eggplant with cooked pasta and reserved sauce.

Per Serving: 416 calories; 6 g fat (3 g sat.); 21 g protein; 72 g carbohydrate; 10 g fiber; 856 mg sodium; 12 mg cholesterol

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Asian Tuna & Noodle Salad

200g vermecilli rice noodles
425g can Tuna in Springwater, drained
100g green beans, sliced and blanched
1 carrot, cut julienne
1 Lebanese cucumber, cut julienne
1 cup coriander leaves
1 cup mint leaves, torn
1/3 cup sweet chilli sauce
2 tbsp peanut oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp fried shallots

Add noodles to a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes or until tender. Drain and rinse.
Combine noodles, Greenseas tuna, beans, carrot, cucumber and herbs in a mixing bowl.
Whisk dressing ingredients together and pour over noodle mixture. Toss well. Place onto a serving dish and scatter with shallots and extra coriander if desired.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Smoked Trout with a Winter Salad

My new smoker is already gathering dust because I hadn't figured out how to use it but Masterchef had this lovely looking smoked trout on the menu for a Masterclass so after my next trip to the market I'll give this a go:
Smoked Trout with a Winter Salad

Prawn Kalamaki with Tzatziki and Herb Salad

I'm watching Masterchef at the moment and I'm definitely going to make this for my next dinner party!
Prawn Kalamaki with Tzatziki and Herb Salad

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Home remedies for healthy plants

After a little bit of research I discovered that there are many different household items that you can use on your plants over and above composting. These are the ones I'm planning on trying:

1. Used coffee grinds - Excellent on roses and azaleas, or any plant that likes a higher acidity in the soil.

2. Unused milk - Watering indoor plants with any leftover/expiring milk

3. Epsom Salts - Fantastic for tomatoes, capsicum, chilli plants, roses and pretty much anything else. When first planting, place a tablespoon in the soil and continue to use semi-regularly throughout the year. Especially good if your tomato plant leaves are starting to yellow.

4. Honey - When taking a cutting from a plant, dip the cutting in some honey before planting. It kills all bacteria and promotes growth. No need to buy special root-growing formula.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eggplant, pumpkin & zucchini curry

Preparation Time
10 - 15 minutes

Cooking Time
25 minutes

2 tsp vegetable oil
1 medium brown onion, cut into wedges
3 tsp Madras Indian curry paste (medium hot)
450g (about 4 large) baby eggplant, halved, cut into thick chunks
450g medium zucchini, halved, cut into thick chunks
500g Jap pumpkin, deseeded, peeled, cut into chunks
1 x 140ml can coconut milk {Ayam brand)
250mls (1 cup) vegetable stock
3 tsp brown sugar
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander
Salt & ground black pepper, to taste
300g (1 1/2 cups) Basmati rice

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until slightly golden. Add the curry paste and cook for a further 2 minutes.

Add the eggplant, zucchini and pumpkin and toss until well coated in the paste. Add the coconut milk and stock, stir to combine and bring to the boil over high heat.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and simmer for a further 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly and the vegetables are just cooked. Stir in the brown sugar and coriander and season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, cook the rice in large saucepan of salted boiling water, according to packet directions, until just tender. Drain.

Serve the vegetable curry with the rice

Notes
Leftovers: use curry paste in vegetable or meat curries. Use stock in soups or casseroles. Use rice to make pilaf. Use coriander in pesto.

For the kids: mild vegie curry - reduce the curry paste to 1 tsp.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A year's worth of cleaning product for $7.50

I saved $1900 in a single year with this recipe for a great all purpose spray cleaner! It is suitable for all kitchen surfaces, tiles, bathrooms, toilets, even stainless steel kitchen appliances and cooktops. The only thing I'm not sure it's suitable for is marble benchtops. Here's how you make it:

In an empty 600ml spray bottle, combine one tablespoon of full strength eucalyptus oil and one tablespoon of sugar soap. Fill the bottle with water, turn gently to mix, then simply spray and wipe as needed.

The eucalyptus oil cuts through all grease and is also a cockroach deterrent and an anti-bacterial agent. In the bathroom, I spray all bath/shower surfaces and then scrub with a clean, wet broom. As a floor cleaner, I spray it on the really dirty bits, then use a steam mop over the top.

Before I started using this, I used to spend $4.00 per 500ml bottle of Ajax Kitchen Cleaner, $6.00 per 500ml bottle of Ajax Bathroom Cleaner and $8.00 for a 250ml bottle of special cleaner for the stainless steel cooktop and oven. I was replenishing all these every two months. That's $18 every second month or $1944 per year!

By comparison, I have calculated that my recipe costs $0.79c per 750ml bottle, and I make a new batch about once a month. That's a grand total of $7.50 a year. What a saving!

Pepper your pumpkin and store it for weeks

To stop pumpkin from going mouldy and growing fur, simply scoop all the seeds out, along with any loose bits, then sprinkle black pepper all over the cut flesh and the pumpkin will last for weeks in the fridge. Every time you cut a piece of pumpkin off, just add more pepper over the sliced area.

Keep avocado from turning brown

Mash ripe avocado flesh with 10ml of milk. i.e. if you mashed eight avocados use 80ml of milk. Mash them as required and store them in an old dip container. It doesn't alter the taste and it stays green for days!

OR

Wrap a cut avocado in aluminium foil and then wrap it in cling wrap and put it in the fridge.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Salmon Salad with Tarragon & Caper Dressing

Server 4 for lunch

100g green beans
1 x 400g tinned salmon
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
4 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
1 cos (romaine) lettuce, torn into pieces

Dressing:
1 Tbsp capers, finely chopped
1 Tbsp tarragon, finely chopped
2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil

Bring a small saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Blanch beans for 5 minutes. Drain and cool under cold running water.
In a small bowl mix all dressing ingredients and season to taste.
Drain salmon and place in a salad bowl with beans, tomatoes, spring onions and lettuce. Pour dressing over salad, toss well and serve immediately.

Source: the CSIRO total wellbeing diet

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Minestone Soup

I've got some Italian Style Soup Mix that I need to use up so I'm going to try this out:
http://www.mckenziesfoods.com.au/recipe/9/Minestrone_Soup

Prep time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 90 mins

1 cup McKenzie's Italian Style Soup Mix
Salt & Pepper to taste
Freshly grated parmesan for serving
4 tablespoons parsley finely chopped
10-12 cups water
1 cup small pasta
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon oregano
500g bacon bones or 1 x small smoked ham hock
800g tinned crushed tomatoes
200g tomato paste
2 cups cabbage finely shredded
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 large onion finely diced
2 celery sticks finely diced
2 carrots finely diced

Combine all ingredients except pasta, parsley and parmesan in a large pot. Cover and simmer for 1 to 1 and a half hours or until beans are tender. Add the pasta and simmer for a further 15 mintues. Add more water if necessary.
Discard bones, if ham hock is used remove from soup - remove skin and finely dice the ham and add back to soup. Season to taste with McKenzie's Natural Sea Salt andMcKenzie's Whole Black Peppercorns.
Serve soup in large bowls with grated parmesan and parsley sprinkled over the top and fresh crusty bread.
Vegetarian Option: Do not use bacon bones or ham hock and add 2 vegetable stock cubes.

Serves 6


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Frozen food storage times

Bread: 2 months
Ice cream: 2 months
Pork: 3 months
Fish: 4 months
Fruit & Vegies:  6 months
Poultry: 6 months
Lamb: 6 months
Beef: 6 months

Foods that won't freeze well:
greasy foods
anything with egg whites, custard or cream
soft cheeses
mayonnaise
cooked potatoes

Salmon Poached in Thai Coconut Broth

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time:15 minutes 
Total time: 30 minutes 
Serves: 2

Salmon Poached in Thai Coconut Broth
1 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Thai green curry paste
270ml Light coconut milk
1 cup Chicken stock
1 packet John West Chilled Atlantic Salmon portions
100g Fresh baby corn, chopped
1 Carrot, cut into julienne strips
100g Snow peas, sliced
1 tbsp Fresh coriander, chopped
200g Rice or udon noodles, cooked
Fresh coriander, to serve

Heat oil in a medium frying pan and cook curry paste for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add coconut milk and stock and heat until simmering.
Add John West Atlantic Salmon Portions, baby corn, carrot strips, snow peas and chopped coriander. Cover and cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes or until salmon is cooked through.
Place cooked noodles into serving bowls and top with salmon and broth. Serve garnished with fresh coriander

TIP: John West Chilled Atlantic Salmon can be pan-fried and served with noodles and broth

30 Oct 10 Special K
I made this tonight and it was delicious. Fresh baby corn was super expensive so I substituted pak choy and decided to pan fry the salmon to get a lovely crispy skin. I served it with fresh udon noodles and placed the salmon on top of the noodles and vegetables, pouring the sauce over the top. I paired it with a lovely Sauvingnon Blanc.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Chicken, Bacon & Eggplant Pesto Penne

penne pasta
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp chilli
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 small jar eggplant pesto
500g chicken thighs, cubed
3 rashers bacon, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
parmesan cheese to serve

Cook penne pasta according to packet directions
Heat oil in a large frypan and fry bacon, brown chicken then add tomatoes, pesto and salt & pepper to taste.
Drain pasta and add to frypan and mix well.
Serve with parmesan cheese.

Serves 3-4

Source: Special-K

31May10 Special-K: I made this up tonight with things I had on hand and it was delicious, I will definitely make this again.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lamb Shank Pie

I love lamb shanks but was getting bored with the standard shank on mash with misc veg and thought I'd give a Lamb Shank Pie a try. I Googled it and found this - "Lamb Shank Pie" so I'm going to give it a try tonight.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Bircher muesli

⅓ cup rolled oats
1 cup skim milk
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt
½-1 sachet PureVia or 1/2 - 1 tsp sugar
½ apple, grated
2 tablespoons sultanas
1 tablespoon sliced almonds

Soak the oats and sultanas in the milk overnight in the fridge. In the morning
mix through the PureVia, the yoghurt and grated apple and sprinkle the almonds
over the top.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Red Duck Curry



1 400ml can lite coconut cream
1/2 Chinese barbecue duck, skin and bones removed, coarsely chopped
1 tbs fish sauce
1 tbs brown sugar
1 565g can lychees, drained
14 cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh Thai basil leaves
3 fresh Kaffir lime leaves, deveined, roughly torn
1 fresh red chilli, sliced lengthways
1 fresh green chilli, sliced lengthways
Steamed jasmine rice, to serve

Curry paste
5 dried red chillies, soaked in warm water, drained
1/4 red onion, finely chopped
3 tsp finely chopped fresh lemon grass
1 tsp finely chopped fresh galangal
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped fresh coriander roots
1/2 tsp finely grated Kaffir lime rind
10 whole black peppercorns
3 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp rock salt
1 tsp shrimp paste

To make curry paste, place chillies, onion, lemon grass and galangal in a mortar and pestle, and pound until crushed. Add garlic, coriander roots and lime rind, and pound until crushed. Add peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, salt and shrimp paste, and pound until smooth. (Alternatively, place in a small food processor and process until smooth.)

Place 125ml (1/2 cup) of the coconut cream in a medium wok or medium frying pan over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Add 2 tbs of the curry paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until fragrant.

Add the remaining coconut cream, duck, fish sauce and sugar. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Add the lychees, tomatoes, Thai basil, Kaffir lime leaves and red and green chillies, and cook, stirring until heated through. Divide among serving bowls and serve with the rice.

Note: You will need to buy 1/2 a Chinese barbecue duck for the recipe, available from most Chinese barbecue food stores. If unavailable, substitute with 200g duck breasts pan-fried over medium heat for 4 minutes each side. Galangal and Thai basil are available from most supermarkets and Asian grocery stores. Kaffir limes are available from selected greengrocers (substitute with a regular lime if unavailable). You can replace the curry paste with 2 tbs bought red curry paste.

Preparation Time - 20 minutes
Cooking Time - 15 minutes
Serves 2

Special-K 18Apr10
I made this tonight with 1/2 BBQ duck, store bought red curry paste and pineapple instead of lychees - wow! We are already planning on having it again.

Special-K 24Sep11
I made this again for dinner tonight with rambutans stuffed with pineapple which I found in Spicemart at the Aspley Hypermarket

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Vietnamese rice paper rolls


2 x 100g packets vermicelli bean thread noodles
1 large (200g) red capsicum, halved, deseeded, thinly sliced
2 medium (200g) carrots, peeled, coarsely grated
1 1/2 cups chopped snow pea sprouts
1/2 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves
1 fresh long red chilli, finely chopped
4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional)
12 x 22cm round rice paper sheets
sweet chilli sauce to serve, for dipping

Step 1 Place noodles in a large heatproof bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside to soak for 2 minutes or until softened.

Step 2 Drain noodles. Use kitchen scissors to cut into smaller lengths (this will make the noodle mixture easier to combine and divide among rice paper sheets).

Step 3 Add remaining ingredients (except rice paper sheets and chilli sauce). Toss to combine.

Step 4 Using one sheet of rice paper at a time, dip into a bowl of hot water and soak for 30 seconds or until pliable. Place on a clean chopping board or tea towel. Place some of the noodle mixture below the halfway mark of the round, leaving an edge, and fold in both sides. Securely fold the bottom edge over the filling to enclose, then carefully roll to the end. Repeat with remaining rice paper sheets and filling.

Step 5 Arrange on a large serving platter. Serve with sweet chilli sauce.

Variations
Wasabi chicken
Omit capsicum from recipe. Place 250g skinless chicken breast fillet in a frying pan. Cover with cold water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Poach, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside for 10 minutes to cool. Shred. Add to noodle mixture with 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice and 2 teaspoons wasabi paste.

Nori and teriyaki beef
Omit capsicum from recipe. Place 200g sirloin steak in a glass dish. Pour over 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce and add garlic and just 1 tablespoon salt-reduced soy sauce from ingredients list. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Spray beef with cooking oil. Cook for 3 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Thinly slice and add to noodle mixture with 2 tablespoons quality whole-egg mayonnaise and 1 shredded dried seaweed (nori) sheet.

Ginger and soy pork
Omit capsicum from recipe. Place 200g pork fillet in a glass dish. Combine 1 tablespoon oyster sauce and 2 tablespoons salt-reduced soy sauce and pour over pork, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Heat a chargrill over medium-high heat. Spray pork with cooking oil and grill, turning, for 8-10 minutes or until just cooked through. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes. Thinly slice across the grain. Add to noodle mixture.

Basil and prawn
Omit coriander from recipe. Add 1/3 cup shredded basil leaves to noodle mixture. Shell and devein 18 medium cooked prawns. Cut in half horizontally. Place 3 halves on top of noodle mixture in step 3.
For great results

The secret of success is to be well organised. Start with a clean bench and have all the equipment out that you will need.
Rice paper sheets come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You can purchase 16cm or 22cm round rice paper sheets as well as square rice paper sheets. They are available from the Asian grocery section of your supermarket or any Asian grocery store.
Nuts such as finely chopped cashews and slivered almonds are great to add to filling ingredients. Other ingredients that can be used in rice paper roll fillings include avocado, bean sprouts, mint leaves, shredded cabbage and shredded lettuce.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Roasted Vegetable and Couscous Salad

1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 2cm pieces
Olive oil spray
1/2 Eggplant, cut into 2cm cubes
2 zucchinis, cut into 2cm pieces
3/4 cup couscous
1/2 red onion, finely sliced
1/2 red capsicum sliced
150 g baby rocket leaves, baby spinach or mixed lettuce

Dressing:
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon honey

Pre heat oven to 250 degrees c
Place pumpkin pieces in a deep baking tray and spray lightly with olive oil spray. Bake for 10 minutes then add the eggplant, zucchini and capsicum (also sprayed lightly with olive oil). Roast for a further 20 minutes or until cooked. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Cook couscous according to instructions on packet.
To make the dressing place all the ingredients in an air tight jar and shake until combined.
Once couscous is cooked, loosen with a fork until light and fluffy and place in a large salad bowl. Add the roast vegetables, onion, mixed lettuce leaves, avocado and cherry tomatoes. Mix the dressing through the salad and serve. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Per Serve:
801kj
192cal
11.7g Carbs
4.2g Protein
13g Total Fat
1.5g Sat Fat
5.6g Fibre

Bircher Muesli

A light and colourful breakfast. Add any combination of nuts and seeds.

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 1/2 cups water
1 apple, grated
3/4 cup low-fat natural yoghurt
1/4 cup roughly chopped walnuts
2 Tbsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 Tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seed kernals)

Soak the oats in the water overnight.
Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Serve topped with seasonal fruit.

Serves 4

Source: The Biggest Loser Best Recipes cookbook

Nutritional Analysis per serve
Total kj: 1356
Total calories: 325
Carbohydrates: 42g
Protein: 9g
Fat - total: 12g
Fat - saturated: 1.8g
Fibre: 4.3g

Greenwheat Freekeh

I discovered a new product in the supermarket the other day - Cracked Grain Freekah.
It claims to be as quick and easy to prepare as rice or pasta and looking at the preparation directions I would have to agree:

Microwave:
Place 4 cups of boiling water, 2 cups of Greenwheat Freekah, and up to 1 tsp salt (if desired), in a deep microwave bowl. Cover and cook for 10 mins on high (600w Microwave). Leave to sit while covered for a further 5 mins.

Absorption Method:
Place 5 cups of cold water, 2 cups of Greenwheat Freekah, and 1 tsp salt (if desired), into a saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce to simmer and cover with lid. Cook gently for approx 20-25mins until tender.

Greenwheat Freekah is picked and roasted when the grain is green so it retains a higher percentage of protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. The pack included a booklet with four recipes so I'll have to give them a try soon...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Drinks for kicking off your morning

Drink warm water with fresh lemon or lime juice & cayenne pepper every morning to kickstart your metabolism.

15min later, drink morning juice:
2 carrots
2 sticks celery
2 apples
1 beetroot
1 bunch spinach
1 inch fresh ginger

Low carb slimming raw juice
1 orange
2 sticks celery
1/2 cucumber
1/2 cup green spring beans
2 sprigs parsley

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ratatouille Polenta Bake

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped (1/2 cup)
1 medium red capsicum, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
1 small unpeeled eggplant, (1 pound), diced (2 cups)
1 medium zucchini, diced (1 cup)
2 rashers bacon, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tin chopped tomatoes, undrained
1 serving Creamy Polenta (see below)

Heat oven to 190ÂșC. Spray a large frying pan with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat. Cook onion, bacon and capsicum in skillet 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in eggplant, zucchini, salt and pepper. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender. Stir in tomatoes, reduce heat to low & cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Spray rectangular baking dish, 11x7x1 1/2 inches, with cooking spray. Spread polenta out evenly, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese & spoon vegetable mixture evenly over top.

Cover and bake 30 minutes. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and parsley. Bake uncovered about 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


Creamy Polenta
6 cups water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups finely ground corn meal
2 cloves garlic - minced
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/3 cup chopped chives
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup butter or margarine

Add the water and salt to a large stock pot.
Bring the water to a boil.
Turn the heat down to low and slowly whisk in the corn meal.
Stir in the garlic and thyme, and cook the polenta until thick and
creamy, approximately 5 minutes.
Remove the stock pot from the heat source and immediately stir in the
chives, mozzarella, Parmesan and butter.
Pour the polenta into a large serving dish.
Sprinkle additional Parmesan cheese and a few chives on top of the
polenta before serving.