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Pad Thai August 6, 2015

Filed under: Asian,Chicken,Noodles — delishuss @ 9:52 pm
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My friend sent me a random text this evening. The fact that she sent me a text wasn’t random but the content was; she asked me what I was having for dinner. I have been trying out http://www.taste.com.au 30 days of healthy recipes. Tonight’s recipe was a stir-fry with tofu and quinoa. I wasn’t really feeling it. I’m not wild on tofu, I just kind of think it’s a nothing food. Possibly, if it was deep fat fried then it might be good. Message me if you have any nice recipes with tofu and maybe I will be converted.

After walking around the supermarket trying to decide what to eat, I arrived at Pad Thai. After all my complaining about tofu, I included it in this dish :-). It kind of made it a bit more silky but disappeared really.

This turned out great, if I do say so myself. I wolfed it down. It’s quick to make, you just need to get everything organised before you start. Otherwise, you will be back and forth to the cupboard if you are anything like me. Enjoy.

Serves 1-2

Takes about 25-30 minutes to make all up

Ingredients

100g flat noodles (pad thai)

100g chicken breast, chopped into slivers

50g tofu (I used one that was of medium firmness)

30g scallions/green onions, sliced diagonally

1 egg, beaten in a bowl with salt and pepper to season

1 bulb of bok choy, chopped

1 clove of garlic, minced

2 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 teaspoons of sambal or minced chilli

The juice of half a lime

1 cube of palm sugar

1 teaspoon of fish sauce

50g chopped peanuts

2 tablespoon of chopped coriander

2 tablespoon of oil (for Asian cooking they recommend that you use normal cooking oil, peanut oil would be good with this but I didn’t have any in stock.

Salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. Add the noodles to a heat proof bowl and pour over boiling water until they are covered. Add a pinch of salt. Set aside while you get on with the stir-fry.
  2. Add the sambal, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce and palm sugar to a bowl. I grate in the palm sugar so that it dissolves quicker but you could just chop it finely if you prefer. Add the chicken and marinade for 5 minutes or so.
  3. Heat a frying pan and add nearly all of the oil. Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes turning in between to cook on both sides. Stir in garlic and fry for a minute. Add the bok choy, tofu, onions and half of the nuts.
  4. While those are cooking, heat another frying pan and add the remainder of the olive oil. You will want to make an omelette with the egg. Pour the egg in the pan and roll it around so that the egg covers the base of the pan. Cook for 2 minutes, chop it up with the edge of your spatula or spoon making sure that it’s cooked through. Set aside for a minute
  5. Drain the water off the noodles and then add to the stir-fry and stir through. You can add some of the marinade mixture if it’s a little dry.
  6. Stir in the omelette.
  7. Serve with a sprinkle of coriander and the remainder of the nuts.
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Pork, Veal & Ricotta Meatballs with Cavolo Nero August 2, 2015

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This is another Weight Watchers recipe. If I were to make it again, I would make a few tweaks. It would probably increase the propoints value of the recipe but I would switch out the ricotta for feta cheese. I found the meatballs to be a little lacking in flavour. I used breadcrumbs instead of rolled oats just because I had some leftover bread. I couldn’t find Cavolo Nero in the supermarket so I use kale instead, probably a bad idea as it didn’t really wilt down very well and was a bit hard. Next time I would just add some spinach instead close to the end of the cook until wilted. I did taste pretty good in the end but it would be even better with the suggested tweaks.

12 propoints value

Serves: 4

Prep time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

1/4 cup (20g) trraditional rolled oats

400g pork, veal mince

4 green shallots, thinly sliced

1 small zucchini, finely grated

1/3 cup (80g) reduced fat fresh ricotta cheese, crumbled

1 tsp olive oil

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbs baby salted capers, rinsed, finely chopped

2 cups (500ml) tomato pasta sauce (I used passata instead)

100g trimmed cavolo nero (Tuscan cabbage), coarsely chopped

250g spelt spaghetti

Salt and pepper to season

Method

1. Blitz the oats in a food processor until finely chopped. Combine oats, mince, shallots, zucchini and ricotta in a bowl. Season well with salt and pepper.

2. Roll the mince mixture into balls. To prevent the balls sticking to your hand, you can spray them with some olive oil spray.

3. I cooked these in two batches to prevent them becoming soggy. Heat a frying pan and add some olive oil. Fry half of the mince balls until brown, turning frequently to coat all sides. Transfer to a plate. Do the same with the remainder of the balls. Re-add all the meatballs to the pan and reduce the heat. Add a lid and let the meatballs cook for 10 minutes. This is to ensure that the meatballs are cooked through on the inside. Remove from the heat.

4. Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions.

5. While the pasta is cooking add the onion to the same pan as the meatballs and saute for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minutes. Add the capers and the pasta sauce and bring to the boil. Add the meatballs and the cavolo nero and cook for another 3 minutes until the cabbage is wilted.

6. Serve the meatballs with the pasta and enjoy.

 

Beef Keema

Filed under: Curries,Indian,Meat,Weight Watchers Recipes — delishuss @ 7:16 am
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I think I may have made something like this before but I saw it in the Weight Watchers magazine and decided to give it a go. It was really yummy and pretty healthy too. You could probably go with chicken or pork mince to reduce the calorie content. I don’t think the taste would suffer as a result. I’ve been giving Weight Watchers a go again. Not with too much success, if I’m really honest. It’s not the program but just my level of discipline. What I like most about Weight Watchers is that you can eat what you like so long as you point it out but that tends to become a little cumbersome if you don’t have the little points calculator or the app. Let’s face it, it’s common sense though. Eat good, whole, fresh food and you’ll be fine. Easier said than done. Anyway enough about that. Here’s the recipe.

6 propoints per serve

Serves 4

Prep: 10 mins

Cooking: 20 mins

Ingredients

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 brown onion, finely chopped

400g extra lean beef mince

1 long red chilli, finely chopped

2 tbs mild korma curry paste

3/4 cup (210g) canned diced tomatoes

1/2 cup (120g) frozen peas

1 tbs lemon juice 1/2 cup (140g)

low-fat natural yoghurt

60g spinach leaves

1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh coriander

Method

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Saute the onion, stirring for 3-4 minutes or until softened. Add the mince and fry off until browned.

2. Add the chilli and the paste, stirring for 2 minutes until the spices start to release their aroma.

3. Stir in the tomatoes and 3/4 cup of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and simmer for another 5 minutes.

4. Add the peas and simmer for a further 5 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

5. Add the lemon and half the yoghurt and simmer for a minute. Stir in the spinach and cook until it starts to wilt.

6. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with the remainder of the yoghurt and the chopped coriander. You can add some steamed brown (1/2 cup) rice for an extra 3 propoints or have with more veggies for 0 propoints.

 

Vegetable Chana Masala June 15, 2015

Filed under: Curries,Potatoes — delishuss @ 12:16 pm
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I’ve made this dish over and over again. It’s a fall back recipe for me when I need to use up some vegetables that are nearing the end of their existence. It’s sooooo easy, there’s no real technique involved. I added purple sweet potato this time around. I’ve never had it before. I love it. It keeps it’s integrity really well when it’s cooking and doesn’t go mushy. I tend to keep this fairly rustic and roughly chop my veg as they are the star of the dish. I served it with rice and a dollop of Greek yoghurt. A lovely buttery naan would be fab, to scoop the sauce up. Yum, yum.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 purple sweet potato (a smallish one is fine), cubed

1 onion, chopped 1/4 jap pumpkin (any pumpkin or squash will work), cubed

1 red capsicum

1 clove garlic, minced

1 red chilli, finely chopped

3 tablespoons tikka masala paste

1 courgette, cubed 1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of chickpeas

Handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Salt and pepper to season

Olive oil

Method

1. Heat a deep frying pan and add a glug of olive oil. Heat the oil for a minute or so. Add the onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. 2. Add the chilli and garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Remove onion, garlic and chilli from the frying pan and set aside. You may ask why I do this. It’s something that my mum thought me. You get the residual flavours from the ingredients on the pan but you don’t burn it by over cooking it.

3. Add some more olive oil to the pan if needed and heat. Always heat the oil as if you don’t it can turn the food soggy. Add the remainder of the veg and sauté for 6 minutes. Remove the veg from the pan.

4. Add the masala paste and fry off for a couple of minutes so that you start to get those lovely curry aromas wafting through your kitchen. Add all of the veggies and stir through the paste. Stir in the chickpeas and the tomatoes.

5. Season with salt and pepper. At this point, I add have of the chopped fresh coriander. The professionals say that you shouldn’t add soft herbs during cooking, probably because they wilt and lose their flavour a bit but I don’t think there should be rules in cooking. I add it during cooking to bring out that coriander flavour and then at the end to lift the freshness of the dish.

6. Simmer the curry for about 15-20 minutes until the potato and the pumpkin has softened. And you’re done.

 

Oh So Good Cheesy Savoury Muffins June 13, 2015

Filed under: Breakfast,Cakes,Vegetarian — delishuss @ 8:15 am
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My work colleague brought these in to work one day and they were devoured so I had to have the recipe. It’s  a while ago since we had them so I can’t really remember if mine were similar. They didn’t rise as I expected them to but they still tasted yum. I probably put too many vegetables in it, so the mixture may have been too dense. These would be great for a kids lunch box, a great way to get them to eat vegetables as well. The original recipe is from: http://www.rte.ie/lifestyle/food/recipes/2012/0910/3273-oh-so-good-cheesy-veggie-savoury-muffins/

Makes 8

Ingredients

250g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

Pinch salt

2 eggs (small)

130 ml milk

4 tblsp olive oil

1 cup chopped veg (I used peppers, corn, tomatoes, shallots and courgette)

1 cup chopped greens (rocket/spinach)

1 cup grated cheddar

1 cup grated parmesan

Salt and pepper to season

Sprinkle of seeds of your choice (I use chia seeds)

Oil spray

Method

1. Heat a frying pan and spray with the oil spray. Saute the chopped veg (not greens) for 5 minutes and set aside.

2. Sieve flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl, make a hollow in the centre.

3. Mix milk, eggs and oil in a bowl and all to the hollow and mix gently.

4. Add all the veg, salt and pepper and cheese and mix.

5. Grease a muffin tin and fill the wells 2/3 the way up.

6. Sprinkle the seeds over each of the muffins. Bake for 15-20 minutes (check if cooked by inserting a skewer into the centre of one of the muffins and if the skewer comes out clean they are cooked, if not cook for another 5 minutes). They should be golden brown on top. Best eaten hot.

 

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

Filed under: Italian,Pasta,Vegetarian — delishuss @ 7:27 am
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I went to this brilliant cheese making demo (Mad Millie). I was in food heaven. We made ricotta, mozzarella, feta and yoghurt. I gave the ricotta a shot myself last weekend. I reckon it was a success but I realised pretty quickly that even I wouldn’t consume that much cheese on my own so I thought I would use it in this recipe. One of my lunch club girls made it before, mine is probably a much less healthy version. The filling of the Cannelloni tubes is a bit tricky, well more messy than tricky. Might be a good one to get the kids involved in, if you have some. I used 2 teaspoons to fill them; 1 to fill them with the ricotta mixture and the other one’s handle to push the mixture in. You could use a piping bag if you had one, it would be much handier.

The photo doesn’t do this justice, it’s oozing with deliciousness.

Serves 4-5 people

Ingredients

10 cannelloni tubes (instant kind)

1 tin of tomatoes with garlic and herbs

100ml passata

1 onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon of allspice (I didn’t have nutmeg so used this instead)

Oil spray

250g ricotta cheese

50g Mozzarella cheese, shredded

50g parmesan, shredded

250g baby spinach

1/2 egg, beaten

2 tablespoons fresh basil

Salt and pepper

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

2. Heat a frying pan and spray some oil on it. Fry the allspice and the garlic for 2 minutes. Add the spinach; it does seem like a lot of spinach but it wilts away to nothing. On that note, let it wilt down and then remove from the heat and cool.

3. In a big bowl, beat the egg and the ricotta until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Add the spinach to the ricotta mixture.

5. Re-heat the same pan that you used for the spinach. Spray some more oil on the pan and saute the onions until soft and golden.

6. Add the tin of tomatoes and passata and simmer until the sauce has thickened.

7. While the sauce is reducing start preparing the cannelloni tubes. Add the ricotta filling into the tube with one teaspoon and push the mixture down with the handle of another teaspoon. Fill the remainder of the tubes in the same way.

8. Once the sauce has reduce, tear the basil and add to the sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.

9. Add the cannelloni tubes to an oven proof dish. Pour over the sauce and sprinkle the cheeses over the sauce.

10. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes until the cheese has melted and is golden brown.

11. Serve with a green salad.

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Piri Piri Stir Fry Pork June 10, 2015

Filed under: Healthy Eating,Meat,Weight Watchers Recipes — delishuss @ 11:38 am
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I got this recipe from the Weight Watchers Spicy and Speedy cookbook. The recipe uses beef but I had pork which I thought would be nice instead. It’s so easy, it’s hard to call it cooking. The recipes states that you should use 2 chillies, I chickened out and only added one, I should have added 2. As a result of not adding 2 chillies, I didn’t really get an intense flavour so I ended up adding some hot sauce just to give it a kick. Probably, if I was making it again I would do the same, i.e. one chilli and some hot sauce but that’s entirely up to you.

Serves 2

Takes 15 minutes

4 1/2 points (if using beef)

Ingredients

Low fat cooking spray

200g lean rump steak or pork

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 large red chillies, deseeded and chopped finely

1 teaspoon paprika

1 x 300g pack fresh mixed stir fry vegetables

100g passata with onion and garlic

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 x teaspoon hot sauce (if you like it hot ;-))

Method

1. Heat a non stick wok until very hot and spray with low fat cooking spray.

2. Add the beef and stir fry for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and chillies and cook for a further minute, stirring.

3. Add the paprika and stir fry vegetables and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the hot sauce if you are using it at this point. Pour in the passata and 100 ml cold water. Bubble for 1-2 minutes until sauce has thickened.

4. Squeeze over the lemon juice and serve immediately.