March 6th 2007
Thai Banana Salsa

Posted under Salads and Sides

Ingredients:
2 bananas,peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
1/2 cup mint leaves
1/2 cup coriander leaves
2 lebanese cucumbers, seeded and diced
1 chilli, seeded and thinly sliced

Dressing
4 tbl lime juice (or lemon - both taste nice)
1 tbl fish sauce
1 tbl brown sugar

Mix all the salsa ingredients together in a bowl.

Mix the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir to dissolve the sugar.

Pour the dressing over the salsa and toss together.

 Serve with chicken schnitzel.

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March 6th 2007
My Family’s Spanish Chilli Olives

Posted under Entrees and Nibbles

My family’s Spanish Chilli Olives. I make these every year in nice little jars for Christmas gifts.

500g black olives
5 small red chillis, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushes
1 teas ground cumin
1 teas chilli powder
1/2 small (75g) red capsicum, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 tab lemon juice
2 tab red wine vinegar
1/3 cup (80mL) of olive oil (pref Extra Virgin)

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl. Cover. Put in fridge and leave there for at least 2 days.

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February 28th 2007
Smoked Ocean Trout Patties

Posted under Entrees and Nibbles & Low Fat Diet

Ingredients:

5 small-to-medium potatoes
3/4 cup cooked brown rice
handful of finely chopped parsley
zest from half a lemon
5-6 slices smoked ocean trout, cut into small bits (1 cm or so)
10-12 capers, roughly chopped

Method:

1. Peel potatoes and microwave (covered with lid) in a tub of water for 20 mins or until mashable. Drain, and mash with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside and let cool slightly.

2. Add remaining ingredients to potato mash. Use your hands to mix all ingredients evenly.

3. Pan fry with a light spray of oil until golden brown on one side, then turn over and repeat (only turn over once)

4. Squeeze a bit of lemon juice over the top just before serving. Serve with a green salad.

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February 26th 2007
Pumpkin’s Low Fat Lamb and Rissoni

Posted under Meat Dishes & Lamb & Low Fat Diet

INGREDIENTS:

Lamb cutlets/lamb rump steaks (I used 2 small rump steaks per person)

1.5 cups rissoni pasta

200g low fat ricotta

2 garlic cloves

100g semi sun dried tomatoes

Juice of 2 lemons

2 tbls olive oil

2 small zucchinis (cut into rounds)

A few handfuls of baby spinach

Lemon segments to serve

METHOD:

Combine ricotta, garlic, semi sun dried tomatoes, lemon juice and oil in a food processor. Blend until smooth. (If you don’t have a food processor, just shop the tomatoes and garlic finely and mix well) Put aside.

Bring water in a saucepan to the boil. Add risoni and cook, simmering until almost al dente. Meanwhile, heat a BBQ plate or fry pan and cook lamb till golden brown.

Add zucchini to the boiling pasta for the last 5 mins of cooking. Cook until zucchini and risoni are tender. Drain and add the baby spinach. Add ricotta mixture and gently stir to combine well.

Place a couple of spoonfuls of risoni mixture on a plate and top with lamb. Serve with lemon wedges and a salad.

NB: This is a delicious, creamy tasting dinner, with very little fat. Perfect for those watching their weight but wanting to eat flavoursome food.

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February 25th 2007
Couscous with grilled vegies and tuna

Posted under Salads and Sides & Whats for Dinner & Low Fat Diet

(Serves 2)

Ingredients:

160gm couscous
250 ml chicken stock
5-6 slices grilled eggplant, cut into small chunks
2 slices grilled capsicum, cut into small chunks
handful of continental parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp capers, drained and roughly chopped
4 roma tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1 tbsp butter
some balsamic and extra virgin olive oil (for tomatoes)
Juice and zest from half a lemon
1 can of lemon pepper tuna chunks, drained (I like the Safcol one)

Method:

1. Toss tomatoes with 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, salt and some pepper. Place in a grill for 20 mins (medium heat), until tomatoes become brown at the top, and a bit soft and gooey. Set aside.

2. Bring stock to boil in a saucepan, add some salt to taste. Add all spices and lemon juice, and couscous. Remove from heat and wait for couscous to expand (about 2 mins). Stir 1 tbsp butter and lemon zest through the expanded couscous.

3. Add all of remaining ingredients (capsicum, capers, parsley, eggplant and tuna chunks), give it a very good stir. Season with a bit more salt if required. Place tomatoes on top to serve.

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February 19th 2007
Soba Noodle Salad

Posted under Entrees and Nibbles & Low Fat Diet

I made this for lunch on the weekend, it was very refreshing on a hot day.

Ingredients:

2 bunches of soba noodles

2 sprigs of spring onion (white part only), sliced thinly on the diagonal

6-7  dried shi-take mushrooms, soaked in hot water for an hour to soften

3 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

Dressing:

1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp sesame seed oil

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1/2 tsp chilli oil (optional)

Method:

1. Cook soba noodles as per instruction on packet (Place in a pot of boiling water for 4 mins or until cooked). Drain in a colander, then plunge into a tub of icy water to refresh. Drain and set aside.

2. Remove the stem from the shi-take mushrooms, and slice thinly.

3. In a frypan, fry 1 tbsp of the spring onion in 1 tsp of oil.  Add shi-take mushrooms and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add 1 tbsp of the water that the mushrooms have been soaking in. Season to taste with pepper and soy sauce.

4. Combine drained soba noodles, remaining spring onions and cooked mushrooms with dressing. Toss and mix evenly, then sprinkle with the sesame seeds. If you like, garnish and top with some toasted nori (seaweed) strips.

Tip: To add more substance to this meal, try adding some hard tofu strips or chicken strips marinated in soy/sesame seed oil. Cook them with the mushrooms.

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February 16th 2007
Yoghurt, Lime and Mint Chicken

Posted under Chicken (Poultry) & Whats for Dinner & Lunch with the Girls & Low Fat Diet

MARINADE

1 cup of Greek Style natural yoghurt

2 limes (juiced and zested)

1/2 bunch of mint (chopped)

1/2 bunch chives (snipped)

a good glug of olive oil

Salt and Pepper to season

CHICKEN

500-700g chicken breasts or thighs (I prefer thighs as they are not as dry)

METHOD

Combine all marinade ingredients. Season to taste. Add chicken and mix to cover with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for an or or two.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Spray a shallow baking dish with oil. Arrange chicken on the dish and bake uncovered for 25 mins.

Serve with baked potato and salad (or whatever you want really)

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February 16th 2007
Pumpkin’s Salad

Posted under Salads and Sides & Low Fat Diet

Baby spinach leaves

1 sweet potato

Danish style fetta

1 pkt pine nuts

handful of cherry tomatoes

Avocado (diced)

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Peel and dice the sweet potato into bitesized pieces. Spray a baking tray with oil. Arrange sweet potato in a single layer and bake, turning occasionally until soft (approx 20 mins). Remove and cool.

At the same time arrange pinenuts on a shallow baking tray. Spray with oil and cook, turning regularly until golden brown. Don’t take your eye off them or they will burn. remove and place onto some paper towel to cool.

Combine baby spinach, cold sweet potato, pine nuts, cherry tomatoes and avocado in a salad bowl. Crumble fetta over the top and serve.

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February 13th 2007
Ramatuelle Pasta Sauce (A Moosewood Recipe)

Posted under Salads and Sides & Whats for Dinner & Low Fat Diet

This is delicious. Make more than you need and keep the sauce in the fridge for quick and easy meals.

3 large garlic cloves minced
1/3 cup coarsely chopped onions
1 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
5 or 6 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pasta
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Put the garlic, onions, basil and tomatoes in a blender or food processor. Add the olive oil, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Set aside. This sauce is served at room temperature.

Cook and drain pasta, toss hot pasta with the sauce to taste and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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February 11th 2007
Creamy pasta sauce with chicken

Posted under Chicken (Poultry) & Whats for Dinner

Chef: Andrea Ho

Serves 2

You need:
2 chicken thigh fillets (or one large breast fillet), sliced into long thin strips
2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves, washed & stalks removed
Small onion, finely chopped
10-15 semi-dried tomatoes, sliced in to long halves
A handful of pine nuts
300-350 ml cream (standard small carton or container)
1 heaped tsp plain flour
1-2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Pinch each of dried basil & chives
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash of white wine to deglaze
Enough pasta for two

Method:
Bring water to boil in a large saucepan for the pasta, and heat a pan for the sauce. Toss the pine nuts into the hot pan (no oil), and toast quickly until golden brown; set aside.

Immerse the pasta to cook (remember to stir every few minutes), and then add the onions and garlic to the hot pan with a tbsp of oil and fry. When the onions are translucent, add the chicken pieces and sear. If they stick to the pan a little, add the dash of white wine to deglaze the pan.

Now add the herbs and seasoning, pine nuts, semi-dried tomatoes and almost all of the cream. Bring to the boil and then turn down to medium heat. Watch (stirring occasionally) to ensure the cream does not curdle.

Add the flour to the cream left in the container, replace the lid, and shake until well mixed. Pour the flour and cream mixture into the sauce, stirring through quickly. You should see the sauce begin to thicken. Now, add the spinach leaves and stir through. They may seem to take up a lot of the pan, but will wilt quickly. TIP: if the sauce thickens overly and begins to look gluggy, stir in a tbsp of milk to loosen it up.

Check to see that the pasta is cooked, and drain it off. Run a little cold water through the pasta to stop it cooking further and ensure it doesn’t stick together. When drained, add the pasta into the same pan as the sauce. Stir through, so the pasta is heated and coated with sauce.

Serve immediately

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