5 make-ahead vegetarian and pescatarian dinners

5 make-ahead vegetarian and pescatarian dinners

Busy? In a rush? Know that you should be eating more veggies and fish but not sure where to start? If you’re flying in the door after a busy day and need something easy to get on the table that’s healthy and tasty for your family here is a round up of my favourite vegetarian and pescatarian meals.

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6 fast, easy and healthy tray bakes

6 fast, easy and healthy tray bakes

For the lazy cook like me, the tray bake has to be the ultimate dinner. I read a lot of recipe books and immediately turn the page if too much chopping or browning is involved. A tray bake is perfect because I can pop it in the oven while I am driving my kids around. And bonus - minimal washing up!

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Boosting your calcium intake on a lactose free diet

Boosting your calcium intake on a lactose free diet

Did you know more than half of Australians adults don't get enough calcium?  Calcium is the major building block for our bones - it's deposited as a crystal onto out bones to give them strength.  Our bones also store calcium so that when we don't get enough calcium in our diets the body will take calcium from our bones.  This is why it is really important to have a daily supply of calcium throughout our lives.   So, how do you get enough calcium on a dairy-free diet?

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Supporting your recovery from injury through nutrition

Supporting your recovery from injury through nutrition

A downside of finding a sport that you love is the inevitable injury that sidelines you.  While you are sidelined - what can you eat to support your recovery to get you back to your sport stronger than ever? No, I'm not talking about eating your feelings via chocolate and red wine but using your diet to support your recovery and get you back to your sport stronger than ever?

Your focus during your recovery should be on fighting inflammation and fuelling repair – loading up anti-inflammatory foods, keeping essential nutrient intake high as well as boosting protein intake. Your focus during your recovery should be on fighting inflammation and fuelling repair – loading up anti-inflammatory foods, keeping essential nutrient intake high as well as boosting protein intake.

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Roasted pumpkin, pear and chickpea soup

Roasted pumpkin, pear and chickpea soup

We love soup for Meatless Monday or after Saturday morning sport.  However often a plain vegetable soup can be low in protein and leave you hungry later on, so I’ve added chickpeas which are a terrific source of plant based protein and fibre.  Adding pear brings a beautiful sweetness to this dish.  This soup is very simple to put together with the oven doing the bulk of the work.

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My favourite nut bars to keep in your handbag

My favourite nut bars to keep in your handbag

Are you a snacker?  Do you like something sweet with your morning coffee?  I am, especially as I am up early with the kids and do my exercise then, so by morning tea breakfast is a distant memory.  A nut bar can be a handy shelf stable option that will survive be kept in your handbag or office drawer.  Here are my favourite supermarket finds.

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10 easy snacks for busy women

10 easy snacks for busy women

What do you do when the 3pm energy slump hits?  Do you grab a biscuit from the office stash or ignore the slump and hope it passes?  For me if I don't make the effort to have a small snack at this time I get very hangry and snap at everyone around me. 

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Product Review - Naked Kitchen Black Bean Chilli with Red Quinoa & Paprika

Product Review - Naked Kitchen Black Bean Chilli with Red Quinoa & Paprika

I'm always on the look out for shelf stable products that are healthy and delicious that I can serve up for a quick lunch or dinner.  Since my daughter became vegetarian I've explored some new areas of the supermarket and came across this product in the fridge section which she and I both think is delicious!

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5 Easy Office Lunches

5 Easy Office Lunches

Does this sound like you? Can I guess why? Like a lot of the women I see, you've had a coffee and maybe a slice of toast for breakfast. You've chosen a tuna salad for lunch - because you are trying to be "good". By 3 pm you are all about the easy carbs - picking at the kids’ leftovers and in and out of the kitchen after dinner. That's because you've barely eaten enough to make it from your bed to the sofa let alone provide yourself with enough energy to do all the things you need to do in your day!  Crowd out the junk food by getting your lunch right. 

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Sports Nutrition for Teenagers

Sports Nutrition for Teenagers

Do you have sporty teenagers?  With the winter sports season kicking off, you might be wondering if your teenagers are eating the right types of food to support healthy growth and development as well as their training and competition. It's not all about protein powder to get "shredded", or litres of sweet sports drinks!

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Why you should swap your lunchtime tinned tuna for tinned salmon

Why you should swap your lunchtime tinned tuna for tinned salmon

A tin of tuna is a popular lunch choice as it is a good source of protein, cheap and shelf stable.  A lot of people eat tuna for lunch assuming they are getting a serve of omega 3s – essential fatty acids. However tinned tuna is very low in omega3s - tinned salmon or sardines provide much more.

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Your vegetarian teenager

Your vegetarian teenager

Has your teenager recently announced they are a vegetarian?  Mine has!  The rest of the family eat meat and I'm too busy to be cooking 2 meals every night so here's some ideas for how I cope.  I've also seen quite a few vegetarian clients recently with iron deficiency so I'll outline some common nutrient concerns with a vegetarian teenager and how to avoid them.

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Oat and ricotta protein waffles

Oat and ricotta protein waffles

Healthy waffles made with oats for fibre and gut health, ricotta and eggs for muscle building protein and chia seeds for omega 3 fats.  This is a great healthy breakfast that tastes great.  Fodmap friendly too!

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Toasted maple, nut and seed granola

Toasted maple, nut and seed granola

I developed this delicious granola recipe for my son and he loves it.  He mixes it with yoghurt as a great second breakfast after early morning rugby training or after a game.  The combination of protein and carbs makes it ideal for refuelling my hungry boy! 

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Are you eating enough protein?

Although I'm a Nutritionist I'm also a massive nerd, which is why I'm finishing off the last few units in my Masters of Human Nutrition.  I've just submitted my latest paper towards my Masters and the topic I chose to write about was managing obesity via high protein diets.  After reviewing many random control trials and meta-analyses it is pretty clear that increasing dietary protein in the place of refined carbohydrate is a useful tool for reducing and maintaining weight.  This is because protein is satiating, increases your metabolic rate and also appears to affect the hormones that stimulate appetite.  Higher protein diets also tend to be easier to stick to long term.

I'm not suggesting that you need to become a body builder (in fact amounts in excess of 2g/kg body weight are difficult for the kidneys to process).  In fact most people in Australia consume enough protein in their day.  What does go wrong is that people don't tend to eat enough protein at breakfast and lunch leading to them overeating at dinner.

So what should a serve of protein look like and how much do you need?

WOMEN AGED 30-50 NEED 3 SERVES OF LEAN PROTEIN AND 2- 3 SERVES OF DAIRY EVERY DAY

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A good guide to estimate a serve of lean protein is that it should be the size of a deck of cards.

Dairy is another excellent source of protein and women aged 30-50 should include 2-3 serves of dairy or calcium rich substitutes each day:

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Overnight Steel Cut Oats and Quinoa Porridge

Although I love my 5 star muesli and can pretty much eat it every day of the year, lately the cool autumn mornings have had me craving a warm breakfast.  I love steel cut oats but I haven't got 20 minutes to spend stirring them on a school/work/uni morning.  Instead I quickly prep them while I am cleaning up after dinner and they are all ready to be warmed through first thing in the morning.  The added quinoa bumps up the protein levels - this recipe will fill you up all morning.  This recipe was inspired by marin mama cooks but I've  used my german death machine (the thermomix) to prep them - you can also just use a saucepan, spoon and  stove.  


ingredients

  • 1/2 cup quinoa (rinsed and scrubbed in a fine mesh sieve)
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups your choice of milk
  • pinch of salt

method

  1. Place all the ingredients in your thermomix/saucepan.  
  2. Thermomix - 100 degrees/ 6 minutes/reverse speed 3.  Leave it to sit overnight.
  3. Stovetop - Bring to the boil on a medium-high heat, stir occasionally for 5 minutes.  Give one last stir, cover it and let it sit overnight.
  4. In the morning the milk and water will have all been absorbed and your porridge is ready to be heated up and served.
  5. I like to serve it with either chopped banana and dates or like I have here with fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Serves 4.  

If you need help sticking to your healthy eating goals I can help you. I'm a university qualified nutritionist based in Balmain, Sydney and the busy working mum of two teenagers, so I'm practical and realistic with my advice.  Find out more about me here.

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