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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Salmon Burgers

With the arrival of spring in Sydney I've been looking for a new way of including fish in our meals. Salmon is a fantastic source of omega-3 fatty acids which are inti-inflammatory and extremely beneficial to your health - they can help lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure,  and may reduce symptoms of arthritis and depression.  Omega-3s are essential fats that must be obtained from our diet. These burgers are an excellent source of quality protein that can help build and repair lean muscle.

I modified a Teresa Cutter recipe here and it was a huge hit with the family.

salmon burgers

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 slices stale bread (preferably wholegrain)(gluten free if needed)
  • zest of 2 lemons and juice of 1/2 lemon
  • small bunch parsley
  • 2-4 spring onions
  • 600g salmon fillets, bones and skin removed
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil for shallow frying

METHOD

  1. In a food processor pulse bread, zest of one lemon, 1/3 bunch parsley.  Tip into wide, shallow bowl
  2. Add remaining lemon zest and parsley and spring onions to food processor, pulse.  Add salmon fillets and pulse again (so you have a chopped texture not a paste).  Add egg and lemon juice and briefly pulse again until just combined.  Season with salt and pepper
  3. Divide into 8 portions and form into burgers
  4. Roll burgers in herbed breadcrumbs and place in fridge for 20 minutes to firm up
  5. Heat fry pan to a low - medium heat and cook in a little olive oil for  4-5 minutes on each side until golden outside and just a little pink in the middle

I serve the burgers on a bun for the kids and "naked" for me.  I like to serve along roast sweet potato and carrot wedges (cook at 200 C for 40 minutes, drizzled with evoo) and a big green salad.

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Product review - HIT 100

As a nutritionist people often come to see me for weight loss, glowing skin or extra energy.  These might be a measure we can see on the outside but  I believe it is far more important to invest in your internal health and do everything you can to reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.  Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes, including silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.  I wrote about pre-diabetes and insulin resistance here.  With more than 100,000 Australians having developed diabetes in the past year it is likely that you know someone living with diabetes.   

I first came across Hit100 when researching a university assignment looking at strategies for managing diabetes and insulin resistance.  Hit 100 is a meal delivery service catering specifically for people living with diabetes.  The meals have been developed by dietitians and prepared by chefs and are aimed at improving blood sugar levels. Hit100 were kind enough to offer me a few frozen meals to try.

We tried:

  • chicken tikka marsala

  • hearty beef stew

  • pumpkin and ricotta lasagna

There are plenty of other choices on the hit100 website including some great looking breakfast and lunch options like corn fritters and oat and berry pikelets.

What are they?

The Hit100 meals are based on the latest healthy eating guidelines containing non-starchy vegetables, good quality carbohydrates, healthy fats and lean proteins.  These are the guidelines we all should be following - whether or not we have insulin resistance, diabetes or not.

If you have diabetes you don't need to avoid carbohydrates - carbohydrates play an essential role in your diet as they are the main source of energy your bodies rely on to function optimally. Many carbohydrate based foods are also a good source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, which all act together to keep us healthy. 

How did they taste?

I heated the dishes in our oven (microwave for 5 mins is also an option) for 35 minutes and tried the meals with my two teenage kids.  We enjoyed all the meals with the favourite being the hearty beef stew closely followed by the chicken tikka marsala.  What I loved was the generous serve of veggies on the side.  I was concerned that the veggies would not heat up well in the oven but they had a delicious lemon salsa on them and were all eaten up.  

I liked that the meals had a decent amount of protein (17 for the lasagne to 29 for the beef stew) and you could see real pieces of chicken and beef.  The sodium levels are less than 120mg/100g which means they are considered as low in salt.  The portion size was ideal for a woman, an active teenager or man might like these for lunch or need some extra veggies at dinner.

When would I use these?

While I am a big fan of cooking and believe you can put together a quick healthy dinner in less than 20 minutes, I realise not everyone likes cooking and also sometimes even 20 minutes is too much to ask.  These are a great option to have in the the freezer and much much healthier than takeaway pad-thai.  I also think they would be a great option to get for an older parent or friend who might not enjoy cooking for themselves.  

Want to know more?

You can head over to the Hit100 website and try an introbox.  

Want to know more?

You can head over to Hit100's website and try an introbox - which is a great taste tester of what they're all about.  For $69.95 you’ll get:
+ 5 main meals
+ 2 mini meals
+ 2 breakfasts
+ 2 yoghurts

Enter coupon: ‘racheleagleton10’ at checkout to receive this exclusive $10.00 discount (valued at $79.95)!

* As mentioned Hit100 provided these meals free to me for my review.  I only post reviews of products that I like and am happy to use. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

 

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Spanish gazpacho - drink your veggies

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gazpacho

A couple of years ago we had a beautiful holiday in Andalusia, Spain.  We'd sit out in the garden and start our meal with short glass of gazpacho which you could buy in tetra packs from the supermarket.  I've come up with this recipe which gets some veggies into everyone before the meal has started.  I tend to use tomato juice (no added salt or sugar), it would be better to use real tomatoes but I can't get that lovely rich tomato flavour from the disappointing supermarket tomatoes.  The advantage of tomato juice is there is no de-seeding or peeling.  Think of it as a red green smoothie!


Ingredients

  • 2 slices crusty bread
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1L tomato juice
  • 1 red capsicum, seeded, chopped
  • 1 lebanese cucumber, seeded, chopped, plus extra finely chopped as a garnish
  • 1/2 long red chilli, seeded
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 2 tabs olive oil

METHOD

  1. Break bread into large pieces and place in a bowl (or your thermomix bowl). Pour over red wine vinegar and set aside for 10 minutes
  2. Place bread in a blender or food processor. Add garlic, sugar, tomato juice, capsicum, cucumber, chilli and green onions, and blend until combined (1 minute speed 10 in thermomix). With processor running, pour in olive oil in a thin stream
  3. Transfer gazpacho to a large jug, cover and refrigerate until chilled. Just before serving, stir well with ice cubes and add extra finely chopped cucumber as a garnish.

 

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Salmon, mussel and fennel stew

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I love a fish stew and this is my simple one.  After watching a documentary last year about the fish farms in Vietnam I only buy Australian fish that has been sustainably farmed.  You can buy cleaned bearded mussels in the supermarket.  Mussels are a good source of omega -3 fatty acids.  These fats have many beneficial effects, including improving brain function and reducing inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis. Mussels are also a great source of vitamins such as zinc which helps build immunity.  Plus they are fun to eat, the kids love them! http://gty.im/175816512

Salmon, mussel and fennel stew
Author: rachel
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 bulb of fennel
  • 1 red onion
  • ½– fresh red chilli
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 700 g passata
  • 1 small bunch of fresh basil
  • 400 g mixture of fish fillets, scaled and pin-boned. I used salmon but snapper or whiting would be good. Cut into large chunks
  • 1kg mussels scrubbed, clean and debearded
Instructions
  1. In a large, deep frypan (with lid) heat a splash of olive oil. Finely slice the fennel, onion, chill and garlic and add to the pan. Saute for 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables have softened.
  2. Add the white wine and let it simmer for a couple of minutes then add the passata and most of the basil (chopped). Simmer for a few minutes.
  3. Add the fish and simmer for a couple of minutes
  4. Add the mussels. Put the lid on the frypan and allow the mussels to open. When the mussels have opened (throw away any that remain closed), the fish will be cooked through (roughly four minutes).
  5. Serve with crusty bread and a big green salad.

 

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Baked eggs, spinach and ricotta in prosciutto cups

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These make a delicious brunch and are perfect for lunch boxes.  My children enjoy them after an early morning swim squad or netball session and I love knowing I've got them in the fridge or freezer for an easy lunch. eggproscooked

Baked eggs, spinach and ricotta in prosciutto cups
Author: rachel
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 6 eggs
  • 6 slices of prosciutto
  • baby spinach
  • ricotta
  • chopped herbs - parsley, basil and oregano (or herbs of choice)
  • sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • muffin liners - optional but does help with cleaning up
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
  2. If using, line 6 muffin pans.
  3. Cut each slice of Prosciutto in half and wrap into each cup to hold the egg mixture.
  4. Put a few baby spinach leaves on top of the prosciutto
  5. Crack in an egg to each muffin cup. Add a heaped teaspoon of ricotta.
  6. Sprinkle with sea salt, pepper and chopped herbs.
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes until done.
Calories: 188 (792kJ) Fat: 12 Saturated fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 3 Sugar: 0 Sodium: 776 Protein: 19

eggprosciuttobefore

Lamb with lentils, feta and mint

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Given the choice I am sure everyone in my family would be able to eat at least 4 or 5 lamb cutlets at a go.  However they are expensive and we just don't need to be eating such large amounts of protein at the expense of vegetables and pulses.  Lentils are a great way to balance out the proportion of meat to non-meat on your plate.  This is a delicious quick dinner and if you are having vegetarian guests you can increase the lentil salad size.  While you are prepping dinner you can add another tin of lentils and increase the quantities of tomatoes, cucumbers and feta and prepare a quick lentil salad for lunch the next day. IMG_4519

 

Lamb with lentils, feta and mint
Author: rachel
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 250g punnet cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tab olive oil
  • 12 kalamata olives, pitted
  • 12 lamb cutlets, frenched
  • 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary
  • 400g can lentils, rinsed, drained
  • 1 lebanese cucumber diced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 50g sheeps' milk feta, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons mint leaves
  • 200g baby spinach
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  2. Toss tomatoes in 2 teaspoons oil, season and place on a baking tray. Roast for 15 minutes until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, rub lamb with rosemary and 2 teaspoons oil. Season, then cook in a frypan over medium-high heat for 4 minutes or until browned. Turn and cook for a further 3 minutes for medium-rare, or until done to your liking.
  4. Rest the lamb, covered loosely in foil, while you warm lentils in a small pan of simmering water for 5 minutes. Drain lentils and toss with diced cucumber, lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of oil. Season.
  5. To serve, place baby spinach on platter, scatter lentils on top, top with slices of lamb and scatter with feta, tomatoes, olives and fresh mint.
Calories: 405 (1704 kJ) Fat: 25 Saturated fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 13.7 Sodium: 382 Fiber: 6.3 Protein: 29

 

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Teriyaki salmon with soba noodles and greens

My children are really not great fish lovers, to get them to eat fish I need to come up with a sauce that disguises the flavour somewhat.  We all love teriyaki flavour and the fish is delicious served with soba noodles made from buckwheat flour.  Salmon is high in healthy long chain omega-3s essential fatty acids that are needed for heart and brain health.  The body can't make essential fatty acids so you have to eat them, I try to serve fish a couple of times a week. Be careful when you buy mirin, a lot of brands are full of high fructose corn syrup - I found the spiral brand doesn't contain HFCS.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shutterbean/4642551334

 

Teriyaki salmon with soba noodles and greens
Author: rachel
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp tamari
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 4 salmon fillets (about 150g each)
  • 2 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • greens of your choice, I like a mixture of asparagus, sugar snap peas and broccollini
  • 270 g packet soba noodles
  • 2 greens onions sliced on the diagonal
Instructions
  1. Combine the tamari, sake and mirin in a small saucepan and bring to the boil for a minute or so. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes
  2. Place the salmon in a glass or ceramic bowl. Pour over soy mixture and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to marinate.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drain salmon from marinade, reserving marinade. Add salmon and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate.
  4. Stir fry mixed greens for 2 minutes or until just tender. Add reserved marinade and bring to the boil for 1 minute. Remove from heat.
  5. Meanwhile, cook noodles following packet directions. Drain. Divide noodles among serving bowls. Top with veggie mixture and salmon. Sprinkle with green onions and serve immediately.
Calories: 474 (1899kJ) Fat: 25 Saturated fat: 5 Carbohydrates: 15 Sugar: 3 Sodium: 462 Fiber: 2.5 Protein: 35

 

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