Had a few requests on insta and FB to share the recipe for my “buddha bowl” - a quick plant powered lunch or light dinner, perfect for this cold weather! Incorporating soy-based foods like tofu is an excellent way to get protein, iron, calcium and healthy fats into your diet with relatively little saturated fat, so beneficial for cardiovascular health. Soy products like tofu and miso are also rich in isoflavones which may reduce your risk of prostate cancer and has a protective (or at worst neutral) effect on breast cancer risk.Read More
This is one of our favourite meals which cooks itself while I drive my kids to rugby or swimming practice. I usually make enough for two nights, the second night I serve this with basmati rice and it tastes a bit paella-ish. The red capsicums (sweet peppers) are rich in vitamin C, and high in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, helping to promote vision and support a healthy immune system.Read More
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.Read More
I love this time of year with the hint of spring starting. Here is a favourite recipe adapted from an old delicious magazine that I have made with salmon, snapper and kingfish. Easy, fresh and perfect for topping up your omega-3sRead More
With the arrival of spring in Sydney I've had a craving for this Jamie Oliver inspired recipe. 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. I've accompanied the salmon with salsa verde and some lovely roasted veggies.Read More
If you hang around the sports nutrition world you'll see there's a lot of fuss about beetroot juice, which has recently been promoted to a Grade A supplement by the Australian Institute of Sport. Whether you are trying to improve your exercise endurance, improve your blood pressure or just add more veggies to your diet - check out my beetroot smoothie.Read More
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.
- 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
- In a food processor pulse bread, zest of one lemon, 1/3 bunch parsley. Tip into wide, shallow bowl
- 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
- Divide into 8 portions and form into burgers
- Roll burgers in herbed breadcrumbs and place in fridge for 20 minutes to firm up
- 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.
This is my new favourite dinner that I could eat every day for a month and not tire of. You will desperately hope there will be enough for leftovers for lunch! This recipe is full of veggies, black beans and quinoa so it delivers plenty of fibre and plant based protein which is a winner for preventing lifestyle diseases such as some cancers, cardiovascular disease and stroke plus it tastes amazing and will keep you full for ages.
This recipe was inspired by marin mama cooks but I've increased the veggies and beans a bit and "Australianised" the ingredients. I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 red chilli, half the seeds removed and sliced
1 cup well-rinsed and scrubbed quinoa
1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 rinsed and drained cans of black beans
1 can tinned diced tomatoes
1 medium zucchini diced
2 red capsicums, diced
1 tablespoon Mexican spice powder (I used Herbies but masterfoods do one too or use 1/2 tsp chilli, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander)
pinch of salt
1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
juice of one lime
chopped fresh coriander leaves, greek yoghurt and shredded sharp cheese to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large frypan over medium high heat. Add the garlic and fresh chilli and cook for one minute stirring well.
Add in the chicken stock, quinoa, black beans, tinned tomatoes, zucchini, capsicum, salt, and spices.
Stir well, then bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and leave to simmer for 20 -25 minutes until cooked.
Before serving stir through the lime juice and chopped coriander. Serve with a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of greek yoghurt.
I adore chicken sates and gado-gado, both firm favourites from learning Indonesian at school and many many visits to our northern neighbour. I love gado-gado as a fantastic way of having a filling salad at dinner with plenty left over for lunch the next day. Here's my recipe, adjust it to suit your favourite veggies.
- 600 gm, chicken, cubed
- 1 onion
- 2 tab lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic
- sml knob of ginger peeled
- 1-2 fresh red chillis (seeded if you don’t want it too hot)
- 1/3 cup tamari
- 1 tab brown sugar
- 270ml coconut milk
- ½ cup 100% crunchy peanut butter
- 3 handfuls baby spinach
- 4 soft boiled eggs
- 6 new potatoes, boiled until soft, about 10 mins
- 2 carrots
- big handful of green beans
- 2 lebanese cucumbers, cut into long batons
- bean shoots
- In a food processor blitz the onion, garlic, ginger, chili. Mix in the tamari, lemon juice and sugar. Add to a ziplock bag with the chicken pieces. Leave to marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge. Soak 12 bamboo skewers.
- Prepare your gado-gado salad by assembling the veggies that you like, I’ve included a suggested list in the ingredients, but use the gado-gado to clean up your fridge. You can also include quickly fried firm tofu pieces.
- Remove the chicken pieces from marinade (reserve the marinade) and thread onto the skewers.
- Pour the reserved marinade into a saucepan, add the coconut milk and peanut butter. Bring to the boil and heat through until thickened. Taste and adjust for lemon juice, tamari and chili.
- Barbecue the chicken for 6 minutes or so until they are browned and cooked through. Serve sates with the gado-gado salad.
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!
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
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
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
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.
Happy Diwali! Diwali is the Indian festival of lights - and signifies the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Let's celebrate by sharing a meal together - here's a beautiful prawn curry that I learnt how to make when I lived in Singapore. The flavours are very fresh with a beautiful pop of mint.Read More
This is how I like to eat in summer - a big salad topped with delicious steak. I discovered this salad when I was pregnant as I was trying to increase my iron stores and eat lots of leafy greens. It's now a firm family favourite and perfect for my teenage children who need zinc and iron for growth, energy and immunity.
GF, LF, FF - see below for notes
- 400 g lean beef (I like sirloin or porterhouse)
- plenty of black pepper
- olive oil
- 2 large handfuls asian salad mix or baby spinach leaves
- 250g cherry tomatoes, halved
- 20 green beans, sugar snap peas or snow peas, blanched
- 2 red capsicums,sliced
- 2 Lebanese / Japanese cucumbers sliced
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1 small bunch coriander picked
- 1 small bunch mint picked
- Cashews to sprinkle over
- juice from 2-3 limes
- 1 sliced red chilli (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 teaspoon palm sugar (or castor sugar)
- Season the steak with the pepper and cook in a hot pan with a little olive oil until medium rare. Remove from the pan, cover loosely and allow to rest for about 5 minutes then slice thinly.
- Combine the salad leaves, tomatoes, green beans, capsicum, cucumber, onion and herbs.
- Add the sliced beef.
- Make the dressing by mixing the lime juice, chilli, fish sauce and sugar.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix through. Top with a small handful of cashews.
- Divide between serving bowls and enjoy. Lean chicken breast, grilled fish or grilled firm tofu can be used in place of the beef.
GF - check fish sauce,
FF (FODMAP friendly) - substitute green tops of spring onion for onion, limit portion of snow peas to five pods, substitute peanuts for cashews
A vegetable hack I've been using a lot lately is to mix in half cauliflower rice with our brown basmati. Tonight I'm sharing my cauliflower fried rice which is a huge hit. I serve it with quickly pickled cucumber, a fried egg and some tamari almonds. I did wonder how the "rice" would be received - see picture below, but mixed in with aromatic ginger and coriander plus the colour somewhat disguised by turmeric no-one gave it a second thought!
Cauliflower is a fantastic vegetable being a source of cancer-fighting agents (glucosinolates). I've been using a lot of turmeric in my recipes recently as the active ingredient -curcumin - as it has been linked to warding off dementia and preventing cancer. The AIS is investigating the anti-inflammatory properties for use as a sports supplement.
(I am listing this a vegetarian, but you'll need to take out the ham)
Cauliflower and broccolini fried rice with ginger and turmeric
1/2 head of cauliflower
1 bunch broccolini
200g packet of pre-cooked brown basmati rice
2 french shallots
2 cloves garlic
2 cm piece of ginger
1 red chilli (seeds removed)
1 bunch of coriander
2-3 tab tamari
2-3 tsp tomato sauce (I use sugar free)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
shallots to serve
fried egg to serve
cucumber pickle to serve
In a food processor or by hand pulse together the cauliflower florets and broccolini. Remove and set aside.
In food processor or by hand chop the shallots, garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander.
In a heavy bottom frypan or wok fry the processed shallot mixture in a tsp or so of coconut oil or olive oil. Stir fry for 3 minutes then add ham and fry for another minute or so.
Add pulsed cauliflower, broccolini and rice and fry for another minute.
Add turmeric, paprika, tamari and tomato sauce and fry for a few minutes.
I like to serve with a fried egg, some pickled cucumber, a squeeze of lime and some tamari almonds
Make a quick cucumber pickle by slicing up 2 cucumbers, pour over a little rice wine vinegar, a squeeze of lime juice and a tsp of sugar.
Have you been thinking for a while that you would love to find out more about your gut health or why your weight won’t shift no matter what you do? Or maybe you just want to feel less bloated, have more energy and understand what food you are meant to be eating?
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Rachel is a university qualified Clinical Nutritionist based in Balmain. She is also the busy working mum of two teenagers, so is practical and realistic with her advice . Rachel offers private online or in person consultations to improve your family's health and well-being. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram for more healthy tips and tricks.
Having a rustle around in the freezer I found the ham bone I had saved from Christmas. I asked my husband to make his amazing baked beans and he also wrote down the recipe as we can never quite remember how he makes them. These make a delicious breakfast, lunch or easy dinner. You can cook an egg in the bean mixture as well. If you don't have a frozen ham bone left over from Christmas then you can get a ham hock from the butcher or make a vegetarian version. A diet rich in legumes such as cannellini beans is associated with lowered blood sugar and reduced harmful LDL cholesterol. They’ve been linked to reduced risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and colon and other cancers, as well as improved weight control. Plus my kids love eating them!
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 red onions roughly chopped.
- Splash of olive oil
- Ham bone (frozen from after Christmas) or ham hock.
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 x 400gm tin of crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp of maple syrup
- 2 tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp of smokey paprika
- 1 tsp of dried chilli flakes (this gives it just a hint of heat but up to you)
- 1 tsp of dry mustard powder
- 4 x 400gm tins of Cannellini Beans (drained and rinse beans from 3 of the tins, but use liquid and beans from 4th)
- Preheat oven to 160 deg C.
- Fry up garlic, onions and oil over a medium to high heat (choose a big pot that is also able to go in oven). Whack in the ham bone. Pour in 2 tins of tomatoes and the bay leaves. Then add the maple syrup, Worcestershire sauce, and spices.
- Drain the beans in a sieve and rinse off the briney liquid from 3 of the tins, but chuck liquid and beans from the 4th. Give it all a stir.
- Check seasoning but probably could do with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
- Cover and put the pot in the oven for a 1 1/2 hrs.
- I like to cook it the beans long enough so that the meat has fallen off the ham bone but not so long the dish becomes too dry. I switch off oven and just leave the pot in until I'm ready to serve.
- Dish it up with crusty bread and green salad
You can also cook this in the slow cooker on low for 4 hours.
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
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 10 mins
Total time: 20 mins
1 bulb of fennel
1 red onion
½ fresh red chilli
2 cloves of garlic
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
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.
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.
Add the fish and simmer for a couple of minutes
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).
Serve with crusty bread and a big green salad.
This is a fabulous recipe for a night where you are tired - the oven can do all the work. Our oven has a reliable oven timer so I often pop this on to cook while I am driving around to pick the kids up from rugby practice etc. It won't spoil if you leave it in the oven for 10 more minutes. You can vary the veggies depending on what the team will eat and also add a tin of cannellini beans to make a cheats' cassoulet.
1 red onion
1 whole head garlic
1 medium eggplant
2 red capsicums
1 tbsp olive oil
2 x 400g tins canned tomatoes
1 tbsp fresh thyme and rosemary leaves
6 good quality pork sausages
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans (optional)
12 kalamata olives, unpitted
fresh rosemary and thyme for serving
Preheat oven to 200C
Cut the onion into quarters, and the head of garlic in half crosswise.
Cut the eggplant into half and then rounds, the zucchinis into diagonal slices and the capsicums into thick slices, discarding core and seeds.
Arrange in a large oiled baking tray, burying the garlic halves cut-side down. Add the canned tomatoes and their juices, and a dash of water.
Tuck in the pricked sausages, drizzle with olive oil and scatter with thyme and rosemary, sea salt and pepper.
Bake for 30 minutes, then add the zucchini and turn the sausages. Cook for another 15 minutes, until the veggies are cooked and sausages are browned.
To serve, scatter with olives, rosemary and thyme. Squeeze the roasted garlic on top, and drizzle with the pan juices.
Calories: 290 Fat:16g Saturated fat:4 Carbohydrates:28g Fiber:9g Protein:12g
Today I've got two sick children so I'm making soup for dinner. Soup, particularly vegetable based soups are a great option nutritionally as they combine lots of key nutrients including vitamins and minerals for relatively few calories. Tonight's soup is full of tomatoes, my son is happy to eat this although he will "never, ever eat a tomato". Tomatoes are a wonderful source of vitamin B6, C, K, beta-carotene, potassium and manganese. The lycopene in tomatoes has been linked to lower rates of heart disease and cancer.
1kg tomatoes, quartered or halved depending on size. I like a mixture of truss and romas.
1 red onion, peeled and quartered
6 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tab maple syrup
400g tin cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
250 - 500 ml water to taste
Pesto to serve
Preheat oven to 200degrees.
Put tomatoes, garlic and onion in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup. Season to taste.
Roast for 45 minutes or until vegetables are soft
Squish garlic out of skin, and discard skin. Add all vegetables and juice to saucepan.
Add the canellini beans and process the mixture with a stick blender.
Add water (I tend to use closer to 250 ml as I like a thick soup) and heat through gently.
Serve with a dollop of pesto
It's not that I hide veggies from my children, it's just that they haven't asked what's in my mash! By adding in some cauliflower into my mash I can get an extra serve of veggies in with our dinner. Potatoes have been given such a bad rap, but they are a great source of fibre and a range of vitamins and minerals. Cauliflower is high in antioxidants and a great source of vitamin C.Read More
We were lucky enough to see Jamie Oliver present at the Sydney Opera House on the weekend. One of the delicious dishes he prepared was a beautiful fresh green curry. Green curry is one of Australia's most popular take away dishes. Jamie's version which I made last night took about 20 minutes (quicker than take-away!) and included lots of beautiful green vegetables.Read More