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This meal is sweet substantial and delicious and referred to as a meal because being a soup it contains complex carbohydrates, vegetables, lean protein and a little fat. Everything you need to feel sated and fulfilled.
Here's a lovely soup to enjoy for lunch or as a quick "pick me up" snack in afternoon when you really feel like something sweet.
Sweet? Well pumpkins are sweet and a good deal more healthy than that cake you might have chosen instead!
For an easy, inexpensive, flavoursome soup this one takes some beating.
Those of you unfamiliar with miso, it is a fermented soy bean paste used to flavour soups and casseroles. Like yoghurt, miso boosts the digestive system with friendly bacteria to aid digestion and strengthen the immune system. It is available from health food stores and Asian grocer.
The recipe below is not an authentic version of the classic mulligatawny, a traditional watery Indian soup. This version is anything but watery. Itís a complete meal in itself and the perfect way to boost your veggie intake in one hit.
Bright colours add to the beauty of this clean and fresh dish that is easily prepared. Low in fat and carbohydrates yet high in protein it's a winner all round.
A good veggie lasagne does take a bit of preparation but itís not hard to do and the results are well worth the effort.
And unlike traditional lasagne made with whole milk and full fat cheese this roast vegetable lasagne is low in saturated fat, with less than 200mg of sodium and with so many veggies and itís loaded in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.
Made from beans instead of minced beef this is an economical meal that is low in saturated fat, high in fibre, and loaded in antioxidants.
To find a healthy sweet dessert that tastes great AND is easy to make ticks all the boxes in my opinion. Easy raspberry and yoghurt soufflťs is one of these great dishes. Itís an impressive low GI treat that will satisfy a sweet tooth yet itís not that high in KJ. Itís very yummy and looks much harder to make than it really is.
This spicy and flavoursome marinade is delicious with a robust textured fish such as blue eye trevalla. The longer you allow it to marinate the better, and if you are feeding a family, donít be put off by the term spicy Ė itís not peppery spicy and will kids love it.
Recipe supplied by Australian Mushroom Growers Association.
If youíve made a batch of quinoa from the night before, hereís a wonderful way to use up leftovers. Combined with mackerel these make an excellent speedy evening meal. Using quinoa instead of the potato makes the fish patties a little more crumbly, but lowers the GI Ė just handle them with care.
You may be surprised how quick and easy these are to make these are to make Ė so easy you could whip them up for lunch for 4 or dinner for 2. The beauty of these wraps is they use very little flour and very little fat.
To save even more time you can buy any of the excellent wholegrain wraps now available from most good greengrocers.
In this dish the berry dressing becomes a marinade giving the eggplant a wonderful sweet and sour flavour. Serve it under a piece of kingfish (or any other thick white fillet) with some greens of course and it becomes a dinner fit for any smart dinner party.
Like octopus, mussels are a terrific source of iron, providing more than the recommended daily intake of between 12 Ė 16mg a day. They are also an excellent source of zinc, a mineral that supports the immune system and protects against free radicals. Donít be fearful of cooking with them. Theyíre extremely quick and easy to prepare and delicious served with an accompanying grainy sourdough bread and green salad.
This alternative to traditional oysters natural, Kilpatrick and mornay oysters is pretty and fresh. Oysters are known as an aphrodisiac possibly because they are such a good source of zinc - the mineral responsible in the production of healthy sperm. 6 oysters will give you 59 mg zinc - almost 5 times the recommended daily intake.
For a cold Christmas spread, nothing beats a poached trout (or salmon) To present it whole you'll need a fish poacher, which may seem like a big investment but you'll be surprised at how often you use it after. Itís a very healthy way to cook fish, guarantees it stays moist and succulent, and is one of the easiest ways to prepare a meal for large numbers.
Like salmon, ocean perch is an excellent source of Omega 3 fatty acids making it an excellent brain food and relief for arthritis.
For energy, fibre and improved mental performance, carbohydrates are an extremely important macronutrient to include on the plate. Often dismissed, lentils outperform most well known carbohydrate and combined with preserved limes and roast capsicum make a delicious base to this easy fish dish.
Blue mussels are a robust species grown mainly in bays and inlets and an approved sustainable seafood. Combining flavours of the East, these mussels are delicious served with accompanying buckwheat noodles as a main meal.
When artichokes are in season snap them up and use them to make this dish, otherwise you can use bottled. Also be sure to use a quality bread to make the breadcrumbs. Not only will your crust be nuttier and more delicious but itís better for you. Serve this dish with steamed green beans and Asian vegetables.
Mussels are an incredibly good source of iron and, as for the budget conscious they make an inexpensive meal.
Traditionally mussels are mopped up with bread but this dish is served with wholemeal pasta. I like to use the Barilla Integrale brand.
Couscous is a tiny, granular type of pasta made from durum wheat ground into fine grains then steam cooked. One of the world's staple foods due to its ease in cooking and verstaility, couscous is also a good source of fibre. Here teamed with protein in the form of eggs, it makes a quick meal that can be used for lunch or dinner.
*Recipe courtesy of Israeli Pearl Blu Couscous
Sensational Summer Salads
Here we have a perfect lunch for the vegan Ė a complete meal providing vegetables, carbohydrates, protein, good fats Ė for energy to sustain the remainder of the day.
Itís simple and exquisite Ė the flavours of avocado and mango work so well. Combined with pinenuts, rumoured to be aphrodisiacs in ancient Greece and you create the ultimate seductress Ė a healthy entree for lovers. Choose slightly underripe mangos when making this dish. Avocado and pinenuts are both good sources of magnesium useful for relieving symptoms of PMT.
Large lumps of octopus tentacles can be visually off-putting and tough. Ask your fish merchant specifically for small pieces or trim them down in size before cooking. This marinade imparts a delicious sesame flavour through the octopus and also helps tenderize the pieces. It can be cooked on a grill indoors or the hot plate of your BBQ Ė either way itís delicious.
To quote the words of a friend's son this Christmas - " Learn to make this mother!" It's really just a magnificent way to a high fibre fruit salad. I make a point of eating as many berries as possible over the season and hereís another way to present them. Topped with coconut toasted in maple syrup it will fool anyone to believing theyíre eating the most decadent dessert. It's highly likely that you and the family will like this dish so much it will become a favourite out of season. The solution, vary the fruit and/or use frozen.
Anyone can make this salad - the trick it to but great quality figs and a nice soft moist goat's cheese.
Nine times out of ten, Iíll end up ordering the tuna salad, or if itís a posh place the salade nicoise. It would seem the nicoise is made with real tuna; otherwise itís straight from a can. Regardless, I like them both. Tuna is a good source of iron, perfect for non meat eaters and with the egg the whole salad provides almost enough protein for the day.
When you can step in the door and have a delicious healthy meal in front of you in less than 30 minutes its great news. Donít attempt it without the relish as this dish will be very dry and exceptionally boring.
Traditional Italian lentils are called puy lentils and, compared to Australian grown, are relatively expensive. Australian grown are excellent quality (sometimes called blue) and like puy, retain their shape and provide the same nutrients.
Quinoa looks like a grain but in fact is a seed. Itís rich in protein, has a low GI and is gluten free. Quinoa can be used to make tabouleh, which in my opinion is much tastier than the traditional Middle Eastern dish which uses cracked wheat.
Served with wholegrain sourdough bread rolls this dish makes a delicious light lunch or without the bread as an entree before a main meal. The colours alone make the dish so visually appealing and thatís even before you taste how delicious it is.
This lovely salad is the perfect light meal to whip together for a quick summer lunch or dinner. Recipe courtesy of Toby Puttock & Australian Mangoes.
Recipe courtesy of Persimmons Australia Inc.
For those of you who haven't noticed it's hot, and I for one am not in the slightest bit interested in all the traditional nonsense of Christmas. Take a large salmon, ask the fishmonger to remove the head, fins and scales, bake it in the oven and serve with new potatoes with chopped mint and a drizzle of olive oil, a crisp green salad with sliced avocado and a cool refreshing mango and coriander salsa. If you want to be more decadent decorate fresh prawns around the outside - what could be nicer, and how much better knowing it's good for you.
A very fussy-eating friend of mine described this salad as a 'taste sensation' and I am still reeling from the compliment. The tartness of the pickles against the sweetness of the mango is simply divine.
Another low fat dish, this dish gets its wow flavour from the orange and pinenut combination. Watercress is such a rich source of vitamin C and in my opinion should be added to every salad to boost good health.
A great lunch or dinner served with a huge green salad and steamed sweetcorn, or could serve eight people as an entree. Make sure to use camellia tea oil for its numerous health benefits.
Recipe courtesy of www.phase5.com.au
Here we combine the comfort factor of turkey, full flavoured parmesan (to taste through the sinuses) and pine nuts as the main source of zinc.
With some gluten free muesli costing as much as $14 for 500g, from a financial point of view itís worth making your own. From a health perspective itís also worth making your own as you can fill it up with many more nutritionally valuable ingredients. Puffed grains typically have a high GI therefore to counter this and make a breakfast which will sustain you for most of the morning itís good to add nuts and a few seeds.
With the miso used for flavour and pinenuts added to the sauce and crust this vegetarian pie will suit most meat eaters tastes hearty and meaty. This is gluten free, vegetarian food at it's best.
If you want something substantial and delicious here's the meal. It will give you a great feeling of satiety similar to what you would experience from a meat stew. The mushrooms, eggplant and onion give it substance while the tahini sauce transforms into creamy stroganoff type dish, without the cream.
If, like most of us you donít have much time to spend in the kitchen cooking and washing up, this dish is for you. In one pot you combine the healthful properties of leek, low GI cannelini beans and flathead for protein. Add to it some gluten free kudzu to thicken the sauce and promote complete digestion and youíre done in less than 30 minutes. For an extra boost of veggies, serve with steamed broccoli.
Black eye beans are native to Africa but are used extensively in the Deep South USA in soul food. They are a great source of calcium, vitamin A , folate and fibre. Here's a very easy meal the whole family can enjoy.
Gluten intolerant or not, this breakfast quinoa will give you an exceptional kick start to the day. It doesnít take long either. Once made you can keep it in the fridge and enjoy it over a few days.
Now, we all know that blokes love meat on their plates. So, how do you cook up a nice slab of meat and impress your guest just as much? This whole rib goes beautifully as a Sunday lunch, served on a bed of leafy greens and accompanied with a lovely Shiraz. Itís also great for dinner any other day or cold for the next dayís lunch.
Recipe courtesy of Alec Bragg's new recipe book 'Pants off Salmon'. It is available in September at all good book stores and online at: www.jojopublishing.com