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These rolls may take a little time to master, but persevere and your efforts will be rewarded when you do get the hang of it. Have fun with this recipe and be creative - tempeh works well as a filling, as does strips of avocado, ginger slices, pickles, salmon, chicken...the list is endless!
Finger food is typically deep fried, surrounded in pastry, or served with everything sitting on, or dipped in, bread. These polenta rounds make a nice change to the standard party fare. They are extremely easy to make and robust enough to hold heavier pieces of food including these little roma tomatoes. They freeze well so make more than you need in case unexpected visitors drop in. The recipe below makes approx 35 mini rounds.
How often do you see a group of women each armed with a spoon, each descending like seagulls onto a single plate of pudding? Women in particular enjoy the taste of something sweet to complete meal, but canít, or wonít eat a dessert of their own because:
1. They canít fit it all in, or
2. Theyíre worried about their weight.
Whatever the reason, these juicy strawberries coated in bittersweet chocolate are the perfect solution for a single sweet fix, and complete any evening meal. Share if you like, but itís unlikely youíll want to.
Now that it's fashionable to eat whole grains, and other foods our ancestors enjoyed, it's time to make leftovers fashionable. That's not to say we should go down the road of bubble and squeak - where everything is thrown together and fried! These rice balls could have guests fooled into thinking you've been slaving over a hot stove for ours. They are delicious and make an ideal lunch (or make them smaller and serve as finger food at a party).
While making falafel it occurred to me that the word palaver, meaning fuss or bother should be substituted for falafel, coining a new phrase ďWhat a falafelĒ. But donít let me put you off! OK so they are a bit of effort compared to a packet mix deep fried feast from the takeaway, but for the improved health properties, and taste, itís well worth it.
In this recipe, the delicious flax seed coating adds numerous health benefits. Flax seeds are a rich source of lignans, helping to protect the body from oestrogen related cancers and regulating hormone levels.
A food processor is an absolute must when making these so if you donít have one already, itís a great excuse to go shopping.
Spring rolls make the best finger food for drinks party (get plenty of practice making them before you embark on rolls for 50!)
Typically, as you can see in this recipe, theyíre made combining Asian flavours, but you can think outside the square, especially if you have a gluten allergy. The rice paper fills the role of bread and the filling can be many things you may use in a sandwich Ė with the 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.
Mountain bread is paper thin unleavened bread available from supermarkets and health food stores. It can be used as a quick and healthy alternative to pastry and served as finger food to make a light entrťe or pre-dinner canapť.
Since time, the oyster has been considered an aphrodisiac and as such is always on the menu for Valentineís Day; maybe because itís such a great source of zinc Ė the mineral responsible for healthy sperm production.
Gluten intolerant or not - everyone enjoys fresh spring rolls made with rice paper, veggies and vermicelli noodles. Make them the night before for the whole family to enjoy with enough left over for lunch the next day.
These are lovely little naturally sweetened treats to produce for dessert or when the kids get home from school. Theyíre very easy to make and take next to no time but do need to be eaten straight away otherwise the bread loses its scrunch.
This pate is a variation of ď Smokie pateí. Smokies are a haddock smoked in the small fishing town of Arbroath on the East coast of Scotland. They have an authentic smoked flavour but sadly we canít get them here in Australia. The pate would typically be made with cream cheese therefore to use some creative license for health and availability, hereís a variation to serve on the classic Scottish oatcake.
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.
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.
Itís been a challenge of mine to come up with a healthier Christmas cake. No Christmas is complete without one. Here we maintain the traditional brandy but substitute sugar for apple concentrate, butter for a small amount of oil, and use spelt flour for its reduced gluten content.
Traditional fruit mince pies made with suet and sugar and eaten each day in the lead up to Christmas are guaranteed to pack on the kilos. Here we use dried fruit, peel with a delicious flax seed pastry for a fresh tasting, lighter pie that still feels like Christmas.
These are a slightly healthier version to the coffee walnuts my Aunt used to make at Christmas with creamed butter, sugar, instant coffee and milk chocolate.
Could these possibly be good for you? Made with mixed nuts, cocoa and nut spread they most certainly are but donít be confused into thinking they are low energy. Enjoy in moderation. Theyíre excellent after-dinner treats to share with your guests, but eat them quickly otherwise they will dry out. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
This fresh tasting and beautiful summer pudding is delicious and relatively guilt free provided you donít eat too much of it! Outside of Christmas you can use brioche.
Make this pudding in a large glass bowl, individual glass bowls, or for an impressive voila, on individual serving plates, set inside metal rings that are removed just before serving.
A twist on the traditional Florentine biscuit, these glorious biscuits as beautiful as they taste and make a very special treat for the festive season.
For a traditional Christmas with a little twist this year,try this delicious festive stuffing using RicePlus. The combined wholegrains add texture and a delicious nutty flavour and boost the fibre content of the meal.
You can stuff a turkey breast yourself and tie it together with string or ask your butcher to do it for you for a more professional job. With this recipe, it's important to baste the turkey regularly, adding a little boiling water to the roasting pan occasionally to prevent the cranberry glaze from burning.
A large 3 kg turkey will easily feed 12 people with leftovers for a salad the next day
Turkey drumsticks are extremely economical and excellent to use to make a rich authentic gravy to serve with the Christmas turkey.
Any time of year this salad is delicious but I particularly like it at Christmas when we can go "all out" and treat ourselves to a luxurious home made macadamia mayonnaise.
Mayonnaise is high in fat but it's the good stuff - mono unsaturated fats which we can all benefit from.
This macadamia mayonnaise is decadent and delicious and ridiculously easy to make. I have tried it with other brands of macadamia oil but find Brookfarm to be the best by far.
I know of nothing easier nor more impressive than a cold poached salmon for a special meal. A large whole salmon will easily serve 12 people with leftovers for the next day. Ask for Huon salmon farmed in Tasmania. The texture is better than other farmed salmon and the farming practices are kinder. Serving size should be approximately 160g.
Summer tomatoes are stunning and none more so than the heirloom varieties with their interesting shapes and colours.
This salad needs salt, a great quality olive oil and generous amounts of crushed fresh Australian garlic.
For those who love using their veggie spiraliser, here's a fresh clean tasting salad that, served warm will jazz up any piece of grilled meat or fish.
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.