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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.
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.
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
Winter chicken meals
This is a lovely recipe that's ridiculously easy to make. It may seem slightly daunting to cut up and skin a chicken yourself but do it once and you'll wonder what all the fuss was about. It's the cheapest and freshest way to go!
There's nothing to beat this winter warmer. It heats you up from the inside and fills you up for hours. Make sure you use a great quality stock though. It makes all the difference.
Pies don't have to be laden with saturated fat and gristle! These delicious pies are packed full of veggies and are perfect on a cold winters day.
These gourmet chicken burgers offer a twist on the traditional chicken burger, and contain substantially less fat.
This is one of my favourite recipes. The extent to which you make of it is up to you, but I like to make everything including the chilli sauce! Choose a couple of varieties of Asian greens to accompany the chicken. I like to combine a crunchy variety like Pac Choy or Buk Choy with a leafy green such as Gai Lan.
Hereís a healthy sandwich, with a fraction of the fat but just as much taste as a regular chicken and mayonnaise sandwich.
Who doesn't love a roast dinner? Many people buy those horrible rotisserie chickens from the supermarket but baking your own is so easy to do, and the taste is far superior.
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.