Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Healthy hommus

I had friends coming over and needed a low calorie dip to serve with vegetables so made a classic hommus but without all the calories.

The picture isn't very good as it was so delicious it was nearly all eaten before I could get a good shot but I promise it is worth making!

Healthy hommus
Servings: 6, Serving size: 50g, Calories: 42 Calories per serve

1 x 400g Can chickpeas drained
1 bunch Coriander
2 Lemons, juiced
1/2 Tbs Ground cummin
1/2 Tbs Tahini
1 Tbs Crushed garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Using a food processor or hand blender as I use, blend the chickpeas and lemon juice.
2. Add the coriander and blend some more.
3. Add the tahini, cummin, garlic and salt and pepper to taste and blend further.
4. Add additional lemon/garlic to taste and if the dip is too thick you can add a bit of water depending on how thick you like it.
5. Serve with carrot sticks and vegies.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Chickpea and Broccoli Red Curry

I changed another 12WBT recipe to make it quicker and have more of the foods I enjoy that being broccoli and chickpeas. This curry is super delicious and can be cooked in 10 minutes making it a very easy dinner.

Chickpea and Broccoli Red Curry
Servings: 4, Serving size: 2 ladels, Calories: 192 Calories per serve

1 Tbs Red Curry Paste
1 x 400ml Coconut Cream - Trident brand has the lowest calories
300g Broccoli, chopped
300g Mushrooms, chopped
240g Chickpeas (400g tin drained)
3 tsp Brown Sugar
1 Lime, juiced
1 Tbs Fish Sauce
2 Kaffir Lime leaves, chopped finely

1. Add curry paste to a saucepan and let it cook for about a minute, stirring as you do.
2. Add the coconut cream and stir very well, let simmer about another minute or two so it is well combined
3. Add chickpeas and leave for 5 minutes
4. Add broccoli and mushrooms and let cook for another 5 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your liking
5. Add brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and lime leaves.
6. Serve and enjoy. I like to cook some brown rice to have it with, just be sure to add the extra calories if you do this.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Healthy Banana Bread

I adjusted this Michelle Bridges 12WBT Recipe to make it much lower in calories and even healthier. It is great for breakfast or a hearty snack.

Healthy Banana Bread
Servings: 8, Serving size: 1 slice, Calories: 171 Calories per serve

65 grams Quick cooking rolled oats
250 grams Wholemeal Flour
65g Natvia (Stevia sugar)
1 tsp Baking Powder
1.5 Bananas (150 grams), mashed
70g Apple puree (Goulburn Valley)
3/4 Cup Skinny Milk
1/4 Cup Water

1. Line a loaf tin with baking paper and spray with olive oil spray just to ensure it doesn't stick.
2. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
3. Mix together Oats, Flour, Natvia and baking powder.
4. Add mashed banana, apple puree, milk and water and mix together well. If mixture is very thick add a bit more water and stir through.
5. Place mixture into tin and spread out so that the mixture is flat
6. Bake for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean
7. Cut into 8 slices and enjoy.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Carrot, ginger and orange soup

I'm really loving my soups at the moment as it is a dish that freezes really well and can be taken for lunch each day as a very quick and healthy meal especially when it is cold.

Carrot, ginger and orange soup
Servings: 5, Serving size: 2 soup ladels per serve, Calories: 98 Calories per serve

500g Carrots, diced
1 Medium Onion chopped finely
1 Leek, chopped
2 Oranges, juiced
Ginger, fresh
Olive oil spray

2 x Campbells stock pots
1L Water
1/4 tsp Coriander seeds, ground


1.In a medium pot lightly spray some oil and add the onions, garlic and ginger, cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the carrot and leeks and cook for a further 10 minutes.

2. Whilst the carrot is cooking make up the stock pots by adding 1 litre of boiled water to a bowl and adding the pots and stirring until dissolved. You could also use stock cubes or real stock but the flavour in these I find really adds some punch to soups and dishes.

3. Add salt, pepper and coriander seeds. Add the orange juice and stock to the pot and bring to the boil.

4. Then turn down to a simmer and leave for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally.

5. Check that the carrot is soft and then use a barmix or hand blender to blend up the smooth until it is thick and smooth.

6. Serve immediately. This soup is freezer friendly and tastes just as good reheated as it does the first time.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Low calorie cauliflower and blue cheese soup

I had this soup a couple of months ago from a soup shop and it was a combination I hadn't heard of before but it was delicious. I thought I could make a version that was low on calories but still creamy and with lots of flavour particularly because blue cheese is quite strong you don't need a lot to taste it.

Cauliflower and blue cheese soup
Servings: 8, Serving size: 2.5 soup ladels per serve, Calories: 95 Calories per serve

1 Medium Onion chopped finely
Olive oil spray
1 & a 1/2 heads of Cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1 Small potato, peeled and chopped
100g Danish Blue Cheese, finely chopped
4 x Campbells stock pots
2.5L Water
In a large pot lightly spray some oil and add the onions and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the potato and cook for a further 5 minutes. Whilst the potato is cooking make up the stock pots by adding 2 litres of boiled water to a bowl and adding the pots and stirring until dissolved. You could also use stock cubes or real stock but the flavour in these I find really adds some punch to soups and dishes. Add the cauliflower and made up stock to the pot with the potato and onion. Add salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer and leave for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally. Check that the cauliflower and potato are soft and then use a barmix or hand blender to blend up the smooth until it is thick and smooth. Add the blue cheese and mix very quickly so that it combines with the soup and doesn't sink to the bottom. Serve immediately. This soup is freezer friendly and tastes just as good reheated as it does the first time.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Chicken chop chop salad

Chop chop salad is a very American style salad of chopping all ingredients to around the same size and mixing it all together. I'm not a huge fan of lots of lettuce in big chunks in my salads so this one suits me well. When I found diced cooked chicken breast in the deli section of the supermarket I knew it had the potential to work well in this kind of salad. I usually would have chopped some spinach up and added it too but I didn't have any on hand and it was still delicious and filling anyway. The nuts and seeds add some nice crunchy texture for something different. Another time I may add craisins for some more sweetness.

Chicken Chop Chop Salad
Servings: 1, Serving size: all, Calories: 262 Calories per serve

75g Cooked chicken breast, diced
5g Slivered almonds
10g Pumpkin seeds
25g Reduced fat Tasmanian feta, diced
20g Green olives, chopped
1/2 Tomato, diced
1/2 Cucumber, diced
10 ml Light honey mustard dressing

After chopping up all the ingredients simply combine them in a bowl and add salt and pepper and dressing and enjoy. I love how easy this one is to prepare and is great for lunches at work.

For an alternative you could use a can of tuna instead of chicken breast or even a can of chick peas.

Monday, 6 August 2012

My top 5 low calorie (processed foods)

Now I know you are supposed to eat all natural foods but I certainly don't do that 100% of the time, so here are my top 5 low calorie processed foods:

#1 Helga's Sandwich Thins
 At 116 calories per sandwich thin these are my favourite new product to come out in Australia. They come pre cut and can be used to make a sandwich. I used to use wrap bread to take lunch to work with me but always found it would break by the time lunch came so these are perfect and nice and dense.

#2 Chocolatte
This is an all time favourite product of mine, it is a hot chocolate drink. At 47 calories it is a great way to get a chocolate treat in without all the extra calories and it is nice and creamy and frothy.

#3 Wholemeal Pita Bread

 Wholemeal pita bread is something that I use all the time for a quick pizza dinner without all the extra calories. Calories range from 160-200 calories depending on the diameter. I always keep some in the freezer so that I know when I'm not in the mood to cook I have something very easy to put in the oven with some low calorie toppings.

#4 Birdseye Microwave Steamed Fish

This Birdseye steamed fish is delicious and a very quick go to meal when I have limited time or energy. At 145 calories per serving it is also good when you have used a lot of your calories for the day. My favourite is that Thai Coconut curry flavour which I usually serve with broccoli or peas and corn and the sauce included acts as a delicious sauce for the vegetables.

#5 Laughing Cow Light Cheese

This cheese is a great small snack and only has 28 calories. I use it to spread on my sandwich thins but more often than not I will have it as a quick afternoon snack and I find as it has protein that it keeps me going even on its own.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Healthy Bolognaise

I finally got organised during the week and did a massive shop at the supermarket and decided to buy ingedients to make a nice big batch of bolognaise to have and keep in the freezer to always have something on hand. I've made this bolognaise a lot of times and always tend to vary the recipe a bit but no matter what it always has plenty of vegetables and is always really delicious but above all else healthy. I don't always use both pork and beef mince but the pork adds a nice extra depth of flavour plus it is lower in calories than beef mince.

Healthy Bolognaise
Servings: 11, Serving size: 2 soup ladels, Calories: 235 Calories per serve

2 tsp olive oil
2 onions, diced
Crushed garlic
500g Lean pork mince
550g Lean beef mince
1 Capsicum, dice
4 Carrots, grated
4 Celery sticks, diced
250g Mushrooms, diced
6 x 400 g Cans of diced tomatoes
140g Tomato paste
2 x Bay leaves
Dried oregano
Worcestershire Sauce

Start by adding the oil to a large deep pot or pan, I use a large 3.5 litre pan which has plenty of room. Once the oil is heated add the onions and garlic. I love garlic so I tend to add a lot. Let the onions cook on a moderate heat for about 5 minutes, stirring them as you go. Add the pork and beef mince and let it brown, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon as you go in the pan. It can take a while to brown that much mince so I usually start to brown it and break down then leave it to keep prepping some of the vegetables. Once browned add the mushrooms and capsicums and some dried oregano as well as some salt and pepper. Let cook for around 5 minutes before adding the celery and carrots. Leave for another 5 minutes making sure to stir it as you go to ensure it doesn't stick to the pan. Then add the cans of tomato, tomato paste, worcestershire sauce ( a large dash) and stir through. Then add the bay leaves and simmer on low for at least 45 minutes stirring occasionally. Add extra worcestershire sauce and salt and pepper to taste as you go. I usually like to let the bolognaise simmer for as long as possible so I will add about a cup of water to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom and leave it for another hour but you can have it after just 45 minutes depending on how much time you have.

To serve we usually have 2 ladels with broccoli or some other vegies on the side instead of having it with pasta and it is a healthy delicious meal that you can keep portions of in the freezer. We also sometimes have it with brown rice as it is low GI and digests slower than straight pasta but even with just vegies it is a satisfying meal.

Another alternative is to add some kidney beans and have it as a chilli con carne.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Winter Porridge

I was searching for inspiration on new breakfast ideas for a healthy winter breakfast and after looking at some different muesli recipes decided to try making my own at home. As a result of not wanting muesli with cold milk one morning I decided to heat it up in the microwave and voila came up with this.

Winter Porridge
Servings: 10, Serving size: 40g, Calories: 150 Calories per serve (without milk)

250g Unstabilised oats
50g Bran
30g Pumpkin/Pepita seeds
50g Craisins (Dried Cranberries, see pic below)
25g Sultanas
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together and store in an air tight container. To make it into a porridge I usually measure out 40g muesli with 1/2 cup skinny milk and leave it overnight to soak and then microwave it in the morning for about 1-1.5minutes it will depend on your microwave. It sometimes needs a little dash of milk.

Another alternative is to just soak the muesli overnight in milk or yoghurt or a combination and have it as a bircher or you could just use it as a muesli. In any case it is very versatile and healthy to have on hand.