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.