Category Archives: Dinner

Good Choice Range?

I am not a takeaway fan. Usually. But being on night shift changes everything. Although I know I could and should have prepared a healthy meal far faster than my pizza was delivered I decided to give the Domino’s Good Choice Range a try tonight. Their single-serve pizzas are all less than 400 calories and have pretty low levels of fat, sugar and salt compared to other takeout choices (see nutritional info)

Here’s the picture they have on their website, it looked pretty good:

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Once I got over the disappointment that the delivery man wouldn’t bring the pizza to my armchair I opened the box and here was what I found:

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In case you can’t tell, I chose the BBQ Chicken & Mushroom Ciabatta Pizza with chicken, mushroom, fresh tomato, onion and pineapple and barbecue sauce. It looked like someone had wolfed the pizza down and regurgitated it back into the box but fortunately it didn’t taste like it.

When I read that it had a ciabatta base I expected it to be soft and chewy, like ciabatta bread but the base was thin and crispy. There was a decent amount of toppings and it didn’t taste as greasy and heavy as pizza often does but I still wouldn’t describe it is very ‘nice’ and at $14.90 it certainly wasn’t cheap. Next time I’m tired and tempted to buy takeaway I think I’ll just look at the picture above and I won’t need any more motivation to get back in the kitchen! Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded that your own food is actually pretty good.

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Dinner Winner

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Crispy tortilla + spicy beans & jalapeno + creamy sour cream and avocado + cheese = DINNER WINNER

The idea of this meal did not inspire me at all. The idea of baked beans as part of dinner just seemed so unexciting and lazy. Oh how I was wrong. This Baked Bean and Avocado Tostada recipe was super delicious. The recipe takes only 15 minutes from start to finish and is adapted from the Healthy Food Guide’s Tasty Bean and Avocado Tostada recipe.

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To balance out my meal and add some veges, I served my tostada along a salad drizzled in balsamic vinegar. In the salad was: mesclun, tomato, cucumber, spring onion, red onion, sunflower seeds and dried red capsicum.

Baked Bean and Avocado Recipe (adapted from the Healthy Food Guide’s Tasty Bean and Avocado Tostada Recipe)

Order Envy16

(serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 tortilla
  • 1 single serve can Weight Watcher’s baked beans (or 1/3 cup baked beans)
  • 1tsp Mexican seasoning (or taco seasoning)
  • 1/4C grated cheese
  • 1/3 avocado
  • 1TBSP lite sour cream
  • 1tsp jalapeno, chopped finely
  • fresh coriander and ground black pepper to garnish

Method

1. Grill tortilla until lightly browned (approximately 2 minutes at 180 degreesC)
2. Heat baked beans in a saucepan or in the microwave until hot and stir in seasoning
3. Spread baked beans over tortilla
4. Sprinkle grated cheese on top of baked beans
5. Grill until cheese is golden brown and bubbling
6. Remove from oven and top with avocado, sour cream and jalapeno
7. Garnish with fresh coriander and ground black pepper

I tried this without the jalapeno at first. It was still really good but, the jalapeno totally makes it.

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Stolen Sleep

I love daylight saving. It’s fantastic being able to enjoy some sunshine after work and have enough light left to go for a walk in the evenings but right now I am a little grumpy about the time change because daylight saving stole and hour of my sleep. Being a bit more tired than usual today I opted for a quick and easy dinner – Shrimp with Broccoli from eatingwell.com served on quinoa.

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This stir-fry fit what I had in mind for my tea: fast, healthy and light but I was a little disappointed by the flavour. The shrimp is stir-fried in a little oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and added to steamed broccoli and a sauce. The sauce has vegetable stock, lemon and basil and is thickened with a little cornflower. I wanted the sauce to have a little more flavour. I think I’d make this again but would add a little lemon zest to give it some zing.

During the weekend I whipped up a batch of Banana Blueberry Granola. I love home made granola. It smelt so delicious as I was baking it in the oven. The whole house was filled by its aroma and I couldn’t wait for it to cool enough for me to sprinkle it on top of my yoghurt. This recipe is adapted from Allie’s Quinoa Banana Bread Granola. I have cut down the sugar a little and added some dehydrated blueberries I got from Farro’s– yum! Having banana in a granola recipe may seem unusual but it adds a subtle sweetness and helps the oats and quinoa form tasty little clusters.

Banana Blueberry Granola Recipe (adapted from Allie’s Quinoa Banana Bread Granola)

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Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1/8C honey
  • 1TBSP canola oil
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • 3C old fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/2C quinoa
  • 1/4C ground flaxseed (also known as linseed)
  • 1t cinnamon
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/3C pecan pieces
  • 1/3C dehydrated blueberries (you could substitute raisins, chopped dried dates, dried cranberries or dried banana chips)

Method

1. In a large bowl, mash the banana until smooth
2. Mix in honey, oil and vanilla essence and stir with a fork until a smooth paste has formed
3. Stir in the remaining ingredients apart from the blueberries (or whatever substitute you prefer)
3. Spread mixture out in a roasting dish lined with tin foil (you want to spread the mixture out as much as possible so it crisps but need a dish with sides so you can stir it easily)
4. Bake at 175C until golden, stirring every 10 minutes or so
5. Toss through the blueberries and allow to cool

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Tuna with pineapple salsa & snow peas

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Fresh tuna is such a delicious treat. It couldn’t be more different to canned tuna. I have nothing against canned tuna – it’s a great pantry standby but it just doesn’t compare to the melt-in-your-mouth deliciousness of a good tuna steak.

This meal was so fast to prepare – I made the salsa a few hours before hand so that the flavours could mingle so it was just a matter of heating the fry pan and then all the cooking was over with in about 5 minutes. You couldn’t lodge your order at the fish ‘n’ chip shop that fast – fresh food wins!

The salsa recipe is by Jess at Cheese Please and is sweet with just a little bit of heat. It makes a light and refreshing accompaniment to the tuna and is also very fast to through together. To flavour the tuna, I massaged it with sesame oil before cooking then added a splash of soy sauce and lime juice to each side before flipping, making a glaze.

Pineapple Salsa Recipe (from Cheese Please)

(serves 1)

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Pan-fried Tuna Recipe

(serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow-fin tuna steak
  • 1t sesame oil
  • 2t soy sauce
  • 1t lime juice

Method

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1. Massage tuna steak with sesame oil so that it is completely covered

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2. Fry tuna over a high heat for 1.5-3 minutes on each side until desired doneness is reached (I like mine rare to medium-rare which takes about 2 minutes on each side). Be careful not to overcook the tuna or it will be dry, it should be still pink in the middle.

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3. Add half of soy sauce and lime juice 30 seconds before flipping tuna, then the remaining half of the soy sauce and lime juice 30 seconds before removing the tuna from the pan. This will form a glaze on both sides of the fish.

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4. Let rest for a few minutes before serving with pineapple salsa and a green vegetable.

 

 

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Lemon and Blueberry Mini-cakes with Lemon Honey Glaze



I made this recipe a few weeks back and had to post it before it got lost in the hundreds of recipe files in the depth of  my hard-drive. This recipe was inspired by Mimi’s Raspberry and Lemon Muffins and scaled back to yield two mini-cakes. I love freshly baked treats and hate things going to waste so I like to experiment with dessert recipes for one or two.

I am super impatient and there is no way I was going to wait for these mini-cakes to cool so that I could ice them so instead, I made a sticky glaze to pour over them. Delicious!

Lemon and Blueberry Mini-cakes with Lemon Honey Glaze Recipe

(serves 2)

Ingredients

Cakes

  • 1/8C low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 3/4TBSP canola oil
  • 1TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2C flour
  • 1/4C brown sugar
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4C blueberries

Glaze

  • 3TBSP icing sugar
  • 1TBSP lemon juice
  • 1t honey (melt if using creamed honey)
  • 1t vanilla essence
  • 1/8C low-fat vanilla yogurt

Method

1. Combine dry mini-cake ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork until well combined
2. Whisk wet ingredients in a separate bowl into mixed
3. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together. Try and handle the mixture as little as possible and stop mixing while there is still streaks of flour through the blend.
4. Add blueberries to the mix and spoon into two ramekins or two holes in a muffin tin
5. Bake for approximately 20 minutes
6. While the mini-cakes are cooking, prepare the glaze by mixing the glaze ingredients together until smooth

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Easy Miso Vege Soup

This soup has been one of my staples this winter. It’s nothing gourmet but I like it because it is warming, satisfying and an easy source of lots of vegetables and protein. Perfect for when all you want to do is snuggle up under a warm blanket and keep warm! It also reheats nicely for lunch or dinner the next day.

Easy Miso Vege Soup Recipe

(serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 3C water
  • 3TBSP miso paste
  • 1/2t ginger, minced
  • 1/2t garlic, minced
  • 1TBSP tamari
  • 200g pumpkin, chopped into cubes
  • 1/4 cauliflower head, chopped into florets
  • 1/3C dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1/2 block tofu, cubed
  • 1 large handful baby spinach leaves
  • 1 spring onion, chopped finely
  • 1 sheet nori (seaweed), cut into thin strips  (I roll my nori up like a cigar before cutting it to save time)

Method

1. Bring water to the boil in a medium saucepan
2. In the meantime, chop the pumpkin, tofu and cauliflower
3. Whisk miso paste, ginger, garlic and tamari into water then add pumpkin, tofu, cauliflower and mushrooms
4. Once the pumpkin is tender (about 12 minutes depending on the size of your cubes) add the spinach leaves and heat until wilted.
5. Serve the soup in bowls and sprinkle spring onion and nori on top

This is another recipe that lends itself to using up left over veges lingering in your fridge. I have used kumara, broccoli, beans, carrots and snow peas before. Rice noodles would be another nice addition if you wanted to bulk it out a bit.

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Guess who’s back… Back again..?

Sorry for my abrupt break in blogging. A trip back home for graduation and then feeling not too flash has meant that I haven’t spent much time in the kitchen at all so I enjoyed having a bit of a play this evening. After eating more convenience foods and restaurant food than usual I wasn’t that inspired to cook but I’m always so surprised how much I enjoy eating fresh, healthy food after having a break from it.

Tonight I needed to cook up some snapper I bought the other day and had been eyeing up the laksa paste in my fridge so I decided to poach the snapper. I have never poached fish before and I have no idea if this is anything close to the “correct” method but I do know that it worked, it was delicious and it was speedy. Please feel free to let me know if there is a better way of doing this!

Asian Poached Snapper Recipe

(serves 2)

Ingredients

250g snapper
1C vegetable stock
1C milk (you could replace the milk with evaporated milk or replace the milk with coconut milk and omit the coconut essence)
2 capfuls coconut essence
3TBSP laksa paste
1 spring onion
1 tsp dried capsicum flakes

Method

1. Bring vegetable stock, milk and laksa paste & coconut essence gently to the boil
2. Add fish and simmer approximately 8 minutes or until cooked through
3. Top with spring onion and capsicum flakes.

I served my fish over brown rice, broccoli and peas and spooned some of liquid the fish cooked in. Some fresh coriander and a touch of chilli would have given this meal a real boost.

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Recipe Underdog Win

At the start of every week I make a list of recipes I want to cook and go and buy the ingredients so I’m not having to visit the supermarket every other day. I start off making the recipes I’m excited about and then get left with the ones that I wonder why I even chose. More often than not it’s the end of week reject recipes that are often the most delicious. Maybe it’s because they make me venture from my usual ‘safe’ eating choices.

Yesterday I tried my favourite recipe I’ve cooked so far since writing this blog. I hadn’t been looking forward to cooking it but my-oh-my it was delicious! I just wish I’d made more because I could happily live off the leftovers for days. The recipe was Thai Fried Quinoa by Mama Pea of PeasandThankyou. Check out her website, it’s hilarious and everything I have tried off it has been super tasty.

To cook this dish you toast quinoa in a saucepan, then simmer it in broth and coconut milk. Meanwhile, you fry up garlic, ginger, spring onion then peas, pineapple and coriander. You add the cooked quinoa to the fry pan, add some soy sauce and lime juice then top it with roasted peanuts, coriander and coconut. So simple but so good. I wanted to bulk mine out a bit so added some shrimp in at the start with the garlic and ginger. I am SO glad I did – it was the perfect protein accompaniment.

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Sensuous Strawberries & Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Slaw

I was so excited to see strawberries in the supermarket that I had to buy them. Yes, they are out of season. Yes, they are over priced but, I still couldn’t resist. Unwilling to pay the price for a full punnet, I bought a little pottle of reduced to price strawberries, and have been adding them as a small treat to my breakfast. (Sorry about the slightly blurred photo, my lens got all fogged up).

I tried out Kath’s recipe for Strawberry Cheesecake Oats. For once, I actually followed the directions for a whole recipe – and it was good! The oats have milk, chia seeds, cottage cheese, banana, water and of course, strawberries added to them. The chia seeds make the oats nice and thick, binding the mixture together and the cottage cheese makes them creamy and gives a slight tang . I added almond butter on the top but sadly it was a waste of almond butter. There’s something about combining the textures of hot oats and sticky nut butter that I just don’t enjoy.

Lunch was the Healthy Food Guide’s Spring Chicken with Faith’s Sweet and Spicy Slaw. I know I’ve been saying this about a lot of recipes (ok, pretty much everything I have tried) lately but both recipes are fast, yummy and you should try them!

The Spring Chicken is chicken marinated in lemongrass, garlic, oyster sauce and sugar, then seasoned and grilled. Grilling is my favourite way to have chicken breast. You just crank up the oven grill as hot as it will go, spray the marinated chicken with oil and then put the chicken close under the grill for about 8 minutes (turning half way). The chicken turns out charred on the outside and moist on the inside. Rest it for a few minutes and then devour.

The Sweet and Spicy Slaw was a healthier and more tastier (in my opinion) to traditional coleslaw. The dressing is rice vinegar, soy sauce, canola oil, honey, chilli and garlic but what really makes it is the dry roasted peanuts tossed through – the crunch is so good.

If I were to make this meal again, the only change I would make would be to add some brown rice. Maybe it’s because I’m a carb fiend but it just didn’t seem complete.

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A Tasty Food Explosion

I enjoyed the Cannellini Feta Hummus I made at lunch so much, I had to incorporate it into my dinner last night too. It was another sunny Spring day and my legs were sore from hill intervals on the stationary bike this afternoon so I felt like something pretty light and fast to throw together. The picture looks like it was literally thrown together but it really did taste far more appetising than it looks, I swear!

15-Minute Greek Beef Salad Recipe

(serves 2)

Ingredients

Meat

  • 250g beef schnitzel
  • 1t ground coriander
  • 1/4t chilli powder
  • 1t ground cumin
  • 2t garlic, finely chopped

Salad

  • 4 large handfuls mixed greens
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2TBSP coriander, chopped finely
  • 1 spring onion, chopped finely
  • (I also used alfalfa sprouts I needed to use up)
  • 1/2 medium cucumber (I didn’t have any but it would’ve worked really well)

Dressing

  • 3TBSP Cannellini Feta Hummus
  • 1TBSP plain unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1tsp lemon juice
  • water to dilute to a pourable consistency if needed
  • 2TBSP sweet chilli sauce
  • freshly ground black pepper

Method

1. Slice beef into strips
2. Massage ground coriander, cumin, chilli & garlic into beef and set aside (I just put the meat back into the meat tray)
3. Place mixed greens on two plates and prepare tomatoes, coriander and chilli
4. Mix hummus dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth, set aside
5. Heat a lug of olive oil over a medium-high heat in a fry pan
6. Fry meat until cooked then add remaining salad ingredients (tomato, coriander and spring onion), toss to combine
7. Place meat mixture on top of mixed greens and top with hummus dressing and sweet chilli sauce
8. Grind over black pepper

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