Its sizzling hot in melbourne today. 35 degrees, and after a work out, im hungry and needing cooling tummy fix.
This healthy greek salad literally took me 5 minutes to prepare and filled my stomach before I reach for something cooling in the fridge or pantry (usually being icecream or cereal with milk).
I got this real simple recipe from the Mediterranean diet Cookbook by Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos.
MEDITERANEAN DIET has been shown to reduce heart disease, diabetes, promote longevity and prevent unhealthy weight gain.
The diet is characterised with lots of plant food, olive oil, low red meat, moderate amount of dairy , high intake of fish, and moderate wine intake.
Classic Village Style Greek Salad
3 medium tomatoes cut into thick bite size
1 small red onion
1 small Lebanese cucumber
Salt and pepper to taste
Dried oregano (I used a handful of fresh parley)
Balsamic vinegar to taste
1 tbsp of olive oil
For extra flavour add a few cubes of feta cheese/chilli/garlic
Combine tomatoes, onion, cucumber in a bowl, season to taste, add oregano and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.
I loved the extra spiciness from chilli and garlic. It Serves an excellent salad that adds freshness to the table. In fact, I love this salad with mexican food – tacos, and burritos.
Preheat the oven to 165 degrees C. Line two large baking sheets with baking paper
Combine the oats, wheat germ, oat bran, sunflower seeds, almonds, pecans, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir together the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey, oil, cinnamon, and vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then pour over the dry ingredients, and stir to coat. Spread the mixture out evenly on the baking sheets.
Bake in the preheated oven until crispy and toasted, about 20 minutes. Stir once halfway through. Cool, then stir in the raisins or cranberries before storing in an airtight container.
How do you eat your passion fruits? I know I have long been and spooning the pulp and seeds out and shoving them in fruit salads. Yum! Passion fruits enhances flavours of dishes or drinks by its distinct sweet tart flavour and exotic smell. Never adventured out of my comfort zones, I found a recipe recently that I really wanted to try – Passionfruit Curd.
I have made lemon curd before and it was amazingly refreshing, fruity and delicious. So i wanted to try it with passion fruits, to develop my culinary skills… Essential for a dietitian perhaps? Here I go.
A simple and tangy recipe to use up dozen of passion fruits in the fridge! This recipe makes approximately 2 small jam jars that can be stored in the fridge, enjoyed over breakfast or used in baking.
pulp of 5 large passion fruits or 6 small passion fruits
100g raw sugar (i reduced to 80g because I don’t have a sweet tooth)
juice of half a lemon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Melt butter and sugar in a heavy bottomed (or enamel) saucepan on low heat. Add lemon juice, salt and passion fruit pulp. Mix well.
In a bowl, whisk all 5 eggs lightly.
Increase heat to medium-low and add the eggs to the passionfruit mixture, whisking with a whisk. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes, whisking continuously. Once smooth, stir with a wooden spoon while cooking. The butter is ready when the mixture becomes thick and coats the back of the spoon (pouring cream consistency/store bought pouring custard consistency). Remove from heat. Fill in lidded jars and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.
I enjoy this passionfruit curd on crackers, pancakes, fruits, and pastry. You can also serve on toast for breakfast and use it to make cakes! In fact i am really tempted by the idea of passionfruit curd cake. May my next post be it!
Passionfruit provides a good source of fibre and Vit C ! Enjoy the whole fruit as it is most days but challenge your culinary skills with this recipe if you have an abundance of them at home.
In Melbourne, the Prahran market mushroom burger (pop up every saturday morning only) & the Grilled Mushroom burgers are my favs!
The Prahran one, served with chargrilled Barbie Portobello shroom on fresh sourdough bread & mayo with a spicy kick. *Real FINE*
While the Grilled one, served with flat jumbo shroom with fresh salad, roasted capsicum from jar, pesto, mayo, cheese, served on a toasted bun (traditional or panini) *health KICK*
Personally I prefer the prahran burger more, but practicality wise, it is quite difficult to get since it’s only there on Saturday. I wish they have a proper store…. I would go every week!
This week I decided to spread my love of Shroom Shroom burgers with my family and friends. The Piccoloseeds held a Birthday Dinner at home and made SHROOM SHROOM burgers as main course.
Our guests really enjoyed the burgers!!! It was juicy, fresh, and packed with flavours of pesto, mayo, stir fried onions. The Provolone cheese is a bonus – like mozzarella but more mature.
Portobello Burgers with Pesto & Provolone
1/2 cup purchased pesto
1/4 cup mayonnaise
4 sourdough, whole grain, or ciabatta rolls, split horizontally
4 portobello mushrooms, stemmed, dark gills scraped out
1/2 – 1 onion, sliced, fried
4 cups salad leaves/ arugula leaves
4 slices provolone cheese
Garden Salad and sweet potato chips to serve
If you want to serve Burgers with garden salad and sweet potato chips – Make it first. I used mixed leaves, tomatoes, asparagus, with balsamic vinegar for the salad. 4 small sweet potatoes, cut into chippies and baked for ~1 hour or until dried and crisp.
Stir pesto and mayonnaise in small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Grill rolls, cut side down, until lightly toasted. Transfer to plates. Spread grilled side of rolls with pesto mayonnaise.
Brush mushrooms on both sides with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, rounded side up, 4 minutes. Turn mushrooms over. Cover and grill until mushrooms are tender, about 4 minutes. Place 1 mushroom on each roll bottom. Top each with enough fried onion to cover, salad and cheese. Press roll tops over and serve with garden salad & Chips.
I am a big fan of Wombok, also known as Chinese Cabbage. It has a mild & sweet flavour, and it takes up all the flavour from cooking and from dressings, which is what I love about it! At home we always cook it in stir-fry with ginger or a meat dish. In Korea, it is most popular as Kimchi which is pickled wombok.
This Wombok Salad (Vietnam origin im guessing) is my favourite Wombok recipe in summer time. It’s got massive flavours, and GOD, the crunchiness from all the ingredients is heaven – Especially the noodles and peanuts !
Give this recipe a try. It’s flavoursome, simple, healthy, packed with fresh ingredients, and can be prepared ahead of time.
Crunchy Asian Salad
1/2small Chinese cabbage (wombok) shredded
1large carrot peeled, sliced thinly into batons
1red capsicum seeded, thinly sliced
1/2cupmint leaves torn
1/2cuptoasted peanuts chopped
100g pktfried crunchy noodles
I added 250g sliced mushrooms and pan-fried tofu, because I don’t eat meat, and needed some protein and extra flavour. However, you can serve it with any chicken/ pork. Coconut chicken and pork belly is a popular combination!
finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime
1fresh long red chilli deseeded, finely chopped
1garlic clove crushed
2-3 tsp sesame oil
Place all salad ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Dressing: In a jug, whisk together all ingredients.
Pour over salad just before serving and toss well to coat.
Looking for Dairy free Gluten Free Baked Goodies? Look no further. This is my highly recommended recipe that taste fabulicious, and is quite a healthy recipe too!
I must say that I am not a big cookie fan but THIS recipe made me a cookie Monster!
I made this because my friend is lactose and wheat intolerant. It could be difficult to find delicious baked goodies / recipes that is wheat and dairy free. It is best to make use of naturally wheat free/ dairy free ingredients like nuts, rice, soy, quinoa, eggs….. any many more.
And thankfully, the gluten free (GF) flour is now available all around supermarkets, and in fact supermarkets now started making their own GF flours that cost much less Cha-Ching 🙂
Peanut Butter Cookies
Prep time 10 mins . Cook time 8 mins . Total time 18 mins
Serve 14-16 Cookies
1 cup peanut butter (I used ½ peanut butter and ½ almond butter)
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
⅔ cup oat/ gluten free flour (use 1 cup for chewy cookies cookies)
1 tsp baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
¼ cup water (I used ¼ cup almond milk)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the peanut butter and brown sugar for 1 minute. Add in the vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds.
In a separate mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients together (oat flour, baking soda, and salt).
While beating the peanut butter mixture, slowly add in the gluten free flour mixture and beat until a crumby dough forms. Add in the almond milk and continue to beat until distributed. Do not over mix.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Roll the dough into balls (about 1½ – 2 tablespoons per cookie), drop on parchment paper, and flatten with a fork one way and then the other to create a crisscross pattern.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until just starting to turn golden on edges (they bake FAST so watch them carefully).
Let cool completely and enjoy !
You can store cookies an airtight container to keep them soft and chewy.
What does it taste/look like?
– Soft and tender peanut butter cookies ! So Delicious that I prefer these cookies over non-gluten free cookies (which often taste like butter and dough)
– Melts in your mouth
– Brown sugar gives extra flavour and a different sweetness that matches so well with peanut butter!
– Hold it’s shape really well – does not crumble into bits and pieces
– Blissful Basil suggest serving with cold milk 🙂
There is no butter or oil added. All fat comes from the nut paste which are full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat, very low in saturated fat (see below) – very healthy for heart and arteries.
You can definitely make smaller cookies to reduce the calories/ fat per serve.
Nutritional Information Per cookies (calculated by 15 cookies per recipe):
Energy 877kJ (210kcal), Protein 5.4g, Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 1.65g, Carb 21g, Sugar 11.3g, Sodium 211.6mg
Everyone’s got a favourite food (sometimes naughty), that’s close to our hearts. So close, that you don’t want to live without!
What’s your favourite food? Mine is coffee, cheese, salt and pepper calmari. Take them away and i’ll be miserable…….
Being healthy is about enjoying these food occasionally and in good quantity. My favourite eat out dish is salt and pepper calamari. In fact it was my favourite pub meal when I was in Roma. Loved the generous serving size and goes so well with a beer 😀 However, i only eat out once per week, and on other days I eat pretty well at home.
Tonight, it’s about salt and pepper calamari at home in a healthy plate portion.
What is a healthy portion? Aim for:
– 1/2 plate salad
– 1/4 plate carbohydrates (homemade potato wedges)
– 1/2 plate protein ( salt and pepper calamari & tofu)
Follow this portion for lunch and dinner meals can help you:
– Meat vegetables requirements – fibre and vitamins
– Weight management/ Control energy intake – vegetables are low in energy
– Enjoy favourite food more – good portion of favourite food so you enjoy all mouthful of them
– Feel good after your meal – instead of tired and a post meal slump
A colourful dish with a variety of vegetables & good portion of carbs, protein, and vegetables makes me happy. Just like these poppies.
Add all ingredients (except butter) into a breadmaker, first the wet ingredients (milk, cream, egg, tangzhong), then followed by the dry ingredients (salt, sugar, milk powder, bread flour, yeast).
Select the “dough” mode (refer to the menu of your breadmaker to select the kneading dough programme).
When all ingredients come together, pour in the melted butter, continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. The time of kneading in the breadmaker is about 30 minutes. Then let the dough complete the 1st round of proofing, about 40 minutes, best 28C, until double in size.
Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface. Deflate and divide into 3 equal portions Cover with cling wrap, let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature.
Roll out each portion of the dough with a rolling pin into an oval shape. Fold 1/3 from top edge to the middle and press. Then fold 1/3 from bottom to the middle and press.
Turn seal downward. Roll flat and stretch to about 30cm in length. With seal upward, roll into a cylinder. With seal facing down, place in the loaf tins to have the 2nd round of proofing (see picture 8), until double in size. The best temperature for 2nd round proofing is 38C, humidity 85%.
Brush whisked egg on surface. Bake in a pre-heated 180C (356F) oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until turns brown. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a wire rack. Let cool completely.
The only issue I had with this recipe is that my bread machine doesn’t have a dough mixing only button (mine includes proofing), so I had to peak in every now and then, to add butter at the right time. Once that’s done, all the steps are pretty
I highly recommend this recipe, and Definitely will make again! My brother and sister who usually dislike bread – actually asked for more, and had it for supper the other night!
Enjoy this bread occasionally. I eat wholegrain high fibre daily, but indulge myself once or twice per month with croissant and brioche 🙂
Going meat free can be difficult sometimes. You may feel like you need to eat differently from family and friends. While this is sometimes true, I believe there’s always ways to alter recipes to suit everyone’s taste.
Lasagne is one family tradition that you can try meat free.
1brown onion, finely chopped
900gNaranka Gold Pumpkin, peeled, cut into 1.5cm cubes
2 x 400g cansbrown lentils, rinsed, drained
690g bottleColes Brand Italian Tomato Passata
Good pinchground nutmeg
375g pktfresh lasagne
120g pktbaby spinach, trimmed, finely shredded
1.5 cup Tasty cheese, grated (I used 1 cup plus parmesan cheese)
Rocket leaves, to serve
Preheat oven to 190°C or 170°C fan. Grease a 26cm x 20cm x 6cm baking dish.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook the onion for 5 minutes or until soft and lightly golden. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add pumpkin, lentils and stock. Reserve 1 cup of the passata and stir the remaining passata into the pumpkin mixture. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce heat slightly and cook, covered, for 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender and the mixture is thick. Transfer to a large bowl to cool slightly, then refrigerate until cold.
Meanwhile, use a fork to mash the ricotta in a bowl. Stir in nutmeg. Season.
Line the base of the prepared dish with a layer of lasagne sheets. Spread over half the pumpkin mixture, then top with another layer of lasagne sheets.
Sprinkle with the ricotta mixture and use damp fingertips to spread evenly.
Spread over the remaining pumpkin mixture, then top with remaining lasagne sheets. Spread over the reserved passata to cover completely. Sprinkle with cheddar.
Bake for 45 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Serve with rocket.
I made this for a dinner gathering with a couple of friends and they all liked it! My friends and I are surprised by how delicious a vegetarian lasagne can be. It has much less fat then traditional meat lasagne but the lentil and pumpkin texture resembles meat – great replacement!
Nutritionally, Legumes provide a range of essential nutrients including protein, low glycemic (GI) carbohydrates, dietary fibre, minerals (iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium) and B vitamins. They are also low in fat, sodium, and gluten free.
Eating legumes can play a role in preventing chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and overweight, as well as improving gut health.
The Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council recommends 2 – 3 serves (1/2-1 cup cooked) of legumes a week.
After a few weeks away from home, I started craving Asian food. Anything from Asian broth, sushi, stir fries, to curry. Of course it’s difficult when you live in a small rural country town with limited access to these food!
So as I was flicking through a woolies magazine & this recipe captured my attention . Tempura veggie patties, which reminds me of okonomiyaki! I love this pancake full of chargrilled veggies with a Flavorsome kick of teriyaki like sauce . Yum! I decided to give this recipe a go !
– 1/2 small cabbage, shredded
– 3 carrots, shaved in ribbons
– 3 spring onions (I just used brown onion), chopped finely
– 5 kale stalks leaves only, chopped up
– 2 eggs
– 1/2 cup flour (I used wholemeal)
– 2 tbsp water
– oil 1/4 cup
1/3 cup tomato sauce
1. Prepare all vegetables and mix them together. Add flour and mix together
2. Mix water and egg and add in veggie mix
3. Heat oil in pan, add in half cup of veggie mix and pan fry each side for 3-4 minutes.
4. Best to serve immediately !
This definitely satisfied my okonomayaki cravings. It’s a healthy recipe packed with veggie goodness.
The veggies do require a bit of preparation, but once they are all grated or ribboned, the rest of the steps are quite simple. I had this as a snack rather than with noodles 😉