Fish Marsala – so quick, easy, delicate and ‘light’


This fish marsala is ideal for light, but delicious eating. It only has around 500kj per modest serve, takes only 4 ingredients and 15 minutes to prepare and is infallible.
The key to success is to use fresh garam marsala spice.


4 serves

500gm any white fish cubed
1/2 tin light coconut milk
1 tsp chicken stock powder
1 heaped teaspoon garam marsala spice


Cook the cubes of fish in a non-stick frypan until just cooked through.
Add the coconut milk mixed with the chicken stock powder.

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Simmer until reduced to a thicker sauce.
Sprinkle garam marsala, stir in well, and cook for a few more minutes.

Serve with a small serve of steamed Basmati rice and a large leafy salad.

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Great quick and easy, mix and match salad idea that wows!


Grill’d Chicken and Quinoa with Pomegrante dressing salad

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Double shot salads

The lunch menu at Double Shot, in Deakin is a fine example of how to throw together a side or main meal salad at home that will wow your guests but still leave them feeling light and ‘fine’.

It’s also a great idea for work or home when you’re eating light and pacing yourself between social dining opportunities.

It’s a no-fail formula:

1. Pick a base for your salad (any washed green leaves will work)

2. Add colour, texture, flavour
– look in the fridge freezer and cupboards for what’s on hand; or
– if you have more time and energy, get inspiration from restaurant and cafe menus that usually have interesting combinations that work well.
– ensure there is at least one intense flavour (even just a little makes a big difference, without adding too many extra kilojoules or extra sodium) e.g. bacon bits/olives/feta/antipasti mix/anchovies/chorizo/baby beets/capers/marinated vegetables/sundried tomato

3. Layer the different ingredients on top of the leaves, leaving the most interesting colours, textures and flavours for the upper layers.

4. Serve with an interesting dressing (e.g. combine lemon juice or a vinegar e.g. balsamic (e.g. 3 Tbsp) with some oil e.g. olive (e.g. 1 Tbsp), adding a little sweetener to taste e.g. brown sugar/honey e.g. 2 tsp and I like some dijon or wholegrain mustard e.g. 2 tsp as well)
(Tip: if you allow the dressing to be added to individual plates then any leftover salad will keep better until the next meal).

For a main meal salad:

Add a cooked protein food (sliced often works best), perhaps marinated/smoked/warm (e.g. warm thai beef, warm chicken, tandoori chicken, smoked salmon/trout/ham/chicken, boiled eggs, cubed or crumbed cheese, prawns or other seafood, warm marinated tofu).

Usually this layer is best near the top of the salad, but with more colourful/flavoursome and textured layers garnishing it.

From the freezer:
Frozen baby beans/ baby peas/ tender corn kernels (blanch these by pouring boiling water over them, stand for a few minutes, then drain well).
Bits and pieces collected for just this purpose e.g. fried bacon bits, roast pumpkin, olives, antipasti mix

From the fridge/deli:
Protein foods
Left over roast vegetables (e.g. pumpkin/ roast potato/ carrot/ potato/ beetroot/ eggplant/ mushrooms/ zucchini/ capsicum/roasted canned chickpeas )
Left over steamed vegetables
Salad vegetables including blanched asparagus/snow peas/ green beans/ corn kernels (blanch these by pouring boiling water over them, stand for a few minutes until tender, then drain well)

Tomatoes/ baby tomatoes/ lebanese cucumbers/ red capsicum/ red onion/ avocado/salad leaves/ shredded cabbage

Marinated vegetables (e.g. olives/ antipasti mix/ artichokes/eggplant/ sundried-tomato)
And if you have an Asian peeler it can be used for green papaya/green mango/carrot
Fruit (e.g. orange/pineapple/apple)

From the pantry:
Canned chickpeas and beans
Nuts – whole and chopped, or seeds – best toasted and sprinkled on top at the last minute
Canned vegetables (e.g. baby beets/ asparagus/ corn kernels/ champignon mushrooms)
Cooked quinoa or couscous to stir through the leaves
Dried fruit and berries
Crispy noodles


Double Shot’s kale salad


Coffees are more like mini meals than you think!



It’s so easy to think of milk based coffees like lattes, cappuccino and flat whites as just drinks that don’t really count towards your kilojoules.

But when you realise that even the smallest sizes have around the same kilojoules as a slice of bread, medium potato, small yogurt or a piece of fresh fruit, it becomes clear that they are really more like a mid-meal.

A small milk-based coffee even a skim one, has similar kilojoules to a small yogurt

A small milk-based coffee even a skim one, has similar kilojoules to a small yogurt

And then if you order a medium sized coffee, it’s one and a half times more and a large is double.


A large milky coffee has the kilojoules of two pieces of fruit or two small yogurts….

So it might make you re-think about whether to add a coffee to your morning or afternoon tea snack, or to just have it instead?

Piccolo lattes can be a good alternative. They still give you the coffee, but not so much milk and far fewer kilojoules.


A great free audio from George Blair West available until tomorrow from Portion Perfection


A great free audio from George Blair West available until tomorrow from Portion Perfection

Portion Perfection has made some free content available through their Facebook page.

Available to download for free until tomorrow.

The fourth piece of this free content from Dr George Blair West is really fantastic:

Eating Mindfully – Tasting More to Eat Less.

It explains the 5 Steps – to be expert at mindful eating:

Tune out distractions – TV, screens, driving, etc;

Tune in to how hungry you feel;

Taste the food not using your taste buds;

Taste using your taste buds – remembering there are none in your stomach!

Tune into how hungry (not how full) you feel – To eat mindfully engage as many of your senses as possible – don’t talk, unless it’s about the food;


‘Weight loss for food lovers’ Dr George Blair-West



Australian Psychiatrist, Dr George Blair-West has useful ideas, that make good sense of why it’s so hard to lose weight and keep it off. He also tells us what makes it easier, especially if you enjoy and appreciate food.

I particularly like his explanation of the ‘what the hell effect’ , ‘restraint theory’, and the ‘last supper effect’ . He has good logic as to why it’s so important for success, to be able to keep incorporating the foods and food sharing occasions that are important to you. This is what he calls the ‘low sacrifice diet’ and involves working out which are your food priorities and what you can do without.

He is big on the concepts of mindfulness and savouring and explains why depending on will power and trying to just use exercise to lose weight, doesn’t work.

George also helpfully unpacks the ‘law of diminishing returns’. This explains why the first mouthful is always the best and pleasure declines rapidly after that. However, the good news is, that if you stop after the first few mouthfuls and then enjoy it again later, the pleasure of the ‘first’ mouthful, returns – a great reason to take the rest of a beautiful meal home with you if you can, once you’ve enjoyed enough the first time.

To listen to several radio interviews that give a good overview of George’s ideas go to:


For more about George and his helpful book go to:

1 – Landing Page – New Homepage