Super quick and easy ‘light’ meal

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It doesn’t get much quicker and easier than this stove top variation of baked eggs.

Served with a slice of good toast it makes a great breakfast/brunch/lunch or even evening meal. Perfect for eating light.

Mix a teaspoon or paprika (preferably smoky paprika) into jar of pasta sauce. Add a tin of diced tomatoes if you like, and stir.
When this is hot, carefully break eggs into the hot sauce and let them ‘poach’ until they are just as you like them.

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

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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.

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Ingredients
4 serves

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

Method

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!

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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

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Double Shot’s kale salad

 

Cauliflower rice – great idea when eating ‘light’

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To stay lean, balance great meals with friends with eating lighter in between. Cauliflower rice can be a great idea to serve with curries, stews in fact any saucy dish that goes well with rice. It is also quick and easy and means you don’t need to cook extra veggies.
Cauliflower rice – great idea when eating light

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‘A nod to nachos’ with cauliflower rice

….or maybe the answer is Zucchini Pasta!

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Love pasta but have trouble with portion sizes? Why not try this great alternative, zucchini pasta!
1) Chop ends off zucchini and discard.
2) Using a peeler (Asian style peeler used for green papaya/mango salad is best), peel the zucchini full length as much as you possibly can to make zucchini ribbons or strings and add to a large heat proof bowl
3) Once all zucchini has been peeled and added to the bowl, microwave or blanch by pouring boiling water on top blanch for one minute
4) Drain zucchini and serve as you would pasta (eg. With mince bolognaise on top)
Source: Portion Perfection facebook site
https://www.facebook.com/portionperfection

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Salad on the side – the answer to Australia’s weight problem?

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Yesterday the Australian Bureau of Statistics released the much awaited, early nutrition information from the big Australian Health Survey.

One of the most interesting things it told us, was that, in Australia, we are getting more of our kilojoules from things like pasta, noodle and rice dishes than any other type of food.

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Part of it is because, they’re so popular now, but we also eat large amounts and often don’t have many veggies or any salad with them.

The Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest about 1-2 serves of pasta at a meal, to keep a healthy weight. A serve is 1/2 cup of cooked pasta.

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This serve of Spaghetti Bolognese above has about 4-6 serves.

But if we serve ourselves less pasta with our meals won’t we be hungry?

The secret is to always try to make meals half coloured veggies or salad.

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Not only does this cut the kilojoules of the meal in half while still giving plenty to enjoy, but it helps us get our five serves of veggies that we need each day.

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At home, it works well to serve half a plate of salad or vegetables first, then think about how much pasta and sauce you’d still enjoy, while staying comfortable.

A mixed pasta dish might look more like this.

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It doesn’t really work to try to only add extra vegetables to the sauce, because the same amount of veggies, just won’t fit.

If you’re in a rush, have run out of fresh veg, or feeling like an easy meal, frozen vegetables are a great option. It’s good to always keep some on hand.

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Take-away pasta or noodles, can work the same way.

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Serve half as much with some vegetables or salad on the side.

If you’re eating out, it works well to order an entree sized dish and a side salad.

Or share a pasta or rice dish and a leafy salad with others.

Or even both!

 

Creamy Thai Red Curry & Coconut Carrot Soup – ideal for lunch through winter

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Soup and toast

This quick and easy comfort food, is very light on kilojoules at around 350kJ per bowl.

Cook up a big batch to freeze in portions and take for lunch, or jazz it up with fresh chopped coriander and good bread to serve for friends.

For dinner, you can give it more body by adding extra cooked leftover/steamed/frozen veggies and even some tinned drained chickpeas.

It can be varied nicely by using cauliflower, broccoli or zucchini instead of carrot.

Serve two different colours together for added style.

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Ingredients:
2 tsp oil (leave out if not using curry paste)
2 tsp red curry paste (from a jar) (optional)
1 kg carrots (peeled and roughly chopped)
3 medium onions (peeled and roughly chopped)
2 tsp crushed garlic (from a jar)
1 Tbsp salt reduced stock powder
6 cups water
1 Tbsp salt reduced soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1x375ml can evaporated light milk (preferably coconut flavoured or add 1 tsp coconut essence to tin) or use light coconut milk

Method:
Heat oil in large saucepan and cook curry paste until fragrant. Add all other ingredients except milk and essence. Simmer until veg are tender. Add milk and essence and puree soup with food processor or hand held blender.

Source ‘Symply Too Good Yo Be True’ No. 4 by Annette Sym