Turkish Banquet – a great idea for sharing food with friends at home

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An easy, great value idea for enjoying food with friends, is to order turkish banquets.

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Delivered to your door……………

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……..a little re-plating can transform this ‘take-away’ meal into something special.

(Four banquets are shown here i.e. $92 total).

While there’s is usually a minimum order of two banquets that are intended to serve two people, two banquets are more than enough for four people, even six if you add a dessert of your own.

(These four banquets, with dessert were about right for 8-12  people to share).

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It can also be good to add some vegetable crudites for the dips as well to add crunch and texture. This works out at around $8 per person and leaves everyone feeling satisfied, but comfortable.
Lynham Pide Hut at the Lynham shops, Canberra offers a $23 take away/delivered banquet (minimum order 2) that includes:

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Mixed dips & bread

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Zucchini balls, falafel, fetta spring rolls

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Chicken skewer, sliced donor kebab meat, meatball & turkish rice, mixed green salad, Kiymali pide (Seasoned minced lamb, onion, cheese, parsley & herbs)

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Baklava open 11:00am – 9:00pm Tuesday to Sunday Ph: 02 62485568

They happily deliver orders over $30 and even offer a 25% discount for holders of the Canberra Entertainment Book!
Turkish Pide and Kebabs on Urbanspoon

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

 

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!

 

Cauliflower mash – tasty, leaner swap for mashed potato

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Portion perfection cauliflower mashComfort food for the cold weather, that won’t weigh you down

Love mashed potato but it’s just too ‘morish’?

Why not try cauliflower mash!

Cauliflower mash can be used instead of mashed potato with a winter casserole, or spread it on top of cottage pie mixture instead of potato!

So how do you make cauliflower mash? Simple!

Ingredients (Serves 4):

• 1 small head of cauliflower

• Optional: Your choice of added flavours (eg. minced garlic, herbs)

Method:

1. Chop cauliflower head in to florets.

2. Steam or microwave until very soft.

3. Add steamed cauliflower to food processor/blender or use a hand blender, as well as any additional flavours (if desired) and blend until smooth. You may need to add a small amount of hot water to reach your desired consistency.

4. Serve with meal, on top of cottage pie or however you wish to use it!

Source: Portion Perfection facebook site

https://www.facebook.com/portionperfection

Catering?….always include a large, interesting salad

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A salad can be quick, easy and exciting.
Just start with mixed leaves and add layers of colour and texture, ending with the most interesting.

Even just a sprinkle of antipasti mix over leaves looks great.

But use whatever you’ve got:

Frozen – baby peas/baby beans/baby corn (just pour over boiling water and drain)

Leftover roast veg – anything colourful

Canned – baby beets, chickpeas, corn kernels

Fresh – sliced lebanese cucumbers, blanched snow peas or asparagus, cherry or chopped tomato, strings of grated carrot, sliced capsicum, avocado, spanish/ red onion

From the deli – antipasti mix, crumbled feta

Cooked chopped of sliced protein – cooked diced chicken, sliced beef or lamb, canned tuna or salmon, sliced boiled eggs, diced or crumbled cheeses, nuts, seeds

Dressing – mix equal quantities mustard with honey, brown sugar or white sugar and vinegar (plenty). Add a dash or oil if you like. Serve this separately, so leftover salad will last a bit longer.