Lunch-ideas

Easy Dinner Recipes Using A Slow Cooker

A slow cooker is a great investment for any kitchen since you can create healthy, wholesome meals especially during the colder months. If you don’t quite know what to create with your slow cooker, try a few of our tasty ideas below to give you some extra inspiration.

RELATED: Healthy Provencal Vegetable Soup

Honey and garlic chicken

Show off your cooking skills with this tasty topping of honey and garlic chicken which works well with rice or noodles.

Easy Dinner Recipes Using A Slow Cooker

Beef and broccoli crockpot

A yummy crockpot of beef and broccoli is a classic dish which even the kids are bound to love. Add a few more vegetables such as carrot or asparagus to give the dish some body.

Easy Dinner Recipes Using A Slow Cooker

Jambalaya

Make like Seinfeld and create your very own Jambalaya from scratch. It’s the perfect recipe for entertaining and tastes amazing with a glass of white wine.

Easy Dinner Recipes Using A Slow Cooker

Healthy butter chicken

Skip the naan bread and fill-up on tasty chicken and vegetables for a modern take on a traditional Indian dish.

Easy Dinner Recipes Using A Slow Cooker

Mozzarella stuffed meatballs

Try this delicious recipe as an appetiser, or a side to plain pasta. The filling is so thick and creamy – you’ll never want to eat anything else!

Easy Dinner Recipes Using A Slow Cooker

Potato soup

For the warmer months, try a classic potato soup with all of your favourite vegetables. It makes for a filling dish for both lunch and dinner, with plenty of leftovers!

Easy Dinner Recipes Using A Slow Cooker

Images via Huffington Post, Just Taste, Table For Two Blog, Gimme Some Oven, Half Baked Harvest, Cooking Classy, Creme de La Crumb

July 16, 2015

Healthy Tomato and Olive Quiche Recipe

Indulge in this healthy lunch idea which is made from fresh ingredients and is easy enough for even a beginner in the kitchen. Make sure you have a shell pre-baked (it’ll make the process shorter), then you can fill it and bake the quiche in the oven!

RELATED: Crustless Broccoli Quiche Recipe

Ingredients

Pastry shell

1 whole egg

3 egg yolks

1/2 cup kalamata olives

2 cloves garlic

2 onions (sliced)

2 cups tomato puree

Black pepper and salt

Parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Start off with the pastry shell, and bake at 200ºC (400ºF) for 5-10 minutes until it softens. Take it out of the oven, and leave aside to cool.
  2. Mash up the kalamata olives into a fine paste.
  3. Saute the garlic and onions in a medium-sized pan until they begin to glaze. Add the tomato puree and cook until the mixture has thickened. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Take the pan off the heat, then add the 1 whole egg, followed by the 3 egg yolks. Grate some Parmesan cheese over the top, then arrange the sliced tomatoes.
  5. Cook for 30 minutes until golden brown, then drizzle some olive oil over the top.

Image via One Hot Stove

July 3, 2015

3 Tasty Summer Salad Recipes

Enjoy a light and healthy salad this summer by experimenting with some of your favourite seasonal fruits and vegetables. We have compiled just a few tasty recipes below which are sure to be the hit at the next dinner party!

RELATED: Summer Beetroot Salad Recipe

Couscous salad

Ingredients: 300g couches, 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 1 tomato, 2 tablespoons mint, honey, 1/2 lemon juice, 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

1. Pour the couscous over 300ml of boiling water. Cover the bowl then let it stand for 5 minutes for the grains to fluff up.

2. Dice the peppers, tomato and mint, then whisk through the honey and lemon dressing.

3 Fruity Summer Salad Recipes

Chef’s salad

Ingredients: 1/2 lettuce, 1/2 cucumber, 1 tomato, 1 stick celery, 1 hard-boiled egg, 1 cooked chicken breast, 50g ham, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, juice of 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper to season.

Instructions

1. Line each bowl with lettuce leaves, and top off with celery, tomato and cucumber.

2. Add half of a hard-boiled egg to each dish, and divide the ham, cheese and chicken strips as well.

3. For the dressing, combine the Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of honey, lemon and olive oil into a jar and shake. Pour it over the salad and season with salt and pepper.

3 Fruity Summer Salad Recipes

Nicoise salad

Ingredients: 200g potatoes, 1/2 lettuce, 1 can white tuna, 3 tomatoes, 40g black olives, 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

1. Peel and boil the potatoes until soft and tender. Drain well, then dice into quarters.

2. Arrange the lettuce on the bottom of each bowl, then add the tuna, tomatoes, potatoes and olives. Garnish with olive oil and cracked black pepper. Red chilli flakes also add a kick of flavour to this traditional dish.

3 Fruity Summer Salad Recipes

Images via Nutritious Life, Taste Spotting, The Tolerant Vegan

June 2, 2015

Chilli, Coriander Squid Recipe

Contrary to the belief that seafood is a summer delicacy, it can still be enjoyed just as much in the cooler months. Enjoy Sally Matterson’s chilli, coriander squid recipe as a main, or serve as a warming side salad if you’re entertaining.

RELATED: Savoury Superfood Bowl With Poached Egg Recipe

Serves 4

Ingredients

2 red onions, peeled, halved and cut into wedges

4 tsp flaxseed oil, plus extra

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

2 chillies, finely chopped

1 bunch of coriander, finely chopped

600g (1.3lb) pre-cut squid rings or approximately 4 baby squid, scored and thinly sliced

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

Handful of kalamata olives

100g (3.5oz) rocket

50g (1.75oz) or large handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Juice of ½ a lemon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Line a baking tray with baking paper. Place onion on a baking tray.
  2. Drizzle with half the flaxseed oil and balsamic vinegar and bake for 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place chilli and coriander in a bowl with the squid. Toss together.
  4. In a separate bowl, place cherry tomatoes, olives, rocket, parsley and onion.
  5. Heat oil in pan and quickly toss squid for 2 minutes or until tender. Add to bowl with salad and toss.
  6. Drizzle with remaining flaxseed oil and lemon juice to serve.

Recipe via Healthy Body

May 19, 2015

5 Healthy Lunch Recipes Under $5

Tired of wasting all of your money on food and drinks? So are we! Prepare your own healthy meals at home to save some extra cash, plus you will know exactly what’s included in your food. We have tracked down five easy lunch ideas under $5 for those who don’t mind being a bit thrifty.

RELATED: Healthy BLT Sandwich Recipe

BLT Sandwich

Ingredients: 2 rashes bacon, 2 slices wholemeal bread, Iceberg lettuce, 1/2 ripened tomato, 1 teaspoon mayonnaise or tomato sauce.

Who can resist a classic BLT Sandwich, yum! We love them so much that we even provided a recipe on SHESAID, but this one is even better (and will save you some extra money as well).

5 Healthy Lunch Recipes Under $5

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Ingredients: 1/2 kg chicken mince, olive oil, butter lettuce, 1 tablespoon chilli flakes, 1 tablespoon soy sauce

Use chicken mince instead to save a little extra money (plus, it’s so quick and easy to cook – even for beginners in the kitchen). Season with chilli flakes, then transfer into a bed of lettuce.

5 Healthy Lunch Recipes Under $5

Couscous Salad

Ingredients: 1/2 cup couscous, 1/4 cup crumbled feta, olive oil, lemon juice, 1/2 red grapes

A delicious couscous salad is perfect if you’re watching your weight, but still want to feel satisfied after your meal. Enjoy with crunchy red grapes and crumbled feta cheese over the top for extra flavour. Replace the grapes with cherry tomatoes or olives if they’re not your thing.

5 Healthy Lunch Recipes Under $5

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

Ingredients: 2 beets, 2 tablespoons walnuts, 1 cup mixed greens, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, crumbled goat cheese

Try this light spring/summer take on a traditional salad for a healthy lunch or dinner meal. Perfect for those who are vegetarian, make sure to add some of your favourite seasonal vegetables into the mix.

5 Healthy Lunch Recipes Under $5

Turkey Pesto Panini

Ingredients: Leftover bread, 1/2 cup pesto, 1/3 cup mozzarella, 1 cup chopped turkey, 2 tomatoes, 1/2 avocado

Make use of that panini and leftover turkey for this yummy snack for lunch time. Place all of the ingredients into a lunch press and cook for 2-3 minutes until golden brown.

5 Healthy Lunch Recipes Under $5

Images via Food, Damn Delicious, Two Peas and Their Pod, Clean and Delicious

April 26, 2015

The Best Meals Made From Leftovers

There is no denying the fact that leftovers aren’t always the most glamourous of meals. But they sure save some time after a long day of work!

Although, does anyone else agree that some meals just taste better the next day? Below are just a few quick and easy meals to warm-up and enjoy if you don’t have much time on your side.

RELATED: Prosciutto and Rocket Pizza Recipe

Curry

Not only do the flavoursome ingredients of a yummy red curry marinate overnight, but they actually taste so much better! Warm them up over a hot stove, and serve with fresh rice and a glass of dry white wine.

The Best Leftover Meals 

Lasagne

Any type of lasagne tastes good on the second day, and there is no denying that fact! Serve with a side of fresh vegetables and you have a winning lunch or dinner meal.

The Best Leftover Meals 

Lentils

If you aren’t a fan of piping hot lentils, then enjoying them for leftovers is the second best option. The lentils themselves actually double in size, and the consistency of the entire soup is deliciously thick and filling.

The Best Leftover Meals 

Meatballs

Fry them, bake them, or simply pop them in the microwave for 2 minutes – meatballs taste good any way you choose to prepare them! Especially if they were baked in a tomato and garlic sauce which tastes amazing the next day. However, you might need some gum to cover up the garlic afterwards..

The Best Leftover Meals 

Casserole

Casseroles take no less than 5 minutes to prepare for lunch the next evening, and they taste exactly the same as they did the previous day. The past filling is especially warm and fluffy, which is perfect for those cold winter days!

The Best Leftover Meals 

Pizza

There’s just one food that taste good all the time, and that has to be pizza. If you’re warming in up the next morning, don’t waste your time with the oven or microwave which can turn it into a soggy mess. Simply lay it flat or an empty frying pan, and cook for 5 minutes. This way, you have a deliciously crunch pizza snack.

The Best Leftover Meals 

What are some of your favourite leftovers?

Images via Dinner Was Delicious, Joanne Eats Well With Others, Feeling Foodish, Damn Delicious, Girl Versus Dough

February 19, 2015

Inspirational Ideas For Leftover Christmas Ham

Luckily, ham is one of the most versatile foods you can have in your fridge. Apart from being able to tuck a slice between a piece of bread or two, there are so many other ways to serve it. You can also substitute it for anything which usually uses bacon, so that opens the possibilities enormously. If you want some inspiring ways to use up the ham lingering in your fridge, you’ve come to the right place.

Peas and ham

Did I just hear someone say yuk? Well, it certainly didn’t come from our household. Peas and ham are a winning combination, it’s packed with fiber, eats like a snack or a meal, it’s super easy, you can freeze it, plus it tastes awesome!

First, chop up the ham to resemble shredded bacon. Cook it on high to medium in a large saucepan or pot with garlic. Add as much or as little garlic as you like. I love it and it’s a great way to load the family up with a good hit, so I throw in a few large freshly chopped cloves but it doesn’t matter if it’s dry. Add a dash of water so it doesn’t stick to the bottom and stir it until you can smell the garlic cooking.

Then open a packet of frozen peas and add them, along with a sprinkle of sugar, salt and pepper to taste and water to cook the peas in. About a 3/4 of a cup for a 500gm packet will suffice. It’s easier to add more water later than try to remove it. Stir it all in, pop the lid on and turn the heat down low. Let it cook for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can tell when it’s ready when the peas looked cooked, but not mushy.

If you have a bit of water lingering around, cook it for a bit without the lid. The more often you cook it, the easier it gets and you can tweak it anyway you like. Serve it straight away or have it cold. It tastes great either way. It freezes really well and is perfect as a side dish or quick main meal on busy days. It’s even a great lunch box alternative.

Creamy ham sauce

There’s a great little product that has hit the shelves for people suffering lactose intolerance. Don’t let that deter you though. It tastes great, stores in the cupboard, is really low in fat, is perfect for cooking, plus it’s under $2!

Now, trying to source it is like pinching eggs out of a chicken coop, because our local supermarkets can’t seem to stock enough. As soon as it hits the shelf, a day or so later, it’s vanished! It’s usually found in the long life milk section, so if and when you can get a hold of it, grab 2 or 3 to keep in the cupboard for super quick, tasty meals for the whole family.

To make the pasta sauce, chop and cook up the ham and garlic like the previous recipe. Instead of adding peas, add the cream with salt and pepper to taste. Cook it long enough to heat the cream and ham. It’s super yummy over any sort of pasta, baked potatoes and especially over plain steamed veggies. Once again, it freezes really well.

Now, for a little more inspiration, I’ve compiled the following list, with a few extra ideas for you to use your leftover ham.

  • Ham morney (substituting tuna)
  • Add a handful of chopped ham into a garden salad
  • Shredded ham and coleslaw on baked potatoes
  • Ham, cheese and pineapple topped pancakes
  • Door-stoppers: thick toasted bread with ham, melted cheese and creamed corn
  • Ham steaks with egg and baked beans

Ham also goes well with potato, green veggie, beans, cauliflower, asparagus, and apples combinations. Don’t forget you can also use apple or cranberry sauce to switch the flavor yet again.

Image via porkbeinspired.com

December 26, 2014

Crispy Goat’s Cheese Salad Recipe

Goat cheese, or chèvre, is high in flavor and low in fat. It is higher in calcium and protein than its brothers made from cows milk. This goat cheese salad is great to accompany a large meal for the family, or to enjoy on your lunch break.

RELATED: Brown Rice, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad Recipe

Ingredients

16 oz. Goat cheese

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup bread crumbs

Olive oil for frying

4 cups of small-leafed greens (baby spinach leaves, arugula or loose leaf lettuce)

6 fresh figs, quartered

Salt and pepper

Method

  1. Using your hands, mould the goats cheese into tiny balls (no larger than half an inch in diameter). Put your flour in a small bowl, or on a plate, and roll the goats cheese balls, coating them evenly in the flour.
  2. Transfer your goats cheese balls to the lightly beaten eggs, coating them in the mixture.
  3. Next, pour your bread crumbs onto a plate or into a bowl, then cover your goats cheese balls in the crumbs.
  4. Heat oil in a small skillet on medium-high heat (you should only need to use around a 1/4 cup – you don’t want to deep fry the goats cheese, just crisp the bread crumbs on the outside.) Put the crumbed goats cheese balls in the frying pan and cook on all sides, rotating as required to cook evenly. You don’t want to deep fry the goats cheese, just crisp the bread crumbs on the outside. You can cook several balls at a time if you have the room, just make sure you always test one first. Once fried, transfer to paper towel on a plate and set aside.
  5. Put leafy greens and figs in a bowl. Add goats cheese balls and serve. Season with salt and pepper, if required.

Image via yuppiechef.com

November 6, 2014

Oven-Roasted Roots Frittata Recipe

Ever find it difficult to stick to your daily serving of greens and vegetables? Not only are frittatas a delicious lunch-time meal, but they work with almost any filling you give them! Although this recipe better suits autumn/winter veggies, you can still experiment with your favourites for an irresistible midday snack.

RELATED: Smoked Salmon, Asparagus and Ricotta Frittata Recipe

Ingredients

600g autumn/winter vegetables (shallots, onions, carrots, squash, pumpkin, parsnip, celery, beetroot, and potatoes for the filling).

1 large garlic clove (chopped)

3 tbsp olive oil

7-8 large eggs

Mixed herbs (parsley, chives, thyme)

20g Parmesan cheese

Sea salt and cracked pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190ºC, and while that’s heating up peel the shallots or onions and slice into halves.
  2. Peel the carrots and cut into small slices, deseed the pumpkin/squash then cut into 2-3cm cubes. Do the same to the parsnip, celery, and beetroot before cutting the potatoes slightly smaller (1-2cm cubes).
  3. Load the vegetables into an oven-proof dish and garnish with garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper before tossing well. Roast for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelise.
  4. Beat the eggs with a handful of chopped herbs, seasoning with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables, then carefully place the Parmesan cheese over the top. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until the egg starts to colour.
  5. Leave to cool, then transfer to a chopping board before cutting into thin slices.

Image and Recipe courtesy of The Telegraph

November 2, 2014

Lunch Choices Leave Workers Feeling Judged

Lunchtime meal choices have become a new source of tension in the workplace, with more than 40 per cent of Australians admitting to feeling judged by colleagues when eating unhealthy meals.

According to the survey of 1000 Australian workers, commissioned by healthy food retailer SumoSalad, one in four Australians confess to judging co-workers for regularly making unhealthy decisions at lunch. When judging the overall health of a person, one in three goes as far as to base their decision purely by the type of food they see them eat.  

When it comes to the reasons behind why people opt for a burger or fries at work, the strain of increased workloads and hours could be at fault. More than half of respondents (55 per cent) believe that they are more likely to pick an unhealthy meal for lunch on stressful workdays.

Georgie Moore, SumoSalad’s resident dietitian says: “We often feel drawn to fatty foods when we are stressed, as we associate them with comfort.  However, what our bodies actually need when feeling strained and over worked are highly nutritious meals that will keep us going for longer.”

Moore also says that judgment in the workplace doesn’t always come from a bad place. “With the amount of information available to us about how bad certain foods are for the body, it’s not surprising that people are taking note of not only the food they eat, but also the food people around them are eating.  While caring is not a bad thing, Australians should be careful not to turn unhealthy eaters into the new cigarette smokers.

“Rather than make a colleague feel uncomfortable for their choice of lunch, the best way to help is to suggest going to lunch with them, as they will feel more inclined to make comparable choices.”

Leading by example could prove to be an effective way to encourage colleagues to make healthier decisions, with 60 per cent of respondents surveyed saying they are more likely to choose a nutritious meal if lunching with a healthy co–worker.  Leaving colleagues to face the food court alone could be a recipe for disaster, with one in three people admitting to feeling ambushed by the amount of unhealthy food options available in a food court.

Luke Baylis, co-founder of SumoSalad, said: “Enticing Australians to make healthy decisions in a food court environment can be challenging. The aroma and look of indulgent food can deter even the most committed healthy eaters. As a result, it is up to us to show customers that healthy options are as delicious as they are nutritious.”

To encourage Australians to eat healthy and seasonally, SumoSalad has introduced an Australian food court first, cultivating fresh produce in store through a hydroponic vertical garden wall. The installation boasts a range of fresh and seasonal vegetables, all grown and maintained in store for use in daily lunchtime meals.

The innovation, which is now on display at Sydney’s premium corporate store at Darling Park and Highpoint in Melbourne, will be rolled out across select SumoSalad stores over the next three years.

“The hydroponic vegetable wall is our way of visually prompting Australians to make healthier lunchtime decisions.  When choosing between a burger or salad, we hope that being able to see exactly where ingredients come from will be the clincher” Luke said.  

September 5, 2014

Stromboli – A Yummy Weekend Lunch Idea

Stromboli is a type of turnover, filled with various types of cheeses and meats such as salami and ham. I like to think of it as a rolled-up pizza. This recipe is fairly simple – you just need to allow plenty of time for your dough to rise. It’s a yummy idea if you’re taking a plate to an event or if you’re hosting a finger food lunch of your own. I just make it for my family to enjoy and it doesn’t last long at all.

Firstly, you need to make the dough:

Dough ingredients

2 tsp active dry yeast

1 cup plus 1 x tablespoon of warm water

2 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups high grade flour

Dough method

  1. Measure the first five ingredients into a large bowl with one cup of the flour and mix thoroughly.
  2. Cover and leave for 15 minutes or longer in a warm place.
  3. Stir in the remaining flour, adding extra if necessary, to make a dough just firm enough to knead.
  4. Knead on a lightly floured surface for ten minutes until the dough forms a soft ball and springs back lightly when pressed.
  5. Turn dough in two teaspoons of oil in a large bowl, cover with cling wrap and leave for 30 minutes in a warm place.

After your dough has risen you’re ready to put your Stromboli together:

Stromboli ingredients:

½ cup of diced ham

½ cup of diced salami

½ cup of mozzarella cheese

½ cup of parmesan cheese

Stromboli method:

  1. After the dough has risen for the last time, cut the dough in two.
  2. Working on a well-floured bench, roll the dough out to a 40cm x 50cm rectangle
  3. Spread half of the ingredients on each rectangle then roll up on the long edge, as you would a sponge roll.
  4. Lift the Stromboli carefully onto an oven tray lined with baking paper
  5. Bake at 200 degrees C for approximately 12 minutes or until golden.
  6. Serve warm, cut into diagonal pieces.

Image via 1.bp.blogspot.com

August 23, 2014

Light And Healthy Summer Salad Ideas

These two light and healthy salads are perfect for the warmer weather and they take less than ten minutes to prepare which is great if you’re lost for time. Both can be served with grilled fish, chicken or prawns. Enjoy!

Thai Chilli and Cucumber Salad

Ingredients

2 large Lebanese cucumbers, halved, deseeded and sliced

3 cups bean sprouts

2 green onions, thinly sliced

¼ cup fresh Thai basil leaves

¼ cup fresh mint leaves

1 x long red chilli, deseeded, thinly sliced

½ cup Thai-style dressing (see below for recipe)

Thai-style dressing

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp rice wine vinegar

1 tbsp lime juice

1 tbsp fish sauce

1 tbsp peanut oil

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a large bowl and toss to combine.
  2. Drizzle with Thai dressing and serve.

Two Light And Healthy Salad Ideas

Fennel and Orange Salad

Ingredients

1 baby fennel bulb

60g mixed lettuce leaves

3 medium oranges, peeled and segmented

Dressing

1 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tbsp orange juice

2 tbsp olive oil

Method

  1. Thinly slice fennel then toss with remaining two ingredients.
  2. Drizzle with dressing and serve.

Two Light And Healthy Salad Ideas

Images via taste.com.au, yourtruition.com

August 11, 2014

Summer-Inspired Crostinis

Crostinis are a fantastic summer snack idea which are low on calories and will allow you to experiment with your favourite fruits, vegetables and other various toppings. A classic baguette roll will serve as the perfect base when lightly toasted, and then served with some classic ingredients for a healthy snack at any time of the day.

Ingredients

For the pesto:

1 large clove garlic

3 cups fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup toasted walnuts

2 ounces Parmesan cheese (shredded or cut into small chunks)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Salt to taste

For the crostini:

24-inch baguette slices

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

8 ounces fresh mozzarella (cut into 24-inch slices)

3 medium tomatoes (sliced into 4 rounds, then 8 half-rounds)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

24 small fresh basil leaves

Method

  1. For the pesto, mix the garlic, fresh basil, walnuts and Parmesan cheese before moving them into a food processor. Then drizzle in the lemon juice and olive oil until the consistency is nice and smooth. Feel free to add salt to taste, then empty into a small bowl.
  2. Brush both sides of the baguette slices with olive oil before baking in the oven, or on the barbecue. Line a tray with baking paper and bake for 8-10 minutes and cook until golden brown.
  3. Now for the crostini, spread the pesto and top off with fresh mozzarella and a slice of tomato. Then season with salt and ground pepper to taste.

Recipe and image via Ciao Newport Beach, Pinch and Swirl

July 28, 2014

Quinoa And Chickpea Salad Recipe

Nutritious, tasty and super easy to prepare and serve – making it a perfect guilt-free lunch.

Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 cup quinoa

2 cups baby spinach

1 can (400g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup celery, finely chopped

1/3 mint, finely chopped

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

200g canned tuna, drained (optional)

Method

  1. Place quinoa in a small saucepan and add 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil, then lower heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes or until water has been absorbed.
  2. Remove quinoa from heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine spinach, chickpeas, celery, mint and tomatoes, and mix well.
  4. Fluff quinoa gently with a fork, then add  to salad mix. Add dressing of your choice and stir well to coat ingredients.
  5.  Divide salad between 2 large bowls. Serve on its own or flake some tuna over the top.

Recipe via The Healthy Mummy

July 22, 2014

Mushroom and Halloumi Bruschetta Recipe

Whether as a snack, light meal or dinner party canapé, these mushroom and halloumi bruschetta are packed with rustic Italian flavours and really easy to make. For an easy dinner for one, we like to top these tasty toasts with a fried egg, or when friends come over they make an elegant bite-size snack to serve with bubbly.

Serves: 4 

Ingredients

1 tablespoon Talinga Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil
300g small button mushrooms, quartered
125g halloumi cheese, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon balsamic (we like Lomondo Aged Caramelised Balsamic)
8 slices crusty Italian bread
2 cloves garlic, halved
Talinga Grove Garlic Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Method

1. Heat Talinga Grove Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a small frypan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes until they begin to soften.

2. Add halloumi cheese and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until just tender. Stir in fresh thyme and balsamic vinegar.

3. Toast bread on both sides.

4. Rub one side of each with a cut garlic clove.

5. Top bread slices with mushroom mixture. Drizzle lightly with Talinga Grove Garlic Infused extra virgin olive oil. Season with freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Recipe courtesy of Talinga Grove. Talinga Grove olive oil is available from Olive Trader.

What’s your favourite dinner for one recipe?

October 16, 2013

Maggie Beer’s Bacon, Walnut and Pear Salad Recipe

One of our favourite celebrity chefs Maggie Beer shares a delicious salad recipe combining ripe pears with crunchy walnuts and golden, crispy bacon. It makes the perfect dinner party entrée or light lunch.

Ingredients
2 Tbsp (40mls) extra virgin olive oil
2 ripe pears
½ cup walnuts
6 rashers belly bacon
4 strips lemon zest
3 Tbsp (60mls) vino cotto
1 cup rocket leaves
1 Tsp (5mls) lemon juice
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method
1. Peel, core and slice the pears into 1/8’s. Cut the bacon into 3 cm pieces.

2. Heat the olive oil in a heavy based frying pan, add the pears and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the bacon and lemon zest.

3. Add the whole walnuts and toss through.

4. Continue to cook until the pears are golden and the bacon crispy.

5. Deglaze the pan with the Vino Cotto, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary.

6. Remove from the pan and place on a serving platter, scatter the rocket over the top of the pears and bacon, add the lemon juice to the pan juices and drizzle over the salad.

What’s your favourite salad recipe?

September 3, 2013

Breakfast, Lunch, and Pampering (cont’d)

Lunch Panic

Is your lunch hour more stressful than the rest of your day? Do you wander around the food halls or cafes at lunchtime trying to find a sandwich that isn’t jam-packed with fat and calories? That innocent looking foccacia or salad doesn’t always fit the healthy bill, but it’s something all you can find. All you need are a few simple rules so that your midday meal doesn’t become a fatty nuisance.Choose wholemeal bread over white bread for your sandwich. This goes for baguettes and Turkish as well. Don’t even think about a ham and cheese croissant as croissants are made with butter and have over 200 calories on their own. Pretty scary stuff.

Don’t buy a pre-made sandwich, always get it made up. Say no to butter and high-fat dressings such as mayonnaise. They pile on too much mayo anyhow and all you taste is bread and mayonnaise? Ask for more salad instead. 3. Go for pasta for lunch. It is full of good carbs and will keep your energy levels high for the rest of the afternoon. Remember to stick to pastas with tomato based sauces. Carbonara is a no-go.

If you can find a decent salad around? go for that. Try not to pile on fatty dressings though. Why not bring a tin of tuna, rocket lettuce, a tomato, some cucumber and a little olive oil and make your own.

Never grab hot chips to fill you up. Instead buy a jacket potato and top it with low-fat cottage cheese or baked beans.

Head to the Asian section of the food-hall and grab some steamed rice and add steamed vegies that you bring from home. This ensures that the vegetables haven’t been soaked in fatty oil.

Home Health

Health Spas have been around for centuries and they all aim to offer one thing – a tonic for the stresses and strains of our busy and stressful lives. Everything from nutrition, pampering treats, soul-enhancing therapies and exercise are all part of a day at a spa. Often, it can be an expensive and time consuming experience so we often don’t give our minds and bodies the detox they need. With cost and time in mind we decided to discover how to reap the benefits of a health spa in the comfort of your own home or breaking the bank. Here goes:

March 26, 2002

Breakfast, Lunch, and Pampering (contd)

Hair Treatment

Stop off at your local chemist and purchase a hair pack. If you don’t want to leave the house – lather on your existing conditioner and wrap your hair in a hot towel for up to 20 minutes. Rinse well and voila you will have soft, silky hair.Body Treatment

Fill a cup with coarse sea salt (any good supermarket sells it) and moisten it with water. It should form a sticky paste that will be easy to rub all over your body. Start at your feet and work up your body, use upward strokes only. Rinse the salt off with warm water, vigorously towel-dry your skin and go to bed immediately. You will probably sweat profusely because your body is shifting unwanted toxins.

Foot Treatment

Smooth oil or moisturiser onto the soles of your feet and kneed them firmly with your thumbs, working from the outer edges to the centre of the soles in small, circular motions.

Exercise

Go for a long walk around your neighbourhood to help boost your circulation and invigorate your body. Walk at a pace that will leave you feeling slightly breathless. Mud Mask

They’re messy to use, but mud masks are effective deep-cleansers, as they contain negatively charged ions that attract positively charged impurities. Sponge the mask onto damp skin, leave it on for the specified time and then rinse it off in the shower. While you’re removing the mask, work over your body with a face-cloth to intensify the cleansing process.

Healthy lunchtime snack

Steam some vegetables and add to brown rice. Make sure you drink as much as 3 litres of water during the day and have peppermint tea or chamomile instead of coffee or normal tea.

March 26, 2002