Vegetables

8 Ways To Cure A Constantly Bloated Belly

Because no one should have to take recluse in bed every time they eat. 

10 Minute Salmon And Vegetable Stir Fry

Looking for a healthy dinner the family is going to enjoy on a short time frame? A quick stir fry is the best option since it’s made with wholesome vegetables, healthy salmon and takes just 10 minutes create.

RELATED: Quick and Easy Smoked Salmon Recipe

Ingredients

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup baby carrots

1 cup asparagus, sliced

2 cups salmon fillet

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

2 tablespoons rice wine

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Method

  1. Heat the oil over a large wok, and fry the garlic until it begins to brown.
  2. Add the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the salmon (feel free to cube or slice it into thin pieces so it can cook faster). Keep cooking for another 2 minutes until it begins to crisp.
  3. Combine the rice wine and soy sauce, and stir every few seconds. Cook for another 5 minutes, then serve immediately.

Image via iFoodReal

5 Most Wasted Foods (And What You Can Do About It)

According to the Love Food, Hate Waste campaign, around 15 million tonnes of food is thrown away in the UK every year – and almost 50% of this comes directly from our homes. At a time when households and families are increasingly stretched financially, struggling to cope with essential obligations such as mortgage or rent costs, utility bills and fuel prices – not to mention groceries – it seems incredible that as a nation we’re so casual in the use of our food and the rejection of it.

The UK is not alone. Similar behaviour is present around Europe – the whole EU wastes around 90 million tonnes per annum. We are, in fact, a continent of food wasters.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With a little organisation, preparation and education, food which might otherwise have been tossed away and wasted can be saved and recycled into meals. This interactive guide from ao.com is a useful place to start, suggesting quick and easy recipes for five of the most commonly wasted foods. There are some very simple solutions for food types which are typically trashed.

Bread

The No.1 disposable food item in UK cupboards, according to Defra, the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. Yet it’s so easy to avoid throwing bread away. The main problem appears to be packs of bread which are opened but then not finished. Avoid this by buying a smaller pack, or freezing half of it. Don’t forget, sliced bread can be frozen. If you forget to do that, don’t worry. Blitz stale bread into crumbs for use in a wide range of recipes or tear it into chunky handfuls to make a bread and butter pudding.

Potatoes

A staple in the UK cupboard but too often chucked prematurely especially when bought in large bags. The main lesson here is not to dispose of spuds too early. Most will last a week or two longer than the use by date on the packaging – if a potato has small sprouts appearing it’s still safe to eat. Just slice them off. However, if they’re turning green or brown, time to go. Again, just like bread, potatoes can be frozen. Rather than getting rid, produce masses of mash which can be used again later.
A quick and simple, yet delicious, recipe for potato cakes can be found here.

Bananas

Bananas go ripe very quickly. A top tip is to always buy the greener ones in the supermarket, as they’ll have a longer shelf life, if only for a few days. But even if the bananas in your fruit bowl turn a dark brown colour they can still be used perfectly well. Mush them up and with just a couple of very simple other ingredients – which many households usually have – you can produce a delicious banana cake; like this one here.

Carrots

Again, regularly bought in large bags and not always completely used. Fortunately, carrots are extremely versatile vegetables and there really is no excuse for wasting a single one. Slice each into batons for quick and healthy snacks, grate them and use in a tasty carrot cake, or blend up with stock and onion to make carrot and coriander soup. That can be eaten immediately, or batches can be frozen and used in the coming weeks. Worried your freezer is getting a little full? It might be worth considering a larger model or even a chest freezer in the garage – the investment will eventually pay for itself in the savings made on food.

Apples

High time to change the attitude when it comes to the humble apple. It has far more potential than just being eaten cold, by hand. Coring and slicing up ageing fruit, then heating it gradually to cook it down, provides a base for crumbles and pies. Same for making apple sauce, which can then be stored and used as an accompaniment to roast pork, which saves you buying a new pot of the stuff from the supermarket every few Sundays. Slice and fry into tasty apple fritters, or bake whole with a filling of raisins and sultanas. These are just a few suggestions – the bottom line is, don’t throw apples in the bin!

Meet The New Supermarket Superfoods

Move over kamut and kale- the age of the superfood is dwindling. There’s no need to search for berries from the Amazon or ancient Mayan grains, the best buys are in your local grocery aisle. We take a look at the everyday supermarket buys that are bursting with nutrition benefits, minus the superfood price tag.

RELATED: Zoe Bingley-Pullin’s Top 5 Food Swaps For A Better Diet

Here’s your guide to the best supermarket superfoods:

Beets

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

When world-renown chef Jamie Oliver was asked what his all-time favourite vegetable was, his answer was simple: beets. “I’m obsessed with them at the moment. You can roast them, smash them, cook them in the fireplace… the options are endless,” he said in a recent Australian interview.

Oliver’s not the only one who thinks it’s time for beetroots to return to the limelight. “Beets have strong detoxifying properties as they’re high in chlorine, which assists in cleaning the liver, kidneys and bloodstream,” says nutritionist and chef Samantha Gowing. “They’re also rich in potassium, which balances the metabolism.”

To harness these health properties, Gowing recommends dry roasting them. “Simply scrub them with a vegetable brush – be careful not to break or prick the skin – and cook in a moderate oven until tender. Trim the stalks and roots, carefully peel and slice as required.” Done!

Avocado

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

“Everyone should eat more avocado!” says Larina Robinson, wholefood dietitian and founder of The Body Dietetics. “The healthy fats in avocados help your body to absorb more of the nutrients from other foods you eat. They’re loaded with fibre supporting a healthy gut, possess anti-inflammatory compounds, and are rich in heart healthy oleic acid – the main fatty acid found in olive oil.”

What’s more, a new study by Penn State suggests that an avocado per day may lower bad cholesterol, which can benefit your heart health.

If you’re stumped when choosing the best ripe avocado, Robinson says there’s a fool-proof test. “Pop off the dried little button at the top to check the colour underneath. If it’s green, then it’s good to go. If it’s brown, it’s too ripe.”

Pineapple

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

Nature’s golden fruit is the perfect nutrient-packed sweet snack. “Pineapples contain bromelain, supporting protein digestion, and are rich in vitamin C for healthy eyes and immunity,” says Robinson.

That’s not all though. “Pineapples are also rich in the trace mineral manganese, an essential cofactor in a number of enzymes important in energy production, antioxidant defenses and maintaining healthy bones,” she says.

Robinson says they’re an ideal fruit to have some fun with. “I usually serve up pineapple icy cold or frozen, in wedges, juice, or made into a frozen sorbet with fresh mint and lime.”

For maximum health benefits, avoid the tinned variety though. “You’re just adding extra sugar to an already sweet food, and most of the juice blends are reconstituted, reducing its vitamin C content and nutritional value,” she explains. Head straight to the markets or grocery aisle and grab one fresh.

Broccoli

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

“Broccoli is one seriously underrated vegetable!” says Robinson. “It’s packed with essential vitamin C, A, K and foliate. Plus it’s also loaded with sulforaphane, a powerful compound that helps to boost the body’s natural detoxification pathways,” she says. Not bad for a simple vegetable sitting in your local grocery aisle.

To get all the goodness from this green plant, be sure to steam it. A study by the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University has found that if broccoli is cooked until it’s too soft, it’s health value takes a dive. Instead, throw it in a steamer or sauté some stems for 2-3 minutes.

Cabbage

Superfood, health, diet, weight loss, vegetables

The humble cabbage might not sound as sexy as kale, but according to chef and nutritionist Samantha Gowing, it packs a seriously healthy punch.

“Cabbages are rich in chlorophyll and Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid. They cleanse and rejuvenate the digestive tract,” she explains. Not all cabbages are equal though. “The darker the outer leaves the more concentrated the chlorophyll and calcium content,” she says. Opt for cabbages with deep green leaves and add them diced to salads or fermented with traditional Chinese food for a twist.

Images via Maryam Makes, Real Fruit Jewelry, Taste, Green Kitchen Stories

9 Fruits and Vegetables For Clear Skin

They say you are what you eat, so give your skin the extra help it needs by investing in delicious fruits and vegetables to make it shine from the inside out. Clueless about where to begin? Our easy guide below mentions a few options which should be in your shopping cart each week.

RELATED: The Beauty Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

Oranges

While we’re all aware that oranges are packed with vitamin C, did you actually know they are also a great source of natural collagen? Squeeze 2-3 oranges every morning and use them as a daily scrub to nourish the skin.

Spinach

Although it might not be to your liking, spinach is another vegetable which is also packed with vitamin C. Enjoy it with your eggs, in a salad, or even in a green smoothie.

Blueberries

Ranked as one of the number one source of antioxidants in berries, these delicious little fruits will keep your hair, skin, and nails looking healthy.

Tomato

Did you know that the secret anti-ageing properties of tomatoes are better absorbed when a dish is cooked rather than raw? Keep the pantry full of canned tomatoes and use them in your fresh and healthy pasta sauce!

Kiwi fruit

Since kiwi fruit is packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, you know it has to be good for you! One kiwi fruit a day is enough to keep your wrinkles away, and prevent anti-ageing.

Kale

The mention of kale might be a touchy subject for some, but you can’t deny that it’s great for clear skin. Boasting a plethora of vitamins (A, B, C, E, K from memory), no wonder it’s good for your skin!

Cherries

On to something a little sweeter, cherries have high levels of polyphenols which actually help to clear simple blemishes.

Figs

Did you know that figs are packed with fibre and potassium, which clears any skin issues and helps to detox the body from the inside out? Well now you do.

Beetroot

While this superfood is usually used as a main ingredient for detoxing, it also has significant benefits for fighting against skin damage and premature ageing. Add a few slices into your daily juice for that extra healthy kick each morning.

Image via Redbook Magazine

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Green beans are an excellent source of dietary fibre, and can be cooked in a variety of different ways. Keep a pack of frozen green beans in your fridge for a quick stir-fry, or even add into your favourite soup for a boost of Vitamin A, B, and an excellent source of Folate.

Below are just a few different ways to steam, bake, puree, or boil green beans for a tasty meal at any time of the day.

RELATED: Chicken Salad with Greens and Peas Recipe

Balsamic Green Bean Salad

Whip-up a delicious summer salad with cherry tomatoes, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and white feta for a fresh taste. Boil the green beans under they are tender, then strain and finely chop some delicious cucumber over the top.

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries

While this option may not be the healthiest alternative, it’s definitely one to try out! Try a fresh Parmesan cheese if you love it’s distinct taste, and sprinkle with some sea-salt for extra Mediterranean taste.

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Shrimp and String Bean Pesto Pasta

Why not add a few chopped string beans into your pasta for taste and texture. Lightly boil the beans so they still hold some of their signature crunch.

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Baked Green Bean Fries

Hold back on the calories and serve some green beans for a healthy alternative to traditional potato chips. Bake with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and lightly simmer until they are golden brown in colour.

Delicious Ways To Cook Green Beans

Images via Dashing Dish, Pinterest, How Sweets

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

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Do you ever feel that your healthy eating goes out the window by the time 3:30pm hits? This is usually the time of day when your blood sugar drops, and you crave something sweet and fast. Instead of snacking on high sugar and heavily processed foods, below are just a few quick snack recipes you can prepare to fight 3:30itis.

Strawberry chips

How did we not think of this ourselves? Strawberry chips are very easy to prepare and taste extremely delicious as well! Simply chop into small pieces then pop them into the oven at 180ºC, and cook for 10 minutes on each side.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Smoothie

A smoothie is a great idea if you’re low on time, but still want to prepare something quick and easy to curb that afternoon slump. Throw in some of your favourite fruits and vegetables to create a filling drink which will tide you over until dinner. Don’t forget to add some yummy baby spinach, blueberries and banana for extra flavour and texture.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Kale chips

Prepare this the night before and pack in an air-tight container if you’re constantly on the go. Kale chips are an extremely healthy option if you love the crunch of a chip (without the extra salt or guilt which comes along with it). Tear pieces of kale then pop them onto a lined tray, then into the oven for 175ºC for 10-15 minutes. Throw in some chopped strawberries or blueberries to bring a sweet taste to this often bitter dish.

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

Crispy edamame

Green soybeans make for a delicious snack since they are packed with vitamins and minerals, and are perfect if you’re constantly moving around during the day. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese over the top for an extra kick of flavour, and enjoy with cold water and a slice of lemon to boost your metabolism. Pop into a zip-lock bag and carry them in your handbag for easy accessibility!

Yummy and Healthy Afternoon Snacks

What are some of your favourite afternoon snacks?

Images via This Beautiful Day Blog, Park City Foods, A Whisk and Two Wands, Wise Geek

5 Ways To Eat Quinoa

While you’ve probably heard about quinoa (pronounced keen-wha) and of it’s various health benefits before, there is really no reason why you shouldn’t adapt this whole grain into your diet. Not only is it packed with protein, but has a texture which is similar to couscous and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

Stuffed vegetables

Quinoa makes for a really tasty and filling stuffing, especially if you don’t plan on using rice. Why not try quinoa and mushroom with stuffed zucchini or even with tomatoes and peppers!

Salad

Add some quinoa into your usual salad for a pop of nutty flavour and texture, which will surely keep you full for longer. Pair with fruits such as grapes, strawberries and blueberries for a sweet and savoury flavour.

Eggs

Try quinoa for breakfast as a tasty side to your boiled egg, avocado and tomato! The high protein found in quinoa will keep you from snacking on fatty foods, since it is super filling (especially when paired with an egg!).

Fruit and nut bars

Create your very own homemade quinoa fruit and nut bars to snack on whenever you’re feeling that 3:30itis come around the corner. This is a perfect alternative to fatty foods since they are gluten-free, and loaded with vitamins and essential nutrients to keep your body satisfied.

Breakfast bowl

Can’t get your hands on some genuine acai berries? Why not try a quinoa breakfast bowl which is quick, easy and extremely healthy for your body! Add some of your favourite fruits such as blackberries and blueberries for extra taste and colour with some Greek yoghurt for that genuine savoury taste.

How do you enjoy quinoa?

Images via He Needs Food

Grilled Peach And Burrata Salad Recipe

Tired of having the same old, plain salad? Spice it up by trying out this grilled peach and burrata recipe, which is simple and easy to recreate. If peach isn’t in season, feel free to use another sweet fruit, which will also work just as well. Onto the recipe!

Ingredients

1 small red onion

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 peaches or nectarines (sliced in half, pitted)

1 tbsp olive oil

3 cups argula

1 ball burrata cheese

Method

  1. Prepare the caramelised onions by first heating the olive-oil over low heat. Spread them carefully in a single layer across the pan, and let them cook slowly for 20-30 minutes. When onions are brown, add a touch of the balsamic vinegar and cook for just a few more minutes. Then set aside.
  2. For the glaze, combine the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar into a saucepan over medium heat. As the mixture starts to simmer, turn down to a low heat and cook for 10 minutes before setting aside to cool down.
  3. Brush the peaches with olive oil, then heat up a pan over medium heat and sizzle until they are brown. This should only take a few minutes, then set aside.
  4. Layer the argula, peaches and caramelised onions to create the salad. Then slice the burrata into small pieces before adding the balsamic glaze.

Image and Recipe via Two Red Bowls

Whole Wheat Rigatoni with Roasted Vegetables Recipe

Indulge in this healthy pasta dish which is packed with essential vitamins and minerals to keep you full and satisfied. Substitute your usual pasta for whole wheat, which is not only a healthier alternative but also tasty and full of heart-healthy fats!

Ingredients

1.5 pound squash, cut into thick rings, with seeds discarded

1 small red onion, sliced

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

6 large tomatoes, halved and cored

12 unpeeled garlic cloves

1/2 pound whole wheat rigatoni

2 tbsp pine nuts

1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

4 kalamata olives, pitted

1/4 cup thinly sliced basil leaves

2 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tbsp freshly grated pecorino cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC), and line a large tray with baking paper. Toss the squash, onion and 1 tablespoon of oil and season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of oil on another lined tray, and add the tomato and garlic pieces. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Cook in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, before transferring just the garlic into another bowl. Keep cooking the tomatoes for about 20 minutes, or until soft. Roast the squash and onion for a total of 45 minutes until golden brown.
  4. Prepare a pot of boiling water, then cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the water, only keeping 1/2 cup, before putting the pasta back into the pot.
  5. In another pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil before adding the pine nuts until they’re golden brown. Now include the crushed pepper and olives before cooking for another minute. Add the vegetables, and stir through for another 2 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper before combing with the pasta. Serve with 1/2 tablespoon of pecorino.

Image and Recipe via Slothful Slattern, Food and Wine

Top 5 Tofu Recipes

Tofu is a staple edition to any vegetarian or vegan diet. A great substitute for meat, tofu is high in protein, calcium and iron, and is even thought to lower cholesterol. If you’re looking for something new to cook for dinner, try these healthy and delicious tofu recipes.

Tofu San Choy Bow
San Choy Bow is a traditional Chinese dish, usually served with pork mince. However, it’s so easy to turn this dish into a vegetarian dream with this recipe.

tofu-san-choy-bow-300x250

Laksa
Tofu is a central part of this Malaysian favorite. Laksa is a spicy noodle dish with coconut milk, prawns, bean sprouts and vegetables.

rasamalaysia.com

Sweet Potato and Tofu burger 
Some people think a burger has to be unhealthy to be tasty. This great recipe proves that’s simply not true. Sweet potato is high in vitamins B, C and D, and is rumored to fight stress and aging!

Recipe: Sweet potato and tofu burger

Paul McCartney’s Super Vegetable Salad
Who doesn’t want to know what a member of The Beatles eats for dinner? This gem is inspired by Meat Free Mondays, a movement that promotes healthier and more sustainable living through cutting meat from your diet, one day every week.

PaulsRecipe107893

Stir Fried Tofu and Asian Greens 
The great thing about a stir-fry, is that it can take less than 15 minutes to cook. It is also one of the best cooking methods, as it allows you to preserve all their healthy nutrients.

shesaidImage via asianfoodgrocer.com

Authentic Ukrainian Borscht Recipe

My buba (grandmother in Ukrainian) brought this recipe with her after fleeing her homeland after WWII. At 90 plus, she’s still well known for her soup, that eats more like a meal. Loaded with veggies and jam-packed with goodness, it actually tastes best on subsequent days. Most people make a big batch so they can freeze it, feed the entire mob around or have a ready-made meal for several days.

Ingredients 

5 litres of water

2 lamb shanks

2 diced onions

4-5 cloves of crushed garlic

2 diced beets or a can of sliced beetroot

2 diced carrots

3 sticks of diced celery

4 diced potatoes

3 diced tomatoes or a large can of diced tomatoes

1/4 finely grated cabbage

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp vinegar

1/4 cup fresh copped parsley

1/4 cup fresh dill

3 bay leaves

black pepper and sea salt to taste

Garnish

A sprig of dill for garnish

Sour cream

Method

  1. Place lamb shanks and chopped onion in an extra large 10+ litre saucepan.
  2. Add water, onion, garlic, bay leaves, vinegar, sugar, black pepper and sea salt to saucepan.
  3. Cook on high until water boils, then lower to a simmer and cook until meat separates from the bone. This may take several hours. Remove the bones.
  4. Add remaining vegetables, except dill and parsley. Stir vegetable through mixture and cook for another 30-45 minutes. (If using canned beetroot and tomatoes, add the entire can, including the juice).
  5. Add dill and parsley and cook for a remaining 15 minutes.
  6. Serve with a sprig of dill and dollop of sour cream.

Tip

Serve with warm bread for the ultimate traditional Ukrainian experience.

Image via air.news.gr/cov/-/NEO-KOSTAS/Mundial-Faghta/Russia-Borscht.jpg

By Kim Chartres 

Spaghetti Bolognese With Hidden Veggies

Good old spag bog has been gracing family dinner tables for decades. The great thing about it, is you can feed a big crowd on a budget, the kids will eat it, you can freeze the bolognese mixture for a quick meal and even pop in a few veggies for extra flavour and added fibre.

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

1/2 pack spaghetti

1/2 kilo mince meat (try mince turkey for something different)

1 finely diced brown onion

1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic

1 jar tomato based pasta sauce

1 tin tomatoes or use freshly diced

1 tin baked beans in tomato sauce

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 finely diced red capsicum (optional)

1 teaspoon oil

1 tablespoon mixed spaghetti bolognese herbs or a combination of Basil, Oregano, Marjoram, Rosemary, Sage or Thyme

1 tablespoon water

Salt and pepper to taste

Grated cheese (Parmesan or something simple is preferable)

Method

  1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and add oil and spaghetti. Cook on high until al dente and strain. While this is cooking you can make the bolognese sauce.
  2. Heat a large non stick pan and brown onion, garlic and mince meat. Add water to keep from sticking. After the mince is browned, add the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Lower the heat to a slow simmer and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on. Stir regularly so it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  4. Remove from heat and serve on top of spaghetti with a sprinkle of grated cheese.

Tip

If you want to increase the fibre, replace the baked beans with a drained can of 3 bean mix. It will also add texture and is even appreciated by those who aren’t keen on beans.

By Kim Chartres

Fast Fajita Roll-Ups Recipe

Sometimes creating an extensive dinner from scratch isn’t an option if you’re running late from work, or simply can’t find the time. This quick fajita recipe is full of flavour, and will keep you feeling full and satisfied for the entire evening. Peppers and tomato are also the only vegetables in this recipe, but feel free to add an avocado filling or other seasonal vegetables into your own roll-up.

Ingredients

340g (12 ounces) beef/boneless chicken breast halves

4 whole wheat/spinach, or flour tortillas

1/3 cup finely chopped onion

1/3 cup finely chopped green peppers

1/2 cup tomato

2 tablespoons Italian dressing

1/2 cup reduced-fat cheese

1/4 cup taco sauce (or tomato sauce)

1/4 cup light dairy sour cream

Instructions

  1. Whether you’re trying out the fajitas with beef or chicken, start by chopping them into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Moving onto the tortillas; wrap them tightly in foil, then pop into an oven at 180ºC (or 350ºF) until crisp or golden brown.
  3. In the meantime, spray a frying pan with non-stick cooking spray and add the meat, onion and sweet pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes and remember to keep stirring so the mixture doesn’t stick or burn to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove from the heat, drain well, then add the tomato and salad dressing.
  5. Finally remove the warm tortillas from the oven and wait 2 minutes until they cool. Then serve with cheese, salsa or even sour cream sauce for extra taste.

Recipe and Image via Recipe.com, Life Made Delicious

Leftover Cooked Chook: 5-Minute Sensational Stir-Fry

If you are looking to turn last nights cooked chook or roast into something scrumptious, this very versatile recipe is for you. You can use up whatever type of left over meat or poultry you have, add whatever veggies you like and it’s a fast, healthy meal. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1-2 cups left over cooked chicken, chopped or broken into small pieces

6 cups of frozen or fresh stir fry veggies

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons chicken stock powder

1/2 cup water

Method

  1. Heat non stick pan on high until it’s hot and add your veggies. Toss veggies for a couple of minutes as they cook and then turn down heat to medium.
  2. Add ginger, garlic, chicken stock and water. Stir though and place the lid on. Continue to toss veggies until they are about 2/3 cooked. The time will depend on whether you are using frozen or fresh.
  3. Add chicken and stir through veggie mix. Add soy sauce and replace lid. Cook for about 2 minutes and serve.

By Kim Chartres

5 Easy Lunches To Bring To Work

How often do you find lunches which are both nutritional and tasty at the same time? Stop buying lunches from the store, and why not save some money and prepare a healthy meal at home. You can personalise the meal to your taste, and also create something new and different for each day. Well, what are you waiting for? Get inspired by some of these yummy lunch ideas which the entire family can try.

1. Salad in a jar

This is probably the perfect idea for a filling and tasty lunch meal. Although, why in a jar? Not only does it look more presentable, but it keeps the salad from getting soggy (then you’ll be less likely to throw it out!). Fill the bottom with dressing so it doesn’t interfere with the rest of the ingredients. The second layer will be mostly vegetables such as cucumber, carrots and beans. The third layer will hold avocado, meats, cheese and the main filling, the the top will be for the spinach or lettuce. When it’s lunch time, simply remove the food from the jar and mix together.

2. Vegetable pizza roll-ups

Not only do these rolls look exactly like cinnamon buns, but they are filled with loads of vegetables and are extremely rich in protein. This fun meal will surely keep you fuller for longer, and works perfectly with any of your favourite vegetables for a yummy taste.

3. Grilled eggplant and capsicum salad

This extremely filling sandwich is certainly unlike any other you’ve seen or tasted before. Packed with nutritious eggplant, red capsicum and avocado on wholewheat bread, it is a perfect lunch which is sure to keep you full until dinner time, at least.

4. Spring rolls with peanut sauce

These aren’t your typical spring rolls, but a much healthier alternative packed with carrots, cucumber, fresh chicken and broccoli pieces. Prepare the spring rolls overnight, then simply bring them into work and warm them up when you’re ready to eat. If you want an even healthier alternative, make the wrap out of lettuce instead of rice paper for an added crunch.

5. Greek salad sandwich

A portable and easy meal to eat if you’re constantly on-the-go, and want a snack to tide you over for the rest of the afternoon. On the bread, prepare a cream spread made from chickpeas, parsley, feta cheese and lemon juice. For the toppings be sure to include some chopped red onions, cucumber and tomato for genuine Mediterranean flavour.

Ideas via Petit Foodie, Closet Cooking, Babble, Food and Other Stuff

Images via Food and Other Stuff

By Felicia Sapountzis

How Effective Is The Raw Food Diet

Eating clean seems to be the new diet trend from celebrities and Instagrammers going 80/10/10 at a bid to feel healthier and lose weight. One of the most popular ways to adapt this eating plan into your diet is by eating 80% raw-vegan, 10% healthy fats and 10% protein. This ensures that your body gets most of its nutrients and energy from fruits and vegetables, and won’t rely heavily on meat and processed food. Although how healthy is this diet?

Mono-meals

Since a large portion of meals on the raw food diet include fruits, vegetables and plants, they are more likely to become repetitive since there isn’t much variety. Fruits are seasonal so aren’t available all the time if you’re choosing to go organic. As a result, meals would consist of a large portion of just one fruit of vegetable as the ‘main course’ and smaller servings of protein or healthy fats as a side dish.

High sugar

This diet might be low in calories, but extremely high in carbohydrates and natural sugar which could be catastrophic to your health. Eating large quantities of fruits can make your blood sugar feel like a roller coaster ride; so you constantly feel hungry and unsatisfied, which in the long run won’t help you lose any weight.

Low calories

Most organic produce is low in calories which requires you to eat larger portions to feel sustained after every meal. This means eating large meals is one of the best ways to get in all your nutrients. Think supersized portions of fruits and vegetables or juices to keep you feeling full.

Green lifestyle

The raw food diet is a good example of altering bad food habits and adapting a greener lifestyle into your diet. Fruits and vegetables have many healing properties that aid to naturally detox and cleanse the body, many of which you can grow in your own garden. Cucumbers, red capsicums, and citrus fruits are just a few unprocessed foods anyone can incorporate into their diet to feel more ‘green.’

Expensive

Although you can choose to grow your own fruits and vegetables in your own backyard, take into consideration that 80% of your diet is coming from organic produce that has a limit before it can no longer be consumed. The pantry must constantly be restocked, and raw food doesn’t exactly come cheap.

Time efficient

Meals are easier to prepare since they are readily at hand, and don’t require cooking. The belief is that fresh and unprocessed food leads to optimum health since a high-enzyme diet helps the body to digest food in an efficient way.

The raw food diet has just as many benefits as it does problems. Fitting this into your lifestyle should be a reflection of your age, health and dietary requirements.

Category: health

Keywords: diet, raw food, health, raw food diet, 80/10/10, fruit, vegetables

Image via Raw Food Life

By Felicia Sapountzis

Juicing: The Path To Weight Loss Or Another Fad

Juicing can be an easy way to consume all your greens, but the large portions can lead you to put on weight instead of intending to take it off. Is it the easy path to weight loss, or just another fad that replaces food with drink?

Positive Benefits of Juicing

•      It is no lie that juicing allows you to get creative and come up with a variety of recipes, tailored to your needs. Green juices are especially trendy because they include many superfood additives that the body needs, including chia seeds, goji berries and coconut oil amongst others. You can also easily disguise vegetables such as celery, kale and spinach mixed with fruits for a child or picky eater.

•      Juices are a great alternative if you’re constantly on the go and just do not have time for a proper sit down meal. Remember, these are not a substitute for food, but are packed with vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are essential to good health, but are also found in a balanced healthy diet.

•      Social media identity Loni Jane Anthony caused outrage last year by posting her plant based diet on her Instagram account, which included consuming 20 bananas for breakfast, while she was pregnant. Despite sticking to a mainly plant and raw food diet, she delivered a healthy baby boy in March. She often posted pictures of food, juices and workout routine, which highlights how she kept her slim and toned physique.

Negatives of Juicing

•      Although juices are a great way to ingest a variety of vitamins and mineral essential to the body, there is always a possibility of going overboard. Fruits contain a large amount of sugar, albeit natural, that the body just does not constantly need. Having these juices too often will cause your blood sugar level to rise, like if you ate a chocolate bar. Too much of something is never a good option, so keep in mind that moderation is key and keep a close eye on portion control when you are making or buying these juices.

•      Even though juices are liquids, they can be quite pricey and cost the same or more than a meal itself. Buying juices on a daily basis will surely burn a hole in your pocket, and it’s probably best to buy the ingredients yourself and juice them at home if you are really serious about it.

•      Juicing machines are a great way to get creative and design your own personalised juice. Although these machines don’t come cheap, with a midrange option coming in at $300. Stick to using a blender if this commitment is too much of a price and time crunch.

•      Too much reliance on a juicing diet can slow down a healthy metabolism. Although juicing is often a high sugar, low calorie option, it results in phases of weight loss that don’t reflect a balanced diet.

To achieve this happy medium, simply remember that as with any other food or drink, moderation is the way to achieve a healthy body and mind. A vegetable should be at the foundation of every juice, and fruits should be added purely for taste or flavour. Then ask yourself the following question: Would I eat all this fruit if it wasn’t juiced? 

Image via halftimefit.com/blog/is-juicing-worth-it/

By Felicia Sapountzis