Healthy

28th July
2012
written by Nibblish

A “Poule Au Pot” is a classic French dish originally made popular by Henri IV, whose ambition was for every family in his kingdom to be able to afford to eat this dish every Sunday. It is traditionally served with the carved poached meat and vegetables on a platter and the chicken broth in a bowl on the side, but I prefer to bring all the elements back to the pot and serve it as a hearty soup.

Ingredients

1 whole organic chicken, washed
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery sticks, sliced
2 onions, chopped
2L chicken stock
2 bay leaves
1 small bunch of parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
2 leeks, washed and sliced
Salt & Pepper to taste

Instructions:

1) Place carrots, celery, onions, parsley and bay leaves in a large non-stick pan. Season with Salt & pepper. Place the chicken over the vegetables, pour in stock and add enough water to cover the chicken (I took the below photo before adding the extra water). Simmer on medium heat for 1.5 hour or until the chicken is soft and fully cooked through.

2) Remove the chicken from the pan leave it to cool down on the side. Bring the broth back to high heat and allow to reduce for 15 minutes. In the meantime, tear the cooked chicken into long chunks.

4) Once the broth has reduced by a third, throw the chicken back in the pan, add the leeks and simmer for another 10 minutes.

5) Remove the bay leaves and serve in warm bowls with a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

For something a bit more substantial, add potatoes at the same time as the carrots and green peas as you add the leeks. This soup is delicious, nutritious and super healthy too!

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22nd May
2011
written by Nibblish

San choy bau is a beautiful Chinese classic, of tasty mince mixture wrapped in a fresh and crunchy lettuce leaf. It’s all about contrast, texture and dimensions – the intensity of the juices, crunch of the nuts, freshness of the herbs – so keep it in mind if trying to adapt the recipe. This dish can be served either by itself as a starter or as a main with a side of rice.

San Choy Bau Recipe

Ingredients (serves 4 as a starter):

2 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped (julienne)
1/2 onion, finely sliced
400g lean pork mince
100g mushrooms, finely sliced
2 tbsp Shao hsing wine
1 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 cup coriander, finely chopped
1/3 cup macadama or cashew nuts, roughly crushed
8 iceberg lettuce leaves, trimmed

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in a wok over medium heat. Add garlic, onion and ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute or until onion has softened.

2. Increase heat to medium-high. Add mince. Stir-fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until browned. Add mushrooms, nuts and continue stir-frying for 30 seconds.

3. Pour in hsing wine, sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce and stir until the pork is fully cooked through. Stir in the coriander, just before taking it off the heat.

4. Spoon the mixture with its lovely juices into a hot bowl and serve in a large platter, surrounded by lettuce leaf cups and garnish with an extra sprinkle of coriander, as well as a few slices of red chilli if you fancy it!

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10th April
2011
written by Nibblish

I decided to start making my own Scotch eggs after witnessing my boyfriend struggling to satisfy his odd British craving in Sydney. Since I hate the idea of deep-frying anything, I also tweaked the classic recipe for a healthier version using only just a touch of oil spray and a hot oven!

healthy scotch egg recipe

Ingredients: makes 10 eggs

10 eggs
1/2 onion, very finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander, finely chopped
3 tbsp worcester sauce
500g Pork mince
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Plain flour, to dust
Breadcrumbs, to coat
2 eggs, lightly beaten to coat
Oil spray

scotch egg recipe

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place 10 eggs in a saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil and boil for 10 minutes. Rinse under cold water to cool completely, peel and dust with a bit of flour so that the surface is nice and dry.

2. In the meantime, combine the onion, garlic, chilli, herbs, worcester sauce and mince. Season with salt & pepper, mixe well and divide the mixture into 10 even portions.

scotch egg recipe

3. To assemble to scotch eggs, mould half of one portion flat in the cup of your hand. Place a hard-boiled egg into it and shape the rest of the meat around to enclose. Roll it between your hands to smooth the surface. Repeat with the remaining eggs.

healthy scotch egg assemblage process

4. Roll each egg in the egg wash and breadcrumbs and set aside. Repeat with the other eggs.

5. When you have assembled all of the scotch eggs, place them onto an oven tray lined with baking paper. Spray with oil and bake on high heat for 20 minutes. Spray again lightly, change the oven setting and grill for another 5 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

healthy scotch egg recipe

Scotch eggs are great sliced over a green salad for a light dinner, or simply packed for a picnic or a lunch box! Mini scotch eggs using quail eggs can also make a great party food option!

healthy scotch eggs recipe

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28th March
2011
written by Nibblish

There is nothing cooler and fresher than a cucumber salad. The classic combination of cucumber, mint and feta cheese can make this dish pretty special too!

Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad, Lemon, Mint, Feta, Cucumber

Ingredients: (serve 4 as a starter)
3 lebanese cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced
100g fresh feta cheese, crumbed
1/2 small bunch of mint, chopped
1/2 lemon, juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Zaatar spice (optional)
Freshly ground pepper

Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad, Lemon, Mint, Feta, Cucumber

Instructions:

1. Place the sliced cucumber neatly on a serving plate and season with pepper and Zaatar spice.

Middle Eastern Cucumber Salad, Lemon, Mint, Feta, Cucumber

2. Sprinkle on crumbled bits of feta cheese and the mint.

3. In a small bowl, mix the lemon juice and olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Dizzle the dressing over the salad right before serving.

This dish is the perfect, quick and easy way to add fresh greens at the start of your meal!

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21st March
2011
written by Nibblish

This elegant Asian inspired dish will be a hit served as a snack or as a starter. The beautiful contrast between the crispy sweet potato and the sharp and creamy wasabi Mayo will take you by surprise and make you come back for more! Nom, nom, nom!

Ingredients: (2 as a starter)

1 large sweet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp sesame or walnut oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tbsp sesame seeds
4 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp wasabi

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Slice the sweet potato into very thin slices, using a vegetable peeler. Soak in salted water for 20-30 minutes.

2. Prepare the wasabi mayonnaise dip by whisking the mayonnaise in the wasabi cream and season with cracked pepper.

3. Drain and pat dry the sweet potato slices with paper towel and coat with sesame or walnut oil and season with salt & pepper. Transfer and spread seasoned potato slices on an oven tray lined with baking paper and bake for 10 minutes. Using a large spatula, turn, sprinkle with the sesame seeds and bake for another 10 minutes until crisp.

Serve immediately with an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds!
The good news is that these little tasty treats are also much healthier than traditional crisps!
It’s also the perfect starter, before a sushi platter!

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20th March
2011
written by Nibblish

Everyone loves sushi nowadays, but very few know how to prepare restaurant quality sushi at home, which is a shame given how crowded and expensive Japanese restaurants can be! Now, the good news is that making sushi at home is actually very easy and I can guarantee you will love it and it will become your favourite dish for dinner parties! The only difficult part is finding high quality sea food and sushi rice, so that it has the correct amount of starch needed to make the rice glossy and sticky, not mushy or dry. You can find this style of rice at most well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets and sashimi fish from a good fishmonger.

Ingredients: (12-16 pieces)

200g fresh sashimi fish, such as salmon and/or tuna
2 cups sushi rice (also called japonica rice)
1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar + extra to moisten your hands
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
Wasabi
Soy sauce
Pickled Ginger

Instructions:

1. Soak the rice for 15 minutes in cold water and rinse several times until the final change of water runs almost clear. Steam the rinsed rice following the package’s directions.

2. Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat until fully dissolved, but without boiling the mixture. Take off the heat and let it cool.

3. When the rice has finished cooking, transfer it to a wooden bowl or at least non-metallic, as metal can react with vinegar and ruin flavours. Using a plastic or wooden spoon, cool down the rice by gently spreading it out and folding in the vinegar mixture gradually until evenly sticky and shiny.

4. To shape the sushi rice, dampen fingers and hands with a small amount of rice vinegar to make it non stick. Pick up about 2 to 3 tsp. rice in one hand and shape into a rectangle with rounded corners. Repeat the process until you’ve got enough sushi pieces. Dip your forefinger into wasabi and spread a small amount onto the rice.

5. Slice the fish into thin slices. Aim for an opposite angle to the veins and using a long sharp knife, cut straight across the width of the block at a 45 degrees angle, in one long stroke. Repeat with the rest of the fish.

6. To assemble the nigiri, pick up a slice of fish, place it on top of the sushi rice base in the palm of your hand. Press the sides and top to place fish firmly onto rice. Continue with the rest of the fish.
Place on a plate and serve with pickled ginger, wasabi and soy sauce.

Make sure you give it a fair go. While step 5 and 6 may be a bit tricky at first, you’ll feel much more confident by your second or third piece and the result will be really rewarding!

If you found this one easy and feel up for more, why not take a look at my California Roll instructions to make it a full sushi mix platter!

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20th March
2011
written by Nibblish

A California roll is a creative American twist on sushi. It’s really easy to make, can be great addition to a sushi platter, a fresh canapé idea for a party, but can also be saved in cling film for a healthy lunch!

Ingredients: ( 4 rolls)

2 cups sushi rice (also called japonica rice)
1/4 cup Japanese rice vinegar + extra to moisten your hands
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
4 sheets nori (seaweed sheets)
1 avocado, peeled, cut into thin slices
100g sashimi salmon, cut into strips
wasabi paste
pickled ginger
soy sauce

Instructions:

1. Soak the rice for 15 minutes in cold water and rinse several times until the final change of water runs almost clear. Steam the rinsed rice following the package’s directions.

2. Heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a sauce pan over medium heat until fully dissolved, but without boiling the mixture. Take off the heat and let it cool.

3. When the rice has finished cooking, transfer it to a wooden bowl or at least non-metallic, as metal can react with vinegar and ruin flavours. Using a plastic or wooden spoon, cool down the rice by gently spreading it out and folding in the vinegar mixture gradually until evenly sticky and shiny.

4. Place a sheet of nori, shiny side down, onto a bamboo mat or sheet of baking paper. spread 3/4 cup of sushi rice mixture with wet hands, leaving a 3cm border uncovered at the end. Spread a small line of wasabi to one end and place a strip of avocado and fish. Roll up firmly, using the mat or baking paper as a guide, seal by moistening the uncovered strip using your finger.

5. Repeat with remaining nori and fillings. Cut each roll into 6 pieces. Serve with wasabi and soy sauce.

You can also replace the avocado with cucumber and the salmon with crab sticks for a change.
If you found this one easy and feel up for more, why not take a look at my Nigiri Sushi instructions to make it a full sushi mix platter!

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13th March
2011
written by Nibblish

A good quiche is an extremely simple and fast meal to make, but never fails to impress. It’s perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner, for a picnic or even as party food!

Ingredients: (serve 4 as a starter or 2 as a main)

1 sheet ready rolled shortcrust pastry
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 rashers bacon, rind removed, finely chopped
1 tbsp coriander or parsley
1 large leek, washed and thinly sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 eggs and 1 egg yolk, beaten
1 cup milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 200°C and lightly grease and flour a round oven tray to make it non stick. Lay the pastry sheet, trim excess and prick the bottom with a fork to prevent it from bubbling as it bakes. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, coriander and bacon and cook for 2 minutes.

3. Add the leek and cook for another 5 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelized. Cool and sprinkle over cooked pastry.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 180°C. Whisk the eggs with the milk in a mixing bowl. Stir in half the cheese, grated nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Pour over bacon and leek, sprinkle the remaining cheese and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown.


Let is rest for 5 minutes and serve with a green salad!
If you fancy of change, swap the bacon for salmon, and the leek for spinach, mushroom or asparagus.

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10th March
2011
written by Nibblish

This delicious dish is perfect to be made on the weekend and then heated up in the oven for 15 minutes when you get home. For added health benefits, this recipe is made with wholemeal instead of white pasta and is literally packed with heaps of veggies!

Ingredients (8 servings):

2 tsp olive oil
2 brown onion, halved, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
12 mushrooms, washed and finely sliced
3 capsicums, finely sliced
2 bay leaves
500g beef mince
1 small bunch basil, finely chopped
1 x 400g can diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1tbsp sugar
300g frozen peas
60g butter
1/3 cup plain flour
2 cups milk
8 wholemeal lasagne sheets
1 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese

Instructions:

1. Heat the oil in a large non stick pot over medium heat. Stir in the onions, garlic, bayleaves and cook for a few minutes or until soften. Add the mince and use a wooden spoon to break up any lumps. Add the mushroom, capsicum, half the basil and season with salt & pepper.

2. At that stage, you can add a splash of red wine if you fancy it. Add the diced tomato, tomato paste, a cup of water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes. Add the peas and simmer for another 15 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

3. To make the white sauce, melt the butter in a non stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour gradually until if forms a thick paste. Gradually pour in the milk, whisking constantly, until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, add a third of the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper.

4. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a large rectangular oven dish with oil and sprinkle with flour to make it non stick. Arrange 1 layer of lasagne sheet in the bottom, top with half of the mince mixture, half the bechamel sauce and sprinkle with half the cheese and fresh basil.

5. Continue layering with the remaining lasagne sheets, mince mixture, finishing with a layer of bechamel. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 40-60 minutes or until brown and crispy. Remove from oven and set aside for 10 minutes to set.

Cut the lasagne into 8 portions, top with fresh basil, sour cream and serve with mixed salad leaves.
Homemade comfort food has never been easier!

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3rd March
2011
written by Nibblish

Filet is the most tender of all the types of steak and is also lean and healthy. It is often also the most expensive cut available, so you want to make sure you cook it to perfection! While searing is a good way to cook a filet, finishing it in the oven helps it cook more evenly. The garlic & parsley butter is a simple but elegant way to add an extra touch of je ne sais quoi!

Ingredients: (serves 4)

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 parsley bunch, finely chopped
100g butter, cubed
4 x 150g marbled fillet steaks
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

1. Remove the steak from the refrigerator and pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. To make the parsley butter, mix the parsley, garlic, and salt together, add the cubed butter to the parsley-garlic mixture.

2. Place the mixture into a plastic wrap, roll it tight and refrigerate.

3. Heat a frying pan on medium/high heat, season your steaks and grill for 2 minute on each side to seal the juices in.


4. Transfer to a hot baking tray and finish it in the oven for 5-6 minutes for medium rare.

5. Remove from the oven, place on a rack and cover with foil and leave in a warm place for up to 10 minutes. Serve it with a slice of garlic and parsley butter on top a side of Dauphinoise Potato Gratin. Click here for the recipe!


Any leftover butter can be held for at least a week in the refrigerator, or frozen for several weeks. It’s delicious with grilled prawns, pasta or crusty bread!


Re-cap: Top 5 secrets for the perfect steak:

1. Prepare it
Allow to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.
Brush your steak lightly with some olive oil, rather than the pan

2. Let it sizzle
The pan should be hot enough so that the steak sizzles as it first hits the heat.

3. Turn it once
Only flip the steak once to keep it tender.

4. Shorter on the other side
It won’t take as much to cook evenly through.

5. Let it rest
To seal in the flavour and juices, it’s very important to let the meat rest for a few minutes after cooking

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