Healthy Recipes

11. Sep, 2018

Ingredients 

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large carrot - grated by hand or finely chopped in food processor

1 medium-large red onion - finely chopped by hand or processed

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tin low salt tomato soup

400g Funky Fields plant-based mince

1 cup water

1 tsp low salt beef stock powder 

400-500g durum wheat or other low GI pasta (eg Vetta high fibre) - cooked 'al dente' as per instructions on pack

 

Method 

  1. Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan, add onion and carrot when warm enough, and saute until onions are translucent.
  2. Add tomato paste and saute for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add mince and brown.
  4. Add 1 cup water (I use boiled as it saves time) and stock powder, and simmer until mince is cooked. This should only take approximately 7-10 minutes, as it is plant and not meat based, it will cook faster. If using a pressure cooker, set for 5 minutes on the rice option. 
  5. Add the tomato soup, switch element off and cover.
  6. After allowing the flavours to permeate the sauce, serve with a low GI pasta. It tastes so good, cheese is very much optional. It's even better the next day. 
20. Jun, 2018

This recipe is for a pressure/multi cooker, but can be adapted for the stove top by simply adding more water and extending the cooking time.

Ingredients

2 tsp olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

1 large celery stalk, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)

1 cup brown/green lentils

350g sweet potato, peeled & cut into 2cm dice

3 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 cup water

1 ~400g can petite diced tomatoes

4c (~120g) baby spinach leaves (can roughly chop if serving to young children)

Salt & pepper, to taste* 

Directions

Start pressure cooker. Add the olive oil and allow to heat. Add the onion and celery, and saute, stirring until softened about 4 mins. Stir in the garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and chilli flakes (if using).

Add the lentil, sweet potato, vegetable stock, water and diced tomatoes, and stir to combine.

Pu the lid on the pressure cooker, make sure the steam vent is closed and select Rice setting (~15 mins).

Once the time is expired, turn it off and allow it to depressurise naturally over time. When it has, you can stir in the spinach until  it has wilted (~5 mins).

At this point you could use a stick blender to make it smooth for babies/toddlers or children with sensory issues, but that is optional.

Season to taste* and serve. 

Recipe Notes

*Extra salt and pepper not included in nutritional information.

All North American terms and measures have been 'Australianised'.

Cooking times have been slightly altered to reflect use of presets. The safer natural pressure release method has been used rather than quick release as in the original recipe, which can be found at "cookincanuck.com/instant-pot-lentil-soup-sweet-potato/".

28. Dec, 2017

Serves:

 

Ingredients

1/2 - 2/3 cup olive oil

2.5 cups hot water

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup tomato passata or puree

2-3 bay leaves

1 diced red onion

2 cups diced red cabbage

2 cups green beans

2 carrots, diced or sliced (1cm )

2 sliced zucchini (4cm)

2 yellow squash, cut into quarters or sixths

4 medium Carisma potatoes, skin on, quartered

salt & pepper to taste

 

Method 

Heat olive oil and saute onions for ~2 mins

Add tomato paste and saute for ~2 mins

Add cabbage and cook for a further ~2 mins

Add carrots and potatoes and mix well for ~3 mins

Add green beans, zucchini, squash, bay leaves, salt & pepper and mix well

Add hot water

Add tomato passata/puree on very top, do not mix through 

Pressure cooker: Cook for 20 mins (often this is via rice setting + a few extra minutes), then turn power off and allow pressure to fall naturally over at least 1 hour.  

Stove top: Simmer until vegies are all cooked through, take off element, put lid on and let it sit for at least 1 hour. 

The longer you leave them, the better these vegie based meals taste. 

Note: You can use as little as half the suggested liquid in the pressure cooker version if you don't like it with lots of 'zoumi' (juice), but fair warning, that's where all the flavour is. If you dunk some sourdough in that, you'll see why it's our favourite bit. No rinsing of plates required! 

18. Dec, 2017

I'll admit my mother never used brown rice when I was growing up, but when you eat as many vegies and legumes as those of my parent's generation do, it's perhaps not as important as it is for us Gen Xers and Millenials 

I'm trying to make up for a couple of decades of eating a predominantly Western Diet. It's hard for children of migrants who may a) want to fit in and eat like everyone else &/or b) actually like the taste of other culture's food. I definitely fall into the latter category. I feel so blessed to have grown up in such a multicultural country. I remember being taught to cook Asian food in high school in the 80s (Nasi Goreng, anyone?) - and haven't we come a long way since then?

So like a lot of traditional (ie my mum''s) Greek recipes, I swap ingredients whenever possible to make them healthier still.  Normally, lahanorizo (the h is pronounced as in halo) can be with or without tomato, but it is traditionally made with only green cabbage and white rice. 

My Greek-Aussie nutritionist twist is to split the cabbage between green and red, swap the white for brown or Doongarra Low GI Brown Rice (they also have a white version), and onion for leek whenever they're in season (which is now). 

Red cabbage is a good source of Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium, and a very good source of Dietary Fibre Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Potassium and Manganese.

Brown rice has up to 6 times the dietary fibre of white rice, 10 times the calcium, 5 times the magnesium, and twice the iron, phosphorus and folate.  This varies among brands of course, but you get the idea. It's much, much better for you and you do get used to the different texture, and may even (like myself) prefer it eventually. 

Leek is sweeter than onion and you can use a lot more of it without it overtaking the dish - so more fibre still! In fact, there is a Leek & Rice dish that is very similar to this one. Think more leek & rice, no cabbage. 

What I love about the pressure cooker is that I can toss all the ingredients into the pot, stir it all around, and set it to cook. There is no stirring until it's finished (it's non-stick), just 20 minutes at high pressure (on many cookers this is the Rice setting of 15 mins + 5 mins adjusting) and let the pressure fall naturally and serve an hour or more later. The rice will absorb more liquid in this time and continue to cook a bit as it is much firmer than white rice. The cooker defaults to 'Keep Warm' mode but you can turn it off and unplug it if you prefer, the results remain the same.

I honestly can't live without my electric pressure cooker, it is my most used kitchen appliance. I rely on it so much, that I have a spare in my garage in case the current one decides to give up the ghost (probably due to over-use). 😀 I can't recommend them highly enough to busy people. 

 

Lahanorizo Electric Pressure Cooker recipe 

Serves: Several - I always cook for a small army & it tastes even better the next day, so expect tasty leftovers. I rarely cook a meal just for one day - unless it's a salad - as we need school or work lunches too and it covers both.

Ingredients:

1/3 green (eg drumhead - not Savoy if Low FODMAP) cabbage, chopped

1/3 whole red cabbage, chopped

Leek - all of green and 1/3 - 1/2 of white (if Low FODMAP substitute white for 3x green spring onion or more green part of leek) 

2 tbspns tomato paste

1/3 - 1/2 cup olive oil

1.5 cups brown rice

6-8 cups of water (depending on whether you like it with a bit of liquid - 'zoumi' as we call it in Greek - good for dunking sourdough in!)

1/2 - 1 teaspoon pepper

Optional - crumbled authentic feta cheese (Made of sheep's &/or goat's milk only Eg Dodoni or Lemnos brand available in supermarkets)  on top prior to serving 

Salt to taste but be careful if adding optional extra crumbled feta cheese on top if you have moderate or high blood pressure

Method: 

If you have time, you can saute the leek and add the ingredients one at a time, but as a very time poor mum, I most often throw it all in the pot, stir to mix thoroughly, put the lid and timer on, then walk away until dinner time.  

Warning: Pressure cooked food is hot, so exercise caution and if you have children, it pays to serve their first and maybe even a few minutes earlier and set it aside to cool down a bit.  

 

You may be tempted to add garlic to this dish if you're not on the Low FODMAP diet, but it really doesn't suit the dish. And I don't say that very often! 😮

20. Nov, 2017

The instructions here are for a pressure cooker. I couldn't live without one. There is no reason why you couldn't adapt this to a slow cooker if you've been using one for a while, or even to the old stove top (you'd need to add more boiling water).

Suitable for: Vegetarians & Vegans

Ingredients: 
1 Red onion - diced
1 tsp minced ginger, (or fresh if you have time)
2 cloves or 2tsp minced garlic
1- 1.5 tsp Keens Curry Powder
0.5 tsp turmeric 
olive oil*
3 cups red cabbage, cut into bite size pieces
1 large kumara (orange sweet potato) - diced
2 medium carrots - sliced into 1cm rounds
2-3 cups frozen peas
2 Carisma potatoes - diced 
1 apple - diced
1 cup Doongarra Brown Rice
3 cups stock (1 cup water: 1 chicken** or vegetable stock cube) 
boiling water 
1 pack Vegie Delights Vegie Sausages - cut into 2cm rounds

Nothing is peeled except for the onion & garlic.

*I never measure olive oil and I think it's usage is an individual thing. Being of Southern European heritage, I'm not scared to use too much - is there any such thing?!?. I also cook intuitively rather than follow recipes at my age, so even the above measurements have been jotted down after the meal. Add as much olive oil as you are comfortable with, considering that it needs to be sufficient to saute the onions, garlic, ginger & spices.

Cook until the onions are translucent. Put all other vegetables & rice in, stirring well so the spice is distributed evenly. Add the stock next. Top up with as much boiling hot water as required to completely cover the veg and for the liquid to sit about 2cm above them (ie swimming in it).
Cook for 30 minutes in the pressure cooker, allowing pressure to fall naturally on completion (this will take 15-30 minutes longer). When pressure falls & you can safely open the lid, add the cut sausages and stir thoroughly. They only need 5 minutes to heat through and it's ready to serve.

**chicken stock cubes do not contain chicken, they're vegetarian!

This easily feeds a family of 5, with enough leftovers to use for lunches the next day (when everything tastes better!).