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Tag Archives: no meat monday

Asian Inspired Greens

Sometimes, clean fresh flavours are what inspires me the most. Don’t get me wrong; there is always a place for technique, but there is something delightful about pure ingredients. This quick slap together lunch is a classic example.

[ Serves: 2 | Time: 15 Minutes | Cost: $3 ]
[ Brittanys Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 4.5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

1 bunch bok choy
1 bunch pak choy
1 bunch baby broccoli
1 zucchini, sliced thick
1 handful green beans
chilli flakes to taste

Sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon teriyaki sauce
¼ teaspoon stevia or 1 teaspoon sugar

Method

  1. Steam the vegetables in stages so they are cooked but still fresh and crisp on the plate.
  2. Mix all the sauce ingredients together and toss the vegetables in a bowl with the sauce. Ensure the vegetables are coated well with the sauce.
  3. Serve hot in a bowl with or without noodles. Sprinkle with chilli to taste.

Observations

  • Yum. Enough said!
  • Diabetic Note: No drama at all with this plate. If you are insulin dependent, add some noodles for carbs.
  • Ethical Note: Raw or near raw, fresh, and local. So awesome.
 

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Broad (Fava) Bean Risotto

 

I love beans of all variety, and broad beans are no exception. When I was a little girl, I grew up on them as a staple. Lately I’ve been craving them in my diet and when I stumbled across this gem of a recipe by Yummly, I knew I had to give it a try – with my own changes, of course! =)

Broad Bean Risotto

[ Serves: 2 | Time: 24hrs + 15 Minutes | Cost: $3 ]
[ Joes Rating: 5 / 5 | My Rating: 4.5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

100 grams dried broad beans
1 large onion
1 cup arborio rice
3 cups vegetable stock
½ cup white wine
½ cup Pecorino cheese
¼ cup low-fat cream ¹
2 cloves garlic
½ tablespoon sage
drizzle olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Soak the dried beans in water over night with a pinch of bicarbonate soda. After a good soak, slightly twist each bean or squeeze from the sides to remove the hard skins. Discard the skins. After a rinse under cold running water, the beans are ready to be used.
  2. Put the stock in a pot and bring to a light simmer.
  3. In a larger pot, add a drizzle of olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent. Don’t allow to brown.
  4. Stir the dry rice into the mixture and give it a stir to coat it well with the oil, onions and garlic.
  5. De-glaze with the wine and cook over a warm – moderate heat until the wine has been absorbed.
  6. Add ½ – 1 cup of hot stock to the mixture and stir frequently while the rice absorbs the fluid.
  7. Continue slowly adding stock until the rice is cooked. This will take about 25 – 35 minutes. Stir frequently to ensure the mixture doesn’t stick.
  8. When the rice is tender, add the cream, cheese, sage and beans to the pot and stir it gently to combine it well.
  9. Season to taste and serve immediately with some grated cheese to garnish.

 

A well made risotto should still show the individual rice grains and not be a gluggy mess. The black masses in the photo are peppercorns form the cheese.

Observations

  • Note 1: I recently discovered this wonderful Kraft’s product range Philadelphia Cream Cheese called Cream for Cooking. This is the first time I have used it and found it produced a really good flavour without all the carbohydrates. It boasts 60% less fat than regular cream, so look out for it.
  • I have to admit, I was pretty impressed with this risotto. It was creamy, filling, flavourful and the taste just lingered all night on my palate.
  • Diabetic Note: 100 grams of cooked arborio rice is about 35g carbohydrates. There are roughly 10 grams of carbs between the cream and beans. This meal will sneak in to the tightest carbohydrate budget as long as you observe strict serving sizes.
  • Ethical Note: Dried legumes allows you to use seasonal crops all year round. The ability to dry legumes for later use reduces wastage. Learn to love legumes and once you have mastered No Meat Monday, try Legumes Thursday!

 

 

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Banana and Coconut Cream Custard

I stumbled across this wonderful recipe by Real Food Forager and was very eager to try something similar. I don’t know why I waited so long, to be honest. It should now be a part of our regular diet – it was just that good!

Silky, creamy and smooth – a perfect dessert.

[ Serves: 4 – 6 | Time: 30 Minutes | Cost: $4 ]
[ Joes Rating: 4.5 / 5 | My Rating: 5 / 5 ]

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas – puréed
1 can coconut cream – well incorporated ¹
4 free ranged eggs
2 tablespoons agave ²
2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 teaspoon stevia

Method

  1. Mash and purée the banana in a blender until it is smooth and creamy.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well aerated.
  3. Pour the mixture into a tart tray and bake at 180°C for 30 minutes.
  4. Serve hot or cold ³.

Creamy and delicious.

Observations

  • Note 1: The original recipe called for coconut milk and gave instructions on how to convert coconut cream into coconut milk. I opted to just use a tin of coconut cream and the results were delicious. If your coconut cream is solid in the tin, warm it until it melts and becomes incorporated.
  • Note 2: The original recipe uses four tablespoons of honey, however, I was concerned about the glucose content. I’ve altered it to be half agave and a little stevia to make up the sweetness required. The dish didn’t suffer for the substitutes. If you don’t have agave, you can use sugar, honey or just stevia as desired.
  • Note 3: The original recommended refrigerating the custard and serving it cold. We had some hot to taste test it (for research, I assure you!) and found it was moist and not all that appealing. When we set it in the fridge, the moisture seems to disappear and the texture and taste strengthens. Although it can be eaten hot, it is our opinion that served chilled is the only way to enjoy it.
  • Diabetic Note: There is always something about bananas that sets my blood glucose levels screaming. This dish, however, even when served with some low GI ice cream (Bulla lite brand) was ok. Watch the fat content of your coconut cream (I use a lite variety), the sugars (see note 2) and serving size as there is plenty of sugar in the bananas.
  • Ethical Note: These bananas were well past their prime and were due for the compost heap. Even so, they were perfect in this dish.

Served chilled with low Gi Ice Cream – a diabetics dreams come true.

 

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Broccoli Pasta Sauce

No, I didn’t make a mistake with the title. The dish really is a Broccoli Pasta Sauce. A rather amazing and totally delicious sauce at that. This is definitely a “don’t judge a book by its cover” type deal and is inspired by Tea and Cookies. Enjoy!

Broccoli Pasta Sauce – Don’t judge a book by its cover.

[ Serves: 4 | Time: 15 Minutes | Cost: $4 ]
[ Joes Rating: 4 / 5 | My Rating: 4 / 5 | Brittanys rating: 4 / 5 ]

Ingredients

5 cups broccoli
1 onion, diced
5 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lemon, juiced
3 tablespoons water
Salt and pepper to taste
Pecorino Cheese to taste

Method

  1. Wash the broccoli and cut it into bite size chunks, including the stems. Steam or boil the broccoli until it is tender – about 10 minutes.
  2. In a large frying pan, bring a drizzle of oil to temperature and fry of the onion and garlic until transparent. Add the drained broccoli and saute for a few minutes until tender and coated in the oil and onion mixture.
  3. Pour the broccoli and onion mixture into a blender. Add the oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a little water.
  4. Mix through hot pasta and serve with grated cheese.

Season it well and serve with grated pecorino cheese

Observations

  • Reserve the water from the boiling / steaming process to use to thin out the sauce during the blending stage. Also, reserving vegetable water is perfect for feeding sourdough starter!
  • I was honestly so surprised at the taste of this dish. I was even more surprised at how Brittany loved it. Seriously, the child lapped it all up and was looking for more! Definitely a winner.
  • Diabetic Note: Ok, so pasta is naughty. And I struggle really hard when I do eat it. Be wary of your serving size and opt for more sauce than pasta and you *might* be ok. (Remember, pasta is ~70% carbohydrates.)
  • Ethical Note: Oh how awesome is this recipe. You use the stems too. Far too often broccoli stems are discarded as waste even though they are delicious and totally edible.
  • Did you get all the way to the bottom and are still trying to work out why I haven’t gotten duck recipe #2 published yet? Tomorrow guys, I promise! 🙂

This is my portion. I try to make it small and keep to 1 cup cooked pasta.

 

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Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

I’ve been craving a smooth tomato sauce with some bite for a while now. I have been tossing around some ideas until this one just sort of formed one afternoon for no particular reason. Its so easy that I’m embarrassed to post it, but nevertheless, here it is because it deserves to be shared!

Tomato and Capsicum Sauce

[ SERVES: 4  |  TIME: 60 MINUTES  |  COST: $2-3  ]
[  JOES RATING:  4  / 5  |  MY RATING:  5  / 5  |  BRITTANYS RATING:  4  / 5   ]

Ingredients

1 can tomatoes, crushed or diced
1 capsicum, quartered and de-seeded
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon chili flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
splash of olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  1.  In a saucepan, fry off the onion in a little olive oil until caramelised. Add the garlic and stir until cooked.
  2. Add the capsicum and tomatoes and allow to stew over a medium heat for several minutes. Add chilli, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Continue to stew until the sauce has reduced and the capsicum has started to break down ¹.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool before puréeing in a blender.
  5. May be served immediately hot or stored in the fridge for several days.

Observations

  • Note 1: If you stew it long enough over a low enough heat the capsicum will break down and release more flavour. It will also give the chilli time to incorporate well into the dish.
  • Note 2: For a silky sauce, push the sauce through a drum strainer. Although I blended it for several minutes, it was still quite textured.
  • I loved this very simple sauce. It was absolutely delicious without being over bearing. Id happily eat this forever as my new pasta sauce base. I can just imagine it drizzled over steamed vegetables…
  • Diabetic Note: I didn’t use much oil in this dish at all so its a perfect sauce for all diabetics. Almost no carbohydrates or fats in this dish means you can have a little more pasta, right?
  • Ethical Note: YAY! I have found the perfect sauce! This means I am no longer dependant on beef replacement products for certain pasta sauces. Healthier for me and the environment. I also have to admit that the capsicum I used was well past its peak so reduced landfill to boot!
 

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Bean Stew with Tarragon

While I was in Sydney at the Good Food and Wine Festival, I got to attend The Flavour Workshop that featured Oxford Landing Estate wines with Maggie Beer inspired foods. Of the tasting, two tastes really struck a chord with me. The first was a Prosciutto with Mustard Apricots which was just brilliant. I should mention that the apricots are not available yet, but once I get my hands on a jar later this month, you can expect a full review.

The second was a Chicken Breast with a Tarragon Butter. Generally, this is not the sort of flavours Id work with, but I was really inspired by this subtle combination that I decided to have a play with the flavours and textures. I am not sure what to call the results really. To Tarragon, With Love? Cannellini Beans with Tarragon Butter? Tarragon Flavoured Beans? Bean Stew with Tarragon? I don’t know. How about, Yes Please!?

[ SERVES: 3 PER TART  |  TIME: 4.5 MINUTES  |  COST: $3 PER TART  ]
[  JOES RATING:  3.5 /5 |  MY RATING:  4 /5 |  BRITTANYS RATING: 3.5 /5 ]

Ingredients

1 can Cannellini beans, rinsed
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup leeks, quartered and sliced
1 cup zucchini, quartered and chopped
1 cup peas, frozen is fine
½ litre veggie stock
½ cup carrots, diced
1 – 2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme
drizzle olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Melt the butter in a frying pan with a little oil ¹. Sauté the leeks and garlic until they are transparent and fragrant.
  2. Add the carrots and celery and cook until tender.
  3. Add the stock, zucchini, beans, peas and herbs ² and cook covered until tender.
  4. Season and serve hot.

Observations

  • Note 1: When you are cooking with butter, add a splash of oil to stop the butter from burning.
  • Note 2: While I was in Sydney, one of the TV celebrity chefs mentioned that he only ever puts soft herbs in at the end of the dish to keep them fresh. More recently, I heard someone on Masterchef say they put woody herbs in early and soft herbs in late. I’ve started doing this since I came back from Sydney and I have noticed the difference. The herb flavour is a lot stronger using this method!
  • I really adored this dish. The tarragon gave such an amazing flavour to it. Joe also enjoyed it, but Brittany wasn’t such a fan. She would have preferred for it to be served with some form of carbohydrates (surprise, surprise!) such as rice, pasta or couscous.
  • Diabetic Note: There are no real carbohydrates in this dish, perhaps 1 exchange (15 grams carbohydrates) per serve. There are some fats, though, so be aware and adjust accordingly. The beans full of fibre, low GI and high in protein leaving you full for longer. All in all, this is a wonderful choice for diabetics.
  • Ethical Note: It’s the day before shop day and the fridge was kinda bear. I am always a happy camper when I can invent something tasty with limited ingredients. Instead of throwing away wilted fruit and veggies, attempt to be creative. If it fails, you’ve lost nothing as you were throwing them out anyway. If you succeed, you’ve learned something while reducing landfill.
 

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Roast vegetables with French Lentils

I have had a craving for French Lentils for a while. I missed quality vegetarian foods while I was in Sydney and found myself craving simple tastes such as raw vegetables, beans and lentils.

And the time has come for me to rectify that and give in to the cravings.

[ SERVES: 3  |  TIME: 60 MINUTES  |  COST: $4  ]
[  JOES RATING:  4  / 5  |  MY RATING:  5  / 5  |  BRITTANYS RATING:  4  / 5   ]

Ingredients

2 – 3 potatoes
3 largish slices of pumpkin
2 – 3 small – medium sweet potato
2 – 3 carrots
1 leek
1 cup French lentils
3 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon minced garlic
drizzle olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Rinse the vegetables and peel where necessary. Cut into largish bite size pieces.
  2. In a bowl, toss the vegetables in some olive oil. Add the herbs and season. Ensure that the herbs are distributed evenly through the vegetables.
  3. Place the veggies into a baking tray and bake at 200°C for about 45 minutes. Check the vegetables and turn them after about 20 minutes, basting as needed.
  4. While the vegetables are cooking, rinse the lentils well, removing any material that floats.
  5. In a pot, add the lentils and stock. Cook over a medium heat until the water is absorbed. They should cook in about 25 minutes but if they are still firm, add a little more water and cook for longer as needed.
  6. Serve the vegetables on a bed of cooked lentils. Season and enjoy hot.

Observations

  • The French Lentils have a habit of turning the water / stock a dark tea to sometimes blackish colour. Dont worry about this. It is normal.
  • I love the French lentils for their earthy slightly nutty flavour but Brittany didn’t enjoy them at all. She said she would have preferred couscous or rice. As I was avoiding the carbohydrates, she dips out! I am not sure if kids would generally enjoy lentils or not, but its worth a try!
  • These lentils are quite filling too, so one cup raw between three people is quite generous. They are also rich in fibre and protein so tend to keep you full for quite a while.
  • I used purple carrots again tonight to see how they would go baked. They were sweet and had a very earthy flavour to them. Joe found one piece was quite bitter. These new variety of carrots are quite interesting and are worth further investigations!
  • Diabetic Note: Nothing to see here… Move quite along. No, seriously… My blood sugars didn’t react to this meal at all. YAY, extra potatoes for me now, right?
  • Ethical Note: People generally remove the skins of vegetables. I think most people consider them to be dirty because they have been handled and have often been in the dirt. A lot of nutrients are lost when the skins are discarded. Give them a good wash and enjoy the veggies with the skin on. This reduces waste and is a much healthier option.

 

 

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