Sunday, April 25, 2010

Healthy Eating Month: Celebrity Chef Dominique Rizzo Interview


I was lucky enough to be given a gift voucher to take some cooking classes for my birthday and even luckier for the class to be headed by celebrity chef Dominique Rizzo. It was during this cooking class that I was cheeky enough to approach Dominique for an interview for Gastronomy Gal! Luckily, she said yes!



Dominique is an amazing cook who also manages to combine her love for food (she is Italian after all!) with healthy living. In fact Dominque’s passion for whole foods is so strong, she runs a ‘Pure Food’ program teaching school students modern cooking technique whilst helping them to develop appreciation for healthy whole foods.

Dominique is a guest chef on Channel ten’s Ready Steady Cook and a spokesperson for Gourmet Garden and Rubbermaid. Aside from her Pure Food program, she also hosts cooking classes, does private catering and food styling, is in the process of writing her own book, is a guest chef for many food festivals and upcoming Food TV shows AND still stays sensationally slim and healthy. When I heard all of these fantastic feats, I thought Dominique would be a wonderful source of information for Healthy Eating April. Maybe she can shed some light on how she manages to stay so svelte whilst living a food lover’s dream life.

1.) Having an Italian background, I guess cooking is in your blood. Did you start cooking when you were really young?

My mother tells me that I use to make her and dad breakfast in bed when I was three or four and use to use the hot water tap in the bath to make their coffee, so yes, I started young.




2.) I love the idea of teaching healthy eating from an early age. Do you find that kids are more receptive to trying new things if they have been involved in the process of cooking?

Amazingly so, and also, through seeing other children trying different food they are highly influenced. I feel that when children have an opportunity to be in the process of making the food, they really feel proud and want to then enjoy what they have made.




3.)How many schools are you teaching in and do you have a view to extending your program to all QLD schools? I think it would be fab to see that!!

I have visited about 6 schools in Brisbane and am looking to also head up to Bundaberg and down to Sydney, showing how to change the recipes around to suit your lifestyle and tastes. As most of the recipes will be from my Sicilian family they are all deliciously simple and use only a few ingredients but ending up with a wonderfully fresh flavours.

4.)I know you are a big advocate, Can you give us the rundown on ‘Whole Foods?’

To me whole foods is as it says, incorporating “real foods” in your cooking using a variety of grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables, and also fresh organic meats. So to me its really cutting out all of the tinned, preservative rich foods that can sustain in packets for ages. Fresh food, like us, is living food and the more we eat the living foods the more vibrant and healthy we will feel.

5.)You’ve just arrived back from an Italian holiday. For Italian novices, what is your favourite region and what did you eat there?

Well of course Sicily is my favourite region and my favourite dishes were fresh artichokes baked in the oven with garlic, pecorino cheese, anchovies and bread crumbs, also I love their pasta and cauliflower with pine nuts and currants. Sword fish crumbed and baked in the oven with a dressing of parsley garlic, olive oil and lemon juice. I had a wonderful banquet of cous cous and a squid ink sauce.. and the desserts........I could go on for hours.

6.)When you can't be in Italy, what is your favourite place to eat out in Brisbane?

I love fresh foods and also world foods so Grasshopper in Teneriffe for Thai/Asian, Oyama and Sakura in west end for Japanese , Govndas Hari Krishna cafe at west end for wonderful vegetarian and at a great price and also I love Indian.....I love Confit in new Farm for a special breakfast , also Mario in the Dinning Room at Hendra, he is so Italian and the food was beautifully simple, perfectly cooked and delicious. Also I recently went to Glass on the Gold Coat and it was fantastic.

7.) Biggest food influences in your life?

My Zia, my mum, my first Head Chef Brenda and my love for foods that say something.

8.) What would your standard weekday lunch or dinner include?

Lunch usually for me is a salad with some sort of grain,.I love chickpeas, lentils and salty things like olives, feta, capers and tossed with roasted free range or organic chicken or tuna and a home made dressing with loads of herbs. Dinner usually is fish, I love salmon so its salmon, seared, steamed, grilled and served with as many vegetables as I can find in my fridge. I am big on dressings and make great asian, Mediterranean and yoghurt dressings to jazz up things.

9.)What is your favourite type of food to splurge on?

Italian Gelati

10.) What is your favourite really healthy dish?

Cold Soba noodles, greens and cold poached salmon with a sesame seed dressing or a green papaya salad with a good handful of thai herbs and prawns with a zesty lime and chilli dressing.

I noticed I'm not the only one who has approached Dom for healthy recipes!

11.) What would you order when you are eating out and trying to be conscious of weight/health?

Usually fish or seafood, I had a beautiful warm seafood and thai salad with coconut tom yum broth....fantastic. Or I will order chicken if its free range or organic, I don’t really eat a lot of meat as my body never really asks for it

12.) How do you manage to stay so slim whilst loving food? Diet and exercise combination?

Definitely, infact I get asked that all the time, people are amazed and always say how slim I am which I don’t think I am, but they feel that as I chef I must eat all the time, and I do but its what I ea. Yes, I also do exercise about 4-5 times a week. Its about balance, if I want to eat what I want, then exercise allows me to have that food freedom.

13.)Do you have any extra tips for Gastronomy Gal on healthy eating?

Listen to your body and hunger full signals, that way you can eat what you want, just stop when you have had enough.


14.) Most used cook book?

Stephanie Alexanders “Cooks Companion”....its now falling apart

15.)Where can we expect to see you in the next couple of months i.e. on TV, Cooking shows etc>?

Good Food and Wine Shows, just got back from the Melbourne Flower and Garden show, Starlight Dinner in Brisbane, Pinnaroo with Peter Everett and Mathew Golinski and yes back on Ready Steady Cook with a new kitchen and new cooking tips. There are a few projects coming up but all a little hush hush at the moment.



Wow- what an inspiration. Dominique, thanks so much for the interview- you are amazing and a perfect role model for Healthy Eating Month! Check out Dominique's website and don't forget to keep your eye out for her cook book that is being released soon- I'm sure it will be jam packed with some wonderful Sicilian recipes, Yum. -

Photos are from Dominique's website with her permission.

Healthy Eating Month: Emma's Rough Recipes

Emma Daley is a new twitter friend. She has a job that is the envy of all foodies- working at Black Pearl Epicure
and describes herself as a salt addict! She does however, also know about healthy cooking and has provided some gorgeous 'rough recipes' for you to try at home. Be sure to say hi to Emma on twitter - apart from being totally friendly, she comes in really handy when you searching for obscure ingredients!

When I posted about healthy eating- Emma had these musings.

"Well I guess it depends on your idea of healthy eating. So let me begin with saying that my idea of healthy is food is that it is quite basic in its preparation using whole, fresh ingredients - not much prepackaged product. I also try to use vegetables in their natural state wherever I can too as I believe that nutrients can be lost when cooked. Only Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) is used.
The first salad I make often is...
Cannelini, Beet, Spinach and Chevre Salad - it's great side salad to grilled chicken breast.
Tinned or freshly cooked cannelini (I often sibstitue chickpeas or kidney beans too)
tinned or freshly cooked baby beets
baby spinach leaves
fresh chevre (I use Woodside or Meredith)
red onion
Joseph Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A good vinegar (I use either Forum Cab Sauvignon, Pendleton Chardonnay or a sweet sherry vinegar)
Season to taste
* Add thin slices of fried chorizo (if I feel the need for meat) for a main meal in itself
De Puy Lentil, Cherry Tomato and Parsley Salad, again another great side to simple grilled meats or vegetables
Cooked de puy lentils, rinsed and cooled
Halved fresh cherry tomatoes
Again fresh chevre (I use Woodside or Meredith)
Chopped flat leaf parsley (lots)
Thin red onion wedges
Joseph Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sweet Sherry Vinegar
Season to taste
Chermoula Lamb steaks with Lemon & Garlic Chickpeas and Harissa yoghurt
Lamb steaks or cutlets
Christine Manfield Chermoula paste (or Herbie's dry spice mix)
2 x 400g tin chickpeas
EVOO
Juice of 1 lemon
2 cloves garlic, pureed to a smooth paste
Ample flat leaf parsley
Sea salt & fresh cracked pepper
Natural Yoghurt
Christine Manfield Harissa
Marinate Lamb in the Chermoula (as long as you can).
Drain and rinse chickpeas then place into serving bowl. Pour over half of the lemon juice, add garlic, a good glug of EVOO and a decent pinch of salt and ground pepper. Taste and add more lemon juice, s&p to your taste. I like it really lemony… You can also add more garlic of course for bite! Just before serving, roughly chop and stir through lots of parsley.
Mix a teaspoon of Harissa through 1 cup of natural yoghurt (or to taste, harissa has a kick)
Grill lamb steaks and serve with chickpeas and yoghurt.
Vermicelli salad - I take this one to work for lunch and dress it just before I eat it!
Thin slices of ccoked beef (first marinated in soy, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, pureed garlic & pureed ginger)
Vermicelli noodles - boiled for a minute or so, rinsed and drained.
thin slices of carrot, red capsicum, cucumber, red onion
bean sprouts
fresh corainder, mint and thai basil.
Nuoc Cham
Nuoc Cham
1 long red chilli (seeds removed) finely diced
garlic clove finely diced
lemon juice
fish sauce
white sugar
mix 3tblsp fish sauce with 3 tblsp of lemon juice, half teaspoon of sugar and garlic and chilli. Taste and add more lemon or fish sauce as neccessary. Dilute with water if too strong for your taste.

Place your noodles in a bowl, place vegetables, sprouts and beef on top. Garnish with fresh herbs and dress with Nuoc Cham. "

Thanks very much for the recipes Em- I'm especially keen to try vermicelli salad to take to work and the chermoula lamb steaks! Yum.

As Emma pointed out - healthy eating is a very individualised concept. So readers, tell me - what is your idea of healthy eating??

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Healthy Eating Month: Banana Bread

Brisbane Food Blogging is really going ahead. When I started blogging I wasn't aware of the whole new world I was tuning into. It is absolutely fabulous that there are so many food bloggers, they are all quite lovely and make a great little community. One food blogger who is new to the scene, but already has a fabulous blog is Leah from Sugar Snapped. I came accross Leah's blog when she commented on my blog and have been following her blog ever since. Leah describes herself as 'a 20-something girl, living in Brisbane Australia. She has a passion for cooking, food and sustainability and posts some great recipes!

Banana bread seems healthy enough, but some banana breads contain enough sugar to feed a town. Leah has given us a healthier version of the traditional sugar packed bread that still tastes great!

"I'm quite new to blogging scene, but I enjoy it so much - even if no one out there is reading! This is a really easy, quick banana bread, that is very good for you! I have a weakness for all things sweet, so this meets that need without dosing me up on too much refined sugar. If you're feeling very virtuous you could even omit the sugar entirely - but make sure your bananas are very ripe!

Healthy banana bread

Ingredients
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1/4 tsp nutmeg (or to taste)
140g plain natural yoghurt (low fat also works)
Dash of vanilla (to taste)
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped or food processed (optional or you can sub in nuts of your choice)

Directions
Preheat your oven to about 150*.
In a small bowl, mash the banana, and add the brown sugar, yoghurt, egg and vanilla. Mix well.
Sift the flour, bicarb soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and add to the wet ingredients. You can add the nuts here if you want or leave til the end.
Gently fold together until combined - be careful not to overmix.
Spray a loaf tin with cooking spray and pour the batter into the pan. Top with nuts if you wish.
Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.
Let cool for 5 minutes, then tip out of the pan and cool for 10 more minutes before slicing."



Thanks very much to Leah for her post.

What about you readers- have you got great tasting healthier alternatives?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Healthy Eating Month: So you can still enjoy the occasional naughty treat

HEALTHY EATING MONTH: PERSONAL TRAINING TIPS AND
GASTRONOMY GAL GIVEAWAY #2!!!


So I've already confessed, I'm well aware that loving food has a downside. To try and counteract the over indulgence (which I specialise in) this month, I've been attempting to cook food that is more healthy!

When I started this whole 'time to get a bit healthier' thing, I was pretty depressed. Looking through low fat cook books sparked some serious panic. The food looked bland and boring, convincing me that healthy eating is tasteless.

Luckily some fabulous guest bloggers have come to the rescue and provided me (and you) with some healthy AND delicious recipes! Yay for healthy and delicious!

Unfortunately, eating right is a really great step, but it's only half the battle. Apparently, something called exercise is also essential for balance. Until recently, exercise was a very curious concept for me. I mean, don't get me wrong I have given it a chance. In fact, one of my friends and I (who also has adverse reactions to exercise) have trialled basically every single sport known to man kind and have all the equipment (generally a pink version) to prove it. Think I'm joking? I'm not. It's become a family joke.

Between us we own golf clubs, surf boards, skate boards, soccer boots and balls, hockey sticks, tennis racquets, canoes, ballet shoes, tap and jazz shoes, gymnastics leotards, yoga mats, little dumbbells, gym memberships, exercise bikes, swimming goggles and caps, roller blades, roller skates, scooters, touch football sponsor shirts , netball bibs/ rings, a basketball, snorkelling equipment, horse riding boots and ten pin bowling stuff. I'm not even exaggerating.

Unfortunately, aside from a few extended stints i.e tennis, dancing, gym, we have stuck at NONE of these forms of activity for longer than a season or two and now, I'm ashamed to say, I have been living a very lazy, sedentry lifestyle.

That was until I put out a call for help to my friend- Jackson Lennan- who just happens to be a personal trainer at uber-cool Brisbane personal training studio, Peak Physique. I grew up with Jackson (i.e his family are known as my de-facto fam as I spent so much time there!) and he has been at me to 'get fit' for the last couple of years. A couple of weeks ago, begrudgingly, I admitted that I needed to get off my arse and Jackson is going to help me do just that. He is going to help me devise a fitness regime, that I am comfortable with and can maintain, so that I can continue doing this whole food blogging thing, without growing into a ball! Yay!!

Jacko for his profile shot


Jacko has also provided some tips for keeping in shape and healthier eating and is even offering some free personal training sessions to some Gastronomy Gal readers below! Yeh yeh!! Thanks Jackson and Peak Physique

1. Hydration – Fluids are constantly being used by the body; whether it is through digestion, breathing or simply sweating. To keep your body well hydrated, women should consume around 2.2L of water a day and men around 3L per day. Even more if you are exercising! Keeping well hydrated to ensure optimal performance day to day, a 1% drop in hydration results in a 10% performance loss!

2. Balance – Having a balanced diet is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you only consume a small amount of bad fats (trans and saturated) and counteract by eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Fresh fruit and vege provide you with much needed fiber, vitamins and minerals which help to give you the most energy out of your food! Protein is a must, especially when exercising. Protein helps to repair and rebuild your muscles.

3. Portion Control – This is usually the biggest problem for most people when trying to lose weight. All lean meat portions should be no bigger than the palm of your hand. When having a meal, eat until you are 70% full, this will give your food time to digest and as a result you will feel full! Finally instead of 3 main meals per day spread it out to 4 or 5 smaller meals, this will help speed your metabolism which is a big factor in weight loss.


Now Jacko has given you those tips, he is offering 7- (YES 7!!!!) Gastronomy Gal readers the opportunity to win a free personal training session with him. These sessions are 1 hour long and are vauled at $110 EACH! Woo Hoo!!

To win one of these sessions- you only have to :

Leave a comment below telling me the name of your favourite healthy meal and your favourite form of exercise + a sentence or two about why you should win one of the free sessions. Don't forget to leave some contact details!!

Sorry to exclude but the sessions are only for Brisbanites! Competition closes on Friday 23rd of April so be sure to get in and comment quickly!!


Jackson Lennan is one of Peak Physiques Leading Personal Trainers.
To receive more information on how you can “Shed Fat From Your Body Fast” simply click onto www.Peak-Physique.com.au/free

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Healthy Eating Month: Beeso's Pumpkin Soup

Today's guest post is a pumpkin soup recipe from Beeso from Lantanaland. Beeso is a huge advocate of doing things from scratch and describes himself as ' a wannabe farmer and cook that has a bit of land and wants to do a bit of everything.' Beeso is doing some really interesting food things at Lantanaland, and the blog documents those journeys. He has some great ideas, like a herd share and also writes recipes and reviews for Mother Foccacia. Be sure to check out his blogs, especially if you are interested in grass roots farming. His pumpkin soup recipe below looks fabulous and there is also a little hint on how to make home made stock! Thanks for the recipe Beeso!

"With all this slightly cooler weather around its a perfect excuse to pull out one my much perfected and practiced recipes, Pumpkin Soup. Queenslanders are known for doing this, running for the comfort food as soon as it gets a bit cloudy or the daytime temperature dips below 25 degrees. But this one fully deserves to be the full focus of a meal on a cool day, not tucked away as a starter.

Ingredients
One half pumpkin. Look for a real deep orange in the flesh as this usually means better ripeness and flavour.
Cayenne pepper
Home made stock. Seriously. Stock is easy and cheap to make. If nothing else throw some chicken wings, celery, carrot, bay, garlic, ginger, fish sauce and brown sugar into a pot, bring to the boil and turn off and rest for an hour. This will make a huge difference.
Sour cream or yoghurt or cream
Salt
Olive oil
Chives or parsley.
Bread of choice.

Simply skin and chop the pumpkin up, lightly coat with olive oil, dust with salt and cayenne pepper and put in a 120 deg oven for a while. Till nicely soft and caramelised. Whack it into a pot and ladle over some stock and blend with a stem blender keep adding stock until just thicker than what you want. Bring to a simmer then blend in your dairy, plate up with a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt in the middle and sprinkle with chopped chives or parsley. Serve with toast and butter. Lots of butter.

The caramelisation of the pumpkin give it a sweetness married with that warmth from the cayenne and the subtle flavours from the stock make this so far away a tinned pumpkin soup you wouldn't be able to hit it with a weapon of mass destruction. Should cost about $7 for two, Less if you have some stock made up in the freezer.

Thanks so much for the recipe Beeso!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Healthy Eating Month: Post from Barbara at Winos and Foodies

Barbara from Winos and Foodies has a wonderfully inspiring blog and I was very thrilled when she emailed me her post for healthy eating month. I love that Barbara has really thought outside the square and given us a healthy version of ice cream!! Be sure to check out Winos and Foodies as Barbara has a competition to win a masterclass with Tetsuya !

"I made this style of ice cream using bananas and strawberries when my boys were little and one of them had an intolerance to milk. It has had a bit of a resurgence recently and I've seen variations of other blogs. I've started making it again as an attempt to get my husband to eat more fruit.

CHOCOLATE BANANA ICECREAM



Ingredients
6 large bananas (or 8 smaller ones)
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
80 grams chocolate broken into chunks

Method
Peel bananas and chop into chunks,place in a container and freeze overnight.
Remove bananas from freezer and sit on bench for 20 minutes.
Place in blender and process until smooth and creamy.
Add cocoa and chocolate and continue to process until blended.
Serve immediately for a soft icecream.
If serving later you will need to remove from freezer to soften a little before serving.

Once you have the banana base you can add any number of frozen fruits for a different ice cream. A favourite of mine is banana/peach, made by freezing equal amounts of bananas and peaches and processing.

Here is one I made with frozen berries."

Looks Fabulous Barbara! Thanks so much for your recipe!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Because it's Cool: Ask the Butcher iPhone Ap

For those foodies with an iPhone (I know there are tons of you! I've seen you snapping away and adding notes in restaurants!!) there is a cool new iPhone Ap out.

Vic's Premium Meats have created 'Ask The Butcher' ap which has features that allow you to see diagrams detailing different cuts of meat, a list of cuts of meat and the best way to cook them, recipes for the cuts of meat and additional cooking tips. I love it!

Seriously cool for $2.49!!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Healthy Eating Month: Beef and Chive Wontons


Healthy Eating Month; The wonderful Mademoiselle Délicieuse from Spoon, Fork & Chopsticks has contributed a 'delicious' Beef and Chive Wonton Recipe. Wonton's are not only filled with nutritional goodness, they are also incredibly comforting- without the extra fat. M D has also provided some beautiful photos to make your mouth water. Thanks so much Mademoiselle! Enjoy this great recipe. P.s. As an aside I wish Mademoiselle all the best this weekend as she is getting married!



Healthy Eating Month: Beef & Chive Wontons
When Gastronomy Gal invited me to contribute something to her Healthy Eating Month, I was extremely flattered and excited – I have never been asked to do a guest post before! Once these feelings had subsided, I was wracked with the practicalities of thinking of a suitable recipe. ‘Healthy’ can be interpreted differently from person to person and seems to have ambiguous definitions for food-labelling purposes. ‘97% fat-free’ doesn’t necessarily mean a foodstuff is low in salt or sugar or high in fibre so it can all be a bit baffling.

And having grown up in Australia with a Chinese heritage, I was tossing up between what cuisine to base my recipe in and then which course of a meal. So to steer clear of both salads and soups, I settled on ‘wontons’ (雲吞) – those neat little parcels of meat and often vegetables found floating in a broth which not only require no oil in their cooking process but also have the comforting qualities of something squishy and soupy.

Wonton wrappers are basically really thin squares of pasta sheets, which is why they’re often prescribed as a pre-cut alternative when making ravioli. The first (and only) time I made fresh pasta with girlfriends, I commented that the pasta dough smelt really familiar – and then it hit me! Excess uncooked wontons can be frozen. You just need to dry them out first on a tray in the freezer until they’re firm, before transferring them to a bag or container. Little corners of frozen wonton wrappers may break off but it’s of no taste consequence.

The version I’ve provided a recipe for below is pretty much what my mum used to make whilst I was growing up. I was recruited from a young age to help her with wrapping the dumpling parcels, where my fingers would nimbly create the little pleats. Then I would watch her drop batches of them into boiling water and wait for them to come floating to the top before trying to devour them and their fragrant garlicky-ness without scalding my tongue!

Beef & Chive Wontons (makes 50-60 to serve 4 adults)

Ingredients:

· 400-500g lean-ish beef mince (NB: Don’t go too lean or the wontons will be too dry!)

· 2 portions of My All-purpose Cantonese Marinade

· small amount of snipped garlic chives (Take care not to add too much or your mixture will not hold together)

· 1 packet of egg wonton wrappers (usually 60 sheets)

· 1.5-2L hot chicken stock (homemade, packet or instant from powder)

· Asian greens such as choy sum, bok choy or Chinese cabbage to serve (optional)

Method:

1. Mix mince and chives with marinade in a large bowl and mix with a large fork or squeeze between fingers until thoroughly mixed and slightly sticky. Set aside 30 minutes to marinate.

2. Spoon level teaspoonfuls of mince mixture onto each wonton wrapper and fold in half into a triangular shape to enclose. Flatten the enclosed mixture slightly with fingers (this helps to speed up cooking time) and pleat the overhanging wrapper like a paper fan – it doesn’t have to be neat – or leave as it. You don’t need any egg or water to seal the wonton wrapper as the meat filling should keep it all together. Place prepared wontons on a plate or tray and cover with a clean tea towel if they start drying out.

3. Bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook the wontons in batches, taking care not to overcrowd. Remove wontons from the pot with a slotted spoon when they float to the top and place in bowls. Ladle over hot stock to serve. Serve with Asian greens cooked in the hot stock if desired.

happy cooking!





Carrot and Coconut Soup

Hello Again Everyone - I Hope you all had a wonderful Easter. I did- but I have to say- I am looking forward to a month of moderation and healthy eating!!

I have collected some wonderful guest blogs for you this month (contact me if you want to contribute a healthy recipe- it's not too late) as well as a fabulous interview with a Brisbane Chef. As you all know, I love my food, but sometimes I over do it. This month I'm aiming to find healthy, delicious recipes that are easy and cheap to cook so that everyone can enjoy beautiful week day meals confident in the knowledge that they are getting nutritional benefits without a side serve of lard. I hope you enjoy the guest posts!


My pal Ally from EatDrinkBris has been kind enough to pass on her delicious carrot and coconut soup recipe for this month's healthy eating segment. This is a fabulous Autumn recipe and really cheap too!

"Rich food is awesome. Throw me some chocolate truffles and a bad ass cheeseburger, and I’ll be happy gal. But of course, it’s important to be healthy, too. Eating well and having a healthy relationship with food is all about balance, not having ‘food rules’. If I see one more food rule I will barf. “Don’t eat carbs after 3pm”. “Peanut butter makes you fat”. “Cheese will ruin your life”. Carbs are fine after 3pm as long as you haven’t already had a loaf of bread that day, peanut butter is an incredibly healthy food, and cheese makes everything better. If you really do want to ‘cut back’ on rich food, please do not start promising yourself things and implementing ‘rules’. Simply start doing new things – like subbing takeaway lunches and dinners here and there for a healthy home-cooked meal like the one below.

I love this soup – it’s perfect for the coming cooler months and tastes great. Best of all, it’s cheap and easy to make, and is packed with nutrient and fibre-rich vegies, and healthy filling fats from the coconut.* I like to freeze individual serves – take them out of the freezer in the morning, and in 5 minutes that night dinner will be ready.

Coconut Carrot Soup – Serves 5 (large entrée/small main size)

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 a head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/4 purple onion, chopped
  • 1/4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Pepper
  • 1 can (400ml) of extra light coconut cream or light coconut milk (extra light coconut cream is hard to find, but light coconut milk is fine)
  • 2-4 cups of vegetable stock

METHOD

  • Cook carrots in a bowl of water in the microwave until soft (about 15 – 20 minutes).
  • Steam cauliflower until soft.
  • Cook onion and olive oil in a wok or large pan until onion browns.
  • In a blender, mix the broth, onion, drained broccoli, and drained carrots for 3 – 4 minutes until smooth. Depending on what consistency you like, add more stock for a thinner soup, or leave as is for a creamy and thick soup.
  • Season to taste (curry powder or coriander is good), then serve!

Approximate Nutritional Stats:

Calories: 185

Fat: 7g

Sat fat: 5.3g

Protein: 5g

Carb: 17.5g

Fibre: 11.9

*There’s a lot of material out there that argues coconut is bad, due to its higher amounts of saturated fat. There’s also a lot of material that argues that coconut fat is good. Get over it – there’s such a small amount per serve that it won’t matter."

A big thannks to Ally for the recipe- something a little different from the average soup but looks equally delicious. Will definitely be giving this a test run through winter! Let me know, what is your favourite healthy soup recipe?!~

 
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