Kataifi Prawns (serves 3-4 as an entree)

This simple and quick recipe is great for entrees or just a light snack.

It is healthier than tempura prawns or prawn cocktails as it does not involve any frying and looks interesting on the plate.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 packet kataifi, kept out for a few hours until it is room temperature
  • 500gr prawns
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used an African-style rub mix)

Method:

1. Heat oven to 200C.

2. Peel and de-vein prawns, leaving the tails on.

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3. Take some kataifi out gently and put it in a small bowl. Separate some of the strands so it is easier to work with.

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4. Beat the egg with a fork and add salt, pepper and your choice of seasoning.

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5. Lay the kataifi strands out in a long line. Place the prawn at the top of the strand and roll it down to the bottom until covered. Place on an oiled tray.

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6. Once all prawns are covered in kataifi, place tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until pastry is golden and crispy.

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Enjoy!

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Pad Thai (serves 6-8)

This quick pad thai is full of healthy vegetables and proteins and is packed with flavour.

I used a bottle of pad thai mix from my local Asian grocery store but you can either make your own or mix it up using other stir fry pastes or sauces.

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Ingredients

  • 500g thick rice noodles
  • 1/2 small bag bean sprouts
  • 1 handful of snow peas, ends broken off
  • 2 small bunches pak choy, washed and cut in half vertically
  • 1 red capsicum, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced diagonally
  • 1 bottle pad thai paste
  • 3 Tbsp kecap manis
  • 5 Tablespoons olive or peanut oil
  • 500grams chicken breast, cut into cubes (roughly)
  • 400grams peeled fresh prawns (tails on)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 50grams chopped cashews to sprinkle on top

Method

1.Prepare vegetables by washing, peeling and chopping (as above).

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2. In a large wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and fry off onions and garlic.

3. Add chicken and cook for about 5-10 minutes.

4. Add prawns and cook further for about 2-3 minutes or until it changes colour and becomes opaque.

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5. Push meat to one side of the pan and add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Pour in half the pad thai sauce mix and fry off for about 1 minute, then stir and mix into the meat.  Put meat into a separate bowl and drizzle lightly with kecap manis (about 1 tablespoon).

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6. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the empty pan.  Start to add vegetables, tossing as you go. I added the harder vegetables first so they all cook evenly.

7. Again, move vegetables to the side, add the rest of the pad thai mix and fry off for about 20-30 seconds. Then mix into vegetables.

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8. Add chopped cashews and mix in.

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9. Boil rice noodles until cooked through as per instructions on the packet.

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10. Drain water, transfer noodles to a separate bowl and add remaining kecap manis.

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11. Place noodles in a dish, top with meat and vegetables.

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12. Add beansprouts (you cold also top with sesame seeds) and enjoy!

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Chicken, Avocado and Green Bean Salad with Tomato (serves 4)

This salad is perfect for work lunches or even as a side at a BBQ or lunch event.

Easy to make and pretty healthy for you if you add less mayonnaise!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves (approx 200gr)
  • 60gr semi-dried tomatoes
  • 1 handful green beans, de-stringed
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 red capsicum
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 Tsp spicy seasoning (e.g. cajun, paprika, zaatar, chilli, cumin etc)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbs seeded mustard
  • 1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise

Method:

1. Cut the chicken breast into cubes and rub the spicy seasoning in.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces off until cooked through.

3. Steam de-stringed beans until they go dark green and are cooked through but still a little crunchy.

4. Cut avocado into large chunks (I sliced it and then cut the slices in half).

5. Wash, de-seed and cut red capsicum into cubes.

6. Wash baby spinach leaves and put in a large mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, cooled chicken breast pieces and beans, and avocado.

7. Mix mayonnaise and mustard in a separate bowl. Add to the rest of the salad and mix well.

Enjoy!

Seafood Marinara with Angel Hair Pasta (serves 6)


This was the perfect quick and easy dinner for MC and the fam last night. Everyone enjoyed it and it only took a short while to prepare. The marinara can be substituted with prawns or other seafood as well.

Ingredients:

  • 500gr angel hair pasta
  • 750gr seafood marinara mix
  • 250gr snow peas- washed and with the ends cut off
  • 4 Tsp minced garlic (or equivalent fresh, chopped garlic)
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into 4 wedges
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Fresh herbs (I used basil and parsley from my herb garden)
  • Olive oil
  • Chilli flakes to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Prepare pasta according to instructions on back of packet. When al dente, rinse under cold running water until room temperature and leave to sit in a colander (this stops the cooking).

2. Heat 3 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan (on high). When hot, add garlic and onion and stir fry until onion turns clear and slightly golden. Add chilli flakes (I added about 5 tsp but it depends on your preference and the intensity of the chilli you have), and toss.

3. Add seafood to the pan, stir and cover for about 5 minutes.

4. Add snow peas and toss until they change colour (darker green).

5.Add the lemon juice and wedges to the pan.

6. Season with salt, pepper and more chilli if desired.

7. Drizzle with olive oil and toss through chopped fresh herbs.

Enjoy!

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Butternut Pumpkin & Zucchini Quiche (serves 8)

My brother is a fussy eater at the best of times. When he was younger he only ate things that were bland and unhealthy. Things with barely any flavour and certainly no spice. Things like pies, chips, and pizza. He would occasionally eat carrots, peas and corn, but no lettuce, no tomato and no onion.

He is now almost 18 years old and I am glad to say his eating habits have changed. He recently had a bit of a protein (for working out) and healthy food craze and has opened his mind to the wonders of vegetables and spicy food. He even eats my mum’s Sri Lankan curries now and then and can make a coconut (pol) roti on his own!

I decided to make a semi-healthy, high vegetable quiche for dinner to be accompanied with a side of salad. This recipe made one large quiche and about 6 smaller muffin-tray ones. I made sure to add plenty of cheese so my bro would be happy.

Ingredients:

  • 2 sheets puff pastry
  • 8 eggs
  • 1/3 butternut pumpkin
  • 2 zucchinis
  • 1 cup low-fat tasty cheese
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 Tsp minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

1. Push a sheet of puff pastry into a greased quiche dish. Cut out circles using a cutter and press into greased muffin tins. Bake at 200C for about 10-15minutes or until lightly browned.

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2.Thinly slice onion and cook together with garlic and olive oil in a small pan. Once golden and opaque, sprinkle onion mixture over the puff pastry.

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3. Use a peeler to shave the butternut pumpkin into thick ribbons. Then add to the puff pastry.

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4. Use a grater to grate zucchini and spread evenly over the pastry.

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5. Grate cheese and sprinkle on top of quiche.

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6. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper until well combined. Pour over the quiche and bake in a 160C oven for about 25 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the egg has set.

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Enjoy with a side of salad.

Garlic Roast Lamb

Here’s my recipe for delicious and easy garlic roast lamb.

Ingredients:

  • 2.4kg leg of lamb (I used frozen)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Mixed herbs (I used Masterfoods)
  • Olive oil

Method:

1. Set oven to 200C.

2. Put the lamb in a deep roasting dish. Cut lines into the lamb and insert mixed herbs and slivers of garlic into the cuts.

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3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pat the seasoning into the meat.

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4. Cover with foil and put in the oven to cook for 1 hour.

5. After 1 hour, drizzle some olive oil over the lamb, remove the foil and cook for another hour.

6. Switch the oven off and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the lamb. Cover with foil again and leave to rest in the oven for 30 minutes. 

8. Carve the lamb and serve it with roast vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts, carrots and peas or corn.

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Rice Paper Rolls

On Tuesday I made some delicious rice paper rolls for the family for dinner.

I used tuna and shredded roast chicken with an assortment of vegetables and mint.

Here’s how they turned out:

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Delicious AND healthy! What more could you ask for?