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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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!

Banoffee Pie (serves 6)

Banoffee pie is one of those recipes that is growing increasingly popular. I had heard about it from friends, seen it on other websites and blogs, and finally, a colleague made one and brought it into work.

A banoffee pie is basically a biscuit base, a caramel or dulce de leche filling, topped with bananas, whipped cream, and dusted with cocoa powder.

I decided to try making one myself and used the Carnation recipe with condensed milk to speed up the caramel cooking process.

I was surprised at how easy this was to make and I’ll definitely be trying it again as everyone loved it! Such a change from the usual chocolate or lemon tarts.

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Ingredients:

  • For the base:

100g melted butter
250g digestive or plain biscuits, crushed

  • For the caramel:

100g butter
100g brown soft sugar
397g tin condensed milk

  • For the top:

4 small bananas
300ml thickened cream, whipped
Grated chocolate or cocoa powder, to dust

Method:

1.  Pulse biscuits in a food processor until they resemble breadcrumbs.

2. Grease a 20cm loose bottomed cake tin.

3. Put the biscuits in a bowl and add the melted butter, mix well until combined. Then spoon the mixture into the cake tin and press into the sides to make a pie shell. Chill in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

4. Melt butter and sugar in a non-stick saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved.

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5. Add condensed milk to the butter and sugar mix and stir rapidly. Bring to the boil (for at least 1 minute) and stir until a thick caramel is formed.

6. Spread the caramel over the base, cool in the fridge for 1 hour or until set.

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7. Remove the pie from the tin and place on a serving plate.

8. Top with sliced bananas, then whipped cream. Dust with cocoa powder or grated chocolate.

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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.

Zaatar Chips & Beetroot & Feta Dip

If you’re looking for a quick but DELICIOUS appetiser to serve to your guests, then look no further because I have the perfect one!

I made this delicious zaatar bread and beetroot feta dip for my birthday lunch and everyone seemed to really enjoy it!

It’s pretty easy to make, here’s how:

ZAATAR BREAD

Ingredients:

  • 5 Lebanese breads
  • Olive oil
  • Zaatar seasoning *(you can get it online- try Sam’s kitchen- or from Middle Eastern grocers)
  • Salt

Method:

1.Preheat oven to 180C

2. Mix about 1/4 cup of zaatar seasoning with about 1/4 cup of olive oil

3. Spread over Lebanese bread using a brush.

4. Sprinkle with salt.

5. Bake in oven for about 8 minutes.

Note: remember to keep an eye on it as it will burn easily!

6. Break up the zaatar using your hands (scissors won’t work!), into corn chip sized pieces.

7. Serve with beetroot & feta dip (see below).

BEETROOT & FETA DIP

Ingredients:

  • 1 small tin sliced beetroot
  • 1 tin chickpeas
  • 100g feta cheese (I used Danish)
  • 1/3 cup cashew nuts (unsalted)
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method: 

1. Add beetroot and chickpeas to a food processor and mix until combined.

2. Add cashews and feta cheese and blend again until just combined (you want it to be somewhat chunky).

3. Add some olive oil and salt and pepper (to taste), then process for a little longer.

4. Serve with zaatar bread, carrot or celery sticks and other crackers.

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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?

Meatballs (makes about 18)

These meatballs are perfect as an appetiser, with spaghetti or pasta, served with couscous, shaped into koftas, or even just on their own with a salad.

They are fast and simple to make and taste delicious. Try them out for yourself!

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Ingredients:

  • 500g mince meat
  • 1 Tbsp Montreal steak spice (or substitute with any seasoning of your preference e.g. cajun)
  • 1 Tsp mixed herbs
  • 3 Tsp breadcrumbs
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to season

Method:

1. Defrost mince meat and put into a mixing bowl.

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2. Add Montreal steak spice, herbs, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper and garlic to the bowl.

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3. Mix together by kneading with your hands until the spices are evenly incorporated into the meat.

4. Shape tablespoon-sized amounts of the meat into round balls.

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5. Heat the oil in a pan on high and add meatballs. Cook for about 10-15minutes until golden brown on the outside and cooked through on the inside.

6. Remove meatballs from pan and drain on paper towels.

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