Saturday, February 18, 2012

Son In-Law Eggs and the best Salmon EVER!

Well it was nice to get back in the kitchen today and do some cooking, though I am suffering a little now with a sharp pain in my back!  But you get that so I won't sook too much.  I have most of the afternoon preparing food for during the week, a beautiful lamb curry I cooked from scratch, as I could not be bothered looking for a recipe and it has tuned out just as I had hoped, we'll enjoy that come Monday night.  I've also made a zucchini slice, which will be for lunches and maybe the odd breakfast too, I left it in the oven a few minutes too long and the onions seem to have started to caramelise, it smells awesome and can't wait to try that out too.

It is funny how when you start to tire, little errors start creeping into the kitchen, the slice was the first of it, I had decided earlier in the day to prepared a three course dinner for Jo tonight, it was a sort of a challenge as we are in a healthy eating mode attempting to shed a few pounds.

Jo is trying to keep her calorie intake below 1200 a day and I knew she was sitting at about 440 after her lunch, so the three courses needed to be less than 760, though I was told it had best be a little less than that.  I am happy to say I managed to pull it off, and whilst I am feeling like a stuffed pig right now, at least I met the target.

And the three courses where awesome, we started the meal with Son In Law eggs, a Thai dish, one we tried in Melbourne a few months back at Ginger Boy, a very trendy alleyway bar style restaurant that serves the best food.  I had a small disappointment in that I cooked the eggs a wee bit too long, I wanted soft gooey yolks, not soft boiled, just gooey, I didn't get them, but they tasted fantastic anyway, Jo insisted she was only having one and i think she regretted it in the end as they were good, instructions have been left to do them again.   I have entered the recipe for these into a site called SparkRecipes click the link and have a crack at them, well worth the effort.

For main course I prepared some Tasmanian Salmon from a recipe from the same site, and the comments the dish had received had me wanting to try it instantly, having made it and enjoyed it, all the while listening to Jo almost reach boiling point with Ohh's and Ahh's, I have to agree it was so YUM YUM YUM, so much so i wished I had brought more salmon so we could do it a gain tomorrow, really is that good.  I made up a fried rice to go with this, and whilst I thought I might try plain steam rice next time, Jo was of the opinion that the rice I prepared was the perfect accompaniment.

We finished the meal with some low cal Yoplait yoghurt and Raspberries, very refreshing and yummy too!
Just made it!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Well we are still on our little old health kick and I think it is actually starting to us both some good, I know my double chin does not appear to be as big as it was and I now remember what it feels like to be hungry at dinner time, heck and breakfast and lunch too!

The saddest part of all this for me is cooking what I thought would be bland food, but I must admit we have found some absolutely delicious recipes and tonight’s is no exception, in fact I commented to Jo that this recipe could get a run at our next dinner party, very easy to prepare and cook and every mouthful was gobsmackingly good, absolutely delicious!

I found the recipe on an American health site called Sparkpeople, this site has some fantastic tools if you are watching what you eat, type in your ingredients and it gives you a full run down on what you are eating, the only sad part tonight I did not calculate the serving size of the chicken so we ended up eating a little more than we intended, but once we started eating this YUM YUM meal, there was no turning back.  Anyway, the entire meal racked up 568 calories, so it was still well within a healthy diet range.

Goats cheese is what drew me to this recipe, it was only a few days ago that we enjoyed another meal which contained this ingredient, neither of us had tried it before that and we have both come to love it, it is like a very mild feta but is not so salty, has a beaut creaminess about it, I love crumbling it up and then I get to lick my fingers mmmmmm mmmmmmm!

I baked a couple of small pieces of sweet potato, a few cherry tomatoes and a handful of olives, then steamed a few Brussels sprouts to go with the stuffed chicken and the flavours and textures of these went amazingly well together, the only place I varied from the recipe was by adding a teaspoon of Italian Herbs to the stuffing and leaving it and the shallots out of the sauce.

I really was so pleased with this meal, who said healthy eating was dull and boring?

Nutritional Info when prepared as per recipe

Per Serving
Calories:           192.7
Total Fat:              7.0 g
Cholesterol:        49.5 mg
Sodium:             954.8 mg
Total Carbs:          8.9 g
Dietary Fiber:       0.7 g
Protein:               23.1 g

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Vegetarian Potato Kugel

I had roast lamb for lunch at my Mum's place today and as most of you would know there is nothing better than Mum's roast!  Today's was no exception, she never ceases to amaze me with her cooking, and at 89 years of age this year, she has not lost her touch.  Another thing that amazes me about my Mum is the way she is still keen to try new dishes out, as we were enjoying a quite drink before lunch, Mum was telling me of a zucchini slice she done recently, to share over lunch with her sisters, I said it sounded nice so with that she produced the recipe.  It was in an old, very old Woman's Weekly recipe book, one that has been much loved by the look of it, I could see some of the more used pages by the sticky tape that was holding them in place.  Stuck in between the pages were numerous hand written recipes and snippets, just the kind of book I like to sit and read and ask question of the owner, but alas I did not have my glasses, so all I could do was have my good wife write the recipe for Zucchini Slice down for me.  As she did so, I noticed a photo of what looked to me like a potato pie of sorts, so I had Jo write that one out also, it was exactly what I have been looking for and had attempted unsuccessfully  without a recipe, so I could not wait to get home and throw this together for our lunches this week, it is a vegetarian dish, and probably a first for this blog, but it looks, smells and from the little tiny bit I have tried tastes fantastic!  Looking forward to my lunch tomorrow when I will be enjoying Vegetarian Potato Kugel with a green salad.  I only put a little of the cheese on to keep the calories down, also cannot wait to go back and have a good look at some of them hand written notes!! Bon Appétit.

3 med potatoes
2 sml carrots
1 sml onion
1 clove garlic
1 egg
1tbl spn Olive Oil
2 tbl spn chopped parsley
2 tbl spn wholemeal bread crumbs
½ cup milk powder
½ cup grated tasty cheese
15 g butter
2 shallots

Grate potatoes, carrots and onion, combine with crushed garlic.
Lightly beat the egg with oil, pour over grated vegetables, stir in chopped parsley, breadcrumbs and milk powder.
Spread into well grease pie dish (base 20cm), bake in moderate oven 30 minutes, sprinkle with cheese, bake a further 15 minutes.

Serves 4 to 6

Nutrition Facts
 6 Servings
Amount Per Serving
Calories                            224.7
Total Fat                               7.9 g    
Saturated Fat                         4.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat               0.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat             2.6 g
Cholesterol                          44.5 mg
Sodium                               156.8 mg
Potassium                           742.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate              32.2 g    
Dietary Fiber                          4.4 g    
Sugars                                     4.7 g
Protein                                    8.0 g

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Summer BBQ's

One of the things we love most about summer is it is BBQ weather, there is something about cooking outside that brings added flavour to the table, a steak cooked on the stove top may be fantastic, but there is always a nagging question in the back of my mind about as to how good it may have been if cooked on the barbie.  And it doesn't matter if it is a gas, electric or wood fire, though I don’t think you can beat wood fired BBQ meat.

We have become very fond of Beef Fillet steak and I like it cut thick, however whilst out shopping the other day, I found a couple of thick cut Sirloins, that looked so good I had to take them and give them a go, they had that nice little square shaped bit of fat right in the middle and were nicely marbled right through the meat.

I like the BBQ really hot when I cook my steak, so everything else I am cooking gets done first, things like boned shoulder of lamb marinated in Moroccan spices, beef or pork sausages, tandoori chicken, the use of baking paper for the marinated stuff helps keep the plate clean and once it is all cooked and taken off, I ramp the heat up to high and get the plate red hot.
Whilst the plate is heating season the meat with salt, pepper and coat with a little olive oil, set a timer for 8 – 9 minutes and you are ready to cook that beautiful piece of meat, place it on the hottest part of the plate and then do not touch for at least 4 minutes for thick cuts, if it is sizzling and smoking, you have got it right! Keep an eye on the timer and once that 4 minute interval is up turn the steaks and again do not touch for a least four minutes, if you like to ruin steak and take it past pink, you can leave on a little longer. 

I reset the timer as soon as the steak comes off for 5 – 10 minutes depending on how much there is to do to get the table ready, I find the longer you rest the meat the greater the flavour anyway.

The next best thing about a BBQ is the awesome flavours different salads make to the meal, and there are so many to choose from, I love a fresh garden salad and you got to have some form of potatoes, whether baked, au gratin or as a cold salad.

Love curried eggs!
Pickled Tomato, Onion and Cucmber
Another thing I love on my plate for a barbie is boiled egg, my sister in law Pieta makes the best, I have tried her recipe and they were great, but I think she deliberately leaves one or two ingredients out as mine are not as good!
Now you’ve got your salads ready, meat is cooked, table set all you need now is a crusty loaf of bread, an ice cold beer or glass of red and few mates to enjoy it all with.
Roasted Beetroot with Feta and Greens
Garden Salad
Potato with Egg and Bacon
Great spread!
BTW those sirloins were sooo tender and sooo full of flavour YUM YUM!

bon appétit!