Cooling Meals

A salad is the perfect cool, healthy and light meal for any hot day of the year. Not only does it take little energy to make, but it is also very light on your stomach. Your body will thank you for eating a salad in more ways than one. You will be loading up on your vitamins and minerals from all of the fresh veggies you add.

Instead of waiting until Winter to have a bowl of soup, have you considered making cold soups? A Spanish gazpacho is a perfect example of a cold, raw soup with raw tomatoes and other vegetables.This cold soup will cool you down, hydrate you and nourish your body, which makes it perfect for a hot day.

Fruit salad doesn’t always go as a full meal, but it’s ideal for a snack, dessert or side dish. Fruit salads taste delicious, are cold, raw, and they are healthy for you. You could include fruits like pineapple, grapes, banana, or apple. A true summer fruit that you must add to your fruit salad is watermelon. This fruit screams summer, and it’s one of the most hydrating fruits as well. Hydration is
crucial for hot summer days.

Veggie Tortillas. Fill your tortillas (or lettuce leaves) with raw or chilled veggies and herbs for a cooling summer version of tacos. Simple and quick, this makes a great lunch for your summer lunch breaks at work. Cucumber strips, spiralized carrots and zucchini make this meal idea delicious.

These foods are perfect for all the hot days that are yet to come, and all of them are simple and quick to make. On these warm summer days, the last thing you want to do is stand over a hot stove. So, with these meals you can enjoy your summer while making it a little easier for yourself, and you can still have delicious food on the table each day.

Weight Loss Recipe Guide

Weight loss recipes are abundant from all over the world and can help to spice up any dish. Here is a great, healthy weight loss recipe that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Whole Wheat Penne with Shrimp and Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • 1 Pound Whole Wheat Penne Pasta
  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 Minced Cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Medium to Large Eggplant (cut into half inch cubes)
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes (seeded and chopped)
  • 1 Half Pound Medium Shrimp (cleaned)
  • 1 Quarter Cup Chopped Basil

Cooking:

Cook the pasta per the instructions on the package. While the pasta is cooking heat the olive oil to medium high heat in a large skillet and sauté the garlic for about 1 minute. Add the eggplant to the garlic and olive oil and continue to sauté for about another 5 minutes until the eggplant color turns golden brown. Next, add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes and finally add the shrimp. Cook an additional 2 or 3 minutes until the shrimp turns pink.

Drain the pasta but save ½ cup of the water the pasta was cooked in and add both the pasta and the liquid to the skillet. Toss all ingredients together in skillet. Top it off with chopped basil.

Cacao Powder

Perhaps you have heard you can buy cacao powder that makes chocolate good for you! Who doesn’t love chocolate or like the idea of being able to consume it guilt free? While there is some truth to the statement, it is too generalised and you need to be informed about the facts. When it is offered in a raw, organic form, it can be considered a superfood.

You can buy cacao powder that is raw and organic and use it to replace chocolate in just about any recipe. It will taste delicious and no one is going to know you make that exchange unless you decide to disclose it to them. Your favourite chocolate treats can then offer some value for the body rather than being extra calories you should have avoided.

Nutritional Value

As you read the labels before you buy cacao powder, you can rule out those that aren’t going to offer the highest nutritional value. Look for a product that is full of calcium, magnesium, calcium, and high in antioxidants. The product is going to give your body a great boost and also help to flush out harmful toxins.

Taste

This product does have a bitter taste, similar to dark chocolate. However, the overall taste it will offer depends on what you mix it with. When you replace regular chocolate in a recipe for example, it will have a stronger taste but not overpowering. You have nothing to lose by giving it a try and see for yourself what you think about it.

Some people think it is an acquired taste, and it does take a bit of time to adjust to the change. However, they are content to do it based on the dietary value it offers and it helps them avoid feeling deprived. This type of lifestyle change can be one worth doing in order to lose weight and keep it off. For those that like chocolate and consume it often, it can really make a difference.

Recipes

There is no end to how you can use it in recipes either. You can add it to fruit for a sweeter taste, to smoothies, or drizzle it over cake instead of frosting. It can be mixed with sweeteners and cacao butter to make chocolate. It won’t be as healthy that way, but it may be a great option you offer your family now and then.

As you discover more recipes, you will find you buy cacao powder regularly. It is a great way to curb that sweet tooth without all the added calories. You can also create your own fun recipes with it to create items you love to make on a regular basis.

Simple Sukiyaki

Ingredients (Feeds 2-4 people can easily be scaled up)

  • Your choice of Vegetables/Ours are below
  • Handful of Mushrooms
  • 1/4 Wombok Cabbage
  • 1/2 a bunch of Choy Sum
  • 1 Bundle of Spring Onions
  • 1 Cube of Tofu
  • 1 Packet of sliced Beef (very thinly sliced we usually buy this from Yuens)
  • 1 Packet of Udon Noodles
  • 1 Bottle of Sukiyaki Sauce
  • 4 Eggs
  • Rice for 2 people. We use Medium grain, it’s the nicest.

How To Sukiyaki!

  1. Set up your Electric Wok (deep base) in the middle of a table. Some people use a deep pot or Nabe on a gas burner which also works well.
  2. Put your rice on to cook it takes a while
  3. Get your Vegetables cut up and ready. Dice your Tofu into large cubes. (If it’s too small you will never get it out of the pot)
  4. Pour Sukiyaki Sauce into the wok/pot and set to simmer. If it cooks to fast turn it down. Add a glass of water if need be to weaken the Sukiyaki Sauce as it’s very strong.
  5. Once it is hot enough start adding Vegetables. Separate it into sections and get a little bit of everything in there. Add the meat as well.
  6. Scoop Rice out into your little hand bowls.
  7. Crack an egg into another small bowl and whisk it with your chopsticks.
  8. As you finish cooking things in the wok pull them out with your chopsticks, dip them in the egg and eat them with the rice! It’s delicious. Most Australians aren’t accustomed to eating raw eggs, but it’s quite good. Just be careful about the quality of egg you buy.
  9. Add more vegetables/meat to the wok as needed. Cook and eat until you are going to explode with delicious Sukiyaki!

Refilling Soup while you cook!

As you cook because of the water content in the foods you are cooking sometimes the soup you are cooking in can become weak. To adjust the flavour use the following.

To increase Flavour – Soy sauce or Sukiyaki Sauce

To sweeten Flavour – Add sugar

To dilute Flavour – Add water

Fresh Fruit Juices

LEMON

Lemon has many beneficial properties like being anti-bacterial, antiviral and immune boosting. It is a rich source of citric acid, vitamin C, calcium, magnesium to name some. The juice of this fruit can be made into a refreshing drink.

Ingredients: Lemon juice, water, sugar/honey, few mint leaves, crushed ice.

This drink helps in digestion, weight loss and also makes the skin healthy.

ORANGES

Rich in vitamin C, potassium and beta carotenes, orange are the ideal fruits. This fruits can be used to prepare a tasty and healthy drink.

Ingredients: Orange juice, crushed ice.

This fruit can be simply squeezed and its juice be consumed without any other addition. The fibrous nature of the fruit helps digestion. It is one of the most popular drinks.

POMELO

It is the largest citrus fruit and is rich in vitamin A, B1 and C. Hence pomelo drink is a great drink for all.

Ingredients: Pomelo juice, water, sugar/syrup, crushed ice.

This fruit is known to aid digestion, promote cardiac and dental health.

Simple Recipes For Fish

Baked crusted fish fillet

You can use any tender, white fillets for this recipe. You may also use salmon if you wish. Pre-heat your oven at 350-420 degrees. On a baking dish, place your fillets and sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and juice of half a lemon. You may want to use some garlic or onion powder for added flavor. Rub both sides with this mixture to coat and flavor the fish all over.

Prepare the crust by mixing almonds, fresh bread crumbs, salt and pepper. Spread the crust on top of the fillets before popping the baking dish in the oven. Cook this dish for 10 to 15 minutes or until the fillets are tender and flaky.

You can serve this dish with steamed vegetables and rice or dinner roll.

Baked fish n’ chips

The classic fish n’ chips is usually deep-fried in hot oil, but you can go healthy by baking the ingredients instead. You can use any tender fish that’s cut into long thick strips. Use baking potatoes with their skins on and cut into wedges.

Flavor the fish with salt and pepper before dredging with flour or corn meal. Arrange the strips on a baking sheet that’s been sprayed with vegetable spray or whipped with olive oil. Pop in a pre-heated oven and cook for 15 minutes or until brown. You may want to turn over the strips to crisp up the other side.

Place the potatoes on a separate baking sheet. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper. Popped the potatoes in the oven as well, and cook until potatoes are tender and crisp.

You can make a dipping sauce made with mayonnaise, a little Dijon mustard, sugar, pepper, and salt. You may also serve bottled sweet chili sauce on the side, too.

This dish is great for lunch and dinner, and can be served with mixed green salad and tomatoes.

Steamed fish with soy

You can use fillet or whole grouper and other fleshy fish. Put slices of ginger and salt inside the fish cavity if you’re using a whole one to remove the fishy smell. For fillets, just lay them side by side on aluminum foil before adding the soy sauce, thinly sliced ginger, sliced leeks, and lemon slices [optional].

Close the foil in such a way that there’s ample space inside for the fish to steam. Place the aluminum-wrapped grouper in a steaming pot with already boiling water. Turn the heat to medium high. Cook until fish is tender.

Serve with hot rice and tea.

Chai Tea Latte Cupcakes

I looked all over the internet and in a lot of my many books to find some inspiration. Would it be sweet or savoury? Soothing and creamy or hot and spicy? I eventually married together 3 different recipes to make these perfect little treats for after the curry. Chai Tea Latte cupcakes with Cardamom frosting. The recipes were adapted from Woman’s Weekly – gluten free basic cupcake mix. A lovely recipe for Chai Latte mini cupcakes by Geniale Genie on food.com and the frosting recipe was from the stunning book by Eric Lanlard and Patrick Cox, Cox Cookies and Cake. I made some adaptations to the flour mixture to allow the cooked sponge mix to be robust enough to soak up some alcoholic syrup. Of course! I also added some crushed cardamom seeds to the frosting, this worked really well and gave the cupcakes a whole new dimension.

Instructions
Pre heat the oven to 190c or gas mark 5.

Boil half a mug of milk until it reaches boiling point. Take the milk off the heat and add 2 chai teabags. Leave the tea bags to steep in the hot milk for 10 minutes.

Melt the butter in a pan or in the microwave until it is almost liquid. Pour the melted butter, and add the sugar, flour, eggs, spices, chai infused milk and vanilla extract into a large bowl. Beat the mixture with a hand or electric whisk. This will give you a smooth runny batter that appears looser than the usual sponge mix. Divide the mixture equally between the cake cases.

Almost ready for the oven.

Bake for about 20 mins.

Whilst the cakes are cooking you can get the disaronno syrup ready. You can leave this out if you choose.

Heat the sugar 2 bps of water and the disaronno together until the sugar has dissolved. Take the syrup off the heat and leave to cool.

The cakes should be ready now. Check that they have risen and have a slightly golden colour on top.

If they are ready then take them pout and leave the cakes to cool for a few minutes before you transfer them o a cooling rack. If you are going to use the syrup then you need to carefully pierce the cake tops taking care not to go right to the bottom of the cake. Take a teaspoon of the disaronno syrup and pour onto each cake. If you have any of the syrup left then put into an airtight container or bottle and this will keep in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

Cream cheese frosting.

Put the white chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place over a saucepan of barely simmering water. You must make sure that the bowl does not touch the surface of the water. I held mine with an oven glove taking care not to hurt myself in the process. Be careful when you are doing this. Stir the chocolate until it melts and is smooth. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Whilst this is cooling use a wooden spoon of electric whisk and beat together the cream cheese, butter and ground cardamon seeds together until there are no lumps and the frosting is smooth. Mix in the melted chocolate and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the icing slowly until fluffy.

Herbal Teas

Rosehip will help raise your immunity as it is full of Vitamin C.

Ginger is well known for helping nausea and to settle the stomach but it is also good for colds and flu.

Chamomile will help you sleep better as it calms your nervous system. It is also good for digestion.

Green tea has become a substitute for normal black tea with many people. Green tea will help boost your immunity as it is an anti-oxidant. If the taste is not to your liking then add a bit of lemon to give it a bit of a lift.

Fennel is a great tea to help you with controlling that sweet tooth. It tastes like liquorice so it can satisfy your cravings for sweet feeds as well as help suppress your appetite.

Lemon grass tones your skin and is also good for digestion and fever.

Peppermint is a great stomach tea for digestion and to help with bad breath, congestion and fluid buildup. Peppermint is a stimulant so is a great tea to have in the mornings instead of that cup of coffee.

Spearmint is a good stand in for peppermint if you find peppermint too strong. Or you can add spearmint in with peppermint and chamomile if you want to make a great mix.

Brahmi tea will help your memory become a lot clearer

Dandelion is for fluid buildup and puffiness as it helps cleans the liver. If you feel unsettled when you drink it though see a naturopath as your liver function may need attention.

Raspberry leaf tea is for expectant mothers suffering from morning sickness and can also make for an easier delivery when baby is due.

So as you can see there are many teas to choose from each with their individual way of assisting you to get healthy. Maybe tomorrow instead of that cup of coffee or black tea, which both contain caffeine, which can be bad for you, try a cup of herbal tea and help clean up your body at the same time.

Healthy Bones Need Vitamin D

Many of us associate a good dose of sunshine with the best way to replenish supplies of vitamin D. When our skin is exposed to sun, we absorb ultraviolet B rays that the body uses to convert cholesterol into vitamin D. All you need is about ten minutes of direct, midday sun exposure when the sun is high to get a good healthy dose of vitamin D. Excessive cloudiness, long cold wintry days and concerns about excessive skin exposure to ultraviolet rays means we need to make sure we find adequate supplies of vitamin D in our diet. In addition, vitamin D is fat-soluble so it is important to make sure your diet includes essential fatty acids like Omega-3, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and butter.

The best natural food sources for vitamin D are the fatty fishes including, salmon, shrimp, tuna, sardines and swordfish. The next good sources are dairy products including milk, cheese, yoghurt and eggs. Some fortified products, specifically juices and breakfast cereals, are boosted with vitamin D. The benefit of this may be more than offset by the amount of sugar or wheat gluten included in those products. Please read the label carefully before selecting such products.

Obtaining sufficient vitamin D from food alone may not be enough to support healthy bones. Add to that limited sunshine exposure and aging processes that alter the body’s ability to absorb calcium, particularly in post-menopausal women, and vitamin D supplements are a good alternative. Many of these supplements are listed either D2 or D3. While both are effective, the primary difference appears to be that D3 is better absorbed in higher doses.

Absorbing vitamin D from foods or from sunshine will not create any risk of overdosing on this essential substance. It is important to observe the recommended daily allowances on the container very carefully to avoid taking too much. Too much vitamin D can become slightly toxic to your body. This can produce a variety of ailments including anorexia, weight loss, polyuria, and heart arrhythmias. High blood serum levels of vitamin D can also increase the levels of calcium in the blood, leading to calcification and damage to the cardiovascular system and the kidneys. This high calcium level may also result in kidney stones in some individuals.

Make Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

Canned tomato soup is low in calories but high in salt. One cup has 85 calories and 695mg of sodium. This represents 28 percent of the recommended daily value for salt, based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. You’ll receive 17g of carbohydrates, which includes 6g of sugars and no dietary fiber.

With only 2g of total fat, tomato soup provides 2 percent of the daily value for total fat. It contains no cholesterol, 0.36mg of saturated fat and 1.4mg of the healthier unsaturated fats.Here is a basic home made tomato and red pepper soup that is simple and less costly to prepare

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil- to garnish
  • Extra virgin olive oil-to garnish
  • 600g ripe tomatoes- quartered
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion- chopped
  • 2 large red peppers, seeds removed and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic- chopped

METHOD

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan.
  2. Saute the onion, peppers and garlic for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the fresh tomatoes and cook for another 3 minutes.
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes, the stock and a cup of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little.
  6. Puree the soup in batches in a food processor or with a hand-held blender.
  7. Strain through a coarse sieve and add a little extra stock.
  8. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Serve hot, and garnished with the basil and a of drizzle extra

olive oil

Serves 4