Sunday 30 November 2014

Dried Cherry and Date Bliss Balls

Makes 24

A quick snack for lunch boxes or to take to work to get you through to lunch. These are calorie dense though, so don't get carried away. My kids would eat them like candy if I let them. 

What's in them? 

100g walnuts
30g dried cherries (or cranberries if cherries aren't available)
200g fresh dates, pitted
1tbs LSA
2tbs coconut meal (coconut flour), optional

How do I make it? 

1. Place walnuts in mixing bowl and chop for 2sec / speed 8. Add cherries, dates and LSA and blend for 30sec / reverse / speed 4. 

2. Roll mounded teaspoonfuls of mixture into small bowls. If preferred, roll balls in some coconut meal (otherwise known as coconut flour). 

1 ProPoint per bliss ball. 


Store these in the fridge for up to a week. 

Thursday 27 November 2014

Lamb and Hummus Burgers

Makes 4

A cumin and coriander flavoured burger pattie topped with hummus and fried onions. Very quick and very tasty. 

What's in it?

2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 bunch coriander leaves and stalks
400g lamb mince
2tsp ground cumin 
2 cups rocket
2 roma tomatoes, sliced lenthways into 4 pieces each
1 onion, halved and sliced thinly
4tbs hummus
4 x 60g pieces Turkish bread 

How do I make it?

1. Place coriander and garlic in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7.  Add lamb mince and cumin and mix for 30sec / reverse / speed 3.  Form into 4 even patties and set aside. 

2. Heat non-stick frypan or grill and spray with olive oil. Cook patties and onion on medium heat until patties are cooked through. Remove onion from the pan once cooked and set aside until burgers are ready to assemble. 

3. When patties are cooked, cook tomatoes on each side in same pan for 1-2 minutes each. 

4. To assemble burgers, lightly toast halved turkish bread in the oven and sandwich rocket, tomato slices, a burger pattie, a dollop of hummus and onion between bread slices. 

8 ProPoints per serve. 

Sunday 16 November 2014

Cinnamon Teacake

Serves 8

Light and fluffy, this cake tastes just like a cinnamon donut.  A good one to make for a quick afternoon tea. Serve with a cup of english breakfast tea. 

What's in it?

60g butter, cubed, at room temperature
120g caster sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1tsp vanilla essence
150g self-raising flour
125g skim milk 
15g butter, extra
1tbs caster sugar, extra
1tsp cinnamon

How do I make it?

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease or spray a 20cm cake tin with removable base with oil and line base with baking paper. Set aside. 

2. Cream together butter, sugar, egg and vanilla for 30sec / speed 4. 

3. Add flour and skim milk and mix for 10sec / speed 3. Scrape down sides of bowl and mix for a further 10sec / speed 3. 

4. Pour batter into prepared cake tin, smooth surface and bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until cake is lightly golden. Allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack. 

5. Melt extra butter and brush on top of warm cake. Sprinkle with combined extra sugar and cinnamon. For best taste, serve when still warm. 

6 ProPoints per serve. 

Saturday 15 November 2014

Spinach and Ricotta Cannelloni

Serves 4

This creamy, spinach-filled pasta dish is an absolute classic and really needs no further explanation. My only tip is to ditch dried pasta tubes and used fresh lasagne sheets instead; the end result is much better. Serve alongside a simple garden salad. 

What's in it?

50g parmesan, cut into 1-2cm cubes
40g tasty or mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-2cm cubes
160g baby spinach leaves
1/2 bunch basil leaves
Leaves of 4 sprigs of parsley
500g low-fat ricotta 
1 onion, peeled and halved
1 clove garlic, peeled
10g olive oil
4 fresh lasagne sheets, halved
800g canned crushed tomatoes
1/4tsp dried oregano
1/2tsp caster sugar
salt and pepper

How do I make it?

1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Spray a large baking dish with olive oil and set aside. 

2. Place parmesan in mixing bowl and grate for 10sec / speed 8. Set aside.

3. Place tasty or mozzarella cheese in mixing bowl and grate for 10sec / speed 7. Set aside, separately from parmesan. 

4. Place spinach, basil and parsley in mixing bowl and chop for 20sec / speed 4. Place in large bowl and set aside. 

5. Add onion and garlic to mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl, add oil and saute for 3min / 120°C (TM31) or Varoma (TM5) / speed 1. 

6. Add ricotta, onion/garlic, half of reserved parmesan and some freshly ground salt and black pepper to bowl with spinach and herbs and mix well with a spoon. Set spinach ricotta mixture aside until required. 

7. Without washing the bowl, proceed to make the sauce by placing tomatoes, sugar, oregano and some freshly ground salt and black pepper in mixing bowl and cook for 10min / 100°C / speed 1 with MC removed and steamer basket on top of lid to prevent splatter. 

8. Cover base of baking dish with about half of the tomato sauce. Fill and roll each halved lasagne sheet with 1/8th of the spinach ricotta mixture and lie in baking dish. Cover cannelloni with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with reserved cheeses. 

9. Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until cheese is golden. 

10 ProPoints per serve. 

Sunday 9 November 2014

Chicken and Shitake Wonton Noodle Soup

Serves 4

The wontons are the star in this filling meal. The broth and noodles have delicate flavours; but the dumplings pack a punch. The secret ingredient is shitake mushrooms which have a robust earthy flavour. 

Even our kids got stuck into this. In fact, they loved it, even our 5 year old. And that is saying a lot given how much we have struggled with his fussiness. It wasn't that long ago that he refused to eat anything other than weetbix, bananas, yoghurt and crackers for more than 3 months. As I watched him slurping noodles and even shoveling in some bok choy, I smiled.

What's in it?

200g dried thin egg noodles
1 clove garlic, peeled
2cm piece ginger, peeled
3 sprigs coriander, leaves only
1tsp sesame oil
1L preservative free liquid chicken stock
20g soy sauce
freshly ground pepper and salt, to taste
1 large carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
1 bunch bok choy, leaves separated

250g chicken or pork mince
270g pack of wonton wrappers
50g dried shitake mushrooms, rehydrated according to packet directions
2 spring onions, roughly sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled
40g soy sauce
2tsp rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp caster sugar
2tsp cornflour
1tsp sesame oil

Garlic chilli sauce, to serve (optional)

How do I make it?

1. Prepare the wontons. Place garlic, spring onions, coriander and rehydrated mushrooms in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Add mince, soy, vinegar, cornflour, sugar and sesame oil and mix for 5sec / reverse / speed 4.

2. Wet and scrunch 2 pieces of baking paper. Lay one on base of varoma dish and one on the varoma tray. Using wet fingers, place about 2tsp of mince mixture on each wonton wrapper and fold wontons until all the wonton pastry is used. Place prepared wontons in varoma dish and on varoma tray and set aside. Make sure the wontons are not touching or they will stick together.

3. Wash and dry bowl. Place garlic and ginger in mixing bowl and chop for 3sec / speed 7. Scrape down sides of bowl, add sesame oil and saute for 1min / 120°C (TM5) or varoma (TM31) / speed 1.

4. Meanwhile, place prepared carrots and bok choy in steamer basket and set aside.

5. Add stock, soy sauce and salt and pepper to mixing bowl, place varoma on top and cook for 15min / varoma / speed 3. Add steamer basket to mixing bowl and cook for a further 7min / varoma / speed 3.

6. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil and cook noodles according to packet directions.

7. When everything is cooked, place 1/4 of each of the vegetables, noodles and wontons in large bowls and pour over hot broth. For a bit of extra zing, drizzle with some garlic chilli sauce.

13 ProPoints per serve.


If you need a quick instruction on how to fold a wonton, I recommend you view

This is not really a meal of which you can save leftovers and reheat the next day, but you can easily convert the recipe to feed 2 or even just one person. If cooking for less than 4, make the whole batch of wontons but freeze some for later. To do this, lay them separately on a sheet of baking paper in the freezer and then throw them into a snap lock bag when they are frozen. 

Tuesday 4 November 2014

Easy Muesli Bars

Makes 16 bars

There are two great things about baking your own snacks. The first is how they taste. The second is that you know exactly what goes into them and it doesn't include a variety of ingredients typically included in commercial snacks identified in an ingredients list only by a number. This recipe can be adapted to suit your needs. Nuts are great in muesli bars, but if you're allergic or your kids' school is nut free, add some pepitas or sesame seeds instead of the almonds. Other great additions would include diced dried apricots or chocolate chips. 

What's in it?

230g rolled oats
35g rice bubbles
30g shredded coconut
50g slivered almonds
50g dried cranberries
400g can of skim sweetened condensed milk 
20g (approximately 1tbs) honey

How do I make it?

1. Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease lamington tin and line with baking paper. 

2. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl and combine for 15sec / reverse / speed 5. Spoon into prepared tin and flatten with fingers until tin is filled to edges and top is smooth. 

3. Bake in oven for 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool in tin completely before turning out and cutting into bars. 

4 ProPoints per serve. 

Sunday 2 November 2014

Jaffa Date Fudge Slice

Makes 16 squares

This jaffa flavoured slice gets its fudgy consistency from the fresh dates which are its main component. The cranberries give it some chew and pistachios some crunch. It's a no fuss, no bake and make ahead kind of recipe. 

What's in it?

500g fresh dates, pitted
40g cocoa
40g coconut oil
2tbs ground LSA
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated with a microplane
35g fresh orange juice
70g cranberries
50g pistachios
extra cocoa, for dusting

How do I make it?

1. Spray 11x21cm loaf tin with cooking spray and line base and sides with baking paper. Set aside.

2. Place cranberries in mixing bowl and choc for 2sec / speed 5. Set aside.

3. Place dates, cocoa, coconut oil, LSA, zest and juice in mixing bowl and blend until combined for 20sec / speed 8.

4. Add cranberries and pistachios and combine for 10sec / reverse / speed 4.

5. Spoon mixture into prepared loaf tin, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon until surface is smooth. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or overnight. Cut into squares and dust with extra cocoa to serve.

2 ProPoints per serve.