Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Core Moroccan Beef and CousCous

With my amazing savoury mince you can have this on the table within 10 minutes of walking through the door!
Savoury mince is mince fried in onion and garlic and frozen in household sized portions
If you have any left overs, this makes a very nice cold salad the next day

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 packet of savoury mince, about 250 g raw weight
    (or 250g premium mince fried with half an onion)
  • 2/3 cup mint peas
  • 2/3 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen beans
  • 2 frozen spinach cubes
  • hand ful of snow peas, trimmed and sliced in half vertically
  • 1 cup dry couscous
  • 2 tsp beef stock powder (or 2 cubes)
  • 2-4 tsp Moroccan spice mix (depends on brand)
  • 4 "clumps" coriander, coarsely chopped

In a very large microwave bowl, steam the vegies from frozen
Meanwhile, add couscous, stock and spice mix to another bowl and 1 cup boiling water (hint add the 2 tsp of spice mix, and taste later), stand for 5 mins
Add mince, couscous and raw snow peas to vegies, mix well.
Microwave for a few minutes until all hot.
Add the chopped cori, stir through and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Core Chicken, Spinach and Ricotta Pasta

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup cold roast chicken, skin removed and chopped
  • 4 cubes frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen mint peas
  • 1 cup frozen beans
  • 10 large basil leaves, shredded
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed parsley, shredded
  • 2 tsp seeded mustard
  • 1 x 250g tub Perfect Italiano Extra Light Ricotta
  • 1/3 cup nonfat milk
  • 200g dry pasta shells


Saute onion and capsicum in olive oil in a lage pan.
Add frozen vegies, and chicken and stir until warmed through.
Add rest of ingredients except pasta and stir through.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in pan of boiling water, drain, and add to the chicken ricotta mix.
Stir through and serve.

Optional - top with 1 tsp Parmesan cheese and 1 tsp almond flakes

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is 23 points (5.5 points per serve)

CORE Mango Frozen Yoghurt

I made this last week when had a Core friend over and she licked the bowl (see bottom)
Serves: 2 large servings of around 1 cup

Difficulty: Easy

  • 2 ripe mangos, chopped - 1 in freezer, 1 in fridge
  • 1 x 200g/175g tub mango (or vanilla) diet yoghurt, frozen

Note - you could try frozen mango and unfrozen yoghurt - all depends on blender power

18 November - I tried 2/3 cup frozen berries and unfrozen yoghurt - yummy too, but a slightly gritty texture


Take frozen bits out of freezer and leave on bench for about 10-20 mins to soften.
In blender, blend unfrozen mango with frozen mango, then with frozen yoghurt.
You may need to add a few TB of fluid to get it moving, depending on power of your blender.
The object is to end up with a semi solid liquid like soft gelato

The crowning touch
Not Core, but totally lifts this into *extraordinary* for only half a point

Top with 1 tsp of flaked almonds and 1 tsp of Tia Maria or Grand Marnier (coffee or orange liquer) and a sprinkle with teeny pinch of cocoa or drinking chocolate (for colour)

This easy dessert gets Dr Lisa's stamp of approval!

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is approx 4.5 points (without toppings)

Monday, November 10, 2008

CORE Frappes

What's a Frappe?
It's a fancy word for grown up slushies :)

Below are a few of my favourite Frappe recipes - all are Core and for the Pointers, they max out at 1 to 1.5pts for the non-booze ones

Email me your favourite Frappe on and I'll add it

Serves: recipes serve 1-2

Difficulty: Very Easy

Method: add ingredients and blend until you can't hear ice rattling around.

COFFEE FRAPPE (base for other flavours)
  • 2/3 cup Tone milk (or other nonfat milk)
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • 1 - 1.5 tsp instant coffee
  • sweetener to taste
  • sprinkle of mixed spice or cinnamon (1/4-1/2tsp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essense

They came out so thick we couldn't suck through straws and ate with long spoons


  • add 1 tsp cocoa to Coffee recipe


  • use 1-2 tsp cocoa instead of coffee


  • use 1-2 tsp cocoa instead of coffee
  • add about 6 mint leaves


  • 2-3tsp vanilla essence instead of coffee
  • use nutmeg instead of other spices


  • add a banana (or a frozen banana) to the coffee recipe


  • 1 ripe mango (or tinned in juice, drained)
  • ice
  • you may need a dribble of water or juice to get the right consistency


  • 6 pieces of tinned apricot in juice, drained
  • ice
  • you may need a dribble of water or juice to get the right consistency


  • omit coffee and add bananas, berries etc
  • optional - add part yoghurt, part milk


  • ice
  • 1/3 cup diet cordial
  • 1/3 cup water


  • ice
  • 1/3 cup diet cordial
  • 1/3 cup diet lemonade of other flavour

Blend ice and cordial, pour into glass and top with fizzy


  • ice
  • 1 ripe mango (or tinned in juice, drained)
  • 1/3 cup diet lemonade

Blend ice and mango, pour into glass and top with fizzy. A little mint is lovely in this too.


More Points in these ones :)


  • ice
  • 1 ripe mango (or tinned in juice, drained), or 6 pieces tinned apricots
  • sparkling white wine

Blend ice and mango, pour into glass and top with fizzy. A little mint is lovely in this too.


  • ice
  • 1 ripe mango (or tinned in juice, drained), or 6 pieces tinned apricots
  • 1 nip vodka
  • 1/3 cup diet lemonade (or try berry fizz)

Blend ice, vodka and mango, pour into glass and top with fizzy. A little mint is lovely in this too.


  • 2/3 cup Tone milk (or other nonfat milk)
  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • 1 - 1.5 tsp instant coffee
  • sweetener to taste
  • sprinkle of mixed spice or cinnamon (1/4-1/2tsp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essense
  • 1 nip of vodka or clear chocolate/coffee liquer (the creamy ones like Baileys are more Points)

FIZZY COFFEE COCKTAIL (Black or White Russian)

  • 6-8 ice cubes
  • 1 nip of coffee liquer (not cream based)
  • sweetener to taste
  • sprinkle of mixed spice or cinnamon (1/4-1/2tsp)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essense
  • 1/3 cup diet lemonade or diet cola

Blend all except diet soda, pour into glass and top with fizzy.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Core Breakfast Wrap

This is a throw together meals so quantities are not so important

Serves: 1

Difficulty: Easy


  • 1/2 onion chopped
  • small amount of chopped bacon
  • 1+ cup frozen mixed vegies (the chopped small kind)
  • 1 egg
  • cottage cheese, a couple of TB
  • 1 slice rye mountain bread
  • some spices - I used dried basil

Optional - mushroom, capsicum, asparagus can be added to the bacon and onion at start.

Almost any vegies can be used as long as it's dry (ie tomato, zucchini not so good)

In a nonstick pan sprayed with a little oil, fry bacon and onion until bacon starts to brown.
Throw in mixed vegies and a few TB of water and stir fry until warmed through
Stir through your spices and cottage, stir for a minute or so.
Crack egg directly into pan and stir quickly until egg is set (about a minute)
Spoon onto 2/3 of the wrap to about 1cm thick.
Roll wrap from the covered end towards the empty end
Serve straight away.

Not on Core? This recipe is approx 3pts if using "free" vegies. A little more if there are peas or corn in the mix.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Core Bruschetta aka Tomato and Basil on Toast (V)

Suitable for Vegan Vegetarians
Serves: 1 for meal, 2 for entree

Difficulty: Very Easy

  • 2 slices of grainy bread (I used Cape Seed)
  • 2 - 3 ripe but firm tomatoes (I use Romas or cherry), diced
  • 2-4 fresh basil leaves, finely cut (try scissors)
  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, unpeeled and cut in half
  • pepper and salt

Optional extras: finely chopped olives, capsicum, spring onions, garlic. Canned/frozen corn.


In a non-metallic dowl, mix together all except bread and garlic.
Rub the cut garlic over one side of the bread.
Grill or bake until lightly brown.
Pile the tomato mix on the bread at least 1 cm thick and serve immediately.

Not on Core? 2 points per slice - bread 1.5pts, oil 0.5pts

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Core Spiced Pears with Berries (+1.5pts)

Pictured served on Steel Cut Oats
This recipe is so simple and so tasty as a desert or breakfast.

It has 1 1/2 TB of sugar (1.5 pt) in the whole recipe, so nonCore Points are minimal per serve.
Serves: 4-6

Difficulty: Very Easy

  • 1/2 a 1kg jar of Pears in Cranberry Juice (Goulburn Valley), drained
  • 1/2 - 1 cup frozen berries
  • * 1 1/2 TB sugar (1.5 pts)
  • mixed spice
  • ground black pepper (yes I am serious), about 1/4 tsp

The sugar coats the fruit while it cooks, like a glaze. I do not recommend swapping for Splenda. Sugar is only 1.5 pts to share between 4-6 serves.

Arrange the pears in the bottom of a small casserole
Top with the berries (no need to defrost)
Sprinkle with the mixed spice, sugar and pepper
Cook covered with foil for 25 mins at 180*C.
Serve with a spoonful of the richly coloured juices

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Core Chicken/Turkey Potato Casserole

I made this with turkey fillets, but chicken thigh fillets would be lovely too. Chicken breasts may dry out too much
Serves: 4-6

Cooking Time: 60-75 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

  • 750 g chicken thigh fillets of turkey fillets, diced to approx 2cm
  • 750 g potatoes, diced to approx 2cm (skin on if you can)
  • handful fresh parsley (or thyme), coarsley chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
  • 150 ml nonfat milk
  • 150 ml water
  • 3 tsp seeded mustard
  • 2 tsp french onion soup mix (or a onion, chopped)
Arrange the potatoes in the bottom of a large baking dish.
Scatter garlic and parsley (onion if using)
Put chicken/turkey on top
In a jug, mix the water, milk, mustard and french onion soup.
Boil the fluids in the microwave (around 90 secs) and pour into the baking dish.
Bake at 180*C covered for 40 minutes.
Uncover and bake a further 20-30 minutes or until liquid has evaporated and chicken and potatoes are tender and crisp.
Serve with steamed vegies

Not on Core? The total for this recipe is 22 points

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

CORE Spicy Lentil Hotpot (V)

Suitable for Vegan Vegetarians

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable stock powder
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 400g potato peeled and diced
  • 200g pumpkin peeled and diced
  • 250g sweet potato
  • 1 cup frozen beans
  • ½ cup frozen corn
  • 2 frozen spinach cubes
  • 1 capsicum, diced
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 400g tin diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup bean sprouts


In a large saucepan, saute onion and garlic in spray oil until soft.
Add spices and cook for 1 minute.
Add stock powder and water, bring to the boil.
Add rest of ingredients except frozen vegies and bean sprouts, cover, and simmer for 30-35 minutes until potato and lentils are soft.
Add the frozen vegies and simmer for 5 mins.
Take off heat and stir the bean sprouts through before serving to give a nice crunch.

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is 13 points

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

CORE Savoury Grain-otto with Bacon and Lentils

Yummy risotto style grain dish is full of protein and fibre.
Great for mains, side dish or a yummy breakfast.

Vegetarians who eat dairy, just leave out the bacon

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Easy

  • 100g (4 sl) lean shortcut bacon, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup soy grits
    (soybeans which have been toasted and cracked into coarse pieces) rather than fine
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 cups frozen or diced vegies (1 used 1 cup each of frozen corn and mint peas)
  • 200g cottage cheese
  • your favourite herbs (I used 1 tsp each cracked pepper, cummin and paprika and 2TB dried basil)

Heat a nonstick pan without oil.
Add bacon and onion and cook on medium for a couple of minutes.
Add oats, soy grits and pearl barley and stir for a few minutes
Add 2 1/2 cups water and 2 tsp dry vegetable stock and cook on medium-low for about 10 minutes, until most the fluid has absorbed.
Add lentils and another 1/2 cup water and cook for about 15 minutes.
Like risotto, if it starts to stick you add a little water. I used 4 cups of water total and at this point it had a consistency like risotto or porridge - wet enough to hold it together without being sloppy
Add the vegies, cottage cheese and your favourite herbs
Cook on low until the vegies are cooked and cottage cheese melts (you can't see white lumps)
Serve and enjoy

CORE Slow Cooker 4 Grain Porridge

Serves: 6-8

Difficulty: Easy


  • 1/2 cup long grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup burghul
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley
  • 1 400g tin apricot halves in juice (I didn't drain)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup Tone milk
  • a dash of vanilla essence (about 3 tsp)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice


Spray inside slow cooker bowl with cooking spray.
Throw all in on low at 9.30 pm, off at 7:00 am.

It came out really thick and "creamy". I added about 1/4 cup of milk on top of my serve and some Splenda as I like porridge slightly sloppy rather than like glue LOL

You could use other grains, but keep the proportions the same. I suggest using whole grains or steel cut grains, rather than the rolled type or it might all go to a mushy paste.

If leaving out the fruit, add another cup of fluid (proportion is 1 cup grain to 3 cup fluid, I figured the tinned fruit made up 1 cup).

BTW - the juice from the canned fruit is not technically Core, but was only 1/2 cup juice in the can, or 1 pt between 6-8 serves...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

CORE Ham Minestrone Soup in 10 minutes

A quick, easy, cheap and filling soup.

Serves: 6-12 (makes about 5 litres, but can be scales down easily)

Difficulty: Easy

  • vegetable stock cubes/powder
  • 1/2 pack french onion soup mix
  • 1 cup small sized pasta
  • 1kg bag frozen mixed vegies
  • a couple of cubes of frozen spinach
  • handful of chopped smokey bacon/ham
  • crushed garlic
  • 1-2 tins diced tomatoes
  • Italian herbs mix


Boil a large pot of water, add everything
Cook on medium with lid on until pasta is tender (about 10 mins).
Season with some Italian herbs mix and pepper.

Not on Core? With 200g ham off the bone and 100g pasta, the whole pot is approx 10-12 points, depending on how much peas and corn are in the mixed vegies.

Friday, September 26, 2008

CORE Thai Turkey StirFry (or Pork or Chicken)

I used diced turkey fillet for this and it was lovely and moist. You could also use diced chicken thigh (breast may be too dry) or pork fillets.

Serves: 2

Difficulty: Easy


The stir fry:
  • 400g turkey fillet, cubed to 2cm (or chicken thigh or pork fillet)
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 small red capsicum, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups green beans (frozen is fine)
  • lemon wedges

Thai Marinade:

  • 1 tsp mint
  • 1 tsp lemongrass (or juice of 1 lemon)
  • 1 tsp chilli paste
  • 2 tsp coriander

The "nest" - choose 2 of the below in contrasting colours:

  • bean sprouts
  • baby spinach
  • grated carrot
  • shredded lettuce


Mix the herbs in a non-metallic bowl and add a few tsp of water to make a thinish paste (I use commercial tubes of wet crushed herbs. If using fresh, the quantity given is once pulverized - you could throw it all in the food processor).
Add the turkey to the herbsand stir in. Cover and marinate for 20 minutes.
Spray a nonstick frypan or wok with oil and heat to medium-hot.
Add the capsicum and onions and a few TB of water and cook for a few minutes.
Add the turkey and a few more TB of water. Water helps to steam fry food and reduces oil needed.
Cook turkey for about 5 minutes, then add beans (I added still frozen)
Stir fry for a few minutes until beans are done.
Meanwhile, prepare the nest on the plates/bowls by adding a layer or ring of nest vegetable 1 (I used 2/3 cup bean spouts per serve)
Add nest vegetable 2 leaving about a 2 cm ring showing vegetable 1 (I used a generous handful of baby spinach)
Serve the stirfry on the center of the nest with a wedge of lemon (the lemon is the "sauce" and dressing all in one)

Not on Core? The only points here are for the meat - 4 points for 200g of turkey, chicken thigh or lean pork fillets.

Monday, September 22, 2008

CORE Savoury Beef & Veg Crepes

Pictured with optional light mozarella topping (+1 pt)

Serves: 14-ish crepes depending on size (I ate 4)

Difficulty: Easy

  • Basic crepe recipe cooked as per recipe
  • 200g premium mince fried with half an onion (aka savoury mince mix)
  • 1 cup vegies chopped small (I used frozen mixed veg)
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cube frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup plain tomato pasta sauce (like Sugo Bello)
  • Italian herbs mix
  • 1 Spring onion

Microwave the mixed vegies, spinach and corn.
Add the beef mince, tomato sauce, spring onion and herbs and mix. Allow to cool as hot filling and fingers don't mix.
Spoon 2-3 heaped teaspoons of the beef mince in a line down the center of the crepe, roll up and place on serving plate, 4 or 5 to a serve.

Optional - sprinkle with 20g shaved light mozzarella (+1 pt) and 1-2 TB of the tomato sauce.

Microwave for 1:30 - 2:00 minutes and serve

Not on Core? The total of the beef mix is approx 8 points + the total of the crepes 9 = 17 points to make 14 crepes (2.5pts for 2)

CORE Basic Crepes

Recipe is suitable for sweet or savoury crepes
This recipe keeps nicely in the fridge, cooked or in batter form.
Cover tightly with plastic wrap so it doesn't absorb other fridge flavours

Serving suggestion - a platter of sliced fruits and vanilla yoghurt (cream for non-watchers), build your own style for desert of breakfast.

Note - these cook very quickly and need all your attention for 10-15 minutes. Keep the kiddies occupied somehow :)

Makes: 14 crepes the size of bread and butter plates

Difficulty: Easy

  • 2 eggs
  • 200ml nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup cornflour (80g or 6 TB)
  • oil spray

You'll also need paper towel

Whisk eggs, milk, then add flour and whisk a little more.
Heat a small non-stick skillet (I used a 18cm) until very hot. A heavy based skillet is best.
Spray skillet lightly with oil.
Pour 20-30ml of the batter into the pan (I measured 30 ml in a medicine glass) and QUICKLY swirl the pan. The batter will cook in about 20 seconds, so be quick!
When the batter no longer looks shiny, flip and cook other side for about 20 secs.
Get a plate and put one sheet of paper towel on it.
Flip the crepe onto the plate.
Repeat, stacking the crepes with a sheet between each one (stops them getting soggy and sticking together.

To serve, put a few teaspoons of cold filling and roll up (or fold up). For hot crepes, microwave for about 20-30 secs each.

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is 9 points (2 pts for 3 crepes)

Note - the acceptability of using of corn flour in "Core" cooking is debatable, as not all brands corn flours are Core. If in doubt, the amount used is 4 points, divvy up.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

CORE Steel Cut Oats Porridge

I have recently been exposed to steel cut oats and they are fabulous!
What are Steel cut oats?
Steel cut oats are whole grain groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) which have been cut into only two or three pieces. Also known as Scotch or Irish oats. They look like a chopped up rice grain.
Rolled oats have usually been steamed, rolled and toasted (sometimes more than once), so steel cut is significantly less processed than traditiional rolled oats or quick oats.
Steel cut oats are different in texture and taste from rolled oats. They are a little chewier, have a nutty flavour and need to be cooked longer (like brown rice compared to white). They also take longer to digest and keep you full a lot longer! When I eat Steel cut, no snacks necessary between meals.
Generally not in supermarkets, but cheap from health food shops ($3-ish for 500g) or loose in bulk from grain/organics type places.

This recipe reheats well. I make a batch and put in 4 tubs.
I put 1/4 cup milk on the cold oats and microwave for 2-3 mins.

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy
Time: about 30 minutes

  • 1 cup steel cut oats (200g)
  • 1 TB olive oil (oil is optional, dry toasting works well in non-stick pans)
  • 1 tsp mixed spice or cinnamon
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 3 cups water
Warm a large non-stick pan with 1 TB olive oil.
Note, if you have a good non-stick pan you can dry toast without the oil (ie a pan which is black inside - eg Circulon, or any of the new post-Teflon breeds)
Add 1 cup steel cut oats and toast for a few minutes (go by smell and colour).
I like to add 1 tsp of mixed spice or cinnamon when toasting.
Then turn down to lowest heat, add 3 cups boiling water, cover and simmer for 20 mins WITHOUT STIRRING (hence the nonstick).
Stir, add 1 cup milk and simmer for another 5-10 mins.
Serve with a splash of nonfat milk and your favourite toppings.

Click here for lots of flavouring ideas

NB - if in a hurry, don't toast, but flavour is greatly improved by this
Not on Core? The total for this recipe is approx 15 points (4 points for serve)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CORE Caramel Couscous Upside-down Cake

I suggest using a short round silicone cake tin.
Mine is 20cm wide and 3cm high and it filled it to the top - perfect.
It's a moist cake and using a high tin might break the cake when you turn it out.
Great for breakfast
Serves: 4+

Difficulty: Easy


  • 2/3 cup dry couscous
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup Cottees Diet Caramel Topping (1 pt)
  • 400g tin of pineapple slices in juice, drained
  • 1/3 cup frozen berries
  • 1 egg
  • 100g vanilla diet yoghurt (or natural low fat and 2 tsp vanilla)
Mix couscous, water and 1/2 cup of the topping in a microwave bowl.
Microwave on high for 4 minutes (5 mins for under 1000W).
Stir, add the remaining caramel and let cool (15 minutes or so)
Mix in the egg and yoghurt.
Spray a baking tin with oil.
Arrange the pineapple rings in the base, adding large frozen berries in the center of the rings and filling the gaps with little ones.
Pour the couscous mixture over the top and smooth off.
Bake at 180*C for 30-35 minutes until firm and pulling away from the edges.
Put a plate upside-down on top of the cake tin. Gently flip the plate and tin and remove tin.

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting - it's a moist cake that is a litle fragile straight out the oven. You can always serve neat slices and warm in the microwave :)

Core + 1 pt for the recipe
If eaten at mealtimes, the cake is Core, but there is 1 pt, which rounds to "zero" if you have 4 serves
Not on Core? The total of this recipe is approx 8.5 points (2 for a quarter size serving)

Monday, September 15, 2008

CORE Potato, Cannellini Bean & Yoghurt Mash

A delicious twist to mashed potato.
Great for serving under your meat with a salsa or sauce poured over top
(see picture of Beef & Couscous Patties next recipe down)

Serves: 6 (or 4 large servings)

Difficulty: Easy

  • 600 g potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 x 400 g can cannellini beans, rinsed well
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 150 g natural low fat yoghurt (2/3 cup)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Italian herbs (or oregano)
  • 2 tsp dried parsley flakes (or 1 tsp fresh)
  • 1 x spring onion, chopped, green only
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tsp olive oil

Cook potato in boiling water for about 15 minutes.
Add cannellini beans and cook for 5 minutes.
Drain and mash just the potato and beans, then add rest and mash a little more.

Not on Core? The whole recipe is approx 13 points (2 pts a serve)

Friday, September 12, 2008

CORE Beef & Couscous Patties

Moist and tasty beef patties with couscous, tomatoes and herbs
Serving suggestion: on a bed of mash with a dollop of salsa
Pictured with Potato, Cannellini Bean & Yoghurt Mash

Serves: 4 large muffins (the 1 cup "American" style)

Difficulty: Easy


  • 3/4 cup dry couscous
  • 2 tsp powdered beef stock (or 2 cubes)
  • 250 grams savoury mince mix (uncooked weight), or 250g premium mince, cooked with 1/4 onion and garlic and cooled
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup "creamed" style cottage cheese
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 egg
  • 2 tsp Italian herbs mix (or your favourite herbs/spices)

Add couscous, stock powder and 3/4 cup boiling water to a large mixing bowl.
Allow water to absorb and cool.
Add all ingredients and mix well.
Spray muffin pans with oil.
Divide mix between muffin trays
Bake in preheated oven at 180*C for 35-40 mins.

The easiest way to de-tray these is to run a knife or spatula around edge of pan. Invert a baking tray or chopping board on the top. Flip the whole arrangement and give a firm tap on the kitchen counter and they will pop out easily.

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is approx 21 points (5 pts per muffin/patty)

Recipe modified from Buttermint's couscous muffins

CORE Berry Couscous Muffins / Puddings

Great for breakfast or dessert.
Hot or Cold
Particularly nice with vanilla diet yoghurt and strawberries

Recipe is 9 points - I made 9 muffins so that if I have for "snacks", 1 muffin is 1 pt.
Feel free to make 8 or 10, or whatever.

Makes: 9 small muffins (the 1/2 cup ones)

Difficulty: Easy


  • 1/2 cup dry couscous
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 1 1/2 TB Splenda
  • 1 x 200 g diet yoghurt in strawberry or other berry flavour
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Add couscous, and 1/2 cup boiling water to a large mixing bowl.
Allow water to absorb and cool.
Meanwhile, microwave the frozen berries for 2 minutes, then lightly mash with a fork. The object is to squish out some juice and break up the larger berries into smaller pieces, not to have puree!
Add all ingredients and mix well.
Spray muffin pans with oil.
Divide mix between muffin trays (they were about 3/4 full in 9 x 1/2 cup trays)
Bake in preheated oven at 180*C for 30-35 mins

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is approx 9 points (1 per muffin)

Recipe modified from Buttermint's couscous muffins

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

CORE Cubed Potato Bake

Serves: 2

Difficulty: Easy

  • 300 g potato, peeled diced into 1cm cubes
  • potato sprinkle seasoning
  • oil spray

Optional - diced bacon

Steam potato for about 8 mins (it should be very slightly underdone)
Add half of the potato into 2 small ramekins.
Spray with oil and sprinkle with seasoning.
Put the other half in, spray and season again (if using bacon, add here).
Bake in a very hot oven until golden brown, darker around the edges.

Not on Core? 150 g of potato is approx 1.5 pts

CORE Beef Schnitzel

Serves: however many, quantities listed are for 2.

Difficulty: Easy

  • blade steak that has been tenderised by the butcher (150 - 200g each person)
  • 2 TB corn flour (you won't use all of it)
  • 2 tsp your favourite seasoning (I used 1 tsp of lemon pepper and 1 tsp Italian herbs)
  • olive oil

In a tough plastic bag (like those from the green grocer), add corn flour and seasoning, twist the top securely and give a little shake to mix up and check for holes.
Heat a large nonstick frypan with some olive oil until very hot.
Drop the first steak into the bag, twist off and shake the bag until the steak until evenly coated.
Add into sizzing pan and cook for a few minutes, turn ONCE and serve.

Not on Core? A 200g steak is approx 4 pts and tenderised is HUGE!

Monday, September 8, 2008

CORE "Smokey BBQ" Chicken Breast

Slicing grilled chicken is a good way to control your serving of chicken breast when the fillets are enormous and shows the lovely coloring from the smoky BBQ seasoning.

Serves: 2

Difficulty: Easy

  • 2 medium chicken breasts (about 400g)
  • powdered "Smokey BBQ" seasoning

Put chicken on a plate and sprinkle seasoning over both sides. Allow to sit for at least 10 mins.
Heat a grill or frypan (I used a Foreman grill) very hot and cook chicken until done, turning only once (no need for a Foreman).
Slice and serve with a big plate of vegies.

Not on Core? A 200g chicken breast fillet is approx 4.5 points (raw weight)

The "enormous" serving pictured is 200g on a very large plate.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

CORE Slow Cooker Lemon Roast Chicken

A lovely moist roast chicken with subtle lemon flavour. It will fall off the bone.

Serves: 4+ (I used a 1.6 kg chicken and it served 6)

Difficulty: Easy


  • 2 large lemons (or 4 small)
  • a chicken (or chickens) of size to suit your family


Cut the bumps of the end of the lemons. Cut 1 or 2 thin slices off each end. This will leave you with lemon chunks about 4 cm thick. Cut these in half so you have 2 lemon rings each about 2 cm thick. Put 2 or 3 lumps in the bottom of the slow cooker bowl - we're using these as "legs" to prop up the chicken to dry roast it.
Insert a few of the lemon slices into the carcass, making sure you have 4 slices left.
The chicken will cook better if you close the legs/carcass "hole". You can do this by tying the legs together, or use the "Chicken Shop Crossed Legs" method - stretch one leg away from the body, with sharp knife cut a 1 cm slit in the loose skin, pop opposite "ankle" through, then the other.
Put chicken on props, lay a slice of lemon on each breast, one on the tummy, and half slice each on the leg/thigh.
Put chicken in slow cooker bowl.
Optional - If you have time, put lid on and fridge at least overnight. Take out of fridge an hour or 2 before putting onto heat.
Add a thin layer of boiling water to bottom of slow cooker bowl, about 1/3 -1/2 cup.
Cook on low heat for about 8 or 9 hours or high for about 4.

Optional - if your other family members are skin eaters, you may wish to brown off in oven/grill as the chicken is pale.

CORE Guilt Free Guacamole Dip

Is also lovely spread on sandwiches or as a hot/cold sauce to grilled beef, chicken or lamb.

Serves: About a cup

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 x 340g tin asparagus in spring water, drained
  • 1/3 jar of mild salsa
  • 1 "clump" of coriander
  • 1 spring onion
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • cracked pepper
  • carrots or other crudities (raw vegies) as dippers
Whiz all until mixed. Peel a carrot or 2 and dive in.

Note: If you make the day before, it will seperate a little in fridge overnight. This is fine - it's 2 "wet" vegies :) Just stir it before serving

Not on Core? This recipe is ZERO points

CORE - The Perfect Omelette

Serves: 1
Instructions are for 1 x 2 egg omelette in a bread and butter plate skillet. Double for a 4 egg omelette in a dinner plate sized pan.

Difficulty: Easy


  • 2 eggs
  • olive oil or spray

There are 2 keys to the perfect omelette:
(1) use a non stick pan
(2) for every egg you use a half egg shell of water - thank you year 9 Home Ec teacher! This works for any type or size of egg (I've done with duck eggs)

Spray pan with oil (or use paper towel).
Heat pan on high (eg 8/10 setting) until pan is very hot.
Add 2 eggs and 2 half eggshells of water to a bowl and whisk (or blender or shake) until very fluffy.
Pour into pan, gently rolling the pan to give good coverage (it should look like a weird cappacino).
Turn down to medium-low (eg 2/10) and cook without a lid until only the top 1mm or so isn't set (the fluff will still be there).
Sprinkle with salt/pepper/herbs and spread "filling" on half of the omellet (warm it a little if you are putting heaps in)
Cook a further couple of minutes until egg is set and doesn't look "wet"
With a big spatula (try 2 spatulas for large omelettes), fold in half and slide onto plate.
Serve immediately! Omelettes lose their fluffiness if they sit.

Filling suggestions:

  • grated low fat cheese (family friendly). You could also add bacon or ham
  • ricotta/cottage cheese, tomatoes (deseed), Italian herbs, bacon
  • asparagus, corn, capsicum and salsa
  • cooked mushrooms
  • mince, salsa, baked beans
  • ham, mushrooms, olives, tomato, pineapple, touch of grated cheese, Italian herbs (think like calzone - your favourite pizza flavour is great!)
  • left over roast chicken, and chopped vegies with cottage cheese
  • have a half serve of "left overs"? Many leftovers can be used in omelettes (ask, "would I put it in a toasted sandwich?")
  • MY FAVE - cottage cheese, smoked chicken breast, asparagus, corn, capsicum, spring onion, basil

If you put a decent filling in, you probably won't want toast with it.

Not on Core? The basic omelette is approx 3 points for 2 eggs, plus whatever you use as filling

CORE Perfect Rice, Every Time

Serves: adaptable

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients Ratio:

For every cup of rice, you need 2 cups of boiling water
ie 1/2 cup rice and 2 cup water, 2 cups rice and 4 cups water

Absorption Method:

Add rice and water to a pan, simmer with lid on, stirring occasionally until all water is absorbed.

If you have a pot which "sticks", use an extra 1/4 cup of water and stop when there is a thin layer of 1 or 2 mm of water at bottom and strain off.

  • White rice: 12 - 15 minutes
  • Brown rice: 25 - 30 minutes

You do not need to drain or rinse the rice if you are using straight away.

Microwave : use a large container with a steam venting lid to prevent making a mess of your microwave. If you don't have one, then a microwave jug with plate on top works well. Timing depends on microwave and quantity, but when the water is all absorbed, the rice is done.
Brown rice can be done in the microwave, but I think is better on the stove.

Left overs:

If you cook too much rice, tip into a strainer and wash with cold water.
(Why? It stops from continuing to cook in it's own heat and also stops it sticking together).
Drain and fridge/freeze in sealed container or tub.
To reheat, simply put in strainer and tip over a kettle of boiling water.
You can microwave cold rice, but I only recommend this when there is a sauce on top as it can stick together.

Flavoured rice:

Add stock cubes and/or strong herbs like garlic, parsley, coriander, rosemary to water.

I often add frozen vegies in the last 5 minutes to flavored rice for a quick side dish.


  • If you are cooking a stew or curry and it won't thicken, considering adding some rice and simmering for about 12 minutes. Add about a cup of rice (recipe for 4 or 6) and if it starts looking a little dry before the 12 minutes, add a dribble of water.
  • To make a hearty casserole, add up the liquids you've added and add slightly less than half the quantity of rice.
    eg a can of tinned diced tomatoes and 2 cups of stock would be approx 3 or 3.5 cups, so add 1.25 to 1.5 cups white rice.
    Rice takes close to an hour to cook in a lidded casserole. If your casserole is cooking for a lot longer to
    tenderise the meat, add rice about an hour before end.
  • Rice and slow cookers can equal mush. Add about 2 hours from end and don't stir it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

CORE Tuna and Zucchini Paella

Picture coming - food doesn't photograph so well when it's hot ;)

Tuna, rice, lemon pepper and vegies.
Nice hot or cold as a salad.

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice
  • 3 tsp vegetable stock powder (or 3 cubes)
  • 1 x 420 g chunk Tuna in Spring Water
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes
  • 2 or 3 zucchini, sliced in 0.5cm slices
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • cracker pepper
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 3+ cups of frozen beans
  • 1 cup corn kernels


Heat a large nonstick pan, add 2 tsp oil.
Sautee onion and zucchini until onion goes clear and zucchini skin is bright green.
If like me, you prefer al dente zucchini, remove onion and zucchini to a bowl, otherwise leave in pan.
Add last 2 tsp oil and dry rice, stir to coat.
Add 2 cups of water, stock powder/cube and the tin of tomatoes and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently. Add extra water as water absorbs (I used 2 3/4 cups water in total)
After about 20 minutes, add the tin of tuna (don't bother draining) and the frozen veg (still frozen).
Simmer for 5 minutes, add zucchini back.
Season with a good dose of cracked pepper and add the lemon zest.
Simmer for 5 mins and serve

Not on Core? The total points for this is approx 22 points (3.5 pts per serve)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

CORE Roasted Asparagus

Pictured with Stuffed Capsicum and vegies
Entertaining tip - tie 5 asparagus spears into a bunch with 4 or 5 chives before baking

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 bunch of fresh asparagus (choose thin ones rather than thick ones)
  • olive oil
  • salt and cracked pepper


Trim cut end of asparagus stems.
Spray baking dish with olive oil.
Arrange asparagus in single layer, tips all at same end.
Spray with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Roast in oven for about 8 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp.

Not on Core? The points for this recipe is only for the olive oil used

CORE Stuffed Capsicums

Capsicums filled with rice, beef, tomatoes and Italian herbs.
Great served hot or cold.

Vegetarian option
Instead of beef mince, use:
finely chopped mushrooms, eggplant or zucchini and grated carrot lightly sauteed with onion and garlic. You may wish to add a few capers or olives.

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 4 red capsicums.
    They need to be round, about the size of a softball or grapefruit with a flat bottom so they will sit reasonably flat.
    (Alternatively, use long red capsicums and cut in half top to bottom to make "boats". You may wish to cover the rice mix with alfoil so it doesn't dry out)
  • 2 /3 c dry basmati rice
  • 200g premium beef mince
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3 TB tomato paste
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 TB chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp dry basil or Italian herbs

Add rice and 2/3 c water to microwave container with lid (one that lets steam vent)
Microwave for approx 9 minutes. Most of the water should be absorbed, and the rice should be chewy not crunchy.
Heat frypan, add oil, mince, onion, garlic. Cook until brown.
Add the mince to the warm rice, with tomato paste and herbs.
Cut the top off capsicums, about 1 cm from top (pair capsicum lids with their bottoms)
Spoon the rice mix into the capsicum "cups", compact with the back of spoon and put lid back on, lining up ribs if possible.
Bake in moderate oven until capsicum begins to brown and "wilt".

Not on Core? This recipe is approx 12 points (3 per capsicum)

CORE - Tropical Fluff / Mousse

This tropical mousse is made just from jelly and yoghurt,
so is Core for snacks or dessert.

Only 0.5 points per serve.
Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 packet of raspberry diet jelly crystals
  • 1 packet of peach and apricot diet jelly crystals
  • 2 x 200g tubs of non fat vanilla yoghurt (I used Nestle Diet)


In a 6 cup capacity bowl, add jelly crystals and 1 cup boiling water.
Stir with fork to dissolve and allow to cool on bnch for 30-60 minutes.
Add 1 cup cold water and yoghurt and mix with hand beater or whisk.
Pour into four 200ml glasses or glass bowls.

Try different combinations of jelly flavours, just be mindful of the colours you will create (ie green + orange = looks disgusting, even if it tastes good)

Not on Core? The total for this recipe is 2 points (0.5 pts per serve)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

CORE Green Beans in Olive Oil, Garlic and Balsamic

Serves: 4+ as a side dish

Difficulty: Easy


  • 6 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups frozen green beans


In a small oven proof dish, mix together the oil, garlic and balsamic.
Mix through the still frozen beans
Bake with lid on (or cover tightly with alfoil) at 180*C for 25-30 minutes

This mix is also nice over a mix of "greens" like broccolini, asparagus, beans and snowpeas (lightly steam vegies and bake for only 15 mins).

It is particularly nice with a little slivered almonds or sesame seeds (points).

CORE Potato Wedges

Click here for Potato chips

Serves: adjustable

Difficulty: Easy


  • Potatoes, smallish 100g white spuds
    (As a side dish, I suggest 100-150g for "reducers", 200-250g for hungry men/children)
  • oil spray
  • Seasoned salt, chicken salt, Vegetta or Potato Wedge shake


Wash and dry spuds.
Cut off any "eyes", cut in half, then cut each half into 3 or 4 wedges
Line baking tray with alfoil. Spray with oil spray.
Place wedges skin side down in single layer (reduced sticking)
Spray lightly with oil, sprinkle with the seasoned seasoned salt and lightly spray again
Bake in preheated oven (about 180*C) until golden and some corners going darker brown (around 25-30 mins).
Serve immediately.

Note - if your oven element is on top, I suggest putting the tray in the bottom half of the oven, or they may burn before they cook.

Not on Core? Potato is 1.5 points for 150g or 2 points for 200g

Monday, August 25, 2008

CORE Potato Chips

I made home made chips last night. Usually we use oven chips and I cop the points, but I had the oven on making filo pies, so I made homemade chippies too.
Almost-hubby said "What did you do to the chips? They are fluffy on the inside and disintegrate in my mouth"

Click here for potato wedges

Serves: adjustable

Difficulty: Easy


  • Large potatoes (suggest 100-150g for "reducers", 200-250g for hungry men/children)
  • oil spray

Peel potatoes and cut into chunky strips approx 1cm x 1cm x length of spud
Line baking tray with alfoil. Spray with oil spray.
Place chips in single layer and spray with oil.
Place into preheated hot oven and bake until golden and some corners going darker brown (around 25-30mins).
Serve immediately.

Note - if your oven element is on top, I suggest putting the tray in the bottom half of the oven, or they may burn before they cook.

Not on Core? Potato is 1.5 points for 150g or 2 points for 200g

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Almost CORE Chicken Filo Pies (+0.5 pts)

A plain chicken pie base with flavour options like mushroom, pepper, coriander, curry etc.

Includes instructions for making as a family pie and as individual pies
I prefer individual pies as it helps control portion distortion and prevent seconds-itis :)

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Easy

  • 750g chicken thigh fillets, diced 1cm
  • oil spray
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk
  • 3 TB cornflour
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup peas
  • 2 cups mixed vegies (frozen or fresh diced small and steamed)
  • 3 cubes frozen spinach
  • 6 sheets filo pastry

The above ingredients make a middle of the road "creamy" chicken and vegetable pie which you can add your favourite flavourings.

Optional - herbs of choice

  • For a plain family friendly pie, just add a little parsley
  • For a creamy Thai style, add a bunch of chopped coriander and 2 tsp mint (pictured)
  • For mushroom chicken, add 1 cup chopped mushrooms with the other veg and a sachet of cup-a-soup style cream of mushroom soup (point it)
  • For pepper chicken, add lots of cracked pepper
  • For curry chicken - add 2 tsp mild curry powder, and adjust to taste.
  • For farmhouse style, add tarragon and thyme
  • For basil chicken, you guessed it, add chopped basil
  • You can also use any of the herb, spice or seasoning blends like Moroccan, Thai, mixed herbs, lemon pepper, Italian etc


Spray a large pan with oil, heat and add chicken, onion and garlic.
Fry for about 10 mins until chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
Turn heat down to low and add 1 cup water, stock, salt and pepper and simmer with lid on for 15 mins.
Mix the cornflour with 1/4 cup water and add to pot with the milk. Stir for 5 mins while sauce thickens.
Add vegies and herbs and turn off heat - mix must cool before it can be in contact with the pastry. (If your stove top or pan retains heat, pour into a plastic of pyrex bowl).
Take filo out of fridge, it's easier to work with at room temperature.
Preheat oven to 200*C

Individual pies:
Lay out 1 sheet of filo, spray with oil and fold in half.
Drape carefully over a medium ramekin or a 1 cup muffin tray.
Put 1 cup of mix in center, spray and fold down pastry to cover mix.
Repeat to make 6 pies.
Bake for approx 30 mins until golden brown.
Serve within 10 minutes - filo gets soggy when it sits.
NB - with 1 sheet of filo, the base can be a little soft and is best served in the ramekins. If serving on plate, use 2 sheets of filo pastry for more firmness.

Family pie:
Spray pie dish with oil spray.
Cut 6 sheets of filo in half.
Put first sheet in base of pie dish and spray with oil.
Pepeat for 2nd - 7th sheet, rotating dish/filo so that one sheet does not overlay another (looks like a big star).
Add pie filling.
Place 1 sheet of filo on top of filling, spray with oil, repeat with sheets 2-5, again staggering each sheet.
Crinkle or fold down pastry edges to seal pie. Spray again.
Bake for approx 30 mins until golden brown.
Serve within 10 minutes - filo gets soggy when it sits.

On Core? Allow 0.5 pts per serve for the filo

Not on Core? The total for this recipe is approx 23.5 pts, or 6 points per serve

Core Chicken, Pumpkin and Rocket Risotto

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 300 g chicken mince (or finely chopped fillets)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin (or thick pumpkin soup)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (try mint)
  • 4 chicken stock cubes
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 1 capsicum or chargrilled capsicums, sliced into strips
  • 2-3 TB fresh chopped basil
  • 1 cup rocket
Fry chicken, onion and garlic in large nonstick pot with 1tsp oil and put aside (if using raw capsicum, add at start).
Using same pan, turn down to medium, add the remaining oil and the dry rice.
Stir to coat with oil, and fry for about 3 or 4 minutes.
Add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and stock and simmer for 10 minues until most water has absorbed.
Add pumpkin and cook for another 5-10 minutes, adding a splash more water if it looks a little dry.
Add frozen or grated vegies, beef mix, chargrilled capsicums and basil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
Again, add a little water if it starts to stick.
Turn off heat, stir through rocket and serve.

Optional - serve with 2 tsp sharp parmesan (0.5 pts)

Core Baked Egg, Vegies and Rocket

Serves: 1

Difficulty: Easy

  • 30g rindless short cut bacon, sliced
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cube frozen spinach, defrosted
  • handful rocket
  • 1/2 small red capsicum, chopped
  • oil spray
  • 1 egg
  • 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
If you have some beansprouts, chop them up a bit and throw in 1/2 cup for the "crunchy factor"

Spray frypan with oil spray and heat. Cook bacon, onion and capsicum until bacon browns, then take off heat.
Mix corn, spinach, tomatoes and rocket into bacon mix. Add pepper and salt.
Pour into ovenproof small baking dish (about 2 cup capacity), pushing down firmly with back of spoon.
Make a shallow depression in the middle and crack an egg into it.
Bake until egg white is cooked (15 - 30 m)

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is approx 2.5 points

CORE Ricotta Pizza

Pictured with light wholemeal pita (1.5 pts)

Serves: 1 - 2 (2 small pizzas)

Difficulty: Easy


  • 50 g rindless shortcut bacon (3 slices), sliced
  • 2 small rye pita bread (or white or wholemeal - Points)
  • 1/4 jar mild salsa
  • 75g Perfect Italiano Light Ricotta (1/3 a 250g tub)
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 small Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 small onion, sliced
  • 1/4 capsicum, sliced (or grilled capsicum)
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary ground
  • 1 tsp Italian herbs
  • other points-free vegies like olives, mushrooms, asparagus etc

Put pita on oven tray and spread thickly with salsa
Mix ricotta, garlic and rosemary and dollop over pita bases.
Sprinkle ham, onion, spring onions, capsicums and other vegies.
Add tomato and sprinle with herbs.
Bake on high for about 10 mins.

Not on Core? Each pizza is approx 3 pts

Saturday, August 16, 2008

CORE Chicken, Ricotta & Rocket Pasta

This colourful pasta tastes as good as it looks.
Mild "creamy" ricotta sauce gets its flavour from the rocket
Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 300 g chicken mince
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, cut in strips
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3 tsp olive oil
  • 250 g pasta (spiral or penne)
  • 1 large carrot (at lest 2cm thick), peeled
  • 2 small/1 large zucchini
  • 1/2 cup mint peas, frozen
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1 cup frozen beans
  • 1/2 bag rocket (about 50g)
  • 1/2 a 250 g tub Perfect Italiano Light Ricotta
  • 2 small or 1 large spring onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp seeded mustard
  • 3 tsp finely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/4 c non-fat milk

Using a vegetable peeler, make ribbons of carrot and zucchini, ensuring some green skin is visible on each zucchini ribbon. Put ribbons in base of strainer/colander.
Heat a large frypan with the olive oil.
Fry the onion, garlic and capsicum until the onions go clear, then add chicken mince.
Meanwhile, boil a large pot of water and add pasta.
When chicken is cooked (chicken mince does not brown, it will still be white), add frozen vegies and a few TB of water to steam them.
When pasta is al dente (around 9 mins), pour into strainer over vegie ribbons, give a good shake and straight back to pan. Stir through rocket and set aside for a couple of minutes while you make the pasta sauce.
Add ricotta, milk, mustard, basil, spring onion and some cracked pepper to the chicken/veg mix and stir through.
Add sauce to pasta and stir through.
Serve immediately.

Optional - add 2 tsp of parmesan cheese for 0.5 pts (well worth it)

Not on Core? The total for this recipe is approx 25 points

CORE Quick Noodles - 10 mins - No preparation

This is a throw together meal using my favourites from the freezer.

No preparation. You can of course use fresh vegies etc.

Some of you girls know one of my lifesavers is cooking mince up with onion and garlic and freezing it in meal size portions. Another is frozen chopped onions and frozen bacon.

Serves: 2

Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 packet of "savoury mince" (or 200g premium mince cooked in garlic and onion)
  • 50 g frozen bacon pieces
  • 100g frozen onions (or chopped fresh)
  • 80g rice noodles
  • 1 egg
  • chinese 5 spice mix
  • soy sauce
  • frozen veg
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp crushed ginger

Soak rice noodles in boiling water while your big frypan/wok is getting hot.
Scramble one egg in a little olive oil and put aside.
Add a couple of tsp olive oil and fry onion for a few mins, then add bacon (I add while still frozen), garlic and ginger.
If it starts to stick, add a few TB of water
Meanwhile microwave frozen mince for 1 min to defrost, then add to pan.
Microwave frozen vegies until just defrosted. I used approx 1 cup beans, 1/2 c corn, 1/2 c mint peas.
Sprinkle the mince/onion/bacon mix with Chinese 5 spice mix (a good couple of tsp) and add a splash of soy and a splash of water.
Add vegies and stirfry for a few mins.
Drain noodles. I cut mine up a bit with scissors. Add to pan, add scrambled egg mix, cook a min or 2 and serve (optional - drizzle of soy)

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is 13.5 pts, plus points for corn or peas if used

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

CORE Fruit Salad Chicken Curry

Ok, this sounds totally weird, but is only Apricot Chicken with pineapple and orange.
A sweet and mild curry

Serves: 4-6

Difficulty: Easy


  • 500g chicken thigh fillets, diced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 x 410 g tin of apricots in juice
  • 1 x 225 g tin of pineapple pieces in juice
  • 2 small oranged, peeled and diced
  • 3 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/5 tsp cummin powder
  • 3 cups stir fry vegies
  • Optional - splenda

Cook chicken and onion in olive oil.
Add fruit and cook for 5-10 mins with lid off.
Add spices and vegies and cook for a further 10 mins.
Optional - add a few tsp of Splenda

Serve on a bed of rice

CORE Morrocan Pumpkin & Roast Capsicum Soup

Serves: 4+ as mains (lunch), 6+ as starter course.

Difficulty: Easy

  • 750 g butternut pumpkin
  • 350 g carrot
  • 350 g sweet potato, peeled
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 chicken stock cubes (vegetarians - use vegetable stock)
  • Morrocan spice mix
  • cracked pepper
  • parsley, chopped or dried
  • 1 large red capsicum or 2 small ones
  • oil spray
Deseed pumpkin and chop into 1 inch chunks, leaving skin on.
Chop other vegies to about an inch
Add to pot with stock and 6 cups boiling water
Simmer with lid on for about an hour, then take off heat and cool

Meanwhile, deseed the capsicum and cut into wide strips. Put in one layer on baking tray and spray lightly with oil. Bake for close to an hour, until there is some blackening around the edges.

Blend all and put in another pot or bowl.
Add cracked pepper, some parsley (for colour mainly) and Moroccan spice. The amount of Moroccan spice will depend on brand, mine was 6 tsp. Add 3 tsp and taste before adding more.

Note - it is important for the soup to have cooled somewhat before putting in the blender as hot air rises, blowing the top off the blender and decorating your roof. If in a hurry, seperate vegies and broth and it cools quicker (about 10-15 mins, instead of about an hour)

Not on Core? The total for this recipe is approx 8 pts

Sunday, August 3, 2008

CORE Mexican Beef & Bean Pies

A lovely alternative to Tacos or burritos. They look good enough for company, are very tasty and 100% Core using Rye Mountain bread.
I've also included instructions for family friendly versions using tortillas and tasty cheese.
Serves: 6+ people, 12 pies (suggest serve 2 for adults, 1 for children)

Difficulty: Easy

  • 500g premium beef mince (or savoury mince from freezer)
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tins 4 bean mix, or 1 of kidney beans and 1 of bean mix
  • 2 tin crushed tomatoes
  • 4 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 20 - 30 drops Tabasco (30 was quite mild - we poured hot chili sauce over the top for some "kick")
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Rye Mountain bread to keep Core (Corn Tortillas for the family) - 1 or 2 each person
  • shredded lettuce, about 2 cups
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • cottage cheese for Core (grated tasty cheese for the family)
  • Optional - grated carrot

In a large pan, heat the oil and fry mince, onions and garlic until brown.
Add beans, tomatoes, spices, corn and 1 can worth of water. Add 10 drops of Tabasco sauce to start. Simmer for 10-15 mins until most fluid is absorbed. Test "heat" and add more Tabasco if needed.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180*C
Drape mountain bread or tortillas inside cup oven proof bowls. I used pasta/noodle bowls.
Bake for 10 mins until golden (15 for tortillas).
Put the shells onto plates, line with shredded lettuce and carrot.
Spoon beef and bean mix in middle, top with cheese and tomato.
Optional - if you like it hot, drizzle hot chilli sauce over the top

Not on Core? Each pie is approx 3.5 points

Baking the shells

CORE Nicoise Style Tuna Salad

Serves: 1

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 cup lettuce, shredded
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 100g tuna in springwater, drained
  • 1/2 cup frozen beans, defrosted
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn, defrosted
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 boiled egg, cut into wedges
  • Your favourite Core dressing

Dressing ideas:

  • 1 TB olive oil, juice from 1 lemon
  • low fat natural yoghurt, garlic, pepper
  • Kraft 99% fat free Caesar or Ranch Dressing - 2 TB is 0.5 pts
Mix beans, corn, lettuce and carrot in bottom of bowl.
Top with the cherry tomatoes, egg and drizzle with dressing
Not on Core? The total for this recipe is approx 2.5 - 3.0 pts, plus dressing

Saturday, August 2, 2008

CORE Breakfast Mousse

This is similar to Oats and Yoghurt Slice but has been blended for a smooth consistency.

Serves: 2

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 packet diet apricot and peach jelly
  • 1 200 g tub vanilla Nestle Diet yoghurt
  • 1 snack pack size tub/can peaches in juice
  • 100g quick oats
  • 3 tsp Splenda
  • Optional - chopped fruit to top

Dissolve jelly in 1 cup boiling water, mix with stab mixer.
Add peaches and oats and blend. Add yoghurt and Splenda and blend again.
Pour into 2 glasses and set in fridge overnight.

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is approx 7 points or 3.5 points per serve

Alternatives: Mix up your flavours.
I used peach and apricot because that's what I had.
Try raspberry jelly and strawberry yoghurt, melon jelly and vanilla yoghurt, port wine and vanilla yoghurt, orange-mango jelly with mango yoghurt, lemon jelly and vanilla yoghurt (it's "almost" a lemon cheesecake)
I don't recommend lime - bright green food is so wrong if you are out of junior primary school!

CORE Chicken Stirfry w Orange & Cori

The nest of lettuce and carrot is very filling and crunchy and a nice textural change to the noodles with the orange and coriander flavour
Serves: 6 in nest, 4 without

Difficulty: Easy


  • 400g chicken breast, sliced thin
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 small oranges, peeled and segmented
  • 1/2 cup coriander, chopped
  • 150g rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 4 cups stir fry vegetables (I used broccoli, cauliflower, capsicum, brussell sprouts and 1/2 cup frozen corn)
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • Optional - 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • lettuce shredded, about 2 cups (for nest)
  • carrot, grated, about 1 1/2 cups (for nest)

Add oil to wok and heat.
Stirfry chicken, onion, garlic and oranges until chicken is cooked.
Add vegies, soy sauce and herbs and stir fry for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile put the noodles into a bowl and cover with boiling water for 5 mins, then drain.
Line a bowl with shredded lettuce like a nest, then line with the carrot (this half fills the bowl so you have a much smaller serve of stirfry)
Add the noodles to the strifry and warm through (add chilli if using - is very mild).
Serve stir fry in lettuce and carrot nest.

Not on Core? The total points for this recipe is 23
(with 1/2 cup corn and free point vegies)

CORE Risotto with Chargrilled Capsicums

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 250 g premium beef mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 tin diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (try mint)
  • 1-2 cups frozen or grated vegies
  • Italian herbs mix
  • 4 beef stock cubes
  • 4 tsp olive oil
  • 2 TB tomato paste
  • chargrilled capsicums, sliced into strips (about 1 1/2 capsicums)
Fry beef, onion and garlic in large nonstick pot with 1tsp oil and put aside.
Using same pan, turn down to medium, add the remaining oil and the dry rice.
Stir to coat with oil, and fry for about 3 or 4 minutes.
Add 2 cups of water and beef stock and simmer for 10 minues until most water has absorbed.
Add tomatoes and tomato paste and cook for another 5-10 minutes, adding a splash more water if it looks a little dry.
Add frozen or grated vegies, beef mix, capsicums and a good sprinkle of italian herbs mix and cook for 5 minutes, stirring.
Again, add a little water if it starts to stick.

Not on Core? The total for this recipe is approx 26 points

CORE Chargrilled Capsicums

I do big batches in the Foreman grill or the oven.
This is ideal when capsicums are out cheap.

These capsicums are great in salads, anti-pasto platters, sandwiches (my fave is roast beef, capsicum, cottage cheese and salad) and add lovely flavour to Italian style meals like risotto, pastas and pizza.

Hint - I do a big batch, and freeze in small portions.

Serves: n/a

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 kg red capsicums
  • spray oil
  • 1 pack french onion soup mix

Core and seed capsicums.
Cut into long strips, trying to cut down the ribs so you have about 4 semi flat strips per capsicum

Foreman Grill:
Heat the Foreman, and spray with oil.
Spray capsicum strips with oil on skin side, place skin down on the Foreman, spray inside and sprinkle inside/top with some French Onion soup mix.
Grill each batch for 9-12 minutes until there are some black stripes on the skin.

Line an baking tray with alfoil.
Spray capsicum strips with oil on skin side, place skin down on the tray, spray inside and sprinkle inside/top with some French Onion soup mix. Bake for 45 - 50 mins at 200*C.


Put 2 layers of paper towel onto a dinner plate and put batch 1 on this.
Cover with another 2 layers and gently press down.
Repeat until all capsicums are done, and layered on plate between paper towel.
Cool, cover with plastic wrap and fridge.

Keeps well in fridge for about a week. Freezes very well (I use those tiny 100mltubs that aren't good for much else)

Not on Core? These are virtually point free.
A pack of F O Soup is 2.0 pts, plus a little oil spray

Friday, August 1, 2008

CORE Shepherds Pie

Instructions are for individual bowls, but you can make one to share
Pictured with optional cheese
Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 500g premium mince (or savoury mince mix with garlic and onion from the freezer)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 5 cups frozen or chopped fresh vegies
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 4 TB tomato paste
  • 2 TB gravy powder
  • 500g potato, peeled, chopped into 1cm cubes
  • nonfat milk
  • mixed herbs/Italian herbs 1 tsp
  • cracked pepper
  • Optional - sprinkle top of each bowl with 15g Coon Light and Tasty Cheese (1.5 pts)

Put potato onto boil. When done, drain and mash with a drizzle of nonfat milk.
Meanwhile, cook mince with garlic and onion until brown.
Steam vegies in a large microwave bowl.
Add mince mix to warm vegies, add tomato paste, gravy and herbs and microwave for a few minutes. note - if vegies were fairly dry, add a few TB of water to allow the gravy to form.
Spoon vegies and mince into 4 bowls. Top with mashed potato and smooth down.
Using a fork, draw lines or squiggles on top of potato.
Top with cheese if using.
Place under hot grill for a few minutes to brown the potato/cheese.
Remove with oven mitts and serve.

Not on Core? The total of this recipe is approx 23 points (5.5 pts each)
You can reduce points value by using a bit less less mince or potato

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tip 7 - Thin sliced meat for stirfry

It is much easier to cut meats really thin by cutting when still half frozen.

Tip 6 - Onions

I hate cutting onions. My hands absorb the smell and stink for days.

So I buy chopped onion from the freezer. I also keep a pack of French Onion soup around too.

Tip 5 - Olive oil sprayer

Invest in an oil sprayer. I have an aluminium one that you pump up for pressure. It was about $15 from a kitchen shop. The cheap plastic ones don't work so well.

I prefer using pure olive oil than using spray cans.

Tip 4 - Sliced ham

While I prefer freshly shaved ham, I also keep a packet of the packaged sliced ham (dairy cabinet) in the fridge. It usually keeps a month or so. It's good for sandwiches, core pizza, cooking etc.

Tip 3 - Frozen bacon pieces

I buy a "handful" of premium bacon strips from the deli and freeze them. If you don't squish it, you can easily break of a section for your eggs, risotto etc

Tip 2 - Frozen Savoury Mince

Cook up a few kilos of premium beef mince with garlic and onions.
Portion into snaplock bags and freeze in meal sized serves (eg 100-150g per family member). For a household of 2, I usually package in 250-300g bags

You can make dozens of meals in a real hurry when you have savoury mince.

Some ideas:
  • Spaghetti Bolognaise
  • "Hamburgers" - defrost beef on low, stir through a egg or 2 and fry in egg rings
  • Hokkien noodles (use frozen vegies and soy sauce - yum)
  • Wraps - warm mince, cottage cheese (low fat cheddar if you're happy to use some points), salad.
  • Beef Yiros (souvlaki, donner, gyro etc) lettuce, tomato and Hommus or fat free ranch dressing (0.5pt for 2 TB Kraft 99% FF)
  • Minestrone soup
  • Chilli con carne
  • Cottage / Shepherds pie
  • Pastie slices - 2 rye mountain breads on top of each other for strength - diced canned tomatoes, defrosted frozen vegies and roll it up like a swiss roll (a little water to seal). Bake or nuke.
  • Out of sandwich meat for the family? This makes awesome sandwiches, but needs "something" to stick to the bread (cottage cheese, marg, BBQ/tomato sauce, relishes, mayo etc)
  • Tacos / burritos / tortillas. Mix in a can of 3 bean mix, cumin, chilli, some tomato, lettuce, salsa and cheese. (I use rye mountain bread and cottage to stay pure Core)


  • With a little tomato paste, savoury mince is greta in jaffles (mg bread of course)
  • Add some curry poweder or curry paste and serve with rice - good for the nights you're in a hurry but want something a little spicy.
  • Meatballs (to add to pasta and tomato sauce) - by adding some cooked rice and an egg to the mix, shaping into balls and broning in a frypan.
  • Cooking up portions of minced lamb or even chicken (ask the butcher to run a couple of trimmed chicken breasts through the mincer) makes a nice change. The lamb is lovely with tomatoes, sliced eggplant and LF ricotta ( a sort of moussaka) while the chicken makes tasty patties etc.

Tip 1 - Core Bricks

A Core brick is a frozen tub of leftovers. Freeze in rectangular tubs and they look like bricks (hurt like them if they fall out the freezer too).

Cook a little extra and freeze a brick or 2 for the night you can't be stuffed cooking, or the family is having pizza. Or you just want a hot lunch on a cold day. Really, any of the "wet" dishes brick up nicely like casseroles, soups, curry, pasta etc

Sunday, July 20, 2008

CORE Toasted Ham and Cheese Wrap

Serves: 1

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 rye mountain bread
  • 30 g shaved ham
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 5 asparagus spears (or 15 asparagus tips), dried on paper towel
  • 3 TB low fat cottage cheese
  • 1/2 tomato, chopped
  • 4 basil leaves
  • 1/2 spring onion, chopped
  • 4 olives, sliced, dried on paper towel
  • capsicum strips
  • Italian herbs mix, sprinkle

Lay mountain bread out flat.
Arrange all in layers through the middle third of the wrap, finishing with the ham.
Gently roll up and place on a baking tray so the bottom is 2 layers of wrap, then the ham. This stops it going soggy. (Yes, ham is pictured on top and yes it was a tad soggy).
Bake at 180*C for 10-15 minutes until crispy.