Saturday, May 24, 2008

CORE Hedgehogs (Meatballs)

Hedgehogs are beef meatballs with raw rice mixed in. As they cook, the rice absorbs fluids and puff up so they look like hedgehogs :)

These are great for kids and parties (For finger food - drain off the tomato soup and cook for a couple of minutes extra to "dry out")

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 onion, grated (or 1tsp French Onion Soup powder)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked rice
  • 2 eggs
  • 500g extra lean mince
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 1 cup water

Optional - use a tin of crushed tomatoes, 1/4 can water and basil/Italian mixed herbs instead of the 1 can water. For kids, best to stick to the soup. For adults, a little chilli or Tobasco sauce in the sauce adds a zing!

Optional 2 - Add potato to the sauce for lovely Italian style potatoes in tomato. In picture is 1 can soup, 1 can crushed tomatoes, 1/4 can water, Italian herbs mix and a 100g potato each, cut in half.


Mix above ingredients excluding water & soup.
With wet hands, shape into golf ball sized balls and put in casserole dish.
Mix water & tomato soup together and pour over meatballs
Bake covered at 200*C for 1 hour to 1h 15m.

Serving hint - serve on a bed of garlic mashed potato, drizzled with the tomato sauce and lots of vegies.

Not on Core? The total for this recipe is 24 points (without potato), and it makes about 24 golf ball sized meatballs

CORE Pasta Bolognaise Bake / Mock Lasagna

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Fairly easy

Points on Core: some for the white sauce, but minimal

This dish is best served as individual servings in ramekins or soup bowls holding 2 cups. If making a large dish, please let cool for 5-10 mins before serving.



  • 300g of small size roundish or flatish pasta. eg elbows, penne raviolini. Large pasta like shells do not work, there is too much room for air.
  • 2 eggs


  • 600g lean beef mince
  • 1 onion
  • garlic - 1tsp
  • tomato based pasta sauce
  • 2 tsp olive oil

Topping - 2 Options (both have some Points)

Option 1 - white sauce

  • 1 cup Skim milk
  • 3 TB of flour (1.5 point - you won't need it all)
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Option 2 - grated tasty cheese

  • 20g Coon Extra Light Tasty Cheese (1.5pt) for WWers, can add more for others.


Boil water and cook pasta until firm and not quite cooked (about 2 mins from al dente)
Drain and rinse well in cold water until pasta is cold. (This stops pasta sticking together) Leave to drain for at least 15 minutes
Meat layer
Heat your olive oil, add onion, garlic and mince and cook well.
Add pasta sauce and stir through. You may need to cook off some moisture - with lid off, have pasta sauce simmering away and stirring until the liquid drops a little below the solids and little bumps of meat stick make it look lumpy. Put aside to cool.
Option 1 - white sauce
If you don't have a nonstick saucepan, I suggest you do this in the microwave.
Mix flour with a few TB of water until it makes a thick paste which is more liquid than solid.
Heat the milk until it bubbles, then turn down low. Add about 3/4 of the flour paste and the mustard to the warm milk and whisk through. Simmer milk mix, strirring often until it starts to thicken - we want it to get to a consistency like cream. If after simmering for about 5 mins, it isn't thick enough, add the last bit of the flour paste and stir as it thickens.
Building the bake:
If making a large dish, you need eggs to bind the pasta (for individual serves I skip this). Whisk eggs in large bowl and toss (cold) pasta through. Pour into casserole or ramekins and push down gently with a spatula (potato mashers are great in round ramekins).
Pour over the meat layer, smoothing across the pasta
Add final layer - the white sauce or grated cheese (or both for something truly special)
Bake at 180*C for 20-30 mins until top is browned.
Allow so sit and serve with salad.

Friday, May 23, 2008

CORE Roast Leg of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary

This recipe was given to me by a friend almost 20 years ago who was an apprentice butcher.

Serves: 4-6 depending on size of roast

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1.5kg leg of lamb (or whatever size to suit your family)
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Rosemary, fresh or dried


With a sharp thin knife, pierce the lamb about 10 times.
Using a skewer, push a slice of garlic into each slit with a leaf or 2 of rosemary (if using dried rosemary, spray the garliced lamb with oil and rub rosemary in)
Cook at 180*C
How long?
For every 500g of roast, 20-25 mins for rare, 25-30 mins for medium, or 30-35 mins for well done
ie a 1.5 kg roast 1 - 1/4 hours for rare, 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 for medium or 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 for well done

In the last 45 - 60 minutes, add vegies to pan or a seperate pan.
My Roast Vegetables with Sea Salt and Rosemary is lovely with this recipe

Dietary Guidelines and Serving Sizes

These are the minimum suggested daily requirements. Each dot point equals 1 serve in that category.

2 serves

  • 1 medium piece of fruit
  • 2-3 small pieces of fruit eg 2-3 apricots
  • small bunch of grapes
  • 1 cup chopped fruit or tinned in juice

5 serves

  • ½ cup cooked vegetables
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 cup salad vegetables
  • ½ cup cooked legumes (chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans)

5 serves

  • 1 slice of brown or grainy bread
  • 1 medium bowl (45g) high fibre cereal
  • 30g raw rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup cooked pasta, noodles or rice

Meat, Poultry and Eggs
1 serve

  • 95 – 150g raw meat or poultry
  • 120 - 180g raw fish
  • 2 small eggs
  • 100g raw tofu
  • 1/3 cup nuts
  • 1/4 cup raw seeds

2 serves

  • 1 cup skim, non-fat or low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup low-fat evaporated milk
  • 200g diet, non-fat or low-fat yoghurt
  • 30g reduced fat cheese
  • 100g low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese

Why Drink 8 glasses of water a day?

  • Water naturally suppresses the appetite
  • Water helps the body to metabolise or burn stored fat
    The kidneys need sufficient water to function properly. When kidneys aren't working at full capacity, some of the kidney's load is shifted to the liver. The liver's primary function is to covert (metabolise) the fat stored in the body into usable energy (this is how you lose excess fat). If the liver is doing some of the kidney's work, it can't work efficiently to convert as much stored fat, so more fat remains stored in the body, and weight loss slows or stops. For this reason, apparently an overweight person actually needs more water than a slimmer person (approx 200ml extra per 10 kg overweight).
  • Water helps the body to eliminate waste
    While losing weight, there is more waste to get rid of (where do you think that metabolised fat goes?)
  • Adequate water can prevent or relive constipation
    When the body doesn't get enough water, it gets what it needs from internal sources, including the colon, which leads to constipation. Normal movements return when the body has enough water.
  • Water also helps prevent saggy skin that often follows weight loss.
    Shrinking cells are filled with water, making the skin clear, healthy and “plump”.

CORE Oats and Yoghurt Slice

This is similar to those yoghurt slices - Alaskan Slice??

Serves: 2 for breakfast or dessert

Difficulty: Easy
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 is so wrong if you are out of junior primary school!

  • 1 peach apricot diet jelly sachet
  • 1 x 175g tub Yoplait Forme Apricot (or 3/4 cup of Core yoghurt)
  • 75g Rolled oats
  • 1 cup water
  • liquid sweetener (or powder), equiv 2tsp sugar


Dissolve jelly in 1 cup boiling water
Add oats and sweetener
Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to cook oats
Add yoghurt (is OK if still hot) and stir
Pour into a rectangular tub.
Set in fridge overnight
Run a blunt knife around edge to loosen, tap out onto a plate.
Cut in half and eat.

This sets quite firm, you could wrap in Gladwrap and eat in hand, rather than on a plate

Not on Core? The total Points for this is 5, or 2.5 per serve

CORE Berry Pancake

1 for breakfast
This is a very filling breakfast, the equivalent of a big bowl of porrige for brekkie

You could make in egg rings as a dessert and serve with low fat ice cream (points)
NB - Cereal is limited to once per day. If you've already eaten cereal, you'll need to count the oats

Difficulty: Easy


  • 1 egg
  • rolled oats or quick oats - 1 x 34g sachet or 1/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup diet berry fizzy (I use DietRite Cranberry Boysenberry) or 100ml diet lemonade and 25ml diet cordial (maybe a splash of the diet Ribena?)
  • 1/3 cup frozen berries
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 100g Yoplait Forme Vanilla to serve


Mix egg, soft drink, baking powder and oats with a stab mixer.
Add the berries, still frozen, reserving a spoonful or 2.
Mix with Spoon - do not blend the berries!
Put pancake mixture in fridge overnight, same for remaining berries.

In the morning:
Heat a small nonstick skillet to medium high, add the oil and turn back to medium.
(I use a skillet about the size of my hand with the fingers spread)
Stir the pancake mixture and pour in
NB - these are moist pancakes (not stodgy) and take longer to cook than normal pancakes. The batter is also "heavier", so turning them too early will break them.
It's time to turn when there is a 2cm "ring" around the outside, and when you tilt the pan, the batter moves very little. (You'll see what I mean)
Use a wide egg flip, slide it gently under to make sure it's not caught, then flip quickly and cook the other side. It will not take as much time as the first which cooks about 75%. Second side will also not be as brown.
Serve onto a plate, add the reserved berries (including the berry juice), 1/2 tub vanilla yoghurt.

Optional - sprinkle with artificial sweetener (1 tsp equivalent) to tone down the tartness of the berries

Feedback from Almost Hubby:
"Mmmmm.....doesn't taste like diet food. You could feed this to my nephew [9 years old] and he'd love it."

Not on Core? The total Points for this is 5

This recipe is based on a lemonade pancake recipe posted by MTHERESEN

Monday, May 19, 2008

CORE Asian Noodle "Nest" / Salad

A fantastic "twist" to the Asian lettuce cups. The nest of lettuce and carrot is very filling and crunchy and a nice textural change to the noodles with the lime - soy flavour

Serves: 4 - 6

Difficulty: Easy

  • 500g slimmers beef mince (or pork or chicken mince)
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1.5 tsp ginger
  • 2 TB soy sauce
  • 2 tb lime / lemon juice
  • 1 small iceberg lettuce, shredded
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 150g rice stick noodles
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 cup frozen peas (try mint peas)
  • 2 cup frozen beans
  • 2 cup broccoli (or cauliflower), cut into very small pieces like grated
  • 2-3 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 2-4 TB of chopped coriander (I buy tubes of crushed cori from the fridge in f+v section)

Vegie options - add any "normal" stir fry vegies in as long as diced fine - bok choy, cabbage, capsicum, spinach, bean sprouts etc. If no fresh vegies, increase the frozen vegies.

Salad options - any watery crunchy vegies can be added. Pictured is baby spinach leaves, iceberg lettuce and carrot. You could try rocket etc too.


In a large non-stick pan, heat oil, add mince, onion, garlic, ginger and fry until meat is browned (if white meat, until cooked.)
In a bowl, cover the rice noodles with boiling water for 5 mins, then rinse in cold water
Add soy and lime juice to the pan, the frozen vegies and cauliflower, and herbs and strifry until vegies soften.
Cut noodles into 5cm lengths and add to pan and stir for a few minutes until noodles warmed through.

To serve:

Arange a nest of lettuce in a wide bowl (like a pasta bowl) and line nest with carrot. Drizzle with a little extra lime juice if desired
Serve the noodle mixture into the center of the nest and drizzle with a little more soy if desired.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 21