Friday, June 25, 2010

Core Lentil and Potato Soup

Also suitable for slow cooker - simmer on high for 1 1/2 - 2 hours

Serves: 6 x 1 cup serves
Difficulty: Easy
Points: 1 pt per cup
Cooking time: 20 mins

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 4 vegetable stock cubes, and 1L water
  • 100 g  Lentils, split type
  • 300 g Potato (3 medium), peeled and diced to under 1cm
  • 1 bunch spinach, finely chopped (or 150 g, frozen spinach)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
Spray pot with oil.
Heat and brown onion and garlic.
Add remaining ingredients and simmer with lid on until potato is tender (15-20 mins)

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 7 pts, or 1 pt per cup

Core Chicken and Roast Capsicum Bread Scrolls (Multigrain)

This little scrolls go nicely with a bowl of winter vegetable soup.
Also great for party nibblies (this size or smaller)

Note: You can also substitute white bread mix instead of multigrain, but it won't be Core. Points will be about the same

Makes: 24 small scrolls (about 6-8cm), or make larger if you prefer
Difficulty: Medium
Cooking time: 25 mins + 2+ hours preparation time

  • 500g multigrain bread mix
  • water and dry yeast ** 20 ml LESS water than instructions and 1/2 tsp MORE yeast **
  • 120g baked/grilled chicken breast, diced small
  • 2/3 a 300g jar of El Paso Roast Capsicum Salsa
  • 30g extra sharp grated shredded parmesan (you want the one in 'sticks' not like powder - Milel and Perfect Italiano brands are good)
  • Optional - 1 TB dried onion flakes
Follow instructions on bread premix to make dough and rise once -  BUT use 20 ml LESS water than instructions and 1/2 tsp MORE yeast. (If using a bread maker, put on dough setting which takes about 1.5 hours).
Option - If using onion flakes, mix into the dough with other dry ingredients
Meanwhile combine chicken and salsa.
Line a baking tray or lamington/swiss roll tray with baking paper.
Turn the dough onto a floured surface and cut in half.
Roll out one piece of dough to a rectangle about 20cm wide.
Spread half of the chicken mix onto the dough, leaving 1cm on one long side, and 4cm on the other.
Sprinkle with 1/3 of the parmesan,
Starting from the long side with the 1cm border, gently start rolling the dough up like a swiss roll.
Using a very sharp knife or dough cutter, cut into 3 pieces, then cut each piece into 4, making 12 pices, probably 1.5-2cm high.
To make large scrolls, cut only into 6 or 8 taller pieces.
Place onto tray so that there is barely half centimeter between each piece. This is important so the scrolls rise up instead of out. In a swiss roll tray, I packed 4 x 6.
Repeat with the other piece of dough.
Put a pinch of the remaining parmesan on the top of each scroll.
Put somewhere warm to rise until they are at least half as big again. They should be touching now.
Bake at 200*C for 20-25 minutes until golden brown

On Core? The parmesan is only 2.5 pts for the whole receipe , so no need to count. 2-3 of the small size scrolls= 2 bread allowance.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe depends on the bread mix used

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Core Creamy Roast Cauliflower and Potato Soup

Serves: 8 x 1 cup serves
Difficulty: Easy
Points: 1.5 pts per 1 cup
Cooking time: 30-40 minutes

  • 1 kg cauliflower
  • 1 large onion, diced large
  • oil spray 
  • 3 large potatoes (450g) diced to 1cm
  • 750 ml chicken stock (or 3 cups water + 3 stock cubes)
  • 3 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 x 375ml can Carnation Evaporated Light & Creamy Milk
Line a baking tray with baking paper, then spray lightly with oil spray.
Spread the cauliflower pieces on the tray and spray lightly with oil spray
Bake for 15-20 minutes at 180*C.
Meanwhile, spray a large pan with oil spray and heat to moderate.
Fry the onions for about 4 minutes, until they are starting to become transparent.
Add potato, garlic, tumeric, fennel seeds and fry for 2 minutes to release fragrance.
Then add the stock, and simmer with lid on for 15-20 minutes.
Add the cauliflower and tin of milk and warm through for 3-5 minutes.
Blend well and serve topped with a little cracked pepper and parsley or chives.

Note - using a stick blender in the pan will result in an unpleasant grainy texture. Blend in a jug in batches, or allow to cool and use a lidded blender. Never blend hot liquids in a lidded blender (the steam will blow the lid off and spray you and your kitchen)

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 10.5 pts, or 1.5 pts per 1 cup serve

Friday, May 28, 2010

Is Dee actually writing a real recipe book?

I have actually starting working on my recipe book and I would like your opinion.

What are your favourite recipes from my blog that you think MUST be included?

What makes a GREAT recipe book?

Any feedback would be appreciated. Just click the comments section.

Cheers and thanks

Core Roast Pumpkin, Fennel and Apple Soup

Slightly sweet and spicy, the flavours are nicely rounded with red wine vinegar

Serves: 10-12 as soup course or 6 as mains 
Difficulty: Easy
Points: The whole pot (approx 2.5L) is only 7.5 pts, so 0.5 pts serving 10-12 or 1pts serving 6
Cooking time: 80mins

  • 1kg butternut pumpkin, no skin or seeds, cut chunky
  • 1 large red capsicum, deseeded
  • 2 medium onions, peeled and halved
  • 500g of carrots, washed, topped and tailed but left whole with skin on
  • 1 large granny smith apple, cored with skin on
  • half a fennel bulb
  • 1.5L of chicken stock, preferably low salt 
    (note vegetable stock can be substituted to make this vegetarian/vegan)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt, pepper
  • oil spray
Spray 1 or 2 baking trays with oil.
Arrange the vegetables and the apple in a single layer. Spray lightly with oil spray
Bake at 180*C for about an hour until there is nice darkisk brown colouring on the vegetables
Blend in batches with the chicken stock, then add the cinnamon, garlic and vinegar.
(I used a stick blender. If using a jug blender, use cool chicken stock, or allow vegies to cool as blending hot soup may blow the blender lid and spray soup on the ceiling - you'll only do this once!)
Add salt and pepper to taste
Warm through and serve.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 7.5 pts, or 0.5 pts serving 10-12 / 1pts serving 6

Almost Core Egg White Open Omelette with ham, spinach, tomato and cheese sauce (+0.5)

Low fat, fluffy omelette with a smooth cheese sauce

Serves: 1
Difficulty: Fairly Easy
Points: 2.5pts or Core +0.5pts
Cooking time: 6-7 minutes

  • 4 egg whites
  • 2 TB cottage cheese
  • 30g of thin sliced smoked leg ham
  • 1/2 a ripe tomato, sliced razor thin
  • handfull of baby spinach
  • * 1 x 97% fat free Kraft Single (trust me on this one, OK?)
  • salt and pepper
Spray a bread and butter size non-stick skillet with a little oil and pre-heat on high.
Blend the egg whites and cottage cheese together for about a minute. You want it to thicken slightly and turn white, but not form peaks.
Pour the egg white mix into the pan and immediately turn down to medium.
Cook for about 3-4 minutes without a lid. The bottom of the omelette should look firm and set, but there will be fluff on the top third.
Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper
Cover the omelette with the ham, then the tomato, then the spinach.
Break the cheese slice into 3 pieces and spread across the spinach.
Put the lid on and cook for another 3 minutes. The aim here is to steam the spinach and tomato and combine the juices with the cheese slice to form a creamy light cheese sauce.
(If your skillet doesn't have a lid, put a metal baking tray on top and remove with a pot holder)
Slide a egg flip around the edges gently to loosen, then underneath. Now you can gently slide the omelette onto your plate.

For a more substantial meal, slide the omelete onto a rye mountain bread (+ 1 pt for Pointers) and roll up.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 2.5 pts
On Core you need to allow 0.5pt for the cheese slice

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Core Muesli Bar Base - Oven or Slow Cooker

Serves: 12
Difficulty: Easy

Basic recipe
  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup stewed apples
  • 150ml non-fat milk
  • 100ml water
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • sweetener, equivilent sweetness of 1/2 cup sugar
Method A:
Mix all base ingredients together.
To here is Core for a meal (32 pts if not Core)

Additional non-Core Ingredients:
Add your choice of dried fruits, nuts and seeds and calculate the Points.
I added 1/2 cup sultanas, 1/4 cup craisins, 1/2 cup pepitas and 1 TB linseeds (12.5 pts of non-Core ingredients, or 34.5 pts total)

Method B:
Press mix down into sprayed pan or slow cooker insert.
Oven - Bake in moderate oven until the slice begins to brown around edges.
Slow Cooker - cook for 2-3 hours on high until the slice begins to brown around edges. Turn off and allow the insert to cool before slicing up. If you have a lot of condensation inside the lid, you might want to wipe the lid. I cooked mine in the slow cooker.
To here is Core (32 pts if not Core)

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 34.5 pts with listed additional ingredients or 3pts each serving 12.
On Core, you'll need to add 1 pt per serve for fruit and seeds as listed.

Core Inside-Out Chicken Kiev

Serves: 4-6  (makes 12)
Difficulty: Easy
  • 450g chicken breast fillet
  • 6 thin slices of virginian ham (140g) or 12 thin slices of a small round smoked leg ham
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1 TB crushed garlic (or more if you love garlic)
  • 12 tsp breadcrumbs (I used Krummies multigrain)
Chop the chicken breast finely to approx 5mm. This is easier when it is partly frozen
Add chicken, oil and garlic to a bowl and mix.
If you have time, cover bowl and leave to marinate in the fridge for a few hours. Due to a change in plans, mine marinated for 30 hours.
Spray a 12 x 1/2 cup muffin tray with a little oil.
Line each cup with a slice of ham.
Divide the chicken mix into each cup.
Top eaxh cup with 1 tsp breadcrumbs.
Bake in middle/bottom of an oven preheated to 200*C for 10-15 minutes.
If your oven has a top element, keep an eye on to ensure the crumbs do not burn.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 17 pts, or 4 pts serving 4 or 3 pts serving 6.
We had 3 peices each.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Almost CORE Apple, Yoghurt and Sultana Slice

This is similar to those yoghurt slices - I think they were called Alaskan Slice.

Serves: 3 for breakfast or dessert

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 TB gelatine
  • 1 x 175g or 200g tub of diet yoghurt - natural, vanilla or your favourite
  • 100g (1 cup) Rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup water
  • liquid sweetener (or powder) to taste (I used unsweetened natural yoghurt and 20 drops liquid stevia. This is approx 8-10 tsp worth)
  • 50g (3 TB) sultanas *
  • 1 cup of stewed apples (no sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • sprinkle cinnamon
Dissolve gelatine in 3/4 cup boiling water
Add oats and sultanas
Microwave on high for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes to cook oats
Add yoghurt (is OK if still hot) and rest of ingredients and stir
Pour into 3 small or 1 large rectangular tub about 1.5 cm deep and smooth off
Set in fridge overnight
Run a blunt knife around edge to loosen, tap out onto a plate.

This sets quite firm, you could wrap in Gladwrap and eat in hand on-the-go, rather than on a plate. If you want to eat as a 'bar', I suggest you do it about 2cm thick.

On Core, you will need to count the sultanas at 1.5pts for all, or 0.5 pts per serve

Not on Core? The total Points for this is 9, or 3 pts per serve

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easy FREE Vegie Soup - Slow Cooker or Stove

This is called free soup as it has no Points on the Weight Watchers Program
It is easy as there is no preparation

I often turn this into a more filling meal by adding some of my Steamed Meatballs

Serves: 4 large serves

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 x 1kg bag of homebrand mixed vegetables
  • 1 x 400g diced tomatoes
  • 4-6 vegetable stock cubes
  • onion - either 1 diced real onion, 1/2 cup frozen diced onion or 1/2 packet french onion soup mix (in which case, just 4 stock cubes)
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp (or more) Italian herns mix
  • optional - a couple bay leaves
Bung all into large saucepan or slow cooker insert.
Add 4 cans worth of water (about 6 cups).

Slow cooker:  low for 3-4 hours
Stove top: simmer for 15 mins

How easy is that?

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 0 pts

Note for people counting Points - if youx mix has peas or corn, these are not free. You should allocate a small amount of Pts, 1/2 pt per serve, or 1/2 pt for 2 serves depending on how much is in the mix.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Core Beef Meatballs - Steamed

Meatballs for use in spaghetti and meatballs, meatball soup etc.
This recipe steams the meatballs, making lovely and moist.
You can cook in oven instead.
If serving as a finger food, I suggest browning under griller or in fry pan

When mince is on special I'll often do a huge batch and freeze in zip lock bags for quick meals later.

Serves: 30 meatballs

Difficulty: Easy

  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 TB dry french onion soup mix or dehydrated onion flakes
  • 2 tsp gried garlic powder
  • 1 TB dry parsley or basil 
The easiest may to do meatballs is to get your hand in there. Before starting, wash hands well and pour a basin of luke warm water.
Mix all together with your hands.
Dampen your palms and form into small 2 cm balls.
If the mixture sticks to your hand, dampen your palms, this will stop it sticking and give a smoother ball.
Place in single layer in steamer basket. Do not crowd as the fats drain better with a few mm between balls.
Steam for 10 minutes.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 15 pts or 1/2 pt a meatball

Friday, March 19, 2010

Almost Core Tasty White Sauce - use like Bechamel

Tonight I was asked my recipe for making white sauce. Since I was typing it up, I thought I'll post it here too. Picture coming when I make it again.

This is a light version of White Sauce or Bechamel Sauce which doesn't use butter, but uses mustard or chives to stop it from being bland glue paste :)

Serves: 2 (multiply as needed)
Makes a little more than 1/2 a cup. A 1/4 cup serve is plently to drizzle over silverside and a huge serve of vegies

Difficulty: Easy but needs watching and stirring for a couple minutes. Do not leave unattended.

  • 1/2 cup non fat milk
  • 2 TB of cornflour
  • Add 1-2 tsp of grainy mustard
  • 20g of grated reduced fat cheddar cheese *
  • Optional - chopped chives or spring onion greens with or instead of mustard.
Warm  milk gently on stove.
Mix cornflour with some water to make a paste (thinner than cream).
Whisk about 1/4 of the cornflour mix through the warm milk and wait about 1 minute for it to thicken. Repeat until you get to desired consistency (you won't need all the flour mix - add about 1/4 at a time).
Add grainy mustard and stir through cheese until it melts.
Note - Once flour is in the milk - do not walk away, just whisk and whisk on low heat or you can get serious lumps and burnt saucepan.

Often I add finely chopped chives or spring onion greens with or instead of mustard.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 2 pts using 50% reduced cheese, or 1 pt for a generous serve
On Core, just count the cheese for 1/2 pt using 50% reduced cheese

Monday, March 8, 2010

Core Pasta with Tuna, Lemon and Capers (hot or cold)

This zesty tuna dish can be served hot topped with a little parmesan or cold as a salad

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Easy

  • 500g pasta
  • 1 x 425g tin tuna in springwater, drained
  • 100g frozen tuna kernels
  • 150g frozen beans
  • 10 basil leaves, sliced fine
  • 1 TB capers
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • rind of 1 lemon, grated fine
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 spring onion, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
Boil pasta for 8 minutes, then add frozen vegetables and boil for another 3 mins.
Drain pasta and vegies, leaving in sieve.
In pot add tuna, capers, basil, garlic, lemon and spring onion and stire.
Add pasta and stir through, then add the spinach and stir through.
If making salad, allow to cool before stiring the spinach through.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 26.5pts or 4.5pts serving 6Add 3 tsp of parmesan for 0.5 pts

Friday, March 5, 2010

Core Lentil Loaf (Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian)

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Easy 

  • 250g dry brown lentils (the whole round ones, not the split ones) or 2 cans of lentils, drained and rinsed (personally, I don't like canned lentils, they are mushy, salty and lack the flavour and texture of dried lentils)
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves of darlic, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 TB tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup diced coriander
  • 2 TB diced Italian flat parsley
  • 2 TB Moroccan spices
  • water
  • Salt Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 a 250g tub Perfect Italiano Extra Light: Ricotta
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats (70g)
Put lentils in a heatproof dish and add boiling water to about 2 cm above line of lentils. Put lid on and stand for about 2 hours. If in a hurry, you can boil lentils for 30 mins and drain.  Alternatively, use 2 cans of lentils, drained and rinsed.
Spray a large nonstick fry pan with oil and fry the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes.
Add chopped tomato, lentils, 3/4 cup water, tomato paste, herbs and simmer for 30 mins, stirring several times and adding a little more water if they start to stick. (Canned lentils, cook for 5 mins)
Allow to cool (or the egg will set as you stir it through)
Mash or blend half of the mixture.
Stir in ricotta, egg, oats and the remaining lentils mixture
Pour into large loaf tin which has been sprayed with oil.
Bake at 45*C for 50-60 mins.
Allow to stand for 5 mins before cutting.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 17pts, or 3 pts serving 6

Core Moroccan Lentils (Vegan) - Moroccan Cooking School

Serves: 6 as side dish 

Difficulty: Easy 

  • 250g dry brown lentils (the whole round ones, not the split ones) or 2 cans of lentils, drained and rinsed (personally, I don't like canned lentils, they are mushy, salty and lack the flavour and texture of dried lentils)
  • 1 large onion, diced small
  • 3 cloves of darlic, diced
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 4 TB tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup diced coriander
  • 2 TB diced Italian flat parsley
  • 2 TB Moroccan spices
  • water
  • Salt Pepper
Put lentils in a heatproof dish and add boiling water to about 2 cm above line of lentils. Put lid on and stand for about 2 hours. Alternatively, use 2 cans of lentils, drained and rinsed.
Spray a large nonstick fry pan with oil and fry the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes.
Add chopped tomato, lentils, 3/4 cup water, tomato paste, herbs and simmer for 30 mins, stirring several times and adding a little more water if they start to stick. (Canned lentils, cook for 5 mins)

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 10pts, or 1.5 pts serving 6

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Core Chermoulla Fish Tagine - Moroccan cooking school

Chermoulla is the Moroccan term for "mixed spices". So this is just fish and vegetables cooked with spices

This dish is commonly cooked by Moroccans when they go camping, or to the park.

What fish? Any firm white fish will work. In my cooking class, we all had to use different fish and then had to taste them all at the end. Some were: mackeral, whiting, snook, mulloway, sardines, garfish, dory, whiting, basa, snapper, trevally, king fish, bonito, garfish and barramundi. All were good, with subtle differences.

Pots and methods:
Stovetop = large fry pan or stock pot with lid. You need about 3ocm wide and about 10cm high, more if you add more vegies.
Oven = lidded casserole dish, around 4 litres. Glass would be best to show the layers. If you don't have a lid, cover tightly with alfoil
Slow cooker = no problem. Use about 1/4 less water
Note - there is no reason this can't be scaled down to individual or couple sized serves by using smaller cookware.

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Easy


  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into neat slices just under 1cm
  • 2-3 large carrots, peeled and cut on the diagonal into neat slices just under 1cm
  • 2 large brown onions, peeled and cut into neat round slices just under 1cm
  • 3 or 4 tomatoes, cut into neat slices just under 1cm
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • 750g firm white fish
  • 1.5 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian flat leaved parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 a preserved lemon (or 2 grated rind of 1/2 a lemon + 2 tsp salt)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 2-3 TB Moroccan spices
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 cloved of garlic, chopped fine
  • 8 kalamata olives, chopped
  • Optional - a grilled capsicum, sliced fine

In your pot, you need to build neat layers of the vegies in this order: tomato, potato, carrot, onion, peas.
Then lay your fish neatly over the top with small gaps between the pieces. For large thick fillets like barramundi, slice across the fillets to make steaks about 3 cm wide.

Now we made the chermoulla.
In a non-metallic dish, mix cori, parsley, garlic, oil, Moroccan spices, preserved lemon, oil, salt.
The add lemon juice and 3/4 cup water.
Ladle the chermoulla over the fish dish slowly, making sure lots of the green flecks stay on top of the fish.
Add another 1/3 cup water to the bowl, swish to get remaining spices and pour down the side of the dish, trying not to wash down any herbs. The fluid level should be a little below the fish layer.
Sprinkle with olives and grilled capsicum if using.
Put onto stove on medium heat until you start to see bubbles.
Turn down to low, put lid on and leave for 20 mins. Shake pan once or twice with lid on.
Open lid and baste the fish with some of the juices.
Cook another 20-30 mins until vegies are done
Oven - put into warmed oven at 180*C for 45 - 60 mins, baste at half way point
Slowcooker - on low. Would probably need about 3 hours on low. Or use boiling water in the chermoulla and low 60 - 90 mins. Baste at half way point

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 19.5 pts or 3.5 pts each, serving 6

Core Chicken, Watermelon and Mint Salad

A wonderfully refreshing and zingy chicken salad

Serves: 1

Difficulty: Very easy

  • 100g baked chicken breast, diced (or 140g breast fillet grilled and diced)
  • 1 1/2 cup watermelon, diced to 1cm
  • about 10cm of cucumber, sliced or diced
  • 125g can corn kernels, drained
  • 10 fresh mint leaves, sliced very thin (try scissors)
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
  • 1 TB balsamic vinegar
  • 3 TB lemon juice

In your serving bowl, make a nest of spinach.
In another non-metallic bowl, toss the rest of the ingredients together and serve on top of the spinach nest.

Optional - sprinkle with 3 tsp of strong parmesan for an extra 0.5 pts

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 5pts

Monday, March 1, 2010

Core 'Creamy' Chicken and Vegetable Soup

This makes a thick 'creamy' soup like a chowder.

If you prefer a more liquidy soup, add 1-2 cups boiling water in at the end with 1 tsp extra stock.

Serves: 6-8 (10 cups)

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 3/4 cup frozen spinach
  • 300g baked chicken breast, diced or shredded (or use 350 g diced raw chicken breast fillet)
  • 1.5 L water
  • 1.5 TB chicken stock powder (6 stock cubes)
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup small pasta or risoni (160g)
  • 375 ml can Carnation Light and Creamy Evaporated milk 98.5% fat free
  • pepper
  • parsley

Coat your soup pan with oil spray and sautee onion and garlic for about 3 minutes.
If using raw chicken breast, add here and cook until chicken turns white
Add cooked chicken, frozen vegetables, water, stock and thyme and bring to boil.
Add pasta and simmer for 20 mins.
Add evaporated milk, parsley and pepper to taste and simmer for a couple of minutes - do not boil

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 25.5 pts or 3 pts serving 8, or 4 pts for 6 large servings

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Almost Core Spaghetti Bake

Note: Pictured serving is 1/4 aka "hungry man serving" which is 8 pts!

Serves: 4 - 6

Difficulty: Easy

  • 3 gloves garlic, diced (or crushed garlic from jar)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • red capsicum, diced, about 1/2 cup
  • 400g very lean mince meat
  • carrot, grated, about 1 cup
  • 1 x 420g can diced tomatoes
  • 3 rounded TB of tomato paste
  • 2-3 tsp dried basil
  • 1 TB chicken stock
  • 300 g dry spaghetti
  • 30 g (1/3 cup) of strong grated parmesan
  • salt and pepper

Spray a large non stick fry pan with oil.
Fry onion, garlic and capsicum for 3 minutes, then add the mince.
Meanwhile, break the spaghetti in half and boil for about 8 minutes, until done, but still a tad firm. Drain and put aside.
When mince is browned, add all ingredients except parmesan and pasta and simmer for 5 mins.
Turn heat off and mix the pasta through the mince mix.
Spray a springform pan generously with oil (or use a rectangular cake tin or baking dish).
Pour the spaghetti into the oiled tin.
Firm the spaghetti down with a potato masher or spoon.
Sprinkle top with parmesan.
Bake at 180*C for 35 mins. If using a springform pan, put on a baking tray to catch any drips.
Sit for 5 mins before cutting.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 33 pts for the whole recipe, or 5.5 pts, serving 6

On Core, you'll just need to count the parmesan at 3.5 pts for whole recipe, 0.5 pts each serving 6

Friday, February 26, 2010

Core Tuna, Bean and Capers Salad

Serves: 1 large serving

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 x small can chunk tuna in springwater, drained
  • 1 x 125 g 4 bean mix, drained
  • 1 x 125 g corn kernels, drained
  • 6 chery tomatoes, halved
  • diced red capsicum (not pictured), a few tablespoons
  • about 10cm of cucumber, diced fine
  • about 1/8th medium onion, diced fine
  • 1 tsp capers
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (3 TB)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • handful of baby spinach leaves
  • pepper and salt

Mix all except baby spinach together in a bowl. Allow to sit for a few mins for flavours to mingle
Make a nest of baby spinach in your serving bowl and tip the mix in the middle.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 4pts

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Moroccan Carrot Dish with Salad, Side Dish or Dip Options - Moroccan Cooking School

No more "boring" carrots!
Versatile Carrot recipe which can be served as a hot side dish or cold salad or hot or cold dip!
Pictured is side / salad
Serves: varies as to use

Difficulty: Easy

  • 500g peeled and boiled carrots
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • fresh parsley, about 2 TB chopped
  • fresh coriander, about 3 TB chopped
  • 3TB lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to your taste

Heat a nonstick frypan coated with oil spray.
Add the garlic and fry on medium for about 3 mins until it is very aromatic
Side or salad - halve cooked carrots (quarter enormous ones) and slice to 5mm
Dip - mash carrots with no added moisture

Add carrot to fry pan, along with remaining ingredients and warm through for a few minutes.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 0! Yes, not a single point smeaked in here!

Almost Core Lamb Tagine with Prunes and Apricot - Moroccan Cooking School

Dried fruit and cinnamon make a wonderfully sweet tagine.
Serves: 6 -8

Difficulty: Easy


  • 2 onions, sliced
  • cooking spray
  • 1kg of lean diced lamb
  • * 100g dried apricots, cut into 4 or 6 pieces each
  • * 200g dried prunes, cut into 4 or 6 pieces each
  • lemon juice
  • 1tsp cinnamon
    Note - cinnamon goes stale in a few months. Take a sniff and if smell is not very strong, go get some fresh cinnamon as it will have no flavour.
  • 1 heaped TB of Moroccan spice mix
  • fresh parsley, about 3 TB chopped
  • fresh coriander, about 3 TB chopped
  • * 2 TB sugar (you can also use honey)
  • saffron or artificial saffron colour (Hoyts in the refill bags)
  • salt
  • pepper


Heat a large soup saucepan to medium-high
Spray with oil and add onions and diced lamb and stir for about 2 or 3 mins.
Turn heat down to low and add 2 cups of water, parsley, coriander and moroccan spices.
Also add a few strands of saffron or about 1/8 tsp of the colouring.
Note - through this recipe you will need to monitor the liquid level and add more water as needed. You need somewhere between enough so it doesn't stick on the bottom and to just covering the contents, depending on how wet you like your "stews". I prefer mine to be thicker, while others prefer very waterey so the rice can soak up the fragrant sauce. Your choice, but keep adding water as needed.
Keep simmering for about 30-40 mins, stirring and checking water level.
Add salt and pepper, a good squeeze of lemon (about 1/4 cup) and dried fruit and simmer for a few minutes.

Serve on rice or couscous (points do not include)

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 39.5 pts, or 5pts serving 8

On Core you need to add the points for the starred ingredients, totalling 9.5 pts for the recipe or 1 pt each serving 8.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Core Moroccan Vegetable CousCous

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 turnip
  • 1/4 cabbage, shredded fine
  • 2 zucchini
  • 500g pumpkin (3 cups)
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, chopped fine
  • 1 TB Moroccan spice blend
  • colouring agent - either 1/8 - 1/4 tsp Hoyts artificial saffron colouring (sold in the racks of spices in bags for refilling jars) or a few strands of saffron
  • coriander, about 3 TB chopped fine
  • parsley, about 3 TB chopped fine
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • water

All of the vegies need to be chopped fairly chunky, like 1 cm thick by 3 cm wide.
You can also bulk this out by adding more vegetables, sorting them into hard (potato) and soft. If you count points, don't forget to account for any added vegetables which have points.
Pumpkin and sweet potato count as 'soft'


In a large soup or stock pot, add 2 TB of olive oil and the onion and cook for several minutes on medium.
Add the hard vegies (not the pumpkin) and about 1/2 cup water and cook for about mins
Add the cabbage and tomatoes and turn to lowest heat setting.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper, Moroccan spices and ginger.
As you are simmering, check the water level in the pot and add more if and when needed. You need about 1/2 cm in bottom of pot. Stir every few minutes
After another 10 mins, add the zucchini and saffron/colour.
At this point, we need to prepare the couscous. Add 1 cup couscous to heatproof bowl with 1 cup boiling water, allow to absorb for 5 mins and fluff with fork.
Simmer until vegies are done to your preference (test with a knife or fork)
Make a ring of couscous on the plate and serve the vegetables in the middle.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 17.5 pts or 4 pts each serving 4

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Core Moroccan Salad with Chickpeas and Tuna/Salmon - Moroccan Cooking Class

Serves: 1

Difficulty: Easy

  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced to about 5mm or 1 medium tomato and 6 halved cherry tomatoes (more visually appealling, but still use 1 tomato as you need the tomato 'juices' to help with the dressing)
  • 1/4 small green capsicum, diced small (or use red if that is what you have)
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped very fine
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced very fine (or use white, but red looks better)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • fresh coriander, chopped, about 3 TB
  • fresh parsley, chopped, about 2 TB
  • lemon juice, a 'squirt'
  • 1 small tin of good quality tuna or salmon in spring water, drained
  • 1/2 cup tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • salt and pepper to taste


Toss all and eat.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 3.5 pts for tuna, 4.5 pts for salmon

Want a bit more?
Add another tin of tuna for an extra point, or another quarter cup of chickpeas for another point.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Core Moroccan Eggplant Dip - Moroccan Cooking Class

Serves: makes about 2-3 cups

Difficulty: Easy

  • 2 eggplants, diced to about 1.5cm
  • 4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp Moroccan spice mix
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • fresh coriander, about 4 clumps, cut fine
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (Sugar Bello style tomato puree is fine - the ones in the really tall jars)


Boil eggplant on medium heat for about 30 mins.
Add all to pot and simmer on lowest setting for 15-20 mins, stirring every few minutes.

Serve hot or cold with bread or as a side dish

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 0 pts, not counting bread

Core Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemon and Olives - Moroccan Cooking School

Pictured with eggplant added

This traditional Moroccan meal can be cooked on the stovetop in about an hour or in the slow cooker for about 4-5 hours. You do not need an expensive tagine pot.

Instructions given are for stovetop with slow cooker timing in [square brackets]

Optional - you can bulk this out with other vegetables if you wish.

Hard root vegies like carrots and sweet potato go in with potato, cut chunky.
Soft vegies like eggplant, zucchini go in 15 mins from end [SC 30-40 mins from end]

Serves: 6

Difficulty: Easy


  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch or 5 'clumps' of fresh coriander, roots removed, leaves and stalk chopped fine
  • 1 TB or Moroccan spice mix (note as spice mixes vary, you may wish to taste towards the end and add more if needed)
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 12 small chicken drumsticks, skin removed (or 12 'lovely legs' = drumsticks with skin and the 'handle' removed)
  • 2 TB cooking or sea salt
  • 1/8 - 1/4 tsp Hoyts artificial saffron colouring
    This is sold in the racks of spices in bags for refilling jars. Be careful with this powder as it is very strong and stains big time - I have 3 yellow fingers - and use it sparingly in your cooking. It is much cheaper and more effective than saffron for getting that lovely exotic orange-yellow colour
  • 600g potato, cut to 1.5 - 2cm chunks
  • kalamata olives, 12-18 pitted or unpitted
  • 1/2 preserved lemon, chopped fine - I will be posting a recipe to make your own soon!
  • 2 cups frozen peas
  • Optional - extra vegeatables

In a large soup or stock pot, add the oil, onion and coriander and cook on medium until it starts to wilt a little [SC on high for about 20-30 mins]
Meanwhile, remove the skin on the drumsticks by scoring around the ankle with a sharp knife, insert knife under skin to loosen and pull.
Soak chicken in a tub of water with a couple tablespoons of salt for 10 mins and wash (why? Try it and see all the gunk that comes off that you are not eating!)
Add Moroccan spice and yellow colouring.
Stir, then add chicken drumsticks and enough water to about 1cm below chicken line.
Simmer on medium heat for 30 mins, giving occasional stir [SC high for 1.5 hours, no stir]
Add potato, olives, preserved lemons and frozen peas (yes, this early - Moroccan-style mushy peas) and cook for a further 20-30 mins on low, giving occasional stir [SC high for 1-1.5 hours, no stir]
Taste, adding more Moroccan seasoning or white pepper.

Serve with cooked rice or couscous

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 20 pts, or 5 pts each serving 6

If serving with rice, don't forget to add the points for rice - 1/2 cup cooked rice is 1.5 pts

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Core Lemon Grass Drink (tasty and medicinal) - Thai Cooking School

Lemon grass has been used in Asian medicine for thousands of years.

It is well known for:
  • settling all digestive ailments
  • recovering from colds and flu
  • reducing fever, cramps
  • "gas" (yes the polite word for farting)
  • relieving aches and pains (great for 'girl pains')
  • relieving any sort of cramps
  • relieving athritis symptoms

And it is also apparently good as an antifungal. If you have athletes foot, don't tell me about it, but try soaking your tootsies in a diluted solution.

Lemon grass also makes a tasty beverage which is particularly refreshing on hot muggy days.

Serve icy cold with heaps of ice cubes.

Also can be drank hot as a "tea" if you prefer.

This was my favourite drink in Phuket - the drinking water is icky and I avoid all artificial sweetners (I react to them).
OK - my favourite drink was cocktails, but I didn't drink them all day :)

Serves: 10+ glasses

Difficulty: Super Easy - chop and boil

  • 3 stalks lemongrass, chopped to approx m]5mm rounds (about 1 cup worth)
  • 2 1/2 litres cold water
  • your choice of sweetener - sugar (pts), Equal, Stevia or Xylotil

Put cold water and lemongrass into a large pot and slowly bring to boil with lid on
Allow to simmer for about 10 mins, until the lemon grass is vaguely green and the water is tinged yellow.
Turn off heat, strain and allow to cool.

This makes a concentrate which you have about 1/2 and 1/2 with cold water, according to your tastes. Try with soda or mineral water too!

Sweetening - sweeten according to your tastes. If using a liquid or a powder which dissolves quickly, you may prefer top do this in the glass rather than sweetening the concentrate.

If you want to sample the drink straight away, add about 1/2 cup to a small jug and add 3 or 4 large ice cubes, stir until ice cubes stop melting. Then serve with more ice cubes and stir in your sweetener.

Store in a airtight jug or bottle in the fridge for up to a week. I prefer to store as concentrate to save room, but you may prefer to store as ready to drink.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 0 if you don't use sweeteners with points.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Core Gai Kratiam - Chicken with Garlic and Pepper - Thai Cooking School (Core +1pt)

I learnt this authentic Thai recipe at Thai cooking school in Patong, Phuket in January

The accompaniments in the photo are chilli sauce and rice vinegar with cucumber, chilli and shallots

Serves: 1

Difficulty: Easy

  • 80g chicken breast, sliced
  • 2 tsp chopped garlic (don't use garlic in a jar for this one, you need real garlic)
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • * 1 teaspoon brown sugar or palm sugar (*1pt)
  • 4 pinches of ground white pepper (black pepper looks like burnt flecks)
  • 1 TB vegetable oil


In a bowl, add together all of the ingredients except the oil and allow to sit for 10 mins.
Turn on fry pan or wok to LOW heat and add the oil.
Fry the chicken mix until the chicken is cooked.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 3.5pts
If serving with rice, don't forget to add the points for rice - 1/2 cup cooked rice is 1.5 pts

On Core, allow 1 pt for the sugar.

Core Khao Tom - Thai Rice Soup - Thai Cooking School (Core + 1pt)

I learnt this authentic recipe at Thai cooking school in Patong, Phuket in January.

If using chicken, it's called Khao Tom Gai
Beef = Khao Tom Nua, Pork = Khao Tom Moo, Prawns = Khao Tom Goong

Serves: 1

Difficulty: Easy

  • cooked rice, 60g or 1/3 cup
  • 500ml water
  • meat - handful of meat of choice, sliced thin (for Pointing, 80g chicken breast or lean steak, you can also use 2 pts of pork or seafood if you wish)
  • * 1 TB brown sugar or palm sugar (*1pt)
  • 3 TB light soy sauce
  • 2-3 pinches ground white pepper (note black pepper may be used for taste, but it looks like burnt flecks)
  • 4 baby corns, cut to 2cm
  • 1 handful cabbage, cut to 2-3cm square
  • 1/3 small carrot, sliced thin

In a small pot bring the water to the boil.
Add meat and keep boiling until meat is cooked.
Add cooked rice and remaining ingredients.
Cook for 3-4 minutes, being careful not to over cook the vegies.
Serve and enjoy.

This is traditionally served with 2 garnishes - 2 pinches of pickled radish and a pinch of fried garlic.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 4pts for a large bowl

On Core you need to allow 1 pt for the sugar

Me in cooking school serving Khao Tom. Yes I am very sunburnt from snorkelling the day before.

Core Chicken and Thyme Cottage Pie

Serves: 4

Difficulty: Easy

  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced to about 2mm thick
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 red capsicums, deseeded, diced to 1.5cm
  • Chicken - either 300g roasted chicken (no skin or bones, chopped chunky) or 500g raw chicken breast or thigh fillets (diced to 1.5cm). I used 2 large roasted chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 cup chicken gravy, made as per instructions (I use instant)
  • 1.5 cup frozen beans
  • 1.5 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 400g potato, peeled and chopped chunky


Spray a large non stick frypan with oil.
Fry onions, capsicums, garlic and raw chicken if using, until all is cooked and brown.
Add thyme, gravy, cooked chicken if using and vegetables. You probably need to add some more water so the liquid level is just below the level of the chicken/veg mix.
Simmer for 5 mins, then pour into a baking dish or 4 smaller heatproof dishes
Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling water for 10-15 minutes. You want them breaking apart soft.
Drain potatoes and mash with no milk or butter and add to top of baking dish/es. Fluff potato with a fork or draw decorative lines on the top.
Alternatively, use a potato ricer or push through a sieve to give squiggly potato "worms". I used a ricer
Put dish/es under grill until the potato turns a nice golden brown on the raised bits.

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 21 pts, or 5 pts for a generous serve

Monday, February 1, 2010

Core Bacon Beans on Toast

Serves: 1

Difficulty: Easy

  • 40-50g bacon, fat removed and sliced thin (points calculated on 3 slices WW bacon)
  • 125g tin 4 bean mix, drained
  • 1/2 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved
  • small amount of chilli paste or chilli sauce, try 1/8-1/4 tsp first
  • 1 slice of grainy bread, toasted


In a non-stick pan dry fry the bacon until it starts to brown.
Add the beans and chilli and warm through for 2 mins.
Turn heat off and stir through the cherry tomatoes.
Serve on top of toast

Not on Core? The total Points for this recipe is 4 pts