19 May 2010

Food Diary - 18 May


4 table spoons Wholewheat Pronutro
1/2 teaspoon Brown sugar

1 cracker bread - rye
1 teaspoon plain cottage cheese - fat free

Steamed chicken breast salad with 2 cups crispy lettuce, 1 cup tomato, 1/2 avo, 1 cup cucumber, 1 small granny smith apple (left over from the night before)

15 Vitasnack biscuits

Steamed mixed veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, patty pans, carrots, green beans, courgettes)
1.5 Steamed chicken breasts

# glasses of water: 3 (I know I'm not getting enough water in during the day, I'm trying to change that)

18 May 2010

I started a food diary

To help me with my excessive weight loss, I started a food diary yesterday and *intend* on keeping it updated during the day.


4 Vitasnack Biscuits
4 table spoons Wholewheat Pronutro
1/2 teaspoon Brown sugar
1 cup 5 Roses tea with fat free milk
1 teaspoon Brown sugar

1 cracker bread - rye
1 teaspoon plain cottage cheese - fat free

3 teaspoons plain cottage cheese - fat free
1/2 fruit Avo, pureed with juice from half a lemon, pinch salt and black pepper
11 Vitasnack Biscuits
3 Provita (wholewheat)

Steamed chicken breast salad with 2 cups crispy lettuce, 1 cup tomato, 1/2 avo, 1 cup cucumber, 1 small granny smith apple

# glasses of water: 3

07 May 2010

Recipe: Mixed berry smoothie

Mixed berry smoothie

This creamy, fruity, delicious smoothie is packed with Vitamin C and Calcium. A dash of orange juice and honey makes it soothing and reviving, a great drink to kick start your day.

Serves: 2

Main Ingredients
250 grams PnP frozen mixed berries, frozen
100 ml PnP yoghurt, greek
3 tbsp honey
300 ml PnP milk
1 small banana, frozen and cut into chunks (optional)

Place the frozen berries and yoghurt in a blender.
Blend thoroughly to make a thick puree.
Scrape the mixture down from the sides with a rubber spatula if necessary and continue blending to incorporate all the ingredients.
Add the honey, milk and banana (optional) blend until smooth.
Pour into chilled glasses, decorated with extra fresh berries if desired.


Recipe: Bacon and spinach muffins

Bacon and spinach muffins

They make a fabulous accompaniment to soups and salads, are super-quick to whip up from scratch and so satisfying.

Less than 1 hour
Serves: 12

Main Ingredients
125 grams rindless bacon, streaky, chopped
214 grams cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp PnP salt
1 pinch PnP cayenne pepper
1 cup spinach, cooked, chopped
1 cup PnP cheddar cheese, grated
1 PnP egg
80 ml No Name cooking oil
100 ml PnP milk

Pre-heat the oven to 200ºC.
Grease a muffin tin.
Fry the bacon in some oil until just cooked and slightly cripsy and set aside.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cayenne pepper together. Add the bacon, spinach and cheese.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg, oil and milk and add to the dry ingredients. Mix until the flour is moistened - the batter should still be lumpy.
Spoon into the greased muffin tins, filling each mould 2/3 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.
Serve warm with butter.


Recipe: Crustless asparagus and onion quiche

Crustless asparagus and onion quiche

This recipe can be made with fresh or canned asparagus.

Less than 1 hour
Serves: 4 - 5

Main Ingredients
125 ml fresh white breadcrumbs
200 grams asparagus, fresh green
1 tbsp PnP olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
3 ml green onion seasoning
1 tbsp PnP canola oil
1 tbsp PnP butter
3 large PnP eggs
250 ml PnP cream
2 tbsp white sauce powder
187 ml PnP cheddar cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 170°C.
Butter a 22-24cm flan dish really well and shake breadcrumbs into dish, so some of the crumbs stick to the bottom and sides. Place dish in the freezer to set crumbs while making the filling.
Steam asparagus for 3 minutes. Toss with olive oil and cool. Cut off tips (about 3cm), then slice the rest of the stems on the diagonal into 2cm lengths. Keep tips for garnish.
Season onions with green onion seasoning. Heat butter and oil and sauté onions until completely soft and beginning to brown slightly. Remove from heat. Add steamed asparagus stems (not the tips). Cool.
Beat eggs and cream. Toss white sauce powder with grated cheese and sprinkle half of this mixture evenly over the base of the prepared dish.
Top with asparagus and onion mixture. Mix remaining cheese mixture into eggs and pour over asparagus.
Bake on the middle shelf for about 35 minutes until set and puffy. Switch off oven, open door slightly, and leave quiche in oven for another 10 minutes.
Cool slightly, top with asparagus tips and serve with salad.


Recipe: Microwave mielie moulds

Microwave mielie moulds

Kids love these!

Less than 45 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tbsp PnP butter
4 mielies (corn), cut off the cob
125 ml PnP milk
3 ml seasoned salt
3 large PnP eggs, beaten
125 ml PnP cheddar cheese, grated
125 ml fresh white breadcrumbs
1 pinch nutmeg

Preheat oven to 160C.
Butter 3-4 smallish heat resistant bowls, about 8cm across and 6cm deep. Sprinkle parsley over bases of bowls.
Place in the freezer for a few minutes to allow parsley to set.
Place mielie kernels in a microwave dish and add butter and milk. Cover dish. Microwave for 8 minutes on high (100%).
Spoon mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add seasoned salt, eggs, cheese, breadcrumbs and nutmeg and blend well.
Spoon mielie mixture into moulds and smooth the tops.
Place moulds in a roasting pan of boiling hot water, about 3cm deep, and bake for 25-30 minutes.
Remove from oven. Leave to stand in pan, covered with foil or paper for 10 minutes.
Turn out and serve with tomato and onion smoor (spread).


Recipe: Spinach and ricotta lasagne

Spinach and ricotta lasagne

This delicious lasagne is easy to make, and full of iron thanks to the spinach.

Less than 1.5 hours
Serves: 6

Main Ingredients
200 grams PnP lasagne pasta sheets
2 cups hot water
500 grams spinach, well rinsed, ribs removed and roughly chopped
2 tbsp PnP butter, cubed
1 tbsp garlic and herb seasoning
500 grams ricotta cheese, or chunky plain cottage cheese
250 ml PnP cream
1 large PnP egg
400 ml creamy cheese pasta sauces
125 ml pecorino cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 180°C just before you intend to bake the lasagne. Dip lasagne sheets in hot tapwater. This improves the tenderness of the pasta and reduces baking time. Spread wet sheets out on a board or cloth.
Heat a large frying pan. Add spinach and cubed butter. Cover with a lid. Cook over high heat for 2 minutes, until spinach has just wilted. Season with garlic & herb seasoning. Place spinach and liquid from pan in a food processor. Blend until roughly textured. Add ricotta cheese and cream. Set aside.
Spread one third of spinach mixture into a 30cm x 24cm ovenproof dish. Layer with one third of pasta sheets and one third of ricotta mixture. Repeat until all ingredients are used. End with a layer of pasta.
Beat egg into pasta sauce and pour over lasagne. Sprinkle with grated pecorino. Leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes, if time permits, before baking. This allows pasta time to soften more and layers to settle. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden. If the lasagne was made in advance and refrigerated or frozen, add an extra 10 minutes cooking time.

Ina’s tip:
To calculate exactly how many sheets of lasagne you’ll need, fit the sheets into the dish, multiply by three for the three layers and you’ll know how many to soak.
If using fresh pasta there’s no need to hydrate before use.


Recipe: Goat's cheese and sage soufflés

Goat's cheese and sage soufflés

Be gentle… they’re well worth the effort.

Less than 45 minutes
Serves: 6

Main Ingredients
80 ml parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp PnP butter, plus extra for greasing
3 tbsp PnP Organic flour
400 ml PnP milk, hot
4 large PnP eggs, separated, plus 1 extra egg white
150 grams goat's cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp sage, gently fried and crumbled
2 pinches white pepper

Preheat oven to 180°C.
Grease six 200ml ramekins. Sprinkle with parmesan and gently shake to ensure all edges are coated.
Melt butter in a saucepan. Stir in flour and cook for about a minute.
Gradually add milk, stirring constantly. Simmer, while stirring for about 5 minutes, or until a thick sauce has formed. Remove from heat.
Whisk egg yolks, cheese, sage, remaining parmesan and seasoning together.
Whisk egg whites until stiff peaks form. Using a metal spoon fold a third of the egg whites into cheese mixture. Continue until well combined.
Spoon equal quantities of mixture into ramekins. Run your thumb around the edges, this will help the soufflé rise.
Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until well risen and golden. Gently press down on the top, it should be firm to the touch. If not return to oven for an extra 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately.

Good ideas:

Add bite with a pinch of chilli.
Stir through a spoonful of pesto.


Recipe: Vietnamese chicken salad

Vietnamese chicken salad

Deliciously healthy. Leftovers make an excellent work lunch.

Less than 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
3 free range chicken fillets
125 ml chicken stock
2 pinches white pepper
150 grams bean sprouts
30 grams mint leaves, Vietnamese
300 grams coleslaw mix
30 grams basil leaves
40 grams salad onions, finely sliced

4 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp PnP castor sugar
1 clove of garlic, crushed
10 ml knob fresh ginger, grated
1 fresh chilli, finely sliced

Place chicken in a non-stick pan with stock and seasoning.
Simmer over a medium heat until cooked through, adding extra stock if necessary. Set aside to cool.
Shred or slice chicken into strips and place in a large bowl. Add remaining salad ingredients and toss to combine.


Pour ingredients into a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake to dissolve sugar.
Pour over salad, toss to combine and serve.


Recipe: Lamb kofte with herbed yoghurt dressing

Lamb kofte with herbed yoghurt dressing

Serve followed with a bowl of freshly cut watermelon.

Less than 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
800 grams lamb mince
1 medium onion, grated
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp PnP ground coriander
7 ml chilli flakes, crushed
60 ml chopped parsley
60 ml oregano, chopped
1 large PnP egg
2 pinches PnP salt
1 dash milled pepper
1 tbsp PnP olive oil
4 dashes PnP sunflower oil, for brushing

1 cup PnP plain yoghurt
80 grams mint, halved
125 ml PnP lemon juice, and grated peel of half a lemon
2 pinches PnP salt
1 dash milled pepper

Soak bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes.
Mix the first nine ingredients together in a bowl and season.
Divide mixture into about 8-12 portions.
Mould around bamboo skewers into sausage-like shapes.


Mix ingredients together and set aside.
Heat oil in a griddle pan to a medium heat.
Seal kofte on all sides and cook to your liking.
Serve as mezze with dressing and lemon wedges, or as a main meal with salad and toasted pitas.

Great Idea:

Double the recipe and serve leftover kofte with skewers removed.
Serve tossed through heated Neapoletana sauce with pasta.


Recipe: Citrus, honey and mustard-glazed pork chops

Citrus, honey and mustard-glazed pork chops

A quick and easy-to-prepare midweek meal.

Less than 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
1 medium orange, juice and grated peel
4 pork loin chops, 200g each
1 tbsp PnP olive oil
1 tbsp tarragon leaf
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp dijon mustard
125 ml chicken stock
1 dash salt and milled pepper

Mix half the orange juice and peel in a bowl together with chops.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and sear chops on both sides.
Add remaining ingredients, season, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until done.
Serve with creamy mashed potato.


Recipe: Lemon and dill grilled fish with pickled cucumber salad

Lemon and dill grilled fish with pickled cucumber salad

The perfect easy-to-make meal for lazy summer days.

Less than 1 hour
Serves: 4

3 tbsp water
80 ml PnP white wine vinegar
3 tbsp PnP castor sugar
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 medium cucumber, cut into 'matchsticks'
3 tbsp dill, chopped
1 lemon peel, grated
3 ml sea salt
4 firm white fish fillets, 200g each
1 tbsp PnP olive oil


Whisk ingredients together.


Add cucumber and dill to dressing and leave to marinate for about 30 minutes.
Mix lemon peel and salt together and rub onto fish to coat evenly.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan and grill fish for about 4-6 minutes, depending on thickness or until cooked through.
Serve with pickled cucumber salad and boiled baby potatoes.


Recipe: Chicken korma

Chicken korma

Chicken Korma is a very popular recipe

Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
1.5 kilograms free range chicken fillets, cut into bite size chunks
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
175 ml PnP yoghurt, thick natural
30 ml No Name cooking oil
1 tbsp PnP ground coriander
1 pinch PnP black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
1 can coconut cream
40 grams PnP almonds, ground
1 dash PnP lemon juice
1 pinch PnP salt
1 dash coriander, to garnish

Mix the chicken with the ginger, garlic and yoghurt, cover and marinade for 3-4 hours.
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the ground coriander, black pepper, turmeric and garam masala and stir-fry for about 1 minute over a low heat.
Turn up the heat, add the chilli and onion and stir-fry for 10 minutes.
Add the chicken and the marinade and cook for a further 10 minutes.
Add the coconut milk and bring to the boil, stirring regularly.
As soon as the mixture boils, reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer until the chicken is tender – about half an hour.
Remove from the heat, stir in the ground almonds, lemon juice and salt to taste.
Mix well and sprinkle with chopped coriander.
Serving ideas

Serve with onion bhaji and pilaf rice or rotis.


Recipe: Classic cook’s spice toasted granola

Classic cook’s spice toasted granola

Granola is said to have first been ‘invented’ in New York by Dr. James Caleb Jackson at the Jackson Sanitarium, a healthspa, in 1894. Granola had a popularity revival in the 1960s in America where it became known as ‘hippie health food’, and more exciting ingredients like dried fruits and nuts were then added.

Less than 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Main Ingredients
625 ml oats
10 ml mixed spice
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp PnP olive oil
100 grams mixed nuts, crushed
120 grams vanilla flavoured seeds

Preheat oven to 200°C.
Pour oats into a baking tray. Bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring a couple of times.
Pour spice, honey and oil into a small bowl. Add 1 tsp (5ml) boiling water and stir to mix.
Add nuts and seeds and toss all the ingredients together.
Return to oven for another 5-7 minutes, stirring once or twice to ensure the oats don’t stick.
Cool and store in an airtight container, like an old ice cream tub, for a few weeks before use.
Serve with milk, yoghurt and chopped fresh fruit.

Good ideas:

Add chopped, dried fruit like figs, bananas, pears and apricots.
Mix in a couple of spoonfuls of toasted coconut.
Lower the GI by substituting the regular honey with Agave honey.


Graphic Credits