Sunday, April 25, 2010

Healthy ANZAC biscuits

As heard on Newstalk ZB with Kerre Woodham today.

Look online and you will find many different recipes for ANZAC biscuits – all producing slightly different results. Proportions of ingredients vary, producing biscuits from hard and crisp to chewy and cookie-like. To me an ANZAC is quite flat, with a crispy golden outside and a slight chew to the inside. But for people who enjoy more of a cookie style, I’ve also included a variation for that.
I’ve come across ANZACs with fruit like sultanas or raisins in them, and I can’t help thinking chunks of chocolate would be nice too! But for now let’s stick to the classics. J

Healthy ANZAC biscuits

I have not messed too much with the classic here, don’t worry! But replacing the saturated fat with a good fat, and adding some wholemeal flour, means these Kiwi classics have a healthy twist, and still taste absolutely delicious.

1 cup rolled oats
½ cup plain flour
¼ cup wholemeal flour
½ cup coconut threads
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons golden syrup
¼ cup oil (I used rice bran, but canola or any mild-flavoured oil is fine)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons water

Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180C, (regular bake). Combine the oats, flours, coconut and sugar in a bowl. Stir to combine.

Step 2 Combine the golden syrup, oil and water in a glass jug and stir with a fork to combine. Warm in the microwave for 25-30 seconds. Add the baking soda and whisk with a fork until well combined (it might foam a little, which is fine).

Step 3 Add the syrup mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well. Put teaspoon-fuls of the mixture on to a baking-paper lined tray, leaving space between them (they will spread) and flatten down with your fingers or a fork.

Step 4 Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the tray to a board or rack to cool.
Makes about 16 biscuits.

These biscuits are flattish, crisp with a bit of chew – a classic biscuit. If you prefer a more soft, chewy, risen, cookie-ish texture, use another ¼ cup flour, and add 2 tablespoons apple sauce/apple puree to the mixture when you combine the wet and dry ingredients, and cook the biscuits for 15-20 minutes. (See photo for the difference!)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Feijoa, apple and ginger strudel, as heard on National Radio Nine to Noon, Monday 12th April

This is gorgeous (and I don’t even like feijoas that much). The fresh ginger and lemon add a fantastic zing to this really easy-to-put-together dessert. If it suits, you can assemble the strudel ahead and simply set it aside until you’re ready to bake it. Reproduced from Eating In – fabulous food for friends and family.

6 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped into small cubes
6 feijoas, flesh scooped out of the skins
2 tablespoons castor sugar
1/2 vanilla pod, split
2 tablespoons golden sultanas
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely chopped (or 1 teaspoon ground ginger)
zest of 1 lemon
6 sheets filo pastry
canola oil spray

Combine the apple, feijoa, sugar, vanilla, sultanas, ginger and 3/4 cup water into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook until the apples are tender, around 10 minutes. Add the lemon zest.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Lay out the filo sheets, one on top of the other, on a board, spraying a little oil between each one. Put the apple mixture at one end of the pastry, fold in the ends and roll up to form a strudel shape. Place the strudel on a baking tray, seam side down.
Bake for about 15 minutes, brushing the top with milk about halfway through. Slice the strudel, and dish up with vanilla ice cream or yoghurt.
Serves 4–6

Healthy Lasagne - as heard on National Radio Nine to Noon - Monday 12th April

This is a healthy ‘makeover’ of a traditional lasagne. It’s easy to put together, tastes amazing and is super healthy. It has half the fat of a traditional lasagne, and about 1/3 of the saturated fat.

Serves 5

spray olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
500g lean beef mince
2 cups field or Swiss brown mushrooms
2 small red or yellow capsicums
2 x 400g cans tomatoes (chopped or whole)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs of your choice (basil, oregano, rosemary are good)
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 packet (about 200g) fresh spinach, chopped

500g cottage cheese
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
250g packet instant lasagne sheets

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

Spray a large pan with oil and place over a moderate heat. Gently fry the onion and garlic until soft but not browned.

Add the mince and brown gently. Add the capsicums and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, herbs and paprika. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the veges are soft and the liquid in the sauce has reduced by a third. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

While the meat is cooking, make the cheese sauce. In a blender or using a stick blender in a large bowl, blend the cottage cheese until smooth, then add all the parmesan except 2 tablespoons and the milk. Blend until you have a smooth, creamy sauce. Taste and season with salt and white pepper or nutmeg.

Add the spinach leaves to the meat sauce, stir in and cook a few minutes until wilted.

In a deep oven dish, place a third of the meat mixture. Follow with a layer of pasta, a layer of meat, a layer of cheese and repeat the layering, finishing with the cheese. Sprinkle the remaining parmesan over the top of the lasagne and place in the oven.

Cook for 30-40 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving with a green salad.

• High calcium
• High fibre
• High iron
• Low fat
A winner all round!

Monday, April 5, 2010

My recipe from Newstalk ZB with Kerre Woodham - Sunday 4th April

Spiced lamb fillet with crispy roasted veges and chickpeas
I made this for dinner for friends last night, and it was delicious – autumny, earthy and sweet.

For the lamb:
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
salt & pepper
2 tablespons olive oil
2 -3 lamb backstraps (about 700g total)

For the veges:
4 agria potatoes, washed
400g chunk pumpkin, skin removed
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
olive oil

For the quince and pinot sauce:
1 ½ cups good quality chicken stock
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
¼ cup red wine (I used pinot noir)
1 tablespoon quince paste (or use plum or berry jam)
dash soy sauce

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 200 C.
Combine the garlic, paprika, olive oil, salt and pepper in a large dish and mix together well. Add the lamb and rub in this mixture, until the lamb pieces are well coated. Set aside.

Step 2: Chop the potatoes and pumpkin into bite-sized cubes. Place in a large roasting dish (or 2 if you need to). Add the chickpeas and stir to combine. Sprinkle over paprika, cumin, olive oil and salt, and toss to mix, so all the veges are coated. Place in the oven and bake for 30 minutes or so, until the veges are crispy. Toss once or twice during the cooking time.

Step 3: While the veges are cooking, make the sauce. Combine the garlic, stock, wine, quince paste and soy sauce in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer, and cook until it reduces to a jus – about 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Step 4: Heat a grill pan or bbq grill to a hot heat. Cook the lamb fillets for about 4 minutes on each side – until medium rare. If you like, finish them off in a hot oven. Rest the meat for a few minutes, then slice.

Arrange the lamb on the plates with the veges, some sautéed spinach and the sauce over the top.

Serves 4.