Vote for my Shawerma Tuna Flavour for a chance to win AED 15,000

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

3 Low Fat, Low GI Vegetable Side Dishes to Go Alongside Your Roast Turkey!!

Oven Rosting Vegetables
Wondering about what side dishes to serve alongside your roasted turkey? How about roasted vegetables? Vegetable bakes, gratins, Salads? When done right, vegetables are a pleasure to eat, when cooked light, they make the best accompaniment to celebration food as they provide a guiltless option for you and your guests to really enjoy the holidays, especially when watching the scales!!

Here are some Classic Holidays vegetable sides that are low on Fat & GI

Roast Parsnips, Carrots and Potatoes
Serves 6
Per serving (145 calories | 1.7g fat)

You Need
500g parsnips
500g roasting potatoes
500g carrots
1 liter Chicken broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra Virgin low-calorie olive oil spray

Peel the vegetables and chop on an angle into equal-sized pieces. Boil the parsnips and carrots in the chicken broth. In a separate pan boil potatoes along with the stock cube. They need to soften up a bit, but not be fully cooked.

When you have taken your turkey out of the oven, turn the oven up 400F.

Drain the vegetables, reserving the liquid for stock, and place on a non-stick baking tray Spray very lightly with olive oil and, roast near the top of the oven for 25 minutes until golden brown. Serve them hot straight from the oven.

Healthy Cooking Tip  Place the vegetables flat-side facing upwards so that the curved part is on the baking tray. This will prevent the vegetables sticking to the tray and therefore you do not need to go heavy on the oil.

Brussels Sprouts with Chestnuts
Serves 6
Per serving ( 78 calories | 2.1g fat)

Brussel Sprouts are delicious! Yes they are when cooked right. If they are over cooked they become bitter, and if under-cooked don’t give the full pleasure. You need to cook them just right Al Dente! And see for yourself how good they are!

You Need
600g Brussels sprouts
1organic reduced sodium vegetable stock cube
115g peeled and cooked chestnuts, chopped (you can used canned chestnuts
100g cubed ham (optional)
Freshly grated nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper

Remove the loose outer leaves from the sprouts and make a small nick in the stalks. Cook in a pan of boiling water with the stock cube until just tender. Do not overcook!

Drain well and return the sprouts to the pan. Add the chestnuts and toss to mix.

Season the vegetables with freshly grated nutmeg and pepper, then pile into a warm serving dish and serve hot.

Bacon & Sausage Rolls
Makes 12
Serving (2bacon rolls) 78 calories  |  2.1g fat

Bacon Rolls are just a delight to have! The crispiness of the bacon VS the smoother filling makes these a great side any time. For a variation, try wrapping stir fried Asparagus with bacon rashers and cooking over a hot skillet to crisp the bacon…. I am telling you it is good. Turkey bacon is of course the low fat version of bacon lol

You Need
6 Mini Sausages (95%fat-free)
6 Rashers plain or smoked Bacon

Using a sharp serrated knife, cut each sausage in half. Using scissors, trim away the rind and any fat from the outside edges of the bacon (remember this is the low fat version of the real one!). Cut each slice in half lengthways.

Wrap the bacon around the sausages and place on a non-stick baking tray. Cook in a preheated 400F, for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned & crispy. Serve hot alongside the turkey.

As a variation to this recipe try wrapping Sauted Asparagus with  bacon rashers

What do you normally serve next to your Turkey? Do you have a favourite side dish that you would always go for? Share your Turkey experience with us :)) you know I love nothing more than hearing from you, so do leave me a comment before you go.

Happy Holidays,
Have a Delicious one!

Monday, 29 November 2010

Enjoy the Holidays Guilt-Free!! Low Fat Roast Turkey with Sage and Onion Stuffing

Low Fat Roasted Turkey with Sage & Onion Stuffing
Serves 6-8
Per 150g Meat : (214 calories  |  2.8g fat)
Per 5Og stuffing: (53 calories |  O.4gfat)

Nothing beats the cheer of the Holiday season :) Nothing like gathering up with friends and family over Roast Turkey! Is there anything more joyous, more homely, and more cozy than a Holiday's Dinner?! And to me roasts, of any kind, spell HOME!

Just because you are on a diet does not mean you have to miss out on the Holidays! Nor do you have to miss out on the delicious Holiday Foods. In fact, because you are on a diet, make it a point to cook this Holiday’s Dinner and make this version of Low Fat Roast Turkey. Don't let the 'Low Fat' part put you off, despite being low in fat this turkey is delicious. Your friends and family are going to love you for it, and they too, will all be happy about the less fat option!

This Turkey is very easy to make. Follow the per weight cooking chart on this link for guaranteed results, and for making sure you never serve an under/overcooked turkey. I have included the stuffing recipe as well as making a low fat gravy below. I have also included a guide on how to slice the Turkey to cover everything for you :) Since you are at it, why don't you serve this Turkey with these three recipes of low fat, low GI sides for a full healthy holiday dinner menu!

Onion and Sage stuffing.  Shape the remaining Stuffing into balls 
and wrap each with foil then bake them in the oven. When ready to
serve, unwrap, place on serving plate and serve alongside the Turkey

You Need
1x 6kg Whole Turkey, thawed if frozen

For the stuffing
You Need
1 onion, finely chopped
6 sage leaves
100g your favourite breadcrumbs (to make it healthier, make your own breadcrumbs using brown toast)
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1 cube Organic Vegetable Stock Cube

To Make the stuffing

Place some water in a clean kitchen spray bottle. Heat a non-stick pan, and spray some water when hot. Add chopped onions and dry-fry them until soft but not browned (spray water if you feel they are getting stuck to the pan). Remove from heat and spoon into a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix well, adding ¼- ½ cup boiling water from a kettle. Allow mixture to cool.

NOTE   Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time from the instructions on the package of the frozen turkey. If using a fresh turkey, allow 15 minutes per 450g/1Ib, plus an extra 20 minutes.

Stuff Turkey, then fold skin to cover

To Prepare and Roast the Turkey

Preheat your oven to 375F.

Rinse the turkey well under running cold water. Clean the insides, and pat dry. Make a slit in the turkey’s skin (at the end of its neck). Place some stuffing under the skin, then fold the skin over to keep it in place. Place the turkey on a roasting wire rack. Place the wire rack in the roasting tin and pour 600ml water around the rack. Cover the turkey with foil and roast in the oven, basting with the juices from time to time.

Once the time is done, remove the turkey from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Gravy Fat Skimmer
Foe Low Fat Gravy
Drain the meat juices into a gravy separator. Allow to stand and settle as the fat separates out. Then drain off the meat juices from the bottom of the gravy separator into a saucepan making sure to stop before the fat starts pouring out. Add more water (or vegetable stock) if required and thicken with a little brown bread crumbs or Gravy powder.

How to Carve the Turkey

Allow the turkey to rest for up to 30 minutes (could be more depending the size).

This will allow the meat to re-absorb the juices released during cooking making it even more juicy. Resting also allows for an even surface when sliced. Generally, it is best to cut across the grain of the meat.

The white breast meat can easily be carved into thin slices, whereas the dark meat is ideal for thicker slices. Always carve with the blade of the knife facing away from you, using long cutting strokes.

Hope you like this Holiday's Low Fat recipe, and that it will allow you to fully celebrate despite being on a diet!! I also hope that you found the carving tips useful. Do let me know what you think, leave me a comment before you go :))

Happy Holidays
Have a delicious one!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Kubbeh Bilaban - Kubbeh in Yoghurt Sauce كبة باللبن

An amazing dish anytime..but especially good on
cold winter days :)

This recipe was requested by you guys, and is a great dish to serve at family get together’s. Since it is Ramadan, and many will be getting together with their families and friends, I thought it is a good occasion to post this recipe for you. Kubbeh (known as kibbeh too) is delicious! It is good on it’s own, with yoghurt sauce or even oven-baked! This dish is especially good on cold winter days as it is warming and comforting. But also works for a warm Iftar. Try it out this Ramadan and see how it goes :)
I have included for you the method of preparing Kubbeh at home if you have a meat grinder. If you don’t then, take your bulgur (burghul) and spices to your butcher and have them prepare your kubbeh meat for you.

For Making the Kubbeh
You Need
250g lean meat (lamb or beef, preferably beef) (Habra)
1 cup fine bulgur (burghul)
1 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp DS Meat & Poultry Spice mix (or you can also use the basic spice recipe of 1 tsp allspice & ½ tsp ground cinnamon)
Salt & Black pepper to taste

For Filling
You Need
250g lean minced lamb meat
2 onions, finely chopped
Salt & Pepper to taste
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup toasted pine nuts

For Yoghurt Sauce
You Need
1 ½ kg fresh Natural Yoghurt
3 tbsp corn flour or starch
2 cups Clear meat broth
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 bunch fresh coriander
3 tbsp Olive oil
Salt & pepper to Taste

To make the Kubbeh Meat
Finely mince the 250g lean meat (twice) using the meat grinder. Wash Bulgur, drain, and add to meat, along with 1 finely chopped onion. Knead the meat, onion and bulgur till well incorporated. Add, spices, and seasoning and knead to incorporate. Push though meat grinder again and grind. Knead again by hand, gradually adding a total of 1-cup cold water until all is well incorporated. When the meat dough gets all sticky but holding on to itself, set aside covered with a damp cloth.

Meanwhile prepare the filling
Add oil to saucepan, and cook the chopped onions and garlic till translucent but not browned. Lower heat to medium, add minced meat & spices and stir for about 15 minutes, or until liquid runs out.

Divide Kubbeh into small egg-sized balls
Now, divide Kubbeh meat dough into small egg-size balls (you can go for any size you prefer: Small, medium or large). Take each ball, and place your index finger in the middle of it in a motion to push the meat towards the sides in order while rotating the ball to make a whole in the middle for filling. Keep the upper bit intact and sealed.

Using index finger make a whole in the middle for filling.
Fill and seal the bottom.
Fill the middles with cooled meat filling about a tsp (depending the size), then seal the bottom by pushing the sides downwards while rotating the ball. Just like with anything you make for the first time, practice makes perfect. Repeat till all the balls are filled. Set aside.

Please note: that you can fry or grill kubbeh before adding it to yoghurt sauce. I prefer not, I add uncooked kibbeh and let it simmer with yoghurt sauce till cooked through. But any method works.

To Prepare Yoghurt Sauce:
In a medium cooking pot, heat oil, add sliced garlic and finely chopped coriander and cook till garlic is translucent but not browned. Add meat broth and let simmer for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, in a blender, blend together yogurt, 1 clove garlic, seasoning and cornstarch till well incorporated. Add yoghurt mix to broth, and stir till thickened. Lower heat and add kubbeh. Simmer for 10 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.

Serve with vermicelli rice. Sprinkle with fresh corianders and black pepper.

A dish so good, that it is worth the extra effort. Nowadays you can buy ready-made kubbeh, to make it easier for you. But nothing beats homemade kubbeh!

Ramadan Mubarak to all of you :)

Would you go for making your own Kubbeh now that you know how it's made? Give it a try it is easier than you think :) Let me know your thoughts, leave me a comment :)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Experience Food with Patience & an Open Mind Paired with Brown Spaghetti Noodles with Goat Cheese Halloomi

Super Easy
It can be super simple yet super delicious
this is one of those dishes :)
My cousin came over the other day, with this Goat Cheese Halloomi packet, and told me she feels like having Pasta with this cheese. She said it in a way like: you know; do your magic lol!! I love Goat's Cheese, but was not familiar with Goat Cheese Halloomi. So I decided to give it a shot and do a simple and healthy pasta dish. 

It turned out real good! My cousine and her friend ate heaps and where purring like cats afterwards. I had also served a salad of Assorted leaves with aged Balsamic dressing on the side. They paired very well, and it was a fab light dinner in a snap!

Before we jump into the kitchen to prepare this pasta, lets have a little chat about flavours and Really Experiencing Food in a full rounded manner. I know that many do not like goat’s cheese as it is very sharp flavoured, and has a pungent aroma! Here is the thing about food. We are all fussy eaters when it comes to trying new foods and what we find acceptable. Just because we are way beyond being toddlers, doesn’t mean that we are totally over the fussiness. Thing is there are foods that are more bland and easier to accept when tried for the first time; and there are other foods, which areacquired taste - meaning you will have to try them once, and again till your palate gets accustomed to their taste and/or texture. When getting acquainted with new foods, you have to get used to the textures, flavours, aromas as well as preparations. This is very crucial because different people prepare foods differently and not every preparation is everyone's cup of tea. Each one of us has a different palate and different experience levels, which eventually determines whether a specific food is acceptable, below average or exquisite for different eaters. The expectations - each one of us has - are totally different, and therefore the difference in judgement. For example, if you try Gorgonzola for the first time, there is a lot of misconceptions and preconceptions that you need to get over to like it, then there is the fact that it is very sharp flavoured in a way you are not used to. So take a heaped teaspoon of that eat it as is, you will most likely decide: “I hate blue cheese!”

But that‘s the thing, maybe you don’t, maybe you just introduced it to your palate the wrong way! Furthermore, it could be that blue cheese on its own, in a heaped amount, is too much a shock for your taste buds! Maybe if you did not know it was blue cheese, you would still have had lots of that dip with the chicken wings! That did taste good after all! The point is don’t jump fast into the judgment and labeling process of new foods. Be Patient! Give yourself a chance to try these foods, in different preperations. Go mild at first, and then graduate into the realm of sharp flavours. These foods make up for a whole lot of eating experiences that you are missing out on, simply because you have labeled them with ‘Dislike’! A good taste and an experienced palate make up for a better cook. If you dislike food how can you experiment with new dishes, flavours, or even cooking methods? You will always remain an average cook repeating the same old dishes and boring yourself and everyone with your food. If you want to take it up a notch, if you want to enter the real world of food and food creation, start with your palate. Try new foods at any occasion, try new preperations, methods of cooking, pair it with as many options as you can and see the difference when paired with this herb or that vegetable… Find your flavours and always keep an open mind that is how those great Chefs paved the way and created magnificent platters that have spoken to our inner self and became labeled as comfort foods, party foods, nurturing foods…etc. The very dishes that have expressed how we feel, and communicated our moods. Bear in mind, if it’s not your favourite the first time, it can grow on you if you give it a chance.

Live, Be Happy, Eat, Experiment and most importantly: Don’t Miss Out because of judgments and labels! That is my motto, and it applies to everything, not only Food! A non-judgmental non-labeling approach to life and people is the basis of Happiness in my opinion.
Well enough of that and lets put the coats on and get into the kitchen…

Goat's Cheese Halloomi
For this recipe I have used the Goat’s Cheese Halloomi (in picture) which my cousin got. But you can use any Goat’s Cheese Halloomi you can find. If you are new to goat cheese, start with a mild one. Sometimes you can find low fat ones, which is also good - but if not then go for what you can find.

You Need
1 packet brown spaghetti noodles
1 tub (150g) Goat Cheese Halloomi, grated
1/2 clove garlic, crushed
1 clove garlic, crushed extra
Fresh Basil Leaves
1 tbsp dried oregano
Salt & Black pepper to taste
Sundried Tomato, chopped (optional)
1tbsp dash olive oil

In a large pot add enough water to cover pasta about 4 cups. Season with salt and Black pepper, add 1 tbsp dried oregano, a dash of olive oil, 2 basil leaves and 1 clove crushed garlic to the water. Bring to a boil, add pasta and cook till Al Dante. Remove from heat, drain but do not wash.

Meanwhile in a small bowl combine grated cheese olive oil, chopped sundried tomatoes, crushed ½ clove garlic, oregano, salt & black pepper and mix well to incorporate all flavours.

Once Pasta is done cooking and drained, place in a large bowl. Top with the grated cheese dressing and toss to mix well. You need to coat all pasta with mixture. Place in serving bowls, top with a little more grated goat’s halloomi cheese, sprinkle with black pepper and top with a basil leaf! Doesn’t get any simpler, or better!!

Dalia, there you go so you can prepare it at home :)

Hope you have enjoyed this post, and that you will go on trying new flavours. Leave me a comment and share your experiences with me, would love nothing more than your feedback :)

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Duck Sûpréme with Roasted fruits & Vegetables

Serves 4  | Easy

I am a fan of duck, but I have to say it is very easy to fall out and push duck into the 'I HATE' Category! I have many of my friends tell me they hate duck! I know many people who even refuse to try it. Many of those have somehow tried a bad version of duck somewhere... If done right, duck is a treat. It is really good and has its own distinctive flavour and is very much worth trying.

 There are many versions for preparing good duck, this recipe is one of my favourites. Serve Duck Sûpréme along side some salad greens or nutted risotto and you will have yourself a gourmet dinner...

You Need
4 duck breasts
Salt & Pepper to taste

For Honey Sauce
1 chopped shallot
1 tsp butter
2 tbsp honey
Salt & Pepper to taste

For Roasted Fruits & Vegetables
2 shallots, quartered
1 head garlic cut in half horizontally
2 large potatoes, keep skin intact, wash well and cube
Peeled Wedges of 1 large orange
1 granny apple cored and cubed
1 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 tbsp hazelnut Oil
1 spring fresh Thyme
1 tbsp Caraway Seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 handful coarsely cracked toasted hazelnuts
Prepare roasted fruits & vegetables

Black Pepper & coarse Salt to taste

Start by preparing the roasted vegetables and fruits. Sprinkle roasting dish with hazelnut oil, coarse salt & black pepper. Place chopped vegetables, caraway seeds, hazelnuts and sprinkle with cinnamon and drizzle with Balsamic Vinegar top with thyme spring and drizzle hazelnut oil. Roast in a preheated oven (450F) for 30 minutes turning once.

Pan fry duck breasts skin side down

Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the duck breasts, score the skin without cutting through, season with salt & Black pepper and set aside. Place an ungreased non-stick skillet on high heat and leave to heat up. Once very hot place breasts skin side down and sear for 5 minutes or till golden brown. Turn over to flesh side and sear for 3 more minutes. Ideally you want to have it sealed and golden on the outside but slightly pink on the inside. Let stand for 5 minutes on a wire rack.

prepare honey sauce

Discard fat in skillet but do not wash. Melt butter in the same skillet and fry chopped shallots till golden brown. Add honey and bring to boil stirring till thickened. Remove from heat.

Add little Honey Sauce
to warmed plate

To plate up, add a little honey sauce to bottom of a warmed plate and top with duck breast. Add more honey sauce on top of duck breast. Add roasted vegetables and fruits to one side. Serve with Salad greens or Nutted risotto in a separate bowl on the side.

Et Voila,

Duck Sûpréme... Bon Apetit! :)

***If you have tried this or any other recipe from this blog, we would love to hear your comments below & don't hesitate to rate this recipe.

Comments help you increase your chances in winning DKblog giveaways & gift vouchers and help us better understand your preferences. check out our latest giveaways promotion. Join Facebook group for the chance to win...

Love, Dima :)