Beef Larb Lettuce Cups and catching up….

Yes, I know I have been neglecting this blog so much, it is actually ridiculous!  I guess it is also because I’ve been neglecting myself so much.  The past 18 months or so have been a bit of a rollercoaster ride.  A lot went wrong in my life, but I must also admit – a lot started to fall into place.  A steep learning curve indeed!

I was also recently diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, and a Vitamin D deficiency, so apart from the crazy weight gain, my body is just really crying for help.  Sigh.  How much longer will I be able to ignore her?  I simply can’t anymore.  It is time to pick myself up on my bootstraps, done my big ass big girl panties – and yes, they are huge, if you really have to know!  😉  For too long I have allowed people and circumstances to bully me, for too long have I bullied myself. Time for the madness to stop.

And the only way to do it, is to take it one day, one meal at a time.  Yes, the social life challenges will still be there – I must just learn to manage it a little better.  And I believe the lifestyle changes start with trying to get the basics right.  Don’t you agree?  So here we go again, taking small steps in the right direction – it is the only way to do it.

So. you probably only wanted the recipe of my yummy lunch – like what the blog has been about since forever – just a straight forward recipe post with no frills or fuss – instead of listening to my ‘issues’!  LOL!  But it is my blog, you will just have to deal with it – and with me!  😉

Here goes!

Larb is a traditional Thai recipe, usually made with chicken or pork mince.  I used beef mince instead.  This recipe serves 1.

120g lean mince

5ml olive oil

1/4 teaspoon garlic and ginger paste

1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes (you can omit it if you don’t like spicy food).

A sprinkling of Robertson’s Exotic Thai spice

White pepper

A dash of fish sauce

50g cooked pasta rice (orzo)

Finely sliced red onion, cucumber strips, chopped spring onion and cos lettuce leaves to serve

Heat olive oil and add ginger and garlic paste – fry for a few seconds for flavour to develop.  Add lean mince and fry at a medium to high heat until browned (be careful not to burn the garlic though, it will taste bitter!).  You can add a dash of water if the mixture becomes too dry.  Add the rest of the ingredients (except the fresh veggies) and fry together for about a minute.

Let it cool slightly and serve in lettuce leaves, topped with red onion and cucumber strips

Beef Larb

WL breakdown -serves 1, 2 Protein, 1 Carb, 1 Fat, 1/2 Veggies

Butternut Spaghetti with Bacon and Herbs

I am, like most people, a little obsessed with spiralised veggies at the moment.  I guess it is the fact that, by simply changing the shape of a veggie, it makes it a little more versatile and ‘fun’ to work (and play) with 🙂  And who doesn’t like pasta-shaped stuff!  😉

This is a super quick meal – honestly, it took about 10 minutes to prepare!

175g lean bacon (I used Eskort Weigh-Less Smoked bacon), cut into strips

5ml lemon infused olive oil (or plain olive oil with a dash of lemon juice if you don’t have infused olive oil)

200g Butternut Spaghetti (super excited about this new product from Woolies!  But again, if you can’t get hold of it, make your own spiralised veggies.  Spiralisers are widely available, I got a very cool one from Clicks, for R99.  You can even use coarsely grated butternut)

20g chinese style noodles (we often make trips to Cyrildene, Johannesburg’s China Town.  Very affordable produce and a very exotic and interesting range of products available.  It is a treat!  If you feel nervous to venture out on your own, join the Chef Ishvara’s group on Facebook – it is called “African Secrets – cultural walks in the inner city of Joburg” and he offers insightful and very interesting tours to the various cultural hotspots in Johannesburg. A true treat!  Look out for his Cyrildene and Fordsburg tours)  Okay, and after all that – you can use angelhair pasta as well!  LOL!

Robertsons Masterblends – Garlic and Rosemary seasoning

Salt and Pepper to taste

Fresh basil to serve

Fry bacon strips in pan coated with non-stick spray – add a few mls of boiling water to prevent from sticking – it will take about 4 minutes.  In the meantime, place the butternut spaghetti in the microwave (can just microwave it in the bag or with a little bit of water) for 2 minutes.  Also cook the pasta in boiling water – the pasta is very thin, so it takes only 5 minutes to cook.  Add a generous sprinkling of Garlic and Rosemary seasoning to the bacon strips.  Stir in drained pasta and butternut strips and season with salt, pepper and infused olive oil.  Fry at high heat for 1 minute (we don’t want the butternut and pasta to get soggy and overcooked)

Serve with fresh basil

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Voila!  10 minute meal!  And it is yummy!

PS:  You can make this a vegetarian option by replacing the bacon with feta.  Cook butternut and pasta as above, mix together, season and serve with basil 🙂

2 Prot, 1 Fat, 2 Veg, 1 CC

5-ingredient Yummy Nutty Chicken

400g chicken fillets, cubed

30ml peanut butter (I use the ‘no sugar’ variety)

250ml chicken stock

10ml olive oil

Woolies Coconut, Chili, Lime and Black Sesame Seed Spice

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This is so easy!

Fry chicken pieces in olive oil until pieces are sealed and 1/2 way cooked – add a few drops of water if needed.

Mix peanut butter with hot chicken stock – stir until smooth.

Add peanut butter stock mixture to chicken pieces and simmer slowly for about 10 minutes

Sprinkle with Woolies spice – if you don’t have it, just season with a few drops of lite coconut milk, dried chili flakes and a dash of fresh lime juice 🙂

Serve with fresh coriander, brown rice and stir-fried veggies from formula

Serves 2:  2 Prot, 2 Fat

Short-cut Pork Meatballs with Zucchini Pasta

Serves 1

2 Weigh-Less Pork Sausages

100g cooked angel hair pasta

1/2 onion, sliced

A handful cherry tomatoes, halved

200g zucchini noodles – pre-made available from Woolies, but it is super easy to make your own using a spiraliser or simply grating baby marrow/zucchini with a cheese grater

5ml olive oil

2ml Chipotle Spice (Woolies) or you can make your own version with smoked paprika and chillies

 

Remove pork meat out of sausage casings and form/roll little meatballs.  Oven-bake at 180 for about 1o minutes.

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Fry onion in olive oil until soft, add a few drops of water.  Add seasoning.  Stir in cherry tomatoes and cook for a minute or two.   Stir in zucchini noodles and angel hair pasta.  Add some more water if needed.  Stir-fry for a few minutes.  Stir in meatballs and heat through

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1 Serve = 1 Prot, 3 Veg (if you count free veg), 2 CC, 1 Fat

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Meatball Stir-fry

I am always looking for healthier (beef) mince options!  I saw a picture of a ‘meatball stir-fry’ dish online or in a magazine recently (can’t remember where – expose myself to wayyyy too much info on a daily basis!).  I like the idea of mini meatballs, because it makes it easier to establish portion sizes etc.

So, here goes!

Serves 4

Meatballs

480g beef mince

1 tablespoon raw oats

5ml smoked paprika

2ml garlic salt

black pepper to taste

1ml black sesame seeds

Mix all together and form mini-meatballs – weighing about 20g each.  I found this cool little gadget at Westpack, works like a charm 🙂

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Place on a baking sheet, lined with foil and treated with non-stick spray.  Bake at 180C for about 7 minutes. Put aside.

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Stir-fry

50g spring onions, chopped

100g onions, sliced

100g baby corn, sliced lenghtwise in ‘quarters’ to make it easier to stir-fry

100g mange tout

10ml olive oil

5ml crushed garlic

red pepper flakes to taste (if you want to add some ‘spicyness’

100ml chicken stock

10ml soy sauce

 

Heat olive oil in a pan and at medium to high heat, fry onions, corn and mange tout for about 3 minutes.  Add garlic and red pepper flakes.

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Lower heat and add meatballs, chicken stock and soy sauce.  Gently stir not to break the meatballs. Cover and leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.

Serve with angelhair pasta, brown rice, cauliflower rice or zoodles (zucchini noodles).

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This will work well with ostrich, pork and chicken mince!

 

WL breakdown – 6 meatballs = 2 Protein, 1 Veg per person.

 

 

Country Style Pork Sausage Stew

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100g baby potatoes, cut into wedges, parboiled
5ml olive oil
100g onion, cut in chunky strips
100g red and yellow peppers, cut in chunky strips
3 Weigh-Less Pork Sausages, sliced
100ml beef stock
Robertsons Garlic and Rosemary Blend
Salt and Pepper to taste

Fry onions and peppers in olive oil – add beef stock. Add rest of ingredients, cover and simmer on medium heat until potatoes and veggies are soft – about 15 minutes.

A great family meal option, just multiply with number of portions. For vegetarian option use soya sausages and veggie stock.

Serve with green salad.

Serves 1: 1 CC, 1.5 Prot, 2 Veg, 1 Fat

Thai Chicken Mince

Quick and very tasty!

Serves 2 – 1 fat, 2 Prot, 1/2 veg each

10ml olive oil
100g chopped spring onion (I used leeks this time around, worked well!)
1/2 tsp each crushed garlic, ginger and green chillies
400g ground chicken mince
1 – 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large handful fresh basil and extra to serve
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry spring onion in olive oil for about 2 min on med high heat. Add garlic, ginger and chilies (omit the chilies if you don’t like spicy food). Add chicken mince, soy sauce, lower heat and stirfry until not pink anymore, it cooks quite quickly.  Season, add basil and stir-fry for another minute or so.  Remove from heat, add more fresh basil.

Serve with blanched green beans and brown rice 🙂

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Asian Style Shredded Beef Wraps

Asian Style Shredded Beef Wrap

Serves 4 – 2 Prot, ½ Veg (without coleslaw and veggies to serve), ½ Fat (excluding CC from wraps(s)) per serving

400g beef cubes

100g chopped onions

10ml olive oil

½ tsp each – crushed garlic, ginger and chilies

A sprinkling of Chinese 5-spice

1tsp lime juice

 

Fry onions, garlic, ginger and chilies in olive oil until onions are soft. Add beef cubes, increase heat and fry for a few minutes to seal. Add rest of spices. Cook on very slow heat (you can use your slow cooker) until beef is very tender and easy to ‘shred’ with a fork. Top up with a little bit of water during the cooking process if needed.

Serve on a bed of lettuce (so that it doesn’t make the wrap too ‘soggy’) with a good dollop of Sweet Chili Sauce from allowance.

To serve: WL Wraps (1 = 1 CC), shredded cabbage/coleslaw mix, chopped spring onions, lettuce and Sweet Chili Sauce (Misc allowance)

Chicken Korma Soup

Chicken Korma Soup

 

Serves 2, per serving: 2 CC, ½ Veg, 2 Prot, 1 Fat (if using lite coconut milk)

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5ml olive oil

½ teaspoon each – crushed garlic, crushed ginger, finely chopped chilies (or to taste)

1 tsp Woolies Mild curry powder (use Medium if too strong)

100g finely chopped onions

400g chicken fillets, cubed

400g par cooked potato cubes

125ml lite coconut milk (I use fat free milk with coconut essence to save my fat serves ;))

300ml chicken stock

Salt and Pepper

Fresh Coriander to serve

 

Fry spices and onion in olive oil for a few minutes. Add chicken and fry for about 3 minutes. Add rest of ingredients and simmer at a low heat for about 20 minutes (make sure potato is soft). I’m not a fan of soup that’s too chunky, so I took out some of the chicken and liquidized the rest – adding the chicken back to give some texture. Serve with fresh coriander.