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

Coconutty Curried Lentils with geelrys (yellow rice)

Yes, if it is Thursday night it must be “Vegetarian” night!  Yay!

Needed to put a quick meal together – so this is where meal prepping and planning comes in!  I usually cook and portion food like brown rice and lentils in advance so that it is easy to throw a healthy and wholesome weekday meal together.

So here goes – Coconut Curried Lentils (with geelrys).  Geelrys is a traditional South African dish – directly translated it means ‘yellow rice’.  Rice is cooked with turmeric to give it a lovely, warm yellow colour and is usually served with raisins.  But I left the raisins out this time around – simply because I didn’t have any!  LOL!

First – the Yellow Rice:  I had some pre-cooked brown rice in the fridge, I usually freeze it in 140g portions – 2 CCs.  I popped the frozen rice in a pot, topped it with boiling water and 1/3 tsp turmeric.  Bring to a quick boil, don’t cook it for too long otherwise the rice will become mushy.  Drain and keep aside.

Curried Lentils

100g chopped Onions

5ml Olive Oil

1/2 tsp ginger and garlic paste

1 heaped tsp curry powder (your choice – mild, spicy, hot!  I decided to go with Woolies Cape Malay curry powder – a slightly sweet, mild curry powder)

1/4 tsp turmeric

200g cooked lentils (again, had it pre-cooked and frozen, just put the plastic bag I froze it in, in some hot water for a few minutes to thaw)

100ml chopped tinned tomatoes

80ml coconut milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Fresh coriander to serve

 

Fry onions and spices in olive oil until onions are soft – you can add a few drops of water if the mixture cooks dry.  Stir in rest of ingredients and simmer until most of the liquid has cooked away.  Add yellow rice, stir through and simmer for a minute or two.  Serve with fresh coriander.

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Serves 1 (LARGE portion – you can divide it in two) 2 CC, 2 Prot, 2 Fat, 1 Veg

 

 

Veggie Breakfast Scramble

Yes, a ‘non-traditional’ option for breakfast, but I must admit, I am a little ‘cerealed’ out.  I know that I can have eggs, lean bacon, etc for breakfast as well, but I prefer to keep my protein portions for a little later during the day.  And, I woke up with a CRAVING for veggies 🙂 So why not incorporate it into the most important meal of the day?  😀  Used mostly ‘free’ veggies as well.

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I discovered some sweet potato ‘noodles’ at Food Lovers Market, but you can just use grated sweet potato or use a spiraliser, if you’ve got one?  I got my spiraliser at Clicks, very affordable and adds a lot of fun on your plate!  🙂  Okay, here goes:

80g sweet potato noodles (‘normal’ grated potato will work great as well!) – I pre-cooked it in the microwave for about 4 minutes.

80g zucchini (baby marrow) noodles (saw it is available at Woolies and Foodlovers’, maybe  a few other places as well – these I just made using my spiraliser)

50g leeks, thinly sliced

50g yellow pepper, chopped

100g chopped tomato

100ml veggie stock

Salt and Pepper to taste

Sweet Chili Sauce

Add all the veggies except the sweet potato in a saucepan, together with the veggie stock and bring to boil.  Cook for a couple of minutes until tomato is soft.  Stir in sweet potato noodles, season and cook for another minute or so.  Serve with a drollop of sweet chili sauce.

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1 Serve = 1 CC and 1 Veg

 

Lentil Spaghetti Bolognaise

I probably mentioned it before, but think I am an undercover vegetarian.  Simply because I am just naturally attached to the ‘V’ options on the menu.  And that is it!  So when I get the opportunity to have a vegetarian dinner at home, I grab it with both hands 🙂  Thursday nights are my ‘chill nights’ at home.  Just me, our puggies and a duvet!  I try to watch a favourite movie/series and sip on big cups of tea.  But my attention span doesn’t always allow me to finish watching anything!  LOL!  But that, is another story altogether.

Anyway, the aim of this post – LENTIL SPAGHETTI BOLOGNAISE!  It is your classic, basic bolognaise recipe using lentils instead of minced beef 🙂

100g onion, chopped

10ml olive oil

5ml garlic and herb paste (you can use less if you HAVE to :))

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

300g cooked lentils

5ml Italian Herb mix (dried) – you can use fresh herbs as well, but I was all out!

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 sachet Canderel Sweetener

Fry onions in olive oil until soft, stir in garlic and herb paste.  Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Serve with spaghetti according to your formula, and sprinkle with marjoram (dried or fresh!)  Tip:  I often ‘bulk’ up my pasta with zucchini or carrot strips, or even mashed butternut 🙂

Easy. Peasy.

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Serves 3:  1 Serving = 1 Protein, 1.5 Veg, 1 Fat (rounded up)

Grilled Nectarines with Vanilla Yogurt

New month, new goals, new challenges!  My goal for this month – be less lazy and keep this blog updated!  😉

This is a yummy snack or even dessert idea!  Works great on a braai as well – or grilled in the oven if you don’t have a griddle pan.  To be honest, I prefer the ‘oven grilled’ option, not a fan of washing griddle pans!  LOL!!

Anyway!  Here we go!

 

240g sliced, firm nectarines (pineapple works great as well!)

5ml honey, mixed with 15ml boiling water

 

175ml plain, fat free yogurt

2 sachets Vanilla Canderel (or normal sweetener with a few drops of vanilla essence)

 

Heat griddle pan to medium heat, spray with non-stick spray when hot

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Place nectarine slices in the pan to ‘grill’, basting with honey mixture, turn after 2 minutes or when you see it starts to form the griddle lines and is nicely caramelised – not burnt!  Turn and turn off heat – leave on the oven to cool a bit.

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Serve with a big drollop of yogurt and Vanilla Canderel mixed together.

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Serves 2:  1 Fruit, 1/2 Misc, 1/2 Milk

Mexican Casserole

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5ml olive oil

20g red onion, chopped

75g WL bacon, cut into strips

80g red pepper, chopped

200g corn kernels

100g WL pasta sauce

1/4 teaspoon Woolies Chicken Fajita spice (or a sprinkle of cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper)

Chillies and garlic to taste

Salt and Pepper to Taste

Fresh coriander to serve

Fry onions in olive oil, add red pepper and bacon and fry for a few minutes.  Add spices, chillies and garlic.  Stir in corn kernels and fry for 2 minutes.  Stir in pasta sauce and transfer to oven proof dish and bake in oven for 20 minutes for 180C.

Serve with fresh coriander (was too hungry, forgot to add!  LOL!)

For vegetarian option.  Omit bacon and use low fat cheese to sprinkle over before baking in the oven.

 

WL serves 1

1 Protein, 2 CC, 3 Veg, 1 Fat

Fish Chowder

This works great with haddock and other white fish as well 🙂

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50g onion, chopped

5ml olive oil

100g carrots, chopped

280g hake (raw)

200g potatoes

1/4 teaspoon fish spice

Lemon pepper

Salt

Fresh dill

 

Fry onions in olive oil until soft, add spices and fry for a minute or tw0.  Add the rest of the ingredients, plus 350ml water.  Simmer until all ingredients are soft (check potatoes and carrots).  Top up with water if needed.  Liquidise (if preferred) and serve with fresh dill.

 

Serves 1 – VERY large portion, can be split between 2.

2 Protein, 2 CC, 1.5 Veg, 1 Fat

Malay Meatballs

Malay Meatballs

(adapted from YOU Magazine Recipe)

Serves 4

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Ingredients

 

MEATBALLS

50g onion, finely chopped (Veg)

4 green chillies (optional)

5 ml grated fresh ginger

4 cloves garlic, crushed

20 ml olive oil

480g mince (Protein)

2 ml turmeric

2.5 ml  Curry Powder (I prefer Woolies brand! :P)

10 ml lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste

 

SAUCE

2 cardamom seeds

2 pieces stick cinnamon

410 g tomato and onion mix (Veg)

2 ml Curry Powder

 

 

Method

 

Sauté the onion, chillies, ginger and garlic on medium heat in 10ml olive oil until the onion is soft (I added a few drops of water so that it doesn’t stick to the pan). Remove from the heat and cool. Add the mince and seasonings and mix. Shape the mixture into 30g sized meatballs (this will make it easier to measure your portion size – so 2 meatballs = 1 Protein). Bake in muffin pan (a neat trick I saw on the internet somewhere!) for about 10 minute on 180C.

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Stir-fry the cardamom seeds, curry powder and cinnamon stick for about 1 minute in 10ml olive oil. Add the tomato and onion mix and simmer gently. Add the meatballs and simmer till done (about 10 minutes).

I served it with sweet potato (CC) and butternut mash (Veg)!

 

Per Person

4 Meatballs = 2 Protein

1 – 2 Veg

1 Fat

Easy PEAsy Soup (with Pork Bangers)

Super quick and easy – ideal for a lazy dreading-to-get-to-work-tomorrow Sunday evening! Takes about 20 min to prepare! 🙂 image 2 Eskort Weigh-Less Pork Bangers (or WL bacon – omit for vegetarian option, replace with 30g crumbed low fat feta to serve) 5ml olive oil 210g Woolies Mint Peas (or plain frozen peas – you can add a few mint leaves in the end before liquidising) 100g potato cubes Salt and Pepper to taste Pop 100g potatoes, covered with boiling water in the microwave for 10 minutes to cook (test if soft after 10 min) While potatoes are cooking, remove skin of Pork bangers and cut into bite-sized chunks and fry in olive oil. Put peas in a saucepan, cover with 250ml boiling water and bring to boil. Add seasoning.  Don’t boil for too long – otherwise the peas will lose the vibrant green colour. (I would say – 5 min max). Drain potatoes and add to peas. Liquidise.  Stir in fried pork banger chunks and serve 🙂 Voila!  Filling and tasty comfort food! Serves 1 1 Prot, 1 CC, 3 Veg, 1 Fat (WL)