Mincing Words

Growing up, I knew that Thursday nights were Savoury Mince on toast nights. Not my favourite at the time but I just didn’t understand the simplicity of the dish and how much my Mum would have loved it.  Although she has now moved on from making this dish every Thursday night, this is THE recipe and I just had to share it with you.  In the words of Luigi, it’s not fancy but it’s cheap. All good things must come to an end though, this is the last of the $2 meals. Hope you have enjoyed them and revelled in the fact that you have only spent $10 in the past 5 weeks by spending time with me. Savoury Mince 150g lean minced beef 1/4 onion, diced 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped 1 stick of celery, finely diced 100g frozen peas and corn 2 teaspoons gravox powder combined with 1 cup water 1 slice grainy bread Spray a non stick frypan with cooking spray and cook onion until softened and slightly browned. Add mince and a cook until well browned and then the remaining vegetables. Stir fry until vegetables are softened. Add the combined gravox and water and simmer on low for 10-15 minutes. Serve with a slice of grainy toast. Serves 1 Cost = $1.95

Cinderella or Halloween?

Cinderella and Halloween come straight to mind when I think of the humble pumpkin.  One is a visual of a converted coach hurtling towards a ball with an unsuspecting prince waiting and the other is of a spooky lit up pumpkin face. In reality, we are talking about an orange vegetable of the cucurbitaceae family. Try and say that fast three times, it’s not easy. There are quite a few varieties of pumpkin and they are all very low in calories, excellent sources of fibre, vitamins and minerals plus provide good dose of antioxidants such as leutins, xanthins and carotenes. Pumpkin is very handy as a colour enhancer in a meal and works so well incorporated into a soup.  Hence, my $2 (actually less) meal today is the ubiquitous winter warmer, soup. Red lentil and pumpkin soup 175g red lentils, rinsed 1 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped 1 brown onion, diced 2 x garlic cloves, crushed 1 teaspoon minced ginger or 1cm piece of fresh ginger 2 x 10g vegetable stock cube 2 teaspoons curry powder (reduce to 1 teaspoon if kids don’t like the spice) 1.5 litres of water 1 tablespoon olive oil Heat oil in large saucepan and cook onion for 2 minutes until slightly soft. Add garlic and curry powder and cook until aromatic. Pour in water, crumbled stock cube, pumpkin and lentils and bring to boil. Turn heat to low and simmer covered for 30 minutes until pumpkin is soft. Once removed from heat, use a stick blender to purée the soup.  Serve with 1/3 cup low fat natural yoghurt and shredded fresh coriander. Serves 4 Cost per serve = $1.67

Pasta Power

Its time for our Friday taste test of our third $2 meal.  I do love pasta but I really try and avoid the creamy sauces as I know they are not the best for my heart or my hips. The recipe today originates from one of the very first cookbooks designed for athletes, written in 1993 and titled ‘The Taste of Fitness’. The authors  are Helen O’Connor, highly respected Sports Dietitian and Donna Hay, before she became as famous. I have used this book many times whilst teaching people to cook, and the recipes are ideal for the everyday person and athletes.  Easy, quick, tasty and great source of energy. Ticks all my boxes. Continue reading “Pasta Power”

Good Friday Frugality

Here is the Easter edition of a $2 meal just in time for a fishy Good Friday. I think a few squares of good quality dark chocolate would finish it off nicely. No, its not included in the $2 but so worth sacrificing. Stuffed Potato 1 x 200 g potato cooked whole in the microwave 100g tin tuna, drained 1 tablespoon snipped chives 1 tablespoon of grated reduced fat cheddar cheese Cut the top off the cooked potato and scoop out the flesh. Combine the flesh with the tuna and chives using a fork and then place mixture back into hollowed out potato. Top with grated cheese and potato lid and bak in moderate oven for 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Serve with 150g steamed carrots and 100g cooked frozen peas. Serves 1 Cost = $1.97

The good googie

The Good Googie

Eggs have suffered from an undeserved bad boy reputation over the years, mostly in the area of cholesterol. Egg yolks contain a mixture of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and saturated fat. However, research conducted over the past 50 years shows that egg consumption has only a negligible effect on raising total blood cholesterol levels in healthy people. For most people, eating 6 eggs per week is not a major health risk when combined with a low saturated fat diet that includes wholegrain cereals, fruits, vegetables and legumes. It can be an issue if you are frying eggs every day and eating them with lots of bacon and white toast and butter!

However, further research is required to fully assess the effects of egg consumption in those people with high cholesterol levels, cardiovascular disease or Type 2 diabetes. Eggs can be a great snack or meal and provide protein and are the richest source of choline, which is essential for the manufacture of neurotransmitters in your brain. The National Heart Foundation has recognised eggs as a nutritious food with regular eggs eligible for the healthy eating ‘Tick of Approval’.

My famous mini choc muffin recipe!

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¾ cup self-raising flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup caster sugar
½ cup low fat vanilla yoghurt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil

Sift together flour, baking powder and cocoa powder into a bowl. Add sugar, yoghurt, eggs, vanilla essence and oil and mix to combine.

Spoon batter into non-stick mini-muffin trays (this mixture will make about 30 muffins) and cook in a moderate oven for 15 minutes. They should be slightly soft to touch. Cool on wire rack.

These muffins contain less than 1 gram of fat each.

Melanoma March

March has been a busy yet inspiring month with the MelanomaWA March being held on the shores of the Swan River. We were hard to miss in our bright orange hats and whilst walking the 10km I was entertained by Steve Mills aka as Millsy, breakfast announcer on 6PR 882AM. Thanks also to Shane and Caroline Douglas and my good friends Rachel and David for joining the fray. MelanomaWA is led by the dynamic Clinton Heal and it is a not for profit organization that is raising the awareness of melanoma and providing support for those dealing with the cancer right now.

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Julie and Clinton Heal

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Millsy, Shane & Caroline Douglas, Julie, Rachel & David Crute

Truth, Lies and Chocolate – the calorie free alternative this Easter!

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Here’s an idea for an Easter gift that has no calories or fat in sight AND can be a great source of entertainment for yourself over the break.

It’s ‘truth, lies and chocolate – 99 Facts and Fairytales about Food’.

As an added bonus, all books ordered up until the 3rd of April are gift wrapped with quality chocoalte!

Click here to place an order!

6PR Cooking Masterclass

A fun day was had at the 6PR cooking Masterclass with Don Hancey at Panorama Catering and we got to sample some of Western Australia’s finest produce. Olive oil, Shark Bay prawns and fish, Linley Valley pork, Harvey beef and freshly made ricotta. I love cooking classes, do you have any that you would recommend?

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Did you know that presenteeism is the biggest expense to your company right now? It costs the Australian economy $34.1 billion every year, which is four times that of absenteeism.

Presenteeism is defined as the productivity that is lost when your team comes to work but, as a consequence of fatigue, illness or lifestyle is not fully productive.

Join the list of smart companies who have already improved the productivity of their workforce using my expertise as a performance specialist and dietitian. Find out how you can benefit by calling me on 0411 188 996, email julie@juliemeek.com.au or visit www.juliemeek.com.au

Don’t forget to check out my blog for interesting info that I come across on a regular basis too.