Zucchini, oatmeal & chickpea fritters with grilled chicken, tomato, feta & mint salsa

We have a brand new NutritionConfidence recipe, created by chef, Vanessa Marx!

The oat bran and chickpea flour used in the fritters provide a good source of healthy soluble fibre, which lowers the glycaemic index of this dish and aids in blood sugar control. Adding zucchinis not only ups the fibre content even further, but is also an easy way to get in a portion of veggies.

Instead of using store-bought marinades, which are often high in salt, sugar and preservatives, Vanessa has packed in some punchy flavours by using paprika, lemon and thyme to season the chicken.

INGREDIENTS (Serves 4)

For the Fritters:

1/2 cup ground oats or oat bran

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup low fat milk

2 free-range eggs

3 medium zucchini, grated

10 ml chopped fresh parsley

a pinch of salt & pepper to season

10 ml canola oil

  • In a bowl, mix together the ground oats and chickpea flour, with the baking powder and seasoning.
  • Make a well in the centre, and add the two eggs and milk.
  • Mix the wet and dry ingredients into a batter, and then add the grated zucchini and mix well.
  • Heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat, and drizzle with half a teaspoon of the canola oil.
  • Spoon a tablespoon at a time into the pan to make the individual fritters.
  • Let the fritter form a crust on the underneath side and become golden brown and set a little, before flipping them over with a spatula.
  • Let the fritters cook through and have colour on both sides, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Cook the fritters in 2 batches, so you don’t over crowd the pan.
  • Set them aside on a platter or plate.

Makes 12 fritters

For the Chicken:

4 free-range chicken breasts

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

zest & juice of 1 lemon

5 ml chopped fresh thyme

salt and pepper to season

10 ml canola oil

  • Cut the chicken breast into strips and season with the paprika, lemon, thyme, salt & pepper
  • Put a frying pan on a high heat and add the canola oil.
  • When the pan is hot, add the chicken breasts and cook for around 2 minutes on each side, until browned, and cooked through.
  • Remove the chicken strips from the pan heat and set aside until you are ready to serve.

For the Salsa:

2 large tomatoes

30 g spring onion

1 TBL chopped fresh mint

100 g feta, cut into cubes

1 TBL lemon juice

1 TBL olive oil

salt & pepper

  • Roughly chop the tomatoes into dice, and slice the spring onion
  • Mix together the chopped tomatoes, mint, spring onion and feta and drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season to taste and mix well.

To assemble:

  • Place the fritters onto individual plates or a platter to serve.
  • Top the fritters with the grilled chicken
  • Pile the salsa over the top of the chicken and garnish with fresh coriander leaves

 

Nutrition information: Per serving (recipe serves 4)

Chicken*: Energy: 160 kCal/ 675 kJ, Fat: 3.6 g, Carbohydrates: 0.27 g, Fibre: 0.33 g, Protein: 31.4 g, Sodium: 95 mg

*130 g raw portion per chicken breast

Fritter: Energy: 43 kCal/ 178 kJ, Fat: 2.1 g, Carbohydrates: 2.9 g, Fibre: 1 g, Protein: 2.5 g, Sodium: 210 mg

Salsa*: Energy: 107 kCal/ 448 kJ, Fat: 6 g, Carbohydrates: 4.9 g, Protein: 6.2 g,  Sodium: 181 mg

*Using reduced fat feta


10 Healthy Ways to Survive the Festive Season Eating Frenzy

Every year the festive season arrives and all our healthy eating plans go out of the window. There is no doubt that time to relax and enjoy ourselves is important to our well-being, but we tend to over-indulge in rich foods, sweet treats and alcohol. At the same time, we are cutting back on regular physical activity and staying up too late, too often.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to indulge a little, but allow for eating in moderation and maintaining a varied diet. Ditching your weight loss or weight management plans, or letting go of your health conscious habits over the festive season stresses both body and mind. Of course, you want to enjoy yourself, and it’s certainly not the time to feel deprived, but you can avoid the holidays becoming an extended binge by using strategies to moderate the inevitable excesses.

We asked a team of registered dietitians from ADSA (Association for Dietetics in South Africa) to give us their top tips on how to balance holiday fun with staying healthy, and here’s what they have to say:

Surviving holiday parties: Don’t attend a party on an empty stomach – grab a small healthy snack before you go. When you get there, don’t rush to eat – socialize and settle into the festivities before you eat and keep your socializing away from the buffet table or appetizer trays – to help limit nibbling. (Cheryl Meyer)

Eat mindfully: The buffet table is an invitation to eat all you can, so first survey what is available, choose the foods you really want to eat, and then move away. Eat slowly, focusing on enjoying the taste and smell of each bite. (Jessica Byrne)

Eat what you love, leave what you like. Be picky – don’t deny indulges, but only eat treats that you really love – avoid “wasting” calories on non-favourites. Think quality rather than quantity. (Cheryl Meyer)

Make water your MVP (most valuable player) this holiday season:  Jazz it up with lemon, cucumber or even fruit cubes like watermelon ice cubes, adding an element of holiday indulgence to plain water. Also try plain fruit or herbal tea for a change.  Water and tea can help fill you up preventing holiday overeating or even overindulging in alcohol or fizzy drinks, both loaded with calories/ energy. (Hlanzeka Mpanza)

Balance less healthy meals with healthy ones: Choose only one less healthy item or meal per day.  For example: one day an English breakfast, the next day an ice cream and the next day a take away, but not all three on one day. Ensure the other meals are healthy by eating lots of fresh vegetables and fruit. (Zelda Ackerman)

Be a snack smuggler: Travelling, shopping and lack of routine during the holidays can lead to skipping meals, or grabbing that seemingly convenient fast food. To keep your appetite in check, never leave home without a snack. Fruit makes a refreshing and no fuss snack, and a small packet of unsalted nuts can easily fit in your handbag for when the hunger hits. (Jessica Byrne)

Avoid after-dinner nibbles and snacks: Those chocolates and biscuits that come out after an indulgent lunch or dinner are unnecessary calories and will probably only make you feel more uncomfortably full. (Lila Bruk)

Have your cake and eat it too: If you do have one of the many sweet treats on offer, keep your portion size as small as possible and choose the healthiest of what you can find. For example, generally fruit-based cakes and desserts are better choices, so an apple tart would be a better option than a chocolate cake, especially if you don’t eat all the pastry. (Lila Bruk)

Start your day with a wholesome breakfast: Have a low GI breakfast such as oats, wholegrain cereal or wholewheat toast with avocado or eggs. This will not only keep you satisfied, your sugar levels stable and hunger pains at bay, but will also prevent you from snacking on sugary treats that are empty calories with little nutrients. (Lucinda Lourens)

Get moving with friends and family: Spend quality time with friends and family these holidays, but instead of catching up over coffee and cake, make the most of the warm weather and plan to do something where you can be active together. Meet for a walk on the beach or get a group together and go for a hike. Go for a swim, or get the whole family involved in a post-lunch stroll around the neighbourhood. (Jessica Byrne)

This ADSA NutritionConfidence recipe, created by Chef Vanessa Marx, is perfect for keeping your health on track this holiday, while still indulging in delicious festive food: “Grilled Ostrich Fillet with Egyptian Dukkah and Cucumber Raita”.

Ostrich is a truly South African and healthy alternative for the braai this festive season! The raita bursts with flavour while being low in sugar and fat. Ostrich meat is a great alternative to other ‘red meat’ sources. Classified as a ‘white meat’ due to its fat content, it’s low in fat (even lower than some chicken cuts) and saturated fat; but also a good source of biologically available iron. This makes a great pairing with the “Spinach, Beetroot and Pomegranate Salad”.


Melk Tart, a South African Classic

We love the sweet tooth satisfaction offered by this better-for-you twist on a classic South African dessert. Created by chef, Vanessa Marx, this Melk Tart recipe is a great family dessert.

Dietitian Cheryl Meyer says that seeds like pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds are easily incorporated into a variety of dishes. They not only boost flavour and crunch, they pack a nutritional punch loaded with fiber, protein and healthy fats.

For the crust:

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

20g sunflower seeds

20g sesame seeds

20g pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened fresh apple juice

4 Tbl honey

1/4 vanilla pod

  • Preheat the oven to 160℃
  • Mix together all the coconut , seeds and oats
  • Cut the vanilla through the pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds
  • Put the apple juice, honey & vanilla just and seeds into a small sauce pan and heat until infused and combined
  • Pour the apple juice over the oats mixture
  • Spread the mixture out onto an oven proof tray and bake until golden and crispy, stirring every 10 minutes, to make sure it cooked evenly
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool
  • Line the bas of your pie dish with the mixture to prepare it for the milk tart filling

For the filling: 

INGREDIENTS

3 eggs

80ml corn flour

½ tsp vanilla extract

2½ cup low fat milk

¼ vanilla pod, seeds removed

½ cup xylitol

Cinnamon for dusting

  • Mix together the eggs and corn flour in a bowl
  • Cut the vanilla through the pod lengthways and scrape out the seeds
  • Put the milk, vanilla just and seeds, vanilla extract and xylitol into a saucepan and heat together until it come to a boil
  • Remove from the heat and pour a little of the warm milk ingot he egg mixture, whilst whisking
  • Add the egg mixture back into the pot with the remaining milk, and whisk
  • Put the mixture back on the heat and whisk vigorously until it thickens and come to a boil
  • Have your pie dish with the base ready, and pour the custard mixture into the pie dish
  • Leave the tart to cool at room temperature, and then refrigerate for at least 2 hours until completely cold
  • Remove the tart from the fridge and dust generously with cinnamon

Nutrition Information: per serving (recipe serves 12)

Energy: 825 kJ Protein: 6.8 g Carbohydrate: 25.4 g Of which, total sugars: 8.9 g Fat: 8.3 g Fibre: 1.3 g Sodium: 64 mg

 


It’s the year of the pulses – try this Lentil Bobotie

It’s the year of the pulses and the theme of National Nutrition Week is ‘Love your beans – eat dry beans, peas and lentils’, so this delicious Lentil Bobotie, created by chef Vanessa Marx, is the perfect family meal.

We love lentils (and you should too)! Dried lentils are a quick cooking legume, taking just 15 – 20 minutes to cook with no need to remember to soak them beforehand. The also pack a lot of punch, they are: low in fat, high in protein and high in dietary fiber.

Legumes (including lentils) provide a valuable and cost-effective source of protein and other nutrients. A 2010 review by Drenowski of different foods found that beans were among the top 5 classes of food having the highest micronutrient to price ratio, making them exceptional nutritional value for your money.

 

INGREDIENTS

(serves 4)

2 cup lentils, cooked

30ml canola oil

1 onion, peeled & chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled & finely chopped or crushed

20g grated fresh ginger

100g green beans, chopped

1/2 cup raisins

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 can chopped tomatoes

1/2 cup water

30ml mild curry spice

5ml ground cinnamon

2 bay leaves

2 free-range eggs

1/4 cup low fat yoghurt

2ml ground turmeric

salt & pepper

10g fresh coriander, chopped

2 extra bay leaves

METHOD

  1. Put a large pot on the stove on a medium heat and add the oil.
  2. Add the chopped onion, ginger & garlic and sauté lightly for about 5 minutes.
  3. Then add the carrots, red pepper, green beans and raisins and continue to sweat for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add the curry spice, cinnamon and bay leaves and stir in for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and water and stir in.
  6. Cook the sauce for about 15min until slightly thickened and the vegetables have softened a little.
  7. Add the lentils and season with salt and pepper to taste and mix in.
  8. Put the lentil mixture into an oven proof dish and set aside.
  9. In a bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, eggs and turmeric.
  10. Pour the egg mixture over the lentil bobotie and place the 2 bay leaves on top.
  11. Bake the bootie in the oven at 180ºC for about 20min until the egg custard has set and is slightly golden brown on top.
  12. Remove from the oven and serve hot with chopped fresh coriander.

NUTRITION INFORMATION: per serving (recipe serves 4)

Energy: 1441 kJ Protein: 16.1 g Carbohydrate: 49.6 g Of which, total sugars: 24.1 g Fat: 11.0 g Fibre: 14.0 g Sodium: 94 mg

Visit the National Nutrition Week website for more recipes that include beans, peas and lentils!


Ostrich Stew with Gremolata

A great choice for health-conscious red meat lovers and a wonderful in-between seasons recipe – Ostrich Stew with Gremolata, created by chef Vanessa Marx.

Our dietitians say: Ostrich is a great tasting lean read meat. It is low in fat (only 1.4 g fat per 100 g meat), rich in protein (22 protein per 100 g meat), lower in cholesterol than other red meats (only 60 mg per 100 g meat), and a good source of biologically available iron  (3.2 mg iron per 100 g serving of meat)

INGREDIENTS

500 g ostrich fillet cubes

1 tablespoon (15 ml) canola oil

2 cans (400 g each) chopped tomato

1 cup (250 ml) red wine

1 carrot

1 onion

100 g mushrooms

100 g green beans

10 g thyme, fresh

10 g rosemary, fresh

1 can (400 g net, 244 g drained) beans e.g. kidney, butter beans or cooked sugar beans, drained and rinsed

salt & pepper

1 tablespoon (15 ml) xylitol

2 cloves garlic

10 g Italian parsley

1 lemon

METHOD

  1. Peel and chop the onion and carrot, and slice the mushrooms and green beans.
  2. Place a large pot on a high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onion, mushroom and carrot and sauté for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the ostrich cubes, chopped tomato, wine and chopped herbs and reduce the heat to low.
  4. Allow the pot to simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally, the sauce will reduce and thicken and the ostrich will soften. Once this happens, add the green beans and season with salt and pepper, add the xylitol and the can of beans & stir.
  5. Simmer the stew for another 5 minutes to cook the green beans.
  6. To make the gremolata, chop the fresh garlic finely, chop the parsley and zest the lemon. Mix the parsley garlic & lemon zest together.
  7. Serve the stew hot and sprinkle with the fresh gremolata.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING

(recipe serves 4)

Energy: 1400 kJ Protein: 35.6 g Carbohydrate: 23.8 g Of which, total sugars: 9.1 g Fat: 6.7 g Fibre: 17.2 g Sodium: 180 mg

 

 


Add to your ‘must try’ dessert list: Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Chocolateavomousse(3)We just couldn’t resist re-sharing this amazing ‘Raw Avocado Chocolate Mousse’ – a much healthier alternative to regular chocolate mousse and just as delicious. The mousse is packed with healthy unsaturated fat and an ideal alternative for vegans. It also contains none of the major allergens (cows milk, egg, soya, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat/gluten) and is ideal for individuals suffering from allergies to these food items. Developed by chef, Vanessa Marx, this should be at the top of your list of ‘desserts I must try’.

Our dietitians say:

Avocado pears contain primarily mono-unsaturated fats that have been shown to assist in keeping your heart healthy! They are also a good source of Vitamin E, which keeps your skin healthy and speeds up healing, as well as protecting red blood cells; Folic Acid, which helps with the production of red blood cells; and Selenium, which is an integral part of anti-oxidants (these help protect body cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and also needed for the proper functioning of the immune system)

RECIPE

Makes 4 portions

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado

1 ripe banana

1 orange

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

2 tablespoons xylitol

How to make it

– cut the avo in half. Remove the pip from the centre and discard. Remove and discard the skin too.

– in a food processor, add the avo, banana, cocoa powder, and xylitol.

– zest and juice the orange and add both to the food processor.

– blend the mixture until completely smooth and dark chocolate brown. The sweetness and darkness can both be adjusted by adding more or less xylitol and cocoa powder. The xylitol can also be substituted with honey, a low calorie or non-nutritive sweetener.

– you can remove the orange and replace with another flavour variation like cinnamon, lemon zest etc.

– spoon the mousse into 4 glasses for serving and refrigerate until ready to serve.

– serve with fresh fruit or biscotti

The nutritional value serves 4:

Energy: 1075 kJ

Protein: 3 g

Carbohydrate: 17 g

Total fat: 19 g

Dietary Fibre: 6.5 g

Sodium: 46 mg

To download the recipe card, visit http://www.adsa.org.za/Public/Recipes.aspx


Raw Chocolate Truffles

Spoil the one you love with some homemade ‘Raw Chocolate Truffles’ made from raw cocoa paste, dates, goji berries, raw almonds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, cinnamon and honey.

Our dietitians say:

Date flesh is a high source of energy and 100 g of flesh (about 4 mejool dates) can provide an average of 1300 kJ. It is rich in mainly fructose and glucose; low in fat and protein; and a good source of magnesium, potassium, copper, selenium and manganese. The consumption of 100 g of dates can provide over 15% of the recommended daily allowance from these minerals.

Vitamins B-complex (especially Vitamin B6) are the major vitamins in dates and they are an excellent source of dietary fiber (up to 8.0 g/100 g).

Last, but not least, dates are a good source of antioxidants, mainly carotenoids and phenolics.

We love this recipe:

Easy to make, package in a beautiful box and voila … a great gift for mom.

The raw chocolate balls are also a great dessert option – and can double up as a high energy lunchbox snack or perfect ‘take along’ energy boost for runners or cyclists.

Ingredients

100 g raw cocoa paste

100 g dates

30 g goji berries

50 g raw almonds, chopped

20 g sunflower seeds

20 g flaxseeds

2 ml cinnamon

20 g honey

*Makes 20 truffles

How to make it

– put the dates into a small saucepan and cover with a little water. Cook the dates in a medium high heat until soft (about 5 minutes) and the water has evaporated. Mash the dates into a purée and set aside.

– gently melt the cocoa paste on a low heat.

– mix the melted cocoa paste, date purée, goji berries, almonds, seeds, cinnamon and honey into a firm paste.

– roll the mixture into 15g balls and dust with cocoa powder, or roll in seeds or coconut to decorate.

The nutritional value per truffle (makes 20 truffles):

Energy: 254 kJ

Protein: 2 g

Carbohydrate: 4 g

Total fat: 3.2 g

Dietary Fibre: 1.1 g

Sodium: 48 mg


Quinoa & Fig Salad

With beautiful weather forecast for most of the country for the long weekend, our latest NutritionConfidence recipe “Quinoa & Fig Salad” is the perfect meal. We love the combination of sweet, salty and sour in this recipe. A lovely vegan main meal containing a good combination of protein, carbohydrate and healthy mono-unsaturated fats. Also perfect as a side salad for a braai this weekend!

Our Dietitians Say

Quinoa is a good source of fibre, folate, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and B vitamins. It has an amino acid score of 106, which indicates a complete high-quality protein. Quinoa is also a good source of carbohydrate and contains roughly the same amount of carbohydrate than a 100 g portion of cooked brown rice.

And importantly, figs are currently in season here in South Africa and available at most grocery stores.

RECIPE

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup white quinoa

2 cups water

8 purple figs, cut into quarters

100 g walnuts, raw & unsalted

200 g mixed salad greens (rocket, baby spinach, watercress)

1/2 cucumber

120 ml extra virgin olive oil

50 ml white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1 teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard

How to make it

– Preheat the oven to 150 deg C.

– Put the quinoa & water into a medium saucepan on a medium heat. Cook the quinoa for about 20 minutes until it expands and opens slightly. Cook with the lid on. Remove from the heat and strain the excess water from the quinoa. Season with a pinch of salt and leave the quinoa to cool.

– Roast the walnuts on an oven proof tray for about 10 minutes, check on the walnuts now and then to make sure they don’t burn. Remove the nuts from the oven and leave to cool.

– Using a peeler, peel the cucumber to make long thin ribbons. Peel around the cucumber using only the firm outside parts. Discard the middle part of the cucumber with the seeds or eat as a snack.

– To make the dressing: whisk the vinegar, honey & mustard in a mixing bowl. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the bowl, while continuously whisking to combine.

– Assemble the salad greens on a large plate or platter. Sprinkle the cooled quinoa over the salad leaves. Arrange the figs and cucumber ribbons on top of the salad. Sprinkle the roasted walnuts over the salad and drizzle with the dressing.

– Serve as a light main course or as a healthy side salad to your favourite dish.

The Nutritional Value serves 4

Energy: 2689 kJ

Protein: 11.3 g

Carbohydrate: 51.3 g

Total Fat: 44 g

Dietary Fibre: 41 g

Sodium: 8 mg


Gluten & Sugar Free Brownies

This month seems to be all about chocolate, so we thought we’d share a recipe that is all about chocolate, but a much better alternative to other sugar-laden chocolate treats (and because the recipe contains no flour it is perfect for anyone who is gluten intolerant). Chef Vanessa Marx created the most delicious Gluten & Sugar Free Brownies, our latest NutritionConfidence Recipe.

Our Dietitians say: 

Historical evidence shows that cocoa has been used in a medicinal capacity for over two thousand years (since the time of the ancient Mayan and Aztec civilisations and following its introduction to Europe in the Middle Ages).

A large Harvard study showed that cocoa consumption is associated with decreased blood pressure, improved blood vessel health, and improvement in cholesterol levels, among other benefits.

The cocoa bean’s therapeutic properties can be attributed to certain constituent compounds, known as flavonoids.

RECIPE

Makes 48

Ingredients

200 g raw cocoa paste (solid)

375 g ground almonds

6 whole free-range eggs

250 g xylitol

300 g cocoa butter

50 g desiccated coconut

3 tablespoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking powder

How to make it

– Preheat the oven to 160 C

– Grind together the cocoa paste, ground almonds, coconut, cocoa powder & baking powder.

– Whisk together the eggs and xylitol until light and fluffy and the xylitol is dissolved.

– Melt the cocoa butter.

– In a large bowl, fold together the ground cocoa mixture & the egg mixture until combined.

– Fold the warm cocoa butter into the mixture until all combined.

– Pour the batter into a greased baking dish and bake for 30-40min until set.

– Leave to cool a pond then slice into squares

The nutritional value serves 48:

Energy: 572 kJ

Protein: 2 g

Carbohydrate: 6 g

Total fat: 12 g

Fibre: 1.7 g

Sodium: 13.5 mg

Enjoy! If you want to download the recipe card visit: http://www.adsa.org.za/Public/Recipes.aspx


Sustainably Farmed Kob Stuffed with Fennel & Orange

Next up in our NutritionConfidence recipe series is a simple and tasty fish recipe from Chef, Vanessa Marx. This recipe is perfect for a gourmet meal that is also good for your health. An added bonus is that sustainably farmed kob is also good for the environment.

Our dietitians say:

There are many benefits to eating fish more often. Fish includes key micronutrients: mineral phosphorus, selenium, potassium, iodine, zinc and magnesium and vitamins B2, B12 and D.

The South African Healthy Eating Guidelines emphasise the importance of fish intake – it should be at the top of your list when choosing a protein for a meal.

The aim should be 2 – 3 portions of fish per week.

RECIPE

Makes 4 portions

1 whole sustainably farmed kob

1 medium fennel bulb, sliced

1 orange

1 lemon

20 g dill

20 g chives

30 g butter

50 ml olive oil

Salt & black pepper

Tin foil

– stuff the belly of the fish with the sliced fennel, chives and dill

– slice half of the orange and half of the lemon

– stuff the slices of citrus into the fish

– use the remaining half of the orange and lemon for the juice, and squeeze the juice over the fish

-rub the outside of the fish with butter and drizzle with olive oil

– season with salt & pepper

– wrap the fish up in 2 layers of foil

– place on the braai over medium to low coals for about 15 minutes, then turn the fish for a further 15 minutes

– unwrap the fish from the foil, taking care to reserve the juices which you can use to dress the fish when serving.

The nutritional value serves 4:

Energy: 1459 kJ

Protein: 23.7 g

Carbohydrates: 9 g

Total fat: 22.5 g

Fibre: 4 g

Sodium: 788 mg

To download the recipe card, visit http://www.adsa.org.za/Public/Recipes.aspx


Fishcakes with barley salad & lemon drizzle

This recipe ticks all the boxes – high in fibre, packed with omega 3 fatty acids, heart healthy mono-unsaturated fatty acids, an array of vitamins and minerals and contains a great balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat; and besides that its good for the earth and tastes yummy!

Fishcakes (made with mackerel, which is on the green list!) with barley salad and lemon drizzle is ideal for the heatwave we are currently experiencing in South Africa, but can be enjoyed in any season.

Our dietitians say:

Mackerel and sardines are very good sources of omega 3 fatty acids. They play a crucial role in brain function, as well as normal growth and development. Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation and may help lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

Oats are a good source of soluble fibre-  also known as oat beta-glucan. Research suggests that the soluble fibre in oats may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels, specifically LDL cholesterol.

We’ve included the recipe card for you to share!

FISHCAKESFishcakes recipe for blog copy

Ingredients

1 x can (400 g) of mackerel (middle cut)

1/4 cup oat bran

1/2 cup grated carrot

1 free-range egg

Zest of 1 lemon

10 g chopped fresh herbs (chives, dill, parsley)

Salt & pepper

2 tablespoons avocado oil

How to make it 

– drain the mackerel of any liquid, and put it into a large mixing bowl.

– using a fork, shred the fish up until it’s fine and there are no large chunks.

– add the oat bran, carrot, egg, lemon zest, and chopped herbs, and mix well. Leave the   mixture to stand for about 30min in the fridge, so the oat bran soaks up excess liquid in the mixture.

– separate the mixture into 8 equal sized balls, and shape them into patties.

– season the fishcakes with salt & pepper.

– put a large non-stick frying pan onto a medium heat and drizzle the oil into the pan.

– once the pan is hot, add the fishcakes and fry on the first side for around 2 minutes, until golden brown. Turn them over and repeat on the other side.

BARLEY SALAD

Ingredients

1 cup cooked pearl barley, cold

40 g watercress

1/2 medium cucumber

1 avo

50 g almonds, raw & chopped

50 g mixed bean sprouts

100 g cherry tomatoes, cut in half

50 g sliced red onion

10 g basil

10 g fennel

100 g feta

Salt & pepper

How to make it 

– wash the cucumber, tomatoes, and herbs.

– using a peeler, shave the cucumber into ribbons.

– cut the avo in half, remove the skin & pip and cut the avo into chunks.

– in a large bowl, mix together the barley, cucumber ribbons, almonds, bean sprouts, tomatoes, onion, tear the fennel & basil up and add to the salad.

– assemble the salad on a platter. Spread the barley salad mixture on the bottom of the platter. Add the chunks of avo, and crumble the feta over the top of the salad. Sprinkle the watercress on top of the salad.

LEMON DRIZZLE

Ingredients

zest & juice of 1 lemon

1teaspoon smooth Dijon mustard

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon chopped chives

Salt & pepper

How to make it 

– whisk together the lemon juice, zest & mustard.

– drizzle the olive oil into the lemon mixture whilst whisking.

– mix int he chopped chives, and season with salt & pepper.

SERVES 4


Grilled ostrich fillet with Egyptian dukkah & cucumber raita

Ostrich fillet is a truly South African (and healthy alternative) for the braai this festive season. The latest NutritionConfidence recipe from Vanessa Marx (Dear Me) combines this South African speciality with the gorgeous Spinach, Beetroot & Pomegranate salad we posted a few days ago. The raita bursts with flavour while being low in sugar and fat.

Our dietitians say:

Ostrich meat is a great alternative to other ‘red meat’ sources. Classified as a ‘white meat’ due to its fat content, it’s low in fat (even lower than some chicken cuts) and saturated fat; but also a good source of biologically available iron.

A tip from the chef: Ostrich fillet is best cooked on a high heat for a shorter period. This recipe cooking time would result in a medium rare steak, depending on the thickness of the steak. For a rarer steak, cook for one minute less on each side.

Ingredients

2 x 150g ostrich fillet steaks

80g Egyptian dukkah

30ml sunflower oil

Salt flakes

1/2 cup low fat plain yoghurt

1/2 a medium cucumber

10g fresh coriander

The juice of 1/2 a lemon

Salt & pepper

How to make it

For the steaks

– Put a griddle pan on a very high heat.

– Drizzle the ostrich steaks with oil and coat in the dukkah. Season with salt flakes.

– Once the griddle pan is searing hot, lay the steaks onto the griddle. Do not move them around, leave them to grill on the first side for around 2-3 minutes. Turn the steak over and grill on the other side for a further 2-3 minutes. Remove the steaks from the grill and leave to rest for 2 min on a cutting board.

For the raita

– Cut the cucumber into small cubes about 5mm, or for a time-saving method, grate.

– Chop the coriander roughly.

– Mix the cucumber and coriander into the yoghurt.

– Season the raita with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

To serve

– Slice the steaks into 1cm thick slices and arrange on a plate or serving platter.

– Add dollops of raita on top of the steaks, and serve with a fresh seasonal salad, or side dish of your choice.

Serves 2

ADSA_Ostrich Recipe Card


Spinach, Beetroot & Pomegranate Salad

Just in time for the festive season a brand new NutritionConfidence recipe! A delicious Spinach, Beetroot & Pomegranate Salad from Vanessa Marx (Head Chef at Dear Me)!

We love it because the colourful salad contains a powerhouse of nutrients. ‘Good for you’ fats from the seeds and oil; phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fibre from the deep coloured veg; paired with a creamy, lower fat alternative to regular hard (previously known as) Greek style feta. And we love it because it looks so festive!

Good For You!

Deep coloured vegetables like beets and spinach contain many “non-nutrient” compounds called phytochemicals. These are biologically active, natural occurring chemical compounds which also provide the colour, taste and aroma to fruits and vegetables. In relation to cancer, phytochemicals help metabolise drugs, toxins, carcinogens and mutagens.

Also, beetroot juice may improve the performance for some athletes in some situations due to its high nitrate content.

 

Ingredients

100 g baby spinach

1 medium beetroot

50 g Danish feta cheese (lower in fat than Greek)

1 Pomegranate, or 100 g fresh pomegranate arils

50 g radishes

30 g baby spring onions

30 ml olive oil

10 ml raspberry or red wine vinegar (or other of your choice) – optional

 

How to make it

– Boil the whole beetroot, with the skin on, until soft (you should be able to pierce the beetroot with a knife effortlessly).

– Wash the baby spinach and pat off the excess water with some paper towel, or spin in a salad spinner if you have one.

– Wash the radishes and thinly slice them.

– Once your beetroot is cooked, leave it to cool slightly. While it’s still a bit warm, use your hands to rub the skin off the beetroot. Give the beetroot a rinse to remove the excess skin. Cut into small cubes.

– If you have a whole pomegranate, cut it in half. Hold the pomegranate half in your hand with the cut side toward your hand, leaving a gap between the pomegranate and the palm of your hand, by gripping the edges of the pomegranate with your fingertips. Hold the pomegranate over a large bowl, and using a large spoon, whack the back end of the pomegranate and the seeds will release from the shell. Repeat this until you have retrieved all of the jewels.

– On a plate or serving platter, arrange the baby spinach.

– Assemble your salad by adding the chopped beetroot, crumble over the feta, add the slices radishes, sprinkle over the pomegranate jewels and baby spring onions. Drizzle the salad with olive oil & vinegar & serve

Serves 2

Add this NutritionConfidence recipe card to your collection!

ADSA-recipes-spinach,beetroot,pom copy 2


Launch of NutritionConfidence Recipes

We have partnered with award-winning chef, Vanessa Marx (from Dear Me), to develop the NutritionConfidence series of recipes.

The series, which launched in November, with three diabetic-friendly recipes, aims to showcase that delicious food can also be healthy, making it easier to eat the right food more often for a healthy body and mind.

“As part of our daily work we spend a lot of time looking at the scientific side of what we eat and how it affects our bodies, sometimes forgetting that eating food for most people is about so much more than just putting fuel in the body”, says Claire Julsing-Strydom, ADSA President. “In celebration of delicious food that inspires us to make our own meals and is also good for us, we created the NutritionConfidence recipes.”

Each recipe encourages local, close-to-home ingredients; offers alternative flavour tips; and highlights the ‘good-for-you’ hero ingredients. The three diabetic-friendly recipes include:

  • Veggie Burgers – made with butternut, sweet potato, lentils and almonds, wrapped in iceberg lettuce and served with guacamole and salsa
  • Rooibos, Pomegranate and Cinnamon Ice Tea – an everyday cold drink solution with all the flavour, but not all the sugar!
  • Orange & Almond Torte – made with eggs, xylitol, ground almonds, baking powder and orange zest this is a great sugar and wheat free torte that will be loved not only by diabetics.

“Being a diabetic and a chef, I’ve always looked at ways to create food that is fresh, innovative, delicious and on trend, but also caters for different lifestyles”, says Vanessa. With a focus on using fresh, local ingredients and working with spices and herbs to create flavours, Vanessa’s style is the perfect combination for the NutritionConfidence recipes.

ADSA will roll out NutritionConfidence recipes every month, so pop onto the website www.adsa.org.za to find recipes to suit every occasion with a focus on light meals in January, Valentine’s Day in February, the outdoors in March and chocolate in April.