Labneh

Labneh is traditionally a Middle-Eastern style spread made from a small number of simple preparation steps.  It is made from unsweetened greek yoghurt, so it’s already hitting that ‘healthy’ button, and then marinated in oil and whatever herbs and spices you fancy.  We marinated ours in garlic as well as olive oil, which means we have some lovely garlic oil to cook with once the labneh is gone!

Labneh, as we have found, can have many uses.  You can use it in place of ricotta or cream cheese for most of their uses, and is lovely on toast in the morning (especially if you have added lemon juice to the marinade), smeared onto crackers, and even stirred through pasta for a simple, creamy style, pasta dish.  It is well worth hunting down that muslin to make this dish!

Labneh

Ingredients

  • 1 Litre unsweetened plain yoghurt
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley

Directions

1. Place a metal sieve over a large mixing bowl. Lay 2-3 layers of muslin over the sieve. Have an elastic band or piece of string handy.
2. Keeping the yoghurt in it's container, add the salt and mix thoroughly.
3. Pour the yoghurt mixture onto the muslin, gather the muslin ends around the yoghurt and tie tightly with the elastic band or string.
4. Cover the yoghurt and bowl completely before placing in the fridge. This prevents anything dropping into the whey (if you want to use it later), or the yoghurt taking on any flavours from the fridge.
5. If you want a soft spreadable cream cheese allow it to sit and drain out it's whey for 36-48hrs. If you want a much firmer dip leave it for 72hrs. Basically, the longer you leave it the firmer it will become. You can check firmness at any time.
6. Once ready, crush the garlic, chop the parsley and have the olive oil and a glass container for storage on hand.
7. Remove the labneh from the muslin wrap. Pour some olive oil over your hands and separate off a golf ball size amount and then shape into a ball. Place in the jar with a little extra oil.
8. Repeat this process until you have a layer of balls in the bottom of your container. Sprinkle over some garlic and some parsley, and a little more oil for good measure, and then keep adding labneh balls until finished.
9. Make sure the labneh is coated in oil, seal tight and then store in the fridge. If the balls are quite soft they will probably keep for a week or two. Harder labneh can be stored for a month.
10. Enjoy on a cracker, or stir through pasta, then use any remaining garlic oil to cook with!

4 Ingredient Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potato

At The Nutrition Room we always get asked for easy and quick lunch ideas. This recipe can be made in as little as 5 minutes and only has four ingredients that are quick, cheap and simple to grab for work. If you don’t have a microwave handy at work then you can cook the kumara in the morning before you go, as this is just as nice cold as it is warm. It is a good mix of protein, fibre rich carbohydrate and good fats and adding a side salad can make it a great well balanced meal. Healthy and yummy food doesn’t need to be complicated!

4 Ingredient Spinach Stuffed Sweet Potato

Serves 1
Prep time 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Medium kumara
  • 2 tablespoons light cottage cheese
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • 1/4 avocado (diced)

Directions

1. Using a fork prick 4-5 sets of holes into the kumara. Place in the microwave and cook for 4-5 minutes or until soft to touch.
2. Mix together spinach and cottage cheese and dice the avocado.
3. When the kumara is cooked, cut in half and squash down with a spoon. Scoop the cottage cheese and spinach mixture onto the kumara and sprinkle over the avocado. Season to taste.

Honeyed Yam and Buckwheat Salad

Winter is definitely here, which also signals the arrival of different seasonal vegetables.  It is always best to seek variety in our diets, and yams are a good one to snap up whilst we have the chance. They are from the tuber family and add a good crunch and sweetness to any meal. Try this delicious wintery roasted salad when you’re looking for a meat free meal and still want something hearty. Find all the ingredients for this delicious salad at Raeward Fresh!

Honeyed Yam and Buckwheat Salad

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat
  • 2 cups water
  • 8 Large yams
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 cups chopped orange kumara
  • 1 red onion (sliced into 8 pieces length ways)
  • 1 orange
  • 4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 handfuls rocket
  • 1 Small bunch fresh chopped mint

Directions

1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C and put a saucepan full of water on to boil for the eggs.
2. Place the buckwheat and water in a large saucepan, cover and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes until just tender.
3. Once the buckwheat is cooked, zest and juice the orange, then add along with the vinegar and oil to the buckwheat, season, cover, and set aside.
4. Meanwhile, slice the yams diagonally about an inch thick, drizzle with oil and place on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Scrub the kumara, but leave the skin on, then cut into similar sized pieces and place in another lined tray along with the sliced onion. Place both trays in the oven.
5. Bake the yams for 15 mins, then coat with the honey, and return to the oven for a further five minutes. Remove both trays of vegetables once cooked through.
6. Whilst the buckwheat and vegetables are cooking, put the eggs in the pan of boiling water and cook for ten minutes until they are hard boiled. Remove the eggs from the pan, cool them in a bowl of cold water and remove the shells.
7. Once all the elements are ready, assemble by tossing the rocket, chopped mint and vegetables through the buckwheat. Slice the eggs into long quarters and arrange on top.

Pumpkin and Coconut Curry with Crispy Tofu

Pumpkin is a rich source of vitamin A and a fantastic source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which supports eye health and helps fight free radicals. This dish has interesting textures and is a great way to explore vegetarian cooking.  However, the tofu can be substituted with grilled chicken if preferred. Curries don’t need to take hours to make and with the ingredients so handy in Raeward Fresh, it makes the process even easier!

Pumpkin and Coconut Curry with Crispy Tofu

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 1 packet of firm chilled tofu
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 3 tablespoons salt reduced soy sauce

Curry

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 1/2 Medium pumpkin
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 2 red capsicums (cut into chunks)

To Serve

  • 1 lemon (chopped into wedges to serve)
  • 1 handful diced cashew nuts
  • Fresh chopped coriander to serve
  • Salt and pepper to season

Directions

1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C.
2. Remove tofu from the package, pat dry and cut into 1 cm cubes. Pour the soy sauce into a bag, add the tofu and toss. Add the corn flour to the bag and coat the tofu. Place the tofu on a tray lined with baking paper and cook for 20 minutes until golden, stopping at 10 minutes to turn.
3. Put the brown rice in a pot with 4 cups of water, bring to the boil, and simmer covered for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave covered for at least another 15 minutes.
4. De-skin the half pumpkin, remove the seeds, cut into chunks and then grate.
5. Dice the onion and garlic and fry in a small amount of olive oil until soft. Add the curry powder, cumin, coriander and cinnamon to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. Add the grated pumpkin to the onion spice mix and allow to soften.
7. Add in the coconut milk and the cubes of capsicum. Cook for a further 4-5 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.
8. When all the elements are ready, assemble by placing a portion of rice in bowl, pouring over a spoonful of the pumpkin curry, adding a handful of the crispy tofu, a sprinkle of nuts and fresh coriander, and then serve with a wedge of lemon.

Tomato, Feta and Olive Pasta

This week Raeward Fresh is bringing you the freshest seasonal ingredients to help make this delicious Tomato pasta.Tomatoes are a great source of the powerful antioxidant Lycopene.  When tomatoes are cooked our ability to absorb the lycopene is enhanced, so this quick and fresh Italian inspired pasta is not only flavoursome but incredibly good for you as well! Go in store to get the ingredients!

Tomato, Feta and Olive Pasta

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400g fresh spaghetti
  • 3/4 cups pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 400g fresh spaghetti
  • 3/4 cups pine nuts (toasted)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (halved)
  • 190g feta (crumbled)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • 10 Large tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • ground black pepper

Directions

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until just done (al dente). Drain and mix through a small amount of olive oil to prevent from sticking, cover and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, dry toast the pine nuts in a frying pan until lightly browned, allow to cool.
3. In a separate bowl mix together the olives, crumbled feta, toasted pine nuts, and chopped basil.
4. Core and de-seed the tomatoes, and cut into 1cm pieces.
5. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a moderate heat and add the crushed garlic. Cook while continuing to stir for about one minute.
6. Stir in the tomato pieces quickly to just soften and warm through, about 4 minutes.
7. Combine all the ingredients together in a large serving dish. Add ground black pepper and more fresh basil to garnish.

Miso Ginger Tofu

If you’re having a meat free evening tofu is a great protein alternative.  Not only is it also a decent source of calcium, it’s pretty good for iron and iodine too.  The best tofu to choose here is a firm calcium-set one.  Tofu can be fairly flavourless so the other ingredients are the real stars of this recipe. Feel free to go nuts on the ginger and garlic.

Miso Ginger Tofu

Serves 2
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 20 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 packet Miso (dilute in 1/4 cup boiling water)
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons Milk
  • 1 tablespoon Freshly Grated Ginger
  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 300g Firm Tofu
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds (for garnish)
  • Sliced Spring Onion (for garnish)

Directions

1. Process all ingredients, apart from the oil and tofu, in a blender, then slowly add the oil whilst continuing to blend.
2. Slice the tofu into strips and coat in the mixture, leaving some mixture aside.
3. Grill the tofu for ten minutes, flip over, then add the remaining miso glaze. Grill for another ten minutes.
4. Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan, and chop the spring onions. Place the tofu on wilted greens and your favourite noodles. Garnish with the seeds and onions before serving.

Chia Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is traditionally such a rich and decadent dessert. This is a great alternative where you still get that richness and decadence without all the extra creams and sugars. It also has the benefit of having chia seeds in it, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This recipe is a great option for anyone following a dairy-free or egg-free diet as well.

Chia Chocolate Mousse

Serves 2
Prep time 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 heaped tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds (these can be bought ground, or ground in a food processor)

Directions

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The mixture will thicken slightly as the coconut milk is whipped.
2. Place in small bowls or ramekins and refrigerate for 4-5 hours or overnight for best result. If you want the mixture to set faster reduce the amount of coconut milk.
3. Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes and enjoy!

Chickpea and Quinoa Soup

This is a protein packed soup that is almost like a modern minestrone. It has both chickpeas and quinoa (which is a complete protein with all essential amino acids) and it is packed full of veggies. It is a soups that really fills you up, is so full of flavour, and tastes even better for lunch the next day.

Chickpea and Quinoa soup

Serves 4
Prep time 10 minutes
Cook time 25 minutes
Total time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon rice bran oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (diced)
  • 1 Medium leek (sliced)
  • 1 Medium onion (sliced)
  • 2 Small potatoes or kumara (finely sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 carrots (sliced)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Grated parmesan or light sour cream to garnish

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Add garlic, onion, leek and potato and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add cumin and basil.
2. Add in canned tomatoes, tomato paste, vegetable stock and quinoa and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Add in chopped carrot and simmer for a further 10 minutes or until quinoa is fluffy.
4. Stir through chickpeas and baby spinach and season to taste.
5. Garnish with finely grated parmesan or light sour cream and serve with a crusty wholemeal bread.

 

Crispy Polenta Chips

Polenta is a delicious and versatile ingredient. It can be baked, boiled or grilled, and served with vegetables, meat, seafood, cheese, in fritters or even in crispy chips like this recipe. Polenta is corn meal and can be used by people following many different diets including, vegetarians, vegans and those on a gluten or dairy free diet. It is a great source of fibre and is full of many vitamins and minerals. The milk in the recipe can be omitted for water or even stock which gives a bit of extra flavour if you wish to leave out the parmesan. The ratio for polenta to liquid is usually 1:4, however when making chips a slightly dryer polenta is a good option. You can get creative and add many different things to your chips including fresh herbs, olives or  jalapeño for a spicy kick.

Crispy Polenta Chips

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup trim milk
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • drizzle olive oil
  • salt and peper (to taste)

Directions

1. In a large saucepan bring water and milk to the boil.
2. Add polenta in a steady stream whilst whisking the mixture.
3. Continue to whisk and cook until polenta becomes thick (approximately 10 minutes, although this may be longer if you have a coarser grain polenta).
4. Stir in parmesan and season to taste.
5. Spread polenta on a large tray about 1 cm thick and allow to cool in the fridge. This will take about half an hour, but can be left for longer.
6. Preheat oven to 200*C. Cut polenta into chips and arrange on a tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for 25min. To get a really crispy chip, grill polenta chips for the remaining 5 minutes.
7. Sprinkle with a little extra parmesan and enjoy!

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Pumpkin is cheap and plentiful at the moment and this is a delicious alternative to a traditional winter pumpkin soup. It has a little extra warmth and the subtle Thai flavours of coconut and coriander. Enjoy with a side of crusty bread.

Thai Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Serves 4
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 45 minutes
Meal type Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon ricebran oil
  • 3 cloves garlic (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1kg diced pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 can light coconut cream
  • 2 cups water
  • Zest and juice of one lemon
  • Salt and peper to taste
  • 1/4 cup toasted peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon toasted coconut
  • Fresh coriander

Directions

1. Heat oil in a large pot, add garlic, onion, ground coriander and chilli flakes and cook onion until tender.
2. Add pumpkin, fish sauce, coconut cream, water and lemon.
3. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 25 minutes until pumpkin is tender.
4. Puree soup mixture until smooth and creamy.
5. To serve garnish with toasted coconut, peanuts and fresh coriander.