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Healthy Recipes

The following are recipes compiled by New Zealand chef Garth Hokianga. They are low fat, healthy, tasty recipes using fresh ingredients suitable for the whole family.


Quick Chicken Soup

30 Minutes - serves 6

Chicken Soup
What you need

1 tablespoon oil
1 onion, peeled and diced finely
2 lemongrass stalks, finely minced (see Tip)
2 sticks of celery, peeled and diced
1 x 350 gram can of creamed corn
5 cups of chicken stock
1 smoked chicken, skinned, boned and diced
salt/pepper
½ cup of chopped coriander
zest and juice of 1 lemon

What you do
  1. Into a large saucepan over a medium heat add the oil, onion, lemongrass and celery. Cook for 3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  2. Pour in the creamed corn and chicken stock, bring to the boil, then add the smoked chicken. Lower the temperature and allow the soup to gently simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Season the soup and fold in the coriander, lemon zest and juice. This soup tastes great hot or cold. Serve it with a pile of sticky rice. If you have roast chicken left over from last night's dinner you can always use that instead of the smoked chicken.
Tip

Keep lemongrass stalks in the freezer, wrapped in cling film. That way they're easier to chop up finely. Just peel away the tough outer leaves and finely mince the soft bulb part.

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Nancy's Quick Tomato Pizza Pie

30 Minutes - Serves 4

Tomato Pizza Pie
What you need

Oil spray
400 grams of white bread (3/4 of the loaf)
½ cup fine corn meal
1 whole egg
salt/black pepper
1 tablespoon of oregano, fresh or dried
2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
5 ripe tomatoes, cored and sliced thin
2 cups of low fat cottage cheese
3 garlic cloves, peeled and diced finely (optional)

What you do
  1. Preheat your oven to its hottest setting, 230 degrees Celsius plus. Spray the bottom of your pizza pan or pie tin with oil. Rip up the bread, crusts and all. Drop the bread, corn meal and egg into the food processor and pulse on high until you have a fine crumb - you may need to process in several lots.
  2. Take the breadcrumbs and firmly press them into the pizza pan (just like you would with a biscuit base for a cheesecake). Use the bottom of a wine bottle to press the edges in firmly. Spray the base with oil.
  3. Season the bottom of the pie with salt/pepper, then sprinkle on the oregano and Parmesan. Spiral the tomatoes around the base (you can use 2 cans of well drained plum tomatoes instead of fresh, if tomatoes are expensive). Top with the cottage cheese and sliced garlic cloves.
  4. Place in the centre of the oven and cook for 12-15 minutes until the base is crispy and golden. Serve with rocket greens or spinach. Not only is this pie healthier and cheaper than delivery pizza, its quicker as well!
Tip

Some so-called 'healthy' breads are very high in fat. Make sure you read the label carefully before buying.

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Gurnard with Thyme

40 Minutes - Serves 4

Gurnard with Thyme
What you need

600 grams of gurnard fillet, skinned
1 tablespoon of oil
juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme, chopped
2 cups of chicken stock
6 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
salt/pepper
1 large bunch of watercress, leaves only, minced
pinch of fresh nutmeg

What you do
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Marinate the fish fillets in oil, lemon juice and thyme for 20 minutes.
  2. Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan, place on a medium heat, add the potatoes and simmer until potatoes are easily pierced with a knife - the stock should have reduced by half. Put to one side.
  3. Place a frying pan on a medium heat, arrange the marinated fish in the bottom and quickly seal on both sides. Season with salt/pepper and bake the fish in the oven for 6 minutes or until cooked.
  4. By now the potatoes will have absorbed most of the stock, fold the minced watercress through and season with nutmeg. Serve the potatoes warm with the baked gurnard. Picked garlic slices make a tasty garnish.
Tip

Don't pick watercress when in flower or blackened by frost and always pick above the waterline, so as not to disturb the root beds. If watercress is not available, use spinach instead.

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Chicken Loaf

70 Minutes - Serves 6

Chicken Loaf
What you need

2 teaspoons of oil
½ cup of rolled oats
800 grams of lean chicken mince
1 whole egg, lightly beaten
½ red onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
zest of 1 lemon
½ cup of parsley, chopped
1 cup of corn kernels, fresh
2 tablespoons of sage, chopped
salt / pepper

What you do
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Paint the inside of a loaf tin with vegetable oil and sprinkle half the rolled oats on the bottom to form an even coating.
  2. Into a large bowl, add the mince, egg, onion, peppers, lemon, zest, parsley, corn, sage and seasoning and mix thoroughly.
  3. Spoon the mince mixture into the loaf tin, press down firmly, then sprinkle the remaining oats on top. Bake in the middle of the oven for 40 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch.
  4. Cool on a rack for 20 minutes, slice and serve with Apple Salsa (see Garth's tip).
Tip

Apple Salsa. Mix together 3 unpeeled, thinly sliced red apples with the juice of 1 lemon and 2 cups of apple sauce.

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Basil Tomatoes

50 Minutes - Serves 4

Basil Tomatoes
What you need

4 large tomatoes, core removed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
½ cup of basil, chopped
4 shallots, peeled and minced
1 chilli, minced (optional)
1 tablespoon of oil
cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons of fresh Parmesan, shaved

What you do
  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Slice the tomatoes in half and lay them cut side up in an ovenproof dish.
  2. In a bowl, combine the garlic, basil, shallots and chilli. Spoon this mixture on top of the tomato halves.
  3. Drizzle on the oil and bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the topping is caramelised.
  4. Serve hot or cold with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper and Parmesan cheese.

Basil tomatoes are the perfect accompaniment to any meat dish, or enjoy them by themselves with crusty bread.

Tip

Cayenne pepper. This hot spice, used sparingly, is great for adding a zing to your cooking. Always use it as a finishing spice. If ever a meal is too hot for your taste, a glass of low fat milk is a sure-fire way to cool your mouth down.

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Grilled Banana and Mango with Ice Cream Custard

30 Minutes - Serves 4

Grilled Banana and Mango with Ice Cream Custard
What you need

3 tablespoons of low fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 whole egg
1 tablespoon of flour
2 cups of warmed low fat milk
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
1 tablespoon of molasses
juice of 2 lemons
4 small bananas, peeled and halved
2 mangoes, stoned, peeled and sliced

What you do
  1. Preheat you oven grill to 230 degrees Celsius. In a bowl beat the cream cheese and sugar, then beat in the egg, followed by the flour. Beat in the warm milk, salt and vanilla until you have smooth custard.
  2. Over a low heat, in a non-stick saucepan, cook the custard until almost boiling (be careful not to boil), stirring gently. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Mix the molasses and lemon juice together and paint the banana and mangoes all over. Arrange the fruit on a baking sheet and grill for 2 minutes each side until golden brown (you can use the barbecue to give a smokier flavour).
  4. Serve the grilled banana and mango with a good dollop of Ice Cream Custard.

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