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Healthy July and Chilli Beef Salad

It’s time to get healthy! Well, for me, it’s always time to get healthy. Health is the thing that keeps us going; keeps us happy, productive and firing on all cylinders to a ripe, flexible and smiley old age. I speak a lot about this in my ‘About Me‘ profile and in some of my posts, however, you may have noticed that most of my posts are not quite consistent with this theme. In fact, most of the dishes here are rich, sweet and decadent ensembles sent straight from heaven to keep you plump and happy as a Botticelli model. They are the sort of dishes that you would treat yourself to on a special occasion or that you would share with friends over a sumptuous dinner. I enjoy sharing those food-events and telling a story about a romantic or social occasion. But they are not the norm. And thank goodness for that! Because if I was eating tiramisu and marscapone tarts everyday then I wouldn’t be fitting into those ‘resort bikinis’ that I pack on my holidays!

I’ve recently revamped my exercise regime. I’ve switched from personal training and gym group fitness classes to CrossFit and I’ve added in PowerYoga and, well, hey, while I was at it I threw in Dry July too! I am 13 days into an up-tempo, fantastic fitness regime that mixes a little bit of the above and hopefully will lead to that smiley, flexible old person I referred to earlier.

So, in the spirit of Healthy July, I’m going to post a few of my “normal” recipes that represent my everyday eating. These meals are equally delicious, a lot faster to prepare and certainly a lot better on your digestive system (and kinder to your skinny jeans) than my more decadent, previous posts. I hope that you enjoy these meals equally as much as those big, sugary tarts in the ‘cake’ tag, and that these meals bring joy and good health to your dining room table every single day.

Chilli Beef Salad
Chilli beef

Ingredients
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 cup coriander
1 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 small red onion sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
1 large red chilli chopped (keep the seeds)
1 carrot finely sliced
400 g good quality beef rump
1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp oyster sauce

Method
Mix sweet chilli sauce, sesame oil and oyster sauce together in a bowl.

Finely slice the beef into thin strips (about 2-3 cm wide and a few mm thick) and add to the bowl with sauces. Mix and allow to marinate for 30 minutes.

Rinse the salad ingredients. Very coarsely break up the coriander and parsley with your hands (just break it up a bit, don’t tear it to pieces). Mix the spinach leaves, coriander and parsley and add to two bowls. To each bowl add red onion, carrot and tomatoes.

Heat a fry pan or wok on high heat. Add a drizzle of light oil (I used macadamia oil. Delicious). Add the beef (I did not add the extra marinade sauce. The idea is to go lighty with the sauces) and stirfry quickly to rare or medium rare. Add the chopped chilli and chilli seeds (if you like a bit of ka-pow!) just before the beef is finished.

Remove beef from pan and pile it onto the salads. Serve immediately.

Serves 2

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Posted by on July 13, 2011 in Food

 

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Satay Chicken Salad

I am dedicating today’s meal to my Aunty Eye (Irene) who passed away today. Eye was a woman with sparkle and had the name ‘Darling’ ready for anyone, and she meant it. She was ‘Mum’ to everyone. What I learned from Aunty Eye was to relish and love everyday and everyone, and if you love and act from a place that is right then no criticism can touch you. She loved her darling husband, daughters, son, daughter-in-law and they’re blessed brand new baby, and Rosie, April and Pud (the puppies and cat). We’ll never forget you Eye and I thank you for teaching me so much about my family. You are there in a long history of strong, determined and inspiring women. God bless you and all of your family. I know that you’re with us.

Early in her illness Aunty Eye was unable to eat good food and she lamented on any of my photos that showed me gorging myself on lovely green salads, ripe vegetables and delicious smoothies. Hence this meal…

This meal is a really simple dish full of VITAMINS and punch, just for Eye! The ingredients consist of iron rich spinach, anti-oxidant infused tomatoes, zesty cucumber, springy coriander plus parsley, punchy red onion, and water-filled bean sprouts. Cucumber is so effective being so crisp and refreshing. It balances out the heat of the satay and chilli and challenges the red onion.

The trick to this meal is to not over-power with any one ingredient. Small portions of each vegetable per serve is a great way to take advantage and balance the various flavours that are going to blast the palate. As always, less is more.

So the message of today’s recipe is to ENJOY life. Live it, eat well, treat yourself well everyday, pamper yourself, and when you love someone for goodness sake tell them!

And pop on some lounge piano music.

Ingredients

600g skinless chicken breast
2 cups baby spinach leaves
4 tbsp coursly chopped coriander
4 tbsp coursly chopped flat leaf (Italian) parsley
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 small carrot
1 small cucumber
4 small red tomatoes, quartered
½ red onion finely sliced
2 large red chillies, finely chopped
1 tbsp light olive oil
¼ cup soy sauce
250mL Ayam satay sauce
250mL light coconut cream

Method

Prepare the salad into four bowls first by layering ingredients:
– layer ½ cup baby spinach, then finely sliced red onion, and top with coriander and parsley;
– place four quarters of small tomato;
– pile bean sprouts, shredded carrot and shredded cucumber on top;
– and top with finely chopped chilli.

Set salad aside.

Dice chicken into 10cm cubes and slide pieces onto wooden skewers. Brush with soy sauce.

Heat oil in fry pan on medium heat.

Add chicken skewers to pan, sprinkle with finely chopped chilli and cook each side turning regularly.

While chicken is cooking, add satay sauce and coconut cream to a saucepan on medium heat, and blend.

Heat satay mix until combined and thick. Do not boil.

Once chicken skewers are cooked, layer two skewers onto the salad and pour 2-4 tbsp of satay sauce over salad and skewers.

This des not need to be served with anything else. Just sit, eat, enjoy and be happy!

Serves four.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2011 in Food

 

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