Tag Archives: high fibre

spiced pea and corn pancakes

About 6 months ago I subscribed to a new magazine called HealthSmart which I quite enjoy.  It is published by readers digest and I got onto their website today looking for a carrot cake recipe they mentioned in this months mag.  I couldn’t find the cake recipe, but found these instead which I thought looked rather good and I particularly liked that they have oats in them.  So I thought I would give them a go and they are really yummy!

The type of curry paste you use will greatly vary the flavour of these pancakes.  I used a Malaysian curry paste which isn’t very hot, but you could use a green or red Thai curry paste which would add a bit of a chilli kick, or even tandoori paste (which I think I will try next time).  I would imagine that the addition of some fresh herbs, like coriander would also be good.

I served my pancakes (actually they look more like pikelets) with some really yummy plum & apple chutney I had made recently and it teamed really well with them.  Mango chutney,  tomato relish or even just natural low fat yoghurt (or natural yoghurt with a little horseradish in it) would also work well.  Or you can eat them just as they are.

You can find the original recipe here on the readers digest website.  Of course I changed it a little.  I used a greater amount of wholemeal flour and I just threw the frozen peas and corn in without thawing them, patting them dry etc etc, and hey, they worked out just fine!!  I also used such a small amount of oil (less than 2 teaspoons, where the original recipe mentions 2 Tablespoons!) when cooking them – in my new Tefal non-stick flat frying pan, which I LOVE! 🙂

Give them a go.  They are quick, easy, healthy and yummy.  What a great after school snack for hungry kids!

Enjoy 🙂

spiced pea and corn pancakes

makes 18

  • ½ cup wholemeal flour
  • ¼ cup plain flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons curry paste
  • 150 ml low-fat milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1⅓ cups frozen peas
  • ½ red capsicum, deseeded and diced
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1. Sift the plain and wholemeal flours and baking powder into a bowl, adding any bran left in the sieve. Stir in the oats, corn, capsicum and peas and salt and pepper if you like.

2. Blend the curry paste with 2 tablespoons of the milk, then stir this into the remaining milk and add the beaten eggs.

3. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add the eggs and milk. Mix until well combined.  Leave the batter to stand for 5 minutes to thicken.

4. Heat a large, heavy-based (Tefal 30cm) non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then brush with a little of the oil. Using a large spoonful of batter per pancake, cook them in batches for 2–3 minutes until golden brown. Turn the pancakes over using a spatula, then cook the other side for 2–3 minutes. Remove from the pan and keep warm in a low oven while you cook the remaining batter. Serve warm.

 

Each pancake/pikelet has 60 calories and almost 2g of fibre

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Japanese Pancake – Okonomiyaki

Last Sunday the weather was so lovely that my husband and I decided to be tourists in our own city and went for a wander through The Rocks.  Of course we couldn’t miss walking through the market there and worked up quite an appetite doing so. 

There were plenty of food venders there to choose from and we set about finding a ‘healthy’ snack option.  That was when we saw these delicious looking pancakes being made.  Even though we frequent Japanese restaurants, I had never seen these pancakes before.  Called Okonomiyaki, there were 4 varieties to choose from – chicken, beef, seafood or vegetable.  All were chock full of vegetables and you know what a fan of vegetables I am, so that was it, decision made.

Okonomiyaki is a savoury Japanese style pancake that is made with a batter, shredded cabbage, other fresh grated/sliced vegetables & some type of meat/seafood – batters and fillings vary between the different regions of Japan. 

According to wikipedia, the name is derived from the word okonomi, meaning “what you like” or “what you want”, and yaki meaning “grilled” or “cooked”.  Normally they are served topped with mayonnaise, a Japanese style barbecue sauce and are sprinkled with bonito flakes which appear to ‘dance’ as they move around in the heat rising from the pancake.

The one we ordered contained chicken as well as a stack of vegetables and we asked for only a little of the bbq sauce on top.  It was so yummy I couldn’t wait to try making them at home.  So after googling for ideas, I set about assembling my own version this afternoon, copying the vegetables in last weeks version (but you could pretty much use whatever you like – whatever is in the fridge) but omitting the chicken, and they turned out great.  Quick, easy and oh so healthy with all of those veggies tucked inside.  They were so tasty that they didn’t need any sauce or topping.

They make quite a decent sized snack which fills you up, but doesn’t leave you feeling heavy.  Perfect!

Please, Enjoy 🙂

My version of the Japanese (Vegetable) Pancake “Okonomiyaki”

  • 1/6 of a cabbage, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup green beans, sliced into 3cm lengths
  • ½ small red capsicum, sliced
  • 1 zucchini, halved lengthways and sliced thinly
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1 cup water (supposed to be dashi, but I didn’t have any)
  • 2 tspn Massel vegetable or chicken stock powder (for flavour since I didn’t have dashi)
  • pepper

In a large bowl mix together all of the chopped vegetables

In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs, then gradually add flour.  Add water slowly and when fully mixed in and smooth, add stock powder and pepper.  Pour onto vegetables and mix well

Heat a small non-stick pan (with a matching lid – I used a saucepan lid) over low heat. Add a small amount of oil (1/2 tspn approx) and swish around to spread across base of pan. Using a large spoon, spoon about 3/4 cup of mixture into pan and flatten slightly with the back of the spoon.  Place the lid on the pan and cook over low heat until golden brown about 3-4 minutes.

Carefully flip pancake over and cook other side for 2-3 more minutes.

And there you have your delightful, delicious, chock full of veggies – japanese pancake ready to eat 🙂

Each pancake has 160 calories, 8g protein & 6g of fibre

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Raspberry & Cranberry Oat Bran Muffins

I have to admit that I prefer a muffin with some texture and substance and that is a good way to describe these.  They are jam packed with oats, wholemeal flour, dried fruit and berries.  Unfortunately the list of ingredients is rather long, however that is what helps to make them so interesting and they are well worth the effort.

I used to buy a similar muffin to these from muffin break years ago for a snack.  Admittedly the muffin break muffins are three times the size, however they have almost 500 calories in them.  That’s almost as many calories as a Big Mac! Yikes!  So these make a great tasty, lower fat and calorie snack alternative.  Enjoy!

Raspberry & Cranberry Oat Bran Muffins

Makes 24 muffins

Ingredients

½ cup plain flour

½ cup wholemeal self raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup oat bran

1 ½ cups rolled oats

1/3 cup pitted dates, chopped

1/3 cup raisins, chopped

1/3 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup frozen raspberries

1  large egg, lightly beaten

¼ cup olive oil

1 teaspoon  vanilla extract

½ cup low-fat milk

½ cup low-fat yoghurt

½ cup boiling water

Method

Line 2 x 12-hole muffin pans with muffin papers

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, bicarb soda and cinnamon. Mix in the sugars, bran, oats, dried fruit and frozen raspberries.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg, oil and vanilla.  Mix in the yoghurt and milk.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until almost combined.

Stir in the boiling water until just mixed through.  Do not overmix as this can make the muffins tough.

Let batter stand for 15 minutes.

Spoon batter into muffin papers. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in centre. Be careful not to over-cook.

 Each tasty 50g muffin has 110 calories and 1.7g fibre

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Apple Oat Pikelets with Berries and Yoghurt

Delicious chunky, wholesome pikelets with the goodness of apple and oats – yum!

I can’t believe people will buy pre-cooked pikelets or pancake shaking mixes when they are so easy (and cheap) to make from scratch.

These pikelets made a fabulous Sunday afternoon snack with a lovely cup of tea, but would also go well for breakfast.  They are quite filling and feel very decadent, without supplying a ton of calories 🙂

The mix was really quick and easy to make and only dirtied 2 bowls, which was great as I hate doing the washing up!  I topped them with a store-bought 100% fruit blackcurrant jam and natural yoghurt but lemon butter or honey would also be good toppings.

Apple Oat Pikelets topped with berries and yoghurt

Makes 12 pikelets

1 large apple, grated

3/4 cup self raising flour (I used 1/2 wholemeal, 1/2 white to help increase fibre and lower the G.I.)

1/2 cup whole rolled oats

2 Tbspn brown sugar

3 teaspoons of olive oil

1 egg

1/2 cup low fat plain yoghurt

1/4 cup low fat milk

A small amount of oil, extra (around 1 teaspoon) to cook pikelets

100% fruit jam or fresh/frozen berries to serve

Natural yoghurt to serve

Method

Place grated apple, flour, oats and sugar in medium sized bowl.

In a smaller bowl, whisk egg and add oil, yoghurt and milk.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and fold through until fully combined.

Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and brush with a tiny amount of oil. Spoon heaped tablespoons of mix into pan and cook for around 2 minutes.  Using a spatula, turn the pikelets over and cook for approximately 2 more minutes on the other side.

Remove from pan and keep warm on a tray placed in a warm oven while cooking the rest of the mix.

Top with either fresh berries, cooked berries or 100% fruit jam and natural yoghurt to serve.

Makes 12 pikelets

Plain pikelets have 86 calories each

Seved with 1 heaped teaspoon of 100% fruit jam and 1 tablespoon of yoghurt each = 104 calories each

Plain pikelets can be frozen for up to 1 month.  Reheat in oven or microwave or you could even try toasting them!

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Nigella’s Muesli (Breakfast) Bars

I am always trying to encourage kids to get in the kitchen and learn how to cook.  No matter what age, they can help and from my experience, they love it 🙂

You may remember my first ever post was for my favorite muesli bars (which are still my favorite) so why would I post another muesli bar recipe?  Because it is so quick and easy, even kids can make it.  Besides they do taste pretty good and since we all have different tastes, you may even prefer them!

A gorgeous friend of ours, Fi told me about these bars and how when making them she struggles not to eat the entire batch! That was enough encouragement for me to try them and I discovered just how easy they are. 

The original recipe is available here on Nigella’s website.

The first time I made them I changed a few things (I can’t help myself) – macadamias instead of peanuts, skim rather than full fat condensed milk and since I only had half the amount of cranberries, I substituted with sultanas.  As I prefer more dried fruit in my muesli bars, the second time I made them (seriously they are so quick and easy to whip up) I added dates and apricots.  Both my husband and I prefer them with this extra fruit.

Why not give them a go and see what you think…even better, get your kids to make them for you – just make sure they clean up after!

Nigella’s Muesli Bars (aka Breakfast Bars)

  •  2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup sultanas
  • 1/3 cup dates, chopped
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup sunflower kernels
  • 2 Tbspn sesame seeds
  • 3/4 cup unsalted macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
  • 400g can of skim condensed milk

Preheat oven to 150 degrees.  Line a 10 inch (25cm) square or similar sized rectangular tin with baking paper.

Place all ingredients except condensed milk in a large bowl and mix until well combined.

Pour condensed milk into a heavy based saucepan (as it is less likely to catch on the bottom) and heat over a low light until warmed through.  Pour warmed condensed milk into dry ingredients and mix through until well coated.

Scrape into prepared tin and press down as evenly as possible.  Bake in oven for approx 50 minutes.   After 30 minutes, check that it isn’t going too brown on top.  If it is, cover with foil and continue baking further 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.  Remove from tin and cut into squares while still warm.  Leave to cool completely. Store in an air-tight container.

If you cut the slab into 25 squares (5 x 5) each serve has 146 calories and 2g fibre

I prefer them smaller and cut it into 36 (6×6) slices with 101 calories and 1.5g fibre each

and they are a great alternative to those bought muesli bars…

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Banana Bread (or it is really cake?)

When was it that banana cake suddenly became known as banana bread?  And is there really any difference?

My understanding is that banana bread is really a low fat banana cake cooked in a loaf tin, rather than a round cake pan.  However I don’t think there is any clear definition of that, especially after I checked on calorie king and found that a serve of banana bread at McDonalds has a whopping 581 calories!  That is more calories than a Big Mac (493 calories) or a standard dinner of meat and vegetables (around 450-500 calories), yikes!  Muffin Break isn’t much better with a 107g serve having 346 calories. Mind you, 107g slice is a rather large serve.  Still again that is more calories than most sandwiches!

My banana ‘bread’ recipe is a combination of a few different recipes that I have played around with, including the one on the institute of sport website and it is really a lower fat banana cake.

I cook the cake in a large square tin rather than a loaf tin to reduce the cooking time as overcooking low fat cakes can make them tough.  It is also easier to slice into smaller slices this way.

I have to admit that I prefer to use butter as I find that using butter in low fat cakes improves the texture and flavour.  If you are watching your saturated fat intake, substitute it with margarine or oil. It will still be yummy!

Banana Bread (low fat banana cake)

  • 1 cup plain flour
  • ½ cup wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 ½ tablespoons (approx 50 g) butter, melted
  • ½ cup low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup mashed banana (made from 2 large or 3 medium-sized, very ripe bananas)

Grease and line a 9-inch (23 cm) square cake tin.

Preheat the oven to 170 C.

In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking powder, bicarb soda and cinnamon. Mix in the sugar.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the egg and egg white.  Continue whisking while you add in the yoghurt, vanilla and banana puree.

Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and stir in the wet ingredients with a spatula until just combined; don’t over mix as this works the gluten and can make the ‘bread’ tough.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for approximately 30-40 minutes, or until the centre feels lightly-springy and just done.

Cool on a baking rack.

Easily cuts into 16 slices at 120 calories per 50g serve

This recipe can also be used to make individual muffins if preferred

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Vegetable Soup

Need to increase your vegetable intake?  This is a terrific way to do so.

There are many ‘diets’ or ‘detoxes’ that promote the use of soups like this one, however this is all you get to eat while following them.  Those diets and detoxes are a load of rubbish, but this type of soup actually makes a good snack 🙂

It is full of delicious, nutritious vegetables and it is very low in calories.  However it is also very low in carbohydrates and protein so it won’t keep you full for very long.  To make a longer lasting snack, team it with slice of fresh or toasted sourdough rye or wholegrain bread (wholegrain = wholemeal base with a mixture of grains added).  Both of these breads are excellent low GI choices. Or you could add a can of any type of bean (kidney, butter, cannelini) or chickpeas.

If you are not watching your weight, I recommend you sprinkle some good quality parmessan cheese on either the soup, or the bread/toast, or why not both!….yum 🙂

Chunky Vegetable Soup

Makes around 2.5 litres or 8 decent-sized snacks

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 2 sticks of celery, diced
  • 1 cup of diced pumpkin (approx 150g)
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 2 cups finely chopped/shredded cabbage
  • 1 x 400g can of crushed tomatoes (rinse out tin with water and add this too)
  • 1 litre of liquid stock (beef, chicken or vegetable)
  • Pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh herbs if available (parsley, basil, chives)

Method

Add onion and garlic to a large non-stick pot.  Sautee for about 4-5 minutes adding water as needed to stop it from burning or sticking (that’s right, no oil needed!)

Add carrots, celery, pumpkin, zucchini and tomatoes.  Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. 

(Sometimes, if short on time, I don’t sautee the onion and garlic first and just throw everything into the pot and start cooking.  Sauteeing first does develop the flavour though.)

Add cabbage and simmer a further 5 minutes.  Add pepper and herbs before serving.

(If you prefer your soups thinner, add a little extra water or stock)

Per serve of soup = 48 calories and 3g of fibre

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