Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tuna Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese

Seeing as this is my third blog post in 2 days I don't really have much to say.
Dinner tonight used to be a staple of ours a few months ago, but then seemed to get forgotten. We were trying to use up what we ingredients we had in the kitchen without going shopping, and everything pointed to this.

I really like it. It gives you spaghetti bolognese without the heavy mince, most of the bulk seems to come from the lentils so its clearly good for you. And it makes 1 tin of tuna go an incredibly long way. Vix and I both had a healthy helping full, and even Jasmine ate it (the soon to be 5 year old, I'm pretty amazed she ate lentils), and there's probably enough leftovers for the everybody to eat the same for lunch tomorrow.

Stoked. My healthy eating mission is picking up steam.

Recipe from again.

3 tbspn olive oil
1 onion - finely chopped
1 carrot - finely diced
1 stalk celery - finely chopped (I didn't have any so used green pepper. Worked just as well.)
3 cloves garlic - finely chopped
1/2 tspn dried oregano
1/2 cup white wine
3 tbspn tomato paste
420g tin of chopped tomatoes
420g tin of lentils - rinsed and drained.
180g tin of tuna in olive oil. - drained and flaked.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
Cook onion, carrot and celery, covered, for 8 minutes, stirring sometimes.
Add garlic and oregano and cook for 2 minutes.
Add wine, tomato paste, tomatoes, salt and pepper.
Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook, covered, for 10 minutes.
Make the spaghetti while this is going on.
Then add the lentils, tuna and last tablespoon of olive oil to the sauce and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

Serve, topped with a little grated Parmesan.

Nutritional info (Once again worked out at
Assume the above recipe is 6 servings.
Based on recipe using green pepper, rather than celery.

Calories 399kCal
Total Fat 9g (14% Daily Value for 2000kCal diet)
 - Saturated Fat 1g (7% Daily Value)
Total Carbs 58g (19%)
 - Dietary Fiber 7g (28%)
 - Sugars 5g
Protein 19g

Vitamin A 39%
Vitamin C 46%
Calcium 5%
Iron 23%

Other nutrition info from NutritionData:
Complete Amino Acid score indicating a complete or high-quality protein.
"The good: This food is low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Protein and Vitamin C, and a very good source of Selenium."
Also there's Omega-3 (388mg) and Omega-6 (1193mg) fatty acids.
46% of Daily Value Vitamin C,
10% DV of Vitamin E,
15% DV of Vitamin K
Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate ( I don't know what any of this means, but maybe I'll try to figure it out sometime soon.)
Minerals include:
Magnesium - 15% DV
Phosphorus - 23% DV
Zinc - 10% DV
Selenium 82% DV

Actually I definitely think I'm going to need to do a bit more Nutrition research.
Seems from the above that there's more to these shenanigans than Carbs, Protein and Fat.
I will keep you informed.

Happy eating.

Weekday Breakfast

No pics today as I had no intention of writing this - but breakfast tasted really good, so I thought I'd share.

You have clearly heard it mentioned before that Brekkie is the most important meal of the day. It loads you up with energy (think carbs and protein) to get you started on the right foot and refuels you because you haven't had anything in your tummy since last nights chicken curry.

If you're anything like me you've been super bad at eating breakfast at all, but since Wifey started her Weigh-less diet, she's being forced to have breakfast, and now we're all starting to like the tradition of sitting down every morning in amidst the mad rush to get to work and school on time.

But its tough to find the time - so quick and easy recipes are required.

Le Recipe
Jungle Oats - place cup of oats, 1 cup of water and some salt in pot. Add 2 cups of boiling water. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Take off heat and let sit for about 3 minutes. Makes enough for 2 1/2 people (which is exactly how many people eat breakfast at my house.)

Add a small handful of goji berries, one sliced banana and a little milk.

Delicioso, and doesn't even need sugar or honey.
I think it would have been equally awesome with a chopped up apple instead of the banana, or in addition to it.

Nutritional Info
(Figured out by myself with the help of
Calories 489kCal (that is, about 24% of the daily requirement, assuming a 2000kCal diet)
Total fat 11g (19% of meal)
Total Carbs 91g  (69% of meal)
Of which - dietary fiber is 9g and sugars 22g
Protein 16g (12% of meal)
Vitamins include Vitamin C (27% Daily Value) Calcium (20%) and Iron (27%)
Nice dose of Manganese, Selenium, Riboflavin, Vit. B12, Pantothenic Acid and Phosphorous

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tomato & Barley Soup

So its a new year, Wifey is on a great new healthy living mission. 2011 has been dubbed the year of Health and Well-being. Its oddly quite exciting. So far she's lost 3kg's on a weigh-less eating plan, and that's only in about 3 weeks. Now she's discovered Raw Food, and is researching all sorts of recipes for that.

I'm keen. Not that I think we're all about to become vegans, but I do think that we're going to do really well at finding what a balanced diet means to us this year. Clearly its going to be a process. But if we knew everything already, then there'd be no fun in the journey.

To start it off I don't have a raw food meal, but it is at least a very healthy meal. I found it in "Eating for Sustained Energy" by Delport & Steenkamp. Haven't really changed the recipe except that I put more curry powder in.

P.S. Because I'm a dumb-ass, I just put the SD card from my camera into the DVD player in my laptop. So until I get Computer Guy to break open my computer and get it out, there's not going to be any photos. Stop laughing! I kill you! (Later note: Thank you Computer Guy)

5ml canola or olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5ml curry powder (Note: I thought 5ml was silly, so I put 15ml in, and its fiery. I think 5ml would give you a touch of spice, 15ml gives you HOT curry soup.) (Dumbass) (STOP LAUGHING!!! I KILL YOU!!!!)
1 chicken stock cube dissolved in
1.5 litres boiling water
1 cup lentils
125ml pearl barley
1 x 410g tin tomatoes, chopped with the juice
freshly ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley, to serve

Heat oil in a large pot. Add onion and garlic and stir while cooking gently, until just brown.
Add curry powder and cook, stirring for another minute.
Stir in the stock, lentils, barley, tomatoes and pepper. Bring to the boil, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the lentils and barley are tender.
Sprinkle with freshly chopped parsley and serve with some bread.

Lentil Note
I'm not sure if the recipe wanted tinned lentils or dried lentils. In an effort to minimize unnecessary chemicals I used dried lentils. You've got to put the lentils in a bowl, cover with boiling water, and leave for about an hour (while you're doing the other prep and mucking around a bit). They double in size after they're soaked. So you only need to use half a cup of dried lentils.

Nutritional Info per serving (Recipe serves 6)
Glycaemic Index 22
Fat 2g
Carbs 28g
Fibre 8g
Protein 12g
kJ 833

Weigh-less info: One serving = 1 1/2 carbs, 1 protein and free vegetable.