Food Day Tuesday – Mango Salsa with Pork

Mango Salsa & Pork (sorry for the bad iphone image)

In the Summer Time when the weather is Fine, you’ve got salad, you’ve got salad on your mind! Well Hey I have salad on my mind… and there is no salad like a salsa when it’s hot.

On Monday night I was cooking for a friend at her place, so I needed something quick, easy, and tasty.. I had made this a month or so ago and posted a photo on FB, Jules liked the photo so I thought I would cook it for her.

I love the idea of different types of Salsa’s. A good Salsa is fresh with a zing. In this case the mango and avocado work together with the crunch of corn, capsicum and sping onions, the Zing was proudly brought to you by the juice of  Lemon and Lime… All the players came together to form the prefect accompaniment to the oven baked (slightly spicy) pork.

I got my Pork from Woolworth’s – it is a ready to go vacum pack called –  Butterflied pieces of pork with herbs and spices. I set the oven to 180c and then pan fried the pork sealing each side, then popped it on an oven tray (with some baking paper on the bottom for easier cleaning) & wacked it in the oven for about 30mins (note if one piece is thicker than the other you may need to put it in for a little longer taking the thinner pieces out to rest.)

You could use other Pork, like a cutlet and marinate it yourself…                                     Don’t like Pork – You could also do the salsa with lamb or chicken.                                                                       If you are vegetarian or vegan – tofu would be nice (you could rub a little chilli and lemon on it and pan fry it quickly) add a few cashew nuts to the salsa too. Just make the salsa before quickly pan frying your tofu!

The alternative to cooking in the Oven is the BBQ. I like the Oven method it makes it juicy – the BBQ will do the same if you are a good BBQer – and the trick is again to seal it on the BBQ and then turn it down to cook slowly and not burn or dry it  out.

Now onto the Salsa – While this is cooking in the oven, I grab a big bowl and put the following in..

1 can of Corn Kernels (420g) drained

1/2  Large Red Capcium (or 1 smaller one) (diced into small pieces)

3 Sping Onions, finely sliced (into rounds)

1 Mango – slice off the cheeks, then cross hatch and scoop out of skin with a spoon, chop other bits off the mango as you can (before hitting the stone) into cubes.

1 Avocado – Halve lengthways and then take stone out (with a sharp knife hit the stone, twist and it will pop out) then cross hatch each half and scoop out with a teaspoon.

Juice of 1/2 lemon & 1/2 Lime (or a full lemon if you have no lime) this is important for zesty flavour and also to stop anything from browning.

Stir it all together gently, the avacado may breakdown a little but will add to the citrus dressing. I put a little crack of sea salt over it too. All ready to go!

So when the Pork is cooked I let it rest for a few minutes before slicing it, plate the pork with some rocket leaves (for a peppery flavour) and the salsa – I use the salsa as a bit of a condiment with the pork… Very tasty and ready in around 35mins – Love Summer!        This is quick and If I can say so myself tastier than take away!

Oh BTW  the Packet of Pork (approx 700gm) and the Salsa recipe will feed 4 people

Till next time

Lin xox

Food Day Tuesday – Taco Burger & Mashed Peas

Taco Burger with Mashed Peas

Carbs kill me, I love them – but they don’t love me. I don’t find eating bread, rice or pasta easy, it is a band thing – but that is not the full story. Carbs are a good fuel, but your body has to burn through them first and if they don’t get burnt, they get stored very quickly. There is also the role that Carbs play your blood sugar, insulin levels and the way our bodies store and use fat..

I am no an expert on this, I am still reading about it and learning more, but for the time being I am eating low carb and have found that the protein I eat fills me quicker and keeps me fuller for longer.  So today I felt like a burger – but did not want the bread or mash potato that I used to love with a burger due to the carbs… So I made some mashed peas with it.

The burger was easy –

mix 300g of good quality mince,

1/2 a diced onion

1/2 teaspoon of taco mix powder (more or less depending on your own tastes).

Mix it all together and form two patties (one for today, one for tomorrow) If they aren’t staying together you could pop them in the fridge for a bit or add a little almond meal to keep it carb free and not use breadcrumbs.                                                                  Spray a frypan and seal each side before lowering the heat and cooking through.

The mashed peas was simply popping your desired amount of peas 1/2 cup for me for one serve into salted boiling water, boil until soft (about 15 mins) then drain, and mash with a small knob of butter and salt and pepper to taste.

I like to pop a little BBQ sauce on top of the burger and use the peas as a bit of a sauce too! It was very tasty, although the photo above doesn’t really do it justice.  The taco seasoning just gives it a little extra flavor without being hot (as I only use a little).

There is a great blog that my friend put me onto The Stone Soup (link below) – It is a great site with heaps of simple recipes that are tasty easy and usually have 5 or less ingredients (GOLD)…

The girl that writes the blog (Jules) has a degree in food science  and has e-books that you can download… I can recommend the free one to start with and also the one called “reclaim your waist line” for low carb meals. I was a bit inspired by her for the burger today, and the mashed peas… I have made a few of her recipes and can highly recommend them for easy and tastiness. But i still love to experiment and make my own food too – Oh here is the link..  stonesoup — 5 ingredient recipes

Till next time

Lin xox

Food Day Tuesday; Choices

Which Path To Take? What Outcome Do You Want?

So today’s Food Day Tuesday is a Day Late and a recipe short!

Yes Christmas has come and gone, the hype and spending of too much money is over for yet another year! It was nice spending time with the family, seeing my little nieces, especially with the 2 1/2 year old talking about Santa and opening all the presents (the little poppet was a wee bit overwhelmed!) But back to the post.

As I said There is no recipe today – It is about choices… The hard ones too make   I found that I was still trying to make good choices at our Christmas Family Dinners… It was hard (and I did succumb to the pavalova) but overall I chose well, limited my intake and didn’t feel like I had spent the time mindlessly eating.

Tonight I went out with friends for dinner. Again I tried to make positive choices, low carb, high protein, but did indulge and enjoyed dessert at a friends place afterwards!…

Food choices are a funny thing, it is often a culmination of the small and seemingly insignificant choices we make that add up to real and lasting outcomes for our lives. It is easy to justify the chocolate, wine, cheesecake, beer, cookie at the time, forgetting that it is the culmination of these choices, the everyday, every moment choices that make the difference… The small choice adds onto the choice from the day before and the day before that and it is easy to forget about the overall impact…

My mother saw a saying when we were children and would often quote it when we were growing up in relation to our education and making decisions for ourselves to have the best outcomes. The saying was this

“The Choices we make dictate the Life we Lead”

I got this saying when I was a teenager about the choices around education, drugs, obeying the law etc… What I did not understand (then) was that the food choices I was making was having a very real impact on my quality of life. It was easier to justify the choice each day and not see the overall picture.

Everyday the food choices I make dictate the type of life I can lead. If i fill myself with junk, I will feel sluggish, tired and not perform at my best. If I eat good, “Clean” veg and protein, limit the intake of sugar and carbs then I feel good, avoid the peaks and troughs and can ustilise my body to Live The life I Want to lead 

All that being said – I did eat carbs, sugar and enjoyed my Christmas… I now need to put Christmas behind me (and all the treats that it brings) and make sure my routines and food choices are on track into the new year !

It begins NOW not tomorrow, It begins with the next Choice and then the one after that – because I know that Tomorrow Never Comes..

So Keep making good Choices, till next time

Lin xox

Food Day – Tuesday, Paella Inspired Baked Beans

All ready to be Baked in the Oven!

I love to cook, and in the past have posted pics to FB of the food I have made.

I often get comments from friends wondering where their serve is, or asking for recipes. So I have decided that as part of my blog I will try to share the food I have been making and eating on here, Hence the Food Day – Tuesday! After all what would a blog be without a regular update that includes  a catchy or trite “day” title in it 😉

Today’s recipe is brought to you by the letter “B” – and the left overs that I had in my fridge and cupboard. The “B” is for Baked Beans (not everyones cup of Tea) but these are not the Bean’s means Heinz canned type, these are the tasty home baked variety.

If you are not a fan of beans, maybe you could give them another go, or stop reading now No offence taken!… This recipe was inspired by the fact I am trying to limit my carb intake at the moment, and eat more protein and veg. I had left over roast chicken in the fridge, a chorizo sausage and thought – i can’t have paella because of the rice… Last week I was reading some recipes and Homemade Baked Beans was one… Bamm the two concepts came together in my mind and Paella Inspired Baked Beans was born!

Ingredients                                                                                                                            1 Brown Onion,cut in half then sliced                                                                                   1 Chorizo Sausage (smoked avail from supermarket deli), take off the skin and cut lengthways into half and then lengthwise again into long strips, i then chop into cubes.    1/2 Red Capsicum (Bell Pepper), sliced into small lengths                                        100gm Cooken Chicken (I used a BBQ chicken breast), chopped into cubes                  1 Clove Garlic, minced I used a garlic press, but your could chop finely.                           2 x Canned Cannelli Beans (Approx 420gm each) drained and rinsed.                            1 x Tblspn Tomato Paste, if you dont have any use tomato sause.                                     1 x Can of Chopped Tomoates (420gm)                                                                             1 x Can Water. (Approx 420ml)                                                                                             2 x Tblspn Worcestershire Sause.

Method ;                                                                                                                                  Put your oven on to warm up at 150c, Place a little olive oil or spray into a fry pan, heat and then add the Chorizo, fry this until it starts to sizzle and release the fat and paprika flavour into the pan, this will not take long, and shake the pan a little to move the sausage and stop it burning.                                                                                                                    Next add onion and stir to soak up the flavour from the chorizo, the onion will start to caramelise and then add capsicum to the pan, it will absorb the favour and begin to caramelise too. The onions and capsicum will soften and begin to break down.                  Next add my chicken stir, add garlic next (I find if you add it earlier it can burn and gives a bitter flavour) stir it through, next add the tomato paste, stir together.                                Now add the beans to the mix. Stir and cook for a minute then add the tinned tomatoes, water and Worcestershire sauce.                                                                                             I cook for a few more minutes in the frying pan to bring it all together, check the seasoning of the sauce and add a little salt or more worcertershire to your taste.

You could eat it now if you don’t have time and skip the oven stage,(add only 1/2 the water if you do this) but baking them give you a lovely flavour as the baking breaks down the beans a little and they have a creamy texture inside.

Transfer it to a oven bake dish, cook uncovered for 1 hr  on 150c. Serve with a squeeze of lemon for a little extra flavour!

Well my oven just chimed and they are ready now so, Bon Appetite

Lin xox