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Red Lentil Soup

Heat 1 tblsp olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add 3 carrots, 3 celery sticks, 1 onion, 2 tblsps ginger and 3 garlic cloves, all chopped.
Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add 1 cup red lentils, 1 tblsp ground cumin and ¼ tsp ground red pepper and cook for 1 minute.
Add 850ml salt-reduced chicken stock and 1 cup water and bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.
Return to pot, stir in ¾ cup lemon juice and ¾ cup fresh coriander and heat through.
Serve with 1 cup leafy greens drizzled with 1 tblsp balsamic vinegar.
Makes 4 servings.

Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Fry 340g thinly-sliced beef skirt steak in two batches, in a non-stick pot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.
Add 1 tblsp canola oil, then stir-fry 2 diagonally sliced carrots, 1 thinly sliced onion, ¼ cup chopped fresh ginger and 4 chopped garlic cloves for 7 minutes.
Add 5½ cups salt-reduced chicken stock and bring to boil.
Add 120g Chinese rice noodles and cook for 5 minutes.
Add 340g bean sprouts, 170g baby spinach, ¼ cup lime juice, 2 tblsps fish sauce, 1 tblsp grated lime rind, 1 tblsp rice wine vinegar, ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander and ¼ tsp red-pepper flakes.
Cook until heated through. Makes 4 servings.

Chocolate Pudding

Whisk 2 cups fat-free milk, 3 tblsps cornflour, 170g unsweetened chocolate, 1½ tblsps sugar, ½ tsp instant coffee and 1/8 tsp salt in saucepan.
Whisk over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil.
Reduce to low heat and cook for 3 mins, whisking, until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Serve with ½ cup raspberries and 3 vanilla wafers.
Makes 2 servings.

Middle Eastern Portobello Mushroom Burger

Drizzle ½ tsp canola oil on a portobello mushroom and sprinkle with ¼ tsp dried Italian seasoning and 1/8 tsp salt and pepper. Grill for 5 minutes until soft.
Grill the outside of a wholewheat hamburger bun until toasted, then add 2 tblsps hummus to the bun.
Top with ½ cup baby spinach, 2 slices tomato, slice red onion, the mushroom and bun top.

Nachos Grande

Brown 340g extra-lean ground beef in a large frying pan coated with cooking spray.
Remove, then add 1 tblsp oil to pan and cook 1 onion and 2 cloves garlic, both chopped, for 8 minutes.
Add 1 tblsp ground chilli powder and 1 tsp ground cumin and cook for 30 seconds, then add a 440g tin diced tomatoes, 1 cup corn kernels, ¼ cup chopped fresh coriander, 2 tblsps lime juice, ¼ tsp salt and beef. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until heated.
Place over handful baked torilla chips and top with a sprinkle of reduced-fat Cheddar cheese.
Makes 4 servings.

Cinnamon Apple Muffin

Mix 1 cup high-fibre cereal with 2/3 cup fat-free milk until cereal softens.
Mix 1¼ cups flour, ¼ cup ground flaxseed, 1 tblsp baking powder, 2 tsps ground cinnamon and ½ tsp salt in a bowl.
Add ½ cup brown sugar, ½ cup liquid egg substitute, 1 tblsp oil and 1 tsp vanilla extract into cereal mixture until sugar dissolves, then fold in dry ingredients.
Add 1 cup chopped apple and ¾ cup shredded carrot.
Place mixture in muffin cases in a 12-cup muffin pan and bake at 190 degrees for 22 to 25 mins.
Cool for 5 minutes before removing.
Serve with 1 egg, scrambled with 3 tblsps low-fat grated mozzarella and cooked in ½ tsp butter.

Couscous and Vegetable Salad

Prepare ¼ cup wholewheat couscous according to packet directions.
Once cooled, place in a large bowl and add ½ cup baby rocket, 1 tomato and ¼ zucchini, chopped, ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese, 2 tblsps chopped fresh chives and 2 tblsps toasted chopped walnuts.
Whisk together 1½ tblsps cider vinegar, ½ tsp flaxseed oil, 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper, then add to bowl and toss.

Mediterranean Pita

Cook 1 cup baby spinach in ½ tsp melted unsalted butter for 1 minute, until wilted.
Whisk together 1 egg, 2 egg whites, 3 tblsps fat-free feta cheese and ½ teaspoon chopped dill, then cook in a pan coated with cooking spray for 1 minute, or until set.
Cut a wholewheat pita in half to form a pocket and fill with eggs and spinach.

Mexican Tortilla Cup

Cook 2 slices lean turkey bacon, then crumble.
Coat a 300ml ramekin with cooking spray, then arrange a multigrain tortilla in the cup, gathering to fit. Bake in 180C oven for 8 minutes or until lightly toasted.
Remove from ramekin.
Mix together ½ cup corn kernels, ¼ cup salt-reduced canned black beans, drained and rinsed, ½ stick celery, ½ tomato, 1/8 red onion, 1/8 avocado, all chopped, 1 tblsp fat-free ranch dressing, 1/8 tsp chipotle chilli powder and bacon.
Spoon into the tortilla cup.

Poached Eggs with Parmesan Cheese and Spinach

Cook 2 cups baby spinach for 1-2 minutes, until wilted.
Spread ½ tsp butter over 2 slices wholewheat bread, sprinkle with 2 tsp grated Parmesan cheese and grill until cheese melts.
Top with spinach and two poached eggs.
Drizzle with 2 tsp of pesto and sprinkle with 1/8 tsp pepper.
Serve with ½ cup fat-free milk.

White Bean Tostada

Halve a small wholewheat pita, coat with cooking spray and bake both halves for 10 minutes in a 190C oven until crisp, turning once.
Top with a mixture of 1/3 cup salt-reduced white beans, drained and rinsed, ½ chopped tomato, 1 tsp lemon juice, ½ tsp chopped rosemary and 1/8 tsp each salt and pepper.
Top this with a mixture of ¼ chopped cucumber, 2 tblsps fat-free feta, 1 sliced shallot, ½ flaxseed oil, ¼ tsp ground cumin and ½ tomato, plus 2 leaves lettuce, sliced.

Risoni and Chickpea Salad

Prepare ¼ cup wholewheat risoni according to packet and cool.
Whisk together 2 tblsps lemon juice, 1 tsp grated lemon rind, 1 chopped garlic clove, ½ tsp flaxseed oil, and ¼ tsp each salt and pepper in a large bowl.
Add ½ chopped cucumber, 1 sliced carrot, ½ chopped tomato, ½ cup salt-reduced chickpeas, ¼ chopped red capsicum, 3 tblsps roughly torn fresh basil and risoni.
Toss well.


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