Fellow dietitian Gemma, an Aussie dietitian living in the UK, came up with the brilliant idea of a monthly link up called ‘A Dietitians Kitchen’. A chance for Dietitians to showcase what’s caught their eye in the food stakes and provide inspiration and new ideas to their readers. I do it on my Instagram, rather frequently, so why not do it on my blog.
I finally have a big girl job and my palate is expanding. I’m growing up, and I definitely have new things in my kitchen.
Move over peanut butter, there is a new kid on the block. I am in love. I have been eating hulled tahini for a little while but I bought unhulled the other day. It’s even better. But what is tahini you ask? Its ground sesame seeds. That’s it. It’s hard to describe the flavour, its definitely something that may need to be an acquired taste. Not only does tahini provide protein and those important unsaturated fatty acids, but 1 tbsp of this goodness provides just over 3g dietary fibre and 172 mg calcium.
A hummus essential, I also put a dollop my porridge and use it as a quick stir fry sauce. I also enjoy putting it on a corn thin, with a drizzle of maple syrup and pinch of sea salt. For more ideas, check out the Mayver’s website.
Surely nothing about me surprises you? This is seriously new. I have been trialling a dairy free diet for almost a month now. Yes, a two-tub a day chobani addict has not had a drop of yoghurt. (Except yesterday. You know that scene in SATC movie where Charlotte drinks the water in Mexico? That happened to me when I was making a dressing for recipe sampling I was doing.) Anyway, as dairy is the best source of calcium in our diet, I need to ensure that I’m looking after my bones another way. Along with tahini, sardines are another great natural way of getting extra calcium in the diet. They are also full of high quality protein, omega-3 fatty acids and also a very good source of Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, magnesium, selenium, zinc and iodine.
So far, I have only ventured to opening a can in the tea room at work (yes, I’m one of those) and on corn thins. However on my to do list is a Sardine & spinach grilled pita recipe on Zoe Nicholson’s website. Zoe is also doing a sardine challenge and the prize is a copy of The Mediterranean Diet by dietitian Dr Catherine Itsiopoulos. Now that’s pretty super!
Specifically, kanga bangas & meatballs. Aside from the fact that we are probably the only country to eat our national emblem, Kangaroo is a fabulous red meat option. Less than 2% fat, it is packed full of high quality protein, iron and zinc. The Gourmet Game range is expanding in our supermarkets with steaks, diced, mince, sausage, meatballs, hamburgers and kebabs available.
While it can taste a bit ‘gamey’ to some, and is definitely one meat to not over cook, I like it.
I first heard of spaghetti squash somewhere along the #cleaneating hashtag on Instagram last year. At that point it seemed to only be available in speciality grocers and my need for a low carb pasta alternative was not worth the price. Even if it was for what I call research. It recently has appeared in Coles, and while I was still intrigued, the $4/kg price tag was not inviting at all. But one day it was FORTY CENTS PER KILOGRAM. So I bought it.
I won’t lie, it’s pretty cool. You cut the squash in half, spray it with some oil and bake in the oven for approximately an hour. The magic happens once you take it out. Attack it with a fork, and voila, you have spaghetti like strands!
I am not joking, it is that easy. But the taste? It’s bland. I personally didn’t like it. I would much prefer zucchini, or real pasta even.
I’m not a potato girl. I don’t think I’ve ever really been one (Mum, feel free to step in). Sure, I’m not going to pretend I don’t like hot chips. Or wedges. Anyway, sweet potato is a new thing in my kitchen. Not like in the past month new, but in the past year new. While in terms of energy density, it is on par with it’s white relative, sweet potato is the low GI option and keeps you fuller for longer. It also packed full of beta-carotene which helps us see in the dark!
I’ve been using it as a pie topping, as a roast vege in my salad and last week I made sweet potato brownies. They were amazing. So they definitely didn’t taste like the chocolate brownie I had from Adriano Zumbo’s today, but they were still moist and delicious.
At the time of this post, I have made 8 kg of Dukkah-roasted vegie and quinoa salad. It’s a delicious recipe and was very well received during sampling this week at work. I found people very much liked the yoghurt dressing, and many had to idea how to say it. Keen-wah. Not Kin-oh-ah. (It’s okay, that’s how I used to say it too.) Keen-wah is higher in protein than other grains, high in fibre and low GI, making it a great substitute for rice. It has a subtle nutty flavour and becomes fluffy when cooked, a bit like cous cous.
Aside from putting on my English teacher hat, I also taught cooking. Rinse the grain, and boil one part quinoa to two parts water for approximately 10-15 minutes. It’s easy.
And that’s it folks. I’m off to have some kanga bangas for tea. Probably with quinoa. There is a lot in my fridge.
P.s. I still love peanut butter. I just also love Tahini. I now find I need, yes need, both in my day, and I do work this out. Tahini on my porridge, peanut butter in my stir fry. Vice Versa. It’s a good life.