Spaghetti Machiavelli

Serves: 4 as an entree

Machiavelli’s – a Sydney lunchtime institute for as long as I can remember – is one of our favourite restaurants.

Full of men in suits – with walls covered in photos of famous men in suits – Machiavelli has plenty of appeal to us. It’s underground and a great place to hide; we get to watch bankers and lawyers and important women and men lunch whilst we spend the whole time talking about our kids and planning our next holiday.

The service is on-point. The food is excellent. There is a real excitement about the place.

Being a business restaurant, the food flies out.

We always order the calamari and gamberi fritti to start and I swear it arrives before the waiter has punched in the order.

Then it is on to the signature dish: Spaghetti Machiavelli.

Which is one of my top 5 favourite pastas ever. And the only main I have ever ordered at Machiavelli’s.

Butter. Fish Stock, Prawn. Chilli.

Stop it!

A few weeks back, we had an Italian cook off at my parent’s house. I found the recipe for the Spaghetti Machiavelli at the back of the Internet and boom.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is Spaghetti Machiavelli.

And let me leave you with this:

My mother – who is my cooking inspiration – said it was the best pasta she had ever had.

What are you waiting for!

Ingredients

160gm prawn meat, rough chopped
100gm button mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp fresh garlic, crushed
1 tsp Thai red chilli, chopped
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
300gm Spaghetti
300ml fish stock

To Serve

4 tsp butter
2 handfuls of butter
Salt and pepper to season

Method

  1. Saute the prawn meat, mushrooms, garlic and chilli in the oil until the prawns are half cooked through.
  2. Cook the spaghetti in salted water until al dente. Drain and add the pasta to the prawn mixture.
  3. Add the fish stock and cook for another 2 minutes.
  4. Toss the butter and basil leaves through, season and serve immediately.

Asian Burgers with Spicy Slaw

Serves: 4 

By Nat Beerworth

Who says being on a diet means you can’t eat burgers? These Turkey burgers are a really nice compromise.

Asian-Burgers-with-Slaw-770x513

Ingredients

2 cups shredded cabbage (mixed green and red)
1 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp chives (minced)
2 tsp cilantro (minced)
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup fat free mayonnaise
3-4 tsp Sriracha sauce (optional)
500g ground turkey breast
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp fresh ginger (minced)
2 tsp garlic (minced)
4 whole wheat light hamburger buns
1 cup thinly sliced cucumbers

 

Method

  1. In a bowl, combine the cabbage, rice vinegar, chives, cilantro, sugar, salt, mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce (if using). Mix well.
  2. Combine the ground turkey, soy sauce, ginger and ginger. Mix well.
  3. Form the ground turkey mixture into four equal patties.
  4. Grill the patties for 3 – 5 minutes per side, or until the center of the pattie measures 75 degrees.
  5. Toast the buns for 1 minute.
  6. Serve the burgers on the buns, topped with the slaw and cucumbers.

Serving Size: 1 slider | Calories: 283

 

Firecracker Salmon

Serves: 4 

By Nat Beerworth

This recipe is a cracker. As salmon is quite high in calories it doesn’t leave much room for sides – enter broccoli! Its a really fun dish that is hot and warm.

Ingredients

1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons low sodium low soy sauce
2 tablespoons Heinz chili sauce (substitute with Buffalo sauce or hot sauce to suit your heat preference)
1 teaspoon brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute) — OPTIONAL
pinch of crushed red chili flakes
1-2 teaspoons sriracha (adjust to suit your heat preference)
4 skin off salmon fillets
Salt and pepper to season
1/2 teaspoon paprika (mild, smoky or spicy)
1/4 cup chives chopped
1 bunch broccoli

Method

  1. In a shallow bowl, whisk together the minced garlic, minced ginger, olive oil, soy sauce, chili sauce, brown sugar, red chili flakes and sriracha to combine.
  2. Season salmon with salt, pepper and paprika. Add salmon fillets to the marinade, turning each to evenly coat in the sauce.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight (if time allows).
  4. Preheat oven to 190C. Heat an oven proof skillet over medium heat with a small drizzle of oil.
  5. Sear salmon for 2-3 minutes on both sides, undisturbed, to get nice crust. (You may need to sear in batches depending on the size of your skillet.)
    Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining salmon.
  6. Return all salmon fillets to the skillet. Alternatively, transfer to baking dish. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
  7. Serve warm with chopped chives and boiled broccoli.

 Calories: 286

 

Greek Chicken Meatballs and Yogurt Dill Sauce

Serves: 4 

By Nat Beerworth

Rob didn’t read this recipe correctly and so served us up about 1,000 calories each. We were both keeled over from being so full, marveling at our shrunken stomachs and how little we need (on day 3 of diet) to get full. Then I read the actual recipe and realised we had been served enough for a small family per person.

Regardless it is a great dish. I have adjusted the numbers so you don’t need to worry about blowing the calories when you make this.

I am a dill lover, hopefully you are too.

Ingredients

500g lean ground chicken
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup whole grain panko
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped red onions
1/3 cup finely chopped parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Sauce
3/4 cups plain low-fat Greek yogurt
1/3 cup finely chopped dill
1 lemon, zest and juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
To serve
1 cucumber, cut into thick slices, quartered
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley or dill for garnish

Method

  1. Combine all ingredients for meatballs, with the exception of olive oil, in a bowl and mix, using hands is best. Form into 16 small meatballs.
  2. Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat, add meatballs and cook through and brown on both sides. Meatballs may need to be made in two batches, depending on skillet size.
  3. Meanwhile, mix together all ingredients for sauce. Add meatballs to a platter with crumbled feta and cucumber pieces to serve. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or dill.
  4. Serve sauce on the side or spoon over meatballs.

Yields: 16 meatballs | Serving Size: 4 meatballs | Calories: 320

 

300 calorie Slow Cooker Shakshuka

Serves: 4 

By Nat Beerworth

This is a hearty dish that is rich and satisfying. The difficulty here is resisting the red wine to accompany it. A 300 calorie winner.

Ingredients

4 eggs
800gm tomatoes, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bell peppers, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp paprika
1 Chorizo
Fresh parsley

Method

  1. Add all the ingredients except the eggs to the slow cooker.
  2. Stir to mix well.
  3. Cook HIGH 1-2 hours (we cooked it all day in a slow cooker).
  4. Dig 4 small holes in the shakshuka sauce.
  5. Crack one egg into each hole.
  6. Cover and cook an additional 10-20 minutes on HIGH.
    Serve immediately

Calories: 310 | Total Fat: 3 g

 

Rick Stein’s Everyday Pilau Rice

Serves: 4

I did a cooking class 15 years ago with David Thompson, inarguably the world’s best Thai chef (and ironically, an Australian).

He covered a lot of ground on the day including 15 seconds on rice where he said the only technique anyone needed was the trick where you measured the water above the rice – however much rice, whatever the cooking dish – to be the distance between the top of your thumb and the first joint.

If you did this, this was all you needed to know.

I’ve lived by this rule since and I’ve cooked plenty of successful rice since.

Though jeez I love it when I find a different technique. A technique that works too!

Thanks Rick Stein. Loved it!

Ingredients

315gm basmati rice
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 cloves
3cm piece of cinnamon stick
1 green cardamom pod, crushed
1/4 tsp salt
350ml water

Method

  1. Wash the rice and then soak for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the spices for 30 seconds until they smell aromatic.
  3. Drain the rice and add it with the salt; stir a little.
  4. Add the water and bring to the boil, then cook on a very low heat with the lid on for 10 – 12 minutes until all the water has been absorbed.

Shrimp Taco bowls

Serves: 4 

By Nat Beerworth

These shrimp taco bowls are good. Day 2 into our diet and Rob was out somewhere for dinner whilst I was at home jealously dreaming of the steak and chips he would have been eating. The jealousy didn’t last that long because the prawns were juicy, cheese melted and corn was sweet.

Granted its not a REAL taco however for a Tuesday on day 2 of the diet I give it a tick. Taco Tuesday gets a whole new meaning.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
20 medium prawns peeled and deveined
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup corn kernels, canned or frozen and thawed
1 cup tomatoes diced
1/2 cup fat-free cheddar cheese, shredded
2 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

Method

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Once hot, add the shrimp, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper, and salt.
  2. Cook, about 5 minutes, until shrimp are firm and cooked through. Let cool.
  3. Divide the rice between 4 meal prep containers, the rice should fill about half the container.
  4. Place 4 shrimp in each container on top of the rice. Place the beans, corn, tomatoes, and cheese in 4 piles, each ingredient should have their own pile.
  5. Sprinkle the cilantro over top of all the ingredients. Cover and seal. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Yield: 4 Prepped Meals | Serving Size: 1 Prepped Meal | Calories: 330 | Total Fat: 10 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Fiber: 7 g | Carbohydrates: 45 g | Sugar: 2 g | Protein 15 g | Cholesterol 52 mg | Sodium: 477 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 6