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.


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


  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




Hot chicken sliders

Serves: 4 (if not having the buns, otherwise 8)

By Nat Beerworth

Robert and I decided to do a relatively shot-gun style wedding with only about 6 months notice, which in the world of weddings is basically like getting married next week. With the 6 month lead time involving holidaying to Hong Kong, Vanuatu and Bali it left little time for weddin-shreddin. We doubled down when we were at home and embraced a 300 calorie meal lifestyle. This diet consisted of: Not eating anything before 12pm, eating a 300 calorie lunch, a 300 calorie dinner and a few vodkas sprinkled in between.

We learnt that there is a whole new world out there – a 300 calorie world.

This is one of my favouries, I think we cooked it 3 times (which in the Beerworth household is not usually allowed).




4 boneless and skinless chicken breast (cut in 1/2 to make 8 pieces)
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 egg
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
2 teaspoons vinegar based hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs, pulsed in a food processor
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
8 whole wheat slider buns (we didn’t use these which meant we could have TWO sliders each)
1 large pickle, sliced in to 8 circles (one slice for each slider)



  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with nonstick spray; set aside.
  2. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and hot sauce. Place the flour in a second bowl, and the panko in a third bowl. Dip the chicken pieces in the flour, then the egg mixture, and last the panko, making sure the chicken is coated on all sides.
  4. Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and chicken is firm and cooked through.
  5. While the chicken is baking, mix together the olive oil, cayenne, coconut sugar, chili powder, garlic powder, and paprika.
  6. Remove the chicken from the oven and brush the chicken and the inside of the slider buns (if using) with the oil and spice mixture.
  7. Place each piece of cooked chicken on to a bun (is using), top with pickles. Serve.

Serving Size: 2 slider | Calories: 287 | Total Fat: 8 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Carbohydrates: 34 g | Fiber: 2 g | Sugar: 5 g | Protein: 20 g | Cholesterol: 62 mg | Sodium: 376 mg | SmartPoints (Freestyle): 7 |



Oliver’s Guacamole

Serves: Oliver

In a cooking blog that is meant to discover and inspire, it might seem a little odd to put up a guacamole recipe. According to Google, there are 2.380 million of the recipes out there and so it is safe to say that we don’t need another.

Except that it wasn’t until recently when I had a fresh guacamole and then made my own batch at home that  I remembered just how awesome guacamole is. It is so spirited and exciting and fresh. And so healthy that the top result about guacamole in Google describes it as almost ‘superfood’.

I’ll run with that!

Also, this blog being for my boys so that they have a bunch of tested recipes to cook for their friends and family, Oliver (8), the eldest who is really picky and plain about food, demolished this guacamole. By itself, he would never touch avocado, red onion or coriander… or any of the ingredients.

He would just eat the corn chips and be done with it.

But he will eat this guacamole by the bucket and that is a great way to get great foods into him.

It is also why it’s called Oliver’s Guacamole.

Enjoy it like he does and go all in with the flavour!


Red onion, minced
Garlic, mashed with salt
Lime Juice
Tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
Coriander leaves
Plain corn chips


  1. Mash the avocados roughly with the lime juice.
  2. Mix through the remaining ingredients except the coriander and correct the seasoning.
  3. Garnish with the coriander.

Jamie Oliver’s Real Mushroom Soup

Serves: 6 – 8

It is true – I think – that at its most basic, mushroom soup is mushroom soup. It’s tasty enough, it is nice warm or cold, it’s filling and it’s healthy.

This spin on mushroom soup by Jamie Oliver not only adds a bit of zing to the whole thing, it is one of those cannot-be-ignored opportunities to use truffle oil!

And it’s still healthy which is why I must have two gallons of it frozen and ready for dethaw on any given night where I am too tired to cook.

You should consider the same!

(Slight adaptation of the recipe where I increased mushrooms from 600gm to 1kg.)


1 small handful dried porcini (I also used some shiitake)
Extra virgin olive oil
1kg mixed fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 litre chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese
1 lemon
Truffle oil (optional)
Sliced loaf of bread, brushed with olive oil and grilled



  1. Place the porcini in a small dish, cover with boiling water and leave aside.
  2. Heat a heavy saucepan medium-hot and as Jamie Oliver famously puts it, ‘add a good couple of lugs’ of the olive oil and add your mushrooms. Stir for a minute or so and then add the garlic, onion, thyme and season. Meanwhile, chop half your porcini, reserving the liquid.
  3. After a minute or so of cooking, add the chopped and whole porcini and the reserved liquid. Continue cooking on a medium heat for 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has disappeared.
  4. Season again and add the stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. Remove half of the soup and whiz in a blender until smooth. Reintroduce to the remaining soup together with the parsley, mascarpone and a final seasoning as needed.
  6. To serve, a small drizzle of truffle oil, maybe a squeeze of lemon, chopped parsley, perhaps a few reserved and cooked slices of mushroom, a crack of pepper and some oiled and grilled sliced bread.

Chicken Stew with Mushrooms, Turnips and Kale

Serves: 4 – 6

It might seem odd to cook a stew in the middle of summer, though months since my last stew, I didn’t really care how hot it was outside. After a long day, served with a cold beer, a warm stew is a really nice, stout, filling meal among a summer of prawn salads, watermelon and frozen yoghurt.

I have adapted this recipe by doubling the mushrooms and removing the cornstarch.

You can never have too many mushrooms and the cornstarch adds a nebulous thickness to the stew as well as merely adding calories and processed food to what is otherwise, a healthy, 260 calorie dinner.

As with all stews, the cooking times really are approximate only. I let the mushrooms and onions cook down for 25 minutes and as long as you don’t overdo it and end up with mush, the longer and slower you cook a stew, the better the stew.

Season well, chopped parsley to serve, awesome.


750gm chicken breasts but into 2cm pieces
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 large turnips, peels and cut into 2cm pieces
500gm sliced mushrooms
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups chopped kale (Coles sell chopped, fresh Kale in the vegetable aisle)
750ml chicken stock
1 tsp fresh chopped rosemary
Salt and cracked pepper


  1. In a heavy saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over a medium heat; add the chicken, stirring until lightly browned. Around 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
  2. Add the remaining olive oil to the saucepan; add the turnips, onions, mushrooms and garlic. Stir and cook until the onion is limp: 10 – 20 minutes or more. Add the wine and stir in for a minute before adding the stock, rosemary and kale. Bring to the boil and return the chicken (and any juices) to the saucepan. Reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 minutes or until you have the consistency you are after.
  3. Done!

Prawns, peas and epic (prawn) oil

Serves: 2

Sitting with my mate Leo waiting for a haircut (that never actually eventuated because they didn’t notice us for 15 minutes and when they did, told us they had no room for us until 4pm; and Leo doesn’t even have hair!) and flicking through Men’s Health.

And among photos of men with incredible abs, photos of huge watches and photos of men with incredible abs wearing huge watches running through parks, was this recipe.

Except for the oil, it is super healthy and in any event, there isn’t much oil left after you reduce it all and it is olive oil, so it’s goodish anyway.

It can be a little unidirectional in its otherwise excellent flavour – we’re talking prawns and half a kilo of peas here – so go all in with the flavour; the herbs, lemon, good crack of pepper.


500gm of prawns, shelled and deveined (shells/heads retained)
½ cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 long red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
¼ bunch parsley, chopped
250ml fish or vegetable stock
500gm peas (frozen baby peas is what I used)
1 onion sliced
Handful fresh dill roughly chopped
Handful fresh mint roughly chopped
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Juice of half a lemon


  1. Add oil to a pan over a medium heat. Stir in the prawn shells/heads and cook for 5 or so minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and slightly golden, before storing in the chilli and the parsley for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, allow to cool, then strain the oil, discarding the solids. Do not wash the pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring the stock to boil then turn to medium and cook the peas for 3 – 5 minutes until tender. Strain the peas, keep the stock.
  3. In the same pan as used before, on a medium heat, add the onions and allow to caramelise for 8 – 10 minutes. Add the prawns and cook for 2 minutes until tender.
  4. Stir in the peas for a minute before folding in half the dill and mint and half the stock; you want it to be a lose mix but not soupy.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of the epic oil (prawn oil). Season with salt and pepper, squeeze in the lemon juice and serve, garnished with the remaining herbs.

Light chicken korma

Serves: 4

This is a simple and healthy take on chicken korma, save that unless you told your guests, they wouldn’t know.

The ground almonds are reasonably high in calories, though they pack so much other goodness (vitamins, minerals, good fats) that I didn’t (and wouldn’t) take it out of the recipe. Balance and moderation and all that.

Serve with basmati rice and plenty of coriander and this is two weekday dinners – and next day’s lunch packed.

I cut and steamed a whole head of broccoli and added it in at the last minute and you could of course do this with pretty much any vegetable, extending how much food you’re cooking and getting extra vegetables into the picture.

(And despite eating healthy, you’re eating the world’s greatest invention: curry!)


1 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
Thumb-sized piece of ginger, roughly chopped
4 tbsp korma paste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
50g ground almonds
4 tbsp sultanas
400ml chicken stock
¼ tsp brown sugar
150g pit 0% fat Freek yoghurt
Big bunch of coriander, chopped


  1. Put the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor and whiz to a paste.
  2. Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot to a medium heat and add the paste, cooking for 5 minutes until soft.
  3. Add the korma pasta and cook for another 2 minutes until aromatic.
  4. Stir the chicken into the sauce, then add the ground almonds, sultanas, stock and sugar. Give everything a good mix, cover and cook for 10 minutes until cooked and reduced. Reduce further if need be.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the yoghurt and season. Serve on top of steamed basmati rice sprinkled with the coriander.

Salmon Salad with Vinaigrette

Serves: 2 – 4

Another sub-300 calorie dish that I have adapted.

And so good.

Alternate the number of pieces of salmon you cook (2 – 4) depending on how many meals you wish to prepare. Served the next day from the refrigerator, it is just as good as warm the night before so even if it is just you, I’d do two pieces of salmon: dinner and a fabulous, healthy lunch at work.

(And swap a boiled, sliced egg for the potato if you wish.)


400gm green beans, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
¼ c red wine vinegar
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp mince shallots
¼ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 – 4 salmon fillets, skin off
4 c salad greens
¼ c sliced red onion
1 tbsp capers
2 tbsp black olives, chopped
4 baby potatoes (or 2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced)
Handful of parsley, chopped


  1. Steam the beans until al dente, refresh and drain. Combine the salad greens, capers, olives, beans and red onion and set aside.
  2. Steam the potatoes until cooked and slice. Set aside.
  3. Combine the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, shallots, 1/8 tsp salt and pepper in a small bowl and whisk until combined; set aside.
  4. Heat a pan to medium hot, spray both sides of the fish fillets with olive oil, season with the remaining salt and pepper and cook both side until fish flakes easily.
  5. Put a good handful of the salad/bean mixture in each bowl, sprinkle a few slices of potato (or egg) and flake the fish on top. Dress with the dressing and serve with a garnish of chopped parsley.

Spicy meatballs with chilli black beans

Add more chilli and spices to dial the meatballs up even further.
Add more chilli and spices to dial the meatballs up even further.

Serves: 4

Ok, so this dish is unlikely to feature at Est. or Rockpool, though if you had it at a local café or bistro, properly seasoned, you probably wouldn’t have any qualms.

So why am I typing it up? Not because it’s easy and not because it contains mince, one of my favourite foods.

It’s here because it’s healthy, in so far that it has only 376 calories per serve, which in context of a normal, man’s daily diet of 2,500 calories, is a huge win! The dish is low in GI and it fills you up. Which for a weeknight dinner, is awesome, especially as it reheats up just fine the next night.

And it tastes good.

I adapted the recipe to make the meatballs a little more flavoursome by adding the red onion and chilli and you could cut out the avocado to save on a few more calories. Though the avocado/lime accoutrement adds a really nice visual flair, especially if you have friends around.

Just quick note regarding the canned cherry tomatoes. I hadn’t heard of cherry tomatoes in a can, though upon closer inspection, I was able to find a can of baby Roma tomatoes at Coles. If you can, find whole baby tomatoes as they present really well. Otherwise, any canned tomatoes will do.



1 red onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 large yellow pepper (capsicum) diced
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp chilli paste (I used fresh chilli paste)
300ml chicken stock
400g can cherry tomatoes
400g can black beans or red kidney beans, drained
1 avocado, chopped
Juice ½ lime


500gm minced turkey breast
2 chillies, seeded and chopped
1 red onion, chopped
50g porridge oats
2 spring onions chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coriander
Good handful of coriander (stalks and leaves) chopped
1 tsp olive oil (or avocado oil, rapeseed oil)


  1. First, make the meatballs. Combine all of the meatball ingredients (except the olive oil) in a bowl and knead together until well mixed. Shape into 12 ping-pong sized balls.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the meatballs until golden brown, turning frequently. Remove from the pan.
  3. Tip the onion, garlic and yellow pepper into the pan and cook, stirring, until softened. Stir in the cumin and chilli paste and then the stock. Return the meatballs to the pan, bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan for about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the tomatoes and beans and cook, uncovered for a few more minutes.
  5. In a bowl, toss the avocado chunks with the lime juice and serve the meatballs topped with the avocado and coriander leaves.