DELICIOUS: Smashed avocado with poached egg.
DELICIOUS: Smashed avocado with poached egg. Dzevoniia

Health and Vitality in Winter

Winter is coming and healthy eating is always a challenge so here are a few ideas to help stay on track.

A good healthy breakfast makes a great start to the day. Porridge with a serve of fruit or what about a sourdough with avocado, sliced tomato and a poached egg, my favourite!

Be prepared and stock your cupboards with canned goods such as baked beans, tinned fruit and veggies; which can help with the choices you can make when trying to think of what to cook. You can always use canned veggies to add to casseroles and soups for extra convenience and flavour.

Enjoy 2-3 serves of fish a week either baked or make a fish pie but try to use low fat pastry or filo as an alternative. Frittatas are also a great option for a pastry free pie or quiche. Lots of fresh or canned fruit and vegetables are very important.

Eating with the seasons means more money in your pocket and better tasting ingredients on your plate. What's in season this July:

FRUIT- Avocados, Custard apples, apples, citrus, Kiwifruit, Nashi, Pineapple, Pomegranates, Quinces and Rhubarb.

VEGETABLES-Beetroot, Broccoli, Broccolini, Brown onions, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Carrots, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chinese greens, English spinach, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Jerusalem artichokes, sweet potatoes, Leeks, Parsnips, Potatoes, Pumpkin, Silverbeet, Spinach and Witlof.

SMASHED AVOCADO AND EGG

1 ripe avocado

2 slices sour-dough bread

2 poached eggs

Method

Toast sour-dough while cooking poached egg, spread avocado over toast add egg on top. Season to taste.

Tip: keep the stone in leftover avocado and slash with lemon juice then cover

FISH PIE

Ingredients

200g boneless white fish fillets

200g skinless salmon fillet, pin-boned (ask your fishmonger to do this)

450ml low fat milk

750g desiree or pontiac potatoes, peeled, chopped

100g unsalted butter (healthy version use poly unsaturated margarine)

2 tablespoons (40g) flour

150g frozen peas

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves

3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped

Juice of 1/2 lemon

50g grated low fat cheddar cheese

Method

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

STEP 1 - Place fish in a baking dish, season with salt and pepper and pour over 400ml milk. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes until fish flakes away slightly when pressed with a fork. Remove fish, reserving milk. When cool enough to handle, flake fish into bite-sized pieces.

STEP 2- Cook potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain and keep warm. Melt half the butter/margarine in a saucepan, stir in flour and cook over low heat for 2-3 minutes.

STEP 3 - Slowly add reserved milk and continue to cook until thickened. Add fish, peas, parsley, egg, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

STEP 4 - Mash the potato with the remaining 50ml milk and the remaining butter until smooth, then season. Pile the fish mixture into a 1 litre-capacity baking dish, spoon the mash on top and smooth with a spatula. Trace a pattern into the mash with the tines of a fork and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

APPLE, RHUBARB AND BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE - GLUTEN FREE

Ingredients

2 large (about 400g) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces

150g rhubarb, coarsely chopped

150g blueberries

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

No-fat Greek yoghurt, to serve

Honey, to serve

Crumble

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons almond meal

2 tablespoons shredded coconut

1 tablespoon rice flour

1 tablespoon buckwheat flour

1/2 teaspoon mixed spice

5 teaspoons solid coconut oil or salt reduced margarine

2 tablespoons flaked almonds

Select all ingredients

Method

Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan forced. Place the apple, rhubarb, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Add blueberries, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes or until apple is starting to soften. Transfer to a 1L (4 cup) baking dish. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the crumble mixture, combine the sugar, almond meal, shredded coconut, rice flour, buckwheat flour and mixed spice in a small bowl. Add the coconut oil and use your fingertips to rub into the coconut mixture until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in the flaked almonds. Sprinkle crumble over the apple mixture. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden.

Cool for 10 minutes. Top with a dollop of yoghurt and drizzle with honey.


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