Take The Challenge For Healthy Weight Week

15/02/2016 5:54 PM AEDT | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Being a healthy weight has never been more important, with new research showing that less than one in four Australians will be of healthy weight by the year 2032.

In 2014-15, an alarming 63.4 percent of Australians aged 18 years and over were overweight or obese -- comprising 11.2 million people.

However, a new survey of 1,230 Australians aged 18-64 years revealed over half of all adults are unhappy with their current weight, potentially pointing to the fact that Australian's may be becoming more aware of the issue.

Enter Australia’s Healthy Weight Week -- an initiative of the Dieticians Association of Australia which runs every February to encourage more Aussies to cook at home.

The cook-at-home challenge -- which starts Feb. 15 and ends on Feb. 21 -- is a great way to help achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

If you’re wondering what home cooking and healthy weight have in common, research shows that people who prepare food at home are more inclined to eat smaller portions and take in fewer kilojoules -- as well as less fat, salt and sugar.

As a result, people are more likely to be (and maintain) a healthy weight.

Not only does being a healthy weight reduce serious health risks, but it also helps us to feel our best -- and it’s never too late to start.

So get out your apron and download a free copy of the Australia’s Healthy Weight Week Everyday Healthy II cookbook which is full of healthy, fast and affordable recipes. Here's a taste:



Allspice Chicken with Chimichurri and Brown Rice

healthy weight week

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

¾ cup brown rice

4 spring onions, finely sliced

2 Ttblespoons currants

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, plus 2 tablespoons extra

2 cups baby spinach

1 punnet cherry tomatoes, halved

1 bunch firmly packed basil leaves

2 teaspoons ground cumin, plus 1 tablespoon extra

1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon extra

2 teaspoons allspice

2 teaspoons olive oil

8 chicken tenderloins (or 2 chicken breast fillet, sliced 1.5cm thick)

2 bunches asparagus

1 long red chilli, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, finely sliced

METHOD

  1. Place rice in a small saucepan, cover with hot water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 18-25 minutes or until tender. Stir through spring onion, currants, cherry tomatoes, two tablespoons of vinegar and baby spinach.
  2. To make the chimichurri finely chop the basil (reserve ¼ bunch leaves for serving) and combine in a bowl with two teaspoons of cumin, olive oil and remaining two tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Set aside to serve.
  3. Rub remaining cumin and the allspice over the chicken. Heat a large frying pan with one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes each side or until golden and just cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and add asparagus, chilli and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until asparagus is bright green and lightly charred.
  4. Serve chicken and asparagus on rice with chimichurri to top.



Salmon with Salsa Verde and Fennel Orange Salad

healthy weight week

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 4 x 120g salmon fillets
  • ½ fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • 2 oranges, cut into segments
  • 1 shallot, finely sliced
  • 2 handfuls rocket
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon extra
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • juice of half a lemon

METHOD

  1. For the salsa verde, capers, parsley and any fennel fronds together. Transfer to a bowl then stir through one tablespoon olive oil and juice of half a lemon. Alternatively, combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor and process to combine. Stir in olive oil.
  2. Heat a frying pan over high. Add the rice bran oil. Rub salt and paprika over non-skin side of salmon, then add skin side down into the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes both sides or until skin is crisp and salmon is cooked to your liking.
  3. Meanwhile, combine fennel, orange, shallot, rocket and remaining lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl. Divide between serving plates.
  4. Place salmon on serving plates with the salad and top with salsa verde.



Instant Peanut Banana Ice Cream and Oat Crumble

healthy weight week

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 bananas, peeled, thickly sliced and frozen in a plastic bag or container
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons rolled oats
  • ½ punnet strawberries

METHOD

  1. Combine flour and olive oil in large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the oil into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in sugar, cinnamon and oats. Cook crumble in a hot dry frying pan, stirring constantly, until golden. Put aside to cool.
  2. To make the instant choc banana ice cream, combine frozen banana, milk and peanut butter in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Scrape the mixture down with a spatula if there are any lumps and blend briefly again.
  3. Serve banana ice cream with strawberries and top with oat crumble.



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