Dippy, but not hippy.

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Spinach Yoghurt Dip 1Spinach Dip Side On

I’ve often thought the key to maintaining a healthy weight is to find snacks that won’t pile on the pounds. Things like humus, olives, dark chocolate, cheese and crusty bread all taste great but are way too calorie intensive. So, after trying Karen Martini’s low-fat beetroot dip last week, I couldn’t wait to get into her silverbeet, spinach, yoghurt and pinenut one. Again, it was really easy to create a low fat version and a guilt free way of getting a few more greens.

I also really like her formula of combining equal quantities of 1% fat prebiotic yoghurt with your favourite combination of pureed vegetables, herbs and spices. It’s opened up a whole new world on the type of dips I can create. Next time I might try rocket, spinach, basil, mint and parsley together with a bit of lemon juice and garlic. Or, if I’m feeling a bit more adventurous, roasted carrot with onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and a squeeze of lemon. Here’s Karen’s recipe if you’d like to try.

Ingredients
80ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra
(I just used a spray of olive oil in the pan. If it gets too dry add a little water.)
5 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 leek, finely sliced
1 bunch silverbeet, trimmed of ¾ of the stalk and finely chopped
3 handfuls baby spinach
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
250g thick plain yoghurt (I used 1% fat probiotic Greek.)
80g pinenuts, toasted briefly in a dry frypan
(I omitted these from the dip and just scattered a few on top.)
1 lemon

Method
In a wide-based pot, add 80ml of oil and cook the garlic until fragrant. Add the leek and cook for five minutes. Add the silverbeet and cook for another 10 minutes over low heat with the lid on, stirring through every now and then.
Add the spinach, cumin and paprika and, if the pot is too dry, a splash of water. Cook for another five minutes, season and set aside to cool.
If the greens are quite wet, drain off a little liquid, then puree with the yoghurt and half the pinenuts until you have a smooth paste. Spread on to your serving plate, squeeze over some lemon, scatter over the remaining pinenuts, dress with a little oil and serve with flatbread.

Saturday Brunch

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Saturday Brunch

I caught up with my friend Lwindi this morning for a spot of yoga followed by a bite to eat at the Little Bird Unbakery. It’s a new, completely raw, vegan and organic café in Ponsonby. Totally fab. My sprouted falafels were delicious as was my “Relax” tea. Can’t wait to go back and try more of their great menu.

Dinner

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Dinner

Stavroula’s Stuffed Red Capsicums from Kylie Kwong’s book “It Tastes Better”. These tasted great, the filling was super yummy and tasted fab on its own. The tops get a little charred during the roasting process but the capsicums are juicy and really sweet. I used 1/2 cup brown rice instead of what she recommended to lessen the carbs and I don’t think the dish really needed all the rice she used anyway. As usual, a spray of olive oil was all I used on the peppers and filling to hold back on the fat.

I paired the capsicums with a rocket, mint, parsley, spring onion, cucumber, cherry tomato and feta (30g) salad with a few marjoram sprigs and a grind of pepper. It went really well.

Lunch

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Lunch

Late lunch today but it was really tasty. I made Karen Martini’s Spring Minestrone with Rocket and Basil Pesto. I had to modify the pesto quite a bit to reduce the fat. I used 50g basil, 50g rocket, 30g parsley, 30g pine nuts, 10g parmesan, 1 clove garlic, salt flakes, pepper and 2tbsp olive oil and then just a brief spray of olive oil in the pot before adding the veges. My trainer would kill me if I didn’t do this as I’m trying to lose a few kgs before summer. Click the photo for Karen’s recipe.