Cheesy vegetable baskets.
Cheesy vegetable baskets. Contributed

Cheese and veggie creation makes great light lunch option

WE all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day but the second most important meal is lunch.

It is not a good idea to skip lunch, as this could mean you munch on high fat snacks all afternoon and your brain won't function in peak state.

Missing lunch could mean headaches, lethargy, dizziness and difficulty in focusing mid afternoon.

So for today's column I want to focus on some healthy lunch suggestions.

Firstly if you are in a food court don't be tempted by the high fat takeaway foods, they will only make you sluggish, instead go for healthy choices such as soups, kebabs, hamburgers, stuffed potatoes, stir fries, salads, sushi or Subway.

It is important to include some form of protein with your lunch e.g. low fat cheese, salmon, lean chicken or other lean meats, baked beans or fill your sandwich high with salad as well so you will feel full and satisfied.

Having the good carbs such as wholemeal bread, pita or lavash breads, potato, rice or pastas will help you bounce through the day.

Avoid greasy, takeaway foods as they slow the system down and make you feel sluggish and tired.

Instead of butter or margarine spread avocado on your sandwiches.

Avocado is a monounsaturated fat, which is a much healthier choice but don't overdo it.

If you are trying to lose weight and you have a big lunch then I suggest that you reverse your meals so that dinner is a light meal that day to balance it out.

If you've had a substantial lunch you may avoid grabbing high-fat snacks to restore flagging energy levels later in the day.

If lunch is at a restaurant then order two entrée size meals or choose something healthy such as grilled fish.

Have potato wedges or really big chips instead of the thinly cut chips, the larger chips have less fat or better still ask for a jacket potato.

Tomato based sauces instead of the high fat creamy ones are a better choice and if a dish has a sauce or a dressing then ask for it to be served on the side, then add as much or as little as you like.

Alcohol will make you feel foggy and sluggish, not ideal if you're on a deadline.

 

Cheesy Vegetable Baskets

Serves 6 as light meal - Recipe from Symply Too Good To Be True Book 6

 

Ingredients

1 cup potato small dice
1 cup pumpkin small dice
1 cup broccoli small florets
½ cup onion small dice
¾ cup red capsicum small dice
½ cup frozen peas
½ cup boiling water
1 sachet Cheese Sauce (Continental®)
¾ cup skim milk
1½ tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon salt-reduced beef stock powder
½ cup 25% reduced-fat grated tasty cheese
cooking spray
6 sheets filo pastry
1 cup English spinach
2 teaspoons finely grated parmesan cheese

 

Method

Microwave potato, pumpkin, broccoli and onion in a little water on HIGH for 10 minutes.

Drain then add capsicum and peas. Combine ½ cup boiling water with cheese sauce sachet mixing in well.

In a medium size saucepan add skim milk with cornflour.

Whisk until boiled then add cheese sauce and whisk until sauce is blended.

Add stock powder then fold tasty cheese into mix.

Place cooked vegetables into pot and fold until coated with cheese sauce. Leave mixture to cool.

Preheat oven 180ºC fan forced.

Coat a 12-cup muffin tray with cooking spray. Wait until vegetable mix is at room temperature to make baskets.

Carefully unfold one sheet of filo pastry and coat with cooking spray.

Cut into quarters then place sheets on top of each other. Cut in half again then place one half on top of a muffin hole.

Place the other half on top in a 90º rotation.

Carefully press down into the muffin hole to give a basket shape.

Repeat same process with each filo sheet making 6 baskets in total.

Place in alternate muffin holes to allow edges of baskets space.

Line each basket with spinach leaves then spoon one-sixth of the filling over spinach.

Sprinkle each with parmesan cheese. Bake 40-45 minutes or until parmesan has browned on top. Serve hot.

Suitable to be frozen for 2-3 weeks.

 

Annette's cookbooks SYMPLY TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE 1-6 are sold in all good newsagencies. Visit Annette's website www.symplytoogood.com.au for more tips and recipes. You can also join Annette's page at Symply Too Good FACEBOOK.

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