If your idea of a dietitian-approved dish is steamed fish and vegetables, be prepared to have your foodie horizons broadened as the Association for Dietetics in South Africa – Adsa – has launched its 2017 Nutrition Confidence recipe series to showcase the ease and enjoyment of preparing fresh, delicious and healthy meals at home.
This year, the recipes will feature the culinary creativity of a variety of dietitian-chefs and popular SA food bloggers, some of whom are also registered dietitians.
“Food is, of course, so much more than just nutrients and fuel for the body,” says Adsa president Maryke Gallagher. “Recipes for healthy dishes that are also mouthwatering and interesting are an important source of inspiration for us to focus more on cooking at home from scratch and using great, seasonal ingredients to come up with meals that are as healthy for our bodies as they are soul-satisfying.”
A good example of this is the autumn-tinged recipe of the series for turnip tagliatelle with chicken & herb sauce which has been developed by Johannesburg registered dietitian and food blogger, Cheryl Meyer.
“I believe the best way to embrace lasting healthy eating habits is to avoid focusing on restriction,” Cheryl says. “Rather our emphasis needs to be on finding delicious ways to include nutritious foods in our diets. In this recipe, tasty turnip noodles boost the vegetable component of the meal and yoghurt serves as a nutritious alternative in this twist on classic creamy carbonara. The quick and easy method means that creating a sensational, healthy dish at home is achievable for you.”
Turnip ‘tagliatelle’ with chicken and herb sauce
The recipe serves four
4 medium turnips
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
4 chicken breasts, cubed (approximately 125g each, adding up to 500g)
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
½ cup plain yoghurt
2 large eggs
30 ml fresh chopped parsley
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to season
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a non-stick pan and cook the cubed chicken pieces. Set the cooked chicken aside.
Slice the mushrooms and leeks.
Heat the other 2 teaspoons of olive oil and soften the mushrooms and leeks. Just before cooked, add the garlic for the last 2 minutes. Remove and combine with the chicken.
Peel turnips and cut the ends off flatly and evenly. Spiralise them to tagliatelle thickness (blade C on the inspiraliser).
Boil turnip noodles for 2-3 minutes.
In a small bowl or jug whisk the egg, yoghurt and parsley together well. Season with salt and pepper.
When the turnip noodles are done, drain them, return them to the pot off the heat, pour in the egg mixture and toss until evenly coated (the warmth of the cooked noodles cooks the egg but it is important to do this off the heat, otherwise the egg will scramble when you add it, and we don’t want that).
Serve the noodles topped with the chicken, leek and mushroom mixture and garnish with grated parmesan cheese.
We love: Turnips are easy to spiralise and make lovely veggie noodles. Although when raw they can tend to have a sharp distinct taste, warming them softens the flavour and makes for a perfect veggie noodle base for your dish.
What Cheryl says: Veggie noodles are a great way to the boost the vegetable component of a meal and plain yoghurt serves as a nutritious alternative in this twist on classic creamy carbonara.
The 2017 NutritionConfidence recipe series will focus on real food that is healthy and delicious, while encouraging the use of local, close-to-home ingredients. A new recipe will be posted monthly at https://nutritionconfidence.wordpress.com/