24 October 2016Last updated

Food | Recipes

5 healthy recipes by Silvena Rowe

Silvena Rowe proves that scaling down on calories does not mean robbing these classic recipes of their flavour

Silvena Rowe
29 May 2016 | 07:00 am
  • Low-fat butter chicken.

    Source:Anja Schwerin Image 1 of 5
  • Gluten-free lasagna.

    Source:Anja Schwerin Image 2 of 5
  • Spaghetti carbonara.

    Source:Anja Schwerin Image 3 of 5
  • Low-fat hummus.

    Source:Anja Schwerin Image 4 of 5
  • Cauliflower mornay with king prawns.

    Source:Anja Schwerin Image 5 of 5

1. Low-fat butter chicken

Prep time 15 mins
Cooking time 30 mins
Serves 4

Olive oil cooking spray
400g chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces
250g cherry tomatoes
4cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp chilli powder
300g tinned tomatoes
1/3 cup skimmed Greek-style yogurt
Steamed basmati rice, to serve 

1 Spray a large, deep non-stick frying pan with oil. Heat over medium-high heat. Add chicken. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes or until light golden. Transfer to a plate. Add tomatoes to the same pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until softened. Add ginger and all the spice powders. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or until fragrant.

2 Add chicken and tinned tomatoes to the pan. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken and the chicken is cooked.

3 Add yogurt and stir well until the dish is heated through. Serve with rice.

2. Gluten-free lasagna

Serves 4
Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 1 hour 15 mins

150g assorted vegetables (beans, carrots, green peas, cauliflower and spinach), roughly chopped and blanched
2 cups tomato passata
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
500g lamb fillets, cut into thin slices
2 tbsp tomato purée
1/3 cup gluten-free cornflour
3 cups milk
180g Cheddar, grated
300g gluten-free lasagne sheets

1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Place vegetables and passata in a food processor and blend until it forms a smooth purée.

2 Heat oil in a medium-size pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and rosemary. Cook, stirring for 3 minutes or until onion has softened.

3 Add lamb. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until browned. Add tomato paste and stir for 1 minute. Add vegetable mixture. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium. Simmer for 15 minutes or until thickened. Season with pepper.

4 For cheese sauce, place cornflour in a pan. Add 1/4 cup milk. Stir to form a smooth paste. Gradually add remaining milk, stirring to combine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes or until thickened. Stir in 1 cup cheese.

5 Grease a 7cm-deep, 20x30cm (base) baking dish. Arrange 1/3 lasagne sheets over the base. Top with half the lamb and some of the cheese sauce. Repeat. 6 Top with final layer of lasagne sheets. Spread with remaining cheese sauce and top with the rest of the cheese.

7 Bake for 40 minutes or until tender. Stand for 5 minutes, then serve. 

3. Spaghetti carbonara

Serves 4
Prep time 10 mins
Cooking time 15 mins

375g spaghetti
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup low-fat cream
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus extra to garnish
1 tbsp olive oil
200g veal bacon rashers, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Cook pasta in a pan of boiling salted water, following packet instructions, until al dente. Drain and return to pan.

2 Meanwhile, whisk together eggs, yolks, cream and Parmesan in a bowl. Season and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a separate frying pan over medium heat. Add bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until golden. Add garlic and stir. Spoon the bacon and the egg mixture into the pan with pasta, tossing over low heat, for 1 minute or until pasta is covered in a creamy, thickened sauce.

4 Serve topped with extra Parmesan.

4. Low-fat hummus

Serves 4
Prep time 15 mins

400g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp water
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1 small garlic clove, crushed
Sweet paprika, to garnish
Carrot and celery sticks, to serve

1 Place chickpeas, lemon juice, tahini, water, cumin, coriander and garlic in a food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

2 Transfer hummus to a bowl. Sprinkle with paprika to garnish. Serve with carrot and celery sticks.

5. Cauliflower mornay with king prawns

Serves 4
Prep time 30 mins
Baking time 20 mins

800g cauliflower, trimmed and cut into large florets
50g butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
3/4 cup grated Cheddar cheese
150g king prawns, shelled and deveined
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Cook cauliflower in a pan of boiling water for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain and keep aside.

2 Melt butter in a pan over medium heat. Add flour. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until bubbling. Gradually add milk, stirring until smooth. Bring 
to the boil.

3 Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until sauce has thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup cheese. Season.

4 Pour half the sauce into a 6-cup-capacity oven-proof dish. Arrange cauliflower over the mixture and scatter prawns over. Top with remaining sauce.

5 Combine breadcrumbs and remaining cheese in a bowl. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over cauliflower mixture.

6 Bake for 20 minutes or until golden.

Silvena Rowe

Silvena Rowe