© Department of Health

All recipes serve two unless otherwise stated
Snacks 3

Light Meals


Main Meals




Modifying recipes to serve two




Many cookbooks have recipes that will serve four or more people. You can modify such recipes by dividing each ingredient so it serves one or two. For example, if a recipe serving four people requires 500grams (g) mince, you will need 250g mince to serve two people and 125g mince to serve one person Recipes for baked items such as muffins, breads and scones are difficult to modify to serve one or two. Instead, make the whole batch, freeze the leftovers and defrost when needed Some main meal dishes can be made in bulk and frozen in individual serves for later use. These are labelled with the symbol ❅. See the recommended freezing dates for foods over the page Make traditional recipes more nutritious. For example, use low-fat yogurt or light evaporated milk instead of cream and sour cream; use wholemeal flour instead of white flour; add extra fruit and vegetables where possible.

Using frozen foods
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Never re-freeze foods once they have thawed Thaw foods overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave oven set on ‘defrost’ Some foods don’t need defrosting, such as vegetables and small fillets of fish Put fresh vegetables in boiling water before freezing Make sure all frozen foods are in covered, sealed containers that are moisture and vapour proof, e.g. margarine containers, freezer bags Glass containers may crack in the freezer, so should not be used Remember to label and date all frozen items.

Freezing foods
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Freeze foods in individual portions for easy thawing and reheating Do not freeze ‘fresh’ fish from the fishmonger or supermarket. The fish may have already been frozen and thawed, or more than 24 hours old Freeze meat/chicken/fish in freezer bags to avoid freezer burn Trim the fat from meat before freezing. This is much healthier and avoids the fat going rancid during freezing Freeze overripe or pureed fruits for later use in baking. Remove stones and pips and banana skins before freezing, then the fruit will be easier to use later Grated cheddar cheese freezes well Some foods, such as lettuce, raw fruit and vegetables and custard, don’t freeze very well. They will still be nutritious - but the texture is awful!


How long foods can be frozen for...
Cooked items: Casseroles Soups and sauces Pasta meals Rice meals/risotto Mixed dishes Scones, plain Scones, cheese Muffins Bread Meats: Chicken, whole Chicken, pieces Beef, chops Beef, mince Fish, white, raw Fish, white, cooked Lamb Pork Other items: Frozen vegetables Frozen fruit Fresh milk (homogenised and pasteurised) 6 weeks to 4 months 3 months 2-3 months 2-3 months 3 months 6 months 3 months 6 months 2-4 months

12 months 6 months 6 months 3 months 3 months 1 month 6 months 3-6 months

12 months 6 months 1 month


Banana Honey Toast
(1 serve) Ingredients 2 slices bread 1 banana, peeled and sliced 1 tablespoon honey 1 teaspoon cinnamon Method Toast bread on one side. Arrange banana on untoasted side of bread. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with cinnamon. Grill for a few minutes until bread is toasted and banana has caramelised.

Apple Bran Muffins ❅
(Makes 12) Ingredients 11/2 cups unprocessed bran 11/4 cups plain flour 1/ cup brown sugar 2 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/ cup sultanas 2 1 egg 1/ cup margarine, melted 3 1 tablespoon honey 1 apple, finely chopped or grated (with skin) 1 cup low-fat milk Method Preheat oven to 200oC. Mix together bran, flour, sugar, baking powder and sultanas. Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Pour wet mixture into dry mixture. Stir lightly but do not over mix, mixture will remain lumpy. Spoon mixture into lightly greased muffin tins or patty cases. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned.

Fruit Smoothie
Ingredients 2 cups low-fat milk 1 cup low-fat natural yogurt 1/ cup canned or soft fresh fruit 2 (e.g. banana, apricots, peaches) 2 teaspoons honey Method Place ingredients in a blender, or milkshake maker, and blend until smooth and frothy. Serve immediately.

Cheese Scones ❅
(Makes 6) Ingredients 1 cup plain flour 11/2 teaspoons baking powder 1/ teaspoon paprika 2 1 tablespoon reduced fat cheese, grated 2 teaspoons margarine 1/ - 1/ cup low fat milk 4 2 Method Preheat oven to 200oC. Sift together flour, baking powder and paprika. With your fingertips rub margarine into flour until mixture becomes crumbly. Stir in grated cheese. Using a knife gradually add milk until mixture holds together to form a dough. Roll out to 11/2 cm thickness onto a floured surface. Cut into six scones using a cookie cutter or knife. Place on a baking tray lightly dusted with flour. Brush tops with a little milk and bake for about 10 minutes until golden brown. Best served warm, but can be frozen and reheated.

Date Loaf ❅
(Makes 20 slices) Ingredients 20 medium dates, finely chopped 1 medium apple, finely chopped (with skin) 1/ cup brown sugar 2 2 tablespoons margarine 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda 2/ cup boiling water 3 2 eggs 13/4 cups plain flour 1 teaspoon vanilla essence Method Preheat oven to 180oC. Place dates and apple in a bowl with sugar, margarine and bicarbonate of soda. Pour over boiling water and stir until margarine has melted. Stir in eggs, flour and vanilla. Place in a lightly greased 10 cm x 20 cm loaf tin. Bake for 50 minutes. Loaf will keep for about 2-3 days or can be sliced and frozen for easy snacks.

HANDY HINT Avoid Waste

Refrigerate or freeze unused fruit, vegetables and juices and use for snacks or add to other recipes. Freeze stale bread and use later for crumb toppings, stuffing or to add to minced meat mixtures.



Tuna Cheese Spread
Ingredients 1/ x 185 g can tuna, drained 2 1 tablespoon low-fat cream cheese, ricotta or cottage cheese 1 gherkin, finely chopped paprika or chilli powder, to taste (optional) Method Mix together all ingredients. Use in sandwiches or as a dip thinned with low-fat natural yogurt.

Cheesy Corn Dip
Ingredients 1/ cup skim cottage cheese 2 1/ cup creamed corn 2 1 tablespoon chives, chopped ground pepper, to taste chilli powder, to taste (optional) Method Beat together all ingredients until well mixed. Use as a dip with vegetable sticks, as a sandwich filling or as a topping for cheese scones for a tasty snack.

HANDY HINT Spicy Potato Wedges

Low-Fat Milk Make your own low-fat milk by mixing regular milk with skim milk powder. Mixing equal amounts of each will give a milk with 2% fat. Use skim milk powder in recipes which require milk: 1/ cup powder and 1 cup water = 4 1 cup milk 1 cup powder and 1 litre water = 1 litre milk Flavour milk drinks by blending with fruit. Make a smoothie by adding yogurt. Sprinkle some grated nutmeg or ground cinnamon onto hot milk for a spicy drink.

Ingredients 2 medium potatoes 1 teaspoon vegetable oil pinch chilli powder (optional) pinch paprika ground pepper, to taste Method Preheat oven to 200oC. Boil or microwave potatoes until just tender. Cut each potato into eight wedges. Brush with oil and sprinkle with spices. Place on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and crunchy. Serve with low-fat natural yogurt and chilli sauce if desired.




Stuffed Potatoes
(allow one potato per person) Microwave or oven bake whole potatoes (skin on). Cut in half and scoop out some of the flesh, leaving the skin and some flesh intact to form a shell. Mash potato flesh with: q remaining mince mixture from Savoury Mince Pie q cottage cheese, pineapple and chives q mashed pumpkin and nutmeg q chopped tomato, onion and garlic q chopped cooked egg and curry powder q drained tuna or sardines with lemon juice. Preheat oven to 180oC. Fill the potato shell with the mixture, piling it up high. Top with a choice of grated reduced-fat cheese; breadcrumbs, quick-oats or rice bran; sesame or poppy seeds; tomato slices. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes or microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes until heated through.

Lentil Soup ❅
Ingredients 1/ cup brown lentils 2 1 cup boiling water 1 teaspoon oil 1 tablespoon water 1/ onion, finely chopped 2 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 carrot, diced 1 medium stalk celery, diced 11/2 cups stock or water ground pepper, to taste fresh or dried herbs, to taste Method Place lentils in a bowl and pour over boiling water. Cover and leave for 1 hour then drain. Place oil, water, onion and garlic in a saucepan and cook until onion is soft. Add lentils, carrot, celery and stock. Season with pepper. Simmer for about 45 minutes. Just before serving add herbs. Serve with bread or toast.

Ingredients 1/ cup uncooked cracked wheat or 2 burghal 3/ cup boiling water 4 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped 2 tablespoons spring onions, finely chopped 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped 1/ tablespoon vegetable oil 2 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped Method Place cracked wheat or burghal in a bowl and add boiling water. Cover and leave to stand for 30 minutes to allow grains to steam and soften. Season with lemon juice, mint, spring onion, parsley and oil. Just before serving fold in tomato. Serve as a side salad or wrapped in pita bread with Pineapple Kebabs.

Ingredients 1/ apple, finely chopped 2 1 teaspoon lemon juice 1/ medium cabbage, finely shredded 4 1 medium carrot, grated Dressing 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise 1 tablespoon milk 1/ teaspoon sugar 2 Method Toss apple in lemon juice to prevent browning. Mix together mayonnaise, milk and sugar to form a dressing. Toss together all ingredients with dressing. Serve with grilled fish or meat or as a sandwich filling.


Easy Sweet Potato Risotto ❅
Ingredients 2 teaspoons margarine 1 clove garlic, crushed 1/ onion, finely chopped 2 2 cups orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 cm cubes 1/ cup short grain rice 2 1 cup stock or water 1/ cup frozen peas 2 2 teaspoons fresh or dried herbs thyme, parsley or mint. (Optional) ground pepper, to taste Method Heat margarine in a heavy-based pan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes or until soft. Add sweet potato and rice. Toss through until well combined. Add stock and peas. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes or until rice and sweet potato are tender and all liquid is absorbed. Season with pepper and herbs. Variation: Use pumpkin instead of sweet potato.

Lemon Pepper Fish Parcels
Ingredients 1 teaspoon margarine 2 x 160g fish fillets 1/ lemon, thinly sliced 2 1/ onion, thinly sliced 2 2 teaspoons fresh or dried dill, parsley or chives ground pepper, to taste Method Preheat oven to 180oC. Lightly grease 2 x 30 cm squares of foil with margarine. Place fish fillet in centre of foil. Arrange lemon and onion slices on top of the fish. Sprinkle with herbs and season with pepper. Fold foil into a parcel and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until fish is cooked. Serve with vegetables and baked potato topped with cottage cheese or low-fat natural yogurt.

Country Style Casserole ❅
Ingredients 200g gravy beef/lamb, cubed 1 tablespoon plain flour 1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional) 1/ onion, sliced 2 1 clove garlic, crushed 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rings 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed 1/ x 400 g can whole peeled tomatoes, 2 crushed 1/ cup stock or water 2 1 cup frozen peas ground pepper, to taste Method Preheat oven to 180oC. Place flour, chilli powder and meat into a plastic bag. Shake until meat is well-coated in flour. Place meat in an ovenproof dish. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Cover dish with lid or aluminium foil and cook in oven for about 45 minutes or until meat is tender and vegetables are cooked. Serve hot with rice and vegetables.

Crustless Vegetable Quiche
(4 serves) Ingredients 4 eggs 1/ cup plain flour 2 1/ teaspoon baking powder 2 1 cup low-fat milk 1/ onion, finely chopped 2 1/ cup frozen peas 2 1/ capsicum, diced 2 2 tablespoons parsley 1/ cup (160 g) reduced fat cheese, 2 grated ground pepper, to taste Method Preheat oven to 190oC. Whisk together eggs, flour, baking powder and milk until smooth. Mix in remaining ingredients and season with pepper. Pour mixture into non-stick cake tin or ovenproof pie dish. Bake for about 25-35 minutes or until set and lightly browned. Divide into four portions. Reserve two portions for lunch and serve the remaining portions with salad and bread.

Savoury Mince Pie ❅
Ingredients 1/ onion, finely chopped 2 1 clove garlic, crushed 200 g lean beef mince 240 g can red kidney beans, drained 2 small carrots, peeled and diced 2 sticks celery, diced 1/ capsicum, diced 2 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/ cup water 2 1 teaspoon parsley 1 teaspoon chilli powder (optional) 1/ cup (160 g) reduced fat cheese, 2 grated Potato Topping 2 medium potatoes, peeled 1 teaspoon margarine 4 teaspoons low fat milk Method Preheat oven to 200oC. Cook garlic and onion in a small amount of water until soft. Add mince and cook until well browned. Stir through tomato paste. Add beans, carrot, celery, capsicum, water, chilli powder if desired and parsley. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Boil, steam or microwave potatoes until tender. Mash with milk and margarine until smooth and fluffy. Divide mince mixture into thirds. Reserve one third for Stuffed Potatoes. Pour the remaining two thirds into an ovenproof dish. Spread potato topping over mince and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serve with vegetables.

Chunky Tomato and Tuna Pasta
Ingredients 1 cup dry pasta shapes 1/ onion, finely chopped 2 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 stick celery, finely diced 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/ x 400 g can whole peeled tomatoes, 2 crushed with juice 1/ cup stock or water 2 185 g can tuna in brine, drained and flaked 1/ cup frozen peas 2 1/ cup (80 g) reduced-fat cheese, 4 grated Method Add pasta to a large saucepan of boiling water, cook for 10 minutes or as directed on the packet, then drain. Cook onion, garlic and celery in a nonstick saucepan with a little water until soft. Add tomato paste, tomatoes and stock. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until sauce has reduced and thickened. Stir in peas and tuna until heated through. Stir through cooked pasta and top with grated cheese. Serve with a tossed salad.


Special Macaroni Cheese
Ingredients 3/ cup pasta 4 1/ onion, finely chopped 2 1/ tablespoon margarine 2 1 tablespoon plain flour 3/ cup low fat milk 4 ground pepper 1/ teaspoon nutmeg, ground 2 1/ cup ricotta cheese 4 1 cup pumpkin, thinly sliced 1/ tomato, thinly sliced 2 1/ cup (80 g) reduced-fat cheese, 4 grated Method Preheat oven to 200oC. Cook pasta in plenty of boiling water for about 10 minutes or as directed on the packet. Heat margarine in a heavy-based saucepan. Add onion and cook until slightly softened. Stir in flour until a paste forms. Whisk in milk and cook over low heat for 3 minutes or until mixture thickens. Season with ground pepper and nutmeg to taste. Remove from heat and stir through cooked pasta and ricotta cheese. Boil, steam or microwave pumpkin until just tender. Layer pumpkin and tomato over the base of an ovenproof dish. Next layer pasta mixture and top with grated cheese. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until top is golden brown. Serve with salad.

Vegetarian Pizza
(1 serve) Ingredients 1 medium potato, skin on 1 pita bread round 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/ onion, finely sliced 4 2 tablespoons creamed corn 1/ capsicum, diced 4 1/ tomato, sliced 2 1/ cup (80 g) reduced fat cheese, 4 grated Method Preheat oven to 200oC. Boil, steam or microwave potato until tender. Slice potato into thin rounds. Spread tomato paste over pita bread and top with onion slices. Arrange potato slices over bread. Top with creamed corn, capsicum and tomato. Sprinkle with cheese and bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and vegetables are cooked.

Chicken and Vegetable Stir-fry
Ingredients 200g chicken breast/thigh/leg (skin removed) 1 clove garlic, crushed 1/ onion, sliced 2 1/ carrot cut into strips 2 1/ capsicum cut into strips 2 1/ head broccoli cut into small florets 2 1/ cup stock or water 4 4 teaspoons plain flour 1 tablespoon soy sauce Method Cut chicken into thin strips. Cook onion and garlic in a small amount of water in wok or a deep fry-pan until soft. Add chicken and stir-fry until almost cooked. Add remaining vegetables and toss well. Mix together stock, soy sauce and flour. Pour over chicken and vegetables and stir well. Stir-fry until sauce has thickened and vegetables are tender but still crisp. Serve with rice.

Pineapple Beef Kebabs
Ingredients 200 g lean beef or lamb 100 g canned pineapple pieces, drained 1/ capsicum 2 1/ onion 2 4 mushrooms 4 tablespoons pineapple juice (drained from canned pineapple pieces) 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 clove garlic, crushed 4 kebab skewers Method Cut meat, onion and capsicum into even sized pieces (about 2 cm cubes). Quarter mushrooms. Thread alternating pieces of meat, vegetables and pineapple onto kebab skewers. Mix together pineapple juice, soy sauce and garlic. Pour over kebabs and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Grill or BBQ kebabs until cooked through. Remove from kebab stick and serve rolled up in pita bread with salad, Coleslaw or Tabouleh and low-fat natural yogurt.

Warm Poached Pears
Ingredients 2 pears, peeled 1/ cup sugar 4 2 cups water 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon vanilla essence Method Mix water, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla in a small saucepan over low heat. Add whole pears to saucepan and poach for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Serve warm with custard drizzled with poaching syrup.

Banana Pancakes
Ingredients 1 cup plain flour, sifted 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 egg 1/ tablespoon sugar 2 1 cup low-fat milk 2 bananas 2 tablespoons honey Method Mix together flour, egg and sugar. Gradually stir in milk until batter is smooth. Mash one banana and add to batter. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Pour in one quarter of the batter. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes or until batter begins to set. Flip pancake and cook on other side until golden brown. Repeat with remaining batter. Slice banana and arrange over pancakes. Roll up, drizzle with honey and serve hot with spiced ricotta.

Ingredients 4 tablespoons skim milk powder 3 tablespoons custard powder 1 tablespoon sugar 2 cups water Method Mix skim milk and custard powder in small amount of water. Add to the rest of the water in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until custard thickens, add sugar to taste. Or in a microwave safe jug, mix skim milk powder and custard powder with a small amount of water to form a paste. Add the rest of the water and mix well. Place in microwave and cook on high for 1 minute, take out and stir. Repeat cooking and stirring until custard thickens. If custard thickens unevenly stir until smooth.


Spiced Ricotta
Ingredients 250g ricotta cheese 2 tablespoon low-fat milk 1 tablespoon honey or sugar 1/ teaspoon cinnamon 2 1/ teaspoon ground ginger 2 1/ teaspoon nutmeg 2 1/ teaspoon vanilla essence 2 Method Whip together all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Serve with desserts instead of cream or ice cream or spread on muffins.

Fruit Crumble
Ingredients 2 cups canned or fresh fruit (e.g. apples, peaches, pears, apricots) juice and grated rind of 1/2 lemon 1 cup rolled oats 1/ cup plain flour 2 4 tablespoons unprocessed bran 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons margarine 2 teaspoons cinnamon

Fresh Fruit Salad
2 cups assorted fruit cut into bite-sized chunks. Use fresh or canned fruit cut into a variety of shapes. Chill and serve with low-fat yogurt, Custard or Spiced Ricotta.

Method Preheat oven to 180oC. Layer fruit, juice and rind into ovenproof dish. Mix together flour, oats, bran, sugar and cinnamon. Rub margarine with fingers into dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly. Press on top of fruit. Bake for 20 minutes or until browned. Serve with low-fat natural yogurt, Custard or Spiced Ricotta.

Baked Custard
(4 serves) Ingredients 2 cups low-fat milk 1/ cup sugar 4 3 eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla essence Method Preheat oven to 180oC. Beat milk, sugar, eggs and vanilla essence together. Place in a small ovenproof dish or four individual dishes. Place dish(es) in a shallow pan of hot water. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until set. Serve with Stewed Fruit or Fruity Bananas.

Stewed Fruit
Ingredients 2 green cooking apples or other fruit in season 2 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons water Method Peel and core apples and slice. Place apples, sugar and water into a saucepan. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes or until soft. Serve hot or cold with baked custard.

Baked Cinnamon Apples
Ingredients 2 green cooking apples, unpeeled, cored 2 tablespoons sultanas 1 teaspoon cinnamon 2 teaspoons sugar juice of 1/2 orange Method Preheat oven to 180oC. Combine sultanas, cinnamon and sugar. Fill apples centres with sultana mixture. Place in an ovenproof dish. Pour over orange juice and bake for 20-30 minutes or until soft. Serve hot with Custard.

Fruity Bananas
Ingredients 2 bananas, Cavendish, peeled juice and rind of 1/2 orange 2 tablespoons sultanas 1/ teaspoon cinnamon 2 Method Preheat oven to 200oC. Slice bananas lengthways. Arrange in a shallow ovenproof dish. Pour over orange juice and sprinkle with orange rind, sultanas and cinnamon. Bake for 15 minutes or until softened. Serve hot with Baked Custard.

Apricot Cremes
Ingredients 415 g can apricots, drained 250 g ricotta cheese 1/ tablespoon sugar 2 1/ cup low-fat natural yogurt 4 Method Blend apricots until pureed. Add ricotta, sugar and yogurt to apricots and blend until smooth. Serve with fresh fruit. Variation: Use canned peaches, pears or plums. Add cinnamon or mixed spice for extra flavour.

Rice Pudding
Ingredients 1/ cup short grain rice 2 1 tablespoon sultanas 2 cups low-fat milk 2 tablespoon sugar nutmeg Method Preheat oven to 160oC. In a lightly greased ovenproof dish mix milk, sugar, sultanas and rice. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for about 2-3 hours or until set, stirring occasionally. Serve hot or cold with Stewed Fruit. Make this recipe when using the oven for other recipes eg. Country Style Casserole or Stuffed Potatoes.

Fruit Kebabs
Ingredients 1 cup assorted fruit cut into bite-sized chunks juice of 1/2 orange 1/ tablespoon sugar 2 4 kebab skewers Method Thread fruit pieces onto skewers. Combine orange juice and sugar and brush over fruit. Grill for 5 minutes until heated through.


The Diet-Health Connection
Did you know that... six out of ten deaths are diet-related? Did you know that... one quarter of diet-related deaths occur in people under 65 years of age? Did you know that... high blood pressure heart disease some forms of cancer gallstones diabetes (non-insulin dependent) constipation diverticular disease some forms of anaemia tooth decay ... are linked to dietary factors? Other lifestyle factors such as smoking and lack of physical activity may also contribute to the development of these diseases. Enjoy better health. Choose foods which are low in fat, sugar and salt, and which are high in dietary fibre. For more tasty and healthy recipes check out the Food Cent$ Family Cookbook, available from most newsagents. Or call HealthInfo Line for an order form 1300 135 030.


Produced by Nutrition and Physical Activity Program with assistance from Marketing and Communications Population Health Division © Department of Health 2002 In collaboration with Bundall Community Health Queensland HP 9248

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