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The Recipes Centre

Summer web surfing - Great meal ideas

Summer is a great time for quick and easy, light meals - especially if you enjoy them outdoors with friends.

But who has the time – or energy - to plan them? Well, the Go Grains web site has an easy solution. Just do a little web surfing at gograins.com.au and you will find a whole summer season of main meal ideas, along with a handy shopping and pantry list, some great recipes and sound nutrition information.

You can download a menu plan for a week or for the entire summer, along with the shopping lists to simplify your supermarket visits. The meal ideas are suitable for singles, couples or families.

The Go Grains web site is a nutrition communication initiative supported by Australia’s grain growers and the Federal Government through the Grains Research and Development Corporation.

According to Go Grains dietitian Trish Griffiths, enjoying foods made from grains, particularly whole grains, like bread, pasta, noodles, couscous and breakfast cereals, means you will have a nutritious diet which is low in fat and great if you’re watching your weight. (No, these carbohydrate-rich foods are not fattening – it’s a myth.)

“Bread, pasta, noodles, couscous and cereals are bursting with energy-giving carbohydrates, protein, dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals. We should all be eating more of these foods,” said Trish Griffiths. “They make the perfect base for nutritious, low-fat meals and snacks. Because they are also very filling, you won’t be left feeling hungry.

“Australians tend to eat too much fat, particularly saturated fat, and not enough carbohydrates. Unfortunately this can lead to health problems like heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.  Eating more bread, cereals, pasta, noodles, couscous, pulses, fruits and vegetables is a simple way to increase carbohydrate intake, cut back the amount of fat in your diet and reduce the risk of contracting many serious health problems.

“With the Go Grains web site everyone can now plan, shop and prepare healthy meals easily,” Trish Griffiths said. Try these summer recipes from the Go Grains web site - http://www.gograins.com.au.


Preparation time:  15 minutes
Cooking time:  2-3 minutes
Serves 4

4 individual flat rolls or focaccia
190g jar basil pesto
200g brie, sliced
1 bunch rocket
500g char-grilled vegetables: eggplant, capsicum, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes
300g rare roast beef, sliced
1 cup alfalfa sprouts

Grill or pan-fry flat rolls until lightly toasted.  Cut in half and spread one side of each with pesto.  Top with sliced brie, rocket, vegetables, sliced beef and sprouts.   Cover with remaining bread and serve immediately. 


Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

250g dried pasta
250g medium cooked prawns, peeled (= 500g unshelled)
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeded and sliced
1 bunch thin asparagus
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
Grated black pepper
Sprigs fresh dill

Yoghurt Dressing:

1/2 cup low fat yoghurt
1/4 cup oil free Italian dressing
2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon water

Place pasta in a large pot of boiling water and cook until tender but al dente.  Rinse under cold water and drain. Cook asparagus until tender but still crisp. Combine pasta with prawns, cucumber, asparagus and onion in a large bowl. Combine yoghurt dressing ingredients in a bowl, mixing well until smooth.  Just before serving, drizzle salad with dressing, black pepper and dill.  

Variations:  Add or substitute fresh or canned salmon, cooked squid or scallops.


Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  15 minutes

Serves 4

Herb Crusted Fish:

2 tablespoons each: chopped fresh parsley and basil
Rind of 1 lemon
2 cups cornflakes, lightly crushed
1/2 cup rolled oats
Cooking spray oil
4 medium (250-300g) fish fillets (eg. barramundi, ling)

Italian Noodles:

250g dried egg noodles
440g can tomatoes and herbs
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup black olives
1/2 each: green and yellow capsicum, thinly sliced
4 green shallots, cut into 2cm lengths

Combine parsley, basil, lemon rind, crumbs and oatmeal in a bowl.  Place fish on a lightly greased oven tray and press mixture on fish.  Lightly spray with cooking oil.  Bake, uncovered, in a hot oven (220ºC) 12-15 minutes or until fish is cooked.  While fish is cooking prepare noodles.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil.  Add noodles and cook, uncovered, until just tender. Drain.  Combine noodles with tomatoes, vinegar, olives, capsicum and green shallots in the pot and heat through. Divide noodles between four plates and top with herb crusted fish.


Preparation time:  15 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Serves 4

500g chicken breast fillet, diced
3 cups diced fruit & vegetables:  mango, pineapple, capsicum, zucchini, Spanish onion
1/2 cup thick teriyaki sauce
2 cups Jasmine rice
3 cups chicken stock or water
2 tablespoons each: chopped parsley and green shallots

Soak bamboo skewers in cold water for at least 30 minutes to prevent them scorching. Thread chicken, fruit and vegetables onto skewers.  Place in a shallow flat dish and brush with teriyaki sauce.

Bring rice and stock to the boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 12 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in herbs and stand, covered, while cooking kebabs.   Grill or barbecue kebabs until browned all over and cooked through.  Serve with herb rice.

Tip: For added flavour, marinate kebabs for 30 minutes or longer, turning occasionally.

Source: Go Grains


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