Tag Archives: chocolate

Meat for Meals

We are looking today for the ‘fast food’ the quick meal option to feed our families. In most households the end of the day is not welcome relief from work, it is sometimes fuller than a days work. There are children, homework, study, book work, housework to name but a few ‘work’ things ones does when they come home from ‘work’. For most people it doesn’t stop, no longer are families depicted by a male figure with his feet up, paper in hand and with a pipe in his mouth, the ‘lady’ of the house dressed in refinery, lipstick on and smiling and no sign of children those days (thankfully) are gone.

There is always something to do and food choices to make, nights are about sustenance given to families by way of the evening meal and in most cases lunches the next day. Here is where all this running around and getting home from work doesn’t mean stopping, it means someone in the house needs to make a meal decision.

What does one cook when they are busy, sometimes it is much easier to pull in and purchase ready cooked meals but are they really satisfying? Over my time being married to a farmer I have come to appreciate a good cut of meat and well cooked meal. Our meat is pasture fed so it is lean, tasty and delicious, but even with my freezer full of meat I do sometimes ask, what do you feel like for dinner? The response I get is “anything as long as I am with you” a reference back to our courting days where I made a comment that he never commented on my meals. To be honest though I did tell him “I don’t cook” which he took as “I can’t cook” so when I would arrive at the farm (300km drive) I would be greeted with a drink and a meal. Which was great he is a good chef, but then like everything else it becomes the same so I started to cook.

Now it is 85% my responsibility and he can tell when I have had enough as I won’t cook, but going back to simple easy meals for families and busy evenings has become the monotonous decisions of what to cook in the evening. I have started a program where I am cooking with the contents of the pantry and not replacing it as I go. We have a big pantry and I can never find anything in it.

Meat is a great form of protein and is gluten-free, fat-free and abides by the heart foundation requirements for low GI. These are all the things we are looking for in our diets, if we eat a 150g lean piece of meat in our main meal then we have ticked all of the boxes. I always do green things steamed, potato of some kind, gravy or a mustard condiment to add taste. This  sounds so simple doesn’t it but some days it is far from it, it is an effort to defrost, cook to the right temperature, boil without burning the bottom of the saucepan – we currently have 4 dogs with 6 saucepans dog food bowls from attempts at rice and forgotten ‘mashed potatoes’.

Rump is a good cut for a family meal, just don’t over cook it otherwise it can be too tough, fillet is the steak to eat but can expensive when looking to feed the family but nice for a romantic meal for two, blade steak is also a fantastic cut and good for BBQ, BBQ meat is only for BBQ, it may be tough upon arrival to the butcher, supermarket and needs to be grilled to make it tender and edible. But in buying for BBQ buy good meats if you can as they will taste better and be tender.

We as agriculturalists who provide meat for human consumption are highly concentrated on sustainability and nutrition. We provide our animals with natural grasses to eat and limit any exposure to unnecessary humans and grow our crops to feed the stock. Our farming practices are humane, anti-biotic and growth hormone free. Meat science can demonstrate that beef from such grass-fed systems compared to intensive feedlots production systems contain elevated concentrations of vitamin A, vitamin E, increased levels of omega-3, a more desirable omega-3:omega-6 ratio, and increased levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), all with favorable biological effects on human health.

Meals are about sustenance, togetherness, comfort and time. Eating a piece of meat will provide children and adults with energy, alertness and satisfaction for longer periods of time, over something which can be shop bought and ‘fast’. Our foods standards are arguably the ‘golden standard’ of the world and are envied and copied by others. In reaching for that chocolate bar, think of the quick fix versus a slice of ham from the deli, the hunger pains will arrive sooner if you eat the chocolate along with the additional calories. Try a small skewer of lamb with a tzatziki dressing

moroccan lamb

Snacks with 100 Calories or less

Meats & Other Protein Foods

  • 2 ounces or 56 grams of lean roast beef or boiled ham
  • 4 ounces or 113 grams or turkey breast
  • 4 ounces or 113 grams smoked salmon
  • 3 ounces or 85 grams tuna (packed in water)
  • 2 ounces or 56 grams  tuna (packed in water) with 1 teaspoon low-fat mayonnaise added
  • 3 sardines packed in water
  • 3 thin slices of lunch meat 50 grams
  • 7 small shrimp
  • 1 chicken or turkey hot dog without the bun
  • 2 tofu dogs without the bun
  • 1 ounce or 28 grams beef jerky
  • 1 ounce or 28 grams  turkey pepperoni
  • 1 egg (hard-cooked, scrambled or fried)
  • ¾ cup egg substitute
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter – no biscuit or slice of bread
  • 4 tablespoons humus (chickpeas) – no biscuit or bread

Chocolates – check out the limitations –

  • ½ cup fat-free chocolate pudding
  • 15 chocolate covered raisins
  • 1 snack size candy bar
  • 4 Hershey® Kisses
  • 5 Ghirardelli® Milk Chocolate Drops
  • 2 Mrs. Fields® Decadent Chocolates
  • 2 slices Terry’s® Chocolate Orange
  • 4 Andes® Mints
  • 3 Nestle® After Eight Mints
  • 25 milk chocolate M&M’s®
  • 9 peanut M&M’s®
  • 1/5 Toblerone® bar
  • 9 Tootsie Roll Midgets®
  • 2 chocolate chip cookies (2-inch diameter)
  • 2 reduced-fat Oreo® cookies
  • 5 chocolate graham crackers
  • 1 Skinny Cow® Fat Free Fudge Bar
  • 1 Nestle Butterfinger® Stixx
  • 1 Whole Foods Market Two-Bite Brownie
  • 1 Healthy Choice® Mocha Fudge Swirl Bar


Foods of Love

One day to go – are you ready? Are you like me budget conscious or save for a night out or are you like Megan Gale (Australian / International Model) she tells her man not to make a fuss Valentines night  but to do it spontaneously over the year. I agree with her, we live in the country so a night out in the local town doesn’t appeal and it’s a 100km round trip to have a dinner that sometimes disappoints. Have you found that, you book a restaurant go and the menu looks enticing and the food disappoints? we have, I like to cook though sometimes I feel that as a girl we aren’t told by our mum’s how boring cooking every night for family & ones self can be so boring. I digress.

I am in town unexpectedly, my daughter had emergency surgery (dislocated shoulder) so I made the mad dash down to look after her, but this has given me time to really think about cooking. Last night for dinner she chose spaghetti bolognaise, a childhood favourite of many children and isn’t it funny how every child loves their mum’s over anybody else’s. We made this together with beautiful beef mince from the farm – check out the recipe page.

I am going to pick up oyster’s on my way back to the farm and I’m thinking we shall be having an out door meal as the temperature in Australia is very hot at the moment today we are 36 degree Celsius or 96.8 F. So the evening will be quite balmy and humid according to the weather maps, the evening will be  22 C or 71.6 F. So I will need to plan on mosquito repellents or I could put citronella candles out but the perfume from these isn’t that great.

The oysters will be easy to do (see recipe page) but what to do for main course? I want to make it delicious, healthy and quick. I make a great Thai Beef salad so I will do that, this is good to make with a large rump steak and the salad can be prepared and the sauce up to 3 hours or more before hand. The rump can be cooked 10 minutes before serving, I cook it and cover it with aluminium foil for 3 minutes and add the meat juices to the sauce. When choosing a cut a meat you must know what it is you are going to do with it. Rump (or top sirloin as it can be known) is a great versatile cut, it is a meatier cut with a small edging of white fat – always leave the fat on when cooking as it brings out the beautiful flavour of the meat. Make sure the meat looks red in colour, if it is too dark then it has been sitting around for too long, don’t forget meat really doesn’t have a smell unless it is ‘going off or turning’. All red meat should smell like blood or have no smell, this is the sign of a non stressed animal at slaughter. Grain – fed beef may have a thicker covering of fat and a stronger flavour, it also may be slightly darker in colour, grass-fed beef ‘a natural plant’ eating animal will be slightly more pink in colour and have a white layer of fat.

Dessert will be chocolate dipped strawberries also another easy but yummy dish to serve. You can also have the chocolate separate so if you are weight conscious you can skill the chocolate. I shall post pictures later. What is everyone else doing?