Zucchini Lasagne with Beef & Eggplant, a Low Calorie, Gluten free & 5:2 Diet Recipe

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After a number of requests on my instagram account, I thought it was time I share my zucchini lasagne recipe with you! This has past the boy test, who is my biggest critic and also happens to hate zucchini. He loves it, I love it and I know you will love it too. What I love about this recipe is that it tastes exactly like a lasagne. I don’t feel like I am missing out. It is packed full of vegetables and nutrition, coming in with a total of 7 vegetables. The zucchini sheets taste and feel exactly like pasta. I can promise that you will not even notice the difference between zucchini lasagne sheets and proper pasta lasagne sheets. The béchamel sauce has been replaced with low fat ricotta and parmesan on top. Otherwise, you can make a cauliflower béchamel based sauce as a healthy alternative and layer that on top.

Check out – Teresa Cutter’s (The Healthy Chef) White Sauce, 10 ways

This zucchini lasagne is low calorie, low carb, gluten free and absolutely guilt free. Each slice is 185 calories. Perfect for 5:2 diet followers. Unless you would prefer a large slice, this still comes in at 250 calories. So women can have 2 large slices for lunch and dinner and there is your fast day done! Just divide the lasagne into 6 portions instead of the suggested 8. I threw in some eggplant as an experiment to increase my vegetable intake. The result was an even richer and meatier meat filling. It is so delicious I will never make it without eggplant again. If you want to go completely vegetarian just replace the meat with more eggplant or any other vegetables.

zuchinni pasta sheets - fpn What you will need:

  • Mandolin slicer
  • Kitchen towel/paper towel
  • Oven dish

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Devon Cafe’s Truffle Season

During the truffle season, Devon Cafe has been serving up truffle specials on their weekend menu, most notably their luxuriant ‘ultimate toastie’. A toasted sourdough served with grilled mixed mushrooms, melted fontina cheese, fried egg that is topped with lashings of black truffles. As if it wasn’t already popular enough, this ‘toastie’ gained incredible notoriety after a SMH review. Lines quickly began snaking it’s way down Devonshire street and disappointing customers by selling out by 10am.

I’m back at Devon Cafe and I’m here to get my last bit of truffles before the season is out. This is my second visit to date (see previous post) and I am have been dying to taste my way through their truffled treats.

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Chur Burger, Surry Hills

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Chur Burger is all the rage now. It’s Kiwi ‘as’ and  serves up drunks and chups with delicious sides and milkshakes. It’s biggest drawcard? That $10 price tag. Which is a big one considering the burgers are made fresh to order sizzling and flipped right in front of you.

If you’re anything like me and were perhaps none the wise. Chur is slang for awesome in NZ and so far the place lives up to the name.

During one of our lunch hours, I was invited to join Tina (bitemeshowme) and Simon (theheartoffood) for a quick bite.

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Ramen 101: The Ippudo Experience

Ramen has the power to polarise people to cause widespread debate on “Where to find the best ramen?” and boy will we hunt it down. It is Japanese soul food at its core and has developed from the humble streets of Japan to achieve a cult-like status.

Since its grand opening, Ippudo has been hot on everyones lips.

“Is it as good as they say?” (See previous post).

Whether you agree or disagree, Ippudo has to be said and done.

I was invited to return to Ippudo to take on a crash course ramen 101 session and to learn more about the Ippudo experience. There was also the offer to try all their ramen. How could I refuse.

Dress with expandable waistline?? Check!

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Bathers’ Pavilion Cafe, Mosman

The Bather’s Pavilion is separated into a restaurant and cafe, owned and operated by Serge Dansereau. There is also a kiosk to cater to those passing on by looking for a quick bite. (The kiosk is also very good). You can’t book at the cafe. Simply turn up and grab a seat.

The cafe does a great breakfast and an even better lunch. I would know, I am permanently stationed there for breakfast. The best pancakes in the world are being served right here. Fluffy and thick. Baked chorizo eggs and eggs benedict are bang on the money too. The venue also promises stunning views of Balmoral Beach. So gorgeous, you’ll be swept away and misplace yourself at a beach holiday resort. Amen.

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Ms G’s, Potts Point – $45 Sunday Lunch

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Decked out over 4 floors of incredible space, the interior will take you into a wonderland of graffiti walls, neon lights and communal dining space with the help-yourself-arrangement of cutlery, chopsticks, hot sauce and seasonings.

Awarded a one hat out of a possible three, it is respectively the most unconventional and deviant one hatter on the scene. It is all very tongue in cheek hailing tribute to the MSG code with the flashing “six two one” neon sign out front, or perhaps it’s the thought behind their signature dessert “stoner’s delight”. The secret ingredient? The mind of a stoner. Fun and games continue with their slushie bubble tea cocktails. Cute caricatures are printed on the seal, with mouths wide open urging you to pop your straw and drink up.

For Sunday lunch, Ms G’s offers up a lunch menu at a fraction of the price – the “tick the box” menu for $45p/p. Ticking my way through the menu we are allowed to pick 2 starters, 2 small savoury dishes, 2 large savoury dishes and one dessert. Then enough food is brought out based on our per person count. Slushie Sundays also brings the price down of the bubble tea cocktails to 5 big ones instead of the usual $14.

Note: all prices quoted below are the al la carte prices.

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Drink Better Wine, North Sydney

Drink Better Wine was conceived so that a bottle shop could operate in the same space as a restaurant. Customers could eat their way through the menu, walk the aisles of the cellar, pick their wine and drink straight from the bottle without paying any corkage.

Since their conception, they have changed their pricing structure to match their online wine prices which is at a significantly reduced cost. To make up for the difference, they now charge a $10 corkage per bottle. I am told that even with the corkage the price still works out to be cheaper. Even so, the sound of not paying corkage versus paying corkage, will always have a better ring to it. Even if this means passing on the savings to the end consumer.

I’m not terribly phased though, good food and good wine awaits me and it will be cheaper too!

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Zilver Restaurant, Haymarket – Peking Duck Banquet

Some say that Zilver is their ‘go to’ yum cha spot and that it is one of the better Chinese restaurants around. I haven’t really been there myself so I took advantage of one of the Groupon Vouchers on offer. $49 for 2 people for a 6 Course Peking Duck Banquet. Yippie-kai-aye!

I used to be a bit dubious about the online voucher experience. Over time, I’ve become more comfortable. Bloggers alike seem to swear by Groupon for being the best place to grab a food voucher for decent restaurants. For hatted restaurants too.

Convinced? I am.

Now, all I do is click, click, click. Buy, buy, buy… and if I can eat at the likes of Tokonoma, Foveaux & Blancharu, why the hell shouldn’t I?

(Posts to come).

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Swell Restaurant, Bronte Beach

Swell Restaurant is said to be one of Matt Moran’s favourite breakfast spots. Coming highly recommended by the man himself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it a whirl.

Set against the beautiful Bronte Beach, on a beautiful day it is the perfect spot to grab a decent breakfast or brunch, soak in the atmosphere without too much damage to the hip pocket. It is a popular spot, so best to book ahead and watch out for parking. It is either extortionate or a nightmare!

truffle poached eggs

We begin with the truffle poached eggs which arrive plump and pulsing at the middle. The dish has the indelible scent of truffles and is served with pieces of wafer thin prosciutto, adding a lovely crunch and saltiness to the creaminess of the yolk. The sourdough is as it should having texture and crunch – positively moorish.

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