Here at Tony Hakim Food Lovers, we've proved our love of seafood time and time again. But there is one under-appreciated ingredient we don’t see enough of here in Australia – crab. We've rounded up five tantalizing crab recipes that we can’t wait to try out!
Ice cream. It’s just one of those treats that you never grow out of. The world of frozen desserts has expanded beyond 31 flavours – there is nothing so banal as French vanilla or chocolate here. The Tony Hakim Food Lovers team looks at some extraordinary ice cream flavours that have us all drooling.
When it comes to cheese, we definitely think of it as a savoury ingredient – pizza, lasagne, wine and cheese. But there is one heavenly cheese that does beautifully in both sweet and savoury dishes – mascarpone. The Tony Hakim Food Lovers team take you through some mouth-watering mascarpone dishes for both the sweet-tooth and the savoury aficionado.
Sushi is a great food, it’s versatile in that you can have it as a snack or have more for a whole meal. It feels fresh often having very organic components, this has led many people to believe that it is healthy lunch time option.
While this is true, in many cases there are instances where sushi really isn't the best thing for you. Tony Hakim Food Lover will look at some of the most common ingredients in everyone's favourite sushi and whether it’s really that good for you.
Sushi is always a winner but did you know how good it was for you? Image via flickr.com
Fish is pretty much a standard with sushi, the whole concept behind sashimi is the idea of eating raw fish. Some of the most common in contemporary are tune, salmon or mackerel. Of these three fish the lowest in fat is mackerel, followed by salmon, with tuna being the fattiest. Considering this though tuna, compared with many other meats has relatively low fat, the biggest issue is that tuna often has high levels of mercury being a large apex predator.
There are so many types of sushi it's always a tough choice. Photo via www.flickr.com
You might consider wasabi a throw-away condiment, the hot stuff for crazier sushi connoisseurs, but it is actually quite healthy. It has contents that are great for blood flow and an antibacterial that helps fight food poisoning.
Sushi is great because of the freshness it so often attains. Image via flickr.com
It might seem obvious but one of the biggest no-no’s of the sushi world is tempura, just because the vegetable or meat itself is healthy doesn't mean you can just deep fry it without guilt, deep frying anything causes the fat content to rise.
Sushi comes from ancient Japanese cooking traditions. Image via flickr.com
Edamame is a popular starting dish at many sushi restaurants and the good news is that if you like it, dig in! Edamame is not only a low calorie tasty vegetable but it contains high levels of protein and fibre, everything you need.
Soy sauce is often thought a must on sushi, well this might change things, because they should have called this product “sodium sauce.” While this sauce is mostly just soy beans, there are many other flavour enhancers added to make it delicious.
Take note next time you visit your favourite sushi restaurant. Image via flickr.com
One of the main ingredients in sushi is rice, while rice isn't all that bad, it is often white rice. In more recent times, many restaurants have started to offer brown rice. This less processed grain has much more nutrients than its white counterpart.
Like with anything else enjoyable, we here at Tony Hakim Food Lover think its fine to eat any of the above ingredients, but be aware so you can moderate the naughtier ingredients.
Spring and summer are prime barbecue seasons – beautiful weather, trips to the park or beach, its ideal for a barbeque lunch or dinner. Tony Hakim has picked out some of his favourite, mouth-watering barbecue recipes to tempt you over to the grill.
It’s the time of year when you want to throw a party – celebrate summer or the holidays! But parties can be expensive, especially when it comes to food. Tony Hakim Food Lovers have a few times on how to organize party food on a budget.
Party food doesn't have to break the bank. Image via Horrible Housewife.
Half the battle with any sort of party or celebration is planning ahead.
First of all, make sure you have a budget in place. A budget will determine so many things about your party and your menu. After you’ve set your budget, work out what kind of party you want it to be – barbeque, buffet, lunch, dinner, hot, cold. Once you’ve settled on that, you can work out how many guests you can invite. Whilst an ‘open invitation’ style party might sound like fun, that can blow the budget entirely. The amount of people you can invite depends on your budget, menu style and location.
Barbeques are a great and inexpensive main course. Image via Confetti Couture
So, you have your location, party style and budget in place. Time to talk food!
First of all, most of the time, making something at home will be cheaper than buying things premade – dips are a perfectly example. There are loads of recipes online for delicious dips that you can whip together in a few minutes.
Things like chips, nuts and soft drink can definitely blow the budget – aim for the products on sale, and always check the price per 100g to make sure that the sale price is a great deal. Whilst cans or single-serve bottles might seem like a great idea, they are often far more expensive per L than 1 or 2L bottles.
Salads might seem boring, but it’s not hard to jazz them up. A few day-old slices of bread in the toaster with a little olive oil, and you’ve got the most delicious croutons imaginable. A small piece of pumpkin or sweet potato roasted in the oven can be diced and tossed over a salad for something that is both tasty and attractive.
Pasta salads are another overlooked hero - dried pasta is cheap and easy to cook, and can be paired with a variety of sauces, veggies and meats for delicious hot or cold sides.
Main course, if you are providing lunch or dinner, can be where the budget is broken or your offering falls short. Just keep it simple!
Sandwiches are a great staple at parties, since you can put anything between bread and people will be happy. If you are providing salads, you can use the same ingredients in your sandwiches to guarantee nothing goes to waste. A make-your-own salad or sandwich bar is also a fun and simple way to serve food; just arrange your ingredients in plates and bowls, and let people come up with their own combinations.
If you are having a barbeque, talk to a local butcher. They can often do deals if you give them your budget and guest numbers. Barbeques are great, because so many things taste amazing on the grill! Skip fancy steaks, and go for sausages, chicken or beef skewers (very budget friendly if you dice and marinate the meat yourself), veggie skewers and hamburgers (hamburger patties are another item that are far cheaper to make at home than buy ready-made.)
Don’t be one of those people who doesn’t provide dessert. We love dessert. But it can be tricky.
Ice cream can be hit or a miss, depending on the crowd, and expensive if you want flavours or toppings. If you are having a summer party, ice blocks (like Zooper Dooper) are a fun and inexpensive treat both kids and adults will enjoy.
Cupcakes and brownies are unsung heroes of desserts. Brownies are ideal, since they can be sliced at any size; cupcakes can be iced for any celebration at no extra cost. Avoid boxed mixes, and make from scratch.
Fruit salad is another under-appreciated dessert. Served on skewers with marshmallows, they look amazing – and presented with a bowl of vanilla yoghurt to dip offers both another flavour combination and an attractive presentation.
Simple is delicious - fresh ingredients make all the difference. Image via Food Wallpaper
In the End
Party food on a budget is all about planning and creativity – and knowing your limits. The smaller the party, the further food and your budget will stretch. Here are our final quick-tips.
Lunch parties are better than dinner parties – people eat less, and there is less of a social obligation to provide alcohol.
Presentation is key. Serving things on plates and in bowls rather than in their packaging will make things look so much better.
If someone offers to bring something, take them up on it. Potato salad, coleslaw, bread rolls or drinks are super easy for guests to transport.
When it comes to drinks, ice can be expensive. If you fill an esky or metal tub with ice, it will stay much colder than plastic.
Disposable plates and cutlery can get expensive very fast. Use your own flatware, and go for disposable cups and napkins instead.
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When it comes to food, the Italians know their stuff. They’ve given the world with so many delicious foods - pizza and pasta are some of the most popular dishes around the world. But Italians also have plenty of mind-blowing delectable desserts in their repertoire. Tony Hakim Food Lovers looks at our favourite authentic Italian desserts.
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Here at Tony Hakim Food Lovers, we love seafood. We can’t think of a seafood dish that doesn’t sound completely delicious. And with summer settling in, the prime Australian seafood season is here. Tony Hakim has his very favourite, and the most delicious seafood recipes to share with you.
A good fish burger is heaven, and this burger perfectly captures summer with barramundi, avocado and watercress, plus homemade tartare sauce. Our tip? Aim for wild barramundi rather than farmed – it has a better flavour.
Salmon is one of the most versatile pieces of fish – it goes well with mild and strong flavours, and does well in almost any style of cooking. Salmon and dill? A match made in heaven. Our tip? Serve with a crisp avocado salad for a perfect and sophisticated meal.
For a flavoursome twist on the beach tradition, it’s this amazing Asian-style fish and chip recipe. Using salmon, chilli flakes, soy sauce and Japanese beer, it packs a punch for something delicious and unexpected. Our tip? Experiment with Asian-inspired dipping sauces to bring out all the incredible flavours.
We love, love, love spicy dishes, and more so when they include prawns! This spicy dish is perfect when you’re in the mood for take away but want something homemade and healthier. Our tip? Serve with a side of rice and lime quarters for extra enjoyment.
An Australian classic; we love everything about a good seafood marinara, especially if it’s got a bit of bite. Pre-mix selections can be lacking on the seafood, so mix your own with prawns, clams, calamari and mussels. Our tip? Fresh pasta, and a hint of fresh chilli will make it out of this world.
Seafood soups are very low key here in Australia – seafood is a summer food, and not many people choose to eat soup in the heat. But this Cajun Prawn Bisque reminds us just how much we love seafood soup, especially one as sophisticated and flavoursome as this. Our tip? Serve with crackers to add some crunch.
If you love seafood, check out your local fish market. Not only can you get your seafood local and fresh, the workers there will be able to help you out with any questions you have.
We all know that dinner is the last meal of the day. But sometimes, you need a late-night snack. And whilst it might be tempting to eat left over pizza or grab the ice cream and a spoon, that can be a diet-killer. Here at Tony Hakim Food Lovers, we’ve put together a list of our favourite healthy midnight snacks that taste great at any time of the day or night.
For those times when you want to make something quick on the spot, we’ve picked these six recipes. A lot of people crave sweet foods late at night, and whilst these are sweet, they have far less sugar and more health benefits than normal cakes, shakes and snacks.
Fruit and honey do have sugar, so make sure you control your portion sizes. Flavoured yoghurts also include a lot of sugar, so go for the natural kind, or check out the nutritional information before you buy.
Vegetables are amazing, and you should ideally have five serves per day. Adding a serve of veggies to your midnight snack is a great way to increase your intake, make something tasty and snack guilt free!
Portion sizes matter – it’s called a ‘snack’ for a reason. Eat slowly, and make sure you have a drink (water or milk is ideal late at night) to go with it. If you are worried about how much you are eating, mini-versions of things are a great way to cut back.
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Here at Tony Hakim Food Lovers, the team agrees on one thing: that pasta is one of the greatest foods of all time. It’s delicious. It comes in so many different styles, shapes and flavours. There are an infinite number of sauces. However, it’s very easy for pasta to go from healthy to indulgent. The Tony Hakim Food Lovers team have picked out ten of our favourite delicious healthy pasta recipes that you can indulge in, guilt free!
Avoid heavy cream-based sauces – those are some of the worst.
Pimp out those pasta sauces! All the veggies, meat and fish in the sauce are delicious and guilt-free. Add as much of your sauce as want, rather than piling on the carbs.
Cheese is good. Cheese on pasta is better. But too much cheese is bad. Cut back on the cheese you include – if you are looking to add flavour, sometimes a pinch of salt can do more than a handful of parmesan cheese.
Pasta is a carb. So is bread. Avoid garlic and herb breads with your pasta – pair it with a nice salad instead. If you just have to have your side of bread, try crisping up pita bread with some garlic oil. Crunch and flavour without the calories.
Left overs? No problem! Freeze them for a future meal, or eat them cold for lunch! Many pasta are great as pasta salad, like ziti and ravioli – but gnocchi isn’t one of them.
Avoid eating pasta too often. Twice a week is the maximum, but it really depends on your lifestyle.