According to the results of the latest Australian Health Survey only 6.8% of people consumed the recommended daily intake of vegetables. Of those surveyed, 29% had taken a dietary supplement in the previous 24 hours. Now I don’t know about you but to me that doesn’t seem to make any sense. If you think you are lacking in nutrients to the point where you feel the need to supplement your diet then why isn’t your first thought just to eat more nutrient dense food? I wonder, with so much of the focus on what we think we need to eliminate from our diet (dairy, gluten, grains, whatever is the flavour/or not of the month) have we lost sight of what it is that we need to feed our bodies with? My challenge to you is to shift your mindset. Instead of fixating on all of the foods you can’t/shouldn’t/wouldn’t have, try to shift the focus onto all of the things your body needs to maintain itself. Step 1…..start with veggie’s! Make it a daily priority to have 5 full serves every damn day. Without fail. Everyday. Add some spinach to your breakfast, snack on some snow peas and most importantly, make sure you serve a side of veg with every main meal.
According to my own latest survey (which consists of just asking a couple of other mums) vegetables are often more of an after thought rather than the hero of a meal and the make up of our plates tends to reflect that. We have a larger serve than we need of protein and starchy type foods (think potato, pasta, rice) and not enough of the green good stuff. An easy way to remedy that situation is just to change up the ratio. Let the veg takeover 1/2 of your plate leaving 1/4 to protein and the other 1/4 to carbohydrates. We eat with our eyes and to them our plate will seem as full as usual, we’ve just made some slight adjustments to portion size which reflect how much of each food group we should be aiming to consume in order to maintain our health.
Sometimes when we are entertaining (or being entertained) it can be difficult to maintain these healthy choices, especially when faced with a smorgasboard of “sometimes” foods. If ever there was a time for “sometimes” foods then it’s at a party right? For me the trade off is all about portion size and what you actually put on your plate. If you’re favourite dish in all the world is Nana’s home made lasagne then by all means pop some on your plate, just make sure that half of your plate is taken up by something green.
This salad is my go to recipe for summer entertaining. I usually toast an entire pack of macadamia nuts at the same time and keep the leftover in an airtight container for future use (which makes the whole thing even faster to put together). It uses fresh and seasonal mangoes, which usually means the kids will at least have a go, the dressing is amazing and you can prep the whole thing prior to your guests arrival and just put together at the last minute. Just make sure it covers 1/2 of your plate!
- Prep Time : 15 minutes
- Yield : 6, as a side dish
Preheat your oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with paper and scatter the roughly chopped macadamia nuts in a single layer onto the tray. Bake for 3 mins then take the tray out of the oven, flip the nuts with a spatula and return to the oven for another 2-3 mins until toasted and lightly browned. (Note that it is quicker and easier to do this in a non-stick pan so if you're pressed for time feel free...I just prefer the flavour of oven toasted nuts. I usually do a double serve and then store in an airtight container for another day).
Rinse your leaves thoroughly with cold water and put through a salad spinner to remove the excess moisture...alternatively you can just leave them to drip dry in a colander if you don't have a spinner, but I recommend getting one...they're kind of fun.
To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a small mason jar, pop on the lid and give it a vigorous shake (or put them in a small glass and stir with a spoon...less fun but still works).
To serve, place the leaves, nuts and cubed mango into a large bowl, pour over the dressing and then use your hands to mix all the ingredients together. I usually do this win a big mixing bowl and then transfer to a serving dish so that there is less mess on the side of the bowl