Baked Barramundi with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives and Herbs

Baked Barramundi with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives and Herbs

For those of you who follow me on Facebook you might have seen the delicious dinner I whipped up on Monday night – baked barramundi on a bed of zucchini with cherry tomatoes on the vine, black olives and herbs.  It was so easy to prepare – it only took about 5 minutes – but it was vibrant, colourful and very impressive.  I was inspired by a recipe in Tessa Kiros’ beautiful cookbook ‘Limoncello and Linen Water’.

If you don’t like barramundi you could use an alternative white fish (think cod, snapper, flathead etc) or if you don’t like fish then it would be delicious with chicken!  Next time I am going to try this with salmon …

I served it with blanched asparagus, but a mixed green salad would be just as delicious, and if you really can’t be bothered you can relax because the zucchini and the tomatoes mean that this dish really is a one-pot-wonder!

Baked Barramundi with Zucchini, Cherry Tomatoes, Black Olives and Herbs

This made enough for the 2 of us (we did have a lot of tomatoes) but if you wanted to double it for 4 people and again for 8 etc it would work just as well.

What you will need:

Olive oil

2 small zucchinis – thinly sliced lengthways and tossed with some sea salt and cracked black pepper

2 barramundi fillets (or fish of your choice, or chicken)

200 g (7 ounces) cherry tomatoes (on the vine).  (This was actually a lot of tomatoes for 2 people – keep in mind if you are not mad on tomatoes ..)

1 heaped tablespoon chopped parsley

6 basil leaves – torn

1/2 cup of white wine or chicken stock.  (I used stock here but I think that white wine would be even more delicious)

A couple of handful of black olives (I used the pitted kalamata olives from the deli at Woolworths – they were perfect!)

Zest & juice of one lemon

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

How to pull it together:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).

In a baking dish (which I lined with baking paper), drizzle a couple of tablespoons of olive oil, and lay out the zucchini.  Season the fish on both sides with a little salt and pepper andlay it over the zucchini.  Top with the tomatoes and herbs.  Pour the wine or stock around the fish and toss in the olives.  Finish with the zest of the lemon and a squeeze of lemon juice.

barramundipre-cookedBake in the oven for about 40 minutes until the tomatoes are roasted to your liking and the fish is nice and brown.

And enjoy!!!

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Wishing you all a wonderful week!


Healthy Comfort Eating – Clean Nachos!

Healthy Comfort Eating – Clean Nachos!

Oh my goodness!  I made these clean nachos on Saturday night.  Hubby and I were having a lazy Saturday night in and we were feeling indulgent but although we felt like spoiling ourselves with a yummy dinner we didn’t want to order takeaway and feel awful in the morning.  They were seriously FANTASTIC!  Our new favourite ‘treat’ and I do use the word treat lightly because they are very clean so you really don’t need to feel bad about eating them – at – all!

The chilli recipe I have posted on an earlier blog post here but to save time and paper (because I know you’ll want to print this one off) I am going to write it all up again here.  If you don’t want to eat meat (and next time I am going to try them meat free) you can use the same spices etc and just increase the amount of beans and legumes for a vegetarian option.  I’ll definitely put the vegetarian version up here once I am happy with the recipe.

The components of the nachos are as follows:  The nachos ‘chips’, chilli con carne, salsa, guacamole and a handful of grated cheese.  I will set out how I organised each component below:

Here’s how I made them:

Nachos ‘Chips’

I cut a few sheets of mountain bread into corn chip sized triangles with some kitchen scissors, laid them out on a cookie tray lined with baking paper and sprayed with some olive oil and sprinkled with celtic sea salt and a little freshly ground pepper.  I baked in a hot oven (under the grill) for about 3 minutes.  I highly recommend watching them though as I burnt a few sheets going over just a few seconds!!!

Chilli Con Carne

(this makes more than enough for nachos for 2 plus extra for lunch the next day AND enough to freeze for another meal – the legumes really bulk it out)

You will need:

1 diced Onion

2 diced carrots

1 diced zucchini

2 diced sticks celery

500 grams organic lean beef mince

1/2 cup tomato paste

1 tin chopped tomatoes

1 tin chickpeas (Drained and rinsed well)

1 tin red kidney beans  (Drained and rinsed well)

1 tin cannellini beans  (Drained and rinsed well)

1 tin lentils (Drained and rinsed well)

Spice mix

2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon tumeric

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Chilli flakes to taste

To make the chilli

1.Cook mince in a large pan until brown.  Drain.

2. In same pan fry up the onion and celery in some garlic infused olive oil (or olive oil and 1-2 crushed garlic cloves)

3. Add the chopped veggies and saute.

4. Add the mince and spices and cook until flavours come together.

5. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, beans and some salt (to taste) and simmer for 30 minutes with lid on.


Again – this was plenty for the nachos plus leftovers for the next day – delicious in a toasted mountain bread wrap or as part of a salad or served with scrambled egg whites for breakfast – the options are endless!

Chop and combine the following – you can add/leave out ingredients depending on your tastes…

1 punnet cherry tomatoes

1/2 red onion (optional)

1 cup corn kernels

1 cucumber

1 red chilli (optional)

A handful of shredded fresh basil

juice of a lime

Celtic sea salt and cracked pepper


Mash up the following together well:

1/2 Avocado

Juice of 1 lime

1 1/2 tablespoons greek yogurt

Salt & Pepper

To put the nachos together:

Start with a layer of nachos chips, add some chilli mixture, top with salsa, then a dollop of guacamole and finish with a handful of cheese … And enjoy!


Overnight Oats – A Great Reason To Get Up In The Morning!

Overnight Oats – A Great Reason To Get Up In The Morning!

Hands up if you struggle to find time to prepare yourself any sort of breakfast in the morning let alone a delicious and nutritionally complete meal that will have you salivating for it the minute you wake up?  These overnight oats are fantastic!  Not only because they take about 1 minute to whip up before you go to bed, not only because there is something very decadent about having a gourmet meal ready for you as soon as you wake up,  not only because the goodness of low GI oats will satisfy you and keep those nasty morning hunger pangs at bay, not only because EVERY SINGLE ingredient is a natural wonder-food but especially because it tastes amazing!

I am sharing the recipe below which is how we have been eating them lately, but there are so many other things you can add/subtract to create some variety.  (Think gogi berries, walnuts, LSA, macca powder, mixed spice, vanilla, prunes, craisins – the list is endless!)  The quantities below make enough for about 6 servings (plus yoghurt and fruit).  For the 2 of us it lasts for about 3 days (which is about as long as they would last in the fridge anyway) so as far as time management is concerned they are a little gem!  Obviously if its the kind of thing your kids would eat as well the recipe is easy to double …

Overnight Oats (serves 6)

How to make it:

Place the following ingredients into a bowl:

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup whole raw almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 apple grated – I like the consistency of the food processor (and I really detest standing there hand grating an apple!) – but either is fine (you could even finely dice it if you would prefer)

Mix the above well (as if you don’t you might get little clumps of chia/cinnamon – not that that is necessarily a bad thing ..) and add enough almond milk to cover.  I use about 2 1/2 cups.

Cover and place in fridge overnight.


We love it with a dollop of greek yoghurt (I use the full fat Jalna brand) and 1 cup of chopped fruit.  Berries, mango, nectarine, peaches, prunes, banana and/or passionfruit all work really well – depending on what you like.  I also like to sprinkle mine with some cinnamon and flaked almonds.


So delicious!  Enjoy!  And don’t forget to follow me on facebook or instagram @theshrinkinghubby

Zucchini Pasta With Dina’s Tomato Sauce

Zucchini Pasta With Dina’s Tomato Sauce


If there ever was a win-win with clean, healthy, filling and totally delicious food, this dish has got to be up there at the top of the hierarchy!  Pasta is one of my absolute favourite foods but because it is so high in carbs (and wheat) it’s a food group that Andrew and I have been pretty much avoiding since we began our journey.  Although I must say that my obsession for spaghetti bolognese while pregnant was certainly a contributing factor to the baby weight I had to work so hard to lose afterwards!!!  In the past  I would always look longingly at recipes for pasta dishes knowing that I’ll probably never try them.

But I have just discovered a REAL little gem – the Betty Bossi Veggie- Twister!  It is a little gadget which I found at King of Knives (kitchenware shop in Australia) (but there are plenty of similar gadgets out there) where you can stick half a zucchini into it, twist it around a bit and it creates long strands of zucchini that make the most amazing substitute for spaghetti!!!


How cool does this look???

How to prepare the zucchini (courgettes)

I used about 3 zucchinis per person.  I topped and tailed them, cut them in half and let the Betty Bossi work it’s magic.  I twisted the strands into a colander, and sprinkled with some Celtic sea salt and let it rest (much the same as you would salt an eggplant).  It’s a good idea to put the colander onto a paper towel while you do this as it will weep considerably.  After about half an hour the bitter juices have leached out and your pasta is ready to be sauced!

Dina’s Tomato Sauce

This recipe comes straight out of the Food Coach’s first cookbook.  It was the first dish that Judy Davie ever taught us how to make and I will never forget it – mainly because the little techniques used make you feel nurturing and clever and the end result – DELICIOUS!  Promise me you will get your hands dirty with the tomatoes – it is just FUN!!!

I must admit, the first time I made the zucchini pasta I used a good quality pasta sauce out of a jar (which was actually very delicious too!), so when I started frying up my basil for the home-made version Andrew was a little bit sceptical.  Well, let’s just say I have won him over – it is now his favourite dinner!!!

What you will need:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (I confess I use 3 teaspoons organic minced garlic)

1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped

1 chilli (optional) seeded and finely sliced (I actually could have left the seeds in to give it a bit of a kick if that is your thing)

4 1/2 cups mixed fresh Italian herbs (think thyme, oregano, parsley) chopped

4 X 400 g tins whole tomatoes (try to look for no added sugar or salt)

How you make it:

Heat the oil in a large saucepan until very hot, then drop in the basil and stir with a wooden spoon until crispy. (Stand back at first it might spatter!).  Add the onion, garlic, carrot, chilli and herbs and sauté until the vegetables are soft.

Tip the tomatoes into a large bowl and break into small pieces with your hands.  (The reasoning behind this is that this ensures they are not so bitter as they can be if chopped up with a metal spoon and is supposed to be the secret to this dish …)  Add to the pan, bring to the boil and simmer (uncovered) for 45 minutes until the liquid has thickened and is reduced by almost half.  You will end up with a rich, thick, delicious sauce.  (You can store the sauce in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 7 days or freeze for up to 3 months.)



How to use the sauce with the zucchini pasta:

zucchini-pastaYou don’t need to cook the zucchini, you can either toss the zucchini into the hot sauce and serve or as the sauce was quite hot we just piled some onto the zucchini pasta and let the sauce heat the zucchini as we mixed it through.   You could steam the zucchini before adding the sauce I suppose – only for a minute or so though ..

To top it off I added a  sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan.


Seriously, how GOOD does this look????



Healthy Carrot Cake

Healthy Carrot Cake

A really healthy sweet treat that you can enjoy guilt free – sound too good to be true?  This is an absolutely delicious recipe from The Healthy Chef (Teresa Cutter).  Full of healthy ingredients, it uses honey instead of sugar and almond meal instead of flour but does not sacrifice itself as far as taste and satisfaction is concerned.  This is a great cake to make if you are having people over for tea and freezes really well if you want to cut it up into individual serves for when that sweet craving hits hard.  Feel free to play around with the spices and/or dried fruit – adding some walnuts might be nice …

Healthy Carrot Cake

What you will need:

3 large carrots grated (food processors make this task really easy)

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

3 cups almond meal

1/4 cup coconut oil (Teresa uses macadamia nut or olive oil – I used coconut oil and found it gave the cake a deliciously nutty flavour)

1/4 cup honey

1 cup sultanas

1/2 cup craisons (I added these – delicious!)

2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder

How to make it:

1.  Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius (320 degrees Fahrenheit)

2.  Combine carrot, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, almond meal, oil, honey, sultanas, craisons and baking powder into a large bowl and mix well.  (I used my mix-master on a slow setting to make sure it mixed well)

3.  Pour into a lined and greased loaf tin.

4.  Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until cooked through.  You may need to cover with foil if it starts to burn before cooked through.

5.  Remove from the oven and cool completely in the tin then turn out and serve as you wish.  (it is delicious on it’s own, or you could top it with greek yoghurt, cream cheese and icing sugar or whatever you fancy).




Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon

Here is that delicious chicken recipe I was talking about a few weeks ago.  It is so simple and easy to prepare, it cooks itself in the oven and is so flavoursome!  It is another recipe from the talented Yottam Ottolenghi.  I love how he uses fresh ingredients and herbs and spices to enhance the flavours of his food – as I’ve said so many times you really don’t have to suffer to eat well!!!  Try this recipe next time you are entertaining a crowd – it is delicious with the Haloumi and Grilled vegetable salad or any other salad from the shrinking hubby ….

This recipe really benefits from preparing the chicken the day before so it can marinate overnight in the fridge.  I love marinating overnight as it makes it so much easier when the time comes to prepare the food – especially when entertaining.  One less thing to worry about on the day …

Roast Chicken with Sumac, Za’atar and Lemon

(Serves 4)

You will need:

1 large organic or free range chicken cut into 4 pieces (breast and wing, leg and thigh).  You can ask your butcher to do this for you.

2 red onions thinly sliced

2 crushed garlic cloves (or 2 teaspoons of organic crushed garlic)

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra drizzling

1 1/2 teaspoons ground all spice (pimento)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon sumac

1 lemon thinly sliced

1 cup chicken stock or water (I have used both and both are equally as good)

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoon za’atar

20g unsalted organic butter (11/2 tablespoons)

1/4 cup pine nuts

4 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

How to pull it together

1.  In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the onions, garlic, olive oil, spices, lemon and stock/water, salt and pepper.  Leave in the fridge to marinate for a few hours or overnight.

2.  When ready to cook, preheat oven to 200 degrees celcius (390 degrees Fahrenheit).  Transfer the chicken and its marinade to a baking tray large enough to accommodate the chicken lying flat and spaced apart.  Chicken should be skin side up.  Sprinkle the za’atar over the chicken and onions and put the tray in the oven.  Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the chicken is coloured and just cooked through.

3.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small frying pan.  Add the pine nuts and a pinch of salt and cook over moderate heat until they turn golden.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to absorb the fat  (First time I made this I skipped the butter but it is soooo worthwhile – just make sure you drain on paper towel!!!).

4.  Transfer the hot chicken and onions to a serving plate and finish with the chopped parsley, pine nuts and a drizzle of olive oil.  You can sprinkle on more za’atar and sumac if you like …




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