Access Allied Health

Recipes: Slow cooked Lamb Roast

Access Allied Health - Thursday, March 08, 2018
When I think lamb roast, I think LOTS of cooking time and business in the kitchen.  We love lamb roast and I've just discovered a quick an easy, no-fuss way to cook the slowcooker!  It's not as glamorous as the traditional lamb roast in the oven BUT it is still tasty and tender with the added bonus of quick and easy. Once cooked we love serving the lamb up with a salad platter, some wraps for those who like some carbs and minted yoghurt.  We also love cooking up the leftovers to make our spicy lamb.


Large lamb roast on the bone approx 2.5kg
Boiling water
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper


    1. Trim the lamb roast of excess fat.  Rub with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
    2. Place lamb roast in slowcooker.  You will need a large slowcooker to cook a lamb leg of this size.  If you only have a small slow cooker you could purchase a rolled lamb roast instead.
    3. Fill the bottom of the slowcooker with boiling water, about 2 1/2 cm high and secure the lid.
    4. Set your slowcooker to cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 8 hours.  This will make your roast really tender and it should fall off the bone.
    5. Once cooked, turn off the slowcooker, remove the roast to a cutting board and cut up as desired.   
    Serves 6 - 8
    Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: 5 - 8 hours
    Note:  Cooking in the slowcooker won't give you that nice browned look you get in the oven but it's still super tasty.  

    Recipe: spicy leftover lamb

    Access Allied Health - Thursday, February 15, 2018

    What do you do with your tub of leftover lamb roast sitting in the fridge? If you're looking for ideas, this spicy lamb is worth a try.  It's packed with flavour and has a bit of a kick to it too.  The lamb, combined with the tomatoes, give this little mid-week gem the added bonus of being an iron rich meal. Serve with steamed greens and some optional crusty bread.


    4 tbs flat leaf parsley chopped
    3 tbs sweet paprika
    2 tsp crushed chilli
    1 tsp ground cumin
    1 1/2 tbs olive oil
    4 cloves of garlic
    2 x 400g cans of diced tomatoes
    150g cherry tomatoes halved
    1/2 tsp salt
    1 tbs brown sugar
    3 cups cooked lamb roast
    4 tbs lemon juice
    black pepper


    1. In a small bowl, combine the flat leaf parsley, paprika, chilli and cumin.
    2. Add olive oil to a  large saucepan, add garlic and fry on medium heat till golden.  Add the combined spices and stir for 1 minute.
    3. Add 2 x 400 cans of tomato, extra cherry tomatoes, salt and sugar and stir to combine.
    4. Add cooked lamb and stir to combine.
    5. Once the mixture comes to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes and then remove from the heat.  Add the lemon juice and black pepper as desired.
    6. Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh flat leaf parsley   

    Serves 4
    Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes

    : If you don't like it too spicy you could try halving the spices. 

    Recipe: Easy as olive bread

    Access Allied Health - Thursday, December 14, 2017

    This truly is the easiest bread to make and it has a real wow factor when you serve it up.  Most of our recipes are low-carb but this one isn't.  It's the festive season, so we wanted to share one of our carb-out favourites.  The dough takes about 10 minutes to put together and needs to be done the day before baking.  The bread itself takes about 30 minutes to cook and once cooled, is ready to eat.  This olive bread goes well on an antipasto platter or would work perfectly for a relaxed 'happy hour'.  Serve it with your favourite soft cheese, a chunky dip, semi-dried tomatoes, chorizo...whatever takes your fancy.  Like any bread, this tastes the best when served fresh but it is freezable and will still taste pretty good when you pull it out to use.....a quick zap in the microwave and you'll have some amazing bread to serve.


    3 cups (500g) plain flour
    1/2 cup (75g) pitted kalamata olives
    2 teaspoons brown sugar
    2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
    1 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
    2 tablespoons pepitas
    2 teaspoons salt
    boiling water
    Salt flakes


    1. Combine the flour, olives, sugar, rosemary, yeast and 2 teaspoons of salt in a large mixing bowl.  Add 450ml of cold water then mix with your hand into a soft and sticky dough.  Cover and set aside in a cool place overnight or in the fridge it it's hot.
    2. If refrigerated, remove the dough from the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature for baking.  I forgot this step once and it didn't make a huge difference but I would recommend doing it.  By this stage your dough will still be soft and sticky and will have risen in the bowl.
    3. Place a baking tray with sides on the bottom shelf of the oven then preheat your oven really hot to 250 degrees fan forced.
    4. Using a non stick spatula or your hand, gently pull the dough away from the edge of the bowl.  Place it on another flat baking tray, lined with baking paper.  Shape the loaf into your desired shape.  I usually shape it into a long oval, kind of like turkish bread.  When cooked the bread will rise quite a bit so you don't want it too short and thick.
    5. Sprinkle the bread liberally with the salt flakes and then sprinkle with the pepitas.  You can try other seeds that you may have in the pantry such as linseed, sunflower, sesame or chia seeds.
    6. Being very careful, fill the baking tray on the bottom shelf in the oven with boiling water, about 2 - 3cm will do.  Now put your bread on the middle shelf and bake at 250 degrees for 5 minutes then turn the oven down to 220 degrees fan forced and cook for a further 20 - 25 minutes or until the loaf has risen and is well browned and crusty.  Cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.

    Olive bread dough ready for baking Olive bread baked

    Serves: Makes one large loaf Preparation time: 10 minutes preparation and 30 minutes cooking

    Recipe: Tandoori Chicken and Kachumber Salad

    Access Allied Health - Thursday, December 07, 2017

    This is a super quick, super easy, mid week meal that tastes fantastic and can be flexible to suit the whole family.  We have this nearly every week!  It's served with a kachumber salad which is very refreshing and compliments the tandoori chicken amazingly.  You could serve it with any basic salad or steamed vegetables such as broccoli, green beans or cauliflower, just depends what you have on hand.  The kachumber salad is one of our favourites!  We've added some little cucamelons too which taste like a cuecumber with a hint of lime....amazing!!  You probably won't find these in your local supermarket....we got ours from our gardening guru friends...but you could try growing some, it's very easy we're told.  We also like to leave a couple of pieces of chicken free of the tandoori marinade for our little ones.  We coat these with some olive oil and salt. The optional side of crusty bread is exactly that, an option, allowing for a super low-carb meal.  Enjoy!


    • Chicken breast x 3 about 800gm (chicken thighs or tenderloins work equally as well)
    • 2 tbs Tandoori curry paste (store brought)
    • 2 tbs Greek yoghurt
    • Extra greek yoghurt to serve
    • Optional - crusty bread to serve

    For the Kachumber Salad

    • 1 continential cuecumber, halved lenthways and sliced on the angle
    • 1 250g punnet of cherry tomatoes
    • 3 eschalotts sliced or you can use 1/2 a red onion sliced thinly
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 125g cucamelons halved (optional)
    • Handful of fresh coriander leaves
    • Juice of 1/2 lime
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt


    1. If using chicken breast, slice the breast into slices about 2 -3 cm thick.  For a large breast you should get about 4 - 5 slices.  This reduces the cooking time and means it's ready to serve once cooked.
    2. Combine tandoori paste and greek yoghurt in a bowl.  Add chicken and coat well.  This can be done in advance which further enhances the flavours but can be done prior to cooking also.  
    3. Our preference is to cook the chicken on the weber barbecue but it cooks really well in the oven too.  If cooking on the barbecue, preheat to hot.  Cook chicken pieces on the grill with the hood down, 5 minutes per side or 10 minutes total.  As mentioned, you can alternatively cook in the oven.  Place chicken pieces on baking tray and place in preheated oven at 180 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes or until cooked through.
    4. To prepare the kachumber salad, place all ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
    5. Serve tandoori chicken with a dollop of greek yoghurt, the kachumber salad and some optional crusty bread slices.

    Serves 4

    Preparation time: 15 minutes plus 10 minutes cooking time

    Beetroot Relish

    Access Allied Health - Tuesday, December 05, 2017

    This is a versatile relish with four simple ingredients.  We love it because it adds that little bit of zest to the simple mid-week meal or everyday lunch.  Try it with our lamb burgers, added to your daily salad, or popped onto the humble salad sandwich....wherever it goes, we love it!  The relish itself does take a bit of time to prepare but you can store it in sterile jars in the fridge...for use weeks or months down the track....if it lasts that long!  We hope you enjoy one of our simple favourites.


    2 tablespoons olive oil
    3 large beetroots - peeled and grated
    3 medium sized brown onions
    1 cup brown sugar
    1 cup cider vinegar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    Pepper for seasoning


    1. Peel and slice onions thinly.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large pot, add onion and fry until golden and soft, about 10 minutes.
    2. If you have a food processor with a grater function, pull it out to grate the beetroot as this is the step that takes a bit of time.  Add grated beetroot, brown sugar, vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and some cracked pepper to the pot with the cooked onion.   Stir to combine. Bring to the boil then simmer until the beetroot is cooked and tender and the liquid has reduced to next to nothing.  This will take about 30 - 40 minutes.  Leave to cool.
    3. Once the beetroot relish is cool, spoon into prepared sterilized jars and refrigerate. This recipe will fill about 3 x 500g jars.  1 serve = 1 tablespoon.

    Recipes: Dahl with a Difference

    Access Allied Health - Thursday, November 09, 2017

    This is a great low-carb AND vegetarian AND gluten free dinner that tastes fantastic too!  The secret is there are no lentils.  Yes the word dahl does mean 'lentil' but we think this tastes so close to the real thing that we can still call it dahl....with a difference. We've used cauliflower rice which gives the dahl the same gritty texture.  The hidden pumpkin pumps in the sweetness and compliments all the spices, not to mention adding a thickness to the sauce.  We often hide pumpkin in curries as it breaks down when softened, adding thickness and no little people would even know it was there.  Surprisingly, this is quite filling.  You can serve it with a side of steamed broccoli and some pappadams make a nice touch for those at the table who are wanting a little bit of carb.


    1 large brown onion, finely diced
    20 gm / 1 tablespoon butter
    1 tablespoon oil
    2 tablespoons grated ginger
    3 large cloves crushed garlic 
    1 whole butternut pumpkin (about 1kg), peeled and diced into small cubes
    4 teaspoons garam masala
    2 teaspoons ground tumeric
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional depending how much heat you like)
    2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 
    1 x 400ml can of coconut milk
    juice of ½ lime
    1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons sesame seeds
    1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets (about 600 - 700 grams)
    Handful of fresh coriander to garnish
    Greek yoghurt to serve


    1. Melt butter over medium heat, add oil and fry onion until softened and golden.
    2. Add the ginger, pumpkin, garlic and stir for a minute.  Add the spices and stir through.  Then add stock, coconut milk, lime juice, salt and sesame seeds and stir through.  Bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on.  Cook for about 10 minutes when the pumpkin is starting to soften.
    3. Now process the cauliflower florets into small crumbs.  The food processor works really well for this, do in a couple of batches for a couple of seconds each.  Be careful not to overdo it, it really only takes a couple of seconds and you need it with some form to give your dahl it's texture.  You can achieve the same thing by chopping with a knife but it will take a little longer.
    4. After the pumpkin has been cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the cauliflower and cook for a further 8 - 10 minutes, covered with a lid, stirring occasionally.
    5. Once cooked, turn off the heat and use the back of a large spoon or potato masher to squash up the pumpkin so it disintegrates into the dahl forming a nice thick sauce.
    6. Serve with greek yoghurt and garnish with fresh coriander

    This recipe yields about 8 cups and Serves 4 - 6
    Preparation time: 30 minutes

    Time Saver Tip - Although not as authentic, using minced ginger and garlic from a jar is still adding flavour and saves time....good for the quick midweek meal.

    Adapted from a recipe we found online from Irena

    Food Intolerances and FODMAPs

    Access Allied Health - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

    Irritable Bowel Syndrome and the low FODMAP diet

    Irritable bowel Syndrome or IBS isn't really a dinner table topic of conversation but it affects around one in five people at some time.  IBS is a long term condition that has a long list of symptoms including abdominal pain and distention, bloating, excess wind, nausea, changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea, constipation or a combination of both) and other gastrointestinal symptoms.  The cause is unknown but there are some known triggers such as change in routine, emotional stress, infection and diet. Unfortunately IBS cannot be cured with medication.  The good news is that research by Dr Sue Shepherd from Monash University in Melbourne has proven that there is a very effective dietary therapy for IBS.  It's the low FODMAP diet.

     food map

    FODMAPs are found in the foods we eat.  FODMAP is an acronym (abbreviation) of certain molecule collections found in food that are poorly absorbed by some people.  These molecules shoot through to the large intestine (rather than being absorbed by the body) and become a food source for the bacteria that live there naturally.  The symptoms experienced by those with IBS are the outcome of the complex molecules (FODMAPs) being digested or fermented by the bacteria.


    The low FODMAP diet has two phases.  The first phase involves eliminating high FODMAP foods for a period of 6 - 8 weeks.  The second phase involves gradually testing these high FODMAP foods to see which ones can be reintroduced and are suitable for each individual.   Obviously each low FODMAP diet is going to look different for each individual.  Tim Black our principal dietitian has completed two training courses at Monash University in Melbourne on the low FODMAP diet and has excellent success helping his clients find relief from the symptoms of IBS.   

    Proof of new red wine anti-ageing link

    Access Allied Health - Thursday, March 21, 2013

    If you ever needed another excuse to pick up a glass of red, then read on.  New research[1] has suggested that ‘a red a day’ is keeping the wrinkles away.  Specifically, a molecule found in red wine has the ability to activate an anti-ageing protein in our body.  This molecule, an antioxidant called resveratrol, has had the attention of researchers for a number of years due to its possible benefits for cancer prevention, diabetes management and cardiovascular risk reduction.  This new finding adds ‘anti-aging’ to growing list of potential benefits to having a quiet red to the delight of many a wine enthusiasts.

    But, if you’re reaching into the cellar while reading this, visualising a younger you, then before you find the corkscrew please note: Experts say that the amount of resveratrol contained in red wine is not quite enough to impact on our anti-ageing protein and therefore benefits would be limited.  Still, it adds weight to the mounting evidence that a glass or two is good for us in the long run.  So enjoy today’s cab sav with the knowledge your taking a step towards a healthier you.  For additional steps, please contact the experts – your accredited practicing dietitian.

    [1] Hubbard, B.P et al (2013) Evidence for a Common Mechanism of SIRT1 Regulation by Allosteric Activators, Science, 339 (6124), 1216-1219

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    Have your Easter bun and eat it too!

    Access Allied Health - Friday, March 15, 2013

    Weight loss – a taboo topic in most polite social conversation, but even more so in the run up to any festive season.  This has never been truer with Easter just around the corner with the eager anticipation of freshly baked Hot Cross Buns and more chocolate than you can poke a stick at.  Up-sizing our wardrobe seems an inevitable reality and we don’t want to ruin our Easter fun by talking about that now!

     Well, I want to let the rabbit out of the bag when it comes to weight loss over Easter and stake my claim that it can be done!

     For far too long we’ve believed that enjoying ourselves and being healthy are so diametrically opposed that they cannot exist in the same universe together.  Such is our belief in this dichotomy that one little 60-calorie egg-shaped ball of chocolate, can cause intelligent people to make some not so clever decisions.  ‘Oh well, I’ve had one now, I may as well eat the whole packet’.  Sound familiar?

     Well let’s put a stop to it and make those days of ‘all’ versus ‘nothing’; ‘good’ verses ‘bad’; ‘weight loss’ versus ‘enjoyment’; ‘lettuce leaves’ verses ‘elastic waist pants’ a thing of the past.  Let’s make those moderate decisions we know we’re all capable of.  C’mon let’s start a moderation revolution and this Easter let’s have our cake and eat it too.

    Malnutrition in Aged Care Facilities

    Access Allied Health - Thursday, March 07, 2013

    Would you believe that, in Queensland alone, half of all aged care residents are classified as malnourished?[1].  Well, perhaps a little shockingly, this is what current research shows.  However, what’s even more concerning is that further Australian based research shows that malnutrition is not being recognised in these residents and they are therefore not receiving the correct nutrition intervention[2].

    Now this is not at all a reflection on the hard working clinical and support staff working in the aged care sector, but rather brings nutrition into the limelight as an area of aged care needing increased attention.

    What is Malnutrition?

    Malnutrition may be defined as a state of nutrition in which a deficiency, excess or imbalance of energy, protein and other nutrients cause measurable adverse effects on tissue (shape, size, composition), function and clinical outcome.  The predominant form of malnutrition in aged care is Protein Energy Malnutrition (PEM) which simply means that there are inadequate levels of protein and/or energy to maintain good health.

    What does malnutrition look like?

    A person with malnutrition may have one or more of the following presentations:

    • Reduced body weight
    • Muscle wasting and decreased strength
    • Reduced respiratory and cardiac muscular capacity
    • Thinning skin and loss of skin integrity
    • Decreased metabolic rate
    • Fatigue
    • Oedema and immunodeficiency

    These presentations can compound and have a significant health impact such as:

    • delay in recovery from injury or illness,
    • poor wound healing,
    • increased occurrence of complications,
    • reduced quality of life which can lead to depression and
    • increased risk of falls.

    As you can see, malnutrition is linked with poorer health, leading to an increased burden on health resources.

    What can be done about malnutrition in the aged care setting?

    Prevention is the best remedy for this costly and debilitating condition.  There are some simple but very effective strategies that aged care facilities can adopt to combat malnutrition in their residents.

    • Screening all residents for malnutrition on a regular basis
    • Implementing a protocol for malnutrition including both the screening of residents and an action plan when a resident is identified as having malnutrition
    • Seeking assistance from an accredited practicing dietitian when a resident is identified as having malnutrition

    To discuss, assess, review or change the nutrition management procedures at your aged care facility, please speak to an accredited practicing dietitian who can assist you in this process.

    [1] Banks M, Ash S, Bauer J, Gaskill D. Prevalence of malnutrition in adults in Queensland public hospitals and residential aged care facilities. Nutrition & Dietetics.  2007: 64:172-178

    [2] Gaskill, D., Black, L. J., Isenring, E. A., Hassall, S., Sanders, F. and Bauer, J. D. (2008), Malnutrition prevalence and nutrition issues in residential aged care facilities. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 27: 189–194.

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