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: 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

    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.   

    Should I take nutritional supplements?

    Access Allied Health - Thursday, February 07, 2013

    In my youth, as newly-graduated dietitian armed with idealistic ambition to make the world a healthier place I would have answered this question a little differently than I will today.  Back then, when the broccoli was greener, I suspected that a lack of education was the main cause of rising fast food sales and the unpopularity of lentils.  “If I tell them,” I thought as I hummed the ‘Rocky’ theme song, “they will change”.  Surely all the motivation one needed to mix cottage cheese into their brown rice was the knowledge that their daily molybdenum requirement will be met (yes molybdenum IS an actual nutrient).

    Armed with this belief and my youthful exuberance, I previously would have been quick to state the fact that a good diet will meet all nutritional requirements and the use of nutritional supplements is quite literally money down the toilet.  But now I’m not so young, I’m not so self-assured and while I still fundamentally believe in good nutrition for optimal health, I now consider there to be more than one way to skin a cat so to speak.

    Now, don’t get me wrong – I mean, what sort of dietitian would I be if I thought that the food we eat couldn’t be meet our nutritional needs.  Of course it can – but does it?  While I don’t expect our molybdenum requirements to be the major driver of our food choices (anymore), far too often our frantic lifestyle and need of convenience are leading us to form food habits not conducive to meeting our nutritional needs.

    Ok, ok – I’ll admit - I’ve only ever met one person in my years of practice that showed clinical signs from a vitamin deficiency and acute symptoms of dietary inadequacy in the developed world are rare.  So maybe it’s just some remaining idealistic ambition that I can’t shake, in continuing to push for dietary change – after all we seem to be doing alright.  However, when we consider non-clinical markers – such as fatigue, malaise and poor workplace productivity perhaps there remains a case for dietary change and a revitalised campaign to meet requirements.

    While lifestyle change will always remain the flagship to correcting these dietary deficiencies, perhaps a multivitamin may offer, dare I say it, a reasonable solution.  Or perhaps I'm simply getting old and cynical.  Either way, before attempting dietary change or choosing a nutritional supplement, please speak to an expert - an accredited practicing dietitian.


    Detox Diets

    Access Allied Health - Thursday, January 31, 2013

    There is a vast array of ‘Detox’ diets available – in books and magazines, on the internet, and in your local pharmacy.  However, while they often promise amazing results, there is a lack of evidence to support these results.  So is the ‘detox’ experience worth the high price tag many are willing to pay?

    What is a detox diet?

    The purpose of a detox diet is to remove toxins from the body.  Although there are many types of detox diets, generally they involve a strict regime of eating raw vegetables, fruit, fruit juices and water.  It may also involve a period of fasting and using herbs and other supplements.  Detox diets also encourage severe restriction of whole food groups such as meat or dairy food, therefore they will not meet nutritional requirements and if used for a prolonged period of time may result in nutritional deficiencies. 

    Natural Detoxification

    Our bodies have organs and systems in place, designed to filter out toxins.  Our kidneys, lungs, skin, lymphatics and liver all play a role in the removal of toxins.  Excessive consumption of highly processed foods such as sugary snacks and fatty fast food as well as drugs such as caffeine and alcohol make these systems work harder and perhaps leave us feeling a little run down.  If this is the case, simply decreasing our intake of these foods and replacing them with core foods such as bread, fruit, dairy, meat and vegetables as well as increasing our intake of water will have us feeling much better in no time.

    Who shouldn’t try a detox diet?

    A detox diet can be potentially dangerous.  Pregnant or nursing women or children should not try these styles of diet.  Also, people with health conditions such as liver or kidney disease or diabetes may be putting themselves at risk of serious medical conditions due to the restrictive nature of these diets.

    The Bottom Line

    This type of diet is not a long term solution and can be quite dangerous for some people.  For lasting results consult an accredited practicing dietitian who can help you achieve healthy eating, everyday – the best health solution there is!

    Fast or slow weight loss - which is better?

    Access Allied Health - Thursday, January 24, 2013

    ”Is it better to lose weight slowly?” I get asked this question all the time and the short answer is ‘no’.

    I’m not sure where it came from, but there seems to be this idea that losing weight slowly is somehow much more meritorious and honourable than losing it quickly.  And I, for one, don’t buy into it.

    Be it fast or slow, weight loss is one of the most effective health improvement strategies for anyone carrying a few too many kilos.  But motivated new-years resolutioner’s beware.  Losing weight will only improve your health if your lost weight stays lost.  In fact, should you pile on the pounds after losing weight you end up unhealthier than if you’d never lost weight in the first place!

    Given that reported statistics tell us only five per cent of weight losers are successful in keeping their tummies trim, a maintenance strategy is something that needs to be incorporated into any weight loss plan.

    I guess this is one advantage of a slower weight reduction, as it does suggest that some moderate lifestyle changes have been made and stuck to over time.  This, in turn, may make maintaining that loss easier.  Now this doesn’t at all invalidate faster weight loss.  But should it be fast or slow, improvements to your health will only be seen if you keep the weight off long term.

    So before you head down to the chemist to pick up a month’s supply of meal replacements, spend some time considering the day-to-day changes you’ll need to make once the replacements run out.

    For help with a weight maintenance plan, see the experts – an accredited practicing dietitian.