As you may have read last week one of my New Year resolutions is to live and eat healthier, not just in 2015 but permanently. We’re only 3 weeks into the new year so if you haven’t already now is the perfect time to ditch unhealthy habits and make the necessary changes in your, and your family’s, diet. Don’t worry, you can still enjoy your favourite snacks! Ditching the bad foods is much easier than it sounds, it’s all about ‘swapping':
I absolutely LOVE hot chips and would be extremely sad if I could not enjoy them any more so instead of crossing them off the menu completely I have swapped unhealthy deep-fried chips for a delicious healthy and guilt-free alternative that will change the way you think about chips forever. About 3 months ago Bing Lee kindly sent me the Tefal Actifry 2-in-1 and we’ve been cooking up a storm ever since.
The Tefal Actifry 2-in-1 (RRP $369) is a revolutionary kitchen appliance that cooks two tasty and nutritious dishes at once with nothing but a spoonful of oil (a world of difference from a greasy oil-filled deep fryer!). The clever two-layer design allows you to cook a complete meal in one handy unit: the bottom layer, a deep and spacious 1.5kg bowl, is perfect for chips, vegetables, stir-fries and risottos while the top cooking zone, a convenient 0.5kg tray, will cook your meat, poultry or fish to perfection.
Perfect homemade chips, you can wake me up for these any day!
You can cook a range of different meals in the Actifry in both fresh and frozen state (depending on the food), the large stirring paddle keeps the food moving so everything is evenly cooked. Personally I prefer to peel and cut our own chips but if you’re short on time you can easily grab a bag of frozen fries from the freezer and toss it in. If you love a good risotto but dislike the amount of stirring required the Actifry is a great way to save yourself a sore arm. The stirring paddle does all the stirring for you (only when using the lower cooking zone on its own, when using the tray too stirring is disabled), it doesn’t get much easier than this.
A delicious family favourite: Chicken and Spinach Risotto with Bacon
To see how your meal is progressing you can peek through the transparent lid, which also keeps warmth (and any spatters that could possible escape when cooking) contained within the unit. With just four buttons the Actifry is easy to control and the handy LED display shows exactly how much time is left before your dinner is ready. To remove the tray and bowl from the Actifry you simply click on the handle so you can lift them out and serve your cooked meal.
Seasoned chicken breast in top tray
As we are a ‘big’ family of six we generally make use of the full capacity which means most meals have a cooking time of around 40-45 minutes. This is a perfect amount of time to hang up a load of washing, tidy and vacuum the living room or finish off some homework so when the chores are done dinner is waiting for us. When we walk back in the door after swimming at 4.30pm we pop on the Actifry 2-in-1, shower all the kids and sit down for a yummy meal, it’s ideal for busy families who value their time and care about healthy food.
Marinated chicken wings, one of the kids’ top picks
On Christmas Day we took the Actifry to the inlaws and cooked a batch of chips for all the kids while we prepared Christmas lunch, the Actifry did all the work and the feedback was fantastic. All guests wanted to try the chips and could not believe how delicious and crispy they turned out! I almost had to fight to take our Actifry back home, they loved it so much they wanted to keep it.
Perfect risotto without stirring
Both cooking layers of the Tefal Actifry (as well as the stirring paddle) can be removed for easy cleaning, the non-stick coating makes them a breeze to clean and it takes just a few minutes to wipe down the interior and included measuring spoon. Unlike with yucky deep-fryers there are no spatters of oil everywhere, it’s literally clean eating. All in all once dinner is finished the Tefal Actifry is generally back on the shelf in less than 5 minutes so it’s quick and easy.
To help you get started with your new kitchen buddy you can download the special Tefal Actifry App (Free) on your smartphone or tablet. Not only does the app contain yummy recipe ideas, it is also a handy reference if you are not sure how long to set your Actifry for or how much oil to use for what quantity of food. A handy manual and recipe book is included to help you master your Actifry cooking in a flash.
Since we acquired the Tefal Actifry we have not had take-away chicken and chips once, simply because the chips ‘from home’ taste a million times better and healthier. Of course it is much cheaper too, with a bit of luck I can pick up a huge 5kg bag of potatoes for just $1-$2 at our local greengrocer, that’s a lot of chips for next to nothing! Larger potatoes take less peeling but small potatoes make delicious chips too.
There are several different Tefal Actifry models and sizes available with prices starting at $249 up to $369. From singles and couples to big families like ours, there is a perfect size to suit everyone. For a limited time only Bing Lee has are some fabulous Tefal Actifry packages available that come with a FREE 26cm Jamie Oliver Frypan, nice bonus! As if that isn’t enough here’s another great incentive to win you over:
Until February 28, 2015, Hip Little One readers can save 5% on all small kitchen appliances at Bing Lee. To profit from this exclusive offer simply enter the code ‘BLOG5OFF’ at checkout, it’s an excellent opportunity to pick up a new Tefal Actifry at a great price.
The final verdict: Obviously the Tefal Actifry costs considerably more than your average deep fryer which could scare some people off, so it is important to remember that it is much healthier (after all, it is NOT a deep fryer!) and you can also cook many more different dishes in it than in a standard deep fryer. It is easy to use, quiet when cooking and it won’t leave your kitchen bench greasy and your whole house smelly for days. I will admit that before we started using the Actifry I would have felt the expense was too big, however after using it many times over the course of a few months I see how the Actifry is a great investment that helps families cook healthy meals and is almost like a very welcome extra set of hands, we can now not imagine our busy kitchen without it.
Side note: During the cooking process we experienced some condensation under the LED screen which disappears once the unit has cooled down. After thorough investigation I have been ensured by Tefal Australia that the shadowing is considered normal and will not impact on the performance for the product, therefore it is no reason for concern.
To find out more about Bing Lee, to locate a Bing Lee store near you and to order online visit www.binglee.com.au.