Recipes

Cherry Tomato Soup

We had a massive glut of cherry tomatoes in the garden this year, so I thought I’d use them for a nice, light soup! You can actually use any tomatoes you like but cherry ones do lend a lovely sweetness.

I used almost all of ours – which was around 1.5kg but you can use fewer – just reduce the other ingredients to compensate. This makes at least 6-8 bowls and it’s ridiculously low calorie – under 100 cals per bowl!

You will need:

1.5kg Cherry Tomatoes

1 large onion

2 Carrots

2 Sticks of Celery

3 tbsp Tomato Purée

1 litre vegetable stock (2 stock cubes)

1 tsp oregano or mixed herbs (to taste)

1/2 tsp Celery Salt

Dash of Worcestershire sauce (or vegetarian alternative)

I/2 tsp sugar

Salt and Pepper

Chop the onion, carrot and celery into small pieces. Depending on the size of the tomatoes cut them into halves or quarters.

Add some oil or oil spray to a large saucepan and once hot add the onions, celery and carrots. Sauté them for around ten minutes until soft and slightly coloured.

Add the tomato purée and stir well

Add the tomatoes, together with the sugar and herbs and spices. Stir to mix everything, then put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes cook on a low heat for around ten mins. Check occasionally and stir to prevent sticking.

Once the tomatoes have started to release their juices after around ten mins, add the stock and Worcestershire sauce if using. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Depending how much liquid the tomatoes produced you may want to keep boiling a little longer to reduce it down – you can decide how thick you want your soup. (You can also add a little cornflour – mix a couple of tbsp in a bowl with cold water and then whisk that into the soup to thicken it).

You can leave it as it is if you want but I prefer to blend it. Wait for it to cool a little and then using a stick blender blend to the desired consistency. At this point you can also boil again to reduce it down if it’s still too thin for your taste.

You can freeze this for quick lunches or dinners. Serve as it is with a crusty loaf, or you can add a dollop of greek yoghurt for added creaminess!

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Asian Veggie Mince and Rice Bowl

This is a meal I used to have regularly when I was working in South-east Asia and so I thought I’d recreate it.

This makes a fab dinner or lunch, and can be modified if you don’t have all the sauces available (I’ve added some alternatives below). It serves approx 4-5 and comes in at around 367 cals per portion.

I’ve used a vegetarian mince but you could also use pork, turkey, chicken mince etc (but that will increase the cals)

You will need:

200g Rice (I used brown basmati)

400g Vegetarian mince (I used the meatless farm co, just use one pack – brands vary from 300 – 500g )

1 medium red onion

1 bunch spring onions (save some for garnish)

1-2 cloves garlic

3 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis) (or 1 tbsp brown sugar if you don’t have it)

5 tbsp light soy sauce

3 tbsp black bean sauce (or fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce if not)

1-2 tsp chopped mint, and some for garnish

Start by cooking the rice to your liking.

Chop the onions and garlic. Heat up a little oil in a wok and add the onions and garlic and sauté them.

Once they’ve softened add the spring onions.

Once browned add the mince, breaking it up as you go and cook until it starts to brown.

Add the sauces and keep the heat high to reduce the liquid quickly and almost caramelise the mince. Add the chopped mint and stir well.

Have a taste now and if you want to you can add a little more of the sauces – different brands have slightly different strengths.

Finally add the cooked rice and mix it in well And heat through.

Serve with some fresh mint and chopped spring onions!

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx

Recipes

Veggie Sausage Casserole – perfect mid week warmer

This is an easy meal for a mid week dinner on a great day. I like to cook up a batch of this so it gives a few meals.  You can obviously use any sausages you like, but using veggie sausages really reduces the calories without sacrificing the taste. I usually use quorn sausages but this time I used Cauldron’s lincolnshire sausages and they are delish! If you want to save time use a bag of frozen grilled veg, or use any veg you have in the fridge! Also it’s worth noting that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies so if you’re vegetarian then double check – Biona and other companies make one without the use of animal products and it’s widely available.

This serves 6 at about 220 cals per portion.

You will need:

6 vegetarian sausages

800 g passata or chopped tomatoes

Approx 500g mixed vegetables (either a pack or 1 onion, 2 sticks celery, 1 pepper, 1 courgette, 1 small aubergine etc – you don’t need to be exact)

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/4 tsp chilli powder (adjust for taste)

1 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 vegetable stock cube

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

1/2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp marmite (optional)

1/2 tsp of sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

If using fresh veg then prepare it and chop it up. Heat a little oil in a pan, add onions first and allow to soften. Chop the sausages in to slices and add to the pan and allow to brown (NB I like my sausages a bit browner so I often brown them in a separate pan and add them later – but either way works fine). Then add the pepper, courgette and aubergine or whatever veg you like  (if using a pack then just throw it all in at once once the sausages have browned).

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Cook for a couple of mins until the veg start to soften and then add the passata. Stir well and bring to a slow simmer. Add the stock cube, all the spices, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Add the sugar (this brings out a richer tomato flavour). (If you browned the sausages separately then add them now).

Bring to a simmer and allow to cook through for about 10-15 mins.

Serve with green veg and grains, with a jacket potato or just on its own!

enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Courgette, leek and spinach soup

The clocks have gone back and it’s chilly out there today, so it’s definitely soup season!

This is a quick, easy, light soup for these cooler days. It is ridiculously low calorie – at around 100 cals a bowl (less if you leave the goats cheese out)! I made a massive batch as we had an over-grown courgette (basically a marrow) that I wanted to use up so it made over ten servings but the amounts below will make at least 5-6 portions.

You will need:

500g Courgettes

250g Leeks

400g Spinach

75g Soft Goat’s cheese (optional)

500ml strong vegetable stock

Mixed herbs, salt and pepper to taste

Slice the leeks thinly and pop in a large pan over a low heat and allow to soften.

Chop the courgettes thinly too and then add them to the pan and allow to cook through for around 5 mins with the lid on.

Add the stock and herbs and cook for a further 5-10 mins. If your vegetable stock isn’t very strong it’s worth adding an extra stock cube too.

Add the spinach and stir thoroughly, and then cook through for 3-5 mins.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 5 mins and then blend thoroughly.

Add salt and pepper to taste and then, if you’re using it, add the goat’s cheese and blend again to combine.

Serve immediately or you can keep it in the fridge or freezer for handy lunches or dinners in the week!

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

No-meat meat ball ragout!

This is another quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe – it can be served with pasta, rice, cauliflower rice or just on its own! There are lots of veggie meat balls out there – I’ve used the Birdseye ones for this but I’ve also used the Quorn ones in the past. Even if you’re not vegetarian they’re a great way to cut calories without feeling like you are!

I cook up a batch for the week and then it’s nice and easy to quickly heat it up for dinner (or lunch!).

Use fresh or frozen veg (or any leftover veg you have will work well) – I happened to have peppers and mushrooms so they went in, but courgettes, aubergines etc would also work well.

Also it’s worth noting that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies so if you’re vegetarian then double check – Biona and other companies make one without the use of animal products and it’s widely available.

This serves at least 6 at about 227 cals per portion.

You will need:

2 packs of no-meat meat balls

2 cans chopped tomatoes (400g each)

2 small onions (or 1 large)

2 peppers

Handful of mushrooms (or any veg you like)

1 tbsp concentrated tomato purée

1/4 tsp smoked Paprika

1 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 vegetable stock cubes

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

1 tbsp marmite (optional)

A dash of Balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

Chop the veg. Heat a little oil in a pan, add onions first and allow to soften, then the peppers, mix and allow to soften.

Add the no-meat meat balls to the pan allow to brown. Then add the mushrooms and any other veg you’re using. Be gentle with the mixture as otherwise the meatballs will break up.

Cook for a couple of mins until the veg start to soften and then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée . Stir well and bring to a slow simmer. Add the stock cubes, all the spices, balsamic vinegar, marmite and Worcestershire sauce and stir well.

Bring to a simmer and allow to cook through for about 10-15 mins.

Serve on its own, with green veg and grains, pasta etc.

Enjoy 🙂

Xx