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

Jackfruit ‘Tuna’ Pasta Sauce

Jackfruit is a bit trendy at the moment. It’s actually something I first tried during my fieldwork in Indonesia years ago and until recently it was really hard to get over here so I’m thrilled it’s now a bit more readily available. It’s touted as a great meat alternative – and it certainly is, but it’s worth mentioning that it’s not a great protein alternative, but rather provides a great option in terms of texture and taste (when you use the right sauces etc with it). In terms of protein it’s fairly low but that doesn’t stop it being a great option.

I personally love the texture and flavour of it and if you’re trying to watch your calories it’s a great way to reduce calories without sacrificing flavour or mouth feel! This serves 3-4 and comes in at only 89 calories per portion!

In this recipe I’m using it in place of tuna – obviously you could do the same thing with tuna itself if you wanted! I also used what veg I had in my fridge – if you had them then some olives would be a great addition (I was out!).

Jackfruit is available in most supermarkets and comes conveniently prepared in cans of water.

You will need:

1 can of jackfruit

1 large onion

1 pepper

Handful mushrooms

Handful of cherry tomatoes

1 can of chopped tomatoes

1/4 tsp Mixed herbs

Chilli powder to taste

1/4 tsp cayenne powder (to taste)

Pinch of celery salt

Pinch of garlic salt (if you have it – or use a garlic clove or omit)

Dash of Worcestershire sauce

Dash of balsamic vinegar

Small pinch of sugar to bring out the tomato flavour

Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the onion, pepper, mushrooms and tomatoes. Add the onion to a pan with a little oil and sauté until soft. Add the pepper and mushroom and continue to sauté.

Drain the jackfruit and add to the pan (you can slice it up a bit and use your fingers to separate some of the fibres if you have large pieces). As it starts to soften and brown just break up larger pieces.

Add the cherry tomatoes and cook through.

Add the chopped tomatoes and herbs and spices and then allow to simmer for 10 mins.

Serve on your pasta of choice!

Enjoy 🙂 xx

Recipes

Mushroom and Tomato Tofu Scramble

This is a great easy lunch, light dinner or brekkie option. It’s filling, high protein and low fat and so easy and quick to make. You can use any veg you like – I often put pepper and courgette in if I have it.

This makes a large serving at approx 245 cals or a smaller (enough for lunch) serving at only 123 cals! You can keep leftovers in the fridge to be re heated the following day. Best served on toast – either a nice bit of sourdough or if want to save on cals go for one of the sandwich ‘thins’ at only 100 cals per thin.

Tofu only tastes as good as the herbs and spices it’s cooked in so adjust these to your taste.

You will need:

1 packet of Silken tofu (approx 350g)

100g Mushrooms

100g tomatoes

Spices and herbs to taste. I used :

Worcestershire sauce

Paprika

Mixed herbs

Cayenne pepper

Salt

Pepper

Chop the mushrooms and tomatoes. Add a little oil to a frying pan and cook the mushrooms until starting to brown.

Add the tomatoes and cook them down.

Open the tofu and drain off any obvious liquid, then add to the pan and break it up with a spatula.

Add all the spices and herbs and cook through.

Continue to cook for a couple of minutes and then serve on a piece of toast!

Enjoy 🙂

XX

Recipes

Delicious, healthy pud

This is one of my favourite puds. It’s creamy and sweet and perfect for combatting sugar cravings – especially after dinner. It’s also really quick and easy to prepare. If you have any stewed fruit this is also a great addition too!

Calories vary depending on what fruit you use but you’re looking at roughly 250 – 300 cals.

You will need:

Half a bowlful of mixed fruit – I like strawberries, raspberries and pineapple

A large dollop of greek yoghurt (or non dairy yoghurt) (approx 150g)

1 tsp peanut butter (15g)

Sprinkling of Rice Krispies or some seeds and nuts

Drizzle of maple syrup (or sweetener of choice) – if more sweetness required

Stewed fruit (optional)

Chop the fruit and pop in the bowl.

Add the dollop of greek yoghurt and drizzle the peanut butter over. If you’ve got any stewed fruit then add a dollop – I cooked up a batch of apple, red currant and blackberries which is great to add to desserts and porridge etc.

Sprinkle the rice krispies or nuts/seeds and if using then add the sweetener (I don’t think it really needs it to be honest!).

Enjoy!

🙂 xx

Recipes

Soup soup! Autumn squash, pepper and lentil soup

It’s definitely soup season now and we still had some homegrown squashes to use so I thought I’d make a batch of warming autumn soup.

You can use squash, pumpkin or sweet potato (or a mix) and you can also be a bit free and loose with the quantities to be honest – as long as you keep an eye on the amount of liquid and add a bit more stock if needed.

I made a massive batch so I could have it for a few days and also freeze some, but you could easily halve this. This recipe serves up to ten good portions at 163 cals per portion!

You will need:

Approx 1,200g squash (this was 2 medium squashes)

3 Red peppers

2 onions

500g red lentils

4 cloves garlic

800g chopped tomatoes

1 litre vegetable stock (but you may need to add a little more as it cooks)

2 tbsp tomato purée

4 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp Chilli powder (or to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

To serve – fresh spinach and a dollop of greek yoghurt

Peel and de-seed the squash and then chop into small pieces.

Chop the onion and peppers and crush the garlic. Heat up a little oil in a pan and add the onions and crushed garlic, and allow to lightly brown.

Add the pumpkin and pepper, stir well and cook for 5 mins with the lid on (stirring occasionally). The squash will start to release some water and begin to soften a little.

Add the chopped tomatoes and stir well. Then add the lentils, vegetable stock, spices and tomato purée and stir.

Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for a few minutes with the lid off. Then reduce the heat further and put the lid on and allow to cook for at least 20 mins making sure you stir regularly so the lentils don’t stick. If it looks like it needs it then add a little more stock.

Season to taste and cook until the squash is tender and the lentils are cooked through. Remove from heat and at this point. If you like your soup chunky you can serve it now.

Alternatively you can blend it to a smooth consistency.

To serve stir through some fresh spinach and add a dollop of greek yoghurt!

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Easy Tomato chutney

I was fortunate to be given a load of homegrown cherry tomatoes from a friend, and we had a a small harvest of our own so wanted to make something that would use a load of them. As the weather is starting to feel more autumnal I thought I’d make up a batch of chutney!

This is very easy to make but does take a long time to cook through! Allow at least 3-5 hours of cooking time (you can turn off the heat, cover it and leave it to continue later if you run out of time). This needs to be left to ‘ripen’ so should be ready for Christmas!

You will need:

1kg tomatoes (can be any tomatoes you like – even green ones)

1kg Bramley apples

900g onions

6 cloves of garlic

600g brown sugar

2 tbsp ground ginger

1/2 tbsp cayenne

1 tbsp salt

25g pickling spice

1.5 litres Malt Vinegar

Small piece of muslin or gauze and some string

Jars

Peel and chop the onions into quarters. Core and chop the apples into quarters or eighths if large, leave the peel on. Chop the tomatoes.

Place each of these into a processor and pulse until chopped into small pieces.

Place into a very large saucepan. Crush the garlic cloves and add them too. Stir well.

Add the ginger, cayenne and salt and the sugar. Mix well.

Pop the pickling spices in a small square of muslin or gauze, tie it up and then tie it to the handle of the pan so it hangs down in to the pan. Add the vinegar and stir.

Bring the mixture to a simmer and then turn the heat down and allow to gently simmer uncovered for at least 3-4 hrs.

This will take a long time so just let it simmer away. Depending how much liquid the fruit and veg contained it may take even longer. Stir occasionally. The liquid will evaporate off and you will be left with a thicker consistency (chutney like!) – when you draw a spoon through it will leave a trail.

Pop some clean jars in the oven at 50 degrees just to heat through. Pour the hot chutney into the jars, add a wax seal and plastic film over the top and then label and store for 1-3 months before eating.

Enjoy on your sandwich or with some cheese! 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Squashed eggs!

We had a bumper crop of squashes in the garden this year so I’ve been thinking about different ways to cook it and thought I’d try this! There’s a little bit of prep time involved but other than that this is really simple to make and tasty too! This made enough for two people, at about 324 cals for a portion.

You will need:

2 medium squashes (ours produced about 550g of flesh)

1 bunch spring onions

1 red pepper

1 chilli

4 eggs

Feta (or your cheese of choice to crumble over the top – approx 60g)

1/2 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp mixed herbs

Salt and pepper

Prepare the squashes – chop and peel and remove the skin and seeds. Grate the flesh using a processor or hand grater and pop in a large bowl. Sprinkle with a little salt and mix well, then transfer to a colander and allow to drain for about 30-40 mins. You want to remove as much liquid as possible so transfer the flesh to a tea towel and ring out any excess water (you can be quite rough with it). Place to one side.

Preheat the oven to 190 C.

Chop the spring onions, peppers and chilli and heat up a little oil in a frying pan. Pop the onion and peppers in and allow to soften, add the chilli and cook for a further minute.

Add in the squash, paprika, herbs and seasoning and mix well. Cool until the squash is tender (5 – 7 mins).

Add a little oil to an oven proof pan or tray (whatever you have) and transfer the mixture, ensuring it’s spread evenly. Make 4 indentations in the mixture and crack an egg in to each one. Crumble feta over the top.

Pop in the oven to bake for 10-15 mins, until the whites of the eggs are set and the yolks are at the desired firmness.

Serve with a salad! Enjoy!

🙂

Xx