Recipes

Craving Beating Pud – Chocolate Greek Yoghurt Your Way!

This is one of my favourite desserts (or even a mid afternoon snack!). It’s like having a huge chocolate mousse! It’s creamy and sweet, and perfect for combatting sugar cravings – especially after dinner. Its really filling too (as the Greek yoghurt is high in protein) which means you’re less likely to go on to graze on more snacks afterwards. It’s also really quick and easy to prepare.

You can make whatever flavour you like – I’ve done a chocolate one and a white chocolate and raspberry one, but the world is your oyster! If you use cocoa powder you will find it needs sweetening – so for that i use either a low calorie jam (my favourite is the skinny food co Jam – only 7 cals for a tbsp and they also do flavour syrups too I’d that’s your thing – check them out here : The skinny food co) or you can use some honey etc or some stewed fruit.

You can also customise toppings – sometimes I have it without, or I use a few chocolate chips (I happened to have white cooking chocolate chips in the cupboard so used those), or a little sprinkle of cereal (Rice Krispies, cocoa pops etc work well).

Calories vary depending a little on what flavour, fruit and toppings you use but you’re looking at roughly 160 – 250 cals.

Chocolate bowl

You will need:

125g 0 percent Greek Yoghurt – I prefer ‘Total’

1 serving of hot chocolate powder (options works well) OR 1 large tbsp cocoa powder (adjust cocoa powder for taste – I also like to add a little cocoa powder as well as the hot choc for added calorie free richness)

A handful of mixed berries (around 120g) – I like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries

A few chocolate chips (or choice of topping)

Sweetener if required

Place the hot choc powder or cocoa powder in a bowl.

Add the Greek yoghurt

Using a spoon just mix the cocoa powder/hot choc into the Greek yoghurt (it may look like it’s going to be too dry but keep going). ‘Whip’ it up by mixing well so it’s nice and creamy and the powder is fully incorporated. Taste a little and if needed you can add something to sweeten it (honey, maple syrup, zero calorie syrup, low cal jam etc).

Add the berries.

Sprinkle over your topping of choice and enjoy! 🙂

White chocolate and raspberry

You will need:

125g 0 percent Greek Yoghurt – I prefer ‘Total’

1 serving of white hot chocolate powder (options works well)

A handful of mixed berries (around 120g) – I like strawberries, raspberries and blueberries

1 tbsp low calorie jam (I use skinny food co raspberry jam : The skinny food co

A few white chocolate chips

Place the hot choc powder or cocoa powder in a bowl.

Add the Greek yoghurt.

Using a spoon just mix the hot choc into the Greek yoghurt (it may look like it’s going to be too dry but keep going). ‘Whip’ it up by mixing well so it’s nice and creamy and the powder is fully incorporated.

Add the jam and swirl it through the yoghurt.

Add the fruit and sprinkle the white choc chips over the top.

Enjoy!

🙂 xx

Recipes, Uncategorized

Lemon veggie ‘chicken’ and ‘bacon’ rice

This is something I used to make many years ago with ‘real’ chicken and bacon. You can obviously use the real deal if you want, but even if you’re not veggie it’s worth considering the vegetarian alternatives as they do save a lot of calories without sacrificing taste or satisfaction.

This works well with either freshly cooked or leftover rice. The lemon gives it a real freshness which is great for a warm spring/summer dinner or lunch.

It serves 4 and is approx 320 cals a portion.

You will need:

200g rice of your choice (uncooked weight)

300g Chicken alternative (I used Quorn chicken pieces)

120g Bacon alternative (I used Quorn)

1 onion, diced

A couple handfuls of frozen peas

Juice and zest of one large lemon (plus extra wedges for serving)

1/2 tsp oregano (or mixed herbs if not)

Black Pepper to taste

Start by getting the rice going – cook as usual (add to boiling water and boil until as soft as you like it). Drain and put to one side.

Use a little 1 cal oil spray in a hot pan and add the diced onion and sauté until brown.

Add the veggie chicken pieces and allow to brown.

Chop the veggie bacon into small pieces and add to the pan, allowing that to brown too.

Then add the peas – you can use as many as you like!

Cook through for a couple of minutes and then add the cooked rice and stir well.

Then add the oregano/ herbs, black pepper and lemon zest and mix.

Finally pour the lemon juice over and stir in well. Then serve, with a wedge of lemon.

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Chickpea Chili

Another bowl of warming goodness! This one combines the veggie mince with chickpeas for an added boost. This is a great one to batch cook and then it’s ready for lunches or dinners all week.

chickpea-chilli

You will need:

250g Veggie Mince (Quorn/soya etc)

2 cans of Chickpeas (or equivalent amount of dry chickpeas cooked in vegetable stock)

2 Leeks, sliced

2 Red Chilli’s, finely chopped

4 cloves Garlic

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1 tsp Garam masala

1 tsp Celery salt

400 g chopped Tomatoes

1 small can Sweet Corn

4 tbsp Tomato Puree

Salt and pepper to taste

Warm some oil in a pan, add sliced leeks and a pinch of salt, allow to brown gently. Add chilli, garlic and spices. Simmer for a couple of minutes then add the veggie mince, mix well and allow to cook until the mixture starts to brown,  3-5 minutes. Add tomatoes and tomato puree. Add sweet corn and chickpeas, gently simmer for about 15 minutes, adding more vegetable stock if required. Make sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the pot. Cook until the chickpeas are cooked through.

Serve with fresh rocket and a dollop of 0% greek yoghurt or hummus.

Enjoy! 🙂

xx

Recipes

Spiced Lentils

This is another perfect comforting meal. It’s filling and spicy and the combination of sweet, aromatic spices with the hot spices really gives this a wonderful richness. I used the spices I had in the cupboard, and yes, there are a lot, but you could use whatever you want so don’t stress if you don’t have them all.

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1 cup Brown Lentils
1 Onion
1 Red Chilli
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Carrot, 1 Courgette, 1 Stick of Celery (whatever veg you have can be used!)
½ Red Pepper
2 tbsp Fresh Ginger, grated
10 Plum Tomatoes
1/2 cup Tomato Puree/Passata
1 cup Vegetable Stock
2 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Mustard Seed (fenugreek seed is better but I didn’t have that!)
1/2 tsp Dried Thyme
1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
1/4 tsp Ground Coriander
1/4 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/8 tsp Ground Allspice
1/8 tsp Ground Cloves
1/8 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/4 tsp Turmeric
¼ tsp Chilli Powder
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Saute the onion, red pepper, garlic and chilli in a pan with a little oil. Add the ginger and spices and sauté for another 5 mins. Add in the carrots, celery and courgette and sauté for another 5 mins, then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, stock and lentils. Simmer until the lentils are tender. Serve with baby spinach leaves and a dollop of natural yoghurt.

Enjoy 🙂

xx

Recipes

Quorn mince (or any veggie mince) and sweet potato shepherd’s pie

This recipe should serve 3 – 4 people. You may find you have slightly too much veggie mince if so then simply add some more spices and chili to the left over mince for an easy lunch time chili 🙂

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140g Veggie mince (Soya, Quorn, etc)

450 ml Vegetable stock

1 Onion

1 clove Garlic

1/2 Red pepper

800 g chopped Tomatoes

1 tbsp Tomato puree

Seasoning (I used salt, pepper, celery salt, oregano, mustard seeds and paprika)

A dash of Balsamic vinegar

A dash of Worcestershire sauce

650 g Sweet potato (peeled)

A dash of milk

Dice the onion and pepper and crush the garlic. Place them all in a large saucepan and soften. Add the veggie mince. Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, balsamic vinegar (only a dash!), Worcestershire sauce and all the seasoning. Leave it to simmer for as long as possible – the longer the better.

Meanwhile chop the sweet potato and place in a pan of water. Bring to the boil and simmer until soft. Drain well and then mash – adding seasoning and a dash of soya milk to give a smooth mash.

Place the cooked mince in a large dish, fork the sweet potato mash over the top. Place in the oven (approx 180 C) before serving to brown the top slightly and heat through. Serve with veg of your choice!

Enjoy 🙂

xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Cereal offenders…

Cereal offenders… 🥣

We are often told that higher protein is a better option when it comes to healthy food choice. Recently brands have been capitalising on this by marketing their products and releasing new products as high in protein or as a ‘protein’ version.

There is evidence that higher protein can help with weight management – but only because it helps to make you feel fuller, which therefore makes you less likely to consume more calories later. The end result is hopefully that you stick to your calories and are able to maintain or lose weight. Total calories are however the most important factor.

Cereals are one of the latest foods to fall victim to this. There are several brands out there now producing ‘protein’ cereals – Special K, Weetabix, Shreddies etc. You’d be forgiven for assuming the protein enhanced cereals were better for your health and to help you achieve your fat loss goals.

In reality the ‘normal’ cereal contains only 145 calories and 4.4g of protein. The protein enhanced cereal contains more calories at 182 per portion and 6g protein. So yes you are getting more protein of course, but the marginal gain in protein really isn’t worth the added calories and cost. That 1.4g of protein is not going to make a significant difference. You’d be better off having the cereal you want, and if you’re keen to increase protein levels then either add some Greek yoghurt instead milk, or have a snack of something that’s higher in protein later on (e.g a light mini babybel for 42 cals with 5g protein). The bonus of having the babybel or adding Greek yoghurt is that you’ll also get more fat which helps to keep you fuller for longer when combined with protein.

So if you’re a cereal lover then I wouldn’t waste your money or calories on these protein enhanced cereals (unless you actually enjoy the taste of them more of course). Either way read the labels rather than being swayed by the ‘protein’ label and make an informed choice xx 🤗

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Too Much Protein?

Tuesday Tip: Too Much Protein? 🍗

Protein is all the rage right now – pushes for its ability to aid weight loss, help keep you full, build muscle and added to pretty much everything in the supermarket now! But is it possible to eat too much?

Yes and no!

It’s important to get enough protein – not only is it essential for health (Amino acids in protein are the building blocks for your body), it’s also great at keeping you fuller for longer, but do we really need as much as it seems? The recommended amount is around 0.75g of protein per kg of bodyweight. So if you weigh 65kg you need around 49g a day – a chicken sandwich, porridge with milk, and a veggie chili will give you well over that easily.

Studies do show that higher amounts of protein keep you fuller for longer and there’s also evidence to suggest that higher intakes of protein can help preserve muscle mass when losing weight. If you’re trying to build

Muscle then higher protein is also important(1.2g to 1.6g per kilo).

But…. just because slightly more protein is good that doesn’t mean loads is better.

Studies have shown over 2g per kg brings very little benefit. There’s no way to store protein so any surplus is used for energy – which means of course if you’re consuming more calories than you expend you will store it as fat. Despite scaremongering about excess protein and kidney issues there is little evidence of this in healthy adults. There is evidence though that excess protein causes changes in gut bacteria and digestive issues.

It’s also worth considering what you’re cutting out in order to get extra protein in. If you’re swapping grains for protein you’ll be consuming less fibre which can lead to gut issues.

For the majority of people, exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, you’ll be getting plenty of protein. So if you’re reaching for ‘protein’ laden snacks just because you think they’re better then don’t bother, have what you enjoy instead. If you’re adding protein powder to everything just for the sake of it – stop and think whether you really need to. Are you just adding extra calories for the sake of it? As always, balance is key! 🙌🏼

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx