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 🙂



Chilli con veggie!

This is another great option for weekday dinners as the weather gets colder. I make a big batch and it’s fab for a lovely quick meal. It is super versatile too – you can use it for spaghetti bolognese, lasagne, shepherd’s pie, or as a chilli with rice or jacket potato, or just on its own! It will keep in the fridge for at least a week (I’ve kept it for 2 but usually I’ve eaten it all by then!) or you can freeze portions too.

This is really easy to make and if you’re busy you can speed it up even more by using bags of frozen veg. Waitrose/Ocado do a bag of mixed onion, celery and carrots (‘soffritto mix’) and a great bag of frozen mixed grilled veg (onion, aubergine, courgette and pepper) which work brilliantly. Don’t be afraid of using the frozen veg – often they’re actually higher in nutrients than fresh as they’re frozen immediately rather than sitting in warehouses for months. I’m very much a believer in making eating healthy as easy as possible so this is a really easy option.

Even if you’re not vegetarian I’d definitely suggest you try this – it’s a lot lighter in calories and just as tasty. And if you’re worried the family may not want a meat substitute i’d suggest trying it and not telling them – I bet they don’t notice! Loads of my clients have found that their other halves and children haven’t even realised it’s not meat (though obviously you could use turkey or beef mince if you wanted to).

This makes approx 8 generous servings at 245 cals per serving!

You will need:

1000g of Quorn mince (or ‘meet the alternative’ or any other meat substitute)

1500g Pasatta

Either – 1 bag of soffritto mix OR 1 onion, 2 sticks of celery and 1 large carrot all finely chopped

Other mixed veg – pepper, courgette, aubergine (your choice, or 1 bag of the frozen veg)

3 vegetable stock cubes

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp of chilli (to taste)

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1/2 tsp Mixed herbs

Dash of Worcestershire sauce (vegetarian brand if necessary)

Spoonful of marmite (optional)

Salt and pepper

Heat a little oil in a large pan. Add the onion, celery and carrot and sauté for a few mins.

Add the mincemeat and mix well and let it heat through (if using turkey, beef etc then ensure the meat browns at this point). Add the stock cubes and mix well.

Add the other vegetables and stir well. Heat for a few mins.

Stir in the passata and then add all the spices, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and marmite. Mix well and allow to simmer.

Taste it during this phase and adjust seasoning to taste.

Once it’s cooked for at least 20 mins, if you can let it cook a bit longer do as it helps to give a better flavour. Then it’s done!

Serve with spaghetti, jacket potato, rice, or as a chilli with a dollop of yoghurt and spinach!

Enjoy 🙂



Spicy Peanut Quorn ‘Chicken’

This is one of our current favourite dinners. It’s quick and easy to make and tastes amazing! You could of course use chicken instead of quorn but even if you’re not veggie I’d definitely recommend the quorn (saves calories too!). This makes 4 servings at 312 cals per serving.

You will need:

350g Quorn “chicken” (1 pack)
1 onion
1/2 pepper
100g peanut butter
400g chopped tomatoes (and some water to rinse out the can)
1/4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 tbsp soya sauce

Dice the onion and peppers. Add a little olive oil in a non-stick wok or frying pan and pop the onions and peppers in to soften. Add the quorn and allow to brown.

Add all your spices and stir well (if you’re not sure how spicy you want it then just add a little chilli here and save the rest to add later). Add the peanut butter and stir.

Then add the chopped tomatoes and use some water to rinse the can out and add that too. Finally add the soya sauce. Mix really well and allow to simmer.

Taste it and add more chilli if required. Allow to simmer for approx 5 – 10 mins. Serve with your grains of choice, or cauliflower rice.

Enjoy 🙂



Easy healthy stir fried rice

This is a great, quick, healthy lunch or dinner. I often whip it up after class if I’m in a rush and it’s surprisingly filling.

I use Quorn sausages but you could use normal sausages if you want (though it will take the calories up quite a lot so worth trying quorn if you can). I also often use a pouch of cooked rice for speed but if you have the time use normal rice. This makes 4 small portions (but plenty for a meal) at approx 275 cals per portion.

You will need :

4 Quorn sausages (or other veggie sausage)

250g (cooked weight) of Brown or Wild rice

1 Onion

1 Pepper

Good handful or two of frozen petit pois

Good handful or two of frozen or fresh sweetcorn

1/2 tsp paprika

Little oil to cook

Chop the onion and pepper. Using a large wok or frying pan heat a little oil and then add the onions and brown gently, add in the peppers. Slice the sausages and then add in and brown off too. Once browned add the rice and paprika and mix well. Cook for a minute and then throw the petit pois and sweetcorn in. Stir well and keep cooking for a couple of minutes until everything is cooked through. Serve!