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

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

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘Let them eat cheese!’ 🧀

‘Let them eat cheese!’ 🧀

We’re often told that high protein is a better option when it comes to snacking. Brands capitalise on this by marketing their products based on their protein content. There is evidence that higher protein can help with weight management – but only because it helps to make you feel fuller, which thereby 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.

This is a great example of that marketing. The protein balls are delicious and do make a great snack if you’re wanting something sweet – but they actually only have 7g protein for 170 cals. The light babybels on the other hand give you a whopping 10g of protein for only 84 cals! And fat too to keep you full!

So if you’re partial to a bit of cheese, fancy something savoury or are really focusing on higher protein snacks then the babybel is definitely a better option. If you fancy something sweeter then go for the protein balls but just be aware they’re not as high protein! Both make great snack options – just read the labels and then make your choice!

🤗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

Peanut butter and Jam Porridge

Nothing beats a yummy bowl of porridge on a chilly day! And this one combines two of my favourite things – peanut butter and jam! Yum!

I actually tend to have this for lunch as it’s quite a filling portion. If you wanted you could also add a scoop of vanilla protein powder to make it even more filling. My current favourite protein powder is Missfits Vegan Vanilla powder – super yummy and available from amazon and Ocado (and other places!). I like my porridge made with water – but obviously use any type of milk if you prefer (though bear in mind the protein powder and milk will increase the calories).

This comes in at approx 384 cals of warming yumminess!

You will need:

50g jumbo oats

1 tbsp raspberry (or any flavour) jam

15g peanut butter

Raspberries and blueberries to top

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Place the oats in to a saucepan (also add the protein powder if using) Add enough water to cover (I like my porridge quite dry so adjust the amount of water to suit you) – heat gently and stir well. If I’m rushed I just pour boiling water on to the oats, stir and add a little extra water then blast in the microwave for a min.

Once cooked pour the porridge in to a bowl and add the jam and stir through.

Drizzle the peanut butter on top next.

And then pop the berries on top.

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx

Recipes

Valentine’s Vanilla, Berry and Chocolate Porridge

As it’s the season of love I thought I’d celebrate with something I love… porridge! This makes a great brekkie or lunch option. The protein powder is optional but adds the vanilla flavour and also the added protein helps to keep you fuller for longer. My current favourite protein powder is Missfits Vegan Vanilla powder – super yummy and available from amazon and Ocado (and other places!)

I make my porridge with water because I prefer it that way but obviously use milk if you prefer. I have used some yummy little protein chocolate hearts from Cocoa+ but you can use any chocolate you like! It would work well with some squares of dark chocolate

This comes in at approx 415 cals of warming yumminess!

You will need:

50g jumbo oats

Large handful of mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional – replace with a 1/4 tsp Vanilla essence if not using)

3 Chocolate hearts or squares

Place the oats in to a saucepan with the protein powder. Add enough water to cover (I like my porridge quite dry so adjust the amount of water to suit you) – heat gently and stir well. If I’m rushed I just pour boiling water on to the oats and protein powder, stir and add a little extra water then blast in the microwave for a min.

Once it starts to cook add in the blueberries and raspberries and stir in.

Slice the strawberries. Once cooked pour the porridge in to a bowl and add the strawberries and chocs on the top.

Enjoy!

🙂

Xx