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

Spicy Lentil Soup

Soup is always a good option for a filling lunch or dinner and this one really packs a punch!
spicy-halloween-soup
You will need:
1/2 tsp each mustard & cumin seeds
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 large onion, chopped
3 x celery stick, sliced
1 tsp each chilli powder & paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric & cayenne pepper
2 cups red lentils
2 litres of stock made with vegan stock powder
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato puree
Heat the oil on a med-high heat & add the seeds. When they start popping, add the onion, garlic & celery and reduce heat slightly.
Cook for 5-10 minutes until soft & then add all the spices and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the lentils and mix well.
Add the stock, tinned tomatoes and puree and bring to the boil, then simmer for 20-30 minutes.
Blend before serving and add pepper & cayenne to taste.
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

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