Recipes

Veggie ‘feta’ roasted veg pasta

I’m sure many of you have seen the posts on social media of the feta and tomato pasta hack. This is my version of it – using a dairy free (vegan) feta! I wanted to see if it would work and it does! Obviously you can use a normal feta if you prefer. I also pimped it up a bit with mixed peppers, mushrooms, spinach and basil.

This serves 5-6 and comes in at around 380 cals per portion.

You will need:

500g pasta

1 200g block ‘feta’ (I used Violife Greek white cheese)

600g cherry tomatoes (1 punnet)

2 small peppers

5 mushrooms

100g baby spinach

Fresh basil

Salt, pepper, mixed herbs

1 cal oil spray (I used the olive oil version)

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Chop the peppers and mushrooms into chunks. Spray a roasting dish with oil spray and pop the block of cheese in the centre, and throw the cherry tomatoes and peppers around it. Season and spray with oil.

Pop in the oven for 10-15 mins to start with.

While it’s in the oven cook the pasta to your taste. Drain and pop to one side.

Check the oven after 10-15 minsand if the tomatoes are just starting to split a little then add the mushrooms and pop back in the oven for 10 mins or so. Timing will depend a little on how ripe your tomatoes are so check and see if they are soft and that the juices have run into the dish. The feta will have melted too.

Using a wooden spoon stir the veg and feta together and gentle squish the tomatoes.

Add the spinach a little at a time, stirring in each time. Pop back in the oven for 3-5 mins.

Remove from oven Once the spinach has wilted and stir in a handful of fresh basil leaves.

Stir in the pasta

Then serve with a little sprig of basil!

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Cinnamon Oat Baked Apples

This is a really easy option for a warming winter dessert. Delicious as it is or even better with a scoop of Greek yoghurt or ice cream! I make a batch and then I can reheat them for pudding or even have one for a snack or brekkie! Bramley apples work best but you can actually use any apple you like.

This recipe makes 4 portions (half an apple) at approx 77 cals per portion (this will vary with apple size).

You will need:

2 Apples

50g Oats

10g sugar (I use half spoon – as it gives sweetness with fewer calories)

20g light spread (I just used a normal anchor light spread)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Mix the oats, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

Add the spread and use a fork or your hands to mix it into the oat mix. Leaving clumps.

Cut the apples on half and use a spoon to remove the core and create a little hollow.

Pop the apples on a baking dish and pack the oat mix into the hollow and across the top of each apple half.

Add a tbsp of water to the dish, cover lightly with foil and bake for 25 mins. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 mins.

Serve as is or with ice cream/ yoghurt

Enjoy! 🙂 Xx

Recipes

Easy, ‘Healthy’, Autumn Crumble

With Autumn upon us it’s definitely time for some comforting, warming puds, and for me that means stewed fruit and crumble! Traditional Crumble can be quite high calorie so this is a great option for keeping the calories a bit lower but still just as tasty!

I was lucky enough to be given a haul of apples and pears, and I had some wild blackberries in the freezer form earlier in the summer but you can use any combination of fruit you fancy!

This comes in at about 184 calories per portion (I got 6 portions from mine) but tastes just as great! I didn’t add any sugar to my fruit at all – it was perfectly sweet as it was and with the sweetness of the topping you shouldn’t need to add any, but you can add if you feel you need it.

This makes a fab dessert, snack or even breakfast!

You will need:

3 large cooking apples/ pears (bramley apples work best)

A large punnet of blackberries (approx 200 – 300g) (or use more apples/pears/plums/raspberries/gooseberries/ anything!)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:

100g oats

50g flour (I used rice flour as it has a finer texture but any flour will do)

30g sugar (I used ‘half spoon’)

1 tsp cinnamon

40g non-dairy spread (I used a ‘light’ spread)

Prepare the fruit – peel, core and chop the apples/pears into small chunks and rinse the blackberries. Place the apples in a saucepan with a tbsp of water and start to cook – they need a bit longer than the blackberries so this gives them a head start. Once they’ve started to soften a little add the blackberries and the cinnamon and stir well. Allow to simmer gently until the apples are cooked through.

Pre-heat the oven to 190 C.

Place the oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. Add the spread and then use a fork or your fingers to rub it in to the mixture creating little lumps.

Pour the fruit mixture into whatever dish you’re using – I made 4 individual portions and one double portion.

Add the topping and then pop in the oven for 15-20 mins or until the topping starts to brown.

Remove and serve warm (or cold!), with a dollop of zero fat total yoghurt, or maybe some low cal ice cream!

Enjoy! Xx

Recipes

Poached Cinnamon Plums

This makes a delicious autumn dessert or brekkie option – with a big dollop of greek yoghurt!

Before we sold my late Nannie’s Bungalow we harvested the last of her Damsons and so I decided to put them to good use and stew them up into a tasty pud! I used half at the time and the other half I froze to make another batch later and this works perfectly with either option.

You will need:

Plums – as many as you want!

Sugar to taste

Cinnamon to taste

If you have a glut of plums when you may prefer to freeze some for later use. Cut them in halves, remove the stone and lay on a baking tray and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours. Once they’ve firmed up you can transfer to a ziplock bag or Tupperware and store in the freezer until needed!

If using fresh then cut into halves (or quarters if you prefer), remove the stones (these can also be removed after cooking if the plums are a little on the hard size). Place in a wide pan (I used a frying pan).

Add a little water to stop them burning (couple of tbsps) and a little sugar initially – especially if using damsons (you can add more later if necessary).

Using a very low heat allow the plums to start to soften. Then add cinnamon – start with a small amount and then add more to taste later.

Then pop a lid on and allow to gentlY cook through. Keep an eye on them as they will go soft and mushy very quickly.

Allow to cook gently, checking regularly until at the desired softness (this may only take mins) and then remove the lid. Taste and add more sugar and cinnamon if you feel you need it. Then allow it to cool down a little further – you can decide how you want it. The liquid will form a slightly sticky syrup and the plums will continue to break down – so keep gently cooking until your desired consistency. As it cools the syrup will thicken a little.

Transfer to a bowl or Tupperware and store in the fridge. Or you can freeze it too. It makes a perfect base for a crumble, or is delicious served with Greek yoghurt!

Enjoy 🙂 xx

Recipes

Cherry Tomato Soup

We had a massive glut of cherry tomatoes in the garden this year, so I thought I’d use them for a nice, light soup! You can actually use any tomatoes you like but cherry ones do lend a lovely sweetness.

I used almost all of ours – which was around 1.5kg but you can use fewer – just reduce the other ingredients to compensate. This makes at least 6-8 bowls and it’s ridiculously low calorie – under 100 cals per bowl!

You will need:

1.5kg Cherry Tomatoes

1 large onion

2 Carrots

2 Sticks of Celery

3 tbsp Tomato Purée

1 litre vegetable stock (2 stock cubes)

1 tsp oregano or mixed herbs (to taste)

1/2 tsp Celery Salt

Dash of Worcestershire sauce (or vegetarian alternative)

I/2 tsp sugar

Salt and Pepper

Chop the onion, carrot and celery into small pieces. Depending on the size of the tomatoes cut them into halves or quarters.

Add some oil or oil spray to a large saucepan and once hot add the onions, celery and carrots. Sauté them for around ten minutes until soft and slightly coloured.

Add the tomato purée and stir well

Add the tomatoes, together with the sugar and herbs and spices. Stir to mix everything, then put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes cook on a low heat for around ten mins. Check occasionally and stir to prevent sticking.

Once the tomatoes have started to release their juices after around ten mins, add the stock and Worcestershire sauce if using. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Depending how much liquid the tomatoes produced you may want to keep boiling a little longer to reduce it down – you can decide how thick you want your soup. (You can also add a little cornflour – mix a couple of tbsp in a bowl with cold water and then whisk that into the soup to thicken it).

You can leave it as it is if you want but I prefer to blend it. Wait for it to cool a little and then using a stick blender blend to the desired consistency. At this point you can also boil again to reduce it down if it’s still too thin for your taste.

You can freeze this for quick lunches or dinners. Serve as it is with a crusty loaf, or you can add a dollop of greek yoghurt for added creaminess!

Enjoy 🙂

Xx