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

Shakshuka – Tomato based stew with poached eggs

This is a quick and easy light brunch or lunch. You can have it as it is, or serve with toasted pitta, crusty bread, new potatoes or just some green veg.

This serves 2 and it’s around 230 cals per portion. You can prepare the tomato base in advance and either store in the fridge or freezer and then just add the spinach and eggs when you want to eat it. And for those who can’t eat peppers – just leave them out and double the cherry tomatoes.

I was kindly given some home grown chilli peppers so I used a fresh one but you can use chilli powder if not.

You will need:

4 eggs

100-200g Spinach

1 large onion

1 garlic clove

2 peppers (red, yellow, orange – your choice)

400g Chopped tomatoes

200g Cherry tomatoes (or 400g if not using peppers)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp chilli powder or 1 fresh chilli (to taste)

1/2 tsp paprika

Pinch of sugar

Juice of half a small lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Slice the onion, peppers and tomatoes. Add a little oil spray to a large frying pan and throw in the onion, garlic and peppers (including the chilli pepper if using fresh chilli).

Sauté over a medium heat until they start to soften and cook through for 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the spices and cherry tomatoes and cook through for 2 mins or so.

Then add the chopped tomato, pinch of sugar and lemon juice. Mix well. Cook gently for 5 – 10 mins until it starts to thicken.

At this point you can stop and pop in the fridge or freezer for another day (or as I did, take half the portion away as it was just me having it for dinner). When ready to eat continue.

Add the spinach and cook through on low heat for 5 mins or so. Season to taste.

Using a large spoon create 4 wells in the mixture (or 2 if using a half portion) and crack an egg into each. Season the eggs and then pop a lid over the pan and simmer over a low heat for 6 – 8 mins (or until the eggs are as you like them).

Remove and serve with toasted pitta, a crusty loaf or veg of your choice!

Enjoy!

🙂 xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Plant-based doesn’t always equal the best option for fat loss…..

Plant-based doesn’t always equal the best option for fat loss….. 🍕

There is a perception that certain foods are better for you than others due to their perceived health benefits. Usually terms like “plant based” or Vegan / Vegetarian are promoted as is they are a healthier option and there’s an assumption that this means they’re the best choice.

Now this is not about whether or not a plant-based diet is more healthy or less healthy than a diet including meat (there’s a variety of studies about this and it’s not clear cut and it’s beyond the scope of this comparison). I’m not suggesting that either of these options is actually a “healthy” option, nor am I suggesting you will get more health benefits from one option versus the other. At the end of the day they are both Pizza’s and they both contain a large amount of fat and calories. But for many people trying to lose fat or weight they might naturally assume that instead of having a “normal” pepperoni Pizza for dinner, that they’d be better off having the plant-based option with a jackfruit alternative. However in actual fact that “healthy” pizza has more calories and fat than the Pepperoni one.

So if you are out for a Pizza and wanting to go for a lower calorie option then don’t automatically assume plant-based equals lower calorie. I’m certainly not suggesting your whole diet be made up of “junk food”, but it’s important to be wary of these marketing ploys which make you perceive things as being “healthy” and therefore lower calorie and helpful for weight loss. At the end of the day, as always, it comes down to calories. If you want to lose fat or weight, then you need to be at a calorie deficit. And it’s important to still have foods you enjoy as part of an overall balanced diet. I love Jackfruit so for me I’d chose that every time but I’d do so in the knowledge it wasn’t a lower calorie option.

Be curious about what you’re putting in your body, and check out the nutritional info (most restaurants have the info online nowadays) on food and don’t always assume the current trendy “plant-based” food is automatically lower calorie.

🤗

Xx

Recipes

Hoisin Pulled Veggie ‘Pork’

If you’re a Chinese takeaway fan this is a great lower calorie, home-made option for you! You can use any veggie alternative – there are pulled pork, pulled chicken and pulled jackfruit options available now. I happened to have the Linda McCartney pulled fake chicken in my freezer so that’s what I’ve used.

This serves 3-4 people and comes in at around 230 cals per portion (before rice etc).

You will need:

1 pack of veggie pulled ‘meat’

1 small onion

1 clove garlic

1 stick of celery

1 small red pepper

1 small red chili (optional)

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)

2 tbsp hoisin sauce

1 tbsp black bean sauce

1 tbsp water

Small handful of cashew nuts (optional)

A couple of spring onions (for garnish)

Place the pulled fake meat in a bowl and add the soy sauce and sweet soy sauce – leave to marinate.

Chop the vegetables up into small pieces and add the onion, garlic and celery to a hot wok or pan with a little oil (or oil spray to save calories)

Add the peppers and chili if using.

While the vegetables sauté add the hoisin and black bean sauce and water into a small bowl and mix together. Set aside.

Add the marinated pulled fake meat to the wok and fry it for 5-7 mins.

Meanwhile, if you’re using the cashew nuts roast them in a dry pan.

Add the sauce mix to the pulled meat and cook through for another 2-3 mins.

Serve with the cashew nuts and spring onions sprinkled over the top, with rice or noodles.

Enjoy 🤗

xx