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

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

No-meat meat ball ragout!

This is another quick and easy lunch or dinner recipe – it can be served with pasta, rice, cauliflower rice or just on its own! There are lots of veggie meat balls out there – I’ve used the Birdseye ones for this but I’ve also used the Quorn ones in the past. Even if you’re not vegetarian they’re a great way to cut calories without feeling like you are!

I cook up a batch for the week and then it’s nice and easy to quickly heat it up for dinner (or lunch!).

Use fresh or frozen veg (or any leftover veg you have will work well) – I happened to have peppers and mushrooms so they went in, but courgettes, aubergines etc would also work well.

Also it’s worth noting that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies so if you’re vegetarian then double check – Biona and other companies make one without the use of animal products and it’s widely available.

This serves at least 6 at about 227 cals per portion.

You will need:

2 packs of no-meat meat balls

2 cans chopped tomatoes (400g each)

2 small onions (or 1 large)

2 peppers

Handful of mushrooms (or any veg you like)

1 tbsp concentrated tomato purée

1/4 tsp smoked Paprika

1 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 vegetable stock cubes

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

1 tbsp marmite (optional)

A dash of Balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper

Chop the veg. Heat a little oil in a pan, add onions first and allow to soften, then the peppers, mix and allow to soften.

Add the no-meat meat balls to the pan allow to brown. Then add the mushrooms and any other veg you’re using. Be gentle with the mixture as otherwise the meatballs will break up.

Cook for a couple of mins until the veg start to soften and then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato purée . Stir well and bring to a slow simmer. Add the stock cubes, all the spices, balsamic vinegar, marmite and Worcestershire sauce and stir well.

Bring to a simmer and allow to cook through for about 10-15 mins.

Serve on its own, with green veg and grains, pasta etc.

Enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Veggie ‘steak’ casserole

I spotted these quorn veggie steak strips in the supermarket so thought I’d whip up a quick casserole. This is a another easy weekday dinner option, perfect for the cooler evenings. I cook up a batch for the week and then it’s nice and easy to quickly heat it up for dinner (or lunch!).

I’ve used frozen veg for this one as I was running short on time. Never be afraid to use these sorts of frozen veg – they actually have more vitamins and minerals in than the fresh variety so you’re not doing yourself any harm and they’re brilliant if you’re busy and short of time. Obviously use fresh veg if you prefer. Also it’s worth noting that Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies so if you’re vegetarian then double check – Biona and other companies make one without the use of animal products and it’s widely available.

This serves at least 8 at about 223 cals per portion.

You will need:

2 pack of quorn steak strips (or any alternative vegetarian product you fancy)

1320g passata (2 bottles at 680g each, but just get approx the same amount)

1 kg mixed vegetables (either 2 packs (500g each) or 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 sticks celery, 2 peppers, 2 courgettes, 1 small aubergine)

1/2 tsp Paprika

1/4 tsp chilli powder (optional – adjust for taste)

1 tsp mixed herbs

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 vegetable stock cube

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce (optional)

A dash of Balsamic vinegar

1/4 tsp of sugar

Salt and pepper

If using fresh veg then prepare it and chop it up. Heat a little oil in a pan, add onions first and allow to soften, then the carrot and celery. Otherwise add the frozen soffito (onion, carrot and celery) mix and allow to soften.

Add the steak strips to the pan and allow to brown. Then add the pepper, courgette and aubergine (if using a pack then just throw it all in at once once the steak strips have browned).

Cook for a couple of mins until the veg start to soften and then add the passata. Stir well and bring to a slow simmer. Add the stock cube, all the spices, balsamic vinegar and Worcestershire sauce and stir well. Add the sugar (this brings out a richer tomato flavour).

Bring to a simmer and allow to cook through for about 10-15 mins.

Serve on its own, with green veg and grains, or with a jacket potato etc.

enjoy 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Delicious, healthy pud

This is one of my favourite puds. It’s creamy and sweet and perfect for combatting sugar cravings – especially after dinner. It’s also really quick and easy to prepare. If you have any stewed fruit this is also a great addition too!

Calories vary depending on what fruit you use but you’re looking at roughly 250 – 300 cals.

You will need:

Half a bowlful of mixed fruit – I like strawberries, raspberries and pineapple

A large dollop of greek yoghurt (or non dairy yoghurt) (approx 150g)

1 tsp peanut butter (15g)

Sprinkling of Rice Krispies or some seeds and nuts

Drizzle of maple syrup (or sweetener of choice) – if more sweetness required

Stewed fruit (optional)

Chop the fruit and pop in the bowl.

Add the dollop of greek yoghurt and drizzle the peanut butter over. If you’ve got any stewed fruit then add a dollop – I cooked up a batch of apple, red currant and blackberries which is great to add to desserts and porridge etc.

Sprinkle the rice krispies or nuts/seeds and if using then add the sweetener (I don’t think it really needs it to be honest!).

Enjoy!

🙂 xx

Recipes

Roasted butternut and apple soup

It’s getting to that time of year when we want to curl up on our sofas under a blanket and fill up on warming foods.

This soup will definitely hit the spot when you are feeling a bit autumnal. Roasting the butternut squash and the apples adds a lovely rich flavour and the sweetness of them both compliment each other brilliantly!

This soup is dressed with the seeds from the butternut so you don’t waste anything either!

You can substitute any sort of pumpkin for the squash too if you prefer.

This will serve 3 – 4 people.

You will need:

1 Butternut squash (approx 1.5kg in size before peeling etc)

2 Apples (Braeburn work best)

2 large white Onions

2 sticks of Celery

1/2 tbsp dried Thyme

1 tsp ground Cumin

1/4 tsp ground Allspice

1 litre Vegetable stock

500ml Water

Salt and Pepper to taste

For the topping:

Seeds from the Butternut squash

1 tsp Olive oil

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

1/4 tsp ground Paprika

Preheat the oven to 200 C.

Cut the butternut in half and scoop out the seeds (keep the seeds for the topping). Peel and cut into chunks. Peel, core and chop the apples into wedges. Place on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil and season. Place in the oven  and roast for 20 – 25 mins or until tender and golden.

Slice the onion and celery finely and pop in to a large pan with a little olive oil. Saute gently for about 10 minutes until soft. Add all the spices and saute for another minute. Add the butternut and apple and stir gently for a minute or 2. Then add the vegetable stock and water and bring to the boil. Allow to simmer for 20 minutes.

Let it cool for a while and then pop in a blender and blitz it (do this very carefully if still warm – it may be worth doing it in 2 batches).

Take the seeds that were removed from the squash and toss in the olive oil and topping spices. Spread on to some baking parchment and place in the oven at 200 C for 5 – 10 minutes until they are starting to turn brown.

Pop a serving of soup in a bowl, sprinkle with the seeds and enjoy with some toast.

(This post was originally published on pureformfitnesskitchen.com)

Recipes

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 🙂

Xx