Friday, 30 April 2010

Tomato and Basil Soup

This is one of my favourite soups, and really easy to make. It keeps in the fridge for a few days and freezes perfectly. It also makes a great meal with some homemade rye bread and a few kidney or borlotti beans. As a snack to keep in a thermos flask its a perfect hunger killer.

Tomato and Basil Soup
Serves: 5

400g chopped tomatoes
1 beef stock cube / vegetable stock cube
400g cherry tomatoes
15 leaves basil
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
300 ml water

Pour the oil into the sauce pan and add in the cherry tomatoes and roll them around a bit.
Then spoon out the oiled tomatoes onto an oven tray with a few basil leaves and roast for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the finely chopped garlic and onion to the pan with the remaining oil and fry until softened.
Add the chopped tomatoes with the tea spoon of sugar and the remaining basil leaves.
Leave the pan to simmer, stirring occasionally for approximately 20 minutes.
Add the stock cube and water to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes more.
Add the roast tomatoes, basil leaves and any juices to the pan.
Simmer for a further 5 minutes and then remove from heat and blitz.

55 calories per serving, 1.4g F, 0.2g SF, 10.0g C, 6.0g S, 2.3g Fb, 2.0g P

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Mixed Bean Chilli

This recipe is a fantastic, versatile dish. Can fill wraps with it,top tacos, baked potatos or blitz it to make a bean dip. The recipe calles for 4 types of beans, half a can of each, I like to use the rest of the cans to make a mixed bean salad, or you could just use 2 full cans of two types of beans if you'd like.

Mixed Bean Chilli
Serves 5
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tbsp chilli powder
1/2 tbsp cumin
400g chopped tomatoes, canned
1 tbsp tomato puree
88g pinto beans (1/2 a morrisons can)
88g cannellini beans (1/2 a morrisons can)
88g borlotti beans (1/2 a morrisons can)
88g blackeye beans(1/2 a morrisons can)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken stock cube
300ml water
1/4 red pepper
1/4 green pepper
6 mushrooms

Fry the oil with chilli, crushed garlic, salt and cumin.
Add the onion and soften.
Add the tomato puree, mushrooms and peppers.
Put lid on and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add the water, stock cube and chopped tomotoes
Add all the beans.
The dish needs to simmer for at least 30 minutes to thicken up, keep stirring it until the suace is MUCH thicker,it can take about an hour. If you need it in a hurry, blast one serving in the microwave for 5-10 minutes to thicken.

124 calories per serving, 3.5g F, 0.5g SF, 18.6g C, 3.9g S, 5.4g Fb, 6.0g P

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Wholemeal Scotch Pancakes

This is one of my favourite breakfasts. I usually hmake a whole bacth then eat them over 4 days. I wouldn't recommend keeping them any longer. My favourite topping is greek yoghurt, cinnamon, and a banana which has been blasted under the grill in its skin for a bit. A mixture of strawberries, rapsberries and blueberries was very yummy with greek yoghurt also. A few chopped nuts or a light drizzle of honey is always good.

Wholemeal Scotch Pancakes
Serves:4 (2 pancakes each)
120 g whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 g salt
30 g caster sugar
1 egg
1/4 pint skim milk

Heat a good quality non-stick pan (or use a slightly less reliable with a light brushing of olive oil) on medium-low.
Mix the flour baking powder and salt with the sugar.
In a jug whisk the milk and egg then pour into the dry ingredients until the batter is smooth.
Leave in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Use a tablespoon to pour the batter into the pan, this should give you about the right serving size to make 8 pancakes.
Keep an eye on them, when little air bobbles stort forming on the top, you can start to turn them over.
165 calories per serving, 1.4g F, 0.4g SF, 32.3g C, 9.2g S, 0.8g Fb, 5.5g P

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Prawn Gumbo

This is a fab recipe, and it freezes well so I tend to make it and store the other 3 portions in the freezer. I eat it as a meal with a salad or as a light snack between meals. I tend to eat 5 small meals throughout the day rather than have big meals.

Prawn Gumbo
Serves: 4
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 rashers bacon, fat removed
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red pepper, finely chopped
850 ml fish stock
3g allspice
40g bulgur wheat
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
100g french beans/okra, thinly sliced
125g prawns
1tbsp thai fish sauce
2tsp tomato puree
3g parsley
1 bay leaf

Fry the onion, garlic and bacon in the oil until softened and then add the red pepper and cook for a few more minutes.
Add the stock, bay leaf, bulgur wheat and vinegar, cover and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally so it doesn't stick.
Add the okra/green beans, prawns, thai fish saucxe and tomato purée then cover and simmer for 15 minutes more (it should thicken up a bit).
Remove bay leaf and season to taste. You can garnish with some whole prawn.

209 calories per serving, 8.5g F, 1.1g SF, 16g C, 3.9g S, 4.1g Fb, 17.4g P

Monday, 26 April 2010

Butternut Squash and Lentil Casserole

Ok, this is one of my absolute favourites. It has a great balance of protein to carbs, and is low in fat and - even better - low in calories. I should add that I lost weight through a combination of educating myself about nutrition and the phenomenon of calorie counting. The way our body works is far too complicated to ignorantly assume that even accurate calorie counting is a sure-fire method of ensuring that we lose weight, but it is a fantastic guideline to ensure you are eating at a defecit.

I found this recipe on CC and it sounded crazy! Butternut squash, garlic and cranberries!? But I was curious so I had to try it. Sure enough, with a little tweaking, it was a taste-bud sensation!

Butternut Squash and Lentil Casserole
Serves: 6
500g Butternut Squash
1 1/2 cups green lentils
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 cloves garlic
3g thyme
400g tomatoes, tinned
100g dried cranberries // 100g prunes (my mum recommends this its definitely delicious)
1 tsp olive oil
1 onion
1 vegetable stock cube
400 ml water

Boil the lentils in the stock cube and water for 1 hour.
Roast the squash in chunks in the oven for 30 mins.
Warm the oil and add finely chopped garlic and coarsley chopped onion.
Add the squash and any fluids which may have come off during roasting.
Drain the lentils, reserving the stock and adding it to the pan.
When the squash begings to break up a little, add the lentils and tin of tomatoes.
Simmer for 20 mins then add cinnamon,nutmeg, thyme & cranberries.
Mix well and leave to simmer for 30-45 minutes, or until the squash has almost completely broken down and the sauce has thickened.

227 calories per serving, 0.2g F, 0.0g SF, 44.2g C, 6.9g S, 10.1g Fb, 11.9g P

This freezes well and refridgerates for up to 3 days. I know the combination of flavours sounds crazy, I was skeptical too, but it really tastes delicious! I eat it on its own, its quite a large portion. Would perhaps go well with a small green salad, and maybe some bulgur wheat or brown rice if you fancy some starchy carbs/grains.

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Date and Walnut Loaf

Ok so, I've been on my journey to a healthy-living lifestyle since July 2009. Having lost 100lbs I wanted to reflect upon some of the ways in which my eating has changed. I've found ways of having the little treats I need for lower calories and in a healthier way. Today I'm going to be having a slice of date and walnut loaf cake with a cup of tea. I originally made it for my mum but ended up loving it myself! I don't actually like dates but this "tea-bread" is lovely. It has the same texture and satisfaction as a brownie, but there's no chocolate.

Date & Walnut Loaf
Serves: 12
3/4 cup water
250 g dates
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp margarine
100 g honey
1 egg
200 g wholemeal flour
50 g walnuts
1 tbsp olive oil
1 g vanilla essence

Pour the boiling water over the dates and baking soda - allow to stand.
Beat the margarine olive oil and honey together.
Add the egg and the flour and mix well.
Stir in the dates and the liquid.
Add a few drops of vanilla essence and mix well.
Pour into a prepared loaf tin and cook on a med-low temperature for an hour.
It will rise but then sink again when you remove it.
Slice into 12 pieces, wrap any you wont use immediately in cling film and freeze when cooled.

186 calories per serving, 5.4g F, 0.6g SF, 33.1g C, 20.1g S, 3.5g Fb, 4g P

One of my slightly naughtier recipes, but well worth the slightly higher calories as it is really quite filling.