Monday, 24 May 2010

Spicy Polenta

I've fancied making this for a while now, having read a lot about it. I had tried the ready made variety and found it to be entirely flavourless, but nothing tastes as good as home made food, so I thought I'd give it a try! The results were good, I didn't expect to like it but it made a delicious side dish, and a great portion size for low calories.

Spicy Polenta
Serves: 3
1/3 cup cornmeal  
1 1/3 cup water  
1 cube vegetable stock
1/2 tsp cumin  
3 g garam masala
1 g coriander

Mix the cornmeal/polenta with a little of the water until it is all stirred in, and then slowly dilute until you have used up 2/3 cup water. Then boil the remaining water witht he stock cube until the stock cube dissolves.
Lower the heat and slowly stir in the cornmeal blend. Add in the cumin, garam masala and corriander and continue stirring, allowing the mixture to thicken to a nice gloopy consistency. This should only take about 5 minutes, depending on how coarse your polenta is.
Transfer the mixture to a cake tin, allow to cool and then leave it in the fridge for a few hours.
When it is cooled it should be sliceable, divide into servings. This should keep in the fridge for a few days. 

54 calories per serving, 0.7g F, 0.1g SF, 11.0g C, 0.1g S, 1g Fb, 1.3g P

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Julie's birthday

Well, no recipe for today but I will post a picture of my Carrot and Ginger Cake which I made for Julie's birthday and posted about last week.
I was a little worried that it didn't taste as good as it could have because my scales are off and the colouring didn't seem right, it should have been a little darker. But everyone (bar one person who complained it wasn't fluffy!) seemed to like it. I made the topping and filling with quark, a small amount of icing sugar and some lemon zest and juice. I should note that this isn't meant to be a fluffy cake, it's made with wholemeal flour so that was never going tobe the case!

I'm getting quite nervous about the move to Sweden, only 2 weeks away tomorrow and so much to between now and then. I am guessing that blogs will be a little thin on the ground while I get moved and settled in, but I have not forgotten you so don't alramed!

Friday, 21 May 2010

Nutty Veggie Burgers

These are yummy, even my very loyal meat-eater boyfriend approved them! they go great with a yoghurt sauce, or a chutney in a wholemeal bun or pitta.

Nutty Veggie Burgers
Serves: 9 burgers
240g chick peas, basically 1 drained tin.
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 egg
2 tbsp cornmeal
1 courgette
1 yellow pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
50g almonds
pinch of salt and pepper

Boil the chickpeas for 20 mins to soften them as much as possible. Then drain them and allow to cool.
Put the courgette, garlic, deseeded pepper, and the onion into a magic bullet/blender(you may need to chop them into small pieces first depending on your blender) with the egg, and a few tablespoons of water.
Add the paprika, cumin, turmeric, and salt and pepper.
Remove this mixture and put it into a large mixing bowl.
Now put the cooled chickpeas into the bullet/blender and blitz into a smoothish paste (you may need to add a little water, or sdo this in small batches).Then add this to the mixing bowl.
Roast the almonds in the oven for 15 minutes, making sure they don't burn. Then chop them, but not too finely and add to the mixing bowl.
Give it a good stir and then add in the cornmeal, and mix well.
Line an oven tray with baking sheet and shape the mix into 9 palm-size balls, which you can then flatten into burgers and put on the baking sheet.
Leave the tray in the fridge for an hour or so, then transfewr them to a pre-heated 180 degree oven.
Cook the burgers for 20 minutes, then turn them over with care and roast for a firther 5-10 minutes, so that they go golden brown on both sides.

92 calories per serving, 3.7g F, 0.4g SF, 12.0g C, 1.2g S, 2.8g Fb, 3.9g P

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Apple and Cinnamon Porridge

This is my current favourite breakfast, it is so filling, creamy and delicious. I know English people aren't used to adding much unsuual to their porridge but the Americans are very versatile in their oatmeal creations and there are tonnes of lovely choices out there.

Apple and Cinnamon Porridge
Serves: 1
1 small apple
20g raisins
1/3 cup oats
1 cup water
100g low fat yoghurt
3 tsps sweetener
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp lemon juice

This is best prepared the night before and left to soak in the fridge over night, but can be prepared when you need it.
Core the apple and slice into fine slivers.
Add the water, oats, cinnamon, lemon juice and apple slivers to a pan and leave in the fridge overnight if you have time.
When breakfast time arrives, boil the mixture, constantly stirring until thick and gloopy, you may need to add more water if it thickens before the apple has softened.
Put the raisins, sweetener and yoghurt into the serving dish, give them a quick stir. When the porridge is at the desired consistency, let it cool a few degrees and add it to the yoghurt mixture. If the porridge is too hot, the yoghurt will curdle.
Stir well and enjoy!

288 calories per serving, 2.1g F, 0.3g SF, 63.0g C, 31.7g S, 6.5g Fb, 7.0g P

Monday, 17 May 2010

Courgette Spaghetti

So, this is a wonderful trick to use instead of starchy-carb and calorie loaded pasta. Use courgette instead! Finely slice courgette into match stick size ribbons, then steam them or boil them for 5 minutes. You can add flavour by adding vegetable stock, cumin, or garlic to the water. It is great for adding to the size of your portion without adding to the calories. The texture is actually quite similar to pasta, and even if you don't like the taste of courgette normally, this can be changed to suit your tastes by what you add to the water.

Here is the nutritional information for 1 medium-sized courgette:
31 calories per serving, 0.4g F, 0.1g SF, 6.6g C, 3.4g S, 2.2g Fb, 2.4g P

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Carrot and Ginger Cake

I'm going to be making this for my friend's birthday next weekend. It doesnt really need a topping but you can blend quark and icing sugar with some lemon juice and zest to make it a little more fancy. It's a slightly moister cake, but its a lovely combination with the ginger.

Carrot and Ginger Cake
Serves: 12
100g plain flour
100g whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 egg whites
25ml olive oil
100g honey
10g fresh ginger
45 g raisins
1 tsp ground ginger
350g carrots, peeled and grated
1/4 cup fresh orange juice

Preheat the oven to 150C and clean a 8 inch silicone mould, or use 2 smaller moulds if you intend to put filling in between to make a layer cake.
Grate the carrots into a colander and gently press out some of the water.
Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl.
In a large bowl beat together the wet ingredients until well combined; when you scrape a spoon or whisk along the bottom of the bowl it shouldn’t get stuck in a layer of honey. Stir in the grated carrots, then add the dry ingredients, mixing thoroughly.
Scrape into the prepared tin(s), level the top, and bake for 60mins or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool in the tin for ten minutes, then remove and allow to cool.

139 calories per serving, 2.7g F, 0.5g SF, 26.9g C, 11.1g S, 2.5g Fb, 3.6g P

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Waldorf and Pasta Salad

I had a mad craving for this today, so I had to make it. My healthier remix of a calorie loaded salad I had in California. Great combination of salty, sweet, and tart though!

Waldorf Pasta Salad
Serves: 4
100g gorgonzola cheese
225g beetroots
50g cranberries
2 medium apples
50g pine nuts
20g celery
225g spinach, fresh
50g whole wheat pasta

Spread the pine nuts out on some baking papaer and roast on low in the oven for 10 minutes.
Put the pasta on to boil and cook according to packet instructions.
Slice the apples and beetroots into thin wedges, and cut the celery as fine as possible.
Wash the spinach leaves and pat dry.
Crumble the cheese.
Mix everything together and serve. Keeps in the fridge for a few days, but if you're going to refridgerate it, then don't put the beetroot in or everything will be purple by the time you eat it!

297 calories per serving, 16.4g F, 5.4g SF, 31.4g C, 13.4g S, 7.1g Fb, 11.6g P

Honey and Vingar Dressing
Serves: 4

1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil

Mix all together in a jar and shake to your heart's content!

48 calories per serving, 4.3g F, 0.4g SF, 4.7g C, 0.5g S, 0g Fb, 0g P

Wednesday, 12 May 2010


I must stop with the daily blogs; I'll run out of recipes! I shall have to start including snippets of my actual life! I was thinking I might show a few of my 1,500 cal meal plans in future blogs, using a few of my recipes and favourite breakfast and snack combinations. We shall see!

Credit for this recipe must go to my mum, she makes the world's best ratatouille. It is entirely delicious! This can be a side dish, or a main served with some bulgur wheat and chickpeas.

Serves: 4

1 aubergine
2 courgettes
1 yellow pepper
1 red pepper
400g tomatos, canned
3 cloves garlic
4 g basil, fresh
2 g parsley, fried
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil

Chop the veg into fairly chunky pieces and roast with the garlic cloves and oil in oven for 30/40 mins, but keep an eye on them, the cooking time varies depending on how big the pieces are.
Blend the tomatoes, herbs, vinegar, a few of the roasted vegetables and all the roasted garlic with a hand blender, then put onto a low heat.
Add the roasted veg and leave to simmer for a while.

116 calories per serving, 5.1g F, 0.6g SF, 19.3g C, 8.0g S, 7.1 Fb, 4.1g P

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Chocolate and Raisin Porridge

This is my slightly naughty, but still low-calorie favourite breakfast. I sometimes switch the raisins for banana, which is equally yummy. Options is great, the creamiest low cal hot chocolate out there, fully recommended! Perfect for a sunday morning treat, enjoy!

Chocolate and Raisin Porridge
Serves: 1

1 serving options belgian hot chocolate
1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup soy milk
20g raisins

This can be prepared the night before, just pop it in the fridge and boil it the next morning.
Mix the oats, powder, soy milk and water together.
Boil on the hob for about 20 minutes, stirring continually, adding more water if it starts drying up.
Add the raisins last thing.
Transfer to bowl and enjoy!

269 calories per serving, 5.1g F, 0.6g SF, 47.9g C, 17g S, 5.0 Fb, 9.5g P

Monday, 10 May 2010

Carrot and Coriander Soup

A kitchen classic. Everybody should know how to make this delicious low calorie soup! The honey adds the smallest amount of sweetness and a slight depth of flavour which adds quite a bit to the taste.

Carrot and Coriander Soup
Serves 6

1 tsp olive oil
1 onion
850g carrots
1 tsp honey
1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
1 vegetable stock cube
1l water
3 tsp dried coriander
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper

Chop the onion and fry off in the oil, once it has softened, lower the heat as much as possible and add the honey.
Keep the onion slowly cooking, adding a little water if it appears to be getting dry.
When the onions have turned brown, add the water, stock cube and coriander (seeds and leaf).
Add the peeled and chopped carrot and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, or until the carrot pieces have thoroughly softened.
Blend with a hand blender and season to taste.

77 calories per serving, 1.2g F, 0.2g SF, 16.5g C, 8.5g S, 4.3 Fb, 1.6g P

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Lemon and Herb Tofu

This little dish is great added into a stirfry, or with a sweet-chilli dipping sauce. It is one of my favourites, and works equally well with chicken for the meat eaters out there.

Lemon and Herb Tofu
Serves: 2

250g tofu, firm
1 tsp lemon peel
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
3 g basil
3 g thyme
3 g parsley
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper

This recipe is best prepared the night before.
Remove the tofu from the packet and place on a flat plate, place a chopping board atop it and weight it down with some heavy books/tins.
After at least 3 hours, you can remove the weights and pour off all the excess water.
Chop the tofu into bite-sized cubes.
Grate the lemon zest into a ziplock/resealable bag and add in the herbs, juice and pepper. Grind the garlic with the salt in a pestle and mortar (or just chop the garlic finely if you dont have one) and add into the marinade bag.
Add in the tofu and leave to marinate for as long as possible. Check occasionally to make sure there is still liquid, if there is none left in the bag you can add a little more lemon juice. The tofu will absorb as much flavour and liquid as possible to replace all the liquid you removed by pressing.
This tofu can then be dry fried or grilled, whatever your taste!

103 calories per serving, 5.4g F, 1.1g SF, 6.4g C, 1.4g S, 2.0 Fb, 10.8g P

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry

Continuing the curry theme today! This one is delicious, made it for my family once, because I'd heard that butternut squash and coconut are designed for one another. This appears to have been true!

Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry
Serves: 6
1 cup green lentils
700ml water
1 large onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 aubergine
1 butternut squash
1 carrot
3g ginger
2 tsp garam masala
200ml coconut milk, low fat
2 vegetable stock cubes
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 red pepper
1/2g yellow pepper
100g okra
400g cauliflower
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp corn flour

Cut the squash into cubes and roast in the oven for 20 mins.
Heat the oil with all herbs and spices for 2 -3 mins.
Add the chopped garlic and ginger along with the tomato puree and a dash of water.
Simmer for a minute or so then add the chopped onions.
Once the onions have softened add stock cubes, lentils and remaining water.
Add the cauliflower florets and cubed carrot.
Simmer for 20 mins.
Add the okra and butternut squash.
Simmer for 15 mins.
Add the coconut milk.
Addd the corn flour mixed with a little water, to thicken.
Simmer for 10 mins uncovered.

290 calories per serving, 7.0g F, 3.8g SF, 50.7 C, 8.9g S, 12.3 Fb, 11.4g P

Friday, 7 May 2010

Vegetarian Calzone Pizza

This was a recipe adapted from my low fat cookbook, to make it a little lower calorie. It is absolutely delicious and really filling. I often serve it with my Tomato and Basil Soup which I boil until it thickens, and use as a tomato sauce. A rocket salad complements the flavours beautifully. Because it is a bit dense on the starchy carbs I tend to have it for lunch rather than dinner, but that is of course a personal choice!

Vegetarian Calzone Pizza
Serves: 5

420g wholemeal flour
15g fresh yeast
1 vegetable stock cube
250 ml water (to mix with cube)
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 onion
10 leaves basil
80g low-fat mozzarella cheese
50g sun dried tomatos
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 cloves garlic
4 mushrooms
1/2 small red pepper

Boil the water and disolve the stock cube in it, set aside to cool down, until it is only luke warm.
Mix the flour, yeast, honey, caraway seeds and luke warm stock in a mixing bowl until it forms a dough. Let the dough rise for an hour.
Knead the dough and seperate into 5 balls. Leave these to rise under a tea towel for a further 30 mins.
Meanwhile, cut the mushrooms, onion, garlic, mozzarella, pepper, and sundried tomatoes into smallish chunks. Roughly chop the basil and whack it all (except the mozzarealla) into a frying pan with a little water so it doesn't stick. Once all the veg is softened, add the tomato puree.
When the filling is complete, and the dough has finished rising, roll the balls into circular shapes, about 5mm thick and put them onto baking trays with baking paper.
Split the filling equally between the 5 circles, not all the way to the edges.
Scatter the mozzarella over the pizzas equally.
Fold the dough over so that it makes a half moon shape, and press the edges into each other.
You can brush them with skimmed milk for a nice finish.
Bake in the oven for about 20 mins, until the crust is golden.

377 calories per serving, 6.4g F, 2.5g SF, 68.3g C, 2.9g S, 11.5g Fb, 17.5g P

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Chickpea and Spinach Curry

My family loves it when I cook this! There are 3 servings because I eat it on its own as a meal, but if you have it with rice, or pilau bulgur as I occasionally do, you can half the portion size. This is so incredibly low calorie for a huge portion and one of the meals I tend to make in bulk and keep in the freezer for a while. It really is delicious! Don't be daunted by all the herbs and spices, they are all great for using with other things.

Chickpea and Spinach Curry
Serves: 3
240g chick peas, canned, drained weight (basically one tin)
400g tomatoes, canned
100g spinach
8 mushrooms
1 onion
2g yellow mustard seeds
5g paprika
5g cumin
2g ginger
2g garam masala
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1g pepper
1 small red pepper
1 small green pepper
2 small yellow pepper

Heat the oil in the bottom of a large pan.
Add the mustard seeds on low temperature
When the mustard seeds start to pop add in the sliced onions garlic and ginger with a little water.
When the onions soften add in the mushrooms and peppers.
Add in the spices and herbs and cover for 5 mins until all the veg is soft.
Add in the chickpeas and cover for 5 more mins.
Add in the chopped tomatoes and stir well.
After 5 or so mins add the spinach (about 6/7 lumps frozen).
Mix the spinach in so its covered by the sauce.
Cover it up but keep stirring every few mins.
It can be served as soon as the spinach is cooked (i.e. not frozen in big lumps, but flavour intensifies the longer you simmer it for.
It may need simmering without the lid to reduce the wateriness of the sauce.

240 calories per serving, 7.4g F, 0.9g SF, 38.2 C, 8g S, 9.5 Fb, 9.8g P

Wednesday, 5 May 2010


What would any recipe blog be without a classic bolognaise! This recipe was passed down for my mum, its just a basic bolognaise recipe, but it really is delicious. I tend to eat it without pasta as a full meal, but if you're having pasta then you could stretch the servings further, say double as many portions. You can of course use a vegetarian alternative to the beef. I very rarely eat red meat any more, so this is a rare treat, or cooked when I have non-vegetarian guests.

Serves: 3

250g extra lean minced beef
400g tinned tomatos
1/2 red pepper
1/2 yellow pepper
8 mushrooms
1 tbsp ketchup
50g celery
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2g basil
2g parsley
4g oregano

Slice the onions and garlic and dry fry, or fry with a little water so it doesn't stick.
Once the onions have started to soften, add the chopped mushrooms, peppers, and herbs.
Once all the veg is soft, add the minced meat.
Once the meat is browned, add in the chopped tomatoes and ketchup.
You can eat it straight away, but trust me it won't taste anywhere near as good as it will if you leave it to simmer for 45 mins, stirring occasionally.

228 calories per serving, 5.8g F, 2.1g SF, 15.9 C, 8.2g S, 4g Fb, 29.1g P

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Cheats Pesto Sauce

This is a low calorie version of high calorie and fat green pesto. Can use it is a sauce, dip, spread or to finish soups. Tastes yummy! You can thicken it up with a little wheat germ for added health bonus but a few extra calories.

Cheats Pesto Sauce
Serves: 6
150g 0-3% fat greek yoghurt
1 clove garlic
20g parmesan
15 leaves basil

This one is simple: Put in a food processor/magic bullet and blitz, then chill for at least 2 hours. Overnight is best.

41 calories per serving, 2.2g F, 0.6g SF, 2.3 C, 2.3g S, 0g Fb, 2.6g P

Monday, 3 May 2010

Aubergine Hummus

This is an awesome combination of Baba Ganoush and Regular Hummus. It is fantastic as a dip, or spread on some brown bread or a wholemeal pitta with spinach and sundried tomatoes.

Aubergine Hummus

Serves: 8

1 aubergine
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp lemon juice
2g cumin
200g chickpeas, dried
1 tbsp olive oil
1 chicken/veggie stock cube

Soak the chickpeas in water overnight
Then cook them in the same water with the stock cube added in for 20 mins.
Roast the aubergine until the skin is blackened. When it is cooled you can just peel off the skin and the flesh will be mostly mashable.
Mash the aubergine with the crushed garlic, salt, cumin, lemon juice and olive oil.
Drain the chick peas but reserve the water.
Add the chickpeas to the aubergine mixture with a little of the reserved water and blitz with a hand blender. Add a little more water if it is too thick, but not too much.

It makes 8 large (100g) portions, but you could stretch it out further.

123 calories per serving, 3.4g F, 0.4g SF, 19.1 C, 4.1g S, 6.4g Fb, 5.6g P

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Butternut Squash Soup

This soup was one of the strangely significant meals on my healthy lifestyle journey. As I was losing weight I was encouraged to try new things and find tasty healthy foods. I had heard about butternut squash and figured I may as well try it, so me and my mum bought ont and googled it. The easiest recipe to make was soup, so that's what we did! Now, I can't get enough of this amazing squash! If you've never tried butternut squash, you must try this recipe!

Butternut Squash Soup
Serves: 6
400ml water
500g butternut squash
1 onion
1 carrot
1 veggie stock cube
1 clove garlic
1 tsp olive oil
tiny dash of cayenne pepper(optional)

Cut the squash in half length ways and remove the seeds and fleshy bit. Then bake in the oven for 40 mins.
Once baked and cooled, just peel the skin off, it should come off no problem. Make sure you don't waste any fluids that have accumulated in the squash, pour them into the sauce pan.
Fry the onion and garlic in the oil and any fluids from the squash until softened.
Add the Stock and water as well as the chopped carrot.
Cook for 20 mins and then chop the squash and add this. Also add the cayenne pepper at this point if you dare, but be careful you only need a tiny amount to make a huge difference.
Cook for 10 mins more then remove from heat and blitz.

80 calories per serving, 1.8g F, 0.2g SF, 16.0g C, 3.7g S, 2.8g Fb, 1.8g P

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Rye and Wholemeal Rolls

These are my favourite bread rolls, they're really easy to make, just take a little time. They go great with the tomato and basil soup, and are perfecxt with a little low fat spread, or just as a sandwich! You can add a few seeds or rye flakes for some interesting texture combinations.

Rye and Wholemeal Rolls
Serves 12
180g rye flour
200g wholemeal flour
15g fresh yeast
500ml water
1 tsp honey
1/2 tsp salt

Quite a simple case of mixing everything together and mixing, leave to rise for 2 hours, roll out onto a surface and knead for 10 minutes. Divide into 12 smallish rolls and put them very widely spaced on baking paper
Cover with a wet tea towel and let rise for another hour.
Cook for 20-25 mins at 170 and enjoy!

106 calories per serving, 0.8g F, 0.1g SF, 21.5g C, 0.6g S, 5.2g Fb, 4.6g P