Category Archives: Lunch

3 Courses of Chocolate

HAPPY INTERNATIONAL CHOCOLATE DAY!!! To celebrate, I have created 3 courses of chocolate – all healthy recipes which provide numerous vitamins and minerals: spinach and pear salad with a chocolate vinaigrette for starter; steak with a chocolate and coffee sauce for main; and chocolate fruit pudding for dessert. I use 85% dark chocolate in all the recipes, which is high in antioxidants and minerals such as copper for iron metabolism and blood clots; and manganese for bone health and reducing inflammation. Enjoy!

Starter: Spinach and Pear Salad with Chocolate Vinaigrette

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pear
  • handful of spinach
  • 10g 85% dark chocolate
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 slices parma ham
  • 1 tsp honey

METHOD:

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave for 30s-1min, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey, season, and whisk to create the vinaigrette.
  3. Arrange the spinach, pear and pancetta on a plate, and cover in dressing.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Pear – High in vitamin C for immune and antioxidant function, K for cell signalling, and potassium for fluid balance and electrolytes.

Spinach – providing vitamin K for cell signalling and vitamin A for eye function, as well as fibre for digestion.

Parma ham – High in protein and the B vitamins for carbohydrate and energy utilisation, and mineral phosphorus for bone and protein function.

Main: Steak with Chocolate and Coffee Sauce

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 140g (1 average) lean trimmed steak
  • 1 medium potato, cut into wedges
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 garlic clove, diced
  • 2 slices parma ham
  • 50ml white wine
  • 50ml fat free creme fraiche
  • 2 tbsp coffee (I used 1 tsp instant made up with water)
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp pink peppercorns
  • 10g 85% dark chocolate

NUTRITION:Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 09.29.56.png

Beef – High in protein and low in fat, when the lean version is bought. It is also high in vitamin B3, B6 and B12 for energy release in respiration, and iron for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis and immune function.

Onion –  High in vitamin C for immune function, folic acid for DNA synthesis, and fibre for digestion.

Creme fraiche – contributes towards your protein and calcium requirements. Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintenance.

Parma ham – High in protein and the B vitamins for carbohydrate and energy utilisation, and mineral phosphorus for bone and protein function.

Spinach – providing vitamin K for cell signalling and vitamin A for eye function, as well as fibre for digestion.

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/ 6.
  2. Mix 1 tsp of olive oil with the potato wedges and season. Bake for 40minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan on a medium heat and sauté the onion until caramelised for 5minutes. Blitz in a blender with the white wine into a paste.
  4. Add the steak to the pan and fry on each side for 2 minutes on a high heat. Remove from the pan.
  5. Add the parma ham and fry until just crisping, then add the onion paste and heat through for a further 2 minutes.
  6. Return the beef to the pan along with the creme fraiche and peppercorns and cook until bubbling, then add the coffee, chocolate and thyme until simmering.
  7. Serve with spinach and the potato wedges.
  8. Enjoy!

Dessert: Chocolate Blueberry Pudding

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 150ml fat free greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • 60g blueberry
  • half a banana
  • 1 tso 85% dark chocolate, grated
  • honey (optional, to make sweeter)

METHOD:

  1. Mix half the greek yoghurt with the cocoa powder.
  2. Serve in a tall glass tumbler, layering the cocoa yoghurt, fruit, and plain yoghurt.
  3. Top with chocolate shavings and a mint leaf.
  4. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 09.31.43.png

Yoghurt – contributes towards your protein and calcium requirements. Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintenance.

Blueberries – Containing iron for oxygen transfer, phosphorus for bone structure, and magnesium for nerve transmission and DNA replication.

Banana – High in potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction, and containing naturally occurring sugars to keep your energy up for longer!

African-Spiced Peach and Pomegranate Chicken

I am stuck in not-so-sunny Cardiff so I thought I would make a summery spiced salad to cheer me up! Using North African flavours, this light and easy meal can be used as a lunch and a tea, and provides a load of vitamins and minerals for health.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 2 peaches, quartered
  • 1 courgette, stripped
  • 3 Brazil nuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Seasoning

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/8.
  2. Mix the spices together and put half on the chicken thighs and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the remaining spices to the peaches and add to the oven after the 10 minutes is over. The peaches and chicken thighs should now take a further 20minutes to cook.
  4. When they are nearly done, heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium-high heat. Add the courgette strips and cook until slightly browned.
  5. Plate up the courgette, peaches and chicken thighs, and top with the pomegranate seeds and Brazil nuts.
  6. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Chicken – a good source of protein which is high in the vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and niacin for energy production; and zinc for enzyme function, immune control and protein synthesis.

Peaches – High in vitamin A for vision, and C for antioxidant and immune function.

Brazil nuts – One of the best sources of selenium which has a massive role in the immune system and in thyroid hormone function.

Pomegranate seeds – Considered a superfood, pomegranate is high in vitamin C for immune function, folate for DNA synthesis, and potassium for fluid balance.

Courgette – High in vitamin A for vision, fibre for digestion, and magnesium for chemical reactions in the body and immune function.

Moroccan Chicken and Date Couscous

A fragrant tea or easy pack up lunch, this Moroccan style chicken uses dates to give it a sweet kick and is super high in protein!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 40g couscous
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • 5 dates
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 120ml boiling water or chicken stock
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Bunch of parsley, to top
  • METHOD:
    1. Preheat the oven to 220/8.
      Heat the olive oil on a medium-high heat and brown the chicken thighs for 4-5 minutes, or until crispy.
      Remove and add to a roasting tin, along with the dry couscous.
      In the same pan that has just cooked the chicken, reduce the heat and soften the onion and garlic for 5minutes.
      Add the dates, cumin, cinnamon and stock to the onion mix, and bring to the boil.
      Mix the dates and stock to the dried couscous and chicken in the roasting tin, and cover with tin foil.
      Bake for 25- 30 minutes.
      Serve with parsley and enjoy!

    NUTRITION:

    Chicken – a good source of protein which is high in the vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and niacin for energy production; and zinc for enzyme function, immune control and protein synthesis.

    Couscous – high in protein (5g per portion) and providing a good base for this dish.

    Onion – High in vitamin C for immune function, folic acid for DNA synthesis, and fibre for digestion.

    Dates – a good source of carbohydrate and high in calcium for bone strength.

    Quick and Easy Egg Noodle Salad

    Need a pack up lunch idea, meal-prep, or just have a busy schedule and need a quick and easy meal to fuel your day? Look no further, this veggie noodle bowl is perfect!

    Serves 1

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 boiled egg
    • Handful of spinach
    • 1 large tomato, chopped
    • Half an avocado, chopped
    • 50g dried egg noodles (1 nest)
    • 1 tbsp reduces-salt soy sauce

    METHOD:

    1. Boil the egg noodles as per packet instructions
    2. Toss all ingredients together
    3. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION

    Eggs – Eggs are the most useful protein source as they provide essential amino acids (the building molecules of protein), which are also absorbed most efficiently by the body.

    Noodles – A good carbohydrate base to keep you fuller for longer, and relatively low in calories.

    Avocado – High in unsaturated (good) fats and relatively low in saturates (bad).

    Tomatoes – massively high in vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis; it also has functions in detoxification and as an antioxidant. It also gives you vitamin A for vision and immune function, and potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction.

    Spinach – An excellent source of vitamin K for cell signalling and to aid calcium absorption, and magnesium for nerve transmission and heart function.

    Beef-ey Poached Eggs

    Yummy yummy yummy… a twist on a shaklaka (of which I will be making soon…) and can be eaten for breakfast, tea or dinner!

    Serves 2

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 250g 5% fat minced beef
    • 1 can chopped tomatoes
    • 4 eggs
    • 2 onions, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, diced
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 140g frozen peas

    METHOD:

    1. Saute the onions for 3-4minutes on a medium heat until soft.
    2. Add the mince beef and turn to a high heat to brown. Then reduce the heat and cook for a further 5minutes.
    3. Add the garlic and mix for 2 minutes.
    4. Add the canned tomatoes and peas, and mix.
    5. Crack the eggs on top of the beef, cover and cook for 4minutes or until the eggs are cooked as wanted.
    6. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION:

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    Beef – High in protein and low in fat, when the lean version is bought. It is also high in vitamin B3, B6 and B12 for energy release in respiration, and iron for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis and immune function.

    Eggs –  Eggs are the most useful protein source as they provide essential amino acids (the building molecules of protein), which are also absorbed most efficiently by the body.

    Tomatoes – massively high in vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis; it also has functions in detoxification and as an antioxidant. It also gives you vitamin A for vision and immune function, and potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction.

    Peas – providing potassium, vitamin B6 for energy and dietary fibre for bowel moment.

    Pesto Bread Roll-Ups

    Yummy yummy yummy – a picnic tear-off bread roll bunch for enjoying those sunny park lunches!

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 2 tbsp green or red pesto
    • 1 tsp dried yeast
    • 500g bread/ spelt flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 50g oil
    • 300ml tepid water

    METHOD:

    1. Sieve flour into a large bowl. Add yeast and salt, and mix with fingers.
    2. Make a deep well in the middle of the dry ingredients.
    3. Put the oil in the well.
    4. Add most of the water to the well.
    5. To combine, mix the flour which is around the oil/water mix into the well – you are combining the ingredients outside in. Add the rest of the water until a firm dough has formed.
    6. On a floured surface, knead the dough for 15 minutes – until it becomes less sticky and more resilient (stretchy not breaking).
    7. Leave somewhere warm in a bowl (covered by greaseproof paper and then a tea towel on top) for 1-2 hours until it doubles in size.
    8. Once proved, roll out into a large thin rectangle – a similar thickness to an Italian pizza base, and spread on the pesto. Other ingredients can be added at this stage – cheese or parma ham is a tasty addition to roll in.
    9. Now it is time to roll – this is done by rolling the longest edge towards the other longest edge so that we get a longer rolled sausage shape at the end (so we have even more rolls!). Start by curling the edge around to start the roll, and slowly tease the dough so it is curling in on itself.IMG_2268.jpg
    10. Cut into 12 equal pieces, and place in a greased tin with space for them to grow.IMG_2277.jpg
    11. Leave somewhere warm (covered by greaseproof paper and then a tea towel on top) for 1-2 hours until the rolls fill the tin.
    12. Heat oven to 180/4, and bake the rolls for 25-30 minutes.
    13. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION

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    Cajun Prawns

    Low in calorie, fat and high in protein, this light tea/ lunch provides 4 of your 5 a day with a spicey twist!

    INGREDIENTS

    • 150g raw prawns
    • 1 green pepper, chopped
    • 200g cherry tomatoes, halved
    • 1 sweetcorn cob, chopped
    • 2 carrots, chopped
    • 1 tsp garlic powder
    • 1 tsp paprika
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 tsp dried thyme
    • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
    • Seasoning
    • 1 tbsp olive oil

    METHOD

    1. Preheat the oven to 220/8
    2. Pop the sweetcorn cob pieces in the microwave for 3-4minutes until slightly soft.
    3. Mix the spices and seasoning in a small bowl.
    4. Put the prawns, pepper, tomatoes, sweetcorn cob and carrot pieces and top with the spice mix and olive oil, mix well.
    5. Put in oven and bake for 20minutes.
    6. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION

    Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 13.54.07.png

    Prawns – High in protein and low in fat for a lean tasty meat!

    Tomatoes – massively high in vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis; it also has functions in detoxification and as an antioxidant. It also gives you vitamin A for vision and immune function, and potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction.

    Pepper – Also high in vitamin A and C, but also B6 to release energy and folate which helps DNA synthesis.

    Carrots – Also high in vitamin A (specifically beta-carotene) for vision and immune function.

    Sweetcorn – High in vitamin B1 and B5 for release of energy from respiration, and vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis.

     

    Moroccan-Spiced Chicken One-Pot

    A low-fat, high protein (52.2g per serving) and moderate calorie main meal, perfect for the summer and packing a punch with spices and flavour!

    Serves 1

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 chicken breast, cut into chunks
    • 50g dried couscous
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, diced
    • 150ml water or chicken stock
    • 80g cooked peas
    • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
    • 1 tsp ground cumin
    • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
    • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • 1 bunch fresh mint

    METHOD:

    1. Heat the olive oil on a high heat.
    2. Sear the chicken so there is no pink around the outside, and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes.
    3. Reduce the heat to medium, and add the onions and cook for 5 minutes.
    4. Add the spices, garlic and carrots, and cook for a further 4minutes until the carrots are slightly soft.
    5. Remove from the heat and add the stock or boiled water, the peas and the couscous. Combine well.
    6. Leave for 5 minutes, until the couscous has expanded and is soft and fluffy.
    7. Add fresh mint to serve.
    8. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION

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    YES LADS LOOK AT ALL THAT GREEN!

    Chicken – a low-fat source of protein which is high in the vitamins thiamin, riboflavin and niacin for energy production; and zinc for enzyme function, immune control and protein synthesis.

    Couscous – high in protein (6g per portion) and providing a good base for this dish.

    Peas – providing potassium, vitamin B6 for energy and dietary fibre for bowel moment.

    Carrots – High in retinol for vision, thiamin for energy release from carbohydrates and neurotransmitter synthesis, fibre for digestion, vitamin C for immune and antioxidant function, and potassium.

     

    Ham and Cheese Potato-Crusted Quiche

    Can be eaten hot or cold! Leftovers are perfect for a picnic when enjoying the beautiful (but limited) British sunshine.

    Serves 2

    INGREDIENTS

    • Potato, thinly sliced into circles
    • 5 eggs
    • 150ml semi-skimmed milk
    • Cooked Ham
    • 60g 30% lighter cheese, grated
    • 6 cherry tomatoes
    • 1 tsp olive oil
    • Seasoning

    METHOD

    1. Preheat the oven to 220/8.
    2. Mix the potato slices with the olive oil and season.
    3. Line a oven-proof dish with the thins, including the walls, to cover and make a base.
    4. Bake for 20minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and milk together, and add the ham and cheese.
    6. Once the base is cooked, pour in the quiche filling, top with tomatoes, and bake for a further 20-30 minutes, depending on how deep the base is.
    7. Serve with salad or veggies.
    8. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION

    Screen Shot 2018-05-09 at 12.55.25.png

    The fat and salt content of this can be reduced further by not including the cheese, swapping the semi-skimmed for skimmed milk, and swapping out the ham for a lower-salt meat like chicken or tinned tuna.

    Eggs – Eggs are the most useful protein source as they provide essential amino acids (the building molecules of protein), which are also absorbed most efficiently by the body.

    Potato – A starchy, low-fat base they will provide you with energy for the rest of the day.

    Cheese – Despite the high fat content, cheese is high in calcium for bone strength and stability.

    Ham – A good source of Thiamin for the release of energy from carbohydrates and neurotransmitter synthesis, and high in protein for muscle repair and recovery.