Category Archives: Recipes

Chicken and Hummus Couscous Salad

DINNER IDEA

Okay so I normally grab a sandwich for lunch, or have leftovers from tea the night before, but today I thought I would spice things up as I had some time this morning to make my pack-up. To my surprise this literally took me 10minutes to make so I will definitely be doing it again!

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

  • 60g dry couscous
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp dried coriander
  • 1/2 tsp dried cumin
  • 160ml boiled water
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cucumber, chopper
  • Leftover chicken (swap for chickpeas or beans for a veggie version)
  • 1-2 teaspoons hummus
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander, chopped

METHOD

  1. Mix the dry couscous and spices together, and cover with boiled water.
  2. Leave for 5 minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed all the water.
  3. Fluff the couscous with a fork to separate.
  4. Mix in the chicken, cucumber, pepper and fresh coriander.
  5. Put in a sealable container (if making a pack-up) and top with hummus.
  6. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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Chorizo, Tomato and Pea Risotto

This meal provides you with 3 out of your 5-a-day, and is perfect if cooking for large dinner parties if wanting something easy!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 200g arborio rice
  • 600ml chicken stock or water
  • 80g chorizo, diced
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • Bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 200g frozen peas
  • Parmesan (optional)

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in the pan and add the chorizo and onion.
  2. Cook until the onions are just softened, and then add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Add the risotto rice, and keep stirring until the edges of the grains are becoming more translucent around the edges.
  4. Keep stirring whilst adding the vinegar and the tomatoes.
  5. Add the stock/ water in parts, stirring occasionally.
  6. When the rice is soft, add the peas and parsley, and heat until the peas are heated through.
  7. Serve and season, and add parmesan if needed.
  8. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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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.

Chorizo – Although relatively high in fat and salt, in small amounts it can bring flavour and texture to meals.

Arborio rice – high in carbohydrate to give you loads of energy to get you through your day!

 

Sweet Potato Chicken Hotpot

This simple but delicious recipe fills you up and will use any leftover chicken you don’t want to waste!

Leftover roast potatoes can also be used to top the hotpot, just bake in the oven for a little less time!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 onion
  • 10g flour
  • 300ml water or chicken stock
  • 100g cooked chicken
  • Teaspoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized sweet potato
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Veg – I used broccoli and sweetcorn but any mixed veg will work!

METHOD

  1. Heat oven to 200C/180CF/6
  2. Chop onion and cook on a low heat with the olive oil in a saucepan until soft, or for around 5 minutes.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in the flour.
  4. Return the pan to the heat and stir to cook the flour for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Slowly add the water or chicken stock and, once added, season with pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  6. Bring the boil and keep stirring until the mixture thickens slightly.
  7. Stir in the cooked chicken and vegetables.
  8. Slice the sweet potato into rounds.
  9. Pour the chicken mixture into a baking dish and top with the sweet potato rounds so that no chicken mixture is exposed.
  10. Brush with olive oil and season the top of the hotpot.
  11. Oven bake for 30-35minutes.
  12. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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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.

Sweet Potato – one of your 5-a-day, and a useful source for many vitamins and minerals including: retinol needed for vision, growth, immune function and is a key antioxidant; thiamin for energy production; and vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis, detoxification and acts as an antioxidant.

The vegetables chosen will also contribute to your 5-a-day and vitamin and mineral intake. I recommend selecting no less than 2 or 3, however the more the merrier!

Fancy steak and chips

This is super easy and nutritious meal takes only 20minutes to make and is perfect for those on the go that want something filling yet tasty!!

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Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 150g lean beef steak (3-5% fat)
  • 90g curly kale
  • teaspoon of honey
  • teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 65g sweet potato
  • paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • teaspoon of olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220ºC(fan)/220º/gas mark 9 (basically whack it up to the highest temperature).
  2. Cut the sweet potato into chips (it is up to you how thick you cut them – they may just have slightly different cooking times).
  3. Cover the chips in some olive oil, salt, pepper and paprika and put into the oven for 15-20minutes – shake the pan halfway through.
  4. When there is 8minutes left until the chips are done, heat a small amount of the oil in two frying pans until hot (highest temperature on the hob again – we like speedy cooking here!).
  5. Season the steak and cook in one frying pan, turning halfway through. For rare – 3minutes each side, for medium – 4minutes each side and for well done – 5minutes each side.
  6. Meanwhile, add the kale to the other pan and stir fry for 5 minutes.
  7. Add the honey and soy sauce and mix into the kale whilst still in the frying pan to heat it through.
  8. Enjoy!

Health benefits:

Looking at the nutritional content of the food actually surprised me quite a bit! I have narrowed down the main 5 nutrients which are in considerable abundance in this meal – and their contributing meal components (displayed in some pretty swish pie charts):

Folate:

Folate is the ‘umbrella term’ for a group of chemicals which have significant benefits if eaten more often. It has been linked to decrease risk of heart disease, and in pregnant women to reduce the risk of birth defects in the baby (the recommended requirement of folate per day is therefore higher for pregnant women). This meal contributes just under half the daily requirement of folate expected for the average (non-pregnant) adult, so there is a HUGE amount considering this is only one meal!

Iron:

Iron has a multitude of functions in the body, with the main one being the transport of oxygen. Iron deficiency is the most common mineral deficiency in humans, and can result in fatigue, struggling to breath and a decrease in immune function, to name a few. Iron deficiency (anaemia) is also more evident in women due to loss of iron because of the menstrual cycle. SO this meal is perfect in helping get more iron into the diet – with it containing 4.8mg per portion and the average reference intakes for males being 8.7mg/day and for females being 14.8mg/day.

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Most red meats are high in iron therefore beef being the main contributor did not surprise me, and I know curly kale and dark green leafy vegetables are also relatively high in iron however I did not expect PAPRIKA to be this high in iron with just 3 grams containing 0.63mg of iron!

Vitamin B6:

Vitamin B6 is used in the body for the release of glucose to use as energy and for protein metabolism, and although deficiency is rare it can result in sleepiness, changes in personality and impaired immunity. There is some research out there to suggest that may decrease PMS symptoms of the menstrual cycle (bloating, cramps, moodiness – we’ve all been there ladies), and this meal will provide you with roughly 80% of your daily B6 intake!

Vitamin B12:

Vitamin B12 and folic acid work hand-in-hand in the body, so often it is hard to distinguish whether these benefits are from B12 or folic acid – BUT these benefits include helping to protect against chronic diseases and birth defects in pregnant women. AND THIS MEAL CONTAINS 192% OF YOUR DAILY B12 REQUIREMENT.

Vitamin C:

Vitamin C is commonly known to prevent the common cold – and I’m afraid that this information widely believed by the public has no sufficient information to back it up (sorry – I’m upset too) however it does prevent scurvy, so if you’re a pirate, you will want to read this. It also synthesises college which is a material in bones and tissue. This, my friends, is where the curly kale steps in, with it providing the majority of the vitamin C content of the meal which also happens to be 280% of your vitamin C daily requirement!!Screen Shot 2017-11-05 at 13.59.47

SO!! We have established that this meal is VERY high in some major nutrients that our bodies need…. and is also delicious so it’s the best of both worlds really!!

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