Category Archives: Tea

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Yummy yummy yummy, a filling vegan recipe that I thoroughly enjoyed and I hope you do too! Feel free to switch up the recipe to have different fillings and toppings.

INGREDIENTS

  • Large butternut squash, cut lengthways
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red peppers, chopped
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 100g tomatoes, chopped
  • 100g mushrooms, chopped
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to season

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 220/8.
  2. Put squash in microwave for 4 minutes at full blast, this will soften it and make it cook faster.
  3. Rub squash in 1 tsp of oil and salt and pepper, and cook in oven for 30 minutes, or until the flesh is soft.
  4. Scoop out the flesh and set aside.
  5. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and add the onions, cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat until soft.
  6. Add the garlic and cook for a further 1 minute.
  7. Add the mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes, and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  8. Add the squash mash and mix together.
  9. Divide the mash between the squash skins and season.
  10. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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OKAY, so this recipe does provide a large amount of sugar, and this should not be ignored. However, when talking about a BALANCED and VARIED diet, this recipe can be eaten if little added sugar is eaten for the rest of the day.

Squash – despite the large natural sugar content, squash provides LOADS OF B vitamins, which have functions in energy release in respiration, and is massively high in potassium which maintains fluid and electrolyte balance.

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.

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

The other vegetables are also SUPER high in major vitamins and minerals, and this whole meal contributes a whopping 5 OF YOUR 5-A-DAY!!!!

 

Chicken and Chickpea Protein Curry

This recipe uses chickpeas instead of a carbohydrate base, so is perfect for getting that protein in for muscle production. For a vegetarian alternative, substitute the chicken for rice or naan; or you could swap out one can of chickpeas for the carbohydrates if you think you need more nutrients for energy!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

  • 250g chicken breast, diced
  • 2 cans chickpeas, drained
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger, mushed
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add onion, cooking until soft.
  2. Add chicken breast and, whilst stirring, cook for 10-15 minutes or until the chicken is mostly white all the way through.
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add garam masala, turmeric, salt and pepper and combine.
  5. Add the tomatoes and chickpeas, and again stir to combine and heat through.
  6. Cover with a lid and turn to a low heat, cook for another 5-10 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid and mix in the coriander and lemon juice until the coriander has wilted.
  8. 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.

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.

Chickpeas – a plant-based protein source and a brilliant base if wanting a low-carb meal; chickpeas provide 36g of protein in addition to the 55g from the chicken. They are also high in iron for oxygen transport, immune and vitamin C function; folate for DNA synthesis and cell production; and dietary fibre for digestion.

 

Homemade Fish and Chips (with Avocado Dip!)

RIGHT! So I crave fish and chips from my local chippy all the time! However this healthier version satisfies these wants and needs, and provides me with LOADSA different essential nutrients.

INGREDIENTS

  • 240g white fish, cut into ‘fingers’.
  • 55g breadcrumbs
  • 1 bunch of fresh parsley
  • 1 bunch of fresh coriander
  • 1 egg
  • 20g flour
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 large avocado
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 100g greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes, chopped into wedges
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 120g frozen peas

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 8/230
  2. Combine the sweet potato wedges with the olive oil, salt, pepper and dried rosemary and roast for 30 minutes.
  3. Mix the breadcrumbs, lemon zest, salt, pepper and parsley.
  4. Put the flour in one bowl, eggs in another, and breadcrumb mix in another.
  5. Heat a little oil in a frying pan, and leave at a medium heat.
  6. Coat each fish strip in flour, then egg, then breadcrumb mix and fry until the outsides have gone golden and the fish is cooked through (this should take around 15 minutes).
  7. Whilst the fish fingers are cooking, blend together the avocado, greek yoghurt, lime juice, coriander, salt and pepper.
  8. Serve up and enjoy!

NUTRITION

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Fish – white fish is low-fat and calorie when consumed on its own or in a homemade crumb. It is also a good source of protein and the vitamins B6 and B12, which help to utilise carbohydrates for energy and are involved in respiration.

Avocado – containing SO MUCH healthy fat (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) it is perfect for helping you maintain your energy through long days.

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.

Yoghurt – low in fat, and plain so not containing any added sugar, this food not only makes the dip taste AMAZING but also contributes towards your protein and calcium requirements. Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintanence.

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

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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