Tag Archives: B vitamins

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!

Pesto Pork with Italian Couscous

Looking for something quick? High protein? Spiced? Delicious? This is the perfect meal – packing in two of your 5-a-day, as well as plenty of protein, this will satisfy your cravings and keep you fuller for longer!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Pork chop
  • 1 tbsp reduced-fat pesto
  • 30g dried couscous
  • 150ml water or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/7.
  2. Cover the pesto on the pork chop
  3. Add the onion and pepper to a baking tray and mix in olive oil, half the spices, and seasoning. Make space in the middle to place the pork chop, facing pesto side up. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the remaining spices to the couscous and cover with the boiling water/ stock and leave for 5 minutes so the couscous can absorb the water.
  5. After the pork has been baking for 20minutes, remove the chop from the tray and mix the couscous with the vegetables. Make a well in the middle and add the chop again, baking for a further 10minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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

Couscous – high in protein 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.

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

Mini Pork Burgers 3 Ways

ITS NATIONAL BURGER DAY! Get ready Britain because I am switching up the traditional beef patty. Using pork instead and three crazy but creative topping ideas – brie and bacon; pineapple and peanut butter; chorizo and manchego – these treats are perfect as a party appetiser or can be sized up and enjoyed on a typical rainy British summer day.

Makes 6 mini burgers

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g lean pork mince
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
  • 6 mini burger buns, halved
  • 1 buffalo tomato, sliced lengthways
  • handful of rocket
  • skewers for serving
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Add the pork mince and spices to a large mixing bowl. Wet your hands and form into 6 equally sized patties.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat, add the patties and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until they are brown all the way through.
  3. Build your burger! This is where you should add any extra toppings that you want.
  4. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

Per basic burger – mini burger buns must be used (31g bread per bun):

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

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.

Bread – high in quick-release carbohydrate if white bread is selected, or fibre for digestion if wholemeal is selected.

TOPPINGS:

Brie and bacon:

Add two slices of lean bacon, two slices of brie, and a dollop of cranberry sauce when building your burger!

Brie – even though it has a relatively high fat content, cheese is high in calcium for bone strength and stability.

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

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Pineapple and peanut butter:

When frying the patties, add the pineapple to the pan as well and it will heat up and go all crispy! Slather peanut butter to the bun and add the pineapple to the top of the stack.

Pineapple – this sweet fruit is high in thiamin, riboflavin and B6 for energy release.

Peanut butter – peanuts are high in biotin and niacin for energy release, and copper for enzyme function and blood clotting.

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Chorizo and manchego:

Chorizo – Although relatively high in fat and salt, this meat is good for adding texture and flavour to meals.

Manchego – even though it has a relatively high fat content, cheese is high in calcium for bone strength and stability.

Add two slice of cooked chorizo, a ring of red pepper and two slices of manchego cheese to the stack.

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Homemade Squash Gnocchi

This is the first time that I have made gnocchi and its actually went so well! I am pretty proud of myself (as you can tell). This vegetarian main tastes DELICIOUS, contains 3 of your 5-a-day, and is low in fat and salt!

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 whole squash
  • 6 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sprigs of thyme
  • 200g white mushrooms
  • 150g broccoli
  • 1 400g can butter beans
  • 40g parmesan, grated

METHOD:

  1. Cut the squash into pieces and put in the microwave for roughly 5 x 2minute blasts, or until the flesh is soft.
  2. Meanwhile cook the broccoli and beans for 5 minutes in a pan of boiling water, and dry fry the mushrooms for 5 minutes.
  3. Squeeze the flesh into a bowl and mash up, add the nutmeg, sage, garlic, and flour – this should form a dough, if not, add more flour.
  4. Roll out the dough into a thick strip and cut into gnocchi-sized pieces.
  5. Add to a pan of boiling water and cook for roughly 4 minutes or until the pieces are floating on top.
  6. In an oven-proof dish, add the gnocchi, mushrooms, broccoli, thyme, and sprinkle with parmesan.
  7. Oven-cook on 220/8, or grill, until all the cheese has melted on the top.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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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.

Cheese – even though it has a relatively high fat content, cheese is high in calcium for bone strength and stability.

Lighter Swedish Meatballs

Bring them Ikea meatballs home with you with this easy, healthier version! Using yoghurt instead of the double cream which is normally used, and lean mincemeat, this recipe reduces the fat content significantly from regular versions whilst still tasting AMAZING.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 250g pork mince
  • 250g 5% fat beef mince
  • 4 tbsp fat free greek yoghurt
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 4 tbsp Hendersons relish or Worcestershire sauce
  • 600ml beef stock
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 30g breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 800g cooked wholewheat fusilli pasta, to serve

METHOD:

  1. Combine the meat, onion, egg, breadcrumbs and dill in a large bowl and shape into balls – there should be 16.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a high heat and add the meatballs to brown. TIP: limit the turning of the meatball so that they do not fall apart. When no pink meat can be seen, remove from the pan.
  3. Mix the cornstarch in a bowl with 1-2 tbsp of cold water or until a thick consistency has been formed.
  4. Add 200ml of the stock to the pan used for the meatballs and simmer; slowly whisk the cornstarch mix into the stock, creating a thick gravy. Whisk the remainder of the stock in and add the browned meatballs, reducing to a medium heat. Cook for 15minutes or until the meatballs are brown inside.
  5. Whisk in the mustard, Henderson’s relish and yoghurt and heat for a further 2 minutes – this may alter the consistency of the sauce so cook until preferred thickness.
  6. Serve with pasta.
  7. 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.

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

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

Wholewheat pasta – High in carbohydrate and low in fat this base will keep you full, providing fibre for digestion and energy for those long working days!

Goats Cheese, Butternut Squash and Caramelised Onion Pizza Naans

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 plain naan breads
  • 1/2 cooked butternut squash, cut into cubes
  • 60g soft goats cheese
  • 2 red onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 5 tbsp tomato paste

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/8
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a low heat and add the onion. Cook for around 10minutes, until softened and then add the balsamic vinegar and cook for a further 10minutes.
  3. Top the naan with the tomato paste, then the squash, goats cheese and balsamic vinegar.
  4. Cook for 10minutes in the oven, or until the cheese has melted and gone slightly crispy.
  5. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Butternut 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.

Goats cheese – even though it has a relatively high fat content, cheese is high in calcium for bone strength and stability.

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

Homemade muesli

BREAKFAST TIME: This recipe can easily be adapted to suit your preferences – whether you are an early riser or need a boost to get you going in the morning.

Makes 28 bowls of muesli (60g per serving).

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1kg porridge oats
  • 250g dried fruit and nut mix
  • 100g dried cranberries
  • 250g tropical mix
  • 100g flax seeds

METHOD:

  1. Empty 1/2- 3/4 of the porridge oats into a large saucepan on a medium heat.
  2. Keep moving the oats to toast them until they are a golden colour.
  3. Add the toasted oats, the rest of the other oats, and all other ingredients to a large bowl and mix.
  4. Serve with cold milk or low-fat greek yoghurt.
  5. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Oats – A good source of carbohydrate which will keep you going for ages! And high in fibre for digestion and the B vitamins for energy release.

Dried fruit – Depending on what dried fruit you pick, the nutrients will vary however without a doubt it will be high in vitamins and minerals.

Nuts – Another source of fibre, and high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated (good) fats, and vitamin E and selenium for immune and antioxidant function.

 

Clam Chorizo Linguine

Spanish food fever has hit; being in Barcelona inspired this meat and fish combo. Easy to make but super impressive.

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS:

  • 300g clams, washed (tap on hard surface before cooking, if they remain un-open they are safe to eat)
  • 70g chorizo, chopped
  • 4 sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 150g dried linguine
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 glass rosé wine

METHOD

  1. Boil the pasta in a pot of salted water for 1minute less than the packet states.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium-high heat.
  3. Add the chorizo and cook for 3minutes until slightly crispy.
  4. Add the parsley, clams and red wine, stir once, and then cover and simmer for 3-4minutes – the clams are cooked when they ping open.
  5. Uncover, mix in the linguine, and simmer for a further 1 minute so it can absorb all the juices.
  6. Season and serve.
  7. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

Clams – high in protein, low in calorie, and high in the B vitamins for energy release, iron for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis, and magnesium for nerve function

Chorizo – Although relatively high in fat and salt, this meat is good for adding texture and flavour to meals.

Pasta – High in carbohydrates for a filling base, and high in fibre if a wholewheat spaghetti is picked.

Sausage and Bean Filling

Perfect to pair with a jacket potato or to top pasta with…. or just eat on its own for the ultimate protein hit!

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 reduced-fat sausages, cut in half
  • 400g tomato passata
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 8 sliced prosciutto ham
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cans black eye beans, drained
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a high heat.
  2. Add the sausages and brown for 2-3minutes, or until there is no pink showing on the outside of the sausage.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and sauté for 3 minutes until soft.
  4. Add the garlic, beans and prosciutto ham, and cook for a further 3minutes.
  5. Add the tomato purée, ketchup, smoked paprika and vinegar and stir to cook for 2minutes.
  6. Add the tomato passata and heat for 5-7minutes.
  7. Serve with pasta or jacket potato.
  8. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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

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.

Beans – high in plant-based protein and fibre for digestion, as well as folate for DNA synthesis and vitamin A for vision

Sausage and Courgette Omelette

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 reduced-fat sausages
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 courgette
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHODS:

  1. Heat olive oil in pan on a medium heat.
  2. Add onions and heat until soft.
  3. Remove onions from pan and add sausages, cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the cooked onions, garlic and courgette and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  5. Add the eggs and cook for until hard and white.

NUTRITION

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