Tag Archives: carrots

Mexican Partayy

Hey! So it was my birthday last week and in pure cookandcontemplate style I had a massive Mexican make-your-own chicken burrito buffet. Here are the recipes making up the meal – just add all to a wrap with some tortilla chips on the side and you have got yourself a fiesta!

Spiced chicken:

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 tsp mild chilli powder

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/8.
  2. Mix the olive oil and spices with the chicken and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Cook for 25-30 minutes, or until white all the way through.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Tomato Mexican-style rice:

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g wholegrain rice
  • 2x 400g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 white onions
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan on a medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes, or until transparent. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, rice and spices and reduce to a low heat.
  4. Cook for 15-20 minutes, adding hot water if needed, or until the rice is soft and has absorbed all liquid.
  5. Season and serve!

NUTRITION:

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Homemade guacamole:

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • bunch of coriander, chopped
  • 3 avocados
  • juice of 1 lime

METHOD:

  1. Mash the avocados with the other ingredients and season.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Corn salsa salad:

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2x 326g can sweetcorn, drained
  • 200g tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, chopped
  • 2 limes, zest and juice
  • 1/2 green chilli, chopped and deseeded

METHOD:

  1. Add all the ingredients into a serving dish and mix – leave to marinate in the lime juice for 30minutes in the fridge if you have time.
  2. Season and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Curtido (Mexican coleslaw):

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 white cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • bunch of coriander, chopped

METHOD:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a serving dish with a pinch of salt.
  2. Serve and enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Beef Soft Tacos with Healthy Slaw

A healthier version with loads of vegetables and can easily be adapted to suit different diets!

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 500g 5% fat beef mince (or vegetarian alternative)
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 green cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 red cabbage, chopped
  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 4 tbsp fat-free plain yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
  • 8 soft tacos (I used the Old El Paso ones)
  • Salsa and guacamole to serve (optional)

METHOD:

To make the beef:

  1. Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a pan.
  2. Add the onions and sauté for 4 minutes.
  3. Add the beef mince and garlic, and increase to a high heat to brown for 3-4minutes.
  4. Reduce to a low-medium heat and add the peppers and cook for a further 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

To make the coleslaw:

  1. Mix together the carrots, cabbage and apples.
  2. Add the yoghurt and mayonnaise, and mix well.

Serve all with the tacos, salsa and guacamole. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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Beef – High in protein and low in fat, when the 5% 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.

Coleslaw – Providing fruit and vegetables for your 5-a-day, and lower in fat (and, in my opinion, tastier) due to plain yoghurt and reduced-fat mayo being used instead of normal mayonnaise.

 

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

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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.

 

Why Christmas dinner isn’t THAT bad for you…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

I hope everyone has had a splendid day full of festive cheer… but lets get onto the eating. At the moment I am sitting watching Alan Carr’s Chatty Man and feeling like a stuffed turkey, and I am sure that I am not the only one eh? Christmas Day is perceived as a nationwide ‘cheat day’, however should we even be considering that the feast of a meal we have all consumed is a ‘cheat meal’? The basics of a Christmas dinner (for the most of us) would be meat, veg and potatoes, and this does conform to, depending on how everything is cooked, the guidelines set out by the NHS in the Eatwell Guide.

MEAT

Okay so you may pass this by if you are veggie/ vegan but, for the majority of us, this is the main staple of a Christmas meal. I have narrowed it down to three main meats consumed in a regular persons dinner:

Turkey

So turkey is a very very very lean meat, with 100g containing 31.2g of protein and only 4.6g of fat. But what does this mean? There are slightly less calories per 100g than a more fatty meat so could be considered a ‘healthier’ option. It is also high in multiple minerals: zinc, which is used in carbohydrate metabolism, protein and fat synthesis and immune function; potassium, needed for nervous and heart function; and phosphorous needed for bone and teeth formation.

Chicken

Turkey’s small but mighty counterpart, many of the same nutritional values are similar to its larger cousin. It is marginally higher in calories per 100g (177 as opposed to 166 in turkey) which can be explained by a slight increase in fat (7.5g) and a decrease in protein (27.3g). SCIENCE FACT: Fat contains 9kcal per gram whereas protein only contains 4kcal per gram. These small differences should really be overlooked, as chicken is still a lean and healthy meat. As well as being high in potassium and phosphorous like turkey, it is also high in niacin (a B vitamin) which help the body use carbohydrates for energy.

Beef

Okay okay okay, so this is a more fatty meat BUT there are some nutritional benefits. Firstly, fat is NOT bad for you, if eaten in moderation, as it is needed for energy, fat-soluble vitamin absorption and organ protection. It also has a high iron content, which is needed for oxygen transport and, out of all the vitamins and minerals, has the highest number of deficiencies in humans.

VEGETABLES

So there is a reason that we all need to have 5-a-day…. because vegetables are one of the key dietary sources of the main vitamins and minerals, and there are LOADS in a Christmas roast!

Brussels

Love them or loath them they are a staple of a Christmas dinner. Nutritionally they are a provider of potassium, folate which helps growth and cell maintenance, and vitamin C which helps make collagen, a protein making up connective tissue, aids hormonal reactions and immune function.

Carrots

Roast carrots drizzled in honey is how my family cook them at Christmas, and we eat them by the ton! Carrots contain a whopping amount of retinol (vitamin A), which has roles in the body associated with growth and immunity.

Parsnips

The cousin of carrots, parsnips don’t contain as much vitamin A, however they can provide us with folate and a massive amount of potassium.

POTATOES

Roasted, mashed, boiled, sautéed, whatever you fancy, potatoes are the starchy carbohydrate staple in your mammoth Christmas meal, providing energy to get you through the charades and boardgames that may follow later on in the evening.

 

SO

The basics of the Christmas dinner are very healthy… so the only unhealthiness on the rest of the day may be the Quality Streets and Christmas pudding consumed throughout the rest of the day…

Continue reading Why Christmas dinner isn’t THAT bad for you…