Tag Archives: pesto

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.

Prawn Pesto Pasta

Tasty, tasty, tasty… and providing a whopping 3 OF YOUR 5 A DAY, a solid 32 grams of protein, and plenty of vitamins and minerals to improve your health.

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 75g wholewheat spaghetti
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 5 spears of asparagus
  • 70g frozen peas
  • 1 tbsp basil pesto
  • 2 tbsp fat-free creme fraiche
  • 60g king prawns
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp olive oil

METHOD:

  1. Boil water in a pan and add the pasta, set a timer for 10 minutes – with 4 minutes to go, you will need to add the asparagus tips and the frozen peas.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a pan, add the tomatoes and prawns (you can use either cooked or raw prawns – if cooking from raw just make sure they are pink all the way through when fully cooked) and heat for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic to the prawn pan and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Drain the pasta, asparagus and peas.
  5. Arrange the asparagus on a plate.
  6. Mix in the pesto and creme fraiche into the pasta and peas, and serve on the asparagus. Top with the garlic prawns and tomatoes.
  7. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

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Prawns – high in protein for muscle repair and growth, and low in fat.

Wholewheat pasta – high in starchy carbs for energy which will keep you going, and fibre to improve digestion.

Asparagus – high in vitamin A for vision, vitamin B6 for energy release, and folate for DNA 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.

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

Creme Fraiche – no fat (as fat-free version is bought), and high in calcium for bone strength.

 

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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Cauliflower-Base Pizza

A lighter meal but still AMAZINGLY yummy and, I would argue, is an even better alternative to regular pizza.

INGREDIENTS

  • 300g cauliflower couscous
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 60g 30% lighter cheese, grated or sliced
  • 2 sprigs fresh basil
  • 2 tsp green pesto
  • 100g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Seasoning

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/8.
  2. Combine the cauliflower couscous, eggs and oregano to make a ‘dough’.
  3. Spread the olive oil onto baking parchment – this is important as the dough will stick if not (I found this out the hard way!).
  4. Create a ball with the cauliflower and mould into pizza-base form.
  5. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until hard and browning on the outside like a normal pizza base.
  6. Spread the tomato puree on, and add the toppings.
  7. Cook for a further 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.
  8. Top with more fresh basil.
  9. Enjoy!

NUTRITION

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Only contributing 11.89g of carbohydrate per serving, this low-calorie meal provides 21g of protein and is good for a lighter dinner.

Cauliflower – High in vitamin C for protein and neurotransmitter synthesis; and vitamin K for bone construction and cell signalling.

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.

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