Tag Archives: Recipes

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

IMG_1684

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:

Screen Shot 2018-09-13 at 09.25.40.png

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

IMG_1673.jpg

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

IMG_1689.jpg

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!

Smoked Mackerel Kedgeree

Brunch or dinner, this recipe provides MULTIPLE essential nutrients like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from the mackerel, protein from the eggs (and mackerel), and loads of vitamins from the vegetables.

Serves 2.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, diced
  • 100g rice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp mild curry powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cooked smoked mackerel fillets
  • 1/2 lime

METHOD:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan on a high heat; add the mustard seeds, coriander seeds and curry leaves and stir until the seeds crackle, for roughly 1 minute.
  2. Add the onion, leek and carrot and reduce the heat to low. Cook for roughly 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
  3. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  4. Add the rice, turmeric and curry powder and combine; frying for 1 minute.
  5. Add the appropriate amount of boiling water for 100g of rice, reduce to a simmer,  and cover to cook for 15 minutes – keep watching, I read that 250ml water would be sufficient but found that much more was needed.
  6. Whilst the rice is cooking, boil the eggs for 5 minutes, then remove the shell and keep to the side.
  7. Uncover the rice, flake in the mackerel and season. Cook uncovered for a further 5 minutes – more water may need to be added to stop the rice sticking.
  8. Season and serve with the egg and 1/4 lime wedge.
  9. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

Screen Shot 2018-09-04 at 14.25.06.png

Mackerel – High in essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids of which you should be having three times a week, and protein, so is a good choice of fish (and it tastes AMAZING).

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.

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

Carrots – high in vitamin A (specifically beta-carotene) for vision and immune function.

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

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:

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 16.18.21.png

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.

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:

Screen Shot 2018-08-21 at 20.54.12.png

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.

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:

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 20.45.57.png

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:

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 20.47.32.png

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:

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 20.48.33.png

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:

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 20.50.01.png

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:

Screen Shot 2018-08-17 at 20.51.04.png

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:

Screen Shot 2018-08-16 at 20.33.15.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.

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!

African-Spiced Peach and Pomegranate Chicken

I am stuck in not-so-sunny Cardiff so I thought I would make a summery spiced salad to cheer me up! Using North African flavours, this light and easy meal can be used as a lunch and a tea, and provides a load of vitamins and minerals for health.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 chicken thighs
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
  • 2 peaches, quartered
  • 1 courgette, stripped
  • 3 Brazil nuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • Seasoning

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 220/8.
  2. Mix the spices together and put half on the chicken thighs and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the remaining spices to the peaches and add to the oven after the 10 minutes is over. The peaches and chicken thighs should now take a further 20minutes to cook.
  4. When they are nearly done, heat the olive oil in a pan on a medium-high heat. Add the courgette strips and cook until slightly browned.
  5. Plate up the courgette, peaches and chicken thighs, and top with the pomegranate seeds and Brazil nuts.
  6. Enjoy!

NUTRITION:

Screen Shot 2018-08-12 at 20.43.12

Chicken – a good 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.

Peaches – High in vitamin A for vision, and C for antioxidant and immune function.

Brazil nuts – One of the best sources of selenium which has a massive role in the immune system and in thyroid hormone function.

Pomegranate seeds – Considered a superfood, pomegranate is high in vitamin C for immune function, folate for DNA synthesis, and potassium for fluid balance.

Courgette – High in vitamin A for vision, fibre for digestion, and magnesium for chemical reactions in the body and immune function.

Super Healthy Banana Bread

Using no fat whatsoever and minimal added sugar, this loaf is transformed into something that can be enjoyed as a healthy carbohydrate! Plus it is only 104kcal per slice!!

Makes 2 loaves (7 slices per loaf) or 1 large loaf (14 slices)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 140g wholewheat flour
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 overripe bananas (plus one for topping)
  • 3 eggs
  • 150ml fat free plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup
  • METHOD:
    1. Preheat the oven to 160/4.
      Line 2 baking tins with baking parchment.
      Mix the dry ingredients together.
      In a separate bowl, mush the bananas together, and then mix with the yoghurt, syrup and eggs.
      Combine the wet and dry ingredients.
      Half the extra banana and add to the top (optional), or add any other topping that takes your fancy.
      Bake for 40-45minutes if baking two loaves, or 1hr15-20minutes if only baking one.
      Enjoy warm or store to eat later! It can be frozen if needed.

    NUTRITION:

    Banana – High in potassium for fluid balance and muscle contraction, and containing naturally occurring sugars to keep your energy up for longer!

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

    Wholewheat flour – provides slow-release carbohydrate to keep you going for longer and fibre for good digestion.

    Banana Chocolate Lollipops

    These healthy alternatives to ice cream are both delicious AND fun to make!

    Makes 6 lollipops

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 3 bananas
    • 100g chocolate
    • Other toppings – see ideas at the bottom

    METHOD:

    1. Cut the bananas into halves and push lollipop sticks or skewers into the bottom.
    2. Freeze overnight.
    3. When frozen, melt the chocolate in a bowl above a saucepan of simmering water.
    4. Dip the bananas in the chocolate, and cover with any other toppings – this will have to be done quickly if the chocolate is to be used as a ‘sticking agent’ as the frozen banana will cause the chocolate to harden quickly.
    5. Eat immediately or stick in the freezer for keeping.
    6. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION:

    Screen Shot 2018-07-22 at 10.09.27.png

    The above information is for just the banana dipped in chocolate, additional macronutrients and calories will be added with additional toppings.

    Topping ideas:

    • Peanuts and melted peanut butter (in picture)
    • Honeycomb and chocolate pieces (in picture)
    • Peanut butter and salt (in picture)
    • Sprinkles
    • Crushed pistachio nuts
    • Crushed hazelnuts and Nutella
    • Lotus spread and crushed lotus biscuits
    • Nut butter and jam

    Zingy Lemon Mackerel Risotto

    Stuck for tea ideas tonight? This refreshing summery recipe is perfect! Easy to make but very impressive, especially if cooking for lots of people (and also super cheap)!

    Serves 2

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 140g dried risotto rice
    • 1 pint vegetable stock or water
    • 2 white onions, chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic, diced
    • 2 cans mackerel in sunflower oil
    • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
    • 100g frozen peas
    • 150g green beans, chopped
    • 1 tsp olive oil

    METHOD:

    1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions, cook until just softened, for around 4 minutes on a medium heat.
    2. Add the garlic and stir for a further 1 minute.
    3. Add the risotto rice, and keep stirring until the edges of the grains are becoming more translucent.
    4. Add a third of the stock, stir, and reduce the heat so it is simmering.
    5. When the first third of the stock has nearly reduced, add the mackerel and the second third of the stock and stir once more.
    6. Add the lemon juice, zest, frozen peas, and green beans with the final third of stock and cook until the stock has reduced and the rice is soft.
    7. Serve with lemon pieces and season.
    8. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION:

    Screen Shot 2018-07-13 at 16.42.35.png

    Mackerel – High in essential omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids of which you should be having three times a week, and protein, so is a good choice of fish (and it tastes AMAZING)

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

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