Tag Archives: yoghurt

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!

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!

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.

    Tuna Sweet Potato Jackets

    Tuna and sweet potato? Although an odd combo, it is delicious! This easy-to-make tea only needs the sweet potato to be bake and the tuna ‘mayo’ to be made and voilà! Yummy tea…

    Serves 2

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 1 large sweet potato, halved
    • 2 cans tuna in brine
    • 4 tbsp fat free greek yoghurt, plus more for topping
    • 1 tsp dijon mustard
    • 2 handfuls of spinach
    • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
    • 1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
    • 1 spring onion, sliced
    • 1 tbsp olive oil
    • Seasoning

    METHOD:

    1. Preheat the oven to 220/8.
    2. Pierce the sweet potato halves, and rub with the olive oil and seasoning. Cook for 40minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, drain the tuna cans and combine with the greek yoghurt and mustard.
    4. Make the salad by mixing the pepper, onion and spinach.
    5. Top the cooked sweet potato with tuna and a dollop of greek yoghurt, serve with the salad.
    6. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION:

    Screen Shot 2018-07-14 at 16.17.33.png

    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.

    Tuna – high in protein and low in fat, tuna also provides selenium for immune function, vitamin B3 for energy utilisation, and phosphorus for bone structure and energy storage.

    Spinach – providing vitamin K for cell signalling and vitamin A for eye function, as well as fibre for digestion.

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

    Greek yoghurt –  this mayo alternative not only makes the tuna taste AMAZING but also contributes towards your protein and calcium requirements. Calcium is essential for bone growth and maintenance.

    Italian Soda Bread

    ITS SUNNY….. and this means picnics! Do you know what picnics mean? Tear-off sharing bread – so here is an easy recipe for summery Italian soda bread – no time for prooving needed! Super quick, easy and healthy!

    Makes 8 triangles.

    INGREDIENTS:

    • 450g self-raising flour
    • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 50g oil
    • 225ml milk
    • 1/4 tsp pepper
    • 2 tbsp yoghurt
    • 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
    • 125g low-fat mozzarella, chopped
    • 2 tbsp dried basil or a few sprigs of fresh basil, chopped

    METHOD:

    1. Preheat the oven to 180/4
    2. Mix the self-raising flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a large bowl.
    3. Make a deep well.
    4. Add the pepper, then yoghurt, then oil to the well. Then slowly pour in 3/4 of the milk.FullSizeRender 3.jpg
    5. Combine the ingredients from the outside in – bring the flour mix round the inside into the wet ingredients with clean hands.FullSizeRender 2.jpg
    6. Add any extra necessary milk until you have a firm dough.
    7. Add the tomatoes, mozzarella and basil and combine with the dough in a kneading-line action (there is no actual need for kneading in this dough, it is just an easy way to combine the ingredients).IMG_2290.jpg
    8. Form into a ball in a floured surface and place on a floured baking tray.
    9. Cut 4-6 long deep slits in the dough – these should be 3/4 deep, so nearly cutting the dough in half.IMG_2293.jpg
    10. Bake for 30-35minutes.
    11. Enjoy!

    NUTRITION

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    One serving = one triangle.

    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

    Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 14.48.51.png

    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.

     

    Tofu Cashew Sweet Potato Curry

    Providing 2 of your 5 a day, this vegan recipe is high in protein and SUPER DELICIOUS.

    Serves 2

    INGREDIENTS

    • 240g plain tofu, cut into 2cm chunks
    • 450g sweet potato
    • 25g plain cashew nuts
    • 150g broccoli
    • 2 onions
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1/2 tsp mushed ginger
    • 150g fat free plain yoghurt (or alternative)
    • 1 tsp turmeric
    • 1 tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp mild chilli powder
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • 400ml of boiling water

    METHOD

    1. Partially dry the tofu chunks by putting in kitchen roll and placing a heavy object (like a frying pan) on the top. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of olive oil in a pan.
    2. When the oil is hot, add the tofu and cook for 5-10minutes or until the tofu is browned on the outside. Set aside.
    3. Heat the remaining oil in a pan and cook the onions until soft (for around 5 minutes) on a medium heat.
    4. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin and chilli powder and cook for a furthur 2-3 minutes.
    5. Add the water and sweet potato and bring to the boil.
    6. Reduce to a simmer and cover for 10-15 minutes.
    7. Add the broccoli and cook for a further 5 minutes until tender.
    8. Take off the heat and stir through the yoghurt and chopped cashew nuts.
    9. Season and serve.

    NUTRITION

    Screen Shot 2018-04-19 at 13.32.49.png

    Tofu – Providing nearly 20g of protein per portion, these soya bean based chunks of goodness are also high in phosphorous for growth and repair of tissues, and are much lower in salt and fat than most meat-based alternatives.

    Cashew nuts – Nuts are an AMAZING source of unsaturated fats (the healthier ones) and also provide protein and minerals like zinc for enzyme and immune function, and selenium which makes antioxidants.

    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 maintenance.

     

    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

    Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 21.27.11.png

    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.

    Staving those hunger cravings

    Imagine this: hefty day at work….. stomach rumbling….. looks at watch……. damn it’s only 11am…..

    HOW DO I CONCENTRATE FOR 2 HOURS ON NO FOOD?

    We’ve all been there, either too hungry before lunch or before tea, and it is NOT a pleasant feeling.

    the science – satiety levels tend to improve when food stays in the digestive system longer. For carbohydrates, this can be explained via Glycaemic index* – which is a number expressing how the carbohydrate affects blood glucose levels. Foods with lower glycaemic indexes tend to keep a person fuller for longer as they are slowly digested and contain more fibre/ resistant starch – for example wholemeal foods and pulses. These foods therefore cause a slow and gradual rise in blood glucose levels. Foods with high glycaemic indexes are rapidly digested as they contain sugars and cause quick spikes in blood glucose levels – for example white bread and cereals like cornflakes. Foods may also stay longer in the digestive system, and therefore improve mid-morning/afternoon hunger, if paired with fat or protein as these nutrients tend to have effects on gut emptying.

    *Note that there can be some issues with using this method to predict satiety levels as it can be affected by the amount of carbohydrate consumed  and the other components of the meal.

    Hopefully I can give you a few handy tips on stopping this from happening so you can power on through your day!

    HUNGRY AT 11AM

    Just think about what you have had for breakfast…. Cereal? Toast? Eggs? Nothing?

    I mean, to point out the obvious, if you’re hungry at 11am and you haven’t had breakfast I think I’ve just solved the issue.

    BUT, for the majority of us, the hunger pangs are down to WHAT we are eating at breakfast.

    BREAKFAST FOODS THAT CAN KEEP US FULLER FOR LONGER:

    EGGS:

    Eggs are high in protein which stays in the digestive system for long periods of time, therefore a mixture of eggs with other carbohydrate or fat-based foods will keep you powering on through until lunchtime.

    • Cheese and spinach omelette
    • Poached eggs and avocado on wholemeal toast
    • Scrambled eggs and lean bacon on wholemeal toast
    • Boiled dippy eggs with wholemeal toast and grilled tomatoes

    PORRIDGE:

    Porridge stays in the digestive system longer as it is high in fibre, so when cooked with semi-skimmed milk (which provides proteins and fats), and topped with some yummy but nutritious toppings, it is the perfect breakfast to start the day with. Here are some topping ideas:

    • Honey, dried fruit, nut and seeds
    • Peanut butter and banana
    • Dates, raisens, banana and cinnamon
    • Nutella and strawberries
    • Coconut flakes, mango, papaya and pineapple
    • Chopped pears and maple syrup

    ANYTHING WHOLEGRAIN:

    • Wholemeal/rye bread – jam on toast, bacon butty, dippy eggs, you name it – should increase satiety levels when eaten compared its white bread counterpart.
    • Wholemeal cereals – there is truth behind the saying ‘he must have had his Weetabix this morning’, so stock up on those flaked rectangles of goodness as well as cereals like fruit and fibre, and avoid cereals like Cornflakes and Rice Krispies which contain sugars rather than slowly digesting carbohydrates.
    • Wholemeal rice/pasta – okay, okay, I know this isn’t a conventional breakfast food. As a student, when it is coming up to shopping week, I admittedly have has pasta and pesto for breakfast a few times, and it has kept me full until lunchtime!

    HUNGRY AT 4PM

    Please refer to ‘HUNGRY AT 11AM’. One of the main reasons that you could be getting hungry at 4 is that your breakfast is not big or nutritious enough to sustain you throughout the day.

    Despite this, most people (including me) reach for a mid-afternoon snack to keep me going through to teatime and there has been some pretty extensive research on what snacks we should be eating to keep us going, and stop us from over-snacking or over-eating at the next meal.

    SNACK FOODS THAT CAN KEEP US FULLER FOR LONGER:

    YOGHURT:

    There has been some interesting research conducted that found that eating yoghurt over other high-fat snacks increases the satiety of the consumer, and yoghurt tends to include high amounts of protein which can also aid this. Greek yoghurts tend to be the preferred option, and if you prefer it topped with something to sweeten it, refer to the porridge toppings above.

    NUTS:

    Again, high in protein and fat, nuts are a great snack alternative to anything high in sugar. Although a handful may not seem like much quantity-wise, they will sure fill you up. Here are some nut options worth about 100 calories:

    • 15-19 almonds
    • 13-14 cashews
    • 28-30 peanuts
    • 10 pecan halves
    • 28 shelled pistachios

    DRIED FRUIT

    High in fibre so moves through the gut slower, containing lots of vitamins and minerals and counting as one of your 5-a-day, these are a perfect snacking option. A handful is usually a good portion, and prunes, plums and dates have been found to come out on top when looking at satiety levels.

    I hope this helps stave those cravings and gives some good options for breakfast and snacks for those on-the-go days!

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