Beetroot risotto

Beetroot risotto with pearl barley and quinoa

Serves 2, 320 calories per serving

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_4244This risotto has been inspired by Jack Monroe’s risotto recipe in the Royal Marsden cancer cookbook

 

 

vegan cookery poster jpeg

 

And is the perfect recipe for my Vegan cookery class to make this week!

The use of beetroot not only adds colour and a wonderful earthy taste but bags of fibre, antioxidants, potassium and iron. The pearl barley makes a healthy nutritional change to arborio rice: Its high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. By adding quinoa the protein content really increases, making this a very filling and nutritious vegetarian and vegan dish

 

IMG_4276250g fresh beetroot, peeled and diced (or use the pre-cooked vacuum packs)

500 ml vegetable stock – either leftover stock from cooking some veggies or hot water and 1 teaspoon veg bouillon powder

2 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

1 fat garlic clove – crushed

1 small leek (80g) finely sliced

large pinch dried chilli flakes

IMG_4282

Pearl barley

100g pearl barley and 25g of quinoa

50ml red or white wine (or water)

100g frozen peas (or broad beans)

2 tbls chopped mint and parsley

salt and ground black pepper

 

IMG_4296flavoured drizzle oil (optional)

zest and juice of half a lemon (equivalent to 2 tsp)

1 tsp olive or rapeseed oil

½ tsp horseradish

If you are not using the oil you can substitute the horseradish for the chilli flakes in the main risotto

 

If you are using fresh beetroot put it in a pan and cover with some of the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer and cook for about 15 minutes until tender.

If you are using the vacuum packed variety, miss out this stage and simply open the packet*

IMG_4294*A word of warning! which ever type of beetroot you use, be aware that it stains everything! So your chopping boards, spoons and hands will all be a lovely pink colour by the end of this. You can minimize the pink by wearing rubber gloves to handle the beetroot, cook with a metal spoon (never wooden for beetroot), or use a plastic chopping board

 

Meantime on a medium flame heat the oil in a large IMG_4281shallow pan and add the leeks and garlic. Cook for about 5 minutes until the leeks are soft.   Add the pearl barley and coat with in the oil. Then tip in the wine and allow it to bubble away for a few minutes.

 

Blitz the beetroot in a blender (a nutribullet does a great IMG_4287job), add the stock and chilli (or horseradish) and add a ladleful at a time to the grains. Keep adding a ladleful as soon as it is absorbed. This should take about 30-40 minutes

 

After 15 minutes add the quinoa (this takes less time to cook) and mix in. once the pearl barley and quinoa are soft and fluffy stir in the peas and 1 tablespoon of the chopped herbs. Taste and season with salt and lots of pepper

 

Serve into 2 warmed bowls

 

Lemon horseradish oil

Mix all the ingredients together and drizzle over the risotto

IMG_4308

 

 

 

Finally scatter over the remaining tablespoon of chopped herbs

 

 

 

 

BCAMThis is a great recipe to support breast cancer awareness month.  So why not make a larger amount (its easy to double or triple the ingredients) and invite your friends over.  They can make a donation to your favourite cancer charity like Maggie’s (the cancer support centre inside the grounds of the Nottingham City hospital)

 

November is world vegan month

world-vegan-monthNovember is World vegan month

Taking better care of the earth’s resources and the environment, ethical issues about animal welfare, the use of antibiotics and growth stimulants in animal production or the health advantages of a plant-based diet. These are just some of the reasons why an estimated 1 million UK adults are now vegan

 

For some people it’s none of the above but they have allergies to dairy products or are lactose intolerant, hence the increased popularity and availability of soya-based dairy alternatives

But on the whole being a vegan is more of a lifestyle choice and a philosophy than a diet.

You can now buy ethical clothing, shoes, toiletries and makeup. But for ‘World vegan month’ I’d like to focus on the food aspect of being vegan.

vegan-cakeOver the last year I have seen a number of changes occurring across the Nottingham hospitality landscape.  As well as an increase in wheat/gluten/dairy free cakes and goodies, I have also noticed more vegan options in shops, supermarkets and eateries.

 

For instance did you know that the Peacock Hotel on Mansfield Road, Nottingham has a 100% vegan kitchen, Zaap, a Thai street food restaurant on Maid Marion Way had a good range of vegan options, Cafe Roya in Beestion front-menu-peacockis a vegan and vegetarian restaurant that does amazing food, Chakh le India on Trent Bridge does great vegan starters.  The Parlour in West Bridfgord has an impressive range of vegan cakes.  And the Alley Cafe, which has been around for years is still turning out great healthy vegan food.  Not to be outdone Sainsbury’s has launched a vegan cheese range and Tesco has launched a selection box suitable for vegans

 

Many vegans have a lower BMI (body Mass Index), lower cholesterol levels and a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

For some the transition to being vegan is a staged process; they cut down on red meat, then only eat fish, progress to becoming vegetarian then decide to take the plunge and go  for a 100% plant-based diet

 

vegan-shoppingFor those people the move can be manageable and not too daunting. But if your main protein source as a vegetarian has been eggs and dairy then it can seem more of a challenge. But as I’ve mentioned above supermarkets and other retailers are now producing more products that are suitable.

There are now many non-dairy alternatives.  Soya has the most similar nutritional value to milk and can be used in sweet and savoury dishes.  Always buy the unsweetened versions for a better nutritional balance.

 

If you think a vegan diet is worth trying then why not come to my vegan cookery classes more info can be obtained by following this link simply veg . I will also be running a Vegan Christmas cookery workshop every Saturday in November ; you can find out more on my blog page vegan merry Christmas

 

Three simple food tips

tofu-eggTip #1 – If you love eggs then consider making scrambled tofu.  It has a similar texture and is delicious.  Many baking recipes can be made without eggs, or use linseeds soaked in water.

Tip #2 – For vegetarians considering the move to a vegan diet start incorporating more beans, pulses, nuts and seeds in to your meals.  These will become the protein staples on a plant-based diet i.e. bean salads, chilli, curries, and pasta dishes.  Use nut butters in sandwiches and savoury dishes. All these protein sources are high in fibre, low in cholesterol and generally low in saturated fat

miso-non-veggieTip #3 - Learn to love labels. Some foods that appear vegan could contain meat or fish by-products. Look out for bonito (fish) in Miso, cochineal or E120 (a red food colouring) found in some alcoholic drinks, bakery, biscuits, desserts, drinks, icings, pie fillings, sauces and sweets. Worcestershire Sauce (anchovies), Marshmallows and jelly sweets (gelatin) or Beer (Isinglass).

 

Eating a balanced diet is important for all of us, however vegans may have to pay particular attention to their intake of B12 and iron.  Some cereals, breads, non dairy spreads and milks etc are fortified with B12 and as long as you have plenty of green leafy veg, dried fruits, pulses, oats and other wholegrain you should be ok for iron.

For more advice about adopting a vegan diet visit the vegan society website

Veg out restaurant review – Chaka Le India

Veg out restaurant review

Chakh Le India, Trent Bridge, Nottingham

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

chakh-le-indiaOn the way home I spotted that the old Chinese restaurant on Trent Bridge had reopened as an Indian restaurant; Chaka Le India. Cue a visit one Friday night!

 

 

 

We were welcomed by traditionally dressed staff who couldn’t do enough for us. A drinks order was quickly taken, menus presented and pleasantries passed. Good start

food-menu

potato-cake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The menu was a mix of family favourites like onion bhaji and vegetable samosa. But I decided to be a bit more adventurous and ordered the Aloo Tikki Ragda, which is potato cakes served with masala chickpeas and a yoghurt dressing. The presentation was amazing and rivalled anything the meat and fish eaters had. In fact mine looked the best on the table. And the taste didn’t disappoint either; a sheer delight

 

My omnivore companions chose Fish Amritsari (fish pakoras) and Puri prawn (a puffed up deep fried bread topped with spicy prawns). They were equally impressed with their choices

 

sweetcorn-curryFor my main course I opted for Khumb makai; a sweetcorn and mushroom curry. The sauce was tomato based which makes it very nutritious without the calories and fat from a creamier sauce. It was also nice and spicy but still very flavoursome. And the portion size was perfect.

 

The non veggies had a king prawn biryani, which can be served with either a masala sauce or a yoghurt raita, the Karahi chicken and Malabar chicken, flavoured with coconut milk, chillies, curry leaves and mustard seeds. There were no complaints and all the plates were returned to the kitchen virtually wiped clean

veg outMy review is also online at Nottingham Post.  You will also be able to buy the paper on Wednesdayveg-out-le-indian

Jugs of cold tap water were regularly replaced and the service throughout was impeccable.

 

When I go again I will definitely have the potato cakes for my starter. And for my main course order a couple of ‘sides’ so I can try more. That way I can dispense with the carb heavy white rice. I think the kalojoni baingan (Aubergine cooked with onion seeds and tomatoes) and the Chana masala (chickpeas with tomatoes, ginger, onions and spices) have my name on them!

 

This has to be one of the best Indian restaurants I’ve been to all year

Pinky beetroot hummus

Pinky beetroot hummus

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_4336A recipe in the Royal Marsden cancer cookbook has inspired this beetroot hummus. I thought it quite appropriate for breast cancer awareness month this October

 

 

Makes enough for half a dozen people, although it keeps for 3-5 days in the fridge

 

400g tin of drained chickpeas

1 clove of garlic

img_83281 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

1 tbls tahini

½ tsp smoked paprika

2 cooked beetroots (I use the ones in the vacuum packs)

pinch of salt and pepper

1 tsp horseradish (optional)

torn mint leaves and a sprinkling of sesame seeds to serve

 

img_8329Put all the ingredients, except the mint and sesame in a blender. I like to use my nutribullet but a food processor or hand stick blender is just as good.

Blend for 20 – 30 seconds or until you get your desired texture

Taste and add more lemon juice or pepper if necessary

 

hummusTip in to a bowl. To firm up the texture and to let the flavours develop cover and leave in the fridge for 20 minutes or longer.

But if you cant wait that long scatter over the torn mint leaves and sesame seeds, and serve with some Ryvitta or vegetable sticks

 

hummus

Vegan Merry Christmas!

Vegan Merry Christmas!

Sorry to mention the ‘C’ word in October!

img_4983Have you got a vegan coming for a Christmas lunch, is there only one vegan in your family or are you vegan yourself and want to cook something different?

 

Then I might have the answer! Every Saturday in November (and possibly the first two of December) I will be running a vegan festive cookery class.

 

 

Come along to my professional 5* rated kitchen in West Bridgford where you will make a 3 course festive lunch.  The class runs from 10 am – 1.30pm.

vegan-xmas-poster-jpeg

The ingredients, equipment, a recipe folder and refreshments will all be provided, all you need to do is bring containers to take your dishes home. And all that for £125

 

xmas2Every Saturday it will be the same menu, so just choose the date that best suits and book in. I accept four guests at a time

 

To book your place on either 5th, 12th, 19th or 26th November class, just contact me

Susan Hart on 07946 301338  or email me at susan@nutrition-coach.co.uk

 

If these get booked up I will offer the following additional dates

3rd and 10th December

 

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Banana, berry and oat smoothie

Banana, berry and oat smoothie

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_4336October is Breast Cancer awareness month, so I thought it only fitting to take a recipe from the Royal Marsden cancer cookbook as today’s ‘Meat Free Monday’ choice

 

My version of the banana smoothie is vegan, so I’ve used soya milk and yoghurt. I’ve also added a teaspoon of chia seeds for extra protein, some turmeric and a mint leaf to give it a fresh flavour

 

berry-smoothie1 small ripe banana,

3 heaped tablespoons of porridge oats,

1 teaspoon chia seeds,

½ teaspoon of honey/golden syrup/agarve (optional),

pinch of cinnamon, black pepper and turmeric,

oats100g frozen berries or just blueberries

150ml soya milk,

1 mint leaf.

 

 

If you like you can use other non-dairy milks, although soya has the closest nutritional makeup to cow’s milk.

berry-mixNow for the complicated bit!  Place all the ingredients in a blender – I like the nutribullet as it makes a very smooth and creamy consistency, and blitz.

 

This is a great breakfast alternative and the berry-smoothieoats and milk will keep you full until lunchtime. But please take your time and sip your smoothie slowly or use a spoon

Finally its a beautiful pink colour so show your support for breast cancer awareness month

Part time veggie

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

thai-tofu-curryOn Monday why not take part in ‘meat free Monday’ and become a part time veggie.   The idea is that one day a week you eat vegetarian or vegan meals. There are now an estimated two – three million vegetarians in the UK, who for a variety of wide-ranging reasons have given up meat and fish. You could become one of them

The number of vegans in the UK is also growing as the evidence that a plant based diet has health benefits increases

 

Why should you bite the bullet (or rather the carrot!)?

  • Weight – According to recent research by Cancer research UK vegetarians and vegans have a lower body weight.  Meat eaters who continue eating meat will carry on putting on more weight over a five year period, compared to those who switched over to vegetarianism.  The World Health Organisation believes being overweight can increase the risk of serious health consequences such as cardiovascular disease (mainly heart disease and stroke), type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal disorders like osteoarthritis, and some cancers.  What is not widely known is that the risk of health problems starts when someone is only very slightly overweight, and that the likelihood of problems increases as someone becomes more and more overweight
  • imagesCholesterol – vegetarians  and vegans generally have lower cholesterol levels.  A recent study demonstrated that a vegetarian diet made up of specific plant foods can lower cholesterol as effectively as a drug treatment.
  • Longevity – many vegetarians and vegans will live longer due to their reduced risk of becoming obese, developing diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular diseases; in fact vegetarians have 32% less chance of having heart disease than their meat-eating friends.
  • Saturated fat – Red meat, especially processed meat, contains a lot of saturated fat (plus sodium, nitrites etc) that have been linked to increased risk of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  • beansCost – as food prices rise its good to know that you can still buy good quality inexpensive protein like beans and pulses and turn them into delicious meals such as  veggie chilli or cauliflower chickpea curry.  Buying seasonal vegetables and fruit will also make your meals less expensive and more nutritious. More delicious veggie and vegan recipes can be found on my blog

Quick tips

  • Add a tin of beans to your soups, curries, chills and pasta dishes.  You’ll be adding low fat, low cholesterol protein
  • Make a frittata bursting with veggies like peppers, onions, courgettes and mushrooms.
  • soupHomemade soups are a great way to introduce a vegetarian meal.  Add lentils for additional protein.
  • Spiralise vegetables and have them instead of pasta
  • Nuts can be ground to make your own nut butters – packed with protein and good fats
  • Chickpeas make great hummus. Add to jacket potatoes, enrich a cauliflower curry or smear on to a piece of toasted sourdough

However the veggie garden isn’t completely rosy.  There is a higher risk of developing a B12 deficiency, which can lead to anemia.  Eating plenty of milk, cheese and eggs or certain fortified breakfast cereals, non dairy milks, nutritional yeast if you’re a vegan, should provide enough of this essential vitamin

coucousIf you’d like to increase your vegetarian repertoire then why not come along to my vegan and vegetarian cookery classes in West Bridgford? They occur most days from 11am (Tuesdays start at 12.15), I also run a session on a Tuesday evening at 5.30pm

Contact me for more details or to book a place 07946 301338

 

More detailed information about healthy eating can be obtained from my previous healthy diet blog

 

The rise and rise of Diabetes!

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

imagesThe rise and rise of Diabetes!

Diabetes has been in the news again: “Diabetes the hidden Killer’ was a Panorama documentary showing how diabetes can lead to heart failure, blindness, kidney disease and leg amputations.

Diabetes costs the NHS nearly £10 billion a year (or 10% of the total NHS budget), with 80% of that being spent managing avoidable complications.  More than a third of adults in England are at the brink of developing type-2 diabetes, and even children are being diagnosed with the condition

A study, in the British Medical Journal, reports that there has been an “extremely rapid” rise in pre-diabetes since 2003; then 11.6% of adults surveyed had pre-diabetes, but the figures trebled to 35.3% by 2011.

diabetes graphIt predicts a surge in type-2 diabetes in the coming years, with consequences for life expectancy; between 5% and 10% of people with pre-diabetes go on to develop type-2 diabetes each year.

Pre-diabetes (also known as borderline diabetes) is where blood sugar levels are abnormally high, but lower than the threshold for diagnosing diabetes.

 

Should you be worried?

If you are overweight (use the BMI calculator to find out) or over 40, you should ask your GP for a test for Type 2 diabetes.

Did you know that if you are overweight, every kilogram you lose could reduce your risk byimages up to 15%?

You could start by taking the Diabetes Risk Score Test to calculate your chances of developing Type 2 diabetes.  If the results concern you then consider visiting your GP and following the 10 tips below

Diabetes UK has said that ‘up to 80% of cases of type-2 diabetes could be avoided or delayed’ and risk can be reduced by up to 60% after making some basic lifestyle changes.

The statistic that should worry you is that 1 in 5 hospital patients has diabetes 

Top 10 tips to reduce your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes

  1. Read my 5 top tips for weight loss if you consider yourself to be overweight
  2. Eat regular healthy meals to keep your blood glucose levels stable.
  3. Include all the food groups every day,  fruits and veg, starchy carbohydrates (such

    as wholemeal bread, wholegrain cereal and pasta, oats, sweet potato or brown rice), dairy (such as milk (cows, goats, sheep or soya), yoghurt, cheese), and a small amount of protein (such as lean meat, chicken, fish, tofu, eggs, lentils, quinoa and pulses).

  4. Choose low-GI snacks such as fruit, yoghurt, reduced fat cheese and wholegrain crackers or unsalted nuts. And limit sugar and sugary foods, sugary soft drinks, white bread, potatoes and white rice
  5. Limit unhealthy snacks that are high in salt, sugar or saturated fat – this is easier if you eat less processed foods and stick to fresh produce where you can.
  6. IMG_3596Watch your portion sizes. Eating smaller amounts at main meals and snacks will help with weight loss and improve blood glucose levels. Take a look at my article about portion control
  7. Stick to your recommended daily alcohol limit i.e.  2–3 units for women and 3–4 units for men. Drinking five pints of lager a week adds up to 44,200 calories over a year, the equivalent to eating 221 doughnuts. The average wine drinker in England consumes around 2,000 calories from alcohol every month.
  8. Exercise burns calories, so try and be active for at least 30 minutes, five times a week
  9. If not now, when?Set yourself goals – mark your milestones and celebrate your successes.
  10. Most importantly, start today!

Sweet potato falafels

Sweet potato falafels – serves 2

sweet-potat-falafelsThese are a great way to use protein rich chickpeas and vitamin packed sweet potatoes.  If you have some roasted butternut squash that can easily be used in place of the sweet potato. And feel free to play with the spicing by using curry powder, garam masala, turmeric or a small amount of cinnamon

My vegan cookery class guests will be making these little morsels all this week.

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

Makes 10 x 30 g bites

sp-falafels-ingredients250g raw sweet potato

½ tin (108g) drained chickpeas (keep the water)

or 25g dried chickpeas soaked overnight in water until they swell to 125g (discard the water)

35g chickpea (gram) flour

 

1 large garlic clove

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

½ tsp chilli flakes and smoked paprika

5g fresh coriander or parsley, chopped finely

toasted sesame seeds, to coat (optional)

 

Sesame sauce

1 tbsp tahini

2 tsp lemon juice

½ small garlic clove, crushed

½ tsp maple/golden syrup

salt & pepper to taste

chickpea water

 

 

mashed-falafelsPut the potato(es) into a 200° C / gas mark 6 oven and roast it until soft, it takes about 1 hour (depending on size). Or microwave for 4-5 minutes on full. Let it cool, peel it and mash the flesh with a fork. You can fry or bake the skins until crispy and serve with the falafels

Finely grind the chickpeas and garlic in a food processor.

In a large bowl, combine mashed potato, ground chickpeas and garlic, chickpea flour, herbs and spices. Mix it well and place in the fridge for an hour or two (or freezer for ½ an hour) to firm up.

patie-shapesUsing your hands, form small patties (about 30g) out of the mixture. Once shaped, press them lightly into some sesame seeds spread on a small plate. If the mixture is still too soft add a bit more chickpea flour.

Brush a small amount of olive oil onto a baking tray and place falafels on it, making sure they do not touch. Bake falafel-in-the-ovenfor 20- 25 minutes, keep an eye on them after 15 mins and flip them over if they look too brown. They are done when they are crispy and golden.

Sesame sauce

In a bowl, mix tahini with lemon juice and a splash of chickpea water.

Add maple/golden syrup, garlic and a bit more water to then it down so you can drizzle it. Taste and if necessary season with salt and pepper.

sw-falafels2

 

When you try this recipe, why not post your photos here?!

 

 

 

recipe inspired by LazyCat kitchen