Butternut squash and Chickpea tagine

Butternut squash and Chickpea tagine – serves 4,  approx 350 calories per serving

This is a great meat free Monday recipe – a campaign to encourage people to go meat free at least one day a week.  It is also very versatile and is great with either butternut squash or pumpkin.

moroccan tagine

600 ml (1 pint) boiling water

1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled, or 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder or paste

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp tomato puree

½ tsp turmeric, ground coriander and cumin

½ tsp of chilli flakes

200g  leeks or onions , washed and thinly sliced

225g sweet potatoes, cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes

600g of butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes

 

1 red or green pepper, deseeded and chopped

100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped

1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained (keep the liquid)

Salt and pepper

To garnish

30g  pine nuts, 

Chopped parsley and mint or fresh coriander and mint

Optional: pomegranate seeds and hummus

 

 

pumpkins squash

Make the stock in a jug or saucepan with the boiling water and the stock cube, powder or paste.

 

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In a large pan add the oil and fry the butternut squash (or pumpkin), leeks and sweet potatoes for 10 minutes.  Before adding the turmeric, ground coriander, chilli and cumin, cook for 5 minutes.

moroccan tagine

 

Add the tomato puree and red pepper cook for 5 more minutes. Stir to stop it sticking and burning. Add some of the chickpea water if it does stick

 

Add the stock stir in the apricots and chickpeas and simmer for 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.

moroccan tagine

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat, stirring constantly, until just beginning to brown.

pinenuts

Taste the casserole and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.  Ladle it into deep bowls. Sprinkle with the chopped pine nuts and parsley/mint or fresh coriander/mint and serve.

You can also add some brightly coloured pomegranate seeds and a couple of dollops of hummus. And if you’re very hungry add some wholegrain couscous, quinoa or rice

moroccan tagine

 

 

This is one of my cooking guests proudly showing her finished tagine dish

Veg out–The Avenues café Sneinton Market

Veg out – The Avenues café

 

A few weeks ago Nottingham Posts Food Sleuth thought he might have found the ‘best breakfast’ in Nottingham.  Well I think I’ve found another contender, the Avenues café,  Sneinton Market

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I’d heard much about this café from a vegan Facebook group who were regularly singing the Avenues praises, as a place that offered a no-frills vegan breakfast for a very reasonable price

The Avenues cafe

outside

So one Sunday morning I went with my other half to see for myself. The outside is ordinary and understated and the inside continues with that theme.  But don’t let that fool you in to thinking the food will be the same.

coffee

I looked at the menu but only one dish was on my mind; the ‘vegan breakfast’- 3 hashbrowns, 3 vegan sausages, beans, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms, a bubble and squeak pattie, fried bread and wholemeal toast with vegan spread.  Plus a choice of coffee, tea, or juice.  All for an amazing price of  £4.50.  Only a couple of the ingredients are handmade but I suppose that’s how they manage to keep the price so reasonable

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 12.50.58My review also appears online at https://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/best-vegan-breakfast-nottingham-costs-1499844 

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and via twitter

 

 

 

 

 

My other half ordered the standard meat breakfast, containing all the usual suspects for £4. What I also noticed on the menu was a note saying that the vegan food was all kept and cooked separately, which for someone who choses not to eat meat or any by-product is really good to know.

vegan breakfast

Even though I knew what to expect when my breakfast arrived I couldn’t believe the size of it.  It was all piping hot, well cooked and appetising.  But most importantly it was tasty. The coffee was also good, I had the standard filter and my other half had an Americano, served with a little Biscoff biscuit, which also happens to be vegan.  We didn’t feel rushed so took our time read some of the free papers listening to the chitter chatter of other diners and watched a steady stream of customers come and go.  Everyone thanked the staff for their food and commented on the great prices.

 

If I’d had room I would have ordered another coffee and a slice of vegan cake and although my purse would have coped my waistline wouldn’t.  This café is definitely a place that serves a hearty breakfast at an incredible price and the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ could have been written for it.  I challenge the food sleuth to pay a visit and maybe they will reconsider which venue offers the best breakfast.

 

Ps I was so full that the next time I had something to eat was that evening and I could only manage a salad

Mac and no cheese

Mac and no cheese – serves 2

This is a great meat free Monday recipe.  You can use any pasta shape and preferably wholemeal for added fibre.  And it makes two generous filling portions

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150g (1 cup) Macaroni

1 (200g) sweet potato (wash but don’t peel), ½ carrot, ½ onion- all chopped

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp turmeric and smoked paprika

large pinch salt , pepper and chilli flakes

300ml (1 ¼ cups) water

100g (¾ cup) soaked cashew nuts

10g  (¼ cup) nutritional yeast

3 tbls vegan spread or olive oil

1 tbls lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

 

ingredients

ingredients

Put the macaroni on to boil, cook as per packet instructions

chopped veg

chopped veg

 

Chop the veg place in saucepan, add water, garlic cloves, salt, turmeric, chilli, paprika, pepper and cook until soft (15 minutes.)

 

 

 

 

nutritional yeast

nutritional yeast

In a blender add the cashew nuts, lemon juice, vegan spread/oil/, mustard and nutritional yeast.  Add the cooked veg and the stock.  Blend. Do this in separate batches if you have a small blender and mix it all together in the pan.  If the sauce is too thick use some of the reserved cooked pasta water

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If the blender cup becomes difficult to open (due to the heat of the ingredients) wear a pair of clean washing up gloves to get a better grip

 

 

 

 

Drain the cooked pasta (keep the water), add it back to the pan and tip in the sauce

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Mix will.  If the mix is still too thick add some more of the reserved pasta water. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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Serve in a bowl topped half a sliced avocado and a large mixed salad

 

Optional additional step.  Before topping with avocado, mix a handful of breadcrumbs, ½ tsp garlic salt, 2 tsp olive oil, 5g nutritional yeast and 2 tsp mixed herbs together and scatter over the top of the dish.

Bake in a hot oven (170oC fan/190oC/gas 5) for 10 minutes until brown and crispy.

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Then serve with the avocado and a large salad

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“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

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

“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

Do you think you eat a balanced diet or are you confused about what a balanced diet looks like?

I’m seeing more and more clients who seem lost and confused about what to eat and what not to eat

thai-tofu-curryEating a nutritious, balanced diet will help you improve your overall health. In particular, a balanced diet can help:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Reduce your chances of getting cancer
  • Give you more energy
  • Keep you well
  • improve weight loss
  • Improve your bowel health
  • Your skin, nails and hair look healthier

 

The two key elements to a healthy balanced diet are:

  • Eat the right amount of food for how active you are, and
  • Eat a variety of foods – this is where the ‘balance’ comes in

healthy eating advice

The “Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet should include:

  • fruit-and-veg-225x300Plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions a day. Think ‘A rainbow of colour’.  And if its convenient use fresh, frozen or tinned
  • Fruit like grapefruit or melon eaten before a meal can help fill you up so you are less likely to overeat on higher calorie foods
  • Small amounts of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
  • Some milk, dairy or plant-based alternative likes (soya, oat, nut etc).  Aim for 3 servings a day.
  • Sufficient protein such as tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs.  Aim to eat low fat protein at every main meal.
  • Just a small amount of foods high in fat, sugar and salt
  • Keep within the safe alcohol limits (14 units a week for men and women).  Its also advised to have alcohol free days
  • activity exercise walkingDrink plenty of water, about 6-8 glasses (or other fluids) every day: more if you exercise or if the weather is hot
  • Green tea contains two compounds; caffeine and catechins, that may boost your metabolism for a couple of hours.
  • Stay active – aim for 150 minutes of activity a week.  this can include classes at a gym, running, weight training.  But equally housework, gardening, walking and dancing can all count too

 

Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they are eating healthy food they can eat more of it.  This can lead to weight gain in the same way that eating unhealthy foods can, because all foods have calories!

Follow this portion guide and you won’t go far wrong

  • A healthy 75g serving of protein (tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs) is the same size as the palm of your hand
  • A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
  •   A serving of dairy is:
    • 200ml of milk or plant based alternative – regardless of full-fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed.
    • 30g hard cheese (including non dairy): around the same size as a matchbox
    • 150g of plain or fruit yoghurt.
  • A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
  • pasta-portionA serving of rice is half a teacup or 75g (uncooked), which weighs 125g when cooked
  • A serving of pasta is 75g uncooked which weighs 170g when cooked al dente
  • A serving of vegetables is about 80g or about 2 tablespoons
  • A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.
  • A unit of alcohol is half a pint of standard strength (3 to 5% ABV) beer, lager or cider, or a single pub measure of spirit. A 175 ml glass of wine is about 2 units and alcopops are about 1.5 units. A bottle of white wine has up to 9 units and 650 calories

If your diet is in a bit of a tailspin, then why not contact me for some nutritional advice

what i do 4

The sugar tax and sugary drinks

The sugar tax and sugary drinks

On 6th April 2018 the new sugar tax came in to force, meaning manufacturers have to pay a levy on the high-sugar drinks they sell.  Drinks with more than 8g per 100ml will have a tax rate equivalent to 24p per litre.  Those containing 5-8g of sugar per 100ml, a slightly lower rate of tax, of 18p per litre.   In many cases the tax has been passed on to the consumer.

Pure fruit juices will be exempt as they do not carry added sugar, and milky drinks will also be exempt due to their calcium content.

Ministers and campaigners already believe it to be a success, with many firms reducing sugar content ahead of the change. Leading brands such as Fanta, Ribena and Lucozade have cut the sugar content of drinks, but Coca-Cola has not.

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Yesterday was also a busy day for me with filming for Notts TV about less sugary cereal alternatives, an Interview with BBC Radio Nottingham’s Verity Cowley and a couple of mentions on Gem106 fm evening news

sugar tax

 

Firstly Notts TV

Sugary cereals are a big concern as many of us choose this option as our go to breakfast, some children can consume near 3 teaspoons of added sugar before they even leave the house in the morning

Two short 20 second clips from Gem 106

And this is the last of my media clips: a 6 minute chat with Verity Cowley on her BBC Radio Nottingham show

 

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Whether you restrict your sugar intake or switch to artificial sweeteners the best advice I can give you is to educate your pallet to expect less sweet food.