Spicy Parsnip and leek soup

Spicy Parsnip and leek soup  – serves 4/5

We may still have a few chilly days a head of us, so lets stay warm with a nice spicy homemade soup.  Don’t worry if you don’t have all the ingredients or the correct measures, this recipe is really flexible so you can add carrots, onions, potatoes, coriander, cumin, tinned tomatoes etc.

In fact you can’t really go wrong!

But if you’re unsure follow this recipe and you will end up with really tasty and satisfying bowls of soup

 

The start of something big!

The start of something big!

½ tsp vegetable oil

250g peeled and chopped parsnips

200g swede, peeled and chopped into small pieces

100g washed and sliced leeks

2 garlic cloves

1 tsp each of curry power, turmeric and smoked paprika

large pinch of chilli flakes

1 cupful of red split lentils

1 ltr of hot water

1 tsp lemon juice

handful of chopped mint and parsley

salt and pepper

 

In a large pan warm the oil and add the leeks cook on a low light for 5 minutes.

Chopped Parsnips

Chopped Parsnips

Add the chopped parsnips, swede chilli, spices and garlic, cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the hot water and lentils.

Cook for 20-30 minutes until the veg and the lentils are very soft.

Either leave chunky, blend all of it using a hand blender or remove half and blend half and mix together.

If it’s too thick add some more hot water.

Add the lemon juice, taste and season with plenty of freshly ground pepper and a little salt (if necessary)

Serve in warmed bowls

parsnip soup

 

Additions

Add a tin of cannellini beans – 34 calories a portion

1 slice of wholemeal bread – 100 calories

Butternut squash and coconut soup

Butternut squash and coconut soup – serves 2, 153 calories per serving

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

This is a really fibre rich soup that will keep you feeling nice and full.  By not using any oil and dry frying the vegetables it makes it very low calorie, so ideal for the 5:2 fasters and anyone wanting to stay healthy.  The coconut milk, as well as adding calcium also brings some sweetness, richness and a velvety texture to the dish

IMG_3386330g butternut squash – chopped into small cubes, but not peeled

130g onion – chopped

300ml stock (made with half a stock cube, half a tsp vegetable powder or vegetable water)

100 ml non-dairy coconut milk.  You could also used tinned coconut milk but the calories will increase by 60 calories per serving

large pinch of dried chilli flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1 tbls of the seeds from the butternut squash

 

 

IMG_3387In a non stick saucepan slowly dry fry the butternut squash. This means having the pan on a low light and allowing the veg to release its own oils and liquid to help with the cooking. This will take about 6-8 minutes to begin to soften and colour

Add the chopped onions and keep turning over so all the veg colours evenly and doesn’t burn. This will take another 5 minutes

Add the stock, chilli and salt & pepper.

IMG_3390Cover with a lid and cook for 15-20 minutes until the squash is completely soft

Add the coconut milk and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Take out a few pieces of the cubed squash, and set aside

 

IMG_3392Blitz the soup with a hand blender or nutribullet and pour into two warmed bowls

 

In another non stick pan add 1 tbls of butternut squash seeds IMG_3391and dry fry i.e. don’t add any oil. Have the heat low and gentle move the seeds around the pan until they start to toast and colour. Remove from the pan

 

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Scatter the seeds over the soup and add the few cubes of reserved squash

Quick vegetable rice

Quick vegetable rice  – serves 2, 262 calories (315 calls if using microwaveable rice)

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

IMG_2799This makes a really quick, filling and tasty lunch; packed with lots of veggies and some wholegrain carbs.  The seasonings can be varied to bring different flavours to the dish.  Try adding cumin, curry powder and fresh coriander for an Indian flavour.  Or smoked paprika, harissa and fresh mint  for a more Moroccan twist.  And if you want a Mediterranean feel add some tomato paste,  a few chopped olives, lemon zest and fresh mint or basil

IMG_27911 courgette – cut into cubes

1 red pepper – cut into cubes

1 onion – sliced

1 stick of celery – sliced

1 garlic clove – finely chopped or grated

½ tsp minced ginger or small piece of grated fresh ginger

good pinch of ground black pepper

250 g cooked brown basmati (or 1 packet of microwaveable wholegrain basmati)

2 tsp olive oil

splash lemon juice and soy sauce

good pinch of chilli flakes

handful of chopped parsley

 

IMG_2794Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the vegetables IMG_2792until they start to soften – about 8-10 minutes. Add the chilli, garlic, black pepper, parsley and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the cooked rice. If using the microwaveable rice, cook according to the instruction then add to the pan

 

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Keep stirring until all the ingredients are hot and well mixed. Add the soy sauce and a splash of lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve on two warmed plates.

 

To make it a more substantial meal add ½ tin of chickpeas (145 calories), 50g toasted cashew nuts (275 calories) or 200g steamed edamame beans (166 calories)

Speedy stir-fry

Speedy stir-fry – serves 2 or 3

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

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To celebrate the Chinese New year why not cook yourself this vegan speedy stir-fry.

This recipe makes a really quick and tasty light lunch or a more substantial supper dish.  The peanuts and sesame seeds add protein and some useful minerals like iron and magnesium and all the veggies are bursting with vitamins, fibre and antioxidants.  The wholegrain rice also adds some useful protein and fibre.

 

 

 

IMG_36311 packet microwavable wholegrain rice

½ (100g) large onion – sliced

2 (130g) carrots – cut into matchsticks

1 (130g) red pepper – sliced

80g spring greens or spinach or kale- shredded

20g fresh ginger – thin strips

¼ – ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

30g unsalted peanuts or cashews

1 spring onion – sliced

½ tsp soy sauce

1 tsp *toasted sesame seeds

 

 

Heat a wok (or non stick frying pan) until it is really hot and add 1 tsp of vegetable oil. Quickly add the sliced onion and keep them moving in the pan (with a large spoon or chopsticks). After 2 minutes add the carrots. Again move them about to stop them burning. If it looks too dry add a splash of water

 

After another 2 minutes add the pepper, greens, ginger and chili flakes. Cook for 5-8 minutes until the veg soften slightly

 

In the meantime microwave the rice according to the instructions on the packet (usually 2 minutes).  This step can be missed out, just tip the rice straight into the wok and cook for an extra 2 minutes with a splash of hot water

 

IMG_3639Add the steaming rice to the wok and mix in. Add the peanuts, soy sauce and spring onion and again stir to mix

 

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Divide into 2 bowls for a generous evening meal serving (358 calories) or into 3 bowls for a lighter lunch or 5:2 fast diet meal (238 calories). And sprinkle over the toasted sesame seeds

 

Now you know how simple it is what are you waiting for?! 

* To toast sesame seeds. Heat a nonstick frying pan – don’t add any oil. Add the sesame seeds and keep moving the pan to stop the seeds burning. They will start to colour and go golden brown after 2-3 minutes. Switch off the heat and allow to cool before tipping into a container with a lid. The toasted seeds will keep for 2-3 months

Spinach and butter bean gnocchi

Spinach and butter bean gnocchi

Serves 3, 340 calories per serving

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

IMG_3874This is a great vegan dish to celebrate veganuary.  It’s also a great way to use up some leftover tinned spinach from making your favourite curry (but fresh or frozen is equally as good).  It is also really adaptable; so you can use your favourite beans like cannellini, borlotti, chick peas etc.  If you like it a bit spicier then add more chilli, pepper and paprika

The beans add some really good quality low fat protein, the spinach is a great source of fibre and vitamins – especially A,E and K,  which makes it great for bone health

1 (75g) onion

½ fresh chilli

IMG_3868200g chopped spinach (fresh, frozen or tinned)

1 garlic clove

1 tsp olive oil

1 tin (400g) chopped tomatoes

1 tin butter beans

50g pitted olives

1 tsp capers (optional)

½ tsp smoked paprika

Salt and pepper

1 packet dried gnocchi

Splash of lemon juice

Handful of chopped mint

 

 

Fry the chopped onion gently in a pan with the olive oil for 5 minutes until it softens. Add the chilli and chopped garlic and cook for a few more minutes

IMG_3871Add the drained tinned spinach (or the frozen or washed fresh spinach), tinned tomatoes and drained and rinsed butter beans and stir thoroughly. Cook on a medium heat until it all starts to bubble, reduce to a simmer and add in the chopped olives (I prefer the green ones), capers (if you are using them) and the paprika.

 

IMG_3869Have a taste and add a pinch of salt and plenty of pepper. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring regularly

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In the meantime put a pan of water on to boil as soon at it starts bubbling tip in the gnocchi. It is ready when each one pops up to the surface. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and tip into the spinach sauce and stir to mix

 

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Add a splash of lemon juice and a handful of chopped mint and serve in 3 warmed bowls

Winter vegetable and lentil soup

Winter vegetable and lentil soup

Makes 4 x 300g servings = which can be frozen

230 calories per portion

IMG_2129It’s getting colder so what better way to keep out those chills than have a bowl of warming and nutritious homemade soup. Feel free to adjust the vegetables and add in whatever is to hand.  But always use the lentils as it adds protein and fibre, therefore making the soup really hearty and filling.

250g parnsips

150g swede

200g potatoes

100g leek

150g dried red lentils

1 tsp olive oil

1 garlic clove

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

½  vegetable stock cube or 1 tsp bouillon powder

½ litre of hot water

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp cumin

1 chilli or 1 tsp dried chilli

1 bay leave (optional)

Salt and pepper

Dash of lemon juice and a handful of chopped fresh herbs

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Wash all the vegetables but only peel the swede.  Both the parsnips and the potatoes can keep their peel (to retain more fibre and nutrients).  Chop in to bite sized pieces

IMG_2099I use a pressure cooker for this soup as it reduces the cooking time,  But if you don’t have one then use a large pan.  Add the oil to the pan and warm before adding the leeks.  Cook on their own for about 5 minutes, turning occasionally to stop them colouring too much.  Add the rest of the vegetables and stir.  After a few minutes add the chilli, spices, bay leaves, garlic, stock cube dissolved in the hot water and tinned tomatoes.

Give the whole lot a big stir and then add in the dried lentils.  With another big stir

If you are using a pressure cooker at this point add the lid and wait for a steady stream of steam to be produced add the weight, turn down the gas to a simmer and set the timer for 10 minutes.

If you are just using a large pan, cover with a lid, turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30-40 minutes (storing regularly), or until all the veg are nice and soft and the lentils have broken down

Have a taste and then season with salt and pepper and a dash of lemon and some chopped herbs, such as parsley, mint, coriander

IMG_2100You can leave the soup nice and chunky or use a stick blender to make it smooth.  This will thicken the soup so add some more hot water, until you reached the desired consistency.

It may mean that you then get an extra portion so the recipe will have 5 not 4 servings in which case the calorie per portion will reduce to 200

The soup can be kept covered in the fridge for 3 days.  Any uneaten portions can be frozen and defrosted and reheated before eating

As a chunky soup it can quickly be turned in to a versatile casserole by adding cooked veggie sausages, Quorn (or for the meat eaters; roasted chicken or left over Sunday roast meat)

soupAs a smooth soup it can be used as a protein rich topping for jacket pototoes or a filling for a veggie shepherds pie

Please share if you have other creative ways of using this versatile recipe

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

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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

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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)

 

Banana oaty bars

Banana oaty bars

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I first posted this recipe early last year but recently a reader, Jocelyn  asked if I’d re-post.  She said

It’s a great recipe and my daughter and I use it a lot. We haven’t made them for a while and can never remember the amounts of the ingredients. It would be great to get the recipe back!

So this is for you Jocelyn and all those  who like a healthy treat.

Enjoy!

 

These make an ideal afternoon treat, when the 3pm energy slump hits and you can feel your blood sugar levels dropping, as well as your resolve not to eat that chocolate bar!

They are also a great post gym energy boost

They are low GI I and low cholesterol due to the oats, that will release their energy slowly.  As well as fibre and potassium rich bananas, great for lowering blood pressure.  The carrots are also a good source of vitamin A and have been shown to have a positive effect on eye and heart health

 

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

Makes 12 generous bars, 63 calories per square

 

3 x (330 g) ripe mashed bananas

IMG_2739I apple,diced or grated

2 cups (200g) of oats

¼ cup (100ml) coconut/soya milk

½ cup (70g) grated carrots

1 tsp chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon and nutmeg (mixed)

 

  • Mix all the ingredients together tip in to a greased tin or baking dish
  • Bake at 175oC, 350oF or Gas mark 4 for 20- 25 minutes
  • Allow to cool slightly before slicing into 12 generous squares
  • Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days

 

Chocolate and date chia pudding

Chocolate and date chia pudding – serves 2

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

IMG_3686This dessert is so tasty and rich you will not believe it is also low in calories.  I made it with cacao powder; which is raw and much less processed than cocoa powder.  It is also bursting with antioxidants, fibre and magnesium.  I’d urge you to try it.  I bought my from the health store in West Bridgford

 

 

20 grams chia seed

180 ml of almond, hazelnut, oat, soya or coconut or cows milk

IMG_36603 (15-20g) dates
, stones removed

2 tsp cacao or cocoa powder

Few drops vanilla extract

Few grains sea salt

(Almost) 1 tsp date/maple/golden syrup, agave or honey

Toppings

IMG_36671 tbls (10g) cashew nuts, hazelnuts, sesame seeds or peanuts
 – dry toasted in a hot pan until they smell nice and nutty

1 tsp (10g) wholenut peanut butter– add at the time you put all the ingredients in to the blender

1 small banana sliced

1 tbls (10g) rolled oats toasted

1 tbls (5g) toasted puffed rice

 

  • Soak the chia seeds and dates in the milk for at least 4 hours or cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
  • Pour the soaked mixture to a blender (I find the Nutribullet works best) with the remaining pudding ingredients and blend until smooth and thick.  If you are using peanut butter add at this time too

 

 

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  • Serve in a glass dish, layered with the toppings of your choice

 

 

Spicy kale with chickpeas

Spicy kale with chickpeas –  serves 2

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

IMG_6710Kale is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K. The addition of the tinned chickpeas adds some filling and low fat protein.  It makes an idea vegetarian and vegan lunch for two

Due to its very high Vitamin K content, if you are taking anticoagulants please consult her doctor before eating large quantities of kale.

 

 

veg cookery poster jpeg

 

All my vegan cookery class guests this week will also be cooking this recipe

 

 

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1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, peeled, finely sliced

1 garlic clove, peeled, finely sliced

½ tsp each of ground cumin and coriander

Large pinch dried chilli flakes

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 tin of drained and rinsed chickpeas

IMG_2667170g kale, washed, thick stalks removed, roughly sliced, blanched for 2-3 minutes in boiling water, drained

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

splash of lemon juice

 

  • IMG_3654 Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and fry the onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes, to soften.
  • Add the ground cumin, ground coriander and chilli flakes, stir well, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, drained chickpeas and blanched kale and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes or until heated through. Add some chickpea water if it starts to dry out and stick

 

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  • Season, to taste, with salt, freshly ground black pepperoni lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Adaptations

You can add a tin of chopped tomatoes, to make it make a rich sauce for pasta

Add different spices like curry powder, smoked paprika or ground ginger

Spinach, spring greens, cabbage can all be used instead of kale

Leeks, red onion or spring onions can be used instead of white onions

Butterbeans or cannellini beans can be used instead of chickpeas

For even more protein add some toasted pine nuts