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

Spicy parsnip and coconut curry

Spicy parsnip and coconut curry

Serves 2

This is a great recipe for using up parsnips and even if they are not your favourite veg I’m sure you will absolutely love this dish

The dish was inspired by a Nigel Slater recipe in the Observer food monthly

1 onion – chopped

1 tsp vegetable or coconut oil

450g parsnips, washed and chopped into chunky batons

1 red chilli or ½ tsp dried chilli flakes

8 fresh/dried curry leave or 2-3 tsp of curry powder/paste

½ tsp mustard seeds and ground turmeric (or fresh turmeric grated)

1 tsp each of ground coriander and cumin

½ tin of chopped tomatoes

2 handfuls of fresh spinach

½ tin of coconut milk

salt and pepper

handful of coriander or mint leaves

parsnip veg

Chop all the veg in to appropriate sizes. In a large pan add the oil and chopped onions. Cook on a medium heat until the onions are golden brown. Grind down the mustard seeds in a pestle and mortar or blender.  Add the finely chopped chilli, curry leaves/powder and spices to the pan, cook for a few minutes until they are fragrant

Add the chunky chopped parsnips and cook for 3-5 minutes. Use a large spoon to move the veggies to stop them burning. Add the tinned tomatoes, then 5 minutes later add the coconut milk and a little salt and pepper.

parsnip veg

Turn up the heat until it bubbles then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes until the parsnips are soft, add the spinach and cover with the hot sauce until the leaves wilt

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Pour in to two bowls, scatter with the coriander and serve with flatbreads or wholegrain rice

parsnip vegIf you would like to learn how to make this dish and other tasty vegan dishes, then why not some to my vegan cooking classes

vegan cookery classes

 

Miso soup

Miso soup – 1 serving 80 calories 1.7g fat

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

In this cold and chilly weather what better way to stay warm than having plenty of miso soup, its simple quick and very satisfying.  And if you are watching your weight this is the perfect low calorie lunch option for all you 5:2 fasters

 

miso soup

the basic miso

2 tsp miso paste (make sure it is suitable for veggies and vegans i.e. no bonito flakes)

1 mug of boiling water

25g soft tofu – cubed

1 spring onion – finely sliced

¼ red pepper, chopped

few flakes of dried chilli

 

20 (large handful) spinach leaves or 1 Nori leaf, shredded

few fresh coriander leaves

  • Mix the miso paste with the hot water in the serving bowl or mug
  • Add in the cubed tofu, chilli flakes, spinach leaves or nori seaweed and sliced spring onion
  • Stir until the leaves are wilted and soft
  • scatter over some chopped fresh coriander (optional)
miso soup

The full works

 

 

IMG_2893Optional extras –  100g cooked sweet potato slices (90 calories), ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds (40 calories), few drops sesame oil (10 calories), 28g/small handful unsalted cashew nuts (150 calories), 2 sliced mushrooms (24 calories), soba noodles (28g will add 90 calories)

Winter vegetable and lentil soup

Winter vegetable and lentil soup

veg soupWhat 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.

 

Makes 4 x 300g servings = which can be frozen

230 calories per portion

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/vegan sausages or Quorn

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

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

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

Vegan sweet pancakes

Vegan sweet pancakes – Makes 8 small pancakes 118 calories each

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

IMG_2659As its Pancake Day (Shrove Tuesday) tomorrow I thought I would make a ‘free from’ recipe because a number of my clients have intolerances and they miss out on some great meals.  But not this time!

As well as being vegan the pancakes are also gluten free.

They make a great protein packed breakfast as well as a delicious dessert or afternoon snack, with low GI quinoa flour*.  The flaxseeds also add omega 3 fatty acids.  Any leftovers can be reheated for the following day or frozen for another time

When the pancakes cook they are much more delicate than other pancakes so be careful when you turn to flip them over!  Dont worry if they break up they can just be pressed together and they will firm up

 

  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (linseeds)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 250 ml unsweetened soya milk, coconut or almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or lemon juice
  • 125 g quinoa*/coconut/wholemeal flour
  • 1 teaspoon golden caster sugar
  • 1 IMG_2642teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 50 g blueberries or 1 grated apple or pear, plus extra to serve
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • soya yoghurt, maple syrup or agave and sesame seeds, to serve

 

IMG_2643 IMG_2641Whisk together the ground flaxseed and 2½ tablespoons of cold water, then set aside to thicken.

 

Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over a medium heat or microwave on high for one minute, then leave to cool slightly.

IMG_2647Combine the soya, coconut or almond milk and vinegar or lemon juice. Leave to for 5 minutes then add the melted coconut oil and whisk in the flaxseed mixture.

 

Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt, then make a well in the middle. Gradually pour in the wet mixture, stirring continuously until combined – don’t worry if there are still a few lumps. Fold in the fruit, then set aside, until needed but at least 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature.

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Heat about ½ a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Turn the heat down to low and place a ladleful of the batter in the pan (one ladleful is enough for one pancake).

Add more ladlefuls of the batter, ensuring they’re nicely spaced out – you’ll need to do this in batches.

 

Cook for around 3 minutes, or until golden underneath and little bubbles start to appear on the surface, Use a palette knife or spatula to carefully flip them over. Cook for a further 2 minutes, or until golden. REMEMBER, these pancakes are much softer than others so flip carefully!

 

IMG_2656Place in the oven to keep warm while you make the remaining pancakes.

 Serve with a dollop of soya yoghurt, a IMG_2684drizzle of maple syrup or agave and extra fruit.  Oranges, banana, kiwi and tinned prunes all work well.

 

 

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* Quinoa flour can be bought from most health food shops but it is easy to make your own for a fraction of the cost. Measure out 125g of uncooked quinoa place in a grinder (I used my ever versatile Nutribullet) and blend until it looks like a fine powder.  And hey presto you have quinoa flour!  You could also make wholemeal rice, millet, oat or barley flour the same way

If you would like to learn more about vegan cooking then why not come to one or more of my vegan cooking classes held in West Bridgford?

vegan cookery classes

Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

Quick Cauliflower and chickpea biryani

A biryani that is perfect for meat free Monday

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

IMG_4476This is a very quick and easy vegan cauliflower  biryani recipe. It uses some store cupboard standbys, like microwaveable rice and some chutneys

By adding chickpeas you are seriously upping the protein and fibre content. The cauliflower adds more fibre and plenty of immune supporting antioxidants

Adjust the level of spice to suit your taste buds

 

Serves 2, 480 calories per portion

 

500g Cauliflower, cut in to florets, include the stalks for extra fibre

1 large onion (150g) – chopped

2 tsp oil

IMG_44741 x 400g tin of chickpeas –

1 garlic clove  and 1 nub of fresh ginger – sliced

or 1 tsp garlic and ginger paste

2 -3 heaped tsp curry powder

1 tsp each of turmeric, cumin, coriander and chilli flakes

splash of lemon juice

handful parsley and/or mint leaves – chopped

1 packet express wholegrain rice

 

nutracheck image

The calories have been calculated using the Nutracheck App

 

IMG_4472Start by heating the oil on a medium flame in a large frying pan and add the chopped onions and cauliflower. Cook until the onions start to colour. If it starts to stick and burn, resist adding more oil and add a splash of hot water instead.

Add the garlic and ginger (or the paste) and stir. After about two minutes add all the spices and using a metal spoon (the turmeric will stain a wooden one) coat theIMG_4473 vegetables. Cook until the spices start to smell fragrant. Add the chickpeas and their juice. Turn the heat down and cook until the cauliflower is soft – about 10-15 minutes. You may need to add more water

 

When your veg is nearly cooked, open the rice and add to the pan, mixing in thoroughly and cook for 2 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper if needed. Add more water if its sticking to the base of the pan. Finish with a splash of lemon juice and the fresh herbs

 

IMG_4475Divide between two warmed bowls. And add a spoonful of mango chutney and lime pickle, for even more heat!

 

You can of course make this even quicker by using cooked left over veggies. The cooking time will reduce by 10 minutes. You can also add some lovely protein and omega 3 packed cashew nuts

Chocolate and blueberry vegan cheesecake

Chocolate and blueberry vegan cheesecake – serves 4,  approx 350 calories each

IMG_1968This recipe was created after I found an alpo dark chocolate dessert lurking in my pantry.  So I got my thinking cap on and came up with this really easy vegan cheesecake recipe. The fruit can be varied depending on what you have in the fridge or cupboards, for instance add fresh raspberries, strawberries or some tinned oranges  (minus their juice)

 

For the base

110-115g of vegvegan biscuitsan biscuits – biscoff, ginger nuts, Hobnobs, (some) digestives

28g of non- dairy spread

½ tsp ground ginger

 

 

For the filling

150g of vegan cream cheese

125g Alpo dark chocolate dessert

30g plain vegan yoghurt – Apro ‘Go on’ Protein is thick and creamy

100g blueberries

Sprinkling of sea salt and sesame seeds (optional)

 

Melt the non-dairy spread in a pan or in the microwave

IMG_1959Place the biscuits in a bag and crush with a rolling pin or base of a pan or use a blender, until you have fine breadcrumbs.  Add the biscuit crumbs to the melted non dairy spread and mix well

 

 

vegan cheesecake

If making individual cheesecakes, place cling film on a baking tray and place 4 small rings on the tray.  Press the crumbs into the bases and place in the fridge.

 

 

 

23584671_10155118007906903_292297845_nMake the filling by mixing the cream cheese and chocolate dessert together.  Add the blueberries and gently mix.  Spoon into the four moulds and smooth with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle each with a few grains of sea salt.  And place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

 

When you aIMG_1963re ready to serve, remove from the fridge and using a spatula lift the cheesecake from the cling film tray and place on a plate.  Gently ease the rings up and away from the cheesecake.  serve with some extra blueberries and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds

These can also be frozen and defrosted at least an hour before serving  –  you can remove them from their moulds before placing in the freezer

When you make these cheesecakes please share your photos with me, or let me know what adaptations you made

vegan cheesecake

Enjoy!

Souper quick soup

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

Souper quick soup

IMG_0452November is world vegan month and It’s also meat free Monday, so why not try this really quick pea and mint soup for one.  You may have some left over mushy peas from your bonfire night and didn’t know what to do with them; well look no further! It is low in fat and calories; only 141 calories and a good source of protein and fibre. So excellent for the 5:2ers and healthy eaters amongst you!

½ 300g tin of mushy peas (I used Batchelors Mushy Chip Shop Style Processed Peas because they are the lowest in calories), 120ml boiling water, ½ tsp marigold vegetable bouillon powder, 6g (large handful) of fresh mint leaves or 1 tsp jarred mint sauce, 2 or 3 drops of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste

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Empty the peas into a small saucepan, add the vegetable powder and water, cook on a low – medium heat for 3-4 minutes.  Using a hand blender blend until smooth add in the chopped fresh mint and few drops of lemon juice.  Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.  Serve in a warmed bowl

soup

This can be put in a container with a tight lid and taken to work for a delicious and nutritious lunch.  All you need to do is microwave on high for 1 minute.  You may need to add a splash more hot water as it will thicken

And don’t forget you can easily double or quadruple the recipe to make a souper warming meal for the whole family

 

October is breast cancer awareness month

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

BCAM

 

The number of people being diagnosed with breast cancer is increasing, but the good news is survival rates are improving. This may be because of more targeted treatments, earlier detection and better breast awareness.

 

Sadly 1 in 8 women in the UK will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. That’s the equivalent of 150 people every day or one person every 10 minutes.

Having a healthy diet is no guarantee that you will not succumb to this disease but the NHS have said “there are benefits for women who maintain a healthy weight, do regular exercise and who have a low intake of saturated fat and alcohol.’

So what does a healthy diet look like?

By making a few changes and some small tweaks to your current eating habits you too can have a healthy diet.

  • 20814963_10154896478886903_999091747_nStart by eating more fruit and veg. Think about variety, in fact a ‘rainbow of colours. Try and eat whatever is in season; this is for two reasons, one it’s cheaper and two the food will be at its best and most nutritious. If you can’t always buy fresh don’t worry frozen and tinned can be just as good
  • Reduce the amount of processed foods you eat. They can often be packed with saturated fats, sugars and salt.
  • Eat moderate amounts of lean protein like tofu, beans,quinoa, chicken, fish (including oily fish like salmon, mackerel and trout) and eggs,

thai-tofu-curry

  • Drink eight glasses of water or fluid a day – this not only keeps you hydrated but can fill you up and help curb your appetite
  • Eat moderate amounts of wholegrain carbs like pasta, bread and rice. Wholegrains contain more fibre which is not only good for your digestion but will help you feel fuller for longer

Wholegrains

  • Make sure you eat enough dairy and dairy alternatives – these contain valuable amounts of calcium for healthy bones and teeth. Low fat versions will help reduce calories without a reduction in calcium (but be aware of the sugar content in ‘low fat’)
  • If you do drink alcohol do so in moderation and be aware of the safe limits. Both men and women can drink up to 2 units of alcohol a day without significant risk to their health.  Although it is advisable to go alcohol free a number of days a week

 

All this month you can do things to support breast cancer awareness month (bcam)

risotto beetroot

 

You could simply buy a badge or bangle from shops and supermarkets, make a donation, if you are a woman be breast aware, wear pink on a Friday in October, do a fun run in aid of this great cause, or why not make your friends, family or work colleagues this beautiful, healthy pink beetroot risotto and ask for a contribution to a cancer charity

 

 

marsden cancer

 

The recipe is from a great cookbook, that is not only helpful to those affected by cancer but for the whole family.  The introduction also provides useful information about healthy eating

 

If you would like more information or have been affected by breast cancer please click on any of these websites for helpful information and support

maggies_nottinghamhttps://www.maggiescentres.org

 

http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk

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http://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/about-us/lavender-trust

http://www.breastcancercampaign.org

http://www.breakthrough.org.uk