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/


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





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.

IMG_2658 IMG_2652

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


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


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/



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,


  • 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


  • 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








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


Pearl barley

100g pearl barley or buckwheat (which you need to pre soak overnight) 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


To make the drizzle vegan please use either fresh horseradish or a jar without cream

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*




*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





Finally scatter over the remaining tablespoon of chopped herbs






And here’s how the finish dish looks when its made by my vegan cookery guests







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)


Roasted pumpkin soup

Roasted pumpkin soup.  Serves 1, 175 calories

The nights are getting colder and darker, so what better excuse do we meed to make a pan of warming, comforting soup

Pumpkins ( and other gourds like butternut squash) are also in season, so you can make this soup with an ingredient that is readily available, cheap and bursting with nutritional goodness such as fibre, potassium and immune fighting antioxidants.


photograph taken at The Fruit basket, West Bridgford


It’s also a great dish to support breast cancer awareness month and show that healthy nutritious food can support the body to maintain better health


pumpkin-seeds100g pumpkin (or butternut squash),  1 tsp veg oil, ½  tsp garam masala, ½ tsp curry powder, ¼ (40g) onion, ½ garlic clove, 300ml veg stock (using ½ tsp veg bouillon and 300ml hot water), 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds or flaked almonds

Peel the Pumpkin (or butternut squash) and cut into cubes.  Place in a roasting dish, add ½ tsp veg oil and the spices.  Roast at 1900C for 30 minutes

Chop the onion and fry in the remaining ½ tsp oil for 3 minutes, add the garlic and the roasted pumpkin and cook for 2 more minutes then add the hot stock.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes.  Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper if necessary

To toast the pumpkin seeds or almonds,  heat up a dry frying pan and add the seeds/nuts.  Keep the pan moving and watch to make sure the contents don’t burn.  After a few minutes the seeds or nuts should be likely toasted and give off a nutty smell

blend soup

If you like a smooth soup, blend and top with the roasted pumpkin seeds or nuts and serve with 1 Ryvita crisp bread

soup vegan