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

Vegan pancakes

Vegan pancakes

pancake1Many of you began January as a vegan, because you wanted to support Veganuary, and I know thorough social media that many of you have continued.  And its on special occasions like ‘Pancake day’ that you think…hmm now what do I do?!

Well, I have the answer in my vegan pancake recipe.  This is a mashup of a ‘normal’ recipe and different recipes I found on the Vegan Food UK Facebook page.  I’d highly recommend this resource if you want some vegan inspiration

Makes 12 small pancakes and serves 4 people

IMG_0021100g or 1 cup of porridge oats

300ml or 1¼  cups of non dairy milk (I used soya milk)

50g or 1/3 cup wholemeal/coconut/gluten free flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon powder

pinch of salt

1 medium or 2 small ripe bananas

1 tbls chia seeds

rapeseed oil for frying

Don’t worry if your first pancake is a bit ‘pants’ it takes a while for the pan to warm up and for the oil to do its work.  But persevere, your second and subsequent pancakes will be fab!

  • Put all the items into a large bowl and blend them using a hand blender, or in a nutribullet if you have one. Blend until well mixed, you may need to add more milk or a splash of water if its too thick
  • The batter should be the consistency of slightly whipped cream.  The chia seeds will thicken it, if that happens as you’re making your pancakes just add another splash of water
  • Drizzle oil in a non-stick pan, and spread around with a paper towel. Heat on a medium setting.
  • I tried both a large frying pan and my individual cast iron pan, for me the individual pan worked best but it does take longer to cook all the batter
  • Pour in a small amount of the batter to make a small thick circle.

  • When the top starts to bubble (after about 1 minute), its time to flip! A spatula is easiest, but if you fancy your chances give it a toss!
  • Again cook for about a minute, pick the edge up and have a look to see if its cooked. When it’s nice and brown it’s ready. Woo-hoo!
  • When you cook the next pancake don’t add any extra oil but use the kitchen paper and rub the base of the pan, which will provide enough oil.

 

  • IMG_0101Serve straight away or stack the pancakes on a plate in a warm oven until you’re ready to eat.  They can also be made in advance, cooled and kept in the fridge or freezer to eat at another time

I like clementine segments and some vegan ice-cream  with mine.  How do you like yours?

Valentines raw food menu

Valentines raw food menu for two

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

IMG_9884Why not try something different this Valentine’s day and enjoy a light and energy giving ‘raw’ vegan meal.  Many of the water soluble vitamins are preserved and the dishes are bursting with fibre

I have devised a  light two course menu of courgette noodles (courgetti), with tomatoes and cannellini beans and for ‘afters’ peanut butter truffles.  The courgette is made using a ‘spiralizer’, although you can now buy them already prepared in many supermarkets. Eating courgettes this way means you can enjoy the romance and joy of pasta twirling without the carbohydrate overload.  The tomatoes add some great antioxidants and the beans are a good low fat protein source, and both are a great source of fibre.

The dessert is only slightly naughty; the peanuts provide protein and fibre, the rice is gluten free, the chia seeds are bursting with omega 3 fats and the sesame seeds are a valuable source of calcium.  Finally, the dark chocolate contains some nice mood enhancing endorphins.  Making it an ideal choice for Valentines day

 

Courgette noodles with tomatoes and cannellini beans

 

  • IMG_13812 large courgettes, spiralized (or ribboned with a vegetable peeler)
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil or virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes or ½ chilli de-seed and finely sliced
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tin of drained and rinsed cannellini beans
  • Sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves chopped

 

IIMG_2437n a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together – except the sesame seeds and fresh mint. Taste and add some salt and pepper if needed or a bit more chilli

 

Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes for the flavours to marry together. Scatter over the images-10sesame seeds and mint. Serve in a large clean bowl to share – visualise the spaghetti eating scene in the Lady and the tramp!

 

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For dessert some little bite sized chocolate lovelies!

Peanut butter truffles

 

IMG_1816100g wholenut crunchy peanut butter

10g wholegrain puffed rice – toasted, cooled and lightly crushed

few drops of Vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp Agave, Golden syrup or Maple syrup

½ tsp Chia seeds

½ tsp Sesame seeds

40g Dark chocolate

½ tsp Coconut oil

few grains of rock salt

 

Mix the first six ingredients together. Blend well

Line a tray with Clingfilm and shape the mixture in to small balls. Keep wetting your hands with cold water to stop the mixture from sticking to youIMG_1820

Leave the balls to firm up in for fridge for at least 30 minutes

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a pan over a bowl of hot water or microwave on high for 1 minute

 

peanut butter truffles

 

Remove the peanut balls from the fridge and dip each one in the chocolate. Place on the cling filmed tray to set. Crush a few grains of rock salt over the coated peanut balls.  Leave for a few hours for the chocolate to harden.  Then pop one in your beloved’s mouth and enjoy!

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/

IMG_3640

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

Blue Monday 2017

Blue Monday!

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

6389379-largeToday, Monday 16th January is considered to be the most depressing day of 2017; for some pay day is nearly 2 weeks away, dry January is getting harder, credit card bills are dropping on the mat, the weather is miserable etc.  So lets make Monday the 16th January all about being uplifted.  Today’s Meat free Monday recipe has some mood enhancing ingredients, to make you feel better.

Energy balls

Makes 25 – 30, which are approximately 70-80 calories per ball

ingredients200g pitted dates (preferably Medjool)

2 tbls chia seeds

2 tbls oats

1 tbls melted coconut oil

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

1 tbls raw cacao powder

100g almonds

100g other nuts (cashew, walnuts, pistachio, hazel, brazil, peanuts)

 

 

  • blendFirstly place all the nuts, oats and chia seeds in your food processor or nutribullet. Blend for 1 minute, until a powder forms and the nuts have crumbled.
  • Secondly add the remaining ingredients. Blend for another minute until a sticky dough forms. You may need to stop the blender and scrape down the mixture so it all blends
  • Wet your hands with water and use them to roll the mixture into little balls. Or use a chocolate mould to make different shapes. This short video will show you how its done
  • At this stage you can place them in a container and store in the fridge. Or you can coat them in desiccated coconut, sesame seeds or cacao powder before placing them in the fridge
  • Now that should put a smile on your face!

energy balls

Additions or substitutions

Use pitted prunes instead of dates

Use ginger powder instead of cinnamon

Use toasted puffed rice instead of oats

Use quinoa flakes instead of oats

Use 1 tbls pea, soy or hemp powder instead of oats

Use sesame seeds instead of chia seeds

Use linseeds/flaxseeds instead of chia seeds

energy balls1

 

And these were the energy balls made by a Twitter follower @SNottsExplorer

Snotts

 

Chestnut, leek and cranberry terrine

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

Christmas chestnut, leek and cranberry terrine – serves 2

IMG_4635This is a delicious and very festive recipe for all the vegans, veggies and non veggies gathered around the Christmas table.  Once cooked it keeps in the fridge for up to three days and freezers really well.  It is also really adaptable in that if you don’t like leeks you could use parsnips or carrots, and if you don’t like cranberry sauce you could use mango chutney.

The quantities can also be doubled or tripled depending on the number of guests.

 

 

If you have a favourite vegetarian show stopper then why not share it with?

 

1 tbls of reduced sugar cranberry sauce,

80g leeks – washed and cut into batons to fit the width of the loaf tin

1 tsp vegetable oil,

½ (50-60g) onion chopped,

½ tsp chilli flakes, 1 garlic clove, Salt & pepper

10g sage leaves , 5g thyme– finely sliced,

60g of cooked chestnuts (vacuum packed),

30g each of mushrooms (sliced), fresh spinach (washed), chopped hazelnuts (or walnuts, peanuts or cashew nuts), wholemeal bread,

Large pinch of mace or cinnamon

 

ingredients

 

  • Pre heat the oven 180C/160 fan oven/gas 4
  • Heat the oil in a medium pan and add the onions and mushrooms, cook on a low heat for 10-15 minutes.  If the pan dries and the veg starts to stick add a drop of hot water.  Stir in the chopped garlic, sage, chilli and salt & pepper cook for a further 2 minutes then tip into a bowl.
  • In the same pan add a small amount of boiling water and cook the leeks for 4 minutes until soft.  Drain well and line  (width ways) the bottom and sides of a greased and lined (greaseproof paper) dish.   A foil container, the type takeaway food comes in is a perfect size.  Pack the leeks in tightly to cover the bottom.  Any left over leeks can be chopped and added to the cooked onion mix.
  • Put the spinach in a microwavable bowl (no need to add any water) and heat on high for 30 seconds just to wilt the leaves. Or place in a colander over the cooking leeks
  • Chop the chestnuts and hazelnuts.  This can be done by hand or in a food processor or nutribullet. whiz up the bread in the processor/bullet too.  Add them all to the bowl of cooked onion; add the mac/cinnamon and some of the leek water to bind it all.  Mix with a large spoon.
  • Place ½ of the chestnut mixture on top of the cooked leeks in the loaf tin; press down well with the back of the spoon.  Add a layer of wilted spinach.  Then spread the cranberry sauce on top of the mix. Repeat with the remaining chestnut mixture, pressing down with the back the spoon.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour.  Remove the foil and loosen the sides with a spatula before turning out onto a plate.  Any left overs can be wrapped and frozen

 

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Now how tasty does that look!

 

 

*NB the terrine can be made, covered and chilled the day before

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

What to do with all those pumpkins!

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

What to do with all those pumpkins!

imagesWell Halloween has come and gone but we are still left with all those pumpkins and no clue what to do with them or why we should be eating them in the first place!  Pumpkin (or butternut squash and other squash’s)  is very low in calories (under 30 calories per 100g) and fat but high in vitamin A ,great for eye health, and fibre, brilliant at keeping you fuller for long and giving you good digestive health.

And during World Vegan Month it is an ideal vegetable to incorporate in to a healthy vegan diet.

The recipe ideas below are all vegan that is because not only are vegetables, seeds and beans nutritious they are also inexpensive.  Added to that the latest research has shown that eating a more plant based diet has numerous health benefits, such as a lower BMI (Body Mass Index), lower cholesterol levels, a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and certain cancers

IMG_1906A simple way to use pumpkin (or any other squash) is to make a soup.  First of all cut up, peel and de-seed your pumpkin and place in a lightly oiled roasting tray.  You can add some spice like chilli flakes, cumin, coriander or curry powder.  Bake for 30 minutes until soft. Meanwhile in a pan add about 500ml veggie stock, a garlic clove and two handfuls of red lentils, cook for 20 minutes until soft.  Add the roasted pumpkin, season with salt and pepper.  You can either leave it chunky or blend. Then finish with some chopped herbs like parsley or IMG_1919coriander.  This will serve two people.

Another idea is to use the roasted pumpkin in a salad, throw in some chickpeas and you have a fibre and protein rich vegan meal

A creamy risotto would also benefit from this brightly coloured vegetable. Just omit the hard cheese and it instantly becomes vegan friendly.

pumpkin-spaghetti

 

A warming and nutritious pasta dish from Lazy Cat Kitchen

 

vegan-pumpkin-pie

 

And if puds are your thing then why not make a pumpkin pie here’s a recipe vegan pumpkin pie – just substitute canned puree for the equivalent weight in fresh pumpkin (peeled and cut in to chunks and cooked in boiling water for 15 mins)

 

If you have a glut of pumpkins, don’t worry if stored correctly they can see you through the winter.

pumpkin-seedsAs well as the flesh, pumpkin seeds are also highly nutritious; they are low in cholesterol and sodium and high in *magnesium and zinc. These two minerals are great for bone and muscle health, metabolism and supporting your immune system.  They are also great for adding texture and crunch to a dish and they make a satisfying afternoon snack.  28g or a small handful is a portion size.

*Tip Foods that are high in fibre like fruits and veg, nuts and seeds are generally also high in magnesium

 

I’d love to hear what your best pumpkin recipe is!

 

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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)