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)

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.



IMG_2644 IMG_2645
* 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

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

website banner

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


Sweet potato curry

Sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry – serves 2.  270 calories per serving


veg curry

Why not try this 5:2 fast diet curry,  the additions at the bottom of the page mean you can make it more substantial and also eat it on your non fast days

It works equally well with sweet potato, butternut squash or those Halloween pumpkins!


1 small sweet potato (100g) – chopped into bite sized pieces – you could also use pumpkin or butternut squash

1 small onion (50g) – chopped

1 medium chopped courgette or frozen peas (145g)

½ tsp vegetable oil

80g of spinach – fresh, frozen or tinned (and drained)

½ of a 400g tin of chickpeas – drained , reserve the liquid

½ garlic clove – chopped

Pinch chilli flakes

½ tsp curry powder

½ tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tsp tomato puree

1 tsp balti/curry paste

25 g per person of uncooked brown basmati rice (makes 80g of cooked rice)

Coriander leaves (optional)


Frozen spinach

Frozen spinach


Fry the onion in the oil add the curry powder, tomato puree and curry paste and fry for 2 minutes.  Add the sweet potato (butternut squash or pumpkin) and cook for another 5 with a lid on.


Add the courgettes (or peas), spinach, tomatoes, garlic, chilli, chickpeas.  If the sauce is too thick add some chickpea water.  Turn down the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft (20-25 mins).  Taste and adjust seasoning, add more water if necessary


At the same time cook brown rice (according to instructions on the packet) for about 20-25 minutes

veg curry

Sever the rice and curry.  Scatter over a few coriander leaves

Non-fast day additions

rotiMore rice 80g cooked – 90 calories

28g cashew nuts – 164 calories

small tandoori roti bread – 160 calories

Beetroot pasta salad

Beetroot pasta salad

They say you eat with your eyes first.  Well, this delicious and colourful salad will have you drooling!  It is packed with vitamins, antioxidants and fibre.  The earthy taste of the beetroot and cumin is really complemented by the fiery horseradish.  Of course its up to you how hot you go!

At only 165 calories a portion it is perfect for anyone wanting to lose weight, especially you 5:2 fast-ers.

Beetroot pasta salad – serves 2, 165 calories a portion

beetrootbeetro160g cooked beetroot, cubed (I used the pre-cooked vacuum packed version), 60g grated carrot, 100g of cooked and cooled wholemeal pasta,

The dressing –  1tsp horseradish puree (from a jar but not the creamed version)  or fresh horseradish if you have it, ¼ tsp each of ground paprika and cumin,  2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp orange juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, large pinch of ground black pepper, small pinch of sea salt,

1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint or parsley

Make the dressing by mixing the spices, oil and juice together.  I use an empty clean jam jar. Set aside.













Mix the vegetables into the cold pasta pour over the dressing and mix well.  Sprinkle over the fresh herbs and mix again.

Divide in to two bowls and serve




Non-fast day additions

Add a large mixed salad (180g) – 50 calories in total

Add ½ tin drained chickpeas for two– 145 calories in total

Add ½ an avocado – 150 calories

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


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




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