Pearl barley summer salad

Pearl barley summer salad Servings 2, 165 calories per serving

For more health and wellbeing advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_3173Pearl barley is high in fibre, calcium and protein, but low in fat and calories. It has a nutty flavour and chewy texture, and in this salad it makes a pleasant change from quinoa or couscous.  So don’t confine that packet of pearl barley in the back of the cupboard to only winter stews, casseroles and soups.  It is an all year round marvel.  If you don’t have the time to cook the barley, then a quick cheat is to use a microwavable pre-cooked packet

And don’t forget it makes an ideal dish for all you 5:2 fast dieters out there.  At only 165 calories,  that leaves you with 335 calories for the rest of the day.

50 g raw or 160 g cooked Pearl Barley – or 1 packet pre cooked microwavable barley

1 tsp Marigold Swiss Vegetable Bouillon Powder

250ml boiling water

¼ tsp crushed red chilli flakes – or ½ – 1 small fresh chill finely sliced

IMG_318380 g cucumber, chopped

80 g carrot, grated

80 g (1 medium) tomato, chopped

80 g (½)  yellow pepper, chopped

5 g (10 leaves), mint chopped

5 g (small handful) parsley, chopped

For the dressing

2 tsp, olive oil

1 tsp balsamic Vinegar , apple cider vinegar or lemon juice

½ tsp Wholegrain Mustard

large pinch of ground black pepper and small pinch of salt

If you don’t want to calorie count you don’t have to be so exact with the veggies.  But stick to the weight for the pearl barley

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Place a medium sized saucepan on to the heat and add the pearl barley. Toast for 2 minutes, until it starts to smell malty. Add the vegetable powder to the water and stir. Then quickly add to the toasted grains

Be careful as the pan will be very hot and will bubble furiously

Add the chilli flakes, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 50 minutes.  Ignore this step if you are using already cooked pearl barley

Meanwhile chop all the veg and herbs.

 

Prepare the dressing by mixing the oil, vinegar, pepper, salt and mustard. Taste and adjust the flavours as necessary

 

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When the barley is cooked (it should still have a bite) let it cool before adding in the vegetables, herbs and dressing

Mix well and serve in two bowls

 

 

 

 

Non fast day additions

½ a tin of chickpeas – 135 calories

½ a ripe avocado – 150 calories

28g of unsalted cashew nuts – 164 calories

2 quorn fillets – 110 calories

 

homemade oat milk

Homemade oat milk

berry-smoothieI love my homemade muesli or a vibrant smoothie in the morning.  And my go to milk for both is generally soya or oat milk.  Whilst on the Vegan UK Facebook Group I came across someone who made their own oat milk. So I thought I’d give it a try

 

 

Here’s how it worked out

This is a short video of how I got on.  All the instructions are also below

oatshttps://youtu.be/rh4UJ8MFYv8

 

 

 

 

  • oatsSimply take one cup of oats.  If you haven’t got a ‘cup’ it equates to 100g
  • tip the oats in to a bowl and cover with water
  • leave to soak for at least 2 hours or overnight
  • Strain the oats and throw away the water – at this point the liquid is not oat milk!
  • Add the oats to a blender, food processor nutribullet (this will have to be done in two batches)
  • add 3 cups of fresh cold water – tap water is perfectly acceptable but you can use bottled or filtered, its up to you
  • add a pinch of salt and 1tsp vanilla extract
  • blend until the oats have disappeared – about 1minute
  • strain the mixture through a fine sieve or muslin
  • put the oat milk into a clean jar or jug and keep in the fridge for up to 4-5 days
  • A leftover commercial oat milk bottle that has been washed out with hot water also makes the perfect container!
  • oatsDon’t throw the blended oats away either; they can be used in your porridge, made into delicious oat pancakes, using your fresh oat milk or turned in to a wheat free cheese sauce, using your milk and yeast flakes

 

The finished product!

And there you go.  If you have any other adaptations then please share and let me know how you get on

pouring oat milk

 

Skyr smoothie

Skyr smoothie

Serves one, 270 calories

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

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To celebrate National Vegetarian Week, why not take part in #MeatFreeMonday and make a smoothie?!  This is a really tasty and filling recipe, thanks in part to the chia seeds, the heart healthy fibre, protein rich oats and the protein and probiotic packed Icelandic yoghurt called *Skyr.  Making this an ideal breakfast smoothy that will leave you feeling full and healthy until lunchtime.  The smoothie will be nice and thick making it perfect to eat with a spoon: slowing down your eating and allowing you to properly digest and absorb all the nutrients

If you haven’t heard of Skyr (pronounced Skeer), then check out your local supermarket.  It has a creamy, thick, velvety texture and a tangy taste.  Being naturally low in fat, high in protein and probiotics, it is great for your gut health.  Although I’ve called it a yoghurt it is technically a soft cheese made from skimmed cows milk

I will continue to experiment with this new ingredient so expect to see more recipes.  But for the time being get out your blender and blitz.

Alpro

 

* if you are vegan then substitute the Skyr for Alpro’s ‘Go on’ protein plus yoghurt

 

 

 

The Skyrs the limit!!! (sorry) :0)

IMG_313425g (1/4 cup) porridge oats

120ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk drink

125g (½ cup) of Skyr yoghurt or Alpro’s ‘Go on’ protein plus yoghurt for a vegan smoothie

100g ripe banana

1 tsp chia seeds

½ tsp toasted sesame seeds

sprinkling of raw cacao powder

 

Simply put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour out into a glass or bowl, sprinkle with the cacao powder and serve with a spoon.

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You can serve these as a nutritious snack by pouring 50ml (the recipe makes 300ml) in to a shot glass. It adds up to a very pleasing 45 calories

Homemade bourbon biscuits

Homemade bourbon biscuits

Makes 8 generous biscuits

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125g plain flour

15g cocoa or cacao powder

½ tsp bicarbonate soda

62g of non dairy marg or butter (I used Pure soya spread)

62g golden caster sugar

1 tbs golden syrup

2 tbs non dairy/dairy milk (I used soya milk)

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For the filling

37g non dairy marg or butter

62g sieved icing sugar

7.5g cocoa or cacao powder

Optional – 15g toasted chopped nuts or biscoff paste

 

  • Preheat the oven 180C/160 Fan/350F/Gas 4
  • Put the flour cocoa, bicarb, marg, and sugar in a blender/food processor and mix until to make fine bread crumbs. Or place in a bowl and rub between your finger

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  • Add the golden syrup and milk and blend in the blender or in the bowl with a spoon. Chill the dough for 30 minutes
  • Roll out the chocolate dough between two layers of clingfilm. Remove the top sheet and cut in to two long lengths. Then cut across each length into 8 wide biscuits (about 2.5 cm wide) – 16 in total. Option: Make holes along the edges with a tooth pick or fork to look like the real thing

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  • Spread the biscuits out on a grease proofed lined baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack

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  • Make the filling by placing all the ingredients (except the nuts) in a blender/processor until a thick buttercream is achieved. Or put the marg in a bowl and gradually add the icing sugar and cocoa. Add the nuts and mix well

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  • Spoon the mixture right up to the edges of 8 of the cold biscuits. Sandwich with the remaining 8. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks

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Veggie lasagne

Veggie or vegan lasagne

The ingredients list for this veggie lasagne may look long, but its very simple to make.  It can be frozen when it’s assembled but not cooked.  Or you can cook it, eat a portion and freeze the other half for another day.  It will also keep in the fridge for up to three days

The quantities can also be doubled or tripled if you want to batch cook or have a family to feed

Serves 2

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The tomato sauce

One small onion (75g), finely chopped

1 garlic glove or 1 teaspoon garlic puree

1 tsp olive oil

1 medium sized carrot (75g) finely chopped

approx 75g of red lentils, thouroughly rinsed under cold water or

75g quorn or 37g of each

½ tsp vegetable Marigold vegetable bouillon powder or I stock cube

¼ tsp of chilli flakes or 1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp mixed herbs

½ tin of chopped tomatoes

a big squirt of tomato puree – about 1 tsp

 

The cheese sauce

15g marg/butter/non dairy spread,

15g plain flour and

200ml milk/non dairy.

40g grated strong cheddar/non dairy or 2 tbls of nutritional yeast

½ tsp mustard

 

Pasta – 3 sheets of dried wholemeal egg free lasagne

A foil takeaway container

To make the tomato sauce

Fry the chopped onion in olive oil.

When softened, add the garlic. Fry a little, then add all the remaining ingredients. Plus ½ tin of water. Stir well.

The mixture will be thin and wet, but it will thicken as the lentils cook

Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer for about 25 – 30 minutes. Stirring every so often. The sauce should still be quite wet when cooked. Check the seasoning and add salt and black pepper if necessary

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A recent cookery class client also made this dish.  It was her first time making a lasagne and it turned out great

 

 

 

To make the ‘cheese’ sauce

Melt the spread/butter in a saucepan, Add the flour and mix until it balls together, keep it moving and cook for a few minutes.

Add the mustard and slowly add the milk, and stir into a paste. Keep adding the milk gradually to avoid lumps. Keep stirring. Once all the milk is in, keep stirring until it begins to thicken.

Here are two short videos showing how the sauce will look and why you shouldn’t worry!

Add most of the grated cheese, vegan cheese or nutritional yeast. Leave about ¼ to scatter over the top.

 

Assembling.

Pre heat the oven to 180C

In a dish add a sheet or two of dried wholemeal pasta, then add a layer of tomato sauce. Repeat the pasta/sauce layers, top with some more pasta and add the cheese sauce.

Another short video to show how easy it is to pull it all together

 

Sprinkle the remaining cheese/nutritional yeast over the top.

At this point you can add the foil lid and freeze.  Or pop into the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the top is bubbling and golden

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Divide in to two and serve with a large mixed salad.  This is the vegan version made with vegan cheese, nutritional yeast and non dairy milk and butter

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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