Healthier Philly cheese-steaks!

main

Ingredients: (yields 2 large cheese-steaks)

1 large white onion

2 sub rolls

2 large portobello mushroom caps

4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon low sodium soy sauce

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

350g strips of beef

125g half fat mozzarella

ingreds.jpg

Method:

  • Remove the stems from each mushroom cap and use a spoon to scrape off the brown gills. Slice the caps in half and then slice each half crosswise.
  • In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring constantly, until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Remove the beef from the pan and set aside.

steak cooking

  • Wipe out the pan, return it to the heat, and add the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Add the vegetables and garlic and cook until tender and lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes.

onions

  • Return the beef to the pan and stir in the Worcestershire and soy sauces. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.

steak and onions

  • Reduce the heat to medium, place slices of mozzarella on top of the beef and vegetables and allow it to melt completely. Stir the mixture so that the beef is fully coated with the melted cheese.
  • Slice your sub rolls three-quarters of the way through and hollow out their insides using a spoon to remove the bread, leaving a ½-inch shell.
  • Divide the cheese steak filling among the two hollowed-out rolls and enjoy!

main 2

Firstly I have to point out that this dinner is so so filling. Your taking out calories and carbs by hollowing out the rolls but I really promise you won’t miss them at all. I was absolutely stuffed after eating these gorgeous cheese-steaks which is just what you want from a good dinner. It definitely stopped me from raiding the fridge for snacks later on in the night! This recipe is great for serving hungry partners or kids at the end of the day. It doesn’t appear to be that healthy but with clever ingredients and getting rid of a bit of dough it makes for an amazingly tasty lighter version of the cheese-steaks we know and love. You all know how much of a cheese fiend I am. I am always tempted to add a bit of extra cheese on top of most things however with this recipe you don’t need to. The melted mozzarella and beef mix is to die for and settles even the biggest cheese lovers needs. Not to mention it is incredibly quick and easy to prepare. Give it a try yourself and let me know what you think!

 

Happy cooking!

 

Xx

Skinny meatballs in a Sriracha sauce glaze!

IMG_2345

 

Ingredients:

1kg lean Turkey mince

340g Breadcrumbs

2 eggs

85g spring onions

½ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. salt

½ tsp. black pepper

For the Sauce:

¼ cup Sriracha

3 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

3 Tbsp rice vinegar

3 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

IMG_2336

Method:

  • Pre heat the oven to 190 degrees C.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the turkey, breadcrumbs, eggs, green onions, garlic powder and salt/pepper.

IMG_2338

  • Shape the mixture into small meatballs. If made small you can get about 40 and if made a little bigger like a did you can get around 20.
  • Spray two baking sheets with low fat cooking oil.
  • Space your meatballs out evenly on the baking sheets and bake in the oven for 20-25mins or until browned. (For larger meatballs you will need to cook for around 35mins).
  • While the meatballs are baking, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking continuously.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes (the sauce will start to thicken) then toss with the meatballs.
  • I served mine with brown rice and topped with some spring onions.

If you are looking for an amazing meal prep option for lunches throughout the week this is the recipe for you. It is so unbelievably quick and easy to make. Including cooking time it only took me about 40mins! I’ve never used Sriracha sauce before and when I gave it a taste was like oh my goodness that is so hot! I am not one for spicy food so I was a little sceptical. However mixed with the honey and Soy sauce it really does create the perfect blend of sweet and spicy flavours. The sauce is seriously so tasty I would even have it over rice by itself. And guess what there are only 177 calories in 3 meatballs so what are you waiting for! As always if you do try the recipe let me know what you think and if you have any pictures I’ll feature them on my Facebook and Instagram.

Happy cooking!

Xx

Am I hungry or am I bored? Tips on how to stop those hunger cravings.

burger

 

I don’t know about you but the main reason that I snack is that I am bored! Whether that be in the office on a particularly slow work day or at home watching Netflix. I have a habit of feeling like I need to constantly reach for a bag of crisps, piece or toast or even cheese on crackers (I know very bad but I can’t help it!). I’ve become so frustrated with myself that I have come up with a list of handy tips in order to try to stop myself raiding the fridge and consuming those extra calories that I certainly do not need…

You may be dehydrated…

sport

There is a good chance you may be dehydrated rather than hungry. A good tip is to have a glass of water and if you are still hungry after half an hour have something to eat. It is important not to starve yourself if you are genuinely hungry.

Do exercise…

I always feel less hungry after a workout. It could be because my mind is somewhere else and off food. It could also be that after working out I don’t want to have wasted those calories I have burned by going and eating unhealthily. It doesn’t have to be a big workout even a walk to feed the ducks will do (plus if you throw your leftover bread at the ducks there’s less chance of you eating it!).

Go on your favourite time wasting website or play your favourite game on your phone…

Scary-Ways-Technology-Affects-Your-Sleep

We all know we can waste hours doing this and its a great way of taking your mind out of the kitchen. Unless your favourite sites are cooking sites then maybe give it a miss!

Brush your teeth…

Woman holding a tooth brush

I seriously love this one for two reasons… 1. If I brush my teeth I’m not going to eat anything else because I am too lazy to go and brush them again! 2. The minty toothpaste makes all food taste weird. Also you’ll have lovely fresh breath so it’s win win!

Watch your favourite TV show…

netf

Before you know it you could be a few episodes in and have forgotten all about your cravings. Mine is Game of Thrones, House of Cards or Dirk Gently. Swap binge eating for binge watching!

Pamper yourself…

20130606-170822

Maybe this tip is more for the ladies but seriously paint your nails, apply a face mask or just have a relaxing bath. Not only will you distract yourself but you will make yourself feel better in the process.

Be creative…

55004332623b7-ghk-recycle-cards-wreath-s2.jpg

Channel your energy into creating something. I am currently making a Christmas wreath for next year using left over Christmas cards. I actually really feel like I am achieving something by creating something lovely to to add to our home. not to mention my hands are busy so I literally can’t reach for the biscuits. I would suggest Pinterest as a great site to get some craft ideas. However even if being crafty isn’t your thing there are plenty of opportunities out there for you to be creative. You could even start a blog. Writing this blog for me has been a great distraction as well as an amazing source of motivation and support from all you guys!

Most importantly…

top down

Be happy and live life! Don’t beat yourself up for eating what you want every once in a while. We all deserve a treat sometimes 🙂

Prosciutto wrapped poached eggs with potato, leek, cheddar and garlic hash

main

Ingredients: (yields 3 helpings)

6 Slices of prosciutto ham

2 large leeks

900g potatos

1 clove garlic

50g low calorie cheddar

3 large eggs

2 tbsp bread crumbs

1 egg white, lightly beaten

3 Tbs. chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish

2 tsp fresh lemon juice

ingredients

Method:

  • First we will start with poaching the eggs. As I have said before I have egg poaching cups which I just place in boiling water. (They really are brilliant and you can buy them from the likes of Amazon of Lakeland for a couple of pounds.) If you do not have poaching cups then don’t despair. You can spray two small microwaveable bowls with Frylight and crack an egg into each one. Season the eggs, pierce the yolks and cover with cling film. Microwave each egg on high for about 30 seconds. Keep an eye on them as they may pop in the microwave.

eggs in pan

  • Lay a slice of prosciutto on a cutting board and then place another on top. I feel two layers is best as one is a little thin. Place a poached egg at the centre of the top of the slice, then gently roll the egg down the middle, being careful not to break the yolk. Repeat with the remaining prosciutto slices and eggs. Set aside.
  • Now we are going to concentrate on the hash.
  • Finely chop the leeks and chives.
  • Peel the potato’s and then grate them.
  • Place the potatoes and leeks in kitchen towel and remove any excess liquid from them.
  • Now preheat the oven to 450°F or 210 Celsius in a fan assisted oven.
  • Put 2 tbsps of Olive Oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the leeks for 4 to 5 mins.

leek

  • Let the leeks cool and then add them to a large mixing bowl with the grated potato, the egg white, bread crumbs, garlic, chives and the lemon juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a large ovenproof  frying pan over medium heat, warm 1 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the potato mixture.
  • Cook the mixture on the hob for about 15 minutes stirring frequently. Cook until nicely browned.
  •  Now move the pan to the oven and cook for a further 10 minutes you may also want to add a bit of grated cheese.
  • Meanwhile, in a non-stick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 Tbs olive oil. Using a spoon, carefully transfer the wrapped eggs, seam side down, to the pan and cook, turning once, until the prosciutto is browned and crispy, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
  • To serve dollop some potato mixture onto a plate (or like me put it in a square bowl and then turn it out) and add the egg parcels on top.
  • Garnish with chopped chives and your done!

runny egg

I am obsessed with this recipe! I tried it for the first time around 3 months ago and haven’t looked back. I literally have this at least once or twice a week. I have it for dinner but it makes a great option for brunch as well! If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making the hash the egg parcels also taste amazing on toast with a sneaky side of baked beans. The parcels take no time at all to whip up on their own and so it makes a great dinner option if you’ve had a long day at work and don’t want to expend too much energy cooking. Not to mention this meal leaves you feeling full and satified and has definitely stopped me snacking later on in the evening. I particularly like eating this meal on a cold rainy night as it is good old comfort food. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Happy cooking! Xx

other main

Low cal lasagne cups!

main

Ingredients:

400g lean mince beef (I used Tescos 18% fat mince)

400g Dolmio lasagne red sauce light

1 white onion chopped

250g or 24 slices of wafer thin smoked ham

180g Philadelphia light

all-on-plate

Method:

  • Heat a large pan on medium to high heat and spray with Frylight 1 cal oil spray.
  • Dice your onion and add it to the pan. Heat through for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften.
  • Add your minced meat to the pan. Mix with the onion and cook for roughly 5 minutes until browned and cooked through.
  • Add red Dolmio sauce and stir. Allow to heat for a further 5 minutes.
  • In the meantime get out your muffin tray and spray a little oil into each cup. This will stop the ham from sticking to the sides when cooked.
  • Now place two pieces of ham into each cup (one on top of the other creating a little well in the middle.

ham-in-cups

  • Once your mince is done cooking place a heaped tablespoon of it into each ham cup.
  • Now top each cup with a heaped teaspoon of Philadelphia light.
  • Place your muffin tray into the oven at 180 degrees C and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and dig in!

 

Guys, BIG ANNOUNCEMENT….. This is now my new favourite recipe ever! These little cups are absolutely delicious. The smokiness of the ham blends with the sauce and meat mixture when heated to create the most amazing flavour. Not to mention the Philadelphia on top gives you a lovely creamy cheesy hit that just makes the whole dish. I really can’t get enough of these little fellas. I take two into work each day and heat them up in the microwave for lunch. They smell absolutely amazing too an easy way to make your work colleagues jealous of your lunch haha! Each cup is only 130 calories and they are packed with protein so you don’t have to feel guilty at all… well unless you decided to eat the whole batch which trust me is very tempting. I’d really love to know if any of you decide to try this recipe. If you do please get in touch and I will feature you on my blog and Facebook. Ps. you will notice from my photos I didn’t buy enough ham the first time around rookie mistake!!! You can find the accurate amount you need in the ingredients list.

Happy cooking!

Xx

main-2

Sausage and Egg McMuffins Healthy Version

Ingredients: Yields two double McMuffins 

6 Slimming world syn free sausages (or any lower calorie sausages of your choice)

1 calorie cooking spray (I use Frylight)

2 wholemeal baps

2 tablespoons Primula light cheese spread

1 teaspoon Rosemary

1 teaspoon Thyme

ingreds

Method:

  • Remove the skins from your sausages and squeeze the sausage meat into a large bowl.
  • Add the herbs to your meat and mix with your hands to combine.

meat

  • Now split the sausage meat into 4 equal parts. Shape each into a burger patty shape to fit inside the bun.
  • Spray the Frylight into a frying pan and heat over a medium heat. Add the burger patties to the pan.
  • Cook the patties for 5 minutes on each side or until it is obvious that they are cooked through.

patties-in-pan

  • Whilst waiting for the patties to cook you can make your poached eggs. I am lucky because I have egg poaching cups which I just place in boiling water. (They really are brilliant and you can buy them from the likes of Amazon of Lakeland for a couple of pounds.) If you do not have poaching cups then don’t despair. You can spray two small microwaveable bowls with Frylight and crack an egg into each one. Season the eggs, pierce the yolks and cover with cling film. Microwave each egg on high for about 30 seconds. Keep an eye on them as they may pop in the microwave.
  • Now all you need to do is prepare your rolls. Stack the two patties one on top of the other and spread a little Primula light cheese on the top. (Note if you feel your McMuffun is too tall you can just keep it to one patty per bun.)
  • Finally top your Mcmuffin with your poached egg and viola!

Recently my attention has been brought to the idea of fakeaways (fake takeaways). Believe me before I started trying to loose weight I was the takeaway queen! Therefore the idea of being able to make healthier versions of my favourite delicious takeaways was far too good to pass up. I decided to start with breakfast because all too often at the weekend I will give in and allow myself to have something lovely and greasy like a fry-up or a sausage sandwich! I find it difficult to stick to a healthier breakfast at the weekend as I don’t have the routine I have during the working week. Usually I grab a quick healthy breakfast at my desk. At home on the weekend all the goodies in the kitchen beckon and its so hard to ignore when I am mere feet away from opening the fridge and stuffing my face! That’s where these fakeaway Mcmuffins come in. They truly are delicious and very filling. If I have these for breakfast I normally don’t have a big lunch at all as it really does set me up for the day. Also they are so easy to prepare which is great for sleepy Saturday/Sunday mornings when you want to put in as little effort as possible. The Frylight spray combined with the low fat (Syn-free) sausages means that you get all the taste but with much less fat! So why don’t you give them a try and see what you think. I dare you to not fall in love with this recipe it is just too tasty!

Happy cooking!

Xx

2-burgers

Chocolate Bread Pudding!

wide-before-bake

Ingredients: Serves 8

300ml/1.2 cup skimmed milk

100g pitted dates

250g brown bread (about 7 slices)

200ml/0.75 cup boiling water

25g/0.2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp dark vanilla extract

1 egg

30g/1 oz dark or milk chocolate

ingreds

Method:

  • Firstly we are going to start by making a syrup out of the dates. Combine the boiling water and dates in a small bowl and leave for 15 minutes until the dates are softened.
  • Pour the dates and water into a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Tear up the bread into small pieces in a large bowl. Then add the milk, date mixture, cocoa powder vanilla extract and beaten egg.
  • Mix the ingredients with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  • Grease a 8 x 5 inch baking dish and then evenly add the mixture to it.
  • Crush the dark chocolate into small pieces. (I put the chocolate into a sandwich bag and gave it a whack with a rolling pin.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate pieces evenly over the top of the mix.
  • Bake in the oven at 200 degrees C or 180 degrees C for fan assisted ovens.
  • Remove and eat while still warm and gooey!

Having been on a diet myself I’ve been finding that I am  craving something sweet particularly in the evenings after my dinner. This is the perfect after dinner treat to stave off those cravings! Yes when we hear the word chocolate we automatically think “oh no I can’t have that I’m on a diet and chocolate is a no no.” However there is so little chocolate in this dish that you can allow yourself to indulge without feeling guilty! Also this pudding is low in sugar as we obtain our sweet taste by making the date syrup so really its a win win all round! At 142 calories a slice you really can’t complain and it tastes awesome. The only hard part is stopping at one slice! I would love to know your thoughts on this recipe or if you have any ideas on how to adapt it to make it better. Feel free to contact me on any of my social media if you give it a try.

Happy cooking!

Xx

The dreaded first cardio workout of the year!

trainers

 

Well guys, I have just finished my first cardio workout of the year and I feel great! I felt so sluggish and tired when I got up today and I really didn’t think I would make it to the gym at all. My gym is just across the road from my work so if I am doing a cardio workout I always try to go on my lunch break. If I wait until the end of the day I will be even more tired and may have gone off the idea. I also like the fact that if I get my workout done during my working day then when half 4 comes I know I can just go home, put the dinner on and relax without the thought of the gym hanging over me.

I have been out of the routine of regularly exercising for weeks now. This was due to Christmas and coming down with a heavy cold. Not to mention I have most certainly been over indulging in the treats department, so I fully expected today to be a real struggle. Even on the short walk across to the gym my brain was thinking “Oh god nooooo! Anything but this! It’s not too late to turn around and just head into town and go shopping instead.” But I persevered and eventually I found myself stepping back onto the cross trainer (elliptical machine for you Americans!)

crosstrainer

I put my headphones in and soon got into a rhythm. I told myself that I wouldn’t push it and would do 15 minutes and see how I felt after that. Half an hour later I was still at it and time had flown. I had to stop in order to get back to work on time but I have to say I am very proud of myself!. When I stepped off I just felt great. I thought after all that build up in my own head it really wasn’t that hard and I can definitely get back into the swing of things. Back in the office I felt way more energised and genuinely felt happier. I have to remember what an advantage exercise has on your mood! Another important point to note is that before my workout I was craving loads of unhealthy treats for lunch. Afterwards I couldn’t have felt more different! I happily ate my tuna and broccoli and felt full and satisfied afterwards.

For goodness sake if I can do well on my first day back and feel this great then its only onwards and upwards from here. That is partly why I am writing this post so that I can look back on it when I’m not feeling motivated. I urge you all to get out there and start working out even if it is just a walk. Write down how you feel beforehand and then write down how you feel after. Then use this to motivate yourself on a day where you frankly can’t be bothered. Remember 15 minutes exercise means you are 15 minutes better than if you were to just sit on the couch. Every little bit counts towards a better you! Now here a selfie of me looking like a complete sweaty Betty but proud haha….

selfie

Xx

Happy New Year!!

new-year-blog

Hi Guys!

Just a wee post to say Happy New year and I hope you all had a lovely Christmas holiday! I most certainly over indulged on all the extra food and drink this season. Never mind finishing off the odd selection box and Terry’s chocolate orange.

I’d like to announce the blog will be back in full force this month. Not only did I get a load of exciting cookery gadgets for Christmas but I have also been collecting a lot more healthy recipe ideas. Perfect for those of us looking to use the ‘New year, new me’ Cliche!

I’m also on a bit of a personal mission to loose weight in the next 6 months as I am heading to the sunny California coast for the first time and I am determined to fit into a bikini for then… or at least at worst look semi decent in a swimming costume! So hopefully you can all join me on this journey. I will be sharing any tips I’ve learnt along the way on what I find works and what doesn’t.

It’s time to get out there, get motivated and start learning that we can love healthy foods!

Stay tuned for my new recipes and if anyone has any requests as to types of recipes they would like to see on this blog by all means please message me on any of my social media!

Happy 2017! 🙂

Xx

set-goals

Breakfast: Healthy chocolate and blueberry muffins!

main

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

1 medium banana

25g butter cubed

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

1 teaspoon lemon juice

200g ground almonds

20g cocoa powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

125g blueberries

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees C or 180 degrees C for fan assisted ovens.
  • In a large mixing bowl break banana into chunks. Add the chopped butter and mash together with the back of a fork.
  • Add eggs, maple syrup, bicarbonate soda, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Whisk thoroughly ideally using an electric whisk.
  • Add ground almonds and cocoa powder. Whisk thoroughly for a second time.
  • Add the blueberries to the mixture and gently fold in with a large spoon.

ingreds-in-bowl

  • Grease a cupcake tin ideally with low cal spray and distribute the mixture between the cupcake moulds. (With this mixture you can usually make 9 large muffins or 12 medium depending on how you would like to distribute your mixture.)
  • **Top Tip: Try not to add too many blueberries to the one muffin cup as this will make the muffin very moist and more likely to fall apart.**
  • Put the muffins in the oven and cook for 20mins. You should know they are done if you touch then and they spring back slightly. If they still seem too squishy and moist leave them in for an additional couple of minutes.
  • Leave the muffins to cool and then gently remove from muffin tin and enjoy!

I created this recipe basing it on an earlier banana bread recipe I had shared with you guys. I really wanted something tasty and filling to start off my day. The canteen in my work does these amazing blueberry scones that are just soooo hard to resist. Therefore I set about to make a healthy alternative that also tastes amazing and here we are! I cant help but feel a little smug in the office knowing that my colleagues are munching away on these scones which have twice as many calories as the yummy muffins that I am eating (just kidding… sort of hehe). I make a batch of the muffins at the start of the week and keep them in the fridge for each day. Mind you they are so tasty they don’t last long at all in our house. Let me know if you get a chance to try them yourself and what you think!

Happy cooking!

Xx