Low cal lasagne cups!

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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

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Low Calorie- Iced Lemon Cupcakes

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Ingredients

12 cupcake cases

Finely grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon

2 large eggs

150ml low fat natural yogurt

2 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk

50ml sunflower oil

100g blueberries

75g golden caster sugar

1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda

200g self raising flower

For the icing:

4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

100g icing sugar

ingredients

Method:

  • Firstly pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees C or 180 degrees for fan assisted ovens.
  • This recipe serves 12 so line a 12 whole muffin tray with your cupcake cases.

empty-cases

  • Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl and stir in the sugar, blueberries and lemon zest. Make a well in the centre. It is important to sift the flour so that there are no lumps.

powder-mix-in-bowl

  • Beat the eggs with a large whisk until smooth, then beat in the yogurt, milk and oil until well combined. Stir into the flour mixture with a large metal spoon until very lightly mixed.
  • Divide the batter between the paper cases. Make sure not to overfill the cases as remember the cupcakes will rise.
  • Bake in the centre of the oven for 16–18 minutes or until the cupcakes are well risen and golden brown.
  • Transfer them to a wire rack and leave to cool.

un-iced-on-wire

  • To make the lemon icing, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice in a small bowl until smooth and runny. Using a spoon, drizzle the icing over the cupcakes and leave to set for at least 30 minutes before serving.

iced-on-rack

I was inspired to do a bit of baking this week as the Great British Bake off has just finished its last series here in the UK and I was looking for my weekly cake fix! Also I feel I have been concentrating a lot on savoury recipes and we need a little sweetness in our lives. Trust me things can get a little bland during the weekly routine if all you are eating is meat and veg so these cupcakes are the perfect wee pick me up. Not only are they absolutely delicious but they are also only 169 calories each! Make sure you have a few friends or kids that you can hand then out to as well as it would be easy to go to town on the hole batch! As always I would love to hear from you if you decide to try this recipe or have any ideas on how you would make it your own!

Happy cooking!

Xx

Comfort Food: Healthy Shepherds Pie

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Ingredients:

400g lean minced beef

2 medium onions, chopped

2 celery sticks, finely sliced

2 medium carrots, diced

400g can of chopped tomatoes

2tbsp tomato purée

500ml beef stock, made with 1 beef Stock cube

1tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1tsp dried mixed herbs

4tsp cornflour

1tbsp cold water

Flaked sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

For the leeky potato topping:

750g floury potatoes

2tsp sunflower oil

2 slender leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices

150g half-fat crème fraiche

flaked sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

ingredients

Method:

  • Place a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the mince and cook it with the onions, celery and carrots for 10 minutes until lightly browned.

veg-in-pot

  • Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and mixed herbs. Season with a good pinch of salt and black pepper.
  • Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover loosely and simmer gently for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • About 20 minutes before the meat is ready, make the potato topping. Peel the potatoes and cut them into rough 4cm chunks. Put them in a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat slightly and simmer for 18–20 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.
  • Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the leeks for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured, stirring often.

leeks

  • Drain the potatoes, then tip them back into the pan, season to taste and mash with the crème fraiche until smooth. Stir in the sautéed leeks and set aside.

mash-in-pot

  • Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°C/Gas Mark 7. When the beef has been simmering for 40 minutes, mix the cornflour with the cold water to make a smooth paste. Stir this into the beef and cook for another 1–2 minutes or until the sauce is thickened, stirring often.
  • Pour the beef mixture into a 2-litre shallow ovenproof dish. Using a large spoon, top the beef with the mashed potatoes and leeks. Spoon the mixture all around the edge of the dish before heading into the middle, then fluff up with a fork.
  • Bake for 30 minutes until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbling. If making this ahead of time, let the pie cool, then cover and put in the fridge.

Well I promised you lot some comfort food recipes and trust me this first one does not disappoint! My favourite meal when I go home to my mum and dads house (apart from a Sunday roast) is my mums shepherds pie. It really is the ultimate comfort food and perfect for cosy nights in with the heating on catching up on your favourite shows. So I decided to look into a healthier alternative that we could all still enjoy. I experimented with a few recipes and this one is by far my favourite. I love the leeks in the mash it really does make it extra tasty and the whole dish is just filled with lovely homely flavours. Lean beef cooked without fat also reduces the calories. I made a big batch that can be kept in the fridge and used throughout the week or alternatively frozen to be eaten later (very handy when you come in out of the cold after a hard days work and just want to relax). This one would also be great for dinner parties. I would even go as far as to say that your guests probably won’t be able to tell that it is on the more healthy side. If you do try this recipe I would love to know what you think or even send me pictures of your creations.

Happy cooking!

Xx

 

Meal prep Monday:Turkey Burritos

packets-together

Ingredients:

500g Turkey

1 onion

2 garlic cloves

8 wholemeal tortilla wraps

low fat cheese (grated)

Taco seasoning

Aluminium foil

Large plastic freezer back

ingredients

Method:

  • Start off by dicing your onion and then frying it in a small amount of oil in either a wok or frying pan.
  • Mince two garlic cloves into your onions and stir until lightly golden.

onions

  • Now add your turkey mince and stir to combine it with your onion and garlic.
  • When you notice your turkey has browned. Add in your taco seasoning.

mince-in-pan

  • Stir in seasoning and cook turkey for a further couple of minutes making sure it is coated well.
  • Remove mixture from the heat and set aside for ten minutes to cool.
  • Now divide the meat into 8 portions and place in a line on each tortilla.
  • Now sprinkle on a little low fat cheese. (You can skip this stage if you want to be really good).

mince-in-wrap

  • Now fold your burrito. You may have your own preferred way of doing this but if not here is a very helpful guide… http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/20/how-to-wrap-burrito_n_6003430.html
  • Roll up each burrito in aluminium foil. Place wrapped burritos inside resealable gallon-sized bag. Label the bag and place in the freezer.
  • The burritos will last 30-45 days in the freezer.
  • To eat remove from aluminium foil and heat in the microwave for 60 – 90 seconds or until the burrito is heated through and enjoy!

This recipe is literally so handy. I make these on a Monday night and then keep them in the freezer for my lunches. It means I can just literally run in to the kitchen and grab a little foil packet and go! Not to mention they are full of flavour and far far better for you than your average sandwich. The turkey mince is lean and very low fat so you don’t have to feel guilty at all. I particularly like having these burritos coming into the autumn/winter months as it is nice to have some warm comfort food when it is freezing and horrible outside. Also the spice in the taco seasoning gives a little kick to keep you warm. I would usually alternate having a burrito for lunch one day and then maybe soup the next so one batch of these can last me 2 weeks which is brilliant. Not only is this recipe, healthy and handy but it is also cost effective and saves me a few pennies on the weekly shop! 🙂 Please do let me know if you try this recipe and what you think about it and i will feature your review on my blog and facebook!

Happy cooking!

Xx

 

Skinny Thai green Curry!

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Ingredients:

450g diced chicken

2 teaspoons canola/rapeseed oil

450g aubergine, diced

200g carrots diced or spiraled

240ml “lite” coconut milk

240ml reduced-sodium chicken stock

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon green curry paste

1 tablespoon fish sauce, optional

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 cup sliced fresh basil

ingredients

Method:

  • Heat a large pan on high and cook your chicken thoroughly roughly 15mins.
  • Take chicken from the pan and set it to the side.

 

  • Add aubergine, carrots, coconut milk, broth, brown sugar, curry paste, fish sauce (if using) and lime juice to the pan. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Return the chicken to the pan; stir to coat with the sauce and cook until heated through, about 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat; stir in basil and serve immediately.

This recipe is fab for several reasons. Firstly it is so easy you literally bung everything in the pot so where could you go wrong! And secondly the curry is low cal and packed full of nutrients from all those vegetables. Just because it is low in calories does not mean it is low in flavour. This dish is bursting with flavour and I like it because it is actually quite refreshing. I am not one for a hot curry so this is just perfect for me and anyone else who cant take the heat! You can serve it any way you like I opted for brown rice and a mini naan (I could quite easily eat a large naan so best to buy the mini ones to avoid temptation haha). It is great for entertaining or re-heating over a couple of nights. Plus there is just enough warmth in it for it to be a great comfort food during the winter months as well. Please do let me know if you try this recipe and what you thought!

Happy cooking!

Xx

Healthy Tuna burgers

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Ingredients: (yields 4 small burgers or 2 large)

2 x 125g tins of Tuna in Brine

2 cloves of garlic

70g breadcrumbs

80ml Teriyaki sauce

2 large egg whites

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce e.g Tabasco

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

ingrediants

Method:

  • In a large mixing bowl add the two tins of Tuna.
  • Break the tuna up using a fork making sure there are no big chunks.
  • Add the Teriyaki sauce

swirl

  • Add breadcrumbs and egg whites and combine.

breadcrumbs

  • Season with black pepper, minced garlic and hot pepper sauce.

garlic

  • Use your hands to mould this mixture into patties.
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan on a medium heat.

  • Cook the burgers until brown on both sides approx 4mins each side.

frying

  • Now serve in a bap with some low fat cheese and enjoy! (I was a bit more liberal with the cheese than I probably should have been hehe)

with cheese

This recipe is great for several reasons. It is ridiculously easy to make and also it is quick and fuss free. In fact the only fuss I encountered when making these burgers is that my bloomin tin opener broke so i had to stab the tuna tin to get into it. Seriously what is it with tin openers each time we buy one it breaks within months! Anyway I digress… haha. As the preparation and cooking of these burgers only takes around 15 minutes this recipe is perfect for any one who is in a hurry or just wants to get their dinner into them after a long day! The burgers are incredibly tasty which is great and also lower in fat than your standard beef burgers. I love the kick that they are given by the teriyaki and tobacco sauces. An all round winner for me and I will certainly be looking forward to another helping! As always do let me know if you have tried them and what your thoughts are on this recipe.

Happy cooking Xx

Roasted garlic and caramelised onion soup!

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Ingredients: Yields 6 servings

1 large whole bulb of garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil

6 thinly sliced onions

2 large leeks

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 tablespoons flour

80 ml dry white wine

850 ml of chicken stock

500 ml milk

ingredients

Method:

  • First we need to roast our Garlic. Pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Peel and separate the cloves of garlic contained in the large bulb.

garlic before

  • Rub 1-1/2 tsps oil over garlic head; wrap in foil and bake for one hour.

garlic wrapped

  • In the meantime whilst your garlic is roasting we are going to caramelise our veg!
  • Heat 1tbsp oil in a pot over medium heat; add chopped onions and leeks and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often.

onions and leeks before

  • Add 1/2 tsp salt and thyme; cook an additional 30 minutes or until onions are golden.
  • Take off the hob and set aside for a few minutes.

caramilised leeks and onions

  • Remove Garlic from the oven. Open the foil carefully so as not to burn yourself.
  • The garlic should be soft. Mash it with a fork and set aside in a bowl for later.

roasted garlic after

  • Put your onions and leaks back on the hob.
  • Stir in flour; add wine and broth and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
  • Add garlic pulp, remaining salt and milk to onion mixture.
  • Simmer 8 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
  • Blend mixture in pot using a hand blender or you can do this in a food processor but may have to do it in two batches.

blending

  • Serve soup and garnish with your choice of ingredients. I used Thyme and have also tried cheese nom nom!

This recipe defines comfort food. It is light enough as to not make you feel guilty eating it but boy is it filling and tasty! Not to mention when cooking it it makes the house smell amazing. As we all know I love to add garlic to almost all of my recipes but there is something about roasted garlic that just makes things so much better. I think one of the best things about this soup is that it really fills you up. A small portion goes a very long way. I usually have this for dinner with a nice piece of bread and then keep the leftovers for my lunch during the week. Isn’t it great to be able to have something that tastes more fattening than it actually is! Not to mention the many benefits that come from onions and garlic. Although they are known as the most pungent smelling vegetables onions and garlic have antioxidant properties that help protect against health conditions such as heart disease and cancer. What more could you want. As always I will be interested to hear if any of you try this recipe. Let me know how it works out for you!

Happy cooking!

Xx

No Flour delicious banana bread muffins!

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Ingredients: (Yields 12)

300g  ripe bananas (roughly 3 medium bananas)

3 large eggs

2 tablespoons of maple syrup – adjust to your taste

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

30g  butter

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

200g ground almonds

1 tablespoon of whole flaxseed plus extra for decorating the top of your muffins

ingreds

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 160 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl mash together the bananas and butter. (a fork works well for mashing).

banana and butter

  • Now add the maple syrup, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice and mix well with a whisk.
  • Add the ground almonds and a tablespoon of whole flaxseed and mix well.
  • Grease your muffin tins with butter or low fat spray. Alternatively you can use individual muffin cases.
  • Spoon your batter evenly into each muffin cup and top with a pinch of flax seeds.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. You will know if the muffins are done by inserting a skewer into the middle and it coming out dry.
  • Allow muffins to cool and eat warm or at room temperature. Remember to store covered, in the fridge and most importantly enjoy!

**Note this recipe can also be used to make a loaf of bread. Use a bread loaf tin. Fill with the mixture and cook for 1hr 10mins. If the bread starts to brown too much during baking cover with a piece of tinfoil.

These little muffins have been a god send for my partner and I. We now have them every morning for breakfast and they make a great guilt-free snack for when you get peckish during the day. There is no flour, sugar or preservatives and each muffin is only 89 calories so you can have more than 1! The bananas, maple syrup and vanilla give these muffins a lovely sweet taste and so when I am craving something sweet this is now my go to snack. The bread is filling and will keep your energy levels up during the day. Almonds are full of Vitamin E and magnesium, and the Omega-3-rich flaxseed which is added means these muffins aren’t just delicious but nutritious as well. Not to mention they smell great when they come out the oven! As ever I would love to hear your feedback if you try this recipe.

Happy cooking!

Xx

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Omelette and Spinach cannelloni NO PASTA!

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Ingredients

500g Spinach

150g cream cheese  (could use ricotta cheese if preferred)

75g Parmesan cheese, grated

Nutmeg, grated

4-6eggs

4 tblspn water

1 tblspn olive oil

Salt and pepper

ingredients

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190C/375F degrees.

  • Cook the spinach until tender.  Mix with the cream cheese, half the Parmesan cheese and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.

  • Whisk the eggs with the water and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  • Heat the olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and pour in enough egg mixture to make a small, thin omelette.   Cook until firm and turn over to cook the over side.   Remove and place to the side.  Continue to do this until all of egg mixture is used.
  • Spoon some of the spinach mixture onto an edge of an omelette and roll up.  Place in a shallow gratin dish and repeat using all of the omelettes.
  • Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake for 25 minutes.

cheese grated on top b4 oven.JPG

  • Eat and enjoy!

I was eager to try this recipe as I absolutely love cannelloni. I thought making it using omelettes would be a real challenge but it actually worked out really well. A good tip is not to overfill your omelette as they are quite thin and prone to splitting. This tasty recipe yields about four portions. The filling was lovely and can easily be adapted for your own tastes. I think next time I will throw in a bit of chicken into the spinach mix to pack it out a little more. This makes a great main as it is extremely filling and much healthier than the pasta versions you would be used to. The dish is packed with protein from both the omelette and Spinach so would be ideal to have after a workout. I really cant get enough of this one and urge you all to try it. Also it is a great way for those of us who are obsessed with cheese to get our fix! As usual let me know if you have tried this and send e your pictures if you would like.

Happy cooking!

Xx

 

Delicious Broccoli and potato soup

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Ingredients:

1 large head of broccoli

1 large potato peeled and chopped into cubes

1 Large white onion diced

2 cloves of garlic

500ml vegetable stock

250ml low fat milk

125ml water

Salt and pepper

ingredients

Method:

  • Cut the broccoli into roughly 1 inch pieces. You can cut and add a bit of the stem but discard the main stem.

brocolli.JPG

  • Put all the ingredients into a pot except the milk, salt and pepper.
  • Put on the lid of the pot and bring to the boil. Once boiling turn down the heat to medium and rapidly simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and add your milk. Now bring back to the boil and then remove from the heat altogether.
  • Now whizz the hand blender until thoroughly mixed together.
  • To thicken the soup cook it longer on the stove at a medium/low heat.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve with a side of your choice. (I have chosen some gorgeous wheaten bread that my talented partner made *recipe for this to follow).

I was a little sceptical of this recipe when I first made it. I’m not really sure why, maybe it was the colour of the soup that made my brain think this may be healthy but I bet it doesn’t taste great. Maybe the green reminded me of lettuce too much haha! Think again. This soup is so unbelievably tasty. I absolutely love it. Plus it is packed full of nutrients from all that veg! I like to have this recipe for dinner but it would make a great packed lunch too. It makes enough soup for about 3-4 servings so you could easily make it at the start of the week and just store it in the fridge. *I am lucky enough to have a partner who loves to bake. He inherited a great bread recipe from his lovely mum and was able to make us a great side for this dish. Bread isn’t very healthy as we all well know but when eaten in moderation it compliments this soup perfectly.

For those who are interested I will post the bread recipe up here as well shortly.

If you do try this recipe I would love to know what you thought of it and by all means send me some pictures if you’d like.

Enjoy and happy cooking!

Xx