Salmon, lemon and creme fraiche courgetti – 440 calories

IMG_1253Lovely quick recipe and very tasty! I have made a few variations of this dish – using smoked salmon, prawns or salmon flakes, as I have done here.

The cheese on the top is a token really – only 10g per person, but it’s not needed for the flavour, as there is already lots of flavour going on.

Many people say they’re not fond of courgetti, but I love combining it as I have here with whole wheat spaghetti.  Plenty of additional crunch for a whole lot less calories.

Preparation Time: 5 mins

Cooking Time: 20 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 461.8

Ingredients

Courgette, Raw, Average – 2 Courgettes/448g

Olive Oil -10ml

Lemon zest – 1 Tsp/2g

Lemon juice – 1 Tbsp/15ml

Creme Fraiche – 40g

Whole Wheat Spaghetti – 80g

Onions – 50g

Garlic – 1 Clove/3g

Salmon, Flakes, Honey Roasted – 100g

Cheddar Cheese – 20g

Parsley, Dried – ¼ Tsp/0.25g

Frozen peas, defrosted – 60g

Method

Julienne the courgette into fine strands. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Zest the lemon and juice. Grate the cheese using a course grater.

Cook the spaghetti as per the instructions – drain and set aside keeping warm.

Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the onion, cook for around 3 minutes until softening.

Add the garlic, courgette, lemon zest and fry for around 5-6 minutes until softened – but the courgette should retain a bit of crunch.

Add the peas, lemon juice, salmon and creme fraiche, dried parsley and continue to cook for one to two minutes until the salmon and sauce are warmed through.

Serve the spaghetti onto the plates first and then top with the salmon courgetti mixture. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 461.8

Carbohydrate (g) 36.2

Fat (g) 24

Fibre (g) 7.5

Fruit & Veg 3.9

Protein (g) 25

IMG_1254

Recovering from injury & pain

IMG_1415It may not have gone unnoticed that most of my posts recently have been about food rather than exercise!

Since returning from my holiday in March, I have been plagued by various problems – the main ones being lower back pain – which I think is the cause of my other problem – sciatic pain running down the back of my left leg and into the back of my knee.

This has hugely impacted on me both physically and emotionally.  Pain is so very tiring.  I feel EXHAUSTED and this isn’t helped in having disturbed nights tossing and turning trying to get comfortable.  I am someone who needs 8 – 9 hours of undisturbed sleep every night.

Thankfully I have lots of options to try and places to go to try and sort out this problem.  My wonderful masseur (who I see once a fortnight for an hour) has been quite shocked to see me in so much pain.  I’m probably in the worse pain she’s ever seen me in.  At our last session together, we devised a plan of action.

Pain relief isn’t a route I want to go down (yet).  My pain was preventing me from exercising and yet exercise was probably just what I need to get rid of the pain.

I booked in for a session on the Alter G treadmill.  I knew that if I needed to, I could increase the amount of support the machine would give me during my walk.  I could walk at a slower pace.  I could lengthen my stride to get in some of the stretching that is needed.

I am pleased to report that the one 30 minute session seems to have had a very good result.  I am also making sure I do just 20 minutes of seated stretches each morning – lower back, hamstrings, hip flexors, sit ups, various rotations of my spine and neck.

Another session is booked.

Exercise is good.  Exercise helps.  I must keep on moving!  An article I recently wrote reminded me of the importance of this:

www.getyourselfactive.org

Crunchy aubergine, firecracker rice and chickpea bake – 511 calories

collageI think this meal (made out of left-overs in the fridge and store cupboard items) was a huge success!

It was a little like a Biryani… I’ll be using the same principles to make more meals like this (perhaps incorporating chunks of fish or meat) as it was so quick, easy and filling. Only one dish to wash up too!

Crunchy aubergine, firecracker rice and chickpea bake

Preparation Time: 5 mins

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving:  511.2

Ingredients

Rice, Firecracker, Tilda – 1 Pack/250g

Chick Peas, in Salted Water, Canned – 170g

Tomatoes, Plum, Canned, roughly chopped – 170g

Spinach, Boiled or Steamed – 75g

Cheese, Cheddar, grated – 75g

Breadcrumbs, Panko – 1 Serving/30g

Aubergine, Grilled, chopped into small cubes – 100g

Method

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

Mix together all the ingredients in an oven proof shallow dish, except the grated cheese and panko breadcrumbs.

Level out, and top with the grated cheese and then the breadcrumbs.

Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.

Serve with a salad or vegetables.

(I had mine with mashed swede and carrot).

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 511.2

Carbohydrate (g) 51.2

Fat (g) 23.7

Fibre (g) 7.7

Fruit & Veg 3.5

Protein (g) 21.4

Aubergine stuffed with spinach, rice and halloumi – 349 calories

IMG_1186Aubergine stuffed with spinach, rice and halloumi – 349 calories

I’ve discovered a wonderful vegetarian recipe website with lots and lots of  lovely looking recipes!  Whats more, it’s UK based, so the measurements are done in grams, rather than cups.  amuse-your-bouche.com

Having made this, I would swap the spray oil for a good glug of olive oil if I made it again. This was nice on its own, but I think I may need something else a little later!

Preparation Time: 20

Cooking Time: 50 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 349

Ingredients

Aubergine, Raw (Medium sized)-383g

Salt-1 Pinch/0.1g

Black Pepper-2 Pinchs/0.4g

Chick Peas, Tinned, Drained-70g

Spinach, Baby-100g

Pine Nuts-12g

Parsley, Dried-1 Tsp/1g

Rice, Brown, Dry Weight-½ Serving/50g

Olive Oil, Spray-20 Sprays/4ml

Halloumi Cheese, finely sliced-80g

Mint, Fresh, leaves only (finely chopped)-2 Tbsp/3.2g

Method

Toast the pine nuts under a hot grill or in a small frying pan, being careful not to burn.

Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise – leave the stalks on for now, but remove them before eating. Place the aubergine halves cut-side up on a baking tray. Cut a criss cross pattern over them, being careful not to break the skin.

Spray with the spray oil (20 squirts per half), and season with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 20-25 minutes, until the flesh is tender.

Steam the spinach in a small amount of boiling water for 2 minutes, drain and squeeze out the excess water when cooled. Shred it with a sharp knife.

Meanwhile, cook the rice until just soft in a pan with plenty of water – around 15 minutes (don’t overcook). Drain the rice, and add it to a large mixing bowl with the chickpeas, spinach, pine nuts, parsley, and dried mint. Mix thoroughly.

When the roasted aubergine halves are cool enough to handle, use a spoon to scoop out around 1/3 of the aubergine flesh. Don’t remove too much flesh – you may need to use a sharp knife to cut through the fibres. Keep the flesh you remove for an alternative use (or just eat it straight away!).

Stuff each aubergine half with the spinach and rice mixture, and top with a few thin slices of halloumi. Return to the oven for a further 15 minutes or so, until the halloumi is golden brown.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 349

Carbohydrate (g) 36.4

Fat (g) 17.1

Fibre (g) 7.6

Fruit & Veg 3.6

Protein (g) 11.8

Spanakopita (Spinach and Feta Filo Pie) – 406 calories

IMG_1174Looking forward to a slice of this with a green salad tonight!

Spinach and Feta Filo Pie

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 40 mins

Serves: 6

Calories per serving: 406.1

Ingredients

Onions,-1 Onion/100g

Garlic, Raw-2 Cloves/6g

Spinach, Baby-270g

Nutmeg, Ground-1 Tsp/3g

Butter, Salted,-40g

Pastry, Filo, Frozen, Ready Roll Sheets-270g

Cheese, Mature Cheddar-55g

Cheese, Greek Feta-200g

Eggs, Free Range, Medium-3 Eggs/174g

Pine Nuts-25g

Olive Oil-2 Tsps/10ml

Preparation: Peel and finely dice the onion. Peel and finely chop the garlic. Grate the cheddar cheese. Cut the Feta into 1cm chunks. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (180 fan).

(1) Pour 10ml of olive oil into a pan. Cook the onions in the oil until soft and turning golden. Add the garlic and cook for a couple of minutes.

(2) Put the spinach leaves into a large lidded pan and pour over a small amount of boiling water. Heat over a medium heat for 2-3 minutes until the leaves have wilted and then strain into a colander and squeeze out the excess water once cooled.

(3) Put the pine nuts into a small frying pan over a medium heat. Toast, stirring all the time until the pine nuts have turned a golden colour and allow to cool.

(4) Once the spinach is cool, tip into a bowl (leaving behind any excess liquid from the spinach) and mix in the nutmeg, feta, eggs, toasted pine nuts and season well.

(5) Melt the butter in a microwave or small pan. Use some of the melted butter to grease a non-stick spring form cake tin, about 20-22cm. Put the first sheet of filo in the tin and brush with the melted butter, letting the excess hang over the sides. Keep going with the rest of the sheets, turning a little before adding each additional pastry sheet and brushing all over with the melted butter.

(6) When all the pastry is used up, tip in the filling and fold over the excess pastry to cover, crinkling the excess pastry rather than laying it flat. This will add to the crispness of the pie but also give it a really attractive top.

Brush the top with the remaining melted butter then bake in the oven for about 30-40 minutes until the filo is crisp and golden. Leave for 5 minutes before turning out and cutting into wedges to serve.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 406.1

Carbohydrate (g) 29.5

Fat (g) 24.0

Fibre (g) 2.3

Fruit & Veg 0.8

Protein (g) 17.5

Chilli Con Carne with turkey mince (181 calories)

IMG_1165.jpgMiserable day….. what can you do!  I know!  A batch cook for the freezer and a nice warming dinner for tonight….!  Lots of added vegetables and two tins of kidney beans to bulk this out, add lots of flavour and fibre. 

Chilli Con Carne made with turkey mince

Preparation Time:20 mins

Cooking Time:1 hr

Serves:8

Calories per serving:181.7

Ingredients

Onions-110g

Celery (1 stick)-33g

Garlic-2 Cloves/6g

Tomatoes, Chopped, in Rich Tomato Juice-1 Can/400g

Mixed Herbs-1 Tsp/5g

Turkey Thigh, Mince-450g

Kidney Beans, Drained-2 Cans/400g

Carrots-110g

Courgette-175g

Mushrooms, Chestnut-120g

Water-200ml

Tomato Puree, Double Concentrate-1 Pot/70g

Red Peppers (1 pepper)-150g

Coleman’s Chilli Con Carne Mix-1 Pack/50g

Method

Preparation: Peel and finely dice the onion. Peel and finely dice the garlic clove. Peel and chop carrot finely. Top and tail courgette and dice into small chunks. De-seed and dice the red pepper. Finely dice the celery.

Put the olive oil into a pan and warm over a moderate heat.

Add the onions, carrot and celery, and let them cook until soft and pale gold. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes.

Add the minced turkey to the pan, and let it brown lightly, stirring occasionally.

Add herbs, the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and the chilli mix. Bring back to a simmer and leave to cooked, covered, for about 45 minutes to an hour, stirring every 15 minutes.

Add the chopped mushrooms and the drained beans after the first 30 minutes. Add a little water if it is drying out too much.

Let the mixture simmer for a good 5-7 minutes until thoroughly hot.

Serve on wholegrain rice and top with a dollop of soured cream and a handful of coriander leaves (if required).

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 181.7

Carbohydrate (g) 18.0

Fat (g) 4.7

Fibre (g) 5.5

Fruit & Veg 1.9

Protein (g) 17.1

Smoked Cod Loin & Leek Risotto – Oven bake method

IMG_1088

This was delicious, very filling and extremely easy to make! I have never made a risotto as my husband is the risotto king in this house… but I do know that they are very time consuming.  You can’t hurry a good risotto, and he has to stand there for ever, stirring and adding stock.

Slightly higher in calories than I would usually have for a main meal, but I had just a bowl of home made “Mexican Bean” soup today at lunchtime (less than 100 calories).

I made the risotto with smoked cod loin (as that was what I had in the freezer) but you could also make it with smoked haddock – just ensure you check the calories. The cod is higher in calories by about 20 per 100g (cod is 100 cals per 100g and haddock is 84 per 100g).

I am definitely planning to adapt and use this easy method again in the future!

Preparation Time: 25 mins

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 602.4

Ingredients

Butter-10g

Leeks-150g

Rice, Arborio (dry weight)-150g

Milk, Semi Skimmed-125ml

Cod, Loins, Smoked-300g

Spinach, Baby Leaf-100g

Stock Pot (vegetable or fish)-1 Pot/28g

Tap Water (for stock)-350ml

Creme Fraiche, Full Fat-60g

Method

Preparation: Finely slice leek and wash thoroughly. Cut the cod into large chunks.

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Heat the butter in a large ovenproof dish over a medium heat. Cook the leek for 4-5 mins, stirring regularly, until just tender. Add the rice and stir for a further 2 mins.

Add the stock (mix the stock pot with 350ml of boiling water) and the milk, bring to the boil and bubble for 5 mins before sitting the haddock on top. Cover with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 18 mins until the rice is tender.

Fold in the creme fraiche and spinach, season with plenty of black pepper, then cover the pan again and leave to rest out of the oven for 3 mins before serving – the steam will soften the spinach.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 602.4

Carbohydrate (g) 71.2

Fat (g) 17.8

Fibre (g) 3.7

Fruit & Veg 1.7

Protein (g) 39.1