Spaghetti Caponata – 335 calories

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This is very healthy, easy and quick to prepare Sicilian pasta dish…. and not too bad on the calories either. The sweetness of the roasted aubergine and raisins add a nice balance counteracted by the saltiness of the olives and capers.

Spaghetti Caponata

Serves:  4

Calories per serving:  335.2

Ingredients

Aubergine, Raw – 600g

Olive Oil – 30ml

Red Onion, peeled and diced – Half an onion/65g

Celery, Raw – 2 sticks/71g

Garlic, Raw, peeled and finely diced – 2 Cloves/6g

Oregano, Dried – 1 Tsp/1g

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

Raisins – 40g

Olives, Kalamata, Pitted – 30g

Vinegar, Red Wine – 2 Tbsps/30ml

Parsley, Dried – 2 Tsps/2g

Capers, in Brine  – 1 Hpd Tsp/10g

Spaghetti, Whole Wheat, Dry Weight – 200g

Method

Preparation: Remove stalk from aubergine and cut into 3cm cubes. Peel and dice onion and garlic.

Trim and slice celery stalks. Chop the olives into quarters.

STEP 1   Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Toss the aubergine with half the oil and a little seasoning, and tip onto a large non-stick baking tray. Roast for 20-30 minutes stirring half way through until charred and soft.

STEP 2   Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large pan and cook the red onion and celery with a large pinch of salt for 10 minutes or until softening and a little caramelised. Add the garlic and oregano, and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and 100ml of water.

Tip in the roasted aubergine and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened and the aubergine is very soft. Add the raisins, capers, olives and red wine vinegar, and season. Keep on a low heat.

STEP 3    Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then drain. Tip the drained pasta into the caponata with the parsley. Stir well, then serve.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 335.2

Protein (g)  9.9

Carbohydrate (g) 47.2

Fat (g)  11.5

Fruit & Veg  4.0

Fibre (g)  9.6

Venison steak with cauliflower cheese and stir-fried cabbage and leek – 450 calories

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Venison is a very lean and therefore fairly low calorie meat. We bought a steak of 240g but cut in it half. It also doesn’t shrink much as it cooks. The steak shown in the picture (120g) was just 129 calories (plus 43 cals for the olive oil it was brushed with ahead of cooking).

Stir-fried cabbage and leek – can’t get enough! Low calorie, tasty and filling – 74 calories a portion and we often have it in place of rice or pasta.

This cauliflower cheese was a little experiment. I went light on the cheese and added 2 tsps of Dijon mustard and soured cream, cream cheese, Parmesan and grated Cheddar and breadcrumbs on the top. 204 calories a portion.

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Cauliflower Cheese with Dijon Mustard

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time:

25 minutes

Serves: 4

Calories per serving: 203.9

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Ingredients

Cauliflower, Raw – 850g

Soured Cream – 50ml

Soft cream Cheese – 30g

Dijon Mustard, Dijon – 2 Tsps/20g

Cheddar Cheese, Mature – 40g

Parmesan Cheese – 20g

Panko Breadcrumbs -3 0g

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees. Grate the Cheddar and the Parmesan but keep the two cheese separate.

Chop just the head of the cauliflower roughly and evenly with a large knife. Place into a steamer and cook for around 10 minutes until the thickest parts of the stems are softened.

Remove, drain and leave to cool.

When tepid, add the soured cream, soft cheese, mustard and parmesan to the cauliflower and stir thoroughly to combined.

Place the cauliflower into a shallow large oven proof dish. Sprinkle over the grated Cheddar and the Panko breadcrumbs. Place in the oven for around 25 minutes until golden brown and crispy on top.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 203.9

Protein (g) 13.5

Carbohydrate (g) 12.0

Fat (g). 11.5

Fruit & Veg 2.8

Fibre (g) 3.4

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Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach & Cream Cheese – 348 calories

IMG_1324Chicken Breast Stuffed with Spinach & Cream Cheese

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 25 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 348.3

Ingredients

Chicken, Breast, Fillets – 2 x 144g each

Spinach, Babyleaf – 80g

Soft Cream Cheese – 50g

Garlic, Raw – 1 Clove/3g

Fresh Lemon Juice – 2 Tsps/10ml

Paprika – 1 Tsp/2g

Olive Oil – 3 Tsps/15ml

Creme Fraiche – 15g

Chilli Peppers, Dried, Flakes – ¼ Tsp/0.75g

Shallots, Echalion – 50g

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Wash and finely slice/shred spinach. Peel and finely dice garlic and shallot.

Place the chicken breasts on a cutting board and using a sharp knife to cut a pocket into the side of each chicken breast.

Mix the soft cheese, creme fraiche, lemon juice, chilli flakes, onion, garlic in a small bowl until combined.

Spoon the spinach mixture into each chicken breast evenly and secure with wooden tooth picks or skewers. Place the two filled chicken breasts into a suitably sized baking dish.

Brush the surface of the chicken breast with the olive oil using a brush. Sprinkle with the paprika.

Bake, uncovered, for 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 348.3

Protein (g) 41.7

Carbohydrate (g) 3.1

Fat (g) 18.7

Fruit & Veg 1.0

Fibre (g) 1.3

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Served with 50g (dry weight) brown rice and griddled asparagus spears.

Vension loin steak with a blackberry sauce

IMG_1269Venison is another meat which contains lots of protein and little fat as well as offering great “calorie value” at around 100 calories per 100g of raw meat.

It’s not a meat that we come across very often, but recently we dropped into a local Farm Shop – Lockey Farm Shop, and thought we’d buy some to try.  The cost was around £7 for a 250g loin steak, which is on a par with fillet steak – one loin steak made two good sized portions.

I searched online to find a suitable sauce – and came up with this blackberry based one, which was quick and easy to make.  We just happened to have a few blackberries left over in the freezer from last autumn (or perhaps the autumn before that one!)

The 110g steak worked out at just 118 calories, the blackberry sauce was 94 calories.  Teamed alongside some roast potatoes, mashed swede and carrot and my favourite combo of stir fried leek and cabbage it made a colourful, healthy and low calorie meal.

Recipe – Blackberry Sauce

Ingredients

Garlic, Raw, Average        –    1 Clove/3g

Balsamic Vinegar             –    1 Tbsp/15g

Olive Oil                            –    7ml

Redcurrant Jelly               –    2 Tbsp/25g

Blackberries, Frozen       –    1 Serving/80g

Beef Stock Pot                 –    ½ Pot/14g

Water                              –    150ml

Peel and crush the garlic clove. Mix the stock pot concentrate with 150ml of boiling water.

Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.

Add the garlic and gently fry for 3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan, then pour in the stock and redcurrant jelly.

Stir over quite a high heat to blend everything together, then add the blackberries and carry on cooking until they soften.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal).   94.1

Protein (g).  0.8

Carbohydrate (g).  13.1

Fat (g).   3.9

Fruit & Veg.   0.6

Fibre (g).   2.2

If you’re interested in the nutritional profile of the venison:

Nutrition Profile Venison, Steak, Raw, Average

                             Per 100g        Per Serving (110g)

Calories (kcal)        107.7                      118.4

Protein (g)                22.8                         25

Carbohydrate (g)         0                           0

Sugars (g)                      0                          0

Fat (g)                          1.9                      2.1

Saturates (g)              0.9                         1

Fibre (g)                        0                         0

Sodium (g)               0.055                 0.0605

 

Vegetable Curry with Mooli Radish 189 calories

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Curry portion 189 cals, wholegrain rice, 50g dry weight 178 cals, 25g Greek yogurt 33 cals, 20g mango chutney 48 cals.  10g fresh coriander 2 cals.  Total 515 calories.

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What is a mooli radish?

I bought one some time ago and used it grated with a salad.  I didn’t think that much of it, so peeled and chopped the remainder and stuck it into the freezer.  In my quest to empty things from the freezer that appear to have been there… forever…. today was the turn of the mooli radish to be turned into something that looked rather delicious!

 

 

Vegetable Curry with Mooli Radish

Preparation Time:  20 mins

Cooking Time:  1 hr

Serves:  6

Calories per serving:  189.4


Ingredients

Onions  – 1 Onion/100g

Carrots  – 252g

Curry Paste, Jalfrezi, Patak’s – 100g

Tomatoes, Chopped, in Tomato Juice – 1 Can/400g

Garlic, Raw – 1½ Cloves/4.5g

Olive Oil  – 11ml

Mooli Radish – 227g

Parsnip – 70g

Savoy Cabbage  – 165g

Celery – 82g

Lentils, Puy, Ready to Eat, Merchant Gourmet – 1 Pack/250g

Preparation: Peel and finely dice the carrot and parsnip. Peel and dice the onion. Peel and finely dice the garlic. Peel the mooli and cut into bite sized chunks.

Method:

Pour the oil into a large lidded pan. Heat over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery and stir for around 6 – 7 minutes. Don’t allow to brown. Add the garlic, diced carrot, parsnip, cabbage, mooli, tinned tomatoes and Jalfrezi paste. Stir until everything is evenly mixed.

Bring to the boil, turn down to a simmer. Cover and cook for an hour, stirring every if minutes until all the vegetables are softened.

Add the puy lentils, stir through and cook for a further 20 minutes until the puy lentils are warmed through.

 

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) . 189.4

Sugars (g)  8.2

Fat (g)  7.5

Fibre (g) . 7.0

Fruit & Veg . 3.0

Protein (g)  7.4

Carbohydrate (g) 21.8

How to stay fit if you have a physical disability

WHAT!  But I’m DISABLED! If I find it almost impossible to walk more than a few steps, there’s not a lot of exercise I can do, surely?  

I’m often asked about the challenges of exercise and keeping fit with a physical disability.  After all, that’s the theme of my website, so share my journey with readers.  Things that I have found that have helped me to make those changes.

Because I am signed up to Patient Access (allowing patients signed up to their GP surgery electronically to access health services) I am regularly emailed interesting articles – this was one such.

How to stay fit if you have a physical disability

I found it an interesting and useful read and thought I’d share with others who have a physical disability or long-term illness.

I’ve already incorporated into my every day life many of the things listed in the article and taken on board some of the advice.

This sentence particularly struck a chord, and is something that has been instrumental to my success….

“Excess weight pushes you down the ability spectrum, so adjust your calorie intake so it’s in line with your activity levels. You shouldn’t eat the diet of an athlete if you don’t train like an athlete.”

Wine-gummy tomatoes(very slow roasted tomatoes!)

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Getting the tomatoes prepared for a long, slow roast.

I was inspired to try this recipe thanks to Jamie Oliver’s version.  Three basic ingredients, plenty of ripe cherry tomatoes, garlic and olive oil.  Roast long and low for 4 hours (yep, that’s right – 4 hours) et voila!  The flavour intensifies to a whole different level so that including just a few tomatoes in any recipe adds that tomatoey flavour.  We made up a large batch (1.5kg) and have frozen them to use again and again.

 

 

 

Cooking Time:  4 hours

Serves:  10 portions

Calories per serving:  66.4

Ingredients

Cherry Tomatoes – 1410g

Oil, Olive – 42ml

Sea Salt – 1 Tsp/5g

Freshly ground pepper – 1 Tsp/2g

Garlic, Raw – 6 Cloves/18g

Oregano or mixed herbs – 2 Tsps

Method

Preheat the oven to 100ºC/210ºF/gas ¼.

Halve the tomatoes, peel and finely slice or dice the garlic, pop into a bowl, pour over the olive oil.  Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and the herbs.  Use your hands to gently mix everything until the tomatoes are uniformly coated.

Lay them cut-side up in two baking trays.

Pop in the oven for 4 hours, or until soft and sticky. Remove from the oven and leave to cool.

Nutrition Data Per Serving
Calories (kcal) 66.4
Sugars (g) 4.4
Fat (g) 4.4
Fibre (g) 1.5
Fruit & Veg 1.9
Protein (g) 1.2
Carbohydrate (g) 4.8

How to enjoy?  For us, we mixed a few tomatoes with a tin of slightly warmed butterbeans sprinkled with a little dried basil.  Pan fried sea bass with a buttery sauce.  All for a surprising 323 calories….

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