Croutons – a yummy addition to soup (especially if home made!) – 93 calories

Version 2Since I have cut back on bread, I may still occasionally have half a slice of seeded bread made into croutons. Home made croutons are so easy and quick to make! Don’t waste your money on ready made….

Preparation Time: 2 mins

Cooking Time: 5 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 93.4


Bread, Granary, Wholemeal, Seeded, Medium Sliced -1 Slice/44g

Butter, Salted – 5g

Olive Oil -1 Tsp/5ml

Mixed Herbs – ¼ Tsp/1.25g


Cut the slice of bread into 1cm cubes.

Heat the oil and butter over a medium heat and when sizzling, add the bread cubes.

Cook for around 5 minutes, turning over as they brown – don’t allow to burn, they should be crisp and golden.

Add the herbs at the end of cooking time.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 93.4

Carbohydrate (g) 9.0

Fat (g) 5.0

Fibre (g) 1.5

Fruit & Veg 0.0

Protein (g) 2.4

Carrot & Coriander Soup – 72 calories

IMG_1693Carrot & Coriander Soup – 72 calories

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 2 hrs

Serves: 6

Calories per serving:72


Onions – 120g

Garlic – 1 Clove/3g

Coriander, Ground – 1 Tsp/5g

Olive Oil – 8ml

Oxo Stock Cubes, Vegetable – 1 Cube/6g

Carrots, Raw – 477g

Tomato Puree Concentrate – ½ Pot/35g

Leeks, Raw – 125g

Courgette, Raw – 1 Courgette/224g

Water, Mineral Or Tap – 3000ml/3 litres


Peel and finely dice onion. Peel and finely dice garlic. Wash carrots and remove stalks. Finely dice carrots. Top and tail courgette and cut into 1cm chunks. Trim leek, finely chop and wash in plenty of water.

Make up the stock with stock cube and 1 litre of water. Chop the coriander.


Put the oil into a large lidded pan and heat over a medium heat. Add the onion and leek and stir, reducing the heat. Continue to cook over a low heat stirring regularly until onions are soft and translucent. Do not allow them to brown. Add the courgette and the powdered coriander. Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the water/stock, plus the additional water – the diced carrots and tomato puree and stir well. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cover with the lid. Continue to cook for 20 – 30 minutes.

Liquidise, leaving fairly lumpy if preferred. Just before serving, sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 71.9

Carbohydrate (g) 11.7

Fat (g) 1.9

Fibre (g) 3.5

Fruit & Veg 1.8

Protein (g) 2.5

Tuna – Grilled Mediterranean Style – 308 calories

IMG_1697This is a very simple dish and made with store cupboard ingredients. Just use a pinch of Cayenne pepper – do not be tempted to use more – a pinch is all it needs!


Preparation Time: 12 mins

Cooking Time: 12 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 308.1


Olives, Black, Pitted – 20g

Garlic – 1 Clove/3g

Tuna, Steaks, Raw – 400g

Cayenne Pepper, Ground – ¼ Tsp/0.5g

Mint, Fresh – 1 Tbsp/1.6g

Extra Virgin Olive Oil -1 Tsp/5ml

Tomatoes, Oven Roasted or sundried – 30g



Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Drain and finely chop tomatoes, dice olives, mint, peel and finely dice garlic. Mix in a bowl with the extra virgin olive oil and cayenne pepper.


Place tuna steaks under the preheated oven grill or on your outdoor grill, 2 minutes minutes on each side or depending on thickness. Do not overcook the or they will be dry.

Top the grilled steaks with the tomato/mint/garlic mixture, return to grill for 1-2 minutes – remove and serve at once.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 308.1

Carbohydrate (g) 4.3

Fat (g) 7.4

Fibre (g) 2.8

Fruit & Veg 0.4

Protein (g) 56.3


Celeriac Soup – 61 calories

IMG_1684I served this low calorie soup with home made croutons. Cut half a slice of seeded bread (58 cals) into cubes and fried with 2.5g of butter (18 cals) and 3.5ml of olive oil (30 cals). Total 167 calories.

Celeriac Soup – 61 calories

Preparation Time:  10 mins

Cooking Time:  40 mins

Serves:  8

Calories per serving:  61.4


Onions – 120g

Garlic – 3 Cloves/9g

Thyme, Dried – 1½ Tsps/1.5g

Water, Tap – 2000ml

Celeriac, Raw – 797g

Olive Oil – 1 Tsp/5ml

Butter, Salted – 13g

Leeks – 289g

Celery – 77g

Stock Cubes, Vegetable, Oxo – 1 Cube/6g

Courgette, Raw – 225g


Peel and finely chop onion and garlic clove. Wash and finely dice leeks. Peel and chop celeriac into 1cm cubes. Trim courgette and cut into 1cm cubes.


Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the celery, leek and onion to the pan and fry over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Don’t allow to brown.

Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the stock cube, water, herbs, courgette and celeriac. Ideally the vegetables should be mostly covered by liquid – if not, top up.

Bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer.

Cover the pan with a lid and continue to cook for 40 minutes, stirring half way through.

Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer).

Season to taste.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)  61.4

Carbohydrate (g)  5.4

Fat (g)  2.7

Fibre (g)  4.6

Fruit & Veg  2.3

Protein (g)  2.5

Easy Plum Cake -179 calories

sliceI am NOT a cake maker…. because I am useless at making cakes! But today, after I found a stash of frozen plum halves in the freezer – that has all changed :-)

Absolutely delicious served warm from the oven with a tablespoon of Greek yogurt.

Easy Cook Plum Cake – 179 calories

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Cooking Time: 45 mins

Serves: 12 (small slices) – increase calories to 268 if you divide into 8 servings

Calories per serving: 178.8


Sugar, Caster – 150g

Butter, Salted – 115g

Flour, Wholemeal – 140g

Baking Powder – 1 Tsp/2g

Eggs, Medium – 2 Eggs/116g

Salt – 1 Pinch/0.1g

Plums, small and halved – 200g

Cinnamon, Ground – 1 Tsp/3g

Sugar, Caster (for topping) – 1 Tbsp/12g

Milk, semi-skimmed – 2 tblsps


Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4.

Beat sugar and butter until fluffy with electric mixer. Mix flour and baking powder and sift into creamed mixture. Beat in eggs, milk and salt. Mix everything well.

Pour batter into a greased 26cm round springform tin and smooth out. Top with the plums (cut side up) and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon.

Bake in preheated oven on lowest shelf for 40 – 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Cool to room temperature or serve warm.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 178.8

Carbohydrate (g) 22.2

Fat (g) 8.9

Fibre (g) 1.3

Fruit & Veg 0.2

Protein (g) 2.8


Moroccan Lamb Mince (243 calories) – with Bulgar Wheat stuffed roasted marrow & Tzatziki (Total meal 475 cals)

IMG_1676Moroccan Lamb Mince (243 calories) – with Bulgar Wheat stuffed roasted marrow & Tzatziki (Total meal 475 cals)

Preparation Time:25 mins

Cooking Time:1 hr

Serves: 6

Calories per serving: 243.0


Lamb, Mince, 20% Fat – 1 Pack/500g

Raw Onions – 115g

Red Pepper -140g

Garlic – 1 Clove/3g

Carrots, Raw – 115g

Celery, Tesco – 41g

Olive Oil -1 Tsp/5ml

Cinnamon, Ground – 1 Tsp/3g

Nutmeg, Ground -1 Tsp/3g

Thyme, Dried – 2 Tsps/2g

Sumac Spice – 1 Serving/5g

Tamarind Paste – 3 Tsps/15g


Peel and finely dice onions and garlic cloves. Wash/peel and finely dice celery and carrot. De-seed the pepper, removing stalk and chop into 1cm pieces.

Put oil into a large lidded pan, and put onto a medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and fry over a medium heat for 5 – 10 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue to fry until the onion is soft and translucent (don’t allow to brown).

Add the lamb mince and turn up the heat slightly. Fry until the lamb mince is browned. Add the herbs and spices and the tamarind paste. Stir over the heat to release the oils.

Lower heat to a low simmer, put lid on pan and cook for a further 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to prevent sticking until all ingredients are cooked.

Serve with rice, couscous or use to stuff peppers or a marrow!

In the picture, I mixed the lamb with 35g of raw weight bulgar wheat per person (steamed in the microwave), then stuffed into 226g of a giant courgette marrow – which had previously been roasted in the oven (200 degrees, 40 minutes, brushed with 6ml of olive oil). Served with some homemade tzatziki (42 calories)

Once the mince and bulgar wheat was stuffed into the marrow halves, returned to the oven (200 degrees) for 20-25 minutes. The flavour of the mince soaks into the marrow and the top layer of bulgar wheat takes on a really nice crunch!

I have four portions of the mince left over going into the freezer. Will use them to stuff peppers or large tomatoes next time!

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 243.0

Carbohydrate (g) 6.2

Fat (g) 17.4

Fibre (g) 1.7

Fruit & Veg 0.9

Protein (g) 14.8

Tzatziki – 42 calories per serving

IMG_1670Tzatziki – 42 calories per serving

Full fat Greek yogurt is the only way to go with this recipe! I use Total Fage 5% Authentic Greek Yogurt.  Low fat yogurts just don’t work.

The result is a silky, glossy, thick tzatziki and you don’t need to use very much for a big BURST of refreshing flavour.

I buy the big 500g tubs of yogurt and use the pots to store my tzatziki in – lasts for about 5 – 6 days in the fridge.

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Serves: 8

Calories per serving: 41.8


Cucumber – 90g

Garlic, Raw – 1 Clove/3g

Juice, Lemon, Fresh – 12ml

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 5ml

Mint, Fresh – 1 Tbsp/1.6g

Greek Yoghurt, 5% Fat – 300g


Remove the seeds from the centre of the cucumber (this is where most of the water comes from). Grate the cucumber coarsely, then squeeeeeeze out the watery juice using a sieve or by wrapping in a clean dry tea towel..

Mix into the yoghurt.

Finely chop a clove or two of garlic and stir in.

Add the virgin olive oil.

Finely chop the fresh mint and add, along with the juice of half a lemon.

Stir everything through.

Leave for 30 mins to allow the flavours to permeate.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 41.8

Carbohydrate (g) 1.4

Fat (g) 2.5

Fibre (g) 0.1

Fruit & Veg 0.2

Protein (g) 3.5

Red Citrus Slaw – 31 calories

IMG_1669 (1)

Red Citrus Slaw – 31 calories

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: N/A

Serves: 10

Calories per serving: 30.8


Red Cabbage – 260g

Carrots, Raw-180g

Red Onions -65g

Parsley, Fresh -1 Tbsp/3.8g

Cider Vinegar -20ml

Mirin, Rice Wine, Sweetened -5ml

Orange Juice -30ml

Honey, Clear, Runny -15g

Oranges, Fresh, one large -190g


Finely slice the red cabbage. Coarsely grate the carrot. Peel the orange and chop the segments. Peel and finely chop the red onion. Chop the fresh parsley.

Mix together the ingredients in a large bowl.

Mix the Mirin, cider vinegar, honey and orange juice in a small bowl. Pour over the vegetable mixture and stir thoroughly.

This is usually nicer the day after, when the vegetables have absorbed the flavours. Stores perfectly in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 30.8

Carbohydrate (g) 6.8

Fat (g) 0.1

Fibre (g) 1.5

Fruit & Veg 0.9

Protein (g) 0.8

“Eat a rainbow”

This blog post is dedicated to Crafty Fox John.  His tenacity to keep going and his dogged determination are second to none.  He is slowly learning about eating a rainbow 🙂

IMG_1668IMG_1669It’s never a problem for me to eat a rainbow.  I absolutely love my vegetables, fruit and salad.  Beans of all colours….

I thought I’d share with you a typical lunch.  385 calories for this huge plateful.

Given that it’s often impossible to find a pre-packed sandwich for under 400 calories, I know which I’d rather have!

2 slices of Aldi Torchon Ham (105 calories)

Green salad (38 calories)

Half a portion of French Bean Salad with a Vinaigrette Dressing (63 calories)

Roasted Vegetable and Bulgar Wheat Salad (Half portion, 58 calories)

70 g Beetroot vacuum packed (26 calories)

20g of pitted black olives in brine (22 calories)

Homemade Tzatziki (42 calories)

Red Citrus Slaw (31 calories)


Roasted Vegetable and Bulgar Wheat Salad – 112 calories a serving

IMG_1436I have been making variations of this in bulk over the last few weeks. It is very healthy and very filling! Bulgar wheat is one of the few “processed” food ingredients that has all “greens” on the traffic light system of food nutrition…

This recipe serves 8 as a side, but reduce to 6 portions and it will be 149 calories a portion.

Roasted Vegetable and Bulgar Wheat Salad

Preparation Time: 25 mins

Cooking Time: 45 mins – 1 hour

Serves: 8

Calories per serving: 112


Red Onions – 150g

Olive Oil – 23ml

Aubergine, Raw, Fresh, Average – 350g

Butternut Squash, Raw – 550g

Bulgur Wheat, Dry Weight – 100g

Lemon Juice – 1 Lemon/115g

Sumac Spice – 1 Serving/5g

Tamarind Paste – 15g

Red Peppers – 100g

Mint, Fresh – 3 Tbsps/4.8g


Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees.

Peel and chop the butternut squash into 1cm cubes. Remove stalk and cut aubergine into 1cm cubes. Peel and finely dice the onion and garlic. Juice the lemon. De-seed and chop the pepper into bite sized pieces.

Put 15ml of the oil into a roasting dish with the butternut. Place into the centre of the oven for 15 minutes. Then add the aubergine and pepper, stirring to ensure everything is covered in the oil and continue to roast for 30-45 minutes .

In the meantime, place the remaining 8ml of oil into a small pan and heat over a low to medium heat. Add the chopped red onion and cook until softened and translucent – don’t allow to brown. Add the diced garlic and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the tamarind paste and the sumac spice, stir through. Set aside to cool.

Once the oven roasted vegetables are cooked (softened and beginning to char) remove from the oven and add the onion/garlic/tamarind – stir through to combine.

Cook the bulgar wheat according to the instructions on the packet. I cook mine in a microwave rice steamer for around 10 minutes stirring half way through.

Add the bulgar wheat to the roasted vegetable mix with the lemon juice into the dish and stir through, combining evenly.

Chop the fresh mint (place leaves in a shallow cup and chop with kitchen scissors – makes it very quick and easy!) Sprinkle onto the salad and stir through.

This can be eaten warm or cold as a salad. Filling and very tasty!  It also stores well – up to 4 days in an airtight container in a fridge.  Great to transport as part of a packed lunch or picnic.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 111.8

Carbohydrate (g) 18.3

Fat (g) 3.4

Fibre (g) 3.9

Fruit & Veg 1.9

Protein (g) 2.7