French bean salad with a vinaigrette dressing (125 calories)

phpThumb_generated_thumbnailFrench bean salad with a vinaigrette dressing (125 calories)

Preparation Time:10 mins

Cooking Time:10 mins


Calories per serving:125.9


Fine Green Beans -250g

Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 20ml

Mustard, Dijon -10g

Red Wine Vinegar -15g

Shallots, Raw (or red onion) -40g

Garlic, Raw -1 Clove/3g

Pepper, Black, Freshly Ground -1 Pinch/0.2g

Salt -pinch

Capers, in Brine -12g


Peel and crush the garlic. Peel and very finely chop one medium shallot (red onion works well too).

Bring a pan of water to a fast boil, add your beans, put a lid on the pan, and cook for at least 4 to 5 minutes. Boiling the beans fast like this helps them to retain all their nutrients.

Meanwhile, put the mustard and vinegar into a jam jar or bowl and, while stirring, add the olive oil to make a good hot French dressing.

Season carefully with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then add the finely chopped shallot, the capers if you’re using them and the garlic.

Remove one of the beans from the pan to check if it’s cooked. If it holds its shape but is also soft to the bite, it’s perfect. Drain in a colander.

Now, while the beans are steaming hot, this is the perfect moment to dress them – a hot bean will take on more of the wonderful dressing than a cold one. It is best to serve the beans warm, not cold, and certainly not at fridge temperature because the flavours will be muted and boring.

Serve as a salad in its own right, or as an accompaniment to a main meal.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)125.9

Carbohydrate (g) 5.6

Fat (g) 9.9

Fibre (g) 3.3

Fruit & Veg 2.0

Protein (g) 3.4

Crab & Parsley Spaghetti / Courgetti – 322 calories

IMG_1667I love combining julienned courgette with spaghetti to save on calories – but also to add to the flavours and to add a little crunch!

This was a quick and easy meal – perfect to enjoy in this hot weather we are having.

Crab & Parsley Spaghetti / Courgetti – 322 calories

Preparation Time:10 mins

Cooking Time:15 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 322.1


Spaghetti, Whole Wheat, Dry Weight -100g

Olive Oil, Extra Virgin – 15ml

Red Chilli Pepper, Raw -1 Pepper/13g

Garlic, Raw -1 Clove/3g

Crab Meat, Ready To Eat (mixture of brown and white meat) -1 Pot/100g

White Wine, Dry -25ml

Parsley, Fresh -1 Tbsp/3.8g

Courgette, Raw -300g

Juice, Lime -1 Tbsp/15ml


Julienne the courgette.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the spaghetti. Give it a good stir and cook as per the packet instructions. Stir well occasionally so it doesn’t stick.

While the pasta cooks, gently heat half the olive oil in a pan large enough to hold all the pasta comfortably.

Add the julienned courgette and cook over a medium heat for around 5 – 7 minutes until softened. Place into a colander to drain.

Add the remaining oil to the pan over a gentle heat. Add the chilli and garlic and fry very gently until they start to sizzle, then turn up the heat. Add the wine and brown crab meat (only). Simmer everything until the wine and olive oil come together.

Take off the heat.

Once the spaghetti is cooked, pour into the colander with the courgetti.

Place the crab sauce on a very low heat and add the drained spaghetti and courgetti into the sauce.

Off the heat, add the white crabmeat and parsley to the pasta with a sprinkling of sea salt.

Taste for seasoning and, if it needs a slight lift, add a small squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

Serve immediately twirled into pasta bowls.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 322.1

Carbohydrate (g) 35.6

Fat (g) 11.3

Fibre (g) 6.4

Fruit & Veg 2.3

Protein (g) 17.2

Alcohol 1.1

Roasted Fennel & Red Onion with tomatoes – 120 calories

Roasted Fennel and Red Onion with new potatoes and sea bass fillet (total 428 cals)

I am celebrating!  Weigh in this morning saw me back under 10 stone for the first time since November 2017.

A  fortnights holiday last December, Christmas and two weeks in Costa Rica saw me gain a few additional pounds each time.  I’ve successfully lost 11lb since the end of March – just 14 weeks.  Which is going some when you’re only little and don’t move much!

Lovely dinner tonight. We planned fennel to go with a sea bass fillet and some of our home grown new potatoes. Found and adapted a recipe for roasted fennel.

Roasted Fennel & Red Onion with tomatoes

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 35 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 119.7


Fennel Bulb – 200g

Red Onion – 80g

Garlic, Raw – 2 Cloves/6g

Cherry Tomatoes – 80g

Olive Oil – 20ml

Thyme, Fresh – 1 Tsp/1g

Preparation:  Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Peel the onion and garlic cloves. Chop the onion into large chunks or thick slices. Halve the fennel bulb, remove the core and chop into thick slices. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Remove the leaves from the stalk of the thyme. Juice the half lemon.

Place the olive oil, fennel and red onion into a large roasting dish. Stir thoroughly so that the vegetables are coated in the oil. Place in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, thyme, garlic cloves (whole) and stir to combine.

Continue to cook for a further 15 – 25 minutes until the vegetables are softened and the edges are starting to brown or char.

Pour over the lemon juice just before serving.

Lovely with fish or with pork.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 119.7

Carbohydrate (g) 6.8

Fat (g) 9.5

Fibre (g) 3.4

Fruit & Veg 2.5

Protein (g) 2.0

Mushroom Stroganoff – 332 calories

IMG_1418Mushroom Stroganoff – 332 calories

It is absolutely possible to make this a lot lower in calories if you cut out certain ingredients (sherry!) or use low fat creme fraiche of soft cheese – BUT if you want a truly delicious tasting, rich mushroom stroganoff – this is your recipe!

We harvested one of our courgettes and I thinly sliced it and griddled it over a low heat with a little butter and olive oil for around 15 minutes.

Preparation Time:  15 mins

Cooking Time:  20

Serves:  2

Calories per serving: 332.2


Onions – 80g

Chestnut Mushrooms – 240g

Tomato Puree – 25g

Stock Cubes, Beef – ½ Cube/6g

Garlic, Raw – 2 Avg Cloves/6g

Sherry, Dry – 50ml

Parsley, Fresh – 2 Tbsps/7.6g

Paprika – 1 Tsp/2g

Worcestershire Sauce – 10g

Water – 250ml

Creme Fraiche, Full Fat – 50g

Soft Cream Cheese – 90g

Olive Oil – 15ml


Peel and finely dice the onion

Peel and finely dice the garlic

Wipe and cut the mushrooms into bite sized pieces.

Finely chop the parsley.

Boil the water and measure out 250ml of boiling water, add the half stock cube and stir until dissolved.


Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onions & garlic and fry until soft (but not browned). If it starts to dry out you can add some of the stock.

Add the mushrooms to the pan with paprika, sherry, Worcestershire sauce and then the remaining stock. Add the tomato puree.

Allow to reduce and let the mushrooms cook down a bit.

Add the cheese and stir slowly until all mixed in.

Finally stir in the creme fraiche.

Serve with rice / potato or cauliflower rice! Just before serving, sprinkle with the fresh parsley.

Also delicious on a slice of toast!

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 332.2

Carbohydrate (g) 9.5

Fat (g) 26.4

Fibre (g) 2.4

Fruit & Veg 1.7

Protein (g) 7.2

Alcohol 3.9