Stepping it up

Quick and simple supper – 319 calories

IMG_2019.jpgTonights dinner was based around the need to use up the last of a batch of my versatile bulgar wheat and roasted vegetable “concoction”.

Bulgar wheat and roasted vegetable concoction (119 cals), warmed. Topped with 30g chopped apricots (62 cals) and 50g of cubed feta cheese (138 cals). Amazing flavours! Very filling too and just 319 calories in total.

Unusual food combinations! 281 calories

IMG_1906This was my dinner tonight.

I LOVE fajitas – but on my very low calorie allowance (1100 a day) I simply cannot afford to eat fajita wraps too often!

Tonights dinner was:

Half a chicken breast (100g) roasted with 5 squirts of spray olive oil and dusted with fajita seasoning

30ml of soured cream

30g of salsa (shop bought)

90g of cauliflower (steamed)

Around 70g of sweet heart cabbage, shredded and mixed with diced onion (40g) and cooked in a splash of olive oil (I actually made three portions, using 200g cabbage, 110g of onion and 6g of olive oil)

Just totalled it up and it was just 281 calories – but so very filling and delicious! I got my fajita “fix” but for far fewer calories!

Chicken Piccata (chicken with a mushroom, lemon, garlic, caper and butter sauce) – 276 calories


I had to rush on here and let you know about this delicious and low calorie meal! It was absolutely scrummy!

All too often our chicken dishes are made with a tomato or cream sauce, but I wanted to try out something a little different.  This on first glance seemed a little more fiddly, but it really didn’t take long to prepare.  Adding the butter gives the sauce a lovely glossy shine as well as adding a richness.

Chicken Piccata (chicken with a mushroom, lemon, garlic, caper and butter sauce)

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 40 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 276


Flour, Plain – 20g

Garlic, Raw – 1 Clove/3g

Wine, White – 70ml

Parsley, Fresh – 1 Tbsp/3.8g

Capers, in Brine (drained) – 10g

Stock Cubes, Chicken – ½ Cube/3g

Mushrooms, Chestnut – ½ Pack/125g

Chicken, Breast Fillet – 1 Serving/200g

Pepper, Black, Freshly Ground – ¼ Tsp/0.5g

Oil, Olive – 3 Tsps/15ml

Juice, Lemon, Fresh, Average – 1 Lemon/35.5ml

Butter – 10g

Preparation: Cube the chicken breast into 2cm chunks. Make up the chicken stock with 300ml of water. Cut the mushrooms into chunks. Squeeze the juice from a lemon. Chop up the capers.


1. Whisk 2 teaspoons flour and chicken stock in a small bowl until smooth. Place the remaining flour in a shallow dish.

Season chicken with the pepper and dredge both sides in the flour.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned and no longer pink in the middle, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate; cover and keep warm.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tsp oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add sliced mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

4. Add a peeled and crushed garlic clove and wine to the pan and cook until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes, then stir in the reserved broth-flour mixture and lemon juice.

5. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

6. Stir in chopped parsley, capers and the butter. Add the browned chicken back into the pan with the mushrooms and stir until the chicken is cooked (around 10 minutes).

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 276

Carbohydrate (g) 10.6

Fat (g) 12.4

Fibre (g) 1.4

Fruit & Veg 1.1

Protein (g) 24.7

Alcohol 3.5

Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza / Tart – 451 calories

1 (2)Mediterranean Flatbread Pizza / Tart

Preparation Time:   15 mins

Cooking Time:   40 mins

Serves:   4

Calories per serving:   451.3


Ready Rolled Flatbread Dough Base –   One-quarter Of A Pack (380Gs) /380g

Courgette, Raw  – 87g

Peppers, Sweet, Red  – 122g

Onions, Red, Raw – 158g

Olive Oil  – 1½ Tbsps/22.5ml

Thyme, Dried  –  ½ Tsp/0.5g

Cheese, Feta  –   90g

Tomatoes, Cherry  – 10 Tomatoes/150g

Olives, Black, Pitted, in Brine  –  2 Servings/20g

Garlic, Raw  –   1 Clove/3g


Peel and finely slice onion. Peel and finely dice garlic. Cut courgette into rounds.
Crumble feta cheese. Halve cherry tomatoes. Remove pepper stalk and seeds and cut into small pieces (about 1cm square. Drain the olives and cut into quarters.

Preheat oven to gas mark 6 / 200 degrees C.


Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan. Add onions and pepper and cook for around 15 minutes on a medium heat. Add garlic, courgettes and thyme and cook for a further 5 – 7 minutes, covering if it starts to dry out.

Lay the flatbread dough on a lightly oiled baking sheet.

Brush pastry base with small amount of oil and top with roasted veg and olives. Crumble over feta.
Finally add tomatoes cut side up, top with thyme and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper.

Place into the oven for 15 mins, lower the heat to 180 degrees for the final 10 minutes until feta has melted and is starting to brown. Drizzle with a little chilli oil to serve if you wish.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)   451.3

Carbohydrate (g)   58.4

Fat (g)   18.5

Fibre (g)   3.7

Fruit & Veg   1.8

Protein (g)   12.3

Chicken, leek and mushroom pie – 477 calories per portion

1 (4)Pastry… pie….. mmmmmm.  This for me is something of a rare treat.  If you look at most shop bought pies, the calories are usually over 500 calories, often more like 800 or so.

We’re on a bit of a mission to clear the freezer at the moment, and there seems to be rather a stockpile of frozen ready-prepared pastry.

So I set about making a pie.  Using my newly discovered Musclefood Premium Chicken breasts (a whopping 250g each – would love to see one of the chickens that belongs to!) I found and adapted a recipe for a Chicken, leek and mushroom pie.

I also got to use up a tin of cream of mushroom soup that has been languishing in my tins cupboard for a couple of years!

This recipe made two very generous sized pies of two portions, to one for tonight and the other is in the freezer… Oh yes – we are supposed to be emptying the freezer……

If you are wondering about the odd amount of pastry, I used a pack of 340g…. but threw away the offcuts.  One way to save 100 calories!

Chicken, leek and mushroom pie – 477 calories

Preparation Time:    15 mins

Cooking Time:    30 mins

Serves:    4

Calories per serving:    477.4



Pastry, Puff, Ready Roll Sheets                           –   232g

Chicken, Breast, Fillet                                         –   500g

Olive Oil                                                             –   1½ Tbsps/22.5ml

Eggs, Medium (for glazing pastry)                        –   ½ Egg/28g

Rosemary, Fresh                                                –   1½ Tsps/1.05g

Cream of Mushroom Soup                                  –   1 Can/400g

Leeks                                                                 –   185g

Mushrooms, Chestnut                                         –   170g

Garlic, Raw                                                         –   1 Clove/3g

Preparation: Cut the chicken into bite sized pieces. Peel and crush the garlic clove. Chop the fresh rosemary. Quarter the mushrooms (or cut into smaller chunks if large). Wash, trim and finely slice the leeks. Break the egg into a mug or small bowl and whisk.


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C, fan 180 degrees C, gas 6. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan. Add the chicken and cook quickly over a medium heat until sealed and browned. Place into a bowl and set aside.

Add the remainder of the oil to the same pan over a medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic, cook gently for 5 minutes.

Stir in the mushrooms and rosemary and cook for a further 5 – 7 minutes.

Add the soup and chicken pieces. Season with black pepper, then simmer for 5-10 minutes. Pour into a 1.5-litre pie dish (or two smaller ones to make 2 x pies for 2 people).

Brush a little water along the edge of the pie dish. Unroll the pastry over the dish(es), trim off the excess and press to seal the edges. Make a small slit in the centre, place on a baking tray and brush the top with beaten egg. Bake for 30 minutes until golden.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)     477.4

Carbohydrate (g)   28.8

Fat (g)   24.6

Fibre (g)   2.6

Fruit & Veg    1.3

Protein (g)     34.2

1 (5)
Potatoes boiled, 95g (72 cals), butter, 3g (22 cals) peas, 100g (83 cals), carrots, 100g (38 cals) and PIE (477 cals) 🙂

Courgette and Lemon Cake – 187 calories a slice

IMG_1818It’s a Bank Holiday weekend and it’s raining (of course…) but I’m inside in the dry and (relative) warm.  It’s a bake a cake kind of a day and what better way to use up a couple of jumbo courgettes….

Courgette and Lemon Cake

Preparation Time:   10 mins

Cooking Time:  1 hr

Serves:   12

Calories per serving:   187.5


Courgette, Raw, coarsely grated –   200g

Butter, Salted  –   125g

Caster Sugar  –   150g

Eggs, Free Range, Medium – 1 Egg/58g

Lemon Juice & zest – ½ Lemon/17.75ml

Wholemeal Flour, Plain – 200g

Salt – ½ Tsp/2.5g

Baking Powder – ½ Tsp/1g

Bicarbonate of Soda – ½ Tsp/1g


Preheat the oven to 170 C / Gas 3. Line a loaf tin with greaseproof paper.

In a bowl, combine the courgette, melted butter, sugar, egg and lemon. Sift in the flour, salt and add the bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Mix well. Pour into the prepared loaf tin.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes until golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes to cool.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)   187.5

Carbohydrate (g)   23.2

Fat (g)   9.3

Fibre (g)   1.7

Fruit & Veg   0.2

Protein (g)   3.1


Crunchy carrot and seed flapjacks – 161 calories

IMG_1753Husbands turn in the kitchen today. He was in charge of making one of his favourite snacks – flapjacks! This recipe has a healthy ingredient – carrot!

Crunchy carrot and seed flapjacks – 161 calories

Preparation Time: 10 mins

Cooking Time: 15 mins

Serves: 24

Calories per serving: 161.2


Butter – 175g

Demerara Sugar – 150g

Golden Syrup – 45g

Black Treacle – 30g

Carrots, Raw – 225g

Rolled Porridge Oats – 350g

Mixed Seeds (sunflower, pumpkin, linseed, sesame seed) – 70g – I bought a small “snack sized” punnet of these in Aldi.


Peel and coarsely grate the carrot.

Preheat the oven to 200C (fan 180C, 400F or gas mark 6). In a large pan, melt the butter, sugar, syrup and treacle together, stirring until melted and smooth.

Remove from the heat and stir in the carrots, oats and seeds; stir well until thoroughly mixed. Tip into a 30 x 20cm (12 x 8in) tin and bake in the centre of the oven for 15 mins.

The flapjack is done when it is lightly golden around the edges. Remove the tin from the oven. Whilst still hot make into 20 squares, then leave to cool. When cold, remove from the tin and cut into the squares.

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Once cool, can be frozen and stored for up to three months (if they last that long!)

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 161.2

Carbohydrate (g) 18.3

Fat (g) 8.5

Fibre (g) 2.3

Fruit & Veg 0.1

Protein (g) 2.5

IMG_1756 (1)


Rosemary chicken with orange glaze – 228 calories

IMG_1758 2 (1)Oh my! This recipe was really tasty and quite different to what we’d usually do with a chicken breast. I ordered “large premium” chicken breasts from a Muscle Food. These chicken breasts are 225g each! That’s way too much for us, so we made this meal using two of the chicken breasts, shared one between us and have frozen the other to share another day.

It would make a super dinner party meal!

Rosemary chicken with orange glaze – 228 calories

Preparation Time: 5 mins

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Serves: 4

Calories per serving: 228.1


Chicken, Breast, boneless x 4 (at around 100g each) – 455g

Orange Juice, Freshly Squeezed – 100ml

White Wine, Dry – 100ml

Maple Syrup – 65g

Rosemary, Fresh – 2 Tsps/1.4g

Butter, Fresh – 10g

Olive Oil – 1 Tbsp/15ml


Bring orange juice and wine to the boil in a small saucepan.

Reduce heat slightly, but keep high enough to continue low boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Stir in maple syrup (or honey) and continue boiling for another 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently, until glossy and just slightly thickened. Set aside.

In a small bowl mix together the chopped rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub mixture on both sides of chicken breasts, and set aside.

Melt butter and olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add chicken breasts, cover and saute for about 5 minutes on each side until lightly browned.

Pour orange-syrup mixture over chicken. Reduce heat to simmer; cover and let cook for another 10 minutes, basting occasionally, until chicken is cooked through and sauce has turned into a rich, thick glaze.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 228.1

Carbohydrate (g) 14.2

Fat (g) 6.1

Fibre (g) 0.2

Fruit & Veg 0.1

Protein (g) 25.2

Alcohol 2.3


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