Green spaghetti sauce – 400 calories

IMG_1605Green spaghetti sauce – 400 calories

This fresh and flavoursome sauce has a real zing – with the addition of the mint, chilli and lemon. Quick and easy to prepare and a really stunning bright green colour!

Preparation Time: 10

Cooking Time: 20

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 400

Ingredients

Peas, Garden, Frozen – 125g

Broad Beans, Baby, Frozen – 50g

Oil, Olive, Average – 10ml

Leeks, Raw, Trimmed – 100g

Dried Chilli Peppers, Flakes – 1 Tsp/3g

Ricotta Cheese – 75g

Parmesan Cheese – 30g

Juice & zest of lemon – ½ lemon

Spaghetti, Whole Wheat, Dry – 100g

Mint, Fresh (finely chopped) – 2 Tbsp/3.2g

Method

STEP 1

Put the peas and broad beans into a bowl and pour over a kettle of boiling water. Leave for 1 minute, drain, and pod the broad beans.  This may seem a bit laborious, but the inside of the beans should pop out easily with a squeeze!

Take about half of the peas and blend in a food processor or with a hand blender with 1 tbsp of water until smooth.

IMG_1600STEP 2

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the leek with some seasoning for 8-10 minutes until soft. Stir in the chilli flakes, broad beans and remaining peas, and fry for 2 minutes. Cool slightly and put into a bowl with the pea puree, ricotta, parmesan, lemon zest and juice and some seasoning, and mix well.

IMG_1602STEP 3

Cook the pasta following pack instructions, reserving some cooking water.

STEP 4

Tip the pasta back into the pan and add the pea and leek mix, and a splash of the cooking water. Mix well and serve with the mint and more parmesan, if you like.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 400

Protein (g) 22.9

Carbohydrate (g) 42.9

Fat (g) 14.8

Fruit & Veg 2.0

Fibre (g) 10.0

 

Sticky Miso Aubergines – 125 calories

IMG_1588You may spot from the pictures that I forgot to add the sliced spring onions!

Preparation Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 50 mins

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 124.8

Ingredients

1 x Aubergine, Raw – 300g

Toasted Sesame Oil – 1 Tbsp/15g

Soup, Miso, Paste, Sachets – 1 Sachet/18g

Spring Onions – 4 Servings/16g

Honey, Clear – 15g

Method

Heat the oven to 180ºC/356ºF.

Put the sachet of miso paste, 1 tablespoon of honey and table spoon of sesame oil into a bowl. Add a small cup of warm water so the mixture is loose, and mix together.

Halve the aubergine length wise. Score the aubergine flesh, so you end up with diamond cuts across it.

Place aubergines into the dish, cut side up. Pour marinade over aubergines, leave to marinate for 15 minutes.

Turn aubergines over (cut-side flat onto dish).  Cover baking tray with tin foil, and place into the oven for 45 minutes.

N.B. If the aubergines aren’t sticky at the end of the stated cooking time (different ovens cook at different speeds), just pour out any excess liquid in the tray and place back into the oven, without foil, for 5-10 minutes. The marinade will then go sticky on the underside of the aubergines.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 124.8

Protein (g) 2.1

Carbohydrate (g) 11.0

Fat (g) 8.5

Fruit & Veg 2.0

Fibre (g) 3.0

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Crispy Sesame Beef Stir Fry – 476 calories

IMG_1568Saturday Night Fakeaway :-) Didn’t even need to wait for the delivery man!

Crispy Sesame Beef Stir Fry – 476 calories

Preparation Time: 10

Cooking Time: 10

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 476.7

Ingredients

Beef, Rump – 2 Servings/200g

Red Chilli Peppers – ½ Med/22.5g

Sesame Oil – 2 Tsps/10ml

Soy Sauce – 2 Tbsps/30g

Spices, Ginger, & Garlic, Cubes – 1 Serving/20g

Cornflour – 1½ Tbsps/22.5g

Sunflower Oil – 2 Tbsps/30ml

Red Peppers – 1 Med/119g

Green Peppers – 1 Med/160g

Clear Runny Honey – 1 Serving/15g

Cornflour – 1 Tsp/5g

Method

Cut the beef into strips and place in a bowl. Add 1.5 teaspoons of sesame oil and one tablespoon of soy sauce. Mix together and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.

Add 1.5 tablespoons of cornflour to the beef. Mix it in until each strip is coated.

Add the sunflower oil to a wok. Heat over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, throw in your beef. Do this in batches if you have a small wok – you want each strip to be in full contact with the oil to ensure extra crispiness.

Once your beef is brown and crispy, remove from the heat and set aside on some kitchen paper.

Remove any remaining sunflower oil from the wok and place the wok back on the heat. Add half a tablespoon of sesame oil. Throw in your sliced peppers. Allow to soften for 3-4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic paste, a tablespoon of soy sauce and the sliced red chilli. Cook for 3 more minutes.

Add the crispy beef to the wok and a heaped tablespoon of runny honey. Mix everything together. Add a tablespoon more soy sauce and a small glass of cornflour slurry. (To make the slurry, mix a heaped teaspoon of cornflour in a small glass of water until it resembles a slurry like liquid.)

Mix everything together, cook for 1 more minute and remove from the heat.

Serve the beef on top of some jasmine or basmati rice. Enjoy!

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 476.7

Protein (g) 23.1

Carbohydrate (g) 29.4

Fat (g) 30.2

Fruit & Veg 1.8

Fibre (g) 2.7

Mediterranean Vegetable Tray Bake with torn ciabatta and a fresh basil dressing – 460 calories

IMG_1561Once again, I’ve been drooling over the website I discovered recently: http://www.mobkitchen.co.uk – lots and lots of healthy recipes including lots of vegetarian and vegan (which I’m not, but try to eat meat free as far as possible.

This was my latest trial: http://www.mobkitchen.co.uk/recipes/mediterranean-traybake

An amazing and delicious combination of zingy fresh herby flavours to compliment the sweetness of the roasted vegetables – and hunks of bread to soak up all the juicy goodness of the dressing and the vegetable infused olive oil.

Mediterranean Vegetable Tray Bake with torn ciabatta – 460 calories

Preparation Time:10

Cooking Time: 45/50 minutes

Serves: 2

Calories per serving: 416.2 (then dressing, see below, 44 calories)

Ingredients

Asparagus, Raw – 100g

Onions, Red – 204g

Artichoke, Hearts, Sliced with Extra Virgin Olive Oil – 80g

Bread, Ciabatta – 100g

Tomatoes, Cherry, on the Vine – 135g

Olives, Kalamata, Pitted – 50g

Garlic, Raw – 3 Cloves/9g

Chilli, Dried, Flakes – 1 Tsp/3g

Olive Oil – 25ml

Peppers, Red, Raw – 220g

Method

Preheat your oven to 180°C.

De-seed and chop peppers into bite sized chunks. Peel the garlic cloves and leave whole. Break off the ends of the asparagus stems. Peel and chop onions into wedges.

Place all the vegetables (keeping back the olives, garlic and tomatoes) into a baking tray. Season with a pinch of salt and a good grinding of pepper. Sprinkle your chilli flakes in. Give the tray a generous drizzle of olive oil and stir it all together. Place into the oven for 15 minutes.

After 15 minutes, add the tomatoes and garlic, stir everything gently and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes.

Add the ciabatta, ton into chunks, stir again and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes.

Dressing Time!

Serves:4

Calories per serving:44.0

Ingredients

Basil, Fresh – 2 Tbsps/10g

Thyme, Fresh – 1 Average Sprig/5g (leaves removed from stems)

Juice, Lemon, Fresh – 1 Lemon/36ml

Olive Oil, Extra Virgin – 20ml

Method

Chop up your basil and thyme (place in a cup and chop with a large pair of kitchen scissors works well!) and add this to a small jar or glass.

Add the juice of a whole lemon and pour in roughly 20ml of extra virgin olive oil. Next, a pinch of salt and pepper and mix everything together.

When the Mediterranean Tray bake is cooked, take it out of the oven and pour the dressing over the top. And that’s it, so simple!

Time to tuck in.

Nutrition Data Per Serving (Dressing)

Calories (kcal) 44.0

Protein (g) 0.1

Carbohydrate (g) 0.5

Fat (g) 4.6

Fruit & Veg 0.2

Fibre (g) 0.0

Nutrition Data Per Serving (Tray Bake)

Calories (kcal) 416.2

Protein (g) 10.5

Carbohydrate (g) 41.6

Fat (g) 23.0

Fruit & Veg 4.8

Fibre (g) 10.5

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Amatriciana N’casciata – 310 calories

Screenshot 2019-06-02 at 18.04.55Today has been an aubergine kind of a day….. preparing food ready for tomorrow whilst things are nice and quiet…

I’m leaving in the link so that you can understand how the dish is made – there is a link to a video here:

I’d never come across Amatriciana N’casciata before…. until I found this amazing website

Whilst it was quite fiddly to make, it was absolutely delicious and well worth the effort. One could easily leave out the bacon lardons and this would be an excellent vegetarian dish. It would make a great and unusual dish for a healthy dinner party.

Amatriciana N’casciata – 310 calories

Preparation Time: 1 hr

Cooking Time: 35 mins

Serves: 4

Calories per serving: 309.5

Ingredients

Rigatoni, Dry – 120g

Cheese, Ricotta – 150g

Onions, Brown – 111g

Garlic, Raw – 1 Clove/3g

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

Peppers, Chilli, Dried, Flakes – ½ Tsp/1.5g

Oil, Olive – 1 Tsp/5ml

Aubergine, Raw – 2 Sm/500g

Cheese, Parmesan – 50g

Bacon, Lardons, Smoked – 75g

Method

Preparation: Peel and dice onion. Peel and finely dice garlic. Removes stalks from aubergines and slice thinly lengthwise (as thin as you are able to) into long thin slices. Finely grate the Parmesan cheese.

Preheat oven to 180°C/356°F

Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat until hot. Grill each slice of aubergine in batches in the griddle pan until charred and soft. If you don’t have a griddle, use a frying pan with NO OIL. Set aubergine slices to one side.

Pasta sauce time. Place bacon lardons into a pan with no oil with the onion. Cook on a medium heat until nice and crispy and onions are soft and golden. Add the chopped garlic cloves and the crushed chillies. Add the mixed herbs. Cook for 30 seconds and pour in the chopped tomatoes. Mix everything in and reduce the sauce down.

While the sauce is reducing, get your pasta on. When the pasta is al dente (not completely cooked) drain it and add to the sauce. Mix it all together and remove from the heat.

Take an oven proof dish (preferably metal). It has to be quite deep. Brush with a teaspoon of olive oil.

Line it with your slices of aubergine. First line the bottom, making sure all the pieces of aubergine overlap. Place them around the edges until all sides are covered.

Spoon in a layer of pasta so it comes up to about a third. Spoon in your ricotta, smoothing it out. Sprinkle with a layer of Parmesan (25g of what you have for this recipe) and then add the rest of the pasta.

Place the remaining aubergine slices over the top so it is covered. Cover with tin foil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the dish from the oven and remove the tin foil. Place it back in the oven for 10 minutes.

Place a plate on top of the dish, flip it and ease the tin off the pasta cake. Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan. Slice it up like a cake and tuck in!

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal) 309.5

Protein (g) 18.2

Carbohydrate (g) 30.4

Fat (g) 12.7

Fruit & Veg 3.0

Fibre (g) 4.8

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Lifetime changes for a long life

I started my journey to lose weight and be as fit as I could for my 50th (2012)!

I’ve used many ways throughout my 7 year membership on the weight loss website I subscribe to, to keep my journey interesting and to learn what works best for me – I am very short (4ft 8″), 56 years old and don’t move very much on account of my disability. I use a wheelchair outside of the house.

One thing that has remained constant throughout is logging everything I eat and weighing out portions. If I have ever stopped doing that for any length of time, the weight starts to creep up again.

I have used 5:2 successfully and done a few rounds of the 8 week Blood Sugar Diet.
I now mostly try to avoid refined carbs (well, limit them!) so rice, pasta, cake, biscuits, pastries and bread (most things containing flour). I eat them occasionally (about once/twice a week, always small portions – 50g dry weight (rice/pasta), always wholewheat and ALWAYS measured). I try to eat alternatives – which on the whole, I now prefer!

I bulk out my meals with lots of vegetables – eat about 4-7 portions a day (home made soup or a salad for lunch, lots of veggies with dinner).

Through choice, I eat just two meals a day, that’s been for the past 2+ years. I eat lunch and dinner. I try to keep my eating to between 12 noon and 6pm. Outside of those times, I do drink tea and coffee and plenty of water. That’s a way that works for me, and I’m happy with this arrangement – not eating breakfast won’t work for everyone though. I used to LOVE breakfast and could never have imagined a few years ago that I’d skip it!

I don’t view exercise as a way to earn additional calories to eat – I use it as a way to remain flexible and independent. I do an hour long stretch and bounce seated routine around 4-7 times a week which lasts around an hour.

I try to do cardio exercise as often as possible, but because of my disability, it’s quite a challenge. For that I walk and run (HIIT) on a special treadmill called an Alter G which is able to support a percentage of my body weight as I walk and run – currently I exercise at 80% of my body weight. I do this for 30 minutes every other week. I’d love to do it weekly, but I need assistance to get into the machine and can only get this support fortnightly.

I keep on going…. as it’s what works for me.

I don’t deny myself anything in terms of food – however, I have changed over the course of my weight loss to eat much more mindfully – considering “Do I really want to eat this?” ahead of eating food that is particularly calorific or not very healthy.

Today I am eating a slice of home made carrot cake that I’ve made – I’ve worked out the calories and I’m going to have a slice as it is DEFINITELY worth it! I’ve sliced and frozen half of the cake (un-iced) in packs of two so that I can enjoy it on other days rather than knowing it’s there and needing to be consumed to stop it going off.

I have reduced the number of times I eat out as it’s impossible for me to stay within my low (1100 calorie) limit by eating out regularly – even if I choose wisely. But to be honest, I am very happy cooking my own meals and eating those, as I know precisely what’s in them – and I love, love LOVE my vegetables.

I rarely get a takeaway (perhaps 1 – 2 times a year – usually at others instigation when I am visiting friends). I used to resent these things, but I now accept and embrace them. I no longer view this as a tortuous journey but more a new way of life

I view my way of eating as keeping myself as healthy as I can in order to minimise the risk of developing middle aged illnesses (diabetes, stroke, heart attack…) and to maintain my mobility and independence.

I don’t judge my success by what others achieve nor do I judge others by the lifestyle they choose – I just try to do the best that I can for myself and in a way that works well for me.

It does help that I have an extremely supportive husband who’s happy to eat the same as I do – even though he doesn’t need to lose weight. He makes sure he does have plenty of little “extras” such as the odd biscuit, doughnut, cheese and crackers, crisps….

I hope this helps other understand that this really is a commitment for life, but it has the ability to change and prolong ones life.

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