Blackberry & Apple Flapjack Crumble – 376 calories

Choosing to eat healthily doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to cut out all sweet treats.  When it’s cold and dreary outside, there’s nothing better than a hot home made dessert and crumbles have to be up there in the top 5!

This one comes with a difference – the topping is based on a flapjack mixture using oats and golden syrup.  The end result is a lovely chewy topping.

High in calories, but I only need half a portion to hit the spot.

This uses tinned apples as they were in my cupboard, but fresh apples would work just as well.

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Apple & Blackberry Flapjack Topped Crumble – 376 calories

Preparation Time:       10

Cooking Time:            25 mins

Serves:                         4

Calories per serving:   376

Ingredients

Breakfast Cereal, Porridge Oats                                –   70g

Flour, Plain                                                                   –   50g

Butter, Salted                                                              –   55g

Syrup, Golden                                                             –   1½ Tbsps/30g

Cinnamon, Ground                                                     –   ½ Tsp/1.5g

Apples, Granny Smith, Canned, Slices                    –   1 Can/392g

Blackberries, Fresh, Raw                                           –   200g

Sugar, Brown, Soft, Light                                          –   100g

 

Method

STEP 1
Heat oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Place the tinned apple slices and blackberries on the base of a shallow oven proof dish and sprinkle over 30g of the light brown sugar (the remainder goes into the topping).

STEP 2
Mix the oats, flour and cinnamon in a large bowl. Add the butter in small chunks and rub in gently. Stir in the remaining 30g of sugar and rub in again.  If easier, you can melt the butter in the microwave and stir through the dry mixture.

Drizzle over the syrup, mixing with a knife so it forms small clumps.

Sprinkle evenly over the apples and bake for 25-30 mins until the juices from the apples start to bubble up.

Cool for 10 mins (this stage is essential to achieve a lovely chewy texture), then serve with custard, cream or ice cream.  Or as I have done, with creme fraiche.

 

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)          376

Protein (g)                4.9

Carbohydrate (g)     59.0

Fat (g)                      12.5

Fibre (g)                   5.9

Fruit & Veg               2.0

Crispy Chilli Beef – 351 calories

This is a simple and delicious recipe using mostly store cupboard items.  Be warned that there is a lot of spitting oil in the frying stage, so protective apron, gloves and goggles might be wise at this stage of the cooking!

This only takes a few minutes to make, as long as you gather the various ingredients together in advance.

Definitely a meal we’ll be enjoying again!

If you’ve got any questions or spot any errors or omissions in my recipes, please do let me know!  If you try it, I’d love your feedback.

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Crispy Chilli Beef, 351 calories

Preparation Time:       15

Cooking Time:            10 mins

Serves:                         3

Calories per serving:   351

 

Beef Steak                                                             –  250g

Eggs, Medium                                                       –  1 Egg/54g

Cornflour                                                               –  2 Tbsps/30g

Salt                                                                        –  ¼ Tsp/1.25g

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

Oil, Olive                                                               –  2½ Tbsps/37.5ml

Red Chilli Peppers                                               –  ¾ Med/33.75g

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

Vinegar, Rice Wine                                              –  1 Tbsp/15ml

Tomato Puree                                                      –  1½ Tbsps/22.5g

Sugar, Caster                                                      –  1 Tbsp/12g

Ketchup, Tomato                                                 –  2 Tbsps/30g

Sweet Chilli Sauce                                              –  20g

Peppers, Red, Raw                                             –  1 Med/160g

Onions, Spring, Raw                                           –  6 Med/90g

Sauce, Soy, Dark                                                –  2 Tbsps/30g

Method

De-seed and cut the pepper into long strips. Cut the spring onion into bite sized pieces at an angle.
Finely chop the chilli pepper.

Place the steak strips in a bowl and add the egg. Mix together to thoroughly coat the steak in the egg.
Add the 2tbsp cornflour, quarter tsp each of salt and pepper.

Toss together to coat the steak. It will be a sticky mixture.

Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large frying pan or wok over a high heat until very hot.

You will probably need to work in two batches, so when the oil is hot, add in half the beef – a strip at a time – and spread it out.

Fry the steak until dark brown and crispy. Try not to move the meat around too much as this reduces the amount of crispiness you get. It generally takes about 5 or 6 minutes to crisp up the beef, with about 3 or 4 stirs during that time.

Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the beef from the pan and place in a bowl lined with kitchen roll to soak up excess fat.

Add a further tablespoon of oil and repeat – cooking the second batch of beef and then placing in the bowl with the first batch.

Once you’ve removed all the beef from the pan, add the remaining half tbsp of oil to the pan and turn the heat down to medium.

Add in the red pepper and cook for 2 minutes until slightly softened.

Add in the spring onions, finely chopped chilli, minced ginger garlic and cook whilst stirring for 30 seconds.

Add the 1 tbsp rice vinegar, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1.5 tbsp tomato puree, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp tomato ketchup and the sweet chilli sauce to the pan.

Turn up the heat and let it bubble for a couple of minutes until the sauce starts to reduce a little.

Add the beef back in, give it a stir and heat through for 1-2 minutes until the beef is hot.

Serve with rice or noodles.

 

 

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)          351

Protein (g)                23.8

Carbohydrate (g)     27.8

Fat (g)                       16.3

Fibre (g)                      1.7

Fruit & Veg                 1.2

Cauliflower and Cashew Macaroni Bake – 385 calories

I was inspired to make this when I received a link to a vegan version of the recipe via a website I subscribe to – www.mob.co.uk

I love that so many of the recipes are low cost and use store cupboard ingredients – however, their quantities are usually HUGE and they’re not particularly focussed on healthy foods or weight loss.  They do have a section on Healthy Recipes and also many excellent “fakeaway” recipes which I often drool over!

I’m trying to introduce more vegetarian and vegan foods into my meal planning and to generally cut down on meat consumption. Something we should all be making an effort to do.

This recipe is a take on macaroni cheese but the creamy sauce is made by roasting and pureeing cauliflower and almonds with milk – the result is rather delicious!  However, I was unable to resist the temptation of adding some cheese – as cauliflower cheese is one of my all time favourite meals.

So this is my version of the Mob recipe:

Cauliflower and Cashew Macaroni Bake – 385 calories

Ingredients:

Cauliflower                                                 –  260g

Carrots, peeled                                         –  100g

Cashew Nuts, Plain, Average                  –  50g

Milk, Whole                                               –  300ml

Garlic                                                         –  1 whole bulb

Breadcrumbs, Panko                               –  50g

Thyme, Dried                                            –  1 Tsp/1g

Rosemary, Dried                                       –  1 Tsp/1g

Parsley, Fresh, chopped                          –  1 Tbsp/3.8g

Macaroni                                                    –  225g

Olive Oil                                                     –  4 Tsps/20ml

Cheese, Cheddar, Mature                       –  50g

Salt, Average                                            –  ¼ Tsp/1g

Pepper, Black, Freshly Ground                    –  ½ Tsp/1g

 

Preparation:  Grate the cheese.

Method:

Step 1.
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Step 2.
Chunk up the cauliflower and dice the carrots. Toss with salt and a dash of oil and spread out onto a tray.

Step 3.
Roast the cauliflower and carrots at 220°C until tender, this will take roughly 25 mins. Roast the garlic in foil with salt and 1 tsp of olive oil for 25 mins until tender (this can be done alongside the vegetable roasting).

Step 4.
Reduce the oven temperature to 200°C.

Step 5.
Briefly toast the cashews in the oven in an oven proof dish or on a piece of foil. Once toasted, transfer to a blender jug and pour over 500ml of warmed milk. Add the roasted cauliflower and carrots and one of the cloves of garlic (popped out of its skin) blend until super smooth.

Step 6.
Season the creamy sauce with salt and pepper and set aside. Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skin and save some of the oil.

Step 7.
Toast the breadcrumbs in some of the garlicky oil. Finely chop the thyme, rosemary and parsley and toss through the breadcrumbs.  Pop the rest of the garlic cloves out of their skins, roughly chop and stir into breadcrumb mixture.

Step 8.
Cook the pasta for a couple of minutes less than the pack instructs. Stir through the sauce with a splash of pasta water (if required). You want it a bit wetter than you think. Add the grated cheese and gently stir through. Pour into an oven proof dish and top with the herby breadcrumbs.

Step 9.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until bubbling and golden. Serve with a fresh, zingy green salad or green vegetables.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)       384.6

Protein (g)                14.8

Carbohydrate (g)    36.7

Fat (g)                       19.8

Fibre (g)                     3.2

Fruit & Veg                 1.3

 

Easy tomato and lentil soup – 110 calories per 300g

Soup is great in so many respects – cheap and easy to make, a good use of left-overs and warm and filling for those colder days.  A mugful after a walk in the rain, a bowlful with a buttered roll for lunch or a late night low-calorie snack.  Of course, a great way to get your veggies too!

I added a dollop of soured cream to this, but made a large batch which I’ve frozen in freezer bags to enjoy in the weeks / months to come!

Easy tomato and lentil soup – 110 calories per 300g serving

Preparation Time:       30 mins

Cooking Time:            1 hr

Serves:                        6

Calories per serving:  110

Ingredients:

Olive Oil, Extra Virgin                                              15ml

Carrot, Whole, Raw, Peeled                                    85g

Onions, Red                                                              85g

Celery, Raw, Trimmed                                              75g

Garlic, Raw                                                                3 Cloves

Knorr Vegetable Stock Pot                                      1 pot / 33g

Water, Tap                                                                 1000ml

Tomatoes, Tinned, Chopped                                   2 tins / 800g

Lentils, Red, Split, Dried                                          65g

Worcestershire Sauce, Lea & Perrins                    1 Tbsp/15ml

Preparation:

Peel the onion. Peel the carrots. Wash and trim the celery. Finely dice the carrot and celery. Finely chop the onion.

Method: 

Place the oil into a large lidded saucepan and heat over a medium heat, Add the onions, celery and carrot and cook until softened (about 15 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the tinned tomatoes, stock pot, water and red lentils and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower heat and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.

Add the Lea & Perrins sauce, stir through.  Serve topped with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

This soup is best liquidised, but a stick blender will also work well.

Add a dollop of creme fraiche or soured cream for your very own cream of tomato soup!

Three Bean Salad – 160 calories

Attempting to introduce more beans and pulses into my diet, and using up some of my staple store cupboard ingredients, I came up with this delicious three bean salad!

Beautifully refreshing and very versatile – alongside a regular salad, in a wrap…. what’s not to like!  As well as being super healthy, it’s filling and fairly low in calories.  Colourful, crisp and flavoursome.  Quick to assemble!


Three bean salad

Preparation time:              20 mins

Cooking time:                    N/A

Serves:                                6

Calories per serving:          160

 

Ingredients:

Black Beans, canned – drained                               234g

Chick Peas, canned – drained                                 177g

Cannellini Beans, canned – drained                        147g

Garlic, peeled                                                             2 cloves

Half a small red onion                                               26g

Vine tomato                                                               130g

Chunk of cucumber                                                  55g

Radish, trimmed x 4                                                 40g

Red lady apple, quarter                                           30g

Celery stick, trimmed                                              35g

Red pepper, quarter                                                40g

Fresh coriander, chopped                                       20g

Kalamata olives, 6 x pitted and chopped

 

Dressing

Lime juice                                                                2 tbsps/30ml

Virgin Olive oil                                                         2 tbsps/30ml

Wholegrain mustard                                               2 tsps/10g

 

Method

Drain and rinse the beans. Remove skins from chickpeas if desired.

Skin/trim and then finely chop the red onion, garlic, tomato, cucumber, red pepper, radish, celery, olives, apple.

Mix together the chopped vegetables and the beans.

Finely chop the coriander.

Pour over the oil, lime juice and add the mustard. Stir to combined. Sprinkle with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.

 

 

Marinated Red Cabbage Slaw – 145 calories

Marinated Red Cabbage Slaw

There’s nothing I love more than a plate full of colour, flavour and texture and this red cabbage slaw will add just that!

Marinated Red Cabbage Slaw

Preparation Time:   3 hrs 30 mins (includes 3 hours marinating)

Cooking Time:   N/A

Serves:  8

Calories per serving:  145.2

Ingredients

Red Cabbage                           –  335g

Red Onions                              –  60g

Extra Virgin Oil                         –  20ml

Balsamic Vinegar                     –  20ml

Caster Sugar                            –  2 Tsps/10g

Raisins                                      –  55g

Carrots                                      –  150g

Walnuts                                     –  90g

Fresh Parsley                           –  6 Tbsps/22.8g

Fresh Mint                                –  6 Tbsps/9.6g

Method

Roughly chop the walnuts and toast in a frying pan, being careful not to burn. Roughly chop the fresh parsley and mint.

Peel and finely slice the carrots, finely slice the red cabbage and onion.

Combine the oil, vinegar and sugar.

Combine the raw vegetables, pour over the dressing, mix through and chill in the fridge for 3 hours.

When ready to serve, add walnuts, mint and parsley. Season and toss to combine.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)  145.2

Protein (g)  3.0

Carbohydrate (g)  1.8

Fat (g)  9.8

Fibre (g)  2.3

Fruit & Veg  1.1

Red slaw alongside a cashew and chestnut nut roast and Brussel sprouts.

Prawn & Rose Harissa Spaghetti – 438 calories

This was a super-quick and filling meal, made using store cupboard ingredients.  I’m not a huge fan of basil pesto, but this rose harissa pesto was absolutely delicious and added a nice spicy kick to the dish.

Preparation time:      10 minutes

Cooking Time:           20 minutes

Serves:                        2

Calories per portion:  438 calories

IngredientsOlive Oil  – 1 Tbsp/15ml

Garlic, Raw  – 2 Cloves/6g

Cherry Tomatoes      – 150g

Chestnut Mushrooms    – 125g

Lemon zest from one lemon   – 4g

Courgette, (julienned, discard the seeded core)   – 1 very large/224g

Dried Chilli Pepper Flakes   – ½ Tsp/1.5g

Baby Leaf Spinach – 1 Serving/90g

Spaghetti, Whole Wheat, Dry Weight – 140g

Cooked Jumbo King Prawns   – 150g

Harissa Paste, Rose, Belazu    – 20g


Method

Preparation: Zest the lemon. Peel the garlic and finely chop. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Wipe the mushrooms and cut into chunks.  Julienne the courgette to make “courgetti” strands.

STEP 1
Cook the pasta following pack instructions, then drain, reserving a ladleful of cooking water.

STEP 2
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the courgette strands, mushrooms and tomatoes to the pan and fry over a medium heat for 5 mins, or until beginning to soften and turn juicy. Add the garlic clove and stir for a further 2/3 minutes

STEP 3
Stir through the prawns to heat through for about 2 mins. Add the harissa, lemon zest and spinach stirring to coat and allowing the spinach to wilt.

STEP 4
Add the cooked spaghetti and pasta water to the prawns, spinach and courgette mixture. Stir thoroughly to combine, season to taste and serve.


Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)        437.8
Protein (g)                24.5
Carbohydrate (g)     53.0
Fat (g)                        13.8
Fibre (g)                     11.3
Fruit & Veg                  4.0

 

Far too long…

It has been far too long since I last posted here to my Blog. No excuses really!

Life goes on…. my weight loss journey continues.  My exercise regime is unchanged.

Interestingly, I managed to lose about a stone during 2020, but then managed to gain about 10lb during 2021!  A few sneaky extra treats sneaked in here and there can completely sabotage ones weekly weight loss progress.

Whilst many people struggled with the tedium of lockdowns, I seized the opportunity to exercise every day (for up to two hours) which gave me plenty of wiggle room and a few additional calories to enjoy.

Thankfully, my health has remained excellent and (hoping not to tempt fate here) I have avoided contracting Covid – although many of those around me have not been as fortunate.

Not having holidays and social events also helped – however careful and mindful I am, a few days away from home can wreak havoc with my weight.

Slowly life is returning to “normal” and my diary is beginning to look a little more exciting.

I’m determined to post a little more frequently and share some of the meals that I cook which help to keep me on track.

Sirloin steak stir fry. No need for noodles or rice!
Pan fried sea bass fillet with sun dried tomato and basil quinoa & rice, roasted fennel, tender stem brocolli and a little buffalo Mozzarella cheese.
My quick and easy aubergine Parmigiana with stir fried cabbage and leek, Mexican rice and soured cream  https://flidfit.com/2019/08/09/speedy-aubergine-parmigiana-412-calories/
Eating in the garden, turkey meatballs with a pomodoro, & chianti pasta sauce, griddled courgette, wholewheat spaghetti and grated cheese.
Mushroom Stroganoff with brown rice, roasted butternut squash, green beans and fresh coriander.

 

Living in the moment….

Living in the moment – a critical part of emotional well being.  Especially important at the present time as we slowly inch out of the Covid-19 pandemic to spend time each day and each week to find those little things that bring happiness and comfort.

Yesterday was a day for enjoying the sunshine.  It started with my second AstraZeneca vaccine injection.  Thankfully, apart from a small amount of localised pain in the injection site, it was absolutely fine.  I had the vaccine at my doctors surgery which is about 8 doors away from my home.  Grateful that I could travel there in my wheelchair, as parking always looks a bit of a nightmare!

A day laying in the sunshine with my Kindle and reading “Jonathan Livingston Seagull: A Story” by Richard Bach. The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself and learns everything he can about flying. His increasing unwillingness to conform finally results in his expulsion from the flock. Now an outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities while leading a peaceful and happy life.

Just the sort of story to remind you to do the things that are important to you and bring happiness.

Stopping and remaining still to read a book is something I rarely do – in fact, it’s usually only an activity I enjoy when I am on holiday.  But if reading a book means I sit still for more than 30 minutes (and NOT in front of a computer screen…) then that can only be a good thing.

My day continued with a quick and easy meal – chicken cooked in a leek, mushroom and creamy mustard sauce (with an added dash of sherry).  A ready-cooked pouch of rice, quickly warmed and a side of steamed tender stem broccoli.  Rosé wine a fine accompaniment!

As the sun began to set, my day ended enjoying the warmth, smell and sight of the fire pit…

Chicken in a creamy mustard sauce – 312 calories

These quantities provide two very generous portion sizes. 

Preparation/cooking time, about 20 – 30 minutes.

100ml Creme Fraiche, Half Fat

1 Tsp/5g Mustard, Dijon

1 Tsp/5g Mustard, Wholegrain

6ml Oil, Olive

2 Cloves/6g Garlic, Raw

1 Shot/50ml Sherry, Dry

1 Tsp /2g Tarragon, Dried (or half a tablespoon of fresh tarragon, roughly chopped)

100g Mushrooms, Chestnut

230g Chicken, Cooked, Sliced

150g Leeks

Preparation:  Peel and finely dice the garlic. Finely slice the leek into strips and wash thoroughly removing all dirt and grit. Wipe the mushrooms and cut into quarters.

Method:  Heat the oil in an ovenproof pan. Fry the leeks over a medium heat until softened and cooked – do not allow to brown. Add the garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook for 2 minutes.

Add the chicken, continue to cook for 2 minutes. Add the sherry and stir until alcohol has evaporated.

Add the creme fraiche, tarragon and mustards to the pan, stirring to combine everything. Bring to a simmer until the chicken is heated through and sauce bubbling.

Great with green beans, broccoli, any other vegetables and rice.

 

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)    312.0

Protein (g)  32.1

Carbohydrate (g)  9.5

Fat (g)  13.5

Fibre (g)  4.2

Fruit & Veg  1.7

Alcohol  3.5

Butternut, bacon and onion roast – 313 calories

Served with firecracker rice, tender stem broccoli and a generous dollop of soured cream

Sometimes I just go with whatever is in the fridge that needs using up and today it was butternut squash and bacon.

I went with instinct and have to say the end result was rather delicious!

Preparation Time:   15 mins

Cooking Time:   1 hr

Serves:   2

Calories per serving:   313

Ingredients

Olive Oil   –   20ml

Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes  –   500g

Red Onions, half, cut into slices  –   90g

Bacon, Streaky, Smoked cut into bite sized pieces  –   87g

Sumac, Ground  –   ½ Tsp/1g

Ras El Hanout seasoning  –   ½ Tsp/1g

Garlic  –   2 Cloves/6g

Thyme, Dried   –   ½ Tsp/0.5g

Preparation:

Peel and chop the butternut into 3cm cubes. Place the olive oil in a large roasting tin and place into a preheated oven (200 degrees). Peel and chop the onion into slices. Cut the bacon into bite sized pieces. Peel and finely dice the garlic.

Method:

Once the oil is heated, place the butternut squash into the roasting dish, stir to thoroughly coat in the oil and sprinkle with the sumac and ras el hanout seasoning. Cook for 20 mins.

Add the red onion, stir thoroughly and continue to cook for a further 14 minutes.

Add the garlic and bacon pieces and stir to combine. Sprinkle with the thyme.

Cook for a final 15 minutes.

Serve with rice, a dollop of creme fraiche and any other vegetable of your choice. I like mine with tender stem broccoli!

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)  313

Protein (g)  10.9

Carbohydrate (g)  21.8

Fat (g)  20.8

Fibre (g)  4.3

Fruit & Veg  3.4