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

Three cheese spinach and mushroom crustless quiche – 390 calories

Why haven’t I made a crustless quiche before now?  Only one pan and a bowl, easy and quick to make, no making and rolling of pastry and full of yummy flavours.  It’s a complete meal (but I’ll be having mine with some veggies on the side…)

Three cheese, spinach and mushroom quiche.

Preparation Time:   10 mins

Cooking Time:   30 mins

Serves:   4

Calories per serving:   390

 

Ingredients

Onions, Raw                                    –      120g

Babyleaf spinach                              –      100g

Coconut Oil, Biona Organic               –      10g

Cheese, Cheddar, Medium                –      90g

Cheese, Cave Aged Goats                –      85g

Cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano          –      25g

Double Cream,                                 –      40ml

Chestnut Mushrooms                        –      25g

Medium Free Range Eggs                 –      6

Method

Peel and dice onion, wipe and slice mushrooms. Grate or chop cheeses into small cubes. Cook the spinach leaves (without water) for 2 minutes covered in the microwave on full power.

In a large frying pan, melt the coconut oil over a medium heat, fry onion and mushrooms in oil until tender.

Crack the eggs into a large bowl, add the cream and whisk gently with a hand whisk until combined. Add salt and pepper if required.

Add the spinach and grated cheese to the egg mixture and combine.

Pour the mixture into a greased 9-in. quiche dish. Bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes until a knife inserted in centre comes out clean.

 

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)    390

Protein (g)    22.4

Carbohydrate (g)   3.0

Fat (g)    32.0

Fibre (g)   0.9

Fruit & Veg  0.8

Creamy avocado and lime dressing (Keto)

Studying the list of ingredients on shop-bought salad dressings can be quite revealing and even shocking – especially when it comes to the sugar  content and all of those preservatives.  So many contain a lot of water too…

So have embarked on finding some healthy dressing recipes.  Here’s the first.

Avocado, Flesh Only, Average – 170g

Juice, Lime, Fresh, Average – 40ml

Oil, Olive, Average – 30ml

Water, Mineral Or Tap – 30ml

Garlic, Raw, Average – 1 Clove / 3g

Coriander, Leaves, Fresh, Average – 15g

Cumin, Ground, Average – 0.25 Tsp / 1g

Pepper, Black, Freshly Ground, Average – 0.25 Tsp / 1g

Salt, Rock, Average – 0.25 Tsp / 1g


Method

Place all the ingredients In a food processor or blender.  I used a stick blender with a deep and narrow blending container.

Process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides a few times. Thin the salad dressing out with about the water (give or take) until it reaches a desired consistency.

Keep in an airtight container or jar for 1-2 weeks.

It’s been difficult to work out the nutrition for this, but it’s about 244 calories per 100g / 37 calories per 15g tablespoon.  But given that this dressing is so thick and creamy and full of “good” fats, it’s likely to satiate.  And from a health point of view, very nutritional…

Please do get in touch if there are any dressing recipes you’ve come across that are Keto friendly!

Roasted Chicory Gratin – 123 calories

740D2AFF-A717-4C0A-923C-B660D6C60722_1_201_aChicory can be quite a bitter tasting vegetable, but this recipe perfectly balanced that bitterness by adding the cream  and just a little sugar.

Roasted Chicory Gratin – 123 calories

Preparation Time:       5 minutes

Cooking Time:            25 minutes

Serves:                      4

Calories per serving:   123

Ingredients

Chicory, Fresh, Raw –  2 Heads/300g

Butter, Salted   –  1 Thin Spread/7g

Golden Caster Sugar  –  1 Tsp/5g

Cider Vinegar  –  1 Tbsp/15ml

Breadcrumbs, Natural, Paxo –  20g

Cheese, Parmesan (finely grated) –  2 Tbsps/20g

Creme Fraiche –  40g

Sour Cream –  40g

Method

Fry the chicory cut-side down in a large (lidded) pan with a little butter until they start to brown.

Sprinkle in the sugar, shake the pan and keep cooking as the sugar and butter start to caramelize the chicory.

Add the cider vinegar and turn the chicory over. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes then add a splash of water, put a lid on and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until the chicory is tender.

Spoon into a gratin dish or leave in the pan. Mix together the soured cream and creme fraiche. Drizzle over the chicory, mix breadcrumbs and finely grated Parmesan and sprinkle over chicory.  Lightly brown under a hot grill until the top is bubbling and golden. Rest for 5 minutes.

Nutrition Data Per Serving

Calories (kcal)   122.7

Protein (g)   3.4

Carbohydrate (g)   7.7

Fat (g)   8.7

Fruit & Veg   1.0

Fibre (g)   0.8

DB0DA0E5-E337-468B-9DA1-CC2511F843F8