Breakfast Fuel

img_20170118_123710107Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, to fuel us/give us the energy we need to get things done. I’m often guilty however of choosing extra time in bed in the mornings rather than preparing something to eat, which is why I’ve come up with/found some recipes that are quick and easy to prepare, not to mention healthy and delicious. Most of the recipes below can also be made the night before or in batch, saving you time in the morning.

Baked Avocado and Eggs.
Vegetarian, gluten free, serves 1.
Ingredients:
– 2 Small Eggs.
– 1 Avocado, halved and pitted.
– Salt and Pepper to taste.
– Cayenne, Paprika or Chili flakes to taste.

Method.
1. Cut an Avocado in half and remove the seed.
2. Gently spoon an egg yolk into each avocado hole.
3. Season to taste and place on a baking tray/dish.
4. Gentle place dish in a preheated oven at 200C for 15 minutes/until cooked.

Crustless Quiche.
Vegetarian, gluten free, serves 2.
Ingredients:
– Low cal cooking spray.
– 100g of Mushrooms, sliced.
– 2 Garlic cloves.
– 4 Large Eggs.
– 150g Fat free Cottage Cheese.
– 80g reduced fat Cheddar Cheese, grated.
– 4 Cherry Tomatoes, halved.
– 2 Tablespoons of dried Parsley.
– Salt, Pepper and Chili flakes to taste.

Method.
1. Cook mushrooms along with garlic in low cal spray for 5 minutes, season well and spoon into an ovenproof dish once cooked.
2. Mix together the eggs, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese and parsley in a bowl, then spoon over the mushrooms and top with the tomato halves.
3. Place dish in a preheated oven at 200C for 15 to 20 minutes/until set.

This can be served hot or cold, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, great with either baked beans, new potatoes or a side salad.

Roast Pepper and Asparagus Muffins.
Vegetarian, gluten free, serves 2.
Ingredients:
– Low cal cooking spray.
– 1 Pack of Asparagus, woody stem removed, cut into small pieces.
– 100g Roasted Peppers, from a jar, diced.
– 4 Eggs.

Method.
1. Line a muffin tray with paper muffin cases, coat with low cal cooking spray, if not using cases then spray directly onto the tray.
2. Blanch the asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes, remove, pat dry then divide asparagus and roast pepper between cases.
3. Beat the eggs and season well, spoon mixture into the cases.
4. Place in a preheated oven at 200C, cook for 15 to 20 minutes/until set and golden brown.

These can be served hot or cold, 3 day fridge life. Great for breakfast, picnics or snacks.

The Hangover Cure.
Gluten free, serves 2.
Ingredients:
– Low cal cooking spray.
– 4 Rashes of Bacon or Turkey rashers.
– 2 Handfuls of small Mushrooms.
– 1 Handful of Cherry Tomatoes.
– 1 Pack of Asparagus, woody ends snapped off.
– 2 Large handfuls of baby Spinach.
– Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method.
1. Line a wide baking tray with baking parchment, coat with low cal cooking spray.
2. Spread out ingredients into the tray, excluding the eggs and spinach, place in a preheated oven at 200C for 10 minutes.
3. After 10 minutes, take out of the oven, flip the bacon or turkey and add the spinach, making two indentations, carefully crack the eggs into these indentations.
4. Put tray back in the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the egg white has set.
5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Smoothie Bowls.

img_20170104_001113108I absolutely love smoothie bowls, so quick and packed with nutrients, a natural sweetness that stops me reaching for a chocolate bar.
Anything goes, all you need is yoghurt, my favourite is dairy free Alpro, in coconut flavour, add to that a fresh banana and any frozen fruit of your choice, I tend to buy frozen blueberries and cherries from Aldi at a bargain price. Blend it all together and you’ve got a fruity taste explosion which will leave you feeling refreshed and energised.
If chocolate and salted caramel are your weakness like mine then blend together dairy free almond milk, 1 fresh banana, chopped dates, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and 1 tablespoon of cacao powder. This makes a delicious protein packed smoothie ideal for people who like to work out.
Smoothie bowls can be topped with anything from fresh or frozen fruit to desiccated coconut, chopped nuts or chai seeds. Great for vegans and gluten free.

Advertisements

Meat Free Meals

20170117_17131399Don’t get me wrong, I love a Steak but you don’t have to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy a plant based meal, if anything these dishes tend to be more imaginative and bursting with flavour, not to mention healthy and nutritious.

The recipe below is so versatile, enjoy as part of a hearty supper served with mash, caramelised onions and gravy, for breakfast served with beans and grilled tomatoes or for lunch as part of a salad. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be made in batches and frozen.

Vegan Sausages
Vegan, Gluten Free.
– 2 x Cans of Cannellini Beans, drained and rinsed.
– 1 Large onion, sliced and diced.
– 4 Carrots, peeled and grated.
– 2 Tablespoons of mixed herbs.
– Splash of Tabasco sauce or Cayenne to taste.
– Frylight cooking spray.
– Salt and Pepper to taste.
Method:
1. Pop all ingredients into a blender, this may need to be done in batches, season to taste and pulse to combine.
2. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cover and chill for 3 to 4 hours, this will help the sausages hold their shape whilst cooking.
3. Divide mixture into sausages, place on a baking tray lined with baking paper that has been sprayed with low cal cooking spray, sprinkle with your favourite herbs and spices.
4. Cook in the oven at 200C for 30 minutes, turning half way through.
5. Once golden brown serve with a side of your choice.

A Little Goes a Long Way

butternutSometimes planning a food shop can be tricky, I myself prefer to buy everything needed for the week ahead in one go, which is why I like to buy ingredients I can use more than once, in a variety of ways, not only is this less time consuming, it’s less damage on the purse strings and less bags to carry on the rush hour train commute home.

I’ve come up with two recipes that can be enjoyed for both lunch and dinner, the star of the show being Butternut Squash, both are delicious and healthy, just chopping the Butternut Squash is a work out in itself.
I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Squash Salad Recipe
Serves 2, Gluten Free.
– 1/2 Butternut Squash.
– 1 Bag of Rocket.
– 1/2 a packet of Parma Ham or if vegetarian use 30g of crumbled Feta Cheese.
– 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed.
– 1 teaspoon of Paprika.
– 1 tablespoon of Oregano or mixed Herbs.
– Salt and Pepper to taste.
– Olive Oil.

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200C.
2. Halve the Butternut Squash, then cut the Squash into slices or chunks, removing the skin.
3. In a bowl mix together the Garlic, Paprika and Oregano with enough oil to loosen the mixture, rub the whole lot over all the Squash pieces so they are well covered.
4. Place the Squash in one layer in a roasting tray and season lightly with Salt and Pepper.
5. Cover tightly with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until the Squash is soft, then remove foil and cook for another 10 minutes until golden and crisp.
6. Serve on a bed of Rocket, top with torn Parma Ham or Crumbled Feta Cheese if vegetarian and season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Squash Soup Recipe
Serves 2, Gluten Free.
– 3 Carrots.
– 1/2 Butternut Squash.
– 1 Sweet Potato.
– 1 Can of tinned Tomatoes.
– 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced.
– 1/2 a packet of Parma Ham (optional).
– 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed.
– 2 teaspoons of Paprika.
– 1 tablespoon of Oregano or mixed Herbs.
– 1 tablespoon of Tomato Puree.
– 1 Vegetable Oxo Cube.
– 1 teaspoon of Marmite/Yeast Extract.
– Chili flakes to taste.
– Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method:
1. See points 1 to 5 above.
2. Using a large saucepan fry off Onions and Garlic in Olive Oil until soft and translucent.
3. Add peeled and chopped Carrots and Sweet Potato along with 1 teaspoon of Paprika, stir together until soft.
4. Once soft in goes tinned Tomatoes and the baked Butternut Squash along with 800ml of water, stir in Puree, stock and Yeast Extract, bring to boil.
5. Once boiling, turn down heat, cover pan and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
6. After 30 minutes blend and serve, top with Chili flakes and cooked (lightly fry for 5 minutes) Parma Ham, optional. Season with Salt and Pepper to taste.

Lazy Lunches

lazy-lunches-ed

I have to say I’ve never really been a huge fan of the sandwich when it comes to my lunch time choice, I’ve probably just distressed half the male population with this statement but I find them to be rather expensive if purchased on the go or if prepared beforehand at home they tend to be soggy by the time of consumption. Ideally I’d spend a few hours on a Sunday in the kitchen meal prepping lunches for the week ahead but of course sometimes my bed and binge watching a box set seems more appealing so this doesn’t always get done, in which case I need something quick but tasty that i can rustle up within 10 minutes the night before or the morning of work, luckily I have this covered and you can too…

Shopping List:
– Tinned Tuna.
– Seafood Sticks.
– Light Mayo.
– Wasabi.
– Paprika.
– Chili flakes.
– Sesame Seeds.
– Sweet Potato.
– Chickpeas.
– Carrots.
– Spring Onions.
– Avocados.
– Olives.
– Sundried Tomatoes.
– Samphire.
– Hummus.
– Olive Oil.

Tuna Mayo with a twist (Pescetarian).
– Take 1 can of Tuna, drain, mix with 2 tablespoons of light Mayo and Wasabi to taste, Wasabi pepper is even better if you can get hold of it.
– Serve with sliced Avocado and 1 chopped Spring Onion.
– Season with Salt to taste.

California Bowl (Pescetarian).
– Pull apart 5 Seafood sticks and roughly chop, mix with light Mayo and Wasabi to taste.
– Serve with sliced Avocado, 1 chopped Spring Onion and 1 grated Carrot.
– Sprinkle with Sesame Seeds (optional) and season with Salt to taste.

Buddha Bowl (Vegan).
– Drain and rinse 1 can of Chickpeas, cook in Olive Oil and Paprika for 5 minutes or if you have time roast in the oven for 30 minutes on 200C with Olive Oil, Paprika and Salt.
– Serve with sliced Avocado, Olives, Sundried Tomatoes, Samphire (optional) and a tablespoon of Hummus, you shouldn’t need to season with Salt as Samphire is naturally salty but add some Chili flakes to taste if you require extra heat.

Sweet Jacket Potato (Vegan).
– Take 1 medium size Sweet Potato, pierce with a knife, microwave for 5 minutes then check, if still hard then microwave for a further 5 minutes, shouldn’t need longer than 10 minutes in total.
– Slit the jacket down the middle and top with mashed Avocado and 1 chopped Spring Onion.
– Season with Salt and Chili flakes to taste.

January Rejuvenation

img_20161117_142155-16729

If like myself, your waist line has become a bit of a myth over the festive season or you feel rather run down why not try this simple soup, packed with antioxidants, sure to get you back on track.

This dish is a comforting winter warmer and although I’ve listed the recipe below this really is an ‘anything goes’ kind of soup so feel free to add other varieties of veg for example peppers or spinach, a great way to clear out the fridge of odd bits and bobs you have no other use for.

Recipe

Serves 2.
– 3 Carrots.
– 2 sticks of Celery.
– 1 Can of tinned Tomatoes.
– Half a bag of Kale.
– 1 Large Onion, thinly sliced.
– 2 Garlic Cloves, crushed.
– 1/2 a teaspoon of Chili flakes.
– 1 teaspoon of Paprika.
– 1 tablespoon of Tomato Puree.
– 1 Vegetable Oxo Cube or 1 tablespoon of Bouillon if vegan.
– 1 Teaspoon of Marmite/Yeast Extract.
– Olive Oil/Coconut Oil.
– Salt and Pepper to taste.

Method

1. Using a large saucepan fry off Onions and Garlic in Olive Oil or Coconut Oil until soft and translucent.
2. Add peeled and chopped veg minus the Kale along with the Chili flakes plus Paprika, stir together until soft.
3. Once soft in goes tinned Tomatoes along with 800ml of water, stir in Puree, stock and Yeast Extract.
4. Tear Kale leaves from the stems then add to pan, bring to boil.
5. Once boiling, turn down heat, cover pan and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.
6. After 30 minutes this soup should be ready to enjoy, add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Suitable for vegetarians, suitable for vegans if Bouillon stock is used. Gluten Free.