Archive | October, 2012

In a Lunchtime Rut? Then Spice it Up!

It is very easy to get stuck in a bit of a lunchtime rut. We all do it! Whether you prepare your own lunches at home or pop down to the local sandwich shop or supermarket it is tempting ¬†to stick to the same old thing day in day out! I appreciate that many of us are extremely time poor but eating the same old things every single day can get a tad dull! And I believe that food is to be enjoyed!! You might also find that by sticking to one thing all the time you are not exposing your body to as many different nutrients as you could do by eating a wide range of different foods. Plus if you are bored at meal times then you are more likely to seek out naughty treats later on in the day! ūüėČ

So, I encourage you to take a look at your lunchtime menu, have you had the same thing everyday this week? If so it’s time to try something new! Try a new protein source that you wouldn’t usually have or select a couple of new vegetables next time you go shopping and try and make a soup with them. Add some seeds, herbs and spices to your salad and try different combinations or try and make a new healthy salad dressing. Look at the existing foods that you eat, how could you make them even more tasty?!

Here are a few (slightly different!) lunch ideas that you could try to spice things up a bit!

Cottage Cheese with a difference

It has a reputation for being a little bland sometimes – it’s one of those that you either love or you hate! BUT if you can bare to stick with it cottage cheese is extremely high in protein (1 cup contains between 25 and 28 g of protein!) which makes it a great lunchtime filler, helping to keep those mid afternoon hunger cravings at bay. To spice it up a bit and add another dimension try adding some sun-dried tomatoes, Italian mixed herbs and a tablespoon of mixed seeds to your cottage cheese, honestly it is soooo yummy!

Serve your cottage cheese with a green salad of rocket and spinach and you could create an open sandwich by adding on top of one slice of low GI toast. Alternatively you could chop up sticks of celery and carrot and use to dip.

Tuna and Cottage Cheese

If you are not a huge fan of tuna than try mixing together with cottage cheese and a few chives. The cottage cheese tones down the fishiness of the tuna and the chives compliment it perfectly. Another great high protein mix that will leave you feeling full for HOURS!

Serve on top of a Dr Karg  Seeded Spelt cracker with a  tomato, cucumber, celery and carrot salad.

Yoghurt and Garlic Chicken

Cold left over chicken can be a little bland or dry when served on it’s own. Mix together a couple of tablespoons of natural unsweetened yoghurt, a clove of crushed garlic, a good squeeze of lemon juice, a good drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper (add a little salt too if required).

To serve mix into your pieces of chicken (a bit like a healthy coronation chicken) or  place chicken on top of a salad and drizzle the yoghurt dressing over the top.

The Soup and Protein Combo

To add a bit of variety why not make a healthy vegetable soup and serve with a portion of protein? Fry 1 onion in a little olive oil for about a minute and then add 1 chopped pepper, 2 chopped courgettes, 1 large chopped carrot, 3 stalks chopped celery and fry for about 5 minutes. Add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes and 1 litre of good quality vegetable stock cubes (such as bouillon) you could also add a glug of white wine (optional!). Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer on a very low heat for about 30 mins. Liquidise with a hand blender.

To serve make sure you add some protein! We like to add some cubes of feta cheese or some canned tuna to the soup. If not then just serve with a portion of smoked salmon or chicken breast on the side.

Fritatta

I believe that Fritatta’s are hugely under-rated! They are delicious served hot or cold and they are so versatile, you can experiment with a never ending combination of flavours and can’t really go that wrong!

For a VERY easy Fritatta that takes minimal ingredients, pre heat the oven to 170 c and lightly fry a leek and a red pepper. Pour into the bottom of a baking dish, lined with baking paper that has at least 1.5 inches in-depth which is about the thickness of the finished fritatta. Mix together desired number of eggs along with some milk, some Italian mixed herbs and a little salt and pepper. Use around 8-12 eggs depending on the size of the baking dish you are using…baring in mind that it will puff up a little when it has cooked. Pour the egg mix on top of the leek and peppers and add some cubes of feta or goats cheese. Cook in the oven for around 30-40 minutes or until the egg is cooked through and the fritatta is lightly brown on the top.

Serve hot or cold with a green salad.

Alternatively for a taste sensation try Laura’s Blissful Fritatta bites;

https://n-ergise.com/2012/07/17/lauras-blissful-frittata-bites/

EXPERIMENT AND ENJOY! Would love to hear how you get on!

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Mouthwatering Goodness!

I am just eating a bowl of something so delicious that I just¬†HAVE to share it with you. On the outside it doesn’t seem at all appealing – and to be honest¬†when I suggested making it yesterday even Rob, who loves his vegetables and is hugely passionate about food wasn’t particularly excited about it. BUT… one taste of this delicious little concoction and I guaranteed¬†you will be swayed. Not only because it is so bloomin¬†tasty but also because you can literally taste all the nutrients and goodness with every mouthful and with hardly any ingredients it is VERY easy and cost-effective to make.

Here is the recipe for Celery and Celeriac¬†Soup… I know you may not be a fan of either of these main components but seriously prepare to be surprised!

Celery and Celeriac Soup

450g celery –¬†cut into large chunks

450g of peeled celeriac Рcut into large chunks

1 medium onion – cut into large chunks

3 bay leaves

1.5 litre of good quality vegetable stock – such as bullion

Pre-heat oven to 150c. Put all of the ingredients into a large pot or casserole and bring to a simmer on the hob. Once simmering put pot into the oven and cook slowly for 3 hours. Take out of the oven, remove bay leaves and blend with a hand blender. DONE!

Serve on it’s own or with a drizzle of natural yogurt

To ensure I get some protein I have mine for lunch with a chicken breast or a good portion of cottage cheese Рon a separate plate, not in the soup!

Why include Celeriac in your diet?

Compared to other root vegetables such as potato and carrot celeriac is much lower in both carbohydrates (starches) and calories. One cup serve of celeriac is only 9g of carbs as opposed to a one cup serve of potato which has 27g of carbs, it is therefore suitable for diabetics. It is also very low in calories, a cup serving is less than 40 calories.

It is a very good source of fibre consisting of mainly cellulose and hemicellulose.  This fibre helps the body to regulate the absorption of nutrients, in addition to regulating bowl movements.

Celeriac is also high in vitamin c, vitamin k, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese.

Recipe taken from:  http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/soups/slow-cooked-celery-and-celeriac-soup.html

‘Pimp up’ your vegetables!

Do you find it hard to get your daily dose of vegetables?

Let‚Äôs face it¬†the humble old¬†vegetable¬†is often seen¬†as being the least interesting part of¬†a meal.¬†Included by many as a ‘healthy necessity’ rather than¬†the exciting¬†‘hub of the¬†meal’ vegetables¬†often assume the¬†role of ‘add on’ especially when accompanied by an exciting¬†meat or fish. This lack of attention¬†can therefore¬†lead to them being rather bland especially¬†if you don’t love¬†the taste of the natural thing.

Vegetables contain many of the essential nutrients vital for the health and maintenance of your body. Not to mention all the fibre which revs up your metabolism and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Therefore it is hugely important to make sure you do get enough vegtables in your diet and I believe in order to¬†do this¬†it is¬†also hugely important to actually enjoy your vegetables…¬†life’s too short to be¬†forcing yourself to eat something you hate everyday!

So, in my quest for getting people to eat more vegetables here are a few delicious and easy ideas on how to make your vegetable accompaniment more interesting!

  • Instead of mashed potato use cooked celeriac, squash, Swede or cauliflower and mash with a little olive oil and seasoning with salt/pepper and herbs (cumin is yummy!)
  • Julienne or use a potato peeler¬†to create strips of zucchini/cucumber or carrot which can be used to create a similar effect to noodles. My favourite is to blanch some zucchini¬†and leek strips¬†for about 60 seconds in boiling water and use as a noodle pasta for bolognaise
  • Marinate slices of courgette in lemon juice and a little olive oil for 10 – 30 mins and then griddle in a searing hot pan
  • Use cauliflower and process in a food processor until it resembles rice/breadcrumbs. Lightly cook until almost tender and use as rice
  • Use broccoli florets or courgettes chopped to the same size as pasta and add your favourite pasta sauce
  • Use shredded cabbage and carrot as a base to bolognaise instead of spaghetti… I do this all the time and it tastes great!
  • Roast butternut squash in a little bit of olive oil, cumin, coriander, curry powder
  • Roast Mediterranean vegetables (such as peppers, onions, tomatoes, courgettes, beans) in a little olive oil (or 1 cal spray) with rosemary and thyme
  • Make a salad of cooked green beans, cherry tomatoes, red onions soaked in lemon juice/or spring onions, olive oil, white wine vinegar and more lemon juice to taste

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