HEALTHY CHILLI CON CARNE

Chilli con carne is my go to recipe when I know I have a busy week ahead. I just make a big batch and thats my lunches sorted for the week, I also feel rather smug when Im tucking into this easy to prep but delicious chilli and everyone else is eating a meal deal from the local supermarket. This recipe is perfect for families as its an easy one pot job with minimal prep. Not only that but with a few tweaks to a normal chilli recipe and you have a healthy alternative to a classic, but still full of flavour!

Serves: 4 

INGREDIENTS

400G Lean Beef Mince (I used less than 5% fat mince)
1 Diced Red Onion
1 Diced Red Pepper
1 Crushed Garlic Clove
1 Can of Red Kidney Beans (Drained)
1 Can of Chopped Tomatoes
2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Beef Stock Cube
250ML Boiling Water
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Pepper

METHODS

Heat 2 Tbsp of an oil of your choice in a large casserole pan on a medium heat, add the onion, pepper, garlic, chilli powder, paprika, cumin and a good pinch of salt and pepper, then cook for 5 minutes, until softened, stirring regularly. Next add the mince beef and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, stock cube and boiling water to the pan and leave to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Finally add the drained kidney beans and leave to simmer for a further 10 minutes, or until thickened. Serve with some fluffy rice or cous cous, some yoghurt and avocado with a wedge of lime on the side.

Enjoy! 🙂

HEALTHY SPAGHETTI CARBONARA

When I was little, spaghetti carbonara was my go to when going out for a meal, that was before I knew how unhealthy it was, it was so good but so bad at the same time. Ever since then I have always avoided it not only because of it’s high calorie content but because I don’t eat rich food regularly, when I do it makes me feel a bit ill, which is a shame because I have so many memories of practically face planting a bowl of it. I decided to bring back this classic with a healthy twist and its safe to say I nailed it first time. This recipe is a much lighter version, in fact it sits at a mere 500 calories per serving but still remains rich in flavour. Ive also shied away from the traditional recipe by adding courgette, which not only adds a bright vibrant green to the dish but also gives you those much needed micronutrients.  This recipe is simple and very, very easy to make!

Serves: 2

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INGREDIENTS

150g Dry spaghetti (can be wholewheat or gluten free if you wish)
4 Bacon medallions (chopped into small cube sized pieces)
1 Medium sized courgette (sliced in half and chopped diagonally)
100g Low fat crème fraîche
2 Egg yolks
20g Parmesan Cheese
1 Garlic clove (pealed and finely chopped/crushed)
Juice of 1/2 a Lemon
Sprinkle of Parsley
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
Optional
Handful of chopped mushrooms

METHODS

First start by boiling your spaghetti, following the on packet instructions. Whilst the spaghetti is boiling in a small bowl whisk together the crème fraîche, egg yolks, parmesan, juice of 1/2 a lemon, salt and pepper. Next in a non-stick pan, in a oil of your choice (I use coconut) fry the courgettes and bacon together (and mushrooms if you decided to include them). Cook until the bacon is fully cooked through and the vegetables have softened. In the final minute of cooking add the garlic and then remove from the heat. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain off, catching some of the water in a bowl. This is the point where you need to be fast. Making sure the pan is off the heat add the pasta to the vegetables and bacon and pour in the sauce stirring continuously, if you like a thinner sauce then add a splash of the pasta water saved earlier. Serve into bowls, sprinkle with parsley and some extra cheese if you wish and then dive in trying not to make a mess. 😉

PRAWN PADTHAI

This recipe has a special place in my heart as It’s basically all I ate when I travelled round Thailand with my friends in 2014. There are many foods I tried in Thailand for example one foodie memory that will stick with me forever is when we ordered Thai soup from a street food stall, noodles in a salty broth with vegetables and chicken (I declined the offer of a chickens foot topping…). However it was the dining experience that sticks with me, when asked if we would like a table to sit at we happily accepted, only to see the man setting up a table in the middle of the road, in the middle of Bangkok, an experience to say the least. Padthai however was something I constantly went back to as it was quick, convenient and tasted delightful. My version doesn’t do the real thing justice, however It taste pretty darn good and I was pleasantly surprised by my efforts.

Serves: 2

INGREDIENTS

150g Bean sprouts
300g uncooked king prawns
5 Spring onions (Copped at an angle, 4 for cooking, 1 for garnish)
3 egg (Beaten)
150g Dry flat rice noodles (Follow the on packed cooking instructions)
50g Crushed peanuts (For garnish)
1/2 Red onion (Finely chopped)

FOR THE SAUCE:
2 Tbsp Fish sauce
1 Tbsp Tamarind Pasta
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp water

  • Firstly in a large non-stick frying pan (this is the pan you will use throughout) fry the prawns in an oil of your choice (I use coconut oil) until cooked through and then set aside for later.
  •  In an oil of your choice on quite a high heat fry the onions until softened, then add the spring onions and rice noodles, stirring constantly for 1-2 minutes.
  • Mix all the sauce ingredients together in a bowl and then add to the pan and cook for a further 2-3 minutes stirring constantly.
  • Add the bean sprouts to the pan and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Push everything to one side of the pan and add the beaten egg to the other side of the pan and scramble the eggs.
  • Finally mix the noodle mix and egg to together, adding in the prawns and cook for 1 more minute to reheat the prawns.
  • Serve into bowls and top with the garnish. I also like a wedge of lime with mine.

SEAFOOD PAELLA

This recipe came about because paella seems to be the one dish that everyone In my family enjoys. So I made this because it reminds me of home, not that I’m Spanish, but as a family sitting around the dining table eating a good meal and sharing memories with each other. Don’t be alarmed by the number of ingredients, the majority you probably already have, but a good paella has a lot of bold flavours, hence the number of ingredients.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

400g uncooked prawns
50g chopped chorizo (1/2 a pound coin pieces)
250g arborio rice
100g frozen peas
700ml boiling water
1 chicken stock cube
1 large white onion (Finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (Chopped/crushed)
1 red pepper (diced/chopped)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp turmeric
Chopped parsley (for decoration)

METHOD

In a large non stick pan on a medium heat fry the onion and chorizo until the onion softens and goes opec. Add the garlic, pepper, turmeric and paprika and fry for a further couple of minutes. Next add the rice and continue to cook, stirring all the the ingredients together allowing the rice to absorb all the flavours. Add the water, stock cube and tomato puree and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, add more water if required. Then add the peas and prawns and cook for a further 5 minutes. Finish the dish by adding a squeeze of half a lemon and a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

BURRITO BOWL

Mexican has to be my favourite cuisine, its fresh, full of flavour, healthy and of course has a good kick of spice now and then. Now being a student I like recipes were I can make large batches of it, making my life much easier during a busy week of studying. What I like about this recipe is you can eat it as it is, in a bowl with some toppings, or, grab yourself a tortilla wrap, chuck the rice in, wrap it up and you now have yourself a burrito, genius I know. Right, so how to make this bowl of goodness.

Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

250g white rice
1 chicken stock cube
500ml boiling water
1 400g can kidney beans (Drained)
1 200g can sweetcorn (Drained)
1 medium red onion (Finely chopped)
2 gloves garlic (Finely chopped/crushed)
3 tbsp generic tomato pasta sauce
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

METHOD

In a large saucepan, on a medium heat fry the onion and garlic until the onion begins to soften. Next add the cumin, paprika and rice and cook for a couple of minutes continuously stirring to release the flavour of the spices. Crumble the stock cube into the boiling water and add to the pan along with the pasta sauce. Bring to a gentle simmer and leave for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop from sticking, add extra water if required. Finally add the drained kidney beans and sweetcorn and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Now your ready to serve, I like to top mine with a wedge of lemon, avocado, yoghurt and salsa, but get creative and put your own twist on it.

HEALTHY PIZZA DOUGH

Pizza is definitely my favourite choice of takeaway. But to be honest you can’t really go wrong with what is basically bread topped with cheese. However the sad reality is it isn’t the healthiest of food choices and should probably be enjoyed a little less regular then I would like, hence this recipe creation.

With only three ingredients not only is this recipe healthier its also far less time consuming then your traditional pizza dough. So, here is your go to pizza dough recipe!

Yields: 1 medium pizza

Ingredients

60g wholemeal flour
60 g plain white flour
120g plain natural yoghurt

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c. You can mix the ingredients two ways. Either place all the ingredients in a machine mixer with a dough hook and leave until combined. Or, combine the two flours on a work surface and create a well in the middle for the yoghurt and begin to work together until the dough comes together and forms a ball. Then simply create whatever shaped pizza you would like, add your toppings (I chose low fat cheese & olives) and bake for 15-20 mins at 180°c. Chop into slices and dig in!