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! 🙂

CHOCOLATE ENERGY BARS

I will quite often have library days at uni, where I will spend the entire day working on essays. This means I need a supply of food to keep my brain fuelled with good, nutritious energy. These bars are great for such an occasion, they are small and compact with a punch of energy and they taste great! The best thing about them? They are so easy to make, and a whole batch goes a long way!

Yields: 8 Bars

INGREDIENTS

50G Pumpkin Seeds
30G Chia Seeds
50G Sunflower Seeds
75G Goji Berries
50G Almonds (or any nut of your choice)
50G Raisins
30G Coconut Oil (Melted)
100G Medjool Dates
80G Chocolate (I use 90% cocoa solids)

METHODS

The first thing you are going to want to do is in a food processor is blend the dates and coconut oil together until a paste forms, you may need to add a couple of table spoons of water. Transfer the date mixture to a bowl and then place all the remaining ingredients (except for the chocolate) in a food processor and pulse leaving a little bit of texture in the seeds. Add the blended seeds to the date mixture and combine. Transfer to a lined 8″x 5″ tray and allow to chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Whilst the seed mixture is chilling melt the chocolate in a bowl. Remove the seed mixture from the fridge and spread the chocolate on top, then chill for a further 30 minutes or until the chocolate has set. Divide into 8 squares and try not to eat them all at once! 😉

Enjoy!

 

HIGH PROTEIN BLUEBERRY & BANANA BREAD

My dentist once told me that I should stop eating banana’s because they were bad for my teeth…Its safe to say we never saw eye to eye and I soon left that dentist. I love banana’s, in fact I can’t actually remember the last time I went a day without one, is that bad? Who cares, I love them! This recipe has been my achilles heel for far too long, many, many banana breads have sadly been lost in the making of this recipe. Whether it be too dry, too moist, or literally not cooked at all in the middle, not too sure how that one happened, none lived up to expectations until now! I recently discovered coconut flour and was a little sceptical at first, but without it we would not have this recipe today. Unlike a lot of flours, coconut flour is very low in carbohydrates, but high in protein and fibre, making it a very absorbent flour. The bonus of this is a little goes a long way, so yes, it may be more expensive compared to other flours but you don’t need as much. I added a little extra protein in the form of protein powder in this recipe because it helps boost the flavour and also great for satiety, so hopefully you wont devour the whole loaf in one go, although I wouldn’t blame you if you did. 😉 If you don’t have protein powder you can remove it altogether, but I would suggest adding a little more coconut flour to replace it, an extra 15-25g should do the job, until you have a thick cake like mixture.

Yields: 12 Slices

INGREDIENTS

75g Coconut Flour
50g of Protein Powder (Try to use a subtle flavour)
2 Banana’s
20g Honey
2 Whole Eggs
1 Egg White
100g Frozen Blueberries
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
1 Tsp Cinnamon

METHOD

Firstly line a loaf tin with baking parchment and pre-heat the oven to 180°. Next mash the banana’s into a pulp and then add all the wet ingredients (honey, eggs & vanilla extract) and mix it all together. In a seperate bowl mix all the remaining dry ingredients together apart from blueberries and then combine with the wet mixture making sure to mix well. Finally add the blueberries mixing carefully, making sure not to break the blueberries up. Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake at 180°C for 45-50 minutes or poke a skewer into the middle and make sure it comes out clean. Leave to cool for 30 minutes then remove from the tin and slice. I like to eat mine as it is with a cup of tea along side it. This keeps for up to a week in an air tight container in the fridge.

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. 😉

PROTEIN PANCAKES

Pancake day comes around once a year…not in this household! Pancake day is every weekend, another reason to look forward to the weekend. The problem with protein pancakes is they often lack that fluffy, lightness of a traditional pancake and can sometimes just be a bit dry. Not anymore! I set myself the mission to create the ultimate protein pancake and you will not be disappointed. These are light, fluffy and packed full of protein and flavour. You ready!? Okay, good, here we go!

Yields: 3 Large pancakes

pancakes

INGREDIENTS

60G Oat flour
35g Protein powder
1 Whole egg
50g Natural yoghurt
125ml Almond milk (You may need a little less or more)
1/2 Tsp Baking powder
1/4 Tsp Bicarbonate soda
Pinch of salt

METHOD

The beauty of this recipe is its a throw it all in a bowl kind of job, except for the milk. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and slowly add the milk, constantly whisking until you get a mixture where it just falls off the whisk, it should be quite thick. In a non-stick pan, on a medium heat, pour some oil onto some kitchen paper and wipe this on the pan, just to lightly coat it with oil. Next add your mixture to the pan, a bit at a time until you get your desired pancake size. Once you start to see some bubbles surface flip the pancake and cook for 1 more minute, avoid patting the pancake down as this will cause the pancake to loose its lightness. Repeat this process until all the mixture is gone. Add toppings of your choice (I like nuts and yoghurt) and then dig in! 🙂

 

HEALTHY COCONUT GRANOLA

This recipe came inches from being in the bin…I know I’m selling it well. This recipe was actually meant to be another creation, but whilst I nibbled away thinking I had to go back to the drawing board, I realised it tasted bloody amazing and that I had in fact created something magical, even if i do say so myself. Just like the discovery of penicillin, although maybe not quite on the same scale, but in my opinion it’s just as life changing.

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Most granola’s you get in the supermarket are rammed full of sugar and a lot of people will think they are choosing the healthy option when in fact they would probably be better off getting a chocolate bar. With this granola recipe you won’t be mislead, crunchy, full of healthy fats, natural ingredients, a great way to jazz up a bowl of yoghurt.

Yields: 440g of granola

INGREDIENTS

150g Rolled oats
20g Chia seeds
30g Pumpkin seeds
50g Raisins
40g Desiccated Coconut
50g Peanut Butter
40g Coconut Oil
20g Honey

METHOD

Pre-heat the oven to 180°c. In the microwave melt the coconut oil in a bowl, once melted add the peanut butter and honey, stirring until well combined. In a separate bowl mix together all the remaining ingredients. Combine the two mixtures together until everything is well combined. Pour the mixture into a 35x25cm non-stick tray, press it down slightly and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden on top. Remove from the oven and allow to completely cool. You can then crumble up the granola with your hands, I like to leave some chunks in mine. Store in an air tight container at room temperature, great to add some crunch to a variety of dishes.