Category Archives: Dairy Free

Lentil Lasagne and Lasagne made easy

Lasagne is one of those meals that is loved the whole family. Let’s face it, if you don’t love lasagne then you are very usual! Often seen as hard to make, time consuming and more comfort food than “healthy” I want to share my top tips for making it a standard weeknight family meal.

  1. Pack in the veggies. Lasagne does not have to include meat! I rarely use mince to make lasagne these days. Instead I use lasagne as a way to pack in the veg. You can use lentils, beans or tofu or quorn to get protein in. There is nothing wrong with using the normal beef mince but  if you are looking for more variety with meals or like us, are wanting to eat a greater range of plant based protein sources then it’s time to expand your lasagne repertoire.
  2. Making your own sauce doesn’t have to be complicated. As much as I love a white sauce, if I’m in a rush it always goes lumpy or I burn the bottom of the pan. One of my hacks is to use cottage cheese. Add a little natural yoghurt to thin it down and pour it on the top of the lasagne, top with grated cheese and the jobs done. I wasn’t convinced this sauce would pass the lasagne police in my house  but it did. Phew. The other easy alternative is to use a half fat creme fraiche, simple. 
  3. Embrace your freezer. I totally love my freezer, it saves me on a regular basis. Oh, and it needs defrosting, in case anyone fancies helping me with that. You can either make a double batch of the main filling and freeze it for another meal, or I like to make a whole lasagne and freeze it, makes me feel like a proper domestic goddess. Minus the tidy kitchen, mine is never tidy.
  4. Make ahead. I often make lasagne in stages. so I will either get the main filling out of the freezer and leave to defrost, or make the filling up and leave it. Then later I get a child to help me put it together, layering the filling, pasta and sauce. 
  5. Use pre-bought lasagne sheets. I know most people don’t make their own fresh lasagne sheets, but I sometimes do, it makes the lasagne SO good, literally the best lasagne. But it takes more time that I just don’t have that often. 
So why not transform your lasagne into sometime more inventive. It’s a forgiving dish. Here is a recipe for a wheat free, dairy free version I made this week:
 
 
 
Lentil Lasagne
Serves 4
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Cook Time
45 min
Cook Time
45 min
585 calories
89 g
13 g
11 g
35 g
3 g
533 g
221 g
14 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
533g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 585
Calories from Fat 94
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
16%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 13mg
4%
Sodium 221mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 89g
30%
Dietary Fiber 34g
136%
Sugars 14g
Protein 35g
Vitamin A
203%
Vitamin C
165%
Calcium
24%
Iron
49%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 onion
  2. 2 garlic cloves
  3. 3 carrots
  4. 2 peppers
  5. 1 medium courgette
  6. 1 tsp olive oil
  7. 2 cups of dried lentils
  8. 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  9. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  10. 250ml stock (I used homemade chicken stock but you could use a stock cube and water)
  11. 1 bay leaf
  12. Dried mixed herbs
  13. 1 small glug of balsamic vinegar
  14. Lasagne sheets (wheat free if required)
White sauce
  1. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  2. 2 tbsp wheat free flour
  3. Soya milk as needed, approx 250ml
  4. 250ml water (you may not need it)
  5. Soya cheese or normal cheese
Instructions
  1. Chop all the vegetables in a food processor (this saves time!) or chop finely by hand.
  2. Saute in the oil for a few minutes, then add the lentils, chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, bay leaf, dried herbs, balsamic, stock and simmer for 20 minutes. This is your basic lasagne filling, You can now freeze this, keep it in the fridge for making up later, or use straight away.
  3. Make up the lasagne with 1 layer of lentil mix, lasagne sheets, lentil mix and lasagne sheets.
White sauce
  1. Pour the oil into a sauce pan and mix in the flour with a wooden spoon, it will make a thick paste. Mix in a little milk and stir to make a batter, now add in the rest of the milk place on a gentle heat and keep stirring to incorporate it all. The sauce will thicken, if it is too thick add some water. Keep stirring! Let it gently bubble but not too much. I like to let it cool a little and then pour on top of the lasagne.
  2. Top with cheese and bake at gas mark 5 for 45 minutes.
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calories
585
fat
11g
protein
35g
carbs
89g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
 

A healthier cake – Courgette and sultana (wheat and lactose free).

Each year my love of growing vegetables, well grows. I had a dad who had very green fingers and grew a lot of the vegetables for the small hotel my parents ran. In the summer months our bath water was often emptied by buckets into the vegetable patch! My Sri-lankan grandmother has the greenest fingers in the family. Her windowsills were often covered in seedlings and she would disappear into the garden at mealtime to pick “greens” to make into a family favourite dish. A meal of rice and curry is not right without “greens”. 

One of my first successes was courgettes. Most years I get a good crop, apart from last hear but I blame the baby for that 😉

This year however I have 2 plants that are exploding with monster courgettes and a bountiful supply is on its way.  Follow my instagram stories for pics of the garden and how I cook them.

Personally I love courgettes. Roasted, in a stir fry, ratatouille, on pizza…. only issue is that Miss K and the J boy are not so keen. So it’s been a season of finding ways to encourage them to eat them. I don’t like to hide vegetables so I do tell them it’s in there, once they have tried some. Here are my top ways that they like and eat:

  1. Courgette cake. This has gone down so well. I’ve been making it and freezing it. Recipe below. 
  2. Courgetti. Not because we want to be on trend but because it works. Spiralising courgette, cooking with garlic and lemon juice is a winner. 
  3. Grated courgette in bolognaise, risotto or pretty much any dish!
  4. Roasted and blended with tinned tomatoes for a pasta sauce. 

Hubby and I love a courgette curry so that’s also on the menu but I have to make the children something different on those nights! 

So here is a lovely courgette cake recipe. You really won’t taste the courgette and I’ve lowered the sugar content for you too, it works out at 3g sugar per slice but some of this is the yoghurt and courgette.  Per 100g it is 3.6g sugar so a much healthier alternative to many other cakes. 

I made this for a family party recently and it went down really well! 

Courgette and Sultana Cake (Wheat and Lactose Free)
Serves 12
Easy to make, reduced sugar recipe and includes plenty of yummy courgette.
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
177 calories
22 g
31 g
8 g
4 g
1 g
82 g
68 g
3 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
82g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 177
Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
12%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 31mg
10%
Sodium 68mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 22g
7%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 3g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
2%
Vitamin C
9%
Calcium
3%
Iron
3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Wet ingredients
  1. 350g courgette
  2. 2 eggs
  3. 85ml rapeseed oil
  4. 2 tbsp natural yoghurt
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
Dry Ingredients
  1. 300g plain wheat free flour (I used Aldi's own brand)
  2. 1 tsp cinnamon
  3. 1 tsp mixed spice
  4. 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  5. 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  6. 1/2 tsp baking powder
  7. 140g sultanas
Instructions
  1. Grate the courgette.
  2. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Grease and line a loaf tin.
  3. Mix together all the wet ingredients.
  4. Add the flour and carefully mix in.
  5. Now add the remaining dry ingredients and mix.
  6. Pour into the loaf tin and put in the oven.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes uncovered and then cover the top with foil to prevent it burning.
  8. This cake takes 30-40 minutes in my oven, I recommend checking it by inserting a skewer and seeing if the bottom is cooked. You don't want to have the bottom too soft (I've made that mistake for you!).
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calories
177
fat
8g
protein
4g
carbs
22g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

What are your favourite courgette recipes?

Vegetarian Moussaka and going meat free for a week.

This week we went Vegetarian for National Vegetarian Week. As a family we always have at least 3 meat free meals a week, so this was a good chance to unleash some new recipe ideas. To be honest I don’t think the family really noticed the lack of meat, though they would do if carried this on for a few weeks. I love vegetarian meals and would probably be one if I wasn’t cooking for the whole family. Eating more plant based meals is better for the environment, a more sustainable way of eating and has some fabulous health benefits too.

Our week of vegetarian meals:

Vegetarian Moussaka, Leek and Stilton Risotto, Courgette and Lentil Lasagne, Vegetable egg Stir fry rice, Quorn Bolognaise and Roasted Veggie Pasta.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The moussaka is something I’d seen a variation on in a gluten free recipe book that I’ve had hanging around for ages. I used soya milk to make it lactose free for my boy – omit the cheese to make it dairy free. A few adaptations made this a super simple meal that is going to stay on our meal list.

 

Vegetarian Moussaka
Serves 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
30 min
494 calories
81 g
19 g
12 g
15 g
4 g
509 g
124 g
13 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
509g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 494
Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
19%
Saturated Fat 4g
21%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 19mg
6%
Sodium 124mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 81g
27%
Dietary Fiber 7g
29%
Sugars 13g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
30%
Vitamin C
35%
Calcium
24%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 tsp olive oil
  2. 1 large aubergine
  3. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  4. 1 medium onion, chopped
  5. 2 tbsp white wine
  6. 150g mushrooms, chopped
  7. 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  8. 1 tbsp tomato puree
  9. 1 tbsp chopped chives
  10. 1 tsp paprika
  11. 1 1/2 cups of uncooked rice
Sauce
  1. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  2. 1 tbsp cornflour
  3. 400ml soya milk
  4. 40g grated cheese
Instructions
  1. Slice the aubergine, onion and garlic.
  2. Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil on a medium heat.
  3. Add 2 tbsp white wine and the mushrooms, cook for a few minutes to soften.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, puree, chives, paprika and rice.
  5. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes whilst you make the sauce.
  6. Heat the oil, add cornflour and turn the heat low.
  7. Add 1/3 soya milk and stir well, add the rest of the milk and increase the heat to medium, carry on stirring as the sauce thickens.
  8. Layer the rice mix with the aubergine, then the rice and the aubergine.
  9. Top with the sauce and sprinkle the cheese.
  10. Cook in the oven at Gas Mark 5 for 30 minutes.
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calories
494
fat
12g
protein
15g
carbs
81g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Carrot and Parsnip Cake

I’ve had a hankering for carrot cake for a few weeks after a conversation on social media about a bumper crop of carrots leading to recipes for carrot cake being posted. So when carrots were on offer and hubby came back with 3 bags of them plus 2 bags of parsnips it was suddenly my opportunity. Seriously, there are only so many things you can do with parsnips, so I thought why not try them in a cake. In that moment it felt like probable madness, however actually, you know what? The parsnips add a real kick to this cake. A warm earthiness and nuttiness that really adds to the sweetness of the carrots.

My main critic will always be my husband. He isn’t fobbed off as easily as the children, he has a sweet tooth and isn’t pulled in by any of the latest health trends or superfoods. So I tried him on one. He gave me the “what is it” quizzical expression which I interpret as “What the heck is the crazy woman now trying to give me”. To be fair, you can’t blame him, I am experimental in my approach and a fair few of these experiments just don’t work out. Upon trying it his response was “Actually that’s not bad”. Now for hubby that is a compliment. He isn’t overflowing with expression and excitement like me, thankfully or our house would be even more crazy! So this “Not bad” really meant “I wasn’t expecting it to taste nice but it is pretty good and I like it”. He agreed it was actually the parsnip that made it.

This cake is moist, light and a little to easy to eat. With 250g vegetables in it, it may feel pretty nutritious but you would have to eat a lot of cake to get a portion of veggie in! Having said that these will contain some vitamin A, some calcium and iron, so as cake goes, it is a good option. 

 

Carrot and Parsnip Cake
Yields 24
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121 calories
13 g
23 g
7 g
2 g
1 g
38 g
173 g
3 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
38g
Yields
24
Amount Per Serving
Calories 121
Calories from Fat 59
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
10%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 23mg
8%
Sodium 173mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 3g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
22%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
5%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 150ml Rapeseed Oil
  2. 60g Brown Sugar
  3. 3 Eggs
  4. 150g Carrots (2 large)
  5. 100g Parsnips (1 large)
  6. 300g Doves Farm Self Raising Flour
  7. 1 tsp Mixed Spice
  8. 1 tsp Cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Peel and grate the carrots and parsnip.
  2. Mix the oil and sugar together. Add the eggs and mix.
  3. Next add the grated vegetables and slowly add the flour and spices in.
  4. Pour into a greased and lined loaf tin.
  5. Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 30-40 minutes.
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calories
121
fat
7g
protein
2g
carbs
13g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Snack Attack: Wellaby’s review

The snack market is huge and every expanding, but often snacks can be laded in calories, saturated fat and less than nutritious. I am always on the look out for new, nutritious snacks that I can eat and recommend to others. 

Wellaby’s Simple Bakes are gluten, dairy and nut free. This of course does not make them any healthier in my eyes, but it does mean they could be a worthwhile addition to the free-from snack market. Many snacks in the free-from aisle have one food group removed and replaced with fat/sugar in order to help boost the taste. 

These baked snacks are less than 100kcals per serving – however this is for a 24g serving and they come in a 120g packet. So I doubt that many people would stick to this serving size.  As well as being low in calories per portion they are low in saturated fat and sugars.

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 22.03.30

They are marketed as being a wholegrain snack. Looking at the nutrition label they contain 4.2 g fibre per 100g, equivalent to a medium apple, this comes from the wholegrain rice flour and oats. A high fibre food is 6g/100g so I would put these as a mid-range fibre food.

I found these snacks really tasty. I sometimes find the flavouring in snack foods can be overpowering or too artificial tasting, but these were a good balance. I also enjoyed the crunch. 

WELLABYS_3PACK

It would be great to see these in smaller, portion controlled packets, I particularly like the fibre content and the fact they are gluten, dairy and nut free.

Disclaimer: All views are my own, I was sent these 3 packets to review.

Fragrant Fishy Curry

Being half Sri-Lankan I love curry, it is in my genes to like curry. I’ve made alot of curry over my years of cooking, but never a fish curry. Not because I don’t like fish, it’s just it has always seemed like quite a delicate balance to get the flavours right. For some reason I’m a bit cautious about cooking fish/shellfish as I’ve also never cooked spaghetti mariana, another fav of mine). However I’m now a convert. This is one of my favourite ways to eat fish, added bonus being the kids lapped it up (the boy literally, we must work on table manners!).  I also love that this is SO easy to cook. It is completely not how I would normally cook a curry (curry powder is not my norm) but it made for a quick, midweek meal that was tasty and healthy.

I used salmon as I aim to get 1 portion of oily fish into the family dinners a week, but a white fish would work just as well.

Miss K “Mummy this is the best fish curry ever” 

 (Bless her, it’s the only one she probably remembers eating)

 

Dietitian UK: Fragrant Fish Curry

 

Fragrant Fishy Curry
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
285 calories
11 g
87 g
13 g
29 g
2 g
252 g
88 g
6 g
0 g
10 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
252g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 285
Calories from Fat 120
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
21%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 87mg
29%
Sodium 88mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 11g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
13%
Sugars 6g
Protein 29g
Vitamin A
47%
Vitamin C
148%
Calcium
7%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  2. 1 onion
  3. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  4. 1/4 inch freshly grated ginger
  5. 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  6. 1 tbsp curry powder
  7. 1 x tin chopped tomatoes
  8. 2 tbsp desiccated or grated coconut block
  9. 2 peppers, chopped
  10. 450g fish fillets (I used salmon)
  11. 1/2 lemon, juiced
  12. coriander leaves
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, salute the onions and add the mustard seeds. Cook for a few minutes over a low heat with a lid on. The seeds will pop.
  2. Now add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and cook out for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, grated coconut and some black pepper along with the chopped peppers. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes to get a nice sauce.
  3. Chop the fish into bite sized chunks and add to the pan, simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  4. Add the lemon juice, season and serve with rice and a scattering of coriander if you have any.
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calories
285
fat
13g
protein
29g
carbs
11g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Healthy Oaty Cookies

My kids love to get involved in the cooking. Usually they see my cooking, draw up a stool and join in. Yesterday we had a rare afternoon at home. The summer has been full on outdoor fun, so being torrential rain the kids came up with a plan “Mummy lets make biscuits”. Normally I would be pretty up for this plan, but yesterday, unusually,  I was feeling the lure of the sofa… However, I am a huge believer in getting children cooking young and as they had intiated it this time, I really couldn’t refuse. A quick flick through some reciipes for inspiration and we decided on adapting a River Cottage recipe. 

This was a total cop-out on my behalf as it was so quick to make so I still got some sofa time, curled up with a freshly baked cookie and a cuppa. Extra bonus is our snack tin is topped up for at least a day (these dollops of goodness are going fast).

I adapted the recipe using prunes to sweeten, a banana to replace some peanut butter and omitting the raisins on request. It ended up being a great way to use up the claggy bit of peanut butter at the end of the pot. 

Happy kids, freshly healthy cookies, a huge train track and mummy got 15 minutes of peace, which is what weekends are all about. 

 

Healthy cookies1

 

Healthy Oaty Cookies
Yields 12
Super fast, healthy, squidgy cookie recipe.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
132 calories
15 g
14 g
7 g
5 g
1 g
39 g
93 g
2 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
39g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 132
Calories from Fat 59
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 14mg
5%
Sodium 93mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 2g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
3%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
2%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 150g peanut butter
  2. 100g prunes, finely chopped
  3. 1 medium ripe/over-ripe banana
  4. 1 medium egg
  5. 50g oats
  6. 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3.
  2. Measure out the peanut butter.
  3. Chop the prunes finely and break the banana into chunks.
  4. Mix together, then add the egg and mix.
  5. Now add the oats and bicarb and mix.
  6. The mixture will be very sticky, place spoonfuls onto a greased baking tray.
  7. Flatten slightly with the top of a spoon.
  8. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
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calories
132
fat
7g
protein
5g
carbs
15g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Courgette and Chickpea Burgers

I’m forever loving the idea of veggie burgers but am often disappointed by the result. You know what I mean… they fall apart or just look disappointing. In the back of my brain I have this memory of the burgers I used to eat when I was vegetarian as a teenager. In my head they were delicious, not homemade, but delicious and that is one of my benchmarks. My other benchmark is the burger they make in a cafe we sometimes end up at – a portabello mushroom with halloumi cheese and spinach. Just the most perfect combo.

So after a holiday I’ve come back inspired to try out new recipes and the veggie burger idea was back. Taking a few hints from the River Cottage guys these burgers not only tasted good,  held together well and were completely eaten, but my small people also had fun helping to make them. GENIUS. Get the kids to do the dirty work 😉

Here is the recipe. It’s a great way to get your veggies in. I’ve worked it out as being 1 portion of vegetables per burger, if you make them large. This recipe made 8 and I served 2 per adult, 1 per child, but my 5 year old and husband came back for seconds!

Here are the burgers before and after cooking:

Dietitian UK: Courgette and Chickpea Burger 2

Dietitian UK: Courgette & Chickpea Burgers 1

 

Courgette and Chickpea Burgers
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
236 calories
38 g
47 g
5 g
12 g
1 g
193 g
49 g
6 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
193g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 236
Calories from Fat 41
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
7%
Saturated Fat 1g
5%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 47mg
16%
Sodium 49mg
2%
Total Carbohydrates 38g
13%
Dietary Fiber 9g
35%
Sugars 6g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
66%
Vitamin C
36%
Calcium
7%
Iron
20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 2 medium courgettes (400g)
  2. 1 large carrot, peeled
  3. 2 cloves garlic
  4. 5 large radishes or 1/2 onion
  5. 100g dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked or 200g tinned (drained and rinsed)
  6. 100g oats
  7. 1 egg
  8. 1 large handful fresh herbs
  9. 1 tsp cumin
  10. 1 tsp ginger
  11. 1 tsp coriander
Instructions
  1. Use a food processor to grate the veggies.
  2. Now add the chickpeas and process to a thick paste.
  3. Add the oats, egg, herbs and spices for a quick blast in the food processor.
  4. Use your hands to shape into patties.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and cook them for a few minutes each side. I pressed them down in the pan to make them thinner and a better shape.
  6. Transfer to the oven for 10-15 minutes at gas mark 5.
  7. Serve with homemade potato wedges and a side salad.
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calories
236
fat
5g
protein
12g
carbs
38g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Make your own healthy “graze” snack boxes

So snacking, it’s one of those things I definitely do. I tend to eat my 3 meals and at least 2 snacks a day. Which means my snacks need to be healthy, well most of them! Currently I am breastfeeding which makes me quite hungry at times. It is those moments when I have children clamouring for me, a baby wanting to feed and I know I need to eat that I need a ready to grab and go snack. That moment when it could be biscuits. Although I do eat my share of those too, I’ve recently discovered a wheat free dark chocolate and stem ginger cookie… dangerously nice. So to keep me on the straight and narrow I’ve started making snack boxes. This is something I often recommed to clients and many find them so useful. You can literally make a pile up for the week and take one to work each day, keep them in your bag or just on the worktop if you are at home.

Here are some of my favourite combos:

Cranberry.almond.choc
15g Dried cranberries, 15 almonds and 10g dark chocolate

 

Pecan,apple.edam
15g pecans, 15g dried apple, 1 tbsp dried edamame beans

 

Cashew.mango
15g cashews, 15g dried mango, 1 tsp mixed seeds

 

Brazil.apricot
5 brazil nuts, 3 dried apricots, 1 tsp mixed seeds

Here is me trying out Facebook Live and showing off my not so great phone video skills:

Love to hear your healthy snack box combos. Leave me a message/comment so I can steal your ideas too 😉

I tend to buy my nuts and dried fruit in bulk online (it is cheaper per kg but costs a bit up front) and I store a supply in the cupboard and a supply in glass jars on my shelf. Which looks pretty and also means we all see them and are more likely to eat them instead of reaching into the biscuit tin. 

“Keep healthy food – In plain sight so it is in your mind to eat it”

A good example of this is my toddler boy who often asks for “prawns” and points at the jars… he means prunes! 

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Moroccan Style Slow Cooker Tagine.

I went to Marrakech for Christmas a few years ago. I don’t think we had a bad meal the whole time we were there. Each dish was so wonderfully spiced and fragrant, yet not overpowering. This dish reminds me of that holiday. Oh for some sun, sat on a roof terrace, drinking Moroccan mint tea!

I marinaded the chicken overnight, you could probably get away with just toasted the spices in the pan with the chicken, but marinade if you can. I think it enhances the flavour and it always heighten the anticipation of the meal for me. 

I love playing around with spices. As a child I loved it when my mum got out her silver spice tin, all those small pots filled with fragrant, colourfulness. I was even more excited when I got my own spice tin!

Moroccan spices blends tend to include: ginger, cinnamon, corainder, allspice, pepper, tumeric, cumin and paprika. Sometimes saffron, cardomon, nutmeg and star anise. The Morrocan spice stalls are amazing! Make your own blend up and try it out.

 

Here is the chicken marinading overnight…

Chicken Tagine marinade

Browning the chicken in the pan…

Chicken Tagine brown meat

 

The finished meal…

Chicken Tagine

 

 

Morrocan Style Slow Cooker Tagine.
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
313 calories
46 g
39 g
10 g
17 g
2 g
378 g
162 g
2 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
378g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 313
Calories from Fat 85
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 39mg
13%
Sodium 162mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 46g
15%
Dietary Fiber 13g
53%
Sugars 2g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A
294%
Vitamin C
58%
Calcium
10%
Iron
21%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Spice Mix
  1. 1 tsp tumeric
  2. 1 tsp paprika
  3. 1 tsp cumin
  4. 1 tsp ginger
  5. 1 tsp cinnamon
  6. Black pepper
Tagine
  1. 600-750g chicken thighs/drumticks - remove the skin.
  2. 1 tbsp rapeseed/vegetable oil
  3. 2 onions, chopped
  4. 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  5. 6 cloves
  6. Mixture of vegetables ( I used 2 peppers, 200g cherry tomatoes and 500g mushrooms)
Instructions
  1. Mix the spices and rub into the skinless chicken. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
  2. Chop 2 onions and 4 cloves of garlic (I also left this in the fridge overnight to save time the next day).
  3. Cook the onion and garlic in the oil, add 6 cloves.
  4. Now add the chicken and brown all over.
  5. Place in the slow cooker pot and top with chopped vegetables of your choice. I used peppers, cherry tomatoes and mushrooms.
  6. Pour in 125ml water.
  7. Cook on high for 5-8 hours or on low if you are leaving it for longer due to the amount of liquid.
  8. Stir and serve on a bed of couscous.
Notes
  1. Remove the bones if serving small children.
beta
calories
313
fat
10g
protein
17g
carbs
46g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/