Tag Archives: family meals

Salmon and Spinach Fishcakes

It’s been a hot week, needing summer food. These salmon and spinach fishcakes hit the spot. Yes you have to put the oven on to cook them but they can be prepared ahead of time and then served hot or cold. They also freeze well, I always mean to make extra for this purpose but then the kids eat them all!

I must admit to my brain needing a kick start to come up with ideas for summer food. My family aren’t huge salad lovers, so all those beautiful salads that my mind fancies have to take a step back. It is like digging up buried treasure, deep in the recesses of my dusty brain were recipes I haven’t made for well over a year. This was one of them. The hardest part about these is getting the breadcrumbs on them, which really even my toddler can do. In fact, maybe next time I should get the kids to cook these and sit down with a cuppa. 

The salmon provides a great source of omega 3’s needed for brain development and cognitive function, heart health and reduction of inflammation. They can be beneficial in rheumatoid arthritis and depression. It is recommended that we eat 2 portions of fish a week of which one should be healthy. I try to ensure my family get 1 portion a week in their evening meal and it is usually salmon that we favour. I’ve used tinned salmon for ease in these, to save extra faff and cooking.

Spinach is a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate, magnesium, iron, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. It is a source of dietary fibre, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc. Using frozen spinach again saved cooking and I find it easier in dishes like this. Frozen spinach is such a versatile and great ingredient to have on standby. If you don’t have frozen spinach in your life, go and get some. 

So the iron and omega 3 content also make this recipe a great one for pregnant ladies and for toddlers. A great family meal, one where you can cook just the one meal for all. I served ours with courgetti cooked in the wok with lemon juice and garlic, plus homemade coleslaw. 

 

Salmon and Spinach Fishcakes
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
389 calories
23 g
105 g
13 g
42 g
3 g
293 g
232 g
1 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
293g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 389
Calories from Fat 120
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
21%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 105mg
35%
Sodium 232mg
10%
Total Carbohydrates 23g
8%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 1g
Protein 42g
Vitamin A
16%
Vitamin C
17%
Calcium
4%
Iron
11%
* 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. 500g potatoes, skin on for extra fibre and for speed
  2. handful of frozen spinach (I used 4 lumps)
  3. 1 tbsp butter
  4. 2 tins salmon
  5. 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  6. 1 tbsp lemon juice
  7. 1 tbsp fresh parsley
  8. 1 tbsp fresh chives
  9. seasoning
  10. Breadcrumbs or polenta (see below)
Instructions
  1. Wash the potatoes, cut into small chunk and boil. Add the frozen spinach for the last few minutes.
  2. When soft mash the potato and spinach, leave to cool.
  3. Mix in the salmon, mustard and lemon juice, parsley, chives and seasoning.
  4. Now comes the fun part, shape into patties with your hands.
  5. Roll in the breadcrumbs.
  6. Now you can leave these to chill until you want to cook, freeze them or cook straight away.
  7. Cook at Gas Mark 6 for 10-15 minutes.
Notes
  1. I used bought breadcrumbs for the family, as they were in the cupboard and then I used cornmeal for my own fishcakes to make them wheat free. The picture above is of my wheat free fishcake with the polenta crumb.
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calories
389
fat
13g
protein
42g
carbs
23g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

 

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/

Chicken Satay Stir Fry

This week I’ve had a sudden creative burst and have been playing around with new recipe ideas. Typically not the best week for it as Miss K has had earache and tummyache, the boy is tired and the baby teething, but cooking and creating is one of my outlets.

I saw a recipe for chicken satay and it got my brain ticking. I wanted the satay taste with plenty of veggies and no skewers (imagine a 3 year old knight enthuisiast of a boy trying to sword fight across the table with his sister, I’d prefer not to visit A&E thanks). Initially I was thinking of cooking it on skewers and then removing them before serving, but that felt like an unnecessary step, plus someone was bound to want to help me with the skewer preparation part. I decided the 3 year old needed both his eyes, so went back to my roots and turned to my trusty wok.

The chicken was marinaded for a couple of hours (mixed up pre-school run) and I prepped the veggies at the same time, then popped them in a ziplock bag in the fridge, which meant this took minutes to cook. You could do this prep the night before and cook dinner in 10-15 minutes.

Dietitian UK: Satay chicken stirfry 1

I totally loved this meal, the rest of the family were all feeling a bit meh, so not feedback from them, except clean plates. This hit my peanut craving right on the head and the leftovers were great the next day with added avocado for lunch. I would add in actual chopped peanuts and have a serving of satay sauce on the side to drizzle over for extra finesse next time. Fresh coriander would also be a winner.

Dietitian UK: Satay chicken stirfry 2

 

Chicken Satay Stir Fry
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
358 calories
15 g
106 g
13 g
45 g
3 g
324 g
443 g
8 g
0 g
8 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
324g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 358
Calories from Fat 110
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
19%
Saturated Fat 3g
14%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 106mg
35%
Sodium 443mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 5g
20%
Sugars 8g
Protein 45g
Vitamin A
73%
Vitamin C
250%
Calcium
7%
Iron
19%
* 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. 500g Chicken Breasts
  2. 3 tbsp peanut butter
  3. 1 tbsp soy sauce
  4. 1 tbsp sweet thai chilli sauce
  5. 1 tsp sesame oil
  6. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  7. 2 tbsp water
  8. 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  9. 1 tbsp water
  10. 3 red peppers thinly sliced
  11. 200g sugar snap peas sliced lengthways
  12. Spring onions (optional I have onion dislikers in my family)
Instructions
  1. Mix the satay sauce, whisking the peanut butter, soy, thai sauce, sesame oil, garlic and water together.
  2. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and coat with the marinade.
  3. Cover and place in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
  4. Slice the vegetables and place in a Ziploc bag in the fridge until you are ready to cook.
  5. Heat a wok with the coconut oil or you could use a spray oil.
  6. Add the chicken and cook on a medium heat for five minutes, stirring regularly. Add 1tbsp water to prevent it sticking.
  7. Now add the sliced vegetables. Continue to cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked through.
  8. Serve with rice or noodles and extra satay sauce on the side.
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calories
358
fat
13g
protein
45g
carbs
15g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Family Mealtime Mayhem.

Family meal times are in my house a whirlwind. In my mind we are all going to sit down, enjoy a tasty, hot meal, with some lovely conversation and in relative calmness. The reality is very different. At the time of writing this I have a 6 year old girl, a 3 year old boy and an 8 month old baby. You can probably imagine how an average mealtime goes, but I will give you a snapshot in the hope it nomalises the chaos that may also be in your home.

Dietitian UK: Family MealtimeMayhemTop Tips.

Mummy manages to find time to cook up a nutritious dinner, that in itself is no mean feat. Cooking at actual teatime  in our house is like navigating through a very choppy sea, on a pirate ship, with cannon balls being thrown at you. So when possible I try to cook straight after school or at lunchtime. I plan meals at least a day in advance otherwise my stress levels spiral upwards!

Mummy calls for someone to lay the table, usually meaning can my husband please come and do it. The reality is the 3 year old comes, upon prompting the 6 year old may join him. The table is quickly cleared by mummy (by cleared read – swept to one side or everything moved to the nearest worktop) and an assortment of cutlery is laid out. Certain people must have certain cutlery of course. Do not dare to give the 6 year old anything but a fork with a flower design on it!

Finally food gets to the table, some people sit down whilst it is hot, others straggle along later. Now comes the “How many times can we get mummy to get up from her seat” game. 

  1. There are no drinks.
  2. The table was laid with only forks and no knifes.
  3. The boy wants a different coloured plate.
  4. The baby has no bib.
  5. Someone wants pepper.
  6. A spillage needs a cloth.
  7. The cat needs putting out as he is trying to steal the babies meal.

 And so on…

The 6 year old refuses to sit with her legs round the front of her chair and sort of hangs off the side. The 3 year old refuses to eat with cutlery most of the time. Someone starts a song which leads to a both children singing different songs at increasing volumes until mummy shouts “No singing at the table”. The conversation darts all over the place from Daddy trying to pass on some business information, to what happened at school and what the boy’s dinosaur wants to do tomorrow. Throughout it all the baby sits there and cracks on with her meal, watching it all. 

 

Towards the end of his meal, my boy tends to need some encouragement with eating his vegetables, along with some feeding. Then he will find a free adult lap to climb into. The 6 year old takes her time, leaving her favourite bit of dinner until the end. After a while the baby will want a cuddle and feed so mummy can end up feeding whilst eating her dinner. By the end of the meal there are content children, a food covered baby and a lot of clearing up to be done.

So, even if you are a dietitian, mealtimes can be a negotiation process and far from perfect. That is family life. Family mealtimes are such an important time in our house though. A place where the family is all together, a time for sharing news, for role modelling manners, healthy eating, portion sizes, taking it in turns speaking and a time for fun as well. 

Here are my top tips for family mealtimes:

  1. Plan meals ahead of time. I do a rough plan for the week at the weekend but leave it flexible as life happens. My children get a bit of input into this, so I canvas opinions and try to cook things everyone likes.
  2. Set aside some food prep time. Chopping all the veggies in one hit for 3 meals can save you time on other days. I find it easier to chop a pile of carrots, butternut squash, peppers and pop them in a ziplock bag in the fridge to keep fresh.
  3. Getting the kids involved can feel like it takes more time and effort, but see it as a learning time for them. I have a boy who loves to help me cook and my girl is getting quite good at laying the table now. Find the jobs that they enjoy.
  4. Don’t expect perfect table manners. Do have some family rules. One of ours is “No phones at the table” (well you can take a quick instagram shot and that’s it).
  5. Role model healthy eating and portion control to your children, they will thank you for it later in life.
  6. Offer a range of different foods throughout the week. We sometimes talk about the food we are eating, where it came from, what it is made from and what it tastes like.
  7. Don’t force anyone to eat anything they don’t want to eat. 
  8. You may have to eat super early in order to fit with the children but I still think it is important to do this and it leaves you time for fruit and yoghurt later on.
  9. Enjoy the time you have together. It is precious. 
  10. Laugh in the face of chaos 😉

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/

Lean and Bean Burgers.

So one of the ways I get inspiration for meals and recipes is to go shopping. This week I went to Asda, not our usual supermarket but we went as someone had told me they had skipping ropes and hula hoops reduced right down. Just to interject here, shopping with a 3 month old, almost 3 year old and 5.5 year old on your own is madness. Of course by time I had navigated getting a baby and 2 kids into the car, found the shop, out of the car, across the car park, into and around the trolley and into the shop – there had sold them all.  Never one to like a wasted journey we had a little walk around and stocked up on a few essentials/not-so-much-essentials-but-childrens-requests. Did I mention the madness of shopping with 3 small people?!

I love looking at new food products. They seem to be coming onto the market continually. So when perusing the reduced section (I can’t step away from a bargain) I found “Lean and Bean Mince”. It is 60% beef and 40% beans. I love this. Adding the beans means you use less beef and more plant protein, making it lower in total and saturated fat but still high in protein and it is also saving you pennies. Normal lean beef mince is £7.80/kg for a 500g pack and this was £4.38/kg. It is also exactly the advice I often dish out to people: “bulk out your meat dishes by adding plant protein such as lentils, beans and other pulses”. Potentially a new health food product that is actually good!

Getting home I was then left with the dilemma of what to make with the new mince. Too many ideas, too little time. As I was cooking with the help of all the small people, I went for burgers. My thought being I could do it in stages and they may like to get their hands messy and help. Turns out they didn’t want to help, but they did want to help eat them at tea time.

Dietitan UK: Lean and Bean Burgers 2

This mince is definitely tasty, it does taste more like a veggie mince and is dryer than a normal beef version, but that is to be expected. It tasted good and held together well for burgers. We had some left so I used them the next day in a tomato based sauce for a pasta bolognaise that was very nice. I love it when you manage to cook 2 meals in one hit 🙂

Dietitan UK: Lean and Bean Burgers 1

Lean and Bean Burgers
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
179 calories
34 g
0 g
1 g
10 g
0 g
207 g
266 g
4 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
207g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 179
Calories from Fat 8
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
1%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 266mg
11%
Total Carbohydrates 34g
11%
Dietary Fiber 11g
44%
Sugars 4g
Protein 10g
Vitamin A
108%
Vitamin C
31%
Calcium
8%
Iron
15%
* 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 medium courgette
  2. 2 medium carrots
  3. 2 cloves of garlic
  4. 1 small onion
  5. large handful of parsley (including stalks)
  6. 400g lean and bean mince
  7. 1tbsp balsamic vinegar
  8. pinch dried rosemary
  9. Zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
Instructions
  1. Using a grater or food processor grate the courgette, carrots, onion, garlic and parsley.
  2. Mix the veggies in with the mince and all other ingredients.
  3. Shape into patties with your hands and place onto a lined, greased baking tray.
  4. Place in the fridge to firm up for a minimum 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
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calories
179
fat
1g
protein
10g
carbs
34g
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.
beta
calories
236
fat
5g
protein
12g
carbs
38g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Vegetable Beany Bake

I love vegetarian meals and we actually eat more vegetarian meals in our house than meat containing ones. However it is all too easy to get stuck in a rut. I realised that I haven’t used many beans for a while and I have a store of dried ones of all varieties. Partially this is because I don’t cope too well with having large portions of them in my diet. Also I wasn’t sure my boy would be best impressed with me. How wrong I was, tthe dish was emptied, plates all cleared and everyone had seconds!

Beans and Pulses are a Fodmap so they can cause issues for some people… the trick is to work out how much you can tolerate, I know my limit is a small portion (2 tbsp) about once a week. As with many things it is all about tolerance and moderation. 

Apparently 2016 is the year of pulses. This group of foods includes beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils, they are probably best know for their fibre content and wind producing abilites! It is recommended that we eat 30g a day of fibre, which is actually a fair amount to fit in and requires a healthy, well thought out eating plan for your day. Pulses can be a helpful way to get that fibre content up, 3 tbsp is about 6g fibre. They are a great source of insoluble fibre to help sweep the system through and helps with constipation issues. They also contain soluble fibre, which binds with cholesterol stopping it being absorbed and can help control blood sugar levels too.

A great protein source for vegans and vegetarians too. However they do not contain all the essential amino acids that our body needs to build proteins, so my advice is to always eat a variety of protein sources and a variety of different pulses. In this recipe I included cannellini beans and chickpeas.

Added bonus 3 tbsp (80g) also counts as a portion of fruit and vegetables. This recipe contains 400g beans so 5 adult portions. Along with the vegetables this works out at 3 portions of vegetables in a meal.

Dietitian UK: Beany Bake1

Dietitian UK: Beany Bake 2

Vegetable Beany Bake
Serves 6
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
20 min
284 calories
51 g
0 g
5 g
12 g
1 g
302 g
250 g
8 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
302g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 284
Calories from Fat 39
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
7%
Saturated Fat 1g
4%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 250mg
10%
Total Carbohydrates 51g
17%
Dietary Fiber 12g
48%
Sugars 8g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
232%
Vitamin C
108%
Calcium
10%
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. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1 onion sliced
  3. 2 galric cloves crushed
  4. 2 carrots peeled and diced
  5. 2 peppers chopped
  6. 2 sweet potatoes peeled and in small chunks
  7. 1 tsp paprika
  8. 1 tsp cumin
  9. 1 tsp mixed dried herbs or a large handful of fresh herbs
  10. 1 bay leaf
  11. 400g chopped tomatoes
  12. 100ml water
  13. 400g mixed pulses (I used cannelini beans and chickpeas)
Topping
  1. 2 slices of bread (wheat/gluten free if needed)
  2. 100g oats (gluten free if needed)
  3. Fresh parsley
  4. mozzerella
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Cook the onions and garlic for a couple of minutes.
  2. Add the carrots and peppers and cook for 5 minutes on a gentle heat.
  3. Mix in the paprika and cumin then the sweet potatoes and cook for a minute.
  4. Now add the chopped tomatoes, bay leaf and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes until everything is soft.
  5. Mix in the cooked/tinned and drained pulses along with the herbs.
  6. Break up the bread into crumbs using your hands or a food processor.
  7. Mix with the chopped fresh parsley and oats.
  8. Place the beany mix in an overproof dish and top with the oats and breadcrumb mixture.
  9. Dot with mozzerella if wanted.
  10. Bake for 20 minutes at Gas Mark 6.
Notes
  1. If using dried beans use 200g, soak overnight, drain the water and then cook for 40 minutes or until soft.
beta
calories
284
fat
5g
protein
12g
carbs
51g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Salmon and Kale Bombs.

Recently I was very pleased to be passed on some kale. A fair amount of kale that needed using quick, so we’ve been going a bit kaletastic. 

Salmon and kale = one of those winning combo’s in my mind. It turns out the small people agreed with me and hoovered up their dinner. One happy mummy as they got a whole heap of goodness from this meal. This was also our first meal eating al-fresco this year. Love love love. 

It always surprises me that the J-boy who is not always the keenest vegetable eater will happily eat his greens when mixed into meals. If you have a child who isn’t keen on veggies then try this out on them. Sometimes having your veggies on the side makes them harder to eat, so I tend to incorporate them into as many main meals as I can and then add some on the side too.

Kale:  Packed with vitamins C and A (1 cup provides over 200% of the RDA for vitamin A and over 100% of vitamin C), also providing calcium, vitamin B6 and some iron. Kale contains the powerful antioxidants beta-carotene, quercetin and kaempferol. These have numerous health benefits including fighting cancer, oxidative damage to the body, anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing. 

Salmon: Omega 3’s, one of the unsung heroes of our diets. These can help protect against heart disease, play a role in helping treat depression and are important for the development of a baby. You want to be including these in your meal plan 1-2 times a week if possible, once only if you are pregnant. Oily fish are the best known source but linseeds, walnuts and tofu are some alternatives.

Sesame seeds: High in calcium and iron content, magnesium and B6. I included these for the texture and the calcium and iron content as I am in the late stages of pregnancy so always thinking about keeping my iron and calcium stores up. Call me paranoid….

Dietitian UK: Salmon and kale bombs

Salmon and Kale Bombs
Serves 4
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
592 calories
7 g
238 g
24 g
83 g
4 g
400 g
465 g
1 g
0 g
11 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
400g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 592
Calories from Fat 213
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 24g
37%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 6g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 238mg
79%
Sodium 465mg
19%
Total Carbohydrates 7g
2%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 1g
Protein 83g
Vitamin A
170%
Vitamin C
101%
Calcium
17%
Iron
17%
* 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. 4 salmon fillets
  2. 100ml milk
  3. 200g kale chopped very fine
  4. 1 medium egg or 2 small
  5. 2 tbsp chopped chives
  6. black pepper
  7. gluten free/wheatfree breadcrumbs
  8. sesame seeds
Instructions
  1. Place the salmon in a pan with the milk, allow it to poach for 10 minutes. Then strain the milk into a jug, get as much liquid as you can out of the fish. You can keep this to use in another recipe such as a cheese sauce.
  2. Meanwhile chop up the kale and chives.
  3. Now break up the fish into small flakes, mix with the kale, chives, pepper and egg. The mixture should be wet but not sloppy as you want to be able to shape it into balls.
  4. Place the breadcrumbs in a shallow dish, mix in the sesame seeds.
  5. Roll spoonfuls in you hands into balls, then drop into the breadcrumb mix and roll the fish ball in it.
  6. Place onto a lined baking tray and pop into the fridge for an hour to firm up. (Make ahead up to this point).
  7. Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes.
beta
calories
592
fat
24g
protein
83g
carbs
7g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Lentil Shepherds Pie Jackets

Comfort food that is good for you? Yup it’s one of those type of recipes. I’m often recommended people eat more pulses and there seems to be a lack of knowledge about good ways to eat more of them. So if that is you…. here you go, a yummy recipe that makes lentils attractive to the family. 

These are vegetarian, wheat free and packed with the protein power of lentils plus plenty of fibre from the veggies. lentils and skins of the potatoes. The lentils also provide zinc, iron, B vitamins and folate. They will also lower the glycemic index of this meal, so you should feel fuller for longer and have better glycaemic control. Pretty much a winning dish.

Dietitian UK: Lentil Jackets-1

Trust me, my family looked at dinner and went “Oooooo that looks good mummy”. 

J boy eats lentil jackets

I love a jacket spud but sometimes you just want to go one better, but keep it healthy. Not so much a wow factor but a warm glow factor. 

This recipe uses an adaptation of my lentil bolognaise recipe, one of those recipes that you want to make double or quadruple of and freeze as it is so versatile.

Dietitian UK: Lentil Jackets 3

Lentil Shepherds Pie Jackets
Serves 4
Vegetarian, wheat free and an all round healthy family meal.
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619 calories
101 g
26 g
14 g
29 g
6 g
786 g
371 g
17 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
786g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 619
Calories from Fat 123
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
22%
Saturated Fat 6g
31%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 26mg
9%
Sodium 371mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates 101g
34%
Dietary Fiber 17g
70%
Sugars 17g
Protein 29g
Vitamin A
265%
Vitamin C
445%
Calcium
35%
Iron
51%
* 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. 4 medium potatoes
  2. 1 tbsp butter
  3. dash of milk
  4. 50g grated cheese
  5. 1tbsp olive oil
  6. 2 onions, diced
  7. 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  8. 3 large carrots, peeled and grated
  9. 2 large peppers deseeded and finely chopped
  10. 1/2 large or 1 small head and stalk of broccoli finely chopped
  11. 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  12. 200g red lentils
  13. 2 tbsp tomato puree
  14. 200ml water
  15. 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  16. 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  17. 2 tsp soy sauce
  18. black pepper
Instructions
  1. Wash, scrub and prick 4 medium potatoes. Put in the microwave for 10 minutes on high. Turn the oven to Gas Mark 5.
  2. Meanwhile: Grate/finely chop the veggies or even easier - put it in a food processor and blitz it to fine pieces.
  3. Heat the oil, pop the veggies in the pan and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Add the lentils and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Now add the chopped tomatoes, water and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for 40 minutes.
  7. Whilst it cooks, put the potatoes in the oven to continue baking.
  8. Once the potatoes are done (30 minutes or so), test them inserting a knife into them. Then cut in half and allow to cool and allow the lentil mixture to cool too.
  9. Scoop out the inside of the potatoes with a spoon, place the flesh in a bowl and mash with a little butter and milk.
  10. Fill the potatoes with the lentil mixture and place on a baking tray.
  11. Top with the mash and use a fork to spread it over. Sprinkle over the cheese.
  12. You can now leave the potatoes in the fridge until later or bake straight away at Gas Mark 5 for 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
Notes
  1. Keep any left over lentil mix for the freezer or serve it on the side for hungry tummies.
beta
calories
619
fat
14g
protein
29g
carbs
101g
more
Dietitian UK http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/