Category Archives: Media

Veggie Croquettes

After making these I was named the Empress of Veggies by the one and only Gregg Wallace, so I felt I had to share this recipe! It is a little messy to make (make sure you squeeze the fluid out of the veggies) but those dips combined with the croquettes = heaven. 

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Veggie Croquettes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Eat Well for Less

Ingredients

  • 200 g cauliflower coarsely grated
  • 200 g sweet potato peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and coarsely grated (200g)
  • 1 medium courgette coarsely grated (200g)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch parsley picked and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • 100 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6. Line a large shallow baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place all the grated vegetables into a large bowl and mix together. Add the remaining ingredients and mix really well, squishing it all together until evenly mixed. Set aside to soften for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix once more then divide into 8 in the bowl, then take each portion and form into two little sausages. Place onto the lined baking tray then repeat with the remaining mixture to form 16 sausages.
  4. Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the croquette golden brown on the outside, .
  5. While the croquettes bake, prepare the dips.

 

 

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Pea guacamole

Author Eat Well for Less

Ingredients

  • 240 g frozen peas
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeded and very roughly chopped
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • ½ small bunch coriander very roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients for the pea guacamole into a large food processor and pulse until just broken down, then scrape the sides of the processor down. Blitz until just beginning to get smooth - you want a little texture left. Tip into a serving bowl and taste
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Sweetcorn Salsa

Ingredients

  • 240 g tinned sweetcorn
  • 4 tomatoes chopped
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • ½ small bunch coriander chopped
  • ½ lime juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients for the sweetcorn salsa into bowl and mix well then tip into a serving bowl.

I hope you enjoy making these and it gets you eating more veggies! 

Low Carb Diets

Today has been all about carbohydrates as a new study was published in the Lancet. I’ve spoken on ITV new  and Wave 105 radio about it and  video/audio clips are at the end.

So what’s the low down?  This is a controversial topic as low carb diets have become popular. I’m not against this, but I do think it needs to be properly thought through and planned out. Low carb diets are used by some dietitians clinically for diabetes control, weight loss and for some metabolic disorders. However there is a way to do it right. Let’s break the latest study down:

👉 This was an observational study and it used food frequency questionnaires, so not the best data as this is self reported after the event. It is easy to forget what you eat or under/over-estimate. However the study  was followed over 25 yrs  with over 15,000 people taking part.

👉 A U-shaped relationship was found with increased mortality on a high carb or low carb diet. Low carb being <30% calories coming from carbohydrates. High carb being >60% calories coming from carbohydrates.

👉Eating moderate carbs (50-55% of total calories) was shown to be best. This is what our UK guidlines are based on so we already advise this. 

👉 Swapping carbs for plant based fats and proteins has better outcomes compared to animal products. So if you reduce your carbs it does matter what you replace them with.

👉 This study didn’t look at the type of carbs eaten. We want to be eating #wholegrains and reducing refined carbs (unless you have a medical reason to eat a low fibre diet).

👉 Eating lower carb may help weight loss and with diabetic control but it’s all about balance. Not overdoing it and taking all carbs out. Choose sensible sized portions of wholegrain carbs with meals.

👉 Everyone is individual. If you are more active you may need more carbs. If you are recovering from an eating disorder you may need more carbs. If you on a special diet you may need less carbs. If any of that applies to you then seek advice from a #Dietitan or #registerednutritionist.

One big issue that comes out of all of this is we keep on focusing on individual nutrients. It is not helpful to break food down and count the grams you are eating or the calories from each nutrient and could be triggering for an eating disorder. Food is complex, it is made up of many nutrients some of which we can’t even give a precise measure of. So once again we come back to common sense nutrition, eating sensible portions of balanced meals and listening to your internal cues of hunger/fullness.

 

Quick, Tasty Beef Stir Fry – Eat Well for Less

Stir Fry is one of those meals we make a lot at home. It is fast food, easy to make and satisying. This one, made on Eat Well for Less uses frying steak which is quick to cook due to it’s thinness and cheaper than other cuts.  Top tip – you don’t want to overcook this so having all your ingredients pre chopped and ready for action is a good idea.

This is one of those recipes you can make your own. Adding bamboo shoots and beansprouts would give it a nice Chinese style touch, or add any other veggies you have.

Use gluten free soy sauce  and stock cube to make this a gluten free meal.

Red meat is important for iron and zinc intake, something that we know is an issue for teenage girls and young women. This can then be exacerbated if you become pregnant. So whilst red meat is sometimes frowned upon, this recipe provides a great way to include it in your weeks meal plan.

I’ve modified it from the version on the show, scaling it down to serve 4 people rather than 6. 

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Easy Beef Stir Fry

Servings 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 300 g basmati rice
  • 1/2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 400 g frying steak
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 40 g cashew nuts
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • thumb sized piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 small bunch coriander
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the rice. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the  basmati, stir well then cook according to the packet instructions.


  2. Heat a wok over a high heat until hot, add half the oil and when it’s just smoking, add the beef. Sprinkle with cornflour and stir-fry until browned all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.


  3. Stir-fry the cashews until just golden-brown then set aside with the beef.


  4. Carefully wipe the wok until clean using kitchen roll. Bring to a high heat and add the remaining oil. Once hot, add the red onion and fry for 1–2 minutes, or until just soft. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute


  5. Half fill the kettle and bring to the boil. Add the broccoli, soy and oyster sauce to the wok and mix well. Add the vegetable stock cube with 400ml/14fl oz boiling water and bring to the boil, stirring well. Cover with a lid (use kitchen foil if you don't have a suitable pan lid) and cook for 2 minutes or until the broccoli is just tender (you don’t want to lose the bright green colour).


  6. Add in beansprouts, bamboo shoots if wanted at this stage.



  7. Stir the cooked beef and cashews through the sauce and heat for a minute. Scatter over the coriander and serve immediately with the cooked, drained rice.

Eat Well for Less: Ham and Cheese Bites

Everyone is always after quick, nutritious, filling snacks. So this one shared on Eat Well for Less ticks all those boxes. 

If you want to give these a go here is the recipe, you can totally make this your own, add your favourite herbs, veggies etc. These are gluten free, dairy free (if you use dairy free cheese) and nut free.

These freeze well or keep them in the fridge for 3 days. I think they are fab for packed lunches.

Don’t forget to watch the rest of the series – BBC1 Thursdays 8pm. Or get it on BBC Iplayer.

Ham and Cheese Quinoa Bites
Yields 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
159 calories
13 g
111 g
7 g
11 g
3 g
144 g
188 g
2 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
144g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159
Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 111mg
37%
Sodium 188mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
16%
Vitamin C
16%
Calcium
11%
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. 180g quinoa, cooked in water and left to cool
  2. 6 spring onions, chopped
  3. 6 tomatoes, chopped
  4. 6 eggs
  5. 1 tsp mustard powder
  6. 120g ham, chopped
  7. 120g grated cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
  3. Chop the veggies, ham and grate the cheese
  4. Break the eggs into a bowl, beat.
  5. Mix all ingredients together and stir well.
  6. Grease a muffin tin.
  7. Spoon the mix in then heap it up on the top, making mountains.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes.
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calories
159
fat
7g
protein
11g
carbs
13g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

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Eat Well for Less: Lentil Curry and Naan.

 
So a lot of people have been asking for the recipe for the lentil curry and naan after it was shown on Eat well for less, Series 5, Episode 1. If you haven’t seen then do pop to BBC Iplayer and have a look. We are back on this Thursday too, BBC1  8pm, please tune in! 
 
Firstly a huge Thankyou if you watched. Please do watch the remaining series too there is so much good stuff to come!
 
Secondly it’s music to my ears to know so many were loving the lentils. I’m half Sri-Lankan so this is very much “my type of food”.
 
The BBC made a fab video with the ingredients for the lentil curry.
Do check it out and if you follow my Dietitian UK Facebook and Instagram I will repost any further recipes from the show.
 
The naan recipe cooked on the show, has not been shared yet but I here is a version that I love just as much, made at home for you, as so many people have been asking. Flatbreads and naan are so easy to make and a joy to eat.
 
Homemade flatbread/naan
Serves 4
Easy to make, super delicious with curry
Write a review
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
139 calories
29 g
0 g
0 g
4 g
0 g
51 g
2 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
51g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 139
Calories from Fat 4
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 29g
10%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
3%
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. 150g flour (can be gluten free, I favour a mix of 100g white flour and 50g wholemeal for extra fibre)
  2. 50g Greek Yoghurt
  3. 50ml warm Water
  4. 1 tbsp mixed herbs or 1 tsp spices
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour and yoghurt together.
  2. Add the herbs/spices now if you remember, if not then can be added at the kneading stage.
  3. Add the water and mix to a dough.
  4. Tip onto a floured surface and knead for just a couple of minutes.
  5. Break into 4 pieces, roll into a round and roll out with a rolling pin.
beta
calories
139
fat
0g
protein
4g
carbs
29g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Here is the dough ready for rolling. I added a herb mixture into these.

Cook in a non stick hot pan on a medium-high heat. After a couple of minutes it will start to puff up, that is when you turn it over.

Enjoy! 

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How do we know when we are hungry/full?

In a completely perfect world we would eat when hungry, stop when full and eat the foods our body tells us to eat. However few of us are that tuned into our bodies signals. We are bombarded with outside signals for example the media, advertising, other people, shops, restaurants – food is all around us.

You walk down the road and pass someone eating a burger, “hmmm I fancy one of those now”. Then you pass a billboard advertising ice-cream, “oh I could eat an ice-cream later”. Then someone in the office has a birthday so you have a slice of cake. Later on the radio is advertising a meal deal which makes you think of buying one for your lunch. In the shop you are standing waiting to pay and see a cereal bar so pick it up to nibble on. All those extra signals that are overriding your actual body signals. It’s all so easy to be overwhelmed by the external and takes a lot of quietening ourselves to hear the internal cues. 

Many people I work with cannot actually initially  pinpoint what hunger feels like. I ask how hungry they are and am met with a confused look. Hunger on the one hand is quite a simple idea, your body is hungry, it tells you, you eat. Other the other hand it is complex, so complex. There is head hunger, body hunger, stomach hunger, emotional hunger.

Here is my 7 year olds take on how she knows she is hungry. I think this is such an important conversation to have with children AND adults. So have a think this week, how do you feel hunger and how hungry are you before you eat? 

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Diet Secrets – TV appearance clip Jan 2018.

When I was asked if I would take part in a documentary style show that was about myth busting and presenting the science behind dieting  I knew this was something I needed to get involved in. 

The show was of course a little controversial (or it wouldn’t make good TV) and I hadn’t realised celebs would be put on diets as part of it… but it made interesting viewing and had a great team of experts speaking. I love the fact that more and more times there are fully qualified, sensible talking actual experts talking about nutrition in the media.  More please! In fact I was working on a shoot recently and the food stylist was telling me about her time working with Gillian McKeith a few years ago and how times have changed so much since then.  A lot more credibility is now needed for most media outlets.

So here are some snippets of my on camera parts for the show, I hope you like it! A great facial expression to start 😉

 

 

Is eating gluten free healthier?

Gluten free eating has been bang on trend recently. Why? There is a thought that gluten affects weight, causes bloating and is commonly poorly digested. However, often it is not actually gluten that is the issue. There can be several other explanations, for example: large portions of carbohydrate foods can cause bloating, just because of the amount of food in one sitting. In those suffering from IBS, the issue is unlikely to be gluten, but that of FODMAPS, which include wheat, lactose, beans, pulses, plus certain fruits and vegetables. Another key reason can be the overall diet. Eating a diet that is high in packaged, processed foods can cause symptoms that then disappear when you remove gluten. Why? Because why gluten is removed, your whole diet changes. It is not gluten that is always the culprit, take a look at this clip from Food Truth or Scare for more.

Gluten free foods can be: 👉 lower in fibre. 👉 higher in fat. 👉higher in sugars 👉higher in calories. 👉lower in B vitamins. 👉lower in iron 👉often they are not wholegrain.

Therefore gluten free foods are not healthier!  Of course if you are gluten free for medical reasons you may need to have these foods but you can also use grains such as buckwheat and quinoa to provide your wholegrains. So it also doesn’t mean you can’t have a great healthy diet and be gluten free, it just require more planning and thought. Top advice: only go gluten-free if you absolutely need to.

 

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Gut Health on Air

I love media work and am of the opinion that dietitians and registered nutritionists need to be shouting the right nutrition messages out on the air waves and in the press. Not only so the public hear good nutrition advice, but also so the public know who to turn to for that advice. Google can bring up all kinds of wierd, wacky and dodgy advice. Social media is full of everyone and anyone shouting their nutrition messages out. Working with the media can be a way to push the experts to view. 

So therefore I was more than happy to pop in and chat to Sasha Twinings at BBC Radio Solent about nutrition and to answer some of her listeners questions live.

Here is a little snippet of our chat. We cover IBS and fermented foods.

 

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The risk of social media.

Social media for me is essential. It brings me work, it brings me a virtual team and it enables me to stay up to date. I love it for personal and business reasons. It has connected me to a community of other nutrition professionals who I would probably never had met otherwise. I have daily chats with people about the current research, I can ask questions and support others, I can share resources and collaborate with them.

But at the same time social media can be a tough place to be. The nutrition world has become a crazy place. There are people with no training in nutrition publishing books and becoming the got-to for advice. There are highly qualified and respected experts getting caught up in social media wars.  I can completely understand why some people stay away from it altogether. 

Here are some things I am thankful for on social media:

Dietitian’s and registered nutritionists are trained to read the research and interpret it. That may sound simple but there can be many ways to interpret one piece of research. I’m thankful for people who share research, those who give an unbiased view, those who answer questions and help when others need a clearer answer or more research to back up a view. 

A virtual community who are supportive, forward thinking and inspire me. Working as a freelancer I don’t actually see other dietitian’s that often. To all those who are on the cutting edge with popdcasts, videos, infographics – thankyou. 

People who get in contact to just say nice things. Those who notice and say hi, those who comment on a blog post or a recipe. It is appreciated. 

Things that I wish I could change on social media:

The sniping and fighting that goes on. There is not one perfect answer, or one perfect diet. So maybe sometimes we have to agree to disagree.

Promoting of books and money making schemes over the science. It can be all too easy to think that just because someone has a book contract it makes them an expert. There are too many arguments about who is the expert. Personally I would say look at someone’s qualifications. If they are talking about nutrition have they actually studied nutrition? 

Black and white thinking. Social media only provides you with a small number of characters or a snapshot moment to present your point. This can mean that things become black or white, you end up having to take a side. Nutrition is a fairly new science and we are learning so much all of the time, with new research coming out tat is adding to our evidence. Therefore we do not have absolutes, what we do have is a base of science that we build upon. 

If you are a nutrition professional I do think you need to be on social media, sharing accurate messages, supporting your profession and keeping up with the world on there. How we group together and fight these battles that go on is not something I can answer but I do know it needs to be co-ordinated and professional.