Tag Archives: healthy family meals

Mackerel Carbonara

Now this recipe, it’s not a combination that instantly springs to mind, in fact I remember Gregg being dubious when we cooked this on Eat Well for less. … however it works. This is a great way to get oily fish back on the menu for family meals.

Oily fish is such a important food to try and incorporate into your weekly meal planning due to the omega 3 content. Omega 3’s are a essential fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects, can help with brain health, cognitive function, heart health and even asthma.

I hope you enjoy the recipe – do make sure to turn off the heat before adding in the sauce of the yoghurt will curdle. 

Print

SMOKED MACKEREL CARBONARA

Ingredients

  • 450 g spaghetti
  • 2 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 400 g greek yoghurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 60 g parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 medium courgettes grated
  • 350 g boneless smoked mackerel skin removed and flaked
  • 240 g baby spinach
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti and stir well.  Simmer for 12-15 minutes until cooked.

  2. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Whisk together the horseradish sauce, yoghurt, eggs and parmesan. Season with black pepper.

  3. Heat a large pan until medium hot, add the oil and stir fry the courgette for 2 minutes until it has started to soften.

  4. Add the smoked mackerel, mix well then cook for another minute. Stir in the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until wilted down.

  5. Turn the heat off (to prevent curdling), add the horseradish and yoghurt mixture into the pan. Stir really quickly until mixed throughout the courgettes and mackerel. 

  6. Drain the pasta and tip straight into the pan, with about 100ml of the cooking water, then stir until totally covered in the sauce.

  7. Serve straight away with the parsley scattered over the top.

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.
Write a review
Print
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 https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Vegetable Potato Lasagne

So what do you do when you’ve been building up all day to a vegetable lasagne and then you realise you are out of wheat free lasagne sheets? 

1. Make something else?

2. Make your own lasagne?

3. Use potato instead?

Today I was feeling a bit more inventive, plus I had a tonne of potatoes to use up… so option 3 it was.

This worked really well, it took longer to cook as I wanted the potatoes to definitely be on the softer side, but you could parboil them to help speed up the cooking time. My cottage cheese white sauce is a big hit.Healthier, quicker to make and lighter on the stomach and palate too, it takes lasagne from a “weekend meal” to an “everyday meal”.  My family are happy.

Someone suggested this was more of a moussaka, I’m not sure. I’m going with lasagne as that is what I based it on. Call it what you like. It’s delicious. 

Dietitian UK: Vegetable Potato Lasagne 1 

Dietitian UK: Vegetable Potato Lasagne 2

Vegetable Potato Lasagne
Serves 6
A healthy take on a vegetable lasagne using cottage cheese to make the white sauce and potato instead of lasagne sheets. Grain free, gluten free.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
1 hr
296 calories
42 g
17 g
8 g
12 g
4 g
455 g
191 g
10 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
455g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 296
Calories from Fat 70
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
12%
Saturated Fat 4g
18%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 17mg
6%
Sodium 191mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 42g
14%
Dietary Fiber 8g
30%
Sugars 10g
Protein 12g
Vitamin A
69%
Vitamin C
130%
Calcium
18%
Iron
14%
* 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 medium onion
  3. 3-4 cloves of garlic
  4. 2 peppers
  5. 2 courgettes
  6. 1 carrot
  7. Mixed dried herbs
  8. Black pepper
  9. Balsamic vinegar
  10. 1 tsp sugar
  11. 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  12. Small glass of red wine
  13. 1 large aubergine
  14. 4 medium potatoes
  15. 150g cottage cheese
  16. 150g greek yoghurt
  17. 80g grated cheddar cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pan.
  2. Chop the onion and crush the garlic, then saute in the pan.
  3. Now add the peppers, carrot and courgettes, cook for a couple of minutes before adding the chopped tomatoes and wine.
  4. Bring to a simmer and add the pepper, balsamic, herbs and sugar. All to simmer gently whilst you prepare the rest of the dish.
  5. Slice the aubergine and potatoes lengthways into thin slices.
  6. You could now parboil the potatoes to speed up the cooking time in the oven.
  7. Mix the cottage cheese with the yoghurt to get a thinner consistency.
  8. Now comes the fun…. in an overproof dish layer up the lasagne. Start with the tomato and vegetables base, top with aubergine slices, then potato and the white sauce. Repeat the layers one more time, ending with the white sauce on the top.
  9. Sprinkle with grated cheese and bake in the oven as Gas Mark 5 for 45-60 minutes.
  10. Test the potatoes are cooked by prodding with a skewer.
  11. ENJOY!
beta
calories
296
fat
8g
protein
12g
carbs
42g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

 

How to make a GOOD Salmon and Broccoli Risotto.

So it is fair to say we eat a lot of risotto in our house. It’s wheat free so I can eat it, it is easy to cook with small people “helping you” and my family literally devour it. If you don’t finish your portion quick someone else will ask for it “More, More”. 

The first few times I cooked risotto it was a disaster. A plate of overcooked rice with peas and cheese on top. As a student I didn’t think it was too bad a meal, however looking back it makes me wince. I now know where I went wrong – I used the wrong ingredients. Partially due to being on a budget but mainly because I didn’t know any better.  A good risotto needs the right ingredients and a bit of love. You don’t need to spend a fortune, in fact I have a top tip below on how to save pennies!

Firstly if you are using rice for risotto, use the right kind. Your normal easy cook/basmati/long grain will not cut the mustard here. Get risotto rice. It may cost a bit more, but I buy a few packs when it is on offer and I also use pearl barley to reduce the cost. 

Secondly use a good stock. This is vital for it to taste good. If you can get away from that salty stock cube and make your own. Each time we roast a chicken I make stock which then goes in the freezer for risotto’s. 

Thirdly find a spoon you like to stir with and make sure you pop back and stir it regularly. It will help you see when it is ready and usually makes me remember to add all the extra flavours in.

This risotto was made with all pearl barley. I sometimes mix risotto rice and pearl barley which adds wholegrains in, brings in a nutty texture and brings down the cost all in one go. 

Dietitian UK: Salmon and Broccoli  Barley Risotto

Salmon and Broccoli Barley Risotto
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
472 calories
52 g
65 g
12 g
36 g
2 g
373 g
204 g
5 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
373g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 472
Calories from Fat 105
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 12g
18%
Saturated Fat 2g
9%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 65mg
22%
Sodium 204mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 52g
17%
Dietary Fiber 12g
48%
Sugars 5g
Protein 36g
Vitamin A
26%
Vitamin C
229%
Calcium
14%
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. 1 tbsp olive oil
  2. 200g pearl barley
  3. 150ml white wine
  4. Decent chicken stock, make up to about 500ml
  5. 100ml semi skimmed milk
  6. 1 head broccoli
  7. 80g stilton
  8. 400g salmon
  9. 2 tsp lemon juice
  10. nutmeg
  11. black pepper
  12. parsley
Instructions
  1. Heat the olive oil and stir in the pearl barley. Leave to cook for a few minutes.
  2. Add the wine, stir and let it absorb.
  3. Meanwhile chop the broccoli into small pieces.
  4. Now add the broccoli to the pan and stir in.
  5. Gradually add a bit of the stock at a time, stirring regularly and letting the barley absorb the stock.
  6. Add the stilton and let this melt in.
  7. After 10 minutes add the salmon, chopped into small cubes.
  8. When the stock is finished add a little milk to give it more creaminess. You could use cream here but I don't personally.
  9. Whilst it is all cooking add the lemon juice, nutmeg, black pepper and parsley - stir some more.
beta
calories
472
fat
12g
protein
36g
carbs
52g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Bacon and Kale Pasta

It’s a new year and I’m trying out new meals. This is one recipe idea I’ve had scribbled down in my ideas book for ages, but I’ve not had the guts to try it out on the family. Now my lot are good at trying new things and generally I’m pretty lucky as they eat most things. But I wasn’t convinced that they would see this as a hit. Pasta, yes, bacon, yes… but kale and red cabbage too? I went for it as we had all the right ingredients just waiting to be used up.

However I was very pleased I went with it. It was an all round hit. Everyone had seconds. Maybe I should grow kale this year. 

Dietitian UK: Bacon and Kale Pasta 

Miss K:  “Mummy I love it, love it”.

Toddler boy: banging his bowl asking for more – admittedly he wanted the pasta more than the kale.

This is a fresh tasting, zingy pasta dish, with crunch from the kale and a hit of saltiness from the bacon and the cheese. 

Bacon and Kale Pasta
Serves 4
A fresh, zingy, crunchy pasta dish packed full of antioxidants and vitamins K, A and C.
Write a review
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
390 calories
66 g
13 g
8 g
17 g
2 g
286 g
347 g
7 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
286g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 390
Calories from Fat 68
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g
12%
Saturated Fat 2g
10%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 13mg
4%
Sodium 347mg
14%
Total Carbohydrates 66g
22%
Dietary Fiber 6g
26%
Sugars 7g
Protein 17g
Vitamin A
250%
Vitamin C
271%
Calcium
17%
Iron
18%
* 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 tsp rapeseed oil
  2. 6 rashers of back bacon
  3. 1 onion diced
  4. 300g mixed kale and red cabbage chopped
  5. 1 garlic clove crushed
  6. 1 tsp dried rosemary
  7. 1 chilli finely chopped (optional) we added this after to the adults dishes
  8. 1 lemon, juiced
  9. 250g pasta (gluten free if required)
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a pan, add the chopped bacon and cook for a few minutes along with the onion.
  2. Now turn down the heat and add the kale, along with a splash of water if needed.
  3. Cook gently for 10 minutes, meanwhile cook the pasta.
  4. Add the garlic, rosemary and optional chilli to the kale.
  5. Strain the cooked pasta, adding a spoon of the water to the kale.
  6. Mix the pasta into the kale and add the lemon juice.
  7. Serve topped with grated hard cheese.
beta
calories
390
fat
8g
protein
17g
carbs
66g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
 

 

How to stay on top of family meals

 I love cooking. The kitchen is the place I relax, I create and I have fun. However when you are juggling too much, busy busy busy and have small people cooking the family meal can become a chore, even for me. 

 I run 2 businesses around 2 small ones, my days start early, end late and are a mix of pilates, dietitian work and being a mummy. Which means I don’t tend to have the luxury of spending hours cooking each day. 

Dietitian UK: Top Tips on Family Meals

 My top tips:

  1. Meal Planning really does work. We have a whiteboard in our kitchen and I plan out our evening meals and some of our lunches too.
  2. Keep a recipe book or file with the recipes you and your family love. This makes it easy to plan and quick to find that recipe that suddenly springs to mind.
  3. Use your meal plan to shop and prepare in advance. When you have a quieter day chop up some veggies in advance for example, or boil a pile of eggs for lunches, make hummus or cook a meal to get ahead.
  4. Cook in bulk when you can. If you are doing a casserole, chilli, bolognaise, soup or freezable meal cook double and freeze it. This saves me on a regular basis on days things go wrong and I realise I’ve no time to cook!
  5. You don’t have to wait until dinner time to cook. I often end up cooking our evening meal in the morning, as that’s when I have a gap in my day. It can be quite satisfying knowing dinner is already cooked!
  6. Embrace the slow cooker love. The beauty of this is you can prep it the night before and keep it in the fridge, then switch it on in the morning and by evening you have a cooked meal, often with leftovers to freeze. See my slow cooker recipes  or my pinterest board with over 50 ideas.
  7. Have a day a week you use up the leftovers. Put them on a pizza, add to pasta, put veggies in a frittata or stir fry… it may not be a standard recipe but it can save you time, money and is inventive! See Love Food, Hate Waste for top tips and recipes.
  8. Have some emergency meals in your stores. Baked potatoes can be cooked in the microwave in 10 minutes, add tuna and sweetcorn with some chopped veggies and you have a meal. We always have a jar of pesto ready for that emergency pasta dish and frozen veggies!
  9. Get the kids involved and make it an activity. Miss K loves cooking and will try to peel veggies, chops them and stirs things, as long as she can nibble on bits as she goes.
  10. Relax. I find if I’m stressed over it, things go wrong. There is always beans on toast for those days you need it 😉

Please share any other top tips you have.

Creamy salmon and spinach pasta

This is one of our quick, comforting, emergency pasta style meals. You know those days when the family is feeling a bit grumpy, you need to cook whilst amusing/holding/slinging a baby and have “mum I’m hungry” ringing in your ears… well this is what I tend to knock up for dinner. Cue the sound of silence…. save for chew and munch.

Packed full of omega 3’s, heart healthy fat, protein, folate, iron and veggies this meal will fill those hungry tummies with yummy goodness. We aim to eat oily fish once a week, so I am always looking for new ways to incorporate it into our dinners. This one is a BIG HIT.

Dietitian UK: Creamy Salmon and Spinach Pasta 1

Dietitian UK: Creamy Salmon and Spinach Pasta 1

Creamy salmon and spinach pasta
Serves 3
Write a review
Print
Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
180 calories
13 g
28 g
9 g
15 g
1 g
213 g
157 g
4 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
213g
Servings
3
Amount Per Serving
Calories 180
Calories from Fat 77
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
13%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 28mg
9%
Sodium 157mg
7%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 4g
Protein 15g
Vitamin A
107%
Vitamin C
43%
Calcium
13%
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. 1 tbsp oil
  2. 1 large leek thinly sliced
  3. 100ml semi skimmed milk
  4. 3 x 120g salmon fillets
  5. 1 tsp mixed dried herbs
  6. 100g mushrooms
  7. 1 tbsp gluten free, wheat free flour
  8. 150g spinach
  9. 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  10. Juice of 1/2 lemon
  11. Seasoning to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in the saucepan, add the leek and cook until softened.
  2. Lower the heat to medium.
  3. Add 100ml milk along with the mixed herbs.
  4. Now add in the salmon fillets and mushrooms.
  5. Pop on a lid and let it poach on a low heat for 10 minutes or until the salmon breaks up and is cooked.
  6. Mix the flour with a little water and add to the pan, mix well and keep stirring the sauce whilst it thickens up.
  7. Now add the mustard, seasoning, lemon juice and spinach. Cook for a few minutes and serve with pasta.
beta
calories
180
fat
9g
protein
15g
carbs
13g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/