Monday, 31 December 2012

Banana and Cinnamon Pancakes

Returning back to London from Hampshire I was faced with an ill-equipped fridge and an equally uninspiring cupboard of food.  I needed a snack, not a meal (for I have been promised a Tapas-filled New Year) and having eaten my weight over and again in the last week, the dregs of Christmas Sweets did not really appeal (this is also because I am unable really to run at the moment which leaves me grumpy and mildly paranoid about weight gain).

The contents of my cupboards and fridge included low-fat cheese, ginger paste, lentils and a couple of over-ripe bananas and some eggs so I went to googling and found a recipe for Banana Pancakes made using just four ingredients, all of which were in my cupboard so here goes (original recipe with better photos than I got can be found here).

1 Ripe Banana
2 Eggs
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Essence

Mash the bananas up and break eggs over the top, then add cinnamon and vanilla essence.

Mix until smooth.

Put a small bit of oil or frylight into a pan and cook the pancakes until brown.

Calories per serving: 240.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Marinaded Salmon and Cauliflower Mash

This marinade is slightly calorific due to the soy-sauce (but all good calories) but the Cauliflower Mash more than balances off this; a healthy, delicious and low carbohydrate and calorie alternative to mashed potato still acts as a great winter comfort food.

Ingredients (serves one):
For the marinade:
50ml light Soy Sauce
50ml water
1/2 tsp Ginger Paste
1/2 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Sesame Seeds
1 Spring Onion
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
1/2 tsp Demarera Sugar

1 Salmon Fillet

For the Cauliflower Mash:
7 Floretts of Cauliflower
1 tsp Bertolli Spread

Chop the spring onion and place in a bowl with the other marinade ingredients and whisk to combine then place salmon fillet in the mixture and let soak for 6 hours in a covered bowl in the fridge.

Lightly fry the salmon fillet for 10 minutes, tipping the remainder of the marinade into the pan.

Boil the cauliflower and strain then add 1 tsp bertolli spread and mash together.

Calories for the meal: 489

Saturday, 8 December 2012

My 2013 food challenge

I have been thinking long and hard about a food challenge to set myself. Photographing what i eat seemed a bit 2012 and I know people who have done it so well I feel I cannot compete.

So, thinking about my propensity to get quite safe with foods (or should i say, discover something new then eat it at nauseum until i can no longer stand it) and the Japanese belief that a minimum of thirty ingredients a day is the best means to a healthy body I have set myself the following challenge, which may seem small but will take some work- on the all too frequent occasions I eat out, to not order the same thing twice in a year.

The aim of this is, firstly to try and ensure that I discover more new places to eat but also to expand my pallet a bit more. Some of these changes shall be quite boring but some will undoubtedly yield some delicious (and healthy) discoveries.

I am still trying to decide what my home cooking challenge will be as in the last 18 months or so I have developed my repertoire and my ability to successfully experiment with foods quite considerably.

So here's to a slightly more diverse 2013 and some more reviewing and hopefully exciting homecooked blog posts to come.

I will keep this updated on @healthyhearty twitter feed with #challenge2013 as the tag.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Naughty but Nutritious Brownies

I originally found this recipe on Pintrest, however being based in the UK I had to do some improvising and converting; ready-made applesauce isn't easily available or up my street so I have included the recipe for the homemade sauce.  Plus I cannot stand walnuts so having a can of raspberries randomly in my cupboard (I don't tend to eat tinned fruit so this really was random) I decided to put those in instead.  The original recipe can be found by clicking here.  My batch were a tad soggier than intended but I think this is because the applesauce was too runny and there is a chance in the conversion from cups to grams some of the proportions were out.  Still these were chocolatey, delicious and... nutritious!

    Ingredients (makes 20):
    1 portion homemade applesauce (recipe below)
    2 small or medium bananas mashed
    300g sugar
    250g Self Raising Flour
    1 Courgette
    2 tsp. vanilla extract
    60g Green and Blacks chocolate powder
    1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1 small tin raspberries

Mash the banana and mix with the applesauce.

Grate the courgette and fold it in with the flour, sugar, chocolate powder, baking powder and vanilla extract.  Whisk until all mixed together then gently fold in the raspberries.

Pour into a brownie tin and bake for 45 mins at 150 oC

Calories per serving: 138

For the applesauce: Core and stew two granny smith apples in 500ml water, add juice of one lemon and 1 tbsp sugar, mash and simmer until reduced to a thicker consistency.

Turkey Burger, Homemade Chunky Chips and Avocado Fries

I have been a bit behind on my blogging of late, so this is the first of two experiments I tried two weeks ago. The Turkey Burger recipe is adapted from a BBC Good Food cook book and the Avocado Fries are from good old Pintrest.

This gastronomic (healthy) delight uses lean mince, middle eastern spices and a delicious combination of fluffy, crispy homecut chips and creamy avocado wedges balances good fats with a kick!

This recipe makes a meal for two.

Burger Ingredients:
250g Turkey Mince
1 egg
30g Flour
1 Spring Onion
1 Tsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Paprika
1/2 Tsp Garlic Salt
2 Wholemeal rolls

Whisk the egg and chop the spring onion then mix in mince, flour and seasoning, divide the mixture into two patties.  To cook the patties, fry using 1 Tbsp Olive Oil for about 7 mins, ensuring both sides are brown and the meat is cooked through.

Calories per burger (without roll and olive oil): 281

Homemade Chips Ingredients:
1 litre beef stock
200g baking potato
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp paprika
Fresh ground pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Line a baking sheet with tin foil and put vegetable oil, garlic salt, paprika and pepper in the centre.

Chop the potato into wedges (approx 1cm diameter) and par-boil in beef stock (for about 5 mins.

Drain the potatoes and place on prepared foil. Bring all corners of the foil together and shake until potatoes are sufficiently covered in the oil and spice mixture.

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Calories per serving: 150

Avocado Fries Ingredients:
1 Avocado
1 Egg
20g Breadcrumbs
1 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese

Peel and stone the avocado and chop into wedges.

Whisk the egg and fold in breadcrumbs and Parmesan.

Dunk the avocado wedges in the breadcrumb mixture then lay on a baking sheet which is covered in tin foil.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Calories per serving: 220

Monday, 19 November 2012

Winter Warmer #3 - Chorizo and Bean Soup

Ok, so I will confess, this isn't the healthiest recipe you will find on here. However it is so delicious I couldn't resist! The smoky flavour of the Chorizo perfectly complements the tomatoes and (single) cream. I find one bowl of this so filling that I don't need any bread, which evens it out.

2 boxes passata
1/3 pot Elmlea single cream
200g Chorizo
1 tin kidney beans
1 tbsp Sunflower Oil
Paprika and mild chilli to taste

Fry the Chorizo for 3 mins and then add passata and cream to a pan and simmer for 15 mins. Use a hand blender to mix ingredients until all chorizo has been broken down. Add Kidney Beans, Paprika and Chilli to taste.

Calories per portion- 402

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Winter Warmer #2 - Butternut Squash and Quiona Stew

The second of my Winter Warmers is a Butternut Squash and Quiona Stew.  This is packed full of super foods which are high in protein and vitamins but low in calories.

200g Butternut Squash
1 Courgette
100g Quiona
250g Scotch Broth Mix
2 Mushrooms
250g Chicken Breast
1 Turnip
1 Tin Tomatoes
1 Onion
1 litre Vegetable Stock
1 Tbsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Ground Coriander
Salt and Pepper to taste

Soak the Scotch Broth Mix for 24 hours before cooking.

Peel and chop all vegetables and place them in a pan with vegetable stock and boil for 5 mins then add quiona and scotch broth mix.

Add chicken breast, tinned tomatoes and seasoning then simmer for 45 mins.

Calories per portion: 400.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Savoury Muffins

I discovered the recipe for these on a girly weekend to Cornwall to visit my fabulous godmother.  She is not one for cooking (which she will freely admit) which is why I was shocked and delighted to discover that with her new lodger had come a library of cookery books, each one jam packed full of delicious recipes crying out to me.  I was of course especially delighted when I saw this contained one of my rapidly becoming favourite foods: Butternut Squash!

I have made these muffins a couple of times now, the first time more successfully than the second but they were delicious nonetheless!  I enjoyed heating these up and serving as my main meal with some salad as well as having one cold for a healthy, filling lunch on-the-go.

100g Peeled Butternut Squash
100g Grated Courgettes
250g Grated Onions
100g Finely Chopped Red Pepper
100g Shredded Spinach
100g Canned Sweetcorn
75ml Vegetable Oil
225g Low Fat Cheese
225g Self Raising Flour
4 Eggs

Steam and mash the Butternut Squash.

Place all other vegetables (once prepared) with the oil and cheese in a mixing bowl and fold in the flour and Butternut Squash.  Whisk the eggs then fold through.

If making large muffins such as the photo above this recipe will make 6-8 and will take 45 mins to bake.  If making smaller, fairy cake sized this will make 12-16 and take 20 mins to cook.

Calories per portion (large muffins): 330

Monday, 5 November 2012

Courgette Fritters

I originally found the recipe for these on Pintrest however, as usual I made some adaptations (in the case of these this was caused by my lack of foresight when food shopping).

These delicious 'patties' are a great way of getting your carbohydrates and vegetables for one meal and the principle is easy to adapt... I shall be trying it with butternut squash soon.

Ingredients (makes 6): 
1 Courgette
1/2 Baking Potato
1 egg
20g Plain Flour
40g Spinach
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Mint
2 tbsp unsalted butter (softened)

Coarsely grate the potato and courgette into a bowl and chop up the fresh spinach as finely as possible.

Break the egg over the top of the mixture and fold in the flour and butter.  Then add paprika and mint.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make six, thin fritters with the mixture and after preheating 1 tbsp of sunflower oil in a frying pan place three of the patties in.  Cook until golden brown on each side.  Repeat to cook the second three patties.

Calories per fritter: 76

Monday, 29 October 2012

Winter Warmers #1: Butternut Squash, Turnip and Lentil Soup

In the first of the 'Winter Warmers' series is the recipe for Butternut Squash, Turnip and Lentil Soup.

Firstly, I LOVE a good bit of Butternut Squash, I know no bounds in the use of this particular vegetable and in a soup it is near divine; not only is this super-veg packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Calcium but in a soup it helps to create the illusion that you have actually made a soup full of cream.

I choose Turnip as opposed to Suede mainly as it has a slightly milder flavour which I feel compliments that of the Butternut Squash far better.

Ingredients (Serves 4)
150g Lentils
350g Butternut Squash
1 Turnip
1 Onion
2 Carrots
1 Litre Vegetable Stock
1 tbsp Paprika
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil all ingredients together and reduce down as desired for 15 minutes.  Using an electric hand blender, blend all ingredients together to form a smooth soup.

Calories per serving: 123

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Cookie Time

When I first gained weight, my love of baking played an unfortunate part in that.  Now as part of my mission to stay trim, baking will too play a large part.  I for one can never resist a sweet treat but to stay on track I need to get innovative with how I can make delicious, low fat and low(er) calorie treats.  These cookies are low fat and the vegetable of choice could easily be substituted for Pumpkin or Carrot.  As with the raspberry and elderflower cupcakes which I wrote about in August, the texture of these is slightly different to that of regular cookies, however they are still delicious and hit the spot!  This recipe is one of my own, I have adjusted the quantities slightly of sugar as this batch were a tad sweet.

Ingredients (Makes 10 giant cookies)
200g Butternut Squash
225g Ground Rice (or rice flour)
75g Ground Almonds
175g Caster Sugar
1.5 tsp Baking Powder
30g Porridge Oats
1 Egg
30g Sultanas
2 tbsp Cinnamon


Boil the Butternut Squash, mash and leave to cool.  Mix the dry ingredients and then whisk in the egg.  Split the mixture into 10 large balls and then place on greaseproof paper on a baking sheet.  Cook for 25 mins at 180 oC.

Calories per serving: 238 (this may seem high but its much lower than shop bought giant cookies)

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Blueberry and Strawberry Semolina Porridge

I have often in the past found being motivated by breakfast is one of the hardest challenges when trying to keep on the straight and narrow.  Cereal can be so uninspiring (and if you choose the wrong one, can leave you starting in a matter of minutes, let alone hours).  The challenge is this; variety, nutritional value and ease.  Below is the first of the times when I have risen to said challenge!

Raspberry and Elderflower Cupcakes

This year my friend Caitlin bought me 'Red Velvet and Chocolate Heartache' by Harry Eastwood.  This is full of lovely treats which are low in fat and have fantastic substitute ingredients. This evening I tried the Raspberry and Elderflower cakes:

Friday, 10 August 2012

Luscious Lentil Curry

Unfortunately a dish which there is just no making look glamorous.


I first went to look up a healthy curry alternative when Saturday late afternoon came around and I had one of those weekend cravings.  Instead of going for a greasy takeaway I googled, then adapted and substituted.

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Fabulous Fajitas!

One of my weaknesses has long been Mexican food, white refined (and frankly empty-calorie) wraps with lashings of guacamole (well it was an avocado once, right?!).  Obviously such an excessive dish was a no-no when losing weight so....


Hello and welcome! Before I dive into sharing some of my favourite recipes and low-calorie meals which I have found out and about I thought I would give some background to this blog. Over the last year I have lost a lot of weight; over 13kg now (2 stone). This has come fundamentally as a result of eating less and moving more has been at the core. I have found healthy alternatives or versions to some of my favourite foods and it is these which I shall share with you. These recipes have helped me to lose weight without feeling like I am 'losing out' and they have helped me discover a new flair for cooking. I hope you enjoy them. Roisin