Sunday, 24 March 2013

Carrot, Cinnamon and Sultana Cookies

It is once again cookie time on Healthy and Hearty.  This is a slightly more traditional cookie recipe than the one I posted before, just with some additions to help with the nutritional content.  This recipe is adapted from the 'Carrot Cookie' one in Sophie Wright's book 'Cook on a Shoestring'

85g Lurpak Lightest
130g Caster Sugar
90g Plain Flour
40g Ground Almonds
1 Carrot (grated)
30g Sultanas
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg

Cream the butter and sugar together then fold in the other ingredients.  Once the ingredients have formed a dough separate into 12 cookies and place in a pre-heated oven (200oC for 15 minutes).

Calories per cookie - 142

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Healthy Snacking #1

Like many people who work in an office one of my downfalls is grazing at my desk- especially on a stressful day. The short walk to the shop across the road for a bar of dairy milk can be too hard to resist, especially on a stressful day so here are some of the lower calorie and healthy things I have tried to beat the purple bar...

1. Make Your Own Graze Box - essentially a mix of dried fruit, nuts and seeds- approx 200g. Mainly on the basis I find graze boxes a bit of a rip off. This is not always low calorie as I am keen on prunes and almonds but both these have fantastic health benefits so I think the calorie content is worth the punt!

2. Baked crisps - these tend to have 100kcal per packet and my goodness do they hit the spot. Plain Walkers I would give a miss but Sweet Chilli Sunbites or Salt and Vinegar Baked are ace.

3. Fruit and (low fat) peanut butter - apple or banana namely. PB again isn't low calorie but it is filling and delicious.

4. Nakd bars - I've tried a fair few of the selection of these now ... They are snack bars made of fruit and nuts mushed together. Cocoa one I would avoid but banana, cocoa orange and ginger are TO DIE for.

5. Fruity jelly cups- fresh fruit such as raspberries or redcurrants suspended in sugar free jelly: less than 100 kcal and a taste of childhood!

As I play more with snacking I will post more of my suggestions.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Firey, ginger ham joint

This is a simple and delicious way of adding a kick to a popular meat dish.

I got the inspiration for this from my mother; at Christmas she boils ham in ginger beer.  Wanting to avoid the sugar and calories gained through this, I looked for an alternative.  The great thing about this set of substitutions is the meat still comes with a kick, but you don't feel you will rot your teeth with it!

1 Bacon joint
2 litres water
3 tbsp ginger paste
1 tbsp golden caster sugar

Boil water and dissolve ginger paste and sugar into it.

Boil ham for 30mins per 500g.

Serve as required.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Carb-free (quorn) lasagne

This recipe is once again inspired by something which I saw on Pintrest.

I am a huge fan of lasagne, but the combination of pasta, meat and cheese sauce makes it a no-go for anyone trying to lose weight.  Not content with substituting the meat for Quorn, I also substituted the pasta sheets for thin strips of courgette, crafted with a potato peeler.

225g Quorn mince
1 Tin chopped tomatoes
1/2 Onion
1/2 Red pepper
1 tbsp Red pesto

20g Lurpak lightest
25g Plain flour
40g Cheddar cheese
200ml Skimmed Milk
125g Low Fat Mozarella

1 Courgette
1tbsp Olive Oil

Heat the oil in a pan and fry chopped onion and pepper then add the Quorn, tinned tomatoes and pesto.  Simmer until cooked through.

In a seperate pan heat the lurpak and then fold flour in.  Gradually add the milk, mixing continuously to ensure it thickens but doesn't boil.  Add the cheese gradually, again ensuring it doesn't curdle.

Layer the meat and white sauce, using courgette to seperate them.

Calories per portion (serves three): 420

#challenge2013 - February

A busy February with work has meant that I did not manage to eat out as much as some months, despite the evidence below which may look like the contrary!  This post is therefore not so much my highlights but the entirety of my eating out (well minus the slightly dirty burrito).

None of my eating out was particularly healthy this month; whilst it was the sum total of the unhealthy meals which I ate, reflecting on it has still left me feeling somewhat guilty (despite some epic bike-rides).

Groupon-fuelled dinner at Frankies
Frankies in South Kensington is a family-friendly Italian themed grill and bar which is located in a basement near the Science Museum.

I will be honest, we were on a set menu which was fine, but I would not have been impressed had I even paid full price for the set menu (groupon had a 2 for 1).  It was a simple three course menu which was on offer (with a glass of Prosecco).  I opted for Smoked Salmon starter which was dry but again, fine.  For the main I went for a rather unhealthy steak (rare but with no additional carbs) which was quite gristly and greasy and an Eton Mess for pudding.  The Eton Mess was by far the best part of this meal.

The decor of the restaurant was very cool but otherwise, I wont be returning to Frankies.

Going local for a post-work catch-up
The Surbiton Flyer is by far one of my favourite places to eat in Surbiton.  Simple pub-grub is cooked above and beyond the standard of most places and the menu is not a standard, chain pub one; it is devised by the local chef which is reflected in its quality.

On this trip to the flyer I opted for their signature dish; a chicken burger with chorizo and smoked cheese served on a sour dough roll.  Whilst this leaves me with more than slight pangs of guilt, it fills you up properly.  The smokey flavour of the chorizo perfectly complements the smoked cheese and really makes a traditional chicken burger far more tasty than usual.  One of the things I love about the flyer (apart from the atmosphere which is friendly and aimed at locals - something not always easy to find in a London suburb) is that their condiments are all homemade - even the tomato ketchup!

In summary, I would strongly recommend a trip to the Surbiton Flyer.

A traditional full-english brunch
Surbiton once again served up gold for me on this occasion, but this time in the form of Allegro.  Allegro is an independently owned cafe-restaurant located on Surbiton High Street.

For a 'greasy fry-up' this was surprisingly, well un-greasy.  All I know is this means I shall have to get more inventive, or healthy, when looking for breakfasts out in 2013!

A crepeaffaire in Wimbledon
CrepeAffaire is a coffee and crepe franchise, an outlet of which has opened recently in Wimbledon.  The menu offers a selection of sweet and savoury crepes and a selection of coffees.  I opted for a simple nutella-filled crepe.  This was light and delicious.  My criticism of CrepeAffaire comes not so much from the quality of the food but the lack of space to sit down in the cafe and the pricing.  Whilst delicious, £5 for a takeaway Crepe is not exactly a bargain!