Friday, 26 April 2013

Greekilian Salad

This is the first real 'guest recipe' which I will bring to Healthy and Hearty; a delicious and healthy meal, on this occasion dreamed up and made by my housemate.

My housemate is originally from Italy, and this year to mark her birthday she took us on a culinary tour of the Mediterranean which was simply splendid, however one dish stuck out for me in terms of its originality above all else.  I just loved the contrast of the feta cheese and the juicy orange topped with pepper.

 The quantity here varies according to the size of salad you are making, whether it is for a side dish or a main meal so I have not calculated exact quantities or calories.

Layer one:
Rocket, Black Olives, Feta Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar, a drizzle of Olive Oil

Layer two:
Rocket, Oranges, Fresh Black Pepper, Olive Oil.

Often in Sardinia they add Sardines or a similar fish to the first layer.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Mixed Bean Enchiladas

This recipe is based on one which I saw on BBC Good Food and I can quite safely say did more than slightly satisfy my craving for an Enchilada!  My hunger when these came out of the oven can be seen by the fact that I forgot to even photograph them cooked!

2 tbsp Sunflower Oil
1 tsp Cumin
2 tsp Mild Chilli Powder
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Oregano
1/2 tsp Garlic Salt
Black Pepper
Fresh Basil leaves
1 White Onion
1 Sweet Red Pepper
2 Carrots (grated)
1 can Mixed Bean Salad
1 can Chopped Tomatos
1 small pot Yeo Valley Plain Fat Free Yoghurt
50g Reduced Fat Strong Cheddar
75g Reduced Fat Mozarella
Juice of half a lime
6 Wholemeal Tortillas

Heat the oil and fry the spices in the oil for 2-3 minutes then add the onion.

Once the onion has softened add the pepper and carrot then the mixed bean salad and half of the tin of tomatoes.

Simmer for 5 minutes.  Whilst this is simmering mix the yoghurt, cheeses and lime juice in a bowl.

Evenly distribute the mixture between six tortillas which you roll before placing in the baking dish.  Pour the other half of the tinned tomatoes over the enchiladas then spread the yoghurt sauce over the top.

Bake at 200oC for 20 minutes

Calories per torilla: 250 kCal (one portion is 2 tortillas so 500 kCal)

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Perfect Porridge

Personally, I can think of no better way to start my day than with a hearty bowl of porridge.  I have long been a fan of this as a breakfast choice, but the incarnation which I have eaten it in has changed.  From 'Oats so simple' for which I now hang my head in shame, to scotch oats with water and fruit compote, I really have tried it all.

Last week however, I struck gold.  After a pre-work run I went to chow down on some breakfast.  Aware I still had a 4.5 mile bike ride between me and the office I needed to ensure that I was consuming a meal which was as high in protein as possible and had natural sweeteners so as not to undo all my good work that morning.  I stumbled across this, and it has been a keeper ever since.  The Almond Milk contains more protein than cows milk, whilst still being low in calories (and tastes better than skimmed milk), Porridge is a slow energy release food and blueberries are sweet, in season and one of your five-a-day!

Starbucks and Pret may claim they make Perfect Porridge but they have a job rivaling this...

50g Essential Waitrose Porridge Oats with added wheatbran
200ml Almond Breeze unsweetened Almond Milk
40g Blueberries
1 tsp Cinnamon

Pour porridge and almond milk into a bowl and microwave on high for approximately four minutes.

Stir the porridge, add any water needed to make smoother then add blueberries and cinnamon.

Calories per portion: 230kCal

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

#challenge 2013 - March

To (over)-compensate for being somewhat of a hermit in February, I began March as I meant to continue; with a delicious lunch at a local eatery on the 1st.  I nearly double-ordered a dish this month but managed to make enough amendments to ensure it was sufficiently different.

March was also significant for me as I have finally been able to road-run again, but I am sure there will be more musings about that later.

Here are my 'eating out' highlights of March

Lunch at Harts Boatyard, Surbiton

Harts is a lovely venue on the riverfront in Surbiton.  It attracts a customer base from miles around due to its varied menu (including a fixed price and vegetarian option all of which change seasonally), competitive prices and stunning views.

Here I ordered the Prawn and Scallop Panciotti.  Essentially giant stuffed Raviolli, the filling was slightly creamy but also tangy which contrasted fantastically with the Mediterranean-style tomato sauce.

A fantastic light lunch which didn't come with too much guilt.

Good Friday Lunch at Wahaca, Wardour Street
Jumping to the other end of March and Good Friday.  This always presents me with some issues as I prefer not to eat meat or drink wine on Good Friday as a sign of respect.  In hindsight, Mexican Street Food was probably not the best move to keep this up but we managed.  With a selection of Sweet Potato-stuffed tortillas, bean tostadas and winter vegetable tacos, we not only managed but came out probably more stuffed than one should be on Good Friday.

This was my first visit to any of London's 4 (I think) Wahaca restaurants but I shall certainly be returning. There was a great atmosphere, I very much like an open kitchen and to top it all off, you get chilli plant seeds when you pay your bill!  Win.

Peanut Butter, Oatbran and Chocolate Chip giant muffins

These don't sound like the pinacle of good health I will admit, but these are a good example of how making your own can have significant benefits as well as being lower in calories than store-bought muffins.

I made these to take with me whilst travelling around Iceland.  I went for Peanut Butter-based muffins because of the high protein content as well as fibre contained in the spread.  Oats release energy slowly, over a number of hours and the ones I used have added bran so again, very high in fibre.  Organic skimmed milk is a good source of calcium whilst being low in fat and dark chocolate contains anti-oxidants and sweetens the muffins.

The other benefit? If you go for a muffin in say Costa coffee or Starbucks, you will be looking at 500kCal for a snack... these are delicious, have ingredients with proven health benefits and... less than 300kCal.

140g Plain Flour
100g Caster Sugar
50g Oats with added bran (I would recommend the 'Essential Waitrose' ones)
200ml Skimmed Milk
65g Peanut Butter
1 Egg
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
2 tsp Baking Powder


Cream the peanut butter and sugar together then fold in the flour, oats, and baking powder.  Add the milk and egg and spices and mix until all combined.  Spoon into six giant muffin tins and bake at 175 degrees for approx 35 mins.

Calories per muffin: 290