I was looking for something refreshing to go with my Salmon for dinner and looking around my kitchen, the little avocado sitting in my fruit bowl was just screaming out to me….eat me!….eat me! & there you have it, Avocado Salsa!
An 80g portion of avocado counts towards your 5 a day and contains vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is good for your heart & gut health. These little fruits are a nutrient powerhouse, they contain nearly 20 different vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. The type of fat in an avocado is mainly unsaturated (specifically, monounsaturated), which, when eaten in place of high-saturated-fat foods, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Olive and rapeseed oil are other well-known sources of monounsaturated fats.
The creamy taste and texture that avocados have means they can feel indulgent to eat, and they are good substitutes for high-saturated-fat options that you might add to a salad or a sandwich, like cheese or butter. When you see or hear avocado being used it’s usually on a piece of toast for breakfast, or in a guacamole for a side dish, but the combination of avocado & cucumber is a sure fire winner in my books and served alongside a piece of fresh Salmon, well, what’s not to like!
1 Large Avocado, skin & stone removed then diced
1/2 Cucumber, diced
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp Mayonnaise (Light, to keep it healthier)
Pinch of Salt
Cracked Rainbow Pepper to taste.
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped finely.
(Optional, sprinkle of dried chilli flakes)
Place everything in a bowl a mix trough to combine. Serve.
If making the salad a few hours ahead, combine all ingredients into a bowl (except the salt!). Squeeze lime juice directly over avocados and toss gently to combine.
Cover tightly with cling film, placing it directly over the surface of the salad to keep the air out. Oxygen is what causes avocados to brown.
Add salt just before serving to keep the cucumbers from wilting and becoming overly juicy.
In today’s hectic lifestyle and especially in the wintery months, it can feel impossible to achieve those recommended eight hours of sleep. Sleep deprivation catches up to us all, however, and it can be difficult to find energy-granting options that are healthy as well. Luckily, many foods boost energy naturally, offering a mid-day pick-me-up that will not derail a healthy diet.
I have put together a small collection of delicious Breakfast Recipes that I enjoy, these tasty morning starters will help get your energy set for the day ahead.
I was inspired a few years ago when I decided to look more into nutrition, it was really interesting learning about micronutrients and the true benefits of all those minerals & vitamins. I completed a health & nutrition course with BNF (British Nutrition Foundation) https://www.nutrition.training/ & learned how to use foods to our advantage to better our diets & lifestyle.
Simple to make dishes that the whole family will enjoy.
I am always looking to experiment in the kitchen and today was no different. Green Lentil Curry was on the menu but rather than serving rice or naan bread, I thought I’d try my hand at Tortilla Bowls. I’ve seen these on numerous posts & feeds and they look really good.
Green lentils, unlike their yellow and brown counterparts, hold on to their shape while cooking. I infused them with garlic, ginger, coriander, and cumin, for a dish that’s a perfect weekend meal. I love lentils, they are such a great source of protein and filling too.
For the Green Lentil Curry:
125g Green Lentils – Presoaked overnight
1 Tsp Garlic Paste
1 Tsp Ginger
2 Tsp Ground Coriander
1 Tsp Ground Cumin
1 Tsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, diced
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1 Carrot, diced
Salt & Pepper to taste
Handful Chopped Fresh Coriander to serve
1 Tbsp Creme Fraiche to serve
For the Tortillas:
4 Tortilla Wraps (I used Corn Wraps)
Tin Foil & 4 Ramekins (or something similar)
Add a little oil to a pan and add the ginger, garlic, ground coriander & cumin, mix. Then add the onion and cook until softened. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.
Add the lentils, turmeric and 500ml water, bring to the boil then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes, add the carrot and season, continue cooking for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile for the Tortillas, pre heat the oven to 180 deg. Warm the tortillas in a microwave for 90 seconds, lightly grease the ramekins on the outside, turn upside down. Place the wrap over the ramekin and mould to the shape, secure with the tin foil and fold into the ramekin. Place upside down into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
Remove ramekins from oven and gently remove the foil and tortilla bowl from the ramekin, it should hold it’s shape. If you are struggling to remove, use a blunt knife to prize the tortilla away from the ramekin. Place the tortilla bowls back into the oven turned the right way and bake for a further 8-10 minutes until slightly browned.
Serve the green lentil curry into the bowls and serve with the creme fraiche and fresh coriander.
Inspired by North Africa, this quick and easy one pan meal draws the warmth of cumin and rich depth of smoked paprika to beautifully layer with the peppery flavour of the lentils. Lentils are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. They’re also a great source of plant-based protein and fiber. To make this dish vegetarian, just omit the chicken and replace with you favourite vegetables.
Another great one pot meal that is not only quick but simple to make too. Very nutritious and filling.
2 Chicken Breasts, cut into large pieces (or you can use thighs)
4 Rashers of Smoked Bacon, chopped small
1 Onion, diced
2 Stalks of Celery, diced
100g Green Lentils (or Red if you prefer)
1 Garlic Clove, diced
1 Tbsp Cumin
1 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
8-10 Whole Cherry Tomatoes
300ml Chicken Stock
1 Tsp Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Small Handful of Chopped Fresh Parsley to serve.
Pre heat your oven to 200 deg Fan.
Add the oil to a fry pan on medium to high heat. Dry the chicken pieces with a piece of kitchen paper and season. Add to the pan and brown all over to seal. Remove with a slotted spoon.
If needed add a little more oil to the pan. Cook the bacon, onions, celery, garlic, cumin & paprika for 3 minutes. Add back the chicken, add the lentils and sprinkle the chill flakes, mix through.
Decant into an oven proof dish, add in the stock and tomatoes, bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Turn on your grill at the end of cooking for a few minutes to brown the tomatoes.
Remove from oven, sprinkle with parsley and Serve. Yum!
This is a great mid week dinner when you are short for time, easy to prepare and quick to bake. You can also make ahead and pop in fridge until ready or if you have a delay timer on your oven, pop it in the oven in morning and time for when you are due home. One of my favourite features on my oven is the 24hr programmable timer, I use it all time, I organise myself in the morning then I don’t have to worry about remembering to switch oven on later.
This dish is healthy and packed with protein and vitamins, it also provides a richness with the Gruyere cheese, what’s not to like?
300-400g Broccoli Florets (you can use frozen or fresh)
1 Large White Onion, sliced
350-400g Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
100g Creme Fraiche (use light for a healthier option)
200ml Chicken Stock
30g Breadcrumbs (about 2-3 slices)
50g Gruyere Cheese, grated
1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1 Tsp Dried Mixed Herbs (or any herb of your choice)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200deg. Bring a Saucepan of water to the boil and cook the broccoli for 5 minutes, Drain.
Melt the butter in a fry pan on medium to high heat and cook the onions until soft, remove with a slotted spoon.
Season the chicken and add to the pan and brown all over, about 3-5 minutes, set aside.
Add some butter to the fry pan and cook the breadcrumbs until slightly browned. Remove.
Layer up the chicken, broccoli and onions in an oven proof dish, season well. Pour over the chicken stock and creme fraiche, sprinkle the chilli flakes and herbs.
Sprinkle on top the breadcrumbs and finish with the grated cheese.
Bake in the oven for about 35 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve.
In our house a Sunday is the only day we have a pudding after dinner and as we were having a filling stew today, I opted for something a little lighter. This was not only super tasty but really light and lower in calories as I used low fat versions. If you love banana’s and custard you will like this. It is also so quick to make, just 10 minutes to prepare with 30 minutes chilling time.
2 Bananas (keep a few slices to serve)
1 x 400g Tin of Low Fat Custard
1 x 150ml Double Light Cream
1 Tsp Vanilla Essence
Empty custard into a large mixing bowl and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Mash the bananas with a fork and add to the custard, crumble in 1 1/2 of flake and mix through to combine
Add 1 tsp vanilla essence to the cream and whisk up until thick, gently fold cream into the custard mix.
Spoon custard into serving dishes and top with a couple slices of banana and crumbled flake.
Note: If you have custard powder, put 2 tbsp of powder and 2 tbsp of caster sugar into a pan, add a little milk and stir to a paste, add the remaining milk (about 400ml) and bring to a gentle boil, stir continually until custard thickens. Remove from heat, place a piece of cling film over custard to prevent a skin forming and allow to cool then proceed as above.
It is Winter Season here in Scotland and is -4 deg today and very snowy. There is nothing better that a big pot of homemade soup to warm you up on days like this. I had a big pack of lentils in the cupboard and was going to make a traditional carrot & lentil soup but then I discovered some Green Thai paste hiding behind my tin of custard & yes you’ve guessed it Green Thai Lentil Soup it was. Just the ticket too, with the spice it really warmed us up lovely and was very satisfying and filling. Another great recipe to add to the collection.
Makes enough for 4 servings
150g Green Lentils, pre-soaked and rinsed ready to cook
1 Large Sweet Potato, chopped into cubes
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Piece Fresh Ginger, grated (about 2cm)
50g Thai Green Curry Paste, (I used the Blue Dragon one)
1 400g Can Coconut Milk
1 Tbsp Dried Coriander & small handful chopped fresh to serve
1/2 litre Vegetable Stock
Juice of 1 Lemon (about 1 Tbsp)
In a large pan, heat the oil and cook the garlic and ginger for a few minutes then add in the Thai Green Paste and mix through for a further 3-4 minutes.
Add in the chopped sweet potato, lentils, vegetable stock, coconut milk and lemon juice, bring to the boil then simmer covered for about 30 minutes.
Remove lid and sprinkle in the dried coriander and mix through, stirring for a minute or 2.
Remove from the heat and using a hand blender, blend the soup until you reach a smooth and thick consistancey.
Serve with some fresh coriander on top.
This recipe is also good for batch cooking, freezing and keeping for later.
Healthier Eating is always at the fore front of my mind and especially this time of year, your body needs those extra nutrients & vitamins to function well and fight of those colds & flu’s. I know a salad doesn’t sound ideal when it’s minus degrees outside but trust me your body will thank you for it. I normally have a warm bowl of porridge in the morning, not only does that heat you up it also keeps you full for longer.
Choosing foods for your lunch or dinner that are rich in vitamin C, such foods like sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red peppers and citrus fruits, try adding these to your meals as vitamin C plays an important role in the immune system and energy levels, especially important if you regularly exercise.
During the winter months, we can come into contact with viruses that can cause colds or flu. So, it’s important that our immune system functions normally and zinc contributes to this. Foods such as shellfish, spinach and lentils are good sources of zinc.
Fish such as salmon, tuna & cod as well as milk, eggs and cheese, are a great source of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system and also contributes to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.
Spices like chilli’s are a good source of antioxidants and rich in vitamin A, as well as minerals such as iron and potassium.
This Superfood Salad bowl I have for my lunch, which gives me a good boost for afternoon working. It is rich in nutrients, flavour and vitamins so a good all rounder for the whole family. Serve with some wholewheat crackers for a more filling dish or serve as a side with some fish for dinner.
Serves 4 portions
1 x 400g Tin Mixed Beans
200g Baby Spinach – chopped
2 x Tins of Tuna (or fresh if you can)
100g Cherry Tomatoes, sliced into quarters
1 x Cucumber sliced into quarters
Handful of chopped mix nuts & seeds
3 Tbsps of Sweet Chilli Sauce (more if you want it sweeter)
2 Chillies, Chopped finely (optional)
Chopped fresh Parsley (Optional)
Drain the tin of mixed beans and decant into a large bowl, add the spinach, tomatoes, cucumber, tuna, chilli’s (if using) and mix through
Pour in the chilli sauce and mix ensuring everything is coated.
Sprinkle Nuts & Seeds (of your choice) and chopped parsley (if using) on top and serve into bowls.