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.
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.
It is definitely soup season, nights are getting darker, air is getting colder and a bowl of warm soup is the perfect recipe after a long days work. If you are looking for a really tasty soup that is simple to make with simple store cupboard ingredients then this is for you. The things I love about soup is that you can make a huge pot and freezer it for later. Tasty cooking can not get any simpler than this.
I harvested some of my Carrots and Parsnips at the weekend, so this was what I had decided upon. With some good quality crusty bread on the side this is perfect for lunch or dinner. The bright orange colour also brightens up your dinner table.
Full of nutrition too, with Carrots & Parsnips both being full of good Vitamin C this can help boost your immune system at this time of year and very low in calories too. Lets not forget the spices, with cumin being a great aid for the digestive system and also full or iron. Garlic, with its active compounds which can help reduce blood pressure and also combat sickness including the common cold. Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory and a powerful antioxidant, was classed as a Superfood too. It’s a win, win soup for me this season.
8 Medium Size Carrots, Chopped (I keep the skin on but you can peel if you prefer)
6 Medium Size Parsnips, Peeled & Chopped
3 Celery Stalks, Chopped
1 White Onion, Chopped
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp Ginger Granules or 1 tbsp freshly grated Ginger
1 tsp Garlic Powder or 2 garlic cloves – minced
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Turmeric
1.5 litres good Vegetable Stock
Salt & Pepper to taste
A Little Swirl of Cream to serve and a sprinkling of pumpkin or sunflower seeds (Optional)
Crusty Bread to serve (Optional)
Pre heat the oil in a large pot on medium to high heat, add the onions and celery and cook until onions are translucent.
Add in the spices (cumin, garlic, coriander, turmeric, ginger) and mix through until coated.
Add in the parsnips, carrots and vegetable stock, season & bring to the boil then reduce and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Take off the heat and using a hand blender, blend the vegetables to make a smooth thick consistancey.
Serve into bowl and finish with a swirl of cream and sprinkle of seeds.
You can keep soup in a fridge for about 3 days and freezer for up to 3 months.
This quick and easy vegetarian meal is perfect for those Autumn and Wintry Days, a warming bowl of goodness in your tummy. Full or nutrition and good vitamins, with only around 300 calories per bowl is a great healthy option to a takeaway Curry. This is also a good recipe to batch cook with. You can serve with a toasted naan on the side for a more filling meal.
300g Sweet Potato – chopped and diced into 2cm cubes
300g Butternut Squash – chopped and diced into 2cm cubes
2 White Onions, diced
2 tbsps Mild Curry Powder
2 tbsps Garam Masala Powder
1 x 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes
1 x 400g Tin Coconut Milk
1 x 400g Tin Green Lentils
200g Spinach – chopped
Sunflower & Pumpkin Seeds to garnish (yoghurt optional)
Steam cook the Sweet Potato & Butternut Squash, place in a microwaveable bowl with 2 tbsps water and cover, cook on medium level for 10 minutes. (you could always roast in oven for about 35 mins too)
While cooking add a little oil to a pan and cook the onions until softened, add the curry powder, garam masala powder and mix through. Add the tin tomatoes and coconut milk, bring to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly.
To the sauce add the sweet potato and butternut squash along with the lentils and spinach, season and mix through, allow to simmer for a few minutes.
Serve into bowls and garnish with a sprinkle of seeds.
Pasta is such a staple food in most households and I think one of the easiest fast foods around. It can be made healthier by using the Wholewheat variety. When eaten in moderation, pasta can be part of a healthy diet. Wholewheat pasta may be a better choice for many, as it is lower in calories and carbs but higher in fiber and nutrients. However, in addition to the type of pasta you pick, what you top it with is just as important.
This dish uses Scottish Smoked Haddock, fresh from my favourite fishmongers in Pittenweem, Ryan Black, they deliver straight from the Shore to your door.
It also uses some of my fresh vegetables from my garden….yum!
I used my Steam pot for my Combi Microwave for this recipe, but if you don’t have Steamer just cook your pasta as per packet instructions. In a pan, bring some water to the boil add your vegetables and simmer for 4 minutes until softened. (you could use frozen vegetables or tinned vegetables for this too). Bring a large pan of water to the boil, bring to a simmer and add in your fish, cook for about 10 minutes.
If you have a Steam pot, add the pasta with 300ml water to the base, then your fish and vegetables onto the grid and cook on Pasta Setting for 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your sauce as per above recipe.
Remove fish and place onto a chopping board and remove the skin, break up into bite size pieces.
Drain your pasta and vegetables. Add the vegetables to the pasta then pour over the sauce mixture and mix through, add in the fish, mix and serve.
Oh Yum, this dish I found on the Whole Earths website, I just love their Peanut Butter especially the crunchy one….yum! My curiosity got the better of me because I wouldn’t have thought to put sweet potato and peanut butter together but wow, this was so tasty.
I also used my automatic setting on my Hotpoint Class 9 oven, the Potato Gratin setting. This was great as I didn’t need to worry about what temperature or oven function to set for a perfect bake the oven worked it all out for me.
This made 4 small servings (2 bakes in a 19cm x 30cm baking dish)
3 large Sweet Potatoes
2 tsp Crushed Chillies (or 2 chopped chillies)
100g Spinach – Chopped
300g Creme Friache
3 tbsp Peanut Butter, Crunchy
2 tsp dried coriander leaves
Salt & Pepper to taste
If not using automatic programmes, preheat oven on fan to about 200 deg then finish off under the grill to crisp and brown.
Peel & Slice the sweet potatoes to about 1/2 cm thick and place in a bowl, add the chopped spinach, coriander, chillies, salt & pepper.
Mix the creme friache and peanut butter together until smooth ad combined then pour into the sweet potatoes and mix until potatoes are coated.
Spray a baking dish with spray oil and then layer the sweet potato in the dish making two rows.
Cover with Tin foil and bake for about 30 minutes, remove the tin foil and continue to bake for the further 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are softened and slightly browned.
Today was a day of using up leftovers and I had bananas that were crying out to be used. This little recipe is so easy to make and delicious too, you can store for 2-3 days in an airtight container or freeze if you are making a large batch. Gluten Free too.
A great healthier option too with the oats having 4 grams of fiber & 6 grams of protein. In addition to fiber, oats are rich in magnesium, zinc and iron. The bananas which are loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and various antioxidants. The Peanut Butter is a good source of magnesium too.
A great grab & go breakfast option or simply a little snack in between meals.
200g Scottish Oats
60g Peanut Butter
2 small bananas, mashed
3 tbsp Maple Syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 Dark Chocolate squares, chopped (or you can used choc chips)
Preheat your oven on fan to 175 deg and grease a muffin tin.
Put ALL ingredients into a bowl or mixer bowl and combine together.
Pour into muffin tin, filling approx 3/4 way.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a knife comes out clean and muffins are set.
Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes. If freezing allow to cool completely.
A bit of Meal prepping today while I have some time. I have been doing this for a few weeks now and have found it to be very beneficial to us. Sometimes I don’t get in till late from work and its always nice to have a healthy dinner ready for you. Also it means the 1/2 hour I save on making dinner means I can get some exercise in…..no excuses now.
Makes 4 Servings
1 tsp Ginger powder or 1″ piece fresh ginger minced
2 garlic gloves – minced
1 yellow onion – diced
2 tbsp Harissa Paste
Florets from 1 Caulifower
2 x 400g Chickpeas, drained
1 x 400g coconut milk
300ml vegetable stock
200g baby spinach
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat a little oil in a large pan, add the garlic, ginger and onions and fry until softened.
Add the Harissa Paste and coat the onions. Add in the Cauliflower and mix until coated.
Pour in chickpeas, vegetable stock & coconut milk with seasoning and mix through, bring to the boil then simmer and cook covered for about 25-30 minutes until cauliflower has softened.
Add the spinach and mix through, cook for a further minute or until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and either serve or allow to cool before freezing.
Serve with some Bulgur wheat or rice for a filling meal.
Oh yum! I still had some pakora batter left so decided to try these little bites….super good and tasty.
150g gram flour
1/2 tsp chilli
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp gram masala
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 cloves garlic or 2 tsp ground garlic
small handful coriander (chopped finely)
1. Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together, make a well in the middle and gently add water little at a time while stirring, continue to add water until you get a smooth batter, it shouldn’t be too thick or too runny. Set aside.
1 x Cauliflower, cut into small florets.
I steamed my cauliflower using my steam pot for about 6 minutes, but if you don’t have this, you can cook in a pan of salted water on a gentle heat for about 20 minutes then drain.
Dip into the pakora batter and fry gently at 180 deg in rapseed oil for a few minutes until golden. Remove and place onto some kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.