With the weather being very dreich (dull & gloomy) recently, we wanted to transport ourselves to a warm sunny place & with that not being possible in these unprecedented times I turned to my Kitchen Cupboards to see what I could make for dinner. Having some tinned pineapple, beans and rice in the cupboard we decided on visiting the Caribbean. This dish has a great blend of popular Caribbean spices, such as ginger, paprika and allspice which transports you right onto the Islands.
Also a great dish for batch cooking as you could quite easily make a big pot and freeze for later. A very nutritious dish with the beans high in fiber and the chicken giving you a good intake of protein. A good filling meal for any family table.
2 Chicken Breasts – cut into bite size pieces
1 Red Pepper, diced
1 White Onion, diced
4-6 Spring Onions, diced (for serving)
1 Tbsp Oil for cooking
1 Tbsp Curry Powder
1 Tbsp Smoked Sweet Paprika
1/2 Tsp of AllSpice
1/2 Tsp of Ginger
200g Cooked Wholemeal Rice (about 50g per person)
Juice of 1 Lime
1 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
1 Tin Pineapple Chunks
1 400g can of Black Beans, drained
Handful of Garden Peas
20-30g Cashews, chopped (for serving)
Salt & Pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a pan on medium to high heat, season the chicken and brown all over.
Add the peppers and onion to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes until softened.
Add to the pan the paprika, curry powder, ginger, allspice, brown sugar and chillies, mix through for about 1 minute to coat, then add the black beans, peas, cooked rice, pineapple and lime juice, mix through to combine.
If too dry, add 1-2 Tbsp of water and stir, put lid on pan and heat through for about 5 minutes. To serve sprinkle the spring onion and cashews. Enjoy!
I am always looking for new ideas to be healthier in my Dinner choices, I used to think healthy meant you’d always be hungry after….lol. In this dish it is the complete opposite, with the addition of the rice & beans it was very filling and kept me satisfied all night, and with only 400 calories & 29g protein per serving, it was super healthy too.
You can always add some flaked Salmon for that extra nutrition.
Handful of Asparagus, trimmed & chopped
Handful of Green Beans, timmed & chopped
Handful of Peas
150g Wholegrain Rice (or for quickness, you could use prepacked rice)
100g Baby Spinach, chopped
1 x 400g Tin of Mixed Salad Beans (or any beans that you prefer, just not Baked!)
Zest & Juice of 1 Lemon
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tbsp Olive Oil
Handful freshly Chopped Coriander
Rainbow Pepper or Black Pepper
Cook the asparagus, green beans and peas in a pan of boiling water for 2-3 mins until tender. Drain.
Cook the Rice as per packet instructions and drain.
Heat the mixed salad beans in a pan for 4-5 minutes.
In a large bowl, put the rice, asparagus, green beans, peas, mixed salad beans & spinach, mix through until combined.
In a small bowl, mix together, olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice & zest and pinch sugar, pour over the rice bowl and mix through. Sprinkle over some fresh coriander and pepper then serve.
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.
Who doesn’t love a Curry? Especially when it’s a healthier version. This Curry came about when I was trying to use up leftover Almond Milk, nutritionally, store-bought almond milk (like Alpro or Almond Breeze) is a low-calorie product with about 56 calories per 100ml. It’s typically low in fat, with just 1.5g per 100g – all of which is largely unsaturated fat.
This Curry is a great family curry as its low in spice but with great flavour. It’s also great if you love batch cooking as you can make a hug pot and freeze into portions.
2 Chicken Breasts – cut into chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
300ml Almond Milk
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp Chilli powder
Handful of Cauliflower Florets (I used frozen)
Handful of Peas (I used frozen)
Curry Paste (see below)
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp gram masala
Mix all the Curry Paste ingredients into a blender and mix until you get a smooth paste.
Heat a little oil in a pan on medium to high heat, add chicken, season and brown.
Add the Curry paste to the pan and heat through for about 2 minutes.
Next add the tomato paste, almond milk, cinnamon and chilli powder and mix through.
Reduce the heat, cover and simmer on low for about 1 hour. 15 minutes before serving add in the cauliflower & peas, mix through and cook for remaining time.
My healthier eating continues this month. I got some lovely bits of Scottish Salmon recently so came up with this idea of a healthier mash using whatever I had in my fridge. It was delicious. Best bit, it only took 6 minutes to cook and put together.
Makes enough mash for 2-3 people
80g baby spinach
50g garden peas – cooked
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Sea Salt
Garlic clove – minced
1 tsp coriander – dried
1 tsp olive oil
(optional if you like spice, add in 1 tsp chilli flakes)
Place everything into a blender and mix until just combined.
Serve. Simple as that!
I steam cooked some salmon that I marinated in Teriyaki Sauce overnight. Yum!
O.M.G!…this little dish was amazingly tasty and even better, it was under 500 calories too! I am on a mission to eat a bit healthier this year, I generally do, but I’m making more of an effort this year….( I know, I hear you, we all say that in January….lol!) It was also so quick to make, in just 10 minutes my dinner was ready, a great mid week or quick Friday night dinner. Bonus:- Under 500 calories and full of flavour!
150g Wholewheat Penne pasta
6 slices or Parma Ham – chopped
1 red onion – thinly chopped
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 chilli – chopped or 1 tsp dried chillies
60ml creme fraiche
1 handful of frozen peas
small handful of chopped parsley
small handful of chopped mint
Grated zest of 1 lemon
2 ladel’s spoonfuls of pasta water
Spray oil – low calorie
Bring a pan of water to the boil and cook pasta for about 8-10 mins or follow packet instructions.
Gently heat spray oil in a fry pan on medium heat
Add onion, parma ham, chilli and garlic and cook through. Half way add 2 ladle’s of the pasta water.
When pasta is ready, drain and add to the pan along with the peas, cook for 2 minutes to heat peas through.
Add creme fraiche, parsley, mint & grate lemon zest and stir through, only for 30 secs. Ready to serve.
I had a steak pie in my fridge for dinner with some boiled potatoes, my quick easy Sunday dinner, but after watching Masterchef… the… Final I was inspired to create and wanted to try something new……..so instead of simple boiled gardens peas, this is my take on a simple pea puree.
Makes for 2
2 Handfuls of garden peas
100ml semi-skimmed milk
Salt & Pepper
Put milk and peas into a pan and bring to boil then simmer for about 5 mins.
Drain milk into a jug and put peas into a blender with pinch of salt & pepper and mix
Gradually add in the milk to you get a smooth thick puree.
Continuing with my Superfoods, I fancied a Chinese Flavour Inspired dinner for my Saturday night in but also wanted to keep it healthy and not overload on calories. Looking in my cupboards and fridge I saw a lovely piece of smoked Cod I got from my usual fishmonger so decided to use this.
This is my Saturday do it yourself Chinese Takeaway Dinner.
FOR THE FISHCAKES:-
200 g Smoked Cod
1 medium Baked Potato
1 medium Sweet Potato
Handful of Fresh Coriander
1 Juice of lime
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp light olive oil
1 tsp of spiced red pepper or chilli
Plain Flour for dusting
Salt and pepper to taste
Bake the potatoes in the microwave on high heat for about 10 mins until soft
Scoop out the inside of the potatoes and place in a food processor
Slice the fish portion and add to food processor with paprika, coriander, red spice and lime juice, blend together.
With your hands shape into patties about 1cm thick and 10cm dia, dust with flour and refrigerate for about 1 hour
Heat the oil in a flat pan to medium heat
Place the fish cakes in the pan and cook through for about 5-6 mins on each side or until golden brown.
I served these with a little Sweet Chilli Sauce on the side which was lovely!
I’m always looking for a healthy option without compromise on taste, this is so tasty and at only 260 calories per serving with 4g fat…..you wanna try this! Leaves a bit of room for my glass of prosecco…lol!
2 tbsp Olive Oil or Rapeseed Oil
2 Chicken Breasts
1 tsp Coriander
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Garlic Powder or 1 garlic clove
1 onion chopped
150ml Hot Chicken Stock
120g Chick Peas
80g frozen Peas
1. Heat oil in a large saucepan, add chicken, coriander, paprika, cumin and onion and fry for 10 mins to lightly brown.
2. Add garlic, chickpeas, couscous, chicken stock and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and cook on simmer (Low Heat) for 20 mins until the chicken is tender and the liquid absorbed.