Category Archives: Healthier Recipes

Feta Stuffed Peppers

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Delicious, tasty and super easy these Feta Stuffed Peppers make an excellent light lunch or starter.

I found this recipe in my friend’s Weight Watchers recipe book which is always a good sign that it is going to be healthy! I really love the flavour of peppers when they are roasted as it brings out their sweetness so thought I would give this recipe a try. They did mention added chilli flakes, but I didn’t fancy this so I left them out but feel free to add them if you want a bit of a kick!

I didn’t have any fresh basil so I sprinkled on some frozen basil. I don’t seem to be very good at keeping plants alive so don’t tend to buy the little herb plants you see in the shop and I find that the fresh cut basil doesn’t last very long. So instead I bought a pot of frozen basil which is always there when I need it. Obviously fresh basil will be the most flavoursome and the frozen basil won’t be ideal for everything but it worked well in this recipe.

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Each pepper (two halves) is less than 250 calories so it makes a perfect light lunch or you could use half a pepper as a starter.

2 red peppers, halved and de-seeded
16 cherry tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
100g feta cheese, crumbled
Fresh basil
Spray oil
Pepper

  1. Spray a baking tray with oil. Put the four pepper halves on the tray and divide the ingredients between them

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  1. Spray again with oil and put in the oven for 40-45 minutes
  2. Serve with a green salad

Skinny Chicken & Prosciutto Pasta Bake

Deliciously creamy pasta bake which is skinny but you really wouldn’t guess it! My Skinny Chicken & Prosciutto Pasta Bake is a tasty meal that all the family will love and a great way to use up leftover chicken.  Well it’s January again (where did 2015 go?!) which means the vast majority of us will be trying to make healthier choices. I’m going to try and not use the word ‘diet’ because personally I am hoping to make a change to my lifestyle which is something more permanent than a diet.

This Skinny Chicken & Prosciutto Pasta Bake is a perfect healthier option which means you don’t have to miss out on pasta. I have adapted a recipe from Gimmie Some Oven which has an amazing, healthier, but still deliciously creamy sauce. I do love a good tuna pasta bake with a creamy white sauce, but when you actually work out how many calories are in the sauce it is quite alarming. This recipe lets you still enjoy a delicious pasta bake, but with fraction of the calories.

Sometimes when recipes are made ‘skinny’ the taste is compromised to make them lower in calories. This recipe doesn’t taste like it is a healthy alternative at all. Don’t get me wrong, pasta is always going to have more calories in it than something like a salad, but this recipe is far healthier than the traditional pasta bakes that most people will have had before. 

Instead of butter, this recipe uses olive oil which is a healthier fat to make the base of the sauce rather than the usual butter. It also uses Parmesan and low fat mozzarella which are far healthier choices than the more commonly used cheddar cheese. The sauce makes a fantastic base for adding other flavours to make it even tastier. The mustard doesn’t have a distinct flavour, but it really adds a depth to the sauce which is really delicious. 

This is a great way to use up leftover chicken from your Sunday roast that is a bit more imaginative than a cold chicken sandwich. If you don’t have leftover chicken, do not panic you can still make this recipe! Just season two small chicken breasts with salt and pepper and cook them in the oven at 190ºC for 15-20 minutes until the juices run clear. Let the chicken cool slightly and then shred it using two forks, or your hands. 

I have made this recipe before by adding around 50g of diced chorizo. It is really tasty, but does add a few calories onto the dish. So I have since changed the recipe to adding slices of prosciutto (or any other cured ham) to the top. This is far lower in calories and crisps up in the oven which is so delicious. 

If you didn’t want to use prosciutto, you could always cook some bacon or bacon lardons and add these to the dish. These won’t be as healthy as prosciutto but not everyone is watching what they eat and even if you are, treats are always allowed every now and then! 

You can use whatever pasta shape you prefer (or happen to have in your cupboard). This recipe is easily made gluten free, just swap to gluten free pasta and flour. Obviously check any meat you add is gluten free too, but a lot of continental meats do tend to be gluten free. 

This dish is also great for leftovers – perfect for lunch the next day. I sometimes find when you are trying to be healthy that lunch gets forgotten about and you end up having the same boring, low calorie lunch each day. I then end up feeling hungry for the rest of the day – maybe this is just me?! Something like this for lunch is great as it helps keep you full without being high in calories.

Updated October 2018

5 from 1 vote
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Skinny Chicken & Proscuitto Pasta Bake

Deliciously creamy pasta bake which is skinny but you really wouldn’t guess it! My Skinny Chicken & Prosciutto Pasta Bake is a tasty meal that all the family will love and a great way to use up leftover chicken. 

Course Main Course
Cuisine British
Keyword Chicken, Proscuitto, Pasta Bake, Skinny
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 713 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 340 g pasta any shape you like
  • 1 ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 4 gloves of garlic minced
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 250 ml chicken stock
  • 250 ml semi-skimmed milk you can also use 1% milk
  • 40 g grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp mustard powder
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 200 g chicken cooked and shredded
  • 1 x 340g tin sweetcorn drained
  • 1 ball of low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 3-4 slices of prosciutto

Instructions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the pack' directions making sure it is al dente

  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and saute for a minute or so, stirring occasionally
  3. Add the flour and stir to combine. Saute for another minute or so to cook the flour, again stirring occasionally
  4. Gradually add the chicken stock whisking as you to go combine and create a smooth sauce. Once all the stock is added, whisk in the milk and bring to a simmer. 

  5. Allow the sauce to thicken for a minute or so and then stir in the Parmesan cheese before adding in the oregano, mustard powder, salt and pepper 

  6. Reduce the heat to low and stir occasionally until the pasta is cooked
  7. Preheat the oven to 190°C (fan assisted or 210°C non fan)

  8. Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the sauce along with the cooked, shredded chicken and sweetcorn. Stir to make sure the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce
  9. Pour half of the pasta into a large baking dish. Sprinkle with half of the mozzarella and then add the rest of the pasta. 

  10. Finish by adding the rest of the mozzarella and the prosciutto

  11. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to turn slightly golden
Nutrition Facts
Skinny Chicken & Proscuitto Pasta Bake
Amount Per Serving
Calories 713 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 602mg 25%
Potassium 449mg 13%
Total Carbohydrates 73g 24%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 6g
Protein 28g 56%
Vitamin A 4.4%
Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 20.9%
Iron 11.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad

This Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad is definitely not a boring salad! The delicious sweet figs are complimented by the peppery rocket and salty ham. 

I am obsessed with figs. Not only are they delicious but they are really pretty too. I spend all year waiting for them to come into season and then eat as many of them as possible. I am always shocked by how many people have never seen them let alone tried them. My mother in law had only tried them dried in fig rolls before and two of my friends at work had no idea what it was when I brought them into work!

I am making it my little mission to make as many people aware of figs as possible so I insisted that my friends tried them. You should have seen their faces, you would have thought I was asking them to try something really weird! They both thought the figs were alright which is a much better reaction than I thought I was going to get!

This is a great recipe to try if you haven’t eaten figs before because it is so easy and includes familiar ingredients too. Most people may associate figs with sweet dishes, like my Honey, Fig and Mascarpone Cupcakes. However figs go really well as part of a savoury dish and add a great sweetness. This salad makes a lovely starter or light lunch and is healthy too which is another advantage!

This Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad is really simple and quick to make. I first made this just for myself thinking it wouldn’t be Mr Curly’s kind of thing. He had a little bit to give it a try and really liked it so ended up eating half of it! In the week since I made it, he has kept asking when I am going to make it again because he loved it.I decided to use Prosciutto, but feel free to use Parma or Serano ham instead – just use whichever cured ham you fancy. With the dressing, you can either use balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze. This recipe is definitely not set in stone, the quantities below are just a guide so if you want more of one ingredient, go for it.

I feel slightly cheeky referring to this Fig, Prosciutto and Rocket Salad as a recipe when really it is just assembling ingredients together. But when you have ingredients this tasty, you really don’t need to do much with them. This is one of my favourite dishes to eat, you really must try it! 

 

5 from 2 votes
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Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad

This Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad is definitely not a boring salad! The delicious sweet figs are complimented by the peppery rocket and salty ham. 

Course Salad
Cuisine Mediterranean
Keyword Salad, Fig, Proscuitto
Prep Time 10 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 145 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 60 g rocket (1 bag)
  • 6 figs
  • 8 slices Prosciutto
  • 20 g Parmesan
  • Drizzle of balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar glaze

Instructions

  1. Rinse the rocket if it hasn't already been washed and scatter over your serving plate or bowl
  2. Cut the figs into quarters or sixths depending on how big they are and add them to the rocket
  3. Drape slices of Prosciutto over the plate
  4. Grate the Parmesan over the salad with a vegetable peeler so you get curls of cheese
  5. Drizzle the salad with balsamic vinegar/balsamic glaze

Nutrition Facts
Fig, Prosciutto & Rocket Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 145 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 13mg 4%
Sodium 190mg 8%
Potassium 261mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Sugars 12g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 10%
Vitamin C 4.5%
Calcium 10.9%
Iron 3.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Ravioli Lasagne

Rich bolognese packed with layers of tasty ravioli and melted cheese. Such a deliciously comforting dish with approximately 500 calories per portion makes it a healthier option without compromising on the taste.2015-09-27 19.04.51

This recipe was heavily influenced by a recipe my Mum made a few times when I was growing up. All I could remember was the recipe used ravioli instead of lasagne and had a bolognese style sauce. I’m pretty sure it had some form of white sauce as you would usually expect from a lasagne too but I can’t be sure. Instead of asking my Mum to hunt around for the recipe, I thought I would take elements of it and make my version of it. This also meant I could try and keep an eye on the calories in it too!

We have become a little bit too relaxed with healthy eating in my house recently so we decided enough was enough and are back on track trying to watch what we eat a bit more. This doesn’t mean I won’t have treats, but where I can I’ll try and make things a bit healthier.

This recipe is an example of this as I have used lean beef mince – although it won’t make a massive difference, every little helps! I’ve also used parmesan cheese and half – fat mozzarella. With parmesan, a small amount goes quite a long way and although the mozarella like all low-fat cheese options may not melt as seductively as normal cheese, it still tastes great and doesn’t make you feel as guilty! Obviously you do not need to use the low fat options, but in my opinion there really is no reason not to.

As well as making a very tasty dinner, we had plenty of leftovers for lunches which was equally as tasty. What this recipe lacks in prettiness, it definitely makes up for in flavour!

500g lean mince beef
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp mustard powder
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp rosemary, chopped
½ tsp pepper
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tin of plum tomatoes
2 Oxo beef cubes
Spray oil
400g ravioli – I used beef and wine ravioli
225g half fat mozzarella
40g parmesan

  1. Put a pan on a medium heat and spray with oil. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes until the onion starts to soften and go translucent, but not brown

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  1. Add the mince and using a wooden spoon, break the mince up into small pieces so you don’t get big lumps. Stir until all the meat is browned
  2. Once browned, add the celery and carrot. Add the tomato puree and stir before adding the herbs, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, salt and pepper

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  1. Add the tinned tomatoes and then fill the empty tin with water from a recently boiled kettle – be careful as the tin will be hot, add it to the pan and stir
  2. Crumble in the Oxo cubes and let is simmer for a minimum of 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. You can leave it on a low heat to blip away for a few hours, just make sure you add some more water if it starts looking dry

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  1. The liquid should have reduced so that it coats the meat but isn’t too wet – you don’t want too much liquid as it will be too wet when you bake it

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  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC while you assemble the lasagne
  2. Using a large oven proof dish, layer the base with half of the ravioli and then cover with half of the meat mixture

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  1. Sprinkle half of the mozzarella and parmesan over the meat and pasta and then repeat using up the rest of the ingredients

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  1. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted

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  1. Serve with a side salad or whatever else you fancy

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Mixed Berry & Cinnamon Muffins

Whole berry muffin 2

Photo by Greedy Betty

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year celebrating with your family and friends and eating lots of delicious food. Like a lot of people, I don’t set New Year’s resolutions but have things I would like to achieve. This year, like last year, my aim is to become healthier. For the first six months I did really well last year and was pleased with my progress, but after a lovely holiday to Mexico, I really struggled to get back into the right frame of mind. So after realising I can do it, my aim this year is to go further and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I do believe in treating yourself every so often though so there will still be recipes for when only naughty food will do!

This is a great first recipe for 2015. It is another in my search for a tasty but healthy muffin. I came across this recipe in Lorraine Pascale’s ‘A Lighter Way to Bake’. My Mum bought me the book for my birthday and up until then I hadn’t heard of Lorraine. In the book she takes popular recipes that she has tweaked and made healthier. One thing I really like is that is not only shows you how many calories are in a serving, but it also states how many calories you would typically find in the usual recipe. I find this interesting because if I’m being good, I like to know just how good I’m being!

This recipe has a fantastically low 155 calories per muffin but you can tell it is a healthy muffin. Due to the lack of sugar and the only sweetness coming from the maple syrup, the muffins weren’t as sweet as I would usually want a muffin to be.  Not only are they low in calories, they also use wholemeal flour which is a plus! I did enjoy them and I will make them again – especially as they are so healthy.

The very talented Greedy Betty took the photos of the finished muffins which she also made. As a food blogger, how good the photographs are really affects how appealing your recipe is. Having a talented photographer to take great photos is a great help and is a service Greedy Betty provides (more details at the bottom).

For the muffins
300g wholewheat plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg
2 egg whites
200ml semi skimmed milk
100g low fat natural yogurt
50ml sunflower oil
4 tbsp maple syrup
200g frozen summer berry mix

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC, 180ºC fan and line a 12 hole muffin tin with liners
  2. Put the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl and mix
  3. Beat the egg and egg whites together and then add the milk, yogurt, oil and maple syrup and beat again until combined and smooth
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix, it will be quite sloppy
  5. Gently fold in two thirds of the frozen berry mix

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  1. Divide the mix between the liners and scatter the remaining berries over the top of the muffin mix and gently press them in

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  1. Bake for 20 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Allow to cool in the tin briefly before allowing to cool completely on a wire rack

Whole berry muffin 1

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Raspberry Jam Muffins

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This is another attempt at a healthy muffin for breakfast. After the Nutella muffins, I thought I would try a spoonful of jam instead. You can use any jam you like, but make sure it is a good quality one as it does make a difference. To enhance the raspberry taste further, I added some freeze dried raspberries to the mixture and then to try and make it healthier I used half plain flour and half wholemeal flour. I didn’t use just wholemeal flour because it can change the texture and make it a little dryer and the aim is to make muffins that are healthy but also tasty.

I was very pleased with how these muffins turned out. The jam works really well because it provides a lovely moistness to the muffin. I was most impressed with how few calories there were in each muffin – just over 150! This was a massive improvement on the Nutella muffins and are equally as tasty.

1 cup plain flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
1 cup caster sugar
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1/3 cup no fat Greek yogurt
12 tsp raspberry jam

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a muffin tin with liners
  2. Mix together the flours, sugar, salt, baking powder and freeze dried raspberries
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the vegetable oil, eggs and yogurt
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined

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  1. Fill the cases half way with mix and then add a level teaspoon of jam into the middle of each muffin. Cover the jam with the remaining muffin mix

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  1. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

These are another really simple and quick recipe. They also freeze really well so you can get them out the night before and they’ll be defrosted ready for your breakfast.