For the beef eaters too..

 Just a heads up – the earlier posted lasagne recipe works for beef lasagne classics too!  

 Just use lean minced beef and dry red wine instead!

 And I used the right sized dish this time so it looks perfect! 

Henrietta x

Viva la lasagne 

I don’t know about you but I love lasagne.

Just like Garfield.
So how can I find a low fat lasagne recipe to die for? 

Well, I start with one thing. Google.

BBC good food recipes always have low fat options if you search for them, and this recipe didn’t disappoint. 

  
You just may want to use the right sized dish so you don’t get curling, overspill like I did. 

  

  
Look at that beautiful spilling lasagne sauce. 

So good. 

So here it it. Pork and rosemary lasagne for champions. 


Ingredients 

1 tsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing400g lean minced pork (less than 5% fat)

1 onion, finely chopped

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

1 tsp dried rosemary

150ml white wine

425ml chicken stock

2 tbsp tomato purée

400g can chopped tomatoes

1 tsp cornflour

2 x 250g tubs Quark (easier to find than I though! So isle placement to Philadelphia and other cream cheeses in supermarkets.)

250ml skimmed milk

freshly grated nutmeg

10 dried lasagne sheets, about 175g/6oz in total

15g/½oz freshly grated parmesan (about 5 tbsp)

Method

Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5/fan oven 170C. Heat the oil in a non-stick pan, add the pork and quickly fry until starting to become brown and crumbly. Add the onion, celery, rosemary and wine and bring to the boil. Cover and gently cook for 10 minutes, until softened.

Add the stock, tomato purée, canned tomatoes, and season. Stir well, then bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes by which time it will be nicely pulpy. Blend the cornflour to a paste with a few drops of water, then add to the pan and cook briefly until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.

Tip the Quark into a bowl. Give it a stir, then stir in the milk, nutmeg, seasoning.

Brush a 1.4 litre/2½ pint oblong dish with a little oil. Spoon a third of the meat over the base, then cover with 2 sheets of lasagne, breaking them to fit, if necessary. Try to avoid overlapping. Spread with a third of the sauce, a little parmesan, then 2 more sheets of lasagne. Repeat layers twice more, omitting the last layer of lasagne and finishing with the sauce.

Sprinkle with remaining parmesan and bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and tender.


Super easy and super tasty. Now excuse me whilst I go eat some more.


Henrietta x

 

Who ate all the LOW FAT pies? 

Oh, those were the days when I would be walking down the road and the group of teenaged boys behind me would chant ‘who ate all the pies?’ when I slipped on the ice infront of me. 

Winter wasn’t my friend.

But why does pie have to be associated with fat people? 

Yeah, I know, buttery pastries and all that can be fattening. Apple pies can be fattening. But why are all pie associated with fat?

I like pie and it is my right to eat it when I want. So the challenge was finding a low-fat pie recipe so that I don’t have to be called a fatty for eating pie. 

  

Enter this beautiful recipe I found from BBC Good Food, a low-fat chicken pie which I substituted with turkey breast which is supposedly leaner.

  

Ingredients (serves four)

For the filling

450ml chicken stock, from a cube (I use Kallo, organic)

100ml white wine

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 thyme sprigs

1 tarragon sprig, plus 1 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves

225g carrots, cut into batons

4 skinless chicken breasts, 500g/1lb 2oz total weight

225g leeks, sliced

2 tbsp cornflour, mixed with 2 tbsp water

3 tbsp crème fraîche

1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

1 healed tbsp chopped parsley

For the topping

70g filo pastry (three 39 x 30 cm sheets ideal)

1 tbsp rapedeed oil 

Method

1. Pour the stock and wine into a large, wide frying pan. Add the garlic, thyme, tarragon sprig and carrots, bring to the boil then lower the heat and simmer for 3 mins. Lay the chicken in the stock, grind over some pepper, cover and simmer for 5 mins. Scatter the leek slices over the chicken, cover again then gently simmer for 10 more mins, so the leeks can steam while the chicken cooks. Remove from the heat and let the chicken sit in the stock for about 15 mins, so it keeps moist while cooling slightly.

2. Strain the stock into a jug – you should have 500ml (if not, make up with water). Tip the chicken and veg into a 1.5 litre pie dish and discard the herb sprigs. Pour the stock back into the sauté pan, then slowly pour in the cornflour mix. Return the pan to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraîche, mustard, chopped tarragon and parsley. Season with pepper. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

3. Tear or cut the chicken into chunky shreds. Pour the sauce over the chicken mixture, then stir everything together.

4. Cut each sheet of filo into 4 squares or rectangles. Layer them on top of the filling, brushing each sheet with some of the oil as you go. Lightly scrunch up the filo so it doesn’t lie completely flat and tuck the edges into the sides of the dish, or lay them on the edges if the dish has a rim. Grind over a little pepper, place the dish on a baking sheet, then bake for 20-25 mins until the pastry is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Serve immediately.

  
I actually shoved in whatever vegetables I had in my fridge which worked quite nicely! 

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x 

Mamma Mia, it’s-a pizza! 

I know what you’re thinking. There is no way this girl is about to tell me I can eat pizza.

Well I was determined to find a way to eat a healthier pizza. When I have a craving nothing will stop me from eating it. 

Obviously a dominos couldn’t be had (even though I really miss their beautiful gooey cookies) but I did find a healthier version of a good old pizza. 

First of all, the pizza base. When I was younger I was bought up on pitta bread pizzas, and I really have no idea if they were common or not.. But I sure love them. 

I searched the shelves for wholemeal pitta bread (but white would still work as long as it’s still low fat). Wholemeal bread is lower GI so more diabetes friendly!

But what on earth would I do about the cheese? I’m sure every dieter out there is aware of the high fat content in cheese. Even reduced far cheese is still high in saturated fats. 

Enter Musclefood’s new virtually zero fat cheese. Now the link I’ve posted is for cheddar, but you can also find mozerella and sharp cheddar for all you mature cheddar fans.   ** UPDATE FOR 2018 – EAT LEAN PROTEIN CHEESE IS A THING AND IT IS AMAZING. BASICALLY AVAILABLE IN TESCOS, MORRISONS, AND WAITROSE **

So the toppings were my next issue. I’m sorry everybody but pepperoni isn’t healthy. But you can easily find ham or roast beef in supermarkets with the nutritional information on the front showing how low in fat they are – especially compared to pepperoni. 

Now if you really need to treat yourself to pepperoni then so be it, just don’t tell anyone! 

Create your pizza with pitta bread, tomato Passata, 30g cheese and your toppings. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. 

And if you’re a vegetarian just don’t add any meat toppings! 

A perfect pizza every time! 

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x 

Losing weight without living carb-free

I had an appointment today with my physiotherapist so I thought why not tie it in with lunch out? It was nice to be back around my university campus and I couldn’t resist a lunch looking over the Thames. 

Plus it’s way better for my metabolism to eat my main meal for lunch.

I’ve found lately that I have a whole new relationship with salad. I never used to be one of those beings that order a salad. I always ordered the bacon and cheese burger with chips. Oh the shivers I feel down my spine thinking about the fat content in that! 

I thought it best to explain that I’m not one of those people who order a salad. I don’t live carb-free, just low fat.  
Well just so everyone is aware, carbs are good. Carbs keep you full. You can’t be expected to give up carbs to lose weight because you’ll just end up hungry. 

So I order new potatoes with my salad. I have so much love for new potatoes. They’re literally so much lower in calories than the equivalent weight in pasta. 

I really believe the reason I’ve managed to lose so much weight is because I’ve converted to potatoes and sweet potatoes rather than rice and pasta. I can literally count the amount of times I’ve eaten rice and pasta in the last five months on my hands. 

Literally 100-150g of potatoes is all you need – and only around 120 calories – whereas when you cook a 100g portion of pasta (following the serving suggestions on the packet) you end up with a cooked weight of 200g per person and around 350 calories. 

I did have a point for this post.. Just don’t give up your carbs. Some people may think it works, but if you’re dieting from an unhealthy weight like I was there was never any chance I would have survived this long without carbs (else I would have pigged out regularly on crisps!)

Henrietta x 

Frog-free Toad in the Hole

Toad in the hole was something I never really grew up with, unlike most families I know.  I was introduced to the stuff about a year ago and I’m actually quite a fan. It isn’t the healthiest of meals though.

So today I decided to make a low fat version of toad in the hole to die for. The recipe is from BBC Good Food, but I’ve managed to make it lower in fat using Musclefood’s virtually fat free sausages.

If you’re not a fan of pork sausages then using venison sausages may be an idea for this dish – and certainly would make it quite a bit more exotic! I feel that, next time, using Musclefood’s fat free chilli and garlic sausages would add tonnes of flavour and, at 0.066g saturated fat per sausage, would be divine for the waistline! 

Toad in the hole with red onions and thyme batter (serves 4)

Ingredients

1 red onion, cut into wedges, layers separated

8 thick low-fat pork sausages

1 tsp olive oil

For the batter

100g plain flour

1 medium egg

300ml skimmed milk

2 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tsp fresh thyme leaf

steamed carrots and cabbage, to serve

 Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6/fan oven 180C. Tip the onions into a small shallow non-stick tin (about 23x30cm/ 9x12in). Arrange the sausages on top of the onions, then add the oil and roast for 20 minutes.
  2. While they are roasting, make the batter. Sift the flour into a bowl, drop the egg in to the centre and beat in the milk a little at a time until it makes a smooth batter. Stir in the mustard and thyme and season.
  3. Pour the batter quickly into the tin and return to the oven for 40 minutes until the batter is risen and golden. Serve with steamed carrots and cabbage.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 13.30.16

It really is that simple. 

As I said, my version may well have been lower in fat by using the virtually zero fat sausages – but it could be lower in fat STILL by using they’re certified fat free chilli and garlic sausages which I have in my freezer, ready for next time!

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x

Chicken salad for simples

I’ve been the fat kid for most of my life (certainly since I can remember) and I’ve gone through the full range of emotions that come with it. People are mean. 

You want to oink at me when I walk past? Cool story.

Go on then, give me a good wolf whistle and snigger when I turn around – that’s original. 

My favourite must have been when I was eleven years old and some eighteen year old told me my bum is so huge it’s blocks out the sun and causes a solar eclipse. Safe to say I’m thrilled that my bum is shrinking.

My point being I’ve been putting up with this rubbish for a long time and I did eventually learn to take it in my stride. I even went along with the nickname shrek. 

I mean, come on, I guess I did earn it.  

I’m ten years old in the above photo (and on a safari holiday so excuse my outfit) but I have always loved food. 

But why do you have to hate the relationship you have with food? I can’t count the number of times I would have a huge portion of food infront of the TV after getting in from the rain (typical English weather). It was always comforting. 

It’s less comforting when you check your weight on the scales afterwards. 

Can I really blame food for all of this though? I’m sure I could have learnt to move a bit more.  

I never really understood the problems that come with eating too much until something finally happened to me to prove I was damaging myself. 

“Yeah, sure, I might get heart disease and die ridiculously early.. But I won’t, right? I’ll just lose weight later.

Oh my god, how many times I told myself that I would lose weight later probably made it my catchphrase. But then I got diagnosed with type two diabetes and people told me I was just like grandma. 

Hang on a second.

Grandma is great and all but I don’t want to join the ‘diabetes club’ with her. Sorry grandma, I’ll leave diabetes with you.

And so it began: healthy eating, exercising and actually caring about what I put in my body. 

For anyone out there who has no idea where to start try what I did. Start by following balanced recipes from my trusted recipe book. Once I got the hang of it I could then balance my own meals. And just grit your teeth and do the exercise. 

Back to my main point though – check out my beautiful lunch. 

I’ve been doing this a lot lately – a mixed salad. It surprises me that I’ve become one of those people who eat plants. What has become of me? 😂

It’s a fairly easy recipe to make. You just basically wing it. 

Ingredients (serves one)

1 chicken breast

Handful of mixed salad leaves

100g parboiled potatoes (you can chop these into wedges and oven bake them for a crunch!) 

Cherry tomatoes (you can chop a normal tomato too!)

1 teaspoon pesto

Salt and pepper to season

Garlic salt

Mixed herbs (for if you oven baked the potatoes)

Vegetables of your choice

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Chop the parboiled potatoes into wedges, sprinkle with mixed herbs and season. Bake for 15 minutes.

3. Add the chicken breast to oven and bake for a further 20 minutes with the wedges. Why not add some lemon juice? That just popped into my mind.

4. Whilst the oven ingredients bake, put a handful of mixed salad on a plate and add the tomatoes and vegetables of your choice. Sprinkle over a little garlic salt (if you can find it).

5. Distribute the teaspoon of pesto on the salad – try to spread it evenly. 

6. Add the wedges and chopped chicken to the salad, add a dressing if you would like.

And I’m certainly no expert but its pretty low calories and low fat provided you have a normal-sized chicken breast. Around 100g is great but most chicken breasts weigh a little more. I aim for around 125g or I trim it.

Enjoy my simple cooking. It really is that easy.

Henrietta x