Baked chicken nuggets for those Macdonalds moments.. 

Now I have to admit, I used to eat a hella amount of macdonalds. 

Macdonalds chicken select was my favourite. Mmmmmm yes. 

So how do I combat a macdonalds craving? 

Baked chicken nuggets. Good ones. 

  

All I have to say is: you’re welcome. 


Ingredients: serves four.

16 oz (2 large) skinless boneless chicken breasts, cut into even bit sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp olive oil

6 tbsp whole wheat Italian seasoned breadcrumbs

2 tbsp panko

2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

olive oil spray 
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 425°. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.

2. Put the olive oil in one bowl and the breadcrumbs, panko and parmesan cheese in another.

3. Season chicken with salt and pepper, then put in the bowl with the olive oil and mix well so the olive oil evenly coats all of the chicken.

4. Put a few chunks of chicken at a time into the breadcrumb mixture to coat, then on the baking sheet. Lightly spray the top with olive oil spray then bake 8 – 10 minutes. Turn over then cook another 4 – 5 minutes or until cooked though.

Recipe found from skinnytaste.com. 

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 

Once I caught a fish alive 

So today I decided to make up my own recipe and completely wing it.

I’m not going to lie – it turned out pretty great. Obviously you can adapt this recipe based on your own personal tastes but having fish twice a week is highly recommended by health professionals. 

I recommend buying a low fat salmon fillet – most on the selves in the UK are in the orange zone for fat and saturated fat. This salmon from sainsburys is low in saturated fat so is ideal for the recipe.

Baked pesto salmon


Ingredients 

100g new potatoes, boiled and cooled

A handful of mixed salad

8 cherry tomatoes/ 1 tomato sliced

1 teaspoon pesto

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon low fat salad dressing – of your choice 

1 salmon fillet

Salt and pepper to season (I used garlic salt)


Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius.
  2. Remove any skin from the salmon fillet and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Use the oil to ensure the salmon doesn’t stick.
  3.  Place the tray in the oven and bake for 18-23 minutes.
  4. Take the handful of mixed salad and put it on a plate. Add the cherry tomatoes, boiled new potatoes and seasoning. Use half of the pesto as a dressing – mix with a small amount of oil if the consistency isn’t runny enough.
  5. Add a small amount of the low fat dressing of your choice. I used balsamic glaze (I know my blood sugars are well controlled so I can allow it).
  6. Remove the salmon from the oven, place on the bed of salad and new potatoes, and use the remainder of the pesto on top of the fillet. Enjoy.

I know it’s a fairly simple recipe but I packed it with a lot of flavour. As mentioned, I used garlic salt. When I boiled my potatoes I added rosemary to increase the flavours of the dish.

I’ve managed to work out the calories in the dish based on the ingredients, but I’m yet to work out the fat and saturated fat of the dish, as well as the total sugars. Without the balsamic glaze, however, the sugars would be low.

Nutritional information 

Around 400 calories based on the salmon used.

Enjoy the first recipe I’ve posted that I made myself! It’s simple but gorgeous. 

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x


A top tip for those lazy days 

We all have those days. Those day when we just don’t have the strength or the energy to cook. Sometimes I get back from working, having just spent an hour and a half travelling and I think ‘well I just can’t cook right now’ (not to mention I will have forgotten to defrost some meat from the freezer). 

There’s a point – I always portion my meat and freeze it in portions to prevent cooking or eating too much. A year ago I used to cook a six-pack of Chinese chicken thighs (at 260 calories per thigh and a high fat content) and eat them all with the biggest bowl of rice ever (a salad bowl full). 

Anyhow, I may get home sometimes and be completely exhausted or just too plain lazy to cook a meal. 

How do I deal with this? I’m always stocked up on ready meals. I’m not talking any old ready meals, I’m talking healthy, Marks and Spencer’s ‘count on us’ range. I highly recommend these meals, at around 400 calories per meal they all tend to be in the green for fat, saturated fat and sugars. 

  Could you ever believe you could still eat curry?   I never imagined Indian takeaway would still be on the menu. More of a Thai food fan? Not a problem! 

 A HUGE portion of spicy chicken tagliatelle? You don’t have to say no to everything. (I know this looks large, but it is only 384 calories!) Even a cheeky Chinese can be allowed.

My point being its okay to be lazy. We all have commitments, in reality no one expects that we all have the time in the morning to food prep. 

Obviously I wouldn’t recommend becoming reliant on these meals, I find it’s much more fun cooking fresh, new dishes! But, if you are tempted to order a takeaway after a long day – HANG UP THE PHONE. It’s not happening.

Of course if you don’t have a local marks and Spencer’s, many supermarkets offer the healthier versions of their microwave meals. Co-op, tesco and sainsburys have a range of healthier options, just stick to the nutritional information being in the green for fat, saturated fat and sugars. 

Good luck avoiding the microwave from now on! 

Henrietta x

The alternative to steak and chips

Well, it was one of those no expense spared nights last night at a lovely little restaurant on tresco (the scilly isles). After carefully considering my options from the menu provided I asked my mother about the sweet potato wedges. 

“Are they deep fried or oven baked?

To which my response was along the lines of “they’re much too crispy to be oven baked”. It seemed, however, my question spoilt everyone’s fun as my mum then decided that the six of us could only share the single portion of sweet potato wedges given my concerns on how they were cooked. 

Oops. 

Anyhow, that somewhat spoilt my choice to have a healthier version of steak and chips, though I did manage to work my way around the menu. 

First of all, when it comes to ordering steak, you want to choose the least fatty cut you can. Fillet is by far the healthiest option you can go for – but it is also the priciest. I didn’t have beef fillet available on the menu last night so my second best choice is sirloin. I tend to avoid rump at all costs after learning it has a higher fat content than I expected. 

If you prefer your steak rare then you are in for a treat. You actually burn more calories digesting a steak the rarer you have it – and, luckily, that’s just how I like it.

Once my steak was chosen I was back to my dilemma of what to substitute in the place of chips. I had already discovered the sweet potato wedges weren’t my best option, despite their low GI rating, so I reverted back to my safest bet – boiled potatoes please.

Obviously they aren’t quite the same as having steak and chips, but I have to say the health benefits make you feel a lot less guilty upon finishing the meal. 

So there it is: my posh steak and chips. A rare sirloin steak with chickpea purée, boiled new potatoes, roasted tomatoes and steamed beans and broccoli, marinated in aged balsamic. 

Now, come on, were you really expecting me to tell you to still eat chips

Henrietta x

Salmon fishing (in the Yemen)

I was never really a fan of fish, but since I went to a family wedding I realised what I’ve actually been missing out on.

They (I assume the professional health experts) say you should eat fish twice a week, so I’ve attempted to adopt this approach.

I didn’t even need to follow a recipe for this one – just had to boil some new potatoes and steam some vegetables to serve with the fish.

IMG_0557

Yes it does look very amateur, but I made up a little butter and parsley sauce (some vitalite/vegan butter, lemon juice, parsley and garlic)  and cooked a salmon fillet for 20-25 minutes at 190 degree celsius.

My general rule is to have 100-150g potatoes by portion and I often stick to 125g, but it does vary depending on the sizes of potatoes you have.

In the end though, having fish twice a week is probably reeling with health benefits so why not give it a go?

Happy cooking!

Henrietta x