Monday, 7 October 2013

Skinny recipe #18 Turkey Mince Alfredo


Chicken Alfredo is usually a heavy, creamy sauce pasta dish with hundreds of calories (above).

I love these creamy pasta sauces so much but I needed a lighter version, especially as I'm not exercising at the moment. 

Using an existing recipe as a base and tweaking it slightly, this dish is approximately 570 calories which isn't bad considering it's a pasta dish.

Although I use turkey mince in my recipe, you could use chicken or chunks of chicken breast. I just find the bonus of mince is that it bulks the dish out, meaning you don't need as much pasta! 

This recipe serves two :)

You will need:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or coconut.. whatever oil you prefer)
  • 250g lean turkey or chicken mince
  • 1 chopped clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 350-400ml chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp low fat cream cheese
  • 1tbsp quark (if you do not like or do not have quark, just use another tbsp of cream cheese)
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan
  • Handful of chopped parsley
  • 125g whole wheat pasta (any pasta shape will do)
  • Seasoning
  • Optional: handful of mushrooms

  • Method:
    • In a large pan, heat up your oil of choice and then start browning your mince
    • Just before it's fully cooked, add in the garlic and stir until fragrant
    • In another pan, bring water up to the boil and add in a good pinch of salt. Pop the pasta in to cook
    • Back to the turkey mince, sprinkle in your flour and cook for 1 minute 
    • Slowly add in the stock and leave for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
    • Optional: add the mushrooms at this stage
    • When the sauce looks slightly thicker, add in both the cream cheese and quark and keep stirring until combined and the sauce is looking creamy
    • Add both the Parmesan and parsley and stir until combined 
    • Drain the pasta and add to the sauce and mix to coat!
    • Serve and enjoy :)

    Having mince made so much difference and the sauce was just cheesy enough without being overpowering.

    If you enjoy pasta but want a lighter way of eating it, this is definitely worth a go. 

    Now for pudding, a freshly made pumpkin pie - hopefully the first of many :) not that healthy but you have to treat yourself once in a while, eh? If you want to try it out, see my friend Jennies' recipe here.

    Don't forget to post your pictures, share your recipes and stories on the Facebook page.


    Monday, 30 September 2013

    Weight loss: The photo diary


    As the majority of you know, this was me at my biggest back in 2009, size 20/22. 
    I was happy but I wasn't happy

    When I decided to lose weight, I wanted to try and take a picture of myself nearly every month so I could easily track my progress.

    I would encourage anyone wanting to lose weight, however you're doing it, to do this!

    The great thing about doing this is if you're having a 'fat day' or you haven't lost as much as you would have liked, you can look back through your pictures and be pleased with how far you've come. Little changes can make a huge difference on those down days and can give you the boost you need to stay on track.

    Remember to start your photo diary when you start your journey and share it on the Facebook page :)

    December 2011

    February 2012
    April 2012
    June 2012

    July 2012

    August 2012

    August 2012

    September 2012

    September 2012

    October 2012

    November 2012
    December 2012

    December 2012

    February 2013

    February 2013

    March 2013

    March 2013

    May 2013

    June 2013

    June 2013

    July 2013

    August 2013

    August 2013

    September 2013

    September 2013

    It's been an interesting journey...

    ....and I'm nowhere near finished yet ;)


    Sunday, 29 September 2013

    Skinny recipe #17 Simple Italian Bake

    After a couple of nights of takeaways (slaps wrist), I really needed to cook something healthy, full of vegetables and something that would use up the odds and ends in the fridge.
    This was a really simple dinner to make and required very little effort, which was perfect for me in my 'hopalong' state.
    This recipe serves two and can either be served on its own or with rice, pasta or bread.
    Calories per serving (minus a side): 360 calories!

    You will need:
    • 4 ripe tomatoes
    • 1 red bell pepper (yellow would work instead of/as well as)
    • 1 red onion
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 100g chorizo
    • 2 tsp olive oil
    • Italian herb mix or any dried herbs
    • Salt & pepper to taste
    • Preheat the oven to 200C
    • Chop the pepper, onion and tomatoes into rough chunks and add to a roasting dish along with the peeled and lightly crushed garlic cloves
    • Thinly slice the chorizo and scatter around the dish
    • Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and season with salt, pepper and dried herbs
    • Season the chicken breasts seperately and lay on top of the chunky vegetables
    • Bake for 35 minutes or until everything is cooked through
    • Serve & enjoy!
    I enjoyed mine with a cheeky bit of sourdough bread :)
    This recipe could easily be tweaked to include a variety of different fish or vegetables.
    Please share yours :)

    Saturday, 28 September 2013

    Skinny recipe #16 Seriously scrummy, no fat/low calorie banana muffins!

    Being off work at the moment has been a bit challenging when it comes to eating healthy. For me, I need routine and without it, I binge on all kinds of BAD foods.
    I do have loads of fruit in the house which I should eat, but it just wasn't doing it for me so I thought I'd bake something but it needed to be low fat and low calorie, so I found a recipe (which I tweaked slightly) to make these bad boys!
    These banana muffins are a crazy 58 calories each and have no fat! I did tweak the recipe so half of the muffins had a teaspoon of dark chocolate spread in the middle, just for a treat :)
    This recipe makes 12.
    You will need:
    • 1 cup of plain flour
    • 2 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp of bicarb soda
    • Pinch of salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1 egg white
    • 1 & 1/2 cups mashed banana (over ripe ideally - approx 4 bananas)
    • Optional: dark chocolate spread/nutella/nut butter
    • Preheat your oven to 180c
    • Mix all of your dry ingredients in a mixing bowl
    • In a different bowl, mix the egg white and mashed bananas
    • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until combined - don't over mix though!
    • Spoon into 12 muffin liners in a muffin tin
    • OPTIONAL: If you want to add a tasty centre, blob a teaspoon of chocolate spread/nutella/any nut butter into the middle and top with more batter to cover.
    • Bake for 15-20 minutes
    • Test with a cocktail stick and if it comes out clean, then your muffins are ready
    • Cool in the muffin tin for 5-10 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack until cool.
    The 58 calories are for the muffins without the tasty centre but depending on what you pop in, the calories will vary.

    These are great for breakfast on the go, a snack with your tea or warmed up for dessert.
    Let me know if you make these :)

    Tuesday, 16 July 2013

    Skinny recipe #15 Dairy-free iced coffee!

    The UK has finally seen some warm boiling weather this weekend and for us coffee addicts, it means we have to think of slightly cooler ways to get our caffeine fix.
    As I have recently given up milk, I thought I'd try making an iced soya latte.
    It wasn't as creamy as a regular iced latte but it still tasted the same and I knew it wouldn't make me feel horrible afterwards.
    It's so so simple but I wanted to share it all with you :]
    Serves 1
    (large glass)
    You will need:
    • 2 tsp instant coffee
    • 1/2 cup of just boiled water
    • 1 cup of ice (1/2 cup spare just in case)
    • 1/2 glass of soya milk (measure it in the glass you wish to drink from)
    • Optional: Any chocolate dusting or syrup you like.
    • Add the ice to a blender, reserving a couple for your finished drink
    • Mix the instant coffee with your just boiled water, stir to dissolve and then add to the blender with the ice
    • Blend under all the ice has been crushed
    • Check to see whether the coffee is now cool. If not, you may need to add a little more ice from your 1/2 cup spare
    • Once the coffee is cool enough, add in the 1/2 glass of soya milk and blend again
    • Once blended, pour into your glass and add the remaining ice!
    See, simple!
    I hope you all give it a try and enjoy the summer weather we're having :]

    Sunday, 14 July 2013

    My weekly shopping list #1

    A few people have been asking for nutrition plans but I'm not qualified to give each of you a specific meal plan... yet!!
    Until I am, I thought I would share with you the sort of meals I have. I'm not saying these are the healthiest options and I'm not suggesting they contain everything you'll need but it's a start and I'm still learning about all this myself :]
    I will write the ingredients for what I have for each meal and if you like the sound of it, you can jot it down and away you go.
    If you would like to see recipes for any of these, then please let me know and I will do them as this is what I eat all of the time.
    For breakfast, I usually have porridge or yogurt with fruit because it's all I can face first thing in the morning. I occasionally have protein pancakes if I've pushed it at the gym that morning.
    Porridge - Flahavan's jumbo oats, low-fat Greek yogurt, honey or sweet freedom, banana & cinnamon
    Yogurt & fruit - Low-fat Greek/natural yogurt, banana, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and pineapple with a sprinkle of dessicated coconut.
    Protein pancakes - whey powder, flour, low-fat Greek yogurt, egg white, baking powder, sweet freedom, pineapple and cinnamon.
    Any of these three combinations are usually washed down with a regular instant coffee either black or with light soya milk.
    Lunch is usually the same thing for me as it's quick and easy to put together plus it's super filling. The only thing that changes is the meat.
    Serious salad - Little gem lettuce, spinach, cherry tomatoes, yellow/red pepper, low-fat feta cheese, cucumber, avacardo, cashews (toasted), steak/chicken/tuna/mackerel, soy sauce and extra virgin olive oil.
    I usually have a small amount of everything, as it helps towards my 5 a day and also gives me all the nutrients I think I need.
    This is going to be a little trickier, so I'm going to plan 7 meals that I would usually have.
    Asain Salmon/trout - Salmon/trout, red chilli, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, lemon peel and juice, brown rice, egg, green beans and mangetout.
    Chorizo/chicken in lentil sauce - Chorizo/chicken breast, red split lentils, onion, olive/coconut oil, garlic puree, tomato puree, tin of chopped tomatoes, dried herbs and mushrooms. Optional: garlic bread.
    Chicken thai curry - thai curry paste, low-fat coconut milk/low-fat nutural yogurt/soya milk, chicken breast, mushrooms, green beans, aubergine, spinach. Optional: naan  bread/brown rice.
    Oriental prawn broth - fish stock, rice wine, soy sauce, ginger, mushrooms, green beans, raw king prawns, frozen asain vegetables, fine wholewheat/gluten-free noodles. Optional: water chesnuts or bamboo shoots.
    Oaty prawn gratin - raw king prawns, raw squid, Flahavan's jumbo oats (gluten-free optional), low-fat/lacto cheese, dried mixed herbs, tin of chopped tomatoes, spinach and green vegetables.
    Steak & eggs - Lean steak (sirloin/fillet), eggs, white vinegar, corn on the cob and flat mushrooms. Optional: low-fat cheese.
    Fajitas - chicken breast, paprika, cayenne pepper, worcestershire sauce, pepper, olive/coconut oil, red/yellow pepper, mushrooms, onion, avacardo, weight watchers wraps (or alternative), low-fat natural/Greek yogurt, tomato salsa, low-fat feta/chedder cheese, jalepenos and lettuce.
    I do love dessert but again, each night it is usually the same.
    Banana and pineapple with cinnamon - banana, pineapple, soya vanilla yogurt, cinnamon and pecans.
    Yogurt & fruit - Low-far Greek/natural yogurt with either berries, banana, pineapple or kiwi.
    Protein mug cake - see ingredients here!
    I don't really snack on a lot but if I decide to then I will buy...
    Fruit - bananas, berries, kiwis, pineapple or melon.
    Nuts - almonds, pecans, cashews or hazelnuts.
    Cereal bars - tracker bars or anything else low calorie/low sugar/fat.
    I'm not sure I like the layout of this so please let me know your feedback and I will take note of my meals and update you.
    Note: I really don't want to write out plans day to day because life gets in the way and doesn't always allow you to cook what you're told.
    Just use these ideas to create your own weekly food plan and shopping list.  

    Friday, 12 July 2013

    Skinny recipe #14 Chicken burgers with butternut squash chips

    I'm sorry... this isn't the best picture that was ever taken but I really wanted to post about this because it was so bloody tasty.
    Sometimes I try a 'skinny recipe' from pinterest and fail miserably but butternut squash chips...
    Here's how you make this skinny but tasty burger & chips combo.
    Serves 1
    You will need:
    • 1 chicken breast
    • 1 egg (beaten)
    • 1 cup panko (will find in the Japenese aisle)
    • 1 Warburtons square
    • Few slices of low fat cheese
    • 2 rashers of turkey bacon
    • Mayo/lettuce/BBQ sauce - whatever you like in your burger
    • 1/4 butternut squash
    • Salt & pepper
    • Any other seasoning, such as soul food seasoning that I used!
    • Olive oil
    • Preheat oven to 190/200 whilst preparing your chicken
    • Lay your chicken breast on a chopping board and cover with a sheet of foil or cling film. Bash with a rolling pin to flatten it out - this will make it cook evenly/quicker
    • Crack an egg into a bowl and lightly beat and also pour 1 cup of panko onto a small plate.
    • Coat your chicken breast in the beaten egg and then lay on the panko, coating evenly both sides.
    • Repeat with the egg and panko to make sure its nicely covered and then place on a baking sheet. Pop to one side whilst you prepare your chips.
    • Top and tail a butternut squash, then peel.
    • Cut into chip size chunks and place on a baking sheet.
    • Season with salt, pepper and any additional seasoning of your choice. Mine was soul food seasoning!
    • Drizzle with olive oil and place on the top/middle shelf in the oven. These will take 30 minutes and will need turning over half way through cooking.
    • Depending on the size of your chicken, time with the chips to make sure they are all cooked at the same time.
    • Pop into the oven for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the chicken breast. Perhaps check after 20 minutes by cutting into it to make sure there's no pink/juices are clear.
    • Just before your chips are finished but your chicken is cooked, grill two rashers of turkey bacon (takes 2 minutes either side) and then add to your chicken burger with cheese if you desire!
    • Serve the chips and assemble the bun by adding your mayo/BBQ sauce/tomato sauce etc.
    The Warburton squares are much lighter than buns and a great alternative if you still want that bready fix.
    It doesn't look amazingly healthy but I can confirm that it's ten times healthier for you than white potato chips and super burger buns!
    Even if you don't fancy the burger, try out the chips.
    They're so simple - you might even get your kids to love them :]