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Curried Lentil Soup recipe, curried soup recipe, healthy soup recipe, healthy diet, free soup recipe

Curried Lentil Soup

Simple and satisfying, this spicy winter soup is another brilliant recipe by Helen Dalton, it's sure to warm you up on a cold winters day.

Curried Lentil Soup

Make your own super soups!  This soup is delicious, full of protein and is quick and easy to prepare.
I make a big saucepan full, batch it up and freeze, brilliant for a healthy lunch at work that you can heat up in minutes in the microwave.

Ingredients

1 onion
1 carrot
2 sticks of celery
drizzle of olive oil
200g red split lentils
2 tbsp of curry paste
2 pints of vegetable stock

Method

Finely chop the onion, carrot and celery into small pieces. Use a food processor if you have one. Place in large pan and cook for a about 5 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil. Add the curry paste, lentils and stock. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring now and again. Remove from heat and blend until smooth.

Chilli Bean Soup Recipe, Free Soup Recipe, Healthy Soup Recipe, Healthy Lunch Ideas, fitness for women, fitness for over forties, healthy eating, balanced diet

Chilli Bean Soup


Nothing beats a bowl of warm soup when it's cold outside. This recipe from Helen Dalton, is quick and easy to make and makes a great alternative to your lunchtime sandwich.

Chilli Bean Soup

This Chilli Bean soup tastes fantastic and is really filling.  I make a big batch and freeze in containers for lunch.  It's packed with vegetables and mixed pulses, making it an excellent source of fibre. Enjoy it with some crusty bread.

Ingredients

1 tbsp of olive oil
1 red onion chopped
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 green pepper deseeded and chopped
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder
400g can mixed pulses (I use the napolina range and it comes in a spicy sauce)
300g can of cannellini bean (or a choice of your preference, please make sure you drain and rinse)
500g passata
250ml of vegetable stock

Method

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and peppers and fry gently, until softened. Add the cumin powder, smoked paprika and chilli powder stir gently for a few seconds. Add the pulses, passata and stock to the pan. Stir well, bring to the boil and reduce the heat, simmer gently for 20/25 minutes until the vegetables are tender. This soup is best left to cool and heated through a few hours later, it allows the soup to thicken, at this point you may wish to add a touch more water/stock.

Benefits of rooibos tea, rooibos tea fact or myth, health benefits of rooibos tea, caffeine free tea

Redbush Tea (Rooibos Tea) myth or fact?

Rooibos tea is made from the Aspalathus Linearis plant, native to the western cape of  South Africa.  The British name for Rooibos tea comes from the Afrikaans pronunciation meaning Red Bush.  It's more like a herbal tea as opposed to your normal cuppa, however unlike other teas, it has the benefit of being naturally caffeine free.  If you are trying to kick a caffeine habit, this may be the way forward for you.

It is made in just the same way as your normal brew, with a dash of milk, sugar or even honey.  For a virtually calorie free option - drink it on it's own.   On a hot day use it to make an iced tea with a slice of lemon as a great alternative to a fizzy drink.  My personal favourite option is with a slice of lemon and ½ teaspoon of honey.  Click here for hints and tips on how to make the perfect Rooibos Tea.

Caffeine

- So what is the big deal about this tea being Caffeine free and why should I read on?  Do you have issues concentrating during the day and find yourself reaching for a coffee to keep yourself going? then have trouble sleeping at night.  Caffeine addiction is one of the most common throughout the world, most people are not aware of the impact it can have.  Have a look at our caffeineometer below to see how much caffeine is in each item -

As with most things Caffeine in small doses can have health benefits, such as protection against  Parkinson's disease, type 2 diabetes and liver disease.  However large intense doses can have a negative effect on the body, leading to insomnia, headaches, nausea, nervousness, restlessness, stomach irritation, vomiting and increased heart rate.  Don't forget that caffeine can also prevent iron absorption into the body, so if you are anemic or suffer from any kind of iron deficiency and drink large amounts of caffeine - this could be the culprit.  If you feel you would benefit from drinking less caffeine try replacing some drinks with water or a naturally caffeine free drink like Rooibos Tea.

Antioxidants

- There are so many other benefits to be gained by drinking this tea, firstly it has 50 times more antioxidants than green tea.  We need these antioxidants to help reduce the free radical damage that happens naturally in the body everyday.  Smoking, alcohol, fatty fried foods, pesticides and air pollution all contribute to free radical damage within us.  Think that free radical damage isn't relevant to you - think again, it has been linked to various diseases and has an impact on how we visually age.  The body naturally produces antioxidants, however due to lifestyle choices and the environment, having food and drink high in these has a big impact on reducing cell damage.

Stress

- Studies have  been conducted that prove the aspalathin in the tea can help to reduce the hormone cortisol, which is produced by the adrenal gland and controls the stress hormone.  Aspalathion is believed to reduce stress and nervous tension, which can help prevent heart disease.  It also helps regulate your blood sugar, improves glucose tolerance, increases glucose absorption into the muscles and reduces excessive fat production.

Allergies

- Also known for its anti-inflammatory properties it can also help reduce the effects of asthma, eczema and hay-fever.

Sounds to good to be true, well for some it may be.  If you are receiving any medication or treatment it is worth discussing with your doctor first as this little tea may interfere with some treatments.  For others, try switching a couple of your cups of high caffeinated drinks and see if you notice any changes in sleep patterns, concentration or energy levels.

 

Curried Chicken tray bake, family meals, easy chicken tray bake, healthy family meals, quick and easy chicken recipe

CURRIED CHICKEN TRAY BAKE

HELEN'S HOME COOKING

Not being fans of fad diets, especially ones that cut out food groups or are so restrictive that they make life miserable, we wanted to provide you with an effective route to a more balanced lifestyle.

One of the key areas in which you can improve your health, is to cook as many meals as possible with fresh ingredients. We understand it can be difficult to find time to shop and prepare meals when you have a busy life. To make things a little easier, we have enlisted Helen's help, giving you her fuss free, family favourite recipes. Read more about Helen here: helens-home-made

Helen has based this curried chicken tray bake on a slimming world recipe, Helen's verdict:  "The whole family loved it, it's healthy, easy to prepare and can be frozen for the days you don't have time to cook".

Ingredients - serves 4 plus 4 portions for freezing

460g jar of roasted red peppers in brine.

2 x chillies - diced and deseeded

4 x courgettes - sliced.

4 x onions, peeled and diced into bite sized chunks.

600g cauliflower florets (fresh or frozen).

400g green beans - halved (fresh or frozen).

8 x boneless/skinless chicken breasts.

Marinade

4 tbsp medium curry powder.

4 tsp cumin seeds.

6 tbsp tomato purée.

Juice of 2 lemons.

Method

Preheat oven - 200 degrees centigrade /fan 180/gas 6

Drain liquid from peppers into a bowl.  Set aside peppers for use later.

Measure 4 tbsp of the pepper juice into a measuring jug.

Combine the marinade ingredients with pepper juice in the measuring jug, whisk together.

Chop the drained peppers into bite size chunks, place in bowl with chillies, cauliflower, green beans, onions and courgettes. Pour marinade over these ingredients and mix thoroughly ensuring everything coated.

Place half of the vegetable mixture into large roasting tin.

Divide the remaining vegetable mixture into 4 freezer bags - place a chicken breast into each bag and freeze for later use.

Place 4 remaining chicken breasts in roasting tin with vegetable mixture, turn breasts to coat in marinade.

Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake in oven for 25 -30 mins until chicken cooked thoroughly.

Season to taste and serve with rice.

Defrost and Reheat

This dish can be frozen for up to six months.

Thoroughly defrost portions required in fridge.

Combine defrosted chicken and vegetable ingredients in a roasting tin and follow cooking instructions as above.

Helen's Quick and easy chicken curry, home made chicken curry, mild chicken curry

HELEN’S QUICK AND EASY CHICKEN CURRY

Helen's Home Cooking

Not being fans of fad diets, especially ones that cut out food groups or are so restrictive that they make life miserable, we wanted to provide you with an effective route to a more balanced lifestyle.

One of the key areas in which you can improve your health, is to cook as many meals as possible with fresh ingredients. We understand it can be difficult to find time to shop and prepare meals when you have a busy life.  To make things a little easier, we have enlisted Helen's help, giving you her fuss free, family favourite recipes.  Read more about Helen here: helens-home-made

Helen's Quick and Easy Chicken Curry

This is a really quick, easy and healthy(ish) mild chicken curry, the kids should be able to eat this one as it's not too spicy.  Great for a Monday night if you have any left over chicken from the weekend.

INGREDIENTS

4 x skinless chicken breasts - chopped

2 x shallots or 1 x small onion - finely sliced

Juice of 2 x limes

150g sugar snap peas

100g baby sweetcorn - sliced lengthways

400g pak choi leaves - separated

3 level tbsp tikka paste

pinch of sugar

200ml reduced fat coconut milk

400ml vegetable stock

fresh corriander

Rice to serve

METHOD

Heat 1tbsp of oil in a pan, add shallots (or onion) and fry for 3-4 mins, until softened.

Add chopped chicken and stir fry until meat starts to turn golden and is cooked thoroughly.

Add tikka paste  and stir for 1 minute.

Add coconut milk and veg stock, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer for ten mins.

Add lime juice, sugar, simmer for a further 5 mins

Meanwhile boil sweet corn, sugar snap peas and pak choi in a separate pan for 4 mins, then combine with other ingredients and mix thoroughly for 1 minute.  Sprinkle with fresh coriander.

Serve with rice.

Homemade lean spaghetti bolognese, courgettie bologones, bolognese recipe, low fat bolognese

Helen’s Home Made Spaghetti Bologonese.

Helen's Home Cooking

At Boditone we are not fans of the latest fad diets, such as low carb, high protein, no sugar, low fat, or any of the others that are currently fashionable to follow.  Do any of them really work long-term?  With so much conflicting information it's hard to know, especially when the guidelines of what we should and shouldn't eat are constantly changing.  Not only is it confusing choosing which type of diet is right for you, it can also be hard to maintain when you are trying to feed not just yourself but maybe also a family.
  We believe that most things in moderation are o.k and that the best way to a healthier body is portion control, cutting out processed food when you can and to move more.
To help you incorporate some more home cooked healthy(ish) meals into your life, we have enlisted the help of our friend Helen Hill.
  One of life's intuitive cooks, Helen has a flare for cooking that shows in each dish she makes.  Where most of us will stick religiously to a recipe, Helen has the ability to adapt her cooking to use whatever she finds in the cupboard.   Being a real foodie has lead Helen to enroll on every type of cookery course imaginable, she currently favours the Hairy Bikers Good Eating recipes to feed the family.  If you're lucky enough to count yourself as one of Helen's friends, you would gladly accept an invite to her home, where you will always be guaranteed a warm welcome and a slice of homemade cake.  Unfortunately Helens's efforts are not always appreciated by her Hubbie, who much to her disgust is happy with a packet of pork scratchings or dry roasted peanuts.  Helen's recipes a bit like herself are mainly good for you, with a bit of naughtiness chucked in now and again, just for the sheer pleasure of it.

A Family Favourite Withought A Jar In Sight.

Spaghetti bologonese is a recipe that everyone should learn to cook.  You can create a sauce that can be adapted slightly for other dishes such as lasagne, cottage pie or even a chilli, double up when you are cooking and freeze the sauce for use in other dishes at a later date.  This is one of Helen's own home made spaghetti bologonese recipes, super easy to make but still full of flavour without relying on the use of any processed sauces.

INGREDIENTS

2 x shallots, finely chopped, you can use an onion instead

1 x stick of celery, finely chopped

1 x large clove crushed garlic

1 x chopped large carrot

250g chopped mushrooms

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

300ml beef stock

1tbsp Worcester sauce

2tbsp tomatoe puree

1tsp mixed dried herbs

500g extra lean mince beef

This will make enough for four large portions

METHOD

In a large saucepan, fry the shallots, garlic, mushrooms, carrot and celery in either a little olive oil or fry light spray, for a few minutes until soft.

Add the mince to the pan and cook until browned.

Add the chopped tomatoes, beef stock, herbs, Worcester sauce, tomatoe purée, season to taste with salt and pepper.

Bring to the boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until stock is reduced and the sauce is thickened.

In the meantime, cook the spaghetti as per instructions.

Divide spaghetti between four bowls, pile on the spaghetti bologonese sauce, sprinkle with Parmesan and serve with a green side salad.

To make this an even healthier option, you can use courgette as an alternative to spaghetti.

Calorie controlled diet, crash diet, why diets don't work

Why crash diets don’t work

A calorie deficit is what you needed to lose weight, but by cutting out too much at the outset, you are not leaving yourself any wiggle room.

Ever wondered why you have dieted like mad, done well for some time and then it all grinds to a halt.  At which point you either don’t move past a certain size and weight or you get fed up, give up and go back to bad habits. Then maybe start the whole thing again  – sounds familiar?

This is because most people when dieting make the common mistake of drastically reducing the number of calories they consume too quickly.  Whilst a calorie controlled crash diet might provide the results you are looking for initially, at some point you will reach the dreaded plateau.

Yes a calorie deficit is what you needed to lose weight, but by cutting out too much at the outset, you are not leaving yourself any wiggle room, for when your body gets used to surviving on the amount of calories you are now feeding it.

To create a calorie deficit you have two options:

  • Reduce your calories - i.e. eat less food
  • Increase your calorie usage - ie. move more = exercise

You can of course do a combination of the both, but quite often the first option is what most people go for.

If you normally eat 2,200 calories (for example)  and reduce it to 1,200 you will definitely lose weight because you have created a calorie deficit. Your body is used to consuming 2,200 and now needs to use stored sources of energy as fuel, triggering weight loss.

What people don’t always realise is that at some point your body will hit a plateau.

You will hit a point where you just can’t seem to shift any more weight.  This is because your body is efficient and has learnt to survive on 1,200 calories per day reaching homeostasis.

Homeostasis in this instance, is the place where your body is now comfortable with its reduced calorie intake, reducing the need to trigger the response in your body to use its stored energy sources.

In other words, you can’t get past this point, as your body can now run on what you are eating.  In order to lose more weight, you need to stress your body by kick starting the process all over again so:

  • Reduce your calories - i.e. eat less food
  • Increase your calorie usage - ie. more = exercise

But hang on– maybe you have now started an exercise routine and really couldn’t fit in any more and perhaps you dropped way too many calories in the beginning, you really couldn’t eat any less or maintain such a restrictive diet.

So what can you do? Start off the calorie deficit in the right way, baby steps, coaxing your body bit by bit to give up the fat.  To start with don’t go mad with either a restrictive diet or crazy exercise plan, try and eat healthier, smaller portions, cut back on sugar and move more, making small changes a bit at a time will be easier to achieve and maintain in the long run.

When we diet we can be losing lean muscle tissue rather than the fat we were hoping to shift

Unfortunately we don’t always lose fat when we diet. By approaching weight loss in the wrong way, we can actually end up making it harder for ourselves to lose and maintain weight.  Dramatic changes in diet cause our bodies to believe it is a time of famine and send it into preservation mode.

But if you think your body will now turn to its fat stores that you want to get rid of, you would be wrong. The body actually releases a stress hormone, cortisol, to access an energy source. Cortisol enables gluconeogenesis, turning proteins into glucose. This protein can come from your diet, but another source is the lean muscle tissue in your body.  Your body likes to use this as an energy source first and would rather hang onto the fat you want to lose – using these as a last resort.

Aim for inch loss rather than weight loss

When you make a change to your lifestyle don’t go crazy, jumping on and off the scales every five minutes.  The digits on the scales have the power to literally ruin a whole day or week.  Weight is not necessarily a true reflection of what shape your body is in.  The scales can’t measure how fit or strong you are.  They don’t tell you how many inches you have lost.  They can’t tell you what your body actually looks like – and yes lean muscle looks way better than fat - even if the scales have not moved much.  So step off the scales and grab the tape measure, this is a much more efficient way to monitor the triumphs of your new healthy lifestyle.

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