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Chicken Cacciatore recipe, healthy food, Jamie Oliver, Chcken Pasta, free reciepe, healthy living

Chicken Cacciatore Pasta

This is another quick and easy meal from Helen Dalton, really simple to make but full of flavour.  This Chicken Cacciatore Pasta recipe is a great one for the weekend when you want something home cooked but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

I am always on the look out for new pasta recipes, this is an adaptation of a Jamie Oliver recipe and is delicious!

Ingredients

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs or you can use chicken breast
olive oil
200g chestnut mushrooms
4 rashers of smoked pancetta
2/3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 jarred red peppers
1 fresh red chilli (deseeded and cut into fine pieces)
60ml red wine
500g passata
bunch of fresh basil

Cut the chicken into chunks and place in a large frying pan with 2 tablespoons of oil.  Chop the mushrooms and red peppers, slice the pancetta and add to the pan.  Turn up the heat and keep stirring until golden.  Finely slice and add the chilli, pour in the wine, passata, and chopped basil.  Season to taste, reduce to a simmer and cook until sauce has thickened, around 20-25 minutes.

Cook your pasta and spoon the sauce on top.

Serve with grated parmesan and toasted ciabatta slices.

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.

Quick and easy Midweek diner - sausage traybake, Sausage traybake recipe, free sausage traybake recipe, healthy recipes, healthy food

Quick And Easy Midweek Diner – Baked Sausages

This is another quick and easy meal from Helen Dalton, a great alternative to the usual sausage tray bake, full of healthy ingredients and flavour.

INGREDIENTS

8 good quality sausages, cut into small chunks (about 4cm)
800 g small waxy potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
1 large sweet potato cut into chunks
1 red & 1 yellow pepper cut into chunks
1 large red onion cut into chunks
1 large carrot cut into batons
1 courgette cut into chunks
1½ tsp smoked or sweet paprika
2 sprigs rosemary
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ciabatta or panini rolls cut into chunks
good plug of olive oil
Serve with a leafy green salad and balsamic glaze (although my kids love a Nando's hot sauce with this)

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place all of the above into a large roasting tray or casserole dish.

Drizzle over the oil and gently toss to combine. Use your hands and get stuck in!

Place in the oven and cook, stir occasionally for 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and the sausages and bread are golden brown.

You may not like all of the vegetables so feel free to take some out and add others.  Butternut squash is a good alternative to sweet potato.  This also works well with vegetarian sausages.   The ciabatta is delicious, if you try a piece from the bottom of the tray it has soaked up all of the juices and if on top its like giant croutons.

Homemade veggie lasagna recipe, vegetable lasagne, free lasagne recipe

Katie’s Homemade Veggie Lasagna

I have been making this dish is an old favourite of mine, it was my go to recipe for when we had visitors as everyone could eat the same dish.  I haven't made it for sometime, due to my husband's allergies, so it was really lovely to re visit it, as I had forgotten how delicious it is.  I always make a double batch, so that I can cut into portion sizes when cold and freeze - handy for those days when you need a quick healthy dish.

This recipe does take a little more time than some of our others, but certainly well worth it.  As with most of my dishes it is packed with nutrients, however I still like to serve it with other veg, just to ensure we get our 5 a day.  My favorite has to be a couple of florets of broccoli and some carrots.  This does serve a good 6 people depending upon how large your portions are.

In this dish I have used walnuts as they are a good source of protein and omega 3 for vegetarians, there is also research to say that out of all nuts they have the highest levels of antioxidants.

Veggie Lasagna Ingredients

Tomato Sauce layer

  • 1 Red Onion - diced
  • 1 Yellow, Red and Green Pepper - diced
  • 1 Carrot -  diced
  • 1 400g tin of chopped Tomatos
  • 1 500g Passata
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
  • 1 tbsp Tomato Puree
  • 1 tsp Dried Mixed herbs (you can use fresh to add more nutrients, try a combination of basil, rosemary and thyme)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp of oil
  • 12 sheets of Lasagna Pasta, (try the wholewheat variety to add some more fibre to your dish)

Spinach Layer

  • 500g of bag of Frozen Spinach
  • 600g Cottage Cheese
  • 100g Chopped Walnuts (you can use any chopped nuts, which every is your favorite)

Sauce Layer

  • 75g of Butter
  • 75g of Plain Flour
  • 2pts of milk
  • 140g of Grated Cheese to top it off

Veggie Lasagna Method

  1. Heat 1 tbsp of oil and gently fry the onions until soft.
  2. Add the peppers, tin of Tomato, Passata, Courgette, and Carrot and bring to the boil.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, add mixed herbs, Ketchup and Puree, simmer for 30 mins.
  3. While the tomato layer is cooking add the sheets of pasta to boiling water with a little oil to stop the sheets sticking together.  Gently boil for 5 mins or until pasta has softened.  Rinse under cold water and lay sheets individually around either the saucepan or cullender to cool.
  4. Defrost the spinach in a large bowl and mix in cottage cheese and nuts.
  5. To make the classic white sauce, heat the butter until it starts to bubble, remove from the heat and add the flour and mix thoroughly.  Return back to heat for approx 2 mins, then remove from the heat. Whilst stirring gradually add the milk to the mixture, a little top tip, heat the milk before adding to the mixture as it will blend better. Return to the heat continuously stirring until the sauce thickens.
  6. Start by adding the tomato layer to the bottom of the dish, then a layer of pasta, layer of spinach, layer of pasta and finish with the white sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven on 180C for 50-60 mins until golden brown on top.
Homemade chicken fajitas, homemade fajitas, homemade fajita seasoning, healthy fajita recipe, free healthy recipes

Homemade Chicken Fajitas

Instead of using the usual fajita packet mix, try Helen's homemade version which is full of flavour.  This is a great mid week meal as it's simple, quick to prepare and takes hardly any cooking time.

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.

Ingredients

1 tbsp oil (vegetable/olive or coconut)

4 x skinless chicken breasts (cut into thin strips)

2 x onions (cut into eighths)

2 x cloves of garlic (crushed)

1 x red, green, yellow peppers (cut into chunky strips)

1 x green chilli

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

2 tsps Lemon juice

8 x wheat tortillas

Method

Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok.

Fry chicken strips for approx 7 mins until sealed.

Add the onions and garlic - fry for a further 5 mins.

Add mixed peppers, chilli, spices and lemon juice - cook for a further 7 mins, making sure everything is coated with spices and cooked thoroughly.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave and serve with: sour cream or fat free fromage frais and salsa.

Alternative Option

If you fancy something different to chicken fajitas, you could use prawns, steak or go completley veggie and use baby corn, courgettes and mushrooms, the choices are endless.

Energy bar, homemade energy bar, free recipe for homemade energy bar,

Energy bars, steady they are very moreish.

These energy bars are a perfect snack to help you refuel after a heavy workout, hitting the spot when you are low on energy.  They are very moreish so don't overindulge, otherwise you might be in danger of exceeding the daily recommended intake of sugar.

I have been using this recipe for ages, it's suitable for celiac and lactose intolerant sufferers, just replace the oats and spread for the brand you would normally use.  I like to play around with the ingredients to get different tastes and consistencies.  These little bars of energy include chopped nuts, but most nuts are suitable, just ensure they are broken into very small pieces to assist digestion.  One of my favourite ingredients is Goji berries, for their taste and colour, you could try dates as an alternative.

Oats are a good source of  slow release carbohydrates, which will help curb hunger and keep you feeling full for longer.

Nuts are high in Iron, Zinc, magnesium and protein, great at encouraging recovery after a workout.

Sunflower and sesame seeds are high in Iron, calcium and magnesium.  Packed with Vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant in the fight against free radicals.

Chia seeds (chia means strength) originate from Mexico and are sometimes referred to as 'runners food'.  It was believed these seeds could keep warriors going all day.  Not sure how many warriors there are out there, but the high fibre content will help regulate blood sugar and energy levels.  Chia seeds are high in antioxidants, which scoop up those pesky free radicals that are created during exercise and can damage body tissue.

Cinnamon has one of the highest antioxidant contents of most herbs/spices.

Ingredients for the energy bars

  • 8 oz Gluten free Porridge Oats
  • 4 oz Sunflower Seeds
  • 2 oz Chia Seeds
  • 2 oz Sesame seeds
  • 2 oz Chopped Nuts
  • 4 oz of Goji berries soaked in boiling water for 20 mins
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 oz of lactose free spread
  • 4 oz Brown Sugar
  • 4 1/2 tbsp of Honey

Method

  • Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, drain the  goji berries and mix in.
  • Add the honey, spread and sugar to a saucepan on a low heat until it forms a liquid.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the pan and mix.
  • Line a 10cm x 30cm baking tray with non stick baking paper and spoon in ingredients.
  • Using a potato masher, compact the ingredients into the tray and bake on 140c for about 20 mins.
  • leave to cool in the tray then cut into 5cm squares. (you wont need any more than that)

 

Turkey Meatball Recipe, Joe Wicks Turkey Meatball recipe, healthy meatball recipe, healthy food, balanced diet,

Turkey Meatball Recipe


This turkey meatball recipe was one that Helen decided to try as a healthy alternative to using sauce from a jar. She found this recipe in a Joe Wicks Lean in 15 cook book, so its's good for you, tasty, quick and easy.  It takes hardly any prep or cooking time due to the use of ready made meatballs.  You can of course make you're own with turkey mince and seasoning.  Helen doubled up the original recipe to feed four and although there are not many ingredients, the feta cheese really added to the overall flavour of this dish.

Ingredients

1/2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil

1 x red or yellow pepper - de-seeded, thinly sliced

1 x courgette - diced

1 x red onion - diced

2 x trays small ready made turkey meatballs.

2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

40g feta cheese - crumbled

parsley leaves roughly chopped - optional

 

Method

Cook pasta of choice following packet instructions.

Heat the oil in a frying pan.

Fry the courgette, onions and peppers until they begin to soften.

Turn up the heat, add the meatballs and fry for approx 2-3 mins, keep turning meatballs to ensure they brown all over.

Add the tomatoes, bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer for 5 mins or until meatballs cooked thoroughly ensuring that meat has changed from pink to white.

Remove the pan from heat and add the feta, to finish sprinkle with parsley and serve with cooked pasta.  For an even healthier option you cpu;d swap the pasta for courgettie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home made gluten free bread, gluten free bread reciept, free recipe for gluten free bread, gluten free foods

Gluten and Dairy free bread

Gluten and Dairy free bread has improved quite a bit over the last few years and the variety that is now on offer is great. However, products that have to remove ingredients for allergies, then need to substitute them with other things to enhance the flavour.

The best tasting bought bread we have come across is Genius triple seeded sandwich loaf , but at £2.80 a loaf compared to a normal loaf of that size around £1, it isn't cheap.  As with all bought products there are quite a few additional ingredients to help keep the product fresh.  So I decided to experiment for myself.

Well I had a lot of disasters, ranging from powdered gravel, to a rock you could use as a door stop.  What did help was the purchase of a bread machine, this has saved me so much time.  Bread machines don't need to cost a fortune, mine was from Aldi and at £19.99 didn't break the bank.  Once you have a machine, there will be no stopping you, there are so many different recipes to experiment with, you won't know where to start.

This recipe is based on the ingredients on the back of Doves Farm free from gluten white bread flour, which as usual I have slightly adapted.

This will make a medium size loaf in a bread machine.  I wouldn't make a large loaf as it does not contain any ingredients to preserve it, meaning it will only stay fresh for a couple of days.  At around £1.27 a loaf it's certainly cheaper than shop bought (not taking into consideration of the cost of the bread machine).

You can add any kind of seed to this which will add to the nutritional value as well as flavour.  I use Poppy and Sesame seeds, both are a good source of Calcium, Iron and Magnesium.  Poppy seeds also contain Potassium and Sesame seeds contain Vit B6 and Copper.

Ingredients -

2 Egg Whites

6 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp cyder vinegar

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp Sugar

380 ml of quite warm water

500g Doves Farm free from gluten white bread flour

2 tsp quick yeast

2 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp poppy seeds

Method -

  1. Place egg white and water in a bowl a whisk until frothy.
  2. Add oil, vinegar, salt and sugar and whisk again.
  3. Place in the bread machine and gradually mix in the flour.
  4. Sprinkle the yeast on top and bake on the Quick setting and if there is an option of light, medium or dark, put it on dark.
  5. My machine has a setting that allows you to add fillings to your bread about 30 mins in.  If this is the case add the seeds at this point.
  6. I like to leave the bread in the machine for about 15 mins after it has finished cooking.
  7. Place on a wire rack to cool, then place in an air tight container to help to keep it fresh.

 

 

Shahi Dahl and Roji, Shahi Dahl and Rohi recipe, How to cook Sahi Dhal and Royi

Asma’s wonderful family Shahi Dhal and Roti

I had the pleasure recently to cook with a wonderful lady called Asma, who introduced me to this Dhal recipe. This is a family favourite that Asma has been making for years and very kindly shared with me.  I had never used onions in this way before, so the Tarkha was a completely different approach to adding flavours to a dish.  Quite a lot of my recipes use lentils, as they are packed with Iron, Vitamin B6, Potassium and have a very low GI which helps to regulate your blood sugar and keep you fuller for longer.

Food should be fun and being able to experiment with different styles certainly opens your mind to different food types. This should then give you confidence to see a recipe and think 'well lets shake it up a bit and make it different'.  My aim is always to see how many vegetables I can add to a dish to make it as nutritionally packed as I can.

Ingredients -

100g Chana Dhal

100g Red lentils

100g Green lentils

100g Mung Beans

1 1/2 large onion finely sliced

3 Cloves Garlic

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1 Medium Tomato

1 tsp salt

2 Pints Water

Tarkha

1/2 large onion finely sliced

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Garnish

4 dry red chilies

1 handful of coriander leaves chopped

1 lime cut in quarters

Roti

150g Wholemeal Flour

100ml Boiled water

1/4 tsp salt

flour for dusting

Dhal Method

  1. Soak Channa Dhal for at least 30 mins.
  2. Mix all lentils in a pan and rinse 2-3 times.
  3. Add 1.5 pints of water, onion, garlic, turmeric and salt and bring to the boil.
  4. Stir, cover and let simmer for 15 mins on a low heat. Stir occasionally.
  5. Add chopped tomato and more water if required and simmer for a further 5 mins.

Tarkha Method

  1. Heat oil in a small pan on a high heat, and add onion and garlic.
  2. Ensure you stir vigorously to stop them burning.  Cook until golden brown.
  3. Add to the Lentils.

Roti Method

  1. Mix the salt into the flour and add the water slowly to form a nice dough
  2. Kneed the mixture well and divide into 6 pieces.
  3. Roll each dough ball in your palm and place on a floured surface.
  4. Using a rolling pin roll out until thin and the size of a small side plate.
  5. Heat a non stick frying pan to a medium heat and cook each Roti for around 3-5 mins each side.

Serve the Dhal and garnish with the coriander, lime and chilli.

Try making extra of the Dhal as it freezes really well and will be a great go to meal when you are in a rush.