Monday, December 26th, 2011
We tend to go a bit crazy when buying food for Christmas and end up having lots of left overs. Why not try these Christmas left over ideas that will ensure you don’t have to throw too much away.
For a standard Quiche base:
- 175g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 75g butter, plus extra for greasing
- 2 eggs
- 150ml milk
- 50g grated cheese
- salt and pepper
- leftover meat and vegetables of your choice
If you still have too much food left over, quiche is something that can be frozen and used at a later date. To help our digestive health, why not use wholemeal or brown flour to increase the fibre content.
- ½ Onion
- 200g Canned tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon herbs
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree
- 1 tablespoon margarine
- salt and pepper
- leftover meat and vegetables
- 650g 00 flour (strong white flour)
- 7g sachet of easy-blend yeast
- 2 tsp salt
- 375ml warm water
Whole meal flour can also be used for the pizza base to help with our digestive health.
Noodle Stir Fry
- 1 Tablespoon Oil
- 2 Garlic cloves
- A Thumb of Ginger
- 1 Small Onion
- 2-3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
- 1 pack of Noodles/Rice
- leftover meat and vegetables
Monday, December 12th, 2011
Christmas is a time were we all indulge in a few too many chocolates, have one to many tipples which often results in regrets come January. Why not try these healthy, gut loving lower fat tips which aim to help reduce the guilt of over-indulgence in our festive feasts.
- Use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk instead of full fat milk: Sauces such as cheese sauce, breads sauce, custard are served with other foods and so you won’t realise the difference in taste.
- Use low fat spread instead of butter for making pastries.
- Use whole meal flour for pastries and cakes: This will increase the fibre content making you fuller for longer, help to main your digestive health whilst also being able to indulge.
- Use natural fruit juice instead of adding the full amount of sugar to a recipe (for example look at the recipe for scones in our October 3rd Blog.)
- Serve frozen natural yoghurt instead of ice cream.
- Opt for low fat cheese or cheese with fruit such as Wensleydale with cranberries.
- Use smaller bowls to serve chocolates and sweets and smaller plates for dinner: As a nation our portion sizes have got bigger and we tend to fill our plates and finish them when we actually do not need to eat as much. This is especially true during the Christmas period.
- Make your own cranberry sauce: Shop bought sauces tend to contain more sugar and preservatives. Why not try to make your own, this way you can control the amount of sugar you add and it will also be additive/preservative free.
- Feeling sluggish after you delicious Christmas Dinner? Why not take a stroll outside? Yes we are in the winter season but wrap up warm and enjoy the crisp air instead of slouching by the T.V. Mentally this will make you feel more alert as well as help you burn some calories.
- Don’t over buy: Christmas can be expensive and we tend to buy more food than is needed. Write a shopping list and stick to it, that way you will save some money which is great at this time of year as well as there will be less food for you to over indulge on.
Monday, December 5th, 2011
When it’s cold and gloomy outside, what better way to lighten up the day with a warm and comforting delicious bowl of soup!
Cream Broccoli-white bean soup
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets and stems thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- One 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained
- 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted
- 1/2 ounce shaved Parmesan, for serving
- Steam broccoli florets and stems until tender and bright green, about 3 minutes. Let it cool slightly. Leave 1/2 cup florets for garnish.
- Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent, about 6 minutes.
- Add beans and stock and bring mixture to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and add broccoli, puree in a blender until smooth, season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish each bowl with broccoli florets, toasted pine nuts, and shaved Parmesan.
Mixed Bean and vegetable soup
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 medium chopped onion
- 1½ pounds of mixed vegetables
- 1½ pounds of mixed root vegetables
- 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoon of curry powder
- ¼ cup of freshly chopped parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cups or chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 small chopped zucchini
- 1 can of red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can of black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- Heat oil in a heavy stock pot
- Add all the vegetables, except the zucchini, parsley and beans
- Cook over a high heat for 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly
- Add the garlic, curry powder and the bay leaves, and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Pour in the stock, bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add the beans and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaf
- Puree about ½ the soup in a blender, once pureed return to the pot and bring to a boil.
- Add the zucchini and parsley and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes.
Fennel soup with winter greens and bacon recipe
- 150g butter
- 2 large leeks, sliced and washed
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
- 3 fennel bulbs, coarsely chopped
- 900g potatoes, roughly chopped
- 1.2 litres chicken stock, hot
- 10ml whipping cream
- 1 small savoy cabbage or other winter greens
- 175g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, dried
- Handful of roughly chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft. Add the fennel seeds and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chopped fennel and the potatoes.
- Cover the vegetables with a sheet of wet baking paper and put a lid on the pan. Cook gently for 10-12 minutes, until the leeks are soft. Remove and discard the paper. Pour in the stock, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender.
- Leave the soup to cool slightly, then pour half into a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth. Press through a sieve into the remaining soup in the pan. Stir in the cream and season to taste. Gently reheat the soup but make sure it doesn’t boil.
- Meanwhile, make the winter greens and bacon. Discard the tough outer leaves from the cabbage. Roughly tear the remaining leaves, discarding any hard stalks, and blanch them in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes. Refresh under cold running water and drain.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon, and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden. Add the cabbage and thyme, and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until the cabbage is tender. Season well.
- Ladle the soup into deep bowls and spoon the winter greens and bacon into each bowl to serve.
In addition to the hearty soups above, you should take a probiotic and/or prebiotic as it may h
elp to perk up your gloomy days. Taking a daily probiotic will increase the number of beneficial bacteria in your gut. This will reduce the chances of the “bad” bacteria from affecting your gut. Why not also have foods containing prebiotics in your diet? Prebiotics are foods that will stimulate the growth of your own beneficial bacteria in the gut; foods include bananas, onions and leeks.
So why not try one of the above recipes this winter, along with a probiotic and/or prebiotic as part of a healthy balanced diet?