Archive of ‘Low fat’ category

Healthy spinach and feta muffins

Healthy is a namby pamby word. What is that all about? These muffins are healthy, but totally accidentally, because you’d never think so. I am healthy (because I say so), but am eating trifle straight out of the bowl as I write this.

So now we’re just arguing over semantics. Let’s not argue.

I joined a gym when I first moved to London and the next day I used my break clause to quit that same gym. It smelt, and quite frankly, I thought the money could be better spent.

So I made a deal with myself. I would always walk up and down the escalators at tube stations and then we (‘we’ being me and my alter ego) could use the spare money to go on more holidays! Yay! Total win-win.

For those of you who also think gyms smell, this recipe might come in handy. It might be because it’s made with water instead of butter, but at 120 calories, it’s a great snack. It’s healthy.

How is it still healthy with three different types of cheese? Because I say so.

So let’s not argue, let’s do this instead:

Take a cup of baby spinach and 100 grams of feta

Show the spinach who’s boss. Chop it good.

Put the rest of your ingredients in a bowl. Not too fancy. Just chuck it all in.

Spoon in to your trusty muffin tin. Top with parmesan.

Be healthy.

Ingredients
1 egg
1 cup water
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 grams low-fat feta cheese, crumbled or cut into 1cm cubes
1 cup of finely chopped baby spinach
2/3 cup low-fat grated cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, to top muffins

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin or line with patty cases and spray with cooking oil.
  2. Mix all ingredients together except parmesan. It will be very solid.
  3. Spoon into prepared muffin tins and sprinkle with parmesan
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until muffins are golden. Makes 12.

Healthy? 120 calories. So yea.

Gluten free? Swap out the flour for a GF alternative and these work well.

Storage: They freeze well, otherwise best eaten within a couple of days. Store in an airtight container.

Source: modified from the Muffin Bible spinach and feta muffins.

Healthy vegetable bake

I went ahead and made you all a vegetable bake for dinner. But then I got real hungry so had to eat it. It was so good. The best vegetable bake ever. You would have loved it. I know how you love vegetable bake. You might have to make you own dinner now. Sorry. My bad.

You see, I saw all these lovely vegetables sitting in my fridge draw.

And I thought, we should do this! We should eat more vegetables!

But then I thought, bacon is tasty, we should put that in too.

So I did. And then I remembered that binding ingredients were probably necessary lest we just sit down to bacon and grated veggies. So I found some good healthy binding things. And now you should make it too.

And you know what? It’s healthy! Double bonus.

Preparation time: 20 minutes preparation, 50 minutes in the oven.

Servings: 4

Ingredients

No Kevin Bacons were harmed in the making of this vegie bake.

4 rashes of shortcut rindless bacon, diced
½ onion, diced
1 ½ cups grated zucchinis (courgettes) – about 2 medium zucchinis
1 cup grated carrot – about 1 large carrot
200 gram tin of whole corn kernels, drained
¾ cup of lite cheese, grated (80 grams)
1 cup flour/rice flour/gluten-free bread crumbed
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 eggs lightly beaten
¼ cup skim milk
Freshly ground pepper and salt to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Lightly grease a 20cm round cake tin/loaf tin/whatever you’ve got, or line with grease proof paper.
  2. Fry the bacon and onion in a saucepan until bacon is cooked to your liking (I like mine very crispy).
  3. Combine all other ingredients together in a large bowl, and add bacon and onion.
  4. Pour into prepared tin. Bake for 50 minutes or until a knife comes out clean, is golden on top and bounces back to touch. Cut and serve! Nice with a bean salad. Lovely cold as a picnic snack too.

Healthy? Look at all those lovely vegetables! It’s about 320 calories a serve. 250 without the bacon (booo).

Gluten free? This is very adaptable. I’ve made this with gluten free flour, crumbed up gluten free bread (while travelling and short on supplies) and wholemeal flour. All work well.

Storage: I usually eat this over two nights, it keeps well overnight, and is great to make the night before a picnic too. I’ve never frozen it, let me know how it goes if you do.

Moroccan lentil soup with corn bread

Tonight I am very grateful that I have leftover soup in my freezer. It’s raining and I may be feeling slightly worse for wear after some red wine last night. I would even opt for take-out if it didn’t require me to find a) an umbrella, b) my purse.

My lovely vegetarian friend Megan recently made this Moroccan lentil soup – a recipe we’re both fond of – and it’s also happens to be what’s in my freezer. As my defrosting soup isn’t that photogenic, here’s one she prepared earlier (thanks Megs!):

Megan has pretty bowls

Preparation time: 20 minutes of cooking, then let it cook for an hour and a half.
Servings: 6

Ingredients
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoon fresh ginger
6 cups water
1 cup red lentils
1 can chick peas, drained
1 can cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
1 can diced tomatoes
½ cup diced carrots
½ cup chopped celery
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 ½ teaspoons ground cardamom
½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method
In large pot sauté the onions, garlic and ginger in a little olive oil for about 5 minutes.

Add everything else (ten out of ten on the lazy scale!). Bring to a boil for a few minutes then simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or longer, until the lentils are soft.

Serve and enjoy!

Megan says: It was YUM! I added a lot more spice than the recipe said, as well as five cloves of garlic instead of two to keep the idiots from Twilight away. I used a can of borlotti beans instead of chick peas, as I didn’t have any. It all worked awesomely – thanks! I even have enough to feed me, the neighbour & Next Week Megan. I think Next Week Megan will be happy.

Healthy? About 230 calories per serve.

Gluten free: Yep!

Storage: Will last in the fridge for a couple of days and freezes well.

and now for….

Cornbread muffins

You can view cornbread muffins as a separate post to print out here – http://clevermuffin.com/2011/05/15/cornbreadmuffins.

This recipe is awesome as it uses natural yogurt instead of butter, making cornbread on the side a smashingly healthy choice. Yet, they still taste buttery, it’s a baking mystery I tells you!


Ingredients
½ cup flour
½ cup of cornmeal (also known as polenta – found in with the polish food in UK supermarkets and with the pasta in Australian)
1 tablespoon sugar (more or less to taste)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 egg
¼ whole kernel corn, drained

Method
Preheat oven to 180 C. In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients. Then put everything else in and give it a good stir. Pour in to a sprayed square tray or fill eight muffin cups to about ½ full, as I have.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, best served warm.  When I defrost them to have with leftovers, I often pop them back in to the oven to give them that crustiness again.

Healthy? 80 calories a serve/muffin.

Gluten free: Switch out the flour for your GF flour alternative and these taste exactly the same.

Do: add an optional ¼ cup jalapenos and/or olives – it’s great if you are making it to go with chilli con carne, not so much with Moroccan lentil soup, too many flavours.

Storage: Store in an airtight container or they freeze well. Putting them back in the oven for 10 minutes when serving with leftovers is extra nice.

Soup recipe modified from http://www.allrecipes.com

Chickpea and vegetable salad – with chicken

This recipe is so much more than chickpeas and vegies. If it would fit, I’d like to call it ‘chicken, chickpea, roast vegetable, fresh peas, avocado with yoghurt salad dressing which is super healthy’ just so people would really get how great this is. I often make this without the chicken, and it’s still very tasty. Perfect to take to the park in summer with a bottle of sem sauv. Which is what I’m about to do as soon as I’ve this quick pic.

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4 hungry people

Ingredients
300 grams chicken
1 medium sized aubergine
1 courgette
20 closed cup mushrooms
2 tins chickpeas
Good handful or peas, shelled
1 carrot, peeled into slices (or grated)
4 good handfuls of baby spinach
Small punnet of cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ avocado, peeled and diced
Tablespoon of chopped coriander (optional)

Dressing
1 ½ cups fat free natural yoghurt
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
1/4 smoked paprika
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoon honey
Salt and pepper

Method
Cut the aubergine and courgette in roughly 2cm cubes, quarter the mushrooms. Place baking paper on two baking trays and place the cut vegetables on them. Spray with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and bake for 15 minutes, take the mushrooms out. Bake for another 5 minutes, remove aubergine and courgette; allow all vegetables to cool slightly.

Place chickpeas, peas, carrot, baby spinach, cherry tomatoes and avocado in a large bowl. These vegetables can easily be swapped with things in your fridge, or whatever is in season. Add cooled aubergine, courgette and mushrooms to bowl.

Dice chicken, fry in a little olive oil and cracked pepper. Remove from heat and add a dash of lemon juice. Add to your bowl of vegetables and mix together. In a separate container, mix together all the ingredients for the dressing.

Place salad in serving bowls and add a good dollop of the dressing to each. Top with chopped coriander.

Healthy? About 480 calories a serve.

Gluten free? Check your mayonnaise, but otherwise fine.

Storage: Does not freeze, best eaten within 24 hours.

Cornbread muffins

This recipe is awesome as it uses natural yogurt instead of butter, making cornbread on the side a smashingly healthy choice. Yet, they still taste buttery, it’s a baking mystery I tells you!


Ingredients
½ cup flour
½ cup of cornmeal (also known as polenta – found in with the polish food in UK supermarkets and with the pasta in Australian)
1 tablespoon sugar (more or less to taste)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup plain fat-free yogurt
1 egg
¼ whole kernel corn, drained

Method
Preheat oven to 180 C. In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients. Then put everything else in and give it a good stir. Pour in to a sprayed square tray or fill eight muffin cups to about ½ full, as I have.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes, best served warm.  When I defrost them to have with leftovers, I often pop them back in to the oven to give them that crustiness again.

Healthy? 80 calories a serve/muffin.

Gluten free: Switch out the flour for your GF flour alternative and these taste exactly the same.

Do: add an optional ¼ cup jalapenos and/or olives – it’s great if you are making it to go with chilli con carne, not so much with dishes like Moroccan lentil soup, too many flavours.

Storage: Store in an airtight container or they freeze well. Putting them back in the oven for 10 minutes when serving with leftovers is extra nice.

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