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Healthy Vegetarian Recipes

Crème Taj Mahal (Light curry soup)

alt tag goes hereYum yum yum a true family classic, my Mum perfected this recipe over the years until it became a firm favourite with family and friends.  Delicous served hot or cold with a swirl of low fat cream or natural yogurt.  A lovely light supper or used as a starter to compliment any Asian dish. Tastes better if made the day before consuming, keep in air tight container in the fridge.
Ingredients:

•    1 oz plain flour
•    1 oz butter
•    1 - 2 level tbsp mild curry powder (depending on taste)
•    8oz dessert or eating apples, peeled and chopped
•    4oz onion, chopped
•    Can tomatoes
•    1 ½ pints water
•    1 ½  vegetable stock cubes
•    3 tbsp lemon juice
•    Salt and pepper
•    Low fat cream or naural yogurt – to taste

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add curry powder, apples and onion. Gently cook till the onion is soft but not coloured.
  2. Blend in flour and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir tomatoes with juice, add water and stock cubes and simmer for 10 minutes. Add lemon juice.
  4. Allow soup to cool then liquidise and stir in salt, pepper and add a small amount of cream to taste.
  5. Add a drizzle of cream and sprinkle of parsley to serve.

(Serves 4 – 6)

 

Vegetable & Chickpea Curry

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This delicious vegetable curry is full of healthy ingredients and quick and easy to make. You can use any vegetables of your choice in this curry, root veg works particularly well and the chickpeas add a lovely texture and absorb the curry sauce flavour.

Ingredients:

•    400g Sweet potato or butternut squash
•    2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
•    250g cauliflower florets
•    150g green beans or peas or a mixture of both
•    1 onion, chopped
•    Low fat cooking spray
•    2 tbsp curry paste (we used medium Balti paste)
•    150g low fat plain yogurt
•    Can chopped tomatoes
•    Can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
•    2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped to garnish

Method:

  1. Boil the carrots for 5 minutes, then add the beans, peas, cauliflour, sweet potato and cook for a further 5 minutes then drain.
  2. Add low fat cooking spay to a large pan and cook onions until soft.
  3. Stir in the curry paste and cook for a few minutes, then add the yogurt and tomatoes.
  4. Add the vegetables and chickpeas and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with a sprinkle of chopped coriander.

(Serves 6 – 179 calories per serving)

 

 

Thyme-Roasted Peppers & Puy Lentil Salad

alt tag goes hereOven-roasting any vegetable brings out their natural flavours and helps retain nutrients.  Some of the tastiest vegetables roasted are peppers with their lovely sweet char-grilled flavours.  This salad is substantial enough to be eaten on its own or is great as an accompaniment to lean grilled chicken, lamb or fish.  Ideal for vegetarians served with grilled halloumi cheese.  So the next time you invite friend around to dinner this is bound to please everyone.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red pepper (quartered, cored and seeded)
  • 1 yellow or orange pepper (quartered, cored and seeded)
  • 2 large red onions (cut into wedges)
  • 3 garlic cloves (unpeeled)
  • leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 150g (5oz) puy lentils (washed)
  • 2tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • small handful of torn fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6.  Toss the peppers, onion, garlic, thyme and oil together in a large roasting tin and roast for 35-40 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile cool the Puy lentils in a large pan of slightly salted boiling water for 20-25 minutes until tender.  Reserve 2tbsp of the cooking liquid, then drain and allow to cool.
  3. Remove the garlic cloves from their papery skins and mash with the balsamic vinegar and reserved cooking liquid.  Stir through the lentils with the parsley.  Season to taste.  Pile the roasted vegetables on top to serve.

(Serves 4 – 228 Cals per serving)

 

This is a delicious warming and healthy soup that can be eaten as a healthy lunch or snack.  Packed with good nutrition an ideal way to feed your body and keep you warm during these colder months.  Even better made a day ahead and kept in the fridge.  Freezes well.
Ingredients:
  • 1 large onion (chopped)blueberries
  • 1 celery stick with leaves (thinly sliced)
  • 2 carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 175g red lentils (rinsed)
  • 4 tomatoes (de-seeded and chopped)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsps dried mixed herbs
  • 1.2 litres vegetable stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the croutons:

  • 2 slices day-old wholemeal bread (crusts removed)
  • 2 garlic cloves (halved lengthways)

Method:

Spray a large lidded saucepan with the cooking spray and gently fry the onion, celery/leaves and carrots for approximately 5 minutes, stirring regularly.  Stir in the lentils, tomatoes, bay leaves and mixed herbs.

Pour in the stock, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer, half-covered, for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are tender, skimming off any foam that rises to the surface.  Remove the bay leaves.  Liquidise the soup with hand blender or place in food processor until smooth.  Taking care that the hot soup doesn’t spill out and burn you.  Season to taste.

Whilst the soup is simmering, rub both sides of each slice of bread with the garlic, cut the bread into cubes and spray with the cooking spray.  In a non stick frying pan, fry the bread, turning occasionally until golden brown and crisp.  Serve croutons on top of the soup with some freshly ground black pepper.

(Serves 4 – 216 calories per serving)

 

Pitta Pizza

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This easy to make pizza variation can be used as lunch accompanied by a salad or as a healthy light snack. It always goes down well with my family, adults and children alike. There are many variations of toppings that can be used according to taste from slices of wafer thin ham, sliced mushroom, sweetcorn, peppers and courgettes. Let your children make their own, cut up the toppings into bowls and let them choose what they want.  Its an excellent way of getting them to try new and colourful ingredients.

Ingredients:

  • 5 tbsp passata or canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 medium wholemeal pitta breads
  • 150g reduced fat mozzarella (torn into pieces)
  • Low fat cooking spray
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper

Method:

Preheat the grill to medium-high and cover the grill rack with foil.  Mix together the passata or chopped tomatoes, tomato puree and oregano to form a sauce.

Spread the tomato sauce over each pitta bread then top with mozzarella evenly.  Spray with a little cooking spray and season well.

Grill the pizzas for 8-10 minutes until the topping is bubbling and golden.  Garnish with extra herbs of choice (optional).

(Serves 4 – 216 calories per serving)

 

Healthier Macaroni Cheese

Excess saturated fat in the diet can raise blood cholesterol levels and increase the likelihood of developing heart disease, so check food labels and try to choose ingredients that are lower in saturated fat content. Traditional macaroni cheese is made with butter, whole milk, Cheddar cheese and Parmesan, all of which push the saturated fat content up to a huge 28g per portion. Try this healthier version instead: as well as slashing the saturated fat content by 75 per cent, it is made with wholemeal macaroni, which increases the fibre content. It also has added spinach and tomato to create a super, simple and healthy supper dish.alt tag goes here

Ingredients:

  • 250g macaroni
  • 40g olive oil based spread
  • 40g plain flour
  • 500ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 4 large handfuls of baby-leaf spinach
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 heaped tbsp half-fat creme fraiche
  • 150g grated half-fat Edam
  • 2 heaped tbsp Quark or very-low-fat soft cheese
  • 25g grated Parmesan

Method:

Cook the macaroni in a large saucepan of boiling water according to the packet instructions (about 8-10 minutes), then drain well and set aside. Melt the spread in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and stir to form a paste, cooking for a few minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the sauce thickens. Meanwhile, preheat the grill to hot and grill the sliced tomatoes for a minute on each side.
Remove the sauce from the hob, add the Quark and creme fraiche and two-thirds of the Edam, and stir until the cheese is melted. Add the macaroni to the sauce and mix well. Transfer half the mixture to a deep ovenproof dish. Place a layer of spinach and sliced tomatoes on top, then cover with the remaining macaroni mixture. The heat of the mixture should be enough to wilt the spinach. Sprinkle over the remaining Edam and the Parmesan and place the dish under the hot grill. Cook until the cheese is browned and bubbling.

 

Tortilla Toasties

Try this low–fat, high–carbohydrate snack to give yourself a boost of energy before you exercise. The wholegrain tortillas will release their energy slowly, so you should notice a difference in keeping energy levels sustained once you have started. Use a good–quality non–stick frying pan so there is no need to use any additional oil. This will keep the fat content and the calories down.alt tag goes here

Ingredients:

  • 2 wholegrain tortillas
  • 1 tbsp sun dried tomato paste
  • Handful of half-fat Mozzarella, grated
  • 1 slice reduced-salt ham, chopped
  • 1 spring onion, chopped

Method:

Heat a non–stick frying pan (there is no need for any oil) over a medium heat.
Place one of the tortillas in the pan and spread the tomato paste over the tortilla. Arrange the ham, spring onion and cheese over the tortilla and cook until the cheese starts to melt.
Place the second tortilla on top, flip the tortilla over and cook for 4–5 minutes.

(Serves 1)

 

 

 

Stuffed Tomatoes

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Ingredients:

  • 4 Large beefsteak tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Fry Light
  • 1 Small red onion (finely chopped)
  • 4oz/113g Green beans (trimmed and chopped)
  • 1 Carrot (finely chopped)
  • 4oz/113g Canned sweetcorn
  • ½ Red pepper (deseeded and finely chopped)
  • 100ml Vegetable stock
  • 110oz/170g Cooked long grain rice
  • 6oz/170g Reduced fat cheddar cheese (grated)
  • Handful of fresh parsley (finely chopped)

Method:

Preheat oven to gas mark 7. Slice tops off tomatoes and scoop out flesh and seeds, season the insides, place cut side down on a board until later.  Spray a large non stick frying pan with Fry Light and place over medium heat.  Add onion, beans, carrot, sweetcorn and red pepper and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.  Add stock and bring to boil.  Reduce heat and cook, stirring, 3-4 minutes.  Add the rice to the pan and mix well, cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the mixture is piping hot.  Season and remove from the heat.  Place tomatoes, cut-side up, on a baking sheet and fill with the rice mixture.  Sprinkle over the cheese and place in the oven for 12-15 minutes.  Remove and scatter with parsley, serve.

(Serves 4)

 

Healthy pasta with vegetables

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Ingredients:

Use plain low-fat soft cheese if the kids don’t like garlic. You can sprinkle each portion with 2 teaspoons of finely grated reduced-fat cheese.

  • 250g dried pasta shapes
  • 1tspn vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch spring onions, trimmed and chopped
  • 100g sugar snap peas or fine green beans, sliced
  • 200g broccoli, broken into small florets
  • 1 red or yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 75g frozen peas, thawed
  • 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 200g tub low-fat soft cheese with garlic and herbs
  • 50ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 1tspn finely grated lemon zest

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water for 10-12 mins, or according to pack instructions, until just tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan or wok, brushing it over the surface. Add the spring onions, sugar snap peas or green beans, broccoli and red or yellow pepper and stir-fry for 3-4 mins or until softened. Stir in the peas, then turn off the heat.
  3. Drain the cooked pasta, reserving 2tbsp of the cooking water. Return this cooking liquid to the saucepan and add the low-fat soft cheese, milk and lemon zest. Heat, stirring with a whisk, until hot and smooth.
  4. Tip the pasta and cooked vegetables into the sauce and stir gently for 1-2 mins to heat through.

(Serves 4)

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