Spicy Baked Eggs

It was too rainy to leave the house this morning BUT  it was a bank holiday (WOOP WOOP!) so I had lots of free time to make our own brunch and also managed to keep it under 300 calories! This dish is dead easy to make, it has all the taste with half the calories and it looks beautiful on the kitchen table!

Ingredients:

Serves 2

baked eggs ingred

4 eggs, keep them at room temperature before making this recipe.

1 medium red onion

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

1 medium bell pepper

30g of feta cheese

100g rocket

10 cherry tomatoes, halved.

salt and pepper

chilli flakes/fresh chilli

2 crushed cloves of garlic

*Note: your frying pan must fit into your grill oven*

Method:

fried onion

  • Finely chop the red onion and add to a non-stick frying pan (or use a low kcal spray oil) with the crushed garlic cloves – keep on a medium heat until the onion becomes slightly translucent

onion and tomato

  • Next add the tin of chopped tomatoes with a generous helping of ground pepper and keep on the medium heat for 4-5minutes

ALL the tomatos

  • Once the tomato mixture starts to bubble, turn the heat down to the lowest setting and add the cherry tomatoes.

baked eggs

  • Add the chopped peppers to your mixture and then using your spatula, one at a time, create four small holes in your mixture and crack an egg into each hole. It doesn’t have to be perfect, don’t worry! The eggs will sink to the bottom of the mixture anyway and will form proper shapes as they cook.

baked eggs under grill

  • Once the egg whites have turned opaque, crumble the feta on top and place your pan under the grill for 3-5minutes. Keep watching your pan as it can burn very quickly.

baked eggs done

  • You know the recipe is ready to serve when the eggs have cooked on top, there should be no clear egg white left and it shouldn’t be very wobbly, you can then remove the pan and sprinkle the rocket and chilli flakes/fresh chilli on top.
  • I love serving this recipe straight from the pan but be careful as it can be very hot after being in the grill. This recipe is best served immediately, with a side salad and some sweet potato wedges!

happy roomate

*Pictured above: A very happy roommate!*

berforeafter

Nutritional information per serving :

275kcal, 20g protein, 14g fat, 16g carbohydrate, 6g fibre.

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Chicken and Black Bean Enchilada Bake

I looovvvvveeeeee burritos and this recipe is like a cross between a burrito bowl and a healthy chicken enchilada. You can make this on a Sunday and then freeze the extra portions and use throughout the week! Tastes like burrito but without all the calories.

Ingredients:

Makes 6 servings

ingred

3 chicken breasts (with all visible fat removed)

1 can of black beans drained (approx 290g)

1 cup of homemade enchilada sauce (approx 240ml)

1 Tbsp chilli powder

half a jar of jalapeños

1 small red onion, finely chopped

170g quinoa (dry) and 1 tsp olive oil

50g low fat cheddar

50g feta cheese

2 sprays of frylight or a similar low kcal cooking spray

Methods:

Preheat a fan oven to 180°C.

First of all you will need to get all of your ingredients ready so you can ultimately combine them all:

INGRED 2

Homemade enchilada sauce: Click here for my homemade enchilada sauce. You can also buy an enchilada sauce, look out for brands that are low sodium and low sugar.

Onion and jalapeños: Finely chop and set aside

Black beans: drain, rinse and set aside.

Chicken: You can cook grill, bake poach or fry your chicken. I baked my chicken at 180 degrees celsius for 25mins. Once cooked, I cut it into cubes and set aside.

IMG_1693IMG_1701IMG_1702Quinoa: Over a medium heat, add 1 tsp of olive oil to a pan and then add your 170g dry quinoa. Stir the quinoa until it has absorbed the olive oil and then add 320ml boiling water. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Once it starts to boil, lower heat to the lowest setting and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the pot stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set aside.

all in the pan

sauce in the pan

Once all your ingredients are ready add your onions to a medium heat frying pan and cook until translucent.

Add all the rest of your ingredients to the pan, combine and cook on medium heat for about 5minutes until sauce reduces.

ready for the oven

cheese

Once sauce has reduced, add mixture to baking tray and cover with feta cheese and low fat cheddar cheese.

Bake in oven at 180°C for 10-15minutes and serve with salad and avocado.

Nutritional Information per serving (with quarter of an avocado):
335kcal; 26g protein; 30g carbohydrates; 12g fat

time to eat

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

I haven’t been posting as often as I would like to because I am currently in the process of moving to London which is very exciting, if not a little bit stressful. Even though I haven’t been posting, I have still been cooking (of course) and I have lots of new recipes that I’ll be putting up in the coming weeks!! Hopefully I’ll be back to posting regularly by next week!

I know that I’ve called this an enchilada sauce but it can just as easily be added to pasta or other dishes that need a bit of a kick. This is a really basic recipe but I find that most people buy pasta sauces, instead of making their own, and there are usually lots of nasty surprises in those ready made sauces (mainly salt and hidden calories). You can make a batch of this on Sunday and have it in the fridge for the week or you can reduce the amount you make and make single servings. I will be using this sauce in the next two recipes that I post just to show you how diverse it is.

Ingredients:

Makes approx five 150g servings

enchilada sauce ingredientsTwo 400g tins of chopped tomatoes

Half a Tbsp of olive oil

Juice of half a lemon

4 Minced garlic cloves

2-4 Tbsp Cayenne pepper (keep tasting!)*

Black pepper

Pinch of salt

*NOTE: Cayenne Pepper is technically a chilli powder. It’s actually 100% chili powder, while labelled chili powders are often a mix of chili powder along with other spices. Those spices can include oregano or cumin, among many others. So the flavor of each can be unexpectedly different from one another. Depending on what flavour you’re going for (or how spicy you like your sauces) you can use chilli powder if you prefer.

Method:

Chop up your onion, peel your garlic cloves and cut your lemon in half, ensuring the pips have been removed. Don’t worry if your onion isn’t chopped finely, we will blend the sauce later.

enchilada sauce choppedAdd half a Tbsp of olive oil to a frying pan and heat over a medium heat. Once you can feel heat over the pan, add your onions, minced garlic cloves, pinch of salt and a generous amount of black pepper. Cook until onions are translucent.

enchilada sauce cookingLastly, add two tins of chopped tomatoes with the juice of half of the lemon. Stir until combined and then add 2-4 Tbsp of Cayenne Pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes. I keep tasting the sauce until I get the heat/spice I want from it. You can further add black pepper or another pinch of salt here if it’s not what you’re looking for.

enchilada sauce finishedLet your sauce cool and then transfer to a blender and blend until you get the consistency that you like. I like a chunky sauce so I usually only give it a quick whizz with the blender.

As I said at the start, you can keep your sauce in the fridge for a week and keep using it for whatever dishes need a bit of  kick!

 Nutritional Information (per 150g sauce – 1 serving):

48kcal; 7g carbohydrates; 2g fat; 2g protein; 1g fibre

Almond, Vanilla and Cranberry Granola

I LOVE granola…..LOVE IT! But I can never eat it without feeling slightly guilty as it usually contains a huge amount of sugar  and calories. This is my version of basic granola that won’t break the calorie bank.

granola side

Granola is basically cooked muesli so oats, nuts and berries are obvious ingredients. I’ve used almonds, cranberries and vanilla for this one but you could, for example, use unsalted roasted peanuts, raisins and cinnamon instead. Play around with a few variations until you find your favourite and then you can make it in big batches and store for up to a month in an airtight mason jar.

GRANOLA INGREDIENTS

Makes 680g (17 servings) 

One serving = 40g

Dry Ingredients:

 300g oats

100g almond flakes

50g milled flaxseed

4 Tbsp chia seeds

30g sunflower seeds

100g dried cranberries

50g desiccated coconut

Wet Ingredients:

2 Tbsp of rapeseed oil (vegetable oil)

1.5 Tbsp of dark molasses (or 2 Tbsp of honey)

125ml pure maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla essence

NOTE: Molasses are a by product of the refining sugar process. Molasses have a high mineral content and are a good source of magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and vitamin B6. 

Method:

  •  Preheat your fan oven to 150 degrees celsius. In a bowl mix all of the dry ingredients, except the coconut and cranberries.

GRANOLA 2 DRY INGRED

  •  In another bowl mix up your wet ingredients – honey, maple syrup, vanilla and rapeseed oil.
  •  Combine the wet ingredients with the dry and thoroughly mix until all the dry ingredients are slightly wet and sticky.

GRANOLA 3 DRY AND WET

  • Split the mixture and spread evenly onto two baking trays/dishes so that there is lots of room for the granola to bake. If you overfill a container and then bake it, you won’t get a crispy granola (this is a mistake I have made many times). Bake your granola for 15minutes.

GRANOLA 4 BEFORE OVEN

  •  After 15minutes, remove your baking trays from the oven and then add your cranberries and coconut.

granola 5 berries

  •  Bake for a further 15minutes.

GRANOLA KILNER

  • Once cool, store your granola in airtight jars and it will keep for up to a month.
  • Serve with your choice of milk or yoghurt. I like to have a bowl of this with a small banana, pomegranate or a pear.

Nutritional Information per 40g bowl with 150ml slimline milk:

270kcal; 30g carbohydrates; 11g fat; 11g protein; 

This recipe is a good source of omega 3 and 6 fats and contains a good source of potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron.

granola finished

Chocolate Pots

Whether you’re single or taken, Valentine’s Day is ALL about chocolate!!!

val day

Just in time for Valentine’s, I have my 140kcal chocolate pots so you can enjoy the night without going overboard on the calories. These chocolate pots are wonderfully rich, smooth and satisfying.

This recipe makes 7/8 pots but the nutritional info is calculated for 8.

choc pots ingreds

Ingredients:

Serves 8 

50g boiled and mashed sweet potato

1 large banana (or 2 small)

1 whole egg

3 egg whites

130g 70-80% dark chocolate

35g honey

1 tsp vanilla essence or almond essence

Method:

choc pots sweet potato     Pre heat the oven to 180°C.

Chop up the sweet potato into small cubes (the smaller the cubes, the faster it will boil) and place into boiling water.   Simmer for 15minutes until the sweet potato is soft when you poke it with a fork. Drain the water and mash sweet potato with fork.

In a bowl, mash up the banana and add the mashed sweet potato, 1 tsp of vanilla essence or almond essence, the whole egg and honey. Combine together and set aside.choc pots mix

choc pots melt

Break up the chocolate into cubes and place in a glass bowl over boiling water. Keep an eye on the chocolate so that it doesn’t burn. Stir every now again. Once most of the lumps are gone, take the pan off the heat and keep stirring until all lumps are gone.

Add the mixture of banana, sweet potato, honey, egg to the bowl of melted chocolate and stir until fully combined. To make your mixture smoother, you can give it a blitz in a blenderchoc pots all together choc pots bulletLeave your chocolate mixture to sit. choc pots egg whites

Separate egg whites and whisk until they become slightly stiff.

The final step is to fold the egg whites into your chocolate mixture.

choc pots egg white fold

choc pots before cook

choc pots after cook

Add your mixture to oven safe ceramic pots (I got mine in Tiger, Rathmines, Dublin) and bake in the oven for 8 minutes.

I served mine with some pomegranate seeds and some desiccated coconut.

pom

finish 2

Nutritional Composition (per pot):

144kcal; 8g Fat; 14g Carbohydrate; 4g Protein 

finish

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Feta and Poached Egg

I had this for my weekend brunch however, it can also make a lovely lunch or dinner. This is a low calorie meal that leaves you feeling satisfied and is super easy to make.

Ingredients:

Makes 2 servings

no1

Half a large sweet potato

100g button mushrooms

1 medium carrot

Half a large yellow pepper

1 large red bell pepper

2 medium eggs

Half a medium onion

100g beetroot

30g feta cheese

salt and pepper

1 tbsp paprika

3/4 garlic cloves

2 tsp olive oil

Method:

Chop up the mushrooms, peppers, carrot, onion and sweet potato.

n03

Add all of the chopped vegetables to a bowl and drizzle 2 tsp of olive oil over them along with some salt and pepper and 1 tbsp of paprika.

no2

Once you’ve tossed the vegetables in oil, salt & pepper and paprika, add to a baking tray and place 3/4 garlic cloves among the veg.

n04

Bake your veg at 200°C for 20-25mins until browned

n08

Once veg have been cooked, chop up 100g of beetroot and mix into the warm vegetables.

n06

n09

Separate the veg out on two plates and crumble 15g of feta on top of each plate.

Poach two eggs and place on top of the vegetables and feta.

How to poach eggs:

Boil water in a pan and add a tbsp of vinegar to the simmering water.

Using a spoon, stir the simmering water to create a gentle whirlpool.

Crack your egg into the whirlpool and cook for 3 -4 mins.

Here is a link to a BBC Good Food “How to” video.

Serve immediately.

no10

n0.12

Nutritional Information per serving:

271kcal; 27g carbohydrates; 11g protein; 13g fat.

Kinder Bueno Protein Balls

I’m not joking; these taste like the stuff in the middle of Kinder Bueno! I love having these in the fridge and grabbing one or two on the way to the gym. They’re also good to have when you get home from the gym and you’re desperately trying not to eat everything in the fridge before you make your lunch or dinner. It is important to have a post workout snack/meal at least 30minutes after a workout session to aid muscle repair and muscle glycogen storage, so these are very easy to pop into a zip lock bag and put into your gym bag.

Ingredients:

Makes 30 balls (15 servings)

PB ingreds

1 scoop of vanilla whey protein (30g)

40g porridge oats

15g unsweetened desiccated coconut

3 tbsp honey

40g dark chocolate chips (optional)

240g smooth peanut butter (you could use crunchy but I prefer the smooth texture for these)

Method:

 Measure out all of your ingredients and add everything, except the coconut, to a bowl.

PB2

Using a spoon, mix ingredients together until they are combined.
PB balls mix 2Have a clean surface/plate to put your balls on once you have rolled them out.

Run your hands under a cold tap so that your mixture does not stick to your palms.

Slowly roll out 30 balls.

You may need to run your hands under the cold tap a few times so that you can easily roll out your balls.

coconut rolling

Once you have rolled out 30 balls, measure out 15g of desiccated coconut into a small bowl and roll each ball in the coconut until they are evenly covered.

PB5

I usually store my protein balls in a lunchbox with greaseproof paper separating the layers.

It’s best to keep these in the fridge as they will keep for approx 2 weeks or you can freeze them and they will keep for longer ( approx one month). I recommend eating them within the 2 weeks as the taste is much better when they are fresh.

They also make a really good gift for a health conscious/gym bunny friend. You can get mason jars in Home Store and more for around 3 euro with some ribbon and put together a really lovely present. Below is a picture of a few Kris Kindle presents of oat protein balls and homemade granola I gave to friends at Christmas.

Nutritional Information per serving (2 balls):

157kcal; 13g carbohydrates; 5g protein; 11g fat.

PBFINAL

Chocolate Banana Bread

This is SUCH an easy recipe to make and it’s a bit of a twist on the traditional banana bread. I tend to make a batch of this when there are black bananas in the kitchen and they’re about to be thrown out. The more ripe the bananas are, the sweeter they will be.

Ingredients:

Makes 10 slices

BB start

120g wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking soda

30g cocoa powder (unsweetened is best)

3 medium ripe bananas (the riper, the better!)

1 medium egg

120g natural yoghurt

1 tsp vanilla essence

Topping:

30g peanut butter

10g walnuts/cacao nibs

Method:

dry and wet

Pre-heat your oven to 180°C

Mix all the dry ingredients together in one bowl and in another bowl, mash the bananas and add the rest of the wet ingredients

Combine wet and dry ingredients

wet

Grease a loaf tin and add your ingredients. Spread evenly in the tin.

bb before

Bake for 45mins-1 hour. When you can prick the bread with a toothpick and it comes out clean, you know that it is ready. This is a very wet mixture so the toothpick may come out gooey but that’s fine.

bb after

Let the bread cool on a rack for 10-15minutes and then spread 30g of peanut butter on top. You can use either chopped up walnuts, unsweetened desiccated coconut or cacao nibs as a topping.

bb finisged

BB finished cut aerial

Nutritional Information per slice:

120kcal; 18g carbohydrates; 3g fat; 3g protein; 

This recipe is a good source of potassium.

bb ready to eat

HEALTHY Chicken and Broccoli Bake

When I got in the door from work last night, I was cold, wet and miserable. All I wanted to do was to curl up in bed and sleep until summer. Chicken and Broccoli Bake is my definition of comfort food and it was exactly what I needed last night. Unfortunately, the traditional C&B bake is high in fat and calories. Instead I have lowered the calories and fat but kept the flavour! This is a great dish if you’re trying to watch your calorie intake but still want to feel satisfied.

Ingredients:

This dish serves 4

CB1

400g chicken breast/ 3-4 chicken breasts (remove all visible fat)

100ml reduced fat milk (I used Avonmore Slimline Milk)

150ml reduced sodium chicken broth

3 Tbsp wholemeal flour/ ~45g (you can use plain flour if it’s all you have)

One head of broccoli (~250g)

3 Tbsp Light mayonnaise (I used Tesco healthy living)

120g mushrooms

1 small onion

100g feta cheese

1 tsp (5ml) olive oil

Method:

  • It’s easier to have all of your ingredients ready – chop your onions and mushrooms, dice your chicken CB2breasts, measure out your feta and milk and break off the broccoli florets from the stalk.
  • Once everything is ready to go, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan over a medium heat and add your chopped onions once you can feel the heat, until they become translucent.
  • Mix in your mushrooms to the onions and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, then add your diced chicken and cook until the chicken is visibly white. CB3
  • Measure out 150mls of boiling water into a heat-safe jug and add your reduced sodium stock cube, stirring until all lumps disappear. Then slowly pour this into your pan with the mushrooms, onions and chicken. Turn up the heat high and wait for the liquid to reduce. You can stir once or twice but not too often as it will take longer for the liquid to reduce.CB4
  • While you’re waiting, steam your broccoli until bright green and then run under cold water and drain (you can boil for about 1 minute however steaming is better to reduce vitamin losses).
  • When your chicken mixture has reduced, add 3 tbsp of light mayo to your pan and stir until creamy
  • Slowly add your 100ml of reduced fat milk and stir, cooking on a high heat for about 3  minutesCB6
  • Once the milk has reduced a little, add 3 tbsp of wholemeal flour and stir until creamy. You are looking for a yoghurt consistency – not too thick and not too runny. You can control this by adding more milk to thin or more flour to thicken.
  • Once you have your mixture, add in broccoli and combine.CB7
  • Grease a Pyrex/oven-safe dish and pour your mixture into the dish.
  • Crumble the feta evenly over the top and bake at 180°C for 10-15 minutes.

 

 

This dish is high in protein and is a good source of iron

 

 

CB8CB10Nutritional Information per serving:

273kcal; 15g carbohydrates; 8g fat; 29g protein; 11mg iron

CB11

Protein Pancakes

One of my favorite things about the weekend is that I have lots of free time to make brunch, the most important meal of the day!!

I usually head to the gym on Saturday mornings so protein pancakes are exactly what I need. Most of the blogs I read use whey protein powder for their pancakes and that’s absolutely fine but you can also get a cheaper, very easily absorbed, high quality protein from your diet. If you don’t use whey protein, these pancakes are perfect for your post-gym brunch!

The protein in these pancakes comes from egg whites and cottage cheese – don’t knock them till you try them!

Ingredients:

This recipe serves 2 – Makes 5 pancakes

PP Start

3 eggs

45g rolled oats

200g cottage cheese

2 Tablespoons of reduced fat milk (or any other milk you use)

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

Optional toppings

  • Yoghurt
  • Mango
  • Mixed berries
  • Banana and strawberries

Method:

  • PP addAdd all the ingredients to your blender and blend until you get a batter, it should be as thick as yoghurt.mix
  • Add a little oil to a pan (you can a teaspoon of olive oil, light fry spray or whatever oil you usually use).
  • Heat your pan and once you can feel heat over the pan add your batter.
  • When you start to see little air bubbles in the batter, see picture below, flip the pancake and cook until light brown on both sides.

PP flipped

  • PP bubblesThis batter is very light and so take care when flipping each pancake for the first time as they may collapse in on themselves. Both sides of the pancake should be nicely browned. I usually heat the oven and put each pancake in until they are all cooked, this way they won’t be cold when you sit down to eat.
  • Serve immediately with your toppings of choice. I’ve used half a mango and some coconut yoghurt for mine. You can also wrap 2 and a half pancakes (one serving) in tinfoil or cling film and reheat the next day for breakfast but they are best served fresh.

PP final

Nutritional information per serving (with yoghurt&half a mango):

250kcal; 29g carbs; 4g fat; 21g protein; dietary fibre 3g.

This recipe is low fat, high protein and is a good source of potassium and vitamin C (when mango is added).