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

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.

Healthy Banana Ice-Cream

MY FIRST RECIPE!!!!!

This is one of my favorites. It might sound a bit odd but it is the PERFECT substitute for a bowl of ice-cream when you’re craving something sweet:

164kcal/serving and 3.5g of fat/serving (with no toppings) vs. 270kcal/serving and 17g of fat if you were to go for a small bowl of vanilla Häagen-Dazs ice-cream.

The base for this recipe is frozen bananas. I’ve added 2 teaspoons of crunchy peanut butter this time to the frozen bananas but you can add whatever toppings you like. Just remember, the more toppings you add, the more calories the recipe will add up too.

Ingredients : Serves 2

100ml of any reduced fat milk, I chose Avonmore fortified slimline milk (40kcal/100ml serving)

2 medium frozen bananas   (105kcal/serving)

2 teaspoons of Peanut butter (59kcal/10g) – The best peanut butter to use is the Meridian brand as the only ingredients are dry roasted peanuts and salt. If you look at commercial peanut butter there are usually a lot of sugar, preservatives and palm oil added. Unfortunately all that was in the press was Kelkin but it will do for now.

5g Cacao nibs (19kcal/5g) – Not everyone will have cacao nibs in their pantry but I like the crunch they give and their bitter taste. If you don’t have cacao nibs you can try the optional toppings listed below or just have the recipe plain.

Other toppings suggestions:

  • Frozen Mixed berries – 80g (26kcal/80g)
  • 10g Cocoa powder – The best to use is unsweetened (23kcal/10g) but I use Options Belgian hot chocolate cocoa powder (40kcal/10g)
  • Chopped almonds / walnuts (Per 10g approx: 63kcal; 6g fat; 2g protein)

Method:

  • Peel 2 medium bananas and freeze overnight.
  • Once bananas are frozen, take them out of the freezer and place into your blender with peanut butter and milk. I use the Nutribullet but I have also tried this recipe in my cheap, 15 euro blender from Argos and it worked perfectly.
  • 20150109_210025
    20150109_210232Blend to the consistency that you like. I try to get it as close as possible to the consistency of ice-cream, takes about 2mins in the Nutribullet, but if you like it more runny, you can add some more low-fat milk.

 

  • Serve immediately with a choice of toppings. I’ve listed my favourite toppings above and the calorie content per one serving.

Nutritional information per serving (recipe serves 2):

164kcal; 32g carbs; 3.5g fat; 4.5g protein; 3.7g dietary fiber.

 This recipe is low-fat, high in dietary fiber and a good source of potassium.

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Introduction to the Irish Healthy Eating Guidelines

new year, new meNearly half of Irish people plan to make a New Year’s resolution with health, weight loss and well-being top of their list of aspirations, according to a new Ipsos MRBI poll undertaken on behalf of Motivation Weight Management (MWM). Listening to the talk around the office this week I can see that statistic in action. The buzz words in the canteen are “paleo”, juicing, “carb free”, dairy free and gluten free.

Paleojuicing

 

 

 

 

While it is absolutely fantastic to have health at the top of your agenda, I think first and foremost you need to understand what it is to eat healthy so that you can then feel empowered to make healthier choices for yourself rather than relying on a temporary diet for guidance. Instead of reading magazines and becoming an expert on fad diets, why not have a look at what the healthy eating guidelines are and become an expert at maintaining a well balanced diet combined with an active lifestyle. Once you have done that there should be no need for you to banish food groups, take nutritional supplements or to drink a vat of lemon water every morning with a spoonful of cider vinegar to “kick start your metabolism”.

I am not condemning a gluten or dairy free diet if that is what suits you, or of course if it is medically indicated. I am rather advocating a sustainable, inclusive diet that does not risk nutrient inadequacies by excluding food groups or does not require you to spend extortionate amounts of money on gluten-free foods, organic foods or food alternatives. If you are on a weight loss diet you might be interested to know that in future blog posts I will go into the scientific evidence for the different weight loss/health diets that are popular in the media and the benefits or disadvantages of each.

Healthy eating guidelines are developed to explain how to get all of the essential nutrients such as fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals in the correct amount to maintain optimum health. In Ireland, the Food Pyramid is used to communicate the healthy eating guidelines developed for the healthy Irish population, with the most up to date version published by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) in 2012. Following the Food Pyramid as a guide will help you get the right balance of nutritious foods within an appropriate calorie range for your age, gender and physical activity level.

The Food Pyramid

Screenshot_08_01_2015_22_58

How many calories do you need a day?

Your daily calorie requirement will depend on your age, body size, gender and the intensity of activity that you do each day. For example, men will generally need more calories than women, taller/bigger people will require more calories than smaller people and of course younger people will also need more calories and nutrients than older people, especially during growth spurts. Have a look at the table below to find out what calorie range you are in.

calories

active

sedentary

NOTE: If you are looking to lose weight, you should include at least 60-75 minutes of moderate activity every day. I will write about weight loss in the coming weeks.

Following the Food Pyramid serving recommendations will help you to eat within your calorie range as well as providing you with the correct amount of nutrients (this excludes those who are pregnant, breastfeeding or who are sick). Have a look at the table below to see how many servings/day of each food group you require:

Serving sizesDaily serving sizes

butter

For reduced fat spreads and oils, the recommended portion size is a single serving size that you would be given in a café. Use one packet for two slices of bread.

200ml cup

The FSAI recommend the use of a 200ml disposable plastic cup to guide you in the serving sizes, examples of servings below use this 200ml cup as a measure. There is no harm in having one of these in your kitchen to help you measure out your servings.

palm of hand

For meats, fish and poultry, it is recommended to use the palm of your hand, excluding finders and thumb, to guide you in a serving size for the day. Most of this sizing should be used as your main meal, with the remainder for your light meal.

 

teaspoon

A regular 5ml teaspoon should be used as a serving size for jams, marmalade, peanut butter or honey.

 

 

The Food Pyramid Groups

  • High fat, high sugar foods: Foods in this group are your sweets, cakes and biscuits. We all know that we should limit consuming from this category as these foods are high in calories, fat, salt and sugar. Excessive consumption of these foods can contribute to cardiovascular disease, overweight and obesity along with the associated consequences.
  • Reduced fat spreads and oils: Fats are necessary in the diet in small amounts. All types of fats and oils are very high in calories. While it is true that some fats and oils help to protect against heart disease, they are just as high in calories as other more harmful fats and oils. Choose reduced fat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated spreads and when cooking boil, bake, steam or grill your foods.
  • Protein: Protein is needed to maintain the body and support growth. Lean red meat and poultry and oily fish are the best options. Oily fish is a rich source of vitamin D and is the only food that provides two special Omega-3 fatty acids called EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA protects against heart disease. DHA is also important during pregnancy for the baby’s brain and eye development. The best types of oily fish are salmon, mackerel, herring and trout.

Screenshot_09_01_2015_00_27

  • Dairy: Milk, yoghurt and cheese provide protein and calcium which is needed alongside vitamin D for good bone health. As products from this group can be quite high in saturated fat, it is better to choose low fat varieties of milk, cheeses and yoghurts, with no added sugar.

Screenshot_09_01_2015_00_11

  • Fruits and vegetables: these are nutritious low-fat, low-calorie foods and eating more helps to achieve the nutrient intakes within the calorie goals. This is the one group where MORE is better!

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  • Carbohydrates: These foods should provide the main source of calories and carbohydrates in the daily diet. It is recommended that 45 to 65% of daily calories should come from carbohydrates. Brown is best – Choose wholemeal where possible. High fibre foods help protect against bowel diseases such as colon cancer.

Carbohydrates

General tips for Eating Healthy:

  • keep-calm-and-eat-healthy-22Portion sizes – watch that you are not overeating. Use the portion size reference given above for the different food groups as a guide.
  • Variety makes things interesting so make sure you have lots of choice of foods from the five groups.
  • Plain wholemeal breads, cereals, pasta, potatoes and rice provide the best calories for a healthy weight. Base your meals on these with plenty of fruit, vegetables and salad.
  • Eat plenty of coloured fruit, salad and vegetables – Aim for at least 5 a day.
  • Choose lean meat and poultry including fish (oily fish is best). Remember, peas, beans lentils are a good alternative source of protein
  • Read your food labels – I will post on this next week so you can easily read food labels and understand what you are putting in your shopping basket
  • Don’t be distracted while you are eating, e.g. watching TV, pay attention to when you are full. You don’t HAVE to clear the plate.
  • Drink plenty of water, 8-10 200ml cups of per day (1.5-2Litres of water today) and more if you are exercising. This will keep you hydrated and ensure that your body does not think it is hungry when it is just thirsty.
  • Be physically active! Find something that you love to do – walking your dog, swimming, a team sport.
  • Always have breakfast – Those who eat breakfast regularly are more likely to snack less throughout the day and are more likely be a healthy weight.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation! I will write a post on what ‘moderate alcohol consumption’ is very soon.

In the next few weeks I will be following up this post with advice on calorie consumption, portion control, how to read food labels, exercise recommendations, sports nutrition and I will also start a specific page on weight loss. The healthy eating guidelines and serving sizes above are suitable for everyone including those who are overweight.

Hopefully you found this introduction to healthy eating helpful! If you are interested in reading more of more posts pop your email address in the bar below to receive a notification when a new post is published on à la Maude.

References:

http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/losing-weight-is-big-new-years-resolution-for-2015-30869478.html

Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) 2011: Scientific Recommendations for healthy Eating Guidelines in Irealand.

https://www.indi.ie/news/108-new-national-healthy-eating-guidelines.html

Healthy Eating and Active Living for Adults, Teenagers and Children over 5 Years– A Food Guide for Health Professionals and Catering Services