Posts Tagged ‘Low fat’

This recipe is rich with a natural gravy and very flavoursome and filling. Despite this it is very low in calories so perfect if you’re watching your weight or for a midweek dinner. We ate this over two nights (instead of three) as we were both a little greedy, and also because it was so moreish.

Gardener’s Pie – to serve 6

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 celery sticks, trimmed & chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled & diced
  • 2 large parsnips, peeled & diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 150g puy lentils, rinsed & drained
  • 1 litre hot vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500g floury potatoes, like Maris Piper, peeled & cut into small chunks
  • 15g butter
  • 2 tsp plain flour

Heat the sunflower oil in a deep, large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the shallots, celery, carrots & parsnip for 8-12 minutes and until brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.

Stir in the lentils, stock, tomato purée and bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes and until tender.

Put the potatoes into a pot and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes and until tender. Drain and add the butter and some seasoning. Mash until smooth. Add a little extra butter if you’d like for a bit more richness.

Heat the grill.

Sprinkle flour over the simmered lentil mix and stir in. Cook for another 2 minutes until thickened. Spoon into a warmed, heatproof pie dish.

Top with the mashed potato and grill for 5 minutes , until golden. You’ll need to keep an eye on this as the time needed will depend on the griller.

Serve with: try a Beaujolais Cru, like a Régnié, which will have a both lightness and depth, plus a bit of earthiness to match the lentils. Beaujolais is never too heavy, and the Cru’s add depth and personality that is harder to find in a basic wine.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)


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Hot Smoked Salmon Spaghetti

The Christmas parties have well and truly started at this stage and we already feel like we’ve eaten enough food to do us until the middle of January! Here’s a healthy pasta dish if you manage to get a night off and you only have to pick up a few ingredients on your way home.

Hot smoked salmon & dill spaghetti – to serve 4

  • 150g pack hot smoked salmon
  • 400g good quality spaghetti
  • 100g frozen petits pois
  • small bunch of dill
  • 3 rounded tbsp crème fraîche

Flake the salmon into bite-size chunks. Bring a large pan of generously salted water to the boil.

Cook the pasta according to the pack and throw the peas in for the last couple of minutes.

Throw away the dill stalks and roughly chop the fronds. Keep about 4 tbsp of the pasta water, then drain and return to the pan with the reserved water. Put the pan over a really low heat, then add the salmon, dill, crème fraîche, salt and loads of black pepper. Toss together and heat briefly, then serve.

Wine Suggestion: A richer Chardonnay from a cool climate (think Burgundy or the Macedon Ranges in Australia rather than the Barossa Valley) should go well with the hot smoked salmon.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is really healthy and low-fat which is just what we like during the week. Serve with some steamed rice.

Steamed fish & pak choi parcels – to serve 4

  • 4 plaice, haddock or other white fish fillets
  • 2 pak choi, thickly sliced
  • 4 scallions, shredded
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 3cm ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tbsp reduced-salt soy sauce
  • juice 1 lime
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Put each fish fillet in the centre of a large piece of tinfoil. Top with the pak choi, scallions, chilli and ginger. Pull up the edges of the foil to make a dish to catch the sauce.

Mix the soy sauce, lime juice and 1 tbsp water and spoon over the fish. Carefully crimp the foil to enclose the fish making sure there are no gaps for the steam to escape.

Put the parcels on a baking tray and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the fish is cooked (depends how big your fillets are). Drizzle over a few drops of sesame oil before serving but go easy or you will overpower the delicate flavours.

Wine Suggestion: light and delicate with aromatic overtones and a little residual sugar instead of bone-dry is the key; try a New Zealand or just-off-dry German Riesling and you’ll have a delightful match.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This is scrummy! Like a potato salad but nice and light as it’s mostly low-fat yogurt rather than mayo. We served it with some spicy fish but it would also be great for a barbecue or a party. A dish we’ll definitely be repeating.

Potato salad with curried mayo – to serve 8

  • 1.25 kg salad potatoes, halved if big
  • bunch of scallions
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds, plus extra to serve
  • 1 tbsp Madras curry paste (or whatever you have)
  • 200g low-fat natural yogurt
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 4 sticks celery, thickly sliced

Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool for 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the white bulb end of the scallions and keep the green parts. Heat the oil in a deep saucepan, add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop and hop around. Add the chopped scallion and curry paste. Cook, stirring all the time, for a couple of minutes.

Tip the mixture into a big bowl and stir in the yogurt and mayonnaise with lots of salt and black pepper. You can leave the potato skins on or off.

Chop all but 2 of the green onion stems and add to the dressing along with the potatoes and celery and carefully mix it all together.

Pile the potatoes into a serving dish. Cut the leftover scallion stems into long shreds and scatter them over the salad with the mustard seeds.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Mixing fresh tomatoes into a risotto is a revelation and adds a layer of freshness that is enhanced by the crushed fennel – yum! This is a lighter risotto with much less butter and cheese than we would normally add! Still there is loads of flavour and this is perfect for a weeknight (we try and save the butter and cheese for the weekend).

Saffron & tomato risotto – to serve 2

  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • a large pinch of saffron threads, crushed
  • olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 275g arborio rice
  • 125ml white wine
  • 3 tbsp parmesan, grated

Mix the fennel seeds with the chopped tomatoes. Pour 1 tbsp of boiling water over the saffron to soak. Heat the oil in a wide, shallow pan and add the onion with some seasoning. Cook for a few minutes or until softened. Heat the stock in a separate pan until simmering.

Add the rice to the onion and cook for a few minutes or until the grains are glistening. Pour in the saffron and stir for a minute before adding the wine. Keep stirring until the wine is absorbed.

Add a ladleful of stock and stir again until absorbed. Keep doing this until the rice is cooked but still has a bite. Add the tomatoes and fennel seeds and cook for a minute. Serve with the Parmesan.

Wine Suggestion: Try a medium-bodied and well-rounded white from Italy, like a Fiano or Falanghina. Or you could push the boat out with a top quality Greco di Tufo, full of minerality but still with the freshness needed for this dish – we had none of these unfortunately 😦

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Creamy linguine and low-fat don’t usually go in the same sentence but in this case they work. Generally we’re not keen on low-fat substitutes, preferring to have a bit less of the real thing, but reduced-fat crème fraîche is an exception. We really enjoyed this and it feels quite indulgent despite being both low-fat and good for you.

Creamy linguine with prawns – to serve 2

  • 175g linguine
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 100ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp reduced-fat crème fraîche
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 150g raw peeled prawns
  • small bunch chives, finely chopped

Cook the pasta. Meanwhile, heat the oil and gently fry the garlic for 2 minutes. Tip in the wine and bubble over a high heat for 1 minute, then lower the heat and sitr in the crème fraîche and lemon juice. Season with salt and lots of black pepper. Simmer for 1 minute to reduce a little, then add the prawns and simmer in the sauce until they turn pink.

Drain the pasta and tip into the sauce with half the chives. Mix it all together, divide between two dishes and sprinkle with the rest of the chives.

Wine Suggestion: Have a glass of whatever you used in the sauce. Picpoul de Pinet works well and Tesco Finest do a fairly decent one at a very reasonable price. It’s light but has nice fruit and a good crisp acidity – perfect for shellfish plus enough acidity to cut through the creamy sauce in this dish.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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This was surprisingly delicious and flavoursome; the curry paste really adds a good depth yet it is still light and wholesome. A Keema curry is one that uses mince which we’ve not really done. After this recipe we’ll certainly try a few others.

Keema curry & raita – to serve 4

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 400g beef mince
  • 340g frozen peas
  • handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each turmeric and ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 200g fat-free natural yogurt
  • 100g cucumber, peeled, deseeded and diced
  • handful fresh mint, chopped
Whizz the paste ingredients together in a blender or food processsor – you might need a splash of water.

Cook the onion in a splash of water for about 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the mince and cook for another 5 minutes to brown. Add the paste, cook for a minute, then pour in 100ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the raita ingredients together and season. When the mince is cooked, season and stir through the coriander. Serve with the raita and some brown rice.

Wine suggestion: You don’t want something with too much acidity here but it still needs a bit of easy fruit. Try a Pinot Blanc from Alsace.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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