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)


Read Full Post »

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)

Read Full Post »

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)

Read Full Post »

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)

Read Full Post »

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 😦

Read Full Post »

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)

Read Full Post »

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)

Read Full Post »

Easy-peasy and used up some prawns that had been in the freezer for nearly too long.

Lemony prawn pasta with broccoli – to serve 4

  • 300g farfalle pasta
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 200g large cooked prawns
  • 3 tbsp double cream
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the pack and scoop out and keep a bit of the cooking water near the end. Add the broccoli to the pasta pan 3 minutes before the end of the cooking time and cook for another 3 minutes. Drain and tip back into the pan.

Turn the heat down very low and add the prawns, cream, lemon juice and some seasoning. Add a bit of your pasta water if you need to thin the sauce a bit.

Healthy and low-fat dinner is served (the 3 tbsp of cream is divided between 4 people!!)

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Read Full Post »

Easy, tasty, low-fat, cheap, hearty… need we say more? We had carrots and celery that needed used so we added more than the recipe suggests – it was a good idea!

Black bean and chilli soup – to serve 2 

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced small
  • olive oil
  • a pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml vegetable stock
  • 400g tin of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 150ml natural yogurt
  • a small bunch of coriander, chopped
Cook onion, celery and carrot in 1 tbsp olive oil until softened. Add the chilli flakes and cumin and cook for another minute. Add the tomatoes, stock and beans and simmer for about half an hour, or until the veg is soft. Serve with a dollop of yogurt and some coriander on top.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Read Full Post »

Apologies to any of you that don’t like courgettes but as long as people keep donating us homegrown ones we’re going to keep on cooking them.

This dish is based on courgettes, onions and garlic and it’s so tasty that you can’t tell it’s low fat. The recipe is to serve 8 (to serve buffet-style) but we just cooked half and it worked well.

The original recipe suggested side dishes of tomatoes, peppers and aubergines. We had some new potatoes to use up so we roasted them with a bit of oil and some herbs from the garden.

Chicken saute with courgettes and garlic – to serve 8 (easily halved)

  • 8 x chicken breast fillets
  • 8-10 small courgettes – we used a giant one
  • 2 onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 red chillies
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 50g butter
  • juice of 2 small limes
  • lime wedges, to serve
  1. Cut the chicken into 1cm thick strips and the courgettes into 1cm thick slices on an angle. Slice the onions finely and separate into rings. Slice the garlic very finely. Deseed the chillies and shred finely.
  2. Heat a large frying pan or a heavy roasting tin on the hob. Add the oil and sauté the onions and courgettes until golden brown – you might have to do this in a few batches. Season and transfer to a plate.
  3. Add the butter to the frying pan. When it sizzles, sauté the chicken strips in batches until golden brown all over. Add them all back to the pan together and cook for another minute before seasoning and adding the onions, courgettes and sliced garlic.
  4. Keep cooking for another few minutes until everything is almost tender, then add the lime juice, and check the seasoning. Scatter over the chillies and serve with lime wedges.
(Original recipe by Gary Rhodes for BBC Good Food Magazine July 2003)

Read Full Post »

… it was. You know when you read a recipe and it looks tasty enough, but nothing special; good for a weeknight. Well this looked like that, and then had such great balance of flavours it had to make the blog. It did take longer than we expected, but the pizza-like aromas from the oven had us salivating and it was worth the wait. More like a veggie pasta bake than a frittata we reckon.

Easy oven frittata (serves 4, or less if you’re hungry)

  • 1/2 tsp oilve oil
  • 85g fusilli, macaroni or small pasta – we used conchigle
  • 1 bunch of scallions, chopped
  • 85g frozen peas
  • 85g frozen or tinned sweetcorn
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 50g good Irish cheddar, grated (Bandon Vale worked well)
  • 2 tbsp parmesan, finely grated
  • a green salad to serve

Preheat oven to 190C / fan 170C and grease a 1.2 litre baking dish with olive oil

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water for 8 minutes. Add all the veg and cook for a further 2 minutes. Drain and tip into baking dish.

Beat together eggs, add thyme and milk and beat a little more. Mix in most of the two cheeses and some black pepper and a sprinkle of salt. Pour into the baking dish, stir, then scatter remaining cheeses on top.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until golden and set. Cool for a minute or two and serve with the salad leaves.

Surprisingly tasty and low fat too! What more could you ask for?

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

Read Full Post »