Veggie Toad in the Hole

Roasted mediterranean vegetables and veggie sausages wrapped in a light and crispy rosemary and garlic infused Yorkshire pudding, served with lashings of gravy.

Quorn veggie sausages and Cauldron vegetrian sausages both come in packs of 5, which is why this recipe calls for this for every 2 servings. You can simply split it down the middle, so there’s 2.5 sausages per serving. Alternatively, someone with a smaller appetite can have 2 sausages for 650 calories per serving and someone indulging in 3 sausages will increase their calorie intake to 708 per serving. You could also use meat sausages instead but this will shoot the calories up to about 849 for 2 sausages and 1007 for 3 sausages.

15 mins prep :: 45 mins cook :: 50 mins total cooking time :: 2 servings :: 689 cals per serving :: One-off wonder

Ingredients:
1 red pepper
1 courgette
1 red onion
5 veggie sausages
3 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 bunch fresh rosemary
2 medium free-range organic eggs
250ml semi-skimmed milk
4 oz flour
Sea salt
Black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
Gravy granules to make 250ml of gravy

Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 220c. Add the olive oil to a roasting tin and heat whilst preparing the vegetables.
2. Cut the courgette into slices; the pepper into small pieces and the onion into wedges all about the same size and crush the garlic. Add the vegetables and garlic to the roasting tin and swirl around to coat in the oil then roast for about 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile make the Yorkshire pudding batter by sieving the flour into a bowl creating a well in the middle of the flour and breaking the eggs into it. Using a wooden spoon beat the eggs until the yolks and whites have combined, then gradually beat in the flour until you have a doughy mixture. Add the milk a little at a time, beating out any lumps until you have a batter (similar to the consistency of paint). Once your batter is ready stir in a pinch of salt, a twist of pepper and the fresh rosemary leaves, discarding the woody stems.
4. When the vegetables are starting to colour, remove the tin from the oven and add the veggie sausages arranging them between the vegetables so that when the dish is ready it’s easy to ensure everyone gets their fair share of sausages and vegetables! Then simply pour the batter between the vegetables and sausages and put back in the oven for another 30 minutes or so until the Yorkshire pudding has risen and is a rich golden brown colour.
5. Just before the Veggie Toad in the Hole is ready, boil a kettle of water to make up your gravy using the gravy granules. Then divide the toad between the plates and serve with the gravy.

Foodwitch Factoid:
This is not only a great winter warmer recipe, it’s also an extremely well balanced meal so you don’t have to feel guilty of the giant plate experience that you’ll enjoy! With a great mix of anti-oxidant rich vegetables to prevent colds and which are are also handily high in fiber. Plus with tasty protein rich veggie sausages you get everything you need in one sitting!

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Goat’s Cheese & Spinach Omelette

Grilled goat’s cheese and spinach wrapped in a light omelette.
Delicious on its own, or even healthier with a green salad. If you’ve got eggs, cheese and some leftover spinach you’ve got yourself a tasty dinner without needing to go down the shops (perfect with all this snow and ice about). To make this meal more substantial serve with a portion of roast vegetables, new potatoes or oven chips (if you’re really short on time, you could even grab a small portion of chunky chip shop chips on the way home – everything’s healthy in moderation!).

Ready in 10 minutes :: 2 servings :: 360 cals per serving :: One-off wonder

Ingredients:
1 goat’s cheese in paper
4 large handfuls of spinach
4 eggs
2 tsp olive oil spread (or butter or olive oil)
Sea salt
Pepper

Directions:
1. Turn the grill on. Unwrap the goats cheese and transfer to a baking sheet leaving the paper it was wrapped in underneath. Taking care to ensure the paper is flat (so it doesn’t catch fire) place the cheese under the grill for 5 minutes, until golden brown. Then carefully cut into smaller pieces whilst leaving on the paper.
2. Meanwile, wash the spinach and drain.
3. Beat 2 eggs in a mug with a fork, stirring in tsp of water.
4. In a non-stick frying pan, add the olive oil spread and heat until melted on a medium/high heat.
5. Add the eggs and gently swirl the pan so the bottom is covered, immediately add half the the spinach ensuring the leaves are evenly spread.
6. Using a spatula gently push in the edges of the omelette and tilt the pan to fill in any gaps with the egg.
7. As soon as the spinach starts to wilt, add half of the goats cheese pieces to the omelette on one half only, then use the spatula to gently life away the edges and take a peak at the colour. Once golden brown underneath (and as set as you like your eggs cooked on top), carefully lift the half of the omelette without any cheese and fold onto the cheese. Then tilt the pan and slide the folded omelette onto a plate. Finish with a sprinkle of salt and a few twists of black pepper and serve. Repeat steps 3 to 7 for the other serving.

Foodwitch Factoid
Goats cheese is lower in fat than cheddar and the spinach is full of vitamins such as iron.

Beef Bourguignon with Creamy Mash and Green Beans

Tender beef and button mushrooms nestled in a rich red wine sauce with a heap of creamy mash and green beans.
Profile:

30 mins prep :: 90 mins cook :: 120 mins total :: 4 servings :: 625 cals per serving :: lazy leftovers :: easy doubler

Ingredients:
* 500g Braising steak
* 750ml Red Wine
* 250g Button mushrooms
* 2 white onions
* 4 garlic cloves
* 1 tsp dried bay leaves
* 1 tbsp sunflower oil
* 4 white potatoes
* 50 ml semi-skimmed milk
* 30g butter
* 400g green beans
* Pinch sea salt
* Twist of black pepper

Directions:
1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees, slice the onions, cut the braising steak into chunks, wipe the mushrooms and crush the garlic.
2. Heat the oil on a medium temperature in a large casserole dish (with a lid), then add the onions, cook them gently for 3 minutes until transluscent, then add the garlic and the beef.
3. When the beef has sealed on all sides (after about 3 minutes), add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes until starting to absorb the juices.
4. Add the red wine (yes that’s quite a lot) and the bay leaves, then turn up the heat to bring to a boil, then put the lid on and pop the dish in the oven to cook for 1.5hrs (just enough time to pop to the local for a swift half – if you think you might need longer you can always turn the heat down to extend the cooking time!).
5. 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve, boil a kettle of water and add to a large saucepan on a high heat. Scrub the potatoes and cube into small pieces, then add to the boiling saucepan of water. Bring back to the boil, cook for 15 minutes, adding a pinch of sea salt and drain (reserving some of the liquid). Tip the potatoes back into the saucepan and mash, adding a dash of the reserved liquid, the milk, butter and pepper. Adjust according to taste.
6. Meanwhile (about 10 minutes before you’re ready to serve) boil another kettle of water and add to a small saucepan on a high heat. Trim the green beans and add to the boiling saucepan of water. Bring back to the boil, cook for 5 minutes, adding a pinch of sea salt and drain.
7. Serve a portion of beef bourguignon, creamy mash and green beans on to every plate and enjoy.

Alternative Options:
Make double this recipe to have it again another way another day. For the 2nd serving, try it with jacket potato and brocolli instead of mash and beans. Save 25 calories per portion if you have no butter on your spud. Just pop the dish back in the oven with the jacket potato for 15-20 mins to heat through.

Alternatively, make twice the amount of mash, cover and refrigerate (this will keep for a couple of days) and simply reheat the next time on full power in the microwave for 5 minutes, stirring half way through.

If beef is not your thing try using chicken quarters instead or other cuts of chicken on the bone. You can also vegetarianise this recipe by replacing the meat with 2 thickly sliced flat mushrooms and 4 shallots per person.

Foodwitch Factoid:
This recipe sounds really fattening, but because you make it youself you can get away with it, plus by leaving the potato skins on you leave in the best nutrient packed parts and save time (and washing up for that matter).

Teriyaki Red Pepper & Broccoli Stirfry

Strips of red pepper, broccoli florets, red onion, beansprouts and noodles in a spicy, soy sauce, honey and ginger sauce.

Profile:

Ready in 10 mins :: 2 servings :: 360 cals per serving :: one-off wonder

Ingredients:

  • 1 red pepper (slices)
  • 1 red onion (wedges)
  • 1 small broccoli (florets)
  • 200g beansprouts
  • 200g egg noodles
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • 2 tsp clear honey
  • 2 garlic cloves (crushed)
  • 2 cm ginger (shredded)
  • 1 red chilli (sliced)
  • 1 pinch Chinese Five Spice
  • 1 pinch sea salt

Directions:

  1. Cut the red pepper and red onion into thin strips and the brocolli into small florets all of a similar size.
  2. Boil a kettle of water and use to cook the noodles as per packet instructions (simmer for 4 minutes), then drain.
  3. Prepare the garlic, ginger and chilli, then heat the peanut oil on a high temperature in a large pan or wok.
  4. When the oil is really hot, add half the garlic, ginger and chilli and stirfry for a few seconds before adding the brocolli, red pepper and onion. Stirfry for 2 minutes before adding the beansprouts and strifrying for 1 minute.
  5. Add the remaining garlic, ginger and chilli, with the soy sauce, sherry and honey, adding the cooked/drained noodles and stirfry for a further minute or so until the sauce has reduced and serve.

Foodwitch Factoid

Cook an extra portion to enjoy the next day for lunch or use a saved plastic takeaway container to store in the freezer to create your own healthy ready meal for when you haven’t got time (or the inclination) to cook.

Healthy Vegetarian Recipes Tip

My healthy recipes blog has even more healthy vegetarian recipes.

Vegetable Lasagne

Chunky peppers, onions and courgettes in a rich tomato sauce, layered in between spinach lasagne pasta and topped with a deliciously thick, low fat cheese sauce. Whip this little beauty up in 25 mins, slam it in the oven and it’s ready in another 25. My top tip is to make more than you need to enjoy it again with zero-cooking another day.  Plus there’s no cook-in sauces so this vegetable lasagne is really cheap to make – costing about £1.50 per serving.

This vegetable lasagne recipe does involve making a bechamel sauce from scratch, but do not fear, it’s really not that complicated. If it goes lumpy just keep stirring until the lumps have gone – it’s great for those arm muscles! Only add a little bit of milk at a time and when you’ve added it stir the mixture quite vigorously. For the best lump-free results, create a little well for the milk to go into and gradually stir in from the edge of the well incorporating a little of the milk on each stir.  Don’t forget that the heat is constantly under the sauce so don’t leave the sauce to do anything else, it only takes about 5-7 or so minutes to make. If you absolutely must leave it, just take it off the heat temporarily and return it when you come back.

4 servings :: 500 calories per serving :: 25 mins prep :: 25 mins cook :: Lazy leftovers

Vegetable Lasagne

Vegetable Lasagne

Ingredients
3 tri-colour peppers (red, yellow, green)
2 red onions
4 courgettes
2 tins of chopped tomatoes with herbs
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 garlic cloves
Salt & pepper
4-5 spinach lasagne pasta sheets (no pre-cooking type)
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2pt semi-skimmed milk
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
2 tbsp cheddar cheese
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Method:

1. Heat the oven to 220c. Peel and crush the garlic. Chop the courgettes. Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium/high heat. Add the garlic and courgettes and stirfry for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile deseed/chop the peppers into 1 inch pieces and peel/chop the onion into wedges and add straight to the courgettes, strirfrying until the vegetables have softened and starting to colour.
2. Stir in 2 tins of chopped tomatoes with herbs (add 1 tsp of dried basil/oregano if the tomatoes don’t have herbs already). Stir in 2 tsp of balsamic vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. To make the low fat cheese sauce, take a small saucepan and melt 1 tbsp butter over the lowest heat setting. When the butter is melted add 2tbsp plain flour and make a “roux” (classic bechamel sauce base) by stirring together with a wooden spoon. The roux should have a similar consistency to sticky dough (just add a touch more flour if it’s too gloopy). Measure out about 1/2pt milk  and gradually add a generous splash to the roux, working in the milk into the dough until the milk has been absorbed and the roux is smooth. Continue to add a splash more milk, stirring it in so there are no lumps, until you have no more milk left and the sauce is a similar consistency to paint (add a bit more milk or stop adding if need be). Then just grate in some nutmeg and some cheddar, give it a stir and it’s done (taste test the sauce and adjust if necessary – “cook’s perk”).
4. To compile the vegetable lasagne take a large oven proof lasagne or casserole dish. Add a third of the vegetable sauce to the bottom, followed by 2-3 spoons of cheese sauce, followed by 2 sheets of lasagne sheets. Then repeat and repeat again so you have 3 layers, making sure you leave plenty of cheese sauce for the topping. Spread the cheese sauce to cover all the lasagne sheets (if they’re not covered they won’t cook). Grate some parmesan to help it go a lovely rich golden brown colour. Then bake it in the oven for about 25 minutes until you can’t wait for it any longer. Enjoy!

Satay Noodle Stirfry

Thai inspired noodles with baby corn, carrot, brocolli and beanspouts in a spicy chilli and peanut sauce. This vegetarian stirfry is so easy to make, is naturally low fat and tastes amazing.

Serves 3 :: Lazy leftovers :: 300 calories per serving :: cook in 15 minutes

Satay Noodle Stirfry

Satay Noodle Stirfry

Ingredients

2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp sweet thai chilli sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 brocolli
200g baby corn
1 large carrot
250g bean sprouts (1 bag)
1 bunch of spring onions
4 garlic cloves
1 inch of ginger
1 tbsp sunflower oil
150g wholewheat noodles

Method

1. Crush the garlic and cut the brocolli into small florets. Heat the oil in a large pan on a medium/high temperature and stirfry the garlic, baby corn and the brocolli for about 5 minutes.
2. Boil a kettle of water and cook the noodles for 3-4 minutes (as packet instructions).
3. Meanwhile, peel the carrot and cut into chunky batons and add to the stirfry and stir. Then trim the spring onions ends, cut them lengthways down the middle, then cut again into similar lengths as the carrot batons and add to the stirfry. Add the bean sprouts. Peel the ginger, chop into sticks and add to the stirfry.
4. Drain the noodles and set aside whilst you stir in the soy sauce, peanut butter and thai chilli sauce. Stir in the noodles, frying for a final minute to help the noodles absorb the flavour and serve.

Foodwitch Factoid
Peanut butter is often thought of as being bad for you but in fact, it’s naturally high in omega 3 and 6 fatty acids and a great source of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – those handy fats that actually break down bad fat (whoop!). Although peanut butter does also contain a moderate amount of saturated fat so don’t go eating the whole jar!

Sweet Potato & Spinach Chermoula

Spicy sweet potato, spinach, apricots and chickpeas in a morroccan inspired sauce. Serve with a grilled flat bread on the first night and enjoy the leftovers with cous cous the 2nd night – or go mad and do it the other way round! Either way you only need to cook the dish once, but eat it twice.

Serves 4 :: 30 mins cook :: 10 mins reheat :: 300 calories per serving :: Lazy leftovers :: Double destiny

Sweet Potato & Spinach Chermoula

Sweet Potato & Spinach Chermoula

Ingredients
4 sweet potatoes (cut into small chunks)
250g spinach
1 onion (diced)
1 lemon (juice only)
400g chickpeas (cooked)
16 dried apricots (halved)
3 tbsp harissa paste
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pt vegetable stock
Flat leaf parsley
Sea salt
Crushed black pepper
Mixed seeds

Method:
1. Dice the onion and fry gently in 1 tbsp of olive oil on a low heat for 5 minutes, whilst cubing the sweet potato.
2. Add the juice from 1 lemon, cumin, coriander, turmeric, salt, pepper, harissa paste to the onion, followed by the sweet potatoes and stir.
3. Boil a kettle of water and make a pint of vegetable stock. Add this to the pot so the water covers the potatoes and boil covered with a lid for 10-15 minutes.
4. Once the sweet potatoes are tender add the apricots, chickpeas and spinach and simmer for another 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted and the sauce has reduced. Grill the flatbread. Serve scattered with torn flat leaf parsley and a small handul of seeds, together with the grilled flatbread.

Foodwitch Factoid
I leave the skins on the sweet potato, it saves valuable cooking time and they are very good for you as the skins are where the essential nutrients are found (good for fighting for winter colds).

Healthy Meal Plan 2

Tuesday :: Satay Noodle Stirfry

Peanut butter, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, carrot, baby corn, brocolli, spring onion, noodles.

Wednesday :: Sweet Potato & Spinach Chermoula (with flatbread)

Ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, harissa paste, lemon, sweet potatoes, apricots, onion, chickpeas, spinach 200g, flat leaf parsley, flat bread.

Thursday :: Sweet Potato & Spinach Chermoula (lazy leftovers with cous cous)

Leftovers, plus cous cous.

Friday :: Italian Bean & Pesto Tagliatelli

Kidney beans, parmesan, red pepper, red pesto, onion, oregano, pasta, pine nuts, parsely.

Saturday :: Wild mushroom risotto

Aborio rice, chicken/vegetable stock, garlic, porcini mushrooms, white wine, parsley, parmesan, pepper.

Sunday :: Roast

Beef, roast potatoes, cabbage and yorkshire pudding

:: Shopping list ::

Vegetables: garlic, 1 lemon, 1 squash, 1 red pepper, 2 onions, 1 carrot, baby corn, mange tout, spring onion, spinach 200g, flat leaf parsley, 3-4 potatoes, 3-4 parsnips, cabbage.

Cupboard: Ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, harissa paste, dried apricots, peanut butter, sweet chilli sauce, soy sauce, chickpeas, noodles, flat bread, cous cous, kidney beans, red pesto, oregano, pasta, pine nuts, aborio rice, chicken/vegetable stock, porcini mushrooms, white wine, pepper, flour, sea salt.

Dairy & Meat: Milk, parmesan, butter, beef, free-range eggs.

Mediterranean Vegetable Stew

Courgettes, peppers, new potatoes and onions in a rustic stew, topped with feta cheese and served with crusty bread to mop up all the juices. It’s an early version of a classic ratatouillie and is made with potatoes instead of aubergines. This is so easy to make and is one of my absolute favourites, I love the way the fresh herbs infuse in to the potatoes. Plus it’s so healthy you can have an extra big helping and not feel guilty.

Prep time 15 mins :: Cook time 1.5hrs :: 400 calories per serving :: Lazy leftovers :: Easy Peasy :: Serves 4

Mediterranean Vegetable Stew

Mediterranean Vegetable Stew

Ingredients:
12-16 new potatoes
4 courgettes
3 peppers (red/yellow/green)
2 onions (white or red)
6 vine ripened tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
4 tbsp fresh mint
4 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp olive oil
190 ml vegetable stock
50 ml white wine
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
Sea salt
Freshly milled black pepper
Crusty french bread (buttered)
200g organic feta cheese

1. Heat the oven to 200c or equivalent.
2. Chop the courgettes, peppers and onions in to similar sized chunks (about an inch) and crush the garlic.
3. Heat the oil in a large heavy casserole dish with a lid and gently fry the garlic.
4. Add the courgettes, peppers and onions and gently stirfry for a few minutes while you make the stock, chop the herbs and halve the new potatoes and tomatoes.
5. Stir in the stock, potatoes, wine, paprika, lemon juice, sea salt, peppers, together with the chopped mint and parsley (keep back a couple of pinches for later).
6. Place the halved tomatoes skin-side down on the surface and drizzle with another glug of oil. Put the lid on the dish and place in the oven for 1.5hrs.
7. Meanwhile, cube the feta and butter the crusty bread. When the stew is ready, serve in bowls scattered with the feta, remaining herbs on top and the bread on the side.

Foodwitch Factoid
This dish is great cold or reheated the next day. Sometimes I make a massive vat of it and have it for a no-cook healthy lunch for a few days! You can make this dish vegan by ommitting the cheese and the butter from the bread or using vegan alternatives.

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Red Wine & Mushroom Chicken

Free-range chicken breast in a red wine and mushroom sauce served with parsley mash and green beans. This tasty little dinner can be rustled up in under half an hour and came into being as I had 1 leftover chicken breast (uncooked), but it could just as easily be made with cooked turkey leftovers. See my Foodwitch Factoid below for details.

Serves 2 :: ready in 30 mins :: 450 calories per serving :: one-off wonder

Red Wine & Mushroom Chicken

Red Wine & Mushroom Chicken

Ingredients
1 free-range chicken breast
1/2 red onion
4 flat mushrooms
400g brown lentils
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
100 ml red wine
4 garlic cloves
2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp dried rosemary
30 ml semi skimmed milk
Black pepper
Sea salt
2 potatoes
200g green beans

Method:
1. Cut the potatoes into small pieces (leaving skins on) and bring to the boil in a large saucepan of water, then boil for 20-25 minutes until cooked.
2. Peel and chop the red onion. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and gently fry the red onion until soft.
3. Meanwhile, peel and crush the garlic cloves. Cut the chicken into small pieces.
4. When the onion is starting to soften add half the garlic and the chicken. Strirfry for 5 minutes until the chicken is sealed and starting to colour.
5. Slice the mushrooms and add them to the chicken together with 1 tsp butter, 1 tsp rosemary and the remaining garlic. Add a few generous twists of black pepper and fry until the mushrooms are soft. Add the wine and lentils, then simmer for a further 10 minutes (so the sauce reduces).
6. Cook the green beans and chop the flat leaf parsley.
7. Mash the potaoes, then add the milk, remaining butter, salt, pepper and parsley and mix together. Adjust to taste as necessary then serve.

Foodwitch Factoid
As this recipe only uses 1 free-range chicken breast between 2 servings, it’s great value for money and good if you find yourself with an extra portion of chicken after entertaining. You could also use cooked chicken or turkey (perfect turkey leftover recipe) – just skip stirfrying the chicken for 5 minutes and follow as above. The great thing about using this recipe with turkey leftovers is that the strong flavours of red wine, garlic and rosemary would work really well with the dark turkey meat as well as the breast meat.

You could also serve this recipe with rice instead of potatoes and green beans for about 50 calories less per portion.

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