Broccoli & Parmesan Pasta

Stirfried broccoli florets in a white wine, garlic and chilli sauce tossed with wholewheat spaghetti and finished with toasted pine nuts and parmesan. This easy recipe is so quick to make and just requires a fresh head of broccoli – the rest you’ll find in your cupboard.

5 mins prep :: 7 mins cook :: 12 mins total :: 2 servings @ 415 calories per serving :: 5 Weightwatchers points per serving

Ingredients:

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 1/2 red chilli
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Sea salt
  • Parmesan
  • 2 small handfuls of pinenuts
  • 200g dried wholewheat spaghetti pasta

Directions:

  1. Boil a kettle of water and cook the pasta as per pack instructions (about 10 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, cut the broccoli in to florets; crush the garlic and finely slice the chilli
  3. Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a large pan, then add the garlic and fry gently for 1 minute to release the flavour. Then add the broccoli florets with the chilli, and salt then stirfry for about 5 minutes.
  4. Once the broccoli starts to colour, add the wine and cook for a further 2-3 minutes as the alcohol cooks off.
  5. When the pasta is ready add the pinenuts to the broccoli until lightly toasted (about 30 seconds), then add the drained spaghetti and toss with a glug of extra virgin olive oil and serve topped with the fresh parmesan.

Foodwitch Factoid:

Stir in a spoonful of green pesto instead of the olive oil at the end for about 100 extra calories per portion and extra flavour. Make extra to reheat for lunch the next day or use any leftovers cold as a tasty snack.

Mushroom & Rustic Lentil Sauce with Wild Rice

Velvety portobello mushrooms in an aromatic lentil sauce infused with garlic and rosemary, served with wild rice and scattered with fresh parsley.

5 mins prep :: 20 mins cook :: 25 mins total :: 2 servings :: 486 cals per serving :: One-off wonder

Ingredients:
* 8 large flat portobello mushrooms
* 1 red onion
* 200ml vegetable stock
* 3 garlic cloves
* 4 tbsp fresh parsley
* 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
* 1 tbsp brandy or white wine (vegan friendly)
* 400g tin of brown lentils
* 80g wild rice
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* Black pepper
* Sea salt

Directions:
1. Boil a kettle of water, wipe the mushrooms, rinse the herbs and cook the rice following pack instructions (usually 20 minutes).
2. Slice the mushrooms into 1cm slices, finely chop the onion, crush the garlic and finely chop the fresh herbs.
3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat, add the crushed garlic and onions and fry for 3 minutes until the onions are softening, then add the mushrooms with the rosemary and half the parsley and cook for a further 5 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, boil a kettle with enough water to make 200ml of vegetable stock; drain and rinse the lentils and make the stock.
5. Add the lentils, brandy and stock to the mushrooms and adjust the heat to keep at a gentle bubble, stirring occasionally and cooking for 10 minutes until the rice is ready. By this time, the liquid will have reduced to leave you with a wonderfully aromatic sauce. Drain the rice and serve scattered with the remaining fresh parsley.

Suggestions & Alternatives
You can serve the mushroom and rustic lentil sauce with pasta or a jacket potato instead of rice. If you can’t decide, why not make double the amount to have a different way another day. Simply cover and refrigerate overnight then reheat in the pan on a low heat for 5-10 minutes. If you choose pasta for the 2nd time your dinner can be ready in under 10 minutes!

Beef in Black Bean Sauce with Stir-Fried Noodles

Tender beef strips, mushrooms, green peppers and onions in a ginger, garlic and black bean sauce served with stir-fried egg noodles.

10 mins prep + 8 mins cook = 18 mins total :: 2 servings @ 413 cals per serving :: one-off wonder :: lazy leftovers

Ingredients:
* 350g organic frying steak
* 1 green pepper
* 1 red onion
* 2 large flat mushrooms
* 100ml of black bean sauce (1 sachet)
* 1 garlic clove
* 1 inch of fresh ginger
* 1 red chilli
* 200g medium egg noodles
* 1 tbsp sunflower oil

Directions:

1. Slice the beef into strips by using a very sharp knife and cutting along the grain of the meat (you could buy pre-cut beef to save even more time).

2. Prepare the vegetables by wiping the mushrooms with a damp cloth and cutting them into 1cm slices; chopping the green pepper into 1 inch pieces and the red onion in to wedges.

3. Peel the ginger and cut into very thin strips; peel and crush the garlic and slice the chilli very thinly (discarding the seeds if you prefer a milder result).

4. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok on a very high heat and boil a kettle of water.

5. When the oil is really hot, after a minute or so, add half the garlic and ginger and stir-fry for a minute to release the flavour before adding the beef and stir-frying for 3-4 minutes, taking care that it doesn’t stick to the pan or burn.

6. Whilst you’re frying the beef, add a saucepan to another hob ring, adding the boiling water to the saucepan and turning up the heat to high to bring back to the boil instantly, then add the noodles and cook to pack instructions (around 4 minutes).

7. When there’s 3 minutes left before the noodles are ready, add the mushrooms, green pepper, onion, chilli and remaining garlic and ginger to the beef and stir-fry for 2 minutes to soften slightly, before adding the black bean sauce and stir-frying for the final minute.

8. Drain the noodles thoroughly, cut into shorter pieces using a sharp knife or scissors and add to the beef, stirfrying for another minute to absorb the flavours and serve.

Foodwitch Factoid:
Serve with jasmine rice instead of noodles, adding on an extra 6 minutes to the cooking time and simply serving as an accompaniment rather than adding to the beef at the final stage. You can also 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.

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!

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.

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!