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.

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Moroccan Vegetable Stew

Spicy Moroccan vegetables in a delicious sauce with a crazy but oh-so-perfect secret ingredient served with wild rice and fresh flat leaf parsley all for under 400 calories.

5 mins prep :: 25 mins cook :: 30 mins total :: 4 servings :: 380 cals per serving :: Doubler :: Lazy Leftovers

Ingredients:
* 2 sweet potatoes
* 2 courgettes
* 1 onion
* 1 red pepper
* 2 garlic cloves
* 1 inch cube of peeled ginger (approx)
* 400g tin of chickpeas
* 1tsp dried cumin powder
* 1tsp dried curry powder
* 1tsp dried chilli flakes
* 1tsp dried cinnamon
* 1tsp dried coriander leaf
* Big pinch of salt (this is for 4 servings)
* 350ml of vegetable stock
* 1 tbsp olive oil
* 400g tin of tomatoes
* 1 tbsp lemon juice
* 2 tbsp peanut butter
* 2 tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley
* 40g of wild rice & basmati brown rice per person (makes 100g cooked serving per person)

Directions:

1. Boil a kettle of water and cook the wild rice as per pack instructions (about 25 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, crush the garlic; grate the ginger and cut the sweet potatoes, courgettes, onion and red pepper into similar sized pieces (about 1 inch).
3. Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a large pan, then add the garlic and ginger and fry gently for 1 minute to release the flavour. Then add the sweet potatoes, courgettes, onion, red pepper and salt then stirfry for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the cumin powder, curry powder, chilli flakes, coriander leaf and stirfry for a further minute before adding the tomatoes, lemon juice and stock.
5. Bring to a gentle simmer and keep simmering for about 20 minutes until all the vegetables are cooked. In the final couple of minutes stir in the secret ingredient – peanut butter to warm through and thicken the sauce. Then serve with the rice, scattered with the fresh parsley.

Foodwitch Factoid:
Enjoy leftovers the next day with a pitta bread instead of rice for about the same calories or you can even enjoy it cold for lunch with a green salad to save 150 calories per serving (that’s a mere 230 calories and about 4 portions of veg per serving!).

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.

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.