Brussel sprouts. You either love them or you hate them. They remind me of being part of the Christmas dinner as a child, and looking back now, I am not too sure why they were there?! They always came in huge packs and you always had to put a few on your plate – and they were always the one aspect of Christmas dinner that remained on its own serving plate for leftovers! Needless to say, they were not something that any of my family readily enjoyed, but, year after year, they showed up at the table! Instead of boiling them whole, I find panfrying shavings makes these vegetables entirely different and incredibly tasty!
Macros per portion (based on 2 servings): 184kcal; 26p, 18c, 0f
- 350g brussel sprouts, roughly chopped
- 200g plum/cherry tomatoes
- handful of fresh cilantro
- pinch of black pepper
- 8 egg whites
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- Heat a large non-stick pan over a medium heat.
- Add in the brussel sprouts and saute for approximately 10 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure all of them soften.
- Roughly chop the tomatoes and add to the brussel sprouts, enabling the liquid from the tomatoes to help soften the brussel sprouts further. Cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add in the cilantro, black pepper, cumin, chili powder and egg whites. Cook until the omlette is cooked underneath (you will be able to tell when the edges become crispy and start to come away from the pan).
- Transfer the omlette to the oven and turn on the broil setting. Cook for about 3 minutes – until the top of the omlette is slightly golden and the omlette is cooked all the way through.
- Enjoy hot, but equally as good reheated. I ate mine with sardines, but would also be delicious with chestnuts, salsa and crusty bread.
Roasted chestnuts. Can you beat that festive smell? The very thought of roasted chestnuts brings a smile to my face; it conjurs up childhood memories of being all bundled up in a scarf, gloves and hat and walking the Christmas market with a hot chocolate. Although it is still pumpkin season, I am a huge Christmas lover and any excuse to start the festive season, I am all for it! Mushrooms don’t make for the most aesthetic of meals, but this sauce is so tasty and is perfect with pasta – the pasta I have used below is butternut squash zuchette pasta from Trader Joes.
Macros per portion (based on 3 servings): 115kcal; 10g protein; 15g carbs, 1g fat
- 150g mushrooms, sliced
- 15 roasted chestnuts, peeled
- 150ml unsweetened almond milk
- 5 slices of ham
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp sage
- In a small, non-stick pan, saute the mushrooms over a medium heat until they begin to soften. Add the rosemary and sage and cook for a couple more minutes, until soft throughout. Leave to cool.
- Roughly chop the ham and chestnuts.
- Add the ham and chestnuts to a blender along with the almond milk and mushrooms. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer the sauce to a small saucepan and cook over a medium/low heat until piping hot.
- Serve with pasta, ham, additional chestnuts and veggies for a festive dish!
Bananas have a very limited shelf life in my opinion, I like to eat them when they are barely yellow and as soon as they have brown spots, I turn my nose up! But, ripe bananas make the perfect basis for baking. As bananas ripen, they become sweeter, meaning that you can often use less (or in this case), no added refined sugars! This muffin recipe would be a perfect breakfast alongside some Greek yoghurt and a good cup of coffee. And at 150 calories, you can’t really go wrong…
Macros per muffin (based on 12 servings): 156kcal; 5.6g protein, 23.3g carbs, 5.1g fat
- 250g (approximately two medium) overripe bananas
- 2 large eggs
- 170g all purpose/plain flour
- 60g old fashioned oats
- 85g crunchy almond butter (can substitute for peanut butter or for a smooth consistency nut butter)
- 85g 0% fat Greek yoghurt
- 5ml (1tsp) vanilla essence
- 125ml unsweetened almond milk
- 45g honey
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Preheat your oven to 350f and line a muffin pan with 12 muffin cases.
- Roughly chop up the banana and add to a large bowl.
- Measure out the remainder of the ingredients into the bowl.
- Using a handheld whisk (or Kitchenaid) whisk the ingredients together on a low speed. Ensure all the mixture is combined, but don’t over whisk as it will break down the ‘crunch’ of the oats.
- Spoon out the mixture into the 12 cases – you can fill to the top as the muffins don’t rise too much and have quite a dense texture.
- Bake in the center of the preheated oven for 18 – 22 minutes. Take out when the top is slightly golden and a knife will come out clean.
- Enjoy warm with Greek yoghurt and sugar free syrup for a higher protein breakfast or enjoy after a savory meal for a 150kcal sweet treat.
Hands up, I admit it, two years of living in the States and I am all about the pumpkin hype. Most pumpkin flavored things that crop up here are actually fairly sweet, but pumpkin on its own, is actually very savory. It has a great color and texture and this recipe brings out all the warm, cosy feelings that autumn should bring! I have eaten it with chicken and whole grain spaghetti, and I have also sautéed it with Miracle Noodle rice and egg whites. The sauce is quite strong in flavor so is probably too overpowering for fish, but it would also make a great basis for a soup too! Happy pumpkin season!
Macros per portion (based on 4 servings): 76kcal; 3.1g protein, 14.1g carbs, 1.4g fat
- 1 can pumpkin (approximately 425g)
- 1 bag of spinach (approximately 250g)
- 65g red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 cup (240ml) unsweetened original almond milk
- In a large, non-stick pan, fry the onion over a medium heat until it softens.
- Add the spinach gradually (a large handful at a time), stirring until it wilts and there is room for more. Be careful to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the pumpkin, almond milk, cinnamon and cayenne pepper and stir until combined.
- Turn up the heat until the sauce starts to bubble and add more almond milk (or water) if the sauce is too thick.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for a further 10 – 15 minutes (I find this allows the spices to really ‘knit together’ well).
- Serve over chicken, veggies and pasta for a hearty, autumnal meal.
I came across spring roll wraps in an oriental supermarket whilst traveling and was instantly both fascinated and inspired. I had never used these wraps in my cooking before, and, after a lot of practice, I would offer one word of advice and one word of reassurance. The advice – don’t overfill, it will make rolling them almost impossible. The reassurance – these wraps are a lot more robust than they look. This recipe isn’t messy or difficult to prepare, but it is very wet and I recommend lining a good portion of your kitchen work tops with tea towels! These make a great appetizer or an aspect of an oriental themed spread.
Makes 16 rolls
Macros per two rolls: 192kcal; 19g protein, 22g carbs, 3g fat
- 120g cooked shrimp
- 16 spring roll wrappers (I used Blue Dragon)
- 1 pack roasted seaweed (I used a teriyaki flavor, but any flavor would work)
- Vegetables of choice (I used broccoli, shredded carrots and shredded cabbage, but would also recommend bean sprouts, cauliflower rice and red peppers)
- 12 tbsp powdered peanut butter
- 25ml coconut aminos/soy sauce
- 25 ml sriracha
- 5 tea towels
- In a small bowl, measure out the powdered peanut butter, coconut aminos (or soy sauce) and sriracha. Stir carefully, adding water in 25ml quantities until you have made a thick sauce (you don’t want a thick paste as it is difficult to spread and you don’t want a really runny sauce otherwise it will fall out of the wraps). Set aside.
- Run your tea towels under the cold tap and wring out so that the tea towels are wet throughout, but not dripping. Lay out across a clean work top.
- Turn the cold tap down so that it is running in a light but steady stream. One by one, run each wrap under the cold water, until it turns translucent and pliable. Lay down flat on top of the wet tea towels. Repeat for each of the wraps in turn. You don’t need to worry about the wraps sticking as long as your tea towels are wet!
- Place 2-3 seaweed crackers in the center of each of the wraps. These will help guide your placement of additional ingredients to ensure you don’t over-stuff!
- Lay your vegetables of choice on top of the seaweed and place about five shrimp on top of the vegetables.
- Top each of vegetables and shrimp mixture with a spoonful of the satay sauce and spread across the shrimp with the underside of a teaspoon.
- Roll your wraps by folding down the top and folding up the bottom (this will hide the seams) and then fold over the left side of the wrap so that it covers the mixture in the middle. From here, roll your wrap. Repeat for the other wraps.
- These can be enjoyed immediately or refrigerated and eaten later. Refrigeration does cause the wraps to harden more, but it doesn’t make them any less delicious!
Nutella will always be one of my vices. I have demolished jars of it in one sitting and back in my first ever ‘prep diet’ Nutella topped oatmeal formed the basis of my refeeds. Chocolate and hazelnuts are just a winning combination, which is why I was delighted to experiment making a ‘Nutella’ protein shake. This contains none of the sugar that real Nutella does but if you like chocolate and hazelnuts, you will like this. The thick, creamy mix of freshly roasted hazelnuts combined with raw cacao powder will have your kitchen smelling delicious and it is especially delicious when paired with a cup of freshly poured coffee.
Macros: 249kcal; 29g protein, 8g carbs, 9g fat
- 1 scoop chocolate whey (I used Dymatize double fudge brownie whey isolate)
- 5g cacao powder (or cocoa powder)
- 15g hazelnuts (I used raw hazelnuts and roasted them in the oven at 350f for 20 minutes, but this is up to you and your preferences/time restrictions. If you do have time, I do recommend freshly roasting them as it really adds to the flavor and your kitchen will smell incredible!)
- 170ml unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- (Optional: 30ml calorie free chocolate/hazelnut syrup/few drops of chocolate Stevia)
- Handful of ice
- Add a handful of ice to your Nutribullet or blender.
- Measure out your almond milk and liquid sweetener (if using).
- Add in the dry ingredients.
- Pour water into your blender up until the ‘maximum’ line.
- Blend until smooth.
If you don’t like carrot cake, then, well…. who doesn’t like carrot cake?! Definitely my favorite cake due to the moist sponge, abundance of spices and textures and not let’s not forget the cream cheese frosting! Although this recipe doesn’t replicate the frosting aspect of carrot cake, it does contain the flavours and is easy to whip up at any time of the day! I drink more smoothies on the weekend, but smoothies are the perfect grab and go breakfast and this will definitely satisfy any sweet tooth!
Macros: 234kcal; 33g protein, 18g carbs, 3g fat
- 3/4 scoop vanilla whey (I used Dymatize vanilla whey isolate)
- 1/2 scoop cinnamon/snickerdoodle whey (I used PeScience snickerdoodle whey blend)
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 150ml unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 200ml carrot juice (I have tried this recipe with shredded carrots and it will result in you almost having to bite through your smoothie)
- Handful of ice
- (Optional: 15g raisins. This will make it sweeter and have a slightly thicker texture and will add approximately 45kcal and 12g carbs to your smoothie)
- Add a few cubes of ice to a Nutribullet/blender. (I always do this first to avoid splashing the other ingredients everywhere!)
- Measure out the almond milk and carrot juice into the blender.
- Add the dry ingredients.
- Top up to the line on your blender with water.
- Blend until smooth.