As our Let’s get Healthy for Summer campaign draws to a close, so too will our weekly recipe blog. So make the most out of our last couple of posts! Next week, we’ll be taking a break for a while but we hope we’ve given you lots of recipes to keep you busy. We should probably think about publishing a book soon!
Even though the pressure of coming up with a new recipe each week has subsided, I for one am really in the habit of being more creative with key ingredients to keep my meals healthy as well as interesting. You’ll see as you browse all of these recipes that we have favourite ingredients, known to be of significant nutritional benefit, that we tend to use time and again. Regular shopping list items for me include prawns, brown rice, coconut oil, sweet potato, Greek yoghurt, nuts, salmon, kale, spinach, porridge, hummus, lentils, eggs, dark chocolate, brown spaghetti, cottage cheese… you’ll get into the habit soon too. Just keep trying out these recipes and then mixing things up!
We’re delighted to have some new colleagues sharing meal ideas this week – thanks to everyone who has helped with this blog. Members of our pharmacy teams across Ireland can print off any of these recipes for you in store. They can also provide you with weekly weight-loss advice and support as part of our FREE Change your Health Direction programme. As usual, each recipe has been approved by our in-house nutritional coach as being suitable for anyone trying to lose weight.
We’ll have our last blog next week so check back soon. Until then, happy, healthy cooking!
Baked Tomato Risotto
This recipe comes from our Business Analyst, Wayne Fahey. And he promises us it’s worth the effort! We think this would be an amazing healthy option for a dinner party. You’d usually use mascarpone cheese in a recipe like this but swapping it for Greek Yogurt is a great way to make it healthy!
- 6-8 ripe beefsteak tomatoes
- 400-500g cherry tomatoes
- 400g Arborio rice
- 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 20-30g Parmesan, grated
- Coconut Oil
- 1200ml vegetable stock
- Pinch of chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons rosemary
- Himalayan Rock Salt
- Black pepper
- 4 handfuls of rocket leaves
Step 1: The Baked Tomatoes
- Turn the oven on to 200°.
- Cut the beefsteak tomatoes in half and lay them face-up on a baking tray. Sprinkle them with the sea salt, pepper, all the thyme and half the rosemary. Lay couple of slices of garlic on top of each tomato half.
- Bake the tomatoes on the middle rack of the oven, uncovered, until they’re a bit grilled-looking and soft, about 45 minutes to an hour.
- Remove the tomatoes from the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature.
- Move the tomatoes to a bowl with as much of their liquid as possible and chop roughly.
Step 2: The Topping
- Slice the cherry tomatoes and put them in a small pot with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and some salt.
- Cook over a low heat, stirring and squishing the tomatoes occasionally, until it turns into a lumpy sauce. This takes about 15-20 minutes.
- Leave to one side and reheat just before serving.
Step 3: The Risotto – make sure that Step 1 is finished before starting this!
- Boil up the stock.
- Melt 1 tbs coconut oil in a large pot.
- Add in the chopped onion and cook on a medium heat until soft, stirring often. (around a minute)
- Add in the rice and the chilli flakes and stir well to coat the rice.
- Add the baked tomatoes and about 600-700mls of the stock.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the stock is absorbed. (around 10 mins)
- Add the remainder of the stock and continue to cook, stirring often, until it becomes thick but still a bit liquid. (another 10 mins)
- Take it off the heat and mix in the Greek yogurt, Parmesan and the rest of the rosemary. Add as much salt and pepper as you think it requires.
Step 4: Serving
- Place a handful of rocket around each plate.
- Spoon the risotto into the centre and top with a quarter of the cherry tomato topping.
- Sprinkle on a bit more Parmesan for badness!
Cheesy Egg Muffins
We just love this idea from Nicky Roche, weigh-loss coach in LloydsPharmacy Laois S.C. Healthy, portable little egg muffins that you can enjoy without worry at just under 100 calories each. They are great for breakfast, snacks, light dinner, or school lunches. They are soft, chewy and dense. The vegetables add texture and fibre so you feel fuller longer. You can make them in advance and keep for up to a week in the fridge. And try them with different vegetables for variety – a great way to get kids to eat their greens!
Makes 12 muffins
- 4 medium carrots trimmed and grated, about 1 ½ cups
- ½ cup diced orange bell pepper
- ½ cup frozen peas (no need to thaw)
- ½ cup frozen corn (again no need to thaw)
- 8 large eggs
- Salt and pepper to taste
- About 12 teaspoons of grated cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 190 Celsius. To avoid having to use oil to grease the muffin tray, use a silicon tray.
- In a large bowl combine the carrots, peas, corn and peppers. You can use any of your favourite veggies, and instead of the carrots you could grate left over potatoes or sweet potatoes.
- Loosely pile the veggie mix into each muffin cavity to about ¾ full.
- In a measuring jug lightly beat your eggs and salt and pepper with a fork.
- Pour the egg into each cavity, to cover the veggie mix to just below the rim.
- Top each muffin with a teaspoon of grated cheese.
- Bake in the oven for about 18 – 20 minutes, or until muffins have set. They will rise when in the oven, but will sink back down as they cool. Leave in the tray while cooling on a wire rack.
- Muffins will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week
Clear the Cupboard Pasta!
Ruth Burke, pharmacist and weight-loss coach in LloydsPharmacy Churchtown, found herself back from holiday with not much shopping done and so used whatever she had to hand to come up with this awesome and healthy pasta dish! When you get into the habit of healthy cooking, you’ll find it easy to rustle up something using whatever you can find.
- 1 250g bag of frozen prawns
- Coconut oil
- 2 cloves of Garlic, chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- ½ cup sugar snaps
- 1 tbsp sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 ripe avocado, mashed
- 2 handfuls fresh spinach
- Brown pasta of your choice (1/3 cup cooked per person eating)
- 4 tbsp tomato puree
- Cook pasta as per instructions.
- Put the prawns, mushrooms and chopped garlic in a pan and fry off in coconut oil.
- Once cooked drain off any excess water from the pan.
- Put sugar snaps, sun-dried tomatoes and spinach into pan and mix through until spinach is wilted.
- Add the pasta, tomato puree and avocado. Mix well.
- Serve and garnish with a pinch of parmigiano shavings and some freshly ground black pepper.
‘Eat Clean’ Chocolate Treats!
It’s time for something sweet! A great healthy treat from Sarah Ashe, Category Manager at LloydsPharmacy Support Office. This is a perfect option for satisfying chocolate cravings and suitable as one of your snacks or treats. Another recipe that proves that eating healthy doesn’t need to be boring! Nua powders are now available at selected LloydsPharmacy branches – ask your local team for more details. We just love them!
Use a fun ice-cube tray to make more interesting shapes. Sarah used a flower designed tray for her treats.
Makes enough to fill a 16-hole ice cube tray
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons of Nua Natural Cacao Powder
- 2 tablespoons of good quality honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
- Put all of the ingredients into a small saucepan on a medium heat
- Keep stirring until everything is melted and the mixture is smooth
- Pour the mixture into an ice-cube tray – silicone trays work best and make it easier to pop out
- Put the tray into the freezer for about 15-20 minutes
- Store your treats in the fridge for up to 5 days
Soba Noodles with Pea Pesto, Peas & Kale
After reading the Change Your Health Direction Blog on non-meat proteins, we were surprised to hear how much protein was in peas! This got our Health Strategy Manager, Naomi, very excited – it can be tough to use heavier proteins in meals so peas were a great option. This recipe is extremely easy. You’ll have plenty of pesto left over for lunches and dinners (try it as a healthy dip for snacking). The main dish doesn’t re-heat perfectly but it would do for an office lunch the next day. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat and so are a much healthier alternative to regular noodles. And they taste amazing too! Defrost the peas for the pesto a couple of hours before cooking – make sure they’re not hot when making the pesto.
- For the Pesto:
- 2 cups defrosted frozen peas
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- Zest and juice of one lemon
- ½ cup ground almonds
- 1 tsp freshly grounded black pepper
- ½ tsp good quality sea salt
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 1tbs olive oil
- For the main dish:
- 80g soba noodles
- 2 cups defrosted frozen peas
- 2 cup kale, chopped
- 1 tbs of the pea pesto
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- Salt & Freshly Ground Black Pepper to taste
Method for the pesto:
- Add all of the ingredients except the olive oil to a food processor and blend until smooth
- Add the olive oil and blend for another minute
- If it doesn’t look like pesto (if it’s too thick) add a little more olive oil but no more than half a tablespoon
- Set aside the 1tbs you’ll be using later and store the remainder in an air-tight jar or container. It will keep in the fridge for about 5 days.
Method for Main Dish:
- Cook your soba noodles according to the package instructions. When cooked, drain and set aside
- While your noodles are cooking, cook your peas in the microwave following package instructions. When cooked, drain and set aside.
- Use a pan on a medium heat and melt the coconut oil
- Add the kale and stir-fry for no more than 3 minutes
- Add the peas and the noodles and stir through (1 minute)
- Add the pesto and stir through to warm up (about 2 minutes)
- Serve in heated bowls.