Happy February, everyone! We’re delighted to share with you some new recipes, cooked up by our own colleagues here at LloydsPharmacy. These recipes and many more can be printed out for you at any LloydsPharmacy branch, where you can also avail of free weekly weight-loss support with one of our trained advisers. Click here to check out our archive of recipes, all designed to help you lose weight without sacrificing taste. We hope you enjoy!
Perfect Paleo ‘Porridge’
It’s no secret how amazing porridge is. But it can get boring, right? Chia seeds are bursting with benefits and can be used to make a porridge alternative. Chia seeds contain massive amounts of nutrients in very few calories, are full of anti-oxidants, fibre, protein and Omega 3, and they’re now widely available. What better use for them than in this tasty grain-free porridge, which is packed with healthy fats and is surprisingly filling. Thanks to Avril Reilly, pharmacist and weight-loss coach, in LloydsPharmacy Governey Sq., Carlow for this amazing breakfast idea.
- 1 tbsp. desiccated coconut
- 1 tbsp. milled chia seeds
- 2 tbsp. ground almonds
- 150mls coconut milk or unsweetened almond milk
- ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- Berries to serve.
- Toss all of the dry ingredients into a saucepan.
- Add the vanilla extract if using and the coconut milk and cook on a medium heat, stirring all the time.
- Continue to cook until the porridge reaches the desired consistency.
- Simply serve with some berries of choice.
Healthy No-Bake Brownies
A heavy and indulgent treat from our purchasing executive, Ciara Morgan. Guaranteed to satisfy any chocolate craving. The can be cut up smaller if you like and will still definitely fill you up. Who would have thought brownies could be part of a healthy lifestyle?! And you can freeze these bad-boys too – win win! Enjoy 🙂
- 340 g pitted dates (Medjool or regular)
- 110 g regular or gluten-free oats, or extra nuts
- 60 g almonds
- 60 g walnuts
- 90 g unsweetened cacao powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Put the dates into a food processor and blend until smooth. If using regular dates, add a little water if needed to reach a nice thick paste. Remove and set to one side. Put the oats, almonds and walnuts into the processor and blitz to form fine crumbs, and then put the date paste back in, breaking it up into chunks.
- Add the cacao powder, then add the vanilla extract and blend to combine. Add a little water if necessary to create a dough that holds together when pressed between your fingertips.
- Place the dough in a non-stick 20cm square baking tray, pressing it down with your hands to spread it evenly. If you have one, a pastry roller is handy to speed up the process, or a small narrow jar. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours then slice into 9 large brownies. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days, or freeze for up to 1 month.
Easy Peasy Snack
A super-easy snack idea for you. This was recommended to our receptionist, Avril Keogh, by her fitness trainer so it must be good. Two cakes will easily fit into your snacking calorie allowance. Love it!
- 2 rice cakes – use wholemeal or organic
- 2 dessert spoons of good quality nut butter
- We love the Meridian brand which you can get at LloydsPharmacy
- 4 fresh strawberries – or whatever fruit you like!
- Spread nut butter on rice cakes
- Cut up fruit and place on top
Donal’s Beet Treets!
Another snack idea for you. This one comes from Donal Clarke, pharmacist in LloydsPharmacy Greystones. Based on a beet recipe he found on the internet and completely reworked to his own sugar-free standards. We’re calling them biscuits… Whatever they are, Donal’s young son is a big fan! What a great way to use beets and harness their awesome nutritional power.
Makes about 15 ‘biscuits’
- 1 ½ cups cooked and pureed beet (about 2-3 medium beets)
- 1/2 cup skimmed milk
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ½ cup your choice sugar alternative – pureed banana is my favourite but use any whole unprocessed fruit
- 1 cup dark cocoa powder (try our Nua Naturals one)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 cups organic oats
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 dessert spoons of dark chocolate nibs (Nua Natural cocoa nibs will work)
- 2 dessert spoons of sesame seeds
- 2 dessert spoons of pine nuts
- 4 dessert spoons of cinnamon
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Puree the beets in a blender with the milk, until smooth.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter with the beet puree, pureed banana, baking soda, cinnamon, cocoa powder, vanilla, salt and egg, and mix to blend. Add the flour, oats and seeds, nuts and mix. Fold in the chocolate nibs.
- Using a 1 1/4-inch ice-cream scoop or a teaspoon, form 1 1/4-inch balls of dough and place them on the parchment-covered baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. (This is sticky dough, so working with your hands isn’t easy.)
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, cover another baking sheet with parchment paper and place about 12 dough balls on each sheet — they will spread a bit. Bake at 350 for approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Cool the cookies on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.
We have quite a few recipes for chilli here at LloydsPharmacy. This one uses mince substitute, Quorn©, to ensure it contains enough protein. There’s a reason we like chilli so much, aside from it being so yummy! It’s healthy and hearty, contains LOADs of veg, and freezes well. Make a big batch of this on a Sunday and you’re set for the week – it tastes even better the next day. You can vary what you pair it with – brown rice, baked potato, or make some healthy tortilla chips using a baked brown tortilla wrap. This works out at only 200 calories per portion and comes from our Health Strategy Manager, Naomi O’Farrell.
Makes 8 portions
- 1 tsp Coconut Oil
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 red peppers, chopped
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 tin chickpeas, drained
- 1 tin red kidney beans, drained
- 1 pack Quorn© Mince (500g)
- 1 tbs ground cumin
- 1 tbs cinnamon
- 1 tbs hot chilli powder
- 1 cup fresh coriander – peel the leaves off for garnish, chop up the stalks
- 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Defrost the Quorn© Mince according to instructions (I fry gently on a pan but you can use a microwave)
- Use a large pot or casserole dish and place on a medium-high heat
- Add your coconut oil to melt, then add all of your chopped vegetables, dry spices and some salt and pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the tomatoes, kidney beans, chickpeas, coriander stalks, balsamic vinegar, then add the ‘mince’
- Add 1 cup of water and mix well (add more/less water if you want to adjust the consistency)
- Reduce to a simmer, check you are happy with the seasoning, cover loosely with a lid and cook for about an hour, stirring regularly.
I served this with 1 small baked sweet potato, a tsp of crème fraiche, a tsp of guacamole and a sprinkling of cheese to come in at just over 300 calories.