Creamy Spinach & Garlic Chicken

Next up for a fresh and healthy 2017 is this delicious oven bake. With all the usual suspects in the line up – spinach, garlic, parmesan, this chicken wonder will leave you feeling full and satisfied. I have used coconut cream as the healthier alternative to regular cream here and it worked a treat but as always, this is more a guideline than a recipe so feel free to use whatever cream or cream alternative you want.

I loved making this dish as it was super easy to put together. I stormed home tonight after a full on day at work and big gym sesh and almost fell over with exhaustion but knew that dinner had to be cooked and was glad I had planned ahead with this one. I popped the oven on to preheat, prepared the chicken and the cream sauce as per the method below and threw this yummy looking dinner into the oven. Now with 40 minutes to kill, I got myself organised for tomorrow, showered and into my pjs and was back in the kitchen just i time for the oven timer to tweet.

And now I’m sitting here after enjoying this delish dinner telling you guys all about it and encouraging you to add this to your meal plan this week. Cheap and cheerful, this one is defo for the clean and healthy January menu.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

1kg (6-8 pieces) bone-in, skin-on Chicken Thighs
2 cups Fresh Spinach
1 can (330 ml) Coconut Cream
2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. Shaved Parmesan
1 Tsp. Corn Flour
Salt & Pepper to taste
Dash Olive Oil

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
In a blender, processor or Nutribullet – whatever you have available – add the coconut cream, spinach, garlic, parmesan and seasoning and blend together until smooth and creamy.
Put the cream sauce to one side.
In a large pan, heat some olive oil and add the chicken thighs with the top side facing down.
Sear the thighs until brown and sealed and then turn them over.
Repeat the above step with this side of the thighs.
Once the chicken thighs have been sealed, place them bottom side down in a large oven dish.
Remove any remaining oil from the pan in which you seared the thighs and add the cream sauce (don’t wash the pan as it will be full of rich flavour from the chicken).
On a low heat, gently stir the cream sauce and add the corn flour to thicken.
Once the cream sauce has heat through, pour it over the chicken thighs waiting in the oven dish.
Add a sprinkle of seasoning over the chicken and place the oven dish on the middle shelf of the oven.
Leave the dish to bake in the oven for about 40 minutes.
Once thoroughly cooked, remove the dish from the oven.
Using a tongs, remove the chicken pieces from the dish and serve as desired.

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Clo’s Chicken Pie

Happy New Year to all you Lovely Humans! If you are reading this, I hope you have read some of my other posts and if so, I would like to first of all thank you for even bothering 🙂 This blog started as something to do at the weekends, to share my love of cooking and develop my knowledge of healthy food, its benefits to my health and how to make it good enough to eat. I honestly have no idea if people are even reading it so if you are, thank you.

One of my 2017 Resolutions is to develop this blog more and explore other ways that I can share the benefits of healthy eating – and healthy cooking – with you all. I am almost finished a course in Nutrition and Food Science that I have found so informative and interesting. I have been jotting down so many new ideas for The Countertop so “watch this space” – lots of exciting posts and delicious recipes will be coming your way in 2017 if you stick with me.

So, I thought I would kick of the New Year with an easy one – the humble Chicken Pie. If like me, you are not fully ready to dive feet first into Clean January but want to ease yourself in instead, then this recipe is perfect! This pie has all the elements of an indulgent meal but it is in-fact quite the opposite. When you break it down, the ingredients are all generally very healthy – chicken breast, spinach, almonds. Yes, the pastry might be a tad indulgent but when weighed out against the rest of the ingredients you will have nothing to feel bad about. The trick here is the mixture’s sauce. It will look and taste like you’ve landed a pint of double cream over the chicken pieces when you have really just combined some yummy almonds and chicken stock together! I was very excited when this experiment worked and the result really is delicious.

It would be a great Sunday Dinner if you are at a loss as to what to cook today. It is a simple recipe with a truly comforting and tasty end result and will help you settle into Sunday evening nicely.

So I urge you all to give this one a go – a true comfort food to get us all back on track for a brand new year full of possibilities! xx

Ingredients (Serves 4)

320 gram Ready-Made Puff Pastry Roll
3 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Breast Fillets
2 cups Fresh Spinach Leaves
60 -80 grams Almonds
500 ml Chicken Stock in Water
1 Tbsp. Corn Flour
1 Brown Onion, coarsely chopped
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
Dash Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to season
1 Tsp. Dried Parsley

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 Degrees Celcius.
Grease a small-medium size oven dish and put to one side.
Chop the chicken fillets into small chunks.
Heat the olive oil on a frying pan on the hob.
Add the chopped onion and chicken pieces to the pan and fry until the chicken is cooked through and has browned.
Remove the pan from the heat.
In a food blender, processor, Nutribullet (whatever you have available), add the chicken stock, crushed garlic, almonds, dried parsley and seasoning.
Blend this mixture until it becomes smooth and creamy – add a little more almonds or stock until you reach your desired consistency.
Once you are happy with your sauce, return the frying pan to the heat and add the sauce.
Reduce the hob to a medium heat and stir the filling consistently for about a minute.
It is at this stage that you can use your own judgement – if you think the mixture needs some corn flour to thicken or more seasoning etc, play around with it at this point.
Once you are happy with the mixture, stir in the Spinach leaves and remove the pan from the heat.
Roll out the pre-rolled pastry and cut it out to cover the oven dish – leaving an extra few centimetres to cover the edges.
Pour the chicken filling from the pan into the oven dish.
Cover the mixture with the puff pastry, securing it tightly over the edges of the dish.
Place the dish on the middle shelf of the oven and cook as per the pastry’s cooking instructions (about 40 minutes usually).
Once the pastry has cooked through, remove this delicious pie from the oven and serve.
This will go great with many different sides. Try some fresh salad, sweet potato fries or steamed broccoli.
Delish!

 

Almond and Red Pepper Sauce

No matter how healthy I eat, there is nothing that can stop my hankering for pasta when I’m feeling the effects of an alcohol-filled Saturday night with my girls. This weekend we celebrated the first girl of our group’s Hen Weekend, it’s hard to believe one of us will be walking down the aisle in a few weeks and oh did we celebrate!

So pasta was on the brain for most of today and as usual, I caved and fired up that fusilli. To ease the guilt somewhat, I decided to team it up with a healthy, homemade pasta sauce and I must say, I was pretty impressed with the end result. Adding almonds to the mix gave this sauce a really creamy finish and gave me the feeling I was seriously indulging in a cream-based pasta sauce when really it was nothing of the sort.

I’m really chuffed with this one actually and I’m sure you will be too if you give it a try. Very simple and really yum – here is my Almond and Red Pepper Sauce.

Ingredients

2 Red Peppers, deseeded and chopped
1 clove Garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
60 grams Almonds
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on a frying pan.
Once hot, add garlic and peppers to the pan and coo for about 2-3 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let the peppers cool for about 10 minutes.
Add all of your ingredients including the garlic and peppers to a food blender, Nutribullet or you can use a hand blender and puree the entire mix until smooth and creamy.
Cook your pasta according to the packet instructions and drain.
Put cooked pasta back into the pot it was cooked in and pour in your pepper sauce.
Heat the sauce through until piping hot and serve.

This sauce can also be served as a dip too. I chopped up some carrots and had a dip and it was pretty delish!

Innocent Ice Cream

I know this post is a bit late to the party as the weather has already begun to change on us but ice cream is nice no matter what time of year, let’s be honest!
I am a big ice cream fan, it’s one of the only deserts I actually considering ordering if I’m out for dinner and have any room left.
I have also been trying to brainstorm fun ways to get my 5 a day and to also adhere to my restricted food allowance.
As most dairy is now off limits for me, I thought I would use almond milk and banana as an alternative to yoghurt and regular ice cream and I was pretty chuffed with the results.
I am presently obsessed with pineapple and find myself buying a fresh one almost every week to snack on.

Pineapple is virtually fat free with 1mg of fat per 100 grams of pineapple and only 50 calories.
It is also high in fibre and Vitamin C which makes it an all-round good fruit to have.
When you combine it with banana and almond milk, you’re creating a pretty healthy and guilt free treat that tastes like it should be far naughtier.

So if you have 5 minutes to spare, why not give it a crack?

Ingredients

½ Sliced Banana, frozen
2 cups chopped Pineapple, frozen
½ cup Unsweetened Almond Milk

Method

Take banana and pineapple out of the freezer and let it soften slightly for about 20 – 30 minutes
Pop all 3 ingredients into the food blender, Nutribullet or use your hand blender (a recent phenomenon for me).
Combine all the ingredients until smooth and creamy – or until it resembles ice cream.
Scoop into a desert bowl and enjoy.

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Simple, quick and tastes amazing!!

7 Electric Essentials for the Healthy Cook’s Countertop

The Kitchen of an On-The-Go Cook is never short of a few toys to have some foodie fun with.
While some may be absolutely essential, others can be to make life that little bit easier and help you prepare delicious, healthy meals super quick.
I am quite the collector as you will see from the list below but because I spend most of my free time in the kitchen, I find it pretty easy to get plenty of use out of them all.

The Hand Blender

The soup lovers best friend. The trusty hand blender is a must for anyone who loves fresh, homemade soup and even for the adventurous curry creator.
You can buy these guys pretty much anywhere that sells the basic kitchen appliances like the local supermarket or the likes of Argos and Harvey Norman.
They assemble easily and can be kept neatly in one of the kitchen drawers so that they’re always on hand.
Soup is a great way to add more vegetables in to your diet and it’s also a good meal prep dish as you can make a couple of litres of it and freeze it off.
I find homemade soup is also a really good way to use up any vegetables you have that are about to reach their Best Before Date so this way you won’t be throwing anything out.
You can pretty much add any vegetable to your soup pot and with the right seasoning it will always taste great, head over to my Recipes page for some inspiration!

The Salter Spiralizer ™

This is, without a doubt, one of the best gifts I have ever received! EVER! I am literally obsessed with my Spiralizer. Who knew such a simple contraption could make such a difference to my life.
Since being gifted with this by my very wise and wonderful mother, I use this bad boy religiously during the week for my evening meals. Since I have started using this, I have almost entirely ended my relationship with pasta, rice and noodles.
They now live in my cupboard for emergencies and hangovers and for my not-so-green eating dinner guests.
It’s fun to use, easy to clean and makes dinner a quick a painless experience while adding so much more vegetables to your diet. .
I dropped around 10 lbs in January and I firmly believe that was solely down to the Spiralizer.
At only €21.99 in Argos, I would highly recommend picking one up.
Check out my Recipes page for some great ideas on how to create some beautiful looking and great tasting Spiralizer dishes.

spiralizer

The Air Fryer

Again this is not an absolute must but I’ve certainly gotten great use out of this guy since it took up lodging on the kitchen counter.
When looking to make healthier choices with the food you really love and cannot live without, something like the air fryer is a great help.
I use this every time I make sweet potato fries and it’s also great for cooking regular fries, carrots, pumpkin or any other root veg you might bake in the oven usually.
The appeal of the air fryer is you only require 1 tablespoon of oil to cook with thus reducing the amount of fats you may use when cooking.
Our house has the Tefal model but there are plenty of different brands and models available from all regular stockists.

The Original Crockpot Slow Cooker ™

I bought this as a welcome home present to myself last Summer and it was honestly the best €40 I’ve ever spent. I am head over heels in love with my Crockpot and get a serious amount of entertainment cooking with it.
From a curry recipe I picked up in Nepal to a slow roasted Sunday – dinner chicken, I use the slow cooker for such a variety of meals.
The beauty of the slow cooker is that you can prepare your meal first thing in the morning or last thing at night and head off to work or get a full night sleep and your meal will be cooking away without you having to worry.
There are hundreds of recipes available online for the slow cooker and you’ll find all of mine throughout the recipes page.
It’s also great for meal prep as you can throw 10 chicken fillets in and head away for the day only to come back to seriously tender and perfectly cooked chicken to use during the week as part of your healthy diet.
I bought a 6.5 litre slow cooker which is probably too big when cooking for one but they are available in a number of different sizes and can be found at almost all electrical appliance stockists nationwide.

If you have the counter space and love to cook and experiment as much as me, it’s well worth the investment.

crockpot

The Nutribullet ™

Another gift to myself when I came back home and again, money well spent.
The Nutribullet is a great addition to any healthy living kitchen and especially for those who are on the go.
You can throw any bits of fruit and veg you have lying around, add some ice, yoghurt, honey or whatever your preference and you have a delicious and filling smoothie ready to take with you wherever you’re going.
Check out my list of smoothie recipes for some great combination ideas!

I also use the Nutribullet for other creations such as my fresh pesto, hummus, milled nuts and seeds, bread crumbs and also for soups and curries and anything that needs processing.
It’s such a versatile appliance and is so easy to clean.

I can really say that my vegetable intake sky rocketed with using the Nutribullet with my energy levels and skin condition especially really improving.
I would absolutely recommend the Nutribullet to anyone looking to up their vegetable intake and decrease the amount of time spent preparing it in the kitchen.

Another Electric Appliance that is good to have is the everyday food processor which can save you lots of time in the kitchen for everyday tasks such as grating cheese, chopping onions, slicing vegetables and so on.
I don’t have one myself as I have a combination of other appliances to do these tasks forme but they’re are good to have if you have the space on the countertop and can be bought at all stockists.

The Mandolin Food Slicer

Although it’s not electric, the mandolin is a compact vegetable slicer that neatly chops and slices all your veg without creating any mess and saves the Cook lots of time during prep.
I find it super handy for the dreaded onion – no more tears and its done in seconds.
The Julien blade is also a great alternative to the spiralizer and I also find it most convenient for slicing courgettes quickly and evenly for my courgette lasagne (see Recipes for full method).
Not an essential but it’s certainly handy to have in the cupboard.
Again you’re looking at about €20.00 and if you like to prep and cook efficiently like me, it’s handy to have.

mandolin

The George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Grilling Machine (TM)

I recently purchased one of these bad boys when they were on sale for an outrageous €26.99, down from €75.00! To put it simply, it does exactly what is says on the tin. A convenient countertop grill that cooks up to 4 portions and drains any excess fat from whatever it is you’re cooking. It’s great for meat such as turkey burgers, bacon or chicken fillets. It cooks them efficiently and healthily leaving little to be cleaned up after and food tasting great. The George Foreman can be bought in most electrical retailers and vary in price depending on what size grill you want to get your hands on. Two thumbs up for this electric essential.

Other Kitchen Essentials that I simply cannot cook without are listed below. These days, you can pick up these items pretty much anywhere; Ikea, Deals, Dunnes, Argos, anywhere! They are cost effective and will stand by you while you work to create healthy meals from fresh, whole foods from the comfort of your own kitchen.

Weighing Scales
Measuring Jug
Wooden Chopping Board
The World’s Sharpest Knife ™
Good Quality Frying Pan
Muffin Tray
Lunchboxes
Recycled Jars
Ziplock Bags

Homemade Fit Food – Peanut Butter Dip

This little winner is so simple to make and will help you keep on track with all the healthy changes you’ve been making.
Packed with protein and energy, this dip will fill you nicely before or after a workout or will wait quietly for you in the fridge for when you have a burst of craves.
Give it a lash and let me know what you reckon?!

Ingredients

½ cup (Low Fat) Greek Yogurt
¼ cup good quality Peanut Butter (crunchy is better in my opinion for this but up to you!)
½ Tbsp. Lemon Juice

Method

Not even a recipe guys, throw all 3 ingredients into the blender or Nutribullet or even use a bit of elbow grease and mix until even.
Chop up some fruit or veg or whatever you want to dip in and enjoy the yummy goodness 🙂

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Homemade Hummus

When making small changes to your diet to become healthier, another ideal food to add to the menu is Hummus. Hummus is mainly made from Chick Peas that are packed with protein, fibre and omega 3.
You can use it as a trusty condiment for snacks or as an alternative dip or side sauce for more substantial meals. One of the most well known ways to have hummus is with carrot batons but I also like to use it as an alternative to mayonnaise or butter on (porridge) bread, crackers, wraps. My favourite way to have it is with Falafel as a side sauce. The two are a match made in heaven.

You can also vary the flavours of hummus you have if you want to keep it interesting and enticing.
Flavours such as garlic & lemon, roast carrot, red pepper and my favourite, beetroot, are just some examples of how you can spice it up.

Here are the basic instructions to make it and I’ll include some tips on how to add the extra flavours further down.

Ingredients

1 tin Chick Peas, rinsed
2 cloves Garlic, peeled
Juice of 1 Lemon
2 Tbsp. Tahini
Pinch of Ground Cumin
1.5 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. Water
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Simply combine all these ingredients into a food processor, blender or Nutribullet
and whizz until you reach the consistency you want.
You may need to add a tipple more of water or olive oil so keep going until you’re happy with how it looks.
Do a taste test and see if you want to add a bit more seasoning, its totes up to you how you want it to taste!

If you want to mix it up and make some beautifully coloured and flavoured hummus to show off, the recipe is easy to add to.

For roast carrot, pepper or beetroot hummus, simply chop up your chosen vegetable into small chunks, spread out on a baking tray and cook for 10-15 minutes.
After you have made your base hummus, add the roast veg to the mixer and whizz it through.

For lemon & garlic hummus or sundried tomato and basil, again just chop up your desired ingredients and add them to the base hummus to combine.

Once you’ve made the base recipe, its hard to go wrong with adding different flavours so have some fun with it and enjoy the end result!

The Slow Cooker Series – Nepalese Lentil Curry

This curry takes a bit more work than most of my recipes but its one I really want to share.
I went to Nepal in 2015 and as amazing as the views and the people and everything else that the country had to offer were,
the recipe for this dish is one of the best things I took away with me from that trip.
Known as Dahl Makhani in Nepal, this lentil curry is a staple dish to the people there and it just so happens its one of the most delicious dishes I have ever tasted.
I made it my mission when I came home last year to perfect this dish and create something special to keep with me from my short time spent there.
I use my Slow Cooker for this dish as I just think curries do so well when cooked over a long amount of time – slow and low.
If you don’t have a slow cooker don’t worry, I’ll put the regular temperatures and times at the bottom for your reference.
This dish really is so special and I really urge you to give it a go!

Remember this is a Sow Cooker recipe so you might want to make it in the morning or afternoon so that it’s ready in time for dinner (6-8 hours).

Ingredients

2 cups Black Lentils / Black Dahl
6 cups water
1/2 cup tinned kidney beans, rinsed and drained
150 grams tomato puree
2 Tsp. Cumin Seeds
1 Tsp. Coriander Seeds
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Garam Masala
1 Tsp. Fenugreek Seeds
2 Dried Red Chilis
3 cloves Garlic, crushed
4 thumb piece of Ginger
2 Tsp. Salt
2 fresh Green Chilis
30 gram Real Butter
100 ml Greek Yogurt

Method

IMPORTANT: You need to soak your lentils overnight. Rinse them until the water runs clear and leave to soak in a bowl overnight.
Add the soaked lentils along with 6 cups of water to the Slow Cooker and cook on low for 4 hours until soft.
Once soft, mash the lentils with a potato masher of give them a quick whizz with a hand blender to break them up until they give a creamy texture.
Using a pestle and mortar, food processor or coffee grinder (I use my Nutriullet milling blade), grind your cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, black pepper and dried red chillies into a finee powdery paste.
When you’re happy with that, add your spice mixture to the lentils and stir through.
Back in the food processor or pestle and mortar; add the garlic and ginger with about a teaspoon of water and combine to make a paste.
Pour in your rinsed kidney beans and your garlic and ginger paste to the slow cooker along with the tomato puree, salt, butter and fresh green chilis (cut in half).
When everything has been stirred together, add enough water so that there is about 1/2 an inch of water covering the mix.
Dont worry if it looks too watery, the curry mix will drink it up.
Leave the curry to cook away on low for about 2-4 hours depending on how much time you have, everything is pretty much cooked by now and you cant overcook a curry this way – the longer the better!
Check in on it maybe every 30 minutes to an hour for a quick stir.
Do a little taste test each time to determine if you need to add a little bt more of anything.
About 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve, stir through the Greek yogurt and maybe a little bit more butter if you like.
This dish goes really well with basmati rice or naan bread but serve it with whatever you fancy.
You should have enough for about 8 serves so it’s a great meal prep dish or else you can show off to your friends if they’re over for dinner.
I’ve made this for quite a few people now because I’m so eager to share it and it’s been empty bowls all ’round.

*If you dont have a Slow Cooker you can still create this dish on the hob in a large pot.
Cook on low (1 or 2) and just cook for half the time of the Slow Cooker e.g 4 hours on the Slow Cooker is 2 hours on the hob.
Instead of adding 6 cups of water to the lentils at the beginning, add just enough to cover the lentils by about an inch but be sure to keep an eye on them adding a tipple of water now and then when neccessary.
The same applies for after you add the spice mix and kidney beans until the last hour or so when you just add a trickle and the water is almost fully absorbed before you add the yogurt.
Make sure you dont let it get too watery but if you do, just take some of the water out with a ladle or something – get creative (I had to do it plenty of times until I perfected it so dont panic).

I’d love to know your feedback on this one if you do attempt it so make sure to leave a comment!

Almond Flour

Almond flour is fast becoming a go-to alternative to regular flour for many dishes that require some element of the ingredient, most notably breadcrumbs or flour.

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A much better alternative, almond flour or almond meal is so simple to make and provides far more nutrition to your dish than your every day white or brown flour.
It is also suitable as a part of a gluten free or low carbohydrate diet as it is literally just almonds.
Depending on what kitchen appliances are available to you, the simple method requires you to mill your almonds until you reach a flour-like consistency.
I use the Nutribullet with the milling blade to make mine but a pestle and mortar or coffee grinder are also suitable.

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Check out my recipe for Chicken Dippers using a spiced and seasoned almond flour to coat the chicken strips. They are absolutely delish and taste a lot naughtier than they actually are.

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Any of my recipes that have breadcrumbs or flour as an ingredient can use almond flour as an alternative but it is totally up to you which one you want to use.

I personally try to always use the almond flour just because Bread and I are not friends since I entered my mid-twenties.

Green & Greek Yogurt Dips

If you are trying to make a few small changes to your diet but still find yourself unsure with certain condiments such as salad dressings,
what oils to use, full fat or fat free, this post might be able to help out a bit.
An ideal way to swap out the Ceaser or sour cream is to whip up some Greek Yogurt with a few other ingredients to fuse together a fine substitute.
Greek yogurt is a staple in my diet and I try to use it wherever possible. Below are a few ways I dress it up to make it even more delicious and versatile.

Avocado and Greek Yogurt Dip and Dressing

Ingredients

1 Avocado
150 grams (low fat) Grek Yogurt
1 Clove Garlic
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Sprig Fresh Parsley

Method

Throw all of your ingredients into a food blender or processor and whizz until smooth and creamy.
That is literally it!
If you want to use this as a salad dressing, just add the juice of another 1/2 lemon and 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil to the ingredients list.

Cucumber Dip / Tzatziki

Ingredients

1/2 regular Cucumber, chopped
150 grams (low fat) Grek Yogurt
1 Clove Garlic
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1 Sprig Fresh Dill
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Combine all your ingredients in a blender or processor until even and smooth.
Done!
This one goes great with lamb or in a wrap.

Yogurt and Mint Dip

Ingredients

1 cup Fresh Mint
150 grams (low fat) Grek Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

You’ve guessed it – Throw it all in the blender and whizz until smooth.

I also like to add some garlic and herbs to his one and marinate some chicken fillets in it.
After about 4 hours of marinating, place chicken fillet in the oven and bake.
Guilt free and gorgeous!

Avocado Spaghetti

All i can say about this dish is, try it – now!

Ingredients

1 Avocado
1 Clove Garlic
1/2 Cup of Fresh Basil
Juice of 1 Lemon
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
1/2 Cup of Cherry Tomatoes, halved
250 grams spaghetti
Salt & Pepper to taste

Method

Put a pot of water on to boil and add spaghetti to cook for 8-10 minutes or follow packet instructions.
Using a food processor or Nutribullet, add avocado, garlic, basil, lemon juice and parmesan together and whizz until smooth.
When spaghetti is cooked, drain and return to the pot.
Add the avocado mix and stir until evenly mixed throughout.
Add frozen peas and stir for about a minute or two until the have cooked through.
Toss through the cherry tomatoes and add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve piping hot.
Good isn’t it? Let me know what you think!

This is enough for two people to share but don’t feel too bad if you keep it all for yourself!

 

Smoothies Any Which Way

Smoothies and Juices are a wonderful way to up your 5-A-Day intake
and for the obsessive compulsive in me;
they’re quick, clean and are a great way to use up any bits of
fruit and veg that are on the way out.
The beauty of the smoothie is that you can pretty much combine any
ingredients you have available and it’s bound to taste delish!
The best formula to use when creating your own recipe
is as follows and this can be interpreted any way you like;

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1 Part Thickener + 1 Part Liquid + 1 Cup Fruit + 1 Part Veg + 1 Part Booster

Here are some examples of each component;

Thickener

Your Smoothie Thickener should fill about ¼ of your cup
Banana
Avocado
Natural or Greek Yoghurt
Mango
Ice Cubes

Liquid

Approx. 250ml
Filtered Water
Coconut Water
Aloe water
Almond Milk
Soy Milk
Coconut Milk

Fruit

About a handful
The list is endless here. You really can use any fruit you like.
My favourites are mixed frozen berries, apples, pears, blueberries, strawberries,
raspberries, mango, frozen or fresh pineapple.

Veg

A good handful
The best veg to use is definitely dark, leafy greens.
They are packed with nutrients and dont take up that much room in your smoothie cup.
My two staples are spinach and kale. You can buy them either fresh or frozen to use.
I will also try to use beetroot wherever I can as it’s such a super Superfood!

Boosters

1 Tablespoon
Almonds
Cashew Nuts
Walnuts
Peanut Butter
Almond Butter
Cashew Butter
Chia Seeds
Flax Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Goji Berries
Coconut Chips
Cacao Nibs
Ginger Root
Honey
Cinnamon Stick
Vanilla Pod
Protein Powder
Lemon Juice
Lime Juice

Green Juices

Green juices have become so popular the last couple of years but they really do have
the right to be the A-List celeb in the Smoothie and Juice community.
They make take a bit of getting used to but they are seriously worth it.
I am a self proclaimed green juice addict but only because
I have personally felt the beneficial effects.
My energy is through the roof (you can ask my poor housemates),
my skin glows more than ever and my (very poor) digestion is improving all the time.
Like smoothies, you can use whatever is lying around in the fridge or the fruit bowl, the greener the better!
1/3 a cup of liquid with 2/3 a cup of greens and an extra booster or two
will combine to make a delish and ridiculously healthy juice.

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