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!

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Homemade Fit Food – Energy Bombs

Energy bombs are ideal to snack on during the day and from a convenience point of view, they’re the efficient cook’s dream.
Although you lump all your ingredients into one bowl, these little guys can be messy to make but are totally worth it.
They’re also no-bake which means they’re fast to whip up and fabulous to wolf down.
There are hundreds of variations of these on the internet I know but this is just to share with you my own creations and give you
some inspo to create your own. Have some fun with what you add and don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty!

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Peanut Butter Powerball

Ingredients

170 grams Smooth or crunchy Peanut Butter
250 grams Porridge Oats
1 1/2 Tbsp. Honey
60 grams Dark Chocolate Chips or Raisins or 50/50
60 grams Flax or Chia Seeds or 50/50

Chocolate & Coconut Energy Bomb

Ingredients

400 grams Porridge Oats
2 scoops Chocolate Protein Powder
1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp. Smooth or crunchy Peanut Butter
3 Tbsp. Honey
1/2 cup Desiccated Coconut
5 Tbsp. Water

Chocolate & Raisin Protein Ball

Ingredients

400 grams Porridge Oats
2 scoops Chocolate Protein Powder
1 Tbsp. Chia Seeds
1 Tbsp. Flax Seeds
3 Tbsp. Honey
60 grams Dark Chocolate Chips or Raisins or 50/50
4 Tbsp. Water

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Method

Add all your ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
Using a wooden spoon, start to stir your mix through.
Drop the wooden spoon and dive in with your hands to give the mix a good mushing until even.
Take a small chunk of the mix and squeeze it in the palm of your hand to push out any air then start to roll into a little amazeball.
Place on a flat dish and continue to do this until all the mix has been used up. I got about 12 servings from each of the above ingredients lists.
Cover the dish with cling film and pop in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
Stack like the Ferrero Rocher Tower and admire your creation before scoffing the lot!

 

Winning Weekend Chicken Dippers

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Ingredients

500 grams boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Cup Almonds, milled
1 Tbsp. Smoked Paprika
½ Tsp. Garlic Powder
1 Tsp. Ground Cumin
1 Tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tsp. Black Pepper
1 Tsp. Salt
2 Eggs, beaten
Olive Oil Cooking Spray

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Method

Preheat oven to 190 Degrees C.
Slice chicken breasts into long strips about an inch wide.
Mix together milled almonds, smoked paprika, garlic, ground cumin, cayenne, pepper, and salt.
Dip chicken pieces in egg and then coat with almond spice mixture.
Place on parchment paper greased with cooking spray.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden
Serve with a yummy dipping sauce and maybe with some sweet potato fries or my Cheesy Broccoli Tots for a Friday night treat.

Chicken & Broccoli Bake

Ingredients

500 grams boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
500 grams broccoli florets
1 chopped brown onion
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
3 Tbsp. brown flour/almond flour
1 ½ Cups (low fat) Milk
150gm Greek Yoghurt
2 Tbsp. light mayonnaise
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup grated parmesan

Method

Pop the oven on to preheat at 180 degrees C and stick on a pot of water to boil.
Once water has come to the boil, add your broccoli florets and cook for 3-4 minutes until bright green and almost soft. Remove and drain.
Heat olive oil on a pan and add chopped onion. When onions begins to soften, add chicken breast and fry until golden brown and cooked thoroughly.
Sprinkle flour over the cooked chicken and stir consistently for about a minute.
Stir in milk and bring to the boil.
Cook the mixture for a couple of minutes until it becomes thick.

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Add cooked broccoli to the mix and heat evenly for about a minute. Add your yogurt, mayonnaise, salt and pepper and stir quickly and lightly to evenly combine the whole mixture.

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Grease a casserole dish with a small drop of olive oil and pour in your mixture from the pan.
Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the top of the mix and pop the dish onto the middle shelf of the oven.

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Let it cook away for about 20 minutes or until the parmesan begins to melt and brown.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

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Porridge Bread – The Ultimate Alternative!

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I literally cannot get over this concept as an alternative to regular bread. I genuinely think it is one of the best ideas to hit the healthy food lovers menu-ever!
Porridge bread is simple, wholesome and a genuine alternative to bread. It can be made as sweet or savoury and I guarantee you will wolf it down.
My favourite way to have porridge bread is toasted with a poached egg for breakfast but that’s not to say you won’t find me adding some fresh raspberries through it and
enjoying it with a nice big cup of tea in the evenings either.

The basic recipe is as follows but scroll down further for some ideas as to what else you can add.

 

Ingredients

1 large tub of (fat free) Greek style yoghurt (usually 500 ml)
2 large tubs of porridge oats (rinse out the yoghurt tub and fill twice with oats)
1 Tbsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Salt
125 gram of your favourite extras

Extras for porridge bread can be anything you like really, here is some inspo if you’re not sure where to start;

Pumpkin seeds
Linseeds
Flax seeds
Chia seeds
4 seed mix
Crushed almonds
Crushed walnuts
Crushed hazelnuts
Chopped olives
Chopped sundried tomatoes
Finely chopped pancetta
Grated parmesan
Spinach
Feta
Garlic
Cinnamon
Sultanas
Raisins
Chopped pitted dates
Raspberries
Blueberries
Dried figs

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Method

Preheat your oven to 180 Degrees C.
Grease up a medium size loaf tin or line with parchment paper.
In a large mixing bowl, pour in yogurt and add the baking soda and salt.
Stir briskly until the mix starts to fizz and rise.
Rinse out the yoghurt tub and fill twice with porridge oats, stirring the oats into the mixture.
Add any extra ingredients you like and continue to stir until it has been evenly mixed through.
Fill the loaf tin with the bread mix, pushing it down with a wooden spoon to ensure theres no air pockets.
Pop into the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 40 minutes.
Remove the bread from the loaf tin after 40 minutes and return to the oven for a further ten minutes.
Place the loaf on a wire rack and let cool for several minutes.
Depending on whether you have made a savoury or sweet loaf, smother yourself a slice in butter, jam, honey – whatever!

 

Enjoy a seriously tasty slice of guilt free homemade bread with a cuppa for breakfast,
soup for lunch or as a little snack in between.

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Banana Pancakes

As you will gather from my recipes, I’m a big fan of simplicity.
The easier the recipe, the better.
Banana Pancakes literally could not be easier to make and they taste magical.
You can add any number of toppings or fillings to your healthy treat or weekend breakfast and I promise they will taste great.

All you need is 1 banana and two eggs for each pancake and a good non-stick pan.
My favourite toppings are blueberries, natural yoghurt and a squidge of honey.
Other serving suggestions could be strawberries, kiwi, raspberries, mint leaves, melted dark chocolate, dark chocolate chips, whatever tickles your fancy.

To slap together your pancake, simply mash up the banana with two beaten eggs until you reach an even consistency, pour onto a lightly greased pan and fry for a couple of minutes each side.

Add your toppings and enjoy.
It is literally that simple!

The Slow Cooker Series Part 1 – Garlic & Herb Chicken

The beauty of this dish is that it’s so easy to prepare and can be teamed with any number of sides – salad, roast veg, steamed greens, whatever!
These days a whole chicken costs about €4-€12 and the rest is seasoning so you can get 2-3 days’ worth of dinner and lunch for less than €10 which is serious value
AND you’ll have done your meal prep for the few days too. Winner winner…..!!!!

Ingredients

1 Large Whole Chicken
4 Cloves Chopped Garlic
½ Cup Curley Parsley Leaves
½ Cup Basil Leaves
½ Cup Thyme
2 Tbspn Dried Herbs de Provence
Lemon Slices
Good dash of Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to season

Method

Turn on your Slow Cooker to High
Place ½ of the chopped garlic, ½ of the lemon slices and ½ of the fresh herbs on the base of the slow cooker with a dash of olive oil.
Rub a good bit of olive oil over the fresh chicken and then sprinkle the herbs de Provence, salt and pepper evenly over the whole bird.
Once the chicken has been evenly coated in the oil and seasoning, place in the Slow Cooker.
Place remaining garlic, lemon and fresh herbs over the chicken and place the lid on the Slow Cooker.
Leave the chicken to cook away for about 4 hours.

(Now you’ve got 4 hours to do whatever it is you want; hit the gym, clear your floordrobe and do some laundry, Netflix binge – you’ll get a good 4 episodes in, daydream about eating the chicken…)

After 4 hours, take the chicken out carefully and then place under the grill for about ten minutes to crisp up the skin.
Let the chicken rest for about 10-15 minutes once out from under the grill.
You can prepare your sides or have your lunchboxes at the ready while the chicken is resting to save time.

Then slice and serve!

If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can follow this recipe and change the cooker settings to Gas Mark 5 / 180 degrees C and cook for about 1 hour 40 minutes
or follow the cooking instructions on the packaging.

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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