No Slip Ups at Breakfast

I’d like to introduce you to someone who is a total wonder woman and I’m so lucky that she’s my mum. Let’s call her Mama Wheels! Mama Wheels has also been on a journey and has lost over 6 stone. I’m very proud of her and together we keep each other on track and like to swap recipes. I’ve always loved going home (it’s certainly where my heart it) and I know it will be on plan as Mama Wheels is too (as long as we stay away from Papa Wheels’ biscuit and chocolate stash which he keeps hidden anyway!) Over to you Mama Wheels….

Today I’m on the road going to visit an old school friend in Bath but before getting in the car it was my usual morning walk along the canal and disused railway line. Sometimes the holidaymakers are cooking breakfast and the smell of bacon keeps me going the last bit of my walk . One of the ways I’ve found to keep me on track is a good breakfast, before I’d probably have just had a yogurt at the most .

Today I made some delicious and easy banana pancakes. With Shrove Tuesday coming up maybe you could give these a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1 x banana (mashed)
  • 2 x whisked eggs
  • Selection of fruit of your choice
  • Quark (as many spoonful’s as you like)

Method:

  • Mix together the mashed banana and whisked eggs
  • Put small spoonful’s of the mixture into a pan sprayed with frylight. Flip onto the other side after a few minutes.
  • Serve with quark and fruit.

TOP TIP: You can buy a metal or silicon pancake skillet from amazon so you can get perfectly shaped pancake*



Nanny’s Pasta

This for me is like a cuddle in a bowl. This is exactly what I crave after a pants day at work and reminds me of Nanny Wheels. This recipe has absolutely no finesse at all but it’s pure goodness and is a chuck anything you like in a saucepan and let it bubble away kind of dish. Pasta for my nanny and gramps was exotic, which when you’ve experienced rationing it would be. Nanny used to boil the pasta so it was mushy rather than al-dente and my gramps for some reason would eat leftovers with jam.


Ingredients

  • 1 x packet of 5% fat minced beef
  • 1 x tin of chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree (as much or as little as you like)
  • 1 x onion diced
  • 3 x sliced or diced carrots
  • A couple of handfuls of peas
  • 1 x teaspoon garlic
  • 1 x beef stock pot

Method:

  • Fry off the onions in fry light in a heavy based frying pan or saucepan. Once the onions are softened add in the mince and cook through.
  • Pour in the chopped tomatoes, beef stock pot and tomato puree and mix so that the mince is incorporated into the tomatoes.
  • Add in the carrots, peas and some water and allow to bubble away until the liquid has reduced to make it more like a ragu.
  • Cook your pasta and then mix into the sauce. Serve with some parmesan on the top. The sauce freezes well and tastes even better the next day. Perfect to heat up and tastes yummy on a jacket potato.


Let You Decide Soup

This is super quick and easy. To make it even more speedy (and to save yourself from tackling the peeling of and de-seeding of butternut squash and sweet potato) buy some ready prepared bags from the supermarket. I’ve found that using 2 bags of diced butternut squash and sweet potato weigh approximately 300g each and then I bulk it out with 200g of diced carrot. This seems to be the perfect veggie to stock ratio. I promise you that you will not be bored of this soup as it’s delicious and like a hug in a mug.

Ingredients
2 x 300g bag of ready prepared butternut squash and sweet potato
1 x diced onion (you can even buy this ready diced if it makes you cry
1 x teaspoon of garlic (I use lazy garlic)
1 x teaspoon of ginger (I use lazy ginger)
1 x litre of chicken or vegetable stock

Method:
Pop the veggies, onion, garlic and ginger into the soup maker
Top up with hot chicken or vegetable stock to the maximum line and press go on the soup maker. 20 minutes later you have the most gorgeous velvety soup which doesn’t have any cream or naughtiness in it. If you don’t have a soup maker:

Sweat off the onions in a large heavy based pan with the garlic and ginger in some fry light.

Add the veggies and top up with stock. Simmer for around 20 minutes until the veggies are soft enough.

Transfer to a processor and blend.

Butternut Squash Soup – I couldn’t come up with a name for this so you decide!

TOP TIP: I could eat SO much freshly baked sough dough with this soup, particularly if it’s made and baked fresh from The Bread Station (the amazing Danish bakery opposite where I live) but if you are looking for something to dip into your soup, full of fibre but not as calorific I suggest some Ryvita dark rye crispbreads.


Pizza My Heart

Mmmmmm pizza. Crispy thin dough base, smothered with tangy tomato sauce some salty ham and melting mozzarella. As glorious as this sounds it’s hardly what you would consider a sensible option when you are trying to watch what you eat. Now I’m all for treating yourself, remember life is about balance but if you want to try and make something as scrumptious but a more angelic option then try this. The secret is all in the base – a wholemeal tortilla base!

Ingredients:
1 x wholemeal tortilla base
Pasata
Tomato puree
Reduced fat grated mozzarella
Your toppings of choice (I like char-grilled chicken and Parma ham)

Method:

  1. Place the tortilla wrap on a baking tray
  2. Mix together some pasata and tomato puree and spread on the tortilla wrap just missing going right out to the edges.
  3. Put your toppings on your pizza and finish it off by sprinkling the mozzarella on top.
  4. Place in the oven at around 200F fan and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the mozzarella has melted.
  5. Mama mia you have the best pizza!

T-Oat-ally Delicious

I remember making mug cakes for my university friends before we went to bed after a night out on Swansea’s Wind Street. If you are fancying cake but don’t want to go full on like the boy with the fudge cake in Mathilda (we’ve all been there especially ladies at that time of month) then this is for you. It feels so indulgent but isn’t too sinful.

Ingredients:
40g porridge oats
1 x egg whisked
1 x low fat yogurt of your choice (I used a mueller light)
A few drops of vanilla essence
1 x level teaspoon of Nutella

TOP TIP: In order to ensure that you do not over indulge, make sure that the tea spoon is a measured one! Believe me if I didn’t have a measuring spoon and level it off there would as much Nutella on that tea spoon as humanly possible. The Guinness world record book would be calling!

Method:

  • Mix all the oats, whisked egg, yogurt and vanilla essence in a bowl.
  • Put half the mixture in a mug and then dollop on the tea spoon of Nutella.
  • Pour the remaining mixture on top of your dollop of Nutella
  • Place the mug in the microwave and blast for 1 and a half minutes.
  • Remove from the microwave. You can eat out of the mug or you can run a palette knife around the cake and tip out onto a plate. To make it a bit more restauranty you can drizzle with a tea spoon of choc shot (a reduced sugar chocolate sauce). An alternative is to have a scoop of a low fat ice cream such as Halo Top. I love the mint chocolate one and a measured scoop of 100ml is only 68 calories.

Who Ate All The Chicken Pie…. Pie

I don’t do rabbit food. Want to know why? I’m not a rabbit! Watching what you eat should not be a punishment so fuel your body with food you enjoy and that can be tailored to be healthy. I love this chicken pie recipe. It feels like a real treat and no one needs to know that it’s not so naughty.

Ingredients:

8 x skinless and boneless chicken thighs
2 x bay leaves
2 x teaspoons of dried thyme
2 x celery sticks
3 x leeks
3 x carrots
1 litre of chicken stock
6 x rashers of bacon (with fat removed or you can buy ‘skinny’ bacon which are the medallions
4 x tablespoons quark
1 x teaspoon cornflour
1 x teaspoon of mustard powder
1 x sheet of lighter puff pastry from Sainsbury’s
1 x egg

Method:

Put the chicken thighs, bay leaves, one of the teaspoons of dried thyme, 1 x chopped leek, 3 x chopped carrots, 2 x sticks chopped celery into a saucepan and cover with the chicken stock. Put on a medium heat and cover. Allow to simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

Keep the remaining stock but remove the chicken and put on a plate, discarding the vegetables. Once the chicken has cooled cut up into bite size pieces.

Thinly slice the remaining leeks and the bacon and fry with a few pumps of fry light until the bacon has browned and the leeks have slightly softened.

Put the remaining stock on the hob and allow to simmer until the liquid has reduced to approximately 400ml. Add the chicken, leeks and bacon and allow to simmer for a further 15 minutes.

Whilst the stock is simmering, roll out the sheet of lighter puff pastry and cut into shapes. I personally like to cut mine into a heart shape with a cookie cutter. Place onto a baking tray, score the pastry and wash over the pastry using a brush with the beaten egg. Bake in the over at 200 fan for 15 minutes.

Serve it with love…..

With the pastry in the over, mix together a little water with the cornflour and mustard powder to get a paste. Add to the pie mixture and stir until the mixture thickens. Once the pastry is cooked your pie is ready to be served. I recommend serving with some steamed vegetables.