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low carb

Pesto Chicken and veg

Pesto Chicken and veg

Chicken breast is the staple of any diet. Be that to lose weight, put on muscle mass or just to be healthy, chicken breast is at the heart of every meat eater diet!

It is packed full of protein with no carbs and very little fat which is great if you are watching your waistline but also means that it can often taste dry and bland! By adding pesto and baking in foil you solve these 2 problems in one go as well as limiting the mess as all is cooked together in one baking tray!

Off course you can make your own pesto, and I do believe fresh is best, but now a days you can find freshly made pesto (and other pasta sauces in tesco) so if like me you are short of time (or patience) that's the next best thing! I bought the Mattarello Basil Pesto at Waitrose

Now, pesto do have a good amount of fat in it, but they are all good and healthy fats that will help your chicken stay moist and also help keep you fuller for longer. 

This dish is suitable for those trying to lose weight and or on a low carb diet. If you need more carbs, you can always add some sweet potato or I thing it would go really well with buckwheat or quinoa!

Its good to note that I like my veg crunchy so if you prefer softer veg, I'd recommend to pre-cook it before adding to the chicken. 4-5min on a steamer should do the trick :)

Ingredients:

  • 6 Chicken Breasts
  • 150g of Fresh Pesto
  • Vine Cherry Tomatoes (about 6 small vines)
  • Broccoli, Green Beans and Baby Corn (enough for 6 portions), chopped in chunky pieces
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven at 180ºC
  • Cover a roasting tray with foil
  • Place the chicken breast on the foil and put a good layer of pesto in each breast
  • Place 1 vine on top of each breast and add the rest of the veg. Also add a little salt and pepper to taste
  • Cover with foil and place in the oven
  • Bake it for 40 min at 180ºC

There you go! A heathy, tasty and diet friendly meal that takes less than 5 min to prepare (plus 40min of cooking), and makes very little mess! Perfect for all you busy people! :) 

IMG_4778.JPG
40mins at 180ºC

HLL Homemade Granola

HLL Homemade Granola

I posted this recipe on Facebook in December 2014. I made a whole bunch to give away to family and friends as a Christmas present and it was a

After a few attempts, I finally found a granola formula that works for me... a modified recipe from theroastedroot.net.

It is crunchy and slightly sweet, full of goodness and healthy fats! There will be some protein in the nuts, but I always aim for at least 20g in every meal so I like to add this granola to my favourite Kinetica Vanilla Caramel shake for a yummy protein rich breakfast! But it also goes amazingly well with greek style yogurt!


Ingredients

  • 2 cups raw walnuts
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup raw hazelnuts
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup diced dates
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Instructions

- Preheat the oven to 150 C° and line a baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper.

- Add the first 4 ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until nuts are chopped in small pieces and NOT into a fine powder. You want so e bigger nut chunks for extra crunch!

- In a large bowl, whisk together the egg white with the water until slightly foam

- Add the coconut oil, honey, vanilla extract, cinnamon and salt to the foamy mixture and whisk together well.

- Mix the dates and desiccated coconut with the chopped nuts and pour it into the wet mixture, mix well.

- Spread the granola mixture evenly on the baking sheet(s) and bake for 40-50 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes to ensure it cooks evenly, but do not stir for the last 10 minutes before you remove the granola from the oven!

- Once golden-brown and crispy, remove from the oven and allow it to sit for 10-20 minutes or until cold. This is when the magic happens so be patient if you want crunchy clusters!

- Once cold, store in air tight container(s).

-Serve with milk, as a crunchy topping to yogurt or with my favourite kinetica protein shake for that extra protein hit!

ENJOY!



Naked Scotch Eggs

Naked Scotch Eggs

I came up with this recipe when I was trying to find an easy to make, easy to carry high protein/ low carb snack. I always loved Scotch Eggs, but the bread crumbs and the fact that they are deep fried make it a little hard to fit it in my diet.

So I thought that I could just skip the fattening coat and leave my Scotch eggs naked and place it in the oven instead of deep frying them! And now they are one of mine and hubby favorite snacks (or breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, lol)

Ingredients:

  • 500g extra lean beef mince
  • 5 hard boiled eggs
  • seasoning to taste (scroll down for suggestions)

Method:

  • Pre heat the oven to 200 Cº
  • Place the mince and seasoning in a bowl and mix. Its easier to use your hands here.
  • Divide the mince into 5 equal portions.
  • Flat out each portion of mince until its a thin flat patty
  • Place an egg in the middle of the patty and gently close the patty around the egg.
  • Place them in a baking tray (preferably on a raised baking tray so the fat can drip down) and bake for 30 minutes
  • Serve hot or cold. Enjoy!

Macros:

Kcal: 200
Protein: 27g
Fat: 10g
Carbs: 0g


Hunters Chicken

Hunters Chicken

 

A lot of people that are on a diet feel that they need to eat separately from the rest of their family.  But it doesn't need to be like that. There are plenty of healthy and tasty dishes that the whole family can enjoy. Just like the Chilli Con Carne Recipe, I am still to find someone that does not like Hunters Chicken!

This recipe is made with chicken thighs which are juicier than chicken breasts, but if you want to reduce calories/fats a little further, just do straight swap. I warn you though, it's no were near as tasty ;)

 

 

Ingredients:

  • 1Kg Skinless and boneless Chicken Thighs (roughly chopped)
  • 100g Pancetta
  • 4 Spring Onions (chopped)
  • 2 Garlic Cloves (chopped)
  • 4 Fresh Rosemary Springs (finely chopped)
  • 1 tin of Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 tin Butter Beans
  • 125ml of Dry White Wine
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 salt to taste
     

Method:

  • drizzle a little olive oil in a pan, once its hot add pancetta and stir for about 2 minutes.
  • Add chicken and spring onions and stir until the meat turns white
  • Add the white wine and let it simmer for a further 2 minutes.
  • Add rosemary, garlic, chopped tomatoes, sugar, salt and butter beans and let it simmer for 25 minutes.
  • Serve and enjoy!

For those members of the family not watching what they eat, this dish goes very well with a slice or two of rustic bread or focaccia!

Makes 6 portions. Each contains about:

396Kcals
Protein: 37.6g
Carbs: 5.6g
Fats: 21.5g
Fibre: 1.1


Healthy Chilli Con Carne

Healthy Chilli Con Carne

I don't know about you, but if I had to choose 1 meal to have for the rest of my life, that would be Chilli Con Carne! This was one of the first things James cooked for me (over 8 years ago) and I've been hooked ever since! He certainly found the way to my heart ;)

Since then, Kale has found its way into the Chilli to make it more macro friendly through my competition prep. This recipe has aways been a signature dish for James and a staple at most informal dinner parties held at our house. So I can hardly claim this recipe as mine, but since it was my idea to put the Kale in... I'll claim it anyway ;)

 

Ingredients (makes 4 portions):

  • 500g lean beef
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stock cube
  • 1 table spoon tomato pure
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1tsp chilli powder
  • 1tsb chilli flakes
  • salt & Pepper to taste
  • 200g kale
  • 1 tin copped tomatoes
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • a smidge of oil or cooking spray

 

Method:

  1. Cover the bottom of the pan with cooking spray (I found a coconut oil spray in Trader Joes in america with is awesome) or a smidge of oil (i like to use coconut or avocado oil). Place the onions and fry until golden.
  2. Add the mince and stir until it has turned brown.
  3. Add the tomato pure, garlic, chilli poder, chilli flakes, stock cube and mix well
  4. Add the kale and mix until it has reduced in size.
  5. Add Chopped Tomatoes and salt & pepper to taste.
  6. Let it simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes
  7. Add kidney beans and let it cook for a further 5 minutes
  8. Serve with rice, nachos or rice cakes (as in the picture)



Macros per serving (of Chilli only):

KCals: 285
P:28.7g
C:13.7g
F: 7.3g
Fibre: 3.3g

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ball

Ok, so I made these in the morning and left in the fridge to enjoy it later. HOWEVER, when I got home they were gone! Vanished! I looked at James which immediately pointed at the cat and said “Jolie ate it!”. Yeaaah, ok! The cat ate it! Let’s leave at that, shall we? So I chose to take it as a compliment. James is quite fussy when it comes to protein treats and if he couldn’t resist it, then it MUST have been good!

This recipe was inspired by Fresh Fitness Food. If you follow me on facebook/Instagram/Twitter, you probably know I am very fortunate to have my food delivered by them. Whenever I post a picture of their protein balls, I always get lots of requests for the recipe! So I decided to come up with my own recipe... This was the second attempt and I thought it was delicious... Even if I say so myself ;)

They are perfect for a little pick me up snack or for when you need a little something sweet!
 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Balls

  • 20g Kinetica Thermo Whey Smooth Chocolate
  • 20g crunchy peanut butter 
  • 10g Coconut Flour
  • 5g Honey
  • 3g Chia Seeds
  • 20g unsweetened Almond Milk (or any other milk)
  • Desiccated Coconut (finishing touch)
     

 

 

 

 

Method

  • Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix well. 
  • Add the honey and the peanut butter and mix. 
  • Finally add the almond milk. I'd suggest you add little by little until you get the right consistency. Too little and it becomes too dry. Too much and it turns into a gooey mess. For me it took 3 1/2 TBS of almond milk.
  • Roll it into 6 little (or 3 large) balls and roll it in the dissociated coconut.

You can enjoy it straight away, but I find that the consistency and taste improves when chilled.

Enjoy :)


Macros:
Calories: 301
Protein: 22
Carbs: 13
Fat:17
Fibre: 8.4

 

Macros (per each of 6 balls):
Calories: 50
Protein: 4
Carbs: 2
Fat:3
Fibre: 2