Category: Recipes & Tips

Healthy Christmas Log

It’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas and here is the recipe for a healthy alternative to the traditional log. Ingredients:
For log:
200g plain oats
100g crushed walnuts
50g raisins
150 chopped dried apricots
50g chopped dates
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon mixed spice (cinnamon nutmeg coriander)
2 tablespoons cacao powder
zest of 1 orange
150g almond butter
juice of 1 orange
100ml warm water

For coating:
100g 70% dark chocolate

Method:
Chop apricots and dates
Crush walnuts
Place all ingredients except for the orange juice and water in a mixing bowl
Mix well, rubbing ingredients with your hands until the mixture has a homogeneous texture
Add the water and orange juice
Mix and knead into a large ball
Divide into 2 equal portions
Shape into 2 logs
Refrigerate overnight
Melt the chocolate using a Bain Marie method
Coat the logs with the chocolate
Keep refrigerated and enjoy .

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Savoury Cheese Biscuits

These savoury cheese biscuits are the perfect treat for when you are craving that something salty. I used rapeseed oil as a replacement for margarine or butter to reduce the amount of saturated fat in the final product, and added a little bit of turmeric for that gorgeous yellow hue.
Ingredients:
200g plain flour
100g cheese (I used Edam)
100g rapeseed oil
30ml water
1 teaspoon turmeric
a pinch, or two, of salt

Method:
Very simple!
 Put everything in a food processor and give them a good spin until you get a homogeneous mixture
 Divide into small 5mm high discs and place on a greaseproof paper in a tray
 Bake in a preheated oven at 190 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden brown
 Cool and place in a tight sealing container
 Enjoy

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Spicing it up

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Every cook has one or two well guarded secrets and I will gladly share mine. Herbs and spices are an excellent zero calorie way to transform a bland dish into mouthwatering fine #cuisine. Dried herbs are very handy when displayed within reach in the kitchen. I also supplement my collection with a few fresh or frozen basics like parsley, celery and oregano because they taste even better than the dried variety. The trick is adding a little bit at a time and going by smell. If it smells amazing while #cooking, the #taste usually reflects it. Happy spicing!

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Creamy pumpkin soup

Nothing is quite as heart warming as a nice bowl of hot soup. Ingredients for this creamy autumnal delight are: pumpkin, white onions, cannellini beans (one can, water included), a handful or two of oats, celery leaves, chives, turmeric and salt. I browned the onions a little bit before for that extra tastiness.

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Healthy stars

Twinkle twinkle… Healthy Star Recipe:
⭐ 200g cashew nuts
⭐ 200g pitted dates
⭐ 2 tablespoons cacao powder
Method:
⭐ Place cashews in a food processor and blend until smooth
⭐ Add dates and keep on blending until you obtain a sticky texture
⭐ Add cacao powder and pulse until it mixes well with the other ingredients
⭐ Press tablespoon sized portions into any shape you fancy.
⭐ Set for a few hours in the fridge
⭐ Enjoy

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Caramelized peas with onions

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By Dr. Antonella Grima

This side dish is very easy to prepare, is ready in minutes and is both tasty and nutritious. Onions contain vitamins B6 and C, minerals such as potassium, as well as dietary fibre. Peas are excellent sources of fibre, vitamins A and C and contain good amounts of iron, potassium, vitamin B6  and magnesium. Rapeseed oil is low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fats, including Omega-3 fatty acids.
Preparation:
Brown the onion in 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
Add 1 tablespoon honey and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Add peas (around 1 cup per serving), keep cooking on low heat until peas start browning and are tender

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Prawn, Walnut and Sweetcorn Quinoa

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By Dr. Antonella Grima

This tasty dish is rich in healthy omega 3 oils, antioxidants and fibre. It also provides a good and balanced amount of protein and carbohydrates.

Serves 4

 

You will need:

250g quinoa (rinsed and drained)

200g prawns

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1 onion finely chopped

1 cup sweetcorn

1 cup white wine

2 tbsp rapeseed oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tbsp tarragon

Salt to taste

 

Preparation

Chop the onion finely
In a large, deep pan, brown the onion in 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
Add the white wine, soy sauce,salt (optional) and herbs, stir
Coarsely chop the walnuts
Add the prawns,walnuts and sweetcorn
Cook for a few minutes to absorb flavours
Add the quinoa
Cover well with hot water
Simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes

or until the quinoa has softened but is still firm,
Leave to set for a few minutes to absorb any excess liquid
Plate and serve. Enjoy!

 

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Vegetable Stew with Curried Quinoa

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by Dr Antonella Grima

Serves 4

For the Stew you will need
1 onion
4 medium carrots
3 large potatoes (with peel)
1 can beans (I used butter beans) rinsed and drained
A handful of raisins
1/2 cup tomato puree
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste (optional)
Preparation:
Chop the onion finely
In a large, deep pan, brown the onion in 2-3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
Add the white wine, salt (optional) and herbs, stir
Chop the potatoes and carrots and add them to the pan
Add the tomato puree and stir
Add the beans and raisins and simmer over medium heat for around 40 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are cooked but slightly firm
Add small amounts of hot water while cooking if the stew dries up.
For the Quinoa you will need:
250g quinoa (rinsed and drained)
1 tablespoon curry powder (I used mild)
Salt to taste (optional)
Preparation:
Place the quinoa, In a small pot with the curry and salt
Cover well with hot water and place over medium heat
Bring to boil and stir frequently
Add small amounts of hot water while cooking if the liquid dries up.
Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa has softened but is still al dente,
Leave to set for a few minutes to absorb any excess liquid
Plate and garnish with almond flakes. Enjoy!

Categories: Recipes & Tips

A different lunchbox

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By Dr. Antonella Grima

There are many creative ways to offer a healthy and appealing lunch. Think outside of the box by including vegetables, such chickpeas and tomatoes, a fruit and a source of grains, such as wholemeal crackers.

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Quick recipe: Hassle Free Pressure Cooker Minestrone

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By Dr. Antonella Grima

This recipe is for when you have little time for preparation but would like to eat something wholesome, tasty and healthy. This mix makes around six portions.

You will need:

500g frozen soup mix vegetables

1/2 cup wholemeal barley

1/2cup dry lentils

1/2 cup stelline or small pasta

1 can beans of your choice, drained and rinsed (opt for beans preserved in salty water only and avoid those with added sugar or preservatives)

Chives and Parsley to taste

A pinch of salt (optional)

 

Preparation: 

Place all ingredients in a pressure cooker

Fill the cooker with hot water (reduced cooking time) to cover the ingredients

Place the cooker on a larger burner on your stove and set the heat to high.

Lower heat when cooker starts to whistle and simmer for another 10 minutes

You may wish to partially blend the soup using a hand blender, giving it a creamy texture.

Serve and enjoy!

 

Tip: 

Part of the soup may be cooled and refrigerated, to be consumed at another meal within 2 days.

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Quick tip: Make your own breakfast cereal mix

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By Dr. Antonella Grima

You can make your own healthy breakfast cereal mix using your favourite ingredients from each category below. You can also vary what goes into the cereal mix each time you prepare a new batch, making breakfast a tasty and enjoyable part of your day.

You will need:

500g of jumbo oats

1/2 cup of mixed nuts (coarsely crushed)

1/2 cup of dried fruits (avoid sweetened varieties and stick to products with little or no preservatives)

1/4 cup of mixed seeds

Optional: You may also wish to add 1-2 tablespoons of Cacao powder or coffee, or 1-2 tablespoons of dark chocolate chips.

Preparation: Place all the ingredients in an airtight container, mix well and store in a cool dry place.

One portion size is approximately 60g, depending on your recommended daily intake and nutritional goals.

Serve with one cup of skimmed milk or plain light yoghurt. If you require sweetening, you may wish to opt for one teaspoon of honey.

Enjoy!

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Quick tip: Fill your cupboard with canned vegetables

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By Dr Antonella Grima

Canned vegetables are a handy staple for those who are busy yet health conscious. Choose vegetables that are preserved in salty water only and stay away from those containing sugar or preservatives. Rinsing the vegetables in a strainer under running water removes up to 40% of the salt content. Stock up on a variety of vegetables, including plenty of legumes, such as beans, chickpeas and lentils as these are rich in fibre and protein.

Serving suggestions:

Canned vegetables can be used as a side to grilled chicken breasts, fish or an omelette.

They can be added to cold pasta or rice salads.

Legumes, especially lentils can be added to soups to thicken their consistency and texture.

Borlotti beans, chickpeas or cannelini may be blended with olive oil, herbs (such as parsley, chives, oregano) and garlic to make a tasty vegetarian dip

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Recipe: Homemade crunchy peanut butter

imageBy Dr Antonella Grima

Make homemade crunchy peanut butter in seconds with this easy recipe

Ingredients: 250g peanuts, rapeseed oil, salt (optional)
Preparation method:
You may either buy roasted peanuts or roast raw peanuts in a large pan on a medium flame while stirring frequently, removing from the heat and allowing them to cool down once they have become golden brown.
Divide 250g roasted peanuts into 2 portions
Put one portion aside and blend the other portion in a food processor to a fine powdery consistency
Add a pinch of salt (optional)
Slowly pour rapeseed oil into the food processor while blending, until you have a creamy paste
Pour the remaining peanuts into the food processor and blend for another few seconds, grinding the peanuts to your desired consistency
Scoop the peanut butter into a clean glass jar with a lid and refrigerate

Nutritional information:
Peanuts are rich in fibre, healthy omega 3 oils and protein, while rapeseed oil is an excellent source of omega 3 oils. Peanut butter is a healthy and tasty substitute for cheese spreads or butter. However, it is quite high in calories so limit yourself to one or two tablespoons daily!

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Quick tip: Stock up on Frozen healthy foods for when you are really rushed

imageBy Dr. Antonella Grima

A hectic lifestyle should not keep us from eating a healthy meal. Here is how you can cook a healthy and tasty meal in less than 15 minutes.

Ingredients: frozen salmon fillets, frozen vegetables, herbs, white wine, extravirgin olive oil, salt (optional)

Cooking method:
imagePlace frozen salmon fillets in a non stick pan and place on high heat burner. Do not cover.
Add 1/4 cup of wine
Sprinkle herbs on the top side of the fillets
Cook for 7 minutes
Flip the fillets and cook them for another 7 minutes
Tip: allow the juices to evaporate in order to brown the salmon slightly and enhance its taste.

 

imagePlace frozen vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl
Add 1/4 cup of water
Cover with a microwave-safe plate or steaming dome to form a seal
Place in microwave oven, set on high settings, and steam for 8 minutes
Drain excess water
Season with herbs, extravirgin olive oil, and salt (optional)

Plate and serve. Bon appetit!

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Quick tip: Make water more appealing

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By Dr. Antonella Grima

Add fresh mint and lemon wedges to a jug of cold water to make a refreshing and thirst quenching drink. You can also experiment with other fruit and herbs, such as apple wedges with cinnamon sticks. Another way to add taste to water is by adding a cup of cooled herbal tea, such as fennel or chamomile, to it.

Categories: Recipes & Tips

Quick tip: Strategies for Weight Loss

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By Dr. Antonella Grima

The key to losing weight is reducing the portion sizes of all meals and snacks. Another trick is to replace energy-dense, or high calorie, foods, such as biscuits, chocolates, and crisps with foods that have a lower energy density, such as fruit and vegetables. Eating plenty of fibre also helps you reach satiation before and curbs hunger for longer, helping you eat less. Excellent sources of fibre include fruit such as kiwi, vegetables like legumes, nuts and wholegrain products. Cutting back on creams, oils and dressing reduces the amount of calories you consume. Keep in mind that one tablespoon of oil or mayonnaise contains around 100 Calories! Soft drinks, fruit juices and alcohol are full of extra calories. Limit their consumption or stick to low calorie alternatives where available. Of course, no weight loss regime is complete without involvement in some degree of physical activity. This may also involve simple strategies, such as taking the stairs, using public transport, or parking your car farther away.

Quick tip: About Clean Eating

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By Dr. Antonella Grima

Clean eating revolves around the concept of eating food in its most natural, fresh and wholesome form. Fresh unprocessed food is highest in vitamins, minerals and natural materials, such as fibre. Processing and refining of food depletes it from these naturally-occurring beneficial substances, replacing them with harmful additives, such as, sugars, salt and stabilizing chemicals. Eating clean foods helps prevent obesity, diabetes and hypertension, as well as vitamin deficiencies. It might also help prevent cancer. In fact, the link between the consumption of large amounts of processed meats and the occurrence of bowel cancer has been well-documented. Clean foods might be more difficult to find than readily-available processed alternatives. However, growing your own vegetables, cooking your own food from scratch, and getting to know your local farmers and buying produce from them may be an enriching experience to be enjoyed by the whole family.

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