Spiced tuna and Tomato Pasta

Tuna pasta dishes are wonderful. They are effortless to make, require very little preparation, and rich in protein. Also all of the ingredients (apart from the fresh tomatoes) were kitchen cupboard essentials  – in my kitchen at least (!) I came up with this particular recipe on Saturday after losing track of time painting and realising that as it was 9.55pm, there was no way I could get to a shop to buy some dinner  before the closing time of 10pm. The problems of being an artist and getting lost in art!

Anyway, with an empty fridge, a broken oven, and a hungry stomach, I needed to come up with something quickly. So, to the cupboard I went! Canned tuna and tomatoes are perfect in situations like that. The recipe for the pasta dish is below. If you have fresh carrots you could add them too for some additional goodness. Also, if unlike me, you’re not waiting for an oven to be fixed, you could bake in the oven for 20mins rather than on the hob. You could even top with a little cheese for additional tastiness.

This recipe makes a generous portion for 1 but could also be split into two smaller meals for lunch etc. The tuna contains about 27g protein so this is a great post-work out dish especially after a muscle focussed session.

Ingredients

Pasta 

1 portion dried Fusilli pasta (wholewheat is healthiest but I used white as it cooks slightly quicker)

Sauce

1 small can tuna chunks
1/2 can sweet corn
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tin good quality tomatoes
Handful cherry tomatoes
1/2 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp oregano
Pinch ground turmeric
Ground black pepper

Method:

For the pasta:

  • Cook pasta according to packaging instructions.
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For the sauce:

  • Add everything except the tuna, sweetcorn and black pepper
  • Cook for 10 mins
  • Drain tuna and stir in
  • Leave to summer for 20minutes on a low heat
  • Add in sweetcorn
  • Leave for another few minutes
  • Taste and season with black pepper if desired
  • Toss in the drained pasta and stir
  • Serve

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Finished pasta

Optional: Top with fresh parsley to serve

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Clean Pizza (Omelette Pizza)

Who likes pizza?! Ok, so this may not be traditional pizza but then this blog is a healthy living blog, and unfortunately, pizzas are not the healthiest of things! This, however, is a recipe for a pizza-type dish that you can enjoy as often as you like without feeling in the slightest bit guilty about eating. (Not that you need feel guilty for eating pizza but if you’re eating it regularly, especially take-away ones, then it’s not going to be doing your body much good.) I made this last night for a quick, late dinner as I realised it had gotten to 10pm and I hadn’t eaten anything proper all evening. The clocks went forward this weekend in the UK so I blame that for messing me up with regards to an evening meal routine! Still, it’s nice to think it’s British Summer Time now. Unfortunately, the message doesn’t seem to have reached the sun itself yet…

Anyway, back to food. This pizza omelette is really easy and versatile to make. You can add whatever toppings you like and it is naturally gluten free as the base is made from eggs rather than flour like a traditional pizza. I made mine vegetarian but you could easily top with cooked lean meat, omega-3 rich fish, or even meat-free substitutes like tofu. It’s clean and lean and can be served for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is packed with protein and also has chia seeds which are surprisingly filling and high in fibre.


 Recipe for Clean Pizza

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Base:

  • 3 large free range organic eggs
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

To cook:

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or other healthy oil

Suggested topping:Photo

  • Quartered cherry tomatoes
  • Chopped green pepper
  • Feta cheese (optional)

NOTE: If you are using meat or fish as a topping, then to make sure they are re-heated to being piping hot, it would be best to use an oven-proof or grill-proof pan and pop into the oven / grill once you add the topping and heat until the meat / fish is hot throughout.


Method:

Beat the eggs and add the rest of the ingredients               Photo

Place the oil in a pan and heat until hot

Pour the egg mixture into the pan and cook slowly – it should be about 3/4 cm thick

Once the top is beginning to set add your toppings and continue to cook making sure the bottom of the base is not getting overcooked (keep the gas low)

Once the topping is cooked, serve.

TIP: Once the top is just about set, flip the omelette in the pan and top with tomato puree. Then add your toppings on top.

(Optional: Add some feta cheese to make it more pizza-ey!)

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Serve on it’s own or with a baby kale and rocket salad.

Other topping ideas:

  • Olives, anchovies, and sundried tomatoes
  • Cooked chicken breast pieces, red onions, feta, and finely chopped fresh sage
  • Feta, tomatoes, basil, and spinach
  • Baby kale, avocado, and tomato
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Apologies for all the low-lighting in the photos – I took them at night and the lights in my kitchen are atrocious at the minute!!

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Copyright©HLDCblog // Helen Redman 2015.

 

 

Herb Chicken and Puy Lentil Salad

It is now officially the season of spring and what better lunch to have on a sunny day than a tasty salad? (I may be a bit biased, of course, as this is my own recipe…) This salad is packed full of protein and will leave you feeling like you have had a proper lunch not just some leaves as some people seem to think is the sole constituent of a salad! Chicken breast provides lovely lean protein and Puy lentils provide plenty of fibre as well as plant-based protein. The salad also has baby kale which is my new addiction. I love traditional kale, too, but the baby variety is perfect for salads. The addition of pepper adds some sweet crunch to the salad. The salad is quick to assemble but the chicken will have to be cooked in advance. I had chicken curry on Sunday and while I was cooking the curry on the hob, the chicken for the salad was cooking in the oven. This made it perfect for knocking up this quick salad for lunch on Monday. You could easily have this salad for dinner too.

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Recipe (serves 1):

For the chicken:

  • 1 chicken breast
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil

Sprinkle the seasoning over the chicken, drizzle with oil and wrap the chicken in foil.

Bake the chicken in the foil for 25-35mins at 200C. (Make sure it is white throughout and piping hot in the centre.)

Leave to cool and then refrigerate

For the salad:

1 serving of baby kale

1/4 of an orange pepper (cubed)

80g Puy Lentils (I often use pre-cooked lentils for quickness but the dried lentils are cheaper and can easily be cooked up and used to make a salad for a couple of days, just store it in the fridge.)

Herb chicken breast (sliced)

Dressing:

Extra Virgin Oil

Balsamic Vinegar

Assemble the salad on a plate loosely layering the baby kale and lentils before topping with the chicken and pepper.

For the dressing, simply combine equal amounts of the oil and vinegar to make a simple vinaigrette. You can omit the dressing if you wish.

TIP: If cooking lentils from scratch, cook the lentils in vegetable stock rather than plain water to add extra flavour. Add a bay leaf too as it adds great flavour.

Hopefully the sun is out when you make it so you can enjoy it with the sun streaming down on you as you eat it like I did

image_zpski7kzxmkHave a great day,

Helen x


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Copyright©HLDCblog // Helen Redman 2015.

10 Healthy Wrap Fillings

HeaderHere is a handy list of suggestions for what to fill a tortilla wrap with. I love having a generously filled wrap for lunch as they are super convenient (protein, carbs, and veg in one), quick to make, and easy to grab and go.

Also to keep the wrap as healthy as possible, try to use wholemeal or 50/50 tortillas rather than white ones.

10 Healthy Wrap fillings

1. Hummus, rocket, red pepper, and feta cheese

2. Chickpea, cous cous, Harissa dressing, and salad leaves

3. Chicken /or lentil dahl, mint yoghurt dressing, baby spinach, and fresh coriander leaves

4. Red onion, goats cheese, and baby spinach

5. Turkey bacon, iceberg lettuce, and tomato

6. Chicken, sliced olives, cous cous, lettuce, and a mint yoghurt dressing

7. Smoked salmon, cucumber, low-fat cream cheese, and freshly ground black pepper

8. Feta cheese, fresh basil, tomatoes and black olives (add salad leaves too)

9. Red peppers, grated carrot, hummus, and watercress

10. Pre-cooked bean chilli, spinach and natural yoghurt. Fancy bean chilli but don’t have a recipe? No problem! I have one from one of my earlier blog posts here.

I hope there was something there that sounds great to you. Have a food-tastic day! 😉

Helen x


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Copyright©HLDCblog2015.

6 Salad Ideas

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This collection of salads can be used as individually plated starters or in a larger serving bowl and dish from which guests can help themselves. I have not included quantities or methods because I think for salads it varies from person to person how much of each item we enjoy most in salads so I’ve given some suggestions of things that go together well but you can decide with what quantities you’d like to go with. For me, creating any dish with food is about experimenting and I stopped following recipes years ago (I’m only in my 20s but have been cooking since I was in primary school!) There used to be a TV show here in the UK called Ready, Steady, Cook which inspired me greatly as the chefs would have a limited time to prepare dishes based on ingredients they only got to see a couple of minutes prior to beginning cooking. Who else was inspired by this programme? I’d love to know. Leave a comment below or tweet me @hldcblog! I found the methodology of the show to be a brilliant way to inspire ideas and hence, I often like to do the same – find 5 or 6 ingredients and give myself limited time to see what I can make them into! Back to salads, however, here is my selection of ideas. If I was in charge of creating a salad menu for a food establishment, these would most probably feature! Quite a few of these salads are gluten free.

TIP: If you are looking for festive salads, the last two ideas will probably suit best.


1. Mango, rocket, bulgar wheat and avocados with balsamic glaze

• The sweetness of the mango is offset by the peppery rocket, while the avocado and bulgar wheat add contrasting textures and the balsamic glaze finishing it off by adding an acidic sweetness.


2. Prawns, cucumber, avocado, served on a large romaine lettuce leave Lemon juice dressing

• This is quite a classic salad style although brought up to date with the avocado, which is certainly and rightly so, in my opinion, a popular fruit at the moment. (Gluten Free)

• A recipe for a similar salad can be found here.


3. Strawberries, rocket, balsamic glaze, and fresh basil leaves

• Surprisingly enough balsamic vinegar complements strawberries a lot, and the addition of rocket gives another flavour while the fragrant basil leaves finish off the dish creating a wonderful journey for your tastebuds! (Gluten Free)


4. Goats cheese, beetroot, spinach, balsamic, tomatoes

• Goats cheese is my favourite cheese at the moment and it features heavily as a protein source in salads I make for myself. The other ingredients I suggest combining it with go really well with the creaminess of the cheese, giving contrasting textures and flavours. (Gluten Free)


5. Festive side salad

• Dried cranberries, wensleydale, apple, pecans, rocket, watercress, lemon and balsamic vinegar dressing

•  This is a selection of sweet and sour, nutty and savoury ingredients which creates a pleasing festive salad perfect for adding a healthy supplement to Holiday dinners! (Gluten Free)


6. Cous cous, pomegranate seeds, apricots, butternut squash, rocket, and an orange-balsamic dressing

• Again, this is quite a festive salad although a somewhat alternative one as the ingredients are non-traditional. Pomegranate seeds with their deep ruby colour however can be likened to little jewels and add a festive touch. This salad would go particularly well with duck.


For more ideas, recipes and tips, follow Hldcblog on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and PinInterest.

Helen x


Copyright ©Hldcblog 2014

 

Satisfying Starters 1: Prosciutto and Melon Salad

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I have recently been having lots of cravings for prosciutto. It must be something to do with this time of year, as I remember this time last year, I bought a huge Continental meats festive platter, crackers and melon to have as a late night study snack after spending all of daylight hours in the library and much evening hours working on my dissertation! The platter was clearly put together with the intention that it would form some of the food at a Christmas party but I had it all myself. Greedy, I know… Anyway, back to the present [clearly I can’t get Christmas off my mind…] I whipped up this salad to serve as a not-too-filling starter earlier this week but, equally, it could be served as a light lunch. Or with some rustic bread, or a bowl of soup, for a more substantial lunch. The saltiness of the prosciutto is nicely contrasted with the refreshing iceberg lettuce and sweetness of the melon.


 Prosciutto and melon salad

Starter

Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1/4 to 1/2 melon (depending on size) cut into chunks (honeydew and cantaloupe works well)
  • 2 handfuls of shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 6 slices of prosciutto (I used prosciutto de Parma i.e. Parma ham)
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Optional: Bread, to serve Scatter one handful of the lettuce on each plate.

Method:

  1. Arrange half of the melon on top of each the lettuce on each plate.
  2. Create ‘prosciutto roses’ by rolling the prosciutto up while pinching the middle section, until it resembles a rose. I hope that makes some sense but it is difficult to explain. Here is a picture to try to illustrate my point: Screen Shot 2014-12-17 at 21.56.59
  3. Place 3 roses on top of each salad.
  4. Finally, drizzle with balsamic glaze.
  5. Serve on its own or with fresh rustic bread or baguette, if desired.

Enjoy!

For more healthy recipes, tips, and foodie goodness, you can follow the blog on Twitter, Facebook, PinInterest and Instagram.

Helen x


Copyright ©Hldcblog 2014

Nutritious Salad

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This is super easy to make as it simply involves assembling the ingredients in an attractive way on a plate. The dressing is minimal but satisfying and the dish is suited for lunch and dinner alike. It also features the fruit with which I’m most obsessed at the moment: avocado!

Ingredients (to serve 1):

  • 1 portion of cooked prawns (about a handful)
  • 1/2 an avocado (peeled and chopped or sliced)
  • 2 handfuls of shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1 wedge of fresh lemon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 nest of rice noodles
  • 1/2 tsp reduced salt light soy sauce

Optional:

  • 1 handful of baby leaf spinach

Method:

1. Cook the rice noodles according to their packet.

2. Stir in the soy sauce and some black pepper

3. Arrange the lettuce and/or spinach on a plate and top with the avocado

4. Scatter the prawns over the salad and serve the noodles on the side.

5. Finish by squeezing the lemon juice over the prawns and salad leaves and season with black pepper to your liking.

Enjoy!

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Have a lovely day,

Helen x