Lunch

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Sesame crusted tuna with Asian salad and soy/mirin dressing

Sesame crusted tuna with Asian salad and soy/mirin dressing

Japanese-style lunch bursting with omega 3 (download as a PDF japanese-style-tuna-with-asian-salad)

Don’t be scared off by the long list of ingredients as this dish is simple to prepare and is beyond tasty and fresh. Tuna is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids that have are thought to benefit the heart by increasing HDL cholesterol and reducing inflammation in the body.

These fatty acids are also good for the skin by supporting cell membranes that act as a passageway to nutrients in and waste out of cells as well as retaining water that moisturises and plumps the skin. This dish is also a good option for those trying to cut down the carbs in their diet, but you can serve with brown rice or quinoa as an option.

 

Serves 2

480 calories per serving (using 1 tbsp of chive oil)

 

Ingredients

250g fresh tuna (the best quality you can find)

25g sesame seeds

 

Salad

1 medium avocado

½ cucumber

1 head of pak choy

1 tbsp chives, chopped

Small handful of coriander, finely chopped

A few mint leaves, finely chopped

2 tsp sesame oil

½ lime, juiced

 

Dressing

 

30ml reduced sodium, light soy sauce

30ml mirin

2 tsp rice wine vinegar
Chive oil
120ml light olive oil

Large handful of chives, finely chopped

 

Method

 

  1. Place the sesame seeds on a small plate.
  2. Brush the tuna with a little light olive oil and roll in the sesame seeds until all the sides are covered then set aside.
  3. Prepare the salad. Cut the avocado in half, remove the stone then peel off the skin. Cut each half into thin slices. Half the cucumber and remove the seeds then cut each half into thin slices diagonally. Trim the bottom off the pak choy and wash the leaves then dry and slice each leaf into thin strips. Add the avocado, cucumber and pak choy to a medium-sized bowl and gently combine. Add the chives, coriander and mint along with the sesame oil and lime juice then continue to combine.
  4. Prepare the dressing by adding the ingredients to a small bowl and whisking with a fork.
  5. For the chive oil, place the oil and chives in a small blender and whizz for 30 seconds. This will make a larger quantity of oil than required but you can keep it in a container in the fridge.
  6. Heat a little oil in a large, non-stick frying pan or griddle until smoking hot. Place the tuna on the pan and cook for one and a half minutes on each side (medium-rare).
  7. To serve the dish, cut the tuna into thin slices and place on a long, rectangular, shallow-sided dish. Mound the salad at one end of the dish. Pour the soy dressing over the tuna and salad the drizzle a little of the chive oil over the tuna (to taste).

 

Download as a PDF (japanese-style-tuna-with-asian-salad)

 

 

Moroccan butternut squash and red lentil soup

Moroccan butternut squash and red lentil soup

High fibre soup

Butternut squash is a very rich source of beta-catorene, which is pant chemical that gives its bright orange colour.  This pigment also acts as a profile antioxidant in the body that helps to reduce oxidative damage from free radical (caused by environmental factors). This soup is also high in fibre that helps maintain good digestion and has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, control blood glucose levels as well as help with weight maintenance.

Ras El Hanout is a Moroccan spice made from a blend of coriander, ginger, paprika, allspice, cardamon, cloves and rose petals.

 

High vis soup

Serves 2 (generous servings)

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut in to chunks

2 garlic cloves

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

100g red lentils

2 tsp Ras El Hanout

Small pinch of dried chillies

800ml vegetable stock

Sea salt

Black pepper

 

To serve

Sunflower and pumpkin seeds

Pomegranate arils

Fresh mint, finely chopped

 

Method

  1. Pre heat the oven to 200C.
  2. Season the squash with salt and pepper then wrap in foil with the garlic. Place the foil package on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 20 minutes until tender then remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion.  Fry for 5-8 minutes until soft.  Add the Ras El Hanout and dried chillies then cook for a further 1 minute.
  4. Add the squash, garlic and lentils to the pan and stir.  Pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
  5. Once boiled turn down the heat and simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils are tender.
  6. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Take the soup off the heat and blend with a stick blender until smooth.  If the soup is too thick then add water until you get your desired consistency (soup should be a thick consistency).
  8. Divide the soup between two bowls and garnish with seeds, pomegranate and chopped mint.

 

Soup in a row

 

 

 

Avocado and white bean smash

Avocado and white bean smash

Delicious light supper (download as a PDF avocado-and-white-bean-smash-on-sourdough)

This dish makes a great quick lunch or supper dish.  Avocado is rich in heart healthy nutrients including fibre, magnesium, potassium and folate.  These creamy fruits are also rich in healthy monounsaturated fats that help to increase levels of HDL (good ) cholesterol.  Fibre also help to reduce cholesterol by binding with it in the gut and removing it form the body.

Serves 2

550 calories per serving

Ingredients

1 large avocado

225g cooked white beans, drained and rinse (I prefer the Spanish variety you can buy in jars but you can use a 400g can of beans)

1/2 garlic clove, minced

1 small handful of coriander, finely chopped

A few chives, finely chopped

1/2 lime, juiced

Sea salt

Black pepper

4 thin slices of fresh bread such as sourdough or rye

Method

  1. Prepare the avocado by halving, removing the stone and scooping out the flesh.  Add the avocado to a medium-sized bowl and mash with a fork.
  2. Add the beans to the bowl and continue to lightly mash the mixture.
  3. Stir in the garlic, herbs, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  4. Toast the bread.
  5. To serve, top each slice with the avocado mixture  and serve two slices per person on a small plate. 

 

Avocado and spoon

Download as a PDF (avocado-and-white-bean-smash-on-sourdough)

Spanish style white bean and prawn stew

Spanish style white bean and prawn stew

Spanish style white bean and prawn stew

Serves 2 (generously)

280 calories

This stew offers a low calorie lunch option. Foods with a high water content such as soup have been shown to help with weight loss as they promote fullness. Maintaining a healthy weight is a good way to reduce your risk of heart disease.

 

Ingredients

 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

100g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red pepper, thinly sliced

2 tsp smoked paprika

Small pinch of saffron, soaked in a little hot water

400g carton of chopped tomatoes

150g white beans (Spanish jarred variety work best but you can use 1/2 400g carton of cannellini beans)

1 small courgette, chopped into small chunks

10 frozen king prawns, defrosted under running cold water for 5 minutes

Sea salt

Black pepper

 

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan. Add the onion and garlic and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes until softened.
  2. Add the tomatoes and red pepper then cook for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Add the paprika, cumin and saffron then cook for 1 minute more.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes then fill the carton with water and add to the stew. Bring to the boil.
  5. Once boiling, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about 25 minutes adding the beans after 15 minutes.  Add more water if the stew begins to dry out.
  6. After 25 minutes is up, dd the prawns and courgette then cook for a further 5 minutes.
  7. Take the stew off the heat and season with salt and pepper. Let the stew sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  8. Serve the stew in two bowl with bread (optional).

 

 

 

Spinach, walnut, pomegranate and feta salad

Spinach, walnut, pomegranate and feta salad

 

Spinach, walnut, pomegranate and feta salad (download as a PDF spinach-walnut-and-pomegranate-salad)

Serves 2

250 calories

 

Ingredients 

 

100g baby leaf spinach

Small handful of dill

¼ small onion, finely sliced

80g pomegranate arils

30g walnuts, lightly crushed

2 tsp pumpkin seeds, toasted

25g feta cheese, crumbled

 

Dressing

½ lemon, juiced

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp honey

¼ tsp allspice

Small pinch of smoked paprika

½ small garlic clove, crushed

Pinch of sea salt

 

Method

 

  1. Add the spinach, onion, pomegranate, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and feta to a medium-sized bowl with the oil and lemon juice then toss gently.
  2. Add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk using a fork to combine well.
  3. Dress the salad.
  4. Serve on small plates.

Download as PDF (spinach-walnut-and-pomegranate-salad)

Grilled salmon with spinach, walnut and feta salad

Grilled salmon with spinach, walnut and feta salad

Grilled salmon with spinach, walnut and feta salad

Serves 2

550 calories

 Salmon is a rich source of heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids that help to reduce inflammation in the body and increase levels of good (HDL) cholesterol.

 

Ingredients

 2 skinless salmon fillets

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

 

Salad

100g baby leaf spinach

Small handful of dill

¼ small onion, finely sliced

80g pomegranate arils

30g walnuts, lightly crushed

2 tsp pumpkin seeds, toasted

25g feta cheese, crumbled

 

Dressing

 ½ lemon, juiced

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp honey

¼ tsp allspice

Small pinch of smoked paprika

½ small garlic clove, crushed

Pinch of sea salt

 

Method 

  1. Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a small, non-stick pan and cook over a medium heat for 12 minutes, turning once.
  2. Once the salmon is cooked set to one side and prepare the salad. Add the spinach, onion, pomegranate, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and feta to a medium-sized bowl with the oil and lemon juice then toss gently.
  3. Add the dressing ingredients to a small bowl and whisk using a fork to combine well.
  4. Dress the salad.
  5. Serve the grilled salmon with a large handful of salad.
Filming with That Girl London

Filming with That Girl London

Great day last Thursday filming recipes with my gorgeous buddy and hugely talented personal trainer, Christina Howells of That Girl London.  Huge thanks to the talented Nina for her filming skills and Fiona for letting us film in her beautiful kitchen.

Deliciously healthy recipes included:

Aubergine, chickpea and feta salad (see below)

Shredded turkey broth

Cashew nut milk

Edemame salad

Lentil sprout wraps with tahini dressing

Chickpea, pomegranate and pumpkin curry (taken from The Detox Kitchen Bible)

 

Great day! Will be including these recipes when Christina and I entertain the health media on a fitness retreat at the Hillside Beach Spa in Turkey next month!

 

Aubergine, chickpea, pomegranate and feta salad

Aubergines and chickpeas make this dish rich in fibre which is lacking in the diet of most people.  Fibre not only aids good digestion but can help with weight loss (keeping you fuller for longer), protect against certain cancers and promote good heart health (reduce cholesterol).

Serves 2

340 calories per serving

Ingredients

2 medium aubergines
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
210g can of chickpeas
Pinch of salt
Pinch of ground black pepper
80g pomegranate seeds
Handful each of parsley and mint, chopped
60g feta cheese, crumbled

Method

1. Cut the aubergine into thick slices lengthways then set to one side.
2. Heat a griddle pan or large non-stick frying pan over a high heat.
3. Place the slices of aubergine on the pan and cook each side for 3 minutes until lightly charred and tender. Once each slice is cooked, place them all in a large bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave for 15 minutes.
4. Make the dressing by combining the oil and vinegar in a small bowl and whisking.
5. Drain the chickpeas in a colander and rinse then transfer to a large bowl.
6. Take each aubergine slice and roughly tear into strips (you can also use kitchen scissors for this) then add to the bowl with the aubergine.
7. Add the dressing to the bowl and combine, adding in salt and pepper. Next, throw in the pomegranate seeds, parsley and mint leaves then lightly toss.
8. Divide the aubergine mixture between 2 plates and sprinkle with feta before serving.

 

 

 

Nutty couscous and veggie salad

Nutty couscous and veggie salad

There was a time when couscous was considered an unusual grain, something to create a Moroccan themed dish to impress your dinner party guests.  Now, this grain has become as commonplace as bread and pasta.  I have even been putting it on school menus for years as a healthy carbohydrate food option enjoyed but children.

Unfortunately, couscous has become less ‘hip’ in the shadow of more exotic, sexy, media-friendly grains and ‘pseudo grains’ like quinoa, amaranth, millet, teff and buckwheat, which also satisfy the current obsession with all things gluten-free (a special diet wrongly assumed as being superiorly healthy).

I’m just as guilty of never cooking at home with couscous; in the same way I never really eat pasta in favour of more interesting wholegrains and seeds.  However, how wrong have I been!  After roasting a chicken the other night and trying to rustle up an accompaniment that would make use the stray bits of food in my fridge and cupboards, I stumbled across a dusty bag of couscous.

Taking the lead from traditional tabbouleh, I added both pine and pistachio nuts along with additional veggies including a slightly limp courgette and shrivelled red pepper!  It turned out to be the most delicious accompaniment to my roast chicken.  If you don’t have any couscous or prefer a gluten-free alternative then use a 400g can of chickpeas.  If your veggie or vegan then try adding more nuts (or even additional toasted hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds) to increase the calorie and protein content to make a more substantial main meal.

I should probably be telling you to use wholemeal couscous but I prefer the taste and texture of the white variety, the veggies and nuts ensure sure this dish is high in fibre.  As well as fibre, this dish is a good source of protein and high in iron, magnesium, vitamin C and B complex.

 

Nutty couscous salad

Serves 2

380 calories

Ingredients

120g couscous
180ml vegetable stock (reduced sodium)
1 tbsp unsalted pistachio nuts
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 medium-sized red pepper, finely diced
1 medium-sized courgette, finely diced
2 spring onions, sliced (bulbs and tops)
Small handful of mint, chopped
Small handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
4 dried apricots, sliced
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 lemon, juiced

 

Method

  1. Place the couscous in a small shallow bowl or saucepan. Pour over the hot stock, stir and then cover. Leave to sit for 5 minutes then separate with a fork.
  2. Heat a small saucepan (dry) over a medium heat. Add the nuts and toast for 2 minutes until the pine nuts start to colour (don’t leave the pan and keep the nuts moving as pine nuts burn very easily!). Once toasted, transfer to a plate and leave to cool.
  3. Place the cooked couscous in a medium-sized mixing bowl with the other ingredients, season with salt and pepper  and combine well.
  4. Serve.