Archive for the 'Main Courses' Category

10 28th, 2012

I just made this up today and thought I should get it on the blog before I forgot it! It’s ideal for the slow cooker but obviously you could do this in the oven or on the hob if you wish – just adjust the timing accordingly.

Serves 4
Cook for 5-6 hours in the slow cooker

1 whole chicken jointed into 2 breasts, 2 drumsticks and 2 thighs – or 8 thighs (up to you)
1 chorizo ring sliced
1 onion sliced
2 fat garlic cloves crushed
2 chillis finely sliced
1/2 bag frozen mixed sliced peppers
400g chopped tomatoes
500ml chicken stock (I use Kallo)
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and pepper
2 x 300g tins cannellini beans drained and rinsed

Put the onion, garlic, chillis, peppers, tomatoes, stock, paprika, sugar, salt and pepper into the slow cooker.
Place the chorizo slices into a hot frying pan and brown and crisp up on both sides – then remove using a slotted spoon and place into slow cooker and mix in.
Remove any skin from the chicken pieces and then add to the pan with the chorizo oil and fry for a few minutes each side to brown – then remove using a slotted spoon and place into slow cooker on top of the rest of the ingredients.
Put the lid on and turn the slow cooker onto high for 1 hour and turn to low for another 4 hours then add the cannellini beans.
Cook for another 30 mins to 1 hour and have a taste to check the seasoning.

I served in large bowls with rice and shredded savoy cabbage – delicious!

09 3rd, 2010

Just made this one up last night and it was great and crammed with goodness – low fat, low calorie, high fibre and easy to make too. Sorry no actual breakdown of fat and cals as it’s my own concoction!

Serves 6

600g new pototoes, whole with skins still on (could also use old potatoes or peeled sweet potatoes)
1 onion, diced
2 cloves, garlic crushed
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
2 courgettes, chopped
150g sweetcorn kernels
2 fresh chillis, finely chopped (or use chilli powder/flakes if you don’t have fresh)
400g tin of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
200ml (approx) passata
1 vegetable stock cube
1 tsp sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp grated low fat cheddar (I used Weight Watchers)

You’ll need a large shallow ovenproof dish for this.

In a saucepan, cover the whole new potatoes with water and bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15 mins until just under cooked. Drain and leave to cool a little.
In the meantime, spray a pan with a little oil and add the onion, garlic and peppers and cook for a few minutes with the lid on until softened.
Add the courgettes, sweetcorn and chillis and cook for a few more minutes to soften a little.
Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, passata, stock cube, sugar, salt and pepper and simmer for about 10 mins.
Preheat the oven on to 160 degrees fan forced.
Check the sauce for seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Pour the sauce into a large ovenproof dish.
Cut the new potatoes into wedges and scatter them randomly onto the sauce (i.e some with skin side up, some not) and spray with a little spray oil, then season with salt and pepper.
Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 40 mins.
Take dish out of the oven and sprinkle with the cheese and place back into the oven for another 5 mins.
Serve with a large salad. Delicious and healthy!

If using old potatoes, you could slice them instead of doing wedges. If using sweet potatoes, you could mash instead of wedges.

12 24th, 2008

This is a great summer dish and of course you can substitute the mackerel for the more traditional tuna if you wish. Mackerel contains omega 3 fats which is so good for you and overall the dish is low in fat and calories.

Serves 4

225g or 8oz farfalle pasta (bows)
175g or 6oz green beans trimmed
2 smoked mackerel fillets
115g or 4oz cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon capers
25g or 1oz pitted black olives
4 eggs

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 garlic clove crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon rind
salt and pepper

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, then drain and rinse well with cold water.

Place the eggs into a pan of boiling water and let them simmer for 8 mins so that they are not completely hard boiled. Then place the pan under running cold water for a few minutes and allow the eggs to sit in the cold water.

Cook the green beans in boiling water for 4-5 mins so that they are al dente, then drain and rinse in cold water.

Divide the pasta between 4 plates and then break up the mackerel into bite-size pieces and place on top of the pasta.

Then arrange the green beans on top, scattering the tomatoes, capers and olives over.

Remove the shells from the eggs and divide each into quarters and arrange on top.

Prepare the dressing by mixing all the dressing ingredients together and give it a taste to check the seasoning and adjust if needed.

Drizzle the dressing between the salad plates and finish each with a grind of black pepper. Fresh and delicious!

This would also make a great lunch to take to work or for a picnic.

12 23rd, 2008

This is a delicious and lighter alternative to a beef lasagne – just 424 kcal and 7.2g fat per serving. Simply serve with a salad on the side.

Serves 4

250g or 10oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and all moisture squeezed out
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
450g or 1lb cooked chicken breast, diced
4 sheets no pre-cook lasagne sheet
1.5 teaspoons cornflour mixed with a little water
1 vegetable stock cube
425ml or 15 fl oz skimmed milk
4 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

Tomato sauce:
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
400g or 14oz can chopped tomatoes
1/2 pint passata (sieved tomatoes)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon mixed herbs
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180 fan forced.

Heat a large saucepan and spray lightly with oil. Add the onion and garlic and let it cook for 5 mins to soften. Then add the tomatoes, passata, sugar, herbs, tomato puree, salt and pepper and let the sauce simmer for 15 mins.

Lay the spinach on the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle with nutmeg and season.

Arrange the chicken over the spinach and then pour over half of the tomato sauce. Place the lasagne sheets on top and then pour over the remaining tomato sauce.

Pour the skimmed milk into a non-stick pan and bring to the boil, then add the cornflour and water mixture stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Crumble the stock cube into the sauce and season with salt and pepper – mix well.

Pour the white sauce over the lasagne and then sprinkle the parmesan over.

Bake for 30 mins until golden.

12 23rd, 2008

These kebabs are great for BBQ’s or serving as a main course with basmati rice and sweet chilli sauce. I also like serving them with Asian Coleslaw – see next recipe.

Serves 4

4 skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 rounded tablespoon curry paste – I always use Pataks Lemon and Coriander Tikka Masala paste
1/4 pint low fat natural yogurt
1/2 red pepper cut into chunks
1/2 green pepper cut into chunks
8 wooden skewers soaked in warm water for 30 mins

Place the chicken, curry paste and yogurt into a bowl and mix well. Place in the fridge and let it marinate for an hour.

Get your BBQ going or pre-heat your health grill

Thread the chicken and peppers onto the pre-soaked skewers and then place on the BBQ or health grill for 5-10 mins until cooked through.

This is a wonderful winter meal and great for entertaining as you can just leave it cooking away in the oven whilst you have a glass of wine with your family and friends.

Serves 4

4 lamb shanks – trim off any fat if you can

1 onion finely chopped

2 cloves garlic crushed

several good sprigs fresh rosemary

300ml lamb stock

300ml red wine

400g or 14oz tin chopped tomatoes

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon cornflour mixed with a little water

For the mash:

4  medium-sized sweet pototoes peeled and chopped into cubes

salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 160 fan forced.

Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and spray with oil. Add the onions and garlic and fry for a few minutes until soft.

Place the shanks into a large casserole dish – I usually use a cast iron casserole with a lid.

Mix the stock, wine and tinned tomatoes together and then add the cooked onion and garlic and the pieces of rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Pour this over the lamb shanks.

Cover and place in the oven. I usually check on the shanks every half an hour or so to turn them in the sauce to ensure they don’t dry out.

The shanks need to be in the oven for at least 2 hours. An extra hour wouldn’t hurt though! The meat needs to be falling off the bone and melt-in-you-mouth tender.

The mash only takes about 10-15 minutes to make. Simply cover the sweet potatoes with water and bring to the boil then let them simmer until tender. Drain well, then mash and season with salt and pepper (add some butter here if you wish but I don’t think it needs it).

Once you are ready to serve, remove the shanks from the sauce and cover them with foil to keep warm.

If using cast iron casserole dish, place it with the gravy on the hob (if using a ceramic dish, pour the gravy into a saucepan). Bring the gravy to a simmer and add the cornflour stirring constantly to thicken. If the gravy is too thick, just add a little water. Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Now divide the mash onto four plates or deep dinner plates. Place a lamb shank on the top of each and then drizzle the gravy over and around the plate or dish. Serve with a side dish of green beans if desired. Delicious!

12 21st, 2008

This is a very simple but effective way of jazzing up chicken. Again, great for entertaining as you prepare in advance and it can continue to marinate until you are ready to cook. Best of all it’s low in fat and calories – just 350 kcal and 8.5g fat per serving.

Serves 6

2 seedless oranges

1/2 cup or 185g honey

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1.5 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

4 cloves garlic crushed

1.5 kg or 3lb chicken pieces or use chicken breast if preferred – one per person

Squeeze the juice from one orange into a bowl and add the honey, mustard, rosemary and garlic and mix well.

Cut the other orange in half and then slice so you have semi-circular slices.

Add the orange slices and the chicken to the orange juice mixture. Season and mix well and leave to marinate for at least 4 hours.

When you are ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 180 fan forced.

Line a large baking tray with foil and then arrange the chicken and the marinade in the tray.

Bake for 40-50 mins or until the chicken is golden, turning once in the marinade whilst cooking.

This versatile dish goes well with roast potatoes and vegetables or rice and salad.

12 21st, 2008

You can make this main course in the time it takes to cook your rice to accompany it – just 10 mins! Very tasty and good for you – I don’t have the kcals or fat content breakdown as this is my own concoction, but it is almost certainly low in fat and calories. Enjoy!

Serves 4

2 x 400g or 14oz tin of green lentils drained and rinsed

2 x 400g or 14oz tin of chopped tomatoes

1 block paneer cheese, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 rounded tablespoon curry paste

1 rounded tablespoon tomato puree

salt and pepper

a good handful of fresh spinach leaves

Heat a non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and spray with a little oil. Add the paneer pieces  and allow to brown all over.

Place the lentils, tomatoes, curry paste,  tomato puree, salt and pepper in a pan . Give it a good stir and heat gently. You may wish to add a little water if the mixture is thick (depends on how juicy the tinned tomatoes were!)

Just before your rice is cooked, add the browned paneer cheese and stir gently to mix.

Then add the spinach literally 2 minutes before serving (to retain all the goodness) stir into the curry and allow to wilt.

Have a quick taste to adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Serve with rice and mini poppadums* if desired – yum!

*Mini poppadums are a great low fat companion to your curry – just place 8 on into your microwave and cook on high for one minute – too easy!

12 2nd, 2008

This curry is different to others I make as it has a sweet and sour quality which is really delicious – you must try it! You need to plan ahead as there is 2-3 hours of marinating before you cook.

Serves 4

500g or 1lb skinless chicken breast cut into thick slices
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
3 teaspoons garam masala
2.5 cm or 1 inch piece of fresh ginger peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic crushed
125g or 5oz ready to eat apricots halved
2 onion finely sliced
400g or 14oz can chopped tomatoes
3 teaspoons sugar
6 teaspoons white wine vinegar

Place chicken in a large bowl and add chilli, garam masala, ginger and garlic and mix well. Cover and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours to marinate.

Place the apricots in a separate bowl, and pour 155ml or 15 fl oz water over and leave to soak for 2-3 hours.

Spray a large pan with oil and add the marinated chicken and fry over a high heat until cooked and browned all over. Remove from pan and set aside.

Spray the pan again with oil and add the onion – cooking for 5 mins until soft.

Add chicken back to the pan with the tomatoes and cook for 20 mins with a lid on the pan.

Drain apricots and add to the pan with sugar and vinegar. Season with salt. Cover the pan and simmer for another 15 mins.

Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.

Serve hot with basmati rice – delicious!

Prawn Risotto

Author: Sue
11 27th, 2008

This tastes so creamy you would never guess it’s low fat – 340 kcals and 6.4g fat per serving. Great served with a salad on the side.

Serves 4

400ml or 14 fl oz hot veg stock
200 ml or 7 fl oz hot water
200ml or 7 fl oz white wine
2 teaspoons butter
4 shallots finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
200g or 8oz arborio or other risotto rice
300g or 12oz frozen raw tiger prawns*, defrosted
handful chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons half-fat creme fraiche
dash of lemon juice
parmesan shavings to serve

Heat the butter in a pan over a medium heat, then add the shallots and cook for 4 mins until soft.

Add the rice, salt and black pepper to the pan and stir well to coat the rice.

Mix the stock and water together and add just enough to cover the rice. Continue to cook stirring frequently until is almost all absorbed. Continue adding the water and stock in this way. Then add the wine and stir until absorbed.

Stir in the prawns and half the parsley and heat through.

Add the creme fraiche and lemon juice – have a quick taste to check the seasoning.

Divide between 4 plates and sprinke with parmesan shavings and the remaining parsley.

*if using cooked prawns – add them in the last 3 mins of cooking