Meat

Pork chops with fennel, apple and walnuts

Fennels are a great source of fibre, vitamin C, folate and potassium and contain some very powerful antioxidants that have cancer preventing properties. 

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 Pork chops
Zest and juice 1 lemon
1 tsp Fennel seeds
Drizzle of olive oil
1 Large fennel bulb, finely sliced
1 Apple, cored and sliced
1 Red onion, finely sliced
2 tbsp Walnut pieces
2 tbsp Greek yogurt
1 tsp Wholegrain mustard
Splash of white wine vinegar

Method

Rub the pork with the lemon zest and fennel seeds, then heat the oil in frying pan. Brown the chops for 3-4 mins on each side, then remove from the heat. Pour over half the lemon juice, season, then leave to rest . Mix together the yogurt, mustard and vinegar. Add the fennel, apple, onion and walnuts and toss together. Season with black pepper and add the remaining lemon juice to taste. Serve the pork on the fennel mixture.

 

Cumin and honey lamb chops (serves 2)

Ingredients

2 tbsp Olive oil

2 tbsp Honey

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

3 tsp Cumin seed, lightly crushed

2 Lamb chops 

150g Chantenay  carrots

1 tsp Cinnamon

Greek yogurt, to serve

Method 

Whisk together half the oil, half the honey, the lemon zest and juice, and the cumin seeds in a bowl. Add the lamb hops and ensure they are well coated. Heat a large frying pan and add the chops along with the glaze. Cook for 5-7 mins on each side, basting with the glaze every so often. Remove from the pan, wrap in foil and leave to rest.

Meanwhile, boil the carrots for 10 mins until just tender. Mix together the remaining oil and honey, the cinnamon and some seasoning. Add this to the pan you’ve just cooked the lamb in, along with the carrots. Toss to coat, heat through, then serve the carrots alongside the chops with a dollop of yogurt.

Roast chicken and chicory salad (serves 4)

Ingredients

1.5kg whole chicken
Butter
200ml sherry vinegar, plus 1 tbsp
200g green beans
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of sugar
50g raisins
Handful of parsley, roughly chopped
3 heads chicory
100g watercress
2 tbsp pine nuts, toasted

Method

Heat oven to 160C/gas 3. Rub the chicken all over with a little butter and season well, inside and out. Sit it in a small roasting tin, pour the sherry vinegar around, and cover with foil. Roast for 2 hrs. Boil the green beans for 5 min until just tender. Drain well, plunge into cold water to cool, then drain again and set aside.

Once your chicken has roasted for 2 hrs, remove from oven. Pour the juices into a jug, then increase oven temp to 220C/gas 7. Roast for a further 20-30 mins (without foil) until golden.

Skim the fat from the juices, then boil until you have about 100ml of juices left. Stir in the extra tbsp of vinegar, olive oil and sugar, then tip onto a serving dish with the raisins.

When the chicken has finished its second roasting, leave until cool enough to handle and tear the meat in large pieces onto the serving dish. Add the parsley, chicory, watercress, pine nuts and green beans and toss together.

Penne with lettuce, peas and ham

The penne provides plenty of starchy carbohydrate needed for energy, while the peas and lettuce are good sources of vitamin C, folate and potassium, which is needed to regulate fluid balance. The ham provides zinc needed for the growth of muscle.

Serves 4
Per portion: 546 kcal, 16g fat, 19g protein, 83g carbohydrate
Ingredients

  1. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1 small onion, peeled and sliced
  3. 1 fat clove garlic, peeled and chopped
  4. 2 gem heart lettuces, trimmed and sliced
  5. 400g dried penne
  6. 190g pack shelled peas
  7. 4 tbsp. half fat creme fraiche
  8. 4 slices lean ham, shredded
  9. Large handful of basil, shredded
  10. Freshly ground black pepper

Method
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and the sliced lettuce to the pan and cook stirring for 2 minutes. At the same time, cook the pasta following pack instructions, adding the peas for the last 2 minutes of the cooking time. Drain the pasta and peas, return them to the pan with the créme fraiche, ham, basil and the lettuce mixture. Season well and stir everything together. To serve, sprinkle grated parmesan over each bowl.

Stir-fry chicken with lime and coconut milk

If you are put off cooking because of all the tedious preparation most recipes require, try this very fast and simple recipe. It only requires you to chop the chilli (and remove the seeds). The spring onions can be cut up using scissors and you can roughly tear up the coriander leaves with your hands. It’s ready in minutes and contains only 3g of fat per portion.

Serves 2
Per portion: 150 kcal, 25g protein, 3g fat, 6g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 2 skinless chicken pieces
  2. Juice of 1 lime
  3. 150ml can of low fat coconut milk
  4. 2 tsp. olive oil
  5. 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  6. 1 tbsp. Thai fish sauce
  7. 4 spring onions
  8. Bunch of coriander

Heat the oil in a wok over a high heat, add the chicken pieces and stir-fry for 4 minutes, until they’re golden. Add the chilli, stir-fry for 1 minute, and add the coconut milk, fish sauce, the coriander and spring onions. Cook for another 1-2 minutes, then serve with Thai fragrant rice or fresh noodles.

Honey and harissa lamb steaks with couscous

Couscous is perfect for people with limited time to cook but who want to avoid ready meals. This sweet and spicy lamb with herby couscous is ready in minutes and you can stir in some ready-to-eat chopped dried fruit if you like. The lamb is a good source of protein and easily absorbed iron needed for healthy blood.

Serves 2
Per portion: 415 kcal,20g fat, 25g protein, 35g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 1 tbsp. honey
  2. 1 tsp. harissa
  3. 2 lamb steaks
  4. 100g couscous
  5. 175ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
  6. 2 tbsp. fresh mint
  7. Handful of fresh flat leaf parsley
  8. 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  9. 25g pistachios, chopped

Method:
Preheat the grill to a high setting. On a plate, mix the honey and harissa together then add the lamb steaks and rub them into the mixture to coat all over. Put the couscous in a bowl and pour over the hot stock. Stir together then cover with foil and set aside. Place the lamb on a baking sheet and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Finely chop the herbs and stir into the couscous with the olive oil, pistachios and season. Serve warm with the lamb and drizzle over the juices from the baking sheet.

Griddled chicken with mango salsa

This is a tasty light dish that is very low in calories and fat, yet it’s surprisingly satisfying. The chicken is rich in protein which helps to promote a feeling of fullness and feeds back to the brain telling you to stop eating. The mangoes are extremely rich in vitamin C and beta-carotene which will give your immunity a boost and help you feel more energised. For a more substantial meal, serve the chicken with a little basmati rice.

Serves 4
Per portion: 172 kcal, 27g protein, 3g fat, 10g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 4 skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  3. zest and juice of 2 limes
  4. 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  5. 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  6. 1 large mango, diced
  7. 1 small red onion, finely sliced
  8. 200g sugar snap peas
  9. 1 bag of rocket leaves
  10. Handful of fresh coriander

Mix the oil with the lime zest, half the juice, chilli and garlic. Place the chicken breasts in a dish, coat thoroughly with the chilli mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (preferably overnight). Place the mango pieces in a large bowl, add the remaining lime juice and red onion. Cook the chicken on a hot griddle pan for 5 minutes each side. Meanwhile, blanch the sugar snap peas for 1 minute in boiling water, drain, run under cold water and then add to the mango with the rocket and coriander. Toss together, season and serve with the chicken.

Roast chicken with fennel and lentils

When we are feeling under stress extra B vitamins are used up by the nervous system. These vitamins have to be replaced through diet to prevent the body becoming rundown. Chicken is a good source of these B vitamins as well as protein. The lentils provide additional protein and are a good source of complex carbohydrate, fibre and iron, which helps to keep the blood healthy.

Serves 4
Per portion: 415 kcal, 12g fat, 36g protein, 34g carbohydrate
Ingredients

  1. 4 skinless chicken breasts
  2. 1 tbsp. fennel seeds
  3. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  4. 4 sticks of celery, diagonally sliced
  5. 2 large red onions, cut into thin wedges
  6. 4 cloves of garlic
  7. Handful of fresh thyme
  8. 350 ml vegetable stock
  9. 350ml red wine
  10. 175g lentils
  11. Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method
Preheat the oven to 250C/Gas Mark 9. Using a pestle and mortar, crush the fennel seeds into the olive oil and smear over the chicken breasts. Place the celery, onion wedges, garlic and thyme in a roasting tin, drizzle with a little olive oil and place the chicken breasts on top. Roast for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and turn down the temperature to 150C/Gas Mark 2. Add the wine, stock and lentils to the tin and stir in around the chicken, season well and then return to the oven for 2-3 hours. Serve with green beans.

Spanish chicken with olives

The olives in this dish are a perfect compliment to the chicken giving a real Mediteranean flavour. Olives are also a good source of vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that can boost the immune systenm and keep you healthy during the cold months ahead.

Serves 4-6
Per portion: 332 kcal, 36g protein, 9g fat, 19g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 900g chicken pieces
  2. 450g small potatoes
  3. 100g mixed black and green olives
  4. 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  5. 2 tbsp. tomato puree
  6. 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced
  7. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  8. 2 red onions, peeled and sliced into half moon shapes
  9. 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  10. Few sprigs of thyme
  11. 275ml red wine
  12. 1 bay leaf
  13. Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 140C/Gas Mark 1. Heat the oil in a casserole dish over a high heat, add the chicken and brown them on all sides, about 6-8 pieces at a time, removing them to a plate as they’re browned. Then add the the onions and pepper, and brown them a little at the edges -takes about 6 minutes.
Add the garlic, stir for about 1 minute, then return the browned meat to the casserole and add all the thyme, tomatoes, tomato puree, red wine, olives and bay leaves. Bring everything up to a gentle simmer, seasoning well, then put the lid on and transfer the casserole to the the oven for 1¼ hours. After that, add the potatoes, cover the pan again and cook for a further 45 minutes.

Spiced turkey with cherry tomatoes, couscous and green olives

Turkey is naturally low in fat and a rich source of high quality protein and B vitamins including vitamin B6. Turkey is rich in an amino acid (protein component) called tryptophan, which is converted into the brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin has been nicknamed the happy hormone as it can improve mood and help reduce feelings of anxiety or depression. Vitamin B6 is also needed for the production of serotonin in the brain. The couscous is a good source of complex carbohydrate and also provides iron, which helps to keep the blood healthy.

Serves 4
Per portion: 466 kcal, 12g fat, 50g protein, 44g carbohydrate
Ingredients

  1. 700g turkey breast (4 fillets)
  2. 2 tbsp. mild curry paste
  3. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  4. 1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into strips
  5. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  6. 300g couscous
  7. 250g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  8. 500ml chicken stock
  9. 60g pitted black olives, halved
  10. Freshly ground black pepper
  11. 50g roughly chopped coriander

Method
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the turkey fillets, browning on each side. Add the garlic and pepper and cook for 3 minutes. Turn down the heat and add the curry paste, stir well to coat the turkey and cook for 15 minutes until the turkey it is cooked thoroughly. Meanwhile make up the couscous with the chicken stock according to packet instructions. Fluff with a fork and stir in the tomatoes, olives and coriander. Serve with the turkey and peppers.

Butternut squash and bacon risotto

When you are pressed for time, it’s easy to reach into the freezer for the ready meals, but try this quick and easy recipe instead, it takes just 30 minutes from start to finish (usually the length of time needed to cook a ready meal) and where many ready meals are full of fat, salt and additives, this dish uses fresh ingredients that are low in fat and salt and has the added satisfaction afterwards that you enjoyed a delicious healthy meal. When shopping, choose lean, reduced salt bacon which is a good source of protein, iron and zinc, the butternut squash is rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene needed to keep the heart and skin healthy.

Serves 4
Per portion: 452 kcal, 14g protein, 8g fat, 80g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 4 rashers of lean bacon (reduced salt), rind removed, diced
  3. 1 onions, peeled and finely chopped
  4. 1 large butternut squash
  5. 1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  6. 1 tsp. dried thyme
  7. 350g risotto rice
  8. 1 litre hot fresh vegetable stock

Method:

Peel the butternut squash, remove the seeds and cut into small cubes. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the bacon cook for 2 minutes and then add the onions for another 2 minutes. Add the butternut squash, thyme and garlic and cook for another minute or so until everything is coated and glossy. Add the rice, stir and then add a third of the stock. Continue to stir until it has been absorbed, then add the next third, stir until absorbed and then the remaining third. Season well and allow to simmer for a few minutes.

Creamy pork and mushrooms

This dish looks and tastes as though it should be off limits for anyone watching their weight, but the reality is this delicious creamy tasting pork is actually low in calories and fat. Lean pork is a good source of protein and B vitamins which are needed for the release of energy. The mushrooms also supply B vitamins as well as the antioxidant nutrient selenium, which is needed to protect against diseases such as cancer.

Serves 2
Per portion: 304 kcal, 10g fat, 33g protein, 8g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 1 tsp. olive oil
  2. 1 onion, peeled, halved and sliced
  3. 275g pork fillet
  4. 250g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  5. Pinch caraway seeds
  6. 100ml chicken stock
  7. 2 tbsp. half fat crème fraiche
  8. Pinch hot smoked paprika

Method:

In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil then cook the onion for about 5 minutes so it starts to soften. Slice the pork into pieces about 1cm thick and add to the pan. Brown all over then stir in the mushrooms and caraway seeds. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring now and again, until the mushrooms start to release their juices. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, until the pork is cooked through. Remove from the heat and stir in the crème fraiche and season. Sprinkle with paprika and serve with a baked potato and green beans.

Sausage and lentil casserole

This is the perfect comfort food when you are feeling stressed. Stress causes extra B vitamins are used up by the nervous system. These vitamins have to be replaced through diet to prevent the body becoming rundown. Pork is a good source of these B vitamins as well as protein. The lentils provide additional protein and are a good source of complex carbohydrate, fibre and iron, which helps to keep the blood healthy.

Serves 4
Per portion: 465 kcal, 20g fat, 29g protein, 46g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 125g bacon, diced
  3. 1 onion, finely chopped
  4. 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  5. 1 stick celery, diced
  6. 295g dried green lentils
  7. 1 litre chicken stock
  8. 2 bay leaves
  9. 8 reduced fat pork sausages

Method:

Warm the oil in a deep, heavy casserole. Put the sausages in first to brown, then remove them to a plate. Cut them into short lengths if preferred. Add the bacon and let it cook over a medium heat so that it colours lightly and then stir in the onion, cook for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the lentils, chicken stock, bay leaves and the sausages. Bring everything to the boil and then turn down the heat and simmer gently, season and then leave it for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Serve with broccoli.

Beef and Jerusalem artichoke stew

This stew is perfect if you find yourself with time during the day. Once you have chopped all the vegetables (which does take some time), you can let the stew cook for up to 6 hours (although it will be ready after 3 hours). The beef is a good source of protein and iron and there plenty of healthy vegetables, if you can’t find Jerusalem artichokes, use potatoes instead, and you can substitute the red wine for stock if you prefer.

Serves 4
Per portion: 552kcal, 55g protein, 12g fat, 48g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 900g lean beef steak, diced
  3. Flour to dust
  4. 6 shallots, peeled and quartered
  5. 3 large carrots, diced
  6. 3 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and diced
  7. 3 parsnips, diced
  8. Half a butternut squash, diced
  9. Handful of fresh sage
  10. 500ml red wine
  11. 300 ml beef stock
  12. 2 tbsp. tomato puree
  13. Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 150C or GM2. Toss the meat in the flour and place in a casserole dish with the vegetables. Add all the other ingredients, cover with a lid and cook in the oven for up to 4 hours.

Lamb shanks with pearl barley

Using lean lamb (with any visible fat removed) means this stew is low fat, and the pearl barley gives it an almost creamy texture yet it is a healthy wholegrain.

Serves 4
Per portion: 360 kcal, 25 g protein, 10 g fat, 45 g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 4 lean lamb shanks
  2. 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  3. 6 large carrots, peeled and chopped into chunks
  4. 6 shallots, peeled and quartered
  5. 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  6. Handful of fresh thyme
  7. 1 tbsp. tomato puree
  8. 1 tbsp. plain flour
  9. 1 litre of chicken stock
  10. 400g can of plum tomatoes
  11. 60g pearl barley

Method:

Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Heat the oil in a large casserole and add the lamb. Allow to cook for 10 minutes while it browns all over and then remove and set to one side. Add the carrot, onions, garlic and thyme and cook for 10 minutes. Then add the tomato puree, flour, stock and tomatoes, stir well and bring to the boil. Simmer for a few minutes and then add the lamb and pearl barley. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven for 3 hours.

Lamb tagine with couscous

This recipe is a great way to use up left-over Sunday roast lamb. The dried apricots and raisins are a good source of fibre and the couscous provides easy-to-digest carbohydrate for long-lasting energy.

Serves 2
Per portion: 595 kcal, 15g fat, 40g protein, 90g carbohydrate
Ingredients

  1. 200ml vegetable stock
  2. 1 onion, roasted and quartered
  3. 4 cloves of garlic, roasted and quartered
  4. 50g dried apricots, chopped
  5. 50g raisins
  6. Pinch of cinnamon
  7. 200g roast lamb, cut into strips
  8. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  9. 100g pomodorino tomatoes, halved
  10. 12 pitted black olives, chopped
  11. 12 fresh mint leave, sliced
  12. 200g couscous
  13. Freshly ground pepper

Method
Bring the stock to the boil, add the roasted onion quarters, roasted garlic, apricots and raisins. Turn down the heat and season to taste. Add the cinnamon, roast lamb and drizzle over the olive oil, cover with a lid and leave to sit for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, make up the couscous according to the packet Instructions. Add the tomatoes, olives and mint leaves to the lamb mixture and serve with couscous.

South African chicken with spicy apricot sauce

Fruit and vegetables with orange or red flesh get their colour from the carotenoids beta-carotene and lycopene. Carotenoid compounds act as powerful antioxidants protecting against cell damage. In fresh tomatoes and apricots the carotenoids are bound up in the cell wall, so less is absorbed when they are eaten raw. Cooking or crushing (to make tomato puree) releases more of the carotenoids so they are readily absorbed.

Serves 2

Per portion: 226 kcal, 20g protein, 9g fat, 25g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 2 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 2 skinless chicken breast
  3. 1 onion, finely chopped
  4. Half a red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
  5. 1 stick of celery, finely sliced
  6. 1 tsp. of hot curry paste
  7. 2 heaped tbsp. of tomato puree
  8. 200g canned apricot haves, drained and sliced
  9. 100ml white wine or chicken stock

Heat the oil in a pan and when it gets hot, lay the chicken breasts in the pan and brown for 3 minutes each side. Turn the heat down and cook for 5 minutes each side making sure they are thoroughly cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, celery and pepper and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Stir in the curry paste, tomato puree, apricots and wine or stock and bring to the boil, and then simmer for 5 minutes. Return the chicken breasts to the pan to heat through and then serve with rice.

Pork and apple meatballs

The lean pork is a good source of protein and zinc, needed for a healthy immune system and the apple provides soluble fibre which is good for heart health. These meatballs are perfect with oven-baked sweet potato wedges and peas.

Serves 4
Per portion: 310 kcal, 15g fat, 26g protein, 12g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 1 wholemeal slice bread, torn
  2. 1 large shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  3. 1 apple, cored and roughly chopped
  4. 1 tbsp. chopped fresh lemon thyme leaves
  5. 500g lean pork mince
  6. 2 tsp. olive oil
  7. 4 tbsp. apple sauce
  8. 4 tbsp. half-fat crème fraÎche
  9. Seasoning

Method:

Place the bread, shallot, apple and lemon thyme in a food processor and whiz until finely chopped. Mix with the pork mince and seasoning, then shape into 28 small meatballs, using damp hands so that the mixture doesn’t stick. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the meatballs and fry for 12-15 minutes over a medium heat until cooked through, turning occasionally to colour evenly. Mix the apple sauce and crème fraÎche together to make the sauce, and serve with the hot meatballs.