Trombone Squash Rounds

​As ever, things have been getting on top of me slightly these last few months, I am working on it, promise! But apologises for the long gap between posts. I’ve been in a slight rut recently just eating the same meals over and over again so haven’t felt too inspired to write about any recipes but I realised that I’ve become slightly obsessed with a particular side dish. So I thought I’d share this one as it may appeal ☺

My dad has an allotment not too far from my parents house which means throughout the year I get gifted with all sorts of goodies from summer berries to winter squashes. And the big plus is that I know no chemicals have been used to help them grow, it’s just all natural goodness. It does however mean I get various things that I then can’t always find in the supermarket.  Recently there has been trombone squash a plenty at my parents house and I’ve not been able to eat them quick enough (trust me, not for lack of trying). When I first got given one of these I had no idea how to cook it and as I don’t normally cook similar stews to my mum I’ve been experimenting.

I stumbled into this really simple recipe and just became a bit obsessed with it, it’s just little squash rounds or wedges (how I cut them seems to change daily) with paprika and veggie seasoning, all bunged in the oven until soft on the inside and starting to crisp on the outside. Sounds simple but I love it.

Ingredients
450g trombone squash (peeled and cut into circles)

1 tbsp.  Coconut Oil

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp concentrated vegetable seasoning (e.g. maggi)

Method

1. Pre heat the oven to 200°c, place the coconut oil on the tray and place in the oven until the coconut oil has melted.

2. Ensure the oil covers the tray and sprinkle half of the vegetable seasoning and paprika so it mixes in the oil slightly. Add the rounds evenly spaced on the tray and sprinkle over the remaining seasonings.

3. Place in the oven for roughly 15 minutes, turning after about 10 minutes. 

4. Once the rounds have started to go a bit soft in the middle, turn the oven down to roughly 150°c to start crisp up the  edges slightly without burning for 5 minutes.

5. Take out the oven and serve alongside your main dish.

Nutritional Information

Serves 1

Calories: 150

Protein: 3.1g

Carbohydrates: 31g

Of which is sugars: 12.4g

Fibre: 12.4g

Fat: 0.0g

Of which is saturated: 0.0g

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Protein Packed Stuffed Breakfast Peppers

I don’t think there’a any meal I put quite as much time into thinking about as breakfast. I know people always say that it’s the most important meal of the day, but honestly I think it’s just my favourite. There’s such a variety of what you could have, hot or cold, sweet or savoury. I think for anyone who saw the picture of my birthday breakfast the other week at one of my favourite restaurants (Annie’s burger shack in Nottingham, they also offer EVERY option on their menu as veggie or vegan, as well as catering for gluten free) you would have seen that my ideal breakfast is a mix of sweet, savoury, hot and cold. Who says you can’t have it all?
Back to reality in terms of what do I want for breakfast this week, I spent a few hours looking on pinterest and flicking through my various cookbooks and I thought that I would have a go at some stuffed peppers. What I found really appealing about this is there’s no need to follow a strict recipe, you can just fill it with what you like and tweak as you go to your personal preference. However, if you do want some inspiration, why not try my protein packed stuffed peppers. Perfect for a quick and easy breakfast, whether it’s before a run or ready to drop in your bag to take to work.

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Ingredients
6 Peppers, chopped in half
6 Eggs
12 Tablespoons of Water
100g Feta Cheese (I like the one that some with sundried tomatoes)
150g Tinned Sweetcorn
155g Lean Smoked Bacon Lardons
2 Shallots, chopped

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Method
1. Preheat the oven to 150°c
2. Take the chopped shallots and bacon lardons and gently fry off in a pan until just cooked and the shallots have softened then leave to one side.
3. Take the  halved peppers and scrape out the insides until you have a nice cup to hold your filling as so. This does take a little while if you’re prepping enough for the week, but be patient!

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4. In a large mix bowl, beat all the eggs together. Add all the water and beat until full incorporated. Add in all the feta (draining any oil beforehand if you buy the feta in oil and sundried tomatoes like I do) and sweetcorn and mix again.
5. Lay all your peppers onto a greased oven tray to prevent the bottoms sticking/burning to the pan, try to balance them so when you pour in the mixture it won’t spill, this may take a bit of fiddling about.
6. Add the shallot and lardon mixture to your eggs, if you do it earlier the heat may start to cook the eggs slightly, so try to leave it as late as possible.
7. Fill your peppers with the mixtures, ensuring that they don’t spill over and place in the oven.
8. Cook for roughly 20 minutes, depending on the size of the peppers. Keep a check and once the filling starts to look firm take them out and leave them to cool.
9. If you’ve made them a head of time, just give them a couple of minutes in the microwave until warmed through (timings will vary depending on the size of each pepper) then enjoy.

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Nutritional Information
Serves 6 (2 halves per serving)
Calories: 228
Protein: 17.3g
Carbohydrates: 11.7g
Of which is sugars: 8.0g
Fibre: 3.5g
Fat: 11.8g
Of which is saturated: 3.9g

Bakewell Tart

I’ve been busy training for my upcoming 10k (less than 10 weeks to go now, eeek!) I’ve only just built up to running 5 miles and I’m actually enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. Although, despite knowing I live in a hilly area and even through my ‘mapmyrun’ app saying I would climb over 200 feet, I didn’t appreciate quite how hilly it was until my fitbit said that within the 5 miles I had gone up the equivalent of 60 flights of stairs. Needless to say, I was shattered afterwards.
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So, this in mind, I decided I would treat myself to a few bits over the weekend and I spent most of Saturday, after a cracking spin class, in the kitchen baking and cooking to my heart’s content. I will include bits of everything I’ve made over the weekend but one particular favourite was a Bakewell tart. I was trying to think of something that I could make for pudding on Saturday but would also be suitable for the boy to have as a bit of pudding during the week, so I cut the rest up into Bakewell slices for him J

I did end up making two through the recipe below but that was only because I didn’t have a tray big enough so I made two slightly smaller but no less delicious ones instead.

Ingredients

For the pastry

175g Plain Flour
75g butter
2-3 Tbsp Water

For the sponge mixture

100g Butter
100g Caster Sugar
175g Self-Raising Flour
1 Tsp Baking Powder
2 Large Eggs
2 Tbsp Milk
½ Tsp Almond Extract
For Filling
6 Tbsp Cherry Jam

For Top
Handful Flaked Almonds
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Method

  1. To make the pastry, in a large bowl rub together the flour and butter until you have fine breadcrumbs, then slowly add the water until you have a smooth dough.
  2. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured worktop until it’s large enough to line the tin.
  3. Spread the jam evenly over the pastry
  4. Preheat the oven to 180⁰c (fan oven), then to make the sponge layer add all the ingredients together and beat until you have a smooth mixture and spread this over the jam layer.
  5. Sprinkle the top with the flaked almond and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the top has started to go a light brown colour.
  6. Leave to cool in the tin then you can cut into slices before removing or if you’ve done it in smaller tins like I have you may be able to remove it in one piece from the tin without the need to cut it up first

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Nutritional Information

Serves 16
Calories: 213
Protein: 3.7g
Carbohydrates: 34.1g
Of which is sugars: 18.7g
Fibre: 1.1g
Fat: 6.9g
Of which is saturated: 3.1g

Sun-Dried Tomato and Harissa Paste Turkey Burgers

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I would have posted last week as keeping to my New Year’s Resolution I have been trying a new recipe every week. However the soup I made for my work lunches was not to my liking so I’ve not shared this one.

But alas, this week, courtesy of a Christmas present from my best friend (a new healthy eating cookbook), I have found an amazing one. This is from Amelia Freer’s book ‘Cook, Nourish, Glow’. I made double the portion from the book as I wanted enough to last me for lunches over the weekend and whilst I’m at work. I found these really easy to make these as a big patch knowing that I have nothing to worry about in the evening when I’m tired after work as everything is already prepped. Not only is it a ridiculously easy recipe to make (once you’ve found all the ingredients, it took me about 10 minutes to locate the harissa paste in Asda), it’s absolutely delicious. Even my boyfriend, who is not a turkey fan, was impressed and said ‘I’m actually quite jealous of you now’. That’s a win if I ever heard one.

The recipe below is for 8 portions. I did this as 8 large burgers, on reflection you could do it as 16 smaller burgers and have 2 for each portion. I will probably do this when I make them again but I just went for 8 large ones. The recipe in the book is for 4 burgers, so the below is easy to divide if you only want to make 4. I served these with a few different things, on Sunday it was with lettuce, tomatoes and a few veggies but today it was with quinoa and veggies. So I have pictured it with a lettuce and tomato bun, but you could put it with anything.

Ingredients

1Kg Turkey Mince

12 Sun-Dried Tomatoes (finely chopped)

4 Shallots (finely chopped)

2 Egg Yolks

4 Tablespoons Fresh Herbs – I used Parsley ( finely chopped)

2 Garlic Cloves (Crushed)

2 Teaspoons Harissa Paste

2 Gem lettuces

Handful of Cherry Tomatoes

Pinch of Pepper to season

Coconut Oil to grease baking trays 

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Method

  1. Add the turkey, sun-dried tomatoes, shallots, egg yolks, garlic and herbs into a large mixing bowl. Thoroughly mix together. Then add the harissa paste and pepper to season and mix again.
  2. Take out a plate or baking tray (one that you won’t need later). Separate the mixture into 8 portions and make into patties. Put them onto the plate, cover with cling film and leave in the fridge to cool for at least half an hour.20160109_105843
  3. Once the half an hour has passed preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6. Melt the coconut oil onto your baking trays and then place the patties onto them. Cook in the oven for 20-25 minutes, ensuring you turn them over half way through.
  4. Serve on a lettuce bun with tomatoes and a side of vegetables.

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Nutritional Information (for the burgers only, not the sides)

Serves 8

208 Calories

25.1g Protein

4.4g Carbohydrates

0.9 Fibre

2.3g Sugar

10g Fat ( 0.5g are Saturated Fats)