Yeung Chow Fried Rice – fantastic ‘fakeaway’


Yeung Chow Fried rice

Although luscious, Yeung Chow Fried Rice from my local Chinese takeaway will set me back £6 and is rich in calories. In contrast, this slimming, wallet friendly version from Pinch of Nom tastes arguably as good – the only giveaway that this is ‘home-made’ is my shite attempt at julienning a carrot.

There may be a few ingredients to initially buy-in, but most of them you’ll use consistently if following a healthy-eating plan. I had an unused pork steak from a pack after making Creamy Pork, Apples and Cabbage, so this seemed like a good way of ensuring nothing went to waste. Continue reading “Yeung Chow Fried Rice – fantastic ‘fakeaway’”

Southern-Style Jambalaya – a one-pan feast from Louisiana


Southern style jambalaya

Southern-Style Jambalaya, heralding from Louisiana USA, not Essex, is a proper feast from the Hairy Dieters that combines loads of protein and vegetables in one-pan. It contains some of my favourite food – chicken, chorizo and prawns, and pays homage to some lesser regarded items such as celery and green peppers which help to bulk this filling meal out.

While there a lot of ingredients in this, a number of them are spices, which you’ll use over and over again if following a healthy eating plan. And even if you’re not, just make this anyway because it tastes absolutely fantastic. Continue reading “Southern-Style Jambalaya – a one-pan feast from Louisiana”

Cajun prawn and kale salad – classic US gumbo dish on a diet


Cajun prawns gumbo

I’m slowly working my way through Tom Kerridge’s Lose Weight for Good book (I’d recommend it!). Following the success of Scrambled Cajun Eggs, yesterday I decided to continue with the theme by making Cajun Prawn and Kale Salad. This is apparently a classic US gumbo dish originating from Louisiana.

This is a really gutsy salad with bold flavours that fill you up for only 220 calories. I didn’t have all of the recommended ingredients to hand and had to make do with standard king prawns rather than raw tiger prawns, a regular red chilli instead of Scotch Bonnet and I omitted the celery. That did save me a couple of quid in costs, but in contrast the end result wasn’t as good had I followed this recipe to the letter. When life returns to ‘normal’ I’ll be giving this another go. Continue reading “Cajun prawn and kale salad – classic US gumbo dish on a diet”

Quinoa, prawn and mango salad – seductive treat!


Mango prawn salad

Quinoa, prawn and mango salad from the Hairy Dieters is one of the more expensive healthy eating recipes I’ve made, but it’s an absolute treat to devour and so worth the extra cost and effort. The marinated prawns and mango are a match made in heaven, you get the ‘nuttyness’ from the quinoa and the zing and heat from the mango chilli dressing. This is one seductive salad!

You might be tempted to ‘double up’ as this is only 200 calories per serving, however I recommend you don’t as one portion is more than filling enough. Diet or no diet, this colourful, flavoursome lunch packs a brilliant punch. Continue reading “Quinoa, prawn and mango salad – seductive treat!”

Pasta with clams and bacon


Clams

I’ve never been a huge fan of Italian food. I can take or leave pizza and I’ve never understood how some restaurants justify charging upwards of £15 for a bowl of pasta. It’s ironic then that going on a healthy eating plan has enabled me to fall in love with simple, tasty Italian pasta dishes that are quick and economical to cook.

Pasta with clams and bacon from the third instalment of the Hairy Dieters series has become one of my favourites. The photo above might not scream ‘eat me now!’, but don’t let that put you off, the flavour combinations in this recipe are divine and I’d urge you to try it.

Disclaimer: my local supermarkets aren’t posh enough to stock clams so I substituted them for cockles which worked a treat. Clams, cockles or even mussels – see what works for you. But whatever you use, don’t forget to save 50ml of the liquor when draining them as adding this back into the pan makes this sumptuous dish even more yummy.

Can’t get enough of healthy pasta dishes? Check out Pollo Pasta with Pesto, Smashed Up Chicken, Pasta Puttanesca and Tagliatelle Carbonara. Continue reading “Pasta with clams and bacon”

Prawn pasta salad


Prawwwwns

Quick pasta salad dishes are perfect for mid-week lunchboxes to take to work and are a healthier and cheaper alternative to caloric supermarket equivalents. This Prawn Pasta Salad recipe is tucked away towards the back of the Hairy Dieters’ second book and is one of my favourites.

It’s so simple to put together and you can have it ready in under 20 minutes. Do remember to use ‘light’ mayonnaise as using full fat versions will bump the calories up. Fancying something more up-market to show off to your work colleagues? Then Posh Prawn Cocktail is for you, my friends. Continue reading “Prawn pasta salad”

Poached egg, smoked salmon and spinach – the breakfast of kings!


Smoked salmon and spinach

Poached egg, smoked salmon and spinach from the Hairy Dieters is truly the breakfast of kings! Whether you’re on a diet or not, this recipe is a proper treat and is super healthy at just over 200 calories.

Be generous with the nutmeg and black pepper, don’t overcook the spinach (it only needs about a minute in the pan) or your egg as the runny yolk into the salmon and spinach is pure heaven in your mouth.

Good quality smoked salmon can be expensive, but Sainsbury’s are currently selling 100g of Harbour Smokehouse Salmon for only £2 per pack. Fill your boots and make Posh Prawn Cocktail while you’re at it! Continue reading “Poached egg, smoked salmon and spinach – the breakfast of kings!”

Pasta puttanesca for only 61p per portion!


Pasta puttanesca

The Hairy Dieters’ books contain some cracking pasta recipes but Pasta Puttanesca from their third book is arguably their best. It’s a great store-cupboard staple dish to rustle up on a week night and costs just 61p per portion!

There are lots of variations of this recipe but this one is sooooo scrummy and comes in at only 250 calories. If you’re short on time, chuck in 1 teaspoon of chilli flakes if you don’t want to faff about deseeding and finely chopping a chilli.

The only difficulty with eating pasta puttanesca is having sufficient resolve not to demolish any spare portions if you get peckish, which ‘greedy guts’, aka yours truly, has been known to do on occasion. Well, perhaps on every occasion wahahaha ;-).

If you’ve got any anchovies left over and are wondering what to do with them, why not have a go at making Chicken Caesar Salad? Continue reading “Pasta puttanesca for only 61p per portion!”

Chicken caesar salad (light) – hail Caesar!


caesar

The Hairy Dieters’ take on a lighter Chicken caesar salad recipe is one of my ‘go to’ lunches, it can be rustled up in under 20 minutes and tastes fantastic, warm or cold. This dish is traditionally regarded as being quite unhealthy but if you follow the method below you can have a filling, nutritional meal on the table for under 300 calories!

A word of warning. Well, perhaps ‘warning’ is a little dramatic. The caesar salad dressing is lovely (you only need half of it) but it does taste quite strongly of garlic, so you may wish to use only a small clove if you’re taking it into work. Although personally, I couldn’t care less and nothing will compare to the stick I got when I brought in a smoked haddock chowder one balmy afternoon a couple of years ago.

The photo above is actually only of one chicken breast (the recipe states you can have two) but it was more than sufficient for me. The ciabatta ‘croutons’ are a nice touch, but not essential, so don’t go out of your way to buy a ciabatta loaf if you don’t have one in. Hail Caesar! Enjoy! Continue reading “Chicken caesar salad (light) – hail Caesar!”

Posh Prawn Cocktail – old school with a new school twist


Posh prawn cocktail

When you think of prawn cocktail, you normally envisage a bland, unhealthy starter plastered on a tired, drink-stained pub menu. But this ‘Posh Prawn Cocktail‘ recipe from the Hairy Dieters’ inaugural book turns an old school ‘classic’ into a tastier, more refined version at a fraction of the calories of the original.

Not only does it taste the business, if you get your skates on it can be ready in just 15 minutes, making it ideal for a mid-week lunch that you can take into work. Just don’t eat it out of a wine glass (as the Hairy Dieters suggest below) otherwise your colleagues will think you’re a twat. I used a trusty tupperware box to transport mine and even doubled up my portion, which still only comes in at 278 calories! The cost of ingredients might be higher compared to other bog-standard lunches but this meal is a healthy treat that you’ll love. Continue reading “Posh Prawn Cocktail – old school with a new school twist”

Smoked Trout Salad – OMG you must try it!


Trout

Smoked Trout Salad from The Hairy Dieters is unbelievably good – I’d be delighted to be served this even if I wasn’t trying to shed some timber – and you’ll be the envy of your friends and workmates if they see you tucking into it! The celeriac ‘fries’ add a nice touch but they are a bit faffy to prep, so if you’re in a hurry you can leave them out and still enjoy this food porn without any detriment.

My local supermarket isn’t posh enough to stock trout, but it’s just as good with hot smoked salmon flakes which is what I used in the photo above. They are expensive at around £3.75 per 100g pack but this dish is soooo worth it. The quantities will serve 4 at an incredible 135 calories per portion, or you can afford to enjoy a lunchtime feast for only 270 calories if serving 2. You know it makes sense!

You’ll have plenty of celeriac leftover so why not have a go at making The Hairy Dieters’ Corned Beef Hash which is also in their ‘Fast Food’ book, a celeriac puree to accompany a chicken-based dish, or Jamie Oliver’s quirky but fantastic ‘Zombie Brain’ dish which features in his ‘Save with Jamie’ book. I’ll try and blog about them at some point. Continue reading “Smoked Trout Salad – OMG you must try it!”