Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: Change4life

Change For Life Challenge- Sunday

Evening meal- Super Stew and Dumplings

I chose this recipe because it seemed perfect for a lazy cold Sunday. With just 2o minute preparation time but a long cooking time it’s a great one to do if you want minimal effort and you’re not going anywhere. You can just leave it simmering away while you get one with whatever you’re doing.

Ingredients for the stew

Ingredients for the stew

When I was making the dumplings I thought I’d got the measurements wrong because the dumplings were so tiny but I forgot how much they grow when they are cooking. I haven’t cooked dumplings for a long time but a slow cooked stew and dumplings is so comforting. I will definitely start cooking this kind of dish more often.

When making the dough for the dumplings, it’s tempting to add more water but persist with the 2 tablespoons if you can because it comes together in the end and you don’t want it to end up sticky.

Cooking and preparation time for this recipe were exactly as stated and it was a really easy dish to cook with plenty of variations that would be simple to do depending on your taste.

Even though you leave it to simmer for a long time, I would check often because you may need to add a little more water or stock. Apart from that, this involves very little effort once it’s bubbling away.

Perfect for a Sunday

Perfect for a Sunday

Recipe- serves 4

307 calories, 20 minutes prep time, 3 hours cooking time.

Ingredients:

2 tsp vegetable oil

280g lean braising steak, cut into chunks

450ml reduced-salt beef or vegetable stock

2 onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 large carrots, cut into chunks

2 celery sticks, sliced

1 bay leaf (optional)

250g closed cup mushrooms, halved

100g self-raising flour

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, or 2 tsp mixed dried herbs

50g reduced fat spread

freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large casserole dish or saucepan.

2. Add the beef and cook for 2-3 minutes over a high heat until it’s browned.

3. Pour the stock into the pan, adding the onions, garlic, carrots, celery, bay leaf and mushrooms. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and cook over a low heat for 1 hour. Add a little water if needed.

4. To make the dumplings, sift the flour into a bowl with the parsley and some black pepper. Add the reduced fat spread to the flour, then rub in with your fingertips until the mixture looks like fine crumbs. Add just enough cold water (about 2 tbsp) to make a soft dough. Knead the dough lightly for a moment, then form into 12 small dumplings.

5. add the dumplings into the stew, letting them sit on the surface. Cover and cook for another 25-30 minutes, until the dumplings are light and fluffy.

For this and many more recipes, sign up to Change4Life’s Food Smart Campaign and receive your free recipe booklet.

Change For Life Challenge- Saturday

Breakfast- Potato and Poached Egg Hash

I chose this recipe because it sounded like a naughty weekend breakfast but it is surprisingly only 194 calories per portion and the portion is a fair size for breakfast.

Ingredients

Ingredients

I love fried potato and bacon, who doesn’t? And the addition of the tomatoes and spring onions made it taste fresh and less stodgy.

The cooking times for this were spot on but that is assuming you have already cooked and chilled the potatoes or have some left over from the day before. If you need to cook the potatoes at the same time, add another 20 minutes to the recipe. Fried potatoes work better with cold potatoes but it isn’t essential.

I love poached egg and you can’t beat a nice runny one in my opinion but that of course is up to you.

Perfect weekend breakfast!

Perfect weekend breakfast!

Recipe- serves 4

194 calories per portion, 10 minutes prep time, 20 minutes cooking time

Ingredients:

3 tsp vegetable oil

3 lean rashers of back bacon, chopped

400g cold cooked potatoes, cut into chunks

4 spring onions, finely chopped

4 tomatoes, chopped

4 eggs

Freshly ground pepper

What to do:

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Add the bacon, cooking it for 1-2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook over a medium heat for 12-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned.

2. add the spring onions and tomatoes and cook over a low heat for another 4-5 minutes, while poaching the eggs.

3. Poach the eggs in simmering water for 3-4 minutes, until the whites are set and the yolks still runny. (Like them firmer? Poach them for longer).

4. Share the potato hash between 4 warm plates and place a poached egg on top. Add a pinch of black pepper and serve.

Sign up for Change4Life’s free recipe planning for more healthy recipes.

Change For Life Challenge- Friday

Evening Meal- Vegetable Jalfrezi

Friday night is the perfect night for a curry. After a hard week, a curry feels like a treat but there is no reason for it to be unhealthy. This vegetable Jalfrezi is packed full of vegetables and if you’re craving meat, you can change the chickpeas for chicken.

Ingredients for this veggy curry

Ingredients for this veggie curry

I am partial to a vegetable curry so I went for the non meat version found in the recipe booklet. It was very easy to make and the cooking times were accurate. Brown rice takes a little longer than white rice so remember that when working out your timings but everything is clearly laid out in the instructions so you shouldn’t go wrong.

It was pretty tasty with the chunky vegetables and the chickpeas made it nice and filling. In fact, the portions were very generous and each one was still only 401 calories. I wouldn’t usually buy a curry paste. I like to make my own so I know exactly what’s in it and so that I can get the flavour I want but if you’re pushed for time or new to cooking, a paste from the shop works fine. When looking around the shops, I found a few and they all varied in calories and fat content so that’s worth checking when choosing yours.

I really liked the inclusion of an apple which isn’t something I’ve thought of before but it added a lovely sweetness. I served my curry with the optional coriander and I think it really added to the flavour. I love coriander but if you’re not keen, it still works well without.

Perfect for a Friday night

Perfect for a Friday night

Recipe- Serves 4

401 calories per portion, 20 minutes prep time, 40 minutes cook time.

Ingredients:

2 tsp vegetable oil

2 onions, chopped

1 eating apple, cored and chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

2 tbsp Jalfrezi curry paste

1 large carrot, sliced

1 pepper, deseeded and chopped

400g can chopped tomatoes

200g cauliflower. broken into florets

410g can chickpeas (canned in water), rinsed and drained

300ml reduced-salt vegetable stock

180g wholegrain brown rice

50g frozen peas

2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (optional)

4 tbsp low-fat plain yogurt, to serve

salt and freshly ground pepper

What to do:

1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions, apple and garlic and cook, stirring for 3-4 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and cook for a few seconds.

2. Add the carrot, pepper, tomatoes, cauliflower, chickpeas and stock. Simmer, partially covered for 25-30 minutes, adding a little extra stock or water if needed. At the same time time, cook the rice in a large pan of gently boiling water for about 30 minutes.

3. Add the peas and coriander (if using) and heat for 2-3 minutes. Check the seasoning, adding a little pepper if needed. Serve the curry and rice, topping each portion with 1 tbsp of low-fat yogurt.

Sign up for a free recipe planner from Change4Life.

Change For Life Challenge- Thursday

Lunch- Super Savoury Rice

Another healthy lunch option for Thursday. I chose Super Savoury Rice. It’s a welcome change to a sandwich for me and easy to prepare. I made it the night before and made enough for myself and my husband to have for lunch today and tomorrow because the recipe serves 4.

Ingredients for savoury rice

Ingredients for Super Savoury Rice

I like the idea of this lunch as you can eat it hot or cold. It would also work well as an evening meal if you serve it with some salad. I think if I make it again I will add a few more herbs and spices. The flavouring wasn’t really strong enough for me. I would add a bit of chopped garlic when cooking the onions and some fresh herbs would be nice too. Maybe some coriander would go nicely with the curry flavour. That’s the beauty of cooking. You can try out recipes and adapt them to your taste.

Cooking time for this was exactly as stated and the preparation time took me a little less. It’s a nice easy one but I would definitely recommend doing it the night before if you’re taking it to work for lunch.

A nice alternative to sandwiches

A nice alternative to sandwiches

Recipe- serves 4

183 calories per portion, prep time 10 minutes, cooking time 30 minutes

Ingredients:

1 tsp oil

1 onion, finely chopped

100g mushrooms, sliced

150g long grain rice

300ml reduced-salt vegetable stock

75g frozen peas

100g baby sweetcorn, sliced

1tsp curry powder

1 tomato, chopped

What to do:

1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onions for 2-3 minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes.

2. Stir the rice, then add the stock, peas, baby sweetcorn and curry powder. Stir well. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the rice is tender, adding more water if necessary.

3. Serve the rice in bowls and sprinkle the tomato on top.

 For more recipes, sign up for the free Change4life recipe booklet.

Change For Life Challenge- Wednesday

Evening meal- Salmon with Parsley Mash

Having tried a breakfast and lunch option, I thought it was time for a healthy dinner recipe. I chose salmon with parsley mash from the recipe booklet. I love salmon and it’s so good for you and low in fat. Ideally you should try to eat oily fish at least once a week which I do try to do and salmon is a favourite of mine.

Ingredients for the dish

Ingredients for the dish

This recipe was extremely easy. The mash was straight forward and the spring onion and parsley added something extra without being fiddly or difficult to do. The salmon took slightly longer to do than instructed but the timings are always a guide, you just need to cut it open slightly to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

Personally, I like a bit of butter in my mash usually but it was actually fine without. I will still add butter and cream for a special meal but for a mid-week meal, it is absolutely fine without. Overall it was it fresh, healthy and very very easy.

It’s one of those dishes that you can make look impressive with the presentation when in fact there was very little to it.

One of those dishes that you can make look more inpressive than it is

One of those dishes that you can make look more impressive than it is

Recipe- serves 4

445 calories per portion, 20 minutes prep time, 25 minutes cook time

Ingredients:

1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

6 spring onions, finely sliced

1 tsp vegetable oil

4x 120g salmon fillets

4 tbsp semi-skimmed or 1% fat milk

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 head broccoli, broken into florets

freshly ground black pepper

What to do:

1. Cook the potatoes in boiling water for 20 minutes until tender. Add the spring onions 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

2. When the potatoes have been cooking for 10 minutes, it’s time to prepare the salmon. Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add the salmon, skin side down. Cook over a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Turn the salmon over, reduce the heat and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.

3. Cook the broccoli in a little boiling water for about 5-6 minutes. Rest the salmon for a few minutes while you make the mash.

4. Drain the potatoes and spring onions and mash throughly. Beat in the milk and parsley. Reheat on the hob for a minute, beating well. Share the mash between four plates and arrange the salmon fillets on top. Serve with the broccoli.

If you’d like to try some more healthy recipes, order your free recipe booklet.

Change 4 Life Challenge- Tuesday

Breakfast- Forest Fruit Smoothie

This super easy smoothie is already a staple breakfast for me and is just as quick as toast and butter but a much healthier start to the day.  The preparation time states 6 minutes but I did it much quicker than that.

Smoothie Ingredients

Smoothie Ingredients

I used frozen forest fruits because that’s what the recipe said but it works well with any fruit, frozen or fresh. I often use frozen raspberries or fresh mango or sometimes just banana on its own.

Frozen fruits are great in smoothies because they are already cold and add a different texture. I like the addition of the yogurt but it is optional so entirely up to you. It’s sometimes nice to add a bit of fruit juice too if you don’t fancy it too milky.

I do my best to eat my 5 a day and this is a really good way of getting there and all before 9am! I had this with muesli but I could have just as easily enjoyed double the quantity with anything else.

I had mine with muesli but it would be fine on it's own

I had mine with muesli but it would be fine on its own

Recipe- serves 4

157 calories per portion, 6 minutes prep time, 1 minute cooking time.

Ingredients:

1 large banana

150g frozen forest fruits

150g low-fat natural yogurt (optional)

750ml semi-skimmed or 1% fat milk

What to do:

1. Slice the banana into a blender and add the frozen fruit (no need to thaw it first).

2. Add the low-fat yogurt and milk.

3. Blend together for 15-20 seconds, then pour into 4 glasses. Enjoy straightaway, with your cereal or wholemeal toast.

If you’d like to try the recipes for yourself you can order a free recipe booklet

Change For Life Challenge- Monday

Lunch- Harvest Vegetable Soup

I kicked off the first day of my Change For Life Challenge with a lunch time option from the recipe booklet- Harvest Vegetable Soup. I know that when you’re working it can be quite difficult to eat a healthy lunch on the go. Most of us don’t have access to a kitchen to prepare food in the workplace (myself included) so I often make my lunch in advance. I actually made this Sunday night and I made enough to have for 2 days and some to freeze. The recipe serves 4 so if there are only 2 of you like there are in my house, I would suggest making it all anyway and saving some for another day.

Soup ingredients

Soup ingredients

I make soup quite often but I know that if you’re new to cooking it can be quite daunting picking ingredients. You learn what goes together over time but I thought this recipe was a great starting point because it is a good base which you can add to and adapt when you get more confident.

The instructions for this recipe were easy to follow but be careful with the cooking times because at the top of the page in the handy timings diagram (and stated below) it says cooking time 15 minutes but in the instructions you are told to simmer the vegetables for 25 minutes. It takes more like 30 minutes in total.

I liked the use of the sweetcorn, I think it added a nice colour and texture but if you’re not keen on any of the ingredients, you can always leave them out or swap them for another. The best thing about soup is that you can pretty much include whatever you want. It’s a great way of using up vegetables and of experimenting with flavours.

Soup for lunch and enough to take to work tomorrow

Soup for lunch and enough to take to work tomorrow

Recipe- serves 4

177 calories per portion, 10 minutes prep time, 15 minutes cooking time

Ingredients:

1 onion, chopped finely

1 leek, trimmed and sliced

1 carrot, diced

200g swede or turnip diced

400ml reduced-salt vegetable stock

1 level tbsp cornflour

600ml semi-skimmed or 1% fat milk

75g sweetcorn (frozen or canned in water)

Freshly ground pepper

4 wholemeal rolls to serve

What to do:

1. Put the onion, leek, carrot, swede or turnip, potato and stock into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 25 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.

2. Blend the cornflour to a smooth paste with 2-3 tablespoons of the milk. Add the remaining milk to the saucepan with the sweetcorn, then stir in the blended cornflour. Heat gently, stirring constantly, until the soup thickens and just begins to boil.

3. Season with black pepper and ladle into bowls. Serve each portion with a wholemeal roll.

For more recipes, sign up for the free Change4life recipe booklet.

%d bloggers like this: