Your Last Mouthful

Cardiff based food blog

Tag Archives: low calorie

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.

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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.

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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.

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