Souping…

I confess, lately it has been one cheat day after the other (yes, I am passed the ‘cheat-meal’ concept) and I have been eating not-really-junk-food but not as healthy as before either… It must be the fact that I am six weeks away from having to start and loose the baby weight and I honestly think that my brain just wants to be able to hold the fact that I’ve eaten all I desired against me from January onward and thus helping me either a) loose my mind or b) loose the baby-weight or both. Either way, yesterday I felt the urge to eat something green and because I am lazy af (read: I did not put any make-up on and thus I was not legally safe to get out of the house) I decided to use whatever we had left in the fridge to make something that will appeal to my very pregnant body and very rational brain.

img_6878

I did manage to make a green dish, that turned out delicious and that could’ve been even healthier than it turned out had I not decided to use crispy bacon right at the end. Damn you D for buying the food of the Devil and leaving it at my reach! To be completely honest, I think that the salty goodness and the crispy texture of the bacon made this soup irresistible so I decided to forgive D for the error in judgement. If you too are one of those people that love a good sweet-salty combo as well as (kinda) taking care of your figure than this soup is an absolute must-try. I would like to go ahead and say right from the beginning that this is a no-brainer soup and I am not trying to prove to you that I can cook through this recipe, this is just another chapter of the ‘cravings’ series and honestly, a three year old could make this easy, fast and healthy soup.

img_6856

What I found in the fridge and managed to use for this hot goodness:

  • 600 g of fine frozen peas (the small fine ones are sweeter than the regular sized ones)
  • about 50 g of leftover diced bacon (if I had more I would’ve used more)
  • 1 tsp coconut butter (any oil will do but this one brought out the sweetness of the peas)
  • 1 pot plain yoghurt
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 tsp vegetable cooking base (because I did not have any vegetable in the house)

img_6862

The simplicity of making something delicious:

  1. First of all, take pics of what you are about to cook and send to your spouse to make him come home earlier from work (if that does not work, send him naughty pics).
  2. Heat the coconut butter in the pot you will use to make your soup and add the roughly chopped onion – do not try and finely chop the onion as everything will be blended anyway.
  3. Cook the onion until it is golden and tender and then add 4 cups of water and bring to boil.
  4. Add the vegetable base and the peas and let everything boil for about 6-7 minutes.
  5. Take the pot away from the stove and blend everything really well and then add the yoghurt.
  6. After another good blend, bring everything to boil for another 3-4 minutes and that’s it.
  7. All you have to do now is fry the bacon until it is crispy, put it on top of your soup bowl and enjoy!

This is quite a healthy dish with or without the bacon and I think it is perfect for those cold days when you just need something that will make you feel good about yourself because hey, it is green and therefore healthy but also will satisfy your not so good cravings thanks to the crispy bacon. As usual, I have provided both the portion nutritional info as well as for the whole thing thanks to MyNetDiary and the app too says that this is quite a healthy meal. D can vouch for the fact that it did taste amazing despite it being vegetable based and him being the ultimate meat-lover!

L.

Purple Mash…

Back in the potato-cravings-zone, but this time on a more healthy note than before… Never did I ever liked mashed potatoes of any kind until I tried this recipe. For some reason, in my opinion, mashed potatoes were always done by those that are too lazy to actually fry them or bake them in the oven – the way potatoes are meant to be eaten – I mean, all you have to do is boil them and mash them and you end up with one of the most boring options to cook potatoes. In my opinion, no matter how much milk or butter you added to them they always ended up tasting like paper.

img_6372

Since being pregnant means that you literally go a bit insane, this weekend I was craving mashed potatoes. But not any type of mashed potatoes, blue mashed potatoes because I thought they must taste great solely based on their colour and the fact that I decided to add some of my favourite ingredients plus skipping the unhealthy butter. Obviously, blue potatoes are only called ‘blue’ to confuse the shit out of you, because in fact they are purple. Like really purple! And you do need to use gloves when you handle them raw otherwise you’ll end up with purple-stained palms for a few days – trust me, not the greatest look! While blue potatoes are a bit more expensive than plain white potatoes, they do not taste any different or make a big difference from a nutritional stand point, therefore unless you do not want to a)get your hands dirty and b)eat something a bit different in colour, you can easily swap them for plain potatoes for this recipe.

img_6343

Moving on to the recipe. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 kg blue potatoes
  • 400 gr greek yoghurt (instead of all the milk and butter – for a very creamy result)
  • 20 gr of fresh dill
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 150 gr shredded mozzarella (or any other shredded cheese you like – I picked mozzarella because it is lighter and has less salt)

img_6347

While making this takes about an hour, there are only a few simple steps to follow:

  1. Take pics of the lovely coloured ingredients and then start chopping everything. Peel the potatoes and cut them, chop the dill and mince the garlic.
  2. Boil the potatoes for about 40 minutes, drain them and mash them with a hand blender.
  3. Add the greek yoghurt and blend some more.
  4. The garlic and the dill are next into the blending pot.
  5. In comes the shredded mozzarella which must not be blended but mixed really well with a spoon.
  6. That’s it! All you have to do now is serve the purple mash in cups!

Besides it looking very interesting, it is very tasty thanks to the dill and the garlic while still being very satisfying to cheese lovers like me thanks to the mozzarella. This can be a side to any dish or you could consume it the way I did, on its own as it is really filling. It is a grade A food which means it is a healthy dish and it does not pack a lot of calories (only 211 per serving) while giving you a good amount of protein. All the nutritional info is courtesy of MyNetDiary app and I’ve uploaded both the serving info as well as for the whole thing. I divided the whole quantity to 8 servings. I hope you’ll enjoy my purple mash!

L.

Healthy Berry-Banana Bread

Truth be told, I am craving all Christmas-y treats – mostly sweets – if I really want to be honest… But, since it is not even December yet I have to contain my cravings and go for healthier versions of sweets therefore I give you the healthiest berry banana bread! This actually tastes better than it looks and I must say that it tastes better than those healthy berry muffins I baked a while ago (see recipe here). The thing with the colder months is that we all tend to crave hot and filling dishes, but that does not mean that they have to be calorie packed and filled with all sorts of unhealthy sugars.

A while back we both decided to try and eliminate sugar from our diet, at least when it comes to our home-made meals (no, we are not avoiding sugar at all costs and actually we do indulge in traditional desserts once a week). That made us look for ingredients that will still give our treats that lovely sweet taste without compromising on the health factor. This is why we chose raw honey, fruits and spices. With honey, a little goes a long way, while with fruits and spices, it’s more of an ‘all-you-can-add’ thing. Yesterday I was seriously craving something sweet and Christmas-y, and what better substitute to the classic Panettone than a cinnamon infused banana bread. The thing with this banana-bread is that I have never ever done one before and had no idea how it will turn out. I confess that I went a bit overboard with the frozen berries and therefore the bread was a bit more moist that I expected but it is really filling and does satisfy the sweet-tooth in a very healthy way.After all that rambling I think it is time to move along to the actual recipe.

img_6015

Ingredients:

  • 240 g whole grain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter (melted) – this again will give you a bit of sweetness and flavour
  • 2 egg-whites
  • 2 medium over-ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 cup of plain yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp raw honey (we used a variety that has a bit of cinnamon in it and therefore gave it even more flavour)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder – for that Christmas feeling
  • 60 ml coconut-almond milk (full of aroma)
  • 200 g frozen berry mix

img_6018

Steps to follow for this healthy goodness:

  1. First of all preheat your oven at 175 degrees C and carefully arrange all the ingredients so that you can take loads of pictures.
  2. Mix together the baking powder, the baking soda and the cinnamon powder in a small bowl and then put the mixture all over the flour and stir well.
  3. Whip the egg-whites with the vanilla extract and the coconut oil and pour the mixture over the banana mash alongside the yoghurt and the honey, Make sure you mix everything really well.
  4. Now for the tricky part… You will have to incorporate the flour and the milk into the mixture carefully, just like you did for the berry muffins (see here). I did it in three parts.
  5. Carefully mix in the frozen berries and pour everything into a bread tray.
  6. Off into the oven it all goes and 50 minutes later you will indulge in the best and healthiest berry banana bread! No guilt whatsoever!

While this takes a bit more time to bake than the muffins, it is more filling and it is healthier than the muffins. If you are hungry, you can always use smaller trays or even pour the mixture in a muffin tray which will probably cut your baking time in half. I have attached the nutritional info both for a serving (one 1,5 cm thick loaf) as well as for the whole thing (10 loaves) and as you can see this is a grade A food and therefore it is very healthy. All the nutritional data is courtesy of the MyNetDiary app. I hope you will enjoy this banana bread and soon we sill start baking heathy versions of all the Christmas sweet treats (apple pie, gingerbread etc)!

L.