I got the sudden urge for a healthy ‘kitchen experiment’, so here’s my very first attempt to make salmon fish cakes. If I may say so myself, experiment success! They taste yum! See ‘more’ to get detail on nutritional value of Salmon & the other tasty asian-inspired ingredients – and good luck! Faya x
One of life’s greatest pleasures is eating – for me that means trying out new restaurants or cooking for friends and family, but I remember a time when eating felt more like a guilt trip. As a young, impressionable teenager I used to guinea-pig my way through unrealistic diets because I was led to believe (through clever marketing, and a pressurising ‘media onslaught’) that eating 5 bars a day was ‘the best way to be healthy’. I also thought the word ‘skinny’ was synonymous with ‘healthy’ and that the quickest way to achieve ‘skinny’ was by eating less food. The scales may have told me I was right, but I felt physically tired, emotional, starving and frankly miserable…. That is anything but an informed understanding of ‘healthy!
I think that especially amongst women, there is a vast and dangerous misconception. By eating far too little in order to lose weight you starve the body of essential nutrients, & have less energy to do anything, including work out! My ‘trick’ is to eat the right food, little & often, throughout the day, to speed up the metabolism. Weighing scales can be very deceiving. Going on bizarre fad diets which promise ‘rapid weight loss’ generally rely on either water loss (i.e. dehydration – bad, as c.70% of the body is made up of water, and there’s a reason for that!) or the loss of your natural muscle mass. Some long term diets may also slow down your metabolism further. Caring for your body by eating well and by being active, you’ll lose the right kind of weight (thus improving the ‘body fat percentage’ ratio).
I hope some of the recipes on my blog can help inspire healthy eating. With that in mind, here’s my asian-inspired lean Chicken Curry packed with nutritious flavour! It’s perfect for sharing!
FOUR KEY HEALTH BENEFITS OF THE RECIPE ???
1) GREEN FRESH JALEPENO CHILLI
Chilli is full of immune-stimulating and health-promoting properties. One is capsaicin (which gives it the spicy kick, and is a strong anti-diabetic). It also has anti-bacterial and anti-carcinogenic properties, whilst reducing (bad) LDL cholesterol levels. These Jalepeno peppers are pretty fiery (2500 on the Scoville scale of ‘can you handle the heat?’), and are more than enough to raise your metabolism a few notches too! It’s rich in vitamin-C (100g chilli = c.240% of RDA) which is immune boosting and fights free radicals from the body. There’s a good amount of minerals such as potassium, manganese, iron, and magnesium too, all of which will help regulate the blood pressure. It also provides your body with its required dose of B-complex vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin and thiamin (vitamin B-1).
Contains beneficial ‘essential oils’ (counter-irritant, anti-fungal & anti-septic properties), as well as vitamins and minerals (such as vitral, lemonal, and aldehyde responsible for that strong lemony scent, but which also has strong anti-microbial and anti-fungal properties). It contains a mini ’99 calories per 100 g’ and not a trace of cholesterol! The stem and leaves are high in folic acid (19% of RDA) which is important in cell division & repair. Plus it’s also rich in vitamin B5, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-1 (essential for the body to replenish). There’s also a cheeky amount of anti-oxidant vitamin-C and vitamin-A (immune and sight-boosting respectively), and finally lemon grass has plenty of bonus minerals like potassium, zinc, calcium, iron, manganese, copper, and magnesium. The body needs these – lemongrass has them!
Garlic is a great source of potassium (regulates blood pressure / oxygenation & heartbeat pace, lubricates joints), iron (supports red blood cell formation), calcium (promotes healthy bones), magnesium (aids nervous-system functions, body temperature regulation, detoxification, energy production, and hormone balancing) manganese (an antioxidant enzyme), zinc (cell regeneration, digestion-aiding, with anti-cancerous properties), and selenium (heart-healthy, antioxidant enzyme). It also has a compound called ‘allicin’ which has been shown to reduce cholesterol, alleviate high blood pressure and help decrease the risk of heart disease and stroke.
4) ORGANIC CHICKEN
Free -range, hormone & antibiotic free organic roast chicken breast (100g contains 116 calories, 22g protein, 3g fat) is perfect if you’re trying to lose weight, as it’s lower in fat and calories than other meats such as beef (100g fillet steak contains 196 calories, 26g protein, 9g fat) and pork (100g pork chop contains 260 calories, 28g protein, 16g fat), whilst still being high in lean protein. It contains vitamins B6 and B3 (to help cell recovery) and contains essential selenium (anti-cancerous properties) and zinc (as per description in ‘garlic’, above). A small serving of chicken can meet the niacin requirements for the entire day (essential for brain health, shown to help protect against Alzheimer’s disease & dementia), as well as Vitamin E, betacarotene, and Vitamins B6 and B12.
Click more below to see the full instructions to make this delicious and healthy dish. Enjoy, and I’d love to hear what you think of it! firstname.lastname@example.org for any feedback and questions. Faya 🙂
This soup recipe is quick, easy and very nutritious. One of the reasons I love making soups is that anything in the fridge is fair game… everything is a potential ingredient (within reason)! This particular Leek & Carrot soup is made up of just 4 ingredients, which are unremarkable on their own, but when blended together, taste – if I may say so myself – delicious! It’s a healthy mix of carrots (rich in dietary fibre for digestion, vitamin A for healthy vision, and are proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease), yoghurt (contains protein to fuel muscle repair, potassium to condition the heart / brain / kidney, zinc to regulate testosterone, and vitamin B12 to encourage haemoglobin production), leek (rich in antioxidants, and calcium to strengthen bones), and some ginger (with anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and digestion-aiding properties) for added flavour. Most recipe books I read suggest plenty of cream to thicken the texture; I’m sure Gordon Ramsay wouldn’t use yoghurt in a soup, but this miraculous 0% fat greek yoghurt from Total is miles healthier than its dairy cousin, and still gives the soup a wonderfully rich texture – just with a mere 57 calories per 100ml vs Sainsbury’s double cream at 445 calories per 100ml! Another great thing about this recipe is that it serves 3-4 people, for under £6.00 in 30 mins so eating fresh healthy food every day doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming!
To cook it, follow the easy instructions below. Hope you enjoy, and that it warms you up on these cold winters nights!
This recipe for my super-nutritious Asian Coconut Broth is meant to prove that Asian food can not only be incredibly full on flavour, but can also be very healthy. To tick the ever-important protein box, I’ve thrown in prawns, but chicken also works fine with this dish (see photo below). To make it interesting, I’ve given it some more substance by adding quinoa (a low GI seed which packs a complete protein, as discussed in my previous post ‘Nature’s Protein’, here). I’ve also used coconut milk, which apart from being gluten and cholesterol-free, is very rich in manganese (to balance blood sugar), calcium and phosphorus (for bone strength), iron (1 cup provides 25% of your daily requirement, for energy & healthy blood oxygenation), vitamin C (for immune health) and mounds of dietary fibre. Note, coconut milk whilst rich on flavour, is relatively high in fat (20g saturated fat per 100g milk, but no transfat) therefore I only used half a tin, and diluted it with an equal part of water, which still gives it all the taste it needs. Lime gives the dish a sharper kick, but also supercharges the vitamin C content, whilst the flavoursome chilli and ginger raise the body’s metabolic rate, helping you burn your calories quicker! Served piping-hot, it’s a massively hearty (& healthy) option for a midweek meal! Here’s the ingredients list and the ‘how-to’:
Enjoy! Faya x
This is not just a recipe for soup, it’s a way to trick your metabolism. My Winter Lentil Soup is one of my favourites, and one which is super-quick to make (10 min max – recipe below). It has all of the key nutritional values you’d look for (protein rich thanks to the lentils, plenty of dietary fibre and vitamin-B too), but healthy shouldn’t mean tasteless, so what better way to improve a soup’s flavour than with some fresh chili. I’m frozen on these cold winter days but eating spicy foods can make you feel warm and cosy (and occasionally give you a comically red face!) – in chili this is because of the chemical called ‘capsaicin’, which gives it the heat and potency, and also stimulates a natural process where other food you eat is converted immediately to heat. This process is called thermogenesis, meaning you burn up calories immediately rather than storing them.
So, spicing up a meal with chili significantly increases the pace of thermogenesis. More good news – it often boosts the amount of fat, rather than carbohydrate, that is burned in the process, AND it can reduce appetite. So it’s a natural dieting agent that tastes good! A few more foods that can do the same, you ask? Ginger, mustard, green tea, coconut oil and coffee. Click ‘more’ to see my yummy recipe…