One of the best ways to incorporate healthy meals into your diet is through cooking at home. If you cook from scratch, you know exactly what’s going into your food and you can ensure you’re getting in a good balance of nutrients so your body (and mind) is fuelled and can function at it’s best.
I’ve mentioned this before but I personally do not avoid any food group in my meals intentionally. I eat fats, proteins and carbs in my meals, depending on what I feel like and I don’t follow specific rules or principles around food. This is what works for me personally and I feel pretty damn good living this way. The recipes suggested below can be changed in line with whatever works for you. Want less carbs? Switch the rice for cauliflower or broccoli rice or change the spaghetti to courgetti. Want more fats? Add in some Avocado or cheese for example.
The recipes below are some that I cook on a regular basis, mainly as dinner recipes. You know when you buy a new cookery book and you try and make one of the recipes and it takes you 2 hours and tastes like a dry old boot – well, I’ve tested these and can confirm that they are all Sazzy G approved. They’re quick, tasty and in my opinion, healthy and nutritious! You can also make some of these recipes in bulk which will save you time later on in the week.
I hope you enjoy!
Joe’s Chicken Pie
- 2 large knobs of butter
- 1 large leek, washed and chopped into 2cm pieces
- 200g mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 4 x 250g chicken breast fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 250ml chicken stock
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- 100ml double cream
- 2 large handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- about 6 sheets of filo pastry
- drizzle of olive oil
- salad or veg, to serve
Preheat your oven to 190°C (fan 170°C, gas mark 5).
Heat the butter in a large frying pan over a medium to high heat. Add the leek and mushrooms and fry for 2–3 minutes until they just start to soften. Crank up the heat to high, add the chicken pieces and fry for a further 2 minutes – the chicken won’t be cooked through at this point – then pour in the chicken stock and let it come to a simmer.
Meanwhile, mix the cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water until smooth, then pour into the pan, along with the cream. Bring back to the boil, stirring gently, and cook until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and stir in the spinach, then tip the whole lot into a pie dish about 28cm x 15cm. Set aside to cool a little.
Take a sheet of filo and roughly crumple it in your hands – there is no right or wrong to this method! Place the crumpled filo on top of the chicken filling in the pie dish and repeat with the remaining filo sheets.
Drizzle the pastry with olive oil, then bake the pie for about 20 minutes, by which time the filo will have crisped up and turned golden brown in places.
Serve up your pie with fresh salad or some vegetables.
Tip: If you don’t like mushrooms, try aubergines!
Deliciously Ella’s black and kidney bean chilli (Veggie)
- 2 carrots, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 600g passata
- 50g tomato purée
- 2 x 400g tins black beans
- 1 x 400g tin red kidney beans
- 1 jalapeño pepper, deseeded and finely chopped
- 1 tsp chilli flakes (add more if you like it extra spicy)
- brown rice and green veg, to serve
Place the carrot and garlic into a large saucepan. Add the passata, tomato purée, both the beans, jalapeño pepper and the chilli flakes to the saucepan along with some salt and pepper, to taste.
Cook the chilli for about 10 minutes, stirring it well, until it’s lovely and warm and everything’s nicely mixed together.
Pour the chilli over brown rice to serve and add any green veg of your choice.
Tip: Add spices like cumin and paprika and a splash of Worcester Sauce.
Jamie Oliver’s skinny carbonara
- 200g freshly podded or frozen peas
- 1 tbsp flaked almonds
- small clove of garlic
- ½ a bunch of fresh basil (15g)
- 15g Parmesan cheese
- 1 lemon
- 150g wholewheat spaghetti
- rasher of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
- olive oil
- large free-range egg
- 100g fat-free natural yoghurt
Put a pan of boiling salted water on the heat for your pasta, dunk a sieve containing the peas into the water for just 30 seconds, then put aside, leaving the pan on the heat.
Very lightly toast the almonds in a dry non-stick frying pan on a medium heat, then blitz until fine in a food processor. With the processor still running, peel and drop in the garlic, a pinch of sea salt, the basil leaves, the finely grated Parmesan and the lemon juice. Blitz until it comes together, then pulse in the peas, to try and keep a bit of texture.
Cook the pasta in the boiling salted water according to the packet instructions. Meanwhile, very finely slice the bacon and fry slowly in the frying pan with 1 teaspoon of oil on a medium-low heat until golden and crispy. Scoop in three-quarters of your pea mixture to heat through.
Whisk the egg and yoghurt together well. When the pasta’s done, reserving a mugful of cooking water, drain the pasta and toss straight into the pea pan, mixing well, then take the pan off the heat (this is very important, otherwise the egg will scramble when you add it, and we don’t want that).
Pour in the egg mixture and toss until evenly coated, silky and creamy, loosening with cooking water if needed. Taste and season and serve topped with the remaining pea mixture and the crispy bacon.
Tip: Swap bacon for chorizo or make it veggie by leaving out the bacon.
Thai Green Curry
- 4 Chicken breasts
- thai green curry paste (3-4 tbsp) – you can make your own like this.
- 400ml light coconut milk
- 175g baby corn
- 175g mange tout
- 2 large handfuls of spinach
- coriander (optional)
- 1 lime
- brown rice (to serve) – Or try microwave coconut or jasmine infused rice
Begin by boiling your rice (unless using microwave rice).
Next heat 1tbsp of oil in a deep frying pan. Add the thai paste and fry for 2 mins before adding the coconut milk. Bring to the boil and simmer for 3 mins.
Add the chicken and simmer for 5-7 mins
Add the baby corn and mange tout and cook for further 4-5 mins until veg is al-dente and chicken is cooked through. Stir in the spinach in the final minute before seasoning with black pepper and coriander. Check food is piping hot before serving with rice. Add a squeeze of lime.
Tip: Add more veg – try mushrooms or aubergines into the curry or broccoli to serve.
I hope you like the recipe suggestions and enjoy making them. I’ll soon be sharing my own packed lunch ideas and breakfasts too so, make sure to check back in the future 🙂