Recipes

A selection of recipes kindly supplied by Western Cheshire's Healthy Living Centres.

Smooth courgette soup
Easy low fat coleslaw
Healthier Caesar salad dressing
Garlic and chive dressing
Easy low fat salad dressing - balsamic vinegar dressing
Easy low fat salad dressing - vinaigrette with herbs
Pear and stilton salad
Quick wraps
Healthier spaghetti bolognaise
Quick potato wedges with yoghurt dips


Smooth courgette soup

Smooth courgette soup

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 large onion
1 large leek
3 large courgettes
1 medium potato
2 tablespoons red lentils
2 vegetable stock cubes or stock powder
Ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil or sunflower oil
1 litre boiling water

Change it:
Add 1 medium chilli pepper deseeded for extra flavour and heat

Method

  1. Wash the vegetables and cut into small dices/pieces
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan, then add the onions and leeks. Fry gently until they are soft and translucent in colour
  3. Add the chopped courgette and potato and stir in gently to coat the vegetables with oil
  4. Make up one litre of stock with boiling water and the stock cubes or bouillon and pepper
  5. Add stock to the vegetables
  6. Add the lentils to the soup and simmer until the vegetables are cooked
  7. Once vegetables are soft take the pan off the heat and allow to cool a little (approx. 15 minutes)
  8. Blend with a hand blender or food processor
  9. Once soup has been blended you will need to reheat for serving
  10. You can freeze the soup in a sealed container

Optional:
A tablespoon of low fat crème fraîche can be added for a creamier taste


Easy low fat coleslaw

Easy low fat coleslaw

Serves 8

Ingredients
6 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
¼ teaspoon celery seeds (optional)
¼ large white cabbage
¼ - ½ red cabbage
2 medium carrots
1 large onion

Method

  1. In a small bowl place the reduced fat mayonnaise, cider vinegar, mustard, sugar and celery seeds, gently mix together and then whisk with a balloon whisk or electric beater
  2. Give the vegetables a good rinse with cold water and then shred finely - use a grater or slice with a very sharp knife
  3. Give the dressing a mix and then pour on top of vegetables and mix well
  4. If you need to thin it a little, add a tablespoon or two of semi-skimmed milk
  5. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to serve

Tip:
Add to a jacket potato or delicious healthy potato wedges for a tasty treat


Healthier Caesar salad dressing

Healthier Caesar salad dressing

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
Plenty of salad leaves
2 tablespoons low fat natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
½ teaspoon English mustard powder
½ teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon garlic purée or crushed garlic
1 tablespoon finely grated parmesan cheese

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a small bowl and mix together well
  2. Drizzle a little over salad leaves
  3. Garnish with a pinch of parmesan cheese, or serve with potato wedges

Tip:
Try to make a rainbow of colours with salads, then you will be eating a good variety of vitamins and minerals


Garlic and chive dressing

Garlic and chive dressing

Serves 4-6

Ingredients
2 tablespoons low fat natural yoghurt
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 large spoon chopped chives
½ teaspoon crushed garlic or garlic purée
1 dessertspoon strong cheddar cheese

Method

  1. Place all ingredients into a bowl and mix together well
  2. Garnish with chopped chives
  3. Serve with potato wedges or drizzle a little over salad leaves

Easy low fat salad dressing - balsamic vinegar dressing

Ingredients
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl
  2. Pour a little over your salad and enjoy

Tip:
Store in the fridge, in a container with a tight fitting lid


Easy low fat salad dressing - vinaigrette with herbs

Ingredients
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup white wine vinegar
Ground white pepper or freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon mixed fresh herbs
1 crushed clove of garlic

Method

  1. Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl
  2. Pour a little over your salad and enjoy

Tip:
Store in the fridge, in a container with a tight fitting lid


Pear and stilton salad

Pear and stilton salad

Serves 6

Ingredients
Dressing
Grated zest and juice of 1 lime
100g (4oz) walnut pieces
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons walnut oil
1 pinch caster sugar

Salad
4 conference pears
Assorted washed and drained lettuce leaves - try romaine, little gem and cos
125g (4½oz) blue stilton (crumbled into chunks)
4 spring onions (thinly sliced)
Ground black pepper

Method

  1. Dressing: Place lemon zest in a mini food processor with 25g (1oz) walnut pieces and whizz until finely chopped. If you don't use a processor you will need to finely chop the lemon zest, place walnuts in a sealed plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin until the walnuts are finely broken
  2. To this mix add half the lemon juice, the walnut oil and water, then mix in the sugar and seasoning. Mix all the ingredients together again to make it a creamy dressing
  3. Salad: Slice and core pears and squeeze over the remaining lemon juice to stop the pears from turning brown
  4. Arrange lettuce, pears and cheese onto 6 small serving plates
  5. Scatter over the remaining walnuts and spring onions
  6. Drizzle with the dressing and season with ground black pepper

Tip:
Adding unsalted nuts or seeds to your salads is a great way to increase intake of essential vitamins and minerals


Quick wraps

Quick wraps

Serves 1

Ingredients
Wholemeal wraps
Plenty of salad
Natural yoghurt or light mayonnaise

Filling ideas:
Tuna and sweetcorn
Boiled mashed up eggs with sliced spring onion
Grated cheese
Sliced ham
Sliced chicken or turkey
Thinly sliced beetroot
1 slice of meat
A small handful of grated low fat cheese

Method

  1. Spread a thin layer of natural yoghurt or light mayonnaise onto you wrap
  2. Cover this with your choice of filling
  3. Thinly slice lettuce, tomato and grate cucumber and scatter this over your filling
  4. Roll up tightly
  5. Serve straightaway, or store in the fridge until you are ready

Tip:
Try to fill with lots of rainbow colours to make sure you get a variety of vitamins and minerals


Healthier spagetti bolognaise

Healthier spaghetti bolognaise

Serves 4

Ingredients
1 tablespoon olive oil
200g (7oz) lean steak mince
1 onion, finely chopped
4 large mushrooms, sliced
1 good sized carrot, grated or diced
1 400g (14oz) tin tomatoes, chopped
230ml (8fl oz) vegetable stock
2 tablespoons tomato purée
½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
300g (10½oz) spaghetti (wholemeal if possible)

Optional garnish:
Sprinkle 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese over the top and then serve

Method

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are clear and softened, but not brown. Add the minced meat and cook until it is browned
  2. Add mushrooms and carrot, cook for around 1 minute, then add tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock, tomato purée, Worcestershire sauce and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened
  3. Place the spaghetti in a deep saucepan full of boiling water and cook according to packet instructions, then drain
  4. Divide the cooked spaghetti between four dishes, spoon equal portions of Bolognese sauce and serve

Tip:
A great dish to make with fresh tomatoes


Potato wedges

Quick potato wedges with yoghurt dips

Ingredients
1 waxy potato per person
Dessert spoon vegetable oil

Try the wedges plain, or sprinkle with any of the following flavourings:
chilli flakes
crushed garlic
paprika
coriander
mint
basil
dried herbs

For the dips:
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons natural yoghurt

Make a selection of any of the following flavourings:
Sprinkle of chilli flakes
1 teaspoon mint leaves or a spoonful of mint sauce
1 teaspoon chives
1 teaspoon garlic purée
Add chutney such as lime pickle for an unusual flavour

Method

  1. Chop the potatoes in half lengthways, then cut each piece into 3 on an angle (a V-shaped cut into the pieces to make wedge shapes)
  2. Use a pastry brush to coat each wedge with a light smear of oil (or place wedges and a little oil into a food bag and shake)
  3. Place wedges an oven tray and bake in a hot oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and soft in the centre. Whilst the potatoes are cooking make the dips
  4. Serve with low fat dips made with yoghurt and a selection of flavours

Tips:
Raw vegetable sticks such as courgettes, sweet peppers, carrots and cucumbers are tasty to dunk into the dips too
Wedges are a tasty alternative to chips