As a variation to our locally sourced interviews, this month we are sharing some healthy low calorie recipes from the Cowbridge Cook. The Cowbridge Cook is a local mother of three who runs a small catering business in Cowbridge, hence the name! Sarah supplies home cooked meals, desserts, cakes and party food to those living in the Vale. So if you’re not a keen cook, or you just want a helping hand every now and then you can order a range of dishes from tasty dinners to full out party catering. You can order directly with Sarah (details below) or by using the Cowbridge Food Collective website, which you’ve probably heard me rave about before.
After the whole indulgences of Christmas, Sarah has provided us with five deliciously healthy recipes to try out. So over to Sarah..
Deliciously Healthy Low Calorie Recipes from The Cowbridge Cook
After a December full of gut busting meals and liver bashing, I spend January eating as healthily as I possibly can. I’ve never been able to go “dry” but I do banish alcohol during the week and get rid of all the Christmas treats before embarking on my healthy eating plan. I fast for a couple of days a week as advocated by Dr Michael Mosley and then follow the principles of a “Mediterranean” Diet, which is good for the planet as well as being proactive against Type 2 diabetes. The diet is rich in lean meat and fish, vegetables, full fat dairy, legumes and wholegrain carbohydrates. Half term then arrives in February and the whole thing goes out of the window. Still, at least I have tried!
Here, I share my favourite recipes which redress the balance for me. They may be diet meals but they don’t lack the substance that so many diet meals do. Hopefully, you will find them as enjoyable as me.
Spicy Prawn Curry – Serves 2
250g Raw King Prawns
10g Coconut Oil
1 Green Pepper
25g Green Beans
150g Koko Coconut Yoghurt
2 Kaffir Lime Leaves
2 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp chilli flakes
In a frying pan, roast the whole spices for a few minutes until fragrant and then grind in a pestle and mortar. If you haven’t been able to find fresh Kaffir lime leaves, you can use dried. Chop them finely and add them to the spice mixture. Toss the prawns in the mixture and put to one side.
In a blender, chop the raw cauliflower until it resembles rice. Tip into a heatproof bowl, cover with cling film, then pierce and microwave for 7 mins on High – there is no need to add any water.
Slice the green beans in half and slice the green pepper into strips. Heat the oil in the pan and fry them both until just soft. Add the prawns to the pan and cook until cooked through. Add the coconut yoghurt and cook for a couple of minutes. Season and add the lime juice.
Serve on top of the cauliflower rice or brown rice.
Indian Spiced Tomato Soup – Serves 4
2 tsp garam masala
A pinch of chilli flakes
2 tbsp red lentils
1 tin of Cirio Chopped Tomatoes
500ml of vegetable stock
½ bunch of chopped coriander
This is really simple to make and very low in calories. I always recommend Cirio tomatoes as I think they are the best and I stock up on them if I see them on offer anywhere.
Chop your onion roughly. Add all the ingredients apart from the coriander to a pan and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Season, add the coriander and use a stick blender to puree.
I like to serve this with a warm naan bread when I’m not dieting.
Moroccan Chicken Stew – Serves 2
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
1 preserved lemon
1 tblsp grated ginger
1 chopped red chilli (optional)
4 chopped dried prunes
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp sweet paprika
2 Chicken Breasts
350ml Chicken Stock
Start by slicing the red onion. Then heat your oil in a pan. Slowly cook your red onions. If they start to brown too quickly, carefully add a splash of water.
Paste or crush your garlic clove, chop your chilli (optional), grate your ginger and then thinly slice the skin of the preserved lemon. Discard the inside of the lemon, you only want to use the skin.
Boil the kettle and make up your stock. Your onions should now have softened. Try one and if they still taste raw, keep cooking them. They should be soft and sweet.
Then add your garlic, ginger, chopped chilli if using and spices. Cook for a few minutes and then add the chicken. Brown the chicken all over. If it starts to catch at all, add a splash of stock.
When the chicken is coloured all over, add the preserved lemons, chopped prunes and salt and pepper. Cook for a few minutes and then add the stock. Simmer for 20 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped coriander and serve.
You can serve this with couscous, quinoa, brown rice or cauliflower rice. I like to serve it next to roasted wedges of seasonal squash or cauliflower dusted with Ras El Hanout with a few pomegranate seeds.
Optional extras / variations: cubes of butternut squash or sweet potato, slices of red pepper and green beans.
Coconut Salmon – Serves 1
This recipe is for one but you can easily make more if there are more of you. You can use between 50ml and 100ml of coconut milk depending on how much sauce you would like. You can freeze any left in the can or use coconut powder to make the exact amount. You can substitute the salmon for trout, prawns or firm tofu.
½ cup of cooked brown rice
1 Salmon fillet
Finely chopped red chilli (to your taste)
Shredded kaffir lime leaf or the zest of a lime if you can’t source the lime leaves
Finely chopped lemongrass
50-100ml Coconut milk
A squeeze of lime juice
Mint and Coriander Leaves
Pre-heat the oven to 200c.
First make a parcel of baking paper and tin foil. Put the cooked rice into the parcel first, followed by the salmon. Then add the chilli, lemongrass and lime leaf on top of the salmon and drizzle with the coconut milk. Seal the parcel by pinching it all around and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes. Season and serve with a squeeze of lime and the chopped herbs.
Quinoa Energy Bars
I can’t lay my hand on my heart and say that these bars are good for you as if you are counting calories, they’re probably off the chart! They do however contain ingredients with health benefits like the low GI oats and the protein packed quinoa. Be warned though as they are very addictive.
150g crunchy or smooth nut butter eg. Peanut or almond
50g brown sugar
25g coconut oil
¼ tsp salt
100g dried fruit
Preheat your oven to 180c and line a 20cm cake tin or baking tray.
First, you need to toast the quinoa and oats to release their nutty flavour. Put them in a frying pan and gently heat them until they smell nice and toasted.
Next warm the honey gently in a saucepan and add the peanut butter, sugar, coconut oil and salt. Stir until smooth. In a bowl, mix the quinoa, oats and dried fruit.
Pour the melted honey mixture on top and mix well. Tip into the tin and press evenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven, leave to cool and remove from the tin. Cut into bars.
If you liked these recipes, why not pin for later. For more recipe ideas, be sure to check out our family recipes page.
Additional Information on the Cowbridge Cook:
If you like these recipes why not check out the Cowbridge Cooks Instagram and Facebook feeds which have lots more inspiration. To order any food, you can order direct with the Cowbridge Cook or via the Cowbridge Food Collective. All details listed below.
The Cowbridge Cook on Facebook: www.facebook.com/thecowbridgecook
The Cowbridge Cook on Instagram: www.instagram.com/thecowbridgecook
The Cowbridge Cook can also be found at the Cowbridge Food Collective: www.cowbridgefoodcollective.co.uk
Note: Food photography by The Cowbridge Cook, Photo of Sarah taken by Anna from @cobsinmyhair