Tag: lowcal

very quick asparagus and pasta

first asparagus of the season

We love asparagus, but we only eat it in May/June, when it is British grown – somehow imported stuff doesn’t taste the same. Well, it doesn’t taste of anything, really. So we tend to gorge a bit when the local stuff is in season.

I picked up two bunches from a roadside stall in Norfolk on Sunday, and we ate the first last night. While the pasta water was coming to the boil, I trimmed the asparagus spears, and put them in the steamer basket as 150g of fusilli was cooking. Made a rapid dressing of lemon juice and 30ml of olive oil, grated  about 30g of parmesan, drained the pasta, and stirred it all together with lashings of freshly grated black pepper.

Took 15 minutes start to finish, and was lovely and summery. Approx 475 calories per serving.

smoked salmon, spinach and goat's cheese omelette

We’re going to be away for a couple of days, so I’m Using Stuff Up. Aldi had some smoked salmon at half price last week, so I bought a pack. About 2/3rds went into a pasta dish, and the rest was still in the fridge. As was about half a bag of baby spinach.

I won’t tell you how to make an omelette – you’ll all have your own way, and anyway, I’m not very good at them 🙂 But I made a 4-egg omelette, scattered the salmon, spinach and  about a quarter of an Aldi goat’s cheese over the mix, folded it, and we scoffed it. And it was dead good.

About 410 calories, as far as I can tell.

prawn and mushroom wraps

Morrisons had raw prawns (sonny Jim*) on special offer on Tuesday – two packs for £4. The packs weren’t all that big, but one made a stirfry last night with a couple of courgettes, and the other made lunch.

Took a pair of tortilla wraps, and put a layer of spinach on each. This was slightly more complex than it should have been, as the two remaining wraps had gone mouldy, so I had to hurtle up to Jacksons for another pack. I left the mushrooms (about 150g) in about two teaspoons of oil on a very low heat while I did the 10 minute round trip.

When they were about cooked, I added the prawns and a large pinch of garam masala, and moved it all about until the prawns were pink. Added about 3 tsps of creme fraiche, dolloped onto the spinach, and wrapped.

Really nice, and about 240 calories each.

*A reference to  Kirstie McColl song, m’lud.

making good use …

Guinness soda bread

We held a small gathering here the other night, to celebrate a friend’s birthday. We cooked up a slow cooker’s worth of lemony chicken and coriander, and  a big pot of dhal to accompany it, and also for the vegans/veggies in the throng. We also served (bought) chapatis.

That recipe, incidentally, is a base – we use a lot more garlic, chillis and spices than that, and I’ve discovered that if you just sling the chicken in the slow cooker without browning it, it still works beautifully, and you save a lot of time and effort, and a lot of oil too! Makes it a very low calorie dish. Anyway, I digress.

I also made a chocolate, ginger and guinness bundt cake, which left most of a bottle of stout left over.

So this morning, I tipped the remainder of the coriander chicken sauce into the stock pot, added a few carrots, a courgette and an onion which had been minced in the Magimix, and two mugfuls of red lentils, and a nice pot of spicy soup is now bubbling away for lunch. To go with it, I used (most of) the rest of the stout to make a Guinness soda bread loaf, which is now baking in the Remoska.

Sadly, Pete declined to drink the rest of the stout – it was two days old, I know, but still. I poured it down the sink.

a quick lunch of leeks and pasta

We’re having a bit of a funny day today, food wise. A friend asked if we could hold a birthday party here for him tonight, and said he would order takeaway pizza. *Takeaway pizza*. I ask you. So I said we’d cook, and indeed I have – a vat of Madhur Jaffrey’s lemony chicken with coriander has been constructed, and Pete will make a big dish of dhal, later. Also two cakes baked this morning.

But the party won’t be kicking off until about 9 p.m.for various reasons, and I really can’t wait until then to eat my Indian Feeeeast, so I thought I’d made something a bit more substantial that our usual lunch, and grab a mug of soup later to keep me going.

So … to serve two.

Removed the green end bits from two nice fat leeks, and sliced the rest into rings. Set them to sauté down in some olive oil and a knob of butter. Put water on to boil for 150g of penne pasta. Added a couple of cloves of garlic, finely chopped, to the leeks. Ventured out in the snow for some thyme, chopped and added that. When the pasta was done, added it to the leek mix, and hurled in half a tub of low fat creme fraiche. Quick, easy, tasty. Just under 400 calories a serving. Win.

breakfast tortilla

(or gorilla, as my spell checker initially suggested)

In my ongoing battle to lose weight, one of the things that works for me is a wide variety. I saw the Hairy Bikers do a take on this last week (why did nobody tell me about their diet show?!), so I picked up a pack of wraps yesterday. 

serves 2

Two rashers of bacon put to cook in the Remoska, while I had a shower. Piled some spinach leaves on the wraps, and when the bacon was done, wrapped it in kitchen roll to absorb the fat. 

Scrambled four eggs with 9g of butter and a splash of semi-slimmed milk. Put egg on spinach, put bacon on egg, wrapped the wrap. Nothing fell out, and it was just *lovely*. I’ve always scrambled eggs with cream, and lots of butter, and while these weren’t quite as good, the were very nice indeed. 

421 calories. 

Can now see lots of low calory Things To Do With Wraps.  

smoked salmon and pasta

There must be gazillions of recipes for this, but this is what I cooked tonght. if you can even call it cooking, to be honest. 

serves 2

Put 13og of pasta on to boil

While it’s cooking, slice 125g smoked salmon and one red pepper (remove seeds). 

When the pasta is done, drain it and return it to the pan. Add the salmon and pepper, a slug of lemon juice, loads of black pepper, and half a tub of low fat creme fraiche. 

And that’s it.  About 420 calories a serving, so far as I can tell. 

Handy tip: do ensure that the smoked salmon *isn’t* still in the freezer when you start. I didn’t.