Garlic Chicken & Mushroom Pasta

This is a real tasty dish which is surprisingly good on the calories at approx 540 calories per person.  This may be because it’s not swimming in cream like I often find so many pasta dishes!  This recipe serves two adults.

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Ingredients:-

150g Wholewheat Spaghetti
1 tsp Fresh lemon zest plus half a lemon juice.
1 tbsp of Olive Oil
200g Chestnut Mushrooms sliced
4 Spring Onions sliced
2 Cloves of Garlic sliced
30g Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese grated
6 Sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
150g cooked chicken breast
Optional (2 tbsp) of single cream

Begin to cook your spaghetti as per the instructions.  In a large wok or frying pan place the olive oil, mushrooms, onions, garlic and cook for about 5 minutes on a low-medium heat.  Add in the cooked chicken breast, lemon zest and juice, 2/3rds of the Parmigiano cheese, a ladle full of water from the spaghetti which is cooking, and stir round to heat through and combine.  If using the cream add this now too.  Taste to see if you want to add any salt and pepper.

You can either add the spaghetti to the pan once it has cooked, or place the spaghetti in the dish and add the chicken and mushroom mixture on top.  I like to do the latter, as then you get more equal amounts of the chicken and mushroom mix.  I then combine the spaghetti and chicken and mushroom mix whilst in the bowl.  Then sprinkle over the remaining 1/3rd Parmigiano cheese over both bowls along with the flat leaf parsley.

 

 

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When Junk Food Sprung Up

Junk food is practically everywhere.  Such is our appetite for fast food to go with our fast living, that it is rare now to find a location, that does not have a takeaway or fast food joint in it.

What is interesting was that growing up as a child in the 70’s, we would have the local chip shop and the odd Chinese takeaway business, but ready meals to buy in shops were so extortionate, that only the “well off” people could afford it.  Fast forward to today, and you now find the opposite.  Ready meals are geared towards those with a limited income, plus there are so many takeaway options which can be ordered from your sofa, without having to move a muscle.

There is no doubt in my mind, that this junk food explosion is going to have a damaging effect especially on this young generation.  Food laden with fats, sugars, salt and additives are like a killer cocktail, because people cannot seem to stop their constant desire for it.

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So how do you stop this junk food epidemic?  The simple answer is,  with great difficulty.  The people I have helped have had one thing in common, and that is that they are addicted.  I have noticed with many of them, that their taste buds seem unable to pick up delicate flavours, and they seem only excited by bad ingredients.

The answer is a complicated one, which has had many a person scratching their heads for many years.  Is better education in schools the answer?  To some degree it is.  Although the lure of teenagers going with their mates to the burger bars is always going to be there.  Is taxing such establishments the answer?  I have found that if someone wants to eat it, then they will find the money to buy it no matter what.  What about the traffic light and calorie info on foods?  Yes it is useful to the people who understand it, but to many it still appears confusing.  Plus some just don’t care.  They could have a set of red traffic lights and warnings, and still eat it no matter what.

For me and why I am not a fast food fan, has been all about having the knowledge of what some of the ingredients used can do to your body.  This information has to some degree helped people get on a healthier eating regime.  However, they have got to want to know.  Like the old saying says, you can lead a horse to water but you cannot force it to drink.  I like to use simple ABC language too.  Nothing over medical which is not easy to understand.  For example with diabetics, many do not know the problems they could face, so I just lay it bare to them, that they could go blind and have limbs removed.  It is less about dancing around the bush and more laying it down straight.  I am never sure as to why in the UK we faff about with getting to the facts.  Maybe more hard-hitting campaigns is one of the answers.  I think there will be  proportion of people who want to be helped, but sadly a massive section of society that don’t.  Cheap, convenient and quick will always be the way for them.  That is a real problem.  However, the more people engage with healthy eating the more I find jump on the band wagon.  Surely that can only be a good thing?

 

What is the “Health is your Wealth” group?

For a long time, I have been concerned with the health of the nation, which may surprise some of you when you look at my catalogue of recipes.   I occasionally enjoy food and drink which leans towards the dark and naughty side, however, I consider such foods as “treats” and they are exactly that.  My daily diet consists of wholesome food, and only now and again will I indulge in things like cake and the more calorific meals.  It seems like we have a major problem in the UK with rising obesity levels and illnesses such as diabetes and heart conditions.  Something has to change as people are constantly eating treats and not fuelling their bodies correctly, this is then leading to many issues.  We need to distinguish between healthy food and bad food and learn more about what is going on nutrition wise.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have therefore decided to share some of the knowledge that I have already accumulated in the grey matter, as well as help motivate people as much as possible to get a healthy lifestyle on track.  Although I am not a physician, I have mentored a few people now with some success, hence why I have been so tardy with writing recipes for the website!  It is my aim to get more people feeling better, losing excess weight and avoiding unnecessary illness.  It is only too apparent that our NHS is struggling, but we can all play our part to lower the burden somewhat. Plus, what is there not to like about feeling healthy?  Who doesn’t want to feel the best version of themselves that they can be?  Why live feeling like rubbish?  It is time we started treating our bodies like a Ferrari instead of a local council dumpster truck.

I hope you enjoy reading in this section, and will join in with the discussion and more importantly a new healthy regime.  Your health truly is your wealth and many need to all value it far greater than what they do at present.

 

Pasta, Tomato & Sardines

I used to make this for myself as one of my healthy eating low-calorie foods, but it has fast become a favourite with others in my family.  You could swap sardines for tuna or mackerel if you want, although the tinned sardines in tomato sauce just make this dish taste even better.  The quality of ingredients should be top-notch, as they do all the hard work.  I love Parmentier sardines in tomato, they are just delicious!

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Ingredients (Serves 2)

2  Tins of sardines in tomato sauce
150g of Bucatini or Spaghetti
2 Cloves of garlic sliced
10 Cherry tomatoes in quarters
1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for drizzling)
Pinch of chilli flakes
1 Red pepper sliced
Salt
Bag of rocket leaves
1 Lemon

Boil your bucatini/spaghetti as per the instructions in salted water.

In a large wok or non stick pan, place the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, chilli flakes and red peppers.  Cook and stir for around five minutes.

Once the bucatini/spaghetti has cooked, remove two ladle full of the water and place into the pan/wok.  Drain the bucatini/spaghetti and add it to the wok.  Add in the sardines and break into chunks, gently mixing it around.  Squeeze in half the lemon, take a handful of rocket and add it to the frying pan, season with salt and mix around again.

Cook for a further couple of minutes, so that the rocket begins to wilt slightly.  Place the spaghetti in bowls.  You will notice some of the ingredients are at the base of the pan, so pour equally onto the spaghetti.

Take the rest of the rocket, squeeze some lemon over, grind a little salt and drizzle with a little olive oil.  Mix to combine and coat the rocket, then add to the spaghetti bowls.

Delicious!

 

 

 

Tomato & Bean Soup

This is such a lovely hearty soup, that almost verges on being a vegetable stew.  We eat this most weeks throughout the year.  It warms you up in the winter, and is somehow refreshing in the summer months.  You can add some croutons if you like, which gives a lovely crunch.

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Ingredients

Olive oil, for frying

1 Large onion, chopped

1 Large carrot diced small

2 Sticks celery, diced small

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Tin of cannellini beans

1 x 400g can of good quality chopped tomatoes

Good pinch of sugar

4 Leaves of Cavolo Nero cut into thick shreds

Good handful of Parmesan Cheese

400ml of Vegetable stock

Pinch of dried chilli flakes

Salt and pepper

Fry off the onion, carrot and celery for 5 minutes gently in a little olive oil.   Then add the garlic cloves, tomatoes and simmer for a further five minutes.  Then add a generous pinch of sugar (this helps to stop the tomatoes tasting too sharp) then add the chilli flakes, cannellini beans, parmesan, cavolo nero, vegetable stock, plus seasoning of salt and pepper. If I have a rind of parmesan then I will add that too, making sure that I remove it before serving.  Gently cook for around 20 minutes or so with a lid, until the carrot is tender.  If you need more stock then just add it.  Taste for seasoning.  Then serve.