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Serves 4-6

I call this Spanish Omelette because that’s what my Mum always called it when we were kids!  It’s similar to a Spanish tortilla omelette but they don’t tend to have all of the extra vegetables in, just potatoes.

High in protein and packed full of vegetables - an excellent post-exercise meal

High in protein and packed full of vegetables – an excellent post-exercise meal

 

This is a brilliant, tasty and healthy meal that you can eat either hot or cold, for lunch or for an evening meal.  It’s packed full of protein so, with the addition of the potatoes, it is very filling.  It also manages to cram plenty of your 5 a day veggies in there too so there’s lots of fibre and vitamins.

 If eating as an evening meal, I would have a quarter of the omelette with some side salad.  If you are having it for lunch then just have a sixth but with more salad.  It’s great for packed lunches too as it holds together well in Tupperware! If you want to make a vegetarian version, just leave out the bacon or you could just as easily use the Quorn veggie bacon strips. An alternative to bacon might be grilled chicken pieces / Quorn chicken pieces.

 

 

INGREDIENTS

380g potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes

Brilliant for lunch or an evening meal

Brilliant for lunch or an evening meal

6 rashers of lean bacon, parma ham or chorizo

1.5 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil (15ml)

1 medium-sized onion, peeled and diced (100g)

½ red pepper, deseeded and diced (80g)

½ green pepper, deseeded and diced (80g)

1 courgette, cut into 1cm cubes (100g)

120g mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced finely

½ red chilli, deseeded and sliced finely

100g frozen sweetcorn

A vegetarian treat too - Spanish omelette without bacon

A vegetarian treat too – Spanish omelette without bacon

100g frozen peas

2 tbsp. fresh or dried thyme

8 eggs

100ml semi-skimmed milk

1 tbsp. dried mixed herbs

½ tsp. paprika

Fresh ground black pepper

50g grated cheese

 

INSTRUCTIONS

1. The dish you need to fit all of these ingredients in needs to be 10.5 inches (26cm) in diameter and at least 1.5 inch (4 cm) deep. For less washing up the ideal would be to cook the omelette all in one frying pan.  If you don’t have a frying pan large enough then you can use a ceramic flan/pie/tart dish with these dimensions.

 2. In a saucepan, cover the cubed potatoes with boiling water.  Cook for 10 minutes until softened but still firm. Drain well.

 3. Grill the bacon until done, but not too crispy.  Cut into strips and set aside on a plate for later.

 4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan, preferably the one you’ll use to finish cooking the omelette in, over a medium heat. Fry the potatoes for 5 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

 5. Add the rest of the vegetables and fry for 8-10 minutes further until all are softened. Turn heat off or just keep it over a low flame.

 6. Stir in the fresh or dried thyme.

 7. In a jug prepare the omelette mix. Beat the 8 eggs together with the milk. Add the dried herbs, paprika and black pepper. Beat again until the herbs and spices are mixed through with the eggs.

 FRYING PAN METHOD

  • Heat the grill on full, allowing enough space for the frying pan to fit comfortably under the grill with the handle (especially if plastic or wooden) pointing outwards so that it does not burn.
  •  If you are using the frying pan to cook the omelette, return the vegetables to a medium/high heat. Stir in the bacon, if using. Spread the vegetables as evenly as possible over the base of the pan. Pour the omelette mixture over the vegetables and allow it to settle down into the spaces.
  •  Cook the base of the omelette until you can see the edges browning – approximately 5-8 minutes. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top of the omelette.
  •  Place the frying pan under the grill. Leave to cook for 10-15 minutes, checking occasionally to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  •  Stick a knife into the centre of the omelette. If it comes out without raw egg on it, it’s done!

 FLAN/PIE DISH METHOD

  • Heat the oven to 180°C.  Use just a little oil to grease the flan dish.
  •  If you are using a flan or pie dish, stir the bacon into the vegetables. Spread the vegetables as evenly as possible over the base of the pan. Pour the omelette mixture over the vegetables and allow it to settle down into the spaces.
  •  Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly over the top of the omelette. Place the dish in the oven and cook for 40-50 minutes, until the omelette is firm on top.
  •  Stick a knife into the centre of the omelette. If it comes out without raw egg on it, it’s done!

 

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

(Per whole omelette)

 Energy                                  1877 kcal / 7854 kJ

Carbohydrate                    125.5g

Total Sugars                        33.3g

Fat                                          104.1g

Saturated Fat                     35.2g

Protein                                 112.0g

Fibre                                      17.2g

Salt                                         7.6g

 

(Per serving, serves 4 (6))

 Energy                                  470 kcal / 1963 kJ (313 kcal / 1309 kJ)

Carbohydrate                    31.4g (20.9g)

Total Sugars                        8.3g (5.6g)

Fat                                          26.0g (17.4g)

Saturated Fat                     8.8g (5.9g)

Protein                                 28.0g (18.7g)

Fibre                                      4.3g (2.9g)

Salt                                         1.9g (1.3g)


Serves 4

Delicious, crunchy and packed with fibre, protein, iron and folate.

Delicious, crunchy and packed with fibre, protein, iron and folate.

With the weather starting to turn warmer, even if only sporadically and for 2-3 days out of every month in the UK, this weekend was so beautiful that it just wasn’t soupy weather!  I decided to make a nice salad instead – my staple lunch during the summer months being a plate of different mixed salads like those you might see in a health food/wholefood cafe.

You can use green or brown lentils in this salad and these types are especially good in salads and casseroles because they hold their shape well after cooking (yellow and red lentils or split peas have a tendency to go mushy making them better in soups and dahls). They also lend it a really nice crunchy texture and nutty flavour which goes beautifully with the crunchy fresh veggies and parsley.

 

I would eat this salad as a meal on its own, maybe with a tbsp. of low fat hummus, lettuce, cucumber, cherry tomatoes and ½ pitta bread. I have eaten it on the side of a main meal such as baked fish or chicken, lasagne, moussaka or as part of a salad plate with other salads in which case I would have 1-2 tbsps. of salad rather than a large plateful. I have included the nutritional information for the whole recipe here so that you can make your own calculations if you decide to portion the salad differently; e.g. if you were to eat it on the side of a main meal rather than as a salad meal in its own right.Lentils are high in fibre, protein and a multitude of vitamins and minerals including iron, folate and calcium. They are low in fat and, because of the high fibre and protein contents, they can really help your stomach to feel fuller for longer making them a great addition to a lunch time meal as this can curb those afternoon snack cravings.

Normally you would find lentils dried and sold in bags ready for cooking although some supermarkets and specialist food stores such as south Asian supermarkets sell them already cooked in cans. I have used dried lentils so I needed to cook them – if you used canned lentils just miss out the first step and be aware that the canning process probably added extra salt to the overall nutritional content as a preservative.

Ingredients
200g dried green lentils or 2 cans cooked, drained green lentils (480g)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red onion, chopped (or equivalent amount of chopped spring onions)
1 garlic clove, finely diced
2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil
1.5 tbsp. white wine or cider vinegar
1 tsp. runny honey
2 tsp. lemon juice
Some grated lemon zest (optional)
Ground black pepper

Instructions
1.  Place the lentils in a saucepan with 3 times the amount of cold water as lentils. Bring the water to a boil then reduce the heat and boil gently for 35 – 45 minutes, or until the lentils are soft but retain a bit of crunch. Remove from heat, drain off the water and allow to cool for later.

2.  Finely chop the vegetables and parsley – these will stay raw so small is better unless you particularly like to eat large chunks of raw onion! Mix these together in a big bowl.

3.  In a small bowl, mix together the oil, vinegar, honey, lemon juice, lemon zest (if using) and black pepper. Make sure the honey is well blended with the rest of the ingredients.

4.  Pour the dressing over the vegetables and add the cooked lentils once they have cooled sufficiently.

5.  Stir everything together and put the salad in the fridge for an hour or two to allow the dressing to infuse the vegetables with flavour.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
per whole recipe

Energy        870 kcal / 3645 kJ
Carbohydrate    132.4g
Fat            15.4g
Protein        54.4g
Total sugar    31.7g
Saturates        3.4g
Fibre            26.0g
Salt            0.1g (check canned lentils for added salt)

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
per serving (if serving 4)

Energy        220 kcal / 911 kJ
Carbohydrate    33.1g
Fat            3.9g
Protein        13.6g
Total sugar    7.9g
Saturates        0.9g
Fibre            6.5g
Salt            Trace (check canned lentils for added salt)