It is so easy to fall into the same patterns, buy the same things at the supermarket and cook similar meals each week, with only a tiny change here and there. Even if you find yourself getting utterly bored with what you are eating, finding new recipes is all too often a hassle and coming out of your ordinary routine takes initially always more time. Join me this summer is trying out simple, sunny, stunning recipes that are also healthy options. Try something different for variety in your diet.
The recipe below can be a lovely summer main meal or eaten alongside BBQ meat or fish.
4 red, orange or yellow peppers, halved lengthways, deseeded and retaining stalk
1 red onion, peeled and diced
300g feta cheese, crumbled/cubed into 5mm-1cm pieces
150g cherry tomatoes, quartered
25g capers, drained and chopped (optional)
75g fresh, white breadcrumbs
3 tbsp of chopped mint
40ml olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper
Pinch of sugar
In a large bowl mix together the feta, onions, tomatoes, capers (if using) and mint and season with salt and pepper and a pinch of sugar. Divide this mixture between the pepper halves. Top this with the breadcrumbs and drizzle with olive oil.
Place in a pre-heated oven and bake for 45-55min or until the peppers are soft and the topping is crunchy and golden.
I get asked so often what would be the best thing to eat in between meals or when you are on the run. It is ever so easy to grab the high sugar/salt options that are on offer in most stores and petrol stations, but with not too much effort you can make some very sensible and great tasting choices.There are more and more healthy snack options available, but you can save yourself a lot of money if you take them to work with you or have them in the house for those moments that you fancy something to snack on. Instead of having big meals and big gaps in between them, you are much better of to having healthy snacks to see you through the day.
I must have mentioned it before, but it isn’t fat that is your enemy, it is sugar. Most people understand that fry-ups and deep fried food and so on aren’t great choices to have on a regular basis. Because you want to keep your blood sugar levels balanced, people tend to choose something sugary as a snack option. So by having a cereal bar, fruit on its own, biscuits or chocolate you can risk spiking your insulin levels. If you eat high sugar items when your blood sugar is low, then your body’s bloodsugar rises quickly and insulin will be over produced. Temporarily you will feel better, but then your bloodsugar will plummet and you will feel hungry again. That is why you can then empty the biscuit tin or possibly feel light headed and shaky. So by eating healthy snacks you maintain your blood sugar levels which aids fat loss and keeps your energy levels up in the day.
Choose healthy snacks to see you through the day that are nutritious but most importantly help stabilise your bloodsugar and make you feel satisfied. Variety is another important factor. Try and get away from your usual cheese sandwich with a bag of crisps. Here are some ideas for lunch and snacks that are easy to prepare, full of variety and nutrition:
Eggs, hard boiled great as a snack or in your lunch box
Crudites: cut up some cucumber, carrot, celery and have this with a humous or tzatziki dip
Avocado, delicious with salt and pepper
Seeds and nuts (the latter in moderation)
Cheese (in moderation) and cold meats
Yogurt (bio-live version)
Try any of the above at “dangerous times” in the day too (when you are cooking or coming back from work) and all of the above would be great snacks to give to your children when they get back from school.