Christmas Food Hacks for Weight Conscious Socialising

low fat spicy hummus

Spicy Chickpea Dip

Indulging without Increasing the Waistline

Having spent the last year working towards my weight loss and fitness goals I’m not prepared to throw it all away this Christmas!

The temptation to eat, drink and indulge is upon me; with a works do, a catch-up with girlfriends and family socials it’s all too easy to slip off the weight-conscious-wagon. Every Christmas I repeat the same mistakes and curse myself as I enter the New Year with extra Kilo’s to shed.

But this year I’m making a plan to enjoy the festive season without giving up ground in the battle with the scales.

To kick off this offensive I’m sharing my favourite recipes that taste heavenly, are totally indulgent, but are packed with all the good stuff that will help you keep sugar cravings at bay.

This Spicy Chickpea Dip is my own variation on a traditional humus recipe, and has been a favourite to take to gatherings for a while. The kids love it, it doubles up as a great lunch spread on corn thins and is full of protein, good oils and vitamin C!

Spicy Chickpea Dip

Serves 6 ~ 663 Kilo joules per serve ~ 12 g carbs ~ 5.8 g protein

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas drained & rinsed
  • 1 fresh chilli or half tsp dried chilli flakes (adjust to suit your palette)
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil ( use chilli infused for an extra kick)
  • 1/4 cup water (the amount you need varies depending on consistency)
  • 1 heaped tbsp hulled tahini
  • 1 heaped tsp grd cumin
  • salt & ground black pepper to taste
  • large handful of fresh coriander stalks and leaves

Directions

This couldn’t be much simpler!

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender (I’ve used a hand blender, a baby food blender and now my Omni Blend!)
  2. Whiz until smooth!!
  3. I like a stiff consistency for spreading on crackers, but if you want it a bit runnier then add more water.
  4. Serve topped with finely chopped coriander and a sprinkle of dried crushed chillies

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Gluten Free Bacon & Asparagus Slice

Asparagus and bacon gluten free slice

The school holidays are over and it’s back to teaching and reality for me this week! That means getting organised in the food department again, so here’s a new recipe to start the term with.

My Bacon & Asparagus Slice has been a life saver at morning tea; high protein, low carb it kept the hunger at bay so I haven’t been craving sugar at lunch time!

I made it on Sunday and it kept for a week in the fridge, it was popular with my teen boys, (although I was stingy this week and didn’t share much)!!

Bacon & Asparagus Slice

Serves 6 generous portions

Ingredients

  • 8 eggs
  • 400g of asparagus chopped into small chunks
  • 2 handfuls of washed baby spinach chopped
  • half a cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 6 mushrooms, diced
  • 4 spring onions chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 6-8 slices lean bacon cut into long slices
  • half a cup of fresh flat leaf parsley
  • pinch nutmeg
  • salt & pepper

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine the asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, spring onions & parsley
  2. Beat the eggs well with the crushed garlic
  3. Add nutmeg & salt & pepper to taste
  4. Add the Parmesan cheese and egg mixture to the vegetables and mix thoroughly
  5. Line a Quiche dish with baking paper and spoon in the mixture
  6. Cover the top of the slice with bacon, overlapping the slices slightly
  7. Bake at 180 degrees C for approx 30 minutes or until the egg has firmly set
  8. Cool on a wire rack and store in the fridge

Feedback is always welcome whether you have ideas for improvement, questions or rave reviews!

Leave your ideas in the comments, I reply to everyone!

Raw Carrot Cake – gluten, dairy and sugar free!

raw gluten free carrot cakeInspired by the awesome website The Merry Maker Sisters I tried their Paleo Raw Carrot Cake recipe. I added a few of my own special touches and now I’m ready to share my version with you!

Although it’s super healthy, do not be fooled into thinking it is your friend if your goal is to lose weight! The nut content makes it calorie dense so have it on a cheat day!

A Hit With The Kids

One thing that did really blow me away with this recipe is that my teen boys, who do NOT like nuts, loved it! It was a perfect after school snack (beware taking it to school due to the risk of allergies)!

As teenagers my boys are burning energy at a crazy rate and although weight gain is not an issue,  I’m just conscious to fill them up with great quality super food to give them the best nutrients for all that growth and development. This recipe ticked that box!

Ingredients

Cake base:

2 grated carrots

1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/2 cup walnuts crushed into small pieces

1/2 cup almond meal (ground almonds)

1 cup pitted dates (I prefer Mejoole dates but if you don’t have these then soak 1 cup of dried dates in boiling water for 15 minutes and then drain)

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

Frosting topper:

1/2 cup raw cashew nuts soaked in cold water (minimum soak time 30 minutes, the longer you soak the creamier they are)

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/4 cup coconut oil

Juice & zest of 1 lemon

3 tbsp honey (I use Jarrah honey which has amazing health benefits click here to find out more)

 

Method

Cake:

  1. Grind the walnuts in a blender till coarse
  2. Add walnuts, almond meal, grated carrots, coconut, cinnamon and nutmeg to a mixing bowl
  3. Blend the dates and coconut oil to a smooth paste (I liquefy the coconut oil before I blend by warming, this prevents my blender getting unhappy because the paste is too thick!)
  4. Add date paste to the bowl and mix thoroughly (I found using my hands worked best)
  5. Share the mixture between 6 large patty pan cases (this is a generous serving, you could easily use smaller cases and make 10 bite sized carrot cakes)
  6. Refrigerate while you make the frosting.

Frosting:

  1. Drain the cashew nuts and place in blender
  2. Add coconut, coconut oil, lemon juice, zest and honey and blend until really smooth.
  3. Get the cake bases out of the fridge and ice each one with the frosting
  4. Sprinkle with cinnamon and decorate with walnut halves
  5. Enjoy!

I’d love to hear how this recipe works out for you and your family, and if you add any tweaks of your own.  Why don’t you share your ideas and feedback in the comments, I look forward to reading and replying!

 

This post is linked up with:

Kidgredients for What Kids Eat Wednesdays

The Fit Dish Link Up hoisted by Jill Conyers & The Fit Switch

Low Carb Green Thai Curry Meatloaf Recipe

Low carb green thai curry meatloafThis has been a big hit with the family and is so versatile; I use it as a sandwich filling, a high protein snack, a cold lunch or served with a stir fry for an evening meal!

The only draw-back with it is that it disappears so quickly! I have taken to making double and keeping half uncooked in the freezer to replenish stocks mid-week as the kids eat it like it’s going out of fashion!!

Green Thai Curry Meatloaf

Ingredients

  • 1 500g pkt  turkey mince
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 zucchini grated & squeezed out
  • 1 carrot grated & squeezed out
  • 1 tsp garlic crushed (I use the paste)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 generous tsp green Thai curry pate (I used Ayam brand)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup ground almond meal (shredded coconut can be substituted)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp sunflower seeds for the top (optional)

Method

This is such a simple meatloaf to make!

  1. Mix the turkey, vegetables and onion, garlic, ginger, salt and curry paste  thoroughly in a bowl.
  2. Add the egg and continue to mix until the minced turkey meat is smooth
  3. Slowly add the almond meal till the consistency is like a thick sticky paste
  4. Spoon into a lined loaf tin or small baking tray
  5. Sprinkle with seeds of your choice
  6. Bake at 180 centigrade for approx 30 minutes till firm and spongy
  7. When you remove it from the oven it will be a bit wet around the edges (moisture escapes during the cooking process) so drain off the excess liquid and dry on a cooling rack
  8. Keep refrigerated for up to 4 days

Look forward to hearing what you think of it in the comments!

 

Recipe Road Test!

baking stuffed peppers

Lunch Box Recipe Road Test

Recipe Road Test is a new weekly feature for the blog.  I’m going to experiment on my family and report back to you on what we loved or loathed!

As the topic-of-the-moment on mummy2mum is healthy lunch boxes for teens, this seemed like a perfect  place to start the Road Test.

Recipe Road Test can extend beyond the lunch box, but that depends on what you, my lovely readers, want!

Your suggestions will be the driving force behind this feature!

Week 1 Recipe Road Test

Three Cheese Macaroni Stuffed Peppers

The wonderful Tiffany from Crème de la Crumb has created the Three Cheese Macaroni Stuffed Peppers and I’ve road tested them as lunch box savouries for my teens. Kathy’s post on 9 Pasta Leftovers For Lunch Ideas gave me the idea to use these macaroni stuffed peppers as a lunch box item.

The Road Test Team

The Road Test Team consists of:

  • Biscuit my 14 year old, who has a voracious appetite (it’s all about quantity for this one!)
  • Berry my 12 year old who is more interested in kicking a soccer ball than finishing his lunch
  • Excel-man my hubby who claims that ‘food is functional’, but has lots to say if it isn’t to his liking!
  • Me the health conscious chef!

After some discussion we decided that lunch box items need to be ranked on 4 areas:

  1. Taste – the most important!
  2. Practicality – is it practical to take it to school in a lunch box?
  3. Looks – if it looks appealing then that’s half the battle!
  4. Improvements – this may include tweaking the ingredients, or recommending it to the dog!

making 3 cheese macaroni stuffed peppers

Here’s The Verdict

review of stuffed peppers

As I’m the main chef in our house, I thought it’s worth noting how labour intensive this recipe was. I found it a bit time consuming to make solely for lunch boxes, but as I combined it with cooking an evening meal that also needed a cheese sauce (cauliflower cheese) I just made extra!

 What Did Everyone Agree On?

We all agreed that these peppers would taste amazing HOT! But eating cold baked pepper was not a big hit for the majority and had an impact on the taste scores.

Everyone found them too big and messy for a practical  lunch box item. For me this was the most valuable information from the road test – as I thought they looked great for lunch boxes…just shows how wrong you can be!

We all thought they looked really yummy, and this is reflected in the high score.

Improvements

  • Add spring onion to the macaroni cheese before baking
  • Add bacon was Biscuits suggestion (although he adds bacon to everything)!
  • Serve hot as the pepper was a bit watery cold

 Next Weeks Recipe Road-Test

I’d love to hear any suggestions you have for a Recipe Road Test. Next weeks recipe will appeal to those of you who have a sweet tooth!

Don’t Forget to subscribe to receive next weeks Recipe Road Test direct to your inbox!