Spreads, Dips & Sauces

Lentil & Tomato Spread

Into a small saucepan put 4oz red lentils with enough water to cover.

Bring to the boil skim off the scum that forms.

Simmer until lentils are reduced to a pulp adding hot water a little at a time if needed.

When the lentils are cooked and dry looking add 1teasp tomato puree a squeeze of lemon juice salt(optional but does help in this) black pepper and 1 teasp olive oil (also optional) Keep in the fridge Can be used as a pate for toast or slapped in a sandwich with other ingredients...alfalfa is particularly good with it

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Middle-Eastern Hummus Platter

This dip can be whipped up fast in a food processor. Surround it with fresh veggies and homemade pita toasts for a quick and healthy meal.

Serves 6

Per serving hummus and pitta: 383 cal.; 12g prot.; 12g total fat (2g sat. fat); 57g carb.; 0 chol.; 817mg sod.; 7g fiber

2 medium cloves garlic, peeled

2 (15-oz.) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup tahini

1 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp. salt

2 Tbs. olive oil

4 pitta breads (5 to 6 inches)

6 cups bite-size vegetables for serving (such as blanched broccoli and cauliflower florets, carrot and celery sticks, cucumber slices and radishes)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Meanwhile, in food processor, process garlic until minced. Add chickpeas, 1/2 cup water, lemon juice, tahini, paprika and salt. Process until smooth, scraping down bowl as necessary. Transfer hummus to medium bowl. Lightly brush oil over both sides of each pita.

Cut each pita into 8 wedges and place on baking sheet. Bake until golden and toasted, about 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then serve with hummus and cut-up vegetables.

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Chilli Tomato Salsa

This is great for dipping veggie sticks into when you're feeling peckish and has hardly any calories either!

Serves 4

Per portion: Energy - 28 Kcals/79kJ Fat - 0.47g Saturated Fat - 0.13g

1 shallot, peeled and halved

2 garlic cloves, peeled

handful of fresh basil leaves

500g/1 ¼ lb ripe tomatoes

10ml/2 tsp olive oil

2 green chilliies

salt and black pepper

 

1. Place the shallot and garlic in a food processor with the fresh basil. Whizz the shallot, garlic and basil until finely chopped.

2. Halve the tomatoes and add to the food processor. Pulse the machine until the mixture is well blended and coarsely chopped.

3. With motor running, slowly pour in the olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Halve the chillies lengthways and remove the seeds. Finely slice the chillies widthways into tiny strips and stir into the tomato salsa. Serve at room temperature.

Tip: The salsa is best made in the summer when tomatoes are at their best. In winter, use a drained 400g/14oz can of plum tomatoes

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Reduced Fat Cheese Sauce

2 Servings

Per portion: Energy - 140 cals Fat - 6.2g

Melt 15g/1/2oz low-fat spread in a non-stick pan and gradually add 15g/1/2oz p;ain flour, stirring continuously. Slowly add 200ml/7floz skimmed milk, stirring all the time and then let the sauce simmer for 2 minutes. Add 40g/1 1/2 oz grated reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, 1 bay leaf and freshly-ground black pepper. Remove the bay leaf before serving.

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Sweet & Sour Sauce

This is a good stand-by to add to stir-fries

Per portion: Energy - 26 Kcals Total Fat - Low Saturated Fat - Nil

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

about 1/2 tsp chilli sauce

2 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

about 2 level tsp sugar

1 heaped tsp cornflour

150ml/5 1/2 fl oz Vegetable Stock (or water)

Put all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Place over medium heat, stirring all the time, until the sauce thickens. Simmer for a few minutes.

Adjust the flavour with a little more chilli sauce to get the favoured degree of hotness, and a little more sugar or vinegar to get the right sweet-and-sour balance for your taste.

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Spinach Sauce

Per portion: Energy - 53 Kcals Total Fat - Low Saturated Fat - Low

450g/1 lb fresh spinach, washed

1 garlic clove, crushed

pinch ground ginger

150ml/5 1/2 fl oz low fat natural yoghurt

salt

Put the spinach in a saucepan and heat until it wilts. Drain and liquidize with the rest of the ingredients. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary, before serving with poached eggs or pasta.

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Lentil Sauce

Per portion: Energy - 204 Kcals Total Fat - Low Saturated Fat - Low

 

175g/ 6oz red lentils

425ml/ 3/4 pint Vegetable Stock or water

1 dsp olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

one 400g/ 14 oz can chopped tomatoes (with liquid)

25ml/ 1 fl oz red wine

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 level tsp five-spice powder

Simmer the lentils in the stock or water until they are very soft (about 45 minutes). Meanwhile, heat the oil in a medium heavy-based non-stick saucepan and stir-fry the onion for a few minutes until soft, adding a dash of water if it gets too dry.

Add the garlic and stir that for a minute. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the lentil mixture. Simmer for 15 minutes. Put throught the blender, or leave unblended for a coarser sauce. Ideal over pasta.

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Broad Bean Guacomole

(serves 2)

submitted by Caroline H

300g can of broad beans, rinsed and drained
a small bunch of fresh coriander or flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 red onion chopped roughly
1 small green chilli, de-seeded and chopped finely
juice of 1/2 a lemom
salt and pepper

Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree to a rough paste. Serve with lightly toasted pitta bread.

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Rice Dishes

Bombay Supper

This one dish equivalent to curry and rice is a bit like an Indian risotto. Try it with a yoghurt and cucumber relish.

Per portion: Energy - 385 Kcals Total Fat - Low Saturated Fat - Medium

1 tbsp olive oil

15g/ 1/2 oz low-fat spread

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 peppers (1 green, 1 yellow), deseeded and chopped

325g/12 oz parboiled potatoes

1 heaped tbsp Curry Powder

1 1/2 tsp garam masala

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 large or 2 medium aubergines

825 ml/ 1 1/2 pints Vegetable Stock

175g/ 6oz Basmatic rice, rinsed

one 400g/ 14oz can of tomatoes

juice of 1/2 lemon

1 level tbsp brown sugar

15g/ 1/2 oz creamed coconut

2 heaped tbsp tomato puree

salt

Heat the oil and low-fat spread in a large frying pan and saute the onion and peppers until soft.

Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Add these with the spices to the pan and stir for 2 minutes. Top and tail the aubergines and cut into bite-sized pieces, then add these. Add the stock to the pan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down and add all the other ingredients.

Simmer until the rice and vegetables are tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Note: new potatoes are best for this dish, although any old waxy variety can be used.

 Mixed Mushroom Ragout

4 Servings

Per portion: Engery 41Kcals/172kJ Protein 2.51g Fat 0.66g Saturated Fat 0.08g Fibre 1.02g

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

5ml/1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed

30ml/2 tbsp red wine vinegar

15ml/1 tbsp soy sauce

15ml/1 tbsp dry sherry

10ml/2 tsp tomato puree

10ml/2 tsp soft light brown sugar

150ml/ ¼ pint/ 2/3 cup vegetable stock

115g/40z baby button mushrooms

115g/4oz chesnut mushrooms, quartered

115g/4oz oyster mushrooms, slice

salt and black pepper

coriander sprig, to garnish

 

1. Put the first nine ingredients into a large saucepan. Bring to the boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

2. Uncover the saucepan and simmer for 5 more minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half.

3. Add the baby button and chesnut mushrooms and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir in the oyster mushrooms and cook for further 2 minutes.

4. Remove the mushrooms from the pan with a slotted spoon and transfer them to a serving dish. Keep warm, if serving hot.

5. Boil the juices for about 5 minutes or until reduced to about 75ml/5 tbsp. Season to taste. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes, then pour over the mushrooms. Serve hot or well chilled, garnished with a sprig of coriander.

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Rice Casserole

serves 6

This is a very easy casserole that is a favorite with my children.

3 cups cooked brown rice
3/4 cups sweet corn (frozen or fresh off the cob)
1 small onion, chopped
1 package grated soy cheese
1 1/2 cups soy milk
2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper as desired

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl.
Spray a 2-quart casserole with Pam (low fat cooking oil spray) and pour the ingredients into it. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.

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 Vegetable Paella with Spicy Almond Topping

(serves 4)

350kcals per serving
10g fat per serving

10ml (2tsp) olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 stalks celery, sliced
200g (7oz) long grain brown rice
700ml ( 1 1/4 pints) vegetable stock
1 courgette, cut into large dice
1 red pepper, cut into large dice
1 x 198g can sweetcorn, drained
30ml (2tbsp) coriander, or parsley finely chopped
2 tomatoes, skinned and chopped
50g (1 3/4oz) flaked almonds
2.5ml (1/2 tsp) hot chilli powder

***

1. Heat the onion in a large pan, add the onion, garlic and celery. Cook for a few minutes.

2. Add the rice and the vegetable stock, cook for 15 minutes.

3. Add the courgette, pepper, tomatoes and sweetcorn, continue to cook for 15 minutes. Add the coriander or parsley. Season to taste.

4. Dry fry the nutes with the chilli until golden.

5. Top paella with spicy nuts.

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