Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Dhal

This recipe is for my dear friends Karen and Colin. Colin tries out my vegetarian recipes and gives me feedback on any twists he has added. When I stumbled across this recipe I thought they’re going to love this. I bet they make it spicier than me, but then I cannot eat food that’s too spicy hot.

The recipe below is very mellow, if you want spicier you could use a hot curry powder or some fresh chillies. I have used a low fat coconut milk which worked perfectly, but of course you can choose to use regular if that’s what you prefer or have in the cupboard.

In my recipe I have added a bag of spinach, but you could easily use frozen spinach. Be sure to defrost it first.

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Dhal

A mild vegetable red lentil dhal

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings 5 Portions
Calories 397 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 3 medium Onions - chopped
  • 3 medium Sweet potatoes - cut 2 cm squares
  • 1 medium Butternut squash - cut 2 cm squares
  • 4 Tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 tin Chopped tomatoes
  • 225 gm Red lentils
  • 1 tin Low fat coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Curry powder of choice
  • 1 tbsp Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • Pinch Pepper
  • 300 ml Water
  • 180 gm Spinach

Instructions

  1. Turn slow cooker on high.

  2. Add oil and onions and stir.

  3. Prepare ingredients in the order of the ingredient list and apart from the water and spinach, add to slow cooker, mixing in as you go. Thoroughly mix and leave to cook for 4 hours.

  4. Half an hour before serving, add the spinach and some water if the consistency feels a little too dry.

  5. Serve with plain boiled rice.

Recipe Notes

If you want to leave this to cook longer then cook for 8 hours on low heat.

Nutrients

Calories 397, Fat 8.7 g, Carbs 64 g,  Fibre 25 g, Protein 19 g

Spicy Creamed Parsnip Soup

Another soup. Well yes but I whipped this up for my lunch today to have with the Olive Bread I made (cheating in my bread maker). It was so delicious I simply had to share. Similar to my recipe for Curried Butternut Squash Soup.     

However this recipe uses milk as well as stock, which obviously makes the soup much more creamy. I used skimmed milk; however I think almond milk would work wonderfully too.

Unlike the curried soup which has a chilli pepper added into the base flavour; I popped in chilli powder when I added the stock.

Spicy Creamed Parsnip Soup

A warming spicy soup

Course Soup
Cuisine British
Keyword homemade soup
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 portions
Calories 259 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 25 gm Unsalted butter could use half oil/half butter
  • 1 medium Onion Roughly chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic Chopped
  • 1 inch Grated fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 3 large Parsnips peeled, cored and cut into 2 cm pieces
  • 400 ml Milk your choice
  • 600 ml Vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp Mild red chilli pepper powder
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes without browning until soft. Add a little water if it dries out, or a little more butter but this will affect the calorie count.

  2. Add the garam masala and cook for a further 2 minutes.

  3. Add the parsnips and coat in the flavours.

  4. Add the milk, stock, chilli powder and season slightly with salt and pepper.

  5. Cook for about 20 minutes or until the parsnips are soft. Let this cool slightly.

  6. Blend with either a hand blender or in a food processor being careful it is not too hot.

  7. Adjust the seasoning. Serve with some nice fresh bread.

Recipe Notes

When blending hot liquids, take care. If using a food proccessor, the steam can build up and pop the lid off and you could end up with soup on your ceiling! Ideally let the mixture cool, otherwise, only fill the jug half way, place a towel over the lid and hold it down tight. Use on the slowest speed.

Nutrients per portion

Calories 259, Fat 6.3 g, Carbs 46.7 g (36 net), Protien 6.5 g.

Fabulously Fresh and Simple Stir Fry

This is a very quick, tasty and simple recipe for stir fry. The base is really a vegetable stir fry; however I added roast pork to mine as I had a little left over from a roast dinner. You could add chicken or turkey also, but it must be pre-cooked.

My recipe and nutrients will include Chinese Egg Noodles; however if you are Low Carb then you could use Zoodles instead. Leave out the pepper as peppers are 6g sugars! By my calculations, using MyFitnessPal, you have a very low carb tasty meal of 6 net carbs for the stir fry plus another 6 for the Zoodles.

What I enjoy about this recipe is the simplicity and the freshness. I always use fresh vegetables for this dish as for me, that’s what makes the dish so tasty.

Simple Stir Fry

A fresh vegetable stir fry with the option to add a little meat if desired.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Keyword fresh, quick, simple, Stir Fry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 2 people
Calories 510 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300 ml vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp ginger paste
  • 2 pak choi finely sliced
  • 2 medium carrots finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper sliced
  • 1 courgette sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 100 gm egg noodles
  • 100 gm roast pork shredded

Instructions

  1. In a saucepan cook the noodles as per the instruction on the packet. When cooked strain off the water and set aside. Your noodles can be cooking whilst you are preparing the stir fry.

  2. In the wok heat the oil and add the garlic, carrots and pak choi. Stir to coat in the oil and on a medium heat, cook the vegetables for a couple of minutes then add the rest of the vegetables. Add half the stock, all the ginger and soya sauce.

  3. Give the wok a stir up every minute or so to avoid the bottom burning.

  4. After 5 minutes the veg should be cooked. If it’s not to your preference then cook longer. If you are adding meat then add now and stir in. Cook for a further 2 minutes. This should be enough to thoroughly heat the meat.

  5. Add the rest of the stock and the egg noodles. Give it all a good stir up and then serve.

  6. I do not add salt or pepper as the stock and soya flavours are enough for my taste, but as with all cooking, you should taste and adjust seasoning as required.

Nutrients for the above recipe per portion

Calories 510, Fat 16g, Carbs 50g, Protein 32g

Carbs are high due to the egg noodles which account for 35g

Sweet Red Pepper and Carrot Soup

This week I received carrots and red peppers in my vegetable box. I am not a lover of carrots served as a vegetable, however I quite like them in a soup or raw in a salad or as a crudite.

This soup recipe is very simple; cook the vegetables until cooked and then blitz in the blender. The peppers I used were particularly juicy, red and ripe, which therefore made the soup quite sweet. I added quiet a bit of black pepper to balance the sweetness, but of course this would be a personal choice.

You could also roast your peppers and onions in the oven rather than cooking with the carrots in the stock. This would give a slight baked flavour. Lay on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil and cook on 180 / gas 4 for about 20 minutes or until soft and tender. Then add to the cooked carrots and stock, and blend either with a hand blender or liquidizer.

Sweet Red Pepper and Carrot Soup

A sweet full of freshness light soup.

Course Soup, Starter
Cuisine British
Keyword Carrot and Red Pepper Soup
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 3 portions
Calories 159 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Onion roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 500 gm Carrots roughly sliced
  • 2 Red Peppers roughly chopped
  • 500 ml Chicken or Vegetable Stock
  • Salt and Pepper seasoning to taste

Instructions

  1. In the saucepan, heat the oil, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until soft but not brown.

  2. Add the rest of the vegetables, stir, put the lid on and sweat the vegetables for just a couple of minutes.

  3. Add the stock and a little salt and pepper.

  4. Cook for 20 minutes until the carrots are cooked and soft to the touch of a knife.

  5. I recommend you leave to cool slightly to avoid scalding yourself when blending or to prevent built up steam blowing the top off the food processor blender.

  6. Blend to a smooth consistancy. Check and adjust the seasoning to your own taste.

  7. Soup is now ready to heat when required. Serve with bread of your choice.

Nutrients per serving

Cals 159, Fat 5.4g, Carbs 25.5g (net 18g), Protein 3.5g

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

Curried Butternut Squash soup is a satisfying, warming wintertime soup. You can serve for lunch with fresh crusty bread or as a starter at a dinner party. Add some cream to enrich and make the taste very slightly smoother.

I do not like spicy hot, so I used just the tip of a thin green chilli pepper and then I place the rest in the freezer to use for another soup or curry dish.

Mild – use just the tip of the chilli without any seeds.

Medium – deseed the chilli and disgard the seeds; chop the whole pepper

Hot – use the lot, seeds and flesh

Curried Butternut Squash Soup

A warming spicy winter soup

Course Soup, Starter
Cuisine British
Keyword spicy, warming, winter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 portions
Calories 169 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • 1 Green thin chilli chopped Mild - use tip and no seeds, Medium - remove the seeds and use the whole chilli, Hot - use the whole chilli
  • 1 inch Fresh ginger grated
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed or chopped
  • 1 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 small Potato peeled and cut roughly into 1 cm cubes
  • 1 medium Butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and roughly cut into cubes
  • 2 pints Vegetable stock No particular preference. Could use chicken or if no stock cubes, use water.
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in the saucepan and add the onion and slowly cook for 5 minutes without browning. Turn up very slightly and let the onion start to colour, then turn heat down again. Do not let the onions burn and remove from heat if browning too much. If too dry add a little water.

  2. Add the chilli, ginger, clove and cumin and cook for a couple of minutes.

  3. Add the potato and butternut squash, stir them and coat with the gorgeous flavours.

  4. Add the stock and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 20 minutes or until the butternut squash and potato are cooked.

  5. Remove from heat and leave to cool.

  6. Blend until smooth in a blender, taste and add salt and pepper if needed.

  7. Fully reheat as and when required.

Nutrients – Calories 169, Fat 4g, Carbs 36g, Protien 3.8g

 

Vegetable Lasagne

A pretty easy vegetable lasagne for you to use up your fresh vegetables and/or frozen vegetables. You can really use whatever vegetables you like; just make sure they are cut small and you fully cook before adding the tinned tomatoes.

I have used fresh lasagne sheets; however you could use dried, you will just need to cook in the oven a little longer.

Included in the recipe is a white sauce; however you could replace with a jar version if you are running short of time.

Serve with a lovely fresh green salad and sprinkle over a spoonful of grated Parmesan and a pinch of black pepper.

Homemade Vegetable Lasagne

Herby tomato and vegetables layered within sheets of pasta and a creamy white sauce

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword lasagne, vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 417 kcal
Author SharonBye

Ingredients

Vegetable Lasagne Sauce

  • 1 tbsp Oil
  • 1 Onion chopped
  • 1 medium Courgette Small dice (1cmx1cm)
  • 0.5 medium Butternut Squash Small dice
  • 1 clove Garlic crushed
  • 650 gm Frozen Mixed Vegetables Defrosted and cut small
  • 2 tspn Dried Italian Seasoning Or you could use mixed hetbs
  • 1 x 400 gm Tinned Chopped Tomatoes

White Sauce

  • 50 gm Butter or alternative
  • 50 gm plain flour
  • 400 ml Milk or alternative I used Oat Milk

Other

  • 6 Fresh Pasta Sheets
  • 50 gm Grated Cheddar or Parmesan or alternative Optional

Instructions

Vegetable Lasagne Sauce

  1. In a large saucepan heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil and add onions. Cook the onions without browning for 5 minutes.

  2. Add garlic and mixed herbs and cook for a further minute.

  3. Stir in the courgettes and butternut squash, add a little water if it seems dry; cook with a lid on for 5 - 10 minutes until veg is soft.

  4. Add the rest of the vegetables and mix well before mixing with the tomatoes. You can bring to a simmer then turn off heat and leave to one side whilst you prepare the white sauce.

White Sauce

  1. Melt the butter or vegetable fat in medium saucepan.

  2. Add the flour and mix in quickly. Cook for a minute, stirring constantly.

  3. A little at a time, stir in rapidly the milk or milk alternative, bringing the sauce up to boil before adding more. The use of a balloon whisk is useful to beat out any lumps.

Compiling Lasagne

  1. Pre-heat oven on Gas 4 or 180 Electric

  2. Lay half of the vegetable sauce on the bottom of your oven proof dish.

  3. Lay half the pasta sheets on top of this.

  4. Spread half the white sauce across the pasta sheets and then if you require, sprinkle half the cheese.

  5. Repeat these layers again. If you prefer more pasta, then you could make three layers by dividing your sauces 3 ways, but I prefer just 2.

  6. Place in the middle of the oven and cook for 25 minutes. If you are using dried pasta, cook for 45 minutes; just check your top does not become too brown.

Other nutrients as per recipe above including cheese; to reduce fat by 4 gm remove cheese.

Fat                 15 g

Carbs            31 net carbs

Protien         15.5 g

I use MyFitnessPal.com to calculate nutrients.

Butternut Squash Colcannon

 

This is a homage to the Irish Colcannon. This version has been adjusted to suit a lower carb diet. I am therefore using Butternut Squash in place of creamy mashed potatoes.

Colcannon is a traditional Irish Potato dish whereby kale (or green cabbage) is mixed with buttery, creamy mashed potatoes.

I will be using Curly Kale and Spring Onions in my recipe. A perfect accompaniment to serve with couple of pork sausages, onions and garden peas. A very satisfying comfort plate of food.

Continue reading “Butternut Squash Colcannon”

Fresh Vegetables in a Creamy Cheese Sauce

Today I have used a selection of fresh low carb seasonal vegetables in a cheese sauce. Very quick, easy and only 6 net carbs per portion.

Wow, we are having a rather wonderful summer here in the UK (for a change); the last place I want to be is the kitchen! But last night we had a storm and today it is a little cooler, so I have cooked up a recipe to share with you.

This recipe has fresh, easy cook, full of flavour vegetables and ham (optional) in a creamy cheese sauce. Perfect for serving with a low carb pasta or Courgette Zoodles.

The vegetables can be adjusted to your own taste or stock, but I would definitely recommend using a start base as celery as the flavour lifts the ingredients.

Continue reading “Fresh Vegetables in a Creamy Cheese Sauce”

Aubergine Ratatouille

Check out my simple Aubergine Ratatouille below.

Wonderful fresh flavours makes this a delightful vegetable dish to accompany any meal. You could even serve cold as part of your salad accompaniments.

I made this one without the traditional addition of courgettes, simply because I had an aubergine to use up and not a courgette in sight. In my recipe I note for you to peel the skin from the aubergine; this is because aubergine skin can be rather bitter. If you add courgettes, although I peel these myself, you could get away with not peeling. With the addition of courgettes, add before the aubergines as they take very slightly longer to cook. NOTE-only as long as it will take you to peel and cut the aubergine.

The dish is not particularly low in carbs (6 net carbs per portion), as both tomatoes and onions contain a fair amount, but serve it with a dish which is low in carbs, such as my Low Carb Chicken Kebabs and you still have a low carb meal.

Continue reading “Aubergine Ratatouille”

Low Carb Onion Bhajis

Onion Bhajis are a great snack to put in your lunch box and of course as an accompaniment to a curry meal. Using Soy flour, means my Onion Bhaji recipe gives you a low carb option at only 4 net carbs per bhaji.

You could alter the spices you use to suit your own palette and tastes, these are very mild in flavour and not at all spicy.

TIP: I used a deep frying pan to fry them in; the first batch I made, I over cooked on the outside and undercooked in the middle as the oil was too hot, so you would be better off reducing the temperature and cooking inside before turning up to brown them off.

Continue reading “Low Carb Onion Bhajis”