This year – like every year – my new year’s resolution is to lose weight and eat healthier. It doesn’t usually go to plan but, as cliche as it sounds, this year I am more motivated than ever before to feel healthy and happy in my body. After I purchased a new book called “Eat Beautiful” by Wendy Rowe, which includes healthy meals and foods to help look after your body and skin. Since reading this book from cover to cover, I have been granted a new-found confidence in the kitchen through the easy-to-make healthy meals that don’t require much experience. Is it just me that feels a lot of cookery books assume everyone is a Michelin-star-standard chef? Clearly that isn’t the case, definitely not for me anyway.
Since eating clean, despite the odd cheat day here and there (we’re allowed), I have felt different in myself it’s literally like I’ve actually turned into a new person – ‘new year, new me’ kind of thing… It’s surprising how watching what you eat and having regular healthy meals can make such a difference to your well-being. I’ve never been one to diet and try those ridiculous liquid detoxes, but this is the perfect alternative. I still eat the same way I did previously, but I have just replaced meals with healthy alternatives, such as a vegetarian-style burger instead of meat, and courgetti spaghetti instead of pasta. The same goes for snacking too – something I am a huge culprit of. Now I choose to snack on fruit or pomegranate seeds, rather than a unhealthy salty packet of crisps.
Here are a couple of my favourite dishes at the moment that are easy to create and taste absolutely divine.
Sweet Potato Brunch
I found this recipe whilst browsing through Pinterest recently. Sweet potato is one of my favourite vegetables and there are so many ways you can use it, so naturally as soon as I saw ‘sweet potato’ in the title I was definitely going to try it. Not only does sweet potato taste great, but it’s a healthy alternative to potato fries.
This dish is full of flavour with hints of chili powder, smoked paprika and pepper, with the tomato sauce adding a contrast to sweetness to the plate. The addition of the poached egg and greek yogurt gives the dish heaps of protein which is an important part of our diets.
This dish takes only half an hour to create and cook, making it simple to make whenever for breakfast, lunch or dinner, whatever takes your fancy.
Prep time – 5 minutes | Cooking time – approximately 20 minutes
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- A pinch of salt and cracked black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce (homemade or store-bought)
- 2 tablespoons black beans, rinsed
- 1/2 avocado, thinly sliced
- 1 egg, poached
- 1 tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt (or cottage cheese, whatever you prefer)
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F
- Peel the sweet potato and cut it into small cubes
- Place the cubed sweet potatoes in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil (here you can add a garnish, such as parsley)
- Transfer the sweet potatoes into a pan
- Add the tomato sauce and the rinsed black beans
- Place in the oven, uncovered, for approximately 20 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender (you can check this by poking with a fork)
- While the potatoes bake, you can begin to poach your egg
- Once the sweet potatoes are tender and ready, remove from the oven and leave to cool
- For decoration, you can place avocado on top of the potatoes, in addition to the poached egg, Greek yogurt, and garnishes
- Serve hot for best results
Smoked Salmon, Horseradish and Cress Toasts
This dish is one of my favourite go-to snacks right now because it’s so easy to prepare, healthy and can easily fill me up. Smoked Salmon is one of my favourite ingredients to use in a snack recently, particularly Marks & Spencer’s Scottish Lochmuir Smoked Salmon which tastes simply divine. This recipe is so easy and cheap to make it is straight-forward enough to scale up and adapt for however many people.
Takes 10 minutes to make (serves 4)
- 1/2 teaspoon creamed horseradish
- 1/2 small tub crème fraîche
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- Lemon juice
- A ciabatta loaf
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 300g smoked salmon
- 1/2 punnet cress
- Add 1/2 a teaspoon of creamed horseradish to 1/2 a small tub of crème fraîche
- Sprinkle in a pinch of salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice – mix it all together thoroughly
- Taste to check if it’s hot enough, if not add some more horseradish
- Cut a loaf of ciabatta into thick slices, toast them and then drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- Top with the smoked salmon
- Place the horseradish crème fraîche to each slice then add 1/2 a punnet of cress
- Finish with a touch more olive oil and lemon juice