Wholesome Food Ideas

Here are some of my favourite recipes and nourishing food suggestions.

Simply delicious nourishing meal ideas.

Ideas for Breakfast

Many people often eat the same thing for breakfast, but as it is the easiest meal to prepare there is no need for it to make it uninteresting.

· Whole oat porridge (Whole jumbo oats) or pin head oats or Irish oats™ made with water and topped with low fat milk, banana, raisins and sprinkle of brown sugar or drizzle of honey. Also delicious if you toast the flakes, infuse with a Cardamon pod (which you remove after cooking), or serve with pureed cooked apple or compote of fruits.

· Wholegrain muesli with low fat milk (DIY muesli – start with whole oats and either add your own mix of seeds, flakes of all sorts of cereals, such as Barley, rye etc and dried fruits or you can buy a ready pack of seeds and fruits e.g. Berry seed mix from Waitrose). Top with sliced fresh fruit. A vitamin C rich fruit such as kiwi or berries will help enhance absorption of iron if you are using a fortified cereal. Also scrumptious with apple and blackberry puree added.

· Wholegrain seedy bread (Gardenia Low GI™ or Pumpernickel™ or a multigrain seedy loaf from bread shop) topped with a Nut butter and sliced banana. Check out the nut butters such as almond butter( which is easy to make yourself with a powerful blender) or a no added sugar peanut butter.

· Poached egg (omega 3 enriched) on wholegrain muffin served with a small glass of fresh orange juice

· Wholegrain toast with slices of smoked salmon or trout and topped with a dollop of low fat crème fraiche and fresh dill and/or a drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon juice (Try NZ fresh salmon imported by Fishwives Singapore).

· Wholegrain toast with perfectly ripe avocado and tomatoes. Squeeze a little lemon or lime and lots of black pepper.

· Lots of fresh berries, thick Greek yoghurt (e.g. Total 2%™ or low fat Tesco Greek yoghurt™) with a tablespoon of wholegrain cereal or mix seeds (pumpkin, sesame etc) or toasted nuts such as hazelnuts and walnuts.

· Egg white omelette

· No added sugar Baked beans on a slice of wholegrain toast

· Heavy fruit bread toast with crème fraiche

· All bran™ fruit smoothie. Blend together some fresh fruit (use a hand held puree machine) with low fat milk, a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt or ice cream and sweeten with a trickle of honey or vanilla. Add 1-2 tablespoons of All Bran™ to boost wholegrain fibre. Try berries, mango or pineapple (can be canned, include some juice), banana etc

· Make up your own dried fruit by slicing, placing on baking paper and cooking in on a very low heat (100C) for around 2 hours. This can be added into cereals and use to make up your own seed and nut mixes.


Light Meals or Lunch

· A bowl of vegetable and bean or minestrone soup with a wholegrain bread roll. Finish with a couple of pieces of fruit.

· Wholemeal pasta with a tomato based sauce, or simply with vegetables, chicken or fish (can be tinned, such as little sardines, tuna or mackerel fillets) and a little olive oil.

· Pilchards or sardines on wholegrain toast-delicious mashed with a little low fat crème fraiche and lemon juice-also lovely inside warmed wholemeal pitta breads and mu”ns.

· Sushi can be made easily yourself or purchased fresh. To make your own boil some sushi rice, add a dash of rice wine vinegar and then place a piece of seaweed on a bamboo mat. Put a layer of rice on the seaweed and then add a line of fillers such as salmon, tuna, avocado, cucumber. Use the mat to roll and a little water at the ends to pat the seaweed together.

· Baked jacket potato (try baby or new potatoes if at home) and fill with fish or baked beans. Enjoy with a side salad-good if you take out the flesh from the middle, mash with some low fat crème fraiche, a little finely grated parmesan or pecorino, pop back into the skins and put under the grill for a few moments to give them a delicious crisp top.

· Pasta and bean salad. Boil up some whole-wheat pasta or whole-wheat cous cousand mix a small call of salad beans. Add extra vegetables such as rocket, baby tomatoes, beetroot peppers etc

· Asian broth soups e.g. Rice noodles with lots of green Chinese vegetables

· Wholegrain pita bread warmed, and vegetable crudités with low fat hummus

· A freshly prepared sandwich with wholegrain bread or pita with fillings of either lean chicken, turkey, fish, egg, falafel and lean roast beef with lots of salads to moisten the bread). In winter toasted sandwiches are lovely with some Mediterranean vegetables, turkey or chicken or fish.

· Fresh salmon fish cakes with salad and spicy tomato sauce (see recipe attached)

· Caesar salad (just hold the Ranch dressing) ask instead for some balsamic and a little olive oil. Greek or other salads are great start to a meal.

· Keep a bowl of coleslaw undressed in the fridge. Grate carrot and finely slice cabbage, celery. Use a small amount of a light mayonnaise dressing. You can tweak the mayonnaise with low fat yoghurt for a lower fat alternative.

· Thai style chicken or lean beef salad – add a teaspoon or so of ginger, lemongrass, red chilli (teaspoon) (fresh or in jars) and little fry in a little oil in a pan. Add fish or chicken or lean beef sliced or tofu into fine strips and cook through. Add in a bag of mixed Asian vegetables or chopped pepper, cabbage (good one to fill up on), selection of other greens like broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, mange touts etc. Once cool add a splash of fish sauce and soya sauce (~1 tablespoon), lime juice and fresh chopped coriander (1 tablespoon). Serve pilled over rice noodles, lettuce leaves, brown rice or quinoa (quinoa should be lightly dried fried in a pan and then boiled like rice until tender).

· It can also pay to put a quick lunch box together. A quick one is some pita bread (heat in the toaster) with either some leftover chicken, piece of fish or lean ham, avocado or slice of cheese. Grab some leaves like Rocket or baby Spinach and some cherry tomatoes.  Include a couple of pieces of fresh fruit, slice up some Malt Loaf as a snack or look for a healthy nut and fruit snack bag or take in a yoghurt. It saves you time and money!


Main Meals

· Roast vegetables with lentils. Cut up a selection of vegetables such as sweet potato, pumpkin, parsnips, mushrooms, asparagus, and carrots. Place in a baking dish with garlic, oil and vinegar. Roast about 30 minutes until golden. Combine in a large bowl with 400g of canned lentils and chopped parsley. Also great with some crumbled goats or feta cheese mixed through.

· Fish and fennel casserole. Mix in a casserole dish a chopped red onion, 1-3 bulbs of sliced fennel (depends on size) and two tins of tomatoes, tablespoon of lemon juice with salmon or other fish. Cook in the oven at around 180C for 20-25 minutes or until fish is cooked. Serve with some herbs brown rice or quinoa and steamed vegetables or a crisp green salad.

· Fish cakes made with fresh or canned salmon. Make up around 300g of mash potato (can incorporate sweet potato), cook the fish lightly on a grill, bbq or in the oven. Mix together potato, an egg and add chopped vegetables such as corn, celery, chopped peppers etc. Form small cakes, dip in seasoned flour (wholemeal), then egg and then breadcrumbs. Lightly pan fry and serve with vegetables or salad.

· Grilled or bbq proteins with steamed vegetables. Choose a small piece of a lean, good quality steak or fish or chicken, lightly grill on a bbq (don’t burn) or pan fry. Roast whole baby or new potatoes in their jackets in the oven. Steam a range of vegetables including broccoli, asparagus, corn and carrots in the microwave. Serve with a horseradish and beetroot type mustard. Fruity relishes or the marinade of meat is great if you have taste changes. Balsamic vinegar and a drizzle of good quality olive oil can add flavour to vegetables. A spoon of cottage cheese in the potato can be an idea.

· Easy Marinade: In a jar mix about 1 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar (alter to taste and priorities) and 1 clove of garlic, juice of 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon of mustard and 1 teaspoon of honey. Season with pepper and rock salt. Shake well.

· Wok cooking is easy and with the packs of prepared vegetables and noodles it can prepared in minutes. Heat a little sesame or rapeseed oil in a wok. Add crushed garlic, grated ginger and some sliced chilli (leave out if your mouth is feeling sensitive). Cook for a minute before. Add meat, chicken, fish, tofu etc. Cook for around 1-2 minutes. Remove once cooked through. Add any mix of vegetables (good way to clear the fridge) or try the stir fry vegetable bags. Frozen vegetables in the freezer work equally as well. Add generous amounts of fish sauce, soya sauce,

· Pasta with vegetables. Cook some wholemeal or good quality Italian pasta until al dente. Then mix anything you like into it. Some ideas include quality tomato sauces with added vegetables (try some canned artichoke, chopped peppers, courgettes, aubergine, olives with chicken or lean mince), pesto, tuna and vegetables with a drizzle of olive oil. Borlotti beans will also mix in well.

· Another quick meal is to cook up a heap of vegetables and rice and mix with a thick soup. Vacuum packed or tinned beans are fast or you can soak dried beans overnight.

· Fill grainy pita bread with some lean steak or chicken or fish, hummus and fill with lots of interesting salad vegetables. Try to make some tabbouli

· Roast dinner. Roast is everyone’s favourite Sunday lunch or dinner. A healthy roast can be enjoyed by choosing a good quality, lean piece of meat or a free range, (organic) type of chicken or turkey. Cook it on a rack in a tray of water, this steams the meat and allows the fat drip away (marinades can be used to keep the meat moist), use a healthy stock as a gravy base and cook up a lovely selection of coloured root and green vegetables in a tray with a little olive oil. Rosemary, garlic and (a pinch of sea salt) add some extra flavour if needed.  Finish off with a lovely fruit crumble and custard made with lower fat milk.    Use leftover meat and vegetables in salads and in the lunch box.

· Homemade curry can be delicious. A simple one is to brown some mince with an onion, large clove of garlic and 2 tablespoons of curry madras powder, add ½ cup of chicken or beef stock.  Once meat is cooked, drain fat and then add ¼ cabbage, beans and other vegetables you may have in the fridge or freezer. Cook until lightly cooked.  Serve with brown rice and top with crunchy noodles (use plain chicken noodles out of the chicken noodle soup packets).  It’s also easy to make a simple deal to which you can add all sorts of steamed greens, serve alongside roasted meats or fish, or simply enjoy as a comfort supper with some wholegrain rice and a big spinach salad.