I love Tzatziki.

With eggs, with vegetables for dipping, slopped onto soup. I find it’s a great way of creating flavour contrasts. I wanted to make a Tzatziki chicken recipe that was healthy(ish,) and could be eaten for breakfast/brunch. Or just as easily stacked in lunch boxes for a satisfying afternoon meal. This is what I came up with.

Tzatziki Chicken Pittas

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50g Greek yogurt

50g Mayo

cucumber, grated (about 2 inches long)

lemon wedge (ready to be squeezed.)

3 sprigs fresh dill, chopped

garlic powder (if you have any hanging about.)

salt and black pepper, freshly cracked

To Serve

Pitta Bread (I chose a seeded one from Sainsburys and they are delicious.)

An egg

Hot Sauce (Franks is good.)

2 Chicken Thighs, sliced and warmed (seasoned with salt and pepper.)

Step One

Pre-heat the oven to 200C and pop in the thighs. Bake for 20 minutes then check if cooked. Slice open one of the thighs, or poke with a cooking skewer. Take the chicken out of the oven, chill and shred. You could use deli meat instead or pre-cooked chicken but I had these hanging around.

Step Two

I haven’t added the exactly measurements for the Greek yogurt/mayo because you could make a massive bowl of this and store it in the fridge all week. Or you could just make one serving. But this is basically a good 50 g of each. But you do you.

Once you’ve added them together, grate the cucumber into the bowl and squeeze in a lemon wedge. Add the chopped dill and a sprinkling of the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Do this to your personal taste.

Step Three

Fill a saucepan with water and boil the water. Add the egg and cook for the desired time. I think hard-boiled works better here. So 7ish minutes. Once the egg has cooked, drain the saucepan and refill with cold water. Peel and slice.

Step Four

Toast the pitta bread, mix the chicken and the tzatziki and stuff. Pop the egg on top and then drizzle with hot sauce. Oh my – delicious.

Numbers if you’re bothered

You could add lots of extras to this. Advocado, onion and tomato if you wish. I kept it the recipe here and it came to 350ish calories. Add some hula hoops, a tangerine or two and it’s the perfect lunchtime option.

Recommended Reading

I recommend reading Charlie Breaker book number one. It’s a hard, smashing, book with a gritty main character and a great sense of storytelling. You can read my review here.

Tzatziki Chicken Pittas

Tzatziki Chicken Pittas

Tzatziki Chicken Pittas

Another recipe post today. Starring Salmon Pâté (and Quark)

Now before you ask Quark is a type of fresh dairy product made by warming soured milk. Yes it sounds a little gross, but mixed in with something else, it’s a brilliant low fat alternative for cheese. Perfect for making into dips and Pate. I learnt about quark from Slimming World instagrammers. They appeared to be using it for creamy pasta, or lasagne. I found a recipe for salmon pate and thought I would give it a go. And it is A-OKAY. Recipe below.

This is a really simple recipe, good as a spread on Ryvitas or toast for lunch, in a sandwich or as a dip with crudités. Perfect.

Healthy Salmon Pâté (using Quark)

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(Makes 2-4 servings.)

200g skinless and boneless salmon

200g quark

Good pinch of dried chilli flakes or other spicy seasoning

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped parsley or coriander (optional)

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Step One

Cook the salmon in the oven at 200c. Should only take 15 ish minutes but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook. Nothing worse than over cooked salmon. Allow to cook and then chop up into the same sized chunks.

Step Two

I tend to put all of the ingredients in the blender to make a smooth mixture. But you could mash up with a fork if you prefer something a little coarser. Either way, add all the ingredients into the blender and then blend until the preferred consistency. Check to adjust the seasoning and then blend again.

Numbers (if you’re bothered.)

This works out at about 150cals a portion. You can double or triple it if you want to take to work one day, or could use different fish to add different flavours. I’ve added capers before to add saltiness and red pepper also!

Recommended Reading

I recommend reading All the missing girls by Megan Miranda – a creepy, claustrophobic but brilliant book. 

Healthy Salmon Pâté (using Quark)

Healthy Salmon Pâté (using Quark)

I make a lot of rusty coloured soups. Carrots/butternut squash/tomato or pepper they look gorgeous but samey. So imma switching it up for a green recipe/ Specifically one with broccoli, pea and basil. It’s bustling because it takes no time at all to create. Mainly because you don’t want to over-cook the broccoli! Enjoy.

Bustling Broccoli, Pea and Basil Soup

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(Would properly feed a dozen hungry mouths.)

Low cal cooking spray

2 large onions, roughly chopped

2 garlic cloves, diced

3 celery sticks, roughly chopped

A large pinch of dried oregano

80 g fresh basil (chopped the stalks and leave the leaves)

1,5 kg broccoli

1,5 l vegetable stock

500 g frozen peas

juice of 1/2 lemon

a sprinkling of Parmesan

One Slice of Campbells Bacon for garnish 

Black pepper

Step One

Heat up the low cal cooking spray and cook the onion on a low heat for around 10 minutes. Stir every often so they don’t brown so much. After the 10, add the garlic, celery and oregano and basil stalks (only) and stir well.

Step Two

After 6-10 minutes (ish) add the broccoli, vegetable broth and salt and pepper to taste. Keep stirring.

Step Three

Let it cook for 15 minutes and taste. You don’t want over cooked broccoli! At this point fry the bacon slice (chopped up till crispy) Remove from the heat and add the frozen peas, lemon and basil leaves. Blend until you have the consistency you desire. (Add more stock if you want it thinner.) And serve! Oh and sprinkle the bacon!

Numbers (If you’re bothered.)

This comes in at almost spot on 300cals. If you add on a delicious crust of bread and some tzatziki you’re up to 400 cals. Perfect for a lunch at your desk or as a lighter dinner.

Recommended Reading

I recommend reading COLORLESS TSUKURU TAZAKI By Haruki Murakami. I’ve read 1Q84 and thought it was really wonderful but not, well perfect. T recently read this and adored it so I’m looking forward to it too. T suggested that this would work quite well with this recipe. Lavely.

Bustling Broccoli, Pea and Basil Soup

Bustling Broccoli, Pea and Basil Soup

I love a good carbonara.

But since my weight-loss mission it’s been off the table. It’s not that I restrict foods, it’s just I want to find ways to make them healthier. I’ve been using courgette to create healthier recipes and it took a while to perfect but I think I got it spot on.

With all my recipes I try to then out multiple times. This took around three goes because courgettes let out a lot of water. Due to my idleness I try to cut out as many steps as possible and I didn’t want to have to drain the courgettes. So, this is the easiest way I’ve found to make this scrummy Cheats Courgetti Spaghetti Carbonara.

Cheats Courgetti Spaghetti Carbonara

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Serves two hangry people

2 egg yolks

200g of chestnut mushrooms

1 clove of garlic (crushed.)

200g of bacon (I’m using Campbell’s from their breakfast box.)

400g of courgette (spiralized into strips)

25g of low fat cream cheese (to add creaminess.)

Step One

Cut up the mushrooms and bacon into similar sized pieces. Pop into a large frying pan and heat over a medium heat until golden.  Stir in the garlic and fry for another minute. Add courgettes and fry for 5 minutes until softened.

Step Two

In a cup whisk the egg yolks and add a little water. Season well now. Stir the mixture through the courgette  and cook for a minute. Just before it’s ready stir through the cream cheese for extra creaminess.

Step Three

Serve immediately. If you have you can sprinkle with parmesan and herbs for extra pzazz.

Numbers (if you’re bothered.)

This works out to about 350 calories if you add everything in (bar the parmesan.) It’s also really good if you’re trying to cut out refined carbs or attempting a low cal diet.

Recommended Reading

This is quite a light but filling dish and I think it deserves a book that’s the same. I think I’ll suggest The Post Office by Charles Bukowski. It’s the perfect mix of humour, self-hatred, and reckless living. The writing is deep and filling but Henry is a very shallow character. He barely gives a crap but lives life to the full. Perfect.

Cheats Courgetti Spaghetti Carbonara

Cheats Courgetti Spaghetti Carbonara

This soup is a Lizzy Amalgamation. Or experiment. Both those sound odd actually.

I wanted to make a hearty vegetarian soup that I could serve without bread but would keep you super full. I know what you’re thinking. Lentils? Whole Potatoes maybe. No I wanted to add pasta. Tortelloni actually.

It ended up being a fantastic alternative to bread. Here is the recipe I’ve switched up to work with the pasta.

Lizzy's Tidy Tortelloni Soup

Put in your trolley

500 grms Italian Spinach and Ricotta Tortelloni (You could add ravioli, or different flavours. I chose this because I wanted T to try it.)

250 grms Chestnut Mushrooms

600 grms of Chopped Tomatoes

186 grms of Peas (I always use tins. Sorry.)

200 grms Carrots

300grms Potato

2 tbsp of Smoked paprika

2 tbsp of Hot Chilli Powder

1 tbsp Jerk Seasoning (I put this in everything.)

1tbsp Cumin Seeds

180 grms Onion

4 cloves Garlic

1 tbsp Black Pepper

1L Vegetable Stock

Step 1

Chop the onion/garlic and brown in a small pan. Add in the potatoes, carrots and mushrooms and the spices and coat. Cook for a minute then pop in the slow cooker. Click the cooker on high.

Lizzy's Tidy Tortelloni Soup

Step 2

Add in the chopped tomatoes, peas, and the made up stock then pop on the lid. Cook on high for two hours, then on low for as many as you can. I just let it do its thing.

Step 3

Just before the soup’s finished cooking I season liberally. I used a good 4 grms of whole black peppers seeds and a good helping of salt. It’s a big pan! Blend the soup using a hand blender. Unlike my last soup I stopped before it had all been blended to smooth. This means every so often there’s a bit of chunkiness to the soup.

Step 4

Cook the tortellini in a boiling pan of water for only a couple of minutes. They don’t take long to go over. Add to the soup, top with tzakizi and serve. If you are going to cool this and take to work I would suggest cooking the tortellini and keeping in an air tight container. Or cooking the morning you’re taking it in. Then re-warm at work. 7 tortelloni seems to work quite well.

Lizzy's Tidy Tortelloni Soup

Numbers (if you’re bothered.)

This soup is incredibly low cal. If you make six portions it comes to 250 cals. Add the bread and the tzatziki. It still comes to only 350 ish cals. Which is a fantastic lunch option.

Reading Recommendation

I would recommend reading Anatomy of a Soldier by Harry Parker.

My serial number is 6545-01-522. I was unpacked from a plastic case, pulled open, checked and reassembled.

Captain Tom Barnes is leading British troops into a war zone when he is gravely injured by an exploding IED. This devastating moment and the transformative months that follow are narrated here by forty-five objects, shifting back and forwards in time, separate pieces in a puzzle, telling one unforgettable story.

^ Sounds good eh.

Lizzy's Tidy Tortelloni Soup