Archives for the month of: September, 2013

Smoked salmon and spinach quiche

This quiche was inspired by a similar recipe I saw on the Hairy Dieters TV series a few months ago. If you use the butter sparingly, filo/phyllo pastry isn’t very high in calories. I still had a few sheets left after making the salmon and spinach parcels the other day, so I used them in this. In terms of ingredients it is very similar to the other recipe, but a bit lighter in calories. I served this with a big plateful of salad and the whole meal still came in at under 300 calories.

Smoked salmon and spinach quiche (serves 4)

Ingredient Calories per serving
3 eggs 47
125g ricotta cheese 43
100ml milk 13
salt and pepper 0
50g fresh spinach, trimmed and roughly shredded 3
50g smoked salmon, cut into thin strips 15
10g butter 18
4 phyllo/filo pastry sheets (110g) 82
sprigs of dill 2

Total calories per serving: 225

Method: Beat the eggs with the ricotta cheese and stir in the milk and seasoning. Melt the butter and layer the pastry in a shallow round dish, brushing a little melted butter on each layer as you go and overlapping the edges of the dish. Spread the spinach over the pastry base and evenly distribute the salmon over the top of the spinach. Pour in the egg mixture and sprinkle the sprigs of dill over the top. Scrunch the overhanging pastry up around the inside edge of the dish and brush with any leftover butter.

Smoked salmon and spinach quicheBake at 350°F/180°C for around 45 minutes, or until the egg has set and the pastry is a golden brown. Slice into four and serve.


Salmon and spinach parcelsSalmon and spinach parcels (serves 4)

Ingredient Calories per serving
50g butter 90
100g fresh spinach, trimmed and roughly shredded 6
150g ricotta cheese 52
Rind and juice of 1 lemon 3
Freshly ground pepper 0
6 phyllo/filo pastry sheets 90
4x100g uncooked salmon fillets 206

Total calories per serving: 445

Method: Put the butter in a small saucepan, melt it and pour half of it into a small bowl. Put the pan back on the heat with the remaining butter and add the chopped spinach. Cook the spinach until wilted, then remove from the heat and mix in the ricotta, lemon juice and rind and fresh pepper.

Unroll the pastry sheets. Spread the first out and brush it with the melted butter. Spread another sheet over the first, brush with butter again and finish by laying the third sheet over the second. Place a salmon fillet on each half of the pastry sheet and top them with a quarter of the spinach mixture. At this point it looks like this:

Salmon on pastry

Cut through the pastry sheets between the two salmon fillets, then fold the edges of the pastry over the fish to make a parcel. Place them on a baking sheet with the folded edges uppermost. If you have any melted butter left, brush it over the top. Repeat this process with the remaining three sheets of pastry and the other two salmon fillets, then oven-bake the parcels at 375°F/190°C for twenty minutes.

Chicken and Beet SaladChicken and beet salad (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
20g mixed lettuce leaves 3
160g mixed beets, cooked and peeled, sliced 70
60g cooked chicken, shredded 91
1 tsp rice vinegar 3
1 tsp grain mustard 3
2 tsp olive oil 80

Total calories per serving: 250

Method: Arrange the lettuce leaves, sliced beets and chicken on a plate. Put the remaining ingredients in a jar with a lid, shake well to combine them and pour over the salad.

Omelette Provencale

Yes, another omelette. And with ingredients that look suspiciously like those of ratatouille. Sigh. I’m not going to win any prizes for originality lately, but with a small flock of chickens and an overproductive vegetable patch, I have to work with what I have.

Omelette Provençale (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1tsp butter 34
100g (1 small) zucchini/courgette, diced 16
1 medium red pepper, diced 31
2 eggs, beaten 126
salt and pepper 0
sprigs of thyme and oregano, finely chopped 3

Total calories per serving: 210

Method: Melt the butter in a frying pan and gently cook the diced vegetables and herbs for five minutes or until softened. Pour the eggs over the vegetables, season to taste and cook until the egg is set. Fold in half and serve.

Blue cheese and Swiss chard omelette

Blue cheese and Swiss chard omelette (serves 1)

Ingredient Calories per serving
1tsp butter 34
2 leaves Swiss chard (with stalks), roughly chopped 18
freshly-ground pepper 0
2 eggs, beaten 126
10g blue cheese, crumbled 35

Total calories per serving: 215

Method: Heat a small frying pan and melt the butter in it. Add the chopped chard and freshly-ground pepper and cook until the chard has softened. Pour the eggs over the chard and then dot the crumbled cheese over the surface of the omelette. Cook until the egg is set, then fold the omelette in half and slide onto a plate.

Ratatouille with a kick

Ratatouille again? Well it’s that time of year when the garden is churning out peppers, eggplants and tomatoes faster than I can keep up. I made a lovely spicy eggplant chutney at the weekend and plan to preserve more of them up by making another batch of that, but in the meantime it’s back to ratatouille for my working lunch today. It’s just such a convenient way of using up a whole range of glut-veg. In this one I’ve added a couple of the hotter peppers, some cumin and some smoked paprika to spice it up a bit.

This makes quite a lot of ratatouille – you could easily have it as a side dish for two, bringing the calorie count down to 220.

Ratatouille with a kick (serves 1 or 2)

Ingredient Calories per serving
2 tbsp olive oil 240
335g eggplant/aubergine, cut into chunks 82
100g red pepper, diced 31
25g Hungarian hot wax pepper (like a jalapeño), diced 9
1 fresh cayenne pepper 2
1 tsp cumin seeds 8
55g zucchini/courgette, sliced 9
300g paste tomatoes, peeled and roughly chopped 54
1 tsp smoked paprika 6
salt and pepper 0

Total calories per serving: 440 (or 220 for two)

Method: Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chunks of eggplant and cook over a medium heat for five minutes. Stir in the peppers and cumin and cook for another five minutes. Then add the zucchini and fry for a further five minutes. By now, the eggplant should be soft. Stir in the diced tomatoes and the smoked paprika and simmer until the tomatoes have reduced to a rich red sauce. Season to taste.