Sunday, February 1, 2015

Cocoa Fudgy Protein Bars

This is a combination of half a dozen different recipes I found on the web, just mixing together the quantity of ingredients that felt right, and that gave the right kind of nutritional value.  It kind of took me back to my childhood, making mud pies in the garden :)

You really would not know that the recipe contains beans.  The finished result is quite soft and fudgy.  I used cannellini beans, but any bean would be ok.

Nutrition Info per bar (makes 10)
Calories: 169
Protein: 6g
Carbohydrate: 26g
Fat: 5g
Dietary Fibre: 6g

1 x 400g tin cannellini beans, drained
50g oats
20g hemp powder
20g cocoa powder
50g unsweetened desiccated coconut
200g light soya milk
200g dried soft figs
1 heaped teaspoon molasses (20g)
30g granulated xylitol


  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Put the beans in a large bowl and crush thoroughly with the back of a fork.  
  • Stir in the oats, hemp powder. cocoa powder, coconut and xylitol.
  • Put the figs and milk in a blender and blend until finely chopped.
  • Stir into the dried mixture, along with the molasses.
  • Pour into a greased 20cm non-stick square metal baking tin, and smooth.
  • Bake for 25 mins.
  • Remove from the oven and cut into 10 bars, leaving in the tin.  It will be firm on top, but of a squidgy consistency.  Cool in the tray on a wire rack, and then refrigerate for a couple of hours.
  • Wrap individually in foil and store in the refrigerator.

Savoury Parmesan and Marmite Protein Bars

In the UK, you can't buy savoury protein bars, so I've been thinking about this for some time.  Sweet protein bars tend to use dried fruit as the 'glue', so I had to google for ideas as to what 'glue' to use for these savoury bars.  Quinoa seemed to be used quite a bit, which is of course also high in protein, so perfect here.

These do dry out quite well in the oven and become fairly crispy on the outside, which was the texture I was going for.

I think next time, I shall actually cut it into 10 bars instead of 12, which will give 146 calories, 8g protein and 4g dietary fibre.

Nutrition Information per bar (makes 12)
Calories: 122
Protein: 7g
Carbohydrate: 11g
Fat: 6g
Dietary Fibre: 3g

80g dried quinoa (cooked)
100g oats
40g hemp powder
20g salted almond kernels
20g salted pistachio kernels
30g milled flaxseed
50g grated parmesan
1 heaped teaspoon marmite (17g)
80g light soya milk


  • Cook the quinoa according to instructions.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • In a large bowl, weigh out the oats, hemp powder, flaxseed and parmesan.  Mix in the marmite with your fingers until it's distributed through the ingredients.
  • Grind the nuts together in a blender and mix into the dry ingredients.
  • Mix in the quinoa, and stir in the milk until the mixture forms a paste.
  • Grease a 20cm non stick square metal baking tin, and press the mixture down well.  Score into 12 rectangles.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 mins until firm and browned (yes, you will actually be able to tell they've browned!).
  • Remove from the oven, cut into bars, allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Wrap individually in foil, and store in an airtight box for up to a week.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Healthy Egg McMuffin

I don't eat much bread at all, but I like it occasionally.  In the UK, unless you buy bread rolls, bread comes in huge 800g (sometimes 400g) loaves.  This says a lot about how much bread is eaten as a staple in the British diet.  This is in contrast to Japan where bread is bought in packets of 3 or 6 impossibly thick slices (and only usually of white bread).  When I was living in Japan, after visits to the UK I occasionally brought back an 800g loaf of sliced wholemeal bread, and put in my freezer.

These days, I have a tiny under the counter fridge, with only an ice box to freeze things in.  Consequently, if I buy a loaf of bread, I'd probably eat a maximum of 4 slices before it went mouldy.

The other evening, I found myself googling microwave bread and came across a recipe from this website  I came across other ones too, that I'll probably try sometime soon.  As I already had the ingredients for this one, I decided to try it.  The first time, I used a whole egg in the bread, instead of the powdered egg white and water, and ate it with ham, mustard and dairylea cheese.  Today, as I wanted to eat it with egg, I just used egg white in the bread.  This bread is very high in fibre, vitamin D and omega 3, 6 and 9, and also provides calcium, zinc and iron.  Although high in fat, along with the fibre this keeps you feeling full until lunchtime, and most of the fat comes from the omega fatty acids.  Taking only about 5 minutes to make, this is a very quick and easy breakfast, as well as being very low in carbohydrate and calories!

For the bread
1 x 5g sachet powdered egg white, made up with 7 teaspoons warm water.
4 level tablespoons (24g) milled flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon (4g) softened butter (I use spreadable butter and don't keep it in my fridge)
Herbs to taste

For the egg and cheese filling
1/2 - 1 teaspoon (4g) softened butter
10g low fat grated cheddar cheese

Nutrition Info
For the bread
Calories:  149
Protein: 8.5g
Carbohydrate: 1.78g
Fat: 12g
Dietary Fibre: 6.8g

For the egg and cheese filling
Calories: 117
Protein: 8.4g
Carbohydrate: 0.2
Fat: 8.9g
Dietary Fibre: 0g

  • In a cereal bowl, mix the powdered egg white with 2 teaspoons warm water, then mix with an additional 5 teaspoons warm water.  
  • Stir in the milled flaxseed, baking powder, herbs and butter.  Flatten in the bowl.
  • Microwave in a 750w oven for 1 and a half minutes.
  • Turn out onto a baking rack to let the steam escape.
  • In another cereal bowl, beat the egg with the butter, don't worry about any large bits.
  • Microwave in a 750w oven for about 1 minute until set.
  • Slice the bread in half, put the set egg on one half and sprinkle with the grated cheese.
  • Sandwich with the other half and enjoy!
  • If you don't have powdered egg white, then use a whole egg without the water.
  • I buy milled flaxseed from Lidl or Aldi - it is much cheaper there than from a health food shop.
  • You could probably cut down on the fat and calories more by reducing the butter in the recipe.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Spicy Chicken and Lime Soup

I think it was in fact this recipe that particularly attracted me to this blog, and it hasn't disappointed!  I followed this recipe more than usual and, as recommended, I added some avocado to my bowl.  However, I used dashi fish stock rather than chicken stock, used less oil, and served with brown rice rather than tortillas.   It had a real flavour punch, very nice!  Will definitely make this recipe again!