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Food Bite: Autumn Comfort Food Slimmed Down!

IMG_0097So following on from my rather long and self-indulgent rant, I’ve decided to post a couple of my absolute favourite recipes for Autumnal comfort food – with a twist. I’m forever searching for ways to make my favourite indulgences cleaner and leaner! I’m always experimenting and playing around with ingredients, as I believe in taking care of my body, nourishing it whilst keeping an eye on the old figure!

So today, I have two recipes for you! They’re both super super simple but satisfying and perfect for this time of year. it’s getting a bit colder, we’re all getting a little down in the post-summer slump and comfort food is in order!

A couple of my all-time favourites for a healthy diet and for keeping the calorie/fat content low in meals are Quinoa and Oatbran.

Quinoa is gorgeous, low in calories and really really high in protein so it’s great for veggies, vegans and a general healthy and balanced diet! Now avaiable at all health food stores and pretty much most supermarkets, it’s becoming a favourite in the dieting industry and I think it’s perfect for getting carbohydrates and protein in the diet whilst keeping the saturated fats and calories of a meal on the lower end of the scale.IMG_0165

Oatbran is another newbie, but I’ve been eating it for a good three years now. It’s sort of the outer ‘groat’ of oats and is often discarded in the milling process, but it’s super high in fibre, low in calories, has pretty much zero fat and is also proven to help lower cholesterol and remove toxins (and excess calories, so I’ve been told) from the body, by absorbing them in the intestines. As this is a food post, I’m not going to put anyone off by going into too much anatomical detail here!

Anyway, using these two ingredients I have come up with (As I’m sure many others have too) a couple of ways to slim-down some of my favourite Autumn comfort foods.

Recipe 1: Oatbran Morning Porridge For One

Simple as simple can be really;

  • Add 45g of Oatbran to a non-stick saucepan and add 2-3 tsp of Stevia sweetner and 300mls of water.
  • Place over a low heat on the hob for about 5 minutes.
  • Slice up a medium banana.
  • When the oatbran mixture is bubbling away and thickening, turn up the heat and stir gently.
  • Add 1tsp of cinnamon and some vanilla (I use a little bean paste, but essence or preferably extract work fine too) to taste and mix in.
    Let it bubble away and play with the heat so that all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture nice and rich and thick.
  • Pour into a bowl. Sprinkle the banana on top.
  • *Optional* Place under the grill for a couple of minuts to caremalize the bananas a bit. It’s lovely!

And there you have it. Tasty, filling, warming, comforting…all things an Autumnal breakfast should be! And only about 230 calories to boot!


Recipe 2: Quinoa Mushroom Risotto (Serves 4)

Still about as easy as possible short of buying it ready made;

500g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced150g Quinoa
150g Risotto Rice
1.5l Stock (I use chicken, but vegetable is fine)
200g Brocolli cut into small florets.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Fresh thyme, if you’re feeling fancy!

  • Sautee the mushrooms with a little water and some pepper in a non-stick pan for 2-3 minutes.
  • Stir in the Quinoa and brocolli.
  • Add a little stock and stir until absorbed.
  • Add the risotto rice and some more stock. Stir until absorbed.
  • Repeat until all the stock is absorbed and rice and quinoa are cooked and tender. OR, if you don’t want to wait around, I just dump all the stock in in one go and leave simmering for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and until the mixture is cooked and liquid absorbed!!
  • Stir in the salt, pepper and thyme to taste and serve piping hot!IMG_0092

There we go, my lovely and delicious alternative to a proper risotto. What’s mroe comforting and luxurious than a thick, steaming plate or mushroom risotto on a chilly Autumn evening? Divine! Oh, and about 380 cals per portion…and they’re generous portions!

So there we have it. Two super quick and super easy (and pretty darned cheap to make too…) but warm and luxurious Autumn comfort food meals. If you are watching your weight this October, or just want to eat cleaner and healthier, these are great recipes and I’m pretty much addicted…!

Finding new ingredients and alternatives to traditional, high-fat products is a great way to still enjoy the food you love, without having to demolish the diet! By experimenting with new ingredients and recipes, as well as alternative flavours is a great way of slimming down your favourite comfort foods without having to sacrifice tase or portion size! I eat massive portions…I just make sure that what I’m eating is clean and healthy!