Healthy Breakfast #2 Greek Yoghurt and Strawberries

Even though I haven’t posted for a while, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t still been trying to eat well and exercising (well, no running in this heat!). Just the other week, we decided to enjoy our weekly Friday evening takeaway – yes I still have those – and decided on Indian. I came home from work, went out for a run and then came home to order the food. However, instead of ordering rice, I made cauliflower rice to enjoy with my curry. I just chopped it very fine with my Pampered Chef food chopper, but a food processor or some fine knife skills should do the job, and blanched it in some boiling water with half a lemon in it. It isn’t completely carb free but felt much healthier than the usual rice accompaniment and another veg on the plate for good measure.

I’ve also found a love for greek yogurt – full-fat, no added sugar and full of protein. It actually tells me this when I load it into Myfitnesspal and I feel quite smug that I’m working towards including more protein in my diet. I also feel smug when it tells me “This food is high in Vitamin A” or “You’ve reached your fibre goal for today”. It’s like a PT in your pocket. Anyway, I first started with the Muller Fruit Corner version of greek yoghurt with a fruit side or honey side and not surprisingly they are full of sugar. I’ve gradually managed to wean myself off them and now enjoy plain greek yoghurt but with some dried seeds and fruit mixed in or with strawberries dipped in.

I love strawberries and believe they are a good source of vitamins C and K. They also contain lots of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. Which is good, because I believe that coconut water is a great source of potassium and I can’t stand the stuff (even if it’s flavoured!). They can even contribute to your pearly whites! ¬†We have grown these mighty berries in our garden every year and I love doing a little bit of PYO in the morning for breakfast. We are also lucky to have a wild strawberry plant and these are like mini-strawberries with a highly condensed sweet flavour.

This morning, after another sweltering night, I stumbled into the garden armed with a sieve and picked a few berries for breakfast. They were a scrumptious accompaniment to greek yoghurt, coconut flakes, muesli, chia seeds and mixed seeds.

I feel quite virtuous now, until I break in the heat later and have an ice-cream. But maybe I’ll stick to my healthy ways and blend some frozen bananas instead.

Enjoy!

Delicious homegrown strawberries with greek yoghurt...
Delicious homegrown strawberries with greek yoghurt…

 

Healthy Dinner Idea #2 Parmesan Chicken with Avocado Salad

A yummy olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing really makes this salad
A yummy olive oil and balsamic vinegar dressing really makes this salad

Spurred on by the warmer weather this week – though hard to believe as a gale now echoes in my chimney and the skies look dismal and grey – I turned to one of my favourite summer dishes for a quick and healthy dinner. I came across this simple recipe in a book some years ago and I credit it for giving me my love of avocados. I hated the things for years but have slowly made the transition from guacamole to whole, raw avocados via this simple, summery salad.

The Parmesan-crusted chicken may not be healthiest version of chicken breast out there but hey – at least I grilled mine instead of pan frying it. The original recipe also called for egg white to make the crust but I include the whole egg. We are fortunate enough to get eggs for free from my partner’s parents’ chickens and it would be a shame to ditch the yellow-orange yolks just because a recipe said so.

Butterfly your chicken breasts and coat with beaten egg before dipping in a Parmesan cheese and cayenne pepper mix – the cayenne adds a wonderful kick of spice and brings many health benefits like being an anti-inflammatory and digestive aid to the table. Once prepared, cook under a medium-hot grill until golden brown on each side and the thoroughly cooked (but not dry!) in the middle.

To assemble the salad, slice two avocados and place in a pretty bowl – unless there’s just two of you at home but who says you shouldn’t eat off pretty things when you aren’t entertaining? – and chop plenty of cherry tomatoes in half and put in the bowl with the avocado. The tomatoes from supermarkets are a little bit disappointing in the winter but in the summer, with fresh, local tomatoes this dish is elevated to the next level. Next is the red onion. I’m not a great fan of raw onions but can manage them in the dish because I slice them very finely into long strands so that you can almost read a newspaper through them. Balanced with the avocado, they bring a little crunch to the salad. Drizzle your salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add fresh, torn basil before giving a good stir. Season to taste.

Serve your salad with the chicken and enjoy the thought of eating a nutritious, satisfying dinner with many health benefits. As you can see from the photo, I even added a couple of slices of grilled aubergine to mine.