Recipe taken from Balance Magazine, published by Diabetes.org
On the pulse – Pulses contain protein and fibre and, compared to other carb-containing foods, don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels. So if you have diabetes, there’s never ‘bean’ a better time to cook with them …
Ingredients: 4 x 1kcal spray 2 large Portobello mushrooms, stalks removed (80g each) 50g canned chickpeas, drained 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 200g bag washed baby spinach 2 tablespoon herby low-fat soft cheese 1 small beef tomato (130g) 1 tsp balsamic vinegar 1 small avocado (140g, prepared weight)
Preheat oven to 200C/gas 6. Spray the baking sheet and mushrooms with 1 kcal spray. Stand mushrooms in the middle. Toss the chickpeas in the paprika and scatter on the baking sheet. Cook for 5 mins.
Snip the corner of the bag of spinach and microwave on full for 2 mins. Shake and cook for a further 1 min until wilted. Leave to cool, then squeeze the spinach juices out of the snipped corner. Tip the spinach into a bowl and stir in the soft cheese. Season with black pepper.
Place a slice of tomato on top of each mushroom, drizzle with balsamic, then top with the spinach.
Slice the avocado, criss-cross over the spinach and lightly spray with oil
Cook for 12-15 mins until the avocado is softening. Divide between serving plates. Scatter the chickpeas over and serve with extra balsamic drizzle.
Add zing to spring brunches with these easy pastry twists, perfect for weekend feasting.
Crispy Bacon and Egg Slice
Makes : 6; Preparation time : 10 mins; Cook Time : 28 mins
Unroll a sheet of pastry (use puff for crispiness), cut into 6 even squares and arrange on a parchment lined baking tray. Stamp out the centre of each square with a 6.5cm ring cutter, replacing the circle back into the middle, and brush with beaten egg for colour.
Bake at 220 C / 200 C Fan / Gas Mark 7 for 10 minutes, then push the centres in a little and crack in 6 medium eggs for richness. Bake again, covered in foil, for 15 minutes.
Remove the golden pastries from the oven and garnish with a rasher of crispy bacon to bring smokiness.
Fruity Banoffee Bunnies
Makes : 12; Preparation time : 25 mins; Cook Time : 35 mins
Using 2 sheets puff pastry for crispiness, trim each into a 25cm square. Spread one with a generous layer of banoffee sauce for richness (leaving a border) and top with the other sheet. Seal along the border and slice into 12 even strips.
Preheat the oven to 180 C / 160 C Fan / Gas Mark 4. Fold the strips into a U-shape, then twist twice. Brush with beaten egg for colour and bake for 30-35 minutes.
Once cool, dot with banoffee sauce and garnish with banana for fruitiness and broken waffle for whiskers.
Crunchy Lucky Dip Croissants
Makes : 6; Preparation time : 20 mins; Cook Time : 5 mins
Slice open 6 croissants. Fill 2 with a generous layer of almond butter for richness. Melt 70g milk chocolate or drizzle over, topping with a handful of chopped pistachios and hazelnuts for crunch.
Fill another 2 croissants with strawberry jam, blueberries and raspberries for fruitiness. Top with 1 tbsp natural yogurt mixed with 70g melted white chocolate and decorate with flaked almonds.
Fill the last 2 croissants with chocolate orange spread for sweetness and zingy satsuma segments. Warm through and loosen extra spread to drizzle on top, garnishing with another segment.
250ml unsweetened almond milk
3 ripe figs
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling
1 tblsp maple syrup or honey
Step One : Quinoa porridge is perfect for when you want a filling hearty breakfast but don’t want to skip the protein.
Step Two : The combination of fresh figs and cinnamon is hard to beat, so make this while you can as the fig season is lamentably short. If it’s the wrong time of year, use mashed banana instead.
Step Three : Add the quinoa, water and half the nut milk to a medium-sized saucepan on a medium heat. Pop on the lid and let it cook for about 13 minutes, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and it’s nice and fluffy.
Step Four : Cut two figs in half, scoop out the flesh and mash with a fork. Stir into the quinoa with the vanilla, cinnamon and remaining milk, Slice the last fig.
Step Five : Let the quinoa simmer for a few minutes, until it has reached your desired consistency, then stir in the syrup or honey.
Step Six : Pour the porridge into bowls, top with fig slices and sprinkle on a little cinnamon to serve.
Recipe courtesy of Psychologies Magazine (March 2018)
The chilli adds a subtle kick to this bircher, from Annie Morris’s book, ‘Spoon: Simple and Nourishing Breakfast Bowls That Can be Enjoyed Any Time of Day’ (Hardie Grant, £15), while the dense oats balance out the taste.
Makes 2 bowls
Grapefruit Compote Ingredients:
1 tbsp honey
1 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
Juice of ½ lemon
150ml orange juice
100ml natural yogurt
Toasted flaked almonds
Dusting of dried chilli flakes
Step One: To make the grapefruit compote, peel the grapefruit and discard any pith.
Step Two: Segment the grapefruit using a knife to get the juiciest part of the fruit, leaving behind any pith, and reserving the juices.
Step Three: Add to a pan with the juices and bring to the boil with the remaining ingredients. Simmer gently for about 20-30 minutes, then leave to cool.
Step Four: To make the Bircher, place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir to combine.
Step Five: Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
Step Six: The next morning, divide the mixture into two bowls. Serve with the grapefruit compote and a sprinkling of toasted almond and dried chilli flakes.
300ml (9 ½ fl oz) crème fraiche
2 tsp cornflour
Yolks of three eggs
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Juice ½ lemon
50g (1 ¾ oz) butter, diced
2 English muffins, halved
200g (6 ½ oz) spinach, steamed
4 slices smoked salmon
Serves: 2-4 Prep time: 20 mins Cook time: 5 mins
Cals per serving: 644 Fat: 54g
Step One: To make the sauce, whisk the crème fraiche, cornflour, egg yolks, white wine vinegar and lemon juice over a medium heat until simmering. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Season to taste. Add extra lemon juice, if needed. Keep warm, whisking occasionally.
Step Two: Poach the eggs for 3 mins in simmering water. Toast and butter the muffins. Divide the steamed spinach between the muffins. Top with smoked salmon and an egg. Season and pour over the sauce.
Tip: The spinach can be cooked ahead of time and then reheated in a microwave, if desired. The eggs can also be poached ahead of time and set aside for 30 mins – reheat them in simmering water just before serving.