Tips And Strategies For Healthy Living – Aoife Hearne

“Think about how you eat, what you eat, when you eat and why you eat.”

A registered dietitian and a member of the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute, Aoife Hearne has been the nutrition expert on RTE’s Operation Transformation since 2014.

Aoife-35The Plan is Aoife’s easy-to-use cookbook containing a range of delicious dishes for the whole family so you can enjoy getting healthier together.A strong believer in ‘one family, one meal’, Aoife’s focus is on developing sound nutrition habits to benefit the whole family. Readers will love her easily to follow weight loss tips and strategies for healthy living, including preparing your food plan for the week, writing your shopping list (and sticking to it!), keeping a food diary, recognising your hunger scale, knowing what a portion size should really look like and devising a
well-planned kitchen.  

The Plan, published by Gill Books, is priced at €19.99 and is available in all good bookshops. 


Breakfast Sandwich

A great option for all ages, this recipe is ideal to cook ahead and freeze in individual portions As this is a cook-ahead breakfast, I would recommend that you cook all six servings and freeze the extra portions. Serves 6 (1 cup per serving) 90g broccoli or other vegetables (fresh or frozen) 3 eggs, chopped 70ml low-fat milk 1⁄4 tsp mustard powder pinch of salt and pepper (optional) 1 spring onion, chopped 1 tbsp chopped parsley 30g cheddar cheese, grated 6 wholemeal English muffins/wholemeal buns (40g, 1 per serving) 2 tsp tomato relish per serving Calories: 217 ›› Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6 and prepare a muffin tin. Spraying non-stick spray on
paper liners will allow for easier removal. ›› Cook the chopped broccoli (or other vegetables) by steaming or sautéing for about 5 minutes. Prep the ingredients while the broccoli cooks. ›› In a medium bowl, crack and whisk the eggs. Add the milk, mustard, salt, pepper, spring onion and parsley. Whisk again. ›› Add the grated cheese to the egg mixture. ›› When the broccoli is cooked, divide equally among the muffin cups. Then pour the egg mixture evenly into the muffin cups. ›› Place in the oven for 18–22 minutes, or until the eggs set (when the top becomes light golden and/or a toothpick comes out clean). ›› Place in a large Baggie or container to refrigerate or freeze until ready to eat. You can reheat straight from the freezer in the microwave for 30–60 seconds. ›› To serve, toast the halved English muffin, or bun, until lightly golden. Spread the relish evenly over the slices. Place the quiche on one half and top with the other.

Mexican Cod

Quinoa is a nice change from the usual carbohydrates, but be aware that it does take a little time to prepare. Serves 2 100g quinoa 300ml reduced-sodium vegetable stock, cold 2 tbsp rapeseed oil 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped 1 yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped 1 courgette, chopped 2 tbsp taco spice mix 1 tbsp flour 2 x 150g cod fillets (or any other white fish) 2 tbsp chopped coriander natural yogurt (3% fat) Calories: 526 ›› Place the quinoa in a pot with the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until light and fluffy. ›› Put 1 tablespoon of the oil in a skillet, or wok, and stir-fry the vegetables on a medium heat until tender.
›› Mix the vegetables with the quinoa and set aside. ›› Combine the taco spice and flour, and coat the fish with this mixture. ›› Heat a pan and add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. On a high heat, cook the fish on one side for 4–5 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for the same time. ›› Divide the quinoa and vegetable mixture between two plates. Place the fish on top and serve. ›› Garnish with coriander and natural yogurt.

Sizzling Steak Fajitas

Break from a traditional Saturday night takeaway and make your own! These are not necessarily the healthiest of meals but they are certainly better than ordering a takeaway. They are higher in calories than the other options, so I suggest you keep them to just once a week. Serves 2 1 tbsp rapeseed oil 1 tbsp chilli powder 1 clove of garlic, finely sliced 300g sirloin steak, cut into 7.5 cm strips 1 green pepper, deseeded and sliced 1 red pepper, deseeded and sliced 1 onion, sliced 2 burrito-style tortillas (124g) 30g salsa 80g baby spinach 2 tbsp chopped coriander Calories: 590 ›› In a bowl, mix the oil, chilli powder and garlic. ›› Place the steak, peppers and onions on a baking tray and coat with the spiced oil mixture. ›› Grill on a medium to high heat until the meat is cooked through. Turn occasionally to prevent the meat and vegetables sticking. ›› Serve the cooked meat on the tortillas, topped with salsa, spinach and coriander.

Spanish Chicken Stew With Chickpeas

Chop the onions and potatoes ahead of time to make the preparation quicker.
Serves 4
1 tbsp olive oil
350g chicken breast, cut into bitesized pieces
100g chorizo, sliced
2 onions, finely chopped
1 bulb of garlic, cloves separated
500ml reduced-sodium chicken stock
pinch of saffron
2 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
2 sprigs of thyme
bunch of parsley, chopped
zest of 1⁄2 lemon
6 carrots, chopped
300 g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
›› Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
›› Heat the oil in a pan over a medium to high heat. Add the chicken and chorizo and cook until
browned. Remove and add to a casserole dish.
›› Turn the heat to low or medium. Add the onions to the pan and fry gently for 10 minutes until
softened. Remove and add to the casserole dish.
›› Add the garlic, chicken stock, saffron, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, parsley, lemon zest, carrots and
chickpeas to the casserole dish. Place in the oven, covered with a lid, for 15 minutes.
›› Turn down oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4 and cook for a further 30–45 minutes until the chicken and
chickpeas are cooked through.
›› Serve hot.

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