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Dinners without the drama: Family meals everyone can enjoy, including some very fancy fakeaway suggestions


Almond-covered fried chicken

Almond-covered fried chicken

Almond-covered fried chicken

Calories per serving (220g) 461

Almond-covered fried chicken

Carbs (g) 3.9

Protein (g) 44

Fat (g) 30

Fibre (g) 5.8

Serves: 2

Preparation time: 10 minutes

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Cooking time: 20 minutes

What you’ll need

2 free range chicken fillets

1 free range egg

2 tbsp whole milk or almond milk

80g almond flour or ground almonds

1 tsp paprika

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Coconut oil for frying


Preheat your oven to 190°C.

Slice each chicken fillet lengthways into 2 even strips.

In a shallow bowl, whisk the egg and milk together.

Combine the flour/ground almonds and seasoning in another shallow bowl.

Dip a chicken strip into the egg mixture, transfer to the flour mix and coat generously. Set aside on a plate nearby and repeat for the remaining strips.

Melt some coconut oil in a large, non-stick pan over a high heat and fry the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes each side until turning golden and crispy.

Transfer to a baking sheet and place in the oven for 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and golden brown on the outside. Serve with roast vegetables and baked sweet or regular potato.

Recipe extracted from Eat Up, Raise Your Game: 100 easy, nutritious recipes to help you perform better on exercise days and rest days by David Daley, Gill Books, £18.99


Classic beefburger

Classic beefburger

Classic beefburger

Classic beefburger

483 cal




Takes 10 minutes

What you’ll need

150g 5% fat beef mince

5ml olive oil

5g plain flour

1 tsp dried basil

½ tsp salt

5 x sprays butter-flavour cooking spray

¼ onion, finely chopped

70g sesame-topped burger bun

10g tomato ketchup

10g tomato relish

2 gherkin slices

1 slice of tomato

Small handful of baby spinach


Put the beef mince, olive oil, flour, dried basil and salt in a large bowl and mix thoroughly with your hands. Form the mixture into a large ball, then press into a 2cm-thick burger patty.

Spray a small frying pan with the cooking spray, set over a high heat and add the burger patty and onion. Cook the burger for 1 minute on each side to seal the meat. Then reduce the heat to low-medium and cook for a further 3 minutes on each side.

Slice open the bun and spread over the ketchup and relish. Then add the cooked burger and onion followed by the gherkin, tomato and spinach. Serve.

Recipe extracted from The Fitness Chef: Still Tasty by Graeme Tomlinson (Ebury Press, £16.99)


Chicken Pad Thai

Chicken Pad Thai

Chicken Pad Thai

Chicken Pad Thai 

506 cal




Takes 15 minutes

What you’ll need

50g fresh rice noodles

5ml olive oil

5g brown sugar

150g skinless chicken breast, cut into 4cm pieces

1 tsp garlic powder

50g fresh bean sprouts

2 spring onions, finely sliced

Juice of ½ lime, plus a wedge to serve

10ml light soy sauce

10ml fish sauce

1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

1 medium egg

10g unsalted peanuts, crushed

Small handful of freshly chopped coriander

Black pepper


Half-fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the noodles and simmer for 4–6 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside.

While the noodles are cooking, put a medium frying pan over a medium heat, then add the oil, brown sugar, chicken and garlic powder. Cook for 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat, then add the bean sprouts, spring onions, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce and red chilli, then season with pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Crack in the egg and stir thoroughly for 3–4 minutes.

Plate up the noodles, followed by the chicken mixture, garnishing with the crushed peanuts, lime wedge and chopped coriander.

Recipe extracted from The Fitness Chef: Still Tasty by Graeme Tomlinson, Ebury Press, £16.99

Pulled Tofoo and barbeque sliders

Serves: 4

Preparation: 15 minutes

Cooking: 25 minutes

What you’ll need

2 x 225g packs Smoked Tofoo, drained and dried

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp dark soy sauce

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp mild chilli powder

1 tsp garlic powder

200ml ready-made barbecue sauce

8 small bread rolls

For the apple slaw

½ red apple, cored and grated

½ green apple, cored and grated

½ red onion, very finely sliced

¼ white cabbage, finely shredded

3 tbsp mayonnaise

2 tbsp yoghurt, dairy or non-dairy

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

Sea salt and ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/350°F/gas mark 4. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Grate the Tofoo on the big side of a grater and place in a mixing bowl. Add the vegetable oil, soy sauce, smoked paprika and the chilli and garlic powders, and toss until the Tofoo is well coated. Spoon the Tofoo on to the lined baking tray and bake for 20–25 minutes, tossing halfway through cooking.

Meanwhile, make the apple slaw. Mix together the apples, onion and cabbage. Mix together the mayonnaise, yoghurt and mustard, and fold into the apple, onion and cabbage. Toss to cover and season well.

Pour the barbecue sauce into a small saucepan and add a splash of water. Heat and leave to simmer.

Slice the bread rolls in half and lightly toast.

Add the Tofoo to the pan of simmering barbecue sauce and stir to coat. Spoon the ‘pulled’ Tofoo on to the toasted rolls and top with a spoonful of apple slaw. Serve immediately with a pile of napkins.

Recipe extracted from The Tofoo Cookbook by The Tofoo Co., Ebury Press, £16.99x

Grilled wild halibut with heritage carrots, new potatoes, sprouts and lovage

January is a great time to reset, develop new goals for the year ahead and to get back into a routine of eating healthy again. This is both a light and health recipe, that is packed full of flavour, nutrients, and omega 3, making it a great dinner option for this time of year.

Many of us are in dire need of introducing more fish dishes into our diets as the health benefits are endless. Made using very little dairy, local rapeseed oil, carrots, sprouts and lovage oil to split the sauce, this nutritional recipe makes four servings.

It is also best served with poached new potatoes on the side.

Chris Rees is the Head chef at The River Room Restaurant at Galgorm Spa and Golf Resort. Find out more at: www.galgorm.com/river-room

What you’ll need

(Serves 4)

Approx. 1.1kg of trimmed halibut (other flat fish such as turbot or brill will work great also)

400ml of fish stock from the halibut bones

1 stick of lemongrass

1 orange

250g of Brussels sprouts

600g of heritage carrots

2 shallots

50g of lovage (parsley, dill or chervil will work also)

800g of baby potatoes

50ml of rapeseed oil

Lemon, butter, salt for cooking


For the vegetables

Firstly, start by preparing the vegetables. Peel the carrots and simmer in salted water, cook them whole until soft. Remove carrots from the water and then poach the sprouts for around 3 minutes and remove. The potatoes can now be added to the water, gently cooking until soft. Once cooked, carefully the potatoes with a small sharp knife.

Trim the carrots into small circular shapes and keep any leftover trims for the sauce.

Remove the outer leaves from the sprouts and keep aside, the centre should still be firm and quite raw.

Thinly slice the centres of the sprouts and add to a hot saucepan with a little butter, season with salt and stir until soft.

For the sauce

Peel and slice the shallots and add to a warm pan with oil and butter

Crush and add the stick of lemongrass followed by the carrot trim, sweating this mixture for around 5-10 minutes until soft. Next, add the juice and zest of the orange and reduce before adding the fish stock

Bring the sauce up to a gentle simmer and then transfer it to a food processor and blend until it is very smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and check the seasoning then return to a clean saucepan and set aside.

To finish and assemble the dish

Turn on the grill and allow it to reach its highest temperature, lay out the pieces of fish on a non-stick baking sheet and brush with a little rapeseed oil. Season and place under the grill for around 5-6 minutes until almost cooked. The fish should start to flake but feel hot and still slightly firm in the middle, allow this to rest.

While the fish is resting, heat up the thinly sliced carrots and sprout leaves on a small tray. Next, return them to the pot with the buttered sprouts and bring to the heat, along with the carrot and halibut sauce.

Heat the peeled potatoes up in the remaining rapeseed oil along with the thinly sliced lovage.

To assemble, place a spoonful of the warm shredded sprouts in the centre of a hot plate, add the piece of fish, followed by the sauce. Place the slices of carrot and sprout leaves on top and a little of the excess lovage oil spooned over the fish. The potatoes can be served on the side.

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