The Good Food Guru
The Good Food Guru
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Mediterranean Style Chicken and Vegetable Bake
Utterly delicious, healthy and filling with only 750 calories per serving. You will want to make this over and over again.
8 smallish, skinless chicken thighs (approx 1kg/36 oz)

2 tbs olive oil

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

700g (24 oz) sweet potato (peeled) cut into wedges

750g (24 oz) tomatoes quartered

2 medium onions peeled and cut into 8 wedges

2 medium red onions peeled and cut into 8 wedges

1 medium courgette sliced

One red bell pepper de-seeded and sliced

One green bell pepper de-seeded and sliced

8 to 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and lightly crushed

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp hot, smoked paprika


Ground black pepper
Put all the vegetables into a large roasting tin. Season with salt and coarsely ground black pepper, then drizzle on the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss everything together.

Score the chicken thighs two or three times with a sharp knife and rest on top of the vegetable mix.

Sprinkle the basil and paprika evenly over everything and place in a medium oven (180C/350f).

After 20 minutes remove from the oven, lift out the thighs and stir the vegetable mix. Replace the thighs and put back into the oven.

After a further 20 minutes remove from the oven and baste the meat with the juice in the bottom of the tray.

Cook for another 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Make sure the chicken is properly cooked before dishing out. If you like, splash on a little more balsamic vinegar for enhanced flavour.

There are four 750 calorie servings. If you want to be really good, use only four thighs and cut the calorie content to 550.
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01 April 2013
Pasta and Pesto with Chicken and Courgette
This one is breathtaking. You really must give it a try. I guarantee it will be the main feature at your next dinner party.
1 chicken breast

1 medium sized courgette cut into 6mm/¼ inch slices

1 garlic clove (finely chopped)

4 tbs green pesto

6 tbs full fat yoghurt

200g dried pasta (spaghetti/tagliatelle/penne/fusilli)

20g fresh parmesan cheese (finely grated)


Ground black pepper
If you have a George Foreman grill then use it to cook the chicken breast. 8 to 10 minutes is about right. If you don’t have a George Foreman grill, cook the chicken breast in a non stick frying pan or griddle.

When the chicken breast is done let it rest and then cut it into small pieces.

Mix together the pesto, yoghurt and garlic in a small bowl. If you don’t like a strong garlic flavour use a dash of garlic paste instead of the chopped clove.

Put the pasta into salted, boiling water to cook.

Heat a small non-stick frying pan on the hob, squirt with spray oil (I use canola oil) and lay on the courgette slices. Cook the slices until they start to brown, then turn them over and repeat on the other side.

Remove the courgette slices and cut each one into three or four strips.

When the pasta is cooked, take six tablespoons of the cooking water and add it to the pesto mix. Drain the pasta in a colander.

Put the pasta, back into the pan and add the pesto mix. Stir with a fork to coat the pasta and serve onto warmed plates. Scatter the chicken and courgette over the pasta and sprinkle on the parmesan cheese. Season with black pepper. Don’t add salt as this was added with the cooking water.

There are two delicious 750 calorie servings. The dish also makes an excellent starter. Divide into six 125 calorie helpings.
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Delicious Parmesan and Chorizo Sauce
13 May 2013
There is a small departure from the norm this week. I have decided to allow the Good Food Guru access to the front page to tell you about his fabulously delicious parmesan and chorizo sauce.

This sauce is a perfect accompaniment for chicken breast or pork chops. It is rich, tasty and ever so moreish. Provided you adhere to the portion sizes suggested here, it can be included as part of a healthy, low calorie meal.
Fry the chorizo sausage in a small saucepan for a few minutes until it releases its fat.
Keeping the saucepan over the heat, tip in the flour and smoked paprika and stir until the fat is absorbed.
Slowly add the milk; stirring constantly until you have a smooth, lump free sauce. 
Stir in the parmesan and add salt and ground black pepper to taste.
There is enough sauce for two people.
If you serve a chicken breast topped with sauce, a medium sized baked sweet potato (no added butter) and a side salad with a light dressing, you have a delicious meal containing about 750 calories. 
40 g (1½ oz) chorizo sausage chopped into small pieces.

1 tbs plain flour

20 g (¾ oz) freshly grated parmesan cheese.
¼ tsp sweet smoked paprika.

150 ml (5 fl oz) semi skimmed milk.

Salt and ground black pepper
Tacos and Burritos
20 May 2013
Following on from the success of the Good Food Guru's offering last week, we have a couple of Tex-Mex classics.

These are not the healthiest meals at 800 to 1150 calories per serving, but they are a perfect treat on a diet free weekend. The taco meat recipe described here is as good as any I have come across and is the result of a great deal of experimentation.

First make your taco meat.

Fry the mince and the onions together in a frying pan until the meat releases its fat and begins to brown.

Drain off the fat and add the garlic, spices, salt and tomato puree along with ½ cup of water.

Simmer the mixture for a few minutes, stirring constantly until most of the water is lost and you are left with a delicious batch of taco meat.

To make your tacos, spoon some of the mixture onto a tortilla. Add some grated cheese (I use mature cheddar), shredded lettuce, chopped tomato and a spoonful of soured cream or full fat yoghurt. Form into a wrap.

There should be enough taco meat to make six tacos and serve three people. Depending on the amount of cheese and whether you use saintly yoghurt or sinful soured cream, there are between 800 and 1000 calories per serving.

The taco meat recipe can also be used to make burritos. While the taco meat is still warm in the pan, add a 400 g can of refried beans and mix into a paste. Spoon the mixture onto tortillas and add soured cream and cheese. Form into wraps which are closed at both ends and put on a baking tray. Put into a medium (180 C/350 f) oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until the tortillas are crispy. There should be sufficient to make eight burritos and serve four people with a staggering 1150 calories per serving.

450g beef mince

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

¾ tsp salt

½ tsp paprika

¼ cup tomato puree

Chopped tomatoes (for tacos)

Soured cream or full fat yoghurt

400 g (10 oz) can of refried beans (for Burritos)
½ onion finely chopped

4 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground coriander

½ tsp chilli powder

Shredded iceberg lettuce (for tacos)

Grated Cheddar cheese

Tortilla wraps
Chicken Packets
03 June 2013
The Good Food Guru pulls it out of the bag again!

Here is a dead simple way of producing a delicious healthy meal which can easily be adjusted to your own likes and dislikes.

At only 600 calories per portion, it is an ideal dinner when you are making a push to lose those last few pounds of weight.

Cut two 600 mm (2 ft) lengths of aluminium foil and lay out on a work surface.

Make a pile of vegetables in the centre of each sheet and sprinkle chopped garlic over the top.

Rub a heaped teaspoonful of wholegrain mustard into each chicken thigh and lay one on top of each vegetable pile.

Sprinkle generously with paprika and dried basil, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Fold the foil sheets into loose packets and place on a baking tray.

Put into a medium oven (180 C/350 f) for 70 minutes.

Remove from the oven, and tip out the packets onto plates.

The quantities given here make two packets; one per person. Each packet contains about 600 calories. Mix and match vegetables according to your personal preference, but remember that parsnip, potato and sweet potato are quite high in calories in comparison with the other vegetables. Use the calorie counter in Lifestyle to make sure the meal is within the limits you are setting yourself.

2 chicken thighs (skin on)

200 g new potatoes sliced/diced
200 g sweet potato sliced/diced

100 g carrots sliced/diced

100 g parsnips sliced/diced

100 g sliced green beans

2 cloves of garlic chopped

2 heaped teaspoons whole grain mustard

Paprika, dried basil, salt and ground black pepper
Chicken Packets
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25 March 2013
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