Inspiring a Healthy Lifestyle Series

A guest interview with Sevinj Ahmadova

Meet Sevinj Ahmadova, founder of Healthy Recipes Guru


Sevinj Ahmadova, founder of Healthy Recipes Guru

Inspiring a Healthy Lifestyle Series is a series of interviews with people whose life goal is to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle. Since I began Midlifestylist I have been privileged to “meet” many people who are passionate about health, diet, and lifestyle so I invited some of them to be interviewed (online). My aim is to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle, and seeing some of the websites and social media posts of my guests shows that they have the same ultimate goal.

My first guest is Sevinj Ahmadova from Hungary who is the founder of Healthy Recipes Guru. Her website has the most mouth-watering recipes and the best thing is, they’re all healthy. Read on to be inspired by her passion for healthy food.

Tell me about yourself. What is your background and how does that impact what you do now?

My name is Sevinj, I am the founder of Healthy Recipes Guru, I am a master graduate from international economy and currently working full-time for a multinational company as finance specialist. Even though in my background I don’t have any specific study that I can say that is related to food, I could develop myself thanks to my passion to healthy eating by reading a lot and getting the right information. By saying right information, I consider the fact that not trusting each piece information, rather to go and research for empirical clarification of it, because Internet is full of myths that people blindly trust and then get the perception of staying hungry because they “eat healthy”.

What drives you? Where do you get your passion?

My passion had come to me when I started my healthy lifestyle, because I could see the difference in my body, in my skin, in my nails and hair, and most importantly, IN MY MIND! It all starts with brain and thinking. No one wants to prepare burgers, but everyone wants to eat them ready, right? It is because in our mind it is a burden to prepare them (to fry meat, to toast bread, add cheddar slice cucumbers and tomatoes, put all them together, ah nooo, lemme grab Burger King!) and eating them is so satisfying that we can hardly remember the number of preservatives in them (some people do not have even idea of them). But if you think that eating healthy is easy and satisfying and you do not always have to cook, you can even order but the right food or eat outside with making healthy choices, then your mind says: why don’t we try it? So, it all started at this point, when my mind started thinking positively about eating and being healthy.

What is the defining moment that set you on this course of interest? Who or what inspired you?

2 years ago, when I still was a master’s degree student, I had bunch of stuff to do for university such as writing daily assignments, studying for next day, researching the thesis work… So basically, I did not have spare time to cook (or I perceived myself so) and I was eating all the junk stuff that you can imagine on a daily basis. I could eat pizza for breakfast, salami toast for snack, meat sandwich for lunch, Whopper for dinner and chips before sleep. As you can imagine, when I finished school I had 20 kg difference from my weight when I started school, I was 20 kg more than that (and to be honest, I have never been a thin girl, I was just normal before that), and according to overweight calculations based on my height and age, I was already considered overweight. After graduation and seeing my pictures there, it all started.

In the beginning, I want to emphasize that I was very sceptical and not motivated at all “eating healthy” because I had same false perceptions in my head that many of us have. I thought that healthy eating and healthy food are “no more pizzas”, “no more burgers, and especially, “no more enemy potatoes” at all! But then, I have started reading a lot about healthy eating (I think, I will be thankful to myself for this for my entire life) and I realized that all of this stuff were just myths and of course I can eat burgers and potatoes, the only thing I should consider is to change some products to the healthy ones, or if I am going out with my friends and I “have to” eat McDonalds, then I should control my portions!

Even if I could not do this last night because I was too busy with hanging out with my friends, it is not a problem because I can balance it next day with healthy food and not staying HUNGRY AT ALL! Because the most important step in healthy eating is to understand that mixed tomato, lettuce and cucumber salad will not fulfill you, even I am not talking about satisfying. But if you add cheese/chicken and cashews/walnuts and some olive oil with vinegar and lemon or honey-mustard sauce, then it can be your lunch because it is fulfilling and very satisfying. So healthy eating is not about being hungry, eating lettuce and craving burgers, it is about being full, getting satisfied with food and being healthy!

What are your goals in life?

My main aim by creating this blog was to share the best recipes that I have under healthy umbrella because most of the time, people do not really know which food is healthy and which is not and there are some people who consider the food unhealthy when they see that it is dessert (“because you are not allowed to eat dessert if you eat healthy”), or calories are a bit more (“because healthy food is always under 300 kcal, no matter what, and an empty stomach is an indicator of healthy eating and weight loss”). So now, I am trying to create outstanding content and promote my blog basically because I want to make some impact by making a change in minds and to show the real face of healthy food and healthy lifestyle. That turned into my life goal.

Bio: Sevinj Ahmadova, founder of Healthy Recipes Guru.

Take a look at Sevinj’s website Healthy Recipes Guru, and social media sites:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/sevinjahm/

Instagram account: Healthy Recipes Guru

Twitter account: Healthy Recipes Guru

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How to Make a Healthy Burrito

This post will give you step by step instructions on how to make a healthy burrito. Burritos are easy to take to work, can be as healthy as you want, and always go down well in my household. I usually serve them with all the ingredients in individual bowls, then everyone can just make them with their favourite ingredients.

To take them to work, I roll the wrap and cover it with Glad wrap. In a separate container, I take the filling. Then I can assemble the burrito at work. We have a sandwich press in my lunch room at work so I can toast the wrap as well.

This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link. Please see my full disclosure.

Burritos Can Be Healthy – Here’s How

The ingredients for a healthy burrito - lean ham, tomatoes, corn, spinach, cucumber, low fat shredded cheese, tortilla
This burrito uses the Super Spinach Salad, lean ham, shredded low fat cheese and corn kernels in a white wrap

Step by Step – How to Make a Burrito

Put a wrap on to a dinner sized plate. Assemble the filling on the wrap as shown in the photo. Don’t overfill it

Step 1 How to make a healthy burrito - put fillings on 1/4 of tortilla
Step 1: how to make a burrito

Fold the bottom half up

Step 2 Fold bottom half up
Step 2: how to make a burrito

Fold sides in

Step 3 fold sides of tortilla in
Step 3: how to make a burrito
Step 4 how to make a healthy burrito - fold sides in.  Burrito may be toasted in a sandwich press
Step 4: How to make a burrito

Pick it up and enjoy! Use a sandwich press if you want it toasted

Step 5 Eat your burrito with the opening to the top.
Step 5: How to make a burrito

Ideas for healthy burrito fillings

  • lean meat or chicken
  • omelette
  • any salad ingredients – see my recipe for Super Spinach Salad for ideas
  • sauces and salsas
  • shredded cheese
  • chili con carne
  • beans e.g. kidney beans, nachos-style re-fried beans
  • Asian stir-fried greens and vermicelli

Total Calories for Burrito as shown in photos: 289KCal, Carbs 30.8g, Fat 11.4g, Protein 16g

A Healthy Burrito Recipe

How to Make a Healthy Burrito

midlifestylist
Burritos are easy to take to work, can be as healthy as you want, and always go down well in my household. I usually serve them with all the ingredients in individual bowls, then everyone can just make them with their favourite ingredients. To take them to work, I roll the wrap and cover it with Glad wrap. In a separate container, I take the filling. Then I can assemble the burrito at work. We have a sandwich press in my lunch room at work so I can toast the wrap as well. This burrito uses the Super Spinach Salad, lean ham, shredded low fat cheese and corn kernels in a white wrap
Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 5 mins
Course Main Course, Snack
Cuisine Healthy
Servings 1
Calories 289 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • One tortilla per serving

IDEAS FOR FILLINGS:

  • lean meat or chicken;
  • omelette;
  • any salad ingredients;
  • sauces and salsas;
  • shredded cheese;
  • chili con carne;
  • beans e.g. kidney beans nachos-style re-fried beans;
  • Asian stir-fried greens and vermicelli

Instructions
 

  • Put a tortilla on to a dinner sized plate. Assemble the filling on the wrap as shown in the photo. Don’t overfill it
  • Step 1: Fold the bottom half up
  • Step 2: Fold one side in
  • Step 3: Fold other side in
  • Step 4: Pick it up and enjoy! Use a sandwich press if you want it toasted

Notes

Total Calories for Burrito as shown in photos: 289KCal, Carbs 30.8g, Fat 11.4g, Protein 16g
Keyword Easy, Healthy, Lunch, Snack

If you enjoyed this recipe, check out the other healthy recipes here.

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Super Spinach Salad Recipe

This is the salad recipe that I have used many times over. It is delicious, versatile and healthy. The basis for it is just three ingredients, then you can customise it to suit your taste. I named it Super Spinach Salad Recipe because the ingredients have many health benefits. Full of vitamins and fiber, a serving of the basic salad is only 30 calories. I ate this salad (with variations) nearly every day when I was on my weight loss diet, with excellent results. See this article for more.

Basic Spinach Salad Recipe

  • 60g baby spinach ( or approx. 2 cups, or half a bag of spinach from the supermarket
  • 250g cherry tomatoes (or two large tomatoes cut up)
  • 1/2 continental cucumber (or 1 Lebanese cucumber)

Method

Rinse spinach in a colander. Break off stems and remove leaves that are blemished. Wash tomatoes and add to spinach. Cut up the cucumber and add to spinach. Place in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last about 4 days.

30 kCalories per serving, total recipe 90 kCalories. Serves 3 for mains, 5 for side dish. 2g Protein, 6g Carbohydrate, 0g fat

Super Spinach Salad Recipe:  the basic ingredients are baby spinach, tomatoes and cucumber
Super Spinach Salad: the basic recipe is baby spinach, tomatoes and cucumber

Now Customise!

Optional extras

  • olives
  • feta cheese or shredded low fat tasty cheese (see note at bottom of recipe)
  • red onion
  • avocado
  • roast baby beetroot, skinned and diced
  • celery
  • corn kernels
  • snow peas
  • carrot
  • red capsicum
  • cos lettuce
  • radishes
  • sprouts
  • nuts, e.g. pine nuts, sliced almonds, pistachios
  • seeds, e.g. quinoa, flax seed, sunflower seeds
  • dressings, e.g. vinaigrette, Greek or Italian salad dressing, low fat mayonnaise
  • lean protein – grilled chicken breast, low fat ham or bacon (grilled), tin of tuna in low fat sauce, boiled egg
  • fruit, e.g. mango, apple, pear, dried fruit such as apricots or cranberries
  • herbs, e.g. parsley, chives, mint

My favourite combinations

Basic recipe plus:

  • olives, feta cheese and Greek dressing
  • chicken breast, avocado, snow peas
  • Feta cheese, baby beetroot, celery
  • cos lettuce, boiled egg, low fat mayonnaise
  • small can of tuna in sun-dried tomato and onion (John West brand, 99% fat free)
Super Spinach Salad Recipe with a Mediterranean twist:  Feta cheese, olives and Greek Salad Dressing
Super Spinach Salad with a Mediterranean twist: Feta Cheese, Olives and Greek Salad Dressing

Meal Prep Idea

Make the basic salad, divide into 3 portions. Each portion is your lunch. Take the extras to work separately and add just before you eat it, then the salad won’t go limp and soggy.

Alternative way of serving: take a wrap to work, and combine all ingredients as a burrito

A healthy burrito using the Super Spinach Salad recipe, ham, corn kernels and shredded cheese in a wrap
A healthy burrito using the Super Spinach Salad, ham, corn kernels and shredded cheese in a wrap
Super Spinach Salad Recipe

Super Spinach Salad

midlifestylist
This is the salad recipe that I have used many times over. It is delicious, versatile and healthy. The basis for it is just three ingredients, then you can customise it to suit your taste.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer, Salad, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American, Australian, British
Servings 3 People
Calories 30 kcal

Equipment

  • Colander
  • Sharp knife
  • Bowl

Ingredients
  

  • 60 g baby spinach or approx. 2 cups, or half a bag of spinach from the supermarket
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes or two large tomatoes cut up
  • 1/2 continental cucumber or 1 Lebanese cucumber

Instructions
 

  • Rinse spinach in a colander. Break off stems and remove leaves that are blemished. Wash tomatoes and add to spinach. Cut up the cucumber and add to spinach. Place in an airtight container in the fridge. It will last about 4 days.

Notes

Super Spinach Salad Recipe
Consisting of just three basic ingredients, this easy healthy salad may be customised in multiple ways to suit your taste.
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
olives,
feta cheese or shredded low fat tasty cheese (see note at bottom of recipe),
red onion,
avocado,
roast baby beetroot, skinned and diced,
celery,
corn kernels,
snow peas,
carrot,
red capsicum,
cos lettuce,
radishes,
sprouts,
nuts, e.g. pine nuts, sliced almonds, pistachios,
seeds, e.g. quinoa, flax seed, sunflower seeds,
dressings, e.g. vinaigrette, Greek or Italian salad dressing, low fat mayonnaise,
lean protein – grilled chicken breast, low fat ham or bacon (grilled), tin of tuna in low fat sauce, boiled egg,
fruit, e.g. mango, apple, pear, dried fruit such as apricots or cranberries,
herbs, e.g. parsley, chives, mint
MY FAVORITE COMBINATIONS:
Basic recipe plus:
Olives, feta cheese and Greek dressing;
chicken breast, avocado, snow peas;
Feta cheese, baby beetroot, celery;
cos lettuce, boiled egg, low fat mayonnaise;
small can of tuna in sun-dried tomato and onion (John West brand, 99% fat free);
Super Spinach Salad with Feta Cheese, Olives and Greek Salad Dressing.
MEAL PREP IDEA:
Make the basic salad, divide into 3 portions. Each portion is your lunch. Take the extras to work separately and add just before you eat it, then the salad won’t go limp and soggy. 
Alternative way of serving: take a wrap to work, and combine all ingredients as a burrito, using the Super Spinach Salad, ham, corn kernels and shredded cheese in a wrap
Note: a serving size of feta cheese is 20g, or a piece the same size as your first finger. This equals 53 calories. 2 Tablespoons of shredded cheese = 74 calories
Keyword Easy, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian

Note: a serving size of feta cheese is 20g, or a piece the same size as your first finger. This equals 53 calories. 2 Tablespoons of shredded cheese = 74 calories

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My Top Posts of 2019

My healthy lifestyle blog has been my biggest achievement this year (apart from losing 17kg!). I’ve really enjoyed writing about a topic that I’m passionate about. The hardest part is the self promotion which goes against my introverted nature but it’s vital to gain followers if I want people to read my articles. I would like to share my top posts 2019 with my readers.

MY TOP 9 POSTS of 2019


In order, they were:
1 How to make goals that will stick,
2 Why your waist measurement matters,
3 My Weight-loss Journey,
4 Slow and Steady wins the race,
5 13+ ways to get more colour in your diet,
6 Gifts that Inspire a Healthy Lifestyle,
7 How to keep on track with your health goals during the holiday season,
8 Just change one habit at a time and
9 Losing weight is a marathon not a sprint.

Read them now to gain some inspiration! Live your healthiest year in 2020.


Thanks to everyone who has read, followed, liked and shared my posts across WordPress, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter! I really appreciate your support and all the comments, likes and shares. It keeps me motivated to write more. Please let me know what your favourite article was.

A collage of the top posts of 2019 on the Midlifestylist blog.
The top posts on Midlifestylist.com for 2019
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Festive Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe

This is a special occasion chocolate chia pudding recipe that will fit in with your health goals and is easy to make. Chia is a grain that is healthy and nutritious. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, iron and calcium. The recipe includes cacao powder, the unsweetened form of chocolate which is very nutritious. Without all the nasties like sugar and fat that are added to it to make milk chocolate, it has many health benefits. It can improve your memory, reduce heart disease, increase immunity and is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. You can find chia seeds and cacao powder in the health food section at the supermarket. I use almond milk for this recipe but you can substitute it for cows milk, soy milk or whichever milk you prefer.

Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe

vegetarian, vegan skill level: easy

Prep. time 15 mins. Resting time 4 hours Calories: 191kcal

Ingredients (per person)

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Mix the chia seeds and milk together in a bowl
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well
  3. Let the chia seed mixture sit for 15 minutes until it thickens. Stir again.
  4. Pour into decorative glasses, e.g. parfait glasses
  5. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving
  6. Top with your favourite berries, cherries or fruit.

NUTRITION INFORMATION

  • Calories 191kcal
  • Carbohydrates 16g
  • Protein 8g
  • Fat 11g
  • Saturated fat 3g
  • Cholesterol 12mg
  • Sodium 56mg
  • Potassium 259mg
  • Fiber 8g
  • Sugar 6g
  • Vitamin A 4%
  • Calcium 28.9%
  • Iron 10.3%

IDEAS FOR TOPPINGS:

  • Cherries
  • Berries
  • Mango
  • Pineapple
  • Peaches
  • Nectarines
  • Apricots
  • Kiwifruit
  • Passionfruit
  • Purees or sauces made from fruit and/or berries
  • Nut butters
  • Dried fruit
  • Cacao nibs or a sprinkling of cacao powder
  • Spices
  • Shredded coconut
  • Candied ginger
  • Muesli or granola
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Creme Fraiche or whipped cream
  • chocolate nibs, sauce or flakes
This is a special occasion chocolate chia pudding recipe that will fit in with your health goals and is easy to make.  Serve in attractive glasses or bowls and decorate with fruit and nuts
Healthy Chocolate Chia Puddings
This is a special occasion chocolate chia pudding recipe that will fit in with your health goals and is easy to make. Serve in attractive glasses or bowls and decorate with fruit and nuts

Images: Left – Christina Henry; Right Bottom – David Disponett, Pexels; Right Top – Pixabay, Pexels

For special occasions you can make the chocolate chia pudding in a martini glass, parfait glass or glass bowl. Decorate with fresh cherries, nuts, strawberries and mint leaves. Dessert doesn’t have to be unhealthy – you can still have a treat while maintaining your healthy diet.

Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe

Festive Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe

midlifestylist
This is a special occasion chia pudding that will fit in with your health goals and is easy to make. Chia is a grain that is healthy and nutritious. They are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, iron and calcium. The recipe includes cacao powder, the unsweetened form of chocolate which is very nutritious. Without all the nasties like sugar and fat that are added to it to make milk chocolate, it has many health benefits. It can improve your memory, reduce heart disease, increase immunity and is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. You can find chia seeds and cacao powder in the health food section at the supermarket. I use almond milk for this recipe but you can substitute it for cows milk, soy milk or whichever milk you prefer. Vegetarian, Vegan. Skill level: easy
Prep Time 15 mins
Resting time in refridgerator 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 1
Calories 191 kcal

Equipment

  • Bowl
  • Serving Dish

Ingredients
  

INGREDIENTS [PER PERSON]

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Mix the chia seeds and milk together in a bowl
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir well
  • Let the chia seed mixture sit for 15 minutes until it thickens. Stir again.
  • Pour into decorative glasses, e.g. parfait glasses
  • Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving
  • Top with your favourite berries, cherries or fruit.

Notes

NUTRITION INFORMATION:
Calories 191kcal;
Carbohydrates 16g;
Protein 8g;
Fat 11g;
Saturated fat 3g;
Cholesterol 12mg;
Sodium 56mg;
Potassium 259mg;
Fiber 8g;
Sugar 6g;
Vitamin A 4%;
Calcium 28.9%;
Iron 10.3%
Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe
Festive Chocolate Chia Pudding Recipe – a healthy indulgent dessert
IDEAS FOR TOPPINGS:
Cherries;
Berries;
Mango;
Pineapple;
Peaches;
Nectarines;
Apricots;
Kiwifruit;
Passionfruit;
Purees or sauces made from fruit and/or berries;
Nut butters;
Dried fruit;
Cacao nibs or a sprinkling of cacao powder;
Spices;
Shredded coconut;
Candied ginger;
Muesli or granola;
Nuts and seeds;
Creme Fraiche or whipped cream;
chocolate nibs, sauce or flakes
Keyword Dessert, Easy, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian

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Dessert Grazing Platter

Healthy grazing platter for dessert

Healthy Platter to Serve for Dessert

Most dessert platters are heavy on high calorie food such as chocolate, cakes and sweet biscuits and candy. It can add a massive amount of calories to your intake, especially if it’s at the end of a large meal and alcohol. This is a healthier version of a grazing platter to serve for dessert, that will appeal to most of your guests.

  • Plenty of fresh fruit like grapes, melons, strawberries and mango cheeks
  • unsalted nuts like almonds and cashews
  • dark chocolate is healthier than milk or white chocolate. I included cranberries dipped in dark chocolate by Angas Park. They contain antioxidants and have no added artificial colours or flavours, or preservatives.
  • Greek yogurt
  • dried fruit such as apricots or figs

Options for Entertaining

If you plan to have just one grazing platter, you can combine the above with the savoury grazing platter – cheese, fruit and olives go very well together. At Christmas time, cut the melon with a star or Christmas tree shaped cookie cutter to add a festive touch.

Dessert Grazing Platter - a healthy option to serve your guests.
Dessert Grazing Platter – a healthy option to serve your guests.

Food to Avoid Serving

Try to avoid serving food high in sugar and fat. While being moreish and a crowd pleaser, the aim is to feed your guests healthy food. Avoid serving the following:

  • Chocolate mousse or puddings. Serve my healthy chocolate chia pudding instead
  • Blocks of chocolate or candies. Serve strawberries dipped in dark chocolate instead.
  • Pastries, cakes and sweet biscuits. Serve healthy protein balls or sugar free versions of your favourite cakes and muffins.
  • Salted or caramelised nuts. Serve raw nuts and seeds such as sunflower seeds

Delight your guests at your next gathering by serving them healthy food. They will appreciate the care and attention you make to their health.

Dessert Grazing Platter

Most dessert platters are heavy on high calorie food such as chocolate, cakes and sweet biscuits and candy. It can add a massive amount of calories to your intake, especially if it’s at the end of a large meal and alcohol. This is a healthier version that will appeal to most of your guests.
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Dessert, Grazing Platter
Cuisine: Entertainment, Healthy
Keyword: Dessert, Easy, Entertaining, Grazing Platter, Healthy
Author: midlifestylist
Cost: Varies

Equipment

  • Decorative Platter
  • Sharp knife
  • Christmas cookie cutters (optional)

Materials

  • Plenty of fresh fruit like grapes melons, strawberries and mango cheeks
  • Unsalted nuts like almonds and cashews
  • Dark chocolate is healthier than milk or white chocolate. I included cranberries dipped in dark chocolate by Angas Park. They contain antioxidants and have no added artificial colours or flavours or preservatives
  • Greek yogurt
  • Dried fruit such as apricots or figs

Instructions

  • Assemble the ingredients on a decorative platter. Adjust the quantities according to the number of guests. You may like to serve a Savoury Grazing Platter as well, or add some of the savoury ingredients to this platter

Notes

Healthy grazing platter for dessert
A healthy version of a dessert grazing platter
If you plan to have just one grazing platter, you can combine the above with the savoury grazing platter – cheese, fruit and olives go very well together. At Christmas time, cut the melon with a star or Christmas tree shaped cookie cutter to add a festive touch.

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Savoury Grazing Platter

A healthy savoury grazing platter

A Healthy Version of a Savoury Grazing Platter

Everybody loves a cheese board! They can turn a buffet into something special, and look amazing. This is how to make a savoury grazing platter that is healthy and appealing to most people.

Most grazing platters are heavy on processed meat, cheese and crackers. While tasty, they are high in calories and saturated fat. By serving healthy alternatives, your guests will leave at the end of the evening feeling pleased that they were eating nutritious food rather than ruining their healthy diet. Instead of serving the usual high fat, high calorie cheese platter, try using these healthier versions:

  • low fat ham or roast beef, thinly sliced
  • chicken breast, grilled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • carrot, capsicum, celery sticks
  • one or two cheeses – I usually use Brie for the soft cheese and a hard tasty cheese. The one shown in the photo is a vintage cheddar cheese I picked up from the Good Food and Wine show. Because it’s a tasty cheese, a small amount packs the flavour in which means you’ll eat less of it
  • cherry tomatoes
  • low carb crackers like these Tribe Organics rice crackers and baked pea crisps from Harvest Snaps
  • Dips and spreads such as hummous and salsa which are healthier than a lot of other dips such as french onion.
  • olives, sundried tomatoes or pickles

Options for Entertaining Guests

You can increase the size to cater for the number of guests you’ll have. You can also put some sweet flavours in like dried apricots, grapes and honey. Nuts such as cashews and almonds go well too. Alternatively, you can make a separate platter for dessert, like my dessert grazing platter.

A healthy savoury grazing platter includes a range of healthy options, and adds nutrients to your overall diet. Options for your cheese platter include vegetables, low fat cheese, salsa and hummus and leave out processed meat, crackers and high fat cheese. Experiment with different combinations of flavours, adding in food that you enjoy. That way, your guests leave your event feeling satisfied, without that ill feeling that comes from eating greasy food.

A healthy savoury grazing platter - healthy options for your cheese platter include vegetables, low fat cheese, salsa and hummous and leave out processed meat, crackers and high fat cheese
A healthy savoury grazing platter.

Savoury Grazing Platter

Everybody loves a cheese board! They can turn a buffet into something special, and look amazing. This is how to make a savoury grazing platter that is healthy and appealing to most people. Most grazing platters are heavy on processed meat, cheese and crackers. While tasty, they are high in calories and saturated fat. Instead, try using these healthier versions
Prep Time30 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Grazing Platter
Cuisine: Entertainment
Keyword: Dinner, Easy, Entertaining, Grazing Platter, Healthy, Lunch
Author: midlifestylist
Cost: Varies

Equipment

  • Decorative Platter
  • Sharp knife
  • Cheese knives

Materials

  • Low fat ham or roast beef thinly sliced
  • Chicken breast grilled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Carrot sticks, capsicum, celery sticks
  • One or two cheeses – I usually use Brie for the soft cheese and a hard tasty cheese e.g. vintage cheddar cheese A small amount packs the flavour in which means you'll eat less of it
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Low carbohydrate crackers e.g. rice crackers and baked pea crisps from Harvest Snaps
  • Dips and spreads such as hummus and salsa which are healthier than a lot of other dips such as French onion.
  • Olives
  • Sun dried tomatoes or pickles

Instructions

  • You can increase the size to cater for the number of guests you'll have. You can also put some sweet flavors in like dried apricots, grapes and honey. Nuts such as cashews and almonds go well too. Alternatively, you can make a separate platter for dessert, like my Dessert Grazing Platter.
  • Experiment with different combinations of flavors, adding in food that you enjoy.

Notes

A healthy savoury grazing platter
Healthy savoury grazing platter to serve your guests
Serve healthy food to your guests at your next event.  Entertain with a Savoury Grazing Platter and a Dessert Grazing Platter.  Your guests will appreciate it.
Serve healthy food to your guests at your next event. Entertain with a Savoury Grazing Platter and a Dessert Grazing Platter. Your guests will appreciate it.
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Easy Vegetable Soup Recipe

Vegetarian, Vegan

There is nothing more satisfying on a cold day than a warm bowl of soup. Unlike many vegetable soup recipes, this one has no added fat. A bowl of this soup is only 93 calories so you can eat it as a snack without spoiling your diet. When blended it is easily mistaken for pumpkin soup without the added cream! It is an easy way to add vegetables to your diet, and will provide approximately 2 serves of vegetables. The best part is, it is so easy to make and may be changed to suit your taste.

Easy Vegetable Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 100 grams dry red lentils
  • 1 leek
  • 500 grams pumpkin
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Method

Remove skin from pumpkin, carrots and potato. Chop all vegetables up

Into a large stockpot, put the soy sauce and leeks. Heat on high heat until soy is bubbling, then add the washed and strained lentils. Stir to stop it sticking on the bottom of the pot. Cook for 5 minutes

Pour in the stock and stir

Add all the vegetables and seasonings. Bring to the boil then simmer for an hour

Taste test as it cooks – you may want to add more seasonings. I usually use much more salt, pepper and paprika than this but that may not be to everyone’s taste. You could also add dried or fresh herbs to boost the flavour

Eat it just as it is, or blend it once cooled – it will look like pumpkin soup without the calories!

May be divided into 8 serves and frozen for lunches or quick meals

Recipe variations

You can add any other vegetables e.g. celery, potatoes, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli. I use up a lot of my vegetables that are getting a bit soft, just to use them up.

The vegetable stock may be substituted with chicken stock if you are not vegetarian.

Vegetable soup - vegetarian, vegan recipe

Nutrition information

Servings: 8

Calories – 93
  • Total fat 0.6g (1% daily value)
  • Saturated fat 0.1g (1%)
  • Cholesterol 0mg (0%)
  • Sodium 611mg (27%)
  • Total Carbohydrates 18.3g (7%)
  • Dietary fibre 5.3g (19%)
  • Total Sugars 3.6g
  • Protein 5g
  • Vitamin D 0mcg (0%)
  • Calcium 41mg (3%)
  • Iron 2mg (13%)
  • Potassium 484mg (10%)

The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice

Easy Vegetable Soup

Easy Vegetable Soup

midlifestylist
Easy Vegetable Soup – Vegetarian, Vegan An easy, healthy soup recipe that is sure to please the whole family.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine American, Australian, British
Servings 8 people
Calories 93 kcal

Equipment

  • Large Saucepan with Lid
  • Sharp knife
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Vegetable Peeler
  • Blender (optional)
  • Measuring Jug and Spoons

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 100 grams dry red lentils
  • 1 leek
  • 500 grams pumpkin
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

Instructions
 

  • Remove skin from pumpkin, carrots and potato. Chop all vegetables up
  • Into a large stockpot, put the soy sauce and leeks. Heat on high heat until soy is bubbling, then add the washed and strained lentils. Stir to stop it sticking on the bottom of the pot. Cook for 5 minutes
  • Pour in the stock and stir
  • Add all the vegetables and seasonings. Bring to the boil then simmer for an hour
  • Taste test as it cooks – you may want to add more seasonings. I usually use much more salt, pepper and paprika than this but that may not be to everyone’s taste. You could also add dried or fresh herbs to boost the flavour
  • Eat it just as it is, or blend it once cooled – it will look like pumpkin soup without the calories!
  • May be divided into 8 serves and frozen for lunches or quick meals

Notes

Recipe variations
You can add any other vegetables e.g. celery, potatoes, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli. I use up a lot of my vegetables that are getting a bit soft, just to use them up.
The vegetable stock may be substituted with chicken stock if you are not vegetarian.
Keyword Easy, Healthy, Vegan, Vegetable Soup, Vegetaria

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