As a Health Coach and Personal Trainer I believe that good nutrition can transform the way we feel. I love sharing my healthy meal ideas and encouraging people to have fun cooking from scratch with fresh and nutritious ingredients.
To receive my latest seasonal healthy recipes, and posts on everything from Yoga to resistance training, please follow my Facebook page 'Nicola Wilkinson Fitness & Nutrition'. For a selection of my many and varied healthy recipes please scroll down and enjoy!
I first tried ‘Green Juice’ when I was on my Yoga Teacher training course in Bali. We would drink one each morning after sun rise meditation and Yoga practice. The taste is delicious; it seems to have the power to make you feel instantly healthy and revitalised. I have written the following recipe so that you can make it using just a blender, as not everyone has access to a juicer; plus - by using a blender you keep all the lovely fibre which will help you to feel full for longer. This is also a fantastic way to get a delicious dose of plant based calcium – from the spinach and kale.
Method: Pour all juice in to your blender. Now add all of the other ingredients and blend till totally smooth. If you want your smoothie to be less thick, simply add some water, coconut water or apple juice. Enjoy!
Need a quick and healthy breakfast? Make a big batch of my homemade muesli and keep it in a jar for an easy breakfast...
Method: Simply put everything in to a big bowl, stir well and decant in to a jar or suitable airtight container. Enjoy.
I love making these beautiful looking breakfast bowls when I have friends to stay for the weekend. People always love them as a colourful and healthy alternative to the conventional breakfast!
Method: Simply pour your green juice in to a bowl, scatter berries on top in stripes. Mix your oats, seeds, nuts and cinnamon; and scatter on top. Enjoy!
I created this recipe because I love muesli but adore the comforting soft texture of porridge. This is a great recipe to make on an evening, ready for the next morning. If you don’t like milk you can substitute it with coconut water or even just plain water. The oats, seeds and chopped nuts provide you with a great dose of natural protein, whilst the apple, raisins and fresh berries are a fantastic source of vitamins and fibre. The cinnamon and nutmeg provide a natural sweetness and the citrus zest gives an extra kick.
Method: Place all ingredients in a bowl. Pour liquid over until it only just covers the ingredients. Now give it a good stir. Place in the fridge or pantry overnight and you will find that the oats have absorbed all of the milk to provide a porridge like consistency. Enjoy the next morning, adding one or more of the toppings above, or anything else you fancy! And if you prefer it hot, simply add another two tablespoons of liquid, stir, and place the bowl in the microwave for a minute or two till it’s warmed through.
Method: Place your salmon fillets in a dish and cover with a few good glugs of tamari/soy sauce, the chopped ginger, two of the crushed garlic cloves, and a good drizzle of toasted sesame oil. Rub it all in together and put aside. Get a wok or frying pan nice and hot and chuck in the cashew nuts dry toasting them for a couple of minutes before tipping them in to a bowl for later. Now replace pan on stove and turn down to a medium heat. Tip the broccoli florets in to the dry pan and stir occasionally, allowing to char on the edges. Meanwhile, in a separate hot pan, put the salmon fillets in (skin down) and add the courgette and carrot noodles. Pour in the marinade and leave to just heat through for a few moments before starting to stir the noodles around the salmon (you can leave the salmon to cook on one side for a few minutes). Add the chilli, two cloves of garlic and cashew nuts to the broccoli and stir occasionally for another couple of minutes.
Turn the salmon to cook the other side and continue to stir the noodles occasionally. If it looks dry add some more tamari/soy sauce to the pan.
Turn the heat off beneath the broccoli, whilst you serve the courgette & carrot noodles on to two plates. Place the salmon on top, and then scatter the broccoli around the side, sprinkling the cashews and chilli on top of everything.
Serve and enjoy!
I think there is something incredibly satisfying about a runny yolk atop a crispy fishcake. I’ve created this recipe using lightly smoked salmon, ginger and kaffir lime leaf to add a fragrant twist to an old classic.
Ingredients: (to serve 4)
Method: Boil your new potatoes and drain. Place your salmon fillets skin side down in a pan and scatter the ginger and kaffir lime leaf pieces around them. Pour enough water in to the pan to come about 5mm up the side of the fish. Season, and cover the pan with a lid. Place the pan on the heat and bring the water up to a gentle boil. Poach for about 5 minutes until the salmon is cooked. Drain the water but keep the ginger and lime leaf pieces. Place your cooked potatoes in to a food processor and blitz till smooth (or mash if you don’t have a food processor). Add the lemon zest, dill, mustard, and the ginger and lime leaf from the pan. Stir. Break the fish in to chunks and gently fold this in to the potato mixture. Now whisk one of your 5 eggs and pour this out on to a plate. Scatter flour on to another plate. Have your breadcrumbs in a dish close by. With floured hands create four fishcakes with your potato and fish mixture. Lightly coat each one in flour, then coat in the egg mixture, and finally in the breadcrumbs. Place on to a cling filmed plate and chill in the fridge for at least an hour (or overnight).
Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan till smoking hot. Add your fish cakes and fry for about 3-4 minutes on each side till golden brown and crispy. Meanwhile add a kaffir lime leaf to some boiling water and steam or boil your leeks and spring greens. Poach your four eggs. Once cooked, season your greens with salt and pepper. Place the greens in the centre of each plate, and add the fishcake and poached egg on top.
Serve with a grind of freshly milled black pepper, and lemon wedges on the side to squeeze on to the fishcakes.
This gorgeous soup packs a serious green punch! If getting your 5-a-day in one go is your thing then it's definitely the way to go! I tend to make a large batch of it on a Sunday and then freeze portions to use for my lunches throughout the week. If you do this then once you have defrosted a portion you can heat it up in the saucepan and add things to the cooked soup to add texture - I like adding prawns or butter beans and a handful of spinach.
Method: Heat about a table spoon of oil in a large pan. Add onion, leeks and garlic and saute till soft. Add courgette, broccoli and the remaining vegetables and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Add sufficient vegetable stock to almost cover the vegetables and add the kaffir lime leaves and all of your herbs. Bring to the boil and simmer till everything is soft. Now season with salt and pepper and allow to cool. Once cooled, blitz using a hand blender till completely smooth. Heat through to serve. Enjoy!
A healthy and delicious version of this traditional British dish
Ingredients: (to serve 2)
Method: Preheat oven to 240˚C. Cut potatoes in to chip shapes. Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain well and allow to dry off. Pour about a tablespoon of oil in a large bowl and toss the potatoes through till evenly coated with oil. Season well. Space out on a preheated baking tray. Cook for 25-30 mins turning 2-3 times throughout to ensure even browning.
Meanwhile, combine a couple of handfuls of breadcrumbs with the zest of a half a lemon, and season with salt and pepper. Roll the fish fillets in flour, then dip in egg, and roll in the breadcrumbs till well coated. Place the fish on a preheated oven tray and cook for 15-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the fish.
Whilst the fish and chips and cooking, place peas in boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes. Drain, return to the pan, mix with the yogurt and mint and blitz with a hand-blender till almost smooth.
When the fish and chips are almost ready, return the pan to a low heat for a few minutes, stirring till hot. Season and serve with the fish and chips.
Add a wedge of lemon, and serve with vinegar, tartare or ketchup as liked. Enjoy!
Try this frittata as a light alternative to quiche. Simple and delicious.
Ingredients: (to serve 4-6)
Method: Boil your new potatoes till cooked. Drain, and cut in to slices. Meanwhile preheat your grill. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on the hob. Add the cauliflower, carrots, onion, apple and ginger to the pan and stir fry for five minutes till the vegetables begin to soften. Add the curry powder, cumin seeds and turmeric, ground black pepper and continue to stir fry till well combined. Add the chickpeas, the red chilli and the potato slices and stir fry for a further few minutes. Now whisk your eggs and pour them over the vegetable mixture. Immediately stir to combine, and leave to cook over a medium heat for about a minute. Now remove the pan from the hob and place beneath the grill to cook the top of the frittata. This will only take a couple of minutes. Once golden on top, remove from the grill and cut the frittata in to 4-6 slices. You can serve the frittata hot or cold. Season with salt and pepper as liked, and serve with a salad of spinach leaves, cucumber, red onion and coriander leaves to complement the flavours of the frittata. Enjoy!
If you make the time to create falafels from scratch then they have to be worth it, and I am pretty proud of these! I created the recipe below after various different experiments and think these are really rather delicious…
Method: Rinse and drain chickpeas and dry with kitchen paper. Place in a deep bowl along with everything except the flour, raisins, onion and chilli. Mix all ingredients in the bowl together, and then blitz roughly using a hand blender. Don’t blitz till smooth; just do it roughly so that some lumps remain. Now, stir in the flour, soaked raisins, onion and chilli. Heat a dash of olive oil in a non stick frying pan. Spread the oil around so that the base of the pan is shining all over. Use your hands to make little balls with the mixture. When the pan is hot place the falafels in the pan. Once they have had a chance to brown on one side, move them every now and then so that they cook all over. Fry for 5 minutes or until nice and brown on each side. This mixture will make about 9 falafels. Serve with salad and homemade hummus. Enjoy!
This Risotto uses pearl barley instead of rice, which combined with oyster mushrooms, leeks, and garden peas – creates a velvety textured risotto.
Ingredients: (to serve 2-4)
Method: Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan. Add the leeks and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Add the pearl barley and continue to stir over the heat for another few minutes. Now add the oyster mushrooms and stir gently for a couple more minutes. Meanwhile mix your stock cube with 700ml of boiling water. Add a ladle of the stock to the pan and stir, allowing it to simmer. Add half of the thyme leaves and lemon zest. Once the liquid has been absorbed, add another ladle of stock and stir again then simmer till absorbed. Continue this process of adding the liquid one ladle at a time and allowing it to be absorbed before adding the next. With the final ladle of stock, add the juice of half a lemon and the garden peas. This whole process will take about 40 minutes, at the end of which your pearl barley will have absorbed the liquid and taken on a creamy texture like that of risotto rice. Season with salt and pepper as liked, cover the pan and remove from the heat. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Blanche your asparagus tips in the boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain, and serve on top of the risotto, sprinkling the remaining lemon zest and thyme leaves on top of the whole dish for an extra burst of flavour. Enjoy.
A delicious, healthy dish, combining fragrant Thai & Balinese flavours with creamy coconut and grilled seabass.
Ingredients: (to serve 2)
Method: Place rice, coconut milk and lime leaves in to a saucepan. Add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, stir, add lid and turn down to a gentle simmer. Simmer till all of the moisture has been soaked up by the rice. This may take up to 40 minutes depending on what rice you use. Remove leaves before serving the rice.
Meanwhile, create the sauce by combining all of the ingredients. Taste and set aside.
Preheat oven to 180˚C. Brush a baking tray with sesame oil, add veg and sea bass (skin side down). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove baking tray, turn the vegetables and the fish fillets skin side up. Place under the grill and grill till skin is crispy and the vegetables are slightly charred.Serve fish fillets on top of the rice, and spoon the sauce over the fish. Arrange vegetables around the fish. Enjoy!
A beautifully textured, healthy vegetarian dish, rich in protein and fibre. This gratin uses flavours like mint, lemon and feta to create an incredibly moreish summer dish .
Ingredients: (to serve 4)
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan oven).
Boil or steam the potatoes, set aside to cool slightly and then slice in to rounds.
Add the oil to a frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the leeks and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until soft. Add the spinach and peas and continue to cook for a few minutes more. Set aside.
In a large bowl combine the crème fraiche with the lentils, lemon zest and mint. Season with salt and pepper.
Tip the sautéed vegetables in to a large oven-proof dish, and add the potatoes. Now stir the lentil mixture through the vegetables until everything is well combined. Season again. Top with the crumbled feta and breadcrumbs. Place the dish in the preheated oven and cook for around 25-30 minutes until golden on top.
Serve warm with a green salad and a balsamic dressing. Enjoy the leftovers cold for lunch the next day!
The thing which most people seem to struggle with when it comes to healthy eating is snacking. But there are so many delicious healthy options! I like to keep things quick and simple...
I am a bit of a hummus addict (I can literally eat an entire bowlful) so I started experimenting with how I made it until I found a way that it tasted delicious but didn't have lashings of olive oil and tahini in it. That's not to say that olive oil and tahini aren't great for you; they are, it's just that if we eat them by the spoonful then we'll struggle not to gain weight eventually! So here it is, a hummus which you can literally eat by the spoonful (or in a civilised manner if that's your thing)...
Method: Using a hand blender, blend everything together till smooth and enjoy!! It's that simple. When you are ready to serve drizzle a little olive oil over it and use cut cucumber, carrots, peppers and celery to dip. And thank you to Roohil Yusuf El Sherbiny for giving me the tip about the chickpea water!
Pesto is one of those things that adds awesome flavour to so many dishes so I tend to have a pot which I keep in the fridge for using whenever I want a simple but delicious dinner. You can spread it on a wrap before filling it with salad, stir it through pasta or cooked prawns, dilute it with the juice of a tomato and a little bit of cider vinegar to use as a salad dressing, or use it as a marinade for fish before cooking. I created this recipe when I had run out of nuts and didn't have any cheese so it has few ingredients but the taste is amazing!
Method: Place everything in a deep dish and use a hand blender to blitz till smooth. Enjoy.... yum!
I adore ice cream but it's difficult to find one in the shops that isn't loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. My friend Helen introduced me to this 'recipe', and I couldn't believe how simple it was to make something so incredibly delicious! I use the term 'recipe' loosely as it only has one ingredient, so I'm not sure you can refer to this as a recipe; let's just call it magic instead!
Method: Once frozen, remove your banana chunks from the freezer. Allow to thaw for no longer than 2-3 minutes and then place in a good quality food processor (due to the fact that the banana is frozen you need a sturdy and good quality food processor; if you use a blender you will likely break your machine!). Hold your food processor down tight as you turn it on (it'll move a lot otherwise). Let the processor do its thing until all of the banana resembles breadcrumbs or has started to form a dough-like consistency (you may need to turn the machine off, stir it down from the sides and repeat this a couple of times). Now turn it in to a bowl and stir it all together so that it has the consistency of ice cream. Et Voila! Magic Banana Ice Cream. I love this sprinkled with cacoa nibs but there are a thousand different things you could serve it with... Enjoy!
Cake is one of those deliciously comforting foods which we often consider ‘unhealthy and fattening’ but it doesn’t need to be.
Using fruit and spices to create natural sweetness; wholemeal flour, chickpeas and carrots to create texture; this fibre and protein-rich cake is delicious and nutritious. Eat it warm as a pudding with custard or ice cream (see my banana ice cream recipe), or cooled as a slice of cake with a cup of tea!
Method: Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan oven). Line a cake tin with baking paper (I used a loaf tin).
Pour the chickpeas in to the food processor along with 1 tbsp of the liquid from the can. Add the banana, 3 eggs, spices, stevia, oil and pinch of salt. Blitz till smooth. Pour in to a large bowl.
Add the raisins and grated carrot, flour and baking powder. Stir till well combined. Pour the mixture in to your lined cake tin and cook on the middle shelf for 45 minutes. Check to see that it’s cooked in the middle by pushing a skewer in to the cake and checking it comes out without mixture on it. If it isn’t quite cooked, return to the oven and keep checking it every five minutes till its cooked.
Once you have removed the cake from the oven, leave it in the cake tin for ten minutes to cool slightly before serving as pudding, or leave to cool entirely before serving as cake.
Once cut, best stored in the fridge and eaten within a few days (if it lasts that long)! Enjoy
This delicious cake is packed with fresh fruit, nuts, carrots, seeds and spices. It contains only whole food ingredients, and a whopping amount of protein and fibre. It's the ideal post exercise snack but it's so healthy that you could have it for breakfast. Best stored in the fridge and eaten cold - it has a a lovely moist, dense texture ;0)
2 carrots (grated)
1 apple (grated)
1 cup of raspberries (I use frozen)
1 cup of blueberries (I use frozen)
1 orange (zest and juice)
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup of raisins
1 can of chickpeas (including 2tbsp of the liquid)
1/2 cup of brown self raising flour
1 tbsp stevia or 2 tbps of maple syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan oven). Line a cake tin with baking paper. Blitz nuts in food processor till finely chopped. Pour nuts in to a large dish.
Pour the chickpeas in to the food processor along with 2 tbsp of the liquid from the can. Add the juice of an orange and 3 eggs. Blitz till smooth. Add the smooth mixture to the dish with the nuts, along with all of the other ingredients except for the flour.
Stir everything well, then stir in the flour until well combined.
Pour the mixture in to your lined cake tin and cook on the middle shelf for 40 minutes. Remove from oven when cooked.
Now here is the important bit! Leave it in the cake tin for about 20 minutes to cool before removing to cool entirely. Put in the fridge and wait till it's cold to enjoy it at it's best. Stores well in the fridge for 4 days and the flavour seems to get richer with each day! Enjoy ;0)
If you would like to download a PDF of my 12 seasonal recipes - 1 for each month of the year - then please feel free to simply click on the pdf link below. I hope you enjoy it!