Christmas cookies

Christmas is here…my favorite time of year (apart from the 3 months of summer). I’ve prepared this month’s recipe related to this wonderful period of time – Christmas cookies. During this time of year everybody over eats so I hope you enjoy this recipe. I promise that these cookies are delicious…let me know your opinion about their taste in the comments below 🙂


  • 450g Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 250g Margarine
  • 300g White sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract



  • Sift the flour in a large bowl.
  • Add the baking powder and salt in the bowl and mix.
  • Add the margarine and sugar to the mixture and mix until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla and leave the dough to chill for 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius and grease the cookie sheets.
  • Roll out the chilled dough and cut out the Christmas shapes using a cookie cutter.
  • Bake for 6 – 8 minutes in the preheated oven until the edges are barely brown.
  • Sprinkle some icing sugar on top for garnish.


I wish you a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year from the bottom of my heart. May 2022 be a better year for all of us (without COVID) full of love, laughter and joy! This is my last blog for this year and I suggest that you subscribe to this website so that you won’t miss out great content prepared for you next year 🙂


Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Do you feel bloating and gastro intestinal discomfort? 

Does your diet affect these symptoms?

Do you suffer from an intestinal disorders?


Intestinal disorders

Intestinal disorders are becoming more common worldwide such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) both in adults and children. The most common factors which may affect these conditions are stress, viral infections, alcohol consumption and poor diet. IBS might be mixed with inflammatory bowel disease, IBD, as they show quite the same type of symptoms. It is important to note that IBS is different from IBD as IBD includes chronic diseases such as Chron’s and Ulcerative Colitis.


What is Inflammatory bowel disease?

IBD refers to a group of bowel diseases mainly Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis that cause inflammation in the various areas of the digestive tract. The cause of IBD remains unknown. It is believed that diet and stress aggravate the symptoms but are not the cause therefore it is more likely that genetics and malfunctioning of the immune system is the cause of IBD.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation of the digestive tract which can be from the mouth to the anus. Usually, the inflammation part appears in patches next to other healthy tissues. This leads to various symptoms including abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, reduced appetite, weight loss, malnutrition and blood in your stools according to where the inflammatory patch is in your digestive tract. Other signs and symptoms which are not so common are inflammation of the skin, eyes and joints, kidney stones, anemia, and delayed growth and sexual development in children. Crohn’s symptoms also overlaps with diverticulitis. It is also believed that Crohn’s is a secondary reaction of diverticulitis, although more research is still needed.

Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

On the other hand, UC contributes to ulcer formation in the tissues of your digestive tract mainly the large intestines, rectum, and anus. In UC the damaged areas are continuous so if the inflammation starts in the large intestine it continues till the anus. The symptoms are quite similar to Crohn’s disease. These include abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, blood in stools and weight loss. Symptoms usually develop over time and sometimes can be life- threatening.

Inflammatory bowel disease complications

IBD can lead to severe consequences such as malnutrition, colon cancer and blood clots if left untreated and can become life-threatening. Unfortunately, there is no cure for IBD but current medication such as corticosteroids along with diet changes can greatly reduce the symptoms of the disease. Severe IBD may require surgical procedures to remove the damaged parts of the gastrointestinal tract. There are different surgical procedures for Crohn’s and Ulcerative colitis since they affect different parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

IBD may take a long time to diagnose. It can be diagnosed by using a combination of procedures such as endoscopy for Crohn’s and colonoscopy for Ulcerative colitis. Your doctor may also check your stool samples in order to make sure that it is not caused by an infection. In such cases, antibiotics may be prescribed. In addition, probiotics may also be recommended as they can improve symptoms although there is no concrete evidence about this till now.

Appropriate diet

Fortunately, both Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis can be improved by adopting the right type of diet. There are various diets which are recommended such as low FODMAP diet, Plant based diet, High fiber diet, Low residue diet, lactose- free diet and gluten-free diet. The recommended diet would be chosen based on the symptoms being experienced by the individual.

As you can see from this blog and other blogs on gastroenterology, there are various intestinal disorders. It is important that if you or your child suspects of any intestinal disorders you contact your doctor and a registered dietitian. In all intestinal disorders, food plays a role in improving symptoms and quality of life!


Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup

This recipe of sweet potato and peanut soup offers a quick, nutrient dense meal. It takes about 15 minutes preparation and around 20 minutes of cooking. This soup is rich in vitamin C, A and B6 from the sweet potato and omega 3 fatty acids from the peanuts. Omega 3 fatty acid are essential in our diet as they manage to reduce the bad cholesterol produced by our body.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • 3 L tomatoes
  • 3 L light coconut milk
  • 5 L water
  • 1 teaspoon curry
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 80g chopped peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter



  • Put the olive oil in a large pot and heat over medium heat.
  • Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft.
  • Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, coconut milk, water, spices and peanuts. Cook until the potato is fork-tender.
  • Add the peanut butter and cook until it becomes thick and creamy
  • Top with more peanuts, garnish with mint and serve.


I honestly hope that you try this sweet potato and peanut soup recipe out and enjoy it with your family and friends. Let me know what you think about this recipe in the comments below. If, you would like more recipes which are low in calories & carbs I invite you to order our book. Each recipe also contains the nutritional information inside.


Adolescent Diet and Mental Health

Did you notice any mood changes in your adolescent?

Are you concerned about your adolescent diet?

What is mental health?

Mental health is the emotional, psychological and social well-being as it determines how an individual thinks, feels and acts. There are two types of mental health problems which are; poor mental health and mental illness. Poor mental health is when an individual is experiencing poor mental function affecting his physical, mental and social well-being negatively but is not diagnosed with a mental illness. On the other hand, an individual can be diagnosed with a mental illness but still experiencing good mental health function.

People who suffer from mental health problems may experience signs such as lack of appetite, sleeping too little or too much, lethargy, unexplained pain, substance misuse, feeling confusion or angry, mood swings and inability to perform daily life tasks. These signs lead an individual not to realise his full potential which in turn can lead to loneliness or isolation. It is important to note that if your child is experiencing symptoms such as lack of appetite, lethargy, feeling of confusion or unexplained pain does not mean he has a depression. These symptoms may also be a sign of other medical conditions such as diet related conditions such as coeliac disease, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

In 1986, the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that the Maltese population consume a diet which is mainly based on fats and sugars. European countries such as Italy and Malta the percentage was increased by 30%. In fact, according to the Health Behaviour in school children (HBSC) aged between 11 to 15 years have the highest Body Mass Index (BMI) followed by the USA.

Mental health in adolescents 

It is well known that adolescence who suffer from mental health problems have a higher risk to reoccur in their adult life. In addition, this may lead to a higher risk of other mental disorders and even premature death. Research also suggests that adolescents with depression episodes have a higher risk of suicidal thoughts in adult life.

It is known there might be a parallel link between the type of adolescent diet and mental health. In fact, a US report found that the adolescent’s diet trend has decreased in fruit, vegetables and dairy products consumption. During this time, it was noticed that there was an increase in high calorific foods such as junk food and sugary drinks. These type of foods will also lead to weight gain and obesity. In young age overweight and obesity may lead to poor mental health and the arising of eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Diet and mental health

Healthy food such as unrefined carbohydrates, lean meat and oily fish contain a variety of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants which in turn are important for the immune system to function properly. Lack of such nutrition in the diet lead the immune system to increase in physiological stress causing inflammation and therefore more production of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a known factor of depressive illness. Patients who suffer from depression have higher markers of systemic inflammation which results from poor immune system function which positively correlates with poor diet. Research shows that high sugar and high fat diets can also negatively affect proteins during brain development. These type of diets are also linked with psychiatric distress and violent behaviours in adolescents in both males and females. A positive link in children and adolescents between junk food consumption and mental health problems such as dizziness, anxiety and feelings of worthlessness. The results were independent of family history, level of exercise, weight and socioeconomic status.

Ideally, an adolescent child start his day with breakfast in the morning, lunch at around lunchtime and dinner in the evening. Healthy snacks should also be included in between meals. These may vary according to the level of physical activities and any medical conditions such as waking up with heart burn, obesity, diabetes, picky eating, etc. In addition, it is important to include a variety of wholegrain carbs, fruit, vegetables and a good portion of proteins for proper growth and development. Diet is always important to be a balanced one especially during this period of time.

Finally, I wrote my first blog on mental health!! In my profession I am intrigued by this subject as I find it fascinated. Considering that mental health is still a taboo and not a lot of people want to discuss it, I think that it is marvellous how a diet can help you feel better on a daily basis. These type of diets don’t help you with the physical aspect only but also the way you feel 🙂



Low Calorie Pepperoni Pizza

Are you trying to lose weight?

Do you restrict food to lose weight?

How long has it been that you’ve tasted a pizza?


If you follow my blog by now you know that I am totally against any type of food restriction. In other words, you can eat a ‘normal’ pizza dough and fill it with whatever food you want. I know what you are saying “OMG I will put so much weight if I do that.” I promise you that if you eat a pizza everyday but you have the right portion size for you you won’t gain weight. Therefore, I strongly suggest that before you deprive yourself of all the tasty food you check with a registered dietitian your right portion sizes.

Despite all of this, I know that most of you who are weight watchers suffer from anxiety if you have to eat a ‘normal’ pizza from a take-away. As a result, I decided to give you an option of a low calorie pepperoni pizza if you are still not comfortable to try the pizza take-away. I don’t usually have time to do my own pizza from scratch and end up buying it ready-made. This time I managed to do it all by myself and I decided to make extra dough to use it for another time.

  • 200g plain Greek yogurt
  • 300g self-rising flour
  • 200g tomato sauce
  • 150g skimmed mozzarella
  • 20 slices pepperoni
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Heat the oven at 190 degrees.
  • Mix the yogurt and flour until they combine together. Use a wooden spoon for this step.
  • Knead the dough in the bowl using your hands this time for about 2 minutes. If, the dough is sticky add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it has the right consistency.
  • Sprinkle some flour onto a large piece of parchment paper. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each dough into a 30cm oval shape.
  • Place the dough onto the baking sheet in the oven and bake for about 18 minutes.
  • When the dough starts to turn lightly golden, remove from the oven and start to add the toppings – tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni and basil evenly.
  • Put the pizza in the oven again and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese on each pizza. Cut and serve.

I enjoyed every bite of this low calorie pepperoni pizza. Honestly, I thought that it wouldn’t taste so nice but I was wrong about this one! I hope you enjoy it as well. Let me know what you think of this recipe in the comments below.


Honey Chicken with Cranberry Sauce

This honey chicken with cranberry sauce recipe is prepared from fresh ingredients. It is full of vitamins, minerals & anti-oxidants. It also offer a delicious and satisfying taste, especially if you like a sweet taste with food. This recipe is suitable to be cooked for all you family and friends. It takes about 30 minutes to prepare it and 40 minutes to cook and serve.



  • 1kg chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt
  • Pepper


Cranberry sauce

  • 350g fresh cranberries
  • 200ml fresh orange juice
  • 200g white sugar


  • Mix the cranberries, orange juice and sugar in a saucepan.
  • Boil until the cranberries begin to pop and break down. Set aside and keep warm.


  • Heat your grill rack.
  • Add the salt and pepper to the chicken.
  • Mix the honey and lemon juice together. Brush lightly the chicken using half the honey mixture.
  • Use a cooking spray for your heated grill rack. Place the chicken on the grill rack for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Turn the chicken and brush with the remaining honey mixture for another 3 to 5 minutes until the chicken is properly cooked.
  • Serve the chicken with the cranberry sauce on top. Garnish with parsley, if required.


So have you every thought of cooking chicken with cranberry sauce?

I promise you that this honey chicken and cranberry sauce recipe is one of my favorite combinations. I used to think that cranberry sauce goes only with a duck breast as it is usually served in restaurants. I strongly recommend you to try this one and let me know if I am the only one amazed with this combination.


Bacon And Avocado Pasta

Is your lifestyle a busy one and time is precious for you?

Do you want to cook ‘healthy’ food?

Do you want to impress your spouse or husband?

This bacon and avocado pasta is the recipe to impress him. Why? Because all men I encounter in my work and personal life totally love bacon! Nowadays, even men want to be healthy and mixing one of their favorite food with food which is labelled as ‘healthy’ is a perfect balance combination to impress. I can related this from my boyfriend. Nearly in all my blogs I always put the word healthy in inverted commas. The reason is that all food can be healthy and all food can be unhealthy. It all depends on the portion size. This recipe only takes 20 minutes – 10 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook so it’s perfect for a busy lifestyle.


  • 300g wholemeal pasta
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 2 diced avocados
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • Half small onion
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezes lemon juice


  • Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.
  • Put the vegetable oil in a pan and heat. Add the bacon for 7 minutes until brown.
  • Put the cooked bacon and pasta in a bowl. Add the avocado, tomatoes, onions, basil, and lemon zest and juice. Mix all the ingredients together.
  • Serve cold or hot. Add pepper and basil leaves to garnish.


Let me know what you think of this bacon and avocado pasta. Leave me your comments below. If, you would like more of these recipe you can order our recipe book. It contains 50 low calorie recipes all with nutritional information.


Creamy Chicken curry and gnocchi

This recipe of creamy chicken curry and gnocchi offers a balance meal with a mixture of carbs, proteins and fats. Like all other recipes I choose to share with you this recipe contains various vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants for a much needed super efficient immune system, especially right now with this COVID pandemic around us. I always emphasize how important it is to obtain the micronutrients from real foods instead of supplements due to the bioavailability % absorption in our gut. A side from our health benefit from this recipe, this creamy chicken curry and gnocchi also offers a delicious taste to satisfy your taste buds!


300g gnocchi

250g chicken breast

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

3 tablespoons flour

¼ cup of dry white wine

½ teaspoon curry

½ teaspoon thyme

Black pepper

Pinch of salt



Preheat oven at 200 degrees

Cook gnocchi according to package instructions. Drain well.

Season the chicken breast with thyme and pepper.

Melt 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a pan over medium heat.

Add the chicken breast in the pan and cook until golden brown for 5 minutes per side.

Meanwhile add half a cup boiled water, wine and curry. Whisk in flour for 2 minutes.

Add the gnocchi and a pinch of salt and mix.

Place into the oven and bake for another 15 minutes.

Serve hot and garnish with parsley if required.

This recipe only takes about 25 – 30 minutes to prepare and serve it. I honestly hope that you try this recipe out and enjoy it with your family and friends. Let me know what you think about this recipe in the comments below. If, you would like more recipes which are low in calories & carbs I invite you to order our book. Each recipe also contains the nutritional information inside.


Quinoa Sweet Potato Salad


Are you trying to eat healthier?

Are you having more salads but fed up eating always the same vegetables?


Salads don’t have to be boring! This quinoa sweet potato salad recipe offers a healthy and delicious meal. It is full of vitamins and minerals for a healthy immune system. It is easily prepared in 15 minutes and cooked in 45 minutes. As a result, it is ideal to prepare this quinoa sweet potato salad for lunch time during work.


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, diced
  • Rosemary or thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 Kg chickpeas
  • 100g walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrups
  • 200g quinoa
  • Kale


  • Preheat the oven at 220 degrees Celsius
  • Roast the sweet potatoes on a large sheet pan with the olive oil and herbs for 20 minutes.
  • Add the chickpeas to the sheet pan and mix. Cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Add the walnuts and maple syrup and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Serve the mixture with cooked quinoa and kale.

I hope you enjoy this quinoa sweet potato salad recipe as much as I do. I would love to hear your opinion on this recipe below. So feel free to leave a comment I will be happy to answer any queries you might have. In addition, if you would like more recipes like this I encourage you to order our recipe book.


Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle

As strawberries are back in season and, as a result much cheaper in price I decided to post another recipe with strawberries. Last year I’ve posted a healthy recipe of homemade lemonade with fresh, tasty strawberries and had shared some nutritional tips.

This strawberry and blueberry trifle has a layer of sponge, a layer of whipped cream cheese and a layer of fresh strawberries and blueberries.  What more could you ask for? Additionally, it’s fairly straightforward to make and it takes about 27 minutes.



Lemon syrup

  • 60 g granulate white sugar
  • 30 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 30 ml water


  • 600 g sponge cake
  • 200 g cream cheese
  • 80g granulated white sugar
  • 200g whipping cream
  • 3 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 3 cups blueberries


  • In a small saucepan, add the sugar, lemon juice and water. Stir the mixture and boil over medium heat.
  • Slice the sponge cake into 8 cm thick. Brush each side of the cake with the lemon syrup.
  • Mix the cream cheese with the sugar until it becomes fluffy. Continue by adding the whipped cream and mix until smooth.
  • Put the pieces of sponge cake in the bottom of the bowl and add half the cream. Spread to all sides of the bowl and add half the strawberries and blueberries on top of the cream.
  • Repeat the step above and refrigerate for about an hour. Serve.


This easy, delicious recipe of strawberry and blueberry trifle is ideal as a dessert for your family and friends. This recipe is also ideal as it is a means of introducing fruit in your child’s diet. I encourage you to check out other recipes from our blog for easy, healthy and delicious recipes. In addition, if you want to change your eating habits or want more recipe ideas I recommend you to order our recipe book ‘Everyday Cooking – a helping hand’. In this recipe book you will have more than 50 delicious recipes to cook for all your family and friends, all year long.

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