Friday Round Up – Do you even squat?

I was doing so well with my squat challenge then ended up missing a few days, but I’m back on it and hoping for some booty gains!

I’ve exercised for 14 out of the past 19 days and now I really feel it when I miss more than 1 day in a row. I’m still loving Zumba (obviously) and I’m back on my lunchtime treadmill workouts but I’m also trying to incorporate some at-home strength training using kettlebells and body-weight. I’ve been scrolling Tumblr for some exercises for home and also use FitSugar workouts.

Here’s an example of some of my lunchtime runs…
4km in 22:22
4.65km in 27:00
4.3km in 25:00
4.5km in 26:08

Here’s a delicious meal for you…
Green vegetables (leek, asparagus,broccoli tips) with smoked bacon, poached egg and spinach leaves.

Just boil the vegetables until tender and cook the bacon however you want (I dry-fry mine as the fat from the meat means you don’t need extra oil). Once the vegetables have been cooked, use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and then add the eggs to poach.Serve it in a big bowl and enjoy!

green vegetables and bacon

green vegetables and bacongreen vegetables and baconpached eggs with bacon and vegetables

Happy Friday everyone!
xoxo

 

A new week, a new recipe!

Happy Monday, I hope you all had lovely weekends and are ready for the week ahead. I’ve got a new recipe for you today, and my oh my it’s delicious!

My dinner last night/ lunch today was a bit like Liz’s in Eat Pray Love when she eats asparagus, prosciutto and boiled egg on the floor of her apartment in Rome. So satisfying, so simple and packed full of flavour!
eat pray love

I had boiled egg, yellow courgette, sourdough with Boursin and asparagus wrapped in prosciutto with even more Boursin! There is very little that doesn’t go nicely with Boursin:-)

Ingredients (makes one serving):

  • 3 slices of prosciutto (or serrano or parma ham)
  • 6 spears of asparagus
  • 1/2 large Yellow courgette
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 slice of sourdough bread
  • Boursin cheese

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 Celsius
  2. Cut the 1/2 courgette into strips approximately 1/2 cm thick
  3. Lay out the ham and spread the Boursin in a thin layer, covering most of the slice
    20150719_190524
  4. Roll 2 spears of asparagus into each slice of ham
    20150719_190640
  5. Place the courgette and the ham rolls onto a baking tray
  6. Spray olive oil (or your preferred cooking spray) onto the courgette and sprinkle with dry chilli flakes
    Courgette and parma ham asparagus rolls
  7. Put them into the oven and roast for 10 minutes
  8. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add your egg
  9. After 2 minutes, turn the heat off and leave the egg in the warm water until the vegetables are cooked
  10. Run the egg under cold water and peel
  11. Toast the sourdough and spread with a think layer of Boursin
  12. Remove the vegetables from the oven and plate everything up
    20150719_193545 20150719_193555

I enjoyed my meal with a glass of Pinot Blanc from Alsace and it felt light yet satisfying, I think it was all the Boursin:-)

Monday weigh-in = Still 160lb but I’m starting to notice that I’m definitely less bloated and my belly is looking less rounded, wahoo!

xoxo

Recipe – Seven Wholegrains with Green Vegetables

Last week I posted this picture and promised to share the recipe, so here it is!

Wholegrains, vegetables and pesto This is seven wholegrains with green vegetables and let me tell you, what I was expecting to be a dull and tasteless dish turned out to be a real gem. Super quick and easy to make, perfect for taking to work in your lunchbox, tasty and healthy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pouch of Seeds of Change Seven Wholegrains
  • 1 courgette, grated
  • 5-10 brussels sprouts, halved
  • Handful of sugar snap peas
  • Handful of asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • Teaspoon of low fat pesto
  • Chicken stock paste or cube

 

 

Method

  1. Start out by boiling some water in a pan, and add your stock. I like Knorr touch of taste which is a chicken stock concentrated liquid.
  2. Add your sprouts and cook for 2 minutes
  3. Add the sugar snap peas and asparagus and boil for a further 2 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, add the grains to the microwave for 2 minutes
  5. Empty the grains into your bowl
  6. Drain the vegetables and add to the bowl, and mix together
  7. Return the pan to the heat and add the courgette, dry frying for 30 seconds – 1 minute, just to heat through
  8. Add the courgette to the bowl
  9. Drizzle over the pesto and give everything one final mix to ensure everything has a garlicky, herby coating
  10. ENJOY!

Really quick, really tasty and healthy!

If you can’t get your hands on the Seeds of Change 7 wholegrains, use your favourite wholegrains and cook them as required. Quinoa, barley and brown rice are all good choices.

xoxo

 

A Proper Salad!

Rabbit

Urgh salad! I hear you say! But fear not my friends, this is a proper salad, one that will leave you feeling satisfied, full and not at all like you are a rabbit munching on lettuce leaves (although some lettuce is included).

I am talking about the salad offered at Eco in Clapham, the Asparagus and Poached Egg Salad, beautifully described on the menu as:

Baked sourdough topped with a poached egg,
asparagus wrapped with pancetta, baked mozzarella
wrapped with San Daniele, mixed leaves and house
dressing.
Now I’m a Yorkshire lass and was visiting my sister in the Big Smoke for a few days when we visited Eco, and I have recreated this salad several times since getting home.
Aparagus and Poached Egg SaladStart with a selection of salad leaves that you prefer (I like rocket, spinach, fricasse and lambs lettuce) and pile onto a plate along with some pieces of cucumber and any other salad paraphernalia you like (at Eco they add Olives, but I’m not a fan)!
Then, you want some grilled sourdough, not too much, just enough to mop up the runny egg yolk. Speaking of which, you will need a poached egg with a runny centre, and pop this on top of your bread. You will now want to crisp up some pancetta in a pan. Next up is the Aparagus – cook it how you like! I like to blanch mine and then add it to the pancetta pan to soak up some of the meaty flavour. And last but not least, the mozzarella! Wrap the soft cheese in an Italian ham of your choice and cook this in the pan used for the pancetta and asparagus. Cook it on all sides until the ham is crisp. Alternatively, you can pop it in the oven to bake for a few minutes.
This is a proper salad that has just enough naughty to balance out the word ‘salad’. It is a hugely balanced meal, enjoy it with some sparkling water or a glass of your favourite white wine and your tummy will be happy for hours!
xoxo

Recipe: Popeye’s Pasta Bake

I call this recipe Popeye’s Pasta Bake because it includes lots of lovely spinach! Also in abundance are peas, asparagus, courgette, pancetta and, best of all, CHEESE!

This is a perfect dinner party recipe as you can pre-make the pasta bake, and just pop it into a hot oven 20 minutes before you want to eat it! Bake and serve in a large attractive baking dish and plonk it right on the table for guests to help themselves to!

It is fairly healthy because you don’t get to much pasta per person, and there are LOADS of vegetables included. The cheese is low fat as well, but the meal still feels like a treat!

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 200g Pasta (I prefer tubular pasta)
  • 1 bag of pre-washed spinach leaves
  • 1 pack/16 stalks of asparagus (with the barky ends removed and chopped into bite-size pieces)
  • 1 large courgette (grated)
  • 100g frozen garden peas
  • 1 pack of pancetta (chopped into lardons)
  • 1 ball of low-fat mozzarella (grated or chopped very small)
  • 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • Black Pepper (freshly crushed)
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil for cooking

Utensils needed:

  • 1 large frying pan
  • 1 large pan for the pasta
  • 1 large baking dish

Now, from the method below, it may seem like there is a lot to do, but in fact this is a really easy recipe once all of the ingredients have been prepped. So, here goes…

Method:

  1. In a large pan, bring water to the boil and season with salt and a drop of olive oil (this will stop the pasta sticking together) then add the pasta, cook to the packet’s instructions
  2. Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of olive oil in the frying pan over a medium-high heat and add the crushed garlic, cook for 1 minute but don’t let the garlic burn
  3. Add the pancetta lardons and asparagus stalks to the pan and cook until the pancetta is cooked through and the asparagus is tender, about 3-4 minutes
  4. Turn down the heat to medium, add the peas and courgette, cook for a further 2-3 minutes until the courgette is soft and coloured
  5. Add the spinach and allow it to wilt, stir so that it is distributed throughout the rest of the ingredients
  6. Add a tablespoon of the pasta stock, a pinch of salt and a large pinch of black pepper

The mixture in the frying pan should now be slightly wet from the pasta stock, and all of the ingredients should be tender and mixed throroughly. The pasta should also now be cooked. Turn the frying pan down to a low heat.

7. Drain the pasta and add it to the frying pan, string so that it is distributed evenly throughout the other ingredients

8. Add 3/4 of the grated mozzarella to the mixture whilst it is over the low heat, stir, and allow the cheese to melt. The mixture should be wet, if it is not, add another tablespoon of water, or pasta stock if you have this reserved. Check the seasoning and alter to your tastes.

9. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and top with the rest of the grated mozzarella

10. Add the pasta bake into a pre-heated medium oven for 15-20 minutes until the mixture is piping hot and the cheese on top has melted.

If you are making this pasta bake ahead of time, once you transfer the bake into the baking dish, cover with cling film and put it in the fridge until you are ready to bake it. Take the bake out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to bake it, and then bake for 20 minutes! (That’s a lot of bakes!)

You can add any other vegetables you like to this pasta bake, or use different cheese to suit your tastes!

Enjoy xoxo

Vegetable and Parma Ham Garlic Bread

You may remember my recipe post for home made pizza and last night’s evening meal was a variety of the same recipe.¬† On top of a thin crust garlic bread (like a pizza but without the cheese and tomato) I added fresh asparagus, spinach and parma ham, with a sprinkling of cracked black pepper for a punch of flavour. It was delicious, you definitely don’t need loads of cheese to make this any better (although a nice bit of mozzarella would be fabulous!).

Last night’s exercise consisted of an arm workout with dumbbells, some fitness/cardio moves and then a round of yogic sun salutations.

Here’s today’s menu:

Breakfast = Thin slice of banana and walnut loaf

Lunch = lemon and herb cous cous with peas and sweetcorn

Snack = apple

Dinner = Chicken with spinach, asparagus and peppercorn sauce

Today’s Exercise: A session on the treadmill followed by more arm toning exercises.

Tomorrow I will have a delicious halloumi and chicken dish inspired by flavours from Greece.

xoxo

Recipe: Filo parcels with roule, parma ham and asparagus

These filo parcels are super tasty, perfect for a stater portion or make them a bit bigger and serve with salad for a main course.

Ingredients (Serves 2 people):

  • 1 x pack of ready made filo pastry
  • 1 x pack of half fat Roule cheese (soft herby cheese)
  • 1 x bunch of asparagus
  • 1 x pack of parma ham or 4 rashers
  • handful of petit pois or garden peas
  • Black pepper and salt

Method

1. Lay three sheets of filo pastry on top of each other and cut into a large square (approximately 20cmx20cm) and then place on a baking sheet – repeat

2. Cut the ham and asparagus into 1cm pieces

3. Heat a non-stick frying pan and add the ham and asparagus

4. Cook until the ham is crisp and the asparagus is tender

5. Add the peas and season with salt and pepper

6. Spoon half of the mixture into each filo square

7. Divide half of the cheese between each parcel and tear/cut into 1cm chunks and place with the ham and asparagus mixture

8. Pull the corners of the pastry into the middle and twist so that the parcel is sealed (like in the picture)

9. Brush the pastry with egg or oil

10. Place the parcels in a medium oven for 15-20 minutes or until they are golden and crisp

Once the parcels are finished serve with a side salad and enjoy!

I promise my next recipe will not include asparagus or parma ham xoxo