Friday Round-Up: Where’s the week gone?

Phew, that week sped by! In the run up to Christmas I find that the time goes really quickly and the days blur together! To break up the weeks I’ve booked a couple of events/getaways.

Exercise has been non-existent so far this week, but I’ll be at Zumba tonight, whoop whoop! I’m really looking forward to some evening runs in the dark, but I do need a head torch. If you have any recommendations let me know in the comments section! I’ve also brought my thermal running gear out of storage to make sure I’m warm as the nights are getting so chilly!

I’ve been more balanced than usual this week in terms of diet, and I’ve really upped my intake of fresh fruits and vegetables. But I did say balanced, so I’ve also enjoyed several baked goods and the odd alcoholic tipple.

Let’s start healthy…

Courgetti
Spiralized courgettes with leeks, Brussels, cabbage and pancetta. And Boursin of course!

 

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Stir-Fry
Vegetable stir-fry with rice noodles (peppers, carrots, courgette with a satay sauce)

 

Steak Dinner
Fillet steak with sauteed savoy cabbage, roast potatoes and roast sweetcorn

 

Now onto the not so virtuous…

Dinner Party
The aftermath of a mid-week dinner party.

^^ Yes, that is an empty packet of Boursin, but there were 6 of us!

Greggsnut
Greggsnut – Greggs’ take on the cronut with pecans and caramel – omgomgomgomgomg

 

Pancakes
Pancakes from Billy Bob’s in Halton East (Yorkshire) with blueberries and bacon!

^^Billy Bob’s is an American style diner set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. There’s fantastic play facilities for the kids and the food is AMAZING!

Billy Bobs

Have a lovely weekend everyone!
xoxo

 

Eats of the Week(s)

I’ve been snap happy over the past few weeks and have taken pictures of quite a few of my meals. Here’s another edition of “Eats of the Week” and if you would like the recipe for any of them just let me know in the comments!

Chicken salad
Chicken salad with sesame seeds and potatoes
Chicken salad
Chicken salad with sesame seeds and potatoes

After we came back from Ibiza I was still craving fresh food with Mediterranean flavours so whipped up this chicken salad with lambs lettuce, cucumber, carrots and peppers with sesame seeds, black pepper and a simple olive oil/lemon juice dressing.

Beef casserole
Beef casserole loaded with veg and topped with dumplings
Beef casserole
Beef casserole loaded with veg and topped with dumplings

I had to buy a new casserole pan as the enamel had chipped off the bottom of my old one! This was a warm and comforting meal last Sunday as the first signs of Autumn/Winter started to show in the UK.

The Collective duple
The Collective black cherry duple over some Fuel 10k granola
The Collective Duple
The Collective black cherry duple over some Fuel 10k granola

I added some extra granola to this breakfast to fill me up a bit more.

Boursin Vegetable Pasta
Vegetable pasta with black pepper boursin
Pasta
Perfect for leftovers!

This was soooo good! I’ve started using the black pepper version of Boursin in my vegetable pasta recipes and it adds a really lovely flavour!

rice noodles
Rice noodles, mangetout and tenderstem with a nut-free satay sauce!
rice noodles
Pre-sauce
rice noodles
Rice noodles, mangetout and tenderstem with a nut-free satay sauce!

This was such a quick meal and really tasty! I’d bought some nut-free satay sauce at the Yorkshire Food Festival and finally got around to trying it. I just soaked some rice noodles, dry-fried some green veg, drained the noodles and added them to the pan. Then I topped with sauce, stirred it for a minute and served!

On a decidedly less healthy note, have you tried the Ben & Jerry’s ‘One Sweet World’ ?

Caramel coffee ice cream with marshmallow (16%) & salted caramel (10%) swirls & chocolatey shaped ‘&’ signs (7%)

Ben & Jerry's
Ben & Jerry’s One Sweet World

Oh my goodness, it’s amazing!

There we have it, some of the meals I’ve been enjoying in the past couple of weeks!
Happy Hump Day peeps xoxo

Spiralizing – the dangers

When spiralizing goes wrong!

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I was making carrot noodles tonight and the damn thing cut me! That will teach me to get too close to the blade:?

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I had spiralized carrot with spinach and edamame beans, pulled pork and some smoked cheddar.

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The pulled pork was from leftovers, so I just put all of the ingredients into a microwavable bowl and cooked it on full power for 2 minutes, before sprinkling with the cheese.

Recipe: Update to Stuffed Peppers

Back in 2014 I shared my food diary for a day, and it included Stuffed peppers as my evening meal. I promised that I would take pictures, and I never did (although I did say that I would probably forget at the time). So I’m righting my wrongs and today, over a year later, I bring you my recipe for healthy stuffed peppers! Filling, fun and great as leftovers for lunch the next day.

This isn’t the quickest recipe ever (but it still comes in at less than 30 minutes to prep and cook), but it has such potential for mixing flavours and ingredients that I challenge you not to make these!

Stuffed Peppers

Note: I used to cook quinoa as the main filling for this recipe but I’m terrible at cooking it properly (it’s always to wet) so I now use Uncle Ben’s 5 Wholegrains. It also saves a lot of time, halving the cooking time and meaning that I can spend the extra time with my little girl after work rather than standing over a pan.

Ingredients (serves 2, or 1 with leftovers)

2 x large peppers – cut in half length-ways and take out the seeds
1 pouch of Uncle Ben’s 5 Wholegrains
160g Brussels Sprouts – shredded
80g tinned sweetcorn – drained
1 large carrot – I spiralized mine this time but in the past I have just chopped it finely60g roule cheese (I usually use Boursin)
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 clove of garlic – minced
Oil for cooking – whichever you prefer
NB: Just double the ingredients to make for 4 people (or 2 with leftovers)

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to about 180 degree Celsius/350 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 4
  2. Place the peppers onto a non-stick baking sheet, cut side up, and roast whilst you make the filling
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on a high-heat and add the garlic, sweetcorn and sprouts until they start to brown (about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally)
  4. Add the carrot and the chilli flakes, and sauté for a further 2 minutes20160215_185256
  5. Whilst the vegetables are cooking, heat the rice in a microwave for 2 minutes
  6. Add the rice to the vegetables and stir until everything is combined
  7. Add the cheese into the pan and mix
  8. Splash a small amount of water into the pan – just enough to help the cheese coat the rice and vegetable mixture
  9. Take the peppers out of the oven, hopefully they will have started to wilt and maybe even char a little on the edges20160215_190002
  10. Spoon the filling into each half of the pepper equally. I normally have some mixture left, so put this into your bowl.plate that you’ll use to serve
  11. Return the now stuffed peppers into the oven and cook for 10 minutes
  12. Serve onto the bed of rice/vegetable mixture and eat whilst they are still warm

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For leftovers, simply store them in an airtight, microwavable container and heat for 2 minutes.

You can adapt the filling for each season, and if you want additional meat small pieces of chicken would work or quorn. These are a great #MeatlessMonday option!

Let me know if you make stuffed peppers and what your favourite filling if!
xoxo

Pancake Day!

Tomorrow is Shrove Tuesday, the start of Lent. In the UK we mark the date as Pancake Day, as traditionally it was a way to use up the basic ingredients.

I love me some pancakes, and whilst tomorrow evening we’ll probably just enjoy a pancake shake mix (due to working late/toddler bed time) today I’m sharing my healthy pancake recipe that we made on Sunday.

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These beauties are made with just three ingredients:
– 2 eggs and an extra egg white
– 2 ripe bananas, mashed
– 2 tablespoons of spelt flour (or any flour you have)

Method
1. Whisk the eggs in a bowl or jug
2. Add the mashed bananas and stir
3. Add the flour and stir until combined

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4. Heat a non – stick frying pan or pancake griddle on a medium heat
5. Create small round pancakes and cook until the top starts to firm and bubble

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6. Flip ‘Em and cook on the other side
Top Tip: you want to cook them gently so that they don’t burn whilst the middle is cooking!

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7. When ready, top with your favourite flavours!
We chose peanut butter (Meriden crunchy), maple syrup and blueberries.

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These pancakes are light, fluffy and naturally sweet because of the bananas. A great way to get fruit into fussy eaters as well!

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Tomorrow night we’ll probably have an assortment of toppings including fruit, bacon,  fluff and sauces, but no chocolate for me as I’m still on my chocolate ban,  which will now last for the remainder of Lent.

Do you celebrate Pancake Day on Shrove Tuesday and what are your favourite recipes?
Xoxo

Recipe: Spicy Sweet Sticky Chicken with Cauliflower Rice

This is a recipe I’ve used and changed fairly regularly as an alternative to Chinese takeaway as it’s low in fat and starchy carbs.

Spicy Sweet Sticky Chicken

This was the first time that I’d used cauliflower rice rather than standard long grain or wholewheat rice, and I loved it!

Cauliflower Rice

I didn’t use a recipe book for this, it was pretty much just using the spices and sauces I had in my cupboard, so you might want to put your own take on it! If you do, make sure you let me know!

Ingredients (serves 2):
1 large head of cauliflower (I grate the cauliflower to make rice but you could use a processor, just google ‘cauliflower rice’ for a method)
300g chicken breast, cut into small mouth-size chunks
150g frozen peas
1 large carrot – grated
handful of cashew nuts – optional extra – I would dry roast these, chop them finely and sprinkle on top at the end.
1 x tbsp. soy sauce (any type)
1 x tbsp. sweet chilli sauce (I use the hot version)
pinch of dry chilli flakes
1 x tbsp. runny honey
1 x tbsp. vegetable oil

Method:

  • You want to marinate your chicken first to get all the yummy flavours combined. In a bowl, add the chopped chicken, the oil, soy sauce, chilli sauce, honey and chilli flakes (if you don’t like too much spice, leave out the flakes and just use the sauce)
    Marinating
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes but longer if possible
  • Cook the cauliflower rice in frying pan, use a little oil if it isn’t non-stick. You’ll want to use a low-medium heat and stir every so often to prevent it from burning.
  • Put the rice aside in 2 bowls that can be kept warm or microwaved.
  • Turn the heat on the pan up to high until its smoking. Add the chicken and marinade and cook, stirring regularly.
  • When the chicken is almost cooked through and the marinade has reduced, add the frozen peas and grated carrot to the pan.
  • The vegetables will expel some water but that’s OK as it will combine with the marinade to make the sauce.
    sss chicken
  • Cook for 2 minutes, make sure the chicken is cooked through and divide between two bowls.
  • If the rice had been sitting, you might want to warm it in the microwave for 30 seconds before adding the meat.
  • Add your chopped nuts if you want at this point and serve!

This meal is super easy to make and you can do a lot of prep work ahead of time. For example, you can grate the cauliflower and freeze it, then all you have to do is give it a couple of minutes extra on a low heat during step 3.

I hope you enjoy the recipe and if you make it let me know!
xoxo

Recipe: Spiralized Fajita Bowl

Fajitas are a family favourite in our household, but with the introduction of the spiralizer, I’ve updated our usual to make a healthier, yet no less satisfying meal!

By filling up on veggies there’s less room for cheese and you don’t need as many wraps in order to feel satisfied, so the fajita bowls are great for anyone looking to make this classic a bit healthier.

Ingredients (serves 2 people):
250g turkey or chicken breast (you7 can use boneless thigh if you prefer)
2 medium carrots
1 courgette
Red pepper (bell pepper for US)
Sweetcorn
Wraps and fajita seasoning (we use Santa Maria)
Cheese of your choice – we love Illchester applewood smoked cheddar
Condiments – my favourites are hot sweet chill sauce and sriracha

Method:

  1. Spiralize your courgette and carrots and split between 2 bowls20160105_190936
  2. Grate the cheese and add to the bowls
  3. In a dry frying pan, cook the peppers and sweetcorn until they are brown on the edges – this gives a lovely smoky taste, then add them to your bowls
  4. Cut the meat into thin strips and add them to the pan you cooked the vegetables in, with a little oil
  5. When the meat is nearly cooked through, add the fajita seasoning and cook until the meat is done
  6. Divide the meat into your bowls
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  7. Serve your wraps as you like them. My favourite way is to toast them and use them to scoop the ingredients
  8. Top with sauce of your choice and enjoy!

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