Good for the soul, not for the waistband!

Food for the body is not enough, there must be food for the soul. – Dorothy Day

Happy Monday everyone! Today I’ve got some foody photos to share with you, apologies about the picture quality, they were all taken on my phone with shaky hands! I also want to talk about food for the soul. Those go-to comfort food dishes that you choose when you need nourishing. For me, that’s pasta cooked in salty water, with peas and cheese, lots of CHEESE!

And that’s exactly what I cooked last night.

comfort food pasta cheese peas

Macaroni pasta cooked in Knorr chicken stock concentrate (I didn’t have any cooking salt in the house), frozen Birds Eye peas, a knob of Tesco garlic roule and some Ichester applewood smoked cheddar. This definitely won’t have helped my clothes fit any better (hello, water retention!) but as I was cooking it, and then eating it, a sense of peace and contentment washed over me.

Comfot food pasta cheese peas

So what else I have been eating lately?

Spicy pulled pork with asparagus, roast peppers and roast courgettes!

pulled pork and vegetables pulled pork and vegetables pulled pork and vegetables

Another amazing Fahita bowl, with char-grilled peppers and corn!

fahita bowl

Let me tell you about this amazing food! When we were in Majorca last year, we went to a tapas restaurant where I had Medjool dates wrapped in bacon. I’ve tried this a couple of times at home and always love it! So on Saturday night, I had 4 MASSIVE Medjool dates and wrapped them in pancetta. To accompany the dates, I sliced some courgettes, spread some roule cheese on them and then wrapped them in pancetta too! To cook them, I just place them in the oven at about 160 Celsius for around 20 minutes, or until the pancetta is crispy and the courgettes are wilting.

This feast was to. die. for.

courgett roule pancetta medjool dates Medjool dates wrapped in pancetta courgett roule pancetta

And some Cadbury Hero chocolates, because, chocolate!

chocolate

So this definitely wasn’t healthy food, but I enjoyed eating it immensely and never let myself really pig out over the weekend, even though I went to a party with tables full of delicious homemade cake!

What’s your favourite comfort food?
xoxo

Salford 10km Race Recap

I did it!

Not only did I complete the Salford 10km run on Sunday, but I smashed my previous PB with a time of 54:43!

The race started at 10:15am prompt from Media City UK in Salford Quays. The race itself was very well organised with quick start and finish areas, bag drop, lots of toilets and post-run massages!

Salford 10km 2015

The weather was perfect running weather, but it was so bright I wish I’d brought my sunglasses. It was warm in the sun but the route took in enough shaded areas that I never overheated. There was a water station at 5km. The route was 95% flat and took in some of the bridges on the Quays as well as Old Trafford (home of Manchester United Football Club).

After the race we (hubby and toddler came to cheer me on!) headed for a cheeky Nandos for some lunch. I had the hummus with pitta and spicy peri drizzle, some corn on the cob and some peri-peri fries – delicious! (Nandos post-run selfie)

Post-race selfie

In the good bag was the technical t-shirt, a water bottle, finisher’s medal, a Nature valley protein bar and some discount flyers.

Tea was pasta with green vegetables and Boursin, and as a reward to myself I pinched a piece of chocolate brownie from my mum’s pub (The Fountain Inn) and had some fresh whipped cream whilst catching up on Madame Secretary, Great British Bake Off and Strictly Come Dancing!

Pasta with green vegetables and boursinChocolate Brownie with fresh cream

How was your weekend?
xoxo

Hearty vegetable and pasta broth

Soups are really not my thing. I don’t like ‘wet’ food. Anything pureed, mashed or liquefied isn’t for me.
Broths on the other hand, I can get on board with.
Whole pieces of food swimming in a tasty liquid, with distinguishable flavours and textures, are something I am coming to enjoy more and more!
So today’s recipe is for a hearty broth I recently made which was great for dinner and then warmed up the next day for lunch. Sorry about the rubbish picture quality!
image

Vegetables, pasta and pancetta, what could be better!

Ingredients

50g soup pasta
1/2 cup carrots, chopped into 1cm pieces
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped into 1cm pieces
1/2 cup savoy cabbage, chopped into thin strips
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup Brussels sprouts
3 rashers pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, chopped into 1cm pieces
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp chicken concentrate, or a chicken stock cube
Pinch of saffron (optional)

Method

1. Put a pan of water onto boil and add the concentrate/stock cube
2. Once boiling, add the cabbage, chilli flakes, saffron (optional) and pasta. Boil for 3 minutes.
3. Add the Brussels sprouts and carrots. Boil for 3 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, grill or dry-fry the pancetta/bacon (I have a mini frying pan perfect for individual fried eggs, and ideal for small amounts of chopped up pancetta/bacon)
5. Add the pepper to the broth. Boil for 2 minutes.
6. Add the broccoli. Boil for 2 minutes.

7. The pancetta/bacon should now be crisp. Transfer it onto a piece of kitchen towel to remove excess fat.

The broth should be almost thickened from the starch in the pasta, and a lovely golden colour if you have used the saffron.

8. Ladle the vegetables and pasta into a bowl, and then pour over some of the broth liquid.
9. Sprinkle the pancetta/bacon over the bowl for a salty crunch

This meal takes under 20 minutes to prepare and cook, is really tasty and can be customised with your favourite vegetables, add more chilli if you like spice and you can swap the pasta for noodles!

Enjoy xoxo

Bring on the veg!

We have experienced a very warm winter but now there is a (very) cold snap in the air. The ground is frosted white and as we were just starting to think Spring had arrived (especially with the sighting of early Daffodils!) we are pushed back into the depths of Winter.

Whilst this plays havoc with our wardrobes, it is good for one thing…vegetables!

The choice on the supermarket shelves is huge at the moment. We still have the hearty root veg like parsnips as well as the good ol’ brussel sprouts and savoy cabbage. But now we are also starting to see some spring time vegetables like courgettes, asparagus and peas!

With so many lovely vegetables to choose from it really is easier to eat healthily. I have several no-meat  dinner and tea options (although I am by no means a vegetarian, heaven forbid!) planned for this week so let’s take a look at what’s on the menu today…

Today I will eat:

Breakfast= Dry malted wheats (shreddies), blueberries and a yoghurt (300)

Dinner = Garlic and chilli courgette with pasta, babybel light (350)

 

 

(This is the garlic and chilli courgette pasta with optional spinach balls, recipe by Antonio Carluccio)

 

 

 

 

Tea = Spicy chicken with green beans and shredded cabbage (300)

Snacks = clementine, fat-free jelly (100)

Total Calories = 1050

Today I will do:

I was bad and didn’t go to the gym yesterday so will make up for it with a hardcore workout tonight!

Have a good Tuesday everyone! xoxo

Bacon, Brie and Pea Pasta – MMMMM

Hi all,

A quick recipe for you today which, whilst not being the healthiest meal ever, is so delicious and fulfilling that I had to share it with you!

Bacon, Brie and Pea Pasta (With Asparagus)

Ingredients:

  • Pasta (I used large penne but shells and bows would also work very well)
  • Smoked lean bacon (cut off the extra rind if you want) – cut into small strips (it’s easy with scissors)
  • Brie cheese – chopped into 1cm squares
  • Frozen peas
  • Asparagus (I had some in the fridge which needed eating so chopped it and put this in too, but you could just stick with peas or add broad beans, soy beans etc)
  • Black pepper

Method:

  1. Bring a pan of water up to the boil and add your pasta – cook until al dente
  2. Meanwhile, in a small frying pan add the chopped bacon and cook until crisp
  3. Add the asparagus and the frozen peas and cook until tender
  4. Add the cubes of brie and stir through the bacon and peas, evenly distributing the cheese so that it melts
  5. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the pasta water to create a creamy sauce
  6. Add lots of freshly ground black pepper (it evens out the saltiness of the bacon and brie)
  7. Drain the pasta and add it into the frying pan, stir through the bacon and brie mixture
  8. Eat and enjoy whilst it is still really hot!

This is a lovely meal, quick to make and all of the ingredients go really well together; you have a mixture of salt (brie) smoke (bacon) sweet (peas and asparagus) and starch (pasta)!

Bon apetit! xoxo

Courgette and Garlic Pasta

This recipe is quick, easy and versatile to suit any tastebuds.

Although the base of the dish is courgette, if you want to add a bit of meat I would suggest some chorizo sliced into small chunks or some smoked streaky bacon/pancetta.

Serves 2 people

Ingredients:

  • 100g-150g Pasta-big tubes are best such as Rigatoni but any pasta will do
  • 2 medium courgettes, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves -crushed or finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil
  • Vegetable or Chicken Stock
  • Alioli sauce
  • Chorizo, streaky bacon or pancetta

Method:

  1. Bring a pan of boiling water to boil and add the stock
  2. Put the pasta in the pan and boil until al dente
  3. Pour the olive oil into a frying pan and heat
  4. Add the garlic to the oil and fry for 1 minute – do not let it burn
  5. If you are adding meat now is the time to do so, fry for 2-3 minutes until coloured
  6. Add the courgette to the garlic and oil and fry for 4-5 minutes until soft
  7. Take a spoonful of the stock water from the pasta and put it in the courgette pan to loosen the mixture, stir for 1 minute
  8. Take two or three teaspoons of alioli and stir through the courgette mixture
  9. Drain the past and add it into the courgette pan, stir and serve immediately

And there you go. In less than 20 minutes you have a healthy and tasty meal which is also great as leftovers for lunch the next day!

Bon appetit xoxo