Eats of the Week: 1st March 2017

I’m culinary confused! It’s post-Brussels sprouts season but pre-asparagus, so for now, I’m sticking with courgettes!

Anyone else having serious green vegetable conundrums?

Anyway, I’ve been eating a real hodgepodge of meals lately, and I’ve snapped a few photos, so here we go…

strawberries and pb
Strawberries and pb as my mid-morning/post-workout snack at my desk
M&S salad
M&S salad of green salad with apple dressing and coconut chicken
Green veg
A mountain of green vegetables hidden under a lot of spiralized courgettes!
Homemade soup
Home made soup – carrots, Brussels, peppers and edamame with pasta
Breakfast
Breakfast bowl – The Collective passion fruit yoghurt topped with new Shreddies protein granola, dried cranberries and cacao nibs
Filo Parcels
Filo parcels stuffed with vegetables and Boursin
Fountain Inn
A vegetarian sharing platter from The Fountain Inn

What are you eating in-between Winter and Spring?
xoxo

Week on Wednesday (because I missed my round-up and summary from the weekend)

Blogger fail, I didn’t post a Friday Round-Up this week or a Saturday Summary, womp womp! Why, you ask? Because I was accepting a new job and handing in my notice, yipee!

If you’ve read any of my recent Friday Round-Ups, you’ll know that I have been growing increasingly dissatisfied with my current role. I’ll now be moving to a part time marketing manager role and setting up as a freelance marketing consultant! Exciting stuff!

What does that mean for my health? Well…
1) I’ll no longer be eating my feelings (mainly boredom & anger)
2) My mind will be clearer and I’ll have less stress and anxiety – remember folks, mental health is as important as physical health (if not more so)
3)I’ll be eating at home a lot more, so I’ll need to be really careful not to snack, and make sure I have lot’s of quick healthy lunch options

Since it has been a while since my last post, I’ve got loads to share!

Exercise
I’ve been getting back into my running and did a 9.8km run last Thursday and then did hill sprints on Monday. I also squeezed in a couple of at-home body-weight circuits.

Garmin 10
When your Garmin battery dies 1km from home:-(
Running essentials
Water, Garmin, Head-torch
Hill Sprints
You can’t tell, but this is one hell of a steep hill! And it was only 2 degrees!
Hill Sprints
Motivational music was necessary with the hill sprints!

It is well and truly winter in Yorkshire – we’ve got snow today! I can’t remember snow this early for years!

Snow in November!
Snow in November!

This is going to make outdoor runs a bit trickier, but I’m prepared with a new head torch and I’ve brought the thermals back out of storage!

Running Safety
Safety first! Head torch and reflective vest for night running!
Winter running
Reflective trainers, thermal tights, reflective vest

Eating
Last week was total gluttony as we had two parties at work which involved sweets, junk food and krispy kremes!
I tried to balance it out with healthier main meals, but I’ll chalk it down as a bad week for balanced eating!

Chocolate Cake
Chocolate loaf cake with a slated caramel middle – OMG!
Cheesy Fries
Homemade cheesy fries with whote and sweet potatoes, Boursin and smoked bacon – all baked and no added salt or oil!
Cheesy Fries
Close-Up!

Friday Round-Up: Winter is coming (and so is my cold)

Happy Friday everyone! With a fresh chill in the air, I’m on the brink of developing a full-on cold, complete with swollen glands, headaches and nausea, yuk! I’m trying my hardest to stave off the illness, with lots of fresh fruit & veg, but I might have to succumb and spend some time on the sofa this weekend!

I think it’s karma paying me back for a lack of fresh produce over the past few weeks! You know what they say #HealthIsWealth!

I’ve stocked up on winter fruit including conference pears and tangerines and am making a conscious effort to get more vegetables in my diet. Tonight I’ll be foregoing the take-away curry in favour of homemade stir-fry with red peppers, carrots, courgette and soy beans!

Here’s some pics of the tea I made last night, sautéed vegetables with eggs sunny-side up! That’s black pepper on the top!

Green vegetables
Asparagus and tenderstem with garlic butter
Eggs and Vegetables
Two eggs over sauteed asparagus and tenderstem broccoli

Last night Zumba was cancelled so I went on a run, my first since signing up for the Xmas Pudding 7 miler in December. I ran 6km in about 35 minutes (I stopped my Garmin too soon so just guessed the time for the last 0.5km). I felt good and am looking forward to getting in more miles!

My part of the world is looking truly splendid at the moment, as the leaves turn all shades of russet. Last weekend we went for a drive to the river, but the toddler fell asleep before we could get out and walk! Can’t think of a more beautiful spot to enjoy reading my kindle whilst the toddler naps though!

Bolton Abbey
Barden Tower in Bolton Abbey

What was I reading you ask? Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It’s based around the Nigerian Civil War and is a great read.

half-of-a-yellow-sun
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I first heard of Chimamanda through a cultural leadership course, and watched her TED Talk (The Danger of a Single Story). Whilst based on her own experience of growing up in Africa and then moving to the US, it’s extremely pertinent right now based on the sometimes hate-filled and divisive rhetoric of both the EU ‘leave’ referendum campaign in the UK and the Trump presidential campaign in the US. I haven’t watched her second TED Talk (We should all be feminists) but it’s on my to-do list!

Have a great 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

Eats of the Week

Now I have to admit, some of these Eats didn’t actually happen this week, but I found pictures on my phone so thought I’d share them all with you!

  1. Baked Paella
    Please don’t lynch me for my non-traditional take on paella, but this meal gives you all the garlicky, salty, spicy flavour of paella, and the texture, without the hassle of standing over a pan for hours. I shared the recipe back in 2013!

    20160428_204624 baked paella

  2. Dinner at The Ivy Chelsea Garden for my birthday
    I know, I know, my birthday was back in April, but I visited my sister in London a couple of weeks after and we treated ourselves to dinner at the Ivy Chelsea Garden. She’d just bought a new flat so it was a dual celebration. That meant, dual puddings!
    We had the chocolate bombe which was a chocolate globe covering heavenly combination of milk foam, honeycomb, ice cream and sauce
    Chocolate bombe
    We also had the Strawberry Shortcake Sundae – Poached strawberries, vanilla ice cream, shortcake, crème Chantilly and baked meringue
    strawberry shortcake sundae
    They were so, so good.
    For our main course, we’d had a selection of starters, side dishes and a fish main. Whatever you do, if you visit the restaurant, get a basket of the courgette fries!
  3. Courgette Spaghetti (again)
    I don’t think there’s a week goes by that I don’t have some take on my courgette spaghetti recipe!
    courgette spaghetti
  4. Pasta Bake
    I really wanted the comforting carb load of a pasta bake, without all of the calories and unhealthy fats, so I made a green pasta bake. I’ll share the recipe this weekend. To say it had a bout 1/4 of the cheese I would normally put in, it still tasted satisfying and stodgy! Just what I wanted.
    Pasta Bake

Hang on everyone, it’s nearly Friday!

If you try any of these recipes let me know in the comments!
xoxo

Recipe: Sweet Potato Curly Fries, Boursin and Eggs

Y’all know I love my spiralizer and this week I used it to make sweet potato curly fries for the first time!

My friend at work had tried but without success, so I was a bit dubious whether I could get fries that were crisp but not burnt or soggy.

Well, it was first time lucky and I managed to get crispy, flavorful curly fries that took about 20 minutes to cook in a hot oven and tasted delicious! I topped the fries with some Boursin (which I added 5 minutes before the end of the cooking), 2 eggs sunny side up and a small amount of grated applewood smoked cheddar.

Method

I had my oven at 400F/200C. I added 1 teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of dried chili flakes to the spirals and laid them out flat on a baking tray.

sweet potato curly fries

Half way through the cooking, i flipped them over to avoid burning them. There were a couple of pieces that were too charred to eat, so I just discarded them before adding my toppings – Boursin (of course), 2 fried eggs and a sprinkling of applewood smoked cheddar.

sweet potato curly fires with boursinfried eggs

sweet potato curly fires with boursin and fried egg sweet potato curly fires with boursin and fried eggsweet potato curly fires with boursin and fried egg

Have you tried making curly fries from any spiralized vegetables?
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.

image

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

image

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

image

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!

image

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

image

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

image

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