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

Lent – Will I get food Absolution this year?

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday (read: pancake day) so that means today is the start of Lent. Traditionally a time where Christians seek forgiveness (Shrove means to forgive) and would fast.

In 2015 I gave up chocolate for Lent, and last year I did Dry January. This year I’m back off the chocolate (except cacao nibs as I top my smoothies with them, plus they don’t taste like chocolate anyway) for the next six weeks.*

*Disclaimer – my Birthday falls 3 days before Easter Sunday, so I may have a slice of my favourite cake – vanilla and chocolate marble sponge then.

THE vanilla and chocolate marble sponge cake
THE vanilla and chocolate marble sponge cake

I like having these short-term challenges that aren’t too widespread that they’re restrictive,and yet they do make you think consciously about the eating decisions you make.

It’s too easy to reach for chocolate. It’s EVERYWHERE! I’ve already eaten more Easter chocolate this year than I normally do all Easter! Don’t get me started on the commercialisation of Easter and supermarkets having eggs in stock before you’ve taken your Christmas tree down. Crazy.

So I’m stocking my fruit bowl, taking a trick from Ali @ Inspiralized by snacking on raw nuts and unsweetened dried fruit, and upping the vegetables.

More times than not I’m opting for meat-free meals, I’ve even substituted chicken for Quorn twice in the past couple of weeks, just don’t tell Hubby, he hasn’t noticed;-)

My treat will be fluff with peanut butter and maybe the occasional non-chocolate Krispy Kreme, but no chocolate!

I’ll keep you updated on my chocolate fasting. Are any of you giving up anything for Lent?

xoxo

 

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

 

Where’s my coffee, it’s Monday!

A Sunday well spent brings a week of content

It’s Monday again, and whilst I may not have spent my Sunday fully preparing for the week ahead, we did manage to have a fun-packed couple of days spent with family and friends and I’m ready for the week ahead!

We spent some time at a new farm shop that has opened and sells fresh fruits, vegetables and meat, all very reasonably priced and so lovely to look at!

Keelham Farm Shop

They also have an in-store bakery with delicious pastries, so I treated me and the toddler to Saturday morning croissants! To be honest, the treat was more for me, she ate some normal toast after refusing the flaky pastry, but that meant more for me so I wasn’t complaining:-)

I made a delicious mezze last night for dinner and will share some of the elements later this week in a recipe post!

I didn’t do any exercise except walking around the park and town with the little one, a lot! But I did do some squats, I might  make it into a July Squat Challenge, would anyone else want to do it?

Drum roll please – after upping my exercise a little bit and making more of an effort to eat consciously, I’m down 1lb since last week to 160lb! Only 6lb to go to reach my goal for the end of August!

Did you all have a good 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

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

 

Winter Greens with Pancetta and Poached Egg

When the night’s get longer and the weather gets colder it can be hard to stick to healthy eating, when all you want is something warm and filling. Let’s be honest, salad is the last thing you want to eat!

So I present my winter green veg with pancetta and poached egg – the perfect winter warmer when you don’t have much time and don’t want to load up on starchy carbs, but so want to feel full and satisfied.

Ingredients (For 1 Serving):

1 x Leek – thinly sliced

1/4 Savoy cabbage – thinly sliced

Handful of spinach leaves

Handful of Brussels sprouts – peeled and halved

5 strips of pancetta

1 x egg

Salt and pepper

Method:

Boil a pan with salted water and put a frying pan on a high heat

Add the leeks, sprouts and cabbage to the simmering water for 7-10 minutes until tender, then drain in a sieve and put aside

In the same pan that the vegetables were cooked in, boil more water and drop an egg in to poach

Meanwhile, cook the pancetta until crispy in the dry frying pan (you don’t need extra oil as the pancetta will produce a lot of oil)

Turn the heat down, drain the excess oil from the pan and cut or tear the pancetta into bite size pieces

Add the leeks, sprouts and cabbage to the frying pan with the pancetta, and add the spinach so that everything combines and the spinach wilts

The egg should now be cooked

Place the vegetable and pancetta mixture on a plate and top with the egg

ENJOY!

Top Tip…If you need some starchy carbs, add some cooked new potatoes and add these to the pancetta as it is frying to boost their flavour!