Tag Archives: Food

Can you help me with healthy eating?

12 Apr

I started this year with great intentions of eating more healthily. I was frustrated that I wasn’t really eating five fruit or veg a day when it’s really not hard if you plan your meals right.

For breakfast I would have some juice, and cereal or porridge with dried or fresh fruit and I was getting 3 or 4 of my five-a-day before I left for work. I replaced more unhealthy snacks with seeds and crackers and planned healthy meals packed full of vegetables.

Our new years resolution helped because without the option of nipping out for take-away food I had to plan what we would eat and I had to cook every night. We wasted less food and saved money.

Sounds great, right? Well life tends to get in the way sometimes. Getting ill seems to have knocked everything off balance for us at the moment. I haven’t been cooking, I haven’t been shopping, I haven’t really been cleaning and my new years resolution has gone down the drain. I’ve just been rushing around dreaming of the moment that I can walk through the door and collapse into bed.

More annoyingly I know that it is a catch 22 situation. If I don’t eat properly then I’ll have less energy to get better and actually enjoy life. Arrggh!

My sweet friend Gill is currently taking part in a project called Raw Food Rehab which intrigues me. It’s an 11 week programme called Go Fresh! where you have to try and eat as much raw, fresh food as you can. I won’t be taking part as hubby won’t really want to play along, but it’s a good principle to be thinking of when you plan meals.

Anyway, in order to try and get myself back on track I need your help {and I need to sleep for a 1000 years}. Please can you comment or link me to some quick, simple but nutritious meals or let me have your tips for healthy eating in a rush?

Thanks friends! 🙂

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Sausage and Bean One-Pot

26 Jan

I tried this recipe from BBC Good Food the other day. It’s really yummy, and quick and easy to make, and it’s a one-pot which means less washing up – score! 

This recipe is meant to serve 4, but I halved it for two and it served us for one and a half meals (e.g. three portions!).

  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 8 good-quality pork sausages (Toulouse or Sicilian varieties work well)
  • 2 carrots , halved lengthways and sliced
  • 2 Onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 x 410g cans mixed beans in water, rinsed and drained
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard

 

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Sizzle the sausages for about 6 mins, turning occasionally, until brown on all sides, then remove to a plate. Tip the carrots and onions into the pan, then cook for 8 mins, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft. Add the vinegar to the pan, then stir in the drained beans. Pour over the stock, nestle the sausages in with the beans, then simmer everything for 10 mins.

 

(Can we just take a moment to admire my deliciously lurid wipe-clean table cloth which I got for £1? Apparently it doesn’t like being wiped with kitchen cleaner, because about an hour after this photo was taken it became a whole lot less lurid, and more of a purple and white swirly mess).

2. Scatter in the frozen peas, cook for 2 mins more until heated through, then take off the heat and stir in the mustard. Season to taste. Serve scooped straight from the pan.

Growing up

5 Nov

When was the first time you truly felt like an adult?

A couple of weeks ago I was in a Mediterranean restaurant with about twenty of our friends for a birthday celebration. During the evening I gazed around as people relaxed round two huge circular dining tables, pouring wine, mixing up dressing from the bottles of Spanish vinegar and oil and laughingly passing round olives and crusty bread.

It suddenly struck me that I am an ADULT. No one organised for me to be there. I wasn’t just tagging along with my parents. I was there because I was part of a group of intelligent, engaging people who liked me for who I am.

Now, this might seem a little random and I’m certainly not saying I feel immature or out of my depth. It was just one of those light bulb moments where you feel how did this happen? When did I make the transformation from gawky teenager, to shy student to happy-as-I-am adult. Weird.

I guess all of this has been going round in my head because we are making some big decisions at the moment. In the next couple of weeks we will be taking another step towards our future, and will be finding out whether the door we’re pushing is going to be opened wider or slammed in our faces.

We’ve also recently found that a couple of our close friends are having a baby. They are the first in our close friendship group and it just makes you realise that we are getting to the age where loads of our friends seem to getting married and having babies.

 I wonder if people look at Josh and I and think we have it all together? I’ve already made the link between ‘growing up’ and ‘getting married’ – and we’ve been married for over two years. While, I’m not saying I feel immature (in fact Josh and I have had to deal with lots of situations that you could say are beyond our years), I’m not saying I feel like I have it all together either…

 I’ve got a feeling that becoming an adult is one of those mythical statuses that you aim to achieve as a child. Like turning 16 or 18…when you actually get there it doesn’t feel any different.

 So…a question for you. When was the first time that you felt like a real adult?

Things to do while on holiday: Stuff your face

22 Aug

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If I could sum up us on holiday in one word it would be: fat pigs

Okay, that’s two. But you get the gist.

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We seemed to spend an uncommon amount of time consuming good food and drink, and it was wonderful!

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(Just incase you’re wondering, we were holding a living funeral for Anna here, you know – like you do)

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Tea and chocolate round the kitchen table, scones and hot chocolates in stately home cafes, milkshakes and cookies in city centre Marks and Spencer’s (civilisation!), picnics by a lake and then straight back to the pub for more cake, anyone?

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(Please note that I do not condone eating scones like this. Please consume sensibly, the Devon way. Cream and THEN jam. Thank you.)

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But the best place we visited was this…

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The pub in the village a mile down the road from our cottage had such a great atmosphere, not to mention 105 different whiskeys for Josh to get excited about.

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AND they had very good food.

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Yes…I ate this.

Take note family. Remember, I’m the one that used to hate eating food in restaurants?

Not anymore! Bring on the meat.

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Strawberries and Cream

25 Jul

One of the things I love about summer is strawberries and cream. Plump, juicy British strawberries and lashings of golden Devonshire clotted cream. Yummy.

strawberry and cream

But when I started going out with Josh something weird happened. I found out that not everyone eats strawberries and cream like my family do. In fact Josh’s family found my strawberry eating habits hilarious.

But what could be better than simply grabbing a strawberry, dipping in a big dollop of thick golden cream, plonking it in some sugar and munching it on down. Mmm…my arteries are furring just thinking about it.

Who wants to spend time chopping up strawberries and sprinkling on sugar? And don’t even get me started on pouring on double cream. It brings me joy that I have converted Josh to my way of eating strawberries and cream…even if the only reason is that it makes less washing up.

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So, how do you eat strawberries and cream? Are you a fellow dunker, or are you more civilised in your approach?
Is there anything that you have done for years only to find out that other people find it weird and hilarious?

Happy Saturday!

Raspberry and White Chocolate Trifle

10 Jul

Trifle

Just a quick and simple post because my brain is completely fried from learning Welsh and I can hardly string a sensible sentence together (Welsh is going well by the way. It’s hard but I’m loving it).

This recipe is amazing. It’s fairly simple to make but looks impressive and tastes great! I think I originally got it from a BBC Good Food Magazine so I’m not taking any credit! The only change I have made is that I use good quality raspberry jam (heated up) instead of coulis because no where seems to sell it in Aber. I also didn’t use the kisch because I couldn’t be bothered to buy any!!!

White Chocolate & Raspberry Trifle 

225g white chocolate
4 egg yolks
50g sugar
300ml milk
300ml double cream
1 large swiss roll
2 tbsp kisch
450g raspberries (I used less than this – about 300g and it was okay)
8tbsp raspberry coulis

  1. The day before serving put 50g of the chocolate in the fridge then roughly chop the rest. Cream together the egg yolks and sugar until pale. Put the milk and cream intoa pan and bring almost to the boil, then pour this onto the egg mixture, stirring all the time. Put the mixture back into the pan and stir with a wooden spoon on a low heat until it thickens.
  2. Take the pan from the heat and add chopped chocolate. Stir in to melt and leave the custard to cool.
    Then cut up the swiss roll into finger-thick slices and place them round the base of a serving dish (it looks more impressive if you use a glass one!) and sprinkle with the kisch. Cover with 300g of the raspberries and the coulis, the pour over the custard and leave to set.
  3. When you are ready to serve, decorate with the remaining raspberries and grate the rest of the chocolate over the top. Serve and enjoy!

Beautiful Bream

14 Jun

You wouldn’t think that cooking Bream could cause such confusion as it did on Friday night. Trying to organise people to come and help us eat it was a nightmare! People could come, then they couldn’t, then they might be coming, and then other people turned up instead. It isn’t normally that hard to give away free food.

But when we finally got round to eating it, mmmm it was good. I’ve never eaten Bream before so it was good to try something new. It was more meaty than fish such as Sea Bass but still flaked off the bone and melted in the mouth.

 Olives, parsley, oil and garlic

I boiled 800g of small potatoes and then cut them into slices and mixed it with 2 handfuls of black olives, some olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and half a bunch of chopped parsley, and put it in the base of two medium dishes.

 Bream - before cooking

I then placed the parsley stalks in the cavity of the fish, seasoned it and placed one in each dish before drizzling it with oil.

 I put it in a hot oven (gas mark eight) for 15 minutes and then added a small glass of white wine to each dish before roasting it for another 15 minutes.

Roasted Bream

We served it with crusty bread, goats cheese, salad and dressing.

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This a really, really easy way of cooking fish but it looks impressive when you bring the whole fish to the table to serve from the dish. We certainly got the thumbs up from our guests.

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Ants in your pants!

16 May

We visited Yarner Wood on Dartmoor today. Even though I grew up on Dartmoor I have never visited the reserve before. My only memory of it is when it was almost destroyed by a huge fire twelve years ago, which was luckily stopped just before it reached the woodland. We lived miles away but we could still see the leaping flames right over the horizon. I was convinced we were going to be burnt in our beds so eventually had to be sent to my room with the curtains closed!!

Yarner Wood

Today everything was bursting with spring beauty.
However, you couldn’t look up at the canopy for too long without looking down to find your legs covered with ants! There are loads of nests throughout the woodland and that meant in places the paths were crawling with the insects, which made me paranoid for the whole day as I was sure I had ants up my trouser legs!

Wood AntsWe then drove up onto the moor and climbed a very cold and windy Tor. On the top we found two letterboxes, which are an old fashioned version of geocaching. It’s basically like treasure hunting – you just follow clues to try and find boxes hidden all over the moor which contain a rubber stamp and a book which you sign. It’s good fun, and often leads you off the beaten track and into some of the most beautiful areas of Dartmoor.

Dartmoordartmoor 2 And then it was off to Widecombe-in-the-moor for a Devonshire cream tea!