Tag: food

Healthy Summer Meals

Okay, brace yourself. This is quite a heavy picture post! I’ve been slipping back into bad food habits lately. I’m busy, hot, tired and this means I’ve not been planning my meals, which is always bad news for my waistline and good news for Dominos. After sorting out my wardrobe and seeing how close I was to fitting in some of my favourite old clothes, I knew I had to get back on track. But with this heat, where on earth do you start?! Pinterest is where.

I wanted quick, light, healthy recipes that required minimal cooking and time in the kitchen. Our kitchen is very small and heats up super quick. Not ideal when just blinking causes you break out in a sweat. Here’s what I’ve been eating lately.

:: Breakfast ::

granola and berries

Granola, blueberries, almonds and Greek yoghurt.

Nice and simple, this is a quick throw-everything-in-the-bowl-and-choff breakfast. This is a shop bought granola, but it has way too many raisins for my liking so I will be making my own at some point soon.

chia seed porridge

Chia Seed Porridge

I use the recipe from Honestly Healthy for Life cookbook and it’s delicious. I was a little unsure about the chia seeds beforehand, but this has fast become my favourite breakfast.

:: Snacks ::

raspberry yogs strawberry snack Plums Green smoothie coffee and rice cakes chocolate treat cinnamon rollHomemade raspberry & yoghurt ice lolly // Strawberries with almonds & natural yoghurt // Local plums // Green Smoothie // Organic coffee & chocolate covered rice cakes // Raw chocolate & Teapigs Rooibos tea // Cinnamon Roll from Modern Baker

:: Main Meals ::

pea and parsley fritters chickpea burritos zesty lime salad spagetti bolognaise salad pittas summer rice bowl crustless quiche chickpea and feta saladZesty pea & parsley fritters with spiced roasted sweet potatoes // Vegan chickpea burritos // Quinoa summer salad // Spaghetti Bolognaise from Honestly Healthy for Life // Hummus & salad pittas // Summer Veggie Rice Bowl // Crustless Quiche // Chickpea & feta salad //

I have quite enjoyed finding these new recipes and have a few more up my sleeve that I’d like to try. On the whole, they have been quick, easy, light and refreshing. The homemade lollies didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped, but they were a bit of a test run. I needed more yoghurt and less raspberries. We’ve really been trying to eat well recently. It’s not easy when you’re tired and hot and know you’ll have to clean up after as well (Have I reminded you lately that I’m very lazy when it comes to food?!) Plus, we’re trying to buy as locally as possible, which means making sure the shopping list is ready to go to the local farm shops and leave enough time to hit up the supermarket for any of the other bits that we can’t get. I’ve also ordered from Goodness Direct, which has lots of really good things, with a decent delivery. I even ordered frozen edamame beans from there, as they’re a real favourite of mine and can just nibble on them.

How about you? Have you got any go-to salads that you swear by when it’s hot? If you’ve got a good homemade ice lolly recipe, let me know!

Dim Sum and Sushi Steam at Miele

Last week, I spent a day making (and then eating until I could eat no more!) sushi and dim sum. I was invited to attend the (c/o) Dim Sum and Sushi Steam at Miele Experience centre in Abingdon.

Miele

Despite living just up the road, I’d never been to Miele before but I pretty much want to move in! They’ve got a coffee area, wifi and lovely loos. They hold cooking classes covering a wide range of topics and the Dim Sum and Sushi steam is a new class. Apart from me, there was another blogger, Jo, a journalist and some keen sushi makers! Cooking was done using the steam combi ovens, which are a complete revelation and put my very unreliable oven to shame. (I have such kitchen envy!) The day started with sushi.

Steamed Rice

The rice was soaked for a few hours before being steamed in the oven. Once that was done, making up the sushi was a pretty quick and easy task.

Selection of veggie fillings: gerkin, peppers and cucumber

Veggie Fillings

Next step: Cut your nori sheet in half

Nori Sheets

Next, add a thin layer of super sticky rice

Sushi Making

Then add your filling but don’t be too greedy or the rolls won’t close

Veggie Sushi

Using the mat, roll it up. Don’t worry about the straggly end – that’s for the chef!

Homemade Sushi

And voila! Here’s the sushi that I made! Tasted so good!

Veg sushi

Mixed sushi

Eating Sushi

Once everyone had finished making their sushi, we got to eat it! We also had wasabi, pickled ginger and wasabi mayonnaise to go with it. The wasabi mayo was amazing!

After lunch, it was time to turn our attention to the dim sum. We were making sweet and savoury buns too so there was lots to be getting on with.

Dim Sum

Dim Sum pastry

Mushroom fillingMaking Dim SumMushroom Dim Sum

Veggie Dim Sum

Mushroom rolls

The dim sum was really quick and easy to make. I made a mushroom filling to go inside, which had to cool for a bit, while we made the pastry. Then I added the filling to the little pastry circles and made a number of teeny tiny parcels. These were then steamed for about 4 minutes and were delicious! I also made a few savoury buns with the mushroom filling, which were so moreish. While we were all making savoury dim sum and buns, the teachers were making sweet buns that were delicious! I could’ve eaten a million of them!

Sweet rolls

Cashew and peanut butter roll

 

Despite the fact that I’m not very confident in the kitchen, the course was great fun. The kitchen was amazing, everything was set out really well and we could take some of the sweet buns home with us too, which my OH was really pleased with! I didn’t realise until after that it was the first time the course had run, as it worked really well and I would definitely recommend it. If only I could’ve taken home a few appliances too… 🙂

What food would you most like to be able to make?

* Disclosure: I attended the course free of charge, opinions are my own.

Review – Mograna Red Wine

Let me preempt this review by saying that I’m not a wine connoisseur. But I know what I like and I like red wine. I don’t mind a rosé in the summer and there’s always room for a G&T, but when it comes down to red or white, it’s always, always red wine for me. I’m not a big drinker and can make a bottle last a whole weekend, but there’s something about buying a good quality bottle of wine and savouring it. We usually get our wine from a wine shop, buy a case or two (as it works out cheaper, meaning you can buy a more expensive wine) and stock up. The trick is to buy a selection initially and make a note of the wines you like, so that next time, you can buy more of the wines you like. I’ve yet to find a red wine I didn’t like, so when I was asked to review a bottle of wine, I jumped at the chance!

Mograna WineI was sent a bottle of (c/o) Mongrana Maremma Toscana from Roberson Wines to try and boy was I looking forward to it. My plan was to sit in the finished garden, enjoying a large glass while surveying all the beautiful flowers we’d planted. However, the weather had other ideas so I enjoyed it while sitting on the sofa instead! It’s a lovely wine that works really well on its own or with food. I ate both a Thai takeaway and some chocolate and the wine complimented both. I couldn’t tell you about notes of this or that, but it’s a delicious wine, perfect for a relaxing Saturday night. It’s definitely gone on my list of favourite wines!

How about you? Are you a red wine fan? What’s your favourite tipple?

*Disclosure: I was sent the bottle of wine for review purposes. As ever, opinions are my own.

National Vegetarian Week and Freedom Mallows

Happy #VeggieWeek everyone! I’ve been a vegetarian for over 10 years now and there isn’t much I miss. Not bacon, not steak, not turkey at Christmas. Occasionally I wouldn’t mind a tuna sandwich and until I found out you could get vegetarian fizzy cola bottles, I missed those too. I used to love Flumps but found that veggie marshmallows couldn’t really compete so gave up on them years ago. So when I was asked to review (c/o) Freedom Mallows, I was eager to try them. And what better way than to have some in a hot chocolate!

hot cho

I’ve been trying Choc Shot recently too as I’ve struggled to find a low calorie hot chocolate that wasn’t full of nasties. I was sent a mixture of micro and regular sized mallows and after an hour and a half of ironing, I decided I deserved a treat.

Warm milk

We don’t have a microwave so I heated up my soya milk on the stove. I was making enough for my OH too – as soon as I said mallows, he said he wanted in! I use unsweetened soya milk and use it in everything. It works perfectly and as it doesn’t have much flavour, it takes on flavours really well.

veggie marshmallows

Once I’d made my hot chocolate and my OH’s horlicks, I added a handful of the micro mallows to each cup. They were amazing! And perfect for snacking on while the milk is heating too.

marshmallow hot chocThe regular sized mallows are just as delicious and perfect for non-veggies too, as my OH loves them too. They’re quite sweet, so I can’t eat too many of them, which is probably a good thing! I’d like to try them in a cake too so if you have any good recipes that include marshmallows, then let me know!

Disclosure: I was sent the Freedom Mallows to review, but as always, my opinion is my own.