Tag: healthy eating

Feeling Fabulous and More Healthy Meals

I’m still on the hunt to make meals that are healthy, full of vegetables and made from scratch. It’s been tough, I won’t lie. The amount of time it takes to find meals to eat, plan a menu and shopping list in order to have meals that are healthy and that we actually we want to eat is immense! I know it’s because we’re trying new things and it’ll get easier and quicker, but it’s slightly overwhelming at times. Especially when you find a recipe to try and instead of taking the 50 minutes it says it takes to prep and cook, it takes an hour and a half and you don’t get to eat until 8pm. That’s really annoying. Please note, recipe writers, we don’t all have Michelin chef standard chopping skills!

Banana Berry Pancakes

banana berry pancakes

 

Regular readers will know that pancakes for breakfast is my favourite. However, eating lots of white flour makes my tummy unhappy so I’ve been looking for alternatives. This was another recipe that looked quite easy and delicious, but took me a little longer than anticipated! They take a bit longer to make than regular pancake mix and they weren’t as easy to cook as the mixture is quite sticky, hence the darker colour! I liked these and I especially liked the berry sauce that went with it. I might make them again, but I’ll probably try another recipe or two first.

Winter Tagine

Winter Tagine

I wrote about this last week and I’ve made it again for me to have for lunch. It works perfectly as a lunch, as it’s quick and easy to warm up, tastes delicious and is far more exciting than an egg sandwich. This time, I halved the amount of liquid and cooked it for longer, though I’m not sure how much longer, I just did it until it looked thick enough. The good news is, that in it’s reduced liquid state, my OH has said it can go back on the menu! Hurrah!

Quorn Paella

Quorn PaellaWe got this from the Quorn cookbook. It’s packed with veg, which is ace and it’s really, really nice. However, we think we used the wrong kind of rice and it took ages to cook. By ages, I mean at least an hour longer than anticipated. How we didn’t give up and get take away, I’ll never know! We will be making it again, though, as it was really tasty.

Pasta & Sausages with homemade sauce

Pasta & SausagesThis is our go-to super quick dinner. Quorn sausages, wholemeal pasta and a massive salad. It can be ready in about 10 minutes if you thaw the sausages out. We normally use a jar of Seeds of Change organic tomato and chilli sauce but I fancied making our own from scratch and came across this recipe on Pinterest. It was incredibly easy and I’ll definitely be using it again. I’m going to try and add some chilli next time to spice it up a bit but it was really good.

Lentil & Mushroom Ragu

Lentil & mushroom ragu

I had high hopes for this recipe. Not only is it full of veg and lentils (I feel super chuffed whenever I use lentils this days!) Plus, in the write up for the recipe, it said that it’s great for meat eaters. It took a bit longer to prepare (30 minutes instead of 10!) and a bit longer to cook (over an hour instead of 40 minutes!) than it states, but for me, it was well worth it. It was delicious. I’m glad there’s leftovers as it’s really good, really filling and healthy too. I’d like to think I’ll make it again, but knowing how long it takes, I’m not sure if I will.

I’ve found it quite frustrating this week, to be honest. I’ve been overtired a bit and staying on track has taken a huge amount of willpower, especially as I’m a reluctant cook at the best of times. However, we have stayed on track, which is nothing short of a miracle! I’ve been close to ordering take away more than once this week but have stayed strong and I’m sure it’ll pay off. I’ve already got a few recipes I want to try next week so I’m looking forward to testing them. Have you tried any new recipes this week? How did it go?

Feeling Fabulous with Healthy Dinners

One of the areas my diet has been lacking is not enough vegetables and too many carbs. This is something that I’ve been trying to rectify, especially with our evening meals. It’s not always easy, as I have little patience for cooking from scratch, plus I don’t always order the right thing from Tesco and then our good intentions fall by the wayside. (Hello Dominos). Plus, while I’m vegetarian, my OH isn’t. I won’t cook meat, mainly because I have completely forgotten how to, plus the feel/sight/smell of it really turns my stomach. So my OH pretty much eats a vegetarian diet at home too as it’s way more convenient. Therefore, whatever we cook has to be filling enough for him too. Purely veg meals just don’t cut it so every recipe is a work in progress. Here’s what we’ve tried this week.

Roast Vegetable Mozzarella Bake

roast veg bake

This was a labour of love. It’s not a quick dinner, as you have to let the aubergine sit with salt on for a while, then roast the veg before adding everything all together and baking it. We added a couple of Quorn fillets to give it a bit more meat. I really liked this, despite the aubergine, which isn’t one of my favourite vegetables. However, my OH realised that he doesn’t really like aubergine and promptly vetoed this recipe.

Slow Cooker Chickpea Coconut Curry

chickpea and cauliflower curry

This recipe was a long time coming and it was the first time we used our slow cooker, which we inherited from my mum. Because of that, it took me a few days to remember to sort it out at lunchtime. When I finally remembered, it was a joy knowing that dinner was cooking while I was working. No standing over the stove, a real revelation. I was slightly nervous though, not only in case we didn’t like it but also in case the slow cooker didn’t work! We followed the recipe, including the coconut rice. It was lovely and will definitely be a regular on our menu. I don’t think we’ll bother with the coconut rice again though, as it’s a bit of a faff.

Winter Tagine

I forgot to take a picture of this one, mainly because it took so long to cook, I was almost asleep by the time we ate. We followed the recipe to a T, but we didn’t think the sauce thickened enough in the time it says in the recipe. We cooked it for longer – almost an hour longer. We had couscous with it (I managed to ruin the first batch because I put too much liquid in. Yep.) and I really liked it. My OH did not. Not only was he unhappy by the length of time it took to cook, as I was too, but he doesn’t like a lot of sauce and this had quite a bit. I’m going to cook it again for lunch, but I’ll reduce the liquid by half, I think and see how that goes. Well worth trying though.

I’ve also tried a few new lunches this week, though my favourites are definitely the crustless quiche and lentil & feta salad I wrote about last week.

Warm Harissa Chickpea, Butternut and Courgette Salad

squash and harissa lunch

This was quite a brave lunch for me, as I’d never made anything with harissa before. Plus, courgette and I have a love/hate relationship, in that I love it when I can’t taste it! Apart from the courgette, I loved this. I would make it again, but I might switch out the courgette for pepper.

Lentil and Spinach Soup

lentil soupI’ve recently discovered the deliciousness of lentils and soup so thought this would be a good one to try. I used dried lentils, which I’d never done before, and the recipe called for red lentils, which I forgot to order. Plus, I blended it completely after cooking, because I’m not a fan of lumps – I get a flashback to a vegetable soup ‘incident’ I had as a child. Anyway, it turned out more like a lentil paste. Clearly, I needed to add way more water as I hadn’t prepped the lentils in any way, I just chucked them in. Lesson learned. It was delicious, despite it’s thickness and I’d definitely make it again.

My next recipe challenge will involve tofu. We’ve got one tofu recipe but I want to expand on this a bit and get a few more under my belt. If you’ve got any suggestions or great slow cooker recipes, I’d love to hear them!

Tuesday Treat – Smoothies

For years and years and years, I’ve turned my nose up at smoothies. I never found one that particularly appealed to me and making my own wasn’t an option as it meant I’d actually have do it! Well, I’ve recently become converted and practically have one everyday. It’s a perfect afternoon snack and a great way to get in extra good veggies. I haven’t experimented much beyond the Virgin Green Monster, but I have added blueberries to a few and have also tried the Chocolate Green Monster, because, lets face it, it turns the smoothie chocolatey! The other smoothie recipe I’ve tried is Laura’s Magical Cold Busting Smoothie as I was feeling a little under the weather over the weekend. It worked a treat and I’ll definitely use it next time the germs start to take hold!

cold busting smoothie

My love of smoothies even extends to Pinterest and I’ve started a board to try and collate some recipes to try. I’m not very brave when it comes to making up my own recipes. I worry about wasting stuff in case it tastes awful, so if you’ve got any good smoothie recipes, let me know! In order to try and expand my smoothie repertoire, I’m taking part in the Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish Green Smoothie challenge.

KHGS-green-smoothie-challengeI’ll do a post each week to share the smoothies that I try and I’ll post pictures over on Instagram of my daily smoothie. My aim is to try and be a bit more adventurous with my smoothie recipes. Will you be taking part? Are you a lover of smoothies too?

 

Feeling Fabulous and Healthy Eating

I’ve spent most of my life counting calories, working out sneaky (& unhealthy) ways of making sure I can eat junk food. Where has it landed me? In my early/mid thirties, still hating my body, still unable to fit into most of my wardrobe and being fed up to the back teeth of diets that DO NOT work. The reason they don’t work is that I have the attention span of a gnat and can only stick to them for a short amount of time, then I get bored and hit up Dominos. Fed up of swinging between feast and famine, I started the Feeling Fabulous 12 week course. It’s amazing! I know I’ve always been a rubbish vegetarian (there’s no meat in chocolate, right?!) so I finally feel like I’m eating like a proper veggie and a proper grown up. It’s not easy, because every meal takes planning and organising, making sure I do the online shop right (which I don’t!) but I’m never hungry, I’m not craving anything and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything. Take a look at some of my recent meals, most of which have come from Laura’s ace blog, Keeping Healthy Getting Stylish.

berry baked oatmeal
I’ve been enjoying Berry Baked Oatmeal for breakfast

carrot soupCarrot & Cumin soup from the Soup for Every Day recipe book

lentil saladLentil and Feta salad with chilli, lemon and mint

crustless quicheRed Onion and Feta Crustless Quiche

This is what I’ve been enjoy for lunch. So delicious. I never thought I’d willingly buy a tin of lentils and actually use them! They were delicious. Everything is also really easy & quick to make.

For snacks, I’ve been enjoying lovely fruit, smoothies and a delicious homemade chai cake.

watermelonI’ve always stuck with boring ol’ apples and got fed up of them very quickly. No more, my friend. I love watermelon and pineapple so I’m enjoying them much more often.

green smoothie

I’ve never really been a fan of smoothies, but now, I’m almost addicted. I love my afternoon Green Monster and have even started a Pinterest board for recipes that I want to try.

chai cakeI came across this recipe for a Flourless Cinnamon Chai Fruit Cake on Pinterest and knew I had to give it a whirl. While I’m not following a gluten free diet, my tummy is happier when I limit white flour and such like. This cake is delicious and I’m in love with the recipes on Wallflower Girl’s blog!

This week, I’m taking on our evening meals with a vengeance so tune in next week to see how they went!

How do you make sure you get enough fruit and veg in your day to day diet? Are you a smoothie addict? What’s your favourite recipe?