Thursday, 26 June 2014

Where am I now?

Hi Foodies!

Here is a quick post to let any new readers or any older loyal readers (thank you!) know why there is a severe lack of posts on The Pescetarian Pantry!




Amongst other things, like finishing University and starting work - in short, I am not longer a pescetarian & am now vegetarian. While this choice has made me happy I do feel sad that I can no longer really keep up with a 'pescetarian' blog and truly make it successful in helping those who are searching for pescetarian guidance and recipes. 

I have put a lot of effort into this blog over these couple of years and love it so of course The Pescetarian Pantry will remain live in case the recipes and information provide useful for people :) 

While I am comfortable with my lifestyle choices right now, who knows, I may return to the pescetarian lifestyle in the future! If this happens you guys will be the first to know :)

But for now where can you reach me?! 

For constant updates please check out my instagramgreeneatinggeorgia  

or twitter (not so loved by me, I just don't understand the whole thing! :P) twitter.com/GeorgiaEliza20

This isn't really goodbye! Just a diverging of paths for a while & who knows where they will take us! Feel free to join me over on instagram & of course continue to browse this blog for pescetarian info/discussion! 

I will reply to all comments/questions still and keep a check on activity so please enjoy :) 




Friday, 23 May 2014

Healthy Kidney Bean Brownies!

Hi Foodies!

Super quick post today as I have to get back to revising for my final University exam but I wanted to share this very simple and surprisingly gorgeous brownie recipe using... kidney beans?!! 


I was a little sceptical about these I must admit but I have seen lots of chickpea recipes online for brownies so I thought why not give it a go? Well, I didn't have any chickpeas that's why. 

But- I rummaged around my kitchen cupboards and grabbed some kidney beans instead & they worked so well. I don't know what chickpea brownies are like but to be honest I don't feel I missed out in any way & as kidney beans are brown (ish) they look just a like a 'normal' brownie so they automatically don't feel or look like a 'healthy' alternative. 

I honestly think you could serve these to any one (they are vegan/refined sugar free too by the way!) & they wouldn't know until you told them. If you told them....mwahahaha! But I would just to see their faces!

Ingredients

1 can kidney beans drained
1/2 cup nut butter choice (I used peanut, obviously....!)
1/4 to 1/2 cup natural sweetener (I used honey but you could use agave)
1/4 cup mashed banana
1/4 cup dried fruit (I used dates)
1 cup oats
1 cup flour of choice
1/2 cup cocoa 
1/4 cup coffee (optional but I feel it added to the 'chocolatey' flavour... and I like coffee)
1 tsp cinnamon/nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (optional if vegan but it adds nice texture and binds well)

1) Simply blend up. That is it.

2) Although I would recommend blending first (depending on size of food blender) beans, nut butter, sweetener and spices with perhaps the coffee. You may need splash water/milk to help blend - just add carefully as you go. Don't rush, take your time to blend it will be worth it.

3) Then add everything else, just half quantities first if you are struggling to blend together then add the other half.

4) In pre-heated oven of 180C/350F bake in a baking dish (think a brownie pan) for 30-40 minutes. My pan was deep and small so 7 inch by 7 inch and took around 40 minutes and maybe could have done with a tad longer to be honest. Leave to cool in pan and there you go! Remove carefully. 



Once you have made these you can try alternative spices or quantities of things like sweeteners to suit your tastes. 

I would recommend using all natural, unsweetened nut butters as then you can control the quantities of added sweeteners and it is much healthier :) I mean if you are eating a brownie made with kidney beans why not go all out on the health right?!

The sky is your limit with these...the real question is:
What beans to try next....?!

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Broccoli Vegan Pesto & Super Simple Pepper Crackers!

Hi Foodies!

I tried out a few new recipes this week (did you see my last weeks post Gluten Free Banana & Date Cake + my baking essentials?) and I think you guys might like them!

These are both savoury although the crackers could be altered for sweeter palettes by just adding a little sugar and mixed spice! I have really wanted to try a home made version of pesto, not only to know exactly what has gone into it, but also to make 100% vegetarian as the majority of pestos contain parmesan which is not veggie friendly. 

Vegan Broccoli Pesto!


This was very simple, quick and inexpensive to make - check out that green!

1) Chop up 1 head of broccoli (to make around 1 + 1/2 cups worth of pesto) and cook (either steam or boil) for 5 minutes only and then plunge into ice cold water. This stops the cooking process and means that gorgeous dark green colour stays! Leave to cool in the water.

2) Blend up 3 cloves garlic, juice + zest of one lemon, 1 cup pine nuts (although you could use a mix of nuts - pine nuts are traditional), 2/3 cup olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.  I also added a little dried basil and oregano but this is optional. 

3) Drain the broccoli and soak up the water with paper towels. Really get the broccoli as dry as possible. Then blend it up with the other ingredients!

4) Check seasoning and there you go! This will keep sealed in the fridge for 5 days or so and I recommend using 1 large tbsp per person. I loved this with the fresh Tesco Tomato & Basil Tortelloni - works beautifully and is so easy as cooks in 5 minutes! 


Something you may like to enjoy with the pesto (because let's face it, pesto can basically be like a garlic green spread! I love that kind of thing... is that just me?!) is a home cooked pepper cracker...

Super Simple Black Pepper Crackers 


1) To make these crackers simply blend up a cup and 1/2 worth of oats to make a fine powder.

2) This mix this with a cup of flour of your choice, some salt, lots of cracked black pepper, rosemary (optional), cup of warm water & 4 tbsp olive oil. Mix this up to form a dough - if too wet add a little flour.

3) Cut into shapes and then bake for 10-15 minutes at 175C! Careful- these will brown quickly if not watched.

You could make these sweet if you wished with a little sugar and cinnamon! Super simple, but also super delicious and the toppings are endless. 

Although I can recommend the pesto :)

Happy Eating!

P.S In my next post... healthy kidney bean brownies??! 
YES - I can assure you they taste much better than they sound!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Gluten Free, Sugar Free Banana Date Cake! + Essential Baking Ingredients


Hi Foodies!

I feel like I should start calling this blog a clever baking name or something as that is where most of my focus is at the moment! ( I blame revision procrastination...!). 

As soon as I experience some lovely fish food I will let you guys know straight away my fellow pescetarians I promise!

I love experimenting with healthier desserts and bakes - not only do they often need fewer ingredients than 'normal' cakes I think the ingredients are easy to find as often they are lurking in the back of my cupboard and on the whole they are much healthier! Once you have a store of 'essential' cupboard ingredients you are good to go on many healthier sweet treats.


Essential healthy baking ingredients I find useful:
  • Honey / agave syrup
  • Eggs
  • Flour (gluten free / rye / coconut - I think have a couple for alternatives or of course just g/f if you wish)
  • Dried fruit (essential sweetener - I like dates and sultanas)
  • Nut butters or regular butter (I love use peanut butter, the natural variety, as a butter replacement in bakes, they also add a great flavour and are dairy free)
  • Dried spices (for flavour, cinnamon & nutmeg)
  • Dark chocolate is very useful (toppings, extra flavour etc.)
  • Chia seeds (you can use these as a binder if you wish not to use eggs! Mix 1 tbsp chia with 3 tbsp water and allow to sit and soak for hour or two)
  • Nuts/seeds (added crunch/flavour)
  • Vanilla essence (there are other great flavours too like almond or mint)
  • (optional!) Date syrup!!! Check out my previous recipe post on this - my new fave sweetener) 

All my recipes basically revolve around these ingredients!


Date and Banana Gluten Free Cake (no refined sugar)


Ingredients

3 medium ripe bananas mashed
200 gluten free flour
2 large eggs -whisk well so frothy
75 grams dried fruit ( I used some chopped dates and sultanas)
20 grams chopped nuts (optional)
100 g butter melted
2 tbsp date syrup + 1 tbsp honey (you can lessen this if you wish)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg 
3-5 drops vanilla essence 
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt


1)Melt in a pan gently the syrup and honey with the butter in a pan so combined. 

2) Cream this mix into the flour and baking powder and add the eggs slowly. Add in the bananas, vanilla, dried fruit and dried spices/salt. 

3) In a medium sized round tin, although feel free to use whatever tin you like, pour in the mix. I like to line my tin beforehand to avoid sticking. Put into the preheated oven (180C/350F).

4) Bake for 45 minutes, it may take longer or possibly slightly shorter depending on your oven. Mine is a convection oven so took around 50 minutes. Check cooked by inserting a knife and seeing if it comes out clean - if so your done!

5) Cool on wire rack before enjoying. 


While it was cooling I drizzled over some honey for added sweetness and it looked pretty :) In the past I have sprinkled over shaved almonds onto the honey which is lovely.


If you liked this why not check out:






Monday, 5 May 2014

Quick & Easy Date Syrup!

Hi Foodies!

Here is a super simple and easy recipe for an all-natural sweetener you can use for baking as a sugar replacement or as a spread for pancakes... really anything! 


Dates are great as a natural sweet fix, are full of dietary fibre, contain great vitamins of your eyes (A & K) as well as tannins, vitamin B6, copper and magnesium! They really are a super food.


You will need (for around a cups worth)

cup of pitted dates, chopped roughly
hot water
pinch salt 
pinch cinnamon

1) Chop the dates (I buy mine from Poundland!) and put in a bowl.

2) Cover with boiling water and mix in a pinch salt (to really enhance the flavour of the dates) and the cinnamon. Cover with a plate and leave for hour or two stirring now and then. As you can see my 'syrup' was super thick, more like a puree, so you may wish to add more water than I did (I just covered the dates) if you want a runnier mix.

3) When the dates are squidgy (technical term), soft and most of the water has been soaked up - blend carefully if still warm and then leave to cool!

4) You can keep this in the fridge in a sealed container for up to two weeks! 



While this is natural and much better than using golden syrup etc. - this is VERY sweet as the dates taste like caramel (nature's candy!) and it is a very concentrated flavouring. It is almost like a toffee mix.

So, I recommend using a little to begin with and seeing how much you like. 
If you are baking and fancy making something with reduced or no refined sugar, try swapping some sugar with this to create a very moist, sweet cake.  
I think it would work well mixed through granola before baking!


Enjoy! xx

Saturday, 5 April 2014

2 Minute Quinoa Chocolate Microwave Cake!

Cake.

2 minutes.

Healthy.

Have I got your attention?



For a while now I swear everyone has been obsessed with microwave single-serve cakes - probably because I am surrounded by students and most students would live off cake if they could! These are great as they give you a quick dessert but generally are not the healthiest. My 'clean' version is inspired from here, takes just as few ingredients and is just as quick as your regular 'mug' cake!

These use quinoa flakes which cook in hardly any time at all compared to regular quinoa. You should be able to buy them at most health food shops at around £5. Aside from the egg, quinoa and banana you can pretty much let your imagination go wild!



I chose some dark chocolate which I roughly chopped along with some nuts, cinnamon and that is it! Other great additions would be dried fruit, chia seeds, cacao nibs, agave syrup, honey, almonds... whatever takes your fancy :)

Simply mix up the ingredients of your choosing and 'bake' in microwavable ramekins or small dishes. Microwave for 2 minutes and you are done!


Carefully turn out and serve then and there as this is when they are at their fluffiest. We re-heated one and it was fine but a lot heavier - which is often the way with microwave cooking.

I served mine with half an alpro vanilla dessert and fresh fruit. They are not the prettiest of cakes but they sure taste pretty fine in my opinion! 


With only 5 basic ingredients I think I will be eating a lot more of these from now on...!


You may also like:

Healthy Coconut Cake
Dark & Decadent Chocolate Cake
Bannock Tea Loaf
Healthy Breakfast Muffins
The 2 Ingredient Super Cookie!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

March Wrap Up- A Month of Drinks and Snacks!

Hi Foodies!

[Insert cheesy line about how quickly this month has gone here]

But seriously though, it's gone pretty quickly huh!?



Image.

Monthly Wrap up

This month I have been working pretty hard on all my Uni stuff, I finish my degree in about two months now and rather stupidly all our officially marked and 'counted' work has to be done between now and then + exams!

So, the start of Spring is pretty stressful but I am using this as an excuse to enjoy a lot of good food as a consolation! So, it could be worse :)


This month I have posted on the blog:

My Favourite Spring Suppers! Halloumi Salad & Individual Spanish Omelette!
My Healthy Coconut Cake Using No Butter!
My 3 Go-To Mid-Week Meals inc. Thai Style Risotto & Avocado & Tuna Pasta!








Drinks


Of course with Uni work, comes coffee! 

This is a lovely coffee subscription from Kopi my family were given for Christmas - it is great! It works like those monthly wine or beauty box subscriptions so each month after you sign up you get sent another large 250g packet of one of their coffee varieties.

It works out at about 35p per cup and I have been loving drinking this Ethiopian blend from our cafetiere. Makes work a lot more enjoyable!



I literally just tried this tea today and HAD to include it - Earl Grey infused with lavender! For any fans of 'flowery' flavours as I am - this is a winner and not just for the gorgeous packet! The flavour is subtle and not at all 'soapy' like some flavours like rose and lavender can be. Who doesn't love a good old cup of Twinings? 



As I have mentioned before I am a big fan of Vegesentials & their natural fruit and veggie juices. I just wish they were more readily available with more stockists! 

From what I have read they are stocked more frequently in London but the only places near me are large Waitroses. Please Vegesentials get them elsewhere too as I think we desperately need more companies like this in the UK - juicing just isn't so easy in the UK as I think compared to America where fresh juices seem more readily available. I also like that the bottles are completely recyclable.

Snacks



 Of course with drinking a lot of tea comes some cheeky snacking, or not so cheeky with the help of Nakd bars from Natural Balance Food! I feel like I mention these each month!

Ah, what would I do without these little guys. At about £2.70 each box of 4, these are not cheap but any bar that is 100% healthy and help my keep hunger/sugar cravings at bay are WELL worth it in my opinion. This is my new fave flavour - cashew cookie! Literally just cold pressed cashews and dates. I like to keep mine in the fridge and enjoy with some green tea.



 Another healthier snack I have enjoyed these past couple of weeks are these all natural fruit roll ups from Bear yoyo - all natural fruit just compressed into a handy little snack! At only 60 calories per pack, these little guys are just that - little. But they make a nice change. I would buy again but probably only when on offer - I found these at Waitrose.



On a less healthy but just as delicious note, I was brought back some chocolate bars to try from America.... YUM. So far I have only tried the PB and Jelly (still cannot quite get my head around that combo but I managed to get it down anyway so cannot be too bad!!) and am looking forward to trying out the sea salt and caramel!

I don't know about you guys but 'foreign' candies / sweets / chocolate etc. I always find so exciting!! They might be super cheap and not amazingly different to anything around me in the UK but I love trying out new stuff!

Apparently this brand here  -Hammond's Candies - also sell a bacon flavour bar.... ?! Make of that what you will.

 Meals


As usual I have not been dramatically adventurous with my main meals or fish intake- at the moment I am just enjoying throwing simpler bits and bobs together before I eat rather than cooking.

 I have been loving avocado and of course with tuna which is really the best combo going in my opinion! I like adding avocado to a super simple salad to beef it up a little and I love mashing sweet potato to have along side to add some sweetness. As the weather is getting warmer, salads are quickly featuring a lot more in my diet.


I made milk bread this week which I love!! This is a firm, very white loaf (so not one for any one not wanting to eat white flour/dairy of course) but makes a lovely solid sandwich or slice of toast. I really am not a fan of fluffy bread and as I do not eat a lot of bread when I do I enjoy bread with substance!

To make this milk loaf simply place these ingredients into a mixer and using a dough hook knead for 7-10 minutes. Of course you can also do this by hand!

450 g strong white bread flour
7 g dried yeast
250 ml warm milk
25 g melted butter
1 tsp salt
1 tsp honey



Oil a loaf tin and drop the mix in in a sausage shape! Cover with cling film and allow to rise in a warm place for at least an hour. Bake at 180 degrees celsius in a fan oven for 30-35 minutes! So simple but so, oh so good.

Check out my recipe for an everyday brown loaf here as well as basic bread making skills!


And that is that! 
This month I am looking forward to handing in all my written assignments for my final University year and hopefully this time next month I will be feeling exam ready :S !!


I hope you have had a lovely March and may your April be yummy!


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Simple Spring Suppers! Halloumi Superfood Salad and Individual Stuffed Spanish Omelette


Hi Foodies!

Is it Spring yet?

Please can we call this Spring despite the fog I had to trek through this morning and the fact I slept with my electric blanket on last night...!?

As you may be able to tell I am excited for Spring, waking up to some sun, flowers blooming and birds chirping makes life so much happier in my opinion. I am also kind of bored of 'winter food' now and am looking forward to enjoying more Spring like foods, like lovely salads, quiche, picnic type food and ice cream of course!

But anyway, today is not about ice cream (that will come soon!) today is about 2 of my favourite protein-packed meals right now which I thought I would share with you guys.


Super Foods Halloumi Salad!

The messier the salad - the yummier is it! Didn't you know that?!

I have been craving a dinner with a 'meaty' texture recently, don't get me wrong I am not craving actual meat I just fancy something with a bit of bite and solidity to it. I often feel as a non meat eater our food can be pretty soft  - fruit, veggies, bread, even fish is all kinda squidgy! Is that just me?!

Halloumi is great for this exact purpose as it is a super firm and solid cheese perfect for adding to a salad. I find it to be pretty salty so while I LOVE it, I add about 1/3 - 1/2 of a 225g block. I choose the 'lighter' option which is about 300 calories for half the block. Obviously this is not the healthiest option for you, so I wouldn't recommend it for everyday but for a salty, 'meaty' change I think it is perfect.

Due to it's salty flavour it goes superbly with sweet potato in my opinion as well as grapes, rocket and well really everything I have listed below in the ingredients! Obviously this is just what I think works perfectly, mix and match to your tastes! This is a BIG salad the way I made it, great for a dinner.

Ingredients

100 g aprox halloumi chopped into small cubes
1 large sweet potato
1 garlic clove
1/3 red onion
Small handful of pine nuts
Large amount of salad leaves ( I used rocket and spinach)
1/2 can tuna 
10 aprox grapes
1 sliced tomato

1) Obviously you guys know how to make a salad but basically I just layered it up. Lay out all the cold ingredients first - salad leaves, tomato, tuna and grapes.

2) I sliced my sweet potato into wedges and steamed for around 15 minutes. I allowed to drain off and cool for 5 minutes before adding.

3) For the cheese, fry up some garlic and then simply add the halloumi. Fry for 5-10 minutes turning as the sides brown. I used minimal oil.

4) I also brown my pine nuts (this TRANSFORMS them into nutty beauty) for 3-5 mins in a dry pan too on a high heat.

5) Simply then add it all together! Add a dressing if you wish, I just am not a fan of dressing so I just added some pepper.

I LOVE this salad and may have made it 3 times this week....


Stuffed Individual Spanish Omelette 


Another meal I have been enjoying is a spanish omelette stuffed with goodness! We often have omelettes like this when I am at home but this is the first time I have tried cooking an individual one. Oh, and I call this 'individual' as I cooked it in a small pan using enough ingredients for one. This served me for 2 meals with lots of salad!

Again, the ingredients are pretty much changeable but you need your eggs and potatoes really to hold it together. 

Ingredients

2 large potatoes boiled and cut into wedges
Cup of peas
1 large orange pepper
1 small red onion
2 eggs
Splash of milk
Salt/Pepper
1 garlic clove

1) Steam the potato for around 10 minutes. Remove and drain.

2) Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil of your choosing. Add the rest of the veggies and fry for a minute or two making sure everything is well combined.

3) Whisk the eggs, I also added a glug of almond milk to make them go further and add your seasoning into them. I used lots of pepper and a fair pinch of salt - I always find I need a little more salt than usual in an omelette as I think they can often taste a little bland. 

4) Lay your potatoes onto the veggies in the pan and then pour the egg mix over it. Place under the grill on a low heat for 5-10 minutes till it all cooks and turns golden brown! The egg should be firm to the touch and the potatoes browning. 



I can tell these 2 meals are going to be a Spring/Summer staples in my diet. They are just so simple, quick and a little lighter than my usual Winter grub!

What kind of foods are you looking forward to this season?


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Sunday, 9 March 2014

Healthy Banana Coconut Cake!

Hey Foodies!

In my opinion there are few things more comforting that the smell of freshly baked banana bread! 

Yesterday I was really craving a slice but had no sugar and no butter to my name. 

After a little research I stumbled upon this recipe on Nigella.com which I took some inspiration from to make this no butter, no sugar banana and coconut cake!


And if I do say so myself, it turned out pretty darn good. 

Incredibly simple and quick - this is a winner to crack those banana bread cravings :)


Ingredients 

1/2 cup oil ( I used extra virgin olive)
2 eggs
2 large ripe bananas
1 cup raisins
1 cup coconut (half for inside the cake, half for topping)
2 cups self raising flour
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons of milk (I used almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence 

1) Preheat oven to 170 degrees celsius (gas mark 4). Grease either a loaf tin or, as I used, a round cake tin. Line with greaseproof paper. 

2) Mash the bananas and simply mix all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl! Yes, it is very simple. Pour into your tin.

3) Bake for 40-60 minutes, depending on your oven. The coconut should brown nicely on top, check to see if cooked using a skewer which should come out cleanly. 

4) Leave to cool (if you can wait) and then serve up! I think it would be gorgeous served with some fresh berries. 



This has a really lovely, moist flavour - the honey, bananas and raisins give the cake a natural sweetness and the toasted coconut gives the cake a subtle nutty flavour. 

If you fancy lowering the natural sugar levels, feel free to either reduce or cut out the honey or raisins. I think lemon peel would also be a great addition. 

This is a great excuse to make banana bread any old time, especially as you are guaranteed to feel pretty virtuous afterwards!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

My 3 Go To Mid-Week Meals - Quick & Delicious!

Hi Foodies!

Today I thought I would share what I turn to for a quick mid-week meal, the super simple but comforting kind you can quickly whip up when you are lagging a little through the week!

These recipes are simple, delicious and meat free and are what I call 'food cupboard' type meals - meaning the type of meals you can usually throw together using basic ingredients you always have in the cupboard along with whatever fresh veggies you have on hand. They are also ideal as they only really use 1 pot and 1 pot = less washing up!

I find mid- week is when my foodie inspiration is at it's lowest, you might be lower on energy that you would be at the start of the week, your weekly shop will probably be starting to depleting a little and I won't generally be so excited for meals as I will be on Friday and Saturday when I am on the search for 'weekend food'! 


Thai Style 'Risotto' with Veggies & Rice


Ingredients

75 g risotto rice
2 sliced carrots
1/2 cup of peas
1/2 cup kidney beans
5 -8 brussel sprouts
1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped
1/2 red onion diced
1 clove garlic
2 cups (ish) of veggie stock
Thai curry paste 1 large teaspoon

This is kind of like a healthy and spicy risotto, not including any cheese or cream and still tastes fab.

1) Fry the onion in a little oil for a minute or two then add in the garlic. After another minute of cooking add the rice. Give it a good stir and then mix in half the stock as well. Bring to the boil.

2) Add all the other ingredients. Lower the heat then slowly over 20 minutes, just cook like a typical risotto - adding little bits of stock as it reduces to keep the rice cooking. Stir often or it will stick.

3) After about 20 minutes the rice should be cooked through, you can tell if it looks clear and kind of see through. If your risotto is too runny, cook for a little longer. 

And that is it! Add more paste if you fancy a spicier dish, and I think slicing on some spring onions before serving would be yummy too.


Pesto Pasta Salad with Tuna & Avocado


Ingredients 

1/2 large avocado
75 grams pasta aprox
Handful of roasted pine nuts
Salad ( I used rocket and a mix of green leaves)
Mixture of peppers ( and really any veg you fancy)
1 tablespoon red pesto
1/2 can tuna

This is very simple but I thought I would share with you guys as it has quickly become a favourite of mine.

1) Boil water for the pasta and simply boil according to instructions. I used fusilli pasta and cooked it for around 15 minutes.

2) The secret to eating pine nuts is to gently fry them in a pan for a few minutes. No oil is needed and this transforms them into glorious popcorn tasting bites if heaven! They have such a lovely, nutty flavour.

3) When the pasta is cooked, I just stir through the pesto, add in drained tuna (just simply flaked) and then the salad veggies. I then top with the nuts and that is it! This is also so lovely the next day - I always seem to make too much pasta! 

Healthy Pizza!




Ingredients

1 large wholemeal pitta bread (ideally 180 calories or less)
Homemade tomato sauce (simple recipe here)
Half a mozzarella ball (I used a half fat version)
Any toppings you like! I used:
Orange pepper
Pesto
Spring onion
Dried basil & pesto

1) Simply grill the pitta for 1-3 minutes on a low heat to get it nice and crispy then top with your toppings!

2) Grill for another 5-10 minutes until the toppings are lovely and melted and the base is brown and crispy.

And there we go! So simple, & best of all it takes minutes to throw together.

The whole pizza is only around 350 calories & tastes amazing - & that spoken from a pizza connoisseur so it must be true!


So there we go - my favourite go to dinners when I am in the mid-week slump.
 What are your favourite easy dinners?

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Saturday, 22 February 2014

February Eats!

Hey Foodies!

Happy Sunday! February 2014 is over in 1 week... which means we are already 2 month into 2014!! 

I know everyone always says this but it just goes so quickly, funnily enough it goes especially quickly when you know you have exams and deadlines approaching!

Here are some of my foodie favourites from this year so far... 

I have been loving sweet potatoes since the start of the year, in fact I have been going a little crazy over them. Mashed, boiled, steamed and most importantly chipped! Check out my recipe for soy & ginger salmon with sweet potato fries here. I just can not get enough of these golden baked beauties.


When I went home recently we had a gorgeous fish curry using the Waitrose Goan Fish Curry recipe. I LOVE fish curry and this is a winner - make sure you use a firm white fish for this like cod or haddock :)


And, like always I have been trying lots of yummy snacks like this (to die for) 'skinny' popcorn by Metcalfe. For some reason on my Uni campus they sell this EVERYWHERE - maybe they have a deal with Metcalfe or something but I do not mind as it is fab!

 I even got in a lift the other day in the library to find my History of Sexuality tutor munching on a pack of their 'wasabi glaze' flavour!

My favourite so far is the 'chocolate crackle'. These are going to be featuring in my diet a lot I predict in exam term stuck in the library with these everywhere...!









Cliff bars. Too nice. Too yummy. After trying these I have been trying to control my cravings ever since! Enough said.











And I discovered the Biona pumpkin rye bread which is so, so delightful with some peanut butter :) I have been enjoying this week with sweet potato (again!) soup.

If you fancy buying some rye bread as apposed to making some, you can buy this fairly inexpensively from the main UK super markets or Holland & Barrett for around £1.50.  Biona have also recently brought out a new range of organic sweets!! I may need to investigate these further....



I have been loving dates to go with my coffee for an energy kick. Can you tell what I have been studying recently?!

I have also been inspired to try out reducing my dairy intake which means trying out some fresh milk alternatives. I have gone for Alpro Almond unsweetened as I like Alpro and have read and heard great things about this soy free milk alternative!

 So far, I am enjoying it but I have not tried it in my coffee yet so we shall see - I have heard it may alter the flavour a little? Let me know if you have experienced this!


I hope you are all fantastic and eating well so far this year! Have a lovely week :)

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Mini Foodie Haul!

Recently I have discovered so, so many yummy things to eat and drink...
maybe the colder weather is making me crave some exciting goodies!

This week I picked up some more of my favourite cupboard essentials - the oh, so delightful Nakd bars! I don't know why but when I first tried these about a year or so ago I wasn't such a fan but they have slowly grown on me and I am now a little obsessed... 

So far I enjoy the rhubarb and custard flavour the most but I really fancied trying out these crispy 'crunch' versions and they are good!! Basically they are exactly the same as the usual flavours (so a lovely mix of dates, fruit and nuts) but with some added tapioca crispies. Very nice and I like the slightly different texture. If you eat as many of these as I do you will agree it is good to get some variety! Although they do offer tons of flavours - check out their site

I am also trying out Clif Bars for the first time! I will let you know how I get on with these, although I know they have added sugar in, I think for those days I need a super easy on the go lunch / snack these high protein bars would be a good alternative. I picked up 'crunchy peanut' & 'white chocolate & macadamia'... sounds amazing.


I also have discovered the 'Vegesentials' juices which were on offer recently. I really like making smoothies but often find myself running out of fresh produce to use or I just am feeling super lazy and cannot be bothered (I know, no excuse) so these are a great alternative. Freshly, cold pressed, these juices are soooo nice and refreshing. I tried out the 'greener' flavour which contains cucumber, pineapple and spinach and really enjoyed it. They last for a week in the fridge too which is a bonus.


While this is a great alternative I still prefer my homemade as I think you can use whatever you fancy and alter amounts to suit your tastes. I prefer an A) larger smoothie! B) more greens. 

But hey, I am all up for these kind of ready made juices. We need more options like this in the UK. I am envious of my USA readers who can enjoy the likes of Suja Juice & BluePrint juices (although I do not know how widely available these are).


I also found my favourite green tea so far! In my Drink More Green Tea post I talked about how I love drinking green tea and all it's great health benefits yet I only like green tea with 'other' flavours - like peppermint etc. I think this was because the few brands I had tried were quite strong and I think a little bitter for my taste. I find these Tetley option is so lovely as it has a softer flavour and is half the price of most... 50 bags for under £2! I much prefer this brand and want to try and enjoy 2-3 cups a day to gain more benefits.

Have you tried any exciting new foodie items recently?

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Chocolate Protein Power Balls!



OK, So I know I am pretty late on the ball (excuse the pun) with these babies but I am glad I finally joined in!

These are inspired by one of my favourite food bloggers chocolate covered Katie, and are pretty damn good! You may have noticed on the blog recently I have been exploring recipes for 'healthier' alternatives to regular favourites.

I love my 'natural' bars like Nakd Bars or 9 Bars but these can be a little expensive and sometimes contain a few little 'extras' you have to look out for. However I do love them but fancied trying out some home made versions.

These are, like most of my recipes, very simple to make. Once you have bought the initial ingredients (although you may find you have a lot already in your cupboard) you are ready to make a large batch which would work out to double or triple the size of one box of bought bars for the same price. 

Ingredients

1 cup of walnuts (I however used a mix of nuts and this worked out fine, I think I actually prefer the more complex flavour anyway)
1 cup of pitted dates
Small handful of oats
1/2 cup of raisins
1/2 cup of dried cranberries
1 tsp of vanilla extract (or any flavour you fancy)
3 tablespoons of cocoa powder
Honey (optional)

I find these ingredients to be very interchangeable though. If you don't fancy a particular nut leave it out, the same with the dried fruit. Mix and match! I would say the only real requirement are the dates as they create the consistency and sweetness of a bar. 



1) Simply blend all together, I found I needed a fair bit of water to help mix all this up especially as my dates were of the dry variety. About half a cup I imagine but add as you make. Then add the cocoa and a squirt of honey if you wish.

2) Then shape as you will - I went for a ball consistency as my mixture was a little wetter than I expected. You could also make a bar if your mix is a little drier. I am going to keep mine in the fridge and enjoy for quick, chocolatey snack!

Excuse the left over Halloween cases! 

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

WIAW #3 Salmon, Berry Water + Still Enjoying Brussel Sprouts...

Happy Wednesday Foodies!

It seems like only yesterday when I was writing up my last WIAW! 

8 AM 

I cannot believe we are already in the tail end of January 2014... 

Yesterday, like usual I began my rather chilly morning with a warming bowl of porridge. I don't think I will ever get sick of porridge (to see how I make mine check out this post!). I topped it off with some dried cranberries and some seeds / nuts. I am using Scottish porridge oats now as I prefer the chunkier texture to the most basic oats.


12.30 

Lunch was a little boring and last minute as I made it pretty quickly before I left for University (I didn't think I was staying over lunch time until just before I went to catch the bus). 

This is a lovely food doctor pitta with some peanut butter and tomatoes. I love these pittas but sadly my Tesco has stopped stocking them so now I have to trek to my other nearest super market if I am craving them! 


3.30 

As my lunch was rather basic I was pretty peckish later on. I enjoyed a hot chocolate with an apple for my afternoon snack. I was still hungry though so also ate a new flavour of Nakd bar I am trying out - rhubarb custard. 

I LOVED this! I do not really understand how they get it to taste so, well, 'custardy' as the ingredients listed on the back are very healthy and basic... I am not going to worry about it though as these taste too fab to be wary of!


6.45 

Dinner was a bit of a cheat meal as I grabbed a Tesco Salmon & Dill parcel from the freezer and steamed up some brussels to go with it (I can't get enough of these). These parcels are my favourite 'freezer' meals for a quick night meal, still processed but we all have those nights we fancy something comforting and easy like this right?! 

I also had a lot of iced water flavoured with frozen berries- this not only looks pretty but actually means the water tastes really lovely and you get a few extra vitamins! Just leave the fruit in the water for 10 minutes before drinking to make sure you have flavoured it. 
Add any fruits or even frozen veggies you fancy! 


Pud time!

This rather funny looking brown lump is, yet again, some raw/vegan chocolate orange brownie with some frozen berries on top (my new fave combo, if a little chilly) and a large mug of peppermint tea :) 



Have you eaten something nice this week?