Monday, 10 October 2016

It's been a while!


A lot has happened in the past year, and this time last year I had to sacrifice a few things in order to put my health first - one of them being my blog! 

I couldn't spare any mental energy on something that I felt wouldn't help me physically so jumped into swimming instead and put my cooking and in effect my blog, on the back burner.

Now that I'm feeling like I'm on the right track (and 19lbs lighter than this time last year) I feel it's a good time to throw myself back into cooking regularly rather than shoving a gluten free ready meal in the microwave every day and eating omelettes for lunch!

So here I am! 

I have a few back logged recipes, and a few reviews to do also. 

The upcoming reviews will be for the 'WOW Cake Company' who gave me three cake mixes to bake myself and show you all the outcome...  it will be interesting to say the least as my mother managed to get many a photo of me scraping the remnants of the cake mix from the bowl to devour like a 3 year old sugar fiend!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Blueberry mini pancakes

Praise the heavens I think I've finally cracked the perfect banana+egg pancake combo.... By adding a few naturally delicious ingredients! 

I need to write this down quickly before I forget!!

•1 banana 
•1 egg
•small handful of frozen blueberries
•1 teaspoon of all natural peanut butter
•1 heaped teaspoon of coconut flour
•1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

..... You simply just blend and then scoop out one tablespoon at a time into a frying pan coated in coconut oil. 

Wait for them to bubble before flipping over to cook the other side for around 45seconds to a minute! 

They should make mini pancakes around 5cm in diameter. 

This recipe made 17.. I mean 15 (heheh) mini pancakes! And the two I tasted were divine!! 

I'm trying to lose some weight after putting on a few lbs from being stuck indoors I'll for a few months so couldntj justify eating them for a dessert today, so saved them for breakfast tomorrow! (Ive tried the refridgerate for later method with the original banana pancake mix and it's been nice but it's obviously better freshly cooked!) 

Bananas are bursting full of potassium, eggs and peanut butter are an amazing source of protein and natural healthy fats and blueberries are crammed full of antioxidants to help keep your immune system fighting fit.. So I'm very happy with my choic of breakfast for tomorrow! 

Sadly there's no photo at the moment but I'll either put one up tomorrow morning or will make sure to put one up next time I make them! 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Quick - 'I can't be bothered to cook' meal!

Chicken sausage and spicy egg fried veg rice! 


This one is extremely simple, I cook this when I really can't be bothered to be in the kitchen, it allows minimal effort but still provides a hearty and healthy dinner!
This provides two meals, so I'll have one for dinner then the other half for lunch the next day! 

You will need; 

 6 pre cooked heck chicken sausages (they come in various flavours, for this I use the paprika ones) - I cook all 10 of them then refridgerate leftovers for a quick healthy protein snack or to just chop up and fry in another stir fry! 

• Mixed vegetables of your choice, I used 1red pepper, 1 red onion and half a large courgette, chopped into very small chunks.

• 1 pack of microwaveable brown rice

•1 egg

• 1/2 teaspoon of paprika 

•1/2 teaspoon of garlic granules 

•1/2 teaspoon chilli powder

• 2 tablespoons of hot sauce (this is my personal choice, use as moderately or liberally as you wish!) 

• 2 tablespoons of Tamari

Method;
 
1) Coat your frying pan in either oil or fry light (I use the latter) and then start by frying off your vegetables until soft

2)  Add the pack of rice (uncooked) and stir through the vegetables. 

3) Now add all seasoning and the Tamari and hot sauce

4) Add the chopped chicken sausages and stir through to heat back up.

5) Add an egg to the middle of the pan and let cook until some bits are starting to go white (about 30 seconds) and then stir into the rice mixture.

6) Allow to cook through for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, then serve! 

Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins!




These muffins are so amazingly moist and bursting full of autumn flavour it will immediately make you want to cosy up on the sofa from the first bite! 

Packed full of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and of course pumpkin purée! These are a perfect 'naughty' breakfast on the go, rivalling the gluteny breakfast banana bran muffins! 

The pumpkin purée can be quite hard to locate, I eventually found a can in waitrose for £2 but luckily you only have to use half a can. I've transferred the remainder of the purée in an airtight container and frozen, ready for my next batch! 

I nabbed this amazing recipe from 'gluten free on a shoestring' - a wonderful mumma from the USA creating gluten free versions of the most craved for glutteny treats that her children wish for. Definitely take a look at her site, I'm always on there looking for inspiration! 

For this recipe you will need;

• 280 g Glutafin white multipurpose mix

• 1 teaspoon xanthan gum 

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

• 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice*

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 150 g granulated sugar

• 120g mix of dark and milk chocolate chips

• 84 g unsalted butter, at room temperature

• 163 g pure pumpkin puree, at room temperature

• 2 eggs (at room temperature, beaten

• 60mls buttermilk, at room temperature (I used coconut milk with a tablespoon of lemon juice, left for 5 minutes before using)

*Pumpkin Pie Spice

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg. Mix to combine.

I ever so slightly adjusted the recipe for my personal taste, just as I like a strong spice taste! 

Method;

1) Preheat your oven to gas mark 4. Grease or line the wells of a standard 12-cup muffin tin and set it aside, I used fairy cake wrappers. 

2) In a large bowl, place the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt and sugar, and whisk to combine well. Transfer about 1 teaspoon of the dry ingredients to a small bowl, add the chocolate chips and toss to coat. Set the chips aside.

3) Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients in the large bowl and add the butter, pumpkin puree, eggs and buttermilk, mixing to until just combined after each addition. The batter will be thick but soft. 

4) Add all but about 1 tablespoon of the chocolate chips and the reserved dry ingredients to the batter, and mix until just evenly distributed throughout.

5) Divide the batter among the prepared wells of the muffin tin and sprinkle the remaining few chips evenly over the tops of the batter in each well, pressing gently to help them adhere

6) Place the muffins in the center of the preheated oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out with no more than a few moist crumbs attached (about 20 minutes). 

7) Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.



I must admit these muffins are the nicest straight off the cooling rack when they're still just a tad warm, then the chocolate chips quite literally melt as soon as you open the wrapper! Delicious!! 

I stored the remainder of my muffins in the refrigerator overnight (I have hungry little cats) and must admit they did get a lot harder, however once leaving them at room temperature for 20 minutes they did soften up and tasted just as lovely, just not as soft as when previously eaten. 


This recipe yields 12 muffins, mine honestly didn't last two full days. I had the majority, then my in law family had the rest.. Everyone was extremely shocked as they didn't particularly like the idea of pumpkin cakes prior to devouring them.


Friday, 9 October 2015

Comforting autumn food #1 Turkey and sweet potato chilli warmer

This was a recipe that I didn't intend on creating but I'm so glad I did! 

Que my turkey and sweet potato chilli warmer <3 

For this recipe you will need; 

• 500g lean Turkey mince
• 1 small sweet potato chopped into small chunks 
• 1 can of red kidney beans in chilli 
• 1 can of chopped tomatoes 
• 4tbsps of tomato purée 
•  1 red pepper chopped into small chunks
• 1 courgette, halved then quartered into small chunks
• 1 red onion finely chopped 
• 2 cloves of garlic crushed 
• 3tbsp smoked paprika 
• 2tbsp chilli powder 
• 1tbsp garlic powder 
• Salt and pepper to taste 

1) start by frying off your onion and garlic until slightly browned then add the rest of the vegetables (except the sweet potato)  and fry for another 3-5 minutes until softened

2) Add the chopped tomatoes, tinned can of kidney beans and all of the seasoning and stir so all of the vegetables are covered. 

3) Add the turkey mince raw and stir until all of the mince has disintegrated into the sauce

4) Make sure the sweet potato is cut into small chunks about 2/3cm in diameter, any bigger and it'll take a lot longer to cook through. 

5) Add the chunks to the chilli and stir through, make sure that the sweet potato is fully covered otherwise it just won't cook through! 

6) Stir and leave on a low heat for 40 minutes, keep checking up on the chilli, you can check when it's done by testing the resistance felt when inserting a fork or knife into one of the potato chunks. 

Serve up and enjoy! 

I usually just have one serving then freeze the rest so I have an easy go to dinner when I'm not feeling so great! 

I haven't actually had this chilli with rice as it's quite filling as it is and you have carbohydrates in the potato so it just didn't feel right adding more! I have had it with soft spreadable cheese dropped on top with some black pepper and green vegetables though, and it was heavenly! 

Let me know how you all get on :) 


Thursday, 20 August 2015

Chicken and crayfish curry!

I love how with curry, you can near enough throw ANYTHING in and 90% of the time it comes out perfect.. On the other 10% of the time; I've put so much spice in I've burnt a hole through my throat haha. 

This is a perfect example of a thrown together dinner that came out perfectly. I never use measurements so you'll have to partially wing this a bit yourself too.. But it will all be worth it! Just look! 


For this you will need; 
• 1/2 carton of tomato passata
• A carton of coconut cream
• Around 150mls of alpro coconut milk
• A heavy sprinkle of medium curry powder (approx 3 tbsps)
• An equal amount of mild curry powder
• 1 tsp of cayenne pepper
• 1 tbsp of smoked paprika 
• 1 tbsp of turmeric 
• 3 tbsp of mild chilli powder
• 1 tbsp of garlic powder
• A healthy grind of sea salt
• A healthy grind of pepper  
• 1 red pepper finely chopped
• 1 red onion finely chopped
• 2 garlic cloves chopped finely
• 2 tomatoes chopped 
• 335g chicken breast chopped 
• 150g crayfish drained and washed

1) Firstly you will need to use a large wok for this recipe, melt a small amount of coconut oil that will thinly cover the bottom of the pan

2) Add the onion and garlic and sauté until browned and the aromas have been released

3) Add the red peppers and tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes. 

4) Add the chicken and sear. Once you are happy no pink flesh is showing on the outside of the chicken, add the tomato passata and coconut cream and increase the heat.

5) Add all of the seasoning and extra coconut milk, mix well so that it's all incorporated into the sauce.

6) Let it bubble on a high heat for around five minutes then turn down the heat to its lowest setting and add the crayfish. Leave for 30-45 minutes to simmer.

7) Keep checking on the curry and once the sauce has thickened to your liking, take off of the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes, this will allow the sauce to thicken even more.

8) Serve with steamed green beans and brown basmati rice! 





Mango and lime crayfish wraps

This is one of my favourite healthy quick go to meals. 

It's simplicity is the reason I love it so much! 

For this recipe you will need;

•Pre cooked crayfish (available at Lidl for £1.49 I usually use about a third of a pack) 
•1 lime - juiced 
•1 lemon - juiced
• 1 bfree wrap - microwaved for 15 seconds
• pre packed salad
• half of a mango peeled and stoned
• quarter of an avocado - stoned and chopped


Firstly, take the crayfish out of the package and place in a bowl, add the juice of 1 lemon and season with salt and pepper. I tend to use the whole pack and keep te leftover in the fridge for the next day.

Once this is done, peel your mango and slice into long strips, the smaller the better as it will make blending easier. Reserve one strip for chunks in your wrap. Place into your blender and add the juice of 1 lime. Blend until smooth. 
You won't need all of this juice so place in a ramekin so you can cover and save for a salad topping or for another wrap. It will need to be refridgerated. 

Cut your avocado in half and scoop out the flesh of one half. Chop into small chunks and use half of this. To save wasting the remainder of the avocado cover in the juice of 1 lime and a hearty grind of salt and cover with cling film, keep it refridgerated.

Microwave your wrap for 15 seconds, it doesn't need to be turned over at all, one side is just fine. 

Now the best part! The construction!

Place a handful of salad in the centre and top with crayfish, small chunks of mango, avocado and top with a dollop of mango and lime dressing. 

Roll the wrap like you would a burrito. I often wrap it with tin foil and refridgerate it until I go swimming as I'm usually ravenous as soon as I get out of the pool.. Why is it chlorine makes everyone so hungry?!?

Enjoy!!!