Helpful, healthy food

So it’s that time of year again, when everyone goes on a health kick in prep for the warmer weather coming.

It’s not just about losing weight, eating healthy and exercising just makes me feel better in general. I’ve been doing quite well in the healthy eating department; however, it can get a little boring, so I thought I’d share with you all a couple of recipes that I’ve found on the way.

The first recipe is from the Philadelphia iPad app, which I’d definitely recommend! It has loads on there and breaks recipes down into the type of dish, for example pasta, chicken etc. So anyway, I decided to make Salmon with Philadelphia and Chive Topping.

It’s a super easy dish and is literally made by spreading garlic and herb Philadelphia on salmon, then mixing bread crumbs, lemon zest and chives together and adding them on top. It is then baked in the oven.

Salmon can be served with whatever really, for a healthy option I’ve tried new potatoes and salad, and also once with a baked potato.

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Anyone that knows me or reads my blog, will probably know that I’m a Jamie Oliver fan! Therefore, my second healthy recipe is from his 15 Minute Meals, of which I have the book and app – both fantastic.

The meal is Grilled Steak, Ratatouille and Rice – it is a little more complex than the Philadelphia dish, but it’s still fairly straight forward. The steak is cooked on a griddle pan, the recipe states saffron rice, although I just used standard rice and then the ratatouille is basically all put together in one pan.

Ratatouille would be zero pro points on a weight watchers diet (I left out the anchovy), which is awesome because it really is where the flavour of the dish is! I definitely recommend you check it out!

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Healthy eating can be boring and dull, so these offer a bit of an alternative. I also wanted to share them because they’re quick to make and use proper ingredients.

What do you think to these recipes, are they something you’d try?

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Steels – a local gem

I’ve been meaning to do a blog about Steels, the fish and chip restaurant in Cleethorpes, for a while now.

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When people think of the seaside they think of fish and chips, and Steels is definitely one of the best in this area. If you’re local, you’ll probably know how fab it is – if not, it’s certainly worth a visit if you ever find yourself this way on.

Today, we went for a family stroll across the seafront and couldn’t resist going there for some tea. It’s everything you expect from a fish and chip restaurant – yummy and traditional. They offer plenty of other things on the menu; however, I have to admit because the haddock and chips is so delicious, I usually stick to that! What I like best about the food, is that it’s good quality and not too greasy! The portion sizes are huge and the essential extras are included, such as lovely bread and butter as well as a pot of tea.

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It’s a whole family pleaser and my daughter is a fan of the chicken nuggets and chips, followed by the ice cream that comes with a children’s meal. I also have to mention how helpful the staff are; the lady who served us today was so friendly, and spoke to our five year old as much as she did us! Today wasn’t a one off, every time we’ve visited the staff have been really nice.

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I wanted to write a post because people are always quick to moan about the area, and never highlight the good parts. We had a lovely day together and the restaurant is definitely a local gem!

Flip a pancake

Forget Valentine’s day, well at least for a moment, and show some appreciation for Shrove Tuesday!

This day was originally a time when people would use up all of their ingredients before they give up foods for lent; however, for most of us now, it’s about having an excuse to scoff yummy pancakes and not feel guilty about it!

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I adore pancake day, there’s something really nostalgic about it! I get taken right back to being in my kitchen as a child, standing and admiring my mum flip them up in the air. And now, I’m lucky enough to be able to re-live this with my daughter!

For me they have to be made from scratch! I really feel that if you use pre bought batter or even worse, a ready made pancake, then you’re really missing the beauty of the day. This year my daughter was bought a frog shaped pan, which made them extra interesting when cooking 🙂

I love all different toppings but I must have at least one traditional, with lemon and sugar or syrup.

Here are a few pics of our pancake day..

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Hope you’re all enjoying pancake day 🙂

15 minute meal

Those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that last week I attempted my first recipe from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals.

I received the book for Christmas and couldn’t wait to give it a try – I made Golden Chicken with braised greens and potato gratin.

Here’s the pic from the book.

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The ingredients are fairly simple for this recipe, which is why I thought it would be a great starting point ( and because it looks delicious). Now I have to be honest on reading the book alone I was a little confused – there are points when it’s not clear how you get from one stage to the next. However, I downloaded the 15 minute app to double check the recipe and I was away. The app works well with the book; it has a photo scan feature which enables you to take a photo of any page and it comes up with a recipe card, which has extra tips on it.

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The meal probably took me around 30 minutes, although I wasn’t rushing and can see how after cooking this dish a couple of times it would become quicker! Besides I think even 30 minutes for a nutritious, tasty dish is good.

This was my finished result and it has to be said it was a family pleaser, with my boyfriend and daughter both claiming how yummy it was! The chicken has plenty of flavour, while the greens make you feel healthy and the gratin is a real treat – perfect combo!

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My top tip would be not to tackle this without a food processor, otherwise it would be more like an hour than half! Also when I make it again I’d definitely flatten the chicken a bit more. I wanted to serve it up on a board, as Jamie does but with a five year old I imagine I’d be finding peas for weeks!

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The ingredients are below but if you’d like further details on how to create this recipe, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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Jubilee Round Up

I hope you’ve all had a fab jubilee!

I’ve had a really busy one – if you have read my previous posts you will know that I had my little girls birthday party Saturday and a spa day on Sunday. This was followed by a lovely BBQ yesterday and chilling today watching the royal family with a buffet style tea.
I’m not usually one for posting my pictures from instagram but seen as I have a few in the spirit of the jubilee I thought it would be nice.

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Hope you’ve all had a good time, it’s lovely how everyone has got into the spirit of it all!

Free School Meals

Just a very quick post today;

Following the news that free school meals are being cut, I’m asking my lovely readers to sign this petition click here.

I don’t usually bring politics into my blog post but I have found this news to be completely shocking!

We all understand that we need to make cutbacks but this shouldn’t be at the cost of our children’s wellbeing. Free school meals mean the only hot meal of the day for some children in poverty, and taking that away is so morally wrong! For me it is that simple, hot nourishing meals make happy children and thought-provoking brains.

Some people do abuse the benefit system, but there are many that claim them through no fault of their own whether that be due to lack of jobs from the recession or suffering from an illness, the fact is their are plenty of people who rely on this money. And why should our children be the one’s to suffer?

I’d like to point out this is not something which affects me directly, just something I feel strongly about!

I have read a lot of controversial comments about this and difference in opinion which people are obviously entitled to, all I ask is if you support free school meals then please sign the petition.

Weight Watchers – Week Two

This week I tried to be more healthy with my weight watchers options, rather than opting for easy ready meals with the pro points on the side, I tried to cook proper meals using fresh ingredients.

I was successful in doing this and one of my favourite lighter meals has become the mexican quesadilla. It’s really easy to make, filling and easily adapted to suit individual tastes!

I started by grilling a chicken breast (4 pro points), for extra flavour I added some seasoning for chicken. In general I find adding herbs and spices to meals really works on this diet, it gives flavour without adding many points! I then fried off – in calorie controlled spray – onion, pepper and courgettes, to which I added some crushed garlic (all 0 pro points). I’m quite picky with food and don’t like tomatoes but I imagine they would also go with this meal well.

I then added a light version tortilla wrap to a frying pan, placed the fried off ingredients on top and finished with 30g of healthy eating cheese (3 pro points). I added a wrap to the top, flipped the whole thing over and served once the cheese had melted, with a dollop of reduce fat sour cream. Once I was serving, I realised I had plenty of filling and only used half of the chicken breast, reducing the pro points for this to only 2.

Overall, I was happy with this meal at just 12 pro points it was really filling, to reduce the points this could be made as a chicken wrap – only using one tortilla.

I used the left over half of chicken breast for next day’s tea with 150g of cooked pasta (4 pro points) and melted 100g of light garlic and herb Philadelphia (4 pro points) to use as a tasty sauce. This give me a complete tea for 10 pro points, and to be honest I didn’t need as much of the sauce as what I had done as it was slightly overpowering.

Anyway, after making more of an effort to be healthy I lost half a pound last week, a bit different to last weeks 6 but still it is a loss and I’m happy with that.

This week due to it being Easter, I have written Weight Watchers off (see previous blog post) there is too much chocolate around the house! I’m not going to go mental and start scoffing everything in sight but I’m just being a bit slack on counting the points; however, I will return to being strict on Tuesday! Everyone, needs a little break, right? 😉

Easter – Crafts and Cooking

Hope you’re all having a good Easter!

For me, the best part about the weekend is having time off to spend with my little girl and family. We have already had one of my little sisters sleeping over last night, and the other one tonight…. so I have had to find plenty of things to keep them entertained.

The weather has been pretty dull, so we have spent the day doing Easter crafts and cooking!

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Mountain of yummy eggs already!

We made simple but extremely tasty chocolate rice crispy cakes, which are always great for kids; apart from melting the chocolate the rest they could practically do alone. We used a chocolate egg for melting – a great way of getting through the mountains of Easter eggs!

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End result

We have also made chorizo sausage rolls, not the traditional Easter snack but I usually make sausage rolls with the kids and have wanted to try the chorizo version ever since I saw them on Channel 4’s Baker Brothers. For the recipe click here. I did make a few changes to the recipe such as changing the fresh chilli to chilli powder, as I didn’t think this would be a great idea when cooking with children. They include quite unusual tastes for kids but I always find if they have had a hand in cooking it, they are usually more willing to try it; they definitely got a thumbs up in our house!

Mixing the ingredients

Little hands preparing

Glazing

Straight from the oven

Hope you all enjoy the rest of your weekend!

P.S: Think it’s safe to say Weight Watchers has gone out the window for one weekend!