Sunday, 9 October 2016

Chicken, Bacon and Leek Casserole

This meal is not pretty. At all. It is, however, delicious. Sometimes I want pure comfort food but I don't want to feel bloated and guilty afterwards.  This meal hits that spot.  And  more.  Plus it has stupidly high amounts of protein. I can't emphasise enough how much you need to cook this meal. It tastes so so naughty but is so so nice.


Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Happy Tropical Smoothie

I've been through a very challenging time in my personal life recently after losing a close family member, which is why I haven't been posting very much for a while.  When life hits you for a ringer, it is easy to stop taking care of yourself.  I ate a lot of comfort food even though I know better, and the Dragon helped out by doing a lot of the cooking for me and generally being a superstar husband by helping my family and I through a really difficult time.  After allowing myself a week or so of leeway, though, I needed something yummy and healthy to help light the way back on track towards a healthy and bright future. It is time to start taking better care of myself again.  I wanted to make something which reminded me of a happier time, so what could be a better mood lifter than a delicious tropical smoothie to remind us of our honeymoon in Fiji? I have to say that it helped! This smoothie will lift you up when you need it and will also help you to celebrate the happiest of times.  It would also work as a delicious party mocktail.  Add a dash of champagne (post blending) and you have a tropical cocktail!

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Rasberry, Mint and Banana Protein Smoothie

Inspired by the razzberries in Pokemon Go, I bought some frozen rasberries a while ago which have been sitting in my deep freeze waiting to be used.  This morning I wanted a pick me up smoothie to help wake me up because we have been working very hard turning our long garage/laundry into two rooms, with a garage in one and a laundry/storage space/workbench area in the other.  It has taken a looooong time (bye bye weekends and most of my social life for some time now) and we have another big day of work ahead us installing the workbench itself and shelving above it.  I figured that the sweet tang of rasberries would hit the spot.  Our newly potted mint has started growing on our balcony garden and is looking fresh and plump so I couldn't resist combining the two. I pretty much always include bananas because they make smoothies creamy and breakfasty. The resulting smoothie is simple, high protein and just plain yum.  It would coax any pokemon into being happy to be caught!

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Berry Beautiful Smoothie

I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to get sick of smoothies. They are too darn good. We would have them every weekday morning if we could drag ourselves out of bed early enough to actually EAT breakfast.  We were so good for so long, and lately with all of the renovation we have been doing in all of our spare time, we are over-tired so rarely manage to get up early enough to eat at home. This means hitting the egg bacon and cheese muffin for breakfast from the work cafeteria way more often than I should admit.  My waistline cannot lie though. Sigh.

We miss our morning routine and are working on it.  One of the strategies involves making things easier. Our nutrininja is great and makes the smoothest smoothies we have ever smoothed.  We also recently bought a vertical deep freeze (lifelong dream of mine, yes I am that boring).  A couple of weekends ago I  filled two drawers with smoothie supplies.....I got some funny looks at the checkout I can tell you that!

I found out that bananas keep for 6 months in the freezer. Given the large variability in banana prices over the course of the year where I live, as well as the fact that frozen bananas require no peeling and make for a creamier smoothie, I bought all of the ready-to-eat ones in the store. ALL of them.  We took them home, peeled them, chopped them, put the pieces flat into freezer bags (with 5 bananas per bag to provide one week of smoothies per bag) and filled a drawer. Another drawer is now filled with various other frozen fruit when it was on special - pinapple chunks, rasberries, strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries, mangoes, cherries...you name it. Now each week we simply have to grab a bag of bananas and a bag of fruit from the deep freeze on Sundays, move it to the normal freezer for the week and its a breeze! Smoothies don't even require ice if the other ingredients are already frozen!  We even have frozen spinach in cube form!  Now to actually get up in time.....

All of that aside, here is the delicious smoothie that I made for us both this morning. Simple and yummy. Pictured with one of the gorgeous flowers the Dragon got me - the colour is out of this world.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Portuguese Chicken and Lentil Casserole

It is Winter here and we are loving warming casseroles. Who doesn't?  This meal was born out of having chicken and lentils ready to be used and having wanted to try Portuguese spices for some time. The flavour is fresh and hearty.  The first time I made this we served it as a casserole on top of rice, but lately I have found that adding rice to casseroles bulks them out well, reduces the amount of rice you eat over all and tastes great! Plus you don't need to spend the time cooking rice the next night. Much simpler.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Strawberry and Apple Smoothie - Strawbapple!

Despite my current romance with smoothies, I didn't used to like fruit very much.  As a kid I only ate apples.  I was generally picky, but struggled with the texture of most fruit.  I loved the flavour of a peach, but its squishy texture was offputting.  Pineapple is yum but stringy. Oranges are messy.  Yes - I was a weird kid.  But as an adult I learnt that blitzing them together means that you get to enjoy all of the yum flavours with a nice smooth texture (no down side!) and this became my default way to enjoy fruit.  Prior to smoothies, the one other tasty fruit option I discovered in my early adulthood was these little punnets of pureed apple and strawberry.  The flavour combo just works. Its so good.  Given that, how could I not try it in smoothie form? Adding a banana ensures that it will have the perfect texture.

Here's to delicious breakfasts for the week. This smoothie is so pretty, and on top of that it tastes fresh and enlivening. What a way to start the day.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Kasundi Chicken Curry

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you may remember the amazing Indian relish that I made about a year and a half ago after being inspired by (of all things) a tasty mid-flight meal.  Who'd have thought it?  Anyway, I have had a hankering to make some more kasundi to put some into a curry and freeze some in my fancy new deep freeze *dances happily*. I'm keen to learn to do canning, and in time I want to make and can big batches of this stuff because it is so tasty and works in so many different ways.  We have used it in a butter chicken curry before, but tonight it will be a different kasundi curry and it will be high protein deliciousness.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Smokey Chicken Basque

Oh my gosh sometimes I just need smokey deliciousness for a few nights.  This meal hits that spot within me so so well.  I first made this about 8 years ago without the smokiness, and with chorizo instead of sausages and ham instead of bacon.  It worked perfectly well.  Recently I dusted off the old recipe and decided to try giving it some new life.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Rice and Quinoa Mix

There is this cute little cafe near my work which serves healthy and yummy meals put together by a nutritionist.  Their healthy curries are always served on a bed of quinoa and rice, with some veggies stirred in.  I've taken a liking to it.  Adding quinoa to your rice adds fibre and protein, both of which I am always keen to increase in my diet.  I'll be making this regularly, and thought it would be convenient to have a post demonstrating how to easily cook them in one pot using the absorption method.  Happy cooking!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Flu Fighter Smoothie

The dragon and I are both sniffly and gross, so I did some research on the best ingredients to put into our breakfast smoothie.  Now because I work professionally in an area in which we apply a high level of scientific scrutiny into our research, I need to add the disclaimer that only a small proportion of my research for this blog comes from peer reviewed journals, and I am not a nutritionist or dietician by trade.  OK disclaimer aside. Now I can get back to this with a clear conscience.

This smoothie/juice is packed with Vitamin C from the pineapple, orange and OJ (please do NOT substitute 100% orange juice for orange drink or the like), and has iron in the spinach (which is more readily absorbed by its combination with citrus fruit). Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and honey are all classic go-tos for natural cold and flu remedies, and turmeric is most readily absorbed by the body when combined with a healthy fat, hence the coconut oil. The banana is there just to give it a bit of creaminess.  Health benefits aside, it was zingy and tangy and helped.  Taking an eccinacea tablet with this can be a boost as well.   The Dragon swears by his own cold busting recipe - he calls it "medicinal rum".  This version is strictly non-alcoholic.  Especially since consumed at breakfast!