Monday, 9 March 2015

get nakd



When it comes to snacking I suck. If I see a chocolate bar on my desk I wont be able to deny myself it, and unless I have some fruit or a low-cal snack at the ready I will do my best to seek out something sweet and naughty. As I'm trying to shed some lbs and lead a healthier life style this isn't ideal. A friend at work brought in some of these homemade Nakd-style bars last week and I knew I had to try them myself! When a singular 35g Nakd bar costs me over a quid at the gym (yeh, I know) and a pack of four costs £2.50 at Sainsbury's, these homemade versions are far more budget friendly... as well as being totally yummy and full of goodness!

You will need
1/2 cup dates
1/2 cup almonds
3 tablespoons sultanas
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
the zest of one orange

I used this recipe and can vouch for how easy they are to make! Shove all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz until finely blended. I added a teaspoon of boiling water to help the binding process, and then rolled into little balls using my hands. Pop in a tupperware - you're done! You can make a whole load of varieties - these are choccie orange flavoured, but on Gemma's blog she has recipes for gingerbread, peppermint and pecan pie varieties. I'm going to try gingerbread next!

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Monday, 2 March 2015

alaskan


After trying a few variations of this tomato and chilli based cod stew I think I've nailed it. Warming yet fresh, this is the perfect meal during these colder months but would also be delicious enjoyed on a warm evening in summer. 

You will need
Cod fillets
2 tins chopped tomatoes
Vegetable stock
Spinach
1 red pepper
1 red chilli
Onion
Garlic

Start by crushing your garlic into a pan with a chopped onion and chilli, and frying on a medium heat until the onions are golden. Empty in the tins of tomatoes and 400ml of vegetable stock, along with the red pepper (sliced) and season well with salt and pepper. Throw in some oregano or mixed herbs if you fancy. Simmer on a low heat for about an hour. If you aren't watching the calories a slosh of white wine would be a good addition! This tomato sauce is best if left to simmer away for about an hour so the flavours can develop - or you can pop in the oven on 200C. 
When the sauce has started to thicken, add a couple of handfuls of spinach and stir into the sauce. Once they have begun to wilt, place the cod fillets in the sauce and push in so they are submerged. I use frozen cod fillets from Lidl (under £3 for 4 fillets) and depending on size and appetite add 1-2 per person. Pop in the oven on 200C for 25 minutes or according to packet instructions, before serving with rice and/or crusty bread. 

You will probably have leftover sauce - I purposely make a large quantity so I can freeze the leftover sauce and defrost again another day. Simply defrost and then cook again in the oven with the cod as before. In terms of other additions, thyme or basil work well as well as a handful of king prawns and black olives. 

Slimming world: completely syn free (on EE) if accompanied with rice.

Enjoy!

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Thursday, 26 February 2015

lighter and brighter



Two images from H&M

With the mornings brighter, the evenings getting longer (I'm pretty sure it was light until almost 6pm today, it's practically summer!) and the temperatures reaching balmy double figures I am feeling positively Spring-like. Yes, I know the mercury might only be hitting ten or eleven celsius for some of us this week, but it beats the frosty mornings and chilly air. I'm throwing open the curtains in the morning and if I'm really lucky and am blessed with an early finish at work, I can get home to see the last moments of daylight. I really do live for the summer! All this light, bright weather has got me thinking about getting more light into our little home.

Linen curtains H&M
Copper lampshade Asda
Glass vase H&M
Metal pot H&M
Hanging planter Etsy
Mirror H&M
Candle Ikea

Light, bright linens on our bed and over the windows to let in optimum rays - I love these linen curtains for their rustic, homely feel. No nasty voile curtains for us, please. I'm currently obsessing over the idea of a VELUX roof window or sun tunnel to help bring even more light into our home after seeing my parents newly renovated garage. Dreamy! But for now... reducing clutter, using glass and other light, transparent materials and bringing a bit of nature into our home via some indoor plans will do just fine. I feel like I'll have made it in life when I can say I have a VELUX window in my bedroom! Just imagine the light...


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