Monday, 26 January 2015

Melon and Pineapple Smoothie

I've really got into smoothies recently.  I heard a doctor talking on the radio recently on how smoothies aren't healthy because they are full of sugar.  Her claim was because the sugars are released from the fruits really easily, this would lead to a sugar spike in your bloodstream and it's much better to eat the fruit.  Yes, she's probably right but the thing that I find with home made smoothies is they're not so much a drink as a meal.  Just like blended vegetables in a soup seem to fill you up, I find the same with smoothies and if you steer clear of adding bananas or high fat yogurt, they're not full of calories either.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

The BEST ribs you've EVER tasted!

Ribs in the slow cooker is not something I'd done before.  Previously I'd always slow roasted them but I had a busy day, important things to do, ok, it was shopping.

The idea behind this recipe is to slow cook the ribs, a really cheap cut of meat, to melting tenderness and then add the sticky glaze and finish in the oven.  Using a slow cooker when cooking for one may seem like a waste of energy but this is the great thing; most slow cooker meals are great frozen and reheated, by freezing after the slow cooker stage but before the oven, it makes it possible to have these delicious ribs ready in 20 minutes after a day at work.  How good is that?  What's more, slow cooking in an oven uses loads of energy but a slow cooker is much more efficient.  Now I've tried these, I don't think I'm going to make ribs any other way.

Slow cooked ribs

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Mexican Sausage Sandwich with Chunky Guacamole

Avocados are one of those things I never buy in a supermarket unless they're in the reduced for quick sale section, otherwise they're rock hard.  However, as luck would have it, this week, two avocados, reduced to 30p.

I also had some cooking chorizo sausages left from my spicy sausage bake and so an idea was born.

I loved my guacamole and will make more just to have with some tortilla chips another time.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Spicy Sausage Bake

I bought some chorizo style cooking sausages the other day which I'm fond of baking with chickpeas in the oven but, while doing an exercise video I thought I'd prep them with some vegetables for a great one pan dish when I'd finished.

The results were tasty and I thought looked quite lovely.  So this impromptu dish of using up vegetables from my fridge and making them sing with some gently spiced sausages went on my blog.  This is ultra simple food to cook and it makes one big (post work out) portion but would be equally good reheated for lunch; just slice up any leftover sausages and reheat in a microwave.

Spicy sausage bake

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Carrot, apple and ginger smoothie

Carrot, apple and ginger smoothie is a great way to get your fruit and vegetable intake up.

This is my morning pre run food.  Despite not having done a long run for weeks, my run today (over six miles) was awesome and I kept going with this little beauty powering me along!

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Sausage and kale pan fry

Sausage?  Have I gone all manly?  Kale?  Have I succumbed to a food trend?  Neither, well maybe the first, nothing wrong with manly food but I've been eating kale since I was a child.  This is kale how it's traditionally eaten, not juiced, not in a cake, not in pill form, as a vegetable.

It's an odd thing how kale has become trendy.  Basically kale is a more primitive and flavourful form of cabbage.  Like any cabbage, in my opinion, you shouldn't boil it but it's much better partially steamed like in this dish.  Why it got this reputation as the best thing since sliced, erm, vegetables, I have no idea.  Maybe there is a Kale growing association with a strong lobbying / PR wing?

The result of my seasonal supermarket pickings was a delicious and fantastically quick one pan meal.  The kind of meal you probably wouldn't share with 'company' but delicious (and ok, pretty healthy.)

Monday, 12 January 2015

My views on dieting

I accidentally got into an argument yesterday.  I feel incredibly guilty about this when it (infrequently) happens to me because I antagonised someone I shouldn't have.

The medium was Twitter and ill advised, I commented on a thread about weight loss.  I won't mention the person involved nor the brand of weight loss system she was proposing.  What made me sad was that she was saying how well she'd done on this method last time and would again.  I made a comment

"It makes me sad when people say "last time..." when talking about dieting.  Just confirms dieting doesn't really work."

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Prawn and Pineapple Skewers

Prawn and Pineapple Skewers were an idea I had when I wanted to get some exercise in an evening but I also wanted to have something flavourful and easy.

Prawn and Pineapple Skewers

How could I make something delicious in 10 minutes?  Could I do it?  Hell yes!

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Very Berry Breakfast Smoothie

Smoothies aren't something I've ever been that interested in.  They are seen as healthy but contain far more calories and often sugar than you expect.  I remember I was put off them when buying one in a shopping centre and seeing them put in banana and ice cream!  That's not a smoothie, that's a milkshake!

But I am trying to keep healthy in the new year and trying to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables I eat and by making a smoothie yourself, you know exactly what's in it.  I'm also not having this as a drink but a breakfast which is a very different thing.  In winter, frozen berries can fill the gap when fresh fruit is less available, they're often much cheaper and by freezing, much of the nutritional content has been preserved unlike berries which have been flown half way around the world before reaching you.

So I have decided to try smoothies again and my first attempt is one including fresh and frozen fruit and, unusually is both banana and dairy free.  I've added a bit of seasonal spice to make more wintery and what's even better is I can take this with me, put in my cup holder and drink while I drive to work.  A great way to make time for a morning workout.

Slight warning; this does contain seeds from the blackberries.  You could sieve them out but I say "live with it".  It's more roughage!

Saturday, 3 January 2015


A simple coleslaw; or sprout-slaw if you will.  I saw someone trialling sprout-slaw in a supermarket in the run up to Christmas.  I immediately baulked but something must have stuck in my mind.

While cooking a ham with a sugar mustard glaze, it occurred to me that another meal of roast meats and vegetables was not really what I was after.  Out of season summer salads seemed wrong as well but echoing the flavour of the mustard into a seasonal coleslaw?  Why not?  Why not indeed?

I remember being out on Christmas day picking Brussels Sprouts from the stalks when I was a child.  In season from October until March, this is a great way to have a seasonal salad in winter and leftovers are great in a lunchbox, perhaps with a bit more of that ham.