Monday, March 30, 2015

My Meat Free Week



Having just completed Meat Free Week I thought I would fill you in with my experience of the week I just had where I wasn't able to eat any meat, fish or seafood for 1 week....That's right 1 week, 7 days, 168 hours.... in reality a very short time. To all the vegetarians out there I apologise as what I'm about to say sounds pretty pathetic but this 7 short days actually felt relatively long and it turned out to be harder than I thought!

When I decided to accept the challenge I did it purely for myself...I wanted to see how I would feel going meatless for a week. Generally we eat meat free meals about twice a week and in all honesty I never thought anything of it. Eating meat 7 days a week is a big no-go for me... I simply find it to be too much. Cost aside (which would be far too much for my budget!) meat everyday is just overkill (sorry, no pun intended!).

For years I have been an advocate of buying better quality meat and simply eating less of it and I really do stand by that. There are many issues associated with our global meat consumption, notably the impact it has on the environment, animals (increased consumption has lead to inhumane farming practices for a start) and of course our own health. As posted on the Meat Free Week website "the U.N. has identified the livestock industry as one of the most significant contributors to today's most serious environmental problems" so we really do need to stop and seriously think about how much meat we eat.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Meal Plan for Meat Free Week


Monday (March 23rd, 2015) is the start of Meat Free Week, a global campaign to create awareness of how much meat you eat and the impact that it has on our health as well as the animals and the environment. The challenge is to go meat free for a full week which includes ALL meat, fish and seafood.

Although we do eat quite a lot of meat I always try to have at least 2 nights a week where we eat vegetarian meals so I'm excited to have a full week of delicious vegetarian food (breakfast and lunch included), and no there isn't a nut roast in sight!

To make things easier for you if you are interested in taking part in Meat Free Week, I decided to share my weekly meal plan which is packed with delicious, nutritious recipes. All recipes have a link included so you can join me for the week or pick and chose as you like any recipes that appeal. For more meal ideas why not have a look at the recipes provided on the Meat Free Week website or alternatively check out Jamie Oliver's recipes dedicated to this fantastic campaign, or if you have a favourite vegetarian meal please feel free to share links in the comments section!

So what are you waiting for? Join me and hundreds of other people and go meat free for a week!

Monday March 23rd ~ 29th

                                  Monday  -        Slow Cooker Quinoa, Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chilli
                                  Tuesday -         North African Squash & Chickpea Stew
                                  Wednesday -    Spicy Tomato & Mozzarella Gnocchi with Green Salad
                                  Thursday -       Grilled Halloumi with Quinoa & Beetroot Salad
                                  Friday -            Deliciously Dhal
                                  Saturday -        Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles with Tofu Brilliant Veggie Burger
                                  Sunday -          Vegetable Jalfrezi








Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Cookbook Review ~ The Wellness Kitchen by Paulette Lambert


The start of a New Year is always the time when resolutions are made to eat better, exercise more and generally lead a healthier life so it was the perfect time for me to put The Wellness Kitchen: Fresh, Flavorful Recipes for a Healthier You by Paulette Lambert to the test.

The Wellness Kitchen is a cookbook designed to show you how you can transform your body with simple, easy steps and wholesome flavourful foods. Paulette Lambert is a registered dietitian with 32 years of experience that includes appearances on ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition and The Dr. Oz Show. It is not a diet book containing specific restrictions, fads or concepts that are “of the moment”. Rather this book is about presenting the reader with “the latest scientific knowledge regarding nutrition and health” and making healthy eating a very easy, accessible way of life that anyone can achieve.

The book is divided into three parts. The first part is information about health, how to use the book for you in particular as well as general nutrition guidelines and a handy section on pantry basics and a 21-Day Food Plan for Health and Weight Loss. The third part is Caloric Meal Plans.

Part 2 of the book features the Recipes with chapters dedicated to Breakfast, Appetizers, Quick and Easy Main Dishes and A Little Sweet to name a few. With more than 100 recipes included there is plenty of choice that will tempt your taste buds and help to improve your health. With so many recipes to choose from it was hard to pick but in the end I tested 4 recipes.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!


If you are looking for some fun last minute Valentine's Day projects then these Cookies, Cupcakes and Cake Pops are the ideal sweet treat! And of course I had to share some of my favourite cocktail recipes as well! Have a great day x

Drinks

Rhubarb Mojito (not pictured)


Sweet Treats





Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Cookbook Review ~ Whitewater Cooks with Passion by Shelley Adams


Shelley is back and this time she is cooking with passion! The fourth and latest book in the Whitewater Cooks series, Whitewater Cooks with Passion, sees Shelley cooking new recipes using inspiration from her trusted family and friends as well as plenty of inspiration from around the world.

The paperback book continues with the same theme as the other books in the series with lots of beautiful, mouth-watering photographs to accompany a lot of the recipes. There are 7 chapters dedicated to recipes including Breakfast, Starters, Soups, Dinners and Desserts.

It didn’t take me long to start bookmarking plenty of recipes and in the end I tested 6.

Tested Recipes:

Green Curry Chicken with Roasted Eggplant and Red Peppers
Mango Cucumber Salad with Mint and Sweet Chilli Vinaigrette
Italian Wedding Soup
Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing
Chickpea Flatbread
Indian Artichoke Hummus

The first recipe to be put to the test was the Green Curry Chicken with Roasted Eggplant and Red Peppers. We love Thai curries so I couldn’t resist this recipe especially as it was so easy to prepare – you literally put the ingredients in an ovenproof dish and pop it in the oven and forget about it. I was very hesitant about the amount of curry paste suggested but since I had the same brand as she suggested I stayed true to the recipe and I am so glad I did! The end result was absolutely delicious. It was a perfect Thai curry made without any fuss. I would serve this to friends coming round for a relaxed dinner without any hesitation. I did skip the cucumber you put on at the end because I couldn’t get the mini cucumbers suggested but also because I served the curry with the Mango Cucumber Salad with Mint and Sweet Chilli Vinaigrette which takes me to the second tested recipe.

I absolutely love mango salads with Thai curries so I had to make this to accompany the above recipe. The recipe does have quite a lot of ingredients but it’s still simple to make and really just a case of some chopping and assembling. The dressing makes a lot and to honest in future I don’t think I would use quite as much oil but it was delicious and full of wonderful flavours. As for the salad it was packed with bright flavours, great texture contrasts and lovely fresh and vibrant flavours. It was also a huge hit and brought a wonderful ray of sunshine to our plates and palates on a miserable rainy, grey January day!
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