Thursday, 27 April 2017

Mashed Potatoes and Beef Bowl - The Perfect Quick Meal

Today's post is a guest post recipe and a meal that we love! Cottage pie style meals are always a huge success in our house. One of our favourite ways variations of cottage pie was my Cottage Pie topped with Butternut Squash Mash that was a quick meal thanks to the Pressure King Pro.

But this recipe that has been shared with me is an even quicker one!

Guest Post

On busy weeknights, spending hours in the kitchen is the last thing most of us look forward to, even if we love to cook. For days like this, it is a great idea to prepare a quick and healthy dinner that is not only nutritious but also delicious. This delectable recipe serves four and is bound to give you the perfect comfort food feeling:

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Beef Kheema for Great British Beef Week with Aldi

This week is Great British Beef Week so this weeks recipe with Aldi features their 100% British beef. Aldi are committed to sourcing only 100% British beef that comes from Red Tractor assured farms. This means that they are able to trace back all of their meat to the farm of its origin. The Red Tractor is one of the largest food standard schemes in the UK and they ensure that the welfare of the animals is protected, food safety is paramount and that everything from the care to packaging of the meats is environmentally friendly. 

With Aldi offering some of the best prices on the market seeing the Red Tractor on all of their beef you can be confident that you are going to be cooking and consuming great meat.

To celebrate Great British Beef Week and to also celebrate the fantastic prices at Aldi I am sharing with you a curried beef recipe, beef kheema. This is a simple yet full of flavour dish that can be served in a variety of ways.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

One Pot Spring Vegetables and Pesto Pasta

Green vegetables are not only super good for you but they are also deliciously versatile. They can be added to a wide variety of dishes and can be paired with so many different flavours.

This recipe actually started off as a soup but as I added the all of the ingredients together I realised that they would make a delicious one pot pasta dish. So I added some vermicelli and hey presto we had a new meal! But what really does complete this dish is the pesto. Before you serve it simply add a spoon of pesto and then stir it in to the pasta and vegetables to add some extra flavours.

This meal is quick, easy and keeps the amount of washing up down to a minimum, perfect for a busy mid week meal.

This is what I did...

Monday, 24 April 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 17 2017

After a week away it is lovely to come home to a meal plan already in place. To make life easier I planned this week before we went on holiday. I did this for a couple of reasons, one so it saves me the stress of wondering what we can eat and secondly there is always so much to do after a holiday and with the children going straight back to school the following day it does not give us much time to unwind.

The majority of this weeks meals are easy dinners using what I have already got in the freezer. This means I do not need to worry about going shopping as soon as we get home which will save us some much needed money.

This is what we will be having this week...

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Easy School Holiday Meals with Birds Eye

When Birds Eye got in touch with me and asked me if I would like to try out some of their spring recipes I knew that the school holidays would be the ideal time to try one out. During the school holidays we all want to have meals that are quick and easy. When you have days out or have just had a busy day at home you want to be able to prepare a meal that is both nutritious and tasty.

Birds Eye do a great range of frozen fish, chicken, vegetables, potato products, pie, ready meals and even breakfast sweet treats. I decided to use some of their delicious fish products in a recipe. The Birds Eye Inspirations range allow you to feast on fish that is full of flavour and that has been paired with perfect extra ingredients. As you know I am following the Slimming World eating plan and will admit that it did play a part in what I decided to get. When I was looking at the syn value in the fish I was delighted to find that the Salmon in Lemon and Dill Sauce was syn free it went straight into my trolley!

I decided to make a meal based on the serving suggestion on the front of the box. The picture shows the salmon on a bed of pasta and peas.

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Honey Earl Grey Cupcakes for National Tea Day 2017

Like them or love them there seems to be a national day, week, or month for just about everything. The foodie that I am, I love food and drink days. Even if they are foods and drinks that we consume on a daily basis it is always good to celebrate them and try something new.

Image result for national tea day logo

On Friday 21st April it is National Tea Day so it is only fitting to celebrate this much loved drink by creating a recipe incorporating tea. There are so many different teas, blends, flavours, makes available on the market. If you are a tea drinker you really are spoilt for choice! Aldi stock a good range of teas at a great price. From Mao Feng green tea to Earl Grey, from fruit infusions to the traditional black tea, we have even found special green teas that contain coconut, manuka honey or mint.

This recipe features the Aldi Earl Grey tea. Earl Grey is a lovely blend of black tea with flavours of bergamot. Bergamot that is used in Earl Grey is an oil that comes from the bergamot orange that grows in Italy. It gives you a light citrus cup of tea which goes perfectly with a slice of lemon and no milk. Tea also has many health benefits which make it an even better drink, they are:
  • Tea contains antioxidants which help protect our bodies from pollutants
  • Herbal teas contain no caffeine
  • Black teas contain half the amount of caffeine than coffee
  • Herbal teas can help settle your digestive system
  • Tea is hydrating
Whenever we think about afternoon tea we immediately think of cake. This cake recipe is the ideal accompaniment to you cup of tea.

This is what I did...

Monday, 17 April 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 16 2017 - Easy Meals for a Holiday

Welcome to week 16 of #MealPlanningMonday.

This weeks meal plan is not my usual plan. As it is the Easter holidays we have got a bit of time away so this week there is no specific meal plan in place. We have got a couple of meals booked but the remainder of the week we will be cooking for ourselves. To keep costs down I will be doing a small shop to get foods and snacks that we may need. But as we are a family of five I am sure you can imagine how much stuff we take away with us so we do not have the room for a lot of groceries. Plus we cannot take perishable foods, we will need to purchase those once we arrive. So this weeks meal plan is going to be a list of meals that will be easy to prepare, foods that we can easily pack and meals that everyone will enjoy.

Here are my top holiday meals...
  • Lasagne - Pasta dishes are great easy meals. When cooking lasagne you can buy some delicious sauces that allow you to easily make this classic dish. You can buy the tomato base sauce, white sauce and a box of lasagne sheets will easily pack.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Lentil and Bacon Stew with Celeriac Mash

Stews are a great way of adding extra vegetables to a meal without the children always knowing exactly what they are eating. My eldest is adamant that he does not like butternut squash, but when I use it is a stew he eats it with no questions asked. Stews can often take a while, especially if you are using a slow cooker. But since I got my Pressure King Pro to review I am able to make a quick and easy stew in a faction of the time. As a busy mum this is something which has made meal time a lot easier and quicker!

This recipe is full of delicious vegetables but also has the bacon and lentils to bulk it up. With the celeriac mash it really is a filling meal.

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Aldi Posh Cross Buns French Toast - An Easter Breakfast

I love hot cross buns and can happily eat them all year round. At Easter they are an essential part of my shopping list. This year Aldi have lovingly created a hot cross bun that is out of this world! If you love a good, rich hot cross bun you must take a trip to your local store and pick up a pack of their brioche hot cross buns. Priced at just 99p for 4 you cannot go wrong.

You do not have to take just my word for how great these hot cross buns are. They have been dubbed the 'Posh Cross Bun' for Easter 2017. These indulgent, sweet buns are packed with juicy sultanas, raisins and currants and combined with the all butter brioche you will find them to be simply irresistible! Over the last few years brioche breads have certainly become the most popular sweet bread on the market and during 2016 Aldi sold 16 times more brioche than the likes of Marks and Spencer and Waitrose! Aldi's brioche range accounted for 37% of sweet bread sales in the UK!

To celebrate their 'Posh Cross Buns' Aldi have teamed up with Great British Bake Off finalist Miranda Gore Browne to bring you some delicious recipes, both sweet and savoury, and all featuring their 'Posh Cross Buns'. When I was asked to feature one of the recipes I could not resist trying the French toast recipe. It was so delicious I am going to share it with you!

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Exploring Under the Sea

The Easter holidays are here and now is the time when a lot of us are either taking our first holiday of the year or start to plan what we can do over the year. As the children are getting older I find that we can do a lot more together as a family. In fact we have just made a purchase, which we see as an investment in our family, of a tent. This is going to mean so many more, new adventures for us. It is going to bring us closer to nature and the children will be making some amazing memories.

Picture courtesy of Pixabay

This has led us to thinking what we can do and where we can go. With this new found holiday freedom the possibilities are endless. I love to be by the sea and really want to explore more coastal locations. Our favourite coastal location has to be Northumberland. The northern county boast some of the most picturesque, idyllic coastal lines in the country. The crystal clear sea is somewhere that I am curious to explore more. Thankfully J shares my love of the water and as he matures I can see this being an activity that we can do together and have some one to one, mother and son time. Scuba diving has to be the best way to explore the sea!

Monday, 10 April 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 15 2017

Hooray for school holidays! I may not be saying that in two weeks, but for now it is lovely to know that we can have a bit of time out. I have a feeling that this week is going to go by quickly as we only have four days until we have the hubby at home for just over a week.

This weeks meals are going to be easy meals that I can either make quickly in the evening or one that I can put in the Pressure King Pro and just leave it. Last weeks meal plan was a huge success, the best meal had to be the butternut squash pearl barley risotto, it was so good! Unfortunately I did not get a single picture as it was eaten before I got a chance. Needless to say it will be made again and I will be blogging about it!

My last weigh in at Slimming World has certainly given me the motivation to keep on. I only lost 1.5lbs but I now have the urge to carry on and I will get to my target weight!

This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Super Boost Green Matcha Smoothie

Since starting Slimming World 25 weeks ago I have noticed my body and tastes change a great deal. Now that I have stepped up my weight loss plan to include more activity what I eat and drink has changed even more. On the days that I exercise my appetite is bigger but for good foods. Before I exercise I have an oat based breakfast and try to include banana for energy and a natural peanut butter to help the long term release of energy. My favourite way to start a gym day is with a lovely big bowl of my Full of Energy Porridge.

Whether you are exercising or not what you drink is also an important part of your diet. When I drink alcohol my whole body feels it and it effects the way I eat. So I am trying to make a conscious effort to not drink as much, limiting it to the odd drink. I have started to add super green matcha to my drinks again and on a gym day the matcha really does give me an added boost! In the past I have written about matcha and what a great drink and ingredient it is. I have used it in porridge, cakes and drinks. When I have matcha in my diet I find that my energy levels are higher, my moods are better and I generally feel better in myself. Over the last few weeks I have been starting the day with a delicious, green smoothie. It has become a loved part of my daily routine hence why I am sharing it with you today!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Dairy Free, Free From Refined Sugar Easter Fruit Oaty Snack - An Alternative #FreeFromEaster with Aldi

Recently I have been experimenting more and more with free from baking so when Aldi challenged me to create an alternative Easter bake I jumped at the chance. At the end of the week the children break up for the Easter holidays and we all know how important it is to keep them busy. This weeks Aldi recipe is perfect to make with the children and I even had a little helper when I made these.

These lovely little fruit oaty snacks are a bit like a soft flapjack that can be cut into a range of shapes and decorated as you wish. They are dairy free and free from refined sugar. We added fruit and honey to give them a natural sweetness. Aldi have got lots of delicious Easter recipes, including some free from treats, in their Easter section. But for now let me and my little helper show and tell you what we did...

#CookBlogShare 2017 Week 14 - Plus 4 Yummy Bakes

Hello and welcome to week 14 of #CookBlogShare.

Where have the weeks gone? We are now in April and this is my last #CookBlogShare for the next 3 weeks. Next week the linky will be hosted by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie then the following two weeks will be guest hosted by Jacqui at Recipes Made Easy and Monika at Everyday Healthy Recipes. We have got a week away which overlaps the linky so instead of trying to cram everything together I am going to have a couple of weeks off, go away and have a bit of time off with my family. I am confident that Jacqui and Monika will keep everything ticking over while I am away.

Back to this weeks CookBlogShare, last week there were so many delicious recipes shared, but again the Easter, spring inspired bakes won. Here are my 4 favourite recipes from week 13 of CookBlogShare...

Monday, 3 April 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 14 2017

Welcome to the first meal plan for April! We have one more week of school before the children break up for the Easter holidays. 

Last week I had a bit of a Slimming World wobble but after a great image therapy session I am back on it and have my mojo back. I was amazed that I maintained my weight when I stepped on the scales and this has certainly encouraged me to carry on. I have only 11lbs to go until I reach my target. I CAN do this! I even kept to my meal plan 100% and we loved all of the meals.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Gluten Free Banana Bread (Wheat-free, Rice-Free and Free From Refined Sugar)

Finally I have my baking mojo back and I have a very happy hubby! Since discovering The Free From Fairy Gluten-Free Wholegrain Flour my gluten free bakes have literally been transformed. Using this fantastic flour gives us bakes that do not have the powdery finish that I got using other gluten free flours.

Whenever I have any ripe bananas that are going brown I love to use them in bakes and as I had a bag of The Free From Fairy flour I knew it was the perfect time to have a go at making a gluten free banana bread. Believe me, we were not disappointed!

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

How a Healthy Diet is Essential for a Healthy Mind - Guest Post

There is evidence to suggest that good nutrition is essential for mental health and physical health. There are several mental health conditions that may be influenced by dietary factors.
In a recent study, two thirds of people who did not report mental daily health issues ate fresh fruit or fruit juice every day, compared with less than half of those who did report daily mental health problems.
Eating well balances mood and feelings of wellbeing, with leading mental health charities such as Mind advocating that healthy eating courses should sit alongside treatments from GPs and specialists.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Sausage and Beetroot Traybake - Aldi Super 6 Recipe

One of the highlights of shopping at Aldi has to be their fantastic Super 6 offers. This week I thought that I would share with you an easy recipe that uses some of the products that I found in the Super 6 offers this week. Every week Aldi bring you a selection of 6 fruit and vegetable produce that is priced at just 65p and under and 6 meat and fish offers all at great, low prices. It really does pay to stock up on any favourite items while they are on offer.

Traybakes are a delicious way to cook a meal. They are so easy to prepare and cook. You simply place all of the ingredients in a large roasting tin and let the oven do all of the work for you. When cooking all of the ingredients together you create a meal that is so full of flavour, as they cook their flavours combine together to compliment each other perfectly. 

As soon as I saw that both beetroot and sausages were on the super 6 I knew exactly what I would make. This is what I did...

#CookBlogShare 2017 - Week 13 Plus 4 Delicious Easter Treats

Hello and welcome to week 13 of #CookBlogShare.

Week 13 means we are finally getting more hours of sunlight! Even though we lose an hour of sleep I am always so happy to see the days lengthening and welcoming in the better weather. During the weekend there was a lovely feeling of spring in the air. Everything seems so much better with the extra hours of sunlight. We spent a lot of time in the garden and I even got my bake on. Baking bread is something that I have not been doing recently. But on Friday the twins, who had the day off school due to illness, wanted a pizza and as they had not been eating much I could not say no. Even though I had no pizza, I did have bread flour so I made some fresh pizza dough and rediscovered my love of baking. I adore the whole bread making process, how the ingredients come together and how you can feel them change as you knead. After my pizza baking I made more dough on Saturday and also made a focaccia as well as a banana bread.

On Mother's Day I was treated to a day off from cooking. The hubby made an amazing meal, he slow cooked a joint of beef in red wine with carrots, onions, garlic and fresh bay leaves from the garden. If he agrees I will definitely blog the recipe!

Last week the CookBlogShare linky was hosted by Eb from Easy Peasy Foodie. There were so many delicious recipes shared and as Easter gets closer there are more and more lovely Easter recipes coming through. This week I could not resist featuring Easter treats and I am sure that you will also find them all irresistible!

Here are my four favourite recipes from week 12 of CookBlogShare...

Monday, 27 March 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 13 2017

Wow the weeks are flying by aren't they? I really do not know where the days are going. We are almost in April and Easter is on it's way!

Last weeks meal plan went well. The only meal that we did not have was the Slimming World chicken. This was due to poorly twins and needing to go shopping and to get weighed in the evening while the hubby was at home with the kids. But apart from that it was a good week. All of our meals have been full of veg thanks to our lovely veg box delivery. This week we have got a seasonal box so plenty of fruit and veg at its best!

When I got weighed last week the scales showed a half pound gain. But I am taking it with a pinch of salt due to being weighed at the end of the day as opposed to the morning. Also I managed to get to the gym twice in the week and I hate to admit it but I actually love going! I also understand that the more exercise I do my muscle mass will build which does weigh more than fat. I am fine with this as I feel that I am at the point where I feel happy with my body and can see it is changing the more I exercise.

I have been a bit off plan the last couple of weeks and know I need to get back on plan. For some unknown reason I have not been feeling 100% motivated. I am sure it is just a blip and I am sure I will get over it but I will admit that I am struggling. This week we will have lots of veg and healthy meals and I will try to get back on track.

This is what we will be enjoying this week…

Savoury Egg Muffins - Gluten Free and Dairy Free #FreeFromEaster

When it comes to Easter we immediately think of chocolate eggs. But, believe it or not, not everyone likes or can have chocolate. So if you are looking something that is definitely healthier that chocolate and a savoury option then look no further.

Eggs are such a fantastic source of protein, contain various vitamins and minerals and are such a versatile food. Eggs are an essential part of my kitchen and thanks to our chickens, something that we always have in. So when it came to thinking of a savoury recipe for Easter I kept coming back to eggs. Eggs are a traditional Easter item and the perfect ingredient to base a recipe on.

These savoury egg muffins make a fantastic addition to either your party buffet or to just keep in the fridge for when you or the kids are wanting a snack. They can be packed with fillings that please everyone and tailored to individual taste.

This is what I did...

Friday, 24 March 2017

All in One Spaghetti Bolognese

Don't you just love it when you can cook a complete meal in just one pot! Since I started using the Pressure King Pro that I received to review it has become an invaluable piece of cooking equipment. It makes cooking one pot meals so quick and easy and we all know that in a busy household this can be a lifesaver!

One of our favourite meals that is made in the Pressure King Pro has to be pasta dishes. When the pasta has been cooked with the other ingredients it is so full of flavour and gives you a really rich dish. This recipe is perfect for the Pressure King Pro or any Instapot but can also be easily made in a pan.

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

#ThankGoodness for Dolmio

When feeding a family it is essential that the meal is both delicious and full of goodness. As much as we would all love to be able to cook meals from scratch when you live in a busy family household it really is not always feasible. Thankfully on days when you need a helping hand you can rely on Dolmio to not only provide you with an authentic Italian sauce but one that is also full of goodness. The Dolmio bolognese sauce that I have used in this recipe is 100% natural. Check out the video below that shows you exactly what goes into each jar of Domlio Bolognese sauce.

Each jar contains at least 10 juicy tomatoes, tomato puree, half an onion, a tablespoon of sunflower oil, garlic, basil, herbs, a teaspoon of cornflour, a teaspoon of salt, a pinch of pepper, two teaspoons of beet sugar to taste, a squeeze of lemon juice and water. There are no artificial colours, flavours, preservatives or sweeteners so you know that when you feed your family a meal that uses the Dolmio sauce they are getting natural goodness. The sauce is so good it provides you with one of your daily recommended five a day!

Bolognese sauce is often purely associated with spaghetti or pasta. But I am going to show you that it is so much more. Bolognese sauce is such a versatile sauce that can be used to create a vast array of delicious, family friendly meals. It can be used in so many different ways there really is no fixed way to enjoy the sauce. Let your imagination and culinary creativity run free and use the Dolmio bolognese sauce as the base of so many amazing dishes.

In this post I am going to tell you how to prepare a full of vegetables bolognese base with the Dolmio original sauce. But I am also going to show you how you can transform the sauce into three different meals. All three are wholesome meals with three distinct flavours. I am going to show you that bolognese is anything but boring!

This is what I did…

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Perfect Cake for Comic Relief and Mum

This week we have two big events coming up. On Friday people all over the country will be coming together to raise much needed funds for Comic Relief. Then on Sunday we will be celebrating mums. So when I had to decide which topic to focus on for this weeks Aldi post I thought why not combine the two! This cake recipe will create a fantastically fun cake for Comic Relief by simply adding a red nose. Or you can leave the nose off and treat your mum on Mothering Sunday.

If there is one foodie treat that your mum is sure to love this Mothering Sunday it has to be a traditional afternoon tea. However going out for afternoon tea on mother's day can be expensive, not to mention busy. Thankfully you can easily recreate afternoon tea at home with the help of these great Mother's Day offers available in Aldi.

Monday, 20 March 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 12 2017

Hello and welcome to week 12 of #mealplanningmonday

Last week we did well and had 4 out of the 6 meals that I had planned. On Tuesday I received a lovely delivery of food from Dolmio so on Tuesday we did not have the meal that I had planned. We had a delicious bolognese. I will be writing all about the meal and telling you about Dolmio later in the week. Saturday’s meal did not go as planned as on Tuesday we were told that J was ready to do his next taekwondo grading and was invited to take part in a three hour training session. So Saturday was all about taekwondo. Instead of the fritters we had quick and easy homemade burgers when I got home.

When I went to get weighed at Slimming World last Friday I really was not sure what to expect. Over the week I increased my exercise. I had a great two and a half hour session at the gym on Monday and even went on a 12k bike ride on Wednesday so my focus had been on my fitness as opposed to my food. But I was delighted when I got on the scales and found that I had in fact lost another 3lbs! I am now only 10.5lbs away from my target!

A couple of years ago I used to have some lovely fresh vegetables delivered each week. Unfortunately they had to stop coming to the village as I was the only customer. But last week, after more people asked them to deliver to the village, they returned! So from now on I will be getting boxes delivered. What I always enjoyed about getting the boxes delivered was the variety of vegetables that I received. When I receive the boxes it is easier to plan around the vegetables that arrive as opposed to planning before shopping. But we will be having a lot of vegetables in our meals which is great!

This is what we will be enjoying this week…

Gluten Free and Refined Sugar Free Easter Cupcakes - #FreeFromEaster

Following on from the Free From Pancakes collaboration I am, again, joining forces with some amazing free from bloggers to bring you a free from Easter.

I have been told by the hubby that he misses my baking so I am going to be experimenting a lot more with gluten free bakes. I will admit I have found the thought of baking gluten free quite daunting. I can bake gluten free cakes but I am yet to perfect a loaf and still need to try making pastry. So over the coming months I am going to rediscover my baking passion. I find reading the other free from blogs so inspiring and they really do give me the confidence to try more. My aim is to show you that it is possible to create baked treats that are gluten free and will please the whole family, not just those that follow a gluten free diet.

For my first of two free from Easter bakes I have made some delicious chocolate cup cakes and next week I will be sharing a savoury recipe. So keep an eye out for that one!

Today's recipe is a simple sponge cupcake but is gluten free and free from refined sugar. This is what I did...

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Comic Relief 2017

New week people up and down the country will be having fun to raise much needed money for Comic Relief. Red Nose day started back in 1988 and dare I say it, I remember the first ever Red Nose Day nearly 30 years ago! Over the last 30 years Sir Lenny Henry has been the face of Comic Relief and each year the event and the money raised has grown enormously. Comic Relief does so much to help people in both the UK and abroad, tackling poverty and injustice and raising awareness of issues that have huge effects of people and communities.
Comic Relief
When I started blogging back in 2013 I quickly became aware of how charitable the blogging community are. Everybody really pulls together and Comic Relief is no exception. From three amazing bloggers Penny AlexanderAnnie Spratt and Tanya Barrow Team Honk was born and over the years Team Honk has completed tasks to raise money. One year a baton was passed from Lands End all the way up to John O'Groats, then there was dancing away for Comic Relief and just last week a group of bloggers walked all over London and even prepared their meals on the go in parks. It is from Team Honk that I became involved in this years fund raising efforts. As we live a long way from London I volunteered to visit a project that is local to me to see the sort of places the money raised goes to.

Quinoa Stir Fry Salad

Quinoa is one of those great ingredients that I just cannot get enough of. I love it! It is such a versatile ingredient. I can be used in sweet dishes as well as savoury and is so quick to prepare. I always have a good supply of quinoa in the house!

Not only is quinoa versatile and tasty it is also a super food. Quinoa is gluten free and a complete protein that contains all of the essential amino acids which helps your body to repair muscle, which is especially needed after exercising. Quinoa contains three times more iron than brown rice so it is an ideal addition to your diet if you suffer from anaemia. As well as amino acids and iron it is also a great source of folate, manganese, magnesium and zinc. When I cook quinoa I usually cook it in a bulk as once it is cooked it can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days!

My quinoa stir fry salad is a bit of a mixture of meals. It contains stir fried vegetables but it is like a salad. It can be eaten warm or cold the following day. It is such a versatile base to a meal. I have enjoyed it with smoked salmon and eggs, while the hubby had his the following day with mackerel in tomato sauce. The possibilities are endless!

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

St Patrick's Day Guinness Shepherd's Pie

Friday 17th March is St Patrick's day. Whether you are Irish or not you simply cannot get away from it. So for this weeks recipe with Aldi I thought that I would bring you a taste of Ireland. Today's recipe uses an iconic ingredient from Ireland, Guinness. 

Shepherd's pie is such a classic, comforting meal and one that can be easily adapted to give it added twists. This meal was a huge success with the family and with the added vegetables in the a colcannon for the topping I knew they were getting even more goodness in their meal. Colcannon is an Irish mashed potato that is full of extra vegetables.

So this St Patrick's day why not try my Guinness Shepherd's Pie!

This is what I did...

#CookBlogShare Week 11 2017 - Plus 4 Showstopper Cakes

Welcome to week 11 of #CookBlogShare.

Now that March has arrived there is a definite feel of spring in the air. The seasonal change is also reflected in many of the recipes that were shared in last weeks CookBlogShare. But last week it was definitely the cakes that stood out. The recipes that I have chosen today are all showstopping cakes. Unfortunately cakes will not be on my meal plan for a while. I bravely signed up to complete Race for Life in June so as of this week I am in training. At the moment I really cannot run, but I am going to the gym and am building up my fitness! But that does not stop me reading about luscious cakes and wanting them!

Here are my 4 favourite showstopping cakes from week 10 of #CookBlogShare...

Monday, 13 March 2017

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday Week 11 2017

What a funny old week last week was. The hubby was home poorly on Monday and Tuesday so I really was off my Slimming World eating plan. But we did stick to the meal plan and we had all of the meals. The hubby even cooked a meal last week which was lovely.

Last week I visited a project that had received funding from Comic Relief. The project is a weekly group that is run to help women who have mental health problems due to domestic violence. I am going to be writing about my visit this week but I was surprised by how much it affected me. But I will explain more later in the week. 

Friday's weigh in was not great. But I knew that it was not going to be. I had been so off plan there was no way I was going to have a loss. I gained 1.5lbs which I am fine with. I did get to the gym last week and spent 2 hours there working out and I am really starting to enjoy it. I have also set myself a huge target. I have signed up to do Race for Life in June. I cannot run 1k let alone 5, but I am going to start training so that I will be able to run, jog, walk the 5k to help raise money for cancer research. 

Now onto this weeks meal plan. As we are trying to keep our shopping bill down I am trying to use what we have in. So I have written my plan accordingly. We have plenty of food in the freezer so I am using as much of it as I can.

This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Weekly Meal Plan - Week 11 2017

Irish Shepherd's Pie

In preparation for St Patrick's day we will be starting the week with an Irish shepherd's pie. I will be sharing my recipe tomorrow!

Butternut Squash and Lentil Stew

This is a recipe that I have seen in one of my Slimming World books. I will be adapting it slightly according to our taste and so that it is low in FODMAP's for the hubby. I will also be cooking some pork for the hubby to have with his stew.

Gluten Free Lasagne

On Wednesday I am planning to make a lasagne using one of the new gluten free mixes that I tried at the Schwartz event. I am looking forward to seeing what the family think of the lovely sauces.

Aromatic Mexican Chicken

This is another Slimming World meal. The recipe uses turkey but as I do not have any turkey in the freezer I will be using chicken instead.

Date Night

Friday's are when the hubby and I enjoy a bit of time together. Once the kids are in bed and J is upstairs in his room playing we have some food and watch a film. This week we will either have fish or a ready meal.

Tuna and Sweetcorn Fritters

I will be making these fritters and serving them with SW chips and salad.

There, that is another week planned! What do you have planned for the week? If you write a meal plan feel free to join in with the #MealPlanningMonday blog hop!

Hope you have a delicious week x

Hijacked By Twins

get the InLinkz code

Friday, 10 March 2017

Kale and Egg Brunch

Since starting the Slimming World eating plan back in October I have been focused on good, healthy food to get my weight down. I have now lost 30lbs and now is the time to start thinking about toning up and getting fit. My weight loss has slowed down and this is due to me relaxing the eating plan a little and then need for more exercise. I was recently referred to the gym via my lovely doctor who could see how my belly was affecting me. During my twin pregnancy I got huge and my poor stomach was stretched more than I thought it was possible. I carried two, beautiful, healthy babies so believe me I am not ashamed of how my stomach looks now. It is a testament to carrying two 6lbs babies at the same time. But I do get very uncomfortable as I have been left with excess skin. After visit the doctor, who I will admit was so much more understanding than I was expecting she advised me to loose weigh, which I am doing, and improve my fitness. After waiting for almost 4 months I got the call from the gym! I have had my induction session and a tailor made workout has been set for me. This week is my second week of going to the gym. At the moment I have only been twice but I am hoping to up it to 2 sessions a week. 

Now that I am focusing on my fitness, the food, on my gym days, has changed. I am not concentrating so much on the 'syns' but eating what I know is good for me. Before I go to the gym I start the day with a bowl of my Full of Energy Porridge. This bowl of porridge is full of goodness from the oats, banana, cinnamon and peanut butter, just what my body needs before a good workout. What you eat after a workout is just as important. Protein is essential after exercise as it helps to repair your muscles. My go to protein foods are eggs and chicken. Today I am sharing with you one of my favourite post workout meals, Kale and Egg Brunch. This is such a simple meal that is full of flavour and full of goodness!

This is what I did...