Monday, 30 October 2017

Weekly Meal Plan and National Cholesterol Month Round-up

Hello and welcome to week 44 of MealPlanningMonday!

We have had a great half term week at home. It has been lovely to have some lazy mornings and taking it easy. I have got to admit that I have loved having some time out with the kids. We had a great week of watching films, shopping and even had a Halloween day out.

We are also nearing the end of the National Cholesterol Month. This month I have discovered how, by making simple changes, you can increase your activity. Increasing my activity at work has been the biggest challenge but I have increased my steps by sending my work to print at the main printer instead of the one next to my desk, if I need to ask something get up and go to see that person instead of ringing, small changes will make a difference. Since learning about the hidden dangers of cholesterol I have become so much more aware of what I am eating and will continue to have more oily fish in my diet. Exercise plus oily fish in your diet can help towards lowering your cholesterol! Simple steps!

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Pumpkin Festival at The Pink Pig plus Pumpkin Orzo Risotto Recipe

Each year I sit and look admiringly at other peoples pumpkin collecting pictures and want to go. So this year I decided to have a look for somewhere to take the children to collect their own pumpkin. After sitting and looking on the internet the closest place seemed to be York. So I decided to take a look at more local places that we visit. One place that we often go to is The Pink Pig Farm in Holme near Scunthorpe. 

Apart from the play area and activities for the children my number one reason to go there has to be for the farm shop and tea room. They produce all of their own pork products and wow they are so good!  We always come home with bags full of sausages, Bottesford Black bacon, savoury bakes, fresh vegetables and even gin! So as soon as I saw that they were holding a pumpkin festival I knew that it would be the perfect day out for the kids and I. They could play, I could coffee, we could pick pumpkins, carve them and for once I would not have the stress of pumpkin mess everywhere! Even the hubby decided to take the day off to enjoy the Halloween fun with us!

Before I tell you about our day, let me show you what I cooked up using the pumpkin from our trip...

Keep reading for this delicious recipe!

Friday, 27 October 2017

Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza Pasta

I love pizza, but too much bread is not always good. The other evening I needed a quick and easy meal but really fancied something a little bit different. My go to food, when I need a quick and easy meal has to be pasta. We always have pasta of all shapes and sizes in the cupboard and it is a meal that the kids love. Plus now that I am back doing Slimming World it is an ingredient that I know is syn free, which is an added bonus.

I often post gluten free recipes as the hubby follows a gluten free diet so when I was asked if I would like to try some Orgran gluten free products I was keen to see what they were like. Orgran originates from Australia and they manufacture over 80 free from products. All of their products are gluten free, wheat free, egg free, dairy free, yeast free, soy free, vegan and kosher! Orgran is not a brand that we have tried before which made me even more curious. One of the products that I received was their Super Trio Pasta Spirals. The pasta is made up of three different super foods, millet, quinoa and buckwheat so with each mouthful you are getting a boost of nutrition!

This is what I did...

Monday, 23 October 2017

#OneaWeek Pasta, Weekly Meal Plan and Week 4 of National Cholesterol Month

National Cholesterol Month is almost over but I truly feel that this month has made me think about my health and how easy it is to make simple changes that will make a big difference. Today I am sharing with you a quick and easy meal that is not only delicious and a meal that the whole family will love but also counts to your one a week of oily fish!

John West makes getting oily fish into your diet easier and cheaper. In this recipe I have used John West Infusions, tuna with basil. It is not only so tasty but a fantastic addition to a pasta dish.

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

#CookBlogShare Plus 4 Super Soups!

Hello and welcome to CookBlogShare week 42!

Wow how did we get to week 42? I cannot be the only one that feels like this year is flying by at an incredible rate! We are also in our last week of the first half term of the academic year and we are all looking forward to a week off work and school.

This month is National Cholesterol Month and throughout the month I am working with Heart UK and John West to promote a healthier diet and how your diet effects your cholesterol level. I have also pledged to complete the 100 Mile Challenge throughout the month. Exercise can help to lower your cholesterol and by completing the 100 miles during October I am showing how easy it is to raise your activity levels by making a few simple changes. You can read how I have been getting on during week 1week 2 and week 3 in my Weekly Meal Plan posts. One simple way to help reduce your cholesterol levels is to include at least one meal of oily fish to your weekly meals. Over the last couple of weeks we have been having more tuna and salmon, plus with tinned fish it is quick and easy to add to a dish!

Before I go on to my four favourite recipes I have to tell you about a fantastic new giveaway. I am delighted to be offering one Hijacked By Twins reader the chance of winning a box of wine from Le Petit Ballon. To enter simply visit my giveaway post and enter the Rafflecopter.

Now onto this weeks CookBlogShare. Last week the linky was hosted by Eb at Easy Peasy Foodie and there were so many autumnal recipes coming through but it was the soups that really stood out. The four recipes that I have chosen are split into two sets that are equally as tempting as the other. Each set features the same dominant ingredient but have very distinct flavours.

Here are my four favourite recipes from week 41 of CookBlogShare..

Monday, 16 October 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Plus Week 3 of National Cholesterol Month

Wow the weeks are flying by! I cannot believe that we are half way through National Cholesterol Month with Heart UK!

I have to admit that last week I was exhausted most of the week, but I think that this is due to a manic week at work, being hormonal and just feeling run down. I feel like my body is fighting off some germs so needed a bit more rest. But despite that my steps have stayed up and I am confident that I will get my 100 miles during October.

Last weeks meal plan went well until I started feeling run down and I did slip into quick and easy freezer meals, which I know is not great if eaten everyday. But every once in a while I think is fine.

In my meal planning post last week I gave you a sneak peek of one of my lunches that used some leftovers. Well you can now see the whole recipe for my Alioli Fish Feast and check out a new giveaway that I have got running where you can win a lovely box of wine from Le Petit Ballon! I know that alcohol is not good if drunk in large quantities and Heart UK have got some fantastic alcohol tips, but if drunk in moderation then the odd glass of wine is ok. Life is all about having a good balance.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Alioli Fish Feast Paired with Le Petit Ballon Bordeaux Blanc Sec

Now that I have told you all about Le Petit Ballon let me show you what I paired the wine with and share with you a delicious fish feast that is full of fish, fresh vegetables and tasty alioli.

After reading the tasting notes that come with each bottle of wine from Le Petit Ballon I knew that I could chose from the following foods:
  • Grilled white meat
  • Fresh fish, fried or steamed
  • Courgette gratin
  • Cheeses
I decided to go with the fresh fish and added in some courgette from the courgette gratin. This is a meal that is served on a platter dish, placed in the centre of the table so that everyone can dig in. This is a social meal that when paired with the wine makes a perfect meal for entertaining!

This is what I did...

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Le Petit Ballon Wine Giveaway!

So it is no secret that I love a glass of wine. But what may not be well known is how I love to pair wine with food. Finding the perfect mixture of wine and food can transform both the food and the wine!

So when Le Petit Ballon asked me if I would like to try some of their wine I saw this as a perfect pairing opportunity. If you do not know who Le Petit Ballon is let me tell you a bit more.

Le Petit Ballon is a monthly wine subscription. Each month you will receive two bottles of specially selected wines, one red and one white. Each bottle has been carefully selected by Jean-Michel Deluc, Le Petit Ballon's personal sommelier. A Sommelier is someone who is a trained and knowledgeable wine professional who normally works in fine restaurants. As well as the two bottles of wine each month you will also receive The Gazette which is a magazine all about Le Petit Ballon's passion, wine. It is full of tips, recipes and even tells you about the winemakers that supply them wine. What I loved was that with each box you also receive tasting note cards for each of the wines. The cards even give you ideas for pairing the wines so you can easily cook a meal that will compliment the wine.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Weekly Meal Plan Plus Week 2 of National Cholesterol Month

We are now on week 2 of the National Cholesterol Month and I have got to say that I am loving the healthier dinners and feel like I have got over the bump that I encountered. I am thinking more about what is going in, especially when it comes to our dinners. My only downfall is cake and biscuits that get brought into work! But hey we all need a treat!

I have changed where we have been getting our shopping from again. I found that I got bored with the usual vegetables so have returned to Ocado. I love the wide variety of foods that they have, especially the more unusual vegetables. Check out this delicious salad that I had for work in the week. I will be posting the recipe later in the week but here is a sneak peek...

It was leftover vegetables with John West Pink Salmon. Did you know that having just one portion of oily fish each week can help to lower your cholesterol? As well as providing you with a deliciously healthy dinner, what reasons do you have to not indulge? Plus thanks to John West you can get your oily fish in a convenient tin which will also help keep your shopping bill down.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Revamp Your Breakfast!

This month I am following a diet that helps to promote lowering my cholesterol. I am doing this with HeartUk to help promote National Cholesterol Month.

Cholesterol is a silent killer that is effecting over half of all adults. But this month I am going to show you how with a few little changes you can help to prevent a high level of cholesterol.

One meal which I need to pay more attention to is breakfast. Now that I am going to work in the morning gone are my relaxing breakfasts once the kids are at school. I will admit to skipping breakfast more than I would like to. This is mainly down to time but also I get bored with the same old cereals. So with this in mind I thought that I would have a go at revamping my cereals. I have done it in two ways that I am going to share with you today.

Do you ever find yourself sitting, whilst having your breakfast, thinking how boring your everyday cereal is? I know I do and no matter how hard you look it is so hard to find the perfect bowl of granola or muesli. There is always something that is missing or an addition that you do not like. That is why the hubby and I decided to make our own. We started with a simple granola and jumbo rolled oats then added our own additions to create a bespoke cereal. The results were so easy to achieve but they have literally transformed our breakfast bowls from boring to a taste sensation! Each spoonful gives a different taste, a different texture and we love it!

In this post I am going to give you some ideas what to add and the rest is up to you!

This is what I did...

Monday, 2 October 2017

National Cholesterol Month and a Healthy Meal Plan

Yesterday marked the start of National Cholesterol Month with heartuk. I am all for promoting good health and especially when it comes to something that is not a visible problem. It is not surprising to learn that cholesterol is known as the silent killer. In the UK over half of all adults have raised cholesterol. This was a statistic that I was really surprised about. National Cholesterol Month is all about raising awareness of high cholesterol, what causes cholesterol, how it can be controlled and most of all making everyone aware what the dangers of having a raised cholesterol level really are.

So, what is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is formed in the liver, however cholesterol can also be found in some foods. Cholesterol plays a vital role in the function of our cell and is also needed to make vitamin D. But having a high level of cholesterol in the blood can lead to heart and circulatory diseases. There are certain foods which contain high levels of cholesterol and eating too many of these will inevitably lead to high levels of cholesterol in you blood stream.