January seems to be the time of year when everybody either wants to get fitter, eat better, lose weight or simply make resolutions that they know they will not keep. We all do it at some point. I think that is because of all the over indulgence of Christmas and the promise of new times. But when they arrive we all realise that making resolutions do not work. We need to make changes that will last and make realistic goals. If you set yourself goals that are out of reach you will be disappointed when you do not do what you set out to.
As a family we have always been interested in eating healthier, better food. That was one reason that I started to write my food blog. It was my way of showing that even when you are on a budget, you can eat good wholesome meals. Cheap does not always mean processed and lower quality foods. Shop around, go to local independent suppliers, visit the market and find the best prices. In the past we have tried different diets from Slimming World, clean eating, FODMAP I think we have tried most 'fads'. I know that Slimming World is not a fad diet but there are parts that I do not agree with. After trying so many plans we have a good idea of what we like so we have decided to combine our favourite parts of different plans to create an eating plan that is both healthy and something that we know we can stick to.
One of my favourite foodie writers has to be Deliciously Ella. I love how she has changed her diet and improved her health dramatically. Her recipes are great but for us they are missing something. We are meat and fish eaters and this is one food that we will not cut out so meals similar to Ella's but with meats are an ideal choice. I also find that her recipes are quite strict and I understand that, for her, they need to be. So we will be going back to basics, cutting out processed food, cutting out dairy (apart from cheese every now and then!) buying fresh vegetables, fruit, meats and fish, using more grains to bulk out foods but still having wholegrain pasta and other gluten products. We feel that if this becomes a way of life, the health benefits will be worth it.
Today I am sharing with you a really simple, yet really tasty salad that uses some of the best produce that is available at this time of year!
This is what I did...
4 red cabbage leaves, shredded
12 Brussels sprouts, halved and sliced
2 carrots, cut into ribbons using a peeler
100g dried giant couscous
4 mini gherkins, chopped
Vegetable stock cube
1 - Put the giant couscous in a pan and pour over boiling water
2 - Place on a medium heat and add the vegetable stock cube
3 - Bring to the boil then simmer for 8 - 10 minutes or until the couscous has softened
4 - Once the couscous is ready drain and return to the pan until needed
5 - Place the shredded red cabbage, chopped sprouts, carrot ribbons and chopped gherkin into a large mixing bowl and using your hand combine all of the vegetables together
6 - Add the couscous to the vegetables and mix
7 - Squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the salad along with a splash of balsamic vinegar and mix thoroughly
How you serve the salad is up to you. You can have it as it is or, like me, you can add some beneficial oily fish. I added grilled sardines to mine but if you prefer something different you could add tuna, mackerel, chicken, beef, whatever takes your fancy.
This salad is perfect for packed lunches. The hubby had his on its own with oatcakes and some cheese while I had mine with grilled sardines and lemon.
Unlike some salads, this was a filling lunch and a salad that we will be having more often! It is perfect for any leftover sprouts or cabbage that may be sat in your fridge!
How do you like your salads?