Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Beef and Lentil Cottage Pie

Sometimes you just need a good comforting meal and a favourite in our house has to be cottage pie or shepherd's pie. To keep my lot guessing I do like to make changes to this dish. So far we have enjoyed my Marmite cottage pievenison cottage piebutternut squash topped cottage pie and a curried cottage pie which I am yet to blog! I love how versatile this dish is, it can be adapted to suit all tastes.

Today's cottage pie contains low fat steak mince, fresh vegetables and lentils for extra goodness which also act as a fantastic thickener for the sauce.

This is what I did...

Monday, 26 February 2018

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2018 Week 9

Hello and welcome to week 9 of #MealPlanningMonday!

Last week really was not great. On Monday I ended up leaving work at lunchtime feeling ill, which ended up lasting all week! After a couple of visits to the doctor I finally got some antibiotics so am now, thankfully, feeling more like myself. I returned to work today and it was lovely to get some normality back.

Last week I did manage to blog about a subject which has, in the past, haunted me. In my post Body, Size, Acceptance I wrote about how I feel about my body and where I am both physically and psychologically. This post has been so therapeutic and I feel that it has lifted such a weight of my mind and I have a new found confidence, which I am loving!

This weeks meal plan is full of delicious meals and I have to admit that I am looking forward to each and every meal. I am keeping my fingers crossed for some leftovers for my lunch the following day.

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

Thursday, 22 February 2018

Body, Size, Acceptance

In the past I have written a lot about wanting to loose weight, I have been on numerous "weight loss journeys" and thought that being a small size was important.

This post is different.

This post is about finally having acceptance.

Acceptance that there is no "perfect" size, acceptance that you can never please, nor should you have to please everyone, acceptance that as long as I am happy, my husband loves me and our children are happy, size really has no significance.

This year I turn 40. The big 4 0 or as I like to say that fantastic 4 0! I am finally in a place where I am looking forward to embracing my 40's. I went into my 30's constantly seeking to please others and was way too concerned of what people thought of me. Not what they thought of me as a person, but what they thought of how I looked. Over the years, other peoples perception and the medias interpretation of the perfect body led me to bouts of anorexia and bulimia. I am not proud of this but I am not ashamed to discuss it. Eight years ago my life changed. Eight years ago I met the love of my life who 10 months later became my beloved husband. I am going into my 40's with him by my side, showing me a love like I have never known before, with our happy, healthy children and that makes me the happiest I have ever been.

He has always shown me unconditional love. He loves me for the person that I am, regardless of whether I am a size 12 or a size 18. He has given me so much confidence and it is thanks to him and his love that I am finally in the place that I am.

I am saying goodbye to fad diets, goodbye to calorie counting and hello to life. Of course I am going to eat healthily, I am just not going to constantly count calories or syns. Life is much to short to be stressing about whether you have put on or lost a pound in weight, it is too short to be beating yourself up because you had a slice of cake. I love food, I love drink, having good food and drink makes me happy and if it means that I am a bigger size, then so be it. I do love having curves, and I know that my husband loves me having curves and I think that now it is time to start embracing them. It is time to start loving my body. My body changed dramatically after having the twins but they are not changes that I should feel ashamed of, they are changes I should be proud of. Proud because my body carried 2 babies at the same time, carried 2 placentas and grew, protected and nurtured them both until they were ready to arrive. Little I weighed 5lbs 13oz and Little T weighed 6lbs 0.5oz, they were both good weights and my body paid the price. Now I look at the twins who are now 6 years old and I am still amazed by them and amazed by what my body did. Now it is time to celebrate my body and what it has done!

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Chicken and Pepper Pasta - Perfect Mid-week Meal

During the working week it is always great to have a quick and easy meal that you know that you can rely on. People often associate quick and easy with processed ready meals. But with this recipe I am aiming to show you that is not the case! 

This meal is quick, easy, low fat and super healthy but more importantly is a meal that the whole family will love, even the kids and the fussy eldest, wanted more! In my mind, that makes a meal a success. There was even enough leftover for me to take to work the following day for my lunch.

Chicken meals always go down well in our house, especially with the cycling Hubby. Chicken is a fantastic source of protein and is low in fats. This meal is the perfect muscle repairing dinner for when he gets home after a ride home from work. To make it even healthier I have used Quark instead of cream which gives him an additional boost of protein.

This is what I did...

Monday, 19 February 2018

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2018 Week 8

Hello and welcome to week 8 of #MealPlanningMonday!

How was your half term? Ours has flown by and marred with colds, coughs and bugs. Little I's temperature has been up and down. As soon as we thought she was feeling better it would shoot up again leaving her exhausted. On top of the fever she also had a terrible cough which resulted in a week of disturbed sleep for us all. Then to finish the week the bug has got hold of me, just in time to go back to work!

Last week the twins had their 6th birthday party which was a huge success. They had such a great time playing, going on the tractor, feeding the animals and being little farmers with their friends and cousins. It really was a lovely few hours and we left feeling extremely grateful for their friends and for the Pink Pig Farm for being the party hosts!

There was also a lot of changes that went on last week. We have got my mother in law staying with us. She has been in the process of moving house to the village but after an unfortunate turn of events the sale did not go through. I say unfortunate, but it has turned out well. She is now buying the house next door to us so is staying for a bit longer.

Because of our guest this weeks meal plan is going to be a little bit different. While the hubby and I are at work my mother in law has said that she will get the dinners started for us so for this weeks meal plan I am not allocating meals to days from Wednesday. I have got Monday and Tuesday's meals planned but for the rest of the week we will pick a meal from the list.

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

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

#CookBlogShare 2018 Week 7 - Plus 4 Sweet Treats for Shrove Tuesday

Hello lovely foodies and welcome to week 7 of #CookBlogShare!

How are you all? It has been a manic few weeks at work but thankfully it is half term which gives us all a bit of much needed time out!

Not only is it half term this week, but there are also not one, not two but three opportunities to have a foodie celebration. Today is Shrove Tuesday where we all enjoy pancakes, followed by Valentine's Day tomorrow and finally the week ends with the Chinese new year! What a week of foodie treats.

Last week Eb from Easy Peasy Foodie shared 4 romantic recipes so I thought that I would follow that with four deliciously sweet treats for pancake day. But I know that not everyone likes pancakes so I have chosen two pancake recipes and two sweet treats that, in my opinion, would be just as good!

Monday, 12 February 2018

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday 2018 Week 7

Hooray! It is half term! We have a full week off and a busy week planned!

Next week the Twinnies turn 6 so as half term is a week earlier than usual we are having a birthday party before the big day. One of our favourite local places to visit has to be Pink Pig Farm so it was top of the twins list for a party. They will be little farmers, having a ride on the tractor to see the pigs, they'll help to feed the alpacas, goats and sheep, pet the rabbits and guinea pigs before having party food. The Twinnies are so excited, as am I!

Even though it is the half term, the week is going to be busy. Today we have had hair cuts and dentist check ups, tomorrow it is the dogs turn to have their check ups then we have the Hubby at home the rest of the week. 

This weeks meal are going to be a mixture of comforting meals and easy meals. This is what we will be enjoying this week...

Week Commencing 12th February 2018

Sunday, 11 February 2018

Beetroot and Fennel Baked Risotto

We love a good risotto and when I had a lot of lovely fresh beetroot that needed using and I knew that it would make a delicious, vibrant coloured dish. When I looked in the fridge I also found a fennel bulb that needed using. Fennel and beetroot go hand in hand. The aniseed flavours from the fennel give the earthy flavours from the beetroot a fantastic lift. They really are a perfect match. Combined they create a really rich, special flavour. This meal is more time consuming but believe me it is worth the extra effort. Plus while the oven is working it's magic you can either sit back with a glass of wine or spend time with your loved one this Valentines day.

How will you be spending Valentines day this year?

A recent study was completed by Hello Fresh and they found that, like us, 70% of couples were going to stay in with a romantic, home cooked meal. They always say that the way to a mans heart is though his stomach so it is not surprising that 66% of those asked, also believe it. Also 72% said that a meal cooked by their other half was much more romantic than going out.

So, what were the most popular homemade meals for Valentines day?

One of the first meals that I cooked for the Hubby was steak and chips, so I was not surprised that steak and chips were the nations favourie Valentines meal. This was closely followed by curry and lasagne. They also asked what we the foods to turn you on and off. People voted chocolate, champagne, oysters and asparagus as turn on foods and beans, garlic bread, spicy foods and snails at turn offs. So if you are looking at cooking a romantic meal for you loved one, stay away from these!

When it comes to drinks the top romantic drinks were red wine, champagne and prosecco. But I have to admit my top drink has to be gin! If you follow these top tips you should be ok, just don't burn the food!

I have to admit that the hubby is not one for fancy foods and yes, when he saw the colour of this risotto he was shocked but I thought that the vibrant pink made this a meal that you will not forget and after tasting it, you will be making it again! This is a perfect vegetarian meal for Valentine's day!

This is what I did...

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Full of Veg Soup

I don't know about you, but whenever I have been poorly all I want to eat is soup. This has meant that I have been experimenting with new soup flavours and additions. One of my favourite soups has to be a good chicken and veg soup. It always feels like a great, uplifting bowl of goodness.

My pick me up soup last week came about after I looked in the fridge and discovered a lot of fresh vegetables that needed using up and what better way to use up a glut of vegetables than in a soup. Instead of chicken I have used turkey and have left it as a chunky, filling bowl full of health boosting vegetables. The perfect pick me up bowl!

This is what I did...

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Weekly Meal Plan - #MealPlanningMonday (on a Tuesday!)

Hello and welcome to week 6 of my weekly meal plan.

I know, today is Tuesday, but life took over. I did write my meal plan over the weekend but we had a busy weekend and I did not get round to blogging. Here I am with #MealPlanningMonday on a Tuesday.

Last weeks meal plan was a huge success. We had all but one of the meals. Our favourite by far had to be my beetroot and fennel risotto which I am planning to share the recipe because it was so good! I will also be sharing my chicken and kale pasta and my butternut squash and sweet potato soup. All in all last week was a successful week of dinners!

This week is the last week before the half term holidays and believe me we are all ready for a week off. But first we need to get through this week!

This is what we have got planned for this weeks meals...