WIAW – Date Night!

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Hi all,

Time for a good old ‘What I ate Wednesday’ post! I haven’t done one of these in a while, mostly because, strangely enough, I tend to eat the same things on a Tuesday, with dinner being the only difference! However, yesterday was a winner in terms of posting! As always, thanks to Jenn over at @PeasandCrayons for the link up!

Had a fab day yesterday, good food, good writing and lots of good fun! Had a date night last night with my husband David and we went out for dinner and then off to the cinema to see Saving Mr Banks. It was amazing! Would recommend it to anyone, you don’t even need to be a Mary Poppins  fan to enjoy it, although being a fan (I am a massive one!) certainly helps!

So my day began with some banana oats, topped with greek yoghurt and almond butter. Only just discovered this combo and holy guacamole it’s incredible! Don’t know how it has taken me so long to discover this – delish!

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Snack time after the gym was an English Russet apple with some nuts. These Russet apples look so different but taste amazing. They really are quite unique – I just love apples!

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Lunch was a tasty treat. Some Italian dry cured ham that my Mum treated David and I to at the weekend along with half a roasted butternut squash and some sauerkraut. The ham was divine and was the perfect partner to the sweet nutty squash. Will be going to my local organic supermarket to pick up some more of that soon (hello cured ham wrapped dates!).

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My snack was a quick grab before we headed out to the cinema/dinner. My usual portion of dried prunes (plums) along with a couple of nut clusters that we picked up last week. They are really tasty – cashews, almonds, honey, pumpkin seeds and some cane sugar. A natural treat when you need something to grab and go/ a sustaining energy boost.

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We had a quick stop at ASDA (supermarket) to pick up some dried fruit that we needed and a TV recorder that we had ordered (finally we can stop recording TV on a VCR!). Then we jumped quickly into IKEA (they have the most amazing pickled fish!)  before heading off to Braehead for dinner and movie!

For dinner we went to a chain restaurant here in the UK called Harvester. I hadn’t been in a while, not for at least 5 years, and didn’t know what to expect. They have focused on ‘grills’ the past few years so that did appeal to David and I. We went for grilled salmon and green beans with a side salad. It’s great at Harvester, you get unlimited salad from the salad bar and there was a lot to choose from. My expectations were certainly exceeded! The salmon was flaky, with crispy skin and cooked to perfection. The green beans had lots of flavour and still had a good crunch to them and the salad was crisp and fresh – I had 2 bowls of salad, one as a starter and one with my meal! Can’t wait to return!

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Then we headed upstairs for the movie! As mentioned above it was fantastic!

Late night home but what a lovely day!

New Recipe – Aubergine (Eggplant) and Red Cabbage Casserole!

Hi all,

Happy Hump Day! Although I know for many, it’s actually the beginning of a massive celebration so will reword it to Happy Turkey – Eve!

I thought I would share another recipe with you all, another one that David and I love that we have tweaked and perfected over the past few months – Aubergine (Eggplant) and Red Cabbage Casserole!

Warming, rich, so full of flavour and easy to make too, it makes the perfect winter meal, with a lovely Middle Eastern twist! Brilliant as a main meal for two or as a side dish along with some meat for four.

Aubergine (Eggplant) and Red Cabbage Casserole

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Ingredients (serves 2)

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

125g mushrooms (halved)

1 aubergine (Eggplant) – (chopped into chunks)

1 small red cabbage (halved, quartered and then sliced)

1 tsp paprika

10ml pomegranate molasses

½ tbsp of Dijon mustard

100ml of stock (veg or chicken)

½ tsp tomato puree

15ml cider vinegar

Method

–          Sautee red cabbage for a few minutes, just until the harder stems soften slightly. Set aside.

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–          Slice onions and chop garlic. Sautee until brown and soft.

–          Add mushrooms and aubergine and cook until aubergine is starting to brown.

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–          Stir in paprika, molassed, mustard, stock, puree and cider viegar and mix until veg is fully coated.

–          Bring to a boil (there won’t be much liquid – don’t worry!)

–          Transfer to a casserole dish, with a lid, that has been heated up in the oven

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–          Bake for 45 minutes, stir half way.

–          Enjoy!

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Tips

–          It really is worth trying to hunt down pomegranate molasses, it brings such an amazing flavour to this dish. Also, as a natural sugar, it can be used in so many other ways! Mix with minced garlic, pepper and greek yoghurt for the most incredible dip!

–          As mentioned above, perfect as a main meal on its own or as a side. Would be delish with steak or pork chops. Or you could even add some chicken or pork to the pot before putting it in the oven and letting it cook with the veggies.

–          Try leftovers with eggs for breakfast!

As always, thanks to Jen over at @Peasandcrayons for the WIAW link up!

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What I ate Wednesday!

Hi all,

Happy Hump Day! Hope you are well!

Time for another ‘What I ate Wednesday’ – as always thanks to Jenn over at @peasandcrayons for hosting the link up.

Breakfast – Brussels Sprout and Bacon Egg Scramble

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This is so yummy and is going to be a major addition to our breakfast menu. I love keeping the eggs loose, that way it is still slightly gooey, like the French have their eggs. And you have the crispness from the delicious combo of Brussels sprouts and bacon which have been sautéed beforehand. Also a perfect pre workout breakfast.

Snack – Cox Apple with Pumpkin Seed Butter

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Another perfect sweet seasonal British apple combined with some rich pumpkin seed butter. A match made in heaven. Also had some mixed nuts at the side (not pictured).

Lunch – Carrot and Coriander Soup with Spinach and Chicken. Greek Yoghurt and Grapes

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I love this soup! I think I am addicted! So simple to make and yet full of flavour – it was lovely and warming on a cold day. Once heated, I add a handful of spinach and stir through, it wilts almost instantly. Then I top with shredded chicken.

Snack – Dried Prunes, leftover Pepita’s and a mug of dried leaf Peppermint Tea.

(Not pictured. David came home and I wanted to chill out with him, have our snack and discuss Christmas bits and bobs – exciting planning!).

Dinner – Tuna, Cabbage, Red Onion and Baby Corn with a Mustard Sauce

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Will put the recipe up for this soon! It is so easy to make and the flavours combine so perfectly. Easy, quick, tasty and packed full of nutrients – what more could you ask for!

Snack – White Grapefruit

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I love grapefruit, that zing and tartness, yum! We alternate between white and pink grapefruit, pink tends to be a little sweeter but both tasty in their own unique way. Good doze of vitamin C too!

What I ate Wednesday!

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Hi all,

Happy Wednesday!

It’s been a while since I did a conventional ‘What I ate Wednesday’ post so I thought I would take the opportunity to let you delve into the wonders of my eats yesterday! As always, thanks to Jenn @peasandcrayons for hosting the link up!

Breakfast – Banana Scramble and OJ

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I am doing quite well in my challenge to get away from the dreaded cereal and am enjoying some pretty darn tasty breakfasts. I know this is a firm favourite but I only normally have it on a Sunday so was unsure on how it would keep me going through a normal weekday morning. It certainly did the trick! Not only was it incredibly delicious, it was the perfect fuel for a session at the gym, keeping me going all morning.

Post gym snack – Cox apple and nuts

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I was peckish when I came back from the gym, as I normally am, so was looking forward to tucking into this lovely crisp apple (British of course!) along with some almonds, pistachios and a sole cashew (poor cashew). I may have also put some pumpkin seed butter on a few pieces of the apple…!

Lunch – Sweet Potato with cottage cheese and broccoli

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Sweet potato and cottage cheese, always a winner – tasty, sustaining, nutritious, all good! I also love the fact that I can steam broccoli in the microwave so can easily have it as part of a quick lunch – yay! Starting to get to that point in the year when I don’t want salad with things but veggies instead. Could eat broccoli all day!

Snack – Greek yoghurt and grapes

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Yummy as always.

I also had my daily 4 prunes as a snack but forgot to take a picture – whoops!

Dinner – Roasted haddock with cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, olives and basil, served with green beans.

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This was a new one for David and I. We had some haddock in the freezer that needed using up and David came across this idea online. With a few David and Jen tweaks we came up with this! Served perfectly with green beans – oh boy was it fantastic! Will put on the recipe next week!

Pre-bed snack – Persimmon

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How have I never come across this fruit before? Currently in season, I would encourage anyone to try one. They look like a smooth orange with a big leaf on top by the way – I was already half way through this one when I remembered about taking a photo! And they are delicious – with a lovely rich vanilla flavour – oh I want one right now! Drooling here!

New Recipe- Veggie Moussaka – WIAW

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Hi all,

Thought it would be fun to bring you all a recipe today as part of ‘What I ate Wednesday’ (WIAW) – Veggie (or not so Veggie if you prefer!) Moussaka . It’s one of our favourites! Easy to make, cheap to buy and full of nutrietns – what more could you want!

Thanks to Jenn over at @Peasandcrayons for hosting the link up!

Veggie Moussaka

Ingredients – serves 2 as a main meal

1 aubergine (eggplant) sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 red onion, sliced

1 leek, halved and sliced

1 red bell pepper, chopped into chunks

Tin of tomatoes

1 egg

150g natural yoghurt

Method

  • Stir fry the onions, garlic and leek until softened

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  • Add peppers and cook for 5 minutes

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  • Add the tin of tomatoes and simmer for 10- 15 minutes until the liquid has reduced.

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  • While the veggies are reducing, cook the aubergine slices lightly in a separate pan.

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  • Layer the mix in a casserole dish – tomato layer, then aubergine. You should have 3 layers and finish on a layer of aubergine.

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  • Whisk the egg and mix with the yoghurt.
  • Pour over the top of the aubergine and spread out.

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  • Bake in the oven for 35 – 45 minutes until the top is golden and set.
  • Delicious!

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(I did mention at the beginning that this could be‘not so veggie’ moussaka too – you can easily add some ground beef/ lamb or turkey to the tomato mixture, or we have also had it with cannellini beans through the mix)

Foods that I am sad to see go/ happy to see arrive!

Hi all,

I was thinking about what I should do for ‘What I ate Wednesday’ this week. Now what I ate yesterday was indeed tasty, but nothing that I haven’t told you all about before, so I decided to pass on that for this week and to think outside the box.

So now that autumn/ fall is indeed upon us, I decided to recap the season just past and the season ahead for a post on – foods that I am sad to see go/ foods that I am happy to see arrive!

Summer is indeed over, or it definitely is here in Scotland. The days of summer salads, ice cold coffees, walking around in shorts and t-shirts (wait… did we ever do that in Scotland!?), seem an age ago. The mornings and evenings are getting darker and every day seems to be getting a little chillier. I still have yet to put the heating on in the house though, am trying to keep that off until the last moment (just put on another jumper instead!).

Along with the (slight) heat and the sun, I have to say goodbye to some of my favourite foods. Here are the top 5 I will miss.

(Note – I know that some of you will be thinking ‘wait, you can still get them in my supermarket!’, but I am referring to foods that are seasonally at their best during the summer, more often than not locally grown and taste fantastic. Most of the out of season produce that I have tried from supermarkets just don’t taste the same, or can even taste pretty nasty to be honest. I advocate eating real food and eating seasonally – after all, don’t we want food at its best!?).

1)      Berries

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–          I have to put berries altogether in one segment, otherwise they would take up most of my list! I adore local strawberries and raspberries – we seem to have the perfect climate for them in Scotland over in the East Coast and they are so plump and juicy. Blackberries are also so divine – blackberry picking on the downs near London definitely has to be one of the highlights of my recent holiday. Nothing like picking berries straight off the bush and eating them (then returning home to find your mouth is surrounded in purple berry juice!). On the plus side, because our forage was so successful, I have many portions of blackberries in my freezer now for throughout the winter – brilliant!

2)      Melon

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–          This again, encompasses all types of melon; I haven’t come across one I haven’t adored yet. Galia and honeydew are so sweet and juicy, the flavour is so intense, and one piece just isn’t enough. Then there is the king of melons, the watermelon. Oh so refreshing, nothing quenches your thirst like it and the colour inside, the deep red crimson…beauty and a treat! And the wonder of melon is its ability to be used in sweet and savoury dishes. Galia melon wrapped in prosciutto anyone? Or a watermelon, feta and almond salad?

3)      Tomatoes

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–          I feel like I owe tomatoes quite a lot. Until my mid twenties, I always maintained that I didn’t like tomatoes. What was I thinking! Then I tried them again and now I can’t get enough of them. I just needed to try and good, in season, local, ripe tomato. So, I owe them a good 25 years worth of catching up! I love the variety in tomatoes – beef, cherry, heirloom – all are perfect in their own way for a variety of dishes. I will continue to buy the occasional tomato out with the season but only for inclusion in dishes – e.g. I wouldn’t be putting them on salads etc. Or will use a good quality tinned chopped tomato – a good store cupboard staple.

4)      Cherries

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–          Ah cherries… get them at their peak and I could honestly eat them nonstop. I used to think the best cherries I ever had were in Florence, Italy – that was until I tried English cherries for the first time this year – oh boy! Big, pump, juicy and rich they were the bees’ knees! Let’s just hope for another good summer next year so that we have another abundant crop.

5)      Courgettes (Zucchini)

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–          This last spot was a tough one as it was a tossup between courgettes and sugar snap peas. I do love the snap peas and I take such delight in dipping one of those beauties into some salsa or just chomping away on their individual sweetness but courgettes just beat them to the post. Courgettes are so versatile. They can be added to any dish along with a mixture of vegetables but are also so great on their own. Grilled, they can be mixed in a salad, hot or cold. You can steam them, roast them, and even grate them. I might pop along to my local organic supermarket in the next few days to see if I can get the last of the seasonal ones, I still want to try 2 more dishes – roasted courgette wedges and a courgette hash. Please have some!

Now we move on to autumn!

Yes so it gets a little darker and a little colder, but surely there is nothing better than snuggling up on the sofa when it’s dark outside and your feeling a little chilly? Or walking through your local park when the leaves are all turning majestical colours of bronze and falling from the skies at the slightest hint of a breeze? And then we come to the change in flavours. We move from fragrant and fresh herbs to warm and comforting spices. From roasted meats with root vegetables to thick piping hot bowls of soup, the autumn into winter months are a different world to the previous few months and bring with them so many jewels. Here are the top 5 foods I am most looking forward to having again.

1)      Squashes/ pumpkin

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–          They really did have to be number one, no questions, hands down. I spend all year longing for seasonal squash; they just aren’t the same any other time of the year. Pumpkin is king of course, but it is still quite difficult to find good quality pumpkin here in the UK. Even finding tinned pumpkin puree is difficult but thanks to now living in a city with a Whole Foods, I have this covered! Will just keep my eyes peeled for some local pumpkins popping up! On the plus side our supermarkets are filled with British butternut squashes and I can even get onion and harlequin squashes too, which taste amazing! Squash and pumpkin are just incredible for being used in anything and everything, sweet and savoury, breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I look forward to having them for breakfast, lunch and dinner! (Maybe not all on the same day… although I would be tempted!).

2)      Apples

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–          Being an island, Britain has to import quite a lot. I know a lot of our fruit and veg has to come from Europe, there is no other way to do it, we just can’t make enough food on our wee island. So, if they are imported, I just try and find ones from closest to home – i.e. France or Germany. For most of the year, this is the case with apples, that is until the autumn, when British apples come into force! Right now I am tucking into discovery apples – a desert apple with its own unique taste, there really isn’t another apple that tastes quite like it. Looking forward to hopefully getting some Braeburns next though, yum!

3)      Sweet Potatoes

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–          Another food that I do buy all year round, it’s a nutritional powerhouse! But I am looking forward to some seasonal ones over the next few months. Also due to their growth in popularity in the UK, hopefully some more British grown ones rather than European. Will just keep my eyes on the label/ asking where they came from if unlabelled. Be powered in knowing where your food comes from!

4)      Citrus Fruit

–          Another key example of our need to import, you can’t mass grow citrus in the UK, not with our climate! But we get some amazing produce from Europe – Spain in particular. I love a tart zingy pink grapefruit, a sweet clementine or tangerine or just a good old orange. I know many people have some many fond childhood memories of clementines at Christmas; even just the smell of them gets me all excited! Just like the smell of cinnamon.  Oh and just a wee reminder, yesterday, Christmas was 3 months to the day… just saying!

5)      Brussels Sprouts

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–          I love them! Some hate them, but I just think it’s because they have never had one cooked properly (i.e. not nuked and boiled for 4 hours!). Each little cabbage is full of nutrients and flavour, winner winner! I shred them in an omelette, roast them, sauté them, steam them and mix them with anything and everything. Most of the time, they are the star of the show in the dishes I cook. Cheap, tasty and here until March, bring on the sprout meal inspiration! I want to eat them as much as I can!

So there we have it, my list of foods I will miss from summer but combined with foods I am desperately looking forward to from the autumn. Autumn is an amazing season and I am looking forward to experiencing Glasgow in the autumn for the first time. If it’s anything like the summer was, it’s going to be pretty awesome.

What foods are you going to miss/ looking forward to?

What I wish to eat from Whole Foods Wednesday!

Hi all,

Hope you are well. Can’t believe it is Thursday already!

I have decided to do something a little bit different this week for What I Ate Wednesday. What I ate was actually pretty similar to Wednesdays previous (with the exception of dinner, more on that later) and as we were taking a trip to Whole Foods in the evening, I decided to do ‘What I wish to eat from Whole Foods Wednesday!’ (Again big thanks to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting the link up. Hope you don’t mind the twist!)

David and I had to take a trip to Whole Foods in Giffnock yesterday evening, my favourite store in the whole world, so once we had finished work, we headed over to pick up a few bits and bobs.  We are going on holiday next week so we wanted to make our own trail mix, muesli and get some other healthy snacks for when we are away. While we were there I thought it would make a good post to talk about the things that took my notice while in Whole Foods, things that I hope to purchase and review in future visits.

First of all we headed to the bulk bins, one of my favourite parts of Whole Foods. I love the fact that you can take as much or as little of a product as you want so, for example, staple items like oats you can shovel a kilo in a bag and other items like a new coffee or nut based flour that you want to give a try you can take a small amount and you aren’t committed to buying a big bag. The bulk bins are perfect for David creating his own muesli and for making our trail mix. The picture below being the final trail mix product – pecans, blanched almonds, hazelnuts, sultanas, cranberries, pumpkin seeds and chopped dates. Cannot wait to tuck into this!

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Anyway, the first product on my ‘what I wish to eat’ list is pumpkin seeds. I haven’t really used much of them before, mostly sunflower seeds but I love their flavour and want to use them more in salads or maybe even trying to make a pumpkin seed butter.

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I love coffee and love the fact that at Whole Foods you can pick from a selection of beans, ground them if you wish and have the most amazing tasting coffee in your own home. We picked and ground a small amount of the organic Peruvian blend this time but will be back soon to get through the others!

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The fish and meat counters at Whole Foods are stocked full of the most amazing produce, sustainably sourced and so fresh – totally different to the offerings at local supermarkets. What jumped out last night was the fish – in particular the shellfish. I want to use my squid that I bought earlier from WF and is in my freezer right now. Don’t know why I haven’t used it already! And don’t those prawns look amazing!?

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I also want to try oysters – always have but never had the opportunity. With them being available here I really don’t have any excuse not to! Also, as you know from previous posts, I love mussels but have only ever had them in a restaurant, not at home. I like to think of myself as quite an adventurous cook so no reason not to buy some from here and give them a go at home – I know David would be very pleased if I did.

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I have read a lot of articles recently about the benefits of beetroot and in particular, how drinking beet juice pre or post workout can really be of benefit. Many athletes competing in the Olympic Games last year swore by the product. As I love beets and am always on the lookout for a natural good work out booster I am going to give this a go soon.

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Back on to the fish front now but this time the tinned variety! I know and fully understand the benefits of oily fish in my diet but sometimes it’s just not possible to cook up a fresh fillet or even find a sustainably produced product. This is where tinned fish can come in – I do eat tuna but haven’t ventured beyond that. I really want to try tinned sardines, herring and mackerel. I have had them fresh or smoked or preserved but never in tin form so they are next on my Whole Foods shopping list!

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David and I love salsa, we use it in eggs, stir fry’s, lettuce wraps etc and of course on its own as a dip but trying to find a good product with natural ingredients can be tough. Our favourite brand of salsa is Mrs Renfro’s that Whole Foods ship in from the states. Not only is it a great product ingredients wise, it comes in the most amazing flavours – we are trying the jalapeno one just now along with our staple chipotle corn variety. One that we have yet to try is the Raspberry Chipotle Corn variety so this will be next! Sounds very good though!

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I use a lot of pumpkin puree – mostly in my sweet breakfast scramble dishes. However I have noticed that a lot of people use apple puree too and not just for scramble – oats, baked treats, even in dressings. So I think next time I will buy a jar to try out. Looking forward to trying it in my oats, maybe with some almond butter on top or even with some cold pieces of chicken as a sweet relish. I am already loving how versatile it could be!

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Tahini is a product that I actually grew up with. My parents lived in Cyprus for 4 years when they were both serving in the Royal Air Force and they loved the foods out there. So, when I was little, instead of the usual burgers and sausages cooked on the BBQ, we had grilled chicken and pork, with halloumi cheese, salad and a tahini dressing. I always found the tahini a bit overpowering when I was younger so avoided it but now I am older I love the deep sesame seed taste. However I have yet to buy and use it! After reading some tasty recipes that call for it over at Michelle’s blog Peachy Palate, I have been inspired to buy some soon and give it a go!

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I do love my nut butters – favourite being almond butter, however recently I have branched out, trying sunflower butter and pumpkin seed butter, so delicious! Last night I noticed this product, mixing a variety of seeds into an uber seed butter – sounds good to me. So when we have finished our jar of pumpkin seed butter (probably won’t be long, David is addicted already – amazing with carrot sticks) we will be popping a jar of this in our basket.

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We don’t eat a lot of cheese in our house. The occasional sprinkling of parmesan on a dish, babybell as a snack or some light cream cheese is as far as we go (not including cottage cheese). However, we both really do appreciate and enjoy a good, deep flavoured cheese now and again, keeping it simple with a glass of wine to really let the product shine. We tested this product last night – a blue cheese from Shropshire in England and were both blown away with how intense and scrumptious it was. A cheese and wine evening may be on the cards sometime soon I think.

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David and I don’t drink that often, only at the weekends and not every weekend. Like with the cheese, we appreciate good wines and spirits and this locally made gin really took our fancy. One of the things I will really miss about the summer is a long, cold, gin and tonic in the sun but I know gin can be used to make a lot of warming winter cocktails too. Maybe as a Christmas treat David and I will purchase this and give some of them a try!

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On our way out I spotted these coconut chips and as a lover of all things coconut I decided that this will be a must buy next time round (thought I already had enough in my basket this time!). Really looking forward to trying them out – I love dried apple, pineapple and beets so these should be just as good! Almost didn’t spot them as they were hidden beside all the corn and potato chips so not an aisle I normally venture down.

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And that was ‘What I wish to eat from Whole Foods’!  So I already have a shopping list for my next visit and look forward to coming back to you with my review of some of the products.

Oh and I did mention that I would let you know about my Wednesday night dinner. We picked up a rotisserie chicken from Whole Foods and had some of the meat with wilted spinach and a harlequin squash I had cooked up the night before. Oh my goodness – I don’t think a trip to Whole Foods from now on will be without picking up one of these chickens. Succulent, full of flavour, juicy and served with the squash and spinach it was just incredible. And we have plenty chicken left over for meals to come (and a carcass to make some stock!). Thank you Whole Foods!

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Have you tried any of these products? Let me know what you think!

What I Ate Wednesday!

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Hi all,

Time for another What I Ate Wednesday!

Again thanks to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting the link and helping us share the mid week food love!

My day began with getting bits and bobs sorted in the house and getting David fed and off to work. Breakfast is still of the not so great kind – grains… enough said. But I am thinking I should use WIAW as an excuse to, on a Wednesday at least, try out some new breakfast ideas. Might be easier to transition to a grain free breakfast if I trial out some once a week… watch this space!

After breakfast I got ready and headed out to the gym. Was feeling pretty tired today but this feeling often just spurs me on and gravitates me to the gym, knowing after a session I will feel so much better and energised. And it did! I did a 20 min no break row, followed by a selection of weight machines as strength and then some mat based work – selection of crunches followed by some work on the mat roller – it’s amazing how much ‘gunk’ and tension you can release from your muscles and surrounding area with one of these. It hurts to use but the feeling you have in the area you have worked on afterwards makes it all worth it.

Back home for a post work out snack – my favourite apple and smoked almonds. These almonds taste incredible, as I mentioned last week. Have only found them in a small shop back at my hometown though so might have to ask my mum to take me some down when she visits next as I have now run out! Bummer – but an excuse to buy and try out something new, always good!

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After working on some emails etc it was soon time for lunch. Why does time always fly when you are head down in a computer!?

Lunch consisted of tasty lettuce wraps – chunks of turkey, seasoned and mixed with grated carrot, cottage cheese, salsa and some cucumber, spooned into iceberg lettuce leaves and rolled and tucked round into a neat wee parcel. Very nice and a firm favourite in our house- we love the crunch!

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I spent the afternoon working on some writing and doing the ironing (has to be done and a good excuse for me to take a break away from the laptop).  I love having a few little bits and bobs for my mid afternoon snack and today I went for some cherries, a babybell and my ‘everyday without fail’ prunes. Yummy and a perfect combo to tide me over until dinnertime.

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We were trying something new for dinner tonight and were quite excited about it – veal curry with red onion and mushrooms, served with cauliflower ‘rice’. Oh my goodness was it amazing! I cooked the onions, mushrooms and veal in a little bit of coconut oil (to be honest the smells coming from this, I could have just eaten that on its own!). Then I added some mix spice paste (a blend of Indian spices and some rendered down tomatoes), coconut milk and let it simmer until the sauce thickened. While this was cooking I blitzed the cauliflower in a processor and sautéed it in a pan to make the ‘rice’. The curry was delicious and so flavourful but the real star was the cauliflower rice and how it took on the same characteristics as normal rice – absorbed the sauce and kept a grain like texture. Most importantly however was the fact that the cauliflower tasted fantastic! I honestly can say that I will be making this from now on instead of rice, cous cous or even quinoa. It holds its own just like either of them, you can mix any flavour, vegetable, meat or sauce with it but tastes better, is more nutritious and more easily digested! Winner!

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I wasn’t really very hungry after that but was looking for something a little sweet – the perfect choice of a couple of pieces of watermelon and galia melon did the trick and as always, was very much enjoyed.

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Hope you all had a delicious Wednesday too!

 

What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) and Crossfit Re-cap

Hi all,

Today’s post is going to be twofold and kind of a bit back to front! I will start with my first ever ‘What I ate Wednesday’ (WIAW) post – woop woop, super chuffed to be doing this, building on an amazing creation by fellow blogger Jenn @ Peas and Crayons.  After that I will look at my Crossfit session from Monday.

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My day began, after seeing David off to work, with breakfast. Urgh, this is where I am still struggling. I currently have a half and half mix of all bran and organic corn flakes and I know the gluten from the wheat in the all bran is doing me no good whatsoever. I still am trying to find quick, grain free, filling, sustaining breakfasts and I know I will get there and David is the same. For now, it is the best I can do and as I am not happy about having it, I refuse to give it the acknowledgement of a picture! Ha! That’s it told! I have however, made the switch from dairy to either having coconut or almond milk and am already feeling the benefits of this. So I am happy with that side of things – i.e. what I put in my cereal!

After the gym, I came home and had a bit of post gym refuelling in terms of a coffee, apple and some nuts/ dried beans. Tasty! Especially the almonds – which were locally smoked in Whisky casks giving them such a unique flavour. Yes it is true, us Scots do love Whisky (no alcohol appears in this product, simply the casks used!).

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After working on some emails etc it was time for lunch. Same as last week but just as tasty – carrot sticks, sugar snap peas, cucumber sticks, salsa and cottage cheese, with Total 0% Greek yoghurt (my favourite!) and some grapes for afters.

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By the time afternoon snack time came around I was pretty beat. And alas as a result forgot to take a photo of my snack! Eek! But it was yummy and consisted of a few pieces of jerky, 6 delicious seasonal English cherries and some dried prunes (the prunes being a part of my snack every day, uber yummy gooeyness!).

David then came home and we did our usual catching up of the day and its goings- on. A Wednesday is also the day that we do our meal planning for the following week. Something we always do and always do it together. I love that we are both involved but it is important to both of us so it makes sense! Dinner then followed – spiced lemon veal with grilled courgettes, a spinach salad with a drizzle of natural yoghurt. It was so tasty and flavourful! And grilled courgettes (or Zucchini to my American friends) is just delicious, I will be sad when their season is over.

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Dinner filled me up but often I just want a little bit of something sweet – the answer, a wee bit of cantaloupe melon and watermelon. Combine David being home, a dinner like that and a few episodes of Revenge = Good Times!

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Although I must have to admit, when it comes to food (and I guess maybe everything really…), I am a bit of a ‘routine’ girl and I wish I could escape it but find it so difficult. However with doing WIAW I will just have to mix it up a bit, as I don’t imagine you all want to read about me having the same breakfast, lunch and snacks every Wednesday! (Dinner at least is always different!).

So now on to Mondays Crossfit session! We are now half way through our On-Ramp Crossfit training, with having the choice between joining regular sessions or going over the past 4 sessions of training again. David and I both chose to do the latter, we really feel that concentrating on the basics and perfecting them is the best thing to do at the moment.

So as you may recall, our first training session focussed on squatting and the variety of squats for different techniques. I really felt like I had made such an improvement here and feel quite confident now in my squat position, only having to be corrected now and again! ‘Jen keep those arms straight!’

When we moved on to the WOD, our coach wanted to see our progress. So instead of 3 rounds for time, we had to do 5. I was not looking forward to this. When I first did this WOD, it really did make me doubt Crossfit as it showed me just how little strength I had, particularly when doing the wall balls. Here is a reminder of the WOD, with the update.

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5 rounds for time

10 wall balls

10 KB swings

10 box jumps (step ups for me and my knee)

Oh boy did I surprise myself! Now that I know the power a squat can give and the ‘thrust’ your core can bring to lifting a weight of any kind, the wall balls were a completely different story! I was able to use my inner strength and fitness to throw that ball up there and I even managed to catch 75% of them! Now, by no means were they perfect or even close to what they should be but compared to last time I certainly kicked booty! (Weight the same as last time 5kg).

The KB swings, which I enjoy were great and I was able to power through them (8kg), along with the step ups.

I think the biggest ‘wow’ of all though was that 5 rounds were actually do-able and I did it! And the times as well were amazing. The first time I did the WOD for 3 rounds my time was 7.58. This time, doing 5 rounds I managed it in a time of… drum roll please… 8.59! BOO-YAH!