food, healthy, life, recipes

How to: tummy soother

We’ve all been there, you’re bloated, your belly aches and you’d quite like to die now thank you. 

Here’s a quick recipe for a tummy soothing remedy that costs less than 50p to make. 
You will need: 

One mug from your cupboard

Hot water – a little cooler than boiling. 

A thumb of ginger root (If you can’t find any in the shops, 1/2 tsp dry ground ginger) 

Half a lemon/lemon juice from a bottle 

Pour the water into the cup and let it cool slightly so you don’t scald your tongue. 

Peel and grate the ginger. Wash and half a lemon. 

Put the grated ginger in a bowl and press down on it with a spoon to release the juice. 

Pour the ginger juice into the hot water (I use a tea strainer) and squeeze in the lemon juice. Sip. Adjust juice levels to taste. Drink slowly and in a while you should feel better. 

Ginger helps promote good digestion and soothes the bloat. Lemon is a friend to your liver and helps break down chemicals like alcohol.

If you can stomach it hot water with lemon is a great way to get your body up and at ’em in the mornings. Personally I found it smelt like pancakes but tasted horrific. The ginger version is definitely better. You could also use fresh mint in warm water as mint also helps the digestive system and has anti-inflammatory properties. Or you could buy some tea bags – whatever works for you. 
I am not a doctor or nutritionist – this is just a simple home remedy. For anything more serious please see your GP or visit a hospital. Any ongoing pain in your gut must be addressed with a professional as it could be serious. 

food, healthy, recipes

How to make super easy sauce

Ok, so here’s the thing, jars of sauce never make their way into my trolley – why? Because it is cheap and easy to make your own, not to mention better for you without all the preservatives. Here’s my super easy tomato sauce, which can be used as the base for pasta dishes, curries, and all sorts of other things as it’s so easy to adapt. 

1 tin or carton of chopped tomatoes

1 onion – red or Spanish, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper

Saucepan 

In the pan warm the oil and add the onion and garlic, after a minute or so pour in the tomatoes, stir and allow to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Now onto how to adapt it for different dishes; 

Add chopped fresh chillies with the onion and garlic.

Throw in some ginger or paprika to add depth. 

Basil, oregano and rosemary chopped finely, make a pungent base. 

You can use fresh, dried or frozen herbs and spices. 

It works out cheaper than jars of sauce and you can freeze it. Magic. 

food, fun stuff, tag posts

25 Food Tag 

​Spotted on Sarah’s blog – food and tag posts, yes please. 

1. What’s your favourite breakfast?

🍇Probably because I rarely have it, toast with butter and strawberry jam. 

2. How do you drink your coffee?

🍏Coffee is yuk. No ta. 

3. What’s on your favourite sandwich?

🧀Bacon, halloumi, lettuce and tomato with mayo. 

4. Soup or Salad?

🍜Soup and a sandwich or salad and sushi. Depends on the mood. 

5. What’s your favourite cookbook?

🎂I read cookbooks like novels but rarely consult them for actual cooking. 

6. No more sweets or no more hearty foods?

🍭Having actually given up sweets in the past, I could live without them quite easily. 

7. What’s your favourite Cuisine?

🍳Mediterranean food every time, from Turkey and Greece to Italy and France.

8. What’s your favourite food movie?

🍿There was a 90s Sarah Michelle Geller movie called Simply Irresistable that I was quite fond of. Films about food make me hungry. My favourite book about food is Chocolat by Joanne Harris. 

9. What’s your most guilty pleasure?

🍟I don’t believe in guilty pleasures- food should be enjoyed not treated as though there’s something ‘naughty’ about it. 

10. What’s your greatest inspiration source?

🍞The contents of my fridge/cupboards – necessity is the mother of invention. 

11. Cooking at home or going out for dinner?

🍍Both, depends on the circumstance. 

12. High end or low profile?

🍒Am I feeling fancy? Then fancy it is. 😉

13. What’s your favourite restaurant?

🌽The Turkish place in town is my go-to as it’s local, has excellent service, reasonable prices and delicious food.

14. I do my grocery shopping at:

🍑Lidl has saved me a fortune, but I go to Sainsbury’s as well.

15. The tastiest food I’ve ever eaten was:

🍦There is a place called Chilli Charlie’s by Santa Monica beach in California that does amazing chilli burgers. They remain in my brain and taste memories. 

17. Coffee with George Clooney or Heston Blumenthal?

🍢Coffee with Clooney and my mum as she loves him. 

18. What should not be missing in your kitchen?

🍉Sea salt, good black pepper, quality olive oil and chilli in various guises. 

19. What is your favourite snack?

🍅Popcorn or sunflower seeds roasted in their shells with salt. 

20. What’s on your pizza?

🍤Chicken, chilli oil, those little peppers, tomatoes, cheese. 

21. What food do you really dislike?

🍌Mushrooms eurgh

22. What’s your favourite food blog?

🍐Does Nigella’s instagram count? 

23. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

🌶Snails – I really don’t get the hype 

24. What’s on your food bucket list?

🍱The perfect creme brulee 

25. I couldn’t live without:

🍬Diet coke – fuelled by it. Also cheese. 

BONUS question:

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

🍸Cheese – it improves any dish. 

If you want to do this tag, go for it, and let me know. 

clean eating, food, healthy, recipes

Potato Salad

The humble spud has been accused of a lot recently – contributing to obesity, damaging farmland, being ugly. 

I say enough – clean eating is expensive, spuds are cheap and versatile. Leave them alone.  Here’s my potato salad, serve it as a side at a barbecue, or as my friend recommends, under a grilled chicken breast with broccoli  and salad.  

Serves 4 or more depending on hunger

Ingredients

1 small bag of potatoes – I prefer the small salad ‘new potatoes’ or similar. 

Small pot of yoghurt – I use natural yoghurt

Small pot of sour cream or creme fraiche 

Small bunch spring onions

Fistful of chives

Black pepper

Method

Wash the potatoes and boil till soft. While they’re cooking, chop the chives and spring onions (wash them too!). Mix the yoghurt, sour cream, chives and spring onions in a bowl. 

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and leave to cool. Once they’re at a temperature you’re happy with (can be served warm or cold), use the sharp point of a knife to remove any eyes, peel off the skins if you prefer (much easier on the little potatoes after cooking), chop into desired size chunks. 

Add to the dressing, mix, season with black pepper, if using, stir again. It can now be served or stored in the fridge for later. Will keep a couple of days in an airtight tub in the fridge but is best eaten sooner.  

Ready to eat
food, lifestyle boxes, reviews

Sweet treats with Scoff Club

If you’re anything like me you still have a childlike love for sweets, so when Scoff Club got in touch and asked if I would like to try their relaunched sweet box, I said yes please!

image

The box is packed with both old-fashioned pick ‘n’ mix and modern favourites.

image

I asked my in-house tester (my Mr) to join me in investigating the contents.

image

From the old school sweet shop range, there’s jelly babies, watermelon rockets, tutti frutti fizzy cubes, clotted cream toffee bon bons and chocolate honeycomb, with modern choices – Reese’s Pieces and gobstopper bubblegum.

According to my tester, it looks very pleasing and packed. However he found the juxtaposition of hand packed sweets with prepackaged a bit jarring.

Onto the tasting. The comments – “yum, mmm, tasty, more please”. Unfortunately my tester is not so articulate with a mouth full of sweets.

The portions are very generous, and you get a nice variety, I don’t know if I’d want this to arrive too often, my dentist would be horrified!

image

*The sweets were sent as a PR sample but all opinions are my own.*

food, healthy, recipes

Super easy, super tasty recipe

image

This salad has five ingredients.

Rocket
Spinach – stalks removed
Goat’s cheese
Baby figs – sliced
Olive oil

I only made it for one, but add more of each ingredient if you make it for more.

It literally took about two minutes to assemble. You could serve it with sliced baguette, grill the figs, add pine nuts or anything you want.

Then stuff it in your face.

food, healthy, recipes

Winter salad that doesn’t make you sad

image

It doesn’t look like much but this bowl of salad was a-ma-zing!

Based on a Nigella Lawson recipe (#TeamNigella all the way) but altered based on my fridge contents, this tasted so good I might just make it a few more times!

I was aiming for a twist on ceasar salad, but having watched Simply Nigella the other week I was inspired to winterise my food.

The romaine lettuce was cut roughly in half, placed on an oven tray and sprinkled with olive oil and garlic salt (I had no fresh garlic but recently stocked up on Cornish Sea Salt in various flavours), roasted for 25 minutes in the oven at 200°c, till soft and slightly browned.

Meanwhile, I found a few rashers of streaky bacon still in date in the bottom of the fridge. I cut it into little stamps and dry fried (hot pan, no oil) till crispy.

Lettuce went into a bowl, scattered with the bacon, then I dressed it with some delicious hollandaise sauce and a little black pepper.

You could grate some Parmesan or similar over it, add avocado, skip the bacon, add croutons, more garlic, crispy fried onion, anything really. The lettuce stands up well to strong flavours.

Eating healthy in winter can be hard, especially around Christmas, when food seems to specialise in fatty, naughty food. We promise to eat soups and casseroles full of veg but end up eating cake and having cheese and crackers for dinner every day.

It doesn’t help that in the UK fruit and veg is more depressing in the winter – all root veg like swede and turnip, which take some work to make into something tasty and enjoyable. These days you can get most things year round imported but not necessarily the tastiest, and when you’re feeling lazy it can be hard to find the energy in the cold.

So roast your lettuces, play with flavours, raid your fridge and eat delicious, easy peasy food. Yum.

ramblingmads

baking, food, healthy, recipes

Fudgey Chocolate Brownie

This time of year is so miserable, there’s almost nothing better than a warm, fudgey brownie to cheer up the day. Here’s my personal favourite recipe.

Set oven to 200°c, grease and line a brownie tin/square cake tin. I used an electric mixer but you can do it by hand just as easily. I’ve replaced some of the ingredients with substitutes, but you don’t have to.

Ingredients

3 medium eggs
70g ground almonds
5g banana powder (or 75g almond)
275g sugar substitute (stevia, coconut sugar)
175g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
175g coconut oil/butter
40g cocoa
Chopped nuts, dried fruit, choc chips (optional)

Method

Melt the coconut oil and chocolate in a microwave.

Mix all the dry ingredients together, add the eggs, mix, add the chocolate oil, mix.

Add the chopped nuts, dried fruit etc if using. Mix together by hand.

Pour into prepared tin, smooth out with a spatula. Pop into a hot oven, cook for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool for a few minutes, cut into squares. These will last a few days in an airtight container, if you can resist them!

image

ramblingmads

food, lifestyle boxes, recipes, reviews

Flavourly Gourmet Box

Snack/foodie boxes are a big thing at the moment and Flavourly is looking to corner the gourmet market.

Their fully packed box features a range of items from brands big and small. There are snacks, sauces, cooking ingredients.

This month’s box is jammed full of flavours. From Taste5’s Umami Paste to Mallow and Marsh’s marshmallow bar. Vegetable crisps from Scrubbys and Pili Pili Sauce from Ma Robert’s.

image

Can’t wait to get in the kitchen! Boxes start from £17, but you can get your first box for £7 including P&P here.

ramblingmads

food, lifestyle boxes, reviews

Degustabox

There are so many snack boxes and treat boxes around at the moment. This is a bit of both.

image

There are 15 products in here, from store cupboard staples to tasty treats. All from recognisable named brands, and the first box is only £4.99!

So let’s see what the box holds in store.

I cook a fair amount of Italian dishes so the Cirio tomatoes and passata will come in very useful, as will the Geeta’s curry paste and chutney for a Saturday curry night.

image

There’s snacks galore from brands like 9bar and Nudie Snacks, sweet and savoury represented. Noodles for lunch and if you get thirsty there’s a refreshing drink too.

image

image

This should keep us going for a bit. Try one here.

ramblingmads