Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Natur Boutique Diet Tea

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I hate Monday mornings - apart from the obvious Monday blues at work I nearly always forget to take a fresh pint of milk in to have a cuppa to start my day off. So if I forget to buy one - I can't have my wake-up tea! But I have started having some herbal and fruit teas at the ready for these times. One of the ones I have stocked up on are these Diet Teas from Natur Boutique. I've been having one every morning and despite how strong the tea bag smells, it only has a slight hint of a herby smell once it is made into tea. The instructions say to leave the tea bag to stew for 3-4 minutes, but I prefer a lighter taste and have been doing mine for up to 2 minutes and it tastes really good!

My colleague who loves her herbal tea also tried one and said she liked the taste - so it got the thumbs up from her too!

It contains organic green, organic pineapple, organic hibiscus and organic java teas - and it tastes like a sweet green tea. It is recommended as a diet tea, especially as green tea has weight loss properties and helps to stave off hunger, to help you lose weight in conjunction with a healthy diet and at least one cup a day is recommended. It is too early to say whether it has helped me to lose weight, but after having one every morning I feel more healthier - kind of like having hot water and lemon to start your day off, and mentally I am less likely to hit the snacks as I have been putting more effort in.

The company says the combination of ingredients together is recommended to help lose weight or reduce appetite - especially the java.

For more information visit: naturboutique.comHave you tried this range? What are your favourite herbal teas?

For more details on the tea, or to buy, ask at your local health store or visit naturboutique.com.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Roasted red pepper pesto pasta - with Good Oil and Good Seeds

Sunday, September 7, 2014
Today's recipe is one I have been making for a while now and is surprisingly quick and easy it's a good one for a weekday dinner. It has been adapted slightly from a Good Food magazine recipe from July 2013. For the Good Food recipe and instructions you can visit here.

I've adapted it by adding some vegetarian-friendly hard cheese, some Good Oil and some Good Seeds, both of which I have received from the Good Hemp Food company to test out in recipes. The oil is a good substitute for olive oil though much lighter. I've also been trying this out in salad dressings too. The Good Seed Italian Herbs are good for a bit of added extra flavour with a healthy kick. I've been using these in stir fries and pastas too. They are a little like pine nuts and can also be eaten as a healthy snack.

I boiled the pasta, and while this was cooking I whizzed the roasted red peppers, garlic, nuts and parsley in a blender. When it was done I mixed in the cheese and the Good Seeds.

When the pasta was just done, I drained it, put it back in the pan and added the sauce on top. With the heat from the cooker still on, I mixed it together for a couple of minutes to heat the sauce through and melt the cheese.
And once done I served with some parsley on top. It's super tasty with some garlic bread for dinner, or just on its own for a light lunch. What's your favourite pesto recipe?

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Primal Kitchen

Friday, August 29, 2014

In my bid to eat more healthily I have been looking at ways to cut down on snacking on junk food, especially mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I've been trying these bars from The Primal Kitchen. Handmade in the UK, each bar contains no more than five ingredients. And they are gluten-free, and free from refined sugar, soy, vegetable oil and and flavourings or additives. There are three bars in the range: Coconut and Macademia; Almond and Cashew; and Brazil Nut and Cherry.

I've been tucking into these when my energy was getting low during the day and I was surprised at how super tasty they were! They are densely packed with nuts and fruit and are full of flavour. They kept me feeling full for longer and satisfied.

A bit of background: they have been developed by nutritionist Suzie Walker, who wanted to make the paleo lifestyle and more accessible, which advocates 'eating the way our ancestors did' by giving up sugar, processed foods and grains and focusing instead on meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.

They launched in March 2014 and cost £1.49 each. They are available from Ocado and The Primal Kitchen.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Total Greek blueberry ice cream

Thursday, August 28, 2014
Today's post is a simple recipe to help cool down in the hot summer weather. I had recently bought some lolly makers from Primark and thought I would give them a go with some blueberry ice cream. I heated a handful of berries with a couple of spoons of sugar, water and lemon juice until the blueberries popped and the juice came out and it became a syrup. Separately I mixed some Total Greek yoghurt with some honey to taste and then spooned the yoghurt and blueberry mixture into the lolly makers with the syrup showing through the sides.

Yummy goodness! What's your favourite ice cream combination?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Perkier foods

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
For the past couple of weeks I have been trying out the delights from PERK!ER – a range of gluten-free and wheat-free food with the brightest packaging. I know someone who was recently told she must only have gluten-free food, so I was keen to try some too to see how it fared. As it happens, the items pictured that I tried have been given a big thumbs up for her to also try.

There have been no artificial colours or flavours used, so this was a big plus, and I like that the porridges are designed to be eaten on the go, or at work. I have been enjoying mine on days where I didn’t have time to eat breakfast at home. I kept them in my work drawer and simply filled them up to the line as indicated with hot water, gave it a mix, popped the lid back on and left it for a couple of minutes before it was ready to eat. My favourite flavours were the apple and the berry one, which I will be repurchasing for days I have hit the snooze button one too many times.
I enjoyed the tiffin bars, but haven’t tried the Rocky Road ones as I don’t eat gelatine though my friends have assured me they are delicious, were also kept in my work drawer to have when I get peckish about mid-morning.

I’ve already said that I love the packaging and after I used the pots and gave them a good rinse, I have been using them for storage on my desk. I expected gluten-free food to be pricey, but the porridges come in at around the £1 mark from Sainsbury’s. I like that it is an independent company set up by Ann Perkins and her partner Steve Turner, and it seems like a lot of thought has gone into their products. I’m looking forward to trying their other products too.

Have you tried the range? Have any of the items caught your eye?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Strawberry smoothie with Total Greek

Friday, August 22, 2014
Happy Friday! I hope you have all had a lovely week. I am currently packing for a long weekend away in Wales. But before I go I wanted to show you one of the smoothies I made this week. It's so simple the pictures say it all, I added some hulled strawberries, milk, a banana, Total Greek split pot in raspberry and pomegranate and a tablespoon of pre-soaked chia seeds.

Whizz it all together and you get this lovely pink smoothie, which is actually really filling too.

And there you have it! Simple but delicious. What's your favourite smoothie combination?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lazy day salad

Monday, August 18, 2014

I hope you haven't got the Monday blues like I have :( the start of another week, but I have a busy one ahead and I am hoping it is super productive.

Today's food post isn't a recipe as such and is embarrassingly easy that I thought twice about posting it. But you know what, it's one of my favourite dinner options so I thought I would post it anyway. This salad is one that I go to when I want a filling dinner, but don't want something stodgy. I tend to go to Lidl and buy the whole lot of veg, etc from there as it's cheap and they have some good flavoured foods.

The salad is literally a base of salad leaves, topped with celery, onion, sweetcorn, pepper and jalapenos if I have them and sometimes cherry tomatoes. On this occasion I put the tomatoes and sliced red peppers in an oven-proof dish with some olive oil and seasoned with mixed herbs and salt and pepper. I roasted these for about 20 minutes on 220 degrees and on the salad they went. I added some olives stuffed with paprika, chopped sundried tomatoes, feta cheese and a side of potato salad. To finish off we also have some breaded cod.

It's not difficult to make and I chop everything up while the veg and fish are in the oven. I sometimes add some balsamic dressing to the salad if I don't have any potato salad.

And there you have it, my lazy day dinner when I want to be healthy but just can't be bothered with anything too extravagant. What is your favourite salad? And how do you make your dressings? x