It's Pancake Day next week and I am, to say the least, more than a little bit excited! Ever since I was a little girl, pancakes have always been up there amongst my very favourite foods, so this day has never ceased to be met with great anticipation.
Cooking & Lifestyle Blog
Like most people, I am quick to moan about the way Valentine's day has become a consumer event blah, blah, blah...
This year 31st January not only marked the end of a very long post-Christmas month, but also Chinese New Year. Although this date officially brought us into the Year of the Horse, London's main Chinese New Year celebration weren't held until February 2nd. So just to drag out the celebrations for a little bit longer, I decided that this week's healthy recipe instalment should be Chinese themed in honour of the occasion.
When it's cold and rainy outside, being healthy can be quite a challenge. Take this Sunday for example…the weather was miserable, my flat was chilly, and to be perfectly honest all I really felt like doing all day was sitting in bed watching Netflix and eating warm stodgy food. So this week, to keep you motivated through this persistently drizzly rain, I decided that if we are going to slip-up and give in to the temptations of a delicious and comforting pudding, that pudding may as well be reasonably healthy and low in fat.
With its high proportion of fruits and vegetables, low saturated fat content and emphasis upon oily fish rather than red meat, the Mediterranean diet is well-known for its potential health benefits. It is suggested that eating a diet rich in such characteristics is a great way to protect against high cholesterol, strokes and heart disease.
When it comes to healthy eating I think there are few foods quite as great as fresh fish. Not only is it full of vitamins and omega-3 oils, which are the healthiest kind of fat, but it also holds the added bonus of being full of top-class protein – which means that you stay feeling full for longer, always a plus if you're trying to lose a bit of weight or avoid the temptation of unhealthy snacks!
With the first week of 2014 having already flown past in a blur, I'm sure I'm not the only one wondering how I'm going to stick to those New Year's resolutions of leading a healthier lifestyle. However, let's not be totally demoralised just yet!
With yesterday being exactly a week until Christmas, I indulged in a little bit of festive excitement in the form of The Great British Bake Off Christmas Special. It made for very pleasurable viewing indeed. Inspired by Paul and Mary's festive bakes, I found myself craving the likes of Stollen and Mincemeat Streusel (Mary's ingenious traybake alternative to thrashing out batches and batches of mince pies).
With exactly two weeks to go until Christmas day it is most definitely time to start getting into the festive spirit! I love a good roast around this time of year, not only is such a meal hearty and warming, but it is also pretty simple. Just prep the veg and meat and then pop it in the oven to do its thing whilst you chillax with a glass of mulled wine in front of a Christmas film...seasonal perfection!
As it continues to get colder and darker and Christmas approaches, oven cooked meals are certainly an appealing prospect. With its comforting batter and juicy sausages, toad in the hole is one of my all time favourite winter meals, especially if served with roast potatoes and winter greens such as kale. What's more, toad in the hole is easy to make and asks for little more than sausages, some flower, some milk and a couple of eggs – perfect if you are running low on money towards the end of term or saving up for Christmas pressies.