Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
Happy New Year everyone!
2013 has arrived and the Christmas period is well and truly over leaving many of us with bulging bellies filled with guilt from all the delicious festive food we consumed.
With many of us making New Year resolutions and failing within the first few days why not scrap the idea of saying you are going to stop eating this, going to do that etc. and set out a list of goals or achievements for the coming year instead.
For example instead of saying you are going to lose weight perhaps state what weight you would like to be by the end of the year (or by a certain date) and what steps you are going to put in place. This may help you to reach your goal. It is also important to have reasonable expectations of what you can achieve as there is no point putting a plan into place that does not fit into your daily routine setting you up for an instant fail.
It may also be a good idea to not stress over putting your New Year ‘resolution’ into place straight away. Research has shown that there is a high instance of New Year resolutions being broken shortly after they were made. Getting back into the way of things after the Christmas period can be a bit of a struggle as the January blues set in and we get back to the grind stone. Why not ease yourself back into things first before setting your resolution.
Furthermore, our digestive health may not be at its best due to all the luxurious food we have eaten as well as the size of portions tend to be more generous and that extra chocolate too tempting. Not to worry though as once you are back into your usual routine, things should start to level out and your digestive system running more smoothly. To give yourself an extra digestive boost why not try to add a bit of extra fibre into your diet though eating brown bread, pasta and rice instead of white and a glass of orange juice to help kick start things. A brisk walk in the evening may also help to get things moving as well as making you feel more energised and good about yourself.
Whatever your plans for 2013 are, may we wish you the best of luck and success in achieving them!
Monday, October 29th, 2012
It’s that time of year again where the nights are drawing in, the weather is getting colder and we have our pumpkins at the ready for Halloween. Whilst pumpkins are nice to look at once carved it can difficult to vary what you cook with its contents. Why not try this alternative recipe to avoid wastage as well as topping up the fibre in our diet aiding our digestive health.
Gingerbread pumpkin bread
12 tablespoons margarine, melted, plus extra for pan
2 ½ cups flour, plus more for pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
½ pumpkin puree
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. Grease and flour two loaf pans.
- In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients (excluding white and brown sugar).
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the butter, pumpkin, sugars, and eggs.
- Add dry mixture and stir until just combined.
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans and bake 45 to 50 minutes, until the mixture is firm to touch.
- Cool 15 minutes, remove from pans, and cool completely before serving.
Filo pumpkin pie
- 750g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 3cm pieces
- 150g broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 roasted red pepper sliced
- 60g butter, melted
- 8 sheets filo pastry
- 100g pancetta, torn into large pieces
- 100g feta, broken into large pieces
- 8 eggs, lightly whisked
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 125g haloumi, cut into 2cm pieces
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 15g baby rocket leaves
- 1/2 cup small fresh continental parsley leaves
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 180ºC. Place pumpkin in a steamer basket over a saucepan of boiling water. Cover. Steam for 15 minutes or until just tender. Add the broccoli to the steamer basket. Steam for 5 minutes or until bright green and tender crisp.
- Lightly grease an ovenproof frying pan. Place the filo onto a clean work surface. Cover with a dry tea towel, then a damp tea towel (this prevents it from drying out). Brush 1 filo sheet with a little of the melted butter. Fold in half, crossways. Place in the pan, allowing it to overhang slightly. Repeat with remaining filo and melted butter, turning and overlapping each sheet slightly to line the pan completely.
- Arrange the pumpkin, broccoli, pancetta and feta evenly over the filo. Pour over the egg mixture.
- Fold the pastry over the filling to slightly enclose. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until set and golden.
- Heat the oil in a small frying pan over a medium-high heat.
- Add the haloumi and cook, turning occasionally, for 2 minutes or until golden. Add the lemon juice and toss to coat.
- Combine haloumi, rocket, parsley and shallot in a bowl. Top the frittata with a little haloumi salad. Serve with the remaining salad.
Monday, September 24th, 2012
It’s only about another month until the clocks turn back and am sure you’ve noticed it’s already starting to get darker a little earlier each evening.
As Autumn approaches, we’ll be starting to think about comforting foods to get us ready for the cold weather, but too often it’s too easy to fall into the trap of substituting healthy food for more fattening snacks.
Why not try this delicious one pot dish. It will not only warm you through the winter months but will help your digestive health too.
- 450g diced beef stewing meat
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 170g tomato purée
- 500ml beef stock
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 3 potatoes, cubed
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 250g mushrooms, quartered
- 285g frozen garden peas, thawed
- 1 red pepper
1.Remove any bits of fat from the meat. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Sauté the meat until browned on all sides. Remove meat and set aside.
2. Add the onion and tomato purée to the pot and sauté over medium heat until onion is tender, stirring often. Return the meat to the pot along with the beef stock, combining with the onion and tomato purée mixture. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 to 1.5 hours, or until meat is tender.
3. Add the carrots, potatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne pepper, and simmer, covered, for another 45 minutes. (Note: It may be necessary to add some water if the stew seems too thick.)
4. Add the mushrooms and the peas and allow stew to heat through. Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig before serving.
Monday, July 16th, 2012
Summer berries are a great way to increase your vitamin C intake which helps our immune system and digestive health. Why not try this Summer Berry pudding which is not only rich in vitamin C and fibre but also low in fat therefore making it almost guilt free.
85g golden caster sugar
4 slices of brown bread sliced, (with crusts removed)
2 tsp cornflour
200g tub low-fat fromage frais
300g mixed summer berries (we used raspberries, blueberries, redcurrants, sliced strawberries) or 300g/10oz frozen berries, defrosted
1.Preheat the grill to high.
2.Lay the slices of bread slightly overlapping in a shallow flameproof dish.
3.Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the sugar in an even layer over the bread and grill for about two minutes until the
bread is toasted and the sugar is just starting to caramelise.
4.Mix the cornflour into the fromage frais.
5.Pile the fruit down the middle of the bread and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of the sugar.
6.Drop spoonfuls of the fromage frais mixture on top, then sprinkle the rest of the sugar over evenly.
7.Put the dish as close to the heat as you can and grill for about 6-8 minutes, until the fromage frais has
browned and everything else is starting to bubble and turn juicy.
8.Leave it to sit for a minute or two, then serve hot, spooned straight from the dish.