Tagged: food bloggers

Diet Tip #3: Fage Total 0% Fat Free Greek Yoghurt

totalSo I haven’t written a diet tip for a while, but because I’m trying to loose weight again, I thought I would!

Basically, Fage Total O% Fat Free Greek Yoghurt was a revelation the first time I tried it. Unlike normal yoghurts, it has a really thick texture, instead of runny, so it feels you up a lot more. It is also packed with protein (10.3g per 100g), which again makes you feel full and aids weight loss. Also, as it says on the label, it is completely fat free!

It also tastes great and is extremely versatile. I often have it for dessert at lunch or dinner with fruit like I did today. You could also have it for breakfast, on its own or with some oats and honey  ormake it a healthy, but fun treat for kids by adding sprinkles to it.

You can buy the yoghurt in 170g (£1.00) or 500g pots (£2.39).

Hope you enjoy!

Sam x

 

Product Review: Frank ‘honest snacking’ snack bars

frank barsAs a nation, we are becoming more aware about our health and the food that we eat.

Considering incidents such as the horse meat scandal, people want to know what is going in their food and that it is good for them.

This is why I was so delighted when Frank food company contacted me about trying their new snack bars. These healthy treats are gluten, nut and dairy free, are suitable for vegans and are a source of protein. They also contain no ‘nasties’ – with the main ingredient dried fruit – so they basically couldn’t be more healthy if they tried.

As well as this, they come in an array of yummy flavours – ‘Double Chocolate’, ‘Orange & Chocolate’, ‘Oat & Chocolate, Blueberry & Chocolate’ and Strawberry & Chocolate’. As you can see, these all contain chocolate, which definitely pleased me, considering what a chocoholic I am.

But so they actually taste nice? Honestly my answer is yes. Considering this is my first vegan product that I’ve tried, I was extremely pleasantly surprised. Considering it is made from all healthy ingredients, it still feels like a treat. It also is a nice to not feel overwhelmed with sugar whilst eating a snack and have something that is more wholesome, but still tasty.

I would have to say that the ‘Blueberry & Chocolate’ ones are my favourite. To be honest, I didn’t think this flavour would work very well, but I was pleasantly surprised about how the two mixed and finished the bar in record time!

When it comes to the texture of the bars, I would say they a far more like a chocolate bar than a cereal bar because they are soft and crumbly whilst still being firm.

With huge celebrities, such as Beyonce, now endorsing the vegan trend, it makes products like these even more important for those who want to be healthy but still have a varied and tasty diet.

You can buy the snack bars online at Frank food company’s website, as well as Asda and other stores which you can check on their stocklist page here.

Let me know if you try the snack bars or similar products and what you think of them.

It is definitely a thumbs up from me!

Sam x

 

 

Tried & Tested: American pancake recipe

pancakes 2Pancake Day 2014 may have already come & gone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have them anymore…

These doughy treats are perfect as a yummy breakfast, weekend treat or dessert and really easy to make.

They can also be quite healthy if you add low-fat toppings to them (I went for butter and syrup though, oops).

When preparing for Pancake Day, I decided that I was going to try American pancakes rather than big flat ones this year as I’m all about change in 2014.

I also had American pancakes when I visited Vegas last year and they were literally the best thing ever.

 I found a recipe on bbc.co.uk which I have included for you below.

I was going to double the mixture, because  it didn’t seem like it would make many when I read only 135g of flour was going to be used. However, I’m so glad I didn’t as it made tons! I made 14 in the end before I just couldn’t be bothered to cook anymore, but there was still a bit of the mixture left even after that.

Unlike normal pancakes, which are usually just flower, egg & milk, with American pancakes you add a bit of sugar too, so they are sweeter already, as well as butter.

The resulting pancakes (which can be seen above right)  were gorgeously fluffy and really tasty – so I can definitely recommend the recipe below.

I usually have Nutella on my pancakes, but I decided to go for traditional maple syrup  and butter, which has become my absolute new favourite (and much better than it sounds).

If you want to make it healthier though, why not adding blueberries to the pancakes or have them with strawberries and natural yoghurt?

Let me know if you try out the recipe or what you like on your pancakes!

Sam x

Ingredients

  • 135g plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 130ml milk
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 30g melted butter (allowed to cool slightly)

Method

  1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and caster sugar into a bowl
  2. Gently melt the butter over simmering water in a heat-proof bowl.
  3. In a jug, lightly whisk together the egg & milk, then whisk in the melted butter.
  4. Combine the flour mixture and milk mixture until you have a smooth batter. Let this stand for a few minutes.
  5. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and add some spray oil. Add four small dollops of mixture onto each quarter of the pan, but don’t allow them to touch. If you want to make bigger pancakes, reduce the amount you cook at a time. Wait until the top of the pancake begins to bubble, then turn it over and cook until both sides are golden brown and the pancake has risen to about 1cm thick.
  6. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
  7. Put on those yummy toppings & eat!

Healthy recipe #1: BBQ Chicken Fajita Salad

fajita saladSo currently I am trying to be extremely healthy because for once in my life I actually do want a toned summer body, rather than squirming every time I have to go near a strappy top and a pair of shorts.

This means that I am exercising every day – either a the gym or doing my exercise DVD at home. However, we all know that you can only burn so much off with exercise and that you have to eat right too.

So, it’s time for the salads again! I know what you’re thinking, BORING. Believe me, when people used to say that they were eating salad for lunch, I would literally not understand how they managed to eat a whole plate.

However, salads don’t have to be boring! There are so many yummy ingredients out there now, that they can literally be once of the most exciting and tasty dishes out there.

What you must watch out for though is that if you do start piling on too many things to your salad, it is going to be just as bad (if not worse) than having a plate of chips.

Now I am a HUGE fan of mexican food fan, so I decided that my first salad in a while would have to incorporate this, which is why I went for BBQ chicken mexican fajita.

What you will need: 

  • Chicken (One breast per person)
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions (white or red)
  • Red or yellow peppers
  • Fajita seasoning
  • BBQ sauce
  • Italian-style/baby leaf salad

Method: 

First of all cut the chicken up into strips and then gently cook on a low heat using a few sprays on low-fat cooking spray oil. My favourite to use is Frylight’s sunflower oil verson. Once the strips have just started to cook, add in all of the other ingredients, plus a few more sprays of oil and gently turn until the ingredients starts to brown.

Next sprinkle some of the fajita seasoning on. Don’t add too much though, otherwise the flavour will be overpowering. Turn this down to a low heat.

Whilst the chicken and vegetables are finishing off prepare your salad. Italinan-style or baby leaf salad will come in a pre-washed bag, so there is no need to wash it again. Don’t use iceberg lettuce for this recipe, as it won’t have the same effect. You should then dress the salad with some vinegar, as well as a little sprinkle of salt.

By now, the chicken & vegetables should be fully cooked. Just place a typical serving onto the salad and t zig-zag on some of the barbeque sauce (my favourite sauce to use is Hp’s Barbecue Classic Woodsmoke Sauce).

And there you have it – your yummy and healthy meal is served!

Added extras

I wanted to be really healthy, so kept my salad quite plain. However, if you’re feeling a little more naughty or adventurous, you can also add a dollop of guacamole or creme fraiche to make your salad even more Mexican. Or why not try a few tortilla chips too – these can be crushed if you like.

Also, you will notice in the picture of my salad that there are in actual fact no peppers. This is only because I thougjt I had some at home, but I didn’t (boo). I would definitely recommend including them though.

So there you have it, a tasty BBQ chicken fajita salad! let me know what your favourite salads are & keep your eyes peeled for more healthy recipes on the blog

Sam x

Nutella Cookbook Creation #1: Orange Creme Whoopie Pies

whoopie piesSo my lovely sister Kerri got me the awesome Nutella cookbook for Christmas…

This is my first post where I am actually using it though!

Basically, I’m sure you will have guessed but this is a cookbook full of yummy treats to make, which all feature Nutella. I thought I would start from the beginning with my creations, however the first recipe was for Nutella & fruit club sandwiches, which was too easy.

The second recipe was for mini coconut Nutella palmiers, however I didn’t really fancy coconut, so on I went. Finally, third time lucky, I stumbled across the orange creme whoopie pie recipe. ‘Yes ‘ I thought, this is definitely the type of thing I am looking for.

I’ve never eaten a whoopie pie, so didn’t really know what to expect, however it looked yummy on the picture, so I was ready to give it a go!

How did I get on?

Well… I did *okay* for my first time. Basically, the recipe that I have included for you below tells you that the mixture will make 15 whoopie pies. So in my brain, I thought okay, 15 pies, means 15 spoonfuls of the mixture on the baking tray, right?

Wrong! That only makes seven (quite large) whoopie pies, when you put the two halves together. So basically, I didn’t fully read the recipe and was having a severe blonde moment (even though I’m not blonde).

So yeah, as I mentioned above, mine came out rather larger than I originally planned, which meant they were quite filling. However, they still tasted nice!

The orange creme went a bit wrong for me as well. When making it, I melted the butter, then took it off the heat before I put in the other ingredients, whereas you’re supposed to put them in whilst it is still simmering. This meant that my mixture didn’t really thicken up that well, however I just rectified this by adding in some plain flour.

Would I make it again?

Yes, I will definitely be making these whoopie pies again, because I want to see what they would be like smaller like they are actually supposed to be!

The only thing that I might do is just use chocolate or vanilla buttercream for the filling, instead of making the orange creme. I didn’t dislike the creme in the recipe, but it was very time-consuming and wasn’t really worth the wait in my opinion.

If you used your own buttercream, the whole process would be so much quicker, as the pies themselves only take 10-15 minutes to cook.

You could also just add some orange flavouring to your chocolate icing, if you still wanted an orange taste for your pies.

Could I taste the Nutella?

In all honestly, not really. However I usually slather it on or eat is straight from the jar so I’m probably immune from the taste when it is used in smaller quantities now.

It is still a nice recipe though and makes for great whoopie pies (if you get the sizing right!)

Conclusion

So yes, that was my very first baking experience with my Nutella cookbook! Not without its hiccups, but like would probably be boring if it was perfect, right?!

Let me know if you try out the recipe (included below), or if you have the Nutella cookbook too!

Until next time…

Sam x

Ingredients

Orange creme filling:

  • One orange
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 50g caster sugar
  • One egg
  • 75 Philadelphia-style cheese

Whoopie pies:

  • 125g plain flour
  • One teaspoon of baking powder
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 40g caster sugar
  • One egg
  • 100g nutella
  • 20g cocoa powder
  • 100ml semi-skimmed milk
  • pinch of salt

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (Gas 4)

2. Make the orange creme filling. First grate the orange zest and then squeeze it’s juice into a bowl. Next melt the butter in a separate bowl over a pan of simmering water. To this, add the sugar, egg and the zest & juice. Beat this mixture, still over the heat, until it thickens. Remove this from the heat and leave to cool. After this, add in the cheese and chill the mixture for at least one hour.

3. To make the whoopie pies: Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl. In another bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until you have a smooth mixture. Add to this, the Nutella, the egg, cocoa powder and milk. Mix this well and then add the first flour mixture to it.

4. Place THIRTY (*winks) spoonfuls of the mixture onto a baking tray covered in parchment paper (or which has been greased). Bake for 10-15 minutes. Leave this to cool and spread on the orange creme mixture when both are ready.