Crinkle Cookies

Hey Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

This is a nice recipe, not to sweet but great for a treat! I love how the light coating of icing sugar adds that extra sweetness and how soft these cookies are. They taste amazing straight from the oven when slightly warm and remind me of brownies but not quite as gooey on the inside. These cookies also look really cool with colour contrast of the super dark cocoa powder against the crinkle effect from the icing sugar. I always love baking and carrying some to work for that midday snack or pick me up.

Recipe: Crinkle cookies (makes 10)

Ingredients

30g cocoa powder

45g soft brown sugar

45g caster sugar

30ml vegetable oil

1 egg

90g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp icing sugar

Method

  • Combine the cocoa powder and sugars together in a large bowl.
  • Mix in the oil and egg until smooth.
  • Sieve in the flour and baking powder to form a smooth dough, put in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line 2 trays with baking powder.
  • Use a tablespoon to scoop out the dough, roll with your hands to form a ball, flatten and cover with icing sugar then place in the baking tray.
  • Repeat, until all of the mixture is used up and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave to cool slightly before eating.

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Pearl Barley with Sweet Potato, Kale and Broccoli

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

Today’s recipe was inspired by a pack of pearly barley I had in the cupboard for quite a while, but just couldn’t figure out what to make with it. I originally thought about cooking some type of soup but nothing was really making it stand out so I opted for a vegetable mixture instead. As you can see from the images, its about 5% grain and the rest in vegetables, just how I like it. I’ve noticed more recently that grains, specifically white rice, can be quite filling and make me feel bloated, so I try to eat less of it these days and it’s super processed and not the healthiest option. As this was my first time eating pearl barley, I’m not sure how I felt about it. I followed the packet instructions but I didn’t really like the chewiness of the grains, I’m not sure if it was over cooked or not cooked enough but the were almost bouncing with every bite. I’ll definitely try another recipe to if I like it with other foods but overall, this was a very hearty meal, filled with lots of great vegetables.

Recipe: Pearl Barley with veg (serves 1)

Ingredients

25g uncooked pearl barley

1 tsp oil

1/3 spring onion, finely sliced

1 small sweet potato, peeled, washed, cut into cubes

Handful of kale

Handful of broccoli, washed and cut

Sprinkle of garlic powder, paprika, chilli flakes, salt

100ml warm water

Method

  • Cook the pearl barley according to the packet instructions and set aside.
  • Prepare all of the vegetables and heat the oil in a deep pan, adding the spring onion once hot, cooking for only 2 minutes before adding the sweet potato, kale and broccoli.
  • Season the vegetables with your favourite herbs and spices, I used garlic powder, paprika, chilli flakes and salt. Pour in the water and mix everything together.
  • Leave to simmer for 15 minutes on a low heat until everything is fully cooked.
  • Turn the heat off then mix the pearl barley into the pan and leave for a few minutes before serving.

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Baked Sweet Potato

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well and the weather is great for you today. We were having some really nice weather in the UK and sunshine always makes everything better.

Today I am sharing a recipe inspired by @calgaryavansino over on Instagram. I feel like the ingredients are very Mexican inspired and all of the flavours compliment each other so well. It is the perfect vegetarian burger and can be whipped up in no time. It’s nice and easy to make and the sweetness of the potatoes just tastes so good. I actually really like sweet potatoes but I feel like I don’t eat them enough so I was super happy when I found this recipe. I’ve changed it a little to suit me and what I had available at the time but the veggie concept is still there. Another thing I love about the recipe is how easily accessible the topping ingredients are as many of use will have sweetcorn, black beans and peas in the kitchen. You can also change up the quantities, depending on what you like.

Recipe: Baked sweet potato (serves 1)

Ingredients

2 small sweet potatoes, washed and gently scrubbed

Drizzle of oil

Pinch of salt

Handful of sweetcorn

1/4 tin black beans

50g crushed green peas

1 tsp chilli garlic sauce

Pinch of salt

1 tsp lime juice

1/4 diced onion)

Method

  • Preheat the oven to gas mark 6.
  • Rinse and gently scrub the potatoes, place on a oven tray, spray each potato twice with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Cover the tray with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and put back into the oven for a further 10 minutes.
  • Cook the peas and crush with a fork then mix in the chilli garlic sauce, salt, lime juice and onion. Leave to marinate for a few minutes.
  • Bring a small pot of water to a gentle simmer and cook the corn and beans for 5 minutes until cooked through and drain off the liquid.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, carefully slice them in half and top with the corn, black beans and crushed peas, drizzle with a little lemon juice and serve.

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Quick Work Lunch Ideas

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

I’ve literally been carrying packed lunches with me for such a long time, back when I was in school as a kid up till now as an adult going to work. I love carrying lunches to work, not only do you save money but you can personalise your meals and really enjoy what you’re eating. There are a lot more options available now but the general cheese and salad or chicken mayo just doesn’t do it for me. Most days I keep my lunches pretty simple because I don’t like feeling super full or bloated at work, so I opt for foods that are fairly filling, nutritious but still tasty. Recently, I’ve been preparing my work lunches before I leave out in the mornings so that I have even more time to myself when I get back in the late afternoon/evening.

I think my current favourite lunch for work has to be a seasoned couscous salad, usually plain couscous sprinkled with salt, chilli flakes, garlic powder and dried herbs. Sometimes I’ll even add some toasted pine nuts for extra flavour which are high in calories, specifically protein helping me to keep fuller for longer.

Quick work lunches ideas:

  • Cheese sandwich
  • Peanut butter sandwich
  • Jam sandwich
  • Pasta: sauce, tuna, sweetcorn, carrot, spring onion, cheese, kale
  • Leftover homemade pizza
  • Couscous salad: tuna, sweetcorn, carrot, pine nuts, lettuce, cucumber, radish, sliced spring onions
  • Crackers, carrot sticks apples slices, nuts
  • Brioche, carrot sticks, nuts
  • Cheesy bread, carrot and cucumber sticks

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Healthy Snack Ideas

Hello Everyone, I hope your day has been well.

I’m always looking for ways to reduce my unhealthy snacking habits so I’ve created a list of fairly healthy and nutritious snack ideas. They are all very simple and easy to prepare for home, work or even on the go. Snacks are what we go for in between meals when we feel hungry but healthier options are better for the body because they reduce the risk of unnecessary weight gain and other long term health issues caused by excessive snacking habits. I always think everything is best in moderation, so of course on the odd occasion, enjoy that sweet treat but remember to fill your diet with healthy, nutritious foods that will support your body.

Healthy snack ideas listed below:

  • Fruit
  • Plain popcorn
  • Plain nuts, cashews
  • Apple slices topped with peanut butter, dedicated coconut and grated dark chocolate
  • Oven kale chips
  • Chia seed pudding
  • Flavoured roasted peanuts
  • Plain rice cakes
  • Sugar free jelly
  • Carrot and cucumber sticks with hummus
  • Roasted lentils

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