No time to cook? then embrace ASSEMBLY!

11th January 2019
easy bare cupboard soup

Simple (frozen) cauliflower soup!

Something that I hear time and time again is that a lack of time stands in the way of making healthier changes.  I totally get it!  We have all been there and so often poor food choices are driven by a lack of time.  The more I explore the issue of time (or lack of it) with clients, it actually comes down to expectations.  The expectation of what ‘cooking from scratch’ or even just ‘cooking’ actually means.

So what is the answer?

Reframing the situation!

I promise that it is possible to create healthy and tasty meals quickly and without spending a fortune but this comes down to individual interpretation of what cooking entails.  When I am up against it (which is most of the time), I put an emphasis on what I call assembly meals as opposed to meals that require lots of prep and cooking.

 

What are assembly meals?

Meals that you can simply put together (assemble) and where I don’t need to spend hours peeling, chopping, prepping food before frying / poaching/ roasting / baking it.

Think of these meals in chunks; you need some protein then some carbohydrate and then add in the all important veggies!

 

Current favourites are using smoked mackerel fillets and then serving these with a bowl of pre-roasted veg (whenever your oven is on put a tray of veg in to roast), add in some salad leaves and maybe some hummus or herby creme fraiche to top.  Takes all of 3 minutes and is a really healthy, filling and delicious meal.

 

Could you open a tin of lentils, stir in some rocket, crumble some feta and chop up some precooked beetroot?  Again 3 minutes and fantastic!

 

My all time favourite that does require cooking BUT a 1 minute assembly job on a baking tray; 1 salmon fillet, 1 handful fine green beans, 1 handful cherry tomatoes and a few black olives. In a hot oven for 15 minutes and done!  Double this and have 1/2 for lunch tomorrow!

 

So much is about planning and making it simple.  Use a jar, open a tin, try a paste….none of these things are ‘cheating’ or something to feel bad about.  If the above mean that you have an extra 5 mins with your kids or simply that you actually get some extra veggies in because you can chuck them in a ready made sauce then BRILLIANT!

 

Also embrace the freezer!  There are so many quick, helpful frozen options out there now.  Butternut squash is one of the best as I LOVE this vegetable but loathe the prep that it requires!!

Tip on to a baking tray from the freezer and into an oven, roast for 30 mins, blitz with some coconut milk and red Thai curry paste and voila you have a delicious creamy and warming soup without having had to chop or create any mess.  Yet you still have a bowl packed full of wonderful beta carotene rich butternut squash.  Plus you probably have a few servings left over to freeze and keep for a rainy day when warning up a bowl of this might just save you from picking biscuits all throughout lunch.

 

So try to think differently about food, it really doesn’t need to be complicated in order to be healthy. Keep it simple and ditch the guilt as far as frozen, tinned and pre-prepped veggies/pulses are concerned. These are your FRIEND!!

Happy Healthy New Year

7th January 2019

New year, new resolutions.

Most of these have fallen by the wayside before the end of February because we fail to PLAN properly.  So I thought I’d do a quick post to help those of you out there who are already struggling to keep their resolutions…..on day 7!

 

I always think that starting anything on January 1st is tough.  Most of us are still on holiday mode with distractions aplenty so for me, this week marks the perfect time to get thinking about some positive changes to introduce. Continue reading

Bare Cupboard Soup

4th March 2018
easy bare  cupboard soup

easy bare cupboard soup

It is* snowing!  This is pretty special considering that I live right by the beach in North Cornwall where it NEVER snows….well very rarely.  Most of the UK can seemingly be covered in a beautiful white blanket whilst we remain green / sandy with not a flake in sight. Continue reading

Comfort Baking….Lemon Drizzle :)

19th February 2018

lemon drizzle

We had an unusually peaceful weekend last weekend which was just amazing.  Apart from the weekly ballet class (not me!), we had absolutely nothing in the diary ….bliss.

My eldest girl had been asking to do some baking for ages so we decided that Sunday was the day and somehow I managed to persuade her to bake my all time favourite cake, a lemon drizzle.

However, I was torn…..I LOVE lemon drizzle, a real lemon drizzle but could I tamper with a recipe (as I usually do) and still end up with one that would hit the spot? Continue reading

Hello Blog!

15th February 2018

Blog Planning.....

Blog Planning…..

It has been a while…again!

Blogs are funny things, for me this blog has never been anything that I earn money from, it was originally something that I was told I ‘should have’ when I started doing more media stuff and then it sort of morphed into an outlet for the odd recipe / musing when I had time.  That elusive thing, time, which seems to vanish once children appear and you are trying to juggle house, kids, freelance work and a reasonably sane life work balance.  My little blog bore the brunt of this time shortage hence the long periods of neglect! Sorry blog! Continue reading

Thick and creamy avo and chocolate smoothie

25th July 2016

Avocado in a smoothie sounds really odd, I do realise that!

However, I can promise that once you try adding avocado to pretty much any smoothie you will realise that it doesn’t really taste of anything but instead just manages to impart a deliciously creamy and smooth texture that works well with most flavours. smoothieavo

Sometimes I crave something a bit more substantial and this never fails to hit the spot.  Packed full of healthy fats from the avocado and rich in antioxidants from the cacao and spinach, this just feels like great nutrition in a bottle.

I love this after a sweaty yoga workout and my little girl loves it too (as long as she doesn’t see what goes into it!).

This makes 2 delicious smoothies

 

 

Potato and Lentil ‘nearly summer’ Stew

9th May 2016

This is my fallback recipe for days when I need a ‘hug in a bowl’.  Fallback because the ingredients are pretty sure to be sitting in my kitchen and when combined it really is a brilliantly comforting and warming stew/soup.  I do realise that posting this in May (just when we are experiencing the first flickers of sunny warmth on our faces) might seem a little odd, but this somehow seems fitting because it is warming yet light and perfect for those warm days but not so warm evenings.

Potato and Lentil Soup

Potato and Lentil Soup

Continue reading

Blueberry buckwheat pancakes

3rd March 2016

blueberry pancakesblog

Just sometimes, when life allows for a slightly less rushed start to the day, we love to make pancakes.

Pancakes are so easy and great to get tiny helpers involved because they really only need stirring, something that can usually be delegated to my 3 year old without disastrous consequences.

A healthier twist on a classic pancake is to switch the plain flour to buckwheat, Continue reading

Date and coconut energy balls

2nd March 2016

protein ballsThese little balls are so simple to make (I would say approx 5 minutes), and pack a real punch in terms of nutrients and energy.

Rich in healthy fats (especially omega 3s from the pumpkin seeds) as well as fibre, some protein and lots of minerals, what is there not to love?! Continue reading

Nourishing lentil soup

29th February 2016

lentil soupI LOVE soup.

There is something really satisfying about making soup and it just happens to be one of the cheapest and (providing you choose the right one and go homemade!) healthiest lunch options out there.  I often make a big pan which will last for 3 or so lunches plus a few snack meals. Continue reading

Warming Winter Breakfasts

19th February 2016

porridge w seeds and date syrupAfter an unseasonably mild winter, the past few days seem to have been a little more like the wintery days we know and love; bright sunshine, cold air and blue skies with a dusting of frost over the grass in the morning.  Mornings like these make me think of one thing immediately… Porridge! Continue reading

The Power of ‘NOW’

20th September 2015

mash avo on toastSo it has been a while since my last post and that is largely to do with a manic work schedule plus pregnancy!

Anyway my lack of time of late has really got me thinking about the importance of having a handful of simple, tasty and nutritious meals up your sleeve.  It will be these dishes that make the difference between staying on track health wise and the alternative which is is being unprepared AND hungry with a lack of time….thus resorting to ready meals or take aways or other less nutritious and more pricy alternatives. Continue reading

The magic of Chia….!

5th February 2015

Very rarely do I write about products.  I’m not particularly interested in endorsing things and that is not what this blog is about, but on the occasion that I discover something that has the potential to genuinely enhance peoples health then I feel that it is right to share it.

Chia seeds

Chia seeds

Continue reading

Salad Dressings – the homemade way…

1st February 2015

I clearly remember the first time that I made my own salad dressing.  I think I have bought perhaps only one ‘ready-made’ dressing since!

There are a number of reasons why making your own dressing is so much better than buying a pre-made one and here are my top reasons:

3 dressings

3 dressings

Continue reading

Sweet potato and chickpea burgers

30th January 2015
Chickpea burger with sweet potato wedges and salsa

Chickpea burger with sweet potato wedges and salsa

I cannot tell you how excited I was when I made these.  Normally my ‘creations’ in the kitchen don’t go down that well but if I do say so myself, this one was a hit! Not only are these really really quick and easy to make ( I think it probably took me 20mins to make them and 15mins of that was boiling the potatoes and carrots), but they are packed full of fibre, iron, magnesium, vitamin B6 and immune boosting beta-carotene.  These are also oven baked thus making them low fat too!   Continue reading