Healthy store cupboard staples

by Jemma on January 25, 2015

in Sunday catch up

Happy Sunday folks!  Thank you so much for your heartwarming messages on last week’s post - my Nan is much perkier and arrangements are being made for her future care.  As hard as it is, as a family we’re all feeling slightly more optimistic about things now that the news about her condition has sunk in.  It’s so difficult at the moment, but my family have a great team of people helping us through this and my Nan is getting the best love and care, fingers crossed she will be out of hospital soon!

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Can you believe that we’re entering the last week of January already?  For what usually feels like the longest month of the year it’s really just evaporated for me.  I’ve relied on quick and speedy meals again this week to help get me through, eggs being a store cupboard staple at the moment. This was some stir fried veggies that I picked up reduced in the supermarket with eggs whipped in and some peanuts sprinkled over the top for good measure.  For such a speedy dish, it really made a delicious breakfast and dinner again later in the week too. 

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There have been lots of amazing salads again this week too like this one with mixed leaves, goat’s cheese, beets, red onion and sweet red peppers.  I think goat’s cheese and beetroot have become one of my favourite salad add-ins as they really work so well together. 

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I do seem to be going back-and-forth between salad and soups for lunch lately, even whilst out running errands with the little one.  We stopped at a lovely coffee shop to have lunch and they were serving this wonderful Tuscan soup as their soup of the day.  I just had to have it!  Full of lentils and chickpeas and warm spices, it really hit the spot! 

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Something else that is a mainstay of my diet a the moment is porridge.  Is there nothing better to warm you up on a cold frosty morning?  Plus, I was sick this week with a 24-hour bug and porridge was all I could manage.  I’ve eaten this full-fat Greek yoghurt with blueberries and coconut sugar a lot this week. 

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I’m definitely making the most of being able to eat runny eggs again post pregnancy. Super runny yolks and avocado has become a big hit in our house and I must have it at least three times a week for breakfast or even for a quick lunch. 

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Like all creature of habits, which I tend to be, I’m still drinking my warm water and lemon in the morning,  It’s become such a morning ritual for me now that I can’t imagine not having this drink in the morning, it’s really refreshing and is great for jump-starting your metabolism. 

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Saying that this week has been better than last week is an understatement, although it hasn’t been without its challenges.  Waking up earlier in the week vomiting first thing and a few difficult days with Aiden has left me feeling rough around the edges, to say the least.  I think our baby boy must be going through a developmental leap or something because he’s being very fussy this week, yesterday being the worst.  We’ve gone out for lots of lovely walks in the countryside that seem to soothe him as he drifts right off to sleep.  Today I’m definitely in need of some TLC and rest, Netflix here I come! 

What are your current store cupboard favourites that allow you to make quick and healthy meals? 

Do you have any morning rituals that you just can’t do without? 

 

{ 8 comments }

{Recipe} Caribbean Shepherd’s Pie

by Jemma on January 22, 2015

in Recipes

Caribbean Shepherd's Pie TITLE

In most people’s minds comfort food is all about stick-to-your-ribs heavy food that isn’t necessarily good for you.  One of my favourite comfort foods in the cold depths of winter is a hearty and healthy shepherd’s pie; I’ve experimented with a few vegetarian versions and looked at using different toppings such as cauliflower mash and root vegetable mash, all turned out delicious. 

Caribbean Shepherd's Pie 3

Last week I was out of root vegetables to make my usual shepherd’s pie topping, mashed carrots really didn’t appeal to me or Alfie.  What I did have lots of though is sweet potatoes and we really enjoy sweet potato fries in our house to regular potato fries.  I wasn’t sure how the traditional meat filling of the shepherd’s pie would hold up next to the more exotic sweet potato, so I decided to put my own sunshine spin on it and give it a Caribbean edge. 

Caribbean Shepherd's Pie
Serves 4
A hearty and delicious twist on a winter classic!
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Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
25 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 400g lamb mince (you could use beef, turkey, pork, chicken or soya mince)
  2. 430g pasata
  3. Thumb size peice of grated ginger
  4. 2 cloves garlic grated
  5. 2 tsp coconut sugar
  6. 3 carrots diced
  7. 3 celery sticks
  8. 1 red onion diced
  9. 1 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
  10. 1 tsp all spice
  11. 1 tsp all purpose seasoning
  12. juice of half a lime
  13. Enough sweet potato mash to cover
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees
  2. In a saucepan fry off the red onion and the mince until cooked through.
  3. Add the celery, carrots, ginger, garlic and spices and cook for a further 3 minutes stirring now and then.
  4. Pour in the pasata, lime juice and coconut sugar, stir and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer the pie filling into an oven proof dish and allow to cool a little before adding the sweet potato mash topping.
  6. Spread the already prepared sweet potato mash topping over the filling.
  7. Cook in the oven for at least 30 minutes or until the filling is bubbling.
  8. Serve with your favourite accompaniments and enjoy!
Celery and Cupcakes http://celeryandcupcakes.com/
Caribbean Shepherd's Pie 1

Generally, like lots of cuisines, Caribbean food follows the sweet, sour and hot rule.  In this dish, you have the sweet from the coconut sugar (you could you brown sugar), the sour from the lime juice and the hot (depending on your spiceometer) from the dried chilli flakes.  All three ingredients add a lovely balance of flavours to the meat filling. 

Caribbean Shepherd's Pie 2

I’ve used lamb mince in this dish, which is typical of a shepherd’s pie, but you could use beef, turkey, chicken and even pork mince.  To make this a vegetarian meal then you could use soya mince or add beans and lentils, just like my Lentil and Vegetable Cottage Pie with Root Vegetable Mash recipe. The best thing about this dish is that there are always leftovers, we had enough for another 2 servings the next day.  Happy cooking!

Do you like fusion food?  Which of your favourite dishes would you like to put a culinary spin on?

{ 18 comments }

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