Summer Holidays Ideas Jar

It’s been a while I know…and I’m only really posting to share what I think is a great idea to prepare yourself for the summer holidays and the unbearable notion that you have children to entertain 24/7. 

Trying to think of things to do is a nightmare and generally a plathora of tantrums, sulking or Kevin and Perry style attitude ensues in this house when I don’t have things planned – it’s time to act like kids; and I don’t mean 2016 kids I mean like 1980’s kids, which basically means playing and having fun.

So I came up with the Ideas jar – the children (and I),over the past few weeks, have been writing ideas of what we want to do in the holidays, on a piece of paper, screwing them up and putting it into the jar. The idea being that each day the kids will take it in turns to pick out a piece of paper and do whatever is on it (obviously this could end up being weather or money permitting!)

The rules are to have only one or two ideas a week that cost money (and preferable not much!) so it may need to be managed a bit. 

We’ve been trying to think of as many free things as possible; camping in the garden, making cookies, picnic in the park, home cinema day etc. I can’t wait to get started but we need more ideas so I’m after some help! 

Please help us to not watch Telly all day or play on the PlayStation – join our Act Like Kids Campaign for the holidays and share your thoughts! 

Breakfast PB and Spinach Smoothie

  This is supremely yum! So much so that Bear asked me to do him one to have after school today so it’s sitting in the fridge for him when he gets home!

Ingredients

  • 250ml coconut/almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 3 cups kale or spinach (I had kale but used it all so Bear has got spinach – both taste equally scrummy)
  • 1/4 cup pineapple
  • 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • Ice

ENJOY! If you like peanut butter, you definitely will! 

Moroccan Chicken with Giant Cous Cous and Pomegranate

  

Under 400 calories per portion!!! I KNOW! Why wouldn’t you, right? 

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 80g giant cous cous
  • 1 cup coriander
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Feta cheese
  • 1 inch cucumber
  • 6 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 pomegranate 
  • 2 tbsp Greek style natural yoghurt
  • Moroccan seasoning
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Bash your chicken with a rolling pin and coat in the Moroccan spices
  • Rinse the giant Cous course and put it in cold water and bring to the boil and simmer for 7 minutes or according to pack instructions
  • Put your chicken in a pan and fry over a medium heat 
  • Put your coriander, mint, spinach, olive oil, vinegar, mustard and maple syrup into a blender and whizz up until it’s like a paste
  • Cut up your cucumber and tomatoes into small chunks 
  • When your Cous Cous is done rinse and put into a bowl with the paste, chopped tomatoes and cucumber, pomegranate seeds and lime juice
  • Crumble in the feta cheese and plenty of salt and pepper and mix round
  • When the chicken is done cut in strips and lay over the top of the Cous cous

  

  • Dollop over the yoghurt 

*Best way to get out pomegranate seeds is to hold face down with the seeds touching your hand and bash over the top with a rolling pin, the seeds should fall through your fingers easily.

Forgot to take an end photo because I was too hungry and scoffed it before remembering! Soz 

Enjoy! 

Tuesday – Avocado, Banana, Mango and Ginger Smoothie

  I know, I know, avocados are pretty calorific so not ideal for calorie counters but they’re also very rich in dietary fibre and extremely good for you….and proper yummy!

Mango gives you your ‘super fruit’ hit for the day providing you with vitamins A, B6, C and E.

The ginger, my favourite superfood, promotes fat loss and basically just has a lot of good stuff in it….it also gives it a nice fiery kick.

High in potassium and low in cholesterol so great for those who suffer from high blood pressure. Deliciously creamy and refreshing! 

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 mango
  • 2 inches ginger
  • 200ml coconut water
  • 1 tbsp Greek style low fat natural yoghurt
  • Ice

 Whizz up and enjoy!

Monday – Nectarine and Mint Muesli Smoothie

 In keeping with the healthy eating I’m having smoothies this week for breakfast. 

Today’s is low in calories, packed with antioxidants and low in cholesterol.

Nectarine and mint muesli smoothie (300kcal)

Ingredients

  • 2 nectarines
  • 1 handful of mint leaves
  • 25g unsweetened muesli (I had Tesco’s own with apple and berries)
  • 2 large strawberries
  • 200ml Alpro coconut original with rice
  • 1 tbsp 0% fat Greek style natural yoghurt 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • Black pepper

Whizz and enjoy! Have a great Monday!

Monday – Nectarine and Mint Muesli Smoothie

 In keeping with the healthy eating I’m having smoothies this week for breakfast. 

Today’s is low in calories, packed with antioxidants and low in cholesterol.

Nectarine and mint muesli smoothie (300kcal)

Ingredients

  • 2 nectarines
  • 1 handful of mint leaves
  • 25g unsweetened muesli (I had Tesco’s own with apple and berries)
  • 2 large strawberries
  • 200ml Alpro coconut original with rice
  • 1 tbsp 0% fat Greek style natural yoghurt 
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ice

Whizz and enjoy! Have a great Monday!

Loaded Sweet Potato Skins

 
Back to healthy eating. This is just over 500 calories if you have both halves, well under if you have only one and equally if you leave out the chorizo but have both it’s still well under! I knew Beardy wouldn’t be happy with no meat in it hence putting it in, and he even said he thought it needed more, but I could easily have it without if sticking to a calorie controlled diet.

Ingredients – serves 2 for dinner or 4 for a light lunch (half a skin each)

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 125g chorizo
  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 tbsp sweetcorn
  • 2 avocados
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Lashings of black pepper
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • Gouda cheese (small amount for topping)

Method

  • Pre heat oven to 180
  • Prick the sweet potatoes all over and rub with olive oil and salt 
  • Drizzle some olive oil and salt in a baking tray and place your potatoes in the oven for 45 minutes, turning once or twice so the skins don’t burn 
  • Chop your spring onions, scoop out your avocado and put them in a bowl with the sweetcorn
  • When the sweet potatoes are almost done; Chop your chorizo into cubes and fry in a little olive oil until the oil turns orange and the chorizo turns a darker red
  • Put the chorizo into the avocado mix along with its oil
  • Check the sweet potatoes are done all the way through by poking a cocktail or kebab stick through the middle, if they’re done cut in half and scoop out the middles being careful not to break or tear the skins
  • Put the sweet potato into the other mix and put the skins back into the oven to crisp up
  • Stir round the mix adding in the lemon juice, a few pinches of salt and lots of black pepper

  

  • Get the skins out and load them up, grating a little Gouda over the top

  

  • Pop back into the oven until the cheese has melted to your liking!

ENJOY!

Crock Pot Cheesy Meatballs

   
 Weekends are for treats I’ve decided, so although I didn’t actually work out the calories for this one I know it’s not under 500, more likely somewhere between 6-800 per portion. 

I have to confess I got this idea from Tasty which is something I found recently on Instagram and Facebook – you should definitely look it up if you haven’t already, there are some fab ideas on there, all very easy to follow videos! I love it! 

Bear and Boo also enjoyed these!

Ingredients – serves 4

  • 375g Sausage meat
  • 445g minced beef
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • 2 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sauce
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 glass red wine
  • 175g Gouda cheese cut into small cubes
  • 100g chorizo 
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Put the crockpot on high 
  • Put the meat, herbs, Worcester sauce and plenty of salt and pepper into a bowl and mix well (with fingers)
  • Put one tin of the tomatoes into the crock pot with the brown sauce and red wine
  • Roll the meat into meatballs and stuff a Gouda cube inside the meatball, do this to all meatballs and place in layers in the crock pot separated by the other tin of tomatoes layered over the first lot of meatballs
  • In another pan fry the chorizo for a minute or two and put into the crock pot with the tomatoes and meatballs. Give a little stir.
  • Put your feet up for 2 hours and look forward to the result
  • Cook the spaghetti according to packet instructions at an appropriate time (10-20 mins before meatballs are ready)

ENJOY!