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!

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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!

    

 

Creamy Thai Beef and Fat Zoodles

   
So I found out the other day what zoodles were – zucchini noodles (or courgette to us Brits) so thought I’d try a recipe for our new healthy eating regime!

Although this has a whole tin of coconut milk in it and tastes so scrumdiddlyumptious you will think you’re indulging it still has less than 500 calories per portion! (This serves a generous 2) Whoop de doo!

Ingredients

  • 2 rump steaks
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 red pepper
  • Cup of broccoli
  • Cup of coriander
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 2 tsp red Thai curry paste
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Cut up all your ingredients as below – use a potato peeler to do your fat zoodles – I don’t have one of those spiraliser thingies so hence FAT zoodles which I could have just called ribbons really…  
  • Oil, salt and pepper your steaks, not the pan, place in a grill pan and fry for 2 mins each side, when done take out the pan and put to one side
  • Meanwhile place a deep frying pan on the  hob and pour in the coconut milk, curry paste and powder
  • Simmer the broccoli for 2 minutes in the coconut milk mix
  • Add in the peppers and cover with a lid and leave to steam for 2 minutes
  • Slice your steaks into strips
  • Add your steak slices to the pan along with the courgette, cider vinegar and lime juice, cover again for 4-5 mins
  • Stir in the coriander and season to taste  

 Yum yum yumski – my favourite so far!!!! And only took about 20 minutes! Result!

Parmesan Lemon and Pepper Baked Cod with Asparagus and Green Beans

  
Dinner number 2 of Healthy Eating Week

Ingredients 

  • 2 fillets of cod
  • 1 packet of green beans
  • 1 packet asparagus
  • 1 packet baby spinach
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Cup of Parmesan 
  • 10 baby tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • In a large deep baking tray place all the spinach, green beans and asparagus with the cod lightly placed on top.
  • Generously cover all in black pepper and a little olive oil
  • Place in the oven at 180 degrees for 10 mins
  • Chop your tomatoes in half, juice your lemon and grate your Parmesan
  • Take your cod out and scatter the tomatoes over the top, pour the lemon juice over everything, salt and lots of pepper again and sprinkle with most of the Parmesan leaving a little for the end

  

 

  • Return to the oven for a further 10-15 mins
  • Serve with the last of the Parmesan sprinkled over the top

Simples.
 

Spicy stuffed peppers 

  
Everyone seems to fill January with exercise and healthy eating – all part of clean living after overindulging at Christmas; our house is not an exception so easy healthy dinners are key this month, this is the first of many:

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 peppers
  • 1 cup cous cous
  • Half a courgette
  • Gouda cheese (I used 14 slices but you can exclude if you’re lactose intolerant and cover with breadcrumbs or would rather not eat cheese right now – Gouda was the lowest in calories I could find)
  • 8 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sweetcorn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • Handful of fresh coriander
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 clove garlic

Method

  • Put the cous cous in a bowl and cover with boiling water until it’s a few mm over the top. Cover with a plate and leave to one side.
  • Cut the peppers in half down the middle and de-seed. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray in the oven at 180 degrees
  • Meanwhile chop the courgette into tiny cubes and fry in the garlic and a little oil
  • Chop the tomatoes into quarters 
  • Put everything except the cheese into the cous cous and recover  
  • Take the peppers out of the oven and line the inside bottoms with some of the Gouda making sure you save some for the tops  
  • Stir the cous cous ingredients in and season with salt and pepper
  • Spoon the cous cous mix into the peppers and place the remainder of the cheese over the top    
  • Bake again for a further 10 mins

Job done.

 

Halloween Playlist

  
Next up – The Playlist!

It’s taken me a while, vetting the songs, as some of them are a bit too explicit, to find a playlist which is suitable for children’s ears, but I’ve finally settled on this…..I think….

I’m not entirely convinced there wont be extras added in by the time Saturday comes, but so far I’m confident there are enough songs on here to keep everyone happy. A particular favourite of mine and the kids is Boris the Spider – it seems to amuse them and they love singing along!!! Lol!

Check it out on Spotify: 

Halloween Playlist

…and enjoy! 

Happy Halloween!!!!! 👻🎃

Halloween Special -Games 

 it’s drawing near….I’m getting more and more excited by the day….We are hosting a small Halloween party on Saturday and I’m trying to think of games we can play to keep the kids (and adults) entertained. 

1. Try to get the worm out the jelly using only your mouth 

Not exactly the most catchy of names I know, but I don’t know what else to call it?! Blind Jelly Surprise? Our first experiment was to try to get the worm out of a jelly using only our mouth – this proved far too easy for Bear, who’s 6, so we thought we would try it blindfolded and on Boo, 4!!! For adults and children alike….this is how little Boo got on…friends reading this: your turn on Saturday!!! Thinking about making it a team relay! 

 
After thinking about this and realizing that trying to find 20+ blindfolds might prove tricky, and that everyone might really hurt their noses if they go in aggressively, I think maybe we will just do it in the dark! 

2. Torchlit Treasure Hunt

Hide lots of little sweets out in the garden (I’ll be using gold/silver chocolate coins as they should be easier to find) and get the kids go try to find them using torches. Great for indoors too with all the lights off if the weather is rubbish. Remember to keep some coins aside for the little ones who might find this more tricky. I plan to tell them that once they’ve found 5 that’s their lot so everyone gets their fair share.

We tried this indoors tonight and the kids loved it!

3. Pin the Wart on the Witch

Speaks for itself really just an adapted version of the tail on the Donkey.

4. Musical Statues – Halloween style

Of course I have a Halloween playlist for this, which I’ll post later. Cut out or make small pictures of witches hats/ghosts/cats whatever takes your fancy, and put them on the floor. This is just like musical statues, but when the music stops, the kids (and adults) have to stand on a picture, obviously take a picture away every time someone is out. A small treat for the losers and a big treat for the winner!

That should keep us busy for a bit….

Lollipop Spiders – Halloween special!

Halloween – one of my favourite times of the year! It’s at this time of year I wish I lived in America – they do Halloween so well!

I find myself constantly on Pinterest looking up crafty bits for the kids to do, home made costumes, make up, decorations, food ideas, basically everything!!!

Today we tried lollipop spiders. So simple, takes about 3 seconds for grown ups – 3 hours for children and their tiny fingers. No, seriously, it’s simple, even the kids can do it.

All you need is lollipops, black pipe cleaners and stick on googly eyes (and scissors and glue)  

      

Basically all you do is:

  • Take 2 pipe cleaners and cut them in half
  • wrap 2 of them together round your lollipop stick
  • Spread out the ends and turn them over at the very ends so they stand up
  • Stick on a couple of googly eyes

Hey presto!

  

If you need any more tuition than these simple instructions check out this link on Pinterest

 http://www.iheartnaptime.net/spider-suckers/

International Menu Week – kids dinner ideas


The children have requested an International Menu Week again soon. We did it once before and it was a great success, with the kids eating all except one dish (French cheeses) of the food we had prepared. The children choose the countries and look up the national dish (or even just a typical dish of that country), then pop it on the menu. It’s nice to have a change from the normal staple foods and they seem to really enjoy learning about other countries.

I get them to draw the flags, write the dishes down themselves and the language they speak in each country, sometimes I ask them to find out how to say hello in their language too, so a little bit of playing schools, which they love. Then they also help to cook the dinners where they can.

I also found something today which I might try too. A blog showing all the food holidays! Every day is a food holiday – I particularly like that my birthday is ‘eat what you want’ day!

Feeling a bit ‘bleugh’ today so today’s – mulled cider, has cheered me up a bit, just gotta find some now! Where the hell do I get that from???? There aren’t any Christmas markets yet. Looks like I’m going to Borough Market at lunchtime today!

Check out what you should be eating on your birthday!!!

Foodimentary

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Vegas! Day 4

    
Ahhhh our last full day in Vegas. We started the day with a long lie in; feeling refreshed, we set off for brunch at Hash House a Go Go, never seen anywhere so popular! The queue was huge but we got seated within half an hour, sipping a good spicy Bloody Mary while we waited. 

This place is well known for huge portions and was featured in Man v Food so you can imagine, if you watch that, the sort of sizes we are talking about! Not sure a massive brunch like this is the best thing just before jumping off the Top of the Stratosphere! 

The big moment – the Sky Jump. I was pretty nervous but determined I wouldn’t chicken out. Let me tell you, standing on a platform 855 feet high (108 floors up) in the open air is pretty daunting. They count you down and you step off the platform on ‘go’. Aaaaaaargh. It was amazing! I actually felt like I was going to burst into tears when I reached the bottom, it was such an emotional experience. I would urge anyone going to Vegas who’s not afraid of heights to give it a go! 

View from the top – yep, I jumped off there! 

  

A quick flutter in the Stratosphere casino and a bowler hat purchase later and we went off to the South premium outlet stores to spend our winnings and get prezzies for the kids.

Beardy looking rather swanky in his bowler, just need to get him a cane now.

  
After shopping we went back to the hotel to get ready for dinner, thought we’d try the Wynn as we are there for Le Reve tonight….

What a lovely hotel, the entrance was all lit up with a tree tunnel with fairy lights and fresh flowers. We treated ourselves to a bit of fine dining at the Lakeside restaurant; clams and steak for me, delicious! 

  
Lastly, what a better way to end our stay in Vegas than to watch the wonder that is Le Reve! From the moment it started I was captivated; I’ve never seen a show that is so unbelievably visually stunning, we weren’t allowed to take photos during the show but I managed to get one afterwards of some of the scenery (below). I cried about 24 times throughout – it just took my breath away. I cannot recommend it enough; I would pay to watch it again and again! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!