Monday, 6 March 2017

Meal Plan Like a Boss - 6th March

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The last 6 weeks have been a bit of a disaster food-wise. I just stopped planning, I got busy and let that be an excuse to not bother, to order take away, to just eat toast. I am not a very good adult sometimes. I honestly feel that typing it all out here helps me feel together and like I appear to know what I am doing sometimes. So while I know these posts aren't that interesting to most, they are more for me and my rubbish adult brain.

I also feel in a weird limbo between winter and spring, where I have no clue what I want to eat anymore. Cottage pie and stuff with gravy just doesn't interest me, but salads seem dull. I am on the look out for interesting food/meal ideas, so please share any tried and tested family favourites!

Monday:

Leftover roast chicken gnocchi with pesto and rocket.

Tuesday:

Quorn chilli con carne with brown rice and roasted kale

Wednesday:

Chicken and chickpea curry.

Thursday:

Prawn spaghetti carbonara

Friday:

It is our anniversary so we are off out for a meal.

My Aldi shop came to £43 this week.

What is everyone else eating this week? Don't forget you can grab my free PRINTABLE MEAL PLANNER over on last week's Meal Plan Like a Boss post.

What's on your meal plan this week?

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Homemade Granola - It's a gamechanger.

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granola, healthy, recipe

I recently tried making homemade yoghurt, and ended up with a litre of delicious creamy yoghurt! So, while scrolling pinterest looking for ways to use up all of the yoghurt I decided to try and make some Granola. I love granola but never really buy it, as it tends to be expensive and I am distrustful of all of the nasties they add in and then label it 'healthy'. It is not that I am opposed to the odd sugary cereal, but don't try and lie to me and tell me its a health food!

I'd never really thought about making granola before and wasn't even 100% sure what goes into it, but as always social media came to my rescue, the lovely Iris from Whatever Gets you Through the Day shared her staple granola recipe with me on twitter which gave me a great starting point. I didn't have all of the ingredients she used and had no eggs to incorporate egg whites, which she told me really helped bind it together, but in my usual slap dash kitchen style I powered through.

I was really surprised at how delicious it was, and filling too. Even Zoe enjoyed it and called it 'pudding' - it felt like a lovely decadent sunday brunch with a large dollop of homemade coconut yoghurt and a sprinkling of chia seeds on the top. I made enough to keep in an air tight jar, and we had it for breakfast for well over a week.

Recipe

Ingredients
Porridge Oats

Roughly chopped nuts (we used walnuts and almonds)
Seeds (we used sunflower and chia seeds) Dried fruit (we used raisins, as any toddler parent always has a few packets to hand)
Honey
Olive oil
Pinch of ground cassia or cinnamon

So I didn't measure anything precisely here, it is one of those recipes where you don't need to be super precise. It is all about your own preferences, mine was around 2 cups of oats, 1 cup of nuts and seeds, and 1/4 cup of dried fruit - in basic ratios.

Method
1. Put all of the dry ingredients (MINUS THE DRIED FRUIT) into a bowl and stir to combine, then add a couple of tablespoons of oil and a good squirt of honey and mix. You want the mixture to clump together but not be wet, so keep adding a bit of honey and stirring until all of the crumbs are clumped together and are damp but not sticky.

2. Spread all of the clumpy mixture onto a greased baking tray and bake at 160C for 20-30 minutes, until golden. When it first comes out of the oven the clumps will still be soft, so allow them to cool before moving them from the tray - they harden and become crunchy as they cool.

3. Once they are cooled, stir in the dried fruit and pop in an airtight container - ready for a yummy breakfast!

I am looking forward to trying some new flavour combinations - I have been assured that whole hazlenuts make a wonderful addition and I reckon dried banana would be loved by Zoe. Have you ever made granola? I'd love to hear any flavour combinations you enjoy.

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

#Bloggersonthebus with Stagecoach.

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We are regular public transport users, we are fortunate enough to live in a city with fantastic transport links, which is lucky seeing as we don't drive or have a car. I was recently invited to a blog event to hear all about the Stagecoach Bus app, which not only allows you to see up to date and real-time bus information, but you can also purchase day tickets online. We use the bus a lot and being able to purchase tickets online via my phone is a real game changer - no more scraping pennies from the back of the sofa, or having to withdraw £10 and feel the wrath of the bus driver with limited change.

At the blog event itself we had great fun chatting to fellow North East bloggers and making our own mobile phone cases - Mine started as a bit of a disaster but the quick application of a lot of glitter saved it. Also, FYI if you are looking for some interesting and delicious cocktails head to Jalou by Central Station - I was really impressed with the varied selection, there was one inparticular that tasted exactly like a Solero ice cream - highly recommend.

After the fun we had at the Blogger event (child free, luxury!) me and Helena from Babyfoote decided to go on a Stagecoach Bus adventure with our kids. Using the app we decided to head into the city centre for a playdate at the Laing Art Gallery. Zoe really enjoyed her trip on the bus, although trying to explain that you can't press the bell until we are ready to get off got a bit tiresome. We did entertain our fellow passengers with several renditions of The Wheels on the Bus though, which I hope brightened someones day.

I will definitely continue to use the Stagecoach App in future, the real time bus updates are really helpful, especially for someone like me who lives in an area which is serviced by a lot of different bus companies and the metro train service, it helped me to see how long I'd have to wait and decide the quickest route.

Are you a public transport user? I think the bus gets a bad rep sometimes for being unreliable or outdated (needing change) but I feel with this app, things are improving and becoming much more user friendly! The bus I was on even had decent wifi and a USB charging port!

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