Summertime Healthy Dinner Inspiration

I’ve mentioned it a few times on my blog and am gradually fulfilling my New Years’ resolution to learn how to cook. Well i’ve recently made substantial progress and finally cooked my first ever meal for my family so I thought I ‘just have to blog about this’ huge step of my life! They were very wary to start with but gave me a chance and left the kitchen to me.

I decided to make a few different dishes- something everyone can pick at and food that’s healthy. Well really I thought if anything goes wrong, at least there might be one good dish still standing haha! It’s so nice that the evenings are light again and being at home is great because we have a lovely garden to sit outside and eat together. So I went for a BBQ-esque summer time meal- food that can be cooked on the barbecue or just as well in the oven (gotta be prepared for the English summertime weather!)

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On the menu:

  • Soy sauce and honey marinated chicken
  • Light Halloumi cheese, cherry tomato and mixed pepper skewers coated in lemon, olive oil, chili and mixed herbs
  •  Roasted sweet potatoes drizzled with olive oil, rosemary and lots of black pepper (bake for a good half hour/45 mins to get them crispy)
  • Grilled asparagus wrapped in parma ham- so easy to chuck on the BBQ on hot days
  • Tomato and cucumber salad tossed in lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning- Tasted lush with the chicken!

I even made a garlic mayo to go with the sweet potato wedges! So easy to do- I just mixed 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1 crushed garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper. It tasted sooo good with the sweet potato!

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I’d only tried the Cypriot cheese for the first time on Friday so I think my family were very impressed that I actually manged to cook a good dish with it! Everything went down a treat which made me happy! I can actually cook, yay!

If you’re like me and not quite the Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson just yet, surprise your family and friends with these dishes this Summer. Light, easy and very tasty.

Happy cooking!

Love Leeanna xo

#MotivationalMonday: How to make sugar free flapjacks

I have such a big sweet tooth like I literally could eat cake for breakfast, biscuits for lunch and chocolate for T- I just never seem to get cravings for anything savoury! So i’ve been trying to find some inspiration for mid-day snacks and desserts I can have that don’t contain all the nasty sugar.image

I love a good cereal bar as an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of tea or as a quick on-the-go breakfast but the sad thing is all of these bars that claim to be ‘healthy’ are actually packed full of sugar… probably why I pick them up for that quick boost of energy.

I’ve created a recipe for flapjacks which is completely refined sugar-free and can be made gluten-free or dairy-free.

Ingredients (makes about 8 flapjacks):

1 cup of gluten-free oats or traditional rolled oats

3 tbsp of butter or coconut oil

1 mashed banana

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 cup of raisins

1/4 cup of designated coconut

1 1/12 tbsp of agave nectar

Simple steps:

  1. Honestly this recipe is just so easy to do and not very messy at all! Firstly melt the butter in a saucepan with the mashed banana, agave nectar and vanilla extract until runny.
  2. Take the mixture off the heat and pour in the oats, raisins and coconut and combine all of this together.
  3. Pour the mixture into a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes (until they start to look a little golden on top.

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You can always replace the coconut or raisins with any other alternative like cranberries, apricots, seeds or nuts. Get experimenting! These tasty treats are great with a cuppa for pick-me-up snack or as an on-the-go breakfast.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a great start to the week!

Love Leeanna xo

Healthy lunch box idea: Homemade vegetable couscous

I do love watching the show Come Dine With Me whenever i’m having a lazy day and I’ve always thought to myself- what an earth would I make for dinner guests. And all that came to mind was ‘I can make a banging dish of bean on toast’.

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Well I’ve been brave and got a bit adventurous by having a go at making my own vegetable couscous from scratch. I know it’s not very adventurous really- as I figured out it’s SO easy to make! But it’s a nicer way to be able to choose your own ingredients and spend less money on pots from the supermarket which might have hidden nasties! And it’s a great and simple meal to prep on a Sunday night to last you throughout the week.

Ingredients:

  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g couscous
  • 500 ml of boiling water mixed with vegetable stock
  • Half a cup of peas boiled
  • 1 Tbs of butter
  • All spice seasoning
  • Mixed herbs
  • Salt and black pepper

Steps

  1. Get chopping! Peel and chop up the veg- cutting the tomatoes and onions into quarter chunks. Add these to a roasting tin with the garlic cloves peeled but whole and drizzle over the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook in a pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes until soft- checking them and giving them a stir throughout.
  3. Meanwhile, put the couscous into a bowl and pour over the stock (or just boiling water if you’d prefer). Cover and leave for 5 minutes to allow the grains to soak up the water. This was the fun bit- taking the foil off to see it had all expanded and using a fork to make it all fluffy!
  4. While fluffing it up, stir in the butter, mixed herbs and all-spice seasoning to taste and then add your roasted veggies and peas.

And wholla you’ve got yummy couscous for the week! It makes so much that I froze half of the mix for another week. It goes great with curry as an alternative to rice and is the perfect chicken or fish salad accompaniment for your weekday lunch boxes- or just great in a bowl on it’s own!

I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Love Leeanna xo