For the last year or so, I have been looking at ways of reducing our meat intake. The main reason behind this decision is the fact that most of the available meats in the markets are full of hormones and antibiotics. You can of course buy free range and organic produce but not all supermarkets have them and unfortunately I don’t always have the time or the opportunity to go to specific shops for specific products so if I can’t buy free range/organic produce, I don’t buy it.
Don’t you hate when you open a package of feta, use a little bit, put the rest on a container and next time you take it out is to put it in the bin because it has gone off? It used to happen a bit too often in my house to the point when I stopped buying feta cheese. But feta cheese is amazing in so many things that we missed it terribly so I had to come up with a different solution.
Marinating the feta will not only make the cheese last longer, but it will also infuse with amazing flavors that will in time improve your salads, frittatas… anything where the cheese goes.
No more waste – just delicious food
200 grs feta cheese
2 garlic cloves
1 bay leave
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
Carefully cut the cheese into cubes.
Put feta in a jar with a top and add the rest of the ingredients to the jar.
Pour enough olive oil to cover cubes of cheese.
Let marinate in refrigerator for 2 weeks for an amazing taste but if you can’t wait, overnight will do.
You could also use sun-dried tomatoes, rosemary, thyme or capers for the marinade. Chop and change. It will never be boring.
Serve it topping your favorite salads or simply on fresh bread. Simple and delicious, what real food should be.
Have you got a favorite recipe for your feta?
Don’t be shy. Share!
This week’s smoothie for my personal challenge of Losing Weight with Smoothies is (drums roll for dramatic effect…) a Spinach & Kiwi Smoothie!!!
I am already in my second week of my personal challenge for February and I am delighted to say that I have lost 1.5 kg last week (3,30 lbs), 50% more of what I was planning, so feeling pretty good about myself, I have to say. And all thanks to smoothies! who would have thought?
I have to admit that the first week was easier than anticipated. In all honesty, I was worried that I would get bored with effectively having the same lunch every day but I didn’t. The kale & pineapple smoothie kept me full until dinner and I didn’t even feel like snacking between meals. I think that also knowing that in every smoothie I was getting plenty of nutrients, vitamins and all sort of goodness helped me stay strong until dinner.
The dinners were had with my family. The same dinner as everyone so no extra work. On Tuesday I even shared a brownie with Mr B after dinner! And I still have managed to lose weight, so I am truly delighted and very much fired up for the second week!
As predicted, the weekend was the most difficult time to fit the smoothie into my diet but with a bit of thinking ahead I made it work. It’s all about being prepared. I have been making the smoothie in the morning and I take it with me if I am going out so there is no chance of being tempted while out shopping, or if you feeling hungry earlier than usual – there smoothie is right there with me
This week smoothie is another nutritional delight full of vitamin C, iron, folic acid and calcium, and also delicious, because there is not point in drinking something super healthy if it tastes yucky, right?
WEEK 2 : SPINACH & KIWI SMOOTHIE
100 ml of coconut milk
1 kiwi fruit
2 cups spinach
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 to 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
The cucumber and the kiwi make this smoothie so fresh!
The original recipe of this smoothie does not include chia seeds or the protein powder so feel free to leave out. I like adding chia seeds to any smoothies as they are high in omega 3 and healthy, and the protein powder bulks it up and helps me stay full until dinner.
I am so ready for this week’s challenge. What about you?
We are already in February and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Are you a Valentine kind of person?
Mr B and I never celebrated it until we had the boys and they became aware of the day. We are just not very romantic. Now we have a “family date”, exchange cards and have breakfast in bed, all together. It’s lovely. The boys call it Love Day, and for us, that is exactly what it is.
Whichever way you celebrate, on your own, with your partner, in family, with friends… t is always nice to have some inspiration for the day.
VALENTINE’S DAY DECORATION
If you like embracing Valentines Day to the fullest and go all out decorating your home, this balloon arch is just super cute and it can be used from breakfast bar to cocktail bar as the day evolves…
I. Am. Totally. In.Love. With. This. Chandelier. I just have to make it.
And what about these love-heart garlands? Easy to make and ever so adorable!
VALENTINE’S DAY PRINTABLES
If you are too busy to make anything, or you are feeling lazy, or just not feeling at all, there are some amazing free printables that you could use to decorate your home and get you in the mood.
VALENTINE’S DAY FOOD
Now, if you are traditional and you are planning a Valentine’s romantic dinner, this caprese salad as a starter would be only delightful, delicious and super romantic!
An antipasto platter is totally down my alley and it means no cooking for anyone… It doesn’t get any better than this!
Or if you want to something a little bit more special, you could have the seafood option.
And I believe that tradition dictates that chocolate must be had for dessert in Valentine’s Day, right? This walnut and chocolate cake is just the perfect treat, don’t you think?
So, whether you are having a quiet one, a by yourself one, a family one or a romantic night, I hope you are now inspired to make the day a little bit special. For you at least. Because you deserve it!
Have an amazing weekend!
ps- If you like this post, please feel share it with your friends. Thanks!
I have been wanting to lose some weight for a while. I usually start the week full of good intentions but, as it happens, the week rarely goes according to plan and on average the diet goes out the window by Thursday. Now, I have never nor I will ever be a person enslaved to diets or food plans. Life is too short for that. But I would like to shed some weight so…
I decided that the best way for me to stick to some sort of plan is to set myself a public challenge so there is so backing down. Name and shame, people, it’s the only way forward for me…
My goal is to lose 4 kg in a month (or 8.81 pounds). I believe that 1 kg a week is an achievable target and it can be managed with healthy diet and without starvation, which is very important in family life and to guarantee the survival of the rest of the family, if you know what I mean… As smoothies are easy to make, quick, versatile and delicious,(see previous recipes here, here and here) I decided I would go with green smoothies for this challenge.
So the plan is: substitute my daily lunch for super healthy, protein filled and delicious smoothie that will fill me with plenty of nutrients and enough energy to keep me going until dinner where I will be able to enjoy it with my family.
I am thinking that Monday to Friday will be easy enough to follow the plan and drink the smoothies at lunchtime. However, I’d imagine the weekend will be harder. I will be enlisting Mr B and friends to support me and to help me stay strong through the challenge.
If you want to join me, I will be posting one smoothie recipe a week and I will keep you updated during the week by twitter and Facebook with a more in-depth report (I know you like those ones) every Monday this month. I will not, however, be posting my before and after weight. Nope. Too embarrassed.
WEEK 1: KALE & PINEAPPLE SMOOTHIE
2 cups of chopped kale leaves, stems removed
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any other milk you prefer)
1 banana (frozen if you want)
1/2 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
2 slices of pineapple
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon chia seeds
1 to 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder (not in the photo)
Blitz and enjoy. It is delicious. 2 pieces of fruit, 1 serving of vegetables, omega 3, calcium and good source of vitamin B6, fiber, calcium,potassium and vitamin E. And, I know you are wondering, the taste of kale is not at all dominant in it, but it works so well with the rest of the ingredients.
Well, are you coming to the green side with me? Come on! It’s only a month! and it’s the shortest month!
I love to hear your comments so please feel free to comment below and share the post with your friends to help us create a community.
Much appreciated. Thank you!
We are great fans of caramelized onion in our house. We always have a jar of it at home to have with cheese, meat, in soups, pizzas, sandwiches.. it is delicious with anything.
I find something very therapeutically about slowly cooking the onions, the process, the smells… very relaxing and homely.
Onions are naturally sweet and that sweetness gets released by slowly cooking the onions over an extended period of time. The natural sugars in the onions caramelize and they make the most delicious and wholesome flavor.
How? Easy. You will need:
4 onions – I prefer to use red onions as they are sweeter but you can use white onions if you’d prefer.
1 tablespoon of olive oil
a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of sugar.
Heat the oil in a heavy based pan. Peel and chop the onions in thin slices and add them to the oil. Stir the onions making sure that every single slice gets covered in oil. Leave the onions to saute on a low-medium heat (every hob is different- just make sure that the onions are not going to burn, it’s about slow cooking). Spread the onions out evenly over the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally.
After 10 minutes or so, season them with salt, make sure they are not burning, and leave them on the hob for another 10 minutes. Don’t forget to stir occasionally.
After another 10 minutes, add the tablespoon of sugar and make sure that it gets to all the corners of the pan. If the onions are a bit too dry and they are sticking to the pan, add a little bit of water. Cook for further 10-15 minutes keeping an eye on it to make sure they don’t burn.
When the onions are all brown and sticky, transfer them into an air tight container and keep in the fridge once cooled.
Try adding them to your normal hummus recipe or add them to your steak and let me know your thoughts, I think I can already read them!
Do you ever find that after few months you cook the same 10 or 12 recipes over and over with sometimes a variation if someone comes over for dinner? I feel a bit stuck in a rut, like I should introduce new recipes into my repertoire, more summery dishes, but I still need them to be family friendly, healthy and not too labor intensive – I’m not asking for much, am I?
My mum was born in Mexico and we love Mexican food in our house, so I think this Beef Enchiladas recipe would be a great hit in my house.
These Sweet Potatos and Chickpea Cakes look extremely appetizing and healthy for lunch with a side salad. Yum!
Noodles are good anytime of the year and this Singapore Noodles recipe looks like will be my Spring noodle recipe
And as every week needs a quick pasta dish, this will be it! I can’t wait to try it!
Doesn’t this Fish Fillet Sandwich look amazing, fresh and inviting? Delish!
I have my shopping list done and I will be doing my shopping today – I can’t wait to try all these recipes!
I will let you know how I get on, in the mean time, Happy Monday.
With the weather getting better, I have found myself looking for new recipes, fresher and lighter dishes. Salads are great any time of the year and usually around Spring they get promoted from side dishes to main courses. Warm salads are among my favorite salads and this one is just amazing. I love the combination of the sweetness of the peppers and the spinach – 2 of my favorite ingredients in, like, ever! So good! SWEET PEPPER AND SPINACH WARM SALAD Fresh baby spinach 1/4 Red onion 1 Cup of Black olives 6 Baby sweet peppers Cut the red onion very finely and mix it with the baby spinach and the olives. Put a pan over a high hob and while the pan is heating up chop the peppers. Add a teaspoon of olive oil to the pan and add the peppers. Cook them for 5 minutes and when they are charred and starting to get blackened toss them into the salad, dress it quickly and serve immediately. If you are an avocado fan, as we are in our house, you can add some avocado on the side to make this salad even more delicious and filling.
Now sit outside in the sun, and enjoy a plate of goodness. Have an amazing day. Chaotic Itzi