My new favorite cookbook was just delivered to my front door.
My very own dedicated and signed copy of The Brother Hubbard cookbook arrived at my house this afternoon.
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.
Summer is truly over and we have been thrown back into the school routine as if we had never left it.
As seasons change so do the recipes in my house. We start eating more stews, more root vegetables and more hot dishes and salads get relegated to the side of the plate. I’d love to live in a country where we could eat salads as a main course all year-round but I live in Ireland, and it just ain’t happening. (as my kids say “you get what you get and you don’t get upset”)
One of our favorite salads is Caesar Salad. We are not very strict on what is in the salad. Anything goes really: leaves of any sort, croutons, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, black olives, chicken, bacon… anything. As long as it is smothered in that delicious dressing, is a go. I don’t know if it’s the saltines from the cheese and anchovies, or the tanginess of the lemon, but it is just delicious, isn’t it?
But let’s be honest, Caesar Salad dressing is quite fattening and so full of calories. So in order to keep having it, even in winter, but without still adding to the calorie count, I decided to make a healthier option.
- 3/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt.
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil.
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- 1 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste or 2 anchovy fillets.
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard.
- 1 large garlic clove
Blend all the ingredients well and put them in a nice dressing bottle. It should last in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks.
As Chaotic Monkey is allergic to mustard (among 20 thousand other things…), I did not include mustard in my dressing. What I did was add a bit more lemon, some more anchovies and more cheese until I was happy with the flavor.
I can now smother those leaves with a totally clear conscience!! 😉 And it is not just for salads, it’s also amazing in wraps and sandwiches! At least according to my kids.
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!
Trying to come up with healthy and varied school lunches is a bit of pain, don’t you find? We are nearly half way through the school year and I am already bored with our usual ones (like this one and this one),and I am not even the one eating them!!
I don’t mind making the school lunches. It is trying to make them interesting while keeping them balanced and healthy that I find challenging. The brain has to work and, most of the time, the brain does not like that!!!
I have recently introduced this new lunch into our school lunch menu and it is working out a treat.
I have to say that I have never been a big fan of sausage rolls, mainly because usually the sausages were very poor quality and the pastry was too heavy and fatty. However, I recently found small sausage rolls made with 80% meat sausages (when it comes to sausages, always try to buy the ones with the highest percentage of meat in them for minimum fat and maximum flavor) so I gave them a go – lovely!
You could also try to make your own sausage rolls. I have made them before using this recipe and they are surprisingly easy to make and so much juicier! You can make a big batch, freeze and take them out as needed.
HEALTHY SCHOOL LUNCHES : Sausage Rolls & Salad on a Stick
I tend to vary the ingredients on the salad.
Some of our favorite ingredients are : tomatoes, avocado, peppers, cucumber, olives, carrots, spinach leaves, cheese
I sometimes include a tiny little container with some tomato ketchup or relish to dip the sausage rolls into. They love it!
Do you find school lunches challenging? What is your favorite school lunch?
Share with us!
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!
The following words might come as a surprise to you, so please be ready. I have been exercising. Yes, it is true. I recently signed up for a boot-camp. The first few days were very hard and insanely painful – the kind of pain that comes from muscles that you didn’t even know you had! Thankfully I am passed that stage now and I am actually enjoying it now. Ok, maybe not enjoying the exercise itself but the satisfaction that comes after having exercised.
I have been trying to alter my diet. Not massively, we eat fresh and healthy at home. One thing I am trying to do is increase my protein intake but as I have been trying to cut down in animal protein for the last year, I have been looking for nice recipes to add protein in different ways. A delicious and very versatile way of adding protein to your diet is through smoothies.
Smoothies are my favorite breakfast option. I have never been a breakfast person. It is one meal I could always skip. Monday to Friday, we are usually in too much of a rush to sit down and have breakfast so a smoothie is a great option for me. I can take it around the house while we all get ready . It is a breakfast on the go and it doesn’t even require chewing! (yes, i am that lazy!!)
This smoothie is not only delicious but it will also keep you full and energized for the entire morning. 2 tablespoons of peanut butter into your smoothie will provide you with 7 grams of protein and infinite grams of yumminess.
PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
1 small ripe banana
1 1/2 cups of milk
1/4 cup of smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon chocolate syrup (optional)
Before I left Ireland, I was trying to make sure that there was enough food for Mr B, who won’t be joining us until the beginning of August. I left the freezer full and I made sure that he had enough fresh fruit and vegetables to last him for few days (I know, I am adorable….)
While trying to clear out the kitchen of food that would not be used in the following week, I realized that there were 3 punnets of cherry tomatoes, my favorite food. Although Mr B likes tomatoes, I knew there was no way he would eat them all before they went off so I decided to oven-dry them in order to make them last.
Oven-dried tomatoes are very easy to make, a great solution to make those extra tomatoes last and sooooooo sweet…. Just delicious!
Place the cherry tomatoes in an oven tray, season them with salt and pepper and spray them with some olive oil and place them in a pre-heated oven at 120 degrees Celsius (250 Fahrenheit).
Leave them in the oven for 2 and half hours shaking them a little bit half way though.
You can use these tomatoes straight away for salads or sandwiches or you could just store them in a jar with olive oil and eat them as you please. that is if you can wait…
There is no need to throw anything out. Join me in the #NofoodWaste Challenge