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Holiday inspiration

Holidays are a fantastic opportunity to see new places, try new things, relax and spend time with the family. They are also a chance to be a bit more lax about food, drink, sleep and exercise. Following my own advice (see post 30 July 2018), I have definitely been indulging whilst on holiday – late nights, lazing by the pool, pasta with creamy sauces, red wine and ice-cream all featured during the past week! However rather than feeling remorseful and despondent, I feel recharged and relaxed. For me, it’s more important to worry about what I’m eating when I’m at home, so I feel fine about indulging a little whilst away. And I have also come back feeling inspired by some of the foods I have se

I'm nuts about nuts!

You can’t have failed to notice the huge array of nuts which are now available in health shops, snack bars and supermarkets these days. No longer is it just that greasy bowl of peanuts at the end of the bar. Walnuts, brazils, pecans, almonds and cashews are all readily available. But aren’t nuts really fatty? Dieter’s ruin? High in calories? How can they be both healthy and fattening? Well the truth is just that! Nuts do contain fat and they are healthy – confused? Let me explain! Tree nuts, such as almonds, brazils, cashews, hazelnuts, in fact all nuts other than peanuts (which are technically legumes as they grow underground), are a dense source of energy for many animals that pick them fr

You can't beat beetroot!

Beetroot is quite a maligned vegetable, bringing up images of sweaty packets of pickled beetroot or jars of cold beetroot soup. However, since finding out about the benefits of beetroot, I have been trying to find ways to get more into my family's meals. Beetroot can be eaten raw or cooked. The beetroot leaves can be eaten and contain calcium, iron, and vitamins A and C. Beetroots are a good source of folic acid, magnesium, iron, fibre, manganese and potassium. The dark red colour comes from an antixoidant called betacyanin. All in all, a nutritious vegetable, which I like to include in my cooking. The way I use it most often is to include it in a tray of roast vegetables, so when I am prepa

Get those veg in!

Serving lots of different vegetables at a meal does not have to mean using every pan in the kitchen. I like to use the baking tray method to get a wide variety in a single meal. In this potato traybake, I have used carrots, new potatoes, sweet potatoes, red onions, red pepper, spinach and green beans. Initially, I roasted the first 5 vegetables in the list for 30 minutes, arranging them on the baking tray, drizzled with a little oil and added some sea salt. The green beans were a leftover from the previous evening's meal, and I added those after about 45 minutes of roasting. I washed some spinach and steamed them quickly in the water that was clinging to the leaves in another pan. Roughly 10

Have an ice day!

I'm having lots of fun with my new lolly mould set. I wasn't too keen on the ingredients in the ice lollies in the shops, so I decided to make my own to cool the kids off on a hot day. The one in the picture was made by juicing a couple of red grapefruits. We have also experimented with juicing apples with lemon and nectarine, oranges with strawberries, and apples and pears. However the most successful (and simple) lollies were made by blending slices of watermelon and pouring the resultant slush into the moulds - seriously refreshing! I can't seem to keep up with the demand for these ice lollies. With 6 moulds and 5 family members, I may need to buy another set!