Wednesday, 27 December 2017

The Benefits of Vegetarianism

This is a guest post by Pure Healthy Living.

Discover Why Vegetarianism Is the Way to Go and How You Can Do It. 

Vegetarianism is on the rise, and it's no surprise, considering the health risks that face people in the developed world. Diets that are rich in fat, sugar and highly processed foods are contributing to a number of health issues. Vegetarianism is a winning diet for many because it helps to reduce cholesterol and vegetables are an excellent source of cancer-fighting properties. Vegetarians also receive another benefit from their diets. Vegetables are healthy, calorically dense foods. Eating them a few times a week instead of an animal rich diet, could mean that you eat fewer calories and lose fat. 

With a growing interest for a plant based diet, more and more meatless alternatives come to market, expect the number of first-time vegetarians to grow in 2018. Food choices and access to easy to make recipes are helping more people to make the switch. Another winning idea is using a vegetarian prepared meal service like the one offered by Nutrisystem. That eliminates all guesswork by having meals come directly to you, already made! For people who are looking for the benefits of vegetarianism but aren't committed to learning all the details, nothing could be more natural than a program like this.

There are roughly 400 million vegetarians in the world, and as more people adopt the practice, more choices for food will become available. Check out the supermarket and you'll find numerous plant-based options with only a small bit of searching. Nutrisystem has been offering diet plans to the public since 1972 and has had a vegetarian menu for many years. The program is incredibly simple and involves customers ordering a month's worth of food at a time. There are a few small staple items that people need, but all meals come with the plan. The cost is relatively inexpensive, and the program works for most people because it caps calories and encourages the dieters to count them. Counting Calories Is a Proven Weight Loss Tactic Counting calories and eating prepared meals is one of the easiest possible ways anyone can experience a vegetarian diet. The program eliminates all of the guesswork, and all that remains is to stay consistent. The primary drawback to the plan is that some people may crave more diversity on the menu, but for short-term weight loss, this will rarely become an issue.

Despite all the information and alternative ideas about weight loss, one truth remains. People who cap their calories at a specific intake level lose weight. Nutrisystem diets aim for around 1,200 for a woman and 1,500 for men. That amount of calories is enough for an average overweight person to lose 1 to 2 pounds weekly. If they add exercise, they can reduce their bodyweight even quicker. It's a simple mathematical reality, and Nutrisystem meals are ideal for losing weight. Learn to Love Plant-Based Food Choices Vegetarianism will only catch on with people who enjoy eating the meals. Although people are used to eating meat at many of their meals, substituting the meat for a plant-based alternative is very easy. Once you lose weight using a prepared meal plan like vegetarian Nutrisystem, you will have the knowledge required to eat that way permanently. Nutrisystem works best when you drink large amounts of water and exercise regularly. Hydrating helps flush your body of toxins and eliminates fat faster. Training is the only way to burn excess calories to reduce body fat. Combining diet, hydration, and exercise along with journaling your efforts is a "can't miss" way to drop pounds forever. Plus, Nutrisystem is not a cost deterrent like you might think:  Vegetarianism is practiced all over the world, so there are as many variations to vegetable dishes as there are cultures. People have no problem learning about new recipes and substitutions, primarily if their motivation is the substantial health benefits that the movement offers. Prepared meals are an excellent way to dip one's toes into the water, to see if this way of eating is attractive. Not only will a dieter experience weight loss, but they will also try some meals that could become staples in their diet. There are few reasons to avoid vegetarianism and many strong ones to try it. Whether you're going with a prepared meal program or go it alone doesn't matter. Just stick with the diet long enough to see results and chances are likely you'll continue indefinitely.


Monday, 18 December 2017

Review Naturally Healthy Food Birmingham

I'm a self-proclaimed carnivore, I absolutely adore meat: the variety, the different tastes and textures. But for the last couple of years I have tried to eat more vegetarian meals, averaging one vegetarian meal a week. But what about a vegan meal? In all honesty, I don't think I've eaten a vegan meal in my life until I checked out Naturally Healthy Food. I mean a meal without any animal products, no milk, eggs, butter or cheese, what would it consist of. I also thought, how would this taste, would the food be bland and boring or luscious like my favourite meals. 
When the lovely people at Naturally Healthy Foods invited me to check out the brunch menu at the first vegan restaurant in Birmingham, I was intrigued and sceptical. I'm the girl that travelled to Harlem for fried chicken and waffles so how could a vegan brunch compare to that. It's not until I saw a breakfast picture from fellow blogger Nutella Tasha of The Naturally Healthy Breakfast that I was gaining momentum for my visit.

My cousin and I visited and started off our vegan feast with plant based lattes I ordered the beetroot latte £3.95 (beetroot powder, vanilla, stevia, plant milk) and my cousin ordered the chocolate latte £3.95 (peruvian cacao, banana powder, lucama, plant milk). My beetroot latte was luscious, vibrant in colour and rich in flavour, my cousin said she thoroughly enjoyed the chocolate latte.

For our main event, my cousin and I ordered The Naturally Healthy Breakfast £9.95 (scrambled tofu, aubergine bacon, tomato, mushroom, greens, beans, organic gluten free toast, hash browns). I was incredibly impressed by the aesthetic presentation of the brunch. I've tried tofu on one occasion and was disappointed, but the scrambled tofu was surprisingly good, the tofu was lightly seasoned and flavoursome. The hash browns were more like saut矇ed potatoes, but equally delicious. The whole breakfast was a plate of deliciousness and I'm convinced I ate 5 out of my 5 a day. After a gorgeous vegan, organic, and gluten free breakfast, my cousin checked out the ferro rocher cheesecake which was rich, dark and nutty.

I would definitely visit Naturally Healthy Foods again, it's centrally located and a dining here is a fab way of eating great tasting nutritious and vegan meals.

Disclaimer: I was invited to review Naturally Healthy Food, all opinions are my own.

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cake

I own only one, yes one Christmas cookbook. For me, no Christmas cooking or baking is complete without a visit to Nigella Lawson's Christmas cookery book. Bursting with recipes, I'm always inspired to try a new festive recipe. Whilst many may enjoy the traditional Christmas cake with marzipan and lots of fruit, I've been brought up on the rum laced Jamaican fruit cake which is what I always prefer. I do however have a soft spot for chocolate and when I rediscovered this spiced chocolate Christmas cake, I just had to bake it. With all the lovely Christmas spices cinnamon, cloves and zest of clementine complimented with chocolate, this cake is a perfect alternative to a rich fruit cake. What I found surprising is how gooey the chocolate was when cooked, almost similar to a brownie in texture, but with a warm hint of Christmas with every bite. It's surprisingly quick to make and can be made from start to eating within 1.5 hours. 

The recipe for Spiced Chocolate Christmas Cake can be found here. I added a sprinkling of icing sugar over the cake.

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Jumbo Oat and Raisin Cookies

I haven't baked cookies in a very long. The last amazing cookie I ate was in New York, I can't say that these are remotely close but they managed to hit my desire to have a moerish and gooey cookie. I remembered that many moons ago, I brought a baking book which was dedicated soley to baking cookies. I didn't fancy making an extravagant cookie but something which had incredibly easy to make, soft and gooey in the middle such as these oar and raisin cookies.

85g rolled oats
100g plain  flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
pinch of salt
60g unsalted butter, softened
soft light brown sugar
50g granulated sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
175g raisins
Optional 1 tbsp coco powder

Preheat the ocean to 190C/37F/Gas Mark 5. Place the oats in a food processor and pulse briefly, then tip into a bowl and sift in he flour and bicarbonate of soda and salt and stir together.
Place the butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Place the egg and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and whisk together, then add to the butter and mix well. Add the flour mixture, into 15 balls and place on 2 large non-stick baking sheets, spaced well apart. Press the cookies into rough rounds. Bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Saturday, 9 December 2017

November monthly eatings 2017

Where has the year gone, we are only a few weeks away from Christmas and I can't wait to share some of the Christmas baking I have been up to. But before that, I enjoyed a few meals in November, I hadn't planned to eat out much at all having just returned from Jamaica, but when meals out call ......

Verso Lounge, Stafford

Cedar Lebanese restaurant, Birmingham

Halfpenny Farm, Oldbury

Miller and Carter, Wolverhampton

The Shire Horse, Stafford

Frankies and Bennys 


Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Thai Food Made Easy Review and Recipe

I'm so glad I recently discovered the tropical and vibrant delights of Thai cuisine. As Thai cuisine is relatively new to me, I've fully immersed myself with learning all I can about this cuisine. I was delighted when I received a review copy of Thai Food Made Easy by Tom Kime. I've never heard of the author before, but having done some research he is a highly trained chef having worked at The River Cafe and with Rick Stein. This cookery book doesn't feel like a chefy book, there's no overly complicated cooking methods which is perfect for the home cook. The author describes Thai food as "electrifying and invigorating and makes the tongue tingle with excitement" and I agree.

This cookery book introduces the reader to easy to follow recipes and shares all the key ingredients necessary to make authentic Thai food. This cookery book is perfect for newcomers to Thai cuisine and due to the versatility in recipes it will also appeal to those who are experienced in cooking Thai food. There are accompanying colour photos for the majority of the recipes which is stunning. Thai Food Made Easy is currently on sale for £14.99

There are a number of gorgeous recipes to try and all bases are covered in the comprehensive chapters:
  • Introduction
  • Ingredients for Thai Cooking - a chapter focusing on key fresh ingredients, spices, pantry larder and liquids.
  • 15 must-have herbs & spices - including Thai basil, lemongrass and five spice. 
  • Snacks and finger food- everyone loves a good snack especially when it includes: Glass Noodle & Pork Spring Rolls, Spiced Prawn cakes on Lemongrass Sticks, Chicken Satay with Turmeric & Ginger and Curried Sweetcorn Fritters. 
  • Salads- stand out recipes include: Prawn Noodle Salad with chili & toasted cashews, Hot & Sour Grilled Beef Salad and Sesame Chicken Salad. 
  • Slow roast, smoking grill & hot wok: tempting recipes include: Kai yang Issan-style grilled Chicken, Thai Beef skewers, Barbecued pork and herb salad and Wok-fried Chilli & Basil chicken. 
  • Fish & seafood: Gorgeous recipes to try include: Sesame-seared Tuna with Lemongrass & Ginger, Turmeric Grilled Fish, Stir-fried Cod with Sugar Snap Peas, Ginger & Five Spice and Grilled Fish with Chilli, Garlic & Ginger.
  • Curries & Soups , stand out recipes include: Coconut Fish Curry, Thai Green Curry,  Hot & Sour Orange Curry with Grilled Salmon & Geng gari curry with Roast Chicken.
  • Rice, Noodles & Sides: recipes to try include: Pad Thai Fried Noodles, Pad Ki Mow (spicy beef noodles with kaffir lime leaves) and Braised Chicken with Rice, Turmeric & Spices. 
  • Desserts & drinks: stand out recipes include: Thai Citrus & Young Coconut Jelly, Sticky rice with Mango and Banana & Coconut Pancakes. 
  • Basics: recipes to try include: this chapter includes a number of dressings and sauces.
  • Menu planner.
So far I've made the prawn noodle salad and grilled fish .

Recipe for Prawn Noodle Salad with Chilli & Toasted Cashews
Serves 4
Preparation 10 minutes
1 red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
4 cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely grated
juice of 2 limes
250g thin rice noodles, drained and chilled
250g cooked prawns, peeled and halved
4 spring onions, finely chopped
4 mint sprigs, leaves picked and torn

freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons light soy sauce 
1 tablespoon blended sesame oil
3 tablespoon cashews

Mix the chilli, ginger and lime juice together in a large bowl. Add the light soy sauce and sesame oil. Add the noodles and prawns and mix together. Add the spring onions and season well with a little salt and black pepper.
When ready to serve, add the herbs to the noodles and mix together (only add the herbs when you are ready to serve because the acidity of the dressing will turn the leaves black). Scatter with the cashews. Taste the noodles to check the balance of flavours and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this cookery book from the publishers. 

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