Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato Pancakes

Sweet Potato PancakesBreakfast is one of my favourite parts of the weekend. I mean by the time I’m up and actually ready to eat it’s more of a brunch but that’s not the point. I found this recipe on the Food52 Website which is one of my favourite places to find new ideas. The original recipe suggests serving the pancakes with creme fraiche and caviar but who wants that?! It’s all about the bacon and maybe a little bit of cheese on top!

Serves                        Makes 4-6 pancakes (but depends on the size!)

Prep Time                 10 minutes

Cooking Time         15 minutes

Ingredients

4 cups coarsely grated sweet potato

1/2 cup of grated onion

3-4 tablespoons of fresh squeezed lemon juice

4 medium eggs, beaten

1/3 cup of flour

Oil for frying

Salt and pepper for seasoning

Cheese and bacon to serve (optional)

 Method

1. Mix the sweet potato, onion, lemon, eggs and flour together. Add seasoning to taste.

2. Heat a frying pan over medium heat with a little oil. Split the mixture into six and mould into pancake shapes – this will depend on the size and shape you want your pancakes to be. Personally, I mould the mixture into a rough ball in my hands and place in the pan, flattening it out with a spatula once it’s in there.

3. The mixture should sizzle upon contact with the pan. Cook until golden and crisp then flip. Cook until the second side is golden and crisp.

4. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Top with cooked bacon and grated cheese (or creme fraiche and caviar if that’s more to your taste!!)

Moroccan Turkey Meatballs with Citrus Couscous

Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs
Now that I want to get back into long distance running again, I’ve been on the hunt for some high protein, low fat recipes for dinner. I recently came across this lovely recipe which is super quick, easy and really cheap too on BBC Good Food.

Serves                        Four

Prep Time                 15 minutes

Cooking Time         15 minutes

Calories                     348 per portion

Ingredients

500g turkey mince

2 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp cinnamon

1 onion chopped finely

Zest of 1 orange. Save the orange segments and chop

250g couscous

250ml hot chicken stock

2 tsp olive oil

Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

 

 

 Method

1. Mix the mince, spices, onion and orange zest together with your hands. Roll the mixture into about 20 walnut-sized meatballs.

2. Put the couscous in a bowl, pour over the hot chicken stock, cover with cling film and leave to stand for 10 minutes.

3. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the meatballs and fry, turning regularly, for about 12 minutes – until browned all over and cooked through.

4. Fluff the couscous up with a fork, stir in the chopped orange, coriander and some seasoning and serve.

And that’s it! It really is that simple. I’m not a huge fan of couscous with orange in it so sometimes I buy ready flavoured couscous like roasted vegetable flavour just to mix things up a little.

Four Ways to Drink More Water and Stay Hydrated

Stay Hydrated

Stay Hydrated

We know that being able to stay hydrated is one of the most important things for both your body and your mind. Since, running the half marathon yesterday, I can’t seem to drink enough! This post has been sitting in the “drafts” folder since June so now seemed like a fitting time to get it finished off and published!

There’s a few signs that you’re not drinking enough water that are less obvious than simply being thirsty. These include being tired, lacking concentration, feeling hungry (yep, sometimes when you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty) and dry skin. The trick however, is to always be hydrated and never get to a point where your body has to tell you it needs more water.

Here are my four top tips for drinking more and how to stay hydrated.

1. Buy a water bottle

Having a water bottle helps me drink much more water and stay hydrated. I have one water bottle for the office and another at home. The main reason it helps so much is because I’m lazy! If I only have a glass of water on my desk, I either don’t drink it because I’m “saving it for later” or I do drink it and then don’t refill it! When I’m at home, I just genuinely forget to drink but if I have a bottle full of water near to me it’s a nice reminder.

Having a water bottle helps with all these “problems” that keep me from drinking enough.  It also means that I can easily keep track of how much water I’ve got through in a day (see below).

2. Track your intake

I love having goals and challenges so tracking how much water I’ve had in a day is a great motivator for me. Personally, I use the Fitbit App for tracking but I know that Apps like MyFitnessPal also have a water tracking element to them.

I usually get to early afternoon and realise that I haven’t had anywhere near enough water. Then I spend the afternoon and evening trying to make up for it. For that reason (and the fact that they look pretty), I really, really want one of these water bottles. 

Stay Hydrated

3. Drink with meals

One simple way of making sure you’re getting enough water, is to make sure you have a drink with each meal. I try to have a pint of water with each meal and finish the drink by the time I’ve finished the meal. That way, I know I’ve had three pints of water without really needing to think about it.

4. Make water more exciting

I don’t think I know anyone who is crazy in love with plain old water. I mean, I don’t dislike it but it’s not the most exciting is it! There’s a number of ways you can make water more exciting without taking away from it or adding lots of sugar.

My favourites include fruit teas (Twinnings Lemon and Ginger is top of the list by far!) and fruit infused water. Purchasing a water bottle designed so that you can add fruit makes this an easy way of improving the taste.

This week I’m going to set myself a goal of actually drinking the recommended 2 litres a day. If you have any other tactics to make sure you’re drinking enough, please let me know!

Warming Beef Stew

Beef stew

Beef stewFollowing on from last week’s Autumn/Winter recipe, I’ve been thinking about some more winter warmers. One of my favourites is a beef stew – I used to love making them in the slow cooker but sadly I don’t have one any more (**quickly runs off to add to the Christmas list**). This recipe from Jamie Oliver is great though.

Serves                        Four

Prep Time                 20 minutes

Cooking Time         3-4 hours

Calories                     645 per portion

Ingredients

1 white onion

2 parsnips

1/2 a butternut squash

a few sprigs of fresh sage

Olive Oil

1 knob of unsalted butter

4 carrots

800g stewing steak or beef skirt, cut into 5 cm pieces

Plain flour

500g small potatoes

2 tablespoons of tomato puree

1/2 a bottle of red wine

285ml of beef or vegetable stock

1 lemon

A few sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 clove of garlic

 Method

1. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/300ºF/gas 2.

2. Peel and roughly chop the onion, peel and quarter the parsnips and peel and halve the carrots. Deseed and roughly dice the squash. Pick the sage leaves.

3. Heat a little oil and the butter in a casserole pan on a medium heat, add the onion and sage leaves, then fry for 3 to 4 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, toss the meat in a little seasoned flour, then add it to the pan with all the vegetables, the tomato purée, wine and stock, then gently stir together. Season generously with black pepper and just a little sea salt.

5. Bring to the boil, place a lid on top, then place in the oven until the meat is tender – sometimes this takes 3 hours, sometimes 4 – it depends on what cut of meat you’re using and how fresh it is. The only way to test is to mash up a piece of meat and if it falls apart easily it’s ready.

6. Once cooked, turn the oven down to about 110°C/225°F/gas ¼ and just hold it there until you’re ready to eat. Finely grate the lemon zest, pick and finely chop the rosemary and peel and finely chop the garlic, then mix together and sprinkle over the stew before serving. Just the smallest amount will make a world of difference – as soon as it hits the hot stew it will release an amazing fragrance.

Tomato and White Bean Soup

Tomato and White Bean Soup

Tomato and White Bean SoupIt’s been a while since I did a recipe post (well, let’s face it, it’s been a while since I’ve done any sort of post until this week!) As we’re coming into Autumn/Winter, I thought I’d share one of my favourite soup recipes – tomato and white bean soup. I have to admit that I haven’t made this one since last year but I think it’s time to do it again over the next few weeks.

Serves                        Four but I usually make extra and freeze some

Prep Time                      10-15 minutes

Cooking Time           40 minutes

Calories                            206 per portion

Ingredients

 

1 white onion, diced

2 carrots, chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

2 cups of vegetable stock

1.5 cups of cook cannellini beans

3 cups of baby spinach

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar (you can use a splash of white wine if you like)

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme

2 garlic cloves, chopped

Salt and Pepper for seasoning

 Method

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the onion, season and cook for a few minutes. Add the garlic and carrots and cook for about 8-10 minutes, until the onion and carrots begin to soften.

2. Add the tomatoes to the pad and cook down until they are cooked through and broken down. Then add the balsamic vinegar or wine (personally, I’d rather drink the wine whilst cooking!)

3. Next, add in half of the beans, thyme and vegetable stock. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Pour the soup into a blender, taking care to remove the thyme before blending. Blend to your preferred consistency. I like it to be quite smooth as the other half of the beans get added in at the next step.

5. Transfer the blended soup back into the pan, add the remaining beans and spinach. Simmer over a low heat,stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and the spinach has wilted.

I hope you enjoy this delicious tomato and white bean soup recipe.