Tag Archives: healthy

Spelt Focaccia Bread

I’m no Paul Hollywood but I have to say I’m quite liking my bread making experience recently. For Christmas I got Ajay a bread making course. I thought it would be a nice brother sister bonding day making bread together…etc.etc. Although the class wasn’t as mind blowing as I thought but I did learn how easy Focaccia bread is to make!

Serving 2

For me this is one of those things to make on a Sunday when bored! The smell the bread makes whilst in the oven is incredible! I know it’s strange to say but personally I feel like an old Italian grandmother when making this. You seriously don’t need any special equipment just the tools god gave you (your hands)!

checking

I think you can add anything to this bread…from peppers to oregano, even to different infused flavoured oils…it’s one of those chuck it all in and see what we get types of dishes!

 

Yeast mix

The base to every bread is Yeast, Sugar, Warm water and salt…then you’re ready to go!

 

Flour

As you can see the post is called ‘Spelt’ Focaccia so I’m obviously going to be using spelt flour. You can use normal white flour just be careful how much flour you add. And don’t panic if you get carried away with the flour, just add a drop of water. I am one of those, ‘Organic is best’- but if you cant get it don’t worry tesco values is just as good (I’m lying).

 

And no I don’t think your dumb if you don’t know how to knead. There is kind of an art to it! once you mix the dough till smooth, plonk it on the table. Make sure you’ve sprinkled a little flour on the table!

Kneading 1

Push the dough, using the bottom of your palm away from you.

 

Kneading 3

Then pull the furthest tip back toward you and repeat the process for a good few minutes. This is if you using spelt flour. If using normal white flour knead for 10-15 minutes! By the end of it you’ll have a good set of guns!

 

Kneading 2

You’ll notice you’re folding makes layers. With White flour the kneading makes the dough more stretchy, that will be the gluten-Food Devil. Why I think its the devil is because that is what bloats you, making it a bad carb! Yes my mum is a health food addict! she is the reason I made this with Spelt flour-so she could eat it!

holes

To make that authentic Focaccia style. you literally just dab 2 fingers into the bread, to create those dimples. Obviously you start from one corner to the other.

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Ingredients:

  • 200ml of lukewarm water
  • 1tsp of dried active yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (this is to feed the yeast and help it grow!)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • Spelt Flour or Flour (Now I haven’t given a precise amount because it can vary. Just have at least 1/2 a pack at your side)
  • 1 Sun-dried Tomato
  • 5 olives (either colour)
  • A Few sprigs of Rosemary
  • Olive Oil/Rapeseed Oil (I use basil infused oil. Try Garlic oil or even chilli oil)
  • Salt and pepper for seasoning on top
  1. Add together the water, yeast, sugar and salt and whisk together. I would advise leaving it for a couple of minutes
  2. Gradually add the flour until a good consistency. You would rather add less flour to start so you can add more when kneading. Especially with spelt flour, use less flour and see.
  3. Now, use those guns and knead the dough for a good 3 minutes!
  4. Put in a bowl and cover with cling film. leave in a warm place for an hour. I usually leave the oven on and keep the door slightly open. that’s my warm spot!
  5. after 40 minutes place into square tray and flatten down. using your 2 fingers dab all over and sprinkle your delicious toppings and oil.
  6. Whack it in the oven on 200c for 30 minutes or until golden!
  7. leave to cool for another half an hour and enjoy!

 

serving 1

I love this literally cut up and served with Balsamic reduction and olive oil! you could even use chilli oil with some salt rocks in it!

 

The idea of this is to give you inspiration to jazz it up yourself. add more crushed salt, experiment with different herbs, go wild. Just don’t forget to mention me when you get asked for the recipe!

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Autumn Soup

Its officially Autumn guys! literally as soon as it hits September I’m all about making Butternut Squash soup every Sunday! usually I like it with croutons but being on a detox for the last 3 weeks and now on a strict no carbs diet I’m just thankful to be eating soup.

Not many people are fans of squash as it can be too sweet like sweet potato but seasoning it right hopefully I could convert you haters! This to me is one of those 15 minute meals you can whip up in the kitchen after a long day at work- I may be over exaggerating with the whole ’15 minute meals’, realistically it takes me 40 minutes.

Close up 1

I topped mine with seeds and baked squash skin

Ingredients for 3 max.

1 Medium to Small Butternut squash
1 Small Red Onion, cut into medium size pieces
5 Cloves Garlic
A few sprigs of Thyme
1/4-1/2 tsp of Red Chilli Flakes (depending on your personal taste)
1/2 tsp of whole cumin
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp of Paprika
1 Organic Chicken/Vegetable Stock cube in 1 cup of boiling water
Enough boiling water to make the paste into a soup

Recipe

  1. Cut the butternut squash into medium chunks with the skin on!
  2. place on a baking tray with the small onion,Garlic cloves (with skin on), Thyme, spices and Salt’n’Pepper and drizzle in olive oil
  3. Roast in Oven for 30 minutes in high oven on 200c.
  4. once roasted leave to cool for 10 minutes (dont forget to take off the skin) then blitz up till a thick paste (add a spoon full of stock to make it a smooth paste). whilst waiting to cool stick the kettle on boil and prep the stock
  5. add the stock ladle by ladle to until the paste eventually becomes the soup like consistency.
  6. add a little more spice salt or pepper if need be.
  7. Pour into bowls and and top with croutons and sunflower and pumpkin seeds and a few chilli flakes and serve with 2 thick slices of warmed toasted fresh bread.

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I’m not sure if you’re weird like me and have a ‘special spoon’ to eat your soup out of. This spoon to me is The One. I literally hide this in the drawers just to make sure I can use this spoon! It has the perfect hold and the perfect dip. God knows why I’m explaining this to you, but just so you know!

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If your wondering where this hipster bowl is from and where you buy it from-you’ll need a ticket to Japan as this was a cool gift from Ajay on his journey to Tokyo.

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Personally this soup to me is my tomato soup-just pure comfort in a bowl. I would honestly flask this up and take it to work everyday! (Plus this can be Vegan friendly so this works for everyone!)

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Japan at Your Doorstep

I get a random text from my dearest older brother Ajay asking me to meet him for dinner. Quite out of the ordinary but I was happy to meet. Since he’s now transferred to Westminster from Manchester University and me now working in Peckham, South London. We can actually meet up for dinners which I reckon won’t happen as often as I’d like but still, I’m still happy. And Ajay was taking me to a new Ramen Bar…Kanada-Ya.

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Kanada-Ya reminded me of Japan’s own version of McDonalds. Just seemed to casual, full of Japanese Natives. This Noodle bar is small but definitely not grotty; very trendy and hipster like. Thank god they haven’t all discovered this place yet, or maybe they’re too intimidated to go.

If you’re not entirely sure what a Ramen is…Well its Amazing. It’s like a Much Better and healthier version of Pot noodle. So its a soup that originated in Japan Consisting of Noodles, Meat/ Fish Broth topped with sliced pork, spring onions and seaweed and occasionally a soft Tea-boiled egg (not to keen on that part). Honestly its the most amazing thing EVER!

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There’s only 3 types of Ramens you can get here. 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions; 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Chashu pork belly, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions topped with beansprouts; 18 hr Pork Bone broth, Deluxe Chashu pork collar, wood ear fungus, nori and spring onions. Fairly cheap from £10-£12.50.

Miso broth

Ajay and I both ordered the Pork with Beansprouts, but the weirdest thing was the waitress asked us how we like our noodles cooked. Has that ever happened to you? Apparently in Japan they like there noodles hard because it’s still cooking whilst in the broth. So I asked for mine to be hard and it was so worth it. Al Dante. Perfect. They didn’t turn to slush; weren’t too chewy just right. Now I’m usually the annoying customer who shoves a whole load of soya sauce in the bowl because it needs more flavour. But here I didn’t need to add anything in. The broth was a lot more Cloudier but had really strong clean flavours.

The thing that I was intrigued to try was the Wood ear fungus. it was like an crunchy mushroom. Really words couldn’t describe the bite it had. It was over powering and strong, just so there but not too in your face. If people don’t know what nori is its a sheet of Seaweed. You just add the sheet into the broth and let it slightly wilt and just shove it in your gob. It gives the broth a fishy taste and not in an unpleasant way.

Just saying I ate my bowl of ramen with 7 minutes. I’ve worked out, you’re meant to stretch the noodles first, well the bit you want to eat and then and then whack it in! And you slurp the noodles in. I know it sounds disgusting but you know you’re eating right when you make the noise.

But Ajay decided to be more experimental by picking Spicy Miso. It wasn’t nice. It was like Wasabi. Apparently you’re meant to pinch a little bit at a time with your chopstick to taste. DO NOT STIR THE SPOON INTO YOUR BOWL.

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This is I think is like Pickeled Carrot but I really wasn’t sure. The lady next to us was putting it on her spoon and adding it to her noodles using the chopsticks. I didnt try some unfortunately I was to busy shoveling the noddles down as fast as I could.

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Whenever I try to experiment I fail Miserably. So for drinks I thought I was ordering what the guy opposite was having (PS he looked like a Japanese version of John Lennon). Instead I got this. Now I know Arji buys these from Cyber Candy but I have never been temped to try a bottle of E numbers waiting to kill my insides. And I was right, It was Artificially disgusting!

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The cool thing about this was opening the bottle there’s a cap which you push down which releases a glass ball in the neck of the bottle. In Japan They have this thing we’re you see who can open the top and get the glass ball out the quickest without smashing the bottle. Well that’s what the Waitress explained to us. Me and Arji tried this…We both failed miserably.

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This Waitress, was the coolest waitress at a ramen bar, I personally thought. usually they’re really quiet and have that look that says “don’t disturb me b*tch”. But instead she helped explain everything, from the noodles to the drink! I think we became abit annoying towards the end, constantly asking her what certain things were.

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I would definitely recommend this restaurant to every Ramen Lover! And order extra noodles.

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1st Day Living HEALTHY!

Right, so most of the day i went really really healthy. The diet was to start yesterday (Monday) BUT thats another story… anywho, so what i ate today:

Breakfast

  •  cup of Tea, milk and 2 sugars

I literally forgot to have breakfast. I know what your thinking, [GASP] “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. But seriously I just forgot. But to be honest i didn’t even get hungry all morning since work actually kept me occupied for the morning! i think thats kind of what you need is to keep busy during the day so you don’t pick at stuff like me and Aimee do.

Lunch

  • Panfried Chicken breast with cajun seasoning a
  • seasoned quinoa
  • simple salad on the side

So i was very happy with my lunch. sat outside on the tables in the sun, well-ish- british weather ay? my highlight was the quinoa. i don’t know what mum put in the seasoning but it was de-lic-ious! i shall give the recipe for my lunch later!

Snacks

  • Clippo Ice lolly
  • Wispa choc bar
  • Nectarine
  • Plum

This is where i go wrong. the nick nacks. the clippo was because of the sun. seriously its like when the sun comes out, me and Aimee are like mind readers and just know that we both crave an ice lolly! the Wispa bar was really naughty and i know. it was all in the heat of the moment and there was nothing in the fridge to eat. nectarine and plum, come on you know thats good.  woop woop!

Now lets get down to business…

EXERCISE:

  • running for 16 minutes
  • powerish walking for 35minutes

so as you know i work in the local college. i know odd but hey ho. Its like a 5 minute drive in the car yet takes 35-40 minutes walking up hilly roads. so it is pretty good exercise i guess and i do this at least once a day (to work) but may get a lift back. After work me, Aimee and Nicole went to the gym like good girls but i only to do my run. well its kind of like i jog for 1 min 50 secs on 6 & the run 1min 50secs on 9 and then when when you get to the last 2minutes RUN on like 10 and then 12. That is when i feel the sweat like seriously i know i only ran for 16 minutes BUT i have started to wear these shorts which are like scuba diving shorts mum brought me but there meant to work your muscles more or something. I don’t know but all i can say is once i took them off i was sweating like mad.

So overall as the first i feel i did not-bad. A bit disappointed with the chocolate and ice lolly but i am pleased that i went to the gym after. i guess i have to sort of take baby steps. so lets see how the rest of the week goes and i shall keep up with the updates!

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