Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Perkier foods

Wednesday, August 27, 2014
For the past couple of weeks I have been trying out the delights from PERK!ER – a range of gluten-free and wheat-free food with the brightest packaging. I know someone who was recently told she must only have gluten-free food, so I was keen to try some too to see how it fared. As it happens, the items pictured that I tried have been given a big thumbs up for her to also try.

There have been no artificial colours or flavours used, so this was a big plus, and I like that the porridges are designed to be eaten on the go, or at work. I have been enjoying mine on days where I didn’t have time to eat breakfast at home. I kept them in my work drawer and simply filled them up to the line as indicated with hot water, gave it a mix, popped the lid back on and left it for a couple of minutes before it was ready to eat. My favourite flavours were the apple and the berry one, which I will be repurchasing for days I have hit the snooze button one too many times.
I enjoyed the tiffin bars, but haven’t tried the Rocky Road ones as I don’t eat gelatine though my friends have assured me they are delicious, were also kept in my work drawer to have when I get peckish about mid-morning.

I’ve already said that I love the packaging and after I used the pots and gave them a good rinse, I have been using them for storage on my desk. I expected gluten-free food to be pricey, but the porridges come in at around the £1 mark from Sainsbury’s. I like that it is an independent company set up by Ann Perkins and her partner Steve Turner, and it seems like a lot of thought has gone into their products. I’m looking forward to trying their other products too.

Have you tried the range? Have any of the items caught your eye?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Strawberry smoothie with Total Greek

Friday, August 22, 2014
Happy Friday! I hope you have all had a lovely week. I am currently packing for a long weekend away in Wales. But before I go I wanted to show you one of the smoothies I made this week. It's so simple the pictures say it all, I added some hulled strawberries, milk, a banana, Total Greek split pot in raspberry and pomegranate and a tablespoon of pre-soaked chia seeds.

Whizz it all together and you get this lovely pink smoothie, which is actually really filling too.

And there you have it! Simple but delicious. What's your favourite smoothie combination?

Monday, August 18, 2014

Lazy day salad

Monday, August 18, 2014

I hope you haven't got the Monday blues like I have :( the start of another week, but I have a busy one ahead and I am hoping it is super productive.

Today's food post isn't a recipe as such and is embarrassingly easy that I thought twice about posting it. But you know what, it's one of my favourite dinner options so I thought I would post it anyway. This salad is one that I go to when I want a filling dinner, but don't want something stodgy. I tend to go to Lidl and buy the whole lot of veg, etc from there as it's cheap and they have some good flavoured foods.

The salad is literally a base of salad leaves, topped with celery, onion, sweetcorn, pepper and jalapenos if I have them and sometimes cherry tomatoes. On this occasion I put the tomatoes and sliced red peppers in an oven-proof dish with some olive oil and seasoned with mixed herbs and salt and pepper. I roasted these for about 20 minutes on 220 degrees and on the salad they went. I added some olives stuffed with paprika, chopped sundried tomatoes, feta cheese and a side of potato salad. To finish off we also have some breaded cod.

It's not difficult to make and I chop everything up while the veg and fish are in the oven. I sometimes add some balsamic dressing to the salad if I don't have any potato salad.

And there you have it, my lazy day dinner when I want to be healthy but just can't be bothered with anything too extravagant. What is your favourite salad? And how do you make your dressings? x

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Blueberry layer breakfast pot

Sunday, August 17, 2014
Happy Sunday! What have you been up to this weekend? I am catching up on some blog reading today and will be thinking up some more recipe ideas for the week ahead.

This morning I wanted to show you one of my breakfast pot ideas I tried out a few days ago. I started out wanting to try a healthy cheesecake idea but got carried away with the blueberries and ended up with this!

Wandering the supermarket isles I came across these Digestive Lights, which have 30% reduced fat - always a winner with me. I crumbled these at the bottom of my glass, pushing them down so they were compact. On top of this I layered some yoghurt from Total Greek, which the lovely people at Fage sent me to try out some recipe ideas. This was also their new split pot and this time had raspberry and pomegranete. I layered a bit of this fruit compote before starting again with crumbled biscuit, Greek yoghurt and this time a home-made blueberry compote.

I didn't take any pictures of the finished compote, but this is one I made another time using a handful of berries, a couple of spoons of sugar, some water and a squeeze of lemon juice. For this breakfast pot I reduced the sauce down further so it was thicker.

And so I continued with the layers until the top which I put some raspberry and pomegranete, topped with flaked almonds and blueberries. This tasted super indulgent and like a breakfast and dessert in one. I didn't have enough time to finish this before I had to dash off for work, so I demolished the rest when I got home from work that day and it was soooo good!

What do you think of it? And what is your favourite breakfast recipe - do share! x

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Beta-Carrot Juice

Saturday, August 16, 2014
How is the weekend treating you? I am having a chill out day today and may do a spot of clothes shopping later. I had a craving for juice this morning, so I thought I would share with you a juice that I made last week. This glass is like an elixr to give a boost in the morning and one that made me feel surprisingly full until I got to the late morning.

The Beta-Carrot Juice is from Jason Vale - the Juice Master's - range of healthy juices. I first came across these when I did a juice detox about 18 months ago, when I found juices surprisingly easy to make. Before, I hadn't liked the idea of it and thought it was way too much effort for one glass of juice. But since I have switched to healthy eating I prefer home-made juices to shop-bought cartons as I know what is going in them and I can make them exactly to my taste.

The process isn't difficult if you have a decent juicer and I have been using this Philips Avance Juicer, which whizzes everything up for me.

So for the recipe:
2 apples
1/2 beetroot
2 small carrots
1 small parsnip
1/4 lemon (unwaxed if possible and with the skin on)

You simply juice all the veg with an apple either side and then pour over ice.

And why is it so healthy? Well beetroot is a natural source of iron, which helps purify the blood. It's also good for fighting infections. I haven't tried it when feeling ill, but it has given me a boost in the mornings.

So there you have it - probably one of my favourite juices at the moment. What do you think of it? And what is your favourite combination of fruit and veg for a juice?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Granola and Greek Yoghurt

Friday, August 15, 2014

Today's post is continuing from yesterday's healthy eating post - it's a breakfast I was enjoying last week.

It was using this Simply Scrumptious Fruit and Nut Granola from Lidl, which is the first granola I have really liked. It has a mixture of almonds, grains, fruits, raisins and pumpkin seeds - yum! I topped it with some Total Greek yoghurt that I was sent to try out from Fage from their new split pot range - which has a delicious strawberry compote on the side. I used this to top the bananas and added some flaked almonds for some extra crunch.

Simple, but it was super tasty! And it kept me full up until lunch time.

What do you think of the breakfast idea? What do you have in the mornings to ensure you are ready for the day ahead?

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Healthy Eating

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Haven't we been having some awful weather the last few days in the UK? Every day I am going to work dressed for the summer, but coming home wearing my rain jacket. It's feeling like Autumn already!

Today's post is a little update about what I have been up to and what I have got coming up over the next few weeks. If you follow me on Instagram (Safiraali) you may have noticed the number of food, or rather, healthy food pictures being posted. Since the end of Ramadhan about three weeks ago I have decided to give healthy eating, rather than dieting, a go. I made more of an effort during Ramadhan to think of healthy and nutritious meal choices for both the morning and evening, when I broke my fast. And I have continued that since, because I am feeling more conscious about what I am putting in my body.

Maybe as a result, though not by consciously dieting, I was pleased that I had lost nine pounds, which in turn spurred me on to continue. I've been having more fun with my food, and by switching things up I have noticed a big increase in my energy levels and feeling less lethargic.

Over the coming weeks I will be posting some of the recipe ideas I have been trying out. But let me know in the comments below whether you are going for healthy eating and what tips you have that could also help me out. x