It’s Shrove Tuesday today aka Pancake Day and what better way to enjoy this day than bake up a fresh batch of pancakes to enjoy with the family… or all by yourself. 🙂
I’ve got TWO amazingly simple recipes for you today; the first one is a chocolate protein pancake one that I’ve dressed with a low-calorie mint choc ice cream and dark chocolate drizzle, and the second is a simple oat pancake with coconut yoghurt and berries. Yum!!
Since I started my fitness journey last August 2016 I’ve been eating much healthier than before. I’ve cut out a lot of the processed foods I used to eat before and try to consciously opt for complex carbohydrates over simple carbs. The reason for this is because of my high-risk for developing Type II Diabetes later in life. Diabetes runs in my family, both on my maternal and paternal side then to top it off I had Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies.
So yeah… really high risk.
I am human and sometimes I do slip up and have chocolates, cakes and biscuits but try to have a really small portion. After all, eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean eliminating treats 100% out of your diet. Healthy eating is about balance, sustainability and having a positive association with food. Basically if you eat a large slice of pizza (or the whole pizza), don’t put yourself on a massive guilt trip for it and ‘punish yourself’ by eating less the next day or putting your body through hours of cardio trying to ‘burn off’ the added calories. Instead acknowledge that you’ve been able to enjoy yourself that day with that meal and eat a little better the week ahead to balance it out. Remember, one pizza won’t make you fat nor will one salad make you healthy.
I’m currently increasing my calorie intake to build up my muscle size and strength. As my weight loss stalled in December (plateaued at 51.8kg despite me increasing workouts and cutting a few more calories) I decided to reverse diet (where your aim is to gradually add back the cals in an attempt to kickstart your metabolism) which is going well. I’ll be writing up a progress post soon and will be going in more detail about this on there. Look out for it! Continue reading “Recipe: Low-carb Prawn Pad Thai Salad”
It’s now under two weeks away until the Macmillan Big Coffee Morning! I love baking but since changing my diet and adopting a healthier lifestyle I have pretty much given up on scoffing cakes and pastries. Don’t get me wrong I will still indulge every now and then but it would be a very small treat as I am cutting down on sugars and carbs. This is because I have had gestational diabetes in both pregnancies meaning that my chances of getting Type II diabetes later on is very high.
So I have had to change my diet completely due to my gestational diabetes. Luckily this time round I am not on any medication but I’ve been giving the diabetes blood sugar testing kit so no cheating! I have to abide by my new diet rules and portion control to prevent baby from becoming too big.
I had a group meeting with the diabetic nurse and dietician last Wednesday and we went over the foods we can and can’t eat. To top it off, I’ve only gained 0.5kg since the start of the pregnancy so it means somewhere along the way I lost a lot of my weight and gained it as baby weight. It’s quite sad because the dietician has now said I need to start putting some more weight on.
It’s almost like a catch 22 as I am scared to gain the weight as I don’t want baby to be too big but because of the little weight gain, I have no choice but to do so.
So I’ve been checking out the GI index of foods and seeing what my best options are. I created this little recipe a while back when I was trying to experiment with curly kale. It’s so simple, super healthy and nutritious, suitable for vegetarians/vegans and has a low GI index – basically a winning recipe! I even made up the name for it… Curly Kale and Sweet Potato Hash 🙂
So without further ado, here is my recipe:
Curly Kale and Sweet Potato Hash Recipe
Time: prep – 5mins, cooking – 30mins
Servings: 2-4 people
A bag of curly kale (washed)
2 sweet potatoes (unpeeled)
2tbs Dark soy sauce
1 tbs of cooking oil
Fill the saucepan with water and boil the sweet potatoes with their skin left on. Boil until softened which took me about 20 mins on a high heat.
Drain the water and place the sweet potatoes to one side to cool down. Once they’ve cooled, peel the skin and throw away then dice them.
Add a little bit of oil (1tbs) to the dry pan and turn the heat to medium/high. Add in the curly kale and stir frequently.
Fry the curly kale for about 3 mins and add in the soy sauce. Adjust to your taste but I usually give it a generous drizzle. Use a light, low-salt soy sauce if you are concerned about the salt content but as we are not adding any extra salt, I like to use dark soy sauce.
When the curly kale has decreased in volume from the cooking, add in the diced sweet potatoes.
Add a splash of water to help create some steam which will also help to cook the kale nicely and cook for another 2-3 mins.
Take off the heat and leave to cool. Eat it on its own or serve with rice or cous cous. I like to just eat it by itself to help cut out the carbs and it’s so filling, I don’t mind it without any meat or poultry but if you did want to eat it, I think grilled chicken would go nicely. Enjoy!
I love hot chocolate and have been looking for a way to make it a bit less fatty and healthier so I came up with this recipe. It’s still a work-in-progress so I will return to make some tweaks to it every now and then so it can become my very own signature vegan hot chocolate.
There’s a lot of recipes for this drink online and you can take a look at a few of them here however I wanted to keep mine really simple with only a few ingredients to use. The majority of the ingredients you might already have in your kitcken or pantry. 🙂 I have substituted any sugars for a medjool date which is very sweet itself hence why I’ve only decided to use one in my recipe. Feel free to try out the recipe and chop & change it according to your taste buds. To make this hot choc taste more like caramel-like or have more ‘bulk’ like normal hot chocolates you can add a banana to the mix.
banana + medjool date = caramel –> this is no lie!
I have also added a wonderful ingredient in the drink which is maca powder. There’s plenty of health benefits for it which you can check out online too.
Vegan Hot Chocolate Recipe
Time: 5-10 mins approx.
1 tsp cacao powder
1/2 tsp maca powder
200 ml non-dairy milk of your choice (unsweetened)
1 vanilla pod
1 medjool date (leave at room temp to soften)
On a low setting, heat the milk up in a saucepan and add vanilla pod to infuse that lovely sweetness into the milk. To make it more festive, you can add a little touch of mixed-spice seasoning in there too. (I tried this and it was amaze-balls!)
When you start to see the milk just starting to bubble on the side, take it off the heat and leave it to one side. Leave the vanilla pod in there to soak for now.
In a blender or food processor, add the medjool date, cacao powder, maca powder and water and blend until the date has disappeared completely.
Pour the mix into a glass or mug and add in the vanilla-infused milk.
NB You can also substitute the vanilla pod for good-quality vanilla extract. One teaspoon would be enough and just add to the milk.
Here is a wonderful video I found on Youtube by Fablunch making her version of a vegan hot chocolate with vegan whipped cream! 🙂
Sometimes a meat-free dish is well needed. I randomly bought a tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce by accident when I was trying to make a Congolese bean stew and had picked this up instead of kidney beans in water so needed to make something with it.
I don’t really cook with kidney beans and as it already came with a sauce I was very confused on what to do with it. Then I had a “light bulb moment” and realised I can make something. All I had in the fridge was vegetables so I took a green pepper and an onion and made this lovely vegetarian dish which tasted great – we served it with rice. The whole family loved it!
Chilli Beans Recipe
Time: 25 mins
Serving: 1-4 people
Tin of kidney beans in chilli sauce
1 onion – chopped
1 green pepper
Vegetable or sunflower oil
For the seasoning:
A pinch of salt
1-2 pinches of black pepper
1tsp soy sauce or Maggi sauce (liquid seasoning)
Put your saucepan or wok on a medium/high heat and add your oil.
Add the onions and fry until nearly golden then add in the green peppers.
Keep on the same heat until the peppers have softened which should take about 5-7 mins. Add a splash of water and cover to let the steam from the water evaporate soften the peppers.
Add the salt, pepper and soy sauce/maggi sauce then add your tin of chilli kidney beans and turn the heat to low/medium to simmer for about 10 mins.
By now, the flavours from the seasonings, onion and pepper should’ve mixed beautifully with the beans. Remove from the heat and leave to cool down slightly.
Serve with rice or crusty bread or even eat them without any accompaniment. Enjoy! 🙂