I don’t always make vegetarian meals even though I did wish I made more of an effort to. LO is not a big meat fan – unless it’s oven cooked (fish fingers/chicken nuggets/turkey drummers), or meatballs with spaghetti you couldn’t get him to even touch it with a barge pole.
When the founder of Mister Paste, Ian (you can read more about Ian and his company in an interview post I wrote here) got in touch last month to inform me of his new sauce I was more than intrigued to try it out. Mister Paste’s vegetarian line of food had been recently accredited by the Vegetarian Society and was exhibiting at the Just V Show in Olympia.
So let’s talk about the mango sauce… it’s a lovely rich sauce that reminds me of Nandos’ mango and lime marinade (due to the kaffir lime leaves and mango sauce) and the consistency a Chinese sweet and sour sauce. It’s rich, sweet and tangy sauce is delicious, on the recipe printout included in the pack mentions that you could add fresh mango chunks but the sauce has so much flavour (made from real mango puréed, you don’t need to). I had made two dishes with the sauce; one for myself with Quorn cubes and the other with pan-fried salmon for the family as they’re not a big fan of Quorn.
The sweet and sour mango sauce and other ingredients come in vacuum-sealed bags. All I had to buy was my choice of protein (salmon and Quorn), one red pepper, fresh coriander and lemon. I added in fish sauce instead salt as well as black pepper for seasoning and taste. I loved the chilli flakes that came with the pack so much that I bought extra. 🙂 I didn’t add all the flakes because otherwise the children and Daddy P wouldn’t have been able to eat it so it was more of a sweet and tangy mango sauce than a spicy one. But that suited our taste buds just right.
I had also originally planned the dish to be made with jasmine rice but we had egg noodles left over from when I was planning to make salmon teriyaki so we used that as a sub instead. I imagine that the dish would’ve been just as delicious with rice but somehow it felt a bit healthier and lighter with soy-tossed egg noodles. Daddy P who was initially sceptical about a fruity and savoury sauce admitted that he enjoyed it. I certainly did and so did the kids and my sister who was over for dinner.
Mister Paste’s sauce packs are literally an all-in-one product. The packs provide you with not only the sauce but the ingredients to go with it (all measured out for you) and comes complete with instructions on how to use it which is quintessentially the recipe on how to make the dish. Any ingredients that may be an allergen are highlighted in bold so you know exactly what goes in it.
I am very thrilled that the company’s vegetarian line has been recognised and accredited with an awarding body. It’s a statement to show everyone that Mister Paste really knows his stuff and can deliver high-quality sauces and pastes to vegetarians, non-vegetarians and those in-between like me! 🙂
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! 🙂