Easter Rocky Road

As a little treat for one of the girls at work I decided to ‘bake’ a little  something for her. As I didn’t have too much time, I needed something that could be easy and quick to make but also super delicious. I thought rocky road would be an instant winner and not going to lie, it went down incredibly well with the work teamies.
One of the joys of rocky road is that there’s no real set recipe so it meant that I could add an all manner of delicious ingredients that caught my eye in the shop, such as mini eggs, hence the name.


Ingredients

450g Dark Chocolate (70% or more)

100g Mini Marshmallows

300g Chocolate Digestive Biscuits

2 Mini Meringues

100g Mini Eggs

3 Tbsp Golden Syrup

125g Softened Butter

Icing Sugar (For Dusting)


Method

1. Line a large dish with cling film, ready for the mixture to the poured straight into. This will make it easier to get the bars out of the dish once set.

2. In a large saucepan melt the butter, chocolate and golden syrup over a medium heat ensuring that the chocolate doesn’t burn, stirring regularly.

3. Place the chocolate biscuits into a food bag, and break them down so you have a selection of crumbs and larger biscuits bits.

4. Once all the chocolate is melted, turn down onto a very low heat, add the biscuits to the chocolate and mixed until well incorporated. 

5. Add in the mini eggs and crumble the meringues into the saucepan, mix together then add the mini marshmallows (if you add them earlier then they can start to melt quite a lot). 

6. Give the mixture a final stir to ensure everything is evenly distributed then pour it into the pre-prepared dish, smoothing it down with the spatula.

7. Place in the fridge to cool, after a couple of hours you can run a knife through the mixture where you want the bars to be to make it easier to cut once it’s completely cooled. 

8. Leave to completely set, preferably overnight, cut into bars and dust with icing sugar.


Nutritional Information

Serves 16

Calories:  354

Protein: 3.1g

Carbohydrates: 37.0g

Of which is sugars: 26.8g

Fibre: 0.8g

Fat: 21.2g

Of which is saturated: 12.6g

Clean Eating Alice – Butternut squash and feta frittata

​One of my favourite things about Christmas, is getting into my new cookbooks and learning some new recipes. I got a number of different types of cookbooks for Christmas, from a bit of hummingbird bakery to vegan cookbooks and one that I was most looking forward to was ‘The Body Bible’.  After a brief flick through all of them to just get a bit of inspiration for this weeks lunches, I stumbled upon this butternut squash and feta frittata and I was sold. 


It’s been perfect this week for being back at work fully and getting back on the wagon. I’ll admit, I’ve had to tweak the method slightly as I don’t have a pan that I can use on the hob and in the oven, but it was still delightful and super easy to make.
Ingredients

1 Butternut Squash (roughly 400-500g)

1 Red Onion

2 Red Chillies

150g Feta Cheese

6 Eggs

1 Garlic Clove

2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 Tbsp Cider Vingear

Method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°c

2. Chop the butternut squash into chunks and finely chop the onions. In a pan, heat half the coconut oil then add the chopped vegetables. Leave for roughly 10 minutes stirring occassionally so it doesn’t stick.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the crushed garlic clove, vinegar and finely chopped red chillies.  Once the squash is starting to soften, add the mixture to the pan.

4. Take a oven proof casserole dish and the rest of the coconut oil, place in the oven for a couple of minutes to melt, then remove and ensure the sides and bottom are well coated to avoid it sticking.

5. Once everything in the pan is all mixed, add it to the oven proof dish. 

6. Beat the eggs together then pour over the vegetable mixture.

7. Crumble on the feta and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes depending on your oven, until the mixture no longer wobbles in the middle.

8. Leave to cool and it should come away from the sides without needing to force it and cut into portions.


Nutritional Information

Serves 5

Calories: 221

Protein: 12.7g

Carbohydrates: 16.9g 

Of which is sugars: 4.3g

Fibre: 2.4g

Fat: 12.6g

Of whichis saturated: 6.3g

Gluten Free Vegan Lentil Chilli

​As the British Summer that never began has now come to a close, I’ve started swapping my salads for stews and chia puddings for chocolate quinoa (recipe to come). What I love most about this type of weather is that it’s so easy to batch cook for the week ahead which for someone like me is perfect, if I don’t have all my meals planned and usually prepared then I end up all off track and before I know it I’ve eaten a whole bag of granola bars in one sitting. But when I get planning, boy, do I plan.


So, all ready to get the saucepans out, I’ve also been experimenting with some more vegan dishes and there are just so many recipes out there to try that suit this brief! I was getting some inspiration on pinterest and stumbled upon this little beauty from littlebroken.com that has made the last couple of days at work when it’s wet and windy.
Ingredients

450g Red Lentils

1 Onion

1 Red Pepper

2 Tins of Tomatoes

950ml Vegetable Stock (gluten free if necessary)

4 cloves Garlic

4 tsp Chilli (mild or hot depending on your preference)

1 tbsp mixed herbs

2 tbsp Preferred Oil (I went with coconut)

Handful fresh Parsley


Method

1. Finely chop the onion and add to a saucepan pan with the melted oil on medium heat, once they start to brown add in the crushed garlic cloves and chopped red pepper and cook for another of minutes. 

2. Add in the chilli powder and herbs then stir in, incorporate the lentils and once all coated add the tomatoes and stock.

3. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for around 50 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

4. Take half the mixture and pulse in a food processor until smooth then add back into the original mixture.

5. Top off with a bit of chopped parsley and serve.


Nutritional Information

Serves 7

Calories: 293

Protein: 17.9g

Carbohydrates: 32.4g

Of which is sugars: 8.1g

Fibre: 10.9g

Fat: 7.5g

Of which is saturated: 3.8g

​Gluten free and gluten full cheese and pancetta muffins

I have to start with some apologises, it has been far too long since I last updated you all, but everything has just got a bit on top of me since starting a new job and getting into some new routines. But, never fear, I think I’m getting there!
As mentioned in my previous post I mentioned that I had made numerous things to take into work to suit all tastes and dietary requirements. I have made these muffins a couple of times and attempted to make them gluten free but they didn’t really work, so unlike the peanut butter cookies, I didn’t have the  confidence to only make them gluten free just in case the same thing happened again. Luckily, they didn’t, previously they were far too dry, crumbly and just had a really unpleasant aftertaste which the gluten full ones definitely didn’t have. So you can guarantee that when I was taste testing these I was hyper critical. This time, I was rather impressed that I couldn’t really tell the difference between them and I was happy to take them into work. They went down really well! I am determined to help change the way some people view gluten free baking which means I’m really picky about which recipes I take into work, so I’m happy to have a savoury option to take in. 

Ingredients

1 Pack Lean Pancetta

1 Cup Grated Mature Cheddar

1 Cup Whole Milk

1 Cup Gluten Flour

1 Cup Gluten Free Flour

2 Tbsp. Salted Butter

1 Tbsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

1 Tsp. Salt

½ Tsp. Xantham Gum

2 Eggs


Method

1. In a frying pan, cook the pancetta lardons until cooked through then leave to one side to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to  175°c and grease 12 muffin tins/cases.

3. Over a medium heat, melt all the butter then allow to cool to room temperature.

4. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together, then add the butter, cheese and  bacon lardons and divide the mixture into 2 separate bowls. Ready for the gluten and gluten free versions.

5. In a separate bowl combine the flour and half of the baking powder, salt and sugar. Add this to one set of the bacon mixture.

6. In a fresh bowl, mix the gluten free flour, xantham gum and remaining baking powder, sugar and salt then add to the second bacon mixture. With this mixture if it begins to look a lot thicker/drier than the gluten version just add a bit more milk to ensure the mixture doesn’t get too dry once baked.

7. Spoon the mixture into your prepared tins (I use a different type so it’s easy to remember which are which), only fill them about 2/3 full to give them room to rise.

8. Bake for roughly 20 minutes or until they begin brown.

9. Leave to  cool on a wire rack then enjoy!

Nutritional information

Serves 12

Calories: 209

Protein: 9.3g

Carbohydrates: 18.7g

Of which is sugars: 1.4g

Fibre: 0.8g

Fat: 10.6g

Of which is saturated: 6.0g

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies

​With everything going on more recently, it’s been ages since I did any baking to take into work.  But being as I’m changing jobs I thought it was about time I got my mid-week bake back on. I’m glad I did as I got spoilt rotten by the people at work and I’m not even moving that far away! 

I decided to  make a couple of different things as there are some people who prefer savoury over sweet and some people who are gluten free. 

I’ll share all the recipes but today I thought I’d start with my favourite which is a tweak to the hummingbird bakery recipe to make some gluten free peanut butter cookies. These went down a storm with both gluten full and gluten free folk and out of a batch of 28 that was made, I only came away with 2 bring home. Which I naturally polished off as I couldn’t have them sitting in the cupboard, that would have been nothing short of blasphemy. 
These are pretty straight forward to make, they just take awhile for me as I can only fit 1 baking  tray in my oven at one time, so it takes me a lifetime to bake them all, but they are worth it.

Ingredients

340g Gluten Free Flour

225g Salted Butter

240g Peanut Butter (this time used smooth but crunchy adds amazing texture)

80g Dark Chocolate (chopped)

200g Caster Sugar

200g Light Brown Sugar

2 Eggs

2 ½ Tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

½ Xantham Gum

½ Tsp Salt

½ Tsp Vanilla Extract

Method

1. Preheat the oven to175°c. In an electric mixer, whisk together the butter with both sugars until light and fluffy.

2. Turn the mixer down slightly and add the eggs one at time.

3. Once fully incorporated add in the flour, gum, salt, baking powder and vanilla extract and mix together then add in the peanut butter and chocolate chunks and thoroughly mix again.

4. On some prepared baking trays put a good dollop of the mix, ensure there is enough space between them when they spread out on the tray, depending on which tray I use I can either fit 5 or 6 per tray.

5. Put in the oven for 10 minutes until they start to spread out and go slightly brown but they should still look a bit soft in the middle as this will keep them gooey and soft. Leave them on the tray to cool, if you transfer them to a wire rack as this point they will fall apart.

6. Once cooled and set, enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Calories: 201

Protein: 3.3g

Carbohydrates:  22.5g

Of which is sugars: 13.4g

Fibre:  0.7g

Fat: 10.7g

Of which is saturated: 4.8g

Bounty Overnight Oats

​It may already have become apparent but breakfast is probably my favourite meal of the day. It’s the one I spend the most time thinking about and prepping for the week ahead. 

This week, I decided to incorporate some inspiration from one of my favourite chocolate bars. A good ol’ Bounty bar. And mix it with one of my favourite breakfasts, overnight oats. And voila! Here’s my bounty overnight oats. It so simple and you can make a weeks worth (well 5 days) of breakfast at once so it’s super easy to stay on track for the rest of week when all you have to do is grab the tub out of the fridge and trundle off to work.
Ingredients

500ml Hazelnut Milk

1 Cup Rolled Oats (Gluten Free if needed)

450g Natural Yoghurt

¼ Cup of Shredded Coconut

6 Tbsp. Chia Seeds

6 Tbsp. Cacao Powder 
Toppings – amount added per each serving

50g Frozen Raspberries

10g Shredded Coconut

5g Cacao Nibs

Method

1. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients, (excluding toppings) coconut, oats, chia seeds and cacao powder.

2. Add the hazelnut milk in bits, stirring as you go to avoid getting lumps of cacao powder.

3. Once all the milk is added, add the natural yoghurt and thoroughly mix together.

4. Leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours then dish up into 5 servings.

5. I add the frozen raspberries in at this point as I like the juice to go into the oats as they defrost. If you don’t like raspberries, you can add some maple syrup as it can be a bit bitter if you’re not careful!

6. Leave in the fridge overnight until required.

7. I also pre portion out the additional coconut and cacao nibs in a separate tub and then add them just before eating so they keep a bit of crunch!

Nutritional information

(includes toppings)

Calories: 371

Protein: 12g

Carbohydrates: 33g

Of which is sugars:  16g

Fibre: 12g

Fat: 21g

Of which is saturated: 13g

Time to start running…

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Apologises about the radio silence recently, I’ve been busy with work but most importantly I’ve been on holiday in Rome.

It was amazing, I only went for 4 nights but we did so much, it’s such a beautiful city. As a complete history nerd, particularly when it comes to ancient history, I loved it. Especially because of all the ruins and replicators of Geek statues, I knew they had some but wasn’t expecting so much of it and in such good condition.

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It was just wonderful and that’s not to even mention the food. Ah, the food! it was divine. I ate so much, but you know what they say when in Rome…. I had to try real pizza and gelato. It would have been criminal not to. I just fear it’s ruined having ice cream and pizza back home for me now. We did so much walking as well, it’s quite a small city (I was initially thinking it would be as far spread as London, but how wrong I was) so we walked everywhere, most days it was around 8/9 miles, frankly I’m not surprised I ended up starving every day.

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But before we went I had so much happening at work, that things just got a bit behind, however, I’m back now. Things are still hectic at work, but I’m going to ensure I keep on top of everything (fingers crossed!)

Anyway, back home and back to a slight shock realisation. Just before my holiday I signed up for a 10k. I kept thinking, if I’m not careful, it’ll be a resolution i keep putting off and then have to do it in October when it’s starting to get cold and wet and that really isn’t what I want to do. So I’m doing it round Chatsworth in Derbyshire, which is a gorgeous stately home and just beautiful (slightly hilly) gardens.

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This is on the 1st May, which is less than 90 days away. Eek! I went for a run on Saturday to get back into it following in from my holiday but this is the only workout I’ve done all week. Work has been ramping up a bit slightly and I’m starting to slightly regret the timing of everything, but I do find running in the evening helps to clear my head after a long day at work, I just don’t feel comfortable running in the dark at night so try to go before sunset (well before dark as you normally have about 10/20 minutes from official sunset before it goes dark). I’ve also said that I’d help fundraise for the charity that put the event on as I thought that would help ensure I stick to it and don’t end up thinking ‘Oh I haven’t been able to train for it, so I just won’t go’. I don’t really have a target in mind at the moment, but I thinking anything would be amazing.

The link to my just giving page is here If you wanted to donate that would be wonderful, anything would be greatly appreciated!

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But I just wanted to give an update and didn’t want anything thinking I’ve just given or forgotten, that is not the case at all! I’m also starting to decide on my new recipes to try at the weekend so there will be a new post to follow shortly, promise!