Thursday, 27 October 2016

What I Eat in a Day

Hi again!! Now this might be quite a boring post or you might be thinking TMI when reading but I am literally obsessed with watching these videos on YouTube and reading posts just like this. I think they are great for getting meal inspiration and great easy ideas for meals and meal plans. This day that I have documented is just a normal day for me, not very healthy and not very unhealthy, just normal and easy. So let's get started, I hope you enjoy and get some foodie inspiration.


Full fat natural yoghurt, Banana and honey, Coffee and Water
This is my favourite breakfast at the moment, a good big dollop of FULL FAT natural yoghurt, I love Yeo Valley Organic or Onken Biopot. You will notice I have highlighted the fact that it is full fat, the low fat stuff is horrible and not very good for you, there's usually lots of sugar added. Natural Yoghurt is great for getting your good bacteria. I top this with a sliced banana and a good drizzle of honey, and that's it very quick, simple and easy. I also have a big cup of coffee and a big glass of water, I couldn't get through the morning without my coffee. As you will see I really struggle with breakfast, I always find something I like and stick with it until I move unto something else and have that religiously! I am getting better and have a great recipe for French toast and pancakes that I add in to the mix but usually on a Sunday (ha! i'm trying to get a Sunday tradition going).

Sausage, Bean and Pasta Stew, Apple and Water
Okay so for lunch I had leftovers from dinner the night before (very glam). As a rule I always make enough dinner for 4 (there's only 2 of us) this just means I always have something healthy, filling and free for my husband and I to take to work the next day for lunch ( although sometimes this backfires and we have been known to eat the whole thing, ooops). This is a new recipe I tried, and boy was it tasty. It was so easy to make, was about 4 of my 5a day and packed a punch flavour wise. Here's a very basic overview of the recipe
-fry 2 onions, 2 carrots and 6-8 sausages in some olive oil in a pan for about 20mins making sure that the sausages get some colour on the skin (this adds loads of flavour).
-Crush in 3 garlic cloves and fry for another minute then add in a tin of tomatoes and some chicken stock, simmer for another 10mins. Add the pasta (whatever you have on hand, we used macaroni but some whole wheat penne would be nice too). Cook for packet instructions.
-add in your beans (again whatever you have) and add in some frozen peas. Top with cheese and that's you done. Yum yum!
2 Home-made salted caramel melt in the middle cookies and a coffee
Now, the good stuff! Ha! Anyone who knows me knows that I HAVE to have chocolate in some form every day, i'm actually addicted. I have been trying to work on this and wean myself off sooo much chocolate and I can now survive with only 1 chocolate treat a day, yay me! So, todays treat was these cookies which are so yummy and perfect with a cup of coffee. The recipe is an adapted recipe from the October Tesco Magazine. On a side note this magazine is free from Tesco and has amazing recipes in it, great for those who are just starting out in baking and cooking and don't want to spend loads of money on recipe books. The cookies are the perfect mix of crunchy and soft in the middle and are jam packed with chocolate chips and nuts. Just writing about them is making me want to bake some more! (see, ADDICTED!).
Pea and Feta Pearl Barley Risotto
You may not have heard of using pearl barley in a risotto before but let me just tell you it is amazing and SO MUCH cheaper than traditional Arborio risotto rice. It works just like risotto rice, it's soft but with a bit of a bite and soaks up flavour amazingly well. Pearl barley is also so much easier to cook, none of this standing by the pot stirring and ladling like your life depended on it, you just add your stock and leave to simmer until it's done, ta-da! If you needed any more encouragement it is also very good for you, it's high in fibre and protein which is great for a vegetarian meal. It's such a great grain and is a perfect store cupboard ingredient. When you add salty feta and sweet peas with a hint of lemon and mint into the mix this is a very scrumptious dish and pretty healthy too. I got this recipe from the October issue of Good Food magazine and it has loads of amazing recipes using pearl barley on their website, go on give it a go! Gone are the days of it just floating about in a veggie soup in primary school (this was why it took me so long to try it, yuck!).
That's it! That's my first what I eat in a day done, I hope you enjoyed it and maybe picked up some tips along the way. If you have any suggestions for yummy quick breakfasts, please do share, i'm always looking for inspiration.
Thanks for reading! All this talking about food has made me hungry, I've got to go and get another one of those cookies. Bye!
Rachael xo

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

5 Tips for Grocery Shopping on a Budget


Hi all!! So whether you are absolutely skint like me (saving for a first home can do that to a person) or you just want a little extra cash in your purse at the end of the week for another holiday or some very expensive skincare (oops! guilty), I've got my five top tips for grocery shopping on a budget to share with you today. Now this might be quite boring and 'grown up' but its the kind of thing I'm always reading. I'm always looking for more tips and fresh ideas so if you have any pearls of wisdom please do share them with me in the comments, I'd love to hear them. So let's get down to the nitty gritty.

- tip number one is to make a list. Now this might seem like an obvious one but I take it up a notch. I start my list at the beginning of the week and add anything to it that I run out of as and when it happens. Then on the day I do my grocery shopping I add in all my regular items that I buy every week (eggs, milk, bla bla bla) and I make a meal plan (big spoiler this is the next top tip) and add all the ingredients to my list. Therefore I have a list that compiles everything I could need for the week ahead.

-tip number two as I have already given away is MEAL PLAN!! This is a biggie and I have found that it has really helped cut down on our weekly food bill. When I say meal plan I mean detail each evening meal that you will have each night of the week. When I do my meal plan I look through recipe books and pick the meals that I want to cook, I check my cupboards to see what I need and I write this down on my list to make sure that I do not duplicate buy anything. In my meal plan I reference the page number of the recipe and also how long it takes just so I can plan my day better. I also will pick one or two meals that are mainly freezer/ store cupboard ingredients so that if we are feeling spontaneous and want to go out we can have that meal the next week ( for this read if we get sick of healthy food and want a greasy takeaway). If you want I can do a more detailed post on this as I have become quite the expert, if I do say so myself, and I can share my wisdom with y'all.

-tip three is to shop online. let me just say that supermarkets make me CRAZY, I get so angry, I definitely suffer from road rage in supermarkets with a trolley. It's much safer for all involved if I just shop from the comfort of my own home. It is so much easier to shop online, you don't get tempted to buy any random stuff you don't need and you can compare prices without feeling someone is going to run you over with a trolley because you are spending too long looking at frozen peas ( I admit, that's me, sorry). The big bonus is it's free depending on which slot you choose to pick it up, I shop online and collect it from store all ready to go. So if you're supermarket does this I definitely recommend it.

- tip four is to go meat free a couple of nights a week. I would typically have meat about 3 nights and the rest would be vegetarian. This really cuts cost and it makes you a little bit more adventurous in the kitchen. I do feel like we need to eat less meat as a nation and  not every meal has to be centred around a big piece of meat, vegetables are tasty too and you have to be more creative with them as you can't rely on the meat to bring the flavour. Leading on from this I would highly recommend going to a butcher for your meat. It takes a while to find THE ONE but once you know, you know. We have found our ONE and she is amazing. A butcher is the best place to get your meat from, they know where it has come from, they know how to cook it, how to store it and can suggest alternatives if needed. The meat is usually better quality and cheaper than in a supermarket as well, yay!

Image may contain: food

(This is an example vegetarian meal that I made that was super scrummy, spinach, squash, feta and fennel galette. Mmmmm, so good!)

- tip five is to use your freezer. This might sound a bit obvious but your freezer really is your friend. Frozen vegetables are amazing for adding to meals to bulk them out and adding a bit more nutrition when needed and they can be pretty cheap. My faves are frozen peas, sweetcorn, broad beans, peppers, spinach, broccoli and cauliflower. Using your freezer can also mean batch cooking, like making a big pot of soup and freezing some portions for a lunch one day or freezing leftover wine in small bags to add in to cooking at a later date (ha! there's never much wine left over at our house).

Okay so there you have it, my five top tips on grocery shopping on a budget. I did have many more and it was very difficult to narrow them down to five. If you want the rest some time- give me a wee comment. I must be the weirdest person who enjoys budgeting. I hope you enjoyed this post. I am definitely hoping to be blogging a lot more and I have some great ideas for this space. I am so happy to be back.

Talk soon and happy budgeting,