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    Saturday, 28 February 2015

    PROTEIN POUCH - ALL THE GAINS

    For the most part, I try to follow a high protein, low carb diet. I love carbs, but they always make me feel sluggish and bloated and I find that by minimising the amount I consume, I have increased energy. When I’m being particularly strict with myself, my Sundays are spent steaming chicken and veg and  separating it all out into tupperware to see me through the week. I find this ‘meal prep’ approach really useful and it helps me keep on track with my diet, but it requires a LOT of organisation and often I find I don’t have time to stand over the stove waiting for a load of chicken breasts to cook!

    Whilst on Twitter one day, I saw someone RT a post from a company called Protein Pouch and when I clicked through to the page, I saw that they had the answer to my Sunday meal-prep woes! They sell pre-prepared chicken and veg in handy portion sized packaging so that all you need to do is de-frost and eat – literally meaning you can have nutritious meals in a quarter of the time! 

    I ordered a selection of chicken and vegetables which were delivered by a chilled courier to my work address. As the products come frozen you need to ensure you will be at home, so I opted to have them delivered to work so I could put them straight in the freezer before transporting home via the tube - gaining many stares from my fellow commuters! 
    Protein Pouch Chicken
    Protein Pouch Chicken
    Protein Pouch Chicken
    All the chicken is flash frozen in individual portions, after being slowly steamed to lock in all the nutrients. This means each breast fillet can be used one at a time, and you don't get that in annoying situation where you have to chisel apart three chicken breasts which have become welded together in the freezer! I was really impressed by the quality of the food, the chicken breasts are all a good size and the carrot/parsnip mash was really well seasoned – something I hadn’t been expecting!

    In total, I paid just shy of £50 for my box which was packed with 2.5kg (approx. 19 portions) chicken breasts, brocolli, asparagus, carrot & parsnip and sweet potato - which is incredibly good value compared to the same haul from the supermarket. I’m really pleased with my delivery, it’s halved the time I spend preparing meals and it’s kept me on the straight and narrow with hitting my protein intake each day. I definitely recommend you give them a try
    http://www.protein-pouch.co.uk/  

    Thursday, 26 February 2015

    THE CAPE, BEACONSFIELD

    My mum lives just outside London in a place called Beaconsfield, it's a really gorgeous old town and it's filled with little cafes and restaurants which we like to explore when i visit her for a catch-up. One of our favourite places is a South African cafe called The Cape Grand Cafe & Restaurant which serves locally sourced fresh South African cuisine with French and Italian influences. I love coming here for breakfast but they also do some really nice salads for lunch and bigger meals at dinner time. If you're ever local to Beaconsfield make sure you pop in and try the 'Cape Town' breakfast - poached eggs with bacon, rocket and tomatos on seed bread - delicious! 
    The Cape Beaconsfield
    The Cape Beaconsfield
    The Cape Beaconsfield
    The Cape Beaconsfield
    Poached Eggs Bacon
    Eggs Royale

    6 Station Rd, Beaconsfield HP9 2PB
    The Cape Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

    Wednesday, 25 February 2015

    GUILT FREE PUDDING

    i've always had a sweet tooth and i often find myself craving a pudding in the evening but in my quest to eat healthier, calorie laden desserts aren't really on the agenda. One of my go-to dishes when the sweet cravings start is stewed fruit - it's so quick to make and it's also a healthier choice! My favourite combination is to cook chopped apple in a little coconut oil (i use Lucy bee's which is delicious), add a sprinkling of cinnamon and a handful of berries - usually blackberries, blueberries and raspberries! Sultanas also work great! Once it's all reduced into a nice soft texture, pop it in a bowl and sit down and enjoy - guilt free pud! 

    Bramley Apple Summer Fruits
     Bramley Apples

    Cooking Apples Fruit

    Stewed Apples

    Monday, 23 February 2015

    GUILT FREE PANCAKES

    One of the first bloggers to inspire me to start writing myself was Rose at The Londoner - i love her recipes and the 'anti-diet' lifestyle which she embraces. I recently saw her post up a recipe for 'guilt-free' pancakes and I've been dying to try them out ever since. I literally can't believe how easy they are - or how nice! The recipe calls simply for you to mash up 2 bananas, add an egg along with a pinch of baking powder and a pinch of cinnamon. Fry in the pan as you would a normal pancake, flip and then serve with blueberries and honey (or you can be naughty and have bacon or chocolate chips!). It really is as easy as that - and they are as fluffy and delicious as your regular ones. Make sure you give them a try! 
    Banana Pancakes
    Flourless Pancakes
    Guilt Free Pancakes
    Banana Pancakes

    Sunday, 22 February 2015

    GOUSTO RECIPE DELIVERY - REVIEW

    I've heard a lot about recipe subscription services lately so I decided to give one of them, Gousto, a try to see what the fuss is all about. The way it works is that you choose three recipes from a selection and they send out all the ingredients to make them at home along with your step-by-step instructions. The thing i like best, is that they send you EVERYTHING - all the herb, spices, sauces, meat, veg - everything you need! I chose chicken schnitzel, jerk chicken and a pork tray bake and was so impressed with how tasty all the dishes were and how straight-forward the recipes are. I rarely scratch-cook so it was really eye-opening to see how quick you can knock something up with just a few ingredients. It's also really encouraged me to be braver with my recipe choices, i would never imagine being able to cook jerk chicken at home but this has shown me how simple it can be!

    Chicken Schnitzel:
    Chicken Schnitzel Gousto
    Chicken Schnitzel
    Chicken Schnitzel
    Potato Salad
    Chicken Schnitzel

    Jerk Chicken:


    All three of the recipes which I was sent in my box were delicious and really simple to make. I highly recommend Gousto, i've signed up to continue receiving boxes and if you'd like to give them a try use my code LAURE40458  to get £25 off your first box!

    Saturday, 21 February 2015

    OFFICE SNACKING - YU HEALTHY FRUIT SNACKS

    I’m always on the look-out for the perfect 4pm pick me up to nibble at my desk and i think I’ve found a new contender for my favourite. YU! Healthy snacks are little fruit chews which come in flavours such as cute strawberry fruit hearts and yoghurt coated apples pieces. I'm a sucker for branding so I loved the packaging – all black with a pop of colour depending on the flavour of the fruit which I think is a nice touch. More importantly though, they taste really nice - my favourite was the raspberry mini chews followed by the yoghurt covered mango! As each bag has less than 100 calories they are a perfect afternoon treat and the handy size means you can throw a bag in your hand-bag to have on the move! 
    Yu Fruit
     Yu Fruit

    Yu Fruit

    Yu! Fruit Snacks* can be purchased from Tesco and are priced at 5 packs for £2.

    Friday, 20 February 2015

    VINOPOLIS - WINE TASTING

    To celebrate valentine’s day this year, the boy & I went to Vinopolis near Borough Market for an afternoon of wine tasting. If you’ve never been to Vinopolis , it’s essentially a huge event space which is set up with 8 tasting and educational zones where you can wander around at your own leisure sampling different wines at the  various self-service cabinets. 

    When you arrive, you’re given a little card which is loaded with what I like to call your ‘booze money’ – credits which you redeem in exchange for glasses of wine (some are as little as 1 credit whereas some can be up to 3 or  4). You also get a 15 minute introduction at the beginning of your session where you learn how to detect the age, aromas and flavours of a wine and how to taste like a pro – sniff, swirl and slurp!   

    We had a lot of fun walking around the different rooms which had loads of interesting pointers and trivia about wine on the walls and of course we had a lot of fun drinking the different wines! I only tend to drink white wine so I tried to branch out and try a red, a rose and some dessert wines and found a  muscatel dessert wine was my absolute favourite – so much so I bought a bottle to take home!

    Included in our Valentine’s package was a ‘Framboise Fizz’ – similar to a Kir royale, a cheese and charcuterie board and a bottle of Prosecco – so it’s safe to say we stumbled home a little merry! 


    Vinopolis Wine Tasting 
    Vinopolis Wine Tasting

    Vinopolis Wine Tasting

    Vinopolis Wine Tasting

    Vinopolis Wine Tasting

    Vinopolis Wine Tasting

    Vinopolis Wine Tasting

    Vinopolis Wine Tasting

    Wine Tasting Cheese and Meat

    Sadly Vinopolis is closing down at the end of this year, so get down there whilst you still can! As it’s right around the corner to Borough Market, it’s a great way to spending a Saturday afternoon before trying the food from the stalls in the market!

    1 Bank End, London SE1 9BU

    Thursday, 19 February 2015

    SUNDAY BRUNCH - FLESH & BUNS

    A boozy Sunday brunch has long been a New York institution but slowly its making its way across the pond. I love a good 'sunday session' - you really can't get a better Sunday than an afternoon of eating,  drinking and catching up with friends in London and I've now found the perfect place to do it.
    Flesh & Buns Sunday Brunch
     Over in Covent Garden, the people behind Bone Daddies have really hit the nail on the head with Flesh & Buns and their Sunday Brunch offer. For £39/46 you get to choose unlimited small dishes from their set menu (the more expensive option gives you access to both menus),  a choice of 'flesh & buns' for your main course and dessert - plus unlimited red/wine wine or prosecco.
    Flesh & Buns Sunday Brunch
    Flesh & Buns Sunday Brunch

    Being the fine (read: greedy) eaters we are, Tom & I went for the £46 option so we could sample as many dishes on the menu as possible. ‘CHIPS & DIPS’ came up first – like a Japanese nachos! Rice crackers served with avocado shiso (like a guacamole) and a tomato jalapeno relish followed by a bowl of miso soup each. 
    Flesh & Buns Sunday Brunch Fried salt and pepper squid – addictive and probably my favourite dish….
    Flesh & Buns Squid
     Soon softshell crab, spicy tuna rolls, California rolls and edamame appeared….
    Flesh & Buns Sushi

    The Korean fried wings (delicious) and chicken yakitori (didn’t really do it for me) were eaten before I even got a chance to photograph them! By this time, my waistline was bulging and I was getting a bit tipsy from the Prosecco! The waitors whirl around you topping your glass up constantly and you’re welcome to reload the dishes as many times as you like – but bear in mind you still have two more courses to come! Once we'd admitted defeat our 'flesh and buns were brought over'
    Flesh & Buns Sunday Brunch Pork Buns
     Pork belly being my favourite dish, I went for the piglet belly with mustard miso sauce and pickled apple – oh, my god.
    Flesh & Buns Pork Belly
     Look at those buns! It was like eating a meaty cloud….
    Flesh & Buns Pork Belly Buns
    Top tip, save room for pudding (easier said than done)….DIY SMORES! Complete with your own little fire….
    Flesh & Buns Smores
    Flesh & Buns Smores
     I had such a fun afternoon – the food is incredible, the atmosphere is relaxed and lively and it’s brilliant value for money! Get yourself down there, you’ll love it!
      


    41 Earlham St

    London

    WC2H 9LX