I’ve been using the Campbell’s Breakfast Box regularly over the last few weeks. It’s been a really great inspiration for me. During the week of pancake day I made herby haggis sausage pancakes. They were delectable. This week I was really, really craving them. So, guess what I made.

You can use any sausages that you have hanging around but I found that these herby haggis sausages worked perfectly. With the vegetables, you could use whatever you find in your fridge. I used mushrooms and peppers because they were on offer. You could also use vegetarian sausages (T asked me to write that.)

Herby Haggis Sausage Pancakes

Put in your trolley

100g plain flour

1 large egg

300ml Soy milk

Low Cal cooking spray 

300g Campbells Herby Haggis Sausages 

400g of courgettes 

100g of mushrooms 

100g Chopped tomatoes with garlic/chilli/basil 

2 birdseye chillis

1tbsp Jerk Seasoning 

Step One

Take off the sausage casing and roughly chop. Fry in a saucepan with the mushrooms. Once browned/soft add the chopped tomatoes and chilli. Keep on a low heat and although to cook through. Add in a tbsp of jerk seasoning to add extra seasoning. I cooked mine until it was quite thick, but I’ll leave the consistency up to you.

Step Two

Sift the flour and add the salt. Put in a nutri-bullet/blender and add the egg and milk. Heat the low cal spray in a frying pan, pour the batter into the pan until it thinly coats the base. Cook over a medium heat for 30 seconds to a minute. Then flip! I made two and then popped the mixture on top but make as many as you like. Oh, and remember, keep a few for sweet pancakes.

Step Three

Once cooked – fill the pancakes with the mixture and devour. Sprinkle on feta if you so wish.

Numbers (If you’re bothered.)

These ended up being super healthy. If you still to the above it comes to under 400 cals and will keep you full till the evening. Nothing worse than getting up at 2am to munch on Malteasers. You could also add lots more vegetables; sweetcorn, peppers, peas. Think of this as a great way to use up things in your vegetable draw.

Recommended Reading

I’m going to suggest The Fire Within by Chris D’Lacey. I love this book so much and I’ve found recently reading books that bring back childhood memories really help to get rid of reading blocks. You can see my review of The Fire Within here. 

Herby Haggis Sausage Pancakes

Herby Haggis Sausage Pancakes

I guess I should point out 2017 isn’t over so it’s not QUITE over. So I haven’t failed the Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017 yet.

Goodreads is something I use very rarely. I’m not sure whether it’s because of the clunky format, or because I don’t like rating books. It’s just not pivotal to my reading life/experience. However, this year I decided to try and read 100 books using Goodreads to document my books. Quite a tough number – and by May, almost half way through the year I’ve read 17.  Or maybe 18. But nowhere near the 50 I should be getting towards. At first I panicked, however, today it feels pretty good. Here’s why.

I’m reading more ‘difficult’ books

I guess difficult might be the wrong word. Basically, I’ve been reading quite intense books and it’s been harder to get through them. I’ve borrowed T’s Miklos Nyiszli’s ‘Auschwitz A Doctor’s Eyewitness Account.’ As you can imagine the writing is incredibly intense, difficult to read and v v emotional. It’s been best to read it in small chunks, but I’ll get there. (Review to come soon.)

I’ve joined a book club!

This probably shouldn’t be an excuse but I joined a lovely group of ladies and we read a book a month and then discuss over wine/gin/beer. (Also if you’re in Greenwich you should definitely come and say hi. First Wednesday of the month – Greenwich Union Pub, 7.30.) Anyway, the books we’ve read so far have been quite long and I’ve been writing questions, and notes so it’s taken longer to read the book. Saying that, I’m finding I’m doing it with all my books – which is a good thing.

I’ve started writing again

Well journalling mostly but writing as well. Although blogging is wonderful I’ve wanted to note down some bits but not online. Although it’s only a V small part of my day it’s eaten into my reading time. But, it’s a lot of fun so I’m going to keep it up. I might just fit the reading in before bed. Which brings us to the next point.

Sleep

I’ve started using a sleep cycle app and it’s basically said most of the sleep I get is crap. If it’s not crap, it’s just not enough. Which is a double whammy for Lizzy. I’ve also fallen asleep on the sofa a couple of nights last week and that’s a triple nope. So I’ve been going  up to bed earlier and sleeping earlier.  Seeing that a lot of my reading happens before bed it’s another cut in my reading time. But my sleep is definitely improving.

I’m watching too much Netflix

This is probably the main problem. Sue me.

(Also if you haven’t watched it yet – 3% is really good.)

You can follow my Goodreads Reading Challenge 2017 here. 

I love slow-cooking. Throw a load of ingredients in a pot and leave for 7 hours – end up with a very good meal.

However, not EVERYTHING works in slow cooker form. I’ve made soups that haven’t been quite flavoursome enough and a pasta dish that tasted like mush. (I ended up getting stuck in London and it over-cooked.) So, having a book to come back to is very helpful. What did I think of The Slow Cooker Solution? Read on to find out.

The Slow Cooker Solution (Go slow and eat well.)

Blurb

The great advantage of a slow cooker is that you can set it and forget it. Throw the ingredients in, leave them to cook and then return home to a delicious meal.

Slow cookers are also economical to run, can be packed with vegetables and also suit less expensive cuts of meat. The deep-flavoured dishes can be created with your favourite vegetables. From carrots and turnips to kale and cauliflower. As well as healthy beans and grains. What is more, when you just don’t want to cook you won’t have to resort to a fast-food fix because they’ll be a tasty meal waiting for you at home.

My Review

I was actually bought this book and a slow cooker when I moved to London. Since then I have used it weekly and the book almost as much. First thing – the book has both English and American measurements. So helpful. Cup sizes are easy to google but it’s nice to have both. All the ingredients have been easy to find which is a plus.

The book has 6 sections. The introduction (full of really helpful tips) nourish, load and leave, comfort, global and wow factor. I love that the sections are so diverse. The wow factor section is a lot more complicated but perfect for dinner parties. The wild mushroom lasagne (in the slow-cooker) is a revelation. I’ve used the load and leave section a lot more – but there’s something for every cook.

Many of the recipes I tend to create just require the slow cooker. With this book even the load and leave recipes sometimes require a little more. For example the boston beans need to be boiled first and onions fried. It’s to produce the best results and flavor but it’s something to note. The book does include calorie counts. Some are very reasonable but I know there are corners that could be cut if you wanted to make the recipes more low-cal. (Which I have done.)

What I really like, is how this book has stretched my knowledge of what you can cook in a slow-cooker. The cavolo nero, goats cheese and sun dried tomato frittata for example. Or the strawberry cheese-cake, it’s quite exciting to be able to use the slow cooker for more that soups/stews.

Favourite recipes include pork with stuffed apples and new clam chowder. Both are wonderful.

Final Thoughts

This book is fantastic for newbie slow-cooker chefs or more experienced home-cooks. I loved how this book stretched my repertoire. It’s made me a better cook and helped me get more out of my slow-cooker.

The Slow Cooker Solution (Go slow and eat well.)

The Slow Cooker Solution (Go slow and eat well.)

The Slow Cooker Solution (Go slow and eat well.)

 

I love Tzatziki,

Shit didn’t I say this two weeks ago.

MY insistence on eating the same thing. Or a tweak on something I like A LOT is becoming apparent on MLBB. I love to read food blogs, but some days I think HOW. How did you have the time to make 7 individual dishes that week.

I use My Fitness Pal most days and each of those days tends to be a take on the day before. Breakfast might have an egg included one day, the next I might hard boil it and have it with lunch. It’s good to mix it up.

This week I wanted tzatziki chicken for breakfast, but I wanted an egg also. So that’s what I did. Some days I might have pasta/pizza/cake for breakfast. That day I will share it with you. Today I used my tzatziki recipe to make a good bladdy breakfast and I’m going to share it with you. (Relatable AF.)

Tzatziki Chicken Scramble

Put in your trolley

50g Greek yogurt

50g  mayo

cucumber, grated (about 2 inches long)

lemon wedge (ready to be squeezed.)

3 sprigs fresh dill, chopped

garlic powder (if you have any hanging about.)

salt and black pepper, freshly cracked

Two Chicken Thighs         

To Serve

Two Eggs (Do I need to tell you – free range.)

Two slices of toast (I use weight watchers because two slices equals one regular slice. I can’t tell you what it will do to your insides though.)

20g of red onion

Birdseye chillies

Crushed Garlic

Hot Sauce

PRE RECIPE NOTE: I recommend making the tzatziki chicken before and keeping in the fridge and then using when you so fancy. IE the pitta’s I made or a breakfast recipe! The recipe above is a guesstimation of how much I make at a time for two but it might be wrong so don’t hate me!

Step One

Pre-heat the oven to 200C and pop in the thighs. Bake for 20 minutes then check by slicing open/slide in a skewer. You could use deli meat instead or pre-cooked chicken but I keep these in the freezer most of the time. Take out the oven, chill and shred.

Step Two

Once again I have included measurements for the Greek yogurt/mayo but I tend to double/triple the recipe and use it all week. But you could just make one serving. Today I’ve used a good 50g of each. Once you’ve added them together, grate the cucumber into the bowl and squeeze in a lemon wedge. Add the chopped dill and a sprinkling of the garlic powder, salt and pepper. Do this to your personal taste.

Step Three

So this is where we stray from my chicken pitta recipe. Mix the chicken and the tzatziki and set aside. Chop up the birdseye chilli, and the garlic and gently fry in a pan. Add onion and fry for another couple of minutes. Add  a big dollop of the tzatziki and chicken mix and keep the heat gentle.

 Step Four

Due to being V lazy I just cracked the egg straight into the pan and then stirred with a wooden spoon. If you’re not lazy you could mix in a cup and then add. Stir until the egg cooks into the mess in the sauce pan. Pop in the bread to toast. Whip of the eggs thirty seconds or so before they are done and dollop onto the toast and add hot sauce.

Numbers if you’re bothered

This comes to a perfect 270ish calories. If you’re looking for a hearty recipe you could double it and still be in line for a very healthy day. Or you could just add another egg. This recipe is quite protein heavy so it will definitely keep you full till lunch.

Recommended Reading

I recommend reading – The Big Sur by Jack Kerouach. I’m just getting through it and it’s brilliant. GO read, it’s classic.

 Tzatziki Chicken Scramble

Tzatziki Chicken Scramble

I love to cook. Like really like to cook.

But I also want to look after my weight/health, so tend to buy cookbooks that reflect this. I go home every couple of weeks and one trip back I unearthed this book. I don’t know a lot about Nadia Sawalha (I think she was once in Eastenders.) However, the book is wonderful and a brilliant tool for cooking delicious recipes that are healthier for you. Thumbs up.

Blurb

Nadia Sawalha has always loved cooking, but until recently rarely ate her own food. Like a lot of women, whilst her family tucked in to delicious dishes, she nibbled on diet food. Later, ravenously hungry, she binged, somehow convincing herself that the calories didn’t count if nobody saw her eating them. Two years ago, after decades of fluctuating weight, she decided enough was enough: She wasn’t going to start a new diet tomorrow. She wasn’t going to start a new diet ever again. She was going to eat normal meals with her family and, most importantly, she was going to do so for the rest of her life.

Since then, Nadia has lost and kept off 3 1/2 stone, by simply throwing away the diet books. Instead she shaved off the hidden calories, all without anyone noticing. A little less oil here, a different cut of meat there; brown rice instead of white, more herbs, spices and colour; and a dessert every day! The result is ‘The Greedy Girl’s Diet’, which is packed with more than 100 delicious recipes, and Nadia’s invaluable tips and advice on how to achieve a slim, fit and healthy body.

My Review

I was skeptical about this book to begin with. Celebrity diet books often tend to be suspect. But I really like Nadia’s approach. The book begins with a very down to earth explanation of how she’s lost and kept off the weight. Many of the feelings and habits she described hit home for me. I have been the lazy girl who lived of low cal ready meals or takeaways in front of the box. Yo-yoing between weight-loss and gain. This book encourages you to re-think your eating habits and re-align your goals with your personal life. No, we won’t lose 2 stone in two weeks – but you might in a year. The book focuses on giving us fuel through food but making it tasty. (And moving around too.)

It seems obvious but Nadia makes your foodie favourites better for you. Mac and cheese for 400 cals  portion just by upping the strength of the cheese and using semi-skimmed milk. Or creamy scrambled egg – just stir in light cream cheese instead of nobs of butter. Very few of the recipes have tens of ingredients making the recipes super easy to make. The book details breakfasts (Lazy Weekends, Breakfast on the run) lunches, (soup glorious soup, ladies who lunch, spectacular sandwiches) dinners, (yummy mummy, dinner for two) and desserts. Yes it’s a little tongue in cheek but Nadia’s down to earth, friendly descriptions of the recipes make it feel genuine.  Oh and all the nutritional information is listed, making it very accessible.

 

My favourite recipes include the creamy advocado soup, salad nicoise sandwiches and the tandori chicken. But, the desserts are also fantastic. Coffee and walnut cake, chocolate cheesecake and mousse pots all feature. Nadia doesn’t make you cut things out she just makes very simple but clever changes. Changes that you and your family won’t notice but your waitstline will.

Final Thoughts

In terms of delivery, the images are beautiful but there could be more of them. Secondly the recipe don’t have a complete cooking time (which would be helpful.) Saying this, the book is fantastic for those attempting lose a little weight but not lose their favourite recipes. I think it’s wonderful.