Another recipe post today. Starring Salmon Pâté (and Quark)

Now before you ask Quark is a type of fresh dairy product made by warming soured milk. Yes it sounds a little gross, but mixed in with something else, it’s a brilliant low fat alternative for cheese. Perfect for making into dips and Pate. I learnt about quark from Slimming World instagrammers. They appeared to be using it for creamy pasta, or lasagne. I found a recipe for salmon pate and thought I would give it a go. And it is A-OKAY. Recipe below.

This is a really simple recipe, good as a spread on Ryvitas or toast for lunch, in a sandwich or as a dip with crudités. Perfect.

Healthy Salmon Pâté (using Quark)

Put in your trolley 

(Makes 2-4 servings.)

200g skinless and boneless salmon

200g quark

Good pinch of dried chilli flakes or other spicy seasoning

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped parsley or coriander (optional)

salt and ground black pepper to taste

Step One

Cook the salmon in the oven at 200c. Should only take 15 ish minutes but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t overcook. Nothing worse than over cooked salmon. Allow to cook and then chop up into the same sized chunks.

Step Two

I tend to put all of the ingredients in the blender to make a smooth mixture. But you could mash up with a fork if you prefer something a little coarser. Either way, add all the ingredients into the blender and then blend until the preferred consistency. Check to adjust the seasoning and then blend again.

Numbers (if you’re bothered.)

This works out at about 150cals a portion. You can double or triple it if you want to take to work one day, or could use different fish to add different flavours. I’ve added capers before to add saltiness and red pepper also!

Recommended Reading

I recommend reading All the missing girls by Megan Miranda – a creepy, claustrophobic but brilliant book. 

Healthy Salmon Pâté (using Quark)

Healthy Salmon Pâté (using Quark)

Welcome to another week commencing.

This week has been a good one. Before Christmas I felt ready and raring to go. January it just disappeared. That get up and go fell between my fingers. I blamed the weather and the dark mornings and nights but it was a combo. Work has been a little tough recently and my weight plateaued. But recently I’ve felt the fog clearing. I even managed to go to the gym three days in a row this week. Hasn’t happened in months. But here’s a look at my week commencing Mar 20. (Plus there is a cheeky cover reveal at the bottom so keep reading!)

Dressing for my size.

If you’ve followed me on Twitter/Instagram you might have picked up that I recently lost quite a bit of weight. Almost 28 lbs. When you’ve spent the last 12 months attempting to hide your body in over-sized jumpers, sweatshirts and leggings it takes a while to re-group. As I lost weight, and my body slimmed my wardrobe didn’t. This Monday I pulled open several drawers and snatched out three dresses I had once loved. They all fitted. Two better than they had when they were bought. It’s been a week of re-discovery, and happiness. Every time I look in the mirror I feel just so much bladdy better. Before anyone tells me, your size shouldn’t re-define you. I KNOW. But, the Lizzy I saw for 12 months didn’t define me. The Lizzy I see staring back is the one I want to define.

Nice to have you back babe.

Week Commencing Mar 20: My Trainers

Yorkshire Provender Cauliflower Cheese Soup

This stuff is honestly LIT. I saw it on offer in Waitrose when I was VV hungover. I wanted a soup that felt like a hug and this just hit the spot. Creamy, not too high in calories and with the addition of kale it was honestly fantastic and just what I needed. I want to re-create this when I have a spare minute.#

Week Commencing Mar 20: Cauliflower Cheese Soup

Zyliss Hot Mug Cafetiere

T bought me one of these a couple of weeks ago but I hadn’t got round to using it. It is really fab. If you’re the kind of person that likes nice coffee but doesn’t want to spend a fortune a week forking out on Starbucks spend £6. Pick up this gorgeous cafetiere style mug and sip away. FULL post to come soon.

Week Commencing Mar 20: Coffee Mug

Do something that scares you

I bloody hate that phrase. Who really wants to do something that scares them? This week saying that I’ve been completely out of my comfort zone. Filming, photographing and interview ing students it’s been intense. Two days full of multiple shoots it was a lot of fun but mentally exhausting. Sayin’ that, can’t wait to do it again.

Week Commencing Mar 20: My Feet

But keep to you

I was invited out to food a number of times this week and although I don’t want to say I missed out – I didn’t want to mess up all the progress I had made. I want to press the point that I don’t stop myself from having fun because of food. Sometimes you just have to align it with your goals. Been to the gym four times in a row, don’t feel like chomping down on 2,000 cals worth of burgers. Then don’t.

Week Commencing Mar 20: Brekkie Crumpets

A Time to Die (Cover Reveal!)

Jonas Lee has a new cover reveal! (And it is G O R G E O U S.)

Jonas is a fantastic author and I have had the chance to read/review a number of his books and they are wonderful. Full of action, mystery all set in a fantastical setting. Well worth a look. I’ve included a blurb, author bio and links so go check it out. (Please.)

AMAZON

GOODREADS 

Carter Gabel saved his own life, and rescued his city from destruction. But, after the Pirates forced him into hiding, he spent years holed up in Crighton, city of ghosts.  Just as he thinks the world has forgotten him, a knock on the door interrupts his life and as he opens it, his next journey begins. An unexpected foe waits for him at the end to challenge everything he knows and all that his future holds. What must Carter do to survive? And what does he sacrifice to become a legend?

Author Bio:

Writing out of the Black Hills of South Dakota, Jonas likes coming up with new and creative worlds that speak to the plausible while remaining believable. With a fist-full of peanut M&Ms and a cup of coffee, he has written three novels about a snarky, supernatural teen able to time travel and more.

Beyond writing, Jonas has a gift for useless knowledge through watching trivia shows and a love for cinematic adventures. Music fuels his writing and you can see him with at least one earbud in every day.

That’s been my week – how was yours? 

This month I’ve been cooking up a storm. I’m a firm believer that cooking/eating and reading go hand in hand. But, I realise and have realised over the years that this isn’t a view shared by all. Not that that’s going to stop me.

2017 might be all about slow cooking for me. It makes the flat smell divine, it’s bloody cheap and you can make a mountain of food. Plus, there’s something about noshing something slow cooked until it’s a meaty bowl of deliciousness and tucking into a good book.

I knocked up this jerk chicken soup last week and god. It smelt fantastic. T is a vegetarian but he’s convinced me to make it without the chicken and then add it in once he’s had a massive bowlful. We’ll see.

(It might not be quite authentic jerk chicken but it still tastes delicious.)

Souper Jerk (sorta) Chicken Soup

Put in your trolley

(Makes 7 servings.) 

8 chicken drumsticks (Only picked because they were reduced. Use chicken breasts if you so wish.)

3 cans of plum tomatoes (These were also on offer – chopped also work perfectly.)

250 grms of potato

1 large white onion

250 grms of carrots

Jerk Seasoning 2 (big) tbsp

180 grms of peas (Might have used tinned peas – I know I’m a monster.)

Knorr stock pot (Used an out of date one accidentally. If I die – blame the stock.)

2 tbsp black peppercorns (I bought the wrong pepper I wasn’t looking – still worked fine)

Bread and Tzatziki to serve.

As you can see food shopping is difficult for me.

Step 1

Chop the onions and brown in small saucepan. Chop carrots/potatoes into small chunks. Throw in the slow cooker. Add onions and plum tomatoes. Click the slow cooker onto high.

Step 2

Add chicken to the slow cooker and mix thoroughly (cooks better this way.) Add the peas and water from the tin. (If you use frozen peas fill a tin from the chopped toms with water and add.) Add jerk seasoning and pepper to your liking. I’ve added my measurements.

Souper Jerk (sorta) Chicken Soup

Step 3

Make up the stock – need around 600ml. Add to the slow cooker. Leave for as many hours as you can allow, but would recommend 6. Take out chicken and chill. Blend the soup to your liking. I really pureed mine but I like a smoother soup. You could leave it chunkier.

Step 4

Once the chicken has cooled use fingers/forks to pull the meat from the bones. Add to the soup and stir through. Wait till chicken has warmed to serve – add tzatziki and bread. Or transfer to an airtight container and heat up when needed. Should last 4 days in the refrigerator.

Numbers (if you’re bothered.)

This made (once finished) makes 3.1kg of soup. Which when divided by 7 is around 450grms of soup. Per serving this works out to 295 calories. Add the bread and a spoonful of tzatziki and it’s the perfect lunch/dinner option. Will keep you full and tastes fantastic. It also works out at around a £1 a serving (add a little more for the bread and tzatziki)

Souper Jerk (sorta) Chicken Soup

Book Recommendations

My recommendation for reading whilst eating this soup is Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. It tackles race, privilege, prejudice, race, justice and compassion with intelligence and empathy. Perfect match.

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Helllllo readers, today’s review is really special because it comes from an author who sits very close to my heart. A lovely lady I have known since I first started blogging and when she asked if I would read this book, not a fantasy tale I jumped at the chance. It’s always really lovely to be asked to continue reviewing books for an author especially with such a jump in terms of genre. A lovely little review and a book you should go and get hold of a copy now. (yes, now)

Lexie Greene has always had such a pretty face.

Unfortunately, that’s where it seemed to stop. She’s grown up hearing her Mother constantly remind her that she needs to lose weight. And twenty-two-year-old Lexie knows she’s overweight.

With her younger sister’s wedding on the horizon and a crush to stalk on Facebook, Lexie’s had enough. She gives up her constant daydreams about food and joins a dieting group. As the pounds melt away at the gym, she finds that life on the other side of junk food isn’t what she thought.

Bon Bons to Yoga Pants is an inspirational hit about a girl coming to terms with herself, and her past, all while navigating a world of food and fitness.

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As the blurb suggests the book follows the utterly darling Lexie and her struggle with mother and sister over her weight. She knows they’re right she just doesn’t want to combat it, just yet. With a wedding coming up and the potential dating game about to step up a mark Lexie wants to shift those pounds. Joining a diet group and trying to stop herself dreaming of doughnuts we read along as Lexie struggles to come to terms with her eating, her family, her feelings of loss from the death of her father and her want to please Bradley it’s going to be a hard pill to swallow.

Gah, so many things in this book resonated with me. I’ve always been a little on the chubby side, dieting a little and then falling off the dieting wagon and I also have struggled with my family and their ‘fatist’ way. My Grandmother, whilst on the day of my graduation, stated ‘I don’t think you’ve put on a little bit of weight, I think you’ve put rather a lot of weight on,’ whilst passing me a mack-off chocolate cake. Soul destroying but I get it. I found Lexie utterly wonderful, she knows she a bit on the big side and it’s eating away at her confidence and her family aren’t helping in the slightest.

In terms of characters each are really well developed; Lexie is determined and strong willed but she’s also emotional, struggling with her identity and her grief. Rachelle is a confident best-friend and I thought her and Lexie contrasted wonderfully although I would have liked to have seen more of her. Supporting characters Mira, Pat and Bitsy are all really well developed to give the story more weight and Bradley sounds like the perfect mix between American lad and English gentleman. Gah dreamboat.

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The writing is strong and well-written as with everything I’ve read from Katie. There is enough description, dialogue and also character build up throughout out. I liked the interweaving of the stories although it would have been nice to see more into the lives of Rachelle and Lexie’s sister McKenzie. I know that this is a novella but I really wanted to see more into their stories. I thought the book as a whole was very good at helping quash the demons that sometimes tell us we’re not good enough. It feel very heart-warming but also self-loving which I thought was a lovely touch and ‘effing swan addition/movement and links were a brilliant thing to include.

My only wobble was I thought there could have been more struggles between Lexie and Bradley and their relationship and her striving to lose the weight. It did feel as though the stories was partly disconnected and could have been linked. At the start it really was linked to the worries Lexie hadabout meeting him but as the story continues for me it was a little too sweet?

Overall a lovely little tale to while away the afternoon; I thought the romance was a little sugary sweet but that’s just me and I often have these wobbles with more romance books but the characters are strong, Lexie was just brilliant and I want to read more from Miss Cross in this genre. Yes please very much.

Linnnnnks

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