Chinese Won Tons

Are you bored of seeing diet recipes all throughout January? Yes me too. There is no reason why healthy food can’t be fun and exciting to cook and eat.

If you have some spare time, why not try making some Chinese won tons? If you are having friends over, they will love it! Also, they are surprisingly easy to make so don’t worry.

You will need to buy some Chinese won ton wrappers from a good supermarket, a Chinese supermarket or online. I filled mine with pork mince but you can fill them with anything you want. Here’s what I did.

First of all you have to flavour your pork mince. Remember there is no strict recipe and you can add any flavours you want. To my pork mince, I added chopped garlic, ginger and chilli,  spring onions, sesame oil, chopped carrots, salt and pepper. Simple!

Then add a small amount of pork mince to the middle of the won ton wrapper, dip your finger in water and spread on the edges of the wrapper. Next, fold one corner to the other (diagonally) and then join the bottom two corners together and press firmly.

Now your won tons are ready to cook. You can steam them or fry them, but I did both! So I got a large pan with a lid on a medium heat and added some sesame oil. I placed the won tons in the pan and let the bottoms fry for a minute or two.

Once the bottom is crispy, add a large splash of water to the pan (be careful here) and then quickly put the lid on. This steams the rest on the won ton and you will be left with a crispy bottom and a soft top. Delicious!

Serve with a soy sauce dip and some vegetables. Its absolutely gorgeous, you have to try this! Go on…

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Healthy Carrot Muffins

So you see the word ‘healthy’ before something that is supposed to be a treat, and you automatically think it is going to be horrible right? Wrong! I’ve never tried one of those recipes that replaces every normal ingredient for something exotic and hard to find because I simply can’t be bothered to look for these ingredients. Plus the staff in the supermarkets might think I’m weird if I start asking for agave nectar and egg substitutes.

But I found this recipe for carrot muffins on cookieandkate.com and they are absolutely delicious. Kate uses coconut oil in this recipe instead of butter and sweetens it with maple syrup and the natural sweetness from the carrots and the raisins. It even has yogurt in there!

What I loved about this recipe is that it used ingredients that you are bound to find in most homes. I didn’t have to go searching the aisles for any unusual ingredients and could whip them up really quickly.

It’s also great to give to children (or hungry husbands) and you don’t have to feel too guilty about it. Now I am all for a treat now and again, but I seem to crave it too often so this is a great alternative. Plus they taste really good!

Click on the link above to see the recipe and give them a try. You won’t be disappointed!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Happy new year all 🙂 As we get into January, all I seem to see is diet adverts, documentaries, books and more. Diet, diet, diet…boring! Let’s be honest, they don’t last long. Why not just eat a healthy balanced diet throughout the year and have a treat every so often, or in my case more often that not. Whoops.

Anyway I am not one for dieting, I just like to eat well and have a biscuit with my tea when I feel like it. So here is my recipe for butternut squash soup, something that is perfect for lunch and is full of goodness.

I simply roasted a butternut squash in the oven with a couple of red onions for about an hour. I don’t bother peeling the butternut squash because surely it has lots of goodness in it, why get rid of it? Besides who has the time to peel giant veg. I also scraped out the seeds and roasted them with some paprika, it was delicious! No waste 😉

I then fried some garlic and rosemary in a large pot and added the roasted veg. After this, I added a vegetable stock cube and covered the veg with boiling water. Next, I added a small handful of rice to the pot, this gives the soup a creamy taste without having to add cream. You can add a splash of cream if you want it and it will be heavenly, but I am trying to watch the calories where I can. Season the soup, blend and you are done! Easy as that. Lovely.

Why not give it a try?

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Blueberries…a tasty topping!

We all know that blueberries are super healthy for us, but I have to admit I don’t eat them enough. They can be a bit expensive but I do think are worth it. I bought some recently and they are like tiny bullets of sweetness. Delicious!

Of course, the baker in me wanted to cover these blueberries with batter to make muffins or whip up a batch of blueberry pancakes smothered in maple syrup. But there was a tiny voice inside me screaming about how my hips didn’t need it. So I pimped my breakfast instead. Yes I know you are disappointed in me.

Just a handful of blueberries on top of your morning porridge or granola can really give it a lift. I had some homemade granola, topped with blueberries and natural yoghurt. I could have added some honey but didn’t want the sugar content to go through the roof. It was fresh and yummy.

I get bored of eating porridge every day so I am always looking for ways to mix it up. I also like to freeze the blueberries and when you bite into them they certainly wake you up! What do you guys have for breakfast? Let me know!

Thanks for reading and check out my portfolio at www.jbimagery.co.uk

Blueberries and granola w

Blueberries new shoot w

 

Bored of the same lunch? Try something new…

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked at my boring sandwich or same old salad for lunch and thought, surely I can eat something else? Especially in the winter, I long for something warm that won’t make me feel sleepy all afternoon.

So today I decided to make leek and potato soup, and it was very satisfying. I didn’t add any cream (even though I really wanted to!) because as a weekday lunch I didn’t want it to be full of calories . All I did was fry a medium sized chopped onion, two garlic cloves, 2 sliced leeks and one small sliced potato in some olive oil. I let them sweat down a little bit and then added some chicken stock. I boiled it until the potato was cooked through and then added a splash of semi-skimmed milk, seasoned with salt and pepper and blitz until smooth. I also added some fresh parsley to give the soup a bit of a lift.

I think soup is a great idea for lunch, you can make a batch on the weekend and then freeze into individual portions for the week and off you go. I’m not a fan of those packet soups because who knows what is in them and they taste a bit watery to me. I like to know that I am getting some real veg in me. And there are so many different combinations you could try, such as sweet potato and carrot soup or tomato and red pepper soup. What flavours do you like?

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Leek and potato soup w

Herbs! Glorious herbs!

So I have recently started growing my own herbs in the garden (and when I say this I mean my mother in law is looking after them for me. I can’t even look after dried flowers) and I’ve been using them in my cooking more and more. I never realised just how much of a difference it makes using fresh herbs!

I’m slightly obsessed with basil and tend to put my face in the plant and just inhale the beautiful fresh smell. I use herbs wherever I can. Today I simply grilled some bread and topped it with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato and basil. And oh my god the basil tasted amazing on top!

This evening I decided to try and make a salsa verde with a mix of herbs and dijon mustard, vinegar, gherkins and olive oil. I also put a splash of boiling water in it to make it a bit loose, rather than adding litres of olive oil and bumping up the calories. I had this with grilled salmon and the flavours definitely woke me up!

I would really recommend growing your own herbs on your windowsill or in your garden if you can, it’s much less expensive than buying them every time. They really liven up your cooking and enhance your food to another level! Fresh herbs…I am impressed.

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Herbs Salsa verde