Sunday 8 January 2017

LITTLE GEMS: Getting back into the swing of things! Healthy Baking, Victor's & Red Chilli

It's the first week back to 'normal' and what a week it has been! I've not worked too much as I've still been recovering from the flu, but I'm looking forwards to the next few weeks when I can sink back into my routine again. They say you should start as you mean to go on and so I did. First week back and I'm in Victors for lunch. Aaaaah... I love routine :)

Super tasty crispy asparagus

Salt and Pepper Black Cod Rolls

Love me a bit of vegetable tempura too!

I was very lucky to receive a few 'I am well' drinks from a very generous client this week. These are fab! All you do is add a teaspoon or so to a cup of hot water and drink! I added a little bit of manuka honey too - I swear these sort me out when I'm feeling under the weather - You can get them from The Garden, plus they are really tasty!

Comfort food this week in the form of gluten free spaghetti, peas, beans and rocket. I cover it with a fresh basil dressing and I swear this is heaven in a bowl!

My fur baby - Cat picture of the week :) 

I was craving Chinese food on Saturday night and so we ventured out into town. This is my fav Chinese restaurant at the moment. Red Chilli on Oxford Road in Manchester. I love the food here, it's a little bit more spicy than the usual Canton style and I love that. We had the spicy mixed 'fungus' (basically mixed mushrooms!), the fried fish and tung choi. Seriously hit the spot - I adore this so much :)

I also experimented a little on Saturday afternoon doing some baking. I want to start baking again as I feel like I've gotten out of it a bit. I love cooking and baking, but I found that I was struggling to eat what I had made as a lot of it contained sugar. I had a play around with recipes and was so so happy when they worked... WELL! Above are my plant based cookies. They are banana and chocolate chip cookies made with coconut oil and coconut sugar so although they still are not 'healthy', they are far better for you than the ones filled with caster sugar and butter. Plus a lot better for you than the ones from a packet in the supermarket! They tasted so good in fact that I ended up eating four when they came out of the oven. Yes, you heard me! FOUR! ha ha!

I also experimented with a lemon Madeira cake too. I used a blend of coconut oil and my 'Pure' vegetable spread instead of butter and also coconut sugar. I also made it gluten free using the Dove Farm flour. This is so tasty, I thought it might not be as nice but actually it was. I think next time I will sprinkle it with some normal brown demerera sugar to give it that crunchy top, but other than that, it was a big success! Happy days!

Sunday morning breakfast! Veggie sausage barm! It feels so naughty eating these but actually, they are not soo bad really. I use the Cauldron sausages which are divine! They are not completely vegan, but I don't mind. They taste so good and have waaay less saturated fat so I'm happy. Plus I served them on a brioche bun which took it to a whole new level! Sooo yum!!

Finally, we went for a big Sunday Roast at The Bulls Head in Hale Barns. I love the roast here, you get plenty and it's pretty good. I always have the nut roast and I swear it is my fav one. I've tried so many but always come back to this place for the nut roast. I even used to have it when I ate meat!

Hubs went for the beef which was really tender as well. To be fair it was quite late in the day so I thought it might be a bit dry. It can be a risk sometimes having a roast mid-late afternoon as it's not always as fresh as it is around 12:30-1pm but this still tasted good!

How was your first week back? Are you getting back into the swing of things yet? It's so funny, when I go away on holiday I always fall back into my routine like I've never been away, but for some reason, after Xmas it's like my brain goes like jelly!
I'm so looking forwards to 2017 too, got so many things planned and I can't wait to get them all in motion! I hope your start to 2017 has been a good one!

Thanks so much for reading,

Big love,

Em x


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