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Tag: cooking

The Easiest Frittata Recipe

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Aside from their significance as a major plot point in the Harrison Ford – Rachel McAdams film, Morning Glory, frittatas are one of those recipes that everyone seems to have their own little twist on. And why not? Their versatility means that even the newest of cooks can make a lovely frittata.

 

What you need:

At least 10 large free-range, organic eggs (the more eggs you use, the denser the frittata will be – no bad thing!)

Vegetables of your choice – I chose 1 cup of collard greens and 1 tomato for my version

Protein of your choice – I used 1 cup of diced chorizo in this recipe, but have also liberally used shredded pork, chicken and beef, as well as many varieties of cheese in the past

Chopped herbs of your choice – I used 1 sprig each of fresh thyme and rosemary

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

Non-stick pan

Oven

 

How to make it:

1.  Break all the eggs into a bowl and beat them together, until all the yolks and whites have combined.

 

2. Add your chopped veg, protein and herbs to the egg mixture and stir until everything is combined.

 

3. Turn on your oven to 175C.

 

4. Add the olive oil to your non-stick pan, making sure that there is a light coating of oil across the pan and turn on the stove to low-medium heat.

 

5. Pour the frittata mixture into the pan, stirring so that all the veg and protein ingredients are evenly distributed. Use the tomatoes to create a nice pattern on the top of the frittata.

 

6. Leave to cook for 5 minutes or until the edges of the frittata start to crisp up.

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7. Remove the pan from the stove (not forgetting to turn it off!) and place it into the warm oven. Let it cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the frittata is firm to the touch and there are no runny areas around the top.

 

8. Remove from the oven. Using a pallet knife or something similar, lift around the edges of the frittata so that it is easy to slide out of the pan, on to a plate.

 

9. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

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Just eat more vegetables.

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People like shortcuts. Maybe it’s a symptom of our modern world, where we can get pretty much anything we want at the touch of a button.

 

Speaking of shortcuts, I’m often asked by friends, family and colleagues about the fastest ways to get healthy / fit / more energy (delete as appropriate).

 

There are two answers I always give, no matter what their underlying symptoms. Then I ask more questions and give a more detailed, tailored response.

 

The first answer is always – get more sleep or go to bed earlier.

 

I’ve talked about the benefits of sleep before – it regulates your metabolism, allows your various organs to repair and heal and allows your brain to process the events of the day. Don’t give into the current masochism around sleep – most people really need at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night to be fully functional.

 

And then my second answer is always – eat more fresh vegetables, especially green leafy ones.

 

I cannot overstate that vegetables are little nutrition powerhouses! Each vegetable has many individual benefits, with its own mix of macronutrients (protein, good fats and complex carbohydrates) and phytonutrients.

 

The greater the variety in your vegetable intake, the more benefit to you. When in doubt, just eat the rainbow!

 

Ideally, everyone would eat at least 7-10 servings of vegetables a day. I know that’s hard, so  you’ll often hear nutritionists, (including me!) say to prioritise cruciferous / brassica vegetables. You know them as broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, kale, brussels sprouts, savoy cabbage, radish, bok choy and watercress.

 

Not only are they high in antioxidants like vitamins A and C, they are also high in folic acid and vitamin K and have a huge amount of minerals such as magnesium and potassium.

 

Cruciferous vegetables are also high in phytonutrients like glucosinolates which support your liver in clearing excess hormones, alcohol, xenoestrogens and environmental chemicals.

 

So, adding a big handful of kale to your morning smoothie after a big night out will help your liver clear the alcohol from your system and make your feel better a bit faster!

 

In a nutshell, adding more cruciferous vegetables into your diet can help you boost your energy levels, support your liver, balance your hormones, support your immune system and feed the good bacteria in your gut!

 

There are lots of ways to add cruciferous vegetables to your diet:

Add a big handful of kale to your morning smoothie

Make a big pot of soup with broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower

Make a big a*s salad with loads of different veggies in it

Grate up some cabbage for a coleslaw

Make a big tray of roasted veg

Steam some asparagus and eat them with hummus as a snack

 

How do you eat your veggies?

 

Get in touch for to book a free, no commitment 20 minute health coaching call to find out more about how you can improve your health & wellbeing and reduce your stress.

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Stories I loved this week.

Happy weekend! I can’t wait to hang out with my husband and son and relax this weekend.  And it’s Bonfire Night on Saturday! We’re going to check out our local Guy Fawkes fireworks display and let J have a few sparklers  – can’t wait!

What are you up to this weekend?

How it feels when your friends have babies. (Refinery 29)

What to eat when you have no idea what to cook. (The Pool)

I learned how to sharpen knives on Leiths knife skills course last year and it has been a revelation for my food prep. (Lucky Peach)

I love this idea of fine dining club for young children and their parents. I was a part of one when I was on maternity leave and it was incredible to be able to try some of the top restaurants in London with my son with me. (Bon Appetit)

The woman is incredible – doing so much, with a little toddler by her side. (Motherly)

How to choose a probiotic that will actually work. (Well + Good)

This is one of the best things I’ve read in a while. (Nplusone)

In case you missed it earlier on the blog…

I made chestnut pancakes and they were sooo good.

I’ve been wondering why we don’t talk about nutritious eating more.

Stories I loved this week.

I’m back in student clinic this weekend and I’m really looking forward to getting hands with clients and turning all of my theoretical knowledge into practice.

What are you up to this weekend?

Yes, there really is something so comforting about great cookery writing. I’m finding myself reading cookbooks before bed more often and tend to return to the ones that tell great stories around each recipe. (The Pool)

Too much social media perfection can definitely affect a new mother’s sanity. I remember more than a few nights of feeling down after scrolling through the Instagram feeds of those ‘perfect’ mothers. Sometimes the only answer is to log out and put the phone away 🙂 (The Guardian)

A great primer on adaptogens. I love maca, cordyceps and ashwaghanda.  (goop)

I (really) want these leggings.

It’s squash and pumpkin season and I’m really hoping not to cut my hands up this year opening them. (Bon Appetit)

What knitting can teach us about parenting. (New York Times)

How great is this macrame plant holder? It’s a bit 70s without being too kitschy.

Things I Love: 13 Ways To Simplify Your Life

I recently had the pleasure of attending a talk with Sarah Wilson, the Australian journalist who has spearheaded the I Quit Sugar movement in Australia. She spoke for an hour about 13 ways to simplify your life. It was a really fun talk with loads of brilliant examples and tips. And I got my copy of Simplicious signed!

 

Here are her tips one by one – enjoy!

1. Stop Eating (So Much) Sugar

This is a no brainer. Sugary food has moved from being a treat that you might have at the weekend, to a must have after every meal. One of the ladies in the audience shared the problem of her son’s nursery offering a sugary dessert after every meal and asked for Sarah’s advice on what to do. My son’s nursery does the same and it drives me nuts. Food habits start early and I definitely don’t want J to be in the habit of expecting something sweet after each meal. Sarah advised the lady in the audience to have an honest chat with her son’s nursery – my experience is that nurseries think it’s normal to give a pudding after every meal so I just ask J’s nursery not to give him any sweet puddings all, that way when he has ice cream or cake with us or at a party, it actually is a treat. Problem solved.

 2. Cook

sarah wilson michael pollen quote

It seems so simple, doesn’t it? Sometimes the very act of cooking with fresh, local and organic ingredients seems almost revolutionary.

3. Ride a Bike and 4. Walk

They’re both cheap, easy and give you the benefit of exercise and the opportunity to take in your surroundings in a different way.  As a Londoner, it’s hard not to walk, whether it’s to and from the tube, doing the nursery pick-up and drop-off  or meandering around the neighbourhood. Sarah raved about Boris bikes and I made a mental note to use them a bit more often – they’re so easy and fun!

5. Slow Cook

I love my slow cooker. It is such a brilliant way to cook, especially knowing that after a long day at work in the winter, you have a warm meal waiting for you. Slow and low, Sarah advised, is the best way to cook. It better preserves micronutrients and phytonutrients and the long cooking time generally means that the food is more flavourful.

 6. Use Less Stuff

Sarah showed an amazing photo of her wearing a ‘Consume Less’ t-shirt when she was explaining this point. She urged us to reuse everything (something she does brilliantly in her latest book, Simplicious), to simplify our wardrobes and to generally not be so bound by the stuff that surrounds us. We’re currently on the cusp of a house move and I can really relate to this point as we’ve prepared the house for viewings. We’ve just got too much stuff.

7. Use Fewer Ingredients

Sarah’s recipes are incredibly straightforward and she’s a great believer in creating a flow of cooking, i.e. start with the foundation items, like stocks, spice blends, which then help with the main meal recipes in her book.

 8. Be A Total Scummy, Daggy Cook

Take doggy bags, buy the wonky veg, reuse everything. Sarah told a story about how she took home the bones from her restaurant meal to make stock – she takes waste not, want not to heart!

9. Have A Warm Root

Sarah is a big advocate of the balancing principles of Ayurveda and talk a lot about kapha, pitta and veda in her first book, which I found really interesting. She believes that  warming foods recreate balance in the body, especially when you’ve had a time of huge excess.

10. Create Your Own Life Boundaries

We get pushed in some many different directions and I know many of us have a very hard time saying no. Sarah talked about the importance creating your own boundaries and sticking to them. I’ve found this to be very true, especially at work. And if I don’t respect my own boundaries of leaving work at 6pm and not answering email after hours, my colleagues and clients surely don’t.

Sarah also urged us to “close some of the tabs in our brains” – which is an apt way of thinking about the incessant multi-tasking we’re all guilty of. Did you know that Brits toggle between devices 21 times an hour! Imagine what that’s doing to our brains!

11. Drop Stuff That Makes You Itch

If it’s not working for you, then drop it. The word no can be one of the most powerful words in your arsenal.

12. Don’t Seek Balance

sarah wilson don't seek balance

Enjoy the things that feel good and that will gradually create balance. I’ve talked a bit about this in the past. There’s no such thing as a fully balanced life and the more we seek balance, the more imbalanced we often become.

13. Get Your Grubby Mitts Off It

Sarah talked about time when she was feeling anxious and her meditation teacher advised her to ‘get her grubby mitts off it’, i.e. take a step back from the situation and get a bit of perspective.

 

Stories I loved this week.

bike in the golden hour

It’s been a bit of daze of working and studying recently. I’ve managed to squeeze a few fun things like seeing Sarah Wilson speak last week and have some lovely dinners with my friends and my boys.

Only a few more weeks of study and I’ll be done for the summer! What are your summer plans?

Science is showing us that depression is an inflammatory condition, not a chemical imbalance as previously thought. It’s amazing that there more information emerging about the importance of the gut microbiome. (Well + Good)

I’m still thinking about the amazing 10% Human. So much fascinating research about the gut microbiome (i.e. the good and bad bacteria in our gut), its effect on our immune system and the connection to so many modern disease like obesity, depression, eczema and diabetes.

Why smoothies are better than juices. It’s about that fibre! (Nutrition Facts)

I really want this amazing summer dress. Y’know, for when summer finally arrives in London. (Finery)

How to poach an egg, including an Australian version. I need to learn this skill this summer! (Bon Appetit)

How restaurants ‘trick’ you into drinking more wine. (Science of Us)

Stories I loved this week.

cretanbeach

Another week goes by and it’s another week that I’m closer to finishing my second year of my nutrition degree. I had my final practical assessments last week, which were nerve wracking and amazing at the same time and my final year exam is on 9th July. Which means that I had better get cracking on the studying!

That’s one of the benefits of the weather not being so great right now in London. I’m not stuck inside poring over books, while everyone is enjoying the sun. Schadenfreude, I know. Once the exams are done, next up is to book another holiday to have something to look forward to. We’re thinking Corsica or Sardinia for somewhere different. Have you been to either?

How Brexit might affect women in Britain.  (Refinery 29 UK)

Speaking of Brexit and BrIN (!), are you registered to vote?  (Gov.UK)

Better ways to use your food processor. (Bon Appetit)

The definitive guide to adaptogens – herbs that protect your body from stress and fatigue. (Well + Good)

Time goes, no matter what you do. I’m covetous of the time I have. I want to make sure I use it more wisely.” A great piece on how we have more time than we think. (New York Times)

Weight loss is a long term process – patience is key. (Greatist)

A great summary of all the things you need to know about poop. (The Science of Us)

A great guide to high heat cooking processes. (goop)

Feeding toddlers.

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Photo by André Robillard

My son is now two and a fully paid up member of the big boy eating club.

After much research, we decided to go with baby led weaning when we were moving him on to solid food. We were fairly relaxed about it as I was planning to breast feed for at least a year and I didn’t want to mess around with purees and spoon feeding. The path of least resistance, as it were.

So what happens now? This article about feeding fussy kids made me pause. Little J definitely isn’t a fussy eater, however… he knows what he likes and what he doesn’t like.

This article sets out five principles to make feeding your child easier.

Keep them guessing: Variety is the spice of life and still hugely important when feeding kids. Consistently exposing children to new food and using the ‘just one bite’ principle, helps to widen their palate and get them (and you!) out of food ruts.

Change the texture: As with the principle above, variation in the way individual food is served helps expose kids to different ways of eating and the mouth feel of food prepared in different ways. Grated sweet potato is very different to sweet potato wedges or sweet potato mash.

Use umami: I am a huge lover of umami and try to incorporate it wherever possible. Kids generally like these complex flavours and we need to move away from the strange notion that kids prefer bland foods.

 

Involve them: I really love sitting my son on the kitchen counter and getting him to add spices to dishes I’m cooking or to watch me chopping some veg up in the hand blender. He gets to be involved in the cooking process, seeing how food is made, smelling the spices and I get some company and stream of cute chatter and questions about the different ingredients. Win / win.

Teach by example: This is a big one. My husband can be a bit of a picky eater himself and I’ve asked him not to complain about not liking certain foods in front of little J. It’s not that I’m trying to create the perfect atmosphere, more like I want J to see both of us trying everything without complaining or whining. The other area I really try to lead on is always sitting down to eat. It’s true that sitting and eating in a restful way is good for the digestive system (parasympathetic / rest & digest mode). It’s also a major pet peeve of mine seeing children and adults alike walking around and eating. Perhaps it’s something I picked up when I lived in Tokyo (this is a huge no no in Japan), but I think it’s a terrible habit and always ask J to sit down when he eats and do the same myself.

There are two more principles I would add to this list.

Plan, plan, plan: A weekly meal planner helps avoid last minute panics about dinner and a big cook up at the weekend makes things even easier.

Relax: Look at your child’s food consumption over the whole day and week. If they don’t eat a lot at a certain meal, they might not be hungry and so they’ll likely eat more at the next meal. One week they might eat like a sparrow and the next week, they might hit a growth spurt and eat like they have hollow legs! Kids pick up our tension, so if you want them to eat, you yourself need to have a relaxed attitude!

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