Recipe: Easy Healthy Bolognese

*Disclaimer* This recipe is not vegetarian, however, by removing mince and beef oxo cubes it can easily be a delicious veggie dish.

This recipe is for a large pot, most of which I freeze away for future meals.

Ingredients:

  • Rapeseed oil (you can use other oils but rapeseed oil is the healthiest due to the fact that it has a higher smoke point than most oils: it takes higher temperatures for it to begin to release toxins).
  • 2 white onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 packet less than 5% fat beef mince
  • 2 Beef Oxo cubes
  • 3 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • Tomato puree
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • Basil (fresh or dried)
  • Oregano
  • Paprika 
  • Worcester Sauce (a generous splash)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Peppers (2-3 depending on size)
  • 2 Courgettes
  • 3 carrots

Method:

  • Dice onions (and try not to cry like I did). Oil pan and begin to sweat the onions and brown mince. Once they are somewhat cooked crush and finely chop your garlic and add to pot.
  • Add a beef oxo cube to the mix and stir.
  • Once both onion and garlic have gone mostly clear add 2-3 tins of chopped tomatoes and bring to simmer while beginning to chop your other veg.
  • Once chopped, add your carrots, courgettes and peppers and stir in. Bring back to simmer.

Now time to season this bad bitch:

  • Boil the kettle and prepare some stock by adding a vegetable stock cube to a mug of water and dissolving then add to pot. I often add another veg stock cube straight into the pot for more flavour. Then add a splash (but not too much) of Worcester sauce (this isn’t vital).
  • Add a generous shake of salt and black pepper.
  • Add a tablespoon or oregano, basil (if fresh quite a lot of leaves because they wilt down and they’re just bloody delicious) and paprika and stir in.

At this stage the mix should be looking quite nice. Allow to simmer for ten minutes and then have a taste of the liquid. If it needs more seasoning you’ll know best what to do but I usually add a bit more salt and pepper and maybe a bit more stock if it really needs a kick.

If the mixture is too thin add a generous amount of tomato puree and stir, this will thicken it up. Sometimes I like to keep it thin though, especially if I’m using the sauce to make a lasagna.

Simmer for about another 40 minutes (making sure you stir so that the ingredients don’t stick to the bottom) and it should be ready to serve!

If you try this recipe I hope you enjoy it, I definitely feel better about my life when I add loads of veggies to normal dishes because it’s a yummy way to sneak nutrients into my diet 🙂

Until next time,

J x

 

 

 

Homemade Meringues Recipe

First thing’s first, I know they’re… rustic. I didn’t have a piping bag.

Here’s the bad boys in the oven. I’ve never made meringues before but they were actually super simple to make!

Ingredients

  • 3-4 eggs.
  • 175g of caster sugar (to decrease sugar, substitute some with Stevia).

Recipe

  • Set the oven to 140C.
  • Separate the yolks from the whites of 3-4 eggs depending on the size of them.
  • Whisk the egg whites until they reach soft peaks (this is where you hold the bowl upside down over your head and they don’t fall out all over you, good luck).
  • Add the sugar bit by bit, whisking it in as you go, until you’ve added all the sugar.
  • Lay baking parchment onto a tray.
  • Ideally add mixture into a piping bag and pipe onto tray neatly, if not just spoon the mixture on.
  • Put in oven for roughly an hour, try not to open the oven door but peek through the window to make sure they aren’t burning.
  • Remove and let cool. The meringues are quite soft and delicate when you first remove them from the oven so don’t touch them.
  • Taste great served with berries and cream (or 0% Greek yoghurt for low fat alternative).

 

We cut one open to see if it was cooked through… and then ate it. Hence the missing meringue from this picture. Not used to having to remember to take pictures of things as I do them!

Sweet, golden crispiness. I don’t really bake much so I was quite pleased with them even if they’re not the prettiest meringues. Also, as desserts to, meringues are pretty low calorie (a meringue nest is around 50-60 calories (obviously dependant on size) so I was quite keen to try my hand at making them because I’m dieting at the moment but still have sweet cravings.

 

Until next time,

J x

The Blue Sky Tag

Unfortunately finding a blue sky can be quite hard in Scotland but I looked back through my pictures and found this one from the other day. There’s a bit of blue sky!

I was recently tagged by Mew (click here to visit her blog!) to do the Blue Sky Tag. After reading her post I was excited to answer the questions she set so thanks for tagging me Mew!

THE RULES

1. Thank the person who nominated you
2. Answer their 11 questions
3. Tag 11 people
4. Give them 11 questions to answer

What inspired you to start blogging?

I have started a few blogs in the past but for the most part I either didn’t take them seriously or they just documented my day to day life which, sorry to break it to you past self, no one really cared about. Recently, however, a few of my friends started up blogs so I decided if they could do it why couldn’t I? So here I am.

What are your top 3 favourite songs right now? 

Frank Ocean – Chanel Listen here!

Lorde – Green Light Listen here!

My Chemical Romance – Dead! (throwback) Listen here!

What is your favourite go to outfit? 

My favourite go to outfit, the one I wear when I can’t be bothered thinking through an outfit and just want to be comfortable, would be my black Y Rise Ivy Park Leggings (Topshop, £40). A vest top and my oversized checked shirt which was also from Topshop but a few years ago now. Unfortunately I don’t have a full picture of the outfit, but it is super casual!

What is the last thing you bought?

I recently bought a pair of Chelsea boots for £20 (Link here) and a pair of dungarees for £25 (Link here) from Boohoo.

casual dungrees outfit

Sorry you can’t see the boots very well!

If you had to dye your hair a crazy colour for the rest of your life what would that be?

I’ve thought about this before and if I had to dye my hair an out there colour I would dye it blue/black. Something along the lines of what Jade Thirlwall from Little Mix had a few years ago!

Do you have a favourite fashion designer, illustrator or artist?

Sadly I am not as into art as I would like to be. I like classic Chanel pieces although I could NEVER afford them. In terms of illustrations I was always a big fan of Beatrix Potter’s illustrations (particularly Peter Rabbit). I like some of Banksy’s work and one of my favourite art pieces is Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.

What is your dream job?

At this point I’m not entirely sure but I know I want it to be something to do with writing. Whether that will be journalism or more creative writing I’m not sure at this point. I absolutely love blogging too but it is, of course, just a hobby.

Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter… Which season is your favourite? 

I feel like every time I new season comes along I love that season the most but if I had to pick a favourite it would definitely be autumn. Some of the most beautiful colours appear in autumn and usually the weather is still relatively warm and the evenings quite long. I love everything about autumn, and it’s the season of halloween!

Pineapple on pizza: yes or no?

Unfortunately no, but maybe some day I will come around to it!

Who is your favourite youtuber right now? 

Of the moment, Emma Blackery. I never used to watch her videos but I’ve just found myself clicking on a lot of them recently. I find that she makes videos about topics I’m really interested in at the moment.

Of all time, danisnotonfire. I have nothing more to say.

Have you been good to yourself this week? What did you do to treat yourself? 

I was on a weekend break to Yorkshire earlier this week with my cousin. We ate nice food and drank way too much (whether that’s me being good to myself or bad to myself is up to you).

There you have it! If you read this and would like to do the tag yourself please feel free to!

My eleven questions are:

  1. What are you reading at the moment?
  2. What are some blogs you’re loving at the moment?
  3. What is your favourite place you’ve ever visited?
  4. Do you like spicy food?
  5. What is your favourite album of the moment?
  6. Rate the Harambe meme of 2016 out of ten. Quality meme? Or a shit stain on the face of the internet?
  7. Where would you like to live one day?
  8. Could you recommend us a book?
  9. Subbed or dubbed?
  10. What’s your favourite meal?
  11. What’s your favourite type of weather?

I am going to tag:

Alt-G

IWantToBeAPaperBackWriter

LifeWithLilRed

AHandfulOfPassion

HannaAnanas

JessicaJadeBeauty

Notoriouslaylow

PainfullyFictional

BookDustMagic

WanderLustingDaisy

ImaginaryLea

Thank you for reading and please comment below if you like/want to do this tag.

Until next time,

J x

The Travel Tag

Hello!

I was recently tagged by Mew (her blog is really cool go have a look, https://love-mew.com/) to do the travel tag. It seems like a fun tag and because I love travelling and am going on holiday in a few days I thought now would be the perfect time to write it! Hope you enjoy!

1. What is your favourite place that you have visited?

Prague

Prague, Czech Republic

I went to Prague in August 2014 with some of my friends. This was my first proper holiday (not just down to Glasgow for the weekend) with my friends and it was absolutely amazing. Prague had the perfect mix of restaurants, nightlife, beer gardens and beautiful architecture. It was the perfect place for us to go on holiday at that particular time as well, we’d all just turned 18 so we could drink legally! It was also really cheap out there, you got so much for your money!There were so many cool attractions in Prague like paddle boating on the river…

Prague

Exploring the local attractions…

Prague

and, of course, checking out the famous ice bar!

Prague Ice Bar

2. If you could visit anywhere tomorrow where would you go?

Perhaps it’s a popular choice but it’s been on my bucket list forever, New York City! A few of my friends have been to New York over the years and I am just SO jealous. I want to eat in all the cool cafes in Manhattan, try real New York pizza, go to the top of the Empire State Building and the One World Trade Centre building. I want to visit Liberty Island, Broadway, Central Park, Times Square and the Met. The list could go on, I’d like to spend weeks there to properly explore everything and get the full NY experience!

3. Would you rather go on a city holiday or a beach holiday?

Don’t get me wrong there are awesome things about both beach holidays and city holidays, but for me at the stage of my life I’m in at the moment there’s no doubt in my mind that my answer is city holidays. There are just way too fascinating, culturally rich cities so close by to go see. So far I’ve been to quite a few interesting cities: Prague, Krakow, Paris, Bruges. There are so many more on my list though such as Budapest, Berlin and Rome to name a few.

Krakow Poland

Krakow, Poland

Eiffel Tower Paris

(as I’m sure you all know)
Paris, France

Brugge Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

4. My top 3 holiday essentials are…

SUN CREAM

The worst mistake you can make is going on holiday without sun cream because if you get burned you will remain burnt and flaky for the rest of your trip (should also probably mention the danger you’d be posing to your health)! No one wants to look back on pictures of them on holiday and only be able to think about how red they look, do they? I’ve been there and I cannot stress enough how important sun protection is when you’re away even for a few days.

CAMERA (or any photo taking device)

I know some people aren’t the biggest fans of getting the camera out whenever they’re doing something interesting or cool, but I absolutely love looking back on photographs and remembering what I was doing and how I was feeling that day. I think you can be immersed in the moment and still take a few snaps to look back on later 🙂

A MAP

Of course you can access this pretty much anywhere now on Google Maps, but it’s really important to be able to get your bearings wherever you are. You don’t want to be wandering aimlessly the whole time you’re there, especially if you’re not there long and want to cram in all the local sights! Another thing a map is good for is finding your way back from all the exciting places you’ll be exploring, there’s been more than one occasion where I’ve been pretty stumped as to which cobbled street the hostel I’m staying in is down!

5. Are you an over packer or an under packer?

Unfortunately I have to admit I’m an over packer. I’m always pushing the weight limit on my hold luggage and usually have to take a pair or two of shoes out. I’d be so nervous if I only packed the essentials because I’d be worried there would come a desperate need for that fifth pair of shorts or that moisturiser I never even use. Better safe than sorry!

6. What is your favourite thing about going on holidays?

This one has to be split into two for me. Number one, is exploring new places. I absolutely loved visiting Krakow as it was so rich with history, museums and of course the Jewish Quarter which was incredible to visit. The other would be spending time with whoever I’m with, whether it’s friends or family. Going away on holiday and taking a hiatus from day to day life is the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with those close to you.

Port De Polenca Majorca

Majorca, Spain

7. Would you rather go on holiday with friends or family?

This is a difficult question to answer because I love doing both, however I am at a time in my life at the moment where I am going on holiday with my friends more than with my family so I’d have to say friends for now. I have so many wonderful memories of holidays with my family from growing up through and would love to go on many more holidays with them in the future!

8. What is the most adventurous dish you have ever tried from another country?

I visited Shenzen, China in 2008 and tried quite a few interesting foods while I was out there, but I can’t specifically remember what any of the dishes were! The first thing that pops into my head other than that is when i tried Lobster when I was in Florida (wasn’t such a fan) and when I tried dumplings in Krakow last summer (definitely was a massive fan).

Polish Dumplings

They may not look massively appetising but I can assure you there were DELICIOUS! Me and my good friend Rebecca polished off the whole lot and a bread basket just to ourselves!

9. Who do you want to do this tag?

Anyone who wants to do it. Hearing about and getting travel suggestions from people is great! I don’t know that many bloggers as of yet so I’ll leave it at that for now but everyone is invited to do this tag by me 🙂

Please comment below if you’ve been to any of these places or would like to, and with any suggestions of places you’ve been and loved! I will also be going to Amsterdam on the 29th and will most likely put up a post about it shortly after I arrive back so stick around to give that a read!

Until next time,

J x

The Glasgow Series: Hanoi Bike Shop

I think I’m going to start a little series on my blog called, as the title would suggest, The Glasgow Series. I am somebody who, I’m sure you’ll come to realise, LOVES food. I love cooking, eating, restaurants and all kinds of different cuisines. I also live in Glasgow which has so many amazing cafes, restaurants and bars. So it seems only right that I talk about some of the cool places I’ve gone to eat and perhaps some other places of significance!

The first place I’m going to talk about is the Hanoi Bike Shop on Ruthven Lane. Ruthven Lane is a pretty alleyway just off of the main street Byres Road. With fairy lights, restaurants and even a music shop hidden round corners it’s a super interesting place to have a stroll around! The first place you see when you turn on to the lane is the Hanoi Bike Shop, and it’s also the first thing you’ll smell too!

Contrary to what the name suggests this cute little nook is not somewhere you bring your bike to get fixed, but a vibrant Vietnamese eating extravaganza! I’ve lived in Glasgow for almost two years now and it’s taken me waaay too long to eat here. Seriously, if you’re ever in Glasgow and like Asian food GO EAT HERE!

The atmosphere is buzzing and the restaurant in general is bustling with waiters as it is designed to feel like an authentic Vietnamese street food experience. I personally really enjoyed the atmosphere even though it bordered on a little loud sometimes, I think that’s the way it’s meant to be!

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Onto the food. Me and two friends ordered a noodle soup (or Pho) dish each and a couple of sides to share. This worked out to be plenty for us and, surprisingly for a first try, we enjoyed everything we ordered! The noodle soups worked out at around the £9 mark, which for a main is relatively standard I’d say. Not cheap but not ridiculous!

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(Photo credit goes to Gaby Lemin (Alt-G), she’s awesome go have a wee gander at her blog! https://shutupgab.wordpress.com/ )

As you can see the soups were pretty impressive! They tasted absolutely amazing and honestly I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this place since we went!

Along with the soups we ordered a side of cauliflower and chilli fritters for £5.65 which were honestly TO DIE FOR! If I wasn’t sold on this place already (which i was) those fritters were enough to have me back for more.

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They came with a sweet chilli dip and a bed of salad and honestly, they look good but they tasted out of this world!

We also ordered Kimchi for £2.65 which we all tried and enjoyed but I’d imagine is quite an acquired taste? The great thing about this place is you can try loads of different sides though so I say just go for it!

Potentially the only drawback of the Hanoi Bike Shop that I can think of is the fact that there’s no cutlery on the tables other than chop sticks and a small spoon. Luckily for me I have been taught how to use chopsticks before and managed to work with them but I’d imagine for some there would be the awkward “can I have a fork please?” scenario. No judgement, certainly not from me anyway!

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Well that’s me for this blog post. As you can see I’m VERY enthusiastic about this restaurant. I think partly because most places selling Asian cuisine aren’t very authentic, so this was a really special find to me 🙂 please comment below and let me know if you have any similar places where you live. I’d love to know in case I visit one day!

Until next time,

J x

Click to access HBSmenus-NOV-2016.pdf