Power Balls!

No, I’m not talking about the lottery balls or any other kind of, erm, ball, I’m talking about the kind you pop in your mouth (ok this is not a euphemism you dirty mined people, stop it right now) Power balls are a cool little concoction, made up of dates, nuts, coconut, whatever really, and I caught onto the craze about four years ago when I discovered a recipe on an Australian blog. I made them on and off as it was only me who’d eat them as the Mr remained suspicious. To be fair, it wasn’t the best recipe that I’d found. But now these balls (LOL, sorry) are pretty much a fridge staple, mainly because at the moment I’m trying to eat well and avoid sugary snacks before we start IVF (I wont become an IVF bore, I promise). The kid even eats these too which is pretty cool although occasionally yes, she tells me they’re disgusting so you know, work in progress. Here are two really easy recipes for you to try that literally take less than twenty minutes to put together. I make a batch every other week, so I have a box full in the fridge ready to go.

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Baked Risotto with Butternut Squash & Wild Mushrooms

Now I don’t like to brag, but this is an actual life changing recipe. How many of you have stood at the stove, stirring a risotto for what has felt like an eternity? Boring. I have and because of the eternal stirring and stock adding I’ve stopped making risotto because, well, who has the time? Then I found this recipe in the Waitrose magazine and my life changed FOREVER! Okay not quite, but still it was a pretty exciting time. Who knew you could bake a risotto. Amazing.

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Simple mid-week cooking with a Gousto Box

Chatting to a fellow mum at the nursery gates the other day, we got onto the topic of food and cooking our evening meals. As always, this conversation stemmed from talking about the weather, which we do love to talk about here don’t we. When the leaves start falling, we turn to hearty and wholesome dishes. But if you’re like me, I always tend to cook the same things, beef stew, chicken casserole, lasagne etc, I’m a bit of a sucker for the classics. It was this mum that recommended I try a Gousto box, quoting it as, a ‘bit of a lifesaver’ for her mid-week meals. This sounded right up my street. But who or what exactly are Gousto? Well, it was started by two friends, Timo and James back in 2011 when they founded themselves frustrated by the lack of time to cook in the evening and by the lack of decent supermarket ready meals (sounds familiar). They came up with the idea for recipe boxes, first selling at market stalls before setting up their online service. They source fresh produce from local farms in Lincolnshire, and the majority of ingredients come from the UK. They exclude additives, preservatives and chemicals, opting instead for wholesome, natural goodness and their meat is 100% British. Sounds good eh?

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Easy Chicken Biryani

The colder nights are closing in, it’s time to batten down the hatches and start cooking that comfort food. Over the Summer (yep, that did happen) it was all about delicious salads, whereas now that the seasons have shifted, the leaves are falling and the winter coats are making an appearance, there’s the need for warmer, tummy filling food. I do love a curry, especially if I’m feeling run down with a cold as the added ginger, garlic and spice make me feel like I’m helping kill any germs. I made this dish for the first time a few weeks ago. It’s a super quick,mid week meal to make. It’s a good ‘left-overs’ dish if you’ve cooked a chicken and got a few random veggies in the fridge that need eating, and the added bonus is if you use one of those packets of microwavable rice, you can have this on the table in about 30 minutes. Winner, winner, chicken dinner 😉

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Mango and Tofu salad with satay dressing

I found the amazing Hanna Sillitoe via Google a few months back. This sounds a bit like an online dating thing but it isn’t, I promise. I was dealing with some horrible skin issues and much inter-web searching lead me to her site and her story about how she healed her psoriasis through juicing and completely changing her diet. I got to do a Q&A with her on here and since then, I always check back to her site and social media accounts to look at the recipes she’s created, honestly she makes the most delicious looking food. I discovered her amazing Mango Salad with satay dressing during one search, and it’s proved to be one of the most satisfying mid week meals I’ve had in a long time. It’s really healthy and easy to make, and despite the husbands sad face when he saw there wasn’t any ‘meat’ in this, he loved it too. I’ve tweaked the original recipe slightly when I found the mango I wanted to use was really squishy, I ended up experimenting by baking it, and this worked perfectly. I’ve just had this meal for dinner but it would make an awesome big lunch as well. It’s a proper bowl of happiness for your tummy :)

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