Roasted Chickpeas

Roasted Chickpeas

A delicious little snack you can keep with you on the go.

Ingredients:
1 tin of chickpeas
2 tbsp garam masala (or your seasoning of choice)

Method:
Dry the chickpeas by rolling them between two pieces of kitchen roll. Place on a baking tray, sprinkle with your seasoning of choice and roast for 40 minutes on a medium heat. Keep an eye on them as they can quickly go from nicely roasted to full-on burnt (I learnt the hard way – literally, they were rock solid).

Keeping it clean: Feta, Pine Nut & Lemon Pasta

Feta, lemon pasta

This lunch recipe includes two of my favourite ingredients; cheese and pasta. They don’t normally feature in my clean eating regime so when they do I like to take full advantage of it and have them together. I make sure I weigh out my portions to keep within my daily goals and keep an eye on my helping of cheese – it’s very tempting to overdo it! This quick dish can be made in advance and eaten hot or cold – perfect for weekday lunches.

Serve 2
Ingredients:
90g Wholewheat fusilli pasta
50g Feta cheese
20g Pine nuts
Half a lemon

Method:
Season a pan of boiling water and add the pasta. While that’s cooking chop your feta into small chunks and weigh out your pine nuts. Drain the pasta when cooked and drizzle a little olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with feta cheese, pine nuts and give it a good squeeze of lemon. Serve with a side salad or if you’re making smaller portions, add salmon or chicken for a bit of protein.

Keeping it clean: Fruity Couscous

Fruity Couscous

It literally couldn’t be easier to make your own couscous but it still surprises me how many people pay £2 or £3 for a small tub of it from the supermarket. This recipe takes 10 minutes, tastes great and will save you money too.

Serves 2
Ingredients:
80g Couscous
Half a vegetable stock cube
A squeeze of lemon juice
50g Raisins
50g Chopped red pepper
50g Chickpeas
50g Sweetcorn

Method:
Measure out the couscous, add the amount of boiling water (with the stock cube in) that the packet recommends, cover with a tea towel for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork. Then for the fun bit. Add whatever you like. I normally go for chickpeas, pepper, sweetcorn and raisins but really it’s up to you. I keep a big bowl of it in the fridge and then dip in as a side for different lunch/dinner dishes. Add a squeeze of lemon juice over the top and you’re good to go.

Keeping it clean: Baked Banana & Apple Smoothie

Banana & Apple Smoothie

If you know you’ve got a hectic morning planned then take a few minutes out to prep this in advance and you can have a delicious healthy breakfast on the go.

Ingredients:
250ml almond milk
1 banana
1 apple
1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Method:
Put your oven on a medium heat. Peel the apple and banana, dice and place on a baking tray in your preheated oven 20 minutes. Blend while still warm and add the milk once the mixture has cooled. I like to put mine in the fridge overnight and enjoy chilled the next morning.

Getting dirty: Darwin Brasserie – Sky Garden

I spent a long time searching for the perfect place to take my best friend for a belated birthday meal. After Googling ‘London restaurants with a view’ Sky Garden popped up. It markets itself as ‘uniquely different, the exclusive setting of London’s highest public garden offering outstanding views’ and I completely agree.

There are two restaurants inside; Darwin Brasserie and Fenchurch Seafood Bar & Grill. After having difficulties booking Fenchurch I opted for a 7.15 sitting at Darwin Brasserie for the four of us – us two and our partners.

We arrived on a rainy Saturday evening and after going through the airport-like security (think bag and body scans) we made our way up to the 36th floor in the lift. As you step out of the lift and into the vast bar area you’re immediately greeted by London’s skyline, lit up and still beautiful despite the weather. Through the garden and up the steps to Darwin Brasserie we went.

The restaurant is essentially a glass cube which is perfect as you can still enjoy the view over dinner. Perhaps not so great if you suffer from vertigo. The four of us ordered bread, olives and a bottle of Moet to start (we were celebrating after all).

After browsing the menu we went for:

1. Shellfish Linguine in white wine, garlic, chilli & parsley
2. “RHUBARB’S” Handmade beef burger from Goodwood Estate with club sauce & dill pickles in a toasted brioche bun with house slaw & a basket of chips
3. Chargrilled Scottish 8oz ribeye steak hand cut chips, roasted tomato, watercress & béarnaise
4. Braised ox cheeks creamed potato & roasted roots

And then for the main event – dessert. All four of us chose the chocolate pave that came topped with gold leaf and accompanied by banana and toffee ice cream. This dessert was to die for. The highlight of the meal.

Unfortunately I didn’t stop for long enough to take pictures of our food but after waddling out the restaurant I managed to get a couple of the view which totally don’t do it justice. And here they are:

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To end the evening and drink in the view we went for cocktails in the bar downstairs. The cocktails were all lovingly made and the bar had a nice buzzy atmosphere, perfect for post-dinner drinks.

If you’re looking for a restaurant with a view then Darwin Brasserie is your place.

Keeping it clean: Turkey & Coconut Curry

Turkey Coconut Curry

You can’t beat a good curry at the weekend. Ditch the local Indian’s korma and try this for size.

Ingredients:
500g turkey breast
1 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp curry powder
1 can of coconut milk
150ml chicken stock
30g ground almonds
1 tbsp fresh coriander

Method:

Chop the turkey breasts into bite-sized chunks. Heat the olive oil, diced onion and chilli in a large pan. Add the curry powder, coconut milk and chicken stock and heat through for a few minutes. Don’t worry, it will look watery at this stage. Add the turkey, cover and simmer on a low heat for 20 minutes. Stir in the ground almonds and fresh coriander, mix and serve.

I serve this with fruity couscous but it’s also great served with bulgar wheat or wholegrain rice. If you’ve turned up the heat too much then top with a dollop of Total yoghurt to extinguish the burn.

Getting dirty: Hotbox

It’s been a while since I’ve written a dirty restaurant review but this one was certainly worth waiting for. As a treat for me my brother’s birthday we took him for dinner at Hotbox in Shoreditch. For those not in the know Hotbox is a fairly new grill located on Commercial Street in Spitalfield’s with a fabulously meaty menu.

When we arrived we were informed there would be a wait of an hour and a half. Having looked at the menu about a million times as my clean eating motivation for the week, leaving was not an option. Down to the bar we went. It’s named 46 & Mercy and offers a perfectly large drinks menu to distract you from your wait. The little bowls of pretzels they give you don’t hurt either. The bar is loud, there’s a DJ in the corner, loud obnoxious bankers on the benches and perky waitresses, but that all adds to the atmosphere. The wait flew by and we were soon being escorted upstairs.

The girls went for the Smokey Bandit Burger; an aged patty topped with smoked short rib, jalapenos and red cheddar. Divine. Sides included the mushrooms (amazing) and the sweet potato fries (as expected).The boys chose the Hotbox Smoked Selection which I’m told contained the nicest meat they’ve had in a long time (and they’ve had a lot) with Smoked Mac & Cheese on the side. The Hot Link sausage got a particularly loud ‘MMMMM’.

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Despite being full to bursting point I’m a big believer that there is always room for pudding. And so we dived in….Deep fried oreos for me – which.were.amazing. Even writing this is making me want to go straight back there and order 5 portions to myself. The others had the ice cream selection and the sticky toffee pudding which were all polished off in 5 second flat.

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Apologies for the lack of photos, I was WAY too interested in my food. I guess I’ll have to go back and take some for you, oh and try the Molten Chilli Chocolate dessert while I’m at it.

Keeping it clean: Banana, Coconut & Jam Biscuits

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I often find myself craving something sweet at the weekend. Whilst the boyfriend is popping peanut M&M’s into his mouth like they’re going out of fashion, carrot sticks don’t have quite the same appeal. I also love jam, love, love, love it. So, this recipe combines my need for something sweet with my love of the sticky sweet stuff – perfect! Give these a go, you won’t regret it.

Ingredients:
1 banana
50g Desiccated coconut
Clean jam – such as St Dalfour Strawberry Jam

Method
Heat the oven to 180°C. Mix the banana and desiccated coconut in a food mixer until combined. Shape into small discs, push your thumb into the centre of each one to make a small pool for the jam. Place on a greased baking tray in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, spoon jam into the pool and place back in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and resist the temptation to eat all at once!

Keeping it clean: Peach Oat Crumble

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There’s nothing more satisfying than a fruity crumble. It reminds me of when I was younger and after competing in horse shows on a Sunday we would stop on the way home for a slice of crumble at the local garden centre. This little gem of a recipe is guilt-free and will satisfy your sweet tooth too. Win-win.

The recipe below is enough for one portion made in a standard size ramekin. Simply multiply for however many you’re feeding/fancy eating yourself.

Ingredients:
1 small tin of peaches
20g raw oats
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp raw honey
20ml milk of your choice, I used almond

Method:
Layer the bottom of the ramekin with peaches (cut into pieces if necessary) and put to one side. In a bowl mix the oats, cinnamon, honey and milk. You might need to get your hands in at this point to make sure the honey and milk coats the oats. Separate the mixture using your fingers and sprinkle over the top the peaches. Cook in the oven on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes. The top should be golden brown and the peaches will be bubbling away inside. Serve with a dollop of Total yoghurt.

Keeping it clean: Spicy Turkey Burgers

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I have no problem admitting that I have a burger problem. More specifically a pulled-pork, cheese-topped, chip-accompanied burger problem. But that’s not going to get me the figure I want or fit in with my clean eating regime. Therefore I’ve been driven to find the next best thing. Spicy turkey burgers it is then! Now, I’ll be the first to admit, they’re no burger supermodels, but I promise the taste makes up for what they lack in the looks department.

Ingredients:
500g turkey mince
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp garlic granules
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/3tsp chilli powder
1/3 tsp salt
1 chopped onion

Method:
Heat your oven to 180ºC. Mix the turkey mince, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic granules, pepper, chilli powder and salt. Combine until the seasoning is evenly distributed on the meat. Add in the chopped onion and use your hands to combine the mixture. Divide the mixture into balls, as many or few as you would like depending on how large you want your burgers. I’d say they should be no less than 1/2inch thick for them to stay juicy. Place the burgers in the oven on a baking tray and cook for 20-25 minutes flipping them halfway through. They should turn a nice golden colour on top and cooked right through (the juices should run clear). Serve with sweet potato wedges and a side salad.