29 September 2014

Dairy Free / Clean Pancakes


Let's face it: everybody loves pancakes (well, apart from my sister, but she's the first person I've met so far who doesn't!). In my family we only ever eat pancakes on pancake day - they're a massive treat and something I always look forward to. However, since moving to uni I've made them pretty much a part of my staple diet. They add a little extra bit of happiness to my day. They're also ridiculously easy to make once you get the recipe right, so I thought I'd share this with you.

Ingredients (makes 1 serving):

1/2 banana
100ml soya milk
2oz wholewheat flour
1 egg
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh lemon juice and demerara sugar to top

1.) Chop up the banana and place in a blender. Add the egg, flour and soya milk.

It may not loo pretty, but it tastes delicious!

2.) Blend for two to three minutes. This ensures that you don't end up with lumps of banana in your pancakes. 

3.) Put a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan. Allow it to heat and then pour a reasonably small amount of the mixture in. I much prefer thin pancakes because they cook better with this recipe. 

4.) Fry for a couple of minutes on both sides. 

5.) Squeeze some lemon juice and sprinkle a little bit of sugar on the top. Enjoy!


Steph :)


24 September 2014

John Frieda Frizz Ease Product Review






If you read my blog often you'll know that I recently was given an awesome care package by my sister as a kind of you-didn't-get-paid-for-four-weeks-of-interning present. Alongside some pretty useful tea tree products (see review here) she got me some John Frieda Frizz Ease serum. Excuse the horrendous top and "I'm so done" face in the last picture; I foolishly took these whilst trying to pack my life into boxes ready for final year at uni.

To use it you put a minimal amount on the palm of your hand (which means it'll last forever - always a bonus!), rub your hands together and ease through wet hair. Then use whatever styling products you desire. I went for myRemington hairdryer which, after over two years of use, is still pretty powerful. As well as controlling frizz and protecting your hair from humidity, this serum also protects it from heat. 

I'm going to now make sure that I use this every time I want to blow dry and straighten my hair as I was incredibly impressed with the results. Not only did it give my hair controlled waves, but it also made it super soft. And what girl doesn't want that? After I used it the first time I spent all day aggravating my family and boyfriend by asking them to "feel how soft my hair is" because I was just SO amazed by it. I've used serums in the past, but admittedly since I've started uni they've always seemed like some kind of long lost luxurious dream/memory, so this has really put me back on track with my hair care!

Have you used it before? What did you think?

Steph

21 September 2014

Salmon and Tomato Chunky Soup


I know traditionally salmon and tomato aren't usually paired, but I really love the taste of this recipe. It took me ages to devise a name for it because it's quite a versatile dish - it can be used as a chunky soup or as a pasta sauce if you wish. Both taste delicious in my opinion. Anyway, we all know that salmon's pretty good for you, but I often find the flavour a bit too strong for me. Here the taste is slightly muted by the other ingredients in the dish. Me and my sister make this when we want that little bit extra with our chunky tomato, onion and carrot soup (see recipe here).

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):


2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 red onion
1 clove garlic
70g salmon 
Lemon Juice
Salt
Ground Black Pepper
Parsley
Basil
Dried, chopped chili

1.) Preheat the oven to 200 degrees (180 for a fan oven).

2.) Place the salmon skin side down on a sheet of foil. Pour a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil over it and rub in with the back of the spoon. Pour a little bit of lemon juice over the top. It's best to use fresh, but as you can tell from the picture, I had none in the house at the time! Sprinkle a little bit of sea salt, ground black pepper and parsley over the top.


3.) Loosely wrap the foil around the salmon so that it comes together at the top. Place in the oven for 20 minutes.

4.) Whilst that cooks, finely chop the onion and garlic.

5.) Heat the second teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened. 

6.) Add the chopped tomatoes and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.

7.) Hopefully the salmon and the tomato sauce will be ready at roughly the same time.

8.) Take the salmon out from the oven, unwrap and finely chop.


9.) Add the salmon, basil and chili to the tomato mixture and stir. 


10.) Finally, serve it up. For a 20 minute meal, this isn't too shabby!


I hope you enjoy it too! 

Steph :)

**DISCLAIMER**
All photos are property of Sophie Hartley



17 September 2014

Superdrug Tea Tree Skin Range





A couple of weeks ago I came home to an awesome care package from my sister which contained these tea tree goodies. I've used both a number of times since then, and I have to say I am far more impressed with the deep pore cleansing strips (excuse the make-up free selfie) than the spot stick. 

I'll start with the spot stick. Usually I don't get very many spots, but two weeks of being away without my face wash (disaster) meant I had a bit of a break out period. I really liked the style of the stick: it looked and felt like a lip gloss stick. This meant that it was really easy to apply with precision. When I put it on it did feel very refreshing on my spots, which encouraged me that it would work. And it did, but only with minor spots. But it had merely a minimal effect on any normal sized or large spots. It prevented them from becoming too painful, but it didn't actually make them clear up any quicker. 

The deep pore cleansing strips however had a noticeable effect. I don't know about anyone else, but for me and my sister, the nose is the worst area in terms of pore size - ugh. These strips are easy to put on, use and take off. All you need is a quick splash of water on your nose and 12 minutes to let it work its magic. You can really see the results when you peel it off. Unfortunately you can see them on the strip as well as on your face. However, as long as you're home alone and can deal with a little bit of grime from your own pores, it doesn't really matter. I paired this with LUSH's Love Lettuce face mask (see review here) to give my face a deep cleanse ready for the rest of the week.

Have you used any tea tree products? What would you recommend?

Steph x

14 September 2014

Healthy Classic Dish Twist - Vegetable Hotpot (Vegan)


This picture doesn't quite do credit to the rich colours and flavours inside this piece. I adapted a recipe from a Good Housekeeping healthy recipe book to make this. Discouraged by claims from certain companies that their ready meals are "good for you", I wanted to make a vegetable hotpot for my family that actually was. I myself had never tried a vegetable hotpot before, and I'm not the greatest fan of some of the ingredients (hello celery!), however, the ingredients blend together well so that nothing is too potent. With seven of your "5-a-day", this meal contains minimal processed food and is incredibly filling. It's perfect for a family meal on an autumn night. My only warning is, it does take it's time to make!

Ingredients (makes 6 servings):


1lb carrots
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
3 celery sticks
1lb white flesh sweet potatoes
100g swede
Small can of butter beans
2 vegetable stock cubes
100g frozen peas
3 slices granary bread (for breadcrumbs)
Ground black pepper
Mixed herbs

1.) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees for an electric oven.

2.) Peel and chop the onion,garlic, sweet potato, carrots and celery. I decided to use white flesh sweet potato because I thought that the taste of yellow flesh ones would be slightly too sweet for this recipe.


3.) Layer the vegetables in a casserole dish. Carrots go in first, followed by the onion and garlic, then celery, then potatoes, and finally swede on top.

4.) Make 450ml stock with the stock cubes. Stir in mixed herbs and ground black pepper. I used about two teaspoons mixed herbs.

5.) Pour over the vegetables. 


6.) Cover and place into the oven for one hour.

7.) Cook the peas. Drain the butter beans. Place on top of the other vegetables. 


8.) Place the bread in a food processor. Blend until you have created breadcrumbs. Pour over the top of the vegetables, making sure everywhere is covered.


9.) Place back in the oven for 20 minutes.

10.) Enjoy! I added gravy to mine to add a bit more moisture, but it's perfectly fine on its own!


Steph :)

**DISCLAIMER**
All photos are property of Sophie Hartley


11 September 2014

Vegan Cream of Tomato Soup


I'm a massive lover of Heinz Tomato Soup, but have recently cut dairy out of my diet. As it's got a fair amount of cream in it I really wanted to find an alternative that wasn't thin and watery. After having a look at a few recipes, I mixed them up a bit and came up with this. It's sweet and comforting, without all the nasty additions that are in pre-made soups. My only warning is that the taste of coconut comes through a far bit, so if you don't like it, then you probably won't like this! This recipe takes less than ten minutes to prep and cook, so is pretty brill for a quick fix lunch! 

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon parsley
Pinch of basil
100ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to season

1.) Peel the garlic and place all of the ingredients in a food processor. I always thought that making your own soup would involve hours of careful cooking, but this is pretty much the key step!

2.) Turn on and "process" the food for about two minutes. Not the prettiest picture, but this is what it should look like.


3.) Place in a saucepan and heat for five minutes. Make sure it does not boil.


And enjoy! If you like a little bit of heat in your food, why not add a dash of chopped, dried chili or paprika? 

Any comments/questions are always welcome

Steph

*DISCLAIMER*
All photos are property of Sophie Hartley 

8 September 2014

LUSH Haul



Mint Julips Lip Scrub
Love Lettuce Face Mask
Charity Pot Hand Cream

So, I've always had a soft spot for LUSH (and not only because it smells so good every time you walk past!) and the ethos they exhibit through all of their products and services. Unfortunately, there isn't one in the town I live in whilst at university, so I took the plunge whilst I was at home this summer and grabbed a bunch of new stuff. 

I've got a super bad habit of chewing my lip (ugh) and really need something to encourage me not to and keep my skin conditioned. I've been using the Mint Julip lip scrub for a couple of weeks and although it hasn't exactly produced miracles, I have noticed that the skin on my lips is a lot less flaky and hard. 

The hand cream was a bit of an impulse buy I must say. I always feel guilty for not giving enough money to charity, so getting some hand cream seemed like a pretty good way to give back to the world. I get quite chapped hands in the winter, but I've found in the past that hand creams are always a bit too greasy for my skin. So far this one seems a bit better, and it smells quite good too, which is always a plus. 


Before

 After

The face mask was my main buy of the lot. I have combination skin, which means that a face mask that moisturises my skin without making it too greasy is hard to find. However, I think I'm onto a winner. A member of staff at the store I purchased it from suggested that it was the best one they sold for combination skin, and that it is designed to make your skin glow. I've used it twice now and it hasn't let me down on either front. My skin feels soft, moisturised, and (most importantly) I come away from the process feeling completely refreshed. 

What are your favourite LUSH products?

Steph

6 September 2014

Favourite Summer Outfit





Crop Top: Asos 
Skirt: H&M 
Shoes: Converse black hi-tops 
Bag: charity shop (originally New Look) 
Sunglasses: Topshop

With Autumn approaching, I decided to think about my favourite summer outfit. This was one which I found myself using on quite a number of occasions and found it was perfect for when I went on holiday to Spain and Devon, Plus, it's good for both daytime and evening, so it got used on a couple of dates as well. 

My favourite part about this outfit is probably my sunglasses. If any of you wear glasses you'll understand my pain with sunglasses: all through secondary school I could never wear them. Well, unless I wanted to wear the clip on ones (aka social death). I'd never really thought about buying some since getting my contacts until this summer, so these are the first I've owned in years. And I'm pretty much in love with them. They make me feel like a sassy detective who can take on the world - and what girl doesn't want to feel like that?

The red Asos crop top has also become one of my firm favourite items. I have a number of high waisted skirts and it pairs with pretty much all of them. I also bought it at a ridiculously cheap price, so it was definitely well worth the money. Flattering without being too revealing, anything like this is always a winner in my eyes.

What's your favourite summer piece? 

Steph

**DISCLAIMER**
All photos are property of Sophie Hartley

5 September 2014

Dairy Free Tropical Smoothie Recipe

Dairy Free Tropical Smoothie Recipe


I don't know about anyone else, but the thought of getting up in the morning and exercising always sometimes makes me want to stay permanently wrapped up in bed. So, I decided to start making smoothies to perk me up a bit and get me ready for the day. This is pretty much what this one is designed for - getting you ready for the day on a slow morning. 

2 September 2014

Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese recipe. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese recipe. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Healthy Spaghetti Bolognese recipe. Nourish ME: www.nourishmeblog.co.uk

Spaghetti bolognese is one of my number one go-to comfort food dishes when I fancy making something filling and easy to cook. It takes so little time, and it's something that I feel like I can adapt every single time I make it. This version is a little less fatty due to the turkey mince, and absolutely crammed full of veggies. I find this such a great meal for slyly popping in extra veg without people noticing how much is in it, so it's great for fussy little ones.

Ingredients (makes 2 servings):

200g turkey mince
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 large carrot
70g fresh spinach
1 red onion
3 handfuls wholewheat pasta
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon dried parsley 
Dried oregano
Dried basil
Ground black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil

Method: 

1.) Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Top and tail the carrot, peel and grate. 

2.) Chop the turkey mince up. It has a tendency to stick together whilst cooking and form clumps in the sauce. This is a key difference I've found between cooking beef/lamb mince and turkey mince, as the former separates easily during cooking.

3.) Start cooking the pasta.

4.) Put a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil into a frying pan and heat. 

5.) Place the mince and onions in the frying pan. Cook until the mince is browned. 

6.) Add the chopped tomatoes, carrot, ground black pepper and herbs. Leave to simmer for ten minutes. 

7.) Add the spinach to the sauce and mix.

8.) Drain the pasta and dish it up, topped with the sauce. 


What's your favourite way to make spaghetti bolognese?