Healthy swaps – beat the January blues!

Happy new year!

It’s officially that time of year when everyone rejoins the gym, starts a detox or goes on a diet to lose those extra pounds gained from too many mince pies or this just me???

This year however, I’ve tried to make some healthy food swaps that are easy to stick to rather than making resolutions to give up the foods I love completely. By sticking to these swaps I can still eat the food I enjoy but not limit myself in what I can cook. I’ve also decided that the odd glass of wine or take away is not a bad thing. Everything in moderation!

These are my 5 food swaps for January…

Beans

These can be added to many of your existing recipes or used instead of meat to help you get extra protein but cut down on the fat content. Try adding pinto beans to a Mexican chicken stew or black beans to your fajitas instead of meat.

Pulses

Just like beans these are so nutritious and if cooked correctly are so tasty! Most pulses come in tins now so there is no need for soaking. Use puy lentils instead of mince in a shepherds pie or green lentils in a warm salad.

Turkey

By January most people shudder at the word but this is a meat that should be enjoyed all your round! The meat is very low in fat and can be used instead of most meats to create a turkey curry or even using turkey mince to make your spaghetti bolognese.

Fat-free Yoghurt

A lot of recipes call for cream to be added which can double the calories in your meals! Swap the double cream in your pasta dishes for fat free yoghurt or try using in dips to get that creamy flavour but in a much healthier way.

Grains

Try swapping your traditional accompaniments such as rice and pasta to something a little more light and healthy like quinoa, cous cous or bulgar wheat You can add your own flavours and it is so easy to prepare. Also makes a fantastic salad addition for lunch boxes.

Hopefully by making some slight changes along with trying to get a couple of hours of exercise in each weekI will lose a few pounds without getting the January blues!

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Cooking for your cat…

As the title of my blog suggests cats and cooking are my favourite hobbies.

It’s not often that two such contrasting hobbies could over-lap, but hurrah it appears that I can at last combine the two!

A few weeks back I purchased ‘Cooking for your cat‘ from Amazon and I am still yet to cook anything out of it if I’m perfectly honest.

I was curious to see if anyone else has tried any of the recipes from this book or whether anyone has a super-fussy cat who would only eat home cooked delicacies.

Maybe you don’t like the commercial pet foods and want to make your own more healthy options for your cat. I’m interested to find out….

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/images/1445415941/ref=dp_image_0/277-3670719-6844006?ie=UTF8&n=266239&s=books

The book boasts “Healthy Recipes – seasoned with affection” and have a vast array of interesting treats inside.

There are some winter warmers such as Lamb Hotpot with Carrot and some more indulgent meals like Salmon Trout Mousse.

By chance when reading through one of my favourite blogs from Joy the Baker I also noticed this kitty-themed recipe which I might begin with before embarking on anything more adventurous.

http://joythebaker.com/2012/09/chewy-cat-treats-for-cats/

http://joythebaker.com/2012/09/chewy-cat-treats-for-cats/

I think I would cook something up as an occasional treat as my Eric is spoilt enough!

What do you think? Would you ever cook up a Frittata for your feline friend?

Product Review – Jus-Rol Pizza Bases

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Thought I would give a bit of a review of a product I’ve used quite a few times and have found is perfect for those lazy weeknights when you want to use up what ever you have in the fridge.

Jus-Rol Pizza Bases

Some nights even the thought of getting a bag of flour out the cupboard is too much so these are really good to have on stand-by as they are quite long dated (26th Oct use by on mine).

Each pack comes with two rectangular sheets of pizza dough and a jar of tomato sauce. I always put the dough onto a sheet of grease proof paper before I add the topping (found this out the hard way!).

I found turning the edges up slightly gives a nice crispy crust too. The base is thin enough to get crispy in about 10-12 minutes.

Today my topping of choice was fig, parma ham, mozzarella with a drizzle of honey and scattering of fresh mint!
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Delicious!

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Welcome to my blog!

Hello all and welcome to my first ever blog!

My name is Lisa, I’m 25 years old and live in Nottingham with my boyfriend Charlie and my cat Eric.

As the title of the blog suggests most of my posts will be on cats (mostly my own little friend) and my experiments in the cooking and baking world.

Cupcakes and cake pops are always my favourite things to make…but you can’t beat a good chocolate brownie!

I cook mostly for my friends and family whether they like to eat it or not! I want to share some of my own recipes plus some tried and tested favourites I have found along the way.

Looking forward to starting my blogging adventure!

Lisa x