What I Ate In A Day #11

Otherwise known as what I ate in a day whilst feeling sorry for myself because I have a cold. It really is only a cold, a cough here, a sneeze there, one of those annoying little niggles of an illness where you’re not too sick to be off work but really want to do nothing more than watch trashy tv and eat cake. No room for self pity here though, I had a full day at work followed by a two course dinner when I got home all made from scratch. One could argue that I’m mad, but I’ve had this most evil craving for bread and butter pudding and it simply had to be fulfilled so that was had for pudding.

Anyway, I should probably start with breakfast. I’m almost bored of saying it now such is the regularity of it, but I started my day with granola, yogurt, coconut flakes and fresh fruit. I then had a banana shortly after.

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Lunch was one of my favourites. There’s a sandwich place near me called Francombs who do really lovely pasta salads made to order. This is my take on their New Yorker boxed salad. It contains a base of pasta and Romaine lettuce then has pastrami, stilton, cucumber, gherkins, jalapeños, crushed tortilla chips and a dressing made with extra virgin olive oil, wholegrain mustard, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup and salt. It involves a bit of prep work but I make enough for a few days, leave the prepared ingredients sitting in individual boxes in the fridge then toss them together with the dressing the night before and take the tortilla chips separately to add just before eating. It’s really good.

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I had a homemade peanut butter brownie with my lunch. Recipe coming soon!

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To tide me over until dinner I snacked on a satsuma and a fake Penguin biscuit from Sainsbury’s. These are hilariously called Polar bars but don’t have the terrible jokes you find on a proper Penguin. Sort it out Sainsbury’s! I did eat a nectarine too but I forgot to take a picture.

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Dinner was one of my favourite things to eat at the moment, my king prawn linguine. The recipe can be found here. The two slices of garlic bread on the side were there for aesthetic value. I actually ate 4 slices. I get really hungry when I’m ill.

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And now, what I’ve been waiting for all day. Nay, all week. Bread and Butter Pudding with double cream. *insert excited squealing here*

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I’ll tease you with this for now and treat you to the recipe soon! One thing’s for sure, I’m totally having some of this for breakfast tomorrow.

What I Ate In A Day #9

Welcome to the great British Summer! What happened to the bright, sunny days and long, balmy nights of my childhood where I would be playing with the hosepipe from dawn till dusk and only stopping for some al fresco feasts? Will we ever experience the sun on our shoulders again or were those couple of days last month the start and end of our summer season? Lest we forget.

Despite the downpours and plunging temperatures I refuse to go back to slow cooked stews and porridge. I refuse I tell you! This particularly wet day started with some fruit compote made with a chopped peach and a large handful of frozen summer berries, topped with Greek yogurt and some homemade sultana and almond granola. You can find the recipe for that here. It’s super easy, tasty and great to have on hand for a quick, filling breakfast. As usual on a workday most of my food was eaten out of plastic containers ‘al desko’.

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This surprisingly got me through until lunch, where I chowed down on some potato salad. To make this you just boil some Jersey Royals or other salad potatoes then drain and cool. Once cooled, combine the potatoes with some chopped ham, tomatoes, gherkins, shredded spinach and salt and pepper. Mix through some extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and a little mayonnaise until well coated then box up and leave in the fridge until you’re ready to eat. It was pretty good.

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I had a banana at lunch too. Boring but true. It wasn’t the nicest banana. Shame.

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Then this angelic little voice from the other end of the office said the words that everyone likes to hear on a gloomy afternoon: “does anybody want anything from the shop?” “YES!” I shouted, as if I had just been offered a date with Jason Statham. I put in my order for a bar of Galaxy and 5 minutes later was greeted with this baby. My naughty colleague had bought me the big one as I ‘looked a bit stressed’. I vowed to only eat half. I failed.

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We went food shopping after work so needed something quick and easy for dinner. Cue the quiche. No, its certainly not homemade, I mean who has time to make quiche from scratch? It was lovely though and I had it with another helping of salad potatoes with butter and cheddar cheese melted on them plus some tomatoes marinated in extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a pinch of smoked sea salt. Simple but delicious.

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In keeping with my ‘screw the weather it IS summer’ theme, I had my first strawberries from Kent. They were absolutely amazing and didn’t even need to be dunked in Nutella.

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This weather might be rubbish but it has reminded me of one thing: IT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAS!!!

Recipe: Almond and Sultana Granola

Making a batch of this and storing it in a clip top glass jar makes me feel like a total boss of the kitchen. In fact, storing anything in a clip top jar is pretty empowering. Try putting normal old Corn Flakes in a glass jar and see how much better they taste once they have clattered into your cereal bowl. It’s like upgrading from Asda to Waitrose without spending a single extra penny.

But if you want an upgrade from Corn Flakes altogether then how about some yummy homemade granola? I don’t rate many shop-bought granolas, there’s always something that I don’t like in it or it’s too sweet or too crunchy or the ratio of ingredients isn’t quite right. I’ve experimented quite a bit with granola making in my kitchen and I am now proud to present you with my recipe for an almond and sultana variety.

Makes enough for at least 4 servings, depending on how you eat it

What you need:

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup sultanas

What you do:

  1. Mix together the oats, flaked almonds, cinnamon and salt and leave to one side.
  2. Melt the coconut oil with the maple syrup in a pan over a low heat until nicely combined then pour the liquid mixture onto the dry ingredients and stir well to combine.
  3. Tip your mixture onto a baking sheet and bake in an oven set to 180°c for 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice to break up the clusters.
  4. Once everything is gorgeously golden, remove from the oven and stir in your sultanas. Leave to cool before storing in an airtight container.

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You can eat this however you want. My favourite way is to make some fruit compote (just frozen berries cooked down with a little rosewater), layer it into a pot, top with some Greek yogurt and finish with a tablespoon or two of granola. This makes the loveliest breakfast and means your granola will last for ages. If you want to just eat it as is with some milk then be my guest, it should still make about 4 servings.

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Washing Up Score: 4/10 – there’s a few bits to wash but nothing too strenuous.