Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Masoor Dhal

Another way to funk up your lentils Indian style! Add a little bit more chilli for an extra bit of a kick - and don't forget the lemon juice!

Most of this is store cupboard ingredients, and so you're most likely to have most of it at hand. If not - it's fairly cheap ingredients *smiles*

Masoor Dhal
(Serves 2 as a main with rice or naan, or as a side)

1 tbsp oil
3 whole cloves
3 whole cardamom pods
1 small cinnamon stick
Knob of fresh ginger, grated or finely chopped (or 1 tsp ground)
1-2 onion, chopped
1/2 green chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed or finely chopped
1/2-1 tsp Garam Masala
100g orange lentils (masoor dhal)
Salt to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon

- Start by heating up the oil in a small pan, before adding the cloves and cardamom pods, as well as the cinnamon and chopped onion. Fry for a few minutes until the spices start to swell a little and the onion has softened.

- Now, add ginger, chilli, garlic, Garam Masala, lentils and a bit of salt and cover with boiling water about 3cm above the mixture. Stir well every five minutes or so and let it cook altogether for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Add more water should you need to.

- Season to taste and squeeze in lemon juice right before serving with rice or naan, or as a light snack!

Original source:
All Colour Indian Cookbook, No. 141

- Jules

Monday, 24 February 2014

Earthbound Little Lines

I thought I would post up a little something that has nothing to do with either food, nor nutrition, but writing!

Ever since 2005, I have been writing poems, I remember not paying much attention in classes at Upper Secondary because I would always get lost jotting away random verses here and a line or two there... I couldn't help it! It would be anything from poems with a set structure or rhyme - to more open texts.

After almost eight years of writing, I decided it was time to finally get around to pick out a collection of my favourite one, but as you might know, you are your worst critic and so the task proved rather difficult! About a year ago, I think...was when I tried to get a list together of the ones I wanted to include, but it wasn't until this month I finally got my thoughts together and designed my own book!

Click the picture to view the full-sized image, here the writing is so small!

I used a company called, based in the Netherlands (according to the parcel I received). Basically you own all your own rights, and all they do is take credit for the printing process and the basic layouts that you use.

Interested in a copy? Click the picture below or click here and you can order it from the website directly, and choose whether you want a soft or hardback copy, colour or black and white, and whether you would like for it to be sent to your inbox in a PDF format as well for just a couple of extra quid!

It's strange seeing my name on the book, very humbling... I didn't know what to say when I got it delivered at work today. I know it's mostly down to years of writing, but to actually see it in front of me? I'm speechless!

© Julie Skogedal Hole 2014

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cookies

So....I might just have discovered a simple and deeelicious way of adding brilliant flavour to cookies - fruit flavoured, deep, dark and seductive chocolate!

I adapted the recipe I have for simple "Oaty Raisin Cookies", and this is what happened:

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cookies
(Makes about 9)

50g light butter
50g sukrin gold or brown sugar
1 tbsp syrup or honey of choice
1 egg
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla sugar (optional)
50g wholemeal flour
80g oats
60g dark chocolate with raspberry flavour (I got mine at Lidl), you can of course use other flavoured chocolates too, but I hiiiighly recommend this one!

- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C. Line an oven tray with baking paper.

- In a bowl, start by creaming the butter and sukrin/sugar until it's well combined and creamy, then add the syrup or honey, egg, cinnamon, baking powder and vanilla sugar (if using). Stir well before adding the flour and oats and incorporate this well until you have a sticky batter.

- Now, chop the chocolate and add to the cookie batter. Set with two teaspoons onto the baking paper, and bake for about 10-12 minutes. Once done, tryyyyy and behave and let them cool a little bit so they're easier to peel off the baking paper, otherwise - all the chocolate might end up on the parchment and the cookies might fall apart. I know leaving them be for ten minutes is tricky, but it'll be worth it, trust me!

Serve with a cuppa or a glass of milk, and enjoy!

Haha, I couldn't help myself, when I saw how the melted chocolate looked like half the face of a teddy bear, I had to finish it in paint. This is sadly how far my computer-drawing skills go...

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sweetpotato Cake for Any Occasion

This is something I decided to make Saturday morning - for breakfast!

Some people have a full Scottish fry-up, and others have, well... Sweet potato cake! This is virtually free of sugar though, and almost tastes like carrot cake!
You can make a sweet cream cheese frosting, or melt chocolate to drizzle over. Perhaps some nice whipped cream and chopped nuts?

Since it was my breakfast, I decided to be good, so I topped one with Greek yogurt mixed with some jam, and one with sukrin gold and a squeeze of lemon - tasty! It was really good just on it's own as well, and I'm sure chocolate spread will work wonders too!

Sweetpotato Cake for Any Occasion
(Makes one cake, simple as that!)

200g sweetpotato, cubed, cooked and mashed (or use already made purée)
100g wholemeal flour (I used half and half with wholemeal and almond flour)
1 banana, mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tbsp melted coconut oil, or sunflower/rapeseed oil
30g protein powder (I used quite a neutral one, with a hint of vanilla) OR 30g more flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cardamom
1/4-1/2 tsp ground cloves
5 tbsp honey or sukrin gold (Can use brown sugar or syrup instead)

- Start by pre-heating the oven to 180°C.

- First, mix together sukrin gold/sugar/honey/syrup until well combined, then add your eggs, oil, banana, and sweet potato.

- Once well combined, add the spices, flour and protein powder (if using). Stir well, and once it's all done, pour into a greased cake tin (mine is about 20-24cm in diametre).

- Bake for about 20 minutes, and cool slightly before serving.

I also reckon some apple wedges pressed neatly into it would be a real winner as well, I think I might try that next time!

Original source:

- Jules

Monday, 17 February 2014

Vegan Quinoa Granola

Remember not too long ago when I posted up a recipe for home made granola? Thing is, that last week I ran out, and I thought "Right, I better make a new batch soon!". I checked my list of new posts and there I saw it - ta-dah! A vegan recipe for granola, and it didn't use oats, but quinoa flakes!

On my lunch break, I bought quinoa flakes, and as soon as I got home, I got this little batch made up. And of course I had to test a little straight away. The toasted crumbly goodness packed full of whole nuts and chia seeds! Mmmm! Unfortunately, I didn't have pumpkin seeds though, but if you do have it, make sure to add 1/4 cup of that too!

I used a little extra syrup, as I didn't think the mixture was sticky enough, I also ran out of agave syrup, so I used 50/50 of that and Walden Farm's Pancake Syrup. Go all in on the agave if you have it though! For more delicious vegan recipes, simply go to Vegangela's blog through the link at the bottom *smiles*

Vegan Quinoa Granola
(Makes 1 batch)

2 cups quinoa flakes (I used teacups as opposed to mugs)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
3/4 cup mixed nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts)
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 (I used more like 1/3) cup agave syrup
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp almond flour (optional)

- Pre-heat the oven to 150°C.

- In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together well, before adding the agave syrup.

- Cover a cooking tray with baking paper, and spread the mixture out evenly. Place in the oven and bake the granola for 30 minutes. Stir halfway through to make sure it doesn't burn.

- Optionally "dry bake" the granola for a further ten minutes to make sure the mixture is dry. Simply give the granola a final stir, open the oven slightly, and bake for a further ten minutes.

- Cool completely before storing in airtight jars or other containers. This work perfectly with porridge, yogurt, or to give some desserts a bit of a crunch - Enjoy! Oh!

...And why not give half of it away to someone as a gift? I know that'd make my day!

Original source:

- Jules

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Lentil Curry

Simple and delicious! I am still surprised how in Indian cooking the dishes get so much flavour using spices and no stock.
I made this for a more dinnery lunch, when I had a bit of spare time. It only takes a little more than half an hour. Or perhaps have it as a "Meatfree Monday" dinner!

Lentil Curry
(Serves 2)

20g light butter (good knob)
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp ground ginger, or a thumb-sized fresh ginger, grated
Splash of water
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp tomato purée
100g red lentils, dry
200ml tinned, chopped tomatoes
300 ml water
Fresh coriander to garnish
Rice and naan to serve

- Start by melting the butter in a medium pan. Soften the garlic and onion along with the ginger for a few minutes.

- Add all the spices and a splash of water, all the spices and let the flavours blend for a couple of minutes. Stir in tomato purée, followed by lentils. Stir until well-incorporated and then add 300ml boiling water to the mix as well as the chopped tomatoes. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the lentils are tender. Serve garnished with fresh coriander.

Serve with rice and naan!

I tried to make some experimental bread, but it became a little too dense. Don't get me wrong, it was tasty, but naan would have been better methinks. Now I know until next time!

What is your favourite lentil recipe?

Original source:
All Colour Indian Cookbook, No. 169

- Jules

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Power Re-Stored & Mindful Eating

It's funny, just a few days after I wrote my more personal "update" post, I found out that my body has gone back to normal more or less after all - hurrah!

I suppose it is only because I decided to go the more natural way with recovering, as opposed to taking medication and other supplements, that it took a little longer than it should have. I have heard that with amenorrhea, it can take a good few years to recover, and so I am really happy that I managed to do so without prescriptions up to here *points to the sky*.

Having that said, since recovering, I have decided to cut out something that has sadly played a big part in my life for the last two and a half years (since I got ill, basically), and that is to count calories.
Now, even if counting to maintain a healthy and happy life-style, I have no discovered that it really isn't that good for you at all! It's understandable that it is a "safe-zone" go-to if you are in a very bad shape and want to work on weight reduction, but it can too easily become a bit of an obsession. This is something I have realised over the last couple of days... Tired of checking the labels on packets? Me too!

Even on days when I would treat myself and go "over the GDA", I felt OK about it, because I had the rest of the meals scribbled down - and thus I was somewhat control still. But I find now that without writing it down - I am struggling: Have I had enough nutrition? Have I had "too much"?
I have always been good at giving advice, but it's seldom that I follow it when it comes to myself, which is a real shame, because you should "practise what you preach". I really detest the word "preach", so.... Practise you own advice? I guess that is more fitting, and as long as you have the proper understanding of nutrition and what is more or less healthy, then you will be OK! Almost a week down the line now, and I find myself worrying about the numbers on the packets a little less, but the first few days was a big struggle. Feeling insecure, like Bambi on ice - but really without reason, I realise that now...

More of this!

I have a pretty good insight into the world of nutrition since I started the home-nutrition course and also since starting becoming increasingly more interested in a healthy life-style and cooking a few years back, so I know I have the fundamental information which will get me far, and I really have no reason to stress!
So I have decided to put it down in writing, the basic rules for my fundamental diet - which will not be a "diet" the way most people think of it, but more like mindful eating. It is important to enjoy the food, and you shouldn't have to stress about it!

The main things to keep in mind are:
Get your 5-a-day! At least three of these should be through vegetables, as some fruits are high in sugar - it's good sugar though, so if you opt for berries instead of sweets, I wouldn't feel toooo bad about it. Everyone needs a little bit of chocolate now and then though, and I wont deny my body any foods, just eat in moderation. Should you go over your five portions of fruit and vegetables though, that is not a bad thing! Plenty of vitamins and fibre to keep you energised.

Make sure you get plenty of protein, whether it be through animal sources, dairy, nuts, legumes or other sources.
Calcium is another very important nutrient for anyone, really! Your bone density decreases as you get older, and so making sure that you get a lot of it at an earlier stage will help slow that process down. These two points can be tricky for vegetarians and vegans, and might require a little reasearch and understanding beforehand. Tofu, mushrooms, nuts, beans and legumes are great vegan sources for protein. As far as calcium goes, leafy greens, calcium-fortified tofu, soy milk and soybeans are essential. Some supplements can get you ahead, if you're afraid you might not get as much of these nutrients as you need, but getting it all through a varied diet is a lot better for your body (and usually way lighter on your wallet too!) Soybeans are in fact the only vegan food that has been proven to contain ALL 12 key nutrients that your body needs, now how about that?!

Make sure to get enough carbohydrates - this is your number ONE source of energy and it will make sure you stay fuller for longer. Not having a source of carbohydrates with your meal means that the body will take longer to break down the nutrition from fats and protein resulting in you not feeling as satisfied. You are more likely to want a snack shortly after. Just make sure you go for wholemeal breads and pastas, and starchy vegetables packed with nutrition such as sweet potatoes and potatoes.

Healthy fats are essential! I remember always cutting back on oil and butter in cooking, I have realised now that a little bit of this is good for you (also... some things simply cannot be fried without a bit of it). Omega 3 and other healthy fats helps your brain function better, it's easier to stay focused, and it will make sure your hair and skin stay healthy! So if you're craving something salt, grab a handful of nuts, or tropical mix, as it sure will make you feel a lot better.

To eat healthy doesn't have to mean eating "boring" foods at all!

So, in short: 5-a-day, protein, calcium, good sources of carbohydrates and healthy fats. This is basically the key to good living. Make sure to eat varied, and you are likely to get all the nutrition your body needs without as much as having to spare it a thought!
I eat every 3-4 hours, to make sure my biological machinery stays happy, healthy, and get a regular top-up of energy. If you're in a hurry - grab a smoothie, or homemade granola bar!

I hope you like this little "guide", and that you will find is as useful as myself! If you have anything you would like to add, like hints and tips to mindful eating, vegetarianism, veganism, or thoughts on amenorrhea, please feel free to share your experiences!

This blog will still focus on healthy eating, so worry not that there isn't any nutritional information provided, have a quick look at the ingredients, and you'll see!

- Jules

Friday, 14 February 2014

Crunchy Honey & Almond Pear

Was your favourite restaurant fully booked today? Or maybe you have planned a romantic meal at home, or perhaps just fancy a quick, snazzy looking dessert?

How about a delicious fruity dessert with a bit of a crunch? Instead of cornflakes, I only had "fruit and fiber" so I used that, still ridiculously tasty though!
If you're not too big on the strong honey flavour, why not try with acacia honey, or syrup?

It would be perfect as a three-course dessert since it is a light dish, and very sweet! For turtledoves and singletons alike!

Crunchy Honey & Almond Pear
(Serves 1, or 2 if served with icecream)

1 pear, cut in two lengthways
A bit of butter for spreading
A drizzle of cinnamon or pumpkin spice
10g cornflakes
1 tbsp sliced almonds (I chopped up three sugared almonds)
1 tsp honey

- Start by pre-heating the oven to 200°C.

- Slice the pear in two lengthways, and use a knife to criss-cross the surface of it. Spread with butter and sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon or pumpkin spice across is, and bake for about 5 minutes.

- In a small bowl or cup, mix together cornflakes, almond and honey, set aside.

- Take the pear out, and scoop out the centre of the pear, fill with the honey and almond crunch, and bake for a further 5-10 minutes.

Serve on it's own, or with a little bit of yogurt or whipped cream on the side, perhaps a little bit of icecream?

Secondly, I thought I'd put up a picture of my breakfast for the occasion:

The picture on the left depicts how I personally feel about Valentines (in short: not a fan, some good experiences, but mostly bad ones!) The second picture is a savoury breakfast waffle (or what was left of it) that I served with cream cheese and smoked salmon - divine! Treat yourself, it's one of those day!

Original source:

- Jules

Thursday, 13 February 2014

Semolina Porridge (Semiliegrynsgrøt)

This is a recipe that takes me back years and years to when I was a toddler, up until the late years in primary school.
Sometimes instead of having a sandwich or snack in the evening, my mum would boil up some macaroni that she and I would share smothered with ketchup, or she would make velvet porridge or semolina porridge! I decided to recreate this long lost favourite (thankfully not lost anymore!) that is the semolina porridge, "semulegrøt" in Norwegian, but for some reason I remember I used to call it "semiliegrynsgrøt", for breakfast. This was a treat, and topped with some sugar or sukrin gold and some cinnamon, it is sure to hit the spot!

On it's own, this porridge might seem a little dull, but trust me, it isn't! I had to try my way with the amount of semolina, if it gets a little too thick when stirring, add a good bit of water or more milk!

Semolina Porridge (Semiliegrynsgrøt)
(Serves 1)

250ml whole or semi-skimmed milk
30g semolina flour
A good knob of butter
Brown sugar/sukrin gold and cinnamon for topping

- Heat up the milk in a small pan on medium heat, make sure it doesn't start boiling.

- Once it's gotten quite warm, add the semolina flour and stir almost continously with a whisk for a few minutes. Make sure the porridge is smooth and free of any lumps. Once it's getting quite a thick consistency, either add a little more milk or water and stir for a bit longer, or simply skip that bit and add the butter. I think I boiled mine for ten minutes, which was way longer than it needed, I had to add more water to the mixture twice!

- When you have melted the butter and stirred it through, it's ready to serve! Top with brown sugar or sukrin gold along with a little bit of cinnamon and enjoy!

You can also serve this with rasberry or strawberry sauce, chopped nuts and raisins along with cinnamon, or honey, syrup basically anything you'd top porridge with that's on the crunchy, fruity, sweet and fresh side!

Also, yesterday I came across these crisps in a health shop, and they were on sale!

They are delicious! Made with quinoa flour amongst other things. I had the Chilli & Lime flavoured one yesterday with a little tortilla-yogurt mix I made up, and they were delicious! They actually had a bit of a bite to them too, which I didn't mind at all! Might have to go back and buy some more! What are your favourite crisps?

It's almost the weekend!

Original source:

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Quick & Light Egg Salad for One

The concept is simple - just a handful of ingredients, the result? An amazing snack that tastes like something from the deli counter, and it's whipped up in less than a minute if you have a boiled egg waiting for you! Great as a protein boost in the morning if you#re in a hurry, but want to treat yourself.

This portion is enough for a roll, or two slices of bread. Accompany it with whatever you like, or simply let it shine on its own. Along with the crackerbreads I used, it almost tasted like butter-popcorn, funnily enough!

Quick & Light Egg Salad for One
(Serves 1, enough for two slices of bread or a big seedy roll!)

I couldn't help myself before taking the photo, had to test it!

1 hard boiled egg
2 tbsp light mayonnaise
1 tsp dried chives (or fresh! Finely chopped)
A pinch of salt
You can also add seasonings such as a bit of onion powder (yum!), garlic powder or perhaps add some black pepper or Italian herbs like basil or oregano? I kept it simple....this time!

- If you haven't boiled an egg already, now's the time! Make it two...just in case you want more, I sure did after I'd polished this off! Boil for about 8-10 minutes and let it cool (impatient? Drain off the boiling water and keep it under running water for about a minute or so).

- Now, in a small bowl, add the herbs, the mayonnaise, and finally break the egg into it, use a fork to mash it up until you have a nice little egg salad!

- Serve over bread (It would be amazing with smoked salmon I bet!), cracker bread, or perhaps top your salad with it for a bit of extra protein! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did *smiles*

I hope you have had a lovely weekend! Did you get up to anything exciting?
I have got some goodies lined up for the upcoming days, so stay tuned!

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Orange & Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Craving something sweet, but not wanting to make a whoooole cake because you're home alone? (You could make a cake and invite people over, I'd fully support that! Or just double or triple this recipe!)
I find that if I'm wanting something cakey of sorts, it's difficult, because most recipes make enough to feed a crowd, this one however, makes two lovely large cupcakes! I didn't have big cupcake cases, and so I decided to just use two greased ramekins, and it worked a treat! These were gone without minutes, so tasty!

Mind the orange zest though, as I found it a bit bitter, and will leave that part out next time I made them. The cupcakes with the topping was lovely though!

It was definitely about time this post got fed a sweet treat...

Orange & Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
(Makes 2, 95 calories each without topping, 140 with)

For the cupcakes:
1 egg
10g coconut flour (or normal flour)
10g vanilla protein powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp sukrin icing sugar, sukrin gold, or xylitol
Juice of 1/3 orange
2-3 drops stevia with vanilla or vanilla creme

1 1/2 tbsp philadelphia light
1 tbsp sukrin icing sugar
1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

- Mix all the ingredients for the cupcake batter until you have a smooth mixture. Pour into two large cupcake cases or greased ramekins, and bake for about 20 minutes until cooked through and risen.

- For the frosting, simply mix the cream cheese, sukrin icing sugar and cocoa powder together. You can leave this in the fridge until it's required.

- Once the cupcakes are done, simply take out to cool before topping with the frosting. You can also add a little bit of grated orange zest on the top, if you don't mind the slight tangyness of it.

What are you waiting for? Help yourself! *smiles*
Have these on a Saturday as well as any Monday, Tuesday or other day of the week!

Original source:
Sunnere & Sterkere med Proteinrik Mat, p. 82

- Jules

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Vegetarian Semolina Pizza

I based this on the white smoked salmon pizza I made recently! I wanted to try with a different flour and noticed that I had an unopened bag of semolina in the cupboard. Lightbulb! I topped it with whatever I had at hand and that needed to be used up, and it turned into a pretty delicious vegetarian feast!

Vegetarian Semolina Pizza
(Serves 1, about 510 calories)

For the base:
60g semolina flour
3 egg whites
Garlic powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 tsp psyllium husk (optional)

60g light Philadelphia
A few tbsp chopped tomatoes (or 1 1/2 tbsp tomato purée)
2 small Spring onions, chopped
30g camembert, chopped
Freshly torn basil leaves
Salt, pepper, oregano
Or anything else you want to add!

- Start by pre-heating the oven to about 200-220°C.

- Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl and leave it to stand for a couple of minutes so the psyllium husk (if using) gets the chance to thicken up the dough a little.

- Grease (VERY important!) 10-15cm quiche or cake tin and spread the base-batter evenly. Pop it in the oven for 10-15 minutes until cooked. Take it out and top with the cream cheese, tomatoes, Spring onions, camembert, basil leaves and seasoning, return it to the oven for another five minutes until the camembert is melted and the basil leaves slightly wilted.

Dinner's ready!

Recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Pesto & Tomato Poached Egg

Originally, this was a little simpler, served up neatly in big juicy tomatoes. I however, had some chopped tomatoed that had to be used, and so I decided to make this almost like a breakfast risotto, and it was great! So simple, but comforting, perfect for a rainy morning...

Pesto & Tomato Poached Egg
(Serves 1, about 270 calories)

Good morning, Glasgow!

30g dry (or 1/2 cooked) brown rice, I used my trusty 10-minute one
200ml chopped tomatoes from a can
1 tbsp green basil pesto
Salt and pepper
1 egg
Fresh basil leaves, torn (optional)

- If you're using dry rice, start cooking it up now. I did it in the same pan that I prepared the rest of the dish, since there wasn't much, but it fluffed up nicely!

- Once cooked, add your chopped tomatoes and pesto along with a little salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for about 5 minutes. Now, if the mixture looks a little dry, add a splash of water for the last interval so you don't end up with a burnt pan of...well...burnt thing, hehe.

- Make a well in the middle of the mixture and crack the egg into it. Cook for about 5 minutes. If it hasn't quite cooked through, place a lid on top of the pan and this will help it doing so, I had to do that for the last 45 seconds-minute. I like it in the way where it's juuust cooked enough but you still get the runny yolk, so good!

Once the egg is cooked to your liking, it's ready to serve! I took no chances, and served it straight out of the pan, just remember to use wooden cutlery if you do, so you don't damage the frying pan.

Original recipe:

- Jules

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Sweet Potato, Lentil & Coconut Curry

So I maaaay have only realised that in if you're only using HALF a tin of coconut milk, you have to shake it well before opening it, as otherwise you'd end up only with the layer of coconut cream on top.
Because I didn't think that was the case if using liiiight coconut milk, I had to use a whole tin, but you know what? That was OK, because it didn't turn out too thin, just lovely and creamy. You can of course use only half of it as stated in the original recipe, but if you don't mind a subtle coconut taste - it's all good! Add a chilli to it if you like it spicy!

This is the first recipe I have tried from Deliciously Ella's blog, and it made for a lovely vegan curry. Serve this with rice and naan brean and you have yourself a feast!

Sweet Potato, Lentil & Coconut Curry
(Serves 2-3, about 635-435 calories each)

1 large sweet potato (about 550g), peeled and diced
40g black, pitted olives, sliced
100g dry red lentils
400ml light coconut milk
200ml chopped tomatoes from a tin
Handful fresh coriander, torn
1 heaped tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground ginger, or 1 cm fresh, finely chopped/grated
Salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp each)
Juice of 1/4 lemon
(1 small chilli, deseeded and finely chopped)

Rice and naan bread to serve

- Now comes the tricky part...wait for it.... Tip everything except from the lemon (and rice and naan...of course) into a big pot, and simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring every five minutes or so. Once the lentils and sweet potato are starting to go tender, cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes.

- Complicated, huh? But it doesn't taste like you only threw it together like that! It tastes delicious! Now, turn off the heat, and squeeze in the lemon juice right before serving. Serve up this mighty casserole of goodness topped with a little fresh coriander, don't forget the rice and naan bread!

Enjoy your Sunday! Any plans?

Original source:

- Jules

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Stress Less & Update


I thought I would get back to the subject of amenorrhea since it has been a long time since I last posted about it as a quick sort of update.

My aim was to recover as soon as possible, gain weight in order to restore my normal hormone levels and assume my body would get back to normal. Things are still the same since October 2012, which I find a bit odd. 3-4 kilos and a year and three months later, nothing has changed apart from the fact that I get a bit more hormonal now than what I used to - which funnily enough I have to count as a positive! I went on the pill for three months just to see if that would trigger my body to respond, which it did, but as soon as I stopped taking them - it went back to normal, unfortunately.

A part of me tells me that it might not have to do with the working out and running now as much as it did before. Amenorrhea can also be triggered or go into "standby" if you are stressed though, and I have been stressed out a lot over the last year due to numerous reasons. I feel a lot healthier as far as my diet goes, and I also make sure to care more about the food I eat, ever-looking for inspiration and new ideas. As far as the blogging goes, I enjoy it more than ever, and I love when you drop by and give me feedback - sometimes giving me helpful advice - thank you so much!

And...if you happen to have any good advice as to how you relax at the end (or even better during!) the day, please feel free to share - I would definitely appreciate it big time! And I also reckon other readers could find it helpful.

Sometimes, you don't take note of these little underlying things that cause you to worry, but once it piles up - it isn't hard to tell at all. It's good to be a little organised, and try and work on ticking off little to-do boxes in order to keep everything up to date.

As far as working out goes, make sure not to over-do it, because then you are more likely to get fed up after not long, and motivation can sink. Find something that YOU enjoy doing, don't try and manipulate yourself into thinking you like it just because everyone else for example seems to be attending the gym instead of going hill climbing, or taking a ride on your bike.

Don't over-think what you're eating, aim for your 5-a-day and get enough protein! Through a varied diet and portion control, you will get all the nutrients you need. Make sure to eat every 3-4 hours to keep your system working, and allow yourself to indulge every now and again. Food is meant to be enjoyed, and you don't necessarily have to count your calories. In fact - I wouldn't advise it at all, unless making sure your body is getting enough fuel. 70-80% of your diet should consist of primarily healthy foods, then the remaining 20% you can do as you please with! That's a handy thumb-rule to go by I think!

I had to feature this little guy - too cute! And most certainly relaxed *winks*

If you find yourself a little overwhelmed, try taking a couple of hours to yourself, draw a bath, read a good book, or cook up a nice meal. You don't always have to be on the go, or run... Peace of mind is necessary for your mental and physical health. So relax - it's Saturday!

All the best!

- Jules

PS. All the pictures in this post are taken from Google Images, all the pictures of the food I make are taken by myself.