Thursday 25 July 2013

Starting the day

I definitely agree with the widely held view that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Having something to eat and drink in the morning provides vital energy as well as kick starting the metabolism, but it can also be a time to enjoy a few much needed minutes of tranquillity before the day begins.
Personally speaking, I enjoy the ritual of breakfast and it may sound unusual but I love to have breakfast alone because it gives me a chance to reflect and just enjoy some quiet. In summer, it is nice to eat outside, in winter to sit by the fire with a steaming cup of tea. I find eating alone in a coffee shop or restaurant is enjoyable too. It is nice to watch the world go by, plus you don't have to do the cooking! Here are a few simple breakfast ideas:

Porridge with berries. 

I use instant microwave porridge topped with frozen summer berries which thaw in the hot porridge. You could try making it with almond milk for those who prefer dairy free. Some other good toppings are chopped bananas, Apple, raisins and cinnamon. Blueberries go well too.

An ideal spot for breakfast

Organic egg fried in a tiny amount of olive oil, served with buttered multi seed bread toast

Breakfast in the garden is a real treat in summer

A smoothie: in a blender, blend ice cubes with natural yogurt, honey, a little milk or almond milk, chopped kiwi, banana and berries.

An omelette made with organic eggs

Cereal with raspberries and chopped banana

On the weekend it is nice to have a more decadent breakfast such as Eggs Benedict, croissants or pancakes. Delicious! 

Wednesday 24 July 2013

Quick Eats: Vegetable Curry

                                                       Quick Vegetable Curry

This delicious curry is an easy midweek meal which is relatively hassle free to prepare. For a chicken version, simply add chopped cooked chicken breast along with the vegetables.


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chopped onion
2 cloves crushed garlic
1 400g can chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato puree
2 tablespoons mild curry powder (or use medium for a spicier dish)
1 vegetable stock cube
285g frozen mixed vegetables (or use fresh- wash and cut up broccoli, cauliflower, peeled potatoes, peeled carrots, peeled sweet potatoes and throw in some garden peas)
340 ml (12 fl oz) water
Salt and pepper to taste
Chopped fresh coriander and sour cream to garnish


In a large saucepan heat the oil on a medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic until golden.
Stir in the curry powder and tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes. Dissolve the stock cube into the boiling water and pour the hot stock into the pan. Add the vegetables and chopped tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Simmer on a medium heat for twenty-thirty minutes until the vegetables are cooked. Top with the coriander and sour cream if desired. Serve with rice, samosa and naan as shown or with jacket potato or wedges.

Tuesday 23 July 2013

Travel: Anglesey, Wales: Newborough

The Island of Anglesey in Wales is without question one of my favourite places in the world. There is so much to see and do. I will be doing a series of posts on the Island, this is the first.

1) Newborough beach and forest/ Llanddwyn Island.

Sunset on the second beach

There is a £3 charge per car to access the car park. There are toilets in the car park, picnic benches and stone stands to place disposible barbecues on. In summer there are is now an ice cream van and food van in the car park too but I would suggest bringing a picnic and  drinks to enjoy on the beach. Newborough beach and forest are just breathtaking and you can walk through the towering pine trees to the spectacular beaches.

A trail through the forest to the second beach

There is a 'trim trail' for fitness enthusiasts as well as horse riding, bicycle and walking trails too. You may see a red squirrel in the forest, as they enjoy a conservation area here. Look out for spectacular wild orchids, honeysuckle and yellow sand tail too. On one side the beach looks across the Menai Straits to the Snowdonia mountain range. There is a new boardwalk which provides wheelchair access/ an easy walk to the beach. At the end of the boardwalk there is a lovely viewing platform with picnic benches overlooking the beach. At the the far end of the beach there is a spectacular island where you can visit the lighthouse and the ruins of a chapel. The island is named for saint Dwynwen, the Welsh patron saint for lovers, so it is a romantic place to visit. Wild ponies are often visible on the island and there are hidden coves and breathtaking coast and mountain views.
This is a tidal island which does get cut off, so check the tide times on the board in the car park before you go.
Around the corner from the first beach is the second (and my personal favourite) beach. A vast stretch of unspoiled sand bordered by marram grass topped dunes, it is even more breathtaking and elemental than the first beach and swimming there on a warm day is an amazing experience. Do not swim all out too far as currents can be strong. You can walk all the way along the beach to the village of Malltraeth if you feel energetic!
Some of the most amazing sunsets I have ever witnessed have been on this beach.

A beautiful sunset

The stunning second beach looking towards Llanddwyn Island

According to the saying, 'Neither disease nor sorrowful countenance shall follow a heart from Llanddwyn'

Enjoy your visit!

Monday 22 July 2013

Quick Eats: Super Speedy Vegetarian Chilli


1 finely diced onion
1 tbsp olive oil
Half a packet of Quorn mince
2 cartons tomato passata
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons mild Chilli powder (or more for hotter Chilli!)
1 can red kidney beans, drained
Sour cream and grated cheese to serve.


In a large saucepan, heat the oil on a medium heat. Add the onion and fry gently, stirring with a wooden spatula, until the onion is soft. Add the tomato passata, chopped tomatoes, Chilli powder and Quorn mince.
Stir the ingredients together and simmer on a medium heat until the Chilli is thickened and heated all the way through. Taste to see if the flavour is to your liking, and add more Chilli powder or salt and pepper if desired.  Serve with sour cream and grated cheese. This dish also goes well with jacket potatoes, baked sweet potatoes or plain boiled rice!