Gluten, what have you done to me?

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Over the past few days I have been battling with my body, after an wheat indulgent weekend partly at university and at home, I woke up on Monday morning with a heavily pregnant looking stomach.

I am not the best person at judging my own body, I always feel like I look really big at the moment. However with my summer dress on, thanks to the good weather, while I was shopping a very kind sales man asked me “When are you due?” After that a few friends and family members agreed that I did in fact look pregnant.

I have had problems with my stomach for year; at school I was ill quiet often due in horrendous stomach pains. Earlier this year I was tested for Coeliac disease due to a bloated stomach and pains. Although I was told I had not got the disease (although the test is not very accurate) my doctor told me that I was likely to have a gluten intolerance. My pain went away and I have to say I kind of ignored what the doctor said, until this week.

After eating a lot of gluten over the weekend, at least a lot for me, and then having a swollen stomach I think that I should go gluten free for a while. Along with this I am also booking in to see a woman who tests for allergies and helps create a diet suited to your life style and illness.

This is a new journey for me, one which I hope to keep you up to date with.

Over the last few days I have tried a number of gluten-free substitute foods; Pasta, bread and pancakes. As well as realising how many thing have gluten in them!

A uni Confession

  • I have finished my second year at university! That’s so scary.
  • I have gained a voluntary job in PR.
  • The next blog post will be a requested post about the career masterclass.

Food Heaven: Baked Camembert and Tomato Salsa

I feel like one of the core things I love to write about is cooking, its why I have gained so much weight while I’ve been at uni! So when I went to a restaurant with my dad a few weeks ago, I have found a decadent, easy, filling and cheap meal!

This is a great meal to share with someone for a fun night in.

Baked Camembert with a tomato salsa.

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I will admit that I have added the salsa myself, and I love it.

Ingredients

1 camembert in a box

1 loaf of ciabatta

5-10 cherry tomatoes

1 chili pepper

1/4 red onion

salt

lime juice

Method

  1. Preheat you oven to 220. Rub salt into the top of your Camembert. Place the Camembert, in the wooden box, and the Ciabatta in the oven.
  2. While the Cheese and bread is cooking make your salsa. Finely chop your tomatoes, onion and chili.
  3. Add the juice of your lime to your chopped ingredients. and sprinkle with salt.
  4. To check your cheese is cooked lightly press on the cheese, if it feels very soft its ready to come out.
  5. Plate your cheese, keep it in the box it looks pretty. Cut your bread, and place it along with the salsa on the plate.
  6. That’s it! Now all you need to do is enjoy it!

I ate this with a bit of ham and some peppers to give a different flavor.

I am currently in a food coma so I will talk to you later.

Food: Hangover one-pot breakfast

ImageBloody hell! It’s February already, where is this year going? I haven’t managed to upload on here as much as I want to,  but my boyfriends friends are round this weekend so I am planning on writing a load of blog posts.

I thought I would write another recipe blog post, so this is a hangover breakfast special. I found a recipe for this on pintrest and I have adapted it for my own flavors. Hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

Potatoes- about 2 per person for a filling meal.

Onion- 1

Egg- 1 per person

Peas- as much as you want.

Bacon- a couple rashers

Directions

  1. The first thing you need to do is chop your potatoes, small bite sized are the best with the skin still on, makes them crispy. Once they are chopped you need to put them in a bowl of cold water, this is meant to make them more crispy.
  2. While your potatoes are soaking, start on your bacon. You need to go to chop them into small-ish pieces, make sure you remove the fat, as it is super unhealthy anyway. Fry them off until they are crispy.
  3. You should add your onion and peas to the bacon until they are cooked. Then place them in a bowl.
  4. You can now cook your potatoes, add them into the frying pan on a medium to low setting with plenty of oil. You want to cook them slowly and oily for them to crisp up.
  5. Once the potatoes are cooked add the bacon and veg back into the pan and mix together, make a little well in the middle of the pan and crack an egg. Once the egg is cooked you are ready to plate up. Your egg will turn into a little bit of an omelet with some of the veg and potatoes in it.

The Stodgy potatoes will soak up alcohol nicely, the veg kick in the vitamins and well we all know that bacon is god’s gift to hangovers.

Hope your hangover enjoys this meal.

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Making your food budget stretch!

I know, I’ve been gone forever!

The past week or so has been a bit of a stress-fest for me; I have had essays due in, as well as a few issues with my house so I have really struggled to post anything, and I have felt so bad about that!

Anyway, I am back today with an tips post. I thought I would share with you my tips on how to make your food budget stretch further.

How many meals do you need?

I know this sounds like a weird thing to say but if you sit down and look at your calendar, what days are you in university for lunch time? Are there any reasons you will be eating out or round at someone else’s house? I plan to eat in every night and have lunch at home most days with only 1 or 2 brought meals. Working out what meals you are going to eat means you can plan better.

Make a plan.

Leading on from the last point, once you have worked out when you are going to be making food try and plan the food. Planning ahead can mean you are going to have less product wastage. If you have a chicken pasta on monday you could do a chicken curry later in the week using up the left over chicken. It is normally cheaper to buy one big thing than a couple of little ones so think of how many ingredients you can use more than once.

Lunch!

I know how easy it can be to go into university with a bit of money and have grab some food from the canteen. In the winter it can also warm you up. However buying food is much more expensive than cooking yourself. I know I said earlier to think about lunch, but if you are in for lunch everyday then think about a packet lunch for some of the days. I tend to buy food as a ‘well done’ for getting through the week or a hard part of the week.

Frozen veggies

Although I love having fresh fruit and veggies in my house, it is so much easier to have a bag of frozen vegetables in the freezer to just whip out when you need it. I have a bag of mixed vegitables and its lasting forever! (And goes with everything!)

What time is it!

(Is it really sad that I want to shout “Summer time!” from high school musical now? Please don’t run away!)

Most cities nowadays have 24 hour supermarkets or at least ones that are open until stupidly early, and us students need to take advantage of that. Who else goes shopping at 2am?

I am not suggesting that you go on your food shop just after you have been on a night out because I am pretty sure alcohol and food shopping don’t go together to make a cheap shop. However if you go late at night there tends to be a number of great things in the clearance section. Because of laws over sell by dates the shops will put a huge discount on a product the day of its sell by date. It is still perfectly fine to eat and in fact should be for at least a few days however they can’t legally sell it after the sell by date has gone!

Shop and Freeze.

One of the things that I tend to do is buy loads of products and then freeze them. It means your weekly shop doesn’t have to be weekly and you still have good food. When I am putting away my shopping I take all my meat/ fish products out of their packaging and wrap them in foil in meal sized portions. This means I don’t have to try and break the ice to get the amount I need.

I think this is everything I can think of right now, I am super tired so I am sorry about any mistakes on this post I just wanted to talk to you again!

Talk to you soon.

It’s food time

I know that I have a tendency to talk a lot about cooking. It is a great passion of mine and a great way to stay healthy. But let’s be honest we are uni students not gourmet chefs; sometime you just don’t want to cook.

This post is going to be based on some of the lovely food I have found over the past couple of weeks that is requires no cooking or very little. Get that Microwave ready!

Chicken Chorizo and Chipotle Mayo Sandwich

When I am on my way home from my lectures I have to walk past a Tesco Extra. This can come in really useful when I need to stock up on a few essentials on the way home. Of course this stock up also means that I end up buying their meal deal for lunch.

I walked in today and decided that I would try something new. A Chicken Chorizo and Chipotle Mayo Sandwich, I have to say I may have found my favorite sandwich. The Chorizo gives the sandwich a slight spicy tang to it, Although it would never be too spicy, and the mayo tastes nothing like the normal boring and plain mayo. The Bread is also a little special with sun dried tomato bred. It tastes amazing!

Hungry joe’s

I went food shopping again yesterday and finally managed to wonder around without being pressured to get home for football! So I loved wandering around and looking at products I hadn’t seen before. I was right at the end of the shopping trip, in the frozen food aisle, when I saw a new brand (well I have never seen it before!)

The brand was called Hungry Joe’s and I have to say Joe I love you! This guy’s random food combinations come straight from my brain and into his packet! I brought two of the Hungry Joe’s meals the first one I ate last night which was Chicken Vindaloo with Cardamon rice and a nan bread.

One pet hate I have with store brought curries is that they lie! I have tried so many ‘vindaloos’ or ‘extra spciy’ curries and have wondered if a chili was ever anywhere near it. I am a curry maniac, I have even traveled to india, and I love spice so I want it to be hot, However I understand that it needs to appeal to the masses. Which is another reason why I love this curry, It has a great kick to it and I could definitely taste the spice without it being likely to kill people! The rice is amazing and has a good cardamon kick. Although I did need to stir the rice a little more during cooking and I would suggest that you cook the nan in a toaster.

Indian Burrito Company

My university has a new company called Wrap chic ‘The Indian Burrito Company’ and my golly Gosh! They are good. The idea behind the food is that it a fusion between mexican and Indian food. A flour tortilla is topped with rice, red kidney beans a choice of curry salad and sauce. I Always get the Saag Paneer and it tastes so good.

Cook and Freeze

Cook and Freeze.

I thought I would come back from my little break in true Uni Confessions style; so here is some food!

This meal is perfect for university because once you have cooked it you can wack it in a container and freeze it for another day.

Ingredients

450g minced beef

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

430g jar of pasata

1 bell peper

2 cloves of Garlic

1 onion

A sprinkle of mint

2 teaspoons oregano

2 teaspoons of Chilli

  1. In a large pan Brown off your mince. Don’t use any oil for this as the meat has its own fat. Your meat should ideally already be unfrozen however if you have just got it out of the freezer slice it up a little and it will cook fine.
  2. once your mince is brown, you should add your chopped up Onions and Pepper.
  3. Add in both the tinned tomatoes and Pasata into the pan and stir in with all your ingredients. Don’t worry if this looks like too much liquid.
  4. Add your seasonings: Chili, Mint and Oregano. You then need to stir them into the sauce.
  5. You can then add your Finely chopped Garlic cloves into the sauce.
  6. Once you have added all your ingredients. You should leave the liquid to boil without the lid so the sauce can reduce.
  7. Once it is thick enough, you can simply serve on top of some pasta or spaghetti.

I hope you enjoy!

Store Cupboard essentials

I finally managed to go shopping! Since I got my student loan I have been bugging Chris to drive me to Asda to do a weekly shop. (I hate having to walk home with my shopping) On Thursday we finally got around to going to the shops and I stocked up on all of the things I love cooking with at home.

I have to start off this post with a little bit of a confession. Although I have called this post my store cupboard essentials I didn’t have all of these things last year. However I have picked things I have been using a lot in my cooking over the summer, so should be using all the time this year. So here we go.

-Potatoes

If you think about your favorite meal I bet it has a potato in it! (Write below your fave meals!) Potatoes are a magical ingredient that can go with anything because they are so damn versatile. I love a Jacket Potato for my lunch, as I always feel they are kind of healthy. You can also make so much more: chips/ Wedges, Mash, Roasted, pie topping… The list goes on and on. 

-Bred

Bread is a great snackie food. I am slightly addicted to cheese on toast at the moment but you can also use bread as part of a quick meal. Yummy with Soup, Beans on toast, egg on toast, Toast… And any other form of toast! 

-Soup

If you get cans of soup they can last you longer than your uni life, so they are a great thing to have in the back of the cupboard. It is a brilliant thing to eat in the middle of winter to warm you up or if you are feeling ill. My boyfriends parents always bring him to uni with one tin of every type of soup you can think of. I will try and get a pic of his cupboard. 

-Hot sauce

This is one of the options that may scare you. If you don’t like Spicy food then don’t get it, but one of the sucky things about been a student is that you end up buy cheap food, so you can still go out.  Cheap food normally means no flavor, your spicy sauce can add that much needed taste to boring meals. 

-Cheese

I am a slight cheese addict, so this could just be me but I think that cheese is a must have to have in a uni kitchen. A standard Cheddar cheese is the best I think; my favorite is Tickler extra mature cheddar but I am also a fan of Cathedral city. I quiet often have either Mozzarella or Feta cheese as an extra addiction depending on what mood I am in and the sort of food I might cook. 

-Herbs and flavorings

These are some of the things I have added to my cupboard list over the summer. It isn’t just one herb but I thought I would group together. These are the ones I have at the moment but I may buy more. 

-Paprika

This is actually one that I did have last year because I am in love with Paprika. I used it in mashed Potato to add a little interesting kick, I have also used it in a pie. 

-Basil

Fresh basil is an amazing taste and texture to any meal, however at uni you are  not going to be keeping a plant healthy so why bother. I find that basil is great for cooking Italian food among many others. 

-Chili Powder

This is another one of those if you don’t like hot food then you probably wont want to buy this. I love adding this to a curry to give it a kick, again it can be used in so many other ways aswell. 

Oregano

Again another new herb that I love. I think this can add an extra depth to any meal. No longer a boring meal it has a great taste. 

-Chicken

Having been brought up a vegetarian I am not a mad meat eater. However I do like chicken, as far as I am concerned this is the best meat and can go in pretty much anything. Chicken in a marinade, in a sauce, Roasted, kebab ect. If you like other meat then you can decided on what meat you want. 

-Vegetables

We have to make our mothers happy and keep away those freshers pounds away. So we need to have vegetables in the house. I would suggest a couple of onions, some peppers, tomatoes (although a fruit!) and some tinned sweetcorn. (Frozen peas are also great! These are just an easy way to make things a little healthier 

-Fruit

I always like to have some fruit in the house because I like to think it stops me snacking on junk. I find Apples would probably be great on the run to uni I am loving grapes at the moment so they are my current food store fave fruit. 

-Garlic

Incase a vampire ever comes into my house I am pretty sure I am safe. With my love of both Indian and Italian food I don’t think I could function properly without garlic. It is great to add in while cooking to give you an amazing taste. However use with caution: Don’t use too much and don’t use it the day before an important interview (or date!) 

Bloody hell this is nearly 1000 words! I will stop talking but I may do a follow up soon. 

Write below your favorite meals! 

some pintrest food!

My name is Lauren and I am addicted to pintrest.

I thought I would start off by saying I am really sorry for not posting in a while. I have been getting ready for uni and to be honest I seem more stressed about moving into a house this year than I have before. I have made a few videos of my packing process if you want to see them.

So while I have been away and getting ready for university I have been creating a number of different folders to help keep me organised. As you know, I love to cook so One of the folders I have created is a Recipe folder.

Searching Pintrest, in every waking minute, I have found a number of great recipes I have never heard of before in my life. A lot of the recipes seem kind of american, Can you have american food? So I thought I would share some recipes.

Buffalo Chciken Garbage bread. -Sound delisouse huh? Well it looks pretty yummy and very unhealthy!

pastedGraphic.pdf

Ingredients

2 boneless chicken breasts
1 tsp. olive oil
1 pizza dough (I used store bought and let it sit out for about 20 minutes)
8 oz. of shredded mozzarella cheese (I used part skim)
3 oz. of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of Franks Wing Sauce
1/3 cup of ranch or blue cheese dressing

Directions

Cut chicken into cubes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat teaspoon of olive oil in skillet and add chicken when hot.  Cook chicken completely and then add 1/4 cup of wing sauce.  Stir to coat chicken and let simmer for a minute or two.  Take chicken off heat and let cool.

Pre-heat oven to 425°F.**

On a well floured surface, spread pizza dough into a long rectangle shape.

Add ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing (depending on your preference!) and remaining 1/4 cup of wing sauce.  Spread across the dough.  Add chicken and then top with mozzarella and cheddar cheese.  You can also add a bit more of the wing sauce on top of the cheese if you want it to be a little bit spicier.

Roll the dough like a pinwheel until you reach the end.  Make sure to tuck the ends of the dough in so the middle doesn’t ‘ooze’ out when baking.

Spray baking sheet with light coat of non-stick cooking spray.  Place garbage bread on the pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Her blog is: http://emmalinaviolet.wordpress.com/2011/11/16/buffalo-chicken-garbage-bread/

Pizza Quesadillas

Quesadillas are about the quickest thing you can make, and these cheesy tortillas tasted exactly like fresh oven-baked pizza, but required less than 10 minutes to make. Plus, they were way more fun because we got to dip them in the pizza sauce. The key ingredient to making them so mouth-watering was pan-fried high-quality pepperoni to give each bite the crispy texture reminiscent of real pizza. It was a high flavor payoff for a meal that took only a couple of minutes, and Chuy was a happy camper.

Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas
Serves 4

  • 8 flour tortillas (I used Trader Joe’s handmade tortillas)
  • 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 lb pepperoni
  • 1 16-ounce jar of pizza sauce
  • Optional: 1 6-ounce can of sliced black olives, 1 cup of sliced cremini mushrooms
  1. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat and fry the pepperoni until crisp. Transfer on a paper towel to drain.
  2. Brush each tortilla with a thin layer of pizza sauce (so thin that if you turned it over, none would drip).
  3. Sprinkle cheese on top of the sauce on the bottom tortilla. Top with pepperoni and other toppings, if desired. Sprinkle with another layer of cheese and place the other tortilla on top (sauce side in).
  4. Pre-heat a medium cast-iron skilled over medium heat.
  5. Lay quesadilla in the pan and cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until cheese is melted and tortillas are crispy.
  6. Slice into quarters and serve with a little bowl of pizza dipping sauce.

http://www.snixykitchen.com/2012/04/20/pepperoni-pizza-quesadillas/

My version of Bruschetta

You may have already worked this out but I am a little bit addicted to cooking . I have two recipes that will be (hopefully) being uploaded in the next few days.

I am also addicted to Italian food, I went to the Italian restaurant the other day and had Bruschetta and since then have been trying to re-create this in my house. I want to have a disclaimer: I am not italian, I am not a professional cook so I am not at all doing this in the ‘proper’ way. It a way I worked out, and love!

Ingredients 

1  Large tomato

Garlic

Feta Cheese

Fresh Mint

Chili (opptional)

Warbatons  sandwich thins

Olive oil

Instructions. 

  1. To start off you need to finely cutting the garlic.
  2. Once you have got very small pieces of garlic you can get your Sandwich thins and lay them out so that the inside of the sandwich is facing upwards you can then drizzle the one side of the bread with Olive oil.
  3. Rub the Garlic into the Olive oil and spread around the one side of the bread.
  4. Put the bread into a pan to allow the bread to toast on each side.
  5. While the bread is toasting you can cut your large tomato into small Chunks.
  6. Take the bread out of the pan and place onto a baking tray. Add the Tomatoes on top distributing them evenly between the two slices.
  7. Crumble some Feta cheese onto the tomatoes and add the Chili’s if you want them.
  8. Put into the oven for a few minutes, you want it all to be warmed but not mushie.
  9. Once you bring it out of the oven tear the mint onto of it all and serve.

This is a great snack or possible part of a main meal. I hope you enjoy!

P.s. Sorry about the lack of posts I went to Barcelona for 4 days!

Recipe: Spicy pasta

If you follow me of twitter you will have seen my exasperated tweet earlier today. After writing a 5 page review on some fake tan my computer needed to be re-started, so I lost my work 😦 I need to learn to save when I start.

*Saves this document*

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Pasta and sauce

I can’t bring myself to re-write the whole review now, so you will have to wait for the sunless tanner reviews. Instead I will give you a lovely pasta sauce recipe. This sauce reminds me a little an Arrabiata sauce as it is tomato and Chilli. I love this sauce and I think its so easy to make.

Ingredients

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1/2 a teaspoon of tomato puree

2 cloves of garlic

1 fresh chilli deseeded (unless you want an extra kick!)

1/4 of a teaspoon of chili powder

1 onion

packet of pre-cooked chicken (or any leftover meat.)

Olive oil

(optional: red pepper)

  1. Start by dicing the onion into bite sized pieces. Then add the onion, along with some Olive oil into the bottom of a pan. If you want to add a pepper then you should chop and add to the pan the same way you did with the onions.
  2. Once the onions have started to soften and go brown then add the whole can on chopped tomatoes and mix the vegetables around in the sauce.
  3. Add in the chilli powder. To deseed a chilli you need to cut the chilli in half and run your knife along the chilli pulling the small white seeds out. Mix the fresh chilli and chilli powder into the tomatoes.
  4. When you start cooking the pasta, add the chicken (or other meat) to the sauce.
  5. Once that pasta is cooked add it to the sauce and mix together and then serve!

Hope you enjoy this spicy pasta sauce!