Wednesday 30 March 2016

Review: The Gate vegetarian restaurant, Islington

The Gate Vegetarian Restaurant in Islington
The Gate Vegetarian Restaurant in Islington

Although I'm not a vegetarian, I eat a lot of veggie food and I'm actually quite fussy with it. I think veggie options can be quite lazy - a lot of places think that just removing the meat is the only way to go, but of course it isn't. A good vegetarian meal has been planned without any meat in mind, making a hero out of the vegetables used (I'd also accept the cheese), and as a dedicated carnivore, I don't want to be eating it and thinking 'If you just added some bacon, it'd be perfect.' So I'm all for the inclusion of a really good vegetarian option on a menu. I fight for your rights, veggies.

So here I am, reviewing The Gate restaurant in Islington with all that in mind. I don't frequent veggie restaurants often, so I was excited to see what they did with that option - was it going to be run of the mill, or innovative? Well, I'm happy to say it was the latter - this is a place that loves vegetables, and wants to show people what they can do. Not only did I not miss meat during my three course dinner, I really noticed the difference in how I felt afterwards - much less bloated, much less heavy - enough to make me consider ordering the (V) option even more frequently, and not always succumbing to the allure of a steak.


Monday 28 March 2016

My perfect workspace #FindYourBrilliance

Desk and workspace inspiration with Dell

With the prospect of owning my own home this year on the horizon, I find myself thinking about my dream workspace. You see, before I was blogging, I was LiveJournaling. Before that, I was doing an English degree. Before that... I don't know, were computers even invented? (lololol they totes were, and I was writing self-insert Buffy fanfic about Giles's sassy niece from England)


Friday 25 March 2016

10 great recipes to turn your Easter chocolate into

Easter chocolate recipe inspiration with Lindt and Lindor

Four day weekend, four day weekend! I do love Easter. While I will make time to see the family this weekend, of course, there's a lovely relaxed feeling about this whole holiday that I don't usually get at Christmas. Easter, for me, is usually low on commitments and high on lie-ins, socialising and marathoning TV shows. I almost hope for bad weather so I can have a duvet day with no pesky sunshine encouraging me to go and take in fresh air. Pah on you, fresh air. Pah!

Actually, every day this weekend has plans, but I think there will still be plenty of time to bond with my duvet - and of course, indulge in some chocolateyness. I'm trying to resist my usual habit of eating all of the chocolate in one go - that whole 'balance' thing I'm attempting - but this might mean looking at some creative ways to share out my chocolate to take away the temptation. Which I'm already thinking about, after Lindt kindly sent me one of their Lindor Easter eggs, complete with 9 mini Lindor eggs - and I know there are more Easter eggs to come. So instead, I'm going to try and turn some of my stash into something more shareable.

If you have more chocolate in your house than you can eat (it happens, honestly), then here are some great recipes for using up leftover chocolate. Or, also, you can freeze it. It's actually pretty good frozen!


Wednesday 23 March 2016

Recipe inspiration from my favourite cookbooks

Recipe inspiration from Jamie Oliver, Anna Jones, Gizzi Erskine and Nigella Lawson
Recipe inspiration from Jamie Oliver, Anna Jones, Gizzi Erskine and Nigella Lawson

After my ‘Raaahhh! LIFESTYLE CHANGE!’ post earlier this week – well done if you read that lengthy one – I wanted to focus a bit on something I’ve claimed as my new mantra: it’s not what you can’t have, it’s what you can have.

You see, when you’re trying to be healthy, it’s easy to think about all the things you can’t eat, and often that’s dooming you before you’ve begun. If you’re eating salad and wishing you had chips, then you’re never going to stop thinking about those chips. So my new strategy is to plan meals that are healthy, nutritious and most importantly – delicious. Because if I’m not excited about what I’m eating, then I won’t want to eat it.

My top tip is having a recipe inspiration session. Haul out all those cookbooks and spend an evening going through them and noting down everything you want to try. I got a huge stack of them at Christmas, and most of them are on the healthy side, but after my original flick-through I’ve put them away and made nothing. After making my list of recipes to try though, I’m really excited to work my way through it, and have already started with Jamie Oliver’s tacos and kiwi salsa recipe (my take on that is coming up soon).


Sunday 20 March 2016

Recipe: Simple, Healthy Granola with Alpro #makeoveryourmorning

Alpro #makeoveryourmorning plant based yogurt with homemade granola

Being a food blogger means often being challenged to try new things. I actually really enjoy it - it's all too easy to get stuck in a rut, and I know that I learn a lot from it. Sometimes I find it's a nice variation from the norm, but other times it really does change the way I cook, or totally alters my routine for the better.

This food challenge was definitely the latter. Alpro asked me to take part in their #MakeOverYourMorning campaign, to create delicious smoothie bowls and other concoctions with their tasty yogurts, which are incidentally all dairy free. They sent me a pack of their big yogurt pots - Coconut, Almond and Natural - and I got to thinking about what I could come up with.


Friday 18 March 2016

Food for thought: Eating right.

I have a lot of thoughts about food, and sometimes, when I see the eyes of my poor boyfriend glaze over as I rant for the 307th time about why I don't want to give up sugar, I think 'Maybe I should spare the poor soul and put this on my blog?' At least you guys can opt out if I get boring.

I'm thinking a lot about eating well at the moment. I am a Dieter, and I say that with a little bit of embarrassment, because it's not something I like about myself. I hate how quickly I can turn the conversation to diets. I hate how obsessed I am with my weight. I wish I could accept myself as a larger woman. I was raised with a binge/starve mentality – not an eating disorder, but not a healthy approach to food, either. My mentality is usually 'Be really good until this point and then GO CRAZY.' And that, my friends, is how I gained a stone in December. I know, you're all thinking 'You went to NYC! We saw the food pics!' True, true. But I gained about 2lbs in NYC. The real damage was when I came back. Christmas food was in abundance and I denied myself nothing.


Wednesday 16 March 2016

Making pizza with I Just Love It

Pizza making with La Cucina Caldesi and I Just Love It

I have this little fantasy about one day having a big, lovely house with a huge garden (that I somehow never have to tend, because who the heck wants to do gardening?) and, obviously, an outdoor pizza oven. On weekend nights, we'd throw together some dough and have family pizza night - woodfired, of course.

I mean, I assume woodburning outdoor pizza stoves are on the pricey side and it might not be the safest idea in the world for Essbeevee Jr to pop in her own pizza, but what part does practicality have to play in a fantasy? Nothing, that's what.

My point? I'm GETTING there, honest. A couple of weeks ago I went to La Cucina Caldesi to learn how to make my own pizza, along with the team from gifts website I Just Love It and lots of lovely bloggers.


Sunday 13 March 2016

Life update and general chatter

So, March already. This year is flying by – but don't they all? 2016 is going to be a big year of change for me, yet at the moment I feel like I’m rather stuck in a rut... probably because I’m in a very similar position to the one I was in 2 years ago.

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