Christmas Wrapping Ideas

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Just in case you still haven’t wrapped your Christmas presents, I thought I’d share my wrapping for this year.

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I used brown paper, a simple graphic print wrapping paper, gift stickers, paper ribbon, and a selection of Holiday-themed and Lace tapes. I also attempted some stamping with a gingerbread man stamp, although be warned it’s a little bit time-consuming.

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Cheat’s Fried Rice

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Cheat's Fried Rice @ EverythingButToast

Serves 1 (easily doubled, etc)

This is my quick and easy version of Egg Fried Rice. This is makes a really nutritious, healthy lunch or dinner accompaniment.

125-150g Cold Cooked Brown Rice (make sure that after you cook the rice initially you cool it as quickly as possible to avoid potentially harmful bacteria)
2 Medium (Free Range) Eggs
150ml Milk
50g Brown Onion, finely diced
1 Stick of Celery, finely sliced
2 Medium Mushrooms, sliced
1 Large Handful of Kale or Greens
You could also add any other vegetables that you have such as, Peppers, Babycorn, Peas, Beansprouts, etc
1 Tsp Coconut Oil (alternatively use Groundnut or Vegetable Oil)
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce (Reduced Salt)
1 Tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 Tsp Garlic Granules
Pinch of Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper

Firstly whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl and add salt and pepper. Heat a wok or large frying pan and cook the eggs for 3-4 mins, moving regularly to make scrambled eggs. Remove the cooked eggs from the wok and set aside in a bowl.

Add the coconut oil to the wok and heat, then add the chopped onion and celery. Cook for 1-2 mins until they start to turn translucent then add the remaining vegetables. Stir fry for another 2-3 minutes, adding small amounts of water if necessary to prevent them from browning too much.

Add the cooked rice and the scrambled eggs, and combine well. Add the sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic and chilli, and mix well. Allow to heat through, which should only take another minute or so.

Serve and add any extra seasoning if necessary.

For a more substantial meal you could also add another protein such as chicken, prawns or tofu.

Nutrition per serving; 489kcal, 20g fat, 55g carbs, 26g protein, 11g sugar

Chocolate Lover’s Birthday Idea

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Chocolate_Card @ Everything But Toast

I know this isn’t my usual kind of post, but I thought it was something other people might appreciate.

It was my Dad’s 60th birthday recently and he’s got a real sweet tooth! Having seen some of these on Pinterest I decided to make my own for him, and he loved it!

This is easily adjusted for any family member or friend, and for any birthday or celebration.

Large Cardboard Box- made into a card with a spine (like an empty book)
Wrapping Paper
Double-sided Tape
Thick Sharpie
CHOCOLATES!

The outside read “To Dad,”

“Please don’t SNICKER, I was in a real time CRUNCH searching for a present.
The big 6-0 and not even a WISPA of what you wanted.
A ride on a DOUBLE DECKER for a lovely PICNIC? Or how about a trip on an AERO-plane to a TURKISH DELIGHT, or I could send you to MARS on a trip around the GALAXY.
Unfortunately I’m living on BUTTONS!
So instead let me just say, you are a MARVELLOUS CREATION and I love you to PIECES.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Have a PARTY (BREAK) and enjoy your MUNCHIES.
Lots of Love, your SMARTIE-pants daughter.”

Delicious Dressing/Dip

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Delicious-Dressing-500

Makes approx. 1 serving (easily scaled up though)

This is a really delicious creamy dressing that would be great as a healthy alternative to Caesar.

25g Fat Free Greek or Natural Yogurt/ Fromage Frais
4g Parmesan Cheese, finely grated or chopped
1/4 tsp Fresh Chives/Parsley, finely chopped
2 Tsp-1 Tbsp (approx) Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed from a wedge of lemon
Garlic Granules
Chilli Flakes
Salt & Pepper
Water (for dressing)

Mix the yogurt, parmesan, herbs and lemon juice together in a small dish. Season to taste with the garlic, chilli and salt & pepper. Leave thick for a dip, or for a salad dressing mix in a teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the consistency you want.

Serve over your chosen salad or crisp Iceberg lettuce wedges. Or serve as a creamy dip for vegetables, breadsticks, crisps, etc.

Nutrition per serving; 26kcal, 0.8g fat

Zoodles (Courgette Noodles/Spaghetti)

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A little while ago I bought a spiraliser, and I LOVE it! Why, because you can have a huge bowl of “noodles” for less than 100 kcal!

Zoodles (Courgette Noodles/Spaghetti)
Raw Zoodles

You can enjoy zoodles raw or cooked.To cook lightly sautée with 1 tsp of coconut/olive oil for 4-6 minutes (you still want them to have a bit of bite), keep the zoodles moving and toss every 30 seconds to make sure they cook evenly.

Zoodles are perfect for pasta dishes. Replace half-all of your usual pasta serving with zoodles and serve with your favourite sauce or pesto. (Looking for a pesto recipe?)

300g raw zoodles cooked with 1 tsp oil – 90kcal  vs  340 kcal – 100g (dry) wholewheat spaghetti

Zoodles are also delicious as an accompaniment to oriental-style dishes.

Zoodles with Salmon, Pineapple Salsa and Pak Choi
Zoodles with Salmon, Pineapple & Cucumber Salsa, and Pak Choi

Sautée or stir-fry with a teaspoon of coconut/vegetable oil and add a splash of soy sauce, garlic and chilli. Or use a homemade/store bought sauce and stir-fry the zoodles with other veggies such as onion, peppers, broccoli and baby corn for a really tasty, low calorie chow mein.

I’m going to start experimenting with my spiraliser and other vegetables, so hopefully there will be some more recipe ideas up soon!

Chinese Style Aubergines

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Chinese Style Aubergines

Serves 2 as a main meal, or 4 as side dish.

Approx 500g Aubergines, halved/quartered and sliced
1 Tsp Coconut Oil (alternatively use Groundnut or Vegetable Oil)
1 Small Brown Onion, finely chopped
4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped
1 Red Chilli, halved and sliced (de-seeded if you prefer)
1 Tbsp Fresh Ginger, finely grated
200ml Strong Vegetable Stock (fresh or using a stock pot/cube)
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce (reduced salt)
1 Tbsp Sweet Chilli Sauce
1 Tsp Cornflour
20g Raw Cashews
Handful of Fresh Basil, roughly chopped/torn
You could also include other vegetables such as babycorn, carrots, mushrooms.

In a wok heat the oil then add the chopped onion. Cook for 1-2 mins until the onion starts to turn translucent then add the aubergines.

Cook for around 8-10 minutes adding small amounts of water when necessary to prevent the aubergines from browning too much. When the aubergines are softening then add the garlic, chilli and ginger and cook for another 2-3 minutes until they are cooked through and the aubergines are soft.

Add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and sweet chilli sauce and mix well. Add the vegetable stock, reserving a couple of tablespoons. Stir the cornflour into the leftover stock, mixing thoroughly then add to the wok. Mix well and allow the aubergines to simmer for around 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Add the cashews and basil and stir through. Serve with Basmati/Wild Rice.

Nutrition per serving; 214kcal, 10g fat, 32g carbs, 7g protein, 17 sugar

Kale & Basil Pesto

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Kale & Basil Pesto @ www.everythingbuttoast.wordpress.com

Today  I decided to make a lovely batch of fresh pesto to pop in to the freezer, ready for whenever I need some. Just as easy and much healthier than the store cupboard version. I added kale for a nice boost of vitamins, iron, fibre and calcium.

Makes 20 cubes

1 Big Handful of Raw Kale
1 Big Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves
2 Garlic Cloves, peeled
Zest & Juice of 1 Large Lemon
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
25g Parmesan Cheese (or a vegetarian alternative)
30g Raw Cashews (optional, alternatively you could use pine nuts)
Water
Salt & Pepper to taste

@ www.everythingbuttoast.wordpress.com

Just throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz. Add a few tablespoons of water whilst the machine is running until it reaches the desired consistency.

When the pesto is smooth use a teaspoon to divide into ice cube tray. Each cube should be about 2 level teaspoons of pesto.

Put in to the freezer, once solid you can transfer the cubes into a freezer bag to safe space and free up your ice cube tray!

Use the pesto to accompany meat, fish or vegetables, or use a couple of cubes to flavour pasta, rice or potatoes.

Nutrition per cube (with cashews); 40kcal, 4g fat, 1g carbs, 1g protein, 0g sugar