For me, smoothies are the answer to everything. Don’t have time for breakfast? Make a smoothie. Need more fruit in your diet but can’t be bothered to actually sit and eat it? Drink a smoothie. Kinda peckish but don’t want to give in to junk food temptation? Have another bloody smoothie.
I use a Blend Active Pro to make my smoothies – they’re simple, easy to clean, come with their own bottles and you can get them for around £20 online.
These are just three of my own favourite smoothie recipes, all of which take about 30 seconds in the smoothie maker. Couldn’t be simpler!
Berry Burst & Banana High in antioxidants and potassium, great for your immune system!
YouTube, to me, has always seemed something of a nightmare. Like an internet jungle full of egos, instant fame and incredibly beautiful people with incredibly interesting things to say, it’s a place I definitely never saw myself going.
It’s fucking terrifying a little daunting. But, having dabbled in music, blogging and media for a few years now, I’m obviously aware of how instrumental YouTube has become in getting your work out there and, with the start of a new food blog and a new venture, it seemed like now was as good a time as any to strap on a pair and maybe just dip my toe into the murky waters of vlogging.
Anyone who knows me knows that in front of a video camera is the very last place I want to be. It’s a million miles from my comfort zone. I’d be lying if I said hearing the sound of my own voice played back in the editing process didn’t make me cringe and I won’t pretend I didn’t scrutinise every inch of my appearance until I starting going cross-eyed.
But I decided it was time to open myself up to my own vulnerabilities. I really want #ThisGirlEats to do well because it’s something I’m really passionate about and if that means putting my most self-conscious side out there for all the world to see, then so be it.
So I’ve really pushed myself and, ignoring the fact that I had no idea how to edit, present, read a script, frame a shot, promote myself as a vlogger or make myself look “YouTube beautiful”, I created my very first vlog for #ThisGirlEats.
Please check it out below! If you want to subscribe, comment or just have a little nose at the YouTube channel, you can find it all here.
Serves: 4 How much does it cost? This cost me less than 50p per person What are the benefits? You get at least 3 of your 5 a day, it’s vegetarian friendly and makes a great takeaway alternative
I’m a thief. I’ve nicked the idea for this from two different recipes; one a cheap student affair and one a low-fat chicken curry.
I’ve shamelessly pinched my favourite bits from both to make this yummy mid-week meal. It’s fairly straightforward, low in cost, full of nutrition and incredibly versatile, as you can use any vegetables in the house for a delicious outcome.
The tortilla “naans” (which are not naan breads at all, but are an alternative side to this curry dish) were an idea born from a combination of having leftover tortillas dangerously close to going off and forgetting to buy actual naan breads in the week. They turned amazing!
It’s a lower carb option than fluffy naans and, being chock-full of veggies, it’s much lower in fat than the usual creamy carnivorous curries we get. Butter chicken and onion bajhis may have my heart, but this is a pretty second choice!
1 Medium Potato, Chopped 1 Carrot, Sliced 1 Onion, Chopped 1 Bell Pepper, Sliced 4 Mushrooms, Sliced 1 Tomato, Chopped 1 Apple, Chopped 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes 400ml Coconut Milk (reduced fat if you can) 2 tbsp Curry Paste 1 tsp Tomato Puree 1 Vegetable Stock Cube
Each part of this recipe kinda lives and dies with the seasoning. For the curry, you want to add some dried garlic, dried coriander leaf, salt, pepper and chilli flakes to the pan. If, like me, you find rice quite bland, add some salt, pepper, thyme and coriander leafas the rice cooks just to give it a pop. And, finally, before you put the tortillas in the oven, you want to cover them with a sprinkling of garlic flakes, coriander leafand cracked black pepper.
So, this is how I did it…
1. First thing’s first, heat up the frying pan and add your chunkier vegetables – potatoes, carrots, anything that takes a little longer to soften up. Fry these off for about 5 minutes.
2. Then add the rest of your veggies, along with the chopped tomatoes, coconut milk, curry paste, tomato puree, crumbled stock cube and seasoning. Cook this for about 15-20 minutes, and just keep an eye on the liquid levels – if it starts to dry up, add a splash of water to tide it over.
3. Following the packet instructions, along with some seasoning, and cook the rice, either on the hob or in the microwave.
4. Place the tortillas on a baking tray, brushed with a teeny tiny amount of oil, sprinkled with seasoning and put them in the oven for about 5 minutes, until they crisp up.
Tips & Tricks
An excellent way to bulk this up even further (as if it doesn’t have enough going on already!) is to add lentils or chickpeas. They’re both really filling, are great for you, and are awesome ingredients for a curry.
If you’d like the sauce a little thicker, sprinkle in a small pinch of flour and stir. It’ll help thicken everything up (I’m not a fan of runny sauces).
Got a slow cooker? This recipe is wonderfully tasty and so incredibly easy in a slow cooker, just bung the ingredients into the crockpot and cook up the rice when you’ve got the chance.
Serves: 1 How much does it cost? This cost me less than 50p per person What are the benefits? The wholemeal tortillas are high in fibre, the fillings are low in sugar, and it’s a great takeaway alternative
Mexican food is the best, isn’t it?!
I’m a lover of enchiladas and, damn, in my eyes a world without guacamole isn’t worth living. My cooking hasn’t stretched too far into the cuisine yet (mostly because I can’t resist over-stuffing burritos to the point that they physically won’t wrap and it basically ends up as rice, chicken and salsa slopped on a tortilla plate…)
I did recently try making my own version of quesadillas which, as it turns out, is super easy! You can fill them with whatever you like which makes them hugely versatile and you can spend as much, or as little, as you want.
The whole thing honestly takes about five minutes (ten at a stretch!) which is perfect for when you can’t really be arsed to cook.
I’ve chosen fillings that I always tend to have at home but, of course, you can absolutely swap these for pretty much anything you like, so it’s convenient as well as being tasty, quick and easy. What more could you want?!
INGREDIENTS 2 Wholemeal Tortilla Wraps 25g Grated Cheese (low fat if you can) 2 Mushrooms, Sliced 1/2 Medium Onion, Chopped
This really depends on what you put into the quesadilla. With mine, which was made with cheese, onion and mushroom, a touch of mixed herbs gave a nice extra touch, but feel free to play around with your options.
So, this is how I did it…
1. Heat up a large frying pan and placing one tortilla straight on there, no oil or cooking spray needed.
2. Sprinkle the grated cheese and the rest of your fillings across the entire surface of the tortilla, being careful not to overdo it with a mountain of toppings. If you’re a feeder like me then just watch out for that!
3. Once the cheese begins to melt, it’s probably about time to whack the second tortilla on top.
4. Then it’s just a simple (ha ha HA!) case of flipping the tortilla over with a spatula so it cooks on both sides. Yes, some of the filling will probably fall out. Yes, there’s a good chance it will get a little messy. But hey, practise makes perfect and it’s a great excuse to just keep making yummy quesadillas!
5. Give them a couple of minutes on each side, making sure the bottom of each tortilla doesn’t burn, and then slide it out of the pan with a spatula, slice into quarters and dig in!
Tips & Tricks
You don’t even really need two tortillas for this – use one, sprinkle the toppings over only half, and then fold it over. Ta-da! 👏
Obviously, a quesadilla would be bloomin’ marvellous dipped into some traditional dips to go alongside it. If you can make up some salsa, guacamole or sour cream (or buy some from the shops, who’d know the difference?) I promise you won’t regret it! 🥑
I know I’ve already said this, but this recipe truly is so versatile – so use your imagination! But make sure whatever you put into the quesadilla cooks thoroughly. Safety first, kids. ⚠
Serves: 4 How much does it cost? This cost me less than £1.50 per person What are the benefits? You’ll get at least 2 of your 5 a day, it’s vegetarian friendly and it’s high in fibre
Chilli is probably my favourite home cooked meal (okay, I know I’ve said before that pizza is my fave but I’m going to class that as more of a snack or, you know, addiction). I could eat chilli by the gallon.
I’m not vegetarian, but I find eating veggie meals regularly is a great way to cut down on fat, get your five a day and be a little kinder to the environment, not to mention saving a few quid.
So I knocked up this vegetarian chilli and it’s now a staple part of my cooking regime, I honestly love it. It’s got all the same flavours of my old beef chilli recipes and just as much punch, and piled on top of a delicious baked potato makes for a mouth-watering meal.
INGREDIENTS 250g Meat Free Mince 1 Medium Onion, Chopped 1 Medium Carrot, Chopped 1 Medium Bell Pepper, Chopped 400g Tin Chopped Tomatoes 1 tsp Tomato Puree 1 Stock Cube (vegetable stock cubes will keep this a strictly veggie affair, but if you’re desperate for a meaty flavour then use a beef one instead) 400g Tin Kidney Beans 4 Baking Potatoes
SEASONING Seasoning is essential to this dish, so make sure your store cupboard is stocked up! Dried garlic flakes (or fresh if you’ve got it) go into the pan to cook with the onion and carrot, and while paprika, cumin, cinnamonand chilli flakes are a great flavour combo for chilli. And, of course,saltand pepper for good measure!
So, this is how I did it…
1. The baked potato takes a while in the oven, so give that somewhere between an hour and an hour and a half (or microwave for 7-8 minutes)
2. Into a hot frying pan, add the onion, carrot and garlic and fry for a couple of minutes.
3. Then add, well, pretty much everything else! The tin of chopped tomatoes, veggie mince, pepper, tomato puree and all the spices – paprika, cumin, cinnamon, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. This is a vegetarian recipe, of course, but if you really feel like you need some kind of meat in there, you can add a crumbled beef stock cube into the pan at this point too. But, I promise, it really doesn’t need it! A vegetable stock cube will do the job.
4. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes with the kidney beans going in for the last couple of minutes.
5. Pop the potato out of the oven or microwave, open it up and pile on the chilli!
Tips & Tricks
When you think of chilli, it’s all about big, bold spices – that’s no different when it comes to this veggie version! Make sure you’re generous with your seasoning because you really want that flavour to shine.
Try swapping out the potato for a scrumptious baked sweet potato instead. Y-U-M!
Always go overboard on how much you cook here, because these leftovers make an excellent lunch the next day!
Hangover cures vary far and wide. Everyone has their kick-starter food after a night on the town (or a night on the sofa “accidentally” drinking an entire bottle of Pinot Grigio to yourself while hurling unnecessary abuse at 18-year-old X Factor contestants, there’s no judgement here). Personally, I know of several.
I have an aunt who absolutely swears by Diet Coke. My partner won’t get out of bed after a drink unless a full-on fry up is on offer. Someone I work with even says tuna does the trick, apparently.
One of my personal hangover cures is a bacon and fried egg sandwich. For me, it’s perfect for those post-drink mornings when I need something a bit greasy but my stomach can’t quite face a full English. It’s certainly not the most nutritious breakfast but, you know, alcohol does funny things to a girl.
If, like me, you’re partial to a bacon and fried egg sandwich, I’ve managed to trim the edges a little.
These are my top tips:
If it doesn’t make you want to vomit in your fragile state, then try cutting off as much fat from the bacon as possible before cooking it.
Always grill instead of frying; as good as fried bacon smells to your numbed senses, grilling gets rid of way more fat and grease.
Use cooking spray when you fry your eggs instead of pouring big glugs of oil into the pan.
As appealing as a thick chunk of white bread looks on the morning after, stick to wholemeal for a more beneficial breakfast. Your body will thank you.
Don’t use butter! Sounds weird, but if you’re going to squeeze a healthy dose of ketchup or brown sauce on there anyway, that along with the egg yolk should make the sandwich moist enough without having to add butter to the mix.
And there you go! Those are my little tips to make a greasy hangover cure a little easier to digest. You probably already feel bad enough after those drunk texts to your ex anyway…
I love a burger. Who doesn’t?! Tucking into a greasy one from the local chippy after one too many drinks, spilling ketchup down myself and eradicating any ounce of class I left the house with several hours earlier. It’s a beautiful thing.
Last week we needed to use up some mince at home and also found some mega-cheap rolls in the shining light of a late-night supermarket shop, the reduced aisle. They’re super easy too so I thought, bugger it, why not?
But then I hit a bump in the road – I couldn’t really imagine having a big, juicy beef burger without an equally gorgeous side – golden chips, spicy wedges, crispy fries, etc. And that would take our dinner from being only “slightly cheeky” to “one big fat whopper of a meal” and I really wanted to avoid that.
Then BAM. It hit me! A salad – so simple, so obvious – but with the scrummy addition of some chunky roasted vegetables. Big on veg, big on flavour! Hurrah.
And then I thought, well, in for a penny in for a pound – why not load up the burger as well?! Topped with tomato, cheese, avocado, onion and mushroom, I created some serious towers on a plate and, in the end, it looked like one of the dirtiest burgers imaginable. But it was all a lie! A lie loaded mostly with vegetables and surrounded by salad. Brilliant!
I mean, honestly. How good does that look?! It’s making me hungry…
You can check out my recipe for homemade beef burgers here.
Today I’m giving you the recipe for some incredible beef burgers for a real mid-week feast, loaded with toppings and sauces made with low fat mince and plenty of vegetables to go along with this ultimate dirty burger.
I’m not saying a beefburger is ever going to be the epitome of health but, sometimes, you just bloody well fancy one! This homemade version is piled high with folic acid (onions), fibre (mushrooms) and healthy fats (avocado). Win-win, right?
After a light lunch and a lovely long walk beforehand, I definitely felt as though I’d earned this one – hell, I even had a glass of wine with mine!
INGREDIENTS 250g 12% Fat Beef Mince
1 Onion (half diced to go in with the mince, half sliced as a burger topping)
1/2 Avocado, Sliced
4 Mushrooms, Chopped
2 Wholemeal Burger Buns
SEASONING I added garlic, mixed herbs, chilli flakes, salt andpepper to the burger, but this is totally up to you – use whatever seasoning you like. I also smothered mine with ketchup and mustard but, again, it’s really up to you!
So, this is how I did it…
1. In a bowl, squish together the mince, chopped onion and seasoning until well combined (this is a little messy so if raw meat makes you squeamish maybe someone can take over for this bit!) Split into two balls and shape into burgers.
2. Once they resemble a burger shape, add them to a hot frying pan with a teeny drop of oil or some cooking spray and cook for roughly 4 – 5 minutes on each side, depending on how rare you like it.
3. When you flip the burgers over, throw the sliced onion and mushrooms into the pan as well to cook alongside the burgers.
4. Now it’s just as simple as putting it all together! Place the burgers in the bun and top with mushroom, onion and avocado, and cram in any salad, sauces or other extras you feel like.
Tips & Tricks!
You could lower the fat content even further if you swap the beef mince for a leaner meat like turkey or pork. Or get rid of the meat altogether and use a meat-free alternative!
Trying to cut down on carbs? Throw out the bun and go for a naked burger! 😳
If you’re having trouble getting the mince to stick, you might want to add a beaten egg while shaping the burgers to help glue it all together – but I’ve always found they work just fine without.
#ThisGirlEats Everyday food from an everyday girl.
I’m someone who loves food and loves to cook, but hates how difficult it can be to balance healthier choices with affordable, delicious food that I enjoy.
I’ve followed so many celebrities and health gurus over the years who talk about creating “normal meals” on a “normal budget” but, for me, they always inevitably end in disappointment when I realise this is food that I would never be able to fit into my normal working life with my tight budget.
I want to be more conscious of what I’m putting into my body – but I don’t want a life of kale smoothies, spelt flour and soya milk. I don’t want to cut out carbs, sugar or, God forbid, cheese. I don’t want to ban myself from ever eating a slice of pizza or a bar of chocolate again. I don’t want to change my entire lifestyle just for the sake of cutting a few calories!
I’m also a graduate with mounds of student debt and a retail job behind me, so it’s not like I have money to waste. Food that might be “affordable” to a celebrity chef certainly isn’t affordable for thousands of hard-working, bill-paying, money-saving people like myself. I want to be healthier, but I want to use the food in my cupboard and my usual weekly budget to do it.
#ThisGirlEats is about finding a healthier lifestyle in a truly realistic way, in a way that doesn’t break the bank and doesn’t change my whole life. So follow me as I work out some new recipes, discover helpful tips and try my best to make little differences that still fit into a normal lifestyle – but still stuff my face on the way!