RECIPE: Avocado Topped Mexican Chicken with Rice and Spiced Peppers | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 2
How much does it cost? This cost me less than £1.50 per person.
What are the benefits? This recipe provides plenty of protein, fibre and at least two of your five a day.

Mexican food has this amazing ability to be undeniably bold while still tasting light, fresh and summery, not to mention a great level of zingy heat without burning, vindaloo-style. That’s why it’s one of my favourites to cook – and eat!

I’ve grabbed some pretty basic ingredients – couple of chicken breasts, a few veggies, some rice – and tried make them really pop, just like the Mexican food I know and love.

The recipe is packed with vegetables, protein, flavour and colour, checking every box on my tick list! Not to mention it cost me around £1.40 per person (but could easily be replicated with a cheaper veggie version).

2 Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 tbsp of Tomato Purée
140g Brown Rice
1 Medium Onion
1 Bell Pepper
1 Avocado, Peeled, Pitted and Sliced
2 tbsp Low Fat Cheese, Grated
1/2 Bag of Prepared Salad Leaves

As always with Mexican food, finding a good level of spice is key. It’s really about what your tastebuds can handle, so think carefully! I used paprika, cumin, cinnamon, dried garlic and chilli flakes for the tomato paste, with a dash of salt and pepper for standard seasoning. In with the rice went some dried coriander, salt and pepper just to jazz things up a bit. And, finally, I added a touch of paprika, garlic, salt and pepper to cook the peppers and onion.

So, this is how I did it…

1. Make your own spiced tomato paste (it’s super easy) by mixing together tomato purée, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, dried garlic and chilli flakes with a tiny dash of water. Make it as hot or as mild as you like! 🌶️

2. Slice in several small cuts along the top of the chicken breast so the seasoning can really sink in, coat with the paste and cook in the oven on 200°C for around 25 minutes, until thoroughly cooked.

3. Cook the rice according to packet instructions.

4. Add the sliced onion and peppers to a hot frying pan along with a few spices and sizzle away for 5-10 minutes, until they soften a little.

5. Remove chicken from oven, top with a tiny sprinkle of low fat cheese and the sliced avocado and place on the bed of rice, served with the vibrant veggies and a crisp side salad. YUM.

mexican chicken edit


RECIPE: Honey Mustard Roast Pork Fillet | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 2
How much does it cost? This cost me less than £1.50 per person
What are the benefits? This recipe is high in protein, low in fat and contains lots of great vitamins such as B1 (helps the growth and repair of muscles and nerve tissue) and B6 (good for metabolism).

Pork fillet – or tenderloin, for our American friends – is a great cut of meat. It’s relatively inexpensive compared to, say, a chunk of lamb or beef of the same size, so you definitely get more bang for your buck. 💸

It’s also REALLY easy to cook. Seal in the pan, roast in the oven, bosh, done. Well, perhaps treat it with a little more love and care, but you get the idea.

With this recipe, I’ve worked on making it even tastier with this classic flavour combo. Honey mustard is one of my favourite marinades, and it gives this lean cut of meat a kick

I’ve made this recipe for two, but that’s probably quite generous – you could easily split it between three and bulk out with yummy roasted vegetables for a healthy, hearty roast dinner!

Pork Fillet (approx. 400g)
1 tsp English Mustard
3 tsp Clear Runny Honey

Obviously the flavour really oozes from the honey mustard combo, but take it to the next level but adding some extra seasoning. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over both sides of the meat while sealing in the frying pan, for a start – that’s just Flavour 101! With the honey mustard sauce, sprinkle in some dried rosemary, thyme and garlic flakes. Stir and enjoy!

So, this is how I did it…

1. Heat a large frying pan, spritz with cooking spray, slap the pork fillet in there and season with salt and pepper. Let it cook for 5 minutes on one side, flip it over, do the same on the other side.

2. In a bowl, mix the mustard, honey, rosemary, thyme and garlic flakes together and taste it. Yep, taste it. Mustard is such a distinct flavour; some people like just a touch, some people like a super strong hit. Give it a taste and if you think “Corr blimey, that mustard’s a bit bloody strong!” then add more honey.

3. Spread the honey mustard sauce all over the sealed meat until it’s entirely coated in lovely, sticky goodness.

4. Cover the pork with foil and throw into the oven for around 50 mins on 200°C. Bin the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking to get some colour on that bad boy!

5. Check it! Pork always needs double checking – all sorts of things can affect the cooking time, so it’s best to cut into the meat and ensure it’s thoroughly cooked when following guidelines.

6. You should be left with a juicy pork fillet, packed with flavour and cooked to perfection.

pork fillet.jpg

Saying ‘Fuck You’ to The January Blues | #ThisGirlEats

This month is the worst. It’s not new information; it is widely acknowledged that January S-U-C-K-S. Even as someone whose birthday falls in January, I can easily admit that these are the worst thirty-one days in the year.

It’s not just the miserable weather, the post-Christmas blues, the stretch of making December’s payslip last for what feels like an eternity. Yes, these are the practicalities of January, the inevitable tag-alongs which make us feel beaten, but I don’t think these are the real reasons January sucks…

I mean, I live in England, the weather is always miserable (and if it wasn’t, what would we talk about?). Part of me is actually relieved when the Christmas tree comes down. And making my wages last from one month to the next is always a struggle – in that respect January is really no different! I think the real January makes us all feel so damn rubbish is because WE make it that way.

We put so much pressure on ourselves. It’s all about making resolutions and plans for the year and, at first, that feels great. For the first couple days it’s awesome, you feel all refreshed and motivated, looking ahead with the sparkling possibilities of the year to come. But then it hits you. These goals are huge. They’re mammoth. They start to feel out of reach, and when reality kicks in they feel more and more out of our grasp.

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Getting fit and healthy, for example, is one of my regular resolutions, something I feel determined to do every single year. And when January hits, I’m always super up for it. I’m planning healthy recipes, creating daily workout routines, making notes of little changes. But then life seems to kick me one step backwards. Then another. Then another. And before you know it, I’m back to Dominos takeaways and a large glass of the Pinot Grigio, if you please.

We put so much pressure on ourselves by filling our own heads with so many end goals all at once – “This year I’m gonna get that promotion, I’m gonna lose 10 pounds, I’m gonna learn to drive, I’m gonna take up an evening class, I’m gonna give up dairy, bla bla bla.” – that we instantly feel like we already failed. And comparing ourselves to other people who already seem to be cracking on miles ahead makes us feel even more behind, before we’ve even started!

Well, no more! I say let’s forget about all the things we’re supposed to be doing in January. Let’s be more honest with ourselves – our lives are not going to be magically transformed in one month. Our hopes and dreams aren’t suddenly about to come true just because it’s January. There’s nothing wrong with having goals and things you’d like to achieve in the year, of course. I’ve got loads! But let’s not pile all the pressure on for one month – you’ve got a whole damn year honey, you’ll figure it out.


RECIPE: Pepperoni Pizza With a Tortilla Base | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 1
How much does it cost? This cost me less than 75p per person.
What are the benefits? This makes a great takeaway alternative, provides one of your five a day with the passata and mushroom, and is low carb compared to a normal pizza.

We all know pizza is pretty low on the scale of nutritional food. Even I, a dedicated pizza lover, can accept that.

But we also know that it’s probably the best food on God’s given earth and life without it just isn’t worth living – and no, I’m not being dramatic, this is genuinely how I feel about pizza.

So I’ve come up with an alternative so we don’t miss out by sticking to a balanced diet. By making a pizza at home you’re already cutting calories, but using a wholewheat tortilla as the base instead of going full-on deep crust is also lower in carbs and sugar content, plus the fresh toppings help contribute to your daily dose of vegetables.

I’ve done the maths and this recipe equals out to less than 500 calories for a WHOLE. GODDAMN. PIZZA. I know calories don’t count for much but it’s the most obvious piece of nutritional information on any takeaway menu (you have to go on a proper hunt to find full nutritional info) so it’s an easy comparison – my favourtie pizza takeaway, for example, offers one single slice of pepperoni at 226 calories. It’s not the be all and end all, but it gives an idea.

joey pizza

1 Wholemeal Tortilla Wrap
1/3 Carton of Passata
1/2 a Ball of Light Mozzarella (approx 65g)
Sprinkling of Low Fat Cheese
5 Slices of Pepperoni
2 Mushrooms, Chopped

There is a hefty dose of seasoning that goes with this recipe – but don’t worry, it’s nothing complicated! When preparing the passata, pour it into a bowl and stir in some dried garlic flakes, mixed herbs, a pinch of dried chilli flakes, salt and pepper. When you’re adding toppings to the pizza, sprinkle over a generous helping of dried basil.

So, this is how I did it…

1. The last thing you want is a soggy bottom (shout out to my fellow GBBO fans) so spread the tiniest amount of oil or cooking spray across a frying pan and heat it up.

2. The oil/spray shouldn’t take too long to heat. Once it does, lay the tortilla flat in the pan and immediately spread the passata sauce all over it, right to the edges, then top with torn mozzarella (make sure it’s drained otherwise you’ll get a puddle on your pizza!), pepperoni, mushroom and dried basil.

3. When the mozzarella begins to melt, sprinkle  a light layer of low fat grated cheese on top – I used cheddar, but it’s personal preference really.

4. The toppings will begin to cook and the grated cheese will begin to melt. Once everything looks like it’s almost cooked, pop it under the grill for a couple of minutes to crisp up the tortilla and ensure everything melts together nicely. And that’s it!

tortilla pizza

RECIPE: “Homestyle” Southern Fried Chicken | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 2
How much does it cost? This recipe cost me less than £1.25 per person.
What are the benefits? Making this at home is a great takeaway alternative as it’s lower in fat, and it’s also a good source of protein too.

Nothing cures a hangover like a big ol’ Bargain Bucket 🍗

Fried chicken is second only to gallons of water and a few paracetamol when it comes to my post-alcohol needs but, of course, it’s often pretty gross, dripping with grease and whatnot. 

This homemade alternative is my way of making southern fried chicken that tastes just as good as the takeaway stuff – honestly, it really does – but cuts out a few of the calories.

This isn’t just a hangover cure – it makes a great midweek meal. This is just normal, everyday food with a healthier twist, which is exactly the kind of food #ThisGirlEats aims to create. 


4 Skinless, Boneless Chicken Thighs
4 tbsp Plain Flour 
Sunflower Oil (or whatever you’ve got to hand)
200ml Almond Milk 

The seasoning for this one all goes in with the flour. So, in with the bag of flour goes a hefty dose of paprika, a decent amount of dried parsley, a sprinkle of chilli powder, some dried garlic flakes, salt and pepper.

So, this is how I did it…

1. You can use any cut of chicken for this recipe, just adjust the cooking time accordingly. Thighs have the best flavour, plus they sort of unfold a little while frying and give you that classic fried chicken shape, so that’s what I used. First thing is to put the chicken in a bowl and cover with milk – almond milk, preferably, for flavour.

2. Meanwhile, combine the flour and seasoning freezer bag, ziplock bag or bowl and shake (maybe just mix together with your hands if using a bowl – shaking might get messy!) so the flavours all blend together.

3. Take the (wet, raw, sticky 🤢) chicken from the bowl and place into the bag with the flour and seasoning. Shake the life out of it until the chicken is completely coated with the flour mixture. Again, if you’re using a bowl, just coat the chicken with your hands.

4. Place the chicken in a hot pan with a little oil – used sparingly! Cook for roughly five minutes on each side, looking for a golden, crispy coating. If it starts to blacken before the five minutes is up then it’s burning, so turn it over or take it out of the pan! (Totally didn’t do this on the first go… 😒)

5. Once both sides look deliciously golden, pop into the oven on 200°C for about 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Check they’re cooked through and you’ve got yourself some tasty homestyle southern fried chicken!

southern fried chicken

Why Aren’t the Pit Falls of Junk Food Enough to Stop Me Craving It?! | #ThisGirlEats

I’ve met people who, when confronted with the notion of diving into McDonalds and grabbing a quick bite, will wrinkle their nose in disgust, briskly brush off the suggestion and instantly start Googling the location of the nearest Pret a Manger on their phone.

emma stone ew

I’ve been obsessed with food and diets since my early teenage years, so wish I could be that person. I mean, sure, when we’re all drunk, stumbling in any direction that promises chicken nuggets, and that person just wants to grab a water from the WHSmith at the train station, I hate that person. That person is a real buzzkill. But when words like heart disease and diabetes are tossed around, when I agonise over my figure and weight, when I stress about how much money each month is spent on takeaways, I really wish I was that person.

i hate you friends pitt

I know a whole lot about food. Truth is, I could tell you why you’ll regret that curry tomorrow (obvious aside, of course). I could tell you why a fast food burger is so much worse for you, nutritionally, than one you’d make at home. Hell, during my most neurotic days, I could probably tell you exactly how many calories are in your favourite pizzas, slice by slice, topping by topping. But my most logical, rational, informed self just isn’t enough to compete with those pesky cravings.

grease gif burger

When it’s curry night, I’m not thinking about how bloated that sauce will make me feel tomorrow; I’m thinking, “damn, get some of that delicious butter chicken in my belly!” I’m not thinking about healthy, homemade alternatives when I’m tucking into a Five Guys burger; I’m thinking, “wow, how are there still SO MANY FRIES in the bottom of my paper bag?!” I’m not thinking about counting the calories in my pizza when I’m scoffing down a slice; I’m thinking, “man, pizza is the freakin’ BEST!”

robin how i met your mother gif

It’s weird, isn’t it? I know it’s unhealthy. I know I can make something better at home. I don’t need it. I mean, I’m not a smoker because I know it’s super bad for my health, right? I’d never drink alcohol and then get in my car and drive, because I know it’s dangerous (and, um, totally illegal). I know my body would truly benefit if I cut out junk food, yet I don’t. So maybe I might as well smoke a pack a day and down a bottle of wine every night? Maybe this is just as bad…

Maybe, one day, I’ll learn how to be that person.

make good choices freaky friday

RECIPE: Oven-Cooked Sweet Potato Fries | #ThisGirlEats

Serves: 1
How much does it cost? This cost me less than 50p per person.
What are the benefits? These fries are 1 of your 5 a day, are low fat, and make a great vegan side dish.

I’ve always assumed I don’t like sweet potatoes. It’s just sort of always been a thing for me, like, “Sweet potatoes? No thanks.” It’s an instant reaction. But they seem like something I should like. So this week I tried making sweet potato fries at home as a last-ditch attempt to jump on the foodie bandwagon – and LOVED them!

It depends how you wanna serve these – I had them on their own for lunch, so I just cooked up a whole sweet potato for myself. I was ecstatic to find there’s a way to essentially just eat a big bowl of fries for lunch and feel great afterwards.

You can get a sweet potato for around 35p and you’re pretty much sorted, so it’s a definitely cost-effective option. Not only that, but sweet potatoes are, of course, a vegetable, so you’re now using a side of delicious fries as one of your five a day!


1 Sweet Potato, Sliced into Chips 

For me, seasoning is key for this recipe, adding a healthy dose of flavour helped me scoff down with delight something I would’ve previously avoided. Coat the fries with a sprinkle of salt (try onion salt for an extra burst of flavour!) and pepper, a pinch of garlic flakes and a handful of rosemary, dried or fresh.

So, this is how I did it…

1. I’m not really familiar with cooking sweet potato, on account of inexplicably not eating them for most of my life, but hacking away until it resembled chip-shaped chunks. Seemed to work out fine.

2. Lay the fries out on a baking tray, cover with a small amount of oil (I was afraid cooking spray wouldn’t crisp up properly – but feel free to try it!) and season with salt, pepper, garlic flakes and rosemary.

3. It was a complete guess, but I cooked on 220°C for 20 minutes, turning them over halfway through and they turned out fine. Crispy and, to my surprise, utterly delicious!

sweet potato fries
Crispy, tasty, oven-baked sweet potato fries

What I Learnt From Publishing My Most Embarrassing Food Habits Online

If you’ve kept up with #ThisGirlEats, you’ll know I spent the last month or so keeping a food diary published it for all the world to see 😬

embarrassed gif

It was all about learning to live a healthier lifestyle. I wore my bad habits like a badge, telling everyone that yes, I can eat a whole pizza on a Tuesday night all to myself. I can’t say I always wore this badge proudly – but I wore it nonetheless.

It’s easy to munch your way through half a pack of biscuits in front of the telly and not even notice; it’s easy to grab a hot chocolate every lunch break and think you’re just treating yourself. Writing down every morsel I consumed – no matter how embarrassingly gluttonous – forced me to take a look at what I was putting in my body.

Sometimes it was hard. Really hard. But it made me realise I’ve got some serious bad habits that need to be squashed immediately if I want to move forward with a healthier lifestyle.

I learnt loads about myself by doing this, but these are the five main changes I need to make after reflecting on my 30-day food diary.

  1. Cut out the fizzy drinks every. damn. lunch.
    Choosing the “diet” version isn’t a free pass when it comes to fizzy drinks. I’ve had it in my head that a fizzy drink will make me feel more full or give me more energy for the rest of my shift, but it was getting out of hand. Now I choose squash or water with my lunch at work, and find it easily cuts out five fizzy drinks a week.
    Five! 😱 
  2. Please stop ordering takeaways – for your health and your bank balance!
    Throw out the menus. Block Just Eat from all home devices. Delete the Dominos app. Desperate times call for desperate measures and, after logging my eating for just one month, I realise my lack of willpower when it comes to ordering in is getting DIRE. It’s a lethal cocktail of junk food cravings and plain ol’ laziness, but it reeeeeally needs to stop! I can’t afford it, and my body can’t either!
  3. Five-A-Day is a minimum, not an achievement! 🍏
    I’m not too bad when it comes to fruit and veg. I pack meals full of vegetables, and I’d say I hit the Five-A-Day target at least 75% of the time. But it’s not something I’m conscious of – if I eat them, I eat them. If I don’t, I don’t. I think I’d really benefit from just being more aware, planning ways to fit at least five portions of fruit or veg in every day – stick an apple in my lunch, throw some salad on the plate, chuck an extra veggie into the pot of chilli con carne. Just something to think about.

    apple witch snow white gif
  4. Packed lunch isn’t just for the playground, y’unno.
    I’m a decent cook. I’m creative. I’m passionate. If I took lunch to work everyday, it’d be more than a dried-up ham sandwich and a pack of ready salted. Pastas, wraps, club sandwiches, salads… There are loads of lunches I can make at home which are tasty and satisfying. I’d save some pennies, and they’d definitely be better for me than whatever I find in the work food court!
  5. For God’s sake, get off your butt and do some exercise!
    I am SO BAD AT EXERCISING. Don’t get me wrong, when I go out for a run or do some yoga in my living room I always feel better. Heck, even just going for a long walk every day – which we did in the summer – makes me feel healthier. But the THOUGHT of it? Nah. Sitting on my sofa right now, wrapped in a fluffy blanket with a cuppa, there is
    literally no part of me that wants to get up, whack on my sports bra and go for a run. I know I should. I know that making the effort to do a little more exercise every day will make probably the biggest difference to my health. I just need to leap over that mental barrier and get some motivation. Any tips?!
mike monsters inc gif

SERIES: My Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle #12 | #ThisGirlEats

10AM: I feel a health kick coming on… They usually don’t last long, but I reckon I can squeeze at least one good day out of it.

11:15AM: YUM. I’m so jumping on the bandwagon here, but I’ve been mega-tempted by these cute little overnight oats jars I keep seeing on recipe pages and food blogs lately, so I decided to give one a go. And I will DEFINITELY be making one again! So easy to just chuck everything in a jar last night and wake up to it being ready-to-go this morning. Lazy breakfast is the only kind of breakfast I do.


😍 Overnight oats (porridge oats, fat-free yoghurt, mixed berries, sliced banana, drizzle of honey)
😍 Green tea

😍 Wholewheat pasta with pesto, fresh tomatoes and a sprinkling of low-fat grated cheese
😍 850ml water
😍 500ml summer fruit squash

😍 Two low-fat sausages in a part-baked baguette with cooked onions and ketchup
😍 Cup of lemon and ginger tea

SERIES: My Journey to a Healthier Lifestyle #11 | #ThisGirlEats

8:30PM: Oh. My. God.

8:40PM: This dessert is amazing. I mean, I know I say lots of food is amazing, but this one really is. We’re out for dinner this evening for a birthday and are talked into having this particular dessert by someone who swears by it and, to be honest, I’m not exactly going to put up much of a fight. Chocolate? Tick. Ice cream? Tick. Gooey sauce? Tick. But then it comes out looking like this…

chocolate etna

And it tastes EVEN BETTER than it looks. Try to imagine that! You can’t. The only way you can truly understand the pure indulgence of this gorgeous dessert is to go have some for yourself. Believe me, this is not a dessert you’ll want to share…


🌺 Cup of green tea
🌺 Strawberry jam on toast

🌺 EAT. – Firecracker chicken toastie, salt and vinegar crisps, Diet Coke

🌺 Out for a birthday meal at ASK Italian – Penne al Pollo Della Casa (oven baked chicken and mushroom pasta) with shared Parmesan Garlic Chips ; Chocolate Etna for dessert (chocolate dome with melted toffee sauced over the top and vanilla ice cream inside)
🌺 White wine spritzer