28 January 2015

Blueberry, Carrot and Orange Smoothie - Jumpstart 2015

Breakfast Smoothie 

I have a couple of recipes to post and a New in my Kitchen post to publish, but I'm in the middle of tax hell, so I'm keeping it simple today.

I'm still doing Jumpstart 2015, although I had a break from it at the weekend and had a pint of cider at the pub with my dinner last night. I know I could lose more if I was stricter, but I've lost 7lbs so far, so I'm really happy with it. I think the trick is not to resent your diet, but just change your way of thinking. I plan on carrying on with it next month and after that perhaps just on work days. We shall see. In the meantime  I'm happy to be boosting how much fruit and veg I'm having  and losing weight. I really drink more water though I haven't been good at that. Must try harder.

How are you finding Jumpstart 2015?

Smoothie recipe
Teatowel and coaster from the M&S Valentine's range. Coming to a store near you soon..

My favourite smoothies are green smoothies. I just love them. Nothing can beat them for flavour, but I do like to through in the odd fruity smoothie too. This one was rich and super tasty. It got a big thumbs up from Cooper, although he did have some milk in his as it was quite rich.

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Blueberry, Carrot and Orange Smoothie

A fruity blueberry smoothie with carrot and orange.
  • 250g blueberries
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 tsp baobab powder
  • 1 cup /235ml orange juice
  • top up with water
1. Peel the carrot and chop in half. If you don't have a powerful blender like my Optimum 9400, you may want to chop it smaller, as you don't want to burn out the motor.2. Peel the oranges and add to the blender, then add the powder and orange juice.3. I topped the jug up with water until it was ¾ full, but just add as much water as you like until you have the consistency you like.4. Whizz until smooth. You may add ice to the blender if you have a power blender, if not add it to your glass.5. Enjoy!
Total time:
Yield: Serves 4-6

Optimum 9400 blender
Looking to buy new blender? I can heartily recommend the Optimum 9400. It's a pricey machine, but it's tough and makes like work of any job as well as self-cleaning. It's worth every penny. If you buy using my link, I get a small commission (although I wouldn't still be promoting it if I didn't think it was amazing). Also use the code "Special Ambassador Offer" on purchase for an extra 2 years warranty.

I've had since last June and I can honestly say I use it every day. I couldn't be without it now. Even my kitchen phobic husband has started whipping up smoothies in it.

Here's what I make in it:

Disclosure: I received my Optimum 9400 from Froothie free to review last June. I was not expected to write a positive review and any opinions expressed are my own. I love it! M&S kindly sent me some of their Valentine goodies. Watch out for them appearing in food shots.

22 January 2015

Paprika Spiced Cauliflower with Four Cheese Dip

Ready for a treat?

Cauliflower roasted with smoked paprika and flax seeds served with a hot and gooey four cheese dip.

It's a bit like cauliflower cheese, but this one is great as a starter or snack. Was it good? Oh yes! It's such a pity Graham is vegan, he would have loved this before he went dairy free and it's a great sharing dish. I'll have to see if I can make him an equally good vegan dip. He did enjoy the spiced cauliflower on it's own.

I didn't go fancy on the cheese either, I just had a look in the fridge. Some leftover brie, half a ball of mozzarella, some Philadelphia cheese and cheddar. You could really use any cheese you have in your fridge, although the Philadelphia makes it creamy and the mozzarella gives it that gooey stretch.

Go on! You know you want to.

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Fridge Vegetable Soup
Paprika Spiced Cauliflower with Four Cheese Dip
Spiced cauliflower with a super easy four cheese dip that's great for using up bits of leftover cheese.

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp flax seeds (linseeds)
  • a good grinding of black pepper
  • 60g brie, cut off the rind
  • 30g cheddar, grated
  • ½ ball mozzarella, torn into pieces
  • 2 tbsp Philadelphia Soft Cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 400 f/200 c/180 c fan/gas 6.2. Rinse the cauliflower and break into florets.3. Toss the florets with the oil, paprika, flax seeds and black pepper, then pop in a roasting pan and cook for 15 minutes until tender and browning at the edges. Leave it a little longer if you like.4. Mash all the cheese together in a small bowl and season with black pepper.5. Place the cheese in a small ovenproof dish and bake alongside the cauliflower6. Serve the cauliflower on a plate forks for two and the hot gooey dip7. Enjoy!
Total time:
Yield: Serves 2

Here are a few more cauliflower recipes for you to enjoy:

Vegan Shepherdess Pie with a Creamy Cauliflower Mash - Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary 
Hidden Cauliflower Cheese Pasta Sauce - Elizabeth's Kitchen Diary 
Red Rice and Italianesque Vegetable Salad - Fuss Free Flavours
Cauliflower Cake - Smarter Fitter
Cauliflower Cheese Soup with Broccoli - Tinned Tomatoes 
Raw Cauliflower Couscous - Simplify your Health
10 Wonderful Ways with Cauliflower - Readers Digest 
Mexican Spiced Cauliflower in an Almond-Sesame Crust - Deena Kakaya
10 Minute Cauliflower Rice - The Crafty Larder
Balsamic and Garlic Roasted Cauliflower  - Hungry Happy Healthy