What is healthy eating?

Looking after yourself is important, we all know that. The mantra that ‘you are what you eat’ is becoming increasingly apparent to me as I get older, and so recently I have been favouring an intake of more lean protein, ‘good fats’ and fibre, and in turn less sugar, saturated fats and unnecessary carbohydrates.

All the big dogs seem to be on the health-hype too. Deliciously Ella promotes a healthy lifestyle with her “clean-eating, gluten free” recipes. The Hemsley and Hemsley sisters also promote a healthy approach with their #TheArtOfEatingWell campaign, and I have recently taken to following @TheBodyCoach (Joe Wicks) on Instagram, as I love the way he is revolutionising quick-and-easy meals for gym buffs with his “#LeanIn15” recipes.

Jamie Oliver has also recently released his Everyday Super Food book, along with a full series on Channel 4; really promoting a healthy approach to food to the masses. Another firm favourite of mine is Gizzi Erskine, she’s always promoted healthy eating and her newest cookbook, Gizzi’s Healthy Appetite, shows us how healthy can be delicious and doesn’t always have to be rabbit food!

I love all of the above chefs and foodies and have taken tips from all of them (as well as recipes, of course) over the past 12 months. My version of the Hemsley sister’s light cottage pie makes use of cauliflower and sweet potato mash instead of the usual mashed white potatoes. And Gizzi’s roast duck and noodle soup is low on calories but doesn’t compromise on flavour whatsoever.

My approach to healthy eating is simple, I try to follow a sort of 80:20 rule (eating more considered 80% of the time, and relaxing it a little for the remaining 20%). When I first started my blog, there was a split between ‘Mid-week rustle up dinners’ and ‘Weekend gourmet’ dishes – so I am going to be focussing more on this approach going forwards. It works for me and can work for you too!

Below is a short list of some of my favourite bloggers who promote a healthy lifestyle:

www.spamellab.com – Pamela focusses on gluten-free, high protein, healthy AND tasty recipes, made from clean ingredients. Her #IndulgingInnocently campaign proves that you can have your cake and eat it, its shows that sweet treat don’t need to be packed full of sugar and additives.

www.tessward.com – Tess says ‘Count colours not calories and goodness not grams with simple, unprocessed, stripped back dishes.’ Her ‘naked’ recipes are vibrant, simple and gorgeous.

www.thebodycoach.co.uk/blog – I mentioned him earlier, and I will again. You can catch most of Joe’s amazing #LeanIn15 recipes on Instagram for now, but I mean it when I say his recipes are SO QUICK, SIMPLE, LEAN and taste fantastic.

www.minimalistbaker.com – these guys are so cute, and their ethos is simple: easy-to-make, delicious food, all recipes either require 10 ingredients or less, 1 pot, or 30 minutes or less to prepare. Many are vegan and/or gluten-free too.

How do you define healthy eating, and which approach do you prefer? Who are your favourite bloggers, cooks or chefs that inspire you to eat well and use fresh, quality ingredients? 

In my next blog post I will be sharing my key tips for keeping your diet healthy, fresh and interesting. Make sure you stay posted our subscribe so you don’t miss it ❤

With love, Sophie -x-

Cheshire Food Blog

Recipe: Lean, Hearty Turkey Curry with Cauliflower ‘Rice’

As part of my move towards a healthier lifestyle, I have tried to rely less on carbohydrates at meal times and focus more on lean meats, fresh veggies and lots of FLAVOUR. At first, the concept of cauliflower rice did not appeal to me in the slightest. Cauliflower isn’t the most exciting of vegetables in terms of flavour… Which is probably why it’s often teamed with cheese in the classic cauliflower cheese dish, to jazz it up a little.

However, I was blown away when I first made the so-called ‘cauli-rice’. I do have a food processor, so I must admit, to make it this way is very easy. To get to grips with it, I first read this great article by BBC Good Food which sets out all the different ways you can make it, both with and without a food processor. Below is the method I follow (with a food processor) but feel free to check out the link to see which method is best for you. I find the method below turns out great each time both in terms of taste and texture. 1 large cauliflower head can make anything up to 6 portions of ‘rice.’ It can portioned up and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days, or frozen, so great to prep-ahead on a Sunday if, like me, you have more time then!

This recipe serves 2, with some leftovers for lunch or the curry can be frozen. It takes about 40 mins to prep and cook. Let me know if you give this recipe a try!

What you need:

  • half a medium-sized cauliflower
  • tsp of ground cumin
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g turkey breast (or chicken), diced into 2-3cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tbsp Garam Masala
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup organic chicken stock (I use Kallo)
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp Rapeseed oil (I use Calvia)
  • 200g steamed broccoli
  • 1 few handfuls spinach
  • fresh coriander (optional)

What to do:

To make the curry…

  1. Heat 2 tbsp Rapeseed oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the diced red onion and cook for 3 minutes, until it softens and begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and chillies and continue to cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the spices and stir well for 2 minutes, until the fragrance is released. Add the diced turkey breast and stir well to coat well in the spices, cooking for 5 minutes or so over a medium-high heat so the meat browns.
  3. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and the chicken stock, cover and simmer for 25 minutes over a low heat. Check occasionally and stir as needed.
  4. Once the timer is up and the sauce has thickened, add the cooked broccoli and spinach and cook for a further 5 minutes until hot. Serve with the ‘cauli-rice’ below.

To make the cauliflower rice…

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C and get out a large, flat roasting tray.
  2. Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and most of the thick core. Roughly chop into large chunks.
  3. Add a few pieces of the cauliflower chunks to the food processor at a time (as not to overload). Using the pulse setting, blitz for 30 seconds or so, until the cauliflower resembles fine rice, or couscous.
  4. Toss the ‘rice’ in a drizzle of Rapeseed oil and season with a tsp of ground cumin and some freshly ground black pepper. Tip: don’t add salt, apparently that tampers with the texture!
  5. Spread the ‘cauli-rice’ out to a thin, even layer on the roasting tray, and roast in the oven at 200C for 12 minutes, mixing it up halfway through cooking.
  6. If desired, top with some chopped fresh coriander and serve with the above curry recipe.