Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Lemony & Zingy - Your Minimalist Houmous

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How beautiful is summer?  I bet that your weekends are action packed with BBQs, garden parties and delicious, mouth watering food.  Which is why I thought that I would share this little crowd pleaser with you.  I love home comforts and outdoor house parties are perfect if you can only cope with a garden party .  When you choose to take your party outdoors (and why not, it's not every year that summer arrives in London); you may decide to add houmous to the menu.  If you do, say no to the supermarket branded varieties and pick this little beauty instead.  It's a multiple winner for taste and nutrition.

I first came across this recipe in a cute little French recipe book.  I decided to try it out and have had several requests for the recipe since.  It's so easy to make and so intensely zingy you will be pleasantly pleased at it's intense flavour when matched with cool cucumber or celery sticks. You cannot go wrong with this unique taste of chickpea goodness!  

Nutrition tip: when you make your own houmous, you have control of how much oil gets added to the final recipe.  YOU are therefore always in control of what you eat.


3 fat garlic cloves
Large pinch of salt
400g chickpeas from a tin (drained, but reserve the liquid)
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons tahini paste
Olive oil
Juice of 2 lemons


1. Add the chickpeas into a blender and blend with approximately 1/4 of the juice from the tin.
2. Finely chop the garlic cloves then using your knife, mix in the the pinch of salt.
3. Add the salted garlic, paprika, cumin and tahini paste into the blended chickpeas.  Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and blend.
4. Add more of the drained liquid and olive oil until you achieve a smooth, creamy paste.
5. Finally add the juice of two lemons and blend well.
5. Serve with freshly chopped parsley and pomegranate for a burst of colour.


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Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Cheese For My Valentine (Boursin Light Review)

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"Du pain, du vin, du Boursin".. Sound familiar?  If you know the saying (some bread, some wine, some Boursin) you are probably French or you are a cheese lover and watch a lot of TV.  The advert with this popular slogan is permanently tattooed in every French person's mind (or so I'm told) but how does cheese fit in with your New Year's resolution on Valentine's day?

If you are planning to celebrate Valentine's at home, either with friends or with a loved one then you may be considering a cheese platter.  Soft cheeses are usually the way to go but Boursin like many is a full fat soft cheese.  Based on 40% as fat, a thin spread on bread or crackers is certainly recommended.  You will especially like the garlic & herb flavoured variety as it will add a little something to your cheese board.  I say hold back on the garlic choice if it's your first Valentine together as a couple.  The 'pepper' flavour might be more suitable if you want to save your breath.

For the health conscious, Boursin Light is a delightful option as it ticks all the boxes for fat content.  If you are not sure how to read labels, then please refer to Be Shopping Savvy which will teach you the principles of label reading.  The Light variety contains 9% fat, thus passing your nutrition screening tool for fat with flying colours.

If it sounds like a drag to be compromising on taste with a low fat cheese option, then consider throwing in chopped tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes and even some of your favourite fresh herbs.  Mixed together, this will make a scrumptious dip for cut up vegetables.  So starter is done.  Anything left-over can even be used as a filler for sandwiches the next day.  

What's more this purse-friendly option could also make the perfect addition to home made pasta bakes and will leave your heart singing with joy for skipping the cream for that white sauce.

There isn't a fool proof way to tackle Valentines Day, but with careful attention to ingredients and close-ups of nutrition labels, Valentines can be a terrific day for you.

Happy Valentines Day!

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