Sunday, 13 August 2017

Low carb mint julep cocktails



While wandering around T K Maxx the other day I picked up some julep cups and it occurred to me that apart from the sugar in Mint Juleps, there are no other carbs in there. Meaning you can very easily make them low carb, which inevitably got me feeling extremely excited and obviously buying the julep cups which had now become essentials- well as essential an item can be when it's primary purpose is to house a drink that you have never before made.


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Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Asparagus noodles with homemade pesto



Summer is finally happening in the UK and I am loving it! I love eating with the seasons and that's pretty hard in the UK because not so much grows in the colder months. During this time of year however seasonal eating really comes into it's own and there's so much fresh food around. Asparagus, in particular has been in season and that really is one of my faves as it's usually so expensive but for a brief time each year it is a bit cheaper and more readily available and sometimes it's even possible to forage for your own if you're lucky!

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Sunday, 25 June 2017

Cooling low carb cucumber soup

So Well summer has well and truly hit the UK and we've had a few weeks of lovely weather (one and off), As always, when the weather gets hot I get in the mood for colder food like salads. When we're away I always love gazpacho but never tend to have it in the UK, today when it was so so hot I got a bit of a craving for it but without having enough tomatoes I had to think of an alternative which is how this came about. 
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Monday, 5 June 2017

Espresso Proteini- low carb Espresso Martini with Blendtec


Hello and firstly apologies for the long long radio silence on here, it's been a mad mad time but I have lots of content to share with you so will be positing much more frequently from now on, I promise! thank you also, to everyone who e-mailed/ messaged me checking I was ok!

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Thursday, 20 April 2017

Charlotte Tilbury magic cream-worth the hype?

Hello and so sorry for the long gap since my last post. If you follow me on Instagram you may know that I have been battling with a bad back which has put me out of action for much of the last month. As a result I haven't been feel overly motivated to post, or do very much in fact. I had thought I would achieve lots if I was ever off work but in reality I did very little: sat and watched a lot of YouTube, read lots of blogs and felt jealous that other bloggers are doing so well while I feel stuck in the same place that I was last year, and was generally clingy and waiting each day for Mr Vatkinary to come home from work so I had someone to make me cups of coffee. Oh I also did a LOT of online shopping. 

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Sunday, 12 March 2017

Huge cruelty free, luxury beauty International giveaway!

Hello! I've been promising a giveaway for a while, I've spent a bit of time thinking about what exactly to give away. My beauty posts have been so popular recently and I have a few PR samples going spare so I ordered a few more bits, all products I love, and have put together this bundle of goodies for you!


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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Three high end beauty brands you probably didn't know were cruelty free


As I spoke about before here, I've been trying to make a big effort to use only cruelty free make up and skincare and I won't lie, it is hard. It's been hard finding brands that are completely cruelty free in terms of their practice but are also not being owned by a bigger brand who isn't, (hello Body Shop). It is also hard finding brands that don't look like they'd only be sold in Holland and Barrett or similar- no offence to Holland and Barrett, I love that shop, but it isn't where I want to go to spoil myself with new beauty treats. Also I had a few cult favourite products that have been almost impossible to find cruelty free alternatives for. That being said though, there have been a few pleasant surprises along the way, mainly in the form of brands who I never thought were cruelty free but was then pleasantly surprised to find were, so surprised, I couldn't resist sharing them with you.

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Saturday, 25 February 2017

5 minute very low carb pizza bites


Last weekend when I was playing about with these parmesan crisps, which btw you simply must try if you haven't already, I had the idea for these little babies. They're pretty much an extension of the crisps, though they're made a different way- incidentally you could also make the crisps this way it turns out.

These will make the perfect canapé, but are equally lovely for a cosy weekend treat or for when you don't have the energy/ inclination to make a big meal. I've topped mine with tomato and basil but you could go mad and put anything on that you'd normally put on a pizza, I'm thinking of goats cheese for next time, cheese on cheese has to be the ultimate treat!

Anyway, enough of that let's get onto how you do them. You will need (makes 8 mini pizza bites):
  • 50g finely grated parmesan
  • Sundried tomato puree- you can use normal tomato puree but sundried is lower in carbs, and more intense tasting
  • 4 cherry tomatoes
  • a few basil leaves

You can make them right before you want them if you're having them hot, but they equally work well cold:
  • Heat a large flat frying pan*
  • Put spoonfuls of the cheese onto the pan and leave for a few minutes until starting to come together and harden
  • Use a spatula flip over and pop a teaspoon of the tomato puree, followed by your cherry tomato and leave for a further 1-2 minutes.
  • Remove, season, top with basil and enjoy!
*If you use a large enough frying pan you can do about 5 at a time.

I can see we'll be making these a lot they feel like such a treat because you get the strong cheesey taste and really do feel like pizza, but actually as well as being very low in carbs, they're low in calories as well because you're hardly using any cheese each time, a little really does go a long way.


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Sunday, 12 February 2017

Boil in the bag omelette


For all of February I have been low carbing hard, I am desperate to get the last of the weight off now and this is the very best way I know to do it. One of the most difficult things about eating this way is the preparation that goes into everything I eat. it's essentially a pretty much non processed diet as nearly every meal has to be made from scratch and when I arrive home ravenous sometimes that presents as a pretty big hurdle. As a result, I'm all for anything that saves me time and this post is all about something that will do just that!


 Let me introduce you to, boil in the bag omelettes. Now I know omelettes are exceptionally quick to make, in fact I saw a bit of Saturday kitchen live the other day where people were making them in about 1 second but these are quick in a different way... Basically you make up a huge omelette mixture divide it into bags and boil when desired, or boil several bags up in one go and eat later. I know an omelette isn't typically something you can eat later as a flat eggy cold pancake isn't desperately appealing but the shape that these come out as means they're slightly different. Once boiled they come out as a sort of sausage, stay with me, which you can either eat straight away, or you can cut up into little slices and snack on, or top a salad with, the choices are endless.


You can of course also make one big mixture and then as you divide it into the bags add extra ingredients into each one, I'm thinking goats cheese, blue cheese, some caramelised onion, then you'll have lots of different options to play with. We have been especially loving these as post gym snacks as we've just rejoined the gym and these are the best protein hit to have waiting to enjoy on the way home. You could of course also make these just with the egg whites if you wanted. They don't require any oil so you can make them super low calorie if you want, by using just egg whites and spinach or kale etc.


Let's get to it then:
You will need (makes two omelettes- just double/ multiply/ divide the ingredients depending on how may you want to make)
  • Four eggs- now you can stop here if you want to make a plain omelette or keep going if you want something more 
  • A handful of grated cheese 
  • A chopped tomato
  • Half a handful of basil
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • Two freezer bags- make sure they're ones that can withstand high temperatures 

careers I don't have to fall back on: hand model

To make them:
  • Open the freezer bags and pop them into cups- this will make it easier to put the ingredients into without everything falling out
  • Add whatever your other fillings are, using the ingredients above you'd add half the cheese, tomato and basil into each bag.
  • Remove the bag carefully from the cup and seal the bag, if there's lots of air in the bag, open the bag slightly and squeeze it out before sealing again.
  • Squeeze the bag with your hands several times so the eggs sepaerates and it all mixes together 
  • Heat a really saucepan of water until it's simmering, you don't want the bags to touch the size of the pan as it will melt the bags
  • Add the bags to the water and boil for around 8 minutes or until the mixture has completely come together and you can't see any runny mixture left
  • Remove and either enjoy immediately or leave to cool
  • You can boil lots at a time- my record so far is 7 but I'm open to try more!
You will end up with something that looks rather unappealing at first- much like this!



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Sunday, 5 February 2017

One ingredient low carb cheese taco shells

Since January hit, mid January to be precise, I have tried to implement a few New Years resolutions that I wasn't quite ready to tackle on New Years day. The first was to get back on the low carb thing in a big way and shift the rest of the weight I want to lose.
The next was to declutter my life, specifically my home and my phone. My phone currently has over 6000 photos on it and a lot of those are screenshots of recipe ideas I see when scrolling through Pinterest and Instagram (ps I know the point of Pinterest is to pin things but I often worry that they'll get lost if I just pin them so screenshot them as well, where they invariably get lost in my massive photo album), All that is relevant because I decided to try some very low carb recipe ideas and to use some inspiration from the many screenshotted pictures on my phone. These cheese taco shells are the result. desperately low in carbs, and something I'd screenshotted over again as I thought that if they worked they could just be the best idea ever! 
The shells themselves require only one ingredient- cheese and take mere minutes. Even better, they keep for at least 2 days (the longest I've been able to last without eating them all), so they make the perfect 'getting home from work and need to immediately eat something because you can't wait for tea', solution. 
They are essentially a variation on my parmesan crisps just larger, and folded to make the taco shape. I did these ones in a frying pan but next time I would do them in the oven in the same way that I did the crisps as I think you'd be able to do more at a time- in my large frying pan I could only do two at a time which probably isn't bad but I am impatient and like things done fast!
You will need- makes 4 tacos

  • 2 cups of parmesan or other vegetarian hard cheese 
  • that's it!
Method:

  • Take a large frying pan and line with non stick paper 
  • Heat to a medium heat
  • Put 1/2 cup of cheese in a littel mound on the sheet, use a spoon to tidy the edges so it;s a perfect circle. You're aiming for a circle that's about 15cm in diameter. Leave to cook for about 6-7 minutes or until golden. If yoiu have a large frying pan you may be able to fit two in and cook two at a time,
  • While it's cooking, take a large saucepan or bowl and place two wooden spoons across the top
  • Once golden, remove form the heat with a big spatula, and drape it over one of the wooden spoons so it's in an upside taco shape
  • Leave to cool and harden
  • Remove and enjoy either immediately, filled with your face taco fillings, or save in an airtight box for later. I filled mine here with roasted veggies- mainly peppers in fajita style spices. 
You can add more low carb toppings as well, like grated cheese, shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa etc. the beauty of these in that most of a fajita/ taco is very low carb apart from the tortilla or taco so these mean you can enjoy it all, carbs removed!
We had a little Mexican themed evening the other night and I made a few Mexican sides so I will be back very soon to share those. Hope you all had a lovely lovely weekend! 

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Monday, 9 January 2017

Cruelty free high end beauty haul

Happy New Year! Hope you all had a lovely break. I did a little Space NK sales haul the other day and as soon as it all came I had to share it with you! Each year Space NK do the best sale straight after Christmas and I always go in pretty hard. I almost didn't want to share this with you as I don't want more people to know about it!
 Anyway, I'll go straight in. It's all cruelty free but lovely high end stuff and was all half price. I wanted to share these with you not just because the savings were so good but more because I didn't know if you all knew that these brands are also cruelty free.

The first thing I got was this By Terry Hyaluronic Sheer Rouge lipbalm. It feels absolutely lovely, almost like a lip balm but has a lovely deep colour. It's supposed to also plump lips and fill in fine lines so might even see if I can take some photos of it on so you can judge!
The packaging is so luxurious, each time I get it out of my bag I just feel like I'm winning at life!
The next By Terry product was this Ombre Blackstar eyeshadow. It's apparently completely smudgeproof, now my eyelids are particularly skilled in smudging anything that comes into contact with them, so I'll have to get back to you on that one. I got it in a lovely deep green, which isn't a colour I would normally wear but it was one of the only ones available at half price and I do want to be more adventurous with my colours this year so we'll have to see....
Next I got two By Terry Baume de Rose lipbalms, one in a deep grape colour and the other in a lovely coral. The colour is very subtle but they feel so lovely on your lips and just give you a little pop of colour. 
They're very expensive when they're full price though at just less than £40 so not sure I'd repurchase if they weren't in the sale. 

These are my first By Terry products ever, but I'd wanted some for ages so once I found out that they were cruelty free I went in pretty strong!
Lastly I got a couple of bits from Japonesque. I'd wanted some things from there for ages and also only just found out they were completely cruelty free. This primer is amazing, it makes your skin literally glow, it's like 8 hours sleep (which I never ever get) in a bottle. Recommend! 
The last thing was a bit of a random gamble, a colour correcting pencil, now I no doubt need this, it's often a struggle just to get out of bed in the morning so whether I'll get to the stage where I add a colour correcting pencil to my morning routine is not quite clear, but I'll definitely try!
I'd highly recommend popping on to their sale page as there's still lots left and the reductions are amazing. 


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