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Saturday, 26 July 2014

Sophie's Quinoa Salad

Hello Lovelies,

Last Saturday I was praying for good weather, but instead of the sun streaming through my shutters I awoke to grey ominous clouds.

I had H coming over for lunch, and had originally thought we could go for a little picnic but as the clouds where grey and full of rain we opted for the more sensible option and knocked up my quinoa salad at home. 

This salad is super yummy and something that I cook on quite a regular bases as it is super easy. 

Serves 2-3 people.


2 cups of quinoa

6 slices of chorizo

2 poached eggs

1 chunk of goats cheese

1 bunch of asparagus 

First you want to cut up your chorizo into little bits, you want it to go really crispy, so when you go to the deli ask for it to be thinly sliced.  

You could really swap it for any kind of meat (or omit it if your a veggie) but I love chorizo because the peppery taste adds a little bite and depth of flavour.

This dish is a bit of a juggling game, so at the same time your crisping your chorize you want to be cooking your quinoa.  

To cook 2 cups of quinoa you will need 4 cups of water (or if your really fancy chicken stock).  First rinse the quinoa with cool water for at least 2 mins, running your hand through it.  Then bring your water to a rolling boil, add your quinoa then turn down heat, cover and cook for 15 mins.  After 15 mins leave to stand then fluff with a fork.

As your quinoa is standing pop on your eggs.  I'm super lucky as I just fry my eggs without any oil on top of the AGA, but if your cooking on/in a conventional oven then the healthiest thing to do is poach them.

As your eggs are cooking you want to steam your asparagus, I normally cut my asparagus but H taught me a nifty trick, take each spear and bend, by doing this the woody end will naturally snap off.

Once everything has cooked shove it in a pretty bowl and serve.  Your friends will praise you for being a culinary genius and you can sit there, bask in the glory and have a scrummy lunch.


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Courghetti with Mozzarella and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Hello Lovelies,

If you haven't heard of courgette (zucchini) noodles, then where have you been living!  These things have been taking the world by storm, from restaurants to Pinterest and Instagram.

These noodles feel seriously naughty like your enjoying a big ol' bowl of pasta, but they don't give you that heavy bloated feeling that a big bowl of wheat pasta does. 

To serve 3-4 people you'll need:

4 courgettes

1 ball of good quality mozzarella 

Fresh basil to garnish

Red pepper sauce:

4 red pepper (roasted)

1/2 onion diced

torn fresh basil

you will also need a Spiralizer or a Julienne Peeler for your courgette.

Start by spiralizing or peeling your courgette until you have lovely green ribbons.

You then want to get cracking with your roasted pepper sauce, we always keep a jarful of this ready made in the fridge, but to knock it up from scratch you will want to grab your roasted peppers whether from a jar or homemade then pop them in the blender with half an onion.  Once everything blitzed throw it in a pan with some torn up basil and heat.

The next part is optional, if you want it hot you will want to warm your sauce and blanch your courghetti for 30 secs in boiling water, however you can also serve it cold by tossing the sauce through the raw noodles, the choice is yours.

This dish is super healthy and jam packed full of nutrients. 

Courgettes are a very low calorie veg with only 17 calories for every 100g (so eat away).  They are also a superb source of vit.A, vit.C and potassium, as well as being packed full of anti-oxidants, and a great source of fiber, an all round good egg.

Like any meal you want the ingredients to be as fresh as possible, so grab you organic veggies.  If you have a vegetable patch with an abundance of courgettes then this is a great recipe to use them up.  

Are you a Courghetti fan, or will you be giving it a try?


Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Instagram Catch Up

Hello Lovelies,

I love Instagram, and as I love stalking other peoples pages I thought I would give you a rundown of the last week, for all those nosy people like me! 

It has been a week of serious cooking, I started off by knocking up a quick but super yummy Paella, perfect comfort food for the whole family.

Next was a quick trip to Lancaster for my little brothers graduation, where we stayed in a little B&B, with pig plaques on the doors.  

Over the two days we drank our weight in iced coffee & devoured Wallings Farm ice cream like there was no tomorrow, all while soaking up the Lancashire sun.  

I wore my favourite stripped maxi dress from ASOS, which is just perfect for hot balmy days, as it is nice and floaty so you can eat as much as you want and still look fab!    

After a weekend of excess my body needed a kick up the bum, so I got into the kitchen, tied my apron and got cooking.  Two of my favourite dishes were a quinoa salad and courgette pasta with mozzarella it feels seriously naughty but in reality it is super good for you.

After complaining to my father about the ludicrous price of courgettes, the lovely man dropped these beautiful babies off, fresh from his veggie patch, I think courgette pasta may be on the cards for supper tomorrow.  As well as the courgettes my tomatoes have finally ripened, there is literally nothing better than eating homegrown fruit and veg. 

Last but not least is my DIY of the week, tie-dye tote bags, soon to be on my Etsy site.

Hope you have all had a lovely week and have been embracing the storms as well as the super sun!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

DIY Berry Ice Tea || Teapigs Super Fruit

Hello Lovelies,

I am a massive Teapigs Tea fan, and drink their peppermint tea every morning with my porridge, but last month I found another tea to add to my favourites list.

It all started when I met a friend for brunch, we walked to our favourite spot, then ummed and arred about what to order.  She ended up ordering her morning cappuccino, I however was melting under the sun and needed something to cool me down.  After scanning the chalk board I decided to try the berry iced tea.

In that minute I fell in love so after we had finished nattering I hopped on over to my favourite health food shop in search of some berry tea.  Ten minutes later I left with a box of Teapigs Super Fruit Tea, ready to concoct my berry Iced tea.   

What is in it?

Hibiscus, elderberry, blackcurrant, raisin, natural flavours, ligonberry, blueberry

nutritional content [per 100ml]
energy [kcalories]3 calories
  • Dairy free
  • Gluten free
  • Suitable for vegetarians & vegans

To make berry Iced tea for four you will need:

5 teabags, one per person and one for the pot (as Grandma would say!)

1 tsp of stevia or 1 cup of fresh apple juice

2 handfuls of ice

1 handful of frozen raspberries/strawberries

1 handful of fresh blueberries 

The first thing you want to do is boil your kettle, once your water has boiled pour it into a large pyrex jug and add your teabags.  You then want to leave the tea to steep and the water to cool, so go and busy yourself.

You can leave your teabags in for as long as you like, I normally leave them in until I'm ready to drink, but the choice is yours.

Once your water is cool, fish out your teabags then add your sweetner, I personally prefer a cup of fresh apple juice, but the fridge was bare so stevia it was. 

You then want to chuck in your ice and fruit, the fruit is purely decorative, but I love making things Pinterest worthy!

You will never grab yourself a Liptons Iced tea ever again, I promise!

What is your Summer refreshment of choice?


Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Dressing Room & Jiya Jewellery

Hello Lovelies,

I love me some good jewellery!  

So when I saw these beautiful Jiya bracelets I knew I needed at least one on my wrist.  

Jiya (meaning a piece of my heart) bracelets are like the grown up version of the ones we adorned our wrists with as young teens.  They are made from the traditional knots of friendship bracelets past, but instead of plastic beads there are pretty little silver and gold ones.  

They have a fantastic sophisticated boho look to them meaning they can be worn from "the beach to the boardroom" something which I really love as when I wear friendship bracelets I don't tend to take them off.  

After searching for them on the web I stumbled across The Dressing Room (check them out) which is a lovely shop in St. Albans, with an amazing website. 

After umming and ahing over what colour I wanted I settled on "blue" and "cobalt blue" as I have a bit of a theme going on at the moment.  When they arrived they joined my Verditer Slim Satin and my Monica Vinader Fiji bracelets, to become a happy blue family! 

Are you tempted, or do you already own some Jiya jewellery?


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Pinterest Picks || For The Home

Hello Lovelies,

Pinterest and I are in 'complicated' relationship, I love it but it is a time waster, if it was a man it would be gone!  However as it's a pretty place full of beautiful pictures and endless inspiration I am going to let it stay.

I tend to scour Pinterest while I'm waiting for things (or just being lazy, but ssshhh that's a secret!)  This week I have gone a little crazy on my 'For The Home' board, so I thought I would show all you lovelies a few of my favourite pins.

  1. I love these painted stairs with numbers on.  I don't think I would paint it on a main staircase but I think it would look fab on the thinner stairs up to the attic rooms or maybe a back staircase.  As well as numbers I have seen photos where instead of numbers they have written the words in Spanish (or you could do it in french) which I also really love.  
  2. If your a regular reader you will know that I have an obsession with peonies, they are my favourite flower, as soon as they bloom in the garden I get very snap happy, so when this popped up on my home page I just had to pin it.
  3. I love a good gallery wall, and this one is amazing I love that they're both landscape and portrait, are different sizes and are all in different frames.  It is the gallery wall that I aspire to have.
  4. Last but definitely not least is this hammock in a beautiful wild flower meadow.  As a child we had a wonderful old canvas hammock that my father would string up between the apple trees on the orchard.  I would take myself of with my favourite book, climb into the hammock and read in the dappled shade.  When I'm older I would love to have a big garden with room to hang a hammock.
Are you Pinterest obsessed too, if you are come and say hello my account is @SophieJaneLife, what is yours?

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