.: How to find motivation to cook just for one :.

I’m sure we’ve all been there at least one. It’s just one of us at home and it’s meal time. Feels like eat a sandwich or some cereals and not bother to cook at all. It’s a lot easier, mentally, to cook at least for 2. Since I struggle with motivation to cook for the 2 of us on a daily basis, when I’m home alone, I’ll typically do something really quick, such as just cereals or maybe pasta with tuna or similar.

My inspiration in this field has to be my sister. Most of the time she does cook just for herself. The way she does it though, is to cook as if it was for 2 and then next day she doesn’t need to buy or cook an additional lunch. Sometimes she will store the leftovers and mix up with something else so she doesn’t get bored of the food.

She says if she wasn’t going to cook, then she would be eating just cereals and rubbish and that’s not healthy. Plus she really likes to eat, and she eats quite well. She’s also really skinny, mostly due to the amount of exercise she does. Although she eats a lot, she actually eats healthy, avoiding fried stuff or too much sugars on a weekly basis.

Here’s some of the things she cooks:

Here’s one of my favourites, this is actually cod, with corn bread and shrimps on the top.

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Corn bread with melted cheese and oregano for the starter

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Stuffed mushrooms

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Peas with chorizo & poached eggs (this is quite a classic in the portuguese menu)

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Not sure what this one was

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And this was her lemon merengue pie, which was absolutely delicious!

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Do you struggle to find motivation to cook just for one? Any main dish you rely on?

.: On a mission to eat healthy :.

Yap, this year I’ve been on a mission to eat healthy. First of all, because that’s what we all should do by default, then, because it’s no longer just about me! Then as I’ve lost a lot of wait for the last few months, trying to recover with lots of healthy food. And as I know, eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring, can be really tasty it just gives a bit more work.

Little steps I was already doing:

  • No Soda drinks – This is something I was already avoiding anyway. Even juices I tend to avoid. I rather have water with lemon and ice, it’s much more refreshing and healthier too
  • Don’t drink your fruit – eat it – As per point above, I’ve been avoiding juices. But once in a while will do a smoothy, like banana & honey and a bit of milk. So good!
  • Avoid fried stuff & avoid ready made meals
  • I don’t use salt in the food. I’m not the type that seasons everything with salt. I use herbs instead, pepper, paprika, coriander, parsley, whatever I have available. I do use the knorr once in a while for the pasta (which on it’s own has a lot of salt)
  • As I love pasta and bread, I replace white pasta / bread by wholemeal versions of it. I love wholemeal pasta, really tasty!

This year I’ve started to prepare my own soups

  • I’ve done tomato soup
  • Juliana de legumes (pretty much a portuguese soup based out of potato, and cabbage)
  • Carrot cream
  • Ramen (well this is a kind of a soup – I use Nigella’s recipe)

I had no idea how I was craving for soups until I left Portugal! Nothing is better than a good soup, seriously. It really makes you feel warm within.

I’ve started to eat a lot more fish, mostly cod & salmon. If I go out for dinner, I tend to scan the fish options and go for it. Unfortunately within UK it tends to be the classic fish & chips (so fried…) But I find that more places offer fish options these days.

A few other ideas I have tried:

  • Banana ice cream – Frozen banana is all you need to prepare a creamy banana ice cream. It’s really easy! I’ve done my version with honey and cinnamon

Photo from thekitchn.com

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  • Tuna & bean salad – This is a dish that reminds me of my childhood. We would call it “russian salad” known as Olivier salad. We would have boiled potatoes, boiled egg, tuna, olives and sometimes green beans and mix it all up with mayo. As I don’t really eat mayo anymore (something I really avoid at all cost), I did my version with boiled potatoes, boiled egg, tuna & chopped tomato topped up with portuguese olive oil. It looks similar to this italian version from Tesco’s website.

For dinner today I had water with ice, strawberries and lemon

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And prepared cous-cous with grilled chicken in parsley & honey sauce, chopped plum tomatoes & nuts in parsley, olive oil, lemon & honey. It ended up being a quite tasty and flavourful meal. For dessert fresh strawberries!

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Another ideas, pesto pasta with grilled salmon and cherry tomato.13321812_10207505053359259_4373151561322365991_n

Any good recipes that you rely on?

.: Life Lately :.

Hard to believe my last post was almost 2 months ago! But I have to admit since then my life has been a bit upside down and a lot is changing, so I didn’t had the chance nor the mood to keep the blog up to date.

I’m still enjoying working in London, which means for the first time ever having the chance to sleep in my bed at night, but the commuting is killing me. It’s 1h20 each way in good days. Which means I leave the house before 07h to get the 07h10 train, I’m in the office around 08h15, then I return back home at 19h, which means being home at 20h30.

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On the other hand, because pretty much all I can do over the weekend is lay in the couch and watch all the food & house programs on telly, I have a lot of cooking ideas on my mind. Haven’t done any, except for the stuffed mushrooms yesterday:

I love Laura’s videos, and this recipe was no exception. I’ve used feta cheese as well. Because I had a lot of bedcrumbs leftovers, I’ve sparkled a few over the salmon, and it turns it it’s pretty good!

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It was a very good meal, even if the photo is rubbish, it was pretty tasty. We were so starving I didn’t had the chance to take a decent photo of the food.

Today for lunch doing something I really miss, Portuguese Tuna & Egg salad

You can see the recipe here.

Have a lovely weekend and hopefully I’ll be posting a bit more regularly now

.: Richmond walk & waffles :.

I have to admit that all I’ve been keen on doing over the weekend is to stay at home. Maybe because I’m always away in hotels @ work, or simply because I enjoy the light of my new flat so much.

After lunch we’ve decided to go for a walk in my favourite London place, Richmond:

Note: All the photos below are taken with my mobile phone

Richmond Green

And then a stop by The Farmery. I love stopping by the Farmery because they have waffles & frozen yoghurt, and I would say this is a brilliant combination for all seasons!

Yummy isn’t it?

Enjoy your weekend

.: Lazy Monday :.

Ahhh nothing better than a bank holiday to extend the weekend ๐Ÿ˜€

We’ve just returned last night from a weekend away in Cornwall, so now have loads of photos to check. The advantage of being at home is that you can cook and enjoy your kitchen a bit more, which is what I’ve been doing:

Lunch – Salmon with lemon sauce and mash potato & boiled eggs

And need to add fresh coriander from our mini garden ๐Ÿ˜€

We was trying to make a smile in my mash hahahahahah Drink: Bulldog’s Gin Tonic. Love this gin, so easy to drink

Then a few photos later, I started fancying some pancakes, so just stopped everything and went to prepare some:

Nigella recipe available here. (He says he prefers the Jamie Oliver version here)

I can’t recommend La Chambre Aux enough! I bought this on my trip to Lille, and have been saving them. This one is the strawberry & mint jam, so good and perfect! We had nutella on the table as well, and we didn’t even touched it, so yes, that good!

Superb!

Wish you all a great week ahead!

.: Sunday Brunch :.

After watching this video, we’ve decided to change the way we cook our scrambled eggs:

I actually love the chopped tomatoes with the eggs (following the indian recipe), so we did a fusion of Gordon’s recipe and our one (almost no butter and no cream).ย This was the result:

Really creamy!!!

How do you like your eggs? What’s your favourite Sunday Brunch?

Enjoy your sunday!

.: Relaxing :.

Happy new year ๐Ÿ™‚
Have you started any new year resolution so far?

As today it was such a miserable cloudy and rainy day we’ve decided to stay indoors and I can tell you, there was lots of food ๐Ÿ˜€

Brunch

Oven-baked pasta with ham, Chorizo & Mozarella

And while I was cleaning the kitchen he baked bread ๐Ÿ˜€

Yummy!

And now I’m feeling grumpy as my holidays are gone and Monday I’m back to work ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Anyone else feeling the same?

.: Winter drinks :.

I guess I’m more than ready for some winterย drinks, with the Christmas markets starting all over the place. Next week I’m travelling to Germany to visit the Christmas markets.

Favourite Winter Drinks:

Gluhwein (Mulled wine)

Mulled wine is a beverage usually made with red wine along with various mulling spices and raisins. It is served hot or warm and may be alcoholic or non-alcoholic.[1] It is a traditional drink during winter, especially around Christmas and Halloween.

Love the german version with rum!

Apparently the lidl one is quite nice to make at home

Eggnog

Eggnog is a sweetened dairy-based beverage traditionally made with milk and/or cream, sugar, and whipped eggs (which gives it a frothy texture). Spirits such as brandy, rum or bourbon are often added. The finished serving is often garnished with a sprinkling of ground cinnamon or nutmeg.

Jamie Oliver just shared a nice recipe for Eggnog

Serves 8

  • 3 cups (700ml) whole milk
  • 1 cup (240ml) heavy or double cream
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split and seeds removed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish
  • 5 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 (130g) cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (175ml) Bacardi Dark Rum, or bourbon

In a saucepan, combine milk, cream, cinnamon, vanilla bean, vanilla seeds, and nutmeg. Bring to the boil over a medium heat. Once boiling, remove from the heat and allow to steep.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar until combined and thick ribbons form when the whisk is lifted. Slowly whisk in the milk and continue to mix until the mixture is combined and smooth. Add bourbon or rum, and stir. Refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.

Before serving, beat the egg whites in a large bowl or stand mixer until soft peaks form. Gently fold into eggnog until combined. Serve and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg.

Cinnamon or ginger latte

I actually do it quite often for breakfast as a cappuccino. I use a vanilla nespresso capsule + cinnamon powder and milk

I’m crazy about cinnamon ๐Ÿ˜€

What’s your favourite winter drink?

.: Diary of a food week :.

I guess the keyword for this week’s food diary was: fish! Fortunately for me, because I work in Bristol I have access to more fish options than I have in London:

Mussels with Tatchers (beer) sauce

Grilled fish (don’t remember which one exactly, but it was good)

Salmon with Quinoa (homemade)

And tonight, after all the food from yesterday all I was craving was pasta with tomato sauce:

Wish you all a great week ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

.: Winter if perfect for? :.

Soup!
You have no idea how I’m craving for a nice warm soup. Seriously! I never really valued it back in Portugal, where you can get all these amazing soups, like “Caldo verde

Or Juliana de Legumes – this is a soup based out of potato and loads of fresh vegetables

Then I saw this video and now all I want is a warm soup

Yummy! Love it

Winter is also a perfect time for Tea and Honey. My favourite tea at the moment is this one: Lady Grey

It’s just perfect! (With no milk please)

What do you fancy the most for winter?