Today I thought it might be nice to share some tried and tested mid-week food inspiration for your post work dinners. Meals that I've been hunting down myself with the sole purpose of trying to put something tasty into my system to keep me ticking in pursuit of a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Last year was a bit of a whirlwind of overseas travel, weddings, holidays, social gatherings and many other similar goings on. I'm not complaining at all, it was all wonderful, but with it comes the toll of quite a lot of food and drink and overindulgence! Somewhere along the line, among the running around and general hectic-ness my willpower and ability to say no just kind of cracked. Temptation took hold and by the end of January this year I looked in the mirror and just didn't feel happy in my own skin anymore.
While I believe in being yourself and try my best not to get too caught up in self-image, in all honestly I would like to drop some of the extra pounds that the last few months have gifted me! Yet what I really want to focus on more than anything is making more positive food choices. Food to fuel myself and those around me, to offer good energy from the inside out. Along with upping physical activity I'm feeling inspired to make some lifestyle tweaks for the better. So with that as a little backstory that's why I've decided to share some of what I've been cooking over the last few weeks that you may like to give a go too.
First up the cookbooks - I've mentioned a few of these before on the blog but have purchased a couple of others as well recently and have been giving them a good workout in the kitchen!
1. Deliciously Ella - This book by food blogger Ella Woodward is a beautifully curated book with a selection of plant-based, vegan recipes. Now I'm not a vegan but I've been loving this book for inspiring new ways to cook with fruit, vegetables and grains amongst other things and will often make her recipes but add a piece of cooked salmon or chicken to satisfy myself and my meat loving husband!
Two of my favourite recipes tried so far are the Warm Winter Salad and the Ten Minute Tomato Pasta both pictured below. Simple and just utterly enjoyable. Fantastic flavours and great new ways to use up some of your old food cupboard favourites.
The inside cover of the book states that its purpose is not about being hungry or feeling deprived but instead about counting goodness and not the calories. I have to say so far everything we've tried has been filling and delicious and for me this book is a real winner.
2. Healing Foods - This book has popped up before on this blog in my post about Healthy, Hearty, Dips. It's such a great book to refer to when you're trying to find out what a specific foods benefits are. If you're struggling with a particular issue then you can turn to this book to find out which foods and combinations will potentially help you out. Moreover, most of the recipes are fairly easy to execute and once you build up a few key bits and pieces in your store cupboard you'll find yourself reaching for this more and more in order to help you get the best out of your daily diet.
One recipe that I keep on going back to with the cold winter nights we've been having is the Ginger Chicken. It's a quick and easy one-pot wonder that will fill you up whilst offering an immune boosting lift. I often omit the potatoes and just serve it with some boiled rice plus I'll throw in whatever veggies we have in the fridge that need eating up!
3. Honestly Healthy - by Natasha Corrett and Vicki Edgson has been out for a little while now but I've only recently picked up a copy myself. Again a book full of delicious vegetable based recipes this also offers numerous great ideas for how to sparkle up your food staples.
Top of my tried and tested list from this book so far are the Sweetcorn and Broad Bean Fritters with a Feta, Cucumber and Spinach Salad. You may consider this meal to take a little more preparation than usual for a mid-week dinner (although not much really) but it's worth taking just a few more minutes to put this delight together.
WEBSITES AND BLOGS
Now as well as the books above here are a few favourite blogs that I also turn to on a regular basis when hunting online for satisfying, healthy meal ideas.
1. Living The Healthy Choice - is a blog by Pauline, a food lover and photographer from Berlin. It's a relatively new blog but she has already posted a number of lovely recipes one of which I gave a go the other day - Warming Kale and Chickpea Stew.
One really useful thing on this particular blog is Pauline's round up of what she keeps in her store cupboard in order to have immediate access to the items she needs for her recipes. I found this really helpful and often turn to this page for ideas when putting together my shopping list - Living The Healthy Choice - My Pantry.
2. Hemsley + Hemsley - is also a favourite of mine and I'm looking forward to getting my hands on their beautiful cookbook at some point! For now though I love trawling through their gorgeous blog for inspiration and ideas.
3. Summer Tomato - is my last, but absolutely by no means least, favourite blog for foodie tips and ideas. Written by Darya Rose, neuroscientist and author of Foodist a guide to breaking the diet cycle and eating real food to keep healthy. I saw Darya speak at the Hacking Happiness conference last year and was very much inspired by her values and approach to a healthy diet.
Having been through it all herself, the yo-yo dieting, the fads, the peer and media pressure and everything in between, Darya has finally made peace with herself and gained an understanding of exactly what her eating habits are and what her body needs. Her blog posts are always thought-provoking and inspiring and well worth checking out if you're after a little motivation. Plus anyone that agrees that life is no fun without cookies and leads by saying that deprivation will never work is ok in my book for sure!
So there are my tried and tested foodie finds. I hope that they come in useful if you're also looking for some ideas. Definitely some picks that I recommend you take a peek at.
Where do you turn when you're looking for good food inspiration and ideas? Can you suggest any other books or blogs that I should be digging into?