Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Fix your diet

There are some delicious substitutes for our favourite fattening foods and by making these small changes, you'll be on your way to reaching your goal. Decrease your daily calorie intake by 500 calories to lose 0,5-1kg per week.

Skip: regular cheeses like cheddar on pizza, hamburgers and in pasta
Choose: low-fat mozzarella, ricotta and cottage cheese on sandwiches and in sauces

Skip: Full cream milk and other full fat dairy
Choose: skim milk and low-fat yoghurt and cream

Skip: Starchy white bread, pasta and rice
Choose: Whole-wheat bread, pasta and brown rice

Skip: Milk chocolate
Choose: A few blocks of at  least 70% cocoa dark chocolate

Skip: Regular beef burgers
Choose: Veggie burgers or grilled chicken burgers

Skip: Fried crisps
Choose: Pretzels and butterless popcorn

Skip: Regular chewing gum
Choose: Sugarless chewing gum

Skip: Salad dressing and mayonnaise
Choose: Balsamic vinegar dressing

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Mince on toast

If you have mince leftover from a dish such as spaghetti bolognaise or moussaka, reheat the mince mixture and add a few cans of baked beans to make it go further. Spoon the mixture into fresh, buttered rolls for delicious, but messy sloppy joes. The kids will love it! Or you can just as easily add a few mushrooms and spoon over toast.

Cooking with Mince
Mince can be made into so many delicious dishes, from Italian to Mexican. Here are a couple of tips to get it right.
• Free-range beef mince is tastier and healthier than other beef mince so look out for it in your local store and compare prices. While slightly pricier, the leanest mince is always the best choice for meals such as hamburgers, cottage pie, chilli con carne and bolognaise while regular mince works well for meals like meatballs and meatloaf.
• Uncooked mince can be frozen for two to three months.
• Make sure your mince is properly defrosted and be sure to break it up before adding it to the pan to ensure even browning.
• Add your spices as you brown the meat, and if the mince is very lean, add a teaspoon of olive oil.
• Once cooked, drain the mince to get rid of excess fat. This creates a looser, fresher tasting dish with far less calories.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Fridge hygiene habits

Did you know that keeping too much food in the fridge and not storing in correctly could be making you sick? Beneath the surface of your new fridge could be lurking thousands of harmful bugs responsible for food poisoning. Make sure you adopt these five habits for a healthy fridge.

Check the fridge temperature

Your fridge should be set between 1-4ºC. This not only keeps food fresh, bit also stops any bacteria already lurking in your fridge from multiplying.

Keep the fridge door shut
Bacteria breed in warmer temperatures so when you leave the fridge door open it very quickly raises the temperature inside your fridge and can cause bacteria to start multiplying. Check your temperature regularly.

Clean your fridge – often

You can't always see the little bits of dirt that get trapped in the corners of  the shelves and the drawers in your fridge. And if a piece of raw meat falls on a surface in your fridge and you don't clean it properly, it's game over. Make sure you clean your fridge every week with warm water and a mild disinfectant.

Keep raw meat away from cooked meat
Always store raw meat at the bottom of the fridge to avoid blood and other juices from dripping onto your other food. Raw meat should always be well covered and separate from other food, preferably in its own container.

Rotate your food
Make sure that older supplies of food are used up first. So if you do a shop to stock up for the week, move newer items to the back of the fridge. This prevents older food from being forgotten, going bad and thus spreading bacteria to your newer food items.

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Braised chicken and butter bean casserole

In our April 2010 issue of Club we did a series of bean recipes and this braised chicken and butter bean casserole was one of our favourites – doesn't it look delicious?

2 tbsp oil
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 green pepper, seeded and finely sliced
6 baby leeks, finely sliced
2 litres chicken stock
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 can chopped tomatoes
4 carrots, finely chopped
1 can butter beans, rinsed and drained
10 chicken thighs, on the bone
Parsley to garnish

1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the onions and garlic and fry gently until softened.
2. Add the green pepper and leeks, gently stirring together.
3. Add the stock, soy sauce and tomatoes and bring to the boil, then turn down to a gentle simmer.
4. Add the carrots, butter beans and whole chicken thighs and leave to simmer gently for approximately one hour. Serve with rice.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

5 really easy ways to go green

All over the world people are campaigning to try and reduce the effects of greenhouse gases on the planet. It can be tough to make the change, but it's worth it to save our beautiful Earth. Here are five easy ways you can reduce your carbon footprint.

Change a lightbulb
Good for the environment: Install compact fluorescent light bulbs instead of incandescents. The compact light bulbs convert most of the energy they use into light rather than heat so they save energy.
Good for you: They consume about 75 per cent less electricity and last up to 10 times longer so you'll save money with these.

Unplug things that glow
Good for the environment: Any appliance that has an LED light that glows even after you turn it off continues to use power – and that includes a cell phone charger that is not being used!
Good for you: Unplugging appliances and electronics that aren't being used can drastically reduce your monthly electricity bill.

Fix that drip
Good for the environment: When you next fill your water glass, think about the water shortages we've had in the past or the thousands of children around Africa who would give anything for a drink of clean water. Saving water is as easy as fixing a leaky tap or toilet; or switching off the tap while you're brushing your teeth.
Good for you: Saving water will obviously cut your water bill and doing your bit to conserve water will prevent frustrating and harsh water restrictions during summer.

Plant a garden
Good for the environment: A small vegetable and herb garden is an efficient and healthy way of providing food for your family and it will reduce your carbon footprint. If you don't have a garden you can still plant a variety of veggies and herbs in pots.
Good for you: Growing your own food means healthy, fresh ingredients on hand and less money spent on groceries. Plus, you'll get a little sunshine and exercise.

Do full loads
Good for the environment: Whenever you wash just a few clothes or dishes at a time rather than waiting for a full load to accumulate, you're wasting power, water and money. Having full loads, choosing short cycles, and using cold or warm water rather than hot water racks up savings.
Good for you: Wash two fewer loads of clothes and one less load of dishes a week and save a significant amount of water a year.

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Chicken soup

Try this easy new recipe for a delicious chicken soup to warm you up from the inside out.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves
2 large carrots
2 sticks of celery diced
4 baby marrows diced
1 small butternut diced
6 chicken breasts, cut into pieces
2 litres of chicken stock

Heat oil in a large pot over a medium heat. Add the leek and garlic and cook for about two minutes until soft.
2. Add the carrots, celery, baby marrow and butternut. Cook for another two minutes.
3. Add the chicken pieces and lightly cook together for five minutes.
4. Add the stock to the pot and allow to simmer for about one hour. Season with salt and pepper.

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Negotiate with your teen

If you are constantly at loggerheads with your teenager over any number of issues, why not try and compromise in order to promote harmony in your home?
Messy room: If your child agrees to keep their bedroom door closed and remove all dirty plates, cups and saucers, why not relax on the issue of neatness?
Curfew: If you are constantly at war about home time, come to an agreement that over weekends they can stay out for a little longer – provided they stick to their curfew on school nights without complaint.
Loud music: Agree on a couple of "loud" nights each week. The rest of the time they should wear headphones.
Crazy fashion: Agree to disagree on your teenagers fashion sense. Tell them they can wear whatever they like when they're out and about with friends, but ask them to tone it down a bit for family get-togethers.
Housework: Instead of forcing your child to help out with chores, offer them pocket money to do this. This will teach them more about adult life in the real world than a stand-up argument.
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