Fall Foodie Recipes That Won’t Leave You Feeling Heavy

With fall well and truly here, it’s time to hunker down and get cosy. Cooking up a storm is a great way of staying warm and getting into the spirit of the season and when it comes to fall, soup is your best port of call. If your thought of comfort food is heavy and fat laden, however, you’re about to be in for a big surprise. These hearty fall soups will put a little warmth into your bones without weighing you down in the process. Turning to your kitchen this season is the perfect way to celebrate the changing weather and bringing together your nearest and dearest. Looking for an excuse to get cooking? Let these hearty soup recipes be your calling!

Beef and Cannellini Bean Soup

Rich, hot and oh-so tasty, this beef and cannellini bean soup will warm you up even when it’s getting cold outside. The beauty of this recipe means that you can leave it in your slow cooker in the morning and it will be ready by the time you get home from work. Try whipping up a bigger batch and leaving it in your freezer; you’re going to want to dip back into this broth time and time again.

Fresh Vine Tomato Soup

If you’ve been feeling a little under the weather, there’s nothing quite like a fresh tomato soup to have you on your feet again. This recipe takes all of the goodness out the fresh fruit, giving up a hefty serving of your daily nutrients in the process. With a minimal ingredients list, the soup is incredibly easy to knock together, even if you’re short on time. All you need to do is prepare the vegetables and the rest practically cooks itself.

Tuscan Tomato Tortellini Soup

Want to relive a few last memories of summer time? This soup will transport you all the way to Italy. Taking influence from the country’s ingredients list, the broth is packed full of only the freshest, most delicious ingredients. If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, try adding in a little more fresh pasta. You’ll have an entire meal in your bowl without even having to make the effort.

White Bean Chicken Soup

There’s nothing quite like a bowl of chicken soup when you’re feeling less than great. If you want to go one further with the whole thing, however, you have to try whipping up this white bean chicken soup recipe. Taking the classic dish and kicking it up a gear, the recipe is packed full of all sorts of good stuff. Make a batch of the stuff, invite over all of your friends and get to eating.

Mason Jar Ramen

Soup is a great lunch time dish and by putting the whole thing in a mason jar, you can take the dish with you wherever you might be going. This homemade ramen is the perfect dish to take with you on the cold, rainy days that fall will bring your way. Just pile your ingredients high, close the lid and eat with you on the go.

Beef Barley Soup

Cosy, comforting and filling, this beef and barley soup is the ultimate for cold fall days. Slow cooking the beef for a long period of time, the soup is rich in flavor and as tender as they come. Keep a pot of this on your stove throughout the kitchen and let the soup just bubble away, dipping into it when hunger calls.

Vegan Sweet Potato Chowder

While this soup might have all the trappings of a traditional chowder, it is featherlight, filling you up without leaving you feeling weighed down. If you’re not a fan of the curry powder, try cutting out a little of the spice and adding in a fragrant flavor instead. You’re the master of your own soup, so don’t be afraid to go a little off piste with your seasonings.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup

‘Tis the season to pile up on vegetables! Fall is a great time to stock up on seasonal veggies and thanks to their diversity, many of them can be turned into killer soups. This roasted pepper offering brings out the natural sweetness in the vegetables, slowly cooking the food to intensify the flavor. While you can top the soup off with a little cream, it works just as well on its own, letting you enjoy the taste of the vegetables.

Star Studded Eating Tips For A Healthier You

Over the years, our favorite starlets have gathered up some of the most effective healthy eating and lifestyle tips on the market. Privy to the foodie secrets of the world’s top nutritionists, fitness coaches and health gurus, celebrities have some of the best insight into what’s best for their bodies and now, they’re sharing them with the rest of the world. Despite having some of the finest chefs and food experts at their disposal, these healthy celebs prefer the more down to earth things in life and overwhelmingly, their eating choices are ones that can be taken up in any kind of lifestyle. The trick is to know where your food is coming from; once you’re in control, you can really start to focus on the right things for your health.

Let’s get cooking!

Visit The Farmer’s Market – Shailene Woodley

Everyone knows that fresh is best and no one is advocating the strengths of the farmer’s market more so than Shailene Woodley. The actress claims to head to the local produce market wherever she is, scouting out the best food in any location. The key, she says, is the freshness of the produce. Having been grown and nurtured in the local environment, the food in these kinds of markets is in the best possible shape you will find. Better yet, these kinds of events tend to be less expensive, more diverse and are a great way of understanding more about the local foodie culture.

Keep It Green – Miranda Lambert

Getting your fill of the right kinds of colors is a sure fire ways to enjoy a better, more balanced quality of health. When it comes to rainbow foods, however, there is no better color for you than green. Singer Miranda Lambert certainly knows this fact and wherever so goes, she advocates the green eating movement above all else. Eating greens in any capacity is a great way to fill up on your vitamins, pack your body full of nutrients and feel more energized. Try to eat a few portions of green, leafy vegetables throughout the day; you might just end up feeling all the better for it!

Indulge In The Right Foods – Heidi Klum

Following a balanced diet doesn’t mean that you can’t treat yourself from time to time; it just pays to think about how you’re going to do it beforehand. Stars like Heidi Klum allow themselves the odd indulgence and if you’re going to veer off track a little, make sure that it’s worth it. If you’re going to be eating the richer, creamier foods that might normally be kept for another day, make sure you pick your moments. Indulging from time to time can make it easier to stay healthy and balanced throughout the week; it’s all about getting the quantities right.

Forget Faddy Diets – Shakira

With every new month, a new eating fad seems to rear its head and according to the reports, each one gets better and more effective as time goes on. Fad diets might seem like a good idea in the short term but they are rarely sustainable over longer periods of time. If you really want to do your health some good, try taking a leaf out of Shakira’s book. The singer doesn’t bother with dieting, choosing instead to follow and healthy and balanced diet. Eating foods that are rich in fiber and protein and low in processed ingredients is a great way to boost your health, sustain a healthy weight and feel better about yourself.

Stop Obsessing About It – Maria Menounos

In the world in which we live, it’s easy to become obsessed over body image and weight but essentially, you should feel comfortable enough to live according to what makes you happy. While eating right and exercising sufficiently are both essential to a healthy lifestyle, you shouldn’t take your regime so far that it begins to consume your life. Just ask Maria Menounos. The star advocates living healthily, rather than focusing on all of the tiny details. As long as you’re healthy and happy, you should try not to focus on the way you look.

Eating right and moving enough are both sure fire ways of staying in shape but sometimes, you need to focus on the bigger picture, too. If you’re happy in your body and have a good level of fitness, you should focus on doing what makes you feel good above all else. Eating for your health can improve your well being a huge amount, so make sure you take care of yourself like a star.

Los Angeles: Eating Like A Local In The City Of Angels

Los Angeles. City of angels and starlets, the town is packed to bursting with must-see spots and if you’re visiting for the first time, the chances are that you will want a really authentic experience. Getting to know a city through its food is one of the best ways to understand its values, its locals and in the case of L.A., catch a glimpse of your favorite movie star in the process. With so many influences hitting the city, though, knowing where to begin can be just as big of an issue as knowing what to wear when you’re there.

These city spots might not cover all of the bases out there in Los Angeles but they are sure to give you something to write home about. Are you ready to dine like a local and begin your journey into the heart of Los Angeles? It’s time to get eating.

Honor Bar

Small, intimate and oh-so delicious, Honor Bar is one of the most popular spots in the city and tables there can fill up fast. While waiting in line to eat might seem like a drag, you will realize just what all the fuss is about once you take a bite into one of the place’s famous sandwiches. If you know what’s good for you, you will try Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich, a dish that has already earned itself a reputation across the city. There’s more to the place than just bread and meat and with each sandwich being served up with a side of sushi and fries, you might just make this place your regular spot.

Little Sister

Looking for that perfect weekend hangout joint? Little Sister is here for you. Serving up Vietnamese food with a creative twist, the restaurant is about so much more than spicy, fragrant dishes. With each plate taking influence from both traditional and modern cooking styles, you’re guaranteed something with a whole lot of flavor and bite. If you find the place too busy to get a table don’t worry; there are now 2 locations across the city, giving you more opportunity to get your foodie fill.

Pine and Crane

When it comes to great tasting Asian food, Los Angeles sure knows what it’s doing. Decked out in an interior that is sure to live up to your minimalist Pinterest dreams, Pine and Crane is a great resting spot amidst the traffic-laden streets of the city. The food there, of course, is what it’s all about. Serving up a range of traditional, entirely authentic Taiwanese-Chinese food, Pine and Crane should be a staple spot on the map of any Asian food loving tourist. Choose a selection of small plates, wash them down with some fresh tea and you’re good to go.

Alcove Cafe & Bakery

If you’re in Los Angeles over any weekend, then you’re going to want to do brunch. When it comes to proper feasting, the locals really know what they’re doing so you’re guaranteed a plate of good food practically anywhere that you go. If you want something really exceptional, however, you need to set your sights on the Alcove Cafe & Bakery. Serving up a range of classic brunch dishes, the cafe is the perfect place in which to while away a lazy Sunday morning and catch up on your weekend reading. There’s so many good things on the menu, you might just want to come back more than once!

The Luggage Room

Los Angeles is the city of a thousand flavors and no matter what you’re looking for, you’re guaranteed something that is going to taste amazing. If you’re really in the market for a thin crust pizza, then nowhere other than The Luggage Room will do. Crispy, packed with flavor and served up using only the finest of local ingredients, the pizzas at the restaurant might be among some of the very best that you’ve ever tasted. If you’re looking for a bit of a party, you can try to sample any of the cocktails on the menu; the night is yours for the taking.

Eating in L.A. is one of the best ways to get acquainted with its culture and explore the local scene on your own. With any number of incredible eating spots on the city streets, making the most out of your time there is as simple as pie and before long, you might be returning to taste it all over again!

The Foodie’s Guide To Paris

Paris. The city of lights. Home to some of the most famous culture in the world. The French capital is one of the top tourist hotspots around the world, and it’s not hard to see why. Brimming with art, packed to the rafters with monuments, the city is a real gem in the European crown and visiting there at least once in your life should be high up on your travel agenda. When it comes to cuisine, the French have had a hold on the industry for decades but in recent years, Paris has begun to change its tune. What was once a hub of traditional French dining has taken a more contemporary turn and now, you’re just as likely to stumble across a modern fusion dish as you are a French classic. But where should you be eating in the city? That is the question on everyone’s lips and luckily for you, we’re here to answer it.

Holybelly

Brunching in Paris is practically an institution and if you aren’t settling down for your weekly meal each Sunday, you can’t truly call yourself a local. While there are a ton of incredible eating spots around the city, few do the job quite as well as Holybelly. Located just off the city’s trendy Canal St. Martin, the cafe is a real foodie favorite and serves up some of the best food and coffee across the entire city. While the roster of daily specials is always worth a try, Holybelly comes out on top with its serving of eggs and sides. Get there early, though; the cafe is a local favorite and tables fill up fast.

Clamato

Where French dining was once a heavy, butter laden affair, it has transformed itself and now, you would be more likely to find locals chowing down on a selection of small plates than anything else. While there are a horde of great, meaty joints, Clamato does something a little different, taking the small plates concept to the seafood market. Serving up a selection of unusual and exquisitely finished plates, the restaurant certainly knows what it’s doing and once you taste one plate, you might never want to eat traditional seafood again.

Frenchie To Go

While securing a place at the much celebrated Frenchie might be a little difficult, you can get a taste of Gregory Marchand’s foodie empire by pulling up a pew at concept fast food joint Frenchie To Go. Serving up a selection of quick and tasty meals, the restaurant is most famous for its pulled pork burger and fries, which tend to sell out as quickly as they come. Other offerings still hit the spot, however, and you can wash it down with a hot cup of coffee.

Candelaria

Thought that you had tasted every kind of Mexican food there is? Just wait until you try Candelaria. A cocktail bar and restaurant in one, this popular food spot serves up a mix of traditional Mexican food like you might have never seen, all washed down with a frozen margarita. The dinner menu might be small, but it’s seriously good and after one taste, you might be hooked for life.  

Au Passage

Fast food takes on a whole new meaning in Au Passage, one of the city’s most popular small plates restaurants. Nestled just a stone’s throw from vibrant République square, the restaurant rubs shoulders with some of the best cocktail spots in the city and is the perfect place in which to commence a night out. Make sure you make your order before it runs out; the kitchen is renowned for changing the menu by the minute, so if you see a waitress rushing towards the large menu blackboard, make your request before it’s too late.

Gravity

While not strictly a restaurant, cocktail bar Gravity serves up a great selection of foodie bites to be washed down with its original creations. Having opened its doors last September, the bar has quickly proved to be a popular amongst locals and now, finding a table might be something of a struggle. The food menu is packed with the kinds of small plates making the rounds across the city right now and, accompanied by the bar’s many cocktails, they certainly go down a treat.

The Best Overnight Breakfasts For A Productive Morning

Starting your day in the right way is a sure fire way to get more done, be productive and keep a positive mindset. While an active lifestyle and stress-free morning can all help to contribute to a better working day, few things are quite as important as a healthy and wholesome breakfast. Getting the right kinds of nutrients inside of you before you begin your day can help to significantly boost your working power and creative potential but if you’re already leading a busy lifestyle, dedicating the right kind of time to your breakfast can be something of a struggle.

Luckily, however, there is another way and it might just save you a whole load of extra time in the morning. Prepared the evening before, these healthy breakfast recipes require the night to kick things into gear and by the time you wake up, they will be ready to be eaten. Want to start the day the best way possible? These overnight breakfast recipes are all that you need.

Fruity Breakfast Bites

Prepared the night before, these bitesize oaty treats are the perfect way to get going in the morning and fuel your body for a long working day ahead. Packed full of fresh banana, rolled oats and dried berries, the breakfast dish packs a serious flavorsome punch and won’t leave you reaching for the snack bag come 11am. You can try whipping up a large batch and storing these in a seal tight container for the rest of the week; that way, you can focus on what really matters in the morning!

Zucchini Muffins

While traditional breakfast muffins might not be the most healthy way to start your day, these zucchini cakes are a little different from the rest. Combining whole wheat flour, oats, zucchini and maple syrup, the recipe is completely sugar free for a more relaxed, focused morning. While you can make a larger quantity of these to see you through the week, the muffins also make excellent mid morning snacks, helping to tide you over until lunch without filling up on sugar.

Muffin Tin Frittatas

Are you on the hunt for something a little more savory? These muffin tin frittatas might just hit the spot. Baked in the oven, this recipe cuts down on all that extra oil you might typically use, helping you to keep a clear and healthy conscience. While the recipe might call for higher quantities than you might expect, the frittatas can easily be frozen and defrosted at a later date. You can be breakfast ready, every day of the week!

Overnight Almond Muesli

Packed full of nutritional healing powers, oats are one of the best foods that you can start to support a healthy and balanced diet and with a ton of easy, overnight recipes out there, getting your fill has never been more easy. These overnight oats come jam packed with bananas, almonds and raspberries and better yet, take just 5 minutes to prepare in the evening. What could be more simple?

Tropical Chia Pudding

With all the trappings of a creamy, rich dessert, you might be hard pressed to believe that this breakfast dish is actually healthy at all. The key is the chia seeds. Blended with creamy greek yogurt overnight, the seeds absorb all of the creamy goodness, practically tripling in size. Topped off with berries, coconut and mango, this breakfast is a great way to pack in a healthy serving of fruit and help to keep your hunger pangs at bay until lunch.

Overnight Strawberry Quinoa

Want to get a protein punch before lunch time? You need to try this overnight quinoa dish. Blending the fruity flavors of strawberry and coconut, the recipe is seriously tasty and, thanks to the fruit in the bowl, there is not a serving of sugar in sight. All you need to do is whip up a batch, leave it to rest and enjoy it in the morning.

Tasty, healthy and fuss free, these overnight breakfast recipes are seriously worth getting excited about and once you try one, you might just be hooked. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and getting your fix in the morning can make all the difference to your productivity. Want to be the very best you you can be? Make your breakfast count!

6 Best Meals For Healthy, Glowing Skin

Want a healthier, more glowing complexion? It might come down to what you’re putting in your body. While cosmetics, everyday wear and tear and sun damage all play vital roles in the state of your face, the types of food that you eat can dramatically improve the quality of your skin. Although following a healthy, balanced diet is an essential part of both looking and feeling your very best, there are a number of meals that can really work wonders on your internal health, showing up on the way you look on the outside. Are you ready for healthy, glowing skin? It’s time to get cooking.

Blueberry and Walnut Smoothie

A powerhouse duo, blueberries and walnuts might just be two of the best foods that you can eat for any aspect of your health and when it comes to your skin, it’s no different. Packed full of antioxidants, magnesium for the skin and a whole lot of health boosting power, this breakfast smoothie can really help to kick start your day and improve the quality of your complexion. Getting a good breakfast inside of you is essential in maintaining your general health and whipped up in a flash, this smoothie can be enjoyed on the go, or at home.

Nicoise Salad

Getting enough fish in your diet is essential should you want to look and feel your best and this recipe has the ingredient by the bucketload. Incorporating all of the staples of a Mediterranean diet like fish, beans, capers and green olives, this salad packs a seriously flavorsome punch and might just become your new favorite dish. As well as being high in taste, it is also packed full of fiber, Omega 3 and antioxidants, all of which have been found to work wonders about the onset of acne and other issues. Skin problems, be gone!

Roasted Beet, Plum and Kale Salad

When it comes to health boosting dishes, you really can’t get better than a salad and this one might just top them all. Rich in color and varied in its flavor, the beet, plum and kale salad can work wonders for problem skin, helping cells to regenerate and repair themselves. Thanks to the antioxidant betalain in the dish, the salad can effectively help to ward off against the development of skin cancer, and make your complexion all round more smooth. Add in the fact that it can also help to soothe against skin burns and you’re on to a real winner.

Lemon Herb Salmon

Fatty fish can really work wonders on your complexion, helping to top up your body’s stores of antioxidants and Omega 3, keeping things ticking both inside and out. Baked in the oven, this dish is low in fat and high in flavor, easily fitting into a healthy eating routine. Low fat recipes can also help to combat clogged pores, so if you’re struggling with problem skin, this might be the dish for you.

Roasted Carrot Soup

Carrots are about so much more than seeing in the dark and once you’ve experienced the health boosting magic of this recipe, you might be hooked for life. An excellent source of vitamin A, carrots can help to fight against the overproduction of skin in the cells’ outer layers, essentially cutting down on clogged pores and improving a dull, tired looking complexion. Better yet, this recipe can be whipped up well in advance, meaning that you can simply heat your portion in a flash to get all of the healing benefits.

Dark Chocolate and Avocado Truffles

Thought that you couldn’t have your cake and eat it? Think again. These dark chocolate and avocado truffles are both incredibly tasty and great for your complexion, helping you to boost the look of your skin all while indulging in a sweet treat. The secret to the recipe is in the avocados; high in B vitamins, the creamy fruit is promotes a healthy complexion by reducing pore size and cutting down of grease. All the sweetness and none of the side effects? Now that’s a recipe we can all get behind.

Making your way to healthier, more glowing skin might be easier than you thought. All it takes is a little cooking time, a lot of great recipes and the complexion of your dreams can be yours for the taking.

How To Eat Healthily On A Budget

For many of us, staying healthy and spending a lot of money go hand in hand. Thanks to the rise of conscientious eating trends and plant based diets, we are coming under increasing pressure to take care of the things we put into our bodies, despite the effect they might have on our wallets. And while eating right is one of the most important things we can do, it doesn’t have to come at a great cost. Although faddy diets and superfoods can take a chunk out of our pay packets, there are a great deal more alternative foods which cost a fraction of the price. If you want to look good without the extra stress, you just need to shop a little more smartly; healthy food can really be for everyone.

Make A Calculated List

As much as each of us aim to stick to our grocery list, more often than not, we come out with a bag or two more than we initially intended. Getting tempted by offers and treats inside a supermarket can all but destroy your willpower and over a period of time, it’s easy for the numbers to add up. Thanks to online shopping, it is now incredibly easy to browse your food shop on the internet before you leave, meaning that you will have the opportunity to work out roughly how much you will spend. Try adding up the total and bringing only sufficient cash for what you really need. Without the ability to splurge on sweet treats, they won’t find their way into your shopping basket.

 

Choose Alternative Products

It is essential to stick to a balanced diet in order to eat healthily but in some cases, you can look to cheaper alternatives within certain food groups. If you want to cut down on the dollars, you can try substituting meat products with alternative sources of protein like lentils or chickpeas. Buying dried ingredients like this in bulk is also a great way of cutting costs and ensuring that you have plenty to eat into the future. While you can still eat meat whenever you like, looking to other foods from time to time will really help you to keep a hold of your purse strings.

Use Your Freezer

When you’re on a budget, your freezer can be your best friends. Not only can you prepare bulk meals in advance and contain them within individually sized boxes but also, you can stock up on frozen healthy foods that will last a long time. Nutritionally speaking, frozen fruits and vegetables contain almost exactly the same amount of nutrients as fresh produce and what’s more, they won’t go off before you can finish them. Alternatively, you can also look to the reduced food aisles and freeze products that are going to go out of date soon. That way, you can cut down on costs and ensure that you have plenty of meals in stock.

Experiment With Your Leftovers

Once cooked and never eaten, many perfectly good ingredients find their way to the garbage can for no reason whatsoever. The next time you make too much food, try repurposing the ingredients the next day to make them go further. Ensuring that you have a good selection of storage boxes is key if you want to keep things for the future; storing ingredients in loosely covered bowls means that they might go off more quickly. If you’re bored of the same old stir fry recipe, try looking to salads, stews and soups to reuse cooked foods; there are plenty of options right at your fingertips.

Know What Is In Season

One of the best ways to ensure that you’re going to eat as well as possible for the least amount of money is knowing what foods are in season, when. Looking to local sellers in favor of bigger supermarkets when buying seasonal foods can also help to cut costs; with larger supplies of certain foods to get rid of, smaller sellers are more likely to sell them at reduced prices. You can also try browsing your local supermarket’s website before you shop to take a look at any sales or markdowns on seasonal goods. The fresher the produce, the better it is for your health!

If you shop smartly, then eating healthily can be a real breeze. Tackling your shopping list as an important task will ensure that you come out only holding exactly what you intended, with no nasty surprises. The sooner that you change your shopping habits, the more healthy and happy that you can become!

5 Recipes For A Home Cooked Date Night

While Valentine’s Day might be over and done with, there’s no reason why you can’t prolong the sweetness of the holiday by indulging in a little home cooking. During the winter months, partaking in a little after-work dating might seem like the last thing on your mind, cosy nights in taking precedent when it’s cold out. If you want to socialize without venturing outdoors, however, your kitchen might hold all of the answers. After all, there’s nothing more impressive than whipping up a home cooked dish for a date.

Although we all have a list of tried and tested dishes that we turn to on date night, sampling something new can help to change things up and bit and introduce you to a whole new type of menu. Once you try these recipes once, you might not venture out for food again.

Asian Chicken Vegetable Soup

Let’s face it, when it’s blowing a storm outside, you need something comforting to put in your belly and there’s no better way to do this than with a bowl of home cooked chicken soup. While you might have your own family recipe that you swear by, this variation on the dish adds a little oriental spice into the mix, resulting in a soup that is both comforting and incredibly delicious. Stuffed with Asian vegetables, slow cooked stock and the most tender chicken you will ever taste, this is a dish that you might want to cook all of the time, date or no date.

Marinated Rib-Eye Steak

Sometimes, however, you really want to pull out all of the stops and if that’s the case, then you can’t go wrong with a side of steak. This rib-eye steak is quite possibly the best around, slowly marinated with lemon, garlic, chilli, rosemary and soy sauce. When you cook it in the pan, expect that marinade to get nice and sticky and really crisp up. You can serve this solo or with a healthy dollop of homemade pesto for a real flavor explosion. Your date will never forget it.

Seared Scallops

If you want to pull out all of the stops, then tackling seafood is a surefire way to get your date’s attention. Served with a side of herby butter, these seared scallops taste just as good as they look and won’t leave you slaving away in the kitchen. With the recipe calling for any variety of herbs, it is up to you what flavor combination you serve up with your scallops, although sage, tarragon or thyme might work the best. Completed with some seasonal greens, this is truly the dish of kings and it won’t cost you much extra time, either. Sneaky.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Some flavor combinations are simply so good that they deserve some kind of medal. These roasted sweet potatoes are exactly like that. Slow roasted in the oven and topped with a mixture of cheese, chilli and spring onions, the potatoes pack a serious flavor punch. While they’re great on their own, you can also try adding in an extra side of bacon or grilled fish if you’re looking for something a little more meaty. A no-nonsense recipe, these sweet potatoes practically do all of the work themselves, leaving you much more time to focus on what really matters.

Lemon and Asparagus Pasta

Nothing shows affection like a huge bowl of comfort food and if you really want to show how you feel, then you can’t do it better than with pasta. Accompanied by fresh asparagus and a creamy, vegan sauce, the recipe requires very little effort and can be whipped up well in advance. Using entirely natural, non-dairy ingredients, the meal is actually a lot more healthy than you would think, making the question of going back for seconds a little easier to figure out.

Thai Fish Parcels

If you want a cook-in-one recipe, then you need this fish parcel dish. Steamed in individual bags, all of the ingredients are cooked at the same time; all you need to do is prepare them beforehand. Topped with a Thai marinade, the dish is packed full of ginger, coriander, soy sauce and chilli. Even though it might still be cold out, you can pretend that you’re in much sunnier climes.

The Girl’s City Guide To Barcelona

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So often, getting the perfect balance between great culture, even better food and a killer hotel can be all but impossible and somewhere along the line, you have to compromise on one essential feature to make the rest worthwhile. There are some places in the world, however, which magically deliver on all fronts, serving you up all of the essential ingredients for a perfect trip.

A city practically created by the vacation gods, Barcelona in Spain really does have it all. Balancing a healthy dose of Catalan culture, an incredible local dining scene and some of the best nightlife spots in the world, the city is a great place in which to get away from it all and catch up on some much needed r&r. Located on the Spanish coast, the city is large enough so you won’t easily run out of options and compact enough to make hopping from one spot to the next a real breeze. Easy.

Where to stay

First things first, getting a great hotel spot should be at the top of your agenda and luckily for you, the city more than delivers on the sleep front. No matter your budget, there is something unique on offer, which will blow all of your others stays out of the water. If you’re looking to save on the hotel, but still want somewhere with great interior design, then you need to set your sights on the Hotel Praktik. Located right next to a number of public transport options, the hotel is in easy distance of all of the best hotspots and restaurants. Each room is kitted out in its own unique artwork, while the outdoor terrace offers a little calm away from the buzzing city.

If you want a little more independence in your stay, however, you should set your sights on the city’s huge number of apartment rental schemes. While Airbnb is of course big news in the city, you might want to source a new type of stay and if this is the case, you can’t get much better than Chic and Basic. Sprawling across the city, the company has a number of different properties to choose from, each with a different interior design. Every rental also comes equipped with its own bicycles, making getting around the city a real breeze.

What to do

When it comes to activities in Barcelona, you’re incredibly well covered and no matter what you’re searching for, there is something that will really take you by surprise. While making a beeline for Gaudi’s various architectural feats is all part and parcel of the city experience, there are plenty of other things to get excited about, too. The city is full of artistic references and over the years, was home to many of history’s most enduring creatives. You can follow the Picasso trail by walking down the streets and neighborhoods which influenced the artist’s singular style, all before taking a stroll around the Museu Picasso, in which many of his most famous works are located.

If the arts aren’t your thing, however, you can try hiking up the Montjuïc mountain – a place that is rarely on the tourist trail. While it does take some effort to get to the top, by the time you get there, you won’t regret a thing. Looking out on the city, the park offers one of the best urban vistas anywhere in the area and offers a rural respite to the rest of the urban sprawl.

Where to eat

A coastal town, Barcelona has a huge number of great eating spots, all stuffed with the finest local fare and fresh seafood. If you’re on the hunt for a real showpiece of a meal, then you should head directly to the hugely popular Alkimia. Approaching classic Catalan cooking with a theatrical flair, the restaurant is renowned for its deconstructed dishes and experimental style of serving. It’s not just all appearances, either; the food, although in strange guises, utilizes all of the best ingredients from Spanish cooking, leaving diners feeling more than satisfied.

If you want to try your hand at the local tapas scene, however, you can try the incredibly popular Tickets. While actually securing a table at the sought after restaurant can be a little tricky, once you’re in, you are privy to some of the most incredible cooking you will ever taste. The restaurant follows traditional tapas menus but, by including seasonal produce and one off ingredients across a number of the dishes, adds a little something extra to the tasting experience. You might have to book some months in advance but if you manage to get in, make sure you haven’t eaten before.

Home to great culture, food and drink, Barcelona is one of the most vibrant places in Europe and it’s hardly surprising that so many people choose to make it their vacation destination. Ever changing and expanding, the city never stays the same so even if you’re visiting for a second or third time, you’re guaranteed something spectacular.

5 Winter Breakfast Recipes To Cosy Up To

When it comes to winter, it’s easy to feel down and, with the passing of the holiday season, it might feel like there’s not a lot to look forward to until spring. Getting through the cold snap is all about taking care of yourself, starting from the moment that you wake up. Beginning the day with a hearty breakfast is a great way to put a spring in your step, even if the real season is still months away. When it comes to winter breakfasts, it pays to be even kinder to yourself than normal and, while these recipes might seem too indulgent to whip out every morning, allowing yourself them once or twice a week is more than enough to cheer up any gray day.

With minimal work and maximum flavor, these tasty breakfast treats are guaranteed to make it feel like a sunny day, even if it’s still January.

Breakfast Casserole

Sometimes, you want a breakfast food that covers all corners and incorporating a number of ingredients into one dish is a great way to go. Whipping up a breakfast casserole couldn’t be easier and in the heart of winter, is the perfect way to get that cosy feeling from the start of your day. This one comes packed with sausages, cheese and a crispy dough base that is bound to keep you going for hours. Make it the night before and finish it off the in oven; you won’t say no to grilled cheese, even at 7am.

Gingerbread Pancakes

We all know that pancakes are the breakfast of kings – or should that be queens? – but even they can stand a little adaptation from time to time. Finished off with ginger, vanilla and molasses, these gingerbread pancakes are as sweet as they come. If the recipe is a little on the saccharine side for you, you can try cutting down on the extra sugar or syrup and serve them up with a side of fresh fruit. Complete with a cup of coffee, these will more than put a smile on your face in the morning.

Breakfast Frittata

Packed with potato, smoked haddock and the fluffiest eggs you can imagine, the breakfast frittata takes a lot of beating. While it has all the makings of an omelette, the frittata comes filled with a little extra flavor punch, which will keep your senses alive in the morning. If you’re not a fan of smoked haddock, you can try substituting it for a different type of fish such as mackerel, or foregoing it entirely. The beauty of the recipe is the ease with which it can be adapted; you’re always in charge.

Blueberry Breakfast Cake

When the words “breakfast” and “cake” come together in a sentence, you know that you’re in for a treat. Packed full of buttermilk, this breakfast cake is as light and fluffy as they come and is in no risk of drying out after a day or two. While the recipe calls for a large quantity of ingredients, it means that batching out the cake into smaller portions is much easier. You can slice up your breakfast for the week to come or, if you want to be really nice, hand slices around when you get to the office. You’re guaranteed to be the most popular member of the team.

Stuffed French Toast

Starting your day off with a hearty breakfast doesn’t mean that you have to forgo healthy eating entirely and if you’re looking for a way to eat well and stay full, then this french toast recipe might be the answer. Adding whole grain bread, coconut oil, almond butter and fresh berries into the mix, this recipe is a great deal nicer than its name suggests and won’t leave you feeling heavy for hours afterwards. Serve it up with freshly sliced banana and a green tea and you’re onto a healthy breakfast winner!

While eating well is a great way of feeling your best during the winter season, allowing yourself an indulgence from time to time is the perfect way to treat yourself when the outside world is blowing a storm. Making your mornings all about great food ensures that you will feel much happier throughout the day, even if things elsewhere don’t go entirely to plan. There’s always tomorrow for that!