Friday, 3 March 2017


Recipe of the week...
Avocado Carbonara!

Ingredients: 1 avocado, 1 tablespoon plain yoghurt, ½ a lemon, 1 teaspoon chilli flakes, 2 platefuls of wholemeal spaghetti, 2 dozen cherry tomatoes, a courgette, a pack of mushrooms, cooking oil, salt and pepper.

Time taken: Half an hour.

Serves: 2 decent plates of spaghetti. 

Hi readers,

How are you on this fine Friday?? Is it pissing it down with rain where you are, like it is in Sheffield?! I hope it isn’t and you’ve found somewhere sunny to live! Enjoy the sunshine for us sodden Sheffielders, please. I hope too, readers, that now you’ve blasted through a kick arse kind of week at work, with highs and lows and everything between, that you have a well deserved alcoholic bev lined up for this evening.. now it’s the weekend! Holllllaaaa!

This weekend I plan to drink wine. Eat lots of tasty food. Sleep well. Run (if it stops raining). Read my book in bed. Shop – as I’ve been paid. And, hopefully, go see the animals at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park. A good plan for a weekend, I think. If I manage even half of those things.. I’ll be happy. How about you, readers? Much planned for the weekend?? You’d better make it fabulous!

So, recently I’ve been thinking that – although I write a blog – I could make a much bigger effort to read other people’s blog posts. Both as a way to find interesting articles to read (which is always good!), and to learn things from them that I might use to improve my own blog (we live in hope!). This week, I decided to put this plan into action. I read some cracking blog posts and thought.. what a great idea it would be to link my own readers to these!

 Maybe you read lots of blogs already?? Or perhaps mine is the only blog that you follow? Either way, in the spirit of introducing you to some other great bloggers out there (and expanding your minds, y’know) here’s a blow-by-blow of the top three articles I read from blog-land this week. You should definitely take a look at one or all of them. Some top reads..

So, the first fab blog post I read this week is entitled The Key Steps to Making a Food Budget That Works for You, written by Jessica Fisher (which you can read HERE). I found this article reeally interesting as I’m of the opinion that the best food isn’t always the most expensive, and that you can eat well and still spend low overall by only purchasing a few high cost items. Which you’ll really appreciate more as there are only a few of them in your basket!

Plus, a recommendation within this article, for a strategy to help get your shopping under-budget, is to eat more meatless meals. Which – of course – I think is a brilliant idea! I’m always hopeful that the recipes on this blog will be taken up by meat eaters and veggies alike. So, if you’re looking to spend less on food and enjoy your meals, then I thoroughly recommend you give some tasty vegetarian recipes a proper go. And eat with an open mind.

The second blog post I read this week is entitled 22 Ways To Empower Yourself, compiled by Jessica Sletmo (which you can find HERE). I clicked to read this article because, as a girl, I am of course always on the look out for ways to steal power from the boys. I wasn’t expecting world domination from one blog post but I think this article does hold great potential.. as a Tool of Empowerment!!

The post links you to five documentaries, nine quotes from successful women, and eight powerful books, all written by female authors. The five documentaries I definitely intend to watch throughout March, as I don’t watch too much TV but when do it has the habit of turning my brain off… this will be a habit no more. The eight quotes – you have to read these! They will make you laugh and fill you with hope for the course of ageing, I promise.

 And the eight books, I’ve ordered online. Will read and feedback on these soon. Last year, I came across an article listing the ten (I think) favourite books of the actress Emma Watson. I ordered immediately, read them all over the year, and gained a lot from this reading. I’m hoping these eight empowering novels, now on their way to me in the post, will be a similarly meaningful project to have on the go throughout 2017.

Then, the third blog post I read this week is called How To Make Learning A Habit For Life, also by Jessica Sletmo (which you should read HERE). In a similar spirit to the last post, this article links you to three others. The first article is aimed at those of us who have finished with school now and are searching for ideas on: quote “how to keep that curious mind fed”. This post is filled with ideas for ways to continue learning after you’ve left school – something I firmly believe we all should do! Take a look, have a read – this has encouraged me to both join a book club and ‘get into podcasts’ (will report back on how that goes).

Next, the second article you’re linked  to recommends places to learn outside of school. This post advocates reading and writing – the pillars of my existence (along with eating) – and proposes an action plan for discovering where you can learn outside school: you figure out what interests you, and then there will be a workshop or an online resource that you can find to pursue this. So, do it. The third and final article follows up with similar advice on how to keep learning outside of school. Focus: self discipline. And quote: “While the pressure of a grade may not be there, it’s up to you to make it happen!”.. a very good point, I think.

Anyways, I’ll leave it there for now as I don’t want to overwhelm anyone. But, if you have the time, do take a look at these articles. They might surprise you, readers. And I’ll try to come back with some more great blog posts for you to try next week.

BEFORE THEN.. my recipe of the week, this week, comes to you from a lovely little freebie recipe booklet that I picked up while at the Union Street pop up café in Sheffield. This is the SLAAW healthy, colourful and wonderfully delicious recipe taster booklet, written by Sophie Lane, and gleefully thumbed through by me as I waited for coffee at the counter.

Filled with a simple-sounding recipes and photos of delicious-looking foods, this booklet is a gem and all recipes are accredited by a Nutritional Therapist so you know they’re good on the insides as well as the eyes. I’ve had the booklet for a few weeks now and finally had the opportunity, and the ingredients, this week to try out a recipe inside.

I went for an Avocado Carbonara on the basis that I loooooove avocados and, quote: “This ‘carbonara’ is so much better for you than the one we’re used to which contains lashings of butter and cream, with the healthy fat of an avocado instead. Courgettes are wonderfully high in vitamin C too, helping to give that extra TLC to our immune system”.

Feeling like some healthy, colourful and wonderfully delicious food is EXACTLY what you need?? Treat your insides! Here’s how to throw together an avocado carbonara for two, in just 10 easy steps…

1.     Pour a glass of vino and set some smooth tunes playing. Heat the oven to 200C.
2.     Cut your courgette into bite-sized chunks, and halve your tomatoes and mushrooms.
3.     Tip all your med veg into a baking dish and drizzle with cooking oil. Season with salt and pepper, and safely transport into the oven to roast for around 20 minutes.

ChefBeHere Top Tip: After your med veg have been in the oven about ten minutes, I’d get them out and drain away any excess oil. Then give the veg a gentle stir about in the dish to flip them over, before returning to the oven.
4.     While your veg roast, you can set the kettle boiling and tip enough spaghetti into a saucepan to feed two mouths. Set your spaghetti boiling for 10-15 minutes.
5.     Next, turn your attention to the avocado. Slice this in half and remove the stone from the middle, then scoop the inside flesh out of the avocado into a bowl.
6.     Squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon into the bowl. Add the yoghurt and chilli flakes, and season with salt and pepper.
7.     Use a fork to mash the contents of the bowl together, until they form a creamy green sauce.

ChefBeHere Top Tip: At this point, I’d pop a couple of plates in the bottom of the oven to warm. Set the table for two and top up your wine. Light a candle – why not?
8.     Once your spaghetti has boiled, drain and then return to the pan. Add the avocado sauce, and heat over a low heat, while stirring, to warm the sauce through.
9.     Remove the roasted med veg from the oven, along with your plates and turn the oven off.
10.  Spoon your spaghetti evenly between the two plates and top each with a shedload of med veg. Serve your spaghetti. Et voila!

And that, readers, is all there is to it. Ten simple steps and you’ve whipped up two platefuls of healthy, colourful and wonderfully delicious spaghetti. You star! I think this makes a great recipe to have up your sleeve.. maaaybe for a date night?? As it’s a pretty impressive recipe to have made from scratch, in my eyes, and spaghetti is the food of love – is it not! Mhmm!

What do you think, readers?? Does this recipe sound do-able? Does the pic look appetising? Are you open to the idea of avocado as a pasta sauce?? Let me know your thoughts! And, if you try your hand at this and give the recipe a go, please let me know how you get on in the kitchen and what you think of your Avocado Carbonara.. do you like it??

I will leave you now, readers, to go frolic and enjoy your Friday night. Drink safely, party wildly, and live as though today were your last day alive. Take care.

And spaghetti safely,

The food.. of loooove

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