Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Criminal Me.

Recipe of the week...
... Veggie Portobello Burger

Ingredients: 1 veggie burger, 2 portobello mushrooms, 1 tomato, some grillable veg (I went for courgette), mayo and some salad leaves.

Time taken: Half an hour.

Serves: One healthy tea.

Hi readers,

How are you today? Are you kick-starting the week karate-style with a hell to the no attitude?? I hope you are! I hope you’re blasting off to a good start this week. And that you have some fun things to look forward to, coming up. Give it a think! What do you have coming up that will be fun fun fun? A trip somewhere or plans with friends maybe?

I write to you on a pretty poor day in the history book of ChefBeHere. Literally poor, as I have just attended court and been fined hundreds of pounds. No, really. I kid you not. Criminal Me travelled on a train and – unbeknown to me as I boarded – I held in my possession… an expired railcard.

Don't be fooled - CRIMINAL ME.

Really. Not a weapon or an explosive device – but an expired railcard. There was no corpse in my suitcase. At no point on the journey did I assault a fellow passenger. Or set off the emergency alarm. I didn’t flush the toilet while we were in a station. Or start a fire. I just travelled with a ticket and a railcard, and the railcard was an expired one.

Cue summons for a hearing. A panicked trip to Citizen’s Advice (advice: stick up for yourself.. what do you have to lose??). My court case at the magistrates. Three middle aged men on the panel who do not lower themselves to travel on trains. Seemingly confused by details of the rail ticket booking process. Unsure as to how one uses a railcard. Displeased by my spunky, empowered response on the mitigation section of my plea form.

Why did I fill that out

And that’s that, readers. I come away with a hefty fine and a low opinion of legal proceedings. Criminal Me. But, if there’s one positive of today, it’s that I am proud of how I handled all of this. I sought advice before the big day and went in prepared. I wasn’t running late for my hearing! Which always helps. I spoke in court and – somehow – did not cry in court. We came out and my dad said, “it’s only money”, and I thought… yes. It’s only money.

It’s happened and that’s that. Sucks but there we go. And walked out of court a FREE WOMAN. Out the front door, where the air is rare, to enjoy a warm summer afternoon. And it’s all in the attitude, readers. I’m midway through an inspiring book, at the moment, about changing your life by changing your attitude. A book called ‘Year of Yes’, readers, by Shonda Rhimes (writer of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and so on).

‘Year of Yes’ is a book about “how to dance it out, stand in the sun and be your own person”, based on Shonda’s mission to turn her life around and begin doing things that scare her, accepting invites and attending big events. She discovers her confidence and becomes more outgoing, learns to take a compliment with a smile and a thank you. It’s really inspirational.

Events like today are the kind that you can let get you down. Like – I can’t go on holiday this year, which is sad, and now I’m paying a fine that is basically the equivalent of a holiday! Sucks. But – just think, readers – imagine if I’d booked a holiday and then been hit by this fine. I’d be in so much trouble!! I’d probably have to cancel it. So, when you look at it that way, I feel lucky that at least this hasn’t happened right before a summer holiday or in December before Christmas. That would be even worse.

Literally, a tram smash

It isn’t worth getting down over money. Shonda says “People like being around whole, healthy, happy people”. And I think she’s right. I think we should all hope to be whole, healthy and happy, as that’s what’s important. Even when there are bumps in the road. I hope YOU, lovely readers, are doing okay and you aren’t letting anything like money, or a relationship, or an injury.. anything! Stop you from being a whole, healthy, happy human.

And, on that note, I’m going to present you with a wonderful healthy recipe idea to help you on your way to being a healthy human. This recipe, readers, really isn’t rocket science. But I got the idea from a blog called Anne Travel Foodie (read the original here) and just thought WHAT a good idea.


Basically, readers, you cook a veggie burger as normal but instead of putting it in a bread bun.. you use Portobello mushrooms instead. How simple! And inventive, right? And just something I would never independently have thought to do. But – yeah – a really simple idea for how you can take a regular meal, ditch the carb and turn it into a super healthy one. You want the low down? Here’s how I did this in just ten simple steps…

1.     Open the window for fresh air and set some groovy music playing, pour yourself a cool drink and leave your problems at the kitchen door.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: My fave song this week, readers, is ‘Streetlight’ by Dutch Uncles. Give it a listen maybe!
2.     Heat your oven and dig a veggie burger out of the freezer. I went for a Linda McCartney quarter pounder (with mozzarella!) but you can use ANY burger you like. Be it a bean burger, one of those fake-pulled-pork burgers… anything goes.
3.     Set your George Foreman heating or – if I still haven’t convinced you to get one – set your regular grill heating. Pop your burger in the oven to cook.
4.     Slice a tomato and chop up a courgette.
ChefBeHere Top Tip: It doesn’t have to be a courgette! Any grillable veg will do fine here. Feel free to sub the courgette for a veg of your choice.
5.     Set your courgette and 2 portobello mushrooms grilling for ten minutes.
6.     In the meanwhile, adorn a dinner plate with a little side salad and think back on your day. What’s been good about today? If you have a partner or a housemate around, maybe ask them about their day. What have they been up to?
7.     Once your veg are grilled, and your burger has cooked in the oven, you can turn both the oven and the grill off and begin assembly.
8.     First you want to wrap your mushrooms in some kitchen roll and pat out any moisture. Then, place one mushroom (upside down) on your plate.
9.     Arrange your tomato slices on the mushroom and then add your burger. Squeeze a little mayo (or your preferred sauce) on the burger and then arrange your courgette on top. Finish with the second mushroom (the right way up).
10.  Ta-da! One Veggie Portobello Burger ready for you to enjoy. Refresh your drink and tuck in.


Such a simple recipe, readers. Would you agree? I think, with less than half an hour required and absolutely no technical skill, with 4 of your 5-a-day all on one plate.. what’s not to love about this?? Unless you don’t like mushroom. Then you defs aren’t going to like this recipe. It’s not for you. But everyone else – DO IT!

And, if you strike lucky like me, and Portobello mushrooms are reduced price and going for a bargain at the supermarket, then this will taste even better. I guarantee. Let me know, readers, would this recipe tempt you or not?? Do you think you’ll give it a go? And – if you do – how did you get on in the kitchen? Success??

Please let me know, readers, and PLEASE listen to Shonda. Don’t let anything stop you from being a whole, healthy, happy person. You can do it.

Travel safely,


In other news... I turned 23!
Here's me and the gals celebrating.

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