Monthly Archives: January 2010

Farmhouse Breakfast Week

Farmhouse breakfast and tedious work week! Yawn, my most dreaded job of the year is now upon me – editing the mini Dairy Diary; hours spent changing days, months, planners, phases of the moon etc.

Not the most exciting task in the world! To make this week more bearable I will be enjoying a delicious homemade breakfast each day to celebrate Farmhouse Breakfast week.

Taking place this week, Farmhouse Breakfast week is a real opportunity for everyone to get into the healthy breakfast habit and celebrate the rich wealth of breakfast foods found across the country. Health professionals all agree we should start the day with a healthy, balanced breakfast. Breakfast can boost energy levels, help concentration and can even help to manage weight.

For a scrumptious, filling treat, try this Egg and Bacon Toastie from Hearty & Healthy Dairy Cookbook – available now for only £2.99 (plus P&P)! For more breakfast ideas visit the Farmhouse Breakfast Week website.

Egg and Bacon Toastie

If you’re wanting a comforting, filling breakfast, this combination of bacon and egg can’t be beaten.

Egg and Bacon Toastie

Egg and Bacon Toastie

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 5 minutes
Calories per toastie 275 Kcal
Fat per toastie 12g
of which saturated 3.2g
Makes 1 toastie

Egg 1, hard-boiled
Light mayonnaise 1 tsp
Low fat natural fromage frais 1 tsp
Mustard powder a pinch
Lean unsmoked back bacon 2 rashers, trimmed of any visible fat
Wholemeal bread 1 large slice
Cherry tomatoes 3
Wild rocket leaves or watercress sprigs a handful

1 Peel and mash the egg and mix with the mayonnaise, fromage frais and mustard. Set aside until ready to serve.

2 Preheat the grill to medium/hot and cook the bacon on the grill rack for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through, until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and keep warm. Toast the bread lightly on each side.

3 To serve, arrange the bacon on the toast and pile the egg on top. Cut each tomato in half and place on top and sprinkle with a few rocket leaves. Season with black pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe taken from Hearty & Healthy Dairy Cookbook.

Hearty & Healthy Dairy Cookbook Sale

Ignore what Gordon Ramsey says about veggie food and enjoy a tasty Vegetarian Curry for dinner tonight.

It’s not only delicious but healthy too! This is another fabulous recipe from Hearty & Healthy Dairy Cookbook, available from our website now for a staggering £2.99 (plus £2.00 P&P). Order now while stocks last.

Vegetable Curry

A scrumptiously spicy dish, which is easy to prepare and ideal for vegetarians.

Vegetable Curry

Vegetable Curry

The carrots are an excellent source of beta-carotene, which our bodies turn into vitamin A. Betacarotene also acts as an antioxidant, protecting cell membranes.

Preparation time 5 minutes
Cooking time 25 minutes
Calories per portion 249 Kcal
Fat per portion 3g
of which saturated 0.9g
Serves 4
Suitable for vegetarians

Spray oil a few bursts
Onion 1, peeled and chopped
Curry powder 1 tbsp
Paprika 1 tsp
Tomato purée 2 tsp
Lemon juice 2 tsp
Apricot jam or redcurrant jelly 1 tbsp
Semi-skimmed milk 300ml (½ pint)
Raisins or sultanas 50g (2oz)
Carrots 400g (14oz), peeled and sliced
Cauliflower 400g (14oz), broken into florets
Potatoes 400g (14oz), peeled and cubed

1 Spray a large pan with oil and add the onion. Fry gently for a few minutes, without browning. Add the curry powder and paprika and cook for a further 2–3 minutes.

2 Add the tomato purée, lemon juice, jam or jelly, milk and raisins or sultanas. Bring to the boil and then simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

3 Meanwhile, cook the vegetables in a pan of boiling water for 5–10 minutes, until tender, adding shredded green cauliflower leaves, if any, for the last 2 minutes.

4 Drain the vegetables and stir them into the curry sauce. Simmer until all vegetables are tender, topping up with extra milk if sauce boils dry. Serve the curry with basmati or brown rice.

Cook’s tip
If you want to serve with raita, simply mix some chopped mint and cucumber with low fat natural yogurt.

Recipe taken from Hearty & Healthy Dairy Cookbook.

Lunchbox inspiration

So often in Britain our children are poorly catered for. In many of the child-targeted attractions we visit the only options available are burgers or hot dogs and chips (with our climate a packed lunch is not always a practical option!)

Even during a recent visit to a department store café (chosen specifically for its children’s-size spaghetti bolognaise) the only drinks on offer for my two-year-old were sweetener laden juice or sugary fizzy drinks. When I requested a glass of milk instead the server looked at me disgustedly as though I was asking for champagne!

Yet, in school where children’s food has been transformed beyond all recognition, so few parents take advantage of it. Half of UK children take a packed lunch to school but only one per cent of school lunch boxes contain food with that meets with nutritional standards (low in fat and salt, high in essential vitamins and nutrients). The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health reported that more than 25 per cent contained sweets, snacks and sugary drinks, which are banned in local authority prepared meals. It’s no wonder we have an obesity crisis. I know everyone is mega-busy these days but it makes me so sad that so many people don’t consider the implications of diet on their child’s health. Surely such poor quality food and drink must affect their concentration levels?

My son accidentally got his hands on some jellybeans a few months ago and I have never seen such erratic and extreme behaviour from him! I am not sure how much school meals cost, but surely it better to encourage children to eat these now that they are soundly balanced and regulated?

It’s very different to my school days when I asked for salad and I was told that they were “saved for teachers” and offered soggy cheese pie and lukewarm chips instead eeeuggggh. Pitta Pizzas are perfect for a lunchbox, they could be served raw with the topping inside the pitta or cooked and cooled for the lunchbox. For more lunchbox inspiration visit School Food Trust.

Pitta pizzas

Pitta breads make a quick and light pizza-style base which goes crispy in the oven. Topped with a selection of fresh vegetables, they make a filling, wholesome lunchtime snack. You can choose whichever vegetables you like best, such as artichokes or sweetcorn.

Pitta Pizza

Pitta Pizza

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking time 30 minutes
Calories per portion 293 Kcal
Fat per portion 8g
of which saturated 2.9g
Serves 4
Suitable for vegetarians + freezing

Wholemeal pitta breads 4
Tomato ketchup 8 tsp
Garlic 1 clove, peeled and crushed, optional
Red or green pepper 1, quartered, deseeded and thinly sliced
Button mushrooms 110g (4oz), wiped and finely sliced
Spring onions 4, trimmed and finely sliced
Low fat Mozzarella 125g pack, drained
Tomatoes 4, chopped or sliced
Basil leaves about 20

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Split the pitta breads in half and put them on two heavy baking sheets. Spread each half with a teaspoon of ketchup and add a little garlic, if using, and divide the pepper, mushrooms and spring onions between them.

2 Season to taste and top with chunks of torn Mozzarella, then pieces of tomato and half the basil leaves, torn.

3 Cook for 20–23 minutes, changing the trays round in the oven half way through cooking. Serve two ‘pizzas’ per person garnished with basil and accompanied by lots of green salad.

Cook’s tip
If you do not have pitta breads then try this recipe using a wholewheat French stick, halved. It may take less time to cook so check from time to time.

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