Super Healthy Cooked Tomatoes

Posted by Carole

You’re already aware that tomatoes are good for you but did you know that cooking a tomato rather than eating it raw boosts it’s antioxidant properties and makes it even better for your body?

Indeed, tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which gives tomatoes their distinctive red color but also has significant antioxidant properties known for reducing the risk of heart diseases and certain types of cancer and it’s been proved that cooking increases lycopene level in tomatoes, making them even better for you (two minutes cooking is enough to boost antioxidants level by 28 %)

There are many ways to enjoy cooked tomatoes beyond the traditional Bolognese sauce and here are two very simple and quick recipes to benefit from this very good news.

Pan-fried cherry tomatoes

Pan-fried cherry tomatoes are perfect to accompany any meat, especially grilled meats such as beef ribs or lamb chops or to beautify salad and pasta dishes.

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Ingredients for one portion:

  • 6 ripe cherry tomatoes
  • One generous table spoon of olive oil (quality oil is worth the investment)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Aromatic herbs or condiments of your liking such as fresh basil, thyme, garlic, parmesan cheese or even turmeric powder – you’re free to experiment!

Wash and dry the cherry tomatoes then halve them.

Keep the tomatoes on your chopping board and drizzle olive oil onto them, add some chiseled basil and mix the all with your fingers to make sure the tomatoes are evenly covered in oil.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and dispose the olive oil & basil coated tomatoes into the pan face down/skin up then let fry for 4 minutes until golden. Turn the tomatoes face up/skin down and let fry for another 4 minutes making sure to reduce the heat to low to prevent the tomatoes’ skin from burning.

Add some pepper and salt then serve!

Tip: Drizzle some balsamic vinegar onto your tomatoes to give your dish a little kick!

Oven-roasted tomatoes

Like pan-fried cherry tomatoes, these make the perfect side-dish to grilled meat or fish and give a very sophisticated look to your plates. And the recipe is even easier!

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Ingredients for one portion:

  • 2 ripe tomatoes (there are many varieties to try so have fun!)
  • One generous table spoon of olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Aromatic herbs or condiments of your liking

Heat oven to 160°C

Wash and dry the tomatoes then halve them. Keep the tomatoes on your chopping board and drizzle olive oil onto them, add some chiseled basil and mix the all with your fingers to make sure the tomatoes are evenly covered in oil.

Place the tomatoes face up/skin down on a baking sheet or baking tray covered with baking paper.

Tip: Pour some breadcrumbs on your tomatoes before heating them. Breadcrumbs will absorb any water surplus and give a beautiful crispiness to your dish!

Let roast for 45 minutes, add some pepper and salt then serve!

Bon appétit!

Good to know: Did you know that tomatoes also have astringent properties and drinking tomato juice can help reduce sweating? I guess it’s interesting news for those suffering from excessive sweating!

Thanks for reading! Like and leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your cooking tips with us!

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Easy Everyday Superfoods

Posted by Corine

I feel that I have been rushing around so much lately that making time for healthy and nutrient meals has not been my priority and I may have abused the pasta and take-away meals a little too much… and do not get me started on the Easter chocolates! I would love to have a portion of fresh spinach, kale or broccoli every day in my plate but I find it a bit difficult.. and I am sure that I am not the only one! However there are some super foods which are so easy to incorporate into your diet in a very simple and affordable way. The list is long but I would like to share with you three of my favourites.Co-Q10

I am a massive fan of the Linwoods Milled Flaxseed, Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Walnuts & Co-enzyme Q10. I bought other products from this line in the past but this one is the best so far. You should try to get an intake of two dessert spoonfuls daily to enjoy the full benefit of co-enzyme Q10 who has a critical role in producing energy and maintenance for the cells of your body, especially for your heart, liver and kidneys. Plus co-enzyme Q10 also functions as an antioxidant and is packed with iron, zinc, magnesium and selenium. The blend of flaxseed and nuts gives it a great nutty taste and it can be incorporated into your porridge, yogurt, pancake, fruit bowl, salad, soup, bread, roasted vegetables, etc. You can find it in most food stores or online for less than £5. This product is so easy to use and so good for you… it’s a keeper!

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If you have never heard about them yet, make sure to remember the tasty and colourful goji berries! They are so easy to add in to your morning cereal, muesli, porridge or bowl of fruits and they can also be eaten straight out of the packet for a healthy snack. I love to add them to my salads for a sweet taste and they also look amazing as edible decorations on tarts and cakes. Goji berries have roots in ancient China as a medicinal plant to treat eye, liver, and kidney ailments. They are a great source of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, Vitamin A, iron, zinc, fibre and contain a large amount of protein. I personally like to buy the Infinity Foods Organic Goji Berries as they are always nice and moist. The packet of 250g costs me around £6 and it lasts a while.

blueberriesLast but not least, blueberries are an easy and delicious way to boost your antioxidant intake on a daily basis as they are known to have more antioxidants than 40 other common fruits and vegetables! They are also low in calories which is a plus if you are watching your waistline. To make the most of it I personaly prefer organically grown blueberries as they are believed to contain more antioxidants and be lower in sugars than the farmed ones. They are also a good source of vitamin K, vitamin C, fibre and manganese. Once again you can enjoy them at breakfast with you cereal, yogurt, porridge, pancake or on their own. And if you want to bring some balance to a very sweet dessert, just add a few blueberries for a zesty kick.

I hope these three super foods will help you make some positive changes in your diet in a simple and affordable way!

Please leave a comment and share your own favourite super foods with us below.

Frozen Avocado

Posted by Carole

Pictures of avocado toasts have invaded Instagram and for a good reason. Avocado is one of the most affordable super food you can find out there and it tastes delicious! Win-win situation!

And because it is Oh-so-trendy, I won’t tell you more about the benefits of avocado in this blog or what you can make with it – smoothie, toast, salad, guacamole etc. I’m sure you’ve heard it all already!

However, there is one thing I’ve learnt while doing some researches on the benefits of freezing food that I never suspected and it is that you can actually freeze avocados! What a delightful news, right?!

To me, it means:

  1. You can say good-bye to food waste as, if you’re like me, you have to throw away your avocados as soon they are a bit too ripe and take on that brownish mushy texture that makes me shiver!
  2. It is the perfect way to easily incorporate avocados to your early-morning smoothies without leaving a green mess on your chopping board, which you know will be waiting for you all day for a good scrubbing session. Lovely!

So without further ado, let’s get started and learn how to freeze avocados!

Option 1 – Frozen avocado puree

Most foodies say puree is the best way to freeze avocados so here’s how to proceed:

  1. Choose ripe avocados and wash them with clear water or soap and water.
  2. Cut each avocado in half around the seed and twist gently to open. Lift out the seed using your fingers or a teaspoon then peel off the skin.
  3. Cut the avocados in large chunks then blend with a food processor or use a fork to smash the chunks into a smooth paste. Add a tablespoon of lemon or lime juice for each avocado to avoid the paste turning brown.
  4. Place the puree into zipper-style freezer bags or freezer containers then freeze!

Tip: You can also freeze your avocado puree in ice cube trays to create cubes that can be easily added to your morning smoothies.

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Option 2 – Frozen avocado chunks

You can also freeze your avocados as chunks or slices:

  1. Choose ripe avocados and wash them with clear water or soap and water.
  2. Cut each avocado in half around the seed and twist gently to open. Lift out the seed using your fingers or a teaspoon then peel off the skin.
  3. Slice the avocados in chunks, line them on a tray and sprinkle with lemon or lime juice then place into the freezer.
  4. When the chunks are frozen, place tem into  zipper-style freezer bags or freezer containers then freeze!

To thaw frozen avocado, place freezer bags or containers in cold water for a couple of hours or thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Use frozen avocado puree or chunks within four months for the tastiest result!

Please like or leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own cooking tips with the Frinnies community!

Healthy & Easy Brekkie of the Month!

Posted by Corine

Getting out of the door on time in the morning is a real struggle for me… and I am sure for many of you too! You see, I love my sleep and I can happily snooze for 10 hours every single night so when the alarm goes off in the morning I press the reset button over and over again… when I finally manage to make it to the bathroom, shower, get dressed and I am done with tarting myself up… then I am already late and there is no time left for breakfast whatsoever! Of course I end up feeling terrible all morning and my only option to function until lunchtime is to eat nasty sugary biscuits on the tube or at my desk…Well that’s how I used to be until my skin started breaking out like mad! It was the wake-up call I needed to make time for breakfast as I had to cut down on sugar. Remembering my parents telling me as a kid that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I managed to get out of bed on time and it was well worth the effort : less pimples, massive boost of energy and generally more healthy all year around!

Indeed Carole and I thought it would be a good idea to share every month our quick (time is always of the essence!) and healthy breakfasts with you. I am starting this first one with a true British breakfast favourite: porridge! A warm bowl of porridge is a great way to start your day as it is packed with nutrients that will keep you going all morning and it also contains beta-glucan and antioxidants which can help lower blood sugar, cholesterol levels, help digestion and prevent skin irritation. However its thickness and blandness are not to everyone’s liking and I must admit that I struggled a little when I first tried it. However by following a few simple tricks, porridge is now one of my favourite brekkie!

porridge-scotts1 – Find your porridge! There are many different brands out there so try to shop around a little to see which one you like the best. It took me and my husband a few months to elect our ‘household porridge’… and the winner is the very basic and cheap Scott’s Porage Oats Original. It has a really light texture once cooked and a 1KG box lasts us a while!

2 – Ditch the dairy as there is no need to cook your porridge with cow milk! So keep it low-fat and avoid an upset hyper-sensitive tummy by replacing cow milk with unsweetened coconut, almond or cashew milk. They will all add a great flavour to your porridge and also give it a light creamy texture!

3 – Balance the bland taste with berries! Unless you want to make that heavy duty porridge even more thick and plain (and boring), please do not add a freaking banana to it! Instead generously sprinkle blueberries and raspberries. The acidity of the fruits will make your gluey porridge much more bearable, especially at 7:00 in the morning!

4 – Add crunchiness! By simply adding a few walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds to the mixture, it will feel like you are eating an adult meal… and not baby food!

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5 – Keep your sweet tooth under control and do not pour gallons of syrup or honey on your porridge! A small spoon of Manuka honey can be added now and then to boost your immunity but try not to overdo it as your bowl of porridge is already packed with nutrients and some sugars if you have it with fruits. Instead try adding a pinch of cinnamon for a sweet flavour without any sugar!

Did you knowInstant porridge is fine as long as you stay well away from the flavoured and sweetened options – they are packed with nasty and unnecessary added sugars. Of course they are convenient for a quick fix but please remember that it is absolutely fine to microwave your regular porridge to save time or if you do not have a stove at hand. If you invest in a £4.99 Sistema Microwave Noodle Bowl (with lid) you can poor some porridge, coconut milk, fruits and nuts before you rush through the door in the morning, get to work, microwave it and you can enjoy a nice healthy brekkie at your desk… and you will be ready to rock the day!sistema

Leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own quick & healthy brekkie tips!

Easy & Dreamy Cheese Omelette

Posted by Carole

I know it’s easy to heat that ‘ready in 2 minutes’ meal from the supermarket or grab a take-away at your fav Thai restaurant when you come home late from work and can’t be bothered… And actually it’s perfectly okay to indulge in a take-away from time to time but ready-meals? Really? Nope!

Ready-meals are the absolute NO GO as they are full of dirty and harmful ingredients and let’s face it, they’re not even tasty!

The good news is that you can easily cook yourself super yummy meals that are good for your body and your soul (let’s face it, we all feel guilty and gross when we finish that greasy ready-meal that wasn’t even good) and Foodie Tuesday is the day when the Twinnie and I give you recipes and tricks to achieve this, starting today!

One of your best allies to achieve that “cooking from scratch policy” I keep blabbering about is… the egg! You can cook so many things with eggs that they are one of the key ingredients you should always have in your kitchen and today I’m giving you the recipe for a creamy cheese omelette ready in less than 10 minutes and low in calories too (less than 200 calories, depending on the amount of cheese you use of course!)

On top of being very easy and quick to cook, omelette is also a very versatile recipe that you can marry with any kind of ingredients of your liking such as cheese of course but also vegetables, mushrooms, meat and even tuna and it can also be seasoned with many aromatic herbs and powders.

So let’s go and make yourself a scrumptious cheese omelette and here’s what you need – not much you’ll see!

Ingredients for one portion

  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 1 small knob of butter
  • A dash of milk
  • 1 small handful of grated Cheddar cheese
  • Salt, pepper and nutmeg

And here’s how to proceed to make that creamy omelette

  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the milk, a pinch of salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Stir well with a fork or whip so the preparation becomes smooth and airy.
  2. Heat a small knob of butter in a small frying pan on a low heat. Once the butter is bubbling and sizzling, make sure the entire surface of the pan is butter coated and add your preparation, tilt the pan to spread it out evenly.
  3. When the eggs begin to firm up, use a spatula to gently spread the mixture away from the edges and into the middle.
  4. Let settle for another minute until the eggs are cooked but still a bit runny in the middle and sprinkle over the cheese. Note that you can also add the cheese in your egg mixture during step 1 for a slightly different way to enjoy this cheesy delight.
  5. Tilt the pan to one side and use the spatula to fold your omelette over in half. When it turns a nice golden colour, remove your pan from the heat and tilt it to slide your omelette on to a plate.

And you’re done! Your omelette shoud be golden on the outside and creamy on the inside.

Tip: You can serve it with a green salad to add some crunch and freshness.

Not too bad, right? It only takes 10 minutes max. and I can guarantee that you will feel a lot prouder and good about yourself when you sit down to enjoy that “merveille” rather than eating suspiciously orange microwaved lasagna.

Make sure to leave a comment below if you enjoyed reading this article and if you would like to share your own recipes and cooking tips!

Foodie Tuesday is Here!

As French women we have inherited a strong culinary heritage from our family and live by the rule that what you eat defines you. Indeed, the French are known for indulging in delicious food yet maintaining a healthy figure. How is it possible? Freshly cooked ingredients and moderation are key!

But in our busy lives, what does this mean?

  1. You don’t need to eat seeds and a few grains of quinoa for lunch to maintain a healthy figure. Nope! You can actually enjoy delicious yet healthy meals every day if you cook fresh quality ingredients from scratch and can even indulge in a few “more calorific” treats from time to time. Just remember to eat them with moderation and not too often (it will actually make you enjoy them more).
  1. Eating delicious and healthy food doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen. We’re are actually against the idea that cooking should involve too much effort! We mean, ok, it’s fine to prepare that fancy meal from time to time but on a daily basis we’re all too busy living our lives and we don’t want complicated or lengthy meal preparation to become a burden preventing you from enjoying freshly cooked meals.
  1. We don’t want to waste your time with Gisele’s kind of recipes that include ingredients you can’t easily find or that will cost you an arm! Healthy food should be affordable to all and we’ll do our best to show you how.
  1. Last but not least, food is about enjoyment so what you eat should always make you smile and feel good about yourself.

With all the above in mind we’re excited to announce the launch of Foodie Tuesday! Our weekly food post where you’ll find super easy yet healthy recipes to “whoa” your senses and help you maintain a sexy Parisian silhouette as well as fun facts, tips and much much more… so keep reading!