Leafy Spinach Soup Recipe

This lovely leafy soup is flavoursome and a great way of eating your five a day. It is very filling, light and healthy.

I have recently changed my diet due to my diagnosis. All the fresh food that I buy is organic and I have cut out all added sugar produce.

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Ingredients:

  • 450g fresh spinach
  • 1 handful of kale
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped and diced
  • 450ml vegetable stock
  • 3 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • Grated zest of lemon and half lemon squeezed
  • 1/2 tsp of grated turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin coconut oil

Method:

  • Place the onion and garlic in a pan with 1tbsp of coconut oil and cook for 1-2 minutes until the onion is soft. Add in the potatoes and fry for 1 minute. Add in the stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  • Add in the spinach, kale, turmeric and lemon. Place a lid on and cook for 15 minutes or until the spinach has wilted.
  • Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  • Pour the soup into a blender and blend until smooth. I like it a bit rustic so I don’t blend for too long as I think that it tastes better.
  • You can freeze the soup or reheat it up and serve.

You could swirl in some cream at the end and add salt and pepper to taste or even some chilli.

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Hope you like it 🙂

 

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Making Sushi at home

Do you like sushi?

Sushi is so easy to make, not only is it healthy but is also very tasty. Sushi doesn’t have to have fish inside the rolls, you can use a selection of salad, vegetables or just rice on its own. They are ideal for pack lunches or picnics.

TO MAKE SUSHI YOU WILL NEED:

  • Sushi rice
  • Nori Sushi sheets (roasted seaweed)
  • Sliced long strips of  peppers
  • Prawns
  • Seafood sticks
  • Sliced strips of cucumber
  • Sliced strips of spring onion
  • Tuna
  • Sliced carrots
  • sliced strips of salmon
  • Rice vinegar

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You will need a sushi bamboo rolling mat, all supermarkets stock these and only cost about £1-£2

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Boil the rice as per the instructions on the packet. The rice will need to be rinsed before cooked. Bring the rice to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes, turn off the heat and leave for 25-30 minutes with  a lid on the pan. Once cooled down you can season the rice with rice vinegar by folding it into the rice.
  • Place a sheet of Nori onto the bamboo mat
  • Spread out the cooked rice evenly onto the Nori, leaving a 1cm gap at the top and bottom, this is to seal it when rolling. Make sure that the rice is a thin layer as it will roll easier. TIP keep a small bowl of water near by as your finger will get sticky from the rice when touching it.
  • Place the fillings of your choice on the rice in a line across ways, remember you have to roll it so don’t put too much in

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  • Begin rolling the Nori away from you, using the mat to press the roll firmly, this takes a bit of practice but after the third roll we had it spot on. Roll the mat all the way round the Nori and press down firmly all the away along, this compresses the roll and helps to keep the shape. I taught my 11 year old how to do it an dhe found it quite easy

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  • Now you should have a long sausage shape which you can cut along evenly (about 1-2cm) to produce your sushi

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  • Serve with sliced ginger, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce or if you like it spicy, wasabi sauce

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  • The boys really enjoyed trying to eat their sushi with chopsticks, even the little one had a go

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Our sushi went down well and was all gone in no time. We used one whole pack of rice and Nori sheets and it fed five of us.

Why don’t you give it a go, Hope you enjoy 🙂

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Make your lunchboxes Mighty with Walkers Mighty Lights

With 2 weeks left of the summer holidays we have started to think of buying the boys there pack lunch boxes for school and as Oliver goes to a childminder whilst i am at work he couldn’t be left out either. School dinners costing £2.00 per meal it would cost me £20.00 for the week for the two elder boys and i still have to make lunch for the younger one so it just suits me and my budget to make a pack up for them all, including myself!

A balanced pack lunch box should contain

  • Starch foods for energy – Bread, rice, potatoes and pasta
  • Protein Foods for your muscles and organs – Meat, fish, eggs or beans
  • Dairy – cheese, yoghurt or milk drink
  • Vegetables or a portion of fruit.

I am always on the look out for new and exciting items of food to put into their lunch bags, i don’t like to give them chocolate bars and i like to think i pack them quite a healthy selection of food that they will actually eat whilst in school and not throw away in the nearest bin. It’s not the sandwich fillers or fruit ideas that i need help on but the snacks, not only do they need to be healthy but great tasting too. I’m careful as to what type of crisp i give them as i don’t want them to fill themself up on a packet of crisp and not eat any of their sandwhich or fruit. I think i may have found a solution!

Walkers Mighty Lights are the new ridged crisps on the block, with 30% less fat and made from real potatoes with no artificial colours and preservatives they are light and tasty. Mighty Lights come in three different flavours, Cheese and Onion, Lightly salted and Roast Chicken, all of the flavours are suitable for vegetarians and the crisps are also a source of fibre.

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We received a six-pack multipack in each flavour to try out and with one look from the boys they couldn’t wait to taste them. My boys are definitely not shy when it comes to eating food and if their is something new to try they are the first to point them out in the supermarket quickly followed by placing the food into the trolley.

We have had a few days out at the park and up London since receiving the crisps so i threw in a few bags of the crisps in to a bag along with some sandwiches and fruit for us to eat whilst we were there. When we go into London the first thing the boys say when we board on to the train is “What’s to eat Mum?” Our lunch never makes it off of the train! I hand the boys the crisps and wait to hear what they have to say about them, first i get “OOh, these are new!” Then i get “Oh, these are nice” and then i get Silence! Yes, they must be enjoying them as they are not talking but eating lol I hear a few ‘mmmmms’ and ‘num num’ from the youngest one so i believe that they are a hit!

Superman is Mighty
Superman is Mighty

20130824-082136.jpgOliver liked dipping his crisps into cream cheese and as they are ridged he found it easy to get them into the tub and they didn’t break when he was trying to get some cheese onto them.

Walkers Mighty Lights may be light in fat but they are mighty in taste! The boys said they were very tasty, flavoursome, crispy, crunchy and smooth in taste.

Mighty Lights are available in multipacks from all major grocery retailers.

This is a sponsored Review for Walkers, thoughts and opinions are of my own.

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Week 4 Enjoy A Splash! Mark Warner Active Family Challenge

It’s the last week of our monthly challenge set by Mark Warner Holidays to get out with the family and enjoy being active together.

Week 1 was Go for A Spin and our bike ride into the City on our special Golden bike

Week 2 was Active Family Playtime saw us being silly indoors playing games and Jak setting us an obstacle course in the garden

Week 3 was Get Sporty Jak and I enjoyed a healthy game of Tennis, where I surprised myself in how good I was Lol

And finally Week 4 is Enjoy A Splash About!

Having fun with water doesn’t just mean that you have to head for the local swimming pool and do your lengths but it also means going paddling in the sea or puddles (if you have had the weather we have had), squirting each other with the hose, jet skiing and even going on a boat ride.

My boys are pretty keen swimmers and every summer our whole back garden gets taken over by a 24ft x 12ft x4ft swimming pool, from morning till late at night this is where you find them, swimming around, playing games and diving down to the bottom gathering the dive sticks, I like the fact that they enjoy the water and are confident enough to get in whenever they want. We have pool parties every year and invite all their friends round to join In with the fun.

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As the weather started off really well we decided to take to the water by car! Yes A car! A very special car that is actually a boat! It’s a fun, quirky and very different way to enjoy being on the water. The Duck tours offers an exciting road and RIVER adventure around and down the River Thames. The amphibious vehicle drives past London landmarks such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square and then dramatically launches itself into the River Thames with a splash. It’s a lovely way to travel down the Thames to see the sights and very exciting too! It felt quite weird being so low down in the water in a car! Joseph was a bit scared at first when the boat splashed into the water, I must admit so was I, especially when the boat stopped in the middle of the Thames and the driver tried to get it into 6th gear to get out of the River it seemed he was having a bit of trouble. We was so close to the water and so far down in it, it was really exciting and so much fun!

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The rest of the week we didn’t get much nice weather and actually planned a day out a local splash park but we got rained off, instead the boys enjoyed a splash about in some puddles, jumping from one to the other and taking in the pleasure of getting mummy soaked.

Yesterday the weather changed and as we was in London attending Jak’s rehearsals for ENO we went to one of our favourite places to visit in the City and that is Diana’s Memorial Fountain in Hyde Park. As the water flows around the granite shapes it causes cascades, swirls and bubbles. The boys love cooling their feet down in the cool water and like to make splashes with their feet and hands with the fast-moving water. They must have run around the fountain about 20 times splashing each other and making new friends.

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Once back at home the sun was still shining so we filled up some balloons with water and played catch with them, someone was going to get wet and it wasn’t going to be me lol. Playing catch with the water balloons was fun and we was in giggles and anticipation waiting to see who was going to get splashed. It took a while for the balloon to burst but when it did it went all over Joseph and Little Oliver’s face.

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Catch!
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Headering the Balloon
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Playing catch
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Learning to catch with the water balloon

As a family we have really enjoyed being a part of Mark Warner’s Active Family Challenge, we have had fun, we have stayed active, we have tried new sports but most of all we have done it together as a family!

Thank you Mark Warner and Sophie for inviting us along and opening up our eyes to how much fun being active can be as a family.

If we have inspired one person to become active as a family by reading our posts we would be very happy, I hope you carry on having fun and being healthy 🙂

If you have an active photo of you enjoying having a splash please share with us on twitter using the hashtag #mwactive

 

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

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Mark Warner Active Family Challenge Week 1 – Go For A Spin!

We have recently been set a challenge by Mark Warner Holidays who specialise in active family holidays, their packages provide superb childcare with kids clubs for all ages and free evening creche service. Chalet hotels in ski resorts are hand picked for their location and charm and the fabulous beach resorts are in gorgeous locations chosen for the superb water sports and tennis facilities.

Whilst on a family holiday it is easy to find the time to enjoy a range of pursuits especially at Mark Warner where you get to try out windsurfing, swimming, tennis or cycling but it can be tough once back at home to make the time to stay active, which is why Mark Warner have launched ‘May Active Family Month’ to encourage families to enjoy getting active together.

The challenge is a big one! We as a family are to participate in a weekly activity which is set by Mark Warner, throughout the month of May there will be a new challenge set for us to spend an hour doing, this week is Go For A Spin!!

Going for a spin could mean many exciting fun things depending on how you want to interpret it! Rollerskating, cycling, scooting, skateboarding, spinning in circles until you get dizzy, bowling a ball in cricket, kicking a football or even zorbing!

On Bank holiday monday the sun was shining so we set of to the park where Daddy was meeting his running group for his weekly training session, whilst Daddy was spinning his legs faster and faster like the road runner with his pals the boys and I had fun in the play area. I had never noticed before how many apparatus in the park actually spun around until that morning:

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They also spun around and around the roundabout and spun on balance plates that were on one of the climbing frames, after an hour at the park the sun was getting warmer and the sky as blue as the sea so we decided to hit the bikes and go for a cycle ride.

As a family of five with three boys under the age of 10 it isn’t easy to go out for a bike ride with all of us on our own bikes trying to think of safety and speed! Joseph is really good on his bike and has ridden a bike without stabilisers for two years now but he can still be a bit wobbly and he does forget to use his brakes choosing to his feet most of the time, Oliver is only 21 months old and although he is a little whizz on his scuttlebug it isn’t ideal for him to be on a family cycle ride on his own, we wouldn’t get very far! Daddy is a keen cyclist often entering cycling events one of which will be the Prudential RideLondon 100 this summer and he commutes into London everyday clocking up 100 miles on his two wheels. Jak takes after his dad and loves to ride his bike too, he is a very active young lad and enjoys taking part in many sports and then there is me! Well i am not a very sporty person but i do try to keep up with the rest of them, I like to enjoy a cycle ride taking in sights around me . I do get that sense of achievement after going out on the bike although my bottom and legs ache the next day it does feel good! Cycling is a fun exercise and a great way to get around and the whole family can participate.

Back at home Daddy got to work checking and pumping up the tyres and setting together our mode of transport. We have two bikes for all 5 of us! We have a very special bike that the boys call a ‘Golden Bike’ it is a trailor bike with a difference! Daddy rides on the main bike which has a tag along attached to it at the back for Jak to ride on and Joseph sits on a seat that is on the cross-bar of the main bike, in between Daddy and the handle bars. Although Jak does have the stamina to keep up with us on a bike ride it gives us a peace of mind that he is attached safely, also the tag along has pedals so he is still using his legs and keeping active. Oliver has a baby seat attached to the back of my fold up bike.

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I packed up a small lunch in a ruck sack for us with extra water as it was a hot day and our helmets and we was ready for our day out in the City. We decided to go to London and have a leisurely Sight Seeing cycle ride down the Embankment and Southbank. The Southbank is located to the south of the River Thames, it is very cultural and is a significant place for tourists. It stretches along the river and has become a district for entertainment and arts, Take a spin on the London eye, visit the Sea Life Aquarium, watch the skaters in the undercroft and enjoy the views from the river bank. The Embankment runs along adjacent to the Southbank and has a much wider pavement and is a lot less busier making it easier to cycle along. The views of the Thames is beautiful, watching the boats go by and taking in the sights of all the top attractions , The Houses of Parliament, Tower of London, The Shard and The London Eye.

We had a wonderful time and really enjoyed being together, we laughed, we smiled, we saw lots of interesting things and we also stayed fit.

Please watch the video below of our day out on the Bikes.

What will you be doing this weekend? Why not take to your bikes as a family and enjoy the sights near you!

Next week is ‘Active Playtime’ Please join in with us 🙂

Hope you enjoyed reading my post and hopefully it has inspired you to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. This post is a part of our entry into Mark Warners Active Family Challenge.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall


 

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Parsnip Crisps

Ever tried making your own crisps?

Jak and I attempted to make our own vegetable crisp today out of parsnips.

First we sliced the parsnip thinly and then we placed them into a bowl and tossed them in some olive oil, then we added some flavouring. We chose balsamic vinegar and a sprinkle of sea salt.

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Once they was all coated we placed them evenly on a baking tray and baked them in an oven for 10 minutes, half way through we turned them over. Keep a watch on them when they are in the oven as some will cook quicker than the others depending on how thinly they are sliced.

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Now all you have to do is enjoy them. They make perfect food for lunch boxes and a quick snack in the evening.

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Tomorrow we’re going to try carrots and swede 🙂

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