FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

JamJarGill: FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

JamJarGill: FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

I am very pleased to welcome a new guest author here at JamJarGill: Ben Smith from The Online Grill

He emailed me directly, recently, to submit a blog post and share this Chicken Superfood Salad, probably an excellent Christmas leftover dish too, just exchange the Chicken for leftover Turkey. It looks fresh and delicious, just what we need with so much stodgy food around at this time of year to perk us all up!

You can find out more about Ben at the following links:

Hope this article inspires you too…

JamJarGill: FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

JamJarGill: FOODIE FOOD: Chicken Superfood Salad {guest post by Ben Smith}

Chicken Superfood Salad

Let me start this off by stating the obvious: I love food. I love eating it, I love cooking it, I even love reading about it. If I don’t cycle everywhere then I would without doubt be twice the size I am. In fact, I cycle so much that I actually need to eat constantly. This soon becomes a bit of a chore more than you’d think.

I can be lazy when it comes to cooking, but there’s something about quick and easy meals that makes me feel guilty. However there are times when that is exactly what you need (the ease, not the guilt!).

That’s where this dish is just perfect: It takes minimal time, minimal fuss, and it’s filling enough to qualify as a meal!

Quick and easy has for a lot of people become a synonym for ‘unhealthy’, but with this it just isn’t the case. I call it ‘superfood salad’ mainly because I am terrible at coming up with names, but also because it’s packed full of healthy ingredients… oh, and i love alliteration.

It’s a great blend of flavors and textures; its sharp crunch of the pomegranate mixes beautifully with the warm, soft sweet potato and chicken, and… rats, I think I’m just going to have to go make this right now.

Let me know what you think of this recipe! Also be sure to let me know what you’d add or change about it. I am always looking to try new things.

Anyway, let’s make this thing!

Chicken Superfood Salad
Serves 2
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Ingredients
  1. 250g chicken breast
  2. 1 stalk broccoli, chopped
  3. 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
  4. 125g bag baby spinach, washed
  5. 1 lemon
  6. 4 heaped tbsp pomegranate seeds
  7. 2 heaped tbsp pine nuts
  8. Balsamic glaze
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F. Once ready, put your chicken in for 30 minutes.
  2. While the chicken cooks, bring a saucepan of water to the boil and put the sweet potato cubes in. Once boiling, lower the temperature to medium-hot. Leave for 10 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped broccoli, and cook for a further 3 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and drain the potato and broccoli. Put to one side to allow it to cool.
  5. Once ready, take the chicken out the oven. With a knife, cut the meat into fine strips.
  6. Combine and heap the sweet potato, broccoli and chicken into two servings. Add spinach, pomegranate and pine nuts. Dress with a squeeze of lemon and a generous serving of balsamic glaze. Serve and enjoy!
So they call me Jam Jar Gill... http://www.jamjargill.com/
Please do drop me a line at jamjargill@gmail.com if you too are interested in writing a guest post… I am always interested in collaborating with my blogging community 🙂 {N.B. due to twin pregnancy, now in 3rd trimester, I am unable to guarantee a fast turn around on publishing guest posts currently, but I promise I will publish as soon as I am able to, thank you in advance for your understanding}

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FOODIE FOOD: Making a great meal out of salmon fillets {guest post by Paterson Riley}

I am very pleased to welcome a new guest author here at JamJarGill: Paterson Riley from Fishing like a boss.

Paterson Riley

Paterson Riley from Fishing like a boss.

She emailed me directly, recently, to submit a blog post on making the most of cooking with salmon, we all should be trying to have at least one fish supper a week to keep up all those lovely fish oils in our diets, which have so many health benefits and to help reduce our meat consumption too. It is of course important to get your fish from a sustainable source too, always question that.  

Here is a bit about Patterson:

The owner of website: fishinglikeboss.com. I have a strong passion for fishing. I always provide you with fishing tips and help you choose fishing tackle yourself such as spinning rods, spinning reels, spincast reels

Hope this article inspires you too…

Balsamic Glaze Salmon Fillets

Cooking is an art. For you to leave a mark and have people yearning for more of your cooking, you have to bring in uniqueness and perfection to your meal. Salmon is a well-renowned source of proteins, fats, omega-3 oils as well as vitamins B and D. The salmon blends perfectly with Balsamic vinegar, mustard, honey and fresh herbs. There are many ways to prepare your salmon fillets but perhaps glazing them with balsamic vinegar will give you an upper hand in the cooking arena. The Balsamic-glazed salmon fillets recipe is simple and will give you an opportunity to try out a bunch of flavors to experiment with.

Please do drop me a line at jamjargill@gmail.com if you too are interested in writing a guest post… I am always interested in collaborating with my blogging community 🙂 {N.B. due to twin pregnancy, now in 3rd trimester, I am unable to guarantee a fast turn around on publishing guest posts currently, but I promise I will publish as soon as I am able to, thank you in advance for your understanding}

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

My goodness there is so much advice out there on how to pack your hospital bag(s)! From other mama’s to be, from relatives, from friends, from mama’s who have been there and then there’s the internet… I hope that this version helps and doesn’t hinder your process, I am yet to have my baby boys but am now very close to finishing packing all my bags, and the ones which I haven’t completed I have a plan for, so I figured now was as good a time as any to write this post… I’ll let you know on the other side whether I have any more advice 🙂

Please bear in mind the list and suggested items below are based around the fact I’m having twins and also that I’m going for an elected c-section (at 37 wks), so if either of those points are different for you then some of my advice may not apply, but hopefully you’ll still find this an interesting read.

I have, as with everything in life, not just in parenting prep, cherry picked from the advice which I have been given and from what I have read and used a good dose of gut instinct too in order to put this together. I am openly a first time Mummy and a massive planner, but I don’t think an unrealistic one, as I know that my plans don’t always come to fruition but it always makes me feel calmer to plan anyway in spite of this and be as organised as possible. 

When I first got started with my packing I found this pin to a blog post by fellow blogger Stefanie Gass, which I did find particularly helpful; Packing Your Hospital Bag (C-Section Edition), so thought I would also link for you, in case it helps you too…

Another piece of sound advice which I got off an existing twin Mama is to pack for the first 2-3 days and then if you need more after that, i.e. you have a longer hospital stay in reality for one of a million possible reasons, then you cross that bridge when you come to it, so that is what I have tried to do, and send your hubby/partner/family/friend member off to get fresh supplies when needed. Bare in mind you’re not having a baby on the moon and it is very likely that there is some big supermarket or another round the corner from the hospital and perfectly suited for this purpose if, God forbid you forget something. Also in all likelihood home won’t be much more than half an hour away either, so my point here is panic not, your visitors can bring addition supplies if needed 🙂

Another point worth mentioning at the beginning of this post is that in the UK, with the NHS, one luxury we don’t often have is to have the ability for our partners to stay with us, but on the plus side, at least that’s one less bag to pack! 🙂 

OK here is goes….

For starters, what bags do you need…Here’s my choice…

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

  1. Main (my) Bag
  2. Sponge Bag
  3. Baby Bag
  4. Entertainment (hand luggage) Bag
  5. Pillow Bag

For the Main & Baby Bags I have opted for our standard weekend cases, wheelie suitcases which we got on our wedding list and have been the perfect size for weekends away ever since, from a random and well rated German Brand of suitcases which I found on Amazon called HAUPTSTADTKOFFER, but I have to say they really do come highly recommended over 3 years down the line and still going strong and they have been all over the world with us! 

hauptstadtkoffer-suitcase-set-on-amazon

hauptstadtkoffer-suitcase-set-on-amazon

For my sponge bag, which I again always use the same one because I love it so much and it is both practical and beautiful, is actually a Ted Baker one which they no longer produce (or seemingly anything like it)…

However I have found you a similar style one on Amazon by a lovely looking company called Bella & Bear and I would say that from experience this style that opens right up, has the ability to hang up and separate out our toiletries, in pockets which you can see into, is very handy indeed in any travel situation:

bella-bear-sponge-bag

bella-bear-sponge-bag

For Entertainment/Hand Luggage Bag I have just opted for a rucksack which we already had. I am linking a QuickSilver One as this is the brand we have but any rucksack you have for this purpose would do…

quicksilver-rucksack

quicksilver-rucksack

For my pillow bag I have just used a large reusable bag which I got when I purchased a vase from Brissi years ago but it is such a handy size and really sturdy too so I usually use it whenever going to a friends for the weekend where I need to take some or all of my own bed linen. Any similar large reusable bag would work for this purpose, but nice little bonus to know they give them away for free with purchases if you ever do shop there, even if in the sale like me, and their stuff is beyond gorgeous!

OK – I hear you – enough  about which bags – now what to put in them, which of course is kind of the point of this whole post! Please find below my check list for each bag, with links to similar if not the same items in each case, and some photos of my packing as I went :): 

Main (my) Bag
[ ]Maternity pads (2 packs)
[ ]Breast pads (1 pack)
[ ]Always pads (1 pack)
[ ]Slippers
[ ]Shower flip-flops (2 pairs) – I’m using towelling ones I picked up free at a spa day
[ ]Eye mask
[ ]Bath towel
[ ]Hand towel
[ ]Flannel
[ ]Manicure set
[ ]Travel hair dryer
[ ]Granny/Bridget Jones pants (5 pairs)
[ ]Dark towelling dressing gown
[ ]Maternity nightie & cropped maternity leggings
[ ]Lavender oil + pillow gift set
[ ]Slipper socks (3 pairs)
[ ]Normal socks (3 pairs)
[ ]Bra crop top (linked the best value ones I have found and bought online from Peacocks and they are so comfy)
[ ]2 maternity bras
[ ]2 full length maternity leggings
[ ]2 maternity/nursing vests
[ ]2 maternity long sleeve tops
[ ]1 maternity tunic shirt (for coming home)
[ ]1 cable knit cardi
[ ]Ballet pumps
[ ]Make-up bag (mascara, bb cream, powder, blush, brush, eye liner) – just the basics to make you feel more human again 🙂
[ ]Cosmetic mirror
[ ]Litter picker
[ ]Postpartum belt

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

Sponge bag
[ ]Cotton wool pads
[ ]Roll on deodorant
[ ]Hair clips/bobbles
[ ]Shower scrunchy
[ ]Nursing butter
[ ]Lanolin
[ ]Antibacterial gel
[ ]Mouth wash
[ ]Toner
[ ]Intimate cleaning spray
[ ]Shampoo
[ ]Conditioner
[ ]Shower gel
[ ]Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
[ ]Vaseline
[ ]Mini spray deodorant
[ ]Hand cream
[ ]Cooling leg and foot gel (Mum-to-be)
[ ]Stretch mark oil (Mum-to-be)
[ ]Bounce back body butter (Mum-to-be)
[ ]Madam Glamour perfume
[ ]Tummy butter
[ ]Heat protection spray
[ ]Face wash
[ ]Face cream
[ ]Disposable razor
[ ]E45

Baby bag
[ ]2 packs of size 1 nappies 
Though I want to go with Naty biodegradable when possible, or equivalent, I figure it’s going to be a wasted effort in hospital as all waste like this is probably incinerated anyway and I have heard only good things about these Aldi nappies, and these are probably going to be the ones we go for when we can’t justify the cost of the biodegradable ones. With all issues, charity, environmental, fair trade etc I am a big believer in doing what you can, when you can and can afford to, and that it’s always worth doing something than nothing at all.
[ ]1 pack of normal baby wipes
[ ]1 pack of nappy bags
[ ]1 pack of water wipes
[ ]1 pack of cotton wool balls
[ ]Burt’s Bees Baby bath set (I’ve now been told we won’t bath the babies at hospital, but have left this in for my use as have been told as well that I will shower in hospital after the c-section and will want something mild which won’t sting on my wound)

Each of the baby sets of clothes listed below I’ve packed in labelled zip lock bags so it is nice and easy for the hospital staff to work out what’s what as they are likely to be dressing and changing the boys whilst I’m in hospital:

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

[ ]2 special sleep suits (for going home in) – these two beautiful sleepsuits (with scratch mittens and feet included) were baby shower gifts from my sister in America, and are from Carters.com, baby wear which I am finding I am pinning so much from as it’s all so gorgeous! Along with 2 vests and two hats.
[ ]2 car seat blankets (made by a local entrepreneur and fellow twin Mum 🙂 )
[ ]4 tiny baby additional sleepsuit and vest onesies (2 each)
[ ]4 new-born additional sleepsuit and vest onesies (2 each)
[ ] 4 additional hats, 4 pairs of scratch mitts, 4 pairs of socks
[ ]Muslin cloths (x8)
[ ]Dummies (x4)
[ ] Carrier bags (x2) – for dirty washing etc 
[ ] Bepanthen nappy cream
[ ] Swaddling Blankets (x2)
[ ] Baby Blankets (x2)

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

JamJarGill: FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Packing My Hospital Bag(s)

Entertainment bag (hand luggage)
[ ]3 interior magazines
[ ]Kindle Fire
[ ]Phone charger (the longest cable one you own)
[ ]Camera (fully charged and with space on the memory card 😉 )
[ ]NCT magazine
[ ]Straws (x3)
[ ]Squash (Vimto)
[ ]Water bottle
[ ]Ginger biscuits
[ ]Haribo
[ ]Headphones
[ ]Chewing gum
[ ]2 apples
[ ]2 clementines
[ ]Box of tissues
[ ]Pack of moist toilet tissues
[ ] Teabags (pick a few of your favorites to take with you, it’s these little luxuries which make a hospital stay so much happier, nothing worse than a bad cup of tea after all!)
[ ] Super camping charger (in case they are funny about you charging your electricals when they haven’t been safety tested, this is an excellent idea thought up at our NCT group)
[ ] Set honey (to go in my tea)

 

Pillow bag (yet to pack as still use these)
[ ]1 feather pillow
[ ]Dreamgenii pillow
[ ]Small cushion
[ ]Z Pillow

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Bump Photoshoot {Oct-Nov 2016}

Considering I only plan to be pregnant once I wanted to capture this special time and get some proper Bump to Baby photos done. I posted on a Facebook status to see if anyone had any recommendations and a lovely lady from my yoga class and my village, Kate Levesley, offered to do a Bump, Newborn, 6 month package for us which I then asked my lovely hubby for for my Birthday this year. Here is the result of the first photoshoot, “The Bump” – taken partly at my baby shower a couple of weeks ago and partly yesterday in the beautifully autumnal Ampthill Park nearby…

 

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Style that Bump (part 3)

This is my 3rd in the series of posts about styling my bump, you can check them all out by clicking #stylethatbump

Can I just take a moment to appreciate the wonder which is the tube skirt! How on earth did I live my life up until this point without knowing about these or using them is actually now beyond me! But as part of your maternity wardrobe they really are amazing, flattering and so so adaptable. If you haven’t got one yet – get one now! They are like the skirt answer to leggings, both of mine (one full length and one just below the knee) were purchased on eBay but were from New Look and George at ASDA. So thank you Girls with Glasses for telling me what I was missing – I officially love them! 

1st Outfit

 

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 1st Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 1st Outfit

Where I got it from:

Headscarf: Clothes Swapping Party, Orange Cardi: T K Maxx, Glitter Stripy T-Shirt: Clothes Swapping Party, Tube Skirt: eBay (George at ASDA)

Get the Look (similar items): 

  1. Retro headband rockabilly self tie hair scarf 50’s headband bandana head scarf (eBay – kristine19862011
  2. Mamalicious Isabella Maternity Top In Sequin Stripe (ASOS)
  3. Seasalt Pigeon Cove Ladies Cardigan (Country House Outdoor)
  4. Skirt As Tube Skirt (Noppies)

2nd Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 2nd Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 2nd Outfit

Where I got it from:

Headscarf: Clothes Swapping Party, Denim Jacket: eBay (years ago!), Belt: My Mum’s from the 60s!, Turquoise T-shirt: Primark, Tube Skirt: eBay (George at ASDA), Sandals: Clarks 

Get the Look (similar items): 

  1. Retro headband rockabilly self tie hair scarf 50’s headband bandana head scarf (eBay – kristine19862011
  2. Noisy May Denim Jacket (ASOS)
  3. Red Leather Waist Belt (Yoins
  4. Purpless 100% Cotton Maternity And Pregnancy T-shirt (eBay)
  5. Skirt As Tube Skirt (Noppies)
  6. CLARKS ORIGINALS Dusty Soul – Black Leather Sandals (Bells Shoes)

3rd Outfit:

 

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 3rd Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 3rd Outfit

Where I got it from:

Polka Dot Maternity Dress: eBay, Orange Cardi: T K Maxx, Maternity Tights: eBay, Black Ballet Pumps: Clarks

Get the Look (similar items): 

  1. Happy Mama Womens Maternity Pregnancy Polka Dot Dress 3/4 Sleeve Spot Dress (eBay)
  2. Seasalt Pigeon Cove Ladies Cardigan (Country House Outdoor)
  3. 40 Denier Black Over-Bump Maternity Tights (Seraphine)
  4. CLARKS Discovery Ritz – Black Leather (Bells Shoes)

4th Outfit 

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 4th Outfit

JamJarGill: Style That Bump: Part 3: 4th Outfit

 

Where I got it from:

Grey Drape Cardi: Ralph Lauren, Bloomingdales NYC (circ 2008 and still going strong!), Kimono Top: Clothes Swapping Party, Grey Maternity Vest: Gift from My lovely Mum-in-law, Black Full Length Skirt: Clothes Swapping Party, Flip-Flops: Target

Get the Look (similar items): 

 

  1. TWIN-SET draped cardigan (Farfetch) – N.B. I have deliberately linked an investment piece actual wool cardigan here as the one which I am wearing is Ralph Lauren and I’ve had it since 2008 and it’s still going strong and one of my favourite cardigans, I would say it is worth investing in a fully wool drape cardi like this much as it is worth investing in a quality winter coat, in my experience anyway
  2. Feather Print Kimono Top (Tesco)
  3. Maternity Grey Vest (New Look)
  4. Black Maternity Maxi Skirt (Elizabeth Brown Maternity)
  5. Birkenstock MADRID Ladies Birko-Flor Black (Shuperb)

And that is it! Hope you have found this third insight into my maternity wardrobe both interesting and inspiring. Would, as ever, love to know what you think and if you have any tips yourself about maternity fashion…Until next time, happy thrifting and celebrate that gorgeous bump of yours every day that you have it, it is a privilege that you can 🙂 

 

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: A note to my readers….

3.

As I reach the end of the first 3rd of my 3rd trimester I am needing to listen to my body again and re-evaluate  my commitments.

I love to blog and I have blogging ideas coming out of my ears, honestly, but realistically as my body is taken over my twin boys and for my 3rd and 4th trimester I am going to stop committing to weekly posts during this time and just blog when I feel up to it. I will carry on eating meat free on a Monday – at least wherever possible, and when I get back on my feet get back to KonMari‘ing our house, and all the other lovely things which I have had and talked about in this blog. I hope that you guys understand and I promise I will see you on the other side as 2017 I hope to grow my blog more and more whilst off on maternity leave. 

In terms of guest posts I might ask for a pause on those as well during this time as I don’t want to commit to promises I can’t keep in general which is why I’m writing you all this brief note.

So wish us luck, please do check all historic material out if you find something of interest here and you land on this page. And I shall see you on the other side of the twin tidal wave in early 2017, if not before. 

Much love

Gill x

(twin Mama to be)

PS. Hope to see you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest whilst I’m not managing to regularly blog xxx 

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {1 year 10 weeks}

So we’re into 1 year 10 weeks of Meatless Monday… Into my 21st week of pregnancy – scan week! 

Here’s my  week in 4:
      1.  This week was taken over by our 20 week scan in the middle of the week, it’s always nerve-wracking before a scan to make sure that the babies are ok, but also this was the one where we would finally find out the sexes of our babies to be. I’m pleased to report that they were just perfect in every way and was very shocked (initially anyway) to discover that they are both twin boys! This news sunk in over the following couple of days, much as with the news of having twins in the first place, and now it just feels like our exciting new reality. 🙂 We can really start planning properly now, discussing names and starting to buy equipment, it’s all very exciting and mind-blowing again in equal measure! 
      2. Saw this fitness quote this week on pinterest and thought it was just a lovely way to look at doing exercise, and I was happily back to yoga this week after few weeks break due to my yoga teacher being in Thailand on an intense training course. Very happy to get back to it 🙂
      3. These are our new internal doors which we are getting fitted this week – so happily, as the previous owners unfortunately decided to remove the original 1950s quality doors for shitty (excuse my french but best description I can think of) cheap and nasty hollow ones, which never closed properly and wobbled in the frames, for this reason it was essential to get this sorted before babies come as with being cat parents too we need secure closing doors with babies in the house. I will post the final result next week – but very happy indeed to tick this one-off the list 😀
      4. I have been so impressed with the baby gift list website I have found to make a list for both us and others of all the things we need, so much so that I have written a blog post all about it, it’s a completely free website which can be used to store and share all different types of gift lists (Christmas, Birthdays, Kids, Christening, and so on) all in one place and then you can share it to your heart’s content with friends and family 🙂
 
Right onto food…

This week was bank holiday Monday so I was home based for the day 🙂

Breakfast:

Fruit toast with butter, a mug of lady grey tea with milk and honey, a yogurt, a pineapple juice and my pregnancy vitamins.

Lunch:

Dairylea dunker, a glass of vimto, a can of Amy’s kitchen organics tomato soup, a bagel with butter and a packet of crinklys.

 

Dinner:

Double baked jacket potatoes with cheese, chives and cracked black pepper, salad and a glass of pineapple juice.

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 10 weeks}: Dinner

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 10 weeks}: Dinner

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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FOODIE FOOD: Amazing Low-Carb Crock Pot Recipes You Should Try Out Today {guest post by Nicole Lucas}

Nicole Lucas (guest author)

Nicole Lucas (guest author)

I am very pleased to welcome a new guest author here at JamJarGill: Nicole Lucas  from NoMealNoHealth, based in Seattle, USA,  mother to a 7-year-old little girl, her and her husband regularly have cook-offs in our kitchen for fun  and she loves to blog about healthy food/drink, tips & tricks that will help you bring happiness to your family.

She emailed me directly, recently, to submit a blog post on slow cook recipes, perfect timing as the evenings start to draw in.

All of my mummy friends swear by their slow cookers, I got one on my wedding list and have thus far mastered just one recipe (for slow cook pulled pork) but I have a long way to go and am always looking for inspiration so was delighted to receive and share this post. I also love how the recipes suggested are also low carb, proving that not all slow cooked yumminess has to be naughty casseroles too, though to a degree its nice to indulge in comfort food for winter I always believe in everything in moderation, so really nice to have some healthy alternatives too. 🙂

Hope this article inspires you too…

 

Amazing Low-Carb Crock Pot Recipes You Should Try Out Today

As compared to most other types of cookers, a crock-pot is a slow cooker that is popularly used in the kitchen for cooking methods such as simmering. In essence, it is renowned for being excellent in making preparations that require the maintenance of low cooking temperatures.

Most models in the market will let you simmer you favorite tastiest within the temperature range of between 190 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit (90’C – 100’C). However, modern design are designed such that the user is able to set the required temperature as well as other cooking conditions such as time/duration.

FOODIE FOOD: Amazing Low-Carb Crock Pot Recipes You Should Try Out Today {guest post by Nicole Lucas}

In addition to adjustable temperature, many slow cookers today have other automated features and functions such as auto-shut off and food ready alarm. Others come with presets for particular recipes, say chicken or turkey.

With the crock pot in your possession or kitchen, you are to some extent assured of fascinating your guests or family members with the best and most delicious preparations, especially if you understand the recipe for what you are preparing. Perhaps the recipe examples below will inspire you. But first things first, what are the benefits of slow cooking in a crock pot?

 The Major Benefits of the Crock Pot

FOODIE FOOD: Amazing Low-Carb Crock Pot Recipes You Should Try Out Today {guest post by Nicole Lucas}

There are many more delicious preparations you can do with a crock pot at home or even in a commercial kitchen. But what are some of the reasons to use this slow cooking appliance? Below are some of the many benefits of the crock pot cookers you might want to look at.

Benefit #1: Automated Functions and Cooking Convenience:

With a crock pot, you really don’t have to stay there and watch your food as it cooks or keep on stirring your preparations. In some sophisticated modern versions, you only need to place your ingredients as recommended and let the rest happen while you attend to other tasks.

Benefit #2: Energy-Saving Appliance:

As compared to most other alternatives, crock pots are highly energy efficient, meaning that it can significantly reduce your energy bills and save you money.

Benefit #3: HVAC-Friendly:

The other important benefit of crock-pots is that they don’t emit that much of heat as compared to most other kitchen cooktops. Especially during the warmer months o the year, such an appliance can bring menace to the kitchen as it heats up, which can cause your HVAC system to work more and incur your more in air conditioning costs. This is not the case with the crock-pot.

Benefit #4: Healthier Preparations:

Not only does it allow you to prepare low carb recipes, it also gives you healthier preparations of food in lower fat content. This is mostly because foods tend to cook in their own juices or fats in the case of fatty foods such as fish.

 Sometimes it is not even necessary to add any fat when cooking in these slow cookers. Low-heat cooking for lengthier periods also allows the food cooked in crock pots to retain much more mineral nutrients and vitamins, as opposed to high heat cooking where some essential food substances and enzymes are destroyed by the cooking heat.

 There are more than just a few low-carb crock pot recipes, benefits of the crock pot, and additional reasons you should try this slow cooking appliance out. Now, straight to the mouth-watering recipe examples, you can try out.

Please do drop me a line at jamjargill@gmail.com if you too are interested in writing a guest post… I am always interested in collaborating with my blogging community 🙂 {N.B. due to twin pregnancy, now in 3rd trimester, I am unable to guarantee a fast turn around on publishing guest posts currently, but I promise I will publish as soon as I am able to, thank you in advance for your understanding}

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FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle {guest post by Emma Lawson}

Emma Lawson

Emma Lawson

I am very pleased to welcome back  Emma Lawson, who was my first ever guest author here at JamJarGill.com, with her 2nd guest post on how to get your kids to recycle. A matter very close to my heart too – I believe it is so important to teach our children to be environmentally conscious and plan to do this with my boys (which I’m currently baking) as soon as possible. 

Emma lives in Australia and is a teacher, constantly improving her skills both as a teacher and as a parent. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life.

Hope this article inspires you too…

Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

The three Rs: reduce, reuse and recycle, are getting increasingly familiar in today’s society, and in some countries even represent concepts that are already regulated by standards and guidelines. Separating garbage, raising awareness, reusing old things, reducing the amount of waste we produce and recycling plastic or paper must become part of our daily activities. For this to become true it is necessary that we promote this mentality in children so that they can grow with new and better habits and care for our environment.

FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle {guest post by Emma Lawson}

FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle {guest post by Emma Lawson}

Recycle for Fun

Children learn best through fun and games. Therefore, explain the rules for recycling as if it were some kind of game where kids have to guess what kind of material goes to what color of a container. Moreover, you can give them a task to draw different recycling signs – blue for paper and cardboard, green for glass, yellow for plastic cans and cartons and orange for organic waste. You can make things even more interesting by having the kids draw various things that come to mind that you usually dispose off and stick the drawings to the containers for the specific recycling purpose. In order to make them really engaged with recycling, you can assign them the role of “recycling controller of the household” so that they will enthusiastically check whether everyone follows the rules of recycling correctly.

FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle {guest post by Emma Lawson}

FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle {guest post by Emma Lawson}

Reuse for Creativity

Children can really benefit from the whole concept of reusing things that are no longer necessary in the household. This can significantly contribute to the development of creativity. As a parent, you can simply show your kids the way to recreate various stuff with things that you do not need anymore and they will use their own ideas later on to make toys, collages and many other things.  For example, a good start would be showing your kids how they can make a stuffed toy snake with the help of some old socks and rags that are completely unnecessary. Even though they love new toys children love to feel responsible for making something original and useful on their own even more.

FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle {guest post by Emma Lawson}

FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle {guest post by Emma Lawson}

Save Money as a Reward

In order to teach kids successfully how to save money, offer them a concrete example that they could understand and easily associate with this notion. For example, take them to a regular and second-hand store and show them pairs of pants that look really similar but have the kids pay attention to the difference in price tags. When the kids themselves deduce that it is only logical to pick perfectly fine second-hand gear over those in regular store, take them for an ice cream or buy them a toy they wanted while explaining how this is possible because you saved up a lot that day by shopping in second-hand stores.

FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle {guest post by Emma Lawson}

FUTURE LITTLE GHERKINS: Living with Nature: Ways to Teach Children to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle {guest post by Emma Lawson}

Reduce Waste as a Hero

If you explain the importance of caring for the environment to your kids carefully and how the reduction of waste can actually help the planet, they will be able to understand what you’re saying. Still, to make them completely interested in this, assign them the role of a hero who protects the environment. Children simply love to play hero and they will definitely be more interested in reducing waste with this idea in mind. Moreover, when you take the kids to farmer’s market to get some organic foods, tell them the reasons why organic food is so much better for the environment as well as human health. Create an image of all the people who sell their organic goods so that they appear as allies in the kids’ heroic fight for the environment. What’s more, you can ask some of your regular sellers to welcome the kids in a manner fit for a true hero.

Learning something new every day is what means to be a child. The main thing which you should bear in mind when trying to teach your kids to recycle is that recycling can help save our planet, and thus instigate its importance. True commitment to this goal and common spirit which sprouts from undertaking this endeavour can spur enthusiasm which will enable a successful learning process in regards to the preservation of the environment.

 

 

Click here to read more from Emma

A mom to two boys and a teacher. She is passionate about writing and learning new things that can help you to lead a quality life. Click this button to see more articles.

 

Please do drop me a line at jamjargill@gmail.com if you too are interested in writing a guest post… I am always interested in collaborating with my blogging community 🙂 {N.B. due to twin pregnancy, now in 3rd trimester, I am unable to guarantee a fast turn around on publishing guest posts currently, but I promise I will publish as soon as I am able to, thank you in advance for your understanding}

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {1 year 16 weeks}

So we’re into 1 year 16 weeks of Meatless Monday… Into my 27th week of pregnancy… a week filled with aching and lack of sleep, and lots of growing, oh the joys! I have also decided that this will be my last Meatless Monday post for a while, but please do check out #meatlessmondays to find lots of veggie inspiration from my backlog of posts, I also intend to carry on with eating meatless on a Monday for a very long time to come. 

This Monday I booked off work just to potter about, it really was lovely to have a 4 day week at work, and nice to have a bit of a lay in as we have been having morning parenting workshops (of one description or another) on Saturday mornings for several weeks,  I’m so exhausted now with this pregnancy, also meant I could up my game a bit on the food front 🙂

Here’s my  week in 4:
      1.  So one of the reasons why I booked the Monday off this week was to use my birthday voucher from my wonderful in-laws to get this Mama to be package from a local salon called the Cutting Company, it was utter bliss and pretty good value too – so might try and squeeze another one in before the boys arrive as it was £49.00, and Monday through Wednesday during the day you also get 20% off 😀
      2. Just a simple message, but a true one, you can never have too much love in my opinion
      3. Another week and another couple of opportunities to connect with twin mamas, from Milton Keynes Tamba group, I saw a post from one of the Mums-to-be who had been to the same workshop as us last week to introduce herself to the group, I replied and now have a WhatsApp group  with her and two other local twin mamas to be – which is so lovely. We also went to our twin specific NCT one-off session this week and learnt so much and hopefully will have another little group of connections out of that too. It’s the funny thing about the twin thing, because we’re a bit different its easier to connect with other twin mamas too – because regardless where you come from or who you are you just get each other because of the twin thing, it’s a really lovely community to begin to be a part of 🙂
      4. Saturday marked the end of our regular NCT course too and we celebrated by going out for a lovely lunch with all the other couples, so so glad we did NCT, we’ve learnt just so much and connected with such lovely people who I can genuinely imagine knowing for years 🙂 
Right onto food…

Breakfast:

As Saturday morning had been like another work day, I had had my usual cereal and juice, so I thought I would have one of my weekend continental breakfasts to treat myself on a day off, croissants, homemade jam and Darjeeling tea with milk and honey, along with a glass of one of my newly found favourite fresh juices, bliss and far prefered any day to a full English!  

Lunch:

Dunker as usual, then soup and a bagel and an apple a day to keep the doctor away. The final image is off the tea and lovely biscuits which I had after my mama-to-be pamper at the beauty salon 🙂 before driving home. 

Dinner:

I made another cheats veg lasagna (yes using jarred sauces and fridge fresh lasagna sheets) as I was off and had the time to cook, and another glass of that lovely juice 🙂 My final image is of the carrots I bought in Morrisons this week (not just random I did put some in the lasagna) which were branded Morrisons wonky veg, which I had heard about on Jimmy’s and Jamie’s Food Fight but was very impressed to see for myself on Morrisons online. Couldn’t agree more with having more wonky veg and less perfection in supermarkets. I’ll let you click the links if you want to read more all about it: Huffington Post Article on Wonky Veg in the UK

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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RECIPE JOURNAL: Meatless Monday {1 year 15 weeks}

So we’re into 1 year 15 weeks of Meatless Monday… Into my 26th week of pregnancy… massive drop in energy levels this week but soldiering through…

Here’s my  week in 4:
      1.  We now started our NCT prenatal classes and honestly I cannot recommend them highly enough, so informative, such lovely couples, local and on the same baby timeline as you. Definitely worth the £120 the cost without a doubt, and at times which fit around working hours when you’re still in work. Word to the wise though – they get booked up surprisingly in advance so book as early as you can – like when you are around 15 wks to make sure you get on the best one for your due date. Find out more on their website NCT Antenatal.
      2. This was a quote I saw this week which just spoke to me, always good to aim for the older you get 🙂
      3. The reality of becoming a Mum is really starting to sink in now, we also went to our TAMBA
        Practical Preparing for Parenthood Survival Class this Saturday too and it did make me realise how little I had allowed my head to go to when the boys are here, I think that’s just self-preservation, but still what I do know is I will try my best and make every decision with so much love and I think that is all any of us can do. (NB. also worth doing this class if you are expecting multiples, it is very very good indeed)
      4. OK so it’s just after 9pm on Sunday night as I am writing this and I haven’t exactly put any washing away yet this weekend, however I have booked Monday off work to catch up and also have booked in my Birthday Maternity pamper package, from my wonderful in-laws, as a treat in the afternoon. Washing is always a battle for me, even more so when the house is completely upside-down due to having the decorators in, and full nesting mode going on, but hopefully by the end of this week he would have finished the hall, landing and stairs and be on to the Nursery – fingers crossed 🙂 
Right onto food…

Breakfast:

Fruit toast with homemade jam and fresh tropical juice from the milk man…

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 15 weeks}: Breakfast

JamJarGill: Meatless Monday {1 year 15 weeks}: Breakfast

Lunch:

Usual meze, vimto, dairylea dunker, piece of my wonderful birthday cake, an apple, 2 clementines and a yogurt…

Dinner:

Crinklys to keep me going whilst my soup and bagel cooked – just a bit of simple comfort food as had no energy to cook… and dark chocolate and milk for pudding 🙂 

Please check out my Pinterest meatless inspiration board: #MeatlessMonday  to gather some pinspiration:

pinterest board

Along with the official Meatless Monday board which I am also now sharing on:

Meatless Monday Bloggers - Official Board

Find out how I got on to Meatless Mondays in the first place by watching this video:

And check out #meatlessmondays on this blog to see all my Meatless Monday posts and recipes. Hope you have a lovely week 🙂

 

 

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