Foods to boost your mood

Good morning everyone! I’m back from holidays in sunny Australia just to find that spring only just made it to London as well… šŸ™‚

When sun hides behind the clouds it’s hard to put a smile on, but here is something that can help!Ā The foods we eat have an impact on the “happy hormone” (serotonin) that controls our mood, emotions, and sleep.

So whenever you can – grab one of the “happy foods”!

Mussels

mussels

Spinach

spinach

Grass-Fed Meat

grass-fed-beef-before-grilling-le-cense-0209

Asparagus

Asparagus

Honey

HoneyHERO

Avocado

avocado_salad_009-scaled1000

Nuts & Seeds

Nuts & Seeds

Oily fish

smoked_scottish_salmon_400g_main

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens

Remember, nutrients work slowly and their effect is cumulative. Don’t expect instant results, and eat those as often as you can!

have a great smiley and sunny week.

xxx
Olga

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City break ideas… Manchester

I was looking for a destination in England for a little break and while browsing the internet I came across Manchester… Ok, it may sound weird that I’ve never been to one of the biggest cities in England, but I haven’t… So I thought why not šŸ˜‰ If you’re lucky you may find a train ticket for as little as Ā£31 using Virgin Trains, so this city break doesn’t have to break your bank account. Also, the accommodation is cheaper than in the capital city. My room was just Ā£29 and within walking distance from Piccadilly Gardens which are the city centre. But what Manchester has to offer? Surprisingly quite a lot… From really amazing Manchester Art Gallery, with a collection ranging from 17th century to modern times,Ā to numerous shopping areas including UK’s largest shopping centre Manchester Arndale… And after all the cultural and shopping pleasures why not having a little coffee break… I’ve tried couple coffee places and I totally fell in love with Teacup on Thomas St, which may get a bit busy, but be patient… It’s deliciously worth it šŸ™‚

How about a light and spicy spring dinner?

I came across a very interesting recipe that I adapted to my taste, and want to share with you. It’s very light and fresh, so it works perfectly with the sun and the lovely spring weather outside! Our beloved readers, I give you theĀ recipe for a spicy lentil salad and oven baked trout, both wonderfully dressed with coconut and lime sauce. A dish amazingly rich in flavours and vitamin C šŸ™‚

You will need:

Apple cherry tomatoes pine nuts red onion yellow peper

For the lentil salad

  • 2 tbsp dark green lentils, cooked according to packet instructions, drained and rinsed in cold water
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, chopped in quarters
  • 1 yellow pepper, stalk and seedsĀ removed, finely chopped
  • 1 apple, peeled, core removed, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • Ā½ lime, juice only
  • 1 pinch of crushed chillies
Trout fillet

For the trout

  • 2 boneless trout fillets
  • 1 tsp medium curry powder
  • pinch freshly grind sea salt
  • kitchen foil

For the coconut and lime sauce

  • 200ml coconut milk
  • 1 lime, zest only (how to zest?)Ā 
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 pinches of medium curry powder
  • 2 pinches of turmeric
  • 2 pinches of groundĀ cumin

Heat your oven up to 180 Celsius degrees. While it’s warming up chop all your spicy salad ingredients into cubes ā€“ as big or as small as you like – and mix together in a bowl .

Lentils and chopped veg

Season the trout with curry and salt, and wrap in the kitchen foil. Make sure that the bind if upright so no fish juices end up in your oven! Cook for 10Ā – 15 minutes.

While the trout is in the oven it’s time to prepare our sauce. Add coconut milk, raisins, and spices to the pan and heatĀ  for 2-3 minutes, or until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and stir in the lime zest.

That’s it! – Now just serve it all together and enjoy šŸ™‚

Trout fillet with spicy lentil salad and coconut sauce

Personalised treats

I met my friends for dinner last week. The evening was great, all three courses delicious, and the dessert personalised! Each of the guests got a pancake with strawberries, vanilla ice cream, and their initial in chocolate icing! I was soĀ awedĀ that IĀ evenĀ failed to takeĀ pictures! I love the idea of personalised food, so I found some examples for you on the web.

1. Personalised pancakesĀ or a pancake bear šŸ™‚

Personalised pancakes

2. Personalised cupcakes

Personalised cupcakes

3. Personalised jam or chutney jarĀ labels

Personalised jar labels

Whether you are having friends over for dinner or just a weekly Sunday roastĀ – make it personal. You will have lots of fun making it, and yourĀ closeĀ ones will feel loved and appreciated – it’s such a lovely gesture!

How about something healthy and yummy?

I love food. I love trying new things, and cooking.Ā While workingĀ on crossing allĀ t’s before theĀ launch of our online jewellery storeĀ I thought it’s timeĀ for aĀ snack.Today I prepared low carb, high protein nuts & seeds cookies. They are very tasty,Ā nutritious, and easy to prepare – that’s why I love them so much! If you feel like trying them for yourself…

You will need:

  • 400gĀ (16oz) nuts – any nuts that you like, I used Brazilian nuts, almonds, walnuts, and pecans
  • 90gĀ (3oz) seeds – again, any that you like (sunflower, pumpkin, flax sesame), I used sunflower today
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medium egg whites
  • 2tbsp of honey ar agave nectar
  • 20ml oil (sunflower or olive)

Nuts and chopped almonds

The recipe says to ‘grind the nuts and seeds until coarse’ I use steak hammer and a piece of clothĀ instead. If you choose to do the same, make sure you wrap yourĀ nutsĀ in cloth carefully or you might end up with nuts all over your kitchen!

Steak hammer and almonds

So my nuts after hammering look like this šŸ™‚

Chopped nuts

Stir in the cinnamon. Combine with egg white and oil and mix until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Since my nuts pieces are quite chunky I am doing all of it by hand but if your dough is finer you can use a mixer. Form ping pong size balls and placeĀ them on a baking tray with greaseproof paper or baking mesh and flatten into cookie shapes.

Raw nuts and seeds cookies

Bake for 10 minutes in 180 Celsius degrees. Leave to cool for a few minutes on the baking tray. If you were using mesh you can leave them on itĀ to cool completely. Otherwise it’s good to transfer them to a wire rack to cool so they stay crispy on the outside.

Baked nuts and seeds cookies

Hope you like them!