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Autumn Mud Puddles: A Godiva Challenge

 

Easy Brunch: Spicy Eggs and Avocado

Brunch doesn’t need to be difficult, let’s be honest we don’t like faffing over food, that’s what restaurants are for.

When I’m eating in I want no fuss, no frills but seriously tasty food. So may I present you with an idea which is a very simple combination of some of my favourite things, all onto of a couple of slices of non-nonsense brunch time satisfaction.

If you like eggs and avocados this one’s for you. I like to take to the next level and spice it up a bit, but that’s optional. (Do it!)

If you’ve got bread, avocado, chill and eggs – you’re in for a treat.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

Stage 1: Toast (it doesn’t have to have a hole in it or be gluten free like mine, but I’m picky like that) and avocado

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

 – Smash it in there – pinch of salt and pepper (always!)

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

Stage 2 – Slice fresh medium chillies (red & green if you fancy, oooh) and fry in the pan for a minute. Then crack your eggs in on top of the chillies and put a lid on top to half poach them (keeping in the steam creates a lovely poached effect) keep it on a low to medium heat for 2-3 mins and take them out when they look soft and beautiful… or how ever you like your eggs – no fuss! Slap them on your avocado like so…

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

Sprinkle a touch more salt and pepper and dip in!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Egg Avocado Toast Recipe Brunch

Happy brunching!

C.x

Blueberry Pancakes Brunch: Gluten Free Recipe

Some days you just need to get back into bed with a few too many blueberry pancakes. Sundays are the perfect kind of someday and I thoroughly enjoyed these in bed with an equally large portion of films yesterday. No, you will find no guilt here – I had to wait for them to digest before doing my yoga and house work, so all the extra maple syrup was well deserved in the end.

With a bank holiday fast approaching there’s no such thing as being too prepared for brunch, so stick this one on your repertoire!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Recipe Blueberry Gluten Free Oat Pancakes and Maple Syrup

Gluten free, quick and full of all the delicious healthy bits, yet they still tasty enough to fill that completely naughty brunch need, and so filling you won’t be hungry till dinner (note: I ate two portions.)  And really, if you want to make these a bit naughtier, I’ve added in a couple of ideas below.

To make a generous batch, trust me you’ll want them all, find yourself the following:

  • 1 mug of oats- blitzed up to make the GF flour (you can use gluten free flour or any regular flour if you fancy!)
  • a large egg or two medium
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • A good pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tspn of bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • Water, or milk til it mixes into a pancake consistency (1 cup)

Leave to thicken for 15 mins and if using the oat flour add more water /milk to loosen slightly but not too much, they’re more like drop scones.

Optional extras I popped in:

  • Frozen blueberries
  • 1 tspn maca powder
  • 1 tbsp dessicated coconut
  • 2tspn flax seeds

But just chuck in what you fancy – chocolate drops maybe? Or keep the pancakes simple simple & top with loads of fruit and honey (or peanut butter, banana & melted chocolate is to die for!)

Put coconut oil (or butter, I did say you could make it indulgent if you wanted!) in a medium to low heat pan, make 3-4 small pancakes at a time, make sure there’s a few bubbles on top before you flip, they need a good ten mins to cook through.

I topped mine with fresh blueberries and a whole lot of maple syrup. Then get a complementary cup of tea, settle back into your pillow fort and rule your bouncy brunch kingdom!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Recipe Blueberry Gluten Free Oat Pancakes and Maple Syrup

Cat Foley Survival Survival Recipe Blueberry Gluten Free Oat Pancakes and Maple Syrup

 

I’m going to get a savoury brunch up soon because there really isn’t anything better than eggs in the morning!

What’s you favourite kind of breakfast, does it involve eating it in bed or are you more into a bliss brunch in the garden?

I’d love to hear some feedback if you decided to make these, tag me in your pics on instagram (CatFoley1) or tweet me (@Cat_Foley). I’ve also set up a Survival Survival Blog facebook page, on which I’m posting a few smaller daily thoughts and inspiration on – I’d love to see you on there!

Enjoy, brunch buddies!

C.x

Glorious Steak & Gin Saturday

It’s clear I’m a bit of food fanatic, right? Well it’s actually a family trait and my cousin, Hannah is equally as fanatic about grub, we often recommend restaurants, markets and pop-ups to each other and usually head out at the weekend to try a big lunch somewhere new. But last weekend she invited me round for a little something special.. Ragu, sirloin steak – what an invitation!

Being that this cut of meat is so damn delicious and the lunch turned out so beautifully, I thought I would be rude not to share it with you; perhaps an option the next time you fancy wining and dining someone special in your own home.

Cat Foley Steak Saturday Survival Survival Recipe

We had our steak simply pan seared, of course a few golden rules with steak that might help you cook it to perfection…

  • Leave the steak out to reach room temperature before cooking (1 hour should do the trick)
  • Pat your steak dry – any moisture reduces the heat in the pan and you won’t get that lovely brown crust
  • Don’t salt the steak, salts draws moisture to the surface and you want a juicy cut, so leave that to the end.. Pepper or any meat rub you fancy will be fab, though good steak speaks for itself, minimal seasoning with a good garlic butter is best.
  • Get the pan searing hot and don’t put any oil in it (else you’ll have the fire brigade joining you for dinner!)
  • Rub oil on your steak and place it in the seriously hot pan
  • Turn it every minute, this seals the moisture in and stops it evaporating out.
  • Depending on how you prefer your steak [A way to test for doneness is to press the steak lightly with your fingertip and compare the way it feels to your cheek, chin, and forehead. So while trying not to put steak all over your face, a rare steak should feel similar to your cheek; if it feels like your chin with a slight resistance, it’s medium; and firmer to the touch with more resistance, like your forehead, means it is well done].
  • Lean cuts, such a fillet and rump are best served as rare as possible, slightly more fatty cuts are better when cooked to a medium as the fat in them release the flavour.
  • But of course, if you don’t fancy the red juices then well done is the only way.
  • It’s had a hard time in the pan, let it rest! Ideally all meat should rest and relax again before you tuck in, give the steak a good 5-10 minutes to reclaim it’s juices.

Mine was served with a delicious mushroom, marinated in Dijon mustard and Lee and Perrins sauce, giving it a serious full on flavour, a spinach salad with a Dijon dressing to compliment the meat, a earthy yet fresh beetroot salad with a creme fraiche dressing and sweet, pan fried, vine cherry tomatoes.. All washed down with an ice cold G&T of course!

With such delicious flavours and fresh ingredients impressing your date, your mum or your housemate with something as simple and quick as this is almost effortless.

Cat Foley Steak Saturday Survival Survival Recipe

Cat Foley Steak Saturday Survival Survival Recipe

Little cherry tomatoes on the vine turn into extra sweet little bursts of joy when you lightly roast them or pop them in a pan.

Cat Foley Steak Saturday Survival Survival RecipeMarinaded for a couple of hours in a zip lock bag with Dijon mustard and Lee and Perrins sauce, then popped on a baking tray in the oven for twenty minutes, these portobello mushrooms turn out to be a meaty and juicy mouthful.

Cat Foley Steak Saturday Survival Survival RecipeAlmost ready for the main event…

Cat Foley Steak Saturday Survival Survival RecipeOne last turn, then let it rest and reabsorb it’s juices for a good 5-10 minutes whilst you make the G&Ts

Mine was served it with a delicious marinaded mushroom, in Dijon mustard and Lee and Perrins sauce, giving it a great full on flavour. A spinach salad with a Dijon dressing to compliment the meat and a fruity beetroot salad with a creme Fraice dressing and roasted vine cherry tomatoes. Check it out! Simple, quick and so many delicious flavours, impress your date, your mum or your housemate with something as simple and quick as this!When everything is ready, on with the steak…

20150117_145209aMine was served it with a delicious marinaded mushroom, in Dijon mustard and Lee and Perrins sauce, giving it a great full on flavour. A spinach salad with a Dijon dressing to compliment the meat and a fruity beetroot salad with a creme Fraice dressing and roasted vine cherry tomatoes. Check it out! Simple, quick and so many delicious flavours, impress your date, your mum or your housemate with something as simple and quick as this!

cat foley steak recipe survival survival

 

Bon appetite!

C.x

 

Words and photos by Cat Foley. All rights reserved.

Seasonal Superfood Salad

Since Autumn rolled in I decided that salads should be a bit chunkier, warmer and make use of the delicious seasonal vegetables we have on offer! This delicious superfood salad is high in protein, nutrient rich and has flavour that packs a punch!

Some of my favourite inspiration for food comes from restaurants, blogs… And M&S.

My general outlook on food is that freshly prepared is best. That’s it. My cooking tends to lean towards being healthier when choosing  ingredients because that’s my preference, it leaves spaces for the little indulgences like wine and peanut M&Ms.

Since realising that wheat, dairy and I do not make the best of friends I’ve had a great time exploring and trying alternative options, instead of reaching for toast, pasta or pastries. But I think the key element that has been lost in translation, as we have all become so enthused by diets and super foods, is to remember that fresh food and whole ingredients will always allow you the option to be as healthy as you want to be, with all the flavour and without adding all the bad fats, preservatives and salt to get there.Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

I say bad fats because I don’t think all fats are a bad thing, in fact they’re vital for our body’s metabolism and convergence of nutrients, but the good fats are found in foods like olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and oily fish like salmon and mackerel – not crisps, chocolate and meat. Sugar again is not a bad thing, if you chose the right type 80% of the time – I would never deny myself the pleasure of peanut M&Ms! The 80:20 rule is a healthy rule to live by, the idea that a little of what you fancy is good for you.Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

Food should enjoyed, the preparation and presentation make a huge difference to my personal satisfaction from a meal. That time taken to select and care for your ingredients and prepare it makes you savour it that little bit more than say, opening up a sandwich and packet of crisps. Plus,it’s fresh and filled with fresh ingredients, it hasn’t been sat on a shelf for hours or days. And you shouldn’t think that this takes hours to do, or that you have to be a chef to do it. You don’t. I make most of my lunches at work because, as much as I’d love to prepare them for the week or even the night before, I’m not always that organised and it really does only take minutes to throw together something satisfying.IMG_1212

That being said, I do, like everyone, buy pre made salads when I’m on the go and occasionally the odd M&S ready meal… I’ve actually become slightly addicted to one such salad. Whenever I’m in need of a lunch and there’s an M&S in sight, I make a beeline for their nutty superfood salad. Oh. My. Goodness. I love the stuff. Nuts, crunchy veg, beans and quinoa, all topped off with an ah-mazing dressing… Excuse me while I wipe my chin. So!

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

I thought to myself that, instead of buying said superfood salad, I should make myself a batch for lunches, adding in a little bit more of what I fancy.
And here it is, really simple, pretty delicious and virtuously healthy.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

Cat Foley Survival Survival Superfood Salad Recipe Healthy Eating

 

Ingredients

I cup of quinoa, red or white, I’ve got mixed for a variety in texture and flavour
I cup of mixed beans and peas – I used M&S frozen selection, including soya, peas and broad beans – defrosted
6-7 long green beans – lightly steamed then blanched and cut into inch long pieces
5 large florets of broccoli – cut into bite sized pieces, lightly steamed and blanched
1 regular carrot, uncooked and diced
1/2 butternut squash diced and roasted until soft with 3 whole garlic cloves

For the toppings

Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Shelled pistachios
Almonds

For the dressing

2 tbsp Low sodium soy salt
1 tbsp Sweet chilli sauce
4 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Ginger paste

How to make your Superfood Salad

  1. Preheat oven to 200 and cut up butternut squash into cubes, place on baking tray and spray lightly with oil, throw in your three garlic cloves and pop into the oven for 20-25 mins depending on your size cubes
  2. Put one cup of quinoa into pan with two cups of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15mins, then remove from heat. The water should be absorbed by this point and the quinoa should have a curly white tail, this shows its cooked perfectly, leave in pan to fluff up.
  3. Chop the broccoli, long green beans and blanch  with the mixed frozen beans and peas – so they stay fresh and crunchy
  4. Check your squash is soft but not caramelised at the edges scatter in the pumpkin and sesame seeds to toast them for another 5 minutes, then remove from the oven. When cooled the garlic can be peeled out of it’s casing, I eat these as they’re delicious and sticky, but it does depend on how you feel about garlic! I love the stuff.
  5. To make your dressing mix all your ingredients well.
  6. Mix all your beans, broccoli and  carrots in with the quinoa and top with your roasted butternut squash.
  7. Drizzle over a tablespoon of dressing and scatter your seeds and nuts over the top.

Store your excess nuts and seeds separately from the salad as they will go soft if mixed in.

This salad is so satisfying and you can use it as a base for different dressings and you could make it a little lighter by mixing it through with rocket and spinach or a butter leaf salad, use different nuts or veg, I think I enjoy the sweetness of the butternut with the salty sweet of the dressing in this particular combo.

Enjoy and  if you come up with any variations I’d love to try them out!

 

You can buy the original Marks and Spencer Nutty Super Wholefood Salad here or in store should you ever find yourself looking for a quick lunch!

 

C.x

Words and photos by Cat Foley

 

Chocolate Week: Cover Your Nuts!

We can all rejoice, it’s national chocolate week! That means it’s our national duty to scoff some, right?

The only problem can be that we scupper our happiness and end up feeling a little bit naughty rather than nice after all that indulgence. So I  thought, why not find something a little bit naughty but in all the right ways?

Introducing my Nutty Chocolate Cups… They’re Raw’cously  good!

I’m a bit of a nutter, and I also love nuts. Besides the fact they’re delicious and pair well with so many things, they hold so many nutritious properties and because they’re so high in protein and good fats they’re one of the most satisfying snacks or salad toppers you can find.

But sometimes you can fancy something a little sweeter and so before you go indulging in the M&S honey roasted cashews (definitely still one of my favourite nutty treats) why not try something a little more virtuous and save the naughty treats for the cocktail bar or birthday cake? I promise these will be equally, if not more, satisfying and with none of the sugar and all of the good stuff.

The combination of sweetness, all deriving from natural, unrefined ingredients, with the satisfying texture and protein of the nut butter will mean these treats won’t only kill your cravings, they’ll pack a punch with the good stuff too… And I’ve no doubt you’ll be stockpiling these for emergencies.

So, let’s get on these don’t take long.

For the chocolate cups you will need the following…

  • 120ml melted coconut oil (extra virgin, cold pressed)
  • 62g raw cacao powder
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • a small pinch of sea salt flakes
  • I added in 2 tablespoons of maca powder for extra benefits – you could add 2 tablespoons worth of any extra powdered goodies here, protein powder, goji berry powder.. go wild!

For the filling…

  • 60ml nuts’n more peanut butter – again, this is my preferred brand because of the added protein and omegas, but any nut butter will work deliciously!
  1. For the raw chocolate cup you will need to combine all the ingredients and it should look deliciously gooey like this…Chocolate Week: Raw Chocolate Nut Butter Cups Cat Foley Survival Survival

 

  1. Take the melted cacao mixture and put a layer at the bottom of your case and roll it around to coat the edges slightly. Place this is the freer for about five minutes until slightly set.
  2. Take them out of the freezer and put a generous teaspoon of nuts ‘n’more nut butter on top of your set raw chocolate , you can experiment with any flavour but I don’t think you can beat the original salty peanut and chocolate combo. Also the ratio is up to you, I went for a good dollop, but put less if you’d prefer!
  3. Place these back in the freezer for ten minutes, et voila! Take them out and peel them out of their cases. I have lovely little silicone cupcake case which makes this a doddle!
  4. Because of the nature of coconut oil we used, our raw chocolate will start to soften and melt at a low temperature, so just keep these little beauties stored in a fridge to keep them set until you’re ready to enjoy them.

 

Chocolate Week: Raw Chocolate Nut Butter Cups Cat Foley Survival Survival

 

These are coming in handy as a post-run energy boost or mid-afternoon treat.. I’m sure you’ll agree they pretty damn moreish!

Get some nuts’n more here

Details on Chocolate Week here

Now do excuse me, I’m off to taste test some more flavour combos… Well, it is Chocolate Week!

C.x

 

Words and Photos by Cat Foley

Superfood Smoothie for the Hangover?

Saturday hangover smoothie? “Not on your nelly! Pass me the eggs and streaky bacon.”

Yes, I thought so, that’s why I made mine on Friday morning in an effort to be virtuous before the wreckage a Friday night holds, I’ve given my body the best chance of feeling ever so slightly less wrecked tomorrow and wholly super to kick off my weekend! That’s the actual point of these things, right?

It’s a all about a healthy balance, plus cocktails count towards your five a day and the important unwind from the week comes from the dancefloor therapy, not a yoga class at 6pm. I may be healthy, but I’m still not buying into it enough to give up my Friday nights.

I quite liked the idea of having a smoothie this morning, mostly because I’m a nibbler and I figured I could sip this throughout the morning and not attack the fridge at around 11…

…It didn’t work, I had a macaroon and coffee, but still, I had a good dose of vitamins and more so, it was delish! I also bought a few new superfood powders which I managed to sneak into it without having to taste them, as a result (psychosomatic or not) I’ve been on a higher level today, I’m telling you there’s definitely something behind this smoothing, juicing and powders malarkey.

So, what did my virtuous brekkie consist of? I hear you cry, well I shall let you in on the secret of a fabulous Friday, maybe even try it on a Monday, but I’m not sure what excuse you could make for being so happy and vibrant on a Monday without others wondering the worst.

These ingredients are pretty adaptable depending on your preference, but I went for the following(I don’t mind if you copy):

  •  2 small ripe bananas
  • 2 dates (totally optional, I added them for sweetness as my bananas weren’t that ripe)
  • 1/2 cup of mixed frozen berries
  • one carton of Wahta maple water – this stuff has ooooh so much good stuff in it! But if you want you can use almond milk or water
  • a teaspoon of nuts’n’more peanutbutter –  again, this has more than just nuts in it, with no refined sugar and added protein from flax and whey powder, this stuff packs a punch! But you could use any nut butter for protein or just add some whey protein powder
  • a big handful of spinach – get those iron levels up
  • 1/2 teaspoon of matcha – a refined green tea powder with super detox powers and a great caffeine boost
  • 2 teaspoons of maca powder – my new favourite, this powered maca root is brilliant for a wide range of things, including hormonal balance, energy, skin and a big dose of vitamins
  •  Some Chia seeds for the top – a nice crunch and full of protein and omega oils
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of maple syrup, it’s a wholly natural sweetener and provides a small does of manganese, great for your skin and bones among other things
  • a teaspoon of cinnamon to keep your blood sugar level steady with all that fruit and curb hunger through the morning

 

Considering the amount of nutrients this hosts, the only ingredients you can taste is the fruit, I’d say that does pretty well in the super smoothie ratings!

We're going maca smoothie, it'll be the nuts!

We’re going to maca smoothie, it’ll be the nuts!

 

Looking berry good so far...

Looking berry good so far…

If you wanted more of a juice than a smoothie, maybe replace the banana with an apple and the dates with some grapes and cucumber and pour it through a sieve to removed most of the hard skin residues… I think I’ll be trying a few more recipes, so I’ll keep you posted.

& remember the nutrients and vitamins jam-packed powders...

& remember the nutrient and vitamin jam-packed powders…

Wahta-ever you do, don’t forget the maple water

The ingredients listed did make a much larger amount, this little portion (below) was just for show and I then drank it as a quick boost before I left the flat this morning, the rest decanted intp my travel bottle and I sipped on the go and finished itat my desk.

Cat Foley Survival Survival Wahta Maple Water Nuts 'n' more, Maca Powder, matcha tea, super smoothie

Super berry smoothie.. Chia later hangover!

Go, have fun, be merry, de-stress on the dancefloor and then recoup with a super smoothie!

 

Plus, if smoothies aren’t your thing I’d still like to introduce you to maple water.. I drink some after a run to rehydrate. Coconut water is still a favourite of mine as it’s so readily available, but if you can get hold of this stuff, it’s seriously good and holds a huge range of benefits! Wahta you waiting for?!

 

Cat Foley Survival Survival Wahta Maple Water Nuts 'n' more, Maca Powder, matcha tea, super smoothie

C.x

Words and photos by Cat Foley

 

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