Chloe Likes To Eat: Cooking For One

Thursday, March 5, 2015

I'm not great at cooking for one- I wasn't good at it as a student, and then I stopped needing to when I started living with T. For the next couple of weeks, I'm working away, alone. And that means.... cooking for one. Sigh. For anyone else who has the need to cook for one, a few of my favourite tips to minimise the frustration that is cooking for one person when, apparently this doesn't constitute an actual meal...

Friday- thanks to @distillingine3 and @fevertreemixers
So, actual food instead of booze calories....

1. Don't Season
Batch cooking is a great way to avoid take-out temptation, because having instant food in the freezer is always a win, but if you're limited by freezer space, it's not appealing to only have one choice, try cooking out 'base' mixes that can be seasoned and easily added to for variety-
  • Minced beef with passata, tinned tomatoes & tomato puree- brown mince, add puree, stir, add tomatoes & passata and cook down on low heat. 
Obviously, bolognese- defrost, add basil, oregano, garlic and vegetables of choice
Mexican stew- add smoked paprika, sweetcorn, kidney beans, chick peas, black beans (half quantities of the beans left over make a nice salad for a couple of lunches following on)
Moroccan/North African style- add cumin, cinnamon, some dried apricots, a spoonful of harrissa paste and chilli to taste, serve with couscous & roasted vegetables or add chickpeas for bulk. 

  • A large bulk of roasted peppers, red onions, courgettes, aubergine, tomatoes, carrots and/or broccoli- or whatever else you like, and couscous. Mix together and keep refrigerated. 

Great as a lunchtime salad- add spinach leaves or lettuce with a simple dressing of lemon juice, splash of olive oil, and a small amount of crushed chilli
Add some grilled chicken and/or Halloumi for something more filling- add a little lemon juice, salt and pepper to a spoon of yoghurt for a dressing.

It's all about the warm salads at present- CPUs cous flavoured with lemon, chilli, honey and stock + a spinach and red pepper. Salmon to be added...

2. Buy Smaller Quantities
Whilst larger packs of things- especially tinned food are generally cheaper, if you don't want to eat the same thing over and over and/or you end up throwing half away, it's not better value. Opt for smaller quantities of things like chickpeas, passata, sweetcorn or beans so you can mix them up, although things like meat and fish can be frozen, be wary of leaving them in original packaging or sizes- spending half an hour wrapping chicken, fish or mince into individual or small batch size portions is a good way to ensure you can have a little of what you fancy

3. Change it up
Don't be afraid to add to left overs to change them- left over pasta, pesto and veg doesn't just have to be reheated and just because you had roasted vegetable with couscous yesterday, doesn't mean you can't have them with chickpeas or on toast today. If you're in need of inspiration, I've linked some of the most popular Chloe Likes To Eat posts below, and other places I like to seek fridgsperation are Pinterest and Google (the ingredients in my fridge or 'what do with left over....). Sometimes we just need a little shove.

Today's is a pasta salad made with cream cheese and mustard, not Mayo with spinach, gammon home grown rocket #queenofsalads

New Favourites: 5 Things I Loved in February

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sorry February, but I'm not sad to see the back of you- house move dramas, chest infections and more house move dramas, scrambling to get stuff done and criss-crossing the south-east.

On the plus side, here's 5 things I loved in February, not including eating all the cheese in Paris (read about that HERE).

Feb Favourites

1. I went along to see what Helly Hansen have in store for this coming year in their training range and was totally blown away by some of the technical advances, particularly in visibility and also the generosity of the team. They sent me home with a vast bag full of new kit, but aside from the colour changing mug (REALLY) these tights are just the best thing ever. Full review to come, but seriously... LOOK at them! On a side note, they're WAY more .... feminine in colour/print than I would normally go for, but there's a bit of an Ice Queen feel to them, which I love.

Feb Favourites Helly Tights

2. I had a huge clear out of some of my costume jewellery, including lots of rings I've had since my that don't fit. It seemed a good excuse to raid the ASOS sale for some new bits and I've been wearing this Me & Zena talons ring pretty much non-stop.

Favourite new ring.

3. The striped top is from Primark, was about £4, and I love it, because green stripes. I had been on the hunt for a new breton style t-shirt for ages, and had hoped to find one in Uniqlo, but their version looked horrendous on me, so I'm glad I braved Primark on a Saturday, just for this t-shirt.

4. Pre-Paris purchase- I didn't go into Uniqlo to buy knitwear, in fact, I have been warned about my very minor knitwear habit recently. But it's pretty. Really pretty,

Feb Favourites Uniqlo Speckled Jumper

5. Sparkly Converse. Enough said? Well no actually, because they were reduced to £35 and they're glittery. I have to keep reminding myself that just because I work solo, doesn't mean it's always appropriate to wear sparkly sneakers... based on my What I Wore post this weekend, I have clearly failed on that front.... But seriously. Glittery sneakers.

Feb Faves Silver Glitter Converse

What I Wore: Sparkly Sneakers

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Whilst the rest of the world (well.... other bloggers) have turned to creating editorial style outfit shots, I seem to be going backward and reminiscing on the days where it was far more common to see snaps in a mirror, or simply looking down. There's something I still enjoy about look down and an occasional selfie. So in the past I shall stay for now, along with the running theme of this post- my new GLITTERY Converse.

Home. Wish we were pleased to be back but at least there are glittery sneakers.
Bershka (via Roman Road Market) denim leggings, Primark Breton tee and SPARKLY Converse

Satchels and sparkly sneakers for hospital appointments today #fromwhereistand
ASOS cat elbow jumper, New Look denim leggings, SPARKLY sneakers (seen the theme yet?!) & Zatchels elephant skin effect satchel

#whatiwore sparkly converse, denim leggings and the best green coat ever for flat hunting.
My favourite green coat via eBay, M&S denim leggings and the best sneakers in the world EVER. 

On another note, this week has been mental at HQ. I ended up having to take most of the week off work in order to try and flat hunt because it's looking ever more likely we'll be leaving our current abode by March 20th. After last week was such a nightmare of bidding on how much rent we'd be prepared to pay or having viewings cancelled left, right and centre because flats had already been let to someone else, I had to put some serious energy into. After some perseverance however, T & I have secured a flat to move into at the end of March. We don't have to share it. And it has a huge garden of which we have sole private use. The relief was tangible because hashtag London Problems, renting here is a lightening quick market. Expect my twitter feed and general tone of writing to be full of whinges about furnishing a flat and house moves, which I never used to mind, and I now find super hard work.

Chloe Likes To Eat: 5 Best Ingredients Ever

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Following on from the 3 ingredients I wished I'd never bought, I thought I'd lift the doom and gloom and show you the 5 things ingredients I love and that my cupboards are rarely found without.

Best Ingredients Ever

1. Pimenton
Smoked Paprika to the rest of us, but the Spanish version tends to be a bit richer, smokier and less sweet than the typical smoked paprika in the UK. I love a pinch in bolognese sauce or a heavy handed teaspoon in my fajita spice mix. It's super cheap if you find yourself in Spain near a Spanish supermarket.

2. Ginger
Yeah, ginger is pretty commonplace, but this is prepared ginger in tiny shreds. Whilst I love ginger for asian food, I find it irritating to prepare, this takes all the hassle out and this supermarket own brand version is way more reasonable than the branded versions that first brought the product to my attention

3. Peanut Butter
I LOVE peanut butter- I like to cook with it, eat it on toast or with a spoon. The whole nut butters (the ones with nothing added) are my favourites as it's all the flavour and none of the guilt. Worth every penny extra compared to 'regular' peanut butter.

4. Tom Yum Paste
I'm not brand loyal, and the next jar lined up is supermarket own brand to try, but this forms the flavour to lots of our 'ramen' style lunches (I posted about my instant noodle soup lunches HERE and you can find similar recipes posted more recently by Rosie Londoner & Lily Melrose)

5. Lemon Chilli Sauce 
I bought this (in bulk) from a food festival in November and it's all my favourite things at onces- lemon and chilli. Great as a dipping sauce, awesome rubbed into a chicken pre-roasting, and fabulous on top of stir fry. I'm dreading running out.

Lifestyle: On Feeling Attractive

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My partner always looks both horrified and guilty when I talk about feeling attractive- or not as the case may be, like he has done something wrong or that there's something he can't fix. It's very difficult to explain without making him feel bad or sounding desperate for attention of some kind, that there are times where I don't feel at all attractive- and that's nothing to do with anybody else and everything to do with what happens when I look in the mirror.

Working from home today. More in love with these @asos leggings since the make my legs look slimmer.
Uniform of tough days

This isn't a pity party- I'm pretty sure that no matter how beautiful you may be, everybody feels this way sometimes. Whether your skin is hating on you, your hair is sticking up in that annoying way, you're feeling bloated or you favourite dress just isn't hanging right, it can be super damning and leave you feeling very much at one with your favourite pyjamas and biggest cosy jumper. And that's ok, so long as you remember to pick yourself back up afterwards.

Get up, go for a shower- wash your hair with that really expensive conditioner that you don't use everyday or use the special edition shower gel. Whatever it is that you normally save for a special occasion that makes you feel good, do it. Go on....

I started the evening this picture was taken in a tearful mess because I felt like crap. I ended it miserable and wondering what I was doing with my life, but at least I was wearing a favourite dress and my make-up went how I wanted to...

Put on your favourite clothes- who cares if you're not going anywhere- put on your favourite dress or the silk shirt you keep for best- FYI this includes your underwear- go find that bra that makes your boobs into a dream, you know the one I mean.

Do something that makes you happy-  So that last bit, that's the important thing. Because putting some effort into the best bits of your appearance helps when you look in the mirror, but the thing that makes any and every person beautiful, however baggy the jumper or tired the pyjama bottoms, is happiness. if you smile at someone, it might just make their day. Your enjoyment of something might just be infectious and ultimately you might find that feeling attractive comes as much from inside as out.

Slightly inebriated Paddington selfie from last night. Had to be done!
Yes, I took a selfie with a statue of Paddington Bear whilst under the influence of a lot of alcohol in the middle of Paddington station. But it made me happy.