Low Calorie Christmas Cocktails

file_000Thanks to my lovely friend Michael at Black Leaf Events I will be enjoying these slightly less naughty calorie wise festive cocktails with my family this year.

Try them out and save your self some calories!

Rosemary and Grapefruit Fizz

  • Rosemary
  • vodka
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Light Ginger ale
  • Ice
  1. Add 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and 4 thick peels of pink grapefruit into a bottle of vodka and leave to infuse for 3 hours.
  2. Strain out the vodka and re-bottle.
  3. To serve pour 35ml of the infused Vodka into a tall glass filled with cubed ice, top with light ginger ale and garnish with a pink grapefruit slice and rosemary sprig.

Winter Spice G&T

  • 50ml Bulldog Gin
  • 200ml Fever tree light tonic
  • Star Anise
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Ice
  1. Fill a large glass with lots of ice.
  2. Add gin and light tonic water.
  3. Garnish with two star anise and one cinnamon stick.
  4. Stir well.

Pome-sietta Punch 

  • 1 bottle of Prosecco
  • 125ml Cointreau
  • 500ml Pomegranate juice
  • Pomegranate seeds
  1. Add all ingredients to a jug or punch bowl and mix together.
  2. Place in the fridge to chill.
  3. Place a few pomegranate seeds into a champagne flute or saucer, pour cocktail over and enjoy.

Check out http://www.blackleafevents.co.uk for cringeworthy photos of me holding trays, as well as to find out more about what they do.

 

Butternut squash Lasagne

img_1568I have been loving my Live Lean deliveries for the last few months, and having new meat to try rather than just chicken, chicken, lazy lazy chicken, has inspired me to get more creative in the kitchen. I am eating higher carbs at the moment as I’m trying to build muscle, but eating the same things does get rather boring. As soon as I saw these Butternut squash lasagne sheets in Sainsburys there was no holding me back. Now needless to say you could definitely just buy a butternut squash and do this yourself, the sheets probably wouldn’t be as neat, and it’s quite a stressful job I imagine, but if you cant get hold of these sheets obviously get to chopping.

This butternut squash lasagne was not only delicious but was such a balanced meal nutrition wise, and was so satisfying.

I made mine on a whim so ended up re-heating some the next day which was still totally delicious. The Live lean mince really made it so juicy and tasty, if you haven’t tried them out already you must. Mince meat especially can be so grey and dull when cooked and poor quality mince meat can also break up into such small pieces its just horrible. This mince meat stays thick and delicious throughout cooking creating a truly spectacular lasagne.

Recipe makes a family size lasagne I say 4 portions.

Ingredients: 

  • 400g Live Lean mince beef
  • 100g Eat Lean Protein cheese
  • Tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 80g Lurpack lighter
  • 80g Plain flour
  • 800ml Semi Skimmed milk
  • 1 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 Pack (400g) Butternut squash lasagne sheets

Method: 

  1. Start by making your white sauce, melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Stir in the flour, whisking in a little milk at a time. Stir continuously until you have  a thick creamy sauce. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Chop your onion and soften in a large saucepan with the tbsp of olive oil. Once softened add the mince beef and brown.
  4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and garlic at this point,  season with anything of your choice at this point, from red wine to nutmeg.
  5. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally to stop the bottom from sticking on a low/medium heat. The longer you can cook it for the nicer the sauce will become.
  6. When your ready to assemble pick out a nice dish, and assemble starting with a thin meat layer, then your butternut squash sheets, then a white sauce layer, more mince, more butternut squash sheets until your out of ingredients. Finish on a butternut squash layer covered in your white sauce, grate on your protein cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven for around 45 minutes.
  7. Serve and enjoy.

MACROS per portion: 565 Calories/25g Fat/ 30g Carbs/ 41g Protein 

 

 

How to enjoy Christmas

img_9420My top tips on how to enjoy Christmas…without hating yourself for it afterwards.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not this time of year we are absolutely surrounded by tasty treats, gooey cheeses, chocolates, carbs and more chocolates, all for you to enjoy, and you should. We all should be able to enjoy Christmas, but what really is the most enjoyable thing about it? Is it stuffing that 9th quality street in your mouth when your already stuffed from a huge roast dinner, not to mention the handful after handful of honeyed nuts you ate before. Or is it really, the time off work and time spent with the ones you love. 

If your lucky enough to spend Christmas with loved ones I am certain it’s the latter.  

I love Christmas, I love spending time with my family, and my boyfriend and his family. I love giving and receiving gifts, celebrating the year and remembering those that are sadly no longer with us. I also love the food, all those Christmas flavours, but let’s be realistic let’s do this in moderation people. So here’s my top tips for getting through the season. 

  • Pick one festive treat you really want and eat it. Don’t eat all the crappy tinned chocolates just because they’re there. Say to yourself you know what I LOVE after eight mints and after my dinner Christmas evening I’m gonna sit there and eat them. As many as I like. No ones saying only have 5.  But don’t eat everything. Don’t eat the after eights then suck on candy canes and gingerbread houses just because. Listen to your body. You don’t need to feel stuffed just because it’s Christmas. You are not Santa. 
  • Stay away from the festive hot drinks. They are crazy calorific and they are a treat. If you’ve been craving that Black Forest hot chocolate all year get a small and get it once. For those calories you could probably eat your whole Christmas dinner. Just be mindful. Stick to the peppermint tea. You’ll have enough calories to consume on the few days over Christmas no need to indulge on the surrounding weeks. Especially on things that are hardly worth it. 
  • Don’t use Christmas as an excuse not to train. If anything it’s more important with all the extra food you’ll be consuming. Get in the gym and turn those roasties into gains. Make the gym fun, with friends having time off work and gyms excitedly awaiting the January crowd your bound to get a few free guest passes. Bring a pal and show them how hard you work. Most gyms are open restricted hours over Christmas but they are open. Try to make time for a session or two. You’ll feel a lot better about the mince pies 
  • Watch the alcohol. It’s easy to opt for wine and prosecco but try making some low calorie cocktails for your family. Gin, vodka, diet mixers, fruits. I’ll post a few low calorie festive cocktail recipes in my next post for you to enjoy and make for your families. 
  • Enjoy your dinner. From start to end. Savour every bite. Stuff your face full of brussel sprouts and pigs in blankets. Just enjoy that meal with your family. Eat the dessert hell sample all the desserts. But when dinner is done it’s done. Yes enjoy a chocolate in the evening but those calories are still calories don’t waste them just because. That’s not the spirit of Christmas that’s gluttony. 

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas remember what it’s about and enjoy any time off you might have with people you love. Be grateful for what you have and don’t reverse how hard you’ve worked all year for one weekend. 

Merry Christmas to you all.