Nice and healthy without losing that weekend feeling

Your Last Mouthful

Breakfast- Potato and Poached Egg Hash

I chose this recipe because it sounded like a naughty weekend breakfast but it is surprisingly only 194 calories per portion and the portion is a fair size for breakfast.

I love fried potato and bacon, who doesn’t? And the addition of the tomatoes and spring onions made it taste fresh and less stodgy.

The cooking times for this were spot on but that is assuming you have already cooked and chilled the potatoes or have some left over from the day before. If you need to cook the potatoes at the same time, add another 20 minutes to the recipe. Fried potatoes work better with cold potatoes but it isn’t essential.

I love poached egg and you can’t beat a nice runny one in my opinion but that of course is up to you.

Recipe- serves 4

194 calories per portion, 10 minutes…

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Ahhh soup!

Here at Sticky central we are trying to combat the post-Christmas blues and preparing for the blizzard that the forecasters say is upon us. What better treat than a yummy, scrummy soup to warm you up and provide you with that all important nutritional goodness to keep you on track to a fit and healthy 2013. Here are two of our favourites:

Carrot and ginger warmer

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
8 medium carrots, diced
1cm fresh ginger, pureed/ finely chopped
500ml chicken or vegetable stock

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and cook the onions until translucent.
2. Next add the carrots and ginger and cook on a low heat for a few minutes.
3. Add the stock and bring to the boil.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer until the carrots have softened and some of the water has evaporated.
5. Using a handheld blender, blitz the mixture until smooth. (Careful with the hot liquid here as it can be a bit messy)
6. Serve with fresh crusty bread or enjoy on its own.

Canarian Garbanzada

This Spanish favourite can be adapted to your own tastes or made with whatever you have in.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced,
1 carrot, diced
1 potato, diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
60g chorizo, diced
250ml vegetable or chicken stock
200g tinned chopped tomatoes
130g cooked chickpeas

1. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and gently cook the onion and garlic until translucent.
2. Add the carrot, potato and chorizo and cook for 5 mins.
3. Add the stock, tomatoes and chickpeas and cook until the vegetable are soft (around 20 minutes should do)
4. Serve with warm crusty rolls.

Head over to our Facebook page and share you own soup recipes. Enjoy!

Ballroom Dancing

Strictly Come Dancing has just finished with gymnast and Olympic golden-boy, Louis Smith, lifting the trophy. The competition showed the celebrities taking on a new challenge; getting fit and having fun. With this in mind, I headed to Dance World in Newport to put my best foot forward.

In truth, I started to learn a few years ago but haven’t been for quite some time. I went to an intermediate class and was pleased to find the first dance a nice, steady waltz. Trying to keep the hold certainly worked my upper arms and shoulders. Here is a look at the basic moves with ballroom master, Len Goodman. (Video care of Learn to Dance Youtube channel)

Dancing a waltz  for an hour can burn up to 200 calories. That’s enough for about 3 skinny lattes. The waltz also helps to stretch the body and improve posture. It is a great form of aerobic exercise and, done properly, needs a lot more stamina than most people think.

The next dance I attempted was the samba. This party dance certainly gets the heart pumping with its quick tempo, lively steps and bounce action. Here’s Len doing what he does best again.

The samba can burn another 200 calories an hour (if not more!) when danced properly. This can be a great cardio workout and is brilliant for toning legs and improving flexibility in the hips.

I certainly felt as if I had a good workout and lots of fun too. It is great meeting new people and getting to learn a new skill whilst improving your health.

Why not try your own local dance class? Remember, don’t be shy or embarrassed about trying something new and in a beginners’ class, everybody is in the same position.

Dancing is not just for seniors either, all ages, shapes and sizes attend classes!

Dance World offers lessons for beginners on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7pm-8pm, from as little as £5.

BBC News: ‘Confusion’ over how active we should be

Here’s an interesting article about how active an adult should be in their daily lives.

Challenge 3: Get fit and healthy

Eaten too much Christmas pudding? Can’t get that bow tie to do up comfortably? Well, it is a new year and a time for a new challenge. It may sound a little unimaginative but this month’s challenge is a not a bake or a make but a do: get fit and healthy.

It’s been said that January is the worst month to start anything, especially in the way of exercise, what with the cold dark mornings and evenings. You really wish you could hibernate don’t you?

The aim of challenge number three is to find easy and pleasant ways to get in tip-top condition this month. That will mean finding healthy, nutritious and satisfying recipes (expect lots of lovely, warming soups) and alternative ways to get that bit of exercise that your body probably needs.

So… let’s get to it!

How to tie your new ties

You’ve made your beautiful ties and bow ties from scratch and now you want to wear them. (Ideal for a New Year’s Eve party!) The question is, how do you tie a tie? Well, never fear, help is at hand thanks to some rather great videos.

Tie

The first is care of the Spanish department store, El Corte Inlgés. This video gives and easy demonstration on how to tie the most s straight-forward, standard knots.
a) the half Windsor
b) simple
c) double
d) Windsor / full Windsor
e) Oriental / School boy

Bow tie

The second is a demonstration on how to tie a bow tie. It is provided by men’s fashion blog, DYN Style Advice for Men.

Packing up your pudding

It’s Christmas Eve and I had better get wrapping if I am going to finish before Father Christmas arrives in the morning.

Luckily I have decided how to wrap my Christmas puddings. And here they are:

Pudding wrap 1

I decided to go for a traditional feel with the use of brown paper and string and thought homemade pompoms made then look a little bit more special.

When wrapping, I first covered the pudding with a double layer of baking parchment and then a layer of thick foil.

Pudding wrap 2

Then I wrapped then like a present using brown paper before tying firmly with string.

Pudding wrap 3

Merry Christmas and a happy new year from stickybcktastic.jpg