Butter Bean Soup

After a bit of a long day and the kids going to bed later than normal, quite frankly dinner needed to be quick tonight!

I found this really easy recipe for a White Bean soup that is ready in under 30 minutes. Sold! Whilst I didn’t have all of the elements to hand, I was able to produce a similar version, with great results!

I finely chopped up 1 large Desiree potato (with skin still on) and chucked them into a Saucepan. Next, I added 4 chopped up Cauliflower florets, 2 chopped up carrots, a diced celery stick and 2 finely diced cloves of garlic. I added enough water to cover the ingredients.

I then threw in a chicken stock cube, some frozen parsley and a good handful of thyme!

Next, I added a good smattering of Paprika (going off Piste here, I’m a bit of a rebel like that..!) and half of a hot red chilli. I also added a dollop of Tomato purée. Oops!



After the soup had been cooking away for 20 minutes, I then added the Butter Beans (shop bought, tinned). At 30 minutes I turned off the hob.

What a lovely, easy, fragrant and fresh dish. This really fulfilled the tummy and was ever so simple & healthy.

Loads left for tomorrow’s lunch as well. Bonus! Give it a try and let me know your thoughts 😋

Goulash & Broccoli Rice

Last night, quite by accident, I cooked the tastiest of dinners! It went down with a massive bang and was just so simple to make! Made with Pork Sausages and Chorizo, this is a dinner worth trying out. I served it with Broccoli Rice…how has this never been in my life until now?!



I chopped 6 sausages into chunks and browned them off in a frying pan (I didn’t use any oil). Whilst the sausages were gently sizzling away I chopped up an onion, 2 cloves of garlic, some green pepper and some fresh basil leaves. I chucked all of these into the pan with the sausages and added a large splash of red wine vinegar (gotta love this stuff!). After a few minutes I added a tin of chopped tomatoes and a very generous sprinkling of Paprika and mixed herbs. With everything bubbling away and fragrances to die for wafting around the kitchen, I then added some chopped up Chirizo. I slung in more Basil leaves & seasoning just for good measure!

I boiled some shop bought (next time I’ll just make it) Broccoli Rice and plated up!!! This was truly tasty and whilst not a traditional Goulash, a very good alternative with what I already had in the fridge! Give it a go…check out the recipe card & let me know what you think 🙂

My truth about Yoga

Here’s the thing. I first did yoga back in 2001. I was 22, overweight and totally inflexible ( I still struggle to touch my toes now). I spent the whole class berating myself for not being able to hold the poses, for not being flexible enough, for what I’d not done at work that day. You name it, I was blaming myself for it that day. After what seemed like an hour of torture, the class finally ended and I left thinking about what a yoga failure I was. And that was it. For 10 years I thought my yoga days were numbered.

And then I got pregnant. 10 years later, and I found myself wandering in to a yoga studio full of other slightly nervous expectant mums (lots of us first-time and completely and blissful unaware about what was going to unfold over the coming months and beyond). My yoga teacher was a Doula (private midwife) and she eased us gently into the world of prenatal yoga. I have to say, my favourite part at this point was the Shivasna or final rest at the end of the class – basically an excuse to lie still, in the dark for a few minutes. (Still always a class highlight)

I did yoga until right up until my first little bundle of joy came screaming into the world, and screamed all the way until he reached a year old. That saw the end of my yoga for a while. During my subsequent pregnancies, pre-natal yoga seemed a bit of a fantasy as my over-worked hubby balked at the idea of coming home to me bolting from the door with my yoga mat tucked under my arm.

What seemed like a million years after my third (and final) baby was born (in actuality, probably about 7 months), I finally decided that I needed some me time – I needed to do something about my car-crash of a body, and my tired and addled baby-brain desperately needed some quiet time and reflection. Enter postnatal yoga…

The first session was actually a disaster. I failed spectacularly to be able to hold any kind of plank position, and on further inspection was told by the teacher that I had diastasis recti (other known as a bloody-great big gap between my stomach muscles) which could fit around three fingers in. I left feeling a bit dejected and berating myself for letting myself get into such a state. Great start.

The thing was, on reflection I actually quite enjoyed myself. I was surrounded by a group of like-minded mums who showed patience and kindness when I was struggling to keep up, and who showed me how to get into position (despite not being able to hold it). And Pippa, my lovely yoga teacher telling me to go with my body, and do what felt right (and not what looked great, or worrying about whatever anyone else was doing). Being present, and clear about what I could achieve. Aspiration to what I’d like to achieve (being able to hold plank position for starters). Acceptance from a group of like-minded people.

The other pretty life-changing thing for me was taking time to meditate. Taking time to reflect on what was important, and letting go of things which were weighing me down. Growing my self-belief and sense of worth. Showing myself that I can achieve things with my body that I never thought I could. I felt like this was a real turning point in my fitness journey, and also in my life. Growing self-belief, learning to let go of things and taking time to evaluate what was really important to me. Pretty powerful learnings.

I’m not sure I ever told these people how much they did for me, so thank you. If you’re reading this, thank you. Thanks for starting my journey back to fitness, back to self-belief and back to finding myself again. It really has meant the world to me. Namaste. X

Want to get in to Yoga, but don’t know where to start? My tops tips for finding the right yoga class for you are:

Take time to find the right style class for you – try a few until you find once which feels right. There are so many approaches and styles of teaching – it’s not one-size fits all.

  • DON’T compare yourself to everyone else. Go with an open mind, set your intentions for the class and enjoy yourself. Don’t give yourself a hard time if you struggle with a pose – go home and work on it!
  • Try and practice yoga at home. There’s a fab YouTube Channel from Adriene Mishler aka @yogawithadriene with an enormous selection of yoga to try at home (no equipment needed other than a mat!) https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene
  • If you want to improve flexibility, strength and technique you have to work at it – you won’t improve by practicing just once a week so stick with it if you want to see results!
  • Try and find someone to go with – it’s much less daunting than going alone, and you can motivate each other to keep going regularly.
  • Get some clothes you feel comfortable in but make sure it’s not too baggy – loose fitting tshirts can be a pain when you’re doing downward facing dog or inversions (basically anything upside down!)

The Mighty (but Mini) Meatballs


With the children back at school yesterday, it was time to piece the house back together bit by bit and get reorganised. I sort of achieved this and at around 2pm realised it was just too nice to go straight home from school, a trip to the park was definitely a must! Therefore, it was time to knock something up quickly for their tea, that I could reheat at dinner time.

The Mighty (Mini) Meatball!!! Shop bought, I defrosted them in the microwave and prepped my Tomato Sauce.

Placing 400g Tin of chopped Tomatoes into a saucepan, I added a good sprinkling of dried Basil and Oregano. I thinly sliced a small clove of Garlic and added this to the sauce along with a splash of Red Wine Vinegar. The smells!! I then left this to simmer away, whilst I browned off the Meatballs. Where possible, I like to buy 5% Fat Mince and I find that if I keep the heat low then I don’t need to add any oil. I do like to try to keep things as unprocessed and healthy as possible. Although, this isn’t always practical!

Once the Meatballs had been sealed, I then added them to the Tomato Sauce. To finish off, I added a generous handful of frozen Peas and some fresh Basil. I then added a healthy twist of Pepper.

I placed a lid on the pan, and left to simmer for 20 minutes on a low heat. What I love about this meal, other than the pure simplicity of it, is that it can be set aside and reheated when required!!!

Trip to the park a success, I cooked some Basmati Rice and Garlic bread and served with the reheated Meatballs. This dinner got a thumbs up from my two, that’s for sure!

*Recipe Card coming soon*

Tahlia’s running journal PART ONE: How I got into this running malarkey

SO, I’ve decided to document my running journey from here on in, to help motivate myself and hopefully you to get your trainers on and get running!

Here’s my back story. I was always a sporty child, running cross country, trampolining, playing Hockey and Tennis and Squash, and I absolutely loved athletics! It was all good on my fitness journey until I reached the age of 18 and found booze, boys and clubbing, and at university things went down hill…

At the age of 27, I finally realised that my fitness was something that I needed to take more seriously and I joined a gym with my mum. I managed to loose three stone at that point, but always weighed a bit more than I’d liked to because of my love of food and wine. Since then, I’ve always hovered about a stone above my ideal weight, but that’s fluctuated quite a lot in between having my three children.

In 2015, I saw post on Facebook from someone looking to get a team together for Dirty Dozen, a muddy assault course to help raise money for a little girl with Neuroblastoma, and so I replied. At that point, it was too late to change my mind. I was accountable to my team, and so there was only one thing for it. I got my running shoes on.

Some days it was painful, some days it felt plain impossible, but the April deadline of the race kept me focused, and I got my shoes on again, and again, and again and built my runs from 2 to 10k over a course of three months. Looking back, I can’t say I found these runs particularly enjoyable, but I felt a sense of achievement that I could run over a distance.

Race Day came, and I felt sick.

You know that awful sinking feeling, the feeling of dread and disbelief and “What on earth was I thinking, I’ll never do this.” My family and friends come to cheer us on, and the reality of what I’d signed up for finally kicked in. I should probably mention at this point that high obstacles really aren’t my thing. I hate heights. I’m terrified. Getting me up a ladder? No chance. So looking at these huge obstacles to climb and navigate was a really daunting prospect. My team (particularly my gorgeous little sister) guided me up and down the obstacles with care and patience and we did it. We all finished the obstacle race together – muddy, aching but elated to have done it (and from what I remember, we had raised over £800 for the Neuroblastoma charity too).

Later on that evening, when I was sitting in the bath looking at my bruised and battered legs a real sense of pride and achievement came over me. Maybe I was good for something after all. Maybe I was braver than I thought. Maybe, just maybe I was more than ‘just a mum’. This might sound a bit of a cliche, but it was a real turning point for me and I’ve never looked back.

After that day, I felt determined to become fitter, stronger and to set an example for my children to lead fit and active lives. I joined a post-natal yoga class and learned that my body needed some serious work to put it back together after my three babies – my diastasis (the gap between my stomach muscles) was three fingers wide. Lots of yoga (and two years later) this went back to a more normal state. I was able to plank for one minute (to start with I could’t even hold the position) and the persistent back aches and pains I’d had since my 20s seemed to go away. Pippa, my yoga teacher was amazing – she taught me so much about my body and also my mind. How to relax, to let go of things in my daily life which were causing me stress or upset, and because of Pippa I feel I’m a much more calm and balanced person than I’d been before. I’m able to deal with things much better too. Thanks Pippa for all you did to help put me back together both physically and mentally.

Anyway, I’ll fill you in on what happened next in another instalment – I think that’s probably enough of my fitness story for now. Next time we’ll talk about Bootcamp and running my first half marathon! See you soon, Tahlia x

Tantalising Tagine

This evenings menu is this tasty Vegetarian Tagine. This is unbelievably delicious, with fragrances to die for.

Ingredients:

Half of a Butternut Squash, cut into large chunks

1 Large Onion, thinly sliced

4 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped

1 Carrot, peeled and cut into chunks

Handful of dried Apricots

1 tsp Cinnamon

2 tsp Coriander

1 tsp Cumin

1 tsp Paprika

400g Tinned Tomatoes

200ml Water

Cous Cous to serve

Start by preheating the oven to 180.C and then gently fry the vegetables and garlic together in 2 tbsp of oil for about 10 minutes.

Transfer into a Tagine Pot (or stewing dish) and add the spices, Tomatoes and Apricots. Mix in 200ml of Water and season to taste. Place in the oven for 2 hours, stirring occasionally and topping up with small amounts of water if required.

When the Vegetables are tender and the sauce is thick, take out of the oven. Cook some Cous Cous and serve. Enjoy

Luscious Lamb

Friday night…it’s Friday night! We have all survived the week with good grace 💕

After waving my eldest off to a sleepover and reassuring my youngest that our home will be complete tomorrow when the eldest returns, it’s time to think of food!

The kids had Pizza (see previous recipe minus the love heart template!), us adults decided on Lamb.

I dug out some Cranberry sauce from the Freezer (made at Christmas), tarted it up with garlic, Rosemary and Red Wine Vinegar. We made some mash and added a scoop of English Mustard. Seasoned the lamb steaks well and cooked them in butter for 12 minutes on a medium heat. We served it with some Nero English Kale. Nom nom!

The picture doesn’t do this dish justice. Seriously, 20 minutes from fridge to plating up. No frills. No fuss. Maximum taste 👍🏻

Recipe card will be available soon.

Fairy Cake Delights 💕

So, we’re hoping that you’ve gathered by now we are definitely not Gourmet Chefs or that we’re trying to give Mary Berry a run for her money…just two Mums, keeping it real!

Day 4 of the school holiday, and definitely trying to keep boredom at bay. Here is the outcome of our baking session…full on fun, no adults allowed to interfere (apart from help with measuring and using the oven!!). What a good job they did, and they really did taste delicious 👍🏻

*Recipe card coming soon*

Mini Burgers

Keeping with the holiday theme of fun, fun, fun…it’s now time for little ones to help their Mum!

We rounded off the day with making these cute & tasty mini burgers. Really easy for little hands to make, with plenty of mince left over for us adults to add more seasoning & spice a bit later!

Ingredients:

500g 5% Fat Mince

1 Egg

1 Small onion (finely diced & gently fried – leave to completely cool)

Shop bought Mini burger buns

Method:

Preheat oven to 180•c

Put the Mince, Egg & Onions into a bowl and use clean hands to squelch.

Next, form into little patty shapes and place onto a baking tray (I like to also use baking paper, as I oven cooked these).

Put the burgers into a preheated oven and cook for 15-20 minutes (until cooked through). Plate up and enjoy!

Another seriously simple, interactive family meal time 🙂