Jamie Oliver’s Modern Greek Salad with Feta Parcels

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I watch Jamie Oliver every Saturday morning when I’m drinking coffee and getting ready for the day. I love that he always incorporates so much color into his dishes and utilizes healthy ingredients with minimal effort. I have an obsession with Greek food, especially feta (what kind of person on this earth, doesn’t like feta…psssh…) ;-) so I had to make this recipe. I was out of olives and only had red tomatoes so as you can see above, I made my own version. If it saves you money and a trip to the store…improvise and clean up your pantry items. Recipes are like art. There’s an original, than you can get inspired by that and create your own. Jamie’s original recipe is below but have fun twisting it up!

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Ingredients:
Parcels 
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
100g feta cheese
100g baby Spinach
1 lemon
Tsp sweet smoked paprika
4 large sheets off filo pastry (froma270gpack)
Olive oil

Salad 
1 cucumber
1 small red onion
Mixed bunch of fresh coriander and mint
20g blanched almonds
1 handful of black olives (stone in)
650g mixed ripe tomatoes
1 romaine lettuce
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

To serve
Fat free natural yoghurt 
Runny honey 

Ingredients out
· Oven at 220C/425F/gas7
· Food processor (bowl blade, thick slicer & fine slicer)
· Oven proof medium frying pan, medium heat
· Medium frying pan, medium heat

Start cooking
· Drain and add the chickpeas to the processor along with the feta ,spinach, lemon zest and paprika ,then blitz until combined

Fold a large sheet of filo pastry in half, dollop ¼ of the mixture into the centre ,push your thumb into the middle to make a space for the filling to expand as it cooks, then bring the sides up and very loosely pinch into a parcel

· Repeat to make 4 parcels 

· Add to the oven proof pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and fry for a couple of minutes to crisp up the bottom, then bake in the oven until beautifully golden and crisp 

· Swap to the thick slicer in the processor 

· Scratch a fork down the length of the cucumber all the way round, then run it through the processor 

· Swap to the fine slicer and run through the peeled onion 

· Tip the veg into a bowl, season with salt, squeeze over the juice of the zested lemon and scrunch to mix 

· Finely chop and scatter over most of the top leafy half of the coriander and mint 

· Put the almonds and olives into the empty pan with 1 tablespoon of oliveoil 

· Thickly slice the tomatoes and arrange nicely on a large platter 

· Slice the lettuce 1 cm thick and add to the platter ,then sprinkle over the cucumber and onion, drizzle with the extra virgin olive oil and spoon over the contents from the pan

Jamie’s 15-Minute Meals is published by Michael Joseph, Penguin 
Recipes © Jamie Oliver 2012 jamieoliver.com

Jamie Oliver

La Pasta – quick weeknight dinner!!

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One thing The Fresh Diet taught me is that you don’t have to deprive yourself. Not a single thing wrong with indulging in pasta but…you don’t have to indulge in the whole entire box during one sitting. There are nights when I’m dying for some good, homemade pasta. I’m not wasting my calories on the low-brow stuff…do it right!  I’ve admired La Pasta quite a few times at Whole Foods and finally tried it out last week. This is not those Buitoni refrigerated pastas and sauces. No shade to Buitoni…but…you can’t compare the two! The Puttanesca that you see above was a spicy blend of fresh tomatoes, bold peppers, olives and garlic. There’s just something about buying a refrigerated sauce vs canned that makes all the difference. I recently had the worst sauce in my life (*cough* Williams Sonoma’s expensive pizza sauce, *cough* don’t do it…) so to have this…restored my faith in prepared sauces!! This was even better than my own Puttanesca. Here are the raviolis I paired it with:

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The artichoke was my favorite! The filling was generous and the outer sheets of ravioli pasta were the perfect texture. This was the next best thing to making it yourself (which I keep saying one weekens I’ll make ravioli…something always comes up). I would be proud to even serve this at a dinner party along with some ciabbatta bread, Valpolicella wine (or your fav) and gelato affogato for dessert…perfect, easy, affordable. Hmmm, I might have to do that this weekend! They have a few other sauces and pastas which I’ll be heading back to try.

La Pasta

Noya All Natural Lip Glosses

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I don’t remember the last time I left the house without lip gloss. Working off no sleep, lip gloss & mascara can help to make you look polished! However, I’m educating myself more about all of the nasty junk they put into it and became totally grossed out!  The ammount of chemicals in most glosses is very disturbing. Noyah lip glosses are all-natural and contain coconut oil, cocoa butter and Vitamin E. I was really surprised about the rich pigments. They’ve come a long way in natural cosmetics since I first tried some other natural brands years ago!

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They have a glassy, rich shine and I can feel safe giving my baby kisses!! Knowing that my lips aren’t loaded with 30 harsh chemicals…just 4-6 naturally occuring ingredients.

All Natural Lip Gloss

Daily Green Smoothie loaded with vitamins & antioxidants!

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1/2C frozen mango
1/2C frozen strawberries
1/2C frozen blueberries
Generous handful of greens (I’m loving the power greens blend above: spinach, mizuna, chard & kale…also awesome in omelettes too if you have the time. Found it at Whole Foods)
Splash, OJ or even water if you want to cut down the sugar level. I add a splash to help my mixer out with blending.

MAKE IT:
Blend to your desired consistency. It’s filling and easy when you’re rushing in the morning.

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Before I run out the door, I also throw some berries and mint leaves into a ziplock bag. I add this to water at work and it forces me to remember to drink it throughout the day…and enjoy it!

IT Cosmetics Celebration Foundation & Bye Bye Undereye Concealer Review

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IT or “Innovative Technology” Cosmetics was founded by former news anchor, Jamie Kern. Jamie works with plastic surgeons to use products that incorporate the latest ingredients that deliver results. I’ve been using MAC Mineralize for the past 8 years but I swear since they came out with new packaging, they changed the formula too. The same color I’ve used forever (medium plus) looks orange and so matte that it cakes. Time for a change! I heard about IT Celebration Foundation from Ulta and saw the rave online reviews for Bye Bye Undereye Concealer online. When I read makeup reviews online, I always wish for less talking more showcasing the colors so I’ll cut right to the details:

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When this arrived in the mail, I had gotten 4 hours of sleep. My skin was paying for it: dark circles, uneven skintone, washed out and exhausted. The medium concealer looks very peach toned at first glance, but it doesn’t look like that at all on your skin. I used it under my eyes (in the triangle shape). The texture is smooth & moisturizing but not oily. It is full coverage on those annoying dark circles. The Celebration Foundation is a perfect color match for daily wear. You can see in the picture above, it’s definitely not orange! The real reason I wanted to try it out is bc there us no talc, no parabens, no mineral oil…aka nothing that will make me breakout. It’s packed with vitamins, antioxidants, grapeseed oil and collagen.

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And…this is what it looks like with no filter (I hate when people say that, but this is it with just a flash). It’s natural looking and blurs imperfections. Excuse the grouchy woman next to me…real grumpy. Thanks to this, I can pretend I had 8 hours of sleep!

;-)
http://www.itcosmetics.com

Quick, healthy summer recipe – Greek Chicken Burgers & Roasted Eggplant with Balsamic Glaze

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I’m so bad at posting recipes, I cook almost every night but never measure so I slack on typing it all out. Here’s an easy, affordable healthy dinner! One that I make often!
You’ll Need:
Package, ground chicken
Mix of fresh herbs: dill, parsley, mint, oregano rough chopped
Feta cheese, about 1/4C bc I love it
1/4C panko bread crumbs
Fresh ground pepper
1T red pepper flakes
*Combine all the ingredients, shape into burgers and grill outside or in a grill pan. Garnish w/ heirloom tomatoes, spinach, red onion.

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For the side dish, I roasted in the oven and sliced a large eggplant. I drizzled it with a very generous ammount of Trader Joe’s balsamic glaze. Yum yum!!

I did my own DIY Balayage Highlights – and didn’t mess it up!

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I really wanted to get highlights this summer but…I didn’t want them bad enough to spend 3hrs after work or precious hours on the weekend away from my mini. I’ve done my own highlights before tons of times. I’ve used the Feria kits, blue bleach, everything you can imagine. It’s come out red, yellow, orange and I always end up having to get a color correction at the salon or buy stuff to tone it. I end up spending more money and time – defeating the whole point of doing it yourself. I found a kit for $40 that contains salon quality ingredients (Kelly Van Gogh) and decided to give it a whirl. It includes the mix, a balayage wand/pro salon tools. It took me about 1 hour to place the highlights since I wanted to be accurate and not end up with random, thick sections. I did it after work while the baby slept so it was very comvenient. I let it sit for 35 minutes. The solution was clear so I could see when my hair was ready. There was only one part that came out orange-ish but that was my fault for not making the highlight thin enough…I used some toner and the problem was gone in 10 mins. I’m really surprised at how natural it looks, I’m sure it looks even better on blonde lighter hair but mine was a deep, medium brown beforehand. It was kinda drying so I used a good conditioner afterwards. Overall, it was much much better than wasting limited time at a salon.

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Lighter hair in the comfort of my own home!

Salon Quality Home Highlighting Kit