How to Barbecue or Grill Zucchini / Courgettes / Marrow

How to Barbecue or Grill Zucchini / Courgettes / Marrow



Grilling vegetables on the barbecue has become a speciality of mine! Here, in Portugal, the weather is so hot and lovely (meaning that it is not unbearably hot like it is in the Costa del Sol and many other parts of Spain) that we have a weekly barbecue.  And we always add peppers, onions, potato, aubergine, and now courgettes or marrow.  I love grilled veg more than anything else, well, except God, my church, my friends and pastel de natas.
But other than that, it's barbecued zucchini which rocks! Serve it with chicken, ribs, pasta, and a glass of wine!  


I'm such a bbq fan that you need to check out my full, comprehensive guide to barbecuing which includes loads of ideas, tricks and tips here.  Another great idea is to barbecue stuffed peppers and have barbecued bananas for dessert!


Anyway, onwards and upwards...check out my short video which shows the whole barbecuing process of the marrow:-

Ingredients

Either half a large marrow or 6 whole zucchinis 
1/4 cup Olive Oil
Generous helping of freshly ground black pepper



Method

Prepare the outdoor grill to medium to medium-low heat. 

Lop off the tops and bottoms of the zucchini and slice them into quarters, lengthwise.  For marrow, cut a whole marrow in half. If the centre feels soft, you must cut this out, not forgetting to scrape out any extra bits left (see the above video for more info on how to do this).
Place the zucchini or marrow on your barbecue.  
Drizzle olive oil over them. Sprinkle the pepper, and as an optional extra, you could add a dash of garlic salt and Italian Seasoning.
Grill the zucchini/marrow on all both sides until nice and tender, being careful not to burn them. Carefully turn them over a few times.
Remove onto a plate as it gets done. 
As an additional extra, you could drizzle a bit of balsamic vinegar over the marrow/courgettes. I personally did not as we always have homemade barbecue sauce with our barbecue so it isn't necessary. Check out my barbecue sauce recipe here.



All the best, and I hope you try this out! Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

Enjoy your week!


Love Lou X

High-Carb Recipe: Sago Pudding / Tapioca Pearl Pudding with Lemon

Going back to my Brazilian roots, I was remembering tapioca pearls (these are now more fashionably used in bubble tea), when, my Brazilian friend, Yamily Benigni came over to visit me in Portugal during the summer. We were in the Brazilian section of a Portuguese supermarket when she pointed out the tapioca pearls and said "Let's make a recipe!" Great idea! I have a wonderful lemon tree at home so it made sense to use my organic lemons in this recipe.We decided to make lemon flavour sago dessert. Tapioca pearls are small, dry, opaque balls.  When soaked and cooked, they become much larger, translucent, soft and spongy, like this:-This is one of my favorite desserts. Unfortunately You don’t see it that much anymore as most puddings are pre-made and over-sugared. This one requires careful stirring while the tapioca cooks. And you won’t find tapioca on any low-carb diets as it is pure starch, from the same plant as cassava.Yet tapioca pudding is actually really easy to make. Here is the video Yamily and I made:-


Ingredients

1 cup small pearl tapioca (you can usually find it in the baking section of the grocery store, do not use instant tapioca)
3 cups water
3 tbsps honey
2 tbsps stevia
1tbsp coconut oil
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1 lemon

For the full method, please watch the short video. Any feedback is appreciated. Check out Yamily's Portuguese weight loss blog and recipes here, and also check out her YouTube channel here. She also has a blog and Instagram account in English - if you don't speak Portuguese, follow the links here.

Let me know what you think, and please comment below. Don't forget to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

Enjoy your week!

Love Lou X



My Weight Loss Experience including Advice, Tips and Tricks

Hello everybody! 

Apologies for my extended absence! This summer 2016, I've been so busy with new projects, that I took a four month leave of absence from blogging.  However, I'm now back and refreshed! 
I have just updated and launched a new video on youtube documenting some of my shocking before and after weight loss pictures.  The video talks about how I felt before my weight loss when I was overweight, and then how different I was after losing 20 kgs (44lbs) at the age of 30.  I got focussed, worked hard, totally changed my eating habits, all in 5 months.  There isn't anything better than photographical evidence to support my story, so please view it here:-

Secondly, if you want to know more about how and why my weight loss journey began, I explain it all here:-



With regards to advice for people, I can recommend you to really start thinking about what you are eating; develop healthier eating habits and be more active.  People who are overweight, are normally so because they eat and drink more calories than they need to. I am here to help you to reduce the number of calories you consume.  This will help you to work towards losing weight at a safe and sustainable rate of 0.5kg to 1kg  (1lb to 2lbs) a week. For most men, this will mean consuming no more than 1,900kcal a day.  For most women, 1,400kcal.

Cutting Down on Calories
If you normally eat a lot more than the recommended 2,500kcal for a man and 2,000kcal for a womanyou may find it hard to cut back to my suggested calorie limit. If so, aim to reduce your calorie intake gradually over the next few weeks.  

I’ve been on all sorts of diets and have learned there’s no miracle cure, but  losing weight doesn’t need to be complicated. If you learn to keep an eye on the calories you’re eating and those you burn off during physical activity you’re halfway there. Organisation and planning are also crucial. Spend some time thinking about your meals in advance. If you know what you’re having each day you’ll spend less time thinking about food and you’re less likely to snack on impulse buys.

BMI (body mass index) is a great indicator of how overweight, obese, morbidly obese or underweight you are.  Have a look at my BMI calculator here to see what category you fall in to.    If you’re not in the 'healthy weight' range, work out how much you need in order to lose to be in the healthy range.

Ideally, you should aim for a target weight that gives you a BMI in the healthy weight section (18 to 25).

If you have lots of weight to lose, then losing enough weight to achieve a healthy BMI may seem quite daunting.  Instead, you might prefer to set an initial target weight that will improve your general health. Losing 5-10% of your current weight has been shown to have great health benefits.  Some people like to set themselves small weight loss goals to stay motivated as they start to work their way towards their overall target weight.

Here are some weight loss tips for you:-


My Top Tip # 1

It may sound obvious, but stop eating before you feel full!  I actually needed to hear this in order to be aware of how much I was overeating. It was news to me that it is okay to leave the table after a meal, and not feel completely stuffed!


My Top Tip #2
Refrain from consuming appetisers - including bread with a meal, olives and nuts.  This takes self-control and discipline, but when you do it the first time, the following instances are easier to deal with

My Top Tip # 3
Change your pallet and train your brain and transform your tastebuds into liking new, different foods and disliking the old ones.  This needs to be a lifestyle change, not just a 'diet' for a limited period of time.  It takes around 12 weeks to form a new habit, so stick to it!

My Top Tip #4
Giving yourself non-food rewards as you try to lose weight can help you stay motivated.  
You could reward yourself each time you achieve a mini-goal, which can be anything you want. For example, it could be losing 1lb or achieving 150mins of activity in a week.


Here are some examples of rewards:
bubble bath
bunch of flowers
new music for your MP3 player
new outfit
new book
coin jar – add £1 for every pound lost or create your own reward system. The growing collection of money will be a visual reminder of what you've accomplished and get you motivated to add to it
trip to the cinema
new exercise gear
pedicure
new running shoes
new hair accessories
new cosmetics
manicure
 massage
 massage
haircut
night out dancing
a healthy recipe book
professional teeth whitening
a session with a personal trainer
a day off work
a healthy cooking class
a spa day

In case you want to know more, I have explained these in more detail and devised some more tips and sound advice from my own weight loss and healthy eating journey and experiences here.  In addition to this, here is some weight maintenance advice for the holidays:-


All the best, and I hope I am an inspiration to you!  Feel free to subscribe to my youtube channel here and also please visit my Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.

Enjoy your week!

Love Lou X

Weight Loss Recipe: Slow Cooked Chicken Breasts and Vegetable Hot Pot

I wanted to share with you today a light, healthy and nutritious recipe for meal times.  This is slow cooked chicken breasts done in the crockpot (or slow cooker), together with potatoes and vegetables. People sometimes eat skinless chicken breasts when trying to lose weight because they're relatively high in protein and low in fat. Simply adding chicken breasts to what you already eat won't result in weight loss, however. To see a gradual drop in weight, you must eat chicken breasts instead of another higher-calorie food & reduce your overall caloric intake.

The main reason chicken breast can be recommended for weight loss purposes is its protein content. A 3-ounce serving of white chicken meat provides 25g of protein. This may help you increase your satiety levels so you don't eat as much later on in the day, helping you to better manage your body weight.

If you want to lose 1 pound per week, on average you'll need to cut 500 calories out of your diet each day to make up the 3,500 calories in that pound. A 3-ounce serving of roasted chicken breast contains about 170 calories. This is about 70 calories less than the same amount of roasted chicken wings. As you can see, just changing another meat for chicken breast isn't likely to be enough to lose weight quickly; you'll most likely need to make other dietary changes as well. See here for more details.





Overall, it's a good idea to try to eat mainly foods that are low in energy density when you're trying to lose weight. Energy density is the amount of calories per gram in a food. Low-energy-density foods are more filling than high-energy-density foods because you can eat more of them for fewer calories, which means you're less likely to be hungry in between meals. Fruits, vegetables and broth-based soups all contain plenty of fibre or water, which makes them lower in energy density, while fried foods, fatty meats and sweet treats tend to be high in fat or sugar, making them higher in energy density.

Please watch a short video on this high-energy-density recipe here:
Ingredients
4 x chicken breast, 8-10 new potatoes cut small, 2 sticks of celery, one carrot, 2 onions (1 red, 1 brown), 2 cloves of garlic, chicken stock, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme.

For the cooking method, please refer to the short video above.
Don't forget that when trying to lose weight, in addition to cutting calories, it's important to exercise too.  If you don't exercise in addition to cutting calories, about a quarter of the weight that you lose will come from your muscle instead of fat. To avoid this, do a mix of cardio and strength training exercises
I would love to hear what you think about this meal - you can DM me on myoutube channelmy Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.  
Stay healthy,

Love Lou X

Healthy Recipe: Clean Eating Peanut Butter Fudge - A Great Vegan Snack

I've just finished the school year here in Portugal (I'm gonna miss my students)!  To "reward" myself for my hard work over the last year, I thought I would treat myself to a rich (but vegan) and very sexy treat. It is a healthy type of peanut butter fudge so it is rich, dense, and protein and carbohydrate packed.  In fact it is so rich, you will only want to eat a small amount at a time!


It has a creamy texture which melts in your mouth.  I've made sure this is clean eating and a vegan recipe so it only contains natural ingredients and it's dairy-free. On the plus-side, it is sooo easy to make.  



Proof it's easy to make is the fact that the prep time is 5-mins and cooking time is 10-mins. However chill time is: 1-1.5 hours.


The full video, including all the ingredients, their quantities, as well as the method is here:


Ingredients:

1 cup of smooth low fat peanut butter
½ cup of coconut oil
6 tablespoons of honey
6 tablespoons of stevia 
½ of teaspoon of cinnamonextract
Pinch sea salt

Method: 

In a saucepan, add the peanut butter, coconut oil, stevia, honey, salt and cinnamon. Heat over low-medium while stirring gently.
Remove from heat, pour into an 6-by-6-inch glass square container.  
Place in freezer for one to 1.5 hours until solid but not frozen. Cut into squares and serve!




Nutrition Information per square serving:

Calories: 119
Protein: 3g
Fat: 10g
Net carbs: 6g
Fiber: 0.7g

Check out some more of my tasty vegan choccy biccy recipes here and click here for my vegan nutella recipe.



I would love to hear what you think about this vegan snack recipe - you can DM me on myoutube channelmy Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.  
Stay healthy,

Love Lou X

Healthy Lifestyle Recipes: Banana Tea as a Sleeping Aid / Natural Insomnia Cure

Hello everyone
After an extended break, I'm back with some new recipes and healthy ideas! I've been busy with my teaching job here in Portugal and so haven't had much time for my blog. However, the children are now off for the summer, so I have more free time to make videos and create new recipes. 😁

As a teacher, I've often found that there's lots of different ideas shooting through my head at night, not to mention, recalling the previous day's events. This means that sometimes, when I'm in bed, I toss and turn, unable to fall asleep. The more you worry about not sleeping, the more your mind races, and next thing you know, hours have passed. An active mind does not permit sleep.
There are many sleeping aids on the market. However, sleeping medication - such as sedative hypnotic drugs like benzodiazepines and barbiturates can be addictive and are used to treat anxiety disorders by increasing drowsiness. Barbiturates depress the central nervous system are used as anesthetics and sedatives.

If you're suffering from insomnia, you will want to avoid these.  This is where my banana tea recipe steps in. It's a quick 11-minute recipe and all you need is an organic banana and some water.
How does it work?
Bananas, including their peels, are full to the brim with potassium and magnesium. While magnesium helps prevent sleep disturbances, both magnesium and potassium work together to relax our muscles. In fact, magnesium is one of the best minerals for relaxation.
Bear in mind that this recipe calls for 100% organic bananas. Bananas that are not organic are loaded with harmful pesticides and since I encourage you to eat the boiled peel, it must be chemical-free.
Please view the below 1-minute video for the full method:-


Method to the madness
  • Start off by scrubbing and washing one organic banana. Then, cut off both ends of the banana and place it, peel and all, into boiling water.
  • Boil it for around 10 minutes.
  • Using a colander, pour the water into a mug. If you’re feeling adventurous, sprinkle the cinnamon into the tea. Drink it one hour before bed time.
Of course, don't forget you can eat the left over boiled banana! Eating the warm, gooey fruit and its peel along with the tea will increase its soothing effects… Not to mention it makes a yummy dessert!
I would love to hear what you think about this vegan tea recipe - you can DM me on myoutube channelmy Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.   

Stay healthy,


Love Lou X

Healthy Lifestyle Recipes: Low Fat Lemon Curd Recipe

Hello everyone! Check out what I made:-


There is something mesmerising about a hearty lemon curd. It is thick and creamy but a bit sweet and sour at the same time. It's consistency is so spreadable and delightful that sometimes I crave it.
I am blessed enough to have a beautiful lemon tree in my garden. It produces juicy seedless lemons all year round and it is very enthusiastic, meaning I have more lemons that I can handle! So I had to think of a way to start using up my lemons. (Of course they are organic lemons - proof is here):-



I didn't know what kind of ingredients went into lemon curd other than lemons and white sugar, so knew I had a challenge on my hands to try and create a healthier Lemon Curd recipe and to steer well clear of high calorific, fatty ingredients. 

I therefore have two separate videos on YouTube for lemon curd. One is a popular one minute recipe, and the other one is a bit longer. They are the same basic recipe but with different quantities. This is because I decided to make a "bigger batch" as I was getting through the lemon curd so quickly!

I am always making lemon curd as I just LURVE it. If you followed me on snap, you would know how often I make it.

Here is a pic of my large batch:-


I’ve been eating this healthy Lemon Curd with cheese. Also another delicious idea is to mix it through with natural unsweetened greek yoghurt. You could add a bit of museli on the top, which is a super tasty way to eat it!

Here is my one minute recipe, which renders 3 jars of lemon curd:-


Ingredients
2 cups of freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
4 eggs
1 yolk
9 tbsps of honey
9 tbsps of stevia

This is a longer video where the film starts with me in my garden with the lemon tree behind me. It renders for a smaller batch (one jar):-


Ingredients 
1cup of freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
2 eggs
1 yolk
3 tbsps of honey
3 tbsps of stevia

In order to find out the method, you need to watch one of the videos. There seems to be an urban myth that lemon curd is hard to make, but it really isn't. You just need to do a bain-marie which is as easy as ABC.

This is the pic of one of my serving suggestions:-


I would love to hear what you think about these two recipes - you can DM me on myoutube channelmy Instagram page, my facebook page, my pinterest page and my twitter account.   

Stay healthy,

Love Lou X
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