5 Minute Chocolate Pudding In A Jar - Healthy, Dairy and Gluten Free

Thursday, 5 March 2015

I'm glad I didn't give up chocolate for Lent. While a KitKat is hardly brimming with health benefits raw chocolate is a superfood and is full of magnesium, calcium and contains no sugar or artificial nasties. I've been experimenting with making my own chocolate-y creations which are easy, healthy and, most importantly, super tasty. I'm a big fan of dark chocolate and raw chocolate has a similar taste - it's rich and slightly bitter and won't leave you with a sugar crash a few hours later.

These chocolate pudding pots are so easy to make and can be whipped up in less than five minutes - they are free from refined sugar and high in protein and are served in a jar which is how all the kids on Pinterest seem to serve all food items these days.

Gluten free chocolate microwave pudding

Gluten free chocolate microwave pudding

Gluten free chocolate microwave pudding

This recipe makes one serving so there are no tempting leftovers (I use a set of American cups for measurements but there's no need to be super precise with this):

Coconut oil - half a teaspoon
Cacao - two (generously) heaped teaspoons
Maca* - half a teaspoon
Sweet Freedom** - one teaspoon
Almond milk - one tablespoon
Egg whites - one tablespoon (I use Two Chicks which I talk about here)

In a jar or mug (I used a jar of coconut oil which had a tiny amount left) combine the coconut oil, sweetener of choice, cacao powder, maca powder and almond milk. Microwave for 20 seconds so that it's easier to combine everything and mix really well - it should look like melted chocolate. Add the egg whites and mix again. Make sure that there is a good inch of spare jar for the mixture to rise. Pop in the microwave for 40 seconds (keep an eye on it depending on how powerful your microwave is) - when the pudding has risen fully give it another 10 second blast and you're done! Leave to cool for a minute or so and dig in (mini spoon = maximum enjoyment)!

*Optional - maca is a Peruvian powder which helps with energy levels, it has a malty taste and I love putting it in porridge, smoothies and healthy desserts.
**Or agave, maple syrup or honey - any natural sweetener will work. I like Sweet Freedom which is made from fruit sugars and is sold in Waitrose - it's very sweet so a little goes a long way.
Have you tried raw chocolate?

Workwear v Wednesday Adams (Again)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Continuing my Wednesday Adams themed work wear today. I promise I have been wearing more colour at the weekends but I'm actually enjoying wearing all back - blame the continuing bad weather or just that it isn't Friday.

ASOS lace collar dress
ASOS lace collar dress

This lace collar dress is an ASOS find, it's actually in the sale now! It's a super fine knit so perfect for the office and the lace collar keeps it just cute enough. Oh, and I have it in navy, too. Soon my entire wardrobe is going to be duplicates...

Do you repeat buy favourites?

February Round-Up

Sunday, 1 March 2015

The shortest month of 2015 is over. Hopefully we are all sticking to our Lent promises - I have given up Diet Coke and ASOS for the benefit of my tooth enamel and bank account - hopefully both are do-able...

This month has sped by - having the marathon in the diary (and firmly etched onto my brain) for 26th April seems to be making the weeks skip past - the weekend seems to come around faster somehow when "3 HOUR RUN" is written in the diary for a Saturday morning. I've also been running errands like it's my job - while the weekends come around faster, they also seem far longer when Saturday night doesn't pass in a blur of G&Ts, Uber rides and "I was sending drunk Whatsapps at 4am?! Why was I awake at 4am?". I'm not trying to sound smug and part of me really does miss the spontaneity that is somehow killed off by the thought of running 15 miles on a freezing weekend morning while everyone else sleeps off their hangovers but for once I'm up-to-date on life admin, sleep and am enjoying the (almost) absence of food guilt over a slice of cake.

My February looked like this:

1. I lunched at Dishoom twice and it was the perfect warmer-upper.

2.Dinner at Pide was a foodie highlight.

3. I've been pretty restrained on the shopping front this year but couldn't resist these shoes in the Dorothy Perkins sale - after a long run on a Sunday, 5 inch heels on a Monday are less appealing.

4. I had a manicure without leaving my flat after winning Emma's Glosspod competition.

5. Afternoon tea at The Wallace Collection - cultural cake eating.

6. Pancake day over Valentine's day - I made these and shared the recipe.

7. While I love running it is rather solitary so shaking things up is a must in order to stay "exercise sane" - Boom Cycle is so much fun.

8. Escaping my desk for a weekday lunch at The Anthologist. 

9. Learning a new skill at Quill (and eating cake while doing so).

1. Enjoying the John Lewis life with free coffee and cake (does anyone else feel like a bit of an idiot ordering an Americano with soya milk on the side at the same time as an omg mega chocolate calorie bomb cake?).

2. Tonkotsu has been on my list for so long and now there's one in the Selfridges food hall. I had the chili chicken ramen but, really, it's all about that egg yolk.

3. Leon for breakfast - a smoked salmon and avocado pot while I try to learn the Korean alphabet (because 1. I'm going to Korea in September and 2. My brain needs some exercise - salmon is meant to be brain food after all).

4. Giant jelly babies at The Halcyon Gallery (no, they are not edible).

5. One of my favourite places to spend an afternoon is The Wellcome Collection - the Institute of Sexology exhibition was enlightening. My inner science geek always feels so satisfied after an afternoon here and the cafe is great, too.

6. There's a ceiling-height bookshelf of diet books in The Wellcome Collection's permanent exhibition - here are some of the gems that I won't be trying...

7. Continuing the science-y theme, I popped into Bart's Pathology Museum for the Regrets exhibition - a small but oddly beautiful museum that should definitely be open more often.

8. This Zizzi salad resulted in no pizza food envy - so good.

9. The Science Museums lates are always so much fun - this month's was on sexuality (sensing a theme here) and featured fun and games (it's over 18s only) as well as the science behind sex addiction and monogamy.

How was your February?

Modern Calligraphy at Quill London

Friday, 27 February 2015

One of my 2015 resolutions was to take up a hobby. Easier said than done when you work long hours and are training for a marathon so when Sarah came across Quill London's modern calligraphy classes we signed ourselves up for an afternoon of learning a new skill.

The class was held in the Blacksmith and Toffeemaker pub near Angel - a bright and airy space set up for an afternoon of quill work. All of the equipment is provided along with coffee and cake to fuel the creativity. Our teach was Chiara from Lamplighter London who taught us how to get started with the basics and build up to flowing phrases - making it look oh-so-easy!

The three hours flew by and by the end of the class everyone was a lot more confident with their quills - some people definitely seemed to be naturals at creating beautiful flowing script but, like everything in life, practice really does make perfect and I think everyone could master this in time. We left with ink and quills ready to keep up our new found skills!

Quill London Mordern Calligraphy Workshop

Quill London Mordern Calligraphy Workshop

Quill London Mordern Calligraphy Workshop

Quill London Mordern Calligraphy Workshop

Quill London Mordern Calligraphy WorkshopQuill London Mordern Calligraphy Workshop

Quill London Mordern Calligraphy Workshop

Quill London Mordern Calligraphy Workshop

Quill London Mordern Calligraphy Workshop

Have you tried anything new in 2015?

Working It - Boom Cycle

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

On my mission of trying out different gym classes, last week I headed to my first Boom Cycle class - I actually went to two because I loved the first one so much! Boom is not super new on the London fitness scene but it's a still a new concept for us Brits - a dedicated "spin gym" with classes throughout the day modeled on the likes of NYC's Soulcycle.

Boom is not your usual spin class - the music is super loud and the room super dark, it really does feel like a disco on bikes. Boom devotes skip around in bright leggings and cropped tops and the vibe is cool but super friendly - the classes I went to both seemed to be a mix of regulars and newbies. I attended a Thursday evening class at Holborn and a Sunday morning class at Shoreditch. Both were so much fun, the time just flew by with the music and motivation of the instructors- especially impressive considering that Sunday's class was 75 minutes long (yes, I was super sweaty afterwards)!

Boom offers complimentary towels and Ren products in the showers as well as GHDs for post-spin styling. The studios are simply styled but bright and full of cute touches like a jar of free hairbands and motivational quotes on chalkboards. The Holborn branch has a cafe which sells post-workout shakes and there are themed nights including "Girls Night Spin" which sounds like a far better way to spend a Friday night than queuing for over-priced drinks along with everyone else in London as well as dedicated hip hop and R&B sessions.

Booking is all done online - Boom is not cheap but there's a beginner offer of 3 classes for £20 and a package would be perfect for a birthday or Christmas gift. Both of the classes I went to were super intense workouts so I think it's worth it (some gym memberships in London are £100 per month and half the people probably don't even go). If you need any more motivation, Bangs is one of the instructors and despite seeing how sweaty the people leaving her class were I still want to go to one soon!

Party Like It's 1979

Monday, 23 February 2015

Last weekend I had a little house-warming for my very little house. I can't really have a "party" because my entire flat is basically one room and my neighbours are allergic to noise (and I have spent quite a bit on decorating and live in fear of spilled drinks) so an indoor Sunday picnic was in order. My flat was built in the 1970s and I've kept the theme up with my decor, so obviously the party had a 1970s spin too:

1970s party food
1970s cutlery.
1970s party food
Floor picnic because I don't have a table.
1970s party food
Cheese and pineapple on coloured cocktail sticks. Why did this ever go away - it's so good (and possible to make in the tiniest of kitchens).
1970s party food
All the retro sweet things I could find.
1970s party food
Angel Delight and mandarin orange segments.
Just add chit-chat and lots of (not very 1970s) Diet Coke. Having friends round almost makes me feel like a real "welcome to my crib" grown-up, even if we're sitting on the floor eating off of paper plates!

Review: Lunch at Dishoom

Friday, 20 February 2015

What better to warm up on a cold day than some Indian comfort food? I first visited Dishoom a couple of summers ago and loved the Indian-Persian style food. Two Sunday's in a row were spend having lunch at the Kings Cross branch for Sophie's birthday and the Shoreditch branch with my parents. You can read about breakfast at the Shoreditch Dishoom here.

Dishoom review
The menu is based on sharing dishes (shock horror for fussy only child here).
Dishoom review
Sarah and I shared the Dishoom calamari which was perfectly crisp.
Dishoom review
Elodie, Hannah and Sophie ordered some sharing dishes.
Dishoom review
I had the Rajma-Chawal - a vegetarian curry served over rice. This definitely warmed me up - I was still feeling cold after a morning run along the Thames, brr!
The Kings Cross branch is enormous - the decor is really nice, it looks authentically Indian without looking like a traditional Indian restaurant. The loos are definitely worth a visit and our waiter was super friendly and went to great lengths answering my questions about whether certain dishes contained onion (I said I was fussy...).

Visit two and my parent's and I opted for our own dishes rather than sharing (they are not only children so maybe it's just a family trait not to share food?). We did share the calamari and okra fries though! Again, our waiter was really helpful in suggesting which dishes to order - I love it when servers actually know about the food they are serving. We had a 2pm booking and the restaurant was packed the entire time we were there - they do take bookings and I'd definitely recommend making one on the weekend.

Dishoom review
Okra fries - can I count these towards my 5-a-day?
Dishoom review
Mummy Lipstick had the Dishoom Chicken Tikka.
Dishoom review
Daddy Lipstick had Chicken Ruby and a side of rice.
Dishoom review
I had the Paneer Roll which was so good - not too spicy and super filling.
We skipped dessert in favour of a wander around Shoreditch while it was still light. My parents loved the old buildings and street art but were slightly bemused that people were going into Cargo at 5pm (and that they were they being searched on entry - oh, London!).

Have you been to Dishoom? 

Square Meal