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What’s in Helen’s Cupboard?

I so so love looking through your cupboards, it is so nice to feel that you’re not alone – to see that other people make constant conscious decisions about what to keep as great cupboard stand-bys. Come and join in, show us your kitchen cupboards – share your best recommendations with us!

Next up on ‘in your cupboard’, we take a look through Helen’s cupboards. I’ve known Helen, online, for a good few years now – not only is she super talented at cakes and sugar flowers (Helen made some gorgeous sugar poppies for my daughter’s naming day cake), but she also blogs over at everydaybride. I’ll hand over to Helen now, so she can guide you through her cupboard & her recommendations for your next shopping trip!

Well, here it is! It’s a bit of a mish-mash in there to be honest. You’ll spot a large jar of Nutella – I hate it but my boys love it on toast! There’s also a selection of pasta, rice, bread sticks, chocolate chip brioche and wraps in there. With three growing sons we go through a LOT of carbohydrate based food! helen

The last few months have led me to reassess what we eat as a family. I’ve discovered a couple of new food based triggers for my asthma so there’s an added incentive to change how we eat. In an attempt to lose weight I don’t want my boys to see a mum who’s always on a diet. I’ve done Weightwatchers and Slimming World before and although they produced results, I was miserable the whole time! I want to change small things that will help me be healthier.

I still have weight to lose after having my third son last year, but currently I’m running twice and doing two karate classes a week and you can’t do that on an empty stomach! I’ve been searching for changes that fit in with that and a busy family life. I’ve struggled with anemia and asthma flare ups since Christmas and with them both finally under control it’s about making changes to help prevent them returning.

So my cupboard contains lots of herbs and spices and tins of tomatoes. I make a lot of slow cooker food. It’s my secret weapon! Casseroles, stews, curry, pasta sauce, all sorts of things. It’s great to know by 10am that dinner is organised and it prevents the last minute give up and order takeaway! Also the boys can eat as and when they’re hungry meaning I can eat with my husband when he’s home from work. I know exactly what’s in the meal and I can sneak veg in there too! I’m changing other things as well so there’s a bag of wholemeal pasta in there and the wraps are half and half ones in an attempt to get away from the ‘white’ versions. Let’s see if they notice!

This week a box of Nakd bars went in my shopping trolley after seeing them on this blog. It’s a change away from a Kitkat so hopefully they’ll be good and give me a boost! I struggle most in the day after the school run when the boys are eating everything in sight! That’s a real test of will-power.

I think my main recommendation is fizzy water! I drink a lot of it. Not the fancy stuff, just own brand but I think a lot of the time I’m thirsty and not hungry. And I cannot get away from sugar in my tea, so if I don’t drink it I don’t have the extra sugar! Oh but the lemon olive oil is good too – makes boiled new potatoes a fabulous treat with a teaspoon drizzled over them.

I’m trying small changes here. A big drink of water when I feel hungry. A step towards more wholegrain. More and more homecooked food. Sneaking veg into everything. A handful of salad with lunch. A peach instead of a biscuit. Less tea. And then a Nakd bar when I’m desperate.

I hope it works!

This is fab, Helen, thanks so much for sharing. A totally sensible approach to food and nutrition – I think that Helen has the key here – little changes, nothing too drastic, no fixed ‘diet’ as it were. So important not to pass ‘food fears’ on to little guys (and girls). Haha, I’m sure that eveyone has a jar of nutella – I can’t stick it either, but there are two other hungry mouths in my house that seem to love it – gimme marmite any day!
I also love the way that Helen is trying to use diet to help control some health issues like asthma, I think that this is really important too.

Big thumbs up on the running and karate!

What do you guys think about Helen’s cupboard? Leave a comment below, or catch me on twitter or facebook – don’t forget to go check out Helen’s blog too!

Want to join in & show us your cupboard? Drop me a contact form (on the about page), or mail me at: info@cherrypielane.co.uk and I’ll get you linked up!

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What’s in Halina’s Cupboard?

*hangs head in shame* I know, I know, this post should have been up on Tuesday, but the Fathers’ Day orders have been keeping me chained to the Cherry Pie Lane desk for most of the week!

Anywho, here we are, better late than never & this week’s post is awesome. The cupboard we are going to rummage through this week belongs to Halina, who has her own food blog at kitchenchoufleur.

I’ll hand you over to Halina to explain the contents of her cupboard and what she absolutely cannot live without:

halina

So I have included for you a photo of not just my main ingredients cupboard, but the surrounding area as well. I have too many herbs, spices, and various other ingredients/tins/crap to fit in just one easily-accessible cupboard.
I’m currently trying to lose a lot of weight for my wedding in December, so eating and cooking to a Slimming World-friendly plan is a big part of that. However, I have always cooked from fresh and enjoyed creating and exploring new recipes, hence the over-abundance of jars, pots and packets etc. My “every-day” herbs and spices are kept in the rolling spice rack you can see on the side, and the cupboard houses the more rarely-used, but also incredibly important items.
My Must-Haves include:
  • Oregano, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary, cumin, paprika, chilli powder – the basic everyday herbs & spices that go into almost everything I cook
  • FryLight – a low-fat diet unfortunately means very little oil, however this stuff is a brilliant substitute
  • Truvia – a sweetener that isn’t a disgustingly fake pot full of Evil, instead being made from a plant. Only the tiniest amount is needed to give a lovely sweet taste to any food.
  • Strong wholemeal flour – I make all my own bread, both white (for the toddler) and wholemeal. It’s SO much tastier and fills my house with that gorgeous fresh bread smell.
  • Stock cubes – the way to get anything to taste good. Anything. I promise.
  • Worcester sauce – the best way to add depth and body to any meal. Plus it’s gorgeous on cheese on toast.
My Favourites (as well as all of the above):
  • Saffron – this stuff is¬†expensive, but one little jar from the supermarket can last so, so long. I bought mine over one year ago and there is still a tiny bit left. A small pinch gives the most delicious honeyed flavour to anything, and is especially good in tagines and stews.
  • Rajah (other brands are available!) packet spices – these can be found in supermarkets the same as the tiny jars of spices, but are ridiculously cheaper for a far larger amount. I make a lot of curries, all low in fat, and these are the best thing ever for that purpose.
  • Passata – I bloody love passata. I buy these cheapie cardboard boxes of it from Aldi. They last ages, they make amazing sauces without fail, and they can be used for anything. For example, I often make a weekend breakfast of spring onions, chillies, red peppers, ham and cherry tomatoes, all finely diced and scrambled with eggs and a few tablespoons of passata. Delicious.

Looking at the above, none of it seems particularly original or like a wonder-product…it’s all just simple, honest, delicious stuff that makes simple, honest, delicious food, from scratch, to low-fat requirements. These are the basic gists of my blog, really, along with budgeting, meal-planning, and slow cooking.

Thanks so much for sharing your cupboard with us Halina – what a great stash of kitchen essentials. Massive hats off to you for making all your own bread, I LOVE that smell! I totally agree with the little cartons of passata, I get through heaps of those too! There are a few things in thsi cupboard that I’ve never tried, like Frylight & Truvia – I’ve also not tried any of the slimming world plans, but I know lots of people that have had massive success using them.

What do you guys think about Halina’s cupboard? Go and check out her blog too for loads of great recipes and ideas on budgeting your meals.

Are you in to healthy eating and or fitness? Trying to lose weight? Do you have anything hiding in your kitchen cupboards that you’d like to share? Drop me a message though the ‘about’ page or mail me at: info@cherrypielane.co.uk & I’ll get your cupboards linked up!

 

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