What’s been happening

It has been a while since I’ve written any blog posts. I don’t know about you guys, but these last few months during the pandemic has not been easy to deal with and I sort of lost my mojo when it comes to putting recipes together for the blog and the YouTube channel too. I have lots of content ideas but actually getting it out there has been a struggle but I am hoping to get myself back on track with it soon.

One thing that has not been a struggle for me has been my fitness journey. I have been consistent with running and even signed up with a virtual coach to help me improve my running! I am not going to lie, the sessions set by the coach are tough but having a coach has helped me with being more accountable which is something I struggled with in the past. It is great having someone write up a week’s plan and all I got to do is follow it! It is still early days with the coach so I am not sure how much I have improved yet, but keep an eye out for an update on that.

This month I took part in a virtual half marathon set by Great North Run to raise money for The British Lung Foundation and I actually really enjoyed that run. It got me thinking that I should attempt to run the distance of 13.1 miles more often, possibly once every month or 6 weeks. I am a slow runner, it took me 2h 35mins to run the half marathon and I would love to run it under 2h 30mins at some point, so I guess I need to run more to improve on my time? As long as I keep my plantar fasciitis in check, it should be doable.

Also this month, I took part in my first ever trail run! There was an introduction to trail running session over at Wendover for Global Trail Running Day so it was a perfect way for me to experience that. I picked up some hints and tips on how to run trails and the different terrains and also got a lot of info about choosing the right footwear, nutrition, etc. It was a great session designed to encourage more women from ethnic minorities to take part in trail running. Running is a very much white orientated sport, and trail running even more so, so it was good to take part in the session to learn more. I really enjoyed running trails so much so that I signed up for my first trail race in February! That is still quite a long time away but I am hoping to get out there and run more trails before then. I just need to work on my confidence in running trails on my own and conquer my fear of getting lost in a forest somewhere! Only recently I have conquered the fear of running solo along the canals so I am confident that I can also conquer solo trail running.

Trail Running

Trail Running

So this is pretty much what’s been going on and I thought I’d update those of you that are interested in knowing what’s going on. If you are on social media, do follow me on Instagram @Rahema_m where I am more active on there or even my Facebook page Rahema.

Hope to be bringing you some more content soon. Take care lovelies x

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The kids and I just love these cookies – soft and chewy oozing with chocolate. I always use dark chocolate but you can use a mix of dark and milk or just milk chocolate if you prefer. Hope you enjoy these as much as we do.

Ingredients

  • 225g butter, softened
  • 350g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2.5 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g chocolate, chopped

Method

Pre heat oven to 160c.

Cream butter and sugar together till light and creamy.

Add eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl to ensure that they are mixed in well. Add the vanilla.

Slowly add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and mix till it is well combined.

Add the chopped chocolate and evenly distribute to the cookie dough.

Spoon a spoonful of cookie dough onto a non stick baking sheet, leaving some space between the cookies and bake for 10 minutes. The cookies will still be soft when you remove them from the oven, let it cool on the baking sheet for a further 10 minutes before cooling completely on a cooling rack.

Ginger Cookies

This is a recipe I found in a supermarket magazine years ago and saved it as it is one of our favourite, slightly crunchy and gingery cookies. For an extra indulging treat, we like to drizzle some dark chocolate over them.

Ginger Cookies

Ginger Cookies

Ingredients

  • 225g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 125g butter, chilled, cut into cubes
  • 100g soft dark brown sugar
  • 100g golden syrup
  • 100g dark chocolate (optional)

Method

Pre heat the oven to 160c.

Sift the flour and spices together.

Add the cubed butter and combine (by hand) into the flour to resemble breadcrumbs.

Add the sugar, followed by the golden syrup. Mix by hand to form a dough.

Make small balls with the dough and put them on a baking sheet, pressing them down slightly. Leave some space between the cookies and they will expand as they cook.

Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Once baked, allow them to cool on the baking sheet for a further 10 minutes before moving them onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Optional – melt the chocolate in the microwave. Fill a piping bag with the melted chocolate and drizzled over the cooled, cooked cookies.

Easy Biscuits

You can’t get easier to make biscuits than these! A Mary Berry recipe that always goes down a treat with the kids. You can keep the biscuits as they are or if you prefer, you can add some sprinkles on the top before baking, or dip the biscuits in some melted chocolate once they are cooked. The recipe makes 12 biscuits.

Ingredients

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 50g caster sugar
  • 150g self raising flour

Method

Preheat the oven to 160c. Put some baking paper onto a baking tray.

Beat the butter and sugar together till light and creamy.

Add the flour and bring the mix together with hands to form a dough.

Form 12 small balls. Use the back of a fork to slightly flatten the biscuits and give it a nice shape.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Easy Biscuits

Easy Biscuits

Overnight Weetabix

This is one recipe I get asked about a lot for some reason, so I have finally done a video showing you how I make mine. You can replace the Weetabix with oats if you prefer (40g porridge oats is a healthy extra B choice) but I personally do not like overnight oats, hence why I make with Weetabix instead and I almost always have chocolate Weetabix!

You can make this syn free by using a natural fat free yogurt and counting the Weetabix as your healthy extra B choice. You can add some vanilla flavouring to your yogurt to add a bit of sweetness and flavour, I only like eating Alpro yogurts so always have to syn mine. The one featured in the video is 1 syn for 200ml which is not bad at all.

This yogurt can also be eaten straight away after it is made, so if you are not as organised as I am most of the time, I eat this as soon as I make it and tastes great too.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple, chopped
  • Cinnamon powder
  • 200ml Alpro mango yogurt
  • 1 Chocolate Weetabix, crushed

Method

Chop the apple and sprinkle some cinnamon on it.

Crush the Weetabix.

Layer a mason jar with some yogurt, followed by the yogurt and the apple. Continue doing this till you’ve used up the Weetabix.

Place in the fridge till you are ready to eat.

Rajma Curry

Serves: 4

Syns: FREE

Time Taken: 30 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 1 cal spray oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tbsp ginger & garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp curry powder/bassar
  • 1/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tins red kidney beans, drained
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Method

Spray a pan with 1cal spray oil.

Fry onions with the salt till lightly golden. Add cumin seeds and fenugreek. Add water to the pan if the onions start to stick to the pan.

Add the ginger & garlic paste and continue frying for another couple of minutes.

Add the curry powder and garam masala. Cook the spices for around 5 minutes, adding water if needed.

Add the tomato puree, cook for a minute before adding the kidney beans. If you want to you can add more water if the curry looks too dry.

Cover the lid and simmer. Cook gently for 10 minutes before garnishing with fresh coriander. Serve with boiled rice.

Funfetti Traybake

Why make a simple school style traybake when you can make a Funfetti Traybake? Super simple to make and a huge hit with kids. If you don’t want to add the sprinkles into the cake, leave it out and you will still have a delicious cake. Serve it with hot custard or if you want to make it more indulging, top it with buttercream instead.

I use a 9×11 inches cake tin.

 

Ingredients

  • 225g margarine
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 300g self raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g sprinkles

To decorate

  • 150ml icing sugar
  • Warm water as needed
  • Sprinkles

Method

Cream the margarine and sugar together till light and creamy.

Add the eggs, one at a time. Add a couple of spoonfuls of flour to stop the mix from curdling.

Once all the eggs have been added, add the rest of the flour, followed by the vanilla extract and the sprinkles.

Pour the cake into a greased and floured tin and bake in a pre heated oven for 30-35 minutes on 170c till the cake is fully baked.

Once baked, let the cake rest in the tin for a few minutes before turning it out on a wire rack and cooling it completely.

To make the icing, mix the icing sugar with warm water till it is smooth. Use more or less water depending on the consistency of icing you prefer (if you prefer a thicker layer of icing, then add more icing sugar). Spread the icing onto the cake and quickly add the sprinkles before the icing starts to harden up.

Sweet Potato Pakoras

These sweet potato pakoras reminded me of the Aldi sweet potato burgers! If you’ve had them before you’ll know what I am talking about. The mix makes enough for 12 pakoras making them 1 syn each. I haven’t tried them with regular potatoes but they should work with them too. Let me know if  you try them with regular potatoes. Hope you enjoy x

Serves: 12 units

Syns: 1 syn each

Time Taken: 40 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 3 red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 large sweet potato, grated
  • 75g gram flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Spray oil

Method

Mix the onions and potato together so that they are evenly distributed.

Add the gram flour (a bit at a time, you may not need all the amount) and all the spices. Mix it well again. Add the baking powder. If needed, you may add water to the batter (I don’t as there is enough moisture from the onions and potatoes).

Spray a muffin tin with spray oil (or you can use a baking sheet instead and do them free form). Evenly distribute the mix into each muffin hole, you should have enough for 12 pakoras. Press down the mix into the muffin tin and bake them at a preheated oven at 180c for 30 minutes.

 

Ramadan 2020 Planner Week 2

Here’s what week 2 of my Ramadan 2020 meal planner looks like. Please note that if I have leftovers I won’t cook the following day. I hate to waste food, so I end up eating the leftovers and might cook something different for the kids if needed. So far this Ramadan I haven’t had any leftovers, I have been cooking enough for each day so I am on track with my first week. As always, please note this is just to give you an insight of what I like to eat and to give you ideas. You may not like some of the foods I have on my planner so please eat what you like as long as it fits within the Slimming World plan if that’s what you’re following.

If you’d like to try some of the meals from my planner, you will find most of the recipes on my blog (use the search button to find the recipe you want). If you’d like to purchase the Spicentice spice kits mentioned below, you can use my discount code to save you some money (20% off code – RM20). I like to use the spice kits from time to time as it saves me time in the kitchen. All the spice kits come with full instructions on how to make the meal and are very easy to follow. You can find the whole range here.

 

Ramadan Planner Week 2

Ramadan Planner Week 2

 

Please also note that I have not included my syns. That will depend on what I fancy on the day. Fast is always opened with a date (3 syns) and fresh fruit. Hope your Ramadan is going well, please remember me and my family in your prayers x

Ramadan 2020

Ramadan is almost upon us and this year it is going to be challenging for many Muslims around the world with the pandemic going on. Please remember to observe social distancing guidelines and stay safe.

For the last few months I have kind of fallen off the Slimming World wagon and have just been eating what I wanted. This Ramadan, I intend on fully getting back on track with my food habits and hopefully will carry on after Ramadan ends too.

I have done my first week meal planner for Ramadan to include foods I enjoy eating and all part of the plan. My healthy extras are mainly being used at Suhoor time with my meals at Iftaar mostly being Free Food or low in syns. All the recipes can be found here on my blog. I hope this is useful for anyone following Slimming World or anyone that just wants some ideas on what to eat!

I will open my fasts everyday with a date (syns) and fresh fruit with plenty of water, followed by the main meal. I intend on keeping active this Ramadan by doing home walking videos. If you’ve not tried this before, do give it ago. It is amazing! There are lots of Youtube videos of walking at home to choose from, I usually follow ‘Walk at Home by Leslie Sansone’. There are different miles to chose from and you can work up a sweat without having to do any burpees or squats! I will do around 3 of these a week.

What are your plans for this Ramadan? Are you going to be following Slimming World or being active at all? Remember this planner is just to give you an idea of what I will be eating, you don’t have to follow it to the letter or follow it at all. Everyone likes different foods and with SW it is so easy to adapt many dishes, it is not all just salad! Plan meals you’ll enjoy eating that fits with the plan. I know some people find there are too many carbs on my planner but with SW carbs are not banned! The carbs included in my Iftaar are Free Foods (apart from the pitta bread on day 7), and if you are a SW member, then you’ll know that Free Foods are unlimited and you don’t have to weigh, measure or count quantities of these foods in any way. Remember the two golden rules of a healthy diet:

  1.  A wide variety of food
  2.  Everything in moderation

If you follow the plan properly, you will lose weight. Measure your healthy extras accurately and count your syns carefully. It is as simple as that!

Hope you all have a blessed Ramadan. Please remember my family and I in your prayers.

Ramadan Mubarak x

Ramadan 2020 Planner Week1

Ramadan 2020 Planner Week1