Whats gone on this week? Amsterdam, Pesto and Supplements.

It’s been a while, but the blog is back with a new year twist. The past month has been a mixture of editing, writing and researching plus lots of eating obviously. So here’s what’s been going on this week.

What health news got my attention?

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‘Herbal supplements’ illegal ingredients pose health risk, experts warn’. I’ve never been one to wholy agree with health supplements, but now The Guardian have reported many include unlicensed medicines. These may lower blood pressure or raise the chance of a heart attack.

A research team in Queen’s University Belfast, Kingston University in London and the life sciences testing company LGC, found supplements often make unverified claims of benefits and contain illegal ingredients.

The team believes ingredients were accidentally added sometimes, but on other occasions were deliberately added to enhance the product.

Where I went 

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Due to my other half turning a whole year older a trip to the mighty Amsterdam was in order. It was my second time visiting this city and I loved it as much as the first.

We spend most of the weekend exploring the city. There were so many steak houses in Dam and we ended up visiting two during the three days. On the first night I had spare ribs from Amigo grill, they were lightly coated in a barbecue sauce and served to our table on a hot grill.

A major highlight of the trip was the Nutella frozen yoghurt. Nutella is a real favorite in Amsterdam, it’s in pretty much every waffle shop and the Ice Bakery we visited had it on a literal tap.

We had a fry up on Saturday morning which gave us a much-needed boost. Having come back to Belgium in January I hadn’t eaten ‘real’ bacon in a month, a very very long time. So London Bridge was visited for a large breakfast and a proper brew.

What new ingredient I found

This semester my university campus has switched, meaning now I walk past a nice big Lidl on my way home. Looking around I found coconut oil on offer for under two euros!

I’ve never cooked with coconut oil before and now wonder how I hadn’t.

I melted it down and used it to make banana and chocolate granola, banana and chocolate bites (I had to use up 3 bananas) and Thai green curry.

It allowed me to cook in a much healthier way and worked just the same as any normal oil, just giving a more flavorful taste.

I’ve always steered clear of this coconut oil as, I’m on a student budget, it was quite pricy. However given that you only need a teaspoon every time you use it, it’ll last a while. I’ve had a look across the different supermarkets and below is how much it’ll cost and where you should buy it.

ASDA: £2.35 for 283ml | Tesco: £3 for 300ml | Sainsbury’s: £3.95 for 300ml

Meal of the week

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After an incredibly exhausting weekend, a filling and slightly healthy meal was needed. Pasta is always a go to for me when it comes to dinner, I always ensure my cupboard is stocked with the stuff so I can make an easy meal any time.

Ingredients:

1 carrot | 1 onion | 15g salami | 10g cheese | 80g pasta | 2 tbsp green pesto | salt and pepper

Method:

Bring a pan of water to boil and place the pasta and leave to cook for 10-15 minutes. Chop the carrots and add after 8 minutes.

Finely chop the onion and chop salami into cubes and fry.

Once the pasta is done drain and add the fried ingredients to the pot, add the pesto, salt, pepper and half the cheese and stir in.

Sprinkle over the rest of the cheese once served.

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