Something for the weekend: George’s, Leeds

Before I properly start this blog post there are 2 things you need to know:7

  1. The photo quality does not do this restaurant justice.
  2. It is embarrassing that after nearly 5 years of blogging that after 5 minutes D took better photos than me. Bravo my darling, bravo.

If you’re looking for a venue that can produce a classic British dish and put a contemporary twist to the same high quality; Georges is probably the place for you. This place came highly recommended to us from several of Dane’s work colleagues and upon visiting, we could see why. This place is a fun cross between a seaside town and a cocktail bar, with the restaurant booths being decorated like beach huts which was a lovely touch.

We visited on a Friday night after work as D was reviewing Miss Vincent at the Key Club. The staff were lovely, really attentive and pretty interested when D told them they’d be appearing here! The food came really quickly, essential for us as we didn’t really have time to linger. I definitely got the impression that it wasn’t the sort of place you’d be rushed out of though as the cocktail menu was impressive and extensive.

I wasn’t really paying attention when I ordered my drink and was delighted when the below concoction appeared in front of me. This is a Candy Baby – a non alcoholic cocktail. The first time in around 15 years i have had candy floss.

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Dane samples the wild ocean hake in onion bhaji batter. He raved about this, and the batter really was like proper onion bhajis. This was the perfect spin on British fish and chips, but obviously also allows you to enjoy some Indian flavours at the same time.

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My eyes were slightly bigger than my stomach (which they often are after a day in the labs at work) and I ordered a stacked fish burger with cheese croquettes. Both burger and croquettes were delicious. The fish was beautifully cooked. I wasn’t so struck on the deep fried gherkin and picked onion though. (This is more personal preference rather than the way it was cooked). I did feel like I slightly over ordered, and I would say that never time I would order a lighter side with this burger as it was pretty sizeable, and I could not finish everything.

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If you happen to be in Leeds (or Newcastle/Nottingham) and you want somewhere that will appeal to those who want a more traditional menu, without ignoring those who like trying new things this is the place for you. The menu is pretty varied, there are options for meat lovers, and those who want a lighter meal.

We arrived at the music venue, perhaps not the oldest in the audience, but definitely the fullest people there!

Thank you to the staff who were so friendly and really made us feel welcome.

I’d love to return to try some of the exciting looking cocktails. I’m sure we will be returning soon.

For more information on Georges including booking information click this link.

If you’re interested in the band D was reviewing this link takes you to one of their music videos.

Have a great weekend!

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Seamore pasta. Sustainable. Gluten free.

Seamore pasta. Sustainable. Gluten free.

The other week we got sent some Seamore seaweed pasta to try. Although excited to try out a new recipe, I must admit I was a bit dubious to try this one. I am happy trying new ingredients but I was a little wary about how this one would taste and what the texture would be like (I think I had had a stressful week, it always makes me wary about my cooking skills). However, this was a dream to cook (I just followed the instructions on the pack), the texture was good, it had a slight bite to it and it wasn’t overpoweringly seasidey tasting. I think it would be a great alternative for people with coeliac disease as I am aware gluten free pasta can get quite soft.

Now the benefits of Seamore are so numerous they provided me with this helpful inforgraphic for you. After all a picture paints a thousand words.seamore infographic

Anyway, as a sea themed meal, I served my Seamore pasta up with baked seabass for a quick weeknight meal.

For baked sea bass and Seamore pasta you will need:

1 sea bass fillet per person

1 preserved lemon

Olive oil

Chilli Flakes

1 handful cherry tomato halves per person

1 serving Seamore pasta per person

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Boil your kettle and start cooking the Seamore pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Place your sea bass skin side down on a baking tray. Sprinkle over the chilli, chop your preserved lemon and tomatoesand disperse evenly over the fish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for approx. 15 minutes until the sea bass is opaque.

Serve the fish, lemon and tomatoes on a bed of your seaweed and enjoy!

We both really enjoyed this recipe and trying something new. Sometimes its good to get out of your comfort zone.

Seamore pasta is available to buy online and at Wholefoods stores. For more information click here.

Haddock, saffron and pea risotto

Haddock, saffron and pea risotto

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This recipe is a real “fill your boots” sort of a recipe.I find risotto filling and having such a high protein ingredient such as fish makes it even more hearty. However, white fish is an incredibly lean source of protein and there is no cheese in this recipe so this makes for a very low fat meal for the days when you’re hungry but don’t want to compromise when it comes to healthy eating.

I also think this recipe is one of those great “store cupboard” recipes. I used frozen haddock and peas in this and the only reason I put chorizo in was because I had one in my fridge that needed using up (I’ll actually most likely not use chorizo in this recipe again as D is not a fan!).

Anyway; for 3-4 portions of risotto you will need:

1 onion

2 large(ish) fillets of frozen haddock (or other white fish)

1 clove garlic

1 10cm cooking chorizo (optional)

About 10g butter if not using chorizo

1 large handful of frozen peas

Vegetable stock

1 pinch saffron

200g risotto rice

Salt and pepper

1 glass of white wine

Peel and slice your onion and crush your garlic. If using the chorizo peel the skin off it and dice it. On a medium heat fry the chorizo, garlic and onion/butter garlic and onion until soft.

Add the risotto rice and fry for about 30 seconds. Cover this with the stock and wine. Add the peas, fish and the saffron and season with salt and pepper. Cook over a low heat. Add more stock as needed when the rice dries out.

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Once the rice is pretty much cooked reseason to taste with the salt and pepper.

I actually love the yellow colour the saffron gives this. It cheered me right up on a cold January day.

Easy ramen for tired stomachs

Easy ramen for tired stomachs

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Around Christmas time you really do just need to enjoy a bit of a treat and the odd overindulgence. Its practically mandatory, what with chocolate, cheese, wine and roast dinners aplenty. However after 2 Christmas dinners at D and my respective parents houses and our usual boxing day mini buffet my stomach was feeling pretty tired of rich food. I needed a break from overindulgent and to eat something a bit less hearty; something at the opposite end of the comfort food scale.

Anyway, this was so easy to make and the good news is *drumroll* I made this just for myself so you can scale it up or down to your heart’s content. Feel free to make any substitutions (like the tuna for another fish), I had to work with what I had in. I suppose this makes this a bit of a store cupboard recipe.

To make this you will need (per person):

250ml vegetable or chicken stock

Ginger root

Soy sauce

A spring onion

1 handful frozen peas

1 brick frozen spinach

2 forkfuls canned tuna

1 egg

1 bundle noodles – I used sweet potato and buckwheat

Boil your egg for 7 minutes – so that it is cooked but still slightly soft inside. While the egg is boiling heat your stock, grate in some ginger and add a dash of soy sauce. Add your frozen vegetables and stir to loosen out the frozen spinach. After about 4 minutes add the noodles to this as well as the spring onions. If your egg has cooked rinse it a few times with cold water to prevent a grey ring forming and set aside. Once the noodles have cooked, stir in your tuna so that it disintegrates into the mixture. Serve your soup out. Remove the shell from your egg and half it. Top your soup with the egg and serve.

I can assure you, your stomach will feel a bit happier once you’ve finished eating this.

Lemon and basil baked sea bass

Lemon and basil baked sea bass

DSC_0137Fish is an absolute dream for days when you want something quick without compromising on healthy. In some ways its the ultimate fast food. I usually cook it with chilli flakes but I had a basil plant on my window sill and I decided to try something new.

To make baked sea bass you will need

1 sea bass fillet per person (or more if you’re hungry)

Olive oil

1/2 handful basil leaves

1/2 a lemon

Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the fish skin side down in a roasting tray (or similar). Drizzle over olive oil, squeeze over the lemon juice, then slice the lemon half and place over the fish. Tear over the basil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the fish filled turns opaque and white.

DSC_0133I served the seabass with orzo pasta and peas, but this recipe is incredibly versatile and goes well with literally anything.

Salmon with ginger coriander and lime

Salmon with ginger coriander and lime

Once this post goes live I will be counting down the minutes until one or other of my parents comments on it saying words to the effect of “but you don’t like salmon”. Which is actually pretty true. I eat most things but I’m not a salmon fan by any stretch of the imagination. However, in a bid to continue on our healthy eating streak I decided to make myself try it once more.

Anyway, this recipe is so easy, as long as you have a working oven you can make this while half asleep. Perfect for nights when you really can’t be bothered cooking for too long. The fresh coriander and lime work really well together and quite honestly the combination of flavours made me like salmon just a little bit more. We ate this with rice and peas enjoying all of the omega 3 goodness.

Anyway, to make this beautifully simple dish you will need

Foil

Salmon fillets (1-2 per person)

Soy sauce

Fresh coriander

A ginger root (I keep one in the freezer on the advice of my good friend ED, you can grate it into your cooking from frozen)

1/2 lime (I actually have no idea what happened to the other half of this lime!)

Preheat your oven to 200°C. Place your salmon on a piece of tin foil large enough to make a parcel and drizzle over the soy sauce. Grate over a generous helping of ginger. Quarter your lime and squeeze over the juice, place the lime wedges between the salmon fillets. Top with the fresh coriander and wrap into a parcel. Bake for 25 minutes.

DSC_0065DSC_0066Et voila! Proof that healthy eating can be easy to prepare without scrimping on elegance.

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Healthy breakfast ideas when you’re pushed for time

For the past year and a half or so; instead of being on a specific diet I have just been trying to make healthier food choices. Things like trying to eat well in general rather than trying to cut out a specific food. Lately I have been trying to mix things up at breakfast by trying different things to help me cut craving for sweet things in general and to stop me wanting to snack all the time at work – being on my feet all the time at work makes me think I need to eat more than I possibly do if I have had the wrong breakfast. All of these breakfasts take less than 5 minutes to prepare; something that is important for most of us on a day when we’re rushing out to work. But the result has been pretty wonderful. Something in the combination of more complex carbs, or healthier fats has put me in a happier mood in the morning, my craving for sweet things has dropped a ridiculous amount and my jeans fit better.

1. Toast with almond butter topped with sliced banana    DSC_0540

2. Muesli with grated apple and coconut milk

DSC_05422. Avocado on toast (an instagram favourite)

DSC_05513. Muesli with coconut yogurt, frozen raspberries and passionfruit (and a splash of coconut milk)

DSC_05545. Smoked salmon and cucumber on toast

DSC_0558In case you were wondering I switch between soya and linseed, buckwheat and poppyseed and sunflower and chia seed breads and I the muesli is one with a higher nut and lower fruit content (I think it’s the Dorset cereals one). When it comes to eating healthily I feel like its important to start your day well and to try to have a balance to keep your metabolism ticking over a bit.

Hopefully I will post some more breakfast ideas in a few weeks!