California Girl living in London, working model, practicing wife to a Pie Loving Husband, trying not to eat myself out of the day job.

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Morphy Richards

Thursday
Oct162014

Santa Barbara Shrimp Tacos 

With the change in the weather and fighting a cold without the help of modern medicine, I can’t help but hanker for home. In Santa Barbara harbour, there is this little rustic place called On the Alley just below the iconic Brophy Brothers, that does the most amazing Shrimp Tacos with Cali style salsa. These bad boys burst in your mouth with freshness and spice. So, spurred on by my jealousy veiwing Cali friends Instagram photos, I decided to try and recreate this taste of home.

Santa Barbara Shrimp Tacos
 

 

Serves 4

Ingredients:
Jumbo Shrimp (Frozen Prawns while shopping in the UK):
1 tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, to sprinkle on top.
550g Jambo King Prawns 
Cali Style Salsa:
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 chilli or jalapeno pepper, deseeded and finely chopped.
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tomato, chopped
1 avocado, cut into chunks
Juice from half a lime
¾ tsp salt
Small handful of Parsley leaves, roughly chopped
Extra Assembling Bits:
8-10 Corn tortillas
a head lettuce, shredded
2 limes, cut into wedges
Plain Greek yogurt, for garnish

 

Method:
1. Prepare your prawns; toss the prawns in Cajun spices and olive oil until evenly coated and set aside to marinate a little bit.
2. Make Cali Style Salsa; combine all the chopped ingredients into a bowl and set aside. If you’re not serving these right away, squeeze some more lime juice on the top of your salsa to stop discoloration, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate. For a super fine salsa, combine in a food processor. 
3. Warm tortillas; sprinkle each tortilla with a little bit of water and place in a preheated oven (50°C/120°F) to warm. Prepare the lettuce, lime slices and yogurt. 
4. Lastly, heat a grill. Place prawns on grill and cook until just opaque, about 1 ½ minutes each side. Sprinkle with additional cayenne pepper according to taste.
Once the prawns are ready, spoon the Cali Style Salsa into warmed tortillas, top with prawns, lettuce and yogurt. Serve with lime wedge on the side. Yum. 
 

UK blog Awards

 PS: I’m also up for the UK Blog Award #UKBA15. If you have a minute, pop along and vote for me. You’ll find the Model Foodie in Food & Drink and Health categories. Thanks Guys.

 

Thursday
Oct092014

Aubergine and Courgette Gratin

My number one pregnancy craving has to cheese. I adore cheese anyway but at the moment, it seems to feature in some form at every meal. Well, at least the types that are dubbed pregnancy safe.

So, there has been a lot of cheese bakes coming out of my oven of late. They’re great because these dishes always feed us for a few days and like a stew, seem to get better the following day.

This Augergine and Courgette Gartin celebrates all that is fabulous about Italian cooking with none of the heavy pasta weighing it down. It make’s a great vegetarian option to comfort you as the nights start to draw cold and dark again. Served with a simple salad of rocket and avocado, it’s the perfect meat lovers’ meat-free meal.

Aubergine and Courgette Gratin (Eggplant and Zucchini bake)

Serves 6

Prep Time 30min / Bake time 50min

Ingredients:

1 aubergine, cut into thin slices
1 courgette, cut into thin slices
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
½ tsp dried Italian seasoning
¼ tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 (8-ounce) package button mushrooms, roughly chopped
½ cup good red wine
¼ tsp black pepper
1 (8-ounce) organic tomato pasta sauce, divided
2/3 cup (about 3 ounces) mozzarella cheese, divided
¼ cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

 

Method:

Pre heat oven to 175°C/375°F.  Turn on your grill. Prepare a boiler or grill tray. 
1. Toss the aubergine and courgette slices in olive oil and arrange on baking sheet. Broil 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet, coated with a little olive oil and sweat the onions and garlic for a few minutes until softened. Add the dried Italian seasoning, salt and mushrooms. Cook for 7 minutes or until tender, stirring mixture occasionally. Increase heat and add the red wine and pasta sauce, uncover and cook for 2 minutes or until liquid partially evaporates.
3. Spread half of mushroom mixture in bottom of baking dish. Arrange half of aubergine and courgette slices over mushroom mixture, sprinkle with a little peper. Layer with 1/3 cup mozzarella and repeat. Spread remaining mushroom mixture over mozzarella and top with remaining veggie slices. Add salt and peper to taste, cover and bake for 45 minutes. 
4. To finish sprinkle with 1/3 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes.

 

Wednesday
Oct012014

Giveaway Time! But First, Coffee.

Above and beyond missing wine, being able to caffeinate at will has to be the number one thing I have missed during pregnancy. I know coffee is dehydrating and a stimulant that messes with our hormones, but it’s just such a seductive social habit and the one vice I allow myself to indulge in guilt free. However, what if there was a coffee out there that was good for you too? 

A few months before I fell pregnant a friend introduced me to Organo Gold Coffee, a product I have been meaning to tell you about for a while now. All based around apparently magical Chinese mushrooms called Ganoderma, which makes this coffee extremely beneficial for our bodies. You know how much I love a super food.

Here come the selling points, Organo Gold is very alkalizing, a natural antioxidant, enhances the immune system, promotes weight loss, anti-aging, and circulation. All of which will give you a huge boost in the gym! Sounds like a miracle drink, doesn’t it. Well, like everything else on the market, it will help aid your body, but reaping the full benefits depends on your lifestyle, meaning eating clean and getting enough exercise. 

 

I can vouch firsthand for the taste and benefits. I was enjoying Organo Gold for a few months before falling pregnant and loved the taste and the buzz it gave me. My energy levels where definitely up and my skin was vastly improved. Add a teaspoon of coconut oil for an extra creamy flavour. Plus, the little sachets make it really easy to take to work, school, studios, etc. As soon as this little boy is out of my belly, I will be using it as I get back into shape.

Anyway, I’d really like to give you a chance to try it. So, for the next two weeks I’ve teamed up with Organo Gold to give away a couple boxes of coffee for you to try. All you have to do to enter is post your best coffee selfie on instagram or twitter with the hashtags #TheModelFoodie #ButFirstCoffee. Bonus points for anyone who manages a selfie with a Oregano Gold sachet in shot. We’ll pick our two favourite and send a box to your door. So, go on and show me your best selfie. 

If you'd like to try Organo Gold here is 10% off any order 

with the promo code: modelfoodie10

Sponsoured Post

Thursday
Sep252014

Courgette Loaf, aka Zucchini Bread:

A firm coffee house favourite in California, Zucchini bread is a rare treat in London. The cousin of carrot cake, it’s a delicious sweet loaf that makes a fabulous breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack with a cup of tea. Zucchini Bread can traditionally be fairly fatty and high in sugar but this version is sugar free and bakes beautifully with all of the moist sweetness you’d desire. Not just healthier, better. 
Courgette Loaf, aka Zucchini Bread 

Ingredients:
• Natural cooking spray
• 1 1/2 cup rice flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 egg
• 1/3 cup rapeseed oil
• 1 cup grated apple
• 2 tbsp nonfat plain yogurt
• 3/4 cup honey
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup grated courgette (zucchini)
• 1/3 cup finely chopped almonds
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 175°C/325°F. Spray an loaf pan with natural cooking spray and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, whisk together egg, rapeseed oil, yogurt, honey and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until well combined. Fold in grated apple, courgette, and almonds.
3. Transfer batter to prepared pan and bake until risen, deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean (approximately 50 to 60 minutes). 

Cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes then remove bread from pan and continue cooling on rack.

 

Wednesday
Sep172014

Mocktails, a Hen do to Remember & a Bump.  

The second titbit of news is that the pie lovin husband and I are expecting our first baby. We’re having a little boy, due in early February and are hugely excited, obviously. Wrapping our heads around being parents has taken awhile but, I can honestly say we’re both feel incredibly lucky to be able to experience this part of life and can not wait to meet this little man, who is already keeping me up at night. 
Along with packing away everything with a waistline in my wardrobe, I have also had to adjust my intake slightly and find the will power to avoid the intense carb cravings. The husband has promised to ensure champagne and sushi are brought to the hospital the moment this little bundle is welcomed into the world… even if its 4am, sushimi is going into my belly.

 

Whoever told me, you just don’t fancy alcohol during pregnancy was full of it. Most evenings, my glass of wine has been replaced by sparkling water and fresh fruit juice with a slice of lime, served in a wine glass, which makes it feel like a treat.

 

However, when charged with hosting a Hen Do for one of my favourites and I wanted to come up with an extra special bump friendly mocktail for myself and one other lovely hen to enjoy and still feel like we were part of the party.
 
Fresh Strawberry and Coconut Mocktail:

Ingredients:
1/2 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
1 cup coconut water (or regular) ice cubes
1 cup Schweppes Lemonade 
Squeeze of fresh lime juice
A small handful of crushed mint  
Method: Shake everything together and pore over ice. Serve with slices of Strawberries and lime.

For more Mocktail ideas check out Diageo’s TheBar.com

Full of silly girlie fun, we managed to completely take our hen by surprise and hopefully send her into married life with a few awesome memories the weekend. Here are some of the highlights: