It’s been a week of firsts for me. I’m still smiling at all of the amazing responses to my first blog post and i’m so inspired to share more of my world with you all! Then there was my first exam, 1 down 3 to go, which I think went… well, I went. I also tried Kinisi Flow for the first time, a combination of muscle-toning exercises all neatly wrapped up into a continuous, yoga-style vinyasa flow. Class started at 7:15, of the AM variety, and the journey there is a bit of a blur as i’m sure I was still asleep. But despite leaving the house in what felt like the middle of the night, it was exactly the fun and energizing wake-up workout that I needed to shake these revision blues.
So now the first month of this brand new year is almost over, and it’s got me thinking about New Year’s resolutions. Everyone wants to be the happiest and healthiest version of themselves in 2016, but balancing the two can sometimes feel impossible. So much of social media is dedicated to living a cleaner lifestyle, and whilst the pictures and words are inspiring, there’s also a sense of unattainability as you scroll through your homepage. Then the Friday night cravings take over, and you’re faced with the most important of decisions – so are we having pizza, curry or a chinese?
That’s when it’s time to take control and get a bit more creative, save yourself some money and treat you and your friends/family to a delicious, resolution-friendly ‘fakeaway’! There’s something so fun about a chilled night in with your favourite people, movies and some delicious food. Here are some of my ideas of how to recreate your perfect takeaway pizza night, Domino’s cookies and all, in a way that is kinder to both your body and wallet. This recipe can be made gluten & dairy free, and there are endless ways to make it your own!
‘Your favourite flavour’ Tortilla-Pizza: (Serves 1)
- 1 wholewheat tortilla wrap (use gluten-free for GF version)
- 4 – 6 tbsp tomato passata
- up to 1/2 cup of your choice of cheese (I use goats cheese for lactose-free, and because it’s delicious!)
- 1 handful of extra tomatos, (optional) chopped into halves
- A generous selection of your favourite pizza toppings (mushrooms, peppers, sweetcorn, chicken, ham, chili flakes, etc…)
Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan). Chop your veggies/meat! Then, for the basic pizza base, line a tray with either baking-paper or foil and sprinkle a little water on both sides of the wrap before placing it onto the tray. Spoon the passata onto the tortilla, as many spoonfull’s as you think you need to get a nice coverage. Then you can sprinkle on half of your cheese and place into the preheated oven for up to 3 mins – this will slightly crisp up the tortilla and start to melt the cheese. If your toppings need preparing beforehand, be sure to steam/prep any veg and thoroughly cook through any uncooked meats before adding. Take out the tortilla and get creative – add on your chopped tomatoes and any extra toppings! Because the toppings are ready to eat, they just need a little time to join forces with the ‘pizza’ base. So once you’ve decorated your masterpiece, add the other half of cheese and place it back into the oven and keep a close eye on it, 8 – 10 minutes will be enough time to heat it through and make it a nice and crispy and delicious!
There are so many ways to make it your own – I’ve used hummus for the base sauce before, a winner, and my favourite topping combo is parma ham, spinach & goats cheese! The wholewheat wrap is a lighter, more nutritious alternative to the average doughy pizza base – and may be more likely to leave you with some room for dessert…
Domino’s-style gooey cookies: (Dairy and gluten free) (Makes 8-10)
- 1 cup quinoa flour (I got mine from Sainsburys)
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (maybe more) dark choc-chips
Preheat oven to 160°C (fan). Line 1 or 2 trays with baking paper, depending on the size of the tray. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, or blender, thoroughly mix the melted oil, sugar, egg and vanilla. Combine the wet and dry ingredients with the choco-chips (>70% chocolate is classed as DF and can be used here, roughly chopped, but confirmed DF choc-chips are available at most supermarkets!). Get mixing – don’t be afraid to use your hands! Wrap the dough in some clingfilm and refrigerate for around 10 minutes, this will make it easier to form the cookie dough balls. Now you can start to break off pieces of the cookie dough, roll into balls and place on the tray, press down on them slightly so that the tops are a little flattened (but not too much as we want chunky cookies!). Make sure you leave enough space, around 2 inches, between each cookie. Sprinkle a tiny bit of salt over each one for some extra deliciousness.
The cookies will need to bake for 10 minutes, check regularly and at 5/6 minutes turn the tray(s) around. After 10 mins, once they are golden and the smell is driving you crazy, take them out and leave to cool for quite some time. These cookies are deliciously gooey and might be a bit delicate straight out of the oven. Using quinoa flour and coconut oil as substitutes for the plain flour and butter in most cookie recipes, makes these treats a much more tummy-friendly, gluten & dairy free winner – and as confirmed by my hungry housemates, they are just as good as the real deal!
So far I’m feeling pretty positive about my New Year’s resolution – to take 2016 one day at a time, and to not be consumed by stress and strict routines. There are so many exciting things to look forward to this year, and as my yoga teacher likes to remind me when I’ve fallen out of ‘tree’ pose into a bundle on the floor – “it’s about progression not perfection” . Have a lovely weekend!