Affordable, simple meals

It’s summer and for those of you trying your hand at cooking, you could try these recipes.

Pan-fried chicken with spinach & cheese

Ingredients: chicken breast, spinach, cheese, salt, pepper and lemon

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper to taste

2. Make a slit in the chicken to create a pouch

3. Fill it with cheese and spinach

4. Cook the chicken evenly on both sides on a high heat pan

5. Drizzle some lemon juice

There you go, you have a healthy and tasty meal in just 5 simple steps.

For dessert, here’s a simpler recipe…

Chocolate croissants

Ingredients:  Ready made croissants, a bar of your favourite chocolate

1. Slice a croissant in half

2. Break some chocolate off the bar and crush it into small chunks

3.  Put the chocolate chunks into the croissant and place it into an oven for 3 minutes

The chocolate melts and you have yourself the quickest, most inexpensive and rather tasty dessert in no time!

Quick Summer Getaways

If you’re in Christchurch this summer either studying or working and need a quick break from it, this can probably help (these options qualify as out-of-town but are just a few hours away hence making them the perfect quick get away).

Akaroa and Lyttelton, both port towns are seriously worth your time! Either drive there with your mates and have a great road trip or conveniently catch a shuttle. You can go on walking tours, hikes, get a taste of the local food, swim or simply sit back and take in the view. Both these places are famous for their cruises and private dolphin swim sessions; it’s rather expensive on a student budget, but it’s worth the money.

Another great location is the Port Hills. Once you’re there, you can claim that you’ve seen all of Christchurch as it’s a perfect way to view the entire city standing in just one spot. You can bike there or again, drive with your mates and make a fun little road trip out of it.

Visit Akaroa and Lyttelton  and make a day of it and drive up to the Port Hills in the evening and spend the night camping. Even better, combine all of them and you’ve got yourself a fun, inexpensive weekend.

If you’ve visited any of these places, plan to, or have any suggestions, feel free to comment as I’d love to hear all about it.




Christmas time is nearly here!

I really can’t believe how fast this year has gone… it’s almost Christmas. For me Christmas is a time for family, friends and food. So I’m going to share with you one of my favourite recipes for a delicious (somewhat healthy as it contains no butter or oil, and has reduced sugar) chocolate sponge cake.

Christmas is the time to indulge, and enjoy yourself, however we all know how difficult it can be to keep the kilos off over the holiday period. This cake is the perfect addition to Christmas dinner and will be sure to please your family; especially once you let them know they don’t need to be afraid to have more than one slice!

Olive oil cooking spray for greasing
Egg whites from 4 large eggs
Pinch of salt
2 large eggs (whole)
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g caster sugar
2 apples, peeled, cored and grated (Braeburn apples work best)
100g self-raising flour
40g cocoa powder

For finishing the cake:
150g raspberries (strawberries or blueberries also work)
75g icing sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170 °C
2. Use cooking spray to grease 20cm/8inch non-stick cake tin.
3. Beat egg whites with the pinch of salt until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
4. In another bowl whisk together the 2 whole eggs, vanilla extract, and caster sugar until the mixture has doubled in volume, is a pale colour and the sugar has dissolved.
4. Fold in the grated apple, flour and cocoa powder, and then fold in 1/3 of the egg white mixture. Once this is combined well, fold this into the remaining egg white mixture.
5. Spoon mixture into cake tin and bake for 30 mins. The sponge should bounce back when pressed lightly if it is cooked. Move it to a wire rack and leave it to cool.
6. Once the cake is cool, cut it in half horizontally to create two separate layers. Mix 2/3 of the raspberries and one tsp of the icing sugar and spread this mixture over the top of one of the pieces of cake. Then place the other half of the cake on top.
7. Mix together the remaining icing sugar and enough water to create a thin icing. Drizzle this over the top of the cake, and add the remaining raspberries.

Delicious! Enjoy this cake, but don’t forget to eat healthy this summer and continue to exercise… after all you don’t want to put on the dreaded ‘fresher 15’!