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Monday, 25 October 2010

Healthy Tasty Pumpkin Recipes

Now that the pumpkins are carved and photos sent for the Pumpkin Carving Competition, we can think of Halloween Menus and what are we going to do with all the pumpkin flesh left after carving.

Here's some very tasty, very simple, full of delightful pumpkin ideas for you.

Share your Pumpkin Cooking Experience, your favourite recipes and feedback with us!

 'These puffed up nice and were so fluffy and moist. And not too sweet... just right!'

Preparation Time: 15min
Cook Time: 15min


2 cups pureed pumpkin
1.5 cups flour
baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1-3 tsp ginger powder
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 cup sugar


In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and ginger). Cut in margarine adding a bit at a time until mixed. Add pumpkin and mix well.

On a lightly floured surface, knead dough a few times, pushing it into a large circle, a few inches thick.

Cut into 12 or so triangular pieces (similar to pizza slices).

Bake at 425F or 220C degrees for 12-15 minutes, or until done.

From Vegetaian Recipes

Serving Suggestions:
  • Serve it as it is. Delicious!
  • Make a salad
  • Use in Risotto

Preparation Time: 5min
Cook Time: 40min


1 butternut pumpkin / squash
1 head of garlic
olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut the pumpkin into cooking sized chunks.

Place the pumpkin in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil. Tuck the garlic in between the pieces of pumpkin and sprinkle salt and black pepper over the top of the pumpkin and garlic.

Add any optional flavourings if you are using them – stalks of rosemary, oregano or marjoram, some cumin seed, a few bayleaves tucked amongst the pumpkin. Not necessary.

Roast in a 250 degree Celsius oven for 30 – 40 minutes, until it has a lovely caramelised brown surface.

From A Life (Time) of Cooking

For the soup:

1 Litre of Vegetable Stock
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 onions finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 kg pumpkin flesh deseeded and cubed
4 springs thyme
200gr natural youghurt / soured creme / creme fraiche

For the Toasties:
40g soft butter
8 slices of bread
200g Sage Derby Cheese coarsely grated
2 tbsp snipped chives


For the soup: heat the stock in a small saucepan or the microwave. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic and pumpkin over a gentle heat for 10 minutes until the onion has softened. Pour over the hot stock, stir in the thyme, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender.

Remove the woody thyme stalks from the soup and leave the soup to cool slightly before puréeing with a hand-held blender. Stir in the crème fraîche and heat through gently without boiling. Check the seasoning, and add salt and freshly ground black pepper if necessary. 

For the toasties: butter the bread and make up four sandwiches with the cheese and chives on the inside, but with the butter on the outside of the sandwiches. Preheat a griddle pan or large non-stick frying pan and fry the sandwiches, two at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown and molten inside. 

From UKTV GoodFood

Friday, 22 October 2010

Halloween - Pumpkin Carving

Halloween - is not that far away and we've announced a Pumpkin Carving Competition to celebrate the Summer's End Festival! Halloween is perfect for taking pictures. This blogpost is to give a helping hand to our contestants!

Everybody reading this blog is welcome to take part. Please visit our Facebook Page to post your photos

General Pumpkin Carving Advice:

1. Cut a hole in the top for the lid.  Make sure you angle the saw inwards so your lid sits on top of the pumpkin and doesn’t just fall through;

2. Scoop out the seeds and strings with a spoon;

3. Scrape some of the flesh from the inside so your pumpkin is about an inch thick all the way around (or at least wherever you’ll be carving).  You can poke  a straight pin through it to estimate the thickness;

If you are thinking of a  fancier design pumpkin, then:

4. Print out the pattern.

5. Trim off excess paper

6. Tape or use pins to affix the pattern to the pumpkin.

7. Trace your pattern by poking holes with a sharp object like a nail. Be patient here, it may take a while.

8. Rub flour or chalk dust all over the part where you poked the holes so you can see them better.

9. Push a nail through the pumpkin skin where you want to start carving. Turn and push until it’s all the way into the pumpkin, then remove. Repeat for all parts you will be carving out before starting the carving to avoid breaking the pumpkin.

10. Using your nail hole as a starting point start cutting the design. Use a sawing motion to cut out your design and a  very light pressure… take your time and allow the sawing to do the work rather than applying pressure and forcing it.

11. When making curves, just slightly turn the saw.  When making sharp corners, remove the saw and re-insert it at an angle.

12. To remove pieces, push them out from the inside.  For larger pieces, you may want to cut them into smaller bits and remove them in sections

13. If you are using candle, light the candle and place it on a piece of tinfoil inside the pumpkin.  Put the lid on.  Let it sit a minute

Remove the lid and there should be a smoke mark on it. Cut a vent in the lid where the smoke mark show.

Here's a few templates for your beautiful pumpkins to make the competition even more fun and challenge:

Tree Template

Spider Template

Jack Template

Pumpkin King Template

Ghost Template

Pumpkin Face Template

Bat Template

If you are a skilled Pumpkin Artist, you might try the Haunted House Template or Cat Pumpkin Template Witch Template

Good Luck and looking forward to receiving photos of your wonderfully carved pumpkins! You may also try to take some photos in the process and send us your Pumpkin Carving Story!

Friday, 15 October 2010

How to lose weight?

Do you know how to lose weight?

Most people do, but when it comes to actually doing it, not many succeed despite all the knowledge.

Let's start with the basics. We'll share some useful tips to help you with your weight loss.

The concept is simple - you need to expend more energy than you consume and watch what you are eating.

Here is an example.

Calories Eaten Calories used Result
2000 1500 Gain weight
1500 1500 Maintain weight
1000 1500 Lose weight

There's nothing more to it. Eat less, expend more and you will lose weight.

You can find a fantastic diet guide on our website, which will give you plenty of advice and tips about weight loss, nutrition and recipes.

You may ask - if it is that simple, then why do we have so many books written about dieting and losing weight or why do we have so many health and nutrition clubs and yet  there are still thousands of people overweight?

What do I need to do to lose weight?

You need to change your Lifestyle.

Fad Diets, quick fixes, 'miracle aids' may give you a short-term weight loss, but they won't help you to lose weight and stay that way.

What you really need is to change is your lifestyle!

Instead of 'dieting' change your eating habits. It's not just for a week or two, it's a lifetime commitment. The good news is, once you've changed, you will enjoy healthy eating and exercising, you will never look back. Shift from having to do things to wanting to do them - put yourself on track for long-term success and weight maintenance.

Take before and after pictures.

It is difficult to look at the 'before' photos, but you will really see the results and it will motivate you. Don't be afraid to share. The slimmer you will get, the more confident you will become to share your latest 'after' photos.

Read Labels!

It takes time and effort and a lot of concentration, but nobody will do it for you! You must know what you eat. Be very careful with ingredients and calories intake. Calorie counting is really important. Make sure you understand how to count calories.

Find your exercise.

No two exercises are the same. Try to find the one that you really enjoy and you will find it easy to keep doing it. It shouldn't take all your willpower to put your trainers on and then 10 min into jogging to lose it completely and give up forever.

If you love swimming, find a local swimming pool. If you love games try tennis or squash. If you always wanted to dance, join an aerobics class.

Set realistic goals


You should remember - there's no quick fixes, so don't have unrealistic hopes. It takes time, but it will last. If you set very high goals and never reach them, you may get de-motivated. Motivation is a large part of success, so set realistic goals that you can reach, but not too low either as you will feel like a cheat. Step by step you will achieve your 'big targets'. But do it in small steps.

Watch your weight.

Find a pattern which suits you: you can either weigh yourself once a week or watch your changes daily, whichever you are comfortable with but do it regularly to monitor the changes to be able to adapt routines if necessary.

Set your priorities:

Is it more important to add that spoon of mayo, which will moderately change the taste of your food or is your goal of losing weight, feeling and looking great more important? This is a choice you'll have to make every day, so you're better of setting your priorities right in the beginning.

Drink lots of water

We often confuse thirst with hunger, leading to loading our bodies with unnecessary calories, when what we really need is a glass of cold water. If you prefer, you can add some lemon slices to a jug of water for extra flavour, or to drink tea with fruit flavour but no sugar. It is a simple and healthy trick that will help you a lot in your weight loss efforts.

Enjoy your favourite foods

Do not remove your favourite foods completely. You shouldn't feel that you are 'not allowed' to eat foods that you like. Just be sure to buy them in small amounts and eat them less often.

Monday, 4 October 2010

Food Cravings - Dieting tips

How to overcome Food Cravings.

If you require slimming pills or other diet information, please click here.

Food cravings are intense yearnings for a certain type of food. Sweet or salty foods are common food cravings as are protein foods such as meat or cheese. Food cravings are thought to be caused by:
  • hormones
  • fluctuations in blood sugar levels
  • emotional and psychological reasons 
  • or sometimes by nutritional deficiencies

Stress, depression and a lack of sleep can cause "junk" food cravings. We sometimes may turn to "comfort foods" we associate with pleasant feelings and overeat these foods when we are stressed, depressed or tired. Food cravings for quick sugar energy, alcohol foods or drinks containing caffeine or carbohydrates are common when we are tired and want to feel energized.

How to manage your food cravings (Diets)

You could try the following tips to help you cope and resist temptation:

  •  Don't skip meals as this will make you more likely to crave other foods and snack because you are hungry.

  •  Don't starve yourself as this is most likely to lead to you experience cravings and to give in to temptation. Keep healthy snacks like fruit or carrot/celery sticks handy at all times.

  •  Drink plenty of water as dehydration can sometimes be mistaken for hunger and can increase cravings, especially for sweet foods. Water will also make you feel full, so you would feel less hungry.

  •  Don't keep foods you crave in the house, and don't go shopping when you're hungry as you're more likely to buy foods that are bad for you.

  •  As with any craving, distract your attention from it - go for a walk, have a bath or watch TV.

  •  Indulge once in a while so that you don't deprive yourself completely as this could be your downfall. If you crave chocolate allow yourself a fun size chocolate bar occasionally and don't feel guilty.

  • If you need extra help with food cravings and trying to reduce food intake, try SlimSlim slimming pills. It's a 100% natural slimming aid helping you to keep the calories under control. Find SlimSlim here