Friday, 23 May 2014

GUEST BLOG: Naturally Sassy's Healthy Mushroom & Asparagus Risotto with a Cashew-Lemon Cream

I asked the lovely Sassy to share this delicious recipe because risotto has always been one of my childhood favourites.  Every time I went home, I would ask mum to make me one because her risottos are unbelievably good - so comforting and indulging,  just like Sassy's mums!  Sassy has come up with the ultimate healthy version which is just as delicious as our mothers…...

"Risotto has always been one of my favourite comfort foods, it has that creamy texture that simply melts in your mouth. Growing up mushroom & asparagus risotto was one of my favourite meals my mum used to make me, but it was hardly naturally sassy material. It was made from white risotto rice, gallons of white wine, double cream and chicken broth. These ingredients , it has to be said were pretty delicious, but they were anything but nourishing. When i started the blog i knew making a hearty and healthy risotto would be something you guys would love, and this natural version is way too delicious for words! Its made from brown rice, bouillon powder, asparagus, mushrooms and an amazing Cashew-Lemon cream that makes this risotto the perfect mixture of salty, creamy, cheesy and fresh.
Let me tell you a little about why this meal is not just a taste sensation! Cashews contain a wonderful wealth of plant protein and are also a great source of the minerals iron and zinc. This makes cashews an excellent part of a vegetarian and vegan diet. They add the protein kick to this meal, which keeps you fuller for longer, and helps balance blood sugar levels meaning you also have longer sustained energy levels. Brown rice, is one of my favourite grains, as its literally bursting with goodness. One cup contains 90% of your daily reccommended manganese intake, which is so important for bone health. It also contains a wealth of selenium and magnesium which are important for energy production, immune strength and metabolic function. As well as being a great source of Low-GI sustaining carbohydrate, 1 cup of brown rice also has an amazing ??? grams of protein. This helps to build and repair muscles and ligaments, so a perfect food after a heavy day of exercise.
I honestly could rave all day about this recipe, as it has filled may a persons plate with always a wonderful reaction! Plant based comfort at its finest.


Rissotto - Serves 6
450g brown rice
1.5 L of hot water + 6 tsp bouillon powder
2 bunches asparagus
2 punnets mushrooms
2 medium red onion
Cashew- Lemon cream:
1.5 Cup cashews, soaked
Juice 1 Lemon
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/5- 2 cups water


1) Start by placing the rice in a pan. Boil the kettle and add 6 tsp of bouillon powder to 1.5L of boiling water, mix well before pouring over the rice. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Let cook for around 45 minutes, you may have to top this up with more water towards the end if it is still a little hard.
2) Next drain the soaked cashews and add all ingredients to your blender. Blend until smooth, place in a jar and leave to the side.
3) Then wash and chop the vegetables. You want to chop the asparagus into small circles, the mushrooms into slithers and mince the onion.
4) Add a drizzle of olive oil to a frying pan and let it heat up, then add the onions. Stirfry them for around 5 minutes until soft and caramelised. Put in a bowl and place to the side. Then with another drizzle of olive oil stir fry the mushrooms and asparagus. This again should take roughly 5-8 minutes until soft. Add to the bowl with the onions when your done.
5) Once the rice is cooked, add the cashew cream and vegetables, stir well and make sure everything is really heated through.
6) Serve up and enjoy with a nice green salad!

Visit Sassy's website for lots more delicious recipes

Thursday, 15 May 2014


This amazing sunshine is making me dream of summer holidays….sun…..beaches…sea….swimming…BBQ's….ice creams….reading….eeeeeek and the thought of getting into a bikini could be a little daunting!  Why not start toning your body with a few of my bum and tum exercises below and of course spoil yourself with a gorgeous new bikini!  Here are a few of my favourite from Varley ….


VARLEY is a luxe beachwear label that was launched in 2012 by Ben Mead and Lara Parkin. The range features fashion forward bikinis, one piece swimsuits alongside elegant beachwear cover-ups all featuring signature VARLEY detailing in exclusive prints and trend-led block colours. The collection is made to mix and match shapes, styles and size. 

Glute Bridges (with a fitness circle)

o   Lying on your back, knees bent with fitness circle placed on the outside of your knees.
o   Engage your core abdominals, squeeze your bum tight and lift your hips up towards the ceiling. 
NOTE: do not let your rib cage pop
o   Hold at the top and squeeze your knees out against the ring – try and break it! Continue to hold and squeezing for 2 minutes. 

o   Then add in a small pulse, up and down an inch with your hips for 2 minutes, then hold it at the top again for 2 minutes and really try and break the ring!

Leg lift & lower

o   Get onto all fours with your knees under your hips and hands under shoulders.
NOTE: draw your belly button up towards the ceiling to support your lower back throughout the whole exercise
o   Stabalise your shoulders by pushing your chest away from your hands and squeezing the little muscle under your armpits.
o   Extend one leg behind you with your foot pointed and lift the leg just above hip height by squeezing your bum.
NOTE: think about lifting your knee before your foot.
o    Lower the leg back down slowly and controlled.  Continue to lift and lower for 20 reps. 
o   On the final one, lift your leg up to the top point, flex your foot and pulse your heel up towards the ceiling for 20 counts.  Alternate legs.

Lower abdominals leg lifts

o   Lying on your back, lift your legs straight up towards the ceiling.  Place the fitness circle on the outside of your ankles (can be done without the fitness circle). 
o   Engage your core abdominals and imprint your spine. Inhale to prepare, exhale, slowly start to lower your legs on the diagonal.
NOTE: Try not to let your lower back arch of the mat. If you feel your back strain, don’t lower your legs so much.
o   Inhale to hold it and exhale slowly bring the legs back up over your hips. 
o   Repeat for 20 counts with a 10 second hold at the end when your legs are lowered.

Side Plank

o   Start sitting sideways with your legs bent.
o   Place your supporting forearm onto the mat with your elbow underneath your shoulder. Lift your top hand up towards the ceiling.

NOTE: Before coming up into the side plank, draw your core in, squeeze your bum and draw your shoulders away from your ears.

o   Lift into the side plank and hold for 30 seconds. Alternate sides.

Advanced Side Plank
o   Once into the side plank position, lift the top leg up to the ceiling.