Category: Food (page 1 of 13)

Homemade Chicken Fried Rice

For our wedding anniversary recently, we went out for some lovely Asian food in Belfast. The fried rice we had that night made me crave it so badly afterwards that I decided to give it a go myself. It turned out really good, and I’m so pleased I can now make this at home!

Homemade chicken fried rice

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 250g basmati rice, cooked
  • Whole bunch of spring onions, chopped finely
  • Stick of celery, diced
  • Red pepper, diced
  • Handful of Frozen peas
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3 chicken breasts, diced
  • Chopped chunks of ham (optional)
  • Sesame oil – approx 3 tbsp
  • Soy Sauce – approx 50ml
  • Clove of garlic
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • Tsp Ginger
  • 2 Sundried tomatoes, finely chopped


  • Heat some sesame oil in a wok. Add your chicken, garlic, chili and ginger. Stir fry until cooked through and transfer to a bowl.
  • Add more oil, the red pepper, celery, peas, ham and most of the chopped spring onions and stir fry for a few minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  • In your wok, add your egg and let it cook like an omelette briefly. Then use your spatula to chop it up into small pieces.
  • Add more oil, and the cooked rice, and stir fry for a few minutes.
  • Add all of your other ingredients, some soy sauce and keep stirring until the rice has been coated well and is slightly golden.
  • Serve immediately topped with some chill flakes, finely chopped sun dried tomatoes and spring onions.

When I was making this, I went through a stage where I thought it had gone wrong, and the rice was too sticky. But once it started to come together and all the other ingredients were added back to the wok, it turned out great and tasted so good. The sun dried tomatoes sound a bit odd, and the idea is stolen from the Belfast restaurant we went to, but they add something really nice to this version. I would highly recommend you give it a try!

Love, Laurel


Date, Walnut, Coconut and Cocoa Protein Balls

These Date, Walnut, Coconut and Cocoa Protein Balls are the perfect healthy snack. They are full of good stuff, taste great and are really satisfying. Plus they are so easy to make!

Date Walnut Cocoa Protein Balls

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 100g walnuts
  • 250g Forest Feast pitted dates
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp Chocolate protein powder
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • Pinch of salt


  • Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until completely blended.
  • Shape small handfuls into balls about the size of a walnut.

Date, Walnut, Coconut and Cocoa Protein Balls

The best thing about these little balls is their versatility; so you can change the ingredients depending on what you have in the cupboard. The dates and honey make them nice and sweet, but you could substitute the honey for coconut oil or peanut butter which would also taste great. If you don’t have protein powder, leave it out. Almonds or oats would be great instead of walnuts. The possibilities are endless!

I like the fact I can chuck one of these in my bag and know I have a healthy snack that tastes good and fills me up. Give them a go!

Love, Laurel

Review: An Italian treat at Il Gusto Ristorante, Belfast

Last week I attended the bloggers event at the newly opened Il Gusto Ristorante, Belfast. Situated on the Lisburn Road, Il Gusto is a cosy, warm and perfectly compact Italian restaurant. I loved the modern yet cozy interiors – lots of pine, mirrors and  gorgeous brushed green leather seating.

il gusto ristorante lisburn road belfast

The menu offers a selection of authentic Italian fayre with homemade pizza and pasta, as well as a great selection of fish and meat dishes. To start I went for the Chicken and Bacon Caesar Salad, which was lovely, but my friend chose the meatballs and they were amazing! Unbelievably tasty and not in any way fatty like some meatballs can be.

chicken bacon caesar salad

For our main course my friend and I both chose the Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Ravioli. This was a huge hit and I could have eaten it twice! The pasta was perfectly cooked and the filling was tasty and moreish. The tomato sauce in which the ravioli was served was delicious; extremely light, fresh and rich all at the same time. I would love to know the recipe but I’d say it’s a closely guarded secret by the Italian chef at Il Gusto.

sweet potato and pumpkin ravioli

Dessert time arrived and I chose one of my favourites – Tiramisu. Topped with pistachios (another favourite of mine) covering layers of mascarpone cream, coffee and chocolate it was up there with the best I’ve tasted and I enjoyed every bite.

pistachio tiramisu

The portion sizes weren’t huge so I easily ate the three courses without feeling completely stuffed – or maybe I am just greedy! However with the menu priced so reasonably you could afford to try three courses without breaking the bank.

I highly recommend you try out this cozy and authentic Italian eaterie – you won’t be disappointed. Thank you Il Gusto for a great evening.

Love, Laurel


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