Category: Food (page 1 of 13)

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 Рlots 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


Chicken Courgetti with Pesto, Sun Dried Tomatoes and Mozzarella

We eat a lot of pasta. In fact we eat a lot of carbs full stop. One of the main reasons is probably convenience, so the freshly prepared courgetti from Quinfresh was a lovely change to traditional pasta.

courgetti recipe

I had never tried spiralized veg until recently, when my friend made me a Thai curry with spiralized carrot added. I really liked it, so when Quinfresh contacted me I was more than happy to try out some of their products.

quinfresh spiralized vegetables

The spiralized carrot was a hit with Harry, who liked snacking on it. Raw carrot sticks are too hard for him, but the carrot spirals were easy, and more fun for him to eat. They were also good in tuna wraps with houmous and olives!

We then tried the courgetti with chicken, pesto, sun dried tomatoes and mozzarella. Kind of an experiment, but the result was really tasty. The courgetti was very easy and quick to stir fry, and did resemble pasta more than I thought it would!

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 chicken breasts, marinated in salt, chilli, oregano and olive oil
  • 1 pack Quinfresh courgetti
  • 8 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 ball mozzarella, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 jar green pesto


  • Fry the chicken in olive oil for 5 minutes, add the sun dried tomatoes and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  • Remove from the pan and add 1 tbsp olive oil. Add the courgetti and stir fry for 3 minutes. Drain any excess water.
  • Add the chicken and sun dried tomatoes back to the pain and add the mozzarella. Stir for a few minutes on a low heat.
  • Add the pesto and stir well before serving.

The result was very tasty, quick to make, and didn’t give me that heavy, too full, feeling that pasta does. The one criticism I have is the portion size – the pack contains just 185 grams or 2 servings, and I think we could have eaten as least double that amount!

The next thing we are planning to try is cauliflower rice – sounds strange but maybe we will be converted! Thanks Quinfresh for giving us some alternatives to the usual carbs!

Love, Laurel

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