Healthy Living with Rizopia

The lovely people at Rizopia sent me some of their products to review a little while ago and this week I finally managed to get some time in the kitchen to create my healthy masterpieces. Their range includes only 100% Natural Organic brown rice pasta.

I started with a vegetable lasagne and used their Gluten-Free brown rice lasagne sheets. I added so many vegetables it was ridiculous! There were mushrooms, tomatoes, broccoli, courgettes, peppers, with garlic, onion and paprika to add some depth of flavour. I also put a fine layer of cheddar cheese in between each layer of lasagne just to hold it all together.

The healthiest lasagne I’ve ever made and it was gorgeous! The pasta tastes even better than the regular stuff I buy from Tesco and knowing that the whole dish was probably half the calories of a normal one made it that much cheekier! The texture was soft but still a bit firm, like a really good kind of chewy and the nutty aftertaste sold it to me.

Lasagne

The second dish I made was using their brown rice Fusilli twists. I cooked the pasta as normal, drained off the water but kept a little bit to add back into the pan with the drained pasta. I then added my box of passata until it was stirred through and then added a handful of frozen garden peas just at the end so they were still a tiny bit crunchy when I bit into them! I topped the dish off with just a sprinkling of grated cheddar cheese.

tomato pasta

This is an amazing dish to make if you want to plan ahead as you can make a big batch and freeze it for later, although this is what I have when I’m in need of comfort food and isn’t going to help your route to healthy eating if you have it every night.

Rizopia pasta is so good that it has been NHS approved and is available on prescription for those who suffer from Coeliac disease

For more information visit http://www.rizopia.co.uk

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A Pukka Meal

I was lucky enough to go to Jamie’s Italian with a very handsome young gentleman last week and it was the best meal I’ve had in quite some time!

We had a 20 minute wait so we sat at the bar and I flashed my Jamie’s gold loyalty card at the barman. This entitled both of us to a free cocktail…result! We both has a Rossini which is a glass filled with red berry puree topped with Prosecco… Mmmmm!

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Rossini Cocktails

We were feeling fairly hungry so opted to skip starters and go straight for mains. I opted for the Pumpkin Panzerotti which is pasta filled with roasted squash, ricotta & Parmesan, in a pumpkin, chilli & rosemary butter with smashed amaretti. The pasta was fresh and the flavours really hit your taste buds in all the right places!

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My ‘date’ chose the British Lamb Lollipops.

Looking nowhere near a childish as the name suggests this gargantuan meal of lamb chops grilled under a brick with a pickled mint, tarragon & red onion salad, toasted nuts & a lemony yoghurt dressing is not for the faint hearted. The lamb was beautifully tender and mixed with the yoghurt dressing just improved the flavours even more.

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We both chose to have a side of Jamie’s famous Polenta Chips with a garlic mayonnaise to dip. I was a bit surprised by these as I’ve had them before and they are more chip shaped, whereas this time they came out the size of bricks. They still tasted AMAZING though!

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By this point we had both made our way through 2 of our favourite drinks each… the ginger mojito! Normally I’m a huge advocate of alcohol at dinner but these alcohol-free alternatives taste so fresh you can’t help but love them.

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For dessert  we always have very conflicting views. For me a warm fudgy brownie with amaretto ice cream & caramelised amaretti popcorn. Whilst Jack indulged in something a bit sweeter, the Autumn Ripped Pavlova, Zesty cream, limoncello-soaked fruits & smashed hazelnut praline.

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Needless to say we were both suitable full by this point and needed to go and have a well deserved lie down.

With a child-friendly atmosphere and a huge menu with several sharing options available too, I’d definitely recommend Jamie’s as a great place for any family to head this Mother’s Day.

Jamie’s Italian…Please sir can we have some more!

We visited this restaurant after deciding to make a girly evening of it! You certainly couldn’t miss Jamie’s as it towers over the riverside like a beacon, with a huge sign and floating balcony. Inside we were pleasantly surprised by the setting, tucked away inside, the seating reminded us of being abroad. Unfortunately it was a rather cold evening and so we opted to sit inside.

Our waitress was lovely, very enthusiastic and obviously knew the menu very well as she quoted the day’s specials to us. She took our drinks orders while we browsed the menu, Shauna had a coke while I ordered a non-alcoholic ginger mojito, and promptly brought them over to us. We were surprised at how reasonable the prices were and ordered our main courses and sides.

We were not kept waiting long and the food was delicious. We both opted for the Sausage Pappardelle; Slow-braised fennel sausage ragù with Torrione red wine, Parmesan & crunchy, herby breadcrumbs…It was amazing! You could tell that the pasta had been made fresh that day and all of the flavours complimented each other wonderfully. We also had some polenta chips, crispy fried with rosemary salt & Parmesan on the side.

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After our main course we ordered a dessert each… My friend opted for a trio of ice cream; vanilla, chocolate and salted caramel all dusted with crushed nuts. I chose a warm fudgy brownie with amaretto ice cream & caramelised amaretti popcorn. Both of these were exquisite and left us feeling suitable full up.

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As the restaurant got busier we were slightly over looked after requesting the bill but overall our experience at this restaurant was positive and the food was certainly good value for the money, we will definitely visit again.