Cheap eats in Paris – L’As du Fallafel review

I’m pretty lucky that my mum lives in Paris, it means I regularly get to visit one of the most beautiful cities in the world. One of my favourite things to do is visit all the amazing places to eat! Parisians do food well, from warm freshly baked croissants in the morning, to crusty homemade French bread sandwiches with soft, melting French cheese and paper thin ham… I could go on and on. However, if you want to try somewhere a little different, with fresh food and huge portions all at a reasonable price, then look no further than L’As du Fallafel.

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After strolling through the picturesque cobbled streets of Le Marais and spotting Sasha Baron Cohen and Isla Fisher casually walking by, we stopped at L’As du Fallafel for some lunch. This is one my favourite places to eat in Paris; an Israeli falafel restaurant in the heart of the quaint Jewish district. This is a MUST try during your time in Paris and is inexpensive when compared to many other tourist traps close by.

If you want to avoid the queue I would recommend going for lunch (or getting a takeaway and eating on the go)! At dinner time you can sometimes be waiting over an hour for a table, but pop by at lunch and you shouldn’t be waiting more than 20 minutes for a table.

If this is your first time then you have to try the falafel, there are several other options on the menu such as chicken liver and schwarma all served in a warm pita bread, but the falafel is a good place to start. The pita comes stuffed with salad, red cabbage slaw, grilled eggplant and tzatziki; their homemade harissa is to die for and not too spicy, so make sure to add a generous helping!

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The hustle and bustle, and authentic Israeli cuisine transports you to the Middle East. The falafel is light and packed full of flavour and spices, made using a secret recipe making this the best place for falafel in Paris, if not Europe! I mean what other food still looks amazing half eaten?

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You can forget fine Parisian dining in this place, food is served on plastic plates with plastic cutlery and eating with your hands is acceptable, if not expected!

L’As du Fallafel is closed on Friday evenings and Saturday’s due to the Jewish Sabbath so make sure you visit during the week or on a Sunday, you don’t want to miss out!

 

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A chocoholics dream: review of Chocolate House in Luxembourg

Whilst visiting the beautiful (but tiny) country of Luxembourg I came across a stunning little cafe that I had to share with you!

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I’m the definition of a chocoholic, therefore as I strolled past a bustling little cafe called the Chocolate House I dragged my boyfriend inside to see what they had to offer. My jaw dropped as I walked inside and saw the hundreds of chocospoons on display; solid blocks of high quality chocolate set on a wooden spoon that you melt in milk to create a beautiful hot chocolate.

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The flavours were endless: milk chocolate, cookies and cream, chili and orange, stracciatella, (I could go on and on). The cake display was full of giant, decadent cakes making me feel like I was attending the mad hatter’s tea party. Unfortunately after eating a ridiculous amount of food at the hotel breakfast buffet, the humongous slices of cake were a bit daunting, but we did try three of the chocospoons.

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The flavours we picked were Baileys, Hot Chili and Black and White. You pick your spoon, take a seat and then the waitress brings you a big mug of steaming hot milk, the rest is pretty self explanatory. As the chocolate melts it’s difficult not to eat it straight off the spoon, but the wait is definitely worth it! My boyfriend chose the Black and White spoon which was a bit too sweet for my liking. The Hot Chili spoon was beautiful; it was smooth, creamy and intensely chocolatey followed by a subtle heat from the chili. The baileys spoon was my favourite, the milk chocolate made for a sweet drink with the baileys making it a more grown up beverage.

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If you ever happen to be in Europe and pass through the charming little country of Luxembourg I would highly recommend visiting this chocolate gem.

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Review of Peanut Hottie, the new peanut butter flavoured hot drink

Peanut butter lovers everywhere, take that spoon out of the jar; you no longer have to feel guilty when you’re scraping the last remnants of peanut butter off the side of the jar, 3000 calories later.

We all know peanut butter is a good fat, and great in moderation. However, if like me you keep a jar in your desk at work for the odd spoonful throughout the day (does anyone else actually do that?) then this new product on the hot drink market will make your day.

Being the peanut butter addict I am, when I read about a new, hot peanut butter flavoured drink called Peanut Hottie, I was ridiculously excited to try it.

I was lucky enough to get a sample sachet sent to me to review, and my colleagues can vouch that I was possibly slightly over excited when it came through the post. I may have even let out a small yelp.

Peanut Hottie

Being the good friend that I am, I reluctantly let my friend Lucy have a mug since she might even be more of a peanutbutter-holic than I am. (We once spent the evening sandwiching giant chocolate buttons together with peanut butter until we felt sick.)

Peanut Hottie

It smells just as it should, a lovely peanut buttery scent, and it isn’t like any hot drink I’ve tried before. It’s quite sweet, yet has a salty roasted peanut taste. It tastes indulgent like it should contain more than 83 calories.

My only criticism would be that it is slightly thin in consistency as it is only mixed with water. I think with the added creaminess of milk it would be perfect, more hot chocolate than tea.

Peanut Hottie

If you’re a peanut butter fiend and add it to everything from bagels to stir-fries you will love this new drink. It’s also caffeine free, suitable for vegetarians and contains no artificial ingredients. One sip of Peanut Hottie and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it before… or why you never thought of such an ingenious invention yourself.

Peanut butter vs. PB2

Peanut Butter VS. PB2

Unfortunately living in the UK means I can’t get my hands on some of the amazing health foods available in America. This meant I had to fork out £11.69 for two jars of PB2 on Amazon. If like me you have a slight obsession with peanut butter and often find yourself eating it by the spoonful for a morning (and afternoon, and evening) snack, then I would recommend trying it out!

The nutritional info:

Nutrional Info

For every 2 Tbsp. of PB2 compared to traditional peanut butter you save 145 calories! And it has absolutely no saturated fat.

The best bit about PB2 is that it’s all natural with a minimal list of ingredients: Roasted peanuts, sugar, salt.

The best BEST bit about PB2 is that it tastes AMAZING.

It comes in a powder and the ratio is 2 Tbsp. PB2 to 1 Tbsp. water. You mix it up until you get your desired consistency…

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…and eat it straight off the spoon with none of the guilt! Or you could put it on toast, and oh…my…goodness it makes for a delicious breakfast. It is possibly the best thing invented since peanut butter itself was invented.

Chocolate PB2

(chocolate PB2 is pictured in this photo.)

It even has little bits of peanuts once it’s been mixed up so it has a nice texture, and tastes just like normal peanut butter but without any of the fat!

Verdict:

Now here comes PB2’s ONLY downfall… It doesn’t come with all the great health benefits of natural, peanut butter as all the nutrients are taken out along with the fat. The fat in traditional peanut butter is a ‘good fat’ so I’m still going to be eating it for my breakfast, and it’s amazing to eat before/after a workout.

I’ll switch to PB2 when I fancy something sweet and not so calorific, possibly on the days where I’m not hitting the gym. I’m definitely going to try adding it to my baking/cooking, as all the peanut butter taste is still there, so watch this space for some yummy baked PB2 goodies coming soon!

My first attempt at chia seed pudding

After browsing various health food blogs and reading about the health benefits of chia seed I decided it would be worth a try.

You’ll soon come to learn that I have a ridiculous sweet tooth, I literally never get sick of sweet food; so when one blogger wrote that eating chia seed pudding for breakfast was like eating chocolate dessert, I was sold.

My first attempt was a bit of a flop. I added almond milk, stevia and cinnamon to the chia seed and left it in the fridge overnight. Although my clever placement of fruit made it look incredibly pretty, the taste was a huge let down. (Hence the massive dollop of peanut butter to cover the taste!)

Chia SeedIt has taken me 4 attempts but I now have the perfect recipe for the health conscious chocoholic like me. It is seriously good, it tastes creamy and chocolately and indulgent. You would never know this is a health food.

For one portion of pudding the ratio is 1 cup of nut/soya milk to 4 tbsp of chia seed.

Chocoholic’s Chia Seed Pudding:

– 4 tbsp chia seed

– 3/4 cup chocolate almond milk

– 1/4 cup coconut milk (NOT coconut cream.)

– 1 tsp cocoa or cacao powder

– Sweetener of choice to taste (I would recommend maple syrup to taste, but that’s just because I don’t like stevia.)

Mix it all up in tupperware box (or a pretty mason jar; a 0.5-0.8 jar will be around a single portion.) Give it a little shake and leave it overnight. You will have to give it a stir in the morning as the cocoa powder will have settled on the top. Add a drop more coconut milk to make the pudding your desired thickness and it’s ready!

chocochoaIt is the simplest recipe to prepare and only takes around 3-5 minutes to rustle up! Prepare it before bed and wake up to a seemingly sinful yet nutritious and filling breakfast.

To graze or not to graze?

If you’re unsure about whether to subscribe to graze box or not then read on for some helpful information:

I have a huge appetite and have to make sure I have my drawers stocked full of snacks at work otherwise I’m a bit of a nightmare to be around. As it’s Easter season (or as I like to call it Creme Egg season), I frequently find myself falling for the tempting, and oh so evil 3 Creme Eggs for £1 offer. As much as I love Creme Eggs and take advantage of them for the short and sweet time they’re around, this isn’t the healthiest snacking habit. I do bring healthy snacks into work with me such as almonds, dates and peanut butter, but it’s very easy to overdo it as they’re difficult to buy in single portions.

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Due to my uncontrollable sweet tooth I decided to sign up for a free trial of the graze box and have been hooked ever since! You can browse all their snacks on their website and pick which ones you definitely want to try, which ones you wouldn’t mind trying, and which snacks you never want to see in your box!

My ‘Love’ list contains mostly chocolate based goodies, however we all know dark chocolate is good for you (meaning you can eat as much as you like right)?

Graze Box
The graze box comes with a little menu with all the nutritional information of your snacks and full list of the ingredients so you know exactly what’s inside. All their food is natural and clean meaning guilt free snacking.

They have so many options to choose from, so if you think some of the snacks are slightly too calorific you can sign up to the light box with all the snacks coming in at under 150kcal. I have also recently discovered there is a CHOCOLATE BOX which I might have to switch to in the near future.

The snacks are conveniently packaged in individual portions, and you can get them delivered as often as you like to your home, office, or any address you choose!

Graze Box
graze has put together some really clever combinations of all your favourite treats such as rocky road, sticky toffee pudding, jaffa cake and many more, meaning you can enjoy some of your favourite flavours minus the carbs, added sugar, chemicals etc.

If you’re still not sure whether to try graze then they always have amazing offers which allow you to try a free box! I’m currently on an offer which gives me a free box, and then I get my 1st, 5th and 10th free. If you would like the same offer then here is a code for you to use (uk only):

D7YHNHGJB

Even if you decide you don’t want to continue you can cancel at any time and you’ve still had a free box.

Some of my favourite and recommended snacks:

The graze brownie: only 110kcal for three pieces of brownie and approximately 69% less saturated fat than other brownies!

Dark Rocky Road: With pecan nuts, dark chocolate buttons and cranberries it’s sweet yet tart, crunchy and satisfying.

My Thai: Sweet chilli sauce with baked soy bites and only 84 calories per portion!

 

My gluten free/guilt free cauliflower pizza!

I am here to make your day.

I have a recipe for you that will allow you to have pizza EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK without consuming an outrageous number of calories.

This pizza could probably serve 2, but I’m going to call it a single serving since I ate it all myself.  As it’s made from VEGETABLES it would be silly not to eat the whole thing (got to make sure you’re getting your 5 a day)!

I’ve attempted to make this pizza a few times and I think I’ve nailed it with this recipe. It’s chewy, packed full of flavour and can be picked up like a good pizza slice should be.

I mean… does this look healthy to you?

cauliflower pizza

Pizza Base Recipe:

♥ 1 small cauliflower head

♥ 2 tbsp almond meal

♥ 1 egg

♥ 2-4 tbsp grated parmesan

♥ 1 tsp garlic powder

♥ Small bunch of basil (or to taste)

♥ 1/4tsp oregano (or to taste)

♥ Pinch of salt and pepper (to taste)

Tomato sauce recipe:

♥ Half chopped onion

♥ 2 tbsp tomato puree

♥ 1 can chopped tomatoes

♥ 1 tsp chopped garlic

♥ 1/2 tsp oregano

♥ A few leaves of ripped up basil

♥ Pinch of sugar, salt and pepper (to taste)

Tomato Sauce:

1. Put chopped onions and garlic in a pan with olive oil and soften.

2. Add tomato puree to the pan and lightly fry.

3. Add chopped tomatoes along with herbs and spices and leave to simmer whilst the pizza base cooks until reduced.

Pizza Base:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c.

2.  Put your cauliflower in a food processor and blend until rice consistency.

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3. Put cauliflower rice into a tea towel and SQUEEZE as hard as you can to get all the liquid out.

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4. For a chewier base put the squeezed cauliflower in an oven for 10-12 minutes to dry out a little.

5. Mix all the ingredients together. It should hold together in a ball.

6. On a greased tray or piece of baking parchment shape the dough with your hand into a pizza base shape. image(5)

7. Put into the oven for approximately 20 minutes flipping half way through. (If it starts to go too brown cover with foil.)

8. Add tomato sauce and toppings of your choice to your pizza base and cook until ready. image(6)

From vegetable to an italian thin crust and healthy pizza in around 30 minutes!

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If you’re craving pizza this hits the spot. The base has SO much flavour because it’s packed with seasoning and herbs. You can add any toppings you like, and since the base is pretty much like eating a vegetable you can go crazy with your toppings, cheese it up!