Gorgeous pesto and great products to review!

Happy Valentines Day, well at least to those that celebrate it! I have to say we don’t really bother much in our household. I have made a nice meal for dinner but apart from that we are not all about the hearts and flowers!

This mornings breakfast was a big bowl of Dorset Cereals Low Fat Berry Flakes with a chopped apple and rice milk plus a vanilla coffee:

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I love this cereal, I reviewed it a while ago and when I saw it on offer I couldn’t resist buying another box. As you can see I certainly don’t go for the 30g recommended serving size, I need at least a full bowl full to keep me anywhere near full!

Lunch was a really tasty salad containing wild rocket, spinach, carrot, red and green pepper, cucumber, alfalfa sprouts and fresh coriander topped with some sesame smoked tofu and the most delicious dressing taken from my Fresh Asian Salad recipe: sesame oil, soy sauce, sweet chilli sauce and ginger. I also had a peach:

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Mid afternoon I snacked on a chocolate peppermint stick Luna Bar, love these!

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I hit the gym for my usual Monday night workout – 20 minutes of HIITs on the cross trainer, 20 minutes of HIITs on the step machine, 30 minute spin class and my abs and core exercises.

Dinner was a little more special than usual for valentines day. I made myself some organic spelt spinach tagliatelle with spiralised courgette and asparagus, two heaped teaspoons of la sacla organic basil pesto and vegetarian parmesan style cheese:

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Holy yum this was great! First time I’ve bought pesto to eat at home, before this I’ve just eaten pesto in restaurants. This was just so tasty! I’ll have to have a crack at making some homemade pesto sometime. James also had pasta but with some mixed seafood and a tomato sauce. Although we made a bit of an effort with this meal we ended up eating it in front of the TV, so much for romance ;-)

Dessert was delicious!

Chocolate Amaretto Mousse (makes 2 servings, based on Chocolate Covered Katie’s Recipe)

  • 1 block of mori nu silken tofu
  • 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder (I used Green and Blacks)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of agave syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of amaretto liqueur or 1 – 2 teaspoons of natural almond extract (I used 2 tablespoons of liqueur plus 1 teaspoon of almond extract)
  • Flaked almonds for garnish (optional)

Put all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to your prettiest bowls and chill for at least an hour before serving:

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This tasted so good! I used a little more cocoa powder and agave than usual as this was being shared with the hubby and he likes things a little sweeter than I do. I would start with adding a tablespoon at a time, blending, then tasting and adjusting measurements accordingly. I love blended tofu puddings, especially chocolate mint, chocolate orange and chocolate peanut butter and this is another worthy addition!

We’ll also probably finish the bottle of red from the weekend a bit later :-)

Clearspring goodies for review

I was ridiculously excited to be able to link with the great company Clearspring to review some of their products!

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Brown rice udon noodles, soba noodles, miso ginger ramen noodles, soya sauce ramen noodles, sencha green tea, tamari and black sesame rice cakes, apple and blueberry fruit puree, organic tofu

I’m already a huge fan of Clearspring products including their nori, kuricha tea, miso pastes etc. and I absolutely can not wait to try some of these new products out. I’m really excited to try the new tofu – its organic and can be stored at room temperature with a longer shelf life rather than having to be refrigerated. Its also completely free from artificial preservatives. I also think the instant noodles and rice cakes look really interesting! Clearspring are a fantastic company that offer organic and mostly vegan high quality products that are free from artificial colourings, preservatives, MSG or genetically modified ingredients. As usual I will give feedback as I try these out then do a full review post.

I was extra pleased to be able to link with a company like Clearspring as I really wanted to feature some products that haven’t already been reviewed on lots of other blogs. This is also why I jumped at the chance to try out the cosy teas and the Plamil dairy free chocolate. I think its great that we share favourite products and companies but I also think its good for us to retain some originality – especially for the sake of readers who must get sick of seeing the same products repeated on blog after blog. I’m going to try and adopt this approach more in the future – I think its lovely to seek out and feature different companies and new exciting products when possible!

I’ve discovered so many great products via blogs such as nakd bars, Bear granola and nibbles and Booja Booja to name but a few! Do you enjoy seeing products reviewed on blogs? What products have you discovered via blogs?

Comments

  1. says

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who needs an entire bowl of cereal to stay full! Who decides on those serving sizes anyway, they are ridculous! Good on you for reviewing products from different (and smaller) companies, it must be great exposure for them.

  2. says

    I love to see reviews- and I think it is good for the smaller companies to get some press. Although I like nakd bars (and have done for years when I found them by chance in sainsburys) I like seeing them on blogs as I think they are great, and the more people that like them the more flavours they will invent! And they can take down the so called healthy bars like alpen light. There are quite a few products that I tried (for my blog) and now love- eg nuun hydration, teapigs tea, rude health, mule bars, conscious chocolate. Oh dear I am obsessed it appears! I like clearspring fruit purees and baking things, but have never even seen their tofu. So me seeing it here will mean I will look out for it. So I look forward to the review. :)

  3. says

    Loving the Chocolate Amaretto Mousse. Tofu in desserts os fab!!

    Clear sring porducts are lovely, I especially love their range of noodles. Yum! I also understand your feelings on trying to be original with food reviews. It is hard though as you never know what other people are planning, but that can add to the fun. I also have some Cosy Tea on the way, but there seems to be a problem with the delivery it was meant to be here at the beginning of the month. I cannot wait to try it.

    I think food reviews are a great idea for blogs. I have been introduced to so many new brands and foods as a result. The new one being raw chocolate by you!!! :-)

  4. says

    I totally agree, 30g of cereal is definitely not enough for anyone! Where did you see it on offer by the way as I love this one!
    Wow your dessert sounds delicious! I don’t drink but I love the flavour of amaretto which I guess is why I like my new speculoos spread as it has that kind of flavour.
    You are so lucky to be able to review the Clearspring products! I look forward to hearing what you think of their new tofu as I saw it in Almonds and Raisins and was considering buying it. I really hope I get the chance to review some products one day..I have discovered so many new ones that I have regularly through blogging – Nakd bars, Bear nibbles, Clif bars, Pack Tunch bars, Spiru-tein powders…gosh the list goes on!

  5. says

    Haha, I wonder if *anyone* sticks to the 30g serving size with cereal!? I had some Dorset muesli today as a SNACK and I had more than 30g!

    I have to admit that I don’t really read reviews. I browse a bit in a couple of health food shops, but otherwise, I try to just stick to the basics. I do scan through them more as a vegan though, as I appreciate that my options are more limited, and that it might be worth me ordering stuff online of my LHFS doesn’t stock it.

    Happy valentines day to you guys!

  6. says

    That choccy dessert looks wonderful :)

    You’re right, the Clearspring products are something a little bit different. Looking forward to your reviews.

  7. Angela says

    Cereal (and pasta!) portions are shockingly small when you go by whats on the box. I always bulk it up with some fruit.

    If you had asked the review question a month ago I would have said yes I love reading about new stuff and have bought plenty of things I’ve seen. Today though I would probably skip the post. Nothing to do with you or whoever is posting personally, it’s just that all the blogs I read went a bit review crazy in January and it was like reading one of those magazines where every other page is an advert. I’m still interested in hearing about new products but in smaller doses!

  8. says

    Yeah I blow the 30g portion control out of the window too! Great foods the amaretto pudding sounds delicious I love amaretto! I love seeing reviews on blogs especially of its a new to me product! x x

  9. says

    30g of cereal my bum! Even for a normal person without my overeating issues, that’s not enough. They only do it so uneducated people look at the back and unfortunately are gullible enough to think ‘ooh, that’s not many calories, I’ll have that!’ because they assume that 30g fills a bowl right up to the top.

    I don’t necessarily mind seeing the same products reviewed because it’s interesting to compare opinions, but equally I think it’s great that you’re showcasing the full range of vegan products out there.

    I’ve discovered far too many foods and recipes from blogs to list here ~ pretty much everything I have now has been blog-influenced in some way!

    xxx

  10. says

    I’m keen to see a review of the Clearspring stuff. I’ve seen it around, but not got round to trying any yet.
    I’m with you on the cereal – 30g is a mouthful. I usually go for at least twice that amount!

  11. says

    Stacey – I know, 30g my arse!

    Maria – sounds like you’ve reviewed some fab products too. Glad your looking forward to the review!

    Carrie – glad your finding out about some products you didn’t know about before!

    Jemma – I think you’ll love the cosy teas! I suppose you don’t know what others are planning for your blogs but like I say I really do want to try and remain as unique as possible! Glad you found out about the raw choc from me! I think its nice to link back when you’ve been inspired by another blogger too, thanks :-)

    Nicky – it was in sainsbury’s on offer, I just couldn’t resist! Sounds like you’ve found some great products!

    Alison – I think you’ve summed it up before with these kind of products or unusual ingredients – they can be great for adding some interest and diversity to your diet but at the end of the day they aren’t essential for a healty diet. I like seeking out these reviews as I enjoy seeing similar things on blogs so hope others will enjoy seeing it here!

    Becky – thanks!

    Angela – I can see your point, I think as bloggers we need to seek a balance. I like to have products for review but not in to much excess. I guess it depends on each indviduals idea of what that excess is!

    Tam – I completely agree – especially new products. I loved hearing about your chocaru stuff!

    Jessica – haha, I think it was reading your blog that tipped me on the Sun warrior!

    Everydaysapicnic – Hope you find the clearspring stuff interesting!

    Laura – I think I must have easily had three times the 30g amount!

    Katie – Thats actually a fab idea! I may try mixing in other stuff to make the cereal more filling :-)

  12. says

    Yum, that chocolate tofu dessert looks lovely! I first tried baking some firm tofu to go with a stirfry last week and really enjoyed it, but I’ve yet to try the silken variety. It kind of looks like a chocolate angel delight mousse which I used to eat when I was little (minus the amaretto ofcourse!). That’s it, I’m going on a silken tofu hunt on my next grocery shop ;)

    I look forward to reading your review on the Clearspring products, the stuff that I’ve tried from them so far (those little fruit purees and some of the noodles) have been really good quality and delicious. The ramen noodles/miso product sounds awesome, just what I’m craving for lunch :)

  13. says

    Hahaha SO true about the cereal portion sizing! The last cereal I had suggested 25g!! Sure!

    I love reading blog reviews of products I don’t know about, like this! I’ve never tried ANY of that stuff before, so I can’t wait to read more! :D

  14. says

    Hi there! I’m so glad to see you had a great V-day, and your pesto dinner looks fantastic! So does the mousse of course; I eat that stuff like everyday! :) Love the Clearspring product review-I’ve never had their stuff but it looks great! Thanks for your opinion:)

  15. says

    Mmm, pesto. I can’t get enough of it! And I particularly like product reviews on blogs, it’s helped me discover all kinds of my favorites!

  16. says

    I’ve only tried the clearspring fruit purees and liked them (but now I just make my own to save money).

    Keep meaning to make mousse, silken tofu is brilliant.

    Pesto rocks! I love sun dried tomato the most, think I just love sun dried tomato anything though…

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