Brunch at Alyssum Cafe Bistro, Sheffield

If you’re looking for a delicious brunch in a super cute setting with mouth-watering cakes to devour afterwards, Alyssum is the place for you.

In a predominately student populated area, you could easily drive past Alyssum, based on Barber Road, Crookesmoor, if you weren’t looking for it.

It’s tucked between a few shops and is really quaint. With just a few tables inside, surrounded by ornate, homely décor, you’re in luck if you get a table straight away.

This popular brunch spot is a very foodie place indeed and an Instagrammers haven for sure!

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Instagram is in fact how I stumbled across Alyssum and after browsing through their pictures it was quickly added to be brunch ‘to do’ list.

After the gym one morning, I finally headed there with my friend Jade. We both had the vegan Alyssum breakfast which was made up of a potato rosti, house-made tomato and pepper smoke paprika salsa, sautéed mushrooms, falafel and avocado.

It was absolutely delicious, not to mention beautifully presented. The menu speaks for itself, with plenty of choice and lots of delicious Greek options for breakfast, brunch and lunch. Take a look for yourself here to get those taste buds tantalised.

Beware though, you’ll definitely want a cake afterwards! The cakes change daily and although I didn’t try one on my most recent trip, it’s safe to say I’ll be back to try one asap. Check out their website here for some seriously insane pictures of their cake creations. They even make vegan chocolate cake too!

Alyssum’s tasty creations don’t stop there though…we need to talk about the coffee! Both Jade and I devoured two cappuccinos (almond milk for Jade, soya for me!) with vanilla syrup in one and hazelnut in the other. They were SO good, seriously – so good! I love coffee. Not to mention, they were presented beautifully as well.

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The menu and pictures speak for themselves but once you’ve read the menu and looked over their Instagram feed, get yourself in the car and head over there!
Enjoy! If you do go, let me know what you think 🙂

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Vegetarian burgers – better than the ‘real’ thing

I don’t want to blow my own trumpet….but I’m going to – haha!

These burgers were delicious, really filling and super easy to make. At the minute, my diet is kind of vegetarian, I say kind of because I’m still eating fish. I’ll probably explain it more in a further, more detailed post about why I’m doing it, but at the minute, I’m just finding out what works for me.

Anyway – back to the burgers!

veggie-burgers

Here’s what went in them..

You will need:
2 tins of beans – I used borlotti beans but kidney beans would also work well I imagine
100g breadcrumbs
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 small red onion or half of a large one, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1tbsp coriander, finely chopped
Small sprinkling or chilli flakes or 1.2 red chilli deseeded and finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 egg
Burger buns (should you want them) and salad and sweet potato fries to serve!

To make:
-Drain the bins and empty in to a large bowl. Take a fork or a potato masher and mash the beans until they’ve all been squished.
– Add everything else but only half of the breadcrumbs before mixing well to combine.
– Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumbs on to a plate and then grab a handful of the mixture and shape into a burger before rolling in breadcrumbs. Once you’ve formed all of the burgers, pop some clingfilm over the plate and place in the fridge until you’re ready to cook. I’ve found that chilling them for an hour or so really helps them to keep their shape.
– To cook, heat a small amount of oil (I use coconut) in a non-stick frying pan (or any good frying pan you have!) and essentially just fry them on each side for between 4-5 mins so they’re thoroughly warmed through.
– Serve in a bun topped with lettuce and relish or whatever sides your heart desires!

Enjoy 🙂 If you do make these, please let me know by commenting below or tag me on Instagram @hbryan91

Mexican breakfast bowl

I love breakfast!

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Weekend breakfasts – and breakfasts in general – are my absolute favourite thing to make and eat! Here’s a little recipe I rustled up at the weekend in less than 20 minutes. Not only is it great for slow releasing energy (slow carb) but it’s got good fats from the avocado, protein in the eggs and beans and loads of fibre and vitamins in the green veggies. Cereal? No thank you! 🙂 Seriously, this was super tasty and a welcome addition to my breakfast menu.

You will need: (to feed two hungry people!)
– 1 can borlotti beans
– 1 ripe avocado
– 1 lime
– Chorizo
– Handful of sundried tomatoes
– Sprinkle of chopped coriander
– Spinach
– Eggs (I used 5)
– Tenderstem broccoli
– Pepper to season
– 1tsp coconut oil

To make:
– Start by heating the coconut oil in a large frying pan and add the chopped chorizo.
– Next add the broccoli and stir-fry until cooked before adding the spinach. In a bowl whisk the eggs & then pour into the frying pan. Stir slowly as the eggs scramble. Add the pepper for seasoning.
– In a separate pan empty the can of borlotti beans in and heat until warm.
– To make the avocado mash peel an avocado and mash it up using a fork. Then add the chopped sundried tomatoes and the juice of one lime.
– Serve in a big bowl with a sprinkling of coriander on top and voilà, done!

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations using #hannahshappypace

Why it’s good to be nuts about nuts

Nuts are such an underrated snack.

Different types of nuts offer different nutritional benefits but they’re all packed full of goodness including plenty of fibre, good fats and protein. Yes, they are high in fat and 100g cashews typically contains 553 calories but before you vow never to eat a handful again let me tell you why nuts ARE in fact good for you and although high in fat, it’s good fats and fat like this is our friend to use a tired but true cliché.

30g is the ideal snack size for nuts so try and stick to that. I’m talking about unsalted, non-honey coated nuts here too!

They’re so easy to snack on as well. You don’t need to keep them in a special Tupperware and they have a long shelf life which is perfect if you want to buy in bulk.

I’ve put together a bit of info to highlight the nutritional benefits different nuts offer.

Let’s start with…

 Almonds:almonds
These nuts are packed full of fibre which is good for your digestive system. They’re also rich in vitamin E which is a great antioxidant and is good for the skin. If you’re avoiding dairy then stock up on almonds as they’re calcium and phosphorous rich. Finally, these nuts are especially good for your heart if they have their skin on as it is full of heart-protecting nutrients.
Try them in porridge or add ground almonds to home-made energy bars.
30g contains roughly 173 calories.

casjhews  Cashews:
Cashews are a definite brain booster as they contain lots of magnesium which is supposed to help with age –related memory loss. Some studies have even gone as far to say that eating cashews can help to warn off Alzheimer’s. Not only that but these nuts are also rich in iron and zinc which is good if you’re a vegetarian and lacking minerals usually found in red meat.
Try them in this really easy to make Pad Thai dish.
30g contains roughly 166 calories.

brazil nuts  Brazil nuts:
If your immune system needs a boost then grab a couple of Brazil nuts. They’re a good source of selenium which boosts immunity and also helps those who have a low thyroid function. It has also been suggested that selenium might help to prevent certain cancers including prostate and breast cancer. An ideal serving would be 3-4 Brazil nuts, it’s important not to over-do it with these.
Perfect simply as an afternoon snack or on your cereal.
30g roughly contains 197 calories.

hazelnuts  Hazelnuts:
We all love a hazelnut shot in our coffee but like other nuts these boast a high amount of good fat. Hazelnuts in particular are full of mono-unsaturated fats which can  improve heart health. The nutrients in hazelnuts help to balance out homocysteine levels – amino acid homocysteine has been linked to heart problems according to medical research.
Try them in home-made crunchy granola.
30g roughly contains 184 calories

walnuts  Walnuts:
They can often look like a brain and the image fits as these nuts are rich in omega -3 and mono-unsaturated fats which are both food for the heart. They are also a good source of calcium, iron, selenium and magnesium. Calcium and iron will help with strong bones whilst selenium is a fantastic anti-oxidant. Walnuts have also been proven to help lower cholesterol.
Try them in a salad with raisins or grapes and feta cheese.
30g roughly contains 196 calories

 

Center Parcs spa day

There’s no better way to chill out and re-group than a spa day and that’s exactly what Dane and I did at Center Parcs.

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We headed to Sherwood Forest for the afternoon/evening thanks to a generous Christmas present and I had literally been counting down the days until it was time to go!

We were booked in for a twilight session which starts at 4pm and on arrival we were given white fluffy dressing gowns and a towel as well as being told we could get our complimentary drink whenever we liked. The complimentary drink was either fresh orange juice or champagne.

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At each Aqua Sana Spa you’ll find a minimum of 15 spa experience rooms and there is an extensive range of treatments available from aromatherapy massages to facials for both men and women. There was 16 amazing spa rooms at Sherwood Forest including plenty of resting zones to chill out in.

Picture cred: Center Parcs

Picture cred: Center Parcs

Japanese Salt Bath - picture cred to Center Parcs

Japanese Salt Bath – picture cred to Center Parcs

Dane and I wasted no time in getting stuck in and headed for the Japanese Salt Steam Bath room which was definitely our favourite. There was also a trepidarium to cleanse the body and boost the immune system whilst the mediation room, complete with water trickles and a lemon scent, provided the perfect place to enjoy some quiet time.

We also spent some time in the outdoor zen garden – mainly messing about with yoga poses – and chilled out on the balconies in the big pods complete with fluffy blankets which was great as it was freezing!

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We took a break halfway through and hit the Vitale Cafe Bar, still in our dressing gowns, and treated ourselves to a fruit scone with jam and clotted cream. We also had one of these sharing platters which came with ciabatta bread, balsamic and oil, prosciutto ham,  chorizo, olives, pesto covered mozzarella, sundried tomatoes and taramasalata – lovely!

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Afterwards, we headed to the main village area which had plenty of choice for restaurants. We picked Cafe Rouge and enjoyed a really nice dinner. We shared chorizo bites and baked Camembert to start and then Dane had steak and I had a giant chicken and bacon salad. We finished the evening with three Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a McFlurry on the drive home which probably isn’t what most spas would recommended but it’s highly recommended by me!

Overall, I’d really recommend a visit to Center Parcs if you fancy a spa break. It has everything you’d need and if you feel like spending the day there then there’s PLENTY to do from hiring bikes and hitting the trails to a big swimming pool with slides, badminton courts and a fitness studio.