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Fully Loaded Veggie Burgers with Halloumi, Pineapple, Beet and Avocado

This post is in collaboration with Bertolli

As most of you know by now, I’ve gone back to vegetarianism for a bit. I’ve done it for a variety of reasons: it’s cheaper, it’s hard to argue against the fact that it’s better for you – and for some reason that I’ve been unable to identify, I’ve just gone off meat in general. The thought of cooking with it suddenly makes me feel a bit voms, truth be told. My very much plant based Mother couldn’t be happier, as I’m sure you can imagine.

What better way to jump into this new regime than with a perfect-for-summer veggie burger recipe, eh? I should be clear from the off, this isn’t a recipe for a veggie patty (I’m yet to turn out one of those that I’m pleased enough with to share with the world) as much as it is a flavour combination suggestion that you might not have heard before. In fact, there’s really no reason that it need be vegetarian at all, if that’s not your bag. The burger I use is Linda McCartney’s mozzarella ¼ pounder, because it’s texture and flavour is beautiful, and the way it feels in the mouth mimics the beef burger experience rather well.

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I’ve been meaning to put this together for quite some time. An old friend of mine, Hannah – who’s since moved to Australia – insisted that I try burgers with pineapple and beetroot (something she eats/sees out there all the time) a good few months back. I owe you one Hannah, these are banging. Make sure you check her out on Instagram if you’re into pretty girls and travel shots.

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Ordinarily, I’d use olive oil to fry my halloumi. However, thanks to a new innovation from Bertolli, I can use something a little more buttery. Bertolli with butter is now available in block form (£1 at Tesco if you’re quick) and allows you to cook using fat with a buttery taste but on far higher temperatures than real butter can handle. If I was still a meat girl, I’d wager that this would be a dream with steak – seeing as I’m temporarily not, it really did the job on that halloumi.

Serves 2

2 x your favourite veggie burgers (I love Linda McCartney Mozzarella ¼ pounders)
2 heaped tbsps shredded smoky beetroot (something along these lines is available in most supermarkets, mine is from Tesco)
2 pineapple rings
2 halloumi burger circles
1 avocado
2 tbsps garlic mayonnaise
2 brioche buns
Heaped tbsp Bertolli with olive oil

  1. Cook your veggie burgers according to pack instructions.
  2. Heat Bertolli in a non stick frying pan on a medium/high heat, then cook halloumi for about five minutes either side (or until golden brown on both sides, stay with the pan!)

Stack those burgers. I go for mayo first followed by veggie burger, beet, pineapple, halloumi and finally avocado. Squish together the brioche and devour, no cutlery allowed.

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This post is in collaboration with Bertolli

It’s Time to Get Your Picnic On

Did you know that it was International Picnic Day on Sunday 18th June? Nope, I wouldn’t have done either if it weren’t for Tesco sliding into my inbox about it. Most food holidays pass me by pretty much unnoticed these days, but eating alfresco is something I’ve come to get really excited about in the last couple of months – as you’ll already know if you keep up to date with Happy Sunday – so I figured this was one worth writing about.

Tesco have just launched a new mediterranean inspired Deli range consisting of lots of little bites that are edible both hot and cold, making them just about perfect for all of your picnicky needs. The Tesco team sent us a selection of their new treats – along with pretty much everything else we could possibly need for the perfect picnic – over the weekend so that I could bring you this little slice of fun in the sun.

International Picnic Day Sussex Downs

Eating outside is really good for you. I hear you, I’m a massive hippy and I’m constantly saying stuff like that – so if you don’t want to take my word for it, that’s totally cool. A couple of studies cited in this Business Insider article (written a few years back to convince workers to take their lunch breaks outside) found that the whole being outdoors thing seems to reduce cortisol (the stress hormone) which can only be a positive thing, right?

Aside from the scientifically provable benefits of chowing down on good food in the fresh air, alfresco dining is just more fun. It’s a shake up from the routine, an opportunity to try new food, a chance to really connect with the person you’re eating with away from the constricts of four familiar walls and distracting screens of one kind or another. I am 100% guilty of not paying enough attention to the actual human beings in front of me because I’m staring at my phone, and I think being outside really decreases the likelihood of that for me because it feels so much more inappropriate when you’re literally surrounded by the beauty of the English countryside.

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Speaking of the beautiful English countryside, let’s talk location. I’m lucky enough to have the Sussex Downs pretty much on my actual doorstep. This lush field is about a five minute walk from Tom’s place. If we didn’t fancy greenery, we could have headed to the beach, and if we wanted something a little more urban then we might have plonked ourselves down in front of the Pavilion. I’m not intentionally bragging about the glorious set of options we have for picnicking in Brighton come summer time, more demonstrating that if you think about it for long enough, you’ll probably come up with a few half decent potential spots within walking distance of your house. If you have no idea where to find somewhere lovely to BYO food to near you, I’ll leave you in the very capable hands of The National Trust.

Booze is not essential but definitely encouraged, and prosecco is almost always my go-to. Unless there are pre-mixed cocktail cans knocking about somewhere on offer, those are a bit of alright when it comes to picnicking – and lighter than big glass bottles, a plus when neither you nor your boyfriend drive and you’re lugging your hamper around like Buckaroo.

International Picnic Day Sussex Downs

Food. Food, food, food. Sometimes, I like to go all out and homemake every single little thing I take on a picnic from scratch. I once packed a surprise one for Tom containing chorizo sausage rolls and rhubarb and custard cake. While a taste sensation, it took me all night to prepare and all of about twenty minutes for us to demolish. Sometimes, it’s far nicer to pop down to the supermarket, grab a few bits and be on your way. The new Tesco Deli range offered us that convenience, and didn’t let us down in the taste department either.

Tesco New Deli Range

Pictured above is my favourite from the range – it was a toss up between these and the sweetcorn fritters – the mozzarella and tomato pot. The cheese tasted of grand quality, the tomatoes were slow roasted and spot on, and each mouthful was bursting with summery flavour. Pictured below are little bits of cheese wrapped in chorizo. Yes, you heard me correctly. No, this is not a drill. That’s something that you can buy and put in your mouth. Most of the new Deli arrivals can currently be found in store at 3 for £5 (if you and bae spend a tenner between you that’s 6 different small bites to be savoured together, count me in).

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Finally, we move on to a picnic element that I had neglected up until this weekend: games. Why didn’t anyone alert me to how much fun could me had mucking around playing sort-of-pictionary with a chalkboard or frolicking about throwing hoops at sticks in between courses? Whatever your preference when it comes to entertainment of the outdoor variety, make sure you take something with you on your next venture, it’s 100% worth the teensie bit of extra weight.

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Don’t forget that it’s supposed to be fun. Don’t over plan, don’t stress over it, just make sure you’ve definitely got enough food and water and everything else will work itself out. Where’s your favourite picnic spot? Hit me up in the comments!

I’ll leave you with these tips from Tesco themselves..

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Disclaimer: this isn’t a sponsored post but Tesco did provide us with all the kit and caboodle to have a bangers picnic, so a big thank you to them!

We’re Going to LoveFit Festival 2017

Call me crazy, but I think I’ve found a festival that will have you feeling better when you leave than you did when you arrived – and I’m down for it. LoveFit is coming our way 28-31st July at the St Clere Estate in Kent. There’s a musical presence in the evening but – in a UK first – their main focus is fitness, with special classes running throughout Saturday and Sunday.

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If you’d have told me three years ago that in 2017 I’d be willingly attending a festival dedicated to fitness I’d have laughed in your face – probably inadvertantly spraying you with cake crumbs – and dismissed such silliness immediately. My life is looking pretty different now: I pay attention to what I’m eating from a health perspective, I walk as far and as often as I can, and I love a good session on the yoga mat. So, I kind of feel like fitness and me are ready to take things to the next level, and this festival looks like it’s gonna be the perfect opportunity for me to try new things.

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New things aside for just a moment, there is so much cool yoga stuff happening. Like, so much. There’s gonna be forest meditation, prosecco yoga, disco yogo, a yoga supper club and even broga – bro yoga (slight eye roll, but we gotta get em involved somehow) – so I might even be able to convince Tom to get on the mat. I have a lot of time for yoga as a main source of exercise, and I think more of us should be getting involved. It’s not an attack on the body, it’s just half an hour to an hour of breathing deep, blissing out and stretching your body gently to give it the calm and collected attention it craves. There’s no better way to check in with yourself. I’ve never had the pleasure of attending a real life yoga class before (Yoga with Adriene all the way) because of chronic exercising-in-front-of-other-people fears, so this is going to be a real step up for me..

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But yoga I’m comfortable with. If I really want to shove myself out my comfort zone this summer, I need to try more – and there’s really no better place to be for that. I could hit up a spin class (gulp), try kickboxing, check out a Ministry of Sound class or two, the fitness world is my oyster at this place.

Aside from classes, there are a whole bunch of talks and workshops happening over the course of the weekend where I’ll hopefully learn a thing or two and witness some lively discussions about diet and fitness in 2017.

What am I most looking forward to though? Camping.

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From what I’ve seen, the location is absolutely stunning, and will be the perfect setting for all the deep breathing and fresh facedness that I expect will come along with the weekends activities. I’m excited.

Want to come along too? Get your tickets here. I can’t wait to tell you all about it next month!

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Full disclosure: I’ll be attending this festival as a guest with a press pass (lucky me!!)