Have you ever cooked a hedgehog? I have.



Bet you haven’t.


Seriously though, of course these aren’t real hedgehogs being cooked, but rather a typical Russian childhood food made of beef mince. The dish is called “the hedgehogs” or “yozhiki” in Russian because of its looks. My mom used to make them when she had no time for more complex stuff. This is the taste of my childhood!!!

Have a look, resemblance is unmistakable:




No? Whatever. They taste amazing.




Here is what you need:

  • Beef mince (I used extra lean, ofc), or pork + beef mince 50/50
  • Rice (can’t tell you how much, but will show the consistency of approximately how much you should put) – around 2 cups?
  • Onions, a couple
  • Carrots, a couple
  • Soured cream, 1 can
  • 1-2 eggs (nevermind that I put 3)
  • Spices, whatever you like, I put black pepper and salt only

IMG-20130831-005831. Mix raw meat mince with dry rice in proportions so that it looks approximately like the image (you can easily vary how much f each you want, put less or more rice, it’s all fine).




2. Add eggs (1-2), salt and pepper. Make balls size of a tiny fist (God, wtf?) Make orange-sized balls out of the mass. Boil a big saucepan of water.





3. Put the balls into water carefully, bring to the boil.





4. Add soured cream once they have started boiling and you removed the frothy foam.






5. Let it boil on low heat for 40-45 mins. In the last 10 minutes you can add sauteed carrots and onions, finely chopped for extra taste.





6. The broth will be thicker at the end, and slightly yellow-ish. Soured cream will separate, but you just stir it up and leave cooking.




PS. Hey mom! 😉 I love you.

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I am back with Banana-choc fitness pancakes for breakfast!

Hi everyone. I’ve been a bit [too] busy with uni and work, and totally abandoned this blog. But! I’ve got a few new things I now cook, and a lot more changes to my eating habits. I also lost around 10cm in the waist in the past year, got more muscular, and did Tough Mudder (if anyone is interested in my updates). I will be writing about all of these super-exciting things soon. But let’s get back to my pancakes.


I got tired of eating my regular water-based porridge+2 eggs+fruit+supplements breakfast. I googled fitness pancakes, modified the recipe to be chocolatey, and this is what happened. Actually, i now make these every weekend, and at the bottom of the page there is a variation with fresh coconut.


They are very thick, very filling, and are moderately sweet, though i did not add extra sugar. Should I mention they are extremely CHOCOLATEY?





Nutritional values for one portion are:

Total cals: 418

Protein: 37

Carbs: 41.5

Sugar: 11.2

Fat: 10.4

Sat. fat: 3.2

(Not including cherries or kiwi; there is still room for fruit and even a piece of chocolate!)

IMG-20130721-00436Oh yeah, i’m switching my protein to ON, so don’t mock me. What have we got here:

– cocoa, table spoon

– 1 egg yolk, 3 whites

– 1 scoop (25g) of belgian chocolate whey protein


– half banana

– 44g oats sachet (plain)

– oil spray



Mix it all up.







Divide into 3 or 4 parts, and put onto a well-heated pan covered in oil spray (or oil, your call). Keep heat LOW!





Wait around 3 minutes, turn.










PS I’ve also once added fresh cocoa instead of banana once – a bit more unsat fat, less sugar, and as good.






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Easter Cadbury Mini Eggs, lemon zest, and cream cheese icing sponge cake!



Hi all! Easter cake! Vanilla sponge cake, lemon zest filling, cream cheese icing and Cadbury Mini Eggs decoration! Mini Eggs actually really make it pop! It’s extremely moist and airy and sweet. I think it’s my best success so far.



200g Cadbury Mini Eggs for decoration 😉

Sponge (for 2x20cm baking trays):

  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 175g soft butter or margarine (I’ve used Stork, oh well)
  • 175g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla flavouring

Filling (this makes a lot, I’ll find a way to use it, but you may want to divide everything by 2):

  • 175g sugar
  • 4 tbs butter or (Stork)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbs corn flour (or starch)
  • juice of 1 lemon (zest will be used for the cake)
  • 100ml milk
  • a pinch of salt


  • 300g philadelphia cream cheese
  • 100g butter (or Stork)
  • 1 tsp vanilla flavouring
  • around 700-800g icing sugar

Cooking time: around 2-3 hours.. (plus an hour in the fridge before serving)

Cooking steps: start with the filling as it needs to cool down and it takes a while!!!

1. Filling.


1.1 Slightly whisk the eggs.








1.2 Mix butter with sugar, add to eggs and whisk a bit more.














1.3 Heat the milk on low heat.








1.4 Squeeze the juice and add to egg/butter/sugar mixture, add all to milk.








1.5 Cook on low heat for about 10min until thickened, then remove and pour into a bowl; set to cool down.








1.6 It should be pretty thick.








2. Sponge. Preheat oven to 170.

IMG_08152.1 Mix all ingredients. Or be proper and sift the flour, bla bla bla. I had a horrible back pain today, so I just mixed it all. 







2.2 It’s semi-thick and nice (taste it – yum!).








2.3 Divide between the 2 tins and shove into the oven for 30-35 min. Only open the oven to check for readiness after 30 min. To check: slightly press with a spoon and it’s ready when no mark is left and the sponge springs back up.




2.4 What do you know, we got some sponge!






3. Icing.


Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla flavouring and start adding icing sugar, while stirring. Add until VERY thick.







This thick – doesn’t drop. And make it even thicker after that. It should be really hard to stir!







Right. All ready for putting the cake together.


We need some lemon zest.








The thickest sponge will do as the base, add the filling 9as much as you see fit.








Some lemon zest on top.








Start covering with out icing.
















Decorate as you wish 😉 These were meant to be flowers. Leave in the fridge for an hour before serving for icing to set.







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Packed lunch ideas! 12 things to take to uni/work/school for a healthy meal.

Hey everyone! Thanks for following me 🙂 So, lunch.

I always have a lunchbox with me for two reasons: whatever healthy stuff I put there beforehand, there is no way of getting out of eating it afterwards – and I end up eating brown rice instead of a fatty sandwich. The second reason is that it saves me so much time not spent in queues in cafes and canteens, and money – these £5 everyday become around a £100 pm and £1200 per year.

I’ve been taking pictures of my packed lunches for the past I don’t know how long and below are the best and varied ones.

IMG-20130118-00010 IMG-20130128-00073 IMG-20130130-00077 IMG-20130207-00107 IMG-20130225-00134 IMG-20130228-00138 IMG-20130301-00139 IMG-20130310-00166 DSC01645 DSC01647 DSC01681 IMG-20130203-00103


Roasted chicken breast, boiled baby potatoes, green beans and red peppers and honey/mustard sauce (equal parts of honey, balsamic vinegar and dijon mustard).



Roasted paprika and garlic chicken breast, brown rice, and plum tomatoes and red peppers.




Same thing, but with green beans.





Chicken breast, green beans and red peppers and salad as a side (cucumbers, potatoes, egg whites, dill and olive oil).




Smoked salmon, lettuce, baby potatoes, plum tomatoes, red peppers, green beans and honey/mustard sauce. This is my favourite, but it smells of fish.




Same as above but with hard-boiled eggs.





Sweetcorn tuna pasta with dijon mustard/olive oil dressing (no mayo!).




Ginger, garlic ad turmeric chicken (in a post below), leftovers of jacket potatoes and green beans. Surprisingly, jacket potato leftovers were awesome for lunch, I really enjoyed it.



Sandwich: ham, lettuce, laughing cow extra light soft cheese.





Chicken breasts, eggs and dijon mustard (again, no mayo). This is a real protein kick and I felt full for hours afterwards.




Ham and eggs on mustard.





Mustard, cucumbers and smoked salmon, with black pepper.




So hey, nothing major. I also always have a small container of cottage cheese with me for my second breakfast 😉 And some cashew nuts. God, I eat a lot!

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How to cook chicken: my top 3 low-fat/fast chicken breast mains.

DSC016941. Milk-marinated chicken breasts (ingredients: chicken breasts, milk, any spices you like, light frying oil spray).





IMG-20130128-000722. Roasted sliced (or whole) chicken breast in paprika and garlic (ingredients:  chicken breast and spices – paprika, black pepper, salt, ground coriander and garlic, fresh or dry and ground).



IMG-20130310-001653. Chicken fried in garlic, ginger and turmeric (ingredients: chicken breasts, light frying oil spray and spices – ground ginger, garlic, turmeric and salt).




For recipes, scroll down 🙂

Obviously, there are more complex chicken breast-based dishes I cook, but these are the simplest ones. You can check out more recipes I posted that use breasts as main ingredient:

Chicken breast, mushroom and spinach pasta: https://lizatemir.wordpress.com/2012/12/02/chicken-mushroom-and-spinach-pasta/

Chicken + vegetable rice: https://lizatemir.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/chicken-and-vegetable-rice/

So, the recipes.

1. Milk-marinated chicken breasts.

Sounds weird, right? I had come across a yoghurt-marinated chicken somewhere, but run out of yoghurt and decided to try it with milk; and after that it became my favourite chicken breast recipe ever. It’s really easy and diet-friendly and most importantly it diversifies the boring “plain boiled chicken breast” type of meals where you stick to it for its low-fat goodness.

Here is the process:


1.1. Make a cut in the middle of a washed chicken breast, so that you can expand it.






1.2. Tenderise it, until increased in size, but don’t let it tear.





1.3. Do that for all breasts, put into a container an fill with milk, so that chicken is fully covered. Leave in the fridge for anything from 15 minutes to a couple of hours to soak.





1.4. Drain chicken.






1.5. Fry on moderate-to-high heat and ‘fry light oil’ spray – there is enough liquid in chicken to keep it moist, but it is prone to sticking even on a teflon pan.




1.6. Add spices that you like in the last 7 minutes – my all time favourites for chicken are black pepper, coriander and paprika, but this recipe gives so much flavour that you don’t need more that just a plain salt/pepper combination.



1.7. Serve and enjoy 🙂






2. Roasted sliced (or whole) chicken breast in paprika and garlic.

This is my favourite combination of spices for chicken. You slice them up, through onto a baking tray with the spices, leave in the oven at 170 for 30 minutes, and enjoy. That easy. Don’t overdo with the garlic though, if you plan on going out or something.

paprika pepper salt coriander garlic sliced IMG-20130128-00072












3. Chicken fried in garlic, ginger and turmeric.

IMG-20130310-00162 IMG-20130310-00163 IMG-20130310-00164 IMG-20130310-00165

3.1. Fry the chicken on high heat.





3.2. Throw in the spices (ginger, garlic, turmeric and salt).





3.3. Fry until as crispy as you want.





3.4. Enjoy!





Yeah, long post.

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Olive pork: extra lean pork stir-fried with green olives and onion.

IMG-20130131-00091I love pork. And onions. And olives. And I have once had an idea of cooking with only 3 main ingredients (which, of course, has not worked out well for me as I love loads of stuff) so here we are. This is a simple thing: extra lean pork, stir-fried with onions and chopped green olives. 



Cooking time: hhmm maybe 45 minutes? maybe slightly less.


extra lean pork, 450g

onions, 2 large, sliced thinly

green olives, 100g, cut in halves

just a bit of dijon mustard, salt and black pepper to season

Fry light oil spray

The process:

IMG-20130131-00082 IMG-20130131-00083 IMG-20130131-00084 IMG-20130131-00085 IMG-20130131-00086 IMG-20130131-00088 IMG-20130131-00090 IMG-20130131-00092

1. Cut olives in halves and set aside.





2. Chop pork into cubes.






3. Cover pan with oil/oil spray and fry pork on very high heat until as brown as you wish. Reduce heat to medium once pork is done.



4. Add sliced onions.





5. Keep frying on medium heat until onions are golden. Add salt and pepper (be careful though – add less salt than usual to compensate for salty olives!).




6. Add olives and keep stir-frying for 5-7 minutes.




7. In the last couple of minutes add a bit of dijon mustard, maybe a non-heaped tea spoon or so.




8. Enjoy!






PS True story: I ran out of sunflower oil about 3 weeks ago and still didn’t buy any. Frying goes great still – I highly recommend trying oil spays: usually to cover a medium-sized frying pan it would take you 10 kcal of spray vs 120 kcal of real oil. Though it has a distinctive smell once you spray it on, the smell completely disappears by the time the dish is done.

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I’m still here!

Guys and girls!

Sorry for not posting anything for so long, I will get on it tonight.

Things like olive pork, sandwiches and home-made lunches await!

Posted in Healthy eating | 1 Comment

Home made chicken kievs and such things with various fillings (mushroom and bacon).


<- I have troubles naming them. Any suggestions? Stuffed chicken cutlets? Stuffed chicken?

The top one is filled with mushrooms and the bottom one is, in fact, a chicken kiev (which conveniently has got a proper name). Upon request I made a couple stuffed with bacon (trimmed of fat), but forgot to photograph them.


It is what it looks like: a breadcrumb crust, a thick layer of fine minced chicken breast and a centre filled with good stuff.




Ingredients (makes 10):

chicken breast, 1500g (or chicken breast mince if you don’t have a food processor)

mushrooms, 300g

garlic, 2 big cloves

bacon, 6 pieces

sunflower oil, 3 table spoons

butter and herbs, such as parsley

eggs, 2 large

breadcrumbs, 100g



IMG-20130119-00015 IMG-20130119-00016 IMG-20130119-000171. chop mushrooms finely, sauté over medium heat on Fry Light oil spray










2. chop garlic and add to mushrooms, not much need to cook further





(cooked mushrooms)

[For a chicken kiev, have ready: butter mixed with ground or fresh garlic and parsley until smells as you like it,put in the fridge so that it’s nice and firm when you need it :)]

[If you want these with bacon, cook bacon as you wish and set aside]



3. in a food processor, “shred” chicken breasts








(mince done)




IMG-20130119-00032 IMG-20130119-00033

4. Wet your hands, form a thin circular layer of chicken mince either on a board or a hand and place filling in the middle.















IMG-20130119-00025 IMG-20130119-00026 IMG-20130119-00027 IMG-20130119-00028 IMG-20130119-00029 IMG-20130119-00030 IMG-20130119-00031

5. Close the thing from all sides and take care to really close it, pass it from one hand to another, ensuring that all edges are sealed.









6. Dip it in the slightly whisked egg (have eggs on a shallow plate for easier dipping).





7. Cover in breadcrumbs..










8. Fry on medium heat for about 10 minutes each side, until golden.




9. Serve and enjoy!





Does anyone have any ideas on how to call them? 🙂 Let me know.

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Mixed mince and potato lazy bake.



This definitely cannot be regarded as the greatest recipe of all times, but it’s very simple, tasty and makes a perfect main (for me).



Cooking time: about 1 hour 20 minutes, but most of it is just when you leave bake in the oven and are free to do anything


Pork mince, extra lean, 500g

Beef mince, extra lean, 500g

Onions, 1-2 big

Potatoes, 1kg

Carrots, a couple

Any other vegetables, if you want, such as green beans and peppers

Vegetable stock cube, 2

Fry light spay oil




1. Chop potatoes, place into a baking tray.




2. Slice carrots, add to potatoes.



3. Sauté onions until very golden/brown and add them to baking tray.












4. Add minces.






5. Spread mince on top of other things so that potatoes are at the bottom, and here is why:





6. Make stock out of cubes and hot water (or add natural stock, if you have it, or water – you know) and add it to baking tray so that potatoes are covered in it at least mostly. Add some salt to the mince and some ground pepper.



(Preheat oven to 170).






7. Keep baking for about 1 hour, occasionally stirring. Enjoy.





PS Next post will be slightly more creative, I promise. Stay tuned.

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Healthy breakfast ideas: make porridge less boring.

The idea behind a good healthy breakfast is to eat a mix of complex and simple carbs (to raise sugar levels after sleep and keep them steady for longer) and some protein. Usually I get hungry very soon after breakfast, as soon as in 1.5 hours, and I try solving this problem by 1. eating a very filling breakfast and 2. having a second breakfast in about 2-3 hours.

Here is one of my favourite first breakfast variations:

  • Porridge. Plain porridge (the unprocessed flaky one is the best, the one you need to cook on the hob) is a carbohydrate fix but it is the complex carbs, which will steadily release energy and keep you full. Berries, fruit and honey provide a source of simple carbs – a pick you up after a hopefully long sleep. Eaten alone these simple carbs trigger spikes in blood sugar, when you feel really good, full and happy and then you go straight to the bottom of the carb-craving hole. Aim for about 2/3 of breakfast to be complex carbs and the rest 1/3 anything from simple carbs to protein, but not fat.


Porridge can be with both berries and honey (without sugar), made from scratch






It can be with just berries, made in a microwave from a pre-made sachet (choose one with least sugar, etc)





It can also be plain but with a glass of juice (pressed, if possible)





You can also make it with either milk or water – and the water one will save you about 10g sugar per average portion (compared to using skimmed milk from a supermarket) and will still taste bearable.

Try adding any fruits or berries to your morning porridge: sliced bananas, blueberries, raspberries; or dried fruit such as dried apricots – but just add some, especially with dried fruit to avoid overly sugary meal. Though with blueberries, I have read that they lose most of their super powers when combined with protein (which is contained in milk – so best used with water-based porridge!). A generous amount of ground cinnamon will make porridge sweet and aromatic with no strings attached.

I would not recommend adding nuts to your porridge since they are high in fat and consumption of carbs and fats together makes it that much likely food to turn into your body fat – caused by chemical reactions in the body (let me know if you want to know more and I can post about it).

And for the bravest: some people eat savoury porridge with salt (well, my mom does). It’s  got a very specific taste, but hey you might like it. Add caramelised onions, for example.. I will not provide photos of it – I like my porridge sweet! – but go ahead and try. I saw some savoury muffins with onions the other day here 🙂

PS. If anyone has any objections or comments to my explanations – please let me know. I am always up for learning about healthy eating.

How do you eat you porridge?

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