Tomato and Mozzarella Stew healthy - The Sussex Girl

January is one of those months where you need comfort food. Warm, filling, full-of-goodness and easy to cook food. I’m sure I’m not the only one who found January came around quickly in a haze of Christmas chocolate and mulled wine, as well as a few cheeky pounds that had crept on in the fun of the festive season.

So I’m picking out a few of my favourite week day recipes that don’t skimp on flavour but which are light on calories and super-low fat.

Tomato and Mozzarella Stew healthy - The Sussex Girl

Tomato and Mozzarella Stew healthy - The Sussex Girl

Tomato and Mozzarella Stew healthy - The Sussex Girl

This tasty stew clocks in at just under 280 calories per portion whilst being filling, super-nutritious and generally rather yum scrum.  If you are a Slimming World fan like me, then this is also syn-free if you take out the olives and use your Healthy Extra A for the mozzarella.

Tomato and Mozzarella Stew healthy - The Sussex Girl

You’ll need:

1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
2 crushed chillis
2 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
Worcestershire Sauce
400g can butterbeans
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
85g pitted green olives, whole
Handful fresh basil
1 ball reduced fat mozzarella
Salt and Pepper
Parsley to garnish

Spray a large pan with oil and heat before softening one chopped red onion. Add three cloves of crushed garlic and one chopped yellow pepper to the pan.  Stir in one teaspoon of paprika, one teaspoon of cumin and two crushed chillis (take the seeds out for a little less kick).  Tip in two 400g cans of chopped tomatoes and add a slosh of worcestershire sauce.  Simmer the sauce for five minutes before draining a 400g can of butterbeans and adding to the stew.  Chop 150g cherry tomatoes in half and pop in the pan with 85g pitted green olives. Continue to simmer the stew for a further ten minutes until the butterbeans have softened and the sauce has begun to thicken.  Shred a small handful of fresh basil and roughly tear a ball of reduced fat mozzarella.  Add both to the stew and give it a good stir. Season with salt and pepper.  Scatter a few parsley leaves as you serve – it should give you at least three good sized bowls of stew ready to keep you going!

Tomato and Mozzarella Stew healthy - The Sussex Girl

Tomato and Mozzarella Stew healthy - The Sussex Girl

This is perfect for supper or reheated for lunch and you can serve it with rice, couscous or crusty bread if you like although I enjoy it by itself.

Let me know if you try this out for your January supper – what are your healthy comfort food favourites?



The Sussex Girl - 2017 resolutions

Happy New Year!

2017, how did that come about so quickly?  Isn’t that such a cliche? ‘Time Flies’

Though honestly, doesn’t it?

Last year was fun – it started with the arrival home of P from his long patrol, an incredible trip to Mauritius, a promotion, my nephew’s first birthday, yet another change of address (but for very good reason!), a 100m abseil and pootles around the country, and Europe, to some wonderful cities. We sampled the most beautiful views, we baked, we drank wine, we drank gin and we partied.  We built some amazing memories with our favourite people and we got ready to do it all over again in 2017.

It’s had its moment though, this year.  Moments where I was more wobbly than resilient. Moments where there were a few too many plates to spin and moments where I wanted to build a blanket fort and hide out for a bit.

So what about 2017? Another year to explore.

2017 resolutions - The Sussex Girl

There are a few things I want to try and achieve; some little bits that are my typical January resolutions like eat less, move more, travel more, snooze less, drink more water, drink less wine… but some things that I have realised really do need to happen to keep a happier, healthier version of me.

So I’m committing to a couple of little goals:

Healthy ones…get back to running properly and not just a few miles very slowly which is what I tend to do at the moment! Reduce my sugar intake.

Blog ones…get my little Etsy shop properly stocked and running alongside my blog. Write a little more regularly each month and take opportunities as they present themselves.

Life ones…leave work on time more often so that I claw some work-life balance back. To take advantage of that precious free time to do the things I love without feeling overwhelmed by my to-do list.

Important ones…be more present – to be fully engaged in the moments I am in and not worrying too much about what the next thing is that I have to do.

2017 resolutions - The Sussex Girl

Whilst I know a good objective should be specific, I’m choosing not to anchor myself to numbers or times, instead I’ll try to see little 1% changes in behaviours and thought patterns rather than trying to achieve it all at once. More about that little theory in another blog post very soon…!

Have you got any goals or resolutions you want to achieve in 2017?  Perhaps the usual batch of resolutions aren’t cutting the mustard this year and you’ve picked something completely out of your comfort zone?

Let me know, I can’t wait to hear all about it.

The Sergison Arms - The Sussex Girl

Last week, in that gap between Christmas and New Year, the festive treats didn’t stop (still haven’t…oops!) and we crammed in lots of trips to see family and friends around trying to get some of our ‘to-do’ list crossed off!  Of course, many of these catch-ups centered on yet another yummy meal, so when we were invited by Vintage Inns to try one their refurbished pub close to my sister’s house, we happily bundled across via the beautiful roads of West Sussex.

I’m a complete sucker for a cosy open fire, soft fabrics, natural wood and countryside vibes.  So walking into The Sergison Arms, a 16th century building that now houses a country pub, instantly set all my hygge sensors going!

The Sergison Arms West Sussex The Sussex Girl

My boyfriend, sister, brother-in-law and 20 month old nephew joined me in heading to the pub for lunch, Haywards Heath is easy to get to from the A24 and the pub is really easy to find with plenty of parking – tick one!

When we arrived it took a little while to be greeted and our table booking found but after chatting with the front of house staff later on, it became clear they could have done with an extra pair of hands ‘front of house’ as the day was quite busy.

The menu was full of mouthwatering seasonal options which caters for all sorts of different appetites and tastes.  Unfortunately a lot of the menu was unavailable the day we visited due to a missed post-Christmas delivery but we still found tasty options that we could pick from. The boys went for steaks (predictably – they’re such carnivores!), I picked a Hunter’s Chicken and Kate ordered the Chicken Pie.  There is a great kid’s menu on offer which comes complete with a colouring pack something that Seth (and I!) enjoyed.  It was really nice to see a kids menu with ‘proper’ food on it but in small person sizes, which means the kids aren’t relegated to just picking from chicken nuggets or fish fingers!  Seth enjoyed sausages and mash, something he dived into when it arrived.

My Hunter’s Chicken was delicious, really good quality ingredients and triple-cooked chunky chips that have been firmly placed on my ‘favourites’ list. The Chicken Pie was enormous but my 4.5 month pregnant sister relished the challenge….!

The Sergison Arms Pub West Sussex The Sussex Girl

Never ones to turn down the offer of the pudding menu, we were met with a lot of tempting desserts to keep the post-festive diet at bay.  All of the puddings we tried were delicious and clearly picked for their well-loved recipes and firm classic favourites.

The menus are reasonably priced and the staff seemed genuinely knowledgeable about their food and drink which always fills you with confidence when visiting a new pub for the first time.

We really loved the laid-back atmosphere, my little nephew pottered around the bar area with one of us grown-ups whilst he waited for his food and no-one frowned or tutted at a little one being kept distracted which is perfect for relaxed family meals.

The table we had was flooded with day light but close to an open fire so was cosy without being too dark. The manager, Leigh, came and sat with us to explain how he came to take over The Sergison Arms after moving from a pub near Hastings.  He and his young family have been instrumental in turning the pub around, giving the interior a delightful revamp and getting a new creative team of chefs into the kitchen.  Leigh is genuinely lovely and clearly really cares about his pub, their customers and the experience they offer.  I’m sure that the pub is going to become a firm favourite amongst locals and visitors alike, we’ll certainly head back there when visiting one of the local National Trust properties or, like we did last week, popping into the Dinosaur playground at Southwater Country Park (all for Seth, of course!).

The Sergison Arms West Sussex The Sussex Girl

Thanks to Leigh, his team and Vintage Inns for inviting us to visit for lunch – we hope 2017 is full of success for all involved in the project!

I only feature products or companies on my Blog that I would personally use and recommend to my readers. All reviews, words and opinions are my own and posted with no obligation to the collaborating brand. This review was written after visiting The Sergison Arms for a complimentary meal.


The Sussex Girl - Christmas Advent Calendar 2016

Well hello there lovelies! It’s the 1st of December and I’ve been putting together an Advent Calendar to keep you all feeling festive til Christmas Day.

There are all sorts of things hidden behind the windows from Christmassy videos to make you smile, some recipes to add Christmas sparkle and even some giveaway items as an extra special treat!  Some of the windows have little reminders to stop and take a deep breath throughout this busy season to help you keep balance and some are purely there to make you smile.

I hope you enjoy it and will keep checking in throughout the month to see what’s behind each door.

You can join the giveaway at any point during Advent and the winners will be drawn on Christmas Eve so that prizes land on your doormat in January to blow away the New Year blues! Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below.  Some of the giveaway items are live now but watch out for new giveaways being announced during the month.

Much Christmas love to you and your family.

Beckie x

PS. Don’t you just love these snaps of Father Christmas’ reindeers in their pre-season training? My sister, Grandad and I spotted them in Finland having a break before their busiest time of the year. ;)

a Rafflecopter giveaway