Just8 Glasgow Based Food Blog – Restaurant Review! Rediscovering Wagamama, Glasgow City Centre

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WE EAT OUT FAIRLY REGULARLY AND WITH THIS I FACE A PROBLEM. I’m trying to be good about what I eat and dining out is not easy to combine with calorie watching. So, at the moment, I am searching for the best healthy restaurants in Glasgow. Wagamama’s has been around for a long time but it isn’t a place I have frequented recently. However, I heard that their meals, particularly the Ramen dishes, are relatively healthy, so we decided to give it a revisit.

Ramens are a very popular meal in Japan.  The first Ramen shop opened in 1910 in Yokohama, Japan, and became incredibly popular with the local population. Almost every region in Japan has its own style of ramen. A ramen is basically a noodle broth topped with meat, fish or vegetables. Or all three.

Just8 had the Wagamama Ramen. It contains chicken, pork, prawns, ginger and mussels. The calorie count is 681 calories per meal. I thought this was not too bad for an eat-out dinner – particularly as the saturated fat content is 6.3g and sugar content, 7.1g.  I remember having a Ramen in the past and finding it a little bland, however this one was far from it. It had lots of seafood, so there was a good flavouring of salt and the noodles definitely satisfied my hunger.

My dining companion chose the delicious Chicken Raisukaree curry – a wonderfully creamy coconut curry with more than a hint of spicy Thai flavours in there. Lovely as a treat but probably not Ideal if you happen to be watching what you eat (at 1253 calories a pop).

Both dishes were beautifully presented, as you can see below.

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I was taken with the free green tea as a palate cleanser.

I loved the tasty, healthy meal and vibrant, busy atmosphere in Wagamama’s. I feel like I have rediscovered Wagamama’s and will visit again soon.

Just8 scores Wagamama’s – 8.5/10. I will definitely remember to come back here more often!

Wagamama Homepage

Wagamama, Glasgow

Wagamama Twitter

 

 

 

Just8 Glasgow Based Food Blog – Restaurant Review! Martha’s Fast Natural Food, Glasgow City Centre

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I think Martha’s is one of the best healthy food establishments in Glasgow for lunch. If you are fed up of eating processed food, try Martha’s. Hearty, healthy and fast! They use no artificial ingredients or additives.

I first heard about this place through word of mouth. Great if you work in the city centre or are looking for somewhere to eat whilst shopping. It is only about a three-minute walk from Buchanan Street and is situated on St Vincent Street (just past burger corner!). It was a lot bigger inside than I thought it would be and popular, too, with lots of savvy Glaswegians in the know about where to get a good healthy feed.

I love Martha’s because there is clear labelling on every item sold – calorie count, numbers of portions of 5-a-day in your meal, gluten free, low in sat fat, suitable for vegan/vegetarian and… importantly, if your choice has a ‘hero ingredient’. Hero ingredients are foods with lots of goodness that are in season (e.g. kale, apple and mackerel!) Also, Martha’s try to source local producers.

Just8 tried the Moroccan Sunbean Salad with an add-on of hot-smoked salmon, and the Tam Tam Chicken Wrap – both so tasty! And for dessert a Carrot Vegan cupcake. The Tam Tam Chicken Wrap comes highly recommended. What I love about Martha’s is that the food tastes delicious and it is guilt-free eating out – you don’t pile on the calories whilst eating. Martha’s is award winning and deservedly so. Very reasonably priced, too, for the good food they serve. Without a doubt, I will be back!

  • Open 7:30am to 6:00pm Monday to Friday
  • Open 11.00am to 4:00pm Saturday

Address: 142A St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5LQ

Just8 scores Martha’s 9.5/10.

 

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http://www.mymarthas.co.uk/

Martha’s Facebook Page

Martha’s Twitter Page

 

Just8 Glasgow Based Food Blog – New Recipe! Simple Quality Quorn Bolognese

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THIS FOOD BLOG takes a good look at the benefits of Quorn mince and gives an easy after-work recipe. We live in a time when we are all being encouraged to eat less fat and less sugar. It is hard to ignore the reduced fat content of Quorn mince versus lean beef mince and regular beef mince. Here are the stats for mince, lean mince and Quorn:

  • Energy per 100g, 209kcal (Mince) vs 124kcal (Lean mince) vs 105kcal (Quorn).
  • And Saturated fat per 100g, 6.5g (Mince) vs 2g (Lean mince) vs 0.4g (Quorn).

The average recommended saturated fat daily intake for an adult female is 20g and for an adult male is 30g.  The first time I tried Quorn mince I was surprised by its similarity to beef mince, especially the texture. I have heard of some people giving it to their other halves and only revealing after a few mouthfuls that they are actually eating Quorn and not beef mince. I do think you can tell the difference but it is not a big difference. I felt full afterwards but not too full, which I sometimes feel after eating meat. Additionally quorn mince is a bit cheaper. For a 500g pack, it is roughly £1.50 less.

So now you know the benefits of Quorn mince and want to give it a try, you can either follow my simple recipe or if you are already the king/queen of beef bolognese just substitute Quorn mince for beef mince. This way you can easily have a meat-free day – something all non-vegetarians are  being encouraged to do.

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Just 8 – Glasgow Based Food Blog Recipe for Simple Quality Quorn Bolognese

Ingredients:

  • 500g Frozen Quorn Mince  ( I use the leftovers the next day).
  • 1 Onion – roughly chopped
  • 2 Carrots – roughly chopped – anyway you like!
  • 1 Beef Stock Cube plus 400ml of water (Instead you could use veg or chicken stock – doesn’t really matter)
  • 400g Carton of Chopped Tomatoes or 400g of Passata
  • Parmesan Cheese (couple of tsps for garnishing)
  • Fresh Basil Leaves (handful for garnishing)
  • 60g Pasta per person  (Instead of pasta could also use baked potato, sweet potato, bulghar wheat, rice, flat bread or fajita wrap,  to name but a few).

 

1. Add a couple of tsps of olive oil to the pan and then add  the chopped onion and carrots to large saucepan. Fry for 3 mins on a medium heat until both start to soften.

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2. Add frozen Quorn mince, stock and chopped tomatoes to frying pan. Mix around a little. Let this mixture simmer for 20 mins. This is really until the carrots soften.

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3. After the Quorn mixture has cooked for 5 minutes or so, put the pasta and a few mugfuls of water into a separate saucepan and boil for about 10 minutes (or however long the packaging tells you the pasta needs). If in doubt put in more water than you think you need, to stop it boiling dry.

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4. Once cooked, drain the pasta. Once the Quorn mixture has finished cooking, put pasta on plate followed by the Quorn mixture.

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5. Always looks and tastes great with grated parmesan over the top and a few basil leaves tucked into the Quorn mixture.

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N.B. Other ingredients which can be used include (but not limited to):  chopped mushrooms, chopped peppers, 2 crushed garlic cloves,1tsp oregano and 1tsp of marjoram. I would add these at the carrot and onion stage. Also 100ml red wine which I would add with the stock etc.

N.N.B…. There are enough leftovers that you can use them the next day with something different, like a baked potato or in a fajita!

Restaurant Review: Ed’s Easy Diner, Glasgow City Centre

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I first came across an Ed’s Easy Diner at Euston Station in London and was delighted to find that it had made its way up to Glasgow. The best way to describe Ed’s is that it feels like you have been transported back to the 1950s and are eating on the set of ‘Happy Days’ just awaiting the Fonz to make his entrance. It is a retro experience as well as restaurant.

There are jukeboxes in every booth. For 20p you can choose from a wide range of classic songs from Elvis, Chuck Berry and The Beach Boys to Johnny Cash. We chose a blast of ‘Johnny B Goode’ before the food turned up. All the money from the jukeboxes goes to charity.

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Just8 had the ‘Blues Burger’ and ‘Chicken Dippers’, both as an ‘Ed’s plate’. You could go ‘Solo’ and forget the chips, onion rings and coleslaw. Special mention goes to the burger which was very meaty and topped with delicious blue cheese. We also had a root beer plus an Ed’s Vanilla Shake. The Vanilla Shake is to die for – it tastes like slightly melted ice-cream which, as anyone knows, is the best way to have ice-cream.

The service was super friendly and quick. At the time of visiting – 5pm on a Friday – it was busy but with no queues. Very different from their opening month of November 2014, when we were told it was queued out the door. Maybe now is the time to visit.

So, if you are down the bottom of Buchanan Street, pop into the St Enoch’s Centre for a real 50’s experience at Ed’s Easy Diner.

Just8 gives Ed’s Easy Diner 8/10

 

 

Just8  dined as a guest of Ed’s Easy Diner.

 

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Address: St. Enoch Shopping Centre, 55 St. Enoch Square Glasgow, G1 4BW

Telephone Number: 0141 229 0664

Ed’s Easy Diner Webpage

Ed’s Easy Diner Facebook Page

Follow Ed’s Easy Diner on Twitter

Restaurant Review: Drummond’s, Pitlochry and Winter Words Festival

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The Winter Words Festival in Pitlochry runs until 21st February 2015, so there is still time to go if you are looking for an idea of what to do next weekend. Last weekend we enjoyed listening to Mark Beaumont, the young Scot, who cycled round the globe and broke the world record; Alan Rowan, whose hobby is to climb mountains in Scotland at night; and the amazing Banff Mountain Film Festival, a collection of short adventure fuelled videos. The Film Festival is touring round the UK and if you don’t get to see them in Pitlochry, I suggest you check them out if they ever tour near you.

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Drummond’s restaurant in Pitlochry is close to the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. It offers reasonably-priced traditional pub grub and does it well. It is a friendly, family-run establishment which is traditionally decorated. We were quite tight for time but the courses were served pretty quickly. Just8 had the baked potato and scampi. Both were as you would expect – simple and tasty!

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So Pitlochry Festival Theatre then onto Drummonds for some pub grub for a great weekend break.

 

Just8 gives Drummond’s Restaurant and Bar 7/10.

Link to restaurant: http://www.pitlochry-scotland.co.uk/restaurant/pitlochry/drummonds-restaurant-and-public-bar/

Winter Words festival: http://www.pitlochry.org/whats_on/winter-words-festival.htm

 

Restaurant Review: Fabulous combination – Ardardan Estate Tearoom, (Dog) Walk and Stunning Scenery

Ardardan

Highland scenery, a walk beside the sea and a fabulous tearoom. All within a 30-minute drive, north west of Glasgow. If you are in need of a new place to go and walk (with or without a dog), consider this combination which is placed between Cardross and Helensburgh, just off the A814. Take your dog for a scenic 45-minute walk around Ardmore Point  to earn your reward of sampling the delights of the nearby fabulous Ardardan Estate Tearoom.

Ardmore Point & Cardross Bay           Ardardan

Just8 sampled the Winter Warmer for £5.95, which consisted of a cup of Chunky Vegetable Soup followed by an extremely tasty Shepherd’s Pie. Both were a nice portion size. This was followed by carrot cake – again a good size and not too big! Other very tempting cakes were on display – it was a hard choice. The tearoom is reasonably priced and has a friendly but busy atmosphere.  As well as the tearooms, Ardardan has a well-stocked farm shop and garden centre. It is a real working farm and you can meet some of its residents like the two pigs, Ki and Wi. Ardardan also has walks around its estate. So, not just a tearoom – more of an experience! Ardmore Point itself is about a five-minute drive from Ardardan.

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Pippa (the dog, pictured below)’s favourite walk is Ardmore Point. She likes it because there are long flat stretches that she can run about in without cattle. She has the choice of land to her right or the sea shore to her left. Whether you have a dog or not, gaze with awe at the  sweeping views along the Clyde and Gareloch and north to the sometimes snow-capped hills . The walk itself is on a well-trodden path, which is popular with local residents.

So, Ardmore Point then, a 5-minute drive to Ardardan (back along A814 towards Cardross and then come to big red sign pointing to the right for Ardardan) for a cup of tea and a wee something to eat. Makes one happy dog and her walker!

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Just8 gives Ardmore Point walk plus Ardardan Estate Tearooms – 9/10

Ardardan Farm Estates – http://ardardan.co.uk/eat/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Ardardan

Twitter – https://twitter.com/ArdardanEstate

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Restaurant review: Roti and Chai – give it a try!

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Roti and Chai is, without a doubt, my cup of chai. It is a fabulous wee gem in the heart of Partick, Glasgow.

It is for the more adventurous of eaters, someone who has been to Asia and wants to be reminded of those authentic tastes and colours. It may even suit the student eater, or diners on a budget as their curries are very reasonably priced.

With its use of low-fat ingredients, no artificial colours, flavours or any other rubbish, it claims to be “probably the healthiest Indian food in the world!”

Just8 tried the mushroom and vegetable pakora; followed by the fresh spinach and paneer curry and black urid (moong) dhal, accompanied by carrots pilau rice and a wholemeal Roti. For dessert, we had fresh mango Lassie and ‘Roti and Chai’s’ chai. Everything we tried was delicious and nothing was too spicy but special mention should go to the spinach and paneer curry. The paneer cheese was melt in the mouth and the spinach flavoured to perfection.

The decor is colourful with lovely lighting – there are many wee tea lights and there is even a shrine to Lord Buddha. The seating is unconventional, with a choice of a low sofa or tables. The restaurant is unusual but you will have to go to experience its delights. There is definitely a touch of the real India in the decoration and the food. In addition, the service is good and attentive. Nothing is too much trouble and questions were welcomed with genuine answers sought from the kitchen.

I will go again, it is definitely my cup of chai!

Just8 gives Roti and Chai 8/10.

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Address – 38 Mansfield Street, Glasgow (0141 357 3349)

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Roti-Chai/1434009363521247

 

Simply Fish

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SIMPLY FISH. Just a quick mention for this fantastic wee restaurant on Cleveden Road in the West End of Glasgow. I think this was the best fish and chips I have ever tasted. I had beer battered fish served with hand cut chips and homemade chunky tartar sauce. Vinegar came in a wee bottle for you to ‘spray’ it on, rather than accidentally pour too much on. Why hasn’t this been done before?

I’ve heard that it makes even fish-floppers into fish-lovers. It is a beautiful wee upmarket restaurant with a chilled out ambience. And importantly is very affordable. About £10 for it’s signature fish ‘n’ chips.

Just8 give Simply Fish 9/10. Simply Fish… simply yes, we will be coming back!

Facebook: Simply Fish

Address: 111 Cleveden Road, Glasgow, UK G12 0JU
Telephone: 0141 334 0111

 

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Martin’s Pitta Pizzas

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PIZZA is invariably a popular meal. However, I’m always horrified by the calorie count and saturated fat content in a bought supermarket pizza. Here is an easy way that Martin makes a pizza without an abundance of calories and bad fat. Instead of using pizza dough he uses pitta bread which is a much healthier option than pizza dough.

You can easily make a pitta pizza with only 7 ingredients.  You really only need: pitta bread, tomato sauce, a small amount of cheese and your favourite topping. Martin’s favourite topping at the moment is mushroom and spinach. We are using frozen vegetables more and more now in an attempt to have less food waste but fresh vegetables would work just as well on this pizza. Just cook them a bit first.

It is an easy and fun meal to make as you can be really creative with the topping to suit your individual taste. It is a pretty quick meal – takes only 15 minutes. Quicker than getting a pizza delivered!

Be creative, healthy and keep pizza on the menu!

 

Ingredients (for 2 people):

3 wholewheat pitta breads (1.5 each!)

250g Passata – (for the tomato sauce)

2 tsp garlic olive oil

2 tsp basil olive oil

60g feta cheese

4 clumps of frozen spinach

1 handful of frozen mushrooms

 

Method:

1. Add 250g of Passata, 2 tsp of garlic olive oil and 2 tsp of basil garlic oil. Simmer for 2 mins. This makes a tomato sauce for the topping. However, you could use fresh chopped garlic and basil instead of the flavoured oils.

At the same time on the other side of the pan I cook/defrost my mushrooms and spinach! (Trying to cut down on the washing up).

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2. Add tomato sauce to pitta bread and spread across it fairly evenly.

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3. Add your topping! Feta cheese, mushrooms and spinach were used for these ones.

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4. Place under medium hot grill for about 5 mins and/or wait for cheese to brown like a toasted marshmallow.

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Just8 Tip  – we often do these two nights in a row as we have pitta bread and passata already opened and needing to be finished. There are never any complaints!

Thai Green Curry Kit – Morrisons

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I just wanted to say that this wee kit is fantastic . I haven’t been asked to review it, in case you are wondering. I just wanted to tell everyone how great I found it to cook with. Simple to use and provides an extremely tasty meal.

It is so simple to use because it takes the hassle and expense out of chopping up loads of herbs and buying a myriad of spices (that you will probably only use occasionally). And it tastes great! It is full of flavour and a little spicy – just enough to make your lips tingle but not enough to make you think about taking a big gulp of water. It contains a ready made paste and a wee pot of desiccated coconut and spices to sprinkle on the dish to finish it off.

I used this with two chicken breasts, red pepper, mushrooms, fresh coriander and half a can of reduced fat coconut milk. I served it with rice. That’s about 7 or 8 ingredients altogether! However, with this kit you can be really flexible with the ingredients you use – beef, spinach, Brussels sprouts (only joking ;-)) would all be good alternative ingredients.

So, if you want to impress your other half with your Thai curry making skills, this is the business! Available in Morrisons for £1.59.

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