lamb

A TOTALly tasteful evening and a little reflection

Last week Total Yoghurt invited me to a three course cookery masterclass at L’atelier des Chefs cookery school, with the super creative Paul Merrett. What follows is a little rundown of the evening and some links to mouthwatering yoghurt infused recipes. Warning, if you’re hungry, extremely tasty pictures are contained in this post.

The night started with Champagne. Yes Champagne does have a little added sugar but FYI a Brut variety is at the dryer end, and we’re talking about 1g a glass. I rolled with the 20 of the 80/20 moderation rule, so the Champagne went down a treat after a busy day.

Paul Merrett Squid

The starter: Squid & chorizo on a bed of chickpea and corriander yoghurt

First of all we learnt to prepare squid. I poked it a few times and then watched my fellow teammate and professional foodie Miriam Nice squeeze out the ‘gunk’ – a rather slimy affair. In deep concentration I sizzled away whilst Phil, a lovely blogger who was a big inspiration when starting out with Happy Sugar Habits, whipped up a batch of chickpea puree.

me cooking1

squid

The main: Herb Crusted Lamb with Baba Ganouche & Sweet Potato Salad

The starter and a delightful glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc down, it was onto the main course. I seared the lamb, with a somewhat dainty hesitant approach, whilst the rest of the team whipped everything else into shape. We pulled it all together and created an absolute taste explosion. So many ingredients, i’ll let the pictures do the talking. I can tell you it all tasted divine.

mecooking2

lamb

Feta and Tomato salad

The dessert (yes I did say dessert!): Rhubarb & Greek Yoghurt Syllabub

Despite at this point feeling rather full, It was back to the kitchen to cook up Rhubarb & Greek Yoghurt Syllabub. I was allocated the task of softening the rhubarb in a pan with sweet wine and wait for it…pure, white, unadulterated sugar. Funnily enough I burnt this a little bit, not because of my supposed hate for sugar, but quite simply because Yuri was talking to me too much. Technically (I thought to myself) does that mean I burnt all the sugar and sweet wine off?!…hmm.

We spooned a little of the sweetened rhubarb onto a thick creamy mix of Mascarpone and Total Greek yoghurt. It was delicious, a creamy indulgent affair rather than an overly sweet one, which is my dessert preference these days.

syllabub

As far as a pudding goes, the rhubarb syllabub is pretty good on the sugar front (as long as you skip the biscuit). Most of the sweetness comes from the natural lactose in the yoghurt and rhubarb fruit sugars. I’m very tempted to try an even more sugar friendly adaptation of this recipe, substituting in stevia or rice malt syrup instead of the sugar and wine.

Apart from being a lot of fun, this evening goes to show that I’m not perfect all the time and do eat/drink a little sugar from time to time depending on the situation. I’ve found this comes with time, the longer I venture on my low sugar journey and get used to the lifestyle, the safer I feel about it. I know I have the choice. I know that probably I’ll feel a bit jittery or ‘blegh’ or moody afterwards, which quite frankly puts me off most of the time. I definitely found this was the case at Christmas.

I guess I just wanted to share those thoughts in relation to this post and be honest. The whole point of Happy Sugar Habits is to make this sugar ‘thing’ realistic and practical. It really isn’t a life sentence (although you may feel like it is at times, I certainly doubted if I wanted to do it at various points). As ever, comment/e-mail/tweet me any questions or thoughts. Even pictures of your Happy Sugar Habits food will likely put a smile on my face.

Thanks to Satureyes for the photos which are much better than the ones I took!

Dee and Jesus show us how it's done

Time to Strut my Stuff at the Total Yoghurt Dance Master Class

An absolute salsa-dance enthusiast, I was delighted when Total Yoghurt invited me to their Dance Master Class event. Digging the salsa shoes back out of the cupboard, I trotted off up to the Frame Studio in Kilburn to shake my stuff.

We learnt a staggering four dances in two hours; the jive; the tango (yes including that cool dramatic look thing); the rumba; and the samba with Jesus Ortiz and Dee Thresher. Dee’s trained a number of celebs into shape and Jesus is an incredible teacher and Salsa king. I literally no joke was in dance off heaven.

Dee and Jesus show us how it’s done

The tango was a lot of fun, working on that smooth but dramatic movement across the floor..dum dum! However as the supposed lead I just couldn’t seem to follow the circle as instructed, so there were a couple of collisions and trodden toes! I’m sure my partner was in fact leading me most of the time. Hmm. Dancing really burns off a load of calories without even thinking about it because you are concentrating so much. If you want to learn some of the moves yourself, Dee and Jesus have put together some videos here.

Serious concentration

 

Make sure you have the look in the mirror!

We headed downstairs for a beautiful healthy and well deserved yoghurt themed lunch. An incredible selection of wraps and dips made with Total Yoghurt. You can read about what I ate and see more pictures of the food in my What I ate Wednesday.

 

We had earned this!

I already have been a fan of Total Greek Yoghurt for a while due to its low sugar content but I have always just used it a breakfast or dessert yoghurt. I was soon informed that there are now over 1000 recipes on the Total Yoghurt website…yes 1000! I thought that was a bit mental too. No excuse for having any leftover in the fridge really is there. Everything from hotpots to cakes and bakes, we’re talking seriously versatile white chuck it in everything goodness.

An excuse to have a yoghurt picnic maybe?

Being my first event like this, it was wonderful to chat to other bloggers and hear some interesting stories. We all left with little cool bag full of Total Yoghurt goodness which will be enjoyed over the next few weeks. A lovely day, lovely people and I have promised myself I am going to swing back into the dancing. A hobby I love so much, it’s a shame I have let it slip in the past year so here is my pledge online to get going again!

 

No he didn’t drop me!

Are there any hobbies you have left slip and desire to take up again? Does dancing put you in an instant good mood? I’ll leave you with a quote off the back of Jesus’s card that I instantly took to…

“There are some shortcuts to happiness…dancing is one of them”

Thanks to Satureyes for the photos