Surviving the Festive excess (whether you're gluten free or not)...

With all the celebrating that comes with Christmas there is always the chance of feeling a little bit below par. It may be the post-party hangover, accidental indulgence in too much of the festive buffet, your New Year party dress being a little snugger than you’d like or a general feeling of sluggishness and dehydration. At Healthy & Delicious we like to make the most of the festive season but we’d like to still feel fabulous by twelfth night, so we’re going to be following a few of these very sensible seasonal survival tips:

BEFORE THE PARTY:

Set yourself a ‘drink limit’ and stick to it. Easier said than done but it helps if you decide on one kind of tipple for the duration. You can even track your drinking on a mobile phone app if that’s your thing.

Pack a pair of pumps. Fabulous shoes can often be less fabulous when your feet hurt. After hours of standing (or dancing) you might find that slipping into something more comfortable could make all the difference.

Have something to eat beforehand. Boozy parties often mean there’s not much eating going on. Party canapés are often not enough either, so be prepared and eat a healthy light meal before you head out.

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DURING THE PARTY:

Space your drinks. Alternate every alcoholic drink with a glass of water. Make it sparkling water with a zingy slice of lime if you’d like it to be a little bit more interesting.

Add mixers. Ensure your drinks last a little longer - how about a white wine spritzer or champagne topped with peach or orange juice?

Watch out for hidden gluten. If you’re gluten intolerant, parties can be a minefield. Avoid mysterious cocktails which could contain grain-based ingredients and be aware that dressings and sauces often use gluten-based thickeners. Avoid processed meats as they often appear on the buffet table and all too often hide gluten - particularly pates.

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THE MORNING AFTER:

Rehydrate. A detoxifying tea, mug of hot water with a slice of lemon or even a fizzy drink can help get you back on track in no time.

Eat. A fresh and healthy meal is key. Fresh fruit and veg, gluten free grains and B vitamin rich ingredients can really make you feel better.

Get some fresh air. A walk out outside with friends and family can help to blow away the cobwebs and get your system back on track. 

Take a nap. A little bit of extra sleep before you head out to the next festive occasion will ensure that another late night doesn’t take its toll.

And if you’re planning a party, why not opt for serving up something Healthy and Delicious?

One of our gluten free celebration desserts would please everyone and we can also provide gluten free canapés or hearty Italian dishes that will make sure things go with a swing. In the meantime, we wish you a very happy, healthy and hangover-free Christmas.

We're pleased to present the new H&D gluten-free Summer Menu...

Freshly prepared Italian food

Despite the fact that the UK seems to have been suffering from a distinct lack of summer of late, we've still been bringing the sunshine into the Healthy and Delicious kitchen, with our fabulous new range of summer-infused gluten-free recipes. All inspired by the flavours of the mediterranean and our very favourite vegetables, these Italian classics have been given a Healthy & Delicious twist by our resident chefs and presented to perfection, so whether you choose to eat them with family, friends or business associates, they'll be similarly impressed by the elegant appearance and rich and complex flavour combinations of every one of these sumptuous summer dishes.

Gluten free Italian food delivery

Order a selection of our new summer dishes via the Healthy and Delicious website or through Deliveroo.co.uk and all you'll need to do is add a little side salad with a drizzle of our flavoursome Healthy and Delicious Olive Oil or dressing and enjoy.

Italian dishes with a summer flavour

First up are our Aubergine Blooms, which are grilled aubergine pockets stuffed with a delicious mixture of rice, capers and mozzarella cheese, enhanced with a combination of herbs. Wonderful on their own as a starter or main course and even better eaten alongside our Stuffed Baby Courgettes. These are stuffed with millet and corn couscous (entirely gluten-free of course) and a delicious blend of capers, mozzarella and pecorino cheese with delicate herbs.

Authentic Italian recipes for London

Our Stuffed Peppers are an Italian classic. Gorgeous brightly coloured peppers stuffed with our signature gluten free, vegetarian couscous combination. Fabulous. We've also included one of our favourite recipes - Egg Frittata Buds which another, lesser known Italian classic recipe - baked with a herbed potato mixture, shallots and mozzarella and pecorino cheeses.

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Healthy & Delicious vegetarian meals

We're very excited about our Healthy & Delicious stuffed tomatoes - always one of our favourites. Ripe and tasty beef tomatoes, stuffed with a gluten-free mixture of long grain rice, mozzarella, capers and our signature homemade H&D tomato passata.

New gluten free beef lasagne

In addition to all of these scrumptious vegetarian Italian dishes, we've also added a new lasagne to the mix. We've always had our classic vegetarian gluten free lasagne, but now we also have a version layered up with organic beef too. This classic southern Italian favourite combines hand stretched gluten free pasta with our signature pasta and special H&D gluten-free béchemel sauce.

Order gluten free dishes

If you need a simply delicious selection of food for a dinner or family celebration or you're looking for event catering or gluten free wholesale products to sell in a shop or cafe, with Healthy and Delicious you can rest assured that everyone will enjoy the menu whether they're leading a gluten-free lifestyle or not. And now we've introduced our summer menu, there'll certainly be sunshine - whatever the weather.

Al-fresco, summer celebrations - perfect for Healthy & Delicious food or canapés...

When May tips over into June, some seriously sunny spells are on the cards. The garden really burst into bloom and beckons us outside for eating, entertaining and general enjoyment of the balmy days and lighter sultry evenings.

Whether it's a weekend family gathering, grown-up celebration, informal high tea or even a wedding, getting everyone into the garden or hiring out a gorgeous outside space can make for an idyllic occasion. Memorable, relaxing and infused with the heady scent of the English Countryside.

Al-fresco entertaining gives everyone space to mill about, a beautiful backdrop, room for any younger guests to play and hopefully an uplifting burst of fresh air and a warm sunny glow. Plus, as everyone knows, food always tastes better when it's eaten outside.

There's scope to keep things very simple, with just some picnic benches and a trestle table which can be laden with finger food and chilled drinks, or you can create a country garden style high tea with bunting, garden games and delicious cakes and pastries. For an elegant al-fresco dining experience (if the forecast is fair) why not bring the inside out with dining furniture and a couple of candelabra set up between strings of twinkling fairy lights?

If juggling the preparation and hosting along with all that cooking is a step to far - no problem. At Healthy & Delicious, we're well versed in the art of catering for any size of group and our fabulous, freshly prepared meals and canapés are all created with delicious, organic, flavourful ingredients, absolutely ideal for eating in the great outdoors.

It could be a case of opting for something simply, deliciously, family friendly like one of our large vegetarian lasagnas, followed by a fresh and zesty summer fruit Italian cheesecake. Serve alongside a gorgeous seasonal leaf salad in a peppery dressing, maybe some Italian olives and a glass of Italian wine. Everyone will love our gluten-free cheesecakes (you'd never guess they are!) and they look beautiful served up in the sunshine.

For something a little more theatrical, why not serve up a selection of our Healthy and Delicious vegetarian canapés? Bold and elegant, they're made from a range of exciting Italian ingredients and wonderful vegetables, enticing to the eye and satisfying to the appetite. A spread of these spectacular snacks, served up with plenty of chilled Prosecco and the ambience that comes with a summer's evening in the garden will ensure that your guests go home with memories of a wonderful evening, well spent.

We can help you come up with the perfect celebration supper menu, from starters to main dishes to fabulous desserts. Just give us a call or email us to find out more or place your order through the Healthy & Delicious shop

Here's to a wonderful summer...

PS. The inspirational garden images above are from Pinterest. Have a look at the 'Better Homes & Gardens' boards for more of the same.