London, what a great city! If I could use one word to describe this city it would be “GRAND”. The monuments, the buildings, the Abbey, the London Eye, Buckingham, Picadilly Circus, the buses, the markets, the parks, EVERYTHING is just so GRAND!
Justin and I were lucky enough to find a hotel in Westminster, one of the main central areas of London, which made it easy for us to walk to everything we wanted to see. We did A LOT of walking, but there was so much to see and look at I didn’t even realize the miles we trekked from place to place!
On our list of things to see and do we went to Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham palace, strolled through St.James Park (which was gorgeous and FULL of ducks, birds, pelicans, that naturally inhabit the area) Trafalgar Square, Picadilly Circus, Camden Town markets, New Scotland Yard, Parliament, the National Gallery… You name it. We saw it.
See me petting the pelican!! Highlight. Of. My. Day.
One thing we decided before we got to London was that we were going to avoid sit-down restaurants at all costs. Not only because we were both getting a bit sick eating restaurant food, but also the budget was running low and London is not exactly known for being cheap! Lol.
We managed to find some great little cafe’s, and “fast food” type places, I say the “F” words very loosely because these places weren’t like the typical North American fast food joints, they were so AWESOME!
Pret A Manger, Abokado, Wasabi, EAT, to name a few! They are great little places that sell foods like tuna sashimi on salad, whole grain handmade sandwiches, hot healthy soup, hummus meals, etc. Abokado was a little place just around the corner from our hotel and we went there more than a few times to pick up some healthy little meals! The dish pictured in the bottom right was so delicious – it had chicken breast in a light Thai green curry sauce, on a bed of brown rice with shredded beets, edamame beans, and cilantro! Yumm!
We only had a few days in London but I could definitely picture myself living there. I just loved the pace of the city, and everyone was also very friendly! The parks were brimming with people on runs, walks, biking, relaxing on the benches, it just seemed like a very active city, with a lot of healthy eating options!
I had to get a picture in a telephone booth, of course. Cliche, I know, but hey, you would do it too, don’t deny it! 🙂
On our last day in London we hopped on the tube and went to Camden Town, which is known for it’s markets. We went to a market called the Stables Market, and I have to say, if you are ever in London, you must go here! It was a HUGE market, with winding alley ways full of market stalls, and little shops with antiques, vintage clothes, cool, funky little designers, and everything you could possibly imagine. It was dark, kind of dingy, smelled of incense, but absolutely wonderful!! We walked around for hours without even realizing it! I believe it used to be an old horse stable because there are actual stables all over, and there are horse statues around every corner, it was a really cool place!
Back to our eating in London, we also hit up a couple grocery stores and grabbed things like yogurt, oatmeal, fruit, salads, nuts, to keep in our hotel room to eat for breakfast and have for snacks during the day. The salad pictured in the bottom left, was from Tesco, a grocery store in London, and it was so delicious I got it twice! It had beets, goat cheese, chickpeas, quinoa, over a bed of mixed greens with a delicious caramelized onion vinaigrette! The sushi salad and veggies was from Wasabi, and the raspberries were also from Tesco!
We managed to eat very healthy, AND save a lot of money by doing this!
All in all London was a great way to end our vacation, and I will definitely be back for sure. Funny enough, I chose to do a healthy version of a scone for my London inspired recipe, but I didn’t eat one scone during our London trip! Oh well, I guarantee you will enjoy this recipe anyways! Here it is!
Heavenly Lemon Blueberry Scones
The scone is a small round British quick bread which actually traditionally hails from Scotland. In Britain it is a staple teatime treat! Unfortunately, the typical scone found here in North America, is often loaded with butter, heavy cream, sugar, white flour, and can pack as much as 500 calories!
No joke. The Starbucks blueberry scone comes in at 460 calories, 22g of fat, and 17g of sugar!!
So I am happy to say that this version, is MUCH healthier! 🙂
I pondered using the word “heavenly” in the title of this recipe.
Would it be corny, or sound tacky?
Well, even if it does, I don’t care, because these scones are like a little taste of heaven!
They are soft, moist, crumbly, with a little bit of tang and sweetness from the blueberries, and not weighed down because they are made with whole wheat pastry flour rather than just regular whole wheat flour which can be a bit heavy in baked goods!
The butter amount is limited and the fat free Greek yogurt gives them that added moisture! I used coconut sugar to sweeten these, and there is only 3 tablespoons in the whole recipe, but the lemon and blueberries make up for the limited sugar keeping them just sweet enough!
These delicious scones come in at less than 200 calories, 8g of fat, and 6g of sugar each, and they also contain 4g of fiber each!
Take that Starbucks!!
They are a great choice for breakfast, or even a mid morning snack.
- 1½ cups whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ cup whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
- zest of one lemon
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- ½ cup plain 0% fat Greek yogurt
- ½ cup low fat milk
- Preheat oven to 425°.
- Combine flours, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl and whisk together.
- Slice butter and drop into dry ingredients. Use a knife or pastry cutter to cut the butter into tiny pieces and mix it into the flour.
- Add blueberries and lemon zest and gently stir.
- Gently mix in milk and yogurt.
- Use your hands to knead the last of the flour into the dough.
- Form dough into a circle about that’s about an inch deep all around. Cut the circle into 8 slices.
- Separate slices and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper or foil.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until light brown.
Recipe adapted from Cookie & Kate
Well, this recipe wraps up our Europe trip! I have to admit though, it feels good to be home, in my kitchen, once again 🙂
I hope you have enjoyed the travel posts, and got to experience Europe through my eyes!!
Nutritionist in the Kitch