Vegan Black Bean Quesadillas with Salsa & Guacamole

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Vegan Black Bean Quesadillas with Salsa & Guacamole

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Mexican food is one my favourites, and I’m delighted to be able to still enjoy those delicious flavours, without meat or dairy products.

In fact, the elimination of these transforms any meal into a powerhouse of nutrients, while masking any suspect ‘healthy’ ingredients with a clever mix of herbs and spices.

So I had a stab at some vegan alternatives this weekend, and they were a huge hit with my meat eater and vegan guests alike!

I’ve included the recipe and method below, and if you’re a fan of Mexican food I highly recommend you give them a go!

(Serves 6)

For the Guacamole:

2 nicely ripe avacados
2-3 large ripe tomatos
1 red onion (finely chopped)
1 chilli (deseeded, finely chopped)
Lime juice

Chop tomatos into small chunks and place into a bowl. Scoop out the avacado flesh, discard the stones and add flesh to the bowl. Mash the avacado with a spoon and mix well with the tomato, chilli and onion. Sprinkle with lime juice.

Tip: Make the guacamole last, right before serving. Or if it needs to be stored, add extra lime, place an avacado stone in the middle of the mixture to stop it browning, cover tightly and refrigerate.

For the salsa:

6 ripe tomatos
1 onion
1-2 chillies (deseeded)
1-2 cloves garlic
Olive oil
Pink salt/black pepper
Bunch of fresh coriander

Finely chop the tomatos and add to a bowl. Blend the chillies, garlic, olive oil, onion, some of the coriander and salt and pepper. Add mixture to tomatos and combine well. Finish with the rest of the coriander.

For the Quesadilla and filling:

1 butternut squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes
2 courgettes, chopped into small cubes
400g black beans
Brown rice
Garlic infused olive oil
Fajita seasoning
1 pack of tortilla wraps

Prepare and cook the beans as you prefer. I used dried beans, soaked overnight then simmered with onion, garlic and cumin for 60 mins. Tinned beans can be simply drained, rinsed and simmered.

Add courgettes and butternut squash to a deep baking tray. Cover with a few tsp of olive oil and coat well. Add fajita seasoning and flip everything over so it’s all coated evenly. Roast at 200° for 40 mins or until cooked; the outside of the veg should be crispy.

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I used a packet of fajita seasoning, but if you’ve taken the plunge of a sugar free diet as well as veganism, you can make it yourself really easily:

Just mix together chilli powder, cumin, paprika, cayenne, garlic, and salt, for a fresh, sugar – free alternative.

Boil the rice to the packet instructions, then once it’s very almost cooked add it to a frying pan with some garlic, freshly chopped tomatos, chilli, pepper and coriander. Fry it off in a little olive oil to infuse the flavours. The rice should become a little crispy.

Once all the parts of the filling are ready, layer a little of each onto one half of a tortilla wrap. Then fold it over and add to a dry frying pan for a couple minutes each side, until the filling is warm and the tortilla pockets sort of seal together.
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Once warm and crispy, remove from the pan and carefully cut into quarters.

Serve with guacamole and salsa. Or for a creamier filling, add some of these to the tortillas as well as the veg and rice before frying. You can even add vegan cheese inside if you wish!

..Delicioso!

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16/05/16: The Day I Gone Vegan

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I just thought I’d write a short post to inform whoever might care, as of one week today I’ve been trying a vegan diet.

I thought it made sense to make it known the reason why all of the recipes I upload from now on will suddenly turn vegan (if not obvious already).

So yes, I’m officially vegan. And to be honest, I’m very surprised at how easy the transition has been so far. I know I’m only a week in, but the array of mouthwatering recipes I’ve seen and foods I’ve tried has already left me super excited about this new endeavour.

And of course, the fact that I’ll no longer be adding to the already huge problem of animal based diets, which is not only detrimental to human health and our planet, but also horrific for our fellow animal beings.

I shall try not to preach; for a few years now I’ve known that the time will eventually come for me to become vegetarian. And more research into veganism led me to realise this diet made the most sense.

I’d already cut out the majority of dairy products, indulging in protein yogurt or a bit of cheese now and then. And my replacement of meat products for veggies and legumes has been going on for a while now too. So basically I was already half way there.

Now I’ve taken the plunge. The biggest challenge will certainly be the chocolate addiction… but I’ve already seen and tried lots of exciting vegan alternatives. And they’re not only dairy free, but actually healthy for you!! Definitely exciting times ahead.

I’m glad I can rest peacefully at night knowing I’m no longer adding to the problem, but doing my best to actively be part of the solution. And although there will likely be some tough times ahead (eating out is my favourite pastime), I’m super excited and ready to embrace change, for the betterment of the planet and my Self.

Go Vegans!
😁✌

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Recipe from Ella Woodward: Pesto Butterbeans with Spinach, Pomegranate and Pumpkin Seeds. My first attempt at a vegan dish, I wasn't disappointed..


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First time being vegan at a BBQ on Saturday.. no biggy: mushroom (instead of chicken), pepper and onion basted in spicy peri peri sauce and cooked until crispy.. I can handle this

Spicy Veggie Burgers

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Veering into the world of the vegetable patty can be somewhat daunting; “how can vegetables surpass a juicy beef burger?” one has probably asked.

As a lifelong carnivore, I myself was always reluctant to even bother tempting my taste buds to adjust to what may be considered a travesty against meat eaters.

But after visiting an all-vegetarian restaurant for the first time this week, I’ve been convinced a meatless diet isn’t as bland or big a deal as my mind might have once tried to tell me.

I’ve dabbled with home-made falafal before (drool), but had continued to shy away from the veggie burger. And these were so easy!

So here is my first attempt, and they turned out super delicious! In fact, there’s so many variations I can’t wait to try mixing it up next time.

These were actually a combination of sweet potato, carrot and kidney beans. And if you’re keen to experiment with a wider range of veggie meals, I’ve included the recipe I used below:

Ingredients (makes roughly 4 patties):

1-2 carrots, grated
2 sweet potatoes
1 can red kidney beans
1 tsp tahini (optional, but adds flavour and helps bind everything together)
Chilli flakes
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Pink himalayan salt/black pepper to taste
Sesame seeds, for a crispy outer layer
1tbsp olive oil

Method:

Preheat oven to 200°

Cook the potatoes  (I boiled until soft but roast is of course an option), then mash up in a bowl.

Drain and rinse the kidney beans, mash them up or put them through a food processor until smooth (I kept a few in chunks as I enjoy the ‘bite’ of a kidney bean).

Mix beans and potato together with the carrot, garlic, tahini and chilli flakes, season with salt and pepper if needed.

Spread the olive oil evenly across a baking tray.

When all ingredients are combined well, roll into patties and sprinkle with sesame seeds (or breadcrumbs, etc) to give a nice crispy outside.

Place onto baking tray and turn over so they’re coated in oil on both sides.

Pop into the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, turning halfway through.

Serve on toasted brioche bun, topped with houmous and crispy salad (..or however you fancy, baby).

Tasty, filling, nutritous and not an animal in sight! Enjoy:)

Spicy Tuna Pasta Bake

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Tuna pasta bake from scratch is ridiculously easy, and nutritious!

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Forget about those salt-laden, unhealthy jarred sauces, which the brands themselves have recently admitted are bad for your health and should only be consumed once a week max…. Using just tinned tomatos, tuna and a few herbs, you can turn dinner tonight into a healthy and tasty option for all the family (or just yourself if you’re a lone warrior).

With this version, I opted for chilli flakes to give it a little kick. Check the recipe below:

Serves 4:

2 tins tuna
3 tins chopped tomatos
400g pasta
1 onion
2-4 cloves garlic
Black pepper
Pinch of sea/pink himalayan salt
Basil or oregano (dried or fresh – both work)
Chilli flakes
Olive oil
Cheese of your liking to top

Preheat oven to 200 degrees (gas mark 6).
Finely chop the onion and garlic and add to pan of heated olive oil, fry gently for 5-10 minutes until soft and slightly brown. Throw in chilli flakes and herbs, add tomatos and heat through. Then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

In the meantime, get your pasta boiling and drain just before its cooked (it will finish in the oven).

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Stir tuna through the sauce (as chunky or fine as you like – it’s your meal!), add a dash of salt and a bit more pepper, tip in pasta and mix it all up. Then transfer to an oven proof dish and sprinkle the cheese on top.

Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

Allow to cool for a minute, serve with side salad or garlic bread and enjoy!

Remember, you know what gets your taste buds going. You know if too much garlic will repeat on you (personally i love garlic too much to care), or if basil isn’t your thing. That’s why I encourage you to experiment and try things out, add or remove ingredients as you see fit and just enjoy the process!

Might I add, the garlic bread is obviously not a healthy option and merely a suggestion favoured by myself… but if you’re feeling rebellious, go for it!

Peace out cheffy’s 👍

Avacado Green Smoothie for Extra Protein & Fibre

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What I love about smoothies is how experimental one can be with them. You can literally research the ingredients corresponding to the kind of health benefits you’re looking to achieve, throw them all into a blender and reap the good stuff.

This particular smoothie just came together through my need for extra fibre and protein. Avacados were of course my natural choice, being delicious and packed full of both of these; a medium sized avacado on average contains 17g of fibre and 7g of protein. Boom!

Romaine lettuce is also an excellent source of fibre (and somewhat underrated, being so cheap). Throw in some banana for added potassium and fibre, blueberries for extra antioxidants and radish (very random, but I also suffer with nasal congestion and they’re a perfect decongestant).

Finish it off with some spinach, which is great for iron, vitamins A, B2, C and K, and of course extra protein. And you’re left with a delicious, very powerful concoction. A real Warrior smoothie!

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Ingredients (makes approx 3-4 servings):

1-2 Avacados
2 handfuls spinach
1 head romaine lettuce
3 handfuls blueberries
2 bananas
8 radishes
Small glass fruit juice of your choice to sweeten (I used apple & pear) – not from concentrate
Juice of half a lime (stops the avacado turning brown)
Water

I of course always encourage experimentation.. these servings are a rough guide, and you can substitute any of the ingredients with something more suited to your own taste/ needs. This one actually turned out surprisingly sweet.

Good luck warriors, and may your body and mind be blessed with health!

Warrior Juice 2016

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The newest Warrior Juice to hit my clean diet this year: fresh carrot, orange and ginger juice.

This juice/ smoothie is packed with an array of magical healing properties for the body- and it tastes absolutely delicious.

Carrots are rich in fibre, vitamins potassium, iron and copper. They’re also mega high in beta carotene, which has been linked with cancer destroying attributes.

I do rave about ginger, but it’s just so tasty, flexible and good for us. Mainly due to its digestion promoting, anti nausea and anti inflammatory properties, ginger brings so much more to smoothies than just a spicy twang.

Oranges are also blessed with a high vitamin and fibre count.

So if you need a healthy breakfast boost, a stomach-safe hangover aid, or just something to help promote healthy digestion, give this juice a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Just chop and blend, according to your taste:

Carrots
Oranges
Ginger
Fresh apple & pear juice

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For added health benefits, you can try adding radish, avacado seed, flax seed etc. The strong orange and ginger taste usually gets rid of any bitterness that might normally be present.

I’ve experimented with different consistencies and found that when a much higher carrot count is used, it’s quite fibrous, but still refreshingly delightful. The orange can sometimes have a bite so I tend to use max. one orange per serving.

They keep in the fridge for about 3 days. So I prepare all mine for the days ahead (usually one for breakfast, after a pint of water). Once the hard work of ready – making is done, you can sit back every morning during whatever your routine may be, sip on this delicious Warrior Juice and and feel your empty stomach absorb all the great stuff!

Peace out warriors

Golden Hoops

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I just put golden milk on my cheerios. Yahh babeh  (love fo Fetty Wap rite nw).
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It was absolutely fantastic and they were honey cheerios, too. A slight sugar cave-in, but I balanced it nicely. Now I feel alive inside. Probably the sugar dancing with the turmeric, feeling like ecstasy.

For anybody who isn’t sure about coconut milk, try hemp milk instead. It’s packed with omega 3, vitamins (A, E, B12, D, to be specific), calcium and amino acids. And it’s dairy free. Hurrah!

The golden ingredient of golden milk is turmeric; a powerful, natural anti inflammatory which is filled with antioxidants. Turmeric can also help prevent heart disease and alzheimers, help treat depression, and also fights cancer.

Just think, all of these fantastic properties combined together make one heck of a cereal topper. Though some may consider this counterproductive, what with all the unwanted additives in most cereal, it really is better than cow’s milk if you’re trying your best to be good to your body but have caved a bit to the sugar addiction.

Don’t worry, we’ll get there in the end. And golden milk be the go-to topper for bran or muesli or granola…whatever healthy alternative to cheerios and coco pops we prefer.

In case you’re not sure how to make golden milk, I’ve included a super easy recipe below.

Much love, brothers and sisters 🙏❤

Golden Milk:

2 cups hemp, coconut or any dairy free milk you prefer

1 teaspoon ground turmeric (fresh is always best if possible)

Pinch of black pepper (helps with absorption)

Honey to taste (I left it out)

Heat it all up in a saucepan on medium heat until slightly bubbling. Do not over boil or you risk losing precious nutrients! Fittingly, like Goldilocks prefers, lukewarm is just right.

Enjoy! Golden milk can also be stored in the fridge for a few days, depending on the milk you used.

Yo..

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Since beginning my yoga journey some twelve+ months ago, I’ve experienced a whole new level of Self. My inner being feels cleansed, I’m more aligned, and I have a much deeper sense of Oneness.

Every posture, from the simple yet delightful up-dog, to the muscle-tingling baby grasshopper (I’m yet to find my way to the more hardcore version; the daddy Grasshopper) takes me on a journey through the mind and body.

Becoming and being aware of one’s own physical structure, discovering the sensation of each muscle maybe for the first time, feeling the body, brings with it new self-inquiry, and a deeper understanding of what lies beyond. Whether warming up for the day, playing around after work to wind down, or just passing time, it seems there’s always something new to be had from practising yoga.

It also gives a wonderful head-start to a meditation session, placing you nicely into a relaxed and calm state, especially after a well-earned savasana. I’ve found myself in many a ‘surprise’ meditation right after yoga, where my body and mind fall right into place.

Aside from the spiritual side, there’s also the health benefits that are complimentary with a dedicated yoga regime; more energy, self-satisfaction, balanced chakras, reduced stress, increased happiness,  a strong physique. And I’m sure there are many more fellow practitioners/yogis  could claim.

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I personally recommend anybody who hasn’t, to give yoga a try. Don’t let age, weight or flexibility get in the way of your will – yoga is for every body, and after discovering it, everybody is for yoga:)

Peace and love.

Namaste.

Hi-gha, God

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Why do we look up when we address God?

Neck craned, spine poised,

Gazing up to the ceiling.. even into the sky

Is it because God is a, nay, THE ‘higher’ power?

 

[But God is within Us?]

 

Gaze into the sky again

Stare past the stars

Deep through the u-niverse

Into yourself. Look within.

 

[Pray with true intent]

[[Even in-a tent]]

 

Hands together, liberated harmony

Drawn close to our hearts

Feel the particles of love beaten

God truly never departs

 

 

 

Booking a holiday the day after your house party cos you just need to get out more

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I dream of waterfalls
And rolling hills
Dewy pastures
And rocky cliffs

Breathtaking views
Embraced by Earth’s
Splendour
And tranquility

Offered to us
Through coloured windows
Pupils glistening
Reflections of the soul

Mountains of wisdom,
Emotions vented through
Skin and cells
Feeling warm to the core

May we all pass on
And share the beauty of
The universe, encompassed
with love, infinitely One

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