Tag Archives: healthy

Healing Garlic, Ginger and Butterbean Soup

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It’s mid December! Which means it’s cold outside (cue cosy jumpers, hoodies and scarves), party season is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner. Plenty to get excited about!

But with that excitement usually comes extra strain on our bodies and minds; lack of sunlight, indulgence in naughty foods and alcohol and excess stress over pulling together the perfect Christmas can all take its toll on us physically.

So if you’re feeling a little under the weather, this nourishing soup is the perfect pick-me-up.

Garlic boasts amazing antibacterial and antiviral properties, while ginger stimulates immune function and helps fight infection, as well as reduces nausea. Together they pack a mighty nutritional punch, and combined with onion (also a natural antiviral decongestant) these benefits are boosted even further.

On top of that, butterbeans are a fabulous source of B-vitamins, iron, zinc, magnesium, fibre and protein. And along with cashews, which are packed with eye, heart and blood healthy vitamins and minerals, they help give the soup a warming, creamy consistency.

Even more to get excited about, this dish is so easy to make!

Ingredients:

1 head of garlic

3 carrots

1 tin butterbeans, rinsed and drained 

2 red onions

4-6 inches ginger

3 spring onions (plus extra to garnish)

Handful cashew nuts

1 1/2 tbsp dried oregano

Pinch of paprika

500ml vegetable stock

50ml almond milk

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200°c.

Drizzle a little olive oil in a baking tray and add the carrot and whole garlic cloves. I left the skin on the garlic for added nutrients, but these can be removed before blending if you prefer. 

Coat well in oil, 1/2 tbsp oregano, paprika and a little salt and black pepper, then roast for 20-30 min until soft, shuffling and turning half way.

Meanwhile season the butterbeans with 1 tbsp dried oregano and black pepper. Roughly chop the red onion, ginger and spring onions. 

Sautée the red onions and ginger for 3-4 min, then add the butterbeans for another 5 mins. Finally add the spring onions, carrot and garlic for the last 2 min.

Stir in vegetable stock, bring to boil, cover and then reduce to simmer for about 5 mins.

Add to blender (I used an immersion blender) along with almond milk and pulse until soft and creamy.

Serve and garnish with chopped spring onion.

Enjoy, and embrace the healing feeling and delicious flavours, while those antibodies get hard at work fighting your physical corner!

Vegan Buckwheat Flour Pancakes with Blackberry Sauce

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Vegan Buckwheat Flour Pancakes with Blackberry Sauce

I couldn’t resist tucking in before I snapped the photo🙈

Hello Autumn. ‘Tis the season for juicy blackberries!

To celebrate I whipped up these buckwheat pancakes with warm blackberry sauce.

Best of all, I had them for breakfast, cos I can! Buckwheat flour is super healthy; not only gluten-free, it’s jammed with protein and fibre, an array of nutrients including magnesium, zinc and iron, it helps lower cholesterol, aids digestion and even has cancer fighting antioxidants. Win-win.

To make 3-4, all you need is:

120g buckwheat flour

200ml almond milk

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp ground flax seed (aka linseed)

2 handfuls blackberries

Handful blueberries to top (optional)

Maple syrup to top (or other optional sweetener)

For the sauce:

Add 50ml boiling water to a saucepan, with the blackberries. Heat for a few minutes until the blackberries soften, drain the water and add the fruit to a food processor.

Whiz until a sauce forms and set aside to cool.
For the pancakes:

Simply whisk together all the ingredients until a batter is formed (it shouldn’t be too thick, just similar to regular pancake batter).

Spread a little olive oil evenly around a frying pan. Then add a thin layer of batter and cook on either side for around 4 mins each, until the edges are nice and crispy.

Topped with blackberry sauce, blueberries, maple syrup and walnuts

I’m always full of energy and excited for the day after eating these babies!

You can top them with anything you like, but this blackberry sauce was certainly a sweet deal. I often mix it up with vegan chocolate spread, strawberries, raspberries, nuts, bananas and maple syrup. 

Enjoy!

12/11/16 UPDATE: Vegan pancakes 2.0.. stacked and layered with fruit is the way forward 👌

Crispy Cauliflower Bites

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I recently discovered these bad boys, the same time my best friend was giving birth to her first child- what a momentous day.
Believe me when I say, these are one of the tastiest vegan foods I’ve had the pleasure of consuming.

Having experimented with a few flavours, I’ve found that this ‘curried’ version came up top. But it can of course be amended to include any herbs and spices you like.

Ingredients:

1 head cauliflower

120g buckwheat flour

220ml almond milk

3 tbsp coconut oil (measured solidified)

3 tsp paprika

4 tsp ground turmeric

4 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

3 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt (I use pink himalayan)

2 cloves garlic (crushed/finely diced)

1 inch finely diced ginger (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 200°. Cover a baking tray with parchment paper and melt the coconut oil in the oven on the tray for a couple of minutes. Spread evenly.

Chop cauliflower into medium – small florets (it’s really up to you, I prefer them smaller as they go crispier).

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger,  salt and pepper. Ensure everything is combined nice and evenly.

Next, add the almond milk to a separate bowl and begin dunking a few florets of cauliflower. Once soaked, dip them into the flour until well coated and add to the baking tray.

Try double dipping some of them (milk-flour-milk-flour) which will create a batter – like consistency, giving a thicker, softer coating (the mix between crispy and soft is amazing).
Don’t leave out the tiny florets either- these are extra special as they work great for a super crispy coating.

Bake for 15 minutes before turning them over. Add more almond milk to any florets that might still have dry flour on them and bake for a further 15-20 minutes.

Serve up with your favourite vegan main and enjoy!

Big hit with the dog who lives off junk food

Fun, nutritous and delicious.. you can’t go wrong 🙂
P.S. I’d love to know if anybody has tried making a similar version of these? I’ve read great things about pan frying them..

Accompanying home made vegetable pattie with rocket

12/11/16 Update: just felt the need to add this – after I mentioned to my friend about making these the day she gave birth, she admitted she’d had total crispy cauliflower cravings throughout her pregnancy, and had visited the restaurant we first discovered it multiple times towards the end!

Needless to say I whipped her up a batch in a nice little food parcel with some houmous and salad, and she loved it!

Ahh, universe, how you continue to fascinate me so.💚

Rice Krispie & Oat Energy Bars

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Since going vegan, I actually can’t get enough of puffed brown rice. I use it for so much, like when I want that naughty sensation of eating cereal and cold milk covered with sugar, I fill a bowl with puffed brown rice, almond milk and xylitol (a plant based sugar subsititute which ironically even has oral health benefits)… snap, crackle and pop.
Or I make something like these Krispy, nutty oat bars. They’re packed full of fibre and protein, and the chia seeds give them an extra energy bursting nutritional kick – great for before or after a workout. Plus they take just a few minutes to whip up.

Ingredients:

140g almond butter (or any nut butter, though almond seems to taste best as it isn’t overpowering like peanut can be)

3-4 tbsp maple/date syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil

1/2 banana

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup puffed brown rice

Method:

Melt the coconut oil, almond butter and syrup gently in a saucepan. Blend together with the banana, chia seeds and cinnamon. 

Mix oats and rice well until sticky. Transfer the lot to a baking tray lined with parchment and freeze for about an hour.

The beauty of these babies is that you can take them straight out of the freezer and they’ll be edible within a couple of minutes. Hope you’ll try and enjoy 🙂
You can also of course mix n match- try opting just for just rice krispies and setting them deeper in the pan- leaves them nice and chunky with lots of bite.

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 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!

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.

Healthy Randdige

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This random porridge is a brilliant way to start a new day!

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This morning I was nourished by this delicious, random porridge concoction. I’m running low on a lot of food items so I threw in bits of what I had:

Porridge oats
Oat milk/water
Raw honey
Frozen raspberries
100% peanut butter (crunchy)

Hob on medium, heat everything together in a saucepan for 4-5 mins, or until excess liquid has gone. Mush raspberries a little with a spoon, to mix with the oats.

The peanut butter forms a slightly thick consistency on the spoon, but it’s still all good.

My energy levels were boosted all day and I got some extra protein from the peanuts. Plus it’s dairy free! Simple, tasty and nutritious. A class breakfast.