Tag Archives: recipes

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 👌

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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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.

Healthy Spicy Chorizo Pasta

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Another quick and healthy dish, this chorizo pasta is filling and nutritous (and delicious).

Ingredients (serves 4):

Virgin olive oil
Sliced chorizo
400g tinned tomatos
1 red pepper (chopped)
2 handfuls spinach
2-3 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 large onion (chopped)
Cayenne pepper
Chilli powder/flakes
Black pepper
Wholegrain pasta

All you need to do:

Sautée the peppers and onion for 4-5 mins until the onion is yellow. Add garlic for another 2-3 min.

Pour in tomatos and chorizo, add spices, simmer on low heat for 5 mins. Throw in spinach for a further 2 min. Add cooked pasta and stir through. Serve immediately.

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Don’t forget to store your leftovers for lunch at work, etc ✌

Chocolate Matters

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Another (extremely) quick and easy snack that will leave you feeling full and mentally satisfied:

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I was halfway through munching when I snapped this, apologies. But the bite is delightful!

Whilst I’ve almost cut dairy out completely, every once in a while I’ll opt for some creamy, natural yoghurt (I used plain; sweeter flavours are available, but I’m extra mindful of sugar content) and some dark dark chocolate. By dark I mean 70% cocoa minimum.  This was 85% cocoa and a pure dark delight.  The chunky bite gives such a dopamine release!

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Real cocoa (and even better, cacao) is packed full of wonderful nutrients. Yep, chocolate is actually healthy for us. It is rich in flavonoids and antioxidants, which with the right balance help prevent heart disease and cancer, amongst other common ailments and dis-ease (blood clots, high blood pressure, high cholesterol). It can also help boost cognitive performance. That’s right, it’s a brain food. Elementary!

But, if your body is truly a temple, raw cacao is your best bet. This is because it goes through minimal processing compared to commercial cocoa, which often has its antioxidant features removed due to the ‘bitter’ taste produced.

I’ll be doing a follow up on the uses of raw cacao powder. But for now, do enjoy your guilt-free yoghurt and chocolate!

Wholegrain wheat cereal with oat milk, nuts & honey

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Here’s one idea for a quick, healthy breakfast (or snack).

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Bite-sized wheat shreds cereals (branded or non works either way), oat milk, mixed nuts and pure honey.

These particular cereals work nicely with honey as they can be quite bland without sugar (which I’ve cut substantially). Just try your best to get raw, organic. Nom!

Happy Tuesday 🙂

Coconut-Curried Veg (Undercover)

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Dont like vegetables much, but want to live healthier? Give this easy-peasy dish a go.

If you’re looking for an ‘easier’ way to consume more vegetables, but battle with how boring it can seem, I’d like to share one of my own quick and easy tacts that can help make eating greens healthy, tasty and even fun.

One could call it a vegetable curry, but I prefer ‘curried vegetables’. Just because most curries take specific and precise amounts of spices and cooking technique. Whereas this here is a loose, almost homage, curry – based dish.

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My motivation was actually from attempting to up my vegetable intake but being unable to withstand the (sometimes) bland taste of greens. Now I’ve come to realise I can eat (and enjoy) any vegetable if it’s combined with some more exciting ingredients. And if chopped into tiny bite size pieces, you might even convince the kids to give it a bash too!

This is one of my favourite ‘curry’ dishes, for which I throw in brocolli (again!), green beans and spinach as my main veggies. It’s so delicious and simple to make, and I often take the leftovers to work with a fresh naan or chapatti.

Ingredients:

•1-2 inch grated/ground ginger
•4 cloves garlic, chopped/ground
•1-2 large yellow or white onions, chopped
•Curry paste of your choice
•400g coconut milk
•1-3 Tsp cayenne pepper
•1-3 tsp ground turmeric
•Half head of brocolli
•Handful green beans
•2 handfuls spinach
•Olive oil
•Coriander (to season)

Simply:

Brown the onions with the spices for roughly 5-6 mins in a deep(ish) frying pan. Add the garlic and ginger for 3-4 mins until aromatic.

Stir in coconut milk and curry paste, and reduce heat to a simmer.

Throw in brocolli for 3 mins, followed by the green beans and finally the spinach. Serve and top with the coriander.

In total the veg should take 6 minutes: 6 for broccoli, 4 for green beans and 2 for spinach.  Try not to overdo the vegetables as they can not only lose their flavour and become rubbery, but they’ll also lose their nutrients. And then you’re just eating empty greens.

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Depending on your taste buds, you could also add more spices or fresh chilli to the veg, for an extra hot kick.

Stir all in well to ensure even coverage. If you find you need a little more ‘juice’ you can add water and a little more curry paste. Or if it needs thickening up, a dash of cream.

And voila. Easy, nutritous and delicious!

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Those ingredients listed are rough measurements but experimentation is key.  You can combine any veg/spices of your choice and even substitute coconut milk for tinned/fresh tomatos if you prefer. The key is to get those spices penetrating well enough to make you forget you’re even eating (healthy) greens, and really get that heated, aromatic ‘curry’ feeling going on.

Serve with rice, naan, chapatti, or whatever you like.

Peace out my loves, and good eating.