VANILLA ‘NICE CREAM’ BREAKFAST BOWL

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B&V smoothiebowl main

Preparation & cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 large portion

Here is another delicious nice cream breakfast bowl recipe for you today. They make such good, nourishing breakfasts getting you ready for the day ahead! The nice cream in this recipe is so good and is probably better than any vanilla ice cream that I have ever tried before! The good thing with making a vanilla nice cream is that you can literally put anything that you would like on the top as it will go with everything. I just can’t believe how simple, quick and delicious nice cream is and on top of all that it is healthy for you! You cannot go wrong making this! At the moment there are so many delicious fruits that are in season, so you can be as creative as you would like with the toppings. As I have said before in other recipes, use this as a general guide to create your own favourite versions with your favourite fruits and seeds etc.

Ingredients:

  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract/paste
  • A handful of strawberries
  • A handful of blackberries
  • A handful of blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon mixed seeds (sunflower, linseed, pumpkin)
  • The zest of 1 lime

B&V SB second

Method:

1.   Put the bananas, ground flaxseed, ground almonds and vanilla extract/paste into a blender with a tiny dash of water and blitz until you have a thick and deliciously smooth nice cream.

2.   Pour the nice cream into a bowl and in whatever decoration that you fancy arrange the rest of the ingredients on the top.

There you have it, a really healthy and quick breakfast that will leave you feeling amazing and energised! I hope you like it.

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Bananas: Bananas not only taste great but they are also a great source of vitamin B6 as well as a moderate source vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre.

Flaxseed: Flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are high in vitamin B1, dietary fibre, magnesium and phosphorus and also offer moderate levels of vitamin B3, B5 and B6.

Almonds: Almonds are a nutritionally dense food rich in the B vitamins, vitamin E and the essential minerals calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc.

Strawberries: Strawberries are a great source of vitamin C and a good source of manganese.

Blackberries: Blackberries are a really good source of dietary fibre, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Blueberries: Blueberries are a good source of dietary fibre, manganese, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Chia seeds: Chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.

Sunflower seeds: As with nuts, seeds are a really great nutrient dense food that will provide so much when they are incorporated into your diet. Sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, all of the B vitamins (B1, B3, B6 and B9 in particular) and they are an amazing source of vitamin E. They also contain high levels of dietary minerals including, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. They also offer good levels of riboflavin, folate, sodium and potassium.

Lime: Limes, like with other citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.

ASIAN NOODLE SOUP

#MeatfreeMonday, asian, exercise, fitness, food, free from, Gluten Free, Healthy, healthy food, Herbs, main, noodles, plant based, Vegan, vegan food, Vegetables, Vegetarian, what vegans eat, whole food, wholefoods

Noodles soup main

Preparation & cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Makes: 2 large/4 medium portions

Recently, both me and my girlfriend have felt under the weather with colds etc. so I wanted to make something that would really blow the cobwebs away and make us feel better; this recipe did not disappoint! The dish is full of green vegetables, garlic, chilli, ginger and lime which are all things that make me feel refreshed and healthy. There is nothing more satisfying than a big bowl of noodles and broth; and you have to be really noisy when you eat it! I hope you enjoy it.

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • A thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli, sliced (seeds removed if you aren’t keen on spice)
  • 1 green chilli, sliced (for garnish)
  • 1 large bunch of coriander, stalks finely sliced and leaves set aside for garnish
  • 1 stick of lemongrass, bruised with the heel of your knife
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock 
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus extra wedges for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 200g thick rice noodles
  • 2 large handfuls of tender-stem broccoli, cut in half
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, spiralised (or grated if you don’t have a spiraliser) 
  • 1 pak choi, chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • A handful of beansprouts, for garnish

Noodles soup second

Method:

1.   Bring a large pot of water to the boil and then throw the noodles into the water. Cook the noodles a couple of minutes under the instructed amount on the packaging as you want the noodles to keep a nice texture when added to the broth. Drain the noodles in a colander an run cold water over them to cool them down; leave them to one side.

2.   Whilst the noodles are boiling you can prepare the broth. Place a large pot over a high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add in the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, lemongrass and coriander stalks and fry for five minutes, or until the onions are soft. Once the ingredients are soft, pour in the litre of vegetable stock, dark & light soy sauce and lime juice and bring to the boil.

3.   Let the broth simmer for 10 minutes allowing the flavours to really come together. After 10 minutes, remove the stick of lemongrass from the broth and put the asparagus and broccoli into the broth to cook for a few minutes until they have softened slightly but have kept a nice bite to them.

4.   Evenly portion the noodles, carrots and pak choi into 2 or 4 bowls and pour the hot broth and vegetables over the top of them (this will warm them through). The carrots will keep a really nice crunch. Put a small handful of beansprouts on top of the noodles with some coriander leaves and sliced green chilli. Place some lime wedges on the side of the bowl and enjoy!!

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Red onion: Onions are made up of around 90% water and hold low amounts of essential nutrients e.g. vitamin C, vitamin B6 and manganese.

Garlic: Garlic contains several nutrients, but due to the low quantity that is eaten it won’t play a huge factor in terms of getting all of your essential vitamins and minerals. In large quantities, garlic holds a lot of vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese and phosphorus.

Ginger: Ginger contains a lot of manganese and iron with moderate amounts of vitamin B3 and B6.

Chilli: Red chillies contain a large amount of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium and iron. They are also a good source of most B vitamins, especially B6.

Coriander: Coriander is particularly rich in vitamin A, C and K as well as a good source of manganese, iron and potassium.

Lime: Limes, like with other citrus fruits, are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fibre.

Broccoli: Broccoli is an amazing source of vitamin C, vitamin K and dietary fibre.

Asparagus: Asparagus is an excellent source of dietary fibre, protein, vitamin C, vitamin E and especially vitamin K. It is also a good source of iron.

Carrots: Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B6.

Pak choi: Pak choi is an excellent source of both vitamin A and vitamin C.

Tropical ‘Nice Cream’ Brunch

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Tropical Brunch

Preparation & cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: Enough for 4 people

When the summer comes around and the weather gets better (which is quite rare in the UK!) all I want to do is eat fresh fruit as I feel so good, hydrated and energised for the day ahead. There is so little energy used in digesting and converting fruit into energy that you instantly feel better and more awake. My girlfriend and I recently went to Barbados, where the weather was absolutely amazing, and all both of us wanted to eat was fresh fruit! There was nothing else that made us feel as good as eating watermelon in the sun every morning for breakfast! Recipes like this are a really easy way to impress people whilst there is literally no effort in making it. If you put a dish like this in the middle of the table it will WOW people as it looks so colourful and appealing but it is also amazingly tasty! It is also a great way to get a wide variety of fruits, nuts and seeds into your diet which will give you a wide array of vitamins, essential fatty acids and minerals. Use this recipe as a general guideline and not something that has to be followed meticulously as you can easily use any fruits , nuts and seeds that you wish. 

Tropical Brunch 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 small watermelon, cut in half, scoop one half out so you can use peel as a bowl and slice the other half into slices.
  • 1 honeydew melon, sliced
  • 1 large orange, sliced
  • 1 apple, sliced
  • 2 mangoes, that have been frozen
  • 3 bananas, that have been frozen
  • 1 peach, cut into slices
  • A handful of raspberries
  • A handful of pecan nuts
  • 1 tablespoon of mixed seeds (pumpkin seeds, linseeds, sunflower seeds etc.)

Method:

1.   Put the frozen mango and frozen bananas into a blender and blitz together until you have a nice thick and velvety smooth texture. This will take a couple of minutes. If the blender is having to work overtime and is struggling to blend the fruit then add a little drop of water to make the mixture a little looser, but don’t add too much as you want your nice cream to be nice and thick.

2.   Whilst the nice cream is blending, you can prepare your dish. In a big flat bottomed dish place the hollow half of the watermelon and arrange the rest of the sliced fruit around the outside so that people can just grab pieces easily.

3.   Once the nice cream is nice and smooth, spoon it into the hollow watermelon bowl and top it with the seeds, raspberries, pecans and peaches. I really like to grill the peaches as it gives them such a good flavour but if you are following a raw diet then you don’t have to do this.

That is it! Just put the bowl into the middle of the table and watch everyone dig in and really enjoy themselves!

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

From now on, I am going to provide nutritional information along with my recipes to help me further my own knowledge and to hopefully help you understand what and why foods are good for us. By using this nutritional information you can start creating your own meals with the understanding of the composition of foods and what different foods will do for your body enabling you to get a really good balanced diet. I will deliver this information on an ingredient by ingredient basis detailing their composition and attaching links to a separate page where the benefits of all of the vitamins and minerals will be listed. I hope that you find this information helpful and that it plays a good role in the understanding and improvement of your diets.

Bananas: Bananas not only taste great but they are also a great source of vitamin B6 as well as a moderate source vitamin C, manganese and dietary fibre.

Mango: This is a really delicious stone fruit that is native to South and Southeast Asia (it is definitely one of my favourite fruits). Mangoes provide a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.

Watermelon: Watermelon is such a good fruit to eat on a hot day; for me it is one of the most refreshing fruits to eat as it is so hydrating. Watermelon, as you can probably tell by its name, has a high content of water (around 90%). It is also a good source of vitamin C and it is low in fat and sodium.

Honeydew melon: Like watermelon, honeydew melon is a really refreshing fruit and is made up of mostly water. Similarly, it also is a good source of vitamin C.

Oranges: As with most citrus fruits, oranges are an amazing source of vitamin C and they are also good sources of folate.

Apples: Apples are a significant source of dietary fibre with modest vitamin C content.

Raspberries: I love raspberries and I am just grateful that they are healthy for you! They are a great source of vitamin C, manganese and they are among the highest known in whole foods for dietary fibre (this represents 6% of their total weight).

Peaches: Peaches taste really nice (especially when grilled like in this recipe) and they contain diverse essential nutrients, however, they offer no significant values. They are a moderate source of vitamin C, vitamin B3 and vitamin E.

Pecan nuts: Nuts in general provide so many health benefits when included into your diet. Pecan nuts are a great source of manganese, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and vitamin B6. They are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats as well as being rich in omega-6 fatty acids. The list continues! They are also a moderate source of vitamin B2, B5 and B6. Including nuts into your diet can really have great effects as you can see from this copious list of vitamins and minerals that they contain.

Sunflower seeds: As with nuts, seeds are a really great nutrient dense food that will provide so much when they are incorporated into your diet. Sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, all of the B vitamins (B1, B3, B6 and B9 in particular) and they are an amazing source of vitamin E. They also contain high levels of dietary minerals including, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

Linseeds (Flax): Linseeds or flax seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. They are high in vitamin B1, dietary fibre, magnesium and phosphorus and also offer moderate levels of vitamin B3, B5 and B6.

Pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamin B3 (niacin), iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. They also offer good levels of riboflavin, folate, sodium and potassium.

Spicy Tomato Zoodles!

#MeatfreeMonday, exercise, fitness, food, free from, Gluten Free, Healthy, Herbs, Italian, plant based, quick, raw, recipes, salad

zoodles

Preparation & cooking time: 25 minutes
Makes: 2 large portions

First off I will tell you what a zoodle is! The other week I bought a spiralizer, which has completely changed the way I have been eating at home and has really increased the amount of vegetables that I eat. They are pretty cheap to buy as well; I got mine from Amazon for around £25. They are so fun to use! The word zoodle comes from zucchini and noodle (also called courgetti (courgette spaghetti)). The spiralizer is a great tool to make amazing colourful salads full of lots of different vegetables. For this recipe I made a spicy tomato sauce to top the raw zoodles! Zoodles are a great healthy alternative to spaghetti. I definitely recommend buying a spiralizer, they are easy to use and would also be a great way of getting kids to eat a lot more vegetables. Alternatively, if you do not have a spiralizer you can get julienne graters for very cheap which will do the job perfectly as well. I hope you like it. 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 tin of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, roughly sliced
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper
  • Small bunch of parsley, roughly chopped (leaves and stalks separated)

Method:

1.   Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion and parsley stalks and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, sugar, chilli powder, cumin, paprika, a pinch of salt and pepper and tomato puree and cook together for a few minutes. Then add the tin of tomatoes. Bring to the boil and then turn the heat down to low and leave the sauce to simmer and thicken for 10 minutes.

2.   Whilst the sauce is reducing you can prepare your zoodles. Using the spiralizer or julienne peeler create your zoodles and place one courgette worth of zoodles into each bowl. So easy and quick!!!!

3.   The recipe is now done! All you have to do is top the zoodles with the lovely sauce. You can blend the sauce to make it smooth before you do this (like I have in the photo) but you don’t have to at all. Once you have poured on the sauce, sprinkle some of the parsley leaves on top and enjoy!

 

Healthy Herb & Avocado Salad

#MeatfreeMonday, exercise, fitness, Fruits, Gluten Free, Healthy, Herbs, plant based, raw, recipes, salad, Sauces, Side Dishes, Snack, summer, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Herb & Avcado Salad

Preparation & cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes: 2 large portions or 4 portions as a side dish

 This is my second raw recipe in a row! It is definitely a way of eating that I am really enjoying and increasingly using it within my everyday diet. The good thing about eating raw food is that there is so little preparation time to actually make the food. Eating more raw food in your diet is great because you will be getting all of the nutrients and goodness from the fruits and vegetables without losing or damaging them (which is a side effect from cooking food). If you are interested in learning more about this way of eating there are lots of books out there and current eating plans such as raw til 4 which embraces a raw diet until 4pm (also let me know and I will write some posts expanding on this). A lot of people have had great success in terms of health, energy and wellbeing following a raw plant based diet.

Salad was a meal that I didn’t really understand (or appreciate) growing up and I generally associated it with a big bowl of iceberg lettuce and not much else, which really doesn’t do a proper salad any justice! The first time that my mind was changed to understand that a salad could be the focal point of a meal instead of an afterthought side element was when my parents made a delicious Jamie Oliver recipe. The salad had everything! It was a salad filled with grilled peaches, nuts, rocket, herbs, crumbly cheese, parma ham and a honey dressing. This was a really big point in my food life and how I perceived salads! For obvious dietary reasons, I now would not eat the salad that I had back then but there are elements that I take and use in every salad that I make. I realised that adding fruit to salads could brighten up everything along with herbs and with the added crunch of seeds and vegetables you can create a dish that covers all flavours and textures! The next time you are going to make a salad, be as experimental and creative as you possibly can and I am sure that you will be so happy and also have a new way of thinking towards a bowl of salad!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large handfuls of spinach (roughly 250g), washed
  • 1/2 a cucumber, thinly sliced
  • A hanful of ripe cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • A large bunch of basil
  • A large bunch of flat leaf parsley
  • 1 large ripe avocado, sliced
  • 1 spring onion, finely sliced
  • A hanful of mixed seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds etc.)
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

1.   Firstly, make your dressing. There is a general rule of thumb that I follow when I make a salad dressing and that is to always keep the ratio of 3:1 of oil and an acid (e.g. for this recipe I used 3 tablespoons of oil to one tablespoon of lemon juice). This ratio generally gives you the perfect balance of subtlety and zinginess for the dressing. Once you have the base sorted you can add all of the herbs and spices that you would like to the dressing. Now add in the garlic, cumin seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning if necessary and leave to the side until the salad has been made.

2.   Now you can put together your salad. In a large bowl toss together  the spinach, herbs, cucumber and tomatoes. Once all of the ingredients are nicely combined, neatly place the avocado on top of the greens. Then scatter the seeds and spring onion over the top of the salad. Give your dressing a good stir and then take out the clove of garlic. The garlic will leave a really nice subtle flavour to the dressing. Pour the dressing over the salad and serve immediately.

I really hope you like this recipe and that you are excited to be creative with your salads.

Pineapple & Orange Sorbet!

#MeatfreeMonday, Desserts, exercise, fitness, Fruits, fun, Gluten Free, Healthy, plant based, recipes, summer, Vegan

Pineapple & Orange Sorbet

Preparation & cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 large portion

After lunch the other day, I really fancied something sweet yet healthy. I had a lot of fruit in the house but I wanted something cold as it was a hot day so I decided to make some healthy sugar-free sorbet! I am so glad that I did because it was so tasty and refreshing! This recipe is similar to ‘nice cream’ which uses banana as a base and creates the most amazing soft serve ice cream that to me actually tastes better than actual ice cream. What I like about this recipe is that it is so hydrating and refreshing. Using fruit this way is also a really good way of minimising any waste as you can just cut up any fruit that is on its last legs and freeze it in a sandwich bags which makes it perfect for smoothies or for sorbet. You could literally do it with all fruits, for example, kiwis, mango, blueberries, strawberries, apple etc. and then create all sorts of sorbet flavours. Kids will also love this recipe as it tastes great and they can get involved; it is also a great way of ensuring that they are eating a lot of fruit instead of processed sugars.

Ingredients:

  • 150g frozen pineapple chunks
  • 150g frozen orange segments
  • 150-200ml of water

Method:

1.   Firstly you need to freeze the fruit; so chop up the pineapple and peel and pull apart the orange. Place the fruit into freezer bags and put them into the freezer until they are fully frozen.

2.   This is so simple!! All you need to do is add the fruit and most of the water to a blender (I use a NutriBullet which is powerful and makes a nice smooth sorbet). Depending on the power of your blender you may not need all of the water so add it gradually. Blend the mixture until you have a lovely silky smooth texture and then transfer the sorbet into a bowl or a jar and enjoy!!

Get kids to make their own sorbets as it is a great way in getting them healthier. Let me know what sorbet flavours you come up with.

The Best Guacamole!

#MeatfreeMonday, Healthy, Mexican, Sandwich, Sauces, Side Dishes, Snack, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Great Guac

Preparation & cooking time: 10 minutes
Makes: 1 big bowlful

I am very proud of this recipe; I have been making it for so long and I have adapted the recipe to the way I like it and, I know I am biased but, to this day I haven’t tried a better guacamole! I like there to be loads going on when you eat guacamole, it should give your taste buds a good wallop! There should be that initial zing and freshness from the lime, coriander, avocado and tomatoes which is then rounded off with a bit of a hit from the chilli and the garlic with the onion and cumin lingering in the background. This is definitely my type of cooking, it is very rustic, quick to make and can make so many different dishes that much better and more fresh! You can also adapt this recipe to the way that you like it, if you like it more chunky, whether you like more or less of the ingredients included, there is literally no set way to make this and it is purely down to personal preference. One thing I do know is that life would be so much worse without a good bowl of Guac!

DSC_0027

Ingredients:

  • 2 large or 3 medium very ripe avocados 
  • A large handful of coriander, leaves picked and stalks chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli, roughly chopped 
  • 2 spring onions, roughly chopped
  • A handful of ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1-2 limes (depending on their juiciness)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

1.   The first part of this recipe is the real key to unleashing all of the delicious flavours of the guacamole. In a pestle and mortar throw in the chopped coriander stalks, garlic, chilli, the white part of the spring onions, the cumin and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pound this mixture into a paste using the cumin, salt and pepper as an abrasive. This doesn’t take long but it is so worth it because the flavour you get from doing this is just amazing!

2.   Once you have a paste, squeeze in the juice of the lime and combine this into it. Pit the avocados and scoop the flesh into the paste and break this up to the texture that you like your guacamole. I like mine quite chunky so for me it doesn’t take long at all. Add in the coriander leaves, tomatoes and the green part of the spring onions and mix through. That is it, your guacamole is made!

I could eat guacamole with literally anything at any point of the day but generally I love it with fajitas, with tortilla chips, spread on toast, with patatas bravas etc. This is also my favourite food to have watching sport! I hope you like it 🙂