BLUEBERRY PANCAKES

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PANCAKES

Preparation & cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Makes: 8 medium sized pancakes

Over the weekend I really fancied something hot for breakfast. My breakfasts usually consist of a smoothie, or some fruit, or some oats but I wanted something different. I decided to make some blueberry pancakes as I had just been to the farmers market and bought some really plump and tasty blueberries. Pancakes are one of the best breakfasts going; I am really glad that I like them now because growing up I was never a massive fan of them. This recipe is really easy to put together, and although it is not the healthiest breakfast, I have made sure to add some good ingredients to provide a lot more in terms of nutrient value in comparison to a bog standard pancake recipe. Feel free to mix up the fruit that you use in the recipe; I have made them with raspberries and blackberries before and they have turned out amazingly! There are also so many toppings that you can use, I have included my two favourites in this recipe, but you can use whatever you like the most.

Ingredients:

  • 125g organic plain white flour (you can use the flour of your preference e.g. wholemeal etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • The zest of half a lemon
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil, melted
  • 250ml of almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon of cider vinegar
  • 75-100g of blueberries

PANCAKE COLLAGE

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to its lowest temperature. You will need to cook the pancakes in batches and keep them warm in the oven until you have used up the batter.

2. In a large bowl combine all of the dry and wet ingredients (apart from the blueberries) together and mix quickly. Don’t over mix the mixture as you don’t want the baking powder to activate in the bowl, you want it to activate as the mixture goes into the pan giving you a lovely fluffy pancake. Gently fold the blueberries into the mixture trying not to burst them.

3. Place a frying pan over a medium heat and add in a small amount of coconut oil. This recipe makes 8 medium sized pancakes. Use a medium sized ladle pour one ladleful of batter into the pan. If you are using a large frying pan you may be able to cook more than one pancake at a time. Cook the pancakes for around 2 minutes on each side. Flip the pancake over when the bottom has become nice and golden and bubbles are showing on the top of the pancake. Once the pancakes are cooked place them on a roasting tray in the oven to keep them warm. Keep doing this until you have used up all of the batter. Then serve them up when they are all ready and put the toppings that you like on top.

My two favourite toppings have to be lemon, sugar and cinnamon and then soya yoghurt, maple syrup and chia seed. Both of these are so tasty but you can use the topping of your choice. I would love to hear what your favourite toppings are so I can give them a try.

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

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.

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

Cinnamon: Cinnamon is an excellent source of dietary fibre, calcium and iron.

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

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

BUTTERNUT SQUASH, SPINACH & CHICKPEA CURRY WITH LEMON COUSCOUS

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Butternut squash curry

Preparation & cooking time: 1 hour
Makes: 4 portions

I thought I would give you a curry recipe today seeing as the last curry recipe on my blog was posted ages ago! There is nothing really that beats a good curry and yesterday I had a major cravings for one, so I decided to make my girlfriend and myself this dish which is packed full of amazing ingredients and served with a really light and fragrant couscous. I would usually have rice with this dish but I fancied trying something new and it turned out really well.

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash, deseeded and chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • 4 teaspoons of curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of dried chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of rapeseed oil
  • 2 red onions, finely chopped
  • A 2 inch chunk of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
  • A bunch of coriander, stalks and leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 large green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 6 large ripe tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 150g spinach
  • 3 large handfuls of couscous
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 a lemon, cut into 4
  • A handful of basil leaves

Cous cous

Method: 

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Put all of the butternut squash chunks onto a large baking tray followed by two teaspoons of curry powder, the ground cumin, ground coriander, chilli flakes, a pinch of salt and pepper and the two tablespoons of oil. Using your hands, toss the squash and the spices together to make sure that all of the pieces are coated. Put the roasting tray into the oven for 30-40 minutes or until the squash is golden and caramelised.

2. Whilst the squash is in the oven, you can get the curry base on the go. Put a large saucepan over a medium heat and add a glug of oil to the pan to heat up. Put the onions, garlic, ginger, coriander stalks and green chilli into the saucepan and fry for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add in the remaining two teaspoons of curry powder, stir and fry for a further 5 minutes until all of the ingredients are nice and soft.

3. Put the tomatoes and chickpeas into the pan and bring the ingredients to the boil. Once it is boiling place a lid on the pan and leave to cook for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes all of the ingredients will have combined nicely and the tomatoes will have cooked down.

4. Once the squash has cooked, add it to the saucepan along with the coriander leaves and spinach. Stir all of the ingredients together and leave to cook for a further 5-10 minutes to allow the spinach to wilt down.

5. Whilst the curry is in it’s final stages, it is time to get the couscous ready. This is really simple and quick to do. Boil your kettle and place the couscous into a large bowl with the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, a pinch of salt and pepper, the turmeric, a glug of oil and the lemon. Once the water has boiled, put enough water in the bowl to cover the couscous and then place cling film over the bowl to allow the couscous to absorb the water.

6. Now all of the elements of the meal are ready, it is just time to enjoy it! Sprinkle some chopped basil leaves over the curry and couscous and dig in!

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Butternut squash: Butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A, C and E. It is also a good source of dietary fibre, manganese, magnesium and potassium.

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.

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

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.

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

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

Tomato: Tomatoes are not significantly rich in any particular vitamin or mineral, but they are a moderate source of vitamin C.

Chickpea: Chickpeas are a nutrient dense food; they are a rich source of protein, dietary fibre, folate, iron and phosphorus. They also provide moderate levels of vitamin B6, magnesium and zinc.

Spinach: Spinach is another ingredient that is delicious but it is also so good for you and will do a lot of good when it is incorporated into your diet. Spinach is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin Cvitamin K, magnesium, manganese and iron. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin Ecalcium, potassium and dietary fibre.

VEGGIE SKEWERS, SUPER QUINOA SALAD & PEANUT SAUCE

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DSC_0035

Preparation & cooking time: 20-30 minutes
Makes: 4 portions

This is a really tasty and really nutritious meal. I had this over the weekend for a post workout meal and I enjoyed it so much! All of the ingredients in this meal will do you a world of good and make you feel energised and help you prepare for your next workout. In my meals I really enjoy having a wide variety of flavours coming from a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs, grains and so on. I like my meals to be packed full of flavour and I think this one really delivers on that front.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

  • ½ a cup of pre-cooked quinoa
  • ½ a cucumber, cut into cubes
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into cubes
  • A handful of ripe cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • A large handful of coriander, roughly chopped
  • 5-6 dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • A large handful of frozen peas, thawed out in boiling hot water
  • A teaspoon of cumin
  • A teaspoon of ground coriander
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • Sea salt and pepper

For the skewers:

  • 2 courgettes, cut in half lengthways and into inch thick chunks
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into chunks
  • 2 handfuls of mushrooms
  • A das of olive oil
  • A pinch of cumin
  • A pinch of ground coriander
  • A pinch of chilli powder
  • Salt and Pepper

For the peanut sauce:

  • 3 heaped teaspoons of peanut butter (I use meridian peanut butter because it uses only blended peanuts without any added salt, sugar or oil)
  • 6 tablespoon of water
  • The juice of half a lime
  • A small handful of coriander
  • ½ a spring onion
  • A dash of soy sauce

Skewer collage

Method:

1.   Preheat your grill on the highest heat setting and boil a kettle full of water.

2.   Put the skewer vegetables into a large bowl followed by the oil, cumin, coriander, chilli powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Using your hands toss all of the vegetable together and make sure that they are all coated in the spices. Once coated, evenly distribute the vegetables onto 10 to 12 skewers and place on a large baking tray. Place the skewers under the grill until they have got some nice colour to them; this should take between 5-10 minutes.

3.   Now you can make the salad. Follow the cooking instructions on the pack for the precooked quinoa. The usual instruction is to use a ratio of 2:1 boiling water to quinoa and leave to soak for 3 -5 minutes until the quinoa has absorbed the water. Once the quinoa has been cooked through, add it to a large bowl followed by the remaining salad ingredients and mix together well.

4.   Finally, you can make the peanut sauce. Simply put all of the ingredients into a blender and blitz until you have a smooth sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needs be.

Now you can serve up the skewers, salad and sauce. I like to put the skewers on a board in the middle of the table with the salad and the sauce and left everybody dig in.

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Quinoa: Quinoa is a great source of protein for vegans. It consists of around 20% protein; it is also a good source of lysine and is a good source of iron and potassium. High levels of B vitamins, in part responsible for the conversion of carbohydrate into energy, are also found in quinoa. Quinoa is commonly referred to as a grain, but it is actually a pseudograin. Pseudograins are actually seeds and they don’t contain gluten, which makes them easily digestible.

Cucumber: Cucumbers are made up of around 90% water and are a moderate source of vitamin K.

Bell Pepper: Bell peppers are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamin C. Red bell peppers have a higher vitamin C content in comparison to green bell peppers. They are also a moderate source of vitamin B6.

CorianderI love putting coriander in literally everything, luckily for me it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Coriander is also a moderate source of vitamin B2, vitamin B9 and vitamin E as well as ironmanganese and potassium.

Dates: Dates are high in glucose and are sometimes referred to as ‘Nature’s fuel’. Upon consumption glucose is rapidly converted into glycogen in the liver. It is a great ingredient to eat before, during or immediately after a workout.

Peas: Peas are starchy, but high in fibre, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc.

Courgettes: Courgettes are a moderate source of folate, potassium and vitamin A.

Mushrooms: Mushrooms are an excellent source of B vitamins, an excellent source of the essential minerals, selenium and copper, and a good source of phosphorus and potassium.

Peanuts: Peanuts are rich in essential and are an excellent source of several B vitamins, vitamin E, several dietary minerals, such as manganese, magnesium and phosphorus, and dietary fibre. They also contain about 25 g protein per 100 g serving, a higher proportion than in many tree nuts.

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

AVOCADO CRISPBREADS

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Avocado crispbreads

Preparation & cooking time: 5 minutes
Makes: 8 crispbreads

Today I am giving you such a simple recipe that is really tasty, healthy and so quick to make that no matter how busy you are, you will be able to have something that is nutritious and tasty. This is a base recipe that can be played with which is great for breakfast, as a snack or even a light lunch. I always love putting hot sauce on to the top the avocado as well as a sprinkle of cumin and sprinkle of pumpkin seeds. I have used a multi seed ryvita cracker for ease and efficiency but you could always use some toasted wholemeal bread or some baked tortillas if you have a spare couple of minutes. This recipe is really aimed at the people who find it hard to have a quick and healthy breakfast or snack.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ryvita multigrain crispbreads
  • 1 large, ripe avocado
  • 1 large, ripe tomato, thinly sliced (8 slices at least)
  • Salad leaves (rocket, spinach, watercress etc.)
  • 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper

Avocado crispbreal

Method:

1.   Pit the avocado and scrape the flesh into a bowl. Immediately squeeze some lime juice over the top of it to stop it from discolouring. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and mash with a fork until you have a relatively smooth texture. I like my avocado to be a little chunky so I only mash it lightly.

2.   Evenly spread the avocado over the top of the ryvita crispbreads and then top with the tomato slices and salad leaves. I love lime juice so I tend to squeeze over some the salad leaves. As mentioned above, you can put some chilli sauce on to the top it as it goes so nicely.

I know this isn’t really a recipe but it is a good way of getting some extra vegetables into your diet if you are strapped for time. This will be so much better for you than grabbing something from a fast food restaurant.

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Avocado: Avocados are such a good ingredient; not only are they delicious, they are also really healthy for you. They are a good source of vitamin B5, B6, B9 and vitamin K. They are also an amazing source of essential fatty acids. 

Tomato: Tomatoes are not significantly rich in any particular vitamin or mineral, but they are a moderate source of vitamin C.

Spinach: Spinach is another ingredient that is delicious but it is also so good for you and will do a lot of good when it is incorporated into your diet. Spinach is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin Cvitamin K, magnesium, manganese and iron. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and dietary fibre.

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

AWESOME SWEET POTATO & BEAN BURGERS!!

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Sweet Potato and bean burgers

Preparation & cooking time: 30-40 minutes
Makes: 10 medium sized burgers

Coming into this weekend, both me and my girlfriend really fancied making a big batch of burgers. We both love having bean and chickpea burgers but I wanted to make something a little different this time. I have seen lots of different recipes for vegetable burgers but in the end I decided to make sweet potato and bean burgers; I am so glad that I did because these turned out so well! Sweet potato is really versatile and goes so well with lots of different spices and flavours as well as offering its delicious sweetness to the burger. This recipe makes 10 good-sized burgers and if you are greedy (like we are!) you can polish them of yourself or you could put them on a board and put them in the middle of the table along with some potato wedges and a nice salad to make a perfect weekend lunch. These burgers taste so, so good and won’t leave you feeling guilty for eating them as they are healthy and packed full of fresh ingredients. I really hope you like them 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 1 very large sweet potato (or 2 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 1 tin of kidney beans (400g), drained and rinsed
  • A large bunch of coriander, roughly chopped (stalks and all)
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • A pinch of salt and black pepper
  • 1 heaped teaspoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of chilli powder
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 avocados, thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Half a cucumber, thinly sliced
  • A large bunch of salad leaves, e.g. rocket, spinach, watercress etc.
  • 10 wholemeal rolls, sliced in half

Burger collage

Method:

1.   Place the sweet potato chunks into a large pan of boiling water and boil until they are soft and are easy to mash. This should take about 10 minutes.

2.   Whilst the potatoes are boiling you can prepare the rest of the burger mixture. Put the kidney beans, coriander, spring onions and all of the dry spices into a large bowl and mash with a fork until the beans have broken down and you have a nice thick mixture. The key with keeping a good texture to the burgers is to not overwork the mixture and making it too fine. A course mixture will give you a much better burger.

3.   Once the potatoes have cooked, drain them in a colander and leave them for a minute or two to steam dry. Add the potatoes to the bean mixture and again mash with a fork to get all of the ingredients combined.

4.   Once the burger mixture has cooled a little, use your hands to make 10 burger patties.

5.   Put a little drizzle of olive oil into a large frying pan and place over a medium heat. When hot, place the burgers into the pan and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until the burgers have a nice golden crust on each side.

6.   Whilst the burgers are cooking, place the the rolls under a hot grill to toast. Take them out when they are nice and golden.

7.   Once the burgers have cooked, you can put the burgers together. Put some salad leaves on the bottom followed by the burger, then the cucumber, tomato and avocado. They are now ready to be devoured! I love to have some ketchup and mustard on my burgers, but you can have whatever sauce you like on the top. 

Nutrition:

(see Know Your Food Page)

Sweet potato: Sweet potatoes are a good source of dietary fibre, and vitamin A as well as being a moderate source of vitamin B5, vitamin B6 and manganese.

Kidney beans: Kidney beans are a great source of protein, dietary fibre, vitamin B9 and iron. They are also a good source of magnesium potassium and zinc. I love kidney beans (and beans in general), they are so tasty and really good for you.

Coriander: I love putting coriander in literally everything, luckily for me it is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K. Coriander is also a moderate source of vitamin B2, vitamin B9 and vitamin E as well as iron, manganese and potassium.

Spring onion: Spring onions are a good source of both vitamin A and vitamin C.

Avocado: Avocados are such a good ingredient; not only are they delicious, they are also really healthy for you. They are a good source of vitamin B5, B6, B9 and vitamin K. They are also an amazing source of essential fatty acids. 

Cucumber: Cucumbers are usually around 90% water. They are not significantly rich in any vitamin or mineral but they are a moderate source of vitamin K.

Tomato: Tomatoes are not significantly rich in any particular vitamin or mineral, but they are a moderate source of vitamin C.

Spinach: Spinach is another ingredient that is delicious but it is also so good for you and will do a lot of good when it is incorporated into your diet. Spinach is a great source of vitamin A, vitamin B9, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese and iron. It is also a good source of vitamin B6, vitamin E, calcium, potassium and dietary fibre.

ASIAN NOODLE SOUP

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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.

Spicy Tomato Zoodles!

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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!

 

Veggie Chilli

#MeatfreeMonday, Healthy, Herbs, Mexican, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Veggie Chilli

Preparation & cooking time: 1 hour
Makes: 4-6 portions

Chilli has always been one of my favourite meals; the depth of flavour that you can get with this dish is amazing and the best thing is that the more you make the better it will taste over the following days! I always make some tortilla chips to go with mine, but you could always have it with rice or pitta breads. It also goes really well with some guacamole! This has always gone down really well when I have cooked it for people and is great for a party or sporting event. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, roughly sliced
  • 2 red peppers (or yellow), deseeded and roughly diced
  • A large bunch of coriander, stalks chopped and leaves set aside
  • 2 fresh green chillies, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins of beans, of your preference (chick peas, kidney beans, borlotti beans etc.)
  • 4-5 mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2 sweet potatoes or butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
  • 4 wholemeal tortillas, cut into rough triangles

Method:

1.   Preheat the oven to 200 C. Place the cubed potato or squash onto a large roasting tray. Sprinkle a little smoked paprika and cumin onto the potatoes along with some salt and pepper and a glug of olive oil. Using a spoon or your hands, get the potatoes covered in the spices and oil and put the tray into the oven for 40 mins or until they are nice and golden and cooked through.

2.   In a large, heavy based pot add a few tablespoons of olive oil and place it over a medium to high heat. Add the onion, garlic, peppers, chillies and coriander stalks to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes or until the onions and garlic are nice and soft.

3.   Add the cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cumin and smoked paprika to the pan and fry for a further 10 minutes to really get the flavours going!

4.   Add the beans and tomatoes to the pan, bring to the boil and let it simmer for 30 minutes. The sauce will thicken nicely, but if you feel it is getting too thick then you can always add a dash of water to loosen it. Add in most of the coriander leaves, leaving some aside for garnish, and also throw in the mushrooms.

5.   Once the potato/squash cubes are finished, add them to the pot of chilli. Now it is time to make the tortilla chips. Place the tortilla triangles onto a roasting tray and brush with a tiny amount of oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Put the tray in the oven for a few minutes, keeping an eye on them to make sure that they do not get too much colour. Once they have turned a nice golden brown you know they are ready. Take them out of the oven and leave them to one side to cool whilst you are finishing the chilli.

6.   By now your chilli should be ready. Taste it and add some salt and pepper if it is needed.

Place the pot and tortilla chips in the middle of the table and let everybody help themselves to it all. I love eating this watching sports or whenever I have friends coming over! I hope you like it 🙂   

THE BEST EVER CARROT AND CORIANDER SOUP! (BUT DON’T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT…)

Gluten Free, Healthy, Herbs, Specials, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

carrot and coriander

Preparation & cooking time: 45 minutes
Makes: 6-8 portions

Soup is one of, if not, the most satisfying and comforting foods going and it is one of the easiest and cheapest things to make as well. Soup has endless options for flavours and ingredients, which is why I love making them so much! I have never made a soup exactly the same twice in a row, I tend to make use of the ingredients that I have in the fridge. Now that the temperature is getting much colder, soup will definitely be a regular for me. This recipe in particular was a saviour for my girlfriend and I when we were at University in Aberdeen. The weather was so cold up there but this soup always hit the right spot and warmed us up; soups are amazing for students as they are so cheap to make and they can give you a meal everyday for a week (plus there is only one pot to wash up)! 

Ingredients:

  • 1kg carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 big bunch coriander, roughly chopped (stalks included)
  • 1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Sea salt & black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Water

Method:

1.   Put a good few tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into a large heavy based pan and put it over a medium heat. When the oil is nice and hot add the onions, half of the coriander, the ginger and the garlic and fry for 5 – 10 minutes. The onions should be nice and soft by now and starting to get a bit of colour. At this point add in a good pinch of salt and pepper along with the cumin and ground coriander and fry for a further 5 minutes.

2.   Turn the heat up to high and add the carrots to the pan. Fry the carrots with the delicious onion mixture for 5 – 10 minutes. Fill up and boil your kettle. Once boiled pour enough water into your pan to completely cover the carrots. Add the remaining coriander to the pot (leaving a tiny bit for garnish at the end) and leave the soup to simmer until the carrots are nice and tender, this should take around 10 – 15 minutes. 

3.   Once the carrots are nice and tender, use a hand blender to blitz the soup until it has a smooth and creamy consistency. If you feel the soup is too thick, keep adding boiling water until you have your desired thickness. Place the blended soup back onto the hob and keep it hot and ready to serve. At this point taste to see if the seasoning is correct and adjust it accordingly. The soup is now ready to eat! Pour it into a nice bowl and garnish with some coriander leaves and a drizzle of spicy extra virgin olive oil!

I hope you like this recipe, let me know what your favourite soup is 🙂

 

Spiced Orange and Chia Seed Cake with Coffee Ice Cream

Baking, coffee, Desserts, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

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Makes: 12 portions
Preparation & cooking time: 3 – 3 1/2 hours (including freezing time for the ice cream) 

Hi guys! This post is my entry for PETA’s Great Vegan Bake-Off 2014. I only found out about the competition a few days back and I immediately thought that I had to enter for two reasons. Firstly, I think that PETA is an amazing organisation that has done a brilliant job of educating numerous amounts of people on the important issue of the treatment of animals within our society and I am sure their efforts will be seen even more in the future and secondly, it has given me a chance to practice my vegan baking! Since becoming vegan, baking really hasn’t been my strong point, however, I hope that you like my entry, a spiced orange and chia seed cake with a coffee ice cream! I decided to go for this combination as I love the partnership of orange with powerful spices as I think they really compliment each other and I had to follow one of the main elements of my blog by adding a coffee ice cream with it. For those of you who haven’t had the combination of orange and coffee before, you should definitely give it a go as they really do go well together! If anyone enjoys vegan baking then click on the link above and enter a recipe, it is great fun and for a great cause. I hope you like the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 4 Oranges
  • 300g ground almonds
  • 300g light brown soft sugar
  • 1 heaped teaspoon chia seeds
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • Orgran No Egg (a natural egg replacer), (7 teaspoons egg replacer to 14 tablespoons of water)
  • Dairy free chocolate (for decoration)
  • 2 Frozen bananas (peel and slice the bananas before freezing)
  • 2 shots of the best quality espresso you can get/make

Method:

1.   Place 3 of the oranges into a large deep pan and cover them with cold water. Bring the water to a boil, then place a lid over the pan, turn the heat down and leave the oranges to simmer for 2 hours. To check if the oranges are finished, slide a knife into the skin of the orange and if it goes in really easily and the inside of the orange has broken down then they are definitely done. Once the oranges reach this stage drain and leave them to cool in a colander.

2.   Whilst the oranges are cooling, you can prepare the ice cream. This is such a simple way of making really tasty (and healthy!) ice cream and it can be made into whatever flavour you fancy! Put the frozen banana slices and the 2 shots of espresso into a food blender and blend until you have a really silky smooth mixture. You can add whatever flavour you like to the banana base; I really like adding frozen berries to the mixture. Once the ice cream is silky smooth, pour it into a container, cover it with a lid (or cling film) and put it into the freezer. Simple!

3.   Once the oranges have cooled, slice each of them in half and remove any seeds. Roughly chop the oranges (skin an all!) and place them into a food processor and blitz until you have a smooth orange mixture. Preheat the oven to 160 C, then line an 8 inch (20cm) cake tin with grease proof paper and then grease with vegetable oil just to be sure that your cake will not stick to the tin.

4.   Put the orange mixture into a bowl and then place 450g of the mixture back into the food processor (you can then discard the rest, or keep it for another recipe) along with all of the dry ingredients (except for the chia seeds) and the 14 tablespoons of water and blend until you have a nice smooth batter. Once the mixture is smooth, mix in the chia seeds with a spoon. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and put into the oven for 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours. Check the cake every now and then to make sure that it isn’t burning. If you feel the cake is colouring too quickly on the top, cover the tin with tin foil for the remainder of the baking time. To check if the cake is done, pierce the cake with a skewer and if the skewer comes out clean (without and cake mixture on it) then the cake is done. Keep the cake in the oven until it has reached the point where the skewer comes out clean. Once the cake is cooked, place the tin on a wire rack and once the cake has cooled completely, remove the cake from the tin.

5.   Now you are ready to plate up! Take a generous slice of cake and place it in the middle of the plate, then put a nice spoonful of the ice cream on the top of the cake and top this with the zest of the remaining orange and some chocolate shavings!

I really hope that you like this recipe and give it a go! 🙂

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