Thursday, 13 April 2017

Easter bunny biscuits

Happy Easter everyone !!! 









Ingredients:

100 gr white flour, I used spelt 
100 gr wholemeal flour 
1 tsp cinnamon 
75 gr butter or coconut oil*
1 ripe banana
1 - 2 Tbsp maple syrup
dry fruit for the eyes

Put the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and rub in the fat.
Mash the banana with the maple syrup and stir into the mixture to make a smooth dough.
Roll out the dough between two greaseproof sheets and cut out bunny shapes with biscuit cutter.
Make the eyes for the bunnies by cutting a tiny peaces from any dry fruit.
Place the biscuit on a baking tray and bake on 180 C for 15 minutes.

note: Annabel Karmel's recipe from one of her baby and toddler cookery books, to be precise from 1991 😍 

* make this biscuit vegan by using coconut oil 









Monday, 3 April 2017

Lentils, mushrooms & walnuts pate


This pate is a perfect spread, it's so tasty, it's nutritious, light, healthy and vegan ... 






Ingredients: 

- 2 Tbsp olive oil,- 2 - 3 spring onions, chopped,- 2 cloves crushed garlic- 100 gr fresh mushrooms, sliced- 200 gr cooked green or Puy lentils- 50 gr walnuts- fresh herbs ( parsley, basil )- 2 - 3 cider vinegar- 2 Tbsp tahini- a generous pinch of salt and pepper

Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat . Add the onions, garlic and mushrooms and saute for 10 minutes.Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.Tip this mix into a food processor  and pulse until you get a smooth texture.Keep this pate in the fridge in a glass container.

note: recipe inspired from Amelia Freer - nourish & glow


Thanks for reading! I would appreciate any comments or suggestions from you.








Saturday, 25 March 2017

Coffee body scrub

Happy Mother's day to me !!  I love this body scrub, it's a real treat and that's exactly what I need this mother's day weekend.

The recipe is from the blog .....A beautiful mess.......






You will need only 3 ingredients:

- ground coffee, 3/4 cup
- polenta or sugar, 1 cup
- coconut oil, half cup

Melt the coconut oil. 
Place the other ingredients into a large bowl and pour in the coconut oil.
Mix well and spoon it into a glass jar.

Use only small amount of the scrub to exfoliate your body and face, you don't want to block your bath drain. ( I presume you scrub in bath ) 






Monday, 20 March 2017

Leek potato & spinach soup

Hello first day of spring ! Soup is something I will be eating less this season especially when the sun comes out, but for now here is a hearty and nutritious bowl of soup ..... 











Ingredients:

300 gr sliced leek
600 gr white potatoes

2 cloves garlic
olive oil
3 cubes frozen spinach
salt and pepper or 1 stock cube

garnish: yogurt, avocado,
ground flax seeds, bread,
olive oil


In a large pot pour in 3 - 4 Tbsp olive oil.
Add the leek followed by the potatoes ( peeled and cubed ).
Stir in the minced garlic and pour in 1 .3 litre of hot water.
Bring it to boil, reduce the heat and put the lid on.
Cook the soup for 15 minutes, add salt and pepper as well as the spinach.
Cook for further 5 minutes.
Cool it down for a bit before you liquidise the soup. 
I use an electric stick blender.
Serve for dinner as a first course or a light lunch.

note: add any other veggies such as cauliflower, celeriac or broccoli stalks.... 

Thanks for reading! I would appreciate any comments or suggestions from you.





Saturday, 18 March 2017

Kids friendly chili


Chili no carne has finally got a well deserved place on our menu. I have been playing with different ingredients for a long time and now the search is over, I've got the right formula  ✔
So, no kidney beans or any other big size beans, no celery, sweet potato or butternut squash ....






Ingredients:

serve 5-6 people

1 diced onion
2 cloves garlic
2 diced carrots
200 gr green lentils
1 tin chopped tomato
half pack chili mix
1 tin black beans or 200 gr cooked black beans
1 green bell pepper 
1 mug rice 
fresh salad ( tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, red cubbage, parsley )


In a large cooking pot heat up a splash of olive oil, add the onions, garlic and carrots and stir for 5 minutes. Add the lentils ( they don't need soaking overnight but it's better so soak them at least an hour ).
Pour in about 400 ml hot water, put the lid on and cook everything on a low temperature for 40 to 50 minutes.
Now sprinkle the chili powder mix , add the tomatoes ( I blitz them in a blender for smooth texture ) , beans and cook for further 30 minutes stirring every now and then.
Ten minutes before it's cooked add the green pepper cut into long strips.
I don't add any salt or pepper because the chili mix is already salty.
In the meantime cook your favorite rice.
Chop all veggies for the salad. Season with some olive oil and lime juice. 
Serve as you wish .......

note: sometimes I use baked beans if I have no black beans . Simply pour the whole tin of baked beans into a colander and wash it under the cold water.....

I use this chili mix because it's very mild




  
















Sunday, 12 March 2017

Weekend muesli bread

Saturday baking time ....can't get better than this.... the smell of homemade bread is priceless ...














Ingredients:


1/4 tsp dry yeast 
60 ml water
80 gr flour
*******************
300 ml water
2 cups of white flour
1 cup wholemeal flour
3/4 cup muesli 
1 tsp honey
1 tsp salt


Method:

The day before you want to bake the bread make the starter: mix up the first three ingredients in a cereal bowl, cover it with plastic wrap and leave it to prove overnight in room temperature for as little as 12 hours up to 24 hours.
Don't be put down by this starter, it is easy to make, you can't go wrong and the result is incredible. 
The texture of the bread is so luxuries, you won't ever use instant yeast again.
***********************************************************************************************************************************
In a large mixing bowl, combine the water with the starter, than add the flour, muesli, honey and sat.
Knead the dough for 10 minutes or so adding more flour/water if needed.
Place the dough in a clean glass bowl that you've oiled before.
Cover the dough with plastic wrap and leave it to prove for 4 hours.
**************************************************************************************************************************************
Place the dough onto a floured working top and fold the dough couple of times. You don't want the air to come out of it.
Cover the dough with flour and leave it to rest for final 30 minutes.
Pre-heat the oven on 220 C.
Place the dough on a baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
Reduce the temperature to 180 C and bake for further 40 minutes.
Cool it down before you slice the bread.
Best serve with butter.







Thursday, 9 March 2017

Sweet potato falafels in homemade pita bread



Falafels, I can never get them right ...until now .... 












Ingredients:

1 sweet potato, medium size
250 gr cooked chickpeas
2 cloves of garlic
juice of half lemon
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground turmeric 
1 Tbsp tahini
salt and pepper 
sesame seeds

First, peel the sweet potato and cut it into chunks. Steam it for 20 minutes or until very soft. 
In a food processor place half of the chick peas, sweet potato, garlic, lemon juice, oil, tahini, spices and seasoning . Pulse until smooth then add the rest of the chickpeas and pulse once more but make sure the chickpeas is semi crushed .
Place the sesame seeds into a plate.
Using your hands ( preferably wet ) form patties and roll them into the sesame seeds.
Place them on a baking tray.
Repeat until all the mixture is gone.
Bake them on 180 C for 35 - 45 minutes. 

for the Pita breads you will need:

200 gr white flour
50 gr wholemeal flour
1 tsp dry yeast
half a tsp of salt
1 - Tbsp olive oil
180 ml water

Make the dough and leave it to rest for 45 minutes.
Divide the dough into 5 - 6 balls and roll each ball flat. 
Place a cereal bowl us side down on the top of the flat dough and cut around using a knife.
I know from practice that cutting the dough in this way will help it rais better in oven.
Place the rounds onto a baking tray and bake for 7 -8 minutes on 200 C.

Both falafels and pita breads freeze well. 

Serve the falafels with some yogurt and cucumber sauce as well as any fresh veggies you have...








Thursday, 23 February 2017

More smoothie please

A delicious start to the day, smoothies are packed with vitamins, minerals, fibre, good fats and proteins. As well as fruit and veg, I add nut butter or tahini, ground flax seeds or chia seeds,  cinnamon or cocoa.......Some days I made my smoothie quite skinny which means I use water as a liquid base. One of my favorite combo is: spinach, blueberries, avocado and water.
I wanted my kids to have a glass of smoothie as a regular drink so that's where the sweet fruit and honey comes as a base. Children don't like funny colours or taste, my children would turn their noses even if I add flax seeds. ...
My latest addition is beetroot . I was inspired by the kale smoothie starters I have found in one of the blogs I follow called The plant philosophy. I grated one large raw beetroot and I simply stuck it into an ice tray. Freeze for 4 hours and then I have beetroot boost in my smoothie every time ..... 












Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Chocolate Brioche Twists

We  indulged ourselves with these brioche treats over the weekend. I made them with love for the people I love the most ......πŸ’•πŸ’–πŸ’—πŸ’˜πŸ’πŸ’Ÿ  











Ingredients:

300 gr flour

160 gr soft butter
100 gr chocolate
3 eggs
5 gr dry yeast mixed with 3 - 4 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp sugar
1 egg yolk 
1/2 tsp salt

Place the flour, salt, sugar and yeast mixture into a mixing bowl.
Add the butter and the eggs and form a dough.
Leave the dough to rest, covered with a tea towel for 1 1/2 hours.
Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for a minute or two.
Place the dough back into a clean mixing bowl, cover with food wrap and leave it to prove in the fridge over night.
In the morning, get the dough out, it is going to be a cold and hard to handle but at least it's not sticky . 


my little boy was waiting patiently, the smell was divine 


even teddy got one 


Divide the dough into six balls and roll each ball into a rectangle. 
Grate the chocolate on the top, roll it up and cut it lengthwise to get two parts.
Twist the parts and form a knot or a wreath.



Place the knots onto a baking tray, leave to rest for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat your oven on 180 C.
Just before you bake them, brash with a egg yolk and a little bit of milk.
Bake for 30 - 40 minutes.

Serve them warm ...






Thursday, 9 February 2017

3 post workout protein fix


This is the first perfect protein rich lunch ( made in no time ), I used 2 eggs, a small cube of butter ( the size of my smallest nail )  chopped up fresh tomatoes, 1/4 avocado and a handful of spinach as well as some pumpkin seeds for an extra crunch ....









For this protein bowl I cooked some mixed whole grains with kale, I crushed butter beans with garlic and lemon zest and I made sweet potato chips...
Here is how I did it: 

I cooked the grains ( mixture of quinoa and freekeh ) in a medium size cooking pot for 20 minutes, half way I add the greens. 
For the beans, I heated up some olive oil in a small frying pan, adding 1 clove of minced garlic. After 1 minute add 1 tin of beans, zest of half a lemon, salt, pepper and chopped fresh parsley.
Add a splash of hot water if too dry.
Sweet potato chips: peel and cut the potato into tiny slices, spray with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper.
Place it onto a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes on 170 C 









Super healthy & super tasty protein rich smoothie 


These little power smoothie starters are amazing, I've recently discovered the recipe here !!!
To make this smoothie I blend 1 or 2 starters, handful of berries, 1 Tbsp nut butter, 1 chopped date, 1 tsp cinnamon and 250 ml almond milk or any liquid will do. 




Thursday, 2 February 2017

Chickpeas & veggies soup with rainbow salad

When I was a little girl my parents used to add vinegar to the soup we used to eat as a starter. Oh, I remember now very clear how much I used to hate the taste of it, I would cry or even throw a tantrum until my soup was replaced by a fresh non-sour bowl of soup. Guess what ? I now love adding vinegar to my soup and I buy unfiltered apple vinegar so the taste is as authentic as can be. My father used to make his own apple vinegar from our own apple tree so we were spoiled with taste. Now days any nutritionist will tell you to eat something sour just before you eat your meal to kick start the acids in your stomach so your food is easily digested and you don't get bloated. It can be a Tbsp of vinegar in a little water or it can be a handful of rocket leaves or it can be a bowl of sour soup ☕   I am contributing with this recipe to my fellow blogger veghog, she is promoting " cheap eats week " and I think this soup is very much on budget !!!












Ingredients:

1 onion or 1 leek, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1 parsnip, sliced
leftover broccoli stalks
1 can of chickpeas
vegetable stock 
olive oil
pepper
handful of pasta 
handful of polenta 
parsley 

In a big cooking pot splash some olive oil and add the vegetables. Let them sweat on a medium heat with lid on for about 15 minutes.
Add 1 litre of stock + more, depend of how much vegetables you have, as well as the chickpeas.
Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes and add the pasta shapes. Cook for further 5 - 10 minutes before you add the instant polenta ( you don't have to, I just fancied thicker soup ) 
Adjust the taste, add some fresh parsley.

For the salad, grate some beetroot ( mine is golden ) and carrot, slice some purple cabbage, add some chopped red pepper and fresh parsley.
Season the salad with olive oil, vinegar and salt.

The bread dipped in the soup on the photo is this one