Quick Healthy Picnic

Whenever I go for a picnic with my friends I love preparing a bunch of healthy plant based foods for a perfect picnic. It is super easy and quick to prepare. Baked sweet potatoes, a hummus dip with vegetables and roasted corn on the cob and fresh fruit is a perfect mix to enjoy.

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I Find traditional picnic opportunities to binge on unhealthy foods so I love being able to create a healthier alternative. I also love preparing a lemon and Baobab drink as a refreshing treat. Baobab is one of my favourite super food powders it takes like a zingy lemon squash but provided lots of vitamin c to boost the immune system .

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Raspberry, Beetroot and Baobab smoothie bowl

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This is a beautifully photogenic vegan breakfast or snack idea, it looks gorgeous and tastes incredible, especially as raspberry have always been my favourite fruit of choice.

The smoothie bowl gives a rejuvenating boost of nutrients and energy to your day, so it is perfect as a breakfast idea in the morning.

The smoothie incorporates Baobab, a superfood from the Baobab tree found native to mainland Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The natural superfood is a rich source of Vitamin C, almost 50% fibre and has more antioxidants than any fruit. Baobab supports, Immune function, energy release and healthy skin.

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Ingredients

1 Banana

¼ of a cooked beetroot

1 tbsp. of Baobab super fruit powder

1 cup of Raspberries

¼ tbsp. of cinnamon

¼ tbsp. of ginger

1 cup of Almond milk

Method

Place everything is a high speed blender until a smooth consistency has been reached ( I used a nutribullet )

I then placed a couple of pistachio nuts, flaked almonds ,goji berries , sliced bananas, raspberries and pumpkin seeds on top of the smoothie .

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Orange and almond New Year cookies

 

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Since New Year is coming along so quickly and with the embrace of 2016 just around the corner, I have been in the mood for a bit of last minute Christmassy baking.

The cookies provide a taste sensation of all my favourite spices from fragrant cinnamon to candied orange zest. This recipe is a superb healthy alternative to a lot of unhealthy cookie recipes out on the market. Simply because they contain all wholesome natural ingredient instead of processed combinations and high levels of fat. The cookies suit a vegan, dairy free, wheat free lifestyle.

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The coconut oil is one of the essential ingredients used to bind the cookies. In recent years it has been proved that coconut oil is more of a health benefit than other fats such as butter. Coconut oil consists almost entirely of medium chain Triglycerides. These fatty acids go straight from the digestive tract to the liver, where they are likely to be turned into ketone bodies and provide a quick source of energy. Coconut Oil is Rich in Lauric Acid which aids the destruction of microbes like bacteria, fungi and viruses.

This recipe makes 6-8 cookies. 15 minutes baking time. Allow 30 minutes altogether.

Ingredients

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2 heaped tbsp Coconut Oil

1 tsp Cinnamon

½ tsp Ground Ginger

½ tsp Nutmeg

½ tsp Pink Himalayan Salt

1 tbsp Date Nectar (you can also opt for other sugar alternatives such as agave Nectar )

2 cups Ground Almonds

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 tbsp linseed (unmilled flaxseed)

½ Mashed Banana

1 tbsp Almond Butter

½ tsp Baking Powder

Zest of 2 small oranges

PhototasticCollage-2015-12-30-22-18-35 spices

 

Method

First pre-heat the oven to 170C. Place the 2 cups of ground almonds, flaxseed, linseed, grated orange rind and the baking powder into a large mixing bowl and then combine the ingredience, set aside for later.

In a saucepan on a low heat, melt the coconut oil. At this point, add the date syrup, all the spices and salt. Keep on a low heat and stir until ingredients are combined. Take the ½ banana and mash it until it has reached a smooth texture.

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In the mixing bowl set aside earlier incorporate the melted ingredience until combined. All the ingredients should stick together until the bowl is clean.

Take a piece of grease proof paper and place it on a baking tray. Get a cookie cutter or a circular hollow disk, then place the mixture in it, making sure that it is patted down. If you prefer you can chose to place a tablespoon amount of the mixture onto the baking tray patting down to form a cookie shape.

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Finally bake the cookies for 15 minutes. Once baked, set aside for a further 15 minutes to cool.

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Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoying making this recipe.

 

Carob, hazelnut and date protein squares

Yummy protein squares
Yummy protein squares

DSC_0527 These bars are an absolute divine treat, perfect for a picnic box filler. I literally love them so much , whenever I am feeling like a treat I can quickly make them, eat them and feel guilty free, because they are a really healthy vegan treat. The dates act as a natural sweetener, whilst adding bulk and nutrition to the bars. I also absolutely adore carob powder, this wonderfully healthy exotic substitute for chocolate has a gorgeous flavour.

DSC_0530These bars are protein bars, because they deliver a large quantity of good protein to the body, so they are perfect for vegan and vegetarian diets .The hemp seeds, hemp milk, flaxseeds and nuts and seeds contribute to the most of the protein, but you can opt for other protein sources such as Maca powder if you wish, the great thing about these bars is you can be adventurous with the freedom of choose, you do not necessarily have to follow the recipe to the book.

Ingredients:

  • 280g of packed, pitted dates (2 cups)
  • 280g rolled oats (2 cups )
  • 4 tbsp carob powder
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt, or to taste
  • 8 tbsp hemp milk
  • 2 tbsp of flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp of hemp seeds
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts
  • 2 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp of goji berries
  • 1 tbsp of linseed
  • 1 tbsp of dried cranberries
  • 1 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
  • 2 tbsp of raw millet
  • 50g of dark chocolate (greater than 70% coco)

Put a piece of grease proof paper on a small baking tray (I use a 10 by 7 inch baking tray). Place the dates in a high speed blender ( I used a nutribullet ). Blend until the dates are chopped and sticky.

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Then add in the rolled oats, carob powder, milled flaxseed, hemp seeds, salt, hemp milk and the hazelnuts to the dates in the blender. You want to process this until the ingredience form a mixture which you can scrape of the sides. If you are having trouble blending the ingredience just add bit more milk to the mixture.

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Then add all the other seeds, the goji berries and the dried cranberries leaving the raw millet and chocolate for the next steps. Process again for 1-2 seconds, but you do not want to blend all the seeds and dried fruit too much, you want them to still be visible. Finally add the raw millet and stir it into the mixture, since you want to keep it unprocessed, because the millet add a little crunch to the protein bars.

DSC_0522Then place the mixture into the lined baking tray, make sure the mixture is spread evenly, then flatten it down ,I use a little rolling pin to do this .

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Melt the chocolate and then spread it on the mixture, I then added more seeds to the top of the chocolate. Finally leave to set in the freezer for up to 15 minutes.

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Sweet potato, chickpea and kale stir fry

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Autumn is currently here at the moment in England, bringing with it colder and gloomier days, so I have been craving a few more home comforts to lighten my mood. One of my favourite food home comforts is a good healthy meal after a long day, this stir fry is a perfect healthy home comfort meal to me, so I thought I would share it with everyone. This recipe is super easy for everyone to follow, so why not try it out. It is inexpensive and really delicious. I found that all the flavours go together perfectly, the chickpeas and soft sweet potato are complemented by the hint of zesty lemon that just peaks through.

I took the recipe inspiration off Deliciously Ella’s blog post and video, I will leave the video below .

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Ingredience DSC_0456

•90g of brown rice

•1 large sweet potato

½ red pepper

1 tablespoon of Flaxseed

•1 broccoli

½ of coconut oil (you can use olive oil as an alternative if you wish)

•4 garlic cloves

•25g of kale

• 25g of spinach

•1 tin of chickpeas

• 1 lemons

First, place the brown rice on the bottom of a steamer with hot water, leaving on a medium heat for 35-40 minutes until it is cooked. Peel the sweet potato and chop it into small chunks, then place it in the steamer for 20 – 30 minutes, after the rice has been cooking for 10 minutes .The hot steam from the rice should soften the sweet potato, so that it is a lovely melt in the mouth texture. Next chop the red pepper into slices, then chop the garlic into very small pieces, you do not want them to be too big or else you will just get really random hints of garlic in your meal. Also chop the broccoli into bite sized pieces .

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Take a small piece of coconut oil and melt in a medium frying pan on a high heat. Once it has melted place the garlic in the pan with a little bit of salt and ground pepper. When the garlic is hot enough you should add the broccoli and peppers, but make sure to reduce the heat a little bit to a medium setting. Let the veg cook for 2-3 minutes, but make sure that they do not burn.

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Add the drained chickpeas, spinach and kale a few minutes later. After 5 minutes the rice should be ready, mix a tablespoon of flax seed into the rice, you do not have to add flax seed, but I try to add it to every meal, since it is a great supplement superfood and nutrient booster.

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Finally place the rice, steamed sweet potato and the lemon juice into the pan and let it cook for a further 1-2 minutes.

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watch the video that Deliciously Ella did for her recipe.

Banana and raspberry healthy breakfast ice cream

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Whenever you think of ice cream you don’t necessarily think on it having really healthy properties, you never imagine eating it as a breakfast boost for the rest of the day.

When you blend frozen bananas in a food processor, it creates a beautiful creamy texture that is like ice cream, it is to die for, you can then flavour it with fresh fruit, dried fruit, superfood powders, nuts and seeds.

I decided to make a raspberry banana ice cream recipe for breakfast, but it’s totally up to you what flavours you want to go with.This recipe is so simple to make, it’s a brilliant idea for those days when you want to stay in bed a big longer.

Ingredience

2-3 frozen bananas DSC_0432

2 tablespoons of almond milk

1 tablespoon Chia seeds

1 tablespoon of flaxseed

1 tablespoon of brown linseeds

1-2 tablespoon of hemp seeds

A handful of frozen raspberry’s

Topping

Fresh raspberries

Almonds

Brown linseeds

Sunflower seeds

Instructions

Firstly take the frozen bananas, blend them in a food processor with 2 tablespoons of almond milk.   ( I used a Nutribullet to do this, it’s so much better than other food processors, I have found on the market) . You want to make sure that the bananas have reached a creamy ice cream consistency, if it’s lumpy, keep blending until the correct consistency is reached. If you are having difficulty blending, you can add a bit more almond milk.

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Place flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and a handful of frozen raspberries into the food processor, along with the banana ice cream and blend again.

Once the ice cream is ready you can top it with any toppings you like.

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Chickpea and butternut squash curry with chapattis

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This has to be one of my favourite recipe, it has so much amazing flavour and it’s so simple to cook, so everyone can try it out. I find the flavours combinations of the spices makes a superb pallet sensation. I got the inspiration for this recipe off one of my favourite bloggers and you tuber Niomi smart, she always comes up with brilliant fresh recipe ideas.

The curry can be kept as leftovers or frozen for another meal time, I love being able to know that whenever I am not in the mood to prepare a full meal I can just heat up some leftover curry. So why not try this recipe out.

This recipe is suited to a 1 person serving portion size and it took less than an hour to prepare. It’s a perfect vegan dish containing no meat, gluten, wheat or dairy.

Ingredients

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1 red onion

1 green pepper

1 garlic clove

½ lemon

1 cinnamon stick

1 ½ tins of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of drained chickpeas

A handful of spinach

1 tablespoon of Buckwheat flout to thicken

Curry spice mix

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½ tsp ground ginger

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp coriander seeds

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

½ tsp curry powder

For the chapattis

1 cup of buckwheat flour

½ cup water

The remaining curry spice mix from above

Instructions

Firstly chop up the green pepper, red onion and butternut squash into small chunks. Then take the butternut squash and place in a stemmer on a medium heat to simmer for 20 minutes because you need to soften the butternut squash.

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Then use a pestle and mortar to grind all the curry spice mix then set aside. Add the minced garlic clove, 1/2 the curry spice mix, cinnamon stick and a small amount of water to a large saucepan on a medium heat to create a paste. Let it simmer for about 3 minutes.

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Tip the chopped red onion into the pan with a little bit more water and simmer for 4-5 more minutes. You can now add the butternut squash which should be considerable softer in texture, the diced green pepper, tinned tomatoes and chickpeas to the pan. Add a little more water to the pan by filling a chopped tomato can with water so you get all the tomato and nothing is wasted. Squeeze the lemon juice into the pan and once you have done that, leave the pan to simmer for about 40 minutes.

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Take a piece of dough and flatten it on the work surface with the palm of your hands, until it is thin enough to hold together. The dough should be round like a pancake. Once you have flattened all the pieces of dough into flat pancake sizes, you now need to heat a frying pan until the pan is hot on a medium heat. Placed the first chapatti in the pan, leave to cook for 2 minutes on each side, make sure you check they do not burn. Repeat this for the other chapattis.

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Check on the curry, by this time the consistence should be much thicker with a reduced amount of water, but if you feel it’s still too watery you can leave on the heat a little longer or choose to add a bit of buckwheat flour to thicken the curry up a little.

Finally add a little fresh spinach. You can also prepare rice with the dish if you wish, I just made regular wholegrain rice in the microwave.

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what i eat in a day / recipes

DSC_0369I decide to share my daily food routine in order to inspire more people to cook and eat healthier, as a lot of people have been wondering what food I eat since switching to a plant based lifestyle. A lot of people assume that a plant based lifestyle is minimalistic and boring compared to eating whatever you want when you want. The ingredients cabinet has been swung open, I have discover so many new amazing ingredients offering a sensation of new and exciting flavours and not to mention the tremendous health benefits.

Breakfast

Red berry chia seed smoothie bowl

1 banana

½ cup hemp milk

2 tablespoons flaxseed

1 handful of chopped strawberries

1 handful of fresh berries (raspberries, blackberries, blueberry’s)

3 tablespoons of chia seeds mixed with 4 tablespoons of water

  • First mix the chia seeds with 4 tablespoons of water in a cup and then leave to rest so that a jelly consistency will be reached after 5-10 minutes.
  • Blend the banana, hemp milk, strawberries red berries and the flaxseed in a food processor, then add the chia seed mixture and transfer to a bowl. I added some more fresh strawberries and blackcurrants to the smoothie bowl. If you want the smoothie bowl to have a thicker consistency you can use yogurt instead of milk and why not try different fruits.

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Detox drink

I really enjoy starting my day with a natural detox drink, it keeps me hydrated working wonders for my skin and my health. I usually get really dehydrated in the day because I hate drinking plain water, however by adding citrus fruits and a bit of mint the water is so much more refreshing.

½ lemon chopped into segments slices

½ lime chopped into segment slices

4-5 fresh mint leaves

  • Add the citrus fruits and the mint leaves to a jug of fresh water with a few ice cubes then leave to settle for a couple of minutes.

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DSC_0381DSC_0384Lunch

Rice cake with hummus, salsa and fresh salad

I always try to find a quick and easy but yet still deliciously healthy lunch that takes little time to prepare because sometimes I hate making a huge lunch.

4-6 rice cakes (I use the kallo buckwheat and super seed rice cakes)

Fresh hummus

Fresh salsa

1 large sliced tomato

Spinach leaves

Kale

Iceberg Lettice

Rocket leaves

Small grated slices of fresh beetroot

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For the Hummus

½ can chickpeas

1 tablespoon of tahini

Lemon juice from ½ lemon

2 tablespoons of water

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ garlic clove

¼ teaspoon of cumin

Salt

Pepper

1 teaspoon of fresh chilli powder

  • Blend all the ingredients in a food processor until you reach a paste consistency

 

For the salsa

2 cups cherry tomatoes

½ red onion

½ lime juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon chilli powder

Pinch of salt and pepper

  • Blend all the ingredients below in a food processor and then season with a little salt and pepper.

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Sweet potato and chick pea veggie burgers with Mediterranean roasted vegetables and a side salad.

I really enjoy making veggie burger because not only do they taste great but you can also save them for quick lunches because they are a perfect for when you are on the go.I prepared some Mediterranean roasted vegetable with the burgers because it super easy to make and livens up any dish.This recipes makes about 6-8 burgers.

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1 large sweet potato

½ cup of spinach

½ cup of Kale

¼ cup of fresh basil leaves

3 large garlic cloves minced

2 teaspoons of minced gingerDSC_0381

1 tin of drained chick peas

2 tablespoons of sunflowers seeds

¾ cups of rolled grounded oats

2 tablespoons ground flax seed

1 tablespoon of tahini

½ tablespoon sesame seed oilDSC_0384

1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon salt and pepper

For the roasted Mediterranean vegetables

1 tablespoon of coconut oil DSC_0371

1/2 courgette sliced

6-8 cherry tomatoes

½ orange pepper sliced

½ green pepper sliced

½ red onion

2 garlic cloves

  • Firstly preheat the oven to 180 degrees, then line a baking sheet with grease proof paper.
  • Peel the sweet potatoes and using the regular sized grating hole, grate the sweet potatoes so that you should have enough to fill about 1½ to 2 cups.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the sweet potato with the roughly chopped spinach and kale leaves, basil, garlic and ginger and blended chickpeas. When blending the chickpeas you want to make sure that you still keep some of the rough texture, do not blend it into too much of a paste.
  • You can also add the grounded oats which should be grounded into a flour, the flaxseed, the sunflower seeds and all the seasonings. Then bring all the ingredients together until a dough should form. If it’s too dry you can add a little water and vice versa a little buckwheat flour if the dough is too wet.
  • Shape the mixture into 6-8 burgers and then pop on to a baking tray ready to go into the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until firm and golden.
  • Whilst the veggie burgers are cooking prepare the Mediterranean cooked vegetables
  • Melt some coconut oil in a baking dish and then poured the vegetables in with a little seasoning of salt, pepper and rosemary.
  • Then bake the vegetable in oven for about 20 -25 minutes, until they have softened but not burned, make sure to check on them as the vegetables can burn easily if you leave them in too long.

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Sweet potato and ginger super seed vegan muffins

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I love making muffins as they are super easy to make, which is handy when you want a quick snack with little time on your hands. As I am going on holiday in a few days, it involves a lot of tedious boring travelling, so I decided to make some easy ginger muffins. Ginger is a good remedy for travel sickness because it settles your stomach. I decided to put sweet potato into the recipe because last time I made the muffins I found them a little boring, the sweet potato lightens them up a bit, plus I just love sweet potato it’s a tremendous vegetable, I usually eat on a regular basis in a lot of meals.

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Finding a recipe for muffins when you are a vegan is not easy ,loads of recipes require dairy, so I have made it super easy for everyone to try out without any dairy products ,it also gluten free and organic. The muffins are packed full of superseeds giving you boost of energy throughout the day. The recipe usually makes about 6-7 large muffins.

These muffins have a beautiful gingery aroma .The ginger and sweet potato work beautifully well together in this recipe and add structure as this recipe contains no eggs.

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Ingredients

200g Buckwheat flour

75g brown sugar

50g desiccated coconuts

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

1 tablespoon of cinnamon

1 tablespoon of ground ginger

Pinch of salt

200g sweet potato

50g fresh ginger, grated

2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed

1 tablespoon of chia seeds

2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds

2 tablespoons linseed

2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds

80ml olive oil

150ml hemp milk

1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence

Instructions

Pre heat the oven to 180C

Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with square sheets of baking parchment 2 times bigger than the individual cupcake holes.In a large mixing bowl mix together, the Buckwheat flour, sugar, desiccated coconuts, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ground ginger and a pinch of salt.

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Then add the grated sweet potato and grated ginger, if you are having trouble grating the ginger you can give it a quick wiz in a food processor. Make sure the vegetables are well combined with the dry ingredients.

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In a smaller bowl, lightly whisk the olive oil, hemp milk, white wine vinegar, and vanilla essence together using a fork, then mix them with other ingredients in the larger mixing bowl, you can then add the seeds and flax to the mixture.

Once you have created a stable mixture which is well combined, spoon the mixture into the baking parchments in the 12 hole baking dish. Make sure each muffin case has an equal amount of mixture.

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Sprinkle some pumpkins seeds, sunflower seeds and some linseeds on the muffins and then pop them into the oven for 25 – 30 minutes unit they have a spongy moist texture, with a golden tinted top. Leave to cool for up to 15 minutes and then enjoy.

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Vegetable quinoa with sweet potato frites

Monday 29th June 2015

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Every lunch time I am always wondering what to make. Should I go all out by making a technical dish, which takes time and lots of effort, or should I stick to a quick an easy recipe with little technical skill?. But then I discovered this brilliant recipe which combines really beneficial fresh ingredients, requiring little effort, whilst providing a magnificent flavour sensational. I found this recipe from my favourite you tuber and Blogger Niomi smart In her (what I eat in a day blog). I had to try it out because I love quinoa. However, I find myself cooking the same old quinoa recipes again and again, such as the crispy quinoa cakes I made a previous blog post on, I fancied a new and exciting change.

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This recipe took me less than an hour to prepare and I still had left overs, which would be great for the next day. The variety of vegetables in the dish, liven up the simplistic quinoa ,adding great textures which set of an explosion of senses in the mouth. I just leaves you with a smile on your face. I love recipes which leave a positive impression on both the mind and the body.

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Ingredients

2-3 small sweet potatoes

Salt

Ground white pepper powder, or regular ground pepper

2 tablespoons of olive oil

½ cup white or mixed quinoa

1 cup boiling water

1 Tablespoons of lime juice or ½ lime

½ courgette

2 small carrots

½ red onion

1/6 piece of butternut squash

4 chopped baby tomatoes

1 teaspoons of crushed chilli powder

½ tin kidney beans

Pre heat the oven to 180c

Take the sweet potato, once peeled chop into evenly sized chip shapes, but do not make them to wafer thin or then will burn . Scatter them evenly of a baking dish or tray and then drizzle with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If you are feeling adventurous you can season your chips with some chilli powder giving them a lively kick. One of my favourite seasonings to use is fresh or ground and dried rosemary, I don’t know where I would be without it.

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Pop the chips into a pre heated oven for up to 30 minutes until they have a crisp texture, but make sure they do not burn, so keep checking on them until you think they are ready.

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Whilst the sweet potato chips are cooking you can prepare the vegetable quinoa. Firstly rinse the raw quinoa well in order to get rid on the earthy taste and loosen the texture, then put it into a medium sized pan over a medium heat. Boil 1 cup of water in the kettle and then add the hot water to a small cup with the broken up vegetable stock cube. The vegetable stock is an important component essential for adding flavour, you can use an organic vegetable stock if you wish, such as the kallo rage but I had ran out. Then transfer the cup of dissolved vegetable stock into the pan of quinoa and let it simmer for up to 30 minutes, until the quinoa has lost most of the water in the pan. You can prepare the vegetables on a chopping board, while you wait for the quinoa to simmer. Cut the vegetables into small chunks.

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Then stir in all the vegetables a bit of lime juice and ½ a can of kidney beans. Plate up the meal in any way you like, I placed the sweet potato chips in a small cute metal bucket which I got from ikea. I just love to add a little creativity and class to my meal, plus it looks super cute. I put the vegetable quinoa in a round dinner serving circle template, the idea sounds a bit weird but I got the inspiration from MasterChef, and just love plating the quinoa in such a way that it stands out as a vivid statement. Finally I added a bit of spinach to the plate,you can make a side salad If you wish ,which goes great with quinoa.

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So why not try out this fabulous health beneficial dish, its vegan friends, wheat friendly and contains no dairy.

Breakfast wake – Banana and coffee shake

Monday 29th June 2015

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I found this recipe idea inspiration from my favourite you tuber and blogger Niomi smart in ( what I eat in a day) blog .The taste is a refreshing cool pick me up in the morning, providing a boost of energy from the fresh banana and the finely ground roasted coffee. It’s also super easy to make which is great if you are in a rush, you can easily fit this shake into your busy morning routine. The shake is perfect before the gym as a pre workout drink. So why not try the delicious shake, you will be given a boost of energy, and the sweet flavour sensation will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for what the day can throw at you. You can change the shake flavour by using any tea or coffee, so you could go for a fruity flavour by using fruit tea, a strong expresso, or even a creamy cappuccino.

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Ingredients

1 banana

3-4 teaspoons of ground coffee ( I used a ground coffee called mocha, that I bought from my local wholefood store ,but you can go for any tea or coffee )

Glass of ice cubes

1 cup of water

DSC_1522 Firstly take the whole banana and mix it a food blender/processor until it is a mushy consistency, then add the cup of water and mix again, a froth should form.

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Secondly prepare the coffee in a cafeteria, but only add a little hot water as you want it to have a strong flavour. Place all the ice cubes from one ice cube tray in a glass, then pour in the banana and water froth, with the strong coffee.

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Morning tea and coffee routine

Tuesday 24th June 2015

Waking up to a refreshing detox tea or a fragrant Italian coffee.

Every morning when I wake up, I always feel excited for the new day ,but what refreshes me is either a green tea, which is a great detox starting you fresh for the day or a wonderfully uplifting coffee made from the finest organic coffee beans.

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Green tea

I normally hate tea, as I just don’t see the appeal to it. I have bad memories of when my grandmother use to make tea in a big tea pot and the tea was so weak, it tasted just like water and I was immediately put off. But green tea is different it tastes so flavoursome making me feel ready for the day, and there is a huge variety of flavours to choose from. My favourite green tea I love at the moment is the pure green tea and mango green tea by the brand Clippers. The active principle of Green tea is a detox drink, it flushes out the bad stuff in your body that you want to get rid of, whilst maintaining and also providing good nutrients which help you lead a healthy lifestyle. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients that have powerful effects on the body. This includes improved brain function, fat loss, a lower risk of cancer and many other incredible benefits. So by drinking green tea in the morning you are improving your health and state of mind.

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Fruit tea

Just like green tea, fruit tea is also a beneficial drink which stimulates the detox process in your body. I normally have fruit teas in the day or at night as they help to relax and de- stress me whilst providing a brilliant flavour sensation. My favourite fruit tea at the moment is a raspberry tea from the brand Heath and Heather which I buy from Holland and Barrett and have fallen in love with it’s beautifully pure taste.

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Coffee

Coffee is one of my all-time favourite hot drinks. Every time I go to Manchester with my friends, I always have to pop into Starbucks, Java or Pret a Manger, you can’t beat a good old coffee. I love a strong coffee in the morning with a little almond milk and agave syrup, as it has a more natural flavour. Recently I have been using either organic java ground coffee beans or organic mocha ground coffee bean that I found in my local whole food shop is Mosley. There is always a huge selection of coffee beans to choose from, presented in large sweet shop jars, which reminds me of the barristers in Italy and France that me and my mother used to pop into on our travels. I usually use a cafétiere in the morning. I put 3 heaps of coffee into the glass mug and let it brew for a few minutes.

Crispy Quinoa burgers

 

Saturday 20th June 2015

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I often use quinoa in my diet because it is really easy to prepare and it has a lovely texture, so I really wanted to put it into a vegetable burger. I took the inspiration for this recipe from one of my favourite vegan bloggers “oh she glows”. The quinoa burgers can be eaten as a meal, for lunch with a salad or a light snack, they are also great for lunch box fillers for the family providing essential vitamins and minerals and most importantly protein. Quinoa is therefore an excellent choice for vegans who may struggle to get enough protein in their diets. Quinoa has an excellent amino acid profile, as it contains all nine essential amino acids making it a complete-protein source.

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This recipe is really easy to prepare as I believe quick meal times should be no trouble. This burger is packed full of really health vegetable like, spinach, sun dried tomatoes, red peppers and potatoes.

Ingredients

1 cup of cooked quinoa

2 tablespoons of ground flax

1 cup chopped spinach

½ cup rolled oats, ground into a flour in a food processor

½ cup finely grated potatoes

4 sundried tomatoes

¼ cup sunflower seeds

3 tablespoons of dried basil

¼ of a red onion diced

1 clove of garlic minced

1 tablespoon of light tahini paste

1 ½ teaspoons of dried oregano

1 ½ teaspoons of white wine vinegar

½ teaspoon of salt ( I used pink Himalayan salt but you do not have to)

3 tablespoons of buckwheat flour( you do not have to use buckwheat flour if you do not have it, as its only available in wholefood stores ,you can opt for a simple plain flour )

Instructions

Pre heat the oven to 180 degrees. Then line a medium sized baking tray with a sheet of grease proof paper. Place 2 tablespoons of flax with 6 tablespoons of water in a small bowl and set aside for later, leaving to thicken.

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Shape the mixture into small burger shapes with wet hands, pack them tightly so they do not fall apart in the oven, you can usually make about 6 from the mixture. Then place them on the baking sheet.

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Pop them into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, then turn the burgers over and bake them on the other side for a further 10 minutes, until they are golden and firm. Leave them to cool for 5 minutes.

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Store leftovers in an air tight container in the fridge for up to a week or you can freeze them for up to a month.

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Thanks for reading my post and I hope you like reading it, why not try out this recipe its great fun to make and tastes amazing.

The power of Quinoa

Saturday 20th June 2015

I never knew what quinoa was before I decided to be a vegan, it all seemed like a weird grain that was totally pointless, but it’s actually the opposite. Quinoa is packed with protein and offers fantastic wheat-free alternative, the demand for quinoa has risen sharply in recent years. There are two types: red and white. Both types are slightly bitter when cooked and open up to release little white curls. Quinoa is grown in South America from countries such as Chile, Peru and Bolivia. For thousands of years, quinoa formed the staple diet of the Incas and their descendants. In recent years, foodies in the UK and the US have used it as an alternative to bulgur wheat, cous cous and rice. quinoa is actually in the same family as spinach and chard.

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Vegan butternut squash pizza

IMG_2147Friday the 19th June

Pizza is one of the most popular ready meal takeaways in the world, but the real history of pizza starts in Italy, as pizza dates back to at least the 1st Century B.C., when the Roman poet Virgil wrote “To mend the scanty meal, their cakes of flour. See, we devour the plates on which we fed.”

Pizza has always been associated in modern society as a party treat or a staple meal choice for some, as it is not the healthiest meal, but you just can’t beat the taste. As a vegan I struggled to find a healthy non-dairy pizza which still tasted just as good, until I discovered the vegetable base pizzas such as cauliflower, quinoa and butternut squash. I was so intrigued by the idea of a healthy pizza so I had to try it out for myself. After trying loads of different vegetable I found butternut squash was the most flavoursome, which suited me.

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This recipe combines some of my favourite flavours of vegetables and spices, but you can go mad with the flavours, changing the topping choice and even the base vegetable to suit your needs. I chose butternut squash for the base as it’s such a fragrant vegetable, with a great texture, it lightens up any meal. I then made my own pesto as the sauce but you can use tomato if you wish ( but ideally pesto is more healthier and nutritious ). I just found pesto suited the butternut squash better as on previous attempts the tomato sauce was too pungent tasting.

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Ingredients

Base:                                                                     Pesto:                                               

1 butternut squash                                        cashew nuts                                                           

100g ground almonds                                   1 cup of fresh spinach                                   

150g buckwheat flour                                    5-10 basil leaves                                          

3 tablespoons flaxseed                                 juice of ½ lime                                                        

1 teaspoon dried oregano                            sprinkle of salt and pepper     

Sprinkle of salt and pepper                          glug of extra virgin olive oil

    Toppings: You can go for any topping you like but I used spinach,cherry tomatoes, peppers, red onions and pine nuts. Make the recipe fun by alternating your toppings.

Instructions

Pre heat the oven to 200. Firstly wash the butternut squash in the sink. Then cut it in half down the middle into two equally sized sections, taking out the pulp (I often keep the pulp and use it in soups as I don’t waste anything). Find a deep roasting dish and fill it half with water, then place the two pieces of butternut squash in the dish in the oven for 45 minutes to soften it, so you can make it into a dough. After 45 minutes the butternut squash should be a soft smooth texture.

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Whilst the butternut squash is left to cool, in a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of flaxseed with 4 tablespoons of water and leave it to settle.

Then scoop out the butternut squash, leaving just the skin behind and put it in a mixing bowl. Add all the base ingredients to the bowl and mix together forming a sticky dough. Then take a piece of grease proof paper on a baking tray. Spread the dough on the baking sheet to form a base shape. Make sure that the base is not to thin or else it will burn, I made a rectangle shape but you can make any shape you wish.

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Put the base in the pre heated oven on the middle shelf for up to 35 minutes on 200c, until it is lighter in shape with a crunchy bready texture.

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Whilst the base is cooking make the pesto by adding all the pesto ingredients into a high speed blender/food processor until a thick smooth consistency has been reached.

When the base is cooked leave to cool for 5 minutes. Spread the pesto over the base, but leave the sides free to make a crust. Then add the topping of your choice evenly on the pizza, returning it back into the oven for a further 10-15 minutes.

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You can then drizzle some olive oil on top of the pizza and sprinkle some dried herbs along with salt and pepper.

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I hope you enjoy this blog post. I was inspired by Niomi Smarts and Marcus Butlers recipe video, they both did an amazing video about it ,I will leave it below .

 

The healthy breakfast craze



Wednesday 17th June 2015

I think that we should all eat a healthy breakfast, as it is the most important meal of the day. I love breakfast, it’s great when you wake up and know that you can start a fresh detox of your body and regain loads of energy.

Since being introduced to a plant based lifestyle, after realising all the amazing health benefits, I have ditched boring old toast, cereal and greasy fry-ups. Swapping for a health alternative for my breakfast which not only tastes a millions times better, but give me more energy throughout the day, enabling me to avoid snacking and keeping in good shape. Its feels good to wake up in the morning and have a healthy breakfast as it sets me up for the day, and I know I can then face any challenges that confront me.

Everyone rushing around in the morning is a common sign in my household and it’s probably the same for many others. Over time I have developed my favourite breakfasts which I stick to as they are so easy to prepare but taste great whilst delivering the required nutritional value.

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  • On weekday mornings I normally have a really nutritious healthy porridge with loads of super seeds, fresh and dried fruit with either hemp or almond milk (it depends on what I have available, but I do find hemp milk has a nicer, creamier taste).

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Chia seeds are a must in any porridge, if you are looking for a super nutritious option. Chia seeds might be unheard of, but they are really beneficial, they provide a source of fibre, omega 3 and protein. They slowly release energy throughout the day to your body, so you won’t feel hungry before lunch.

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I used to really hate porridge when I was younger because my mum made it really gooey, but when I found out about the thousands of topping and filling and different flavouring I was hooked. However, my brother does still think I am weird for liking porridge as all he eats are Kellogg’s Kraves. The perfect porridge consistency is not too runny but not hard like a brick, it’s got to be smooth and creamy. I normally make my porridge in the microwave as it saves time and washing up, so it’s handy when I am in a rush (which is usually every weekday). I then go crazy with fruit, nuts and seeds and sometimes put bits of red berry granola from Superfoodies on top to add a fruitier taste with a bit more texture.

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  • However I might have a chia seed pudding, an easy recipe I created myself, with a scattering of granola, seeds, nuts, dried and fresh fruit.

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The chia seed pudding is simply a couple of table spoons of chia seeds, which have been soaking with 3-4 tablespoons of water until it is a jelly consistency (I find that if you soak the chia seeds oversight the pudding is much more stable).

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Then I mix the chia seeds with plain Alpro yogurt, 1-2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed with goji berries and 1 table spoon of some linseed.

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 Finally I scatter various fruit and nut topping on top of the pudding. I used 3 dates, 2 figs and 2 prunes which have been cut up into smaller pieces with 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds, 1 tablespoon of linseeds, a couple of almonds and a bit of red granola.

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This breakfast idea is my favourite I just love the creamy texture and the array of fresh flavours and colours, plus I do not feel guilty when I have finished because I am getting loads of nutrition in just one bowl.

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And lastly if I am in a real rush I will toast a piece of rye bread with a bit of almond butter, I use biona organic pumpkin seed rye bread as it is by far one of the nicest rye bread I have found on the market. The bread is already pre-sliced which is great.

 

 

healthy chocolate superseed milkshakes

This is one of my favourite recipes as it is so easy to make and tastes great. I usually have it as a snack or with my lunch, I even have it at breakfast sometimes if I am feeling is the chocolatey mood. And the great thing about this recipe is its really healthy so you don’t feel bad after .

Ingredients

2 cups almond milk ( I used hemp milk )IMG_2024

4 pitted dates

3 tablespoons coco powder(you can use cocao powder but I ran out)

1tbsp linseed

1tbsp almond butter

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2tbsp chia seeds

1tbsp flaxseed

1 banana

¼ tsp cinnamonIMG_2018

Instructions

Put all the ingredients into a high speed blender until it is the correct consistency ( I used a nutribullet)

Then pour milkshake into a glass, you can sprinkle it with topping such as more seeds and even berries if you wish.