New year, new you! For those of you who kind of fell off the wagon over the festive period, now is the time to get back to your clean-eating divine selves! Christmas can be a difficult time to stay on the healthy train, especially if you are eating out a lot or staying at other people's houses etc, you don't want to be a burden or appear as though you are the health police, so standards can kinda slip, know what I mean?! Anyway, forget about Christmas, this is January (or Veganuary for those who are giving veganism a shot for the month -go team, go!!!) This soup will help you out no end, it's easy to make, low in fat and has the creamy decadent taste of something that is laden with double cream (so those of you doing Veganuary should love it!!)
Friday was date night! Woohoo! It's important to have date nights when you've been a couple for 6 years, otherwise you just end up spending all your time watching box sets, and since we've pretty much now seen them all, date night has made a most welcome come back! Sean asked me where I'd like to go for dinner, and I couldn't decide. I'm starting to feel like we may have slightly exhausted our usual vegan haunts, and although I'm sure we will always be happy loyal customers, it's always good to shake things up a bit and take a break from the familiar. Late in the day Sean suggested 222 Veggie Vegan, located in West Kensington, London (we live in London, obvs) and sent over the link to the menu. Now, being the super passionate vegan that I am, I have no idea why I hadn't heard of this place, and as soon as I saw the menu I began to get very excited - and hungry!
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaand here it is: part 3 of my triptych of Indian delights to feast your face on. I usually eat this as a side dish along with the Saag Aloo Gobi and the Okra Tomato curry, however it is just as tasty if eaten for the 'main event!' Packed with protein (approx 22g per 1/2 cup) this tasty dish is really filling and energising, and it's super low in fat to boot. This would be great as a side dish for EVERY meal (but probably not as let's face it, nobody wants to eat the same thing every day, that's just dullsville!) Another great thing about this dish is that it is seriously yummy eaten either hot or cold, so you could have some with your dinner, then have the rest the next day for lunch with some salad or whatever else you happen to fancy for lunch that day. Flexibility is the name of the game here!
So here it is, the second offering in my Indian feast triptych of delights. I'll confess, this is probably my very favourite of all three, purely just because I am a spinach ADDICT! I love the stuff, I eat it in salads, I drink it in smoothies and sometimes, I just eat handfuls of it on its own. I especially love it when it's wilted and mixed with potato, cauliflower and spices. YEAH MAN!!! In true award ceremony style, I have to thank my awesome friend Esharan for the inspiration for this recipe, because when a friend gives you a vegan recipe passed on by her Indian mother who is an incredible cook- YOU JUST MAKE IT OK?!?!?!!!! (Thanks Shaz xxx)
Hello, how are you? Enjoying the cold, drizzle and darkness that winter is bestowing upon us? No, me neither. I've blinked and it's winter again, how depressing. When it's freezing and dark outside, hot comforting and spicy foods seem to appeal the most. Even though I am officially a salad addict, you just kinda need more during the cold times. The night is dark and full of terrors. Ok, it's not really, but I am a Game of Thrones fan and that's pretty sums up how I feel at the moment!!
So then, this dish is part of an Indian triptych I created (I believe my days in art school were the last time I used that word!) to help fuel your (and of course mine, I'm not that selfless!) cold winter nights.
This is sooooo quick to make, it took me about a total of fifteen minutes to whip it up! It's one of those type of dishes I create without really knowing that I'm going to create it. I think "I'm hungry" and I look in the fridge, pull out a few things, get some essentials from the cupboards and WHAM, BAM, THANK YOU LEAH I have a sumptuous feast waiting before me to be devoured! This is one of those meals where if you don't have all the ingredients I've listed, or want to substitute them with other things, it's still going to turn out great and tasty!
A rich, chocolatey milkshake that is actually good for you?! Surely not!! YES!!! IT'S TRUE!! This is something that I've been making for myself for ages now, and it only occurred to me the other day that I should pass on the recipe. This is more energising and 'wakey-uppy' than coffee, believe me. For me, a coffee high lasts about 10-15 minutes and then I crash and get a bit lethargic, after a glass of this I am bouncing off the walls with energy for a good hour or so! It's rich, filling and creamy but you don't even need to use any milk if you don't have any (by milk I mean plant milk, obvs!) The chocolatey splendour is courtesy of the raw cacao powder, which is really high in natural anti-oxidants as well as taste!
Here's a quick one that packs a flu busting punch! Now the cooler weather has well and truly hit London, I'm suffering from a fresh bout of pining for Thailand!! One of my very favourite things about Thailand were the incredible fresh tropical fruit smoothies, available for mere pennies on almost every street corner. I drank soooooooo many of them! Not only smoothies, but there are also fresh tropical fruit sellers EVERYWHERE, and one thing I really got into was papaya. It has a mildly sweet really satisfying flavour that is very moreish. Even better than that, it's packed full of immune boosting goodness, so is a great thing to eat/drink at this time of year, cold and flu season.
Now this really is the easiest snack to whip up in under 5 minutes!! I'd never heard of these before last week, until my driving instructor (watch out people on the roads of west London!) was raving about them after his mini-break in Spain. A few days later I was in the supermarket and lo and behold, there they were, sitting there waiting for me to cook 'em up into a tasty tapas treat! They are very inexpensive, one 135g box costs just one of your Great British pounds, so you can't really go wrong.
This recipe has its inspiration rooted in the most unlikely of places - The Toby Carvery. What does a vegan know about Toby Carvery I hear you ask?!!? Well, actually you may be surprised to learn that this "haven of meat" serves not one, but two specified vegan options! So, anyway, my boyfriend (vegan, loves junk food!!) loves their nut roast Wellington and set me the task of recreating it in someway. Since the actual Wellington is pastry, I can't eat that being gluten free, and it makes me very sad to make yummy dinners for us both that I can't eat (obviously!!) so I decided to stuff a mushroom with the most delectable and 'meaty' filling I could conjure up!
I promised a roasted pumpkin seed recipe and here it is! The seeds I used were left over from the pumpkin I used to make the pumpkin soup last week. Don't throw your pumpkin seeds away!! Especially with halloween right around the corner, if you are going to be carving a spooky face into your big orange ball of delight, and have no intention of consuming its flesh (this sounds like a horror film doesn't it!?!) then at least keep the pumpkin seeds are roast them into yumminess! It really is sooooooo easy, it'd be a such a shame not to. Here's what you do....
Have you ever wondered what the hell to do with one of these?!?!
So the temperatures have dropped, the rain has started (this is England, did the rain ever stop?!) and the coat wearing season is back in full swing. The cold makes me hungry. Like I can't stop eating. I want to eat, curl up with my cat and hibernate until about March next year, that's cool yeah?! No Leah, you are not a hedgehog! So the pumpkins are out to play! The other week I was visiting some family friends who live in a huge house in the country in North Norfolk. They have LOADS of land attached to their house and they grow all their own fruits and veggies. Leah heaven. Seriously I was like an over excited child! They let me raid their pumpkin patch and pick my own pumpkins, and courgettes/zucchini which are the ridiculously huge! They were just left to grow and they are the size of missiles or something. Insane!!
You know those times when you are eating something you know is bad for you, and you say "I wish (insert naughty treat here) was actually good for me!" Yeah? Well yesterday I actually experienced something so delicious and decadent that all who tasted it said "I cannot believe this is actually good for you, because it tastes soooo naughty!" Well ok, I may have been paraphrasing a little just then, that that is pretty much what we all said when we were tucking into this fruity, creamy sweet dream. This dessert (or breakfast if you are like me this morning) is, like everything else on this blog, free from gluten, refined sugar, dairy, chemicals or preservatives, meat, eggs, trans fat and cholesterol. So in your face people who think that healthy food can't be tasty. IN YOUR FACE!!!
This thick, creamy and filling soup not only tastes great, but is a great immune booster to help ward off those winter sniffles that are just around the corner, kindly provided by the inconsiderate sod who sneezed ON YOU on the bus (thanks dude!) Luckily for me I have THIS anti-sniffles-guard, so I'm just fine thanks! This garlic, onions, leeks and turmeric in this soup make it an anti-inflammatory super-force to be reckoned with. Interesting (or not) fact, I have not had a single cold since being vegan, so bang goes the theory of pale and sickly vegans withering away in a corner!! I'm sure there are many pale sickly vegans, (as there are many pale and sickly omnivores) and that's because they probably just eat bread and chips, and, well... who is going to be strong and healthy on that?!
Here is a deliciously simple one to brighten up your mornings! A light, tasty yet very filling breakfast bowl of overnight oats, made lovingly with lucuma and cinnamon to sweeten your world up a little. Packed with health, Lucuma powder is made from the subtropical fruit of the Pouteria lucuma tree, which is native to Peru, Chile and Equador, and provides 14 essential trace elements, including a considerable amount of potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. It has a caramel-like flavour and is a great healthy way to naturally sweeten and flavour your dishes without raising your blood sugar levels. Added to the dish are chia seeds which will keep you full and hydrated. They contain calcium and phosphorous which promote bone health, fibre which promotes digestive health, omega 3 to reduce inflammation. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals. They are high in protein and regulate insulin levels. So..... can you imagine a better way to start your day?!
So autumn is here but we are lucky that it seems to be a rather balmy one. Good news for me since I am almost allergic to the cold (take me back to the tropics of Thailand, please!!) It's not quite ready for hearty plates of steaming hot comfort food yet, so today I decided to skip the 'winter warmer' and instead go light and energising instead. This is what I created, a satisfying plate of decadently delicious salad with a creamy and tangy dressing. Yum. I give it a big thumbs up so I thought I'd share my creation with you, in an optimistic wish that this warm weather continues!!
Olives. I love them. Always have. I know there are many people out there who shudder at the mere thought of them. My boyfriend was one of those people when we first met, he had an almost passionate hatred towards them, but tastes change you know!! Now he is his happiest when piling olives into his mouth. He even hi-fived his best mate about Kalamata olives on a drunken night out. Now the implications are deeper with this, as it means he is now so passionate about olives that he drunkenly and excitedly talks about them on a night out. Ridiculous? Probably. A drunken buffoon? Maybe. A passionate olive zealot? Most definitely!! See? Tastes do change!
Some days I just wake up hungry. You know, really hungry. Eat the contents of the fridge and still be hungry, hungry. You know the sort, when you start to think you may have worms or something. Chances are you don't have worms, just need an extra boost of energy that sustains you instead of quick sugary fixes that leave you in more of a mess than when you started. When I get this hungry it usually lasts a good couple of days, so chances are I already know I'm going to be hungry in the morning. For breakfast I usually have a smoothie, packed with with at least 2 bananas (sometimes 3 or 4) with some superfood powders (wheatgrass, spirulina, raw cacao, chlorella, lucuma, baobab, maca, chia seeds.....take your pick!) and iced green tea for a little boost of caffeine. There are some days though when just a smoothie doesn't quite cut it, so that's when overnight oats come in.
***TREAT ALERT***TREAT ALERT***TREAT ALERT***TREAT ALERT***TREAT ALERT***TREAT ALERT***TREAT ALERT***
Oh yes, you'd better believe it. To me these are the definition of a treat. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so usually my treats are of the crunchy savoury variety, and what better than a savoury snack that packs a punch of protein?! Nothing is better. These are the real deal and I've already cooked them twice this week.......well......y'know, it's cold now, a girl's gotta treat herself!! These are based on a recipe by Bryant Terry, however I've changed them around a bit and added in new flavours. I was particularly excited with these as it is a completely new way for me to cook beans, and considering my boyfriend and I smashed through the first lot I made in about 5 minutes, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Well, it's in the fritter!
Quinoa quinoa everywhere, but "how the hell do I cook it?" I hear you cry! It's so simple, nay, positively easy!
I bloody love sushi! It's been one of my very favourite foods since I first tasted it years and years ago. There is something about stuffing my face with little savoury bite sized chunks of loveliness that I can just never resist. Another great thing about it is that it is so easy to veganize it. Most people think that sushi means raw fish, however I believe it actually means 'with rice,' so really in some respects this isn't really sushi. That's because I made this lot with quinoa!
Bring on the mezze!! It's summer, it's sunny, time for a picnic! My very favourite way of eating is being able to pick at lots of different dishes of salads, dips, bites etc, so I bring you this: The ultimate summer mezze - healthy style! If you are going to a BBQ and want to bring something, try these simple recipes that really create the 'wow factor' when it comes to taste.
So next time you go to a picnic or BBQ and people ask what the hell a gluten free vegan eats, stuff your face with this lot and see everyone else's mouths water!
Oh no she didn't! OH YES I DID!!! These are so decadent my mum called them borderline pornographic! You know those times when you want something sweet and naughty tasting, but still want to be healthy? Yeah....these are for you then. They are super easy to make and you don't need any special equipment to do so (apart from a freezer, you'll need one of those.)
Yum. Take one...no go on...help yourself. Take a handful. I insist! If you, like me have a borderline obsession with salty crunchy savoury snacks then you'll dig these. Chickpeas are so versatile, they're great. From salads to dips to crunchy snacks, I urge you to embrace chickpeas in all their glory! They pack a protein punch, 1 cup of chickpeas contain a whopping 12g of protein, which will quieten down those sceptics who quiz you on how you possible get enough protein on a vegan diet (we've all met them.) You can make these with just salt, or any seasoning you want. I chose Middle-Eastern style because I found some Za'atar in the cupboard (Za'atar is a mix of herbs from the eastern Mediterranean usually made from thyme, oregano and marjoram, with a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds and salt.)