Thursday, 31 March 2016

Hemp Smoothie

Inspired by the beautiful festival of colours (Holi), here's my healthy spin on Bhang (Cannabis drink). And I promise this hemp smoothie won't get you twisted ;)

If you are planning on turning vegan, hemp powder is a fab source of protein & calcium in addition to many other nutrients. So next time anyone says "but where will you get your protein from?" you know exactly what to say!

Packed with omega 3, 6 & 9 fatty acids, protein & calcium, this could be a great energiser any day of the week. Hemp is also a rich source of dietary fibre.

I made this for 'Holi' last week. Sorry I am uploading it a week later, no excuses for a lazy girl! Anyway this turned out really delicious and the simple recipe is definitely worth sharing.

You will need the following for this smoothie- 
1 banana, 2 if they are small (ripe)
1 cup almond milk
1 table spoon almond butter
1 table spoon hemp powder
A dash of matcha powder (use this sparingly)
A pinch of cinnamon
A few drops of vanilla extract

Blend everything until smooth! And voila your healthy bhang aka hemp smoothie is ready.

Let me know if you try this one. See you next time xoxox

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Vegan Mushroom Risotto

My vegan mushroom risotto is a perfect midweek dinner idea. Minimum ingredients but guaranteed maximum satisfaction, this dish is ready within 40 minutes and is very delicious, clean yet hearty.

300 grams mixed mushrooms
250 grams arborio rice
2 cubes of organic veg stock
1 onion
2 celery sticks

Chop the mushrooms and place them in a baking tray, sprinkle extra virgin olive oil salt pepper & dried thyme and pop these in the oven between 180-200 degree celsius.

Next, chop the onion and celery sticks. Add a good glug of extra virgin olive oil in a pan and once thats hot throw in chopped onions and celery and let them cook for a few minutes. Then go on to add salt & pepper and continue to cook & sweat the onions for about 5 minutes or so. Then add 250 grams of arborio rice into the cooking pan and toast them for a couple of minutes.

Get your stock ready so in about a litre of boiling water crumble two veg organic stock cubes.

Once the rice has a tad bit colour on it, start adding stock to the pan ladle by ladle. Keep stirring and turning as you add each ladle. This will massage the starch out of your rice & make it creamy in consistency.

About 25 minutes later or so, when the rice is almost cooked but still has a bite to it (i.e. slightly more than al dente) take the mushrooms out of the oven and tip them (mushrooms & the water from mushrooms) in to the pan. Keep massaging & turning with your ladle. Taste the rice, if its cooked, get it off the  heat. When you serve risotto it must be slightly oozy and gooey, to get that if you need a bit more stock, add more stock to the rice.

Serve piping hot! Enjoy.

Let me know if you get to try this! Till next time xoxox


Thursday, 3 March 2016

Vegan Chilli

I have been guilty of using chopped tinned tomatoes until recently. But 2016 is a year of small changes for me and consciously using only fresh tomatoes to cook is one of them.

I have also decided to turn vegan as far as I can. This means that when I am out & about or travelling if I can't find something vegan, I will settle for vegetarian options. This is due to spiritual reasons and I will leave that for another post.

Anyway this led me to create this vegan chilli and it's really simple to make, with each bite oozing spicy deliciousness!

1 big onion chopped (red or white)
6 tomatoes pureed (you could chop them too, but I'm just lazy. Thank god for Nutri Bullet.)
250 grams broccoli (separated as florets)
3 coloured peppers chopped
Boiled red kidney beans
Smoked paprika
Cayenne pepper
Ground cumin
Salt & pepper
Fresh coriander
Organic veg stock cube
Steamed rice to serve on the side
Avocado on the side

Heat some extra virgin olive oil in a wok and add the chopped onion to it. Add salt & pepper and sweat the onions till they are soft and translucent. Then add 2 table spoons of smoked paprika and two table spoons of paprika. Don't worry these are more for the colour and flavour they are not hot. Carefully add a good pinch of cayenne pepper. Now this is really hot. Add according to your chilli threshold. Add two table spoons of cumin powder as well. Tip in the pureed or chopped tomatoes. If cooking with real tomatoes, they will look pale at first but don't worry the colour comes back as they cook. It is never as red as the canned tomatoes but in this case the colour from paprika makes up for it.

Next add broccoli and peppers and continue cooking & occasionally stiring. Some people might get on the protein debate of a vegan diet and thats why we added broccoli in here. Did you know that broccoli is a super rich source of protein? There sorted! At this point add your stock cube to 250 ml boiling water and then add this water to the cooking pan. Now go ahead & taste, if you feel like you need more spice just add more spice. 

Bring to boil and let this simmer for 15-20 mins. At this point tip in the boiled beans and cook for another 10 minutes. I am obsessed with lemons so I also squeeze half a lemon in, for that extra punch. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top and serve with steamed rice and avocado on the side!

Let me know if you get to try this. See you next time.


Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Cocoa & Peanut Butter Balls

Turns out, the healthy snacks off 'free from' aisles in the super market are not so healthy after all. Anything that is best before July 2017 must be loaded with preservatives. So next time you gravitate towards buying 'healthy' bars from the supermarket, consider making similar snacks at home. A good example would be these yummy cocoa & peanut butter balls; they are way healthier and literally take minutes to make.

Whist cooking, I never stick to measurements and throw in things instinctively until it feels right. Miraculously my dishes come together most times! Mentioned below is an approximate measurement of stuff for you to follow not as a rule set in stone but as a general guideline. In your kitchen you are the boss and do what you feel is right! Cooking is more fun when you make it your own! Oh and these quantities should make about 12-15 balls.

2 table spoons raw cacao or cocoa powder 
6-8 dates
1teaspoon agave or maple syrup
2 teaspoons coconut oil 
1/2 cup peanut butter (you want the best quality with no sugar or palm oil)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup almond meal 

Soak the dates in water for a couple of hours to soften. Then melt the coconut oil and put everything   (including softened dates) in your blender and blitz away till it's a smooth paste. 

Start to roll this paste/dough into balls and cover in almond meal lightly so it's not too clingy. Store in fridge and eat when you feel like you need a pre or post lunch pick me up.

These are usually good for about a week. But they never last that long, they are that delicious. 

If you get to try these let me know how you got on. Till next time xx
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