Thursday 29 September 2016

Spirulina Avocado Banana Cream Bowl

Pretty much everyday for breakfast I devour a banana and avocado based cream bowl. I love to flavour it with cacao but every now and again I like to shake things up and instead of cacao I tend to use beetroot, acai and sometimes even spirulina & spinach.

I know that spinach and spirulina in a sweet smoothie bowl sounds a bit off but trust me it tastes great. The reason why I love cream or smoothie bowls for breakfast is simply because they are loaded with nourishing super foods, good fat and complex carbs. This is a powerhouse breakfast that will easily keep you satiated for 5-6 hours and hopefully make you super productive. When you are constantly hungry your focus and productivity suffers massively as you are forever planning your next snack, rather than planning your next work task.

Of course, this breakfast is vegan and vegetarian friendly, it is free from gluten as well as refined sugar ;)

Spirulina, a blue-green algae has quickly become one of the most popular superfoods for plenty of reasons. It is super rich in protein, iron, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. Amongst many other benefits, it is known to help eliminate candida, lower blood pressure and cholesterol and assist weight loss.

For those of you who don't already know, maca is a powdered Peruvian radish root and is known to massively boost overall energy as well as boost sexual energy for men & women. Now this is not scientifically proven but it is what a lot of people have apparently experienced!
It is also known to have a clearing effect on skin and helps keeps women's hormones in balance especially during their period. Apparently it helps with anxiety, depression and mood swings as well. Be careful to consume this powder in bite sized quantities only though.

Other ingredients in this recipe are more commonly known and if I start talking about each of them, I will be sat here writing this post forever. Plus you will get bored too. And I certainly don't want that. So lets get blending shall we?

What you will need

2 chilled bananas
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon hemp seeds or powder
1 tablespoon spirulina
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Handful of spinach leaves
1 teaspoon maca powder
1 cup Plant milk of choice
3 table spoons of coconut yogurt
A small piece of ginger

You know the drill here, blend away till everything comes together in a smooth creamy consistency.

You can decorate or top it with sliced banana, berries, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cacao nibs, goji berries... the list is endless. And this is also the most fun and satisfying part of preparing your breakfast.

Let me know if you get to try this and  I will see you next time!

Thursday 22 September 2016

Vegan Buckwheat Noodle Stir Fry

What you will need

Extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil
1 packet of buckwheat noodles
2 tablespoons of tamari
1 teaspoon of chilli flakes or powder or a tiny piece of any chilli you have at home (finely chopped)
1 lemon
Salt & pepper to taste
1 teaspoon maple syrup
Sesame seeds
Mixed nuts ( I used almonds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts)
1 teaspoon of cashew or almond butter or tahini


1 pepper
100 grams mushrooms
1 onion
1 small sized cabbage
200 grams carrots
All roughly chopped
(You can work with whatever veggies you have at hand, the more the merrier.)

For anyone who is wondering, tamari is a mostly gluten free Japanese sister of the traditional Chinese soya sauce. And buckwheat noodles are gluten free as well and they keep you full for a long time. So I have replaced soya sauce with tamari and regular noodles with buckwheat noodles. And I am pleased to report that there is no compromise on the taste, so lets dive right into the recipe!

Heat a pan and add some EV olive oil or sesame oil. As the oil heats add finely chopped ginger and garlic. Then add onions and fry for a couple of minutes. As the onions get colour add cabbage and peppers and mushrooms and keep stir frying the veggies on medium to high heat for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Meanwhile cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet. Drain them and set them aside, ready to go.

In a small bowl mix tamari, lemon juice, cashew or almond butter or tahini, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, salt, pepper, grated ginger & maple syrup and this will be your stir fry sauce. When the veggies are done, drop this sauce into the pan and mix everything together. Then throw in the noodles as well and keep mixing everything together on low heat. Adjust the stir fry to your taste. I sometimes go in with more tamari or lemon juice or chilli just to make sure the stir fry is punchy enough.

Tamari tends to get quite salty so I tend to use minimal to no salt. Again, this depends on how much salt you put in your food. People use dramatically different quantities of salt and you should definitely keep tasting as you are cooking to make sure YOUR seasoning is on point.

Finally in small pan I throw in a handful of sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts and crushed almonds and toast them on medium to high heat for about a minute. Once the pan is really hot and they start getting the colour and start getting oily, I throw in a glug of tamari for a beautiful brown-golden glaze. I top my stir fry with this glaze. To serve, I just deposit everything in a bowl, garnish with some greenery (preferably coriander) and some more seeds.

This literally takes half an hour to cook and is so satisfying to eat. Let me know if you get to try this xx


Thursday 15 September 2016

Acai Beetroot Banana Cream Bowl

I have been obsessed with eating banana, avocado and cacao cream bowl for breakfast and it's my absolute favourite. But every now and again I like to shake things up a bit and instead of avocado, I use beetroot.

It tastes amazing and the colour of beetroot... oh my word!! Always makes a damn pretty picture ;) We are living in the world of Instagram after all, eh?

Pretty picture aside, it has a lot a health benefits too. The smoothie or 'cream' bowl as I like to call it is vegan, gluten free and refined sugar free. It is also loaded with good fat, omega 3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants and plant based protein just to name a few.

This breakfast will keep you going for 5 hours (as long as you keep yourself hydrated) and the only time you will feel like snacking or feel hungry is when you are bored. Now thats something we need to address in an entire, different blog post.

Lets stick to the beetroot bowl recipe for now, shall we?

You will need

1 big or 2 small boiled beetroots chilled overnight in the fridge
2 chilled bananas
1 tablespoon or hemp powder or seeds
1 tablespoon of acai berry powder
1 teaspoon cacao powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons of chia seeds
3 table spoons of coconut yogurt
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon almond or cashew butter
A tiny piece of ginger (optional)

You know the drill. Add everything into a blender and blitz away. Top it up with bananas, berries, hemp seeds

Let me know if you try this xoxo 

Thursday 8 September 2016

Very Lazy Pasta Sauce with Brown Rice Penne & Fresh Vegan Pesto

I am writing this blog post in the hope that you will realize that you don’t need to ever buy readymade pasta sauce again or for that matter chopped tomatoes in a can.

If you don’t already know then let me tell you the amount of sugar in ready made sauces is just criminal and as far as chopped tomatoes in a tin go, any veggies or fruits that can last you over a year you need to have a think about what might be in them!

Don’t worry about not getting enough red colour on your sauce with fresh tomatoes, with my little trick you will get the colour and the taste too!

You will need-

4 tomatoes 
1 onion (peeled of course) 
1 teaspoon fennel seeds crushed into powder form 
Extra virgin olive oil 
2 cloves of garlic 

Blend the tomatoes and onion into a smooth puree in your blender. I literally chuck the tomatoes in, whole tomatoes! And just peel the onion and throw in that as well. You don’t need to chop anything. All you need is a good blender.

Then you simply eyeball some EV olive oil in a pan, as it heats throw in fennel powder and finely chopped garlic cloves. As these start to cook and release some amazingly yummy aromas, throw in your tomato-onion puree. Let this simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. And for that wonderful red colour add 1 tablespoon of paprika in as well.

You will get a gorgeous colour on your sauce but it wont be a crazy red colour that you are used to seeing. But remember, you are working with fresh produce and it might not be the tomato season and you will get the exact colour as nature intended without any chemicals or sugar in there!

This sauce is multipurpose too and can be the base of so many dishes. Just don’t include the fennel powder and alter the sauce as per your dish and liking. But onion and tomato is a solid base you can work from.

I served my brown rice penne here with courgette, beans and a dollop of home made dairy free vegan pesto. You could eat yours with any other veg such as mushrooms, peppers or fish or chicken or meat… the possibilities are endless!

The greens have just been chopped into bite size chunks and then sautéed in a pan with extra virgin olive oil and garlic and of course seasoned to taste. 

Again, home made pesto is so so simple and is free from any nasties that could be in readymade pesto. And here’s how you can make it.

You will need-

A handful of basil leaves (stalk and all)
Extra virgin olive oil 
Pine nuts 
Lemon Juice 

Place all the ingredients in a mortar and start grinding with the pestle. In just two minutes you are left with fresh and rustic chunky pesto. The best part is that you can control the amount of olive oil here, depending on how oily you want the pesto to be. Let me tell you one  thing, it tastes divine!

Now I am notorious for eyeballing stuff and not measuring so let me know if you would like me to measure the exact amount of basil, olive oil and pine nuts next time and I will do a proper post. 

Let me know if you try this. I will see you soon with another recipe. xox

Thursday 1 September 2016

Quinoa with Aubergine & Peppers in Indian & Middle Eastern Spices

I tossed together a mid week dinner and pretty much worked with whatever was in the fridge and a few leftovers too.  Presenting my delightful vegan and gluten free quinoa with aubergine and peppers cooked in a fusion of Indian and Middle Eastern spices.

What you will need-
4 tomatoes
1 onion
Small piece of ginger
1cup quiona, washed & prepped 
1 aubergine
1 red pepper

Garam masala
Cumin seeds
Curry powder
Stock cube
Lemon juice
Dried mint

I had some leftover butterbeans and chickpeas cooked in tomatoes which I threw in as well.

I peeled the onion and then cut it into halves and then put the onion chunks, whole tomatoes and the piece ginger into a blender to make a smooth puree.

Cut the aubergine and pepper into bite size chunks and place them in a baking tray. Add some extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper, 1-teaspoon garam masala, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds or powder and 1-tablespoon of sumac. Give everything a nice rub and then put the baking tray in the oven at 220 degrees Celsius for about 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile put the pan onto the hob and eyeball in some extra virgin olive oil.  As the oil heats add the tomato puree in. Let this simmer for a couple of minutes on high heat.  Add a dash of salt and pepper and then 1-teaspoon garam masala, 1-teaspoon sumac, 1-teaspoon cumin seeds or powder and 1 teaspoon curry powder as well as the stock cube. Also add 1-teaspoon of dried mint and 1-teaspoon of paprika. Keep stirring this on a medium heat.  Once the tomatoes get a bit of colour, add quinoa to the pan.  Let the quinoa cook.  The juice from tomatoes plus 1 cup of extra water should be enough to cook quinoa. Add the extra water in when everything seems to be drying up.

Once the veg is nearly done in the oven, transfer it to the pan. At this point I also threw in my leftover butterbeans and chickpeas. Cook everything together for approximately 10 -12 minutes and it will come together very nicely. At this point take a call; bite into some quinoa and depending on how you like your quinoa, you might need to add some more water.

I served mine with some salad and pumpkin seeds cause it was missing some greens and garnish. You could also garnish it with coriander, raisins and/or pumpkin seeds. The idea is to go with whatever you have in your cupboards and fridge.

I am happy to report that this fusion of Indian and Middle Eastern spices was a massive success. Each bite of this vegan & gluten free dinner was healthy, packed with nutrients and simply DELICIOUS. If you try this, let me know. I would love to hear from you!

See you next time! xox
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