Energy Boost Smoothie

Do you get those days sometimes when you really need a bit of a boost? A lot of the time when we are low in energy and tired we reach for things that aren’t that great for us. It’s something all of us have done at times . It’s important to get out of these habits, because these habits become the norm and you get yourself into a vicious cycle. Feeling tired, reaching for a fizzy drink/chocolate bar, having a short boost of energy, feeling guilty for eating unhealthy food, getting hungry/low in energy and then craving sugar and comfort food again.

You can break this cycle by drinking a smoothie like this that will fill you with slow releasing energy, curb that sweet tooth and give you lots of goodness.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp gluten free oats

2 Tbsp milled linseed

1 Tbsp Maca powder

1 Tbsp Pea protein

1 Tbsp Coyo (or dairy free yogurt)

1 tsp organic cacao nibs

1 tsp raw cacao powder

1 good hand-full of fresh/frozen raspberries

1/2 large ripe banana

1/2 passion fruit

1 1/2 cups of Oatly milk (or another milk alternative)

Method:

1.) Put all ingredients into your smoothie maker. I have a Magic Bullet which have great cups you can make you smoothie in and then drink from after, so less washing up (that’s my kind of smoothie maker ha!)

2.) Whiz it all up until desired consistency. I don’t like m y smoothies too thick (but some people do) so you can add more banana and less milk if you like.

3.) Enjoy and feel that energy buzzing around!!

 

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“What is Maca Powder??”

A lot of people don’t know about Maca Powder but it’s great for your overall health and great for energising the body. Lots of athletes use it because it gives you lots of stamina. It is full of fibre, rich in vitamin B vitamins, C, and E. Not only this, it provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids (great for vegans who miss out of all of this from eating “leaves” right 😉 haha!)
Maca keeps your bones and teeth healthy, great for the libido. It helps with anxiety, depression and mood swings for women and alleviates stomach cramps for you know when! If you have skins problems like acne it’s great for clearing this and if you use it with working out you will see an increase in muscle mass.

*Important note: If you have ovarian or testicular cancer, liver or blood pressure issue you should consult your doctor /naturopath first. If you are breastfeeding or pregnant avoid taking Maca.

All of the other ingredients in this smoothie are full of protein, antioxidants, omega-3, magnesium, vitamins, minerals and calcium that will keep you going all day!

Give it a try and tell me what you think!

Roasted Pumpkin and Cannellini Bean Peanut Curry

Hello strangers, it been a while (5 months to be exact…how did that happen?). That’s life I suppose isn’t it, and I’m sure you are all thinking the same thing. One minute it’s March and you are making Nutty Mushroom Bean Burgers, and the next minute it’s the day after August bank holiday and summer is coming to an end! I’ve really missed writing this blog and life just got in the way (and it really shouldn’t have). As I type I can physically feel a release (and it’s not the curry I just ate I promise ha!). If you enjoy doing something don’t let unimportant things get in the way, you will feel better for it!

Lots of people have been asking me about my blog and I’ve been really flattered by the amount that read it and enjoyed it. I genuinely didn’t think that many would bother looking at what I wrote. It made me really happy when lots of people were so positive about it and said it inspired them to cook.

So I’m carrying on where I left off and will hopefully keep going for good. I have an exciting project coming up so there will be times I have to do short and quick blogs and recipes, but that’s good in today’s busy world I suppose!

Today’s recipe is extremely tasty and nutritious and most importantly very easy to make. You know how I like to make food in big batches to save time in the week, and you can do just that with this delicious curry.

Pumpkin & Cannellini Bean Peanut Curry
Tasty Roots Pumpkin & Cannellini Bean Peanut Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 1 pack of organic cannellini beans
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium heat chilli’s
  • 4 dried kaffir lime leafs
  • 1 lime
  • 1 block of 100% coconut cream
  • leafy greens
  • 1 good handful of parsley
  • 1 good handful of coriander
  • smoked paprika
  • 1 thumb of fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 Tbsp organic cruncy  peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp Tamari gluten free sauce
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vegan bouillon
  • coconut oil
  • Himalayan salt & Pepper to taste

Cooking Method: (Pre-heat oven to 160c)

Cut the up pumpkin into small cubes making sure all of the skin is off, place in baking tray with himalayan salt, pepper with 2 tsp smoked paprika and place in oven for 30 minutes.

While the pumpkin is in the oven dice the onions, chilli and ginger, then place them in a heated non-stick pan with some coconut oil. Add 2 tbsp of tamari sauce and 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika and fry on a medium heat. Add in the 4 kaffir lime leafs and zest the lime with a fine grater. Add in the cannellini beans, crush one clove of garlic to the mix and then add a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook this off for about 5 minutes. While this is cooking, juice the lime and then add half the juice to the mix. Cook for a further 2 minutes and take off the heat.

Chop up your coconut cream block and dissolve in 4 cups of boiling water in a big pot. Add your mix from the pan to this pot and stir together. By now your pumpkin should be ready from the oven so pop this into the pot as well and stir in. Add in 2 more tsp of smoked paprika and 4 Tbsp of organic crunchy peanut butter (if you love peanut butter like me you can add a bit more ha!), 2 Tbsp maple syrup and stir in well. Cut up your leafy greens, parsley and coriander ready to put in the pot while the curry simmers on a low heat for about 20 minutes. While simmering you can add about 1 1/2 cups of boiling water with 2 tsp vegan bouillon in it so the curry doesn’t get too thick.

When the 20 (ish) minutes are up turn off the heat and add 1 crushed clove of garlic, 2 tbsp tamari sauce, coriander, parsley, leafy greens and the rest of the lime juice. Stir in well and add salt and pepper to taste. It’s good to add these final ingredients at the very end to keep the goodness in them, and for you to get more nutrition out of them.

You can have this curry with brown rice, quinoa, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, peppers or anything you like really. If you don’t like pumpkin you can use sweet potato instead and this dish is also nice with green lentils if you don’t like cannellini beans. Also if you are feeling like a bit more spice add some crushed chilli flakes. You can freeze it for a rainy day or just gobble it all up for you dinner and lunch the next day. Hope you enjoy it and see you again soon… I promise!

Nutty Mushroom Bean Burger

Cooking is something I really love and enjoy but it can be hard to do it on a day-to-day basis with work and other commitments. I try to cook from scratch as much as possible so I know exactly what is going into my food and body. This is why I love making food in a big batch. You can then freeze it for that day when you “just can’t be bothered” and want something quick and easy but still healthy, nutritional and tasty!

I was chatting to one of my best friends about this the other day. Sometimes you get stuck in a cycle of being tired, eating something quick and unhealthy, which makes you more tired and then you want to eat more unhealthy things. This in turn makes you feel bloated, fat, guilty and just a bit down that you can’t get out of this rut!

I’ve been in this very same rut and it is hard to get out of but it can be done! There will come a day when you think “No…I am tired, but I’m going to take these 2 hrs preparing because it will be worth it and it will make me happy.” It could be tomorrow, next week or it could even be next year, but there will be that moment when you want to change and you will do it! Maybe these Nutty Mushroom Bean Burgers will be the beginning…

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Ingredients:

  • 300g of mushrooms diced
  • 2 medium sized onions
  • 1 can of borlotti beans
  • 1 can on kidney beans
  • 3 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup gluten free plain flour
  • 1 cup ground almond
  • 1/2 cup almond flakes
  • 1/2 cup semolina (replace with another 1/2 cup of almond meal if you want gluten free)
  • 1 good handful of parsley
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • salt & pepper to taste

 

Method:

  • Prep time 35 mins
  • Cooking time 20 mins
  • Preheat oven 140C

Melt 1/2 Tbsp of coconut oil in a non stick pan. Chop up onions and transfer to pan on medium heat and add salt, pepper, 1 clove of crushed garlic and 1 teaspoon of cumin. Once the onions start to brown slightly add the diced mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes (you don’t want to mushrooms to cook too much).

Transfer the onions and mushrooms to your food processor and pulse a few times so the mixture combines slightly. Drain the borlotti and kidney beans and then add them to the mushroom mix with the remaining cumin, 2 cloves of crushed garlic, cayenne pepper, parsley, 1/4 cup of water and 1/2 Tbsp of melted coconut oil. Blitz all of these ingredients in the food processor until fully combined.

The mixture will be quite sloppy at this point before adding the other dry ingredients. Add 1/2 cup of almond flakes and semolina and combine in processor. Once this is done add the ground almond gradually until combined (you may have to use a spoon at this point to help everything mix together). Finally add the gluten free flour gradually. The mixture should be coming together nicely at this point and you can check the consistency as you go along.

You know the mix is ready when you are able to make patty that hold but are still slightly moist. To make it not as sticky you can use a bit of ground almond or semolina to dust the outside of the patty. I like to make the burger patties quite thick (about 1 inch) as they hold nicely then, but it’s personal preference.

Preheat oven to 140 degrees C and then put the patties on some grease proof paper in the middle of the oven. Let them cook for about 10 minutes in the oven and then finish cooking them in the pan until golden and cooked all the way through.

This mixture makes about 10-12 patties depending on how big/small you make them. You can freeze them and then cook them straight from the freezer in the oven or pan. I like to eat them in a nice gluten free roll which sweet potatoes fries. You can eat them on their own with a nice salad or even cut them up and have it with some pasta and pesto.

These burgers are so filling, nutritious and really tasty that you’ll want to make and eat them again and again. Give them a go and start your healthy living journey today!

 

Cashew and Almond Bites

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Life has been pretty busy recently and I found myself not baking and creating as much as I’ve wanted. This is true for a lot of people I know. Days just pass you by and before you know it it’s the weekend again! I have a new found respect for all of my friends with babies and children. The world is so hectic these days, I just don’t know how they look after themselves and a little human (or two/three). I took a short breather and a bit of time out last night to make and enjoy these bites.

With this in mind I wanted to make something quick and easy, healthy and nutritious, as well as something that gives you lots of energy! These delicious bites are good to eat for some energy before a workout, lovely with a cup of tea, a nutritious break-time snack  and can be enjoyed by young and old. Gluten free and naturally sweetened with dates, so no refined sugar that will drive the kids crazy or pile on the pounds. As always they are kind to your body as well as creatures great and small. No animals were harmed in the making of these bites 😉

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of raw cashew nuts (soaked over night)

2 cups of ground almond

8 dates pitted and chopped up (use medjool dates or a nice gooey one)

14 Almonds for garnish

Method:

Prep time: 10 minutes   Cooking time: 20 minutes

Preheat oven to 140 degrees C

Drain the soaked cashew nuts and pop them in the food processor. Blitz on full power until they become a smooth(ish) paste.

Once at this point add the ground almond and then mix until fully combined. It should take about two minutes for the mix to be at the correct consistency which is quite moist and sticky.

Add the chopped dates and then blitz on full power again. At this point the mix will probably turn into a ball in the food processor. Make sure all the dates are combined properly.

Use a soup spoon and scoop up the mix generously onto the spoon. Roll this mix into a ball and then pat down to make a circular dome. Continue this until the mix is finished. The mix should make about 14 bites (depending on how big or small you make them). Place one almond in the centre of each bite and push down gently until it sinks into it.

Pop the bites on a tray with some grease proof paper and put them in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Once golden brown pop them on a metal cooling rack and try your hardest to wait for them to cool down (well done if you can do this as I always put one in my mouth while it’s still warm)

So there you have it! My quick, easy and tasty Cashew & Almond Bites. I hope you like making them and take a bit of time out to relax and enjoy them!

Delightful Dhal

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This bowl of Dhal may seem very humble, but it is packed full of so much goodness and nutrition it will have you doing cartwheels until you are 90 years old! Most importantly it is really tasty and you can make a huge batch for just you, for two, or even the whole family. It really will be a hit with everyone, young and old!

There are so many foods I have discovered after becoming vegan, it has opened up “a whole new world”(Ariel, The Little Mermaid, 1989) 😉 You definitely will be singing and dancing around like the finned, redheaded 16 year old with the ingredients I have for you for this dhal haha!

Recently I’ve been looking into minerals that a lot of people could be deficient in due to the ever-changing environment around us.One that has cropped up in my reading is MAGNESIUM. This very important mineral IS LIFE to your body and is also an electrolyte. Now a lot of us think “energy drinks” and “muscles”when we think of electrolytes right?? That’s what I thought of first of all, but electrolytes do so much for us. Without electrolytes like magnesium you just wouldn’t function, your heart would stop beating, the electrical signals in your brain wouldn’t work and your muscles would be kaput.

It’s mad to think that the majority of us are lacking in magnesium. It’s actually estimated that a whopping 90%  of people are deficient in this important mineral. This is due to poor soil conditions, chemical likes fluoride and chlorine in our water supply, refined sugar, excess calcium from dairy, caffeinated drinks and also stress depleting the magnesium in our body.

Here are a some symptoms of magnesium deficiency:

Anxiety

Headaches

Insomnia

Impaired memory/thinking

Fatigue

Muscle cramps/pain

Depression

Chronic back pain

Migraines

Tension

Anger

Constipation

With all of this in mind I wanted to make a Dhal that had lots of magnesium in it, as well as lots of other marvelous minerals, brilliant vitamins and awesome antioxidants. So here you go :)…

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Serves: 6-8 people Prep & Cooking time: 1 hr

Ingredients:

500g Mung Beans

2 Sweet Potatoes

1 Onion

1 Large Leek

1 Large Parsnip

2 Thumbs of ginger

1 Thumb of fresh turmeric

1 1/2 Tablespoon of raw, virgin coconut oil

1 Juiced Lemon

1 Handful of Kaffir lime leaves

Small handful of sea vegetables (I used Nori)

1 Sachet of organic brown rice instant miso soup paste (with sea vegetables if you can find it)

1 Tablespoon wholegrain mustard

5 cloves of garlic

Salt & pepper to taste

Rinse the Mung Beans before putting the whole pack in a large pan with cold water. The water should be about 4 inches above the beans (you will add more as you go along) and start to warm on a medium heat until simmering. Once simmering add 1/2 Tbl of coconut oil, the miso paste, kaffir lime leaves, 1 clove of crushed garlic, salt and pepper. Keep this simmering while you do the rest.

While the beans are gentle cooking chop up the onions, leeks, ginger, turmeric and 2 cloves of garlic. Put them in a pan with 1/2 Tbl of coconut oil and cook gently. Add salt and pepper and stir the ingredients occasionally. We want the flavours to come out and the juices to start flowing. Once they have cooked a little place to one side

Chop up the potatoes and parsnips as small or chunky as you like (it’s personal preference) Add 1/2 Tbl of coconut oil to a pan on medium heat, wait till melted and add the potatoes and parsnips with salt and pepper. You only wanted to cook them slightly for about 10 mins as they will be going into the dhal to soften up. I like to get them a bit brown to bring the taste out more. Once they are browning (take off the heat and add the 1 Tbl of wholegrain mustard (be careful as the seeds will spit out of the pan a little). Stir them around so they are all covered and then add to the onion and leek mix to get the flavours all oozing together nicely.

At this point it will probably be time to add a bit more boiling water to your mung beans. Do this and then in a small bowl add the (Nori) sea vegetables to a cup of water. The dried seaweed will expand and go soft. Once done add this to the mung bean mix along with the pan of potato, parsnip, leek and potato pan.

You will need to add more boiling water as you go along and stir in the mix. We want the mung beans to be nice and squidgy and soft so it will take another 15/20 mins.

When you are close to the beans being ready crush another 2 cloves of garlic into the dhal. I like to do this as you get the full goodness of the garlic if it is not cooked too much. Lastly add the juiced lemon and stir to finish it off.

Add salt/pepper to taste (remember not too much salt) and then there you have it… your DELIGHTFUL DHAL!!

I like to have it with, brown rice, white rice, with a jacket potato or even just by itself it’s so yummy. It’s a big batch so will last a couple of days (depending on the size of your clan). You can also freeze it and save it for a rainy day to warm the cockles.

Let me know what you think! I will be following with another blog of why I chose the other ingredients in this dhal and what nutrients they provide for your marvelous body. Have a wonderful weekend everyone 🙂

 

Tasty Transformation…

I’ve been toying with the idea of posting these images of me on here. One because it is quite personal and two because of my insecurities. A beautiful friend said to me when I showed her them, “you will know when it is the right time, it is important you share your story and show others they can do the same”.

Life has been a bit topsy-turvy recently but this has highlighted a few truths to me. Life is short, live it to the full, do the best you can to help others, be brave and love deeply with all of your heart. So I am sharing these pictures to give motivation to somebody who is down and depressed like I was. If it just helps one person that’s all that matters…so here they are:

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The first picture was taken on 28th April 2014. This wasn’t at my biggest but I wasn’t mentally ready to take a picture at that point. I had my metal plate out of my leg a month earlier. This picture was after a year of no exercise and being very immobile, a year of refined sugar, meat, dairy, lots of strong painkillers and hardly any fresh air. I was very bloated, stiff and down in the dumps as you can see by my face ha!

The second picture is me now at 32 years old 🙂 2 years after having my plate out, vegan, refined sugar free 90% of the time, gluten free a lot of the time, active, meditating, loving yoga and the fresh air! I cook from scratch the majority of the time, keep away from emulsifiers and preservatives in food and eat as naturally as possible. I still I have treats as you will see from my posts (I LOVE CAKE & CHOCOLATE). These treats are made with lots of goodness, natural sugars and I eat dark/vegan chocolate.

This was me 2 months before I had my accident at 29 years old. As you can see it doesn’t take long for your body to become unhealthy and put on weight just in 1 year.

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I haven’t spent hours at the gym to lose weight and get healthy. I only recently started going to yoga classes twice a week (due to my leg getting stronger). This transformation has happened due to a clean healthy diet, lots of long walks and light yoga. It’s totally possible for everyone if they stick at it. It will take a bit of time and is not a quick fix like some fad diets out there, but it really fixes you from the inside out. I’ve never felt better, I don’t suffer from IBS anymore and I have so much energy living this lifestyle.

Throughout my blog posts I will be sharing healthy and nutritious vegan recipes and tips to help become a healthier and happier you. Even if you are not vegan I guarantee you will enjoy the meals. My brother is an avid meat eater and he loves my vegan meals, always feeling satisfied and full up when he leaves after dinner 🙂 Lots of nice treat recipes will also keep you enticed!

Remember you are always in control to change and be a happier you. Do not dwell on the past but learn from it. You must BE in the present in order to enjoy your future.

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Let’s enjoy the journey together and most of all enjoy all the tasty food 🙂

The Juice of Love!

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So this weekend is the infamous Valentine’s Day. The day of “love”, a day of togetherness, a day where we spend loads of money on each other because of a chap called Valentine.

I’ve never really been into Valentine’s Day apart from when I was about 16. I’m all for growing the love and compassion we have for each other through actions, not the items we give and receive . It’s the small gestures that really mean something to me, the cups of tea in the morning, the dinner cooked at night, the loving embrace after a hard day at work! These are the moments that truly mean something surely?

Not only this but I feel Valentine’s creates a sense of segregation between people. If you haven’t got that “special someone” in your life around this time of year it’s a bit annoying to say the least! Everywhere you turn you are met with tacky and in your face cards, balloons and adverts just to make sure you didn’t forget you didn’t have your “true love” to spend the day with.

So anyway, I have a rule…”NO VALENTINE’S DAY”! Anthony was quite surprised when he first heard me say this, but once I explained he was all for it (for obvious reason ha!) and agreed with my logic. We agreed that we would always do things for each other throughout the year to make one another feel special, and not conform just because society says so! It’s all about doing what makes you feel truly happy though, and if that’s celebrating Valentine’s with a bunch of roses, chocolates and a slap up meal with your other half then go for it…I’m all for happiness 🙂

This brings me to this lovely juice that was made for me this morning by the other half. I’ve been ill with a bad virus recently and my dearest mother and Anthony have been looking after me a lot, which I am very grateful for.

This juice is exactly what I needed this morning. Here’s how you do it to give your day a kickstart:

Juice of Love:

4 carrots

1 large raw beetroot

3 apples

1/2 lemon

1 thumb ginger

Set up your juicer (I’ve got the Phillips HR1866/00 Aluminium collection which is really good).

Pop each item in one by one and watch the yummy juice run out (it’s quite fun)

Add a bit of ice

 

What does this ‘Juice of Love’ do for me??

Beetroot: 

Good source of iron and folate (naturally occurring folic acid). It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants (notably betacyanin).

Raw Apple Juice: 

Check out this great link on the benefits of raw apple juice:

http://www.livestrong.com/article/155085-health-benefits-of-raw-apple-juice/

Carrots: 

Amazing beta carotene and fiber content. Rich in vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, vitamin B8, pantothenic acid, folate, potassium, iron, copper, and manganese.

Ginger: 
I looooove ginger so much and it has so many health benefits, it actually has over 40 therapeutic uses. It has an impressive variety of antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties. Ginger is also a great anti-inflammatory, it’s a brilliant pain relief for joint pain, migraines / headaches, menstrual pain, and  so much more.
Lemon:
Lemons are just brilliant as they contain vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and protein. What a marvellous fruit!!
So there you have it…The ‘Juice of Love’. Your body really will love you dearly for giving this to nourish it this weekend…enjoy!