Posh mushrooms on toast

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I absolutely love wild mushrooms and this time of year is great for chanterelles, or if you’re French or just a bit fancy – girolles.  It goes without saying never to pick and eat your own unless you REALLY know what you’re doing but they’re plentiful (although not cheap) in shops and farmers markets at this time of year.  This is such an easy supper but so tasty. Ideally eaten in front a roaring fire with a good book and a glass of red….

(Serves 2)

  • Couple of generous handfuls of chanterelle mushrooms – washed thoroughly to remove any soil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Generous splash of olive oil
  • Half a glass of white wine
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Toasted sourdough to serve
  1. Heat the oil up in a pan and then add the mushrooms, wine and garlic
  2. Allow to simmer for around 10-15 minutes (chanterelles respond well to cooking so don’t worry about over-cooking them although you do want a little of the juice left at the end as this will absorb all the delicious flavours of the mushrooms and will soak into the sourdough nicely at the end)
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve

So simple but so good!

Raspberry and banana milkshake

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This is delicious and far healthier for you and your little ones than the more traditional versions, which are packed full of dairy, sugar and all kinds of artificial rubbish. You can add coconut sugar or agave syrup if you prefer things a little sweeter but I enjoy it just as it is.

(Serves 2-3)

  • Half a pint of almond milk  – unsweetened and organic
  • Large handful of organic raspberries – fresh if they’re in season but frozen raspberries work well too
  • 4-5 organic bananas

Simply blend all the ingredients together and serve

Raspberry and coconut chia seed pudding

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I love this pudding – it only takes a few moments to make and it’s really healthy. Perfect for when you want something sweet but not too naughty!  It keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days so I tend to make a few at once.

(Serves 4)

  • Half a can of coconut milk
  • Couple of handfuls of raspberries
  • Handful of chia seeds
  • Small handful of coconut flakes
  1. Mix the coconut milk and chia seeds together 
  2. Place a few raspberries in the bottom of each glass and pour the coconut milk and chia seed mixture over the top
  3. Place in the fridge for a couple of hours
  4. Scatter the coconut flakes over the top and serve

Vegan Spanish tortilla

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I’m always on the lookout for ways to “veganize” foods that I enjoyed before I stopped eating animal products.  This is a recent discovery and I love it!  Tortilla is often served in tapas bars around Spain in small cubes but this is equally delicious served hot or cold with a big green salad.  It keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days and frequently pops up in our picnic hamper over the summer.

I’ve substituted the eggs for silken tofu flavoured with kala namak and nutritional yeast for a subtle “eggy” taste.  Although I adore the taste of turmeric I initially added it to this recipe for the colour as much as anything else.

(Serves 4)

  • 2 packs of silken tofu
  • Olive oil
  • 2 large potatoes (thinly sliced)
  • 2 teaspoons of ground turmeric
  • 3 teaspoons of dill (dried or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon of ground kala namak (black salt)
  • 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
  • Sea salt and pepper to season
  1. Blend the tofu, turmeric, kala namak, nutritional yeast, dill, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil to a smooth consistency.
  2. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a non-stick frying pan and heat it up
  3. Add a layer of the tofu mix followed by a thin layer of potato
  4. Continue this process until all the ingredients are used up.  Make sure you finish with a layer of the tofu mix
  5. Put on a low heat for 40 minutes to cook through
  6. Finish off with a few minutes under a hot grill to brown off

Banana and blueberry smoothie

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I always make a fresh juice or smoothie in the morning as I find it sets me up really well for the day ahead and doesn’t fill me up too much.  This is a really simple smoothie recipe to make and it’s really delicious.

(Serves 1)

  • 3 bananas
  • Handful of blueberries (either fresh or frozen)
  • Small cupful of water

Add all the ingredients to a jug and blend (I use a hand-held blender as it’s so quick and easy to clear up afterwards.

Blueberries are really, really great for us.  They’re packed full of antioxidants, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin A, vitamin E, copper, selenium, iron and zinc.  Pretty amazing little berries!

Avocado on toast with olive oil and dried chilli flakes

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I absolutely love avocados and this is one of my favourite things to eat, it’s so simple but really tasty and super-healthy.

Avocados have so many amazing health benefits.  They’re full of heart-loving monounsaturated fats as well as omega-3, vitamin E, vitamin B6 and folic acid.  Basically, they’re great for our cardiovascular health, our brain health, they’re good for our digestive systems, they help to balance our blood sugars plus they have anti-ageing benefits and help to give us amazing naturally-glowing skin.  What’s not to love?!

(Serves 2)

  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 4 slices of seeded wholemeal bread
  • A drizzle of olive oil
  • A sprinkle of dried chilli flakes
  • A small pinch of sea salt
  1. Toast the bread
  2. Halve the avocado, remove the stone and roughly chop the flesh
  3. Pop the avocado onto the toast,sprinkle with the sea salt, dried chilli flakes and drizzle with olive oil
  4. Serve with a rocket salad

Orange, carrot, celery and ginger juice

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I must admit, sometimes my choice of juice in the morning is less about what would work well in terms of flavour and more about what is sitting at the bottom of the veg box.  The combinations definitely get more eclectic as the week goes on!  However, this is a happy combination of good flavours AND using up some of our copious amounts of celery!

I often juice orange, carrot and ginger as they work so well together but today I’ve added the celery and actually it works really well and just takes away that occasionally slightly too sweet, citric bite of the oranges.

PLUS celery is really good for us – it reduces inflammation in the body, it contains magnesium, which soothes the nervous system, it aids digestion, can help lower our blood pressure, can reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol and has even been shown in a couple of American studies to be effective in slowing the growth of cancer cells.  Will definitely be adding it to juices more often from now on.

(Serves 2)

  • 6 oranges
  • 5 large carrots
  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 inches of ginger (I love the fiery taste of ginger but you may prefer to use slightly less)

(All organic)

Peel the oranges, juice, stir and serve.

Vegan French toast with strawberries and maple syrup

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One of the foods I’ve missed since going vegan is French toast, or ‘eggy bread’, as I have always referred to it. (You can take the girl out of the North…)   You just can’t beat it for a decadent breakfast now and then.

I made this earlier and I have to say I was really impressed.  Will definitely be making it again!

(Serves 2)

  • Four thick slices of wholegrain, organic bread
  • Organic extra virgin coconut oil
  • Half a pint of almond milk
  • Generous drizzle of maple syrup (plus extra for serving)
  • Couple of dessert spoonfuls of nutritional yeast (this, combined with the Kala Namak, give the dish a slight ‘eggy’ flavour
  • A small sprinkle of Kala Namak (black salt)
  • A generous sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Organic strawberries (blueberries or raspberries would also work well)
  1. Mix the almond milk, maple syrup, nutritional yeast, Kala Namak, cinnamon in a jug or bowl
  2. Pour a small amount onto a plate and soak the bread, on both sides, adding more milk mixture as needed
  3. Melt some coconut oil in a flat-bottomed, non-stick frying pan
  4. Fry the bread for a couple of minutes each side, until brown
  5. Serve topped with maple syrup, extra cinnamon and strawberries

Enjoy!!

Start your day as you mean to go on….

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I always think that if you make a healthy start then you’re more likely to make healthy choices for the rest of the day.  Breakfast is exactly what it says – you’re breaking a fast  so it makes sense to me to do it gently and to nourish and hydrate your body with lots of fresh, nutrient-rich and easy-to-digest ingredients.

I always start the day with a cup of warm water with fresh lemon and ginger.  (Be careful not to have the water too hot or you’ll destroy some of the nutrients in the lemon and ginger.)

There are so many great benefits to doing this including the following:

  • A gentle wake-up call for your digestive system
  • The warm water and lemon acts as a natural diuretic to get your kidneys working well and to clear some of the toxins that have built up in your body overnight
  • Lemons are high in vitamin C, which gives a natural boost to your immune system.  Vitamin C also helps to improve iron absorption within our bodies
  • Despite being acidic lemons actually have an alkalising effect on our bodies, which is great for our health
  • The vitamin C, as well as other antioxidants, helps to reduce wrinkles and blemishes so it’s great for our skin
  • From an aromatherapy point of view the smell of lemons is believed to brighten our mood and clear our minds
  • Ginger is known to help relieve stomach cramps and nausea – perfect for any pregnant ladies out there or if you’ve overindulged the night before

After drinking hot water, lemon and ginger I tend to opt for fresh juice.  My lovely friend Jess introduced me to juicing a few months back and I have to say I’m now something of an addict!

One of my favourite early morning juices is this delicious green juice – full of amazing nutrients:

  • 1/2 a cucumber
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • Couple of handfuls of kale or spinach
  • 3 apples
  • 1/2 a bulb of fennel

(I always use organic fruit and veg)

The juicer I use doesn’t need fruit or veg to be peeled first (apart from citrus fruits) so I literally just pop all the ingredients through and a couple of minutes later I’m good to go!

 

Note: Because the acid present in fruits can affect the enamel on our teeth so it’s best to wait at least half an hour after drinking juice before you clean your teeth.

Beetroot, apple and ginger juice

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So, my juice addiction continues…  This is one of my current favourites, which is handy because our organic veg box from Abel and Cole is currently crammed full of apples and beetroot!

Simply juice the following:

(Serves 2)

  • 6 apples
  • 3 beetroot
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger

Beetroots are packed full of nutrients including calcium, iron, vitamins A and C and folic acid and when you eat them raw or juice them you’re getting even more of that goodness.  Also, don’t overlook the leaves – you can use them in the same way you would spinach.

Enjoy!