Smokey Creamy BBQ Aubergine Pasta

It’s been a bit of a crazy couple of weeks between two days of funeral services for my dear guardian, then a weekend away for a wedding a day later, then the next day flying over to Portugal early in the morning. We arrived home on Tuesday, after an awfully long and uncomfortable journey full of delays and still don’t feel rested.

Smoky Creamy BBQ Aubergine Pasta #vegan

But, to keep things feeling as normal as possible I’m going to share with you an amazing recipe for a Smoky Creamy BBQ Aubergine Pasta, inspired by August’s Degustabox. Each month I receive a box chock full of goodies, from ingredients to convenient sauces and beverages to try, all for a bargain price.

Smoky Creamy BBQ Aubergine Pasta #vegan

This month had a fine balance of all, here’s the vegan friendly products it included;

Degusta August

OLOVES Chili & Oregano Olives

GET MORE VITAMIN DRINKS Sparkling Lemon & Lime

TABASCO Sweet & Sticky Barbecue Sauce & Marinade

FENTIMANS LTD Sparkling Lime & Jasmine

CLIPPER Lime & Ginger Green Tea

GEETA’S FOODS LTD Premium Mango Chutney

GEETA’S FOODS LTD Tikka Curry Paste & Rogan Josh Curry Paste

MAHOU SAN MIGUEL Mahou Cinco Estrellas

DORSET CEREALS Dorset Cereals Bircher Muesli Mix raspberry & blackcurrant

RAKUSEN’S Plain & Gluten Free Snackers

Tabasco BBQ

The star of the month and of this recipe was the Tabasco Sweet & Sticky Barbecue Sauce & Marinade. It adds richness, smokiness, subtle sweetness and gentle spice that makes this comforting pasta, out-of-this world delicious! Plus, the sauce comes together in a flash using a high speed blender. You could also try using a food processor.

Smoky Creamy BBQ Aubergine Pasta #vegan Smoky Creamy BBQ Aubergine Pasta #vegan

Make this gluten free by using gluten free pasta and BBQ sauce!

Smoky Creamy BBQ Aubergine Pasta #vegan #healthy #dairyfree

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1 large white or purple aubergine/eggplant
  • 2 large flat mushrooms
  • 500g pasta
  • 1 400g tin tomatoes
  • 1 tin full unsweetened soya milk
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Italian mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup Tabasco BBQ Sauce
  • 14 cashews

Method:

  1. Take a large saucepan and a large frying pan or wok. Place the large saucepan filled with salted water on to boil whilst you prepare the vegetables and place the frying pan onto a medium heat.
  2. Cube the aubergine and slice the mushrooms, add to the hot frying pan with a little cooking spray or a couple of tablespoons of water and stir fry until softened and golden.
  3. Meanwhile, add the sauce ingredients from tomatoes to cashews into a blender jar and blend on high until smooth and creamy. Add to the pan with the vegetables and leave to simmer on a low-medium heat while you cook the pasta.
  4. Drain the pasta and mix with the sauce. Serve with your desired toppings – vegan cheese, herbs or, my favourite, pumpkin seeds.

screenshot-www-caloriecount-com-2016-09-15-19-29-33

I love to hear from you and connect with new bloggers and readers! Why not leave a comment below or connect with me on social media?

signature

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest

Proper Baked Beans

 

Baked beans are a staple in most, if not all, British households. And why not? They’re so versatile, nutritious, easy to grab and heat in a flash. Where there is a tin of baked beans, there is a meal.

Proper Baked Beans - Vegan & Gluten Free.

Easy though they are, they are far from perfect when it comes to sugar and salt. With even the lighter ranges still containing a pretty startling amount, usually 30% of the RDA in salt and 20% in sugar per single can!

beans

The UK is the biggest bean eating nation in the world.

More than 1.5 million cans of Heinz Beanz are sold each day.

There were 897 million Heinz Baked Bean consumption occasions over the last year.

It would take 5000 Boeing 747’s to hold the 2 million people who eat baked beans each day.

The UK gets through two thousand tonnes of baked beans every year.

The 54 acre factory in Wigan, is the largest food processing plant in Europe, and they make an average of three million cans of Baked Beans in 24 hours.

One can of Heinz baked beans is sold in the UK every 17 seconds.

Sales of baked beans run at £250million a year.

Now thats just the Heinz figures! I never buy Heinz, and I buy a lot of beans – supermarket own brand, my favourite actually being Tesco Value! So those figures are just a small snippet of the reality of the Brit love for tinned Baked Beans.

Proper Baked Beans - Vegan & Gluten Free.

Baked beans in cans are not actually baked at all, nor are they laden with molasses and bacon which is the traditional American style of baked beans. They are steamed both before and after canning at high pressure with a secret blend of spices. My recipe is inspired by the American baked beans which are actually baked, and the subtly spiced, tomatoey concoction which we know and love in those cans.

Proper Baked Beans - Vegan & Gluten Free.

Homemade beans might take a little longer, but they are jam packed with extra nutrients and delicious flavours. Plus, they only take 10 minutes to prepare and the rest is simply waiting for them to bake in the oven. Simple, fast and scrumptious – the Bunny Kitchen way!

Proper Baked Beans - Vegan & Gluten Free.

One of the time saving secrets to this recipe is the use of a food processor so there is no chopping in sight. I was sent a Ninja Complete Kitchen System with Nutri Ninja to sample and it made light work of this dish indeed!

Proper Baked Beans - Vegan & Gluten Free.

It’s an impressive all in one system with one base that houses and operates a High Performance Blender, a Precision Processor plus the Nutri Ninja nutrient extractor.

I have a fantastic blender and a fairly decent food processor already but have been intrigued by nutrient extractors for a long time after many a night waking to the sound of sales adverts on the TV!

For the price, around £219.99, the blender is good, but it will never replace my trusty Froothie for blending super smooth to perfection every time. However, if I had paid for it, I would have been happy with it. I used it over a couple of months and it performs just as well today as the first use – one issue I’ve experienced with umpteen brands of blender, they are amazing for a week and then start to slowly die and struggle. Not this one.

It will take on nuts and seeds to make smooth sauces and milks but it just takes a bit longer and isn’t quite as smooth as a more expensive super powered blender. But that is to be expected. For it’s price range, it is impressive without a doubt. The highlight must be the 6 Blade Assembly which makes the need for scraping the sides of the jug disappear and it helps to break down all those solid ingredients that can so often get jammed at the top of the jug, just begging for the blades to catch it. For me, this is usually onions which I lazily chuck in whole or maybe halved if I’m feeling energetic. My tomato sauce will be beautifully smooth in the blender but with this lump of onion that just didn’t allow the centripetal force to swallow it into the vortex. Not with the Nutri Ninja blender, as the high positioned blades grab everything in their path. So, I guess I now have my new favourite pasta and curry sauce machine sorted then…

The design is modern, classy and sturdy.

The processor alone makes the kit worth the money. The unique blade formation with an impressive 4 Blade Assembly makes the machine a real buddy in the kitchen. It just gets the job done. No standing over the machine which is starting to burn up from needing to run so long to get the desired result, constant side scraping and catching it just in time before it jumps to it’s death from vibrating across the worktop.

Proper Baked Beans - Vegan & Gluten Free.

Just set it using one of the perfectly tuned Auto-iQ programmes and leave it alone. Precision Processing chops vegetables quickly and evenly without turning them to mush or chopping unevenly. The handy interchangeable dough blade makes kneading bread a breeze without bringing out the ‘heavy machinery’, as Nigella would say.

Proper Baked Beans - Vegan & Gluten Free.

Interestingly, one of my favourite things about this kit is that it doesn’t come with tens of accessories which ultimately get stuffed in the back of a cupboard to fester. The grater attachment comes in handy but the whippers and others which I have never identified a use for, are just a waste of plastic. Hands up whose still got accessories from multiple no longer existing appliances?

Image result for hand up emoji

Finally, the Nutri Ninja nutrient extractor. This was the most exciting function for me to try, having heard so much about these little machines. Now, I’m a little confused by them if I’m honest. They’re called Nutrient Extractors and product descriptions talk of the power to create ‘Nutrient and Vitamin drinks in seconds’. But isn’t it just a mini blender? What is different? If you put the same ingredients in a full size blender, is that not using the same nutrient extraction to create Nutrient and Vitamin drinks? Is there a difference, nutritionally or otherwise between a smoothie made in a blender and one made in a nutrient extractor? If anyone can help me here, please do! I’m dying to know!

Strawberry smoothie

Regardless, it was certainly fabulous for making a smoothie for one and the Sip and Seal cups are so convenient. Frozen strawberries, almond milk and vanilla…. Deeelicious!

Strawberry smoothie

Now for some fibre, potassium and iron rich, proper baked beans.

Love baked beans? Try making your own delicious, #healthy, nutrient packed baked beans. So easy, no chopping, 10 minute prep! #vegan #glutenfree

Ingredients: Serves 4

  • 2 cans cannellini beans
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce (or Tamari for Gluten Free version)
  • 1.5 tbsp unrefined brown sugar (or alternative)
  • 1/4 tsp salt and ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Drain and rinse the beans and add to a medium saucepan.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend until completely smooth.
  3. Add the sauce to the beans in the pan and place over a medium heat.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200’C/400’F and have a baking dish ready.
  5. Bring the beans to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes.
  6. Pour into the baking dish and place in the oven. Bake for 20-30 minutes until the beans are golden and bubbling.

screenshot-www-caloriecount-com-2016-10-19-01-15-51

Sources:

http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/top10facts/475696/Top-10-facts-about-baked-beans
http://www.heinz.co.uk/en/our-company/about-heinz/trivia
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/proginfo/2016/32/inside-the-factory-baked-beans
http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/food/698320/BBC-s-Behind-the-Factory-baked-beans-heinz-production-secrets
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2011/feb/22/consider-baked-beans

I love to hear from you and connect with new bloggers and readers! Why not leave a comment below or connect with me on social media?

signature

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest

The World’s Healthiest Apple Crumble – Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

Is it too soon to talk about Christmas?

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

It kind of is for me too… I haven’t actually thought about Christmas up until writing this post. When I was editing these photos, it dawned on me how soon it is and how this recipe would make a great Christmas or Thanksgiving dessert!

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

I was reading through one of my favourite vegan mags, Vegan Food & Living magazine, (a brand new British publication via magazine.co.uk) and was inspired by their pages of Autumnal puddings, to bake up a comforting yet healthy dessert.

By replacing the fat, sugar and refined flour for healthier, nutritious alternatives, this pudding is balanced enough for #breakfast yet deliciously satisfying enough for #dessert. #vegan #healthy By replacing the fat, sugar and refined flour for healthier, nutritious alternatives, this pudding is balanced enough for #breakfast yet deliciously satisfying enough for #dessert. #vegan #healthy By replacing the fat, sugar and refined flour for healthier, nutritious alternatives, this pudding is balanced enough for #breakfast yet deliciously satisfying enough for #dessert. #vegan #healthy

I’ve been making a lot of healthy treats lately, using the natural sweetness of fruit in clever ways to maximise flavour yet keep calories low. This is the time of year when my waistband gradually starts to feel tighter!

By replacing the fat, sugar and refined flour for healthier, nutritious alternatives, this pudding is balanced enough for #breakfast yet deliciously satisfying enough for #dessert. #vegan #healthyCold nights calling for comfort food and of course, Christmas! Not just the day itself, but all the delicious food baked and created in the lead up, be it to find the perfect recipe for the big day or large batches of cookies and truffles for gifts that always end up with a few missing!

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free! The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free! The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

So by making a few adjustments to drastically cut calories, fat and increase the good stuff, I can feel great about tucking in to dessert, even for breakfast! And now you can too!

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

I grind my own buckwheat flour from organic unroasted buckwheat in a high power blender. It’s so much cheaper, so easy and as fresh as it can get! You really do need a proper high speed blender to get a fine flour though, I tried this in my ninja blender and processor but it didn’t go. Twenty seconds in the Froothie and bam, we have flour! I store any extras in the fridge to keep it fresh.

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

 

I just love the snowy fairy dust from sifting flour…

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

Now is definitely the time of year when I start bookmarking and pinning Christmas recipes, homemade gifts and decoration ideas. I can’t quite remember what Christmas was like before Pinterest or mobile internet which meant I could fall asleep to reading recipes and looking at beautiful Bolo Rei and Panettone…

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

Apple crumble, a proper old fashioned comfort pudding which is perfect at this time of year when apples are abundant and the nights chilly and in need of a warming, cosy dessert.

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

But it doesn’t have to be resigned to a monthly sinful treat. By replacing the fat, sugar and refined flour for healthier, nutritious alternatives, this pudding is balanced enough for breakfast yet deliciously satisfying enough for dessert. This recipe can be ‘baked’ in the microwave to save time and oven space, it won’t be golden but it will be delicious!

A single serving boasts:

  • Dietary Fiber 35%
  • Protein 5.5g
  • Vitamin C 31%
  • Iron 14%
  • No saturated fat
  • No cholesterol
  • Low in sodium

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free!

 

Ingredients:

Serves 8

For the filling;

  • 6 apples, washed and cored
  • 1 large orange
  • 1/2 dropper vanilla stevia
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder or extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch sea salt

For the topping;

  • 300g buckwheat flour
  • 165g medjool dates, stones removed
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/4-1/2 cup almond milk

Method:

  1. Chop the apples into small pieces by hand or in a food processor. Add to a pan with the zest of the orange.
  2. Cut the peel away from the orange and add the fruit to a food processor with the remaining filling ingredients and a couple of tablespoons of water. Blend until completely puréed.
  3. Add to the apples and place the pan over a medium heat.
  4. While the apples are simmering, pulse the topping ingredients, except the milk until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add milk a little at a time whilst pulsing just until the mixture starts to clump together and sticks together when pinched.
  5. When the apples are cooked into a chunky apple sauce, taste and adjust sweetness and spice then tip into a deep 9 inch baking dish. Scatter over the crumble.
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 180’C/350’F for 30-40 minutes or microwave on high for 10-15 minutes, checking at 5 minute intervals until the crumble is crisp and fragrant.

The World's Healthiest Apple Crumble - Vegan, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Oil Free! By replacing the fat, sugar and refined flour for healthier, nutritious alternatives, this pudding is balanced enough for #breakfast yet deliciously satisfying enough for #dessert. #vegan #healthy

screenshot-www-caloriecount-com-2016-11-06-02-51-28

I love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment below or connect with me on social media?

signature

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest

Creamy Country Vegetable Chowder

 

Soup is a certain ally of Autumn. As those nights draw in and the temperature drops, we need that soothing bowl of warming soup to ease us into the colder days ahead. We need comfort from our food.

Creamy Vegetable Chowder #vegan #soup #comfortfood #autumn

Sometimes, just a simple classic dish can be extra special. Vegetable soup exists in some form in most, if not all, cultures. So adaptable, balanced, deeply flavoured and rich with hearty nutrition. The recipe here is no exception. It not only offers the soothing hug of a bowl of steaming soup, but the luxurious comfort of a creamy, gently herb seasoned broth with healthy chunks of nourishing mixed sweet vegetables.

Creamy Vegetable Chowder #vegan #soup #comfortfood #autumn

This soup is simple enough for family weeknight meals, yet pretty and delicious enough for a dinner party starter. Christmas menu, anyone?

Creamy Vegetable Chowder #vegan #soup #comfortfood #autumn

I was inspired to make this soup after reading all the delicious winter comfort recipes in the latest Cook Vegan magazine. Check out magazine.com for amazing subscription offers on a range of magazines – a great Christmas gift idea that will keep on giving!

Creamy Vegetable Chowder #vegan #soup #comfortfood #autumn

Don’t forget – this soup is so versatile, use any seasonal vegetables you have to hand or simply use all frozen veg, mix up the herbs and even add a little spice. I love a chopped fresh red chilli running through this, for a little extra soul warming!

Creamy Vegetable Chowder #vegan #soup #comfortfood #autumn

This delicious soup is so healthy, each serving boasts:

  • No saturated fat
  • No cholesterol
  • Very high calcium
  • High dietary fibre
  • High potassium
  • High riboflavin
  • Very high thiamin
  • Very high vitamin A
  • High vitamin B6
  • Very high vitamin B12
  • Very high vitamin C
  • Very high vitamin E

Creamy Vegetable Chowder #vegan #soup #comfortfood #autumn #slimmingworld

Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 1 onion
  • 1 small pumpkin or squash (about 400g)
  • 2 parsnips
  • 3 small potatoes
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 stock cubes dissolved in 3 1/4 cups (800 ml) boiling water (ensure GF Certified if needed)
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tsp garlic salt (or 1 tsp garlic granules and 2 tsp sea salt)
  • 1 tsp dried chives
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 5 cups (1.2 litres) unsweetened cashew or soy milk
  • 2 tbsp corn flour
  • 2 cups frozen mixed veg
  • Optional – up to 1/4 cup nutritional yeast for a slightly cheesy flavour

Method:

  1. Take a large pot and place over a medium heat. Chop the onion and add to the pan with a dash of cooking spray/oil/water and a pinch of salt. Let them cook gently while you prepare the remaining veg.
  2. Chop the peeled squash, parsnips, potatoes and courgette into roughly 1 inch chunks and add to the pan with the onion powder and bay leaves. Stir well, allowing the onion powder to get toasty in the pan and coat the vegetables.
  3. Add the stock, thyme, garlic salt, chives and pepper. Stir well, then bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetables are just soft.
  4. Meanwhile, dissolve the corn flour in a couple of tablespoons of the milk. Add the remaining milk to the pan, followed by the frozen mixed vegetables, nutritional yeast, if using and then finally stir in the corn flour mixture.
  5. Stir well, until thickened and just coming to the boil. Taste and adjust salt and pepper to preference and then ladle into bowls and sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs of choice.

screenshot-www-caloriecount-com-2016-11-21-17-27-12

I love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment below or connect with me on social media?

signature

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest

This entry was posted in vegan and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Tips to Stay Healthy Over Christmas and a Really Easy Vegan Cheese!

You can still indulge over Christmas and the New Year without completely ruining your healthy eating regime or piling on as many pounds as you might usually. Just making a few small adjustments can make a huge difference to your overall health and, if you’re watching your weight, to your waistline.

1. Try an alternative roast potato. Yes, traditional crispy roast potatoes laden with sizzling oil are a delicious wonder. But how about roasting your potatoes in a flavoursome vegetable stock instead? It really works! You will still get crisp potatoes with fluffy centres only this time they’ll also be infused with aromatic flavours too! Check out this recipe.

2. Alternative cauliflower cheese – seriously… this stuff is like crack…

Amazing Cauliflower Cheese #dairyfree #veganI use an amazing sauce from my friend Somer at Vedged Out to make the most INCREDIBLE cauliflower cheese bake.

It’s also SO easy, no whisking a roux or a lumpy white sauce. You simply add the cheeseball ingredients minus the coconut oil and with just 1 cup of cashews (so already reducing the fat by a third) plus 1.5 cups of hot water to a blender and blend until perfectly smooth. Then smother over lightly steamed cauliflower and baked until golden, blackened in parts and with a lovely crust.

You’re welcome 😀

3. Swede mash… cook swede in a flavoursome stock and season with lo-salt and you won’t miss the butter or margarine.

4. Opt for homemade custard instead of ready made cartons or cream. Use Bird’s custard powder and soya milk (using a sugar alternative too for extra benefits!) or make your own with corn flour, soya milk, vanilla, sugar (or alternative) and a pinch of turmeric.

5. Make festive soups, and even make soups out of your leftovers! Click here for some ideas.

6. Christmas breakfast… Skip the fry up or croissants and try porridge oats with orange zest and a dollop of fruit mincemeat. Or how about a festive smoothie?

7. Love mince pies? Try making your own so you can control the ingredients or how about trying fat free Fruity Mincemeat & Almond Cake Bars instead?

Fruity Mincemeat and Almond Cake Bars #fatfree #vegan #christmas

8. Snacks – it’s so easy to keep dipping in to those crucial bowls of delicious snacks dotted around the house over the Christmas period. Why not try swapping some of the crisps and twiglets bowls with fresh fruit like grapes and berries, dried fruit mixes or whole nuts?

9. Go for a walk! We all do it! Eat so much that we fall in to a slumber on the floor and before we know it it’s Boxing Day! Try going for a walk after the big meal, it won’t only boost your metabolism and burn some calories but it will make you feel great too! Honest!

10. Don’t indulge in fat laden vegan cheese and crackers. Make your own cheese so you can control what goes in. Here are some cheesy delights to try that are so much healthier than anything on a supermarket shelf and fresh.

Smoked Garlic Vegan Cheese

Spicy Smoked Garlic Cheese Block

Two-Step Vegan Halloumi Cheese – Oil Free

The Easiest Boursin Style Yoghurt Cheese and Variations

10 Minute Melting Cheddar Style Vegan Cheese

And for an even healthier spin, make leftover soup into vegan cheese! Really! Obviously your nanna’s minestrone isn’t going to fit the bill here but pumpkin, squash, sweet potato and carrot soups all make amazing cheese bases. Simply use this super easy recipe and swap the milk for soup!

For more healthy eating advice, visit Ramsay Health.

I love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment below or connect with me on social media?

signature

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest

Frangollo – Spiced Almond & Millet Pudding

 

I’m really excited to share this recipe which I have designed for the Monarch Island Cookbook to celebrate the food of Lanzarote.

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

I’d never heard of Frangollo before, until researching the traditional foods of this beautifully unspoiled island. When I came across it, I knew I had to make a version of it. I am, after all, a sucker for comfort food and this looked mighty cosy.

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

Frangollo is made across the Canary Islands and is traditionally made with millet flour or maize, enriched with butter and eggs and sweetened with hints of citrus and spice. It’s like a thick, creamy semolina pudding but with exciting pops of flavour and added texture from almonds and dried fruit.

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

I liked mine still warm, but you can also chill it to a firm flan like dessert that can be scooped or cut into slices. It’s simplicity is delightful and it’s zesty aromas even more so.

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfreeFrangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfreeIt’s not too sweet so a drizzle of your favourite syrup might just make it over the top delicious for you. Despite it’s comforting nature, it’s actually not very heavy and the citrus zest cuts through the richness perfectly.

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

Plus, without the eggs and butter, you can enjoy this gorgeous dessert guilt free!

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

I found a bottle of rum I had infused with cinnamon sticks, orange and lemon peel last year and forgotten about. The smell is out of this world and is a perfect addition to this recipe. However, if you haven’t got a forgotten bottle of home spiced rum lurking in the larder, simply use bought spiced or regular rum or leave it out completely if you prefer.

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

It’s so easy… Simply infuse the milk with the sugar, orange zest, cinnamon, vanilla, salt and rum (if using).

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

Meanwhile, slowly toast the almonds to a beautiful, golden hue.

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfreeFrangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

Whisk in the millet and almonds and the dissolved custard powder (if using).

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

Then stir in the dried fruit or raisins and cook, stirring often for 10 minutes until beautifully thick and the fruit plumped and juicy.

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

Serve with an extra sprinkling of toasted almonds, and a drizzle of maple syrup, if you wish.

Frangollo - Spiced Almond & Semolina Pudding #vegan #glutenfree

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 3 cups/750ml unsweetened almond (or soya) milk*
  • 90g granulated sugar (white, coconut, eryhtitol etc)
  • zest of 1 orange, finely grated
  • 3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp spiced rum (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 80 g ground almonds
  • 100g millet flour (frangollo), fine polenta or semolina††
  • 2 tbsp custard powder (optional)†
  • 1/2 cup dried mixed fruit or raisins

*use a neutral milk. Milks with strong flavours like coconut or hemp may impart too much flavour.

†this adds richness and thickens where egg yolks usually would. Use corn starch/flour or omit altogether for a lighter pudding.

††Semolina IS NOT gluten free

Method:

  1. Add the first seven ingredients (milk – salt) into a large saucepan and place over a medium heat. Leave the milk to infuse, without boiling for ten minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the almonds to a frying pan and place over a low-medium heat. Stir every thirty seconds or so, until they are a uniform, golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Dissolve the custard powder in a couple of tablespoons of milk or water. Whisk the millet and most of the toasted almonds (reserve a heaped tablespoon for topping) into the milk, followed by the dissolved custard powder, if using. Stir in the dried fruit.
  4. Continue to cook over a low-medium heat, stirring frequently, until thickened and slightly bubbling, about ten minutes.
  5. Either serve immediately in bowls scattered with reserved almonds or spread into a baking dish, scatter with the almonds and chill until firm.

screenshot-www-caloriecount-com-2017-01-25-18-52-31

I love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment below or connect with me on social media?

signature

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest

Turmeric Coconut Rice

 

Can you believe it’s February already?

There was a lot of hype in January around dieting and detoxing after the festive season. I’m never good at getting on the New Years resolutions health bus right after New Year. It takes me some time to get back to normality and use up all that leftover vegan cheese and chocolate from Christmas.

This vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice not only tastes delicious, it's good for you too! #healthy #superfood #vegan

February is when I really get to grips with a healthy, balanced eating plan for the rest of the year. The indulgent magazine clippings get tucked away and instead I search and browse for exciting new healthy recipes to try and interesting tricks and flavours to play with in the kitchen. Whether it be adding a pinch of something extra to my basic tomato pasta sauce or transforming leftovers with the spice rack – it’s all about making eating healthy fun and interesting and not just something I ought to do in January.

This vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice not only tastes delicious, it's good for you too! #healthy #superfood #vegan

This rice dish is an example of just that. I love the plainest steamed rice, but sometimes a little vibrancy can make it all the more tantalising and crave-able.

This vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice not only tastes delicious, it's good for you too! #healthy #superfood #vegan

The turmeric in this rice adds depth, a golden hue and a hint of its glorious health benefits. I’m increasingly fascinated by the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and since its qualities are most available to us when cooked, a dish such as this is a perfect way to sneak a little into your diet.

This vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice not only tastes delicious, it's good for you too! #healthy #superfood #vegan

It is also fat soluble and so adding some healthy fat by way of coconut cream, not only adds luxurious flavour but also boosts absorption.

This vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice not only tastes delicious, it's good for you too!

I love Indigo Herbs turmeric which is pure and stays so fresh in its special resealable packaging. I find the stuff in supermarket jars goes quite bitter in a few months. I was an ambassador for Indigo Herbs last year and am very happy to be kicking off 2017 with some of their wonderful superfood powders to get busy with in the kitchen (and bathroom!).

This vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice not only tastes delicious, it's good for you too! #healthy #superfood #vegan

This rice needs only 6 ingredients, two of which are water and salt and one which is optional. For so few ingredients and such minimal effort, this is a great way to bring your side of rice into the centre of attention.

This vibrant Turmeric Coconut Rice not only tastes delicious, it's good for you too! #healthy #superfood #vegan

Ingredients:

Serves 2

  • 1 cup of white or brown basmati rice
  • 1.5 cups water (2 cups for brown rice)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream (the thick cream at the top of a can of coconut milk)
  • A handful of finely chopped coriander, to serve (optional)

Method:

Add all ingredients to a rice steamer or a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Leave undisturbed for 10 minutes for white rice or 45 minutes for brown, then remove from the heat but leave to stand covered for 10 more minutes before fluffing with a fork.

Sprinkle with coriander before serving.

screenshot-www-caloriecount-com-2017-02-05-14-11-38

I love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment below or connect with me on social media?

signature

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest

Lentil Butternut Bolognese

 

This recipe is for a multi tasker of a meal. Not only is it a perfect accompaniment to pasta, it’s fantastic on baked potatoes, in wraps or with a little extra stock, it makes a lovely warming, hearty soup. You could even use it to make a vegan version of the classic American Sloppy Joes which kids would love!

Lentil Butternut Bolognese in the pressure cooker #vegan

It’s a perfect weeknight meal, with little prep and no stirring thanks to an ingenious piece of kit – the Optimum Induction Multi Function Pressure-Cook Pro.

Lentil Butternut Bolognese in the pressure cooker. Ready in just 30 minutes and no stirring! #vegan

Since becoming disabled with widespread neuropathic pain, chronic migraine and fatigue, I can’t cook how I used to – always having a fully home cooked, nutritious and healthy meal prepared. This machine has become my best friend in the kitchen, allowing me to throw in some wholesome ingredients and open it 30 minutes later to find a delicious, perfectly cooked meal. I always bulk cook too, so I have leftovers for lunches. People are busy and trying to cram so much into the day and this appliance truly alleviates that dinner pressure.

Lentil Butternut Bolognese in the pressure cooker. Ready in just 30 minutes and no stirring! #vegan

It takes a long time to cook a good bolognese sauce. You really need to cook down the tomatoes to release all those umami rich flavours. Plus to get the most out of your ingredients, the onions, garlic, carrots and any other veg you are adding, really ought to soften gently, which takes time. With this pressure cooker, there’s no sauteeing, and no hours of simmering. You add everything to the pot at the same time and the clever technology ensures that the onions and other veg, cook into the sauce, adding maximum flavour, almost melting into it.

Lentil Butternut Bolognese in the pressure cooker. Ready in just 30 minutes and no stirring! #vegan

Think of it as a slow cooker that’s fast. Slow cookers are wonderful, but they require some thinking ahead and organisation and if you forget before you run out the door for a long day, then stress levels peak when you return home hungry and tired and still need to prepare a meal. Because this machine is just that awesome, it does actually slow cook too! For those who are more able and, ahem, organised than me.

Lentil Butternut Bolognese in the pressure cooker. Ready in just 30 minutes and no stirring! #vegan

That’s not all, this machine has a number or pre-set programs from rice, to cake to deep fry meaning that this single machine can replace so many single purpose appliances and save so much space!

Here’s some key features;

Induction Heating

A method of heat transfer, induction heating generates an electric current to create a magnetic field that transfers heat to a cooking vessel. It is more energy efficient than standard heating technologies, such as electrical cookers, and cooks food more evenly.

Simple Pre-set Programs

The Induction Pressure-Cook Pro enables you to make meals with minimal of fuss. Choose from Slow cook, meat, white rice, stew, soup, porridge steam, braise, cake, pizza, pasta, roast, deep fry, defrost, yogurt, simmer

Voice Guidance

The Induction Pressure-Cook Pro offers a text-to-speech function that announces a selection, provides usage guidance and provides a warning before pressure is released and cooking is complete.

Seven Pressure Levels

The Induction Pressure-Cook Pro allows you to start or adjust pressure at any time during the cooking process. Prepare meals based on your taste by selecting your desired level of pressure with the press of a button.

Automatic Electronic Pressure Release Valve

The Induction Pressure-Cook Pro automatically depressurise at end of the circle. The appliance provides a warning before pressure is released to avoid burns from manual release.

24-hour Timer

The Induction Pressure-Cook Pro features a convenient digital timer that automatically begins cooking, so you can attend to other tasks.

Save Time and Space

This innovative appliance takes control of every meal you make. Avoid storing multiple kitchen appliances in your kitchen by using the Induction Pressure-Cook Pro to combine all your ingredients, select a pre-set program and do all the cooking.

Don’t miss the 60% off offer and save £300.00! Currently on sale at £199.00. Order yours today!

FREE DELIVERY: enter code 2612 in the comments section to have your delivery charge refunded!

3224284f-cabd-4381-815c-cad8147845de

Also check out the new revolutionary juicer from Froothie. The upcoming Juisir is an innovative cold press juicer without any cleaning and maximum yield. Juice in just 90 seconds with 8 tons of force to crush the vegetables and fruits in a reusable or throw away biodegradable bag with ZERO CLEANING. Available to pre-order now for release in May and use code EARLYBIRD100 for £100 off! Don’t forget to get your free delivery too with code 2612.

Lentil Butternut Bolognese in the pressure cooker. Ready in just 30 minutes and no stirring! #vegan

Ingredients:

Serves 6-8

  • 500g dried green or brown lentils
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 small butternut squash, deseeded and cubed
  • 2 cans plum tomatoes
  • 4 cups beef style or vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Method:

Simply add all ingredients to the pressure cooker and set to ‘soup’ function.

To make on the stovetop, saute the onion and garlic then add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for at least an hour or until rich and thickened.

I love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment below or connect with me on social media?

signature

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest

Creamy Peach Breakfast Smoothie from Vegan in 15

I’ve been away for a while, taking a bit of an unannounced break to focus on my health treatment and studies. I’m happy to be back and sharing an amazing recipe from an amazing book, Vegan in 15 by Kate Ford.

Creamy Peach Breakfast #Smoothie from #Vegan in 15

This book is both for the keen, creative cook and the in a hurry and hungry. Small serving recipes are perfect for singles and couples and the recipes can easily be doubled for larger crowds.

Creamy Peach Breakfast #Smoothie from #Vegan in 15

The use of shortcut ingredients is celebrated. And rightly so. There is a time for peeling and mincing fresh garlic and a time for reaching for a jar where somebody has done the hard work for you. Of course, if you feel like preparing everything from fresh then why not! Ready prepared jarred, frozen or canned ingredients can be a godsend and the difference between having a home cooked meal or junk food because, let’s face it, sometimes chopping an onion is just too much effort.Harissa chickpeas

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The recipes in this book are enticing, simple and healthy. There is influence of cuisine from all over the world as well as essential recipes based on well known dishes. There are no strange or hard to get ingredients, just a wealth of recipes to make the ordinary and everyday ingredients into extraordinary meals with little fuss. What’s not to love?Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff

This is a great book for new vegans who will benefit from approachable, delicious recipes using familiar ingredients that all the family will love.

Cabbage, Tofu and Sesame Noodles #vegan

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Creamy #pasta with mushroom and white wine sauce #vegan

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This Creamy Peach Breakfast Smoothie tastes decadent like dessert yet is the perfect breakfast. It’s really filling and perfect for those hot days when you don’t feel like eating a meal. For best results, use a high speed blender to get the most creamy blended oats. I use the Optimum G2.3 blender and love it (there’s a summer sale on now!).

Creamy Peach Breakfast #Smoothie from #Vegan in 15

Creamy Peach Breakfast Smoothie from Vegan in 15 by Kate Ford

Reprinted with permission.

Serves 1

Fruity smoothies are such a great way to start the day – packing in a good proportion of your five-a-day quota.

I always add oats to my smoothies as I like a thicker consistency and find they keep me full for longer. A handful of almonds provides a great protein boost.  If you have ground flax or chia seeds to hand, their omega-oils will turn this into a super-smoothie!

Ingredients

1 peach

1 banana

3 tbsp oats

2 tbsp whole almonds

250ml dairy-free milk (I use almond)

1 tsp ground flax or chia seeds (optional)

 

Method

1.     Remove the stone from the peach, (no need to peel), and peel the banana.

2.     Place all the ingredients into a blender and blitz until completely smooth, (this will take 45-60 seconds on high speed).  Pour into a glass and enjoy.

 

Creamy Peach Breakfast #Smoothie from #Vegan in 15

I love to hear from you! Why not leave a comment below or connect with me on social media?

Facebook|Twitter|Instagram|Pinterest

 

signature

Positive Effects of Drinking Coffee On Your Health

The best thing about coffee is that it somehow has the power to turn your crappy day into a better one. For years, it’s proved that coffee releases a neurotransmitter called dopamine which produces happy feelings in people. But new facts have been proved which not only links coffee with euphoria but also good health and longevity of life. Science has proved coffee to be one of the healthiest beverages on planet earth. And people are rejoicing! 

A study was conducted on over 520000 people residing in ten European countries. This study can also be regarded as largest scientific to be ever conducted related to coffee and human health. Another study was more diverse and conducted on the non-whites population such as African American, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans and so on. More than 185000 subjects were chosen for this research. The results were loud and clear. According to the study, people drinking over three cups of coffee everyday had 18% lower risk of death when compared to people not having coffee. The result of the study conducted on non-white population was consistent with that conducted on the European population. The fact that these studies were conducted in different countries and diverse population which had different diet and lifestyle still provided similar results, proved that coffee is indeed a life saver. It is also important to note that drinking excess cups of coffee (6 or 7) doesn’t produce any additional benefit to the human body. 

The study was conducted on smokers as well since everyone knows that smoking reduces the lifespan of people. But coffee was seen to be helpful for the smokers as well and smoking couldn’t blunt the positive effects of coffee. However, experts have warned about this result and said the result doesn’t imply one could smoke as much as they want and reverse its ill effects on their bodies by the drinking coffee. Smoking cigarettes harms one’s body many fold and the benefit of drinking coffee is much less than that and hence people should be careful how they are interpreting the results of this study. Smoking is very injurious to health and drinking more cup of coffees would only positively affect your health by, let’s say 10% 

Drinking coffee was also related to having lower risk of many cancers including liver, endometrial, prostrate and skin cancer. Also, coffee can reduce the risk of getting gout, type 2 diabetes ad gallstones. Another study proves that drinking only one day of coffee everyday could reduce the risk of getting cirrhosis by 22% whereas drinking 2 cups of coffee everyday reduced this risk to 43% and drinking 3 and 4 cups of coffee everyday reduced this risk to 57% and 65% respectively. Since we are now talking about health benefits of drinking coffee, let’s also talk about its effects on Alzheimer’s disease. People drinking regular coffee are 16% less likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s, cognitive reduction and dementia. Also, a large study was conducted on 5000 women that proved that drinking at least one cup of coffee everyday reduced the risk of depression by 15% whereas drinking 2 to 3 cups everyday reduced this risk by 20%. Studies have also found coffee to have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects that can reduce the risk for Parkinson’s disease. Also, these benefits of having coffee can’t be attributed to caffeine as people having decaffeinated coffee also showed the same results as people having caffeinated coffee. 

The experts have this suggested that moderate coffee consumption can be included in a lifestyle to improve one’s health. Though the results are not large in numbers, yet they are still significant. However, there are few disadvantages of consuming coffee as well. If consumed in large quantity, it can cause vomiting, dizziness, headaches and nausea. Doctors warn pregnant women against consuming coffee during their pregnancy and women with fractures should also avoid it. It’s hence safe to say that drinking coffee is beneficial and can increase your life but like everything else in life, you should have it in moderation.  

Even though coffee was immensely demonized in the past, it has emerged as a hero due to scientific studies being conducted on it. Not only that, but coffee also lifts our mood up and prepare us for the rest of the day. So, one shouldn’t guilt himself out of having that extra cup of coffee, coffee is healthy and good for the body.