Thursday, 20 November 2014
Snacks! Possibly one of the most difficult areas of my diet. I’m a picker. I pick at food, I’d rather graze on little bits of food constantly rather than have one massive meal.
It’s an area I’m trying to fix. Trying to make healthy choices. As we all know this is a million times easier said than done. Especially this month as I am trying to do so many things at once.
My problem is, that I don’t strive well under stressful conditions. I know some people need a little stress to motivate them. I, on the other hand, break down under stress. I stop doing things all together. This is not necessarily a good thing! If I know what I am supposed to be doing; I have a plan; I have an itinerary, I work fine. When things start piling up, I stop functioning.
My fiancé and I, have recently started house hunting. Stressful enough as it is, mortgages, loans, savings . . . it adds up. I don’t even want to think about it anymore, but it’s something that we need to do. I hate the thought of us just throwing money away to a land lord. Especially with our electric and gas providers. (for the rented houses, they are on a fixed tariff, the higher tariff!) On top of the expenses, we have no room whatsoever. We basically live in a two room apartment. (with a tiny showerless bathroom and a kitchen you can’t even swing a cat in!) Speaking of cats, my little kitty child Dexter Morgan roams these rooms, and it’s getting a tad claustrophobic. Sometimes, you want to sit in the office on your own. Only our office is the corner of our living room. So trying to do work to the sound of FIFA or NBA is difficult and rather off-putting!
Rants aside. Ive been loving these roasted chick peas. Really simple to prepare, and really tasty. I can think of a ton of different spice mixes I’d love to give a go. Simple, is good.
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
OK so I admit it.
I am 100% obsessed with the television programme Dexter.
I am 100% in love with the character of Dexter.
I am also a cat lady (how is that relevant? keep reading!!)
I love cats. My mother, grandmother, rest of family hates cats. I was brought up in a cat-hating environment. The house I lived in wouldn't allow pets. So I've never really had the oppurtunity to have a cat. Until now.
I've decided to name my ginger cat. Dexter. Because I am just that cool!
Anyway. What does Dexter and Cats have to do with Key lime pie you ask? well. There is an episode of Dexter (read :best show ever) where the character of Dexter hunts for the best key lime pie before his friend dies.
I had a yearning for damn key lime pie after that.
but. . . .
Traditional key lime pie, which was created for the sailors, used condensed milk (Uber sugary. . .eek) and other such ingredients you could get hold of. . . on a boat!
But my scurvey preventing dessert called to be made healthier, and sans dairy products!
Plus, we have a glut of coconut ice cream hanging around now from my ice-cream projects!
And what goes well with ice cream?! yea, you know, pie.
Traditional pies have pastry (which I really hate) so, I'm really quite OK with key lime pie, no pastry and all that.
If I had a little more patience I would totally have made some thick soy cream and piped something round the edge, 1980's dinner party style (which I think is the best era for dinner parties, this was totally not a dig!)
We are currently decorating our bathroom and hallway, trust me when I say you really do not want to see it before. It has never (in 5 years) been decorated, and the woman who lived there before, really had zilch decorating taste.
As I was sanding off the bright red (!!) paint from every visible surface in the hallway (splatted on woodwork, doorframe, ceiling) I found a pencil drawing of a cat (it also said "F*** off underneath, what a lovely person right?!) and I am taking that as destiny for me to have my cat! Pete has agreed, and shook on it, so there's no going back now! There is just something comforting about having another life force around, especially since I work from home, and Pete works CRAZY (and I mean crazy) shifts.
Anyway, here's my recipe for Key lime pie, #AccidentalVegan style!
Thursday, 10 April 2014
OK, so it may not quite be the time of year for ice cream yet. . . but it sure is close!
If anyone has seen my old blog. . . before I became fully vegan, way back in the beginning when I began exploring different vegan food, you will have seen my first attempts at vegan ice cream.
I made one with coconut milk, and one with rice milk (I called it "rice cream" ; yeaa I know, I'm witty!).
I'd managed to get the texture about right, but when it lived in the freezer, you needed to let it defrost for about 15 minutes before you served it, mainly because it froze SOLID almost like a sorbet.
Then a couple of weeks ago I saw Ashley's post on ice cream and I had a bit of a "dammit! why didn't I have that genius idea??!?" moment.
What a bloomin genius move!
in adding the alcohol (it's only a minute amount) the freezing point is lowered slightly, and doesn't freeze like a block.
In all honesty as much as I love Ashley's blog. . . I was slightly jealous I hadn't thought that one through.
I didn't decide to make ice cream to keep in the freezer until summer. . . oh no!. I'm currently having a few problems with my wisdom teeth *sad face*! They've been coming through for yeeearrrsss. . and every now and then decide that they want to come through a little more.
To be honest with you, I've been getting a little bored of eating on one side of my mouth. . it's awkward! (a lot of banana smoothies have been consumed of late!)
So whilst everyone is still waiting for summer. . . I'm going to eat ice cream! . . . in spring!
Tuesday, 8 April 2014
"Breakfast: The fifth most important meal of the day!"
OK so I may be quoting a film. A film I saw over a decade ago. Surprisingly it stuck, with both me and my brother. We've been quoting it to each other periodically since then!
I know some people eat constantly, and possibly do have that many meals a day! I don't! haha! : just a small disclaimer there!
xylitol! - is soooo funny. You can't make a syrup like you normally would be able to do with sugar. The minute the syrup gets too cool it crystallises. And becomes pretty unusable. It's easy to fix, you simply add a little more water in, and heat gently until it dissolves again.
I currently have quite a few different food obsessions. Chia seeds are one of them! I absolutely love how you can use them in so many different ways. They are brilliant "thickeners" for jams or sauces. They are so much fun when used to make puddings, but I also really like them in granola.
I have to admit. I'm not the best when it comes to remembering to eat breakfast, however I have been trying. I've been finding that keeping a jar of granola on hand has been really helping (I tend to bounce between two households - which means knowing what food is available is a little difficult)
I know I've mentioned it before, but my love is a little. . . bad at eating properly. He does coffee in the morning. Nothing else. I have sneakily left pots of this by the kettle with the hope that he picks it up at some point!
I think I may make a feast of a Sunday brunch this weekend, convince him to eat. . . breakfast in bed?!
Whilst typing up this blog post, I got thinking about different combinations I could try. I think that a hazelnut and cacao nib granola would be divine. And this has also made me slightly hungry!
When serving, coconut yoghurt, blueberries and an optional drizzle of dark agave are absolute musts!
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, good night (or if you are like me, you're probably reading this at half past two in the morning!). Whatever time of day it is where you are!
So I thought I'd do something a little different a couple of days ago. This time of year really depresses me! I know that's a tad odd. . . most people start to feel better at this time of year. You know, when there is more sunlight, more time in the day (well not really, but it sure feels like it) You can wear less layers when you venture outside!
But, I'm a little strange. I really don't like the summer months. I don't like waking up at three in the morning and hearing the birds. I don't like being hot. I really don't like being hot. I'm a winter baby through and through.
I decided to do a bit of a mini juice cleanse, to get myself out of my little funk. . . and then I discovered my love of making juice! I love blending, so it didn't really come as much of a surprise!
Just see what I mean. I went for a walk the other day, and some of the trees outside look like this :
and some look like this!
. . . don't get me wrong, I love blossom on trees! - it's absolutely gorgeous.
it's not nature I'm against. I think it's just . . . oh I don't know. I don't think I ever will, all I know is I love the end of summer when it starts getting cooler!
You're telling me you don't drink your juice out of a champagne glass??! You should. It makes it feel special! Being that I don't drink wine/ champagne / hardly any alcoholic beverage at all, champagne glasses don't get much of an outing in our house! I'll probably end up toasting my marriage with a glass of beet and raspberry juice! Not that I'm complaining, can you picture a party, baby shower or something with champagne glasses of brightly coloured juices? beautiful!
It's sooo much fun juicing, you can get carried away. But there are so many different combos, and it's super easy to hide extra veg ("nutrients" as my man calls them. He lives on a diet of carbs and fat. I'm trying to fix it!) in glasses of juice as well. Have fun! and if you come up with any delicious combos. . . let me know! I'm always in need of new recipes.
Sunday, 30 March 2014
When I was little I remember having Turkish Delight with my Grandad.
Not the chocolate covered, gelatine filled version sold in every corner shop, instead the traditional version gently flavoured with rose water.
The fact that I shared it with my Grandad, makes it somewhat more special. I've tried to make it, both the traditional way, and other ways for him many different times. I still haven't succeeded.
We've had Turkish Delight sauce.
One of my favourite recipes I found on Pinterest years ago. Courtesy of Judita via Pure Mamas
I love it, and I've adapted it a million different ways since then. I highly recommend trying the original recipe at least once (even if you do halve it. . . the quantities are massive!)
The whole concept of raw interests me so much. I'm currently just not ready to attempt it, nor do I have sufficient knowledge to go that way!
Is anyone out there Raw? I'd love to hear from you, tips/ tricks/ favourite recipes etc!
Until I know enough, I'm going to continue educating myself (I did read about warm raw soup. . I didn't really understand it. . . although I do know that there is a certain temperature things aren't supposed to go over)
And I'm going to educate myself with more of this!
I made a batch of this for an 80th birthday party. . . sometimes I add 1 tbsp of Carob in, but I've learnt that people of that generation can be quite blunt and cutting. They say what they mean without thinking twice. I've also learnt that if they don't like something. They'll let you know.
Carob is so subjective. I know most find it crazy bitter. (I love it - I took most of the refined sugar out of my diet, and I have less of a sweet tooth now. Since January all I have eaten is one doughnut, and I really didn't even enjoy it. It sounds ridiculous I know, but I'm more than content with these raw brownies, which are, FYI, amazing!)
If you're not a fan of rose water, just replace it with vanilla, and these will make some delicious raw chocolate brownies.
OK, so it is a well known fact that I am the worst person in the entire world for eating breakfast.
My excuse was that it takes time for my stomach to wake up. . . If I eat when I just get up, I end up feeling really sick for the entire morning.
One of my New Years Resolutions was to make time for eating breakfast, only, we don't always have time to wake up in the morning, spend an hour or so, then have something to eat, then get ready. On the weekend, it's fine, but sadly, not every morning is a weekend morning!
That was a very rambly way (I'm good at rambling!) of saying that portable breakfasts are saviours!
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Our freezer is full of literally nothing but fruit.
fruit. fruit and a bit more fruit.
My brothers nightmare!
I've been slowly working through the bags of frozen berries, trying to use them up. This is one of my favourite recipes. I'm not entirely sure where it has evolved from, but I'm almost 100% certain it will be a mixture of recipes from my own head, Katie and Angela.
What do you do with flax?!
I know some people mix it with warm water and drink the goopy mixture. Can't say that particularly appeals to me. At all. And truth be told I'm not too fond of the taste.
For some unknown reason, I decided to combine the flax with this raspberry protein bar recipe. I really like the outcome (I've made multiple times. Can't complain!)
I also love wrapping up little parcels. I.e. I like to mess around with my food.
I had way too much fun wrapping them all up.
This really did inspire me to try a little harder with breakfast. In fact I'm considering making a fresh batch tomorrow to take to my loves house. (he never eats. unless it's fried.) I'm currently trying to improve his nutrition. We are both on a mission to get healthy.
Now I just need to stop smoking and doing drugs. *
*please excuse my terribly sarcastic sense of humour. I am fully aware there are only a handful of people who find me funny. One of those is me.
I'm such a child I find this title massively amusing!
I'm not sure what that says for my sense of humour. . . but I can tell you that it probably isn't a good thing!
I know I'm not the only person who likes to have some food to pick at. When you're not hungry enough to make something more substantial, but you really want to eat something.
Believe me I know, this is where people usually end up eating junk. This is where my Pete would end up eating an entire package of cookies. (at least)
One of the ways I've found quite effective to stop the need to eat rubbish, is to nibble at something like this!
And come on. I know I'm not the only person who absolutely loves blending.
I made a comment the other day that it made me feel like a mad scientist. Hey, what can I say blending is fun!
In other news (I just spelt 'news', 'knews' and couldn't work out exactly what was wrong. I'm an English Literature graduate. That's embarrassing!) I am obsessively listening to Shakira's new album (I can now proudly say I own all of her albums, including a lot of her original, older stuff).
I have a bit of an obsessive personality. I find something that I love, and go full pelt at it, then I lose interest and find something to obsess over. A fleeting obsessive personality maybe?
There are a few things which I have obsessed over, which I have stayed in love with. Shakira. Is one of those things. I have a hilarious memory of me and my mother stood in our apartment in Cairns (Queensland) when I was about 10/11, in front of Shakira's music video to Whenever, Wherever, trying to belly dance like she does. Needless to say, we never got it down. My dad, brother and sister found it hilarious. Looking back it is funny!
This album, is my new workout album! It puts me in a ridiculously good mood and makes me want to dance (which is not very common)
Well either that or I wish I was Shakira (if she was 2' taller!)
Monday, 24 March 2014
Happy #MeatFreeMonday of #MeatFreeWeek!
Monday 24th of March until Sunday 30th of March is Meat free week!
OK OK so for me every week is meat free! - Only I quite like the idea, the challenge if you will for people to try and give up meat. If only for a week.
The most common thing I hear from people when they ask me about veganism is
"I could never give up meat/cheese/milk etc"
I think most people would surprise themselves at how easy it is. . . mainly because there are so many awesome (if not awesome-er) alternatives!
This cheesecake is totally inspired by two things.
1. Bakewell tarts - almonds. cherries. childhood
2. Mango cheesecake I saw on instagram one day (If I can find the link I will link it here)
One of my New Years resolutions was to stop or at least significantly reduce my refined sugar intake. I discovered that dates were awesome and their versatility is totally suited for making 'biscuit' bases for cheesecakes.
Obviously there is no cheese here! Cashews are used to make the cheese, and I love this technique, the first time I tried it I didn't think it was ever going to get smooth, but the minute you add in a tiny bit of coconut oil, it smoothes immediately. I used my magic bullet (BEST GADGET EVER!!) which you may know doesn't run for a very long time, so quick pulses were plenty to make this smooth cashew nut cream.
This is a must try recipe!
The quantities I specified only makes two 4" cakes (which my family and I cut in half, to make four servings - my brother doesn't do fruit!! so it was all we needed!)