(Laid back) Pilaf

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You know its funny, I forget that I live (pretty much entirely) in my own wee world. I know the walls, the sky, the grass of my universe, they’re so familiar that I get a little shock sometimes, when I’m reminded of the other. That world, you know, the world of shoulds and musts and this and that. These things, the things we’re told to believe, how we’re told to perform, what to expect, how to be, well… they don’t factor on my patch…

We’re all unique- we all have our own ways of thinking, our preferences, we each bring something new to this table of life, so why, for one second, could we ever expect anyone else’s way of doing things/ mode of life, to fit ours? It just doesn’t add up. Our lives are our own, therefore, we make the rules. We set the tone, the pace, we add the colour and the harmony. This knowledge has brought me great peace of mind of late. Everything is new, malleable, ready and waiting for us to create it. There is no pressure when you realise that you are only accountable to yourself. So long as you’re kind and respectful, its up to you to choreograph your dance. This is freedom, freedom to be you, just as you are- beautiful and all powerful.

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So lets do it. These throw away the rules books of yore, lets graffiti rainbow coloured messages on the walls of our lives, lets make and create and mess up and learn just how we want to.

With this in mind, lets eat Pilaf. Fragrant, chewy, delicious Pilaf, that’s totally not traditional but it comes damn close. It doesn’t take an hour to make and its super easy. Because tonight, I’m making dinner work for me. And tomorrow, I’ll take on the day in my own way, in my own time, just like I like it….

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(Serves 1, with potential leftover goodness)

 

  • ½ cup Brown Rice (soaked for a minimum of 2 hours)
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • Zesty flesh of ¼ Lemon
  • 1 thumb Cinnamon Bark
  • 6 Cardamom Pods, bashed
  • Sea Salt (to taste)
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 3 Spring Onions, sliced or ½ sm Red Onion
  • 1/8 cup Peas
  • 1/8 cup Sweetcorn

 

    1. Rinse rice and add to a small pan, cover with 1 inch fresh water and bring to the boil
    2. Simmer for 15 minutes before turning off the heat and covering wit a tea towel
    3. Empty the rice into a bowl and add the oil to the same pan
    4. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 4 minutes
    5. Add the cardamom, lemon and cinnamon and cook for a further 2 minutes until the oil is infused with the lovely aromas
    6. Add the rice and salt and cook for roughly 5 minutes until the rice just starts to stick
    7. Stir in the peas and sweetcorn, cover and leave for 5 minutes (remove the cinnamon, lemon and cardamom before serving (if you like)).

 

You’re then free to add/ transform your pilaf into a anything your hearts desire. Try stirring in some tasty proteins, e.g. turmeric tofu, spiced beans, steamed veg, etc, etc…

Sausage & Bean Cassoulet

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As we slip into October, i can’t help but thanking the start of Autumn for being so forgiving. The days have been warm and the afternoon sunsets have been long.

The last few weeks have been magical here at Green & Leithy towers. Afternoons of rolling about in fruit laden gardens, magical evening drives through cities and countryside, long mornings relaxing over coffee. Perfect B activities.

But getting colder it most definitely is. And to celebrate the majesty of all things cosy i present my take on Cassoulet. Its quick, cheap and filling. Need i say anymore? Of course i need. The broth is a heady mix of herbs and g.a.r.l.i.c. Coz’ ya’ll know how much i love the stuff right?!?! Then theres a whole medley of groovy veg joining the party, which you can tweak to suit what you’ve got to hand. The beans melt into creamy delightfulness and the sausages bring it up to the final level of awesomeness (though their totally optional).

This is certainly a hearty dish, perfect for warming your wonderful cockles after a good long hike, perfect for making in advance and having to hand after a long day of work (did i mention it tastes even more amazing the next day?). Its full of delicious nutrients and proteins- just what our bodies start to crave and need as we slip into the colder months.

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I cook mine on the stove top but i reckon it would be swell to pop it into a real life cassoulet pot and have the oven do the work whilst you busy yourself with all that good stuff life requires. Also, if you beauties have any great recipes for hearty rolls/ dumplings/scones then i would love, love, love if you shared in the comments. Some tasty breaded goodness would finish this dish off perfectly.

Much love and big socks xxxx

Serves 4:

  • 1/2 large Brown Onion, diced
  • 5 fat cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 head Broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 large Carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 large handful String Beans, halved
  • 1/4 head Savoy Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • !/4 cup Peas
  • 1/4 cup Sweetcorn
  • 1/2 cup Butter Beans
  • 1/2 cup Borlotti Beans
  • 4 vg/gf Sausages, cooked and chopped
  • handful of fresh Herbs, torn (I used Basil, Thyme and Sage)
  • 1 litre Organic Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tsp Peppercorns, ground
  • 1/2 tsp dried Garlic
  • 2 tsp Arrowroot, ground
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  1. Heat the oil in a medium/ large pot and add the onions, cooking on a medium heat until softened
  2. Add the garlic and carrots, cook for 4 minutes
  3. Add the beans, peppercorns and herbs and cook for another 4 minutes
  4. Add the remaining ingredients, except the sausages and arrowroot, bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 15- 20 minutes
  5. Ladle 4 tbsp of liquid into a cup with the arrowroot to create a slurry
  6. Turn the heat down to low and add the slurry and the sausages, cook for a further 5 minutes

 

Thai Aubergine & Rice Noodle Curry

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This dish could possibly be the epitome of what good, fun, cooking is to me- a cauldron of beguiling, heady scents, a symphony of textures. Cooking where you have a recipe but chance to throw caution to the wind; not focusing on chopping that ingredient just so, nor adhering to exact quantities.

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This is a hearty feast of a curry. Spiked with the classic Thai flavours and coddled in the majesty that is rich coconut milk. The aubergine cooks down into fleshy perfection, and the noodles add that irreplaceable joy that comes from slurping perfectly spiced broth.

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I’ll give you my take on Green Thai Curry paste but totally take the invitation to tweak to your own tastes, ditch the coriander, no problem, tone the heat down, go ahead. This is just a canvas on which you can personalise to your hearts content. The paste itself has a great shelf life of 2+ weeks once in the fridge, though you can always portion up and freeze the remainder to have to hand for a quicker but still outrageously delicious green curry.

(Serves 2)
Green Thai Curry Paste:

  • 4 cloves Garlic
  • 1 thumb fresh Ginger, peeled
  • 4 small green Chillis, deseeded or not
  • 1 small Onion
  • 1 stalk Lemongrass, roughly chopped
  • 1 generous handful of both fresh Coriander and Basil (Thai Basil if available)
  • 1 tbsp Tamari
  • zest and juice 1 Lime (or 2 Kaffir Lime leaves)
  • 1/2 tsp ground White Pepper
  • 1 tsp both Coriander and Cumin Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Milk
  • 1/2 tsp Chorella/ Spirulina Powder (optional and mostly for colour)
  1. Blend all ingredients until fairly smooth

Aubergine & Rice Noodle Curry:

  • 1/2 Aubergine, cut into 1inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup Green Thai Curry Paste
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 thumb Ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 6 small dried Red Chillis (or to taste)
  • 1/4 head Broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1/2 cup Broad Beans
  • 1 Carrot, peeled
  • 1/4 cup Cashews, toasted
  • 2 Radish, finely sliced
  • 400ml Coconut Milk
  • 200ml Water
  • 1/2 Organic Stock Cube
  • generous handful of Flat Rice Noodles
  • 1/8 cup both of fresh Coriander and Basil
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  1. Marinate the aubergine in the paste and leave for 1 hour (or overnight if you have time)
  2. Use a mandolin or a peeler to finely slice the carrot, set aside with the radish and cashews
  3. Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion, cook until softened then add the aubergine and cook for 5 minutes
  4. Add the garlic, lemongrass, ginger and chilli and cook for a further 5 minutes
  5. Add the remaining ingredients, except the noodles and bring to boil, lower the heat and cook for 20- 20 minutes
  6. Add the noodles and cook for 5 minutes
  7. Serve the curry and adorn with the carrots, radish and cashews

Peruvian Chocolate Pots de Creme

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This thick, bewitching air,
this rapturous trick of light,
this gloaming mist that wraps so swift
upon the coming night.

These gentle, dampened whispers,
these winds of sweet reprieve,
these dying breathes of summer time-
scattered autumns leaves.

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These Peruvian chocolate pots de creme are as sensual a treat as you’ll ever likely encounter. Like a fine velvet and silk gown for your stomach. They are just the right side of bitter, barely sweet and wonderfully offset by the undertones of chilli.

I’ve found the flavours really sing when they’re fresh out of a good chill in the freezer but then theres something so intoxicating about warm, slightly melted chocolate. I can’t decide which ways best to enjoy them, but i’m sure you’ll come to your own conclusions.

They are full of happiness- inducing, health- giving fats and nutrients. Super easy to prepare and incredibly delightful to savour. Share with your lovers, brothers, mothers, friends or on your own. This dessert is what your senses were made for.

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Dig deep and enjoy xxx

(Makes 4 ramekins worth)

  • 1 1/2 ripe Avocado
  • 75ml Coconut Oil, just melted
  • 100ml Maple/ Agave/ Rice Syrup
  • 50g raw Peruvian Cacao Powder
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 tsp ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground Nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • pinch Sea Salt
  1. Blend all ingredients until super smooth and silky
  2. Divide into 4 ramekins and pop in the fridge/ freezer until ready to serve

Mmmmmelty Cheese & an Oatly review

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Autumn is coming! My absolute favourite season. When the Earth dons its most beautiful array of rich, gem like colours. The smells of wood smoke, damp leaves and crisp cool air. Big jumpers, thick socks, cozy blankets. Everything about this time of year has me cooing yes yes yes!

The pace of life slows by a few steps, just enough to have that extra pause to look around, feel it all and dig into gratitude. Fewer places is this enjoyment more readily felt than in my kitchen- cooking gets slow, flavours intensify, preparation is lengthened. Ultimately, this leads to far more savouring; lingering on every smell, taste, texture that wee bit more.

I thought it about time to share my go- to melty cheese recipe. Because there are few things more salivating than opening the oven to rich, golden, oozy cheese. This season, comfort is a melty cheese jumper. A hearty, oaty cheese jumper at that. But before i get into the recipe i want to share a little bit of a product review.

The lovely folk at Oatly very kindly asked me if i’d be interested in sampling their wares. I’ve used the single cream of theirs numerous times for my mommas morning coffees, and its a high compliment indeed that she actually likes the stuff. And although i usually make my own plant milk, its good to find a brand that i can happily use if/ when i fancy treating myself.

I think Oatly are a great company, committed to health and environmental responsible, i could go on but this page from their site sums it up wonderfully. Their Oat milk is clean and delicious tasting, it goes for a fair price and it lasts for 5 days without heaps of crazy chemicals. This is entirely my own opinion but i would happily recommend their products.

Now for the cheese. To be more accurate, its more like a cheese sauce, in that, you spoon/ lovingly pour the oozy goodness onto your chosen dish. Its incredibly versatile- i’ve used it for mac ‘n’ cheese, gratins, lasagne, nachos, burgers. It tastes cheesy (duh) and it browns wonderfully. Aside from is practicalities, it is a total breeze to make, low in fat and full of the amazing health properties of the magical Oat.

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Melty Cheese:

(You can make this thicker by omitting 20-40 mls milk)

  • 240ml Oat Milk (i used Oatly)
  • 50g Nutritional Yeast
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Light Miso Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Wholegrain Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Peppercorns
  • either 1 tsp Xanthan Gum or 2 tbsp Psyllium
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blitz for 30 secs- 1 min until thick.
  2. Keeps in the fridge for about 3-4 days

Overnight Oats

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Hi all.

Its been quite some time eh? I hope you’ve all (in the Northern hemisphere at least) been enjoying the beautiful Summer thats been unfurling around us. Me, i’ve been experiencing some major life changes and have thus been turning my gaze inwards.

A lots changed, as life has a tendency to do and i’ve been using this time to really focus on what lessons can be learned. Getting to know myself more and trying to step up and face life with authenticity.

Theres been many challenging times and a lot of chaos, but from this i think a wonderful understanding has occurred. One that i’ve read many times before but never felt within myself. It first struck me in a little yoga practise i was learning- the notion of “leaning into” a tricky position. Of flowing with the stream instead of constantly trying to battle against it. Of simplifying everything and approaching each day, each task, each worry, one step at a time.

So here i am, still rocking my broken computer and still tinkling away at this blog. For the time being, the new website is on the shelf but i finally managed to sort out Green and Leithy and make it once again feel like something i can be proud of.

Right, enough of the jibber jabber, onto the recipe.

These oats are simplicity in themselves. So incredibly easy to prepare and, i think, really delicious. Soaking oats makes them easier to digest but mostly i make these so i have a quick and filling breakfast all ready to rock in the morning. The Sultanas exude their sweet goodness meaning that you don’t need to add any additional sweeteners (though of course you totally can if your sweet tooth is your largest). I throw in a tablespoon of flax and chia seeds for the added awesome fats but they are entirely optional.

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(Serves 1, Vg, Gf, R)

  • 1/4 cup Oats
  • 1/4 cup Sultanas
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 tbsp Flax Seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds (optional)
  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, (or a jar if you want breakfast on the go)
  2. Stir well and pop in the fridge overnight, stirring once later on to prevent clumps.

So here i am. Offering you a simple and satisfying breakfast. If you guys have any winning, simple dishes to share, please shout me up in the comments.

Much love xxx

Omelette

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I just sat down to type this and what do you know, a haze of glorious evening sunset comes pouring through our window. I love, love, love the mist that we’ve experienced here in Edinburgh the last few days- it makes things just that little bit more magical. And although its come about after a weekend of fabulous weather, that fat old sun in the sky still makes its presence known, reminding us that spring has sprung and life is flowing.
This weekend just gone was my first taste of things to come; playing cards in the park, ice cold rum, manifesting self compassion, allowing the sun’s ray to fill my body with goodness. I fully embraced the blissful gift of warm breezes as a means to relax and be at peace. On Sunday I made a conscious choice to stay in orders- crazy right? well no, not at all.

For those of you who don’t know, we live three stories up and have a south facing living room with uninterrupted views of the city. Uninterrupted views thus uninterrupted sunlight. I lay down my softest blanket, opened the window wide, turned on my favourite music (Vashti Bunyan) and read my book.

Switching between reading and meditating for hours in silent gratitude i realised something- i was perfectly content. A feeling i haven’t been aware of for the longest time. Was it the day itself that brought this feeling? or was it simply allowing myself the time to just be as i pleased? Probably both, but the feeling, or the knowledge that this feeling is again possible, has stayed with me and guides me through the week (and the grey winds).

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To celebrate the utter magnificence of life and spring and new beginnings, i bring you this omelette. My first omelette since switching to vegan and to be honest, my first omelette in a looong time. I’ve never really been hot on them in the past, its that strange texture that i could never get my head around.

Anyway, this one is the bomb. Its light, creamy and bursting with intense flavours. I went with a Spanish vibe (sans the potatoes) and honestly couldn’t love it more. The smoked paprika is a wicked good back bone for the fresh vegetables. My herb of choice was Parsley- a flavour i’m learning to love more and more. Think super sweet corn, salty olives, juicy tomatoes, creamy beans, fresh red chard, all coddled in a totally velvety tofu hug. Ay, ay, ay. I wish it were here now!

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I’m gonna give you the tofu/ “egg” bit separately so you can completely add your own spin of flavours and available veg but if you can, i highly recommend following the full recipe- delicious. And as i’m new to the omelette party- if you have any favourite combinations please let me know in the comments.

Peace, Sunshine & Gratitude xxx
(Serves 2, or 4 aside a hearty salad)

Tofu:

  • 450g firm tofu (pressed between kitchen roll to remove the excess water)
  • 1/2 cup Plant Milk (i used Oat)
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
  • Smoked Sea Salt & ground Peppercorns (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum (or chia, ground flax, psyllium)- optional but aids in the binding
  1. Blend all the ingredients until super smooth (about 4 minutes)
  2. Now you have your “egg” part of the omelette which you can flavour anyway you desire

Vegetables:

  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 Red Chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup Kidney Beans, cooked
  • 1/2 cup Sweetcorn
  • 2 large stalks Red Chard, roughly chopped
  • 8 Black Olives, halved
  • 8 Baby Plum Tomatoes, halved
  • handful fresh Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tbsp Smoked Paprika
  1. Heat your oven to 180c
  2. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet on a medium heat
  3. Cook off the onions for 4 minutes (you don’t want them super soft)
  4. Add the garlic and chilli, cooking for 5 minutes
  5. Add the beans, sweetcorn and chard and cook until the chard is just wilted
  6. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the remaining ingredients
  7. Pour over the tofu mixture and stir carefully until everything is even incoporated
  8. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned
  9. I recommend allowing it to cool and thus firm up for 10 minutes, but its still delicious eaten straight up.

Chocolates!

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Hi hi hi.

We’re back after a few weeks of busyness. Firstly Green & Leithy had our first foray into outside catering- a wee spread for the lovely folk at the Hidden Door festival. It was a simple Levantine array of Falafel, Baba Ghanoush and Flatbreads. The setting was a crazy beautiful cellar with funky lamps and old pianos. Heres a sneak at what the event looked liked.

After that our lovely friends down South came up for a holiday. After a weekend of city adventures we all packed up and headed to the beautiful Spittal of Glenshee. Not only was the cottage we stayed at the most perfect home but the glens themselves took my breath away constantly.

Long, long walks exploring magical forests, rivers and mountains. A few (maybe not so) hilarious stories and heaps of good memories filled our week. The highlight being a hike along an old railway track which intersected a magnificent river. Picnics, open fires and communal eating. So good.

Now we’re back to reality and i’m slowly getting back into the swing of things. What better way to start than with exquisite hand made chocolates! Just in time for Easter Sunday (or to be honest, any damn day- its chocolate after all!)

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I crafted these beauties for my momma and myself instead of spending too much money and too much time sourcing vegan, gluten free, organic chocolate treats. The initial down payment is certainly more than a couple of supermarket eggs but the materials last and you know, you’re assured fairly traded, ethical, organic deliciousness. Full of the love that comes from doing things yourself.

To take things up a notch, we finally invested in some real life chocolate moulds- so. much. fun. I did a happy dance when i popped the finished chocolate out of their casings- they look so professional. And honestly, if you’re on a budget- i totally recommend buying a mould of some sort. You could (and i have) buy cheap chocolate bars, melt them down and transform them with a few added flavours. Luxe chocolate for cheaps.

As i was making my own Easter goodies this year, i stuck with my fav- RAW Cacao. I don’t think i’ll ever get sick of the stuff, nor ever stop marvelling at how good it makes me feel. Guilt free, nourishing, crazy delicious- exactly why you wish for in decadence.

I went with six different flavours to reflect and appease both my mommas and my own taste buds. Espresso, Rose, Almond Butter, Lavender-Cardamom, Sea Salt-Cashew and a “white” chocolate of Tahini, Vanilla- Maple.

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Luckily i had some leftovers (mega win) so i could actually check the favours were okay (and you know by check i mean inhaled 5 in three seconds). I’m pleased to report they are good, really good, hide them from your loved ones good.

I hope you’ve all been having a splendid few weeks. Spring has definitely sprung round these parts. The warm breeze and fresh buds are making me one very happy lady. Heres to an Easter full of love, joy and gratitude xxxxx

(Made approx 30 chocolates, Raw- depending on flavourings/ sweetener)
Notes:
I initially used coconut butter as the sweetener but found that the chocolate was quite (very) bitter, maple or agave gave a much nicer, more rounded flavour. It’s up to you guys though but personally i recommend maple.

  • 2/3 cup Cacao Powder
  • 1/2 cup Cacao Butter (or Coconut Oil)
  • pinch of Sea Salt
  • 5 tbsp sweetener (Maple/Agave/Coconut Butter/ pinch of Stevia)
  1. Set up a double boiler (i.e glass bowl on top of a pan of shallow, hot water)
  2. Gently heat the cacao butter/ oil until melted
  3. Stir in the sweetener, salt and cacao powder
  4. Transfer into desired moulds

Now thats the basic chocolate recipe. If you want to try the flavours i started by arranging each into 5 separate bowls. Then scooped 1/4 cup of the chocolate into each bowl and stirred well.

Rose:

  • -1/2 tsp Rose Water
  • - petals of 3 small rose buds

Lavender & Cardamom:

  • - ground seeds from 2 green cardamom pods
  • - 1 tsp Lavender

Espresso:

  • - 1 tbsp ground Espresso

Sea Salt & Cashew:

  • -1 tbsp Cashews, bashed
  • - 1/2 tsp Sea Salt

Almond Butter:

  • 1 tbsp Almond Butter
  1. Pour a small amount of chocolate into the moulds
  2. Freeze for ten minutes before carefully placing a small dollop of almond butter on top
  3. Cover with enough chocolate to cover the butter

The Tahini, Vanilla & Maple “white” chocolate was made separately:

  • - 1 1/2 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • - 1 1/2 tbsp Tahini
  • - 1/4 tsp Vanilla Powder
  • - 1 tbsp Maple
  1. Melt coconut oil in a small pan. Stir into the remaining ingredients and pour into moulds.

 

 

Buddha Bowls

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If i were to offer any advice about health and nutrition it would always be, first and foremost- listen to your body. In fact in life in general- listen to your heart, go with your gut instinct.

Funny then, that i realised (or was helped to realise) that i had been doing the exact opposite of this recently. To skip the detail, i’d gotten myself into a woeful habit of completely ignoring my inner self. In so many ways but especially with food. I’m an all or nothing kinda person and that can and does lead me to create very strict rules for myself. I stick to these rules vehemently and as you can imagine, it leads to all sorts of problems.

As you may know, i’ve been all up in the raw food thing for a while now and while it is great i fear i had taken it to the extreme. I got myself so caught up in adhering to the “rules” i had imposed on myself that the rules themselves took control over what i ate and sadly, how i felt.

It got to the point where i actually didn’t enjoy what i was eating. Food no longer made me happy and instead of boundless curiosity and imagination, i just felt a void. I’d restricted myself so much that i had lost one of the single greatest human experiences (to me at least)- taste.

And so, i am slowly trying to loosen the reigns on my crazy (fantastic) mind. To get back to what good eating and cooking are to me- the magical, amazing dance of textures, colours and flavours. And to what life should be- exciting, balanced and harmonious.

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These Buddha Bowls are the perfect meal, not only in general but specifically to heal what my mind was going through. In their simplest form- a bowl (or plate) combining a mixture of cooked and raw components. The real beauty is getting a healthy mix of nutrients- fats, proteins, carbs, greens and colours. Yup, my fav- the more colours in your bowl the more phytochemicals- i.e. a techni- colour party of goodness in your body.

I started with a base of beautiful organic Butter Lettuce (is it just me that can’t get this out of my head whenever i say/see/eat the stuff??). For some fat, i thinly sliced some super creamy avocado and gave it a good lick of lime juice. Carbs (and heaps of vitamins) came from the perfectly roasted sweet potatoes which i encrusted with duqqa. Protein came from the heavenly fluffy, quinoa. I (very) lightly steamed some green beans and purple broccoli before adding some crisp and fresh diced tomatoes and spring onions.

The dressing is probably my favourite ever- tahini, miso and mustard. Freshened up (and alkalised) with a good squeeze of lemon juice and sharp cider vinegar. From there, its just a case of arranging (and then mangling if you’re anything like me) all the goodies together. Every bite is utter bliss. The absolute best part of this dish- it never gets boring. So long as you keep a good balance of nutrients you can add any cooked/ steamed/ roasted/ raw/ fermented ingredients and flavours.

(As i’ve already detailed what went in our bowls i won’t go into it further, other than to give amounts and then suggest some further possibilities. This made 2 large bowls).

  • 1/2 head Butter Lettuce
  • 1 Avocado, halved, sliced and coated in Lime juice
  • 3 large Tomatoes, diced
  • 3 Spring Onions, roughly sliced
  • 2 cups Quinoa, cooked
  • handful Green Beans, steamed
  • 8 florets of Purple Broccoli, steamed
  • 1 Sweet Potato + 6 gloves Garlic + Duqqa
  1. To cook the potato: Heat your oven to 200c
  2. Chop potato into equal sized, small chunks and pop into a bowl
  3. Melt 1 tbsp Coconut Oil and pour over the potatoes
  4. Sprinkle over 1 tsp of : Cumin, Coriander and Sesame Seeds and 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  5. Coat well and arrange on two (parchment lined) roasting dishes, making sure theres plenty of space between each chunk
  6. Roast for 25- 35 minutes until they reach your desired crispiness.

Tahini, Miso & Mustard Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp Tahini
  • 1/2 tbsp Miso Paste
  • 1/2 tsp Wholegrain Mustard
  • juice of 1/2 a Lemon
  • 1 tsp Cider Vinegar
  • 2-4 tbsp Water
  1. Combine in a mug and whisk with a fork, adding enough water to reach the consistency you like.

Suggestions:
Greens:

  • Lettuce
  • Rocket
  • Spinach
  • Kale (raw/ steamed/ massaged)
  • Peas & Beans
  • Broccoli

Carbs:

  • Millet
  • Buckwheat
  • Sweet Potato
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Carrots
  • Parsnips
  • Beetroot

Protein:

  • Quinoa
  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame
  • Lentils
  • Tofu/ Tempeh
  • Adzuki/ other beans
  • Hummus
  • Sprouts

Fats:

  • Avocado
  • good quality Oils- coconut/ avocado/ flax/ hemp
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Tahini
  • Nuts
  • Olives

Vegetables:
(Any and all but…)

  • Red Cabbage
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Cucumber
  • Radish
  • Sweetcorn
  • Onions
  • Aubergine
  • Courgette

I’ve learnt a lot recently (isn’t life great like that) but mainly i’ve been reminded of what i knew all along- listening; fully and without judgement, to myself/ ourselves. Finding what works for me, knowing what my body wants and needs. I hope this reminds you too (or encourages you) that the best choices you can make for yourself are the ones where you fully consult yourself. Don’t let others make the choice for you- its your body, your mind and your happiness. Oh yeah, and always, always eat delicious food!

xxxx

 

Many Grains Magic Muesli

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We had an amazing holiday in Blair Atholl the other weekend, staying on an organic small holding. Waking up to chickens, ducks and cats roaming the land right outside our kitchen window- thats pretty much my idea of perfection right there. The boundless countryside, the unspeakably clear night skies, walking in fields, huddling round a wood burning stove. I am so grateful for that weekend. And even more excited by the fact that we get to return to a similar place in just a few weeks time.

What was especially nice was that we got to share the experience with two of our best friends. One of those being my sister (from another mister) Natasha. Its all too easy to forget how close we are. That kind of magical relationship where you can just babble on to someone and they know exactly what you mean. Incredible tonic for the soul those people in our lives.

The owners of the cottage provided us with some delicious fresh veggies- oh my word- Black Radish people?? What a flavour explosion that guy is! Freshly baked bread, fruits, eggs and organic muesli. Of course, the bread and muesli were out of the question for me but that did lead me and tash to a conversation about muesli.

Yup, a pretty banal topic but one that we really focused on, albeit for only a matter of seconds. It basically went like this: “What is the difference between granola and muesli?” “Well, you toast granola and muesli is raw”. Ha, simple, but it really stayed with me.

It was only when i returned home and a few days later whipped up some incredible gRAWnola that the conversation came back to me. Why had i never made my own muesli before? Its so freakin’ easy. After a wee peruse of the internet i found loads of basic, 5 second muesli recipes. But you know, i’m me, and if i can make something A: more delicious, B: more exciting and C: more nutritious, then i’m in happy B land. So thats what i set out to do.

The base of the muesli started off pretty bog standard- gluten free oats, fried fruits and seeds. A quick scan of my shelves showed that we had a couple of jars of grains and seeds that were running pretty low, as in, the perfect amount to add to the muesli. From that second on i knew this was going to be a truly awesome recipe. A magic muesli was well under way.

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I threw quinoa, millet, flax and amaranth in a jug and let them soaked in plenty of water for 18 hours then i drained, rinsed and dehydrated them for about 8 hours. I know this is not an option for most of you but you could totally dry them out in oven (at the lowest setting with the door ajar). Or even, just leave them out entirely and t5he base muesli will still rock your breakfast worlds.

Once everything was dry, i combined them all in a large jar with all the seeds and dried fruit i could get my hands on. The final flourish, the truly magical part came when i stirred in a tablespoon of vanilla pod powder. That smell- dreamy, whimsical, heavenly.

The end result is a truly royal muesli. Packed with so much goodness- protein, amino acids, vitamins, omegas. Aaaahhh, the perfect fuel for the busiest of days. Magical muesli, my love, where have you been all my life?!

For the base:

  • 2 cups Oats (gluten free preferably)
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Powder
  • 8 dried Figs
  • 8 dried Apricots
  • 1 handful Sultanas
  • 12 dried Dates
  • 1/4 cup dried Coconut Flakes
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 cup Sesame Seeds (i used black and white)
  • 1 tbsp Poppy Seeds
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds

For the many “grains”:

  • 1/2 cup Flax Seeds
  • 1/2 cup Buckwheat
  • 1/4 cup Millet
  • 1/4 cup Quinoa
  • 2 tbsp Amaranth
  1. Soak the “grains” in a large jug for a least 8 hours (overnight is easiest).
  2. Drain, rinse well and drain again
  3. Tip these onto a few sheets of a dehydrator (or oven) and dehydrate for 8 hours (i’m guessing when it comes to using an oven but maybe 2-4 hours?)
  4. Roughly chop the dried fruit into small pieces
  5. Combine everything in a large (dry) jug and mix well
  6. Store in a clean, airtight jar.
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