Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Pickled Walnut and Avocado Hummus


This January my pledge is to cook and eat extra healthy. I have been making sure that I prepare varied lunches for my family with the fresh ingredients. One of my family's most frequent lunch box item is wraps with different types of fillings. The base of my wraps is always a spread or dip of some sort topped with roasted vegetables, salad, grilled haloumi, tofu or mushrooms. The combinations are numerous and you can create a filling for each persons preferences.

Hummus is my favorite dip, its really versatile and you can use it as a spread too. I enjoy experimenting by adding new flavors to the basic hummus recipe to create variety. This is how this amazing Pickled Walnut and Avocado Hummus was created. The Opies pickled walnuts are my new discovery, if you have not tried them trust me once you do you will be hooked. I add them to salads, soups, pasta dishes to give the dish texture and a unique pickled flavour too.
Yield: 1 bowl

Pickled Walnut and Avocado Hummus

Delicious and creamy Avocado and Chickpeas dip flavoured with pickled walnuts
prep time: 15 minscook time: total time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

For Hummus
  • 1 400g can precooked chick peas  
  • 2-3 Opies Pickled Walnuts(finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid from the pickled walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons of chick pea water from the cooked chick peas
  • 2 ripe Avocado  
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red chilli finely diced
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes(Optional)
  • 6 springs fresh coriander 
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Pomegranate seeds for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin oil for drizzle
  • 2 springs fresh Coriander finely chopped for garnish

Instructions


  1.  Drain the chickpeas and reserve liquid.
  2.  Juice the two lemons 
  3.  Peel and dice the avocado and drizzle them with a little lemon juice to stop them discolouring.
  4. Peel and finely chop the three walnuts and keep aside
  5.  In the food processor, add the drained chickpeas with 4 tablespoons of chickpea liquid.
  6. Add the avocado reserving about 1 tablespoon for garnish.
  7. Add the fresh coriander, red chilli, salt, black pepper, walnut pickling liquid, 4 tablespoons lemon juice and olive oil. Blend the mixture to a smooth paste.If the mixture is too stiff add a little more of the reserved chickpea liquid to get the desired consistency
  8. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the chilli flakes. Keep about a tablespoonful of the chopped  pickled walnuts  for garnish and fold the remaining  in. (Do not blend the walnuts in the food processor as the hummus will change colour)Also the chopped walnuts add a nice texture to the smooth hummus.
  9. Transfer the Pickled walnut and Avocado hummus to a serving bowl, garnish with the remaining chopped walnuts, reserved chopped avocado, chopped coriander and pomegranate seeds. Finish off with a drizzle of Extra virgin olive oil

NOTES:

This Pickled Walnut and Avocado Hummus can be served as a dip with vegetable crudites, tortilla chips or used as a spread for sandwiches, wraps and rolls.
Created using The Recipes Generator



*In collaboration with Opies
You can check out some mouthwatering recipes using Opies Products on their recipe page.

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Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Cheats Chocolate Bread~Recipe Swap Jan 2019



I am a member of the facebook Recipe swap group where food bloggers are paired with another blogger in the group and they get the opportunity to discover their partners blog and select a recipe to recreate. This is a great way to make new friends, discover new blogs to follow and learn new styles of global cuisines.

This month I was allocated Seema's blog mildlyindian. Seema is a vegetarian blogger, living in Sydney, who is also an avid traveller, she says in her bio that she gets inspiration for her recipes whilst travelling. Looking through the blog there was a lovely mix of travel posts and recipe posts. I loved all the south Indian style recipes and have book marked a few to try.



My choice for the recipe swap was the 2 ingredient ice cream loaf bread recipe on Seemas blog. I was intrigued as to how this recipe would work. I also had a half empty tub of chocolate ice cream that needed to be eaten so I thawed it to use it up. I had to make minor changes to the recipe ie adding a little more liquid. I also added a handful of chocolate chips that were in my pantry screaming to be used.The result was a very tasty chocolate  bread, however it was a little dense, maybe because I used 100% whole meal flour rather than a lighter flour.


The chocolate bread was wonderful served with a dusting of cocoa powder and some tart raspberries and accompanied by a cup of piping hot coffee.

Yield: 12 slices

Cheats Chocolate Bread

This is a delicious cheats sweetchocolate loaf bread that can be made with store cupboard ingredients.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 30 minstotal time: 35 mins

Ingredients:

2 cups chocolate chip ice cream thawed.
1.5 cups whole wheat flour
A handful chocolate chips(optional)
1 teaspoon cocoa for dusting.
2-3 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
  2. Line an 8 inch loaf pan with grease proof paper and keep aside. Alternatively grease and dust with flour.
  3. Add the thawed ice cream into a mixing bowl and give it a quick whisk 
  4. Add the whole wheat flour and gently fold it in with light hands. Once mixed add the chocolate chips. If the mixture seems too stiff add a couple of tablespoons on milk or water.I had to do this to make the batter dropping consistency.
  5.  Try not to over whisk the mixture.
  6. Pour the mix into the prepared baking tin.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, to test if the chocolate bread is ready insert a skewer into the center of the bread if it comes out clean its ready, if not cook for another 5 -10 minutes. My bread took only 30 minutes to cook
  8. Once cooked remove from oven and cool in tin. Once totally cooled remove from tin and slice. Dust with cocoa powder.

NOTES:

It can be made with any icecream flavour.

Created using The Recipes Generator



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To see what the recipes other bloggers created from their recipe swap partners, please check the posts below.

Mirelle- Githeri
Ali- Blueberry, Cardamom, Lemon Muffins.
Renu-Instant Ragi Idli
Lathiya- Vegan Pumpkin Falafel
Sasmita-Rice Flour
Mayuri-Instant Semolina Idli
Rafeeda-Double Bean Scirracha Hummus
Jagruti-Non alcoholic Green Apple Martini
Seema- Pumpkin Chia Popsicle
Jayashree-Cantaloupe, carrot and beetroot smoothie
Priya-Malabar Masala Choru
Archana - Fresh Hara Chana Chaat
Sanndhya- Dry Garlic Powder Chutney

Thursday, 3 January 2019

Veganuary with Indigo Herbs



After an indulgent festive period it's time to think of getting into shape, stick to the New Years resolutions and follow a healthy eating programme. I have created a plan for my self that I am going to try and follow, not just for January but throughout the year.

The plan is:

  • To eat healthy
  • To exercise
  • Maintain a good work/life balance
  • Sleep well
  • Reduce time on social media and spend more time outdoors
  • Spend time with family.
  • To slow down and enjoy life(I am very hyperactive)
My main focus is to eat healthy and exercise more.I have always been a vegetarian but on this blog I do share vegan recipes too. During the month of January my aim is to support #veganuary and post more vegan recipes on the blog. Being Vegan is not really difficult as most ingredients can be substituted with plant based products, such as nut milks, nut butters, vegan cheese too.

I particularly like the range of the raw seed and nut butters that are available form Indigo herbs. I always keep a supply of them in my pantry together with their organic dried fruits and fruit powders.


I love using the nut butters in my smoothies, in baking, making truffles and also just dolloped on my oats or porridge in the morning. My favorite morning routine is overnight oats with berries and almond milk with a generous dollop of almond butter in it. It really is a delicious breakfast to kick start the day. 


I also like making my chocolate oat shake with cacao, banana and indigo peanut butter. My family call it snickers smoothie. It really is absolutely delicious.

For lunch the black sesame seed tahini in a wrap with roasted peppers is absolutely delicious too.

You don't have to be a vegetarian or vegan to enjoy these nut and seed butters but if you planning on doing #veganuary they would be perfect to include in your diet. Do check out Indigo Herbs recipe ideas here.


The indigo range has a selection of different nut and seed butters and they have been very generous and have agreed to send one simplyfood reader a selection to try.

How to Enter:

·         Simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below to verify your entries
·         Entries can be via blog comment, Facebook, Twitter etc
·         Please read the rules they form the terms and conditions of this Giveaway
·         Closing date – 19th Jan 2019 12.00 am

How Rafflecopter works:
·        You will need to complete the mandatory entry first – usually making a blog comment. You can do this by clicking on leave a comment at the bottom of the post and leaving your reply in the comment box. Please note your comment will not show immediately as it needs to be moderated however rest assured it will appear on the site, so carry on with rest of entries.
·        Login to Rafflecopter – click to see what the question is. Make a comment answering the question on the blog.
·         Go back to Rafflecopter and click the green button to tell me you have made a comment, this will unlock all the other options. All entries are checked to see that the mandatory question is answered, if its not all bonus entries will become void. 
·        Rafflecopter will tweet, like and follow on your behalf.
·        For information on how to find the URL of your tweet click here
·        For bonus entries you can return to this page and enter the daily bonus entries. 
·        If you are still unsure as to how Rafflecopter works please do check out this short video.

Rules:
  • This giveaway is open to all readers over 18 who live in the UK.
  • The winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter (which uses random.org) and announced on this page.
  • Prize: A selection of Indigo seed and nut butters worth £50.00
  • Simplyfood is hosting this giveaway in collaboration of Indigo Herbs. Their decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. They reserve the right to withdraw the competition at any time should any unforeseen circumstances arise, in case that the prize is not available a similar prize of same value will be substituted.  No monetary compensation will be given.
  • Indigo Herbs will be responsible for sending out the prize to the winner, by entering you are **consenting** to share your address for the prize to be sent and be contacted by email to notify you if you have won the prize. 
  •  Please note to be complaint with the new GDPR rules by entering the giveaway you are consenting to allow simplyfood to contact you if you win the prize. Your data will NOT be used for any other marketing purposes.
  • All entries will be verified, failure to follow instructions correctly will result in participants being disqualified. Please do not cheat.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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*Giveaway in collaboration with Indigo Herbs

Tuesday, 25 December 2018

Christmassy Oat and Berry Smoothie


How does your Christmas morning start? We have a ritual that we follow every year. We all wear our Christmas jumpers to start off with. We then all gather in the lounge where the presents are sorted in piles for each person. Each person opens one present at a time in turn. Whilst we open our presents, I serve this tasty spicy vegan oat and berry smoothie to keep everyone replenished. Its the perfect start before we sit down to our breakfast.

What is your family's Christmas ritual? Do share in the comments below.


This smoothie is so easy to make, its vegan and dairy free too. The ideal way to start the day and get into the Christmas mood.


Yield: serves 2

Christmas Oats and Berry smoothie

Christmas spice, delicious oat smoothie to kick start your morning.
prep time: 3 minscook time: total time: 3 mins

Ingredients:

30 g Oats
50g Soya yoghurt
100 ml oat milk chilled
Mixed berries, cranberries, strawberries, blueberries
1 banana
1 pinch of nutmeg
1 pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon agave nectar (optional)

Method:
1. Place all the ingredients into a high speed blender . I used my Optimum 9400 and blend the ingredients until smooth and creamy.
2. Pour into tall glasses and serve chilled. Garnish with more berries if you prefer.
Created using The Recipes Generator




I used my tried and trusted Optimum 9400 to blend my soup. The blender is so versatile and powerful that it grinds, pulses, makes ice cream, soups and amazing smoothies and nut butters too. It is easy to clean and maintain too.

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Friday, 7 December 2018

Thai Tomato Soup



Soups are a staple in my household we all love them especially when the weather is wet and grim. This Thai tomato soup is so simple to make and strangely the recipe works best with overripe tomatoes that are usually too soft for salads. Adding the Thai flavours just converts the humble tomato soup and makes it A class!!


Yield: Serves 2

Thai Tomato Soup

Simple tomato soup packed with Thai flavours of lemongrass and Chinese five spice.
prep time: 5 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 25 mins

Ingredients:

240 g ripe tomatoes roughly diced.
50 g bean sprouts
1/2 white onion finely chopped
1 inch piece lemon grass finely chopped.
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 Celery stick finely chopped
1 small carrot finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon chilli flakes
1/3 teaspoon Chinese five spice
1 tablespoon olive oil/
200 ml water


Instructions

1. In a large pan add the oil, when its hot add the chopped onions, garlic and leeks and saute them for 3-4 minutes until translucent.
2. Add the carrots and chopped tomatoes and lemon grass to the pan and the water and bring the soup to a simmer.
3. Cook the soup for 10 minutes.
4. Transfer the soup to the Optimum 9400 blender and blend until smooth.
5. Strain the soup into the pan and discard any residue left in the strainer.
6. Add the salt,  pepper, chilli flakes and Chinese five spice  and bring the soup to a slow boil. Turn off the heat and add the bean sprouts.
7. Ladle soup into serving bowls and enjoy with crusty bread.
Created using The Recipes Generator


I used my tried and trusted Optimum 9400 to blend my soup. The blender is so versatile and powerful that it grinds, pulses, makes ice cream, soups and amazing smoothies and nut butters too. It is easy to clean and maintain too.

The Optimum 9400 2nd generation is currently on offer for £289. Froothie currently have a blender sale on all their blenders . These include the Optimum G2.1 their newest & most advanced optimum blender which is reduced from £559.00 to £339 and Optimum air vacuum blender is reduced from £499 to £339 . This is the perfect time to buy in time for Christmas.

Froothie also offer 0% finance on products over £299 and only require a 10% deposit. That's not all, the fab people at Froothie are offering you lovely readers FREE DELIVERY too (for a limited time).  Just use this code 1572 FREE AMBASSADOR DELIVERY in the comments box when making your purchase, the delivery charge will then be refunded. Froothie are also offering a free gift worth £179 if you buy two blenders. All the blenders come with 30 day return option so you can buy and try and return f you are not satisfied with the purchase.

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