Friday, 20 July 2018

Tidbits in my pantry~ Kitchenware

The last couple of months I have had the opportunity to discover lots of new products, I featured afew in a previous post and today I am going to share some more that I am trialing at the simplyfood kitchens.

Barista and Co Brew It Stick Coffee Infuser-The perfect present for someone who just loves real coffee but doesn’t always have the time   to get out the cafetière or filter jug. This is a simple device which makes one cup of coffee straight in the mug. It retails at £11.99 and is available from most homeware stores or on line.

Melitta Original coffee filters have specially arranged aroma pores ensuring that your filter coffee develops its flavour perfectly. Available on line and in most home ware store.

If You Care Snack and Sandwich Bags – If You Care Sandwich Bags are grease proof un coated, they are not treated with petroleum-based paraffin wax, soy or any other type of wax. The bags are also suitable for use in the microwave.

If You Care Baking Cups are made from unbleached totally chlorine-free (TCF) grease proof paper. They are perfect for sweet and savoury baked goods

SMART To Go by Curver is composed of a wide range of handy boxes and accessories for your lunchtime needs. The range is divided with snack boxes, lunch boxes with cutlery, full lunch kits with sauce cups and separation trays and some accessories (cutlery sets, cup sets, etc).

Sistema Fresh vent storage containers are perfect to store fruits and vegetables. They help to keep the produce fresher longer with its built-in FreshVent™ lid filter. They are available in assorted sizes too.

The Vac Smarter food container is ideal to store different food items. It has a vacuum seal which is created to seal in freshness of food to lock in freshness, flavours and nutrition.

Set of two ramekin dishes by quick recipe, these are perfect to create those scrumptious desserts and souffles in the oven.

I love organising my kitchen and some of these products have been really useful to have. Are there any new products you have recently discovered, that you love?

** I received these products to test in the simplyfood kitchens, I was not asked to write a positive review all opinions are my own.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Tidbits from my Pantry

The last couple of months I have been invited to many press events and it’s always a great way to discover new products that are on the market. In this round up I am sharing some of the lovely product samples I have received to try in the simplyfood kitchens.

Bodum Vacum travel mug, Stylish in black and copper this has become my best friend. I use it every day to take my tea to work. The Travel Mugs are made from stainless steel, plastic, rubber and silicone. It retails at £30.00

This Champagne flute from Strahl is perfect for enjoying some bubbley. It is beautifully handcrafted from glass and it is very stylish. A pack of four glasses retail at £45.00

Aladdin Active Hydration Tracker Bottle, this is the perfect bottle to fill and take with you to ensure you stay hydrated throughout the day. It retails at £14.99 and it is available from most home ware shops and on line.

Doulton Filter bottles -The Taste filter bottle lets you take Doulton® quality water with you on all of life’s adventures. Enjoy clean, healthy drinking water wherever you are. The bottles come with a filter and it retails at £14.95

OXO good grips dish squeegeeis a handy gadget to clear left over food off dishes with a simple swipe. It will be available on line from November in the UK so do watch out for it as its a great little helper in the kitchen.

Addis Dish Brush, made with firm bristles and a bamboo handle, this is really handy in the kitchen to clean off food leftovers  stuck to plate.

Colours Scrub Daddy, this smiley scourer is perfect for cleaning all your dishes. It is odour free and does not scratch your dishes.

These Andre Jardin nail brush anD scourer are great to have in your sink tidy to wash the pans and clean your nails with.

Do you have any favorite products you have recently tried that you would highly recommend??

**I would like to thank all the brands who have sent me these lovely products to test, I was not asked to write any positive reviews in exchange for these products.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

Sesame Chilli Potatoes

One of my favorite cuisines is Indo Chinese, I am not even sure if this is a made up term or it actually exists but basically it means that the dish has a fusion of Indian/Chinese flavours. My two most popular Indo Chinese recipes on my blog are Chilli Paneer and Chilli Mago (cassava) They are super delicious and and family love them.

Taking inspiration from these recipes I have come up with another family favorite, Sesame Chilli potatoes. The key to this recipe is to use baby potatoes. I love using the Taste the difference British Gem Baby New Potatoes that are currently in season and are available in Sainsburys. The distinctive buttery flavour of these new potatoes, give this dish a lovely taste as they absorb the flavours beautifully. I always prefer to cook them with the skin on. Did you know that the British Gem new potatoes are British grown, collected daily, washed  and packaged and they are available in the supermarket within 48 hours of being harvested. You can't get fresher potatoes than these, unless of course you grow your own!!!

Yield: Serves 4

Sesame Chilli Potatoes

New potatoes tossed in a sesame chilli sauce with Indo -Chinese flavours of ginger, garlic, chilli and soya sauce.
Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 40 mins


750g Sainsburys British Gem Potatoes
1 teaspoon salt (to add to water for boiling potatoes)
6 spring onions thinly sliced
1 red chilli finely sliced
1 green chilli finely sliced
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1 inch piece ginger cut into thin julienne strips
1/2 tablespoon  dark soya sauce
1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Wash and prick the potatoes and put them in a large pan with 1 litre of water and 1 teaspoon salt. Boil the potatoes until cooked. This will take approx 15-20 minutes.
2. Drain the potatoes and pat them dry with tea towel.
3. In a large wok add the oil and when its hot, saute the garlic slices and remove them once they turn golden brown and crispy. Keep aside for garnishing later.
4. In the same oil, add the potatoes and saute them until brown and crispy. About 5 minutes.
5. Add  three quarters of the spring onions (reserve the remainder for garnish), red / green chilli and sesame seeds to the potatoes and saute for a further 3 minutes.
6. Add the soya sauce, sweet chilli sauce, salt and toss the potatoes for another 2 minutes.
7. Transfer the potatoes to a serving dish and garnish with the ginger juliennes and sauteed garlic and the remainder of the spring onions.


NB- If the potatoes are a large cut them in half as this recipe works best with small potatoes and also leave the skin on.

Created using The Recipes Generator

I like serving my Sesame Chilli Potatoes with Hakka noodles and julienne sauted vegetables to make a delectable and tasty Indo Chinese Meal.

**In collaboration with Sainsburys.

Do check out other British Gem Potato recipes below.

Friday, 29 June 2018

Tomato Chutney and review of Masala Mamas Recipe Book

Masala Mamas is a beautiful cookbook with recipes and stories from Indian women changing their communities through food and love. This is no ordinary cook book, it’s a book about empowering women.

How did the cook book come about?

Gabriel Project Mumbai (GMP) have come up with a project in collaboration with the Kalwa Slums in India. This is a place, that 200,000 people call home, where clean water and electricity are hard to find and harsh conditions often prevent little children from going to school.
The project was set up to encourage parents to send their kids to the GMP school instead of sending them to work and scavenging and in return they have promised to provide a healthy hot nutritional lunch for them for free.

The lunches are cooked by a group of 16 women the Masala Mamas from the Kalwa slums. The women get together each morning at 7.30 in the Delicio Womens Cooperative kitchens and start the daily food preparations for more than 100 children. The recipes that the women cook daily are featured in the book. They are made using natural and authentic ingredients and the cook book is a collection of authentic vegetarian/vegan dishes that have been cooked by the women for generations in the Marathi community.

Author Elana Sztokman combines each woman’s inspirational story in the book. She draws on each woman’s amazing story of migration, social change and transformation, as each woman left her tribal village that she loves, to seek out better education for her children. This book is aimed at those wanting to support vulnerable populations in Mumbai, whilst learning some hearty, healthy Indian vegetarian and kosher recipe.

Masala Mamas covers recipes from hidden India; vegetarian, vegan and kosher dishes and drinks that have been around for generations, yet remain unique to the area, from breads and breakfast dishes to snacks, mains and sweets.The book ISBN - 978-1-784529-00-0 and you can purchase it on line at Panoma Press priced at £24.99. By buying this book you will be helping the future of a child in the Kalwa Slums.It would make a lovely gift for some one interested in Indian cookery.

All the proceeds from the book go to the Masala Mamas, a non-profit social enterprise promoting nutrition, literacy, health, women empowerment and community development in the Kalwa slum in Thane India.

I really enjoyed reading the recipe book and the story of Masala Mamas. Many of the recipes in the book are ones that I cook at home too, but there were a few that are new to me and I am really excited to test out and feature on this blog. For starters I have tried the Tomato Chutney recipe which turned out to be amazing and my family loved it. I will definitely be making it again.

The Chutney is very versatile as you can serve it chunky as a salsa with tortilla chips and crackers or you can blend it smooth and use it as a dressing too.

Tomato Chutney
Maharastrain, Vegan, Vegetarian
Yield: 1 Jar 

Tomato Chutney

Tangy tomatoes cooked with an array of spices makes this a really delectable chutney to serve.
prep time: 5 minsCook time: 16 minsTotal time: 21 mins


6 Medium tomatoes diced
1 medium white onion finely diced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger paste
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons sunflower oil

To Roast and Grind:

1 tablespoon Urad dhal(black gram lentils)
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds


1. In a frying pan on a low heat dry roast the urad dhal and sesame seeds for 3-4 minutes, remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
2. Transfer the cooled roasted mixture to a spice grinder and grind to a coarse powder. Keep aside.
3. In a saucepan add the oil, once its hot, add the cumin seeds and then add the onions and saute on medium heat until pink and translucent.
4. Add the ginger paste, chillies, salt, turmeric and the tomatoes and cook for another 7-8 minutes until tomatoes are soft.
5. Add the sugar, lemon juice and the roasted spice mixture and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
6. Take the chutney off the heat and allow to cool, at this point you can either leave it with the texture or if you prefer you can grind it smooth in a blender. I prefer mine with the texture.
7. Transfer the chutney to a sterilised jar and eat with in 3-4 days. Keep refrigerated.
Created using The Recipes Generator

I was sent  a copy of Masala Mamas to review all views are of my own experience of the book.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Tropical Smoothie

Its been a while since I have shared a smoothie recipe, but a few weeks ago I wrote about how I make smoothie packs to freeze every week. This smoothie pack I have used is my mango, coconut, pineapple  and lime to make a lovely tropical smoothie. It is one of our favorites and I am making it often since mangoes are in season.

Tropcal, Smoothie, Fruit
Smoothie, Breakfast
Yield: Serves 2 Pin it

Tropical Smoothie

Delicious mango, pineapple and Coconut gives this smoothie a tropical flavour that reminds me of tropical shores.
prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 0 Total time: 5 mins


1 large mango stoned and diced.
1 cup fresh pineapple diced.
1 tablespoon freshly grated coconut and a little extra for garnish.
Juice from 1 lime
1 tablespoon Honey to sweeten (optional to taste)
1 cup icecubes
100 ml water.


1. Place all the ingredients into the Optimum Froothie 9400 and blend for 1 minute until smooth.
2. Pour the smoothie into tall glasses and garnish with the fresh grated coconut.


NB- Try and use fresh coconut or frozen, desiccated coconut does not give same flavour.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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

The Optimum 9400 is curently on offer for £349 . 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.

If you enjoy visiting simplyfood and would like to receive regular updates and a monthly newsletter straight into your inbox please sign up by email. You will find the email and newsletter signup right at the top under my photo in the side bar.

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Vegan Mini Oat and Apple breakfast Muffins

Oats are classed as a super food as they have numerous health benefits and they are gluten free and high in antioxidants. They can be incorporated in your daily diet in lots of different ways.

Some benefits of Oats:
  • Prevents cardiovascular disease:  The antioxidants present in oats are very helpful for heart disease and their dietary fibers help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) without affecting the good cholesterol (HDL).
  • Prevents constipation: Oats have a very rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps in regulating bowel movements and helps to prevent constipation.
  • Reduces hypertension: Oats help to maintain steady blood pressure, reducing the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Rich source of magnesium:  Oats have a high source of magnesium, which helps prevent heart attacks and strokes.
  • Supports weight loss: Oats are low in calories and they slows digestion this helps you to get less hunger pangs and aids weight loss.
  • Controls blood sugar levels: The high fiber in oats help to stabilise blood  
  • Reduces cancer risk: The lignans in oats helps reduce chances of hormone-related cancers like breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.
  • Enhances immune response to disease: Beta Gluten a unique fiber found in oats which helps neutrophils travel to the site of an infection more quickly and to fight the bacteria for a speedy recovery
  • Protects skin: Oats help to neutralise the skin’s PH and are therefore beneficial to use as soothing agents against skin irritations.
I try and integrate oats in my families diet daily. You can use them in many recipes such as porridge, overnight oats, granola, pancakes, flapjacks, muffins and even use them as pie toppings, coating for burgers and for crumble toppings.

I like using  Moma porridge Oats, they come in plain and flavoured single portion sachets and also on the go flavoured porridge pots that are great for travel too. You just need to add water and you have breakfast ready in less than five minutes. I just top mine with fruit and it's a delicious and filling way to start the day.

However if you get tired of eating porridge everyday, you can use these sachets to make muffins too. One of my favorite recipes are these mini vegan Oat and apple muffins made with one of the Apple and Cinnamon flavoured Moma porridge Oats. The muffins are just the right size for a mid morning snack, for breakfast and for lunch boxes too.

Vegan, no refined sugar, gluten free,
Breakfast, Snack
Yield: 8 mini muffinsPin it

Mini Oat and Apple breakfast Muffins

Mini Oat and Apple muffins with cinnamon makes these the most delicious alternative to pancakes.
prep time: 10 minscook time: 20 minstotal time: 30 mins


Dry Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Plain flour
1 serving Moma Porridge cup -Apple and Cinnamon Flavour
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 small pinch salt
1/2 apple finely diced
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 walnuts

Wet Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence


1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C, 300 degrees F
2. Line a mini muffin pan with paper liners.
3. In a jug add all the wet ingredients and mix together.
4. In a bowl sieve together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda.
5. Stir in the Oats and coconut sugar and diced apple, mix all the dry ingredients.
6. Add the wet ingredients from the jug and fold gently with light hands. Do not over mix or you will have chewy muffins.
7. Spoon the batter into the muffin liners and add a walnut on top of each. Tap the pan on the table to release any bubbles.
8. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes . Check if muffins are cooked by inserting a tooth pick in the centre if it comes out
clean they are ready to come out of the oven.
9. Remove the tray from the oven and allow to cool.


NB- These muffins are slightly dense as they have no butter or eggs, they are still very tasty.You can make any variation of these mini muffins by using the different Moma porridge 
  • Cranberry and Raisin, replace the apple with handful of dried cranberries. 
  • Almond butter and salted caramel, replace the apple with a handful of flaked almonds.
  • Coconut and Chia, replace the apple with a tablespoon of coconut flakes.

Created using The Recipes Generator

Do you enjoy eating Oats? Do share your ides of how you eat your oats in the comments below.

**In collaboration with Moma Foods

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Sunday, 10 June 2018

Vegan Fruit and Nut Flapjacks

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. A lot of people skip breakfast and then get hunger pangs mid morning. I enjoy oats for breakfast, either made as overnight oats in the summer or hot porridge with fruits in the winter. I also love healthy snacks when I need breakfast on the go. These Fruit and Nut Flapjacks are the excellent choice.They contain no refined sugars and are gluten and dairy free and they are made with the finest organic fruit and nuts from the Indigo Herb company.

Indigo Herbs based in Glastonbury in Somerset have a great ethos they think the path to health starts with taking responsibility for your body, mind and soul. The second step is making the change by working some healthy routines into your daily lifestyle. On their website they supply a broad and unique range of quality products to include in your daily lifestyle, from breakfast, lunch and dinner, to everything in between.

Breakfast, Snack
Vegan, Vegetarian
Yield: 1 Tray 16 Squares.Pin it

Fruit and Nut Flapjacks

Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 30 mins Total time: 40 mins
Gluten, dairy free and refined sugar free fruit and nut flapjacks that make the perfect breakfast or mid morning snack.


Dry Ingredients:
2.5 cups Organic oats
1 cup  Indigo Organic dried apricots and figs finely chopped.
1.5 cups mixed Indigo Organic nuts almonds, cashew nuts, walnuts coarsely chopped.
0.5 cup  Indigo Organic coconut palm sugar.
2 teaspoons  Indigo Organic Baobab powder.

Wet Ingredients:
1/3 cup sunflower oil.
1/2 cup almond milk.
1 teaspoon vanilla.


1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees C/ 300 degrees F
2. Line a square baking tray with parchment paper.
3. In a bowl add all the ingredients except the milk and mix together.
4. Stir in the almond milk a little at a time, until mixture binds together but don't make it too wet. (You may not need to use all the milk)
5. Transfer the mixture into the prepared baking tray and tightly pack it down using the back of a spoon. This is important as it will ensure when you cut the flapjacks they don't fall apart.
6. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes at 150 degrees C  and another 10 minutes at 180 degrees C. 
7. The flapjacks should be a rich golden brown colour.
8.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool fully before cutting into slices or squares.


NB- You can add any dried fruits or nuts of your choice.
Created using The Recipes Generator

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This post is in collaboration with Indigo Herbs’s

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