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 upgraded to Optimum 9200A. 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 and an extra two year warranty use code "Ambassador8" in comments box when ordering.  

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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

Tuesday 5 June 2018

Arla Organic Free Range Milk - #ArlaOrganic

How often do you go food shopping? I usually do a weekly food shop and then top it up with milk and bread mid week if I need to. My shopping list is usually the same with my favorite staple foods but sometimes I have extra items that need replenishing in my pantry. Did you know that  market research has shown that the most common ten items in most people’s shopping baskets are:
  • Milk
  • Cheese
  • Bread
  • Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Fruit
  • Cereal
  • Crisps
  • Ready meals
  • Chicken

It’s not surprising that milk, cheese and bread are the top three items as they are staples in most household. We consume these three products on a daily basis but the milk in my household features for breakfast, lunch, teatime and dinner too.

Since we use a lot of milk, I always source the best and my first choice is definitely Arla Organic Free range Milk. I favour this milk as I am assured that the 89 Arla famers only graze their cows on 100% organic grass that is guaranteed free from herbicides and artificial fertilizers. This ensures that the milk the cows produce is of the best standard. Whether you prefer creamy whole or delicious semi-skimmed, you know by choosing Arla milk, you’re also supporting the farmers that own the Arla business, as all the profits go straight back into the farmer’s pockets. It is not surprising to know that Arla Organic Free Range milk has been awarded Product of the Year in 2018.

I always buy both the Arla semi skimmed and the Arla whole milk which are available in 2l bottles. I prefer to use the semi skimmed milk for daily use and whole milk  for making my own natural yoghurt at home.The whole milk makes the yoghurt creamier and thicker. Arla milk is also great to add to pancakes, to mashed potatoes to make it rich and creamy and it is a great addition to cheese sauce too for pasta.

For breakfast my family enjoy eating fruit, granola and cereal with chilled Arla semi skimmed milk. Eating breakfast is important and this meal sets us up for the day as we all head off  to our daily routines.

Late afternoons after work, I crave my cup of tea, this is the time when I get half an hours peace to recharge my batteries before I start preparing my evening meal. I like my tea strong and hot and made with Arla semi skimmed milk and of course on rare occasion I do treat myself to a nice piece of cake.

I was always brought up knowing milk is best, hence I rarely buy juices and fizzy drinks for my family.We either make our own smoothies with fresh fruit and vegetables or drink milk or water. A chilled glass of  Arla milk in the summer with some cookies is the perfect bedtime treat. Did you know that a 200 ml glass of semi skimmed milk contains:

31% of our recommended daily Calcium
74% of our recommended daily Vitamin B12
41% of our recommended daily Iodine
14% of our recommended daily Protein
35% of our recommended daily Calcium
31% of our recommended daily Riboflavin
31% of our recommended daily Vitamin B5
28% of our recommended daily Phosphorus.

In the winter when its cold and dark, what can be better than enjoying  piping hot cups of hot chocolate made with the milk, which is the perfect winter warmer on cold chilly days. 

I strongly believe that the foods we consume should be healthy, organically produced and are of the highest standard. By choosing to buy Arla Free range organic milk you are also guarantee that inspections are carried out and additional standards are met on animal welfare and sustainability.
What are your choices in milk, do share in the comments below.

**In collaboration with Arla
**All photos copyright of simplyfood.

Friday 1 June 2018

Pineapple Salsa~Recipe Swap

This is my third month with the group recipe swap on facebook where a bunch of like minded food bloggers get together and team up in pairs to create a recipe from each others blogs. My partner for the month of May was Amber who blogs at Leggings 'n' Lattes, what an original name for a blog. Amber is a full time blogger and a stay at home mum with a young family. Her passion s to build a community to support women and inspire each other. That's a great outlook and I admire her for that.

Coming to the recipe post, I saw a few recipes that I short listed however since UK is having a rare heat wave we try and make the most of it by eating out doors as much as we can before the rainy weather returns. During these sunny days I always try to make easy recipes that we can eat out doors and those that pair up well with barbecues.

The pineapple salsa just screamed at me from Amber's blog, especially as this weekend we were celebrating my daughters birthday with a barbecue in the garden. The salsa was a super hit and I had to quickly make a second batch as the first batch got eaten in moments. The only addition I made to the salsa was that I added some cucumber,cherry tomato halves and used spring onions instead of red onion as they have a milder taste.

print recipe

Pineapple Salsa
by June-1-2018
Refreshing and crunchy vegetables with sweet tropical pineapple, dressed with a garlic and lemony dressing with a hint of chili flakes makes this salsa simply delectable.


  • 1 pineapple peeled and cored and diced into 1 cm pieces.(You can use tinned also)
  • 1 each green, red capsicum finely diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic finely chopped
  • Juice from 1small lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin Lemon infused Biolea olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt  
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly crushed black pepper
  • Few springs coriander finely chopped
  • 3 spring onions finely chopped 
  • 10 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1/2 cucumber finely diced
  • 150 g precooked sweet corn (optional)


1. In a jar add  olive oil, lemon juice, salt, chilli flakes,cucumber, pepper and garlic, put the lid on and shake the jar to mix the dressing, keep aside. 2. In a bowl add the pineapple, capsicums, sweetcorn, spring onions, tomatoes and coriander and toss together. Add the dressing and mix together 3.Transfer the salsa to a serving bowl and serve with crackers or tortilla crisps.


Prep time: 15 mins Cook time: None Total time: 15 mins Yield: Serves 4

NB-  If you use tinned pineapple make sure you drain the liquid and pat dry the pineapple before adding to the salsa.

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