Butter Bean and Callaloo Stew

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I am sharing a plate full of Caribbean sunshine here! This dish has all the flavours that I love and is healthy and nutritious. I miss my mother-in-law and this Jamaican dish reminds me of her. This dish can be rustled up pretty quickly and is I believe, a breakfast dish but it’s amazing any time of day. The whole dish probably took me about 20 minutes to make and I will be sharing this with friends served with rice and an avocado salad. It’s vegan and is very kind on the budget, which is just as well as everything has gone up massively.
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Maple Roasted Sprouts and Potatoes

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Eatwell 101

I hope I am not the only one who loves brussel sprouts?! They are one of my favourties and they are in season at the moment. This is one vegetable that grows in the UK (they thrive in cold weather) and are incredibly good for you, unfortunately a lot of our mothers boiled them to death and they became something to be endured rather than enjoyed! These little green heroes are full of vitamin K (which can promote bone health), fibre and suprisingly contain Omega 3 fatty acids. This is a great side dish to liven up any dish and ofcourse its heatlhy and fairly cheap.
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Marvellous Mushroom Pate

mushroom pate
Culinaryginger.com

Happy New Year! I went to the Queen of Hosts yesterday 🙂 (Tracey Fenner is the Queen!) for a wonderful New Years Eve visit  – there was amazing food, lots of laughs and even some tractor driving thrown in! Now, I don’t think anyone has ever left Tracey’s home hungry – maybe rubbing their belly because they over induldged but never hungry! So, there were snacks before we went for our country walk and then a massive meal when we came home – and our snack before we set off was this amazing mushroom pate served on toast. I always plan to pace myself and eat delicately but this was just too good and very tasty so I just got stuck in! This is a great dish to serve as a starter or when having friends over and will be my new favourite for a snack. As mushrooms are full of vitamin D – they actually help fight off colds – they also contain selenium which helps support the immune system and prevent damage to cells and tissues.
So get some toast or crackers and get involved 🙂
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Vanilla Ice

imagesSometimes you just want something sweet and almost like ice cream :-) this simple smoothie can be as fancy or as simple as you want and there is no end to the healthy ingredients you could add. I have a suggestion to add some Baobab powder, which I happen to like the taste of and takes this drink to a new level of healthiness! So you can slurp away, safe in the knowledge that you are consuming vitamins, minerals, fiber and anti-oxidants :-)
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Turmeric Tofu Scramble

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Charitymorgan.com

I am always on the lookout for cheap and nutritious meals, that also can be put together quickly. Working from home for so long is having an impact on my desire to cook after a long day in front of the screen – so the quicker the better! I often have this dish for brunch on the weekend but it is equally as good in the week. As always be adventurous – throw in your favorite things and see how it turns out 🙂 I often chuck in a handful of spinach or some courgettes, mushrooms etc. Leftover boiled potatoes (fried) also go well with this dish. I paid almost £11 for this dish recently (I know I know! but I live in London) and this will cost you a fraction of the price.
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Saucy Vermicelli Noodles

download (2)Absolutely delicious!  I do love noodles but often find they can be greasy when I buy them outside. These tasty sesame infused noodles are just the job! The sauce that accompanies this lifts the dish and makes it rather mooreish – however, rice vermicelli noodles are low calorie – yay! have no cholesterol and are a great source of carbohydrate. You can get this tasty dish onto the table pretty quickly (about 20 minutes) and look like a pro!
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Healthy Breakfast Spread (Tahin Pekmez)

tahin pekmezI stumbled upon this little gem by pure accident whilst looking for directions on making Turkish tea (I now own a fantastic Turkish double tea pot!) This amazing breakfast spread is a well kept secret and has become a firm favourite in my home. It is so simple but really delicious. This is a blend of tahini and molasses (I have used either blackstrap molasses or grape molasses) Molasses is good for the health, helps reduce PMS and reduce joint pain among other healthful properties. Grape molasses was used as a ‘cure-all’ in ancient times. Tahini is full of anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals and also very good for heart health – so you can slather this on warm bread in the morning without any guilt!
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Ital Red Pea Soup

red pea soup
Healthiersteps.com

This is probably my favourite West Indian soup – I have eaten it mainly at funerals! but nevertheless it’s been so tasty and filling and really comforting. Red peas are kidney beans and this soup allows you to experiment with different vegetables – pumpkin, sweet potato, yam, butternut squash etc. The beans need soaking overnight or use a pressure cooker to cook them and save time. Kidney beans are a good source of plant-based protein, fibre and have a low glycemic index rating – all round a good, healthy bean! Every time I have eaten this soup it has had ‘spinner’ dumplings in it – which are delicious and make it a meal on its own – so I have included the little dumpling recipe aswell.
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Pea and Basil Soup

pea and basil
homemakershabiitat.com

I don’t think the UK has got the memo yet that we are edging towards summer! We had a glimmer of good weather but it’s dissapeared again and its COLD! However, this soup is great for Spring and can be thrown together very quickly. Just because food is good for you doesn’t mean that it can’t deliver on flavour – the two should go hand in hand. The humble pea is packed with vitamin C, E and Zinc and helps to reduce inflammation (the cause of many illnesses). Basil tastes divine but also contains magnesium which can aid blood flow. This soup is a winner as it is cheap, tasty and has ingredients that you will normally have in the fridge or freezer.
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Smokey Plant-Based Empanadas

downloadI love empanadas and the smokey, sweet tomato sauce that I used to have with tuna empanadas. These plant-based versions are just as tasty and very easy to make. I have now found ready made wholemeal shortcrut pastry (Thank you Tesco!) its light and crumbly and these little treats are great for a mid-morning snack. I bought a nifty little empanada maker from the internet which is amazing (come in three different sizes) and ensure your empanadas don’t come undone during baking. If you are having a gathering – these are very moorish and will disappear quickly!
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Turmeric Latte

Blue Zones

Turmeric is a bit of a wonder spice and the centenarians of Okinawa, Japan have been using Turmeric in their diet for centuries. It is a fantastic anti-oxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties making it a real power house for health. Turmeric is readily available these days and this makes a change from drinking normal or herbal teas. You can sweeten this special brew with a little agave syrup and enjoy the wonderful benefits it will afford your body!
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Squash, Chilli and Coconut Soup

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Another great soup for these crisp winter days. I have to say I do use a lot of coconut milk at the moment but it adds such a lovely creaminess and flavour that I can’t resist it.  This is economical and will last about 4 days in the fridge. This is delicious served with some black olives on the side and a toasted slice of sourdough. 🙂 I now have a brilliant pressure cooker which does the whole thing in 10 minutes but have given you the traditional saucepan recipe. Butternut squash is a great source of fibre and vitamins, coconut milk reduces blood pressure and cholesterol and improves digestion – so don’t take my word for it – make this and see how you feel after!
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Spinach, Lentil and Coconut Soup

This is a great soup to throw together quickly and have for lunch  – seeing as we are all mainly working from home these days. I have struggled some days with the workload and trying to really eat well, but this is the solution! You can prep this first thing in the morning, cook, leave the flavours to entwine and then blitz and eat 🙂 this soup combines taste and healthful benefits, lentils, spinach, leeks and coconut milk.
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Ageing Gracefully

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It’s hard on women. The ageing process. It’s even harder if you have made a living from your looks or have defined yourself by the attention you get from men. It’s hard to look in the mirror every day and see yourself becoming older BUT, it’s something we all need to come to terms with and embrace. It is way better to let go and evolve than cling by any means to who you ‘used’ to be – it’s a losing battle!  
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Fasolada (Bean Soup)

Let’s face it. Summer is pretty much over here in the UK. My thoughts are turning to soothing comfort food. I needed something comforting the other day and I remembered this simple bean soup that uses the best of seasonal vegetables and delivers in flavour and nutrition. I haven’t been so organised lately, long working hours and a family to keep on track has taken up a lot of my time. I am going to make another batch of this rich and thick soup for the week, so I know I have a bowl of goodness waiting for me at lunchtime. Just remember to soak your beans in cold water the night before you plan to make it.
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Strawberry and Banana Breakfast Smoothie

I am trying to move away from eating too much bread and I normally have a sandwich for breakfast (Which I love!) so after I went on a very gentle jog this morning, I came back and whizzed up this delicious smoothie. I used mainly frozen fruit, which is really economical and I had an apple and an orange looking very lonely and a little jaded in the fruit bowl! So I threw them in as well. A little bit of honey or agave and some chia seeds and this was a lovely start to the day.
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Walnut Vinaigrette Salad Dressing

tastespotting.com

I am eating a lot of salad at the moment and as much as I love olive oil, I am trying to cut down a little on the amount of oil I consume without compromising on flavour. This little salad dressing does the trick! I used my Nutri-bullet to blend it in seconds. This comes from Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s bestselling book Eat for Life and is used as part of a whole food plant-based lifestyle. It’s easy and tasty and will allow you to add generously to salads!

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Inactivity is Killing Us!

lazy asian woman using smartphone in bed
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

There is some not so good news that has been circulating for quite a while now, that the real silent killer in the world today is our sedentary lifestyles.
Infact, inactivity is causing more deaths than smoking!  Sitting on your tusch all day (even if you are super slim) will inevitably give you problems later in life. The good news?……….you don’t have to be rich, slim or young to change the course of your life and the number of years you live!
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Ginger Lemonade

Blue Zones

Another great find from the Blue Zones community. You probably already know all the health benefits of lemons but they really are great for vitamin C, great for digestive issues, good for the skin and can help prevent kidney stones. Ginger has manifold health properties, is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties and is used often to combat nausea. This refreshing summer tonic tastes delicious (play around with the mixture until it hits the spot for your palate) you might want it sharper with lemon, sweeter or fierier with ginger! Serve over ice and a slice – it will refresh and revive you!
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Aloo Gobi – Cauliflower, Potato, and Pea Curry

A traditional vegetarian dish served at nearly all Indian restaurants and this is healthy and very easy to put together. I love cauliflower and the great thing about cooking this from home is that you can put as much or as little spice as you like. This dish doesn’t use coconut milk and very little oil – so it is not a heavy dish at all. Served with warm wholemeal naan, it has a lot of flavour and digests very well. I will definitely be making this again!
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Lentil Soup Syrian Style (Shorbat Adas)

I went for lunch yesterday with a good friend of mine and we went to a little local cafe where I had a delicious bowl of this soup – which reminded me how good it tastes! I’m not a huge fan of cumin but for some reason, I really find this soup comforting. Cumin is really good for digestion and is a rich source of iron, combined with an antibiotic property it really is a super spice! This soup is wonderful served with toasted pitta bread.
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Curried Cauliflower Soup

Today feels like a soup day – I love London but it’s cold and grey this morning so something warm and healthy is in order. This recipe is full of good things like turmeric, cumin and cashews – what’s not to like?! It’s vegan and tastes delicious  – cheap and easy to make, so no excuses 🙂

The humble cauliflower is a good source of fibre (keeps things moving along!) It also has lots of antioxidants which supports a healthy immune system. Continue reading “Curried Cauliflower Soup”

The Cretan Rhythm

So, you will have noticed by now that I am a bit of a Grecophile! I have travelled to Greece extensively and have been fortunate enough to visit some of the most unspoiled corners of the country. Places where you are welcome to visit but you are not catered for – bliss! No fast food, no English food on offer  – just seasonal, home-cooked food – like it or leave it – me, personally I liked it! Continue reading “The Cretan Rhythm”

Aubergine Salad (Melitazonsalata)

I have always avoided making this dish, it looked complicated and a bit of a faff! but I recently went on holiday to Crete and my friends amazing mum showed me how to make it. It’s great with fresh bread as a dip or as a side dish but I also use it as a replacement for butter in sandwiches – filled with crispy salad.

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‘We dig our grave with our knife and fork’

English Proverb

‘We dig our grave with our knife and fork’ was also said by the wonderful Miriam Margolyes, actress and national treasure on one of the documentaries about retired celebs checking out various retirement homes across the world. The difference between some of the celebs was marked. Jan Leeming and Wayne Sleep almost defying their ages and looking much, much younger, Rosemary Schreager and Miriam Margolyes looking less than energetic and light on their feet. ‘You are what you eat’ seems especially noticeable in later life. Continue reading “‘We dig our grave with our knife and fork’”