The weather turned here this week. Last week, we were running around in huge piles of leaves in our T-Shirts. This week, we’re in wellies and big coats and I’m secretly thrilled. I love the colder weather and all the beautiful colors everywhere in the autumn. What better excuse than to pull out my crockpot and make more soup! This is one of those soups takes very little time and yet tastes very rich and delicious and leaves your kitchen smelling superb. It’s vegan and dairy free. The red lentils add extra protein and iron. The ingredients are simple and you don’t need to spend much on them. Simply chop and prepare all the ingredients and pop into your crockpot. And you’ll have a delicious lunch or simple supper ready for you just a few hours later.
I love pumpkin at this time of the year and like to stock up my cupboards with handy cans of (organic) pureed pumpkin to pop into soups and smoothies. This is a really simple smoothie to make and is sweetened by adding half a banana. I added some sweet potato too since that’s what we had for dinner last night and it was already roasted and sitting in my fridge. You can play around with the ingredients to make it have more of a pumpkin or sweet potato flavor. This would make a delicious breakfast or lunch.
We have a wonderful British pie shop in our town in a dangerous location since it’s on the road where I pick up my son from school. In the afternoons when they bake their pies, you can smell them all the way down the street. And they smell so good.
Occasionally on a Friday night when I don’t want to cook, I’ll walk to the shop and order a chicken tikka or chicken pot pie. I just love the way they use great quality chicken and a wonderful blend of spices.
Happy Spring! What are your plans for Mother’s Day? I always love that we get to celebrate Mother’s Day in the U.S. in May surrounded by beautiful blossom and spring sunshine.
If someone is going to cook for you this Mother’s Day (hint, hint!) why not try a simple tropical minty salad paired with some roast chicken and a glass of bubbly? This is a simple salad with bold flavors. I love to add fruit to salads and I experimented a with papaya and it worked. You could also add green apple slices or spinach or kale for extra greens and crunch. Have a wonderful time celebrating!
Papaya and Mint Salad for Mother’s Day
1 papaya, peeled and seeds removed and diced into 1 inch cubes
2-3 ripe tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
1 sprig mint, cut into thin slivers
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup black beans
Prepare all the ingredients and combine well in a large salad bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the salad and you can also add an extra drizzle of olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper.
It’s that time of the year again when all the shops are full of red and pink candy and boxes of chocolate. Valentine’s Day can be a real problem if you’re trying to stay healthy and stick to your New Year’s Resolutions. I’m here to tell you that you can have chocolate and stay healthy too! This is a decadent chocolate smoothie for your valentine which would be a perfect accompaniment to my strawberry heart gluten free breakfast pancakes. It contains raw cacao, chocolate protein and maca known for increasing libido and fertility. Raw cacao is full of antioxidants and great for heart health and it adds a really delicious deep chocolately flavor to this smoothie too. Make this smoothie and everyone will fall in love with you!
I organize a lot of food based cleanses and detox programs throughout the year. One of the recipes that my clients love the most is this warming morning elixir. It’s a little bit different to drinking warm water with lemon (although that has amazing health benefits too!) and is a great way to start your detox or any day of the year. It’s also perfect for when you feel a cold coming on. It’s great for your digestion and skin, is very cleansing and has antibacterial properties (the lemon and honey really help!) plus it warms you up in the middle of the winter. Yes, it’s currently snowing outside and I need this drink. The ingredients are listed in the photo above but you could also add a little cayenne for an extra kick or some of the super spice turmeric. Just put everything in a large mug or glass and you are good to go.
When I was growing up, the only way my mum could get me to eat meals was to add applesauce. To every. single. plate. Luckily for me, we had apple trees in our garden and my mum was a great cook and made everything from scratch (a great influence on me for sure!) so I was treated to homemade applesauce every day.
I still love the stuff. It requires a bit of prep work but you can make a huge batch on the weekend and store in the fridge or freezer. No preservatives or extra sugars like the store bought varieties often contain. I’m lazy and like to keep the peel on for extra nutrients (no, I think it’s just because I’m lazy) but you can peel the apples too so the sauce is really fine and mushy.