New marinated vegetables = new fabulous dip

I got busy marinating all sorts of vegetables this weekend, including my favourite cauliflower nirvana, which was as tasty as always, and I mixed up the same marinade again and tried it out on some aubergines and courgettes (eggplants and zucchini) too. Lovely!!!

IMG_3250.JPGIt roasted up really well, creating wonderful flavours on my favourite super tasty roasted vegetables.

I had them warm from the oven last night along with some of the cauliflower version and some super smooth homemade homous…big yum!!!

Today I enjoyed the leftover vegetables cold, again with some salad and some more homous..

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IMG_1964.JPGOh boy, I love my own food!!!

And of course, I couldn’t resist playing with some of the marinated vegetables and whizzing them up with some tahini..

IMG_3252.JPGIt worked a treat! Very tasty!!!

IMG_1945.JPGSo much flavour in one bowl :)

Lovely lovely stuff!!

Me and my new bullet..

My Mum bought me and my new kitchen a new toy when she arrived from Abu Dhabi earlier this month: a Nutribullet. I hadn’t heard of one before but she has one and loved it so much that she bought one for me – you can read more about Nutribulllets here and as a consequence, my lovely boy has had more fruit daily than ever, how fab is that??? What mother wouldn’t want a perfect way to get more fruit into their child?

Basically, it’s a mega blender that make any mixture super smooth; Mum uses to make smoothies which include green leaves but I’m not big on the green juices thing I’m afraid. What I’ve been using it for is making fruit smoothies and fruit yoghurt and fruit ‘ice creams’ for Ben and I, as well as making the smoothest, best homous I’ve ever made!!! Oh yes!

I obviously just didn’t KNOW that I needed a Nutribullet in my life..until now!

IMG_3207.JPGI’ve filled the freezer with frozen fruit as well as the fresh versions in that I always have and Ben has had blueberry yoghurt drinks, mango and banana smoothies, the pics above show a mix of frozen blueberries, raspberries and mango with a splash of milk to get the process going. As the fruit was all frozen it created a great sugar free ice cream.

I then threw the same fruit into another pot and added some tahini sauce to it and created my own dairy free ice cream…YUM!!!!

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And today I mixed frozen mango and tahini sauce…MEGA YUM!!!!

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IMG_6587.JPGThe key is in the blades..

IMG_1937.JPG..they just obliterate everything! AND, for kids, it’s got a really safe system for using it. You also get a second blade attachment that mills nuts into a fine crumb in seconds! No more buying ground almonds for me, I’ll just be making up my own ground nuts as and when I need them.

Please rest assured that this is not a sponsored post in any way, just me wanting to tell you about my new toy because I’m so excited about seeing Ben having so much wonderful goodness! He’s got a constant smoothie ‘tache at the moment!!

I’m sure I’ll be experimenting a whole lot more with my bullet, I’ll let you know how it goes :)

Happy Sunday!

A lunch of many colours…and flavours…

Today’s lunch: mixed salad leaves; ribboned carrots; homemade salsa, homemade slow roasted, herbed tomatoes and garlic; all topped with tahini sauce and the sprinkled with hemp seeds…a rainbow of healthy, lovely, fresh food :)

Isn’t it pretty??? (Yes, I got carried away with the camera again, but there was so much colour and loveliness to capture!!)

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Goats cheese and fig pizza on a cauli-cashew base..

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I’ve been wanting to try out something like this for a while, I’ve read lots of different gluten free, dairy free, interesting ideas for pizza bases and flat breads, so I took what I have gleaned and decided to see what I could create. As Mum has been staying all this week too, I used the opportunity to try it out for both of us whilst I made the boys standard pizzas.

I’m bringing this to this week’s Fiesta Friday, being hosted this week by the party’s amazing and wonderful creator, Angie, and hope that everyone fancies trying a bit!

Once again I threw it together but I can offer rough quantities and a definite guideline if you want to give something like this a go…

Base

Half a head of cauliflower
Handful of nuts – I used cashews that I had already roasted
Splash of olive oil
Couple of tablespoons za’atar – optional and not wholly necessary but I liked the addition

Preheat the oven to 200C.

I milled the nuts to a fine crumb; then chopped up the cauliflower and milled that down to a fine a crumb too, then mixed both things together.

I added the splash of olive oil thinking I needed it to bind the mix but to be honest, I think it would have been fine without it.

I then added the za’atar for a bit of flavour. You could add any mix of your favourite spices and/or herbs, or just season the mixture.

I then pressed the mixture onto baking paper, making it as thin as possible without making holes.

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I then blind baked the base for 25-30 minutes. Interestingly some air bubbles actually rose as it was baking!

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I then smeared a thin layer of my own pizza sauce across the base and added chopped figs and crumbled goats cheese and put it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the figs were slightly cooked and the goats cheese slightly melted.

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Before

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And OMG! It was good!!!! Figs and goats cheese is always a winner, and the base was really tasty. It held together well enough to actually pick up slices and eat them with your hands :)

Where the juices from the figs had run into the centre and made the base a bit stodgy it was even better!!!!

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20140829-155009-57009881.jpgA lovely meal with some salad leaves…I was a bit too busy eating it and enjoying it to get really good photos!! Sorry!

You could of course add your own choices of toppings and see how it turns out.

Enjoy the party everyone and have a good weekend xx

2 Weird Hungry Girls (Listen Up. It’s A Podcast!)

Elaine @ foodbod:

Check out my lovely blog friend Susan talking about why she is vegan, blogging and life…

Originally posted on watch hatch fly:

A short time ago, I was a guest on the 2 Weird Hungry Girls podcast! (Click the link to listen to my episode.)

In their words, 2 Weird Hungry Girls are “two unapologetically cheeky chicks laughing and eating their way through life.”

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I was invited to discuss heart health and vegan diet.

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This podcast is made possible by The People Chronicles, which provides our community a space (online and in the studio) for people and organizations to tell their stories. Please visit the site to see what other podcasts and web series are available from your fellow community members, non-profit and for-profit organizations. Toni Reece is the coach and director. Here she is in action the day I visited!

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I knew from listening to past episodes, 2 Weird Hungry Girlsare open to snacking while talking. My kinda people. Snacking and talking. Right?

So, I wanted to bring vegan snacks…

View original 824 more words

The party!!!

This weekend we celebrated my Mums 70th birthday with a party that I threw for her at my house; I feel like my whole year so far has been building up to this and now it’s been and gone in a flash!!

As my Mum lives in Abu Dhabi and many of her friends live around the world, I first started sending out emails about the event in January to ensure that people were able to include it in their travel plans for the year, not least my Mum!!

When the builders started work on the kitchen in mid February I also made sure that they were aware of the planned party in late August, to which they of course replied: no worries, we’ll be long gone by then…! They finally finished and left TWO DAYS BEFORE THE PARTY!!!!!!!!!!! hmmmm…..no stress then….!

Anyway, builders aside, all the planning and cooking and emailing all came together for Mum to have a great day on Saturday. There was about 30 of us all together and people came from all over the UK as well as France, Holland and Abu Dhabi; friends from 45 years ago as well as newly made friends. I’ve seen people that I’ve known, or who have known me, since I was a baby, and finally met friends of my Mums that I’ve heard her talk about for years.

I made lots of food, lots of dips and salads and marinated cauliflower and sweet potato cakes, and my brother in law, the butcher, provided chicken and sausages for the barbecue so between us it was a real family made occasion. In the midst of it all however I didn’t take any pictures of the food but I am happy to tell you that I received lots of compliments :) this is the only photo of the food laden table adorned by my gorgeous sister in law and niece (the meat and warm food was on another table!):

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All I can say is, I loved hosting the day the seeing my Mum do happy and overwhelmed; she smiled and laughed and cried and she looked fabulous!

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20140825-080127-28887437.jpgI’ll be very happy to look that good at 70!!!

And here are some family pics for your viewing:

20140825-080243-28963809.jpgMercedes (my sister in law), Mum and I.

20140825-080310-28990319.jpgMy brother, Mum and I.

20140825-080328-29008575.jpgBob getting in on the action!!

20140825-080356-29036547.jpgAll of us including my gorgeous man.

20140825-080512-29112805.jpgAnd people everywhere! I loved it!!

Between the work on the kitchen and the build up to the party, I feel like this is what my year has all been about so far, and it’s all been worth it….and now I’d like a little sleep if that’s okay…???

I hope you’ve all had great weekends xx