Organic September – What Do Yeo Know?

Since starting this blog, I have been invited on some great days out and trips away. This last week saw an invitation to Yeo Valley Farm, organised by the Soil Association, to learn more about Organic September and why we should all be more aware of what is in our food. Yeo Valley is set in the beautiful Mendip countryside, not too far from Bath. I hopped on a train to Bristol and waited eagerly with some other like-minded bloggers.

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Yeo Valley is set on Holt Farm, which has been in the Mead family for over 50 years. They started selling their yoghurt from their Morris Minor a few years later. Fast forward to 2016 and they now make over 1900 litres of yoghurt a week, and 3 million litres of milk a year. They also offer a range of other dairy based products.

We arrived on a hot, sunny morning and were greeted with an array of breakfast goodies (including some immense gluten free macarons….mmmm). We grabbed a coffee and sat down to the first part of the day, an introduction to Organic September from the Soil Association. I have always known and supported the benefits of choosing organic produce over non-organic, but the chat really opened my eyes to some points I wasn’t aware of before (see facts further down in this post). After the talk we met with Jon Wilson, the farm manager. Jon took us on a tour of the farm, explaining how they rotate the crop and pasture land, how they balance the mineral levels in the soil to create the lushest green fields, and encouraging us to sniff the soil he had dug up! We were introduced to Yeo’s heard of Friesian cows. They were very friendly and were an incredibly healthy and happy looking bunch. It was so good to meet someone so passionate about what he does.

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

We concluded the tour back at the cafe, where the head chef from Yeo Valley’s organic cafe had come to give us a cooking demo. He whipped up a batch of dhal, sautéed cauliflowers (romanesco has stolen my heart recently) and of course, a yoghurt dip. We sat down and chatted about our different loves of food and food politics. It was great to catch up with some blogger friends in gorgeous surroundings.

All too soon it was time to leave (with goodie bags galore) and say our goodbyes. My head was full with ideas and a stronger passion than ever before to promote an organic lifestyle.

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Soil Association are running Organic September to raise awareness and spread the word on the benefits of choosing organic. So, why should you choose organic? I could write all night about why, but here’s some points to get you started:

  • There are more than 320 different pesticides used in the UK, and traces of them can be found in 75% of non-organic foods. 31,000 tonnes of manufactured chemicals are used in farming every year, to kill insets, pests and weeds. A study recently done in Europe showed that 40% of city dwellers had traces of weedkiller in their urine. Ewww!
  • Glyphosate, which is heavily used in non-organic farming, is a probable carcinogen and has now been found in 30% of the bread we consume.
  •  Organic milk has 50% more omega-3 fatty acids in, higher concentrations of iron and Vitamin E in than non-organic milk.
  • Antibiotics are given to healthy animals (namely poultry and pigs) to compensate for their low-welfare cramped conditions where outbreaks and disease are harder to control and more common. Antibiotics in animals means antibiotics in our dairy and meat. Routine use of antibiotics is banned in organic farming.
  • Intensive animal farming frightens and disgusts me. Animals are kept in in-humane conditions and often barbaric conditions. Under organic farming standards, animals are allowed to roam free range on organic land. They are fed non-GM food and are only given antibiotics if they truly need them. They cannot be given hormones (as done in intensive farming) to force them to grow quicker.
  • It’s nutritionally different. The British Journal of Nutrition has just published ground-breaking research with the findings that there is a significant nutritional difference between organic and non-organic farming. Organic food is higher in antioxidants and lower in nasties like pesticides and toxic metals.
  • Organic farming helps to create healthy soil that is resistant to floods, drought and the consequential impacts of climate charge.
  • The Soil Association is one of the most rigorous certifying organic bodies in the world. It’s a not-for-profit charity that campaigns for sustainable, healthy and humane farming, food and land use. Look out for their logo on packaging when choosing organic.

So, how can you get involved? Organic September is encouraging everyone to make one small change in their purchases. In the egg isle? Opt for organic free range eggs. Choosing your veg for the week? Pick the organic carrots. Little changes make a big difference, to our bodies, to the animals and the planet. Share your swaps on Instagram and tag #organicseptember

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

Yeo Valley and Organic September // roughmeasures.com

See more accounts of the day:

Choclette – Tin and Thyme 

All the thanks go out to Soil Association, Yeo Valley and Good Energy (who sponsor Organic September.) Big love to all the brands who donated their gorgeous products for the good bags. I was invited on this trip and not paid to write a positive post. Make a change, choose organic.

Plum Bircher Muesli – Summer in a Bowl

My heart is full today, bursting in fact. Bursting with love and happiness and all the good things that come with it. There is something so magical about spending a day, watching two people you love, make promises to love each other forever. I managed to hold back the tears, but watching my best childhood friend walk down the aisle to marry her guy was beautiful. I got the honour of walking down in front of her, in awe of how beautiful she looked. I also got to make their wedding cake, weeks of stressing was instantly forgotten as soon as I saw their faces light up when they saw it. It’s been a magical weekend and my heart is happy.

Plum Bircher Muesli // roughmeasures.com

Packed lunches made, dinner on and breakfast oats soaking, I’m now cosy-ing up and settling down for a snuggly few hours on the sofa. We try to get our food for the next working day all sorted before dinner, so we can chill for a few hours. This weekend I need it. I love making bircher muesli the night before, letting all the goodness soak into the oats overnight. Then, come morning time, we can just grab them out the fridge and eat them, no breakfast faffing. Just tasty, simple, quick breakfasts for us. I love Dorset Cereals bircher muesli. There’s no nasties, just natural ingredients. Their new flavours (raspberry and blackcurrant / almond and honey) are perfect summer flavours and right up my street! Show them some love on their fantastic Instagram! This plum bircher muesli – summer in a bowl, is a new favourite in our morning routine (along with this smoothie of course). Happy hearts and happy bellies you guys.

Plum Bircher Muesli // roughmeasures.com

Plum Bircher Muesli // roughmeasures.com

Plum Bircher Muesli - Summer in a Bowl
 
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A summery breakfast bowl to get your day off to the best start. Top with nuts or seeds for added protein. Vegan.
Rough Measures:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 75g / ½ cup Dorset Cereals raspberry & blackcurrant bircher muesli
  • 75ml / ⅓ cup organic freshly pressed apple juice + extra 50ml
  • 50g dairy free yoghurt (I used vanilla Coyo)
  • 2 plums
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar (or raw cane sugar)
Method
  1. Add the muesli to a bowl, pour the apple juice on top, stir well. Add the yoghurt to the top of the bowl.
  2. Leave in the fridge overnight.
  3. In the morning, chop and de-stone the plums.
  4. Add them to a saucepan with the remaining apple juice, and coconut sugar.
  5. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Stir the yoghurt through the oats.
  7. Spoon the plum mixture on top of the muesli.
 

Don’t forget you can catch my daily creations over on my Instagram account!

 

This post was sponsored by Dorset Cereals. All opinions are my own.

Cucumber Peach Smoothie

Since moving into the new house, I feel I have been scrabbling at life and trying to fit everything in, whilst still trying to unpack, re-decorate and find our feet with this new life (albeit in the same town, but very different surroundings). I am more tired than I have been in a long while, and a little overwhelmed with it all. Trying to find a new routine whilst trying to do something different every day to keep my brain happy. I get a little frazzled when I’m busy. Some people thrive off it, but not me, I need to keep a few days or evenings free just to calm and re-sync myself.

Trying to make small routines every day keep me sorted. Little things like my 11 o’clock banana at my desk, 2pm mug of green tea or my regular 10pm bedtime. The newest routine which has started every day in our new home is smoothie making in the morning, together. We get up, grab breakfast and then decide on a smoothie to make and take with us into our offices. Do something different every day for sure, to keep life interesting, but daily smoothies? Keep them in your routine of repetition.

Especially this cucumber peach smoothie, it’s totally rocking my world right now.

Cucumber Peach Smoothie // roughmeasures.com

Cucumber Peach Smoothie // roughmeasures.com

This cucumber peach smoothie is a favourite of mine at the moment. It’s oh so easy and full of good vibes. I throw everything in my Froothie Optimum G2.1 , 30 seconds blending and there ya go. Great for busy mornings when you need something quick. Since moving and now having access to a constant electricity source, we have used the Optimum G2.1 every day. We’ve made dips, soups, smoothies and even sorbets!

This smoothie is:

  • hydrating
  • loaded with vitamins
  • flushes out toxins
  • contains calcium and zinc
  • a source of fibre
  • vegan and gluten free

 

Cucumber Peach Smoothie
 
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A hydrating smoothie for a speedy snack or breakfast. If you wanted to add oats this will thicken the smoothie and keep you fuelled for longer. Be sure to use organic fruit here. This will keep in a jar in the fridge for 2-3 days. Vegan and gluten free.
Rough Measures:
Recipe type: Smoothie
Serves: 600ml
Ingredients
  • ½ cucumber (peeled)
  • 2 donut peaches (de-stoned)
  • 2 large strawberries
  • ½ cup / 125ml dairy free yoghurt
  • 1 cup / 250ml almond milk
  • ½ cup / 125ml coconut water (or filtered water)
Method
  1. Add everything into your Optimum G2.1 (or regular blender)
  2. Blitz for 30 seconds - 1 minute
  3. Pour into glass and enjoy.
 

Cucumber Peach Smoothie // roughmeasures.com

 

 

Disclaimer: Expect to see lots more Froothie Optimum G2.1 posts as I am now an Ambassador for Froothie.  Any links to their site in this post or future posts are affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I will earn a small commission, it won’t cost you any extra though. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support Rough Measures! 

Zesty Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad – a Higgidy Picnic

I have many fond memories of long afternoons spent in our local park, picnic-ing under the summer skies. My parents had a good group of friends, all with little ones of similar ages, and we would all congregate on the grass for big picnics. We would run around, learn to ride our bikes, or spend hours testing out our new roller skates, and occasionally run back to the group to grab a snack and re-fuel. We must have clocked up a fair few hours in that lovely park. Whenever I go there now, those memories all come flooding back. I am grateful for a happy upbringing, with so much time spent outdoors.

We haven’t really had the right weather for picnics this year, and the British nation is patiently waiting some serious sunshine (rumour has it some heat is on its way this week). I decided that I wasn’t going to let the weather stop us from eating alfresco this weekend, so we opted for a garden picnic. Our new kitchen leads directly out into the back garden, so it’s handy for running back inside if it does start to rain, which coincidentally, it did! Picnic foods aren’t just great for alfresco dining, I love simple, quick bites that you can throw together for a quick, fuss free dinner in the week.

Whilst I try to make wholesome, homemade recipes most days, sometimes you just need something you can grab and go – right? That’s why I love Higgidy’s range of pies and quiches. Higgidy’s range of products offer a large range of delicious flavour combinations, and make a great picnic addition. Each product is handmade (no robots here) with love. I’m taking part in their #HiggidyPicnic and bringing this zesty quinoa and sweet potato salad along with me! Quinoa is great (incase you didn’t already know!) as it contains iron, magnesium, B vitamins, calcium, and is one of only a few plant-based foods that is a complete protein. It’s also vegan and gluten-free, yay!

Zesty Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad // roughmeasures.com

Zesty Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad // roughmeasures.com

Zesty Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad // roughmeasures.com

 

Zesty Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad // roughmeasures.com

Zesty Quinoa and Sweet Potato Salad and a Higgidy Picnic
 
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A zesty, citrusy salad with quinoa and sweet potato. This salad is simple and makes a batch. The dressing is my go-to dressing at the minute. Perfect flavours for summer.
Rough Measures:
Cuisine: Picnic
Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato (scrubbed)
  • ½ aubergine
  • 1 cup / 190g quinoa (I used a mix of red and white)
  • S+P
  • Lemon thyme (optional)
  • DRESSING
  • ½ cup/120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • Handful fresh oregano
  • Olive Oil - for roasting
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190 C
  2. Chop the sweet potato and aubergine, place on a lined baking tray, scatter with S+P, lemon thyme (if using) and coconut oil. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes, or until the veg is soft.
  3. Rinse your quinoa in a sieve under some cold water. Place in a saucepan with 2 cups water. Put on a hob and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and let it cook for 15 mins (you want to retain a little bite in the quinoa)
  4. While that's cooking, make your dressing.
  5. Add all the dressing ingredients to a blender (or into a jug and use a stick blender) and blitz for 10 seconds, taste and check for seasoning.
  6. Once the quinoa has cooked, drain any excess liquid, then add the quinoa to a large mixing bowl.
  7. Add in the roasted veg, and a good glug of your dressing.
  8. Stir it well so the quinoa can absorb the dressing.
  9. Enjoy al fresco.
 

Higgidyrolls

See who else is joining the #higgidypicnic ;

Simple Orange Ginger Carrot Salad – Tin and Thyme

No Mayo Apple Slaw – Celery and Cupcakes

Bananatella Muffins – Munchies and Munchkins

Pack Up Picnic – Recipes and Reviews

 

This recipe is sponsored by Higgidy. All opinions are my own, stay individual friends.

Courgette, Pea and Mint Fritters

Oh hey guys, didn’t think I’d forgotten about you, did ya? You did?! Ah jeez, I am sorry. It’s been all kinds of crazy over here recently. Coupled with some pesky tech-y issues with my site, blogging just hasn’t happened. I think I have only managed to turn my laptop on twice in the last month?! My camera has been sat neglected, gathering dust. But all for a good reason dear readers. WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! I wanted to keep it quiet until we had the keys in our bare hands. After a very long search with multiple sellers pulling out, we finally completed on our perfect little cottage 3 weeks ago.

It was (and still is) a crazy time, moving off the boat and into the new place in a day, then I went to Madrid for a week (more on that at a later date), so I’d barely had any time to enjoy the house and get settled in. It still feels a little strange, kinda like we’re just house sitting for someone and soon we’ll have to head back to the boat. There is still so much to unpack, sort through, more furniture to buy, but it’s slowly coming together. My heart is heavy that we’ll no longer be residing in our floating home (if anyone wants to buy our lovely boat, we’re open to offers!), but the time was right and you gotta grab life by the youknowwhat right?! It’s going to take some adjusting, our new kitchen actually has less space than the one on the boat! But the simple things are exciting me like mad (hot water!! out of a tap!! without turning an engine on!!!) I’ll be sure to show some snippets of the new place once it’s photo worthy.  Let’s eat shall we?

Courgettefritter

I’ve been using Hodmedod’s pea flour for a while now, and love how versatile it is. Cooking these fritters with ground pea flour also means they’re gluten free! The flour smells wonderful and has a very subtle taste. Hodmedod’s grow and make all their produce in the UK, their quinoa is grown in Essex! They’ve got a fantastic range of flours – I love this one. A wide variety of snacks like these salted fava beans. They’re passionate about their produce, and this shows in the quality of their products. Be sure to check out their range of awesome pulses and more.



These courgette and pea fritters are simple and speedy, for quick evening dinners, but still pack flavour. Courgette is probably one of my favourite green vegetables.  I like to make a big batch of them, to keep on the side, as an afternoon snack, or to bulk out a salad for dinner.

Courgette Pea Fritter // roughmeasures.com

Courgette Pea Fritter // roughmeasures.com

 

Courgette, Pea and Mint Fritters
 
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A simple recipe for a speedy dinner. Makes a batch and will keep in the fridge for a few days. Gluten and dairy free.
Rough Measures:
Serves: 12 fritters
Ingredients
  • 2 large courgettes (peeled)
  • 1 cup / 150g cooked petit pois
  • Handful fresh mint
  • 1½ cups / 140g Hodmedods green pea flour
  • 1 organic free range egg
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Coconut oil - for frying
Method
  1. Add the grated courgette into a large bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt, stir it through and leave to sit for 10 minutes.
  2. While the courgette is left to sit, add all the other ingredients into another bowl.
  3. Take the courgette and, using your hands, squeeze out the excess liquid (over the sink).
  4. Add the courgette to the bowl with the other ingredients and mix it well.
  5. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat.
  6. Take spoonfuls of your fritter mixture and dollop into the pan, use the back of the spoon to flatten the fritters down.
  7. Cook for a few minutes on each side.
  8. Eat immediately, or leave to cool and store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
 

Here’s a few tasty recipe’s I’m loving this week:

Choclette’s courgette and chickpea pancakes look heavenly.

Jessie’s courgette (zucchini), asparagus and corn pasta looks like a big bowl of love.

Amanda’s yellow split pea flour bundt cake is the bomb!

Becca’s courgette fritter waffles make me want to eat brunch for every meal!

Jac’s Turkish zucchini fritters

Poppy’s pistachio, courgette and hemp pancakes

 

This recipe was sponsored by the lovely people at Hodmedod’s. I am a long time fan of their products and ethos, and was not paid to write a positive review. As always, all opinions are my own. Buy local folks.

 

Rose and Pistachio Granola

Rose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

June has arrived, it is officially summer here in the UK. The sky is blue today and with the blue sky comes bright light that highlights the many shades of green that make up our current view. Left is green, to my right is green, green is my happy colour. I can here the lambs calling to their mother’s, the birds tweeting to each other, and if we are lucky, the tiny squeaking of the newest members to the canal – 7 little signets. Our little floating home is like an observatory into the wonders of nature. Life is good.

Warleigh Weir // roughmeasures.com

Nettle // roughmeasures.comRose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.comRose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

I bring this post with a huge dollop of excitement! Whilst this was slowly roasting in the oven, I could smell the faint, sweet wafts of gentle rose, I couldn’t wait to dig in. I am very much pro granola, remember this awesome oat-y bowl? Or this one? As I am sure you are aware, dear readers, I am passionate about using organic produce. My recent experience of a night with other organic food lovers only cemented what an important thing it is. Wake Up To Organic has already launched, in partnership with Soil Association and The Organic Trade Board, and is gearing up for a nationwide event on June 15th 2016. Independent retailers across the UK will be hosting #‎WakeuptoOrganic‬ events serving up breakfasts, hosting blogger demos, and visits with visits from local suppliers and producers. I was keen to get on board and be part of encouraging people to eat more organic produce. Wild Oats are taking part and you can find all the ingredients to this recipe in the store. You can also pick up a recipe card to take home with you, so you can get making this awesome granola. Head over there on June 15th to see how they’re spreading the organic love!

Eating organic doesn’t have to cost a fortune. How about swapping your daily latte for a packet of organic flour? Ditch that weekly takeaway and go and stock up on a basket of organic veg. This rose and pistachio granola recipe is low cost, and will make satisfy many a grumbling belly. Slow roasted oats, nuts and rose petals, coming to a bowl near you! Happy organic summer pals!

Rose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

Rose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

Rose and Pistachio Granola
 
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A delicate, organic, summery granola recipe for Wake Up To Organic.
Rough Measures:
Recipe type: Granola
Ingredients
  • 4 cups (360g) organic oats
  • ½ cup (75g) organic almonds - roughly chopped
  • ⅓ cup (50g) organic sunflower seeds
  • Small handful organic dried rose petals - ripped/ chopped in half
  • ½ teaspoon organic ground ginger
  • ¾ cup (180ml) organic coconut oil
  • ¼ cup (60ml) organic maple syrup
  • t teaspoon organic rose water
  • ¾ cup (110g) organic pistachios
Method
  1. Pre-heat your oven to Gas 2 / 150 C and line a baking tray with greaseproof / parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add your oats, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, rose petals and ground ginger. Mix it well with a large spoon.
  3. Heat a small saucepan over a low heat. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup and rose water. Whisk it and take it off the heat as soon as the coconut oil has melted.
  4. Pour the oil mix over the oat mix. Stir it well with your spoon and make sure the liquid coats all the oats.
  5. Spread the granola mix evenly onto your baking tray.
  6. Bake for 30 mins, stirring it after 20 minutes.
  7. After 30 mins, add in your pistachios, and bake for 10 more minutes.
Rose and Pistachio Granola // roughmeasures.com

Beetroot Bourguignon

There has been an awful lot in the media recently about the healthy/’clean’ eating craze. Foodies and cookbook authors have been getting a lot of bad press. The thought is that the ‘clean-eating’ phase is getting taken to the extreme by some people, resulting in eating disorders. The media deems it necessary to target the current top ‘wellness’ stars and pick faults. It saddens me that as a nation we always need to pick a target and point the blame at someone. Some of the people who are being targeted are some of my main inspiration sources. They do not tell you what will work for you, just what has worked for them. They believe in a balanced lifestyle and use natural ingredients and healthy fats. If that encourages someone to cook a homemade meal instead of a ready meal then I think that’s fantastic. I have never been on a diet in my life, and don’t intend to. As soon as I tell myself I can’t have something, it is all I want. Moderation is key. I listen to my body, some days it needs extra carbs, some days it’s happy on salads. My plant based diet, and regular exercise, makes me feel good, in my mind and in my body. I also love cake. Life is about balance. As Michael Pollan said; Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.

Beetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.comBeetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.com

Beetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.com

If you are a regular here, you’ll know my love for beets is high. Those pure purple hearts with their bright pink juice. I love it in stews, salads and this awesome hummus, yeah, beets are my bag! We eat salads a lot here in our floating abode. We pretty much have the same 5 salads on rotation every week. It’s easy for dinner and sometimes we are both too exhausted after work to cook anything different. Every now and again, I fuel us up with a hearty stew, something a bit comforting after a long day at work.

I was recently sent this gorgeous Le Creuset cast iron casserole dish from Steamer Trading. The dish is from their Vida Brazil range. I’m totally crushing on the colour – Marseille Blue – it reminds me of roaming French hypermarkets as a child and gazing at all their kitchenware. Steamer Trading Cookshop have a vast range of kitchen cookwear. Set up in 1985 by Liz and David, they opened their first store in Sussex. Now with multiple stores across the UK, they’re firmly established as one of the nation’s favourite cookshops. I’ve currently got my eye on a shallower casserole dish to match the one I made this stew in. I need more baking tins and adore this cute heart shaped one! They also offer free delivery on orders over £45 – all the more reason to stock up your kitchen supplies.

This Beetroot Bourguignon is an adaption of a lovely recipe from A Modern Way to Cook by Anna Jones.

Beetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.com

Beetroot Bourguignon // roughmeasures.com

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see my daily eats!

Beetroot Bourguignon
 
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A hearty stew for any season. Vegan.
Rough Measures:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • Glug of extra virgin olive oil (or 2 tablespoons coconut oil)
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 3 large beetroot
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 tablespoon harissa
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup pearl barley
  • S+P
  • OPTIONAL - 150ml red wine
Method
  1. First, finely dice your shallots.
  2. Then, peel and roughly chop your beets, carrots and sweet potato.
  3. Place a casserole dish on a medium heat on the hob, add in a glug of oil and throw in the shallots. Stir well to coat them. Add in a good pinch of salt and pepper. Cook the onions for 5 minutes.
  4. Next, add the garlic, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Now, add all your vegetables, stock, tomato puree, harissa and pearl barley. If using, add in the wine.
  6. Simmer gently for 40 minutes. Enjoy with some crusty bread.
 

I’m adding my recipe to these awesome link ups;

#recipeoftheweek

#extraveg

Steamer Trading Cookshop sent me the Le Creuset pan you can see in my images. I was not paid to write a positive review, and of course, all opinions are entirely my own. Happy cooking!

Asian Kale Salad with Ginger Dressing

I have had a fantastic, yet mad, couple of weeks. The first of which saw my mum and I travelling up to London to attend the Soil Association BOOM Awards, where I (and this dear blog of mine) were shortlisted for the Best Food Blog award. I was in total shock when I found out I had made it into the top ten, with 9 other fantastic foodies. It was a fantastic event, taking place in Borough Market and a huge amount of effort had gone into making the place a foodies dream. When we arrived we found out that I was in fact down to the final 3, which was incredible! I was so honoured that my little blog had made it to the awards with so many other amazing organic brands. Huge congratulations go out to everyone nominated, and of course to all the winners!

This weekend saw me heading up to Birmingham for the FLEA Enterprises #BlogCamp2016. Blog Camp is like a conference / learning day for food / parent / interiors and travel bloggers. There were about 200 of us there, including around 15 of my food blogger friends. I have met so many wonderful people because of Rough Measures, and it was fab to catch up with some of them. The day was filled with talks on food styling, Pinterest tips, stories from some top bloggers, writing workshops and more. I have come away with a head full of information!

Asian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.comAsian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.com

Last week saw some sunshine, and I got all excited and wanted to make a salad with flavours that take me back to my time spent travelling Asia. Something like this Asian kale salad, with my favourite ginger dressing. The strong tastes of ginger and umami flavours make my mouth and belly happy. The crunch of the massaged kale and carrot keep the textures strong here. I haven’t enjoyed a salad this much since this one I made last year! Enjoy pals, and stay dry (apparently the British summer lasted all of 3 days!)

Asian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.com

Asian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.comAsian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.com

 

Asian Kale Salad with Ginger Dressing
 
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A crunchy, citrus infused salad which brings me back fond memories of my travels.
Rough Measures:
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
Ingredients
  • Big bunch of kale - washed, de-stemmed and leaves loosely shredded
  • ¼ red cabbage - shredded
  • 1 carrot - peeled into thin strips
  • 2 spring onions - finely chopped
  • Zest 1 lime
  • Handful peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • FOR THE DRESSING
  • A thumb sized piece of ginger - peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves - finely chopped
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup tamari (sub for soy sauce if you don't have tamari)
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
Method
  1. Get all your ingredients ready.
  2. Start with the dressing; in a large bowl, add the grated ginger and garlic.
  3. Add in the rest of the dressing ingredients, give it a really good whisk. Pour the dressing into a sealable jar, leaving around 50ml left in the bowl.
  4. Add your shredded kale into the bowl. Using your fingers, massage the kale into the dressing. Do this for a couple of minutes until all the kale has been coated.
  5. Throw the cabbage, carrot and spring onions into the bowl, and mix with your hands.
  6. Toss through the peanuts and sesame seeds, serve into a large salad bowl.
  7. Add more dressing if you wish!
Notes
The measurements for the dressing should make around 500ml - it will last for a few weeks in a sealed jar in the fridge. Shake well before use.
 

Want to Pin this recipe for later? Use the image below – you can follow me on Pinterest too!

Asian Kale Salad // roughmeasures.com
Some other Asian inspired salads that I’m loving are;

Warm Japanese Black Noodle Salad from Natural Kitchen Adventures

Asian Chopped Kale Salad from Cookie and Kate

Healthy Kale + Quinoa Salad with Ginger-Curry Vinaigrette from The Clever Carrot

Carrot and Moong Bean Salad from Botanical Kitchen

Asian Beetroot Salad from Bunny Kitchen

A Topic Close To My Heart – RSPO GoodBadPalmOil Campaign

I wanted to write a post about a topic that it is incredibly close to my heart. The use of ‘bad’ palm oil. 2 years ago we travelled around South East Asia, and spent 3 weeks in Borneo. I knew about the negative impact of palm oil plantations before we went, but spending 3 weeks there really made it hit home how damaging it is to the rainforest and it’s inhabitants. We spent 8 hours on a coach, and all we passed for about 5 of those 8 hours was palm oil plantations. We spent some time in a rainforest conservation area, and sat for hours watching a female Orangutan in a fruit tree, just 2 metres away from us. We had lengthy chats with the staff at the conservation area, who’s passion for their country was breathtaking. ‘Bad’ palm oil is a not only a disaster for the environment, but for animals and people too. We came away from it with a serious passion and commitment to avoid ‘bad’ palm oil.

Orangutan // roughmeasures.com

Orangutan // roughmeasures.com

Borneo // roughmeasures.com

If you’ve ever looked into what’s in your food, how it was made and where it has come from (which I’m sure lot’s of you do), you’ve probably heard about palm oil being bad for the environment. I try my best to avoid it but product labelling is sneaky and confusing sometimes. Taking care in products you buy, such as free range eggs, organic produce etc, palm oil should be high on our lists of ‘warning’ ingredients.

That’s why I was stoked to get involved with RSPO and their new campaign that has just launched. We want to let people know that we do have a choice between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ palm oil. Artist Jessica Dance has created cute knitted foods which star in three short films, specially designed to raise awareness and encourage us all to share this important campaign to let the industry know that they need to take action, and take it now.

You’ll find palm oil in more than 50% of all the food you buy and it can be found in everyday items like margarines, biscuits, breads, cereals, noodles and even shampoo, lipsticks and detergents.

image30-700x366

If you’re thinking ‘what can I do?’, fear not, as this is where GOOD palm oil comes in. Certified sustainable palm oil (CSPO) is now being produced to the strictest of standards. It helps to protect forests and wildlife, meaning no more destroying Orangutan homes, no more chopping down the rainforest, and it secures an income for farmers by making more palm oil from less land.

However, at the minute, good palm oil only accounts for 21% of all palm oil consumed across the planet, so that’s why I want to share the story of #GoodPalmOil and make sure that brands and retailers know that we, as consumers, care about this issue strongly and want them to take action.

If you want to get involved and help support the production of good palm oil, then you can spread the word and share this campaign around with your pals and families.

The campaign is being run by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO), they are a not-for- profit association that champions sustainable palm oil. By 2020, RSPO wants ALL palm oil being used in our food to be sustainably sourced but we can only make that happen if you join me in putting pressure on the industry and letting them know we care. Let’s make this happen!

Find out more here

I was asked to take part in this campaign. This is a topic extremely close to my heart.

Mango Mint Smoothie And The Froothie Optimum G2.1

Wow, what a weekend. I am sat here at 8pm with all the windows and doors wide open and I’m still too hot. A weekend of sunshine and warm weather hit the UK this weekend. We will probably look back in September and call these 3 days ‘Summer’.

But hot it was and we spent a lovely few days down in Dorset. We have promised each other that we’d try to escape on some camping trips more often this year, as we will both have weekends free all summer (for the first time in 8 years!) Just 2 days and nights in a different setting, can feel like so much longer. We explored the coast line, snoozed on the beach, ate far too much halloumi on our bbq and just chilled out. It was fab and I hope we have many more weekends like this one.

A few weeks back I received something I have been lusting after for a while – A Froothie Optimum G2.1 Blender. A hunk of a machine that can blitz in seconds, pulverise stones to mere dust, make hot soup, and tackle any nut butter. With a mega 2,611 watt motor (with a 10 year warranty) the Froothie Optimum is something every kitchen needs. I have been waiting to use it for weeks, and now the time had come. It took mere seconds to blitz all my mix into the smoothest of smoothies. It has 6 pre-programmed settings; Fruit, Sorbet, Grind, Nut Milk, Soup, Sauces and you can also programme it manually.  The Froothie Optimum G2.1 is currently on offer at £429 (RRP £599), it is a big investment, but one that I wholeheartedly believe is worth it, and it is something I have been using at least once a day.

It comes with a nut milk bag, a tamper tool to push your ingredients down if needed, and a 104 page recipe book. What I love is that the jug is BPA free, and to clean it, you just add some water and a drop of washing up liquid into your jug, turn it on, and voila, clean jug! The jug just sits on top, no faffy time wasted trying to get it to click into place. I love the LED touch screen display too. There is even an in built sensor which automatically turns the appliance off if it overheats. It is even more powerful than a Vitamix, just see the specs below!

Mango Mint Smoothie // roughmeasures.comScreen Shot 2016-05-09 at 08.13.37

We got back after a stuffy hour in the car and I know I needed something refreshing and summery! This blend has a sneaky hidden ingredient – chickpeas! Now don’t baulk and think ‘chickpeas in a smoothie, say what?!’ Adding chickpeas into your smoothie will mean it satisfies your belly for longer. It well help aid any mid morning or afternoon hunger pangs! You can’t taste them once they’re blended, trust me on this one guys!

Mango Mint Smoothie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A refreshing, thirst quenching smoothie.
Rough Measures:
Serves: 2 glasses
Ingredients
  • ½ mango (peeled)
  • ½ cup chickpeas (drained and rinsed well)
  • 300ml coconut water (normal water is fine if you don’t have coconut water handy)
  • handful mint leaves
  • Juice of 1 lime.
Method
  1. Add everything to the blender and blitz until smooth
Notes
I added a big bunch of mint to the mix, ginger would also work really well!
 

Mango Mint Smoothie // roughmeasures.com

Mango Mint Smoothie // roughmeasures.com

For more info on the Froothie Optimum G2.1 you can visit the Froothie website and have a browse.

Find more smoothie ideas here.

Read more fab reviews from some fellow bloggers:

Thinly Spread

Planet Veggie

From Plate to Pen

Disclaimer: Expect to see lots more Froothie Optimum G2.1 posts as I am now an Ambassador for Froothie.  Any links to their site in this post or future posts are affiliate links. If you purchase through these links I will earn a small commission, it won’t cost you any extra though. I was not paid to write this post and all opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support Rough Measures!