I’m sitting here on the sofa, it’s late May, I can see the sun slowly setting and the sky changing colours. My belly is full with a hearty weeknight meal. The cats are twirling around my legs, purring softly. The birds are singing their evening melodies. I take some moments to be calm, and still, and breathe. In this world of terror and heartache, make time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and remind yourself that you are here. We’ve had some terrible news here in the UK today, and my thoughts are with those who have lost someone they love. Do not let this hate beat our love. Love will overcome, it has to. Read more
Popping in to give you lovely lot a bonus recipe to celebrate this Easter break. I present you Gluten Free Chocolate Quinoa Nests. Think a healthier version of chocolate rice crispy cakes. Because what better way to celebrate a few extra days off than with chocolate? I’ve loaded these up with pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and a little coconut oil. Meaning these little bites of awesomeness have the added punch of amino acids, protein, magnesium and omega 3’s! Hip hip hooray for Easter ey?! Read more
Guess what, we (in the UK) are into British Summer Time. Longer evenings, alfresco dinners and sunshine! The online downside to this is winter veg will be out of season. I thought I’d make the most of these last wonderful squashes that are around, and whizz up this roasted squash hummus. Dips are my go to, I like to make sure there’s always a pot of some variation of hummus in the fridge. Ready and waiting for when I get in from work and need something stat, ready to dollop on my packed lunch to give me some energy through the day. Read more
Growing up in the Davy house, Pancake Day was a big event. I remember coming home and watching as my Mum whipped up a huge bowl of batter, ready to fry. We would watch with eager eyes as she carefully spooned out the mix, whirling it around the pan to get a nice, even pancake. We would take turns trying to flip the pancake, many ended up on the floor, some a wrinkled mess, one even stuck to the ceiling once, but most would be good. She would stack them up on a plate and store them in a warm oven until it was time to eat. As we were a family of 6, it took a while to make enough for everyone. I remember spooning golden syrup onto the warm pancakes, rolling them in a hurry and shoving them into my mouth. On this one day we were allowed to have a four course meal of sweet pancakes, only choosing to introduce savoury options many years later. Read more
I miss smoothies and smoothie bowls in the colder months. Opting for something more comforting like baked oats or pancakes/waffles if time allows. But the other day I was craving one, and a friend of mine gave me an awesome idea, a hot smoothie bowl. Think hot chocolate, but with more goodness and flavour, think a peppermint hot chocolate smoothie bowl. Read more
We had some new arrivals in our house this week. 2 new, smiley, cute, furry little friends. We have adopted 2 cats via Cats Protection. We met them for the first time two weeks ago and totally fell in love. We picked them up on Friday and this weekend has been full of snuggles, mouse chasing and getting to know our new additions. They’re still a bit shy and Scout is quite timid and still a bit unsure of everything, but they’re slowly getting used to their new surroundings. Arto has made it quite clear he likes lap time and purrs loudly when he wants some affection. They seem to spend their time sleeping in odd places or catapulting themselves around the house and full speed. They have also taken to straight running up my leg when I get their food. I’m excited to watch them grow and learn. I’ll be sure to post some photos soon, when they sit still for more than 10 seconds. Keep an eye on my Instagram stories to see their daily antics!
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!
- 1 sweet potato (scrubbed)
- ½ aubergine
- 1 cup / 190g quinoa (I used a mix of red and white)
- Lemon thyme (optional)
- 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
- Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 5 / 190 C
- 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.
- 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)
- While that's cooking, make your dressing.
- 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.
- Once the quinoa has cooked, drain any excess liquid, then add the quinoa to a large mixing bowl.
- Add in the roasted veg, and a good glug of your dressing.
- Stir it well so the quinoa can absorb the dressing.
- Enjoy al fresco.
See who else is joining the #higgidypicnic ;
This recipe is sponsored by Higgidy. All opinions are my own, stay individual friends.
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?
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.
- 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
- 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.
- While the courgette is left to sit, add all the other ingredients into another bowl.
- Take the courgette and, using your hands, squeeze out the excess liquid (over the sink).
- Add the courgette to the bowl with the other ingredients and mix it well.
- Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium-high heat.
- Take spoonfuls of your fritter mixture and dollop into the pan, use the back of the spoon to flatten the fritters down.
- Cook for a few minutes on each side.
- 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!
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.
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.
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.
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram to see my daily eats!
- 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
- OPTIONAL - 150ml red wine
- First, finely dice your shallots.
- Then, peel and roughly chop your beets, carrots and sweet potato.
- 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.
- Next, add the garlic, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Now, add all your vegetables, stock, tomato puree, harissa and pearl barley. If using, add in the wine.
- Simmer gently for 40 minutes. Enjoy with some crusty bread.
I’m adding my recipe to these awesome link ups;
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!
Hey friends! How’s things? I hope you all had a nice long May Bank holiday weekend? Whatch’all been up to? We’ve had a hectic couple of weeks, with only one day off in 14 *burys head in hands* and I feel like I’ve been buzzing about like all the spring bees, without much chance to catch a breath. But today was a bank holiday and I lapped up some fresh air in Bristol with my mum, saw some food demos as part of Bristol Food Connections and generally enjoyed being outside instead of behind a PC all day!
This weeks post is all about this AWESOME book from the ever so lovely Dannii of Hungry Healthy Happy. I ‘met’ Dannii via Facebook and she has been there for help and advice from day one. Dannii’s blog started as a quest to change her unhealthy diet due to health problems. She started cooking from scratch using fresh produce, exercising more and documenting it. Dannii lost almost 100 pounds (!!!) and has maintained a healthier lifestyle ever since. Her new book, Hungry Healthy Happy, is full of delicious healthier versions of some classic recipes. From pancakes, to apple nachos to ice lollies, this book has all events covered. Each recipe has the measurements in grams, ounces and cups – which I love because my scales aren’t always working! The book includes meat dishes, but there’s a great selection of vegan, vegetarian and gluten free dishes. Every recipe contains a break down of nutrients and there is a photo per recipe – something which seems to get missed in a lot of recipe books. A photo really does speak a thousand words!
I was sent Hungry Healthy Happy a few months back and have already made the avocado hummus, raw carrot cake bites, baked beans and gingernuts (see below!) Dannii’s recipes are easy to follow and use ingredients you can find at any basic supermarket. If you are looking for a new book to get you inspired then go out and buy it now.
I decided to make the Gingernut biscuits because a day without a biscuit is a sad day. They come together so quickly and are a great afternoon treat.
- 70g unsalted cashews
- 70g whole almonds
- 20g desiccated coconut
- Pinch sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- First up, preheat your oven to Gas Mark 4 / 180 C
- In a food processor, mix the nuts and coconut until the resemble a floury consistency. Tip the mix into a large mixing bowl.
- Into the bowl, add the salt, baking powder, ginger, lemon juice and maple syrup. Mix it well until it forms a dough.
- With your hands, roll the dough into balls, it should make about 8. Place on a lined baking tray.
- Press the palm of your hand down onto the balls to flatten out, you want them about 3 inches wide.
- Put your tray into the oven and cook for 15-18 minutes, until lightly golden.
- Leave to cool for 5 mins before transferring your gingernuts onto a cooling rack, make sure you let them cool fully before tucking in!
Thanks to Dannii and her publishers, Jacqui Small, for the advance copy of this book. Recipe by Dannii Martin.
Hungry Healthy Happy – RRP £20 Available from all good bookstores (support your local bookstores!)
I was not paid to review this book, and, as always, all opinions are entirely my own.