Thursday, 26 July 2012

Beetroot maddness! Beet smoothie, Beet, apple & strawberry Ice lollies & an award!

Summer has hit us with a BANG! We have gone from rain drenched to scorchio over night in England. Finally we have the weather to enjoy the lollies and popsicles, smoothies and juices that we've all been craving.... but what to put in them? Beetroot of course! Beets are in season and we have a ton at the moment in our veg boxes- luckily for us, we love it. Not only is it wonderfully good for you, it tastes especially delicious when juiced- the flavour is earthy and sweet. It blends really well with other juices such as carrot and apple, and pairs well with sweet fruits like melon and strawberries. So we took those ingredients and we had some beet fun in the kitchen.

The result was a delicious smoothie for Will and I and some Ice lollies (popsicles) for the girls! Win win!

Beet-Maca smoothie (serves 4)

5 large beets, juiced
2 carrots, juiced
3 apples, juiced
Juice of 2 limes
3 bananas
1/4 of a cantaloupe melon, seeds and skin removed
2 tsp maca powder
2 handfuls of ice
Handful of fresh mint leaves (optional)

Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve right away!

Beetroot, apple and strawberry Ice lollies- makes 6 lollies

Juice of 3 large beets
Juice of 2 apples
Juice of 1 carrot
Juice and zest of 1 lime
6 large strawberries

Allow 1 strawberry per ice lolly. Finely slice each one and pop into the lolly moulds- place slightly up the edges so you can see the strawberries in the finished lolly- this looks cool!
Sprinkle a little lime zest into each mould.
Top to nearly full with the beet, apple and carrot juice and pop a lolly stick into each one.
Freeze for a couple of hours or until set!

CAUTION! Beets stain! I gave the girls these lollies while in the paddling pool ;) Outside is a good place to enjoy them and keep away from light clothes!

Also another super cool thing happened while we were away on holiday in Wales, I got nominated by Miss Messy of  'Mess makes food' and Gghie from The Red Apron for the 'One Lovely Blog Award'! This is so cool, especially as it has the word 'lovely' in it- that is a pretty flattering word, as important as the food is, I hope people do think of this blog as lovely!

It is also a great honour to be nominated from these guys. Both their blogs are inspiring,so much so I'm nominating them both back!
Thanks so much for the nominations guys :)

The rules of this award are as follows:

1. Link back to whoever  nominated you.
2. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 11 bloggers.

So here are my 11 facts about me:-
  1. I went to the University of Brighton and studied History of Decorative Arts and Crafts
  2. I worked as a window dresser for a year at Brighton's amazing (now sadly closed) department store 'Hanningtons'.
  3. I cannot sing. But I love to sing!
  4. I cannot click my fingers. This amuses my 5yr old daughter who can click her fingers...
  5. My favourite band are the Rolling Stones.
  6. I love the seaside, especially coastal walks. I don't do sunbathing...
  7. My favourite colour is green.
  8. The Phantom of the Opera is my fave musical.
  9. The top country on my list of places to visit is Romania. One day I'll make it there :)
  10. I dislike computers, but spend alot of time on them!
  11. I'd love to add herbalism (especially British and Native American) to my studies one day...

The bloggers I nominate for this award are:

  1. Purple Veg
  2. Food, fork & good
  3. The not so desperate chef wife
  4. Vintage kitchen notes
  5. The tornadic kitchen
  6. Figalicious
  7. a healthy jalapeno
  8. What a healthy family eats
  9. Crave
  10. The red apron
  11. Mess makes food

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Meadows and red clover risotto

Weeds. Chances are you've got them growing in your garden. I think they have a bad rap;  people often spend a huge amount of time removing them from their gardens in order to get that 'manicured' lawn look. I can understand the allure of a tidy lawn-  it certainly makes playing garden golf and ball games easier with the children... but... there are a gazillion reasons why you could let your garden re-wild and become a meadow!

  1. As you don't have to spend so much time keeping the lawn trim, you can simply be enjoying the great outdoors instead :)
  2. Your garden will become a haven for bees and butterflies and other insects which are under threat
  3. It is so pretty. Your green grass with have yellow, white, purple, pink and blue blossoms all over, a truly beautiful picture to look out onto...
  4. You can eat the weeds! Dandelion, plantain and clover to name a few. These wild plants and flowers are packed with so much nutrition, you don't need to eat that much of it to get benefits. Free superfoods!
  5. If you have cats, they like to hide in the grass. It is the perfect hiding place for them to lie in wait to attack your feet when you're out putting the washing on the line....
Ok so maybe not a gazillion reasons, but needless to say, our garden frequently looks like a meadow. Until we are forced to mow it sporadically so we don't breach our tenancy agreement that is! Right now we have so many wild plants growing, it really is beautiful, the lawn is awash with clover, and we have many many little miner bees buzzing around.

As there is so much of it, I thought the bees wouldn't miss a few flowers so I decided to make a red clover risotto with it - and it tasted divine! 

Red clover risotto serves 4

2 handfuls of red clover flowers, rinsed well and chopped roughly
1 large red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped fine
vegetable stock
2 cups of short grain brown rice
2 cups of fresh broad beans or peas
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
Sea salt and black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a very low heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute on a very gentle heat for 10 mins. Add the rice, clover and vegetables and enough stock to cover the rice and come above 2cm over the top, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender - keep an eye on the rice and if it is getting too dry add more stock.
When the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked (with a little bite left to it), add the parsley, salt and pepper. If you are making the non-vegan option, add the cheese now. Stir to mix and serve with a green salad.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Liebster blog nomination, banana bread and we're off to Wales!

Hello! This is just a little check in as I should be packing- we're off to Wales tomorrow to stay in a Yurt- woohoo! I'm so excited, despite the weather forecast of rain, rain, rain and a little thundery storm or two... At least the yurt is already up, we won't have to get soaked while setting up a tent, one of the major bonus' of 'glamping'!

This morning we saw my fabulous Sister in Law leave to go home back home to the States :( We had such a lovely time while she visited and the girls adored having her here. She had to leave early for her flight so for a quick and easy breakfast I made a 'bung it in' banana bread last night (she is a self confessed fan of banana bread). It's literally a blend and mix recipe, where you really don't have to be accurate at all, a little more or less liquid or flour really won't hurt. It tastes amazing served warm with some coconut oil or organic butter and a great breakfast recipe to make the night before if you're up and about early the next day. Enjoy :)

Oooh- another cool thing, I've been nominated for a Liebster award from Emma over at Food, Fork and Good! How exciting is that? It seems to be my lucky week with awards :) I'm honoured to have been nominated by Emma as she is a fabulous blogger, I truly enjoy reading her blog as it always makes me smile, so thanks a million!

A quick google of this award seems to be that it is a bit of a mystery as to how it originated, very cool, and very weird! But, the rules are pretty simple and are as follows.....
1. Thank your nominator (and link back!). 
2. Nominate 5 other blogs, with less than 200 followers and post a comment on each blog letting them know they have been given the award. 
3. Copy and paste the award onto your blog.

And that's it! Pretty simple, pretty fun, and again I get to nominate some super cool folks for the award!

My nominees are (in no particular order):
  1. Just add cayenne
  2. Mess Makes Food
  3. The Wanderers Journal
  4. Vintage Kitchen Notes
  5. The Red Apron
Congrats guys, you are all fabulous bloggers and totally ROCK! :)

Easy peasy banana bread

2 1/2 cups of whole spelt flour (or regular wholemeal flour)
1 heaped tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup of currants
6 prunes
2 bananas
1 cup of milk of choice
Juice of half a lemon
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax and 6 tbsp water)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sugar and alcohol free vanilla extract

Add the flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon and currants to a large bowl and stir. No need to sift or be delicate!
Add the remainder of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blitz till smooth (ish)
Tip the wet mix to the dry and stir to combine.
Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for around 40mins, until a cocktail stick comes out clean when it is inserted in the middle.
Tip onto a rack and leave to cool slightly before serving!

Excuse the poor picture, I just managed to photograph it in the nick of time!

*Veganized Jan 2016