Sunday, 31 March 2013


I've definately not got the hang of this yet, I don't like having my spelling corrected when I'm trying to create a cringy pun!

This weekend I've been back in the homeland, living the village life and watching Dr Who.
I did manage to do a little cooking, nothing too strenuous, just trying to make the most of what I've found in the fridge and settled on a rustic mushroom soup.

I used some tiny homegrown onions (4), a clove of garlic, three big handfuls of mushrooms, veg stock and soy milk.

Sauté the onion and garlic until translucent, roughly chop the mushrooms and add to the mix. Leave until well cooked and squishy. Add 1/2 pint stock and simmer for a couple 'o' mins. Then add 1/4 pint soy milk, simmer for another 5 mins and blend. This was a thick soup so if you prefer a thinner soup add more stock. You could also substitute a different milk provided the flavours will make friends with each other.

I made some croutons to accompany the soup, just cubed some old bread, tossed in oil and stuck them in the oven for ten mins, turning once halfway through - really simple - Dad loved them though!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

New Animal Testing Ban

So it's taken me a while but of course I need to mention the New EU ban on animal testing which came into effect on March 11th:
'As of today, cosmetics tested on animals cannot be marketed any more in the EU'
This is obviously WONDERFUL news which I think we need a thirty second dance party for!
I've got to admit I my lack of knowledge surrounding law etc made me sceptical but after speaking to someone in The Body Shop today I believe:
-All new cosmetics sold in the EU cannot be tested on animals
-Old products that have been tested on animals can still be sold
-We won't be able to tell specifically if a product was tested before or after the EU ban.

I always avoid companies that test on animals for fear of encouraging them that this is a good way to act. Now that they legally cannot test on animals I am considering abandoning my boycott, even products that have been tested in the past as this will likely have no impact on the future. I'll always pick my favourite ethical brands over others of course - there are other issues other than testing, ingredients, workers rights and environmental impact - but in a selfish way I'm glad that I won't have so much to avoid when buying something new.

Definitely great news - I only hope that when the next big achievement for animal rights comes, I will have been part of the effort to deliver it.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

5-a-day Chili

Just a quickie this week, been flat hunting and French learning (and ipad playing) this weekend but still found time to make this, a great easy healthy meal which freezes really well.

Ingredients to make 4 portions:
1 Onion
1 Clove of garlic
1 Pepper (I used half a green and half a yellow)
1/2 Chili pepper -  I'm quite a wimp but mine was super mild, use more or less depending on your spice threshold.
5ish Mushrooms - any variety
1 Tin kidney beans
1 Tin baked beans
1 Tin chopped tomatoes
Chili powder
Olive oil

1. Chop onion and mince garlic, fry in 1tbsp olive oil with the lid on until translucent.
2.Chop pepper into small slices, chop mushroom into 8ths, chop chili finely - add all to pan.
3. Fry for approx 5 mins until mushroom is cooked. Add kidney beans and baked beans and simmer for 5 more mins.
4. Add chopped tomatoes and after 5 mins add 2 tsp chili powder.
 5. Leave for another 5 mins and taste for spiciness, add more chili powder if required. Leave to simmer for another ten minutes and you're done, pretty quick ey?
Served with sweet potato chips
 If you fancy making these sweet potato chips, (they're nutritious chips, who wouldn't!) Just peel sweet potatoes, cut into desired shape, boil till just soft, toss in olive oil and roast in oven until they reach your desired crispiness (12 mins pour moi).
And here's a little something cute:
A beautiful spring posy
from my mummy

Sunday, 10 March 2013

(Tr)eating out!

This weeks excitement comes in the form of two wonderful restaurant visits. The first, Terre A Terre, is somewhere I've wanted to visit for ages but never have (it's pretty expensive with posh gourmet food) and the second was SAF (Simply Authentic Food).

At Terre A Terre I was treated to this feast by my friend Lindsay, It's a mini version of each dish on the menu and really was fantastic. They were happy to alter the dish for me and gave us a great explanation of each bite (which I promptly forgot!) There was also a heavenly carafe of wine which I've been dreaming about ever since. Without wanting to sound cheesy it really was an explosion  - wait I googled a better word - eruption of flavours!

Whilst in London visiting friends on Friday we paid a visit to the Kensington Restaurant, SAF, which is located upstairs of the (unsurprisingly disappointing) Whole Foods Market - Basically a reeeeally expensive market for people who are too good for Waitrose. The restaurant is open plan within a canteen-like area which gave it a relaxed feel despite it being obviously posh. I had the:
Kerabu Rice Paper Roll
Rice paper wrap with baked marinated organic Saf brand tofu, Chinese cabbage, sprouted mung beans, mange tout, spring onions and bean sprouts with a miso sambal sauce

 I always strive to order things I haven't had before and this was no exception, the tastes and textures were exciting although overall I would have appreciated something a little starchy on the plate. Kind of ignorant to go to a restaurant with health and wellbeing at its core and then expect something naughty though! My friends had mushroom risotto made with bulgar wheat and Ratatuille Farinata so perhaps this is just another case of food envy on my part! I'd really recommend a visit, or at least check out the menu!
Another big treat this weekend was my second ever Thai green curry made with love by my friend Hetti (and 2 lowly peeler/choppers!) She even recreated the heart rice from last week, mega cute! 
Original Thai curry
Thai curry a la Hetti - Pretty perfect!
Everything's a teeny bit rushed today sorry! Starting my new job tomorrow!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Utterly Heavenly Butternut Squash Soup

Okay so maaaybe i've built this up a little too much, you'll have to make it and see!
Ingredients for four servings:
1 Large Butternut squash
1 Onion
1 Large clove of garlic
Olive oil
Salt (& pepper if that's your thaang)
1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Chop the butternut, first in half lengthways, remove the seeds (save them!) then chop slices about 3cm thick and chop these into 3cm chunks.
3. Spread onto a baking tray and drizzle with oil, give it a mix to get them all coated. Put in the oven for around 25 mins - this can vary quite a lot with different ovens, take them out when they are soft and have just started to develop a tinge of brown on the edges.
 4. Whilst you are waiting for the butternut, chop the onion and mince the garlic, heat oil in a large pan and fry on a medium heat until translucent. I like to put a lid on to keep it very moist.
5. Add the roasted butternut to the pan and pour on enough water to just cover. Leave to simmer for 5 mins and take off the heat.
 6. When cool enough to do so, blend. If the soup seems too thick add extra water in small amounts.
7. Conduct the all important taste test, add s&p to your requirements.
8. Warm the soup and it's ready to serve.
Moreish toasted seeds
Remember I told you to save those seeds? These are my absolute favourite snack at the moment, not sure if it's because they are a rare treat or because they're so goddam moreish but I just have to share this with you.
1. Rinse the seeds to get rid of most of the butternut pulp.
2. Heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan
3. Fry the seeds untill golden brown
4. Add salt to taste and then nomnomnomnomnom.

This weeks meals:
Josh's Falafel & Houmous sandwich with  ginormous
wedges @Infinity foods cafe, Brighton
Garlic mushroom and bean chili jacket with a sexy
 salad @Infinity foods cafe, Brighton

Totes forgotten it's name but this was a wonderful Thai dish
@The Office, Brighton.
Look at that heart shaped rice! <3