Showing posts with label gluten free. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gluten free. Show all posts

RECIPE | Easiest Aminos Rice

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A lot of people overlook the importance of whole grains in their diet but whole grains contain so much goodness which helps every part of our bodies function properly. Whole grain rice is full of fibre, protein and so many essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to feel fantastic. And what's even better is that whole grain rice is really delicious!

Rice can be used in so many different ways but sometimes when the fridge is empty or I'm in a rush (or can't be bothered to cook anything more exciting) I always fall back on liquid aminos. We are absolutely obsessed with this dish at home as it tastes great, can be prepared quickly (especially if you have leftover rice) and it's really easy to throw some additional dishes on the table to make a complete healthy meal. 

Bragg Liquid Aminos is a really great addition to meals. It contains 16 of the 20 amino acids, some of which you can only get through diet. It's basically plant protein in a bottle and it tastes delicious. 


Ingredients:
Leftover Whole Grain Rice (or cook a batch to packet instructions)
Bragg Liquid Aminos


Directions:
Spray (or pour of you don't have the spray bottle) liquid aminos over your rice to taste, we use about 15 sprays (or 1 tablespoon) per cup of rice, and serve with some nutritious side dishes to make a delicious meal. Or eat on it's own if you're feeling glutinous. Simple. As. That.

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Mildreds Soho

Mildreds London

Last week I met up with a friend for lunch in Oxford Street, it felt quite naughty going into the city for leisure on a week day. We wandered down Oxford Street popping into some shops along the way before heading to Mildred's for a bite to eat.

Mildreds is a popular vegetarian restaurant in Soho with lots of vegan and gluten free options. The atmosphere there is really buzzing, it's very laid back and just after we arrived it got packed for the lunch time rush. It was one of the busiest places I've ever eaten at, but the tables weren't too close together so it didn't affect our meal in any way.

When I first walked into Mildreds I started drooling as I passed a takeaway bar that was packed with colourful, delicious looking (and smelling) food. We sat down and ordered our meal quickly, eager to get some food inside us. We ordered a 'side dish' of smashed avocado with lime, chilli and blue corn chips as a shared starter which was filled with giant chunks of fresh avocado and was so light and delicious. 

For our main course we both chose dishes from the 'specials' menu. Mine was a mushroom and chestnut wellington with gravy and vegetables which tasted really lovely and was such a treat, and my friend had a creamy squash tagliatelle which she thought was gorgeous. We ordered a bowl of fries (although I'd call them chips as they were quite chunky) with chipotle ketchup and basil mayo which were the perfect addition to the table. The chips were beautifully crispy and both sauces were out of this world, I could eat the basil mayo on everything. It was so light and creamy and completely vegan.

I was really hoping I'd have room for pudding after my meal but we were both so stuffed there was no way we could eat any more food, which was a shame as I'm sure the desserts at Mildreds would have been lovely. Mildreds is now top of my list of places to eat, all the food that came out of the kitchen looked delicious. I'm definitely going back very soon.

You can visit Mildreds Soho at 45 Lexington Street, Soho, London, W1F 9AN. They don't take table reservations so you'll just have to cross your fingers and try your luck, and if they're busy you can enjoy a drink at their bar while you wait for your table. 

Mildreds London
Mildreds London
Mildreds London
Mildreds London
Oxford Street
Mildreds London

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RECIPE | Sweet Almond Balls

Sweet Almond Balls

I'm slowly taking steps to reduce the amount of refined sugar and flour in my diet. So, instead of those lovely packets of biscuits I'm used to picking up from the shops, these days I try to make my own puddings and sweet treats when I get the chance.

These almond balls are such a winner in my house, the only problem is they are so moreish that every single one gets eaten regardless of how many I've made, so I always have to make them in small batches.


Ingredients:
(makes approximately 8 small balls)

80g ground almonds
1 tbsp manuka honey (or agave syrup)
3-4 tsp water
ground cinnamon


Directions:

If you have a grinding mill grind your almonds (I use the milling blade on the nutribullet for this). Knead the almonds with the honey or agave syrup and water with your hands until you've created a smooth mass. If it's too thick add more water until you're reached your desired consistency.  Form the paste into small balls and roll them in the ground cinnamon. These can be eaten immediately or kept in the fridge to eat later.


Quick Tip:

If you're using agave syrup for this recipe I would try adding less water (1-2 tsp). Manuka honey is thicker and therefore needs a bit more water to soften the paste up. 

Sweet Almond Balls
Sweet Almond Balls


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RECIPE | Kick Starter Juice

Kick Starter Juice

It's no secret that I'm in love with juicing and having a fresh juice first thing in the morning always gets me energised for the day. I've been juicing daily for the past couple of months and I've felt so many wonderful benefits. I've been making good choices in other areas of my diet which all goes hand in hand but one of the best changes for me is the amount of energy I have these days and living without the constant brain fog I've suffered with for so long.


Ingredients:
(Enough for 2 glasses)

half a lemon
2 carrots
2 oranges, peeled
1 grapefruit, peeled
1 apple, stalk removed
fresh ginger, thumb sized piece
health powder (optional)
water (optional)


Directions:

If you're using a health powder for that extra burst of goodness put a teaspoon or two in your juicing jug and add some water. Give it a good shake or stir until the powder has totally absorbed into the water (I currently use Baobab and Maca powder with citrus juices).

Juice all of your fresh ingredients through the juicer except for the lemon, which should be squeezed separately (you can also squeeze the oranges and grapefruit separately instead of putting them through the juicer if you prefer). Add the squeezed juice to the extracted juice, give everything a good mix with a spoon. Add water to dilute if you wish. Pour into a glass (with or without ice) and enjoy.


Quick Tips:

This is a very citrus rich juice. If your stomach is sensitive to acidic things I would probably dilute the juice even more, omit the lemon and not drink it on an empty stomach.

I am the worst at drinking water throughout the day so I often dilute my juices to get some water into my body. If you're sharing or making juice for kids always dilute with water!

Kick Starter Juice
Kick Starter Juice
Kick Starter Juice
Kick Starter Juice

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RECIPE | Refreshing Earl Grey Chia Seed Drink

Refreshing Earl Grey Chia Seed Drink

So, I've finally jumped on the chia seed bandwagon. When I read into them and saw how flipping amazing they are for you I went straight to the health food store and bought a bag (or two). Chia is high in fibre, protein and omega-3 and you should definitely be trying to incorporate these little guys into your diet.

It took me a while to find the perfect way to enjoy chia seeds then I finally teamed them with my favourite tea to create a refreshing and delicious chia drink that both Olaith and I love. This is double amazing because earl grey tea is an antioxidant and a natural disinfectant and is great for your digestion and teeth.  So many health benefits in one yummy drink!


Ingredients:
(makes one 300ml glass)

1 earl grey tea bag (or another black tea)
250 ml boiling water
50 ml milk (I use almond)
2 tbsp chia seeds
agave syrup (optional)


Directions:

Prepare your tea by putting the tea bag in 250ml of boiling water and leaving for around 5 to 10 minutes to infuse. Put your milk and tea into a glass or cup (please check it is shatter proof as you are using very hot water), add 2 tbsp of chia seeds and give it a good stir. If you like sweet tea you can add agave syrup until you've reached your desired sweetness. I use between 1 and 2 tsp of agave syrup per glass. Refrigerate for 4 hours (or overnight) stirring halfway through. Give it a stir before drinking.

Enjoy x

Refreshing Earl Grey Chia Seed Drink
Refreshing Earl Grey Chia Seed Drink
Refreshing Earl Grey Chia Seed Drink

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Healthy Snacks | Nakd

Healthy Snacks Nakd

One thing I like to do is snack. I have a fast metabolism and a terrible snacking habit and have just never been satisfied with three meals a day.  So for me finding healthy snacks is a must, there's nothing worse than snacking on junk all day. I've done it before and it does nothing for my energy levels, my skin or my general health.

I started buying Nakd bars a couple of years ago. They're made with whole nutritious ingredients and they taste great! Let me start by telling you first what they don't contain. Naked bars don't contain additives, preservatives, GM, dairy, wheat or gluten and they have zero added sugar (apart from the new 'Trek' bars).  All Nakd and Trek bars are vegan and they contain lots of my favourite beauty foods including nuts, oats and fruits, and one bar counts as one of your 'five a day'.

So as I said we've been eating Nakd cereal bars around here for a couple of years. Our go to bars are the chocolatey ones (of course) which are made with cocoa, but I've recently been trying more of their flavours and I'm really impressed with how great (and accurate) their other flavours are.

We always have a couple of Nakd bars in our house. They're great to eat when you're feeling peckish, or for popping in your bag for an 'on the go' snack. We take them on picnics with us and whenever Orlaith has a packed lunch she gets one in her lunchbox. There's nothing better than being able to give your child a treat without having to worry about the amount of junk going into their body or about them going crazy from the added sugar.

Have you tried Nakd bars? And if so, which is your favourite flavour?

Healthy Snacks Nakd
Healthy Snacks Nakd
This post was written in collaboration with Natural Balance Foods.


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RECIPE | Porridge With Banana And Desiccated Coconut

Porridge With Banana And Desiccated Coconut

I've recently been educating myself more on food and the things we should and should't be putting into our bodies. It's a subject I find really fascinating and I discovered I wasn't nearly as healthy as I thought I was.

Porridge is such a great thing to start your day with! It contains fiber (great for maintaining good cholesterol and blood sugar levels), complex carbohydrates (giving you lasting energy), iron (which helps oxygen get around your body), phosphorus (good for filtering waste out of your body), calcium (which strengthens teeth and bones) and vitamin A (an antioxidant which kills free radicals, and aids cell growth). OK, I'm sold!

I've been on a quest to 'dress up' my porridge bowls and boost the meals nutritional value. Well, breakfast doesn't need to be complicated, or boring for that matter, so keeping the toppings simple is a must for me. Here's one of my new favourites (and honestly, two weeks ago you'd never have heard me say anything with banana in it was a favourite of mine)!


INGREDIENTS:
(serves 1)

1/2 cup organic porridge oats
1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)
1/2 cup filtered water
1/2 tsp agave syrup (optional)
1 or 2 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 banana, sliced


DIRECTIONS:

Heat the porridge oats in a small saucepan with the milk and water. If you like things a bit sweet you can stir in some agave syrup while it's heating. Stir the porridge regularly for about 7 minutes until you've reached your desired consistency. Put the porridge in a serving bowl and finally add the sliced banana and sprinkle over the desiccated coconut.

Enjoy x

QUICK TIPS:

If you're a hungry badger like me or you'e cooking for more than one person you can double, triple, even quadruple this recipe as required and adjust measurements to taste.

Porridge oats are meant to be gluten free, however due to farming and manufacturing practices they commonly gets cross contaminated making it inedible for people with coeliac disease and gluten intolerances. There is a brand of oats made by a coeliac which claims to be 100% gluten free. The brand is called Tilquhillie and I'm not sure if they're organic but you can check them out HERE.

Porridge With Banana And Desiccated Coconut
Porridge With Banana And Desiccated Coconut
Porridge With Banana And Desiccated Coconut
Porridge With Banana And Desiccated Coconut


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RECIPE | Pumpkin Soup With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Soup With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

I've been on a bit of a clean eating crusade recently. I was tired of my persistently bad skin, my lethargy and my weak nails, among other complaints. So I decided to cut out all the crap and start cooking from scratch using raw, nutritious ingredients. I love knowing that what I'm putting into my body is full of the goodness.

Something that's so easy to make, especially during the colder months, is a lovely warming bowl of soup. I don't have an oven right now so I'm steaming everything (I try to never boil my vegetables). Pumpkin makes such a lovely sweet, creamy soup however I like to balance the sweetness with a bit of spice. If you're not a fan of spicy food maybe just add some black pepper instead of the red chilli.


Ingredients:
(serves 2)

1 mini pumpkin
half an onion
1 large handful of pumpkin seeds (packet bought) 
1 heaped tsp Bouillon or other vegetable stock
1 red chilli (optional)


Directions:

Cut your pumpkin in half, de-stalk it, peel it and scoop out all the seeds then chop it into 1 inch cubes. Cut your half onion into quarters. Steam the pumpkin and onion until cooked through using filtered water (about 15 minutes).

When the pumpkin is almost ready get your pumpkin seeds and toast them on a dry hot pan for about 5 minutes, moving them constantly so they don't burn. Deseed and chop your red chilli. If you don't like a lot of spice, use half a chilli.

Once the pumpkin is cooked put all the steamed ingredients into a blender, add some of the water you were cooking with until it's reached about 3/4 up to where the food sits. Add the Bouillon and red chilli then blend (if you are sharing with kids you can blend it without the chilli then after you've served their portion add the chilli and blend some more). Serve in a bowl and scatter the toasted pumpkin seeds on top.


Additional options:

For non-vegans you can stir in some creme fraiche or double cream before serving. 

Pumpkin Soup With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin Soup With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds


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Nama | Artisan Raw Foods

Nama Notting Hill

I got a bit bored of writing about Malaysia so let's pop back to London today to talk a bit about healthy eating and that kind of stuff. This month hasn't been a great month for me in terms of eating well. Orlaith and I have been passing colds back and forth since we got back from Malaysia and my energy has been slightly zapped, plus being on a major budget, eating well got pushed way down my list of priorities.

In a week (or two) I'm going to be doing a cleanse and a couple days of juicing, and after attending some yoga classes over the last fortnight (I had to absolutely force myself to go to a couple of them) I can feel myself slowly getting back into the right mind set.

I went out for lunch with a vegan friend the other day. I always enjoy eating out with her because I get an 'excuse' to eat healthier, whether my mind's into it or not. This time we went to a raw food restaurant in Notting Hill called Nama. I was really interested to taste their food but the menu scared me a tiny bit.

My friend recommended the raw pizza for me and she went for the Thai curry. When our plates arrived at the table I was a bit confused by my weird looking pizza dish. That's not a pizza I was thinking to myself.  One bite into my raw pizza and I was totally hooked. It was delicious! No, it doesn't taste like a pizza but I wasn't really expecting it to. But it did taste very good. And a taste of my friends raw curry confirmed it: Raw food is really good!

I'll definitely be heading to Nama again to try more delights from their menu.  There's nothing nicer than coming away from a delicious lunch knowing that your body's probably healthier than when you went in.  Visit Nama's website here to find out more about their food.

Nama Notting Hill
Nama Notting Hill
Nama Notting Hill
Nama Notting Hill

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Ilumi: A New Way Of Eating

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Have you ever had those days where you can't be bothered to cook or you just feel like a bit of comfort food? Ever feel like getting a takeaway or buying a convenience meal that will be ready with no hassle involved on your part? I know I get those days.

I recently discovered a great food brand called Ilumi. Not only is all their food additive free but all their dishes are also nut, gluten and milk free too! They have a huge range of food with lots of options available for vegetarians and vegans and they're passionate about creating food without certain allergy triggers but without compromising on taste. 

I have a dairy intolerance, but I still eat a fair amount because I'm lazy and it seems to be in everything these days. And very recently I've become aware of the benefits of staying clear of gluten. So to come across convenience meals that you can pop in your cupboard and simply heat up when you're having a lazy kitchen day without all the bad stuff in it is really comforting.

I was initially a bit confused as to how you are able store their food in a cupboard for months without it containing additives, so I went online to investigate and it turns out it's all in the way they individually prepare and package each meal. To find out more check out their FAQ section.

They have a huge range of food choices on their website and offer many different styles of dishes. I tried a selection of Chinese dishes which were really tasty. I can't wait to try some of their other dishes! You can check them out and order your own Ilumi dishes straight from their website: www.ilumiworld.com/


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Pizza Express: Piccolo Menu

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Last weekend Orlaith and I were invited by Pizza Express to put on some snazzy hats and have a pizza making party to promote the launch of their new children's Piccolo menu.

Each child now receives their own menu, just like the adults, where they get to choose from a selection of simple, healthy meals with each option accompanied by an appealing colour photograph of the dish so children can easily look through and choose what they want on their own. If kids are feeling a bit more adventurous they can now also create their own pizza by choosing from a few carefully selected fresh topping (also photographed), leaving out anything they don't want and adding more of the things they love, giving them complete control over their meal. And, as if by magic, the menu then folds out into an activity and colouring sheet to occupy little ones while they wait for their food.

The thing I love the most about the Piccolo menu is the price. There is one set price for everything. You can either order 3 kiddie courses for £6.50 (that's a starter, main and dessert), or for the not so hungry ones you can order any Piccolo main for £3.95. Simple prices and simple food.

Pizza Express have teamed up with the Children's Food Trust to make these changes to their kids menu and have also introduced gluten free options throughout their adult and children's menu, including gluten free pizza bases and even a gluten free beer. Genius.
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What's funner than making pizza?? Throwing flour on the floor of course!
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I was not paid to write this post. I was invited to a pizza making event and received a small gift bag with no agreement to write a review in return. I personally think the move Pizza Express has made towards serving healthy food to children is wonderful (if you know me you know I'm all about the healthy eating and fresh ingredients) so I am happy to support and promote their new menu. Even if you are not that fussed about the food your children eat, this is a cheap choice for a nice meal out with the family and from my experience the staff were extremely friendly and engaged with the families and children.

The Pizza Express Piccolo menu is available today!
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