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Saturday, 25 March 2017

Food For Friends - Vegetarian Restaurant | Review

Brighton is one of my favourite places to eat as there's such an amazing choice of restaurants, cafes and delis that are suitable for those following a more plant-based diet. One of my favourite restaurants (not just in Brighton but ever) is Food For Friends, which is an award-winning vegetarian restaurant in the South Lanes. I first ate at Food For Friends a couple of years ago and have since been back a few times as I just can't get enough of their unbelievably flavoursome, fresh, delicious food!

A couple of weeks ago I was invited along to Food For Friends to review some of their new dishes and I can honestly say it was one of the most wonderful meals I've ever had - from the service to the drinks and food, it was all outstanding. The only thing I could complain about is the baby crying on the table next to us for rather a long period of time, but hey...that's not the restaurants fault!

Food For Friends is situated in the trendy South Lanes in an old but modernised space with elegant decor yet a laid-back, comfortable vibe. The space is quite small but by no-means claustrophobic thanks to the well-arranged tables and huge windows that let in lots of light and allow you to people watch as you eat. Food For Friends was founded with the ethos of serving global vegetarian cuisine that was not 'just a load of old lentils' but instead opening customers eyes to the fact vegetarian food can be just as (if not more) flavoursome as meat dishes. I am a vegetarian myself but my boyfriend who isn't agreed that you actually forget Food For Friends is a vegetarian don't look at the menu wondering where the meat is or feeling as if anything is missing from the dishes.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Beluga Lentil & Black Bean Chilli

Chilli is one of my all-time favourite meals. I love how quick and easy it is, how inexpensive the ingredients are, how wholesome and nourishing it is and of course it tastes utterly amazing too.

For my final recipe of National Nutrition & Hydration Week in collaboration with Merchant Gourmet I'm bring you a chilli recipe that's out of this world! This Beluga Lentil & Black Bean Chilli is hands down one of my favourite recipes ever and I can't wait for you to make it yourself.

This beluga lentil & black bean chilli is a great meal for the whole family. It's so quick and easy to make, the ingredients are easily sourced and inexpensive, it can be served with a variety of accompaniments such brown rice, quinoa, baked potato, courgetti or simply on it's own. It's suitable for vegans, vegetarians and those on a gluten free diet, and it's incredibly delicious and really satisfying.

This chilli is not only lusciously yummy but it's loaded with nutrients to keep you feeling happy and healthy too! The Beluga Lentils from Merchant Gourmet and the black beans provide your body with plenty of plant-based protein, all important fibre and energy-boosting carbohydrates, the tomatoes give you a healthy dose of vitamin C & K and the spices all have anti-oxident properties! Winner!

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Chocolate Orange Polenta Cake

My fourth recipe for National Nutrition Week in collaboration with Merchant Gourmet is one of my favourites! If you're trying to eat more nutritious foods it can sometimes feel like you're going to miss out on the sweet foods like cookies and cakes, but that doesn't have to be the case!

This Chocolate Orange Polenta Cake is an amazingly sweet treat that tastes incredibly indulgent but actually only contains the most natural, wholesome ingredients that won't leave you feeling sluggish, bloated or give you a sugar rush. It's entirely gluten free, refined sugar free and suitable for vegans but you'd never know it as it's bursting with so much flavour and it doesn't taste like it's missing a thing.

I made this cake with Merchant Gourmet polenta which adds a pleasantly crumbly texture but still manages to stay moist. I also used ground almonds which really help to create that classic spongy texture, cacao powder to add such a wonderful richness and is so incredible combined with the zest orange to give that classic chocolate orange taste.

This cake is the perfect recipe for afternoon tea, for a birthday or just if you fancy a slice of cake with your cup of coffee without all the artificial ingredients!


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Wholegrain Rice & Seaweed Sushi (Vegan)

Sushi is really delicious and as popular as ever but shop bought sushi can often be full of refined ingredients and added sugars, so it isn't always the healthiest choice. Plus, sushi isn't often suitable for those on a plant-based diet or if you're avoiding gluten. The answer? Make your own! Making your own sushi at home is not only super fun but it ensures you know exactly what's going into the delicious seaweed rolls.

These vegan sushi rolls are made with Merchant Gourmet's Rice & Seaweed, which is far more nutritious than the white rice sushi normally contains. The wholegrain rice is lightly flavoured with wakame seaweed which is known for it's essential nutrients and vitamins, and simply cooked with only water and a dash of olive oil - the perfect sushi filling!

These sushi rolls are made with an amazing avocado cream that helps to hold all the ingredients together and adds an incredible creaminess to the sushi rolls, as well as some healthy fats that'll help your skin to glow, your hair to shine and keep you feeling fuller for longer. I chose red pepper and carrot strips as the veggie filling but really you could use anything you fancy - how about cucumber, beetroot or beansprouts.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Blueberry & Quinoa Superseed Breakfast Bars

These Superseed Quinoa & Blueberry Breakfast Bars are perfect if you're looking for a delicious, nutritious breakfast that you can just grab in the morning when you're low on time or simply enjoyed as a hearty afternoon snack. They're really energising, full of goodness, easy to make and most importantly taste amazing!

This week it's National Nutrition Week and I'm sharing 5 recipes using Merchant Gourmet products to show you just how easy, inexpensive and exciting eating nourishing, wholesome foods can be.
In this recipe I use the Merchant Gourmet Superseeds product which is a blend of quinoa, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds - making it a real powerhouse of nutrition.

These Superseed Quinoa & Blueberry Breakfast Bars are a great source of protein and fibre thanks to the quinoa and seed mix, which will keep you fuelled all morning, aid digestion and keep your blood sugar levels steady - all things you need in a breakfast! Quinoa is also packed full of iron, magnesium, copper and B6 to give you a real vitamin & mineral kick first thing.

Every mouthful is bursting with juicy, fresh blueberries which are total heaven when cooked - they become so succulent and gooey, sweet hints of vanilla, luscious texture from the grains, a slight creaminess from the cashew butter and just the right amount of sweetness from the bananas and pure maple syrup. I know these bars may sound a little tricky to make, but really they couldn't be more simple. The Merchant Gourmet Superseed is all cooked and ready to go, meaning you can just throw all the ingredients together in one bowl, mix and it's ready for baking!

Monday, 13 March 2017

Herby Quinoa Falafels

This week is National Nutrition Week, so I'm working with Merchant Gourmet to bring you a new delicious and nourishing recipe every day to show you just how easy, inexpensive, fun and delicious nourishing foods can be! I'm kicking off this week of recipes with delicious Herby Quinoa Falafels...

Homemade falafels are a pure delight! They're utterly delicious with salad, pita bread and hummus or just on their own to munch on as a savoury snack throughout the day. They're incredibly satisfying, wonderfully filling and packed of nutrients. This recipe for herby quinoa falafels puts a twist on the classic falafel recipe by adding red & white quinoa mix (from Merchant Gourmet), which not only adds an unbeatable texture and taste but also lots more protein, ups the fibre and gives you even more of a nutrient boost to keep your body and mind feeling happy and healthy.

As I said, I love falafels but this recipe takes them to a whole new level! Adding quinoa is genius (if I do say so myself) as it adds so much substance to the little chickpea balls of goodness, makes them even more filling and really helps to keep any cravings at bay. Using the Merchant Gourmet pre-cooked quinoa makes this process super quick, easy and cheap but you're still getting all the essential nutrients and no nasties!

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Vanilla & Chocolate Chip Protein Banana Loaf

Banana bread is one of my favourite things - there's nothing I like more than a thick slice of sweet banana bread with a layer of almond butter and a cup of tea in the afternoons!

I went to make a banana bread loaf the other day and decided to switch it up to create this vanilla & chocolate chip protein banana loaf....yes, it's as good as it sounds! The recipe itself isn't too different from my classic banana bread recipe, but I added chocolate chips for some chocolatey goodness and vanilla protein powder for a sweet vanilla taste and a protein boost. I used the vegan vanilla protein from The Good Guru in this recipe which is super yum. It blended so well with all the other ingredients and gave the loaf extra nutrients and flavour.

This protein banana loaf is such a wonderful texture - it's perfectly moist with a crumbly outer layer, the chocolate chips melt in the oven so add this incredible chocolate explosion of goodness in your mouth with every bite and the vanilla brings a little more sweetness and subtle flavour to this sweet treat. I can't tell you how good it smelt whilst it was being baked in the oven!

As I said above, I used the vegan protein blend from The Good Guru in this recipe which is such a high-quality product. The ingredients list is totally natural and the protein is specifically designed to help your body stay strong and repair itself by providing you with all the essential amino acids. Yes, this protein may be vegan but it is a complete protein thanks to the unique blend of ingredients! I really like this protein in shakes, smoothies, stirred into porridge and now even in banana bread! Plus, it's super good value for money at only £16.95 for 500g....gotta love a bargain.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

5 Benefits Of Pure Coconut Water

Coconut water has grown massively in popularity over the last few years, with hundreds of brands bringing out their own coconut water products and millions of people buying them.
Although pure coconut water has been drunk for centuries, with people from tropical regions being aware of their amazing health benefits, over time it's become more and more over produced, filtered and artificially tampered with and the nutrients are often lost. I can guarantee the coconut water you buy at your local supermarket isn't pure, unfiltered coconut water and undoubtably has other ingredients added to it.

This is not the coconut water I'm talking about in this post! I'm talking about the benefits of pure, unpasteurised, unfiltered coconut water. The incredible coconut water that comes from young coconuts, that is slightly pink in colour, and that has a far more amazing taste than that of un-pure coconut water. This coconut water has an endless list of health benefits, is loaded with nutrients and is a wonderful drink to add into your diet.

Here are 5 benefits pure coconut water has on the body that perhaps explain why it's becoming increasingly popular -

Friday, 3 March 2017

Lentil & Cashew Vegan Meatballs (With Linwoods)

Is there any dish more comforting than a big bowl of pasta? I love pasta, especially in the form of spaghetti with a simply tomato sauce and plenty of herbs and black pepper. A meal like this is one of my favourites to whip up if I want a comfort meal or if I'm low on time, but it does lack in protein and a little more substance so adding vegan meatballs is the perfect solution.

I know meatless meatballs may sound a little odd but this recipe for lentil & cashew vegan meatballs made with Linwoods Flaxseed for added omega-3 goodness and even more protein is just so delicious, satisfying and actually super easy and inexpensive! Trust me, even meat-eaters will be head over heels for this recipe.

The ingredients for these lentil and cashew meatless meatballs can all be found in your local supermarket and I've tried to keep things as simple as possible so you can cook this meal easily and not have a mountain of washing up to do afterwards. The recipe itself only has a few steps and from setting your ingredients out to dishing the finished meatballs up the process shouldn't take you any longer than 45 minutes!


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

The True Tea Club Review

If you've been following my blog for a while you'll know I'm well and truly a tea-aholic! If a day goes by where I haven't drunk at least 4 cups of tea then you know something's not right. I'm a huge herbal tea lover but also love black teas, green teas and any other type of tea really.

So, when The True Tea Club contacted me asking if I'd like to try one of their tea boxes I obviously jumped at the chance! True Tea Club is a tea subscription box service that delivers a box of amazing, hand-picked loose leaf tea to your door on the 20th of each month. You receive 4 individual packs of fresh tea which can range from green tea, white tea, black tea, chai, rooibos, oolong and herbal infusions. The amount of tea they send can vary from 40-80 cups of tea per month (dependant on the subscription package)... you know you'll never get bored of the incredible range of flavours!

I was instantly impressed with the True Tea Club box when it was delivered; it's really well and beautifully packaged but it's compact and there aren't any unnecessary ribbons, tissue paper, fancy boxing, etc which personally I really like as it means I can simply recycle the cardboard box and don't get cluttered up with stuff! Plus, they simply don't need any posh packaging to hide behind.

As I opened the box I saw 4 different pouches of tea laying there, just ready to be drank - I was so excited to see what flavours I'd been sent! This month my box contained Vanilla Cupcake (I know...amazing right?!), Rainbow Chaser which is a blend of apple pieces, blackberry leaves, peppermint and orange peel - so different but so yummy, Mighty Mango which I'm thinking will be delicious as an iced tea and last but not least Earl Grey Rebel. Each packet states it's origin, how much tea you need per cup, the ideal brewing time and the recommend temperature of water to use which I found really interesting and helpful too. You also get 4 empty tea bags in the subscription box which is ideal if you haven't got a tea infuser!

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