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Friday, 29 December 2017

Fit, Happy, Healthy - My New Instagram Series

A new year is a new start. A clean slate and a chance to change your life for the better! I've decided to start up a whole new series on my Instagram to help you kickstart the year in the best way, #FitHappyHealthy starts on 1st January and will be a series of home workout videos every Monday and Friday morning! These workout videos will be effective workouts you can do from the comfort of your home. Each Monday will be an equipment free cardio workout to kickstart your week in a positive way and every Friday there'll be strength/toning workout - some will be equipment free and some will require weights, if you're lucky enough to have your own dumbbells or kettle bells that's great but if not you could always use filled water bottles, books, or anything you have lying around.

My journey to a happy, healthy body has been one I've done all by myself. I've lost 3 stone, I've come fit, strong and confident and so much happier within myself. I've never had any help from a PT, I've not set foot in a gym, haven't dieted and never deprived myself. I strong believe becoming your healthiest and fittest can be done easily and cheaply, all at home! So, I wanted to share with you how I did it and hopefully help/inspire you to live a happier, healthier life in 2018!

Who's with me?

(workout table below)


Thursday, 21 December 2017

Christmas 2017 Recipe Round Up

I really made an effort to come up with some delicious festive recipes this year and have enjoyed sharing them all in the run up to Christmas, to hopefully inspire you to get in the kitchen and given you some ideas for food you can eat on the big day!

I've decided to put together this handy recipe roundup for my 2017 Christmas recipes so you can find them all in one place. There's mince pies to herby roast potatoes and maple roasted sprouts to festive rocky road. All of them just as delicious as each other and all of them suitable for those following a gluten, dairy and egg free diet. My favourite of the bunch is my Red Lentil, Mushroom & Sage Nut roast - which everyone in my house is totally obsessed with OR the Festive Rocky Road complete with homemade gingerbread pieces - a total dream. Which one will you try this year?

(Click the recipe title to be taken straight to the recipe page)

Red Lentil, Mushroom & Sage Nut Roast

The best veggie alternative for Christmas Day, and so simple to make too!


Monday, 18 December 2017

Red Lentil, Mushroom & Sage Nut Roast (New & Improved!)

Back in 2015 when my blog was very new I posted a Lentil, Mushroom and Sage Nut Roast recipe which to this day is one of my most popular recipes on the blog...and with good reason! This recipe goes perfectly every time I make it, it's straight forward and hassle free AND not one person has ever disliked the deliciousness of this festive loaf. It's the perfect veggie Sunday roast option, it's a real winner for Christmas Day and it's even incredible enjoyed cold the next day.

This year I decided to revamp the recipe a little, and with a couple of small changes I've made this recipe even more spectacular!

This lentil, mushroom and sage nut roast with cashew, carrots, leeks and plenty of herbs is the most perfect texture that'll satisfy any veggie and any meat-eater. The lentils and cashews give it substance, heartiness and really fill you up, the leeks, carrots and mushrooms add a wealth of goodness, colour, texture and taste and the herbs compliment all the ingredients so well.

One of my favourite things about this recipe is how hassle free it is too, as well as being relatively cheap to make. A lot of nut roast recipes I've come across require 3 or more different nut varieties to be used which not only means extra things to remember when you go shopping but also extra expense as nuts aren't cheap, whereas this recipe calls for cashews alone! The other ingredients used are also inexpensive and can all be found in your local supermarket. The steps to this recipe are simple, straight-forward and you can't really get anything wrong. As I said above, this recipe has always gone perfectly every time I've followed it myself and I've never had any bad feedback from it!


Friday, 15 December 2017

Easy Mince Pies (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Is it really Christmas if you haven't eaten a mince pie? I think not!

I love a delicious mince pie at this time of the year (in fact, I'm always tempted to eat them all year round!) - I love the delicately sweet taste, the festive spices, the juicy filling with the crumbly pasty. Since embarking on my lifestyle changing and cutting gluten and dairy out from my diet I've had to buy the 'free-from' mince pies from the supermarket, but they're often full of so many artificial ingredients and added sugars I don't like to eat too many of them. Of course it's perfectly fine to indulge, especially at Christmas time, but for those of you who'd like a healthier alternative or who'd like to get their back on this is the recipe for you.

This mince pie recipe is both gluten free and vegan, as well as being free from added refined sugars. It's also one of the easier mince pie recipes out there and you should be able to find all the ingredients in your local supermarket - hurrah!

I've been put off backing my own mincemeat before as I thought it would take forever, would require weird and hard to source ingredients and really I just couldn't be bothered with faffing about. But this year I took it upon myself to create a delicious yet simple and relatively quick mincemeat recipe that's full of natural goodness and tastes simply divine. The mince pie filling is made from a mixture of dried cranberries, sultanas and raisins with some apple juice and orange juice & zest for added sweetness and festive flavours. There's also vanilla extract, cinnamon and mixed spice which when added to the mix will create a heavenly smell around your kitchen - you just wait!


Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Crispy Rosemary & Thyme Roast Potatoes

Crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside. Simple to prepare and cook. Completely delicious. These are the most perfect roast potatoes and will make the best occupant to your classic Sunday Roast or your Christmas lunch!

Roast potatoes may be a very standard British thing but this recipe takes the humble roasted spud to the next level. Adding fresh rosemary and fresh thyme to the crispy potatoes brings a gorgeous flavour that just can't be beaten!

These potatoes are super easy to make too and can be thrown together with very little time or effort needed. They are however a real showstopper and a true crowdpleaser, so give them a go with your Sunday roast or prepare them this Christmas for a new welcome addition to your lunch.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Clementine, Apple & Pecan Bircher Muesli

I'm coming at you today with another Christmas recipe...and today's is a breakfast! This is a deliciously festive Clementine, Apple & Pecan Bircher Muesli that'll make an incredible Christmas Day breakfast or a festive food-prep breakfast recipe to last you the whole week.

 Bircher muesli is a breakfast option of dreams, especially for those with super busy lives. You make the bircher by mixing together a combination of oats, yogurt (I used coconut), different fruits, nuts, seeds and milk (I used almond) then simply leaving it in the fridge overnight to enjoy the next morning as a ready-made breakfast or something to easily eat on the go. Bircher muesli will last all week in the fridge too, so making a big batch of it is a great idea!


Friday, 8 December 2017

Festive Rocky Road

Rocky road is one of my all time favourite sweet treats. I love the combination of different fillings you can get, the gooey chocolate and the sweet flavourings. I made a healthy rocky road recipe which I shared on my blog quite a long time ago now but this year I decided to create a festive rocky road recipe that'll be perfect for a Christmas treat, to give as a gift or to share out at a party.

This rocky road has a fudgey consistency that's pure heaven and the fillings really couldn't be more Christmassy! In there we've got some juicy dried cranberries, chopped nuts of your choice (I like almonds or hazelnuts), bee pollen - totally optional but tastes yum and looks a gorgeous colour, cinnamon spice AND the best part - gingerbread pieces!

Everything about this recipe screams Christmas and I guarantee you'll love it. My batch got gobbled up within a couple of days and I'm already being asked to make more!


Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Maple & Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you say you don't like brussels sprouts then you simply haven't cooked them in the right way! When boiled or simply steamed brussels sprouts have a tendency to be bland, boring and go all squishy...that's not what we want. Instead, if we roast them with a mixture of delicious ingredients they come out of the oven like little green balls of deliciousness with so much vibrancy and taste.

These maple & garlic roasted brussels sprouts will convert any brussel sprout loather and be the greatest accompaniment to a roast dinner and of course your Christmas feast.

Cooking your brussels sprouts this way makes the biggest difference to how this green veg turns out, but it requires very little time, effort or ingredients. Lightly steaming the brussels first then roasting them in the oven means they go perfectly crispy on the outside (not at all soggy or squishy!) yet don't burn or get overdone which can happen if you solely roast them.


Saturday, 2 December 2017

Apple Galette (GF & Vegan)

Ever since I came across beautiful pastry galette's I've wanted to try a gluten free, vegan version of my own. The other day when I had some spare time I got myself in the kitchen to test out a free-from galette recipe, and you can see the outcome below!

I'm so impressed with how the recipe turned out. The pastry was a delicious crumbly yet buttery texture and the classic apple filling was a dream! You'd never know this dessert was gluten, dairy, egg and refined sugar free.

The pastry itself is made from a mixture of oat flour, brown rice flour, ground almonds and tapioca starch. I always find using a mixture of different gluten free flours tends to result in the best pastry texture and the tapioca starch is a must-have for that too! I used vegan butter in the pastry too but you could also use coconut oil. Then I added flax 'eggs' to help bind everything together, as well as some cinnamon to give the pastry a real warmth.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Warming Chickpea & Cauliflower Curry

A warming is just the best meal on a cold, winters evening don't you think? Full of delicious warming spices, nourishing veggies, plant-based protein and masses of flavour.  Today I'm sharing the recipe for one of my favourite curries, a super filling chickpea & cauliflower curry that really is the biggest crowd-pleaser!

I particularly love cauliflower in curries as it's a vegetable that absorbs any flavours it's cooked with and becomes gorgeously tender in this curry. The chickpeas add so much heartiness to this dish as well as a generous amount of plant-based protein which makes this curry really filling and perfect as a post-workout dinner too! This chickpea & cauliflower curry isn't just completely delicious but it's bursting with nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, iron, fibre and it's very anti-inflammatory too.


Monday, 27 November 2017

Apple + Mixed Seed Crumble

A warming apple crumble is without a doubt my favourite dessert at this time of year. It's so completely delicious, unbelievably filling, wonderfully comforting and also super easy and inexpensive to make. A winner all round!

This recipe for apple crumble recipe has a slight twist, with the addition of mixed omega seeds in the crumble topping which not only add a yummy crunch and different texture but also a boost of omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, known for their ability to support heart, brain and eye health. The mixture of seeds is one I got from Grape Tree (my go-to local health food store) and it contains a nutritious blend of pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and also brown & golden linseeds. The mix is so full of goodness and is fabulous value for money too, something I know I can always rely on Grape Tree for.

I actually got most of the ingredients for this crumble from Grape Tree. The jumbo oats, ground almonds, coconut oil, coconut sugar, maple syrup, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla can all be found in Grape actually everything apart from the apples! I do love being able to get everything in one place! Head here to find out where your nearest Grape Tree store is.

This plant-based crumble is heavenly enjoyed hot out the oven, or try adding dairy-free custard or coconut yogurt to the top for something extra special. You can also keep the crumble for up to 2 days in the fridge and is delicious enjoyed cold....hey, you could even have it for breakfast!


Saturday, 18 November 2017

Spiced Cranberry, Orange & Seed Cookies

It's less than 2 weeks until December, so I think it's acceptable to start feeling a little festive now! I've got lots of recipes coming at you during the lead up to Christmas, starting with this one for Spiced Cranberry, Orange & Seed Cookies!

These cookies are super easy to make and taste completely delicious with a big mug of tea. They're really festive too with the dried cranberries, zesty orange and mixed spice running through them.

This cookie recipe is gluten free, vegan and refined sugar free too, which might make a nice change to all the sugary treats over Christmas time or will be perfect as gift to a free-from friend. Why not try adding some sultanas or chopped nuts in as well for a little something extra!


Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Warming Turmeric Hummus

Hummus has been one of my favourite foods for years; it's just the greatest on salads, with lots of cooked veggies, with pita bread, on toast, or just to dip carrot sticks into. I love classic hummus but I'm obsessed with coming up with new flavour combinations to make the dip a little more exciting. My current favourite is a warming turmeric flavour hummus that's completely perfect for the Winter months!

This turmeric hummus is made with all the classic hummus ingredients such as tahini, chickpeas and olive oil but I've added in turmeric powder and ground cumin for a little spice and warmth. The combination is a total dream! I made the recipe in collaboration with Indigo Herbs, using various products from their online store - which is my go-to site for all things healthy cooking and baking. I used their tahini, turmeric powder, black pepper and himalayan sea salt in this recipe.

See the photos and full video recipe below!


Monday, 13 November 2017

Chunky Aubergine & Courgette Pasta

I thew this dinner together in no time at all the other day and ended up being the most deliciously comforting autumnal dish and I had to share the recipe with you all.

This chunky aubergine & courgette pasta dish really couldn't be similar, but it's so bursting with flavour and screams 'autumn'. The meal can be thrown together in 15 minutes so is perfect for after a busy day at work or to feed a hungry family.

The aubergine and courgette chunks are really amazing in this pasta dish - they soak up all the flavours from the herbs and by grilling the aubergine it really brings out it's natural flavour. I add dried herbs as well as a little paprika, chilli flakes for a kick and some fresh basil for an Italian vibe.

TOP TIP - try adding lentils to this dish to make it even more filling and for a protein boost!


Friday, 10 November 2017

An Evening With AEG At School Of Wok

On 1st November I was invited down to School Of Wok in London for an exclusive masterclass at the award-winning Asian and Oriental cookery school with leading appliance brand AEG. I was so excited to get this invitation as I love Asian food and of course had heard of AEG - they're such a massive brand! I was intrigued to find out what we'd be making and I was eager to try out the AEG kitchen appliances.

So, on 1st November I head to School Of Wok, which is located close to Covent Garden in London, for the event - taking my boyfriend along as he's also a huge Asian cuisine lover. We were greeted with prosecco which kicked the evening off nicely, and then we were shown to our kitchen stations.
There were two large kitchen stations (like islands) in the front room of the cookery school, each kitted out with several places for all the attendees - we each had a chopping board, an impressive looking knife, measuring utensils and a set of ingredients ready to be cooked!

We were welcomed by someone from AEG who gave us a quick talk about the appliances we'd be using and introduced us to the new Mastery Range which 'aims to satisfy those looking for the ultimate responsive cooking experience to take taste further'! The new range includes an amazing sounding dishwasher called the ComfortLift which is designed to gently lift the lower rack to a more convenient working height - perfect for those with a bad back. A CustomFlex fridge freezer with door storage that can be customised to all your needs, an intelligent Hob2Hood that automatically adjusts to your cooking activity on the hob so you can concentrate on the task at hand. The range is a real range to impress and is designed to help you in the kitchen every step of the way. What's more, the whole range is super sleek and clean cut with liner lines and stylish facades.

After this short talk, School Of Wok's founders Nev welcomed us. He told us a little bit about the cookery school and how him and his business partner actually didn't have the funds to open their dream business, until AEG came along and said they'd donate their appliances to the school to help them get up and running (hurray for AEG!). He then explained we'd be making a sweet and sour dish (I did sweet and sour aubergine) and a side dish (I had crispy tofu balls), he told us how we'd be making them and showed us specific chopping skills which were pretty cool - who knew there was a particular way to cut a pepper?!

For the stir fry dish we had to make what Nev called 'Wok Clocks', this is where you arrange the vegetables on the plate in the order they'll be going into the pan. You place the veggies in a clockwise motion, ending with whatever will be going in last OR the garnish - so in this case the pineapple and the spring onion. Once we'd prepared our vegetables and made a delicious sauce with ketchup (of all things!), white wine vinegar, cranberries, star anise and other yummy ingredients we headed on through to the back room of School Of Wok to get cooking!

We were cooking on AEG induction hobs which were just something else. I've become a little bit of a kitchen appliance snob after getting into this industry and I have to say the AEG hobs were super impressive! Even though School Of Wok was founded back in 2009 and hundreds of people have cooked on them the hobs look brand new and super sleek with a touch screen type control. Nev talked to us about the hob and showed us just how quickly they heated up - they were ready to use in a matter of seconds, but the room stayed so nice and cool thanks to the induction hob not actually giving off heat to the rest of the room - pretty amazing! He showed us how we'd be cooking the food and away we went to do it ourselves. We threw everything into our wok the wok clock way - veggies like onion and pepper went in first to allow for more cooking time followed by the aubergine and pineapple then lastly the sweet and sour sauce was mixed in. We dished our finished stir fry up, garnished with a little spring onion and went back through to the main room where the kitchen stations had been transformed into set dining tables ready to sit at and enjoy our feast!

We all sat down and were served our dishes with delicious sticky rice and a class of wine, which was utter perfection. The stir fry tasted exquisite - so full of flavour and cooked just right. I think it's safe to say we all left the event feeling like fully fledged 'Wok Stars'!


Thursday, 2 November 2017

Roasted Pumpkin Quinoa Bowl With Tahini Dressing

Halloween is over and pumpkin season is coming to an end. Before pumpkins are forgotten about again until next Autumn I wanted to share one last recipe with you which could hopefully help you use up that leftover pumpkin or you could even make this recipe with butternut squash instead!

Roasted pumpkin is a new discovery of mine, and boy do I wish I'd known about it sooner! I'd never thought to roast pumpkin before but it's honestly my new favourite thing. The pumpkin goes super tender, soft and sweet when roasted just with a little olive oil, salt & pepper and is a fantastic edition to loads of dishes, including this roared pumpkin quinoa bowl with tahini dressing.

This bowl of pure nourishment is bursting with colour, flavour and goodness. It's also wonderfully filling thanks to the quinoa and pumpkin, it leaves you feeling like a superstar thanks to the array of veggies, there's a subtle sweetness from the pomegranate seeds and the creamy tahini dressing adds something quite special to the dish. The roasted pumpkin is paired perfectly with all the other flavours and is especially incredible with a little dressing drizzled over the top!


Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Spider Chocolate Cake Squares

It's Halloween Week and I'm sharing with you a creepy but delicious recipe to celebrate. These Spooky Spider Chocolate Cake Squares are a great sweet treat to make for a Halloween party and they're so much fun to bake with children.

They're entirely gluten, dairy, egg and soy free but are pure indulgence with a soft, rich chocolate cake sponge, creamy pumpkin & orange icing and sweet date ball spider on the top! These Halloween cakes are easy to make too and are bound to impress anyone that visits over the Halloween period.

The chocolate cake square is made using buckwheat flour (a naturally gluten free flour) and an ingredient that may sound a little strange but trust me....chickpeas. Yep, chickpeas blending together with the buckwheat flour, some cacao powder, creamy cashew butter, sweet maple syrup, rich coconut sugar, coconut oil and almond milk creates a cakey, delicious texture of dreams! The chickpeas add a texture but not a taste to these cake squares - they simple absorb all the other flavours beautifully. Plus, they add a protein kick and help you feel super full after one of these tasty squares.


Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

'Tis the season for all things pumpkin! I shared a pumpkin spiced latte recipe on my Instagram the other day which went down a storm, so I thought I'd share another pumpkin recipe that I'm obsessed with at the moment.

This pumpkin pie overnight oats recipe is my current go-to breakfast. It couldn't be more autumnal, it's completely delicious, super satisfying, easy to make and it makes a great breakfast when you know you're going to be in a rush. I love porridge but overnight oats can be made the day before and will be ready to go straight away in the morning, which means you get that precious extra time in bed!

These overnights take all of 2 minutes to make then the magic happens overnight. Leave the oats to soak in the delicious pumpkin spice mixture for a minimum of 6 hours in the fridge and in the morning you'll have the most delicious, creamy oats to enjoy. The oats also become much easier to digest this way and will leave you feeling so full of energy and ready for the day!

If you have a little more time in the morning and prefer a warm breakfast, why not make this recipe into classic porridge? I've tried it myself and it's scrumptious either way!

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Chocolate Salted Caramel Energy Balls VIDEO - With Indigo Herbs

Ever since I started getting into healthy eating and creating healthier recipes to share on my blog I've loved the Indigo Herbs products. Indigo Herbs is an online natural health product store that sells absolutely everything you could ever need for healthy baking and cooking delicious, wholesome meals. They're all about optimum nutrition, as well as looking after the environment which I just love!

I'm so excited to be working with Indigo Herbs on a series of recipe videos to show you just how easy and quick it is to whip up some truly delicious, nutritious recipes using their products. Starting with these wonderfully more-ish, heavenly Chocolate Salted Caramel Energy Balls.

These are chocolate balls full of pure goodness! They're full of healthy fats, natural sweetness, heart-healthy carbohydrates, naturally energising maca powder and detoxifying himalayan salt. Salted caramel is the most incredible flavour and I'm so excited to have recreated a healthy version using these ingredients from Indigo Herbs.

The full recipe is written below, as well as step-by-step video to show you exactly how to make these sweet treats.

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Cookie Dough Truffles

I'm putting it out there, these cookie dough truffles might be the best things I've ever made! Ok, I've said that about a few things but these really are ground-breaking. They're unbelievably more-ish, exquisitely delicious yet full of goodness! They also have a secret ingredient which may sound a little odd but just trust me, go with it and be prepared to be blown away!

The magic ingredient? Chickpeas. You might associate chickpeas with hummus, curries, salads perhaps but probably not sweet treats, am I right? I used to do the same but I'd heard of people making things like meringue and blondies from chickpeas, so I had a go at making this cookie dough truffles using chickpeas as the main ingredient for the cookie dough and I was beyond happy with how they turned out! The chickpeas soak up the vanilla flavouring, the creamy cashew butter and the sweet maple syrup - you end up just getting the cookie-dough like texture with none of the chickpea flavour. In fact, I made all my family try one of these truffles (they all LOVED them) but none of them guessed chickpeas were in them, even when I said there was a strange ingredient in them.


Wednesday, 4 October 2017

My Favourite Goodness Bowl

I've been feeling a little rundown lately, I think due to a mixture of lot of stress in my personal life, a heavy workload in my business and the change in the weather taking it's toll. So i've been trying to cram in as much goodness as I can into my diet, through lots of delicious plant-based nourishment and an abundance of natural colour to get all the vitamins and minerals I need.

Below is my absolute favourite goodness bowl at the moment! The combination of ingredients is a pure dream, it's incredibly easy to make, it's full of flavour and it looks pretty too.

The bowl consists of crispy kale, turmeric roasted cauliflower, steamed edamame, cherry tomatoes, garlicky brown rice, herby sautéed courgettes, a sprinkle of fresh coriander and crunchy pumpkin seeds. This bowl holds so many nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, fibre, vitamin B6, magnesium, calcium and plant-based proteins too. A true wellness bowl!

To cook the kale, I just gentle massaged a little olive oil and sea salt into it then baked it in the oven on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes (be careful it doesn't burn!). To make the turmeric cauliflower, I coated cauliflower florets in a little olive and plenty of ground turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper and cooked in the oven for 20-25 minutes. I sautéed both the courgette and cherry tomatoes in a frying pan with 1 clove of garlic and some dried herbs and simply cooked the brown rice in boiling water (according to packet instructions). So simple, so good!

Friday, 29 September 2017

Autumn Recipes - In Collaboration With Yankee Candle

When Yankee Candle contacted me and asked me to create a couple of Autumnal recipe cards to go with their new 'Fall collection' I was so excited! I've been a Yankee Candle lover for years and always get so excited for new scents coming out, so this was a dream collaboration for me.

I was asked to create a recipe to compliment the Vibrant Saffron candle and the Mulberry & Fig Delight candle, so I came up with a delicious and warming vegetable curry with saffron rice and sweet Fig & Mulberry tarts. Both recipes are so comforting, so seasonal, full of flavour and easy to make. They're also both gluten free, suitable for vegans and refined sugar free.
I'm really proud to have collaborated with Yankee Candle and I'm delighted with the recipes I created, so of course I had to share them on my blog for you too!

The fig & mulberry tarts are the best autumnal sweet treat. The raw pastry is made of oats, ground almonds, dates and coconut oil - so all natural and all delicious, the fig jam is super easy to make and any leftovers are delicious on toast, the chewy dried mulberries on top add an extra touch of sweetness to the tarts and are full of nutritious goodness!


Monday, 25 September 2017

Smokey Lentil Quesadillas in GF Tortillas (Vegan)

I love tortilla wraps, always have done, but since being diagnosed coeliac and thus going completely gluten free I had to make the switch to gluten free wraps. Thankfully, BFree Foods make the most amazing gluten free tortilla wraps (in 3 flavours too!) with the healthiest ingredients and a texture just like regular tortilla wraps. The thing I really love about these wraps is how light they are, as sometimes gluten free products can be a little heavy or almost stodgy...these wraps are far from that. One of my favourite things to make with the tortilla wraps is fajitas, but this week I decided to get more creative and come up with a vegan quesadilla recipe using the multigrain wraps and they were a huge success!

 The BFree multigrain tortilla wraps go super crispy when cooked in a pan and the natural flavours in them seem to come out even more. Then there's the filling which is a delicious mixture of lentils and wholegrain rice in a homemade smokey tomato sauce, as well as nutritional yeast which is totally optional but adds a cheesy taste to the quesadillas - totally recommend if you can get your hands on it!


Friday, 22 September 2017

The Pill & Depression - My Experience

I was put on the pill 5 years ago by a doctor who told me it would help manage my symptoms of PCOS, but I didn't imagine it would effect my mental health quite as much as it did. I thought I would share my personal experience with the pill and depression, how it made me feel and my journey trying different versions of the contraceptive pill to find one that worked for me.
As I said above, this is my personal experience and my own journey and doesn't mean you'll have the same reactions as I did. I'm not a doctor and I'm not qualified to give advice, but if you have any concerns about how the pill is making you feel do make an appointment with your GP to talk it through.

I was put on the pill when I was 17 after being diagnosed with PCOS. I was first put on microgynon which made me so terribly sick, then I was put on another one which also made me sick, after this I was prescribed Yasmin which didn't make me feel sick at all and I had no issues with it. I took Yasmin for 3 years - it helped clear up my skin and regulated my periods. I was suffering from depression throughout this period of time but put it down to personal issues in my life rather than anything else. I decided to come off the pill in October 2015 because I didn't like the thought of putting artificial hormones into my body and I wanted to give my body a break from it! After 6 months I hadn't got my period back and my skin wasn't as clear as it once was, so the doctor advised me to go back onto the pill, which I did. I started taking Yasmin again in April 2016 and had a far worse reaction to it than I had done when I was 17! I felt incredibly sick, it was so bad I woke up in the night and had to go sit by my sink for hours on end. As well as this, I experienced extreme hunger and I seemed to be holding onto water a lot more than before. This died down a little bit but never went away until I came off Yasmin earlier this year. My mood during April 2016 and  Spring 2017 hit an all time low - I was having a depressive episode once or twice a week, my self confidence plummeted, my anxiety seemed to worsen and I found myself feeling really lost the majority of the time. Like before I didn't really think much of it - I've suffered with depression since I was 8 years old so didn't think this spell of darkness was anything to do with medication I was on.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes (GF & Vegan)

This week is National Cupcake Week, I know...a pretty amazing week isn't it! So, to celebrate I just had to share a cupcake recipe with you - Nourishing Amelia style.

These chocolate peanut butter cupcakes are the ultimate indulgence - they're sweet, they're spongy, they're rich, they're fluffy and they have the best frosting. All of that plus they're gluten free, suitable for vegans and free from refined sugar. I know it's hard to believe but it's true.

Chocolate and peanut butter is one of my favourite combinations anyway, but throw it into a cupcake and it's like a piece of heaven! The richness of the chocolate and nuttiness of the peanuts compliments each other so well in this cake, which is wonderfully spongy yet light and the frosting which is irresistibly creamy.

The perfect cupcake for National Cupcake Week if you ask me!


Friday, 15 September 2017

Salted Caramel Popcorn Bars

I'm on a real popcorn kick at the moment - I've always loved it but I can't get enough of it recently! I'm particularly loving sweet & salty popcorn which may not be the 'healthiest' of choices but hey, I like it and a little treat every now and then never hurt anybody!

I decided to get creative and incorporate my favourite sweet & salty popcorn into an indulgent but healthier sweet treat, and I'm telling you's AMAZING! Introducing Salted Caramel Popcorn bars!

These little bars of heaven are simply divine. They're like millionaire shortbread but a million times better, and they're even gluten free, suitable for vegans AND refined sugar free (bar the popcorn on the could always use plain or just salted popcorn to change this but I really like the Propercorn Sweet & Salty flavour in this recipe).

Friday, 8 September 2017

A Coeliac's Experience In Paris

Last month my boyfriend and I hopped on the Eurostar for a few days away in Paris. We'd booked the  trip earlier this year and were so excited to explore the city and see the sights. Me, being the super planner that I am, took it upon myself to look up things we could do, places we just had to see whilst we were there and researching the best places for us to eat. As I have coeliac disease I always make sure I do plenty of research into restaurants and cafes that can cater for my dietary needs before going to a new place, as wandering around for hours searching for somewhere suitable when you're starving hungry ain't fun! Being coeliac not only limits my choice on the menu but I might not be able to eat at a restaurant at all if they don't have precautions in place to avoid cross-contamination - for example, I couldn't eat at a restaurant where they use the same knife or chopping board for the 'gluten free' food as they do for gluten containing foods.

When I was doing my (very in-depth) research I instantly noticed there seemed to be a lack of places providing gluten free meal options, whether cross-contamination was an issue or not, which kind of surprised'd think one of the most famous cities in the world would have lots of gluten free options! I did however manage to compile a list of around 10 different cafes and restaurants that seemed to offer gluten free options from their menus online, a few of the places were actually 100% gluten free which was amazing and made me super excited to visit them. Little did I know it wasn't all going to go to plan...

It turns out Paris is dreadful for coeliacs. Although I had the loveliest holiday and the most special few days away, the food side of things was a bit of a disaster and I wouldn't recommend Paris to coeliacs...especially in August! Everything in Paris seems to just shut down in August, and about half of the restaurants or cafes I had picked out were already scrapped because they were closed during the few days we were in the city (including Chambelland, LouLou Friendly Diner and Thank you, My Deer). It seemed crazy to me, I mean..can you imagine London practically shutting down during what is the busiest tourist month of the year? Nope, me neither.

Day 1 (Sunday)
We arrived in Paris just after lunchtime - we'd bought food at St Pancras to eat on the Eurostar and had plenty of snacks to keep us going until dinner. We checked into our hotel at around 3:30pm, settled in and had a freshen up before heading out for a wander. We walked up to the Eiffel Tower which was amazing - I always find it surreal seeing such famous sites close up, then we went to Notre Dame for a walk along the river and to see the breath-taking Notre Dame Cathedral. After this, it was time for dinner and we'd already decided to go to Hank Restaurant - a totally vegan burger & pizza restaurant with gluten free options, but on arrival we could see nothing was cooked separately. You could see into the kitchen and the 'gluten free' veggie burgers were just being chucked into the oven alongside the gluten containing burgers with crumbs flying around everywhere, not only that but apparently the 'gluten free chips' had flour on them. Needless to say we couldn't eat there! Plan B was to walk to Noglu - a totally gluten free restaurant about a 15 minute walk away, but on arrival we noticed it was closed. We then spend a good 2 hours wandering around the area, going into restaurants, looking at menus, searching online but by this point it was 10pm and everywhere was closing. We had to dash into a supermarket before it closed and pick up snacks to have for dinner....not the delicious gluten free feast I had hoped for on our first night!


Thursday, 31 August 2017

'PB & J' Protein Smoothie Bowl

Summer made an appearance for a few more days this week, which had me craving smoothie bowls. They're my favourite thing to have for breakfast on a warm morning; they're refreshing, satisfying, filling, delicious and full of goodness. My latest smoothie bowl creation is this heavenly 'peanut butter & jam' flavour bowl....and yes, it really is as amazing as it sounds.

This smoothie bowl is so easy to make and takes no time at all but it's something very special! It's also contains the three important macronutrients - healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein. I added The Good Guru's vegan protein in Vanilla & Wild Berries flavour to this smoothie bowl which I find really excenuates the 'jam' flavour I'm going for and also keeps me feeling fuller for longer throughout the morning.

This smoothie bowl is so creamy thanks to the frozen banana which kind of turns into an ice-cream like consistency when blended, the strawberries add the best flavour and pretty pink colour, the peanut butter adds even more creaminess and an unbeatable flavour and the protein powder from The Good Guru sweetness the bowl up even more and adds such a yummy taste and thick texture.

Try topping your smoothie bowl with fresh strawberries, some chopped peanuts and a swirl of peanut butter. They're totally optional but I think toppings make all the difference!

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Berry Ice-Cream Pops

These 3 ingredient ice-cream pops are simply heaven - they're my new favourite Summer treat recipe and I can't wait for you to recreate them!

Notice they're called 'ice-cream pops', this is because the texture of them is far more like ice-cream than it is like an ice-lolly. They're creamy, thick and perfectly sweet with a summery berry flavour thanks to The Good Gurus Good Berries Powder blended into the mix. I used this mix instead of fresh berries to ensure there were no seeds, that it would blend super smoothly and also to get a mixture of lots of berry flavours (blueberry, blackberry, strawberry, raspberry & cranberry) at no extra cost or expense - it's so easy having it all in one pot!

The 2 main ingredients are frozen banana and coconut cream, which is what makes the texture so wonderfully creamy and so like that of ice-cream! The combination of these two ingredients also tastes delicious and the banana brings that all important natural sweetness so there's no need for any added sugars. I then add in the Good Berries powder for a beautiful baby pink colour, a hit of anti-oxidants and amazing flavour.  I then drizzled a little dark chocolate across each ice-cream pop for decoration and a little something extra, but that's a totally optional step!


Monday, 14 August 2017

Crispy Tofu & Satay Sauce

I've been trying to perfect crispy tofu for what seems like forever! Tofu is most delicious, in my opinion, when it's crispy on the outside yet still soft on the inside but it can be tricky to get that combination right. My tofu never seems to go crispy enough, but I've discovered a secret ingredient that makes the crispiest, tastiest tofu ever and I just had to share it with you!

This simple yet game-changing recipe for crispy tofu and a wonderful peanut satay sauce is my new favourite thing.The satay sauce drizzled over this cubes of crispy tofu is undeniably more-ish!

The secret ingredient to make the tofu this crispy is sesame flour! I got mine from Sukrin but you could also just blend sesame seeds in a high-power blender and create the same thing. I find the sesame flour adds an amazing texture to the outside of the tofu too and adds to that Asian style vibe I was going for.

The satay sauce is a new invention of mine but I can tell I'm going to make it again and again! It's super quick and easy to make but really adds something special to this recipe and pairs perfectly with the tofu or works like a dream drizzled over a stir fry.

Live Happy, Live Healthy


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