Tag Archives: Vegan pancakes

Bluebells Galore! & Lil’ L’s Top Eats of the Week

Hi everyone!¬† I hope you’re having a great week so far ūüôā

We’re doing okay, although the weather is a bit of a drag.¬† It’s just rain, rain, rain here ūüôĀ¬† I mustn’t complain though as we’ve had beautiful weather for weeks and the country’s¬†got a water shortage.¬†¬†¬†

Although I¬†definitely don’t fancy¬†going out on my bike in this weather, I am¬†happy to walk about in the rain.¬†¬†In fact, it can be pretty refreshing.¬† I love the smell of¬†fresh rain and, providing you’ve got a big umbrella, it can be quite cosy and fun.

On Saturday, we decided to take a trip to West Woods¬†in Wiltshire to check out the beautiful bluebells.¬† It rained on and off, but that didn’t matter.¬†

If anything, it made the trip even more magical as we were pretty much the only ones there.  It was so peaceful!

The bluebells were truly stunning! 

We noticed that there were quite a few bridleways through the forest so, as soon as the tracks dry out, we’ll take our bikes¬†for a ride round.

The market town of Marlborough is not far from the woods so, after our walk, we popped there for a coffee.  It was market day so before we headed home, we managed to bag ourselves some great value fruit and veggies, including 10 bananas for £1!

WIAW – Lil’ L’s Favourite Eats of the Week

Since our return from Lanzarote a week and a half ago,¬†I’ve been enjoying cooking¬†some of the family’s favourite meals.¬†¬†Just for a change,¬†for this week’s WIAW party, I thought¬†I’d¬†ask Lil’ L to list¬†his favourite breakfast, lunch, dinner and¬†dessert¬†that he’s eaten since we’ve been home.¬†

Here’s a¬†rundown of his favourite eats:

Breakfast – Banana Pancakes
I made a batch of these on Saturday morning and Lil’ L had them for breakfast on both Saturday and Sunday.¬†These are his number one favourite pancakes.¬† I’ve recently¬†updated the recipe to bring it into line with my other pancake recipes.¬†They are so simple to make; you just throw all the ingredients into the blender and pulse it a few times.

At the weekend, we topped the pancakes with chopped pecans, walnuts, sliced almonds, ground linseed and a drizzle of agave syrup. 

Lunch – Scrambled Tofu Pitta Pocket
Since¬†returning from¬†our holidays, we’ve been on a mission to liven up¬†lunch boxes.¬† Lil’ L mentioned¬†that he would love to try scrambled tofu in a pitta bread for his school lunch.¬† On Sunday, we made¬†scrambled tofu on toast for¬†our¬†lunch and then¬†saved some for¬†packed lunches on Tuesday.¬†

This time round, in addition to the tofu and spices, we added a few veggies – finely chopped red onion, red pepper, sliced mushrooms and flat leaf parsley.

Lil’ L absolutely loved the scrambled tofu pitta pocket and¬†said it was one of the best packed lunches he’s ever had.¬† We’ll definitely be making this one again!

Dinner РHome-made Pizza, Mexican Fajitas & Vegetable Korma
Lil’ L had difficulty choosing one favourite dinner as we’ve had three of his favourites this week, so he asked whether I could feature all three.¬†

On Sunday we had¬†the home made ‘confetti’ pizza¬†(which we ate whilst watching the very bizarre film ‘Coraline’)

On Monday,¬†we had Mexican veggie fajitas.¬†¬†This dinner only takes 8 minutes to make!¬† It’s perfect for Monday nights when Lil’ L has to eat an early dinner before cubs.¬†

To make them, I stir fried¬†bell ¬†peppers, courgette (zucchini), mushrooms, baby corn,¬†avocado, julienned carrot sticks, roasted broccoli (a left over from the weekend)¬†and pumpkin seeds in a little oil and a sprinkling of¬†fajita spice mix. I also added half a packet of¬†Fry’s Vegetarian Chunky Strips (bought¬†from Holland and Barratt).¬†¬†We¬†served them in warmed tortillas, and¬†M and I chose to spice ours up with a¬†drizzle of Linghams Chilli Sauce.¬† Delicious!

Yesterday, my mum came to visit us for the night, so we decided to cook one of the family’s current favourite meals – Veggie Korma with home made chapattis.¬† This time round, we used 7 different vegetables in the curry –¬†red onion, garlic, celery, carrot, parsnip, savoy cabbage, and mushrooms, along with cashew nuts and sliced almonds. ¬†Lil’ L enjoyed it so much that he asked for seconds!

Dessert – Chocolate Banana Chia Pudding
This was our dessert from Monday night.¬†¬†Another really¬†simple¬†recipe which takes¬†about a minute to prepare, providing that you’ve remembered to pre-soak the chia seeds.

It’s been another week of great eats¬†ūüôā¬† We’ve had lots of old family favourites¬† and I’ve also been trialling some new recipes which I’m looking forward to sharing with you…. especially the home made veggie pasties, which are totally lush!¬†¬†

Right,¬†time¬†to head over to¬†the¬†WIAW party to¬†check out this week’s¬†delicious eats.¬†¬†¬†Thanks as always to the¬†lovely Jenn for hosting this great event.¬† I hope to see you there! ūüôā xx

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Mothering Sunday, a Visit to Lacock and a delicious Veggie Korma!

Hi everyone!¬† Hope you’re having a great week so far!

For this week’s WIAW party,¬†I’d like to share our eats from last Sunday, which was¬†Mother’s Day here in the UK.¬†¬†According to the results of a nationwide¬†survey, what most mothers really want on Mothering Sunday is a lie-in and a home-made card.¬† Well, I can happily report that I got both, so I was one very happy mum indeed! ūüôā

Check out what Lil’ L wrote inside the card.¬† It’s really sweet (and¬†amusing)!¬† People that know me will laugh at pretty much all the qualities he listed,¬†especially the last one!¬† The only one I can relate to myself is no 3.¬† Isn’t it wonderful though that, at the age of 8, our kids still think of us as superstars!¬† I wonder how long that will last!

Last weekend, M’s parents came to stay, so Mother’s Day was doubly special.¬† After our lovely lie-ins with cups of tea and coffee, we all opted to have different breakfasts.¬† Cereals and home-made pecan & maple nut granola for M’s mum and dad, porridge for M, and pancakes for me & Lil’ L.¬† However, when M saw how nice the the pancakes¬†looked, he decided that he’d like some¬†as well.¬† Luckily, I’d made a huge batch so we had a couple spare ūüėČ

This Sunday, we had blueberry pancakes (recipe here) made with the new Alpro Almond Milk (delicious!),  topped with organic strawberries, pecan nuts, ground linseed and a drizzle of agave syrup.  Both Waitrose & Tesco are selling organic strawberries half price at the moment and they are super sweet and totally scrummy!

Lil’ L was¬†put out at first when he saw the strawberries on top, but he was willing to give them a try, with the response¬†“I’ll give anything a try if it’s on top of a pancake”.¬† I must remember this ūüėČ

He ended up eating the whole lot, which is fantastic for this former fruit dodger.¬† That’s another fruit to cross off the ‘won’t try/don’t like’ list ūüôā

After breakfast, we went to visit Lacock, a village in Wiltshire just a few miles from where we live.  This ancient village is a pretty special place, and has the most incredible old houses.

Lacock Village High Street (c) Ian Petticrew

It’s been used as the backdrop for a number of films and TV series, including Cranford and Pride & Prejudice.¬† Lacock Abbey is also the setting for a number of the interior shots in the¬†Harry Potter films.

Lacock Village (c) Pam Brophy

On Sunday, there were lots of little craft shops open for us to browse, as well as a craft fayre in the village hall.  For lunch, we stopped at the village bakery for a delicious veggie pastie.

Lacock Bakery (c) Jonathan Billinger

We had a lovely afternoon at the village¬†and are planning to return in¬†early summer with M’s parents to visit the Abbey and its grounds.¬† From the photos I’ve seen on the web, it looks absolutely stunning!

Lacock Abbey (c) Gary Brothwell

For dinner, we had leftovers from Saturday night’s meal, which had been so delicious that we didn’t mind¬†eating it on two consecutive nights.¬†¬†We had veggie korma, coconut dhal with butternut squash, brown rice, chapattis (made by M!), and mini poppadoms.

The veggie curry was really well received by M’s parents, which was a¬†relief¬†as I¬†often wonder whether M, L and I have¬†different taste buds to people that eat ‘typical’ Western diets.¬† I think¬†veggie curry is a great dish to serve when you have guests (whether they’re veggie or meat eaters)¬†for these reasons…

  • With the simple addition of chapattis, poppadoms, naan breads, the curry can turn into a delicious feast.
  • Pretty much everyone I know loves curry, and as long as you don’t make it too hot, then it’s fine for the children too.¬† When Lil’ L was younger, I simply used to roughly blend the veggies so that they were less chunky and blended into the korma sauce.
  • The dishes can be prepared in advance (big advantage in my book as I don’t want to be slaving in the kitchen when we have guests!)¬† The dishes can even be¬†prepared the day before and simply heated through on the stove.

The veggie korma we made on Saturday included my all-time favourite combination of veggies for curries.¬† It’s quick and incredibly simple to make.¬† Here’s the recipe:

For dessert, we had mango hedgehogs ūüôā

So that’s what we ate on Mothering Sunday.¬† We didn’t go out to a restaurant and pay the inflated Mother’s Day prices, but instead we stayed in and ate¬†one of the tastiest Indian meals I’ve ever had ūüôā

It’s now time for me to pop over to Jenn’s site and check out all the delicious WIAW entries.¬† A big thank you to Jenn for hosting this great foodie party and for all the inspiration for new eats.

I’d love some more ideas for¬†dishes¬†to serve for¬†a mix of veggie and non-veggie guests.¬† I often end up serving¬†veggie lasagna, Mexican burritos/ fajitas/ enchiladas, or¬†veggie curry.¬† What dishes would you recommend?¬† I’d love to hear your ideas and please do send links to recipes if you have them.

Happy Wednesday everyone! xx

 

 

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WIAW – I’ll Bring the Spinach & Cashew Pesto Pasta & Sun-Dried Tomato Humous (with recipe!)

Hi Everyone! I hope you’re having a great week so far!

I’ve just got back from another wonderful afternoon with my meditating kids ūüôā¬† Some of these children have only been meditating for 3 weeks, but they’re already so good at it!¬† I’m sure some of them will be meditation masters by the time they’re 10 ūüėȬ†¬†

The object of¬†today’s meditation was to teach them a method to calm themselves down whenever they feel¬†negative emotions, like anger, starting to arise¬†within their minds.¬†¬†We visualised our¬†minds as a¬†blue sky and negative emotions¬†as dark, black clouds.¬† On the out-breaths, we blew the clouds away until we were left with a crystal clear blue sky, symbolising the return to a calm peaceful, happy state of mind.¬†

[Source]

The¬†children¬†were¬†certainly chilled out after the meditation¬†… perhaps some were a little too¬†relaxed.¬†¬†One girl¬†asked¬†me¬†whether she¬†could¬†lie down on the floor after the meditation and have a little sleep!!¬† All in all though, it was a great, relaxing, fun afternoon ūüôā

I hope you don’t mind me mentioning these meditations in my posts, but¬†they’re helping me to recall what I do with the children in these Wednesday¬†Workshops.¬†¬†Just like my recipes,¬†most of the meditations are saved in my head, which isn’t a great place for them to stay.¬† When¬†I get a spare moment, I will¬†start¬†to write them out¬†properly. Until then,¬†the blog post record will have to do!¬†¬†¬†

In¬†half an hour, Lil’ L and I will be heading to the¬†swimming pool but, before we go, I thought I’d¬†give a quick rundown of today’s eats for¬†the lovely Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday (WIAW) party.¬†¬†Today’s eats were all leftovers from Sunday, Monday & Tuesday!

Breakfast
Hot lemon water
2 Apple & cinnamon pancakes with a sprinkling of ground flaxseed, chopped pecans and a drizzle of agave syrup. 

Sorry for the old pic, but I had to dash out this morning¬†and didn’t have time to photograph the breakfast! It pretty much looked like this… except I had 2 pancakes rather than 3 (it’s Lil’ L that’s the pancake monster round here!)

 I often make a big batch of pancakes on a Sunday morning and, if any are leftover, we eat them in the week for breakfast or after school snacks. 

Lunch
On my return from Bristol, I had a quick lunch of wholegrain rice cakes, topped with sun-dried tomato humous, black olives and roasted red peppers. 

Along with¬†Nairn’s Oatcakes, Kallo wholegrain rice cakes are one of our favourite shop-bought snacks.¬†¬†While I use them for quick lunches, Lil’ L loves to take them to school for¬†his play time snacks.¬† His current favourite flavour¬†is¬†yeast extract, while I prefer the sesame seed (no salt) version (not pictured as I’ve eaten them all!)

When I read the nutritional blurb on the back of the packet, I was amazed to find that each rice cake only contains 30 calories!

I find them really filling too!¬† Especially when they’re covered in delicious home made humous ūüėȬ† I’ve finally jotted down how I make the sun-dried tomato humous.¬† It’s so easy and quick!¬† It only takes me a couple of minutes to whip up enough humous to last us the week.¬† Sometimes I make a double batch and freeze half for the following week.¬†

Here’s how I make it:

Drinks
1 soy cappuccino in Bristol, 1 peppermint & nettle tea, 1 pure apple juice, water

Snacks
1 sugar free jam tart (left over from yesterday’s¬†study class).¬†¬†I use¬†St Dalfour fruit spreads as the filling for these tarts.¬† This spread is¬†deliciously sweet without any¬†added sugar or sweetener.¬†


I’ve¬†recently started using Chapatti Atta as my wholemeal (wholewheat) flour for pastry making¬†(I¬†found this in the¬†Indian product aisle at Tesco).¬† It’s got a beautiful texture, with the wheat flakes very finely ground into the flour, making it perfect for¬†pastries.¬† As an added bonus, it’s way cheaper than the regular wholemeal flour I’ve been buying.¬† My next mission is to seek out organic chapatti atta but, for now, I’m happy to use this one:

Dinner
For dinner¬†tonight, we’ve got¬†leftover black bean burgers from¬†Sunday, with a side dish of¬†wholewheat pasta leftover from yesterday, into which I’ve mixed some spinach, basil and cashew nut pesto with a selection of lightly stir-fried¬†vegetables (red pepper, mushroom, red onion, mange tout, courgette (zucchini)) and black olives.¬†I’ve also sprinkled in some pumpkin seeds and Marigold Yeast Flakes with B12 for added goodness.

If I’ve only got a few minutes to make a dinner, pesto pasta is often the one I choose to¬†make.¬† The pesto only takes a minute to prepare and I find it tastes so much nicer than the shop bought stuff!¬† Plus, if you make it yourself, you can sneak in lots of extra goodness (like a whole cup of spinach) and reduce the oil content.¬† I’ll make sure I write down this¬†pesto recipe soon and post it!

Dessert
For dessert, we’re having the ‘goji yogi surprise’ – apple compote (using¬†our home-grown, over-wintered apples) layered¬†with¬†Alpro¬†natural soy yoghurt and a sprinkling of¬†chopped¬†gojis and nuts.¬† I haven’t put it together yet, but this is what it looks like:

This month, Jenn’s WIAW parties are going green.¬†¬† To find out more and get inspired¬†for this month’s eats, click on the image below.¬†

Time to head to the pool!  Happy Wednesday everyone!  xx

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WIAW – Coconut & Mango Pancakes, Butternut & Nut Butter Soup, Spinach, Mushroom & Tofu Ricotta Strudel

Hello everyone!¬† I hope you are having a great week ūüôā¬†

Mine’s been pretty good so far.¬† My Wednesday Workshops started back again today.¬† As it’s a new term, I’ve got two new groups of children.¬† Some of the children have attended my workshops before while others are new.¬† This time round I’ve got four reception children (aged 4) and they are so cute!¬† I’d forgotten just how little they are!¬†¬†

I was shocked when I recently came across a picture of Lil’ L on his first day of school in 2008.¬† I can’t even remember him being that small!¬† It really is¬†incredible how quickly they grow up!

¬†For this week’s WIAW party, hosted by the lovely Jenn @ Peas and Crayons, I’m going to show what Lil’ L and I made and ate on Saturday.¬† M was away in London for the day,¬†watching¬†bike racing at the new Velodrome at the Olympic Park, so unfortunately he missed out on some great eats.¬† We did, however, leave him a few tiny morsels which he took to work on Monday in his lunch box. Aren’t we kind ūüėČ

Here’s our¬†rundown:

Breakfast
Inspired by a guest post¬†by Rachael (Passing Daisies) on¬†Rachel’s ‘My Naturally Frugal Family’ blog,¬†we decided to have a try at making some mango and coconut pancakes.¬† That combination just sounds so delicious¬†to me!¬†

I used my usual vegan pancake mixture, but added 3T of dessicated coconut into the mix.  The pancakes were topped with mango pieces (which I caramelized in 1T coconut palm sugar), some lightly toasted dessicated coconut, chopped pecans, sprinkling of ground linseed and a drizzle of agave syrup.

The pancakes were delicious!¬†The only thing I’ll change next time I make them is to omit putting coconut within the pancake mixture as I couldn’t really taste it.¬† Instead, I’ll just sprinkle more toasted coconut on top. ūüôā

Lunch
On Friday night, Lil’ L and I snuggled on the sofa to watch a re-run¬†of¬†River Cottage Everyday¬†(no this wasn’t a bedtime delay tactic, he really does enjoy this programme… it’s up there with Jo Frost on his list of favourite programmes…¬†strange I know!).¬†¬†

In this episode, two dishes in particular caught our eye… broad bean humous and butternut & nut butter soup.¬† We decided to make both for lunch on Saturday ūüôā

Unfortunately I haven’t got any photos of the broad bean humous, but¬†Lil’ L¬†absolutely loved it!¬†¬†I often serve humous¬†as a starter before lunch or dinner with crudites as a way of getting even more veggies into him.¬† We’ve tried lots of different flavours… roasted tomato, roasted red pepper, caramelised onion… and now we have broad bean to add to the list ūüôā¬†

The second item on the lunch menu was butternut & nut butter soup.¬† When we saw this being made on River Cottage, we both said “yum!” at the same time.¬† Since I had some butternut squash that needed using up, this was the perfect soup to make for the weekend.¬†¬†

The soup was made with onion, garlic, a medium butternut squash, 2 tsp ground cumin, vegetable stock and… the secret ingredient…. 2 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter.¬† The soup was¬†garnished¬†with a drizzle of natural soya yoghurt and some coriander.¬†

We had the remainder of this soup for supper on Monday night.¬† It really is scrummy and I can’t wait to make it again ūüôā

For our lunch ‘dessert’ on¬†Saturday,¬†we had a couple of raw chocolate hearts (I won’t add a photo of these as you’ve seen them plenty of times before!)

Dinner
For our evening meal, I made a spinach, mushroom and tofu ‘ricotta’ strudel.¬† I used some pre-made filo pastry and simply rolled up the mixture lengthwise along the layered sheets.¬† It was very quick and easy to make, and tasted delicious!

I served mine with a salad of romaine lettuce, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomatoes and olives.¬† Lil’ L wanted his portion served with¬†the broad bean humous (again!)¬†and some red pepper slices.

The strudel was big enough to provide dinner¬†for us on Monday night as well, plus a slice¬†for M’s lunch box.

Dessert
Pineapple and coconut milk smoothie
Alpro Soya Chocolate Dessert

Another day of yummy eats and veggie loving <3. 

I’m off to Jenn’s now to check out all the beautiful foodie photos and gather inspiration.¬† Happy WIAW everyone! ūüôā

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End of Term & WIAW – Cambodian Wedding Day Dip & Spinach Pancakes

Hi everyone!¬† I hope you’ve had a great Wednesday so far! ūüôā

Unbelievably, we’ve nearly reached the end of the first Spring term already!¬† This term has gone by so¬†fast!

Today was my last Wednesday Workshop sessions and I thought we’d finish with a bit of girl power and¬†read the beautiful story of Buddha Tara.

My mum bought me this beautiful statue of Tara for my birthday a couple of years ago. I love her!

The children that I’ve taught this term have been absolutely amazing!¬† It’s been such a joy to spend time with them ūüôā¬† As it was the end of term, the children got a certificate for their achievements in mastering meditation, plus a¬†chocolate and¬†biscuit.¬†¬†I made these star biscuits yesterday.¬† The recipe yields about 40 little stars, so there was plenty to go round!

Right, time to scoot over to the¬†lovely Jenn’s Peas & Crayons WIAW party.¬† I’m really late today, so I’m going to have to be super quick in showing my eats¬†for today.¬† Here goes…

Breakfast
Hot lemon & water (before school run)
Super cold weather = need for a warming bowl of porridge.  Today I added raw cocoa powder, chopped brazils, pecans, walnuts, ground linseed, goji berries and a little St Dalfour strawberry spread for sweeteness.  It was d.e.l.i.s.h!

Lunch
The other day I realised that I’d received all those wonderful cook books for Christmas, but hadn’t actually round to trying out any recipes.¬† This seriously needs addressing!¬† Today, I chose to try the Cambodian Wedding Day Dip¬†in Hugh¬†Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage Veg¬†Everyday.¬† Not only was¬†I intrigued by the name of this dip, but¬†is also contains lots of my favourite ingredients¬†– mushrooms, curry powder, peanut butter and coconut milk.

Here’s how¬†my Cambodian Wedding Day Dip turned out:

And how did it taste?  Pretty scrummy.  I served it warm, with some toasted pitta strips.  It was quite rich and spicy, so a little goes a long way.  I only had a small amount but I found it really filling.

Here’s a link to the recipe in case anyone fancies trying the dip.¬† The online recipe says that it serves 2, while my cookbook says it serves 8.¬† I halved the recipe and think it would easily serve 4.

Drinks, Snacks, Desserts
Nettle tea, 1 black coffee, water, fruit smoothie, a couple of shortbread stars, a bite of Lil’ L’s cinnamon bagel, banana, piece of granola bar

Dinner
For one night only I lifted the embargo on one of Lil’ L’s favourite dinners… spinach pancakes.¬† You can’t imagine how excited he was to have one of his old favourites return for a night! ūüôā

Here’s a bit of back story to the pancake saga…¬† when Lil’ L was really little he said that his favourite colour was green.¬†¬†With this¬†in mind, I craftily started to make lots of meals in his favourite colour ūüėȬ† One¬†of¬†the earliest meals I made was bright green spinach pancakes.¬† He absolutely loved them and, from that day on, never wanted white savoury pancakes again.

I was really pleased that he loved the spinach version so much but then he started to ask for them every Wednesday after his swimming lesson.¬† Can you imagine how boring my WIAW posts would be if I hadn’t put a stop to it?¬† After about a year of eating spinach pancakes every Wednesday I was totally and utterly sick of them.¬† I never wanted to see a spinach pancake again in my life!¬† I told Lil’ L that we needed a break from the pancakes and though he was really disappointed, he finally came round to the idea of having some variation each Wednesday.¬† That was just over 5 months ago…

Anyway, enough time has lapsed for me to bring back the old favourite, but I’ll make sure it only makes an appearance once in a while ūüėČ

Apologies for the use of an old photo (taken the last time we had the green favourite) but there was no light left by the time we had dinner tonight (7.30).¬† I’ve tried taking photos at this time of night but they just come out blurry or orange!

These pancakes are so simple to make.¬† I simply add all the ingredients to a blender and whizz it.¬† Tonight, I tried the¬†Cambodian Wedding Day Dip as a filling and, for my tastes buds, the blend of flavours went really well together.¬† A perfect Winter warmer ūüôā

I hope you enjoy the spinach pancakes¬†as much as Lil’ L does. But remember variety¬†is the spice of life ūüėČ

Happy WIAW everyone! xx

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