WIAW – I’ll Bring the Oriental Noodles in Peanut Sauce

It’s WIAW Party Time!

Thanks, as always, to our gorgeous host Jenn over at Peas and Crayons.

For this week’s party, I’d like to share our eats from Monday.

Lil’ L and I chose to have one of our favourite breakfasts this morning… a raw chocolate banana energy smoothie. It always feels so decadent starting the day with chocolate. I thoroughly recommend it 😉 I followed our usual recipe, though as I’d run out of chia seeds, I used hulled hemp seeds instead for our omega-3 boost. They worked really well and blended up super smooth.

Since organic carrots were on special offer at Tesco this week, I stocked up and made a large batch of Carrot & Coriander soup. This is one of our all-time favourite Autumn/Winter soups.

Snacks & Drinks
While revising for my latest Buddhist exam, I snacked on raw nuts, raisins and choc chips.  When Lil’ L got in from school, he also chose to have a bowl of raw cashews for his snack.

For drinks, I had Clippers Organic nettle tea, Twinings Peppermint & Nettle tea, black coffee, strawberry & banana smoothie, and water.

For dinner, we had an Oriental Stir-Fry with Peanut Sauce. I love stir fries as they’re so quick and simple to make. Adding peanut sauce takes stir fries to a whole new level of yumminess!

Unfortunately I didn’t manage to take a photo as there was no light by the time I cooked dinner, but it looked very similar to the one below … but even more colourful with the addition of red cabbage & yellow pepper 🙂

Here’s how I made it….

Fresh pineapple cubes & non-dairy yoghurt

That’s me done for another WIAW. Time now to prepare for my kids’ meditation workshops. I’ve got such a lovely bunch of kids again this term. I feel so lucky to be able to spend the afternoon with them! It’s bliss! 🙂

UK readers, don’t forget to enter my Raw Hot Chocolate Giveaway. It closes at midnight tomorrow (Thursday).

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone xx

Do you like stir-fries? If so, what’s your favourite recipe? If you’ve posted it online, please do add your links below as I’d love to try it 🙂 

WIAW Mum, I’m … a Vegetarian

Yay, it’s WIAW party time again! Thanks, as ever, to our gorgeous host Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. I hope Jenn’s going to bring some of her Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers to the party. They look amazing! You must check them out!

For this week’s foodie party I’d like to share our eats from yesterday. Fortunately I managed to take shots of each meal, though the light was so bad that I’m surprised any of them actually came out!

Here’s what we had…

Warm lemon & water (Me & M); juice for Lil L

Me & Lil’ L had chocolate clusters again this morning (still loving these!), with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts, hempseeds, flaked almonds and goji berries on top. Today’s milk of choice was Kara Coconut Milk (currently on offer in Waitrose)  M had his usual huge bowl of porridge with nuts, seeds and dried fruits sprinkled on top.

I decided that it was about time that I did something with the pumpkin that the boys never got round to carving for Halloween. It’d been plonked on the dining table 2 weeks ago and, until yesterday, it was still there!

I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin as I find it doesn’t have much taste and its texture is a bit watery (well, the ones we get here in the UK anyhow… maybe the US version are different?) I decided that I’d make a soup out of the pumpkin but, to bring out its flavour, I roasted it.  After 30 minutes, I added a red onion, red pepper, yellow pepper and 2 crushed cloves of garlic to the tray and roasted them on for a further 15 minutes. I then blended the roasted veggies with a jug of vegetable stock. The result was a silky smooth, creamy soup with a subtle roasted veggie flavour.

I think that a handful of chopped chives would have worked really well with this soup but as I didn’t have any, I used flat leaf parsley instead. The tiny pieces of fresh chopped red & yellow pepper are great as a garnish & also add great taste & texture.

Lil’ L took the soup to school for his packed lunch, along with some sunflower seeds to sprinkle on top, and a couple of slices of Burgen sunflower & chia bread. He said he wasn’t sure about the soup after the first spoonful (it’s the first time he’s had pumpkin) but, after a couple more mouthfuls, he decided that he did actually like it 🙂   I had the same experience. By the third mouthful I decided that this soup was indeed scrumptious. I’ll definitely make it again in the future.

For a mid-afternoon snack, I had a huge bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds. For me, the seeds are by far the nicest part of the pumpkin. I absolutely love them roasted with a little sprinkling of sea salt.

For his mid-morning snack, Lil’ L had 2 seeded flatbread crackers with organic mushroom pate.

2 black coffees (I’m revising for a 3-hour Buddhist exam (which is next Tuesday) and, for some reason, coffee is my drink of choice whilst revising 😉
Clippers Organic Nettle tea (still my number 1 herbal tea!)
Smoothies, juice and water

We had a quick dinner tonight which consisted of left over veggie chilli, served with toasted wholegrain tortilla segments.  I think I’m going to call this my ‘Rainbow Chilli’ because you should see the chopping board once I’d prepared all the veggies. It was an explosion of colour! I used red onion, red, green and yellow pepper, yellow sweet corn, green courgette, red tomatoes and black beans. I also threw in a cup of veggie mince as Lil’ L loves some chewy texture in his chillis.

For a super quick dessert, I whizzed up some date & nut cobbler in the food processor and served it on top of tinned peaches, with a drizzle of Alpro soya cream. Such a simple dessert but it felt really special!

We had a quick, early dinner last night because we were heading into Bath to watch the Christmas Lights being switched on. I was very excited because one of my all-time favourite comedians, John Bishop, was turning on the lights. I gained huge respect for John Bishop after he completed his ‘Week of Hell’ challenge for Sport Relief earlier this year. He gained even more respect from me when I found out he’s a vegetarian 😉

I’ll leave you with one of my favourite clips from John Bishop’s ‘Britain’ Series 2 called ‘Mum, I’m…. a vegetarian‘.  Like John, I became a vegetarian in the mid 1980s and this clip makes me laugh so much.

Are you a veggie? If so, when did you make the change? How did your family react?

WIAW – The Antioxidant Rich Addition (no ghouls in sight!)

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats
Hi everyone!

I’m guessing that everyone’s WIAW posts are going to be filled with Halloween delights today. But I’m bucking the trend. It’s not intentional though. Every year I do intend to make more of an effort to decorate the house and make ghoulish treats but it just never happens!

The only hint of Halloween in our house was this pumpkin that Lil’ L carved at Cubs last week. It sat on the dining table for a week before it collapsed in on itself and started oozing goo all over the table. That was pretty gruesome!

So, for this week’s WIAW foodie party, I’m going to have to bring some very unghoulish, but very tasty and nutritionally-packed eats from Monday.

There’s lots of horrible bugs and viruses going round our area at the moment so, in an attempt to protect my family from the germs,  I’ve been feeding them lots of vitamin-C and antioxidant-rich foods and drinks to help boost their immune systems.  Here’s what we ate on Monday…

– Warm water & lemon; 1 black coffee (me & M)
– Glass of Innocent smoothie with pomegranates, blueberries & acai (for Lil’ L)
– Bowl of chocolate clusters with goji berries.

These granola clusters are deliciously chocolatey and crunchy. I make a batch each week for Lil’ L as they’re one of his favourite breakfast cereals. Today we had them drenched in Alpro Almond Milk and they were totally lush!

The clusters are also delicious on their own and Lil’ L loves taking them to school for his play-time snack. They’re so easy and quick to make. I’ll write up the recipe and post it soon!

For lunch I made a large batch of tomato and red lentil soup. This soup is brimming with goodness, it’s super tasty and very filling. We love it! The recipe’s posted here.

Innocent apple & mango juice; and more of their pomegranate smoothie (they’re on offer in all the supermarkets at the moment, so I treated us 😉 )
– Lots of Clipper organic nettle tea (still my favourite tea ever!)
– 1 Costa Americano with soya milk
– Water

For our main meal, we had a stir fry, served with brown rice. It was too dark to take a pic, but this it looked very similar to this stir fry.

This time round, I packed in lots of nutrient-rich veggies… carrots, red, yellow & green bell pepper, pak choi, white cabbage and broccolli. I also added half a tin of braised tofu and lots of cashew nuts.  I usually make my own ginger sauce but, for a change, I thought I’d try a shop-bought one (Sharwoods Black Bean stir-fry sauce). It was very nice, but didn’t taste that dissimilar to my home-made ginger sauce (which has far less sugar in it!)

For dessert, we had a slice of this lush blackcurrant cashew cream cake, which I made for Lil’ L’s birthday celebrations. Now this is the kind of birthday cake that I like. SO much better than chocolate sponge cake in all respects 😉

I’ve been hooked on raw cashew cream cake ever since I first tasted one at Saf in London last May. And they’re SO easy to make yourself! The ingredients are simply blended in a processor then frozen. I promise I’ll write up the recipe for this cake and post it soon!

I tried to encourage Lil’ L to eat the berries and currants on top of the cake but he wouldn’t even try them 🙁 Never mind, I just pureed a cup full, sieved them, added some agave syrup and drizzled it on top instead. Worked a treat 😉

Time to head over to Jenn’s @ Peas and Crayons and check out all the gorgeously ghoulish eats 🙂

Happy Halloween everyone! Stay safe xx

p.s. If you could choose your own birthday cake what would it be? Mine would definitely be a raw cashew cream cake. Perhaps raw chocolate and lime flavoured. mmm!

WIAW – I’ll bring the Humous (fat free) & Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt (dairy free) with recipes :)

It’s Wednesday!

It’s WIAW party time!

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

Before I show you some yummy eats from yesterday, I’d like to begin by saying a huge THANK YOU to all my wonderful subscribers, readers, FB friends and Twitter followers. You guys are giving me so much support right now and I really appreciate it! I love reading all your comments too, so do keep them coming 🙂

Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats

For anyone that’s unfamiliar with WIAW, let me briefly explain what it is. ‘What I Ate Wednesday’ is a virtual foodie party hosted by the lovely Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. Once a week, we record a day’s worth of eats, blog about it, then share our links on Jenn’s site. WIAW not only helps us to keep track of our own eating habits, but we also get oodles of inspiration from all the photos and recipes that are linked up each Wednesday. Literally hundreds of foodie bloggers now join in every week. It’s immense!

So here’s my entry for this week’s WIAW…

Apple Cinnamon pancakes left over from Sunday, which we warmed up in the microwave then topped with chopped pecans, walnuts, ground linseed and a drizzled of agave syrup. Totally delish! The recipe can be found here.

For lunch, I devoured this plate of vine ripened tomatoes, red pepper, courgette (zucchini) and carrot, along with a large portion of home-made humous … hummus … houmous? I have no idea which way to spell it these days!

Houmous is one of Lil’ L’s all-time favourite foods. However, since the shop-bought stuff has such a short use-by date (and with our new year’s resolution of zero food waste) I now always make my own. It’s so easy and quick. It literally takes a couple of minutes. If I ever have any spare or left over, I freeze it. See, no waste 😉

Every individual has their own preference when it comes to the flavour and consistency of humous. For Lil’ L, it mustn’t be ‘too oily’, ‘too garlicky’ or ‘too lemony’. For him, the best hummus ever is served at the Adventure Cafe in Bath.  For months, I’ve been playing around with the quantities, trying to get it ‘just right’. In the summer holidays, after yet another attempt, he dipped his cucumber stick into the humous, then uttered the words that I’ve been longing to hear…. “this is as good as the Adventure Cafe humous”. Yay!!! Success at last!

And do you know what else I love about this humous? It doesn’t contain oil, which means it has far less calories in it. More importantly, this means that I can devour huge quantities and not feel guilty about it. Happy days! 🙂

Here’s the recipe…

For Lil’ L’s and M’s packed lunch today, they took the Mexican black bean soup and corn bread left over from last night’s dinner. This was totally lush too! Recipe coming soon!

After School Snack
Lil’ L and I had a large chocolate banana energy smoothie. Recipe here!

I’m seriously addicted to these, as is Rachel!

Since the weather’s still mild here, I’m not ready for stews yet. However, it is the perfect time of year for crumbles. I adore both savoury and sweet crumbles. For dinner, I made what I’m currently calling ‘Veggie Patch Crumble’ because it included veggies that I imagine I would be pulling up from the allotment right now… if I had one 😉  It included parsnip, carrot, cabbage, sweet potato, garlic and onions.

I’ll write up the recipe and post it on Friday. Lil’ L absolutely loves it and devoured a whole plate full. Hopefully the yummy crumble topping and sweet flavoured veggies will entice other children to love it too 🙂

Due to the crazy weather we’ve experienced this year, most of my attempts at veggie and fruit growing have been a disaster…

Last year we had a gazillion plums.

Plumdiddlyumptious 2011

This year, we didn’t have a single plum on the tree.

Last year we had box loads of huge cooking apples.

Apples galore in 2011

This year, we have apples but they are tiny and pretty sad looking. We had only 3 apples on the eating apple tree 🙁

Remember the cob nuts from last year?

We haven’t managed to collect any this year. There may have been a few on the trees but the squirrels have had them (and fair play to them!)

On the plus side though, our two little strawberry plants have been amazing! We’ve had more strawberries this year than ever before. The plants are still producing fruit, though I doubt whether they’ll ripen up now.

Strawberries 2012

Luckily, I had a batch of strawberries in the freezer, which I used yesterday to make some instant frozen strawberry yoghurt. This has been one of our favourite summer desserts and now that I’ve got the food processor, it’s been a breeze to make. You simply throw the frozen strawberries and yoghurt into the processor and press the button. A couple of minutes later, you have soft whip.

It was too dark last night to take a photo, so here’s one from last time we made it.

We drizzled on some home-made strawberry sauce and, last night, we also sprinkled some home-made granola on top. It was totally scrumptious!

I was wondering whether this was a summer only dessert, but two new frozen yoghurt eateries have just opened in Bath, so I’m guessing not. I must check out whether they do a dairy-free version. If not, I’m happy to carry on making my own. It’s so simple. Here’s the recipe:

So that’s me done for another WIAW! Time to head over to Jenn’s and get inspired!

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone xx

Have you had any success growing fruit & veg this year? If so, I’d love to hear about it.

What have been your greatest successes? Have you been left with any surplus? If so, you know where I am 😉

WIAW – I’ll bring the Chocolate Brownies and Channa Dal

It’s Wednesday!

It’s WIAW party time!

Thanks, as always, to our glamorous hostess, Jenn from Peas and Crayons.

For this week’s party, I’d like to share my eats and a couple of great recipes from Monday.

Delicious, warming bowl of porridge made with Alpro almond milk and a sprinkling of mixed spice (so yummy with the added spice!). On top, I sprinkled some flaked almonds, chopped walnuts, ground linseed and goji berries and a drizzle of agave syrup.

Post Run Smoothie Milkshake
Today’s smoothie was made with Kara coconut milk, a large handful of frozen raspberries, redcurrants and banana slices, 1/4 cup oats, 1 tbsp ground almonds, 1 tbsp chia seeds and a couple of drops of almond extract.  It was really yum! I made a double batch and saved half for Lil’ L’s post school snack.

For lunch I had the leftovers from Saturday night’s dinner, which was Angela from Oh She Glows’ Butternut Squash Mac N Cheeze. I’ve been meaning to try this for ages! I didn’t get round to photographing it, but Angela’s pics are way better than anything I could take, so do check out her post.

It was simple to make and totally delish! I love the recipe because not only is it vegan, but unlike traditional macaroni cheese, it’s low fat and packed with goodness thanks to the addition of butternut squash and nutritional yeast.  1 cup of the roasted squash gets blended into the ‘cheeze’ sauce. I found the easiest way to do this was to tip the squash into the sauce pan and blend it until smooth using my stick blender. I also added in some finely chopped spinach, which went really well! Lil’ L loved it so I’ll definitely be making this again.

Post School Snack
Lil’ L had a berry smoothie, I had a black coffee, and we both had a slice of this chocolate brownie. It was so good that we shared another slice!

It’s CCK’s No Flour Black Bean Brownie. It’s dairy free and can easily be made gluten free. It’s unbelievably good! I wrote about it yesterday, in this post.

p.s. I wish I hadn’t told Lil’ L that it has black beans in it as it’s still grossing him out… not enough to stop him eating it though 😉

For dinner I made a creamy Channa Dal with Cauliflower & Peas, which we served with brown rice and chapattis.

This is one of our all-time favourite lentil dishes. It’s creamy and lightly spiced, perfect for adults and kids alike.  The recipe’s in my head at the moment, but I’ll write it up this week and post it on Friday.

Lil’ L wanted to save dessert for when he got back from Cubs (at 8.30pm!) When he arrived home, we shared a tin of sliced peaches between the three of us, and topped it with some raw date & nut cobbler and a drizzle of Alpro fresh soya cream. It was lush! Both Lil’ L and M had seconds.

And finally, to finish, I’d just like to share a couple of my favourite Autumnal shots from this week. It might be cold outside, but it sure is beautiful!

Saturday Morning. Rolling mist on Bathampton Meadows.
Sunday Morning. The virginia creeper on our back wall has turned from a deep green to a glorious red, lit up this morning by some unexpected sunshine.

Enjoy the rest of the week everyone! xx

WIAW – Apple & Cinnamon Smoothie, Lightly Curried Parsnip Soup, Spaghetti Bolognaise

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

It’s Wednesday, which means only one thing in food blogging world… yep it’s WIAW party time again! If you’re new to this shindig, you can check out what it’s all about here.

Jenn’s latest theme is ‘Spooky Snacks and Healthy Halloween Treats’. I’ve never been that big on Halloween, but I’m looking forward to checking out all the spooky concoctions that people create over the next few weeks.


For this week’s WIAW party, I’d like to show what I ate yesterday. No horrors, but lots of lovely eats.

I’m still loving the breakfast smoothie milkshakes, especially on those days when I’m short of time or have been out for a morning run. One of my favourite Autumn/Fall flavours is apple & cinnamon. The addition of yoghurt makes it nice and creamy, while the spices add warmth.

Apple Cinnamon Breakfast Smoothie

For lunch, I had a bowl of home-made curried parsnip soup.

This soup is sweet, silky smooth, warming and oh so yummy!  For me, this is another soup that’s perfect for Autumn/Fall. The spice I used was Garam Masala, which gives the soup a gentle hint of Indian curry. Lil’ L loves it, so hopefully other children will too 🙂

Lightly Spiced Parsnip & Coconut Soup

hot lemon; nettle tea; cherry & cinnamon tea; 2 coffees

I needed to make a quick dinner yesterday as I was heading out to my study class, so we had spaghetti bolognaise. We hadn’t had this dinner in ages!

I used half a packet of Linda McCartney Vegemince (which I bought from Holland & Barrett) and my favourite pasta sauce… Seeds of Change Organic Tomato & Basil Sauce. Into the sauce, I also added a large, finely grated carrot and a finely chopped courgette (zucchini).

When the bolognaise was cooked, I allowed it to cool down slightly then sprinkled in some Marigold Nutritional Flakes with added B12 (this adds a cheesy, nutty flavour and lots of lovely B vitamins). We then served the bolognaise on a bed of organic wholewheat spaghetti.

I made 4 portions of bolognaise and Lil’ L took the remaining portion for his school lunch today, wrapped in a wholewheat seeded tortilla, which I lightly toasted to give it a crisp topping.

Fresh pineapple with Alpro natural yoghurt. Sorry no pic… I had to dash to my class!

Evening snack
When I got back from my class, I had some home-made granola with a drizzle of almond milk, which I served in a cute little ramekin.

So that’s me done for another WIAW. Thanks as ever to our gorgeous host Jenn over at PeasandCrayons.com.

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone xx