Sun dried tomato and cashew nut pesto

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Delicious with just about anything, this is a grazing plate and BBQ’d burger’s best friend. But given our monsoon weather, maybe opt for the slathered over toasted sourdough, avocado and / or bacon option. The ‘clarted over courgetti’ (or pasta) variety makes a regular appearance on my instant healthy supper table. With jamón and cold meats; stirred through tomato dishes to give them, well… more. I’m sure my tips are superfluous, I doubt anyone’s a stranger to pesto. Add parmesan if you want but the flavour’s so good, it really isn’t necessary. This lasts for weeks, I make a big batch ensuring I’m never without.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 13.34.36

INGREDIENTS

200g sun dried tomatoes
2 tbsp cashew nuts
4 tbsp olive oil – I use the oil from the tomato jar.
1 tsp dried red chillies. Or 1 tsp Kema Kulo if you have it.
1 clove garlic – optional.
Pinch sea or Himalayan pink salt
1/2 tsp turmeric – untold health benefits

METHOD

Add all ingredients to a blender, Magimix or Vitamix and blitz until you a have rough paste. Basically as you would pesto.

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Store in the fridge in an airtight jar or container for as long as you would sun dried tomatoes. My guess would be you’ll eat it long before it goes off.

Banana, almond & cardamom pancakes

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

These pancakes are seriously delicious and filling. Plus they’re easy. I’ve deliberately kept the prep (and dishes) to a minimum for a fuss free Shrove Tuesday pudding / supper, or Wednesday AM post Pancake Day breakfast. Almonds are packed with anti-oxidants, Vit E, fibre, magnesium and protein and are proven to reduce insulin and blood sugar levels after eating. As you’d expect, these little delights are also seductively, yet wholesomely, gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free, and a great option for all you paleo people out there.

Banana, coconut & cardamom pancakes

Makes 8 – 10 pancakes. Feeds 2

INGREDIENTS

1 egg, whisked
1 banana, mashed
4 tbsp ground almonds
2 tbsp desiccated coconut – or sub for 1 tbsp almond
1 tsp baking powder
16 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed – optional
1 tbsp almond milk, sparkling water or water
1/2 dsp coconut oil

To serve

1 lemon
Creme fraiche, Coyo coconut yoghurt (I love this!) or greek yoghurt
Maple syrup

METHOD

Whisk eggs in bowl, add in banana and mash with fork. Add in remaining ingredients, apart from coconut oil and toppings, and stir. Set aside for a couple of minutes for the baking powder to activate.

Melt coconut oil in a frying pan and maintain a steady medium to low heat. Dollop in 1 dsp scoops of your pancake mix. Fry until browned, around 1 – 1 1/2 mins on the first side and 1 minute on the reverse.

Serve in a stack, alternating between a squeeze of lemon and yoghurt between each layer. Drizzle with (mineral rich!) maple syrup and eat. So good.

Tip

Cardamom’s a bit like Marmite so drop this if not to your taste, I love cardamom but don’t always include it. I find the easiest way to remove the seeds is to bash the pods in a pestle and mortar until the husks separate themselves and can be easily removed, allowing me to crush the seeds to a fine powder.

Click here for more info on Storehouse Seducer almonds.

The mug and plate in the picture are by South African potter, Wonki Ware. I hauled mine back in hand luggage (worth it!) but The Conran Shop has recently introduced a decent, and growing, range.

 

Coconut iced coffee

Posted in: DF, Featured, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Apparently The Garcia’s can’t have a conversation without the subject of coffee making an appearance. Bad coffee being the cause of untold dismay, it seems. Iced coffee, however, can redeem many an ‘operator error’, tasting as robust and sweetly creamy as any passionately barista’d flat white. I’ve given measures for one glass but tend to make a batch for the fridge, topping up with coconut milk and ice for my morning wake up addiction. On a recent Indian holiday, I ‘encouraged’ friends at Old Harbour Hotel and Kashi Art Cafe to do the same; Kerala means Land of Coconuts after all. And a new menu fixture was born.

Coconut-iced-coffee

Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

1-2 shots espresso, depending how strong you like your coffee
1 tsp raw honey – optional
1 cup coconut milk – you can also sub 1/3 for coconut water. Drop the honey if doing this.
Ice

METHOD

Make espresso and stir through honey until dissolved – otherwise it will sink to the bottom of your glass.

Drop in a few cubes of ice and shake or stir until coffee is cooled. Transfer to a glass, top with coconut milk and a couple more cubes of ice.

Rebel-kitchen

Rebel Kitchen have recently launched a take-away version that tastes almost identical, if a little sweeter. Perfect for a dairy and refined sugar-free caffeine kick on the go. I’ve done the chocolate mylk taste test with several friends and none can believe how good it tastes.

After a lifetime of a market saturated with nasty, additive and sugar laden Food-To-Go, it makes me very happy to see entrepreneurial guys like these popping up. Thank you Rebel Kitchen.

 

Kale superfood salad. And Dolly.

Posted in: DF, LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Quick, packed with flavour, antioxidants, iron and filling energy, this is my year round Go-to recipe. When rubbed with olive oil, salt and lemon, raw kale breaks down into a super delicious (honestly) and meaty salad leaf; rocket now seems pretty insubstantial by comparison. Sesame & rosemary spice was made for this, the chilli meatiness sticks to the leaves and is seriously tasty. Use as a base for any of your favourite toppings for lunch, supper or take-away.

Superfood-salad

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS

Base

1 good handful kale, chopped
1 dsp olive oil
Squeeze lemon juice
Pinch Himalayan pink or sea salt
2 dsp Sesame, rosemary spice – optional but worth the effort!

Optional toppings

1 tbsp cooked quinoa = complete protein, fibre + all essential amino acids.
1/2 avocado, chopped = potassium + heart healthy unsaturated fats.
1 dsp feta, crumbled = calcium flavour kick with reduced lactose (I’m addicted).
1 cooked chicken breast, chopped = filling lean protein.
1 dsp hummus = great sub for meat protein or Middle Eastern deliciousness with chicken.

And some more

Goji berries = sweet tanginess + antioxidant and skin loving beta-carotene.
Rocket leaves = peppery green crunch.
Sticky sweet potato wedges, chopped = low GI filling sweetness
Poached egg = #addictedtoeggs
Balsamic vinegar = adds a tangy sweet contrast to the nutty and creamy salad.

Kale-&-Dolly

METHOD

Using a large bowl, rub the olive oil, salt and lemon into the kale. As you do so, the volume will reduce by half and the stalks pop to the surface – there’s no need to painstakingly remove beforehand.

It’s up to you if you want to include in the salad or discard; Dolly eats mine as I’m prepping. #wholesomeseductiondog

Top with the Sesame & rosemary spice, followed by any other ingredients from the list. The flavours all complement each other, so you can add as many or as few as you like. It goes without saying that you may want to reduce quantities if opting for all eight…

This recipe tastes even better on day two, so make a big batch for instant eating.

For something similar without lifting a finger, try The Good Life Eatery’s Good Life Bowl.

 

Eating out: The Good Life Eatery’s Top 5

Posted in: DF, Featured, LF, N, Reviews, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Lunchtime queues have been unavoidable since this shrine to LA and New York clean eating opened its doors 18 months ago. Brainchild of Yasmine Larizadeh and Shirin Kouros, The Good Life Eatery is a long time coming for the ever growing allergy friendly and fitness obsessed hoi polloi. True Wholesome Seduction, recipes include Red Velvet cake made without gluten or refined sugar that tastes better than ‘the real thing’ (trust me), skinny eggs royale (ditto), protein superfood shakes, detox salads and kale, kale, kale! We like kale.

Skinny-eggs-royale-on-sunflower-seed-rye

I may be a little obsessed with this place and as such, have worked my way through most of the menu. I’m pretty sure any of the Top 5 listed in this post will plead my case: click on the images and re-cap at the end.

Where The Good Life Eatery really gets my vote (apart from for its evidently passionate and ingredient savvy staff) is that while raw and vegan fare are standard, meat and eggs are also on the menu. Love an egg. You’re not out of place (or a pain in the ass) if you order a cappuccino, almond ‘mylk’ flat white or a Ninja Turtle avocado and spirulina shake to kick start your day. Hail non-despotic Good Life.

So-Clean-So-Fresh

Almond-milk-flat-white

While I’m not vegan, vegetarian or following a 100% raw diet, I eat a lot of plant based recipes,. I love the passion and relentless creativity inherent to this world. The traditional rulebook of “gourmet cooking” is thrown out; gluten, dairy and (refined) sugar-free are a given and honestly taste better than the real thing. In my opinion. And my dog’s apparently.

The-Good-Life-Eatery

Maybe I’m biased because I feel better when I avoid certain ingredients – sugar is an insatiable drug that instantly sucks me back in. Green juices, and Kale Lime Pie, (Oh yes!) not only satisfy my sweet tooth, they give me energy, make me happier and don’t pile on extra pounds to haul through chataranga. If you’re cutting out certain ingredients, want more energy, or just love food, give my Good Life Eatery Top 5 a go and see for yourself:

The Good Life Eatery Top 5

  1. Skinny eggs royale. The star of the show and the drool shot that pulled you in. As good as it looks.
  2. So Clean, So Fresh. Basically The Good Life bowl for brunch (remember those eggs?). And the most versatile salad staple. For a similar recipe try my Meanest, greenest (& meatiest) superfood salad.
  3. Ninja Turtle shake. Will turn you into a ninja. Obvs. 
  4. Dr Green Love or Drink Your Salad green juices. I can’t pick just one. 
  5. Raw cacao mousse. You’ll be amazed by how good this tastes, and it’s actually super healthy. Think: antioxidants, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, fibre etc. For a DIY version so easy a toddler could nail it, try my Raw Chocolate Orange Mousse.

There are also a multitude of other creamy protein shakes and tangy energy juices, along with excellent coffee. Every cake I’ve tried has been delicious: The raw cacao brownie bites are happily, without a whiff of date, and the banana muffin is suitably sweet and gooey yet feels like an acceptable breakfast.

Did I mention I was a little obsessed? Said love has seeped into my eating habits and I’m starting to feel so much better as a result. I have more energy, feel lighter and need less sleep – I normally live by the minimum 8 hrs a night dogma. Over the coming weeks I’ll blog my go-to recipes here.

The Good Life Eatery, 53 Sloane Ave, SW3 3DH.

Mon – Fri: 7.30am – 8pm. Sat: 8am – 7pm. Sun: 9am – 6pm.

 

3 things for a happy, healthy new year

Posted in: Uncategorized

Don’t diet this new year, feel healthier, happier and springier with my top wholesomely seductive tips. Xmas-Excess and the cold, shorter days leave me desperate for a re-charge. My body’s creaking through yoga and cycling, even dog walking’s less springy. This time last year I blogged The Anti-diet. The Wholesome Seduction way of life that’s bursting with flavour and makes us feel and look our best. Without dieting. I live by this, mindful of 3 key things:

Hail the Kale, Bench cafe.

EATING IN. EATING OUT. EXERCISE.

Anyone who’s attempted to cut out certain ingredients, detox or just eat more healthily, will know this isn’t always easy when on-the-go in the UK – Nope, crisps and chocolate aren’t part of our #eatclean menu.

The bottom line: We need to be prepared. Most of us are super busy so having a bank of quick and easy recipes is key. Over the coming weeks, I’ll blog my Top 5 green breakfasts, brunches, suppers and packed lunches. Including recipes for entertaining, along with my favourite clean, green eats restaurant, The Good Life Eatery.

And because how we feel is about more than what we eat, I’ll share workout wear to inspire, nip and tuck even the most lethargic and style conscious amongst you.

In the meantime:

Here are some of my go-to recipes and products for feeling healthy and cutting down on the stuff that makes us feel like we’ve been hit by a truck:

From the streets: Rude Health dairy-free milks and Coconut oil and Coyo yoghurt.

Recipes: Watercress, avocado & passion-fruit smoothie, Sticky sweet potato wedges, Broad bean & cashew pesto, Quinoa, feta & toasted seed salad, Orange, almond & chocolate cake, Cranberry & lemon amoretti (yes, these count!).

 

Peanut butter & banana breakfast shake

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

The last of my super shakes series and hands down the simplest; I made today’s in less than 2 minutes. You have to admit that beats toast or cereal for speed – you can eat it on-the-go too! I developed this one for Paul Winch-Furness, arguably London’s favourite food photographer (he has a fairly exhaustive high profile portfolio: Meat Liquor, Nobu, Bistroteque, Pitt Cue Co., Ceviche…). I actually promised a couple of other wheat free recipes to Paul (I bore hime with new ideas daily. #oops) but given his confession to having a sweet tooth and being partial to peanut butter, I felt compelled to throw this one in too.

Peanut-butter-&-banana-breakfast-shake
Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

200ml almond milk (or rice or cow’s milk) – I like Rude Health
150ml cold water
1 banana, frozen chunks if possible
1 heaped dsp peanut butter (or almond butter)
2 tbsp oats
1 tbsp whey protein powder – optional

MTEHOD

Blitz all ingredients together and drink. It’s that easy.

I use a stick blender and measuring jug, adding the ingredients in the order listed above for minimal fuss and washing up.

The whey’s optional, but a great low calorie filler. I nearly vom’d my shake up during headstand, not realising quite how filling whey was pre yoga class recipe testing. #oink

To be clear: this isn’t one of Paul’s masterpieces, just another iPhone snap I’m afraid.

Eating out: Brixton Village

Posted in: Featured, Reviews

On throwing Brixton Village into the brunch option mix recently, I was met with one or two objections, finally settling on I can only assume, a fear of slashed car tires. This multi-cultural, covered (cue: wet weather socialising) market is home to some of London’s most authentic and interesting restaurants and street eats. Even the Chelsea set now concedes there may be more to Brixton than riot police and KFC with a side of spliff.

Brixton-Village-Header

BrixtonMarketFood

Wandering aimlessly, trying everything on offer is part of the point of street food but as many of us have no doubt discovered, results can be hit or miss. And there’s a limit to how many meals even the most dedicated among us can shove down. So, mindful of my Anti-diet eulogies on portion control, here’s my pick of the best Brixton Village eats.

Brixton-Market-Cafes

Honest-burgers

Meat patties

Bukowski’s burger joint which cut its teeth in Shoreditch’s Box Park: The simple, commercial brainwave of filling disused, prime real estate with a pop up of shipping containers.

And Honest Burgers: patties made with 35-day aged Ginger Pig beef and cased in a brioche bun. Of course. There’s even a wheat and gluten free bun option from neighbour WAG Free bakery.

Star attraction: Topped with smoked bacon, mature cheddar and pickled cucumber, The (£8!) Honest Burger steals the show.

BrixtonMarketShops

Franco-Manca

Ms-Cupcake

Etta’s Seafood Kitchen and ever expanding South London (bloat free) sourdough pizza co. Franco Manca. Ms Cupcake’s vegan Peanut butter & banana muffins are worth a trip south in their own right. There’s definitely room for more peanut butter pudding embracing in the UK. Similarly, while I’m evidently not vegan, the zero animal product clan nails cakes: less sugar, more goo.

Brixton-Mkt-Rosies

Rosie’s Deli Café, social eating hub and testbed for rave review recipes of the Spooning with Rosie cookbook.

Child-Friendly-Brixton-Market

Brixton-Market,Sunday-AM

For the record, our 2 year old companion meant we arrived on the early side; Brixton Village doesn’t wake up before 10.30am at which point, queueing for a table is inevitable. As it turns out, the floor’s clean enough to eat off, should you feel that way inclined.

Brixton-Market-shopping

Other top picks

For Beijing street food try Mama Lan. Plates for a fiver, tried and tested by mama in her supper club and blog.

Kaosarn Thai restaurant which gets Jay Rayner’s seal of approval.

Jerk chicken shop, Take Two Grill, where dishes are still cooked over coals in a kettle drum as opposed to the oven.

LAB G (Laboratoria Artigianale del Buon Gelato. And breathe!). Where I get my post Portofino gelato fix.

When, where & how

Mon-Weds: 10am to 6pm. Thurs-Sat: 10am to 10pm. Sun: 12pm to 5pm
Atlantic Road, Brixton, London SW9.
Closest tube: Brixton.

As with any street market, most places don’t accept cards so be sure to take cash. Food’s so cheap, though, a tenner should just about do it. What you save on lunch, you can put towards re-touching the paint on your car.

Courgette & feta fritters

Posted in: LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Bowing to yogi petitions for veggie fritter recipes on a recent Italian yoga retreat, here’s an option which uses the last of the summer’s British courgettes and involves minimal effort. I have it on good authority (my favourite yoga teacher, Molly) that having followed this recipe, dinner party plates were licked clean. Note: don’t be put off by the word ‘fritter’, just enough oil to stop the batter from sticking is all you need; these are skinny!

Courgette-&-prawn-fritters

Makes 12 fritters, feeds 4

INGREDIENTS

150g chickpea flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric (for gut health)
black pepper
2 limes, juice of
½ red Kashmiri chilli, chopped
8 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
2 courgettes, grated
100g feta, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil. Or your choice of oil.

METHOD

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In stages, add 100ml water and the lime juice and stir until you get a thick batter, removing any lumps.

Add the spices, salt, chilli, spring onions and herbs, followed by the courgette and feta.

Dollop coconut oil into a frying pan and set over a medium heat. When very hot, add your mix (1 heaped dsp per fritter) and flatten to 2cm thick.

Cook for 2-3 mins on one side and 1 on the reverse. Or until your fritters are a reddish brown. Coconut oil gives a lovely crispness, and countless health benefits in the process!

Serve hot.

Continuing in the spirit of all things Italian, dollop with Basil pesto, avocado and cottage cheese or Labneh (hung yoghurt) from the Larder. For the meat eaters among us, it’s hard to beat the bacon, avocado & Pitt Cue Co. chipotle ketchup combo.

zucchini-fritters-&-avacado

Podere-Conti-Yoga-

Gorgeous yogi gurus Molly and Gabby. My inspiration.

For London gourmet yoga pop-ups click on Secret Yoga Club. Gabby dedicates all of her time to organising (far too reasonably priced) yoga evenings hosted by renowned yogis, washed down with a meal by equally respected chefs. Trullo and The Little Cooking Pot to name a few. Gabby’s resourcefulness and energy never fail to blow my mind.

For more info on Tuscan Travel Pick and agriturismo see Podere Conti here.

 

Eating out: Morito (Little Moro)

Posted in: Featured, Reviews

On returning from not one, but two trips to my (half) native Andalucía this summer, reality struck: My insatiable appetite for all things Spanish had to be addressed by means that didn’t involve an Easyjet flight, time off work or wads of cash. Cue: Morito, one of My Favourite Places picks.

MoritoExmouthMarket

It seems my restaurant hit list grows faster than I can tick it off, and I like to tick. As a result, there are few places I have the luxury of returning for seconds. Morito is one of said few. Big sister, Moro has long reigned in my Top 5 Eats. So, a no booking tapas addition to the Spanish / Arabic prodigy of Sam and Sam Clarke has proven cause for celebration. I’ve dragged chefs there, written café con leche fuelled articles, and brunched with friends over countless negroni sbagliatos. All in the name of inspiration. Here’s my pick of the best bits:

The star dish: Chicharrones de Cádiz – slow roasted pork belly with cumin & lemon. Rich, cumin spiced pulled pork, cut with fresh, tangy lemon juice. Perfection.

Morito London Tapas

Puntillitas (poon-tee-yee-tas): Fried baby squid with sumac. Squid as it should be, yet so rarely is. Not a whiff of chip shop batter smothered rubber-bands. To be clear, I’m not knocking chip shop batter. Fish and chips are a British delicacy I wouldn’t be without. But squid should be dense, yet tender, and semi-wrapped in salty, lemony crispiness. In my opinion.

Ajo blanco: Velvet almond, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. I dithered on whether to include this one; it’s possibly not to everyone’s taste. Super rich, the almond is so potent it could be extract from a bottle. Ajo blanco is a Spanish classic however, and true to Moro form, the olive oil and vinegar umami bring an interesting contrast to the palate.

Morito, London. Ajo Blanco. Wholesome Seduction

And Crispy aubergine with miel de caña (nice honey). One to try / play with at home / copy / steal. Watch this space.

Morito, London. Tortilla. Wholesome Seduction.

Tortilla (tor-tee-ya) de patatas: Spanish omelette. Not something I’d normally have; Dad’s recipe can’t be beaten. Or so I thought. It was a must for fellow eater Daze however, and glad am I. I’m in danger of gushing here, but this is probably the best tortilla I’ve ever eaten. Sorry Daddy.

Be warned, low fat options these are not. Varied in ingredients and nutrients, and utterly  addictive in their uncompromised comfort food ecstasy way, they are.

And last but in no way least, the café con leche (strong Spanish latte) is worth a trip to Exmouth Market in its own right. It’s as good as any single origin, locally roasted barista serves up in London’s finest coffee establishments.

Morito Exmouth Market Cafe con leche

But of course, there are three staples on a Spanish menu: coffee, vino and beer. So much so, they’re often cheaper than water. ¡Viva España!