(Paleo) pumpkin seed and cranberry bircher

Posted in: Uncategorized

I’ve been a fan of traditional (oatie) bircher for many years, so initially only developed this lighter, crunchier paleo version for the sake a visiting friend. Given I sometimes find the classic recipe a little heavy and, dare I say it, potentially gloopy, I was keen to experiment. As it turns out, the fresh, tangy apple against nutty, popping seeds is pretty damn fine. And as a bi-product, we have another paleo breakfast.

Paleo pumpkin seed & cranberry bircher

Paleo pumpkin seed & cranberry bircher

INGREDIENTS

1 apple, grated
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tbsp toasted pumpkin and sunflower seeds
1/2 dsp linseed / flax (much cheaper than chia!)
1 tbsp desiccated coconut
2 tbsp natural bio yoghurt
1 dsp dried cranberries

For Non Paleo / Oatie bircher, add:

2 tbsp porridge oats
1 tbsp yoghurt (additional to above)
2 tbsp cow’s, almond, coconut or rice milk

METHOD

Add ingredients in order listed above to a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Set aside for an hour for the flavours to develop fully. Stir and serve as is. Delicious and nut

Making-bircher

This recipe keeps well in the fridge so I do a bigger batch, setting me up with Breakfasts-to-Go for a busy week.

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.

 

Porridge of fairytales

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

Being a Scot (albeit a half Spanish one), I should probably apologise that this post is only now appearing on Wholesome Seduction; I was weaned on porridge. Literally. Although vocally apathetic as a child (what’s wrong with Frosties and Coco Pops?!), I grew to crave the creamy coziness of this breakfast… and / or supper (see aforementioned craving). Here are my simple steps, and added tricks, for creating porridge Goldilocks would be proud of. Englishers, take note: a pinch of salt is compulsory. As a rule, I prefer to err away from dogmatic recipes, but on this I stand firm.

Porridge

Feeds: 1

INGREDIENTS

1 cup / part porridge oats (jumbo if poss)
2 cups / parts water
Good dash of cow’s milk, or sub for mylk or your choice
1 dsp ground almonds – optional but it makes for a thicker, creamier porridge
Pinch Himalayan pink or sea salt – non negotiable!

Toppings:

1 dsp dried cranberries
Knob of butter or coconut oil

METHOD

Soak the oats in the water and salt overnight if possible, or for 1/2 hr.  Not a deal breaker but it helps in the creamy porridge stakes, and it’s quicker to cook on a cold winter morning.

Cook on a low heat (again = creamier), stirring intermittently until it starts to bubble and thicken. Stir through the milk and ground almonds until you reach the consistency you prefer – I like my porridge pretty thick.

Fold through cranberries if using, remove from the heat, cover and set aside for a couple of mins. Again, adding the creamy thickness.

Transfer to bowls and eat as is, or topped with your favourites: milk, banana, seeds, berries, tahini, yoghurt etc. My personal Go To: dried cranberries and knob of butter (kinda’ wish I hadn’t discovered this) or coconut oil.

Wooden spoon optional but it really does seem to taste better…

For the real deal, with a ridiculous Highland view, I’m yet to find better porridge than that of Mumma Garcia-Macintyre of Netherton Farm. She claims it’s the water / Aga / overconvoluted mix of oatmeal and porridge oats (I kept things simple!); either way, it rests on the stove every morning. If you’re ever in the Scottish Highlands…

 

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.

 

Super smoothie bowl

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

I’ve been having green shakes most mornings since January and am now a convert. They’re quick (I put most ingredients into a hand blender jug the night before), deliciously creamy and clean tasting and have done wonders for my digestion, skin, energy levels and reducing bloating. I stick to a base recipe, swapping in extra ingredients for energy, detoxing, immune boosting or alkalising. Tip: Avocadoes transform shakes into creamy sweetness, are a great source of unsaturated fats and are loaded with skin soothing vitamin E; I rarely sub these out.

granola

Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

150ml coconut, almond or brown rice milk – I like Rude Health
150ml coconut water or sub 50/50 milk and water
100ml water – leave this out if making a smoothie bowl
50g / 1/4 cucumber
50g / 1/2 banana, frozen if possible
1 good fistful of curly kale or spinach
1/2 avocado

Optional extras:

1 dsp parsley – for cleansing the liver, flushing out toxins and water retention.
1/2 tsp maca – for energy
1 kiwi (I chop the ends off but keep the skin) – 1 kiwi contains more than your RDA of Vit C!
1/2 tsp spirulina – for antioxidants, magnesium, iron, B vitamins and calcium.

Making-green-smoothies

METHOD

Put all ingredients in the order listed above into a blender and blitz. I use a stick blender for speed and minimal early morning washing up.

Drink from a glass or transfer to a bowl and top with Almond, orange & cranberry granola and / or bee pollen.

Super-smoothie

TIP

The beauty of green smoothies is that, once you have the fruit to veg ratios sussed, pretty much anything goes. Swap ingredients depending on what’s in the fridge, in season, your hunger levels or dietary requirements.

Nut butters and milks are filling and protein packed, although OD’ing probably won’t help your waistline; I tend to use more coconut milk. You can add a scoop of whey (sweet and inoffensive) or hemp (dairy free but possibly not to everyone’s taste – grainy) protein powder for a low fat hit that fills you up all morning.

I like Pulsin protein powders as (I’m told) they don’t skimp on the quality of ingredients.

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.