Welcome to our website !

24th August 2015
APRICOT MOUSSE RECIPE



This dessert recipe is very special to me as it is from one of my mum’s old cook books and it also gave me inspiration many years ago for my gluten free breakfast pots that I sold in deli's across London in 2012. I have revamped the recipe and given it a slightly healthier twist by using unsulphured dried apricots and no extra sugar. 
The toppings in this recipe should also suit both parent’s and children's tastes. Just to be aware, that like all traditional mousse recipes, it does contain raw egg. 



Ingredients:
 250g dried unsulphured apricots, soaked
300g natural yoghurt
Drop of vanilla extract
2 egg whites whipped

Toppings (pick 'n choose):
Handful of pistachio nuts crushed
A digestive/gluten free biscuit crushed
Grated dark or milk chocolate

Method:
Place the apricots in a medium sized bowl and pour over just enough water to cover. Leave overnight to soak.
When apricots are soft, drain water - leaving a spoonful of water at the bottom of the bowl.  Using a blender whizz the fruit to a smooth pulp. Add the vanilla. Combine well.
In a separate bowl whisk the egg whites until stiff. Fold in the apricot mixture and spoon into ramekins. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve sprinkle over your choice of topping.
Any leftovers can be kept in the fridge for up to two days.






Total time (prep and cooking): 12 hour soaking plus 10 minutes prep.
Suitable for: 12 years plus, gluten free, vegetarians.
Other meal ideas: Try as an alternative to fruit puree on your bowl of cereal for breakfast.


13th August 2015


HOW TO HIDE VEGETABLES IN 3 DIFFERENT RECIPES

TOMATO PASTA SAUCE WITH HIDDEN CARROT RECIPE


I plan to exercise as much as my body will allow during pregnancy. Exercise has always been part of my daily routine and it is therefore a necessity in my life. I have unfortunately adopted many injuries over the years, but I believe it has made me a stronger person overall, having to deal with ample amounts of both frustration and disappointments. More importantly I now now believe exercise is crucial for my baby's development.  
I have recently bought a baby seat for my mountain bike. I used to participate in ‘Off Road Triathlons’, so it is still rather strange seeing Alanna in a seat behind me! Put it this way- I am not hurdling down the hills caked in mud like I used to! I am of course really enjoying getting a tiny workout done during the day and getting from A to B much quicker than pushing the pram and or sitting in a traffic jam. I am not sure how long I will be able to do this though as my bump gets bigger! It has taken me many years to accept that my body doesn't like to push it too hard and that exercising moderately is better than not being able to train at all.
There is also nothing better than working up an appetite post exercise. I will never forget how hungry I became after my long Sunday rides with my brilliant training buddies all those years ago.  Little did I know I was gluten intolerant at the time, tucking into a large bowl of wholemeal pasta- this was disastrous for me! Nursing Alanna also gave me a tremendous appetite too. Two very different things but an underlying similarity!
This tomato pasta sauce recipe will fill you up in no time served with your choice of pasta.  It is deliciously fresh, healthy and vibrant in colour. The hidden carrot blended in the sauce is also an extra bonus for some good old vitamin A!
  



Ingredients:
2 can tinned tomatoes
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
Handful of fresh basil, chopped
Pinch of cinnamon
1 tsp sugar
1 carrot grated
1 tbsp tomato puree
Salt & pepper
To serve: 
Parmesan, grated
Salad leaves


Method:
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and cook on a low heat until soft.
Add the garlic, cinnamon and tomato puree. Cook for a few minutes then add the tomatoes and season well.
Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes. 
Store in sealed container in the fridge for up to 1 week, or freeze in ice cube trays/containers up to 2 months. 
Serve with pasta of your choice, grated parmesan and salad leaves if desired. 



Total time (prep and cooking): 30 minutes
Suitable for: Gluten/dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, and egg free.
Other meal ideas: Serve with pasta/gnocchi of your choice. Add crispy bacon and salad with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil if desired. 

30th July 2015 

BANANA BREAD RECIPE

This recipe is one I‘ve made time and time again. In fact I've been making this foolproof banana bread recipe since I was a child. There‘s no better way to use up those very ripe bananas lost in your fruit bowl. My daughter knows she’s in for a real tea time treat when she wakes up from her afternoon nap with the welcoming aroma of freshly baked banana bread wafting through the flat! Nothing beats eating it whilst still warm with a lovely cup of tea! 





Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp boiling milk
100g butter
115g castor sugar
2 eggs beaten
225g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of cinnamon


Method:
Pre heat the oven to 180C Line and grease a 900g loaf tin.
Cream the butter and sugar in a medium sized bowl either by hand or mixer. 
Peel the bananas and mash in a small bowl. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the milk and then add them to the bowl, together the remaining ingredients until thoroughly mixed.
Turn into the tin, smooth the top and bake for 1 hour to 1 1/4, or until the loaf is well risen and golden brown.
Once cooled allowed to cool for a 5 minutes in the tin then turn out onto a wire rack. Once cooled, dust with icing sugar if desired. Slice to serve. 




Total time (prep and cooking): 1 hour 30 minutes.
Suitable for: Vegetarians.
Other meal ideas: Also Delicious served with butter, Greek yoghurt or with my raw chocolate mousse recipe. Alternatively if don't have a loaf tin you could make banana muffins instead. 





28th July 2015

BUTTERNUT SQUASH RISOTTO WITH CHIVES RECIPE



I am a big fan of risotto. What can I say- I have always had a hearty appetite! I try to eat everything in moderation though, I really think it is the key to healthy living.  Overall. there is no doubt that this recipe is a satisfying summer supper, chock full of both vitamin A and fibre. 

Serves 4-6
Ingredients:
1 butternut squash chopped into 1 cm cubes
1 tbsp Oregano
1 tbsp Olive oil
375g risotto rice
1 onion chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1.25 litres (2 pints) vegetable or chicken stock
1 glass of white wine (optional)
90g Parmesan
Salt and Pepper
Handful of chives, chopped
Extra virgin olive oil

Method:
Before you make the risotto, heat oven to 200C. Leave the squash peel on and cut into small 1 cm cubes.  Toss the squash in 1 tbsp oil together with the oregano and season well. Scatter into a shallow roasting tin and roast for 45 minutes until it is brown and soft.
While the squash is roasting, prepare the risotto. Bring the stock to the boil and keep on a low simmer. In a separate pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat gently for 8-10 minutes until soft but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Stir the rice into the onions until completely coated in the butter, then stir continuously until the rice is shiny and the edges of the grain start to look transparent.
If using wine, add a glass and simmer until totally evaporated. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 minutes, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a slightly firm, starchy bite in the middle). The risotto should be creamy and slightly soupy. When you draw a wooden spoon through it, there should be a wake that holds for a few moments but not longer.
It is best served with scattered chunks of squash, extra grated parmesan, a sprinkle of chopped chives and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. 



Total time (prep and cooking): 1 hour 15 
Suitable for: Gluten free, vegetarian, 
Other meal ideas: For any left overs make little rice cakes. Take spoonfuls of rice, dip in egg then breadcrumbs then shallow fry. 


Saturday 11th July 2015

HOW TO HIDE VEGETABLES IN 3 DIFFERENT                                          RECIPES

NO 3

CHEESY COURGETTE CAKE RECIPE



I have to admit I haven't made many savoury cakes in my kitchen, but this definitely has to be one of my favourites. The subtle salty taste from crumbly feta cheese mixed with the deep grated green skin and firm pale flesh; courgette (or known as zucchini) and fresh herbs just compliment each other so well.  I can assure you that the courgette is well disguised for any potential fussy eaters here!
This cake is also unbelievably versatile and can almost be eaten at any time of the day. I even took it on a family picnic the other day and it worked out well.  







Ingredients:
Butter for greasing/frying
Olive oil
2 onions chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
2-3 large courgettes grated
1 tsp salt
250g ricotta (1 tub)
75g parmesan grated
2 tbsp natural yoghurt
Handful chives chopped
4 tbsp dill chopped or 1 tbsp dried
Zest of one lemon
2 eggs beaten
75g feta crumbled
Handful of pine nuts (optional)

Method:
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees and grease a 23 cm cake tin or medium baking dish.
Fry the onion and garlic in a little olive oil and butter over a medium heat until golden brown. Add the chives, dill and lemon zest and combine well.
Grate the courgettes using a food processor or by hand. Transfer to a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to sit for 15 minutes. Use your fingers or spoon to squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Combine the parmesan,eggs,ricotta, and yoghurt into the onion mix. Stir in the courgettes. 
Pour into the tin and bake for 1 hour. Next sprinkle with feta and pine nuts and return to the oven for a further 25 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Allow the cake to cool complete (in order for it to set).
Serve at room temperature.





Total time (prep and cooking): 1 hour 45 minutes.
Suitable for: Gluten free, vegetarian, suitable from +12 months.
Other meal ideas: Delicious served with new potatoes, and a crunchy radish salad. 





28th June 2015

AUBERGINE, BACON, RICE & QUINOA SALAD                                      RECIPE

I have some news for you! We are expecting our second child at the end of the year.  I am already aware that this pregnancy is very different from my first. Harder for a start chasing after Alanna and not being able to put my feet up when I want to. We are over the moon.

Morning sickness has luckily been and gone but I had forgotten how frequently I needed to eat to keep the nausea at bay!  Several times I had to eat a cream cracker in the middle of the night I felt so sick. I think that simple cracker helped regulate my blood sugar levels letting me go back to sleep almost immediately.

I know everybody craves different foods: I am definitely into more savoury things this time. My favourite snacks are chunks of cheese, smoked tofu pieces (Alanna likes these too), cream crackers and fruit for a sweet fix.  But don’t worry I’m not shy of eating double chocolate chunk cookies as well!  Apparently pregnant women only need to consume an extra 200 calories a day. An example snack could be sandwich filled with grated carrot and hummus. 

I have also found some good advice for expectant mums on the BBC Good Food website. 



My recipe here is simply a jammed packed healthy salad and perhaps best made at the weekend when you have a bit more time  The spinach is good for a well needed boost of folic acid and I adored eating the salty crunchy pancetta. 





Serves 2-3

Ingredients:
½ cup brown rice
½ cup quinoa
1 aubergine cut lengthways thinly

Season aubergine with:
Olive oil for frying
Pinch of oregano
Pinch of aromat

1 red onion sliced
100g pancetta chopped
250g spinach chopped

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1tsp sumac
Handful of pine nuts

Method:
 Cut the aubergine length ways as thin as you can. Fry in a medium sized pan with olive oil and season with oregano and aromat  - you may have to do this in batches. Put the aubergine on kitchen towel when cooked to get rid of excess oil.
Next fry the onion until soft. Set aside. In same pan fry the pancetta until crispy.
Steam the rinsed spinach and once cooked squeeze out all excess water.

In a large bowl combine the onion, rice, quinoa, and spinach.  Stir in the extra virgin olive oil and sumac.  Mix well.

To serve, spread the aubergine slices on a plate and top with the rice mixture adding some pine nuts and the pancetta. Drizzle over a little more extra virgin olive oil if you like.

Delicious served with flat bread and hummus.




Total time (prep and cooking): 1 hour 30. 
Suitable for: Gluten free.
Other meal ideas: Instead of spinach use brussel sprouts for an alternative taste.




Wednesday 17th June 2015

MY FIRST RECIPE-
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND VEGETABLE SAUCE/SOUP 


Over the next month or two I will be blogging my favourite ways to cook with 'hidden vegetables'.  Like all parents I would like Alanna my daughter (aged 22 months) to eat as many vegetables as possible for optimal health.  I'm sure you already know hiding them in and amongst carbohydrates and protein is a good way of doing this.  However, I still believe that children seeing vegetables in their real shape and form on the plate is just as important.  So I therefore do a bit of both. For the school in London where I currently teach, I recently organised a school trip for 8 year olds to the Holland Park Ecology Centre.  Im pleased to say I was impressed with my groups  current knowledge about how food is grown. But I know this is not applicable for all children - a sad fact. I have every faith in Jamie Oliver's new scheme 'Kitchen Garden Project' to help change that. 

Anyhow, you'll be pleased to hear this recipe goes a long way for not a lot of money. It is also an excellent way of feeding your family with many nutrients. Butternut squash is packed full of vitamin A and I have kept the peel on for this recipe for extra fibre. For a slightly thinner sauce feel free to add a splash of milk or water. Alternatively it can be eaten as a soup.  


Makes 3L

Ingredients:
1 squash (keep skin on) chopped
1 large onion chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed
1 carrot chopped
2 sweet potatoes (keep skin on) chopped
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp oregano
Salt and pepper
1 litre of vegetable stock (I used reduced salt)
1-2 tbsp milk/water


Method:
Preheat the oven to 200C/329F. Leave the squash, potato and carrot peel on, rinse thoroughly and cut roughly into 1 cm cubes.  Toss all the vegetables in approximately 1 tbsp oil together with the oregano, maple syrup and season well. Scatter into one or two large shallow roasting tins (ideally stainless steel) and roast for roughly 60 minutes until it is brown and soft.
Once cooked, allow to cool. You can either use a hand blender adding the stock to your roasting tins or transfer the vegetable medley (with the stock) into a blender.
Check for taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. 
Serve with pasta of your choice with a sprinkling of cheese.
Any sauce left over transfer to sterilised jars or freeze in ice cube trays. 


https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-_eRjuXi5FcI/VONAKgbhXqI/AAAAAAAAHz8/xkfgkcVQAu4/s1600/IMG_8647.jpg

Total time (prep and cooking): 1 hour 20 minutes
Suitable for: Gluten free, vegans, vegetarians, 6 months+
Other meal ideas: Serve over gnocchi with grated cheese and cold meats. Add crunchy croutons/bacon for a soup topping.