Vegan Spain and avocado benefits

                          It’s holiday time!!

I’m away for 10 days to give my body a rest, soak up some sun and feed my body with the nutrients it needs.

Flying vegan can be difficult, there are never vegan options on the plane and the price of food in the airports is extortionate! I always take food with me so that all I need to buy is water to keep me hydrated. My mum gave me some butternut squash which was left over from the christening on the weekend. I made 2 lots of soup, which I frozen for when I come back to the UK, and a breakfast puree (big mistake as it was considered a liquid).

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For this I added in boiled butternut squash pieces with some liquid, you can use either water or milk. I guessed the amount I needed. I added in some cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla and maple syrup then topped with frozen berries, coconut and matcha powder.

This was thrown in the bin as soon as I got to security 😥 so I had to buy breakfast. I got this from 3 different places, and spent around £10. The avocado on toast was nearly £4 for 1/2 an avocado and one slice of sourdough bread!!! I also treated myself to an acai bowl with shredded apple, cinnamon, and granola, and a medium soy burnt caramel latte from Starbucks, as I hadn’t slept and wouldn’t be sleeping for over 40 hours haha :’)

We eat at the flat nearly every day, which made things a lot easier, but when we did eat out, at a Chinese, I had spicy tofu with plain rice and veg.

My breakfast every day is oats and/or peanut butter and jam on toast. I wish we had a blender so I could have made smoothies and nice cream to detox my body a little. I can’t wait to get home just so I can make these…or even some cheeky pancakes (naughty).

My oats consist of soya milk and water, cooked bananas, berries, a little jam, some peanut butter and prunes.

Lunch times consist of salads. The fruit and veg in Spain is so much sweeter (and cheaper) than in the UK. In fact most of the food in Spain is better than in the UK!! Haha :’)

The salads include mixed leaves, rocket, chickpeas or lentils, cucumber, avocado, cous cous, pomegranate, grilled asparagus and vegan feta from Sainsburys. I grate avocado seed on top of the salad as it reaps benefits (see below). I also have a mini baguette with hummus, sweet chilli sauce and Tesco’s blue cheese, NOM. After the salad we have a ‘dessert’ which is whatever fruit we have that day. The one below is mango, strawberries, kiwi, dragonfruit, watermelon and nectarines.

So…back to avocado. Oh what a beautiful fruit (yes, it is a fruit, not a vegetable!), it has so many uses and is often referred to as a superfood. Next time you have an avocado, don’t throw the seed and skin away!! Take a look at this wonderful fruits benefits. Ooooooo ahhhhhhh.

Avocado meat

  • High in healthy fats – these can help you absorb nutrients from plant foods, which is why they’re great to eat with salads!
  • Loaded with fiber
  • Can lower cholesterol
  • Loaded with powerful antioxidants that can protect the eyes
  • May help prevent cancer
  • May help relieve symptoms of arthritis
  • Could help you lose weight
  • Rejuvenates your skin and hair, which is why it’s used in so many of our beauty products
  • Contains more potassium than bananas – high potassium intake is linked to reducing blood pressure

Avocado stone

  • May lower high cholesterol and high blood pressure, improving heart health and bloody circulation
  • Reduce inflammatory conditions and ease joint pain, reduce swelling and stiffness
  • diabetes and boost your immunity
  • Contains more fiber per ounce than almost any other vegetable, this can banish cravings and keep your full and satisfied. The seed can also help control your blood sugar levels.
  • Could destroy cancer cells and reduce tumor growth
  • The seeds antioxidants can rebuild collagen, repair cell damage and improve the look and feel of your skin.

As I’ve mentioned above, I grated the seed into my salad, it has a bitter taste to it so next time I’ll add it to a smoothie!

Avocado skin, seed and meat for beauty

  • The fatty acids in an avocado are great for skin and hair.
  • It helps reduce wrinkles (WOOHOO!!), making your skin more supple and plump. Rub the skin on your face, leave the avocado on until dry, then rinse off. Your face will feel so soft and hydrated.
  • The seed can be used as a scrubbing agent – break up the seed, leave to dry for a few days, mix with oil and rub onto your skin as an exfoliater.
  • Can be used to treat dry hair and a dry and itchy scalp.
  • Frizzy hair treatment – put onto your hair 15 mins before shampooing with oil.
  • Makes your hair more shiny.
  • Reduces bad breath – drink avocado juice, this will cleanse your mouth, intestine and help to remove the microbes causing bad breath.
  • Works as a natural sunscreen and soothes the skin from damage caused by the sun.
  • Moisturizes your skin and reduces inflammation.
Now you get to laugh at me with a green face!!
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Let me know what you do with your avocados!

Vegan Liverpool and Manchester

Me and Dan went back to my home, home last weekend for my nieces christening.

We spent Saturday in Liverpool, as it’s somewhere Dan wanted to go for a while, looking around the city and museums. I found a pikachu bucket hat, yes I look cute, there were lots of vegan chalking, we saw a chubby, sleepy cat and Dan made friends with some mannequins.

We went to one of my favourite places in Liverpool, Bold Street, which is the cool vintage area of Liverpool. It kind of reminds me of Brighton. Here we went and had lunch at a cafe called Love Thy Neighbour. This is my favourite cafe of all time, so far. They have vegan options on the menu, the decor is something out of WGSN/Pintrest, and they LOVE avocados as much as us!! The staff were very attentive and lovely, the food was delicious and it wasn’t too pricey. I want my kitchen to look like this place!

I had a beetroot latte, mainly got it because the colour looks amazing haha, but it actually tasted really nice too! With it, I had an acai bowl made with banana, almond milk, and avocado, topped with mixed berries, granola, and shredded coconut. I think the smoothie part could have been sweeter, but I have a sweet tooth. Dan had a peanut butter hot chocolate to drink and sweet potato, falafel and hummus pancakes with avodcado (of  course) yellow tomatoes and spinach, topped with harissa. His was actually nicer, and obviously I got jealous!

For dinner we went back to Manchester to try out Vrev, a fast food joint (vegan of course!). It was super busy, due to it being Saturday night, so we had to wait around 20 mins for a table, which I wasn’t too fussed about. They had all gender toilets which I thought was really cool!!

So I learned from my mistake of not ordering the same thing as Dan, as he always chooses the best meals out the two of us. We both ended up ordering the Barbecute Without the ‘E’ which is a beefy patty, with vegan cheese, pulled jackfruit, chipotle cola bbq sauce, coleslaw, onion rings. I also ordered some vegan mac and cheese on the side as I’ve always wanted to try it. The chips ended up being cold by the time to food arrived, but the burger and mac and cheese made up for this. They were soooo good, if I could have fit it in, I would have had double portions!!

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On Sunday morning we went for a walk (adventure) down the road my house. One of my favourite places and somewhere I like to be at one with nature. It’s a place very difficult to get to, so there’s not a soul around! Not many people know about it and it’s complete bliss. I wish there were places down south like this, that I knew about.

The afternoon we spent in Church and with my family. My mum and sister put on a buffet, which I forgot to take a picture of! I contributed with vegan brownies and peanut butter ice cream (I also forgot to take pictures of these!) I did however manage to get one of the cake my sister made for her daughter. She’s such a talented lady! 🙂

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I took a few more pictures at the christening and got a nice one with my beautiful niece, and Goddaughter) I miss my boys already!!

Matcha Pancakes and Dragon fruit salad bowls.

Pancakes seems to be, becoming a weekend habit. The best part about these pancakes is that they’re healthy, so I have no reason to feel guilty about having them every week!!

I’ve been very lazy with updating my blog again recently, so these recipes are are actually from a few weekends ago.

 

So obviously breakfast consisted of pancakes, as mentioned, I also had a lemon and mint water.

The matcha used in the pancakes came from a new business called Vegavero, I’ve added their link below, they stock different vegan super foods, tablets etc.

Matcha is a finely ground powder which comes from green tea, this particular matcha comes from Japan and is 100% organic. One of the best health benefits is that it is an antioxidant and has more antioxidants than any other super foods! Other benefits of matcha are below:

  • Boosts metabolism and burns calories
  • Detoxifies effectively and naturally
  • Calms the mind and relaxes the body
  • Is rich in fiber, chlorophyll and vitamins
  • Enhances mood and aids in concentration
  • Provides vitamin C, selenium, chromium, zinc and magnesium
  • Prevents disease
  • Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar

One cup of matcha has as many antioxidants as 10 cups of green tea!!

Ingredients

1/2 cup oats
1 banana
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
1/2 cup water (or as much as you require for your thickness)
1 tbsp matcha (I used Vegavero)
1 2bsp PBfit
1 tbsp maple syrup
Handful of seeds
Handful of frozen berries
Sprinkle of coconut chips

Directions

  • Put the oats into a blender and blend until flour consistency
  • Add in the baking powder, vanilla, matcha, banana and water. Blend.
  • Let it stand for 5 mins to thicken
  • Add around 1 – 2 spoonfuls of batter to a non-stick pan and cook until bubbles start to form
  • Flip over and cook on the other side
  • Remove from the pan and repeat instructions until all of the batter has been used up
  • Place pancakes onto a plate and put toppings on.
  • Get them pancakes in your belly!!

I went for a long walk with the boy as it was so sunny (I managed not to burn, yay!). We walked from Saltdean back to Brighton, a lovely coastal walk!

For lunch I made a light salad consisting of all of the standard salady things but with some dragon fruit too, a frozen berry, chilli dressing and some caramelized onion and tomato, garlic toast on the side.

Berry Dressing Ingredients

  • Handful of frozen berries
  • Handful of mint
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 inch red chilli
  • Water to reduce the thickness

Directions

  • Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until desired consistency.
  • Drizzle on top of your salad.

Dinner ended up being a nice and easy sweet potato with beans, broccoli and edamame with sriracha (obviously) and hummus on the side.

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Sweet potatoes are the best. You can have them sweet or savory, meaning they can be a breakfast, lunch or dinner meal! What’s your favourite way to eat hummus?

What I ate today – 1st April

Such a beautiful weekend, in terms of the weather. I am so looking forward to warm days being spent at the beach and being able to go for a swim after work or on the weekend!

 

Breakfast was a little lighter than usual, in terms of how much I ate, but the fat content was higher due to the large amounts of peanut butter I ate. I LOVE PEANUT BUTTER. If you do not like it, we are NOT friends.

Smoothie

  • 1 banana
  • Handful of blueberries
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 400ml soya milk
  • Sprinkle of coconut

Directions

  • Put all ingredients, except the coconut, into a blender and blend until desired consistency.
  • Pour into a glass and sprinkle with coconut.

I had my smoothie with a raisin and cinnamon bagel, topped with peanut butter. YUM.

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I went out for coffee with a friend to a vegan cafe in The Laines called Larder. They serve a variety of toasties, baked potatoes, budda bowls, cakes and more, obviously I had to get a cake. I got a biscoffee cake and an almond milk latte. It took quite a while for me to get them, the cake I received a good 5 mins before my coffee (both took over 20 mins), and didn’t receive anything to eat with it. Not great, but I’ve been here before when it wasn’t as busy and the service was fine.

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After dawdling around the shops and getting distracted by pretty clothes I headed home for some lunch. As it was warm out I naturally craved a salad, it ended up being pretty big and filled me up until bedtime. I made a spicy mango dressing to drizzle over the top. It was delicious and bursting with flavours!

Spicy Mango Dressing

  • 1/2 Mango
  • 1/2 Chilli
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • Handful of corriander

Directions

  • Wizz together and drizzle on top of your chosen salad.

I ended up having two slices of toast with caramelized onion, avocado and sriracha on top. Some of my favourite foods!

The day ended with me and my house mates finally burning our Christmas tree. Took us long enough! I love the smell of burning pine 🙂

Steamed Asian Tofu and Veg

Asian food is definitely my favourite type of food. The flavours are so fresh and intense. I can’t wait to go to Asia to try the real deal!

This dish is such an easy ‘go-to’ meal for when you’re wanting something low fat which is high in protein. This comes out at around 10.8g of fat, 28.5g carbs and a whopping 17.3g of protein! If you’re wanting more carbs, add rice, I had a little bit of sushi rice left over so I added it to the bottom of my bowl (it’s not accounted for in the above). I really wish I’d added some mango into this dish as i think the flavour combination would have been amazing!

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Ingredients

  • 200g tofu
  • 1/2 cup of cucumber
  • 1/2 cup of carrot
  • 1/2 cup of pepper
  • 1/2 cup of courgette
  • 1/4 cup of mangetout
  • 1/2 cup of brocolli
  • 1/2 cup of soy beans
  • Handful of spinach
  • 1/4 Chilli
  • 2 inch ginger
  • Bunch of coriander

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sriracha
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 1/2 lemongrass
  • 1 tsp maple syrup

 

Directions

  • Turn the oven on to 190 degrees.
  • Chop up all of your veggies to a required size.
  • Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and put to one side,
  • Put the tofu on to baking paper, in a baking tray. Add the ginger on top and half of the sauce ensuring it is coated.
  • Cover the tofu with the veg (this will create more steam on the veg as tofu holds quite a bit of water) and pour the remaining sauce on top.
  • Wrap up the baking paper, leaving a little open point for steam to escape.
  • Put in the oven and cook for around 20 mins, or until the veg is soft but still has a little bite.
  • Carefully remove the baking tray from the oven and open the baking paper. Make sure you don’t burn yourself! Pop into a bowl, add coriander on top and serve!

 

 

What Vegan food I ate today – Sunday 26th March

I’ve had a very unhealthy weekend. I made three, YES THREE, hot chocolate fudge cakes on Friday which I demolished two myself over two days.. D: My sweet tooth is definetly getting the better of my at the moment, such a killer!

Today was another major carb day which wasn’t great as I didn’t go to the gym.. Ooops! Tomorrow I’ll get back on the healthy eating (we all know that’s not going to happen). Fortunately the HIIT sessions at work are back on at lunch time twice a week, so I’ll be able to burn off some extra calories!

I got up super late today, my body was so tired. I made some carrot cake oats which I’ve been wanting to try for a while, they were scrummy!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup Koko coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp coconut cream
  • 1/2 grated carrot
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg
  • Handful of raisins

    Topping

  • 2 tbsp vanilla Alpro yogurt
  • 1 tbsp Pbfit powder (mixed with water to your consistency)
  • 1 banana (caramelized in maple syrup)
  • Mixed seeds
  • Cacao nibs

 

Directions

  • Put all of the ingredients into a pan and simmer until desired consistency.
  • Add to a bowl and top with your choice of toppings

I ended up going back to bed for an hours nap, which is very unlike me!

When I finally decided to get out of bed I went to meet a friend for some coffee, I actually ended up having a matcha latte. We went to a new vegan cafe called The longhouse Cafe. I bumped into the owner in Aldi the day before who told me to stop by, and I’m so glad I did. The cafe is a community space. The first thing that I noticed when I walked in was that there was a guitar in the corner which had ‘play me’ written on it, what a great idea!! There were local artists works on the walls which were up for sale, plants were draped from the ceilings which made the air feel clean, and mini cacti were placed on the tables, so adorable! This place had such a homely feel to it.

My friend and I went for matcha lattes which were served in beautiful cups, hand-made  by, what I can guess, a local artist. They also served food and cakes, both of which look amazing, I can’t wait to go back so that I can try them!

We chose to make the most of the beautiful weather and sit outside on the reclaimed, old, school desks. The friendly owner came over with pads and colouring pencils, he advised us that we could draw whatever we felt, they were for customers to use (not just for kids!!). Such a nice touch.

Once I had soaked up some rays on the beach, I came home to make some lunch, Asian tofu burgers.

Ingredients

  • 2 wholemeal buns
  • 200g tofu
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Handful of spinach

Salad

  • 1/4 cucumber, spiralized
  • 1/4 carrot, spiralized
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp bbq sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 lime juice
  • 2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

Directions

  • Combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl and set aside
  • Heat sesame oil over a medium heat and add the tofu slices, frying until golden brown on each side
  • Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and coat the tofu with the sauce
  • Add the tofu to a bun, top with the salad and spinach

 

These were ok, the sauce tasted like what you get on BQQ spare rib, but you couldn’t really taste it because of the salad. If I have them again I think that I’d tweak the recipe to make the most of the flavours.

For dinner I made sushi, enough for lunch the next day too! This was the second time that I’ve made sushi, I’m definitely getting better at it. The majority of these held! Yay!!

I made four combinations:

  • Mango and avocado
  • Avocado, sundried tomato, pepper, chilli, cilantro, cucumber, sesame seeds and soy sauce
  • Sweet potato, pepper, coconut, avocado, cucumber, bbq sauce, lime juice
  • Sweet potato, mango, pepper, cucumber, coconut and sweet chilli sauce

I’m excited for my lunch tomorrow now! What did everyone get up to this weekend? I feel like mine has just been spent eating! I hope that yours were filled with delicious food too!

Vegan pancakes and sunshine

I love Saturdays, they’re the one day of the week where I get to eat my favourite breakfasts. Pancakes has always been a favourtie food of mine, I have the worst sweet tooth. Fortunately I went to the gym and did a fasted heavy leg session this morning, so needed to feed my body to help it recover.

I saw a post on Instagram the other day of lemon and blueberry oats, they looked delicious, so today I decided develop this into pancakes. See the recipe below. If you want to know my leg routine, give me a shout!

Ingredients

1 cup oats
1/4 cup coconut flour
1/2 banana for batter
1/2 banana for topping
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/3 cup water
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 lemon
1 cup frozen berries
1 tbsp coconut cream
2 tbsp vanilla yogurt

 

Directions

– Put the oats into a blender and blend until flour consistency.
– Add the coconut flour, baking powder, water, maple syrup, banana, grated lemon rind and lemon juice to the blend and mix until blended. Leave mixture for 5 mins to thicken.
– Heat a non-stick pan and put small amounts of the batter in. Cook for 3 min and flip, cook for another min and place on a plate.
– Repeat process until all of the batter has gone.
– Add the rest of the banana and some maple syrup to a pan. Fry until caramelized.
– Mix the coconut cream and yogurt together, drizzle in between or just on top of the pancakes.
– Sprinkle the berries on top, add maple syrup and eat!

 

I couldn’t even finish this stack, it was so filling, although I actually saved that I couldn’t eat for a snack later on in the day.

I spent the afternoon at the beach with it being such a beautiful day, watching the world go by, feeling the sun on my skin, the wind on my face. I can’t wait for summer!

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With me having my breakfast at 12, my lunch is usually around 3/4pm but because I was walking around I missed this. So for dinner I had what was planned for my lunch, Curry Crusted Sweet Potatoes, recipe from BOSH!

Ingredients

Paste:

2 inches ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp salt
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1 lime (juiced)
4 tbsp sun dried tomato oil
1 cup sun dried tomatoes
1 red chilli
small bunch cilantro

Spicy Avocado Cream:

2 avocados
1 clove garlic
1 red chilli (deseeded)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cumin
1/2 garam massala
4 sun dried tomatoes
1 tbsp sun dried tomatoes
1 lime (juice)
small bunch cilantro

2 large sweet potatoes (I had two small ones)

Directions

– Microwave the sweet potatoes for around 10 mins
– Put all the paste ingredients in a food processor to make a a paste
– Rub the paste on to the skin of the sweet potatoes
– Bake them for 10-15 mins, depending on how crusty you want the potato to be, at 200℃
– Put all the Spicy Avocado Cream ingredients in the food processor to make a filling
– Remove the potatoes from the oven, put them on your plate, cut them open and fill them with the avocado filling

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This may look like crap, but the flavours are amazing! I’d tweak mine a little next time to  not have so many sundried tomatoes as they were a little over-powering but wow this was good! I can’t wait to have it again!

What did everyone else have for food today? I hope that you all got to enjoy the sun too!