Blueberry Pancakes

Monday, 27 February 2017

Obviously I couldn't let Pancake Day slip by without sharing another one of my favourite recipes with you guys. My banana and cinnamon pancakes recipe from last year was one of my most popular on here for ages so I'm glad you all seem to love pancakes as much as I do. Perfect for a lazy weekend morning snuggled under a blanket with a cup of tea, pancakes will always be one of my most favourite breakfasts. Blueberry pancakes tend to be my first choice when I decide I want a little something special to start my day and these ones taste just like a blueberry muffin, lovely and sweet with little pockets of blueberries bursting with flavour. I just love them, especially when topped with a lemony blueberry compote and lots of maple syrup. 

You will need (serves 1):
1/3 cup plain flour 
1/3 cup oats 
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
1 ripe banana 
1/2 cup soya milk (or other plant milk)
1/2 cup blueberries 

- Put all the ingredients, except for the blueberries, into a blender and blend the mixture until smooth. 
- Transfer the mixture into a jug and stir in the blueberries. 
- Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat until hot. Pour the mixture into the pan to make the pancakes. I can usually make two at once but this will depend on the size of your pan. Cook each pancake for 2-3 minutes on each side. You'll know the pancake is ready to flip when lots of little air bubbles appear on the surface. 
- Serve with your choice of toppings and syrup. I like to make a simple blueberry compote to pour over mine - just add a handful of blueberries to a bowl along with a squeeze of lemon juice and sprinkle of caster sugar and pop in the microwave for a minute. You could also make it in a pot on the stove if you don't have a microwave (I'm just lazy). 

Beautifully Real Food by Sam Murphy

Monday, 20 February 2017

If I was ever to have my own cookbook (a girl can dream), then Sam Murphy's new book is kinda exactly what I would have pictured. It's pretty beautiful and all vegan and it doesn't really get much better than that in my eyes. 

Sometimes I look through recipe books and feel like everything sounds so fancy and a bit too posh for my liking, like it's trying just a bit too hard. I love Sam's book because everything is recognisable, there are lots of old classics, and it just feels really down to earth. There are recipes for 'bacon' and mushroom carbonara, sweet and sour tofu, lemon honey tofu, loaded vegan hot dogs, lots of pizzas and burgers, and cheesy nacho sauce, to name just a few I've been drooling over. Classic faves but with a plant based twist; it's like a guide for how to make all your old favourite dishes vegan. And the thing I love most about this book? Every single recipe has a photo. I don't know why, and I think a lot of people are the same, but I hate when recipes don't have photos, like yea okay I need to know how to make it but I want to see how it looks first.

So far, I've only made two recipes from the book but they've both been really good. The raw cookie dough cereal was divine, although I did end up eating most of the little balls as snacks rather cereal, and honestly, most of the dough just went from the food processor into my mouth... It seriously does taste like cookie dough. I've also made the satay tofu, which was delicious, although it was a little too garlicky for me. I'd just reduce the two cloves to one next time and I reckon it would be perfect for my taste, my boyfriend did love it as it was though. I do love a good peanut satay sauce so as soon as I saw that recipe I knew I had to make it. 

The only thing that really bugged me about the book was some of the words and phrases it used, 'guilt free' and 'real food' being the main ones. We need to stop the whole guilt vibe around food because it's not okay. It comes along the same lines as the whole good foods, bad foods chat. Food isn't good or bad, you shouldn't feel guilty for eating certain foods and view others as innocent. Likewise, what makes some foods real and others not real? How can food not be real? I'm assuming real means filled with lots of fruit, veggies and whole grains, but does that mean than something more processed isn't 'real'. Processed isn't bad, tofu is a processed food and it's bloody amazing. We definitely need some more positivity around food, to stop being scared or scaremongered into believing certain things are good or bad. Eat what you love and stop feeling guilty about it. The book hasn't jumped on the whole 'refined sugar free' trend though, which I am super happy about - check out this post for more 'refined sugar free' ranting. Don't get me wrong, I think this is a fab book, I just have some personal dislike towards certain words surrounding food having been fooled by them before and I think the book would have been able to stand itself without them because it's so great.

Beautifully Real Food is a wonderful book filled with a collection of creative and mouth watering vegan recipes. I know for sure it's going to become a go-to in my kitchen and it's definitely overtaken the other cookbooks I have as my fave. If you want to introduce more plant-based eating into your life, or to show someone just how easy being vegan can be, this is the book to get. 

You can get your hands on this gem from Thursday (23 February) - I'd most definitely recommend it. 

[Beautifully Real Food: Guilt Free, Meat Free Recipes to Indulge in by Sam Murphy. Out on February 23rd, RRP £16.99, Blink Publishing.]

I was kindly sent a copy of Sam's new book to review. As always, all views and opinions on here are totally my own. 

Three Easy Vegan Lunchbox Ideas

Monday, 13 February 2017

I feel like my blog is always lacking in lunch recipes but that's because most of the lunches I make are super simple and totally not blog worthy because they just involve throwing a few ingredients together, or they are dinner leftovers (leftover chilli for lunch is possibly the best ever). I work full time and always bring my lunch with me so I like things that are easy to prep the night before and can be popped into a tub. Nothing fancy, just good filling food. These are a few of the lunches I'm really into at the moment. I kinda go through phases with lunches, I'll find one I really like and keep making it over and over until I can't stand it anymore, hence why soup is taking a backseat at the moment. The hummus sandwich never gets old though, it's amazing and the easiest thing to make ever, especially if you're lazy like me and use store bought hummus - the Tesco organic one is the best.

Rice, Kidney Bean and Broccoli Bowl 

You will need (makes enough for two lunches): 
1/4 cup whole wheat rice
1/4 cup mixed quinoa
1/8 cup pearl barley
1 tin red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 grated carrot
1/3 cup sweetcorn
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 head broccoli
black pepper and chilli flakes

- Rince the rice, quinoa and pearl barley and then put into a pot with around three cups of water. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes over a low heat until all the water has been absorbed.
- Chop the broccoli into florets and put this into a pot with boiling water. Simmer over a low heat for 2-3 minutes. 
- Transfer the rice and quinoa mix into a bowl and mix through the grated carrot and sweetcorn. Season with soy sauce, a sprinkle of chilli flakes and black pepper.
- Split the rice, beans, and broccoli between two bowls/lunchboxes.

Hummus and Carrot Sandwich 

You will need: 
2 slices of whole wheat bread
1 grated carrot
a handful of cherry tomatoes

- Generously spread hummus onto each of the slices of bread. Fill the sandwich with the grated carrot and some tomato slices. Serve the rest of the cherry tomatoes on the side.

Simple Avocado Salad 

You will need: 
for the salad
1 bag salad leaves (I like the Florette superfood salad)
1 grated carrot
1/4 cup sweetcorn
2 sundried tomatoes, finely chopped 
4 cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
toasted pine nuts and hummus to serve (optional)

for the dressing 
1 ripe avocado
the juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup water

- Add all the ingredients for the salad to a large bowl and combine together.
- To make the dressing, add all the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Top with some toasted pine nuts and serve with a dollop of hummus.

What are your fave lunchbox lunches?