Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Quick Chia Pudding


This is one of my favorite quick breakfasts to make - I never have much time in the mornings, but because this is made the night before it's ready and waiting for me. I use Raw Health's white chia seeds, but that's just my preference - it'll work with other types too. 

Ingredients

1/3 cup chia seeds
1 cup almond milk (or any non dairy 'milk')
1/2 Tsp vanilla
3 TBSP maple syrup

Shake it all up in a mason jar and pop it in the fridge overnight. Works well with dried fruit - raisins and peaches are my favorite. 

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Treats

In the last few weeks I've tried a few new products which I've really enjoyed. I'm always on the lookout for new vegan suitable things we might enjoy as a family - as Mr B often says, "I didn't become vegan because I hate good food,".


I'd heard of 9 Bar before, but the only ones I ever see in the supermarkets all have honey in them. It's nice to know vegan ones exist too! They've confirmed to me via email that all the breakfast bars are suitable for vegans. I really enjoyed the peanut & raisin and the cocoa & cashew bars, but found the fruit ones tasted a little artificial. They get plus points for being gluten free, though they're not really suitable for young children as they had big bits of nuts, so will be sticking to Nakd bars for the toddler.

 

I love a Clearspring products and use their brown rice miso, tofu and seaweeds regularly. Their products are approved by the vegan society and can be found in most supermarkets. I've known they do fruit pots for a while, but now they do pouches too! All the flavours were really yummy, but it did feel a bit strange eating purée from a pouch as it's what my toddler does. They really are marketed to adults and children - they'd be useful for packed lunches. The toddler really enjoyed them, but I think I'll be sticking to the Ella's kitchen ones she enjoys. 


Mr B found these sausages for us to try in Waitrose - and I'm really glad he did! I try to eat as little gluten as possible - but this means there isn't much choice when it comes to faux 'meat' products. I'm a big fan of the Goodlife range, but it was nice to try an alternative. I fried these which I found quite tricky, I'd cook them differently next time - but will definitely be buying these again.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Toddler's Hidden Veggie Pasta - soy free


In an ideal world all toddlers would eat vegetables without fuss - but the reality is that at some point many of them go through a fussy stage no matter how often healthy foods are offered. Luckily my daughter is coming to the end of this now, but during the couple of months that she refused to eat anything that looked like fruit or vegetables (she in fact still ate loads of both!) I became pretty inventive with disguising it. I still offered her plenty of recognisable stuff to encourage her, but it was good to know if she refused it she'd still be eating healthy foods.
The sauce is pretty easy to make and this recipe will make more than you need for one portion so it can be frozen once cooled. In fact I use the biggest size portion pots we still have lying around from weaning and they work great.

Ingredients

30g pasta shapes (you might need more or less depending how much your child eats)
20g red lentils
20g quinoa
1 TBSP olive oil
1 tin of chopped tomatoes with basil & herbs
1 Tsp oregano 
1 vegetable stock cube suitable for kids (low or no salt)
1 TBSP tomato purée
1/2 chopped white onion
1 large carrot peeled and chopped
1 red pepper chopped
1 courgette chopped
Handful of spinach leaves
1/4 cup kale
1/2 cup chopped lightly steamed sweet potato
1/2 cup boiling water
Sprinkle of soya free vegan cheese (I use Redwood's)


How small you chop the vegetables depends on your child's chewing ability and how much you are trying to hide them. I usually chop them pretty fine in a food processor, but you could roughly chop them and blend the whole sauce smooth after cooking with an immersion blender. 
Add the oil, onion, carrot, pepper, courgette and sweet potato to a pan and fry until brown. Add the tomatoes, water, stock cube, purée, kale and oregano. Add the lentils and quinoa. Stir well and leave to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the spinach a few minutes before it's ready.
About 10 minutes before the sauce is ready cook the pasta. Once it's all ready - drain, combine and sprinkle the 'cheese' on top. 



Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Vegan Quiche Lorraine - Toddler and Family Friendly


It had actually been years since I had made my last vegan quiche before I whipped this up last night. I'm not sure why I left it that long though, as this was delicious and the toddler ate loads - that in our house means it's a success! The addition of black salt really gave it a slightly 'eggy' flavour without being too strong - if you haven't any you can leave it out, but I really enjoy using it in recipes and it can be found quite cheaply online.

Ingredients
1 package pre made vegan short crust pastry
Dash of oil
1 red pepper
1 white onion
3 rashers of vegan bacon
2 boxes silken tofu
1 cup nutritional yeast
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Tsp turmeric
2 Tsp lemon juice
1 heaped Tsp black salt
3 TBSP cornflour
1 carton vegan single cream
Sprinkle of grated soya cheese to top

Preheat your oven to 180C. Roll out your pastry and line a 9 inch dish with it - don't trim the edges off yet as it will shrink a little in the oven. Poke the bottom of your pastry all over with a fork to prevent it from rising.
Pop your pastry in the oven for around 10 minutes to firm a little. Remove and set aside.
Chop pepper and onions and add to a pan with a little oil to brown. Cut your veggie bacon into strips and add to the pan. Set aside.
In to a food processor add your tofu, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, turmeric, lemon juice, black salt and cornflour. Process until smooth. If you have a high powered stand mixer then save the cream for that step - if not add it now and blend in.
Transfer the tofu to the bowl of your stand mixer and use a whisk attachment. Whilst on, slowly pour in the cream. Turn to high speed (I use about setting 8 on my Kitchenaid mixer) and leave it to whip some air into your mixture for 5-10 minutes. If you don't have a mixer, this step isn't strictly necessary - but I think it results in a slightly lighter mixture when baked.
Mix in the onions, pepper and bacon then pour your mixture into the pastry case and smooth the top. Sprinkle on your soya cheese.
Bake for 30-40 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes once removed from the oven so the tofu can firm up a little.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Crystal Spring - Salt Of The Earth - Natural Empathy

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be sent over some fabulous products by Crystal Spring. They're the fabulous people behind Salt of the Earth & Natural Empathy ranges.
I'm going to have to just start this off by saying I have totally fallen in love with their deodorant! I was sent a spray bottle, but have since been out and brought a stick for my gym bag and another to give to somebody else. I love the fact that it's totally natural and the spray is so easy to use. It's also unscented and leaves no marks! Pretty much every other vegan suitable deodorant I've tried (Including the one I used before trying this) left huge white marks if you weren't careful. 


It's also really effective - I've been using it every day now for a few weeks and put it through some rather warm gym sessions and it's not left me down yet. Honestly, I'm not going to go back to my old brand. I've genuinely been telling everybody I can about this! They also sell a refill for the spray which will fill it back up 10 times - I love the idea of this and how it saves packaging.


I was also sent over two products from their Natural Empathy range which is 'Great British' themed. I love the idea behind the packaging of this product, and always try to buy British made items where I can - but the union jacks weren't quite to my taste. The natural hand wash and hand lotions however are lovely products and I've been constantly using them since they arrived. With a toddler in the house some days it seems like I'm washing my hands every 5 minutes and it's left my skin a little dry. I'm happy to say since I've been using these products my hands are once again lovely and soft. I'm really impressed with this company and really want to try out more of their products - I think their shampoo & conditioner is next as I'm still searching for my perfect vegan hair care products! 

Would you like to win a set of lovely Crystal Spring products? Well listen up! I have one set comprising of a Salt of the Earth spray deodorant, Great British luxury hand wash and hand lotion up for grabs. This competition is open to entrants from the UK only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway