Vegan pancakes

Vegan pancakes

pancake1Many of you began January as a vegan, because you wanted to support Veganuary, and I know thorough social media that many of you have continued.  And its on special occasions like ‘Pancake day’ that you think…hmm now what do I do?!

Well, I have the answer in my vegan pancake recipe.  This is a mashup of a ‘normal’ recipe and different recipes I found on the Vegan Food UK Facebook page.  I’d highly recommend this resource if you want some vegan inspiration

Makes 12 small pancakes and serves 4 people

IMG_0021100g or 1 cup of porridge oats

300ml or 1¼  cups of non dairy milk (I used soya milk)

50g or 1/3 cup wholemeal/coconut/gluten free flour

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp cinnamon powder

pinch of salt

1 medium or 2 small ripe bananas

1 tbls chia seeds

rapeseed oil for frying

Don’t worry if your first pancake is a bit ‘pants’ it takes a while for the pan to warm up and for the oil to do its work.  But persevere, your second and subsequent pancakes will be fab!

  • Put all the items into a large bowl and blend them using a hand blender, or in a nutribullet if you have one. Blend until well mixed, you may need to add more milk or a splash of water if its too thick
  • The batter should be the consistency of slightly whipped cream.  The chia seeds will thicken it, if that happens as you’re making your pancakes just add another splash of water
  • Drizzle oil in a non-stick pan, and spread around with a paper towel. Heat on a medium setting.
  • I tried both a large frying pan and my individual cast iron pan, for me the individual pan worked best but it does take longer to cook all the batter
  • Pour in a small amount of the batter to make a small thick circle.

  • When the top starts to bubble (after about 1 minute), its time to flip! A spatula is easiest, but if you fancy your chances give it a toss!
  • Again cook for about a minute, pick the edge up and have a look to see if its cooked. When it’s nice and brown it’s ready. Woo-hoo!
  • When you cook the next pancake don’t add any extra oil but use the kitchen paper and rub the base of the pan, which will provide enough oil.

 

  • IMG_0101Serve straight away or stack the pancakes on a plate in a warm oven until you’re ready to eat.  They can also be made in advance, cooled and kept in the fridge or freezer to eat at another time

I like clementine segments and some vegan ice-cream  with mine.  How do you like yours?

Hangovers – the morning after!

The morning after…..Hangover cures 

alcoholThat double vodka, large glass of wine or a whole bottle or one more for the road seemed like a good idea last night.  But this morning it’s a different story, you feel nauseous, thirsty, have a headache, feel tired; basically you’re hungover

So how can you start to feel like your old self again?

 

  • Hydration – water is the best thing, sip it in case your stomach reacts.  If you prefer and have them available an isotonic drink is a good way to replenish lost fluids and minerals.  But they can be expensive and have a fair amount of sugar.  An answer is to make your own; mix one part orange juice, one part water and a pinch of salt.

IMG_9999This is exactly what I told a Notts Tv reporter when he visited me yesterday

Click on this Youtube link to hear the 30 second snippet

https://youtu.be/XsWPvQ0O-dc

 

 

  • If you have a headache water will help with the dehydration and a painkiller could also ease the discomfort.  Be careful with aspirin based medication as they can upset your stomach
  • Eating some protein can aid recovery, especially eggs as they contain  a protein called taurine that helps the liver to recover
  • If you can’t stomach eggs, a bowl of porridge will restore some energy especially if its served with some fresh fruit like a banana, which will help replace your depleted potassium levels
  • fruitA fruit smoothie made with yoghurt will also give you some much needed protein.
  • failing that some wholemeal toast with either jam or wholenut peanut butter
  • Try and take some gentle exercise, a walk would be a great idea as it releases  ‘feel good’ endorphins
  • Try and resit the temptation to have too many cups of strong coffee.  Caffeine can upset your stomach and it also acts as a diuretic increasing your dehydration
  • Don’t overdo the amount of sugar you consume as it produces an energy spike and then a crash, leaving you feeling more tired and lethargic

To minimise some of the symptoms of over indulgence take painkillers with a pint of water before you go to sleep   That way you may wakeup feeling more human!  

 

 

 

 

Veg out – Ala Turka, Compton Acres

Veg out – Ala Turka, Compton Acres restaurant review

IMG_9943A few weeks ago I looked in the fridge and nothing inspired me so we decided to go for a bite to eat but where to go that was local and a bit different? Then I remembered reading in the local online resource the West Bridgford Wire about a new Turkish restaurant that had opened on Compton Acres. So off we went

 

It looked very welcoming from the outside with twinkling lights in the windows and flickering candles on the tables. We were seated very quickly and presented with menus, which stated that they catered for all dietary requirements including vegan and vegetarian.

 

I spoke to a member of staff who at first was unclear about the menu options available to me, but after I explained what vegan meant she was able to list quite a few tasty possibilities. The chef even came up with a vegetable stew that he could make to order as a hot vegan main course.

Screen Shot 2017-02-20 at 12.25.17My review is now online in the Nottingham Post and a hardcopy will be available to buy on Wednesday.

We opted for bread, dips and olives whilst we made our minds up; all of which were delicious. I plumped for hummus for my starter and the vegan stew, as recommended by the chef, accompanied by a mixed salad and rice. There were obviously more vegetarian options than vegan ones, but I would always check that the cheeses were veggie suitable. My meat eating other half ordered vegetarian courgette fritters followed by Chicken and lamb shish kebabs

 

My hummus was creamy and garlicky, but came without bread so we ordered another portion, which arrived very quickly. And my stew was intense, rich and very, very flavoursome. The accompanying salad was really fresh and colourful and bursting with goodness. My hubby enjoyed both his starter and main course. The price of all dishes was very reasonable; generally the starters were £3.50, veggie main courses were under £8 and meat and fish dishes ranged from £9- £13

 

It can be tricky eating out as a vegan let alone a vegetarian, so I would always recommend ringing ahead or speaking to the chef when you get to the restaurant, as there are often as was the case here misunderstandings about what can and cannot be included. But the restaurant was very amenable and willing to adapt their menu. I suggested that they include the stew as a standard vegan item as it was that tasty and I would happily eat it again. Next time I will ring ahead and ask if the courgette fritters could be ‘veganised’ and check that the stew was available. And I’m sure that if it weren’t the chef would have a batch ready for me!

Quick vegetable rice

Quick vegetable rice  – serves 2, 262 calories (315 calls if using microwaveable rice)

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_2799This makes a really quick, filling and tasty lunch; packed with lots of veggies and some wholegrain carbs.  The seasonings can be varied to bring different flavours to the dish.  Try adding cumin, curry powder and fresh coriander for an Indian flavour.  Or smoked paprika, harissa and fresh mint  for a more Moroccan twist.  And if you want a Mediterranean feel add some tomato paste,  a few chopped olives, lemon zest and fresh mint or basil

IMG_27911 courgette – cut into cubes

1 red pepper – cut into cubes

1 onion – sliced

1 stick of celery – sliced

1 garlic clove – finely chopped or grated

½ tsp minced ginger or small piece of grated fresh ginger

good pinch of ground black pepper

250 g cooked brown basmati (or 1 packet of microwaveable wholegrain basmati)

2 tsp olive oil

splash lemon juice and soy sauce

good pinch of chilli flakes

handful of chopped parsley

 

IMG_2794Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the vegetables IMG_2792until they start to soften – about 8-10 minutes. Add the chilli, garlic, black pepper, parsley and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the cooked rice. If using the microwaveable rice, cook according to the instruction then add to the pan

 

IMG_2798

 

Keep stirring until all the ingredients are hot and well mixed. Add the soy sauce and a splash of lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve on two warmed plates.

 

To make it a more substantial meal add ½ tin of chickpeas (145 calories), 50g toasted cashew nuts (275 calories) or 200g steamed edamame beans (166 calories)

Vitamin D – should we take supplements?

Vitamin D – should we take supplements?

Its been widely reported in the press that we are recommended to take vitamin D supplements, after studies showed this “sunshine’ vitamin could protect against colds and flu.

Vitamin D

So before you go rushing off to your nearest health food shop I would suggest you first of all have your vitamin D level checked by your GP

Some of the common symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency are:

A true deficiency can only be confirmed by a blood test. But according to the NHS website, symptoms that may show you need a blood test are:

  • Aching bones
  • Having a low mood – vitamin D appears to have an effect on serotonin levels (feel good hormone
  • Being over 50 – the body makes less vitamin D as we age
  • Being overweight or obese – the higher your levels of body fat the more vitamin D is diluted (as it’s a fat soluble vitamin)
  • Having darker skin – it absorbs less of the suns rays
  • Gut troubles – coeliacs, Crohns or IBS can all affect the way the body absorbs fat soluble vitamins
  • People who cover up for cultural or religious reasons
  • Those who spend a lot of time indoors – the elderly and infirm for instance

How important is Vitamin D – What does it do?

The main job of vitamin D is to keep the right amount of calcium and phosphorus in our blood? These 2 nutrients work together to make our bones strong, so they don’t become brittle and break easily. If we don’t have vitamin D in our bodies, only a small amount of the calcium from our diet can be absorbed and only a little more than half of phosphorus is absorbed.

Vitamin D may also be linked to muscle strength, but this link is very recent and more trials and evidence needs to be gathered

Why is Vitamin deficiency so common in the UK?  We don’t absorb enough of the sun rays (overuse of sunblock) and spend a lot of time indoors 

A 2007 survey estimated that around 50% of all adults have some degree of vitamin D deficiency.  The rates of rickets is children has risen fourfold in the last 15 years

Gem news

 

 

Gem 106 radio contacted me this week for my opinion about vitamin D supplements.  Here’s an extract of that interview

 

 

 

Vitamin D supplements, should we take them? 1 minute 30

 

How can we increase our intake of vitamin D?

sunshineFirst and foremost expose your skin to 10-20 minutes of sun a day. – 90% of our vitamin D comes from this source. This has to be without sunscreen, so don’t do this when the sun is at its strongest and be sensible.

Certain foods are also high in vitamin D, including oily fish (such as salmon and sardines), eggs, milk/non dairy milk, orange juice. In the UK, infant formula and fat spreads are fortified with vitamin D. It is also added to other foods such as breakfast cereals, non dairy milks.

If your GP has confirmed you have below average levels of vitamin D, then some simple changes to your diet could be sufficient.  Why not contact me and book a free short consultation and we can get you back on track

07946 301338

Here’s another extract of the GEM106 radio interview, where we discuss food- its only 19 seconds long

 

How soon would we see the benefit?

It can take up to 3 months, depending on how low your levels were

 

Can you have too much?

Yes,  according to the NHS website there is a vitamin D toxicity, which may cause high levels of calcium in the blood and can lead to kidney stones. It can affect some pople.ie Vitamin D supplements plus lots of sun and lots of fortified food, but it is rare.

symptoms (of hypercalcaemia) include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, headaches, weakness or drowsiness

Always check with GP/pharmacist if you want to take supplements as some medical conditions can make you more sensitive to Vitamin D (liver/kidney disease)

 

 

 

Valentines raw food menu

Valentines raw food menu for two

For more healthy eating advice please visit my website http://www.nutrition-coach.co.uk/

IMG_9884Why not try something different this Valentine’s day and enjoy a light and energy giving ‘raw’ vegan meal.  Many of the water soluble vitamins are preserved and the dishes are bursting with fibre

I have devised a  light two course menu of courgette noodles (courgetti), with tomatoes and cannellini beans and for ‘afters’ peanut butter truffles.  The courgette is made using a ‘spiralizer’, although you can now buy them already prepared in many supermarkets. Eating courgettes this way means you can enjoy the romance and joy of pasta twirling without the carbohydrate overload.  The tomatoes add some great antioxidants and the beans are a good low fat protein source, and both are a great source of fibre.

The dessert is only slightly naughty; the peanuts provide protein and fibre, the rice is gluten free, the chia seeds are bursting with omega 3 fats and the sesame seeds are a valuable source of calcium.  Finally, the dark chocolate contains some nice mood enhancing endorphins.  Making it an ideal choice for Valentines day

 

Courgette noodles with tomatoes and cannellini beans

 

  • IMG_13812 large courgettes, spiralized (or ribboned with a vegetable peeler)
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 Tbsp avocado oil or virgin olive oil
  • Juice and zest of ½ a lemon
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes or ½ chilli de-seed and finely sliced
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tin of drained and rinsed cannellini beans
  • Sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves chopped

 

IIMG_2437n a large bowl mix all of the ingredients together – except the sesame seeds and fresh mint. Taste and add some salt and pepper if needed or a bit more chilli

 

Leave at room temperature for 20 minutes for the flavours to marry together. Scatter over the images-10sesame seeds and mint. Serve in a large clean bowl to share – visualise the spaghetti eating scene in the Lady and the tramp!

 

IMG_2450

 

 

 

 

 

For dessert some little bite sized chocolate lovelies!

Peanut butter truffles

 

IMG_1816100g wholenut crunchy peanut butter

10g wholegrain puffed rice – toasted, cooled and lightly crushed

few drops of Vanilla extract

1 ½ tsp Agave, Golden syrup or Maple syrup

½ tsp Chia seeds

½ tsp Sesame seeds

40g Dark chocolate

½ tsp Coconut oil

few grains of rock salt

 

Mix the first six ingredients together. Blend well

Line a tray with Clingfilm and shape the mixture in to small balls. Keep wetting your hands with cold water to stop the mixture from sticking to youIMG_1820

Leave the balls to firm up in for fridge for at least 30 minutes

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a pan over a bowl of hot water or microwave on high for 1 minute

 

peanut butter truffles

 

Remove the peanut balls from the fridge and dip each one in the chocolate. Place on the cling filmed tray to set. Crush a few grains of rock salt over the coated peanut balls.  Leave for a few hours for the chocolate to harden.  Then pop one in your beloved’s mouth and enjoy!

Nutrition, Meditation and Yoga

Nutrition, Meditation and Yoga 

It’s cold, its damp and its February! At this time of year when all we seem to do is work, eat and sleep it’s easy to become sedentary, sluggish and rely on carbs to see us through. But it doesn’t have to be that way; I’ve teamed up with Kim Rossi to deliver a relaxing and restorative workshop called ‘Nourish your body and mind with nutrition and yoga’

yoga-and-nutrition-feb

The nutrition and yoga workshop takes place in West Bridgford on Friday 24th February from 10.30 – 12.45.

yoga

For an introductory price of £30 you will participate in a relaxing and nurturing yoga and meditation session, conducted in a beautiful, clam setting with warm underfloor heating

I will be on hand to prepare your light 2 course vegan healthy lunch. You can help with the finishing touches, before we all sit down to eat and talk about how to stay healthy over winter

yoga

I will share with you my knowledge and experience and give you some nutrition top tips to keep you on track

Contact me on 07946 301338, or Kim on 07940 311061 to find out more or             to book your place 

 

kim-yoga-poseKim’s been teaching yoga for ten years now and has been on a personal journey of self-discovery which has enhanced her practice and life. Originally trained in Vinyasa but she also draws upon her learning and experiences in connecting with the body, imagery and visualisation, Chinese medicine theory, shiatsu, hypnotherapy and NLP.  Her aim is to fill the world with beauty and love and passion for life.

 

Nottm Post WinterAnd as you may know through my articles on the West Bridgford Wire, I also deliver healthy eating advice to individuals, groups and businesses. By talking informally about how to develop a healthy balanced diet I encourage people to make small but permanent changes to the foods they eat.  Being a chef is a great advantage as it allows me to develop healthy eating recipes for those that need a helping hand.

My vegan cookery classes are a great way to put that knowledge in to practice.  I also deliver regular wellbeing workshops at Maggie’s Cancer support centre at the City hospital in Nottingham. And finally, I write a monthly restaurant review for the Nottingham Post

With our help you can feel energized and nourished and be ready to ‘spring’ in to March

 

Super sauerkraut

Fermented food – Super sauerkraut

Food Trends for 2017A few weeks ago I speculated what the 2017 food trends might be; one of them was fermented food.  I’m really hoping to see more of this type of food in restaurants and cafes.  But why is fermented food good for us? Because it contains probiotics or  the ‘good’ bacteria, which can help maximise our digestion, boost our immune system, help the body to eliminate toxins and maintain good gut health. Fermented foods are also rich in nutrients but especially vitamin K2, which works with Vitamin D and calcium for healthy bones, blood and muscles. It is estimated that 80% of your immune system is located in your gut.

Fermentation takes place in the absence of oxygen and nearly any food can be fermented. It just needs liquid, occasionally salt and a storage jar.

sourdoughExamples of fermented food apart from the well known super sauerkraut are sourdough bread, beer, salami, yoghurt, curd cheese, miso, kefir (fermented milk drink), natto (fermented soya beans), pickles, jam and cider.  However if you can I would try and make your own fermented foods because commercial varieties are usually subjected to pasteurisation, which could destroy many of the probiotic process

If we want to encourage the growth of more good bacteria in our bodies, then it makes sense to feed them so they grow and flourish.  That’s where prebiotic’s come in.  They are fibre rich non-digestible nutrients like inulin that probiotics feed on.  Some everyday natural prebiotics that you can add to your daily diets are onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, chicory, bananas

Why not start with some simple and speedy sauerkraut?

Homemade Super Sauerkraut

320 – 350 g cabbage, ½ – 1 tsp sea salt, ½ tsp caraway or fennel seeds, I sterilised jar and lid

IMG_9803Save the outer leaves of the cabbage, remove core and finely slice or grate the cabbage. Add to a large bow and sprinkle in the salt. Using your hands start to mix and squeeze the cabbage, do this for about 10 minutes. Gradually the cabbage will become watery and limp. Add the seeds and mix again.

 

Here are two short video clips showing how speedy the process is

 

Transfer the cabbage mix (including the liquid) to a clean jar, and really press the cabbage in, using the back of a spoon, rolling pin or pestle. When you can get no more in, place one of the larger outer leaves of the cabbage over the surface of the sliced cabbage. This will help keep the cabbage submerged in its *liquid. Add a lid, and place on a saucer and store in cool cupboard or room (not the fridge at this stage) and out of direct sunlight.

*The cabbage must be submerged in liquid at all times

IMG_9807Over the next 3 – 10 days remove the lid and leaf and everyday keep pressing the cabbage down to make sure it is submerged. Add additional water to cover the cabbage if necessary. When you are happy with the taste place the jar in the fridge, as it is ready to eat.  As the contents reduce you can just keep repeating the process and fill the jar

Remove any white scum or mould (if it appears) and the sauerkraut can be kept for several months

fermented

 

 

Last week my cookery school guests also make sauerkraut.  They thought it was a very therapeutic process