Pizza Express review

Veg out restaurant review – Pizza Express, West Bridgford

Pizza Express review

I recently discovered that if you download the Pizza Express App and enter some personal information you’re rewarded with a free pizza.  So that’s exactly what I did and one late Friday afternoon my friend and I rather excitedly walked in to the West Bridgford restaurant.

pizza App

 

We were not only excited at the thought of having a free pizza but also that the pizza would have on it vegan cheese.  We rather half-heartedly perused the menu having already decided that we’d skip the ‘bready’ starters and go straight to the classic Vegan Giardiniera.

pizza Epress

But we’d made a schoolgirl error by not looking at the T&Cs; the offer wasn’t available on a Friday and Saturday, Doh!  But all wasn’t lost because the App held out a little olive branch in the form of a starter and main course for £9.95 available on a Friday.  Not the free pizza we were hoping for but a bit of a bargain non-the less

Pizza offer

PE

 

 

My review is also online at the Nottingham Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

Many of the starters are not vegan friendly but the staff were really accommodating and, contrary to the specific offer, informed us that we could order anything from the appetizer and starter section.  We opted for marinated olives and roasted tomatoes and asked for the classic Vegan Giardiniera pizza.

pizza

We eagerly tucked in to our generously portioned starters, and were only half way through when our pizzas arrived.  They looked like regular pizzas, an important issue for many vegans because we like to eat food that doesn’t draw undue attention to our food choices.  The size was perfect, a thin crispy base, a well flavoured sauce, generous amount of toppings (Artichoke, closed cup mushroom, red onion and black olives, with tomato and garlic oil) and the all important vegan mozzarella alternative, which was gooey and melting

pizza

We finished every last piece and it was delicious. The only minor downside to this tasty eating experience was the level of noise.  We ate at 5.30, prime children’s tea time and they were out in force. It’s great that the restaurant is so accommodating but the acoustics and hard surfaces make the sounds echo and bounce around which can be distracting.  So if you want a quiet meal I’d suggest you eat later.

 

Finally, PE’s website has a helpful vegan menu, which is great but if you are a vegan and a regular visitor to the chain you may soon get bored of the delicious but quite limited options.

 

Quick vegan chilli

Quick vegan chilli – Serves 2

This is a really quick and versatile recipe, don’t worry if you haven’t got all the ingredients or you decide to swap some.  It isn’t essential to have the cinnamon, chocolate or dried herbs.  You can substitute the sweet potatoes for butternut squash, change the red kidney beans and use borlotti or black beans instead.  Add some courgettes, spinach or kale. And swap tomato puree (with additional stock or water) if you haven’t got half a tin of tomatoes

Today my one to one private cooking guest has made this recipe.  So all the images are from that session

kitchen

Quick vegan chilli

1 tsp vegetable oil

½ onion, chopped

1 carrot, grated

100g sweet potato – chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

¼  each of green and red pepper, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

1 tsp chilli powder or  ¼ tsp chilli flakes

1 tsp smoked paprika

pinch of cinnamon

50g  mushrooms, wiped and chopped

½  (400g) tin peeled plum tomatoes, chopped

½  (400g) tin kidney beans, drained but keep the liquid

80g sweetcorn

½ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp dried oregano/marjoram

½ square dark chocolate

lemon juice

handful of fresh coriander or parsley leaves

 

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onions, carrots and sweet potatoes until tender. If the veggies start to stick add some water

chilli

  • Stir in peppers, celery, garlic, chilli and paprika. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.
  • Stir in mushrooms, and cook 4 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, kidney beans and sweetcorn. Add the cumin, oregano, cinnamon and dark chocolate. Bring to the boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

chilli 1

  • If it thickens too much add some of the kidney bean water. Taste and add a splash of lemon juice and salt & pepper (if necessary) and scatter over chopped fresh herbs
  • serve with wholegrain rice, a tortilla wrap or a toasted pitta bread

dirty pots

 

And now I just have the washing up to do!

 

 

 

The big lunch launch

The big lunch launch

The West Bridgford Wire showcased a new exciting initiative that is taking place in Nottingham City centre next week

big lunch

https://westbridgfordwire.com/nottingham-big-lunch-gets-ready-for-launch/?utm_source=West+Bridgford+Wire+Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=3ba7839f08-Wire+Daily+Newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_38341112ed-3ba7839f08-432354685

Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), have come up with this idea, taking place from Monday 21 May to Friday 25 May 2018. The aim is to persuade people to change their normal routine by leaving their desks and encouraging them to get out and discover Nottingham’s amazing choice of eateries.

The only catch is……..

To obtain one of the 1,300 free lunches, you must work at businesses who are BID members.

Establishments that have signed up to this initiative include  Harts, Jamie’s Italian, Pit & Pendulum, Cock & Hoop, Malt Cross, The Castle, The Cheese Shop and The Herbert Kilpin.

I’m happy to support the big lunch because the ‘lunch hour’ is becoming a thing of the past, with workers often forgoing their lunch or eating at their desk.

Time-taken-for-lunch-break-graphics

Image attribution to http://www.savoystewart.co.uk/ .

A lunch break away from your desk (no matter how short) can have both personal and business benefits

  • improves concentration
  • movement makes the body weight bearing
  • potentially increases vitamin D levels
  • releases happy hormones
  • improve productivity, focus and creativity

taco4With a wealth of cafes and eateries in Nottingham you’ve got no excuse for taking a break.  Or why not make a healthy packed lunch including some wholemeal carbs, lots of vegetables or salad and some low fat protein

The weather looks set to be good next week, so folks no excuses leave your desk and workstations and go and find free food

 

Overnight oats

Overnight oats, serves two,  202 calories per serving

overnight oatsThis really is a great way to enjoy fibre rich oats.  When they are soaked overnight they become soft and creamy, and with the addition of some fresh fruit they are also naturally sweet.  So there is no need to add extra sugar, agave or maple syrup.  The oats are low GI and will give you a slow release of energy until lunchtime.  The fruit and the oats will also give you a big burst of fibre; also great for keeping you fuller for longer and for improving your digestive health.  The chia seeds (pronounced chee- ah) not only make the dish firmer but add extra protein and calcium

And there is no reason why this dish has to be limited to just breakfast.  It makes a great dessert or afternoon treat.  The variations below will keep it interesting.

Go on pimp up your oats!!

Serves two,  202 calories per serving

IMG_184860g porridge oats

40 ml coconut water*

120 ml of non dairy milk (coconut, soya or almond milk) *

1 apple – grated

large pinch cinnamon

1 tbls sunflower seeds

1 tsp chia seeds

* If you haven’t got coconut water or indeed don’t like it, not to worry just use 160ml of milk instead

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir, then place in the fridge overnight or at least for 2 hours

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In the morning stir all the ingredients again and add more milk or water if its too thick and serve in a bowl

 

The ingredients can be increased to make more than one serving and can be kept in the fridge for up to three days

 

 

A transportable alternative is using an almost empty peanut butter jar.  Instead of frustrating yourself trying to get out the last bit of peanut butter why not use it as a container for your oats, especially if you are taking it to work

Fill your jar with oats, milk, fruit etc.  Stick on the lid and place in the fridge.  before you leave for work add some more ,ilk or yoghurt (if its too thick) and you’re good to go

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Additions to the basic recipe

1 tbls sultanas – 44 calories

7 (10g) cashew nuts chopped- 60 calories

1 tsp (5g) flaked almonds- 30 calories

2  (10g) apricots, chopped- 18 calories

2 (6g) brazil nuts chopped- 40 calories

1 tsp pumpkin seeds – 28 calories

1 pear, grated – 60 calories

1 tsp (15g) wholenut peanut butter – 96 calories

Private cooking lessons

Private cooking lessons

I regularly run vegan group cooking classes for a maximum of four people, in my 5* rated kitchen in West Bridgford, Nottingham.  These are relaxed and informal affairs that occur at fixed times of day and I decide what recipes you will be cooking

 

If you don’t like the idea of a group cooking session, maybe consider my private 121 sessions. They are ideal if you need to build up your cooking confidence, have more guidance and support, want to tailor the session to a specific dish, ingredient or time of day.

private Vegan cooking class

We will spend about 1 hour and 15 minutes creating a dish that can be of your choosing.  We’ll also have plenty of time for questions about vegan cooking, general nutrition or issues that are personal to you

Have a sneak peek and my kitchen

 

Many of my clients are not vegan but want to reduce their meat consumption, increase their vegetable intake, opt for a more plant based diet, try healthier alternatives or have a vegan in the family and are not sure if the meals they are providing are balanced and nutritious

You can come along for just one session at a cost of £45 or have three for £110.  You will receive a free recipe folder, all the ingredients, equipment, take the dish home and of course my cooking and nutritional know how

Here’s what a few of my other private clients have had to say

review

trip review

 

trip2 review

So if I have inspired you to want to make some healthy, tasty and delicious vegan dishes then please contact me and we can arrange a date and time that works for us both

07946 301338

susan@nutrition-coach.co.uk

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Next yoga and healthy eating class

NEXT YOGA AND HEALTHY EATING CLASS

MONDAY 18TH June 2018 FROM 10.30 – 12.45pm
IN WEST BRIDGFORD
THE COST IS £30

 

yoga nutrition
Why not come and join a small group of mixed ability yoga students practicing gentle, mindful Yoga in a beautiful calm space that has underfloor heating.
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Debbie will guide you through gentle, relaxing but specific movements that will help with general flexibility, mobility, balance and strength.  In a small group like this she can spend time with each person to make sure they are in the correct position to maximise a pose.  The yoga session will close with a guided meditation where you can let go into your body and breath; leaving you feeling relaxed and at ease.

If its nice and sunny we will throw open the patio windows or even spill out on to the lawn

garden

 

This will be followed by a healthy vegan buffet made by me.  We’ll spend time relaxing  around the table and as a trained nutrition coach and chef I will share some of my nutritional expertise, deliver tips for healthy eating and answer any questions.  All whilst you all enjoy a healthy balanced vegan buffet lunch.  Debbie will also be on hand to answer any specific questions about her yoga practice.
Here’s a taste of the food that will tantalise your tastebuds:
Wholesome soup, colourful quinoa salad, herby flatbreads, decadent chocolate pots, banana bread and fresh fruit.  All served with refreshments

This is a great time to get to know your fellow students and to ask us questions about yoga, healthy eating, lifestyle changes etc.

 

 

 

 

The whole event will leave you feeling nourished and balanced.
All this for £30
Contact either Susan on 07946 301338 or Debbie on 07941 526136

We are limited to 8 people so book early to guarantee your place

If we get booked up don’t worry we have more in the pipeline for the rest of the year

Our next ones are  30th July and 13th August – details below

yoga july

 

Yoga nutrition aug

Butternut squash and Chickpea tagine

Butternut squash and Chickpea tagine – serves 4,  approx 350 calories per serving

This is a great meat free Monday recipe – a campaign to encourage people to go meat free at least one day a week.  It is also very versatile and is great with either butternut squash or pumpkin.

moroccan tagine

600 ml (1 pint) boiling water

1 vegetable stock cube, crumbled, or 2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder or paste

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp tomato puree

½ tsp turmeric, ground coriander and cumin

½ tsp of chilli flakes

200g  leeks or onions , washed and thinly sliced

225g sweet potatoes, cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes

600g of butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 cm (½ in) cubes

 

1 red or green pepper, deseeded and chopped

100g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped

1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained (keep the liquid)

Salt and pepper

To garnish

30g  pine nuts, 

Chopped parsley and mint or fresh coriander and mint

Optional: pomegranate seeds and hummus

 

 

pumpkins squash

Make the stock in a jug or saucepan with the boiling water and the stock cube, powder or paste.

 

IMG_8860

 

In a large pan add the oil and fry the butternut squash (or pumpkin), leeks and sweet potatoes for 10 minutes.  Before adding the turmeric, ground coriander, chilli and cumin, cook for 5 minutes.

moroccan tagine

 

Add the tomato puree and red pepper cook for 5 more minutes. Stir to stop it sticking and burning. Add some of the chickpea water if it does stick

 

Add the stock stir in the apricots and chickpeas and simmer for 10 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender.

moroccan tagine

Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a dry non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat, stirring constantly, until just beginning to brown.

pinenuts

Taste the casserole and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.  Ladle it into deep bowls. Sprinkle with the chopped pine nuts and parsley/mint or fresh coriander/mint and serve.

You can also add some brightly coloured pomegranate seeds and a couple of dollops of hummus. And if you’re very hungry add some wholegrain couscous, quinoa or rice

moroccan tagine

 

 

This is one of my cooking guests proudly showing her finished tagine dish

Veg out–The Avenues café Sneinton Market

Veg out – The Avenues café

 

A few weeks ago Nottingham Posts Food Sleuth thought he might have found the ‘best breakfast’ in Nottingham.  Well I think I’ve found another contender, the Avenues café,  Sneinton Market

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I’d heard much about this café from a vegan Facebook group who were regularly singing the Avenues praises, as a place that offered a no-frills vegan breakfast for a very reasonable price

The Avenues cafe

outside

So one Sunday morning I went with my other half to see for myself. The outside is ordinary and understated and the inside continues with that theme.  But don’t let that fool you in to thinking the food will be the same.

coffee

I looked at the menu but only one dish was on my mind; the ‘vegan breakfast’- 3 hashbrowns, 3 vegan sausages, beans, tinned tomatoes, mushrooms, a bubble and squeak pattie, fried bread and wholemeal toast with vegan spread.  Plus a choice of coffee, tea, or juice.  All for an amazing price of  £4.50.  Only a couple of the ingredients are handmade but I suppose that’s how they manage to keep the price so reasonable

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 12.50.58My review also appears online at https://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/best-vegan-breakfast-nottingham-costs-1499844 

Screen Shot 2018-04-26 at 12.51.41

 

 

and via twitter

 

 

 

 

 

My other half ordered the standard meat breakfast, containing all the usual suspects for £4. What I also noticed on the menu was a note saying that the vegan food was all kept and cooked separately, which for someone who choses not to eat meat or any by-product is really good to know.

vegan breakfast

Even though I knew what to expect when my breakfast arrived I couldn’t believe the size of it.  It was all piping hot, well cooked and appetising.  But most importantly it was tasty. The coffee was also good, I had the standard filter and my other half had an Americano, served with a little Biscoff biscuit, which also happens to be vegan.  We didn’t feel rushed so took our time read some of the free papers listening to the chitter chatter of other diners and watched a steady stream of customers come and go.  Everyone thanked the staff for their food and commented on the great prices.

 

If I’d had room I would have ordered another coffee and a slice of vegan cake and although my purse would have coped my waistline wouldn’t.  This café is definitely a place that serves a hearty breakfast at an incredible price and the phrase ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ could have been written for it.  I challenge the food sleuth to pay a visit and maybe they will reconsider which venue offers the best breakfast.

 

Ps I was so full that the next time I had something to eat was that evening and I could only manage a salad

Mac and no cheese

Mac and no cheese – serves 2

This is a great meat free Monday recipe.  You can use any pasta shape and preferably wholemeal for added fibre.  And it makes two generous filling portions

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150g (1 cup) Macaroni

1 (200g) sweet potato (wash but don’t peel), ½ carrot, ½ onion- all chopped

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp turmeric and smoked paprika

large pinch salt , pepper and chilli flakes

300ml (1 ¼ cups) water

100g (¾ cup) soaked cashew nuts

10g  (¼ cup) nutritional yeast

3 tbls vegan spread or olive oil

1 tbls lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

 

ingredients

ingredients

Put the macaroni on to boil, cook as per packet instructions

chopped veg

chopped veg

 

Chop the veg place in saucepan, add water, garlic cloves, salt, turmeric, chilli, paprika, pepper and cook until soft (15 minutes.)

 

 

 

 

nutritional yeast

nutritional yeast

In a blender add the cashew nuts, lemon juice, vegan spread/oil/, mustard and nutritional yeast.  Add the cooked veg and the stock.  Blend. Do this in separate batches if you have a small blender and mix it all together in the pan.  If the sauce is too thick use some of the reserved cooked pasta water

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If the blender cup becomes difficult to open (due to the heat of the ingredients) wear a pair of clean washing up gloves to get a better grip

 

 

 

 

Drain the cooked pasta (keep the water), add it back to the pan and tip in the sauce

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Mix will.  If the mix is still too thick add some more of the reserved pasta water. Taste and adjust seasoning.

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Serve in a bowl topped half a sliced avocado and a large mixed salad

 

Optional additional step.  Before topping with avocado, mix a handful of breadcrumbs, ½ tsp garlic salt, 2 tsp olive oil, 5g nutritional yeast and 2 tsp mixed herbs together and scatter over the top of the dish.

Bake in a hot oven (170oC fan/190oC/gas 5) for 10 minutes until brown and crispy.

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Then serve with the avocado and a large salad

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“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

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

“Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet

Do you think you eat a balanced diet or are you confused about what a balanced diet looks like?

I’m seeing more and more clients who seem lost and confused about what to eat and what not to eat

thai-tofu-curryEating a nutritious, balanced diet will help you improve your overall health. In particular, a balanced diet can help:

  • Reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure
  • Reduce your chances of getting cancer
  • Give you more energy
  • Keep you well
  • improve weight loss
  • Improve your bowel health
  • Your skin, nails and hair look healthier

 

The two key elements to a healthy balanced diet are:

  • Eat the right amount of food for how active you are, and
  • Eat a variety of foods – this is where the ‘balance’ comes in

healthy eating advice

The “Must haves” for a healthy balanced diet should include:

  • fruit-and-veg-225x300Plenty of fruit and vegetables – at least 5 portions a day. Think ‘A rainbow of colour’.  And if its convenient use fresh, frozen or tinned
  • Fruit like grapefruit or melon eaten before a meal can help fill you up so you are less likely to overeat on higher calorie foods
  • Small amounts of bread, rice, potatoes, pasta and other starchy foods (choosing wholegrain varieties when possible)
  • Some milk, dairy or plant-based alternative likes (soya, oat, nut etc).  Aim for 3 servings a day.
  • Sufficient protein such as tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs.  Aim to eat low fat protein at every main meal.
  • Just a small amount of foods high in fat, sugar and salt
  • Keep within the safe alcohol limits (14 units a week for men and women).  Its also advised to have alcohol free days
  • activity exercise walkingDrink plenty of water, about 6-8 glasses (or other fluids) every day: more if you exercise or if the weather is hot
  • Green tea contains two compounds; caffeine and catechins, that may boost your metabolism for a couple of hours.
  • Stay active – aim for 150 minutes of activity a week.  this can include classes at a gym, running, weight training.  But equally housework, gardening, walking and dancing can all count too

 

Some people make the mistake of thinking that because they are eating healthy food they can eat more of it.  This can lead to weight gain in the same way that eating unhealthy foods can, because all foods have calories!

Follow this portion guide and you won’t go far wrong

  • A healthy 75g serving of protein (tofu, Quorn, quinoa, nuts, beans, meat, fish, eggs) is the same size as the palm of your hand
  • A medium potato is the same size as your computer mouse
  •   A serving of dairy is:
    • 200ml of milk or plant based alternative – regardless of full-fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed.
    • 30g hard cheese (including non dairy): around the same size as a matchbox
    • 150g of plain or fruit yoghurt.
  • A medium piece of fruit is the same size as your fist
  • pasta-portionA serving of rice is half a teacup or 75g (uncooked), which weighs 125g when cooked
  • A serving of pasta is 75g uncooked which weighs 170g when cooked al dente
  • A serving of vegetables is about 80g or about 2 tablespoons
  • A teaspoon of butter or margarine is the size of the tip of your thumb.
  • A unit of alcohol is half a pint of standard strength (3 to 5% ABV) beer, lager or cider, or a single pub measure of spirit. A 175 ml glass of wine is about 2 units and alcopops are about 1.5 units. A bottle of white wine has up to 9 units and 650 calories

If your diet is in a bit of a tailspin, then why not contact me for some nutritional advice

what i do 4