Make your own Christmas Chocolates
All throughout December you can come along and make your own Christmas Chocolates
Check out my video of a previous chocolate cooking class
All throughout December you can come along and make your own Christmas Chocolates
Check out my video of a previous chocolate cooking class
The other day I drove up Carlton Road, near the bottom of the hill close to Sneinton Market and I spotted a new restaurant called Pistachio, serving modern Persian cuisine. After checking them out on the Internet, my friend and I paid them a visit later that week. We arrived early (5.30) and were seated in an almost empty restaurant; fingers crossed it fills up.
As we perused the menu, we noticed a sign saying ‘cash only’. Oh no, we started counting our money and pooling resources. Phew we’d have enough to share a starter and a mains each!
My review is also online at Nottinghamshire live https://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/food-drink/veggie-review-nottinghams-new-persian-1956310
Our server, Orash who was also the owner said there was a free cash machine a few hundred metres away. But be warned, cards (at the moment) are not accepted
On to the food; the menu highlighted vegetarian options, but I didn’t know if they were also vegan. The owner was able to swiftly set our minds at rest and pointed out the suitable dishes; at least a couple of starters and 3 of the mains courses were either vegan or could be made vegan by taking out yoghurt for instance. We settled on aubergine and walnut dip to share as a starter, and then tangy & herby vegetarian stew and roasted aubergine and split pea vegetarian stew for mains
In the meantime we were served tap water. Our hot starter arrived and it was delicious and so flavoursome, and ample enough for two as it came with warm Persian bread. It also has some nice textures thanks to the parsnip crisps and the crunchy toasted walnuts. What a great start.
Our main courses were equally as generous. The tangy stew was packed with red kidney beans (loads of low fat protein) and lots of herbs and spices that didn’t overpower the dish. It also held a hidden ingredient: a pickled lemon, which was a tasty surprise. The accompanying rice made it nice and filling, although wholegrain rice would have been a healthier option.
The Aubergine stew had a really comforting texture and again the split peas added a decent amount of low fat protein. The handful of dry and crispy chips sitting on top was another pleasant surprise. Both dishes were really tasty and packed with flavour they also looked very appetising. The total bill was just shy of £25, well worth the money
This is a really lovely restaurant, the décor is bright and modern, the open kitchen allows you to see what’s going on and the staff are the right side of attentive. And on a positive note by the time we left well over half the tables were full of happy chatting customers
As we were leaving the owner said they were considering putting on vegan only nights. So they could offer greater choice without the risk of cross contamination on the open grill. We will definitely look out for that
Tuesday 2nd October , 6pm – 8.15pm
After you’ve made and tasted your chocolaty delights and have a surge of healthy feel good hormones, join Karen in a gentle yin yoga practise concentrating on the heart energy and meridians. When the heart energy is balanced we feel balanced, alive, vital, warm, nourished, inner peace and harmonious.
A good self care regime ensures that we have enough energy to give out to others, if we always give out and never receive we become out of balance. Come and practice with her to top up your cup.
Be nourished, joyful, have fun, make and eat chocolate, laugh and indulge in you.
All this for only £30
I’ve teamed up with Philippa Bottrill, Newark’s top pilates teacher and business woman (She features regularly in the Nottinghamshire Aspect magazine), to bring you a wonderful half-day workshop that will leave you feeling nourished and balanced.
We will start at 10am with mindful movement and meditation, reconnecting you with your body. Feeling the movements and allow yourself to be totally present – when we work slowly like this, present is the only place you can be.
Then to follow a guided meditation to allow yourself to connect with your inner world and finally a relaxing, transforming group hypnosis session to leave you feeling absolutely gorgeous, more than enough, lovable YOU than you are.
We’ll finish with a healthy balanced vegan buffet lunch prepared by me. We’ll spend time relaxing around the table getting to know each other and I will share some of my nutritional expertise and deliver tips to put you back in the driving seat for your health and wellbeing. The event will close at 1pm
There will also be plenty of opportunities to ask any questions you may have about healthy eating and lifestyle choices.
We’ve developed this workshop for those of you who lead such busy, full lives that you can often feel disconnected from yourself. It is a chance to spend some time on YOU and will be a wonderful way of rebalancing your mind and nourishing your body.
There is no need to bring anything with you. We suggest you wear loose, comfortable clothing that you can easily move around in. Please let us know of any dietary requirements such as allergies.
The total cost for this wonderful nurturing experience is £35. Places are limited to 10 so please book early to avoid disappointment
This Saturday sees the return of the annual Taste of Rushcliffe food festival, where local suppliers and stall holders show off their produce. There will also be cooking demonstration, children’s activities and of course I will be giving away healthy vegan food and taking part in a couple of vegan food demos
Have a look at the ‘Taste of Rushcliffe’ Facebook page for more details https://www.facebook.com/events/892342834267315/
This time I will be giving away an oaty fruit dessert called overnight oats. And the children can pimp it up with pumpkin seeds, blueberries and spiralised apple string.
And mixing the overnight oats so they can absorb all those lovely flavours
I am trying to be more eco friendly this year, so all our cups are disposable and recyclable (please make sure you throw away your empties in the right bin bag). The cutlery will also be recyclable. A few portions of the dessert will be served in these cute jam jars, that need to be brought back when empty so they can be thoroughly cleaned and reused. I’m happy to serve you a portion in your own jam jar
So if you want a break from the football come down to Bridgford Park this Saturday and say hello
The Botanist on Bridgford Road opened last autumn on the site of the former ‘Fire and Ice’. Its theme is plant based cocktails using herbs and botanicals.
But on the occasion I visited with my friend we were only interested in its new vegan menu. So with much anticipation our server brought it to us, and then it was decision time
I also love the fact that their website showcases its vegan menu
While we waited for the first course it gave us time to take in our surroundings; lots of exposed brick, a variety of tables for couples to large groups and good music that wasn’t too loud. They also have live music on certain nights.
And then the starter arrived and it looked so appetising.
It had some lovely peppery rocket too and a generous portion of mushrooms. The taste didn’t disappoint either it had a deep intense mushroom flavour, and it was certainly big enough for two (£5.25). I would definitely order it again
You can also view my review online at Nottingham Post
Our main courses were also a feast for the eyes. The Malaysian vegetable curry (£9.95) had such a vibrant colour and chunky vegetables that were definitely al dente
I had a sneaky taste of my friends dish and it was very well flavoured with a nice amount of heat. The addition of peas to the rice provided a pop of colour and some much needed protein. To make the meal more balanced the addition of cashew nuts, edamame beans or tofu would have added protein
The accompanying generous salad was light and crunchy with crisp apples and walnuts. A flavour that goes really well with beetroot is horseradish, so maybe an adaptation for this dish would be to serve a horseradish dressing.
My empty board says it all!!
On that note what’s your thoughts about boards, especially as a vegan if the board had previously had a steak on it?!
We decided it would be rude not to have a pudding, we chose to share the banana, peanut butter and chocolate ice-cream (£5.50). It made a pleasant change from the ubiquitous fresh fruit salad or sorbet
The taste was amazing but the portion for the price was a bit meagre. A good addition would have been some roasted or griddled bananas
Overall we were really impressed with the separate vegan menu, the service was very efficient and friendly and the surroundings were very comfortable.
Definitely a place that vegans and non vegans can enjoy
For various reasons many of you are trying ‘veganuary’, a world wide Campaign to encourage people to be vegan for the whole of January.
As you know I was a lifelong vegetarian and a recent convert to vegananism and I’m always on the look out for new places to try that are either wholly vegan/vegetarian or have great vegan options. And No 12 Hounds Gate in the City centre (formerly the white rabbit teahouse) is a great new find. It’s a small independent vegan/vegetarian café run by a young couple, Ritchie and Lauren who pride themselves on making dishes from scratch using locally sourced ingredients and suppliers.
And their promise is that anything on the menu can be made vegan
They shut at 4.30, so my friend and I decided to have a very late lunch or was it an early tea and arrived at 3pm, there was not a seat to be had. But the other visitors kindly moved around and with some rejigging and many apologetic smiles for nudging and bumping we were seated.
Now time to concentrate on the menu and the specials board. We were spoilt for choice I didn’t know whether to have an open sandwich, with some delicious and unusual sounding fillings, a robust salad or make up my own Buddha bowl. But we both agreed we needed to save some room for a pudding!
In the end I opted for Pastrami and wholegrain – homemade vegan pastrami, wholegrain mustard, mayo, sauerkraut, gooey vegan cheese and rocket served on toasted bread for £5. My friend ordered the ‘special’ warm roasted carrot salad with quinoa, mint, clementine, cranberry’s, vegan cheese and walnuts for £7.50
Check out my review online at the Nottingham Post http://www.nottinghampost.com/whats-on/food-drink/vegan-reviewer-cant-fault-nottingham-1089499
When my open sandwich arrived it looked pretty impressive, as was the large carrot salad. Both looked beautiful, but equally as important they tasted delicious and not to miss out we shared the dishes. Ritchie and Lauren had somehow elevated the humble carrot to being the star of the show and I still don’t know how they made the pastrami but it was amazing and each mouthful had so many different flavours and textures.
After a suitable gap we decided to share a pudding and opted for the ‘special’ toasted homemade banana bread with vegan peanut butter and chocolate ice cream topped with caramelised walnuts for £4. Now who wouldn’t want to tuck in to that and we weren’t disappointed when it arrived. It was gooey, chocolatey and peanut buttery. I was very pleased we decided to share because it was a rather generous portion
I would highly recommend this café to anyone. The owners are very accommodating and engaging and were happy to talk to us about their plans for the future of the café. It has a very sociable feel to it, partly because it is so cosy and the tables are quite close together.
We were the last to leave and the closed sign had just been put up but a young couple were standing outside in the cold looking at the menu so Ritchie said they could come in and eat something whist they tidied up the café. How kind is that
5 weightloss tips
Walk as much as possible, not only will you burn calories, build muscle and strengthen bones but you’ll enjoy being in the great outdoors and benefit from all those happy hormones
Learn to relax
When we are stressed we release hormones like cortisol and that can cause us to overeat; increased levels of the hormone can cause higher insulin levels, your blood sugar drops and you crave sugary, fatty foods.
Find ways to unwind, that could be listening to music, spending time in the garden, having a cup of tea, meditating, have a calming bath, walking the dog etc
Make the calories count
Reduce the amount of high fat and high sugar foods in your diet, and limit them to occasional treats. Replace biscuits, sweets, cakes, crisps, fast food, pastries etc with fresh fruit, dried fruit, small amounts of dark chocolate and nuts, grilled versions of your fried favourites or smaller portions
Seek professional support
That could be a slimming group, buddying up with a pal and visiting a gym or coming to see someone like me who could help you make small but permanent changes or help you make healthy nutritious meals at my cookery classes.
You don’t have to be 100% perfect 100% of the time. Try and incorporate in to your lifestyle 80% of actions and intentions that help you achieve your goal like the four tips above. That leaves 20% of your lifestyle that doesn’t necessarily help to achieve your goal but you enjoy, such as treats, fast food and less exercise.
Vegan Banana and peanut butter Bread –12 slices
This is a great way to use up ripe bananas that might otherwise end up in the bin or composter. You can also defrost and use any ripe bananas that you have in the freezer. An extra addition could be 1 tbsp cacao powder, but you will need to add 1 tbsp water to keep the same consistency
I baked this very cake for the visitors at Maggie’s cancer support centre, in Nottingham. A very kind person sent me this message
“Just been to Maggie’s Susan and had some of your lovely banana cake. X”
225g Plain flour (or use Self-raising flour and no baking powder)
2 tsp of Baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water – mixed together
100g Brown/coconut sugar or 75g agave/maple syrup/golden syrup/date syrup
2 tsp Cinnamon or Mixed spice
1 tbsp cacao powder and 1 tbsp water (optional)
4 large very ripe bananas, mashed
75g (80ml) Vegetable or Sunflower oil
120g wholenut peanut butter
2lb loaf tin and grease proof paper or liners
This short video shows the cakes consistency and how easy it is to prepare the loaf tin when using a paper liner