Carrot houmous

I saw this idea made by Michel Roux Jr. in his new TV show called Hidden Restaurants. I thought it’s a fab idea, so I made my own recipe. He didn’t mention any quantities, so I’ve adapted and I’ve added lots of carrots for an extra healthy kick. I like houmous and I like the one with all sort of different flavours like Asparagus houmous, Houmous with sundried tomatoes and even Baked Houmous.

Carrot houmous

The quantities I’ve used are enough for 3 main portions or 2 main portions and a dip for later. My husband and I eat houmous as a main and I always do big portions. Use only a forth of the ingredients if you want to make only a small batch, as a dip.

Ingredients:
– 200g dried chickpeas
– 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
– 500g carrots
– 2 spoons of oil
– 75g tahini
– 3 cloves of garlic
– 6-8 spoons of lemon juice
– 1 tsp cumin
– 2 tsp sea salt
– 1/2 tsp ground coriander
– 1/2 tsp coriander leaves
– 1/2 tsp dried garlic
– white pepper

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Pea and mint dip

I buy pea and mint dip quite often, but I have lots of mint in the garden, so today I’ve decided to make my own after reading a few recipes yesterday. It turned out delicious and it’s made with only a handful of ingredients. I will make this dip again, as it takes only a few minutes to make and I can control how much salt and oil I add. A quarter of this dip means you get 1 of your recommended 5 a day. It’s so easy to add a bit of veggies in the diet while making everything taste amazing.

01 Pea and mint dip

I would recommend using vegetable oil for the dip, rapeseed or sunflower. Olive oil has a strong flavour and I think it wouldn’t compliment the flavour of the peas and the mint.

Pea and mint dip

I used Apple mint, Spearmint and Garden mint, three of the four types of mint I grow in my garden. If you don’t have different types of mint, you can use fresh mint from the supermarket. For 350g peas I’ve used half of the leaves photographed here. I wasn’t sure how much mint I would need. I used the rest to add flavour to a big mug of green tea.

Ingredients:
– fresh leaves of Apple mint
– fresh leaves of Spearmint
– fresh leaves of Garden mint
– 350g frozen pois peas
– lemon juice from 1/2 lemon
– 2 spoons of rapeseed oil
– sea salt
– white pepper

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Rainbow of smoothies

I wanted to make something special, smoothie-related because I celebrated 1 year of daily smoothies and soups. I will talk about this on ancaslifestyle, my lifestyle blog in a few days, if you fancy a read.
In the end I made 7 smoothies, being a play on eat-the-rainbow. I made a list with what I’ve used in every smoothie. All are vegan because I rarely have a smoothie that is not vegan. When it comes to adding liquid in my smoothies I prefer 150ml natural juice and a bit of water. Two smoothies are made with soy milk. I don’t drink often soy milk, but I had one opened in the fridge and I used it in smoothies to see how it is. I liked it.
I didn’t use any sweetener in my smoothies, neither I or my husband like sweet smoothies these days.

Rainbow of smoothies

I looked for ideas regarding the smoothies, especially for the blue one. Sadly I couldn’t find any suitable blue smoothies. There were two options, not very helpful for me. The first one was blue food colouring. I can’t say I understand why anybody would like to add food colouring in a smoothie. I have nothing against food colouring in a cake and I use coloured fondant. But in a smoothie… those should be healthy and packed with superfoods. That brings me to the second option, Blue Majik spirulina, it’s blue instead of the usual green one. While that is a great option, is a spirulina, so healthy, it’s not available in shops around UK. Of course, there was the option of Blue Curaçao, but, again, not exactly perfect for a healthy smoothie.

The rest of the smoothies were easy to make. I liked all of them. The red beetroot smoothie has an earthy taste that I enjoyed. My husband wasn’t keen on it, but he doesn’t like beetroot. The orange carrot smoothie was delicious, I really like carrot smoothies. I think this is the only way I would eat raw carrots.
The yellow Turmeric smoothie was lovely. Turmeric has an intense flavour and it overpowers everything else. The Green smoothie was made with spirulina powder. It has a lovely colour and the flavour is very nice. We have spirulina smoothies quite often. The blue one was a classic smoothie with fruits, lovely as usual. The indigo smoothie was one of my favourites because of its colour. The last one, purple, was delicious too.

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Chickpeas and roasted peppers stew

I love chickpeas, but I usually make houmous because it’s something both my husband and I love. This time I’ve decided to make a stew with some roasted peppers I already had. For this chickpeas and peppers stew I’ve used brown chickpeas, dried. After reading a lot on how to prepare the dried chickpeas I tried a few different ways to boil them and I finally discovered the best way. The chickpeas will take only 30 minutes to 1 hour to boil, if they are prepared the night before, and that takes only 1 minute to do. I think it’s well worth the bother to do that.
The dish is so good that I’ll make it again and again. The stew is made with only 3 main ingredients. It’s also vegan, low in fat and healthy.

Chickpeas and roasted peppers stew

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 150g dried chickpeas
– 2tsp of bicarbonate of soda
– 4 green peppers
– 1 can of plum tomatoes
– 3 spoons of oil
– salt
– black pepper
– garlic powder

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Tomato and avocado dip

I shared a recipe for an avocado dip and in an attempt to make the dip lower in calories, I thought of this vegan tomato and avocado dip. It’s great as a side for chips or it can go great with crisps/tortillas as a snack or a dipping sauce for veggies.
From the ingredients listed below, there is enough dip for 2 servings as a side or up to 8 servings as a dipping sauce. The sauce is ready in a couple of minutes, but you need a food processor to make it.

01 Tomato and avocado dip

Ingredients:
– 2 ripe medium size avocados
– 2 big tomatoes, ripe
– 2 cloves of garlic
– 1/2 tsp of mustard
– sea salt
– pepper
– paprika
– onion powder
– 1 spoon of rapeseed oil

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White Fennel Soup

I had some veggies in the fridge that I wanted to use, so I thought a soup would be great with breakfast sandwiches. I really like the combination between soup and sandwich, as I think I mentioned a few times on my blog. This time I’ve made a fennel soup and it turned out delicious. Even my husband liked it and he is not that keen on the taste of fennel. To decorate the soup I’ve used edible flowers. Be prepared to see them on my blog, now that I have them.

The soup is made with only 3 veggies, a little bit of olive oil and spices. It’s easy to make, it takes only 15 minutes to serve.

01 white vegan fennel soup

Ingredients for 2 servings:
– 1 fresh fennel
– 1 medium potato
– 1 small shallot or half of a medium size shallot
– 2 tps of extra-virgin olive oil
– sea salt
– white pepper
– edible flowers to decorate

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Vegan pasta with cashew and peas

When I’m making pasta, I usually rely on cheese to make the sauce. But as I want to make more vegan recipes and I had no soft cheese in the fridge, I’ve decided to try a cashew and veggie sauce. It was delicious. The recipes I saw had nutritional yeast and maybe that gives a cheesy taste. I didn’t have, so I’ll have to try the recipe again with yeast.
My recipe sauce is not a substitute for the cheese sauce, but it’s something I loved and I would happily eat again.

01 Vegan pasta with cashew and peas

Ingredients for 4 servings:
– 300g wholemeal pasta
– 150g cashew
– 2 medium size carrots
– 1 big onion
– 1 small can of peas
– 2 spoons of oil
– 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
– salt, white pepper, paprika, turmeric
– dried parsley to garnish

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