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SPICED FRUIT STEW - COLADA MORADA (V+, NF, GF, CHF, GRF)

SPICED FRUIT STEW - COLADA MORADA (V+, NF, GF, CHF, GRF)

In honour of Halloween, I'm sharing this delicious recipe for vegan spiced fruit stew.

Turn back the clock by about 6 years: It’s the morning of Halloween. I frantically run to the supermarket, get a family sized pack of miniature milk chocolate bars and - that evening - hand them out to unassuming children after they have politely rung our doorbell and chanted ‘trick-or-treat’. 

Of course there are left-over chocolate bars. There always are. I eat 1-2 (honest ;)) and then take the rest into the office at the earliest opportunity, causing a handful of work colleagues to abandon their diets and yet strangly feel better for it; at least temptation is no longer within my four walls.

Fast forward: I become a mother. Then I learn more about nutrition. Then I question my actions...

UPDATED! BACK-TO-SCHOOL GRANOLA (V+, GF, V, NF, CHF) & HOME-MADE SEED MILK (V+, R, P, GF, NF, CHF, GRF)

UPDATED! BACK-TO-SCHOOL GRANOLA (V+, GF, V, NF, CHF) & HOME-MADE SEED MILK (V+, R, P, GF, NF, CHF, GRF)

NOTE: The pictures were updated and the recipe improved in June 2015.

Hello friends! If you are here for the easy, scrummy and fabulous Back-to-School Granola and Home-Made Seed Milk recipe, please scroll down to the end of the blog post. You'll find the delicious vegan recipes there. If you're happy to read me rambling on about my son's first day of school, then please read on and get to the recipe later!

I write this blog entry on my 4-year-old son’s first day of school (which is a few weeks ago by now). I had mixed emotions, to say the least, about him starting his formal education so young and would have preferred he spent another year or two climbing trees instead and letting his imagination run roit. But alas, the English education system didn’t allow for it. 

My son must have picked up on my feelings as - before starting – he said he thought school was 'dumb' (I think he’d have loved to have used the ‘S....D’ word, but that isn’t permitted in our house – just for your info ;)). However, to my surprise, he whizzed into class today with a big smile on his face, barely able to contain his excitement. In fact, he was so quick he never did see my tears (Thank you God!). 

And his verdict at the end of the day when I asked how school was? ‘GOOD', which in 4-year-old-boy-speak means 'FAB, I LOVED IT, IT'S TOTALLY GREAT.' 

UPDATED! SWEET POTATO PIE SMOOTHIE (V+, P, GF, NF, CHF, GRF)

UPDATED! SWEET POTATO PIE SMOOTHIE (V+, P, GF, NF, CHF, GRF)

NOTE: The pictures and recipe for this blog post were updated and improved in October, 2015.

This post is dedicated to all the breast cancer thrivers and survivors out there!

Hi all! If you're here for the warming, autumn-inspired and easy Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie recipe, please scroll down to the end of the blog post. You'll find the mouth-watering vegan recipe there. If you're happy to read my thoughts on Breast Cancer Awareness month, please read on and get to the recipe later.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and there is no way I'm not using this blog to raise awareness about the C word!!! Because, shall I tell you a secret? I HATE Cancer. I LOATH it. I DESPISE it! I've never had it (Thank you God), but too many people I know have and it's ain't pretty. 

I particularly dislike breast cancer; as a woman this illness evokes very strong sentiments in me and as someone who works in a predominantly female office (I'm an adoption social worker), I feel I'm constantly surrounded by it or the threat of it. That is because I am...

(ALMOST RAW) BEETROOT CRISPS/CHIPS (V+, P, NF, GF, GRF, CHF)

(ALMOST RAW) BEETROOT CRISPS/CHIPS (V+, P, NF, GF, GRF, CHF)

Hi everyone. If you're here for the fun, easy and yummy (almost raw) beetroot crisps/chips recipe, please scroll down to the end of the blog post. You'll find the delectable vegan recipe there. If you're happy to read about me enthusing on my amazingly talented sister Sumera, then please read on and get to the recipe later!

Today is a pretty special day. I mean a super special day. I mean a super duper special day because my little sister’s first single from her first album has been unleashed! (I mentioned my sister Sumera before, here and here, remember?) (WHOOOOOOOOO!!!!! HOOORRRAAAYYYY!!! YIIIHHAAAA). Oh man, our entire family – in London, Spain, Holland, Ecuador, Colombia, Portugal, the Caribbean, the US - EVERYONE is oh so excited, proud and over the moon that all her hard work has resulted in the masterpiece that is WOLF. And this spot in cyberspace is MY opportunity to brag about Sumera because I am utterly and completely besotted with her work.

UPDATED! HOME-MADE ALMOND MILK (V+, P, R, GF, CHF, GRF)

UPDATED! HOME-MADE ALMOND MILK (V+, P, R, GF, CHF, GRF)

NOTE: The pictures for this blog post were updated September, 2015. 

Hello readers! If you are here for the easy, appetising and fun home-made almond milk recipe, then please scroll down to the end of the blog post. You'd find the scrummy vegan recipe there. If you're happy to read my musings on my family's plant-based food journey, then please read on and get to the recipe later.

Let me be open and clear: As I write this post, we are not a dairy-free household. (Ouf, glad that’s out in the open and no, I am not planning a Swiss fondue recipe for the blog any time soon, in case you were wondering). Although I personally don’t consume any dairy and would love it if my husband and my son didn’t either, the reality is, they do. To be frank, I am ok about it because I appreciate that they have to find their own path in their own sweet time. I see my role not to judge them but to offer as many (better) alternatives as I can. I’d also like to stress though that I have the utmost respect for families who take a more definite and decisive vegan approach. Fantastic, amazing, wonderful :), I may even be a tad jealous, but I also know it’s just not for us. 

Like I mentioned last week, we are really only just embarking on our plant-based journey and still have a long way to go. But it’s so exciting to be at the start of something so big; I love this moment right now, right here and all it has to offer in the form of new discoveries and the shape of awesome opportunities. Importantly though we’re making lots of big steps in the right direction, but ...

DOROTHY'S NOURISHING QUINOA BOWL (V+, NF, GF, CHF)

DOROTHY'S NOURISHING QUINOA BOWL (V+, NF, GF, CHF)

“…and the next moment all of them were filled with wonder. For they saw, standing in just the spot the screen had hidden, a little old man, with a bald head and a wrinkled face, who seemed to be as much surprised as they were.” ― L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

I don’t know how you see me. I don’t know if you visualise me snacking on carrot sticks, or better yet, never snacking at all. If you imagine me meditating for hours on end, before gracefully drinking my green juice. Or if you think I float out of my daily (!) yoga class whilst reading a book about the power of Vitamin C. If so, please erase these images from your mind, as they are as true as Dorothy’s image of the Great Wizard of Oz. (Although, if truth be told, I am rather partial to a little green juice ;)). 

Today’s recipe is easy, quick, filling, versatile, uncomplicated and visually attractive. Enjoy!

THE GREAT BRITISH RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUD (V+, V, R, P, GF, NF, CHF, GRF)

THE GREAT BRITISH RAW VEGAN CHOCOLATE PUD (V+, V, R, P, GF, NF, CHF, GRF)

As you know from last week’s post, I’m on a mission to show that British food can be beautiful and tasty. So during my second and final week of celebrating British Food Fortnight I wanted to show off what food culture in this country is really all about and tackle a national favourite: The British pud! Or in this case, the Great British Raw Vegan Chocolate pud!

Just like last week, I used cookbooks from the 1920s, 1930s and 1950s as my starting point. This time around, the thing that struck me was how much space each cookbook dedicated to desserts. In fact, about 50% of each cookbook was solely and completely about the art of preparing a good pudding that would make your fellow middle class female friends grind their teeth with envy and blush in awe. Fascinating stuff this thing of stepping back in time. 

Looking through those cookbooks also showed me how the Brits’ obsession with a good old pud goes wayyyyyy back. It’s practically in their DNA. So the pressure of coming up with the goods was on. 

CURRIED ROOT VEG SOUP WITH BEET CRISPS (V+, P, GF, NF, GrF)

CURRIED ROOT VEG SOUP WITH BEET CRISPS (V+, P, GF, NF, GrF)

Hi everyone! If you're here for the deliciously fun and easy Curried Root Veg Soup with Beet Crisps, then please scroll down to the end of the blog post. You'd find the mouth-watering vegan recipe there. If you're happy to read my musings on my eye-opening recent trip to the US, then please read on and get to the recipe later.

Earlier this year, my 4-year-old son and I (my husband joined us later) took an epic journey to the Americas. We’d talked about the trip for weeks and were both beyond excited as we boarded our plane on a Thursday evening and set off to the first of many destinations: Miami, Florida. 

To be frank, I had been quite nervous about travelling and especially about visiting the States (You know, I always feel rather overwhelmed and saddened by the excessive availability of cheap, unhealthy convenience foods on offer when I enter the US  and I was worried about how my son would manage this new and surely tempting experience. (He was fine by the way)). 

I knew that cooking and eating healthily far away from the comforts of my own kitchen wouldn’t be straight forward, so I needed to do lots of pre-planning and thinking about how best to make it all work. Sure, I didn’t want to obsess about food either, but I certainly wanted to be cautious and avoid any processed, (factory farmed) animal-based foods, if at all possible.

The flight went well. I brought a lot of healthy food with me and bought some water at the airport, meaning we ate really well and stayed hydrated for the whole of the plane journey. What I hadn’t expected was what happened at passport control…

We were met by a grumpy, but chatty border control officer who questioned me about why - as an American Citizen - I had chosen to live permanently in London. He told me that the idea of living in the UK repulsed him (WT??!!). I asked him why and he explained that he thought British food was awful – pickled eels, toad-in-a-hole, mad cow disease. I was gobsmacked! After a 9.5 hour flight all I could come up with was a bitchy stammer which went something like this: ‘Gosh I think British food has moved on since then [insert – I pulled some faces and muttered some inaudible nonsense].’ And his comeback was – horse meat! 

I was so furious but annoyingly couldn’t utter a single word beyond the ones noted above. I have jet lag as my excuse OK?! But of course the responses I should have given him came thick and fast hours even days later as the scene played itself out in my mind again and again:

''Have you ever even been to the UK? Have you ever tried picked eels or toad in a hole or any other traditional British dishes? Have you thought about where your meat comes from and how it is produced? You a…..e!''

Of course, I have no chance to go back and say these things. So the best comeback I have got is to post 2 cracking dishes on the blog for British Food Fortnight, dedicated to the place I currently call home. I hope my food speaks louder than any words I could have said, as I aim to show that British food can be sexy, tasty and good.