Spring Greens – Riverford

Unruly and delicious! Spring Greens from Riverford are a huge spring hit, come to think of it so is every single food we are gifted in Spring. Nearly every week I have had these added to the order and they are the perfect hardy greens. These immature cabbages with wild style leaves certainly add character to any kitchen. Spring Greens are mostly like Kale as they do not have the hard head at the centre, I like to call them baby cabbages and they are a real source of nourishment if not over cooked. I just steam mine for around 5 minutes to loosen up all the goodies!

They do not have an overpowering ‘cabbagey’ taste which makes them perfect for adding to the boys mash for their dose of greenery!
Low in calories and bursting with nutrient goodness this vegetable is not one to be missed. Containing high levels of Vitamins A, C & K, and with fiber, iron and calcium all included too Spring Greens surely are a winner for the heart.

Check them out for yourself for only £1.75 per 350g from Riverford.co.uk.

 🙂

Squash & Sqweeze Soup


Yum, yum, yummy! Another pea green soup! How fun. The possibilities are endless, I never thought one could get so excited over soup! Every night it is on the menu I cannot wait to get cooking.

Try tonight’s soup.

Ingredients:

1/2 Kombocha Squash* **
200g Swede* **
100g Swiss Chard* **
1tblsp Good hemp oil
1 Average size Bay Leaf* **
1 dessertspoon Superfoodies Desiccated Coconut*
A pinch of Pink Salt
Water for steaming

* Organic
** From Riverford Organic Farms

Method:

Wash and chop all the vegetables.
Add the squash and swede to a steamer for 5 minutes then add the Chard and Bay leaf, further steam for 10 minutes.
Pour away most of the steaming water.
Add the Oil, Coconut and Salt and blend until smooth.

Serve hot. Delicious 🙂

Broccoli & Onion Potatoes Roasted in Hemp Oil

Ingredients:

850g Small Organic Orla Potatoes
1/4 Organic Broccoli
1 Organic Onion
1 tbsp Hemp Oil
Pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt
Non bleached Parchment Paper

Method:

Preheat oven to Gas mark 6.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and add to oven.
Slice the potatoes and add to the baking tray. Pour over the oil and salt and using your hands coat and glaze the potatoes well, laying them flat in the tray. Add to the oven.
Next chop the broccoli and onion then add the veg to the steamer for approx 10 minutes. Drain off any water and blend until smooth.
After 45 minutes of cooking the potatoes add the sauce. Further heat until the sauce has slightly browned.

Allow to slightly before serving.

Bergamot & Rocket Topped Salad For Lunch

Healthy and organic lunchtime recipe.

After realising the goodness and feeling the health benefits in my digestive system I feel it is still important to have food in the diet which needs chewing therefore I have allocated lunch to being this meal with breakfast as a smoothie and dinner as a soup, with NO snacking in between!
Until Thursday morning whatever I do is my trial period (LOL!). No seriously I simply cannot do this greed and sweet craving bull anymore so with a little help from my friend I have devised a plan and intend to do the best I can to stick to it eliminating everything that is making me unwell including stress. It has become deeply apparent that a huge trigger to me delving into mindless munching is a lack of stress management. I can go from being the happiest doll you ever met with sunshine literally beaming from me looking like I met the man of my dreams and actively living in a beautifully confident way to instantly being drained of all colour and not caring about anything but ingesting sweetness. I can see where the phrase “sweet enough already” comes from, when I don’t feel ‘sweet’ I mindlessly fill up on such foods, seriously screwing myself in the long run! Not the progression I need. Nevertheless I seek change and righteousness with an almighty force from within so I will achieve my goal and here’s the perfect lunch to help me do so…

Organic Lunchtime Salad Recipe

1x handful of Riverford Mixed Salad leaves + a few leaves to top
5x (small) Lettuce Leaves
1/2 Courgette
1/2 Bergamot Lemon
A drizzle of Casa Lucena Olive Oil

Using a bamboo knife, chop the mixed salad and lettuce leaves and combine. Dice the courgette and mix it into the leaves. Squeeze out the lemon into the dish and stir it up. Drizzle over with this delicious oil and toss it all together.
Use a few aesthetically pleasing and colourful leaves to top off the salad for presentation before serving.

Take a seat and a deep breath and slowly enjoy this meal savouring each mouthful (mandatory!).

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this simple little dish.

Cooking with Children

Teaching children how to prepare and cut vegetables is one of the most important and beneficial life skills you can teach them as it a task they will need to do for the rest of their lives. I was gifted the idea of getting children to wash vegetables a while back and they loved using the brush, this time I felt ready to introduce the knife!

Getting children involved in the preparation of food is a great way for them to gain culinary skills and it also helps them understand the process behind seed to mouth gifting them valuable knowledge about the produce.

It is not always easy to amuse my children when it comes to getting dinner prepared, being a single parent leaving the boys to keep themselves busy at this time of the afternoon can be somewhat of a challenge. I was once given the advice that “the tv is a great babysitter” although I don’t really want them in front of the tv and especially not that time of night. I want their minds to settle down and if they have become bored of their toys or just don’t want to do the normal activities what better way to get them active than by helping prepare the food they are (hopefully) about to eat?!

My children are still quite young so many home economics activities are still too hazardous although I am testing the waters more often now my youngest has passed the age of 3 years.
It was quite daunting the first time I had them near the stove for our Homemade Chocolate Cooking Lesson, at the time the little one didn’t really show much interest and my big boy Easy had the most fun ever getting to clean out the glass dish! This was one of the simplest methods of cooking when introducing a child to a stove as all that was required was stirring a mixture with a spoon (and being very careful of the flames!). They obviously thought it was super cool managing a wild element and making chocolate in such an awesome way!

This time the teaching was slightly more daunting as they were both using a moderately sharp knife to cut vegetables. They have to Lear sometime, right? Let us start them off young.

I asked my boys if they wanted to help cut the Cauliflower for our creamy rice dish and happily they did. We set up a chopping board and I selected a relatively appropriate knife for them, we pulled up a chair and I showed them what to do. They absolutely loved it and surprisingly it was my Little Al who had the mist pleasure in it, it was so adorable to see him cutting the veg and very cute seeing him pile it into his own little bowl.

It was absolutely lovely to watch my Son in this way, I am glad I kept my good friends’ advice in my head as it was a blissful experience to participate in. Ok so there was Cauliflower flying in all directions and the trimmings didn’t all end up in the designated pile, it was a welcomed mess and I think my baby one did very well!

I will definitely be encouraging them to get involved every single meal time that it is appropriate and one day hopefully they will show me a thing or two 😉 There’s nothing more attractive than a man who knows how to cook a healthy meal 🙂

Depending on your knowledge of the vegetables you are using will determine what the children learn from this activity. Even if you just teach them the name of the vegetable or teach them the simple process of harvesting the veg and cooking it they are still learning something. If you know more extensive details then feed it into your child, it is quite surprising what their memories can hold and it is fascinating hearing what interested them most the next time they speak of it back to you.

I Thank God for my beautiful children and their passion for learning 🙂

Organic Saffron Potatoes

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A simple but very satisfying dish, a winner with the kids and one of that I did actually manage to contain myself in not got back for more that night, so that’s something, more than can be said for the bars and bombs!
I just adore the scent and taste of this spice it really is wonderous and its diversity means its not only smashing with all kinds of potato dishes but goes with most other foods as well.
When cooking with Saffron it releases a beautiful golden colour that instantly sticks to any other foods that allow it, making dishes become beautifully vibrant.
It may be the most expensive spice in the world but its not that expensive actually, it lasts for quite some time unless you do literally use it for everyday use and it does bring much life to any dish. I’ve had comments made about the wonderful colours in my first shared Frittata mainly due to the Saffron used.
It’s also great in Tea too, it’s been recommended as an aid in mental health along with Calendula as its said to stimulate serotonin – although I am still yet to try them combined – I can say it does go nicely with Lavender, Rosemary and Rose Petals though. Its extremely nutritional and its high in vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates and proteins and is also a great and natural antioxidant.
Until recently I never even knew Saffron existed, well I guess I did but only through the distinct flavour it brings…I always wondered what that amazing spice was when indulging in an Indian meal, now I will never forget!
It’s harvested and then sold in a straw like form and when any liquid touches this spice it instantly releases the golden colour and deeply enticing aroma. I find its scent is comparable to none, it’s that different to any other scent out there and even just inhaling it makes me heal.

To spice up any Potato dish just simply add a pinch in when the Potatoes are cooking and there you have a homemade version of a Saffron Potato side dish.

I used Organic Charlotte New Potatoes from Jersey this time and after adding the Saffron, a little while before the end, I allowed them to cool and then added them to a salad and the waxy texture of the potatoes soaked up the spice perfectly bringing a makeover to the root veg.

For my method this time I used a little too much water too steam my tats and I added Coconut Oil which combined and turned into a thin Saffron and Coconut sauce rich in colour and health so I drizzled it over the Potatoes instead of a knob of butter and it tasted awesome! Being so very frugal and re-using everything I can the rest is bottled in the fridge for another dish.
Next time i think I’ll be a little more creative and add a few more ingredients to make a full on healthy potato sauce.

I highly recommend this versatile potato dish.

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Healthy and Energising snack: Cacao stuffed Apricots

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I have found that when offering raw Cacao nibs to loved ones, to promote and encourage optimum health for all, that the response is often too predictable and their faces say it all! Unless you are a custom to the real beauty behind the harsh taste of these nibs the taste can somewhat be, shall we say, a tad overpowering! Therefore i devised a cunning and yummy plan to get the goodness into my family and friends when they visit, wrap the nibs in something else healthy that will sweeten and Apricots really do the job I hoped they would. They deeply give the cacao sweetness and encase the crunch in a smooth, fleshy coating making them more pleasant to chew (debatable – I love the raw crunch – not many others seem to though!) and easier to consume.
With both of these ‘super-foods’ boasting health benefits by being high in antioxidants this snack is perfect for an energy boost and is great for a quick bite when time just isn’t there. Apricots providing us with Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Fiber, Copper and Potassium make them a perfect booster high in nutrients.
Theobroma Cacao nibs are definitely foods from the Gods indeed, being high in magnesium, known to boost your happiness and stamina, high in sulphur, known for healthy nail and hair growth whilst being cleansing to the liver and pancreas. Cacao is also higher in antioxidants, around 40 times more so than that of Blueberries! Known to diminish appetite this little snack will really see you through your mid morning / noon peckish times (and they taste awesome too!)

A real powerhouse snack available at a minimal price if you have the  ingredients in your cupboard. If not, both can be purchased together for very fair prices. Make a few up in an air tight container and they are great for travelling to.

I will always recommend you choose organic produce to ensure the healthiest foods possible although eating these foods organic or non organic is much better than not eating them at all!

To make these are really as simple as it seems.

You will need:

  • Dried Apricots
  • Raw Cacao Nibs
  • Teaspoon

Method:

  • Take a dried Apricot and unfold it or slice it
  • Using a teaspoon scoop half a teaspoon or how ever much you feel appropriate (amount varies depending on size of fruit) of Raw Cacao Nibs and stuff them inside the Apricot
  • Fold the Apricot to encase the Cacao and there you have it a delicious and highly vigorous snack

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That’s convenience food at its best.

Once you’ve tried it you can share the passion I guarantee you will feel with your loved ones too. Helping to make the World a truly healthier and happier place!