Wrapped in Newspaper

Ethical lifestyle blog and vegan recipes


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Peppery radish salad

One of the things I love about summer is salads. I know…..salad….boring! Wrong. You’ve just got to make it more interesting. Now we’re well and truly into summer I’m starting to get some more vegetables in my veg box to make my salads that little bit more exciting.

One thing I love about getting a veg box is the variety of lettuces we get to eat. I’m not talking about your typical iceberg or your cos lettuce here, oh no sir-ee. I’m talking flavoursome salad leaves, peppery leaves, unidentifiable leaves…..basically you’ve got to get some flavour in the base layer of your salad.

This week we also received a bundle of vibrant pink radishes. They look just how radishes should look, all different shapes and sizes, slightly different to the uniform round ones you get in the supermarket. These taste so good.RadishesAny good salad isn’t complete until you’ve got the dressing. This is where you make or break it. Often I just drizzle a little olive oil or balsamic vinegar but nothing beats putting a little bit of effort into making a tangy dressing.DSC_0022

DSC_0040Peppery radish salad

Serves 2

A couple of handfuls of lettuce (washed)
4-5 radishes (washed and sliced thinly)
1 cup puy lentils (cooked and cooled)
1/4 cucumber (sliced as you prefer)
1/2 raw beetroot (grated)
A handful of fennel leaves
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp sunflower seeds

For the dressing:
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 garlic clove (crushed)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1. In a large bowl add your lettuce, radishes, cucumber, and seeds. Mix together.
2. Once cooled, add the lentils to the lettuce and mix together along with the beetroot, and fennel leaves.
3. In a cup, add the garlic, mustard, oil and vinegar and stir thoroughly. Drizzle over the salad and stir to coat all the leaves.

This is perfect to eat for lunch or box it up and enjoy for a couple of days at work.

Happy salad days.

Vx


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Green your Moontime // Washable sanitary pads

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Here at Wrapped in Newspaper we are always trying to do our best to minimise our negative impact on the planet. Whether that’s through not consuming animal products, eating local, seasonal produce or avoiding unethical companies, we are always seeking alternative ways of doing things. So what about our menstrual cycle then?

We are educated to use disposable sanitary products which is reinforced by advertising and product choice available in mainstream retail outlets. But are disposable products really the best option for the environment and our own health?

So even at first glance it would seem that the very nature of disposable pads and tampons are bad for the environment, the clue is in the name there! An average woman throws away 125-150kg of sanitary products in her life time and considering that it takes centuries longer for those products to degrade in landfill than the lifespan of the woman that used them, it really isn’t looking good for the environment. Add to that the fact that many of those products won’t actually make it to landfill and things get even worse… A report from the Women’s Environmental Network cites that for every kilometre of beach included in the Beachwatch survey weekend in 2010, 22.5 towels/panty liners/backing strips, and 8.9 tampon applicators, were found.

Health-wise, what now seems blindingly obvious to me, had actually never previously crossed my mind. Ultra-absorbant, super-discreet and convenient disposable pads and tampons are made using and contain chemicals. As explained in this article in the Guardian, independent studies by women’s health organisations have found chemicals like dioxin, carcinogens and reproductive toxins present in tampons and pads. And there is no research whatsoever that actually declares disposable feminine hygiene products safe. So why the hell are we all using them!

So what are the alternatives? I didn’t really know there were any but it turns out there are lots!

When I first started considering the impact of my moontime habits, I took it slowly. I found organic, chemical free, cotton alternatives to sanitary pads and tampons in health food shops. So far, pretty straight forward. As with all sanitary products you have to test out a few to find the ones that work best for you, so I just tried them out at home first before feeling confident to head out into the big wide world. But of course, this only really covered the health side and some of the environmental issues, not the disposable nature itself. What I did notice straight away was the discomfort and sometimes painful feeling I had just associated with my period (aside from menstrual cramps) disappeared. So I can only think it was a reaction to the chemical found in the products I had previously used.

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Next on my list was reusable, washable sanitary pads. I think we all really need to get over the social taboo’s and gross-ness associated with menstruation so I’m not gonna talk about the ick factor associated with reusable sanitary products, I’ll leave you to find those discussions elsewhere online. But what I will say is that I was actually really surprised by how much I like using these. For me they are perfect for the lighter, early and last days. It really made be realise how often I threw products away that contained very little blood. However I don’t tend to use them on heavier days when I’m outside of the house or at work. The absorbency isn’t a problem but I find that having to carry around a used product really isn’t convenient at all!

There are lots of brands out there and none of them come cheap. But if you consider how much you spend each month on disposable products, you soon recover the cost and actually start saving money!

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Slowly but surely, I am changing my habits for the better. Better for my health and better for the environment. And I really can’t encourage you enough to do the same! As I find with most things, it is liberating to do your own research, question social norms and make your own decisions based on evidence and it’s no different when it comes to feminine hygiene.

Next on my list, reusable menstrual cups … stay tuned…

Happy Moontime!

Amy x


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Welcoming honeybees; a true, wild democracy

It’s swarm season for honeybees!!! The size of a honeybee colony fluctuates throughout the year, contracting in the winter and expanding towards mid summer to reach a critical mass able to reproduce through swarming. At the time of the swarm, a colony splits in two and the majority of bees leave with the queen on a flight into the unknown whilst the remaining bees stay to tend a newly emerged virgin queen. There are so many interesting collective agreements made by the bees leading up to their decision to swarm but here I want to celebrate the democratic process that decides where the swarm ends up once it’s out of the hive.

A quick note about swarms in the beekeeping world … Many beekeepers see swarms as a disaster because they lose the colony power for honey production and it is common practice to cut the wings of a queen in an attempt to control swarms. For me, a swarm is a magical and theatrical event that is incredibly important for the long term health of the colony. 

the golden throng copy

When the swarm has taken flight, they choose to descend somewhere nearby to form a cluster. The cluster forms a temporary home and sort of public forum for honeybee debate. Constructed solely of bees with the queen [their egg laying key to survival] safely protected at its heart, it is where the wonderful, wild democracy unravels to seek the answer to an important question … where are we going to live now?

From the cluster, hundreds of the oldest bees take on the role of scouts to survey the landscape in different directions searching for possible new home sites. Scouts return to report their findings by performing a dance on the surface of the cluster to indicate where the site is to her scout sisters. In this process, all potential sites are immediately made public so they can be investigated and each scouts has their say on which site they feel is best. Each scouts check out each site and returns to share their thoughts and findings with the others with her waggle dance. This public bee debate can last days and sometimes a week or more until a collective agreement on a new home is made.

Seeley diagram

“Scout bees method of inspecting a potential home is indicated by tracings of what a single scout did on 4 out of the 25 journeys inside that she made during her initial inspection. Solid lines denote where the bee was walking and broken lines denote where she was flying.” Thomas Seeley, Honeybee Democracy, 2010. A book all beelovers should read!
honeybee democracy

Throughout the scouting debate, the bees have a shared incentive to survive and to make collective decisions without the control of a dominating leader. No single bee in the hive enforces the rules and the elders of the community guide the decision making process towards a consensus. They operate with an innate democratic wisdom sculpted over millions of years.

sanctuary swarm lure

This year we set up mini top-bar swarm lure hives like this one to offer swarming honeybees a home. We were lucky and at some point during the debate of a clustered colony nearby, a scout bee found our lure. For five days, we witnessed 5 to 25+ scout bees at a time checking out the hive by flying in and around it again and again. They also took a scouting interest in us as we sat watching them. It’s lovely to know that they had an opportunity to meet us, as well as their future hive and their future forage ground before moving in! On 21st May, the wild and democratic decision-making process played out in our favour and a colony arrived. It feels very important to me that although we set up the home, the decision to move in was ultimately theirs.

bees are messengers

The arrival of our honeybees in this way so soon after the UK’s recent National Election results where only 39% of the population voted for the current government seems significant. The bees played out an authentic, wild democracy for me to witness and it clarified concerns I have about our present understanding of democracy. We perceive the decisions we face as far more complex than that of the small honeybee but there is much we can learn from them when it comes to making collective decisions.

babees arriving

It is an honour that these bees made the collective choice to allow us as their future guardians and after years of anticipation, I am so happy and ready to welcome them into my life. So here’s to the next steps of my beeloving journey with the beautiful small ones!! I know it is not going to be easy. Lets not forget that honeybees and wild bees are struggling and there will big challenges ahead in deciding how we best support their wellbeing and resilience.

— Written in gratitude for a shared beelove & guardianship with Jamie & Cami Rose —


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Vegan rhubarb ginger cheesecake

vegan cheesecake Vegan cheesecake

Tis the season for rhubarb. Yes, rhubarb is starting to sprout it’s beautiful pink stalks from the ground and we can now enjoy, what I believe, is one of our most underestimated fruits. Let’s celebrate all things rhubarb!

It’s only in recent years that I have come to appreciate this delicious fruit, it was one of those things that I turned my nose up at all my childhood and avoided at all costs. That is until I actually tried it.

We had to move our rhubarb plant when we got our chickens, it now resides in our front garden and has taken a couple of years to reestablish itself, but this year it looks like we may have a bumper crop. I love the sharpness of rhubarb, and the contrast it brings to a sweet dessert.

I don’t know if you’ve seen Amy’s delicious Elderflower cheesecake? I didn’t get a chance to taste her creation, but I have adapted it and it is easily versatile to whatever works seasonally. So here is my rhubarb version and what goes perfectly with rhubarb? Ginger – obvs!

rhubarb cheesecake  Rhubarb vegan cheesecake

 

For the crust:

50g almonds (soaked for 30 mins)
150g hazelnuts
150g dates
2 tspn ground ginger

For the filling:

350g cashews (soaked overnight, or for at least 4 hours)
85 ml coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn vanilla extract
Juice of half a lemon

For the topping:

5 stalks of rhubarb
A thumb sized piece of ginger (grated)
2 tbsp xylitol
3 tbsp water

  • Begin by making the base. In a large, dry frying pan gently toast the hazelnuts on a medium-high heat, for around 5-10mins until the skins begin to darken and peel away. Shake the pan from time to time to prevent burning.
  • Wrap the hazelnuts in a clean cloth and rub vigorously to remove most of the skins.
  • Rinse the soaked almonds in fresh water and combine in a blender with the hazelnuts, dates and ginger. The mixture should start to come together in firm, sticky clumps.
  • Press the base mixture firmly down into a non-stick 20cm springform cake tin.
  • Set in the fridge whilst you prepare the topping.
  • Melt the coconut oil in a pan. Rinse the cashews and put in a high-speed blender along with the coconut oil and remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
  • Spoon the mixture onto the base and spread out evenly.
  • Set in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  • Gently release the springform pan and ease the cheesecake away from the base.
  • Rinse the rhubarb stalks and chop into pieces, add to a pan along with the xylitol, water and grated ginger. Cook on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until very soft. Stir thoroughly and leave to cool. Once cooled spread evenly over the cheesecake.

Enjoy

Veronica x


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Vietnamese Vegan Phở with Grilled Asparagus

pho with grilled asparagus

Hallelujah! Asparagus is finally here!

spring asparagus

When you eat in tune with the seasons and something that you haven’t eaten in nearly a year comes back into season, it’s defiantly reason to celebrate! I choose to do so by making something extra-specially delicious. Last year Veronica shared this asparagus soup for the illusive two month asparagus window that runs from the end of April to June here in the UK. I have chosen to share one of my all time favourite dishes, a Vietnamese Pho with the addition of some grilled asparagus which is my favourite way to cook it!!

A traditional Pho is all about a slow cooked broth, normally made with beef. However, the main star of the show is really the aromatic spices not the meat so it easily adapts to create a super tasty vegan meal and this version uses a bit of vegetable stock to speed up the process. But of course if you have time, the longer you cook it for the better it’s going to taste!

Vegan pho broth

The broth makes enough to serve four which is great if there’s just two of you, as it means tomorrow’s dinner is going to super quick to make! Add more veggies and noodles if you’re making it for 4 first time round.

vegan pho vietnamese vegan pho

Vietnamese Vegan Phở with Grilled Asparagus

For the broth:

2 onions
5cm chunk of ginger
3 cinnamon sticks
4 star anise
4 cloves
4 cardomon pods
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 1/2 litres of vegetable stock made with 1 1/2 tbsp vegan bouillon
1 1/2 tbsp good quality soy sauce (such as kikkoman)
3 carrots
5cm piece young garlic

To serve:

200g brown rice noodles
8 asparagus spears
Seasonal leafy greens, such as kale, chard, pak choi, wild garlic
Large handful of bean sprouts
Fresh herbs such as thai basil, coriander and mint
1 lime, quartered
1 red chilli, sliced

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C, quarter the onions, leaving the skin on, chop the ginger into a few large chunks and bake for about 15 minutes, using a dash of oil until the edges start to brown.
  • In a large, heavy bottomed pan, dry fry the whole spices until they become aromatic.
  • Roughly chop the carrots and garlic into large chunks and add to the spices with the onion, ginger and stock.
  • Simmer for at least half an hour, when ready strain through a fine sieve or muslin and reheat.
  • Cook your noodles according to the packet instrucitons which should take about 5-10 minutes, then rinse the noodles.
  • Place the asparagus on a baking tray, season and drizzle with olive oil and grill for 5 minutes.
  • You can either lightly steam your greens or just let the broth cook them in the bowl when serving, it really depends on what you’re using. For example I would steam spring greens but not spinach.
  • To serve, divide the noodles between bowls, then pour over the stock. Arrange your raw or lightly steamed greens, bean sprouts, herbs, chilli and lime around the bowl, placing the grilled asparagus on top. Then dig in!

Happy asparagus season!

Amy x


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A short guide to rescuing chickens

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We rescued our first lot of chickens back in 2012, little did we know how they would change our lives. They after all the reason we both became vegan. Read more about that here. Fast forward to 2015 and we have rescued another 3 chickens. We are by no means experts but here is a little guide about what we know.

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1. Chickens have personalities too – there are bolder chickens and more timid hens, they feel pain and they can make their feelings known when they want to be let outside. You know when people talk about a pecking order, yep that definitely comes from chickens. There is always a pecking order. When we first got chickens it was the saddest thing to watch them establish and then to watch poor little Rosie right at the bottom of that order. God she was bullied. But, I’ve come to accept this is just the way they live together, there is always a top chicken and a bottom one and the order can change. If one of them is feeling off colour they have to carry on and not show signs of weakness otherwise they’ll be right down the bottom of the order.

When we had Ivy, she believed she was a cockerel, she made a lot of noise! Beryl is starting to find her voice now and she’ll be crowing away in the morning. I’m not sure our neighbours are so pleased when it is 7.30am!

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2. Keep them clean – chickens crap A LOT! You need to give them a thorough clean out once a week but we tend to clean their coop out daily, just taking out the top layer of newspaper. It’s best not to throw food around on the ground but to put it in a feeder otherwise you’ll soon be inundated by rats – not cool!

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3. They’ll dig up your garden – when we first got chickens they were free roaming throughout the whole garden! We soon had to create a temporary fence so they just had free range of the top of the garden because they would have destroyed it! We then had a fence put up. They’re great for weeding but they will fail to differentiate between the weeds and the flowers! If you’re precious about your garden and don’t have anywhere to section off, chickens aren’t for you.

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4. Chickens somehow disappear – there are numerous occasions when we’ve gone to check on them and there aren’t the number of feathery bottoms in the air that should be there. Sometimes it turns out one has taken themselves off to lay an egg or on more than one of occasion you’ll find one will have flown over the fence into the neighbour’s garden!

5. Chickens are awesome! – the 3 chickens we recently rescued were in a bad way when they came to us. They had few feathers, didn’t really understand about going outside of the coop, had never experienced what it was like to splay their wings out in the sunshine or what it was like find a nice pile of dirt and then enjoy a dust bath. They do now. They were destined to be dog food or cheap meat but they’ve got a second chance of what their lives should really have been from the start. They spent their first year in the worst possible environment, but Beryl, Ettie and Henny are living their dream chicken life now. Their feathers have grown back so much and they are learning how to live how they’re meant to live.

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Unfortunately, our first 4 hens; Ivy, Rosie, Gwen and Ruby only survived just over a year with us. The sad fact is that having rescue hens means they won’t be around for years. Their poor bodies have been pushed to the absolute maximum in order to lay eggs. Out of the 4 chickens, 1 died suddenly and 2 of them had really horrible problems with laying eggs and were in pain, which meant we had to have one put down and the other died quietly one day. It was Rosie (bottom of the pecking order) who outlived the rest of them but she too didn’t last much longer. But, we know they enjoyed a year of pecking for worms and lying out in the sunshine. Keeping chickens really is rewarding.

Veronica x

 


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Nettle and wild garlic, buckwheat crêpes

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Last month I wrote about the impending hungry gap when I posted a recipe for a tagine using the last of Winter’s root vegetables. We’re now well into April and the hungry gap is definitely upon us. The Winter crops have come to an end and there’s little in the way of new season produce to fill our bellies. But it’s not all doom and gloom, if you happen to be partial to a spot of foraging there is plenty to be had at this time of year and fresh young nettles are just perfect right now.

I’m no foraging expert (so you’ll have look elsewhere for comprehensive guidance) but with a little know how and a little common sense you can find yourself enough to rustle up something resembling a meal in no time.

Spring nettles

I managed to find the perfect spot of nettles that had just started to come up in a park where a hollow had been left to go wild. Pinch off just the young tops of the nettles (whilst wearing gardening or rubber gloves obvs!) as these taste better and one the nettles flower and start to go to seed, the leaves can irritate the urinary tract and no-one wants that! I’ve also included wild garlic in this recipe as it’s abundant right now. I’ve been getting lots in my veg bag at the moment so didn’t forage for mine but it’s the perfect time to go and find some whilst you’re out looking for nettles, which lets face it, won’t take long.

I should also mention that I actually wanted to share this recipe with you last year. Unfortunately I hadn’t quite perfected my vegan crêpe recipe. I have since found that buckwheat flour creates the perfect crêpe batter so don’t try substituting it out for another flour because you’ll end up in a right old mess.

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Nettle and wild garlic, buckwheat crêpes

For the crêpes:

100g Buckwheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
1tbsp ground flax seed
3tbsp water
1/2 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
400ml non-dairy milk
Coconut oil for frying

For the filling:

1 small onion
300g young nettles
300g spinach
2-3 wild garlic leaves
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to season

  • Begin by making the crêpe batter. Whisk the ground flax seed with the water and set aside for a few minutes until it become gloopy and gelatinous.
  • Measure out the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle.
  • Pour in the lemon juice, oil, flax egg and a little of the milk and stir together. Slowly add in the remaining milk a bit at a time, incorporating more flour as you go.
  • Set aside the mixture for 30 minutes whilst you prepare the filling.
  • Wash the nettles thoroughly in  bowl of cold water and pinch off any thick stems. Wearing rubber gloves of course.
  • Wilt them together with the spinach in a large frying pan with a splash of water on a high heat for around 5 minutes until most of the water from them has evaporated.
  • Set aside into a bowl. Add a little oil to the frying pan, lower the heat and fry the onion until soft and brown. Add the nettles and spinach back into the frying pan along with the nutmeg and the fennel seeds after being crushed slightly in a pestle and mortar.
  • Roughly chop the wild garlic and stir in the mixture. Leave the mixture on a very low heat whilst you make the crêpes.
  • Place a medium-sized frying pan on a high heat and add a little coconut.
  • Pour in 1/4 cup of batter and quickly swirl around the pan.
  • Leave for a minute of so until it starts to brown then using one of those super awesome pancake/ crêpe spatulas, loosen the crêpe from the pan and flip over. Leave the other side to brown lightly for another minute and place on a plate and keep warm.
  • Repeat for the remaining crêpes, it should make roughly 6.
  • Take the filling mixture of the heat and spoon onto the crepes and roll.
  • Serve with a salad for a lunch or light dinner.

Amy x

 


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Hot Cross Loaf

Hot cross loaf

Easter wouldn’t be Easter in our house without hot cross buns. I’ve not come across any vegan ones in shops but even if I had, no doubt they’d only be made with white flour and full of sugar so we’ve come up with a super simple recipe that’s healthy and quick to make. In fact it’s so easy to make that you can be enjoying spiced Easter bread goodness in less than an hour!

Spelt easter loaf

The basic recipe is adapted from my spelt soda bread so it doesn’t require any kneading, proving or rising time. And to make it even simpler no need to even form it into buns just one giant loaf which can be torn apart and shared.

Hot cross soda bread

It’s gone down so well in our house that I’ve taken to making double the quantity then splitting the dough to form two loaves.

Spiced spelt soda bread
Hot Cross Loaf

150g Spelt Flour
100g Buckwheat Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
2 tbsp Xylitol Sugar
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Mixed Spice
1/4 tsp Allspice
Zest of half an orange
80g Currants
Pinch of Salt
150ml Non-dairy milk or 75ml of both non-dairy milk and yogurt
1 tbsp Molasses

  • Measure out all the dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together.
  • Make a well in the middle, add the molasses and some of the milk. Slowly stir the molasses and the milk together, incorporating the flour a bit at a time.
  • Continue to add the milk bit by bit until the mixture just comes together into a slightly sticky dough, being careful not to over work it.
  • Turn the dough out onto a well flour surface and press it down with your finger tips into a circle about 1cm thick.
  • Fold one edge into the centre of the dough, turn the dough clockwise slightly and repeat folding the edge into the centre until you’ve formed the dough into a round.
  • Turn the dough over, flatten slightly so it is about 2 cm thick and dust with flour.
  • Place onto a backing tray and cut a deep cross into the loaf using a serrated knife.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 20-25 minutes. Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack, it should sound hollow when you tap the base.
  • Enjoy still warm with a bit of non-dairy margarine, because it is Easter after all!

Amy x


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Run like a vegan

The day I found out I had won my place in the ballot for the London Marathon 2015, I actually jumped with joy! I was going to realise my dream. The one I had had for years, the one I didn’t really believe I would ever achieve, I mean 26.2 miles is a long way and I couldn’t even run up the road without having to stop. The only thing that has got me to 5 weeks away from the marathon and believing that I may actually make it the whole way round the course, is sheer hard work and determination. Marathon running My first steps to London 2015, started about 8 years ago when Amy and I entered our first 10k together. We struggled around the course in Manchester and made it back in 1hr12mins. That was tough. I had put in the training, well what I thought was proper training and was extremely pleased to get round without stopping. Every year, I watched the marathon on telly or I went up to London to watch it in  person I said I would do it. Over the next few years we entered the Manchester 10k another couple of times, I ran a couple of the British 10k’s in London and last year I managed to get round in under an hour – that had been my aim! I also managed to complete the Hackney Half Marathon, this was where I was testing myself to see if I could move past a 10k onto further distances, if I could do a half surely I could do a full? I did the half in 2hr13mins. It was tough, it was hot and I had trained my butt off to get round. I had entered the ballot for London, and those ballot entries are like gold dust, people go for years without getting in. I had entered on a whim about five years ago and been rejected, but on my second attempt I had made it in! The problem with this marathon is it is in April, that means the majority of the training has been done in the freezing cold, in the dark, in the rain and find the motivation for those training runs has been tough. I’ve only been a fair weather runner before, but I’m sure it helps strengthen you mentally as well as physically, they do say most of the marathon is a mental game. Yesterday I completed my longest training run of 20 miles and experienced a glimpse of how tough this marathon was actually going to be. I had taken two weeks off training having pulled my neck out, and I’ve missed the difference between winter runs and spring runs, I was totally overdressed. I hadn’t carb loaded very well the night before and I felt like I was running on empty about 8 miles in. It was about then that I doubted everything I had done so far, and my inner voice was telling me I was rubbish. I tried everything to make it shut up. Thankfully I started running with a lady who pulled me around the course from about mile 12, until mile 16 when my whole body started screaming. I was back by myself, my legs hated me, my knees were hurting, I could just about manage a shuffle and despite knowing it was downhill all the way until mile 20 I just wanted to stop. I wanted to cry. I kept going. I’ve toughened up. I’m going to do this. I can’t really believe I made it round, I’m taking every bit of help I can and there’s nothing like a nutrient rich green juice to help nourish my aching body, that plus an ice bath (kill me)! Green juice Green Smoothie 1 kiwi 2 slices of pineapple 2 inches of cucumber A handful of spinach 1 tspn milled chia seeds Water or coconut water 1. Peel the kiwi, pineapple and slice into cubes. 2. Wash the spinach. Pop into your juicer along with the pineapple, spinach, cucumber, kiwi and chia seeds. 3. Cover the fruit and veg with water and blend for a couple of minutes until smooth. You can either drink straight away or save it for later in the day! Enjoy Veronica x Note. I use a Nutribullet so juice according to your juicers instructions :)


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(Last of the) Winter Root Vegetable Tagine

Vegan tagine

We may only just have stepped into March but it seems Spring really is upon us. Hayley’s post last week showed the first crocuses opening up to the warming sun and now the daffodils are just waiting burst into life. I certainly can’t deny the excitement of the new life that Spring brings but it’s not all good news…

Food-wise March is when the Winter crops start to come to an end but there’s not much in the way of new crops ready to harvest, cue the Hungry gap. Around this time last year I shared this delicious roasted cauliflower and chickpea salad to celebrate the last of the Winter brassicas. This year to celebrate the end of Winter I’ve got a delicious and warming root vegetable tagine to get us through the last (hopefully) of the cold Winter days.

Winter root veg tagine

I used what root veg I had to hand from my organic vegetable box delivery but you could use whatever you happen to have. I think parsnips and carrots are a must but celeriac or swede can work well if you don’t have squash or jerusalem artichokes. The only thing to be mindful of is the different cooking times, I find parsnips and jerusalem artichokes tend to take a bit longer than squash so either get these in first and the others 5-10 miuntes later or chop them that bit smaller.

Root vegetable tagine

Winter Root Vegetable Tagine

3 parsnips
2 carrots
2 jerusalem artichokes
2 golden nugget squash
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
Thumb sized piece of ginger
1 tsp maple syrup
75g dates
1 tin of tomoatoes
1 tin of chickpeas
1/2 pint of vegetable stock
1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp tumeric
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Pinch of saffron

  • Finely chop the onion and gently fry in a large pan with the olive oil and garlic until soft and starting to brown.
  • Add the chopped ginger and spices (leaving the saffron for now) and fry for a few minutes until the oil starts to release from the spices. Add a tablespoon or so of water to the pan and stir to make the mixture a paste.
  • Pour in the tin of tomatoes, stir and leave on a medium-high heat until the tomatoes have cooked right down and most of the water has evaporated.
  • Meanwhile chop all the root root vegetables into bite sized cubes and pit and halve the dates.
  • Add them to the reduced tomatoes along with the remaining ingredients including the saffron. The stock should just about cover all the vegetables, add a little extra water to cover if needs be. Bring to a gentle boil then reduce the heat and cook on the hob on a medium-low heat for 30-40minutes until all the vegetables are tender. The longer the better!
  • Serve with couscous or quinoa for a delicious and hearty meal.

Amy x

 

 

 

 

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