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The Missing Ingredient With Go Cook Collection

vegan paella

Introducing Go Cook Collection Exclusive With Tesco

When Tesco announced the Go Cook collection exclusive for Tesco, I was excited to get on board to share it with my followers! I started this blog when I was a student and create affordable and easy to make meals so when a brand of high quality kitchenware hit the stores (also affordable) I was more than excited to shout about it!

What’s in this blog post

In this blog I am sharing the best kitchenware to invest in to create perfect recipes every time. I am also sharing my favourite go-to recipes that work brilliantly and effortlessly with the right utensils. These recipes are simple, affordable and extremely easy to make - perfect for students and young professionals who require a ‘no fuss’ attitude to cooking!

tesco go cook range

If You’re Wanting To Take Your Cooking From Good to Great

Creating delicious recipes and cooking up a storm in the kitchen is fantastic but sometimes there is one simple missing ingredient, that being something you won’t find in your fridge. As I spend more time in the kitchen, it is clear that there is one thing you need to help create perfect recipes - that being quality kitchen appliances.

The Tesco Go Cook range has been beautifully crafted with exceptional non - stick pans to sturdy stainless steel handles meaning this collection will stand the test of time in your kitchen. Like most people, I use the same three pots and pans for most evenings so I need these to be versatile in use whether that’s for a Sunday morning sauteed mushrooms, a Monday evening stir fry or a Friday feast of veggie paella.

tesco go cook range

Remember Quality Over Quantity

Tesco’s Go Cook range not only looks smart is a fantastic quality, especially when trying to make dinner after a long day at work - it needs to be effortless and efficient! I was pleasantly surprised when visiting Tesco to see that their latest collection was within my budget! Whether you’re a student, a young professional or maybe a concerned parent buying your kids sturdy kitchenware and sending them off to university, it’s worth to take these into consideration.

When I first started experimenting in the kitchen I would often burn things and would find the bottom half of my brownies stuck to the baking tray. However after selecting quality kitchen essentials that I use daily I noticed an instant difference offering a smug feeling with each batch of sweet potato brownies.

It is much more cost effective to select a great quality product that will stand the test of time and make sure nothing gets in the way between you and your midweek feast of paella! I have been really impressed by the standard of Tesco’s Go Cook range, my favourite being the non stick muffin tray - whether that is for apple crumble muffins, chocolate peanut butter cups or wholemeal wrap cups.

go cook range

Perfecting your recipes

I have always loved buying home accessories and kitchenware however when trying to perfect recipes it is now so important to have the right tools. The different between using a blunt knife to a sharp one, or an old pan to a non-stick one is massive when you are trying to create meals with ease. The only way I can describe it, is when trying to make my banana pancakes in an old pan, they tasted great but they would always stick, burn on one side and were probably a little raw in the middle. But give me a brand-spanking-new non stick pan and you’re flipping, frying and eating the perfect pancakes in no time!

One of the most overlooked utensils is the kitchen knife. Having a sharp knife can transform your prep time from a battle into a blissful breeze. With steel blades and sturdy handles the Go Cook range had me chopping my onions and peppers with ease, mimicking the countless professional cooking shows I’ve watched.

tortilla cups

Time saving recipes

My those of you who have followed and made my recipes, you will know I am all about the easy life, if it takes too long or requires too many gadgets there is a very slim chance it will ever be made. So making use of the new Go Cook collection I am sharing my favourite meals that are perfect for any time of year and are really easy to make with the right kitchenware to help.

These baked tortilla cups are one of my go to party tricks when cooking for friends or family as they look fantastic, they’re fun to eat and literally take no effort to create.

Baked Tortilla Cups

All you need to make 8 cups:

2 wholemeal tortilla wraps

Non-stick muffin tray

Simply quarter the tortillas, then pat them into the muffin tray then bake at 180˚C for 8-10 minutes until just golden

tesco go cook range

Vegan Paella

Ingredients

500g Paella Rice

1 Vegetable Stock Cube + 1.5l of Boiled Water

1 Pepper

100g Edamame Beans

4 Cloves Garlic

1 Small Onion

3 tsp Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper

½ tsp Chilli Flakes

Pinch of Saffron

1 Lemon

Fresh Parsley

Method

  • In a large pan gently fry the peppers and onion
  • Add the paella rice to toast for around 5 minutes then fry off the garlic for a further 30 seconds
  • Add 1 tin of chopped tomatoes, the 1.5L of stock and then season with the smoked paprika, chilli flakes, cayenne pepper and saffron
  • Bring to boil and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes
  • Place on lower heat then cook for a further 10 minutes
  • Add the edamame beans, season with generous pinch of salt and pepper and add the squeeze of half a lemon
  • Serve up with quarter of fresh lemon and a generous pinch of fresh parsley on each plate

vegan paella tesco

But I can’t afford expensive kitchen utensils….

The key is to invest over time! But I cannot stress enough how much easier and time efficient it is having the right tools in the kitchen. Imagine Mo Farah trying to run a marathon in old and battered trainers…. But give him a shiny new pair with bells and whistles and he’ll perform at his best. Over time I have invested in good quality kitchen appliances and cooking tools to make sure nothing is getting in the way between me and the next new recipe creation!

Trying and testing the new Go Cook premium brand has been an eye opener to how good quality kitchenware can make cooking a joy. I love spending time in the kitchen creating recipes of all styles, so if I am making a simple dinner or spending time carefully chopping thin slices of courgette for a ratatouille I need to have the right equipment to make it effortless.

If you’ve been inspired to cook up a storm in the kitchen, why not look at the stunning new collection. As someone who spends most evenings in the kitchen I can safely say these have proudly earned a spot in my cupboard of go to pots and pans - and completely within my price range, even better.

To look at Tesco’s Go Cook Premium Brand, have a peek here >

https://www.tesco.com/direct/go-cook/?sc_cmp=aff*tbp*gmo*goc*lucyandlentils&utm_medium=gmo&utm_source=the_blogger_programme&utm_campaign=aff*lucyandlentils

You can find the non - stick muffin tin here, 

https://www.tesco.com/direct/go-cook-12-cup-muffin-pan/413-4424.prd?source=others&sc_cmp=aff*tbp*gmo*goc*lucyandlentils&utm_medium=gmo&utm_source=the_blogger_programme&utm_campaign=aff*lucyandlentils

vegan paella cups

Want a delicious vegan budget friendly recipe?

Check out my previous collaboration with Tesco for their Food Love Stories campaign where I remake their Smokey BBQ Mushroom Buns here.

tesco food love stories

Recipe

Chocolate Week – The Best Vegan Chocolate Dessert Recipes

chocolate and raspberry cheesecake

It's National Chocolate Week and I am celebrating by sharing the best vegan chocolate dessert recipes. This one is for all you chocoholics like me, who think a dessert is not a dessert unless there is some form of the rich cacao in there! I am sharing recipes that range from SUPER easy to make, to ones that require a bit of patience but are definitely worth while. 

Keep reading for the last recipe - by far my favourite!

Raw Pistachio Chocolate

Raw pistachio chocolate

Ingredients
1/2Cup Coconut Oil
1/4 cup Cacao Butter
2/3 Cup Raw Cacao (Try to Buy One Without Any Added Sugar)
1/4 Cup of Maple syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Salt
1/4 cup Chopped Pistachios
Method
Slowly melt the cacao butter and coconut oil in a bowl, add the maple syrup and Cacao powder and mix.
Make sure to keep the mix below boiling, you want to slowly combine the ingredients.
Add a pinch of salt & leave to set in a tray in the fridge and finish with scattering the chopped pistachios on top (some will melt into the centre)
Once set, take out the fridge, cut into pieces and enjoy! Remember it has a low melting point so keep it cool!

Chocolate & Fig Tarts

chocolate and fig vegan tart

For the Base
180g Ground Almonds
1 tbsp chia seeds + 3 tbsp water (allow to rest for 10 mins to become gloopy)
1 tbsp Cacao Powder
Pinch of Salt

For the Filling
½ 400g Tin of Full Fat Coconut Milk (200g)
1/3 Cup Cacao Powder
1/3 Cup Coconut Oil
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
3 tbsp Maple Syrup
100g Good Quality Dark Chocolate (I Use 80%)
Pinch of Salt

For the Base
Preheat the oven to 180˚C and Line 6 mini tart dishes or a 20cm dish.
Add the ground almonds to a medium size bowl and add chia and water mix
Add the cacao powder and a pinch of salt
Use your hands and mix together until well combined and sticky
Delicately Line the pastry dishes with the mixture, making sure there is a thin and even layer and prick the base with a fork three times to stop the dreaded soggy bottom
Place in the oven for around 8-10 minutes, but keep an eye on it so the edges don’t burn
Take out and allow to cool before adding the mix
For the Filling:
Bring a pan of water to simmer and place a bowl over the top then slowly heat the coconut oil and milk
Add the chocolate and slowly melt together on a low heat
Add the cacao powder, vanilla extract, maple syrup, and a dash of salt
Once the tarts have cooled, add the mixture being careful not to spill over the edges
If you have any leftover chocolate mix, simply pour into a shallow tray and use is as a chocolate snack when those 4pm cravings hit
Leave in the fridge to set for 30-40 mins then sprinkle on the pistachio nuts and fresh figs
Leave in the fridge until serving
Enjoy!

 

Banana & Chocolate Bread

Banana bread

This Vegan Banana and Chocolate Bread is a fantastic recipe if you are wondering what to do with your overripe bananas. It is refined sugar free, so easy to make and requires few ingredients. It creates the most amazing smell through your house, perfect for a Sunday morning bake.
Ingredients
1 ½ Cups GF Flour Flour (Buckwheat or Rice)
3 Large Black bananas, Mashed
3 Heaped tsp GF Baking Powder
¼ Cup Maple Syrup
2 tbsp Coconut Sugar
3 tsp Cinnamon
3 Large Black bananas, Mashed
75g Coconut Oil (weight)
⅓ Cup Natural Chocolate Spread (I used Nuttvia)

Method
Preheat the oven to 200˚C and grease a loaf tin
Place all the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and combine
In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork then add the wet ingredients (including the melted coconut oil)
Combine the wet and dry ingredients making sure it is mixed well
Add the mix to the greased loaf tin then using a knife roughly stir in the chocolate spread (careful not to mix it too much as it will look more like a chocolate loaf like mine, woops!)
Bake in the oven for around 15 minutes then cover the top with baking parchment or tin foil
Bake for another 35-40 minutes then stick a knife in the centre. It should pull out clean then you know it’s baked all the way through.
Slather on some chocolate spread and enjoy with a cup of earl grey tea

 

‘Ferrero’ Chocolate Truffles

vegan forrero rocher

Ingredients

2 Cups of Hazelnuts (Approx. 200g)1/4 Cup of Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup of Cacao Powder
1/4 Cup of Water
1/3 Cup Dark Vegan Chocolate

Method

Preheat your oven to 160° and place the Hazelnuts on a tray, make sure to leave a call handful for later, then bake for around 7-8 minutes to soften them
Using a tea towel or muslin cloth gather the cooked nuts, wrap them up and give a good shake to try and release as much of the skin as possible (it is not an issue if the skin is left on)
In a food blender give the nuts a whirl for a few moments to help break them down into small chunks
Add the maple syrup, the cacao, and water then blend until a rough chocolatey/nutty texture appears
Heat a pan of water and place a glass bowl over making sure it is not touching the water and slowly melt the dark chocolate (of if you are using my homemade recipe)
Whilst the chocolate is slowly melting make small balls from the chocolatey nut mixture
Then dip them in the melted chocolate and leave to cool in the fridge until set
Repeat the melted chocolate process and whilst the chocolate is melting roughly chop the remaining hazelnuts into small pieces
Dip the truffles into the chocolate then coat in the chopped nuts and leave to set

Dipped Fruit in Raw Chocolate

vegan chocolate strawberries

All you need:

1 Punnet of Fresh Strawberries
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
2/3 Cup Raw Cacao (Try to Buy One Without Any Added Sugar)
2 tbsp Maple syrup
Pinch of Himalayan Salt
1/4 Cup Chopped Pistachios

Method
Melt the coconut oil in a small pan on a low heat
add the cacao and maple syrup and stir until smooth
Add a pinch of salt
Prep your strawberries and pistachios
Dip the strawberries in the chocolate mix and lay on a plate with a little foil underneath (saves on cleaning)
Set in the fridge for around 20/30 minutes and enjoy!

Raw Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake

vegan chocolate cheesecake

Ingredients
For the base:
1 Cup of Medjool Dates
1 ½ Cup of Organic oats
1/3 Cup Almonds
1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Paste
1 tsp Maple Syrup (optional)
Dash of Water
For the Chocolate Filling
½ 400g Tin of Full Fat Coconut Milk (200g)
1/3 Cup Cacao Powder (Cacao is raw cocoa & unrefined, however cocoa will also work just as well)
1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
¼ Cup Maple Syrup
70g Dairy Free 80% Chocolate
Pinch of Salt
1 Cup of Raspberries For Topping
Cacao Powder for Dusting

Method
For the base:
Simply place all of the ingredients into a food processor and blend. Add a dash of water to make the texture nice and sticky
Grab your lined spring form baking tin ( I was extra lazy and used cling film) and fill the base with the Mornflake oaty mixture and leave to cool in the fridge
For the filling
Bring a pan of water to simmer and place a bowl over the top then slowly heat the coconut milk, vanilla extract and maple syrup
Add the cacao powder then add the chocolate and slowly melt together on a low heat
Take the cheesecake base out of the fridge and pour the melted chocolate filling on top
Once melted together

Watch how to make this recipe here!

You can find more of my dessert recipes here!

Or if you've overindulged on chocolate and are fancying something healthy and savoury, take a look at these babies.....

Recipe travel

Escape to Spain Without Leaving the UK

alvalle gazpacho tapas

Vegan Tapas With Alvalle Gazpacho

Vegan Tapas With Alvalle Gazpacho


I'm so excited to share a project I have been working on in partnership with @Alvalleuk celebrating their Gazpacho. The idea is to escape to Spain without leaving your home by putting on a fabulous feast to enjoy with family and loved ones. With 'staycations' becoming more popular than ever, throw yourself a Spanish Food Fiesta - it's easier than you think!


alvalle gazpacho

What you need to escape to a hazy evening in Southern Spain:

-Delicious tapas (definitely a serving of patatas bravas in there)

-Alvalle authentic Gazpacho served chilled

-'Classic spanish guitar' playlist on spotify

-Sangria

-Picnic blanket

-Scented candles

Alvalle Gazpacho Vegan Tapas 

Get creative and set up your table themed for a Spanish supper - it's great fun to enjoy with family and friends!


Memories of Barcelona

I have loved creating this Spanish inspired food fiesta with fond memories of my time spent in Barcelona with the refreshing taste of gazpacho washed down with ice cold sangria still on my mind. I visited Barcelona with my best friends just before turning 18, and I remember the giggly afternoon we had sipping sangria, eating paella and gazpacho having the best time!

alvalle gazpacho vegan tapas

It is moments like these that are so fun to recreate without being the price tag of flying back over to Barcelona. So with the last of the summer desperate to make an appearance, why not recreate your very own staycation!


What to make?

The idea is that you can create your very own Spanish inspired feast simply with tapas, drinks and a serving of gazpacho is perfect if you have spent a little too much money to jet off to Spain. It's far easier than you think can be delicious, filling and fast! I love meals that are quick to prepare which is why tapas is a favourite, think;

-charred peppers

-patatas bravas

-salty olives

-ice cold sangria

-chilled glasses of gazpacho with cucumber strips

-Jugs of elderflower infused with fresh lime, cucumber

-Fresh olive bread

Even better you can prepare this in no time…… cue the time saver Alvalle! (You can get it here...) These cartons of gazpacho are fantastic to store in your fridge, you simply need to chill them a few hours before serving and you have a beautiful glass full to enjoy as part of your spread! Alvalle use authentic produce creating an easy and delicious way to help you achieve one of your five a day perfect to enjoy within your feast! 


The perfect soundtrack

For my escape to Spain I simply put on a Spanish classic guitar playlist, lit scented candles, filled the glasses and set the table full of delicious foods and was instantly transported back to Barcelona.

alvalle gazpacho tapas

Recreate your own fiesta and be sure to tag me & @Alvalleuk in the photos!

For more inspiration head over to their Instagram @AlvalleUk

For more vegan friendly and time saving recipes head over to my Instagram @lucy_and_lentils


Happy Food Fiesta!

Recipe

Food Love Stories, brought to you by Tesco

tesco food love stories

Tesco’s Food Love Stories Campaign

 

Food Love Stories, brought to you by Tesco When you think of Tesco adverts, it’s usually a promotion for seasonal snacks or a two-for-one offer to make you rush to the nearest store…. You may not instantly think of a plant based recipe that not only looks fantastic but is vegan friendly! The new Food Love Stories campaign is a great shoutout to vegan recipes showing that they aren’t boring.

 

I am all for celebrating seasonal vegetables and trying to get you eating more plants, and what better way to get the nation excited then by showing them how easy and more importantly tasty it can be!

 

Food Love Stories

 

Whether you’re vegan or not, this recipe is a fab way to get the family feasting. The key is all down to flavouring! Chilli, coriander and rosemary are perfect for seasoning vegetables that take these mushrooms from a earthy taste to a spicy and smoky sensation.

 

Smoked paprika is fantastic spice to add and works perfectly with the BBQ sauce. It is so important to season the mushrooms to really take them to the next level. Allowing the mushrooms to infuse in the oil and spices, then bake in the oven to go crispy, transforms your ‘shrooms into a filling and delicious main.

roasted mushrooms for tesco food love stories

I love finger food, by that I mean food that you can share with friends and family and get in there with your hands. These mushroom buns look fantastic, which means you start tasting with your eyes before having taken a bite. I love food that gets you excited to try and these will hopefully have the same effect on the people you’re feeding!

 

Gone are the stigmas attached to vegan food, being branded as boring, bland and expensive and hello to a simple recipe that shows how fun it can be!

 

food love stories

As a full time worker I understand the need for a quick and simple meal when you get home. Kicking your shoes off at the end of a long day in the office, then faced with the prospect of cooking in the kitchen for the next hour can be extremely off putting. Have no fear - this recipe takes minutes to prepare, uses only a few pans and is completely fool proof!

 

So if you want to try to incorporate more vegan food into your diet, or you simply love the look of this recipe, why not give it a go! You can get the kids or the partner to prepare the buns and side salad whist you tend to the mushrooms - after all #EveryLittleHelps!

 

food love stories

Be sure to check out the full recipe on: https://www.tesco.com/food-love-stories/?sc_cmp=aff*awin*ghs*fls*lucyandlentils&utm_medium=ghs&utm_source=affiliate_window&utm_campaign=aff*lucyandlentils 

Twitter: @Tesco

Instagram: @TescoFood

Instagram: @TescoFood

www.tesco.com/food-love-stories/

Recipe

My Favourite Recipes From Last Month

Lentil Dhal

 

 

Tasty Toasts With Two Toppings


Simply Swap to Sweet Potato

For those of you who have followed me on social media, you will know I love toast (in fact I have written an entire blog post on it!) So I decided to give sweet potato toast a go - albeit a bit late to the party - but it was worth the suspense!

So how do you actually make sweet potato toast?

Just in a toaster! I know some people oven bake theirs however I am lazy so decided the toaster would do. It takes about 4 times as long as normal bread and you have to wait until the skin starts to blister to know it is cooked all the way through.

How do you know when its cooked?

 I found that slicing the sweet potato to only 1cm thick helped cook it all the way through. The thicker slices were a bit firm on the inside even when the skin was blistered, so I think with this toast the key is the thinner the better!

Toppings!

Mashed avocado, chickpeas, cracked black pepper, chopped chilli & fresh parsley & a perfectly poached egg sitting on avocado topped with fresh chilli.


 

 

Spicy Chickpea Patties


A Pitta Perfect For Lunch!

I had been experimenting making a chickpea scramble and had lots of leftovers so decided to throw them into some toasted pittas. 

 You can find the recipe for my chickpea scramble here 

These were a delicious mix of creamy avocado, fresh baby spinach, a dash of heat with freshly chopped chilli topped with a dairy free coconut yogurt. 

I warmed these pittas up by placing them in a cast iron skillet, then placing them under the grill until the pittas started to toast then drizzled the yogurt and garnished with fresh parsley.

 

I love the versatility of chickpeas and I feel I'm only beginning to scratch the surface in discovering all the ways they can be used! They have got around 7g of protein per portion so are a great way to keep fuelled for the day.

 


 

Lentil Dhal 


They don't call me Lucy & Lentils for nothing!

This recipe was one of the first to make it onto Lucy & Lentils - after all the name had to come from somewhere!I love making this dish again and again as you can alter it to fit whatever is in your pantry. Sometimes I add a dash of cinnamon, or bulk up the batch with some sweet potato, the end result is always different but that’s what I like about this recipe!

You can find the recipe for my Lentil Dhal here

Why not try adding a dollop of coconut yogurt, a pinch of parsley & cracked black pepper?

 


 

Oat & Date Cake


Why not grab a slice of my Vegan friendly energy packed cake!

With a colourful explosion like this, how can you say no?

I love making sweet treats with oats as they keep you going throughout the day with their slow releasing energy. This cake is:

  • Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • Dairy Free
  • Refined Sugar Free

 You can find the recipe for my Oat Cake here

 

 

Why not try making this batch in two halves, then melt dark chocolate for the filling?

 


 

Recipe

Dairy Free Blinis

New to the Blog is a delicious recipe for dairy free blinis. These are a great idea for parties, gatherings or brunching!

They take no time to make and can host all sorts of toppings. 

Here are a few options to get those taste buds tingling....

 

This batch makes up to 30 Blinis depending on what size you choose to make, however they can quite easily be made bigger to support more topping.

 

For the sweet.....

Pomegranates

Coconut Yogurt

Bee Pollen

80% Dark Chocolate 

Cashews

 

 

 

For the Savoury...

Tzatziki, Olives, Cucumber

Guacamole, Tomatoes, Lettuce

Humous, Radish, Poppy Seeds

 

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Rice Flour (Can also use buckwheat or plain)
  • 1 Cup Cashew Nut Milk (other nut milks will work)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 Heaped tsp Baking Powder

 

Method

  • Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl
  • In a small bowl whisk the egg then add to the dry ingredients and combine
  • Cover and leave in the fridge for 15 minutes
  • Place a non-stick pan on medium-high heat with a drop of coconut oil
  • Ladle 4 small dollops of mixture into the hot pan and cook on each side until they start to make little bubbles (around 1 minute)
  • Flip and cook for a further 1 minute, then repeat until all the batter is used up!
  • Serve as sweet or savoury - choose your favourite toppings
  • Share with friends and enjoy!!!

 

Recipe

Tomato & Basil Tortilla Twirls With Three Silver Spoons

To find the full recipe for my tortilla twirls please visit this exclusive recipe on Three Silver Spoons here

Introducing my Tomato & Basil Tortilla Twirls

With a rich tomato and basil sauce coating soft tortilla rolls stuffed with olives, finely chopped red onion, cherry tomatoes and chopped mushroom it has a very similar feel to pizza. Instead of using dough and replacing it with a thin whole meal tortilla this feels like a perfect dinner to feed those cravings for something fulfilling yet light on the stomach.

IMG_8321

This dish came about by simply experimenting in the kitchen one afternoon by procrastinating instead of doing university work. I love Italian style food especially with pizza but find I often feel bloated after all that dough, so by replacing a heavier base with something as simple as a tortilla it stays lovely and light on your stomach.

 

IMG_6554

This dish really is fool proof, and is a fantastic idea to have with a group of friends in a large casserole dish each with a fork in hand. It has a real tear and share feel with each roll stuffed with delicious veggies keeping this homemade meal wholesome and nutritious.

This simple recipe requires minimal ingredients which as a student a life saver at times, as well as being low in cost and easy to source. It can be varied to whatever you have in your fridge that day, for example if I have a load of courgette’s that need to be eaten I will simple chop them up finely and add them to the mix.

 IMG_8294

Find the recipe here

 

 

lifestyle Recipe

Time Saving Tips For Staying Healthy When Life Gets Busy!

When Life Gets Busy, How Do You Stay Healthy and Focused?

This time of year always seems to be a bit manic.... Whether you're studying for exams at school, university, working really hard at your job, or simply find that life is throwing everything at you, it can be really difficult to stay healthy. 

I have just finished my three year university degree and feel like a zombie right now with the late nights, constant work and the worry of 'what am I going to do with my life after?' It was the kind of busy where I couldn't remember when I last washed my hair, I had no clean clothes and I had no idea when the last time I had an actual conversation with my parents where my only response wasn't a half hearted grunt...

So how do you stay healthy when you don't even have time to brush your hair in the morning?

Fear not!!! 

After a few days of eating bad food, constant snacking and wolfing down a bowl of porridge three times a day because I didn't have time to cook I noticed it was I was struggling to stay focused! Feeling lethargic, bloated or on a sugar crash is not exactly productive when every hour counts towards meeting a deadline! 

So here is a blog post with some time saving ideas for healthy snacks that take minutes to make. No thinking required on your behalf just follow some of these recipes for healthy meals and snacks!

 

 

 

Breakfast

Porridge is such a fantastic way to start the day. Oats are packed with energy and keep you from heading to the biscuit barrel all morning.

To make this super speedy simply measure out the ingredients the night before. In a bowl measure out your dry ingredients, chop your berries ready to add in the morning and put aside a cup of almond milk.

There's a feeling of smugness in the morning when you manage to fit in a delicious breakfast even when you're completely rushed off your feet! 

 IMG_6584

Ingredients for Vegan Banana Porridge

1/2 Cup of Oats

1/2 Ripe Banana (mashed with a fork)

1 Cup of Almond Milk

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

For the Topping

1/4 Cup Halved Blueberries 

Other Half of Banana Chopped

1 tbsp Chia Seeds

 Method

This really is a 'throw it all in' kind of breakfast!

The night before chop your blueberries and sed aside

Add the oats and cinnamon to a bowl and pour out a cup of almond milk

 

In the morning simply add the oats, and almond milk to heat on a small pan for 2 minutes, then quickly mash half your banana and add to the pot.

Heat until it's the thickness you prefer, sprinkle the toppings over and enjoy!

 

Lunch

Whether you're working from home, at a desk or on the go, having a lunch ready and waiting is perfect for when you're wanting to power through!

In the mornings I would rush to university and completely forget to make anything to eat, then kick myself later when I was having to buy the most boring sandwich that was unappetising and full of sugars. These literally take 2 minutes to prepare and can even be done the night before.

All hail the Avocado!

This little bad boy is full of healthy fats that fill you up and help keep you going!

IMG_6639

Ingredients for Avocado Toasts/Open Sandwich 

2 Wholemeal Mini Bagels

1/2 Avocado Sliced

3 Radishes Thinly Sliced

1/2 tsp Poppy Seeds 

1/2 tsp Sesame Seeds

Pinch of Salt & Pepper

 

These can be toasted if you're eating at home, otherwise simply stack em' up and take to work in a lunch box! 

Dinner

 

Sometimes after getting in from work after a long old day, the thought of standing and cooking for hours can be a little overwhelming. When you're low on energy, have no brain power and are about as inspired as a turnip you need a quick and easy meal that hits the spot but also fills you up with the right kinds of nutrition.

PASTA!!!!

I am no stranger to carbs.. and in fact I've come to accept my little food baby pouch that is made purely from pizza, pasta and starchy veg... but I love it!

There are so many alternatives to pasta, wholewheat, spelt, gluten free, spinach and so on. 

So finding a one that suits you (I usually go for good old wholewheat) is ideal as you can enjoy it, feel full and most of all stay energised!

File_003

Creamy Spaghetti With Sugar Snap Peas & Ricotta

Ingredients

75g Spaghetti (spelt or wholewheat are delicious)

1/4 Broccoli Head 

Handful of Sugar Snap Peas (Approx. 7 pods)

2 tbsp Ricotta Cheese Crumbled

1/3 Cup Spinach (Optional)

Pinch of Himalayan Salt & Cracked Pepper

1 Heaped tbsp Pesto (For this I used Knorr new pesto pods as they are brilliant for small portions!)

4 Fresh Basil Leaves

Method

Bring a small pan of water to boil and add the spaghetti to cook for around 12-18 minuted depending on the type you have selected (wholewheat tends to take a bit longer)

Whilst the pasta is cooking, chop the broccoli sprouts and prepare the sugar snap peas

4 minutes before the pasta is cooked, add the broccoli and peas to the pan

Once the veg has softened drain the water and add the pesto and 1 tbsp of ricotta cheese, season with salt and pepper and give it a good mix

Layer the pasta in a bowl and add fresh baby spinach amongst the mix, then season with more cracked pepper and crumble the remaining ricotta cheese over the top

Garnish with a few basil leaves and enjoy!

 

Bliss Ball Energy Bombs!

Now I am one for snacking, in fact I don't think I eat three meals a day, I eat about 10.

I was definitely a cow in my former life (says a lot really)

When you hit that 4pm slum, its not quite dinner time, you still have work to do but you can't stop thinking about sugary snacks for a pick me up?

Instead of having something sugary why not have my bliss balls? (tempting no?)

Made from pecans, cacao and dates these have natural sugars, tonnes of energy and good fats to keep you powering through till dinner.

You can make your balls as small or large as you like, depending on your fancy. I Make mine small so I can feel guilt free when eating three... (it all adds to the carb food baby) 

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 Ingredients

2 Cups of Medjool Dates

1 Cup of Pecans 

2 tbsp Maple Syrup

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

3 tbsp Cacao Powder

Grated Orange Zest

Pinch of Salt

1/4 Cup Cacao Nibs (Dark Chocolate Chunks if Not Vegan)

Method

Blend the pecans in a food processor until broken down

Add the medjool dates, cacao powder, maple syrup vanilla extract, pinch of salt & orange zest then blend again until combined

Take out of the food processor and add the cacao nibs and fold together

Roll small balls into desired size and dust in a little cacao powder, and dust a little orange zest over the top 

Recipe

Oat & Banana Energy Granola Bars!

Delicious Energy Packed Vegan Snacks!

 

Stop the press...... these just happened!

I am currently fighting my way through the last few weeks of my degree which is not only terrifying as I will have to learn how to be an actual adult but is eating away into all MY eating time.

I have managed to stay healthy for the past two years whilst studying but even this final push is testing me, with serious chocolate cravings and finding myself justifying eating an entire weeks worth of food in one day is okay....

So after reaching for the biscuit barrel one to many times this week I decided enough is enough! So I set my alarm for 6am and made the time to make healthy snacks! Find the full recipe here

 

 

It's really easy to focus on calories and sugar intake and every other 100000 things we think about when trying to eat 'healthy' so even though these granola bars are full of nuts, dried berries and dates they are still packed with all the RIGHT kind of ingredients. 

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Breakdown of Ingredients

By using dried blueberries and goji berries instead of other dried fruits, you're getting an extra boost of superfood goodness! Foods such as oats, chia seeds, goji berries and blueberries are all packed with fabulous things such as omega oils, energy and antioxidants.

By adding small amounts of nuts, seeds and dates there is a good balance of natural sugar, and slow releasing energy to help keep you snacking for the rest of the afternoon. I find when I eat sugary snacks I crave more sugar just half an hour later, but by adding the wholesome slow energy releasing foods keeps those cravings at bay. 

Even though these have peanut butter in, don't panic yet! You can easily replace this with almond butter or cashew. However using an organic brand such as Meridian, that doesn't have any palm oil is a great option as it keeps the nasty additives out.

 

I add maple syrup however this is still full of sugar (even though it may be natural it still gives your blood sugars a spike, resulting in a crash a few hours later.) So if like me you are happy without it being oversewed simply leave the maple syrup out. If you are making these for kiddies and trying to lure them off all things sweet, these are a great stepping stone, which you can then reduce the amount of sugar you add!

 

 

Ingredients

Dry

  • 1 1/2 Cups Oats (For this recipe I used Mornflake's Jumbo Oats)
  • 1/3 Cup Dried Berries (I use a mix of blueberries and goji)
  • 1/4 Cup Raisins
  • 1/3 cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • 1/4 Linseed
  • 1/4 Cup Walnuts (any other nuts will do!)
  • 3 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger

Wet

  • 2 Really Ripe Bananas (the softer the better)
  • 1/4 Cup Maple Syrup 
  • 2 tbsp Peanut Butter (Try and find a nut butter that doesn't have palm oil if possible)
  • 3 Medjool Dates

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 160˚C and line a baking tray with either coconut oil or baking paper
  • Simply measure out the dry ingredients and add to a medium size mixing bowl
  • In a blender or food processor add the wet ingredients (basically everything that's sticky) until the dates break down and a gorgeous binding mix is formed
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients and give a good stir. If you want to add anything else to get creative then feel free! This really is a 'throw anything in' kind of recipe. I sometimes mix it up with different dried berries or different nuts depending on what I have in my cupboards that week.
  • Fill the baking tray with the mix and spread out evenly then place in the oven for 12 minutes
  • After 12 minutes, take the tray out of the oven and score roughly to allow an easy break once fully cooked then place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes (be sure to keep an eye on them as these can catch easily) 
  • These will only last a few days due to using bananas however mine never last that long as once they come out the oven they smell amazing!
Recipe

Four Favourite Ways To Enjoy Baked Sweet Potato

Baked sweet potatoes are great because they're great with a range of different flavours. They taste delicious with sweet or savoury food and can be transformed from a boring potato into a delicious meal to be enjoyed for lunch or dinner.

So here I have added my five favourite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes, recipes I use on a weekly basis as they are so easy to prepare and take little time fussing around the kitchen. 

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Mexican Style With Black Beans & Red Onion Topped With Poached Egg

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Vegetarian

 To Create this Mexican inspired sweet potato I finely diced a small red onion and lightly fried it in a dash of olive oil. 

Hiding underneath are a few small finely chopped baby tomatoes that were added to the red onion, followed by 1/4 cup of black beans. I added a sprinkle of himalayan salt, pepper, garlic powder and smokes paprika over the top.

Once the potato is nice and crispy take out the oven and assemble with a poached egg on top. Garnish with some fresh rocket and sesame seeds. 

Humous Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With Asparagus, Spring Onion & Asparagus

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Vegan

This really is as simple as it looks!

Mini sweet potatoes roasted in a thin coating of olive oil and himalayan salt. Stuffed with humous, steamed asparagus strips and spring onion, these are light and delicious! I use a julienne peeler to slice my asparagus then steam for around 5-7 minutes to keep the crunch. 

Garnish with fresh greens and sweet pomegranate seeds, with the addition of poppy seeds.

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey!

Fresh Spring Greens With Black Beans, Pomegranate Seeds & Cress

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Vegan

For days when I need a healthy lunch and an excuse to pack in some greens, this is an easy and simple way to do so!

I use Vegan butter (can be found in most supermarkets) to make the centre soft and creamy, drizzle a little lemon juice then season with salt and pepper.

For the filling I like to steam fresh spring greens, then add black beans and to complete I add pomegranate seeds for a sweet crunch.

If you prefer greens such as asparagus, broccoli or even green beans this an excuse to fit any in!

Steamed Asparagus, Spring Onion, Poached Egg & Poppy Seeds

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Vegetarian

Vegan butter is a great alternative I found in Waitrose. There are a range of options to chose from which are lower is saturates and plant based (good for the heart.)

By adding a tbsp of vegan butter to the centre of the sweet potato is heavenly!

Crunchy steamed asparagus, chopped spring onion and peppery cress go so well together with the addition of a perfectly poached egg on top! The egg marries the flavours together which is topped with sesame, poppy and sunflower seeds!

Season with himalayan salt, a crunch of black pepper and a tiny pinch of chilli flakes.