Monday, 31 August 2015

Vegan chocolate and pecan buns

Hey guys! So I absolutely adore pecans like seriously love them, they're probably my favourite type of nut and I basically love putting them in everything. Guess what else I love? Chocolate. In any form but I cannot live without chocolate. So I have created this super healthy, plant based vegan muffin recipe which includes both of my favourite foods!

These muffins were a little bit harder than I would have liked, raisin-less "rock cakes" if you will. If you are okay with the crunch go for it... but if you value your teeth well then follow the instructions in brackets.

Makes 16 small buns.
For this recipe you will need:  

400g of buckwheat flour
300ml of almond milk or soy milk
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon 
100 ml of maple syrup (for softer more of a muffin texture, use 300 ml of this and no honey)
2 large tablespoons of honey
120g of ground almonds
A bag of pecans (200g)
3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
Bun cases

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. 
First of all, wizz half a bag of pecans in the food processor or smash them with a rolling pin. 

Put these, the ground almonds, flour, milk, cinnamon, maple syrup and cacao powder into a mixing bowl and mix into a batter and then add a few handful of un-chopped pecans.

Put muffin cases into a muffin tray and put the mixture in. Then pop them in the oven for about 35 to 40 minuets, using a knife to check if it comes out clean.

  First batch done! 

These are super yummy and full of energy and great stuff!
Hope you enjoy,
Lots of love
Eleanor x

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Moroccan style lamb kebabs with a roasted onion, rocket and pecorino salad

Hey guys! Today's recipe originally comes from an Ainsly Harriott recipe book called "Low fat meals in minutes." This is honestly one of my favourite recipe books because the food is healthy, low fat and often low calorie and I love to create these dishes for my family. I have combined two of his dishes, his "Moroccan style lamb kababs" and paired it with his "roasted onion, rocket and pecorino salad" and I found they worked well together. There is quite a lot of onion however so I wouldn't recommend if you are a fan of it! I have adapted the recipe as usual and discovered what I found works best. This recipe is for four.

For the kebabs you will need:
500g boned shoulder or leg of lamb (note, this means boneless not still with the bone attached. Don't mean to be patronising but my dad got very confused!)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 tablespoons of lemon juice (I missed this out and it still tasted great)
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of paprika.
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tablespoon of harrisa
1 small red onion, unpeeled
1 lemon
Salt and pepper
fresh coriander (optional to serve)
Metal kebab sticks (I used wooden ones and as long as you soak them for a long time they are fine!) 

For the salad you will need:
12 button onions, halved (I used shallots and they worked perfectly) 
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic viniger
25g of parmesan or pecorino
small bag of rocket

First of all (if you are using wooden sticks) soak them in cold water. Cut the lamb up into small kebab pieces and then place all the herbs, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil into a mixing bowl and mix the lamb into it. Aninsly says to leave this for two hours at least or overnight, I just left it for as long as possible, as I prepared the other ingredients and this was fine. However if you do have time and want more flavour, do let it marinate!

Now half the onions for the salad and heat the oven at 190 degrees Celsius. Drizzle over the olive oil and one tablespoons of the vinegar and put in the oven for 25-30 minuets in a baking tray.

Now cut up the lemon for the kebabs. You want to cut it into 8. Then peel the onion leaving the root end and cut into 8 wedges also so that the stay together at each end so it looks like this.

Then what you want to do is preheat the grill at a high temperature and assemble the kebabs. Try and put the onion on as best as possible, I found that actually it often just fell off and didn't stay on the kebab. Some of it I just put into the grill separately and put it on the plates later.

Now Grill the kebabs for about fifteen minuets. You can check they are done by using a food thermometer and seeing if it gets up to at least 70 degrees Celsius. 

While they are cooking, arrange the rocket on each plate and grate the parmasan or pecorino on top. By my timing, the onions were now done so I took those out and put them with the salad on each plate too. 

Then put the kebabs on the plate and voilĂ  you are done! 

I hope you enjoyed this post! Tell me if you give the recipe a go!
Lots of love
Eleanor x

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Handmade burger co review

Who doesn't love a good burger? I certainly do and with 20% off at the Handmade Burger Co, I and my boyfriend decided to go for dinner.

I liked the layout of the place, it was nice and luckily for us it was quiet with not too many people in. The staff who worked there were incredibly friendly, as we had never been they showed us what to do and how to order and were absolutely lovely and chatty.

Their menu is amazing too, so many different burgers, beef, chicken and veggie ones and a gluten free menu. There were so many different kinds of each one, including a peanut butter and jam beef or chicken one which was highly recommended! They had usual sides including chips, sweet potato chips and onion rings. The only thing is that these were an "extra" they didn't come with the burger itself you had to order them separately and they cost more too. This meant that the £6.45 to £12.45 burger you were paying for, was simply for the burger and there was an extra £3.25 for the chips. 

Despite this, my burger was delicious. I ordered it "bunless" with salad instead and with an extra side of salad. I went for a veggie option of sweet potato and bean burger which came with a delicious mango salsa which was divine!
Despite their rather tempting milkshakes including and oreo one, I opted for an apple juice. My boyfriend got a chicken and bacon one which I had a bite of and was delicious too and I nabbed some of his chips which were very nice also. The food was outstanding and I can kind of see why they were a bit on the pricier side, my burger with the salad (instead of the bun) was £7.65 and for the extra salad it was £2.95 and the apple juice was £2.75 bringing my total too £20.35 simple for mine. Because we had the discount it was less however paying full price I believe it's a little steep? I won't be able to afford this in uni!

Having said all this, the food was honestly delicious and it is all handmade so you know you're not getting something horrible or processed and I would recommend it just be aware of the prices!

Have you been here? What did you think?
Lots of love
Eleanor x

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Healthy fast food cafe review (Nourish)

Hey guys! Recently I had discovered a place to eat in the centre of Leeds called Nourish, which serves healthy fast food. I have been there twice now and the food is absolutely delicious! It is true to what it says, the food comes within seconds, even faster I would say that at MacDonald's or other places like that and the best part is it is full of wonderful things.

The first time I went, I got turkey meatballs with courgette noodles and quinoa and it came in a little tub.

It was so filling too. Other things to get include hot and cold wholemeal wraps, ready made salad boxes, sweet potatoes with hot or cold toppings and other hot food including curries, quinoa pots and more. They also do a range of snacks and smoothies and of course a great breakfast selection with includes different types of porridge, eggs, and things on toast such as avocado.

The second time I went, I got a sweet potato with five bean chilli

This gave me great energy for the gym!

The place itself is very nice, with long wooden tables and plenty of seating including big comfy sofas. There is also a kitchen that you can see into and see them making the food which is all done in advance.

The only negative thing I would say is that it is quite expensive. Not outrageous, but hot food and salad boxes are about five pounds and the wraps are a little less that four pounds. For a pound extra, you can add a bottle of water and a piece of fruit and for a pound fifty a bottle of water and some flavoured popcorn. While some would argue this isn't too bad, as an almost student this is not something that I could afford every day, and is not Macdonalds £1.99 for a cheeseburger and chips which is much more easily affordable. It is really good food and obviously so much better quality than Macdonalds, but if they want to really promote this out there and get people eating healthier and get more of these type of healthy fast food places, the prices should be lower.

I would definitely recommend this place and I will no doubt be back again!
Have you tried this? What did you think?
Eleanor x

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Vegan Lasagna- Deliciously Ella Adaptation

Hey guys! Today I am going to show you another Deliciously Ella recipe which I have adapted slightly again and came up with my views on the recipe! This is actually one of my all time favourite lasagna recipes, it's full of veg and goodness and the cheese substitute layer is absolutely divine.

For this recipe Ella says you will need ( she says for 4, i find this is more than enough for five people!) 

2 Butter-nut squash ( I used one and although it wasn't quite enough, 2 would be way too much, maybe one and a half would be ample) 
4 dozen tomatoes halved (I used two boxes, have no idea if that was the right amount but it was fine!) 
3 cloves of garlic crushed and peeled
4 red peppers cut into small pieces
olive oil
500g of mushrooms thinly sliced (I found this was too many and used less than this)
8 lasanga sheets (I used about ten or eleven)
half a 400ml tin of coconut milk
Half an aubergine (She doesn't use this in the original recipe I just added it in for extra goodness) 

If you can, Ella says to peel the butternut squash and cut it unto small pieces and put it in the steamer for twenty minuets. I find that this can be really hard, and if it was just me cooking, I would find it impossible. It's a lot easier if you have time, to cut it up as best you can without peeling and put it in the oven to roast for an hour. Then peel it when it comes out.

In the meantime, put the tomatoes, garlic and peppers into a saucepan with olive oil. Then add the mushrooms and cook for about ten minuets and then take off the heat.

Additionally if need be, you can soak the lasanga sheets in boiling water and olive oil to soften up.

When the squash has finished,(and you have removed the skin if you roasted it first) put it in the food processor along with the coconut milk. Preheat the oven at this point to 200 degrees Celsius normal oven or 180 fan. Then blend the squash and milk until it is smooth and creamy. This is honestly the lovelest thing ever, this is the cheese substitute and I always end up eating as much as I can off the sides of the processor because it is absolutely delicious!

Then you can assemble the lasange. Put a layer of the mushroom and tomato later first,

 then a layer of the squash and then lasanga. Then put another layer of mushroom and tomatoes, then a lasanga sheet layer and finally the squash layer. After this put it in the oven for about twenty minuets, I find that longer is needed than this, about half an hour but check it after twenty anyway! Ella suggests to cover the top in tin foil which you can also do.

This recipe is delicious, but super sloppy! There is so much juice at the bottom and it is messy and hard to get into exact squares that look pretty! I tried my best...

Ah well!
Hope you enjoyed,
Lots of love
Eleanor x

Monday, 17 August 2015

Vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe

Hey guys! This recipe is one I made for dinner for myself and my sister and my dad! I adapted it from an original recipe from BBC good food which you can find here. I made quite a lot of differences to suit our tastes! This is at least three of your five a day and compleatly veggie! Hope you enjoy.

For my version of this recipe (for three people) you will need:

2 Aubergines cut up and diced
1 red onion sliced
2 cans of tinned tomato
1 tbs of ground cumin
a bunch of chopped coriander
1 can of kidney beans (not drained)
35g of feta cheese chopped
1 egg
a small bag of rocket
1 chopped clove of garlic
3 peppers, seeded and cut into halves

In the original, they used a chilli too, and fromage frais. I cut these out as I cannot eat fromage frais and my sister doesn't like chilli's! I messed around a little with the quantities and these are what I found worked best!

Put the oven on at 190 degrees Celsius normal oven or 170 fan and do your prep. Then put the chopped aubergine, onion, tomatoes, the cumin, garlic and the kidney beans (and the juice.) Then stir in the coriander. Cover this and let it cook for 20 minuets.

Put the peppers in a baking dish and bake them for 20 minuets in the oven.
Then beat the egg with the feta in a seperate bowl

When the peppers are done, take them out and spoon the aubergine mixture in. Then put the cheese mixture on top and put them back in the  oven for ten minuets. In the meantime, put the rocket onto plates.
When they are done put them onto plates and you are done!

I found that there is loads of the aubergine mixture left and spooned some extra onto the sides. The extra can be eaten the next day (like I am going to do!) with a jacket potato or a sweet potato!

Lots of Love
Eleanor x

Deliciously Ella's Banana and oat flapjacks

Hey guys! This is my first ever post on this new blog of mine. Today I baked some flapjacks, taken from one of my favourite recipe books Deliciously Ella. I have no made this before and modified this recipe slightly and this is what I thought about the recipe!

For this recipe you will need....

360 g of oats (I used about 300 and it was still too many oats to me! I would use less than this!)
2 bananas
6 tablespoons of maple syrup
6 tablespoons of cashew nut butter (I used on tablespoon of almond butter and five table spoons of peanut butter and it tasted delicious!)
4 tablespoons of coconut oil

First put oven onto 200 degrees Celsius for a normal oven or 180 for fan/
First put all the oats into a mixing bowl, then mash the banana into a smaller bowl.
You then want to tip the bananas, coconut oil, nut butter of choice and maple syrup into a saucepan like this.
Put it on a low setting and simmer, allowing it to turn to a liquid. Mine was not a complete liquid and it worked fine!
The pour it over the top of the oats, use your hands to make sure it is all covered.
Then grease a bake tin using coconut oil and put the mixture into it, pressing down so that it is flat and put it in the ovan.
I found it was done after about twenty minuets! Then allow to cool before cutting up into pieces.

As you can see, the flapjacks are extremely crumbly. I cannot put them away because they just fall to pieces so they are just going to have to stay out until they are eaten (which wont take long believe me.) These are so delicious and I will make again, but this time with much less oats!

Lots of love
Eleanor x

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