Thursday, 20 June 2013

Quickly Baked Kale Crisps

I have a new addiction. Kale.Well, Kale Crisps to be specific.
No, they do not come in a packet and no they are not fried. They are baked, crispy little mouthfuls of deliciousness and it's a great way, should you have children, to get the kids to eat this gorgeous dark leafy vegetable that is oh so good for all of us!
They are incredibly quick and easy to prepare and what I normally do is prepare a big bowl and just munch on them while watching Grey's Anatomy (well, at least now that I'm taking a break from studying since I've just done my exams and waiting for the results so am distracting myself by doing marathons of my favourite tv show).
This can also be a great choice for your next party, instead of filling lots of bowls with fried crisps covered in weird colours and fake flavours, you can make this amazing snack in just 10 min and offer your guests something crunchy, tasty and nutritious at the same time!

1 big bunch of Kale, preferably organic (washed, dried and roughly torn in pieces. Stems discarded.)
1tbsp Extravirgin Olive Oil
1tsp Hymalaian Salt (or sea salt)

Preheat the oven at 200C-400F-Gas Mark 6.
Put the Kale pieces into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix it up.
Pop onto a baking tray and in the oven for about 10 min until the kale starts to brown a tiny bit on top.
Take it out of the oven and transfer the crisps into a bowl of your choice.
As simple as that.

Monday, 17 June 2013

News Flash!

Thanks to my genius boyfriend, today I realised the comment option on this blog wasn't working but that's all been fixed now so feel free to leave comments or ask questions about any of the posts or anything at all!
He also helped me to add a Pinterest and Instagram button so you can follow me on that too if you wish.

Hope you all have a fabulous

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Quick Superfoods Healing Soup

Yesterday I had my final exam at uni after a month of constant hardcore revising every single day and working in between. Needless to say, as soon as the exam was over and the adrenaline was gone, all the stress, worrying and crazy energy that had being pumping in my whole body for 30 days hit me pretty hard and I suddenly started feeling really run down. That didn't stop me from heading to the farmers Market to buy some gorgeous organic kale and strawberries obviously, but even after a power nap in the afternoon I still felt pretty awful. We went to meet some friends I hadn't seen in way too long which made me feel better as laughing always helps when I'm ill, but when I finally got back home I knew I needed to eat something nutritious and soothing but didn't have the strength to cook at 10.30pm..
And then it hit me.
I had Kale! I had my stash of quinoa in the pantry and and my always faithful vegetable stock.

2 Large Kale Leaves chopped really small
1/3 cup of rinsed quinoa
1tbsp Vegetable stock
Hot water (about 2 1/2 cups depending on how much broth you want)
2 small pinches of Hymalaian or sea salt (optional)
1tsp Extravirgin Olive oil to drizzle on top (optional)

Still with my coat on I put the kettle on and a small pan with some stock in it. Rinsed 1/3 of a cup of quinoa and added it to the pan then covered it with hot water and 2 small pinches of Hymalaian salt (you can also use regular sea salt).Then quickly rinsed my two big leaves of Kale and chopped it teeny tiny and added that too.I know if you over boil vegetables you lose those nutrients in the water but i was going to drink up all of that broth so no problem!
15 min, my hot, delicious, light dinner was ready and I was already in my PJs.
I poured it into a big bowl and drizzled some extravirgin olive oil on it(my mom taught me to do this every time before i have a soup and it just makes it so much tastier) and off I went under the covers all snuggled up in bed.
Feeling much better today.

PS: Just to let you know Kale is incredibly good for you, it's an Anti-inflammatory food, it's high in Fiber, Iron, Antioxidants and Vitamins K, A and C.
Oh, should that not be enough for you it has also got Calcium.
And quinoa (which I've become addicted to), is not only a Gluten Free seed (even though it looks like a grain), but it's a great source of Protein!

So there you go. 3 Ingredients of which 2 are Superfoods. 15 Minutes and your health in a bowl is served.x

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Morning trip to Borough Market

Today I went to Borough Market on a mission baby!.
I visited it a couple of times in the past but never spent long enough so this morning I woke up, grabbed my bag (and my boyfriend) and headed towards this Food Mecca that attracts a crazy number of people, both tourists and londoners every single weekend.
We got there towards 10.30am which was good because the atmosphere was already buzzing without too much of a crowd..
I honestly did not know where to look, I was a child in Disneyland!
They have many stalls selling beautiful bright coloured fruits and vegetables so I had a look here and there and finally found the Chegworth Valley Stall, where I grabbed a bag of their delicious organic rainbow chard and a bag of organic kale by Home Farm (as I write this I have already inhaled half of the kale as oven roasted kale crisps..).

Then I headed over to Turnips, where I bought two cucumbers and 6 wonderfully fresh free range eggs
(I know it can seem weird but I do get really excited when I can pick the ones to go in the box myself..)
and also found many many many exotic fabulous fruits I had never seen or heard of and that I'll definitely have to buy next time I go back.
Seriously, some women spend all their money on shoes and jewellery, I spend all of mine on food.
Then I started looking for this basil hummus I heard one of my favourite food bloggers talk about and it soundd so amazing, I had to try it!
But let me tell you, Borough Market is BIG!
There's so many stalls filled with incredible fresh fish, meat, vegetarian food, pastries and bread...
And of course street food!
So you'll understand why it took me a while to finally find The Arabica Food & Spice Company stall in the outdoor side of the market.

Oh man, totally worth the search..They had pitta and lots of samples of their hummus and tahini etc and as
soon as I tasted that Basil Hummus I knew.. I was hooked.

And so I took that little pot of deliciousness at home with me and had it with leftover sweet potato and quinoa burgers.Yum.
Oh!I almost forgot I also got a big bowl filled with perfectly ripe avocados for only £1.
You gotta love markets.
Every time I find myself in a food market I always wish I lived just next to one, but then again that would probably mean I'd spend all day every day just buying food, talking to farmers, eating, and really not having time for much else..Don't get me wrong, I'd be very happy just doing that but I think I might need to work every now and then...

So for now I'll limit myself to my weekend farmers markets bonanza and if you'll excuse me now, I have to go and create something delicious for dinner with all these gorgeous food I brought home.x

Monday, 3 June 2013

The "Everything's gonna be alright" Risotto with Butternut Squash

 It's on days like today that I wish I had a dog to welcome me home with his cute funny face, ready to go for a walk in the park helping me to forget all the bad things that happened during the day..
But alas, I have no dog (sad music in the background).. So I'm turning to comforting yet nutritious food instead.
Enter the Butternut Squash Risotto.
This creamy, soul healing comforting bowl of goodness takes only 20 minutes to prepare and it's bound to bring a smile of happiness and joy on the first bite.
It's inspired by the awesome pumpkin risotto my mom makes but here it's easier to find butternut squash so I used that. And I'll tell you more, I used to have mixed butternut squash and sweet potato together but now I just use the first one and the result is a lighter, creamier risotto that I could eat over and over again.
And I love its happy bright orange colour of course!

2 cups of chopped butternut squash
( I buy the pre chopped one and chop it even more)
1 cup arborio rice
1tbsp vegetable stock
2 peeled garlic cloves
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to season
2 pinches of nutmeg
Boiling water

 Start with oil and garlic in a pan on medium heat till the garlic is browning a bit.
In the meantime put the kettle on and chop your butternut squash.
Get your rice and rinse it.
Once the garlic is ready, pop the butternut squash and rice in and mix so they are covered in garlicky oil.
Add salt and pepper and the vegetable stock and mix again.
Then add the water till it covers everything and bring to the boil before lowering the heat to a simmer.
From now on, what you want to do is check and stir every now and then, adding water if you notice that the mixture is becoming too dry.
After 15 minutes (my rice takes about 20 min. to cook but check the instructions on your package), I start squashing the pieces of softened squash against the sides of the pan with a wooden spoon and then stir, by the end of this process everything has become creamy and orange!
That's when I add my nutmeg, stir again, taste to check if I need more salt and pepper and if the rice is cooked of course.
When you stir the rice and see a creamy consistency, not watery (in Italy we call the right consistency ALL'ONDA, onda means wave in italian because when you stir the risotto it should look like a velvety wave), then it's done!
You can add parmesan if you want but as you know I haven't been a fan of dairy lately so I take mine without and it tastes so incredible anyway..

So nothing left to do but cuddle up on the sofa with your bowl of risotto and relax.
Everything's gonna be allright.x