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Showing posts from tagged with: freeze dried

Summer Kitchen Prep Made Easy!

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06.06.16

It’s easy to let the healthy eating slide when the Summer months come into play, however it’s surprisingly easy to stay healthy with just a few simple pre planning tips. We use time as an excuse but when you consciously set aside a decent amount of time to mass prepare for the week (or longer), the time saved is brilliant, and you will be able to enjoy the sun without compromising on what you put into your body. From food to tupperware, and shopping to chopping, we have some of our top tips for prepping your kitchen for the summer months. Invest in tupperware, it's the backbone of eating healthy in the summer months, as without any, the excuses would multiply as to why we can’t stay healthy on the go or pre make as many healthy meals as possible. Investing in tupperware is a brilliant way of allowing you to prepare meals that can be stored in the freezer for as long as you like. Alternatively, tupperware is a great way to allow you to prepare things like carrot sticks and hummus as well as large salads, or even some raw treats you’ve prepared previously to take into school or work as a snack. We love Giving Tree snacks, especially broccoli and pumpkin with hummus and fresh vegetables like carrots and cucumber too. FullSizeRender Fruit at it’s ripest can be extremely expensive when it’s boxed up or packed in supermarkets, however if you plan ahead that you would like to have a certain fruit perhaps in 3-4 days time, then buying the whole fruit as opposed to the pre-prepared version will firstly be cheaper, and secondly be ready for you to chop up once you are finally ready to eat it, as opposed to feeling as though you have to eat it as soon as it’s bought. Try to head to supermarkets or market stalls selling fruit and veggies at the end of the day, as their ripest fruit will inevitably have to be sold or thrown away, so you will be able to buy the most delicious produce at a fraction of the price - score!! Dust Off That Smoothie Maker - having equipment like a smoothie maker (or blender) at the back of the cupboard does no one any good when wanting to create delicious and healthy drinks for the summer months, right? However if you make the blender a necessary part of your summer drinking routine, it can cut down so much time when you are wanting to get some of the good stuff into your system. Buying frozen berries and lots of bananas as well as throwing in some spinach or kale (for example) can create something extremely healthful, delicious, quick to make and filled with lots of energising goodness to keep you going all morning. They can be so affordable and really do allow you to get in a lot of goodness without having to invest in expensive equipment or ingredients. Plan Meals Ahead - if you know you will be in for four nights in a particular week, perhaps prepare something the Sunday before and allow yourself to be rest assured that the meals will be ready to eat without any thought having to go into it on your part during the week. Ensure you have all the ingredients ready to prepare something which you know you will want to eat in the summer months, and inevitably allow yourself a stress free week of healthy summer meals - it saves so much time and allows you to enjoy the meals you love without worrying about creating them in the week. Cool Blocks and Picnic Bags Tis the season for picnics, and without cool blocks and picnic bags, we end up with a soggy or warm concoction of food we earlier wanted but not so much once it’s been carried all the way to the park or house! It sounds obvious, but ensuring you have the necessities to keep your food and drink the way you created them is a luxury many don’t enjoy in the summer because of those small mistakes!   Screenshot 2016-04-14 15.54.03

National Vegetarian Week – the best of the bites!

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17.05.16

National Vegetarian Week is upon us, so why not try one of these delicious meat-free meals?

These dishes are full of flavour, texture and colour so you won't feel like you're missing out on anything at all.

For the Pasta and Cheese lovers..

Mac and three cheeses recipe

SERVES 4

INGREDIENTS 1 x 410g tin of evaporated milk 200g cream cheese 2 tsp English mustard ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg 350g macaroni 3 tbsp chi coconut oil 1 small garlic clove, crushed 175g  Comté or cheddar, grated 75g stilton, crumbled 500g green beans 1 tbsp chopped chives 45g  sourdough breadcrumbs 45g  pecans 150g sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil

METHOD Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4.
Whisk the evaporated milk, cream cheese and mustard well. Add the nutmeg and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
Bring 3.5 litres of salted water to a boil, and add the macaroni, slowly, making sure the water is always boiling. Stir for a minute to stop the macaroni sticking together. Test after about eight minutes – the macaroni should be very al dente. Drain well and add to the cream-cheese mixture.
 Mix a tablespoon of coconut oil and garlic and use this to grease a deep 20 x 20cm (8 x8 in) baking-dish. Spread half of the macaroni on the bottom of the dish. Scatter on half of the Comté and all of the stilton, cover with another layer of macaroni and finish with the rest of the Comté. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.
Boil or steam the green beans until tender with a slight crunch – about five minutes. Drain, place in a bowl and sprinkle with the chives. Heat the coconut oil in a frying-pan. When hot, add the breadcrumbs and pecans and cook for two to three minutes, until crisp and golden. Add the beans and toss to coat them well. Serve the macaroni with green beans and, if you wish, a few tomatoes on the side.   cheesemac

Mushroom, spinach, and blue-cheese lasagne

This creamy vegetarian lasagne full of chesnut mushrooms is perfect served with a big salad and some fresh crusty bread

SERVES 4
INGREDIENTS 3 tbsp olive oil 2 x 250g packs chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1 large onion, finely chopped 1 large clove of garlic, crushed 2 x 240g packs pre-washed fresh spinach 1 large jar ready-made white sauce (710g) 12 sheets ready-to-bake lasagne 125g blue cheese, crumbled
METHOD Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan, add half the mushrooms and fry until golden, about five minutes. Transfer them to kitchen paper, add another tablespoon of oil to the pan and fry the remaining mushrooms, also transferring them to kitchen paper after five minutes.
Add the final tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and cook the onion and garlic for about four minutes, until soft. Add the spinach to the pan, cover with a lid and allow it to wilt for one to two minutes. Return the mushrooms to the pan, mix together and season.
Use a rectangular dish about 24 x 18cm and spread a layer of white sauce on the base. Place three lasagne sheets on the sauce followed by a third of the mushroom mixture, another layer of white sauce and some crumbled cheese.
Add another three sheets of lasagne and continue layering, finishing with the final three sheets of lasagne, a good covering of white sauce and a sprinkling of crumbled cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until it is cooked through and the topping is bubbling and golden. Serve with a side salad or garlic bread.

Aubergine, pepper and yogurt stacks with coriander pesto

Serves four
3 red peppers chi coconut oil for brushing 2 large aubergines ½ lemon 8 heaped tbsp Greek yogurt sprigs of coriander to serve
For the pesto: 60g (2oz) coriander leaves 40g (1½oz) blanched almonds, lightly toasted 2 garlic cloves, chopped juice of ½ lemon 125ml (4fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil (not too grassy) 60g (2oz) feta cheese, finely crumbled 1 red chilli, halved, deseeded and finely chopped 1 green chilli, halved, deseeded and finely chopped
Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Halve the peppers and remove the seeds and stalk. Put into a small roasting-tin and brush with olive oil. Season. Roast for 35 minutes, or until the peppers are tender and the edges of the flesh are slightly scorched.
Meanwhile make the pesto by putting everything, except the feta and chilli, into a food processor. Whizz to a purée. Season to taste, then scrape into a bowl and add the feta cheese and chilli.   stacks_2917851b
Bean chilli with chocolate and walnuts
SERVES 6-8
INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp chi coconut oil 1 large onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tsp cumin seeds or 1 tsp ground cumin 1 fresh chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (more if you like it hot) 1 tsp ground paprika 1 tsp dried oregano 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, seeded and finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 2 sweetcorn cobs (kernels cut off) or 150g thawed frozen sweetcorn 2 large celery sticks (use leaves too), finely sliced 150g  walnuts, very finely chopped 300g dried mixed beans, such as kidney, black-eye or borlotti, soaked and cooked (or 3 x 400g cans cooked mixed pulses, drained) 2 x 400g cans whole plum tomatoes 2 tsp sea salt 60g dark chocolate (minimum 80 per cent cocoa solids), broken into pieces
to serve 120ml  plain yogurt 1 large handful coriander leaves, coarsely chopped Giving Tree broccoli and pumpkin crisps to dip and use as toppings too
METHOD Heat the oil in a large heavy-based saucepan or casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, spices and oregano and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally, until the spices smell fragrant and the onions are soft but not browned.
Add the peppers, carrot, sweetcorn and celery and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the walnuts, beans, tomatoes, 250ml (9fl oz) water and salt, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in the chocolate and cook for a couple of minutes. Taste and season. Serve in bowls, garnished with a dollop of yogurt and chopped coriander with toasted corn tortillas on the side. Any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for three to five days.

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