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Showing posts from tagged with: spring recipes

Veggie Sunday Roasts for the long weekend!

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29.04.16

The cooking clouds have started to lift, the blossom is out and so surely, now it is most definitely time to leave roasting behind for a bit, along with woolly hats and winter coats. But something in us doesn’t feel JUST ready for salads and steamers only yet ...Sunday roasts are here to stay!

Try these two types of roasting: one fast and full-on, the other slow and sweet. For the fast roast, peppers, broad beans (pod-and-all) and radishes were sent to a searing hot oven, bringing smokiness lots of flavour. The slow roast is sweeter from the baby vegetables.

Both roasts are simply spiced while they cook to allow the character of all the vegetables to shine bright. They are then carefully coated in herby spring dressings which make the roast so delicious too!

Roast spring roots with turnip and carrot-top pesto

Serves 4 200g new potatoes (jersey royals), scrubbed clean 200g baby beetroots, tops saved, scrubbed clean 200g baby turnips, tops saved, scrubbed clean 200g baby carrots, tops saved, scrubbed clean 6 baby onions, peeled and halved Juice of 2 lemons Juice of 1 orange 1 head of garlic, cloves separated, but unpeeled

For the pesto A bunch of mint, leaves picked from the stalks A bunch of thyme Saved turnip tops or a big bunch of watercress Saved carrot tops or a big bunch of parsley 4 cornichons or little gherkins 100g hazelnuts or almonds, roasted 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp baby capers Salt and black pepper A small bunch of radishes

1 Preheat your oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Take all your scrubbed vegetables, keeping the tops for later, and cut any larger vegetables in half – you want everything to roast in about the same length of time. Divide the vegetables between two baking trays. Squeeze the juice of the lemon and the orange over the veg, then put the squeezed halves on the tray. Scatter the unpeeled garlic cloves over the top and put both trays in to roast for 45 minutes, or until everything is soft throughout and brown round the edges.

2 Meanwhile, wash, dry and finely chop your herbs and vegetable tops, keeping the beetroot tops for later. Finely chop the cornichons too.

3 Put the nuts in a pestle and mortar, then bash well until you have a rough, crumby texture. Mix with the chopped herbs and tops, the olive oil, cornichons, capers and a good pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

4 Once the vegetables are ready, scatter over the beetroot tops for the last few minutes. Once everything is ready, the vegetables are nicely golden and the beetroot tops have wilted and begun to crisp a little at the edges, take the tray out of the oven. Carefully squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins into a little bowl, then mash them well and add to the herb mixture.

5 Use tongs to squeeze the juice out of the (still hot) roasted citrus – even the ones you originally squeezed will have become juicy again after roasting.

6 Serve the veg on a big platter with the garlic, herb and almond dressing for spooning over.

7 Serve with some bread or brown rice if you are particularly hungry; a spoonful of tart yoghurt is also delicious too!

Flash-roast green veg

Flash-roast green veg

Serves 4  8 green peppers 4 red onions, peeled and cut into thin wedges 8 broad beans in their pods 4 little gem lettuces, washed and cut into wedges A bunch of long radishes, washed A bunch of spring onions Salt and black pepper 2 good pinches of Turkish chilli powder (pul biber) Extra virgin olive oil 200g feta A small bunch of thyme 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas, or 300g jarred chickpeas, drained (optional) Juice and zest of 1 lemon

For the dressing A splash of white wine vinegar A small bunch of mint A small bunch of dill A small bunch of parsley 2 garlic clovesfinely sliced

1 First, preheat your oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Put all the vegetables on to a tray, season with salt, pepper and chilli, then drizzle with olive oil and put into the oven to roast for 25 minutes. You want the oven to be very hot, so that everything will catch and char.

2 On another tray, lay the whole block of feta on one side and the chickpeas on the other. Top the feta with a little more chilli, half the lemon zest and the thyme tips. Sprinkle the chickpeas with about 2 tbsp vinegar. Put this into the oven underneath the veg for the final 20 minutes.

3 Meanwhile, make the dressing. Chop all the herbs and put them into a bowl with the remaining lemon zest and half the juice, plus 4 tbsp of olive oil.

4 When the veg is nearly done, squeeze the last of the lemon juice over the top, scatter with garlic and return the tray to the oven for a couple of minutes.

5 Pull both trays out of the oven. Pile each plate with greens, then top with chickpeas, chunks of feta and a good amount of the herb dressing. Serve with Turkish bread, if you like.

Enjoy these delicious roasts this Bank Holiday Weekend - they won't disappoint! 

Spring is upon us..become a Morning person!

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17.03.16

Whether you're a morning person or you're not..lifestyle factors can pretty much change this with almost immediate effect! With everyone constantly and increasingly on-the-go all the time, there is almost an unspoken expectation to not give yourself time off, not have any time down, and constantly people measuring commitment/success by the amount of shut-eye they had the previous night. We’ve decided to come up with a few ways this can be changed, so that even the sleepiest of us can enjoy the mornings as they become lighter with a few simple lifestyle changes..

CUT THE CAFFEINE!

It’s easy to get into a habit of relying on caffeine filled drinks to get you through the day, however drinking a coffee close to your bed time will most likely be a culprit to disturbing your sleep. For some people this doesn’t affect their sleep too much, however due to it being a stimulant it will undoubtedly disrupt most people’s. It can be found in more than just your daily coffee though, so avoiding chocolate with high levels of cacao is also going to help your sleep be the best quality it can be. With work schedules so demanding, it’s important to ensure, if you want to be the morning person you envisage yourself becoming, that you cut the caffeine mid afternoon each day. Instead, enjoy water infused with fresh fruit for a flavour kick and green tea to waken you up. This-Tropical-Green-Smoothie-is-one-of-my-favorite-green-smoothies-loaded-with-spinach-pineapples-orange-juice-and-bananas.-Its-only-255-calories-and-deliciously-smooth-4  

CHANGE YOUR PATTERN

Start by going to bed even half an hour earlier, an hour, or more, and increase the shift in hours as your body clock becomes more used to it.. Although getting your “beauty sleep” isn’t strictly true for beauty purposes, there is definitely something to be said about getting the zzz’s in before the clock strikes 12. Aside from the fact that many of us have to be up by 7ish in the morning, the way getting into bed a couple of hours before midnight will change your mood for the day is astounding.

EXERCISE BEFORE BREAKFAST

Going to bed at night knowing that you will be waking up with a plan to exercise will motivate you to go to bed earlier and in turn, wake up earlier to complete your work out. By setting tasks like this perhaps once or twice a week, you will not only set up a great foundation for sleeping well each night, but will also be setting up your day with lots of energy.. oh and to add to that, your exercise for the day will be done, so no carrying trainers and work out clothes with you all day anymore! Woohoo you can tick off a productive task straight away   d-300x300

EAT LIKE A KING

As the saying states, “Eat breakfast like a King, Lunch like a queen..”. After your morning work out session, the best way to refuel for the day ahead is to have a truly hearty but healthy breakfast. Having something like overnight oats, a bowl of porridge, or avocado and eggs on toast sprinkled with seeds will give you the nutrients you need to power through a long day and, if you know what you’re having the night before, you will undoubtedly look forward to eating it in the morning - what better way to become a morning person?

PREP

Simple but effective, planning in advance is always going to put you in good stead whether you like it or not, and annoyingly enough, always proves right! By moving your alarm to the other side of the room, you will be forced to get up to turn it off, and let’s face it, once you’re up, well you’re up! If you are planning to get up slightly earlier than would be standard for your early morning wake ups, get your clothes ready and laid out the night before so that it doesn’t take long to change in the morning and no thought has to be put into the outfit either. Also, ensure you prepare your breakfast, as it won’t only save you time, but it will allow you to be happy in the knowledge that you will be eating something good in the morning. Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 12.06.42   Try this delicious Giving Tree breakfast of naturally flavoured fruit yogurt and strawberry crisps!