healthy

Cherry, Pistachio and Cacao Smoothie – Plus Smoothie Jedi Tip

Cherry, Pistachio and Cacao Smoothie

I’m gonna smoothie all the way through Autumn! Winter too! The flavours of chocolate and cherry were made for each other. This one’s got that black forest vibe to it, really simple to make and something a little different in your breakfast bowl.

Start the day with something beautiful, something that inspires your tastebuds, something that gives your body a nice healthy hug.

Today we find ourselves halfway up a mountain (where we live) eclipsed by grey mist, grey skies, with the slate grey ocean raging beneath us.  So, I popped out in a window of sun rays to get this shot of breakfast.  I don’t have anything against the colour grey, I have a grey sweatshirt, but in the foodie sphere, I can’t think of a decent grey food.  Nature did not want us eating grey it seems!

Colours!  Vibrancy!  That’s where were are on this hillside.  BHK bowls packed with things to make you purr.  In fact, we had a grey cat named Buster once (some of you will remember that legend).  He was the greatest dash of grey in this old world I tell you.  I miss him.

Smoothies are one way of fixing yourself up for superb things!  There is no way that a smoothie can be anything but awesome.  Vegan, gluten and sugar free, loaded up with everything the body needs, we even add coconut yoghurt here for a probiotic, gut-friendly, boost.  What is not to LOVE!

If this tickles your fancy, let us know below and let’s talk smoothie and vibrant things, beauty bowls, happy days.

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**Smoothie Jedi Tip**

Start slow, then build it up.  Start blending your smoothie on low and gradually build it up to full steam ahead.  This helps to incorporate all the lumps and chunks and means less scraping and shaking to get it blended properly.  A Jedi fact.

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Recipe Notes

We buy frozen cherries from the supermarkets.  Buying frozen fruits is a great way of preparing for a smoothie-fest.  It also works out cheaper and many of the fruits are frozen ripe, meaning good flavour and a higher nutritional profile.

Go wild with toppings!  We sometimes sprinkle other nuts, muesli/ granola, funky green healthy powders (spirulina, wheatgrass etc), dried berries like raspberry and strawberry are a knockout too!  Occasionally, I rock a drizzle of nut butter or tahini.

 

I’m on Instagram.  Yes, it’s taken me a while…..remember, I’m a mountain dweller, some would say a bit of a caveman in some ways.  But, I’m over there now and sharing my little heart out.  Come and join me, click here!  

 

I will be serving this at some of our upcoming cooking events soon.  It’s just so good!

 

Beauty bowl! Cherry, Pistachio and Cacao Smoothie – Sugar-free, vegan, gluten-free

 

Cherry, Pistachio and Cacao Smoothie

The Bits – For 2

2 handfuls frozen cherries

1 handful frozen banana

2 tbs vegan coconut yoghurt (cultured preferably)

2 tbs cacao or cocoa powder

Plant Milk (of choice, we used hemp milk)

 

Toppings

Chopped pistachios, goji berries, extra frozen cherries

 

Do It

In a large smoothie cup or blender (we use a Ninja), add all the ingredients and half fill with plant-milk.  Blitz on a low setting first, turning it up to high.  Jedi style!

Give it a shake or a scrape down if it’s not blending straight away.

Pour into a bowl, sprinkled with your toppings.

 

Serving suggestions – Sit somewhere sunny and quiet, take a moment, breathe deep (x5 times), enjoy the peace, grab that spoon…..:) 

 

Foodie Fact 

Cherries are wickedly high in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients!  Loaded up with vitamin C and fibre, they’re an ideal winter wonder food.  They can also be awesome for our heart and even help us get a restful sleep.

Cherries.  Yes!  More please.

See, grey can be beautiful!!  Here’s a view from the top of our hill/ mountain. I love this spot!  A great place for cavemen to play….Nantlle, Snowdonia

 

LIKE THIS ONE!  FOLLOW THE BLOG AND RECEIVE NOTIFICATIONS.  

DON’T MISS A BHK RECIPE:)

 

Categories: Breakfast, gluten-free, healthy, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Smoothies, Vegan, Wales | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

YoVeg! Mediterranean Vegan Yoga Holiday – Spain, May 2020

The Shining Lights! – Vegan and Yoga Cooking Holiday ’19

 

WITH LEE WATSON, COOKBOOK AUTHOR AND TV CHEF

AND COMPLETE UNITY YOGA

9th May – 16th May 2020

 

Join us in our stunning beach-side ECO-villa for this transformational, life-enriching Mediterranean Vegan Yoga Holiday in Spain.

This is your new home away from home, beachside eco-villa in plant-based paradise!

It is time to enjoy the feeling of the sun on your skin with the sound of the ocean and views of palm trees and the expansive blue sea with delicious vegan food and enlightening yoga and meditation. You’ll meet like-minded people, have fun and leave feeling nourished and inspired.

 

Limited Availability – this YoVeg! Vegan Yoga Holiday always sells out! Secure your space today with a £49 deposit. Book now!

 

Here’s the view from the Yoga Platform 👇

 

YoVeg! Yoga Holiday ’20 – Right on the beach!

 

What to Expect

A stunning beach-side villa for a transformational life-enriching yoga holiday. Set in the Costa Calida, the jewel of the Spanish coastline, we have arranged a carefully crafted program designed to fully nourish your mind, body and soul.

YoVeg! Mediterranean Vegan Yoga Holiday in Spain is bursting with inspirational workshops, delicious plant-based food, yoga, meditation and life-enriching experiences.

Wander along the stunning beach, unwind on the villa’s sunny terraces, go swimming in the blue sea or join excursions to explore the fascinating local area. This promises to be an unforgettable vegan yoga holiday in the Mediterranean.

Enjoy time, space, and guidance, to find inner peace and harmony, whilst learning new healthy habits to live a passionate and empowered life, full of joy and well-being.

 

 

What’s Included

✓ 7 nights in our modern villa 10 meters from the beach surrounded by empowering mountains and beautiful palm trees
✓ Jane’s delicious daily morning smoothies
✓ Plant-based food cooked by the cookbook author Lee Watson
✓ Bespoke recipe booklet by Lee Watson
✓ Daily yoga and meditation classes with Will Fisher and Malene Vedel (International Yoga Teachers)
✓ Evening transformational experiences with Will and Malene
✓ Specialised yoga workshops with Will and Malene
✓ Cooking demonstration/workshop with Lee
✓ Empowering herbal health workshop with Jane Legge
✓ Day trip to a local Sunday market
✓ Stand up paddle boarding in the bay
✓ 2 walks/treks to beautiful locations and viewpoints
✓ Optional daily massage treatments
✓ Lunch in one of the area’s best restaurants
✓ Optional airport transfers*

 

Picnics and walks in beautiful nature

The Food

YoVeg! Mediterranean Vegan Yoga Holiday in Spain will be full of delicious plant-based food cooked by our amazing chef Lee Watson (cookbook author) using super fresh ingredients sourced from the local markets in Costa Calida.

A true taste bud party 3 times a day every day! During the retreat, Lee will also share with you a cooking workshop where you have the opportunity to learn new techniques and get hands-on with the amazing fresh local produce from the Murcia region.

 

Lots of decadent, healthy desserts and sweet treats

 

Accommodation

Beautiful modern rooms with the option to book either twin rooms, double rooms, shared accommodation with en-suite or shared bathrooms.

This year we are also offering the option of camping, bring your own tent and enjoy the beautiful warm Spanish spring evenings and sleep to the sound of the sea.

 

Strolls down the paseo and time to chill on the beach or terrace

 

Prices

Single and Double Rooms (SOLD OUT)

Twin Room (2 people) – £939 per person (ONLY 1 LEFT)

Shared Accommodation – £819 per person (2 MORE)

Camping – £619 per person (ONLY 2 AVAILABLE)

 

BOOKINGS HERE

 

 

Reviews

“Once again, Malene, Will, Lee and Jane have surpassed themselves creating an outstanding week of nourishing yoga and food. As with last year, I came back so refreshed and renewed in both my yoga and vegan cooking practice. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but the food this year was even more amazing than last years. The Danish Picnic up in the hills was a real highlight. It is a wonderful treat to be cooked such incredible vegan food that is made with love and passion.
Malene’s yoga classes were once again, beautiful crafted and designed for us to get exactly what our bodies needed. The yoga and meditation sessions on the beach to the sound of the roaring waves was just beautiful. Thanks again to all of you for another very special retreat! Love and light. Xxx”

 

Will – Yoga teacher and ace cook, buying produce at the local market

 

“Wow, what a fantastic week this was!
I had been searching for the ‘right’ yoga holiday and this turned out to be exactly what I wanted, needed … and more!
I am just embracing a vegetarian lifestyle and was amazed by the gorgeous food Lee of ‘Beach House Kitchen’ demonstrated and created lovingly for us 3 x daily … plus snacks! and the chocolate fudge cake was the best I have tasted … ever!!”

“The food was wonderful Lee spent a lot of time in the kitchen creating delicious food for us all assisted by the wonderful Jane who’s smoothies are now legendary
If there is one retreat that to go on then this is it.
A truly amazing experience which I would recommend to everyone.”

 

Meditation practice on the beach

 

Categories: Cooking Holidays, Cooking Retreats, Events, healthy, photography, plant-based, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Baked Pea, Lemon & Mint Tortilla – Vegan and Gluten-free

Tortilla – One of my favourite tapas dishes can be vegan and delicious

I travel a lot in Spain, it’s one of my favourite places to get lost, eat well, experience sunshine and culture.  

As a vegan wanderer, the institution of the tapas bar can be a chastening experience.  Olives, bread, maybe the occasional mushroom is thrown your way.  Not much else.  While everyone feasts, I nibble.  I don’t mind really.  I never go hungry but I rarely get to sample the culinary adventure that’s happening all over Spain.  That is the way of things, but what it does stir up, is the desire to make tapas vegan.  In fact, make all of my favourite dishes purely plants!  I love the challenge.  At home, or at work, I get stuck into creating new recipes.

Many fail, some are decent, this one I like very much and make regularly.  I’ve been through hundreds of tortillas to make it here.  Trying out a variety of methods and ideas, making it with ingredients that are easy to source.   The tofu adds essential texture, both blended into the mix and roughly crumbled, the lemon elevates the flavours and the well cooked onion and garlic offer important depth.

Secret vegan weapon….

In fact, onions are an ingredient that is often overlooked in plant-based cooking.  They are the bedrock to so many dishes and how we cook them will make all the difference.  Vegan food can easily be bland, which is strange when you look at the list of ingredients in many dishes. Seasoning and well cooked onion will go a long way to making our plant-based dishes sing with flavour.

One thing I talk about at my cooking workshops is tasting food.  Taste, taste, taste.  Keep tasting, it’s the only way to develop a palate and with that palate, make your food taste awesome!  Just the way you like it, cook plenty and develop some skills that suit you.  Help you to prepare the food you want to eat.  It’s not important what the present Instagram craze is; blue smoothies, charcoal in stuff, at least it’s not to me.  It doesn’t have to be deep fried, covered in cheese, with a bucket of BBQ sauce to have flavour, to be exciting.  I aspire to live a simple foodie life, eating the food that is good for my soul.  It’s different for everyone, but surely, a tortilla is on the list right?!

Giant Tortillas  

When I was a vegetarian, a few moons ago, I used to visit a little tapas bar in the village where my parents own a property.  The woman in the kitchen was eccentric, around 80, with sparkling eyes and constant beaming smile.  Daily, a giant pea tortilla appeared from the kitchen.  A foot thick.  Only the eccentric can be this brilliant!  I’m exaggerating size wise but it wasn’t far off.

The pan she used was like something from an old-school foundry in Sheffield.  Some serious iron in that piece.  I was amazed she could lift the final pea studded behemoth which strained resplendent every mid-morning on the bar.  A slice would do four.  I was invited to the kitchen one day to witness the preparation, it was a exhibition of skill, grace and brute strength.  The son helped with the last bit.  Potato tortilla is good, but a pea tortilla just looks cooler, especially at that scale.  The food we make expresses who we are, that tortilla smiled from the bar every morning at me.

Not many ‘Guiris’ ventured into that place, the decor was a little past it, the TV barked like a rabid megaphone, the furniture was uniformly battered plastic, but, the food was hot!  Hot in a good and simple and humble and just damn tasty way. Using local produce and time honoured recipes, the tapas was a treat.

Being a local ‘Guiri’

I did get ripped off for a simple salad one day, 10 euros for a plate of lettuce and tomatoes.  I seldom returned.  I am a Guiri after all.  We’re not used to paying 10 euros for a plate of slices tomatoes and iceberg!  I also wear shorts 12 months a year and sometimes I like to eat dinner before 10 pm.  But otherwise, I think I’m chilling out and getting into the Spanish vibe pretty well.  I’ve also perfected a few Spanish phrases, in the gruff local Murcian dialect.  This means a certain level of (very minor) acceptance.

So, a medium-length story, slightly shorter, that’s why I’m posting this recipe.  I hope you enjoy it and cook it lots.  Please post below and say hello and let’s talk vegan cooking and Spain.  Two of my favourite subjects.  I love coming up with recipes and your feedback is really important in so many ways.

I’ve also finally, after around 7 years, got a new phone!  Meaning, I’m on Instagram, follow me over right here.

Baked Pea, Lemon & Mint Tortilla – Vegan and Gluten-free

Little green shoots

There are green shoots of veganity all over Spain now.  There are even a few vegan restaurants in Murica, a local vegan festival in our port town, plus a growing awareness in the media and populace about this vegan thing.  It’s wonderful to see.  Down at the local supermarkets, and we live in the sticks, plenty of vegan options and plenty of organic options.

For me to sit in a vegan restaurant in Spain and order a nicely cooked meal is a privilege.  In fact, it’s a privilege anywhere in the world.  Having ate many lifetimes worth of side dishes; chips, bread, uninspiring salads, olives, to be catered for in restaurants is something I’ll never take for granted.   Having worked in restaurants my whole life, I always appreciate what’s going on, how hard it is, how it takes over your life, how it’s driven by passion and hard work and also how easy it is to be overly critical.  Something I see regularly on social media, trip advisor etc.  I always try to be supportive of restaurants, it’s tough to run a good place and I have huge respect for people who do it well.   Especially if they’re making efforts to get vegan. Anyway, tortilla, here it is……

Full of flavours and a light texture, vegan tortilla is on the menu!

Recipe Notes

I decided that baking a tortilla is best here, giving a nice crisp, crust and it keeps things soft in the middle.  Every oven is different, check the middle of your tortilla is cooked using a skewer, like a cake.  Too long, it will be dry, too short and it will be uncooked in the middle.  Press the tortilla, in the middle, it should be springy and also the edges will leave the side of the baking dish.  It’s a fine-ish line.  The tortilla will firm up once it leaves the oven and cools, it’s worth remembering that.

No mint and dill.  Try other herb combinations, like thyme and rosemary.

I’ve added some raising agents.  On occasion, some gram flour, vegan tortillas can be quite heavy.  This helps lighten things.

 

Baked Pea, Lemon & Mint Tortilla – Vegan and Gluten-free

The Bits – For One Large Tortilla, 8-10 large slices

Batter

100g gram flour

175ml soya milk

75g firm tofu

1 teas salt

½ teas turmeric

½ teas bicarb of soda

½ teas baking powder

 

Filling


1 large onion (sliced)

2 large cloves garlic (sliced)

½ teas salt

125g firm tofu (broken into pieces with fingers)

2 tbs lemon juice (1 small lemon)

½ tbs lemon zest (½ small lemon)

2 tbs olive oil

150g frozen peas

1 teas dried mint

1 teas dried dill

¼ teas black pepper

 



Do It


Oil a 22cm/ 8.5 inch cake tin (a big one).  Line with baking parchment if it is not non-stick.

Press tofu between kitchen paper, remove excess moisture.

Preheat a fan oven to 180oC.

Add 1 tbs oil to a large frying pan, on medium heat, cook the garlic and onions for 7-9 minutes, adding 1/2 teas salt, until soft and golden.  Set aside to cool.

In a blender, add the tortilla batter ingredients and blitz until smooth.  

Add you dried herbs, black pepper, peas, 1 tbs olive oil and lemon juice to the frying pan.  Break the tofu into the pan using your fingers, large pieces are fine, this is to give the look and texture of egg white. Mix together, then stir in the batter until all is nicely combined. Pour this batter into your oiled cake tin and sprinkle with a little more sea salt.

Place in the oven for 25 minutes, drizzle over a little more oil at 20 minutes.  When it’s ready, the top will be nicely golden and the centre will be springy when pressed with your fingers.

Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes before slicing and serving with a crisp salad, olives and all your other favourite Spanish tapas.  It’s great with vegan aioli, also nice with a scattering of freshly chopped herbs, mint and parsley especially.

Flamenco in Sevilla

Our recent travel post, Vegan on the road – Andalucia, has been one of our most popular ever!  Check it out here for more vegan Spanish travelling and foodie things. 

Categories: gluten-free, healthy, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Travel, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Easy Vegan Indian Bowl – Roasted Vegetable and Coconut Curry, Black Kale Daal and Coconut Rice

Beach House Kitchen Bowl!

Better than takeaway! Wayyyy better!! Made with only fresh vegetables and spices, this Indian feast is delicious, rich and healthy too.  I’ve stripped down the preparation and ingredients, so this need not be a weekend treat.  It’s very mid-weekable!  Three recipes, served with our favourite condiments and we’re feasting vegan style!

I’m addicted to spice!  Can’t live without it for long.  When I travel around Italy or France, I’m always packing garam masala.  We really fancied a thali today, something colourful, filled with fragrant aromas, dishes to enliven the taste buds.  Plus, it’s my day off, what better way to celebrate!  We were missing India (see some of our India travels here) and felt like a light and seasonal curry. Lots of it….this is our Beach House Kitchen Thali Bowl!*

Curry in the BHK front garden, where the herb garden has gone a little feral.

It happens at this time of year.  The trees are all turning golden and crimson and I begin to ponder dark nights and BIG storms (we live on a mountain side).  I love the drama and peace of winter, but I need colours, spice and variety to get me through.  I like to get some rainbows cooking in the kitchen when the skies are grey.

We eat curries every week, sometimes even for breakfast (AM curry recipe here). I love giving local, seasonal veggies an Indian twist. I’ve used simple spices and ingredients here, like I said, this is a staple recipe, something I’d like you to find easy to cook. Add and subtract vegetables as you like, whatever is good or in your veg basket/ fridge.

Travelling India, especially in the South, is a moveable vegan’s feast. So many, coconut based options and up North, just ask to hold the ghee and you have a whole host of tantalising options, from street foods to wedding banquets, you’re gonna eat well in India as a plant-based wanderer.

Easy Vegan Curry Feast – 3 quick recipes

The essence of a good curry is fresh spices and a vibrant sauce (or gravy as they sometimes call it in India).  Got to be flavourful, it’s the base for soulful and spicy things to happen in your kitchen.  You’re creating something very special.

Here we make a simple tomato sauce, that can be used in a whole host of curries.  We mix in coconut cream, but it can be served as it is with vegetables.  We don’t blend it here, but that will make for a nice smooth sauce.

A portal to Pondicherry…..India we miss you (thanks for the spice!)

This was our lunch, so we ate it out in the garden.  I love the autumn up here in Snowdonia, the sunsets are regularly spectacular and there is plenty of sunshine with a nip in the air.  Ideal for walking in the mountains and along the beaches.  I’ll post some pictures soon.

We’ve been preparing for winter by refining our fermentation skills, Jane is on kombucha, I’m all over sourdough and sauerkraut etc.  Packing loads of colours and flavours into big jars and fermenting, it really is magic.  You can see some of our Radish Bombs here, with a nice hit of lime and spices.  Perfect on most things!  We are always inspired by our friend Janice from Nourished by Nature, see Spicy Radish Bomb recipe here.  A shining light!

These curry recipes will keep you going this autumn, straight through winter, filled with spicy, rainbow bowls.

Roasted Vegetable and Coconut Curry, all the trimmings…

Recipe Notes

The curry and daal will freeze well.  Make double if you fancy, portion it up into seperate containers and you’re well ahead.

The vegetables can be played with here. No squash, carrots or pumpkin is fine. No kale, use savoy cabbage or spinach.  No peppers, try courgettes or aubergines.  You get the idea!  Mix and match.  Play.  Enjoy!!

I’m not shy with oil here.  It adds richness, but using less will not adversely affect these dishes at all.  Stirring coconut oil into these dishes at the last minute is a nice way to finish things.

Add tofu to your roasted vegetables.  It’s delicious and adds even more protein to these dishes.

I roast and grind my own spices before cooking, especially the cumin and coriander.  You can’t beat the flavour.  Here’s a post about roasting and grinding your precious spices.

This is a mild, lightly spiced curry.  If you like spices add more!  If you like chillies, go crazy!!

Timing is everything right!  

Stage one – Start with your rice, then daal, then roast your vegetables and get the sauce cooking.

Stage two – Leave a lid on the rice (keep it warm), finish off the daal with the fried spices and garlic, add your roasted vegetables to your sauce.

There will be a lot going on here, you’ll need four pans and an oven working in harmony, but that’s the buzz and excitement of cooking like this, pots bubbling away, all action.  Once you’ve made these recipes a couple of times, you won’t even need the recipes.  You’ll be free-styling and expressing yourselves like true curry champions!!

Do let us know if you like this recipe, or even better, if you try it out.  

We love to hear from you below in the comments.  Say “hello!”  

I’ve also just started posting over on Instagram.  

Svaadisht!

 

Easy Vegan Indian Feast – Roasted Vegetable and Coconut Curry, Black Kale Daal and Coconut Rice

 

The Bits – For 4 big eaters or 6

Coconut Rice 

250ml brown basmati rice

500ml vegetable stock

1 1/2 teas cumin seeds

2/3 teas nigella/ kalongi seeds

1/2 teas mustard seeds

1/2 stick cinnamon

5 green cardamom pods (cracked)

4 tbs dessiccated coconut

1 tbs cold pressed oil/ coconut oil

1/2 teas sea salt

 

Black Kale Daal

250g red lentils

850ml vegetable stock

1/2 teas turmeric

 

125g black kale/ cavolo nero (finely sliced)

1/2 tbs cold pressed oil/ coconut oil

3 cloves garlic

2 heaped tbs chopped ginger

1 1/2 teas cumin seeds

1 teas mustard seeds

1/2-1 teas sea salt

 

Roasted Vegetable and Coconut Curry

2 peppers (chopped)

500g/ 1/2 large butternut squash

1 large onion

1/2-1 tbs cold pressed oil/ coconut oil

Sea salt and black pepper

 

Spicy Tomato Sauce 

1 large onion (chopped)

5 tomatoes (chopped)

5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

2 tbs ginger (finely chopped)

1-2 red chillies (sliced)

150g/ 2 handfuls white cabbage (sliced)

2 teas garam masala

2 teas ground cumin

1 1/2 teas ground turmeric

1 1/2 teas ground coriander

1-2 tbs cold pressed oil/ coconut oil

1 teas sea salt and black pepper

Easy to be vegan!

Do It

Rice

Wash and drain your rice.  Add the oil to a small saucepan, heat on medium, add the seeds, stir for a 30 seconds, add the coconut, cinnamon and cardamon, stir and cook for a few minutes, until the coconut is golden and fragrant.  Add the rice and stock.  Stir again and bring to a boil.  Lower heat to a slow simmer and pop a lid on.  Leave to cook for 25-30 minutes.  It will depend on your rice.

Daal

Wash and drain your lentils.  Add them to a medium sauce pan.  Cover with the stock, add the turmeric and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to a low simmer, pop a lid on and leave to cook for 25 minutes.  Stirring a few times.  Once the lentils are cooked, in a small frying pan, add the oil and heat on medium.  Fry the seeds, ginger and garlic together until the garlic is golden.  Add this mix to the lentils, season with salt and thin out the daal with hot water if needed.

Curry

Preheat oven to 200oc.  Toss you squash, peppers and onion on a baking tray with oil, salt and pepper.  Place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes, turning once.  Get some nice colour onto the vegetables, some charred edges are very welcome.

While that’s happening, in a large frying pan on high heat, add your oil and cook the onions for 7 minutes, until golden.  Add the garlic, chilli, ginger and spices, fry a minute, stirring.  Now add the tomatoes and salt.  Lower the heat and cover with a lid.  Leave to cook for 8 minutes.  Take the lid off, add the coconut milk and cabbage, leave to simmer for 10 minutes.  Check the seasoning and ensure the cabbage is cooked through.

Your roasted vegetables will now be ready, scrape them gently into the pan and combine well with the sauce.

You’re good to go!  On a preferably warm plate/ shallow bowl, add the rice, daal and curry.

Serve topped with sliced chillies, your favourite pickles, crispy onions, radish bombs and we had coconut yoghurt.

Vegan curries all the way!  Healthy and delicious, always possible!!

Foodie Fact

Every part of this curry sparkles with nutritional wonders.  Because we’re only using fresh vegetables, whole grains and spices, it really is a bowl of healthy happy.  Eating a balanced vegan diet, based around fresh fruit and veg is the healthiest way we can fuel ourselves, tasty too!  This bowl is filled with a huge range of vitamins, minerals, iron, protein, anti-oxidants, pro-biotic goodness, good energy, good fats, good vibes!   This bowl is good for your heart, your mind, your skin, your tastebuds!!

You could even add some steamed broccoli or kale for an ultimate healthy happy bowl.

 

Come cook and holiday with us.  All of our upcoming events are right here

 

 

*PS – A thali is a traditional plate, with loads of compartments for treats.  We don’t have one.  I’d like one, but I’m trying to minimise my kitchen equipment.  It’s amazing what you can do with a few spoons and a pan.  No gimmicks.  No gadgetry.  I’m getting back to the roots of cooking.  Except my blender.  I draw the old school line there.  How do you hand-make a smoothie?

Categories: Autumn, Curries, gluten-free, healthy, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Merry Vegan Midwinter Workshop – An alternative festive feast and celebration

 

Sunday 24th November 2019

10am-5pm

 

With Gillian Monks ‘Merry Midwinter’ and Lee Watson ‘Peace and Parsnips’

 

Get back in touch with the true spirit of Christmas!

 

Join best-selling authors, Gillian Monks and Lee Watson at the beautifully situated Trigonos, to celebrate an alternative Festive season with a delicious, 3 course plant-based lunch and cooking demonstration.

 

Are you interested in a Christmas which doesn’t revolve around commercialism and consumerism?

 

Do you wish to return to celebrating this time of year in a more authentic way?

 

Gillian will be sharing her passion for this season and introducing you to an alternative festive approach, re-introducing ourselves to activities and customs which better reflect the nature of this time of year.

Prepare to be inspired!

Vegan chef Lee will be creating a plant-based festive menu, with lots of treats. A slap up three course Christmas lunch, using local produce, that everyone can enjoy! Vegan, gluten-free and sugar-free options are available, all decadent and delicious. Lee will also be demonstrating how to cook a full vegan Christmas dinner, step by step.

You will enjoy plant-based dishes like this Festive Vegan Mushroom Wellington

Gillian’s workshop will involved creating your own Christmas decorations from locally foraged evergreens. Design and make your own advent wreath or kissing ball, Welsh calennigs, Christmas woodland gnomes and eco-friendly gift-wrapping.

Gillian will also be sharing ideas for festive entertainment, games and gifts, which cost nothing except time, inspiration and care, as well as leading our stories and carols by the fire.

 

What’s included:

 

Three course plant-based festive lunch and welcome drink

 

Authentic Christmas decoration workshop with Gillian, using locally foraged evergreens

 

Cooking demonstration with Lee, learn how to make this Christmas plant-based and decadent

 

Candle lit afternoon tea, storytelling and carols by the blazing fire,
with special hot chocolate

 

Full recipe booklet, especially designed for the day, try all the recipes out at home

 

Much knowledge and many practical tips of how you can re-connect with the Festive season, in new, old ways

 

A selection of Teas and Fresh Coffee

 

——–

 

Why we came together for Merry Vegan Midwinter:

 

“Celebrating midwinter is not about what you buy or how much you spend….Turn away from the frenetic consumerism of Christmas and rediscover the authentic and meaningful realities of this, the oldest and most precious celebration of the year.
The true significance of midwinter is not found in any individual spiritual or religious belief or practice. Instead, the winter solstice provides an opportunity to celebrate what we as humans share; to set aside our differences and come together with a sense of community and cheer.”

Gillian

 

“Many people are choosing to eat more plant-based foods, I want to make the festive season delicious for all! Taking into account vegans, gluten-free and even sugar-free options, I’ll be creating a Christmas lunch menu that everyone will enjoy. Full of flavours, textures and pleasant surprises along the way.”

Lee

 

 

Come along for an enjoyable, delicious and relaxing day, reconnecting with the true spirit of Christmas.

 

 

Early Bird Offer* £69

 

TO BOOK

Call 01286882388 or email info@trigonos.org

 

Normal Day Ticket £79

 

Address:

Trigonos
Plas Baladeulyn
Nantlle
Caernarfon
Wales
LL54 6BW

 

*Early Bird Offer ends 19st October 2019

Categories: Cooking demos, Events, gluten-free, healthy, plant-based, Vegan, Wales, Winter | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

Vegan Japanese Hambagu – Teriyaki Burger Bites with Flax Gomasio

Fancy a bite! Japanese Hambagus, vegan and gluten-free

This is my little, burger shaped homage to my favourite Japanese flavours; miso, ginger, wasabi, toasted sesame seeds. These crispy little burger bites are filled with flavour and when served with crisp vegetables and creamy mayonnaise, make for a delicious lunch.  We paired it with a Autumn stir-fry noodle salad with a creamy peanut and lime sauce.

Autumn Stir-Fry Salad with Peanut and Lime Sauce

The great thing about this salad is that you can use whatever is seasonal or in your fridge/ veg basket.  Filled with Asian flavours, lots of chilli, garlic and ginger for a base, then the dressing comes with toasted sesame oil, tamari and lots of lime.  We’ll be eating this right through the winter, so tasty and easy to get together.  Recipe coming soon……

I’m glad I got around to posting this recipe, I have piles of notebooks with tested recipes that don’t make it to the blog.  My motivation to get typing tonight was YOU!  Thanks so much for all the love you’ve shown over on Facebook and Twitter.  I shared a couple of pictures of these little Hambagus and the response was amazing.

I wanted to make some burgers with a BIG flavour and I also wanted to add an Asian lunch for our Vibrant Vegan! Snowdonia event.  This is basically how this recipe came about, a lot of my favourite things in a mini burger.

These hambagus are crispy on the outside and have a good, firm texture.  They’ll go well on a grill or BBQ, but I like the control of a frying pan.  But, the next time I have a BBQ, these are hitting it! Most veggies burgers may seem a little soft when they first go into the pan, but will firm up nicely when flipped.

A Hambagu is basically a Japanese hamburger and generally when I make Japanese dishes, I whizz up some Gomasio.  The recipe is below.  Gomasio is normally made with sesame, I’ve added flax because I love it, you may like to add a little seaweed.  It is a brilliant way for adding flavour, umami-tastic, to dishes.  Keeps well in the fridge too.

If you like the look of this, or cook it, do let us know in the comments below.  It’s great to hear from you.  We love the idea our recipes being cooked and enjoyed.

 

Join our mailing list here and you won’t miss a recipe

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Flax Gomasio – One of my favourite savoury toppings

Recipe Notes

Buy the sticky, thick version of teriyaki sauce to use on these burgers, or seek out Hoisin (which is Chinese, but works well with this recipe).

When handling the burger mix, wet hands makes all the difference.  No sticky messes here.

For presentation sake, take some time in forming your mini patties, get them quite uniformed and they’ll look awesome!

I’m torn between what is better, basting them with teriyaki and giving each side a quick fry or just basting them after cooking.  I’ve gone with the later, but if you like intense flavours, maybe try frying them quickly once you’ve basted.

Don’t over bake these, or any veggie burger for that matter, they’ll go dry.  We just want to warm them in the middle and they’re best served just after cooking.

The mix will freeze well and can be defrosted for future burger missions.  This recipe does make lots!

If you are gluten-free, just check what your miso is made out of.

You can also make a big burger if you like, I’d serve it with a sticky, sushi rice bun if I were you, some roasted sweet potatoes on the side.  In fact, I’ll do that next time…..

Vegan Hambagu! – One is never enough…..

Vegan Japanese Hambagus – Teriyaki Burger Bites with Flax Gomasio

 

The Bits – For 24 burger bites

100g toasted sunflower seeds

1 tin aduki beans (drained, reserving the liquid)
75g gluten-free flour (I used gram flour)
1 tbs ground flaxseed (mixed with 3 tbs water)
1 ½ tbs brown miso
2 tbs tomato puree
2 tbs teriyaki or hoisin sauce

200g cooked quinoa (cooled)
½ red pepper (finely diced)
1 teas garlic powder
1 teas ground ginger
3 tbs gomasio
¼ teas ground pepper

Cold pressed coconut or rapeseed oil (for frying)

Basting
4-6 tbs teriyaki (the thick and sticky variety) or hoisin sauce

Flax Gomasio
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds
1 tbs flax seeds
⅔ teas sea salt

Serve
Wasabi Mayonnaise
Sliced Tomato, chopped daikon or radish
Pickled ginger
Gomasio or toasted sesame seeds

 

Do It
In a food processor, blitz your sunflower seeds to a rough crumb. Some chunks of seeds are preferable here. Set aside.

Add your beans, miso, tomato puree, hoisin sauce, gram flour, 2 tbs bean tin liquid and flaxseeds. Blend until smooth

In a large mixing bowl, add your cooked quinoa, sunflower seeds, ginger, garlic, red pepper, gomasio, black pepper.

Scrape out the bean mix into the mixing bowl and stir together until all is combined well. Cover the bowl and place in a fridge for 45 minutes to firm up and chill.

Preheat an oven to 180oC. Pour enough hoisin sauce into a small bowl, have a basting brush handy.

Using wet hands, form 1 heaped tablespoon of mix into fat discs, mini burger shapes. Place them onto a plate.

Warm a large, heavy bottomed, frying pan on medium heat. Add 2 tbs cooking oil and when hot, add your burger bites. Fry for 2 minutes each side, until nicely charred. Once done, place on a baking tray. Continue frying in batches until you’re all done for mix.

Brush the top of each burger generously with hoisin sauce and place in the oven to cook for 8 minutes. The burgers should be piping hot and cooked in the middle.

Serve with your favourite Japanese influenced toppings. I like wasabi mayo, toasted sesame seeds and pickled ginger.

Gomasio – Toast the sesame and flax seeds in a pan on medium heat. Allow them to take on some colour, a nice dark golden shade. Around 10 minutes will be enough, tossing them regularly.

Place in a blender and blitz them with your salt. A fine powder will form, use straightaway of store in an airtight container in the fridge.

View of Nantlle Valley and Snowdon from BHK hill, and yes, the sky is normally like this.

 

Vibrant Vegan! Snowdonia, Plant-based Cooking and Yoga Holiday is now SOLD OUT!  We can’t wait to welcome the group this Saturday. 

 

If you couldn’t make it to Vibrant Vegan! maybe you’d like one of our upcoming events, ranging from Spanish Beach Holidays to Wine Tasting Evenings and Festive Vegan Cooking Workshops.  CLICK HERE

 

Categories: gluten-free, healthy, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan, Wales | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Kombucha Time! Fermented foods in the Beach House Kitchen

Jane toasting you all with tonights Kombucha! Strawberry and Rose Spritz (with a tickled of mint and a twist lime)

It’s wild today in the Beach House, we sit at the top of a hill, overlooking the Irish Sea, we get some tasty weather!! We were in the garden last night, basically it’s a big chunk of mountain, taming it and wrestling with brambles mainly. Seeing how the newts and frogs were getting on in the pond. We also got a nice pile of windfall apples (bonus!) We got a thirst going…..kombucha time.

We’re taking the Vibrant Vegan! Challenge, no alcohol for a few weeks now. We’re feeling groovy! Kombucha is the perfect treat drink. It has that fermented quality, and sometimes even tastes a little alcoholic.

Jane loves making Kombucha and we’re trying out new flavour combos for our Vibrant Vegan! Snowdonia – Plant-based Cooking & Yoga Holiday using mainly strawberry, raspberry and blackberry as bases. This is Jane toasting you all with last nights winner!!
We are truly blessed to have the magnificent Janice, aka Nourished by Nature, joining us for the holiday and hosting a fermentation masterclass. All of your Kombucha questions answered and much, much more!  Lots of tastings, pro-biotic chocolate anyone!!  How’s about some coffee Kombucha?

Sometimes I can’t believe we live here!! So beautiful. This is the view from the stone circle behind the BHK. 

Living right beside Snowdonia national park, it’s basically behind our back garden, means our local walks are pretty special!  You can nearly see Mount Snowdon in the photo above, tucked behing Mynydd Mawr (The Elephant Mountain, my local stomp).  We even have a little stone circle in our garden, which for many years we thought was all ancient and druidic etc, until we met the former owners and they said it was built in the late ’90’s.  Hari hum.  Still a great place to sit and watch sunset over Anglesey.

Several different sauerkrauts on the go…

I take charge of the sourdough and sauerkraut’s.  We both love making feremented foods, I always enjoy an edible hobby.  Here we have a few different types of ‘kraut, notice the German made Sauerkraut barrel, Jane get’s me the best Xmas pressies.  We experiment with all kinds of flavours and use many different veggies, herbs, spices etc.  Once you have the basic technique, the world of veg is your fermentable friend.  I’m keeping these a little secret, because they are especially for Vibrant Vegan!  Apologies.  One of them is Nepalese, the other, proudly German. One is with fennel, dill and lemon.  I love that combo.

You can’t make a sauerkraut, without covering your kitchen with cabbage. Them’s the rules!

Sauerkraut and fermented foods in general are a real gift, for good health and incredible flavours.  Most of our favourite foods are fermented; cheeses, coffee, wine and beer, yoghurt…the list goes on.  Fermenting foods is an ancient little trick that all cultures in the world have practiced.  It means your food is preserved, but unlike pickling for example, fermented foods come to life!  Their flavours are enhanced and their nutritional properties go through the roof.  They are also easier to digest.  Fermenting foods is also fun, and like I said, it’s and addictive hobby.  Our scobies (alien like creatures that live in jars and make kombucha) or our sourdough starter (named ‘funk face’ due to it’s fruity odour) are members of the BHK family.

Yesterdays sunset sourdough was Seeded Wholegrain

We have a new heating system in the Beach House, it’s uber energy efficient and we’re chuffed and cosy.  One thing it’s made so much better is our sourdough.  It’s actually warm enough for it to do it’s thing!  Before we tried heat pads and leaving near the fire, anything we could think of, but a consistent ambient temperature is working wonders for our little Funk Face.

Our windfall apples, let the wind do the work!

We’re not long back to the Beach House, after walking around Portugal for a while this summer and working in Spain.  The garden is now only semi-forested and we can now get down to the fun bits, like picking apples.  I feel another Kombucha flavour coming on!

What’s your favourite Kombucha flavour and what are your scobies called?  Do you love sourdough and yes, what is your sourdough called?  They have to have names, that’s more than half the fun of it…..

Breakfast Superfood Ice Cream – Vegan, Gluten and Sugar free

We also make our own yoghurt.  Just using the cultures that are already in the shop bought yoghurts.  Just add milk and leave….  It adds a pro-biotic punch to our morning bowls.  We’re loving superfood ice creams at the minute.  Lots of colours, textures and big flavours, just what I need to get me going in the mornings.

Fermentation is simple, with a little experience, anyone can do it and you don’t need any special equipment or fancy ingredients (although, like I said, a scobie is technically an alien lifeform living in your house.  You can buy them online!)

Please share your fermented food tales below in the comments and show some fermented love!!

There is loads more BHK chat, recipes and vegan cooking over on our Facebook page, click here.  

 


Here’s a recipe from a few years ago, KIMCHI, one of our favourties.  

Also, a Beetroot, Apple and Caraway Sauerkraut from the Beach House recipe library……


 

Our fermentation gurus are Janice from Nourished By Nature.  A ray of sunshine, wealth of knowledge and fermentista extraordinaire.

Plus Sandor Katz, his book ‘Wild Fermentation’ changed the way we look at food, packed with recipes and a huge amount of tips and knowledge.

 

Best to contact us via email, send a letter or leave a comment below, no phone signal up here in the hills;)

 

Categories: Baking, Cooking Holidays, Fermentation, fermented foods, healthy, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan, Wales | Tags: , , , | 9 Comments

Vibrant Vegan! Cooking – Organic soul food in stunning Snowdonia

Dream cooking – picking tomatoes for the pot and platter)

Picking my own ingredients freshly is a dream.

All grown to organic standards just beside the kitchen.  This is surely every cooks idea of paradise!  I felt like sharing a few pictures of what I’ve been harvesting of late.  Good food comes from the earth, from rich soils, the very best vegetables are always local, seasonal and organic.

Cooking at Trigonos is always pleasure.  You may not have visited Trigonos, or Snowdonia, and I know may of your are scattered all over the world.  I’d like to bring this area to life a little, some of you are joining us for our Vibrant Vegan! Snowdonia, Cooking Holiday.  We’ll be seeing you here soon.  Can’t wait!

A peaceful day by the lake, Trigonos

The Beach House Kitchen sits high in the hills in North Wales overlooking the Irish Sea, Anglesey and the Llyn Peninsula.  The views and sunsets are stunning.  We are right beside Snowdonia National Park, a place of wild beauty, stunning mountains, lakes and valleys.  We can jump over our back wall and walk up a mountain!  We love the lifestyle and one of the highlights for me, being a cook, is the local produce.

Radiant Welsh cherry tomatoes…

Yellow ones too…

I cook regularly at Trigonos, a retreat and learning centre, set in the spectacular Nantlle Valley.  It’s a hidden gem, no one goes there (don’t tell anyone about it;)  These pictures say it all really!  Trigonos sits on a little shelf of flat, arable land, beside a small lake, surrounded by old forests and a disused slate quarry.  Looking up the valley, we can see the mighty Snowdon which rises like a rocky crown above the other mountains.  Trigonos has been described as “heaven on earth” by many people who visit us and I tend to agree.  It’s one of the most beautiful spots in the UK and I feel very lucky to be able to play with veggies in their kitchens!

Trigonos has it’s own vegetable farm, a large field and a series of polytunnels, our resident horticulturalist was away in Canada, so us chefs were picking our own for a while and I loved every minute.  I visit the polytunnels regularly to see how things are sprouting and blooming, but to actually get to pick my own was a rare privilege.  I’ve been fortunate to be in this situation before, even picking my own fruits and veggies for the pot in Tamil Nadu, and it’s one of my favourite things to do.  Hand selecting the ripest and most appealing produce, to then take to the kitchen to prepare.  It doesn’t get any better!

Basil grows perfectly with the tomatoes. It’s very happy here!

 

I think autumn is my favourite time at Trigonos, the trees are all changing to a warmer shades and the mountains begin to take on burnt bronze and crimson hues

 

The peppers are coming….

But this behemoth (below) may well be the pinnacle for me, the giant and outrageously orange Crown Prince Squash.  Veggie royalty for certain.  The sweetest and most flavourful of the entire squash/ pumpkin collective.  You can see they’re massive already, and will hopefully sweeten up in the next few weeks and we’ll be preparing dishes with them for Vibrant Vegan!  A simple soup made with these squashes, home-made stock and a little onion, is a thing of rare beauty.  With produce like this, simplicity is the key, enhancing their nature fragrance, textures and sweetness.

Giant Crown Prince Squashes lurking under the leaves…

In these times of abundance from the land, we try our best to preserve the mountains of tomatoes, basil, cucumbers and other produce.  My favourite method is fermenting them into a variety or saeurkrauts and kimchis, or just fermenting things like cherry tomatoes whole (they’re then called Tomato Bombs!)  We also make lots of roasted tomato sauce for the freezer, as well as frozen berries and apples for crumbles and pies later in the year.

Chutneys, jams and pickling are of course another way of preserving autumn’s abundance and we have members of the team who love nothing more than making wine from everything!  Oak leaves, no problem.  But elderberries, blackberries and rhubarb are more palatable I reckon!!

This time of year can be a busy time in the kitchen, there is a buzz in autumn, a feeling that I’m getting ready for a long winter.  The more little gifts I can preserve for those times, the better.  I think we have to put effort and care into things to feel the true benefit, food is no different.  Popping open some homemade tomato sauce on a drizzly Tuesday in February makes me very happy….

A passion for cooking is a life-long joy!

Not forgetting the intense Ruby Chard corner

We love visiting Spain and have just returned from walking the Camino Portugese, post coming soon.  Here are some of our Spanish holiday snaps, Vegan on the Road – Andalucia.  The tomatoes in this polytunnel would be worshipped in Spain!  Such is the reverence tomatoes have there.

The Beef Steak tomato below would be thinly sliced in a restaurant, drizzle with olive oil and a little sea salt and served as a starter or tapas, for a pretty penny too!  Tomatoes are selected at markets with incredible care and cooked with sensitivity to the differing flavours and textures of the tomato in the basket.  It’s this kind of ‘feel’ I try to bring to my cooking and my mind and senses are focused even more when cooking with hand-picked produce.  How can it not be?  There is so much subtlety to be aware of in the kitchen, every action has a consequence, good cooking requires a relaxed focus, it is mindfulness in action! 

Giant Beefsteak tomatoes, Ive no idea how the thin stems support these. Some seem to weigh 1kg!

A natural groove…

Growing your own vegetables, cooking and eating them, seems like a perfect cycle.  Something so natural, grounding and fulfilling.  The ultimate healthy relationship, the happiest of marriages, with our food.  Even if it’s just some pots of herbs on a window ledge, or a little tomato plant, some spuds in the garden or plums from the neighbours trees, this is food for the soul.  We all feel that I believe.  How many of our happy memories and meals as children revolved around such produce?  I know I have loads, veggies coming from my Grandad’s gardens or allotments, pick your own strawberries and raspberries, pears from my aunties garden and of course, blackberry picking (we’re going to harvest our garden blackberries soon, it’s pretty intense out there at the minute, the brambles are taking over like rabid Triffids).

Growing our own food makes us more conscious of what and how we choose to consume and plugs us straight into our local environment, the seasons and a sense of wellbeing.

We always have a range of freshly picked salad leaves for lunch at Trigonos

When I was younger (I’m not that old now, but you know what I mean…) there were many more opportunities to see and pick our produce, get up close and personal with our muddy potatoes.  Many more people were growing things and sharing in the community and amongst families.  This approach is a gift for any community and I’m grateful to Trigonos and local farms like Tydynn Teg who provide us with produce grown with care and love.  Better for our environment, better for our health and better for our tastebuds (not to mention our souls!!)

If you’re growing your own or have memories you’d like to share about awesome produce, please leave a comment below.  

Happy cooking!:)   

I love these Purple Mangetout. Amazing colour and a vivid stock when cooked. They really brighten things up.

Trigonos has many options for B+B, just give them a ring, 01286882388 or email – info@trigonos.org, to check availability.  We cook with as much produce from the land throughout the year, if you head down there soon, you’ll be tasting these tomatoes yourself!

I’ll be doing more cooking workshops in Snowdonia and at Trigonos in the future.  Here’s the BHK cooking event page to keep up-to-date, or join our seasonal newsletter here.

Looking up the valley, across the lake, Snowdon in the distant. We’ll still have many bright, fresh days like this in autumn.

 

Just to finish things off nicely, a bonfire on a chilly autumn night….

 

We have a bonfire planned at Vibrant Vegan! Snowdonia, under the stars, beneath the mountains, with lots of hot chocolate

Categories: Autumn, Cooking Workshops, healthy, Local food, Organic, photography, plant-based, sustainable, Vegan, Wales, Welsh produce | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Vibrant Vegan Challenge! Let’s get healthier and happier together

 

A healthy lifestyle promises a brighter future!

 

Do you want more energy? A greater sense of wellbeing?

 

Take the VIBRANT VEGAN! challenge.

 

Our Vibrant Vegan! Snowdonia holiday is fast approaching and we have a challenge for our attendees, and you all, let’s get healthy together!!

We’ve been travelling a lot recently and feeling out of balance, our diet has been all over the place, it’s been an amazing adventure, but we’re so glad to be back in the Beach House after a few years.  We’re feeling grounded and at peace again, the Beach House energy is strong!!

What’s the idea?……

I’m back in my beloved kitchen, surrounded by glorious local produce, fresh mountain air and inspiration to bring you healthy and delicious recipes.  The Beach House lifestyle revolves around a sense of wellness and positivity in life and to tap back into that has been transformational for me.

But it’s not all about a healthy diet, exercise, especially yoga, and positive practices, like meditation, also play a major part in this.  Wellness is a fine balance, it touches and is influenced by everything I do.  It was this motivation and a desire for me to be better and brighter that resulted in the Vibrant Vegan!

 

Let’s get together, form a group of like-minded, open hearted folk who are seeking a exciting new adventure.

 

This challenge is open to anyone, you pick and choose what works with your lifestyle at the minute, just a little taste of vibrant vegan will be enough to get started.  After that…anything is possible!!

I was told by one of my favourite teachers that an ounce of practice is better than a tonne of theory so…..LET’S DO IT!

Vibrant Vegans!!

Here’s the guidelines:

 

– Eat a balanced vegan/ plant-based diet

– Make healthy eating choices, so no white sugar, white flour, alcohol, takeaways or heavily processed, deep fried food. Eat good fats, cold pressed oils and loads of fruit and veg. Eat the rainbow!

– Exercise daily or whenever possible. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, gently stretching or going to a yoga class. Raise our heart rate a little.

– Drink more water. Water is life! Drink water throughout the day.

– Go to bed early. Get 8 hours-ish sleep, your optimum sleep.

– Take deep breaths ofter, we’ll be posting links to videos about this on the group (see below). Breathing right, which may sound a little strange, is the foundation for a healthy, energised life.

 

———-

You can start the challenge NOW! Why not? We’ve already been doing it for a week and feeling the benefits.

I’ve set up this group especially for everyone who is looking to move towards a healthier and more energised way of being.

 

Click here – Vibrant Vegan! Healthy Plant-based Livin’ to join, there will be loads of support and information. All you need to start a new way of being right NOW!

 

The official start date will be a week before the holiday, 9am Saturday 14th September. This means you can build up to it slowly over the next couple of weeks and then GO FOR IT!

Lots of new, healthy plant-based recipes coming soon….

 

I’ll be posting more here soon.

 

Please leave a comment below if you’re interested, we love hearing from you.

 

Let’s get happier and healthier together!

 

Health is wealth….

 

Categories: Events, Healing foods, healthy, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, photography, plant-based, Superfoods, Vegan, veganism | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

Strawberry, Spinach and Walnut Salad – Simple Summer Special

View up the Nantlle Valley towards mighty Snowdon.

Is it summer or autumn?  I’m not sure anyone knows over here.  The weather is unsure, sleet one day, sizzling summer rays the next.  We’re back in the beautiful Beach House, after a summer walking around Spain and Portugal.  More of that to come soon, travel pictures and some tall tales.  Click here for a sneak preview.  We’re full of energy and new ideas.  It’s great to be back in Snowdonia, just look at these pictures……

Random flower pics. We love em!

We’re busy planning new events for later in the year, news of one coming later this week hopefully.  It involves wine, that’s all I’m saying.  It may be in the North West of England.  I can say no more.  But, it is very exciting.  Trust me.  Also, our Vibrant Vegan! – Cooking and Yoga Holiday is fast approaching.  Click here for more information.  We can’t wait to see some of you back up here by the mountains and sea for a vegan cooking extravaganza!!

It’s always salad season in my book and here’s a simple one which has nice textures and colours.  Salads are only boring if there is no inspiration involved.  Do people still feel salads are boring?  I think the UK might have evolved in that area.  Let me know…..  If you have someone in your life who is a salad naysayer, make them this.  They’ll soon change their salad spots.

This is on my summer menu and it’s a hit!  The flavour combos really work and I love adding basil to the leaf mix.  The recipe takes a short time to get together and is ideal as a colourful side salad or add some roasted squash or new potatoes to take it towards main course-ville.

We quickly press the red cabbage here, you can also use beetroot if you like, releasing more nutrients and flavours. This technique works with most vegetables and I Iove it.  Pressing elevates humble veggies to new levels and also lessens the funky ‘cabbaginess’ of the cabbage. Mellows it out nicely.

Welcome to Snowdonia! Home of the Beach House Kitchen

Do let us know if you try out this recipe.  How does it look to you?  Fancy trying it out?  Leave us a comment below.

Happy cooking:)

Strawberry, Spinach and Walnut Salad – A vegan late summer treat

Strawberry, Spinach and Walnut Salad – Simple Summer Special

 

The Bits – For 4 as a side salad

8 strawberries, cut into quarters lengthways

6 handfuls spinach leaves, washed and dried

1 small handful basil leaves

1/4 small red cabbage, finely sliced

Balsamic reduction

Sea salt

1 big handful toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

 

Do It

In a bowl, not a metal one please, rub 1-2 teas salt into your red cabbage, massage it lovingly, it will release some water. That’s good! Leave for 1-2 hours to soften. Now taste it, if it’s salty, rinse in cold water until you like the saltiness of it.

In a large bowl, gently toss together the strawberries, basil and spinach, drizzling in a dash of balsamic reduction and toss more.  Then serve straight away on a large plate, scattering the red cabbage and toasted walnuts on top.

Now for the final drizzle of balsamic reduction and you’re good to go.

Fresh basil from the polytunnels at Trigonos. Where I regularly cook, using a lot of produce from the land. It’s the best, cooking with freshly picked produce.

Foodie Fact
Strawberries are very, very, very high in vitamin C.  Strawberries are one of those things I eat and think, “I’m so happy this is good for me.”  Eat strawberries and be merry!

They’re also pretty good for fibre and our old friend, Manganese.

 

 

Categories: gluten-free, healthy, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Summer, Vegan, Wales | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Vegan On The Road – Andalucia, Spain

Jane and the Happpy Restaurant:)  Cordoba

We’re on the road again!  Out and about around Spain, the fascinating region of Andalucia.  Fillled with history, diverse culture and loads of tasty treats.

We sampled a variety of vegan treats all over Andalucia. Here’s some delicious Smoked Lebanese Aubergines bound together with tahini.

We stayed in central Malaga and were really surprised by the place, loads to see, do and nibble.  We’d recommend a visit and you can even chill on the beach, it’s miles long!  The hill top fort was a real highlight, as well as the old town and Picasso Museum.

There are some great little vegan restaurants, we enjoyed delicious, innovative meals.  Plenty of chilled soups, gazpacho and salmorejo, were always an option for a quick and nourishing lunch or snack.  We tend to eat loads of fruit and fresh veg, or salads, on the road.

Overlooking Malaga, a vibrant place with plenty of historical sights, galleries and some awesome little vegan restaurants.

 

Loved this simple and tasty dish – Grilled Vegetables with Mojo Sauce, Sevilla

In Cordoba we stayed in a small village, 30 mins away from the centre, tucked away behind a hill overlooking the vast plains of Andalucia.  Our room was built into the thick walls of a medieval church/ fort.  The village was sleepy and the main form of transport seemed to be tractor, with the occasional donkey.  Cordoba is the hottest place in Europe and it averaged around 40oC for our stay.

Cordoba is heavily influenced by the Moors and has always been a centre of learning and culture, you can feel that.  It’s a beautiful, stylish place and the Mesquite is simply stunning.  A huge edifice, once a mosque (accomodating 20,000) now converted into a cathedral.  It’s mind boggling in an awe inspiring way.  We were blow away by the scale and complexity of the place.

There are not loads of vegan restaurants, but we found it easy to order a variety of tapas and plates in most joints.  We also bought local produce in the village in a large co-operative.  Mostly organic and our accomodation had a little kitchen.  It was a real pleasure to use the local olives, paprika, herbs, olive oil, wine and sherry in a variety of dishes.  The fruit and vegetables were all so fresh and flavourful.  Paella was definitely on the menu!  I found the food and produce in Andalucia to be some of the best in Spain.

We caught some fiestas (there are so many in Spain!!) Some women in traditional dress coming out of the Mesquite. A hot one for a stroll…40oC! Cordoba

 

Old time Spain. We love it!!

 

Us. Outside the spectacular Mesquite, one of the most amazing buildings we’ve ever seen.  Cordoba

 

Some awesome street art all over Spanish cities. The streets are galleries too.  Sevillla

In Sevillla we stayed in the outskirts, a friendly neighborhood with probably the best fruit seller we’ve ever encountered.  A real pleasure to sample a variety of local fruits that we knew would be fragrant and delicious.

Sevilla city is touristy, as are most of the cities in Andalucia, but it wears it well.  Again, it’s a stylish place with it’s own flavour.  We loved wandering the windy little streets of the old town and getting lost for a while.  The river has a wide promenade, a must for sunset when locals gather, some jogging, some with guitars, most just chilling and enjoying the cool air and ambience.

There are plenty of vegan options all over the city, with a few vegan restaurants.  Add to this loads of cool cafes/bars and the most amazing cathedral we’ve ever seen (and we’ve seen a few on our travels!!) and you’ve got a awesome place to visit.

Pumpkin, Walnut and Spinach Lasagna. Reminded us that we don’t eat anywhere near enough lasagna! Sevilla

 

IMG_20190618_101726

We’ve moved on to Portugal now and are walking the Rota Vincentina, mainly skirting the coastline of southern Portugal.  Our next post will be coming soon with pictures and plant-based pilgrim news……we’re heading all the way to Santiago Compostela in Spain.

 

Jane hanging out beside a Roman Amphitheatre. Malaga was a surprise, it has loads to offer a curious wanderer, plus beaches too.

 

 

Categories: healthy, Healthy Eating, photography, plant-based, Travel, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , | 24 Comments

Delicious Vegan Cooking Highlights….Here’s what’s cookin’ in the BHK!!

Coconut Kulfi with Chargrilled Pineapple, Rose and Chocolate Sauce

Here’s a few highlights we’ve been cooking up this Spring time.  Lots of plant-based treats, we’ve been busy and loving cooking with the fruits, veg and leaves of Spring.

Onion Jam and Black Olive Rolls

We wanted to share something with you before we wander over to Spain, to cook on the beach at our Taste of Bliss ’19 Holiday, cannot wait!!  After that we’ll be walking around Spain and then heading up some old pilgrimage routes towards Santiago Compostela.  Lots of camping, nature, beaches and some awesome vegan food.

Polenta Pizza with loads of goodies....sunflower cream cheese, artichokes, grilled squash and fennel

Polenta Pizza with loads of goodies….sunflower cream cheese, artichokes, grilled squash and fennel

We’ll be back in mid-July and we’ve loads of cool cooking plans for later in the year, events coming up in Manchester, more in North Wales and maybe even a return to Hackney.  Plus lots of private cooking events, which we are loving.  A chance to get creative with unique menus.

Puglian Roast Potatoes with Vegan Parmesan, Garlic, Olives, Artichokes, Parsley from the garden plus lots of fruity olive oil

If you are liking these foodie pics, click like below or leave a comment.  We love hearing from you!

Faro and Nettle Superfood Salad with Pickled Red Cabbage

Come and cook with us, see below for pictures of beautiful Trigonos, the venue for our Vibrant Vegan! Cooking Holiday in September.  Lots of inspiring workshops, delicious plant-based food, walks in beautiful nature.  Celebrate the autumn equinox with us around a bonfire!

Keralan Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Coconut Curry

Being pilgrims for a while, exploring Portugal and Northern Spain means many amazing things to us, but we won’t have wifi!  The BHK will be quiet until later in the year.

Loads of organic produce from the Trigonos land, yellow chard, wild garlic, nettles, curly kale….a cooks dream come true! Get in the pan!!

Double Chocolate, Cherry and Pomegranate Cake

This cake will be served on the Murcian beach very soon!!  We love these flavour combinations and a touch of rose in the chocolate sauce make makes things extra special.

Asian Orange, Ginger and Carrot ‘Slaw – nice colourful salad for Spring

Black Kale, Courgette and Parmesan Frittata

Rainbow Vegetable Tempura with Wild Garlic and Pumpkin Seed Mole

Spring Roots Tart Tatin, served topped with Zaatar and Tahini and Lemon Sauce

Loads of walks in beautiful North Wales, this one is up in North Anglesey. Its been a beautiful Spring, lots and lots of sunshine.

So it’s a little goodbye for now, until later in the year.  We’ll be posting some things on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Happy cooking and enjoy the sunshine!!

Categories: Cooking Holidays, gluten-free, healthy, Healthy Eating, Organic, photography, plant-based, Spring, Travel, Vegan, veganism, Wales | 8 Comments

Super exciting news!! New Fantastic Fermentation Masterclass

Super EXCITING news!!😄🌞 Brand NEW fermentation workshop announcement.

The amazing Janice from Nourished by Nature will be joining us for our Vibrant Vegan! Snowdonia – Plant-based Cooking & Yoga Holiday

Are you interested in fermented foods like kombucha, kefir, kimchi, sourdough, sauerkraut etc? Very healthy and very delicious. You’re in for a real treat!! Here’s all the details:

 

Janice – Nourished by Nature

 

Janice’s Fantastic Fermentation Masterclass

We have never met anyone as passionate about fermented foods! A real Fermentista!! Janice is a macrobiotic health coach and writes the wonderful blog ‘Nourished by Nature’, running regular fermentation classes in and around her Glasgow home.
We love Janice’s enthusiasm for healthy, seasonal and nutritious food, she is a real inspiration for us, and believes:

“We can all make a very positive difference to both our own lives/health, and also environmentally through minimising the negative impact we create from the foods we choose and how we source them.”

Janice will show us how delicious fermented foods, made with simple techniques, can heal ourselves on every level and taste amazing! We’ll be sampling seasonal kraut, some fermented relishes/chutneys/dips and also some seasonal kombucha flavours!

 

Full info for our awesome Vibrant Vegan! Plant-based cooking and yoga holiday is HERE.

 

Trigonos, our venue – a pretty stunning place to cook and be!  Lots of snow recently;)

 

We’ve already sold over half the rooms in the first week!!
If you have a booking form, please return it asap, we can only guarantee bookings once we have the forms. Otherwise…..

 

😄🌞BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW😄🌞
By emailing info@trigonos.org
or calling 01286 882 388:)

 

Fermented food, delicious and very healthy!

 

To get a flavour of things, you’ll find lots of delicious fermented food recipes over on Janice’s blog HERE. 

We love the radish bombs, fermented tomato salsa and mushroom pate and coffee kombucha rocks!!  Plus, Janice makes the most incredible sourdough loves.

 

Categories: Cooking Holidays, Events, Fermentation, gluten-free, healthy, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan, veganism, Wales | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Quick Pickled Rhubarb and Ginger plus The Joys of Spring!

Rhubarb, fresh of the land, organically grown

Here’s a really quick and easy way to pickle rhubarb.  I’ve added some ginger, which gives even more intense and beautiful flavour to this pickle.  The method could not be much easier, and it’s a great technique for preserving delicious produce, enough to enliven any meal!

Rhubarb makes a great pickle, maybe you haven’t tried it?  I find it goes well with Middle Eastern salads, anything with a bit of spice.  I also like it with Japanese style salads. It has a real sweet and sour twang!

When this lovely bunch of rhubarb landed in the kitchen we wondered what to do with it?  How to make it shine!  No crumbles here.  I shouted “Pickle!”   Jane shouted “Ginger!”  And it was as easy as that really.

Nantlle Lake looking stunning in Spring (you can just about see Snowdon from here)

 

It has been a stunning week, Spring has been in full swing (and then it snowed/ hailed for a couple of days!)  A Snowdonian Spring!  It has been still and sunny, and this extra sunlight and warmth has meant some surprises in the poly tunnels.

We’ve had some beautiful and colourful, organically grown, produce coming off the land this week at Trigonos.  Owain (our resident Horticulturalist and Organic Superhero) has been appearing in the kitchen with arm loads of all kinds of goodies.

 

Not sure what you call this one? Golden Chard?  I’ll have to ask Owain

 

Most of these are seeds from last year, that have decided to make an appearance in the poly tunnels; ruby chard, swiss chard, purple rocket and some radiant rhubarb!!

 

You know I love this one. Curly Kale.

 

Along with a host of herbs and a scattering of salad leaves, and of course outside, the wild garlic is doing it’s thing.

 

Ruby Chard, love the vibrant colour!

 

I always feel like the luckiest cook alive to have access to this kind of produce.  Especially at this time of year.

 

Purple rocket. The flavour here is amazing! Very peppery and fruity even.

 

Produce picked in the morning and by lunchtime is being served (or pickled).  I love it!

 

Maybe you saw, we recently announced our:

Vibrant Vegan! Snowdonia – Plant-based Cooking and Yoga Holiday, 21st-25th September 2019

This is a rare chance to come over here to beautiful Snowdonia; relax, rejuvenate and get inspired!  Plus, sample lots of dishes prepared by our awesome team of chefs with produce straight from the land, and even have a tour around the farm with Owain and myself.  A little bit of foraging and lots of chat about excellent produce and organic happiness.

For more info leave a comment below or email – info@trigonos.org

The holiday is booking up quickly. Exciting times!!

 

 

Recipe Note

Only use the pink rhubarb stalks, never the leaves.

Any excess pickling liquor can be used in dressings or to marinade tofu, for example.

 

Quick Rhubarb and Ginger Pickle

 

Quick Rhubarb and Ginger Pickle

 

The Bits – Makes 2 jars

500g rhubarb (finely sliced)

300ml apple cider vinegar

300ml water

4 tbs sugar

8 slices fresh ginger

2 bay leaves

 

Do It

You’ll need two clean glass jars with lids.

Gently pack the sliced rhubarb into your jars.  So it’s snug, with a little room left at the top.

Place the vinegar, water, bay leaves, ginger and sugar into a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Pour this mixture over the rhubarb until it’s covered.   I add the bay leaves and ginger to the jars also.  Leave to cool.

That’s it!  Label and date the jars.

If your jars are clean, this will last a long time, one year or more when stored in a cool place.

 

Foodie Fact

Rhubarb is packed full of minerals and vitamins. It’s a source of vitamin C, protein, calcium, fibre and beta-carotene.  Plus a whole lot more.  Much more than just a crumble!

 

Categories: Cooking Holidays, Cooking Workshops, gluten-free, healthy, Healthy Eating, Nutrition, Organic, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Spring, Vegan, Wales | Tags: | 8 Comments

Quick and Delicious Plant-based Brunch! Middle-Eastern Mushrooms, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Smoky Chickpeas

Weekend Plant-based Brunch

A simple, colourful and delicious brunch that is ready in double quick time.

I wanted something fresh, tasty and healthy this morning.  It’s Sunday, a treat brunch is on the menu!  I love baked beans, but fancied something healthier with a spicy and smoky twist, also pan fried vegetables with some of my favourite flavours of the Middle East.

When this brunch is served with hummus/ tahini sauce and toasted pitta bread, it hit’s the spot; weekend, weekday, in fact any time of day.  Add bulghur wheat or cous cous to make it a hearty lunch or dinner.

Middle-Eastern Mushrooms, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Smoky Chickpeas – Vegan

I love the combination of delicious, fresh vegetables, warm breads, olives, herbs and something tahini-ish.  Its a tried and tested format for a tasty vegan meal.  Light and full of flavour and nutrition.

With that in mind, this is my version of things today, with what we’ve got locally (and in the cupboards/ veg basket).  That’s how my favourite recipes arise, out of necessity and a chunk of inspiration.  Bringing the best out of what you’ve got.  I only ever plan meals if I really have too.

In the pan

It’s that time of year when we’re all feeling the pinch as far as seasonal veggies are concerned.  I can’t wait for Spring, the wild garlic, dandelions, elderflowers, nettles etc all on the way soon.

Trigonos has been stunning this past month, this is where we have coffee/ lunch.  Not a bad view!  The beautiful Nantlle Valley.

At Trigonos, preparation is in full swing for the coming growing season.  The seeds are being sown and the soil prepared.  With all this uncertainty about our food, something to do with that Brexit thing that’s going on, it’s a great time to invest in and celebrate local farmers/ growers.  Having organic local produce available is a real blessing for any cook, but I think anyone can feel the benefits of eating with the seasons and celebrating what’s available in our area.

I’ve traveled all over the UK and there are so many passionate foodies, we’re looking forward to meeting more at this year’s food festivals.  We’ll be doing cooking demonstrations and talks at:

Ludlow Food Festival

and

Beaumaris Food Festival

Hope to catch you there and get loads of new foodie inspiration.  Seems like every year, there is greater diversity at these festivals and plant-based options.

On the plate – quick and delicious weekend treat

Event Updates

Up-date on our cooking retreat in Spain this May, Taste of Bliss (info here).  We’ve had a cancellation!  Which is actually good news, because we now have one double room available just for you!!

Maybe you’re looking for some time to relax on the beach with a wonderful group of people, learning to cook some amazing plant-based food and explore the local area?  Who isn’t?!!  Let us know if you’re interested.

Our cooking retreat at Trigonos in September is in the planning stages, more information coming soon.   Here’s some photos of our last event at Trigonos, we can’t wait to see some of you in September, we’ve so many exciting plans.

Let us know in the comments below if you like the look of this dish, or get to try it out.  We hope you are all well and feeling inspired to cook some fresh and colourful plant-based dishes.  We’re always here to support you if you have any questions.

Happy cooking from the BHK!:)

 

Recipe Notes

Make sure you cook the vegetables on a high heat for a short time, something like a stir fry.  The tomatoes and broccoli will get slightly charred, bringing out the flavours.  Quick and hot will mean the vegetables cook, but don’t get too soft, we seal in the flavours and retain their vitality.

Use any olives you like, but I love the flavour and texture of Kalamata olives.  Make sure they’re de-stoned to avoid any unwanted brunch-based crunches.

This makes a great lunch or dinner, serve with cous cous or bulghur wheat to bulk it out and make the meal more substantial.

I sometimes make a double batch of the chickpeas and keep them in the fridge or freezer, they’re so versatile.  Use them as part of a Mexican/Indian meal for example.  If you re-heat the beans, add a splash more water to the pan to stop them sticking.

 

Middle-Eastern Mushrooms, Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Smoky Chickpeas 

The Bits – For 2 as a brunch 

Middle-Eastern Mushrooms
2 large flat mushrooms, portobello or field (chopped in half)
100g/ 2 handfuls purple sprouting broccoli
85g/ 3 handfuls cherry tomatoes
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 heaped teas cumin seeds
16 kalamata olives (de-stoned)
2 tbs olive brine or water
Sea salt and black pepper

Smoky Chickpeas
1 tin chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
2 tbs tomato puree
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tbs maple syrup or other sweetener
2 teas smoked paprika
1 teas za’atar or dried thyme
½-1 teas chilli powder
4 tbs water
1/2 teas salt (to taste)

Olive oil (for cooking)

To serve
Hummus or tahini/ tarator sauce
Toasted Pitta Bread

To Do

For the Smoky Chickpeas – Add all the ingredients to a small saucepan.  Warm on a medium heat, cooking for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.  Taste and season with salt.

For the Mushrooms – Trim off the woody ends of your broccoli.  In a large frying pan, add 1-2 tbs olive oil, warm on high heat.  Add the cumin and fresh thyme, then the mushrooms.  Fry for 3 minutes, turning the mushrooms once.

Add the broccoli, tomatoes and olive brine/ water.  Stir and toss the vegetables and cook for 3 more minutes.  Add the olives to the pan and warm for 2 minutes.  Season with sea salt and pepper.

Serve straight away with hummus and toasted pitta bread.

 

In the Trigonos poly tunnels, not much to see yet, but give it a couple of months…..

Foodie Fact

Chickpeas, aka gigglebeans, aka garbanzos, aka the Egyptian pea, are probably the best named legume.  What do you reckon?

It’s a very good idea to eat lots of chickpeas, or at least, enjoy them regularly.  Full of protein and fibre, some calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron…..  Plus they just taste fine, I’ve been making cakes with them!!  There is no end how awesome and versatile the humble chickpea can be.

 

Categories: Breakfast, gluten-free, healthy, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan, Wales | Tags: , , , | 4 Comments

Wholegrain Soda Bread Muffins – Vegan

Vegan Soda Bread Muffins, it’s all about the buttermilk!

Home-baked bread in no time at all!!

Perfect with a nice bowl of soup.

 

I’ve been busy away from the blog recently, so it’s great to be back! Thought I’d get started again with something simple and hearty.

I love soda bread, good bread doesn’t need to be fiddly or take ages to make.  These muffins are wholesome, have a great flavour and texture from ingredients you’ve probably got tucked away in your cupboards right now.

Soda bread is easy when you know how.  We don’t want to taste any soda (bicarbonate that is) so we balance it with the flavour of the buttermilk.  That’s the art of soda bread.  The acid in the buttermilk help the loaf to rise.  We use plain flour here to give the soda bread lighter texture.  Soda bread is unique!

WHY MUFFINS?

At work I was asked, why are you always making things into muffins?  It’s a good question.  I do like a muffin!  We make fresh loaves everyday so it’s just changing things up a little.  These will be paired with a nice Winter Roots and Lentil Soup at the minute on my menus.  All hearty and satisfying, here’s why we need this (see below – view from near the kitchen over Nantlle Valley towards Mount Snowdon).

Nantlle Valley, home of Trigonos Retreat Centre and these muffins

I think with a muffin like this, it’s also about the crust.  It’s a wrap-around crust!  Crust all over.  This is a definite bonus when it comes to muffins or rolls.

You can add all kinds of herbs (rosemary and thyme), nuts or seeds and spices to this bread.  You can also bake it in a loaf shape, just add a little more time to the bake.

Simple Vegan Soda Bread – Ready in 45 minutes.

Making vegan buttermilk is very easy and ideal for baking.  I like to use vinegar as the acid, and soya milk.  But you can experiment with acid’s like lemon/ lime juice and other plant milks, like almond.  But other plant milks may not curdle.

View from the dining room, it’s been a chilly few weeks in North Wales

Relax, Recharge and Re-energise! 

Come and cook with us, learn new skills and meet like-minded people

 

I recently announced the dates for our autumn Vegan Cooking Holiday at Trigonos, see below.  21st-24th September!

We’ll be hosting you in beautiful Snowdonia, expect lots of delicious plant-based food, inspiring cooking workshops and talks, walks, yoga and lots more.  If you want to get away from it all, relax, recharge and energise, do let us know.  It promises to be a celebration of good livin’ and the abundance of autumn!  Lots and lots of amazing local produce.  I’ll be announcing the full details soon.

If you can’t wait until autumn:)  We have one room available for our annual and stunning Vegan and Yoga Retreat on the beach in Spain.  A Taste of Bliss – Click here for more information.  It’s a once in a lifetime experience and I’m getting the menus together this month.  Expect new and creative dishes for you to enjoy, and learn how to cook, in our beautiful beach side villa.  We’re very excited indeed!!

We need loads of hearty and warming dishes at this time of year, I hope you like these muffins.  Do let us know if you make them and feel free to ask any questions or give feedback in the comments below.

Happy cooking!!

 

Recipe Notes

You can go wholegrain 100% here if you fancy.  Just replace wholegrain flour with the white flour. The texture will be a little more dense, but tasty.

Make sure you give the mix a good stir, this helps to create a nice texture.

 

Vegan Soda Bread – A simple and satisfying Beach House Kitchen favourite

Wholegrain Soda Bread Muffins – Vegan

The Bits – For 12

Dry

150g plain white flour

300g wholemeal bread/ strong flour

2 tbs brown sugar

2 tbs rapeseed or olive oil

1 teas bicarbonate of soda

1 teas salt

 

Oats (for sprinkle)

 

Vegan Buttermilk 

325ml soya milk

2 teas apple cider or white wine vinegar

 

Do It

Stir the vinegar into the soya milk and leave to sit for 10 minutes.  It will form a buttermilk texture.

Preheat a fan oven to 180oC.

Place all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl then mix in the buttermilk.  Mix well for a few minutes, I like to use a wooden spoon.

Lightly oil a muffin tin and using two dessert spoons, this is the easiest way, spoon the dough into the tin.  Make the muffins roughly equal in size.

Sprinkle with oats or a little more flour and place in the oven.  Bake for 14 minutes.

Once baked, they’ll be nice and golden on top.  Leave the muffins to sit for a couple of minutes in the tin and then remove onto a wire cooling rack.

Best enjoyed warm with a nice bowl of soup.  Also nice with your favourite jam and vegan creme fraiche.

Trigonos in Snowdonia – a pretty stunning place to cook.  You can come and join us here in September!

Foodie Fact 

Wholegrain flours are less, or not, processed at all.  Wholegrain flour is much higher in fibre than white flour, fibre is essential in our diets for loads of reasons.  Good levels of fibre in our diets will help our digestion, can lower blood cholesterol and even help to lose weight.

Wholegrain flour has roughly six times more fibre per serving than white flour.  Wholegrains are low GI, meaning they’re great fuel for our bodies, releasing sugar slowly into our bloodstreams.  We’re also talking vitamins; some vitamin B’s, folate, riboflavin.

Go wholegrain!

Categories: Baking, Cooking Holidays, healthy, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Vegan, Wales, Winter | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Thai Red Pepper and Coconut Soup – Vegan

Thai Red Pepper and Coconut Soup – Vegan

Something quick and easy to kick start 2019!

A simple, healthy and delicious soup with some of the Thai flavours I totally love.

This is how I’d like to kick off 2019, a steaming, bright and nourishing bowl of goodness.  Red peppers are packed full of vitamin C and after the festive season, I’m sure a lot of you fancy a pick me up, tasty dishes that are lighter and give our body a big hug.  Comfort food can be healthy and satisfying.  No probs.

This soup contains coconut, chickpeas, turmeric, ginger, loads of my favourite foods.  Bar the Kaffir lime leaves (see below) and lemongrass these are easy to find ingredients, that many of you might have in the kitchen already.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year………………

Of course, January is now officially Veganuary, they’ll be changing the calendars next year for sure!  If you’re trying out Veganuary, you’re not alone, record numbers have signed up worldwide this year.  I even saw it all over the TV around New Year’s, right there, bang in the middle of prime time programmes.  Just awesome to see a vegan lifestyle skyrocketing, being embraced and enjoyed!

The people over at Veganuary have always been lovely to us and we even have some recipes over on their website, check them out here.  Good luck to anyone giving it a go and long may your vegan-ness continue!  Let us know if you need a hand or some advice, we’re fully available for pats on back, big thumbs up and bags of encouragement.  GO FOR IT!!

Nourishing vegan Thai soup

What are Kaffir Limes?  Why are they so awesome!!

Dried kaffir lime leaves can be found in most supermarkets.  I buy them frozen in a local Chinese supermarket, these have been frozen fresh.  They are much better than the dried varieties, but you can use either in this recipe.

I’ve been lucky to travel around South East Asia and work and stay in some beautiful places, some even had kaffir lime trees.  The limes themselves are like big, nobbly limes, with thick piths, very fragrant.  The leaves can be used in all kinds of cooking, it’s essential oils are use in perfumery, and it’s really like a bay leaf with an Asian turbo charged twist.  Their flavour is unmistakable!  When I worked on an organic farm in India, I’d wake up, pick a few leaves and make a refreshing tea with them, watch the lizards and mongoose chase each other.

Eating peppers at this time of year means we have a great source of vitamin C.  Peppers are said to be three times higher in vitamin C than oranges, red peppers are best, but green peppers also contain good levels of vit C.

Beach House Kitchen bowl! Nourishing, light and satisfying. Red Thai Coconut Soup – Vegan

Jane and I have been spending time with family and friends over Christmas, we’ve been to North Yorkshire and Durham mainly and really love the time away with the people who rock our world!!

We’ve actually not stuffed ourselves too much!  We both feel like we’ve lost weight over Christmas, which is pretty unusual.  I go back to the fact that freshly cooked vegan food can be so, so healthy and tasty.  We’ve had many positive comments over Christmas, so many non-vegans digging the food.

I feel like 2019 will be the greatest year for vegans in the UK EVER!  We have some great plans, we’ll be hosting our vegan cooking week in Spain again (click here) and will be announcing new dates for events and holidays in Wales soon.  Exciting stuff and we hope to see you at one soon!  Keep up to date with all our news, recipes and other bits and pieces by signing up for our seasonal newsletter, right here.

One of the main things I’ll be working on in 2019 will be a new cookbook!  I have an idea and a group of recipes that I love, soooooooooooooooo, watch this space:)

Big thanks to all who cooked our recipes over Christmas and New Years and let us know, it was great to see pictures over on Twitter and Facebook, it makes our day!!  We love to see your kitchen creations, you really bring our recipes to life!!

Recipe Notes

You may like to pick the lime leaves out before you blend the soup, but I generally leave them in.

Use the softer, centre piece of your lemongrass.  Discard the tough outer leaves.  You’ll find lemongrass in most supermarkets.

 

Thai Red Pepper and Coconut Soup – Vegan

 

The Bits – For 4-6 large bowls

5 red peppers (deseeded and chopped)
3 medium carrots (chopped)

1 large onion (sliced)

3 heaped tbs fresh ginger (roughly chopped)

2 heaped tbs fresh lemongrass (peeled and chopped)

1 fresh chilli (sliced)

1 can chickpeas (drained)
1 can chopped tomato or passatta
1 can coconut milk

8 kaffir lime leaves
1/2 tbs turmeric
Sea salt

To Serve

Tamari or soya sauce
Lime wedges
Sliced chillies
Chopped coriander

 

Do It
In a large saucepan, add 1 tbs cooking oil, fry the onions and ginger with 1 teas salt until soft, 3 minutes will do.

Then add the carrots, chilli, lemongrass and peppers, fry for 5 minutes, then add the tinned tomatoes, chickpeas, kaffir lime leaves and turmeric, bring to boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the coconut milk and simmer for 5 minutes more, until the carrots are soft.

Blend with a stick blender then season with salt, if needed, and adjust the consistency using hot water if it’s too thick.

Serve with chillies, coriander and lime wedges.  We also love it with sticky coconut rice balls.

Foodie Fact

Kaffir lime has many uses in Asia, not just for the pot!  The lime juice makes a great shampoo, the plant is a natural insect repellent, when used in aromatherapy kaffir lime is relaxing, can reduce stress and help with a good nights sleep, also many people chew the leaves, it is said to help with oral health.

Categories: gluten-free, healthy, Healthy Eating, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Soups, Vegan, veganism | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

What a Year 2018! Great Memories and Big Thanks to YOU

We just wanted to say a huge thanks and best wishes for 2019!

 

But first up, 2018, what a year!!

 

It’s been a mega time, we’ve packed so much in, cooked in so many amazing places and met so many special people along the way.

 

You know that we’re all about tasty and healthy plant-based food, but it’s also, very much about YOU.  The kind and open hearted folk who make it all happen, give it all such a positive and creative feel.

2018 has been the most successful year for the Beach House Kitchen blog, in more ways than one, and the most enjoyable and rewarding part of the whole thing is connecting with and sharing recipes with you all.

You make this blog and our Facebook and Twitter pages a great place to be and inspire us to keep sharing and enjoying what we do.  Thanks to all for your amazing feedback over the festive season, seems a few of you enjoyed the Mushroom Wellington!!

BIG LOVE, BIG THANKS!!  

 

 

Wishing you all health, wealth and happiness in 2019, we’ll be here with healthy and delicious vegan recipes and plant-based updates, if you’d like to join us for one of our vegan cooking events, holidays, demonstrations or talks, CLICK HERE.  We’ve loads of cool plans for the new year.  

 

HERE’S TO A NEW YEAR FILLED WITH PEACE, VITALITY, GOOD HEALTH AND GOOD VIBES

 

 

What have we been up to in 2018?

 

From our Taste of Bliss Cooking and Yoga Holiday in stunning Spain, to our Cornish Vegan Getaway near Lands End, to the centre of London and the awesome Made in Hackney. We’ve had events all over North Wales and in Manchester, not to mention our annual cooking demos and talks at Ludlow Food Festival. In 2019, we’d like to visit new towns and cities, give us a shout if you know any good venues/ locations.

 

Here’s a quick list of people (in no order whatsoever) we’d like to thank for helping out this year, we could not do it without a team of magical folk, many who volunteer their time to help the BHK to keep on rockin’!:

Will (ace chef and proper dude), Clare (North Walian Yoga sensation), Complete Unity Yoga – Will and Malene (simply stunning yoga folk), Jenna (super talented angel), Mark and Food Sorcery (top venue in Manchester), Sue and Peter at Network News (ever the inspiration!), Andi and Made in Hackney (top venue in London), Thelma and Boswedden House (Cornwall), Janice (fermented genius and overall foodie angel)…..

The lovely Aine Carlin, Veganuary, Alice and the gang at Tyddyn Teg Organic Farm, Mandy (sensational vegan chef), Amy (superb kitchen elf), Nita and Steve (THE kitchen guys), Katie and Glynn (Wot’s Cooking), Mark (foraging genius and top cook), all at Ludlow Food Festival and Aadvark Books, all at Trigonos Retreat and Event Centre for letting me cook and enjoy the beauty of North Wales, Jonathan (my very patient book agent, new cookbook coming in 2019!!)…..

Melissa (Villa superstar), Gaynor (for the coolest Airstream imagineable), Clare (awesome kitchen angel),Miranda (lights up any kitchen!), Jane Eddie (for tastings and loads of support), Hagar (couldn’t have done it without you!!) and all those we’ve forgotten (you’re not forgotten!!), Neil and Nick (the London foodie dudes), Vegan Recipe Hour (over on Twitter), Chris, Dom and Fey (the sunshine Spanish connection) my family for always supporting me, and washing up, AND Jane (as ever, the heart and soul of the BHK and chief taster)

 

PLUS

 

all who have attended our events and cooked up some brilliant memories in 2018!

 

 

It’s already been said that 2019 will be the ‘Year of the Vegan’ and we’re here every step of the way to support and inspire you to cook more plant-based meals, always believing that vegan food can be delicious and accessible to everyone!  Recipes here.

 

 

 

PS – Last, but very much not least.  The WILL’s!….

 

The chefs hard at work;)

 

See you all in 2019 for more fun, cooking and celebrating the good life!

 

——————–

 

Fancy a blissful break with us in May 2019! 

 

We’ll be hosting a week long vegan cooking holiday with empowering yoga, a fully plant-based menu, cooking workshops, local excursions, lots of beach time and sunshine, plus much more.  More info here.   

 

The villa, a beautiful eco-designed kitchen made the week a joy (for the cooks;)

Categories: Cooking Workshops, Events, healthy, Healthy Eating, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Vegan, veganism, Wales | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

Shallot and Red Wine Gravy – Vegan, Gluten-free

All you need now are some roast spuds and your favourite people!!

 

A rich, dark vegan gravy that everyone will enjoy.

 

Being a vegan, or just trying out more plant-based recipes, opens a doorway into new flavours and techniques.  Making this gravy is simple and really flavourful, it’s actually not that different from making other gravies really.

 

We all like our gravy in different ways, taste it at the end, add more balsamic, jam, salt or yeast extract (marmite), depending on the balance of flavours you prefer.  If you can’t get your hands on shallots, a white or red onion will also be fine.

Shallot and Red Wine Gravy – Vegan, Gluten-free, Low-fat

Proper gravy for a proper roast dinner

Making your own gravy is an essential part of any roast dinner, for me, it’s a ritual.  I love making gravy, packing all those big flavours into one little pot.

Gravy has always been one of my favourite things about a proper Sunday roast, I also like mashed swede (very important addition) and crispy roast potatoes.  Yorkshire puddings are also well up there.  In fact, let’s face it, is there a less than awesome part of a roast, when done well?

We’re having this gravy with our Portobello Mushroom Wellington with Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Stuffing, Christmas dinner 2018 sorted.

This deep and rich gravy will go perfectly with any Sunday roast.  There are so many vegan centrepieces nowadays for a Sunday roast style dinner, we don’t just have to toss a coin between nut roast or Wellington.  Sometimes I feel like experimenting with a roast dinner, playing with flavours, adding spices, getting a bit cheeky.   Other times, I’m a staunch traditionalist.  I’m happily contrary like that.

Such is my commitment to the Beach House Kitchen, I took these pictures out in the garden in fading winter light, in the rain and wind.  Wrapped in a poncho.  I’m actually surprised at how normal they look whilst trees were bending and the wind was howling.  Got away with it!   I just had to share this post before Crimbo, gravy is important!!

I’ve said it many times, there are absolutely no down-sides to going vegan, you can live deliciously, any time of year!

 

Recipe Notes

When I run cooking workshops, most people’s reaction to making a really tasty gravy like this is, “What do we do with all the leftover veg?!”  After the gravy has been passed through a sieve, the veg is all leftover.  I’ve suggested making a pastie or pie with it, but really, most of the flavour and texture has gone, it’s like a dark veg mash really.  Not that appetising, but if you want to, go for pasties!

Gravy is, of course, always best served piping hot, a tip is to pour boiling water from a kettle into your gravy boat/ jug before filling with gravy.

Taste your vegetable stock before adding to the soup, it’s  important it’s not too strong or too weak.  Just right!

If you feel that the gravy is lacking flavour, add a pinch of salt.  It’s amazing the difference one or two pinches of salt can make!

Gluten-free version – opt for gluten-free cornflour, yeast extract, wine, balsamic vinegar and vegetable stock.  Check the labels.

Tasty and Rich Vegan Gravy

Shallot and Red Wine Gravy – Vegan, Gluten-free

The Bits – For 4-6

3-4 large shallots or 1 large onions (sliced)
1 large carrot (sliced)
1 stick celery (sliced)
1 large sprig fresh rosemary
2 big bay leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme

100g chestnut mushroom or 1 big portobello mushroom (chopped)
175ml vegan red wine
1 ½ -2 tbs dark cherry jam, cranberry sauce or blackberry jam

2 teas yeast extract (known to some as Marmite)
2 tbs cornflour
1 tbs tomato puree
1 ½ tbs balsamic vinegar

700ml vegetable stock

Cooking oil (I use cold pressed rapeseed oil)

 

Do It
In a large saucepan, over a medium heat, add 1 tbs cooking oil, then the shallots, celery and carrot, plus the fresh herbs and bay leaves. Cook slowly for 20-25 minutes, until the shallots are golden, stirring regularly.

Mix your cornflour with a few tablespoons of water, until it becomes smooth.

Add the mushrooms, wine and jam to the pan, stir and cook for 3 minutes, making sure your scrape up all the caramelized bits on the bottom of the pan (great flavour there!!).

Then add the tomato puree, vinegar and yeast extract, cook and stir for a minute, then slowly add the vegetable stock.  Pour in the cornflour, whilst stirring, and bring to a boil.  No lower the heat, simmering gently for 20 minutes.

Pass it through a sieve into another pan or bowl, using a spoon to squeeze out all the precious flavours.

Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve hot with your favourite roast dinner of Christmas feast.

Loads of big flavours in one little boat, totally plant-based gravy!!

Foodie Fact

Shallots are long and slender members of the allium family, along with onions and garlic.  They generally have a lighter flavour than onions and I find them perfect for roasting in a tin.

They are more nutritious than onions, high in vitamin A and not bad for vitamin C.  Shallots contain good amounts of minerals like iron, calcium and copper.

They also contain a chemical called Allicin, which is basically anti-bacterial anit-viral and good for the heart and can even help prevent cancer.

 

Join our seasonal newsletter right HERE, we’ve got loads of tasty recipes and events planned for 2019. 

Plus special offers and news about our new Beach House Kitchen projects. 

 

 

Categories: gluten-free, healthy, Healthy Eating, Nutrition, photography, plant-based, Recipes, Sauces, Vegan, veganism, Winter | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

Highlights from our Vegan Christmas Cooking Workshop – 2/12/18 Manchester

A CHRISTMAS FEAST TO REMEMBER!

Our day started well before dawn in North Wales, then we all scooted down to our wonderful venue Food Sorcery in Manchester and got the ovens fired up….

Getting the Apple Mull rockin’ first thing

With a team of amazing people, we can do anything…..

The awesome Cook Vegan! team getting ready; Mandy, Amy, Nita, Claire and Steve

Vegan Christmas Cooking Workshop in full swing. High energy, loads of amazing dishes:)

The day was a mixture of cooking demonstrations and hands on cooking, working from our specially designed recipe booklets and loads of support from the team.

Still swinging! Groups worked in threes to cook a three course festive vegan menu, with all the trimmings. Menu below.

Amy being amazing (as usual!:)

Some of the Portobello Mushroom Wellingtons made by the teams, recipe coming soon on the blog….

You can imagine, the Wellingtons didn’t last long. All that cooking gives a good appetite right!!:)

 

Our menu for the day:

MENU

Welcome Drink
Hot Apple Mull

Starter
Roast Squash and Ginger Soup with Almond Bacon and Coriander

Main Course
Portobello Mushroom Wellington with Toasted Walnut and Rosemary Stuffing
Glazed Rainbow Roots
Pan fried Brussels Sprouts with Black Kale and Vegan Parmesan
Yorkshire Puddings
Cranberry, Orange and Prosecco Sauce
Rich Christmas Gravy
Creamy Mash

Dessert
Festive Chocolate and Orange Brownie Cake with Mulled Berries and Vanilla Ice Cream

 

Is this the best time of the day? Lunch! An early Christmas gathering, a great rehearsal for the big day. Everyone left with a bespoke recipe booklet, a full planner for Christmas lunch and confidence that 2018 will be the best vegan Christmas ever!!!

We hope to be doing more vegan cooking events in the new year, you’ll find all of our upcoming events right HERE.

 

You’ll find more pictures of the day and the food we cooked

on Jeremy’s blog, right HERE.

 

Extra special thanks to this pair. The super talented and sensational Mr Steve and NitaX

 

I’d just like to thank all who came to the workshop and contributed so positively, making it a special day.

 

Hope to see you again soon in Manchester, Spain or somewhere else in the UK!

 

MORE EVENTS RIGHT HERE

 

DON’T MISS ANY BEACH HOUSE KITCHEN UPDATES AND EVENT ANNOUNCEMENTS. 

SIGN UP FOR OUR SEASONAL NEWSLETTER, CLICK HERE.

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Categories: Cooking demos, Cooking Workshops, Events, healthy, photography, plant-based, Vegan | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

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