Posts Tagged With: summer

A Taste of Bliss – Yoga & Vegan Cooking Holiday, Spain 2018

 

We’re very excited to announce our Spanish holiday in May ’18 collaborating with the wonderful Complete Unity Yoga. 

 

Vegan Yoga and Cooking Retreat with Lee Watson and Complete Unity Yoga

5th May – 12th May 2018

 

Join us for an early summer treat in the small stunning region of Murcia, Spain.

Set in the jewel of the Spanish coast, Costa Calida,
we await to welcome you to an
unforgettable getaway.

We will be bringing you through a thoughtfully crafted program
bursting with inspirational workshops.
Wander along the beach, go swimming in the sea.
Enjoy space and time to
relax and restore healthy habits
to chase your bright future.

This is a holiday you will never forget.
A holiday that truly allows you
to zone out of your daily life and responsibilities,
to zoom straight into your inner peace, joy, and harmony,
to get a taste of bliss.

Our dedicated team of chefs, guides, yoga and meditation teachers
have ensured a program that will leave you
recharged, fresh and radiating.

Mediterranean feasting, fresh juices, and smoothies,
sunset drinks, Spanish traditional tapas, cakes, desserts
BBQ and a three-course meal in a local restaurant
You will be taken good care of.

 

Included


Airport pick-up and drop-off

Transport during the stay

7 nights at our villa right by the beach

Daily guided morning meditations

Daily yoga and pranayama classes with Complete Unity Yoga

Two specialised yoga and meditation workshops

Nourishing and deeply satisfying meals, freshly prepared by Lee Watson

Workshop on healthy diet

Bespoke recipe booklet

Cooking demonstrations

Cooking techniquies to bring home to keep the bliss growing

Trips to local treasures and gems

A unique afternoon yacht cruise

Three-Course Meal in Local Taverna

 

Find full pricing, bookings and retreat description HERE

 

Trips

 

Visit Stunning Peninsula: Rising high above the Costa Calida coast with 360 degree views of mountains and the sparkling ocean.

Visit to Moorish Tower via Antipodas: Stroll from our front door along the beautiful La Azhoia promenade up to the historic Moorish watchtower, followed by a cool drink and break on the beautiful terrace of the local taverna Antipodas.

A Unique Yacht Cruise: Sail on a classic yacht along the dramatic Costa Calida coastline of Cabo De Galos, one of the most picturesque parts of the Spain.

 

Workshops Included

 

Stress-Proof Your Life With Yoga, Meditation and Mindfulness 

Why Yoga and Meditation Works and What They Have to Offer You

A Modern Approach to Healthy Diet: An insight into Ayurveda, the world oldest science of medicine and healthy living with a modern approach.

Cooking Demonstrations: Lee shares tips and tricks to effortlessly add flavour and joy to your daily cooking, and will be preparing each meal in the open kitchen. He will be available throughout the week and would love to answer any questions you might have, and from his cookery demonstrations you will be taking home skills to transform your home cooking.

*Moon Club: We are extraordinarily happy to be able to share with you this optional workshop on women’s health…..This workshop will be led by Jane and assisted by Malene Vedel giving practical exercises and techniques for you to bring home to enhance your wellbeing during your moon cycle.

 

The Yoga

 

“Will and I practice and teach yoga as a tool and a path to inner peace and radiating joy. We are trained in Akhanda Yoga, a Hatha yoga practice, that brings in all aspects of yoga: contemplation, philosophy, anatomy, mindfulness, meditation, kriya, pranayama and asana, the physical postures. This practice is for everybody and suits all levels. Straight from the street? Or advanced practitioner? This is for you!. Furthermore we bring into the classes an abundance of joy, and draw experience from a wide range of skills and courses, as well as wisdom collected on our travels around the world. Our classes are designed to give you strength and confident as well as softness and flexibility. The classes are calming and challenging, restorative and energising. They are therapeutic by nature.”

 

Yours in Yoga,

Malene – Complete Unity Yoga

 

Spain Beach Retreat - Yoga and Meditation - Vegan Cooking with Lee Watson

 

Food

 

We are excited to have Lee Watson cooking exclusively for us and doing cooking demonstrations.  During the demonstrations, Lee will be showing us how to cook a range of healthy Mediterranean plant-based dishes with loads of treats along the way.

Meals will range from Moroccan to Middle Eastern, all the way through Turkey, Italy, Greece and of course, Spain.  Lee ensures that even if you don’t eat a plant-based diet, you will not be disappointed in the slightest.  This is diverse food for everyone to enjoy!

You’ll learn a range of creative kitchen skills for a healthier, delicious approach to cooking at home.  You will get a full recipe booklet to take home and Lee will ensure you have all the knowledge to give the recipes a try.  We’ll cover creative summer salads, BBQ, homemade plant-based cheese and milk, Buddha bowls, sushi, local tapas and paella, smoothies and breakfast ideas, plus preparing a fully raw food feast and lots of ideas for desserts.

On Friday we’ll enjoy a three-course meal in a local restaurant with a stunning location overlooking the bay.  The best location in Murcia for sunset.  This is a restaurant that Lee helped to build, who make great plant-based meals.  The menu will be designed especially for our group, by Lee and their chef.

The retreat is fully plant-based, and if this is something new, we believe it is a light, nutritious and compassionate way of eating. Find inspiration to bring home, get support to make changes or just enjoy and you are sure to feel the benefits.

 

Accommodation

 

The villa is intelligently designed and eco-friendly, keeping warm in the winter and cool in the summer, providing comfort year-round. Air conditioning is available throughout and there is a log burning stove.

The highlight of the villa for us is the large open plan living area, with kitchen and dining space. This is perfect for cooking demonstations and joyful moments. Enjoy the view of the beach while reading your books, writing or hanging out with good company and meaningful conversations.

The villa is located 10 metres from the beach in a quiet, residential village, close to restaurants, cafes and bars.  Other facilities include an outdoor solar heated shower and purified water on tap.

The rooms are comfortable with a homely vibe. There are a variety of different room types to suit all. Email us for more information.

This place is amazing with a essence of community and living to share.

Our daily yoga and meditation classes will take place outside on the terrace and in the garden. Wake up with soothing yoga poses under open sky in the gentle morning air providing us with a fresh boost of energy and a glow to our skin.

 

Retreat Pricing

 

Double En-Suite – 2 People £1899
Double En-Suite – 1 Person Private £1249
Double Room – 2 People £1839
Double Room – 1 Person Private £1149
Twin Room Shared – £919 per person
Triple Room Shared – £719 per person

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Local Area

 

Murcia is a small and stunning region, mainly agricultural, in the South of Spain.  Our villa is located on the Costa Calida, which is a jewel of the Spanish coast.  The scenery is beautiful, with mountains falling away into the deep blue Mediterranean Ocean.  The region is sparsely populated with lovely countryside and traditional villages.  This is the real taste of Spain and is known as the garden of Spain for good reason.  The local produce, ranging from almonds, to lemons, olives and excellent vegetables is delicious.  We offer a rare opportunity to practice yoga on a beachside location, exploring and enjoying this peaceful corner of Europe.

 

 

Diving / Snorkelling

 

Costa Calida is home to two marine reserves offering ideal conditions for divers of all levels. If you’re interested in going diving/snorkelling during your stay with us, we’d be happy to send you details of a highly recommended English-speaking dive school, so that you can book directly with them in advance. Please email us for more details.

 

 

Find full pricing, bookings and retreat description HERE

 

 

 

Categories: Cooking Retreats, Events, Travel, Vegan, veganism | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Creamy Broccoli, Sunflower and Lemon Dip

Broccoli, Sunflower and Lemon Dip

Broccoli, Sunflower and Lemon Dip

Fancy a quick dip!  This simple, creamy vegan dip is a great way to get more broccoli into our lives.  Which is never a bad thing!

Broccoli is one of the healthiest things sprouting from the earth.  Outrageously high in vitamin C and K.  Broccoli should not be cut before storing, otherwise the vitamin content decreases and should not be washed before popping in the fridge (a general rule with all fruit and veg) as this speeds up the spoiling process.

The nutrients in vegetables and fruits is directly effected by the soil and methods used in growing.  Organic is best, but even modern organic, industrialised practices leads to an depletion in the nutrients in soil and  subsequently the things grown in it.  In the Beach House, we wholeheartedly recommend befriending local producers/ farmers or even better growing your own.

This went down a treat at lunchtime today, perfect summer dipping fodder with the added benefit of being super healthy and light.

The Bits – Males one bowlful

300g silken tofu

2 handfuls sunflower seeds (soaked overnight = smooth dip, unsoaked = crunchy dip)

1 small head of broccoli (finely chopped)

1 small clove garlic (peeled and crushed)

1/2 lemon (juice and zest)

1/2 handful of fresh dill

1/2 handful of mint leaves

1 tbs good olive oil

Cracked pepper and sea salt (to taste)

Do It

Place all in a food processor and blend for a minute, scraping the sides down if you need to.   If you have used unsoaked seeds, expect a nice crunch to your dip, otherwise, make it nice and smooth.

Beach House radishes - ready for dipping action

Beach House radishes – ready for dipping action

Serve

With all your favourite crudites, we love to dip oat cakes into ours.

Foodie Fact

By birth, Broccoli is an Italian.  A member of the cabbage family and the green sibling of the cauliflower.  It is never good soggy, steam for 5 minutes max or serve raw.  Broccoli is a meal in itself, use the leaves and stems for different textures.

Broccoli has excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties, especially high in vitamin C.  We regularly add it to morning juices to gives us a gentle kickstart in the right direction.  Broccoli is also outrageously high in fibre, helping fight cholesterol and keeping our digestion ticking over nicely.  This green hero also helps our eyes and repairs our skin.  Only a handful of broccoli per day will have considerable benefits.

Summer time and dippin' is easy.....

Summer time and dippin’ is easy…..

Categories: Nutrition, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Cool Cucumber, Basil and Cashew Soup (Raw)

Cucumber, Basil and Cashew Soup (Raw)

Cucumber, Basil and Cashew Soup (Raw)

This soup is a real summer cooler, not something you can regularly say about a soup.  Its creamy (without cream) and hearty (without potatoes and butter), all down to our raw friends the cashew nut.  What a wonderful thing they are.  They make great cheese, milk and add wonderful richness to all things they grace.

Raw soups can be very hearty actually, adding sprouted grains helps and a few nuts or seeds go along way to building a full texture, bags of veggies also make a big difference.  It always impresses me how much goodness you can squeeze into a soup/ smoothie/ juice.  My juice this morning had around 10 different fruits and vegetables (beetroot, carrot, orange, lemon, parsley, basil, spinach, apple, ginger, sweet potato YUM!)  I have to say, afterwards, I was feeling quite high on the stuff.  High on food!  Juice on an empty belly is a magical thing and gets the ZING going in the AM.

This mornings super juice

This mornings super juice

This soup has so many good flavours in there (we love the horseradish especially) as well as being superbly nutritious.  We have been using olives a lot this month instead of adding more salt, they add a natural saltiness to dishes.  So this is a salt-less soup.

COOL AS A CUCUMBER

Cucumber in anything is cooling, it has that lovely quality which is perfect for a sweltering summers day.  I am a hot blooded creature and therefore the British summertime is a little tepid, but yesterday did  seem quite steamy. This soup made for a perfect dinner.

The cooling effect of cucumber is put down to cucurbitin and fatty oils found in the seeds that has a soothing effect on the body.  Cucumber is great for sunburn and can also have a cooling effect when made into a juice.   So drinking cucumber juice is just like putting coolant into a car!

THAT ‘RAW FOOD’ FEELING

Now that we have been eating raw food for over two weeks, our appetite has generally decreased, more accurately our cravings for sugar have decreased.  I find myself better balanced and not snacking hardly at all, certainly not craving coffee or alcohol or sweet things.  I forgot how powerful the raw diet is and how it impacts much more than just what you eat, you feel very different also.  Its like your charged with loads of clean energy and your brain is working at its optimum level and your body is thanking you all the time for being some damn good to it.  Its a pleasant place to be.

RAW FOOD EQUIPMENT

The only thing about getting started with a raw food diet is that you need the equipment.  We’ve gathered ours over a period of two years and are still short of a few bits and pieces.  We have added a dehydrator recently, which we have been enjoying.  A juicer is fairly essential and a food processor is important for all those soups and smoothies.  You could be raw without these gadgets, that is probably the next step for us!  Eating things that fall from trees and gathering berries from hedgerows.  That would be a really natural existence!  Without this equipment, I’d imagine it would be difficult, especially in Britain, to get a decent variety of textures and keep things interesting.  Munching on a raw carrot does have its limits.

Raw food equipment

Raw food equipment

Having said that, one of the best bits of equipment that we use is a humble peeler.  Known as a French peeler, it is vital in sorting out all these fruits and vegetables quickly and makes almost perfect ribbons of produce that can then be popped into salads or made into a raw pasta-style dish.

French Peeler – The Best!

Makes two big bowlfuls:

The Bits

1 1/2 cucumbers, 2 garlic cloves, 2 small green apples (cored and chopped), 1 lime (juice), 1 cup cashews (soaked for 2 hours or longer in filtered water), 1 cup green olives, 1 cup parsley, 1/2 cup basil, 1 tbs horseradish, 2 tbs nutritional yeast flakes, 2 cups filtered water (more if needed)

Do It

In a food processor, blend your cashews first, until a thin paste is formed (add soaking water a little at a time), add the rest of the ingredients and a cup full of water.  Blend for 30 seconds and check consistency, it should still be a little chunky in places, add more water and blend again if required.

Serve

With a splash of brilliant, fruity olive oil and a pinch of cracked black pepper.

Foodie Fact

Cucumber has many beneficial properties, it is anti inflammatory and moisture regulating, as mentioned above, it also has cooling properties.  These are the reasons that cucumber is used in beauty products and the like, it smooths the skin and gets rid of dead skin cells.

Cucumber is also full of dietary fibre and is great for people suffering from heartburn, ulcers,acidity etc, for this reason it also helps with constipation.  It’s good for the joints, the kidneys and helps in the digestion of proteins.

Cucumber also has plenty of vitamin C and folates and like the vast majority of veggies, it contains a vast amount of other nutrients.  Overall, cucumber is a serious superfood!

Homemade Cucumber Pickles

Homemade Cucumber Pickles

Categories: Raw Food, Soups, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Mango, Mint & Chickpea Salad

Whats our favourite fruit?  Mango (of course!)

In the world of things fruity and exotic, the mango stands tall, a royal pip amongst all things seeded.  Mango is such a tough fruit to harvest, the trees secrete poison that is quite nasty when the fruit is picked, making mango something to cherish and enjoy with glee.  I know this because I have randomnly harvested mangoes on a Nicaraguan island.  It’s a long story, but they were lovely.

This chickpea concoction is a saladty departure for mangos fruity sweetness. It is a purposefully sweet salad for those folk who are not generally willing leaf munchers. The sweetness and awesome textures plus the creamy yoghurt dressing are a real highlight A good one for entertaining friends and family if you happen to be a vegan and with summer just around the corner, we need to get our salad skills dust free and sharp.

We very rarely get to use mangos as we live in Wales for most of the year and the Welsh mangos resemble rugby balls in texture and odour! Rubbery and rugged that is. They are a bit more exotic over here in Spain and there are a few fable mango trees in a particular valley nearby. Nobody seems to know where they are though but they are said to be the sweetest mangos ever (nice fairytale huh!). I think the mangos we used came freight class all the way from Costa Rica but for this salad we’ll make an exception to our ‘mostly local’ focus.

Recipe Notes

The dressing here is nice and thick and coats the salad, we normally prepare the salad when the chickpeas are luke warm, it really gets the flavours going.  The pomegranate molasses is something we picked up in the Iranian supermarket in Brixton. It packs a real tang! It is not essential, but good to have in the cupboard, if you can seek some out, it is a pleasant addition to the pantry.

You can use sprouted chickpeas here if you would prefer making this a raw salad.

Here goes. A regal fruity and spicy salad with barrel loads of flavour!

 

The Bits – Makes one decent salad bowlful

1 mango (pipped)

1 cup butternut squash

1/2 cucumber

1 carrot

1 small red pepper (all diced small)

2 cups cooked chickpeas (roughly one and half tins)

1 chilli (very finely diced, watch out for spiciness!)

½ handful of roast pumpkin seedsr

 

Dressing

Mint (2 handfuls)

Coriander (1 handful)

½ a lemon (juice and zest)

3 tbs soya yoghurt (unsweetened)

1 tbs olive oil

2 teas pomegranate molasses

½ teas ground cumin

1/4 teas cinamom

1 teas smoked paprika

Sea salt (to taste)

 

Do It
Chop all fruit/ veg into 1cm cubes, nice and easy to crunch and gets the flavours and textures mixed well. Place in your finest salad bowl, mix together, adding chilli and seeds.

Add dressing ingredients to a food processor and blitz for a short time, checking the seasoning.  The dressing should be thick, and herbs incorporated.  The dressing clings to the chickpeas.

Reserve one handful of mint and chop roughly, for the topping.

P1190462

Que Rico! Mango Salad

Serve
We like a splash more lemon juice and a few more pumpkin seeds and the chopped mint on top, just before serving.

We Love It!
Fragrant mango and chunky chickpeas!!  Two of our favourite treats in a salad.

Foodie Fact
Mango is not only the most luscious and decadent of the fruits, it also packs a nutritious punch.  Mango is full of vitamin A (beta-carotene), alot like carrots really, a brilliant anti-oxidant that will keep you shining.

Categories: Dressings, Recipes, Salads | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Raw Strawberry Tartlets

P1170517

Raw Strawberry Tartlets

This is a variation on our Raw Summer Berry Cheesecake that was SOOOOO GOOD we thought we would do it again… only adding some different ingredients to make it tastier and a little more interesting (and smaller!).  One for the sweet tooth and can be eaten on a raw food diet too.  Try it, it’s amazing!

It was a beautiful sunny day so I put on my shorts, went in the garden, felt super-summery, and then decided to surprise Lee with a beautiful treat for when he got home from work.  The strawberries were farm-fresh, juicy, and looked oh so irresistible in the fridge, and the result was a delightful delicate mix of this rich nutty sticky base with it’s thick creamy sweet fruity topping. Such sunny decadence!!!

I just love raw food preparation and cooking. It’s quick, there is very little mess or washing up, and I really feel like I am learning so much about how to combine the ingredients and flavours. It’s so incredible how tasty these blends of foods can be and how versatile these ingredients are – the topping in this recipe is unbelievable!  Tahini never tasted so good.

P1170518

Raw Strawberry Tartlets

The Bits

Base

200g dates

200g soaked almonds

Large handful sultanas

Large handful cashew nuts

A shake of cinnamon

A shake of ground (or chopped ginger)

 

The delicious creamy topping

1 large banana

Juice of one lemon

3 tablespoons tahini

8 dates

 

Topping

Chopped strawberries

 

Do It

So here’s how it’s done!

Base – Blend the ingredients for the base in a food processor. Make little balls with the mixture and squash flat to make little round mini-bases. This took the longest out of everything because the mixture gets so sticky. Make as many bases as you want, any size or shape you want! Worth persevering with your sticky fingers for the end result 🙂

Topping – Blend everything together and smooth the lovely thick mixture on to your bases. Throw on some chopped strawberries, or any other fruit you may have that looks beautiful; and serve straight away.

You can keep the base and topping separate in the fridge and they will keep well for a few days.

Only add the fruit just before serving for the freshest taste imaginable!

 

Serve

We like it all left out of the fridge, at room temperature.  Served in the garden and eaten with teaspoons (to prolong the happiness).  Normally with a nice cup of Rooi-al (Rooibos tea with almond milk) or Rooi-soy (with soya milk).  The perfect little summer treat.

 

We Love It!

This is so simple.  The most delicious dessert and minimal effort…leaving more time for eating!!!

 

Foodie Fact

Strawberries are actually native to Europe, and technically a ‘creeper’.  Nothing evokes summertime in Britain more than the coming of the strawberry.  Strawberries are very high in vitamin C, our anti-oxidant friend and vitamin B. They also contain plenty of vitamin B and E and have good levels of mineral content.  They are also full of phyto-nutrients that are brilliant for the body, they fight diseases and other nasty things.  Oh, and they are low in calories.

Enjoy!!

Jane x

Categories: Desserts, Raw Food, Recipes, Summer, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Warm Green Salad with Rapeseed Oil Dressing

Warm and Green Summer Salad

A quick and easy summer salad with many a luxury touch.  The method here is simply blanching the veg and hopefully maintaining alot of their goodness.  You certainly don’t want to cook veggies until they lose their crunch, that is utter madness.  Veggies should be alive and crispy when eaten!

This salad was so green, it was jumping out of the bowl (if that makes any sense at all!)  All the veg here are seasonal, from the farm (bar the Avocado which I think flew over from Mexico), the basil came from the bush on the windowsill and even the oil and salt are Welsh.  It is so great to eat something made from produced sourced locally.  We have really struggled this year to gather together good, organic produce.  But the sun is out today and all is blooming, hopefully the next few weeks will see more harvesting and beautiful produce up for grabs.  Even our rainbow chard in the garden is looking good for the plate.  Amazing what a little sun can do!

The dressing is made with Blodyn Aur Rapeseed Oil, a real find in Wales.  Great folk who use the cold press techniques of olive oil making to produce a stunning rapeseed oil.  Real food heroes who enrich our lives with beautiful oil.  The flavour is very buttery, nutty and smooth and the colour is the brightest gold.  This oil also has bags of Omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are great for us.  If you live in Britain, I hope you can track some down.  It is like no other oil I have come across.

We also used some local sea salt flavoured with celery.  Halen Mon are a family business making salt from the pure water of the Menai Straits on Anglesey, we can seem them from the kitchen window of the Beach House Kitchen and have never tasted salt this good.  Really.  It’s amazing salt.  See our Halen Mon post here.

We always have a good stock of seeds, but if you don’t have sesame or flax, any seed will do really.  Although poppy seed would be a little strange.  We like adding flax to dishes because it is good for the digestive system.

A opposed to our normal raw food fare, this warming (I wouldn’t go as far as cooking!) of the salad really brings out the flavour of the dressing.  We have also recently been told that it is not such a good idea to each French beans or broad beans raw.  They contain things that may do you no good.

Rapeseed Flower

PS – A handful in our recipes is probably about a cup (in our hands!).  Maybe yo have different names for these beans, fava etc.  I hope you know what we are talking about here!

The Bits

Salad – 1 ripe avocado (chopped), 3 handfuls of spinach, 1 small sweet onion, 3 handfuls of chopped french beans, 2 handfuls of podded broad beans, 1 stick of finely sliced celery, 1/2 handful of chopped basil leaves, 2 teas sesame seeds, 2 teas flax seeds.

Dressing  – Freshly squeezed juice of a lemon, 3 tbs great oil (olive or we used local rapeseed oil, it has a lovely buttery flavour), 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 teas organic honey, cracked black pepper, sprinkle of sea salt (we used Halen Mon celery salt).

Do It

Gather all your broad beans, french beans, onion, place in a bowl/pan and pour over just boiled water.  Leave to sit for a few minutes.  Make the dressing, add all ingredients to a small bowl and whisk vigorously with a fork or small whisk.  Drain you veggies and add to a large salad bowl (or any good looking receptacle), mix in your avocado, celery and basil leaves (gently does it) and pour over and stir in your dressing.

Warm Green Salad with Rapeseed Oil Dressing

Serve

Warm, with smiles and summer joy.

We Love It!

All good local fare; seasonal veggies that are so full of flavour and the vibrant dressing adds a lovely rich citrus kick.  A bowl full of the joys of these lands.

Foodie Fact 

Unlike all other vegetable oils, cold pressed rape seed oil contains a natural balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 oils, making it a great source for these essential fatty acids. ‘Good oils’ are essential in bodily functions, including aiding cholesterol reduction, and maintaining a healthy heart.  Omega 3 is a rare oil, that can be difficult to include in our diet.  Rapeseed oil also contains Vitamin E, a powerful anti-oxidant.

Categories: Recipes, Salads, Summer, Vegan, Welsh produce | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Stuffed Courgette with Hazelnut and Peach

The Bits

Cooking is still a bit weird here after all of our raw escapades.  We are still eating mainly raw, with a few exceptions, when the produce and mood take us in a hotter direction.  I need to keep my hand in because of the work that I do.

I’ve always loved a stuffed veg, Mum used to make stuffed peppers back in the dark ages on the early 90’s.  Mum’s always been a bit of a maverick.  I remember the first time she made cheesecake, in the mid 80’s with cheddar cheese!  The family all came around to try this new found food.  We’ve come a long way since then.

This is a dish along the lines of the millions of other ‘stuffed’ dishes on cyber space, the only difference being, this is ours and its only semi-stuffed.  Recipes that spring to mind via what you have at hand are always my favourite.  Spur of the moment cooking, making the best of what you have.  This recipe goes against all of the food combining advice that we have been following recently, but we felt like living dangerously!

We are lucky to have brilliant courgettes at the moment from the farm and some sweet ripe peaches; combine that with a nut cabinet that never runs dry, mint growing wild like a madman in our garden and the ever-present cauliflower and you have the makings of a feast.

I decided to add the cauliflower to the cous cous, I love the subtle flavour that cauliflower gives off when steamed/ boiled.  It added great flavour to the cous cous.

Being very much an amateur cook, I make many mistakes, or as I call them, great opportunities to learn.  Cooking with an electric hob can be a real drag, but that is what we have.  I much prefer gas stoves, mainly for controlling the heat by eye.  When cooking the cous cous and cauliflower here, I forgot that the hob was still on very low and went off to do other things (drink tea), leaving the poor cous cous to overcook.  Oh well, this is ‘real’ cooking and it still tasted good, if a little soft and congealed.

The French beans here are optional and can be substituted with anything else green and is season.  Peas, spinach, broad beans etc would be grand.

We are an energy conscious household at the Beach House and don’t like turning on the oven unless very much necessary, namely, when we have lovely guests.  Otherwise, it’s all hob.  These courgettes could be blanched off in boiling water then thrown in a hot oven for a while, that would be nice.  We have opted for the simpler and more efficient method of re-using your frying pan.

This is an ideal seasonal summer lunch which oozes flavour.  All that sweetness and crunch with the bitterness of the olives.  You could even cook the courgettes on the barbecue if you fancy!

Peaches and Raisins

The Bits 

2 cup wholemeal cous cous (or brown rice, quinoa etc), 1/2 cauliflower (chopped finely), 1tbsp good veg stock, 1 large onion (chopped), 10 french beans (topped and tailed and chopped), 1 teas carraway seeds, 2 cloves garlic (minced/ finely chopped), 1/2 cup olives (sliced, we like the green ones), 1 ripe peach (finely chopped), 3 tbsp hazelnuts, 2 tbsp raisins (chopped), 2 tbsp mint (chopped), 1 tsp parsley (chopped), sea salt and cracked black pepper, 1 tbsp good oil, 4 courgettes (halved lengthways)

Chopped Cauliflower

Do It

Boil some water in a saucepan (follow quantities written on your cous cous packet, you will need a little less due to the water given off by the cauliflower) and stir in your stock, add your finely chopped cauliflower and cous cous, stir a little then tightly cover and leave off the heat to cook for 20 minutes.  Fluff cous cous with a fork and re-cover until needed.  If more water is needed, add now.

Heat your frying pan, add your hazelnuts and warm them through, lightly roasting them.  Allow to cool, chop up into chunks.

Then heat some oil in the pan, gently soften your onions for 5 minutes, until slightly golden; add carraway seeds and french beans.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly, then add your mashed garlic, cook for 5 minutes more.

Gently soften your onions

Now add your mint, parsley and chopped hazelnut, stir for a minute to heat through, then add your cous cous and cauliflower, raisins, olives and peaches, with plenty of cracked pepper and some sea salt.  Combine well.  Be gentle with the cous cous here, you don’t want a mush!  Cover pan and keep warm.

In another large frying pan, heat some oil and on a low/med heat, fry your courgettes face down.  Allow them to colour for a few minutes then flip over, repeat this twice and the they should be cooked.  You don’t want to overcook the courgette, it should still have a little crunch in the middle.

Stuffed Courgette with Hazelnuts and Peach

Serve

Place two courgettes on a plate, leave a little space inbetween, spoon over your filling.  Pile it nice and high, finish with some of your chopped herbs.

We Love It!

This is a great dish, ideal for a light summer dinner.  The combination of flavours and textures here is something that delights the mouth (even with overcooked cous cous)!

Stuffed Courgette with Hazelnut and Peach

Foodie Fact

Cous cous is small balls of semolina flour, whole wheat cous cous is made with wholewheat flour and has higher nutritional properties.  Wholewheat cous cous  contains higher fibre and iron than the normal stuff, 1 cup gives you a third of your daily fibre requirement.

Categories: Lunch, Recipes, Summer, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Beach House Garden – Summer Update

The Beach House Garden

Well there has been little summer to speak of really. The clouds parted today, so I went outside and took a few pictures, but really this summer has been very strange.  Even the old timers down the farm say they cannot fathom what is going on.  The soil should be warm and it is cold and damp, meaning the plants don’t know what to do.

White Rose

Our lonesome Kori Squash and Rainbow Kale

We have had a few minor successes, mainly down to raiding our neighbours horse field for massive piles of poo.  It’s like magic dust. One sprinkle and the plants shoot up. The potatoes love this environment and sprang up, they are just starting to flower and we may have a look soon to see if we have any tasty little tubers.

The Potato Patch

Rampant Foxglove

 

 

After an epic battle with slugs and snails, we have managed to get one squash plant through the madness. We have been trying all sorts, beer traps, gravel and jagged rocks, I have been on many stealth nighttime missions to snatch them off our precious green friends. Sometimes it felt like a losing battle, but now things are established and semi-blooming, all these efforts seem worthwile. The squash is growing nicely and we hope to have our first Welsh kori squash soon. Beetroots, rainbow kale, runner beans and hannibal leeks are all holding in there.

The Beetroot Jungle

Flowering Succulents

We have also diversified in the herb garden, with some different types of thyme and our new favourite, ginger mint. A wonderful thing that has its own bed to go wild in. We have been loving wandering out to the herb garden and cutting our own fresh herbs. A real cooks treat (even in the howling gales).
We think it will be a late summer (we hope!) and in late September, we will be cooking with our first batch of Beach House Veg. We will keep you posted.

Beauty Beets

Kori Squash and Runner Beans

Tomato plants (hiding in the green cupboard)

 

Categories: Garden, Healthy Living, Organic | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Rich Tomato and Basil Soup (Raw)

Tomato and Basil

Here’s one for when you are in a little bit of a hurry and you need something quick and tasty. Cold soup is a funny one for most people, it can be difficult to get your head around. Cold soups are served all over the world and I can think of many delicious recipes from Spain. It is very much a cultural thing, in Britain we have diabolical weather, which means we normally need a little warmth in our bellies. Soup is so sustaining and comforting, I don’t see why cold soup cannot have the same effect.

We managed to get our hands on a decent amount of lovely tomatoes, rare in these parts and this soup really did them justice.  The tomatoes really make this dish and without gorgeous tomatoes, you will struggle to get much flavour.  It’s all about tomato here!

Raw food is nutrient dense, which means alot of ingredients.  It is not your average soup, which normally relies heavily on a decent stock, its really just one big savoury smoothie!

This is a recipe that has the added richness of an avocado. I love the way that raw food uses things like avocado to add creaminess to dishes, surely better than a blob of clotted cream (no!?). But I must admit, clotted cream is definitely better on a scone.

We added on green chilli here, to add a little mexican style zing to proceedings.   It is optional of course.  If you’d like it richer, add more avocado, you can never get enough!

So dust off the blender and give this one a whirl. The perfect summer soup, refreshing and filling.  You can heat  this if you like, it will be nearly as nice!

Makes two big bowlfuls:

The Bits

8 tomatoes (medium size, chopped into 1/4’s), 1/2 sweet red pepper, 8 sun dried tomatoes (finely chopped/ mashed), 2 cloves garlic (minced, crushed etc), 1/2 medium sweet onion (Spanish are good, finely chopped), 1 big handful of chopped basil leaves, 1 avocado, pinch of good quality sea salt, 1 green chilli (very optional), olive oil for a drizzle

Tomato and Basil Soup (Raw)

Do It

All in a blender and pulse until a nice chunky texture is formed, add water if needed to thin out slightly.

Serve

We topped ours with sprouts (no surprises there then!) and a couple of basil leaves, a drizzle of olive oil maybe?

We Love It!

Nice and rich and refreshing, a great way to use glorious toms!

Foodie Fact

Basil is regarded as the ‘king of herbs’ and is a holy plant in many cultures.  Basil originated in Iran and India.  Basil has many anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-oxidant properties, it contains exceptionally high levels of beta carotene, vitamin A, iron and a whole host of other good stuff.

Categories: Raw Food, Recipes, Soups, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Raw Vegetable & Coconut Curry

One bright day in June (the bright day in June), our picnic spot, above Beddgelert

So the raw food lifestyle is continuing in the Beach House, this is a good sign.  We have been feeling good and loving experimenting with raw foods, so we are rolling on raw well into July.

Our aim is to eat a lot of raw food, but soon start cooking again.  I cook alot at work, but its not the food that excites me, it seems a strange idea getting the pots and pans out again at home.  The oven, instead of the food processor.  I’m sure it will happen gradually and at the right time.  I still haven’t drank a coffee or any wine, again, it just seems like a strange thing to get back into now.  Those of you who have been on a raw diet will know how I feel.

It has been an atrocious June for weather, we’ve had a fire on most nights and the rain and wind has lashed down on our poor little seedlings.  Even with this wintery weather,  Jane and I have been perfectly happy with salads and cold food.  I think a full raw food diet (ps – when I say diet here, its not like a weight loss diet, just what we are eating) in winter is a possibility, whereas before I would have not considered it.  No hot soups!

One spoonful of this curry and we both exclaimed “This is the best yet!” Which is always a nice thing to hear about something.  This coconut curry has a lovely sweetness, the smooth richness of the creamed coconut and the gentle warming hint of garam masala.

We have not been eating a great deal of spice of late, the raw diet it not overtly anything really (bar amazingly healthy food). This dish added so much needed spice back to our lives.

I think this curry is a real winner this summertime. Raw food is, of course, perfect for a sunny day (which are rare in these parts, but hopefully on their way).  Summer is the ideal time to dabble with raw food and this Coco Curry would make an interesting salad to serve as a side dish at a barbecue or take for a picnic to a beauty spot.  It keeps well and is nice and quick to get together.

If you’re not a raw one, this will go very nicely with something like a cold rice salad.  You can even heat it up!  The flavours will still be amazing.  It can be thinned down for a lovely soup (just add a little stock or water)  and used as it is for a dipping and spreading.

The original inspiration comes from the brilliant British raw food book “Eat Smart, Eat Raw’ by Kate Hill, but I have dabbled with the recipe to bring it more into line with our taste.  That means more spice, more garlic, more ginger……..we like a big and bold flavour in the BHK.

Cauliflower can be used as a substitute for rice in the raw food world.  You just need to chop it up very finely, or stick it in a food processor, and it resembles rice but without the stodge factor.

The serving here is enough for four strapping individuals.  Jane and I saved some for lunch the next day.

The salad base, as you can see, we like ours chunky!

The Bits

Sauce

1/2 tin of organic coconut milk

1 avocado

4 dates (pitted)

4 tomatoes

1 carrot

1 medium onion

2 tbsp tamari (or soya sauce)

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tbsp turmeric

1/2 red chilli

1 inch cube ginger

2 cloves garlic

150ml water

 

Salad/ Filling

3 tbsp raisins

2 handfuls green lentil/ mung bean sprouts

1/2 handful of chopped coriander (with a little saved for topping)

2 handfuls of spinach

2 sticks celery (finely chopped)

1 carrots (finely chopped)

1/2 cauliflower (finely chopped)

1 handful of mangetout

1/2 butternut squash (chopped into little cubes)

The Coco curry pre-mix

Do It

Salad – We use a food processor, because it is so easy.  You lose the individuality of hand chopping, but it saves alot of time, especially when you’re eating raw foods and most of your days could be spent peeling and chopping veggies.  Most of these contraptions have a chopping and grating blade as standard that can come in very handy.  However on this occasion we hand chopped, just to be awkward!

So, put carrots, celery and cauliflower in food processor.  Chop up your butternut squash and avocado into small chunks and mix all of these with the other ingredients in nice big bowl.

Sauce – Chop all vegetables into manageable chunks for your food processor.  Ginger, garlic and chilli should be finely chopped.  Put it all into the food processor and give it a whirl.  Make sure you hold the lid down firmly to begin with, if its a small one like ours, it tends to jump around a little.

Indo Coco Curry (Raw)

Serve

Sprinkle on left over coriander, raisins and grated coconut (dessicated coconut is fine).  We ran out of coriander and forgot the coconut!  It would look grand though, you’ll just have to use your imagination.

We rarely have time for presentation touches as we are such scoffers!  In the bowl, quick pic then get stuck in!  Tends to be the order of eating affairs in the Beach House.

You could try it with some cauliflower rice (see above), it makes for an interesting change.

Foodie Fact

You may have heard that coconut is full of fat, well it is, but they are great fats!  Avocado, nuts, seeds etc do contain a high proportion of fats, but they do not harm your body like the fats in processed foods or donuts!

The fat in coconut does not raise your cholesterol levels like saturated fats in animal products.   It is actually the most health-giving oil available, you can buy coconut oil for cooking.  The make up of the fats is similar to mothers milk, the lauric acid (a fatty acid in mother’s milk) has antibacterial qualities.

Categories: Dinner, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Vibrant Gigglebean Stew (Raw)

Raw Vibrant Chickpea Stew

This may be the healthiest dish we have ever eaten.  I can only see stew this doing wonderful things for us and it tastes amazing (always a bonus).

I love the name ‘gigglebeans’, it’s is what Jane’s friend Alex calls chickpeas (or garbanzos, they have so many names!)  What ever we choose to call them, they are fine legume and a welcome addition to raw June at the Beach House.

We had tried previously to soak and sprout chickpeas.  I don’t think we have the heat here.  It has been a very strange season this year, our plants are not sure whether its winter or summer.  I know the feeling!  This may have affected the chickpea sprouts, as they don’t seem to like sprouting, they just swell up.  After soaking the chicks for 12 hours, we have discovered that they are delicious, even without a sprout.  It has been a revelation.  Nothing adds bite and vitality to a salad like a crunchy chickpea, jam packed full of nutrition and protein, they are a real gift from nature.  They are just like nuts, without the fats.

I am always compelled to add the flavours of India or North Africa/Middle East to a chickpea.  It just seems correct.  I have restrained myself this time as I am having a few days detox before raw June ends.  I feel quite amazing!  I have never been a fan of the word detox, but I’m really enjoying it.  I’ve dropped nuts and oils (fats in general) from what I eat and my energy levels have gone through the roof.  You wouldn’t imagine that, but it is true.  I went for a jog last night and I felt positively turbo charged.  I’m not sure if it is wise as a long term diet, but who knows.  I feel magic now.

This raw stew came together from the idea for a dressing.  It is definitely more of a stew, mainly due to the lack of leaves and the quantity of dressing.  The dressing itself can be used on most vegetables and you can add some olive oil and salt, if you are not having fun experimenting with the raw things.

In future I may add some fresh herbs to the dressing, a handful of mint of basil would be delicious.  But as I said, I’m trying to restrain myself at the moment and keep things relatively simple for the palate.

The combination of texture and colours here are a real feast for the senses, the flavours are light and understated, with the odd kick of chilli to liven things up.  Using apple cider vinegar here adds a nice tang to the dish. Overall a salad fit for any table and certainly fit for any body.

This will make a big bowl of salad, leftovers will get better in the fridge when left for a little marinate.

The Bits

We use the food processor for the grating

Stew – 1 cup grated swede, 1/2 cup chopped mangetout, 1 sweet potato (chopped), 2 cups sprouted (swollen) chickpeas, 1 cup grated courgette.

Dressing – 2 cloves garlic (one more if you are a garlic fiend), 1 inch of grated root ginger, 2 tbs apple cider vinegar, 1 apple, flesh of 1 orange, 1/2 cucumber, 1 red chilli (of your choice, be careful with the heat!), 2 tbs olive oil (optional), pinch of sea salt (optional)

Do It

Cover the chickpeas well with water, they will swell up to more than double their original size.  Leave for 12 hours then drain.  You can eat them now if you like, if you would prefer them softer, add more water and leave for a further 12 hours.

Dressing – Add all dressing ingredients to a food processor and blitz up well.  Stew – Arrange/mix the salad and dressing in a big bowl.

Serve

For the final, super healthy boost, top with a generous handful of sprouts (mung bean or green lentil would be great).

We Love It!

After eating this salad, we felt our bellies sing!  Such a vibrant thing and full of only goodness.  The chickpeas really fill you up and you are left with a deeply sated feeling after this, no need for dessert or nibbles between meals.

Foodie Fact

Chillis are originally from Central America and are such a mainstay of Mexican food.  I remember eating raw chillis with my ‘Huevos Rancheros’ most mornings there.  My body seemed to get used to their potent effects.

Spanish and Portugese explorers (conquistadors) were originally responsible for making the chilli a hit on the world stage.   Chillis are well reknowned for their medicinal and health benefits.

Chillis contain an impressive number of plant based compounds that help to prevent disease and promote health.  The spice in chilli, a compound named capsaicin, is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic and lowers cholesterol levels.   Chillis are also rich in vitamin C, A and Beta-carotene, these help us counter the effects of free radicals created when the body is under stress or disease.

Chilli heat is measured by ‘Scotville Heat Units’.  Your average sweet pepper will get a 0,  tabasco sauce rates at 2,ooo-5,000, a mexican habanero weighs in at 200,000-500,00, but the hottest chilli in the world is the Naga Bhut Jolokia (or Ghost Pepper) rating at a whopping 1,041,427.  Not surprisingly, the NBJ has been used in manufacturing weapons, being placed in hand grenades and pepper spray!

Categories: Detox, Dinner, Dressings, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Healthy Living, Lunch, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Black Olive Tapenade with Beetroot and Red Onion Salad

Beetroot and Red Onion Salad with Black Olive Tapenade

Tapenade is one of those things that we don’t eat enough of.  Everytime we have it, we say the same thing, “Why are we not eating more tapenade!”  It is delicious and is one of those classic summer dishes that reminds me of holidays in Greece and France.

I ate alot of tapenade at break times whilst picking grapes in Beaujolais.  We’d have it spread over warm baguettes, with local cheese and lashings of whatever wine was in the bucket (purely medicinal, it helped to dull the back pain you see).  I believe that the intense satisfaction I got from munching the tapenade pulled me through those back breaking times.  The wine was certainly nothing to get excited about, unfortunately.

This is a wonderful concoction of flavours that I’ve had a little play with (of course) and omitted the use of capers due to a forgetful moment at the shops.  The unique caper-ness has been replaced by the gorgeous sun-dried tomato.  Not a bad substitute!  I have also added raisins to add a little sweetness, the black olives can be a little bitter in these parts, Wales not being high on the olive producing charts.   The rest is fairly classic tapenade, forming a delectable black paste that can be spread or dipped as you choose.  I love this type of food, which is greater than the sum of its bits.

I normally think of Tapenade as being a Greek dish, but it actually hales from Provencal in France.  Traditionally this puree contains caper, anchovies, black olives and olive oil.  The French would normally serve it as an hors d’oeurve or stuff it into a steak.

Tapenade is alot like pesto (see our ‘Hazelnut Pesto‘ post) in that it is a joy to behold sitting in the fridge door.  It just hangs around and marinates, getting better and better.  It goes well in so many things and mixed with some oil, makes for an instant wonder dressing.  The best part is that it has a gourmet flavour with very little needed in way of preparation.

The way you chop up your veg has a major effect on the presentation and texture of a salad.  Have a little think before you begin to chop about what type of effect you’d like to create.

If you spend a little more on good quality olives here, it is well worth it.  The black variety are normally a little cheaper and in their own way, just as good as some of their greener brothers and sisters.

The Bits

Tapenade – 1 cup black olive, 6 sun dried tomatoes, 2 cloves crunched garlic, 1/2 red onion, 1/4 cup raisins, juice of 1 lemon, handful of chopped parsley, sprig of rosemary, pinch of thyme and oregano, glug of olive oil, cracked black pepper and sea salt (to taste), glug of olive oil (if needed)

Salad – 1 nice red onion (thinly sliced), 4 small beetroots (cut into eighth’s), 2 cups of spinach (chopped), 3 carrots (grated), 2 stalks celery (chopped), 1 cupful of sprouts (we used green lentil sprouts)

Black Olive Tapenade in the mix…..

Do It

Tapenade – Add all ingredients to a food processor and begin to whizz.  As it becomes sticky, trickle in some remaining olive oil to create a beautiful, shiny puree.  Keep in a sealed container in the fridge overnight for maximum marination (new word for you there!).

Salad – We put the red onion and carrot into a food processor and grated, then chopped the celery, spinach and beetroot separately.

Serve

Thin out some tapenade by adding the same quantity of good olive oil and whisking well.  You can lower the amount of tapenade if you’d prefer a lighter dressing.  Pour the dressing over the salad and give a good mix in.

Place in your favourite salad bowl and top with a handful of green lentil sprouts (see our ‘sprout‘ post for how to sprout your own, its quite simple).  Then spoon on some tapenade.

We have also used it to flavour soups and stews and of course in post June days we’d have it lathered on some warm oat bread.

We Love It!

This tapenade has a great balance of bitter and sweet, with the beautiful silky texture of pureed olives.

Foodie Fact

Olives are one of the oldest foods known, dating back 7,000 years.  Black Olives are left to ripen for longer on the trees, green ones are picked earlier, they generally have a milder flavour.  Olives are a good source of iron (which helps to carry oxegen in our blood) and are low in calories with plenty of good fats.  They do however contain a decent amount of sodium and should be eaten in moderation if you’re keeping an eye on salt intake.

Twelve black olives provide 1.8mg of iron.  Interestingly women need 18mg of iron per day and men only 8mg.

Categories: Dinner, Dressings, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Lunch, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Side Dish, Snacks and Inbetweens, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Raw Apple & Peach Crumble

Raw Apple and Peach Crumble

Jane is out at ukulele club, so I thought I’d whip up a dessert for when she gets back.

This is a sweet thing that I didn’t imagine I’d be eating this month.  Apple Crumble was a winter special in my house, smothered with custard. Custard is also possible on a raw diet, but I thought it was step too far, it required more cashew nuts (plus dates, banana and vanilla extract, I may make it soon).

This is a rich and hearty dessert and the oats provide the crumble with some serious substance, add to that the nuts and you have a hearty topping fit for any fruity base.  The tantalising combinations are almost endless….

Many of these raw food recipes will be staying in our diets and this is one of them, we are both learning new techniques of cooking (or non-cooking) and of course, we are now ace salad makers!  This will be a key skill with the summer allegedly on its way/here.

We soaked our almonds and raisins overnight to make them softer and easier to blend, we then used the juice of the raisins to sweeten the crumble.  Walnuts or pecans would also be a great addition to this crumble.

Below is a picture of the kind of nutters we are!  Our nut selection of nuts and seeds is comprehensive, but essential for our playtime with this new lifestyle.  Jane and I both lost a little weight when we started the diet, but with all these gorgeous desserts filled with nuts and dates, we are filling out again in all the right places.

This recipe is a doddle as most of the measurements are the same, you can use any vessel (or hand) and just keep things consistent.  A great one to just throw together for a quick dessert.

The nut stash

The Bits
Makes enough for eight people (or four hungry folk)
Crumble – 125g almonds, 125g cashews (or walnuts), 125g oat groats (soaked overnight) or rolled oats with a glug of hot water added (if you aren’t a raw-er), 80ml of raisin juice (the soaking water)
Filling – 125g raisins, 1 kg apple, 2 peaches (de-stoned and chopped), 2 teas cinnamon

Crumble in the mix

Do It

Add all of your filling ingredients to a good blender and give it a whizz, we like chunks, leave a few in if you prefer.  Set aside in your serving dish.

Give the blender a quick wipe out and then add all of the ingredients for the crumble.  Blend until it has all come together and is nice and thick.  It should be a little damp, it will set when spread out.

Using a trusty spatula, spread out the crumble onto the fruit filling.  Be gentle here, it can get messy!

This will keep overnight in a fridge, but is best eaten on the day.  It won’t last long!

Serve

We had ours with a little soya yoghurt, vegan creme fraiche would be awesome too.

We Love It!

These amazing raw dessert recipes are coming thick and fast, I’ve just made some chocolate brownies that are a real knockout.  Whoever said that raw food was boring and one big lettuce-fest!

Foodie Fact

An apple a day keeps the dentist away.  Apples won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing apples stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.

 

Categories: Desserts, gluten-free, Healthy Eating, Low G.I. (glycemic index), Raw Food, Recipes, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Berry Cheesecake with Avocado and Banana Cream (raw)

Berries

This sweet tasty little dessert only took about 20mins to make; a wonder!  Any fruit combination is good; summer fruits, tropical, and I’m imagining it tastes just as lovely with the good old British apple or pear come autumn.
We used a tasty selection of mixed berry fruits; strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and cherries for this special weekend treat.  I decided to make it to surprise Lee because he deserves a treat!

We have really splashed out on fruit and veg at this time of rawness and our nut reserves are well topped up and we’re brimming over with seeds.  We have invested in a diverse range of ingredients in order to treat ourselves (primarily our bodies).   Some of these treats are not seasonal or local, which is a shame.  Next time we may try 100% raw in August/ September when the berries more abundant.  We hope that wherever you are in the world, your berries are ripe for the picking!

If you are a raw one, this is the rich, sumptuous dessert that you have been dreaming of.  It will also impress any guest, at any dinner party in the world!

You may like to half the filling, this will make more of a tart to a full on cheesecake.

The Bits

For crust
185g almonds (soaked 12-14 hours), 185g dried dates, 1 tsp ground cinnamon
a few drops of vanilla extract

For filling
2 avocado, 2 large banana, 8 dates, 4 tbsp tahini (light), juice of a lemon, berries (enough to cover, we used cherries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries).

Do It

Whizz up your almonds in a food processor until they are as small as they will go, and until they are starting to stick together.  Add the dates and blend again so that the crust mixture goes all sticky.  Add the vanilla essence.  If you think it needs to be even stickier add a couple of drops of water.  But not too much in case of sogginess.

Put it in a cake tin or bowl; something flat-bottomed and press it down lightly round the edges. Looking like a cheesecake base?  Mmmmmm!!

Then it’s time to make the filling. (It’s best made fresh because of the banana).
Blend the banana, avocado, dates, tahini and lemon together until you have a smooth non-lumpy sauce.  Should be nice a thick.  Spread onto base.

Chop up your fresh fruit and scatter it on, giving a good even covering.

Cover and leave in the fridge for an hour to set.  Then serve with big smiles and spoons.

Raw Berry Cheesecake – deconstructed and good to go….

Serve

You can deconstruct the cheesecake if you want to keep it over night, it saves the crust getting too moist.  Then you just tip the filling onto your own portion like a hearty custard.
I’m quite keen on the custardy option, especially since the sauce is much better eaten fresh and the crust looks like it will keep over night. If there’s any left…

We Love It!

It’s a fruity sweet treat, a healthy equivalent of feasting on a massive bar of chocolate!!!

Foodie Fact

Fruit (and lots of it) is bursting with goodness! Less is known about the almond – think of them like protector nuts – giving you supplies of all the protective minerals like calcium and magnesium for strong bones. They have vitamin E and many phytochemicals in them, which can protect our bodies from the big C. Dates have all kinds of minerals in them – quite unbelievable.  They are not just sugary, they also have a lot of fibre in them too and make for healthy bowels 🙂

This was the soundtrack to raw berry cheesecake times in the BHK, ‘Man on Fire’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros:

Categories: Desserts, Raw Food, Recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pineapple and Blueberry Juice

Pineapple and Blueberries make happy

This mornings juice worked out a treat.  The sun is out again, which is a rarity and always cherished.  All the windows and doors are open as the Beach House breathes in the warm air.  It has been a long cold winter, we need all the sun we can get!

There has been a pineapple ripening on the window ledge for weeks now, getting nice and sweet, waiting for just such a day; when we can close our eyes and outside, drift off with the birdsong.  Maybe imagine that there are palm trees swaying above us and pineapples grow freely in the next field.  Instead its a fuchsia bush and potatoes that grow, but I wouldn’t change it.

I had the good fortune to stumbled across some luscious looking  organic blueberries (unfortunately not from this island) which will complement our lovely tropical friend, adding their vivid dark colour and nutrients to proceedings.

I  started the Magimix up and here the rest is here:

The Bits

Half a pineapple chopped into chunks, two good handfuls of blueberries.

Do It

Stick it in the Magimix, blueberries first, followed by the pineapple.  We always juice like this, always dense and concentrated first, followed by something juicy/ watery.   You will get better extraction of juices.

Pineapple and Blueberry Juice

Serve

Your favourite wine glasses!

Foodie Fact 

To grow pineapples all you need to do is chop off the top and plant it!  It does take years to grow (which heightens my respect for the fruit) and very tropical conditions.  Our pineapple tops add a tropical flavour to our compost bin!

Buster takes in some sun

 

Categories: Breakfast, Garden, Healthy Eating, Juices, Organic, Raw Food, Recipes, Relax, Vegan, Wales | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pear and Peanut Smoothie

Rampant Azaleas

This one was made to top the Sunbeam Fruit Salad but is delicious served straight up.

We needed something creamy, so I was dragged away from the juicer for a day.  It was time for a smoothie.

The peanut butter adds a lovely creaminess and bags of energy and the kiwi has a nice sharpness to it.  Pears are always buttery and bitty.

It is vegan and supercharged to get you buzzing come the morn.

This is enough for 2 glasses (and one left for later).  Just peel the kiwi, the rest is best with skins and seeds in we think.

The Bits

2 pears (chopped), 1 large apple (chopped), 1 handful of spinach leaves, 2 kiwi fruits, 1 large tbs of chunky peanut butter (organic, with not too much salt), 2 cups of soya milk (or the milk of something that you prefer).

Do It

Pop all in a blender and blitz up until smooth.

Pear and Peanut Smoothie

Serve

Over a fruit salad or in your finest wine glass.

We Love It!

I love peanuts, so the more the merrier!  Spinach adds a great deep green.  We have missed the chunks (far too much juicing recently).

Foodie Fact

Pears are actually a member of the rose family and are full of good fibre.

Patterns in the sand near the Beach House

 

Categories: Breakfast, photography, Raw Food, Recipes, Smoothies, Vegan | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Sunbeam Fruit Salad

Blooming great rhododendrons. It’s finally May!

The perfect fruit salad!?

Impossible to tell really, but it certainly hit our spots.

This is not what you would call a seasonal wonder, more a bargain basement bonanza!!!  This is a salad for when you have a glut of fruit that needs eating soon.  Its totally OTT and befitting of my birthday weekend, when excess is embraced.

This fruity number is very delicious and perfect for this morning in wonderful Wales.  It’s a glorious day, full of sunbeams, the birds are singing and Buster (a cat) is lounging in the herb garden.  Everybody is out in their gardens, wondering what on earth to do.  You realise the importance of our sun when it is hidden behind grey clouds for many months.  When it returns, it has an incredible effect on people; they go outside, they begin to re-connect with the light (sun).  We all start shining!

We have this type of salad most mornings, a mixture of fruit and vegetables topped by a thick smoothie.  It keeps us going for most of the day, brimmed full of goodness.   Jane and Mum went shopping this weekend (Mum was visiting for my birthday, which was an amazing time, the best birthday I’ve had since I was 9 years old and organised a mass football match on the local park and had a cake shaped like the FA cup) and chanced upon some amazing bargains in the fruit section.  Organic blueberries, apricots etc for 20p a pack!  Its capitalism gone mad!    We have not seen fruit like this for many, many months and their return has a similar effect to the return of our beautiful sunshine.

Top tip – I have been making these beauty salads for a while now and if there is one tip that I would offer to you lovely people it is this, use a clean board.  Sounds obvious, but the slightest hint of garlic or onion on a board can spell disaster for the subtle flavours of your fruits.  We have a separate board for all things fruit.

If you think that mixing fruit and vegetables in salad is a little weird, perhaps it is, but it is delicious.  Carrots are very sweet and celery has a lovely mild flavour.  They both add real bite to proceedings.

The Pear and Peanut smoothie topping recipe will follow on the next post.  This makes enough for two massive bowls.

Bumble bees get busy with bluebells

The Bits

We used our selection of fruit and veg here, but you can of course have a play and use what is in season or any good stuff that you can get your hands onto.  Mix in seeds/ nuts for added crunch and texture, a citrus fruit to add a little tang, the addition of flax seeds really helps your digestion:

2 apricots (de-pipped and diced), 1 big handful of blueberries, 1 apple (diced), 1 pear (diced), 1 orange (peeled and diced), 2 kiwis (peeled and diced), 3 carrots (chopped), 2 sticks of celery (chopped), 1/2 handful of roasted sunflower seeds, 2 tbs flax seeds, 1/2 handful of roasted hazelnuts, 1 handful of chopped mint (chopped)

Do It

Grab your favourite salad bowl, chop all bits up into your favourite shapes, mix then all in gently and top with your smoothie (see next post).  Serve liberally with smiles.

Serve

In bowls of the size that befit the mouths to feed.  In the Beach House, this means big bowls!

The Sunbeam Fruit Salad

We Love It!

Really, what’s not to like here!  The perfect way to start the day.

Foodie Fact 

Blueberries are a sign from nature that snacking has always been OK.  They are one of the original grab and go foods!!!!  Served straight from the bush.  I am so glad to have these back in my life, they are real burst of incredible nutrition.  I love their dark colour, it adds brilliant contrast to any dish it touches.

They contribute amazingly to our health, that dark purple colour is thanks to some wonder pigments that are full of antioxidants.   They contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants in the plant world.  They limit free radical activity and actually regulate our blood sugar levels.

Categories: 'The Good Life', Breakfast, Garden, Healthy Eating, Nutrition, Organic, photography, Raw Food, Recipes, Salads, Snacks and Inbetweens | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

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