Juice, there it is – Part Deux

One of the perks of having this here blog situation, is that occasionally people will ask me to come hang out at their opening or some other fancy event. Sounds pretty cool, but more often than not, they’re poorly organised and executed, and I don’t bother to go. So when I got asked to go to this Curry’s fitness event, I was pretty suspect, but I figured since it was health oriented, I should probably make an appearance. Turns out it was actually pretty f’in great. Good nutrition chat, blogger banter, some Rocket Yoga, and all the juice a girl could drink. And I even  scooped up a brand new Philips Viva Juicer thanks to my tight instagram game (see: kale on kale)

The event was hosted by Lambert’s Yard, a cool new shop and event space in Leeds, which was overflowing with the North of England’s top bloggers. I was too excited by all the fruit and veggies to take any pictures of the actual venue (or people), so be sure to check out LY’s  website. First stop was the mocktail station where we had a go at recreating my juice recipe with the aid of Nick from Lambert’s Yard. The other bloggers in the room were pretty terrified at the prospect of this juice but once they had a sip they were in full support!

Red Juice

Bar shotHave you ever seen a bar covered in glasses of fresh pressed beet juice? Me either! But I could get used to it!

Juice Shot

We also knocked back a couple of juice shots that Nick had put together for us. Absolutely no idea what was in it, but it was pretty damn tasty.

At the nutrition station, Shakela from Nutrishan shared some great tips for juicing and how to level-up your juice with supplements like chia and baobab. 

Cuke

beets

 

We also got to play around with some of the juicers and create our own recipes; by this point we’d had a lot of sweet (i.e. fruit based) juices so I maxed mine out with green veg (cucumber, celery, spinach, parsley, kale), and added lemon and ginger to make it taste a bit less like a garden. 

fruitThe last station was an energising round of rocket yoga with Amanda from Yoga Elementz. All in all, a pretty sweet way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and now that I have my very own juicer to play with, you can expect lots more juice recipes in the future. Also check out my post on juicing for the low-down on juice vs. smoothies. Check out more pics and tales from the event here and have a nosy at Curry’s range of juicers and blenders here if you want to get in on the action!

Thanks Curry’s PC World for a great afternoon (and my sweet juicer!) xx

 

 

 

 

Lemony Millet With Toasted Almonds and Chives

Lemony Millet 2I know, it’s hard to believe that I’m actually posting a recipe! But believe it baby! This is not a drill! The last one was in October, and if we’re honest, it wasn’t much of a recipe, more of a suggestion really. Anyway, I posted a picture of this millet concoction to my Instagram last month and you guys went kinda nuts for it so I figured I should post the full recipe.

Lemony MilletLemon Millet 1

 

So let’s talk about millet. You may recognise it from such food as… bird seed. But don’t let that weird you out too much. This wholegrain is SUPER healthy. It’s a fantastic gluten-free alternative to rice, couscous, quinoa etc… You can make it into a porridge, have it as a side, or make it into a warm salad like I did here. It’s got hella zinc, which is good news if you suffer from split ends or nails that break easily (quel horreur!). It’s also full of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and copper. And, because it’s a wholegrain, you know it helps protect your heart <3, your tummy, and keeps blood sugar levels stable. 

Lemon millet

 

My fave part about this recipe is that it  doubles as a little aromatherapy sesh. Lemon oil is known to have mood lifting properties, and well, with the zest of an entire lemon in there, you can for sure feel your spirits being lifted. GTFO January blues, aint nobody got time for your shit! The whole dish just feels light and fresh, and very welcome at this time of year.

Lemon Millet 3

I topped this badboy with some toasted almonds (what up calcium??) and some pomegranate seeds for a little sweetness and some colour. Also, this is what I had in the fridge, so you know, there are no rules here. Just do whatever feels good to you. I think goji berries would be sensational too. 

Lemony Millet with Toasted Almonds and Chives
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1C. Millet
  2. 2C. Veg broth
  3. 2-3 Cloves garlic, finely chopped
  4. Zest of 1 lemon
  5. 3T fresh chives, and some to garnish
  6. 1/4C. Slivered almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
  7. Lemon juice
  8. Freshly ground pepper
Instructions
  1. Bring veg broth to a boil and cook for 18-20 mins until tender (I like to slightly undercook the millet so it's a little crunchy still). In the last minute or so of cooking, add in the garlic, lemon zest, and chives, just to take the raw edge off of the garlic. Top with the toasted almonds, some pomegranate seeds (or whatever you want to add for some colour), extra chives, and some fresh pepper. Done.
Peaches and Greens http://peaches-and-greens.com/
I like to eat this salad with some garden peas (don’t know why but really been into peas lately!). Also good with a freshly baked sweet potato, some greens, and avocado (no duh!). You can eat it cold the next day too!

Let me know what you think in the comments, or tag me in your instagram pics!
Until next time, be cool,
Laura xx

That’s My Jam – January

Happy New Year friends!

Apologies for being so bad at blogging lately. Had absolutely no time last month, but gonna get on it this month. But actually this time. Got lots of new recipe ideas and some fun events (see the end of this post) coming up. Anyway, I hope you had a lovely Christmas. I trust you were good last year and Santa hooked. you. up. I got spoiled rotten with a sparkly new vitamix which I’ve barely switched off.

Been saving up some cool shit to share with you so think you’ll really enjoy this post! Here’s what I’m vibing on so far in 2015.

TMJ Jan 1. Stay Home Club is a Canadian based apparel company who design clothing for the ‘disgruntled’ and reclusive amongst us. I am both of those things, and therefore plan on purchasing one of these très cool jumpers, staying in, and having some me time.

2. Banana Powder This shit is bananas – B-A-N-A-N-A-S… Sorry, couldn’t help myself. But srsly, this stuff is really good! It’s made from red bananas, which are higher in beta-carotene than the yellow guys, and, there’s a load of potassium in there too for keeping that BP low. I’ve been mixing this in porridge and smoothies, and I reckon it would be pretty tasty in hot chocolate too. The other day I made banana ‘ice cream’ from frozen banana, banana powder, cacao powder, and some fresh almond butter for a healthy treat. It was amazing, try it at once!

3. Chickpea Magazine I love looking through food magazines like Gastanomica, Gourmand, and Lucky Peach. The pictures are exquisite, the stories are fascinating, and they’re full of inspiration for blog recipes. But then you come to a piece on ‘How to butcher your pet pig and turn it into crackling before it’s exhaled its last breath’ and I’m like NOPE. NOOOOPPPPPEEEEEE. Just no.  I refuse to buy these magazines because I find the (oftentimes pretty barbaric) words and images just too much for my delicate sensibilities (I find dismembered pigs to be particularly grim!). That’s why Chickpea magazine is such a refreshing option. 100% plant-based whole-foods recipes, totally enchanting images, gorgeous design, and beautiful storytelling through words, pictures, and food. Sadly, it’s a US mag, but I was able to download the digital version for my iPad. 

4. Emily Fruit Crisps These are without a doubt my new favourite snack – finally someone has done fruit crisps right. Before I tried Emily’s, I kinda expected them to be that weird freeze-dried texture that turns to dust the second you put them in your gob – Emily’s couldn’t be further from that. They use a special dehydrating process so they taste as more like the fresh fruit than any other fruit crisp I’ve tried. The apple variety are my fave but the pineapple and the banana are also spectacular. I was too excited about these to do anything special with them, and just stuffed them in my face. But I bet they’d make a lovely crunchy topping for some porridge or coconut yoghurt, or maybe even try throwing them in a salad. The only problem I see with these is that they only sell them in one place in Leeds and it’s right across the other side of town :( 

5. Life Box This is one of those things that comes in the post, subscription style. I subscribe to a different box at the mo, and frankly, I’ve been a bit disappointed by the selection of late and thinking I might give this one a try instead. I like the thought of whole food snacks, superfood powders, and  healthy treats getting sent straight to my door! I spied some Emily’s crisps in the Jan box, as well as Inspiral Kale Chips and the world’s best chocolate, OmBar! Also, go onto the Life Box website and find the spinny logo, I dare you not to play with it for a full ten minutes. 

6. Kale Flowers. I like to think that kale and brussels sprouts got down and dirty and made this little kale-sprout baby. But the reality is prolly more like some mad genius horticulturalist crossed them in a lab somewhere. Either way, the result is pretty special and these little dudes are going to blow up pretty soon; it’s only a matter of time before they’re being served at all the trendiest restaurants. Anyway, good old Marks and Spencer have started stocking them (along with baby sweet potatoes \o/). I like to sautée them up in a tiny dab of coconut oil with some garlic and lemon juice. Super fast and easy! 

ALSO, for those of you in Leeds/Yorkshire/Englandshire who want to come and hear me speak about health and nutrition and probably make some terrible jokes, then check out this event I’ve got going down at Outlaws Yacht Club in a few weeks time. Gonna talk about simple and practical ways you can get your health on in 2015. It’s totally free, but I need you to do me a solid and get yo’self a ticket here. Also, if you have any questions that you’d like me to answer, email ‘em to laura@peaches-and-greens.com or tweet me @peaches_greens.

Health Hacks

Keep it healthy kids, 

Laura xx

That’s My Jam – November

That's My Jam | November

 

1) Dandelion Tea - As the weather cools down, it’s a good idea to get lots of your fluid from warm teas; bitter herbs like dandelion have shittons of antioxidants in them. I’m also vibing on nettle tea at the moment.

2) Coconut Collaborative Yoghurt -  Yeah, I know I’m always going on about coconut stuff. Get over it (unless you’re allergic to coconut, in which case sorry slash sucks to be you!). Alright so, I recently suggested a friend try another very popular kind of coconut yoghurt which, she assessed to be completely and utterly dingI think she found the texture offensive, and perhaps the flavour too. I don’t think she found the yoghurt in question to have any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Anyway, bitch be trippin’ if she doesn’t like the Coconut Collaborative’s coconut yoghurt. The texture is much closer to old-fashioned yoghurt. Some even come with fruit puree that you can stir in which is pretty fun! And they don’t have any weird ingredients so they get my seal of approval.

3) Ombar - All the other chocolate needs to GTFO because Ombar is the ish! Like, whoever decided to make chocolate with coconut cream deserves knighthood for services to humanity.  The Coco Mylk, and Strawberries and Cream flavours are my favourite, but the Acai and Blueberry flavour gets an honourable mention too! These guys are made with raw cacoa, and apparently have probiotics in them. Not convinced that probiotics in chocolate are viable in the slightest, but this chocolate is so good I’m willing to overlook the marketing  faux pas. 

4) Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham. Ok so she’s no Sloane Crosley, but this book of essays from the creator of Girls is spectacular. Candid, painfully awkward, embarrassing, and completely hilarious, much like her character Hannah in Girls. A friend of mine described Dunham as the ultimate feminist and antifeminist rolled into one. And if that doesn’t entice you, check out these brilliant videos. Anyone else read this book? What did you think? Are you pumped for season 4 of Girls in January?

5) Kallo Quinoa and Seeds – Technically speaking, not rice cakes. But, essentially rice cakes with a little quinoa thrown in for posterity. I love the festive sprinkling of seeds scattered on the top, makes them feel fancy, ya know? Oh and also healthy. But mostly, super effin tasty. It says on the packet to put hummus on them but that is incorrect. They’re slightly on the sweet side so hummus would be weird and wrong. You need to mash some bananacado on those babies, some nut butter (see below), or eat them straight up!

6) Primrose Kitchen Raw Almond and Chia Butter - Nut butter in the UK straight up tastes like marzipan. THAT IS NOT OK. Marzipan is wrong and filthy and vile and the world would be a much more civilised place without it. When I lived in the states I used to make fresh raw almond butter in my Vitamix. Sometimes I’d get f’in crazy and put chocolate and rosemary in it. But then when I moved back to the UK I had to leave my V-mix behind (something to do with different currents in the US/UK or some equally boring shit). So, here I am in England, where shop bought almond butter tastes like vom, sans Vitamix, and too poor to buy the good almond butter on Amazon. Disaster. You’re probably wondering why I’m not on a plane back to America right now (I’ve been wondering the same thing). Anyway, after trying pretty much every brand (in both the raw and roasted varieties) and just as I was about to give up for good, I found Primrose Kitchen nut butters. They have two varieties, almond & hemp and almond & chia. Both are great (in that they don’t taste like marzipan) but I think the chia one tastes a bit better and has a better consistency. Crisis averted. 

Also got a couple of links for you this week:

I think this dude has a really interesting perspective on health and is really worth a listen. Like, I know it’s really long, so listen in 10 minute segments if need be, or listen while you’re going about your business. But also, some of this information might seem a bit new agey but I’d encourage you to be open minded. Particularly around the 16 minute mark where he talks about routine and cycles and appropriate healthy rhythms. I think this is a really REALLY important concept that people often ignore. Also, a good reminder that the goal is not to be perfect, but to do your best most of the time :) Need to get my paws on his book!

  

My really good friend Lara recently started a blog and she has some real talk about how to check yourself when it comes to holiday indulgences. Have a little dessert, just don’t have ALL the dessert, ya know? Take a read through, she always gives the BEST advice and I can’t wait to read more of her blog posts! Go follow her on Facebook too! 

Lastly, I KNOW YOU CARE! 

 

I’m out for today kids, but I’m working on a special Christmas version of That’s My Jam where I’m sharing my suggestions for healthy Christmas pressies.  Hopefully I’ll have it up next week so you still have time to shop!

Until then, be well!

Laura xx

NEXT LEVEL Avocado Toast

I could write a long list of excuses about how I’ve been straight hustlin’ at uni for the past month and that’s why I haven’t been keeping up with the blog, but what I’m going to say instead is that I effing SUCK! Blogging is my actual favourite, so even when I am crazy busy, I need to make time for it. Just studying and working all the time will make me go batshit, so this is me publicly making a promise to get back in the game. But like, fully commit. None of this fair weather blogging crap. So if you don’t see me posting semi- regularly, you need to hit me up on Twitter or Facebook and be like “blog, bitch!” and I totally will.  

Ok so, for reals, what’s been going on? Well remember I was nommed for that sweet award? Yeah well, I totally won second place in the Food and Drink category! Got a badge and everything (legit). It’s over on the right-hand sidebar if you want to take a peek! The public vote counted for 1 of the 6 votes, and the remaining votes were split between a panel of judges. MASSIVE thanks to everyone who voted for me. I was delighted just to have the nom, but actually getting runner up is HUGE! Hundreds of blogs are nominated each year, and only a handful make the shortlist, so it’s pretty incredible to think that people think this is one of the best ones out there! Or maybe the judges were drunk? Either way, I’m over the moon :)

Ok so I have a really cool new recipe idea for you. Although the term ‘recipe’ is perhaps a bit too strong as there are basically two ingredients.  Anyway, know how all the cool kids are eating avocado toast these days? (Just search #avocadotoast on Instagram if you don’t believe me). Well, it’s getting kinda passé at this point if you ask me. I’m sooooo over it.

I take that back. That’s a lie. It’s the best. BUT. If you do want to up your avocado toast game then read on!

Bananacado Toast | Peaches and Greens

Introducing BANANACADO TOAST. Yeah, that’s avocado AND banana. Together on the SAME TOAST. Shit’s crazy man!

Bananacado Toast | Peaches and Greens

A little sweeter than your basic avocado toast, but oh so delish. 

I’m not even going to insult you with a proper recipe here. Just mash together 1/2 a ripe avocado with 1 ripe banana. Add a little lemon juice to stop it browning if you like, and then adorn with your favourite toppings! Here I used a raw seed mix (sunflower, flax, pumpkin, linseed, sesame) and a little sea salt (left) and a drizzle of coconut nectar and sprinkle of cinnamon (right). 

Bananacado Toast | Peaches and Greens

 

K, let’s talk about potassium (lolol science joke!). But srs, bananas and avocados are like, WAY high in potassium. Bananacado is basically a new superfood that I invented. And, research shows that high potassium intake is associated with lower blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. But is can help reduce pain associated with chronic diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. But as if you need an excuse to eat bananacado toast! 

Bananacado Toast | Peaches and Greens

 

Banancado toast doesn’t give a shit about your arbitrary mealtime norms either, so just eat it whenever the fuck you feel like it. Breakfast? Sure! Lunch? Whatever! Midnight snack? Go for it! Just make sure you show it the respect it deserves by smashing it all over a worthy bread like the Food Doctor.  Also good with some fresh, crusty rye bread. 

So when you make this (which you inevitably will), what I need you to do is tag me on Twitter or Instagram and use #bananacadotoast and let the revolution begin!

In other news. Going to London this weekend which only means one thing: WHOLEFOODS. Beyond excited. My first visit since leaving the states. GOING TO BUY ALL THE THINGS. Expect a ‘That’s my Jam’ post sometime next week :)

Until then, be well little ones!

Laura xx

 

 

Pear and Apple Chutney and Crumbly Cashew Cheese Flatbread

Way back in the days when I was a noob vegan (circa 2005) there was very little in the way of acceptable cheese alternatives, which invariably (and understandably) lead to drunken pizza relapses. Don’t judge, I was 19 and a student! Almost, ten years later, the plant-based cheese game is pretty tight, but weirdly enough, I’m still a student, (but that’s my shit)…Le sigh. Anyway, I get pretty eye-rolly when omnis are like “I just couldn’t give up cheese” because there are so many fantastic options nowadays.  There’s really no excuse!

 

Flatbread |Peaches and Greens

 

I have a few fave planty cheeses you can buy in the shops; you’ve got your Daiya, which is cool if you want something a little greasy and a bit dirty (we all have days like that!), but you know, it’s a bit processed, not super great for you. Then you’ve got your next-level fermented nut cheeses like Treeline, which I’ve talked about before, and Dr. Cow, Incidentally, if you’re in the states and you want to send me some Dr. Cow’s cheese, that’d be pretty sweet. If you’re in the UK then your best bet for plant-based cheese is Violife which is probably the closest thing to actual cheese I’ve had. They just came out with a cream cheese type thing too which was decent. However, it’s kinda challenging to find it outside of the south of England, so you might just have to make your own! Luckily, that’s not as hard as you would expect. This Vegan Cheese cookbook is kind of a big deal, although I’ve never tried any of her recipes for myself. I have played around with my own cashew cheese though, and it went down pretty well at the pop-up a few weeks ago, so I thought I’d share the recipe with you today. 

Flatbread |Peaches and Greens

Flatbread |Peaches and Greens

At the pop-up, we paired the cashew cheese with a pear chutney, so I’m also sharing a recipe for that too, as well as a chickpea bread for it all to chill on! I topped it with fresh salad leaves for a little fresh and crisp action. 


Cutting board

Ok so, this stuff doesn’t taste *exactly* like cheese, but it’s still got savoury cheesy vibes thanks to the nutritional yeast. Don’t be afraid of nutritional yeast, it’s essentially just dehydrated yeast that has a fuckton of nutrients in it, especially B complex vitamins and all 9 essential amino acids! It comes in a flaked or powdered form from the health food shop or large supermarkets. Oftentimes it’s fortified with vitamin B12 too, which is pretty cool.

Pear and Apple Chutney and Crumbly Cashew Cheese Flatbread
Print
Crumbly Cashew Cheese
  1. 1 cup raw cashews
  2. 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  3. 1/2 t paprika
  4. 2 T lemon juice
  5. 2 cloves garlic
  6. 1T apple cider vinegar
  7. 1 T wholegrain mustard
  8. sea salt and pepper to taste
  9. Pear and Apple Chutney;
  10. 1 red onion, chopped
  11. 1 T fresh ginger, minced
  12. 1/2 t cinnamon
  13. 1/3 C coconut sugar
  14. 200ml red wine vinegar
  15. 2 medium Conference pears, peeled and chopped
  16. 2 medium red apples, peeled and chopped (I used Red Windsor)
  17. sea salt and pepper to taste
Chickpea Flatbread (socca)
  1. 1 cup chickpea flour
  2. 1 t sea salt
  3. Black pepper to taste
  4. 4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  5. 1 1/2 cups water (room temperature)
  6. 2T fresh thyme
Crumbly Cashew Cheese
  1. Lightly toast the cashews for 8 to 10 mins at 180C/350F. Alternatively, for a raw cheese, leave them raw and soak for 1-2 hours until soft. In a running food processor, add the garlic cloves so they get minced finely, then add the remaining ingredients and pulse until the cheese reaches the consistency you'd prefer. Add water for a smoother texture. If you're using a high powered blender like a vitamix then the cheese will be a lot creamier rather than crumbly. I just used a normal food processor and it worked fine!
  2. Pear and Apple Chutney;
  3. Heat a little water in the bottom of a pan over a medium heat. When hot enough, add the red onion and sauté in the water until slightly browned (could take 10-15 mins). Make sure to add splashes of water so the onions don't stick. Once browned, add the cinnamon, ginger, and sugar, and mix well, cooking for 30s or so before adding the red wine vinegar. Bring the mixture to the boil before adding the fruit. Cook covered for 30 mins or so until the fruit is soft and the whole mixture has reduced down to chutney consistency, use a spoon to mash up the fruit a bit, or throw it in the blender and pulse a few times if you fancy.
Chickpea Flatbread
  1. I followed this recipe (http://food52.com/blog/9931-how-to-make-socca-3-ways-to-eat-it) but added some thyme into the mixture. I also baked the entire thing in a shallow casserole dish because I don't have a cast iron skillet in England yet :(
  2. Layer the warm chutney over the flatbread, crumble the cheese on top, and garnish with fresh salad leaves, spring onion, avocado, etc...
Peaches and Greens http://peaches-and-greens.com/

Flatbread |Peaches and Greens

What do you think? Are you ready to make your own cashew cheese? It’s actually really easy, and feel free to up the nutritional yeast to give it a flavour bump,you might just need to add a little more liquid to get it smooth!

Going to keep it quick because I have a goddamn manuscript to write, but I just wanted to say I haven’t forgotten about the Book Club book. I got slightly distracted by Lena Dunham’s new book, but I will finish both soon and write a review. If you have any ideas for the next book to read then leave me a comment below! Or read Lena’s book because it’s pretty baller!

Also, voting for the Blog North awards has closed and the judges are now casting their votes (the public vote = 1/6 of the final weighting) and I will find out next week who won! Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me!

Hope everyone has some awesome plans for the weekend ~ I’ll be working and studying because that’s just the kind of glamorous lifestyle I lead these days!

Be well kiddos!
Laura xx

Pop-Ups, Award Noms, and More!

Well, last week was cray over here at Peaches and Greens HQ (that’s not a thing, I just made that up). But seriously, a pop-up dinner, a blog nom (nom nom), and a special delivery from CANADA!!! (for those of you who don’t know, I have a weird obsession with our Commonwealth compadres).

So, last week I trekked up to Aberdeen for the first ever Peaches and Greens pop-up dinner at the Courtyard Restaurant. I spent the day in the kitchen with team of chefs there helping them prep the menu we’d designed and it was basically the best time ever. I did get a pretty harsh reality check from those guys though. I guess I always knew that chefs work long hours with little thanks (one of my best friends is a chef) but seeing it first hand, and well, actually doing it, made me realise just how hard they hustle. Every. Single. Day.  That said, they also seem to have ALL the fun. Can you imagine getting to play with food all day?? Yeah, that’s pretty special. They have incredible banter too. Here are some truths I learned from the guys at the Courtyard.

1) Chefs are super not into plant-based stuff (but I’m hoping I’ve started to change their mind a little on that front).

2) “Don’t be scared of salt.” Direct quote. Everything can be improved by adding shittons of salt. 

3) Cashew cheese is not real cheese, don’t even suggest that it’s remotely anything like cheese or you will be mocked relentlessly. Suffice to say, there was much piss-taking on this front. 

At the end of the day though, the Courtyard’s chef dudes did an absolutely incredible job: they really rose to the challenge of producing a 100% plant-based, gluten-free meal that proved their creativity, imagination, and talent is off the hook

So what was on the menu?

Pop Up Menu

 

Just a little disclaimer. Our photographer for the night fell through at the last minute and I didn’t have my camera with me. Disaster, I know. So, please forgive me because these pics are a little on the janky side, but you get the idea. The ‘rents took this lot and, as you’ll soon discover, they partied pretty hard that night. Gotta love them! If you search #peachesandgreens on Insta, you’ll see a bunch more pics that slightly less sozzled people took.

Socca Flatbread with Cashew Cheese and Pear and Onion Chutney.

 

 

Amuse Bouche

This was such a tease! But alas, such is the nature of an amuse-bouche (lololol amuse-bouche). And what’s that red and green splodge there you ask? Oh, that’s just a beetroot and pear puree, NBD… The only complaint here was that people wanted about ten of these. Fret not litte pigeons, I’m going to post the recipe next week so you can eat your weight in them. 

 

Courgette Rollmops with Chickpea filling, Sweet potato samosa, and avocado salsa.

Starter

Ummmm, gluten free samosas?? Eff yeah! The curried sweet potato filling was probably my favourite flavour combo for the whole night, and that’s before you take into account the AVOCADO SALSA. Unbelievable! The rollmops were also pretty sensational. Thinly sliced courgette (that’s zucchini in US and A) was lightly grilled to give it those pretty markings, then strips were lined up and topped with a roasted garlic chickpea puree (not hummus, important distinction). The courgette was then rolled around the filling and the whole thing was chilled for a few hours before being sliced up. This was also exceptionally tasty. I’ll try and get recipes for both of these eventually too! I forget what the splodges on this one were, but I do know that they were delish!

Orange Buckwheat Risotto, Garden Vegetables, Textures of Beetroot, Heirloom tomatoes.

Main(Pictures are starting to get a bit wonky). Anyway, I really loved this course. Because beetroot! Pickled, roasted… PAINTED across the freaking plate!! Didn’t even know you could do that! And turns out, beetroot goes beautifully with orange! This course was really fresh, light, and healthy. This nutritionist approves!

Banana, Coconut, and Chocolate

Dessert

 

So yeah, melty chocolate-coconut ice cream, but oh so delicious. On the left we have an individual coconut-banana cream pie. As it happens, chefs are pretty stubborn, and didn’t listen when I told them NOT to put the bananas in the filling. As a result, we have this lovely putrid gray colour. What can you do?  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Still tasted yummy. That macadamia nut base is SO GOOD. And blueberry compote? YES! 

In conclusion, brilliant food, lovely people, fantastic times had by all. I was ready for bed by the end of it all though!

Mum and Laura(That’s me and my mum, she’s a hotty!)

Thanks to everyone who came and showed their support, to all the new friends I made, and to all the the chef dudes at the Courtyard! Thanks for letting me hang in your kitchen for the day, it was so much fun and I hope you learned as much as I did! Maybe you’ll even put something plant-based on your menus every now and then ;)

Blog North Nom!

In other news, I got nominated by the lovely Amy Liz for a Blog North award and have been shortlisted (from over 500 blogs) in the food and drink category! I didn’t even realise she had nominated me so it came as lovely surprise. Thanks Amy! I owe you a drink!  If you like my blog (or even if you don’t really like the blog but you like me all the same), or if you like perving over my food pics, then please take a second to vote —-> http://www.blognorthawards.com/ And while you’re there, take a look around at some of the other awesome blogs! You have until Monday 29th September to cast your vote! And like, seriously, thank you :)

From Canada With Love!

Some of you long-term blog followers may remember back in March when the lovely Alessandra Savoia of My Vegan Superpowers did a Just my Cup of Tea and shared an amazing recipe for Coconut-vanilla energy balls! (Seriously so, so good! Go make them if you haven’t already!). Well, Alessandra is basically the best because 1) she’s Canadian, 2) she’s incredibly sweet, talented, and a fierce little entrepreneur, 3) she sent me samples of her new My Vegan Superpowers energy bar all the way to England! and 4) She’s CANADIAN! Obviously, I’m in England now so it’s hard for me to get my paws on these, as well as everyone else outside of Canada, so A didn’t have much to gain from sending me these, other than good karma points! That said, if you are anywhere even remotely close to Canada (lucky you) PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, do me a solid and order some of these bars and support my girl!! Not because A is my blog friend, or because I get commission or anything like that (there’s sweet FA in this for me!), but because I really believe in this product! These are perfect. Vanilly and fudgey! And packed full of planty goodness! There are some really shitty products out there masquerading as health foods, but this one is legit! GET YOU SOME here. Or if your life is a perfect movie and you live in Toronto, get them here. And all the best to A with

mvsp

Also, the packaging is pretty great, which doesn’t hurt :)

Ok so, recap. Pop-up = super fun, let’s do it again soon. Blog North award = vote your little hearts out. MVSP bar = Treat yo’self! Cool.

I’ll post that flatbread and cashew ‘cheese’ recipe soon.

Until then, be cool!

Laura xx

 

That’s My Jam | September and Pop Up Giveaway

Wow, feels like forever since I posted! August disappeared in a flash; I suppose moving across the world, having a birthday, and getting ready to go back to uni doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for blogging, so I totally dropped the ball on writing a That’s My Jam post for August. My B. To make it up to you, I’m giving away two Pop Up tickets for one lucky reader and their plus one. Keep reading to find out how to enter to win! Speaking of the Pop Up, I’ve been chatting to Chris, the Executive Chef of Beetroot Restaurants, about what tasty things we’ll have on the menu and I’m super impressed by the creativity they’re using to come up with a completely plant-based, and gluten-free menu. This is so far from what they normally do but they’re totally owning it! You’re going to be totally blown away when you see what they’ve been planning! I’m equal parts nervous and excited to get into the kitchen with Chris’s team next week to help them prep for the big night! 

 

That's My Jam - September

 

1. Anyone who knows me IRL might have noticed that I’m pretty much obsessed with this Essie Good as Gold nail varnish. I have hardly stopped wearing it all summer. Before that it was this Topshop  pink matte nail colour, which I’ve decided I need to go and dig out one last time before the Autumn sets in. Anyway, the Essie polish is part of their Mirrored Metallics collection and is a total head-turner. I get loads of compliments about this one! It’s a really pretty brushed gold so it’s not too in your face, and can make a boring outfit feel a bit more fancy. I’m totally wearing it to the pop up!

2. So, as much as I am completely in LOVE with Leeds, and despite how glad I am to be back in the UK, there’s one thing I am missing from ‘MERCA more than anything else (sorry friends, it’s not you). The kombucha situation here is diabolical and I’m dying for a bottle of Reed’s Culture Club. So, to fill the kombucha shaped hole in my heart, I’ve more or less been forced to do some coconut water recon. Fortunately, it’s a lot harder to eff up coconut water and I’ve decided that this Chi brand is my new fave. I did a little searching and couldn’t find any hard science to back up health claims for coconut water, but it does appear to help rehydrate after intense exercise about the same as sports drinks like Gatorade, without the weird blue colour and shittons of sugar which is pretty cool. Other than that, it just tastes good so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

3. Nākd bars are like a better, more delicious version or a Lärabars. They’re essentially just dried fruit and nuts, and make a pretty solid snack option. They seem to be just about EVERYWHERE, so try ditching the unhealthy shit like Mars bar or whatever, and try one of these out instead. They come in loads of delish flavours so you won’t get bored; my favourites are the cashew cookie, and the chocolate orange.  

4. Everyone knows I’m unapologetic coconut fangirl, so not sorry for TWO coconut products in one post. Plant based yoghurts used to be made from soya and really challenged the gag-reflex, but then coconut milk came along and was like “It’s cool, I got it from here” and balance was restored to the universe. CoYo is made from pure coconut milk, and bacterial cultures. There aren’t any added sugars or weird crap in there. Top with some fresh berries and a sprinkling of raw seeds for a seriously baller breakfast, or try the chocolate or fruit varieties if you’re a G. Trust me, this stuff is awesome.

5. These are hands-down my favourite thing on the list. I know I have a bit of a rice cake habit, but I’m rationalising these with the fact that they have corn in them too \o/ Seriously though. SRSLY. These are amazing. I eat them piled with hummus, freshly sliced cucumber, and hella sprouts for a snack or light meal. Smashed avocado is also pretty nuts with these guys too. Last week I went to the health food shop to buy a new pack and they were sold out and it was bad times for me :( Go and buy yours now and avoid the suffering. 

6. I finally got round to buying the Hemsley and Hemsley cookbook after drooling over their website for like, forever. The book isn’t totally plant-based but I’m not even mad because it’s all kinds of sexy (the food and the authors!). The Hemsley sisters give you tips on how to plantify a recipes that have meat/dairy/eggs so you can easily make substitutes. I love the pea, mint, and broccoli mash, and can’t wait to get into the mushroom quinoa nut roast with a chestnut apricot topping when the weather gets a little cooler. I can’t think of anything more perfectly Autumny! The Malaysian lentil and squash curry will follow shortly after!

A couple of bonus things:

I just got my first Vegan Kind snack box in the post yesterday and it was even better than I expected! Check out what was inside on my Instagram. The Ombar chocolate alone deserves its own blog post! If you’re new to plant-based eating then this is a really nice way to get introduced to new products, and they are conveniently delivered to your house every month.

Also, loving this song at the moment:

 

 

So, about those pop up tickets… To enter, leave a comment below or tweet me letting me know either which of these things you’re most excited to try, or if you have tried any of them already, what did you think? What are you really into just now that you would want to add to the list? This is open to people who haven’t already reserved a place at the pop up before it sold out. I’ll announce the winner this Sunday!

Can’t wait to see some of you guys at the Courtyard NEXT WEEK!!! 

Until then, be well!

Laura xx

 

Salted Chocolate, Almond, and Rye Sandcastles

So, just in case you missed it, last week I announced that I’m hosting my very first pop-up event with The Courtyard Aberdeen and my pal Amy of Profile Hair fame. Obviously I was excited about it, but what I didn’t expect was for the incredible response I got from you guys; it sold out in a day and a half! A DAY AND A HALF! You. Shut. It. Down. I’m totally blown away. I went in to discuss menu details with the chef’s last week, and they were totally floored by the response too. Like, actually couldn’t believe how popular it was. So, who knows, maybe this will inspire them to do more planty events in the future! Anyway, I’m DYING to see what the chefs come up with and how they level-up my recipes to make them restaurant worthy! For those of you who didn’t reserve a place in time, or for those of you outside of Aberdeen with unbearable FOMO, don’t worry, I’ll dedicate a post to sharing pictures and details from the event. Maybe I can even talk the boys into letting me share one of their recipes… no promises though! But once again, can I just reiterate how effing excited I am for this. AND for getting to hang out and eat awesome plant-based food with you guys! YAS!Salted Chocolate, Almond, and Rye Sandcastles | Peaches and Greens

OK, let’s talk about today’s recipe. These little cuties are a riff on the Sandcastle cookies/biscuits my brother got me for my Christmas last year (cheers bud!). On a side note, I’m somewhat having an identity crisis being back in the UK. I can’t decide which is more appropriate here. Cookie? Biscuit? I’M SO CONFUSED. I’m just going to go with ‘Sandcastles’ for now until I can sort my shit out. Whatever you want to call them, doesn’t change the fact that they’re super tasty!

Salted Chocolate, Almond, and Rye Sandcastles | Peaches and Greens

The reason I was in Aberdeen last week is because it was my birthday, and since I didn’t have a bday cake (I know, unacceptable) I thought I’d do a little belated birthday baking. ALSO. It’s my mum’s birthday today. HBD Heather!! She’s the number one supporter and fan of the blog so I know she’d like to see some bday love up in here, so, be cool and leave my mum a lovely birthday message in the comments!  Anyway, these little lovelies are dedicated to her (<3 x 9012) (That’s a little in joke, soz).

Salted Chocolate, Almond, and Rye Sandcastles | Peaches and Greens

 

These are really simple to make and have lots of  healthy ingredients, so you know they’re better for you than say Oreos or the like! Some of you may have picked up on the fact that I have a small problem with coconut problems (coconut milk, coconut nectar, coconut aminos etc…) so it probably comes as no huge surprise that I used coconut sugar here. It add a  lovely deep caramel flavour. Now, while this is still an added sugar (as opposed to a sugar which is part of a whole food) it’s a better choice than refined white sugar or HFCS. Coconut sugar has a really high mineral content, with lots of zinc, magnesium, potassium, and iron. It’s also high in B-complex vitamins 1, 2, 3, and 6. As if that wasn’t enough, coconut sugar boasts 16 different amino acids \0/ So, when you’re after a treat but still want something relatively healthy, these are a good choice. Ditto if you are still using refined white sugar in your porridge/oatmeal. Try switching to coconut sugar.

Salted Chocolate, Almond, and Rye Sandcastles | Peaches and Greens

Salted Chocolate, Almond, and Rye Sandcastles | Peaches and Greens

Because the rye flour doesn’t have a ton of gluten in it, the dough isn’t exactly conducive to being rolled out with a rolling pin, so you’re going to have to shape them by hand. I shaped these into little mounds using a tablespoon measure, but you can also flatten them into discs for a slightly crunchier cookie-biscuit. Incidentally, rye flour is also high in fibre, just so you know.

Salted- Chocolate, Almond, and Rye Sandcastles
Print
Ingredients
  1. 3/4 C Coconut Oil
  2. 1/3 C Coconut sugar
  3. 1t Vanilla extract
  4. 2T coconut nectar
  5. 1.5 C Rye flour
  6. 3 T arrowroot powder
  7. 2/3 C almond meal
  8. 1/2 t Sea Salt
  9. 1 bar dark chocolate
  10. More sea salt to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180*C/350*F With a wooden spoon, cream together the coconut oil and sugar in a large mixing bowl until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract and coconut nectar and mix until well combined. Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. At this point you might have to get in there with your hands and need it a little.
  2. Use a tablespoon to form dough into little mounds, or if you prefer, flatten them into little discs. Place them on a parchment lined baking tray and bake for 12-15 minutes, rotating 180* halfway through.
  3. Allow to cool completely. Melt chocolate in a double boiler and dip half of the sandcastle in the chocolate. Once chocolate has hardened, sprinkle with a little sea salt. Serve alongside a lovely cup of tea and lots and lots of fruit!
Notes
  1. For the almond meal, I took whole raw almonds and ground them up in a food processor, giving a nice coarse, sandy texture. Commercially made almond meal will be finer and not as fresh. I prefer making it myself, but the bought kind is fine too.
  2. Instead of the coconut nectar, you could use agave or maple syrup.
  3. The cookies are quite dark so it's hard to tell if they are browning, but you can see it around the bottom edges rather than on the top.
Adapted from Elsa's Rye Cookies
Peaches and Greens http://peaches-and-greens.com/
Salted Chocolate, Almond, and Rye Sandcastles | Peaches and Greens

Let me know what you think of this recipe! I really like it so hope you do too! I have a really fun That’s My Jam Post I’m going to share with you next week, but in the meantime you should totally be reading the P&G Book Club book: Lessons From the Fat-O-Sphere! I started reading it on the train last week and aside from the fact it’s wonderfully entertaining, I’m also learning a lot and opening my mind up to a different way of thinking. I think this is a really valuable read for everyone to start changing the dialogue around body image and really encourage you to pick up a copy of the book if you haven’t already!! DO IT! 

Until next time, be well!

Laura xx

 

The Peaches and Greens Book Club

I’m starting a book club and I want you to join me.

Each month I’ll pick a book (I’m totally open to suggestions too) and we can all read along. At the end I’ll write a review and include your comments/critiques and people can chime in on the comment section if they wish!  The first book is called Lessons From the Fat-O-Sphere by Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby. And by all accounts, it’s pretty baller.
Peaches and Greens Book ClubOK, so this may not seem like the most obvious choice for a plant based nutrition blog; let me explain. In the book club I want to explore issues related to health. Physical health, mental health, and things that threaten them, and particularly those that affect women. Distorted body image is one of those things that is really common in both men and women. As part of my training in dietetics I’ve had the opportunity to work with patients who suffer from disordered eating and body dysmorphia, and have seen first hand the devastating consequences. If you’re unfamiliar with how all-consuming and debilitating eating disorders can be for sufferers then take a look at this photo essay of a bulimia sufferer. Powerful stuff. 

Now, there are lots of seriously complicated reasons as to why people develop disordered eating habits, but they are always underlined by an unhealthy body image, something that is perpetuated by the unrealistic images of rail thin women and totally ripped dudes we see in the media erryday. 

The standards that women are held to in the media is completely unacceptable. This isn’t news to any of you. But how do we change perceptions?  Well I’m not a sure and that’s exactly the reason I want to explore the issues of fat-shaming and how damaging they can be. I’m a firm believer that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes and I’m delighted to see the upsurge in body positive media from places like Refinery 29 (who always share great fashion advice for curvy girls) and particularly their Anti-Diet Project. I’m so sick of the BS low-cal, fat phobia movement that makes people buy aerosol cans of whipped cancer to spray on their strawberries. SPOILER ALERT: That shit’s not good for you. JUST EAT REAL FOOD. If it’s coming from whole foods, who the fuck cares? I could go on and on about the medicalisation of nutrition (in fact I wrote a book chapter on the issue) but I’m not going to bore you. The point is that fattist thinking and prejudices have very real and tangible consequences and is seriously uncool. 

I don’t know much about this book yet, other than it’s supposedly hilarious. Amazon says “Lessons from the Fat-O-Sphere: From the leading bloggers in the fat-acceptance movement comes an empowering guide to body image–no matter what the scales say.” It’s also one of the top body positive books on Good Reads and seems like as good a place as any to start! I’m really looking forward to getting stuck in to this book!

What I’d love is for you to read along with me, send me your thoughts and reviews, just let me know what you think. At the end I’ll write a review post including your take on the book, along with my comments. Leave a comment below, or email me at laura@peaches-and-greens.com, or hit me up on Facebook. I got my copy of the book on iTunes to read on my iPad, but if you’re retro, you can order the book from Amazon or get it for your Kindle if you’re that way inclined (UK people, Waterstones don’t stock it, soz). You have until mid-September to send me your reviews. 

Last thing, remember my Banana-Coconut Cream Pie from last week that I entered in the Great British Bloggers Bake Off? Well I totally won! Massive thanks to Amy Liz for hosting such a fun and excellent competition. Go over and take a look at the other awesome entries

Ok this is actually the last thing, promise! Remember that secret I’ve been wanting to tell you? I’ll be revealing it soon! Can’t. Even. Wait.