Cajun Pumpkin & Black Bean Lasagne

In a world where so much food goes to waste it seems crazy to me that most people just throw away their Jack o Lanterns after Halloween when there’s so much you can do with them.

For this recipe I’ve gone for a Cajun/Italian fusion and it’s perfect for this time of year now that the evenings are crisp.

Serves 4 

Ingredients

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 tin of chopped tomatoes

1 tin of black beans. drained

1/4 pumpkin, peeled and cubed

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp paprika powder

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp cayenne pepper

Drizzle of olive oil

100g of vegan cheese, grated

6 lasagne sheets

Salt

1 tbsp of vegan butter

1 tbsp of plain flour

1/2 a litre of dairy free milk (I used soya)

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C

In a pan, fry the onion and garlic in olive oil for around 5 minutes until they start to cook.

Add the tomato, pumpkin and black beans.

Stir in ginger, cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper and salt to taste and bring to boil.

img_3553

Turn down the heat, put the lid on the pan and simmer for around 20 minutes.

In another pan, melt the butter and then stir in the flour to make a roux paste.

Remove from the heat and stir in some of the milk until the roux melts and there are no lumps.

Return to heat and add the rest of the milk gradually, stirring until the bechamel sauce thickens in to a nice consistency.

Stir in about 1/4 of the grated cheese.

img_3554

To layer the lasagne, spread half of the vegetable mixture in a lasagne dish.

Place 3 of the lasagne sheets on top, covering the vegetable mixture.

Spread half of the bechamal sauce evenly on top of the lasagne sheets.

Repeat, vegetable mixture, lasagne sheets and bechamal sauce for another layer.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

img_3556

Place in the oven for 45 minutes/1hr.

img_3582

Serve

img_3585

Spiced Pumpkin & Apple Crumble

Serves 4

Pumpkin Spice

1.5 tsps ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp ground ginger

1/8 tsp ground cloves

Ingredients

3 apples, peeled and cubed

1/4 pumpkin, roasted, peeled and cubed

6 heaped tbsps of plain flour

3 heaped tbsps of dairy free butter

2 tbsps raisins

2 tsps of pumpkin spice

2 tbsps of brown sugar 

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C

Mix the apple, pumpkin, raisins and 1 tbsp of sugar and arrange in an over proof dish.

img_2176

Sprinkle pumpkin spice over evenly.

In a bowl, rub the flour, butter and remaining sugar together with your fingers until you get a crumb like consistency.

Sprinkle over the fruit evenly.

Cook in the over for 30 minutes until the crumble starts to brown on top.

Serve with vegan squirty cream or ice cream

img_2403

Eggless Royale

I’m a big fan of the Sophie’s Kitchen konjac based vegan smoked salmon and in my opinion, there’s no better way to eat smoked salmon than for breakfast as eggs royale – with a glass of champagne, obviously.Sohpies-Kitchen-Vegan-Smoked-Salmon

So basically there’s nothing about the rest of this breakfast that sounds very vegan friendly but swap the eggs for tofu scramble and make the Hollandaise sauce  vegan and volia!

Not only is the sauce as delicious if not even more delicious as regular Hollandaise, it’s also easier to make!

Serves 2

Ingredients

200g Firm tofu

2 tbsps vegan butter

1 tbsp plain flour

200ml dairy free cream (be careful to get one that isn’t sweetened)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp nutritional yeast flakes

1 tbsps lemon juice

Salt

Pepper

6 slices of Sophie’s kitchen vegan smoked salmon (Sainsbury’s)

2 bagels

Tofu Scramble

Method

Melt 1 tbsp vegan butter in a pan.

Break up tofu and stir in.

Heat for 2/3 minutes until cooked.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Hollandaise Sauce

Method

Melt 1 tbsp of vegan butter in a pan.

Stir in flour to  make a roux.

Remove from heat and add a little of the cream, stir until there are no lumps.

Return to heat and gradually stir in the rest of the cream bit by bit until it thickens.

Stir in lemon juice, turmeric and nutritional yeast flakes.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

img_3356

Serve on toasted bagels or muffins

img_3360

Mind Body Soul & OM Yoga Show

The wonderful team over at Prime Impact Events & Media were generous enough to offer me 5 pairs of weekend tickets for the Mind Body Soul Experience to give away to my readers in a competition and also invited me along to the show at Alexandra Palace.img_2604

I woke up yesterday morning  (Saturday) with an annoying cold so after a cup of echinacea tea I popped along  to the show for what I thought was going to be just a couple of hours not actually realising that the OM Yoga Show was at the same venue and the tickets allowed entrance to both so ended up sucking it up and battling through and stayed for most of the day and was in my element!

img_2587

img_2590

I have a formula when it comes to big shows, I start by doing a lap of the aisles to get a feel for what’s there and then I double back later on to do my shopping so I started the morning with a walk around the Mind Body Soul Hall and there really was so much to see, buy and do, from crystals, jewellery and vegan make up  to Tibetan singing bowls, clothes, incense, soy Reiki infused candles and art. Or if shopping wasn’t your thing, you could opt to get your fortunes told via palmistry or tarot, you could get your auras read or relax whilst indulging in a massage or heal with a spot of Reiki.

img_2586

After my initial lap I’d worked up an appetite and was spoilt for choice as there were lots of delicious vegan offerings but having heard of Vausages before, I’d been dying to try one of their hot dogs for a while so was delighted to find them there so it HAD to be done, I kept it pretty traditional with the Cumberland and I have to say, it was the BEST vegan non frankfurter style hotdog I’ve had yet.

img_2577

After lunch, it was off to make a few purchases which ended up being a selenite unicorn horn wand, for no other reason than I love unicorns, a clear quartz pendulum and some Himalayan salt for my bath.

6cd34522-0841-457b-9684-cb98fbafe148

I didn’t get involved in any of the workshops that were available, most of which were free although a few you had to book and pay for but I did walk past one of the belly dancing workshops whilst it was on and wished I had turned up at the start so I could have joined in, I’m definitely going to look at learning to belly dance in 2020!

The only bugbear for me with shows is that I can’t stand pushy sales people that pounce on you and this was certainly the case with some of the stands and I know that they’re there trying to make money but I for one am much more likely to stop and make a purchase if I’m left to peruse in peace, if I need help, I’ll ask for it. The same as when I go to any shop when as soon as I walk in the door, they’re on me asking if they can help, I mean, do I look like I don’t know how to shop?

On the flip side though, there were a few stands I was interested in where the only person manning the stand was busy doing a reading so I didn’t want to interrupt and they didn’t have visible price lists or booking sheets so the only way to find anything out I guess would have been to be lucky enough to time walking past in a gap between their clients, which I wasn’t and didn’t so unfortunately didn’t get a chance to have my fortune told although my friend Natalie read my palms for me recently so I’m good . . . 

On my way through to the OM Yoga hall, I stopped at the chill out zone complete with sound bath courtesy of Paiste Gongs, it was my first sound bath experience and although just a taster it was relaxing and something I’ll more than likely try again.

On entrance to the OM Yoga show, I instantly felt guilty about slacking off from yoga recently, I’ve never seen so many flexible people in once place before, from people hanging from hoops at the X Pole stand to people taking part in the multiple yoga classes that were taking place.

img_2588

Unfortunately as I didn’t know that the OM Yoga show was on, I wasn’t wearing yoga clothes so couldn’t join in any of the classes but I have been inspired to get back in action and have already booked myself in to 2 yoga classes next week, Namaste.

A also purchased a new bamboo based top to wear to yoga from the Nissim London stand that says David Attenborough For World Leader, I love it, not only for the statement on the front but also because it’s fully sustainable and made from certified, renewable wood sources.

e05413c4-6335-42a9-b7e8-ebe6dea6f948

New yoga/gym clothes always make me more excited about exercise so totally justifiable!

Again there was so much to buy and I could have shopped way more but I’m trying to stick to the ‘buy less’ principle and let’s be honest, how many yoga mats does a girl really need? 

A thoroughly enjoyable day out, even with my cold, not only are my chakras back in balance, I was also able to pick up the latest issues of Vegan Life, Plant Based and OM Yoga magazines for just £1 each, bonus.

Goody bags were packed packed with treats, products form Weleda, hand crafted soap from LovEve, bath bombs from Shobu, crystals from Lava Artworks, crystals, lavender and palo santo wood smudging sticks from The Mystic Wolf and lava stone bracelets from Freyas Crystals.

img_2591

img_2598

Oh and I woke up this morning (Sunday) and cold – gone! Was it zapped by yesterdays Reiki session? Who knows but it’s possible.

www.mbsevents.co.uk

Insta

@mbs_experience

@omyogashow

Gnocci In Pumpkin & Sun Dried Tomato Pesto Cream Sauce

What says Halloween more than a Jack o lantern?

Halloween just wouldn’t be the same without carving out a pumpkin but once turned in to Jack o lanterns a pumpkins life is often cut short.

Pumpkins are not just for Halloween, they’re pretty good the day after too so rather that throwing old Jack Pumpkin Head out, one thing you could do with him is turn him in to a delicious pesto.

Pumpkins don’t tend to last too long once they’re carved and out of the fridge though, as I found out one year after a particular Halloween. I’d thrown a dinner with a pumpkin carving competition in the interval between mains and dessert. The carved pumpkins were then added to my Halloween decor and lived on my stairs for a few days, I thought they looked cute – that is until I was sitting at my table downstairs and found out pumpkin mush was dripping through the holes (I have weird metal stairs). Cleaning that up wasn’t my most enjoyable moment let me tell you so make sure you don’t leave it too long between carving and cooking!

I’ve made this recipe with a new pumpkin rather than one that’s already carved so if you are using your old jack o lantern, you can skip the gutting step . . . 

Serves 4

Ingredients

1/4 medium pumpkin (keep an eye out for more pumpkin recipes for ideas of what to do with the rest )

1 clove garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (you could wash and roast the ones from your pumpkin but I used from a pack) 

1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup grated vegan cheese

1 can coconut milk

1 tsp dried sage

1/2 tsp chilli powder or 1 red chilli (optional)

Salt

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

Method

Preheat oven to 200°C

img_1849

Cut your pumpkin in half and remove the pumpkin guts.

 

Cut one quarter of the pumpkin in to pieces. (wrap the rest in cling film and put in the fridge to use for something else)

Brush pumpkin flesh with olive oil and place on a flesh side down on a baking tray.

Cover with foil and place in the oven for 1 hr.

Remove and let cool.

img_1887

Once cool, scoop pumpkin flesh from skin.

Blend pumpkin flesh, garlic, sun dried tomato, pumpkin seeds, vegan cheese, coconut milk, sage, salt and optional chilli together to form the pesto cream.

.Serve with gnocci (alternatively you could use pasta) I garnished with some extra chilli and pumpkin seeds.

img_1893

Remember to double ingredients if cooking for 4 as the gnocci recipe is for 2

Click for gnocci recipe

 

Gnocci

An alternative to pasta, gnocci is actually really simple to make with only 3 ingredients or 4 if you include the water for boiling.

Serves 2

Ingredients

400g potatoes

200g plain flour (basically if you want to make more, weigh the potatoes and use half that weight in flour)

1 tsp salt (optional)

Water

Method

Peel, quarter and boil potatoes in a pan for around 10 minutes until soft.

Mash potato until smooth with no lumps.

Mix in salt( if you have decided to use it, personally I like a little flavour in my gnocci).

Gradually stir in flour and mix bit by bit until a dough is formed.

Knead the dough until it is pliable but not sticky, if it’s too sticky, add a little more flour, if too dry, add a drop of water.

Once you have a dough, separate in to 8 balls.

Roll each ball in to sausage shapes, about 2cm thick.

img_1871

Cut each sausage in to 1.5cm pieces, you will probably get around 8 pieces per sausage

Turn each piece on to its side, hold top and bottom and gently press with fork to make slight indents, this will also help shape the pieces.

In another pan of boiling water, cook pieces in small batches, they will sink and first and float to the top as once they are cooked, then you can remove them from the pan.

img_1884

Serve with source of your choice.

Bewater Bottles

My Mum had been infusing her water with crystals for years and I admit that on her councel, I have a piece of shungite in each of my gym bottles (apparently it’s a water purifier, who knew?) but other than that, up until now it’s only fruit, mainly lemon that I’ve been avidly infusing on a day to day basis.

Well, not anymore, welcome Bewater, a company who create the most gorgeous crystal elixir bottles.

img_1763

Everybody needs to hydrate, that’s nothing new, water is literally the most important thing we can feed our bodies, every cell, tissue and organ we have needs water to work properly but we can improve not just our health but our wellbeing with water, good hydration boosts energy, flushes toxins and strengthens skin, hair making us feel happier all round.

Personally I do believe that gemstones have a special energy, something about them forming over hundreds of thousands and sometimes millions of years, being part of the earth, the universe and even if I didn’t believe that, I’d still be drawn to gemstones due to their sparkle (I have a definite magpie complex).

It is said though that different crystals have different healing properties, that some are energising, some are calming, some are grounding, some cleanse and some protect, well whatever it is you need, I can guarantee that Bewater will have the right bottle for you.

It’s no secret right now that single use plastic is a problem and of course Bewater bottles are completely reusable.

They come in 4 different varieties:

Home and Office (glass)

img_1757

Belove Passion Glass – Garnet & Rock Crystal £28.95

Original Titan (BPA free plastic)

img_1756

Bejoy Elements – ocean Agate, Amethyst, Fossil Wood, Rose Quartz & Chalcedony £25.95

On The Go Titan (BPA free plastic, easy lids)

img_1759

Belove Harmony – Rose Quartz & Rock Crystal £19.95

Zodiac Bottles (limited edition glass)

img_1754

BeUnlimited Leo – Ruby & Clear Quartz £54.95

Each bottle comes with a choice of insert, you can choose inserts for awareness, elements, balance, glow, harmony, passion, vision, clarity, courage, vitality, liberty, abundance or magic or if you go for one of the limited edition zodiac bottles, they have all kinds of other properties.

If you got for the Home and Office, you also have the option to purchase extra interchangeable inserts.

img_1755

Bejoy Abundance Insert £19.95

I personally went for the On The Go, partly because it’s slightly smaller so fits better in my bag, partly because it’s plastic, I’m very clumsy so I don’t think any of the glass bottles would last long around me and partly because you can choose  which colour lid you want and they had pink!

9444635e-8041-4094-b67f-0e72db534c3f

What insert did I get? Magic. Why? Well, because I figured all of the other properties are covered by that one.

img_1758

Bemagic On The Go Junior £19.95

I would quite like a Zodiac Bottle in Leo though, maybe if this one ‘magically’ makes me a little less clumsy I’ll invest . . . 

Each bottle comes in a recyclable tube and also comes with an extra tumblestone crystal to add to your crystal collection.

img_1764

www.bewater.com