fiftysisterblog

  • Unlocking the Power of Ashwagandha – 10 Health Benefits.

    Ashwagandha, scientifically known as Withania somnifera, is an adaptogenic herb that has been used for centuries in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. Also known as Indian ginseng or winter cherry, this incredible herb offers a wide array of health benefits. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the various advantages of ashwagandha and why you should consider incorporating it into your daily routine.

    10 Health Benefits of Ashwagandha

    1. Stress Reduction

    One of the most well-known benefits of ashwagandha is its ability to reduce stress. It helps regulate cortisol levels, the body’s primary stress hormone, and promotes a sense of calm. This adaptogen aids in managing everyday stressors and can be a valuable tool for individuals dealing with anxiety or chronic stress.

    2. Improved Sleep

    Are you struggling with sleepless nights? Ashwagandha can come to your rescue. It has a calming effect that can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy a more restful night’s sleep. This is especially beneficial for those with insomnia or irregular sleep patterns.

    3. Enhanced Immunity

    Ashwagandha has been shown to boost the immune system. Its immune-enhancing properties help the body fight off infections and illnesses, keeping you healthier and more resilient.

    4. Cognitive Function

    Studies suggest that ashwagandha can improve cognitive function and memory. It may help protect brain cells from the harmful effects of chronic stress, potentially reducing the risk of neurodegenerative diseases.

    Use code FIFTYSISTER at the checkout to save 10%

    5. Energy and Vitality

    Feeling fatigued? Ashwagandha can provide a natural energy boost without the jitters associated with caffeine. It helps improve overall vitality and stamina.

    6. Anti-Inflammatory Properties

    Ashwagandha contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds that can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. This makes it valuable for individuals dealing with conditions like arthritis or inflammatory disorders.

    7. Hormonal Balance

    Ashwagandha can help balance hormones, particularly in women. It may alleviate symptoms of PMS and menopause, regulating mood and reducing discomfort.

    8. Heart Health

    This adaptogenic herb has been linked to improved heart health by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure levels, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease.

    9. Weight Management

    Ashwagandha can help with weight management by reducing stress-related overeating and supporting healthy metabolic function.

    10. Anti-Aging Effects

    The antioxidant properties of ashwagandha help protect your cells from oxidative damage, which can slow down the aging process and promote youthful-looking skin.

    How to Incorporate Ashwagandha

    To enjoy the many benefits of ashwagandha, it can be consumed in various forms, including gummies, capsules, powders, or as a tea. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any new supplement to your routine, especially if you have underlying health conditions or are pregnant or nursing.

    In conclusion, ashwagandha is a versatile herb with a wide range of health benefits, from stress reduction and improved sleep to enhanced immunity and heart health. If you’re seeking a natural way to boost your well-being, consider giving ashwagandha a try.

    Remember, the benefits of ashwagandha may vary from person to person, so it’s essential to be patient and consistent in your usage to experience its full potential. Harness the power of ashwagandha to support your health and well-being, and enjoy the advantages it brings to your life.

    For more information on ashwagandha and its benefits, please feel free to reach out to us. Ashwagandha may be the missing piece in your journey to a healthier, more balanced life.

    Note: The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making significant changes to your health routine.

  • Elevate Your Midlife Journey: New Blog Format for Women Over 40

    Embrace Your Radiant Midlife: Welcome women Over 40 to our new blog format!

    Greetings, fabulous women over 40! We’re thrilled to introduce an exciting change here at FiftySister, as we embark on a new journey to inspire and uplift your midlife experience. This transformation comes from the heart of our commitment to empower you with positivity, inspirational insights, exercise advice, plant-based recipes, and timeless wisdom. In this revamped blog format, we’re doubling down on our mission to help you thrive in midlife and beyond. So, what can you expect from this rejuvenated space? Let’s dive in!

    Positivity: Radiate Joy in Every Moment

    Positive ageing is the essence of what we stand for. We believe that your 40s and beyond can be the most liberating and fulfilling years of your life. Our posts will radiate positivity and encourage you to embrace your age with enthusiasm. We’ll explore the art of gratitude, the power of a positive mindset, and the joy of living in the present moment. You’ll find articles that celebrate the beauty that comes with each passing year and inspire you to see ageing as a journey filled with possibilities.

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    Inspiration: Unleash Your Inner Strength

    Midlife is a time for transformation, and we’re here to be your cheerleaders along the way. We’ll share stories of remarkable women who’ve reinvented themselves, conquered new horizons, and made the most of their later years. Our inspirational posts will ignite your inner fire and encourage you to chase your dreams, try new things, and become the hero of your own story.

    40 plus women

    Exercise Advice: Move with Grace and Vitality

    Staying active is a cornerstone of healthy ageing. In our fitness posts, you’ll discover exercise routines tailored for women over 40. Whether you’re a seasoned fitness enthusiast or just starting, we’ll guide you in nurturing your body. From low-impact walking to strength training, we’ll provide expert advice, workout plans, and tips for maintaining physical vitality.

    Plant-Based Recipes: Nourish Your Body, Mind, and Soul

    We understand the importance of nutrition, and that’s why we’re introducing a posts dedicated to delicious and nutritious plant-based recipes. A balanced diet can be a powerful tool in supporting your well-being. Our culinary creations will not only tantalise your taste buds but also provide the nutrients your body craves as it matures. Explore recipes that emphasise fresh, wholesome ingredients and nourish your body for a vibrant and healthy life.

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    Wisdom: Timeless Insights for Your Journey

    We believe that wisdom grows with age, and we’ll be sharing timeless insights from women who’ve been there, done that, and come out wiser and stronger. We’ll explore topics like self-care, relationships, mental health, and the secrets to a fulfilling life. In the wisdom posts, you’ll find pearls of advice and guidance that will resonate with your unique journey.

    Conclusion:

    Our new blog format is designed to be your trusted companion on your midlife journey. We want to be the source of inspiration, information, and connection for women over 40. So, here’s to embracing your radiant midlife, to positivity, inspiration, exercise, plant-based nourishment, and the wisdom that comes with age. Thank you for being a part of our community, and we can’t wait to embark on this exciting adventure with you. Stay tuned for the wonderful content coming your way, and let’s make midlife the best chapter yet!

  • Coconut & raspberry pudding – dairy free & vegan friendly

    Great as a dessert, even better as breakfast, my simple coconut & raspberry pudding, which is dairy free and vegan friendly.

    You will need;

    • 1 can coconut milk
    • 1 teaspoon agar agar
    • 2 cups raspberries
    • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
    • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
    • 1 tablespoon desiccated coconut

    Check out my YouTube video, on how to make this simple pudding. You can make it in advance and it will keep well covered in the fridge for a few days.

    https://youtu.be/5IU8u780NYE

    I am inspired by all the fresh produce at my local market in Tavira. Today I picked up a large punnet of fresh raspberries and couldn’t wait to get home to make this delicious dessert. I divided the mix into three, 2 desserts for today, and 1 breakfast is ready for me tomorrow. I will add a little bit of home made granola to create a delicious and filling plant based breakfast.

    Let me know if you try this recipe. I don’t add extra sugar to the milk mixture, but you may like to add a teaspoon of sugar if you have a sweet tooth.

    It’s very hot here today, too hot for cooking, but this simple dish is perfect chilled to enjoy under the shade of a carob tree. The dogs are shuffling around the kitchen to keep cool, so it’s Ginger and Bird my Hungarian Vizsla you may be able to hear in the background.

    I don’t use exact measurements, use a tea cup if you don’t have a proper cup measurement – its the same thing!

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day!

  • Asian style breakfast. Italian style lunch. What I eat in a day.

    Asian style breakfast? Italian style lunch? yes please! Here’s what I eat in a day. Lots of you enjoyed seeing what I eat in a day. I really prefer savoury food rather than sweet. Today I made some crispy tofu with Thai rice, veggies and sauce for breakfast and an Italian inspired pasta and bean dish with lots of fresh tomatoes.

    https://youtu.be/O_kJoClwciA

    Thank you for the lovely feedback on my videos. I like to keep trying different styles, so today there’s no talking, just the sounds of my small kitchen, in my cottage, in the middle of an orange grove in Algarve, Portugal. Listen out for Mr Blackbird singing along outside my window.

    Asian style breakfast.

    Breakfast was; Steamed Thai rice, crispy tofu (see my previous recipe for KCF style tofu) cucumber, raw carrot, fried spring onions/scallions, sesame seeds, fresh chopped coriander and a sauce made with;1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, 1 or 2 teaspoons of maple syrup.

    asian style breakfast, Italian style lunch
    asian style breakfast, Italian style lunch

    Italian style lunch.

    For lunch I fried red onion and garlic, added 4 large chopped red tomatoes and simmered until tender, and liquid reduced. I added 1 tablespoon oregano, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 tablespoon Moscatel (it’s a sweet wine). I added 1 cup large butter beans and 1 cup small pasta. Cook until pasta is al dente. In a separate pan fry mushrooms with crushed whole garlic as much as you like) and vegan butter. I am using Veganbloc. When cooked, remove the mushrooms and use the leftover butter and garlic to wilt the spinach in the hot pan.

    Drizzle over pesto (I’m using homemade vegan – without cheese) and sprinkle over sunflower seeds and a few fresh herbs. Serve with baked sliced bread.

    Let me know what you think about this style of video. It’s good for when I don’t want to be on camera and can really enjoy cooking rather than talking. I lost 32lbs eating this way. I eat between 8am and 2pm, then fast until 8am the next day. It really suits my body and lifestyle.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day.

    #intermittentfasting #menopauseweightloss #menopausehealth #plantbased #healthyaging

  • Nutella made the vegan way

    My home made dairy free, gluten free, vegan friendly version of Nutella couldn’t be easier! You will be shocked how much sugar is contained in the store bought original Nutella and similar products. I will show you how much sugar the store bought contains, versus my simple home made version using a high grade dark chocolate.

    https://youtu.be/WZdHxyBTHOM

    Join me in my tiny kitchen, in a little rented cottage in the middle of an orange grove, close to Tavira, Algarve, Portugal. I really enjoy making all my food from scratch, based on what I find at the market each day. Sometimes I fancy something sweet, rich and chocolatey. This spread is great to use in baking to make vegan delicious French Pain au chocolate. Or straight out of the jar, by the spoonful!

    Here’s my simple vegan nutella recipe:

    • 410g hazelnuts (3 cups)
    • 100g dark chocolate (half to 3 quarters of a cup)
    • 1 pinch of sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.

    Bake the hazelnuts in the air fryer (highest setting) for 3-4 minutes. They burn very quickly so be careful. You could toast them in a fry frying pan instead. Melt the chocolate and add the salt and vanilla extract. Add all the ingredients to the blender and run at full power until smooth. Pour into a container and allow to set.

    Enjoy! Let me know if you like this vegan Nutella recipe, I’m happy to answer any questions.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day. #veganeats #vegannutella #dairyfree #wholefood #plantbased

  • Burrito with a twist – what I eat in a day.

    Burrito with a twist!

    This is my burrito with a twist. I am a huge fan of Lizzo on TikTok, and I’m always jealous when she orders in Mexican or TexMex food. We have avocados growing all around us here, but it’s still Russian roulette whether the avocado will go straight in the bin, or be perfect to mash.

    https://youtu.be/1JqpjDnes3c

    Bonus trip to the market.

    I thought I’d add a quick trip in to the market, and show you what I bought. I love to see what other people buy at the market. I guess I am just nosey, but it’s wonderful to see what’s in season all around the world. I go to the market almost every day to see what’s on offer. Cherries and figs are incredible at the moment, I will be stuffing my face with fruit for the next few months whilst prices are low and stocks are high.

    I like to play around with flavours, using what I have on hand rather than sticking to a recipe. You won’t find any authentic recipes on my page, everything is off the cuff, based on my knowledge of flavours. I used a small corn tortilla today for my burrito, I am sure you will think it’s tiny compared to a store bought one in the USA, but I prefer to have two small ones, rather than one big one. My husband is quite a fussy eater, so I have to work around him. I didn’t add onion in the salsa as that’s a big no-no for him.

    What I eat in a day – series.

    I’m attempting to film as many meals as I can throughout this month, as I’m asked daily what I eat as a 100% plant based 55 year old vegan, intermittent fasting for weight maintenance. I used tempeh today, you could use vegan fake meats but I prefer tempeh seasoned with smoked paprika, cinnamon, thyme, garlic, and a little brown sugar for sweetness – similar to bacon seasoning.

  • What I eat in a day 100% plant based vegan food.

    What do I eat in a day, with no dairy, meat, eggs or fish?

    Lots of women ask me what I eat in a day 100% plant based vegan food. I’m including everything I eat and drink except water, tea and coffee. I really enjoy watching videos like this, and it’s fascinating to see what people eat, and how much – portion size varies so much!

    I buy all my produce from the local farmer’s market and tofu and tempeh from the health food store. I don’t visit the supermarket very often, because I like supporting small businesses. I avoid all processed fake vegan food as much as possible, additives and preservatives, I don’t use a microwave to avoid any damage to the nutrients in the food. 

    https://youtu.be/V8K19W_apo4
    Head over to YouTube and please give me a follow!

    Essential supplies

    My store cupboard is full of herbs, spices, and varied ingredients from all over the world, to make humble veg into something spectacular. I do use a small amount of seed oils, which I agree are not a healthy choice, however, it’s a compromise I am willing to make to ensure I eat lots of lovely plants rich in fibre. 

    I am always shocked how much ready made food people eat in their ‘what I eat in a day’ videos on YouTube, as I like to make all my food from scratch. 

    Intermittent fasting changed my life. Two meals per day keeps my weight stable and provides me with enough energy to complete a strenuous workout, plus another activity later in the day such as paddle boarding or mountain biking.

    Please support my page.

    Give me a follow, or a share as I really need some support to keep posting. I love creating meals from fresh fruit and veggies and I want to share my passion of eating good, fresh, wholesome food. I will attempt to film at least 5 days per week for this month. If there’s enough interest I will keep going!

    I am 55, soon to be 56 and I’ve never felt better. I will film some of my workouts too, so you can see how I build muscle and keep in shape.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day!

  • You can now support me on Patreon.

    I will now also be posting all new blog posts, recipes and videos (plus more exclusive content) on Patreon. The reason for this is that I now create for Fiftysister full time. Patreon gives fans and followers more value through my writing, recipes, videos, exercise routines and wellness information. Click here to join my Patreon community.

    Why Patreon?

    Lots of followers asked how they could; support me, get their hands on my recipes, get a reply from an email and message, or watch a regular live stream. Patreon helps keep my information within my control and allows me to be more open with my thoughts and future plans.

    What is Patreon?

    Patreon is a members only social media platform, where supporters choose who they wish to sponsor through a pledge or monthly subscription. It’s a way for writers and creative people to earn money by providing value to their audience, without having to endlessly sell products.

    Facebook page and group

    We are building an amazing supportive group on Facebook – ‘Team Sparkles’ which I am very proud of. A safe place for women to ask questions and network with other like minded women. My Facebook page and group are managed by an incredible team – from wecreatepopular.com I will be posting content regularly on Facebook and you will find me posting photos and videos on Instagram too. I’m everywhere!

    I appreciate all your support. Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day.

    Gail

  • Fakeaway time! KFT – Kentucky Fried Tofu in the airfryer.

    You love KFC but you’ve decided to eat more plants? Let’s talk about KFT – Kentucky (style) air fried tofu. My husband was a big fan of KFC until I switched us to a 100% plant based diet 10 years ago. He was reluctant to try my KFT at first, but now he asks me to make it every week, the man is completely obsessed, especially when it’s drizzled in my hasty sweet and sour pineapple sauce.

    You will see that KFT does involve using a lot of ingredients, but that’s how KFC get their delicious crispy flavour packed coating. The only ingredient missing from the original recipe, which would give it extra pizazz is MSG. I don’t cook with it, but it doe’s take it to the next level.

    https://youtu.be/Ln9o2DUWudI

    KFT – Airfried tofu ingredients

    • 1 cup extra firm tofu
    • 1 cup all purpose white flour
    • 1 cup unsweetened plant milk
    • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
    • 1 tsp vegetable stock powder
    • 1 large pinch ground sea salt
    • 1 tsp sweet paprika
    • 1 tsp sage
    • 1 tsp thyme
    • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
    • 0.5 tsp celery salt
    • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
    • 0.5 tsp black pepper
    • 0.5 tsp dry mustard powder
    • 0.5 tsp white pepper
    • 0.5 Tsp ground ginger
    • 0.5 tsp Chinese 5 spice
    • Handful of cornflakes
    • 1 cup of pineapple juice
    • 1 tsp cornflour + dash of ACV
    • 0.5 tsp nigella seeds – optional
    • Spray oil.

    Method for crispy Tofu

    Get your hands on some extra firm tofu. Drain away the water from the tofu and crumble it into bite size pieces. Put the plant milk and 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar into a bowl and mix. You have just made vegan buttermilk. Mix all the four and all the spices in a separate bowl. Pick up a piece of tofu, let it have a swim in the buttermilk, scoop out and douse in the flour/spice mixture. Do all of them, and get ready to repeat.

    Now you’re going to need to smash up the cornflakes and add them to the flour mix. Repeat the dip and roll process, making sure lots of cornflake mix is stuck to your tofu. Place the pieces in the airfryer (I use baking paper to avoid too much mess and washing the air fryer pan) and spray with a little bit of oil.

    Cook for 8 minutes on high before turning and cooking for a further 5-7 minutes. The cooking time will depend on your airfryer. The important thing to note is that you don’t need to worry about the tofu being undercooked, like you would chicken.

    Sweet and sour sauce.

    Your KFT is ready! Now for the sauce. Mix cornflour with the pineapple juice and heat until thickened. Add a dash of apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle in some nigella seeds too if you’re feeling fancy.

    Video coming soon, stay tuned!

  • My top 10 sources of plant based protein

    This is my list of personal top 10 sources of plant based protein. Things I keep in the store cupboard to ensure I always have a natural and wholesome source of protein with every meal.

    https://youtu.be/L506tq8GGu0

    Where do I get my protein?

    I don’t eat anything from animals, so where do I get my protein? If I had a dollar for every time I was asked this question I’d be a millionaire! I’m going to post more info about plant based macros in the future as many people don’t seem to appreciate how much protein can be found in nuts, beans, seeds, veggies and even fruit. Enough to fuel a gorilla, elephant, rhino… you get the idea.

    Plant fibre is incredibly important to our gut microbiome. It’s been removed from processed foods, so it’s vital to eat lots of natural, unprocessed plant matter to keep all the bacteria in the belly happy. I grabbed a few things out of my pantry and will be sharing more nutrition content with you over the coming weeks.

    This is where I get my protein and of course, lots of fibre. Have a beautiful day!

    Follow me on social media

    Follow me on Instagram by clicking here or Facebook by clicking here.

    #veggie #veganfood #plantbased #wholefood #slowfood #menopausehealth

  • Go in search of authenticity.

    Authenticity means you’re true to your own personality, values, and spirit, regardless of the pressure that you’re under to act otherwise. You’re honest with yourself and with others.

    When we give ourselves permission to be ourselves, we can live free from others’ ideas and expectations, and we can choose to navigate our own course in life.

    It isn’t always easy to live authentically. Being true to what you know is right, means swimming against the current, in the opposite direction to everyone else. It may mean you’re considered unconventional, opening yourself up to criticism and possibly hate, it can mean taking the harder road.

    It may mean missing some opportunities – I have learned to accept this, but in the longer term, it’s likely to open up many more opportunities; opportunities that simply wouldn’t be available to someone who has been seen to be insincere, conflicted, vacillating, or fake. 

    Living an authentic life is vastly more rewarding than hiding your true self. When you live authentically, you don’t have to worry about what anyone else thinks, what you said, how you acted, or whether you did the right thing. Living authentically means you can trust yourself and your motivations implicitly.

    Authenticity brings peace and a quietened mind. If I’d never been lost, I wouldn’t have found my true self. 

    #authenticity#authentic#awakening#midlifeawakening#theroadlesstraveled#findingyourself#findingpeace

  • Jumprope and Kettlebell 40+ Fitness daily workout

    Jumprope and Kettlebell workout on YouTube

    I’ve just edited and uploaded my 40+ fitness, daily workout with Jumprope and Kettlebell to YouTube. My main social media platforms are Facebook & Instagram, but as so many people pleaded with me to post on YouTube too, here I am attempting to post on all platforms. I must be crazy! But I want to reach as many women as I can to help them regain their strength and fitness after 40.

    https://youtu.be/PmuIAl3SYws

    In July 2021 I was overweight, stressed, depressed, suffering with anxiety and rather unfit. I started intermittent fasting to lose weight, then in Feb 2022 I started jumprope. In December 2022 I added kettlebell into the mix and started building upper body muscle. I have shoulders of steel!

    I share as much information as I can to help other women who are struggling with weight gain and lack of motivation. This is my first jumprope and kettlebell workout video on YouTube, you will also find more videos on my Facebook page. Click here to see FiftySister on Facebook. I am work in progress, learning as I go, so check back often for new videos and posts.

    You can find out more about my jumprope journey by clicking here. Click on the video above or here to view on YouTube.

    Thanks for stopping by…. I’m back to posting on my blog so stay tuned!

  • Butternut squash & yellow split pea dahl

    A rainy day in Algarve, so lets make a dahl. You can hear the rain in the background, my feet were soaked as I filmed next to the open door for optimum natural light.

    For my dahl, I like to cook the veggies separately in the airfryer because they require less oil and they can be roasting on a high heat (check regularly) whilst I get on with the rest of the dish.

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/nqaJMdnneEw

    I also cook the split yellow peas separately, as I cook extra to use in other recipes. Once cooked, I keep surplus peas in the freezer in a bag.

    Slice onion and butternut squash, drizzle over mustard oil, and roast on baking paper in airfryer for 20minutes on 200°C

    Dahl ingredients

    • 1 large red onion – sliced
    • 4 garlic cloves – crushed
    • 1 thumb ginger – grated
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 teaspoon black onion seeds
    • 2 tablespoons garam masala
    • 1 cinnamon stick
    • 1 small butternut squash – cubed
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon veg stock powder or stock cube
    • 1 tablespoon mustard or coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 tablespoon tomato puree.
    • 2 cups cooked yellow split peas
    • 4 plum tomatoes chopped
    • 1 can coconut milk
    • Pinch sea salt
    • To decorate
    • 1 diced mango
    • Coriander or chives

    In a pan, put black onion seeds, grated ginger, crushed garlic, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, garam masala with a teaspoon of oil. Warm gently to release the flavours, it’s important not to burn the spices or the garlic. Add the tomatoes, turmeric, tomato paste, garlic powder, veg stock and salt. Cook for a few minutes before adding a cup of water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the cooked yellow peas, roasted veg and the can of coconut milk. Gently heat again to simmer then its ready!

  • Leek and pear soup

    Leek and pear soup is simple, quick and exceptionally tasty. I’ve used asian flavours, which go perfectly for this sweet and sour soup.

    The only way you can ruin this leek and pear soup is by adding too much salt or soy, or by burning the veg so avoid adding too much extra salt, and ensure veg is gently fried on a medium heat. It needs to be soft so that the pear is very soft and coating the veg. The sweetness from the pear balances the salt from the soy, stock cube and salt. . Note that you should add the sesame oil at the end when serving, as this oil is best for flavour, not for cooking. Add the vinegar at the end too, because we don’t want it to evaporate.  

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/sSRBQwJveiw

    Leek and pear soup ingredients

    • 1 teaspoon Hatcho miso (any miso will do)
    • 1 veg stock cube
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 or 2 star anise
    • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
    • 1 grated or crushed garlic clove
    • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
    • Black & white pepper – at least a pinch
    • 1 small leek
    • 1 pear
    • 1 stick celery
    • 4 scallions/spring onions
    • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
    • Pinch of Piri Piri salt – or standard sea salt
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
    • Chives or coriander/cilantro

    Soup base – stock

    Grate the ginger (I keep the root in my freezer) and the garlic. Put the garlic, ginger, veg stock cube, bay leaf, miso, soy sauce, black & white pepper, star anise in a saucepan with roughly 3 cups of boiling water. Leave to simmer whilst prepping the veg.

    Leek and pear prep

    Chop the leek, pear, celery & spring onions/scallions. Gently fry with 1 teaspoon coconut oil and a pinch of chilli or normal sea salt flakes. Cook until soft. Pour the stock onto the softened (not browned) veg & pear mixture. Add rice vinegar and sesame oil. Serve with fresh herbs or your choice.

    Saucepans – 1 or 2 it’s up to you.

    You could cook this is one pan, however, I like the stock to have a head start for the flavours to develop whilst I am prepping the veg.

    Fussy eaters

    If you have fussy eaters in the house, remove the star anise and bay leaf then liquidise the soup. Works for my husband every time – he thinks he doesn’t like leeks!

  • Bean Kofta

    Black bean kofta – full of protein and flavour.

    Before becoming fully plant based, I had been vegetarian on and off for 30 years. I had recreated recipes from all over the world in my kitchen in Devon. To say my husband was a little bit upset at the thought of never eating my Chinese BBQ pork or beef kofta is an understatement. So here we are 8 years later, fully plant based, recreating all our favourite recipes but using only plants.

    For my videos I cut and blend most things by hand so there’s no excuses of ‘oh I don’t have a food processor’.  All appliances are different, so cooking times my differ.

    Today I am using black beans – mainly for the colour, but you can use any beans you prefer.

    For the flat bread

    • 1 cup flour
    • Half teaspoon salt
    • Half teaspoon turmeric
    • Half teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • Coconut milk to bind into a dough.

    I don’t give exact measurements for the coconut milk as it will depend on the flour you use and what your environment is like. Start with a quarter cup of coconut milk, mix and add little by little until you get a stiff dough.

    Divide into 6, roll into balls and then into desired flatbread shape with a rolling pin. Heat a frying pan – NO OIL. Dry fry one side (about 1 minute) and then flip over.

    Bean kofta

    https://youtube.com/shorts/FvJLWaa91V0?feature=share
    • 1 cup black beans
    • Half stick celery
    • 1 scallion or chalotte or 1 teaspoon onion powder
    • Half a sweet pepper
    • Fresh herbs (I’m using lemon thyme and chives but recommend using cilantro/coriander)
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder or chopped fresh garlic
    • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
    • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • Pinch of chilli powder
    • Half teaspoon cinnamon
    • Black pepper and sea salt

    Finely chop the fresh herbs and veg. Add the beans in a bowl along with all other ingredients. Use something to squish the mixture into a paste – could be a glass, jar, rolling pin.

    Shape into 4 sausages/koftas and drizzle with olive oil. I also threw on some sliced onions. Place in the airfryer or oven on a high heat for 10-15 minutes. I used an airfryer on 180° for 15 minutes, turning once.

    For the parsnip chips

    Finely slice 2 parsnips, sprinkle on 1 teaspoon paprika, good pinch of sea salt, drizzle over olive oil. Toss the parsnips to ensure they are coated before cooking. Cook in oven/airfryer on 175°C for 10 minutes and check. How long you cook them depends on how crunchy you like them.

    To serve, squish the kofta onto the flatbread, add homemade tomato sauce, fried onions, fresh herbs like mint/coriander and some scallions/chives. Tahini is essential for me, although my husband prefers mayo. I mix 1 tablespoon tahini with the juice of one lemon and pinch of sea salt.

    I make my recipes up as I go, depending on what fresh ingredients and spices I have on hand. Don’t be afraid to experiment, generally, the only way you can ruin a dish is by adding too much salt or hot spice.

    Have a beautiful day!

  • Minestrone soup

    Minestrone soup is absolutely one of my favourite soups. The most important ingredient for my recipe, is the Hatcho Miso which replaces beef stock to provide an outstanding depth of flavour.

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    You can use any veg you prefer, but today I used; chives, leeks, spring onions/scallions, red cabbage and carrots. Use any pasta you like, but I prefer to use broken spaghetti and add it at the start of cooking so that I know when the soup is ready, because the spaghetti is cooked.

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/6wb3f9EeXII

    My measurements are approximate as I don’t measure anything. The only mistake you can make when cooking is to add too much salt, sugar, spice or sourness. If you are using a stock cube, ensure its dissolved before adding any additional salt.

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    Minestrone soup ingredients

    • 1 cup chopped carrots
    • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
    • 1 cup chopped leeks
    • Half cup chopped spring onions/scallions
    • 1 handful chopped chives
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 veggie stock cube
    • 1 bay leaf
    • Black and white pepper
    • Half teaspoon smoked paprika
    • 1 teaspoon Hatcha Miso paste
    • Half cup broken spaghetti
    • Extra sea salt if needed.

    Place pan on medium heat and add olive oil to the pan. Add all ingredients and cover with boiling water. Simmer until pasta is cooked. The soup will thicken slightly from the flour in the pasta. Taste before adding extra salt. If I am making a big pan I will add two stock cubes.

    Thanks for stopping by, have a beautiful day!

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  • Veg fritters with tahini and fresh lime sauce

    I make these veg fritters often when I want to use up fresh veg. It’s a simple batter of chickpea flour (gram flour) salt, pepper and mixed seeds. Use whatever veg you have on hand, and season it how you like it.

    If you can’t easily buy chickpea flour, you can either grind your own flour using a high-speed blender, or use a different flour. Lentil flour is a good option, but don’t use coconut flour as it won’t hold together.

    Veg fritters ingredients

    • 1 cup chickpea flour
    • 1 tablespoon mixed seeds
    • Pinch salt
    • Black and white pepper (as much as you like)
    • 1 teaspoon garlic powder.
    • Enough water to make a sticky paste
    • Cooking oil for frying – coconut oil is a good choice.

    Veg of choice, finely chopped – whatever you like, you could also use apple and pear.

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/vrCC33VOeiM

    Chop all of the veg into small pieces roughly the same size, you want it all to cook at the same time. In the video I am using spring onions/scallions, chives, carrots, red cabbage and leeks.

    In a small bowl, mix the chickpea flour with the other dry ingredients with a little bit of water, until you make a good paste.

    Stir in the veggies.

    Place spoonful of mixture into frying pan containing a small amount of hot oil. Flip over when browned. Drain on kitchen paper to absorb excess cooking oil.

    Tahini paste recipe.

    The tahini paste is very simple. Use a tablespoon of pure tahini paste straight out of the jar and slowly mix in the juice of 2 limes or lemons. Don’t panic, keep stirring until the juice blends into the paste. Add a little sea salt. You can also add chopped fresh herbs or some spices like cumin, but I like to keep it simple.

    The flavour combinations are endless!

  • Thai green curry with tumeric rice

    Thai green curry is one of our absolute favourite meals when the days start to become a little cooler. I first tried Thai green curry in Bangkok over 22 years ago and was completely smitten. I always say, it would be my last meal on earth, if I had a choice in the matter.

    I live in Portugal, so it’s quite hard to get my hands on all the authentic ingredients like Thai basil and lemongrass. When I lived in the UK I could find everything I needed in most supermarkets. Now I have to take a hour’s drive west to pick up supplies.

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/UqXRToNqE_M

    Today I have replaced coriander and Thai basil with parsley and chives. A little disappointing for me, but I used what I had available. My husband isn’t too keen on coriander, so another reason to leave it out.

    I served it with turmeric rice. I simply added 1 teaspoon of turmeric to the basmati rice at the start of cooking. The colour is incredible!

    Thai green curry Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 2 cups of mushrooms
    • 2 cans of coconut milk
    • 6 Lime leaves, with the centre vein removed then chopped
    • Half cup cherry tomatoes
    • 2 teaspoons Thai green curry paste
    • 3 spring onions
    • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
    • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
    • 1 teaspoon of coconut palm sugar (brown sugar will do)
    • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or vegan equivalent)
    • 1 vegetable stock cube
    • 3 spring onions/scallions
    • 1 handfull green beans
    • 1 handful of chives and parsley, but I would use coriander and Thai basil instead.

    Prep all veg. Heat coconut oil and add garlic and ginger. Add mushrooms and brown a little. Add curry paste and coconut and stir. Add all other ingredients except the veg. Ensure everything is hot and blended well, then add fresh veg until tender then sprinkle with herbs just before serving.

    This recipe uses a lot of ingredients, but I keep everything I need in my store cupboard for other recipes. I use lots of coconut milk in many recipes, so stock up next time you go to the grocerty store.

    I’m going to post some very simple recipes too, so stay tuned for quick and easy lunch and supper ideas.

    Thanks for stopping by. Have a beautiful day!

  • Autumn soup

    Another way to use all the scrumptious pumpkins – abundant this time of year, is a very simple autumn soup. We buy pumpkins every week, as it’s one of our dog’s favourite veggies.

    Top tip: This can also be used as a a sauce for pasta or gnocchi, maybe add some vegan cream or a little bit of spice.

    In this recipe, I used half a small pumpkin, simmered the flesh in a pan, then drained. For recipe purposes, use 2 cups of cooked pumpkin. You could roast this in an air fryer if you prefer, I would cook on 175C for 20 minutes.

    In a terracotta bowl, I roasted (in the air fryer) red onions, crushed garlic cloves, red bell pepper, rosemary, cherry tomatoes with a drizzle of olive oil. I like the depth of flavour achieved by roasting, but you could fry the ingredients instead. It’s important to brown the onions and soften the garlic for amazing flavour.

    Autumn soup ingredients

    2 cups cooked pumpkin
    2 cups of coconut milk
    1 cup cherry tomatoes
    1 pinch sea salt flakes
    1 red bell pepper
    1 red onion
    1 sprig rosemary
    3 crushed cloves of garlic
    1 handful chopped chives
    1 handful chopped parsley
    1tsp sweet smoked paprika
    Half tsp turmeric
    Half tsp white pepper
    Half teaspoon black pepper
    1 vegetable stock cube

    https://www.youtube.com/shorts/GwPueDcnxyk

    I then blitzed all ingredients in the blender to my preferred consistency. The key for me is to hide as many veg as I can from my husband, who thinks vegetables are the work of the devil.

    All my quantities are approximate as I don’t measure anything. The only time precise measurements are important, is when baking. The only way you could mess up this recipe is by adding too much salt. I added a sprinkle of sea salt flakes to the roasting veg, then I added a veggie stock cube (which also contains salt) to the blender. It didn’t need any more seasoning.

    Add whatever herbs you prefer. Cooking should be fun and not stressful, it’s very difficult to mess up a bowl of soup. Maybe make it spicy by adding some chilli powder!

    I ate this for lunch with a homemade turmeric and pumpkin seed scone. I will make a video about scones soon but the basic recipe is:

    • 1 cup of self raising flour
    • half teaspoon baking powder
    • Quarter cup of vegan butter
    • Quarter cup of vegan milk (or enough milk to make a soft dough)
    • Half teaspoon tumeric
    • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds.

    Makes 3 medium sized scones. I served with vegan butter and a sprinkle of toasted nuts and seeds on top.

    I will now fast until 8am tomorrow morning. Don’t be fooled by how small this meal of autumn soup and a scone is. It’s full of plant fibre and will keep my belly happy until tomorrow morning.

    Thanks for stopping by, check back weekly for new recipes.

    Gail x

  • Ice spiced pumpkin latte and scones

    I needed a spiced pumpkin latte today, and the only way I was going to get one, is if I made it myself! There’s an abundance of pumpkins at the local market, so today I thought I’d make some pumpkin purée to freeze in ice cube trays, for when I fancy a spiced pumpkin milkshake or latte.

    I roasted half of a small pumpkin in the airfryer for 20 minutes on 170°C. I then covered it and let it cool, so I could easily remove the skin.

    In a blender I added the skinned pumpkin, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, pinch of sea salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Off camera (pressed the wrong button with my sticky fingers) I added a tablespoon of peanut butter, quarter cup of plant milk and quarter cup of Veganbloc butter.

    *You may wish to add more syrup. I don’t like mine too sweet.

    https://youtube.com/shorts/8KcMbWHEVPU?feature=share

    For the scones I used;

    • 1 cup self raising flour
    • Quarter cup of Veganbloc butter
    • Half teaspoon turmeric
    • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
    • Half teaspoon baking powder
    • Enough plant milk to make into soft dough.

    Baked in airfryer for 13 minutes on 170°C turned them over for another 3 minutes.

    Lots of noise going on in the background with the washing machine and airfryer whirring away next to me. I only have a tiny kitchen in this rental property. I look forward to having a proper kitchen again one day.

    I hope you like this recipe – I’m so happy to have a supply of spiced pumpkin purée on standby.

    Gail x

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