Milk alternatives for the lactose intolerant 

Milk alternatives for the lactose intolerant 

I can’t digest lactose – found in cow’s milk, properly. It causes havoc with my gut and makes me quite unwell. Overshare warning – I’m talking non-stop diarrhoea and sometimes vomiting. Also hives and a super sexy all over rash have featured. 

Now, I always say that life’s too short to never eat cheese or chocolate but I have to be very sensible. The mac and cheese I made last week was delicious but it had me in agony all night. Too much dairy. 

Lactose is a protein in milk – most people digest it pretty happily. It’s not found in sheep or goat’s milk fyi – but they tend to be much more expensive as you get less per animal. Though goat’s cheese is delicious. 

I have tried dozens of milk alternatives over the years – from soy milk to oat milk and most nut milks. 

Hazelnut milk is like drinking a milkshake – sweet and creamy, I drink this on its own. 

Almond milk is my preferred alternative – doesn’t have too strong a flavour, copes well in hot drinks, cereal, porridge, makes good smoothies and shakes. 

Coconut milk – I cook with this, bake with it, it goes pretty well in most dishes with lots of flavour – curries, casseroles, mac and cheese, cake. I also use coconut oil in baking. 

Cashew milk – this was very expensive (cashew nuts are pretty pricey) and was lumpy. No thanks. Shame as it didn’t taste too bad but I’m not straining pre-made nut milk every morning. 

Soy milk – my mum swears by this but I honestly can’t get along with it. To me it’s basically coloured water – no flavour, no creaminess like nut milk. 

Oat milk – I was really curious about this, would it be liquefied porridge? I bought a carton when it was on offer (free from being the most expensive thing out there apart from maybe caviar), and was utterly disappointed. It went all funny in my hot chocolate and made my cereal taste a bit odd. I know there are different varieties (mostly made by one company) including one designed specifically for hot drinks, but I want to be able to buy one milk for everything.  

Milk itself is a deeply weird thing – we don’t all keep drinking breast milk as we get older and cows milk is essentially breast milk for baby cows. Cows are kept in a perpetual pregnant/feeding loop to produce milk – no wonder they always look grumpy, and their babies are taken away from them. 

I’m not vegan, or even a very good vegetarian (sorry Mum) but milk is one of the things I find a bit weird. Who discovered you could drink it? Turn it into food stuffs (cheese, chocolate, yoghurt, ice cream, cream, custard etc etc). Who is that person?

Recipe: Potato & Egg curry

Recipe: Potato & Egg curry

This is a great way to use up potatoes left over from a previous meal. Oh and eggs. To make it vegan, just skip the eggs. A quick tip – book the eggs and potatoes in the same pan if you’re using raw potatoes. 

1 or 2 hard boiled eggs per person 

A few potatoes boiled and chopped up 

Tin tomatoes or passata

Onion, chopped

Celery, 2 or 3 sticks, diced

Ginger – 1 tsp fresh or frozen

Garlic – 1 tsp fresh or frozen 

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Turmeric – 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp or a small fresh one chopped

Masala powder (optional) – 1tsp

Salt & pepper to taste

Method 

Boil the potatoes (10 minutes till al dente) and eggs (7/8 minutes till you’re happy they’re done). 

Brown your onion and toast the cumin seeds, add the ginger and garlic and leave to mingle for 5 minutes. Add your spices and season to taste. 

Pour in the tomatoes, mix and cook for 5 or 6 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add them and the celery. Mix in well and simmer. 

When your eggs are done, run them under a cold tap, peel and slice. Add them to the pan for a minute and spoon some of the sauce over them. 

Serve. You can add raita or yoghurt to serve or your choice of Chutney etc. I don’t tend to serve it with rice because of the potatoes but it’s up to you. I do like a piece of naan to dip. 

This is based on a recipe from my lovely work wifey whose family come from Gujarat in India. You can use different vegetables to bulk it out and it tastes just as good reheated the next day minus the eggs. 

How to: tummy soother

How to: tummy soother

We’ve all been there, you’re bloated, your belly aches and you’d quite like to die now thank you. 

Here’s a quick recipe for a tummy soothing remedy that costs less than 50p to make. 
You will need: 

One mug from your cupboard

Hot water – a little cooler than boiling. 

A thumb of ginger root (If you can’t find any in the shops, 1/2 tsp dry ground ginger) 

Half a lemon/lemon juice from a bottle 

Pour the water into the cup and let it cool slightly so you don’t scald your tongue. 

Peel and grate the ginger. Wash and half a lemon. 

Put the grated ginger in a bowl and press down on it with a spoon to release the juice. 

Pour the ginger juice into the hot water (I use a tea strainer) and squeeze in the lemon juice. Sip. Adjust juice levels to taste. Drink slowly and in a while you should feel better. 

Ginger helps promote good digestion and soothes the bloat. Lemon is a friend to your liver and helps break down chemicals like alcohol.

If you can stomach it hot water with lemon is a great way to get your body up and at ’em in the mornings. Personally I found it smelt like pancakes but tasted horrific. The ginger version is definitely better. You could also use fresh mint in warm water as mint also helps the digestive system and has anti-inflammatory properties. Or you could buy some tea bags – whatever works for you. 
I am not a doctor or nutritionist – this is just a simple home remedy. For anything more serious please see your GP or visit a hospital. Any ongoing pain in your gut must be addressed with a professional as it could be serious. 

How to make super easy sauce

How to make super easy sauce

Ok, so here’s the thing, jars of sauce never make their way into my trolley – why? Because it is cheap and easy to make your own, not to mention better for you without all the preservatives. Here’s my super easy tomato sauce, which can be used as the base for pasta dishes, curries, and all sorts of other things as it’s so easy to adapt. 

1 tin or carton of chopped tomatoes

1 onion – red or Spanish, finely chopped

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Olive oil

Sea salt

Black pepper

Saucepan 

In the pan warm the oil and add the onion and garlic, after a minute or so pour in the tomatoes, stir and allow to simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Now onto how to adapt it for different dishes; 

Add chopped fresh chillies with the onion and garlic.

Throw in some ginger or paprika to add depth. 

Basil, oregano and rosemary chopped finely, make a pungent base. 

You can use fresh, dried or frozen herbs and spices. 

It works out cheaper than jars of sauce and you can freeze it. Magic. 

25 Food Tag 

25 Food Tag 

​Spotted on Sarah’s blog – food and tag posts, yes please. 

1. What’s your favourite breakfast?

🍇Probably because I rarely have it, toast with butter and strawberry jam. 

2. How do you drink your coffee?

🍏Coffee is yuk. No ta. 

3. What’s on your favourite sandwich?

🧀Bacon, halloumi, lettuce and tomato with mayo. 

4. Soup or Salad?

🍜Soup and a sandwich or salad and sushi. Depends on the mood. 

5. What’s your favourite cookbook?

🎂I read cookbooks like novels but rarely consult them for actual cooking. 

6. No more sweets or no more hearty foods?

🍭Having actually given up sweets in the past, I could live without them quite easily. 

7. What’s your favourite Cuisine?

🍳Mediterranean food every time, from Turkey and Greece to Italy and France.

8. What’s your favourite food movie?

🍿There was a 90s Sarah Michelle Geller movie called Simply Irresistable that I was quite fond of. Films about food make me hungry. My favourite book about food is Chocolat by Joanne Harris. 

9. What’s your most guilty pleasure?

🍟I don’t believe in guilty pleasures- food should be enjoyed not treated as though there’s something ‘naughty’ about it. 

10. What’s your greatest inspiration source?

🍞The contents of my fridge/cupboards – necessity is the mother of invention. 

11. Cooking at home or going out for dinner?

🍍Both, depends on the circumstance. 

12. High end or low profile?

🍒Am I feeling fancy? Then fancy it is. 😉

13. What’s your favourite restaurant?

🌽The Turkish place in town is my go-to as it’s local, has excellent service, reasonable prices and delicious food.

14. I do my grocery shopping at:

🍑Lidl has saved me a fortune, but I go to Sainsbury’s as well.

15. The tastiest food I’ve ever eaten was:

🍦There is a place called Chilli Charlie’s by Santa Monica beach in California that does amazing chilli burgers. They remain in my brain and taste memories. 

17. Coffee with George Clooney or Heston Blumenthal?

🍢Coffee with Clooney and my mum as she loves him. 

18. What should not be missing in your kitchen?

🍉Sea salt, good black pepper, quality olive oil and chilli in various guises. 

19. What is your favourite snack?

🍅Popcorn or sunflower seeds roasted in their shells with salt. 

20. What’s on your pizza?

🍤Chicken, chilli oil, those little peppers, tomatoes, cheese. 

21. What food do you really dislike?

🍌Mushrooms eurgh

22. What’s your favourite food blog?

🍐Does Nigella’s instagram count? 

23. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

🌶Snails – I really don’t get the hype 

24. What’s on your food bucket list?

🍱The perfect creme brulee 

25. I couldn’t live without:

🍬Diet coke – fuelled by it. Also cheese. 

BONUS question:

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

🍸Cheese – it improves any dish. 

If you want to do this tag, go for it, and let me know. 

Potato Salad

Potato Salad

The humble spud has been accused of a lot recently – contributing to obesity, damaging farmland, being ugly. 

I say enough – clean eating is expensive, spuds are cheap and versatile. Leave them alone.  Here’s my potato salad, serve it as a side at a barbecue, or as my friend recommends, under a grilled chicken breast with broccoli  and salad.  

Serves 4 or more depending on hunger

Ingredients

1 small bag of potatoes – I prefer the small salad ‘new potatoes’ or similar. 

Small pot of yoghurt – I use natural yoghurt

Small pot of sour cream or creme fraiche 

Small bunch spring onions

Fistful of chives

Black pepper

Method

Wash the potatoes and boil till soft. While they’re cooking, chop the chives and spring onions (wash them too!). Mix the yoghurt, sour cream, chives and spring onions in a bowl. 

Once the potatoes are cooked, drain and leave to cool. Once they’re at a temperature you’re happy with (can be served warm or cold), use the sharp point of a knife to remove any eyes, peel off the skins if you prefer (much easier on the little potatoes after cooking), chop into desired size chunks. 

Add to the dressing, mix, season with black pepper, if using, stir again. It can now be served or stored in the fridge for later. Will keep a couple of days in an airtight tub in the fridge but is best eaten sooner.  

Ready to eat
The Vegan Kind Mystery Box

The Vegan Kind Mystery Box

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So a little box of treats winged its wayt to me from Glasgow.

I am trying to eat better and stay away from chemical heavy cosmetics and beauty products so I thought The Vegan Kind’s boxes would be worth a look.

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This is apparently a mystery box, presumably they are themed. This one contained several edible things and a body wash.

There was a pouch of pear puree which went into my herbalife shake along with a banana.

The red banana powder is something I already use and like, so this was a bonus as it’s not particularly cheap.

The gingerbread topper mix – designed for I think granola or muesli will either end up in a shake or on a fruit salad.

Quinoa crisps which I will try during the week with some quark dip.

Teabags – I like a herbal tea every now and then – so these will be drunk at some point.

Recipe card – what a lovely idea, including a recipe card so you can make something tasty – this one’s for a super green smoothie.

Finally the Organic Surge shower gel – started using this yesterday – smells amazing and really cleansing. And it’s a generous full-size bottle not a dinky sample.

I’ve also ordered their vegan beauty box to test out, will review once it’s delivered.

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