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. 

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
Super easy, super tasty recipe

Super easy, super tasty recipe

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This salad has five ingredients.

Rocket
Spinach – stalks removed
Goat’s cheese
Baby figs – sliced
Olive oil

I only made it for one, but add more of each ingredient if you make it for more.

It literally took about two minutes to assemble. You could serve it with sliced baguette, grill the figs, add pine nuts or anything you want.

Then stuff it in your face.

Fudgey Chocolate Brownie

Fudgey Chocolate Brownie

This time of year is so miserable, there’s almost nothing better than a warm, fudgey brownie to cheer up the day. Here’s my personal favourite recipe.

Set oven to 200°c, grease and line a brownie tin/square cake tin. I used an electric mixer but you can do it by hand just as easily. I’ve replaced some of the ingredients with substitutes, but you don’t have to.

Ingredients

3 medium eggs
70g ground almonds
5g banana powder (or 75g almond)
275g sugar substitute (stevia, coconut sugar)
175g dark chocolate (at least 70%)
175g coconut oil/butter
40g cocoa
Chopped nuts, dried fruit, choc chips (optional)

Method

Melt the coconut oil and chocolate in a microwave.

Mix all the dry ingredients together, add the eggs, mix, add the chocolate oil, mix.

Add the chopped nuts, dried fruit etc if using. Mix together by hand.

Pour into prepared tin, smooth out with a spatula. Pop into a hot oven, cook for 25-30 minutes. Leave to cool for a few minutes, cut into squares. These will last a few days in an airtight container, if you can resist them!

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ramblingmads

Make this tonight: lettuce gratin

Make this tonight: lettuce gratin

This is a great way to get more veggies into your diet, and can be vegan or vegetarian as well. It’s adapted from a far more complicated Hugh Fearnley-Whittingsall recipe previously published in the Guardian newspaper.

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Photo from The Guardian

Ingredients

Cos type lettuces (I use two baby gems)
Olive oil
Sea salt
Black pepper
Celery
Peas
Spring onions
Pancetta cubes
Parmesan cheese
Bread crumbs (I used Japanese panko)

Wash and chop the lettuce, drain thoroughly. Toss with oil, salt and pepper. Put it in a casserole dish. Roast at 200°c for 25 minutes – keep an eye on it, do not let it burn.

While the lettuce roasts, wash and chop your celery and spring onions. Fry them in a pan with the pancetta, add the peas (I use them from frozen), season with pepper (if not using pancetta you could add a little salt).

Remove the lettuce from the oven, scatter the veg and pancetta over the lettuce. Reserve any liquid in the pan.

Sprinkle grated Parmesan over the gratin. Fry the breadcrumbs lightly in the preserved oil and fat. Scatter over the gratin. Return to oven for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese and brown the breadcrumbs.

Serve on its own or with some crusty bread.

To make it vegetarian/vegan omit the pancetta, and switch the Parmesan for a dairy free hard cheese. You can add any other veggies that appeal too.

ramblingmads

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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ramblingmads