Hi there my lovelies!
Sorry for the silence here on the blog this week. Deadlines are coming up so I have to prioritise that for now! I’ve still taken my time to try out some amazing recipes I’ve come across online though. It’s important to take the time to make yourself some good and nutritious food even during very busy times. Your body needs it more than ever and it will help you perform in whatever you are doing.
I absolutely love falafel but have only ever made them at home once and they weren’t great. Last Friday we dared to attempt it once more with a recipe from a great blog I recently found, Trinity’s Conscious Kitchen. When it said sweet potato and falafel in the same name I knew it was something I had to try! Making falafel is super easy even though you have to take the time to roll them into balls I think it is definitely worth the small extra effort. Then you just pop them into the oven and that’s you.
These falafels were so delicious and both Jamie and I were in food heaven, the sweet potato makes them so beautifully moist on the inside and in combination with the wonderful crunch on the outside, yum! We were both so happy that we’d made a double batch (we almost ate them all). Jamie had them in wraps with salad and I had it with salad. Plus how amazing is that colour from the turmeric?
The cherry on top was the guacamole, I just thought it was worth a try and it was a match made in heaven. I make my guacamole for two people with one avocado, one or two garlic cloves, about a quarter of a lemon, finished off with some salt and pepper. Then I mash it all up on plate because I love a bit of texture but you can blend it too if you want it silky smooth. It’s really easy and I’ve had a lot of great things about my guacamole from friends, which makes me so happy. Not that it’s very difficult but it’s always nice to hear!
We made some slight alterations to our falafels, since neither of us are huge coriander fans we only used a little bit. We used salt to taste and had slightly less olive oil than the original recipe. We also added more ground cumin and since we both love spice, cayenne pepper was added. We didn’t have chickpea flour at home so we used brown rice flour instead, which worked really well.
Yesterday I made them again for a nice Friday treat (I could live of these pretty much) and decided to steam the sweet potato until soft instead of boiling them, to preserve the nutrients (it took about 20 minutes). Boiling is not that great for vegetables and you end up loosing a lot of their nutritional value. We don’t have a steamer so we use our large stockpot, put some water in it, put our metal siv on top, throw in the veg and put a lid on top. Works like a charm! Steaming the sweet potato worked just as well and the falafels were as dreamy as the last time. I also left them slightly longer in the oven for more crispiness.
Here is a link to the recipe. Please try it, it is an incredible meal! I can’t wait to try more recipes from Trinity’s blog.
Jam on pancakes is very tasty but they are ridiculously packed with sugar and cooked until there are no nutrients left in those gorgeous berries. That’s why raw jams are such a great alternative! I think they even taste better because of how fresh they are. Another huge plus is that you control entirely how much sweetener you want in your jam.
All you need is your choice of whatever berries you like (I used raspberries and blueberries because that’s what you have in drottningsylt), chia seeds and a natural sweetener. I used coconut nectar sugar, however I’m sure maple syrup, honey or agave would work just as well. You might need a little bit of water depending on the juiciness of your berries.
Throw it all into your blender (how much sweetener you use is up to how sweet you like it and chia seeds you just need under a teaspoon is what I think I used for about 200g of berries). Blend until you get a smooth consistency and then pop it into the fridge for a bout half an hour. Then serve it your porridge, pancakes, scones… You name it!
After breakfast, brunch is probably my favourite meal of the day. I love having a nice relaxing meal during the weekend (or weekdays, why only settle for the weekend?) and eggs is usually the way to go for me. Pancakes used to be a favourite as well but as I changed my lifestyle, eating pancakes out in restaurants has become less and less tempting. It’s just not worth the greasiness, sugar and the fat that’s in them. For me a lot of the joy from eating something is not only that it tastes delicious but also that it’s good and nourishing for my body. Yes I do go out and eat other not so great things as well but the majority of the time this is how I think. That was why I was thrilled when I discovered Farm Girl (on Instagram of course) and their buckwheat pancakes that looked a bit like a slice of heaven.
Farm Girl is tucked away in a little courtyard on Portobello Road in Notting Hill. It is inspired by the healthy Aussie lifestyle and everything on their menu looks incredible. I loved the interior of their beautiful café, teal is one of my favourite colours and so of course I loved their stunning tiled walls! Their sofas were so big and comfy you could almost go for a nap after your meal, it was tempting. The place feels incredibly airy with huge windows out towards the courtyard. The girl that served us was so friendly and helpful and it was probably the best customer experience we had during our trip.
As soon as I saw their chai coconut milk latte on their menu I knew that would be my drink of choice! I really need to make it at home. It is heaven in a cup! Now when I’m stuck drinking my tea when I’m out for “coffee” with friends in Glasgow I realise more and more what a shame it is that no place offers it… The chai latte was stunning and it was very difficult for me not to drink it all in one go.
I wanted to try pretty much everything on the menu, so making up my mind was so difficult! However, we settled with avocado on toast with pomegranate on top! An interesting addition that I couldn’t wait to try. We both added some poached eggs (my favourite form of eggs). Of course we had to order the pancakes as well even though we knew the our avocado toast would fill us up haha.
The food was amazing! The pomegranate really added an extra dimension and it is something I would definitely put on my avocado toast at home. The pancakes, WOW! They were genuinely the best pancakes we’ve had. So fluffy and light. They tasted like clouds! I’m salivating as I’m writing this post just at the thought of those gorgeous pancakes. You could really tell why this was their most popular dish, as our lovely waitress pointed out when we ordered it. Lucky Londoners who can pop in here for a brunch whenever they want. They even deliver through Deliveroo! Now that would just be straight out dangerous having that option…
If I could I teleport myself to this lovely place whenever my brunch cravings kicked in, I would be one happy girl but for now I’ll just have to dream about this place and do my best to get back to London soon.
Here are some photos of what I got up to this Valentine’s weekend! Jamie and I went out on the Friday and decided to for Italian. We only really have Italian in Spain usually. They have a restaurant with the best Italian food ever in the town Jamie’s parents live and we’re scared that nothing else will measure up 😛 But we thought we would give La Lanterna a go after reading great things about them. It was all really nice, I think we both decided the starters and dessert were the highlights of our meal. For us to say the desserts were the highlight really says something, we like dessert but usually prefer our main courses. The cheesecake was to die for and the apple tart followed closely behind.
We also tried out some of Juice Garden’s newest cold press juices during the weekend. Black Lemonade was delicious whilst the House Juice tasted a lot like perfume and I couldn’t finish it. I don’t know whether we happened to get a bad batch (juices do vary slightly in flavour) but I didn’t think the different flavours quite went together…
On Saturday morning I was at the the Lululemon showroom for their weekly yoga class. It was incredible and the yoga instructor Scott was amazing and made everyone giggle throughout the class. I felt so great and relaxed afterwards! On Sunday it was time for Sweaty Sunday in the showroom and the incredible Cat led a crossfit style bootcamp. Her squat challenge at the end was a killer!
On actual Valentine’s day Jamie was working in the evening so I got had the amazing company of my amazing girls! We had a potluck dinner and I brought a vegan lentil and sweet potato curry, Deliciously Ella’s apple crumble with a cashew cream I threw together and some cheese. I love potlucks as you can get really inspired by other’s cooking and you can also make sure that there is something there that is a healthier option for you to have. We had loads of amazing salads and other dishes that everyone had brought. I stuck to the veggie dishes and one of my friends had made an incredible sweet potato salad that I have to make at home some time! By bringing a dessert you can also make sure you have a healthier option so you don’t miss out on the goodness. I was so full after our feast!
Yes I did have time to study in between all the fun, don’t worry! This week is going to be extremely busy. I’m trying to get all my dissertation interviews out of the way so I can focus on transcribing and then write up my results, analysis and finish this project off. I still have long way to go but I’m gradually getting there.
Today I was slightly overwhelmed, sometimes the stress just hits you. I was glad I had planned in a gym visit because it helps so much working out when you are stressed. You get to shut out whatever is on your mind and focus on something entirely different! I really believe exercise is vital when you are stressed and that is probably when you need it the most. Making exercise a priority in your busy life can really help! It has for me. So get moving my dears!