Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Saffron Soul - Chickpea tikkis

Hello peeps, well its been a while shall we say, I have been up to all sorts of things which I plan to put in a round up post soon but as of yet I haven't gotten round to it sorry! 

One thing I have got ready though is this post about a rather lovely cook book called Saffron Soul by Mira Manek that I was sent to review along with the book from my last post so as you might guess this post is a little late.....

This is a gorgeous recipe book filled with mouth watering recipes backed up with gorgeous photography, I really love to see what I am making is supposed to look like and this book does just that. I said yes to reviewing this book one because it looked and sounded great and two because I am all about this kind of food. I'd actually go so far to say that Indian cuisine is probably my favourite source of food I love the spice and flavour plus there is lots of vegetarian options which suits me as I am trying to cut meat out of my diet but thats a whole other blog post! 

Mira's style of food is a modern take on classic Indian recipes which have been inspired by her mother and grandmothers cooking, she uses basic ingredients such as lentils, grains and spices and shows how these simple everyday items are filled with health benefits. There is so many good looking recipes in this book I found it hard to choose which one I would feature on here but eventually I decided on these chickpea tikkis which by the way are bloody delicious! 

Chickpea Tikkis

Tikki ingredients:

1 x 400g can of chickpeas, drained
1/2 tsp coconut oil or rapeseed oil, plus 2-3 tsp for frying
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, ginger and chilli paste*
1/2 tsp garam masala or chaat masala
1 green chilli, finely chopped, optional
2 Tbsp tahini 
1-2 Tbsp coarsely ground peanuts
handful of chopped coriander leaves
5 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp himalayan salt
small bowl of sesame seeds

To make:

Immerse the chickpeas in a saucepan or bowl of boiling water for a few minutes so they soften and are easier to mash. Drain the water and mash the chickpeas.

Heat the oil in a medium-large saucepan, add the onion. Stir for a couple of minutes on a low heat and then add the garlic, ginger and chilli paste*, garam masala and green chilli. Stir again for half a minute then add the mashed chickpeas, tahini, peanuts, coriander, water and salt then stir together and take off the heat. 

Divide the chickpea mixture into 8 and roll between your palms to form balls, then flatten to form tikkis. Heat a frying pan and melt 1 Tbsp of coconut oil in the pan.

Dip each tikki in sesame seeds and place half the tikkis in the pan, adding a few more drops of oil round each tikki so it cooks well. Leave to cook on a low heat for a couple of minutes until the underside is lightly browned and then turn the tikkis. Again, add a few drops of oil around each tikki and let them cook for a minute or two. Turn again if necessary and add more oil if required. Repeat with the rest of the tikkis. 

Serve hot with yogurt sauce**,tamarind and date chutney** and a wedge of lemon or lime to squeeze. 

* I used fresh garlic, ginger and chilli instead of the paste
** yogurt sauce and tamarind and date chutney recipes can be found in this book

I invited my sister round for dinner and made these tikkis for her, we had a yummy fresh salad on the side and she made a vegan yogurt, tahini and lemon dressing which was delicious! The tikkis were so tasty, really nice nutty spiced flavour and they were really filling too. They kind of remind me of a nutty falafel, they would be perfect for vegan pattie options at a BBQ or popped in a wrap/pitta for a healthy filling lunch or just straight up with a dip...very tasty and very versatile. 

 If you want to see more from Mira you can check out her Twitter and Instagram accounts for some tasty food inspiration. 

Sunday, 7 May 2017

Sweet Inspiration From Sumayya Usmani

Hi all and Happy May, five months in already!! Last month was very busy at work and at home so as always the blog was on the back burner but this month is looking pretty quiet at least at home so hopefully I can get down and dirty with the keyboard as I have lots to blog about. Like this blog today which I have been meaning to do for ages. 

I was sent this beautiful recipe book by Sumayya Usmani called Mountain Berries and Desert Spice a little while ago now and just didn't have time to sit down read it and bake something from it. When I got the time I was so glad because the recipes in this book are wonderful, I haven't heard of many of the sweet treats featured but they look and sound delicious. All the recipes are inspired by Sumayya's native Pakistan and her family's traditional recipes which include some of my favourite flavours like cardamon and rose. There were so many sweet and tasty options it was hard to choose which I wanted to make but I love cookies so I was drawn towards these yummy chickpea flour shortbreads. 

I'm going to share Sumayya's original recipe and the alterations I made as I don't eat a couple of the original ingredients, but they tasted awesome so I'm sure either way these shortbreads are fab! 

Nan-e nokhochi
Chickpea flour shortbread with cloves

Original Recipe:

200g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
250g caster sugar
3-4 cardamon pods, seeds removed and finely ground
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp rose water
350g gram flour, plus extra for dusting
1tbsp slivered pistachios 

Prep: 20 mins + 1hr chilling Cooking: 25 mins Makes: 10-12

Combine the melted butter, sugar, cardamon, cloves and rose water in a bowl and beat with a spoon until smooth, white and creamy. Add the chickpea flour and mix for 1 minute until the dough is no longer sticky. 

Dust and clean a work surface with chickpea flour and knead the dough for about 2-3 minutes. Flatten the dough with your hand until it is about 2cm/3/4 inch thick, then wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. 

Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/gas mark 2 and grease a baking tray.

Unwrap the dough on a work surface. Using a 4cm flower or 4 petal biscuit cutter, cut out 10-12 biscuits and place on the prepared baking tray, spacing them at least 2.5cm apart to allow them to spread during cooking.

Press 1-2 slivers of pistachio on top and bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for 10 days. 

My alterations:

200g butter for 200g of coconut oil - because I don't eat lots of butter and if I do it is lactose free
250g caster sugar for 250g of coconut sugar - because I prefer coconut sugar 
pistachios for sesame seeds - because the shop only had salted pistachios which I didn't fancy!

Wow these cookies pack a punch of flavour and they certainly didn't last long round here, as soon as Dale sniffed them out! The cardamon, rose and cloves are just harmonious together and I will definitely be indulging in these again although not too often as they are definitely a sweet treat! 

I'm looking forward to making more of the recipes from this beautiful cook book such as the cardamon and rose water marzipan lace, carrot rice pudding and spiced floral truffles, I mean don't they sound amazing?!

If you you want to find out more about Sumayya you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Cacao, Peanut and Bee Pollen Brownie Bites Featuring Indigo Herbs

Hello all, how are we, did you have a nice Easter? I did although I drank too much cider on Good Friday which was not great, I did enjoy having four days off work, a long weekend is always nice. 

Now I ate way too much chocolate over Easter but that seems like ages ago so I am more then ready to eat more but I'm keeping it healthy at the mo with some yummy homemade brownie bites made with lots of healthy ingredients some of which came from the fabulous Indigo Herbs. I love Indigo Herbs, all their products are so good and you can get so many great ingredients in one place, if you love healthy whole foods, superfoods and herbs then you need to check them out. 

I used some great ingredients in my brownie bites which makes them perfect for a pre/post workout snack, breakfast on the go, daytime pick me up or a pudding. I can eat cacao anytime of the day and I'm pretty sure there are plenty of you that can too! 

Cacao, Peanut and Bee Pollen Brownie Bites

(makes 12-15)

1/2 cup Indigo Herbs cacao
200g medjool dates
1/2 Tbsp Indigo Herbs lucuma powder
1/2 Tbsp Indigo Herbs maca powder
4 Tbsp raw peanut butter
1 Tbsp bees pollen 
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 cups of unsweetened desiccated coconut

To make:

Put the coconut, dates, cacao, lucuma, maca and peanut butter in a high speed blender until you get the above consistency. Pour out the mixture into a bowl then add the bee pollen and chia seeds and mix them in, these can be omitted if you want to keep the brownie mix plain. Form balls to your preferred size with your hands.


Keep your brownie bites in the fridge and get them out 10 minutes before eating so they soften when you are wanting to get your snack attack on.

I've never made my own raw/energy bites before and it is so easy I will definitely be making more in different flavours so watch this space. 

Right lovely readers I need to get ready for the week ahead so I shall say farewell and hopefully see ya again this week. 

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Spring Time Smoothies in a Bowl with Dole Fridge Packs

Hello and happy April! I'm a bit late but my computer somehow got hacked and I have had to get that sorted before being able to pop in and say hi. What a nightmare I felt completely violated they got right into the depths of my computer system which was not good, thankfully though its all sorted now. Lucky as I have lots to blog about this month so I shall get on and share my first post with you.....

I was lucky enough to get some new Dole fridge packs to try out so with the weather turning warmer I new I was going to get my smoothie groove on and make some yummy smoothies in a bowl. I hardly ever have fruit other then bananas and sometimes frozen blueberries so it was nice to have other options to try out with. 

Dole's fridge packs are packaged in resealable pouches which makes them easy to store plus keeps the fruit nice and fresh. They contain ripe fruit and fruit juice only and can be eaten anyway you prefer, with yogurt or straight from the back as a snack on your breakfast or in cakes totally up to you but I new it was smoothies all the way for me. They come in 4 options Prunes, Peaches, Pineapple chunks and mixed fruit and you can find them in the tinned fruit section. They have also brought out a new range of frozen sealable fruit packs too which I am yet to try so keep your eyes peeled for those in the freezer section another product perfect for smoothies, yay! 

Prune, Cashew and Vanilla Smoothie in a Bowl


5 prunes
1/2 cup almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice
1 handful of cashews
3 Tbsp GF oats
3 Tbsp lactose free yogurt
5-6 ice cubes

To Make:

Put everything in a high speed blender, add more milk or ice if you prefer a thinner smoothie or keep it thick and serve in a bowl topped with your chosen toppings, I had gluten free granola and hemp seeds.

Peach, Cashew and Vanilla Smoothie in a Bowl


1/2 pack peach slices
1/2 cup almond milk
1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice
1 handful of cashews
3 Tbsp GF oats
3 Tbsp lactose free yogurt
5-6 ice cubes

To Make:

Put everything in a high speed blender, add more milk or ice if you prefer a thinner smoothie or keep it thick and serve in a bowl topped with your chosen toppings, I had gluten free granola and hemp seeds.


It feels like ages since I have enjoyed  smoothies in a bowl and with this warm spring weather I shall be enjoying them a lot more, especially these ones they were both so creamy and delicious and perfectly filling for breakfast, a great start to the day : )

Ok thats me for today, I hope you have been enjoying the sunshine today and have something fun planned for tomorrow, until next time x 

Friday, 24 March 2017

Thumbs Up

Hello all, how are we? I'd love to say I'm feeling fabulous but that would be a lie, I cut the end of my thumb off with a mandoline on Tuesday evening and it bloody hurt! Yes I was a complete kitchen fool and forgot there was a guard that I was supposed to use with it and I slipped and sliced the top of my thumb off.......I spent 5.5 hours in A&E, got bandaged up and sent on my way not the best way to start the week but hey lessoned learned....I will never use a mandoline ever again! 

Luckily I have today off so 3 day weekend yay and I only have to work Monday and Tuesday next week then have a week off which is good as there are so many grabby hands at work that put me on edge. I went to the docs today and had the dressing changed, the nurse said it looks healthy its just going to take a while to heal so no thumbs up from me for a while! 

Anyway enough about my sore thumb I've been eating some yummy food lately and wanted to share my food pics from this week.......

I like some weird flavour combos and peanut butter, marmite and cheese on toast is one of them, I love it. And this M&S gluten free bread is a total winner for me, if you have to eat gluten free you know how hard it is to find bread that actually tastes nice not just toasted but as a sandwich and this poppy seed loaf is so soft and fluffy perfect for a good old sarnie or as toast. I would definitely recommend trying it if your gluten free. 

Work lunches these days look a lot like this, veggies and rice either as is, with nuts or a protein. We make a meal the night before (enough for 4) and then box up half for the next days lunch. Above was rice with salt and pepper cashews and tomato pesto veggies, so delicious and filling perfect if your eating lunch in the car too! 

It seems like ages since I have eaten an avocado and this beauty was perfectly ripe and topped with a little pink himalayan salt which made the flavour pop. Avocados are one of my favourite food items so I'm definitely going to be getting them more often then I have, they're perfect for snacks and as part of a meal or smoothie so they need to be on the shopping list from now on. 

Cake! I love cake, obviously who doesn't, and this was so tasty although I think it could of done with 5 more minutes in the oven but it was yummy all the same. Another different flavour combo was used for my cake, lemon, rose and courgette to be precise which worked so well that I'll be trying it out again hopefully today if I can cook with my angry thumb! If it goes well I'll be sharing the recipe with you guys as I know you all love cake as much as me : )

So friends have a fab weekend and I'll be back to check in soon. 

Friday, 17 March 2017

Its All About Pomora Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Hello peeps, how are we and how is March treating you? I'm all good, work is busy as ever but I am definitely feeling a little more settled there which is nice maybe I was a little quick to judge?

Lucky me I have a 3 day weekend so I thought I'd drop in and say hi and share with you a post that I have been meaning to do for months! Ages ago I was sent some delicious Pomora extra virgin olive oil to try out and boy have I been trying it out its awesome and so tasty, it literally changes the depth of a meal and makes my taste buds sing. Before I share some yummy eats I have made with my oils let me give a little background on Pomora and how their company works...its really cool!

Pomora is an adoption programme, you adopt an olive tree and receive olive oil throughout the year. Pomora don't have any physical shops so they cut out the middle man which means more money goes to the farmers and the local community, they use sustainable farming methods looking after the land and giving you high quality product which you can definitely taste. There are two different regions to choose from which each have their own unique taste, to me both are really good plus you can choose from plain olive oil or a range of flavours. You can check the details out here

I have been making all sorts of different meals with my oils so here is a few ideas I have been revisiting time and time again, because they taste so good! 

Pesto....I have been making pesto with cashews and either parsley or basil and the plain extra virgin olive oil.

It makes a great dressing for pasta with veggies and using the cashews in the pesto makes this really filling, this would be a perfect meal for the spring season that is upon us.

For fish I have definitely fallen in love with the lemon and chilli oils they make a perfect combo to drizzle on a prawn stir fry they just liven up with meal and the chilli gives a good kick! 

The lemon oil goes really well with this flaked trout, carrot and rice combo....hmmmmm I need to eat this again it was so good.

More veggies and pasta! Drizzled with garlic oil oh yes hello!

You could use these oils drizzled on hot food or simple salads to liven things up whatever your food groove is these oils will up the anti and make your meals even more awesome definitely worth a try if you ask me. So if like me you love getting your daily does of good healthy fats you need some Pomora in your life, check them out and let me know what you think.

Right I'm off to meet my sister and a friend for coffee so I better get ready, have a fabulous Friday readers : )

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Gluten Free Sweet Potato and Tuna Patties

See I'm back, thats the second time this month already hopefully I can keep on a roll! 

I had a pretty lazy weekend, I got up for my hot yoga session Saturday morning then went home to hibernate away from the rain and cold which was lovely. No where to be I just got to hang out with Sid and catch up on some series I have been watching. I did decide to try out a pattie recipe that has been sat in my mind on Saturday night and it was a hit so I thought I'd do a quick blog post and share the recipe with you as they rocked! 

I love fish cakes/patties and the flavours I used worked and other then the oil they were cooked in these are pretty healthy which is a bonus.

Gluten Free Sweet Potato and Tuna Patties

You need:

2-3 medium sweet potatoes
2 cans of tuna
1 bunch of spring onions
2 eggs
gluten free plain flour
2 slices gluten free bread
1 tsp chilli flakes*
salt and pepper
olive or coconut oil for frying

To Make:

Wash the sweet potatoes (if needed) then put in the microwave and cook on high until all potatoes are soft.

Chop the spring onions and add to large mixing bowl along with the tuna, chilli and 1 egg, mix then once the potatoes are cooked scoop out the flesh and add to the bowl and mix. Season with salt and pepper and mix again.

Use an electric chopper and blend the bread into breadcrumbs and put in a bowl, whisk the other egg  put in a bowl and add 2-3 Tbsp's of gluten free flour in a third bowl. 

Make patties with your hands to whatever size you wish (I went big) and pat into flour, dip in the whisked egg then finally the breadcrumbs and set them down on a board. Once you have made all the patties get a frying pan on the hob.

Put either coconut oil or olive oil in the warmed pan and heat until a few bubbles appear (you'll need 2-3 Tbsp's of oil) carefully place your patties in the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until each side is golden brown. 

Serve with salad and enjoy! 

*I use lazy chilli in a jar, you can obviously use fresh I just didn't have any to hand. 


See an incredibly easy recipe to make these really tasty patties which are also very filling, I made 4 giant patties but you could make more and probably feed 4 people. Me and Dale are just piggy! 

Let me know if you get a chance to try these bad boys out, have a great Tuesday!