Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Middle Eastern Salad with Orange & Feta

Yes.... it was high time I made a salad, and so I had a scurry about in my recipe books and I found the perfect match! Clean enough to be considered healthy, but also had those hearty ingredients that keep you full for longer!

Once I served it on a bed of spinach leaved, and the second time I had it along with some fragrant bulgur wheat with currants, both excellent! The latter was a little more filling mind you!

Note: I added some artichokes cause I was lucky enough to have some in the fridge, and you can easily swap the sundried tomatoes for normal ones, and use olive oil or sunflower oil for frying.

Ps. For vegan, you can add some cashews or sliced almonds, lightly toasted, or some friend tofu!

Middle Eastern Salad with Orange & Feta
(Serves 2)

A handful sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped + 2 tbsp of the oil
1 tsp coriander seeds
4 Spring onions/half an onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
A good few pieces of artichoke in oil (optional)
Juice and grated rind of 1/2 lime
1 orange, peeled and diced
As many olives as you like! I used about 75-100g
75g feta, diced
Handful fresh coriander leaves or basil
Salt and black pepper to serve

- Start by heating the oil in a medium-sized frying pan, then add the coriander seeds and fry for about a minute until fragrant - before adding the onion and garlic, soften for about 5 minutes.

- Add the (sundried) tomatoes, and artichokes (If using), and fry for a further few minutes, allowing the flavours to come together (right now...over me - yes, turn on the Beatles if you want to!).

- Take it off the heat, before adding the remaining ingredients, toss lightly and serve on a bed of leaves with some good bread, or fragrant bulgur wheat or cous cous, and enjoy!

And here is what most of my mornings/evenings/post dinner-times have looked like the last few days! I love making chocolate at home *smiles*

I hope you have a lovely Tuesday! Much planned?

Original source:
Delicious Low-Fat Recipes, p. 105

- Jules

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Coconut & Cinnamon Popcorn

.....because, why not make a healthy snack at home that tastes delicious?

I find having corn kernels at hand is way easier than having to buy the already popped corn - which isn't fresh anyhow, and that's half the experience lost, right?

A bowl of still warm, lovely, fragrant popcorn - score!

It was when I was asking my friends for advise to flavours for popcorn that my old colleague, and friend - Maura, told me to simply fry the corn kernels in coconut oil, and give them a light dusting of cinnamon afterwards. A total treat!

Coconut & Cinnamon Popcorn
(Serves 1-2)

1/4 cup popcorn kernels
1 tbsp coconut oil
Cinnamon, for dusting

- In a medium casserole, melt the coconut oil on high heat, and add the corn kernels. Place a lid on top, and shake every few seconds, to make sure the corn doesn't burn and gets heated up evenly. Continue until it is finished popping, and then, sprinkle with cinnamon, place the lid back on and give it a good shake before transferring it to a bowl.

Serve simply on its own, or with a good movie and one of your besties *smiles*

Recipe by yours truly, and Maura! (Thanks darling x)

- Jules

Thursday, 25 June 2015

naturlig godt! Review

Ragnhild is one of the loveliest people I know of. She has that raw, Norwegian passion, for life, love, for food and she always puts a smile on my face when I read her blog - which has become more and more of an inspiration for myself.

She combines more traditional vegan recipes with some pretty nifty new conbinations that you would never have dreamed of. I just hope that maybe she can also release a recipe book in English - maybe if you ask her pretty please, with a cherry on top?

I remember when she told us that she had bought herself a brand new camera, and that she had an exciting time ahead - I was so so curious, and then she announced it: She was going to publish a leaflet with delicious dishes, and I could not have been more excited! Finally I could get my paws on the recipes, and I didn't have to jot them down on little pieces of paper torn out from my abundance of notepads. I could simply just fetch it - do my food shop-planning, and off I went... on my own little mission.

I had already made a few of her recipes, such as her infamous and super-easy recipe for the BEST dark chocolate, four ingredients - and you're good to go! I made a Black forest version of it once, and have made many variations of it since, just check out my "sweets" section!

Raw pizza-bites, anyone?

Cleverly, she has divided it into three categories:
Breakfast - Lunch & Dinner - All things sweet!

This fresh, vegan strawberry milk was a treat! I can imagine that, along with some of her tropical doughnuts would be an amazing start to the day, come rain or shine - it's bound to put a smile on your face.... *daydreams*

Out of the dinner dishes, I have made the pizza bites that you saw above, as well as her "cauliflower wings" - who needs them chicken wings anyway? The sauce was absolutely delicious as well!

This is made with a sticky cauliflower rice in place of the traditional sushi rise, and you know what? It works a treat! Then there was the lovely salad feat. passionfruit tangerines and avocado!

Then, as you might have seen, I also made her vegan sushi!

Moving on to the sweet section - ah, just thinking about those delicious things! Most of them feature chocolate, and I cannot say I blame her! I also made her coconut ice cream, with my own little twist!

I can not wait to try all the other dishes that I haven't yet had the time to make, and if you speak or understand Norwegian, I would definitely recommend it!
Actually.... even if you want to learn a new language and make food at the same time, I am sure this would be a pretty good way of doing it too!

The photography is lovely, and Ragnhild got her brother to design the recipe collection and put it together - what a team!

Fancy a copy? Head over to her blog here, and in a few clicks - you'll have something magic on the way to you in the mail *smiles*

What are your favourite vegan recipes?

x J

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Tanzanian Mchicha

After having had a little bit of Tanzanian inspiration, and was told to listen to some African pop music the other day, I thought it was the perfect opportunity to look up some classic recipes from aforementioned part of the world. I haven't cooked African food in so so long, so it sure was about time!

Being a big fan of spinach, I did not hesitate jotting down this recipe when I came across it! I didn't have curry powder at hand though, so I had to make my own curry spice as I went along, which made it even more exciting when it came out actually tasting like it! I even had to make a phonecall to another cook who knows more about what spices belongs to what part of the world - I really need to improve upon my geography skills, both facts and foods... Anyway, here it is: Mchicha! Humble, quick, and packet full of flavour.

Tanzanian Mchicha
(Serves 3-4, served with rice)

3 tbsp butter (oil for vegan)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large/two small tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp curry powder
1 cup coconut milk
700g spinach (I mixed frozen and fresh - use what you've got!)
Rice to serve

- Start by melting the butter in a large casserole, and add your onion, tomato, peanut butter, salt and curry powder, soften for about five minutes. Add a splash of water if it goes a little dry, and stir continuously.

- If serving with rice, please take this into consideration when cooking!

- Now, add the spinach and cook for 15-20 minutes until it has completely wilted, ten minutes in, you can add the coconut milk. Season to taste, before serving with rice.

I hope you enjoy it! I was surprised at how quickly it was ready - not a bad thing ;)

So, last week... I found a little mobilution in the flat...

"Nokia - connecting people...with the Julie", currently, I am using the second one from the top, the smart phone has a broken screen, but I don't mind, cause I need a phone with buttons anyway! The others work just fine, but it is funny to see how it hasn't really changed much for me over the years...

And yesterday, I had people over for Norwegian waffles and Scottish whisky!

I made a little waffle station and everything! Later on in the evening, we were invited to a little party some neighbours of us had, I haven't met them before - but I have missed just hanging out with the people who live around you *smiles*.

I also finished reading a book this weekend called "The Invisible Ones" by Stef Penney, it was a really good read!

I hope you are enjoying your weekend! Have you been up to much?

Original Source:

- Jules

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Deliciously Vegan Sushi

After deciding to move over to a vegetarian diet about three months ago, the only thing I have really craved a few times - is fish, and seafood in general... But then... then I came across a beautiful recipe for sushi, and it was vegan!

Before this, I didn't even know you could eat cauliflower, but it turns out that it is no pro-ble-mo! And with the tahini and lime juice, you get this "sticky rice" texture, perfect when rolling up some sushi!

I didn't have carrots, so I left that out, but it doesn't matter. Should you have some at hand though, do feel free to add them for some extra crunch!

It must be said - my sushi-rolling skills could be improved upon...quite...a bit, sigh!

Deliciously Vegan Sushi
(Serves 2)

For the "rice"
1/2 head cauliflower, grated or processed
2 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 lime
Good pinch of salt

For the filling:
1 carrot, sliced into thin ribbons
1/2 small mango, sliced
1/2 avocado, sliced
2 spring onions, finely chopped

3-4 nori sheets

For the sauce:
Juice of 1/2 orange
2 tbsp almond or cashew butter
A good pinch of salt

- Start by making the rice: Grate the cauliflower on a grater, or process in a blender until it has a "ricy" texture, stir in tahini, lime and salt and set aside.

- Then, prepare all the vegetables and the mango, and lay out so that you have a somewhat organised work station.

- Place one nori sheet at a time at a sushi mat, fill half the sheet with a layer of the cauliflower rice, and in the middle of that, place some of the veggies and mango in a nice even line. Wrap up as tightly as you can, then wet your hand with some water and brush the edge of the nori-sheet, to allow it to seal properly. Repeat until there is no more rice or filling left.

- Now, use a sharp knife and cut inch-thick pieces of the vegan rolls, so you end up with a lovely plate of fresh makis.

- Last step! Simply squeeze orange juice and mix in the almond/cashew butter and salt until you have a lovely dip.

Serve up the sushi, and spoon over the dressing, and tuck in! These were gone in a flash! I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

So after having had a week and a half's holiday (dang, that was nice!), and getting my 'Murican friend addicted to Irn Bru amongst other Scottish things, things are now back to the way they were before, except - my camera is messing up... WHAT is that all about? For some reason it is refusing for me to transfer photos on to my laptop... So if I go a little quiet, that is probably the reason.

Also, yesterday I was lucky enough to have a friend over who'd asked if I could teach him how to cook up some vegan food! That was a lot of fun, and we made a lot of stuff!

As a starter, we had homemade classic hummous, with falafels with zingy guacamole and pita bread.

(Give a man hummous and he will be full for a day, teach a man to make hummous, and he'll never be hungry again! ...or something along those lines *smiles*).

Then, we veganified the 20-minute Dreamy Satay, and served it on a bed of fragrant, fluffy basmati rice.

For dessert, ve had yogi yogi chai tea and some homemade chocolates (close to this) and it was a success!

Time spent with friends, catching up, cooking and sharing a meal - there is something magical about that....

Original source:
Naturlig Godt! p. 18

- Jules

Friday, 12 June 2015

Coconut & Rum Ice Cream with Mango

We are on a sweet streak! How how could we not when the weather is like this? Fifth day in a row with scorching sun, you'd hardly believe it was Scotland - but it is, and I love it!

So far it has been a lovely week off, and we have fitted plenty of things! Tchai Ovna, tripes to the Botanics and Kelvingrove, visited Auchentoshan Whisky Distillery, seen friends, played Monopoly (I lost both times...), and yesterday we went to Edinburgh - up Arthur's Seat, followed by a great tour at the Mary King's Close, then dinner at two of my best friends - haggis, cause my friend simply cannot have come all this way without trying it, and it was a success!

Tonight, we are having a few friends over for a few drinks and catching up, so I am looking forward to that *smiles* In the meantime, here's some ice cream!

Inspired by the book Naturlig Godt! I decided to experiment with Ragnhild's recipe for coconut ice cream, I added some rum essence, and some mango, and there you have it!

I have mentioned Norwegian "skoleboller" before, and tried to transform the flavours of it into other treats, and this here is now added to the list. It is dairy free, vegan, and definitely counts as one of your five a day, despite tasting devilishly creamy!

Maybe serve it up with some crisp banana crumble? Or topped with tropical fruits? Go for it!

Coconut & Rum Ice Cream with Mango
(Serves 2)

400ml can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
A few drops of rum essence
2 tbsp agave syrup
1/2 mango, small dice
A handful dried coconut, to garnish with

- Start by shaking the coconut milk, before opening it and pouring it into a container, the stir in the vanilla, rum essence along with the agave.

- Peel the mango (easiest done by making a "mango hedgehog") and chop the fruit into small dice. Now, fold the mango into the cream.

- Either use an icecream machine and let it do its tha-eng, or do as I did (since I don't have a fancy apparatus to do it for me) and place it in the freezer and stir every half hour - to prevent the ice cream from crystalising.

- Once set, served topped with sliced coconut, tropical fruit, alongside a warm crumble or apple pie, or simple get a spoon and tuck in!

Inspired by the one and only Ragnhild Nordrum, recipe by yours truly,

- Jules

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Très Bien Banana Crumble

Now, at one of my good friends' parties, after a fair few drinks (too many), the conversation lead to talk of food - Jill had made some fantastic chocolatey muffins with green frosting, and then... then a Frenchman brought - banana crumble! I insisted, despite not having any paper at hand, that I needed the recipe for the crumble, and so it was a snuck a piece of a packet of icing sugar, and I got it my way... *sneaky look*

It is simple, yet delicious, with a perfectly golden crust. I made it myself for my new flatmate's flatwarming a little while back, and as I was told "It's got bananas in it, potassium is great for hangovers!"... Any excuse right?

Anyway, come rain or shine, bananas is one of the staple foods I need to have in my house, otherwise...things just don't seem right, they are perfect to grab on the go, if you don't have time in the morning it is a better option than to skip breakfast (...it must be said I always make time for breaky though, but often have it as part of the meal), and now I have been proven: It is perfect in crumbles!

Make sure to get bananas that are well ripe, sweet and potentially the pattern of a yellow and brown giraffe-dalmatian, y'know? Aye, those ones!

Très Bien Banana Crumble
(Serves 6-8)

250g butter at room temperature (I used Flora light)
400g flour
200g oats
250g brown sugar
10 bananas
Caramel (optional, I skipped this)

- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.

- Start by making the crumble, in a bowl, mix the butter, flour, oats and sugar until you have "some biscuit scramble" to quote my friend. Set aside.

- Now, mash the bananas, and if you are using caramel, now is the time to use it to coat the bananas. Layer this in the base of an oven proof dish. Then, drizzle over the crumble to coat all across the top.

- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 40-60 minutes until golden and crisp. Serve warm on it's own, or with some icecream, whipped cream, or just cream-cream on the side. Enjoy!

This was the recipe I had to decipher, it was written after a few drinks, and the piece of cardboard was pretty small!

Want more banana inspiration? Just hit the search bar, and plenty of more sweet (and some savoury!) recipes will pop up *smiles*

I just started my holiday today, and am pretty excited about it! A friend of mine is coming over from the States, and so I'll be a tourist in my "own" country. Today, a friend and I went to Meadow Road for coffee, followed by a little trip to the charity shop where we made some pretty good bargains! OH! And one of the plants that I planted last weekend has started sprouting - exciting ^ ^

Tonight I'll be meeting up with a few old colleagues of mine, so that'll be nice, just making a batch of granola at the moment and the whole flat smells of coconut and cinnamon, mmmmm! What have you got on the agenda for your weekend?

Original source:
Nino (merci!)

- Jules

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Martha's-Style Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potato & Broccoli

So there is this lovely place in town called Martha's, and they whip us some amazing sweet and savoury dishes, in one of my old jobs, we would sometimes be treated to lunch delivered from it.

One of my favourite salads, was a humble one, consisting of some leaves, shredded beetroot, quinoa, and some fresh vegetables!

And so it was Julie decided to make it at home, because life is too short, and I wanted so make it into a main salad and also have it for lunches. If you get around to try it out, I hope you like it as much as I do!

Martha's-Style Quinoa Salad with Sweet Potato & Broccoli
(Serves 2-3)

1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice from 1/3 lime or 1/4 lemon
Salt to taste
1 sweet potato, diced
1/3 head broccoli, cut into florets
3 handfuls of mixed leaves with shredded beetroot

- Start by cooking the quinoa as instructed on the packet, but add the 1 tsp vegetable stock powder.

- Prepare the sweet potato and broccoli, and boil up water. First start by cooking the sweet potatoes for 7 minutes, then add the broccoli florets and cook for 3-5 minutes until the broccoli is the way you like it.

- Once the quinoa is done, add 1 tbsp of olive oil, the lime/lemon juice and salt to taste and fluff up with a fork.

- Plate up the salad! A handful of leaves, topped with quinoa, then followed by the sweet potato and broccoli, et voila! You've done it!

Inspired by Martha's,

Yours truly,

- Jules

Monday, 1 June 2015

Yogi Chai Chocolate Smoothie

Rose of The Clean Kitchen couldn't keep this recipe to herself, and now I can't either, seriosuly - it is soooo good!

Over the last few weeks, the smoothie craze has hit the food world, and they are whipping them up East, West, North and South. So it was Julie here decided to try her hands on one herself - I hadn't made smoothies in what seems like forever ago, and then this... Mmmmm...

The chai tea I used, was Yogi Yogi Chai curtesy of the almight Tchai Ovna (One of my favourite places on Earth!), brewed on almond milk and chilled for a couple of hours.

I am tempted to try it without cocoa next time, just to see what the flavours will be like then, but for now - chocolate, cause you know it's good for you! Make the tea the night before and you'll have this little number for breakfast in less than five minutes!

Yogi Chai Chocolate Smoothie
(Serves 1)

1 cup brewed milky chai tea, cooled for a couple of hours or overnight
2 chopped frozen bananas
1/3 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp almond butter
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp maple syrup or other syrup (for vegan) or honey

- Add all the ingredients in a tall jug, and whizz with a stick blender, or use a blender until you have a silky smooth chocolate chai smoothie, sit back, take a deep breath, and enjoy....

Possibly the best tea ever!

Also, yesterday I was feeling like I should do something productive, and so it was I decided to get some seeds and plant some stuff!

Peas and spinach actually! I was a little puzzled when the woman in the shop asked if I was going to do some planting when I was buying the seeds, not quiiiite sure what else they would be good for, hah!

Bad puns all the way!

I hope you have had a good start to your week, any plans? I was going to go to the gym after work today, but it was pouring down so badly, and I got drenched, plus my umbrella broke, soooo I think I will just try and do some yoga in the flat instead *smiles* How did you start your Monday?

Original source:

- Jules