Hi everyone, hope we are all happy and well! I’m in a super happy mood this evening, I’ve enjoyed a great weekend!
Yesterday James surprised me by buying a bunch of flowers for no reason other than ‘just because’. I thought that was so lovely, who says romance is dead eh! As we planned a trip to Newcastle yesterday we decided to get up nice and early and treat ourselves to breakfast! OOTD:
Gold swallow earrings: Accessorize, Leather hooded jacket: Topshop, Butterfly Printed Blouse: Zara, skinny jeans: Old Navy, Bird ring: Primark, orange bag: Dorothy Perkins, grey flats: Dorothy Perkins
We went to one of my favourite deli’s in town, Olive and Bean:
James went for the Continental Breakfast including a baguette, cheese, ham, jams, croissant, fruit bowl and an Americano. I had a lovely strawberry, raspberry and blueberry smoothie with 2 slices of granary toast, smooth peanut butter and a vanilla soy latte. Such a lovely breakfast!
I ended up spending a fortune on stuff in town. I’m totally failing on my challenge to save money on grocery shopping :-( At least I did get some great stuff that will last me for a while, plus some of it was on a buy one get one half price deal!
I got all of this flavoured tofu to try and I was especially chuffed to see that the health food shop was stocking frozen tempeh! I’m really looking forward to experimenting with this.
I took advantage of the discount deal at Holland and Barrat and stocked up on cacao nibs, maca and a new item to try; barley grass powder.
I also got lots of my favourite teas, 2 pots of redwoods soy free, dairy free ‘yoghurt’ pots, shelled hemp seeds, olives from the deli, braggs, pistachios and alfalfa sprouts. I also picked up a pack of ‘keep fresh’ bags from Lakeland. I’m hoping that these things will actually work and help to keep my veggies fresher for longer! I’m going to try them out this week and will report back.
When we got back from town and seeing family, I put some of the olives and hemp seeds to good use in an amazing salad:
This contained a mix of romaine, summer and red lettuce, cucumber, red pepper, red onion, alfalfa sprouts, black and green garlic marinated olives, raw sunflower seed crackers, shelled hemp seeds and a delicious dressing made from Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar and hemp oil.
As I had quite a haul of broad beans in my organic veg box I’d had a quick search of recipes in my Evernote account and came across a tasty Italian Broad Bean dish from Leon: Naturally Fast Food (I take a photo of the recipe from the cook book and upload it to my Evernote account which recognises the words from the image so when I do a search for an ingredient it pops up! total genius). The recipe in the book was more of a side, but using that as a starting point, and taking inspiration from my Italian leek and bean stew, I created this dish, kind of a stew, kind of a risotto:
Italian vegetable and barley stewsotto (makes 2-3 servings, vegan)
- 1 cup of shelled broad beans
- 1/2 cup of pearl barley (dry weight)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 courgette, diced
- 6 asparagus stems, chopped
- 1/2 large jar of tomato passata plus 12 cherry tomatoes, quartered (or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes)
- 1/2 – 1 cup of hot water
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup of chopped olives (a mix of green and black is prettiest)
- Fresh basil to serve
Begin by shelling the broad beans and putting to one side. Cook the barley in hot water until tender but still with some bite (about 30 minutes). In a large pan sauté the garlic and onion on a medium low heat in a little oil until softened. Add asparagus, courgette and cherry tomatoes (if using) and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes. Add the cooked and drained barley, broad beans, passata / tinned tomatoes and Italian seasoning. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes, adding hot water as needed to stop it from drying out. Add the olives and then serve with fresh basil to garnish:
I served this with some sautéed chard. This was really, really good! All the ingredients and flavours melded together so well. If you didn’t have broad beans you could easily use cannellini instead, like wise with the veggies, chopped peppers, mushrooms etc could be used instead of the courgette and asparagus. I had more this evening and it tasted just as wonderful!
This morning I was out for my long run. I did 13.1 miles in 1.58, average pace 9.00! This was an awesome run, I felt fast and strong throughout and put in a speedy couple of final miles (8.33 and 8.17 for the last two full miles). I also improved on my time from my last half by almost 30 seconds :-)
To celebrate I made a big smoothie of course!
This can only be described as epic: Peanut Butter cup green smoothie based on my old recipe but with some extras: spinach, frozen banana, frozen peaches, 1 cup hemp milk, 1 scoop peanut butter swirl spiru-tein protein powder, 1 scoop of chocolate amazing grass powder, maca, ice, water, xanthan and guar gums. Then for toppings I made some nut butter sauce (1 tbsp of nut butter mixed with warm water) with PB&Co Dark Chocolate Dreams, smooth peanut butter plus 2 chopped miniature dark chocolate Reece’s peanut butter cups and a couple of crumbled PB puffins:
Heaven in a bowl, and I’m not ashamed to say I made lots of ‘mmm’ noises while eating this! I wanted to make sure I ate plenty of calories back after that run, as well as getting in some protein and antioxidants for recovery. This smoothie was perfection!
Other lovely sweet things this weekend have included hot chopped apple in a almond butter jar topped with coconut flour sauce:
I love these for using up the smaller near empty nut butter jars! Tonight I was going to have some more chocolate but after the chocolate in the smoothie this morning I was craving something different. I decided to listen to my body and instead I made a super food packed berry smoothie containing frozen mixed berries, vanilla hemp protein powder, barley grass powder, maca, mesquite, mixed seeds, cacao nibs, water and ice. I had it from a bowl topped with more mixed seeds, cacao nibs and coconut:
This was the first time I’ve added cacao nibs into the smoothie itself rather than just as a topping, it was lovely and crunchy with a slight nuttiness from the seeds, yum!
Hope you’ve all had a great weekend and have a good week ahead! I’ve enjoyed the warmer weather we’ve had today, lets hope this is the arrival of summer!
Have you ever tried tempeh? Any recommendations for tempeh recipes for me to try?