Energising Avocado, Spinach, Kiwi and Lime Smoothie (with Chia Seeds)

green-smoothie

Following on from last week’s chia-up your smoothie post I’ve got the recipe for the beautiful green smoothie I used to illustrate it… it’s a good’un!

Ingredients (serves two)

– 1 banana
– 1 avocado
– 2 kiwis
– handful of spinach leaves
– juice of 1 lime
– 2 tbsp chia seeds (+ some to sprinkle on top!)
– water/coconut water
– ice

green-smoothie-2

Make

1. Chop up the peeled banana/kiwi, de-seed/scoop out the avocado and add it all to the blender along with your spinach leaves, lime juice and chia seeds. 

2. Switch on the blender, adding a quick splash of water (or coconut water if you have it) to ease the blending process. For a nicely chilled smoothie, chuck in an ice cube or two.

3. Serve with a sprinkling of chia seeds and, as always, enjoy!

Chive Pancakes with Smoked Salmon, Poached Eggs & Coconut-Oil ‘Hollandaise’

salmon-egg-chive-hollandaise-pancakes-3

Pancake day is right around the corner, so I wanted to share a pancake recipe… but not just any pancake recipe. This recipe needed to be utterly spectacular. I’m talking blow-you-away, audible “mmmm” levels of delicious. So I gathered my favourite brunchy flavours and created this: American style chive pancakes with smoked salmon, poached eggs and a beautiful coconut-oil ‘hollandaise’ sauce, finished off with a sprinkling of lamb’s lettuce and black pepper. So, grab your friends this Pancake Day/Sunday/any day, serve these up with a few Bloody Marys and enjoy your epic brunch. Cheers!

Makes roughly 6 medium pancakes. Serves 2.

Ingredients (pancakes)

– 2 medium eggs
– 100g plain flour
– 70ml milk
– ½ tsp baking powder
– ½ pinch salt
– handful chopped chives
– vegetable oil (to cook)

Ingredients (coconut-oil ‘hollandaise’) – adapted from Cook.Nourish.Glow by Amelia Freer

– 2 egg yolks
– ¼ tsp dijon mustard
– 50g water
– ¼ tsp mild curry powder
– 1 tbsp melted coconut oil
– ½ tsp lemon juice
– zest of ¼ a lemon

Ingredients (poached eggs)

– 2 eggs
– 1 tbsp white whine vinegar

Everything else

– 120g smoked salmon
– lamb’s lettuce, to garnish
– black pepper

salmon-egg-chive-hollandaise-pancakes salmon-egg-chive-hollandaise-pancakes-4

Make

1. First off, make the pancake mixture. Begin by separating the eggs, putting the yolks into your mixing bowl and the whites into another a smaller bowl. Add the flour, baking powder and milk into the mixing bowl with the yolks and mix to form a smooth batter. Now, in your separate bowl containing the whites, whisk them with the salt until they form stiff peaks (be patient, this will take quite a while!). Fold this into the batter, along with the chopped chives. 

2. Now we’re going to begin the ‘hollandaise’. Heat a medium-size glass bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Add the egg yolks, mustard, water and curry powder and whisk continuously over the heat for a few minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. 

3. Once the mixture begins to thicken, slowly add the melted coconut oil and continue whisking until you have the ‘hollandaise’ sauce. It should coat the back of a spoon and be of pouring consistency. Take the bowl off the heat before whisking in the lemon juice and zest. Set aside, covering the bowl with foil to keep the sauce warm. 

4. Set up a small pan of water just under ½ full on the stove and begin bringing it to the boil. This will be for the poached eggs.

5. While the water is beginning to boil, heat a medium frying pan over a medium-high heat. Using kitchen paper, wipe the pan with vegetable oil (you want an even, light covering). Once hot, spoon on 2/3 dollops of the pancake mixture and fry for a couple of minutes, before flipping over and frying the other side. Continue until you have used up all the pancake mix.

6. The water for the eggs should be boiling by now, so it’s time to add the vinegar and lower the heat so that the water is simmering gently. Crack eggs individually into a small bowl or ramekin before sliding them into the simmering water one at a time. Leave to cook for around three minutes. If you’re a multi-tasker, carry out the egg steps towards the end of the pancake frying, though if you’re a novice poacher (like myself, this was my very first time) I’d suggest taking it slow.

7. To serve, layer up your pancakes, alternating each with a slice of smoked salmon. Remove the poached eggs from the water with a slotted spoon, and perch on top of the pancake/salmon pile. Pour on the coconut-oil ‘hollandaise’ and garnish with a few leaves of lamb’s lettuce and a sprinkling of black pepper. Enjoy!

DIY Mojito Lip Scrub

diy-mojito-lip-scrub

Dry, chapped lips are synonymous with winter… Icy, refreshing mojitos are synonymous with summer… “Put them together and what have you got?”… A deliciously fresh lip scrub for your sore smackers that’ll remind you of cocktails in the sun with your besties! Utter perfection! The sugar in the scrub will exfoliate away that dead skin, and (added bonus!) the honey will help to moisturise your unhappy lips, leaving them soothed and smoothed. Super simple, super quick… the real test here is trying to resist cracking out the rum!

Ingredients

– 4 tbsp(ish) brown sugar
– 2 tbsp runny honey
– 1 tsp olive oil
– dash lime juice
– 7/8 mint leaves, finely chopped

Make

1. Add the honey, oil, dash of lime juice and chopped mint leaves to a small dish and thoroughly mix.

2. Add the sugar gradually, mixing until you have a grainy, gritty mixture. If it dissolves too much, add a little more. 

Use

1. Dip a clean finger into the lip scrub, making sure you pick up some sugar grains, and rub onto your lips for a few seconds to exfoliate.  

2. Leave for a couple of minutes to allow the honey to work its moisturising magic. 

3. Rinse off with warm water (or lick…) and rejoice at your newly softened lips. 

4. To store the remaining scrub, pop it in an airtight container and keep in the fridge. It’ll stay good for around 1/2 weeks!

3 Ways To Use Chia Seeds In Your Smoothies

chia-seeds

Chia seeds have an absolutely huge bunch of health benefits. Seriously, Google it. They’re rich in antioxidants, protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, they can aid in weight loss, they can improve exercise performance… the list goes on and on! And, amazing news, they’re incredibly simple to incorporate into your diet, especially in your morning/post-workout smoothie. Here’s three ways to chia-up (get it…? Like cheer up but with chia…?) your smoothie.

1. Throw ’em in as is Chia seeds are super low-maintenance, and you don’t actually need to do any preparation in order to chuck them into your smoothie. Add them to the blender along with all the other ingredients or sprinkle them on top.

2. Pop them into a pepper mill and grind them in It has been found that grinding chia seeds before consuming them can help the body absorb and put to good use their nutrients more effectively. Pop your chia seeds into a clean pepper mill, and use that to grind them directly into your smoothie. Having them in the pepper mill means that a) your seeds are always freshly ground and b) you don’t have to sit and grind a whole packet in one go; just use as much or as little as you need, when you need.

3. Turn them into ‘chia gel’ Soak the whole seeds in water for 15/20 minutes before blending them into your smoothie. Two tablespoons of seeds need roughly 250ml of water. This creates a gelatinous substance that, when blended in, will both thicken up your smoothie and boost it’s nutritional value (try using chia gel instead of a banana to reduce the sugar content of your smoothie!).

A Dreamy, Bedtime Playlist

dreamy-bedtime-playlist

I mentioned in my healthy sleep routine post that sometimes I have trouble sleeping without something going on in the background for me to listen to. Headspace’s sleep sessions have most certainly helped with this, but I must admit there are still nights where I just crave some dreamy, chilled music to send me off to sleep. On our most recent Tarifan getaway my friends and I spent a few lovely hours discovering and sharing new music finds, continually adding songs and artists to an ever-growing communal playlist that became a kind of musical backdrop for our time there. Lots of what we found had this beautiful dreamy vibe (we all agreed each of us has amazing taste in music, before noting that this was probably because we all have the exact same taste, haha) and it’s that vibe I’m going for with today’s bedtime playlist, an hour or so of music to help you drift off. 

Click here to listen to the playlist on Spotify

1. Scribble Paper – Little Dragon
2. She – Laura Mvula
3. Stay The Same – Bonobo, Andreya Triana
4. Wonderful – Lianne La Havas
5. The Wolf – LEØ
6. Repeating – James Vincent McMorrow
7. Let It Take You – Goldfrapp
8. X – Andreya Triana
9. Green & Gold – Lianne La Havas
10. Oh, Maker – Janelle Monáe
11. The Space Between – Zero 7
12. Stand Proud – Jono McLeery, Fink
13. Twice – Little Dragon
14. Retrograde – James Blake
15. The Lakes – James Vincent McMorrow
16. Little Wonder – Jamie Woon

Spinach & Feta Shakshuka

Shakshuka (Tomatoes with Baked Eggs, Spinach & Feta)

This is one of those heavenly one pan dishes; from stove to table, this recipe doesn’t leave the pan until it’s on the fork and in your mouth! I discovered shakshuka a few years ago and it has since become my go-to for an easy, healthy meal – especially when the cupboards are looking a bit bare! The basic recipe requires a tin of tomatoes, a couple of eggs and an onion. It’s that simple. Of course the added garlic and spices and feta and wine make this simple dish super tasty, but if those three essential ingredients are to hand you’ve got the makings of a delicious dinner for two.

Click here to print the recipe!

Ingredients (serves 2)

– 400g chopped tomatoes
– 2 eggs
– 50g crumbled feta
– handful of spinach
– 1 small red onion, chopped
– 1 clove of garlic, chopped
– olive oil
– white wine
– ground cumin
– paprika
– chilli flakes
– salt
– pepper

Make

1. Heat oven to 200°C.

2. Heat up a glug of olive oil in a pan on medium to low heat.

3. Add the chopped onion to the pan along with a dash of wine and leave for 10 or so minutes to soften.

4. Once softened add the chopped garlic to the pan, stir and leave for another 1/2 minutes.

5. Now stir in the ground cumin, paprika and chilli flakes, two or three shakes of each.

6. Add the tin of chopped tomatoes to the pan along with the salt and pepper, and stir to combine with the onions. Throw in the spinach, and fold it in to the mix as best you can. Leave to simmer to allow the tomato to thicken, stirring occasionally to incorporate the wilting spinach.

7. After around 10 minutes, stir in the crumbled feta. 

8. Gently crack the eggs on top of the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper before moving the pan into the hot oven. Bake for 7/8 minutes until the eggs are just set.

9. Serve in the pan with bread to dip and a simple side salad.