Feeling Peachey

I have had so many peaches today !!!!!

I started the day with a large smoothie made with peaches, nectarines and frozen banana. The fruit was all very ripe which really improves the flavour and this was delicious.   I played tennis this morning and Christine got me running around a lot to help with the fitness and weight loss which was good.  Unfortunately I popped to the shops and was hungry and ate a pecan slice which was very yummy but not what I should be eating at all ūüėį

I did eat a huge and plant based meal mid afternoon which was very tasty.  I used lettuce, spinach and radishes from the garden and Adrian, my fab gardener, brought me one of his cucumbers.

used the leaves as a base and added tomatoes, roasted onions, carrots, peppers and new potatoes.  No dressing needed, just a little s&p.  We both had the same meal for breakfast and lunch; Harvey is doing really well with eating a lot of plants.   

  Harvey was at a rehearsal in the evening so I made him a packed supper of a roll with hummus and roasted veggies plus fruit, water and 2 items of his choosing which were a bag of crisps and a bag of maltesers.  We compromise.
   I munched on an apple in the afternoon and drank plenty of water. 

  Do you fancy a quick tour of the veggie patch? 

The greenhouse is always kept neat and tidy and I love it. I have 3 types of tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines.  There are also some cauliflowers waiting for a space in the raised beds.

 

The first tomato is ripe ūüĎŹūüĎćūüćÖ   Courgettes.
Raspberries and blueberries.   Rocket, mizuna, celery and a winter squash. 
The celery looks ready to eat now.The bean bed is a bit chaotic – mange tout, broad, green and purple beans and spinach.  
Sweet corn, a trying to flower and seed Swiss chard and more tomatoes.  The same bed from a different angle.  
  Oregano, thyme, radishes, garlic and spring onions.  Lettuces.
  I have little gems and crinkly ones.  The butterheads are my favourite.
  Last but not least the brassica bed: rutabaga, cavolo Nero, purple sprouting broccoli and 2 types of kale.  Hopefully a vegetable garden for all seasons.
  After my huge mid afternoon feast I was not hungry enough for supper so I picked some of the largest lettuce leaves and some spinach and made them in to a long smoothie with 4 peaches and about 400ml of coconut water. Not bad! 
  Have a great weekend.

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Busy Work Days

I have been so busy at work this week it has been exhausting.  Harvey has been staying with our dear friends in Warwickshire so I know he is having an amazing time.  I miss him a lot but at least I can focus on work which I need to do this week.  Thank you Helen and BJ for being such good friends to us.

I ate really well today.  Last night I made a smoothie for supper and I made double so I had a portion to take to work for breakfast.  So this large beaker contains half a pineapple, 2 bananas, 1 small papaya and a handful of raspberries and blueberries from the garden.  It was delicious.  I had frozen it overnight so it was a bit like having ice cream for breakfast.  Yummy.

breakfast 15-7-15 Lunch involved a quick walk to Wholefoods and back where I bought these 6 plums.  They were all sweet and juicey but the best by far were the purple ones on the right.  I might have to get some more of those.

Plums always remind me of my Mother; we had a Victoria plum tree in the garden of one of our homes and she did love those plums.Plums 6 I also had 4 apples.Pink Lady 4 I was late leaving work so I grabbed supper from Itsu and ate it on the train home.Itsu 4 One ‘hip, humble and healthy’ which is vegan – yay :-) ¬†It is made with avocado, muki and green beans, rice, kombu relish, salad and a vegan herby dressing.itsu 3 I really enjoyed it.itsu 2 I also had ‘veggie club maki rolls’ which had rice, avocado, carrot, green beans and kombu.itsu 1

One glass of red wine while I write this and now it’s time for bed.

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An Afternoon With Aunty

Well, today I went somewhere I have never been before Рthe BBC !!!  Yes, I did and I loved every minute of it.  I was up at the top, behind the green glass in this photo.

BBC frontage

We weren’t there because of anything I had done of course, but because Harvey was to be on the CBBC Official Chart Show for the second time.

However, all that excitement happened at the end of the day. ¬†Before then, I had a very tasty nutritious start to the day. ¬†I blended up 2 frozen bananas, with a huge handful of spinach from the garden, a little blue green algae and a large mango with a generous amount of coconut water to make sure I was well hydrated as it looked like another hot one today.breakfast 12-7-15 That made 3 glasses and it was very drinkable.green smoothie 12-7-15 Harvey and I headed up to London early to get some shopping done and then met my sister Lucy and her family for lunch. ¬†We wanted to go to Dishoom but as usual, it was busy with a long queue so we went to Jaime’s, which is close by. ¬†I had a lovely cocktail and some bread to start with and then the heirloom carrot salad. ¬†It came with Feta which I gave Trevor. ¬†Everything in this dish was fresh and full of flavour and I would definitely have it again. ¬†I had the small size so I could also have another salad with it. ¬†I really like the way many dishes at Jaime’s can be served as a large or small portion.heirloom carrot salad The primavera salad was also really good.primavera salad Jaime Plus some funky chips wihc were very garlicky and herby and utterly delicious.funky chips I finished up with a trio of sorbets.3 sorbet Jaime Next stop the BBC ! ¬†We managed to watch some of the tennis while we waited to be collected from reception.tv at BBC I had arranged for 2 of Harvey’s cousins to go up with him which made it more fun for them all.O at BBC We were on floor …8th floor BBC It was a long way down!BBC Lift shaft We were all shown to the Radio 1 green room.Radio 1 green room There was a bit of waiting around which no one minded as they provided plenty of snacks and drinks and there was soooooooo much to look at.

Harvey changed in to his suit and bow tie which is what he wore when he was in the cameo of Sugar by Maroon 5.  Today all the stars of the cameos were invited back to take part in a mash up of all the cameos and to provide a live audience.  At the very end they were all, including cousins and siblings, asked to go crazy with space hoppers and various toys but that final piece was not on air much which is a shame as they all really enjoyed that.BBC 1

We were waiting in the Radio 1 green room so you could actually see them creating the programme.Radio1 1 I couldn’t believe we could see Radio 1 being made.Radio 2 2Next door was Radio 1 Extra.
Radio 1 Extra

Here’s our little star, looking not quite the gorgeous boy he can be, with Harry and Olivia!BBC3 If you ever watch the Official Chart Show, you will recognise this board from the Noooooote competition. ¬†This week’s guest was Taio Cruz and he got the joint second longest time in singing a single note.OCS Noooote board We were in the Live Lounge !!!! ¬†I was so excited by this entire experience.BBC 2 Here is the view from behind the green glass.BBC behind the glass BBC behid the glass 3 happy people.OHH Looking down the central atrium from the 8th floor.inside BBC The BBC newsroom which is just behind the main reception area. ¬†I couldn’t believe we could all walk past this incredibly important live transmission area which I see on the tv so many times a day because we always have the BBC news on at work. ¬†You are not allowed to photograph the presenters but they are all there for you to see.

I am a huge fan of the BBC and to be able to go inside was extraordinary for me. ¬†And a complete bonus as I didn’t know I would be able to. ¬†I thought the children would have been whisked away and I was planning to sit and watch the TV in reception and wait for them but no, I got to go too and it was FAB-U-LOUS.BBC newsroom I loved every second of my 2 hours at the BBC and so did Harvey who has declared he wants to work there when he finishes school. ¬†Finally something, apart from being the next Ed Sheeran, has grabbed his imagination as something he would like to do.Z and H at the BBC

I hope he does and I hope I get to go inside again one day.

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A Tale Of 2 Stadiums

I have not made a decision to just write one post a week; I intended to continue posting 5- 6 a week but I have been too busy, again.  Not all with work though, some serious fun was had too.

On monday I went to Wimbledon with Helen and we had an amazing day.Order of PLay We got there really early and so made the most of our time by going to watch Leyton Hewitt on Court 17. ¬† They lost to Rojer and Tecau who actually won the final today. ¬†I like the outside courts because you are so close to the action.Court 17 I like this better though :-) ¬†We had Centre Court tickets.Centre Court We had 3 great matches to watch – Serena vs Venus Williams.S and V Williams Wimbledon championships Then Andy Murray vs Karlovic.Murray Helen at Centre Court Then Federer vs Bautista.Federer When all the action was finished on Centre Court we went to sit on the hill.Wimbledon hill We saw Djokovic vs Anderson. ¬†The atmosphere on the hill is more laid back and relaxed than courtside and I was really pleased we experienced both.Wimbledon screen 1 It was a brilliant day.tennis mural My second stadium of the week was Wembley. ¬†Harvey’s Christmas present was to go and see his idol, Ed Sheeran. ¬†He has waited a very long time but finally the day had come.L and H at Wembley edsheeranatwembley Harvey was not disappointed with anything and declared it to be his best Christmas present ever.inside Wembley 2 The crowd were very good natured, relaxed and intent on having fun.Inside Wembley

Ed himself was fabulous.

Ed at Wembley Wembley red light Wembley lights Wembley arch He announced a surprise guest who was Elton John and they sang 2 songs together, one of Elton’s and one of Ed’s.Ed and Elton

We would all go and see Ed Sheeran again – he was fantastic.

So, on to the topic of the blog. ¬†I have had a very mixed bag this week, mainly not very good but there were some excellent days. ¬†I didn’t grow these cherries but they are local. ¬†Very local actually as they were grown in my village. ¬†I did grow the lettuce, mange tout, spinach and radishes. ¬†That lettuce is crisp and full of flavour and very well worth growing.salad etc from garden Cherries and a smoothie for breakfast.smoothie and cherries Wholewheat pasta, sweetcorn, black beans, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, radishes, mange tout and cucumber for lunch.pasta and salad 1 Rice and loads of veggies for supper.veggies and rice

There has been too many lattes, too much snacking and too much booze so overall not such a good week.popcorn and coffee Same as the week before actually so I must refocus.

 

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Ain’t Love Grand?

I have managed to do quite well with my eating this week, even though I have been out nearly every evening and had a busy weekend. ¬†I have not been perfect but I have done well considering how much I have been out. ¬†Annoyingly, the scales at the leisure centre, where I weigh myself every week, have broken so I don’t know what progress I am making.

Last night I went to the evening reception of Martin and Hannah’s wedding. ¬†Martin is my sister Lucy’s step son and here is, looking very gorgeous, with his siblings.Martin and his siblings It was¬†a lovely evening¬†and good to catch up with family members I don’t have the pleasure of seeing very often, such as Martha.Marth It is always lovely to see my sisters and nieces (and nephews and brothers in law).Lucy and Olivia We had a quiz to do which was fun.H and M 4 The bride and groom both looked very gorgeous. ¬†I didn’t manage to get any photos that did them justice unfortunately but you get the idea.H and M 3 The reception was held at the Fable Bar at Holborn Viaduct and was a great location, set over 3 floors. ¬†This large room on the lower ground floor was the venue for the meal and then all cleared away for the dancing in the evening.H and M 2 Slightly quirky, spacious and with quiet corners you could sit and chat in. ¬† This was a wonderful wedding reception and ¬†I wish the newly weds one very long, happy and amazing life together.H and M 1 Another fun evening earlier this week was at Sarah’s. ¬†This has been such a hot week and 4 of us met to play cards. ¬†The coolest spot was a corner of the paddock so we sat out there and enjoyed the very slight breeze and shade.Sarah's paddock We also managed to enjoy some bubbles, delicious snacks and played cards.cards night 1 I had won a dinner for two plus wine at the Founders Arms so invited Lara and we also invited my sister in-law Anne and daughter Isobel. ¬†We went on Wednesday and it was so hot in London and especially inside the Founders Arms. ¬†Lovely to see everyone but I think the evening will be most memorable for the almost intolerable heat.Founders Arms menu I had a long lunch planned for today at David and Annette’s so I made sure I did some exercise early. ¬†I went swimming and I also did a Body Balance class which is a mixture of Tai Chi, Pilates and Yoga. ¬†It was hard as I have not done anything like that for years so I am really aching now but I do feel well stretched and will go again.

All I had for breakfast was some watermelon and grapes.breakfast 5-7-15 So delicious and hydrating.watermelon and grapes 5-7 I made some food ready to take out with me tomorrow and decided to have a bowlful before I went out for lunch. ¬†Yes, you did read that correctly, I ate before I went to lunch! ¬†That was so I was not tempted to eat too much or any of the wrong things.Fettes lunch 5 I had brown rice with steamed veggies plus some stir fried onions, peppers and mushrooms. ¬†A simple but very satisfying bowlful.rice n veg Harvey and I spent a delightful afternoon up the road. ¬†It was a pot luck lunch and pool party and luckily there was plenty I could eat. ¬†I had some crisps with home made humous, home made bread ( 2 types), a melon and green leaf salad and a roasted vegetable salad. ¬†I resisted everything else, including other salads with cheese in them and all the desserts. ¬†I ate grapes, cherries and watermelon instead. ¬†I even resisted seconds so I did do well with my eating but I did have several very enjoyable glasses of wine !Fettes lunch 4 Harvey and Noah enjoyed the pool all afternoon.Fettes lunch 3The adults sat and ate and chatted and enjoyed David and Annette’s stunning garden.Fettes lunch 2 It was the perfect afternoon.Fettes lunch 1

I have really enjoyed all the socialising I have done this week. ¬†I am so lucky to know some truly wonderful people whose company I enjoy very much. ¬†I need to go out less so I can focus on losing weight and getting healthier which will include early nights and plenty of sleep. ¬†I am going out tomorrow though, to one of my favourite places on the planet ……

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Spontaneity

So much in life is planned, organised, scheduled.  It has to be and I get that.  But I do enjoy days that happily evolve from an open and clear page in the diary to a pleasant variety of events.

I woke up early and drank the 1 litre of water I plan to start each day with. ¬†I also went swimming as I was up early and so was in the pool by 7:30am which is a great way to start the day.1 litre water Back at home I tried to recreate the apricot and mango smoothie I enjoyed so much yesterday.mango apricot blender A large one for me and a smaller one for Harvey as he had munched his way through some carrots with humous so didn’t need as much. ¬†I think it is the texture of this I like so much and the colour. ¬†Just fabulous.mango and apricots and smoothies I was still hungry so I had a small papaya too.papaya in white bowl We then very happily accepted an invitation up the road so Harvey could have a swim and I could chat to David and Annette.F garden We sat in their stunning garden which is one of the finalists for the Kent Life garden of the year competition. ¬†I do hope they win as it really is glorious and an absolute pleasure to sit in.coffee with Fettes Lunch was a very simple salad; green leaves and mange tout from the garden with celery, cucumber, and tomatoes. ¬†Instead of a dressing I added some sultanas and goldenberries as I am trying very hard to reduce my fat intake.salad with 2 dried fruits Some of the high carb, low fat eaters I follow on Instagram eat huge bowls of green leaves with dates and I wondered how that helped as I have become accustomed to an oily dressing.salad and dried fruit Adding some dried fruit works very well actually.Goldenberries We had a visit from Aunty Marion and Edward this afternoon and enjoyed a walk together over the road in the woods. ¬†I always enjoy seeing my Aunty and it’s quite a treat to have her all to myself.

Supper was a very quick and easy meal of oven roasted sweet potato fries (no oil or salt) and dry pan fried brown rice with vegetables.Stir fry and fries

I have had many chores this evening and as I sat at my computer, I munched my way through loads of cherries so I may well turn in to one of the Witches of Eastwick!

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Fruit Haul

A lot of fruit was bought and consumed by The Little Fella and myself today.  I started this bright and sunny Saturday with a punnett of red grapes, which we munched on our way up to Sevenoaks.

breakfast 27-6 Isn’t fruit amazing in the summer? ¬†It is so sweet and juicy.grapes 27-6 After Harvey’s appointment at the hospital he was hungry and we had spotted a cafe on the way in to town that appealed to us both;Music Cafe 7 oaks The Zed Music Cafe. ¬†It was quite busy when we arrived but three tables full of people left almost as soon as we sat down! ¬†Harvey enjoyed his toasted sandwich and soya ¬†milkshake and I had a soya milk latte. ¬†Very friendly staff and my only complaint was a very small menu. i.e. a very limited choice but when I explained we were not eating dairy, they were very helpful.The Zed Music Cafe Next stop was the little market on the high street because I had spotted this fruit and veggie stall and wanted to check it out.fruit stall in 7oaks It was great. ¬†Not organic and certainly not local either but such fresh looking produce and the fruit was actually ripe and, as we discovered later, full of flavour, unlike a lot of the plant foods we buy in the supermarket. ¬†The prices were reasonable so we bought masses. ¬†Literally as much as we could carry. ¬†H choosing fruit Next stop was Paddock Wood which I always think feels like stepping back in time.PW high St This department store, which does have fantastically courteous and helpful staff, really reminds me of a department store I used to go to as a child called ‘Shinners’. ¬†They have a small number of a large range of things and the prices aren’t bad. ¬†They had what we needed which was great.Barsleys Homecraft DIY Some of the things we bought at the Sevenoaks market are 2 boxes of these honey mangoes.honey mango crate A bag of apricots.apricots 27-6 a 10kg box of cherries – this box is MASSIVE.10 kilo box of cherries I had not eaten anything all day apart from grapes so I made a smoothie from 10 of the apricots and 2 mangoes.10 apricots peeling a honey mango These mangoes are at the peak of their ripeness. ¬†They are just perfect and the stone is quite small so you got a lot of mango for your money. ¬†At ¬£5 a box they were good value anyway.honey mango This smoothie was sensational. ¬†I wish you could all try it as it was so good.mango and apricot smoothie It literally contained only apricots and mangoes and was the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness and the consistency was amazing. ¬†I loved every single mouthful of that one.apricot and mango smoothie I couldn’t resist trying one of these nectarines and that was spot on too – not too ripe and soft but not hard either and full of juice and flavour.nectarine 27-6 I spent a very happy couple of hours in the veggie patch in the late afternoon sunshine.veggie patch Mangetout. ¬†I always hear “mangetout mange tout Rodney” in my head when I think of mange tout :-)mange tout 27-6 Mizuna.mizuna 27-6 Spinach.spinach 27-6 My sisters bought me 5 roses for my birthday 2 years ago and this one is looking amazing; it smells wonderful too.rose from sisters Eye spy with my little eye …… the raspberry canes Kath gave me when she emigrated home to NZ are ripening up and full of fruit.raspberries 27-6 This was the only disappointment of the day. ¬†At first I thought it was soil but no, the broad beans are badly infested with some kind of fly which is disappointing. ¬†I chopped down the worst one and saved as many beans as I could which I gave Harvey in his stir fry. ¬†I was eating raw all day and the one bean I tried was bitter so I think they are better cooked so they couldn’t be added to my salad.infested broad beans For supper I carefully washed all the green leaves I picked: spinach, mizuna and rocket plus I added some watercress I bought at the market. ¬†So lush and fresh.green leaves in bowl 27-6 Topped with celery, red cabbage, carrot, tomatoes and mashed avocado which did the job of a dressing. ¬†No added oil, salt, pepper or any other seasonings.supper 27-6-15 I then actually did pit all these cherries to make cherry and banana nice cream. ¬†All these cherries shared between us plus 3 frozen bananas each made a fantastic pudding.cherries in bowl Served with some coconut and coconut sugar.cherry nice cream 2 This was so good that someone ( I won’t name names though) actually licked the bowl.cherry nice cream

So, one very well fed lady is feeling good after an all raw plant food diet today.  I enjoyed pottering about in the shops with the Little Fella today as it is a long time since we have had a day like that together.  The fruit haul was a real result and we are both enjoying getting through it all.

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Living On A Yo-Yo

I feel like I am living in a Yo-Yo; up and down, up and down.  Another very demanding and challenging week is behind me but it did have some real highs and I am going to forget the stressy bad bits and focus on the happy bits.

One of my favourite days of the year is to go to Ascot on¬†Ladies Day and this year was a particularly good fun day. ¬†I went by train this year so I could enjoy some bubbles. ¬†I usually drive but I needed a fun day out and I certainly had one of those.Ascot by train They have changed a few things at Ascot, including our usual place to eat. ¬†Instead of a help yourself buffet, we now have table service in the seafood restaurant. ¬†Similar menu and the same unbelievable prices though !Windsor Grey By Jove treated us all to a bottle of pink bubbles to kick the day off with – cheers.Pink Bolly I went for the vegetarian option. ¬†There was nothing vegan so I had this blue cheese and jerusalem artichoke risotto with courgette and leeks plus we had bread on the side. ¬†This was quite a modest portion but it tasted fantastic.Ascot risotto After lunch we went to watch the Queen arrive by horse drawn carriage. ¬†I would never make a paparazzi so you will have to trust me when I say that is her in the blue!The Queen at Ascot 2015 We tend to watch the first race outside and then have a bit of a wander. ¬† ¬†This is inside the main grandstand.Inside the Grandstand Ascot flowery horse Lara was working at Ascot on Thursday and she popped out to meet us with a couple of her work colleagues.Lara and Fay Behave By Jove!Lara and BJ Ascot View over the winners parade ground.parade ring Time for a Pimms I ¬†think.Pimms at Ascot I am very lucky and get to go in the Royal Enclosure which is a lot less crowded than the public stands as this photo clearly shows but I suspect wherever you stand or sit you would have a wonderful day.Ascot stands 2 This was perfect weather for a day at the races as it was sunny and warm but not too hot.Ascot stands A missed photo opportunity of the Queen. ¬†As we were going up the escalators, the Queen and her party walked along this corridor and that is the back of her blue dress disappearing in to the doorway. ¬†By the time I found my camera, she was through the doorway.Queen going on to doorway We were on our way up to the box Lara’s company hired for the day and this is the view they had. ¬†view from box After a busy day at the races it was time for some more bubbles and then a beer as champagne makes you thirsty :-)beer at Ascot The very gawjus Mr and Mrs By Jove

Helen and BJ And the very gawjus Becky and Andrew.Becky and Andrew Time for a picnic out of the back of the car which was such a lovely way to finish the day. ¬†Lots of racegoers bring a picnic to have when they arrive and another one before heading home to give the traffic a chance to subside. ¬†Besides being great fun, it is a practical thing to do so I recommend it if you go next year and haven’t been before – have a picnic before leaving.Becky and BJ Thank you Helen for providing such a lovely picnic.Helen and Andrew bro Goodnight folks.Ascot statues Hopefully see you all next year.mowing at Acot Yesterday I went up to London to have lunch with my lovely God-daughter, Maddie, her Mum and her GrandmaMaddie and Inge We went to Brasserie Blanc in Covent Garden. ¬†They had food I could eat which was fantastic and this pasta dish was lovely. ¬†BB pasta The sorbet was good too.BB sorbet This is my lovely friend Gini; ¬†we were at school together and at one point lived on the same road so we have known each other for a very long time which is marvellous.me and Gini This was a good place for lunch but here’s a tip; the central area of the restaurant was very warm. ¬†We were lucky to be at an end and not in the large glass rooved central area which may have been uncomfortable on a warm day. ¬†We also got lucky because our table had a view over the indoor market in Covent Garden. ¬†It was just perfect.view over Covent Garden It was such a lovely lunch and I really enjoyed seeing you all. ¬†Thank you Gini for a lovely lunch.lovely Mddie I went from lunch in London to supper at Marion and Colin’s which was a very jolly evening and lovely to see my local friends.

Today was Father’s Day in the UK. ¬†Lara and I had coffee with my Dad in the morning and we then took James out for lunch at the Three Chimneys . ¬†I had a very well flavoured summer vegetable broth to start with and then a broad bean and vegetable dish which came with parmesan and the vegetables on the side came in butter and with cauliflower cheese. ¬†There were not any vegan options so I confess I had a vegetarian lunch and I did eat it all and with relish. ¬†It was delicious.three Chimneys I forget what this was called but it was absolutely delicious. ¬†It was actually a starter and was meant to be served with an egg but I asked them to not serve the egg.broad bean lunch

So I have drunk way more than I usually do, been far more sociable than I have for a long time and eaten out a lot which is no good for the diet.  The week ahead is also looking very sociable which is such a challenge when you are dieting but then again, a girl does have to have some fun.  I needed some fun events this week and am so happy those friends were there.

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Cooking and Gardening

Cooking and Gardening pretty much sums up my day today. ¬†Oh and loads of boring paperwork but it had to be done and it does feel good to be more up to date. ¬†Plus sewing (mainly repairs to the boy’s torn clothes), ironing and so many other chores that at 21:55 on a Sunday night I have not actually relaxed yet today :-(

Yesterday was very stressful due to a failure in the heating system and a flood in Ramsgate.  I have had a decorator there all week and went yesterday, anticipating a pleasant(ish) day, reviewing the paint work and some general tidying and cleaning.  Unfortunately I arrived to find water pouring through the ceiling in to a bedroom via the light fitting.  A local plumber came out to assess and do an emergency fix.   I currently have a house with a dripping ceiling (better then pouring but not resolved), no water (I know, how is it still dripping but it is), no heating and no electricity, a very sodden carpet and a room that needs decorating.  After all that I fell off the healthy eating cliff and ate cake, biscuits, bread and loathed myself some more.

So this morning I had a word with myself and kept busy to stop stressing about Ramsgate.

I made some Granola which had no added fat.  It was from the China Sudy Cookbook and tasted fabulous.

These are the raw ingredients

raw granola

and one and a half hours later, here is the finished product! ¬†It was good on its own¬†cooked granolabut even better eaten with some coconut yogurt and blueberries.Granila, Co Yo and blueberries I changed the recipe quite a bit as I didn’t have several of the ingredients so this is the recipe as I made it, rather then the recipe in the China Study Cookbook.

Granola (no added fat)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 a cup of brown sugar
  • 1/3 of a cup of maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 level tsp cinnamon
  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup dessicated coconut
  • 1 cup rasins

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 140¬†¬įC
  2. Place water, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved
  3. Mix the oats, almonds, pecans, raisins and coconut in a large bowl
  4. Add the wet mixture from the saucepan and mix well together
  5. Spread the mixture out on to 2 baking sheets, spreading as thin as possible
  6. Bake and stir every 15 minutes, until dry and crunchy which takes about 1 1/2 hours
  7. Let cool, try to not keep nibbling and store in an airtight container.  It should keep up to 3 weeks.

Having just read the recipe properly, you should not have added the raisins until cooking was finished! ¬†Luckily mine didn’t burn and they taste good.

Granola fat free For lunch I made ‘Burrito bowls’ i.e. I made something similar to the Burrito Bowl I buy about once a week from Chipotle.¬†4 burrito bowl bowls I stir fried some brown Basmati rice with chopped kale because you can never eat too much kale, right?brown rice and kale Chopped some cherry tomatoes and spring onions and seasoned with freshly ground peppertoms and spring onions Guacamole made with lime juice and coriander on the sideguacamole and coriander Fried onions, red and yellow peppers.fried onions and peppers A tin of black beans, heated gently with some water added, 2 garlic cloves, paprika and chipotle, simmered until the water evaporated.Chipotle black beans YUM YUM YUMBurrito Bowl 2 I love this meal. ¬†It is so easy to prepare and everyone always likes it.Burrito Bowl

It was a dull and overcast day which was actually helpful as I had quite a bit of gardening to do. ¬†There’s the spinach, green and purple climbing beans and broad beans.

spinach and beans Mange Tout.mange totu broad beans Mizuna which has gone crazy and is dwarfing the neighbouring celery.Mizuna celery Sadly it’s been munched so it wont last long so I need to chmp my through as much as I can :-(Mizuna The courgettes are doing ok.courgettes The oregano had a good prune which created space to plant radishes in the same bed as the garlic and spring onions.oregano triffid radish seeds In the greenhouse the tomatoes are doing well and the cucumbers are beginning to get going.toms and cucs Little tomatoes are already growing :-) ¬†Well, they are on the yellow tomato plants my vegetable growing neighbours up the road gave me.toms 2015 I was late, as usual, so the 2 varieties I have sown and the peppers are behind but hopefully they will catch up.toms and peppers I was late with the lettuces so they are still very small and I had very poor germination rates from the sweetcorn which is disappointing but overall, given everything else that occupies my time, I am pleased with my efforts.garden Jne 2015The raspberries and blueberries in the fruit cage are looking very promising but not much action on the blackcurrants.
fruit cage 2015 I snapped piccies of some of the beautiful flowers in my garden and thought about how many beautiful things there are out there.flowers 14 flowers 13 The scent from rose that clambers over the apple tree is quite heavenly.flowers 11 flowers 10 flowers 9 flowers 8 flowers 7 flower 6 flower 5 flower 4 flower 3 flower 2 flower 1

After taking the dogs for a walk we had hot dogs and ice cream for supper.  We really did.  Vegan tofu hot dogs in a wholemeal roll with mustard, ketchup and vegan cheese followed by raspberry and mango sorbet.  I was not really keen on the hot dogs but Harvey was.  I have no desire to eat meat free versions of meat and am very happy with plants but Harvey likes it and as he is being so supportive we had a supper for him.

I hope you all had a happy weekend and I really hope the plumber can get to the bottom of the problems that have caused me and my visitors so much aggravation over the past month or so in Ramsgate.

 

 

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3 Simple Vegan Meals

Weigh Day Friday and I lost 2 pounds this week which is great.  It gets me to a total of 27 pounds lost year to date.  I have been yo-yoing up and down recently so it was good to have lost an extra pound so I am now at my lightest weight this year to date.

One significant thing about this week’s 2 pound loss is it gets me back to where I was in March 2012 as it means I am back to having lost 4 stone since my all time heaviest. ¬†It is so frustrating to think about all that weight I have lost but regained. ¬†However, I have lost it again and hopefully this time next week I will have lost more again.

I called this post “3 simple vegan meals” but I actually had 4 today! ¬†1 was really a snack but even so, I guess the 2 apples I had for breakfast would count as a meal. ¬†I photographed 2 but was still hungry so I had a third.

apples It is such a huge pleasure for me to be able to pick veggies from the garden to eat and the recent sunshine has brought on the mizuna and spinach a treat.mizuna and spinachBaked Sweet Potato, Salad and Tahini Dressing

Ingredients (seves 1)

1 sweet potato
large pile of veggies you want to eat raw (I used mizuna, spinach, 2 tomatoes and cucumber)
1 tbsp tahini
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper

Method

Turn the oven to 180¬†¬įC
Score a line round the potato, just cutting through the skin
Bake potato until soft which takes about 45 minutes
Prepare salad
Combine tahini, oil, lemon juice and season to taste
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve with the potato

This takes about an hour from thinking about it to eating it but only about 10 minutes actual preparation time so is perfect when you are busy, as I was with work.
sweet potato salad Mid afternoon I was peckish and fancied a snack so I made Papaya Nice-Cream

Papaya Nice-Cream

Ingredients (serves 1)

  • 3 frozen bananas (freeze bananas when the skins are brown and spotty. ¬†Peel them, place in a tupperware container or plastic bag and freeze)
  • 1 papaya
  • Sprinkles (optional) such as dessicated coconut, cacao nibs or fresh fruit

Method

  1. Deseed, peel and chop the papaya in to chunks
  2. Chop the banana in to chunks
  3. Place fruit in blender and blitz until smooth (in a Vita Mix this only takes about a minute)

bananas papaya banana and papaya I added a heaped tbsp each of coconut and cacao nibspapaya nice cream and toppings This is so divine I could eat bowl fulls of it and I can eat it guilt free as it is just fruit (and sprinkles) :-). ¬†Papaya Nice-Cream is probably my favourite Nice-Cream as it has such a delicate but lovely flavour and the consistency is so smooth.papaya nice cream For supper we had pasta and bolognaise sauce with a vegan cheese.quorn pasta Harvey’s wasn’t vegan as I added quorn to his which contains egg white but it was at least vegetarian and he loved it.pasta quorn

Pasta with a Kale and Tomato Sauce 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 2 huge handfuls of kale, chopped
  • 1 tin of tomatoes or equivalent amount of passata
  • salt to taste
  • pasta of choice
  • vegan cheese, fresh basil and pepper to serve

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan (I use a frying pan rather than a saucepan as it is easier to reduce the sauce)
  2. fry the onion gently for about 5 minutes until nearly soft
  3. add the red pepper and cook for 5 minutes
  4. add the kale, turn up the heat and let the kale go crispy
  5. add the tomatoes, add salt if required, stir and leave to simmer
  6. cook pasta according to packet instructions
  7. place pasta in a large bowl, pour over the kale sauce, top with cheese and torn fresh basil and plenty of black pepper

pasta kale sauce A delicious vegan supper, made whilst being in awe of the torrential down pour and thunder storm raging in the garden.  And made whilst feeling so sorry for the 2 huge dogs hiding under the table!pasta and kale sauce

 

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