So, your feeling a little low, a little poorly, or perhaps you can feel a cold on the horizon… What do you always crave in these situations? Yes Tomato Soup, and this recipe tastes so similar to the ‘Heinz’ favourite but without the hidden sugars, salts and other nasty stuff! So comforting and warming to the tummy! Guaranteeing you feel a little better and reaching for a second helping…
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and roughly diced
2 sticks celery, roughly diced
2 x 400g cans chopped Italian organic plum tomatoes
800ml vegetable stock
handful basil leaves
3 sprigs parsley
Salt and pepper
Place the olive oil in a large saucepan over a low heat and gently fry the onion, garlic carrots and celery for 10 minutes until soft. Add the canned tomatoes, stock, fresh basil and parsley. Bring to the boil, season and simmer for 40 minutes.
Puree the soup, then push through a strainer and return to the saucepan. Reheat. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve with crusty bread.
The second week of January, the resolutions are starting to get a little harder to keep up, habits are slipping back into our life. As the weather gets colder we just want to hibernate in front of the fire with big woolly jumpers watching box sets.
Don’t give up, this is a wonderful time of year to begin a new journey with 300 plus blank pages ahead of you. It is a time to dream of holiday destinations, detox the home or office and start your healthy journey whatever direction you feel that journey needs. It is exciting because you have the time to develop these new healthy habits which will then last you a lifetime.
So, pick up that yoga mat because you know once you arrive at the yoga studio you are building healthy habits and building the right frame of mind. This in turn will develop a more positive mindset which will then stay with you when you leave the studio to continue with all your new healthy habits.
“Small daily improvements are the key to long term staggering results”
What do you need on a cold winter’s day yep a traditional Neapolitan bean soup, delish, nourishing and perfect for veganuary and it serves 6, I always find it tastes better the second day. Thanks Gino D’Acampo.
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
1 x 400g tin borlotti beans - drained
1 x 400g tin cannellini beans - drained
1 x 400g tin chickpeas - drained
1 x 400g tin lentils - drained
100g tinned chopped tomatoes (first time I made this I used a whole tin and it still tasted great - oops)
1.5 litres vegetable stock (made with 2 stock cubes)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley
Salt to taste
Place the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, fry the onion for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.
Add the rosemary and chilli flakes, cook for a further 2 minutes, then add the beans, chickpeas and lentils. Stir well, cook for 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook on a low heat, uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt, fold in the parsley and allow to rest for 5 minutes.
Serve in warm bowls with a few slices of warm crusty bread.
It will leave you feeling all warm and toasty inside.
Well it has arrived, was it with a bang for you? Did you creep off to bed early? Or maybe a lovely meal with friends to see in the new year? However, you decided to go into the new year I bet you have thought about resolutions, or someone has asked are you going to make a resolution to improve yourself?
But, stop, we don’t need resolutions, we are enough, we are a lovely, loving, adorable person and the only thing we need to remember in 2019 is to love ourselves, whatever our shape, fitness, food cravings. None of it matters more than loving yourself as you are.
So, in 2019 when we wake up in the morning, let’s set our intention to love ourselves, moods and all. Let us also be mindful about all our daily activities, whether we are exercising, working, eating because, a little bit of love is all we need to be a happier version of ourselves.
Happy New Year
‘Paloma Fizz’ Mocktail… Unique and refreshing with a hint of rosemary.
Ingredients Serves 2
For the Rosemary Simple Syrup: (Keep the excess in an air tight jar)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, coarsely chopped
For the Drink:
1/2 cup pink grapefruit juice
2 tablespoons rosemary simple syrup
1 1/3 cup Pink Grapefruit Tonic Water (available from major supermarkets)
Rosemary sprig for garnish
Grapefruit slice for garnish and Crushed ice
To make the Rosemary Simple Syrup simply add the water and sugar to a pan, add rosemary, simmer and cook until all the sugar is dissolved before letting this cool completely.
To make the drink pour grapefruit juice and simple syrup in a glass, stir to mix, add ice and top off with tonic water, garnish with a sprig of rosemary and a slice of grapefruit.
Clink glasses with your friends and Enjoy… Happy New Year
We are in that funny time of year no longer Christmas but not quite New Year, the stress of buying all the presents, getting the decorations up and buying all the food we need for the festive season can leave us all exhausted….. it did me.
Then suddenly we are in the middle, not ready to get back to our normal routine, but also not quite ready for NYE. I mean will the outfit we were planning to wear before Christmas still fit!! Yikes!! That’s a thought.
Also, though, I don’t know about you but I’m not quite ready to think about new year resolutions yet either…. I am not ready to give up the party just yet!
However, I am ready to hit my mat, stretch, breath and work my way through a few energising flows to relax my mind and to look back at what 2018 has brought both highs and lows and be ready to embrace 2019 on Monday night. Let’s all remember 365 new days are ahead which will give us 365 new chances, bring it on.
This is a simple but beautiful curry which is easy to follow and fabulous on a cold winters day. This version is by Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall.
1 medium cauliflower
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Large pinch of dried chilli flakes
400g tin tomatoes
400g tin of chick peas
2 teaspoons garam masala
Handful of chopped coriander
Salt and pepper
Cut the cauliflower into medium florets. Put into a large pan, cover with cold water, add some salt and bring to a rolling boil. This will part cook the cauliflower. Take off the heat straight away, drain well and keep warm in the pan.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onions, garlic and ginger, sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the ground coriander, cumin, chilli flakes and seasoning, cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes with their juice and the chickpeas. Stir well, then add the cooked cauliflower. Pour in enough cold water to almost but not quite cover everything (100-200ml) and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until he cauliflower is tender.
Stir in the garam masala and half the chopped coriander, then check the seasoning. Serve scattered with the remaining coriander and accompanied by rice, flatbreads or naan.
Have you noticed at this time of year our skin looks sallow, the tan of summer has long gone and in its place, we have dry, dehydrated skin which is definitely not looking its best, especially if you have been to a few Christmas parties over the past few weeks.
Our skin however is the largest organ of the body and contributes hugely to all the detoxifying process with our other internal organs, including our liver, bowel, kidney and lungs. It is so important for us to keep up our winter yoga practice at this time of year as it helps the skin glow and renew, if you do a strong, heated vinyasa yoga flow, it will help the body in a natural way cleanse and hydrate the skin which will increase the texture and suppleness so that you get a natural yoga glow.
“The best foundation you can wear is glowing healthy skin”
Eeeeek……. It is only 11 days to Christmas, but and a big but, are you Mrs Frazzle or Mrs Ready? Talking to my friends we fit into either one or the other category. I’m well and truly Mrs Frazzle. So much to do still, presents to buy, food to prepare and to buy. Did you get your slot for click and collect or home delivery? I procrastinated and have ended up with a slot but not the one I wanted!!!
At this time of year, we have so much to think about, it is exhausting, the to do list is never ending, then we have the day job! So, stop take a moment and calm yourself, stress isn’t good for any of us and when we work in a calm way we actually get so much more done. Let’s break down our lists and section it, can we pass certain tasks off to other members of our families? If we have people coming on Christmas Day can we set them some tasks to do for us? Does the shop we are buying presents from, whether online or high street do a wrapping service, this saves so much time later.
When we stop to think for a moment we get more productive, get through our lists and hopefully to our yoga practice as we need all the meditation, breathing and calm we can get just now.
As the temperature drops outside our circulation starts to decrease which then slows the effectiveness of our organs and lowers our body temperature. This leads to a stiffness of the joints, constriction of the muscles and as I mentioned last week a tendency to want to just curl up on the sofa.
With this in mind, last week we looked at Sun Salutations, this week let’s think about keeping our arms up high. When we raise our arms up in any of our poses it will increase your heart rate and your body heat. We can do this at every opportunity Tree Pose, Warrior Three, or perhaps even Warrior Two just moving our arms up to the sky instead of stretching them horizontally. We can think about it with forward bends and seated folds.
Make sure as you stretch upwards or forwards you are stretching your spine, working all your muscles to raise that inner temperature.
“The very heart of yoga practice is ‘abyhasa’ steady effort in the direction you want to go”
Well there I am shopping in Waitrose and on the way out glanced at the recipe cards, what do you know this is absolutely delicious, had it last night and can’t wait to have it again next week.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
Handful of chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, crushed
½ tsp paprika
2 tbsp Harissa paste
400g can chopped tomatoes
Pinch caster sugar
400 g can chick peas, drained and rinsed
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion, fennel and parsley to the pan and sweat gently for 10 minutes until softened. Uncover and add the garlic, fry for a further 3 minutes, stirring continually, then add the paprika and harissa continue frying for a further 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, pinch of sugar, then fill half of the tin of tomato can with water and add to the pot. Simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the chick peas and heat through for a further 5 minutes.
Serve the stew with some roughly chopped parsley (extra to above) and if you fancy, a dollop of dairy-free yoghurt.
It’s winter and I just want to snuggle under my blanket on the sofa and watch mindless TV or read my book with the log burner going…… Is that how you feel?
Wait, it is not good for us we need to keep moving and over the next few weeks we will look at why practising our yoga in the cold months is essential for our wellbeing.
Aching joints? Flu and cold symptoms? No energy? Sallow skin? Mood swings as not enough sunshine? The list goes on as to why we need to get our mats out and practice.
Seasonal affective disorder is common in the winter and is brought on by darkness and lack of sunshine, or, for some, we get the winter blues. We have no energy, feel tired, an increase in appetite. Yoga can help you alleviate these systems, by incorporating Sun Salutations into our morning practice, they build heat, increase our cardio capacity which then increases our energy and endurance which then rebalances our sleep-wake cycles, eating habits and digestion.
If you are in a cold room, start your salutations slowly, with deep breaths, increasing the pace with your breathing as you move through the salutations. A good reason to start the day in an energetic way whatever the weather.
Sun Salutations can energise and warm you, even on the darkest, coldest, winter day
- Carol Krucoft
Bread, how I love it, white bread, multi grain bread, brown bread, rye bread, sourdough bread, soda bread, pitta breads, flat breads, pizza, bagels, the list just goes on, what a wonderful food choice you are. You go with everything, dipped into soup and hummus, chapati or naan’s with curries, flat breads with middle eastern food. You are everywhere in every country I have visited and that’s a lot. You are cheap, you are filling and you are so versatile.
Now, I was going to write something about breakfasts and thought of bread and couldn’t get past it, ha ha. Anyway, one of my favourite breakfasts has to be a lovely slice of some gorgeous bread toasted with avocado and poached egg what a match in heaven. What will you have for breakfast this weekend?
“Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all” – Nelson Mandela