Having never been a big 'sun bunny' myself, I am loving the idea of Autumn being on it's way! For me, Autumn means the start of school again (or University in my case!) which I have always looked forward to - hello to new stationary?!! Autumn also means my birthday in October! Yay!
I have always just loved the return to regime and routine Autumn and September brings, I love the fresh start feeling of a new year and I always seem to feel refreshed too in terms of my diet. This Autumn I am looking forward to returning to clean eating habits which I feel I have slipped on towards the end of this summer.
These past few weeks or so have brought in more 'Fall' like food, to me this means all those yummy warming flavours and textures like my Vegetable Quinoa Risotto , oversized Bruschetta for dinner and my All Natural Protein Pancakes as per usual.
I apologise that all my pictures this summer look very similar! As you guys can tell from the pictures, I am at home at the moment for summer, hence all the matching plates and bowls!! After this week or so I will imagine my posts will begin to vary in their look a little due to the lack of blue and white crockery I own, which is all we have at home!!
2 new favourites for this month include Cadbury Brunch Bars. Guys, these little beauties are amazing. Yes, not the healthiest option but so gorgeously chocolatly and raisoney ( I know I just made up those two adjectives there) ! I recommend these if you fancy a chocolate hit with your afternoon cuppa for a treat rather than reaching for a Mars Bar though, as at only 150 calories they aint gonna mess you up for the rest of the day.
I also have loved home made Hummus! For this I literally just sling in half a can of chickpeas into a food processor with a little oil, 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a large crushed clove of garlic with salt and pepper. This is so moorish! I love enjoying this with the trusty old carrot or orange pepper. Also, does anyone out there agree with me that orange peppers really are the best!?
Another new recipe this week came from a 'Yoga for Life' book by Josephine Fairley and is called: 'A Superbly Sustaining Soup'. Not so much a soup but more a meal in a bowel, this soup is so good, so good. I can already tell this will be one of my favourite recipes this winter time. Using pearl barley, which is a great natural thickener, this soup is 100% healthy and natural. And as with most of my recipes, is even better the next day!
Ingredients (6 portions)
For the soup:
150 g pearl barley (check if it needs soaking)
2.4 litres of veg stock (or use Marigold Swiss Veg. Bouillon Powder)
3 tablespoons ish of olive oil
165 g chopped onions
75 g carrots, chopped
75 g mushrooms, finely sliced
50 g celery, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
A few sprigs of fresh parsley to serve
1) Rinse the barley and place in a large saucepan with three cups of the stock. Place over a medium heat. If you are using homemade stock (see below for recipe) add a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil then simmer for an hour till the liquid becomes absorbed. Remove from the heat and fork the grain to fluff it up.
2) While the grain was cooking: In a large saucepan heat olive oil over a medium heat then add the onions, carrots, mushrooms and celery. Stir for a few minutes till they have softened then add the remaining stock, salt and pepper to taste. Careful with the salt if using Bouillon powder as may well be salty enough. Bring to the boil then simmer for half an hour .
3) Now add the cooked barley and simmer for another 5-10 minutes or so. Check for seasoning and add some parsley to pretty it up for serving!
For the stock (two litres):
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 celery stalks roughly chopped
2 onions, peeled and quartered
A handful of parsley
1 dried bay leaf
This stock makes a good base for any soup and is far more natural that using a mix or powder which I always find too salty. You could also use any veggies you have lying around too and make double, freeze half for another soup! Just cover with cold water (around 2 litres), bring to the boil then leave to simmer for 30 mins. Strain, discarding the veggies, and the stock is ready!
This soup really surprised me, I love the texture of a thinner soup with grains or pasta. I think I will up the veggies though a little more next time, adding some leek and maybe more mushrooms to make it even more filling.
It really reminded me of a comforting chicken soup your Mum might have made when your sick!
But of course this is vegan friendly so I will be loving this this winter.
Alter the veggies to your choice and there you go - a fab winter soup!
Looking forward to getting back into more regular posting now I am returning back to University...
Till the next post guys, happy eating xx