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  1. How Do Vegetarians Get Their Protein?

    August 3, 2012 by Chrissie

    If you are a vegetarian or thinking of becoming one you may worry about sources of protein as the most obvious source of protein is meat, red meat in particular. However there are plenty of sources of protein like happy eggs and grains that can be consumed by vegetarians to maintain healthy levels of protein and this article will illustrate some of the best and easiest sources.
    Whole grains are without doubt one of the best vegetarian options for protein, however one does rise above as being the best of the best. Quinoa, this contains all the essential amino acids making it a “complete protein”. Just one cup of cooked Quinoa will provide you with 18 milligrams of protein! However whole grains such as whole grain bread, brown rice and barley are all adequate alternatives.


    Another fantastic source of proteins for vegetarians is beans, lentils and peas. Black beans, kidney beans, Indian dhal, vegetarian chilli, split pea soup and chickpea hummus – with a wide variety of potential flavour/meal combinations they are all really easy and efficient ways of upping your protein intake! Whilst soy is a bean to, it’s such a popular source it merits its very own paragraph down below.

    Soy has such variety that it can keep you interested indefinitely exploring it’s potential. You might have tried tofu and soy milk before but what about soy ice cream, soy yoghurt, soy nuts, soy cheese? Tempeh and TVP are also very soy rich vegetarian options. Most soy options come with an added bonus as recently it has started to be fortified with many other nutrients that are useful for vegetarians, such as calcium, iron and vitamin B12.

    Nuts all contain protein as do seeds. However most of them are high in fat so they don’t make a good primary source of protein as the benefits of the protein are outweighed by the negative impacts of fat. They are a snack with a lot of protein though so are perfect for when you don’t have time to prepare something.


    Check the labels of the meat substitutes you buy, if you do buy them, as you will find they are usually fairly good sources of protein, most will contain soy or wheat protein. Alongside meat substitutes you may consider supplements aswell. These are obviously amazing for protein but it is worth shelling out for quality as some of the cheaper brands will use fillers in their products.


  2. Tea and cake

    June 3, 2012 by Chrissie

    There’s just one thing better than a nice cup of tea and that’s a nice cup of tea and a bit of cake. Not every day of course, just now and again on a special occasion or when you’re in an undeniably cakey mood. You know, THOSE days.

    One would imagine that the only thing better than tea and cake would be tea and cake with all the people in the past, present and future that you have ever wanted to meet.

    I’ll go first:

    • Judi Dench – she seems like a tea and cake kind of woman
    • Barack Obama – just because I want to meet him and when he sand Al Green I fell more in love.
    • John Goodman – I bet he likes cake and another thing better than tea and cake is tea, cake and a good chuckle!
    • Helen Mirren – she definitely seems like she’d love high tea with all the trimmings
    • Stephen Fry – do I really need to give a reason?

    Other things possibly better than tea and cake:

    • Tea, cake and accompanying favourite live music – a tinkle of jazz piano perhaps for that extra high tea cliché
    • Tea, cake and room full of puppies
    • Tea, cake and your three best friends
    • Tea, cake and a winning lottery ticket in your hand

    You get the picture. I know we could both add lots more to these lists but instead, let’s ponder why tea and cake is so damn lovely.

     

    Well first of all, tea has some excellent health benefits. Dependent on which tea you drink, it can help prevent signs of ageing, can help with allergies, heart disease, bone strength, cholesterol and green tea is said to be cancer preventative.

    And what about cake, why is there nothing better than a lovely slice of cake? Of course the sugar content helps. It tastes good as well as gives us a little sugar boost, making us happy. If your cake is chocolatey then it too can have health benefits as it will contain antioxidants.

    So basically what we’re saying is tea and cake is the best thing ever and taken in the afternoon will give you the little lift you need to avoid a post lunch slump and get your day done.


  3. Vegetarian Wonton Dumplings

    March 26, 2012 by Chrissie


    I absolutely adore dumplings, I almost think there is nothing better and there is a chance that I could eat a world record’s worth of them. I really love the simple old school dough ball dumplings. On a cold night with a large dollop of veggie stew, they are such a comfort food.

    When you read about veggie dumplings, likelihood is they’re referring to something that is a bit different to the dough balls your granny made you, unless your granny is of Asian descent!! Vegetable dumplings are much lighter, they are little wonton pockets of vegetables. They are absolutely delicious and walk that fine line between a healthy bite and a stodgy comfort food.

    Here is a recipe for making your own vegetable dumplings. Veggie dumplings do have a lot of ingredients but if you use ready made wonton wrappers, it will make the prep much easier. This recipe is a variation of one I found on the food network. They take about 50 minutes to prep and 10 – 15 minutes to cook.

    Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 pound firm tofu
    • 1/2 cup shredded cabbage
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onions
    • 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
    • 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
    • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
    • 1 egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

    • Bowl of water, plus additional water for steamer

    • 35 to 40 small wonton wrappers

    • Non-stick vegetable spray, for the steamer

    Instructions:


    Cut the tofu in half horizontally and lay between layers of paper towels. Put on a plate and then place a weight on top and let stand for about 20 minutes.

    Cut the tofu into 1/4-inch cubes

    Add the cabbage, red pepper, carrots, ginger, sesame oil, scallions, soy sauce, hoisin, egg, salt, and pepper. Lightly stir to combine.

    Follow instructions on your wonton wrappers, putting 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture in the center of each one. Keep damp until all your mixture is gone – using damp paper towel will help.

    Place in steamer of choice, cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes making sure the wontons are not touching each other. You will probably cook 6 – 10 at a time. Keep in over until all the dumplings are cooked.

    Enjoy!



  4. The Very Best Flapjack Recipe Ever!

    March 15, 2012 by Chrissie



    The best flapjack recipe is one that I have made for years. It makes the most delicious little bit chewy, but little bit crunchy flapjack on this side of the planet.

    Flapjack reminds me of my childhood.  Before I switched to the vanilla slice at 14 and after I switched from the plain donut at 8, flapjack was my go to choice in the local bakery! The ongoing beauty of flapjack is that it is deliciously tasty and very cheap to make!

    Flapjack is a really basic dessert or snack square, it doesn’t have the best nutritional content but is very delicious. If you want to get a little more healthy, turn the flapjack into a granola style bar with some dried fruit and nuts.

    Here is my favourite flapjack recipe, it should serve about 10 people and be ready in 45 minutes including cooking time. You will find most flapjack recipes are very similar:

    Ingredients:

    • 125g butter
    •  100g brown soft sugar
    •  250g rolled oats
    •  4 tablespoons golden syrup

     

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to Gas mark 4 or 180 °C.

    • In a saucepan on a low heat, combine the brown sugar, golden syrup and butter.
    • Cook, stirring occasionally, until butter and sugar have both melted.
    • Stir in the oats until mixed well.
    • Pour into baking tin – 20cm works well.
    • The mixture will be 2 to 3cm thick.

     
    Bake for 30 minutes in the preheated oven. When the top is that lovely recognisable golden brown, take out, cut into squares and then leave to cool completely before removing the squares from the tin.


  5. The Great 2012 Detox

    January 22, 2012 by Chrissie


    Did you overdo it at Christmas? Don’t say no, because we know you did and even if you didn’t well, you can’t tell us that, we’re still in rich food hangover mode and you’re just going to make us feel guilty!

    If you did overdo it, well good for you, Christmas is the time for feasting and celebration, but likelihood is that you are now feeling a little bloated and in need of a post Christmas detox! We know we are!

    First things first, NO FAD DIETS. We’re sure the soup diet is really great for people who are actually undergoing heart surgery, but for anyone else, it’s a fad and a miserable prospect, believe us! The best way to feel better after a month of sugar, booze and big dinners is to simplify, reduce and detoxify.

    So without starving, how do we best detoxify?

    Well green smoothies are a great way to improve health, increase energy, fill up and feel good. You can juice pretty much anything but always always always throw in some raw greens. We love alternating spinach and kale. Check out cancer survivor’s Kris Carr’s site www.crazysexylife.com, this woman literally saved her life by eating the right foods and juicing!

    Other foods to increase in your diet and that are excellent for detoxifying the body are listed below:
    • Fruits – easy to digest, full of antioxidants and body flushing water
    • Greens – as already mentioned these MUST be in your diet.
    • Lemons – great for digestion and flushing, drink a cup of hot water and lemon every morning before you do anything else!
    • Green tea – great antioxidant
    • Garlic – keep the vampires at bay and also stimulate your live to detox
    • Omega 3 Oils – avocados, hemp, flax seed oil, these goodies will help lubricate the digestive tract and shift stagnant waste
    Good luck with the New Year detox, we’re sure it will work out really well!