Fried Broccoli, Apple and Grape Salad

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Salads are still appropriate as it starts to get that little bit cooler! You’ve just got to adjust the ingredients as needs be and try it warm! I love a good warm salad any time of year to be honest! But even more so in autumn/winter! I’m easily cold so putting fridge cold vegetables and fruit into my mouth when its cooler outside really doesn’t appeal to me.. Also there’s something about a cooked grape! It’s so sweet, comforting and all round delicious! Actually there’s something about frozen grapes on hot summer days too! They turn into sorbet like sweets! Incredible! I mean I love a good grape on a normal day but when they are cooked (especially in a potato with cheese! Check out my ebook for that recipe! Its unbelievable!) or frozen, it takes them to a whole new grape level!

I’ve created a super simple fried salad! You can’t go wrong with a little bit of broccoli, and the fruit adds a nice autumnal sweetness! It sort of reminds me of a waldorf salad but not.. I know what I mean!! You could prepare this salad for school or work and eat it cold the next day or if you are like me, put the rocket, cheese and walnuts to one side and heat it through or actually, you could leave the walnuts and cheese on, whack it in the oven and the walnuts will toast up nicely and the cheese will go all gooey and melt over everything to create a melted cheesy, nutty goodness salad! Sounds good eh? Even better when the cheese goes all golden and luscious on top too!! We fight over the golden melted cheese in our house..

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Ingredients – Serves two

1 tbsp ghee

1 medium/large broccoli, cut into small florrets

2 red apples, chopped into bite sized pieces

30 red grapes

12 big walnuts, soaked overnight, drained, rinsed and chopped

2 large handfuls of rocket

70g unpasteurised Lincolnshire poacher/blue/Kirkham Lancashire, cut into cubes

Method

Heat the ghee in a large pan.

Ass the broccoli and fry over a medium to high heat until golden.

Add the apple and grass and fry over a medium heat for around 5-7 minutes whilst you prepare the other ingredients and until the grapes skin begins to split.

Place the rocket in two bowls.

Divide up the fried broccoli mix.

Top with the chopped walnuts and cheese of choice.

Enjoy xx

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Chocolate Hummus

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This has been the first and only successful hummus I’ve ever made and it worked first time! Well I think its pretty easy to tell I have one big sweet tooth… I see it as a positive rather than a negative though! I can make delicious sweets which are healthy too!! Plus I don’t know about you but I’d pick a chocolate hummus over the normal everyday hummus any day!!

So it might sound really strange but believe me it works! You can’t taste and wouldn’t know there was chickpeas in this if I didn’t tell you! If you have tried my chickpea brownies you’ll know, they just add creaminess and bind everything together! This hummus is more like a chocolate mousse or dessert rather than a hummus but seeing as the main ingredient is chickpeas, i thought I’d stick with the classic name!

If you wanted to be really fancy, but healthy, you could use this hummus in place of a fondue as dessert and dip all kinds of fruits in there! Or you could serve them in little glass pots, all layered with yogurt and berries and maybe some cacao nibs as a pretty but perfect after dinner treat!

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INGREDIENTS – SERVES TWO

1 can of organic chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 tbsp cashew milk – any nut milk will do

5 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 really ripe banana

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 dsp of lucuma powder

1 tsp raw vanilla powder

Toppings –

12 frozen raspberries

a handful of raw coconut flakes

2 heaped tsp of coconut yoghurt – I use Coyo vanilla

METHOD

Simply, place all the hummus ingredients into a blender and blend until silky smooth.

Divide between two bowls and top with a generous spoonful of coconut yoghurt.

Toast the coconut flakes in a dry pan over a medium heat until golden and then scatter over the hummus with the berries.

Get tucked in!

Leitchy xx

Monthly favourites – September

Blimey these months are getting faster and faster! Maybe it’s because I’m feeling more and more motivated and happier and excited about everything! Oh and it’s 14 weeks until Christmas! Let the countdown begin! As it gets closer you’ll soon realise it’s my favourite time of year and you will definitely become bombarded with Christmassy things on both my Instagram and my blog!

Anyway its only September so let’s hold on to the summer whilst we can!

Grab yourself a Maca cookie and lets get going!

INGREDIENT

Squash! I love squash both sweet and savoury. Mashed and whole! It’s so comforting and super delicious and buttery! I love it for breakfast in my squash and nut butter bowls and I love it in pancakes and baking as it’s sweet and buttery! I love it simply cut up, skin on and roasted with salt to create the most perfect squash chips or wedges! I also love it blended in soup or as a pie topping and I love it in salads, stews, curries and risottos! Really I just love it! The ultimate comfort food and perfect at this time of year! They come in all shapes and sizes and they are all delicious!

RECIPE

Maca cookies! I’m writing this on Sunday, you’re reading this two days later and I made the cookies yesterday and they are undoubtably my favourite recipe of the month, if not year! They again are the ultimate comfort food! So buttery, crumbly but moist, sweet and gooey and so malty and delicious! They are also mood enhancing so really are the ultimate comfort food! As maca responds to each bodies needs and has been proven to balance mood hormones, speed up healing and provide energy! As well as being caramel like and malty and the perfect replacement for sugar and horlicks in your hot milk or chocolate! I love it and I can’t stop shoving it in everything I make at the minute! I’m one big fan! I’m also one big fan of these cookies! They literally lasted a couple of hours in my house anndddd they’d trick anyone into eating healthy but don’t leave you feeling blllaaaahhh after! They leave you with one big grin on your face!

FOOD

Kale chips! Still..I know but I just love em! Crunchy chips of spicy or salty joy! I tried making my own but they were nowhere near as good as the ones I’ve bought!! My favourites are the ones that contain cashew nuts as they are super crunchy and satisfying and add a nice cheesy crunch which is just delicous! Im loving the Rawlicious sweet thai and I’m loving the bbq Inspiral! Both incredible! I recommend the big bags of Inspiral though, the small bags just don’t satisfy those cravings enough!!

SNACK

Maca lattes and all things maca but lattes in general, whether that be cinnamon, chicory or beetroot! When I say lattes I mean hot milk with the flavours just mentioned. When I was in London last week I visited all the healthy spots and tried a whole lot of hot drinks! Up north, when we go out, I can only order water which is really boring but we’re a little behind on the whole health scene up here! In London every restaurant we went to I could have lattes and smoothies and juices! My favourite being the maca latte at Farmacy and the beet latte at The Sanderson and the Nama hazelnut coffee alternative!

NUT BUTTER

My homemade almond butter! I’ve finally got round to making my own! I’m not going to lie, it was one long wait, we’re talking an hour but I think that was due to my food processor. Now my Vitamix has arrived it should be a lot easier and quicker hopefully! I’ve heard it’s meant to make ten minutes so hopefully I won’t have to stand there for the longest hour of my life again. So far I’ve made salted almond butter and it was incredible and only lasted 2 days… next up pecan and hazelnut!!

FITNESS

Not been feeling it to be truthful. When I had a lot of stomach problems, if you don’t know we’re talking 25 tablets.. I lost a lot of weight due to my appetite not being there! Anyway now my stomach is pretty much a OK, I can now eat the average portion size and three meals a day and two to three snacks a day too! Which is amazing and now I am trying to put on weight andddd I get to try lots of yummy foods and get experimental in the kitchen a lot more. Anyway my motivation in the gym just isn’t there, I mean I still go with my dad as it’s part of our routine and we only do weight training and things and I do feel better after going, but the thought of it, I’m just not feeling! Maybe it will change! I think I need to switch up my routines and try new classes or something! It doesn’t help when I can see all the exciting classes down south which we just don’t have up here! Anndddd I’ve got so many other things on my mind which I’m getting excited about and which i want to devote all my time too!

FASHION

Trousers of all kinds! I’ve got two plain black, one classier than the other, one black pair with a red stripe on (my fave), a grey casual pair, a blue and white striped summery pair and a duck egg classy pair! Ooober comfy, look dressy and go with pretty much everything both casual and dressy! Sorry guys, I can’t find links for the rest! But they are from Topshop, Urban Outfitters and Zara.

RESTAURANT

Ooooh this is a hard one! Probably Farmacy! We headed straight here with our suitcases as soon as we got to London on the Friday. We had to queue to get in, it was that popular! They said 45 minutes but I’d say we were seated within 20 minutes. They looked after our cases whilst we ate and the staff were lovely! To start I had an apple aid juice which was a green juice with apple, lemon and mint! Super yummy and refreshing and just what I needed after a long journey! To eat I had their middle eastern bowl which was a delicious, and bright, bowl of quinoa and buckwheat tabouleh, baba ganoush, hummus, falafels, cashew cream, sprouts and crackers! So delicious! The hummus and ganoush was incredible! My mum had mushroom pasta and my Dad had a burger and they both said they were delicious too! My Dad even said his burger was just as good as any meat one he had ever eaten. Then I had a delicious Maca latte as mentioned above and then me and my Dad shared the most incredible ice cream sundae I’ve ever had in my whole life, healthy or not. It was made up of vanilla nice cream, date caramel, cookie dough, brownie bites, strawberries and peanut brittle! All incredible and all healthy, unbelievably so! Honestly I don’t know how they did it and I can’t describe how good it was but it was out of this world!

SONG

Friends – Bon Iver

DISCOVERY

Activating and dehydrators! I’ve been activating (soaking my nuts overnight to get rid of the phytic acid – an anti-nutrient that irritates the gut lining and prevents certain minerals being absorbed into the body) my nuts for some time now and I’ve seen a world of difference with my stomach, but they didn’t have that same crunch, plus it’s harder to toast them whilst they still contain a lot of liquid. Soooo, its been a long time coming, but I’ve finally got a dehydrator!! Now I can crisp back up my nuts, make my own nut butter, dehydrate crackers and other things like breads, pizza bases, veg chips and granolas and much more! I love it! I’ve already made two nut butter, two batches of crackers and have activated three loads of nuts and have experimented with veg chips and I’ve only had it a week! There’s nothing more satisfying than making your own nut butter and you can make it any flavour and texture you like! I love it! I’m so looking forward to making lots more nut butters and crackers and experiment with the dehydrator more! I’m sure I’ll become obsessed with it once I’ve been on my raw baking, cake and pastry courses at Nama!!

PHOTO

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Having breakfast at Nama in London

BOOK

The new Harry Potter book, The Cursed Child! I must admit when I started reading it, I wasn’t sure whether I’d take to reading it as a play, as I’ve never really read a play before and it takes more concentration but I’m really loving it and I’m still imagining all the characters as the ones from the film and I love dipping back into the magical world before I go to bed to relax. I will always be a big Harry Potter fan and I will never get sick of the books or the films! I recommend giving it a go if you’ve read all the books! It’s definitely different but in a good way and I’m excited to see what else she brings out to follow!

INSTAGRAM

Hudgecook! Beautiful photography and food combinations with exciting flavours and always hearty! I love it! So fresh, flavoursome, colourful, exciting, experimental but uniform in style and everything he makes looks incredibly delicious! Very inspirational and worth a follow.

TV

Let’s not mess about here..Bake Off!! I love it more and more every year. It’s an easy watch, its friendly TV, it’s always good for baking inspiration, we all have our favourites, it’s exciting to see what they’ll come up with and everyone loves it no matter whether you’re a foodie or not. I always bake something before and we all sit round on the sofa as a family and eat whilst we watch. Super comforting and I just love it! Let’s not get into the palaver of it moving channel..

EVENT

Livia’s Kitchen afternoon tea! As you probably already know, I went to London last weekend especially for Livia’s afternoon tea! We decided to make a weekend of it so I could go to all the trendy foodie spots and feel inspired by healthy cafes, food and flavours! On the Saturday afternoon we headed to the place where the event was held. I must admit, I was in a little bit of a panic as we couldnt find it and there were road closures and the tube took longer than we had planned but we got there, a little flustered, but we got there! Livia introduced herself when we got there which I thought was lovely that she just didn’t presume everyone knew who she was! She then guided us to our table and let us sit anywhere we felt comfortable and then explained all the food she had prepared. We also got a little goodie bag full of food, drink and vests! So generous and kind! Such a nice gesture. The food and setting was incredible. We were all sat at a long beautifully decorated table set out with lots of food, flowers and tea galore! We started with little finger sandwiches full of guacamole or tahini and cucumber, I had both, and the tahini and cucumber were my favourite and definitely a combination I’m going to try again! Oh and maybe I should say, everything was vegan, gluten and refined sugar free! We then moved on to sweets (the best part) I started with the best! The scones.. no words can describe just how amazing these scones were, cookie dough like in texture with raisins but they tasted like scones, covered in her homemade berry chia jam and almond butter! A winning combination, so filling, heavenly and just incredible! Definitely one I need to bake at home! Then I had a rich chocolate muffin, also to die for, with a chocolate frosting, so indulgent and delicious. Then we had maca oat cookies which were just delicious and malty, especially covered in jam, and they were the inspiration for my maca cookies, except mine are grain free and a cookie rather than a biscuit! We also had a wide selection of teas and her delicious bites were on offer too! Apart from the food, the company was lovely too! I met a lovely girl called Celine and her boyfriend, who were from Switzerland. She had just moved here for university and she and her partner were making the most of his time here before he needed to head home, and so were visiting all the foodie spots! We got on really well and it was lovely to meet someone who shared the same interests as me and who too loved all things foodie and blog related! Definitely someone I’m going to keep in contact with! In fact we’ve already organised to meet up! Through Celine, I also met a lovely girl called Gemma, who came to the event with her mum, she is also a fellow foodie and is currently trying to solve her digestive issues! Again, someone who I’m going to keep in contact with and who I have also arranged to meet up with! We all have so much in common and I can’t wait to see them and get to know them better! I also got to chat with Livia about what I do, she was ever so supportive and informative and I can’t thank her enough. I’m excited to see her again and I’ll definitely be attending more of Livia’s future events. Such an inspiring, positive and delicious day and so many good things came out of it! Such a clever idea to do a healthy afternoon tea which healthy foodies, and also people who love afternoon tea can enjoy. My family loved it just as much as I did and they didn’t feel restricted or as if they were eating healthy, which is so important.

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BLOG

101 cookbooks! I came across this blog whilst I was flicking through the Green Kitchen Stories link section on their blog.  Healthy, creative and beautiful food, both in flavour combinations and food styling! I love everything about the blog. It’s such a coffee book blog if you know what I mean. So trendy, current, beautiful, eye catching and I can spend hours flicking through all her posts, for the pictures and the content.

WORK

Slaaw! So this week will be my fourth week! As I had to drop out of college due to being ill and then that took up quite a lot of months, I needed something to help me regain my confidence, push me that little bit further, gain some experience (as I have near to none) connect with people more and learn more about the food industry! Slaaw posted that they wanted someone to volunteer once a week to help out in the shop, serving food, making hot drinks and on the till. As you already know, I’m interested in health and wellbeing and as Slaaw are promoting healthy eating, easy healthy and accessible healthy eating, I thought this would be perfect! It’s only one day a week and it allows me to still get on with my work the other 6 days! I get on really well with the Sophie, the owner, and I enjoy talking to people and serving, as well as eating the food! It’s also in the field I love, I know what I’m talking about and as I say, I’m gaining confidence and experience. Thanks Sophie.

HOBBY

Baking and raw food! After my foodie weekend away and my first course I’ve felt really inspired to experiment with different ways of cooking, especially raw and plant based, with the dehydrator, blender and food processor! I can’t wait to learn more at my next handful of courses! I also felt super inspired to experiment with baking more, healthy baking of course! I’ve not really dived into the healthy baking side of things but at the moment, with my course, foodie weekend, Livia’s afternoon tea and the Bake Off, I love experimenting with sweet treats! Again, plant based, gluten free, grain free and refined sugar free bakes! So far, so good, in fact amazing, and I’ve got lots of notepads full of ideas I want to try! So far my cookies, raw bites, pancakes and breakfast bake have been my favourites! Oooh and my nut butters and crackers! I’m loving it and I’m loving exploring different ways of healthy cooking, preparing and different ingredients! Feeling so inspired and motivated! I’m loving it!

So guys, that rounds up my September favourites! I hope you enjoyed reading a little insight into my month and maybe you’ll feel inspired to check out a few new foodie spots, eats, bakes and events!

Thank you for reading,

Leitchy xx

Top ten things that happened this month – September

  1. I started working at Slaaw, a healthy pop up cafe
  2. Feeling more motivated than ever and feeling like I’m finally getting somewhere!
  3. Going out for a baked eggs brunch with my mum at Forge Bakehouse
  4. Going on my first raw aspiring chef course at Nama on my own and talking to fellow foodies
  5. Going to London for the weekend to all the foodie spots especially Farmacy – you must try their ice cream sunday!
  6. Going to Livia’s afternoon tea and meeting Celine and Gemma as well as eating lots of yummy food! The scones were incredible!!!
  7. Talking to Livia and feeling comfortable talking about myself and how supportive she was, such a lovely person
  8. Jasmine Hemsley following me on Instagram! One of my biggest inspirations!!
  9. My stomach being as healthy as ever and having no problems! Finding what works for me and feeling positive. I am now able to have three meals and three snacks with ease. I finally have my appetite back!!
  10. Going out for my Grandmas 80th and being round the family! Plus having a steak and having no digestive problems!!

Raw Lemon Cake Bites

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No matter how hard I try, I’ll always have the biggest sweet tooth! So I’ve decided to accept that it will never change and I just need to make healthy alternatives! When I travel down to London, I always make sure I schedule in time to attack Wholefoods, Planet Organic and the Daylesford organic shop! I make a little dent in my bank balance but come away with lots of delicious snacks and treats! But as I don’t have any of these fabulous shops on my doorstep up north, I’ve had to get a little experimental in the kitchen, and create my own sweet treats! So far I’ve made nut butter cups, raspberry brownies and some sweet avocado boat fillings! I’ve also made quite a few raw bite recipes, this being one!

Lemon drizzle cake is probably my all time favourite cake, so light, sweet, moist and comforting and super super delicious and moreish! I’ve tried to create the same taste in a healthy bite form and I think I’ve done a pretty good job if I say so myself!

These little bites of heaven are super nutritious and the perfect size to satisfy those cravings! The perfect little ball of energy, a light post dinner treat or a little lunch box filler! Whatever the occasion, these are perfect! My whole family loves them, especially my brother! So i’m sure you will too!

PS try not to eat all the mixture out the blender before rolling them… its easily done! BELIEVE me..!!

Ingredients – Makes 12

200g cashew nuts – preferably activated

6 medjool dates (100g) roughly chopped

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

METHOD

Simply, blend together all the ingredients until all crumbly and a ball is starting to form.

Roll into 12 equal balls.

Enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for 1 week or the freezer for 3-4 weeks.

Enjoy xx

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