Category Archives: Food

Check out healthy, tasty and easy recipes. I usually share at least one per week!

Idiot Proof Cauliflower Cheese Soup Recipe (With Vegan Option)

cauli-soup.jpg

Do you have a recipe up your sleeve that you can knock out in no time at all, and smile smugly as your friends and family devour it in satisfied silence? If not, then behold, this is that recipe!

I basically hate cauliflower, I think it’s the dullest of the ground vegetables, and that it always tastes vaguely like feet. Yum. Anyway, in this spicy cauliflower cheese soup recipe, all you get is warming chilli and smoky garlic – no feet taste at all. The base recipe is vegan, but I throw a bunch of cheese in sometimes too, which makes it extra yum (I’m sure vegan melty cheese would work just as well too).

You might ask why I elected to make a cauliflower soup at all, or why I bought cauliflower, if I don’t like it. The answer is simple – I thought Brian might enjoy cauliflower, and he didn’t, so I found myself with a surplus of the stuff.

Shall we just get cracking?

Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower

½ large white onion

2 cloves garlic

1 carrot

1 stalk celery

1 pint veg stock

1 tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp chilli flakes

Oil (I use rapeseed)

(Optional) tablespoon garlic cheese roule or boursin

  1. Dice the onion, garlic, celery and carrot super small. Fry off in the oil for, like, 5 minutes. Or until you’re certain you’ve almost burnt the garlic and you can’t hold off any longer.
  2.  Chop the cauliflower into little flourets (the smaller you cut it, the quicker it’ll cook). Chuck it in the pan. Don’t bother with the stalk. Or do bother. Whatever.
  3. Pour over the stock and simmer until the cauliflower is super soft (like, you can crush it to smithereens with the gentlest press from the back of a spoon)
  4. Whiz in the liquid smoke and chilli flakes
  5. If you have a hand blender, now’s a great time to pulp that badboy up. Personally I blend everything in a nutri-bullet because I don’t have the time for buying extra gadgets, so I let the soup cool a while before blending it. Or pour a bit of cold water in if I’m rushing.
  6. When it’s all smooth and lovely, whack it back on the heat and add in extra water if necessary, until you’ve got it at the desired thickness.
  7. If you’re opting for added cheese, stir in a healthy scoop of Boursin/Cream cheese/Garlic roule and stir until it’s all mixed in. Yum.

This is literally one of the most satisfying things to scoff on a chilly afternoon, and it takes hardly any time at all to make. Without the cheese it’s also really healthy. If you need to add a bit of stodge, enjoy with a buttery wedge of bread, or throw a few diced potatoes in the pot at the same time as the cauliflower.

Enjoy!

 

Kitty

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5 (Really Easy) Ways I’m Reducing the Plastic in my Life

Plastic Free Grocery Shop

For a long time, reducing plastic has been on my radar – a vague mission I’d never had the energy to put into practice. I’m rarely one to get involved with a bandwagon but, with the ever increasing visibility, and ever increasing volume of the plastic-free movement’s voice, I figured this was one trend I’m totally into following.

It’s hard. The modern world just isn’t geared up to help us be plastic-free, but the good news is that increased coverage of the importance of reducing plastic waste is paying off – its becoming easier to take baby steps towards being plastic free/reducing plastic. And for me at least, baby steps is best – you can’t always make a huge change at once.

Here are 5 things I’ve been doing recently to reduce the amount of plastic in my life (note: I don’t want to say “plastic free” as, right now, that’s an unrealistic goal, for me).

Buying vegetables locally

It’s really handy to pick up veg like cucumber and bagged salads when I’m cruising in Sainsburys, but the amount of unnecessary plastic is sinful. Recently I found a greengrocer nearby that sells naked cucumbers, fresh salad unbagged and jarred snacks like salted fava beans. I still pick up any loose veg I can get in supermarkets (onions, carrots, mushrooms, toms etc) but go to my local greengrocer for everything else. It’s a little more expensive, but its also all organic, locally grown and you can taste the difference. And they save their salad greens for Brian

Cutting down on Online Shopping

I like to shop online now and again, but recently I’ve noticed an obscene amount of plastic involved (and I don’t even buy that much). So I decided to head back to the high street – and I’m loving it. For starters, I’m saving money on shipping, but also getting to try things on, check material labels (ecommerce, why aren’t you showing us material contents?), try my luck in charity shops and use my own canvas bags. I’m finding so many bargains too, today I picked up some black Converse All Star Dainty pumps for just £10.50 brand new from The Outlet PLUS they disposed of the box for me so they’d fit in my bag. Another unexpected plus side is that I buy less, because I can’t actually be bothered going into town to shop unless I really need something…

Bringing a Bottle, Cup and Cutlery

Yep, I’m now the kinda girl who has a travel mug, water bottle and full set of cutlery rattling round her handbag (and subsequently, a massive handbag). It’s so handy though and I know how clean they are and I’m never in a position where I have to use those rubbish picnic cutlery sets, or buy an emergency bottle of water. Most cafes will fill up your water bottle for free (or if you buy a piece of fruit or something – and we could all eat more fruit) and every single coffee shop I’ve visited in the past 6 months has been happy to fill my coffee cup. Easy.

Using Up, Recycling, Re-purposing & Replacing

It was so tempting, when I started thinking about plastic, to throw away all the plastic stuff I have and replace it with non-plastic versions. How stupid is that? I’d be creating a problem in the name of solving the problem. Instead, I’ve decided to carry on as normal, and only when something needs replacing will I switch it up for a plastic free version. This will apply to as many items as possible – and so far its proving interesting, as it’s encouraging me to research products before I buy them.
Wherever possible, when a plastic thing I’ve got stops being functional for its main intent, I’m trying to give it a new job – like using a lunchbox with a lost lid, or some staining, as a plant pot. If I can’t find a new job for it, I’ll drop it at my local recycling center.

Homegrown tumbling tomatoes

DIY and Growing my Own

Guys, I love little tomatoes and strawberries and fresh herbs for cooking – and I used to buy all those pre-packaged spices in shrink wrap, and strawbs/toms in those weird plastic coffins almost daily. Now I have a couple of hanging baskets producing amazingly luscious fruits & a modest but prolific herb garden out in our back yard – I’m saving a bit of money and everything tastes 10x better knowing its home grown.

I’m also thinking about getting back into knitting and learning to sew – that way I can pick up old woolen/cashmere jumpers in second hand stores, unravel them and re-knit into something more my style (because somehow I never find things I just love) and make minor repairs on fashion instead of throwing it out.

Wow, this turned out to be a really long post. But those are 5 of the things I’ve been focusing on turning into a habit, in the hopes I can reduce plastic from my life. I have to be honest, the thing I’m struggling with the most is dish soap – any plastic free people out there with more experience than me got any suggestions?

What steps (if any) are you taking to reduce your plastic use?

Kitty

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The Creamiest, Chocolatiest, Most Indulgent Hot Chocolate Recipe. Ever.

Czekolady Manufakurer Krakow

You know those days where it’s really cold and you’ve been so well behaved and you just desire a super indulgent, straight-to-the-hips hot chocolate?

This is the recipe you want.

It’s decadent, creamy, chocolatey and full of guilt (and calories) – use all the ingredients sparingly and embrace this most indulgent of hot chocolates. Whilst you’re at it, you may as well top it with whipping cream, sprinkles and marshmallows and write the day off.

Super decadent hot chocolate, serves 2

Ingredients

1 large bar Belgian milk chocolate (approx. 200g)

1 pot double cream (284ml)

Cup of whole milk

½ tsp cinnamon powder

1 capful of navy rum (optional)

1 pinch cayenne pepper (seriously)

For topping:

Whipped cream

Mini marshmallows

Chocolate sprinkles

Cinnamon powder

Imagination

Are you ready, this is literally the simplest but most rewarding recipe ever. The steps are quick, so have your best cups at the ready!

-In a saucepan or bain marie melt the chocolate until it’s a little soft, then pour in the cream.

-Stir continuously until the chocolate is mostly dissolved.

-Add in the rum, cinnamon and cayenne pepper

-If it needs thickening up, slowly stir in a little whole milk at a time to achieve the right consistency

-Pour out, top with cream and adorn with sprinkles.

This should be enjoyed guilt free, without regard for the gym or sugar intake. If you’re going to misbehave, might as well be worth it, eh? It’s winter after all.

(P.s. if you really want to jeopardise your BMI then enjoy with a chocolate smothered croissant like we did…)

Kitty

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