Central London is overflowing with places to eat. Some are great and some are amazing! In the past couple of years, I’ve come across more and more beautiful restaurants complete with gorgeous flower walls, plush velvet seats and white marble tables.
One place that I could simply not get enough of was a little hidden gem I discovered on instagram was Dalloway Terrace. It’s chic outdoor dining but with the feeling of being inside. The restaurant is located on the terrace of the Bloomsbury Hotel – it’s elegantly styled and the feature walls are ordained with the most wonderful flower arrangements that are changed every season.
When I went in May, they had their Spring arrangements with white and cream flowers. Then when I went again in June, they had just put out their Summer arrangement of pink and yellow.
Love healthy, freshly prepared food? Love Asian or fusion food? If the answer’s yes then this is a place to visit when going on a foodie find. Discovering new places to eat has become a new hobby of mine. I love trying out different dishes and cuisines and when I was asked to come along to Buy & Bite’s new opening launch last week I was thrilled!
Bring sunshine into your kitchen this November with flavours from Morocco and Sicily!
For a limited time only, meal box delivery company, Mindful Chef has partnered up with Naturally Fast Food chain, LEON to provide you with an enjoyable restaurant experience at home with two exclusive recipes. These limited edition recipes will be available on the Mindful Chef website from November 8th to 21st -all you’ll need to do is order your box by November 17th..
Naturally Fast Food at home with Mindful Chef x LEON
You’ll be rolling meatballs, simmering sauces and slicing the ‘slaw in no time with these two new recipes. As always, your box will contain all of the pre-measured ingredients in your limited edition box PLUS you will also receive a jar of the iconic LEON’s vegan garlic aioli (per recipe) which you can serve on the side of your delicious LEON lunch. The two recipes you can choose from are Moroccan Meatballs and Sicilian-Style Meatless Meatballs.
What’s the hype about food boxes?
Working from home can be stressful and figuring out what to cook for your next meal can even be more challenging. This is why many people have taken a liking to food delivery boxes such as Mindful Chef, Gousto and Hello Fresh. The Mindful Chef x LEON boxes are delivered directly to your door which saves time, money, packaging and food wastage. The portion sizes are expertly measured out for you so you don’t have fiddle around with measuring spoons, jugs etc. Simply sit back, cook as per instructions (which are easy to follow!) and enjoy.
“Make LEON’s juicy Moroccan Meatballs at home, featuring grass-fed beef and their unique spice blend! Serve with a fresh tomato sauce, crunchy red cabbage and kale slaw and a dollop of LEON’s iconic aioli.“
NEW: LEON Sicilian-style Meatless Meatballs recipe
“Recreate LEON’s Sicilian-style Meatless Meatballs at home, starring beluga lentils, aubergine, black olives and lemon zest. Spoon over fluffy brown rice, top with a luscious tomato sauce and enjoy with a dollop of LEON’s iconic vegan aioli.“
NB. This post contains affiliate links. If you do click on the links and make place an order, I may receive a small commission on qualifying transactions. Photo Credit: LEON – all photos should be credited to LEON respectively.
We’re currently low on rice and pasta at home right now. With no car to drive to the bigger supermarkets and our little Sainsburys Local and nearby Iceland has a long waiting queue that seems never-ending. A big shop is due soon and I managed to get a delivery slot one evening next week so hopefully that’ll tie us over for another month. I really try to not use the delivery service to let others and more vulnerable get a chance to order delivery but sometimes these little journeys to the local shops cause us to pay much more as they’re premium prices.
Homemade vegetarian burgers
We have a big bag of uncooked chickpeas that I’ve been wanting to tackle but couldn’t be bothered to… until now. We didn’t have all of the ingredients needed to make a curry so I had to re-think about what else we could make. Then I had the idea of making chickpea burgers! Why I never thought of it before who knows but I’m glad I came to my senses. Uncooked chickpeas need to be soaked in water overnight before they’re ready to use so make sure you do this too. Fill water to fully submerge the chickpeas and by the next day they’ll be softer. Boil them until they’re firm but soft enough to squish with your thumb and forefinger.
We had leftover buns from when we had Linda McCartney mozzarella burgers the day before. I can also make a really nice sweet and tangy fried onion garnish so thought that’ll do. I looked up chickpea burger recipes and went for the first link I saw which happened to be a recipe from BBC Good Food for chickpea & coriander burgers.
I knew I’d need eggs (which we had) but didn’t know what else to add to make the burgers. We didn’t have coriander or breadcrumbs but the burgers still came out amazing. Also we ran out of cumin so I subbed that with garam masala (has a similar warming taste to cumin), turmeric, ginger and smoked paprika. If you don’t have any of these then you can make do with salt, pepper and garlic, puree or fresh clove is fine (which I’d forgot to add but it was still delicious without).
How to make your deliciously simple chickpea burgers
This recipe is suitable for vegetarians however to make it vegan friendly, swap out the egg for a substitute, chia seed or flaxseed water creates a similar eggy-consistency which might work well.
When I made this the other day I kind of eye-balled the chickpea and water measurements so use your own judgement. The recipe in BBC Good Food called for more lemon juice and lemon zest but I found just 1/4 lemon juice was enough – this was fresh squeezed, not the bottle kind. I used garam masala which has a slightly more ‘curry flavour’ taste than cumin, try both and see which you prefer.
You should be able to make around 2-4 good-sized burger patties (6 at a stretch) with this recipe. If there’s only two of you, you could make four chickpea burgers and stack up them up.
Choosing your bun
Choosing a bun really sets the foundation of how your burger will turn out, especially if you like to toast them (we do!)… our favourite is toasted brioche buns because they’re light, fluffy and taste buttery but it is loaded with fat and calories so not great if you’re looking for a healthier option. Here are a few bun choices you can choose from…
brioche bun (our favourite!)
white morning roll
roti or flatbread (healthier option!)
Adding your toppings & condiments
You can go wild with what you decide to top your burger with. There’s tons of condiments out there and who’s to say you can’t even make up your own version? We love our own version of pico de gallo which we make really simple with just tomatoes, onions and balsamic vinegar. Here are a few suggestions in case you can’t decide…
cheese or vegan cheese
bistro salad mix
pickles or gherkins
pickled vegetables (daikon, carrot, radish)
fresh sliced onions
homemade salsa or pico de gallo (fresh, chunkier version)
mayo or vegan mayo
sriracha hot sauce
We didn’t have a lot of ingredients at home so we had to keep it simple. Trying this recipe again, I’ll add in spinach, perhaps a few sliced gherkins or pickled vegetables to add more crunch and tang or go for a little pico de gallo instead. We ate our burgers with homemade potato wedges drizzled with balsamic vinegar. Yummy!
Without further ado, here’s the recipe…
Easy Chickpea Burgers Recipe
Serves: 2-4 people Prep time: 20mins (minus pre-soaking and boiling of uncooked chickpeas) Cooking time: 20mins
Patty mix: 500g chickpeas, pre-soaked and boiled from uncooked (drained, if from can) 1/4 lemon juice 1 clove garlic, crushed 1 tsp ground turmeric 1/2 tsp smoked paprika 1/2 tsp garam masala or ground cumin 1/2 tsp ground ginger Pinch of black pepper Pinch of Aromat seasoning (use salt if you don’t have it) 1 medium egg 1/2 medium onion, chopped and diced 2 tbsp oil for frying
50ml water (have 10-20ml extra in case your burger is too dry/crumbly) 4 morning rolls (or any buns of your choice)
Add into a food processor or blender (I used my nutri-bullet) the chickpeas, egg (or egg substitute for vegan option), all dry seasonings, garlic, lemon juice and 50ml water.
Blitz on medium power or until the texture is smooth but a little chunky for texture. If it’s very smooth, don’t worry as the next step will add some texture to the patty.
Transfer the contents into a mixing bowl and add the chopped onions. If the patty mix looks too thick and crumbly add in a little water and stir or mix with your hand. Make sure you don’t add too much water as the patty needs to hold its shape when frying.
Turn on the cooker to a medium heat (number 3 or 4 on electric cookers) and add the oil to your pan. Take a small handful of the mix and roll into a ball. Flatten it into a patty/burger shape around 1cm to 1.5cm thick. I wouldn’t advise on patties thicker than 2cm.
Place gently into the hot pan and fry for about 3-4mins or until golden (golden brown if you like crispy bits) then turn over and fry on the other side.
Take off the heat and place on your bun.
Add your favourite toppings – we topped ours with a really simple pico de gallo style dressing, mayo and cheese for Daddy P and cheesy sautéed mushrooms for me.
Sit back and enjoy! You can team your burger with a side salad, homemade coleslaw, wedges (like us!) or chunky chips.
(V) this coconut curry contains fish which you can omit for a full vegetarian dish
So in The Greenwich Mummy’s household, Daddy P recently decided to stop eating meat products, adopting a pescetarian diet. I, however, still enjoy my meat products on top of our new food diet. The popular new label for people like me is ‘flexitarian’ – someone who is semi-vegetarian and enjoys vegetarian meals but still consumes all animal, fish, egg and dairy products.
Being Vietnamese, I love my meat dishes but we also have a lot of healthy vegetarian dishes too which is a nice balance. Our little family have been on this pescetarian diet for about 4 months now and the transition has been really smooth. The kids don’t mind it and Daddy P has done really well considering he was the biggest meat-eater out of all of us. He hasn’t missed eating meat at all! I guess because we’re still eating fish, shellfish, egg and dairy products we’ve still got a wide variety of protein sources in our diet so it’s not too noticeable. Some may even say cutting out red meat is a healthy thing to do.
A curry is a great dish to enjoy any time of the year, similar to soups, but I especially love it in the winter and the summer. Winter because you can have a mean hearty curry to get you through the cold nights. Summer is a great time for curries because you can make it taste as light and as fresh as you like.
I originally wanted to make a haddock and butternut squash cashew curry but my local Sainsbury’s had run out of butternut squash so I bought some sweet potato instead and came up with this recipe. It tasted fantastic! I’m afraid my photos don’t do this dish any justice so you’ll have to just take my word for it. 🙂 It tastes like a cross between a Thai curry and a creamy fish dish. If you like your curry with heat, add in some chilli flakes but I preferred mine mild so made it without any spices.
Haddock, sweet potato and vegetable coconut curry recipe
2-3 haddock fillets (leave this out to make it a vegetarian/vegan dish)
3-4 whole carrots, sliced
a handful of green beans (frozen or fresh)
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, sliced or diced
1 vegetable stock cube
2 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1-2 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
200ml coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste
On a medium heat, add the oil to the pan and fry onions until soft then add the sweet potatoes and fry for a further 7mins until soft but firm inside.
Add the dry seasoning (curry powder, garam masala, cumin, salt and pepper) then add the veggie stock cube to 100ml water and pour into the pan. Let everything simmer for about 15mins.
Add in the fish, veg and coconut milk and simmer for a further 7-10mins or until the fish is cooked and falling apart (flaky looking).
Last week I went along to my local IKEA store for a foodie workshop event called “Waste Not, Want Not”. It was hosted by the lovely Melissa Hemsley from Hemsley + Hemsley and was about making the most with leftover food and learning how to not throw anything away.
We were ushered into the sleek kitchen showroom by Maria from IKEA Greenwich who ticked us off the registration list as we entered. Melissa poured us all a glass of water, sparkling lemon or lingonberry mixed cordial. We were then told that we were going to receive Melissa’s latest cookbook, Eat Happy as a gift which was a wonderful surprise.
IKEA X Melissa Hemsley workshop
Melissa then introduced herself to us and talked about her love for cooking and how she lives by the “waste not, want not” motto which was the take-home message of this workshop. Growing up with strong Filipino traditions and culture, she explained to us that her mother made sure she never wasted food. I think it must be an Asian thing as I always remember my parents saying the same thing to me when I was young and as a result, I too rarely waste food. I always had to finish my bowl of food and was never allowed to throw it away… or else there’d be trouble.
The workshop was supposed to include a live cooking demo of her delicious banana bread bake but because of some technical issues, it didn’t happen so instead we got lots of tips and advice from Melissa on how to build a ‘waste not, want not food bowl’ from unwanted bits and bobs sitting in the fridge (there’s also a recipe for this in the Eat Happy cookbook).
Food glorious food
She constructed a simple, beautifully presented bowl filled with chickpeas, boiled eggs, radishes, green beans, a leafy salad and feta cheese – all topped off with a light dressing. I love healthy food bowls but never really knew how to construct it properly so seeing it done was very helpful. We all chatted about food and how some foods can have so many ways of cooking it or eating it. For example when eating an orange, instead of throwing the rind away, zest it and use the shavings to infuse sugar or add it to another dish. Alternatively you can even save the rind and use it as pot pourri.
During our chat, Melissa pointed out the delicious cake that caught everyone’s attention; the banana and apple bread bake! She posted up the recipe on her instagram page @melissa.hemsley the following day and I was keen to give it a try. It smelled so so divine at the workshop, I knew I had to get back to baking.
The banana bread bake came out so soft and fluffy. I don’t know if that’s how soft it’s supposed to be but I love it like that. Occasionally, a heavier banana bread hits the spot but this evening a lighter version was perfect. I decided to make mine a little different and changed the recipe slightly – simply because I didn’t have all the ingredients at home so just made it up as I went along which turned out great!
RECIPE: Banana and apple bread bake
Here’s my adapted version of Melissa’s banana and apple bread bake. To make this yummy dish vegan-friendly, simply swap out the eggs for a chia or flax seed mix, or another egg substitute. To make it gluten-free Melissa suggested quinoa or buckwheat flakes. If you’re allergic to nuts, use only coconut flour if you’re okay with coconuts otherwise you can try it with another flour ie. polenta or millet.
3 ripe medium-sized bananas
1 apple; 3/4 grated for the bake and 1/4 sliced for decoration
50g ground almonds
25g coconut flour
100g rolled oats
4 medium eggs (for a vegan alternative, swap for soaked chia seeds or egg substitute)
150g coconut oil
1tsp baking powder
1tsp allspice seasoning
1tbs brown sugar
Preheat oven to 180C/350F or gas mark 4
Add all ingredients (apart from the bananas and apple) together in a blender and blitz until smooth
Add in banana and apple and blitz further to your desired consistency (with or without lumps)
Pour into a lined loaf tin and add the decoration apple slices
Bake on the middle shelf for 50 minutes
Do the knife test to ensure the bread bake has thoroughly cooked inside then leave on rack to cool
There’s so many different ways to recreate this banana bread and that’s the real beauty of it. I’m thinking of adding in chocolate chips or orange rind next time too to spice it up a little bit more. If you give this banana bread bake recipe a try, let me know how you get on with it! 🙂