The Wandering Mother | Buy & Bite Farringdon

Buy & Bite Farringdon opens this Monday!

Buy & Bite Farringdon opens this Monday!

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!

Continue reading “Buy & Bite Farringdon opens this Monday!”
The Wandering Mother Blog

How to order a home delivery meal in Veganuary

A contribution post by Helen Long –

I’ve been vegan since around 2005. Since then I’ve eaten out many times, and it has become easier and easier. In London, you can now get a vegan version of almost anything. Here are a few take- home tips for uninitiated:

Vegan meal delivery services and ready meals 

When our Baby was first born, we became experts in opening organic tins to eat.  It’s surprisingly tasty when you’re hungry, and we’ve carried on buying them.  (It’s best to avoid sugar and salt, but, well, sometimes we can’t be bothered). You can find some such items on offer at: Ethical SuperstoreTheVeganKind or Greenbay.  You can also order a bundle of easy vegan meals to freeze from allplantsor The Book Plant Based Kitchen.  

How to tell a takeaway you are vegan

There is no need to feel embarrassed about expressing your preferences, so long as you are polite about it, the staff will generally be happy to help.  If not, then there are plenty of other choices to try out there!  Some places also let you filter their menu by allergens, which makes life much easier.  Even if they do, write a note in the comment box at the end of the order form and add your own number.  Or better still, phone.  Either check the website for the number.  On ‘Just Eat’ you can find the phone number of the place by clicking the bit of the page which says ‘click if you have an allergy’. 

The Wandering Mother Blog | Food & Drink
Ordering-in vegan food has never been easier! / Photo by Jarek Ceborski via Unsplash

Non-vegan ingredients to check for on menus

Ask if meals are cooked in butter or ghee, contain yoghurt, cream, cheese or paneer.  Eggs don’t usually show up unexpectedly, but check to be sure.  Where dishes include oyster sauce, you can just ask for this to be removed.  Obviously, also avoid meat and fish.  

How vegan dishes are labelled on menus

Generally speaking, ‘V’ on a menu means vegetarian (no meat or fish).  ‘V+’ or ‘VE’ tends to mean vegan (no dairy, eggs or honey), and ‘GF’ means gluten free.  Not everyone is clear that gluten free and vegan are different concepts.  The menu might only label things as vegetarian, in which case ask for clarification.   

Easy types of takeaways for vegans

If you place an order directly from a vegan cafe, this will make it easier!  Find vegan, vegetarian, and vegan friendly cafes with the Happy Cow website and app.  There is also a new website, GetVeganGrub for ordering vegan deliveries.  My website has maps of child friendly vegan and vegetarian places around the country, and child friendly places in London.

South Indian restaurants are great for vegans.  We found one in Plumstead a while ago.  Other Indian, Nepalese, Carribean and Ethiopiean places often have vegan options, just avoid cream and butter (such as in tikka masala, korma, or often with spinach).  We once went to an Indian restaurant which said they cooked everything in butter, but this is rare.  Chinese, Vietnamese and Thai places tend to be fine if you order tofu and avoid oyster sauce.  Nowadays, many pizzerias offer a vegan cheese option if you ask.  

Remember the sprinkles!

Us vegans often sprinkle extra nutrients on our meals, such as: nutritional yeast, ground flax and sauerkraut.

Vegan home deliveries near Greenwich:

Hullabaloo – vegetarian, with branches in Greenwich and Deptford

Vegan masala or korma made with coconut and cashew milk is lovely and mild for little ones.  These are not usually vegan!  You can also try black bean lentil dal, soya chunks with aachari, or vegan ‘butter’ naan bread, as well as the usual Indian takeaway favourites. 

This was the last cafe we visited before I became pregnant.  I later returned with Baby when they were about one year old.  We finished off a chai tea and a meal while waiting for my friend, so ordered another when she arrived.  Baby was very enthusiastic.  I remember the staff as friendly, there was nice music, and you could watch passers by through the window. You can find them on Uber Eats or Just Eat.


Ayurveda Pura – vegetarian, near Blackwell Tunnel

We’ve stopped off here a couple of times for a healthy curry, salad (with fruit) and turmeric latte.  The cafe is part of a day spa, with a philosophy based in ancient Indian medicine.  It has high chairs and baby changing facilities.  Staff kindly ignored me when I borrowed a shower in the toilet to wash baby sick out of my hair… You can find them on Deliveroo


Eat of Eden – vegan, branches in Lewisham, Brixton, Clapham and Shepherds Bush

Organic Carribean mixed platters with plenty of vegetables, proteins and also finger foods.  The Brixton branch of which has nappy changing facilities and step- free access for buggies.  Find Eat of Eden on Just Eat 


The Full Nelson – vegan, in Deptford

Burgers, chips and other pub grub to try if you are missing meaty junk. Find them on Deliveroo 


Vegan sauces and cheeses

You can order vegan sauces and ferments from Walworth based The Omni Collective.  Artisanal vegan cheeses are cycled for free to local postcodes by Peckham based The Odds.


Persepolis – vegetarian, in Peckham but delivers to Deptford

Middle Eastern gooey things to dip chips into. Select the ‘make vegan’ tick box option.  We went to Persepolis for my 30th birthday.  There were highchairs, a children’s menu, and little meze meals to order and share. Many meals were decorated with a vertical cheesy wotsit. Daddy decided not to propose that day because I had a cold.


This contribution post was written by guest writer, Helen Long from Vegan Family Guide – your partner in compassionate, plant powered parenting.

The Wandering Mother Blog

Can eating a vegan diet in pregnancy really be healthy?

A contribution post by Louise Palmer-Masterton

There is a widely-held belief that humans are omnivorous (both meat- and plant-eating), so eating a solely vegan-based diet with no meat, fish or poultry cannot be safe in pregnancy. However, I and many others, would disagree with that statement.

I was almost 40 years old when I was pregnant with my first child. At that time, my diet mainly consisted of whole vegetables, small amounts of wholegrain, tofu, lentils and pulses, nuts and seeds. I ate as I normally would throughout both of my pregnancies. I had no morning sickness, no particular cravings, no complications or deficiencies, and was able to deliver both of my children safely at home by home birth. During both of my pregnancies, I took multivitamins and folic acid as recommended by health professionals.

I then started to wonder if my experiences were rare ones, or were there many vegan women out there experiencing the same problem-free pregnancies like I did. So I did some research and found that there were many other new mums who were also vegan during their pregnancies.

My findings:

  • All of the new mums I spoke to adopted a ‘wholefoods natural diet’ during their pregnancies
  • None of them experienced any cravings
  • Two out of the seven experienced severe morning sickness ate plain toast for their first trimester
  • Two were diagnosed with gestational diabetes (GD) in the second trimester which was successfully managed by eating a wholefoods-vegan diet
  • Soups and stews were frequently mentioned as the main ‘go to’ meals
  • Marmite, tofu, tempeh, brown rice, aduki beans, miso soup, and ginger were also popular food options

“When I had morning (all day) sickness I ate a lot of baked potatoes, as I didn’t fancy much else. Luckily potatoes have vitamins in the skin, and so I felt they were better than other bland things. I supplemented potatoes with vitamins and iron. I also remember eating dried mangoes, cucumber, and miso at some points, and drinking orange juice. When I recovered from the morning sickness, I ate a lot of everything.”

Helen, Vegan Family Guide

For mum, Holly (one of the women diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes) said nut butters were a life saver for her special diet, thanks to the high-fat/protein and low-carb content in nuts, to sustain her through her pregnancy.

For Danielle, who developed cholestasis in her second trimester, meant she could only eat foods that were low in fats explained that “the vegan diet was great for this”.

Can you get the right nutrition from eating a vegan diet?

All the vegan women I spoke to were very knowledgable about vegan nutrition in pregnancy. They were all well aware of the need to increase protein intakes by 10-20%, and did so with greater attention based on eating good, balanced meals. Not all of them ate protein/rich foods like tofu, with many of them preferring pulses, grains and organic vegetables.

It is recommended in pregnancy for all mothers to take folic acid. With vegan pregnancies, it’s also highly recommended to take vitamin B12 and vitamin D supplements as these are not found in plant-based products. Half of the women I spoke to did mention they take diet supplements, but the other half only took the recommended folic acid supplements.

Helen, who has been vegan for many years, said: “I always try to follow a balanced diet. Supplements are recommended to pregnant people of all persuasions. I took vegan vitamins and iron before, during and after my pregnancy.”

Angie, who was vegan pregnant then raised her children on vegan diets, said she “just ate sensibly – mainly fruit and veg. I’d been vegan thirteen years before I became pregnant and had never been unwell so I assumed it all was ok…” shows it is possible to be healthy and vegan during and after pregnancy.

This was reiterated by Lee, who has been through two pregnancies as a vegan; “I didn’t even think about nutrition, I just followed what my body craved and had zero nutritional issues”.

Do pregnant vegans feel well?

None of the women I spoke to reported of any nutritional issues or deficienciesa during their pregnancies, and aside from the complications mentioned by some of the women, all of the mum-to-bes said they felt healthy during their pregnancy.

Danielle stated: “I am very strong and the muscle of the household, even when pregnant if something needs lifting, I’m your girl”.

Another mum, Emma said she continued to be vegan whilst breastfeeding and had a wonderful pregnancy with no issues whatsoever.

“I wasn’t sick once, I had no cravings, I felt great the whole time, had energy, my skin was the best it’s ever been and I continued to work-out throughout the entire pregnancy. Postpartum I was told I had great colostrum, since my baby only lost 70g initially and I had a plentiful supply of milk, the health visitor actually said I had too much!”

Emma, new mum

What do health professionals think of pregnant women following vegan diets?

All of the new mums I spoke to remarked on how compassionate and empathetic their health care teams were of their vegan food choices. None of them was pressured or advised to eat animal products, including the women who were diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Emma: “I didn’t tell my midwife that I was vegan because I expected a negative response which I didn’t want to deal with at that time. However, in hospital (after the birth) the team were very supportive in providing me with decent vegan food to eat.”

If you are vegan or vegetarian, don’t let the myth that you need animal products during your pregnancy put you off sticking to your plant-based diet. Eating a healthy and balanced vegan diet during your pregnancy can be good for you and your baby – and as long as there aren’t any vegan foods that are on the ‘no go’ list during your pregnancy, you won’t have to give anything up either.


This is a contribution post from guest writer, Louise Palmer-Masterton – founder of multiple award-winning restaurants Stem & Glory.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - 5 signs your child is a wild one

Kids’ pester power causes ticking time bomb for NHS

Forget the time-outs and the naughty step, many British parents are giving in to their child/children’s every whim during the lockdown and the repercussions could cause detrimental consequences for their health.

Did you know that…

  • • 1.9 million children at risk of obesity due to lockdown eating habits
  • • One third of UK children overweight or obese
  • • 97% of UK children at home during lockdown
  • • 45% of parents are being pestered for sugary snacks by children

Before the pandemic hit, one third of children in the UK, aged between two and fifteen were classed as overweight or obese, with the health crisis costing the NHS £6.1 billion per year. A recent study also showed that 45% of British parents were being overthrown with requests from their children for sugar-filled snacks and drinks whilst stuck at home during the lockdown.

Parents fight an ongoing battle between working-from-home, homeschooling and good parenting. Sometimes, it becomes easier to compromise on the little things help to offer some relief for the other things. So the children learn to use this to their advantage and get that sugary treat whenever they felt like it. Some parents might even do it out of guilt – feeling like they’ve subjected their children to these harsh times so a treat can help keep them happy and positive.

With around 4.5 million children in the UK – 97% of those were cooped up at home during the lockdown. We were one of those families – our children didn’t go out at all during the lockdown but since the easing, we’ve been able to get out and about a little bit more. We don’t always treat the kids to sugary snacks, sweets or drinks but can definitely agree that we have been giving them it more often post-lockdown compared to before.

The NHS could well see a spike in obesity in the next few years to come. Wayne Starkey, CEO and Co-Founder of healthy food and drink brand, The Skinny Food Co, said: Sugar can have detrimental short and long term effects on our children, from mood swings and anxiety, to depression, tooth decay and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

“As a Dad myself, I understand how difficult it can be to change bad eating habits once they start, so opting for healthier alternatives is a much easier way to limit high calorie snacking for everyone in your household.”

The Skinny Food Co is a food and drink brand dedicated to zero calorie sauces, syrups and healthy snacking options. They also offer Free-from food and snacks including sugar-free, gluten-free, vegan-friendly, protein-heavy, diabetic-friendly and keto-friendly.

Best ways to AVOID consuming high sugars:

  • Eat the fresh fruit whole and cut down/avoid eating too much dried fruit
  • Avoid juicing as you don’t gain any nutritional intake, only sugars
  • If you make smoothies, include the whole fruit to make use of the pulp and flesh and add in a variety of vegetables for nutritious smoothie, a fruit-only smoothie is not ideal as it can be high in sugars
  • Eat high-sugar fruits like bananas, oranges and melons when they’re just ripe. Over-ripe fruits have a very high sugar content
  • Avoid or at least limit sugary drinks, foods and snacks – if you might, opt for sugar-free or low-calorie alternatives

For the full range from The Skinny Food Co, to place orders or for more details, visit www.theskinnyfoodco.com, alternatively pop into your local Morrisons, Holland & Barrett, Co-Op and Spar stores.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe

Recipe: Apple & Banana bread bake (V)

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.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
Waiting for the workshop to start at Ikea Greenwich
The Wandering Mother | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
The workshop space is light and beautifully set up for Melissa Hemsley

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).

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
Food, glorious food!

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.

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
Melissa building her waste not, want not food bowl with eggs, lentils, radishes, green beans and mixed leaf salad

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.

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

  • 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

Enjoy!

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! 🙂

The Wandering Mother Blog | Banana Bread Bake Recipe
Bon Appétit!
The Greenwich Mummy | London Family Lifestyle Blogger

Kids & Family Yoga Brunch at The Canvas Cafe: Saturday 14th April 2018

Family Yogis!

Join me for a lovely 60mins family yoga session
followed by a fantastic vegan brunch to nourish our bodies.
We’ll also have the chance to chat to other parents and catch up with each other.

I run weekly Kids/Family Yoga classes at The Canvas Cafe in Shoreditch but on the 1st Saturday of the month (apart from April) I will be offering Family Yoga and Brunch.

Our family yoga session consists of yoga poses, storytelling, partner poses, dance, songs, games, massages and relaxation/quiet time. Brunch is £10 but is optional so if you just want to come with your family for the free yoga session that’s totally cool too. 🙂

See you there!

The Greenwich Mummy | London Family Lifestyle Blogger92eb16ad-3ad5-44f4-aa73-e6f8a2e99a04

The Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Family & Lifestyle

Make 2018 Your Year!

At this time every year, we all set fitness and lifestyle goals, that we are keen to realize. The good intentions in January, can often slip away without the right mental attitude and dedication to what you are trying to achieve. If you have goals you are determined to meet this year, make sure you set an achievable yet challenging plan. Whether it is a home-based session before the school run, or a run through Greenwich Park, make sure you have all the components to make your regimen successful. In addition to exercise, swapping the mince pies for low-carb salads will be essential to kick start your year. Keeping it up past January however, is where the real skill is involved.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family & Lifestyle in London
Photo by Laurencia Soesanto on Unsplash

Setting Out Your Fitness Plan For Success
Often in January, we can be left feeling lethargic, unhealthy and flabby. If you fell prey to one to many Proseccos during party season, you should be feeling enough motivation to kick start your fitness goals and get that body back into gear. However, after the initial few weeks, motivation can begin to wane and our plans can begin to falter. When this occurs, there is nothing better than seeking the help of others. Sure, your fitness plan is personal to you and it is up to you to achieve those goals. In difficult times though, the inspiration of others can be imperative to getting the job done in as quick a time as possible. Perhaps that extra push, or motivation can come from a personal trainer in the new year?

Remember the story of The Tortoise and The Hare? Well this is also pertinent to your training goals. Do not let your ambition get the better of you. If you over train early in your new fitness regime, this can have a detrimental effect on your overall aims. There is nothing worse than pushing yourself over the limit and being left recovering on the sofa, when all you want to do is be burning off those stubborn calories. Create a realistic, yet challenging fitness plan and stick to it.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Family & Lifestyle Blogger The Importance Of Nutrition
When your body is working harder in the gym or on the road, the temptation to over-compensate with food can be high. Although it is important to fuel your body with the correct foods, ensure you are eating the right foods at the right time. Initially after your workout, fill the body with healthy proteins to help build muscle and keep your energy up. The night before a big run, fill up on complex carbs like pasta, so your body has the right energy to keep your plan on track.

To make sure you achieve your fitness goals this year, set a realistic yet challenging plan, seek inspiration and advice when your motivation is low and fuel your body correctly. If you follow these vital steps, you will achieve your goals in next to no time.


A contribution post by freelance writer, Jane Sandwood

Jamie’s Italian: The buyers guide to olive oil

In a world full of choices especially when it comes to food, you’re basically spoilt with choice. This can sometimes make buying the most simplest of things difficult. 

Olive oil is something that I’ve onlyrecently discovered  funnily enough as I have never previously thought about cooking with it. I always assumed it was used for dressings only. However, when I started looking into it, olive oil has a multitude of uses but you need to first figure out which kind you need.  For example, extra virgin olive oil is best for dressings and dips, not for cooking or baking. 

Jamie’s Italian came up with fun and useful infographic which breaks down the different kinds of olive oils available, the types of tastes and flavours they have and where the majority of the good stuff comes from. 

I mainly use pure olive oil as I mainly use oil for cooking/frying/sautéeing and rarely for anything else. I am yet to purchase extra virgin olive oil for dipping bread and drizzling on salad although I may have to think about doing so as salad dressings can be very calorific whereas a simple dressing made up of olive oil, lemon (or basalmic vinegar) and black pepper is not only tasty, it’s also cheaper, easy to make and healthier. 

Olive oil: thebuyers guide

Greenwich Mummy Blogger | Olive Oil Buyers GuideIf you liked the infographic above, don’t forget to share it! 

Infographic: courtesy of Jamie’s Italian

Review: Fresh curry pastes and sauces delivered straight to your door with Mister Paste

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mister Paste Review

Love a good curry but don’t know how to make your own paste? Or maybe, like me, you just don’t have the time? 

Fear not because help is at hand. I love all these companies that deliver fresh food straight to your door – Hello Fresh, Fresh Fitness Food, and a new fresh curry paste company that I discovered last week called Mister Paste.

A former work colleague told me about Mister Paste (it’s her partner’s business) and she asked if I would like to try out some of their products – of course I said yes! 🙂

1) because I love food and 2) because helping out other small businesses is a good thing

She sent me a link to her partner’s website and I checked out the large range of pastes and sauces available. The site was really easy to navigate around and I was surprised with how cheap the pastes were as they’re made fresh. I chose the portion option for two people as I knew LO and Baby Girl would just be eating from our portion.

So I chose two curry pastes that I am very fond of; Thai Green Curry and Rogan Josh. For me, the balance of spices, sweetness and saltiness has to be on point in order for me to consider the recipe being a fantastic one. I had very high expectations for these curry pastes that I was going to try.

The kits arrived really quickly, around 2 working days, and there was a message on the packaging that said to refrigerate as soon as they’d arrived which I did. I originally wanted to save my Thai Curry for when I bought seafood but we only had chicken breast in the fridge that day so I made a chicken green curry instead. Continue reading “Review: Fresh curry pastes and sauces delivered straight to your door with Mister Paste”

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Healthy Pancake Day Recipes

Two simple & healthy recipes for you to enjoy this Pancake Day!

It’s Shrove Tuesday today aka Pancake Day and what better way to enjoy this day than bake up a fresh batch of pancakes to enjoy with the family… or all by yourself. 🙂

I’ve got TWO amazingly simple recipes for you today; the first one is a chocolate protein pancake one that I’ve dressed with a low-calorie mint choc ice cream and dark chocolate drizzle, and the second is a simple oat pancake with coconut yoghurt and berries. Yum!!

Both of the pancakes came out super fluffy. I added baking powder but I am sure they would still be quite fluffy without it. Out of the two, I think the chocolate protein pancake was the best – I have a sweet tooth so to be able to enjoy something sweet but in a healthy way is a wonderful win-win situation haha!

I got myself a little crepe maker from AO.com which is brilliant. I can make tasty crepes and make pancakes on there in minutes. I’m sure I could even fry food on there but don’t think I’ll do that. It’s a good-sized hot plate that heats up fast (literally in seconds, it’s ready to use in one minute) and you use minimal oil. A quick spritz of oil would work well but I just got a piece of kitchen towel and added a little bit of oil to that and rubbed the hot plate with it and it was good to go! I would definitely recommend this little invention to anyone who’s looking for something similar.

So without further ado, here’s the two recipes I came up with yesterday after some long thoughts about what I wanted to do.

Chocolate Protein Pancakes

So you think chocolate’s going to be super calorific and bad for you right? Well, you are wrong! Chocolate – especially dark chocolate (my fave!) can actually be good for you.. little amounts obvs we’re not talking about demolishing the whole bar here. I’ve also found that the stronger and darker the chocolate, the less you want of it in one go. My favourite is Green & Blacks 85% dark chocolate.. Daddy P and I literally fight over this stuff. I didn’t use G&B’s chocolate in this recipe and tried out another brand called Menier instead which wasn’t bad.

I used my standard protein powder which is PhD Diet Whey. It’s a whey protein powder that’s low in fat and low in carbs and also contains BCAAs which helps the muscles to grow and repair. I chose to top these chocolate protein pancakes with Oppo mint chocolate ice cream and drizzled two squares of the Menier dark chocolate on top. You can choose any other topping(s) that takes your fancy but I wanted a bit of ice cream lol.

The Greenwich Mummy | Pancake Day 2017
Chocolate protein pancakes… now chocolate can be healthy!

 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Healthy Pancake Day Recipes
Super fluffy inside!

If you’ve never heard of Oppo ice cream, look them up. They’re a new ice cream company that currently offers three flavours; Madagascan vanilla, salted caramel and mint-chocolate but the ice cream is low-calorie, low-fat and low-carb. To put that into context, two scoops of their mint-choc ice cream (approx. 100ml) is only 85 cals and contains just 9.7g of carbs (most mint-choc ice creams have around 19g carbs), 3.8g of fat and 3.1g of protein. Yum. Yum. Yum… and you don’t even have to feel guilty! 🙂

This recipe yields around 4 medium-sized pancakes which is plenty for one person. I usually only finish about two of them. I think these chocolate pancakes would also be really nice with fresh fruits or a delicious nut butter.


Recipe: Chocolate Protein Pancakes
with mint-chocolate ice cream & dark chocolate drizzle

Serving: 4 medium pancakes
Time: 10 minutes (5 mins prep, 5 mins cooking)

INGREDIENTS

To make the pancakes, you’ll need:

  • 1 scoop of PhD Diet Whey protein powder in Belgian Chocolate
  • 6 tbsp Two Chicks egg whites
  • 2 tbsp coconut flour
  • 60 mls water
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Don’t forget to have a tiny bit of oil on kitchen towel or an oil spray to very lightly grease the crepe maker

For the topping: (optional)

  • 1 scoop (approx 50ml) of Oppo mint-chocolate ice cream
  • 10g cooking dark chocolate (I used the Menier brand)

METHOD

  1. Add all of the pancake ingredients together and mix to a batter consistency. I used an electric whisk to make it quick and easy.
  2. Lightly grease your crepe maker (or frying pan) with a bit of oil on a sheet of kitchen towel or spray once with an oil spray.
  3. Once the crepe maker/frying pat is hot enough, add in your batter.
  4. Turn your pancakes over once the heated side is done (you’ll know because it’ll no longer be stuck to the crepe maker/pan.) which is usually around 30 seconds on a medium/high heat.
  5. another 30 seconds on the other side or until it’s brown on the other side then place onto your plate.
  6. Repeat with the rest of the batter and stack up those pancakes!

If you’re using the same toppings:

  1. Break the dark chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.
  2. Add boiling hot water to a larger bowl and place the chocolate bowl inside to melt the chocolate. Once it’s melted, drizzle over your pancakes.
  3. Add the ice cream scoop on top and voila! All done and time to eat. 🙂

Notes:
If you are allergic to nuts or coconut you can substitute the coconut flour for oat flour or buckwheat flour instead. You can make your own flour by adding your chosen grain to a nutribullet or food processsor and blitzing it until it turns into a powder.


Recipe: Simple Oaty Pancakes

This recipe is slightly simpler than the chocolate one because it’s a standard oat pancake, you can turn this dish into a savoury one if you’re not a sweet person. I wanted to make this because in case you’re not a chocolate person like me you can still enjoy a healthy pancake day. There’s not as much protein in this recipe as this is not a protein pancake but it’s slightly different from your traditional wheat pancakes as this is made with oat flour.

For this recipe I used smaller amounts of the ingredients so the pancakes came out really small. I just about managed to get out 3 mini pancakes which would be enough to make one large fluffy pancake.

The Greenwich Mummy | Pancake Day 2017
Simple but just as lovely – adding fruits makes pancakes taste light and fresh.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Healthy Pancake Day Recipes
soft and fluffy inside


Oat pancakes with coconut yoghurt & fresh berries recipe

Serving: 1 pancake or 3 mini pancakes
Time: 10 minutes (5 mins prep, 5 mins cooking)

INGREDIENTS

To make the pancakes:

  • 4 tbsp oat flour (I made my own using Quaker rolled oats blitzed in my nutribullet)
  • 60mls Alpro almond milk
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp Two Chicks egg whites

NB. Don’t forget your oil spray or have a little bit of oil on kitchen towel to lightly grease the crepe maker/pan

For the topping: (optional)

  • 4 tbsp coconut yoghurt
    (I recommend the Fage Total one – it’s so yummy)
  • a handful of fresh raspberries
  • a handful of fresh blueberries

METHOD

  1. Add all of the ingredients together to create the batter which should be near to a drooping consistency. Not too runny otherwise the pancake won’t be able to have much height.
  2. Lightly grease your pan or crepe maker and make sure it’s very hot before adding the batter.
  3. Cook the pancakes on each side (about 30-60secs each) depending on how hot you’ve got your pan/crepe maker.
  4. Take your pancakes off the heat and place onto your plate.

If using the same toppings;

  1. Add your 4 tablespoons of coconut yoghurt one by one on top of the stack of pancakes or in the centre of your large pancake.
  2. Add your fruits however you fancy and voila!

Notes:
You can also use dairy milk instead of non-dairy milk. These oat pancakes would also make a great foundation for any savoury topping.


And there you have it! I hope these two recipes give you some inspiration on what to make today or any other day you’re feeling like a good pancake. If you don’t like pancakes, try making crepes instead! I love crepes as they’re so light, thin and slightly on the crispy side, perfect as a savoury or sweet treat.

Happy Pancake Day!


NB. We were kindly sent a crepe maker by AO.com for the purpose this recipe post. All words, opinions, recipes and photos are my own.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Prawn Pad Thai Salad Recipe

Recipe: Low-carb Prawn Pad Thai Salad

Since I started my fitness journey last August 2016 I’ve been eating much healthier than before. I’ve cut out a lot of the processed foods I used to eat before and try to consciously opt for complex carbohydrates over simple carbs. The reason for this is because of my high-risk for developing Type II Diabetes later in life. Diabetes runs in my family, both on my maternal and paternal side then to top it off I had Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies.

So yeah… really high risk.

I am human and sometimes I do slip up and have chocolates, cakes and biscuits but try to have a really small portion. After all, eating a healthy diet doesn’t mean eliminating treats 100% out of your diet. Healthy eating is about balance, sustainability and having a positive association with food. Basically if you eat a large slice of pizza (or the whole pizza), don’t put yourself on a massive guilt trip for it and ‘punish yourself’ by eating less the next day or putting your body through hours of cardio trying to ‘burn off’ the added calories. Instead acknowledge that you’ve been able to enjoy yourself that day with that meal and eat a little better the week ahead to balance it out. Remember, one pizza won’t make you fat nor will one salad make you healthy.

I’m currently increasing my calorie intake to build up my muscle size and strength. As my weight loss stalled in December (plateaued at 51.8kg despite me increasing workouts and cutting a few more calories) I decided to reverse diet (where your aim is to gradually add back the cals in an attempt to kickstart your metabolism) which is going well. I’ll be writing up a progress post soon and will be going in more detail about this on there. Look out for it! Continue reading “Recipe: Low-carb Prawn Pad Thai Salad”

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | London Family and Lifestyle Blogger

Food Review: Vegetarian lunch at the Ethos Restaurant in London

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review

Okay this post is long and overdue I do apologise but having Ethos on my mind for the past couple of days, I decided I needed to post this instead of leaving it to sit in my drafts folder.

A few months back (Oct/Nov times) I decided to try out this popular vegetarian restaurant with my bestie Coco who turned pescatarian almost a year ago. She hadn’t really ate out at vegetarian or vegan restaurants so I wanted us to try out a new dining experience which didn’t involve me stuffing my face with meat and her watching me. She has said a few times she misses meat and poultry so I wanted us to be on the same page this time. I found out about this trendy little restaurant called Ethos through another friend who’s pescatarian. It had just opened up earlier in 2016 I believe and became really popular for non-meat eaters. There’s loads of vegetarian and more vegan restaurants popping up now which I think is great.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Ethos Foods restaurant / Photo Credit: Best of Interiors

Location, Location

Ethos Foods is located on East Castle street, just a stone throw away from London’s bustling Oxford Street. When you’re at Oxford Circus station, the restaurant is a short 7-10 mins walk away. The restaurant blends in well with its surroundings so you might walk past it without knowing. Nestled between other buildings, the beautiful glass front shows off the natural looking decor inside.

Decor

The decor inside is simple but modern. As I went around October/November times, the restaurant had a wonderful autumnal display. Lots of oranges and browns (colour theme) which looked warm and inviting. I was also very impressed with the shop front. The wide floor-length windows allow you to eat and admire the outside at the same time. I loved the black leather (I’m guessing it’s faux-leather!) booths and marble table tops. I found the birch trees a bit weird at first but grew more and more fond of them whilst at the restaurant.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The warm and inviting autumnal window display

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The seating area – see how navigating a bigger pram could be tricky? / Photo Credit: Londonist

Space

It’s not a massive restaurant – the image above of the shop front is basically the length of the whole place but I think this gives it a friendly and intimate feel. In terms of the space, I can’t really say the place is buggy-friendly. Yes the doors can open up for large or double pushchairs it’s a little difficult to navigate around to the seats with a bigger pram. My advice would be to ask for a seat nearer to the buffet stations and doors. The staff are very attentive so I am sure they would be smart enough to work that out should it ever happen. I was a little apprehensive about the space beforehand (even though I only have a tiny little Mamas & Papas Urbo) I didn’t bring it because I wasn’t sure I would be able to move around the restaurant comfortably with the pram. The seats are positioned quite closely together and when I had to move about with Baby Girl in my baby wrap, I felt a bit cramped and the restaurant wasn’t even busy.

As lovely as the faux-leather booths were, it was a little tricky to sit in as the tables are pushed quite closely to the chairs. The other thing was that you don’t get a booth to yourself – for Ethos to make use of the space, the booths are split into two so they can sit two sets of guests in them. It’s a clever way for utilising space but not the most friendliest for parents with young children… but then again I guess we’re not their main target market. The family-friendly space is the only downfall of Ethos though, everything else if above standards.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
The buffet-style food stations / Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
View of the seating area / Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

Now onto the food…

Food, Glorious Food

The food at Ethos is absolutely amazing. O.M.G! The flavours, the varieties, not to mention the desserts. Oh my. We’re not a vegetarian family so I’ve not been to many though I am choosing to go to more as I really liked them. The first veggie restaurant I went to was Mildred’s in Camden and I had the most amazing halloumi and char-grilled aubergine flatbread burger. From that day onward, I knew I loved the vegetarian dining experience and Ethos Foods didn’t let me down. There was plenty of fresh food to choose from (hot and cold) and the self-service buffet meant I can easily pick a little of everything I fancy.

The food is priced on a pay-by-weight basis which can be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it. For me, it meant better portion control and the price per kilo was affordable. I think I paid about £12 for my full plate and then I spent a little more on desserts (charged separately, around £2-3 per slice.. I chose 2 things) and opted for tap water my whole lunch was around £20.00. Okay, £20 for lunch is not what I’d spend daily but it’s a good price for an occasional lunch with friends, etc.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
My plate full of delicious food!

I had miso roasted aubergines, halloumi bites, spinach and ricotta cheese balls, green beans, Hungarian goulash, seaweed salad, cous cous, massaged kale salad with kumquats, and a broccoli with carrots cashew cream curry. My favourite was the aubergines, spinach/ricotta balls, the goulash and cashew cream curry. Everything was packed-full with flavour and spices. No-one can ever tell me that vegetarian food is bland and boring! On purpose, I tried to avoid having too much carbs simply because of having Gestational Diabetes in both pregnancies it puts me at higher risk of developing it later in life. So for that reason only I am a little cautious but it doesn’t mean I cut out carbs, just limit it to a decent amount. I resisted the sweet potato fries and creamy potato gratin but had a little bit of gnocchi instead. 🙂

Now that autumn is over, I am sure the menu at Ethos would be a little different. I recently checked out their sample menu online and some things are not on there like the spinach and ricotta balls and seaweed salad. However it is a ‘sample menu’ so you could still stumble upon it at the restaurant.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Dessert table (sorry for the blurred image!)

I wasn’t going to get dessert but then I thought why not as who knows when I’ll be back lol … I can’t ever imagine going here with both LO and Baby Girl – not while they’re still young as they’ll probably make so much noise and disturb everyone else’s dining experience haha! I tried to be as good as possible and only picked two things – the peanut butter bomb (an Ethos favourite) and a raspberry and vanilla raw square. The peanut butter bomb was incredibly rich, I shared half of mine with my friend and still thought it was rich. Amazingly delicious though, there was only one left which I picked but if there was more I’m sure I would’ve gone back to buy two more. They taste like Reese’s peanut butter cups but way better!

The raw square was fabulous and just as I would expect for a raw dessert. If you’ve never tried raw desserts before you are seriously missing out. It was so mouth-watering, softly whipped and had a slight coconut taste because I think they used coconut to make the base of the square. Absolutely yum!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Ethos Foods Restaurant Review
Photo Credit: Ethos Foods

My friend also bought herself a raw raspberry square and a black bean brownie which I tried. It was so tasty but again so rich in taste and texture. One brownie was more than enough for the both of us. I really want to try and make my own black bean brownie and a few other raw desserts but I haven’t got round to doing so yet. I may have to put some time aside next week to do so!

So if you haven’t yet gathered from my raving review, I highly recommend giving Ethos a visit whether you’re a vegetarian/vegan or not. If the food hasn’t won you over at least pop in to give the desserts a try – you won’t be disappointed. It’s not somewhere I would say to eat for a work lunch but great if you’re with a couple of friends and looking for a place with good vegetarian food, a lovely atmosphere in the heart of Central London.

Enjoy & Bon Appétit! 

Here are some other bloggers who’ve also been to Ethos and written about their dining experience:

The London Mother
Fat Gay Vegan
Her Favourite Food
I’m Wandering and Positive