The Wandering Mother Blog | Recipes

Recipe: Lemon Posset Creme Dessert Pots

This week I have been indulging myself in baking delicious desserts. I’ve gotten a little bored with baking and photographing cakes – too much browns and beiges I wanted to shoot something a little more fun and summery. I was looking back on the blog and came across this old favourite of mine. Well, it’s actually Daddy P’s favourite recipe and it’s been a while since I made it for him. Behold, my deliciously tangy but sweet lemon posset dessert pots!

The lemon posset creme pots tastes like a citrusy creme brûlée and the texture is similar to a rich chocolate pot. It’s velvety smooth and oh so delicious! A word of warning though – this dessert is very sweet so if you are watching the calories or don’t have a sweet tooth, it’s best to avoid this one. Daddy P likes his lemon pots super sweet so I normally use 100g but for the sake of the rest of us, 80g sugar is sweet enough. If you prefer even less sugar, us about 50-60g sugar with the recipe below for a tart lemon taste. That should get you salivating!

Even though this dessert is very sweet, the tangy lemon juice does offset some of that sweetness and creates a refreshing balance. Enjoy it with a black coffee and shortbread (here’s a recipe for both!), or sparkling elderflower and mint for the perfect summer accompaniment.

The Wandering Mother Blog Recipes
Try topping your lemon creme pots with lemon curd for tangy-ness!
The Wandering Mother Blog | Recipes for comfort cooking
A dollop of lemon curd adds an extra tang to the lemon creme!

Lemon Posset Creme Dessert Pots Recipe

This dessert is very quick and easy to make and follows a similar method to making custard. You can also swap the caster sugar for golden caster sugar or light brown sugar. Simply double up the measurements to yield 6 pots.

Time: prep – 5 mins, cooking – 15 mins, chilling – up to 4 hrs
Serving: 3 small dessert pots or ramekins

Ingredients:

  • 300ml double cream
  • 80g caster sugar (use 60g for less sweetness)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • x1 lemon (squeezed)
  • lemon zest (from 1 lemon)
  • optional – toppings for your pots ie. lemon curd, melted white chocolate or shavings, berry compote or crushed ginger biscuits

Method:

  1. Add the double cream, vanilla extract and caster sugar to a saucepan, preferably a heavy-based pan to prevent the cream boiling too fast or burning, and stir continuously on a medium/high heat with a whisk.
  2. When the cream looks starts bubbling from the sides of the pan, take the pan off the heat or reduce to a very low heat.
  3. Whilst stirring, add in the lemon zest and the freshly squeezed lemon juice. You’ll see the cream turning into a thick custard consistency.
  4. Stir briskly a bit more then leave to cool for around 5 mins before pouring or spooning into the tall ramekins or glass pots. If you don’t want to bite into any lemon zest, you could strain the mixture through a sieve as you pour into your pots. This also helps to remove any lumps from your lemon creme.
  5. Place in the fridge to cool for 4 hours (or overnight) then enjoy them alone or accompanied with some shortbread biscuits.
  6. OPTIONAL – you can add toppings to your lemon creme dessert like a dollop of lemon curd or white chocolate, crushed ginger biscuits or even a berry compote for a fruity twist.

If you give this recipe a try, let me know in the comments below. X

This post was first written and published on this blog in May 2015.

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 | Food & Drink: Chickpea

Recipe: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers (V)

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. 

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
chickpeas soaked in water overnight then drained

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).

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
The ingredients before it’s blitzed (left), and the consistency you need after blitzing (right)
The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
Transfer mix to a bowl and add the onions

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.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy Homemade Chickpea Burgers Recipe
Fry lightly in oil until golden brown

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…

  • sesame bun
  • brioche bun (our favourite!)
  • white morning roll
  • wholemeal bun
  • 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
  • sliced tomatoes
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • bistro salad mix
  • pickles or gherkins
  • pickled vegetables (daikon, carrot, radish)
  • cucumber
  • fresh sliced onions
  • homemade salsa or pico de gallo (fresh, chunkier version)
  • ketchup
  • 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!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Food: Easy homemade chickpea burgers recipe
Ta-da! Double stacked chickpea burgers with tomatoes, cheese and mayo

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

INGREDIENTS

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)

METHOD

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Take off the heat and place on your bun.
  7. 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.
  8. Sit back and enjoy!
    You can team your burger with a side salad, homemade coleslaw, wedges (like us!) or chunky chips.

Have you tried this recipe? Rate it below:

Rating: 3 out of 5.
The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Pancake Day

Recipe: simple egg-free fluffy pancakes (V)

Egg-free fluffy pancakes (V)

Love pancakes but not a fan of eggs? No problem!

This delicious recipe is vegetarian friendly (make it vegan by substituting the milk for dairy-free milk and butter for coconut oil).  You could even try swapping the self-raising flour for oat flour but I can’t comment on how fluffy the pancakes will be… will have to be a new experiment for me! I’ve also made protein pancakes in the past, there’s two protein pancake recipes here which you can try.

Here’s a photo of the ones I made the other day with vanilla ice on top and a homemade peanut butter dulce de leche caramel in between.. it was delicious! The kids had their pancakes with chocolate-hazelnut spread and Daddy P had his with traditional lemon and sugar. I liked making the pancakes small as they looked so cute and perfect size for small hands.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Recipe: Egg-free fluffy pancakes
My egg-free pancakes… just as fluffy as standard pancakes!

Ingredients

  • 100g Self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 150ml Whole or semi-skimmed milk (use dairy-free milk to make it vegan)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsalted melted butter (use sunflower or olive spread to make it vegan)
  • oil spray (a few tbsp oil for cooking)

Method

  1. Sift the flour into a bowl, add in caster sugar and baking powder then mix – these are known as dry ingredients.
  2. Then add in milk, vanilla extract and butter – these are known as wet ingredients.
  3. Whisk all the ingredients together until a smooth consistency is formed, it should be a thick, creamy-smooth consistency.
  4. Put the hob on a medium heat and add oil to the pan, only use a small amount and distribute evenly either with a brush or flat spatula.
  5. Pour in the batter slowly and cook for around 2-4mins or until bubbles can be seen forming to the top of the pancake. You can check the base of the pancake, it should be a light brown colour before turning.
  6. Flip over and cook on other side for about 1-2mins, you can check by slightly lifting the pancake
  7. Use batter to make remaining pancakes and serve with your own toppings!

Topping suggestions:

  • Lemon and sugar
  • Chocolate hazelnut spread
  • Ice cream scoop
  • Banana and caramel sauce
  • Strawberries and whipped or pouring cream
  • Greek yoghurt, blueberries and honey
  • Cherry or mixed berry compote and vanilla ice cream
  • Oranges (sliced) with grand marnier liqueur (alcohol)
  • Syrup – golden or maple
  • Any combination of the above!

miguel-andrade-unsplash

Enjoy!

THE GREENWICH MUMMY FOOD RECIPES | FISH CURRY

Recipe: Sweet potato, haddock and vegetable coconut curry (V)

(V) this coconut curry contains fish which you can omit for a full vegetarian dish

THE GREENWICH MUMMY FOOD RECIPES | FISH CURRY
Photo credit: Unsplash

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.

Bon Appetit!

IMG_9674
add onions to the oil and fry

FullSizeRender 2
add in the sweet potatoes

FullSizeRender 1
now time to add the carrots!

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add in the seasoning and stock then simmer!

IMG_9681
add in the fish, remaining veg and coconut milk

Haddock, sweet potato and vegetable coconut curry recipe

Ingredients:

  • 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
  • 1tsp cumin
  • 1-2 tbsp sunflower oil for frying
  • 100ml water
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. All done! Serve with jasmine rice and enjoy. x

 

The Greenwich Mummy - Food recipe

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

Review: Mister Paste’s new sweet and sour mango sauce makes vegetarian cooking easy!

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Mister Paste New Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review
Photo source: MisterPaste.co.uk

I don’t always make vegetarian meals even though I did wish I made more of an effort to. LO is not a big meat fan – unless it’s oven cooked (fish fingers/chicken nuggets/turkey drummers), or meatballs with spaghetti you couldn’t get him to even touch it with a barge pole.

When the founder of Mister Paste, Ian (you can read more about Ian and his company in an interview post I wrote here) got in touch last month to inform me of his new sauce I was more than intrigued to try it out. Mister Paste’s vegetarian line of food had been recently accredited by the Vegetarian Society and was exhibiting at the Just V Show in Olympia.

So let’s talk about the mango sauce… it’s a lovely rich sauce that reminds me of Nandos’ mango and lime marinade (due to the kaffir lime leaves and mango sauce) and the consistency a Chinese sweet and sour sauce. It’s rich, sweet and tangy sauce is delicious, on the recipe printout included in the pack mentions that you could add fresh mango chunks but the sauce has so much flavour (made from real mango puréed, you don’t need to). I had made two dishes with the sauce; one for myself with Quorn cubes and the other with pan-fried salmon for the family as they’re not a big fan of Quorn.

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Mister Paste New Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review
Quorn chunks with vegetables and egg noodles

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Mister Paste Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review

The Greenwich Mummy Blog - Mister Paste New Vegetarian Mango Sauce Review
Pan-fried salmon with veggies and egg noodles

The sweet and sour mango sauce and other ingredients come in vacuum-sealed bags. All I had to buy was my choice of protein (salmon and Quorn), one red pepper, fresh coriander and lemon. I added in fish sauce instead salt as well as black pepper for seasoning and taste. I loved the chilli flakes that came with the pack so much that I bought extra. 🙂 I didn’t add all the flakes because otherwise the children and Daddy P wouldn’t have been able to eat it so it was more of a sweet and tangy mango sauce than a spicy one. But that suited our taste buds just right.

I had also originally planned the dish to be made with jasmine rice but we had egg noodles left over from when I was planning to make salmon teriyaki so we used that as a sub instead. I imagine that the dish would’ve been just as delicious with rice but somehow it felt a bit healthier and lighter with soy-tossed egg noodles. Daddy P who was initially sceptical about a fruity and savoury sauce admitted that he enjoyed it. I certainly did and so did the kids and my sister who was over for dinner.

Mister Paste’s sauce packs are literally an all-in-one product. The packs provide you with not only the sauce but the ingredients to go with it (all measured out for you) and comes complete with instructions on how to use it which is quintessentially the recipe on how to make the dish. Any ingredients that may be an allergen are highlighted in bold so you know exactly what goes in it.

I am very thrilled that the company’s vegetarian line has been recognised and accredited with an awarding body. It’s a statement to show everyone that Mister Paste really knows his stuff and can deliver high-quality sauces and pastes to vegetarians, non-vegetarians and those in-between like me! 🙂

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


Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning: Vegan Coconut Matcha Tart Recipe

The Greenwich Mummy Blog | Macmillan World's Biggest Coffee Morning

It’s now under two weeks away until the Macmillan Big Coffee Morning! I love baking but since changing my diet and adopting a healthier lifestyle I have pretty much given up on scoffing cakes and pastries. Don’t get me wrong I will still indulge every now and then but it would be a very small treat as I am cutting down on sugars and carbs. This is because I have had gestational diabetes in both pregnancies meaning that my chances of getting Type II diabetes later on is very high.

Last week I was invited to attend an exclusive baking masterclass held by the Macmillan Cancer Support. I was so excited to attend but unfortunately, when it came to the actual day of the masterclass my childcare fell through and I wasn’t able to find anyone else at the last minute and had to forfeit my attendance. Continue reading “Macmillan World’s Biggest Coffee Morning: Vegan Coconut Matcha Tart Recipe”