Avocado and frozen berry #smoothiebowl

This recipe feels like a bit of a cheat really, as it’s made up and is so simple. I am all for keeping things fast and easy in the kitchen, as life is so busy at the moment. So anything that fits in with the daily routine and saves time and is healthy is a win, win, win. I never really ever follow recipes for smoothies or juices and I don’t have much time when I am working from home so this is a healthy option for me for breakfast after I’ve done the school run or for lunch.

I’ve been seeing smoothie bowls on my instagram feed for a while and didn’t really get them until I made a smoothie in my NutriNinja and it was too thick so I poured it into a bowl and it was delicious – I didn’t realise how good it would taste especially with the toppings – I used fruit, coconut flakes and local bee pollen. And of course it looks so pretty and the possibilities are endless – the only limitation being your imagination and of course, your tastebuds!

I will post some info about the nutrition info soon, but just need to get this posted for #WakeuptoOrganic events happening in independent retailers on 15th June.

Avocado and frozen berry Smoothie bowl

Makes: 2 smoothie bowls
Prep time: 10 minutes tops

You will needโ€ฆ
1 Avocado peeled chopped
120g frozen berries
300ml coconut water
1-2 tablespoons of chia seeds
1 tablespoon of bee pollen
1 dessert spoon of spirulina, wheatgrass or chlorella
1 lemon peeled and chopped
1 carrot peeled, top and tailed and chopped
1 beetroot bulb, top and tailed and chopped (if you’re using a high powered blender)

How to…

Blend together with a normal blender or high powered blender, put in bowls and decorate with toppings of your choice.

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One pot: Organic chicken broth soup

 

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When I told my brother in law about this recipe, he laughed. He’s a good cook, and I think he was laughing because, strictly speaking it’s not really a proper recipe as it’s so simple and something that generations before us have made.

It isn’t just over Christmas that we tend to over-indulge, for many, Christmas preparations, shopping, and all the stuff that comes with having kids, means that in the run up to Christmas, healthy eating gets shunted out in favour of convenience.

However, you can have both. I work from home, and working next to the kitchen can be a temptation. One of the things I’ve found is having something in the fridge i just have to heat up helps me to eat well.

I can make a one pot and have half in the evening and the rest in the next day or even later. I’ve just remembered I’ve got some of this in my fridge left over from Friday, that’ll do me nicely for lunch. Jamie serves it with rice, but why bother, when it adds another level of admin (time) and instead of eating rice you can eat more of the veg.

The key is to make too much and freeze what you know you won’t eat in the next few days.

The temptation to reach for whatever is in your fridge can be made into a virtueย if you have a one pot to hand.

And that’s not to say I am “perfect” whatever that is, lets just say I bought my first box of mince pies just before Halloween.


Organic chicken broth soup

You will need…
2 organic chicken legs or 4 thighs*
2 carrots peeled, top and tailed and sliced
1 leek peeled, top and tailed and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 sticks of celery
2 garlic cloves, sliced
thumb of ginger, peeled and sliced
Cavolo nero or curly kale*
handful of chestnut mushrooms
Broccoli flowers or swede or squash

How to…

  • Put the chicken, carrots, leek, celery, onion, garlic and ginger in a pan, cover with water.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (1.5 hours if you’re using a whole chicken).
  • If you’re using squash or swede ad 30 minutes into cooking.Add broccoli, leafy veg and mushrooms 5 minutes before the end.

It’s also a great recipe for little people – even if you’re weaning. Just make sure it’s cooled down – I use a big bowl like this to help it cool down quickly.

Keep the bones, to make chicken stock, you can keep them in the fridge or freeze themโ€ฆmore recipes to follow.

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*You can make this with a whole chickenย just double up the broth ingredients.

**I try as much as possible to use seasonal veg grown in the UK, usually I would use tat soi, choi sum or pak choi, and purple sprouting broccoli in Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Organic Catalan Chicken

My first job when I graduated was on the Organic Targets Campaign at Sustain – where I worked for the lovely, Cath Fookes. We organised a rally and lobby of MP’s to increase Organic Farming in the UK and it worked. Cath now works for the Organic Trade Board on their Why I love organic campaign – which published the Discover Organic Cook Book – which is on sale in Waitrose at the moment.

Yes I know that all sounds like a thinly-veiled plug and it is, and I don’t care because I love organic and only ever buy organic and free range meat, eggs, dairy and salmon. With fruit and veg, I buy British and organic and I grow my own – which is of course, organic.

Quality over quantity is my mantra. Yes organic is more expensive, but there are good reasons for this – the animals have more room to move about (lower stocking density), are not fed antibiotics to make them grow unnaturally fast. Milk and meat has higher levels of omega 3 fats compared to intensively farmed – because cows are fed on a natural grass diet. Another reason why we shouldn’t have mega dairies in this country.

Organic and free range chicken has 25% less fat than intensively farmed, and higher levels of healthy fats.

I bought a lovely organic chicken from the farm shop and made Catalan Chicken from the cook book – Kate Humble’s recipe – and it was delicious – my daughter loved it, though didn’t believe me when I told her it had chocolate in it…

You will need…

1 tbsp olive oil
1 finely chopped onion
1 free range organic chicken cut into 8 pieces
1 tin of plum tomatoes
small bag of prunes (I used just over 100g and ate the rest)
4 cloves of garlic crushed
two handfuls of pine nuts
1 tbsp ground almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
25 g organic dark chocolate

How to….

Heat the oil in a pan over a low heat and add the onion and cook for 15 minutes until soft, with the lid on. (I cooked mine for 10 minutes). Put the lid on the pan and bring to a simmer on a low heat.

Meanwhile brown the chicken in a pan.

Whizz the tin of tomatoes in a food processor, and add to the onions with the crushed garlic.

Cook for a further 10-15 minutes, simmering gently reducing the sauce.

This is apparently the basis of lots of Catalan dishes, and is called the sofregit.

Add the chicken to the tomatoes and onions with the ground almonds, cinnamon and prunes to the dish, stir well and season.

Meanwhile toast the pine nuts.

After about 30 minutes, when the chicken is cooked, grate the chocolate into the pan and add the toasted pine nuts.

We had ours with mashed potatoes, carrots and purple sprouting broccoli. And I’ve got some more in the fridge for tomorrow.

There are lots of lovely seasonal recipes for the family in this book: Raymond Blanc’s apple tart (well his’ maman’s) recipe, baba ganoush, tarragon baked chicken and carrots, green thai curry and some lovely pasta recipes too…o and a recipe for homemade scotch eggs from the founder of Laverstock Park Farm.

Some of the recipes are on the Why I Love Organic website too.