BEETROOT BROWNIES

Good evening beautiful souls,

It’s time for me to share one of my favourite recipes with you – I hope you are excited!!!

This recipe is from the beautiful vegan cookbook Peace & Parsnips. I love this book and everything I have tried so far has been super tasty, so I can’t wait to try more recipes in the future!

I’ve made this beetroot brownie recipe a couple of times now; the brownies are super easy to make, perfectly moist and of course taste amazing! So no excuse not to try this recipe for yourselves!

I have altered the original recipe a little, but it is quite flexible so don’t worry about experimenting. Anyway, let’s jump right into it!

Ingredients:

300g dark chocolate

150ml vegetable oil

125g Flour

100g Prunes

100g Nuts

200g Silken tofu

125g Beetroot, finely grated

150g Unrefined brown sugar

(I also added some dried apricots and a little rosewater – although apparently not enough of the latter as I couldn’t taste the rose flavour – I need to experiment more with this I future)

Method:

Firstly, melt the dark chocolate carefully in the microwave on a low heat/defrost setting making sure you don’t burn it. Once melted stir in oil. Leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 190 degree.

Whisk tofu and sugar together in a bowl before stirring in the cooled down molten chocolate. Next add the beetroot, Prunes, and nuts (as well as apricots or whatever else you want to add) then slowly fold in the flour until all is combined.

Pour the mixture into a ca. 27×17 cm tin lined with banking paper and level out.

Pop in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes on the middle shelf.

Leave to cool in tray then lift out onto wire wrack and cut into squares. The brownies should be nice and moist with a slight crust on the outer edges.

Best served warm with vegan vanilla ice cream or fruit compote.

And there you have it! Brew yourself a nice cup of coffee, sit down, pick up your favourite book and enjoy this yummy treat!!

Please let me know if you try these as I’d love to see what you think!

Love Carina xo

QUINOA BUTTERNUT SALAD

Good evening beautiful souls,

I’m very excited to share one of my favourite recipes with you tonight. This dish is a perfect light delicious salad that can be eaten warm or cold, as a main or side. It’s great for a great dish for BBQ’s, garden parties or any get together really as it’s really easy to prepare and relatively quick to make too. I hope you all save this recipe, have a go at making it and let me know what you think. So without further ado let me share my favourite recipe with you:

Ingredients (for 4 ppl):

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 2 stock cubes
  • Fresh corriander
  • 250g quinoa
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

First of all put your favourite tunes on and make yourself a nice drink – cause cooking is always more fun whilst sipping at a cocktail and dancing around the kitchen!

Now you’re all set, peel your butternut, scoop out the seeds and chop into small bite-size pieces and put onto a tray. Next chop up your onion and garlic in small pieces and mix with the butternut pieces. Drizzle in olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and pop in the oven to roast at 200-220 degrees Celsius (fan oven) for about 30 mins.

Next cook your quinoa, rinse first then bring 500ml of water to the boil. Add your two vegetable stock cubes before adding the quinoa and turning the heat down to simmer for about 15 mins until tender or the water is absorbed (add more water if necessary).

Next peel your pomegranate and cute up your coriander.

Once everything is cooked, mix all together (I only didn’t add the pomegranate here because my mum can’t eat it). Et voila – enjoy!!!

You can eat it warm, or pop it into the fridge and eat cold the next day – very refreshing and tasty too!

And there you have it my lovely readers, a scrumptious healthy vegan quinoa butternut salad! I hope you enjoyed this post and will try making this sometime; for now I wish you a relaxing evening and I hope you’ve had a lovely weekend.

COCKTAIL O’CLOCK

Good evening beautiful souls,

For Christmas my friend Anna gave me a bottle of the Edinburgh Rhubarb & Ginger Gin and I was instantly in love! Hands down the best gin I have ever tried! Now a while back Alice from Zest Of Alice posted a photo of this Hortus Rhubarb & Ginger Gin Liqueur on Instagram and told me it was only £11.99 at Lidl! I got very excited and as soon as I had a chance I went to have a look for myself and low and behold this beautiful bottle was on a shelf just waiting to be bought by me! I picked a bottle up immediately and then also decided to try the Hortus Raspberry Gin Liqueur. So I thought I would do a little recipe & review of these two gins – enjoy!

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My friend Anna came over for dinner on Wednesday and there couldn’t have been a better opportunity to try out these new gins than with my fellow gin loving friend. I personally love to add a slightly flavoured tonic to my gin cocktails to give them that extra something in flavour and thus I picked up an Elderflower Tonic and a Lime Tonic from Tesco to mix the Liqueurs with.

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We tried the Rhubarb & Ginger Gin first and although good I have to admit it couldn’t best the Edinburgh Gin. I would probably buy it again as I did enjoyed it and it is cheaper but if just based on taste, its flavour just doesn’t quite pack the same punch as the Edinburgh Gin, sorry Hortus. Next to be put under our scrutinising taste buds was the Raspberry Gin and with this one I must say I was disappointed. I love raspberries – they’re one of my favourite fruits – but something about this raspberry flavoured gin was sadly too sweet / too sickly and too artificial for both myself and Anna. I will not be purchasing this gin again.

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However that being said everyone’s taste buds are different and you might really like the raspberry gin, so don’t let me put you off from trying it! If you decide to go for a bottle here’s how I prepared these two gin cocktails:

Start with some ice cubes in a large cocktail glass – then add 2 shots of Hortus Gin – fill the glass to your strength liking with 1/2 elderflower and 1/2 lime tonic – next garnish with some fresh lemon or lime or even pop in some cucumber !

Et voila – easy peasy gin cocktail – now sit back and relax!

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Tip – I bought these amazing cocktail glasses from Poundland the other day, they are really sturdy glass and great for cocktails. If you don’t already have cocktail glasses I suggest you pop into your local Poundland and treat yourself to some! Well worth it – and so are my stainless steel straws! Please look after our environment in little ways such as using non-plastic reusable straws at home ❤

P.S. Please do let me know your favourite gin recipes and whether you have tried these two flavours before!! I’d love to know!

Love Carina xo

COOK BOOK HAUL

Good evening beautiful souls,

I recently purchased a few new cook books from The Works and thought I’d show you. If you’re not in the habit of frequenting The Works, I really urge you to check it out on a regular basis because they always have some amazing deals and sales on.

I always find it too easy to fall into the same cooking patterns recycling the same recipes over and over again, so I’m really looking forward to trying out some new recipes from these books. There’s so many yummy recipes out there I just need to make more of an effort to try them all. Which makes me think… Has anyone ever watched Julie & Julia?! It’s about a woman named Julie who decides to cook every single recipe from Julia Child’s cookbook in a year and blogs about it. I’ve always wanted to do that haha a day although it’s never going to happen, the idea of actually cooking every single recipe in a cookbook is kinda cool. I’d love to achieve that, I mean who knows what delicacies we’re missing out on by not trying more recipes!

Anyway here’s the cook books I just added to my collection and I can’t wait to read through them and try some new recipes out!

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I’ve already got one of Aine’s cook books but for a fiver I couldn’t complain and the more new recipes for inspiration the better. Then I also liked the idea of discovering some raw food ideas, as I’ve heard lots of positive things about a raw vegan diet. Oh and the last book I guess isn’t a cook book, but a book about vitamins and minerals which I thought would be a very interesting and hopefully informative read. Being vegan now has opened my eyes more to making sure I’m receiving all the nutrients my body needs; and this is not due to the ever present stigma that vegans struggle to get all the nutrients their body needs (a rant for another time), but rather because the whole vegan lifestyle for me is about starting to take better care of my body. So I’m looking forward to educating myself some more!

Now I’d love to know if any of you already own these cookbooks and if so what are your favourite recipes?!

Love Carina xo