PUMPKIN SOUP

Good morning my lovelies,

I know I’ve been a bit M.I.A. recently and I am sorry. I have missed blogging, but as I have mentioned before I am taking a more relaxed stance on blogging now. If I manage to write and upload something brilliant, if not it’s not the end of the world either as this is only a hobby for me which is supposed to be fun and not stress me out aha! So I apologise if I also haven’t read and commented on as many of your lovely blog posts recently either, I guess I’ve just been busy enjoying life and being ill aha! Anyway lets get into this blog post!

It’s that time of year again – time to lug those heavy pumpkins home (if you don’t have a car like myself) and get carving! Because, let’s be honest who doesn’t love a good pumpkin carving session whilst having your favourite Halloween movies playing in the background?! However, in the spirit of trying to live more sustainably and produce less waste I want to urge you all not to throw away the innards of your pumpkins but be creative instead!!! Pumpkins can be used in so many scrumptious recipes from sweet to savoury. I’ve already tried three delicious recipes this year with my first few pumpkins and can’t wait to experiment more in a couple of weeks when I carve out the last of the decorative pumpkins! For now I want to share one of my all time favourites with you though and I’ve spiced this recipe up a little from last year, soo see what you think – here’s my pumpkin soup!

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For 6 servings you will need:
1kg of pumkin – 200g of peeled carrots – 100g or peeled parsnips – 100g celery – 100g leek – 1 large red onion – 1l stock (made with 2 stock cubes and 1/2 tbsp of swiss bouillon) – 500ml of oat milk – pepper, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tbsp oregano, 1 tbsp basil, 1 tbsp parsley – 3 tbsp nutritional yeast – olive oil

Wash and peel the vegetables. Chop up the onions, leeks and celery. Heat the oil in a big soup pot. Add onions and saute for a few minutes. In the meantime, chop the carrots and parsnips and pumpkin. Boil 1l of water in the kettle. Now add the leeks, celery and pumpkin to saute for a few minutes too. Make your stock and pour into the pot before adding the parsnips and carrots. Stir well and then add all your herbs. Bring to boil and then reduce to a medium heat. Put lid on and let the vegetables cook for around 30 mins or until softened. Next add your nutritional yeast and oat milk before blending the soup; you can decide how coarse or smooth you want your soup. Last but not least, taste and add any extra seasoning if necessary.

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For the roasted pumpkin seeds:
Pumpkin seeds – pepper, salt, garlic powder, paprika

Save the pumpkin seeds when carving your pumpkin. Wash them and spread them out on a tray over baking paper. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Roast in the oven at ca.200 degrees centigrade for around 10 mins (make sure to shake em up after 5 mins) .

Serve soup in your favourite bowl, top fresh basil and roasted pumpkin seeds and voila -sit down and enjoy!

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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!

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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.

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