Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Spring to me…

Perfect for tea time!

Ah, warmer days and Springtime - Spring - is the taste in the air, the blossoms on the trees, the gentle stirring of life, peeping buds and of course sweet scents of baking emanating from the kitchen.

A slice of Lemon, Courgette and Carrot cake with a cup of your favourite tea is a moment to savour. Springtime tempts us outside and with this sweet charm packed away in you knapsack and a flask to boot – ooh loveliness is close to hand.

This cake is light and crumbly in the best possible way, softly refreshing and nourishing. Your nimble fingers will be unable to resist these golden crumbs in a lemon tryst of taste significance!

Special tip – After a lengthy and interesting conversation with  the brilliant nutritionist, Alex Jones - about all things sweet – he mentioned Rapadura as a healthy and balanced alternative to refined sugar. It is available from most health stores and is a delicious and balanced whole food packed with chromium, “Chromium is an essential trace mineral meaning that it is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, and it also helps to regulate the metabolism of our blood sugar and thus helps deter diabetes."

I’ll soon be writing a blog on all things sweet, until then,

Hugs and Love,

FFX

Lemon Courgette and Carrot Cake

Floating Clouds –

A delicious and healthy alternative to frosting

Greek yogurt 3tbsp
Rapadura  3 tsp
Lemon juice 3 tsp

Cake Ingredients

Grated courgette, 100g
Grated carrot, 100g
Rapadura, 150g (Brazilian raw cane juice - dried and crushed)
Egg, 1 medium
Groundnut oil 100ml
Wholemeal flour, 100g
Buckwheat flour, 100g
Bicarbonate of soda, ½ tsp
Baking powder, ¼ tsp
Ground ginger ¼ tsp
Salt, ½ tsp
Lemon zest, 3 tsp

PRE-HEAT oven to gas 3, 160’c.
GREASE a loaf tin.
MIX in a large bowl – grated carrot, grated courgette, rapadura , egg and groundnut oil.
SIFT in a separate bowl remaining dry ingredients and stir in zest.
POUR flour mix into the large bowl and stir until just mixed, go light and easy with your strokes.
POUR cake mixture into prepared tin and bake for 45minutes.
LEAVE to cool in tin.
BLEND together “Floating Clouds” ingredients and chill until ready to serve cake.
SPREAD on top and sprinkle over some extra zest!
SCINTILATING!

Friday, 25 March 2011

Simple Spiced Soup

Pink on blue
Clear soup is like good company and blue skies – nourishing - uplifting and pretty simple - in that there aren’t any hidden agenda’s, clouds or confusing flavours!

I love soup at all times of the year – not only is it very straightforward to make – it also feels good on the inside. The first time I tasted a mussel Chowder in New England was a moment of sea sensual triumph! The sweet mellow mussel, along with the creamy soup and lovely chunks of soft potato melted like a happy dream in my mouth - A Winter's Tale for sure;-)
Just enough kick to bring a smile of contentment

This recipe, however, is a Spring awakening - more of a Mid-spring nights dream;-) and with it’s gorgeous hit of chilli and spice, your mouth may not only water it will also retreat to the hills of the Himalayas or some such distant land, for this soup is from the tropics. Last year while in Borneo I ate this a few times, when I eat it I feel full of the wonders and joys of freshness – it is for me a soothing wake up call soup, I wonder what it will be for you?
Add colour to your appetite for bliss

PS- Thank you for reading my blog, and I hope you enjoy this recipe. I love hearing your thoughts, either through the comments space below, on twitter or through the Feeling Food Facebook page.

Love and Soup,

Sinead xxx


Prawn Laksa
Delicous - simple as that;-)
SERVES 4
Olive oil, 1 tbsp



Yellow Thai Paste, 1 tbsp
Garlic cloves, 3 crushed
Fresh ginger root, 1 tsp thinly sliced
Half-fat coconut milk, 400ml 1 tin
Chicken stock, 500ml
King prawns, 300g
Bean sprouts, 50g
Ridge cucumber, 1 sliced into sticks
Bunch of coriander
Red chilli, 1 finely sliced
Cooked Rice noodles, 100g

HEAT oil in a large pan.
ADD paste and garlic, stirring briskly.
POUR in coconut milk and stock.
WHISK gently to make sure everything is combined.
SIMMER for five minutes.
DIVIDE evenly cooked noodles into four deep bowls – you can buy pre-cooked noodles, or simply follow pack instructions.
STIR in prawn and bean sprouts to heat through.
SPOON soup into bowls.
TOP with cucumber sticks and red chilli.
SCATTER over some fresh coriander.
SMILE and savour.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Unconditional Cooking

Today's chicory recipe!
Unconditional Cooking is a term I’ve come up with to describe a way of nourishing that is as life changing as it is freeing - Feeling Food cooking if you like? The term unconditional love is my inspiration – this wonderful and all embracing energy is a feeling that starts deep within, and through accepting ourselves we free it so that we can share it with everyone we meet!

In flow, unconditional love is a life force stronger than any other. If you’re thinking “Sinead, you’ve been walking through the poppy fields today” remember - how we treat our bodies is the clearest insight into how we see others and ourselves. Through Unconditional cooking we set ourselves free, we nourish and nurture ourselves daily, not in a gluttonous obsessive way, instead like a gentle guiding hand our appetites when respected take us on an awe inspiring daily journey.

When we take time to LISTEN and RESPECT our appetites we are in a good place.

The ever-changing seasons mirror our own ever-changing emotions – in season right now is chicory. Both cleansing and purifying - our blood and livers will swoon amorously and happily our skin and skeletal tissue get a loving lift too.
Lush leaves loving you!
I love braised chicory – the sourness is softened, however it is also delicious raw in salads with a honey and mustard dressing.

Whatever way you choose to eat it will be the best one for you, your instincts will make sure of that. This makes a lovely accompaniment to a golden pork chop or for a vegetarian option pan-fried Halloumi is a real winner too.

Braised Chicory
SERVES 4-6 
Chicory, 4 heads tailed
Little gem lettuce, two tailed
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
Onion 1 thinly sliced
Stock - veg or chicken 1/2 pint
Flageolet beans, 1 tin 400g
Thyme, 5 sprigs
Nutmeg, freshly grated
Half-fat Crème fraiche 2 tbsp
Honey 1 tsp
Butter 3 small knobs





PRE-HEAT oven to 190’ gas 5.
RINSE chicory and little gem leaves making sure they are separated.
HEAT a frying pan with oil and fry onions for a few minutes.
ADD thyme flageolet beans, stock, crème fraiche and honey.
SIMMER for a five minutes on a low heat, stirring occasionally.
ARRANGE leaves artistically in a suitable sized ovenproof dish.
POUR over onion stock mix and finish with a happy grating of nutmeg - season generously.
DOT a few knobs of butter and thyme sprigs - cover with foil.
BAKE in the oven for 40 minutes.
SWOON swoon swoon!

Thursday, 17 March 2011

St Patrick's Day Splash

Feeling good and looking good are one in the same thing – so on this St Patrick's Day I’m sharing with you a recipe that is as pure as it is nourishing and an ode to all things Irish! Ireland sings beauty to me - this is one of my favourite songs, sung by Christy Moore "Black is the colour of my true loves hair." Her land is as lush as her culture. So I thought what  would be a good way to symbolise this allure?
Lush fields and greener pastures await after this FF special!
I came up with a real Emerald!
Here’s a clue, green in colour, of course;-)
Soft and fresh.
Revitalising and healing?
A true treat for the senses . . .

Hmmmm??? What can it be?

One wondrous face mask!
Goodness gets going on your skin - Lovely!
Smooth this gorgeous gloop over your face and you’ll be treating your skin to a true St Patricks Day feast - and you'll feel great after.... the combination of yogurt, honey and avocado is deeply nourishing and anti-inflammatory - your skin will be feasting on minerals and vitamins galore - say goodbye to dry winter skin, it's time for Spring skin to buzz into today!

“St. Patrick's Day is an enchanted time - a day to begin transforming winter's dreams into summer's magic.” ~Adrienne Cook

I began writing this blog last year and the goal has always been to promote self-love and self-care, with a view to gradual growth as opposed to overnight perfection. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, perfection has no place here. Instead if you truly care about your body – eat well and make healthy choices - our bodies and minds are quick to say Thanks! We need to treat ourselves as a whole, choosing organic where possible and natural based skin products, nurturing that lovely glow from within is the way forward. Feel food and you'll feel good

On this lucky day I hope you get some pampering time – one of my favourite things about a face-mask is the ten minutes of tranquillity it almost guarantees, switch off your phones, play your favourite relaxing music and go wherever the moment takes you.

May you always have walls for the winds,
A roof for the rains,
Tea beside the fire,
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all your heart might desire.

Wishing you a happy day today and always,

Love,

Sinead xxx

St Patricks Day Splash
Not a strange green Leprechaun! Me;-))

Avocado, one half with flesh scooped out
Yogurt, 1tbsp
Honey, 1 tsp
Sesame oil 7 drops for luck

PREPARE your surroundings – switch off mobile and play relaxing music.
BLEND all ingredients in a blender or by hand, whichever you prefer.
SMOOTH over your face and leave for ten minutes.
WASH off gently and moisturise as usual.
ENJOY your glowing skin and the feeling of taking care of yourself, the best way to uplift any mood.

Any extra mask can be applied to neck and arms!

Happy St Patrick's Day to you!

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Cocoa and Banana Destiny Drink

Do you ever feel bleary eyed in the morning?
When tired eyes need a wake up a lovely morning drink is close to hand!

Would you like to feel as fresh as a spring flower;-) ?
Light and blissful blue!

Here’s one way to greet the day with more energy!

For me, sipping Cocoa never really appealed, and then I discovered this whilst pottering around a favourite haunt, Luscious Organic. The drink is a combination of rice milk and cocoa – throw in some banana magic and we have a feeling food supping good sup!! Sure to make morning wake-ups an altogether different and more refreshing experience.

Despite being in denial for a some years I have come to accept that I’m not a mornings person, the night owl in me wins every time. However, a few things get me jumping out of bed in a light and care free manner.
  • -       Sunlight peaking through the blinds.
  • -       The smell of a cooked breakfast floating up the stairs.
  • -    Freshly baked bread.
  • -       The draw of a hot shower using my favourite shower gel from Le Source.
  • -       And of course this newly discovered dark beauty of Cocoa magic.
  • -       And of course Springtime and sunshine all year round!

I love this version of the Union Jack! - Very Seasonal ;-)
I’m also a tea-drinker and my Irish nose is drawn to all things that brew. Now with Spring flirting her lustrous way towards us, a cooler and more refreshing drink beckons.

COCOA MAGNIFICOCOA!

And best yet, it really is a case of ready in minutes, so simple it’s happiness for sleepy heads like me – punctuality is given a heads-up and joy of joys you’ll have an extra bounce in your step. There are more anti-oxidants in a glass of this than in a cup of green tea!! So sip on and on....

The stuff of dreams
I love this with a slice of whole-grain toast, spread generously with cashew butter and sliced bananas, it will certainly keep your hunger at bay and leave you feeling lovely and light until lunchtime.

A few words of wisdom from the iconic Coco Chanel herself - 

"I don't understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little - if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that's the day she has a date with destiny. And it's best to be as pretty as possible for destiny."

Cocoa and Banana Destiny Drink
Delicious in a glass

Banana, 1 ripe sliced
Cocoa powder 1 flat tbsp
Sweet freedom/ or honey 1 tsp
Rice milk 1 glass

ADD all of the ingredients into a blender and whizz.
CHECK for taste after a minute, you may want to add a drop more rice milk or sweeten a tad more.
WHIZZ again for good measure.
POUR into your favourite tall glass.
RELISH the freshness and beauty of each waking day.

FFXXX

Friday, 11 March 2011

Feeling Peaches or Oranges?


Seville - under her sweet orange trees, dotting along the roadside, some words were shared with me – to  this day they are as clear as the sun that shone – though more vivid still is the delicate citrus smell that heightened my feelings from warm to peachy pink inside. Place and time melted into a happy moment, one to cherish, and as I rang my Dad to share the good news – his response, “this is heaven on earth!” All felt well with the world.

Peach has always been a favourite colour, soft and soothing, it transforms stark to gentle and turns a cold room into a welcoming hub of warmth. Peach on a plate? Hmm - for me the ultimate peach coloured food is Salmon - it is up there with my favourites, nesting on a bed of sweet tomato and mascarpone, with ribbons of carrots and a few shreds of basil, Hooplala! Happy days.

Mascarpone melts into a dream of a sauce!
The other day I was cooking, and on this day I felt an impulse to experiment, sometimes I like to simply follow a recipe, though most days, I love to tweak and follow my senses, for me that is the easiest way to cook and the most pleasurable. Rules are important, yes, though it’s the creative instinct that makes cooking an artful and dreamy experience.

The balmy beauty of Seville is long ago now, happily tucked into the quilt of splendid remembrance. Life is full of such moments and I welcome new ones everyday. Salmon is nourishing to the very crest of a wave. This recipe is as simple as it is delicious.
Swimming with nutrients, it will give you an array of health benefits - your skin, mind and glossy hair  will all celebrate - carrots  are in season right now and these alone have a wealth of goodness. Apparently those who eat carrots regularly,  improve the appearance of their complexion - a healthy glow awaits - moderation is the key here! Too many and you may look like you've been tangoed!

Special tip - Take time to try something new when you next cook, whether it be a different ingredient or a new way of cooking something, enjoy making  fresh inspired choices, how will you know whether they'll work if you don’t try!

Sometimes when cooking happy pictures appear! What is this!!??
Love to you in Lent, whether or not you’ve given anything up or are doing something special – or have no idea what I’m talking about – a happy day to you. Thank you for reading my blog.

“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumblebee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential and fight for your dreams.”

Ashley Smith

Love,

Sinead AKA @FeelingFood  !!

xxx

Spring Salmon for a life of Peach!

SERVES 4
Ooh lovely!

Salmon fillets 4
Dijon mustard 2tbsp
Honey 2 tsp
Olive oil a drizzle
Seasoning
Garlic cloves 3 crushed
Carrots, shaved into ribbons with a potato peeler
Passatta, 300ml
Mascarpone 2 tbsp
Gnocchi, 300g cook to pack instructions
Seasonal leaves with a few slithers of lemon to serve


PRE-HEAT oven to gas 6, 200’.
PLACE fillets on a light greased piece of foil on a baking tray.
MIX Dijon mustard and honey, season generously.
BRUSH over fillets and cook in the centre of an oven for 15-20 minutes depending on the size of your fillets.
HEAT a drizzle of oil in a pan and fry the bashed garlic for a couple of minutes, until lightly golden.
STIR in carrots and Passatta.
SPOON in mascarpone and simmer on a very low heat for ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
BOIL the gnocchi according to pack instructions and drain.
SPOON gorgeous tomato sauce into four bowls, dividing Gnocchi equally.
LOVING place salmon fillets on top gloriously!
SPRINKLE over leaves and tear over some basil.
WOO HOO!

Your appetite will enjoy surfing this wave of goodness!

Bon Appétit!

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Suspending Disbelief

Gorgeous!
Suspense and stillness drift –
A gasp captures your disbelief –
And for a second the world becomes a blur,
Held tightly - art enraptures you....

Two joys - old buses and musicals!
Sometimes a shift in thought is all it takes to transform an experience. We’ve all heard of giving the benefit of the doubt – and back in the day whilst studying Shakespeare, suspending our disbelief was a concept I enjoyed and happily entertained. I love watching a play and feeling totally absorbed by the experience, by Suspending our disbelief and going with the flow, Romeo finds his rhythm and Juliet her mojo;-) Hamlet his heroism and Ophelia her grace. Elphaba defies Gravity!

Take an avocado for instance. Now, avocados are often a firm favourite for many, though when I mention them in the same sentence as dessert a few eyebrows may raise?

This pot of avocado cocoa goodness is delicious. Beautifully complimented by mellow banana sweetness and a terrific texture of orange crunch that will bring zing to your day, few healthy desserts match this one! And to top it all off - with the sprinkling of cocoa you’ll be enjoying the benefits of three times the antioxidants you’d get from a cup of Green Tea. Fabulous! 

I love this recipe, it’s a true surprise for the taste buds and it scores fives stars on the goodness rating. Friends will find it difficult to guess what exactly this creamy delight contains. Tell them to suspend their disbelief!


Three reasons why Avocados are Awesome!
1. An almost complete food, these green beauties are mashed and used to wean babies in many parts of the world.
2. Silky smooth skin awaits with this antioxidant gem, and they make a great facemask too as all of their goodness is easily absorbed. Simply add a few drops of lemon, smooth over your face and rinse off after 15 minutes with warm water – wow your skin will be happy!
3. Bursting with beta-carotene (which helps prevent cancer) your body will feel the groove of goodness and beam with health. It feels good when we make healthy choices for our bodies.

The avocado is a food without rival among the fruits, the veritable fruit of paradise.
David Fairchild

A tasty pair!
Special tip – Choose foods that will satisfy you. When in doubt opt for bright and fresh ingredients. Avocados are pleasantly filling, chicken light and energy giving, nuts are crunchilicious and nutritious – make it your business to find foods that suit you.
Cocoa Avocado Crunch
Makes 6
Avocados, 2 stoned and pulp scooped out
Bananas, 2 peeled and sliced
Crème fraiche, 200g
Cocoa powder, 2 heaped tsp
Sweet freedom – or another natural sweetener, 2 tbsp
Vanilla essence, 1 tsp
Granola – I love the Dorset Cereal range –
Marmalade Granola, 3 tbsp
Blueberries, 1 punnet – roughly 150g

BLEND in a mixer, avocados, bananas, crème fraiche, cocoa powder and vanilla essence.
TASTE for sweetness and adjust with a little extra sweetness - to suit your taste buds. The ripeness of the bananas will effect whether or not you need to do this.
SPOON the granola into six serving bowls or glasses.
ALTERNATE with spoons of the avocado mix and blueberries, to create a layered effect of wonderful textures.
OPTIONAL decorate with an extra banana and scatter over some granola on top.
YUMMY!!!!


Friday, 4 March 2011

Missing Perfection

Loving the non-existent symmetry!
Missing perfection? Isn’t that the point? Pleasing perfection… a dangerous game and one not to be entertained. Play with fire? And you get burnt, and while I love the smell of BBQ’s, some singes are best left to one side, way down memory lane, where they slowly meld into the milieu of life, evaporating like a simmering pot - sometimes adding character.
Batman beware! There's another superhero in town;-)
Silver shells bring soulless wells! 
This superheros dream caught my attention,
Seconds later, love was my ascension!

The greatest gift of all is LOVE, and that is the nearest to perfection I know. More than perfect, for it is unquantifiable, immeasurable and a feeling that holds such force, we’d travel the world to find it, beyond our hearts consciousness, zooming to the moon and back if needs be;-) Though often it's all around us.

Today I’m thankful for friendship. My lovely friend Charisse gave me a gift, in the form of a rainbow  pastel coloured tea set. 
Beautiful!
Friendship and tea drinking go well together - like milk and honey, salt and pepper, popcorn and films, bbq’s and sunshine, hellos and goodbyes, sunshine and smiles.

I love Fridays too! For that Friday go go goji berry feeling, try my beautiful figtastic oatilicious treats. Made in minutes they’ll turn moments of chatter into harmonious melodies, much like this song.

BBQ at the lovely Fergies
Special tip - Eat with great company and the food will taste considerably better.

“Wherever your heart is, that is where you'll find your treasure.”

              Paulo Coelho


Seven reasons to go Whoohoo for Gojis

  1. Known as the "Longevity fruit" - they'll keep you feeling good for eons!
  2. They increase stamina!
  3. These red wonders help protect our DNA, and have the power to repair damaged cells! Beat that Batman;-)
  4. Goji berries give us that loving feeling too! 
  5. And they accelerate healing on all levels, so you'll be blooming from within.
  6. Better than carrots, they protect against muscular degeneration, the world will look more inviting!
  7. They are simply delicious!!!

Goji go Figtastic Fingers


Makes plenty for a happy group of 8!


organic butter, 180g
sweet freedom 2 tbsp
rolled oats, 300g
goji berries, 70g
pumpkin seeds, 30g
dried apricots, 30g chopped
dried figs, 30g chopped



PRE-HEAT oven to gas 140'C, gas 1 1/2
MELT butter in a saucepan.
BRUSH a little over a shallow baking tin 20x30cm
MIX in a large bowl oats, goji berries, pumpkin seeds and dried fruit.
POUR over butter and sweet freedom, stir well.
SPOON the mixture into tin and smooth over with the back of a spoon.
BAKE for 30 minutes and when gorgeously golden, remove from oven and allow to cool in the tin, ready for slicing when you are!





Thursday, 3 March 2011

Spring Stew

Calm in a bowl of stew

Clear stock with fresh seasonal vegetables, all bright and pure, served in simple bowls is a supper to stir stars in our bellies! I’ve not been writing my blog recently and I’ve missed it, I’ve missed you! I love hearing your thoughts and feedback. Some Feeling Food friends prefer not to leave comments and that is fine too, whatever makes you happy;-) I love to share with you and this recipe seems like a good one to welcome warmer days and vivid colours and to say an overdue hello! Hola to you!
 
This morning whilst walking with my son I noticed the purple bud of a crocus. It was beautiful. Spring is upon us, though the frost has another story to tell. On any given day we all experience the world differently. Grey sky and pink flowers? It's difficult not to feel happier for seeing flowers!



Stories are a great way of making sense of things and yesterday I met an old friend who told me two, two crackers. A great story is one to be shared again and again, like a delicious recipe. I love listening and I love learning. Both qualities abound in the kitchen and turn the ordinary, that to some may seem mundane, into an exquisite experience of being present and grounded. Family recipes are some such dishes, to ignite camaraderie, establish bonds and foster happy associations with food and friends alike! Lovely! And this stew that celebrates Spring should make an appearance sometime soon upon your table.

Special tip - Eat in good company, avoid unnecessary distractions, TV, radio, reading, and intense conversations, anything that makes you feel uncomfortable. Simplicity and calm make for the tastiest stews!

“Springtime is the land awakening. The March winds are the morning yawn.”

Lewis Grizzard

Spring Stew
Two carrots make a merry pair!

SERVES 4

Baby new potatoes 200g cooked
Olive oil, 1 tbsp
Red onion, 1 finely sliced
Garlic clove, 2 crushed
Thyme, 1 sprig
Lime, 1 zest and juice
Peas, 100g
Baby carrots, 100g peeled
Baby leeks, 4 trimmed and halved
Baby sweet corn, 6
Asparagus spears, trimmed 7
Vegetable stock, 400ml
Purple endive, 3 roughly chopped
Mint, 2 tbsp roughly chopped

HEAT oil in a large pan.
ADD red onion, garlic, thyme, lime zest and juice, fry for a few minutes.
MIX in peas, carrots, leeks, sweet corn, asparagus and fry for a further five minutes.
POUR over stock and season to your taste.
SIMMER for 15 minutes.
ADD cooked potatoes and simmer for a few more minutes.
SECONDS before serving stir in mint and purple endive.
SURRENDER to Spring!
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