food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

These chocolate and rye pancakes are divine filled with creamy chilli, honey and fruit-studded ricotta and drizzled with a simple chocolate sauce. Dessert or a very decadent breakfast. The choice is yours.

These chocolate and rye pancakes are divine filled with creamy chilli, honey and fruit-studded ricotta and drizzled with a simple chocolate sauce. Dessert or a very decadent breakfast. The choice is yours.

When you have a hankering for something sweet and homemade not much beats a tall stack of maple syrup-kissed pancakes. Using store cupboard ingredients of flour, egg and milk, as well as a touch of oil and leavening agents, within a short time the whole family can follow their noses to the table and dive right in. Jars of jam, a shaker of caster sugar, bowls of sliced fruit and berries, some freshly cut lemon and a bottle of Canada’s finest will have everyone satisfied as they customise their personal plate of golden beauties.

Perfection.

But sometimes you want to go a bit fancier, a bit dessert: squirty cream and toffee sauce; or alcohol and flames.

And sometimes you just want to go a bit mad and cobble together a really bizarre sounding but exceedingly good plate of dark-as-dirt crepes, rolled around something sweet, smoky, creamy and spicy. If you are me, this is what you get.

I kind of knew this odd-but-good combination would work, but I wasn’t expecting to want to stab my husband in the hand with my fork as he ate all but my test one. All.

That’s grounds for divorce in some households, I’m sure.  Continue Reading

What do get when you combine creamy cashew butter, tiny pearls of puffed quinoa and heady, exotic cardamom? The most delicious two-bite biscuit this side of a bakery. Sweetened with date syrup - and containing no grains whatsoever - if you have a food processor you can be eating these in less than 20 minutes. No chilling, no tricky cutting out, no decorating. Bake. Eat. Repeat.What do get when you combine creamy cashew butter, tiny pearls of puffed quinoa and heady, exotic cardamom? The most delicious two-bite biscuit this side of a bakery. Sweetened with date syrup – and containing no grains whatsoever – if you have a food processor you can be eating these in less than 20 minutes. No chilling, no tricky cutting out, no decorating.

Bake. Eat. Repeat. Continue Reading

Cauliflower roasted in a surprising easy marinade and topped with pan-fried almonds, green olives and chilli flakes makes for a simple, vegan and healthy midweek pasta supper for 2.

Cauliflower as ugly duckling: a history

Cauliflower is the ugly-duckling-turned-swan of the food world. This is indisputable.

You may be thinking, “Whoa, hang on a sec. Isn’t kale still king? Aren’t we still talking about kale?… Hey, should I be making cauliflower crisps now?”

Yes, yes and here you go.

But, whereas kale is a relative newcomer to the average Joe dinner table, cauliflower has until recently been the steamy, grey horror served up only to be scraped into the bin. School dinner ladies, chefs, grannies, mums: they were all in on the conspiracy to besmirch the now-lauded cruciferous wunderkind. Boiled until the consistency of setting wallpaper paste and the aroma of rancid gym socks, poor old cauliflower has spent a long time treading (boiling) water. And now of course top chefs are building main dishes around this curdy, white wonder.

So, what happened? Continue Reading

HHH_HiResIt is still (just) January, the month of resolutions, detoxes, and get-fit regimes that may or may not last until February. And in January people like myself get inundated with requests to cook from and review the latest weight loss cookbooks.

I rarely get excited about such cookbooks for the simple reason that diets don’t really work. Or, at least not in the long term.

For the most part I don’t wish to participate as a reviewer in this yearly bunfight to the top of the diet book charts. But, for awhile now, I’ve been getting quite excited about the release of this particular cookbook. And it doesn’t disappoint. This is definitely a weight loss book with a difference.  Continue Reading

How can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a creditable imitation without involving our cluckin' lovely feathered friends.How can a recipe with no chicken and no mayo be a chicken salad? You would be surprised. White beans, avocado mayo, and the usual suspects of celery, salad onions, tarragon and nuts (in this case, pecans) give a credible imitation without involving our cluckin’ lovely feathered friends.

When I first started thinking about making this I was merrily carrying my coat over my arm and revelling in the unseasonable warmth. Not only was it kind of warmish, it was also sunny and not windy. In Edinburgh that’s all we aspire to, even in July, so experiencing this topsy turvy weather in January kind of warped my brain a bit. Continue Reading

Naturally gluten-free and as near-as-damn-it to a healthy but actually nice tasting, and not entirely made of coconuts, avocados and dates blondie as one could possibly make. Indeed, they have passed the all-important kid and pensioner test. You are welcome.Naturally gluten-free and as near-as-damn-it to a healthy but actually nice tasting, and not entirely made of coconuts, avocados and dates, blondie as one could possibly make. Indeed, they have passed the all-important kid and pensioner test. You are welcome.

I’m not here to torture you. Honestly. I’m actually a pretty nice person. If you were behind me and my big old, filled-to-the-gunnels shopping cart, standing there with a pint of milk and a bag of apples, I would definitely shoo you in front of me and not take no for an answer. And, if you walked out of the loo, trailing paper from your shoe, I would quietly let you know. Because I would want to know.

Just as I would want to know of a blondie recipe that actually tasted good, wasn’t loaded down with tons of sugar, butter, and white flour, and gave me energy instead of making me feel like putting on my pyjamas and having a nap right then and there. Continue Reading

If you can eat a whole bag of heart-stoppingly expensive vegan "cheese" kale chips without pausing for sharing, or breathe, this is the recipe for you. Add in the fact that it is a bit spicy, a bit "raunchy" (which my MacBook desperately wants to be "raunchy") and we have a serious contender for favourite snack ever. Raw-ish, nutritious, delicious. And affordable.If you can eat a whole bag of heart-stoppingly expensive vegan “cheese” kale chips without pausing for sharing, or breathe, this is the recipe for you. Add in the fact that it is a bit spicy, a bit “ranchy” (which my MacBook desperately wants to be “raunchy”) and we have a serious contender for favourite snack ever. Raw-ish, nutritious, delicious. And affordable.  Continue Reading

A glowing, richly flavoured easy dish with oodles of nutrients and plant goodness. The cinnamon-pomegrante dressing pulls it all together and makes it more than the sum of its parts. Vegan and naturally gluten-free.A glowing, richly flavoured easy dish with oodles of nutrients and plant goodness. The cinnamon-pomegranate dressing pulls it all together and makes it more than the sum of its parts. Vegan and naturally gluten-free. 

Winter is brooding, low and heavy, across much of the Northern Hemisphere. While tenement-deep drifts of snow plague places like Minnesota USA, here in coastal Edinburgh we are one of the last places in Scotland to get the white stuff. I bet you thought this far north we would be at least knee-deep in it, snow-shoeing our way to work. But no. Some winters we get nary a flake. White Christmases are pretty rare too.

This evening, however, we have had our first few flakes. Nothing to dash out without gloves or hat and excitedly start a snowball fight, but enough to think more might be on its way. This also flicked an annually fired switch in my head that entreats me to turn the thermostat ever so slightly higher – from 18C to 20C. As I am from southern Florida perhaps this is understandable: Sweater-weather where I come from means 23C. Continue Reading

A good quality gooey cheese is all you need to make a luscious sauce for this easy, family-friendly vegetable pasta bake.This post is part of a blog collaboration on healthy comfort foods and recipes, as well as thoughts on comfort beyond the kitchen. Links to the other participants’ articles are below my recipe. 

Comfort food is always a buzzword in the cooler, darker months. Go to any restaurant and there will be a section marked ‘comfort foods’ to choose from: sticky ribs, meat pies with gravy, steamed puddings. And UK supermarkets probably get most of their money at this time of year from sales of such classic comfort foods as macaroni cheese, pizza, and mashed potatoes.

Genetically we are programmed to crave high-calorie, high-fat and high-carb foods when times get tough, our mood is low, or when natural light levels are waning. In Scotland light levels are exceptionally low during the winter months: yesterday, the 10th of January, the sun set in Edinburgh at 3.59pm. And it was raining.

Many of us grew up consuming foods like this – or whatever is our cultural equivalent – in times of personal need. Eating things like a baked chocolate pudding or pastry-wrapped anything does indeed help with the release of the soothing brain hormone, dopamine. But, as we have become more aware of the health disbenefits of having classic comfort foods as a mainstay of our diet – the latter possibly in response to chronic stress –  more of us are finding less comfort and more guilt. Or, if not guilt, then a nagging suspicion that the calories and fat from a triple decker cheese sandwich literally outweighs the comfort of that first, blissful bite. Continue Reading

A 15-minute vegan take on the Thai dish, tom kha kai (chicken coconut soup). A green soup in disguise. Hopping from family gathering to party to dinner. Zapping in and out of airports and train stations. Catering like a boss for family and friends. Too.Many.Cocktails. The holiday season definitely takes its toll. Not only on one’s routine and normal diet, but also one’s  motivation to get back to real life – which unfortunately isn’t fruit-spiked mugs of glögg, and 8 a.m. slices of stollen.  Continue Reading

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