Veggie Chilli

Every year in Adelaide we all sit around, look at one another and exclaim in surprise to how cold it is. To be fair .. we get the extremes here .. its hard to go from 45 degrees to 1 degrees (and below !) … especially when central heating simply doesn’t exist here. A true ‘Adelaidian” will complain through the worst of winter and the very hottest of summer. Secretly we could not live without our seasons, I am thinking of our beloved wine grapes here …

Personally, apart from those terribly cold mornings I don’t mind it. I see it as touch of the UK and enjoy pilling on my collection of woolly hats and scarfs. Of course the excuse to cook up some bold and spicy dinners isn’t half bad either. This amazing veggie chiili is definitely one of them. With a great kick of spices, fennel and herbs it is great for digestive health. A decent dose of veggies and a great protein kick from the beans leaves you feeling both nourished and warmed … not to mention it is both budget friendly and easy to take along to any pot luck dinner. It freezes like a dream too !

Veggie Chilli Recipe

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1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion
1 Small Fennel
3 garlic cloves
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
1 red chilli
1 tsp cayenne pepper/chilli powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 dried chipotle chilli ( optional )
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 bunch of coriander
1 tbsp of fresh oregano (heaped)
1 tbsp ACV
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 lcarrot
1 small sweet potato
2 zucchini
800 gms beans ( Black/Kidney – mixed is good )
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can whole tomatoes
1 lime

Natural Yoghurt, Avocado and Cos Lettuce leaves to serve

Method:

  1. Peel and roughly chop the onion, along with the fennel.
  2. Peel and slice garlic.
  3. Halve, deseed and roughly chop the peppers and finely chop deseeded chilli.
  4. Chop Coriander root (reserve leaves) and oregano.
  5. Heat coconut oil in large pot. Add onion, garlic, fennel and peppers. Cook for 8 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  6. Add the mixed spices, herbs, chilli and chipotle chilli. Cook for 10 minutes. Add a little water if needed.
  7. Add chopped vegetables ( bite size cubes ) and cook for 5 minutes.
  8. Add tinned tomatoes, beans (drained and rinsed) and apple cider vinegar. Season with salt and pepper, give a good stir and bring to the boil.
  9. Allow to simmer for 40 mins, add filtered water if needed. Stir every 10 mins.
  10. Once cooked and cooled slightly add cocoa, Half the lime juice and half the coriander. Give a good stir

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Serve in a big bowl with sides and lime wedges and nourish  !

Ps. Don’t be alarmed by the cocoa ( you can make it cocao if you wish ) it creates a richness in the dish.

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Spring Envy and Seafood Cravings.

Autumn has truly arrived in Adelaide … and despite my normally loving this time of year, I am not ready for it ! The clocks went back one week ago and I am not in to the dark nights; the weather has been broody … and half of Adelaide with it ! A late Easter isn’t helping me in get in to the cooler weather either; despite having spent many of my years now in the Southern Hemisphere I long to see buds on trees, lambs in the fields and hoards of roadside daffodils at this time of year. Besides that, Sam and I have spent the last two Easters in the Northern Hemisphere .. so it just all feels a little odd ! I have a serious case of Spring envy … thanks Pinterest ! Just a few more sunny alfresco Sundays Adelaide and then I promise to dust of the knitting needles, pop on the slow cooker and settle down with a nice cup of Chai !

So it is the 12th April today .. and not only does that mean we are finally getting our Irish on in the way of seeing Mrs Brown’s Boys tonight ( it has only been an 11 month wait ! ), it also means we are more than half way through our vegetarian challenge. Thus far I have not slipped … though I cannot stop thinking about my pan roasted Salmon, or tuna salad … or stir fried prawns (you get the idea! Sam has had one set back in the way of lamb skewers at a friends b’day bash last week  … but he managed to say no to his Mum’s roast lamb and gobble up the quinoa salad instead .. so I’m pretty proud ! I am all over the fritter bandwagon and will shortly do a post on just that .. but we have some exciting soups, like GK Stories Roast Tomato and chickpea ( add some chilli flakes and fennel to the mix – you will thank me ), baked mushrooms with spicy fries, quinoa salads … and seriously a large jar of Broccoli pesto made a solid 5 days of meals that more special. This week is going to be all about the veg curries .. and boy am I looking forward to it ! Recipes to come !

Two stand out things I have learnt … vegetarians need to be super organised if they want to not consist on a diet of cheese and eggs … and surprisingly Adelaide does not have an abundance of vegetarian restaurants ! Sure we have a few vego friendly … but if you want to find something more inspiring than the filo filled pastry or pasta dish you have to look hard .. I highly suspect it could get rather boring. It being date night last night Sam and I thus happened on our old-time fave GoodLife on Hutt St.. where their kale, porcini and taleggio special made my eyes light up .. as did their roast veg. Despite it being a bit of a wheat and dairy overload for me the all organic produce seems to even the playing field. YUM 🙂  Seriously though if Adelaide’s full-time vegetarians want a bit of excitement and not survive on pizza and pasta it seems they need to head for the central markets in the way of Bliss Cafe or Let them Eat … or Sam’s lunchtime saviour Veggie Velo.  A lot more clean eating friendly just not very romantic however …

Thus next few days will be gardening .. gotta get that garlic in. Scouring my new Darling Lemon Thyme book and venturing to the Farmer’s Market to get some veg for the coming week. Hope to get a few more photos and recipes up here in the coming week also. Till then …

“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside that is greater than any obstacle.” Christian D Larson 

 

 

 

 

21 days to make a habit …

Yes it has been a while … but hey increased hours at work and the beckoning call of a milder Adelaide summer has had me a run a little ragged ! Not to mention some fun Fringe Festivities .. Really, I am in awe that today is the 1st of April ! How, may I ask are we in the fourth month of the year already? It feels like I just took my christmas tree down … well it did take a while to undecorate and dismantle all seven foot of it !

Seriously though Summer has been a mixed bag of new ventures, friendships, bumper crops of tomatoes, basil and zucchinis, booking loads of travel ( for others .. ) and a few relaxing Sundays with Rose and music. Its been up and down in the gut/joint department too (but I may be partially to blame here )… and thanks to further strata ‘levies’, I now simply refer to our savings account as the ‘s’ fund ! But hey I have had some fun in my absence from the blog. Yet last week, curled up on the couch and in the grips of a nasty flu, I realised how much I’ve missed it and hence I am back with a commitment to post each week ! Baby steps and all …

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But back to the fact it is now April… we are one month in to Autumn now, my absolute favourite month and in true Adelaide fashion we have had all sorts of weather … last week I had the heater on and was dreaming up pumpkin recipes and today is 31 and I’m thinking of raiding the rest of my summer veg patch to create a yummy vegetarian salad with help of the BBQ. Cause switching that oven on is just going to be too much !  And with that last comment finally I come to the point of todays post.

Sam and I are going vegetarian … for 21 days ! True this moment has been coming since I got my hands on GK Stories book last year, but its with great surprise that Sam is keen to join in .. almost excited in fact. True our diet over the last year has migrated to a much more plant based one … but no meat or seafood for 21 days, over 3 meals a day is going to be a feat, let me tell you. I confess I am not sure Sam will make it and I am already thinking of the best place for a seafood platter on 22/04 ! Yet I love goals, I love challenges and the idea behind 21 ? Well as the old saying goes, it takes 21 days to create a habit. No we are not going veg for life .. I couldn’t possibly give up my Salmon and Sam would perhaps wilt away … but the idea is to shake up our weekly meals and discover some great new recipes together.

Admittedly I had a small freak out Sunday when planning the weekly meals. After all I do most all of the cooking .. and what if I could not find fast, simple, clean recipes that are appropriately balanced and gentle enough on my stomach ?! In our house hold we love cheese .. it just doesn’t always love me … and Sunday morning all I was finding were cheese or gluten based vegetarian alternatives. GULP. I’d already put our challenge out there to friends, family and the universe ( since January ! ) .. so it was a commitment, but what to cook ?! Enter a blog I rediscovered just this morning … My Darling Lemon Thyme. One talented blogger and chef who has saved me, got me excited again and also given me an excuse to buy yet another cookbook ( released today .. ) !

Thus get your screens ready for the trials and tribulations of our 21 day challenge. My Pinterest page will be updated regularly with recipe ideas and I will pop even a few tried and tested recipes up here as well. We hope to discover as a few vegetarian/vegan friendly spots around Adelaide too. And last but not least, if you have any fav recipes or South Australian haunts for the vegetarian then I’d love to hear ?!

Till next time .. xo

 

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Failures, Flukes and Fancies.

Now we are in August the promise of spring surrounds us here in Adelaide. Clothing stores are now filling their shelves with lighter fabrics in brilliant corals and pastels (yipee!), my almond tree blossomed for the first time on Sunday and my mind is beginning to fill up with spring time fancies. Whilst it isn’t quite time to say goodbye to the sneaky red wines, warming casseroles and knitted wear just yet … I find myself beginning to dream of long beach side walks, leisurely cycles, nourishing salads had alfresco and getting stuck in to some serious spring gardening. With spring comes hope – and daffodils !

First Almond Blossom !

First Almond Blossom !

This Winter has proved a wonderfully nurturing time for me. I have taken the last few months to really sit back and think about who I am, what I want and try to change things both inside and out in order to achieve a happier and much healthier me.  Of course there have been many failures, plenty of frustration, the odd successes and down right flukes. I find it very difficult to admit to failure – but let me just say I am not a squatter or a dedicated knitter ! I do love to cook and have discovered a love for new ingredients and recipes… but I am not there yet. I love yoga, but I am still very much the stiff amateur and the idea of becoming a runner …. is still very much that, an idea. I sometimes fail to remember that some foods are downright bad for my digestive health. Sometimes my body just fails, even when I think I’ve done it all right.

Guess what ? My greatest revelation in the last few months is to accept that I can fail. Without failure we cannot grow, learn and improve. Even the most talented of us fail on our road to success. It’s not to be ashamed of ! You cannot fail without trying .. so as long as I continue to try for that happier, healthier lifestyle there will be failures – and I accept them ! I fancy myself to be one day the dedicated Yogi, who shops weekly at farmers markets, runs charity marathons, cooks up deliciously healthy meals, creates artwork with the camera and travels freely and successfully through life. Here is to failure if it gets me there !

A key factor in shifting my attitude has been accepting that which occurs and focusing on turning it in to the positive. In the last week Sam has hit a Kangaroo and damaged the car and his back ( expensive and scary ! ), the dryer has broken, my stomach has went from good to bad and I had a less than successful work week. 6 months ago I would have been a mess of tears after a week like the this one. However, our normally high electricity bill was in credit (total fluke !), in light of the dryer we have decided to renovate the laundry and are finally getting a new washing machine with our tax return ( yes !! ), in a bid to help get the digestive system back on track I forgo Friday night’s creamy mash and discovered roasted cauliflower ( OMG – you must try this recipe ) and with budget/health in mind Sam and I finally visited the Adelaide Farmer’s Market on Sunday – check out the goodies !  🙂

Of course much of this positive outlook ‘stuff’ has been hard work ( and yes I some times fail ! ). A deliberate focus on reading blogs, magazines and books filled with inspirational messages, helpful information and people I aspire to has had a definite impact on my outlook and in turn overall health. I’ve made it a habit to talk to and surround myself with positive like-minded people and try to steer away from negative behaviors. In actively placing visual reminders around the home and yes even my recent time consuming obsession with pinterest ( you can follow me here – so much fun ! ) I can get back on the positive bandwagon even on the worst days. Slowly things are improving in the health department and I honestly feel this is of a direct result to me outlook. I plan to add a page to the blog sometime soon ( I have technical difficulties with blogging! ) with links to websites/blogs/books/people that have/are helping motivate and teach me. But this week it’s all been about Lorna Jane and her incredible pinterest boards ( see obsessed .. ), T2 Tea ( Chai and Tummy Tea = LOVE ) and using seasonal vegetables to create some simple nourishing meals.

I would love to hear about what is inspiring you to lead a positive and healthy life !

Wintery Inspirations

Adelaide the last few days has been cold, very cold and spontaneous showers make it that little more difficult for those lovely walks I’ve been enjoying of late. I adore walking around the areas around my home at this time of year as the trees cast spectacular back drops against the stunning wintry blue ( or stormy ) skies. With leaves strewn all over the foot paths it never fails to remind me a little of my time spent living  in Europe and of course Scotland. Walking gives me time to think, soak up some Vit. D and indulge in the fresh air !

Then the rain and wind comes and it all turns to mud and I crave wellies, hearty stews and a large glass of red in front of the fire. Well sadly our wee home does not have a fire just a poorly little heater that verges on the brink of extinction, I have indulged in a a few Paxton Biodynamic Red’s (heart health!) and practically lived off a fantastically healthy and hearty vegetarian stew (still tweeking the recipe – but will post soon )  and a creamy coconut  Broccoli Soup inspired by a recipe from Green Kitchen Stories. I simply love their recipe Apps and blog ! As for the wellies? Well I am in much love with the Kimono Olive Gumboots ( Laura Ashley ) and Gummy fleece socks available at Wellies and am hopeful they will arrive on my doorstep sometime soon given enough hinting. Sam take note ….

I digress .. ( as I so very often do) still a yoga beginner and  faced with fewer daylight hours and not so welcoming heavy rains keeping me in doors  ( though the garden is loving it ! )  I’ve struggled to find the motivation to get in daily exercise and not just curl up with a good read. Getting in deliberate exercise daily is one of my goals in reaching that happier, healthier life I so desire. It never fails to raise my spirits and is great for my digestive health on so many counts. I love my gym classes – but the times don’t always suit. I began trolling the internet looking for run programs thinking a challenge was needed and stumbled on the 31 day Squat challenge ! Lorna Jane clothing and her move, nourish, believe philosphy have been long time favourites of mine, but this 31 day challenge is pure gold. Even when short on time or with it cascading outside I can work towards doing 200 squats by the 5th August ( started 5 days in to July ). So with thighs already burning I encourage you to take on the challenge too ! Incidentally if anyone does know of a great run program or inspiring winter exercise ideas I am all ears …

Inspiring winter reading.

Inspiring winter reading.