Happy things

1. A random act of kindness e.g. a stranger sharing their umbrella with you on a stormy evening.

2. Finding a parking space during peak season

3. The excitement driving to the airport to pick up a loved one

4. A beautiful sunset

5. Holding a baby and taking in their freshness.

6. Laughing with your closest friends

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7. Finding the perfect dress.

8. A line of poetry so beautiful, it goes right to your soul

“The sun loved the moon so much, he died every night to let her breathe”

9. When something is such a coincidence, you know that it has to be the universe’s way of conspiring to give you what you want.

10. Making your parents proud.

11. Feeling grateful for everything that God has given you.

12. When you wake up and it is Friday!

13. The smell of freshly baked goods

14. The feeling of accomplishment after a long, hard battle.

15. This youtube video:

Have a happy Sunday everybody! :)

Scallop stir fry with peanut sauce

Hii all,

After Mildreds I had this roaring desire to create a stir fry soo good (and nutritious) it would blow all the other stir fries away.

First of all, the sauce had to be fresh. Most of the store bought stir fry sauces have sugar as their first ingredient and that is usually followed by a nice list of preservatives. This peanut sauce was an experiment…and it turned out surprisingly good (3 ingredients was a plus)!

Secondly, I needed to add an ingredient with a high iron content of course. Because mollusks were an option, I chose fresh scallops from the supermarket as they are pretty easy to incorporate.

The base had to be brown rice – pre-cooked to cut out any waiting time.

So here we go….

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

2 tbs peanut butter

1 tbs soya sauce

3 tbs water (or more to thin out)

For the stirfry:

1/2 Red pepper (chopped)

1/2 Yellow pepper (chopped)

4 Asparagus (same singular and plural!) also chopped.

Few florets of broccoli

And any other vegetable that floats your boat.

Scallops (I used 6 pieces)

1/2 cup Pre-cooked brown rice

To make the sauce

Add the ingredients together, using the water to create the right consistency.

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For the stir fry

1. Start with adding a bit of extra virgen olive oil onto a wok and turn the stove on to medium to high heat.

2. When the wok is hot, add the scallops and let them cook, turning them occasionally.

3. Add your chopped up vegetables and stir fry.

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4. Add the peanut sauce and combine well with the scallops and vegetables.

5. Add the brown rice into the mixture.

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6. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice, and serve.

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I loved adding the brown rice into the stir fry mixture, it made some sort of a sticky rice/ risotto texture.

Bon appetit! :)

Have you ever made your own stir fry sauce? 

London Restaurant Review

Hii everyone!

I was in London last week and I had such a great time babysitting my little nephews, meeting friends and eating….a lot, and it was worth every bite. I love trying new places in London! So without further adieu, here are my restaurant reviews ;) This is a long post, so get comfy.

1. Nobu (Berkley Street)

This was the first restaurant I went to the day after we arrived London. I was lucky to be in London this weekend, the same time as a few of my old university friends. Somewhere fancy was chosen, and we ate like kings (and then paid the hefty bill at the end – but it was worth it, and i’m sure if you ask them they would say the same). Apologies for the poor photos, the restaurant is quite dark and so the pictures doesn’t do Nobu justice!

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Mochi

Highly recommended dishes here are the yellowtail sashimi with jalapeno and the black cod den miso. For dessert we had mochi! This is a japanese rice cake and it was filled with different flavoured ice creams – coconut, green tea, mango, hazelnut and more!

2. Mildreds (Lexington Street)

I had been to Mildreds in Soho a couple of years ago and I knew that I just had to bring my vegetarian mother here. It’s so cute and “hipster”. She had the stir fry asian vegetables (on brown rice), and I had the burger of the day which was a bean, red pepper and parsley burger (on sourdough bread) – served with sweet potato fries and basil mayo (vegan).

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Both choices were amazing. The food was fresh, the service was friendly and portions were sufficient as you can tell!

3. Le Pain Quotidien (Westfields mall)

We went to Le Pain Quotidien in an impulse for a quick lunch break during a busy shopping session. I loved the atmosphere, it was relaxed, familiar with a fresh bread smell. The service was also great, we ordered a tuna salad and an avocado and white bean tartine.

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Although I did enjoy this restaurant, what struck a cord with me was that the “freshly squeezed” orange juice was quite obviously from a carton and when you pay over £3 for it, you would really want it to be fresh! Apart from that, the food was good but yet I wonder if I could recreate this at home? The fresh bread smell and casual atmosphere was the best part of the meal for me personally.

4. Richoux (St Johns Wood)

I could not think of a better place to go for an after dinner rendezvous/ dessert with an old friend. Everything about this restaurant screams Paris to me: the setting, the snobbish waiters, the pastries and delicious desserts all laid out for you for drool at. We went big and ordered one hot chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream.

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Could this dessert possibly be anything but delicious? ;) I loved the date we were having but shame that Richoux closes at 11pm and their staff asked us to leave about 3 times. Also a shame that I ordered a fresh mint tea (hot water with fresh mint leaves on top) for £3.50, when I pretty much make the same thing at home for free. These things always pinch me. Never the less, an hour with chocolate cake and an old friend in a fancy french setting is worth the money. (Also, they serve breakfast all day which is always fun).

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On a different night, during the same trip

5. Maison Blanc (St Johns Wood)

This place is SO cute! I can’t think of a better word than that. I had passed by a few times and knew I just had to go inside one day whilst I was strolling the high street. I had so much selection to choose from with their wide range of pastries and cakes, and ended up having a banoffee gateau with a peppermint tea.

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Quiet time never felt so good, I could have probably stayed there for hours. This place is lovely, the staff is welcoming and if you do go I highly recommend the Concerto cake which won the Great Taste Award (gold) for 2012. I had picked it up for my brother and sister-in-law’s anniversary and everyone fell head over heels for this ferrero rocher- like cake!

6. Abokado (Baker’s Street)

Along with the expensive food, a fast and quick option should be also be explored and Abokado was great for that! It had a good selection of sushi (my favourite) and soups, wraps, salads as well as other healthy options. I liked it especially because I went with blogger friend Khushboo! We both had sushi.

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Mine was a big helping ;)

Although this was “fast food” for people on the go, there were some great nutritious options there. Basically anywhere with sushi and Khushboo has my vote.

Have you ever been to London? What are your favourite restaurants to go to? 

Iron Woman

Guys,

I have been feeling drained recently.

I went to collect my blood results the other day and the doctor informed me that my iron was way below what it should be at a measly 3.2 μMol/l when the usual range varies from 8.8 – 27.0 μMol/l. This is a wide gap and can depend on person to person.  I don’t know if it is psychological after hearing this but I have noticed that sometimes I wake up tired and all I want to do is relax all day. I see people much older than me running around with more energy and I wonder what happened!

I really hope I have found my answer and now the only thing to do is – up my iron intake :) The doctor gave me iron tablets but to be honest I am not a big fan. I realise it’s important and I do have to take them until my next blood test to check if my iron levels are back up in a couple of months, but i’m really hoping to focus on a more dietary plan to maintain levels.

Iron woman

A lack of iron in the body causes iron deficiency anemia, which is actually very common, especially in women. Now for some science: with insufficient amounts of iron, the body is unable to produce enough haemoglobin – a substance that is needed for red blood cells to deliver oxygen around the body. And so the result is feeling tired as well as other symptoms being pale skin, dizziness, shortness of breath and headaches.

So, what’s the game plan?

The good thing about iron deficiency is that supplements are easy to take and can recover levels. Additionally, a diet filled with iron rich foods can surely help! The average female aged 19-49 is recommended to have 18mg of iron daily.

There are two catagories: heme and non-heme iron. Heme iron comes from meat sources and is better absorbed in the body, whereas non-heme is from plant sources and is better regulated, causing less damage to the body. Iron absorption is also better when ingested with vitamin C – so have a glass of orange juice with your iron rich meal.

So I did some research and found this list full of top iron foods. Included are some of my favourites: spinach, asparagus, seafoods and nuts.

Overdosing on iron is rare but whilst on supplements pay extra attention to not go overboard with iron filled foods. I shall try to incorporate different ingredients in my meals and hopefully come up with some good recipes to bust out this tiredness!

*Please make sure you see a doctor first and have a blood test, before starting any supplements.*

Have you ever had anemia? How did you tackle it? 

The Help

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This book is definitely in my list for favourite books of all time. It teaches you about women, about the situation for African Americans in the southern states of America in the early 1960s, it teaches you about society and about humanity in general. I LOVE it. 

That’s why I read it twice. 

The characters are so clear and relatable. The plot is so smart and the author, although Caucasian, was actually raised by an African American maid herself. 

Please read if you haven’t already, it’s a great summer read! :) And I found the movie to be a very good representation of the book surprisingly. 

What are your favourite summer reads? 

 

 

Hearty Mung Bean Salad

Oh my gosh you guys, two words – mung beans – where have they been all my life?

They are delicious! I could not believe the amazing salad that was created yesterday, I need to use that emoticon with the two hearts as eyes because that was exactly how I felt when looking at it…..

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I totes love this emoticon.

Anyways, this salad. It is so easy to make all you need is:

Ingredients

Cooked mung beans (soak about 1 cup mung beans overnight or for at least 6-8 hours, and then boil them before using).

**Please be sure to rinse the mung beans well to remove impurities**

Beetroot

Avocado

Chopped onion

Olives

Tomatoe

Smoked salmon (optional)

Salt and pepper to flavour

Dressing

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 minced clove garlic

1 tbsp lemon juice

No measurements have been given because it really varies with whatever you would prefer to add more/less of!

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Mix together all the ingredients in the salad and the dressing – and dig in!

Happy facts about mung beans:

* They are a great source of protein with approximately 3.16g of protein per cup.

* They are also a good source of vitamin C, folic acid and folate.

* Additionally, 1 cup of mung beans gives you about 5% of your recommended daily iron intake.

Hope you get the same heart eyes when you try this! ;)

Vegan Banana Bread

Hiii guys !

Last week we had three black bananas in our fruit bowl. I tried my best to finish them with green monsters in the days before, but three is a difficult number of bananas to overcome! My mother was panicking that she would have to throw them away and she despises waste….

What is a girl to do?

Make banana bread of course. Yey! This is super easy and who doesn’t like to mash up bananas?

Adapted from Madhuram’s

Ingredients

2 cups Self raising flour

1/2 tsp Baking soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 Sunflower oil

1/2 cup Brown sugar

1/2 cup White sugar

3 Bananas, medium size, mashed well

1/4 cup Non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)

1 tsp Apple cider vinegar

1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/2 cup Walnuts (chopped)

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Directions

1. Combine the apple cider vinegar and the milk in a small bowl, and set aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 140 degrees C. (or your usual cake temperature) for 15 minutes. Line your loaf pans with grease proof paper. (I had three small 4″ loaf pans and it worked out perfectly).

3. In a large bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

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4. In another large bowl mix the oil and sugar together well. Add the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and milk-vinegar mixture.

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5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine well. Mix in the nuts.

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Ipad in the kitchen.. ;)

6. Pour the batter into the loaf pans and place in the oven for half an hour or so, keeping an eye on when the banana bread turns golden.

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7. And out of the oven….

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This was actually a surprisingly successful first attempt at banana bread, luckily I had a tea party to take it to, and it was a hit! :)

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This cake is bananas – b, a, n a n a s! Enjoy! :)