WIAW- Come on you veg

On Monday I remembered to take photos this week. I did not get up to much – I had to go to the shops in the morning to pick up a few bits, and I painted my nails in the afternoon. Busy times!


Mint tea, porridge with peaches, dried strawberries and a little honey peanut butter. Today I had this again and this time I put the pb in the bottom of the bowl- I saw it somewhere (sorry can’t remember which fab blog)- I always worried about the pb burning in the microwave, but it was fine and a lovely surprise at the bottom of the bowl!

Snack (post shopping- I needed an energy boost asap):

Yummy hazelnut carob stick.


Toasted sourdough ( that I made on Friday- it worked really well) with pb and apple and mango jam, apple and a persimmon.

Afternoon nibble:

I made some cocoa mint bites- with soaked almonds, dates, cocoa and mint extract all whizzed up. I had painted my nails by this point but it did not really come out in the photo. Ah well.


Lentil chilli from the freezer, with added spinach, alongside some roasted broccoli and toasted pine nuts. Here is my vegetable intake for the day anyway- in the chilli there is red onion, red pepper, courgette, carrot, celery, sweet potato, tinned tomatoes and lentils, (7 types of veg, or 8 because I am sure pulses count) then I added in spinach and served with broccoli. Obviously (as one serving = 80g) I did not eat 10 servings of veg, but I think it is good to have smaller amounts of more variety- packing those vitamins in.


Some Montezuma’s mint chocolate. A delicious end to the day.

At the shops I was excited to see…

Alpro hazelnut milk! I have enjoyed their almond milk, but not seen this version before. It was only £1 so I thought I would give it a go, although I have not opened it yet. And chocolate pretzels! I love pretzel flipz but you never get them over here any more- I am hoping these are just as good although again I have not tried them yet. Any other chocolate pretzel fans? I don’t like salted chocolate (bought some Lindt stuff a while back without realising- it was almond (and then with tiny writing “a sprinkle of salt” which I didn’t see until I had tried some and thought “urgh”) but I love the salty prezel with chocolate combo. Weird.

Thanks Jenn for organising this and getting everyone to love their veggies. How are you loving your veggies right now? Do you paint your nails? (I hardly ever get around to it).


Brighton Half- rambles

Hey peeps

I am sure everyone had a lovely weekend. We had a relaxing time on the Saturday- wandering around the lanes (laines?) in Brighton. We found a lovely coffee and tea shop (hooray, it had a tea menu) called naked.

In the end I went for peppermint tea, and some carrot cake which was made on the premises that morning- delish. But the choice of teas meant it was hard to choose. It was all loose-leaf tea, and when it had brewed in the jug for a bit, you slotted the jug on top of the cup, and it filtered down into the cup. Very clever. They also did gluten free cakes, and sold their tea, so I bought a pack of the peppermint as it was the nicest peppermint tea I have ever had. It was such a nice place too- upstairs it was filled with comfy chairs, sofas etc, and had all the papers out to read, so we spent a while relaxing there.

We also found Infinity Foods (I realised after that the health food shop in Welwyn stocks some of the Infinity Food products like special flours) so I bought a few things from there, and of course from Montezuma’s.

Lots of tea (loose leaf chai and chocolate chai, plus apple and ginger), almond milk (as it was on offer), pesto (as it is so hard to find even vegetarian pesto usually so I went crazy and got the vegan version), peanut butter truffles, dark chocolate with marzipan and cherries, and some of their pudding bars. I also bought some Carley’s Sunflower seed butter but it didn’t make the photo for some reason.

Although I am OK, moving around for a long time makes me get sore and tired, so we had a stop in Starbucks too, and a rest in the hotel in the afternoon. Poor Andy was carrying all my shopping bags as well.

Anyway, the next morning we were up bright and early. I wrapped up warm as although it was lovely and sunny, it was also cold. I was originally thinking I would wander around the shops, but then realised that it was a Sunday morning and nothing would be open- plus I was tired from all the wandering on Saturday.

I love layers! And thermal tops. And hats, gloves and scarves. And taking this photo was very hard because of the flash! This was take 3!

The race started at 9am which I much prefer to later starts. Plus we stayed in the town centre, so we got to walk to the start line- what a treat- no panicking about car parks or finding the right bus etc. Andy left me to find a space while he went to find where to start- I was worried (ridiculously) that I would somehow end up in the starter pen with all the runners. Duh!

I found a good place to watch (leaning on the fence) and did see Andy go past, but I was not quick enough with the camera- I think he is totally hidden by high-viz guy!

The runners took about 15 mins to go past- there was an awful lot of them. They kept announcing that late starters would not be allowed, but there were still a lot of stragglers.

I had a little wander by the beach- it all looked very pretty. That is the pier in the distance.

The wheel was going around very fast!

Now, my plan was to go to the naked tea shop, get some tea and have a read for a bit. I was prepared:

(That is my Kindle with it’s new Paperchase cover- it does fit in my bag if I pack it all carefully because my new purse (well, new from Christmas) is also quite big).

But, when I found it (and if you know anything about my sense of direction that should be impressive)I realised it didn’t open til 10.30am. So in the end I went to get a drink from Starbucks, and took it back to the hotel for a bit. Andy was hoping to finish in under 2 hours so I wanted to head down there a bit before and do some cheering.

It was fun- there were some soldiers carrying heavy packs (not sure of the proper term), people dressed up as taps and toilets for Water Aid- I love seeing the fancy dress costumes and was giving them all a cheer.

Andy finished in just under 2 hours, so he was pleased as he has not done as much training as he would have liked. We then headed back to the hotel for him to have a quick shower before we had to check out- another luxury- normally we have to sit in our sweaty clothes for the journey home.

From what I saw, the half marathon was well organised. It started pretty much bang on time, and for a spectator there were places to cross the route and so on. The medal is rather nice (I may have a bit of medal envy right now), although the goody bag was not so good (literally a £5 off Sweatshop voucher/ 10% off online and a few pages of Men’s Running mag). Andy did get a banana when he finished and that is always my fave post race food item. The route seemed lovely and scenic (no offence to Portsmouth but The Great South Run just does not compare on the running-by-the-water scenery), and fairly flat after the first bit. We have been to Brighton a few times and really like it there anyway, so perhaps next year we will both manage to run it?

Oh, and guess what turned up on the doormat today- yup- the race pack for the Silverstone Half. Grrr. Yet another one I cannot do. Their website is terrible, I cannot work out if I can transfer the number or anything (I expect not) so not sure what to do with it really. Any takers?

Chocolate mint slice recipe (vegan)

At the moment I am loving the book, Sweet Vegan . I have made a few recipes from it, and they generally turn out well, although I have tended to adapt them a bit as the ratios sometimes seem a bit off. I made these bars before, and think I have improved on them even more when I made them this week.

They are the front cover recipe, and this time look more like it (last time I used white chocolate to top them). Some went in this tub, some went in bags for various friends. Some went in the fridge for me too 🙂 It is super easy- you need a pan (I use a brownie pan which I think is 15 x 20cm) lined with baking paper.

I have adapted it a bit below- you could use your own brownie recipe but I think the base needs to be a bit firmer than usual to hold the topping on:

(Preheat the oven to 180C)

For the base, mix 260g plain flour (I used half wholemeal and half white) with 290g caster sugar (this was reduced from 340g, and I think I could reduce it further quite easily), 75g cocoa/carob powder, 1 tsp baking powder and 1 tsp salt. Then add in 200ml water, 90ml rapeseed oil (the recipe had 240ml but I though that would make the batter far too wet) and a tsp vanilla.

Pour this into the pan and bake for about 25 mins. Leave to cool.

For the mint filling, beat 90g spread (or butter) until smooth. Gradually add 190g icing sugar and gently mix together. Then add a few drops of mint extract- I think I added about 2 lid-fulls which is probably around a teaspoon. Once the base has cooled, spread it over the cooled brownie base.

Then melt some chocolate of your choice- around 150g, and pour this over the top, swirl/ make pretty patterns/ top with little stars. I cut them before the chocolate had properly set, otherwise it cracks. The recipe has more of a ganache style topping- melted chocolate and butter substitute, but I preferred the idea of plain chocolate.

I find these keep better in the fridge. The base is still quite squidgy, and of course the mint filling is very soft too.

I also made some more sourdough- I added the last of my Munchy Seeds to it- I am hoping that it still turns out well. I oiled the pan this time so fingers crossed! 🙂

Good luck to anyone running the Brighton half this weekend! And anyone else racing anywhere else too.

Any exciting plans for the weekend?

WIAW- veggie loving


I have noticed that I seem to eat fruit in the mornings and at lunch, maybe salad things at lunch, and then veggies tend to be with dinner. Although making soup the other week was great so I am trying to do that for lunch more, seeing as I have the time. This was one day last week, I think maybe last Wednesday.


Delicious porridge with banana and cinnamon. Plus mint tea 🙂


Carrot and sweet potato soup, sourdough with hummus. I am sure I had some clementines too.

Afternoon tea:

The almond milk is lovely in tea. I think I had a walk then (I did at some point) and needed warming up.

Plus apple, persimmon and pb (I only dip the apple in it though).


Sweet potato with hummus (I was in a hummus mood that day obviously), with salad and cucumber.


Yes! I even got some veggies in my dessert- I love carrot cake!

It seems I ate a lot of orange veggies that day!

Thanks Jenn for organising WIAW.

What time of day do you eat your veggies/ fruits?

A special gift

Hey all

I don’t celebrate Valentines Day, so this is not about that. This morning I was listening to Radio 4 and they were discussing organ donation, and the fact that they still need more people to sign up to the register.

I know that some people have personal reasons against it, so I am not saying everyone should, but my personal opinion is that I would like to think that death is not in vain and if you can help someone then do it. There are so many people waiting for transplants and of course no-one wants to die, but it does happen. It reminded me of a few weeks ago when marathon talk had an interview with a man who was about to run his 11th London Marathon since having a heart transplant. I found it so inspiring- I love hearing about how famous and speedy runners train, but hearing how the average person overcame such a huge barrier is amazing. You can download it here.

Anyway, I won’t go on, but if you want to sign up to the donor list then you can do it online, here. You must tell your family your wishes, because it seems they still need to give permission even if you are on the register. So, if you believe in it, maybe spend a few minutes today filling out the form and telling your family about giving that special gift.

Onto normal ramblings:

I am currently enjoying a cup of Bengal Spice tea. I loved the Gingerbread tea I got from the blogger secret santa, but alas used all the teabags and it seems to be a seasonal flavour. I had seen this tea on i-herb, but had not got around to ordering any. Anyway, today I met Andy for a Starbucks in the afternoon (2 for 1 using the loyalty card) and there is a little health food shop right next to it. We popped in and they had a pack of 10 (for 99p which is a bargain), so at least I get to try instead of ordering it  from the USA. Anyway, it tastes, in all seriousness, like I am drinking a Starbucks cinnamon roll. No joke. This tea is spicy and sweet. I don’t ever add sugar or sweetener to tea, but it does taste like it has some syrup or something. Anyway, next time I am going to make it into a latte as I think it would be perfect for that.

I have been baking:

I had some friends over and one of them gets migraines from chocolate. I mentioned carob to her, and she had never heard of it, so I took it upon myself to make her some carob chip cookies (half also with dried cherries- the bag is separating them!)- she loved them! 🙂 I used the millies cookie recipe that I got from Lucy’s blog before- perfect.

I also made some fudge:

Peanut butter and some beyond dark chocolate drops (found these again in Sainsbury’s- hooray). (We did also have pittas, veggie crudités, grapes and strawberries- we are not all bad!).

I made something healthy for dinner, don’t worry!

Tofu/ pesto quinoa and broccoli. It needs perfecting, but basically I cooked some quinoa (30g dry), whizzed up some silken tofu (about a third of the pack) with a few tsp meridian pesto, then mixed in the quinoa. I put some broccoli in a baking dish and topped it with the tofu/pesto/quinoa mix, and baked for 20 mins. Then I topped it with pine nuts. It was tasty, but I think it needed some more pesto in there.

And after seeing Lucy make some yummy sounding peanut dip, that is what I did for lunch today.

I mixed up peanut flour with cinnamon and almond milk, and had it with apple and wholemeal pitta to dip. Very tasty indeed.

Finally- a few of you have asked about my op. Well, it’s not great news- I don’t have a date but have been told the deadline (their waiting list limit) would be mid-April. I have been put down on the cancellation list, so I am hoping for that. I did see my lovely GP last week and she was not impressed to say the least when I told her about my latest hospital appointment, so she has encouraged me to complain to the hospital. I do feel bad about complaining, because coming from another strand of the public sector I know about how there is never enough money in the budget and everyone does work really hard. And I know that I am lucky because what I have is easily solved and not life-threatening. But at the same time it is my health and my GP did point out to me that the last doctor I saw was not very professional. Anyway, I don’t want to get into it here. It is weird because if we have a problem with our internet/ gas/ shopping then I would complain (in a nice way- I am not swearing at people down the phone or anything- a few years ago we had an awful saga with British Gas where our boiler kept breaking and they kept saying they had fixed it but it only worked for a day and then went, and of course no-one could come out for 3 days, and it was for about 3 months over winter- I won’t ramble on) but for some reason I don’t feel altogether comfortable complaining to the hospital. Also I would not send food back in a restaurant for the fear of spit even though I am sure that actually never happens in real life, only on TV!

How are you with complaining? What is your style?

How do you feel about organ donation?