I think February has been my busiest blogging month since records began, (well, 2011). Lots of lovely brand collaborations, giveaways, and some great engagement on social media, (especially the awesome Finding Vegan community), which has led to the highest ever traffic visiting my little veggie corner of the blogosphere. I think I need a lie down.
Here’s a roundup of the month’s most popular recipes, a review of a rather lovely book, plus all sorts of products and treats I’ve been sent to review, and your chance to win a hamper of organic carob superfood treats. Enjoy!
February’s Most Popular Recipes
The most popular recipe by a long way this month was my little Shepherds’ Pie Jacket Potatoes (1.) – a winning weeknight dinner idea, and they also freeze well so you can make a batch at the same time and defrost and cook as you need them. Also a hit was the 30 minute takeaway challenge (2.) – two chinese-style dishes which will be on the table more quickly than you can get a takeaway delivered!
- Veggie Shepherds’ Pie Jacket Potatoes
- Spicy Sesame & Edamame Noodles with Black Bean Tenderstem
- Crusty Cider & Onion Loaf
- Ultimate Vegetarian Pad Thai Noodles
- Omega Boost Beetroot & Blackcurrant Energy Bars
- Pecan & Maple Banana Pancakes
I usually only review vegetarian or vegan books here, but I’m so delighted to be making an exception for an awesome book by blogger friend Dannii. Hungry Healthy Happy: How to nourish your body without giving up the foods you love by Dannii Martin does exactly what it says on the cover – it is both a recipe book and an instruction manual as to how to eat plenty of the food you love, but in a way that will nourish your body and make you stronger, healthier and happier.
Dannii started her brilliant blog of the same name, Hungry Healthy Happy as a way of sharing her weight loss journey and new recipes with family and friends, and to keep herself on track, but it has grown into “an incredible community of people who are turning their backs on fad diets, no longer obsessing over the scale, and focusing on small everyday changes to transform themselves into healthier, happier people”. Sounds good to me.
As I said, the book isn’t vegetarian so there are quite a few meat and fish based recipes in it, but a lot of those would be really easily vegetarian-ised with soya mince, veggie sausages or ‘chicken’ pieces, beans, lentils or pulses etc. Chapters include Breakfasts, Snacks and Treats, Light Meals and Lunches, Hearty Main Meals, Side Dishes, Desserts and Drinks, as well as sections on the principles of losing weight, the importance of exercise, eating well for less, store cupboard essentials, and a handy meal planner.
Recipes which I’ve enjoyed (or bookmarked) so far include Breakfast Burritos, Chilli & Parmesan Popcorn, Beetroot Crisps, Blueberry Crumb Bars, Chickpea & Pomegranate Stuffed Aubergine, Crispy Kale Pasta Salad, Portobello Mushroom Pizzas,Japanese Noodle Salad, Spicy Lentil Tacos, and 2-minute Healthy Banana ‘Ice Cream’.
The photography is brilliant, just as lovely to browse through as it is clear and easy to cook from. If you’re looking for a place to start making small changes to your food and lifestyle that might just add up into a healthier and happier you, this book couldn’t be a better place to start.
Parcels in the Post
1. I just love these Vintage Apple and Bicycle Riders’ Eco-Coffee Cups from the fab dotcomgiftshop. Anyone with a toddler will know what its like trying to drink a cup of tea or coffee whilst its still hot – nigh on impossible. But these pretty cups have changed all that! Dishwasher safe and biodegradeable (when you eventually get rid of them…. surely not?!), they would make an excellent gift for just about anyone!
2. Look how pretty these new Soft Touch Gadgets from Stellar Cookware are. I’m a sucker for anything copper coloured, and these are pleasingly heavy, sturdy and well-made. Dishwasher safe and with Stellar’s standard Lifetime Guarantee, you can’t go far wrong. The range also includes peelers, garlic press, ice cream scoop, nutcrackers and more – take a look.
3. I was really pleased to have the opportunity to review another Riverford Veggie Recipe Box at the beginning of the month – this one featured recipes by chirpy Irish veggie twins, The Happy Pear. The recipes were as delicious as ever, and really fun to make – Fennel, Sweet Potato, Kale & Leek Gratin on day 1, then Beetroot & Walnut Burgers with Roasted Carrot Hummus & Sunflower Seeds on day 2, and finally a Sweet Potato Sri Lankan Curry (all pictured on my Instagram feed from earlier in the month). All the ingredients are weighed out and ready to go – you just follow the (very clear) instructions and eat!
4. You know those lovely little delis or corner shops you occasionally stumble across which stock the most beautiful and delicious produce and ingredients from little artisan producers you’ve never heard of but wish you had heard about years ago? Well Caprera is an online version of one of those – an ‘Artisan Food Store’ which will deliver all sorts of pretty, interesting and downright delicious delicacies to your door. They kindly sent me this lovely hamper which included a Squirrel Sisters Raspberry Ripple Bar (yum!), English Honey with Cinnamon & Brandy, Beetroot & Horseradish Chutney, Organic Garlic Tomato Ketchup, Newton’s Appl Juice, Pineapple & Mango Crisps, and my absolute favourite, Zingy Pepper Hot Sauce. All of the highest quality, and things I’ve never seen on the high street.
5. Granose products are always my go-to bases for making veggie burgers, sausages, sausage rolls, falafel, and a really good vegan soya mince. They have just made some improvements to a number of their best loved products, and have also changed their packaging to these new-look pouches pictured above. You can use the sausage, burger and falafel mixes as they are, but I usually add even more crazy vegetable combinations to them. My Beetroot & Chilli ‘Sausage’ Rolls were a bit of a hit on Instagram, made with the Lincolnshire sausage mix with two puréed beetroots and a chopped red chilli added to the mix – super-tasty! Do give these new Granose mixes a try.
6. This lovely hamper of organic Carob products from Savvy Foods was packed with superfood goodness – from date, sesame and chocolate spreads, to carob nibbles and powders for smoothies or baking, there are so many ways to enjoy this Australian superfood. All the products are dairy-, gluten-, nut-, preservative- and palm-oil free, so great for both you and the planet! I’ve been loving a mug of hot nut milk with a spoonful of carob powder stirred through as a fab bedtime drink without the sugar or caffeine! The lovely people at Savvy Foods have offered not one but two of these lovely hampers to lucky readers as a giveaway – scroll to the bottom of this post to enter!
7. My morning smoothies are just getting better and better as all these lovely things pop through the letterbox, and one of my current favourites is a sprinkle of these fab Breakfast Seed Toppings from Helen’s. They add a lovely crunchy topping to your cereal, porridge, yoghurt, fruit or smoothie breakfast, and with milled linseeds, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, chia seeds and gojiberries, they ain’t half good for you either. A really delicious way to tart up your breakfast.
I’ve teamed up with Savvy Foods to bring you two rather fabulous giveaway prizes – Organic Carob Superfood Hampers (RRP £35 each) crammed with their entire range of spreads, powders and snacks. Savvy organic sweet spreads only contain naturally energising fruits and sesame seed butter, their sweet & tasty pure carob pieces are superb for snacking, and their pure carob powders are a must for smoothies, hot drinks & baking.
The whole range is Organic, Vegan and Vegetarian Society approved. It’s also completely free from gluten, additives, added sugar and anything except pure, healthy food! Yum.
Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below:
Terms & Conditions:
- There are two prizes, each of a Savvy Foods Organic Carob Hamper RRP £35.
- The winners will be announced on the Rafflecopter widget after the prizes have been claimed.
- The prizes will be delivered to the winners by Savvy Foods as soon as possible.
- There is no cash alternative and the prize is not transferable.
- This giveaway is open to UK entrants over the age of 18 only and runs until midnight on 27th March 2016.
- The Veg Space, as the promoter, reserves the right to cancel or amend the giveaway and these terms and conditions without notice.
- If a winner doesn’t respond to the email within 5 days, another winner will be picked.
Enter more competitions at The Prize Finder
Disclosure: I was sent all of these products to review. There was no expectation of a positive review – all opinions are my own. Amazon links above are affiliate links – I will earn a small commission if you order the book via these links, at no extra cost to you. (Thanks for supporting the blog and keeping it free!)