30th November 2017 by - No comments

I think that if you asked me which kitchen staple I could not do without, it would have to be my favourite go to Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I use it in everything! Cooking, drizzling on salads, and even just poured in a bowl to dip fresh bread into.

Not only is olive oil super healthy it needs to taste fantastic too. But I am always willing to try new things and could not wait to try this new ‘Olive & Chai Oil’ which is on the market.

The Product –

Andean Sol brings you healthy and nutritious superfoods from the Andean region of South America – a wild and remote expanse of diverse cultures and landscapes.

From the sun-baked foothills and windswept Altiplano to the peaks of Patagonia, the Andean region offers an abundance of unique and wholesome foods.

Andean Sol only supplies superfoods that is sourced directly from local farmers and cooperatives in South America. This ensures traceability and the highest quality product at all times. They proudly commit to reinvesting 5% of profits back into the communities in which they work.

Andean Sol Extra Virgin Chia Oil not only tastes amazing – it contains approximately 64% omega-3 fatty acids (ALA), the highest of any known plant based sources of omega-3. The chia oil is cold pressed so that it retains the maximum level of nutrients, active substances and flavour possible. The result is a delicate, vibrantly golden coloured oil that has a delicious light and nutty taste.

Verdict –

I haven’t really used too much chai in my cooking but I am sure you have all heard about the benefits of using chai.

I found out some great facts about chai on the Andean Sol website,

“New scientific research on chia seeds showed them to be an impressive plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acids, the lack of which in the modern diet contributes to numerous diseases including cancer and heart disease. In addition to being an impressive source of omega-3s, studies showed chia seeds to be high in antioxidants, dietary fibre and plant protein.”

So what better reason to incorporate chai into your daily diet. My boys aren’t always keen on eating seeds when they are visible in foods, but the olive & chai oils are a perfect way to get the benefits of chai without them being visible.

To give the oils a go with my family I decided to make this super yummy recipe using Extra Virgin Chai Oil in place of my regular Olive Oil. And it tasted just as yummy, actually a bit lighter in taste than using regular Olive oil. So a great healthy addition.

Courgettes cooked in Extra Virgin Chai Oil with dill & parsley

Ingredients – (enough for 4)

– 4-5 medium sized courgettes

– 2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)

– bunch of fresh parsley (finely chopped)

– bunch of fresh dill (finely chopped)

– 2 tables spoons Extra Virgin Chai Oil

– Sea salt & black pepper

– 2 cups warm water

– 1 large onion (finely diced)

Method –

Prepare all the ingredients and set to one side.

Mix together in a large bowl the parsley, dill & garlic.

Peel and slice the courgettes in long thin strips.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Add the chopped onions and cook over a low heat until cooked and caramelized.

Lower the heat. Line the pan with a layer of the sliced courgettes. Like you are lining a lasagne dish with pasta.

Like making lasagne add a layer of the parsley dill mixture over the courgettes. 

Next another layer of courgette strips.

Then another layer of the parsley dill mixture.

Continue until all the ingredients are used up. Add the water. Sprinkle on salt & pepper. Now leave to cook over a medium heat until the courgettes are soft to taste.

Enjoy cold with a dollop of yogurt! 😋

Find out more about these oils on the Andean Sol website –

Organic Chia Seeds

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27th November 2017 by - No comments

I have always enjoyed a good murder mystery, be it a movie or a book I cannot put down until the very end, when we find out who did it.

Agatha Christie’s unforgettable detectives Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot have been a part of my life since I was about ten. I remember how exciting it was sitting in our cosy family home living room, the fire buring and us all eagerly anticipating the notoriously intelligent Hercule Poirot to solve the murder mystery.

So when I saw one of my favourite Agatha Christie novels was coming back to the big screen remade with a whole cast of wonderful actors, I could not wait to see it.

The Movie –

A lavish trip through Europe quickly unfolds into a race against time to solve a murder aboard a train.

When an avalanche stops the Orient Express dead in its tracks, the world’s greatest detective — Hercule Poirot — arrives to interrogate all passengers and search for clues before the killer can strike again.

Verdict –

The first thing I must ask is, have you been lucky enough to see the original version of this movie?

The one starring Albert Finney as the Belgian detective Hercule Poirot.

Well if you haven’t I believe you will find this version quite pleasing as naturally you will have nothing to compare it to, and you will not know anything about the twists and turns in the storyline.

But, if you have seen the original, I think you might be slightly disappointed. Sadly even with special effects and the high tech filming stamdards of today, the original wins hands down for me.

It is still definately watchable and entertaining though. The cast is a strong one, with Dame Judy Dench and Johnny Depp making memorable appearances. Kenneth Branagh’s Poirot however takes a little more time to get used to.

In one word I found him a bit ‘annoying,’ although he was clever and witty, as Ms. Christie wanted him to be, he is also too overly clever, making others upset along the way.

So all in all a movie that can entertain as the story is of the best quality, in a style only Agatha Christie can write. But if you have seen the original wait, and watch it on dvd.

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22nd November 2017 by - No comments

The nights are getting much colder and the days much shorter. I find the perfect way to warm up in these wintery months is with a big bowl of thick wholesome soup. Lunchtimes for me are now a bowl of soup and nothing else. Not only are they superbly filling they are so good for you.

I like thick soup that are like a meal in a bowl. This is my go to soup this winter! It is very similar to my Spicy Red Lentil soup recipe but thanks to some great tips from family & friends, Ive added a few ‘extra’ ingredients which make it yummier, healthier and just so good.

So here it is, super easy to make, I make a huge pot of it at the weekend, then just heat up batches as needed through the week. My boys love it so much they eat at least two bowls each in one meal. Yum yum!

Red Lentil & Bulgur soup!

Ingredients-

– 1 cup of Organic Red Lentils

– 1/2 cup bulgur wheat

– 1 cup Passata or freshly chopped tomatoes

– 2 small onions (finely diced)

– 4 carrots (peeled and finely diced)

– 2 tablespoons Olive oil

– 1 knorr Chicken pot stock

– 1 teaspoon of brown sugar

– Sea salt, ground black pepper & chilli flakes to taste

– 1 teaspoon of ground cumin

 

Method-

Place the lentils, bulgur, carrots, onions and tomatoes in a large saucepan.

Cover with enough water so that all ingredients are covered. Boil until all the ingredients are soft to the taste.

Leave to cool then with the use of a stick blender mix the ingredients into a purée like consistency, make sure it is lump free.

Add enough warm water to make the purée into a more soup like consistency. Add the olive oil, chicken stock, sugar, cumin and sprinkle on a little sea salt & pepper. Mix over a medium heat until all ingredients have dissolved.

Sprinkle on chilli flakes, dried mint and serve with warm crusty bread.

Enjoy! xxxx

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