Tomato & Basil Soup

Tomato & Basil soup

For the past two weeks I’ve been battling a cold and it’s starting to become annoying.  I’m not one for sitting around but there have been some days I’ve had hardly any energy.  Actually I’m not sure if it’s a cold or allergies but I’m going with a head cold as it’s far too early for my hay fever to be here.

When I’m not feeling 100% I mostly live off soup, fresh juices and smoothies.  Pretty much anything that’s quick, easy and doesn’t involve too much thought.  I used to love a certain canned cream of tomato soup whenever I wasn’t feeling well but I can’t have it anymore as it contains milk and it also contains added sugar and I still can’t get my head round why sugar appears in almost everything these days.  Plus, it is so easy to make some soup at home and you can stock up the freezer for future.

Whilst this soup isn’t creamy it certainly tastes good and doesn’t contain added sugar!  I try to dice the carrots and celery the same size so they cook in the same amount of time.  I have also learned that cooking off the tomato puree first before the stock or tinned tomatoes are added gets rid of the bitterness which is often found with tomato puree.

Tomato & basil soup2

Ingredients

-1 Tbsp. Olive Oil

-1 carrot, peeled & cut in to small dice

-1 stick celery, cut in to small dice

-1 red onion, diced

-2 Tbsp. tomato puree

-2 x 400ml tins of chopped tomatoes

-450ml gluten free vegetable stock or water

-handful of fresh basil leaves

-salt & pepper to taste

How To Make

Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat.  When the oil is hot add the onion, celery and carrots.  Give the vegetables a stir and saute for about 3 minutes.

Add the tomato puree and stir well.  Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the stock, chopped tomatoes and seasoning.

Place the lid on the pan, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Add a handful of fresh basil leaves and simmer for another 2 minutes.

Remove the soup from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending.

Either blend the soup with a stick blender or in a stand blender.  If you prefer a very smooth soup, strain it through a sieve after blending.

Check seasoning.

Serve warm with a garnish of fresh basil if you would like.

This soup keeps well in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days or in an airtight container in the freezer.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Banana & Oat Pancakes

Banana & Oat pancakes 2

It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  In fact there’s a saying;

“Breakfast like a King

Lunch like a Prince

Dinner like a Pauper”

Whilst my daily meals don’t necessarily follow this, I do love a good breakfast.

For years I couldn’t eat breakfast first thing in the morning.  Then when I started exercising more and cleaning up my diet I realised how well I function for the rest of the day when I’ve had a good breakfast.  I don’t get a mid-morning or mid-afternoon slump and I don’t have the constant feeling of needing more to eat.  You know the feeling, that no matter what you eat you don’t feel satisfied?  I’ve found that having a healthy, balanced breakfast gets rid of those feelings for me.  Don’t get me wrong, I don’t make pancakes everyday as I don’t have time and it would get boring, but these are great to make on a relaxed weekend morning.

I normally serve mine with berries and yoghurt but a drizzle of nut butter over them would be tasty too.

Makes approx. 5 pancakes

Ingredients

-2 tsp. coconut oil or olive oil

-1 very ripe banana, mashed

-2 eggs, beaten

-3 Tbsp. gluten free oats

-pinch of cinnamon (optional)

 

Banana & oat pancakes

How To Make

In a bowl mix together the banana, eggs, oats and cinnamon (if using).  Stir until fully combined.

Place 1 teaspoon of oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Once the oil is hot, add 2 tablespoons of pancake mixture to the pan.

Cook for 2 minutes, until brown then flip over and cook until brown on the other side.  Remove to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Repeat until all the pancake mixture is used up.  Add the extra teaspoon of oil to the pan when it starts to dry out.

Serve with berries and yoghurt or as you like!

Enjoy 🙂

 

 

Sweet Potato & Tuna Cakes

Sweet potato & tuna cakes

I’m back!  Apologies for no new blog posts the past couple of weeks.  I went to Qatar to spend my birthday in the sunshine and see my parents.  I had a lovely time and the 12 days went by extremely quickly.

Unfortunately when I got back my dog’s health had deteriorated and after lots of discussion with the vet, we decided the best thing for Lucy was to have her put to sleep.  I am absolutely devastated but know that it was the right thing to do.

Me and my Mum rescued Lucy from a scrap yard in Qatar and she just fitted into the family straight away.  She loved her cuddles and her walks but if you threw a toy for her to fetch she would just look at you as if to say ‘well you threw it, you can go and get it’!

We brought her back to the UK nearly two years ago and she loved the walks in the countryside and playing in the river.  She was such a well-loved dog and we gave her the best life possible.

lucy

Now, on to the recipe…

You can cook these cakes two ways, either in the oven or in a frying pan.  I prefer cooking them in the oven, although this takes longer than frying them, the cakes hold their shape better.

Makes 6-8

Ingredients

-450g sweet potato, peeled, steamed (or boiled) & mashed

-1 x 185g tin of tuna in spring water, drained

-1 red chilli, finely chopped

-2 spring onions, finely chopped

-3cm piece of ginger, finely grated

-zest of 1 lime

-1 egg, beaten

-1 small handful of coriander, finely chopped

-salt & pepper

Sweet Potato & tuna cakes2

How To Make

If you are cooking the cakes in the oven, pre-heat the oven to 180C/355F.  Line a baking sheet with lightly oiled foil.

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl.  The mixture will be sticky but it will still hold the shape of a cake when cooked.

Make the cakes by taking a golf ball size amount of the mixture then flatten into a cake, don’t make them too thin as they will just break.

If cooking in the oven, place the cakes on the lined baking sheet and place in the oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning the cakes halfway through.

If frying the cakes, melt 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a large frying pan.  Fry the cakes in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan.  The cakes take about 3 minutes each side.  Remove and set aside.

Serve these cakes with a green salad or as a filling in a sandwich bun.

These cakes store well in the fridge in an airtight container for 2 days.  They can be eaten hot or cold, ideal for having in a lunch box.

Enjoy 🙂