Cake by the ocean – the countdown to 21!

In exactly a week today, I will be making my way back up north with only 24 hours to blitz my wardrobe and pack for my birthday vacay…LAS VEGAS. Now as much as I have loved being down in the sunny south, I absolutely cannot contain my excitement for what’s ahead in the next few weeks! And whilst I’m sat here, sipping my coffee and daydreaming of jetting off to somewhere warmer, I can’t help but smile thinking about my year of being 20. Good times!

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Throwback to my delicious 20th birthday cake – my boyfriends mum made this gorgeous dairy free chocolate cake with pink edible glitter, she knows me too well!

My blog was recently featured in a Manchester Tab article (click for link), with a short interview about my food & lifestyle thoughts, it’s a really fun read so be sure to check it out! The writers also interviewed one of my fave foodies – Livia’s Kitchen, along with a few other motivating blogs and instagrams. Thinking about some of the questions they asked really inspired me to blog again, as it’s been quite a while! So here goes – another post: No recipes in this one…no exercise tips…no words of wisdom or advice – just a few things to be grateful for in the lead up to the big two-one celebrations!

One of the most exciting parts of coming back down to Dorset is undoubtedly the coast. The beaches here are somewhere that I have never taken for granted, and although I’m now a self-confessed city girl, I crave the sandy shores of the UK’s version of California.

You can’t beat a beach BBQ, late night sand walk, or cosy hot choc by the sea at shore road’s Jazz Café. FullSizeRender (9)So what better way to kick off the celebrations than with an afternoon tea by the sea. There are two places in Bournemouth that I’m particularly fond of when it comes to cake by the ocean. First up, the Cumberland Hotel (below left) – sat on a hill at the edge of the world where you can see the sea for miles, whilst you’re sipping on tea and catching up with the girls. And secondly, but not second best – the newest member of the club – the Hampton by Hilton (below right). Here’s one to take the parents! And although the views don’t beat my fave spot in the clouds at Manchester’s Hilton Cloud 23, it’s a perfect place to order your signature cocktail, or feast on a stack of perfectly miniature cakes for lunch!IMG_3847 (2) Now before I get totally side-tracked babbling on about cake and coffee’s, don’t let me forget another classic coastal treat – the BBQ! Some of my favourite memories from this year are the times with my best friends, laughing about the weird and wonderful things we’ve experienced in our first year of being twenty-something, whilst our (still raw in the middle) chicken skewers and  chipolatas burn on one side over the cheap disposable grill we bought on a whim! But sometimes we really do get it right and if I say so myself, we’re not bad at rustling up a delish, although rather make-shiftgourmet BBQ.

If I’m honest, I’ve never really been the biggest fan of a burger or hot dog, so when my best friend suggested grilling fish & Mediterranean veggies for our al-fresco feast instead, I was super pleased. It was so simple, we laid on a few salmon skewers and fillets, topped with garden herbs, along side some foil trays of sweet potato wedges and a rainbow medley of chunky veggies with big, juicy king prawns – absolutely delicious and not a pink bit of chicken or charcoaled sausage in sight.

So today my plans are simple, I’m going to head down to my fave beach spot and make the most of a dry day in one of the most beautiful places in my little world. I’m sure there will be plenty of tea, cake and cocktails to come in the near future, as the countdown to 21 begins! Just like they say – start as you mean to go on!



(Just in time for) Summer Rolls

Quick! Stop everything you are doing and go outside. The summer is officially here in Manchester, and I would bet you my entire £2-coin jar that it won’t stick around for too long! So hopefully you’ve managed to make the most of some of this glorious sunshine between work, lectures and/or whatever other busy & important to-do’s there are on the list this week!

Something about the nicer weather can really help to inspire you to be more active and feel a little healthier. These gorgeous summer rolls are so light and fresh – and absolutely packed with flavour. The best part is that you can recreate them so easily, using either a supermarket bought kit or simply just a combination of your own fave ingredients. I opted for a kit and added in a few of my own preferences, some cucumber and carrot for crunch, some sweet-chilli sauce to dip, and some juicy king prawns. Pack yours with plenty of veggies & protein for  a really tasty, nutritious and light meal – that won’t leave you feeling a million miles away from that summer-body. I’ll be posting a few more sunshine-inspired recipes soon – like my absolute favourite Coronation & Sweetcorn Chicken, the tastiest Tuna Patties, and plenty of others! As the exams are looming ahead it’s important to balance all of that hard work with foods that make you feel great, and allow yourself some me-time out of revision mode too!

Vietnamese-Style Summer Rolls: (Makes 2 Servings)

Just below is a pic of the kit that I used to get me started! You can buy this in most big supermarkets – Sainsburys, Tesco, Waitrose etc. The kit includes: rice papers, vermicelli noodles & dipping sauce. Feel free to add in whatever else you fancy – crunchy veggies, herbs/salad leaves, chicken, fish, tofu, egg, peanuts, you could even try a classic combo like roasted peppers & hummus, or tuna & cucumber! Whatever you fill them with, have fun with it, and these can be quite tricky to make at first so remember – practice makes perfect!LN_777626_BP_11

So, assuming you don’t have the kit, you will need:

  • 8 rice-paper wrappers
  • Vermicelli noodles (1 small pack)
  • Iceberg lettuce, around 50g shredded (or another salad leaf!)
  • 12-15 cooked king praws, halved long-ways
  • Dipping sauce of choice
  • Optional additions: coriander, cucumber strips, grated carrot, chilli flakes, peanuts, bean sprouts etc…

To start, place the noodles in a bowl of just boiled water, cover the top and leave to go soft for around 5 mins. Then drain and set aside. Chop and prep your fillings, adding in whatever you fancy! For the rice-wrappers, fill a shallow baking tray with warm water, and for each one place the sheet into the water for no longer than 2/3 seconds until covered. Then carefully take out and place on a dry surface, they will continue to soften. Lay your fillings in a line onto the central part of the paper, leaving room to roll! Carefully roll up as tightly as you can, it can be pretty fiddly work so no stressing if it takes you a few goes to get the hang of it! Now you’re done – serve up and get dipping with some sweet chilli or peanut sauce and maybe even a few fresh sides – a zesty rice/salad side, some sweet potato wedges, or possibly even some yummy grilled prawn/chicken/veggie skewers.


The rolls are so delicate and pretty, but taste even better than they look! And if you’re like me and love a little something sweet for afters, why not try your fave fresh fruits dipped in dark choc. Another classic dipping-combo. 


My sugar, spice & everything nice Easter loaf cake!

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First of all, a very happy Easter to you! One of my favourite times of the year, purely because I absolutely love hot crossed buns and anything egg related – especially of the chocolate variety. So this was my first time baking a cake in the style of a loaf! Since then I have been drooling over all of the delicious possibilities – dreaming of turning my favourite cakes/muffins into loaves that can be toasted & topped for a yummy, warming breakfast. And that is exactly the best way to enjoy this particular fruity loaf – I highly recommend serving it warm by either toasting or microwaving your slice, then topping it with whatever you fancy! Whether that’s butter (0r a DF spread), jam, yogurt, honey, nut butter, berries or my personal fave – chopped banana!

So here’s how I made this lovely little loaf. It’s gluten & dairy free, so that it can be enjoyed by more of you, but you could easily substitute in wholegrain flour/butter/milk in place of my alternatives. The sweet currents and dried fruit combined with the spicy, warming cinnamon and nutmeg give this cake its deliciously festive, slice-of-home flavour. Buckwheat flour is a great gluten-free base and has almost 4 times the fiber content of plain flour, per serving. But nutritional’s aside, this scrummy loaf makes enough for around 10 generous slices and can be frozen & toasted to be enjoyed for longer!

Easter Loaf Cake: (Makes around 10 slices)


  • 100g mix of currents/dried apple (finely chopped)/raisins/cranberries
  • 180g buckwheat flour
  • 1 – 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp ground nutmeg (amount of spice down to personal preference!)
  • 80g dairy-free spread
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 125ml almond milk
  • 120g brown sugar/coconut sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • small handful of GF rolled oats (optional – to top)
  • Optional glaze – 1 tsp warm water + 1 tsp runny honey, mixed

Start off by heating the oven to 180°C fan (nearer to 200°C if not fan oven). If your currents/fruit are a bit hard, soften them for a few minutes in some warm water and then drain before adding to the mix. Combine the sugar, milk, egg and spread until well mixed – if you have a food processor or blender this works best! Add to a large mixing bowl with the dry ingredients – the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt. Fold in the fruit pieces until everything is nicely mixed. Use some spread/oil/spray to grease the edges of your loaf tin, you could line with baking paper but it’s not totally necessary as the loaf should come out easily if the sides are well greased. Pour in your mix as an even layer, you can then sprinkle over your oats if you’re using them! The cake should take around 25 – 30 minutes to be perfectly golden and cooked through, but be sure to take it out at 25 mins to do the knife test – it should come out clean (or very nearly clean at this point), and you don’t want the loaf to burn so watch it carefully in the last few minutes! Once out of the oven, leave to cool completely and remove from the tin . If you’re glazing the top, combine your honey and water and lightly brush over an even layer, maybe then sprinkle with a few more oats or currents or whatever you fancy!

Since making this gorgeous Easter loaf I have been thinking about all of the ways that I could improve it, something I tend to do a lot, and I think next time I might try sprinkling on a little brown sugar before baking – to give the top a deliciously light, caramelly crunch. Or possibly lay on a few banana slices that will bake with the cake and go irresistibly sweet. But I would really love to hear any of your suggestions/ideas for either this loaf or any other kind of loaf cake/Easter treat, so give this one a go and be sure to make it your own!

Now I can’t sign this one off without mentioning the other yummy dish of the day – the most tender and flavoursome beef-steak fajitas! A simple combination of spicy seasoning, finely sliced peppered steak, roasted rainbow veggies, and a deliciously refreshing (dairy-free) ‘sour cream’ creation, all wrapped up into a tasty wholewheat tortilla. Fajita’s are such a fun way to serve and eat a meal, I love the hands-on approach of preparing your main from a choice of delicious components that all combine into one big party in your mouth! And just look at that steak…drooling!

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The DF ‘sour cream’ is just a mix of plain soy yogurt, finely chopped fresh chives and lemon juice – I’m always searching for creative ways to replace the delicious ingredients that unfortunately used to upset my tummy, and this one is a real success – a perfect way to cool down those spicy seasoned veggies and meat.


I’m currently snacking on my new favourite combo – celery sticks, hummus & dry roasted peas (a kind of scoop and dip situation) – before carrying on with some well overdue uni work! Have a lovely rest of your week and a wonderful Easter weekend. I’ll try and post some more recipes, maybe even a chocolatey addition or two, over the bank holiday! But meanwhile make sure you look out for my next post, all about my fave omega-3 super food – salmon! (insert heart-eyes emoji here!) 

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Coconut & Cacao Cookies

It’s been an early start (who’s idea was 9am lectures anyway?!) and a very rainy, grey Wednesday. After struggling through my morning lectures, there were only two options in my mind that could improve this dull day: sleeping through and trying again tomorrow, or baking! And there was no better cure for my midweek blues than being back in the warm, after two amazing yoga classes, with the smell of deliciously-chocolatey fresh baked cookies filling the whole house.

These little guys were a true experiment! And I am so pleased with how they turned out, kind of like a bounty combined with a chocolate biscuit – dreamy. I wanted to work on using ratios of things like flour to fat to sweetener etc. Looking into my cupboard is like opening the door of the tardis, who knew so much stuff could fit onto 2 shelves? The gingerbread man cookie cutters had been staring at me for a while now, but I knew that a day like today called for some kind of chocolate-venture rather than the festive gingerbread vibe. That’s when I noticed the cacao powder and coconut flour and the cogs started turning!


Because I don’t buy dairy produce, my baking includes a lot of alternativeslike soya yogurt and coconut oil – but these can be replaced in my recipes with the dairy equivalents (natural yogurt/butter) if that’s what you’re in to! So here’s the final recipe for my rainy-day coconut & cacao cookies! They are dairy and gluten free and have the natural sweetness courtesy of pure maple syrup rather than the highly processed sugars commonly used in baking. A perfect way to get your comforting sweet-fix, without the guilt of munching through a whole pack of chocolate digestives. Of course feel free to alter any of the ingredients/quantities to experiment with your own taste and preference, but when it comes to the actual preparation stages I would advise following the instructions and not cutting corners. Which reminds me, if you don’t have cookie cutters – get creative and use the rim of a glass or maybe even cut your own shapes with a knife, extra points for effort! I rolled out the scrap edges of the dough and cut into a few straight pieces and Voila chocolate fingers!

Coconut & Cacao Cut-out Cookies: (Makes around 10 little men!)


  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp coconut flour (plus a sprinkle extra for rolling)
  • 1 medium egg, whisked
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, softened but not hot (butter would work too!)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup (you could also use honey, date syrup, coconut sugar etc)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 heaped tbsp cacao powder (coco would work but you may need to alter the amount!)
  • a few pieces of dark chocolate, roughly chopped (to melt for decoration)

Combine the egg, oil and vanilla and whisk well until smoothly mixed. Add in the syrup and then, to a big bowl, combine the wet and dry ingredients until a batter forms. It will be thinner than a normal cookie dough – so at this point cover the top of the bowl with some cling film and place in the fridge until it hardens (mine took around half an hour). Then roll out the mix between two sheets of baking paper. Once it is flattened and no more than a centimeter thick, pop it in the freezer for 15/30 mins to really set – this makes it so much easier to shape with the cookie cutters! Now you can preheat the oven to 160/150°C (fan). Once you and your dough have had enough chill-out time, carefully cut out your shapes (admittedly this part was a bit tricky because of how quickly it gets sticky again – but bear with it!) and evenly space the little guys on to a lined baking tray. Bake for around 12 mins, keeping an eye on them as this may vary with the size & shape of your cookies! Take out the tray and leave the cookies to cool for quite a while, they will harden up as they lose heat. Then you can decorate, yay!

At this point it’s over to you, I topped mine with melted dark choc, sprinkles and a few marshmallows for buttons! But you could add nuts, dried fruit, desiccated coconut, icing, or anything else you fancy! I really hope you love these cleaner, delicious sweet treats as much as me and my housemates, and I would love to see pictures/ideas of you having a go at this recipe, and any alterations you would make – have fun with it!

Just a quick side note before I sign this one off, I can’t keep my eyes open for much longer! Easter is almost around the corner, and although for some this just means copious amounts of chocolate, for others it can be a stressful time of deadlines and upheaval – whichever it is for you, try and take a few moments of me-time in this busy week of yours. Sleep well, stay active and do something creative. Nourish yourself with foods that will make you stronger and happier, rather than processed junk that will just spike your energy levels for half an hour. After a few hours of staring at my lecture notes, something as simple as fruit & nut butter is all it takes to perk me up and keep me productive.


Have a lovely rest of the week!

The prawn & the cocktail


Any guesses as to why I woke up so unnecessarily early this morning?

It’s another fuzzy-head Saturday morning, and although I am in desperate need of tea & toast, I am definitely making the most of this lie in! This week has been pretty non-stop. My parents came to the city and between the coffees & cocktails we managed to catch up on life, the universe and everything! Sometimes a little slice of home is just what you need. But being totally out of routine this week has meant squeezing in yoga & the gym between lectures and having to get a bit creative when it came to meal times – basically trying to use up everything and anything in the fridge! So there was definitely a theme to my make-shift meals.

As long as I have my kitchen basics I can usually come up with something satisfying – spinach, avocado, eggs, bananas, oats, hummus & chili flakes are my absolute essentials when it comes to the weekly shop. After these it’s just a case of choosing extra fresh veg, fruit & meat/fish or stocking up on cupboard essentials like wholegrain rice, quinoa, pasta and bread. At the beginning of this week I had some real cravings for mango and prawns, and not as individual ingredients but the actual combination of the two! Who knows why, foodie’s brains work in mysterious ways. So here’s how I satisfied this Caribbean craving:

Mango-shrimp salad (with homemade tortilla chips & avo-salsa): (Serves 1)

This salad is so fresh and bursting with flavour, it’s dairy free and can easily be made gluten free by substituting the wholewheat tortilla for a GF version. Adding a little fruit to your salads is a really delicious way to pack your meals with antioxidants and also satisfy that sweet-tooth! This is also a really quick and easy weekday meal that can be thrown together whilst the tortilla chips bake, a true bowl of love.


  • 1 serving of deliciously chunky avo-salsa (recipe link here!)
  • 1 wholewheat tortilla wrap
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 1/2 cup mango, chopped
  • 1 small extra handful of fresh coriander leaves, torn/roughly chopped
  • 1/2 pack of small prawns (I tend to rinse them before adding)
  • 1 big handful of spinach, roughly chopped
  • cucumber, chopped into small quarters
  • 1 tbsp mixed omega-3 boosting seeds – optional (e.g. sunflower, sesame, chia)
  • sprinkle of paprika
  • sprinkle of dried chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp hummus
  • Salt & pepper

For the tortilla chips:

Preheat the oven to 120°C (fan). Slice the tortilla like a pizza into triangles and spray/drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil (or other oil of your choice!). Line a baking tray with parchment paper or foil and place the triangles evenly onto the tray with spaces in between. Sprinkle over some paprika, salt & pepper. Leave to bake for around 20 mins until the tortilla crisps up a bit – keep an eye on them for burning!

For the salad: 

This part is super easy – just combine all of your chopped ingredients with the avo-salsa mix, prawns and mango, and season to your liking with a few lime wedges, S&P, chilli flakes and maybe some paprika & hummus. Sprinkle over some superfood seeds and get creative with it – add in whatever you fancy! You might have some extra veg that needs using or maybe some healthy & refreshing homemade tzatziki (link here!). 

With the leftover prawns, mango and salad ingredients, I managed to put together some other nutritious and delicious weeknight treats & lunches. I’m also loving seeds at the moment and finding lots of new ways to incorporate them into whatever i’m making. Healthy meals on a tight time schedule don’t have to be difficult or fancy! These are some of my favourite make-shift meals from this crazy week:

I hope you have a lovely weekend! And if you’re like me this morning, suffering from a post-prosecco hangover, be sure get some fresh air and plenty of water! Here’s a link to a useful post…

Homemade ‘happy hour’: Sparkling Saturday eve’s

Happy hour. Undoubtedly my fave time of day! Those who know me well can always expect our night’s out to involve some sort of cocktail round – whether it’s testing out all of the £2 concoctions at student drinks-heaven The Font in Fallowfield, or sticking to the classic Martini selection at The Alchemist in the city – my absolute favourite. My newest obsession is an espresso martini but I’ll also never say no to anything involving Prosecco, check out these bbc good food easy sparkling cocktails, bakewell fizz sounds amazing! 


The downside of cocktails, like most of my favourite things, is that they can cost a fortune! And you also run the risk of inducing some kind of sugar coma with all of the syrups involved. So why not recreate your favourites at home – sticking to natural sweeteners and a much more student-friendly budget! I love these really easy blended cocktail-cubes, add them to your preferred drink for a fun way to keep it cool and delicious! All you need is a bunch of your favourite fruit, i’d suggest berries for a strong and sweet flavour (and buying frozen is a good way to save money and keep them fresher for longer!), an ice cube tray and a blender. I recommend making these in the morning so that they have all day to freeze, or even the night before! Here’s mine and the housemate’s Christmas-celebration’s version:

Berry-nice Prosecco coolers:

  • 1 cup mixed frozen/fresh berries (raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, cranberry etc…)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or lemon if preferred!)
  • 1 small bunch of fresh mint leaves, torn


Simply add the fruit, lime juice and mint leaves to your blender, keeping some berries aside for decorative use! Blend until smooth and give it a taste-test, adding more berries for sweetness or lime for sharpness. When it’s perfectly to your taste, pour the mix into the tray, it should fill a standard freezer ice-cube tray, and place your extra berries lightly into each juicy-cube so that they poke out at the top of each one. Freeze for the day and then simply add a cube or three to your bubbly! The best part is how the cubes release more and more fruity sweetness as they melt, as well as keeping your Prosecco nice and coolperfect! 

If berries aren’t your thing, why not try something different! Mango, pineapple, kiwi, passion fruit, orange, strawberry… there are plenty of ways to make this your own! And of course, the cubes can be added to another drink if fizz isn’t on your menu – why not try a gin & tonic with some lime/lemon blended cubes! Let me know your ideas and remember – practice makes perfect – so you’re just going to have to have to keep the drinks flowing and trial your creations!

These make a perfect addition to date night/a night in with your faves, and go far too well with a yummy tortilla pizza – as we discovered last night! Check out the egg on this salmon & veggie creation! And here’s a link to my DIY domino’s for the full treat experience.


I truly believe that weekend’s are a time to treat yourself – especially after a long, hard week of routine. There are lots of ways to enjoy delicious and creative meals/drinks without having to end the night with that over-indulged, food coma feeling. One of my favourite bloggers Madeline Shaw is great at coming up with modern recreations of the old classics, that will leave you feeling satisfied and guilt-free. These healthier cocktails aren’t just for Christmas, and will make an amazing addition to your homemade happy hour!

Have a lovely start to your week, bring on next weekend!


Harvey Nichols & Homemade Chocolates: My week of spreading the love

So why is it that I always wake up super early when I’m hungover? As if the fuzzy head and dehydrated skin isn’t enough, but being wide awake before the sun has even made an appearance just does not make sense! Although, I really can’t be in a bad mood this morning as I’ve had such a great week and my tired, achey feet are simply a reminder of how much fun last night was. Even if there were a few too many garden-martini’s involved!


The start to my week really set the tone, after attending an evening at Harvey Nichols Manchester ‘Yoga at Dusk’ on Monday, I’ve been feeling really inspired to spread the love and the message that The Well Connected company so amazingly delivered. Throughout the whole evening, every yogi there was made to feel special, loved and totally energiseda class with Charlie Morgan will do exactly this to you. Being surrounded by a such an amazing group of people, all at different levels of experience, got me thinking about why I started yoga in the first place and how far I’ve come since then, in so many ways. I’m working on a post about this too – stay tuned! One of the phrases that Charlie repeated throughout the class really sticks out in my mind – You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great“. 

I love this. It’s so inspiring and simple and applies to every goal and aspiration you might set yourself, however big or small. This is something that I have been telling myself this week. After a fun and empowering work out, we were each handed the most delicious juice (avo, pineapple, coconut water & pomegranate – omg) and given the chance to try out the Yogandha company’s new line of yoga oils that are meant to improve your practice and your mood – but smell good enough to make me want one as my next perfume! Check out there website for more info on the benefits of yoga oils and other herbal skin treatments. I’m so thankful to Nici Hewitson and The Well Connected for creating such a wonderful evening of yoga overlooking the bright lights of my fave city, I would highly recommend having a look at their future events (a yoga retreat is definitely on my bucket list!) as well as checking out the Harvey Nichols website for more event info.  And if you are lucky enough to live near Charlie’s studio in London, get yourself booked onto one of her classes – your muscles will thank you the next day and you’ll leave feeling super positive and energised.

IMG_2175Now you can’t expect me to be spreading all of this love and not mention the V wordValentines. Whether your’re into it all or not, it’s the perfect excuse to do something nice for someone that you care about! If you’re like me and insist on the ‘no buying Valentine’s day presents’ rule, there’s nothing stopping you from getting creative instead and making something for your fave person/people, and isn’t this weekend just the best excuse to eat more chocolate?

Here’s a recipe for the most intensely delish, home-made dark orange chocolates. I couldn’t believe how much they resembles Terry’s! One of the chocs that I miss the most since cutting down on dairy. But trust me, you are in no way missing out on the chocolate-orangey goodness if you’re like me and can’t have the generic stuff, and if orange isn’t your flavour, you could totally swap it for something like mint, coffee, chili flakes or sea salt! Make it personal, sometimes the best presents are the ones that took time and effort to make, and they’ll never need to know actually how simple & easy these little bites of love are! This recipe is dairy & gluten free, you’ll need something like an ice-cube tray or silicone tray, and I would recommend making these the day before to give them plenty of time to set!

Delicious homemade dark chocolate-orange (DF&GF): (Makes around 20 small chocs)

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  • 1/2 cup raw cacao powder (I get mine from Holland & Barrett but there are plenty of other places that also stock it)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, measured as melted
  • 2 – 3 tbsp honey (add depending on how sweet you like your choc!)
  • zest of 1 large orange
  • little pinch of salt (optional)

Start off by heating your coconut oil on a medium heat in a saucepan. Then stir in the cacao powder and mix well with a whisk. Add in your honey and give it a little taste test to be sure it’s sweet enough! Zest your orange and stir this into the mix – now resist the urge to use as a chocolate fondue – pour the choc into your tray molds and place in the fridge/freezer for at least 4 hours to set! These chocs will technically stay delicious for a week or so, but trust me they won’t last that long! It’s also worth mentioning that they will probably melt quite easily at room temp because of the coconut oil, so keep them refrigerated if you have the will power to not eat the whole bunch in one sitting.

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Here are the one’s I made for our early Valentine’s celebrations – a little decoration goes a long way! But remember you can totally tailor-make yours, why not try adding in some coconut milk to get a milker chocolate, or even some dried fruit & nuts! Get playful, after all chocolate is not just for Valentine’s day. Have a lovely weekend! Chocolates for breakfast will cure a hangover, right?

Sunny-side-up: Eggcellent lunchtimes

Where has all this sunshine come from today?! I mean, I’m not complaining, but blue sky has been a foreign concept around here lately. It’s amazing how much it can change your mood, I’m feeling a million times more productive studying with natural light streaming through my window instead of the desk lamp, and I’m looking forward to not having to swim to yoga tonight. After a fresh dose of that sunny & crisp air combo’ on my way back from uni this morning, I was craving something light and refreshing for lunch.

Eggs are an amazing fuel – whether they are part of your breakfast, your pre/post workout menu or simply an addition to a delicious, big bowl of love after a long day. My absolute favourite type of egg is a poached one, but honestly i’m awful at making them! The whole swirly water in a pan with vinegar thing is yet to work out for me. So in the meantime, whilst I practice this swirling-poach technique, I have managed to find a rather unique way of getting that lovely, soft poached egg that I love! I’m sure I can’t be the first person to think of this, so let me know if you have tried anything similar that resulted in your perfect poach!

It’s really simple, all you need is:

  • 1 egg (size of your choice)
  • Oil (I used frylight olive oil spray)
  • large square of clingfilm
  • wooden spoon
  • salt & pepper


Place the clingfilm over a cup, pushing it down into the cup, and spray with oil (or make sure you coat it with a thin layer of oil of your choice. This is essential so that the egg doesn’t stick to the clingfilm once cooked!). Crack your egg into the clingfilm-lined cup. Sprinkle in a bit of S&P. Lift the edges of the clingfilm that surround the cup’s edge and twist tightly to make a little sack that the egg sits in. Remove from the cup and wrap the tail of the clingfilm sack a few times around the handle of a wooden spoon, tight enough for it to hand and stay put without slipping! Boil some water, either in the pan or from a kettle, and fill a saucepan with water on a high heat to keep it bubbling. Add your egg & spoon in when the water is boiling on the hobbalancing the spoon on the edges. Leave this to cook for 6 minutes or more, depending on how soft/hard you like your egg! When you remove the spoon, unwrap the egg and slice open to reveal your yolk! If you’re like me, a golden, gloopy center is perfect!

You could serve your egg over toast, with beans (baked, edamame, butterbeans, chickpeas), with soldiers (wholemeal bread, pitta, veggie sticks), with smoked salmon, on top of a salad, or with whatever you fancy! One of my favourite post-workout lunch bowls is quinoa, king prawns, edamame beans, sweetcorn & spinach – topped with a gorgeous poached one! The runny yolk adds a creamy texture and with a little seasoning of S&P, and of course a generous sprinkle of chili flakes, this truly is one big bowl of love. Here’s mine today:


But as I mentioned before, the possibilities are endless when it comes to adding eggs into your meals, don’t forget about the omelettes, scrambled, and hard-boiled goodness too! Here are a few of my fave eggy-meals:


I hope the sun is shining wherever you are! Even if you’re like me and stuck inside writing up lecture notes, but hey – there are worse places to work.


Have an eggcellent week!

Pancake day, 4 ways! (GF&DF)

Pancakes have got to be one of the best foodie creations of all time. Whether you love yours sweet, savoury, fluffy, thin, small, big, rolled, folded, topped with bacon or smothered in syrup – I truly believe that there is a pancake for everyone! For those of us who avoid dairy & gluten, it would be easy to give up hope of ever having delicious treats like pancakes and crepes again because of the milk/flour content of standard recipes. But with a few simple substitutions there is no reason at all to miss out on the all the pancakey-goodness! And in my opinion, these recipes are in no way inferior to the old-fashioned pancake and are a great way to get more creative in the kitchen!

So pancake day is finally here, and this weekend I wanted to experiment with some different styles of DF&GF pancakes. The results of my little kitchen venture have inspired me to never again restrict pancakes to one day of the year! It’s super quick and easy to go online and find a million different, more tummy-friendly, recipes – but sometimes you just have to get a bit creative. This brings me to my first trial, the rather odd looking but delicious savoury one of the bunch, my super-green spinach & coriander pancakes with hummus. These pack in so much nutrition and are wonderfully simple, a really fun way to have a greener lunchtime. I enjoyed mine as 2 smaller, thicker pancakes with hummus, cherry tomatoes and falafel – but you could also spread the mix further in the pan to create a more crepe-like pancake and roll it up with some more gorgeous grilled veggies.

Super-green spinach & coriander ‘pancakes’: (makes 2 small or one large)


  • 1 big handful of fresh, washed spinach
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 large egg
  • salt & pepper
  • hummus (optional- to serve)
  • dried chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (for the pan)

Simply add all of the above, except hummus, to a blender and blend on full speed for around 30 seconds until the consistency is smooth and all of the leaves are blended. The egg will make it a bit frothy so let the mix stand for a bit to get rid of some of the bubbles! In a frying pan, melt the coconut (or other oil of choice) on a medium heat. Pour in that glorious green mix and spread around the pan, let it cook for a minute or two on one side and use a spatula to lift the edges and check if the underside is done. If you’re brave enough to flip – now is your time! Cook the other side for another minute or two, depending on the size of your pancake. Repeat with the rest of the mix if you are making 2 smaller ones. Serve with hummus, chili flakes, fresh lemon, minty tzatziki dip, refreshing avo-salsa, veggies, meat or anything else you fancy!

Next up are the sweetest, fluffiest and yummiest little pancakes on the menu! Almond flour is a high protein, low sugar, gluten-free flour alternative that promotes healthy fats and lots of vitamin E, as well as a nice dose of magnesium. But just as importantly, it tastes delicious in pancakes and gives that fluffy, american-style texture, perfect with berries and yogurt or bananas and honey etc…

Fluffy almond flour pancakes: (Makes 2 servings, 3 pancakes per serving)

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  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted (plus extra for pan)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder (optional – extra fluffiness!)
  • pinch of salt
  • toppings of choice (e.g. berries, yogurt, honey/agave, nuts, coconut, fresh fruit, cinnamon, chocolate, nut butter etc…)

Add to a mixing bowl the flour, milk, eggs, syrup, oil and salt – whisk carefully until all of the dry and wet ingredients are well combined. The consistency should be pourable but not runny! In a pan melt enough coconut oil (around 1 tsp) to coat the bottom, and keep on a low-medium heat. These pancakes cook much more successfully on a low heat for longer – so add some batter to the pan and cook the pancakes for around 4 minutes on each side, carefully lifting the edges to check the undersides. Once they are fluffy and golden, serve with the toppings of your choice – I had mine with some heated up blueberries, coconut soy yogurt, flaked almonds and a drizzle of agave nectar – delicious. You can store these pancakes in an airtight container in the fridge for the next day, and simply pop them in the toaster to enjoy them warm again!

Now onto my personal favourite – the buckwheat variety! I love how these crepes are so flavour-versatile and go perfectly with both sweet and savoury toppings! As a weekend morning breakfast treat, we tried out both crispy bacon & maple syrup and sweet berries and yogurt versions. A pancake themed main and desert all before 11am, the perfect Sunday! I used Livia’s Kitchen buckwheat crepe’s as the basis for the recipe, but with a few modifications, so i’ll post mine below but here is the link to the original. Livia is an amazing food-blogger and her instagram has me drooling most days. These gorgeous, wheat free crepes are really easy and the pancakes can be stored in the fridge for the next day too, although you may need to hide them from hungry housemates!

Perfect morning buckwheat crepes – 2 ways! (Serves 2, 3 crepes per serving)

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour (around 100g)
  • 1 large egg, whisked
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 cup almond milk (or other milk of choice)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • coconut oil for pan (or other oil of choice)
  • To serve: 6 rashers (3 per serving) of streaky bacon + 2 tbsp maple syrup, or 1/2 cup blueberries + 1/2 cup yogurt of choice, or any others of your fave toppings! 

Add buckwheat flour to a big mixing bowl and combine with milk, the whisked egg, vanilla, maple syrup and salt (and cinnamon if you choose to add this delish flavour into the mix! Works best with the sweet topping version). Give it all a good mix until smooth. Heat a little coconut oil in a medium/large pan so that it evenly coats the bottom and put on a medium heat. Add some of your batter to the pan and spread with the back of your spoon so that it thinly covers the entire base – we want lovely thin crepes!) If you are having bacon with yours – now would be the time to start grilling/frying! Cook each side for around 2 minutes, checking the undersides and flipping when you think there is enough colour, ideally a golden brown. To keep the crepes warm you could place a heat-proof dish in the oven on a low heat and keep adding fresh crepes to it whilst the next one cooks. Now you can serve, in any style you want! Feel free to explore with folding, rolling, slicing the crepes to suit your toppings! I folded mine with some extra crispy bacon and maple syrup, absolutely dreamy.


Get creative with your toppings this pancake day, whether it’s fresh fruit or scrambled eggs affair, make it fun and make it your own! And if you dare to flip, don’t beat yourself up over a few ceiling-stickers! Another method I would love to try again is the ever so simple ‘1 banana & 2 eggs’ variety, but I must confess that I gave these a go and the outcome was a rather sad looking, burnt excuse for a pancake – so let me know if you have tried and succeeded at this, I would love to know your secret! Meanwhile, I think in my house pancake day is going to become a weekly event with these 4 fun ways to enjoy them. Happy flipping!

P.s – check out some of the gorgeous food pics I was sent this weekend – recreations of my fakeaway tortilla pizza, sweet lamb stew and gooey choc chip cookie recipes, all looking delicious. Find all of these recipes on here, and for more foodie inspiration be sure to stop by my instagram, have a lovely week!


Rainy weekend lamb stew & tasty cauliflower-rice

It’s raining, it’s cold and it’s already dark by the time you get home – perfect! This happens to be an ideal excuse to curl up on the sofa in your pj’s for an eve of back-to-back viewings of your fave netflix series. But instead of caving to your cravings by stopping at the shops for a microwave meal, or simply working your way through a family sized pack of doritos for the night, why not nourish yourself with a big bowl of warm, homemade real food. I often post my ‘#bowloflove’ on instagram, these are those one-bowl, delicious, comfort food classics that are just what the doctor ordered, and here’s one that I just had to share!

Cauliflower rice is a delicious, lower-carb side dish for a big bowl of warming winter stew, ultimate comfort food! The stew recipe is inspired by one of my absolute favourite food bloggers, Madeline Shaw. Her ‘Moroccan lamb stew with apricots’ is hearty and sweet and full of goodness to revive you from a hard week, and it packs so much flavour for such a simple list of ingredients! I made mine to serve 2 – with a few modifications – the version of which i’ll post below. Here’s the link to Madeline’s. It’s dairy & gluten free but most of all, delicious. Ps – She just liked my instagram pic and i’m totally fan-girl’ing.

Whoever came up with cauliflower rice needs some serious recognition! It’s such a simple and creative way to reduce your carb intake, compared with standard fried rice side dishes, and totally versatile when it comes to flavour. Serve it with curries, meat & fish dishes, stir-fried veg, stew and so much more! A great ‘fakeaway’ recipe to add to your collection.

Cauliflower-rice with peas & coriander: (Serves 2)

  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 1 tsp coconut oil (for the pan)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup petit pois (I use frozen, thawed)
  • 1 big handful of coriander, finely chopped
  • salt & pepper

If you don’t have a food processor, get one, you can definitely use a grater to get that rice-like texture! Grate/process the florets of cauliflower and place into a big mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice, peas and coriander and give it a good stir! Add S&P to your liking, and even some cheeky chili flakes! In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil (or other oil of your preference) on a medium heat, then pour in your ‘rice’ and give it a minute or 2 to heat through. Before it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, stir the mix for a further 5-8 mins whilst the cauliflower cooks. Then give it a taste test and when you’re ready to serve, sprinkle over a few torn coriander leaves! By all means make this your own by adding in any veggies/spices/herbs that you love, and you can easily double up the recipe to feed your hungry housemates too! The flavour of the coriander also works really well with lime, so if your fridge is more likely to be stocked with the gin&tonic essential, feel free to use a lime instead of lemon – but I would recommend using fresh juice rather than bottled!

This refreshing side-dish worked so well with the gorgeous Moroccan sweetness of lamb & apricot stew, without the dreaded carb-coma. If meat isn’t on your menu, you could always experiment with using chunky vegetables such as aubergine, butternut squash or pumpkin in your stew! Here’s how I made it:


Sweet Moroccan lamb stew: (Serves 2)

  • 200g (mine worked out to be half of a pack) extra-lean diced lamb
  • 1 small tin chopped tomatos
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 80g (2 small packets) dried apricots, cut into small quarters
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/4 cup flaked almonds (optional to serve)
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • salt & pepper

Make sure your lamb is diced into bite-sized pieces and rub in the paprika and cumin spices so that it is evenly coated. Set aside in the fridge whilst you prep your veg & apricots! Once you’ve finely chopped your peppers and onion, brown the onions in a large saucepan/cooking pot with a tsp of coconut oil (or other oil of your choice). Now add in your peppers, chopped tomato, tomato puree and apricots and give the mix a good stir. Season with S&P. Before throwing away the can that your chopped tom’s came in, fill it with water and add this to the pan – the excess water will help give the stew the desired consistency after it’s slow cooking time. Turn the heat to low. In a separate pan/griddle, brown the meat on a medium-high heat with another tsp of coconut oil for a minute or two, smell those gorgeous spices! Now you can add in the lamb to your stew pot, give it a good stir and place the lid on. Leave for as close to 2 hours as you can, the beautiful taste and texture achieved by slow cooking the lamb in the stew is totally worth the wait!

Be sure to prep any side dishes in this time, such as the yummy cauliflower rice, or maybe some steamed green veggies, flat breads or quinoa/couscous – all of which are super simple and quick to prepare – so there’s still time for one more episode! Before you serve, turn the heat up slightly and stir through. Sprinkle over some fresh coriander or almond flakes for a real Moroccan-inspired bowl of love.

Let me know if you love these recipes as much as I do, and any modifications you make/can think of! So this week I finally found my balance in a headstand, the coolest feeling. But the best feeling in the world was when a friend of mine called me to say that with the help and motivation of my blog, she has been working on become a more nourished and healthy version of herself, and she is so ecstatic to have lost a whole stone in weight already this year – but I am even more happy for her for what she has gained. She sounded like a totally new person, so much more positive and cheerful and I could tell that this wasn’t her talking about a ‘diet’ but a total lifestyle change. It doesn’t have to be drastic or a chore, just making simple substitutions in your every day diet and exploring some delicious, healthy alternatives can change your entire attitude towards your food and lifestyle. I’m so proud of her!