Chia Pink Grapefruit Breakfast

Here’s a little post of a new favourite breakfast recipe I’ve been making a lot these days.

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Usually I eat pink grapefruits for breakfast by slicing them in half, loosening the segments with a knife, sprinkling lots of sugar over and eating with a spoon. Delicious but not so nutritious with all that sugar. This version is somewhat healthier, (if like me you ate way too much cheese over Christmas), and also serves as a second alarm clock with the ginger, grapefruit, mint and passion fruit combo giving you a big slap around the face.

Serves 2

4 tablespoons chia seeds

1 pink grapefruit

100 ml milk (you can use coconut or almond if you prefer)

2 tablespoons desiccated coconut (unsweetened)

1 teaspoon honey

2cm piece of ginger, finely grated

1 passion fruit

Fresh mint leaves

Start with the chia seeds in a bowl. Segment the grapefruit holding it over the bowl of chia seeds so that you catch all the juices, (this youtube video shows you exactly how it’s done). Add the milk, desiccated coconut, honey and ginger, mix well together and set aside to soak for at least 30 minutes or overnight if you’re not a morning person. When you’re ready to eat, cut the passion fruit in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp, add some fresh mint and that is it!

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Give it a try, it’s perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, you can make it in advance and take it to work in a flask or plastic container. It makes a lovely change from porridge and is much more filling than a juice or smoothie. Add your own favourite flavours if you’re not a fan of pink grapefruit and ginger. try mashing a banana into it or some raspberries, replace the grapefruit juice with orange juice, whatever takes your fancy!

Hope your 2015 is off to a great start x

Images | Ajda Mehmet

Roasted Squash and Lentil Soup

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Turkish lentil soup or mercimek çorbasi is one of those dishes that reminds me of being a kid. A sick kid come to think of it. My mum used to always make this for my sisters and I when we were feeling ill. Maybe that’s why I love it so much because it was always served with buttery toast and lots of sympathy? Anyway, it was and still is one of my favourite, most comforting things to eat. My mum’s version is the best although I do love to squeeze loads of extra lemon on top of mine. This Instagram post seemed to be a big hit recently with lots of lovely feedback from people that tried it out and loved it so I thought I’d share the recipe here. It’s just so easy and tasty, all year round in my opinion but especially now that it is much colder.

Not that mercimek çorba needs any pimping (it’s a world of goodness for the soul all on its own), this roasted squash alternative, if you will, brings this humble soup recipe to a whole new level. If you are 1 or 2 persons I advise making this whole batch as its keeps in the fridge for a few days.

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Roasted Squash and Lentil Soup

Serves 6-8

You will need:

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2 inch cubes

1 large carrots, peeled and halved

2 onions, peeled and quartered

4 cloves of garlic, peeled

Handful of thyme

Olive oil

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp smoked paprika

200g red lentils

2 litres of bone broth or chicken or vegetable stock

Juice of 1 lemon

Sea salt and cracked black pepper

To garnish:

Crème fraîche

Hemp seeds

Garden cress

Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F). Toss all of the prepared vegetables and sprigs of thyme into a large roasting tray, drizzle generously with some good olive oil and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Roast in the oven for approximately 45 minutes, turning halfway through, until all of the vegetables are soft and have begun to singe and caramelise on the edges.

When the roasted vegetables have about 20 minutes left to cook, you can make a start on the lentils. Place a large, heavy-based saucepan on a medium heat and add a glug of olive oil. When the oil is hot, but not smoking, add the garam masala, cumin, cayenne, coriander and paprika and stir with a wooden spoon for about a minute. Add the lentils and continue to stir and cook for a further minute until all the lentils are coated in the spices and oil. Pour in your stock, increase the heat to high and bring the lentils to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat back down to a simmer, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes.

At this stage your roasted vegetables should be ready. Add the entire contents of the roasting tray to the lentils, sprigs of thyme and all, pour in the lemon juice, stir well to combine and cover and cook for a further 10 minutes to allow the vegetables to take on the flavour of all of the spices. Once the soup is ready set it aside to cool for about half an hour.

You can use a hand blender or a regular blender to purée the soup, although you may need to do it in batches if using the latter. Once the soup has been blitzed and is completely smooth, taste it and season well with sea salt and cracked black pepper. To garnish, sprinkle over some hemp seeds and garden cress and a generous dollop of crème fraîche

Lovely served with sliced, crusty bread, toasted with grated gruyère cheese!

Here’s me perfecting the dollop! All in a days work…

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These images are the result of another inspiring collaboration with Holly {Avenue Lifestyle}. We headed to Belgium together to meet Christian Kocx, owner of online shop Mooi Goed (selling contemporary design home accessories), to shoot his stunning home. Well Holly did that part, I tucked myself away in the kitchen roasting veggies and making soup. You can read all the lovely things Holly wrote about this soup here, she’s a keeper that one. Thank you Christian and family for letting me take over your kitchen and Holly your house!

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Hope you like this one! x

CREDITS | Images Holly Marder {Avenue Lifestyle}

Shakshuka

Nothing sweeter than breakfast with best girls. I’m not talking about your average brunch, NOPI does it best, extra special. Ottolenghi’s french toast with star anise sugar and orange yoghurt still has me drooling and I have been making it that way ever since. Sometimes I use a combination of cinnamon and mixed spice (allspice) sugar but, for me, french toast without a little sweetness just doesn’t cut it!

There are times when I only want a savoury breakfast. I definitely have an unhealthy addiction to eggs, I eat far too many, any which way, with every meal pretty much. Shakshuka is best when I’m not starving and I make the time (not that it takes long to make), all store cupboard ingredients and super easy too.

I use Ottolenghi’s recipe from Jerusalem except I leave out the peppers and a couple of other little changes.

Serves 2

Olive oil

1 large onion, halved and sliced

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 tsp tomato purée

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp sugar

200ml water

2 large eggs

3 tbsp thick yoghurt (I use Turkish)

Pinch of cumin

Drop of balsamic vinegar

Sea salt and black pepper

Heat a little oil in a non-stick pan and fry the onion on a medium heat for about 5 minutes. When the onions have softened and are beginning to colour add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, cumin and sugar and cook for another minute or so. Pour in the water, increase the heat until it begins to boil and then reduce it slightly and let it simmer away and thicken for about 10 minutes. Taste and season with plenty of sea salt and pepper. Crack in two eggs and simmer gently until the whites are fully cooked and the yolk is still runny. Serve with a couple of dollops of yoghurt. I use Turkish yoghurt as it has a sharper flavour and I also mix in a pinch of cumin and a drop of balsamic vinegar. Serve with some crusty bread and fresh parsley if you have it.

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And my recent Instagram post

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Admiration Inspiration

I spend many an hour on Instagram, usually oohing and ahhing over cute puppies, lush landscapes, drool-worthy dishes or divine interior design, standard right? That’s what it’s for?

I’ve been following Marte Marie Forsberg for quite sometime now and have always admired her posts. Not just her photography, the words she writes too. Her photos are beautiful, simple, yet seem to speak a thousand words. Her words transport you and make you want to be right there with her.

As a food stylist that wants to continue to learn and improve, I was delighted when I found out that Marie was running a food photography and styling workshop right across the water. And, when I found out friend and fellow blogger Rincy was going too, well, I was extra excited and we decided to make a long weekend of it!

I am not a photographer, in fact before the workshop I had never picked up an SLR in my life. As I was attending the workshop from a food stylist’s point of view I didn’t think I’d need one, but after emailing the workshops producer, the very talented Zoe Timmers, she recommended I bring one along so I could take part in the tasks throughout the day. I’m so glad I did (thank you Lily, you know why).

From start to finish the workshop was charming and delightful. Set in the beautiful town of Shaftesbury, Dorset, Marie’s chocolate-box cute thatched cottage played host to the first part of the day. We were welcomed with hot chocolate and pastries as we sat around a candlelit table decorated with fresh flowers and vines, perfect.

The group was small, intimate and full of people from all walks of life, from different countries, with differing interests and levels of experience. Phew, a relief, we were all there for our own individual reasons and I wasn’t the only one that had never used an SLR before. Marie spoke about how she started as a food and lifestyle photographer and her journey thus far, inspiring in itself. She also spoke about visual storytelling which really made sense to me. I have always thought about the importance of making sure a photo makes sense, that people can easily tell what the dish is and that they either want to eat the food or make the food.

The remainder of the day was spent between the ancient stone walls of a 13th century English Tea Room, the stylish Grosvenor Hotel and the famous Gold Hill depicted in this Hovis advert from 1973.

This place couldn’t be more charming if it tried.

I could tell you so much more about what we learnt and the tasks we were set but I won’t. You will have to go and see for yourself. All you need to know is that we were all so well looked after, made to feel so welcome and encouraged throughout the day and both Marie, Zoe and Marie’s assistant Ariana were incredibly friendly, engaging, accessible and the workshop left me feeling charmed and inspired.

Here are some of my favourite photos from the day.

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