Vegetarian

Friday Favourites: Cookbooks

Regular readers of The Amazing Blog will know that when it comes to cooking, we’re almost a perfect split. Half of us are foodies, while the rest would rather exhaust a basic recipe, than slave away in the kitchen. That said, it is universally agreed that a good cookbook can make all the difference, encouraging even the most unenthusiastic amongst us to don an apron and wooden spoon. Luckily for you, we’ve taken one for the team, correlating four new recipe books worth a try. We’re sure you’ll find one just for you!

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Firstly, many of us are trying to introduce meat-free meals into our weekly diets, meaning a good cookbook can prevent the need to exist solely on a nut roast or vegetable curry. Our cookbook of choice is The Modern Vegetarian, designed to inspire even the most uninspired, encouraging delicious vegetable-based meals packed full of exotic flavours and textures.

Written by world-renowned chef, Maria Elia, this cookbook aims to prove that cutting meat out of a meal doesn’t cut out the flavour; instead, it is a gateway to try new flavour combinations and techniques. Elia’s experience is reputable; she has a Michelin recommendation and has earned 2 AA rosettes. Viewers of Sunday Brunch and Saturday Kitchen may also recognise her, having appeared as a guest chef on both. We don’t know about you, but we feel at ease knowing that recipes have been tried and tested by an expert – because whether an avid chef or not, few have the patience for a disastrous result! The book itself covers everything from ‘Sophisticated Starters’ to ‘Sofa Suppers’, but we were most pleased by the ‘Stylish Sides’ section. All too often, we’re faced with plain boiled rice or pasta to accompany dishes – something Elia has challenged and avoided. Instead, you can transport yourself to India with a Red Lentil Dhal (page 114) or try your hand at an Aubergine Houmous (page 113). Whichever recipe takes your fancy most, you’ll be sure to enjoy the conversational element of the book, with personal notes written by Elia, substantiating the authenticity of the dishes and making for an enjoyable evening read.

To explore innovative vegetable based dishes for yourself, then The Modern Vegetarian can be purchased here for £16.99.

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There's no doubt that the smell of food entices you into the kitchen, but what about our other senses? This is something we hadn't contemplated, so we were intrigued by Sybil Kapoor's Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste, Sound cookbook. This book recognises the combined importance of all five senses, dedicating a chapter to each, filled with delicious recipes, and reliable advice, from layering flavours, to using temperature and sound.

Kapoor has a wealth of knowledge in the realms of cooking; as the author of eight books, she is one of the most respected food writers in Britain and continues to propel her knowledge through a variety of publications. Each chapter is based around one of the five senses: Taste, Flavour (smell), Texture (touch and sound), Temperature (touch) and Appearance; however, our favourie part of the book, is the integrated feel. Each chapter is intertwined, with theory and advice allowing the reader to establish the links between senses. Kapoor aims to prove that by using a little theory and practical testing, you will be able to produce simple, yet delicious dishes. Now this all may sound a little complex to a less than enthusiastic chef, however, even ready meal lovers in the office were taken by the carefully designed recipes, especially the Stir-fried Squid with Chilli and Black Bean Sauce (page 144) and the Sticky Asian Beef Kebab with Cucumber Dip (page 92). For those with a sweet tooth, the Sticky Spiced Lemon Gin Cake (page 75) also proved to be a big hit - so whether you're interested in the links between the senses or not, you'll be sure to learn new tips and tricks to create delicious dinner party worthy meals.

To tempt your own senses, Sight, Smell, Touch, Taste, Sound is available here for £24.00.

If you're looking to be transported to more exotic lands this Friday, then Baladi Palestine - A Celebration of Food from Land and Sea by Joudie Kalla is just the cookbook for you! Taking equal inspiration from her historical background and personal experience of Palestine, we were struck by how little we knew about this exotic and varying landscapes. These conditions create diverse and new flavours, all of which are included in Kalla's recipes. With twists on traditional dishes, this book has an authentic yet innovative feel to it. Better still, it is jam-packed with stunning photography, from food images to landscapes and the people of Palestine. We were sold before even trying the recipes - quite an accolade!

With over 250 pages, this visually interesting book is equally colourful in terms of culinary delights. Flicking through the pages, you're met with everything from spiced lamb, to filled speciality pastries and watermelon juice. One of our favourite elements of this book is the splitting of chapters, not merely by dish, but by the areas in which the ingredients are sourced. Varying from Markets and Village Life to The Bakery and The Farm, a quick flick through this cookbook tempts the senses, but equally gives a quick snapshot of the Palestine lifestyle. We recommend the chapter: From The River To The Sea, in particular, the Saffron Monkfish and Vegetable Skewers (page 177), delicious as the weather picks up.

To inject a little bit of culture into your cooking, you can purchase Baladi Palestine - A Celebration of Food from Land and Sea here for £26.

Last but by no means least, we discovered The RAF 100 Cookbook. Created to celebrate the centenary of the Royal Air Force, this cookbook contains 100 recipes from 100 countries, split by chapter, into monumental moments of RAF history. We love the concept behind this cookbook, drawing inspiration from the saying that "an army marches on its stomach" and taking the research from acting and former servicemen and servicewomen to create authentic and delicious recipes from around the world. Additionally, this cookbook contains the recipes of top household chefs such as James Martin, Tom Kerridge and Cyprus Todiwala, emerging a plethora of knowledge to inspire your weekly menu.

We often find that cookbooks are very niche in their flavour combinations, and while this is certainly no bad thing, we like the variety of this cookbook. Each of the 100 countries are covered in a sensitive and informative manner, with a detailed explanation of the RAF's involvement alongside each recipe. It is clear just how much time and effort has gone into this book, spreading as far as to include eye-catching photographs of the dishes, alongside black and white images of the RAF in past years. The way in which the chapters are segregated stays true to the inspiration behind the book, from The Early Years to The Modern Age, conflicts are addressed through the medium of cultural dishes. Additionally, a percentage of each sale is donated to one of five RAF charities, directly supporting the inspiration of the cookbook. It is very difficult to pinpoint certain dishes here; however, the likes of the Ascension Island's Saint Helenian Fishcakes (page 300) and Maldivian Fish Curry (page 288) stand out for their exotic nature. The point here though, is that this is a cookbook for all occasions - whether you're looking for a local dish or one from further afield, you need only flick through to the country of your choice for an authentic and delicious recipe.

To inject 100 new recipes into your repertoire, you can purchase The RAF 100 Cookbook here for £25.

Butterscotch, Mixed Nut Brittle and Salted Caramel by Fudge Kitchen

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All of us at The Amazing Blog are huge fans of Fudge Kitchen and their addictively sweet treats. Having never previously reviewed their products before, we leapt at the opportunity when it finally came around. Fudge Kitchen very kindly sent us three of their products, including some Salted Caramel, Butterscotch and Mixed Nut Brittle

Fudge Kitchen has been making hand-crafted treats for over 30 years, using traditional techniques to make new sweet treats. Each piece of confectionery is hand decorated in a small batch, and contain only natural ingredients. The Salted Caramel is utterly delectable; sweet caramel is topped with thick milk chocolate and pink Himalayan rock salt crystals. It had a rich, sweet and salty flavour that left us wanting more. The Butterscotch is a relatively new product for Fudge Kitchen. Creamy Gourmet Butterscotch is smothered in milk chocolate, combining an iconic British favourite with the velvety texture of smooth milk chocolate. The butterscotch is vegetarian-friendly and contains no gluten so everyone can enjoy this. The mixed nut brittle was the perfect snack to bring to work for when we needed a sugar boost. The thick caramel brittle is infused and filled with mixed nuts adding extra texture, flavour and snap.  This snack is also gluten-free and vegetarian-friendly.

We cannot wait to try Fudge Kitchen again and hope to do so soon. If you want to try these delicious treats then click here for the Butterscotch which will cost £6.50, the Mixed Nut Brittle is available here for £6.00 and the Salted Caramel here for £6.50
 

Dairy Free Chocolates – Moo Free

While going dairy-free is somewhat of a fad at the moment, it is so for a reason. Of course, some people are lactose-intolerant, but for the rest of us, we can acknowledge when maybe certain ingredients don’t agree with us or we don’t agree with the ethics behind the production process. When we here at The Amazing Blog heard about Moo Free, the leading ‘free from’ chocolate manufacturer, and their vast range of dairy free chocolate products, our ears pricked up. We were able to try the Original Chocolate Bar, the Caramelised Hazelnut Nibs Bar and the Cheeky Orange Chocolate Bar.

The chocolate recipe recently won the award for ‘Best Vegan Chocolate’ at the VegFest Awards 2016, as voted for by the public, and we can certainly see why. After sampling this assortment of goodies, we can most definitely vouch that it tastes just like regular dairy chocolate. Moo Free uses rice milk in lieu of cow’s milk, creating that ever-familiar delicious milk chocolate taste. This spectacular chocolate is not only free from dairy, but it is also free from gluten, wheat, lactose, soya and casein, completely vegetarian and vegan, and certified organic with ethically sourced ingredients. Colour us impressed.

Moo Free chocolate comes in a huge array of flavours and forms. Their baking drops are ideal for some delicious dairy free muffins or cookies, and their chocolate bars come in a whole range of additional flavours including fruit and nut, crunchy banana, mint and honeycomb. Moo Free even has advent calendars, chocolate Santas and Easter eggs.

You can find Moo Free products across thousands of stores across the UK, such as Waitrose, Sainsbury’s and Asda. Find your nearest stockist here.

 

Passionfruit , Chocolate Orange and Sour Cherry Curds - Thursday Cottage

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What we really miss during the Winter months at The Amazing Blog, is the vibrancy of summer tastes, we have always found that just as everything looks brighter in the summer so too are the flavours stronger. While it might be hard to believe it's June by looking out the window, you can certainly tell it is as you stroll through the supermarket aisles. As big fans of summer flavours we couldn’t wait to get our (oven) mitts on Thursday Cottage’s delicious jams, curds and marmalades. We love the twist that they put on traditional flavours to create unique and mouth-wateringly good products. We decided that we had to try their Sour Cherry Curd, Passionfruit Curd and Chocolate Orange Curd to really get us in the summer spirit.

Thursday Cottage takes great care in choosing the best ingredients for their products and combines a variety of traditional and unusual fruits to recreate your favourite summer flavours. It’s, therefore, no real surprise that they’ve won so many awards including the 2010 AND 2012 Great Taste Awards. We loved the Passion Fruit Curd, which had a delectably moreish sweet and tart flavour that was fantastic at jazzing up some plain vanilla ice cream or adding a zing to a Pavlova. In fact, it was this curd that won the much sought after award in 2012.The other two curds we tried are relatively new to Thursday Cottage as they only came out in 2016. The Sour Cherry Curd is bursting with a vibrant taste and sent us back to our childhoods – just as it promised it would. The Chocolate Orange seemed like something entirely different and unusual. With a smooth and creamy texture, the curd had chocolatey overtones with subtle hints of Orange coming through; this flavour is so good it was awarded one gold star at the 2016 Great Taste Awards. We found that the chocolate orange was a great addition to cakes, acting as a moist and flavoursome filling. What’s more, these curds are vegetarian. Thursday Cottage uses pectin instead of gelatin so everyone can enjoy these delicious table favourites.

You can purchase all of these curds here on Thursday Cottage’s website for as little as £2.65. While you’re there, we seriously recommend checking out their other items as well as the recipes they suggest for their products. With this brand by your side, you’ll have the best desserts all summer!

 

Health Supplements - Friday Favourites

At The Amazing Blog we know that beauty is not actually skin-deep and also comes from deep within. So it is important to look after your whole body in order to feel healthier, happier and more beautiful. With this in mind we have compiled a few of our favourite health supplements that will have you feeling, looking and being the best that you can be in no time.What is more, all of these products are so easy to add to your everyday routine that soon you won’t be able to live without them.

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First on our list is the ever brilliant Kiki Health. We love this brand and actually featured them a few months ago in a blog post about healthy snacks. Today, however, we will be telling you about their superb supplement, called Natures Living Superfood. This product is so easy to incorporate into your daily routine and once you read more about it, we’re sure you will be as obsessed with it as we are!

Designed to support your daily nutritional needs, Nature’s Living Superfood is made from 34 carefully selected ingredients, consisting of plant juices, algaes, enzymes, sea vegetables and bacterial cultures. Not only is this made of entirely natural whole food ingredients but it is absolutely full of probiotics, all of which help aid the body in absorbing the nutrients it needs for digestive support.

You simply need to take ½ a teaspoon a day, which can increase to 1 teaspoon over time, and that’s it. The supplement can be added to a smoothie for an extra boost, or added to a glass of water and enjoyed by itself. We think it's a delicious addition on top of a salad. Suitable for vegans and wholly organic there is nothing we don’t love about this product.

You can buy Kiki Health's Nature's Living Superfood supplement here from only £7.00.

The next product to get you feeling beautiful on the inside and out comes from Terranova. Terranova has designed a wonderful Living Multinutrient Complex capsule. These capsules are a holistic innovation as the product uses whole, unadulterated, phytonutrient-rich foods and botanicals. With each ingredient having been carefully selected for its potential to fulfil particular functions the product has been designed to give you the best multipurpose protection.

Terranova have come up with the idea of synergistic nutrition which, simply put, means that each supplement and blend is holistically and synergistically designed for maximum absorption capacity in the body – so you will be able to absorb more of the important nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

These little capsules are perfect for those who feel tired in the day time or for those who have a tendency to catch colds. The ingredients help boost your immune system and are packed with antioxidants. All you have to do is take three a day, one with each meal, and you should begin to feel incredible effects within a few weeks. For more information, have a look at Living Nutrition's blog entry on the product - It's amazing what feremented turmeric can achieve!

You can purchase Living Multinutrient Complex capsules here for £27.25

Lastly, but by absolutely no means least, Living Nutrition’s Turmeric capsules. Turmeric Alive is known as ‘the king of herbs’ because of its powerful medicinal properties. The main component of the herb is curcumin, and it’s this that causes the wonderful health effects that taking turmeric daily will give you.

Turmeric Alive is an excellent supplement for many reasons, but particularly if you suffer from arthritis or joint problems as it acts as a powerful anti-inflammatory. It has also been shown to reduce your risk of heart and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. If these aren’t reasons enough to encourage you to begin taking turmeric, then you should also know that it has been shown to help the body in preventing cancer.

This particular brand of supplement is truly remarkable because Living Nutrition uses fermentation to help activate the properties in their herbs. The process of fermentation helps the body absorb and digest more of the beneficial nutrients in the food. By fermenting their turmeric Living Nutrition have produced a product that not only helps the body absorb more of the turmeric, but also lets this happen in a natural way. The problem with most other turmeric supplements is that they try to unnaturally increase its effect and the digestive system and body is unable to handle this. Living Nutrition’s product on the other hand is completely safe but still has enhanced effects. If you are interested in the product and want more information, have a look at Living Nutrition's blog entry on the product - It's amazing what feremented turmeric can achieve!

You can purchase Living Nutrition’s Turmeric capsules here for £24.99