24 4 / 2013
Here’s a quick and fabulous entry for my new followers – ta, lads.
Pentacle linseed bread
About 400g of strong white flour
3 tablespoons of oat flakes
2 tablespoons of golden linseeds
40gs of margarine
250mls of warm water
About a tablespoon of quick yeast
A pinch of sea salt
1) Mix the all of the dry ingredients together, then rub in the marg to form crumbs.
2) Make a well in the mixture and add the water, about a quarter at a time. Knead it all in until you’ve got a nice round, soft ball of dough. If it’s too floury, add a touch more water; if it’s too watery, sprinkle on some flour. Easy :)
3) Knead for about ten minutes. This is optional but it’s fun and improves the texture quite a lot. You can leave it to rise if you like, but you don’t need to if you’ve used quick yeast as indicated.
4) Bake in a greased dish for about 35 minutes at 230 degrees Celsius.
Veggie Tempeh “bacon”
Half a block of tempeh
The juice of half a lemon
A garlic clove
A good dash of smoked paprika and black pepper
Organic ketchup to serve
1) Remove the tempeh from the freezer about an hour in advance (or longer if you’re defrosting it in the fridge.) Once it’s soft, slice into chunky lengths and carefully place on a tin foiled tray.
2) Dice up the garlic clove finely and heap it generously onto the slices.
3) Next, squeeze on the lemon juice and lash on the spices.
4) Drizzle on a little oil to keep it from burning, and place in the oven for about 15 minutes (this depends on how defrosted it was, so watch it carefully!), tuning once.
Obviously, these are incredibly good together. Serve hot!
Add a dash of honey or agave syrup to the bread mix wit the margarine, if you like, or brush it onto the surface before baking to form a beautiful, shiny, crunchy crust.
To make the pentacle as seen on my bread, take a sharp, clean knife, and carve the lines into the dough just before baking – be sure to cut deep, of it won’t show up!
Serve with a kale and avacado salad – delicious!
16 4 / 2013
These little lovelies are what I like to call Angel Pies. They’re one of my few non-edible Wiccan recipes – to be honest, it’s more of a technique than a recipe, but I’m overlooking that little detail!
This, basically, is my personally put together, picturesque way of cleansing crystals (or other small objects, if you like) of negative energies, usually before use in spellwork.
These are fun to put together and very pretty, too. Listed below is just one way to arrange the “pies” – they’re very flexible.
You will need:
A glass dish or bowl, large enough to hold whatever you’re cleansing
Some dried flowers and herbs of your choice
Whatever you’re cleansing!
1) Place your crystals/ items in the glass dish, but don’t pack everything in too tightly!
2) Scatter on a few pinches of herbs of your choice – I used sage, for cleansing, and heartsease, because it felt right. Make to get some between the crystals – don’t just pile it all of top!
3) Next, place a layer of dried flowers on top – any that appeal to you will do. (I used dried jasmine, my favourite flower, for the pies in the photo.) Fresh flowers are fine, also.
4) Leave the dish in an airy window for about twenty-four hours – long enough to be charged with the light of the sun and the moon. At least once during this time, spend a few minutes “seeing” the energy become clearer a brighter in the bowl. The time left to cleanse is not fixed – as long as your item feels cleansed and happy, you’re done!
Tried and tested herbs:
Rosemary – believed to keep demons away, this is a very powerful protective herb.
Basil – another protective herb, great for cleansing.
Mint – brings the power and sweetness back into an item.
Dill – for refreshing, has a lovely lifting energy to it.
Sage – the ultimate purifier! This is every witches’ go-to herb – there’s nothing sage can’t cleanse.
Tried and tested flowers:
Heather – linked to several Goddesses, and deeply resonates with the earth. Good for grounding and protecting.
Jasmine – for bringing back the inner sparkle! A good flower for when faith is lagging.
Heartsease – great for items that have been overworked and gone too long without cleansing. A real soul-soother.
Rose – particularly good for cleansing heart-related stones, like rose quartz. Affiliated with angels, rose petals are a lovely, gentle all-rounder.
Once more, to be safe – this is an inedible recipe!
Know your plants! If you are unsure about handling a herb or flower, don’t fucking touch it! Always wash your hands after handling plant material. Never underestimate nature – be safe!
I have only listed a couple of plants to use above – anything that you feel a connection with will help here. My Potion Time post may also help you pick some nice flower and herbs to work with.
I like to charge my crystals outside. If you feel safe about it, and if you’re sure that no hungry birds or pets will find it, then place your dish in the elements for the 24 hours – it’s a lovely way to cleanse things!
Also, you can use salt in these – I normally do, since salt is such a powerful purifier. However, salt can corrode the crystalline structure of some gemstones, as well as certain metals, and probably several other things – so be sure to carefully wash everything afterwards. Salt’s great, but flowers are better if you’re unsure.
You can also fill your bowl with earth… But let’s face it, flowers are prettier!
If you want to cleanse something for a long time, make a mini-pie, by placing one gemstone in a bowl with lots of fragrant flowers, a la pot porri – still functional, and you’ll get lots of compliments on your lovely smelling flower bowls!
23 3 / 2013
So, while I work on a couple of exciting things (both recipe and non-foodie, for here and elsewhere), I thought I’d experiment a bit - with veggie moussaka.
Now, I am fairly flippin’ certain that I haven’t had any manner of moussaka since I turned vegetarian - that’s like, twelve odd years now. Sinful!
The only thing is, I’ve never made it myself, and it’s been so long that I’ve had it that I can’t even really remember what’s supposed to be in it!
So, has anyone got or come across a decent veggie mousakka recipe online that they’d like to share? If it’s a success I promise to post about it and give you lots of love and so on. Ta!
14 3 / 2013
I fucking love homemade soup, there’s just nothing else like it, and this is one of my favourites. This is one of those wonderful recipes that ticks all the boxes – easy, tasty, wholesome and fast (well, fast for homemade soup anyway!) It’s mega lazy too – you only need one dish and you don’t even have to blend anything!
The name reflects the flavours rather than the ingredients, because really you can improvise with any vegetables here, especially ones that are less than fresh. It’s another one that I make at least once a week – everyone loves it!
Oh, I should probably mention that there’s no coconut milk in the batch in the photo (I’ve run out, sob), so expect yours to be a little creamier looking, and a little more thick.
Mummy’s Chunky Beany Chilli and Coconut Soup
Preparation time ten minutes, cooking time about 45 minutes. Serves four tummies.
Four large vine tomatoes, chopped into chunks
One stick of celery, diced finely
One small red onion, diced finely
One courgette, chopped
One large pepper, whatever colour you like
One stock cube
One cup of boiled water
A tin of kidney beans, strained and rinsed
About a quarter tin of coconut milk
A teaspoon of coconut oil
A healthy sprinkle of sage, rosemary, paprika and chilli powder
1) Place your chopped tomatoes, onion, celery and courgette in a casserole dish or similar (as long as it’s relatively deep, it’s fine), toss on the coconut oil, stir, and then roast for about thirty minutes.
2) Have a little look – everything should be getting nice and juicy about now. Time to grab a potato masher and crush everything! You don’t have to go crazy trying to get everything to a fine pulp – just mush away until most of the bigger lumps are gone, and then add the seasoning and stir. See? Easy!
3) Add the pepper to the mix. Now, crumble on the stock cube and add just enough water until everything is covered (I did indicate one cup, but it’s not an exact science, soup never is! Just don’t add too much), stir again, and pop back in the oven for ten more minutes.
4) Take the dish back out, crush again with your potato masher until you’re happy with the chunkiness, and then add the kidney beans, and finally, the coconut milk. Pop back into a hot oven for five minutes to gently heat the last two ingredients.
If it’s looking well but a bit too slooshy for your liking, either add a half a teaspoon of cornflower to the coconut milk, or for a little something extra and a clever way to soak up the excess liquid, toss in a few spoons of uncooked cous cous – delicious!
If you like your soup to be really hot, add a finely chopped red chilli at the start with the tomatoes and such.
01 3 / 2013
LOTS of people across the internet have recently been asking me about veganism and where to start, and I always say the same thing - “write to your local Vegan Society.”
It’s been quite a while since I’ve contacted any societies myself, but after a quick check, I have discovered that most Socs do indeed still send out free information packs, with extremely useful things inside - nutrition wall charts, little booklets on food additives that are and aren’t vegan, etc.
So, here’s the links! These people know what they’re doing, so ASK! :)
Irish Vegetarian Society Advice Page (they don’t seem to send out info packs, but they do have a nice book you can buy!)
Vegan Society Birmingham Contact Page (unsure if they send out info packs)
Vegetarian Society UK (lots of free info sheet downloads, have a browse!)
North American Vegetarian Society Info Page (lots of good nutritional sources listed here!)
Coeliac Society of Ireland (just because!)
28 2 / 2013
I’m Wiccan. (Don’t like it? There’s lots of non-Wiccan veggie blogs for you to follow instead.) I don’t really associate at all with the concepts of “kitchen witch” or “hedge witch” or anything, as I find it all a bit label-y, especially considering that I, like most people, buy almost everything I eat.
This said, I believe there is something deeply magickal about nourishing your own body – it’s self love in its most base form. The ideology behind the kitchen witch is a person who makes most of their magick in the kitchen – well, that much I can certainly associate with!
Below are some recipes for lovely liquids to satisfy the body and soul.
DIY Naturally Flavoured Water
I will openly admit that I’ve robbed this concept from elsewhere on the internet, but it’s too damn good not to share! An excellent way to bribe yourself into drinking more water, too.
You will need:
A large-ish jug, ideally glass (plastic is fine, though, as long as it’s very clean)
Lots of ice
Some VERY clean fruit (suggestions below!)
Er, a fridge!
1) Clean up your fruit! If it’s got stalks then yank ‘em off, if it’s got seeds then de-seed it. Wash everything very, very well – even soak it in a bit of water, if you’ve got time (if you do soak your fruit, ideally do it whole – this way the skin gets clean and the lovely juices don’t go to waste!) Once it’s sparkling, chop into decent sized chunks.
2) Pop your squeaky clean fruit chunks into your jug, grab a potato masher, and mush. Don’t go crazy – we do not want fruit pulp here, we want the lovely whole fruit bits! Just press your fruit a few times to give it a gentle crush and help release all those gorgeous juices.
3) Pop the ice on top – you want about the same amount of ice and fruit in the jug.
4) Fill with water and store in the fridge for handy, tasty hydration whenever you need it, without any refined sugars or additives!
The absolute BEST EVER fruit combinations, tried and tested!
· Half a big lemon sliced, plus a quarter of a cucumber sliced, and a sprig of mint – refreshing and slightly savoury, excellent first thing in the morning!
· Half a box of strawberries quartered, plus half a box of whole (or halved, for super strong colours) blackberries, plus one stick of cinnamon – sweet and spicy!
· Half a large orange sliced, plus half a sliced lemon, plus some thinly chopped strips of fresh ginger – beautiful and fantastic for helping to stay hydrated during a cold!
· A whole apple de-cored and sliced, plus a vanilla pod – gentle and delicious.
· A quartered pear, a sliced lime, and a whole star anise – sweet ‘n’ sour water!
· Halved plums and a large sliced orange, stuck full of cloves – great during winter.
· One quarter of a melon (honeydew is gorgeous) cubed, a sprig of rosemary, and a little drizzle of syrup – interesting and mild.
· Rings of pineapple, half a sliced lime, a sprinkle of sugar, and a few sprigs of mint – another great one for the morning.
· Half a box of blueberries, a quarter of a box of halved cherries, and a whole nutmeg – divine!
· Rocket leaves, a sliced lime, quarter of a sliced cucumber, and a sprig of rosemary – savoury, tastes of green!
· And of course, there’s always good ol’ lemon and lime!
In a glass container, your flavoured water will stay good for three to five days. In a plastic container, it’s probably best to chuck anything that hasn’t been consumed after about thee days.
During this space of time, you can top up the fruit with more water and ice when you run out!
Be careful with berries! They can mould quickly, so just keep an eye on them!
All of the beautiful, colourful fruits in the jug look excellent together – make up your favourite water and serve at a dinner party to impress your guests!
This is where the real magick come in. Taken from a potion recipe book, this recipe for flower syrup turns the most ordinary drink into a heavenly nectar. (A single tablespoon per glass is plenty!)
125gs of edible flowers of your choice – see below.
400gs of golden or caster sugar
400gs of boiling water
1) In the morning, go into your garden and pick your flowers. (Of course, you can buy them, but there’s something incredibly special about growing and picking your own.) Wash very carefully and very thoroughly, then pop in a bowl of water and soak for a while – this gives any lurking nasties a chance to escape!
2) After your dinner, bring the 400gs of water to the boil and then turn off the stove. Strain the flowers, and pop them into a pan with the boiling water, then cover and leave overnight.
3) The next day, strain again (chucking the wilted flowers), add the sugar, and bring the flower liquid to the boil.
4) Gently simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, until the mixture is nice and syrupy.
5) Store in an airtight container for about two weeks – or serve hot, if you like!
The absolute BEST EVER flowers and herbs for cordials, tried and tested!
· Blue or white borage, flowers and leaves – an excellent spiritual tonic.
· Violet and tri-colour violet flowers and leaves – good for the skin and the heart!
· Marigolds – the entire plant is edible and packed with excellent healing properties.
· Nasturtium flowers – peppery, good for bringing your energy levels back to life.
· Rose petals – oh, we all know what these are good for! ;)
· Elderflower heads – a beautiful calming, uplifting effect.
· Primrose flowers – think of sunshine; that’s the feeling these flowers bring to mind.
· Pansy flowers – pansy, the innocent seductress! Also known as love-lies-bleeding, these are great for an achy heart.
· Lemon balm – easier to find dried as tea, it’s one of my favourite flavours in the world! Surprisingly pink, smells beautiful, another balm for the soul.
· Carnations – these pink flowers are another lovely energised aphrodisiac.
· Jasmine – my all-time favourite plant on the face of the earth. This enormously sexy flower will leave you weak at the knees, if you can find enough fresh blossoms, that is!
· Lavender – not as sweet as some of the other flowers above, but we all love a bit of lavender. Looks fab and goes with everything, and tastes of springtime
· Camomile – I put this last because I personally can’t abide it :p This daisy-like plant is easy to grow and is another soul soother and body-healer, particularly good for sensitive souls.
Best in small quantities with the above:
· Bay leaves – easy to find dried, add a nice depth and earthiness, good for grounding the self.
· Oats – Avena Sativa, queen of the crops! Magnificently healing, sweet and warming to the heart and spirit.
· Lemongrass – adds a little lift to your cordial.
· Mint – another good one for the heart, refreshes energies that need it!
· Catnip – a kind of mint, this sweet little plant is another great sexual healer.
· Rosemary – has lots of protective properties, and good for the immune system too!
· Thyme – excellent for the whole chest region, particularly good for a sore throat.
· Basil – this sweet herb was once presented to maidens as a way of marriage proposal, how gorgeous!
First things first – KNOW YOUR FLOWERS. All of the flowers listed here are edible – I know because I have tried them myself, after checking the internet, several reliable books, and even with my ex-florist mother. Why be paranoid, I hear you ask? Because some perfectly everyday, beautiful and innocent-looking flowers are highly toxic – sweet pea and foxglove, for example. If you’re not sure, DO NOT CONSUME.
Secondly, this cordial is designed to be diluted. It depends on your flowers of choice, but mixing with white sparkling wine is always a good option! Also try with brandy, rum, pale ale, vodka or my favourite, whiskey! It can also be diluted down with hot water into an intoxicating tea, or simply served with lemonade.
Add a little drop of glycerine to the mix to help keep the lovely bright colours (especially with pink flowers)!
Pick a couple of fresh flowers to serve floating in your drink – fabulous!
Want some lovely cordial in the midst of winter, but your garden’s all dead? No problem! Simply pick some blossoms, gently wash and dry them, and pop them into a little plastic zip-lock bag and lay flat in the freezer. Tah-dah!
26 2 / 2013
We’ve all done it at some point – whether you’ve come home from work after forty-five extra miserable minutes spent in traffic, or you’re dying sick and just want to sleep, or you’ve been sprung with an unexpected guest who just wants a cup of tea at your normal dinner time – whatever the reason, your tummy is screaming with the emptiness and all of a sudden your diet can kiss your ass and the phone is in your hands and all you want is TAKE-AWAY. That wily mistress of us all, the demon of many a good-hearted foodie… Full of fat, salt and MSG, heavily processed and bloody expensive to boot, it can be a nice occasional treat but usually, it’s just not worth it.
So if you’re feeling the cravings bite at your intestines, just remember the horrible “too-much cheese” hungover feeling you got from that last pizza, put your credit card safely back into your wallet, and try one of these recipes instead. (They all make excellent lunches, too!)
Italian – Creamy veggie cabonara
Preparation time 5 minutes, cooking time 20 minutes. Serves two tummies.
Two cups of your favourite pasta
A cup of Quorn chicken, ham slices or just some tofu
Finely chopped red onion
A few button mushrooms, sliced
A handful of peas
About 75gs of cream cheese
Some slivers of smoked cheese
Two chopped tomatoes (optional – I liked them!)
A dash of smoked paprika, black pepper and a little thyme
1) Cook some of your pasta in some boiled salted water.
2) In a separate pan, fry up the onions in a little oil. Add the frozen Quorn chicken now, if you’re using it – wait ‘til nearer the end if using tofu or ham pieces.
3) When the onions have gone clear, add the mushrooms and fry for another minute. Pop the peas in, too!
4) Make the sauce – simply stir in the cream cheese, throw in the spices, and add a splash of milk if you need to thin it out a bit.
5) Serve topped with smoked cheese and tomatoes, on a sexy bed of fresh rocket.
Chinese – Sweet ‘n’ Sour
Preparation time ten minutes, cooking time 25 minutes. Serves two tummies.
A cup of rice
Half a block of tofu
A diced red pepper
Some leaves of shredded purple cabbage
Several mushrooms, all sliced up
Half a tin of pineapple, plus the juice
One sliced spring onion
Two cloves of garlic
Two tablespoons of peanut butter
Two tablespoons of rice vinegar (or apple cider for a milder taste)
A good dash of soya sauce
Five spice, black pepper, paprika, nutmeg and cinnamon
1) Cook the rice.
2) Stir-fry everything else, mixing in the vinegar and pineapple juice near the end. Easy!!
Thai – Yummy Noodles
Preparation time two minutes, cooking time ten minutes. Serves two tummies.
Your choice of noodles – I like the fine egg kind or whole wheat
Half a block of tofu
A handful of peas
A few sliced mushrooms
A few leaves of kale, ripped into little chunks
Two cloves of garlic, chopped
The juice of half a lemon
Several healthy splashes of soya sauce
A dash of five spice, black pepper, and coriander leaf
1) Break the noodles up into slightly smaller strings, then pop into a pot and boil.
2) Meanwhile, rapidly stir-fry the tofu, peas, mushrooms and kale.
3) Lash on the spices and a little soya sauce.
4) Strain the noodles, put into your wok with the rest of your ingredients, then add the lemon juice and more soya sauce to taste. Done!
Moroccan – Spicy Chickpea Cous Cous
Preparation time two minutes, cooking time ten minutes. Serves two tummies.
Two cups of cous cous
Half a can of chickpeas
A handful of apricots, chopped
A spring onion
A handful of peas
Half a vegetable stock cube
A tablespoon of olive oil, plus a little extra drizzle for cooking
Two tablespoons of Reggae Sauce (or just tomato puree, but Reggae Sauce is awesome!)
A tablespoon of lemon juice or cider vinegar
Paprika, thyme, mint and coriander
1) Crumble the stock cube into the cous cous, and soak for ten minutes in some boiled water – that’s right, you don’t even need to cook it!
2) Fire up the pan! Toss in your rehydrated cous cous and then throw in everything else, and fry for a few minutes until the peas are cooked.
3) Take it off the heat, and drizzle on the rest of the oil. Serve on a bed of rocket.
24 2 / 2013
So, you remember that cheeky little “mostly” up above, in the subtitle? Well, yeah, time for that!
I intend to do a full report on the assorted types of vegetarian, natural and animal-friendly makeup and cosmetic products I’ve encountered across the years, but ‘til then, here’s some lovely pale foundation.
Now, this actually comes two or three shades lighter too, so this is just “me” pale, if I’m honest. (Bearing in mind that I’m half-Greek, my skin has a lot of very sallow and yellow-y tones.) Either way, this foundation a beautiful shade, so I’ve been recommending it of lots of friends recently –and it smells fucking gorgeous, like Baileys in a wee jar!
The lighting isn’t perfect because it’s dull as anything here today. Oh well! (It’s not as yellow as it looks in some of the photos, honest!)
Warning, naked face ahead! Before:
I went years without foundation because none of it sat right on my skin – until I found this when I was 18. Aside from looking lovely, it’s lightweight and doesn’t screw your skin up and it blends quickly and easily. Perfection!
11 2 / 2013
I’ve actually just counted and I have four unfinished entries written, in various stages of completion, not to mention lots and lots of ideas jotted down in my notebook. I swear, I’ll get them all written up some day!! Curse you, life, and your wily time-stealing ways!
Until then, here is a picture of the strawberries’n’cream dinosaur cupcakes I made for my son’s second birthday yesterday, ‘nawww. (Recipe not included because they’re completely bog-standard cupcakes with strawberry flavouring.) Simplicity is plenty when you’ve got a little yummy mummy magic up your sleeve :)
07 1 / 2013
Here’s a nice little easy lovely lifting thingy to help shake off the winter blues. (That said, I discovered this in one of the three recipe books I got over the Christmas!) While they might make you think of golden springtime picnics, berries are exceptionally good at this time of year in particular – they’re simply packed full of nutrients to help solidify your immune system against any lurking seasonal nasties. These are gently heated to help preserve the fruit and warm the heart.
Yummy Berry Compote
Preparation five minutes, cooking time is five to ten minutes. This makes two huge servings.
Half a punnet (about 120g) of lovely fresh strawberries
A big handful (about 80g) of blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries – they’re all good!
Two big tablespoons of Demerara sugar
One or two tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
A weeny sprinkle of dried mint and an equally weeny hit of cinnamon
1) Wash all the berries very carefully. Remove the lovely looking green bit from the strawberries (because they’re really not lovely to eat, you know!) and then cut them in halves down the middle and in half again. Pop the quartered strawberries and the other berries into a bowl and soak in cold water for thirty minutes, or as long as you can, or even not at all if you want, but it makes quite a difference!
2) Strain and pop into a warm pan, then add the sugar and stir for a minute – inhale deeply, the smell is divine!
3) Add the lemon juice, mint and cinnamon, and cook gently on a medium heat for about ten minutes, or until the fruit is soft but still retaining its shape, and the juice is nice and dark and syrupy.
4) Eat immediately whilst hot, or alternatively allow to cool and store in a tightly-lidded jar – it stays good for about a week.
This is absolutely supreme with some lovely hot porridge on a cold winter’s morning! Also, do try it with some delicious oat cream, a sprinkle of flaked almonds and a drizzle of syrup, too. Or just pop some in yoghurt. You can’t go wrong, it’s all amazing!!
Naturally vegan and gluten-free, this is really excellent for dinner party desserts – just serve with a bit of vegan ice-cream or on a bed of mashed up gluten-free biscuits, or just by itself if you like! You can even make it the night before!
Berries – dark red berries in particular, like strawberries and cherries – are not only high in antioxidant vitamins such as vit C, but they’re also a good source of iron.
Got a nibbly dribbly teething toddling nipper? Me too. Take the basic recipe here, but leave out the sugar, half the lemon juice content, and cook with a little added water. Mash up, add a crushed banana and a little yoghurt, and when it’s nice and cool, spoon the mix into an ice cube tray and freeze. Serve in one of those brilliant little net feeder thingies – absolutely excellent for sore teeth, and particularly good for older babies who have no patience for normal teethers that taste like nothing!
Other lovely ingredients to try – cherries (nom nom, my favourite!), little cubes of melon, that sugar pickled stem ginger stuff, lovely big juicy golden sultanas, bramley apple cubes, pear pieces, pineapple chunks, lime juice, a little hit of nutmeg, a nice big squeeze of pomegranate juice…