FFAF, food and felines

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Hello you lovely lot. I want to send out the biggest, virtual hug to all of you who read last week’s blog on mental health. You shared your personal stories which will have touched others reading them, they certainly moved me. You also showed kindness in reaching out to each other. It’s was so heartwarming to read your comments and I thank you for your compassion. I’ll apologise, in advance, if I don’t reply to each and every comment as there are a lot coming in but, I promise, I will read and I appreciate every one. Thank you.

Now on to fashion for a moment. Have you been keeping up with our regular weekend fashion slot at 4pm? Fashion Fix At Four! If not, it’s featured at 4 on Saturday and Sunday. We get to see several different outfits, complete with accessories, from many different brands and styling advice from top experts. I’ll be with you for this weekend’s ‘FFAF’, ha ha! My most recent QVC buy is from Rino & Pelle.

It’s the faux leather jacket that featured on FFAF a couple of weeks ago. It was love at first sight and I think we’ll be together for many happy years to come! Here it is teamed with a gorgeous new jumper which is coming up on Thursday in the 2 hour Phase Eight premiere show. I love their quality and have been a fan of theirs for years. This pastel pink jumper has batwing sleeves and a flattering length. Just perfect for this time of year as we prepare to transition to springtime.

I promised you recipes and I haven’t forgotten. It’s been four weeks since I started a new, healthy eating regime. It’s basically vegan but I’m ensuring I’m not being a junk food vegan as it’s very easy to become quite unhealthy if you don’t educate yourself. I have had a great head start by using Christianne Wolf’s Body Rescue Plan. It helped me to have a better understanding of nutrition. She now has a vegan version with plenty of recipes. I’ve been making my own up as it’s just convenient and I really enjoy it. It’s almost meditative. I’ve lost 8 pounds so far and am feeling great! So that my blog isn’t too long I’ll just include three recipes I’ve promised to publish today.

Cashew ‘cheese’ dip

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Let’s just be honest… this isn’t going to taste like real cheese but it has a lovely light cheesy flavour, thanks to the use of nutritional yeast, and the texture is similar to that of hummus. It’s full of good fats thanks to the nuts and a good dose of vitamin B12 courtesy of the nutritional yeast flakes.

  • 1 mug of cashews soaked overnight in water
  • 2 crushed cloves of garlic (or less if you prefer but I can’t get enough)
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
  • Salt and pepper

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend. I have been using my Ninja machines on a daily basis (and my Jason Vale slow juicer and Vitamix!). I just pulse a few time and it’s done. I sometimes add chilli flakes. You can add any herbs you like to it. I think fresh rosemary would work well with the garlic. Here I chopped up some parsnips and sweet potatoes and roasted them in the oven with a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil for around half an hour at 180, turning them every now and again. Oh my goodness, yum is all I can say!

Nut roast

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This was my first attempt at making one from scratch. It was very easy. This recipe comes from The Vegetarian Society. I found it online. I omitted the apricots. Reason being I simply forgot to buy them! Also forgot to put the soy sauce in but it tasted amazing!

  • 200g red lentils
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 50g sun-dried tomatoes (oil reserved), drained and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 50g dried apricots, chopped
  • 200g mixed nuts, chopped
  • 50g mixed seeds
  • 1½ tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt and pepper

 

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.

2. Cook the lentils in plenty of water for 15 minutes, then drain using a fine sieve.

3. While the lentils cook, heat a little of the sun-dried tomato oil in your largest frying pan and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened.

4. Add all the other ingredients, except the seasoning.

5. Stir really well, add the cooked lentils and stir again, seasoning to taste.

6. Line a loaf tin (approx 20cm x 10cm) with non-stick baking paper and spoon in the mixture, patting down well.

7. Bake for 50 minutes and allow to cool slightly before removing and cutting into thick slices.

I found this sooo easy but one thing I’d really stress is to really press the mixture down into the tin as firmly as possible. I don’t think I did so it was a little crumbly but still perfectly delicious. Also, I’d advise turning the loaf out onto a cooling rack. I let mine sit in the tin too long and it kind of perspired inside the tin. Luckily this didn’t affect the taste, either, but could be another reason for the crumbliness. Oops. To go with it I steamed some cabbage, roasted parsnips and spuds and made some stuffing. I topped it all of with a nice cheat treat, instant gravy. It went down perfectly with my lot and my daughter kept going back for more.

Carrot muffins

I’ve been making fresh juices with my Jason Vale retro slow juicer. There’s a lot of dry pulp left over so I decided to make some muffins from my carrot, apple and ginger pulp. I saved it up during the week in a Lock & Lock in the fridge. I just looked around online to see if anyone had used pulp to make muffins before. There are lots of recipes out there but I just kind of made mine from things I thought would work that I already had.

  • 3 mugs of carrot, apple and ginger pulp (or any fruit/veg pulp, really)
  • 2 mugs of quinoa flour
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 mug almond milk
  • 1 mug maple syrup
  • 1 cup almonds

Just blend it all up together in a food processor and then spoon it into greased (I use coconut oil) muffin tins. Makes about 12 if you fill them to the top of the wells but I half filled them across two tins of twelve to make even more. Bake in the oven at around 170 for 45 minutes or until the tops begin to brown. Take them out to cool and make the frosting if desired.

The frosting is something I thought up myself and am rather chuffed with. Although I think I’ll try cashews or macadamia next time for a creamier taste as it felt slightly savoury but still good. Here’s what I did. I put all but the walnuts into a food processor (I used my trusty ninja) and whizzed them up. Once they’re blended it’s still a bit of a lump of ingredients so just add a little water, mix, and then keep repeating until it’s all incorporated and looking as though it’s no too thick but not too runny. It won’t be the end of the world if it’s too runny as it’ll just make a yummy, drizzly, sticky mess but if it’s too thick it will be hard to top your muffins with, so to speak!

  • 4 tbsp smooth peanut butter (I have some I made in my Vitamix)
  • 1 tbsp sweet cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • Some walnuts to put on top

Allow muffins to cool down a bit and then top with the frosting and walnut pieces. Enjoy!

Onto the felines, Pixiecat and Popsiecat. They are simply adorable. They are such a joy and make us smile daily at Chez Huntley. My recent Philip Kingsley TSV purchase came in a compact, little box. It turns out it’s perfectly Pixie sized!

She has always loved boxes but this one seems a little extra special as she only seems to leave it to eat and do her ablutions! My son has personalised the box for her as Popsie dared to try it but only got this far. Now there can be no confusion, hee hee.

Here’s Pix all curled up like a croissant! Melts my heart.

Ooh, one final thing before I go. At the weekend I’ll be celebrating Clogau’s 21st birthday on QVC and you’re invited, too! Join me and expert guest, Graham, on Saturday at 1pm and then Sunday at 6pm for an array of stunning, award winning jewellery.

Have a great week and I’ll see you back here on Wednesday!

Love Catherine xx

3 Comments

  1. Tracey Rampton February 14, 2018 at 5:45 pm -  Reply

    Your kitkats are gorgeous 😻

  2. Carole Clinton February 14, 2018 at 6:05 pm -  Reply

    Hi Catherine. I love to read your blogs each week and thanks for the lovely recipes. However I have to ask you … not sure if you watch Call the Midwife, but the new nurse Valerie Dyer could be your sister. The actress is Jennifer Kirby. Take a look. You could double for her if she went off sick … and vice versa. Your personality shines through on QVC, they’re lucky to have you. Best wishes. Carole

  3. Susan Smurthwaite February 15, 2018 at 3:33 pm -  Reply

    Hello, I just love your two kitties, and the amazing photos you send. Well a friend of mine once said, don’t waste your money on expensive toys for cats !!!! a cardboard box will suffice just as good…and how true those word are. My two, used to sleep in a huge box until the discovered the comforts of my bed, now they have their own blankie on top of my bed….such a lot of pleasure is to be gained from animals.

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