There’s a definite feeling of spring in the air now with all the stunning flowers beginning to make an appearance. Having said that, as I type this, it’s snowing outside! Again! I’m one of those annoying people who says “BRING IT ON” no matter what kind of chaos (within reason, of course) accompanies it. You know I’m a child at heart and the pleasure of snow angels far outweighs the extra journey times for me.
Whatever the weather we, at QVC, have some absolutely super springtime deals for you. I spotted some great Yankee Candle deals and decided I HAD to have this one. It’s a set of eight small jar candles and consists of some of the core favourites from the range. From Clean Cotton to Lemon Lavender and the mouth-wateringly irresistible Black Cherry, it’s a must have set for collectors and gift givers alike.
I find these small jars are just perfect for a burst of fragrance if you don’t have several hours to burn a medium or large one. You need to wait for the surface wax to liquify all the way across to get a clean burn down to the bottom of the jar. If you don’t then you risk ‘tunnelling’ which is where the wax stays solid on the outside and you waste a lot of what you’ve paid for by burning a thin tunnel through the centre.
I also like the fact this is like a little selection box of treats that you can dip in and out of. They’re great for travelling with and an ideal gift as they always delight and will suit even that person who seems to have everything. Let’s talk about value for money… wow, did our buyers do well for us on this set! If you visit the Yankee website a small jar candle is £8.99. At over £71 worth of value for under £40 including P&P, we’d be fools not to! Check out some of the large jar deals, too. Unarguably ‘scentsational’ (insert groan here) offers!
It’s been so lovely to get feedback from folks on all my social media asking about my recipes for the plant based/vegan eating regime I’m currently following. I started out by trying it for a month a la Veganuary but I’ve decided to carry on with it. It’s really fun making up new recipes and trying others’ suggestions, too. We live in a digital age where sharing recipes has become accessible for many, is enjoyable and connects people from all over the globe. It means following any ‘restricted’ diet is so much easier than ever before. There are plenty of choices out there now for special dietary requirements and I get a lot of pleasure from making my own, too.
Onto the beetroot burgers, then. I’ve been using my Jason Vale Slow Juicer almost every day since I bought it. Once you extract the juice you are left with the pulp. Lots of people throw this away but there’s plenty of goodness in there AND you can make meals out of it so why throw money in the bin? I buy organic fruit and veg boxes and don’t want to waste a penny… or a nutrient, for that matter.
I grew up believing beetroot to be the devil of all foods. The reason behind this was that, as a small child in the 1970’s, I was forced to sit in front of a plate of horrible, sludgy, pickled beetroot for the whole of my lunch break at school. I’m sure their theory was that I would, eventually, eat the offending mushy mess so I could go and play with the other children. Though they may have been well-intentioned, wanting me to ‘clean my plate’, in a battle of wills that stubborn six year old was always going to win. Dinner ladies = 0 Stubborn Catherine Elizabeth, aged 6 = 1. I never went near the stuff again until a couple of years ago when I had some fresh, beautiful beetroot delivered in my weekly veg box.
I now know that this richly coloured root vegetable, when fresh, is full of nutrients and a world away from the demonised monster on my plate back in primary school. My recipes tend to be pretty simple and I go with the flow of what I happen to have in so I made a juice with what I had to hand and the pulp in the below recipe is what was left over from that.
This is what I used (I wouldn’t worry too much about exact amounts, near enough is fine in my world… it’s not Masterchef, after all):
– Approximately 250g of beetroot, carrot, ginger and blueberry pulp
– 2 flax ‘eggs’ (1tbsp of flaxmeal to 3 tbsp of water per ‘egg’ – simply mix together)
– 4 heaped tbsp of quinoa flour (but I’m sure it would work with any flour)
– 1 medium onion chopped and fried in 1 tbsp of coconut oil (I like to brown mine slightly to caramelise which gives a sweet touch)
– 1/2 a mug of chopped cashews
– 1-2 tsp coconut oil for greasing the baking tray
Chuck all of the above in a mixer. I love my Kitchenaid for this as it does the work whilst I open a nice Sauvignon Blanc! In fact, you could mix it by hand if you want to. Just ensure all ingredients are incorporated thoroughly.
I thought I’d just make little bite sized balls, a bit like falafels, to have in pita bread with hummus or in salad however, once I had mixed it all together it looked so meaty I decide to make little patties using a cookie cutter as a guide. I pressed the mixture down into round cookie cutters until it was about one and a half centimetres thick. I carefully removed the cutters before baking for around 40 minutes, turning halfway, at about 180 degrees celsius.
The key is to really press the mixture firmly to compact it in order to stop it falling apart. That’s what I failed to do with a recent nut roast I made. You live, you learn. Also, be very, VERY careful when turning them over as mine did stick a little but but I used a palette knife to gently coax them over. One final and very important thing is to take them off the tray and put them on a wire rack to cool or you’ll end up with soggy bottoms and no one wants that!
As I hadn’t really planned this recipe, it just happened organically, I put it together with some of my homemade hummus and what veg I had but imagine this in a bun with some salsa, some caramelised onions and chunky chips! Delicious! In fact, I can’t wait for my next beetroots to arrive and, hopefully, some sweet potatoes to make some skin on fries!
Mmm, I’m getting hungry writing this so I’ll sign off for now and catch up with you again next Wednesday or sooner if you follow me on social media!
Keep well, warm and happy.
Love Catherine xx