Yes, I’m pretty much ALWAYS thinking about, preparing or eating food. I’d say I’m probably about 70% healthy with my eating and then the other 30% is all about the naughty eats!
If you follow me on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter then you’ll know you get an almost daily dose of my life both in and outside of QVC. If you don’t currently follow then what are you waiting for – come on over! Seriously though, no pressure, but it’s great to keep in touch over there in-between the weekly blogs.
One of my most recent posts involved this breakfast pictured above, and I got a lot of questions about the hummus underneath the avocado in particular, so I promised to pop the recipe up here on the blog. I’ve actually found that I’ve become a far more interested, creative cook since becoming vegan, and I’m learning lots about nutrition. I eat a really great, balanced diet most of the time, and then have fun creating treats like pizzas, pies and cakes!
You may or may not know but I have a lovely man in my life. His name is Jamie. He is, like me, eating a vegan diet and he is also, like me, a keen cook. More about him another time. Onto the hummus! The hummus recipe is one that he created and I tweaked it a little to my taste. I simply have to add chilli to just about everything and ‘too much garlic’ just isn’t in my vocabulary.
Chilli and Basil Hummus
- 1 tin of chick peas in water (drained)
- About a handful of nutritional yeast flakes
- A heaped tablespoon of Tahini
- 1 bunch of basil (destalked)
- Half a bulb of smoked garlic
- Loads of olive oil
- Several slugs of balsamic vinegar
- One whole red chilli (deseeded)
- Salt and pepper taste
- 2 or 3 drops of truffle oil (not really important but nice)
Put all ingredients (except the oil and chickpeas) into mixer/blender thing, then put the chickpeas on top and a bit of the oil to get started. Blitz until smooth and add the oil to arrive at the right consistency. Season to taste.
Jamie wrote out the recipe hence “mixer/blender thing” ha ha! It was actually a Ninja blender that was used. They are so good. I’ve got a small chopper *ahem* from Ninja which I use for loads of things, especially chopping onions or chillies. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you about the potential hazards of chopping chillies and then touching sensitive areas, such as eyes… or even worse! I also have one of their all bells and whistles food processors which is great for making all sorts of things, as well as blending and smoothing. I also use my Vitamix a lot, one of my best buys from QVC. It’s not available right now but check it out when it comes back online.
The consistency was more like a sloppy dip than that of a firm store-bought hummus. I find this is great for using as a sauce on pasta with other veg thrown in. Chopped up vegan sausages, too. Sainsbury’s do some called shroomdogs, and I favour their chorizo style ones.
In the picture I used the hummus almost as an alternative to a spread on a nice rye bread toast, then mashed up some avocado and threw on a few sliced cherry tomatoes. Of course, you can also use it as an accompaniment to crudités. I giggle somewhat at the memory of Jamie saying this word but pronouncing it as ‘crude-ites’ rather than ‘crew-dee-tay’. He said he’d never actually heard the word said… only read it. I wasn’t sure what he meant at first… “crude what now?”
I love words, playing around with them and seeing how they can change their meaning when pronounced in different ways. The other day I used ‘our souls’ in a written sentence to my best friend, Steven, and then realised how it sounded when I read it back!
So that’s the heavenly hummus – pretty healthy. Dirty burgers, not so much, ha ha! Still just as delicious, though! The burgers came about when we were invited to my best gal pal and her husband’s new allotment for a barbecue. I have always been in love with allotments. I’m currently working on a design for an area of my garden to grow produce in. Well, I say I am. I’m enlisting help from the experts and I can’t wait. My late father was a gardener by profession for many years of his life and he was amazing. My mum has now become a fantastically accomplished gardener and grows just about everything. She swears by Richard Jackson’s Flower Power. I’ll have to make sure Mand & Gal get using some on all their produce.
The four of us had a lovely time in our camping chairs sat around Gary’s new portable barbecue. He was very proud of the fact he bought one which opened up so they could have their non-vegan food on one side, and we had ours on the other! Very thoughtful! We had some burgers from the meatless farm company but we didn’t get through them all, so we brought them back to Chez Huntley and had these beauties the next day.
I fried up some onions until they were caramelised, mixed up some vegan mayo with English mustard and made some oven cooked sweet potato fries. I also make an easy relish with raw garlic, sundried tomatoes and fresh tomatoes. I cooked the fries in coconut oil and sprinkled some sprigs of rosemary on top. Slapped some lettuce and vegan cheese in a bun with the burgers and, hey presto, perfect Sunday afternoon stodge!
I hope you’re all keeping well and not getting too hot. I’m still coughing at the tail end of a lurgy that started a good couple of weeks or so ago! Summer colds are rubbish! I love my Dyson fan. If you can’t bear the heat it’s worth having a look at this. I love that there’s a timer on it, so I can set it to go off after an hour or two when I’m in bed.
Have you seen Today’s Special Value offer from Coco Bianco? If not, take a look on the homepage as these trousers are gorgeous! The wide leg palazzo pants seem to just flatter all figure types. I have a couple of pairs from previous Coco collections. There’s plenty of colours to choose from, as well as two different lengths, so take a peek before the offer expires at midnight! That’s if you’re reading this on Wednesday! My blog comes out each week on a Wednesday, FYI, if you’re new.
Right, I’d better dash as this is the second time I’ve written this blog! I took my time writing it and really enjoyed it and then it disappeared! I’m hoping this is second time lucky but it means I’m running a little behind now so that’s it from me this week. I’ll see you back here next Wednesday!
Love Catherine xx