Vegan fayre in Kingston


Finding great, local vegan/vegetarian restaurants is not as easy as you may think considering how many column  inches our health and well being is given in general media these days. Yes, you’re probably more likely to strike gold if you’re in Central London on a daily basis where you can have your pick of new, innovative and trendy vegan café’s. But here, in sleepy South West London? Not so much.

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Coconut Curry with Lentils and Butternut Squash



This curry is marvellous if you are struggling to figure out what to cook for dinner. It is very simple and only requires coconut oil, coconut milk and a few spices mixed in with whatever vegetables you may have lingering in the fridge – that’s it!. Now that our sunny bank holiday weekend is coming to an end, cooking may not be at the forefront of your mind. And that is when this dish comes in handy. It requires minimum investment and maximum return – a win/win scenario if there was one.

I happened to have some left over butternut squash, lentils, potatoes and celery at home, all of which went into the curry. Another combo, like tomatoes, courgettes, sweet potatoes for example, would have worked equally well. There are no limits here. The spices were reminiscent of my Mung Bean Casserole from the other night and worked equally well in this curry. I would have liked to have had more fresh coriander in this dish so if you make it, make sure you add plenty of it just before serving. I added a piece of salmon to my plate which I cubed and tossed in the spices and coconut oil until just cooked, approx. 5 min. If you are a strict vegan, however, it is just as good without the fish. If you can tolerate dairy then a bit of yoghurt on the side would work too. Only you know what works for your body.


Coconut Curry with Lentils and Butternut Squash (serves 2)

1 can organic coconut milk

3/4 butternut squash, deseeded and cubed

5 – 6 broccoli florets

1 cup puy lentils, cooked

2 potatoes, cubed

3 celery sprigs, chopped

1 small onion or charlotte

1′ ginger root, finely chopped

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

sea salt and pepper to taste

Fresh coriander

Fry the onions, ginger and spices in the coconut oil until soft. Add all the chopped vegetables bar the lentils and broccoli – stir until coated with the oil and spices. Add the coconut milk and bring to boil, simmer under lid for about 10 – 15 minutes – veggies should be soft, not mushy. Add the broccoli and lentils and cook for an additional 5 min (if you like your broccoli a bit crunchy cook for less time). Serve with brown rice and fresh coriander. Enjoy! x


Good food fast

photo 2-2Being a food lover can be quite overwhelming. I often stare into my fridge, ravenous with hunger and wanting to consume its content all at once but not sure in which order. Today, after my Whole Foods veggie shop, I was having one of those moments. It all looked so dewy, crunchy and fresh that I wanted the lot. I promptly cubed and diced until I had a little sample of everything and heaped the lot into a pot of boiling water together with some sea 1-410 minutes later I had blended the content into a smooth soup with no bits in sight. Which had the added, unplanned, benefit of shielding the contents of the soup from my son who was home sick from school. Don’t get me wrong, he really likes a good soup but was he to know the precise ingredients, like courgette, ginger and sweet potato, he’d  fastidiously declare that he was ‘just not that into it’.

My point is that this stuff is not rocket science and we know that our waistlines and energy levels benefit from plenty of good, seasonal veggies. The key therefore is to be arsed to whip up something healthy and quick instead of getting a cheese’n ham Panini from Costa.

Remember – it’s spring, people. Beach 2014 is beckoning!!  Get juicing and souping, make weird and wonderful salads using all the fab organic veggies that are available to us and feel your energy levels soar and waistline shrink. Here’s the ingredients for the soup we had today:

1 large sweet potato

1/2 butternut squash

2 large broccoli florets

1 courgette

2 shallots

1 1/2 ” ginger root, chopped

1/2 can coconut milk

1 tsp coconut oil

A sprinkling of crushed chilli

Sea salt to taste

Cook for about 10 minutes then blend all into a yummy, smooth soup and serve. Enjoy x