Green quinoa risotto

I know I’ve been away for quite a while but I had a very busy week and weekend! <Blog posts with what I’ve been up to coming soon!> But until then, here’s one of my favourite recipes ever that I’ve discovered a couple of weeks ago!

Who would have thought you don’t have to make rice risotto to satisfy your Italian needs?! This quinoa risotto is all you could ever ask from a super healthy meal!

I got the ”My new roots” book by Sarah B the other week and I couldn’t help but make the risotto straight away. It’s a brilliant book, I highly recommend it ! It’s great for vegetarians and vegans but also for all the healthy spirits out there!  And it has lots of delicious deserts ! Win win situation right here!

Make sure you check out her quinoa risotto recipe, or if you’re feeling adventurous she’s got a sun flower seeds risotto up on her blog!

I’ll put down my version of her incredible risotto if you feel maybe this version is more you!

What you need (makes enough for three):

  • coconut oil
  • one medium red onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup (170g) of quinoa, well rinsed
  • 2 and a half cups of veg stock in hot water
  • some italian hard cheese
  • about 3 handfuls of rocket, spinach and kale
  • frozen peas
  • pink Himalayan salt and black pepper
  • spring onions
  • tiny bit of olive oil
  • smoked paprika

Melt a knob of coconut oil in a big pan over medium heat until it melt completely. I love using coconut oil, it makes the food taste so exotic and delicious! And it’s also good for you! Add the diced red onion and sauté for a couple of minutes, until it is soft. Add the garlic and quinoa and give it a food stir so everything is nicely coated.

Add the hot veg stock next and bring the mix to boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10-15 mins. At this point you are supposed to add the grated cheese( the risotto should be pretty raw) but I forgot and I added the cheese when the risotto was almost done, together with the frozen peas ( about 5 mins before I took it off the heat completely). It tasted great so I guess it’s up to you really! Make sure you add a tiny bit of salt and plenty of black pepper!

While your risotto is cooking away, put the spring onion greens in the oven on grill, sprinkle with some olive oil and lots of smoked paprika and let it grill for about 15 mins or more, until the spring onions turn super soft and smell delicious! Slice the remaining of the spring onions and put aside.

Back to the risotto, let it simmer until it is almost done, take it off the heat and fold the rocket, spinach and kale.

To serve, put the risotto into a bowl, add the grilled spring onions on top. Sprinkle with some more grated cheese, the sliced spring onions and lots and lots of pepper. Sarah says to put some olive oil on top but I think there’s already enough fat in the meal and therefore I skipped this part. The boy did have it with olive oil and he loved it so it’s again up to you! Make sure you serve hot!

Hope you guys like it as much as we did! And make sure you show your love to the amazing Sarah B for being so inspirational in what she does !!!

Love, Sim x

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Weekly picks #2

wishlist #2

We went to IKEA at the weekend to pick up some bits and bobs for the kiddies boxes for the wedding so, obviously, I had a look around as well.  It was normal to find a few nice things here and there and I though I might as well share them with you!

1. This cushion was the first thing I saw when we went in, its pattern just stands out in a very nice way without overcrowding the space. I love the black and white zigzag that’s going on and I think it will look great on out sofa!!

2. Every single time we go to IKEA I take a 5 mins break and chill on this comfy chair! Every single time, no exception! The bright green and organic shape makes me wanna stop and stare! And the best part about it is that it spins!!!! It will probably be perfect if it had arms too, but oh well, this is life! That’s probably the only reason why I haven’t got it already. That and the bills that we have to pay haha. Maybe one day…

3. While we’re in the seating area I should probably talk about this sofa I saw. I thought it looked nice, quite different from most IKEA sofas out there. It’s probably because it has nicer legs. I would like to sit on it first but it looks nice and it’s got quite an affordable price. It will be grant to be comfy as well! (I’m not entirely sure why I am looking at sofas… we really don’t need one)

4. I know every single person on the internet has this KALLAX storage shelving unit, but I really need a neat space to put all my crap and I think this one will actually look okay on the hallway. We have to wait and see if it will fit in the new place but I have a feeling we’re gonna purchase this one preeeetty soooooon!

5. I can’t go to ikea and not have a proper look at their cacti! There’re so many to choose from and they’re just so adorable. This pick has been actually bought (oops) but I really couldn’t help myself. And the boy isn’t exactly helping my plant obsession either.(He actually picked them so blame him!)

6. Compared to all the items above, this one I actually need, but as you can see it’s not exactly my no.1 priority haha. I can’t wait to have my own working space very sooooon and I need a good desk lamp for all them late nights! I spotted this one a couple of months back and I think it’s a winner! The floor option is quite fancy too, I might get that one in the end haha. Who knows….

7. My last pick is a rug! Not an obvious choice I would say, but I really liked this odd colour one! I wouldn’t mind it in black but I think this mustardy shade does it justice! I think it would look really good on a laminated floor. What do you think?

Hope you guys like my 7 picks this week! Have you been to IKEA lately? Do you have anything that caught your eye?

Love, Sim x

5 bits and bobs: Best takeaways

    

I was debating whether to write about a good healthy recipe or a great dinner out location but I decided to write something more comforting after a long week, when the only thing you want to do is put your comfy pants on and watch TV !  

Dadammmm I present to you my top 5 Manchester takeaways!

1. Munch. We only tried their curry but I think it’s fair to say this was probably the best curry I’ve ever had ! And I lived near curry mile for three years haha, I probably tried everything!

2. Wasabi. This Japanese restaurant does takeaway as well! And their sushi is pretty good ! I love sashimi so I was pleasantly surprised to see how tasty and fresh it was when it got to our flat! I reckon it also helps how close you are from the actual restaurant but I fully recommend when you’re in need of sushi!

3. Ya souvlaki gyros. We have been introduced to this Greek takeaway by our Greek friends about a year and a half ago. They said it was the closest to the traditional Greek food you could ever get here! I have to admit it was pretty damn good, but then again, everything that’s got halloumi is pretty much perfect to me ! I’ll let you try this one and decide for yourself!

4. Deliveroo. I don’t know if you’ve heard of this one before but it isn’t an actual takeaway. What Deliveroo does is great, they basically deliver delicious restaurant food to your door!!! They’ve got a pretty big list of restaurants and although they give quite a long waiting time , ours got here pretty quick. It’s great actually , can’t recommend it enough !

5. Nudle. The reason why this takeaway is on the list is because it used to be amazing! Not too expensive, very big portions and great quality noodles ! I couldn’t recommend it enough ! I’m pretty sure every single one of my friends have tried and were not disappointed. But that was when they didn’t do takeaway or became famous. Unfortunately, now thay are very pricey, portions became super small and the overall quality of the meal has lowered. Nevertheless , they are still worth trying because they’re probably the only ones of this kind in Manchester ! 

<Warning: their price almost double in the past 2 months and most of the toppings that used to be free of charge are now about 75p extra each .. Not impressed.>
I decided to share this list with you because I love discovering good takeaways once in a while even though I’m a healthy food freak! There’s something about takeaways food that makes you feel so good ! 

I know there isn’t a proper Chinese takeaway in the list above but I was pretty dissapointed with all the ones we’ve tried! Please do let me know if you know any good ones as I always love a good Chinese on a Friday night!

Let me know what you think! And share your fav takeaways in the comments !!!! 

Love, Sim x 

Weekly picks #1

wishlist #1

As any human being out there, I too have lots of things on my wishlist. But unfortunately you can’t always buy everything haha (you either run out of money or space). Therefore, I have decided to put together weekly wishlists (said every blogger ever) so I can keep organised and also be more selective with what I actually need at the end of each month!  And hopefully you’ll like some of my picks too!

As I have said before, we are moving to a new flat this September so I have that terrible feeling that I HAVE TO buy all the cute home decor items that I stumble across. Bad idea Sim… Nonetheless, in the next couple of months you will notice a very predominant home decor theme.. Oops!

1. This H&M metal basket is all that I have ever wanted from a storage item. Of course the bronze one is sold out as we all know the bronze vibe is in the air this year but to be honest, the gold one is so beautiful it kind of overshadows the others! There’s also a bigger one available here (with handles) and if you really want the bronze one, they still have it in stock! Happy days!

2.I am utterly in love with this ceramic plate from H&M. I’ve always had a thing for marble ever since I was a little girl ( I mostly loved how cold it was but the look of it was quite appealing too). I really need this one in my life! Payday treat sorted.

3. It seems I have I’ve got a thing for sold out items. This Bombay Duck cushion represents PERFECTION. I already have their dreamy Pouff (see here) and the matching cushion is just a must! Let’s just hope the black one will be back in stock soon, otherwise I will have to get the blue one and I know someone won’t be so happy..

4. I don’t know if you like Zara Home as much as I do but I am warning you, once you start looking on the website, you can’t go back! This round nest of tables I picked is the perfect addition to my future home! The 2 tables are so versatile you can literally use them everywhere, from putting them in the hallway covered in greenery to using them as bedside tables! All you need to do is use your imagination! And they are discounted until 2nd July! (Out the window goes my waiting until I actually move into the new flat haha)

5. Ikea plants will always be on my wish list as there are so many available I will never be able to have them all haha. This particular aloe vera plant is my absolute favourite at the moment. It’s just so fresh and beautiful, and let’s not forget how beneficial the aloe vera gel is! Heaven! Unfortunately, it cannot be bought online, but do not fear, your local ikea store will def have it !

6. With festival season in full bloom and UK summer just around the corner, this monki dress is just so casual and light, pretty much perfect for this time of year. There’s a black one available, which I will probably get as I am more of a dark side kind of gal but either way it’s a winner! And it is on sale too!! You’re in for a treat here guys!

7. Ever since I discovered Mon Pote, I have been browsing their web shop everyday. I found this House Doctor DK wire bowl a couple of weeks ago ( obvs out of stock now:() and I was so tempted to order it but I asked myself the question. Do I need another fruit bowl in my life? The answer was YESSSSS! But I decided to wait until we move into the new place. Hopefully it will be back in stock until then!

What do you think of my wishlist ? Do you own or want any of these items?

Love, Sim x

5 bits and bobs: Happy weekend

I know I haven’t been very active on the blog lately and I appologise, but I do have a good reason for it! I went to London over the weekend and I had such a good time ! 

My weekend in pictures  

         

1. London itself should be a good reason to be happy. Although I don’t think I could ever live down there, I love it when I go for a few days at the time. It’s so alive and busy, there’s so much going on and you will never get bored.

2. The main reason why I went down to London this weekend was to attend Kayla Itsines’ bootcamp and it was everything I ever imagined it will be and more! If you don’t know who she is, let me just introduce you and then make sure you check out her website. So Kayla is this lovely Australian fitness trainer who managed to help millions of girls around the world with her brilliant bbg guides!  Her guides and Instagram account are just perfect if you’re usually not motivated enough to stick to a health and fitness routine. She’s just amazing !

3. My post workout lunch was an amazing sushi session with my bestie at sticks n sushi. We went to the one in Covent Garden and it was delicious! Def one of the best sushi I’ve ever had! We decided on a lovely sashimi mix ( if you don’t know me , sashimi is basically my life) and one of the sushi platters off their lazy menu to share ! If you live in London or you’re around , make sure you give it a go. I promise it will be worth it ! 

4. I managed to time my London trip just right and therefore I joined my bestie to her end of the year party. The theme was ‘tropical’ and the venue was next to St Paul Cathedral so you can probably imagine how stunning the views were! They had really yummy food and great tropical decorations! We had a really good time !

5. My top 5 thing that made my weekend was our Sunday breakfast! We had organic eggs omelette with juicey radishes and green, yellow and red cherry tomatoes. It was so delicious and I’m sure it def cured some hungovers haha! 

Hope you had a great weekend! Let me know what you’ve been up to!

Love, Sim

The perfect vegan breakfast

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I made this breakfast smoothie for the first time about a month ago, when I decided to use my smoothie maker more often, and I had it every day since! I’m telling you every single day with no exception! And I still love it the same as the first time I had it. I even made the boy to try it and he’s now hooked too!

I am probably not the first one to make it but I am very proud of myself that it ended up so good after I put a few things I had around together without using any recipe!

So for me it is the perfect breakfast, it is vegan (as my body decided after 23 years of life that is lactose intolerant… okay maybe not intolerant but I def can’t have milk anymore) and it is the perfect combo of fruits and fiber and everything! I promise once you try it you’ll be hooked forever!

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So all you need is:

-one medium riped banana ( the darker and ‘uglier’ the better)

-half a cup of oats ( I used porridge oats)

-a cup of milk (I used almond but I’m sure soya would be equally as good)

-a teaspoon of cinnamon (of course you can add as much as you want! who am I to stop you!)

-a tablespoon of chia seeds

-two tablespoons of peanut butter (or three if you feel peanut !)

-about 2 tablespoons of flaxseeds (I like to add mine at the end on top but you could mix them with everything else too!)

– The boy’s input: tiny splash of vanilla extract (I have’t tried it yet but he swears it’s better than mine… hmmmm debatable!)

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So basically you just mix everything you’ve got in your healthy cupboard and voilla ! Your breakfast is ready! I eat mine with a spoon as it’s got the consistency of a very loose porridge but if you prefer drinking it, just add less oats and more milk or extra water!

Let me know what you think or if you have any other breakfast smoothies favourites!

Love, Sim x

Window sill greenery

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A year ago today we got our very first plant, a little layered bamboo, and since then our lives changed! I don’t know how I managed to live for more than 3 years without any plants in my life… Mental! 

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We now have lots and lots of plants including succulents, some cacti and we even have 3 tomato plants haha!  This particular one above is my very favourite and I am a very proud mama as it keeps blooming and blooming over and over again. It makes me so happy even though it has just a couple a flowers at the time . I was a bit worried when I first got it because my mum used to have one and it never bloomed, no flowers whatsoever. As you can see mine not just survived but thrived, so I guess I must have done something right! It’s called kalanchoe if you were wondering and you can get it from Tesco

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Our kitchen looks so much brighter with all of them around. We currently live in a really small place and we are quite limited for space so we stopped buying new ones a couple of months ago. Good news though, we are moving into a new flat in September and I literally can’t wait! I have already eyed a couple of very small cactuses in the garden centre  which are def gonna make my new shiny shelf in the first week !! (not to mention all the plants ikea stores, I can’t even decide which ones I like most, I’ll probably end up buying them all)

My pots are mostly from ikea, but the double mint green one in the top image is vintage and we painted it! It’s also my favourite and I’m planning on making more as they look great in the kitchen or on the balcony.

Do you love greenery as much as we do? Are you planning on getting some anytime soon?

Love, Sim x

Saturday market day

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I’ve been living in Manchester for 4 years and I had no idea this place existed. Castlefield market is open every first Saturday of the month and some of the stuff you can find there is preeeetty cool! They’ve got a huge variety of food and lots of vintage and crafty things. Check out the website for more info! It’s worth keeping an eye on for those weekends that you just fancy something different! They’re also doing the secret film society if you’re into that! First one is on Sunday June 14th – see here!

Of course we went there mainly for food ( yup, I do spend all my money on food haha) but we ended up buying the whole place…Got a few vinyls and  2 tea cup candles from this guy – they smell heavenly and they’re bone china as well! Back to food, we had some amazingly cheesy ‘melt in your mouth’ mac and cheese, I had their garlic and basil one and the boy had some meaty one with a scotch egg on top (bleargh..). They were truly scrumptious, but I am determined to go back again and try the wood oven pizza to see how good it is!

Mac and cheese    mac and cheese

I didn’t take that many photos because I was really busy eating everything that I could get my hands on (obviously) and I am not just yet used to this ‘take your camera everywhere’ blogger life. But bare with me, I promise I shall get onto that asap!

castlefield market

ME noming away on a giant shortbread biscuit

In other words, the place is just a must see. It’s on Deansgate, just opposite Beetham Tower and it is pretty easy to miss unless you know about it. I am on a mission to find every little gem hidden in Manchester so it makes me happy when I find something that exceeds my expectations!

Have you been to Castlefield Market before?

Love, Sim x

The Thaikhun experience!

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As one of my friends would say, I’m living the grandma life at the moment. Nice early nights with lots of nice food and not enough raving. All lies! I listen to Annie Mac’s Friday night show every week! I am pretty sure that counts as massive raving time..

Anyways , talking about nice food and way too much raving, we went to this amazing thai place just around the corner from ours,in Spinningfields (Manchester) for Fri-yay dinner and drinks. It’s called Thaikhun if it wasn’t obvious enough from the title (haha) and it is a real delight for both belly and soul! It’s got the best thai street food I have ever had outside of Thailand. I haven’t actually been to Thailand but I assume thai food would be at its best over there.

Weather was just glorious, proper summer sunshine, not the usual UK crap, so we stayed outside to admire the view and to people watch.I ordered the fresh prawns rolls for starters and the boy had some mini fish cake balls. They were so delicious we devoured them in about 5 seconds. Everything on the menu looked pretty much amazing but we settled for kale and mushroom stir fry and green curry. And we even had room for desert! Well I did! I’m telling you, my crappy phone photos don’t do the dishes justice at all, they were absoulutely insane ( see raver vocabulary right here, no idea what they’re talking about)!!

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I almost forgot to mention their thai inspired cocktails which are just a MUST TRY! I have been here before but I was on a boring silly diet so it was kind of a waste on me and therefore I completely forgot it existed until tonight.I don’t know about you but I’m hooked and I am def going back for more!

What do you think of my Friday thai (re)find? Will you be trying it tomorrow?

Love, Sim x

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