I was talking to a neighbour about the ‘classics’ and comfort food the other day. This is funny for me, I ate meat most of my life and so a lot of the food I feel nostalgic about now has really lost it’s appeal to me. So this is a ‘new classic’ for me 🙂 Warming and healthy and best served with peas 🙂 <3
1 white onion
1/4 spring cabbage
150g green lentils
1 tin cannellini beans
1 tin chopped tomatoes
5 medium potatoes (I can’t be bothered to peel them but if you prefer do)
2 teaspoons of chilli flakes (fresh chilli would be just as good if not better!)
2 teaspoons of cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
3 teaspoons medium curry powder
2 teaspoons mixed herbs
Splash of milk or vegan alternative
Knob of butter or vegan alternative
Handful of grated cheddar or vegan alternative
Salt & Pepper
Chop potatoes and boil in a pan until soft.
In a separate pan boil green lentils for 25-30 minutes or as instructed on the packet to ensure they are soft.
While potatoes are boiling finely chop onion, carrots and cabbage. Add to a pan with a little oil and fry. Add herbs, spices and chilli flakes. Add water as necessary to stop from sticking to the pan and cook until softened. Add as much salt & pepper as suits your taste.
When onions and carrots have started to soften (carrots will still have a bit of crunch!) add the tins of chopped tomatoes and beans. Stir well and cook for a further few minutes (until carrots have just a tiny bit of crunch).
Mix lentils into the vegetable mixture.
Scoop the lentil and veg mix into a large lasagne dish.
Drain and mash the potatoes. Add milk and butter.
Smooth the mashed potato over the vegetable mixture.
Here’s another handy tip that works great for this curry recipe. I just discovered it recently purely through curiosity in the kitchen – you can crush ginger in a garlic crusher… no really it works like a dream and then you get that fresh zingy flavour with so much less effort 🙂
I was really kindly given a copy of Happy Vegan by Fearne Cotton by a lovely lady in my classes and this is 100% inspired by her recipes… mixing chopped tomatoes and coconut milk has been a total revelation for me!
½ a medium butternut squash
1 small onion
250g frozen chopped spinach
1 tin chickpeas
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tin coconut milk
2 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoon turmeric
1 red chilli
2 gloves of crushed garlic
1 thumb sized piece of crushed ginger
1 teaspoon miso paste
Dash of soy sauce
1 veggie stock cube (Knorr is vegan… apparently some aren’t)
Veg oil for frying
Peel the squash and dice it into 2cm chunks. Roast in a tray with some oil and salt for 20 -30 minutes until soft with some caramelisation on the edges, stirring about half way through.
Microwave the frozen spinach for 5 minutes and drain of excess water.
While the squash cooks dice the onion finely and fry with cumin, turmeric, garlic and ginger until the spices are fragrant and the onion is soft. Chop the chilli into small pieces and add the mixture. Add the miso paste.
Drain the chickpeas and add them to the pan. Fry for a further minute or two.
Add the tin of chopped tomatoes and the tin of coconut milk. Bring the boil
When boiling break up and add the stock cube, then stir through.
Bring the heat down and keep the curry simmering
Add the dash of soy sauce.
When the squash is ready add it to the mixture and stir through
Serve with naan bread or rice… and perhaps a dollop of yoghurt (soy if you want to keep it vegan).
1 tablespoon and one desert spoon of agave syrup (maybe a little more depending on your sweet tooth)
50-80g cashew nuts
50g pumpkin seeds
1 pre-rolled pastry sheet (unless you are less lazy than me and make your own)
Equipment: Food processor*, cupcake tray
*you could grate the carrot & apple, and buy crushed nuts if you don’t have a processor
Preheat oven to 180C
Using a food processor or grater blitz the carrot & apples.
Add the carrots & apples to a saucepan with a little water, the nutmeg & the cinnamon. Cook until softened (about 5 minutes mid heat)
Add the cranberries & agave to the apple & carrot mix and stir
Unroll the pastry. Using a round cutter or top of a large glass make round pastry circles and place them into the cupcake tray
Spoon carrot & apple mix into the pastry cases
Put the tray in the oven and cook for 10 minutes
While cooking blitz 50-80g of cashews (depending on how nuts you want to go) & then mix with 50g pumpkin seeds. Add a desert spoon of agave syrup to sweeten.
Take the tray out of the oven, add the cashew & pumpkin crust, cook for a further 5 minutes (be careful the topping can burn! If the pastry doesn’t look at all cooked at this point you may want to cook them another few minutes before adding the crumb).
Let cool a bit before enjoying (perhaps with a herbal tea 😊 )
As many as 1 in 5 women experience Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) during pregnancy and for some this continues after birth. I’m not a medical professional and if you are living with PGP please ensure you see your GP before undertaking any new exercise regime. However, as a Yoga Teacher and pre-and-post natal exercise specialist I have been trained in how to adapt and suggest exercises which may reduce this pain by strengthening and stretching muscles which support the pelvic girdle. If any of them don’t work for you or aggravate pain stop immediately.
Kneel down (if comfortable or sit as comfortably as possible)
Take some deep breaths, notice the parts of your body in contact with the floor. Scan your body for any other sensations. Focus your breathing, noticing the air passing in and out through the nose. Take some time here and then slowly come back into your body, blink open the eyes.
Gentle warm up
Roll your shoulders, reach your arms high, maybe lean side to side.
Come to all fours
Wrists under shoulders
Knees under hips (any discomfort in the knees put a blanket under them)
Engage the outer side of your upper arms (triceps) and don’t lock out your elbow joints
Engage your core muscles and your pelvic floor
Round your back, push into the hands to draw the shoulders apart at the back and tilt your pelvis forwards
Keep the abdominal muscles working and stay here for a few breaths.
Repeat 3 times
Kneeling Core and Hip Exercises
Come to kneel with wrists under shoulders, knees under hips (like in cat stretch you can put a blanket under the knees if you want to)
It’s really important for this exercise that you keep your hips level with one another, opening the hip to the side could aggravate your pain.
Lift your right leg behind, then bracing your abdominal muscles lift your left arm, balance here and breath.
Change to the other side
Repeat on each side 3 times
This exercise is suitable for pregnant women, but if you experience any reflux stop and rest, try it when you’re feeling better.
This one again it’s really important to keep the hips aligned. If you have hypermobility or are pregnant be especially careful.
From kneeling step the right foot in between the hands
Push into your right foot and sink your hips forward just to the point where you feel a nice gentle stretch. As GPG can sometimes result in tight hips and thigh pain this will hopefully relieve this.
Hold for about a minute and change to the other side
Stand up carefully – when getting up and down keep your pelvis level, move slowly
Stand tall and strong leg muscles active, knees not locked out
Tuck chin to chest and slowly start to roll down folding towards the floor
Keep the abdominal muscles engaged and active throughout
Once you’ve slowly rolled down, carefully and slowly keeping the core active roll back up
Repeat about 5 times
Lying Core Exercises (not suitable for pregnant women after the first trimester)
Lie flat on your back
Bring your knees up towards the ceiling.
Reach your fingers towards the ceiling.
Take your right hand and left foot towards the mat (but don’t touch it) and bring them back up. Then take your left hand and right foot towards the mat and back up.
Keep your pelvis level throughout, don’t lift or twist it
Keep your back flat on the mat (if it arches, don’t take the limbs so low)
Repeat 8 times, rest and repeat twice more
Afterwards try to take a couple of minutes to just breathe lying comfortably and making sure you are warm, perhaps with a blanket. Meditation can be really helpful in pain management so it’s really worth trying to add a bit of this to your daily routine.
General Tips for Everyday Movement
Try taking small steps with the hips aligned
It can feel more comfortable to sleep with a small pillow or blanket between your knees lying on your side
When going up stairs, engage your core lift your knee high without tilting your pelvis