A lazy vegan’s guide to cooking – BURRITO’s!

I absolutely LOVE Mexican food.  I might even say that it’s better than pizza….These burritos are so so good and if you wanted you could lose the tortilla wrap and make it into a Burrito bowl. I also tend to make a massive pot of the Veggie Chilli mixture and freeze it so it’s super easy to pull together when you really can’t be bothered to cook. 😛

This recipe serves 2 (Plus extra chilli for freezing 😉 )

For the Chilli:

  • Tin of kidney beans
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes x2
  • Heaped tablespoon of tomato puree
  • A squeeze of tomato ketchup
  • The neck of a small butternut squash butternut squash
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin

For the Guacamole:

– 1 avocado
– lime
– fresh coriander
– Tortilla wraps x4
– 100g brown basmati
– 1 veg stock cube
– salad leaves
– pickled jalapeños
– vegan cheese (violife is my favourite for this)

So how do I make this into a Burrito?!

First you’ve got to get the rice on!

 First, you rinse your rice and put it into a pot with the crushed stock cube and add just enough boiling water to cover it. Boil for as long as the packet says (most brown rice is 20 minutes, white rice is 10), but keep an eye on it adding a little bit of water at a time if it starts to stick.

Then you’ve got to get the veggies ready!

Cube your butter squash so it’s in little bite size pieces and chuck it into a deep pan (you can use oil but I personally don’t because I have a really good non-stick pan). Fry it until it’s starting to go brown and then add the pepper and onion (and any other Veggie you’d like) and season with salt and pepper, and the smoked paprika and cumin (I’ve guessed the level of spices so you could add it a bit at a time so it’s suits your taste)

Add a few vital ingredients!

Once all the veggies are browning add your chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, tomato ketchup and kidney beans and stir to combine. Leave this to simmer for 15 minutes.
While that’s simmering remember to check your rice! Then take your avocado, remove the stone and scoop out all the middle. Smash this up in a bowl and add the juice of half a lime, some chopped coriander and salt and pepper.

Voila, once this is all done you’re ready to assemble your Burrito! 

Take your wrap; add some of the rice and veggie Chilli. Then top this with some salad leaves for crunch, the guacamole, cheese, some extra coriander and jalapeños! You could ever wrap them up in foil and bake them in the oven for bit to make the cheese melt.

See you next week for recipe No.4 –Tofu Katsu Curry! Tasty 😀 😀

Courtney – A happy vegan x 

 

 

 

Any questions just leave a comment! Otherwise just enjoy cooking!

A lazy vegan’s guide to cooking – Stuffed Peppers!

Stuffed peppers are my go-to meal when I feel like being super healthy. And like most of these meals they’re unbelievably easy.

You’ll need:    (Serves 2)

 
– 4 peppers that stand up when placed on a baking tray
– Stuffing for the peppers (I use different things dependant on what I feel like or what I have to hand. You could use lentils in a tomato sauce, rice, couscous, quinoa..whatever I use I usually fry some extra veggies like courgette, mushrooms and onions and mix it through)
– 100g vegan cheese (the best for this recipe is Sainsbury’s greek style!)

  1. Turn the grill on medium heat.
  2. Cut the stalk of your pepper off and take the seeds out to create a hollow pepper. Then cover a baking tray with foil (definitely do this as peppers ruin oven trays) and place the peppers opening down onto the tray and pop them into the grill. A little bit of blackening gives them a nice strong flavour but do keep an eye on them.
  3. While they’re cooking making your stuffing mix – boil up some lentils or quinoa, fry some veggies or just stick a packet rice in the microwave!
  4. Once the peppers have darkened a bit, take them out and stand them up. I like to put a crack of salt and pepper into the peppers before I stuff them.
  5. Then fill them up with your stuffing and crumble some of the Greek style cheese on top and whack it back under the grill until it’s melted.

I love Sainsbury’s greek style vegan cheese because it melts really well into the peppers!

Then you can serve it with some extra veggies like garlic, green beans, broccoli or asparagus. 😀 Delicous!

See you next week for recipe No.3 –Burritos! Tasty 😀 😀

Any questions just leave a comment! Otherwise just enjoy cooking!

Courtney – A happy vegan x 

A lazy vegan’s guide to cooking tasty healthy cruelty free food 

I know you’re all probably picturing some hippy with dreadlocks that lives in a tree, or some adolescent hipster that’s trying that little bit too hard to be different, or maybe that one person you know on Facebook that posts loads of gory videos of cattle farms in an attempt to scare everyone into not eating meat – but I’d like to think I’m clear of these stereotypes (okay occasionally I see a video with a cute baby cow and can’t help but post it). 

Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that there doesn’t need to be such a stigma around the word vegan, we won’t curse you with a sexless marriage for eating a bacon sandwich at the weekend. Obviously we’d prefer it if nobody ate meat but most of us would probably be chuffed if people just cut down on the amount of meat they ate – whether it’s for your own health, to save some adorable animals or to contribute to helping climate change.

So in an attempt to try and get you meat eaters out there trying some vegan food (and hopefully realising that it’s much much easier than you think to be vegan). For all social mercenaries out there I will be sharing  my top 5 vegan recipes over the next 5 weeks all tested and tried by me!

This week: Shepard’s Pie

This Shepherd’s pie is one of my favourite meals, it’s super easy to make and is even a hit with my family who are massive meat eaters!

You’ll need:                                                                         (Serves 2)

– 200g dried green split peas or lentils
– Veggie stock cube
– 100ml red wine (not all these are vegan so watch out if you do want to make it completely meat and dairy free)
– 2 carrots cubed
– half a white onion roughly chopped
– 100g green beans roughly chopped
– tin of chopped tomatoes
– herbs of choice (I love rosemary)
– 500g of sweet potato (you could use normal potato) peeled and chopped for boiling
– vegan cheese to top (optional)

Put your lentils in a pan with your crumbled stock cube, red wine, and tinned tomatoes and cook according to the packet, adding extra water if required but you aren’t going to drain these at the end so don’t add too much. (Note: different varieties of lentils take different times but if you wanted to be super lazy they do them in a tin already cooked and you can just drain them and heat them up!)
In another pan put your potatoes on to boil and cook these until they’re mashable.
In a frying pan, fry off your carrots, green beans and onions until onions are soft and carrots are slightly brown, and then transfer these to your lentil pan.
Once the lentils and potatoes are cooked, transfer the lentil mixture into a pie dish and top it with the mashed potato (and cheese) and grill until golden brown! Voila!

See you next week for recipe No.2 – Stuffed Peppers! Tasty 😀 😀

Any questions just leave a comment! Otherwise just enjoy cooking!

Courtney – A happy vegan x 

Soraya’s Kitchen – Easy peasy Hazelnut Milk

Plant based milks are my favourite, you can use them in so many different kinds of recipes and they’re such a great alternative to cow’s milk. I love various nut milks, brown rice, and oat milk too. I miss out on them if I’m having a cup of tea (oats sinking to the bottom of your cup isn’t too yum!) but for everything else, they’re brilliant! This week, we’re making an incredible hazelnut milk, taking inspiration from Lucy Bee

Ingredients

100g Haslo hazelnuts

Water (1.25l in total)

 

Method

  1. Soak the nuts for 2 hours in warm water
  2. Drain and discard the water collected in the bowl (or not if you do it over the sink)
  3. Place the nuts in a blender with 250ml water
  4. Drain the liquid into a bowl and the milk that is collected, put back into the blender with 1l of water. And blitz

Store in an airtight bottle for up to 5 days!

Working Out after a Night Out!

So you’ve had a few too many the night before….

(Drunk me with Santa)

You wake up with a throbbing headache and the thought of getting out of bed makes you nauseous, let alone working out. You ask yourself

“should I really go to the gym today? Will it be beneficial?”

I have been faced with this dilemma many times and will attempt to shed some light on my idea on the the correct approach.

When you should take a rest day

(Kermit at his best)

Firstly, if you have drunk so much you have alcohol poisoning then sleeping and drinking as much water as possible is your best option. You don’t want to put excess stress on your body whilst it is in such a fragile state. The risk of catching a virus/disease is far greater. Working out will on hinder you recovery time and may take you out of the gym for many days to come

When you should get your ass in the gym

(Me performing the “dreaded” legs workout)

In every other situation going to the gym will help your hangover recovery. It usually feels pretty rough to begin with, however after the workout I feel much better and the hangover seems to have somehow vanished.

Of course you’re not going to be hitting PRs but just going through the motions with 70-80% of your normal weight will help you get the blood flowing and trigger the release of endorphins.

If nothing else you will feel a sense of achievement for getting yourself to the gym and being productive. You will feel satisfied and the depression will subside.

Check out my  incredible 3 month transformation below:-

 

Ben Whitford

21 year old student 💪🏼Fitness and health 📷Photography 👻

Snapchat – whitfordbr 🎥

YouTuber –www.youtube.com/channel/UC4VjRwRAYAzZPyed01Yzecg

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/b.r.whitford/ 

 

Soraya’s Kitchen – Delicious energy balls, a perfect on the go snack

Hi guys, so we will be having a series of recipe features which will be giving you tons of healthy Haslo ideas!

This week, we’re making Cacao and Hazelnut Power Balls. We’ve take inspiration from one of my favourite health bloggers, Deliciously Ella. They are literally the easiest and yummiest sweet treat. No baking is required, making them completely raw and also locking in their nutrients, which can sometimes be effected through heat.

Ingredients

200g Haslo hazelnuts

400g medjool dates

4 tbsp raw cacao powder

3 tbsp peanut butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

Method

  1. Crush your nuts in a food processor for around 30 seconds
  2. Add the coconut oil and dates to the mixture and blitz
  3. Add the peanut butter and cacao
  4. After around 20 seconds and once everything is combined, use a tablespoon to take some mixture out, roll into in a ball and put it on a plate. Continue until you have used all of your mixture.
  5. Freeze for 1 hour and refrigerate for up to a week (mine usually last even longer- if they haven’t been devoured!)

Authentic Energy – Jane Fang changed her lifestyle and is now inspiring others to do the same!

Jane Fang did what we all dream to do – she changed her lifestyle for the better & for good!

She now coaches and motivates others to make positive lifestyle changes. Read about how Jane is championing change in Hong Kong and further afield!

Hey Jane! So tell me have you always been a health and fitness pioneer?

No not at all, before moving to HK my only sport activity was badminton and dancing occasionally.

So how you did you get into yoga and other types of classes?

After moving to HK , I started to enjoy the local food a little too much, and my daily choice of food wasn’t exactly the healthiest, as a result I bloated. So I turned to fitness for solution and joined a gym near work. I was never comfortable inside a gym, so after spending awkward 2 months on swimming, elliptical machine and treadmill, I started to break out of my zone and attended group classes 2-3 times a week. Very soon I became fond of the classes and I started to enjoy exercising regularly.

That’s great – I think we can all relate to that! How you got connected with Wellnessxperts and what you are up to now?

So yoga and various fitness classes had been part of my routine for a few years before I met WXS. In early 2014 I had just got myself certified in 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, and while I was searching for a yoga/wellness community online WXS Fitclub Event popped up on my Facebook. I was immediately intrigued by the name WellnessXperts so I went for my first Fit Club bootcamp without knowing anyone. I clearly remember there were only 6 of us in that session including 2 coaches.

“Everyone was friendly and motivating, and I thought the bootcamp was fun and it was interesting to enjoy a shake after the workout.”

But I didn’t have much nutrition awareness back then, so I simply treated it as a refreshing beverage.

Soon after the first session I became a regular Fit Clubber, and with Chris the founder’s encouragement, I started to instruct yoga and partner workout for the club on regular basis. My life and health completely changed when I started to pay attention to the food and learnt about proper nutrition and the 80/20 equation from FitClub. Gradually as the community started to grow, my energy as a coach also organically elevated from only fitness coaching to becoming an all rounder wellness coach. As my passion in wellness grew, not only that I obtained a couple of more qualifications, I also decided to exit full time office job and created Authentic Energy Lifestyle Coaching.

We love to see people breaking the mold Jane. Tell us more about your new passion!

As a full time wellness coach and now a main leader of WXS Fit Club, I practice and preach the 80% Nutrition 20% Fitness philosophy, helping many transform their health and lifestyle via nutrition programs, and active lifestyle coaching. I’m not a “tiger mum” type of coach, I like to treat everyone as a friend, and guide them through the transformation journey as as their buddy or a companion. I split my time between evening Fit Club, daytime Nutrition Club, Home Club and part time fitness coaching gigs.

13925999_1776340215956312_7762381991467244356_o

Evening FitClub at Tamar Park, HK

Authentic Energy started in WXS Fit Club, it started with a vision to help thousands and more to embrace healthy active lifestyle holistically and authentically. Currently I’m focusing on building a team of coaches and ambassadors in HK where we share this vision, and to grow the community and extend the energy beyond Central, HK.

Our coaches come from diverse backgrounds, and each with their own strengths and specialties, together to keep the model fun and versatile. Authentic Energy is also about Turning Passion into Action. So we have a very strong entrepreneurial energy here, and we encourage the coaches and everyone to keep their own passions and dreams alive, and have them fulfilled or supported by the wellness opportunity with us.

It sounds like a whirlwind these past few years are your plans for the future as ambitious?

Afraid so! We will be launching Authentic Star Program very soon. It is an attractive wellness loyalty and rewards program which will be available in club and also online. At the start of 2017, AE Mission 500 Online Community will also come alive, to inspire people from all across the world to be fitter and healthier, and become Authentic Wellness Ambassadors in their parts of the world.

The goal is to help 500 people transform their health through healthy active lifestyle in year 2017, hence the name Mission 500. In the next 5 years, Team Authentic Energy Hong Kong will be branching out to Kowloon and New Territories, and also we want to create the idea of Mobile Fit Clubs around the city. Due to the flexibility and the strong support system of the business model, we are also planning to grow on a global scale. We have already started in Singapore, Malaysia and LA, and we are also keen to build Authentic Energy Clubs in other parts of Asia, and also countries like Australia, UK, Canada and other parts of the US.

Amazing work, Jane! Keep it up 🙂

ZOLO Active Mats – Ideal for the eco-conscious yogi

 Christa is the Founder of ZOLO Wellness a startup wellness brand that has just launched their new sustainable ZOLO Active Mats made from cork and recycled rubber.

img_2361-2

Christa where did this amazing idea come from?

I love Yoga. I especially love hot yoga and practice almost everyday.  I was sick of being in the studios where only a towel was provided to put over your plastic mat to prevent you from slipping.

First of all, the towel didn’t cover the area of the mat, so there would always be a crease under your mat.  It made the practice harder, which is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is when the form is incorrect.

Secondly, I grew up in Hong Kong.  I love being outside – in the park, the beach, the mountains. But the weather in Hong Kong is just so changeable.  One minute it will be super sunny and the next it is pouring.  When it starts to rain halfway through your practice, you either keep going – slipping, or, you have to stop and leave.

Why are you using cork rather than the usual plastic?

Having studied and worked in the hospitality industry, I have seen so much wastage of cork in the restaurants and hotels.   Why? Probably because they don’t know where or how to recycle, or simply can’t be bothered.  Without even knowing the tremendous benefits, I started collecting cork.  My Mother is an artist and sometimes uses cork in her personal art projects.  I also started seeing some cool accessories that were being made from cork, such a wallets, bags, shoes, as well as home décor for floors, lamps, chairs – you name it.

FUN FACT: Cork even serves NASA as a coating insulation protection on the tanks of their space shuttles!

Many people think of cork as just a wine stopper and little do they know of the plethoric benefits of this phenomenal material.

Not only does cork support the most environmentally friendly harvesting method in the world, it is perfect as an exercise / yoga mat.  So I thought, “why not try and make a YOGA Mat made out of cork?”.

Tell us more about these Yoga Mats!!

The mats are made with 100% recycled rubber from Malaysia provide a bottom layer to the cork which is 100% naturally compressed and recycled. The cork comes from the Shaanxi Province of China – originating from the Cork Oak Tree – Quercus Variabilis.

As a result of our sustainable sourcing and use of natural materials our ZOLO Active Mats are:-

  1. Hypoallergenic – Many people complain of skin irritations from plastic mats such as PVC & TPE.
  2. Anti-microbial – Less likely to have odors, mold and bacterial growth (however we do provide a natural mat cleansing spray for extra care before and / or after practice)
  3. Grippier with sweat & water (perfect for a hot practice or in the rain)
  4. Dries quickly
  5. No trees were cut down in the cork bark cutting practice (the harvesting method is passed down from generation to generation).  After the first 25 years of the Cork Oak Tree, the bark is eligible to be stripped every 9 years during the lifetime it has of about 200-300 years.  A stripped Cork Oak Tree absorbs about 300-500% more CO2 than an unstripped tree.  There are 2 species of Cork Oak Trees – Quercus Suber & Quercus Variabilis – we use the Quercus Variabilis found in Asia – China.
  6. Not hot to use in direct sunlight
  7. Easy to unroll & lays flat

Every mat comes with a ZOLO Mat Carry Strap and the all-natural 1oz. ZOLO Mat Cleansing Spray.

We are currently updating our website and background information in more detail. For now, you may find our crowdfunding campaign site on the platform SparkRaisehttp://bit.ly/getzoloactive

ZOLO Wellness will soon be putting out a collection box in bars, restaurants and hotels in Hong Kong for recycling.  In the future, we hope to make more products using recycled materials.

Great! Christa you clearly know a lot about this incredible process! Please tell our readers more:-

Certainly, the amazing thing about harvesting cork is that the tree has a lifetime of about 200-300 years. After the first 25 years, the bark of the cork tree is eligible to be stripped every 9 years – kind of like shearing sheep.  The bark of the tree actually absorbs 300-500% more CO2 than un-stripped cork oak trees. Carbon footprint studies show that cork uses one of the most environmentally friendly harvesting methods in the world.  Every single part of the cork is used for various purposes – even the fine particles of cork dust are collected and used as fuel to heat the factory boilers. This harvesting method is usually a family trade passed down from generation to generation. Not only do our mats support safe, environmentally–friendly materials, the cork material itself is host to plethoric benefits that are especially amazing for a yoga practice.

First of all, cork is composed of the substance, Suberin. This is a kind of waterproof waxy material which actually gives a better grip when you are dripping with sweat or water. For those especially with dry hands, we recommend spraying a bit of water before use.  With every mat purchase, we provide a cleansing spray made from distilled water and essential oils, mixed on Nantucket Island, MA.  This can be used to clean the mat or to spray before practice.  It is so safe, that if you wanted, you could even use it as a body mist.

Initially, the cork mat could be a bit dry when you first open the package.  I put mine in the bath for about a minute and started practicing in order to mold into my mat.  The more I use the mat, the more comfortable it gets, especially with a little spray down.  With the recycled rubber on the bottom, the mat was quite resilient and springy – not hard on the floor. The cork dries very fast when hung or laid flat and doesn’t get burning hot in direct sunlight.

Cork is also anti-microbial which means it naturally kills bacteria, mold and odor. Although, still, for extra hygiene, we do recommend using a soft towel to wipe the mat down with either water or our ZOLO mat cleansing spray.

Cork is also hypoallergenic.  I have heard several complaints of people getting skin reactions from mats made of PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) or TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) materials. This is even worse when the mat has not been cleaned properly from before.  Our ZOLO Active Mat is also great for kids as the materials are safe on most skin types.

The factory we use is certified by SGS – formerly known as Société Générale de Surveillance, headquartered in Geneva.  This makes sure the products comply with global standards and regulations, covering the entire supply chain from raw materials to final consumption.  Our products are also qualified for the Forest Stewardship Council – promoting responsible management of the world’s forests.

By using cork, we are actually helping the ecosystem in the cork forest. The cork forests have relatively dry land and are prone to desertification. The forests are home to many endangered species and biota or living organisms – (flora / fauna / fungi). The cork forests also play an important role in poverty alleviation, supplying employment and growth.

Thankyou Christa for sharing ZOLO’s interesting product!