Food Intolerance + Sensitivity | My Experience

Here, I finally sit down and speak about my food intolerances, and what has changed over the last few months. Please, please always see a doctor and nutritionist if you’re worried about food intolerances or sensitivities. A truly well-qualified nutritionist is probably best, as some GPs don’t have a great understanding of nutrition.

Please also be aware that if you’ve had eating/body disorders in the past, a test like this can be triggering (speaking from experience). Also bear in mind that the igE test is one that many nutritionists dislike, and some say results can be random. I am not a qualified medical professional so I don’t know, but I feel like that could be true — hence saying “take it with a pinch of salt”.

I’ll try and do an update to this video once I’ve been doing this for a couple of months to give you guys a more nuanced understanding.

Any questions, pop them below or in the video!

What I Eat After Fasting | Artistic Video

A little bit of a different video today — no chatting, all visual, and I hope somewhat soothing! This is my second Ramadan What I Eat, and I worked all day (9am to 6pm) so I was pretty exhausted come sunset. Hope you like it!

For those of you who don’t know, Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar year where Muslims fast from just before sunrise to sunset every day for a month. People fast from food and drink, as well as sex, during daylight hours.

Healthy & Delicious Beetroot Quinoa Salad

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I’m a huge fan of salad. I’ve said this before — honestly, I find them so, so satisfying. However, everyone who knows me knows I like them full of greens and then topped with delicious and filling toppings.

For other salad inspirations, try my Kale, Butternut & Chicken Salad | Rice & Mushroom Salad | Vibrant Chicken Salad

For this, you will need:
(GF)

  • One grilled chicken breast*
  • Half a grated carrot
  • Half a roasted beetroot
  • 1/3 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 tbsp chopped dill

* – if you’re veggie/vegan, swap this out for quorn, tofu, tempeh or beans

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I roasted more beets than I needed because I like to have roasted veg on hand. This was inspired by my lovely friend Zoë, as I usually boil, not roast, beetroot.

Peel and cut your beets, and add them to an oven-proof dish lined with aluminium. Sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and a little bit of olive oil.

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Cover the beets up so they form a parcel, which will half-steam, half-roast them. I did half an hour at 220C. 

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Et viola! I didn’t show how to cook the chicken because I’ve covered that before (check out this post).

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Layer up your salad like a normal human, in a bowl, or if you’re taking an Instagram, pop it in a mason jar. Yes, thank you, I’m aware I’m not funny. Honestly I find mason jars useful to take it into work, but I plonk it into a bowl when I get there. For dressing, I just used a tiny bit of olive oil and half lemon’s juice.

Let me know what recipes you guys would like to see more of!

As always, bilafiya
(well wishes and wellbeing)

Ramadan in Bahrain | Curries, Training, and 1am Coffees

I hope you guys enjoy my first Ramadan vlog! For those of you who don’t know, Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar year where Muslims fast from just before sunrise to sunset every day for a month. People fast from food and drink, as well as sex, during daylight hours.

If you want to have a look at what my Ramadan days of food are like, give this video a watch. Family iftars, gym sessions, late night coffees — standard!

Chicken Stock & Spaghetti Soup

I’ve always been a soup lover. I know that’s not true of everyone, but I find them warming and comforting, and it’s a great way to ease your stomach into a meal if you’ve not eaten for a while. Every Ramadan, I make a big batch of soup once a week and it’s what I break my fast on.

Here’s my favourite in terms of goodness, flavour and satisfaction.

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We’re going to start with making a homemade chicken stock, which we’ll then drain, shred the chicken and use the stock to cook the vegetables that will actually make up the soup.

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For the stock, you will need:

  • A whole chicken
  • An onion, quartered
  • Three or four cloves of garlic
  • Some leeks or celery chopped roughly
  • Tops & tails of various vegetables*
  • Herb of choice (I used coriander)
  • Salt and pepper (or peppercorns, like I used)

* – I used them from the vegetables I was using for a salad and those that I was going to put in the soup later, but whatever you want works

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Pop them all in a pot, cover it with water and let it cook on a simmer for about two hours. Simple.

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Once it’s cooked, chances are it’ll look a little like this. Get your chicken out and shred, shred, shred, and keep that aside. Pour the rest of the contents through a colander, making sure to collect the stock, of course. Toss the bones and the vegetable remains.

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If you’re choosing not to make your own stock (although you should), you can start here.

For the soup:

  • A whole chicken, shredded
  • ~6 cups chicken stock**
  • Two quartered onions
  • Two chopped carrots
  • Two cups broccoli
  • 2 portions spaghetti (I use spelt)
  • 1 tbsp chicken masala***

** – use about three stock cubes if you start straight here
*** – 
or 1/2 tbsp cumin, 1/2 turmeric 

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Pop all your ingredients back into your pot, and cook for about 35 minutes.

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After 35 minutes, add in your pasta and let that cook for about 10 minutes. Don’t overcook it, you don’t want it to melt into the rest of the soup.

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There you go! It’s a simple dish — time consuming, yes, but mostly leaving it alone on the hob. I always batch-make it, as I said, so doing it once a week doesn’t feel like too much work.

Give a go, and let me know what you think! Any questions, pop them in a comment below.

As always, bilafiya!
(well wishes and wellbeing)

Ten Towns in One Day! | Road Trippin’ the Italian Coastline

I travelled to eight towns, but I started in Lecce and ended in Bari, so I did 10 towns in all that day! It was exhausting, but utterly gorgeous and I am very grateful to have had the time, space and means to be able to do this. There are so many beautiful views in this video, and if you’ve ever wanted to see Puglia (Apulia in English), give this a watch!

Don’t forget to click the like button, it helps massively, and subscribe when you’re over there.

 

‘Let Me Blow Your Mind’ Falafel

I know, I know, it’s been a minute or two since I last posted a recipe. I could give you excuses and reasons, or we can jump straight into this recipe?

Okay then.

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These falafels are unbelievable. I whipped them together for the first time when I wanted to swap out chickpeas for black beans, which I love because they’re higher in protein and lower in fat. Mostly, though, it’s because they’re delicious.

They’re vegan, gluten-free, and utterly scrumptious. I HIGHLY recommend doubling this recipe so you can freeze some, because goddamn — I’m still patting myself on the back.

You will need:
Makes 18 / GF, V

  • 1 can (425g) of black beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 carrots, shredded
  • 1/3 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 diced and fried onion
  • 1 finely diced pepper
  • 1 bunch coriander (stalks and all)
  • 1 tsp (heaped) cumin powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp (level) turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste, I used just under 1 tsp

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If you like heat but not fire, 1 tsp of chilli powder is perfect. Adjust accordingly if you don’t — little less or little more!

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In a food processor, combine your beans, coriander (if you don’t like coriander, swap it for parsley), your onion, and your spices.

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Blend!

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In a bowl, add your paste mixture with the diced pepper (if you want to spend time to dice yours more finely, I recommend it), the shredded carrots and the chickpea flour. Get your hands in there and mix (I suggest having your hands be slightly damp).

Now, I used chickpea flour to increase protein content in these and to keep them gluten-free and lower-carb, but if you want to swap it for another flour, go ahead.

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Roll our your balls. My batch made 18 balls, the other three just didn’t fit into this tray. It’s at this point that you’ll chose whether you want to freeze them or bake them straight away. I froze most of mine, and made four for dinner that night.

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If they’re fresh, bake for 20 minutes at 180C, and if they’re frozen, at 180-200C for 25-30 minutes.

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This is how I served it up for myself, and it was divine. This bowl genuinely made me mind-numbingly happy. I love, love, love it when good, healthy food does that! You can serve yours however you like, but here I’ve got my falafels on a bed of lettuce, spinach and basil, paired with roasted sweet potato and roasted beetroot, a quarter of an avocado, and some sliced cherry tomatoes.

Please make these! There’s not a chance you’d regret it.

As always, bilafiya!
(well wishes and wellbeing)