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Recipe|| Paprika Roasted Sweet Potato, Wilted Kale & Hummus

I recently went to Katy Mitten’s for dinner and she made me this AMAZING roast sweet potato & chickpea salad. It was with rocket, feta, cherry tomatoes, pomegranate and avocado. We had it with a sour cream dip, cracked black pepper and I added some sriracha too. It was absolutely delicious! She doesn’t show off her cooking enough in my opinion!

Well this got me hooked (again!) on roast sweet potato. I can’t get enough of the stuff.

Pair that with my constant addiction/craving for hummus, and you already have a tasty combo in my opinion. But sometimes, you need a little more. Some extra veggies. Some additional texture. Sometimes you want it to look/feel special too. Especially if you’re having a ‘me’ day and just fancy treating yourself.

Paprika Roasted Sweet Potato, Hummus, Wilted Kale & Red Onion Recipe

Well, I had one of those days to myself. A day to do nothing but blog, eat and watch Netflix. It was well needed. Some time to sort out life stuff. Time to reflect, plan and just get used to things now (there’s been quite a few changes this past month).

So after a long run (I managed 9 miles!), I made this brunch and settled in for the afternoon. In my mind, if you add an egg, it makes it brunch. Am I right or am I right? 

I added some chilli flakes to my hummus, topped it with paprika roasted sweet potato, wilted kale and red onion, and finished it with a poached egg. It was delicious! Perfect slow Saturday (well after the run) brunch – and a good source of protein for post-workout too!

Paprika Roasted Sweet Potato, Hummus, Wilted Kale & Red Onion Recipe

Roasted sweet potato and hummus is my new fave combo! Would have been delicious with avocado too! The recipe is below.

What do you do for your lazy days? Do you treat yourself by cooking something nice or getting something in?

Chloe xx

Paprika Roasted Sweet Potato, Wilted Kale & Hummus

Could be a brunch if you add an egg ­čśë 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2

Ingredients

  • 200 g sweet potato
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1┬Ż tsp smoky paprika
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tsp butter or margarine
  • 2 eggs (optional)
  • 80 g curly kale stem removed
  • 170 g hummus low fat
  • 1 tsp chill flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 220┬░. Line a baking tray with foil. Chop the sweet potato into small chunks. Toss in the oil, sprinkle in paprika, salt & pepper and spread over the lined baking tray. Pop in the oven for approx. 20-25 minutes until going crisp - turn halfway through cooking.

  2. Roughly chop the red onion. Fry lightly in the butter for a couple of minutes. 

  3. If you're having eggs (brunch time?), prep the eggs and start them going in the saucepan - if you're stuck on how to cook poached eggs, search poached eggs in the bar above, and check out how I do mine using cling film.

  4. Tear the kale into shreds, add to the frying pan with the red onion, cover with a lid and allow to wilt for 2 minutes. Toss and recover for another minute or so.

  5. Spread half of the hummus around the edge of each small plate. Sprinkle with chilli flakes. Pop half the kale and red onion in the middle of each plate. Top with roasted sweet potato, and finish with the egg and a sprinkle of black pepper. It's ready to serve!

Paprika Roasted Sweet Potato, Hummus, Wilted Kale & Red Onion Recipe

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Theatre|| Little Shop of Horrors, Regents Park Open Air Theatre

There are so many theatre productions to see. Which kind of adds to the magic of it. You can never possibly see them all surely. But also it means there’s always something new. Something you didn’t know the story to. A production you can go to see, to be transported to another decade, era, place or world. To give you that elated feeling, where you can’t stop talking about it, and your favourite parts, after, that awe towards the whole cast (set designers too). The urge to go and join a drama troupe. Ok just me? I don’t think I’d ever really make it.┬á

Little Shop of Horrors was my recent find. I know, I know. How did I not know about it. Well, I didn’t. However right now, it’s on at the Regents Park Open Air Theatre. My friend Abi treated me to tickets to cheer me up – she’s super thoughtful!!

Little Shop of Horrors, Regents Park Open Air Theatre

First things first. The Regents Park Open Air Theatre. It’s so much bigger than I expected. Located in the inner circle of the third largest of the royal parks in London, it’s one hidden gem! With 1,200 seats, all positioned in a quarter circle style fashion around a stage in the corner, I wondered how it’d work – sound, sight, etc. But we were sat up on the nearest side ( I.e. stage right), and the view was fab! As well as the sound. So I don’t think it would matter where you sat.

The story…

Not actually knowing the story myself, I wasn’t sure what to expect. It’s quite a weird one.

It starts with a florist and it’s owner, Mr. Mushnik, Seymour, an orphan he took in when he was little, and the damsel in distress aka. Audrey – an assistant at the florist. There are the three singer-dancers who help tell the story, and live on Skid Row, as well as Orin, Audrey’s crazy boyfriend, plus all the extras.

Seymour finds a rare plant on a shopping outing one day, during the eclipse, and it all stems from there. The plant grows and grows, becoming a phenomenon, but at an expense. It was such a strange story line, but it kind of added to the fun. It was funny, light-hearted and I didn’t see the end coming.

Little Shop of Horrors, Regents Park Open Air Theatre

As for the set…

They managed it so well for a static space – you can’t change the backdrop. With set pieces moving in upon scene changes, and each changing slightly during the production, it was really well thought out. Very creative.

The cast…

The team of actors and actresses were all very talented. The three singer/dancer/narrator types, were fab. Very confident, cool and edgy. The main three characters all fantastic in their own spotlight – I really liked Mr. Mushnik’s husky voice. And Seymour was so nerdy, you could tell through all of his actions, songs and dances. It radiated off him.

Orin, the crazy boyfriend, was eery. As he was supposed to be. He actually made my skin crawl, and that’s from back up on row R. The actor was amazing. He took on a few roles, each slightly different. Each quirky and flamboyant in its own way. And the energy he had was incredible.

The costumes…

The costumes were great too! They tied them nicely to the characters and storyline. The plant costumes, and the ones for the final song and dance scenes were amazing! They were so creative, eye-catching and vibrant. Totally different.

As for the tunes…

The songs were really catchy. Proper theatre tunes. Very boppy and songs you could easily sing along to.

The dances were great. Especially the ones at the end. It just looked like SO much fun! High energy, a little crazy, all so upbeat. I actually wanted to get up myself.

Overall..

…one fun, weird, and quirky story, and a fab production! The songs were catchy, the dances great and we really enjoyed it. The Regents Park Open Air Theatre was one fantastic spot – I definitely need to book in for something else.

What have you seen recently? Any recommendations for me?

Chloe xx

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Eating Out|| Cattle & Co., Euston

Meat lovers this one is for you.

Cattle & Co. is just off Euston Road, the main road connecting Euston and Kings Cross. It’s pretty big, with an outdoors space too. The inside is contemporary, dark and minimalist. It gives off a relaxed steak-house/ranch feel.

The team were all friendly from the get-go. We got seated away from the family buzz and the hyperactive little ones, showing they really were thinking about us. A nice little quiet corner by the window made for a comfortable place to enjoy the end of our busy day exploring.

Cattle & Co , Euston

Whilst this is definitely a place for the meat lovers, the menu doesn’t just feature meat. Alongside the pulled pork, steak and burgers, there’s also blackened cod, tuna steak and veggie options too. So plenty for all.

The sides keep true to the American influence, with mac and cheese making the cut, along with a variety of fries and onion rings.

The starters section isn’t as extensive but still enough choice, with buttermilk wings and cauliflower cheese balls being just two of the six.

Cattle & Co , Euston

The Devilled Deep Fried Squid was lightly coated, served with chilli and spring onion. There was lemon too ofcourse, as no fish dish is complete without it. Each piece had a slightly spicy kick. They were a little more tough than squid we’ve had before. But the flavour made up for that. The dip on the side tasted like a tangy cross between a ketchup and a BBQ dip. It was delicious with the spicy flavours.

Cattle & Co , Euston

Sharing a starter is the way forward here as, trust me, you don’t want to fill up before the main event.

Going rogue, the Cajun Tuna Steak was absolutely delicious. It was cooked rare which enhances the flavour. The seasoning was potent but not overwhelming either so the fantastic flavours of the fish could come through. The bed of roasted vegetables the tuna came on tasted like they’d just come off the barbecue. Beautifully cooked. The BBQ drizzle spreading the flavour further throughout the dish.

Cattle & Co , EustonCattle & Co , Euston

The sweet potato fries were good too. Crispy on the outside but still pretty fluffy and soft. It’s all too easy to get these wrong.

Safe to say, I did not suffer even a tad of food envy. Although the ribs did look good.

Cattle & Co , Euston

Pairing the baby back ribs with sweet potato fries, the choice from the starter menu can quite easily be turned into a main.

The ribs were reasonably meaty, but actually pretty tough to bite or cut. Whilst they were tasty in flavour, the texture did let them down. I don’t think I’d order ribs again, but we’d definitely consider going back for something else!

Cattle & Co , Euston

There is a dessert menu too, but we were too full to even look.┬á However, having done a bit of insta-stalking, the deep fried Oreos look amazing – go take a look on the restaurant instagram page. It’s a shame that snacking and late lunching meant we filled up too quickly.

Of course, with all this food, you need drinks too. The drinks menu is dominated by cocktails, with a variety of classics and twists. One of the cocktail menus even has funny names for each drink, including Moo’ve Over, What’s Your Beef and Honest Mis-Steak. There is beer, wine and soft drinks too, with plenty of options for all.

Cattle & Co , Euston

The Kalf-eine, Cattle & Co’s take on an espresso martini, consists of┬áAbsolut Vanilla, Vanilla syrup, Kahlua & Espresso. It’s verging on creamy, really strong and the coffee taste is delicious. One awesome espresso martini. Just the kick we needed over dinner to keep us going.┬áYes, we both had to have one as we couldn’t resist.┬á

We did stop at the one cocktail, but there were so many more I wanted.

Cattle & Co , Euston

Summary:

  • Price: Roughly ┬ú60 for two mains, a starter to share and two cocktails, including service. Pretty reasonable.
  • Food: We weren’t overly impressed with the ribs, but the cajun tuna was amazing. Definitely go for that!
  • Drinks: Plenty of choice – cocktails (with funny names too), beer and wine, as well as soft drinks. Definitely recommend the Kalf-eine (espresso martini)!
  • Atmosphere: Chilled, relaxed steak-house feel.
  • Wait: No wait. Seated straight way on a Saturday evening. Service was friendly and quick.

Cattle & Co , Euston

Where’s your fave meaty spot right now?

Chloe xx

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Lifestyle|| Single in a city he calls home…

Yep, that’s me. As of the┬ábeginning of August I’ve been single. One early afternoon we were making brunch, settling in for a day snuggled up on the sofa finishing Luke Cage. Late afternoon, we were both in tears at the prospect of a life without each other. And all in a city I moved to, over five years ago, to be with him.

I won’t go into it but we had obviously had our ups and downs over the 6 years. We just weren’t meant to be. We wanted different things. It hadn’t been right for a long time! It’s something I┬ácame to realise very quickly is definitely for the best. But it was still a shock. A┬ácomplete┬áchange to life.

The city in question is obviously London. A city, which I didn’t think until recently, is actually home too. Well ‘home from home’.

Being suddenly single is a bludy daunting thing. No matter how long it’s been. I couldn’t say if it hurts more to have it sprung on you, as heart break is individual and very much situation dependent. What I’ve felt might be completely different. It all depends on how you get yourself through it.

Day trip to Paris

With all of my family back in the Midlands it’s been especially hard. But it’s made me realise how truly incredibly amazing my friends, my family away from home, really are. Like seriously. Everyone has been so supportive, whether meeting for dinner and keeping me busy, offering to help me move or giving me somewhere to stay and escape reality for a night or two (or in one case almost two weeks). But that’s just the start…

They’ve given me a whole new appreciation for the city. And my life here. Over the past month, I’ve had plans at least 5 out of 7 days each week. Trust me, keeping busy has been key in moving forward. Planning brunches, girls night’s, dinners, sleepovers, drinks, coffee and exploring has made me really think about again about what London really has to offer. Everything. If you want to be busy, trust me, you’ll find a way here. And that’s what I love about it. Along with the people you need on the way.

And so, whilst inside my heart I’d love to have my family close. I decided I’m staying here (at least for the near future), grabbing life by the horns, taking control and putting me first. I’m going to do everything I’ve wanted to do. London, I’m here for you.

Chloe xx

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Recipe|| Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake

The first time I baked for everyone at work, I baked something non-vegan. And there were two vegans on the team. Oh I felt the guilt. Even though I know you can’t always cater for everyone and realistically I was baking for myself. The time alone in the kitchen. The baking therapy. The pride.

Since then, I’ve tried to do a bit more baking/cooking (we do monthly team breakfasts too) suitable for vegans. It’s actually not always that difficult. I know there are a lot of recipes out there which use complicated vegan alternatives, but there are also plenty which don’t. This being one.

Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake

It started as a vegan lemon drizzle. Which I made three times. The first, I misjudged it being cooked – as it includes no egg, the cake doesn’t go golden. The second time, I thought I’d almost perfected it, but I still thought it needed more lemon. Third time lucky, but I knew it needed something else. And that’s where the blueberries came in.

Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake

The cake itself was actually really fluffy, which I thought was surprising for a vegan cake. I don’t know why I thought they’d always be like raw cakes. It’s zesty, sweet and the blueberries add a delicious flavour, with juicy bursts.

It’s quickly become one of my favourite bakes. One I’ll happily make over and over, and always seems to impress!

The recipe is below. Enjoy!

What’s your favourite cake to bake?

Chloe xx

Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake

A fluffy, zesty, sweet bake, with delicious juicy bursts

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 18

Ingredients

  • 300 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 200 g caster sugar
  • 2 lemons juiced and zested separately
  • 200 ml water
  • 100 ml vegetable oil
  • 125 g icing sugar
  • 100 g fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200┬░C. Line a square tray bake tin with baking paper. Leave to the side whilst you prepare the cake mixture.

  2. Sieve the flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and zest of one lemon. Mix until combined well.

  3. Mix in the juice from one lemon, oil and water. Whisk/fold until smooth. Pour into the lined square tin.

  4. Sprinkle the blueberries on top of the cake mixture, push them in slightly (you don't ant them to burn). Place the tray bake tin in the middle of the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean. It doesn't go golden, so the skewer test is key!

  5. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.

  6. Once cool you can ice. Mix the icing sugar with just enough lemon juice from the remaining lemon to make a thick, slightly runny paste. Drizzle over the cake to your desire, and finish sprinkled with lemon zest. Cut into 18, serve & enjoy!

Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake Vegan Lemon & Blueberry Drizzle Cake

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