Vegan Tiffin

Enjoy this plant based recipe with coffee or tea and the kiddies love it too.

Ingredients

2.5 Cups Dates

2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter

30g Cacao Powder

1 Box of Nairns Gingernut Oat Biscuits

80g Roasted Hazelnuts

Make from Scratch

In a food processor add dates, peanut butter and cacao powder. Blitz until a paste is formed. Pop into a big mixing bowl.

Add gingernut oat biscuits and roasted hazelnuts to food processor and blitz until they resemble medium size chunks. Add to mixing bowl.

Mix together and pour tiffin mixture onto a line baking tray. Level it out and pop in freezer for 3-4 hours before cutting into bite size squares.

Meatless Monday: Vegan Butterbean, Spinach & Coconut Curry

Meatless Monday is a global message to encourage individuals to omit meat from their diet one day a week. Simple.

This recipe is adapted from The Happy Pear in collaboration with Super Valu, Ireland. It is a mild curry. Depending on your toddlers taste buds, it can be considered toddler friendly whilst containing your 5 a day. I garnished my meal with chilli flakes and salt. In replacement of cashew nuts, I toasted and crushed peanuts. Onion and garlic are optional depending on dietary requirements.

Ingredients

  • 100g sweet potato or white potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 courgette, cut into quarters
  • ½ carrot, grated
  • 3 x 400g tins of butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk
  • 1 Kallo low sodium vegetable stock cube, follow packet instructions
  • 2 tbsp mild curry powder
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 100g baby spinach
  • a pinch of ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes, to garnish
  • Salt, to garnish

Made from Scratch

  • In a large saucepan add tsp extra virgin olive oil. Add chopped sweet potatoes, courgette, carrot and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add butterbeans and coconut milk, stock and curry powder. Bring to the boil.
  • Squeeze in the lemon juice and tamarind/soy sauce.
  • Add spinach and allow to wilt.
  • Toast some chopped nuts and garnish your dish.
  • Serve with rice, quinoa or cous cous.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

Phuket and a Baby

_DSC7331Kata Beach at Sunset

It has been a while since I blogged between moving apartment, growing a human who is now a Baby Boy called Anraoí and finishing an MBA, there was not enough time to fit it all in. For the past few years, we have gone on holidays in October/November, so sticking with tradition we decided to venture back to Thailand with Anraoí this year. Unsure of what to expect, we packed the suitcase and off we went to Phuket.We stayed in the Chalong district. There is a strong focus on health and fitness there, so that was right up my alley.

Travelling with a Baby

IMG_9797These are my personal tips, other parents may do it differently. I have learned over the last few months there is no one size fits all approach to parenting. At the time of travel Anraoí was four months old, so I am sure as he ages the travelling experience will change. We travelled around by taxi or tuk tuk all week but we did see fellow travellers with their baby in a sling on mopeds. The choice is yours to make.

IMG_9768Morning Balcony View

What I learned is that when travelling with a baby the day starts early and can end anywhere between 7pm-9pm. So you learn to work the day and activities within that time frame. You need to consider nap times too. Therefore, try get accommodation that has a balcony where you can chill, practice yoga, tan, read a book or nap too. Source out restaurants that have air conditioning.

IMG_9791Attempting hollow back pose

It was a morning flight from Abu Dhabi, this helped with morning routine. The return flight was a night flight and this was brilliant as it accommodated for night time routine.Prior to leaving we arranged pick ups with our accommodation and a baby cot. For safety reasons we packed the car seat and it was helpful throughout the week. We packed a stroller and a baby bjorn sling. I know what you are thinking all this equipment for one week!

Other essentials included baby sleeping bag, suncream, baby shower gel, coconut oil, plenty of muslin cloths, light clothing, sunglasses, swim shorts and toys. The local supermarkets in Phuket stock nappies, there is even a Tesco but I brought my own supply and stocked up there too.

Eat & Drink

Munch on Protein Pancakes from The Shack

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Enjoy sunset and drinks at Kata Rocks, Phuket.

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IMG_9736Whiskey Sour 

Other places I recommend are:

The Boathouse, Phuket

The Red Duck

Santosa Phuket they offer a vegan buffet.

Pure Vegan Heaven

Greze Healthy Kitchen

Nommy Frozen Yogurt

Sweat

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You can join Unit 27, Thailand for a multitude of fitness classes every day. I joined the Primal Fitness Unit for the week because I am restoring that pelvic floor post baby, so no jumping or running movement, just yet. They have a cafe called Muscle Bar which in my opinion had the best smoothies of the week. Check out Unit 27 website for full list of classes and prices.

Fun & Frolics

Head to Nai Harn Beach and drink fresh coconuts by the sea shore.

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Old Town Phuket has beautiful architecture, street art, colourful buildings and coffee shops.

Street Art by Alex Face

There is an Cat Cafe in Phuket Old Town for cat lovers.

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IMG_9654Kata Beach, Phuket 

We survived the first holiday as parents and here’s to many more.

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Bite Size Blondies

blondiesRecently, I was researching almond flour recipes and came across a recipe for Blondies. A Blondie is essentially a Blonde Brownie. The recipe I had found online called for ½ cup of coconut oil and 1 cup of sugar. According to myfitnesspal.com a ½ cup coconut = 960 calories and 1 cup of sugar = 720 calories. I challenged myself to re-create the recipe omitting the above and decreasing the overall calorie content whilst keeping the delicious gooey Blondie consistency and texture. Baking with almond flour creates a dense, moreish Blondie, as you can see from the image. Allow them to cool before cutting into bite size pieces, this allows the mixture to set and easier to cut.

The Blondie recipe I re-created used fruit puree as an alternative to coconut oil and natvia stevia as an alternative to sugar. This reduced calories per serving from 205 to 128, however, this is not a reason to over indulge. Moderation is key however; it can be hard to exercise this mindset when presented with these tasty creations. Below is the nutritional breakdown from myfitnesspal.com:

calorie-content

Bite Size Blondies

(Bite size – 20 pieces)

2 cups Almond Flour

6 tsp. Natvia Stevia

1 tsp. Baking Powder

½ tsp. Salt

100g Chocolate Chips

100g White Chocolate Chips

200g Clear Spring Apple & Mango Puree

2 Eggs (2 egg whites, one egg yolk)

Made from Scratch:

  •  Preheat the oven 170, fan oven and grease an 8” square baking tray or line with grease proof paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl add almond flour,  natvia stevia, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl add eggs and fruit puree, combine well and fold into the dry mixture. Mix until combined well.
  • Pour the blondie mixture into the baking tray and level it off with a wooden spoon or fork.
  • Pop in the oven, bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting or it will crumble.

*All ingredients are available in Spinneys or your local supermarket. To read more about Natvia, click here.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

Seminyak’s Best Breakfast Cafes

Straight up, Seminyak cafes know good food and coffee. Going out for breakfast has moved going out for dinner into second place. There was an abundance of cafes dotted around Seminyak and each had a leisurely vibe. Once you had one meal finished, the research was underway as to where to eat the next meal. Although, to be honest I was stalking all these cafes on Instagram before I travelled.

Below is a collection of images from my four favourite cafes in Seminyak, check them out on instagram by clicking on the cafe names.

Cafe Organic, Bali

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The Spicy Coconut 

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Shelter Cafe, Bali

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Revolver Espresso Boutique Coffee House

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Have you been to Seminyak? Where was your favourite place to eat and drink coffee?

Wellness Travel: Ubud

_dsc6296Tegallalang Rice Terrace

After travelling for over thirteen hours from Abu Dhabi to Denpasar Airport, Bali one cannot contain the excitement of reaching the final destination, Ubud (pronounced “oobod”). Stepping outside the airport there is a sea of people waiting in arrivals to collect tourists, its mayhem. Organised mayhem.

I had organised a driver prior to leaving, Mr Bedu’s Private Tours.  On the road to Ubud, Bali’s craft capital, the colours of Bali come alive. The sky is blue complimented by green terraced rice paddy fields, tropical flowers and mopeds are zipping everywhere. The travel time to Ubud is about two hours, depending on traffic. The streets of Ubud are bustling with locals and travelers filled with an abundance of craft shops, tattoo parlours, temples, museums, restaurants and located in the centre is the market. Ubud is peaceful and serene, life floats by freely and time was of the essence. There are so many things to do and places to eat but with only four days, I had to pick and choose wisely. Below is a list of activities and places to eat.

Accommodation

Booking.com offers accommodation options for all budgets.

img_2058Sunset from Bliss Spa, Ubud

Get Around

Hire a moped – most accommodation provides this service.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetMorning Traffic in Ubud

Activities

Yoga Barn  An oasis of calm in the centre of Ubud , there is a cafe and juice bar on the premises.

_dsc6371Processed with Snapseed.Tropical Fruit Bowl Post Yoga

Green Bike Tours – Excellent tour and the ride is down hill with the offer of an off road track and cycling through rice paddy fields.

Below is a series of images I took over the duration of the cycle in the countryside of Ubud.

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Campuhan Ridge Walk, Ubud – free and easy trek with beautiful views.

Below is a collection of images taken along the ridge trail.

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Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary_dsc6364

Places to Eat

Clear Café Vegetarian Cafe with a delicious breakfast menu.

img_2418Buckwheat Pancakes with Strawberries

Alchemy Raw. Vegan. Organic.

_dsc6272Salad Bowl_dsc6275Smoothie Bowl

La Pacha Mama Plant-based Cantina Mexicana & Cocktails

Processed with VSCO with x1 presetLive Music in La Pacha Mama, Ubud

The Elephant Cafe  100% VEGETARIAN 110% AWESOME

img_2081Japanesey Salad

Kafe Great Music, Healthy Foods, Yummy Desserts & True Espresso. I came across Kafe walking home from yoga. It has lovely salad options and sells local beer and wine.

Room 4dessert offers handmade desserts, cocktails and wine.

Have you travelled to Ubud? What is your favourite memory?

Grecian Adventure Part I: Athens

AcropolisArcopolis, Athens

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” 
― Jack Kerouac

Last week I travelled to Athens and Santorini. I had heard mixed reviews about Athens but Santorini boasts a glowing report. Why wouldn’t it, have you seen the pictures? I put the opinions of others to the back of my mind regarding Athens and decided I would make up my mind after my adventure. Needless to say, I appreciated Athens for all that it offers. It is a diamond in the rough. Santorini will be discussed in Part 2.

However, the only downfall is the challenge of procuring a nice healthy breakfast in the Plaka district at 9am on the weekend because nowhere opens till 11am. What the Greeks do well is an espresso freddo , of course they do other things well but I loved an  espresso freddo or three on the regular. So much so, I am trying to re-create it now I am back in Abu Dhabi. A friend recommended places in Athens too, that appeal to the health and fitness fanatic in me.

Accommodation

For accommodation in Athens I used booking.com and stayed in the Plaka District. This was central and it was convenient for walking all around the city.

What to do

The city is huge and you can wander around all day admiring the architecture  of Athens, there are many cafes and bars throughout the city and the more you explore the more intriguing Athens becomes.

Derelict building.jpgDerelict buildings, there is many thoughout the city

_DSC5952.jpgStrolling through the National Park, Athens

Watch the Sunset at Parko Thiseio. As you can see numerous gather with wine, guitars and food to watch the sunset over Athens on a giant marble rock, do not wear heels, I wore trainers.

Parko Theiso

Parko Theiso 2View from Parko Thiseio, Athens

Walking Tour

Athens Free Walking Tour : This tour was brilliant it lasted about 2.5 hours which takes you to all the main areas around the city – see images below. The tour is free but you can tip. Entrance to Acropolis is not provided with the walking tour because it is free. I emailed a few days before arriving to secure places on the tour as spaces are limited. You will learn about the history of Greece.

Temple of ZeusThe Temple of ZeusStreet ViewStreet View, AthensStreet GraffitiStreet Graffiti , this is prevalent throughout AthensNational GardensPalm Trees in National Garden, Athensolympic stadium 2Flags at the Panathenaic Stadium, Athens

olympic stadiumPanathenaic Stadium, seats 75,000 peoplestreet artStreet Art in the Plaka District, AthensFlowers

red door

Blue DoorThe last three images are of front doors or gates to houses in the Plaka Districtwhere is my mind.jpgWhere is my mind? Plaka District

Food, Fun & Frolics

Athens is jam packed with restaurants. It is a late city and there is a great buzz about the place from 8pm onwards. Strolling the streets and from recommendations I discovered these little gems which will appease the taste buds of meat eaters and vegans.

Avocado, Plaka District- delicious salads

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Evgenia, Athens, Plaka – Dakos Greek Salad

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Nolan, Plaka District. Greek food with pan asian twist

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Ipitou the Bar – this bar is cool and plays good tunes, it is close to Nolan restaurant and surrounded by other chilled out bars.

Ipitou Bar

Other restaurants not pictured, I recommend include Koi which serves sushi at a great price and Pure Bliss which serves local produce and delicious salads, it is very laid vibe where you could sit for hours drinking espresso freddo, sampling local wine and eating scrumptious food. Located in the same area as Pure Bliss, there are countless bars and cafes.

Fitness

No trip is complete without a gym session. Whilst in Athens I got a chance to to break a sweat in Planet Fitness, they offer a pay as you service which is handy and the gym is  central. See Planet Fitness for more information.

Concluding, Athens was fantastic trip filled with history , long walks,  traditional greek food and wine, chilled out bars, street graffiti, espresso freddos,a few gym sessions and a new passion for front doors.

 

 

Brunch by the Ocean

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Sun is shining, cool breeze blowing through the palm trees, glass is frosted ready to sip a passionfruit mojito, you can hear the laughter from tables as the band “Cuba Libre”, play music on the terrace. This enchanting place allows one to unwind and escape the madness of a busy week, “Chino Latino“, brunch by the ocean at Asia De Cuba and you can even have cake, just like the song!

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The dishes are cuban flavours with an asian twist. There is ceviche,  shrimp salad , BBQ meats, fresh seafood , tropical fruit and cheesecake lollipops. Feast your eyes on the mouth watering dishes.

_DSC5836_DSC5871_DSC5858_DSC5859_DSC5864_DSC5884_DSC5887_DSC5889Cake by the Ocean

Choose from three different packages: the cleanser at 325 AED, the live mojito at 425 AED or the Champagne brunch priced at 525 AED. For more details visit Asia De Cuba

Eat the rainbow, don’t chase it.