Monday, 22 August 2016

Cucumber, feta and avocado salad

Summer is well and truly here and I'd forgotten how much I love it! We've just got back from Majorca, and about to go back in just over a week so I'm cutting the carbs in a big way! I'm trying to get into food prepping on the weekend to save time in the week so have been batch making salads so I've lots of choice and this salad is now a firm favourite!

Like all my favourite recipes it uses hardly any ingredients and takes mere minutes!

You will need (makes 3 portions)
  • One cucumber 
  • 100g feta 
  • One large avocado
  • A handful of basil
  • Olive oil
  • One lemon
Making it takes minutes:
  • Chop the avocado into cubes
  • Chop the cucumber into thin strips- crudite style 
  • Chop the feta into cubes 
  • Add to a large bowl with most of the basil saving a few leaves for garnish
  • Pour the olive oil over 
  • Squeeze all the lemon juice into the bowl
  • Mix well
  • Transfer to a plate and sprinkle the last leaves of basil to garnish
  • Instagram then enjoy!


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Wilderness festival

I didn't quite cover everything I wanted to in my last post so thought I'd come back and tell you a little bit more about the festival with a bit less emphasis on the food this time!

If you are in the UK you will know that this weekend was a hot one, which made the setting even more idyllic, and if ever there was a festival that was geared up for outdoor living it was this one. Punctuated by a large lake, the site hosts everything from archery to foraging, wild medicine walks to cricket and let's not forget the boating and wild swimming...

The first thing you hit as you walk form the campsite to the festival is the lake and the hot weather meant it was a pretty popular place to be all weekend.

The lifeguard- now if this what being a lifeguard entails, then sign me up!
A particular draw of the festival was it's strong environmental ethos, which included heating it's Red Cedar hot tubs via a steel wood burner allowing them to maintain temperatures for over 10 hours thus reducing energy costs, to donating food waste to local food banks. Not that I canimagine there was much waste, when we turned up to The Mae Deli on Sunday afternoon they had sold out of everything on the menu!

One of the standout highlights to me was the wild medicine walk that has really left me feeling inspired. We ambled through the surrounding woodland, led by a real life medicine woman (dream job title) who taught us how to use the plants around us as remedies for a whole host of problems. It left me almost wanting a mouth ulcer so I could pop a bramble on and see if it remedied it.
I particularly loved her explanation of using the parts of the plant which are most active at that given time, for example using the leaves in spring, then the flowers once a plant has started to flower, then using the roots in autumn, as those parts will hold the most energy. Truly hooked, I even bought her book at the end, so expect to start seeing all types of infusions popping up here in the not too distant future.

Wild roses- use rosehips for regulating hormones, and reproductive health, dried and used as a tea infusion.
Silver birch- the bark of this is rich is salicylic acid, a natural disinfectant and antiseptic. Apparently you can remove a small strip of bark and apply directly to a sprained ankle for immediate relief.

For the yogis amongst us (not me, I'm dreadful at being still and calm), there was all manner of types of yoga to partake in, hotpod yoga, stretch yoga, pregnancy yoga, hatha yoga, acro yoga (I was so tempted by this, if I had any aptitude at all for acrobatics or yoga I would have definitely joined in).  From afar, we sat and even watched paddleboard yoga- impressive.

The evening was when things really came alive. So many choices, you can buy a few beers and sit on the grass watching a performance, attend one of the feasts, sit under the starlight at the Mae deli, go to a Champagne bar, go dancing, watch a late night film, the list goes on...

For me though it was a no brainer and I headed to the Saturday night spectacle, which was simply breathtaking. Think tightrope artists on a highwire high in the air, walking and riding across lines of fire.

Culminating in a beautiful display of umbrellas lighting the night sky and changing colour.
Once morning came I made a beeline to Hix and grabbed some breakfast to go
Passed a couple of talks and even singing sessions, and nosily poked our heads in
Before setting up camp on the grass and watching the cricket.

Soon realising I have no grasp of cricket or the rules, once finished, I headed to Neals Yard for my deep tissue massage, and picked up a couple of Deliciously Ella goodies which just launched that weekend.

There's no pictures of the massage- obviously! But following that it was back to Petersham nurseries for one for the road before the long ride home back to Liverpool. I left feeling inspired and, following my amazing massage, relaxed- a bit different to how I usually feel when leaving a festival!

Wilderness festival is on next year August 3rd to August 6th at Cornbury Park , Oxfordshire- see you there!


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Wilderness festival- a festival for foodies

So as I mentioned here, this weekend we headed to the Wilderness festival hosted in the most picturesque Costwold country estate on the outskirts of Wychwood forest. The main appeal to me of the festival is that it doesn't just centre on music, but also the arts, exercise, workshops, spirituality, hot tubs by the lake, and most importantly for me, food!

The food is no ordinary festival food, this is on another level, think Petersham Nurseries, Duck and Waffle, Hix, Raymond Blanc, Moro, Skye Gyngell alongside food vans selling mac and cheese, greasy burgers and cheesy chips. The variety of food is so diverse, you can gather all of your pickiest eaters and know there'll be something for everyone- vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, dairy free, low carb all catered for, you can even go on a foraging workshop and forage your own goods to eat and drink later!

Seasonal salads at Petersham Nurseries

The offerings from top restaurants mean you get the chance to try food from places you might not live near, or usually be able to afford, or manage to get a table at but have lusted after on social media forever!

In the evenings you can indulge in long table banquets, intimate supper clubs, or grab something from a food stall, and take it to the lake and enjoy it under the stars.

Buddha bowls, packed with freshly steamed kale, kimichi, omega seeds, vegan Massamam curry and halloumi

Very non low carb chips, dripping in hot cheese and onion sauce, sprinkled with more grated cheddar and herbs. I have to recreate these with low carb chip very soon as they really were a gamechanger!

Dairy free, and low carb (not the cone!) malted coconut ice cream, with baked apple sorbet from Gingers

Drinks wise, we're talking everything from slushy daiquiris, to Laurent Perrier in an orangery, cold pressed juices to a Heineken hideout.

Petersham Nurseries Rose Petal Prosecco

Frozen Margaritas at Aynhoe Park backstage bar

We ate and ate (and drank and drank) but still left feeling there was so much we hadn't tried. I wandered up to the Mae Deli on the Sunday and they had sold out of everything! Did mange to grab a couple of the new Deliciously Ella energy balls though, before they'd even hit the shops.

If ever there was a festival that you don't want to drag a barbeque and supplies along to, it would be this one! Plus, by the time I've done my obligatory pre festival supermarket shop I usually come out spending far more than I would have done just buying food at the festival anyway.

I'll be back tomorrow with some more, less food orientated, Wilderness highlights!


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Wilderness festival 2016 essentials

My love affair with festivals is a long standing one, going to one (or more) every year for years, before falling slightly out of love with them a few years ago. We typically chose our festivals for the music but were starting to feel like the only people there that had. We then skipped a couple of years, but then after speaking to people I realised we'd not outgrown festivals, but our type of festival had just evolved. We started looking at other types of festival and after dabbling with The Big Feastival and Latitude we found Wilderness festival and everything felt a little bit like it had clicked into place. It has the right mix of everything we love, food (obviously), theatre, crafts, music and wellness activities, while still retaining a festival feel.
© The Vegetarian Atkins Diary

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