I’m really not a big Valentine’s Day person but I think everyone needs a good excuse to jazz things up this year! Instead of anything typically ‘romantic’, I think the best food to have with loved ones (be that for Valentine’s / Galentine’s / Palentine’s) is something you have to share – sharing is caring after all!
So here is my idea for a ‘cheats’ hummus sharing plate studded with pink pomegranate seeds and pickled red onion for some classic Valentine’s appeal! I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible while still feeling like it involves just that little bit of extra effort for you to impress your loved one. I hope you like it and feel inspired!
If you’ve come here through your Sculpt With Sasha membership then don’t forget to check out this week’s Self Love workouts! Whether you’re loving yourself, your pet, best friend, boyfriend, partner, wife, girlfriend, husband, soulmate or sibling make sure you share some good food and look after each other this chilly February!
Pickled red onion
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
200ml warm water
100ml cider or red wine vinegar
1 red onion, sliced as thinly as possible
Pour the warm water and sugar into a jug and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Then add in the salt and vinegar.
Pack the red onion into a clean jar and pour the pickling mixture over the top. Leave overnight and keep for up to 3 weeks. Use to decorate all of your delicious food – they’re great in wraps, salads and on top of daal!
1/2 cauliflower head, cut into florets
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
Heat the oven to 200C. Spread the cauliflower on a baking tray, cover with spices, a pinch of salt and a good glug of oil. Use your hands to coat all of the cauliflower florets.
Roast for 20-25 minutes or until soft enough to get a fork through. If you are including falafel in your meal make sure you sync up the oven timings with the cauliflower – you can pop them on the same baking tray to save space and washing up – see the ‘To serve’ section for more.
[Don’t forget to roast the leaves! They are delicious with oil and salt and make the perfect side dish!]
2 handfuls of spinach, shredded
Squeeze of lemon juice
1 spring onion
Drizzle of olive oil
Pinch of fresh parsley, chopped
Pinch of fresh coriander, chopped
Place all of the ingredients in a bowl and toss. Season with salt and pepper and set to one side until serving.
[Shredding the spinach gives it a different texture and makes it absorb the flavours of the dressing more easily]
1 pack 8-10 falafels or halloumi
1 tbsp hummus per person
1 tbsp pomegranate seeds
Flat breads, naan breads, wraps or anything else used for dipping
If using falafel, heat the oven to 200C. Warm the falafel according to packet instructions. If using halloumi, heat a frying pan with a drizzle of olive oil. Slice the halloumi to desired thickness and fry for 3-5 minutes or until lightly golden on each side, turning half way through.
Warm any flatbreads you are using according to packet instructions.
Spread or dollop, depending on your style, a tablespoon of hummus on each plate or on one sharing platter. Top the hummus with warm falafel or halloumi or both. Spoon the spinach salad next to the hummus. Tip the cauliflower onto the plate and top with pomegranate and pickled onions.
Enjoy with flatbreads or wraps and eat with your hands! Nothing says romance like hummus under your finger nails and stuffing your faces!
Congratulations on making it (nearly) to the end of January! It’s been even longer, colder and darker than usual but hopefully you still feel like you’ve achieved a little something. Tried a new recipe? Completed the SWS Release and Renew challenge? Kept a houseplant alive? Binged Bridgerton? It’s all truly an achievement.
Here’s a recipe to brighten this drizzly week and remind you that even if life is a little dull at the moment… at least it can still be delicious.
The mushrooms in this recipe can be swapped out for almost any other vegetable! I know some people aren’t fans of mushrooms or have had dodgy curry house mushroom curries that they might not be keen to repeat… I was one of these people. I’m not sure what made me want to make this recipe this week but I had a craving and a lot of mushrooms in the fridge to use. This would also be great with peppers, aubergine or okra (fried with the onion), roasted cauliflower or green beans (stirred in at the end like the mushrooms), or even with, dare I say it, some meat! Whatever your preference, this recipe will accept you!
Serves: 3-4 with rice or as part of a selection of curries
2 punnets of mushrooms, any kind, I used button and shiitake, a mixture of sliced and halved for variety, keeping some quite big
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 red chilli, finely chopped, optional
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
3 large tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 can coconut milk
Chilli flakes, to taste
Heat a large frying pan on the hob without any oil in it. Throw in the mushrooms and toss for 5 minutes. This is a technique Jamie Oliver uses for getting mushrooms really nutty tasting and it stops them shrinking as much. Remove the mushrooms from the pan when starting to smell delicious and turn golden. Place in a bowl and set to one side.
Add a glug of oil to the pan and fry the onion until softened. Add in the garlic and chilli and fry for another few minutes. Stir in the curry powder, ground cumin, turmeric and ground coriander, tossing everything in the spices.
Add in the tomatoes, allowing them to breakdown slightly before stirring in the coconut milk. Season generously. Simmer for 20 minutes.
Tip the mushrooms back into the pan, stirring them into the sauce.
Serve with rice and top with fresh coriander and chilli flakes.
This week’s recipe for Sculpt With Sasha members uses similar ingredients to last week but in a whole new way. I thought this would be an easy way to reduce waste and stop you having to buy too many new ingredients, especially when people want to be braving the supermarket as little as possible at the moment!
I had one of those days at work where you spend ages on a task and then realise that a tiny part of it was wrong at the beginning… so then all of it is wrong and you have to start from scratch… so here is a Groundhog Day meal, reminiscent of last week’s flavours, for a Groundhog Day kind of week… month… year?!
I’m sure everyone knows what those sort of days feel like and I think the best way to work through that feeling is to cook yourself something really damn good! The whole flat smelled like smoked paprika and sweet tomatoes, including the pyjamas I was cooking in (yes, that kind of a day), and the everything was better again! So I hope this recipe brings you as much comfort and warmth as it did me.
1 small onion, diced
1 fat clove garlic, minced
1 red or orange pepper, cut into chunks
1/2 courgette, cut in half longways and sliced
1 tbsp harissa
1 can chopped tomatoes (refill with water)
1 tsp smoked paprika
150g cherry tomatoes
1 can chickpeas
1 tsp chilli flakes
Fry the onion with a little oil in a large pan until soft, then add in the garlic and fry for 5 minutes more.
Add in the pepper and courgette, frying for a few minutes more. Stir through the harissa to coat all of the veg along with the spices and the chopped tomatoes. Fill the tomato can with water and add to the pan, stirring into the mixture to make a sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Mix in the chickpeas and cherry tomatoes. Continue to simmer until the tomatoes start to burst. Scatter with chilli flakes and serve by itself or with the below.
1 small knob butter (or vegan butter)
Small mug rice
1/2 stock cube
1 tsp turmeric
Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Lightly fry the onion until softened. Rinse the rice and then add to the pan with the stock cube, turmeric and 1.5 mugs of water. Put a lid on the pan and simmer for around 15 minutes or until all of the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked – be careful that it doesn’t stick!
In a small bowl combine 1 tbsp tahini with 1 tbsp water and stir. It will look like it is curdling and horrible at first but keep stirring and it will come together. Keep adding more water until the sauce in the texture of caesar salad dressing. Stir through any other flavours that you like: black pepper, garlic granules, dried herbs, nutritional yeast, lemon juice – whatever you fancy! Drizzle over the chickpea stew, salads, roasted veg or pretty much anything really… mmmm…
With a frost in the air and snow across parts of the country, I thought everyone could do with a warming recipe this week. Spice up your mid-week meals with this veggie twist on a Greek classic. This is a basic lentil recipe with lots of suggestions on how to use it below, but it also works very well as a comforting bowl of healthy, hearty goodness all on its own.
Hello to any Sculpt With Sasha members! I hope you enjoyed last week’s recipe and are ready for more. I’d love to see pics of you making this one and seeing where it takes you!
This week has already been cold and grey enough to send people into a bit of a new year stupor, but don’t feel disheartened. It’s all about the baby steps! Whether you complete a SWS workout this week, or try to make this recipe, or just get out of bed and shower: YOU ARE DOING GREAT!
Nourish yourself, eat well, move your body, sleep lots, do what you need to do to shake off the January blues. This year will get better. Put on some music and dance while you chop up some veggies for this week’s recipe…
Serves 2-3 (depending what you serve it with)
1/2 onion, diced
1 fat clove of garlic, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 courgette, diced
1 tbsp harissa
1 tbsp tomato purée
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 can chopped tomatoes
150g red lentils
In a deep frying pan or small-medium casserole dish heat a gulg of oil on a medium heat and fry the onion until beginning to soften. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add in the pepper and courgette (or other vegetables of choice).
Stir through the harissa, tomato purée and spices, coating all the veggies. Fry for 5 minutes until the veg are starting to soften and have taken on the flavour of the spices. Season.
Rinse the lentils – this will stop any scum forming on top of your dish while they cook. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan followed by the lentils and stir together. Fill the tomato can with water and use to add to the dish as required. You do not want to let the dish stick to the bottom or get too dry. The lentils will absorb a lot of water so keep adding if needed. Cover with a lid, lower the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, checking and stirring every so often until the lentils are soft and have the texture of a thick daal.
Basically, I couldn’t decide! Try out any combination of the options below:
Serve as it is with brown rice, spinach or kale for a nutritious dinner
Serve with flatbreads and hummus or natural yoghurt
For a more traditional moussaka-style dish, double the quantities above and layer lentils with slices of lightly fried aubergine and top with cashew sauce (recipe below) or béchamel to serve 4
Or try a ‘deconstructed’ moussaka bowl like I did with slices of fried aubergine, a scoop of cashew sauce and a handful of fresh spinach for some greenery. This is great if you’re short on time but still want all the comforting flavours of a veggie moussaka
This is one that I’ve picked up and altered over the years from a BOSH recipe but I don’t think I have looked at the recipe since I first saw it, but luckily it happily takes free styling in its stride. Increase the quantities and use in a vegan lasagne, add to a white sauce to give it an extra level of richness, or just spoon on top of your meals like I do!
50ml oat milk
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
1tsp garlic granules
Boil the cashews in a small saucepan for 10 minutes until they soften and start to lose a bit of their colour.
Tip the boiled cashews into a blender with the rest of the ingredients and some seasoning. Blend until smooth and thick. If the sauce is too thick, add either more oat milk or a splash of the water you cooked the cashews in and blend again.
Liberally spread, spoon and stir through everything you eat for the rest of your days.
Happy New Year! I’m trying to kick off the year, as ever, with some good habits but I want them to be sustainable and actually focused on making me happy more than anything else. My parents have opted for some crazy keto-inspired diet, which sounds truly horrifying as a borderline-dairy-intolerant-vegetarian! As we won’t be sharing many family meals for a while, I’m putting more effort into making the food that I really want to eat – starting today.
I’ve teamed up with my friend Sasha to write delicious weekly recipes for her wonderful subscribers. She runs a fitness subscription site that combines pilates, yoga, cardio, barre – basically if you want to feel the burn, she’s your woman! Sasha has loads of amazing videos, and when you think how much fitness classes used to cost when the world was normal… it’s a bloody steal PLUS there’s nobody there to see my bright red face sweating away to the music. Make sure you have a look at sculptwithsasha.com for more info and subscribe to her brilliant workouts if you can!
This recipe can be used as a guide and will work with lots of substitutions, so just use what you have and get a bit inspired! It’s the perfect make-ahead lunch to save those precious daylight hours in your lunch breaks too.
1/2 head broccoli, divided into florets
1 sweet potato or 1/2 a butternut squash, cubed, about the size of a Quality Street
1 red onion, cut into wedges
1 tsp cumin seeds, or spice of your choice
1 tsp sumac, or spice of your choice
1 block tofu, cubed
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp garlic granules
2 handfuls of spinach or kale
Heat the oven to 200°. Toss the broccoli, sweet potato and red onion (or other veg of choice) with the cumin seeds, sumac and a drizzle of oil on a baking tray. You may wish to keep the sweet potato at one end of the tray in case it needs slightly longer to cook. Roast for 20-25 mins, until the broccoli is starting to crisp and the sweet potato or squash is soft.
While the veg is cooking heat a glug of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Once hot throw in the tofu. Allow to cook for a couple of minutes, tossing occasionally. Then add the soy sauce, garlic granules and a good few cracks of black pepper, stirring to coat all of the tofu. Fry for a further 10-15 minutes until your desired level of crispiness. I use garlic granules with tofu as it helps the tofu to take on more flavour and doesn’t burn as quickly as fresh garlic would on such a high heat. If you’re a fan of super crispy tofu try tossing it in cornflour before frying!
To serve, fill two bowls or plates with a handful of spinach each (or lightly steamed kale) then top with the roasted veg and crispy tofu.
Add any dressing, extra olive oil or toppings that your heart desires – I added a drizzle of tahini and some pumpkin seeds to mine to complement the sumac and cumin, but I will post some extra ideas below!
Why not try…
Tossing the veg with smoked paprika, adding chilli flakes to the tofu and squeezing over a lime for some zing!
Replacing the vegetable spices with some Chinese 5 spice and adding extra soy sauce to the tofu for an asian twist!
Adding a spoonful of hummus to your bowl for a new texture and flavour dynamic!