Sunday, 27 April 2014

Sprouted Mung Bean Salad ~ 5.-2 diet

Protein packed Mung bean salad perfect for lunch side dish. .

1 bowl of sprouted mung Beans approx (250 g) (For instructions on how to sprout the mung beans click here)
1 small red onion finely sliced
1 small tomato finely diced
1 green chilli finely chopped
2 inch piece of cucumber finely diced
1 small raw mango finely diced ( optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
Juice of half lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon sugar


1. In a steamer place the sprouted mung beans and steam them for 20 minutes.
2. Remove the steamed mung beans from the steamer and transfer them to a bowl and leave to cool.
3. Add the onions, cucumber, raw mango, green chilli and tomatoes to the bowl.
4. Add the salt, chilli powder, sugar. lemon juice and half the coriander and toss together.
5. Transfer the sprouted mung bean salad to a serving bowl and garnish with remaining coriander.

 Suitable for 5-2 diet

Calories per serving

NB -For those who don't like spicy food omit the chillies. You can use raw sprouted mung beans in this recipe too if you prefer.

Submitting to:
In my VEG BOX ~Onions event by citrusspiceuk guest hosted by Tina of The spicy pear.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

How to Sprout Mung Beans

Sprouting is the process whereby seeds are germinated and eaten either raw or cooked. Beans such as haricot, black eyed beans, chickpeas , including grasses, grains  can be used for sprouting.

My favourite pulse to sprout is mung beans; they are small round beans and green in colour. Mung beans originated in India and were cultivated throughout Asia. Mung bean sprouts are high in vitamin C, iron, and potassium. They are low in cholesterol and high in soluble dietary fibers. Mung beans are a low glycemic index food, which means the beans are a diabetic friendly food. Low glycemic foods promote healthy blood sugar levels.

There are many uses for sprouted mung beans in recipes.They can be eaten raw in salads, or steamed and added to soups or they can be curried or added to rice dishes too. Today I am going to share how to sprout your mung beans , the same method can be used for any bean although the sprouting time will vary with different beans.

Healthy way to add protein to your diet. 


250g  Mung Beans

Muslin cloth or thin cheese cloth type material.


1. Wash the mung beans a few times in water and soak them in clean water overnight.
2. Next day drain the beans, you will notice they are swollen.
3. Get a large muslin cloth and soak it and squeeze all the water out. Spread the muslin cloth on a table and   put the mung beans in the centre. Bring the corners of the muslin cloth together and tie a loose knot.
4. Place the muslin parcel in a colander and place the colander in a bowl to catch any drips of water.Cover the bowl and place the bowl in a dark cupboard for 18-24 hours. If the muslin cloth dries out spray it delicately with water to keep it damp.
5. After 24 hours check to see if sprouts have formed other wise leave the beans for a little  longer. The sprouting time will vary depending on the humidity and the country you live in.My mung beans sprouted  in 24 hours.
6. Once beans have sprouted you can store them in the fridge to use for 1-2 days or even freeze them.
You can eat the sprouted mung beans in salads, curries, steamed or raw.

Friday, 18 April 2014

Mushroom Soup ~ 5-2 Diet

I am always sharing posts about my food props and how I came about owning them.This lovely pair of china bowls that are featured in the pictures below are a new addition to my collection.

They were a recent Mothersday gift from my daughters together with some other gifts. The pastel colours with the floral pattern on them makes them so adorable and perfect for my soup photos below.

Creamy and delicious mushroom soup that is perfect for lunch or served as a starter.


200 g button Mushrooms
125 g  potato
1 small white onion
1 clove garlic finely minced
500 ml water
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
100 ml milk
1 teaspoon of cream to swirl on top of the soup (optional)


1. Clean and chop the mushroom into small pieces.
2. Peel and dice the potato into small pieces.
3. Peel and finely chop the onion.
4. In a pan add the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic until pink and translucent.
5. Add the potatoes and mushrooms and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
6. Add the 500 ml water and bring the liquid to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes until potatoes are cooked.
7. Transfer the soup to a blender jug and purée it in two batches.
8. Return the puréed soup to the pan and bring the soup to a slow simmer. Add the milk and season with slat and pepper.

Turn off the heat and serve soup.

This soup can be part of the 5- diet, its is approximately 150 g per serving ( 1 bowl of soup) 
NB-Bread not included in calorie count.

Calories per serving

Submitting to:
In my VEG BOX ~Onions event by citrusspice guest hosted by Tina of The spicy pear.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Date Milkshake

Rich and delicious milkshake with natural sweetness from the dates.


6 soft Medjool dates
30 ml  boiling water
100 ml  skimmed milk
6 ice cubes


1.  Place the dates in a bowl , add 30 ml boiling water  cover and leave them aside to soak.
2. After 30 minutes rub the dates to remove the outer skin and discard the skin. Finely chops the dates and add them to a blender jug together with the milk and ice cubes and blend.
3. Pour into tall glasses or bottles and serve immediately.Tastes best when its super chilled.

NB- You can use any type of milk.

Submitting to:

Taste of Tropics ~Dates event by Chef Mireille  guest hosted by citrusspiceuk

Friday, 11 April 2014

How to make a handy tool box for your food styling .

I went to a foodies conference last year and I attended a food photography session.The session was all about how to style your food, how to present it and how to colour coordinate it using accessories, napkins and props.

One of the best pieces of advise that was given was to create a tool box for food photography.In this tool box you can place all sorts of handy things that you can use to help with your food styling.
To create your own food styling tool box you will need a Tupperware or cardboard shoe box with a lid.You will need to collect the following items and add them to the box:

  • Tweezers- these are for placing ingredients and or garnishes in specific position on your food so that they are in the exact place.
  • Cotton buds - these are perfect when you want to mop up a splash or droplets on a plate or side of soup bowl.
  • Kitchen Foil - This is perfect if you want to fill up any cavities at the bottom of a bowl and place food on top.All you need to do is scrunch it in balls and place it in the bottom of the bowl ad place food on top.Scrunched up foil is also ideal to prop up cookies on plates.
  • Loose coins- These are perfect to slide under plates, cups, bowls if you have a little slant to raise the area that's slanting. You can layer them depending on how much raise you want.
  • Pipette - You can use the  pipette to add those perfect drops of dressing / sauces on the plate in precision.
  • Brushes -These are good for producing feathered effect and swirling of sauces etc around desserts.
  • Sauce bottle with nozzle- These are perfect as you can fill them with cream or sauce and use the nozzle to release just the exact amount on your plate neatly.
  • Cocktail sticks- These are for lifting , positioning or securing food onto plate.
  • A small spray bottle- Fill the bottle with iced water and use it to freshen up pictures of salad and fruit that may go limp under photography lightening.
I am sure that there are many other useful  items that can be added to this box and it will grow in due time.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Another addition to my prop collection.

When I started this blog I confessed that I was rather obsessed with collecting  props for my food pictures and I have many a tale as to where and how I have come in possession of these cute beauties. Today I am going to share some of  my new additions in the collection.

The two little bowls with the intricate pattern on them were a gift from a friend who recently came over for lunch.She like others knows about my obsession  for props and gifted me these cute bowls as thank you gift for cooking lunch for her.She tells me she got these in a Indian utensils store whilst  shopping and immediately thought of me and promptly purchased them. I dearly love friends like this :).
The bowls are silver in colour, the smaller one has a copper band with an intricate pattern inlay and the slightly larger bowl has a silver band with a similar intricate pattern around it. Both the bowls have an inner decorative pattern too and are really eye catching. I have used the smaller pot with the copper band in my photo for the Date and Nut Barfi.

The pewter pot featured in the picture above was a random find in charity shop, when I saw it I immediately fell in love the formation of it dome shape and the beautifully etched pattern around it. It reminds me of Aladdin's magic lamp or Eastern travels in exotic places. It was this visualisation of the East that inspired me to take this photo with the pot with the dates.

 The antique gold pot featured below is another find from another charity shop. Sadly it is rather tarnished and does have a couple of dents in it but I think that adds to the charm of it. I am looking forward to featuring it in one of my recipe posts soon.

The spoons, these were an impulse purchase from ebay, although when I purchased them the size looked a lot bigger in the picture but when I received them they were miniatures!!! Despite their mini size I love them and they will look great with pictures of condiments or miniature ethnic desserts. They go really well with the bowls featured above.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Felt Book Marks Video tutorial

These adorable Felt book marks are a must for any book reader. They make wonderful presents and can be made and personalised in different colours using different motifs and accessories.

Equipment needed:

Purple felt
Green Felt
White Card
Assorted beads
Embroidery thread assorted colours and needle
Strawberry / Flower motifs
Pencil/ ruler
Double sided tape


For simple and easy step by step instructions on how to make these book marks watch the video below.

NB-This craft activity is suitable for children if carried out under adult supervision.

You may like:

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Event round Up In my VEG BOX ~TOMATOES

Thankyou to everyone who sent in their delicious recipes to this wonderful event.
Here are all the entries.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Announcing event Taste of Tropics ~Dates

This month citrusspiceuk is excited to be guest hosting the wonderful and on going event Taste of Tropics by Chef Mireille of East West Realm. For this event I have chosen dates. I love dates they are really versatile as sweeteners in sweet dishes and desserts and also make a lovely addition to savoury dishes too. Dates are come from the fruit of date palms. They can be eaten fresh raw or even dried as snacks or added  in recipes. Dates are very popular in Middle Eastern cuisine. They are healthy  and have many good health benefits.

I am inviting you to cook any vegetarian recipe which uses dates as one of the ingredient in it and linkit to this event.

To Participate:

1. Prepare any vegetarian recipe using dates  (eggs allowed) please link your dish using the linky below by entering your Dish Name and Post URL
2. Please link this event announcement with your entry as well a link to Chef Mireille's blog, this is mandatory. Any entries without these links added to their post will be deleted.
3. Use of logo is not mandatory but it helps to spread the word if you can use it.
4. Multiple entries are allowed, archived are only allowed if reposted and updated with this event link.
5. Please make sure that you follow this blog via googleplus, google friend connect or face book so that you can get regular updates of future events in this series and also so that you can receive notification of the round up of the event.
6.In the event of problem using linky you can email me the entry at

Please use this format:
Your Name: Recipe
Name Recipe URL
Image no larger than 300 pixels.