Black Kale and Quinoa Burgers - Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender

Oh my goodness I've gone all healthy on myself; not only have I been converted to using Frylight cooking spray with just 1 kcal per spray but now I'm all into kale and spinach too!

The spinach thing started a while ago when I made conjured up my Cheese, Tomato and Spinach Stuffed Peppers and half the time Paul (the husband) doesn't even know he's eating it! Oh yes I've been hiding it in his dinner. Chopped up really finely and added to fresh tomato pasta sauce along with mushrooms which he also doesn't like and claims he will not eat; but if they're chopped up tiny I've discovered he doesn't even know he's eaten them 😉


Surprisingly tasty and packed full of goodness my invention of these burgers was a success. A great way to hide veg for kids and fussy eaters; yes there are also carrots hidden in my burgers.

Cavelo Nero is a variety of kale (also known as black kale) is low in saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol and is a good source of Vitamin A and C and Vitamin B6 among a whole list of other stuff. Quinoa is also good for you; it's high in protein, contains all nine essential amino acids and it's gluten free too.

Back to my Kale, Quinoa and Cannellini Burgers. Instead of adding potato I used cooked quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) and I decided Cannellini Beans would also be good since I'm on this healthy eating thing - well not all the time just a lot of the time these days as the holiday is nearing and I need to get myself sorted!

To make this recipe I used my Optimum VAC2 Blender - you can read my review by clicking on the link.

Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender from Froothie - Review

The Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Power blender from Froothie is not 'just another high powered blender' it's a heavy duty blender that has the option to be used with or without vacuum. Just look at this gorgeous machine; I say it definitely looks the part, but not only that it makes life so much easier in the kitchen.

It's also available in Black or Red but I'm loving Silver. I have to say it's built well, and so it should be for the price, but you can tell this is fantastic quality as is my previous Optimum 9400 Next Generation Blender. There's certainly nothing flimsy or cheap looking about any of the power blenders from Froothie.

Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender

Why would you need a Vacuum Blender?
When used with the vacuum option the air is taken out of ingredients such as fruit placed in the blending jug. By removing the air smoothies etc will stay colourful and won't separate as they usually would. The vacuum technology eliminates the oxidation process by drawing out the air which can lead to the destruction of nutrients in food; this is what causes smoothies etc to separate in a very short time if not consumed straight away.

How to make Marzipan

Well who'd have thought me of all people, has actually managed to made a Christmas cake. Now for the cake itself I used a recipe off the net which worked and I had a rich dark, moist fruit cake.

As I understand it it's important to 'feed' the cake every few days by making small holes in with a cocktail stick and adding brandy. Well due to one thing or another happening round here I didn't get round to icing it for a good few weeks so for fear of it drying out my cake was fed possibly a little too much; yep a lot of brandy went into this cake 😊 I think if I had a shop I'd need an alcohol licence to sell a slice!

Christmas Cake

So anyway the cake was made and with thanks to the lovely people over at Dr. Oetker the icing was taken care of by way of a ready to roll pack. Well I got so into this cake making lark I even bought me a fondant icing smoother which is necessary for a lovely smooth finish - see I know all the techie bits lol 😉 A cake smoother not only give a nice smooth finish but it ensures the marzipan and icing are nicely sealed with no airspace in between; you may remember I had lessons at the Langham Hotel in London with Cherish Finden no less so I know these things!

Bear in Mind your Star Sign when Deciding what to Eat

There are many aspects of life that can be explored using our zodiac signs; the most obvious of which is when you’re thinking about your love life and who you might be most compatible with. Then, of course, we can use astrology when considering a career change, as certain character traits – and suitability for certain roles - seem to follow with whichever star sign we are.

Astrology

"astrology" (Public Domain) by claudiadea131

But did you know that there are certain foods that are supposed to suit certain zodiac signs better than others? Maybe you take astrology seriously and have regular astrology readings like those available at TheCircle or perhaps you just tend to glance at your horoscope in the paper and see if anything chimes with how you’re feeling at that moment. Either way, it makes sense that if our star sign affects our character and love life, it might also be relevant to what foods work for us.

Stilton and Pecan - Bread Recipe

Well amazingly for me, I'm still into baking; I seem to have got the bug since the Kenwood Chef Elite arrived. Of course the Kenwood Chef does far more than mix, knead and whisk - so far I've made Banana Bread and a Berry and Chocolate Meringue Wreath. I've also made a birthday cake and a Christmas cake for which I made my own marzipan - check me out. Baker Jan lol

Stilton and Pecan Twist

I'm loving Paul Hollywood book 'How to Bake' and had a go at his Stilton and Pecan Twist. I have slightly altered it though - just don't tell him 😆I decided it would be even better with a mix of white and wholemeal flour.

I must say I know very little about baking but when I read the water had to be cold I thought it was a bit odd. But if you take time to read the beginning of the book (page 13) as I did, there's a very interesting bit about water temperature.

Berry and Chocolate Meringue Wreath

Okay so after my Banana Bread made with the help of my Kenwood Chef, I've since got all tricky and made this Meringue Wreath. Now I understand that for most this probably isn't tricky at all but I don't do baking; simply because I'm no good at it. However, since the Kenwood Chef Elite arrived it's made such a difference as I not only love using it but it makes life so much easier.

Berry and Chocolate Meringue Christmas Wreath

I really couldn't have been bothered with all the whisking needed to produce meringue (too much like hard work and I am lazy) but now I can just put the egg whites in and let it get on before adding the sugar a little at a time and let the Kenwood Chef Elite KVC5100S do all the hard work.

How to Help People in Need this Christmas

For most of us Christmas Turkey dinner is something we look forward to and Christmas is a lovely time to spend with friends and families and eat, drink and be merry as they say.

But unfortunately for a lot of people they simply have very little money and just can't afford to eat properly all year never mind afford a full on Christmas dinner. Then there elderly people that maybe living on their own and don't have any family to help them or perhaps they simply aren't well enough to cook for themselves. Sadly there are also many homeless people having to live on the streets. Thankfully myself and most people reading this won't ever know what that's like; it must be unbearable. But here's how we can all help.

Tesco Christmas Turkey

This year Tesco have pledged to donate £1 for every fresh turkey sold, either instore or online, to help people in need this Christmas. Money raised through the purchasing of turkeys at Tesco will be shared between Tesco’s food charity partners FareShare and The Trussell Trust to help people in need over the festive period.

The initiative builds on the continued support offered by the retailer to local communities through its annual Food Collection (now in it's 10th year), and its food surplus redistribution scheme, Community Food Connection.

Last year, Tesco became the first retailer to pledge that no food that is safe for human consumption will go to waste from its UK operations, and since 2012, Tesco customers and colleagues have donated the equivalent of over 60 million meals to people in need which I think is absolutely fantastic - Go Tesco!

Tesco Charity Partners

How can we all help?
  • By ordering your turkey from Tesco's Christmas turkeys and Tesco will donate £1 to their food charity partners for every fresh turkey sold.
  • By simply arranging to cook one extra Christmas dinner for a neighbour in need.
  • Donating to a food bank - you can find your local food bank here.
  • Many town centres are places that homeless people tend to go to to try and get some money; so how about taking a thick pair of socks to give to them. I'm sure they'll appreciate it with the weather getting so cold and apparently socks are one of the least donated items.  
  • Buy a hot pasty or sausage roll and give it to a person you see is clearly living on the streets. 

You can find Tesco on Twitter @Tesco #EveryonesWelcome

For more information on FareShare and The Trussell Trust click on the links to take you to their sites.


Disclosure:  I received a Tesco gift card to cover my time writing this post and promoting Tesco's campaign on social media. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Black Kale and Quinoa Burgers - Optimum VAC2 Air Vacuum Blender

Oh my goodness I've gone all healthy on myself; not only have I been converted to using Frylight cooking spray with just 1 kcal per spra...