Friday, April 20, 2012

Black Eyed Beans

Blacked eyed beans are by far my favourite from the bean family. Their black 'scar' caused from the beans being joined at the pod seems a little daunting, but none the less there is nothing to fear (it is just a mark).

These beans are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, protein and they are extremely low in fat and calories making it suitable for those aiming to shed some pounds. This legume makes for a delicious meal and to add to it's benefits it also helps us women in time of need with Iron levels. The natural amounts of iron in these produce helps to prevent anemia and fatigue.

Check out my favourite quick and easy Black eyed bean recipe from BBC Food. This one is extremely suitable after a long day in the office as it is little fuss:. Before beginning this recipe remember to pre-soak the beans overnight, however if this is too late you can use a quick soak method which consists of pouring dry beans into boiling water and boiling for 2 minutes. Remove them from the heat and allow to stand for 1 hour. Discard soaking water and continue with cooking.

Black-eyed bean wraps with yoghurt and mint dressing veg.


        4 cherry tomatoes

        1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

        3 tbsp olive oil

        ½ onion, peeled, chopped

        55g/2oz sweetcorn kernels

        ½ tsp chopped Scotch bonnet chilli, seeds removed

        55g/2oz canned black-eyed beans, drained, rinsed

        salt and freshly ground black pepper

        3 ready-made flour tortillas

To serve

        3 tbsp Greek-style yoghurt

        1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
Preparation method

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

1. Place the tomatoes into a small roasting tin, drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and half of the oil and roast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown.

2. Heat one tablespoon of the remaining oil in an ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onion, sweetcorn and chilli for 5-6 minutes. Add the beans and cook for a further 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Season, to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Divide the black-eyed bean mixture among the three tortillas, top with the roasted tomatoes and roll the tortillas up.

4. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in the frying pan used to cook the black-eyed beans and fry the stuffed tortillas for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden-brown. Transfer to the oven to bake for 4-5 minutes.

5. Serve the stuffed tortillas stacked on a plate with the yoghurt spooned alongside. Sprinkle with the dill.

How do you like your black eyed beans?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Whittard's Dreamtime Hot Chocolate for chocolatey sweet dreams.

In the unstable English spring months nothing screams cozy like a warm drink before bed. This Springtime I was introduced to Whittard's chocolatey blends. This chocolate dream time granulated powder provides me with what I need before I sleep. It provides me with calm, heat and chocolate.

With 3 heaped teaspoons (20g) in a mug, maybe an extra one if you are feeling decadent. Gently heat approximately 200ml of milk and pour onto the chocolate stirring thoroughly. For excess indulgence, top with whipped cream, marshmallows and not to forget a sprinkle of hot chocolate powder. Just like 'dreamtime' it sends Leni into a deep sweet state of sleep every time. If you are having trouble sleeping I really recommend trying this hot beverage.

If you haven't tried be sure to visit your nearest Whittard's and purchase Dreamtime at £5.50 here now and let me know how effective it is on you. Click here to find your nearest cup of sweet dreams.

"Dreamtime hot chocolate is a combination of our luxury hot chocolate but with added malt extract, camomile and honey flavours. A delicious evening blend for the sweetest dreams."

Written by Eleni Charalambous Co-founder, Editor and Social Media consultant at LeniandMimi.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Matilda the Musical, London

For huge fans of Matilda, the musical in London is a must see. Matilda's character is displayed in such an elegant and adorable light with voices that do the film justice. A real treat for all ages.

The setting has been done to set a magical tone across the who whole audience. Make sure you watch the West End version of one of your favourite childhood movies. Fid great deals for your tickets as always on from only £29.00.

Let us know how much you enjoyed the show.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

LittlePod Eggless Chocolate Yoghurt Cake


130g flour
70g sugar
125ml plain yoghurt or curd
60g butter, at room temperature
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp LittlePod Vanilla paste
1/2 tsp baking powder


1 Preheat the oven to 350F/180 C. Grease a medium sized cake tin or a loaf tin and set aside.

2. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together. Cream the butter and sugar, then add the dry flour mixture to the butter and beat well until frothy. This takes about 2-3 minutes with an
electric whisk or about 7 to 8 minutes by hand.

3. Fold in the yoghurt and the LittlePod Vanilla Paste.The batter should now be smooth and thick, almost like the consistency of smooth peanut butter with a light chocolate colouring.

4. Transfer the batter to the greased tray and bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. The cake will be quite dense. Cool on wire rack and serve.

5. The cake can be stored in an airtight container.

Happy Easter Sunday all. Let us know how you have spent your Easter Sunday xoxo

Friday, April 6, 2012

Balsamic chicken, asparagus and squash risotto with vanilla by LittlePod

Serves 2
Medium effort very tasty.


2 chicken breasts
2 butternut or other firm squash, peeled, seeded and diced
80ml balsamic vinegar
2 chopped cloves of garlic
1 tsp Little Pod vanilla paste plus two Little Pod vanilla pods, seeded
½ an onion, finely diced
250g risotto rice
6 spears asparagus
A carrot, finely shredded
A celery stick, finely sliced
450ml chicken stock
6tbsp light olive oil
200ml water
1 tbsp sugar
A pinch or two of nutmeg
30ml single cream
A knob of butter


1. Marinate the chicken for three hours in the vinegar, half the vanilla paste, the garlic and 2tbsp of olive oil. Mix the vanilla seeds well with the rest of the oil.

2. Roast the squash in a little of the vanilla oil with some salt and pepper and the nutmeg, put half of it
aside when browned and mash the rest to a puree, adding this to the water, the rest of the vanilla paste
and the sugar, mixing well. Then turn the oven down to fifty.

3. Sautee the onion over a medium flame in some more of the vanilla oil for two or three minutes then
add the risotto rice, stirring for a further couple of minutes. Add the stock a little at a time until it is all
absorbed then add the squash mixture, stir, turn the heat right down and cover.

4. Toss the asparagus in the rest of the vanilla oil and grill for half a minute on two sides and keep warm in the low oven. Put the diced squash with it to be kept warm also.

5. Brown the chicken breasts on all sides and cook in the oven for twelve to fifteen minutes and then leave to rest in the oven.

6. Check the risotto and add a little more water if too al dente, then add the cream and butter.

7. Serve the chicken sliced on the asparagus on the risotto with the chicken juices poured over, and diced squash scattered around the plate.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Chocolate & Beetroot Fudge Cake by LittlePod


Chocolate & Beetroot Fudge Cake

250g dark chocolate, plus 150g for topping

3 medium free-range eggs

250g light muscovado sugar

1 tsp LittlePod vanilla paste

1 tsp LittlePod chocolate extract

4 tablespoons clear honey, plus 3 for the topping

40g self-raising flour

1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

25g cocoa powder

50g ground almonds

250g raw beetroot, peeled and finely grated

100ml strong black coffee, plus 3 tablespoons for the topping

1 teaspoon LittlePod vanilla extract

30ml sunflower oil


1. Preheat oven to 160ºC, or a fan-assisted one to 140ºC and grease the surface of
a round, 20cm diameter tin with sunflower oil. Then slowly melt 250g chocolate in
a bowl over a pan of simmering water until all dissolved and set aside to cool.

2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs together with the sugar, LittlePod vanilla
paste, 4 tbsp honey and chocolate extract for three minutes until pale and fluffy.
Then, fold in the flours, bicarbonate of soda, salt, cocoa powder and ground

3. Pat the grated beetroot thoroughly with kitchen paper in order to remove some of
the excess moisture, then fold together the beetroot, cooled chocolate, coffee and oil
with the help of a spatula until completely combined.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and cook in the middle of the oven for 1
hour 30 minutes. Then cover the cake with foil and bake for a further 30 minutes.
Remove from oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

5. To make the topping, melt the remaining chocolate then remove from the heat to
add the coffee and the vanilla extract, and then the honey.Set aside for 15 minutes
before topping the cake.

6. Decorate however you wish! We think it looks beautiful with fresh, colourful

Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Liquorice Novelties

After suffering from Low blood pressure since I was a child it has always been important for me to find quick fixes to raise it at moments of weakness. Shots of coffee was recommended to me but I felt too wired with this diagnosis. The Liquorice was suggested and in deed it does the trick when I need it. Thanks to my Mum and these goodies I always have my handbag stocked with these 'natural' remedies.

Low pressure can mean that blood is not delivering oxygen and nutrients to the tissues as it should be, and this could possibly result in a range of health issues including severe physical and mental fatigue.

With research I found that low blood pressure (also called hypo-tension) can be a sign of an underlying problem. In specific a weakness in organs known as the adrenal glands. Symptoms can include the need to eat regularly (skipping meals leads to feeling anxious, light-headed, irritable or shaky) and a craving for salty foods such as crisps.

Specific herbal agents can help strengthen the adrenal function, one of the most powerful is liquorice. Liquorice helps with the support of adrenal function, and in addition can help to increase blood pressure in time. So this is the perfect fix for those who need to rise their blood pressure.

Sunday, April 1, 2012


I never used to be a huge fan of raisins (probably because of the way they look...) but gradually I changed my mind and they have become one of my favourite snacks. The health benefits they offer are many and next time you crave sweets or chocolates, try eating raisins instead. They help with digestion, are a good source of iron (one cup of raisins provides about 6 mg of iron--17 percent of your daily requirement - source:, enhance bones and mouth health and last but not least prevent cancer (catechin, an antioxidant in raisins, provides protection against free radicals, which causes the development of tumors, specifically colon cancer).

You can buy raisins in any supermarket or get 250 gr of raisins for only £0.99 at Holland & Barrett.