Stuffed pepper with rice, black beans and guacamole

This is basically a burrito using a pepper instead of bread –a healthy option if you want to watch out for carbs (or if you’ve run out of tortillas like in my case, because CARBS ARE YOUR FRIENDS AND YOU SHOULDN’T BE AFRAID OF THEM).
It’s the easiest thing ever to make, although it does take a long time to cook (and by a long time I mean longer than the usual 7 minutes I normally allow myself to make dinner). But you don’t have to do anything while the beans and rice are cooking, you can amuse yourself with other amenities like knitting or  taxidermy as long as you remember to stir from time to time.

What you need

  • One pepper (or as many as you want to eat)
  • A cup of rice
  • Black beans (I had some dried ones but you can also use canned kidney beans)
  • Guacamole
  • Sweet chilli sauce (optional)
  • Cheese flavouring (optional)

What to do

  1. If you’re using dried beans, make sure you soak them overnight (or during the day if you’re making this for dinner). They should be soaked for about 8 hours.
  2. Rinse the beans and cook them for 54 million years. This takes forever! If you’re using kidney beans you obviously only need to heat them up.
  3. Cook the rice in a separate pan.
  4. Take your pepper, chop off the top and scoop out the inside, so it looks like a little nice bowl.
  5. Bake the pepper for about 15 minutes, or until it gets soft (this really depends on how you like your peppers, I don’t like them raw so I’d tend to bake them for longer).
  6. When the rice is ready, if you want you can add some sweet chilli sauce for flavour.
  7. If you want you can also add some cheese flavouring to the beans (this is my favourite).
  8. When the beans are also ready, it’s time to stuff your pepper. Put a layer of rice on the bottom and a layer of beans on top. Then bake the whole thing again until the pepper starts to turn brownish on the edges (again, this is up to your taste).
  9. Take the pepper out of the oven, top it up with guacamole, and stuff your face in it!

Also watch the video here, and for more vegan yumminess you can also follow me on Instagram 🙂
Thanks guys!

How to save money

Hi lovelies! Today I thought I’d write about how to be more aware of your cash flow and save some dough.
I live in London which is one of the most expensive cities on the planet, so obviously this is a recurring issue in my everyday life. Although I’ve got a stable job it’s still quite hard for me to be able to put money aside every month (especially now that we are moving to New Zealand, and trust me that costs a fortune).
So if you also struggle to balance being a responsible bunny but still enjoying all the amenities that your city offers, here’s a brief guide that might help you manage your finances so you don’t have to spend the last week before pay day living on beans on toast.

  1. Keep track of every single penny you spend

The best thing to do this is to write everything down.
I used to have an Excel spread-sheet where I would keep track of my cash flow. However, because it was hidden away in a dusty folder on my computer, I would often forget to update it. What works for me is something that I can constantly see. I now use a big piece of paper stuck to my wardrobe. It’s divided into categories (food, commuting, nights out, books…) where I keep track of how much I spend on what. This is very effective because I can see it every day and it’s a constant reminder of how I’m doing.

  1. Put money in your saving account the same day you get paid

This way you know you’re done for the month, and what you have in your account is what you can actually spend. If you wait till the end of the month before putting money in your saving account, by the time next payday comes you’re more likely to have spent it all. But you won’t be tempted to spend it if it’s simply not there.

  1. Set yourself a monthly budget

Decide how much money you’re allowed to spend and on what and try to stick to it. Be realistic though! Set yourself realistic goals and don’t be too stingy, otherwise it can be frustrating to see you can’t stick to what you’d planned but this might only be because your original plan was too ambitious.

  1. Plan your meals

Obviously one of the things you need to consider in your monthly budget is food.
With food, what I found really works for me is meal planning. I tend to cook all my meals myself for various reasons (not only because it’s cheaper, but also because this way I know exactly what I’m eating), so this is what I do: on the weekend I sit down and plan what I’m going to eat throughout the week. If I can I plan every single meal Monday to Friday, but sometimes I’ll leave a couple of meals out and I’ll have lunch at work (we have an amazing café in the office and the salad bar is pretty much all vegan, it’s very cheap and healthy but this is my only exception, I don’t really eat out for lunch other than that). Then I would go grocery shopping and buy only the things I need to cook for the week.
I can easily get by for a whole week with no more than £20 on food, sometimes even less. (Obviously this is based on a vegan diet.) Remember being vegan doesn’t have to be expensive. Most of my diet is based on potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, legumes, and lots of fruits and vegetables. I would advise to buy in bulks if you can, and don’t forget fruits and vegs can be frozen (without losing any nutritional value) and they’ll last you for a very long time.

  1. Can you do it yourself?

Everything you do, think whether you can do it at home. If you get Starbucks every single day on your way to work, this can cost you up to £15 per week –only on plain black Americanos. That’s £80 per month, excluding weekends. Why don’t you get yourself a reusable thermos, and enjoy a cheaper caffeine experience by making coffee yourself? This will save you money, avoid queues, be more environmental friendly, and your coffee will never ever come with your name spelled horribly wrong.

  1. Carry cash

Carrying cash instead of paying by card is also a good idea. I’m not very good at it because I tend to spend cash if I have it but also with cash you know exactly how much you have so it’s easier to keep track of what you’re spending.

  1. Have free days

We all know how hard it is to go even one day without spending a single penny, especially if you live in a big city. But it’s very satisfying when you manage to. Giac and I often have free weekends, when we don’t allow ourselves to spend anything at all. (This doesn’t mean we never leave the house for two days. There are plenty of things you can do in London for free –I’ll write a separate post on this.)
I’m also a proud survivor of a whole free week –I managed to not spend anything from Monday to Friday a couple of weeks ago. I promise I’m not this stingy normally, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it (also I bought a wedding dress on Saturday so I pretty much spent in one morning what I would have spent in an entire week anyway).

  1. Don’t be fooled by the brand

Being a little woman myself, when it comes to makeup or beauty products I know how easy it is to buy something just because the packaging looks pretty. But remember that more often than not expensive products contains exactly the same ingredients as their cheaper counterpart, although they come in a more fancy-looking box. Don’t be fooled by the packaging! Expensive products often are not worth the money, you can have the same benefits with a dupes.

Alright guys, this is it! I hope you found this helpful, stay tuned and speak soon!

Baked sweet potato with soy mince

What you need

  • Sweet potatoes (as many as you want)
  • A pack of soy mince (I got mine from Tesco but there are quite a few you can choose from, Holland&Barrett also have a good one)
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Tomato passata
  • Olive oil
  • Salt, black pepper and paprika (optional)

What to do

  1. Slice the sweet potatoes length-wise and stab them a few times to make them cook faster. Then bake them in the oven at 200°C for about 45min.
  2. If your mince is frozen, I suggest you defrost it in the microwave first. If not, just put it aside for now.
  3. Chop up some onions and heat them up in a pan with some olive oil.
  4. Chop up the carrots and the celery and set them aside.
  5. I like my onions to be a bit overcooked, so I would wait until they turn brown before adding the carrots and the celery, but if you don’t mind your onions to be on the raw side, feel free to add in the chopped carrots and celery straight away.
  6. Mix well adding a bit of water if needed. I’d also add salt, black pepper and a little bit of paprika at this point.
  7. When the veggies are turning soft, it’s time to add the mince. Stir everything together until soft.
  8. Add the tomato passata and stir well.
  9. If the mince is ready before the sweet potatoes, just cover it up while you wait.
  10. When the sweet potatoes are all nice and soft, take them out of the oven and cut them open. Then pour the mince on top and stuff your face in it!

Also check out the video here! Have a nice evening guys!