Fashion is everywhere

Clones N Clowns by Aimee Wood

Fast Food #2: Vegan yogurt recipe

Hello girls ! I hope you’re well and ready for another round of Healthy Fast Food ! I’m home alone at the moment as my other half is traveling… and it seems the veggie / vegan inside of me is ready to jump out and explore new flavours! It’s whilst trying (and failing) to make a vegan pancake mix that I realised this was the most delicious vegan yogurt I have ever tried. It’s rich, creamy, sweet and totally dairy free, of course. They say getting lost helps you find yourself! The recipe below makes one big pot to keep in the fridge for a few days. It makes the perfect breakfast yogurt as the oats will keep hunger locked up whilst the fruit gives you your morning portion of goodness. You will need: – 1 cup oats – 2/3 cup almond powder – 1-2 cups water (depending on the consistency you like, start with one and mix more in as needed) – 2 bananas – 2 tbs honey / maple sirop – 1/2 cup raspberries (or any other juicy fruit of your choice) Blitz it all up in a blender and enjoy! I hope you get to try it – let me know what you think! Love from London, Aimee

Fast Food #2: Vegan yogurt recipe

Clean Lunchbox #2

 Morning lovelies and Happy Monday ! If you’re following me on Instagram (which you should be ;-)) you may have guessed I wished for this celebratory weekend to never end but here I am sipping my Monday Morning tea *sigh*. Oh well, at least I have lots of exciting content to share this week – bring it on! This week my clean food lunchbox includes red pesto quinoa, a courgette/butter bean/mint salad in a zesty dressing, tomatoes, avocado, red pepper hummus sprinkled with sesame seeds and sunflower seed rye bread on the side. What a nutritious lot! So we’re still along the same lines as last weeks with the multiple bits and bobs prepared on a Sunday night and simply dished up in a jiffy each morning, only with whole new flavours for a whole new week! Here is my shopping list for one week of meals for two as well as the recipes in the suggested preparation order to keep it short and sweet. You’ll see I have also invested in some adorable new lunch boxes – how could I resist?! There are four that fit inside each other and the mini one is perfect for my dip. Shopping List for 5 meals for 2: 200g quinoa Red pesto 2 cans of butter beans 2 courgettes 1 tbs olive oil 1 lemoin 2 tbs plain yogurt fresh mint leaves 5 avocados cherry tomatoes 1 can chickpeas 1 crushed garlic clove 1 red pepper 1 tbs tahini (I also love this on toast or rice cakes in the morning!) Recipes for 2 to cook on a Sunday night ahead of a 5 day week at work: QUINOA: Cook 200g of quinoa according to the pack and leave to cool before stiring in a heaped tbs of red pesto. Keep in the fridge in a tight tupperware so it stays fresh all week. BUTTER BEAN, COURGETTE AND MINT SALAD This is an easy yet delish one. Whilst your quinoa is simmering away, switch on your grill, wash and chop your courgettes and pepper. Place them in an oven dish and cover in tbs olive oil, salt and pepper. Pop them in the oven and leave to grill. You may want to remove them and give them a mix to make sure they don’t burn but do cook all over. Remove after 15 min or when the peppers are beginning to go black. Pop your pepper pieces in the blender ready to make your hummus (see below) and transfer your courgette into a large tupperware. Add in the drained butter beans, the torn mint leave, the yogurt and 1/2 the lemon juice before adding salt and pepper to taste (remember your courgette is already seasoned so taste first!). Leave to cool completely and keep in the fridge in a box with its lid on. RED PEPPER HUMMUS: You’ve already grilled your pepper and popped it in the blender (see above) so now all you have to do is add your chickpeas, a tbs of tahini, the juice of 1/2 lemon, your crushed garlic clove and 10ml water. Blitz it up until you have a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl and cover it up in cling film to keep it fresh in the fridge. Every morning, spoon quinoa and bean salad into two corner of your lunch box and complete with tomatoes and 1/2 avocado chopped into bitesize pieces. Add your dip and sprinkle with seeds of your choice. Take a piece of rye bread too if you wish, half a piece is plenty for me as this is quite a heavy bread. I hope you enjoy this – let me know if you try it! Also let me know if you have any tips of your own for quick and healthy lunches, sharing is caring 🙂 I look forward to hearing from you in the comments. Love from London and see you back here tomorrow, Aimee PS – MORE RECIPES AND HEALTHY TIPS ON INSTAGRAM SO FOLLOW ME AND CHAT TO ME IN THE COMMENTS! 

Clean Lunchbox #2

Fast Food #1: Strawberry almond milk

    Good morning readers and welcome to my new column: Fast Food! So you thought this was the name for Macdonald’s and friends, hey?! Why should only the unhealthy guys get the cool alliterations?! A lot of the food I eat is perfectly fast to prepare and yet has not an unhealthy ingredient in sight. So I thought I’d ironically steal the name and share all these quick and easy recipes with you on here. Deal? This strawberry milk brings back memories of a sweet and innocent childhood. Not that my mom would have ever really let me have shop-bought strawberry milk… Was too many e-numbers. But anyway it’s definitely the kind of drink you want to slurp through a straw pretending you’re in some diner somewhere à la Sandra Dee. And yet this vegan drink is no more than three healthy ingredients blitzed in a blender. 10 almonds, a handful of washed strawberries with their stalks removed and a glass of filtered water. I liquefied mine in my Vitamix which is perfect for making nut milks without the hassle as it will literally blast the almonds into thin air – or water – resulting in a creamy milk. If you don’t have such a powerful blender yourself (those bad boys are expensive!) then you could also use bought almond milk making this a two ingredient recipe. Doesn’t get any better than that… Oh yes it does: The nutritional benefits of this scrummy drink are actually quite mind-blowing. Who would have thought something so delicious could feed your body so generously? Almonds are great for anyone on a diet as they actually reduce the bad cholesterol. In a nutshell (no pun intended): the good fats get rid of the bad fats. Heros! And almonds also make you feel less hungry so it’s great for taking your mind of food if you’re on a mission. Apparently we should be eating 10 almonds a day for a healthy diet – I like to cram them in at breakfast. Strawberries, as well as being an all time food fave, are heavenly on the nutritional front. Full of antioxydants, they are said to contribute to fighting off heart desease and cancer. STUFF THEM IN YOUR FACE! And grab them whilst they’re in season – they freeze a treat in preparation of smoothies all year round. So there you have it, healthy strawberry milk. I hope you’ve enjoyed this new column and will be back for more nutritional fast food soon. I certainly will! Love from London, Aimee

Fast Food #1: Strawberry almond milk

Healthy Lunchbox #1

Hey girls ! I’m so pleased to be back after such a long wait… I’ve been updating my French page recently but not so much my English one; but no worries, I have returned to share some delicious and nutritious and fashionable and creative new posts ! Yay ! Let’s start with healthy lunchbox ideas, something I want to be sharing with you more often over here. I started a new job a few months ago in London and have been in a daily dilemma about what to eat. Wasabi and Pret are all too tempting; but what about my commitment to homemade and wholesome?! So I dug out some of my fave bloggers’ tips and now make sure I make my own lunch on most days. Ella was the most inspiring to me and so this lunchbox is literally made following the Ella model – thanks Ella 🙂 I always find lots of amazing recipes on Ella’s beautiful blog. Anyway, the idea of prepping all the food (or almost) on a Sunday night ready for an easy week to come more than appealed to me and I have been doing this for the past couple of weeks now. A nice mix of grains, veggies and whatever else you have lyring around in the fridge makes for the perfect lunchbox – and it’s simple to make in batches too so great if you live with your partner or friends. This here lunchbox looks a lot like Ella’s though it’s not exactly the same. I will be experimenting over the weeks to come and will share how I mix this up too, making sure I don’t go dippy for eating the same stuff all the time. Here it goes for this week. SHOPPING LIST for 2 people for 5 days: – 3 cups of bulgur – Pesto (I used red) – 2 big sweet potatoes – 2 big aubergines (egg plant) – Olive oil – Paprika – 10 tomatoes – 3 avocados – 300g Feta – 1 small plain yogurt – 100g pistachios weighed with shells on – Juice of 1/2 lemon – Sesame seeds (or other seeds of your choice) – Olives or whatever else you have leftover in your fridge as I treat this as the “leftover” section To prep your lunchbox on a Sunday night (in suggested order of preparation): BULGUR: Make your bulgur as suggested on the packet. Once it’s ready, stir in 2 tbs of pesto and leave to cool. ROAST VEGGIES: Oven on at 220°C. Wash your sweet potatoes and aubergines and chop up – no need to go too small or precise this isn’t art class! Throw them in a large dish and toss in olive oil and paprika until all covered and ready to cook. This should take 30 min (or until fork slides nicely into sweet potato). Perfect timing to make your dip. DIP: This dip is simply delicious. I really recommend it to you whether it’s in a lunchbox, as dinner or as a midnight snack. Just try it. All you have to do is mix the shelled pistachios and 75ml olive oil in a blender (don’t worry; all that oil is going to be split into 10 meals all together!). Add the feta, yogurt and lemon juice and blitz until smooth. There you go; your Sunday night is done. Now all you have to do each morning is add each of the above ingredients into a corner of your lunchbox followed by some chopped tomato and 1/2 avocado and a handful of olives or anything else you want to pack in there. Sprinkle a few seeds on top for extra crunch and nutrition and you’re off! No more than 5 minutes each morning – star. So, meet me here next Monday for a new version of the healthy lunchbox ! Love from London, Aimee

Healthy Lunchbox #1

Meet Pierre Herme !

Today is a big day readers… It’s the day I meet a French chef I have always admired ! Yes, Monsieur Pierre Herme will be meeting and greeting fans in Selfridges this evening and guess what ? You’re invited too ! This is a rare occasion to meet the famous taste-bud-teaser as he does not often attend public events. But what’s the occasion ? His new concession in Selfridges new confectionery hall, of course ! More Pierre Herme products will now be available in the carefully designed space, including the chef’s special Easter range and his all-new Satine collection too. I am dying to try the cream cheese – orange – passion fruit trio that has been tickling my fancy ever since I opened the press release so I’m going to be all over those beautiful macaroons like a rash ! Meet Pierre Herme in Selfridges tonight Friday 11th April from 5pm to 6pm. Come on, meet me there? Let me know if you’ll be attending by tweeting me @clonesnclowns or if you can’t make it (shame on you!), follow my instagram account @clonesnclownsblog to see the launch in photo. See you there! Aimee

Meet Pierre Herme !

Pastel frosting colour chart

Breaking news : pastel colours are taking over the blog ! I’m so inspired by this beautiful weather we’ve been having and uber ready (yes UBER ready) for some proper pretty pastels… Summer is on its way lovely readers, let’s celebrate ! Images from Food Network Magazine. To kick off this pastel frenzy, here are a few pretty pictures I have been keeping in my INSPIRATION file for almost a year already… Can you see what they are ?! (The clue is in the title…) : PASTEL FROSTING ! Who would have guessed you could make such beautiful colours with your average blue / red / yellow / green supermarket colouring ?! I’m really impressed with how delicious these hues look, so poetic and refreshing… I think the only reason I haven’t yet made any of these frostings is because I tend to steer clear of artificial colouring. You might guess I’m tempted to make a chart of my own using natural colouring and juices… Stay tuned ! And get pinning these gorgeous, Spring colours ! xx Pastel Aimee, one million ideas per second.

Pastel frosting colour chart

How to make homemade almond milk

Good morning ! Breakfast, anyone ?! The other day I was going through the tons of things I have promised to show you on here and the list is getting pretty long… And then people ask how I get ideas for posts ! They just keep coming, I can’t keep up ! Anyway, I have so much to show you if I want to make sure I keep all my promises so today I’m kicking off by showing you how to make almond milk ! A promise I made back here… Quick disclaimer : This recipe uses a Vitamix which is a fantastic blender I feel very lucky to own, all thanks to my caring Mom ! She will do anything to get us gurgling smoothies on a daily basis and I’m very appreciative of her support on this one because let’s face it, Vitamix blenders are really expensive and it would have been a long time before I would have been able to afford one myself. Please don’t hate me for sharing a recipe I know all of you won’t be able to follow at home – I know I’m not the ooooonly lucky one to have such an excellent blender even if they’re not everyday tools. I also thought you might be curious to know anyway, so here it goes. I hope you get to try it or pass it on to someone who might ! I can still remember the first time my mum showed me how to make almond milk… It was like magic ! One minute there were almonds, the next : milk ! Who would have thought something you buy in a bottle could be so easily (and I mean EASILY) whipped together, eh ?! And so I took the recipe home in the back of my mind and… well, forgot about it. Until one day we ran out of milk. And you all know what it’s like to run out of milk before you’ve had breakfast. But then I remembered : I CAN MAKE MILK ! And so I did. And since then we never went back to cow’s milk, it’s just too easy and delicious to replace it with homemade almond milk. As time went by, I figured out the perfect formula for me. Whilst good old Momma is more of a “whack it in, blitz it up and give it a taste” person, I’m definitely more methodic. I needed to know exactly how many almonds to how much water for the perfect consistency every time. Oh and there’s a new secret ingredient in there too : a prune ! I think my mum uses dates, but I find prunes do the perfect job too. And this is how it goes : To make (just over) 250ml homemade almond milk, YOU WILL NEED : – A blender that will liquidise your almonds (like a Vitamix) – 250 ml water – 10 almonds – 1 prune 1. Peel your almonds if there not already peeled. All you need to do is cover them in boiling water, leave for a couple of minutes, cover in cold water and the skin should peel off easily. 2. Add your almonds and water to the mixer and whizz from low speed to high speed. You want to liquidise thos almonds so pulse until you have milk. 3. Turn the mixer off and add your prune before whizzing back up again into a sweet milk. Tadaaa ! As simple as that ! It’s all about having the right tools 🙂 This is so delicious and of course the ingredients can be doubled up and you can store it in the fridge for the next day. However I do find it’s so easy to make that I tend to just make it when I need it. I especially like a good ol’ warm almond milk and honey drink before bed ! So, what do you think ?! Will you be saving £50 a month for a year to get your own Vitamix ?! It’s well worth it, it’s a life-changer I swear ! And no, this is NOT a sponsored post… 😉 Lots of love little almonds, Aimee

How to make homemade almond milk

Healthy Brunch : Quinoa Banana Pancakes (gluten free)

One of the huge risks I face when Winter lasts too long is comfort food… It’s so warm and, well… Comforting. It’s hard to resist. However I know it’s nearly bikini-diet time so I thought I’d end this cosy week with a comforting yet healthy brunch recipe. Now I cannot garantee there is no fat in this recipe, pancakes without butter simply wouldn’t be pancakes (unless you have a miracle trick ?!). However, these pancakes are still healthier than your traditional pancake recipe since the flour is replaced with quinoa which is rich in iron, fibre, protein and gluten free. I love using quinoa as a breakfast grain, as I demonstrated with my 3 quinoa porridge recipes a while back. These pancakes are ideal for a lazy brunch so I guess your only a recipe away from the perfect kick start to a relaxing weekend. To make Quinoa Banana Pancakes, YOU WILL NEED : – 1/2 cup cooked quinoa (follow the instructions) – 1/4 cup milk (feel free to use soja, rice, almond…) – 1 tbs flour (make sure you use gluten free if you care about this part of the recipe) – 1 egg – 1/2 banana – 1 tsp baking powder In a blender, mix all the ingredients together or if you’re serious about your baking mix the dry (flour, quinoa, baking powder) first and add in the wet (egg, banana, milk). Mix until you have a smooth batter. To make your pancakes, drop a couple of tablespoons of batter in a hot, buttered pan and wait until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip it and cook for one more minute before removing to a warm plate. Drop another scoop of butter in the pan and continue, piling the pancakes as you go to make sure they stay warm. Serve with your choice of fruit and/or syrup and a squirt of lemon. To make heart-shaped pancakes without using anything but a spoon, follow the steps in my short Instagram video here. In terms of taste, quinoa pancakes are genuinely delicious. They don’t taste like a boring healthy option whatsoever. Honestly. In fact I’m torn between these and my normal recipe – I think these might become a favourite… Chomp away à deux (Happy Valentine’s Day to all you lovers!) or devour alone with a good magazine enjoying every second of your relaxing breakfast. Oh, and remember to listen to : Banana Pancakes by Jack Johnson, a weekend must ! I hope you have enjoyed this special cosy week on Clones N Clowns, I have very much enjoyed sharing my daily posts and reading your reactions here and on twitter and facebook. I am also looking forward to next week’s theme so watch out for that on Monday ! Lots of love from London, Aimee

Healthy Brunch : Quinoa Banana Pancakes (gluten free)

Warm almond milk with honey

Hello lovelies and before we get started a huge THANK YOU for all your lovely tweets and messages about yesteday’s customised socks. I’m so pleased you like the simple yet sweet DIY, I wore my socks proud all day long ! ♡ Today we’re keeping up with our cocooning week with a healthy yet soothing recipe. After all, staying healthy is the best form of relaxation going… This almond milk is the vegan version of the beverage I was sent to dreamland with as a child. Back then, if I couldn’t sleep : warm milk and honey was the answer. I know the drink so well I almost can’t say the words “warm milk” without adding “WITH HONEY”. Since back then, our family has wised up and these days we try to avoid drinking to much cow’s milk. Warm milk and honey has become warm almond milk and honey and you know what ? It’s even better. The taste of almond definitely adds to the calming drink. I hope you enjoy this recipe, it’s simple, but it’s a piece of me in a mug. WARM ALMOND MILK WITH HONEY, for one : – A glass of almond milk – 1 tsp honey (organic for me, please!) – 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg – 1/4 tso cinnamon powder Warm you milk but don’t boil it. Poor into your mug and give you honey spoon a good swivel around to melt it all in there. Finally, add a sprinkle of nutmeg and cinnamon and you’re good to go. Drink before bed or any time of the day when the going gets tough ! I really hope you enjoy this as much as me – it’s not just a Proust thing, the recipe is genuinely delicious 🙂 Let me know what you think on Twitter or tag me in you relaxing pics on Instagram 🙂  See you tomorrow for more cosiness… xx Aimee PS – I make my own almond milk at home, I’ll show you one of these days…

Warm almond milk with honey

Homemade cream cheese

I say Philadelphia, you say “Yummy”, right ?! So what if I said homemade Philadelphia ? I bet you’d say “Even better” ! It’s crazy how easy it actually is to make your own cream cheese and in fact I bet you already have everything you need in your kitchen : yogurt, a coffee filter and a mason jar or empty jam jar with a lid. Oh and a spoon, sure you have one of those too… I have been using this technique since I was a young girl but had temporarily forgotten how good it was… I came across these coffee filters the other day and after having discussed the recipe with my Mom a couple of weeks ago, thought I’d give it another go. It was just as good as I remembered and the man seems to think so too. The first batch went in a whoosh and I have been making it daily ever since. How to make homemade cream cheese : Step 1 : Push your coffee filter into the jar Step 2 : Put the lid back on if you’re using a Mason jar with a hole in the lid or hold the filter in place if you’re using a regular jar and lid. Step 3 : Fill the filter up with yogurt, right up to the brim. Step 4 : If you are using a traditional jar, now is the time to put the lid back on, holding the filter in place. Your filter must be suspended inside your jar, meaning it must not touch the bottom. Liquid is goind to be filtered out of the yogurt to create your cheese – you don’t want your filter sitting in it or it won’t work. Place your jar in the fridge for 24h. Here is what the liquid will look like : You can now remove your cream cheese from the filter and eat away ! As simple as that ! You can of course add extra flavour to your cheese : pineapple, tuna, herbs and spices… I like mine au naturel or with a drop of virgin olive oil and pepper. I reckon chocolate powder would be a good one too… BONUS : The main reason I’m sharing this recipe is simply because it’s delicious, but I can’t hide there is a massive bonus… Cream cheese = 342cal for 100g whereas yogurt = 59cal for 100g… It’s a no brainer ! Next I want to try making this with goat’s yogurt or even with a non dairy product – I’ll let you know how it goes ! Bon appétit ! xx Aimee  

Homemade cream cheese