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Nourish me whole in a bowl

Vegan nourish bowl

I’m learning to take the rough with the smooth with kids, and to use a food analogy we are more ugli fruit than peachy in our house! You know that feeling like you’re Casper the ghost…. invisible to your own kids, but friendly and personable to every other child, as they listen to your requests and actually want to talk to you!

So it was ironic yet pleasing that this week I was invited to guest blog for the website ‘Practically Perfect Mums’. Now let’s get one thing straight. As the precis describes I am no perfect mum, but qualify on 2 counts at least; And having been an A-Level theatre arts student, a chance to watch, let alone review a play was a treat. (Click the link above for my full review).

Based on a poem by Tim Burton, Oyster boy, tells the story of Sam, a boy with an oyster-shaped head and his life being ‘different’ and the impact this has on those around him. Though it sounds quite macabre, it was set in lively song with ukulele, dark comedy and general clowning around! But beneath the frivolity, the points of acceptance, fitting in and connecting with people drove home modern day issues. Sometimes as adults we find these things challenging, so really, why should this be any different for our youngsters growing up today?

It’s not what you picture when you imagine your family life….yelling to get shoes on, repeating the same question 15 times or negotiating bottom wiping with a 5-year-old (hope you are not eating!!) But I guess home is their training ground to experiment and as parents we are facilitators. Though creating an environment for them to learn is not always easy, accepting this is probably as important as accepting them for who they are and what they will become one day.

So for all those parental, partied, recovering from illness or overworked bodies, let us nourish ourselves from the inside out! This version of a Buddha bowl is my favourite bowl made from many recipes being brought together. Please don’t be overwhelmed by the different elements! Make things fuss-free by writing a complete shopping list and have all the ingredients in so that when you are ready, you can prep the elements ahead of time. I have put in a few fuss-free hacks too.

You can assemble the dish when you get home, in the Winter I reheat the potatoes for 5 minutes in the oven and beans for a couple of minutes but in the warmer months, I just serve at room temperature.

Serves 2 (With leftovers for lunch!)

Let me know your favourite elements in the Fuss Free Foodie Facebook group or take a look behind the scenes, watch tutorials and see food reviews on the Fuss Free Foodie page. See my fuss-free life in pictures on Instagram or what I’m tweeting on Twitter. Don’t forget to keep seeing FFF in your feed, keep giving a little like, comment or share on FB or post to your timeline, tweet or pin with the buttons below! Lisa x

Pickled red cabbage
1/2 red cabbage, cut into quarters, cut out the core and slice thinly
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup of water
1 tbsp rice or agave syrup or honey
1 tsp salt

  1. In a Kilner jar (or similar) or large bowl, place all the liquids, salt and syrup or honey and mix.
  2. Add the red cabbage. Make sure it is all covered and leave in the fridge at least an hour before serving or longer if possible.
    Fuss Free alternative: Use the coleslaw recipe from Westbury Baked chicken but I love the crunch and sharp notes from the pickle!

2 ripe avocados
1 red chilli, cut lengthways and sliced (optional)
1/2 small red onion, diced small
1 small tomato, deseeded and diced
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper
Optional 1-2 tbsp coriander, chopped

    1. Take the stone out of the avocado and mash roughly in a bowl.
      Add the juice of the lime and stir. Add the red onion, tomato, chilli and coriander (if using). Stir.
    2. Season with a few twists of salt and pepper. Mix and taste, adjust the seasoning if necessary, cover and keep in the fridge until ready.
      Fuss Free alternative: If you are pushed for time sliced avocado would work. I do love the kick from the chilli with the creaminess from the avocado!


1 teacup of quinoa or bulgar wheat with red and white quinoa (Waitrose) 2 teacups of cold water
1 tsp salt

  1. Wash the grains thoroughly until the water runs clear.
  2. In a medium, pan put the water, salt and grains. Bring up to the boil and then simmer for 10-12 minutes, until the water has almost disappeared, but still looks a little wet.
  3. As soon as this happens, turn off the heat and put a lid on the saucepan and leave to steam to completely cook.
  4. Go back and shake the pan with the lid on, to the fluff up the grains a few times to ensure it stays light and fluffy.

Fuss Free alternative: Use a packet of merchant gourmet or Aldi grains, which you could dress in lemon, oil and a little salt and pepper; Or make a quick couscous by covering the bottom of a flat dish with dried couscous. Squeeze on half a lemon, salt and pepper. Mix with a fork so that all the grains are coated. Pour on freshly boiled water so that it sits only slightly above the couscous. Cover with cling film and leave for 15 minutes. Take off the cling and fluff up with a fork.

Sweet potatoes
2 sweet or purple potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sweet or hot smoked paprika
1 tbsp cinnamon
Few twists of salt

  1. In a bowl place the potatoes and add all the other ingredients
  2. Mix well and place on a tray lined with parchment. Cook at 180℃/350℉/Gas mark 4 for 25 mins or until they are cooked through and tender.

Fuss Free alternative: Use something like Barts spice rubs, like Ras el Hanout, Zatar or Cajun.

Turmeric and Tahini dressing
65g tahini
50ml cold water
50ml lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
11/2 tsp soy sauce or liquid amino (Vegan alternative)
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp ground ginger

No alternative! This brings the whole dish together and has a tremendous colour and anti-inflammatory properties!

Black beans with garlic
1 tin of black beans
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil

  1. In a frying pan add the oil and warm on a medium heat. Add the garlic and fry gently but not letting it go brown.
  2. Throw in the black beans and toss in the garlic oil and heat for a few minutes until warm, but not allowing to go mushy.
  3. Fuss Free alternative: Use a tub of hummus for your legume-based protein.

In a bowl or plate place, some lettuce leaves and then add a spoonful of each element. Drizzle over the dressing and enjoy!

Love it or love to try it? Share buttons are just below to post to your timeline for later, pin or tweet! Drop your thoughts in the comments below….what do you think?!

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