2 healthy vegan Buddha bowl recipes

Buddha Bowls from TCH Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

As soon as I saw these Gisela Graham bowls from The Contemporary Home I immediately thought they would make fantastic Buddha bowls. So I’ve got two fab healthy vegan recipes for you to try this weekend.

After being a vegetarian for many, many years, I’ve been toying with the idea of going vegan for a while now. It’s not just a healthy eating thing, it’s the ethics of the whole thing too.  I’m still only managing five days out to seven (basically I am having the occasional egg and the odd feta sprinkle)  but other than that I’m getting there.

Anyone on instagram or pinterest would have come across Buddha bowls in all their colourful, wonderful forms. As I am looking for ways to get all my protein and nutrition from a vegan diet, they have been particularly useful for me as they essentially ask you to include an element from your healthy food groups (although I’ve left out the grains on one).

At a width of 18cm and depth of 9cm, these bowls were ideal to try out two recipes that have been taking shape in my mind. The first is my take on a Thai salad.

Buddha Bowls from TCH Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk
Buddha Bowls from TCH Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.ukFor this you’ll need for two…
A couple of handfuls of baby spinach, pea shoots and purple radish leaves
A pack of Cauldron Firm Tofu cut into chunks and fried in coconut oil
Two medium carrots, grated
One small mango, sliced
Half a red pepper, cut into thin slices
A small pack of coriander, finely chopped
One medium red chilli, finely chopped
Two  limes
A teaspoon of sesame oil
Two teaspoons of low salt soya sauce
A scattering of black and white sesame seeds

Buddha Bowls from TCH Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk
While your frying the tofu, prep the veg. Grate the carrots, chop the peppers and mango. Finely slice the chillies and coriander.

To make the dressing put the squeeze a lime and a half into a cup, then add the sesame oil and soya sauce. Add half of your sliced chilli and give it a good stir.

Assemble by leaving a layer of peashoots and raddish leaves at the bottom. Place your spinach, the tofu, the peppers, carrot and mango in little groups.

Pour over your dressing then scatter on the chopped coriander and remaining half chilli. Finish with a scattering of black and white sesame seed. For an extra zine give the dish half of lime cut into quarters for you to squeeze on.
Buddha Bowls from TCH Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.ukI then did a North African inspired bowl…
Buddha Bowls from TCH Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk
For this you’ll need for two…
A couple of handfuls of purple kale
A pack of Cauldron Firm Tofu cut into chunks and fried in coconut oil
Four small tomatoes, quartered
Six baby aubergines, quartered and roasted with coconut oil
Two sweet potatoes, cut into cubes and roasted with coconut oil
One tin of chickpeas
Paprika, sumac and cumin
Half a green pepper, cut into thin slices
A small pack of parsley finely chopped
A couple of sprigs of mint finely chopped
One medium red chilli, finely chopped
Teaspoon of olive oil
Two tablespoons of soya yoghurt
One lemon
One garlic clove, finely chopped
A teaspoon of tahini
A scattering of pomegranate seeds
Buddha Bowls from TCH Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk
Cover the aubergine and sweet potato with a teaspoon of paprika, sumac and cumin then pop in the oven to roast and fry the tofu. While that’s all happening slice your tomatoes, peppers and chilli and chop the herbs. Pour the olive oil into your (clean) hands and massage into the kale.

Mix in the herbs, chilli and pepper into the (drained) chickpeas. To make the dressing, put the soya yoghurt into a cup, then add finely chopped garlic, the tahini and the juice of a lemon, add in a sprinkling of paprika and cumin and give it a good stir.

Buddha Bowls from TCH Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Assemble by leaving a layer of kale at the bottom. Place your tofu, the tomatoes, aubergine and sweet potatoes and the chickpea mixture in little groups.

Give the bowl a good dollop of dressing to mix in then scatter on the pomegranate seeds and a sprinkle of sumac. 
Buddha Bowls from TCH Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

It’s time… Get set for Christmas!

From George Home
Decorations From George Home

It’s mid November so I feel it’s a respectable time to start getting set for Christmas. I thought I’d just do a really image-led post featuring some key festive looks that I like for home, gifting and decoration.

Retro shimmer

Decorations from Dunelm
Decorations from Dunelm

This look brings out the little girl in me. I would imagine the six year old me would have loved a shimmery, glittery tree in pinks, golds, turquoises, silvers and purples. When I was that age, the shinier the better and, while I try to be a grown up, this look still shouts “Christmas” to me.

From Next
From Next

Kiddie Christmas

From Sainsbury's
From Sainsbury’s

Now it if was up to Dr B, this is what Christmas would look like at our place.

When it comes to wrapping, I  go classy with kraft paper and twine or black/white iridescent wrap with contrasting ribbon and tags, Dr B goes all out with robins, trees, snowmen, santas and Christmas puds. His go-to colours are red, green and white because it is “proper”. He likes the fun of this look, the playfulness and, like my retro shimmer look, it reminds him of childhood. I like it too but I’m not sure if it would suit my gaff.

Totes trad

From Marks & Spencer
From Marks & Spencer

Love this. The sumptuous textures teamed with the plaid, plus the traditional motifs and colour ways combined with twinkly lights and little finishes such as berry and fir wreaths and centre pieces create a warm, cosy feel that immediately references this time of year.

From Dunelm
From Dunelm

The totes trad look feels both festive and grown up. You kinda feel Christmassy as soon as you see it and just looking at these pictures makes me want to reach for the hot chocolate and my slippers.

From Sainsbury's
From Sainsbury’s

Light luxe

From George Home
From George Home

This metallic style is a kind of grown up version of the retro shimmer look.

From Marks & Spencer
From Marks & Spencer

I like the way you can be playful with this look – you can do glitter, you can adorn gifts and decorations with baubles and frosting – but the overall effect is quite chic. I love the art deco references of this and think it really comes together through the coordinating colour way of pinks, navies, silvers and gold/bronze metallics.

From House of Fraser
From House of Fraser
HyperFocal: 0
From George Home

Frosted 

From House of Fraser
From House of Fraser

You can do two versions of the frosted Christmas – the one above (trad touches, cosy finishes etc) or the one below (minimal styling, subtle references). Whatever your style the look shares the same cool colour suite teamed with pretty metallic accents and snowflake and wreath motifs.

From Sainsbury's
From Sainsbury’s

Scandi Lodge

From Amara
From Amara

I know everyone has been talking about ‘hygge’ of late and I suppose this look reflects this.

From Amara
From Amara

This graphic style is perfect for me but I know that some find this look a little too austere and maybe too stark. However you can soften it up by being more playful with your decorative elements and use of pattern like the examples below…

From Dunelm
From Dunelm
From George Home
From George Home

Latin winter

From Paperchase
From Paperchase

This is my wildcard but I can’t resist showcasing this range from Paperchase. The colours are warm and vibrant while the motifs are so playful and fun. It’s a great alternative for those who aren’t keen on snowflakes.

From Paperchase
From Paperchase

Beginner’s Guide: Pressing Flowers

Flower pressing Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk At the moment I’m continually snipping flower heads in my garden to promote new growth so I’m exploring pressing flowers to make full use of them. Here’s my very rough guide for beginner’s.
Flower pressing Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk I like to think my home has always embraced the Danish concept of ‘hygge’ the idea of enjoying life’s simple pleasures – that’s what I try to show on this blog. I believe something like flower pressing reflects this concept as all I’m really trying to do is preserve some of the enjoyment Dr B and I get from spending time tending to our garden.
Flower pressing Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk I haven’t bought any fancy equipment for my pressing (maybe I’ll live to regret this), instead I’m being strictly old school on this and applying a method me and my mum used to use when I was a kid.
Flower pressing Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.ukI’m using one of my handmade coptic bound books to contain these blooms. I like these books as you can open the pages fully without having to worry about the gutter or  breaking the spine.
Flower pressing Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.ukAs I say I haven’t got a fancy contraption for pressing the flowers. I’ve simply got my big heavy art books and a very heavy marble block pressing on top of them. I’ll show you how it turns out in a month or two.
Pressing flowers Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.ukFlower pressing Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk

Drawing of the week: Watercolour feathers

Feather illustration Ella Johnston

I’m doing a mini exhibition this week and, as always, I try to do something fresh and new for it so I created these watercolour feathers that I’m going to produce prints from.

Made with watercolour and ink these illustrations were inspired by vintage drawings and posters I’ve kept colours very, very simple using, golden tones, navies and purples as well as my trademark black.

Feather illustration Ella Johnston

Simple pleasures: garden rose

Garden rose Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk Forgive me. I couldn’t resist sharing a picture of this beautiful rose snipped from our garden. It’s just so soft, peachy and pretty.
Garden rose Ella Johnston ellasplace.co.uk This rose is so delicate and as we experience the last days of the hot weather (well here in Essex at least). I wanted to celebrate the simple pleasures that life can bring us. Sometimes it’s important to notice the small things.

Friday fun! Botanical love; more spoils from the garden

Garden flowers ellasplace.co.uk

More indulgent love for botanicals from me. My garden just keeps giving. Roses. ellasplace.co.uk

What a beautiful, beautiful summer it’s been so I’ve been reaping more spoils from the garden.
Roses. ellasplace.co.uk We have beautiful bright pink roses which need constant pruning – they just keep blooming. This is great for us as we have an abundant supply of vibrant blooms to grace our rooms with.
Roses. ellasplace.co.uk Luckily we’re also in dahlia season so everyday I’m checking which heads I can chop to bring indoors and display in our home.
Dahlia. ellasplace.co.uk I love a big fat dahlia bloom – you can display a single stem and enjoy its wonderful structure and architecture. So I’ve placed one of my orange flowers in this lovely marble effect  vase I found at a charity shop and the other in my favourite green fishbowl vase (sorry about the reflections, I’ve still got so much to learn about photography and picture editing)
Dahlia. ellasplace.co.uk

dahalia 1

Monday Moodboard: Midcentury Modern

MCMMoodboard

I’ve many go-tos for inspiration and although you may not think it, mid-century modern design and illustration is one of my favourite sources. That’s why it’s made this week’s Monday Moodboard.

Although my drawing style is heavily influenced by classical botanical illustration, I actually came to it via the route of mid-century modern. How? Well, when you look inside the original mid-century homes, as well as all those gorgeous geo designs,  amazing furniture, playful use of line and fearless colour combinations, there would always be a classic print or two hung on the wall, so I thought “if it’s good enough for them…”

Anyway this is one of my most loved periods for design and illustration I suppose it came from the fact that Dr B and I lived in mid-century apartments for the first 14 years together so we both became interested in this style in terms of design and architecture. For pure nostalgia value here are some pics of our old flat.

mid-century modern flat ellasplace.co.uk mid-century modern flat ellasplace.co.uk mid-century modern flat ellasplace.co.uk

There is so much to find in mid-century modern design, which is why it is such a rich source of inspiration.  I mean just look at the examples on the moodboard. It’s not all about Lucienne Day Calyx fabric (although I blatantly love that design and would have it in every room in the house if I was allowed) or Ercol furniture (although again I adore it and have a lovely 1960s original Ercol dining table and chairs in the kitchen). Design from this period can be ornate and playful and also simple, concise and elegant.

Why this week? I’m currently working on a poetry book for Dunlin Press, an indie publishing house run by me and Dr B. I wanted something that keyed into classic book cover design with a bit of an edge so I’ve been trawling the internet and my design books and the mid-century vibe seems to be the route to explore. I’m not saying our book will look anything like the above but whether you are designing a book cover, thinking about a fabric pattern or imagining a room scheme, in fact whatever creative endeavour you’re undertaking it’s good to have a starting point to kick start your work.

Monday Moodboard: Vintage illustrations

Vintage Illustration Moodboard ellasplace.co.ukI’ve spent the past seven days hard at it drawing and my go-to source of inspiration is vintage botanical and nature illustrations.

I’m drawn to the detail in each drawing, the application of colour and the simple, clear composition. I believe these illustrations allow the viewer to really see what’s being depicted without distracting backgrounds or off-putting extraneous elements. I think that’s why they’re classics.

Monday Moodboard: Tiles

Monday Moodboard Tiles First things first, an apology. I completely forgot about my Monday Moodboard last week. That’s because I got completely absorbed in working on creating tile designs for an upcoming Posca pen project for the company’s display stand. So welcome to my world! This was exactly the kind of thing I was looking at last week. Don’t worry I’ll share my take on tiles in the coming weeks.

I’m currently going through lots of trend reports at the mo and patterned tiles are most definitely in. I’ve always fantasised about a bathroom made up of mismatched tile designs, a lovely med-inspired blue and white kitchen with a ornately patterned tiled splash-back and one of those hallways with an intricate luxurious tiled floor. I best get saving.

Make a personalised clock in 20 minutes

Flamingo2_20cm

Yes you can make a clock in 20 minutes, personalised to suit your home.
80sI used a kit from Dannells and teamed it with my flamingo print paper and a fabulous design (Leah Duncan’s Brooklyn Bridge Flare) from Art Gallery Fabrics.

Because the kits have all the bits you simply cut the fabric or paper to fit the sticky backed template, fix it to the hoop and attached the clock mechanism – easy.
Flamingo deat3_20cmFlamingo_20cm80sdeat