Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon Loula Natural fb

I absolutely love my slow cooker. I bought my first one just before my daughter was born because I thought that throwing things into one and leaving it and dinner is served when you need it. My first one cracked and I felt like I was without my right hand for the week it took me to replace it! This is the one I have now but they all do the job! I prefer the ones with the ceramic pots.

I use it for soooooo many things and it is one everyday for either my stock, stewing apples, making pumpkin and porridge when it is cold, cottage pie, its the only lasagna  (and my squash lasagna), stews and whole chickens are super simple and never ever dry and bland!

Modern Updates of the Classics Loula Natural

This is one of my favourite adaptations of a classic. This recipe calls for flour which I adapted to use coconut flour. The secret to this is to use a decent red wine- one you would want to drink with the meal! My dad loves his wine and so we have a great number to choose from (two wine fridges and then some). 

Slow Cooked Beef Bourguignon
This is a delicious meal that fills the house with rich aromas and is filling and nourishing. The kids love it too!
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Ingredients
  1. 800g Beef Brisket cubed
  2. 500mls Red Wine- Burgundy is preferable
  3. 1 onion chopped
  4. 3-4 cloves of garlic
  5. 2 carrots cut up
  6. 1-2 stalks of celery sliced
  7. 1-2 tbs coconut flour
  8. 1/2 tsp turmeric
  9. 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  10. 1 tsp herbs de provence
  11. salt and pepper
  12. 1-2 tbsp olive oil/butter/ghee or coconut oil (your choice)
Instructions
  1. Pre- heat slow cooker if necessary
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add onions and garlic
  3. Brown meat, add flour- stir well so evenly covered
  4. Add all of the rest of the ingredients
  5. Add to the slow cooker and cook on low for 8-10 hours or high for 6-7 hours
Notes
  1. I serve my stews with steamed green veg finished with a knob of butter and parsnip rice or sweet potato mash
Adapted from Supercooks Beef Bourguignon
Adapted from Supercooks Beef Bourguignon
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/

 

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Hazelnuts Loula Natural1

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Beef Bourguignon Loula Natural pin

Birthday Cakes and Frosting!

easy cake decorating

Every year for my two kids I make the same cake- It is a gluten free carrot cake. I have followed the same recipe (with additions and tweaks every year) for the last 5 years. I wanted to start a birthday cake tradition. So I am keeping the recipe to myself to share with the kids as and when they want to make the cake for their own kids.

When my son was born I wondered if I should develop a different cake for him. However I decided both kids would have the same- it is hard to dislike carrot cake! Also I didn’t want arguments in the future about which cake was better, nicer etc!

I learnt how to make cool tops for the cake on Pinterest (where else!). I wanted to share that with you…

Draw around your baking tin onto baking paper.

evas cake

On baking paper you draw the design- so far we have had Minnie Mouse, a Bulldog, Belle and the Beast and now a T Rex. I use a combination of ‘how to’s’ I have found online and artistic license! It is actually pretty easy. However if you are a little creatively challenged you can print out an image and trace it onto the baking paper.

Then using an icing pen like this one or I use these icings. Shock horror they are not organic or natural. However they do a really good job and are such a tiny part of the cake- its what I use!

Then you just use them like crayons and colour in your picture! Use the black one first to do all the out lines and then the colours. Remember your cake topper will be flipped over so will be the mirror image. I forgot and a number 4 didnt work out so well last year!

I then pop it in the freezer over night.

I cut my cake in half and frost it with all different combinations. This time I used mascapone and mixed in 2 tbs milk kefir, dash maple syrup and used some shaved cacao paste- my goodness chocolate chip frosting at its finest! Then you just pop the icing layer on top icing side down and slowly peel off the baking paper.

cake Collage

Let me know what you make!

 

easy cake decorating Loula Natural

Cherry Vanilla Kefir

Cherry and Vanilla Water Kefir  Loula Natural fb

Cherry Vanilla Water Kefir

I play with kefir flavours all the time-I love to introduce new ones in my classes. Whatever is in my fridge or cupboard gets tried out! I use dried fruit, fresh fruit, stewed and juiced fruit! I use vegetables too (cucumber and mint water kefir is lovely) I even use cacao nibs. Some I love and so I then make a huge batch of it. This is a recipe that I love!

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Black Cherries are in abundance and the tart fizzy flavour of the cherries in the water kefir is so well balanced by the vanilla. I use very concentrated vanilla essence (like this one). I have tried it with fresh vanilla pod and it is nice too. Also it goes the prettiest colour! 

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I normally ferment with an open vessel because in the humidity and heat of the summer- potential for explosion is very high. However I decided to use a shorter fermentation time. I used the fido lid this time and fermented this for 8 hours and then refrigerated it. You may need to adjust the timings of the ferment so that it is suitable for your climate. I always taste my ferments as I go past to see if it needs longer- and the key to good flavour is fermenting to taste.

Cherry-and-Vanilla-Water-Kefir-in-the-popped-bottle-Loula-Natural

This recipe is a second ferment. If you want to learn how to make the initial water Kefir please see here for my How to; Make Kefir or buy Culture Your Life (hardback version is out very very soon)

Cherry Vanilla Water Kefir
This tart, fizzy and rich vanilla water kefir is delicious and refreshing. Its also amazingly good for your digestive and immune system.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 litre of water kefir ( I make mine with coconut and maple sugar)
  2. 7-8 cherries pitted
  3. 3 drops of vanilla essence
Instructions
  1. Once the water kefir is strained pour into a flip top topped bottle like this one
  2. Add cherries to the bottle and close
  3. I fermented this for between 8-10 hours but you may need to leave it for up to 24 depending on your climate.
  4. Store in the fridge when you like the taste
Notes
  1. Be careful when you ferment with lids as carbon dioxide is a by product of fermentation.
  2. Ensure you allow gas to escape by opening your bottles periodically.
  3. See here for how to make water kefir
Loula Natural http://loulanatural.com/
Here is my pinterest board for fermentation inspiration;
Follow Loula Natural’s board +Loula Natural’s Fermenting Inspiration+ on Pinterest.

 Cherry and Vanilla Water Kefir  Loula Natural pin

 

 

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