Turning 50!

What was it like to turn 50?

Approaching my birthday recently, I had a few thought about being half a century old.

Some gentle ponderings and a little reflection led me to the conclusion of acceptance. It’s just a number after all, we can’t halt the aging process and shouldn’t worry about it. I wasn’t actually feeling any different so what changes would there be?

Even so, I kept the date out of my mind, told my family not to bother about it. I didn’t want gifts and cards etc. as I’ve been trying hard to minimalize my consumption, have less “stuff” and lead a slightly simpler life. plus I’ve never been one for dramatic birthdays, always prefering to spend the day quietly.

A good friend invited me to have Brekki in town with her to celebrate. This felt like a safe way to mark the occasion without any fussing. She’s approaching the same milestone in a couple of months so would be the best person to spend some with.

We had a delightful morning at a vegan café in Bath. Feasting on organic porridge topped with coconut yoghurt, apple slices and cinnamon, sipping mint tea.

After a quiet walk around the city, I returned home for a lovely lunch with my husband, a delivery of beautiful flowers from our daughters, some plants for the garden from my mother and a peaceful afternoon.

In the end, I couldn’t let the day pass without a token of decadence, a raw vegan banoffee cake was exactly right for the occasion and tasted like heaven.

So, how to I feel a day after my huge birthday milestone? Fine and perfectly happy, actually I feel as if I’m now old enough to call myself a grown up now…

Slow cooker vegan stew

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I used to think that only elderly ladies and strange people used slow cookers! Until one day about a year ago, when I was struggling to manage work commitments, feeding my family the healthy wholefood diet they had become used to and staying sane. So whilst reading an article in a magazine (in the bath) it dawned on me… slow cookers were actually for busy people. Asking around the following day I realised everyone else had one, apart from me. The next day I purchased a slow cooker, and can’t believe that I’d been so misguided. This is the first recipe I made in mine.


  • 1 large potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1/2 or two cups of swede
  • 1 punnet of button mushrrom
  • 1 tin of organic chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of orgaic red wine
  • 1 stock cube of your choice, made up with 500ml water or 500ml of home made stock
  • 1 table spoon of date syrup
  • 1 table spoon of chopped fresh herbs of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon of potato starch or potato flour to thicken


  1. Wash all the veggies and cut them into chunks of about 3cm diced
  2. Put into the slow cooker with the wine, tinned tomatoes, stock, water, date syrup, herbs and potato flour
  3. Cook on highest setting for about 5 hours, stiring occasionally.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.



Organic Deli Cafe Oxford

20161015_132836While planning a visit to Oxford this week to see our youngest daughter, we challenged her to find a lunch venue that would suit us all, and our many dietary prefereces. Never an easy task!

We had a… Dairy free meat reducer, dairy free vegetarian and a Gluten reducing vegan.

She emailed us a link to a place called Organic Deli Cafe. At first glance it looked like a good choice. Independenlty owned and located in a tiny back street in the centre of Oxford. The front set up as an old fasioned greengrocers, with plenty of fresh fruit and veg on display. It’s imdediately inviting in a rustic and charming way.

We had pre booked a table with their online booking system as I suspected Saturday lunchtime would be very busy and it was.

On entering the shop we were greated by a gentleman who was extremely welcoming. He explained the ordering system and showed us the extensive menu boards.

We all orderd freshly made orange juice, a full english for my husband, vegan brekki with eggs and avocado for my daughter and a vegan breafast with side of tofu scramble for me. Mine came with home made gluten free bread, the others with brown sourdough toast.

It was no suprise that our food took a little while to arrive. The cafe was full and located over three floors with some outside seating in a courtyard out back. Even though the staff were extremely busy, they were all very accommadating with plently of smiles.

When our food came it was a we hoped, freshly cooked, totally delicious and presented beautifully.

My tofu scramble was mixed with vegetables and seasoned perfectly, a couple of home made falafels, baked beans and tomatoes.

Organic Deli cafe has a vibrabant energetic atmosphere, the staff are friendly, the food fresh, healthy and tastes amazing. They cater for everyone!

Will we be returning next time we visit Oxford? Most certainly!

01865 364853  www.organicwholefoods.co.uk