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Pick-me-up bowl

It's been a tough few weeks here in the Afifi household, Mish Mish is teething. Her mouth has decided that all her molars should to arrive together so night times have been, let's say...tough? Day times have been full of mistakes and each day has rolled in to the next rather messily. It's times like this where I need to step back and look at how I'm eating because this is when breakfast gets eaten at lunch time and is not sufficient to carry me through or give me the strength I need to be patient.

So I introduce the Pick-me-up bowl of goodness. Painting a rainbow with vegetables to bring on that metaphorical rainbow I need tomorrow, and adding those folic dense chickpeas to help bring out the sunshine (folic acid is said to help even out your moods, so if you're feeling a bit low...).



TURMERIC, CINNAMON, CUMIN, CORIANDER, COCONUT MILK are all rich in manganese which is essential for wound healing, bone strength but also for fighting free radical in the body (sounds super cool, right? but what does it mean? Helps prevent disease basically).

GARLIC benefits our immune system and digestive tract (among many other things). PUMPKIN is a very good source of vitamin A which promotes a healthy immune system.








  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

  • 1 potato (medium or 250g, sweet or regular)

  • 250g pumpkin (sweet potato, squash would work too)

  • 1 large red onion (half moons)

  • 1 mild red chili

  • 10 cloves garlic (minced)

  • thumb ginger (finely chopped)

  • 1 pepper (your fave colour)

  • 4 small courgette (1 large)

  • 1 medium aubergine

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 400ml can coconut milk

  • 1 cup veg stock or water

  • 1 400g can chickpeas (or 1.5 cups)

  • nuts to toast (cashews, sliced almonds, peanuts, pumpkin seeds...)

  • fresh coriander


  • 1.5 tbsp cumin

  • 1 tbsp turmeric

  • 1 tbsp paprika

  • 1 tbsp coriander powder

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon


  • 1 tbsp tahini

  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

  • 3 tbsp soy/tamari

  • 4 tbsp lime juice (juice of 2 limes)

*Always use measuring spoons for my recipes as 1 measured tsp is often bigger than a regular tsp for your tea

** Magical spice/sauce mix are borrowed from Nourish Atelier's Loyal Lentil Chili recipe. Such a fantastic mix of spices and flavours!



1. Make up your magical spice mix in to a small dish for later.

2. Make up your magical sauce mix in to a small dish for later.

3. Either mince your garlic in to a small dish so it's ready to go or smash them up in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt. Finely chop up your ginger, or grate it and add to the garlic. set aside.

4. Chop your potato and pumpkin in to similar size pieces. You're thinking bite sized pieces, not too big not too small, but as evenly sized as possible without sweating it too much. Put them to the side.

5. Slice your onion in to half moons and chop the remaining veg in to bite sized pieces.

Rinse the canned chickpeas well and leave in the sieve ready for later.

6. Bring out a nice big deep pan, this recipe makes a fair amount and you want enough space to cook all the veggies evenly. Put on a medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil. Add the potato and fry for 5 minutes, then add the pumpkin and fry for another 5 minutes or until they start to brown. Empty in to a bowl and set aside for later.

7. Put pan back on the heat and add the second tbsp coconut oil. Add the onions and the chili and fry until the onions start to brown.

8. Add the garlic/salt/ginger mix and fry for a minute trying not to brown the garlic.

9. Throw in the spice mix and fry for at least a minute stirring to release the flavours.

Add the coconut milk and 1 cup water/stock and stir to combine.

10. Add the remaining vegetables (including the potato/pumpkin mix), give it all a good stir then simmer covered for 7 minutes.

11. Remove lid and put aside, add the chickpeas and the magical sauce mix, stir and leave to simmer for 10 minutes, keep stirring to stop sticking on the bottom. (put the lid back on if the sauce starts to disappear as it will keep the moisture in). Test a piece of potato, when the potato is the texture you want then it's done!

12. Serve with a pile of cooked brown rice or alone as the potato makes this dish feel whole really.


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