Tag Archives: vegan

Recipe: Authentic Imam Bayildi Armenian style

I am married to a tall, dark and (I think) handsome man, he gets his olive skinned good looks from his Dads side of the family and he is half Armenian, meaning the small boy is one quarter Armenian. I have no hint of interesting ancestry on my side of the family so I have wholeheartedly embraced some parts of Armenian culture. If I’m honest it’s the bits which involve food.

Armenian food is very Mediterranean, you can find very similar food in Greece, Cyprus and Turkey. They do beautiful things with vegetables, so I’m sharing my favourite vegetarian Armenian recipe Imam Bayildi, I hope you like it.

Imam Bayildi is basically stuffed, baked aubergines. They’re simple to make, you can prepare them ahead of time and then cook them when you need them and they are melt in the mouth gorgeous. I like to use good quality ingredients in this recipe as every single mouthful zings flavour. Fresh vegetables are essential and Cirio Tomato fillets are ideal, full of flavour and a little does go a long way.

Imam Bayildi Imam Bayildi – Armenian Style (serves four)

Ingredients:
2 aubergines
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced (I prefer red, but a white onion works too)
1 or 2 cloves of garlic
1 green pepper, finely diced
Half a can of Cirio tomato fillets
Big handful of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon of sugar
Salt & pepper

Method:
1. Cut the top off each aubergine, slice it in half lengthways and scoop out the flesh, leaving an aubergine boat, leave a little of the aubergine flesh around the skin so it can help retain its structural integrity while in the oven. Griddle the aubergine halves on a high heat until they have a little bit of char, then put in a baking dish so they are snuggled up close to each other, this will help them keep their shape in the oven.
2. Chop up the aubergine flesh and fry gently in the olive oil, while that is cooking (stir frequently) chop and add the onion and peppers to the pan. Cook until they are all soft and then add your crushed garlic cloves and half a tin of Cirio tomato fillets.
3. Season well and add your sugar, cook and stir regularly until most of the liquid has evaporated and all of the vegetables are cooked and soft. Stir through the chopped parsley (reserving a small amount to garnish with later).
3. Carefully spoon the tomato and vegetable mixture into the aubergine skins. Add two tablespoons of water to the baking dish to help the aubergines to cook. Bake for 30 minutes at 200c.
4. Once cooked serve with salad, rice or bulgar wheat, maybe some pitta bread.

Imam Bayildi

We love Imam Bayildi, it’s a regular meal for us, really flavoursome and healthy as well as being a traditional Armenian meal. I’m ticking all of the good wife boxes here.

I like to use Cirio tomato fillets because the quality of the tomatoes, the juice is really thick and you can tell by the colour, texture and flavour of the raw ingredient that anything you make with them will be delicious. They are especially good in my Imam Bayildi, a meal we all enjoyed as a family.

Note: I was sent some Cirio tomato products to try out in some of my recipes. All images, opinions and recipes are my own.

RawfullyGood Vegan Skincare Review

I am a sensitive soul. As a child I had eczema which I eventually grew out of, but then grew back into. I’ve got psoriasis on my feet and my skin in general is dry and sensitive.

My face when dabbed with the wrong products turns into something dry, red and itchy. I’ve got to be careful. My little monkey does too; he gets dry patches which we have to keep an eye on. It’s safe to say all our beauty products are for dry, sensitive skins.

I was given the opportunity to try a selection of products from local company Rawfully Good. The products are vegan, a lot of the ingredients are fair-trade and Amy who mixes all the products up herself keeps the products as natural as can be.

I was sent these products to try – Super Healing body butter with arnica & calendula, African black soap, lavender & tea-tree deodorant, Green Tea Cleanser and Aqueous Cream. We’ve used them for a couple of weeks now, so here are our honest thoughts.

RawfullyGood ProductsSuper Healing Body Butter with arnica & calendula
This body butter says it is great for sore, inflamed and itchy skin conditions, also for burns, eczema and nappy rash. It can be used to treat thread and spider veins as well as varicose veins.

I’d wholeheartedly agree, this was one of my favourite products. I have various scars, I applied the cream to them twice a day for two weeks and there was a definite improvement in the look of the scars, they have shrunk in size and the redness had reduced. We’ve used it on dry patches, psoriasis, chicken pox scars, bites, anything and everything. If I could butter my toast with it I probably would.

Aqueous Cream
This cream is usually a fairly standard piece of kit in any house with a small child. Generally the over the chemists counter versions contain paraffin oil or jelly, this aqueous cream is made with pure shea butter.

It was very moisturising, easy to apply and I used it on some of his sore botty bits. I also used it on my hands which are starting to suffer in the cold weather. It was a good, general, all purpose cream and we gave it the thumbs up.

African Black Soap
Honestly I opened this tin and thought “what the hell?” it looks like the innards of a fig roll and has a similar consistency. To the conventional eye this just looks plain alien. But I am assured its not, this is an entirely natural soap made in Ghana and is entirely biodegradable and contains no synthetic ingredients, no preservatives, Parabens, SLS, or Detergents.

To use this you take a little scraping from the tin and rub it on a damp flannel or sponge, against all conventional wisdom it lathers up nicely. I used it instead of shower gel and I came out squeaky clean. I noticed that the shower took less cleaning too which is always a bonus. It is gentle and kind and it didn’t dry my skin out like normal soap does.

Green Tea Cleanser
As I’ve already mentioned I have a very sensitive face. I was cautious about trying this but I needn’t have worried, it was fine, no red face, no adverse reaction, just lovely soft, clean skin. It contains natural Vitamin E and Green Tea to help protect skin, restore moisture, and improve the tone and texture of skin. Obviously I didn’t try this on the boy, but I used it morning and night for a couple of weeks, my skin appeared brighter and my skin was softer. If you’re looking for a sensitive cleanser then I’d recommend this.

Lavender & Tea-tree Deodorant
Cards on the table, no one likes talking about their pits; but like my face they’re sensitive. I’ve only found one deodorant that doesn’t bring me out in an awful, itchy, painful rash, so I was understandably worried that this would cause me all kinds of problems.

I tried it on freshly shaven and not quite so freshly shaven pits, not a problem. It comes as a stick which I thought would be sticky but it wasn’t. It doesn’t smell too strongly, is easy to apply and I imagine one stick would last for ages. I know what you’re thinking, did I have stinky pits? Well my lucky husband was forced to sniff them (in the name of science) every night and declared me sweet smelling.

This deodorant gets a massive thumbs up from me and I will definitely by buying it again in the future. I love that it’s natural and the shea butter in it conditions the skin rather than dries it out like my old spray on deodorant.

RawfullyGood products do seem awfully good, there are lots of lotions and potions on the website and I will be buying and trying more products for my family to use on our tricky skin.

I’m really glad I tried these products. I think people who have problem skin are often really cautious about trying new things. I’m glad I got the opportunity to give these products a go and I’ll be adding them to my shopping list in the future.

Disclaimer: I was given these Rawfully Good products free of charge to try for review purposes. If anything when reviewing products I’m more discerning than usual.