Hearty Vegan Soup Recipe

Winter soup recipe

The hearty winter vegan soup recipe. Simple. Just like me.

I don’t know what the conditions are like where you’re living, but here in not so sunny South Wales, the nights are drawing in, the temperatures are dropping to single figures, and long bike rides are becoming less fun to endure.

For sure, Winter is coming…

In preparation, this week I’m bringing you a simple, hearty, vegan soup recipe. It’s one that you can make a big batch of, that will help get you through the cold days and nights to come.

I’ll admit, the soup isn’t exactly the most tantalising on the taste buds. I mean, it tastes good, but there’s hardly a whirlwind of flavours bursting through (especially when you compare it to this vegan curry).

But it’s warm, hearty and full of goodness. It really hits the spot on a cold day. Plus, it contains pearl barley, which used to be the food of the gladiators. So you know it’s legit.

On top of all that, it’s super easy to make, and inexpensive. The vegan soup recipe makes about 4 to 6 servings, depending on how many miles you’ve run…

So get your veggies ready, it’s about to go down.

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10 Daily Habits of Those Who Live Mindfully

This is a guest post by green living writer Kate Wilson.Living mindfully

It’s true that we never use our full mental capacities – not by a long shot – and a lot of this is due to our daily routines. Everyday habits like taking showers, making meals and brushing our teeth are no coincidence. While habits help us to function with as little thought as possible, they also take away our daily control.

It may seem impossible, but breaking out of a rut of mindless habits and making the switch to more meaningful habits can be achieved. There are many positive habits, those that can help you be more focused, happy, aware, in control throughout the day.

Learn from these 10 daily habits of those who live mindfully and free yourself from the automation of your daily life.

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Plant Powered Caramelised Onion Hummus Recipe (vgn) (gf)

Caramalised onion hummus recipe, luke jones, health room, herohealthroom.com

My caramelised onion hummus recipe. In a fancy bowl. Topped with smoked paprika. To make it look cool.

I’ve had an up and down relationship with hummus over the past few years.

We started out well, when I first embarked on this plant based journey. I’d have hummus with my sweet potato fries, hummus with my sandwiches, hummus with burritos. For a long time we were getting on just fine.

But last summer, I went through my low fat, raw food phase. Whilst the raw food eating itself only lasted a few weeks, the principles stuck in my head for a lot longer. I’ll admit, that after reading the the 80-10-10 diet and hearing all these fruitarian advocates, I was a little scared of fats…

For a while, I became what some people like to describe as a bit of a fat-nazi. If it didn’t fit my low fat, high carb criteria, I didn’t wanna know.

So me and hummus went through a bit of a rough patch. I stopped eating store bought varieties because of all the oil and tahini, scared I was gonna drop dead with a heart attack or get type-2. For a while, I opted instead for this homemade no fat recipe, which was okay, but I’ll be the first to admit it wasn’t my finest work…

About a year on, things have changed slightly. I’ve relaxed a little, and I feel like I know a bit more about what my body wants and needs. Now that I’m training more frequently, I feel like I could do with a few more fats. But that’s just me. Do whatever feels right for you. Don’t listen to these health gurus without considering how you feel about it.

I still respect the fruitarian approach, and yeah it may be the optimum diet for health. But that’s not where I’m at right now. Maybe some time in the future, but we’ll have to see.

So what does that mean for hummus? I think you know the answer to that. It’s back on the cards, that’s what it means!

Hence, this week I’m bringing you my new plant powered caramelised onion hummus recipe, complete with tahini and even a little oil if you’re feeling crazy…

Go get some!

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Matt Jager on Plant Based Nutrition and Creating Healthy Habits

Dont Lose The Cow

What’s up people!

I hope you’re ready to be inspired, because this week we’re back with another interview.

You may remember a couple of weeks ago when I brought to you the lovely Sarah Argo of Southern Blonde Vegan. Super-mum, vegan recipe blogger, and Instagram extraordinaire. I had some great feedback from that post, so I thought why not bring you another dose of positive energy!

Today we’re sticking with the plant powered theme, and I’m really happy to share with you a new friend of mine: Matt Jager.

Matt is a blogger, habit forming specialist, and just all round nice guy. We crossed paths not long ago, and I soon had him down as someone with a great message and story to share, and I wanted to get that across to you guys asap. So here we are!

In the interview we chat about his journey towards a plant-based diet, how he overcame the obstacles on the way, and Matt even drops some knowledge on what you can do to start developing healthy habits of your own…

It’s a cool interview, and I really think you’ll get something valuable from it.

So enough chit chat from me, let’s get to it!

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100th Post! Free Health Room Starter Guide


Here we go, blog post number 100!

It’s crazy to think I’ve now been running this site for over a year. It only feels like yesterday that I was buying the domain name, fumbling around with CSS coding and trying to figure out what the hell I was gonna write about…

A lot has changed since then! I’ve learnt a lot about myself, and my place in the world. I’ve gradually started to find my feet, and my voice too. I feel like I’ve grown up quite a bit, and Health Room has grown along with me.

As crazy as it sounds to me, blogging has transformed from a part-time personal project to my full-time profession! It’s morphed into something that’s much bigger than me, and it’s been cool to go along for the ride. Thank you to those of you who have been around from the start, and of course to those of you who have joined along the way.

The past few months in particular have been really busy. I’ve had opportunities pop up that I could never foresee – magazine articles, expos, interviews, webinars… It’s been amazing.

Aside from all that, one of the biggest projects I’ve been working on lately is one that I’m excited to share with you today: my new eBook, which I’m giving away free of charge. The book is called:

The Health Room Starter Guide – 40 ways to eat more plants, move freely, live mindfully and exist sustainably. 

It’s kind of a thank you gift to those of you who have subscribed to the blog, shared my ideas, and helped build what you see today. It’s also an incentive for others to join the Health Room community, to keep this movement growing…

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Simple Vegan Korma Curry Recipe (vgn) (gf)

vegan korma curry health room, luke jones

A good homemade curry is one of my all time favourite meals.

I can remember the first time my Mam and I made up one of Jamie Oliver’s finest. We spent a few hours in the kitchen, methodically following each step in the cookbook. The whole process was really enjoyable, and I think the care we put into the preparation really made the meal quite special. It was like nothing else my teenage self had ever tasted, and I was instantly hooked!

Fast forward about seven years, and I’m still enjoying those homemade curries. But over time, the recipe has steadily transformed, and become a little less fancy. Maybe a bit more efficient if you will…

In Jamie’s original recipe, he makes the curry paste up from scratch, which although tastes awesome, it takes a bit more time than most people want to spare. It’s nice to do on occasion, but in this day and age people want fast food, here and now.

Our trimmed down version includes a few more veggies, less processed foods and less time spent in the kitchen, without much compromise in taste (even if I say so myself). It’s still really nice to slow down and revert back to Jamie’s original recipe now and again, but most of the time we stick with our simplified vegan alternative.

It goes great with a little mango chutney, plain soy yogurt and homemade gluten free flatbreads.

Go check it out!

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Vegfest London 2014 Video

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook or Instagram. 

vegfest london

You might remember that I did a post last year about London Vegfest. Then again you might not…

But anyways, last years event was awesome, so we thought we’d pop back to the capital for another visit. This time around we were armed with the GoPro. Mickie, me, and a good buddy set off on a mission to eat free food samples, listen to a plant powered triathlete, and chat to a vegan free running hero.

Check out the video below…

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Health Room Catch-Up: 10 Projects in the Works

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook or Instagram. 

health room projects

After running for just over a year, we’re edging close to 100 published posts here at Health Room. It’s crazy when I stop and think about it.

It’s been fun, and I’m enjoying the journey, but every once in a while I think it’s good to take a step back, look at where we’ve come from, and plan where we’re going next. That’s we’re I’m at right now today, so I thought I’d do a little catch-up post. Just to check in on things, get our bearings, and set the stage for things to come.

Hopefully it’s nice for you because you can get an idea of what I’ve been up to, and what I’ve got planned for the future. And it’s definitely nice for me, because I don’t have to think that all that much, and it kinda helps me figure out where I’m at, and what direction I’m heading in. Win win.

Just a quick aside. As I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear, as I sit here and write this post my head is full of snot. Completely full. And it has been for the best part of the last two weeks, along with my chest. Quite ironic that I run a website that’s all about being healthy and fit, but I’m sat here with bleary eyes, coughing my lungs up, struggling to stay vertical. Lovely image for you all. No worries.

Anyways, here’s what I’ve been up to lately, and what’s coming up over the next month or so here at Health Room (and beyond)…

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How to Let go of Perfection and Form Healthy Habits

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook or Instagram. 

Image from

Image from Neely

“Have no fear of perfection – you’ll never reach it.”

Salvador Dali

Trying to build new healthy habits can be pretty daunting.

We could be talking about eating a healthier diet, exercising regularly, starting out meditation, whatever really… Often, people get the idea in their head that whatever they’re gonna be doing, they have to get it right first time. They have to be perfect, right away.

The goal is to eat healthily, so it has to be completely whole-food plant based, or not at all. They want to get fitter, so they have to run 5 times a week for the rest of their lives. They want to meditate regularly, so they have to do an hour every morning, from now until eternity.

When I started changing my habits, that’s the approach I tried to take at first. Overhaul everything at once, and strive for perfection. Go hard, or go home. But it’s not hard to see that this type of thinking is not all that productive, and usually isn’t gonna end well.

Nine times out of ten, if you try make big radical changes straight off the bat, you’re setting yourself up for failure.

What typically happens?

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African Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup Recipe (vgn) (gf)

By Luke Jones. Connect with him on TwitterFacebook or Instagram.

Sweet potato and chickpea soup

  • Serves: 2-3
  • Cooking time: 40 mins

Sat here writing this post, I’m feeling pretty damn exhausted. (Feel free to skip the sob story and get right to the recipe if you like. I won’t be offended.)

You may know that I’ve been putting in a fair few hours of triathlon training lately, still just learning the ropes and getting my body used to it. Last week was a busy one, and rather than taking the weekend to chill out like we probably should have, we decided to enter a quick 5k race. It was meant to just be just a leisurely recovery run in the park with some like minded people, but in that race environment, the ego quickly took over. Go hard or go home Luke made an appearance. The ‘no pain no gain’ guy from my past. He’s such an idiot…

Five kilometers is not a crazy distance, despite being a complete amateur, I’m aware of that. But sometimes I think those shorter, high intensity races at a quick pace can take more out of you than if you were cruising in zone 2 for 26.2 miles. But maybe that’s just my ego again trying to justify the burning sensation in my calves, and the fog filling my brain.

So I’m feeling the pain a little. But that’s ok, I’ll learn from my mistakes, one day…

Something that always helps make this zombie like feeling a little better though is a good bit of soup. I was playing around with a carb heavy lunch idea the other day, and ended up with this Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup Recipe.

It’s along the same lines as the Sweet Potato and Red Onion Mash we made last week, in terms of ingredients, but with a few extra twists. It’s pretty simple to make, full of goodness, and won’t break the bank either. Pearl barley goes awesome in this, but you can easily substitute for brown rice if you’re going gluten free. Serve up with a few slices of wholemeal/gluten free bread, a little mango chutney, and you’re good to go.

I made a big batch last week, and froze some in case of an emergency. So it looks like I’ll probably be having it again today.

Here’s how I made it:

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