Food Blog

Healthy plant-based recipes full of good stuff whilst being free from refined sugars and wheat. The food blog is a space to kickstart your inner creativity!

Pear Porridge...with 'super boost' options!

This wasn't a planned post... so I apologise in advance that all the photos are shot on my iphone, not my pro dSLR I usually use for recipe posts!

I enjoyed this breakfast two days running this week with variations on each, so I spontaneously decided to share with you too.

Pear + Courgette + Ginger is always a winner for me! 

How about you- are you a fan of adding veggies to your porridge?

My favourites are courgette, carrot or sweet potato very finely grated and cooked in with the oats. There are loads (56 in total) porridge recipes and spin-offs in this recipe book I created in case you are interested!

On top of the pic below are my Wholeplus Toppers (relaunching with new eco packaging soon!), but you could use any topings you like... nuts, seeds, dried fruits, granola, a drizzle of nut butter... or nothing at all :-)

recipe: Pear Porridge- with 'super boost' options

These photos also give a shout out to the book 'Thresholds' that I was featured in and have just had the hard copy delivered. Holding it in my hands was such a wondrous feeling. I contributed my story which tells of the most significant time of my life to date, I would love you to read it (it's in Kindle for only £1.49)... you can find more info here!

Recipe: Pear Porridge- with 'super boost' options

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup porridge oats (GF if desired)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated courgette
  • up to 1/2 cup boost options listed below* or more oats
  • 1 pear- half cut into tiny chunks and half sliced thinly (for top)
  • Large handful of small dried fruit pieces- such as chopped dates, raisins, cranberries, mulberries or my Wholeplus Toppers (see note above).
  • 1 tbs chia seeds or flax seed
  • 1 scant tsp grated ginger and/or ground turmeric (if using turmeric add a pinch of black pepper too to maximise nutrient absorption)
  • approx 1.5 cups non-dairy milk of choice - more or less for desired thickness as it cooks.
  • 1 tsp maca powder (optional)
  • Handful of sunflower or pumpkin seeds (optional)

*up to 1/2 cup of a mix of the following: vegan protein blend, almond flour, cooked quinoa, quinoa flakes, teff flour, shelled hemp seeds (less of the hemp) 

Method:

Finely grate the courgette and add along with all ingredients (other than toppings) to a medium pan on the stove top. Bring to a simmer and cook for approx 5 minutes, adding extra liquid as required for desired consistency.

Serve, decorate, eat!

Notes:

  1. In the first two photos I added cooked quinoa to the oats and handful of pumpkin seeds, then topped with Wholeplus Toppers (Gingerbread, Super Seedy or Lemon Pie would be fab!)

  2. In the second two photos I added turmeric and black pepper then added 1/4 cup almond flour and 1/4 cup teff flour with a dusting of cinnamon on top.
     

recipe: Pear Porridge- with 'super boost' options
recipe: Pear Porridge- with 'super boost' options
recipe: Pear Porridge- with 'super boost' options
recipe: Pear Porridge- with 'super boost' options

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Bean & Beat Burger with Portabello Buns

I actually first made this recipe many months ago... 2nd November 2016 to be exact (I can tell by my camera data!) and it's been sitting in my recipe archive folder waiting to be released to the world- amongst countless other recipes. Crazy, really how they all pile up! 

One of my missions this year is to get back into a regular blog posting schedule. To think when I began this blog in 2011 I was posting around three times a week- sometimes more, and that was when I still had my full time career as an architect. So there is really no excuse! ;-) 

portabello burger bun.JPG

I was reminded of this recipe a recently, as I was coming down from a week-long juice fast and I wanted to make a meal, to celebrate with my boyfriend, the return to normal food. I wanted it to be reasonably light, made mostly with veggies and no wheat or refined ingredients (though there was a little oil on the mushrooms caps). The result was this epic burger platter! (ok it was a little larger than I'd anticipated) ;-)

Portabello mushroom caps make amazing burger buns if you want to avoid bread, and you can really use any veggie burger mix inside. In the iphone photo above is the recipe featured below, but in the other 'pro shots' taken in 2016 I used this vegan meatball mix formed into burger patties instead of balls (both would freeze well too so you can make extra).

Then simply layer the burger up with avocado, hummus, relish, chutney, salad leaves, sprouts as tall as you like!

portabello burger bun.jpg

Recipe: Bean & Beat Burger with Portabello Buns

Serves two (makes approx 4 medium burgers)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans - drained and mashed with a fork
  • 1/2 small beetroot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or rice
  • 1 cup gram flour (other flours would probably work)
  • 1/2 cup ground walnut (or other ground nuts)
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 heaped tbs chopped herbs (I used parsley and rosemary as I had them to hand)
  • 4 large portabello mushroom caps.
  • a little olive oil.

Method:

Finely chop the beetroot garlic and onion (I used a food processor for a quick blitz) and then saute for a few minutes in a medium sauce pan until softening. Meanwhile gather all remaining ingredients (other than mushrooms/oil) and then add to the pan. Turn off the heat and stir through in the pan until well mixed and the mix holds together.

Form burger patties with your hands and place on a lined baking sheet. I didn't oil them but you could if desired. Bake at 180 for approx 30 mins ensuring they don't burn.

Meanwhile, wash and pat dry the mushroom caps. Chop the stalk out (you could do this in advance and add to the burger mix to void waste). Lightly brush will oil on both sides then sprinkle with salt and paper.

Once the burgers have been baking for 15-20 mins. Place the mushrooms under a hot grill for approx 5 mins on each side until quite 'sweaty' looking.

Prepare any other toppings and a side salad. (For the 'coleslaw' style salad in the top photo I just used slightly water down hummus to coat)

Assemble the burgers in any way you wish! Enjoy immediately.

portabello burger bun.jpg
portabello burger bun.jpg

 

 

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Vegan 'salmon' cream cheese bagels

I saw this recipe on my friend Lisa's nutrition focussed Instagram account recently (well actually quite a few weeks ago now as it's taken me a little while to publish this post!)

Vegan salmon cream cheese bagels

It looked delicious and I was intrigued as to how she'd made it. When she said it was simply marinaded carrot ribbons I was hooked and invited her to share the recipe here on my blog. It's just the kind of quirky recipe creation I love :-)

You can keep it simple by using pre-made ingredients as suggested below. Or go all the way and make your own 'cashew cheese' or try a savoury version this cheese style spread I made using yoghurt and coconut flour. The bagels could also be homemade and gluten-free if needed. Or simply use lettuce cups for a light bite.

Now, take it away Lisa!

Recipe: vegan 'salmon' cream cheese bagels

Makes 2 bagels

Ingredients:

  • Bagels – I bought classic bagels from The Natural Bagel company (found in Sainsbury's) – worth checking labels to ensure no milk these had soya only.
  • Cream cheese – Again I went for convenience and bought the vegan original cream cheese from Sainsbury's free from range.  It’s a coconut base and a lot of my clients really like it as a dairy-free alternative. (There are also lots of recipes on-line for homemade cashew cheese or similar)
  • Salad – one of my staples is a bag of mixed watercress, rocket and spinach as these bitter greens are AMAZING for your digestion.

For the ‘Smoked salmon’

  • Liquid smoke (available on Ebay/Amazon and probably other places) quantity is personal preference but I put a good dessert spoonful in.
  • Carrots – I used two wide carrots.  Peeled the skin first and discard and then keep peeling.  I found a wide head peeler works best.  Peel the carrot so that it forms long ribbons.
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Some recipes add apple cider vinegar and/or tamari but I like to keep it as simple as possible!

Method:

‘Peel’ the carrots into long ribbons into a bowl. Add a twist or two of the salt. Add the liquid smoke. Mix everything together (see note below for marinading).

Transfer to a foil-lined baking tray – you need to be able to fully cover the carrot mix with the foil and seal it.

Bake in the oven 200˚C for about 20mins. Remove from oven and allow to cool.  

Lisa's note: when I made these I couldn’t wait and basically toasted the bagels, slapped the cream cheese on and put the carrot on and garnished with the salad – and they tasted amazing.   I left the remainder of the carrot with my vegan pal and she reported that left overnight and chilled the flavours were even better!

Vegan salmon cream cheese bagels
lisa.jpg

Want to know more about Lisa?

Lisa is 'The Nutritional Realist and has a holistic method of working, looking at every aspect of you and how it impacts your goal. Ultimately it's all about you. She’s the resource to enable you to get to your health goals and stay there! She’ll coach you to throw the pebble that will create positive ripples throughout your life.

Find more about Lisa and her work via her website, her Facebook page or on Instagram.


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15 Carrot themed recipes in time for Easter!

I notice I have shared a few recipe round-ups recently. I promise I do have other new recipes waiting in the wings... I have just been busy with my coaching work and researching content for a new book I'm writing focussing on 'creativity' that I haven't had as much kitchen time for cooking and photography. 

I'm actually spending Easter in Vietnam with my mum, visiting my sister who lives overseas. In the meantime before I leave on Wednesday, I have Easter on my mind and the one food (other than chocolate) I associate with Easter is... carrots!

So here you have it, a few of the popular carrot themed recipes from my archives to tempt your creations over the holiday period and beyond!

There are plenty to choose from but if you are intrigued to know my personal favourites, they would be:

1) Carrot Cake Brownies

2) Carrot Apple and Ginger Cake

3) Carrot Burgers  (and oldie but goodie!!)

Enjoy... let me know if you make any of these recipes or come up with your own carrot themes Easter dish! Best place to catch me is Instagram

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Pancake Day... 15+ Recipe Roundup!

It's less than a week until Shrove Tuesday.... yay Pancake Day!! 

I haven't made pancakes for ages but will definitely be doing so next week. In the meantime, I am re-sharing the classic British Pancake recipe (more like a crepe than a fat American style pancake) and a roundup of all my blog favourites.

I would love to hear your favourite recipes or flavour combinations you'd love to see me create?

classic pancake.jpeg

Recipe: classic pancakes

Makes 3 medium pancakes (serves 1 if you are anything like me!)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white spelt flour
  • 1 tsp ground flax or chia seed
  • 1 tsp agave syrup
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • tiny pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup non-dairy milk (reduce to ½ cup if you prefer a thicker pancake)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs melted coconut oil

Method

Mix dry ingredients and then add wet ingredients. Mix well until you have a smooth batter with no lumps.

Meanwhile, heat a medium-sized frying pan with very light covering of oil (I used rapeseed oil lightly rubbed over the surface with kitchen roll). Once the pan is hot add a large spoonful of batter to the pan and move the pan in circular motions to spread the batter into a larger circle. Cook for approx. 2 minutes and then carefully flip to cook the reverse for approx. 1 minute until both sides are lightly brown. Run a little more oil over the surface of the pan and then repeat for two more pancakes.

Serve hot with toppings of your choice.


Want more inspiration... here is a recipe round-up of pancake ideas, with a savoury option too!

AND, since pancake day is just the day before Valentines Day.. why not join forces and create a two-in-one dessert with wow factor... 

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Peanut Butter Roundup... 15 recipes for #nationalpeanutbutterday

Do you know what day it is today?

January 24th 2018 = National Peanut Butter Day!

I almost missed it - again! It was brought to my attention in the nick of time by the peanut overload as I scrolled through Instagram. So yep, I am now adding to the noise by giving you a round up of top peanutty recipes from my archives to try! Plenty of sweet and savoury options to inspire you. Or maybe you've come up with a recipe combo of your own?

If nothing else... I hope you celebrate today by grabbing a spoon and dipping it in the peanut butter jar!

Mmmm, if you want to know my top two favorites out of ALL of these recipes, it would have to be...

1) Nutty Chocolate Truffles

2) Sweet Potato Rostis

If you make any of these recipes please tag @johodson on Instagram so I can see too! :-)

Enjoy...


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Mushroom Bourgingnon (almost alcohol free!) for your festive table!

Last weekend I co-hosted a wonderful festive vegan feast and sound bath with my good friend and incredible opera singer Laura of Namuami  Healing Through Music.

It was a wonderful gathering and an opportunity for self-care, to reflect and connect within during the Christmas rush. I have been feeling very reflective lately as the end of the year hurtles closer... looking back and looking forward at the same time can feel overwhelming!

I was planning lots of recipes in the lead up to the event, looking for ideas that could easily cater for larger numbers, that would be simple to prepare (the kitchen facilities at the venue are basic) and that would taste festive and sumptuous (haven't used that word in a while!)

vegan mushroom bourginon.jpg

I settled for a roasted parsnip soup (I will post that recipe another time), a roasted brussel sprout, quinoa, cranberry and almond salad (I used this recipe as a guide) AND a mushroom bourguignon... oh it was good, a rich, smooth and silky 'gravy' just like the photos imply! It all went down a treat and got rave reviews with lots of requests for the recipe! 

The recipes I found were all based on using red wine but I was keen to avoid this in a communal wellbeing setting and so instead of the bottle of red wine I replaced this with a carton of red grape juice and a 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar (yes that does contain a little alcohol but much less overall). It worked a treat!

I used chestnut mushrooms for the slightly nuttier flavour, I also recommend using baby chantenay carrots- the bonus is these don't need peeling either, just a good scrub! Any other veg is up to you. I added green beans, but red peppers or peas would be great too. This recipe from The Veg Space was my original inspiration but there are lots of similar variations. 

This would may a wonderful dish as part of your festive dining experience, or served as a meal on its own with a pile of creamy mashed potato (or mashed root veg combo!) would also be amazing.

I'd love to hear what dishes will be adorning your Christmas table?

if you haven't yet tried it... I highly recommend my mini Christmas pudding porridge. It's a winner- promise! :-)
 

vegan mushroom bourginon.jpg

Recipe: Mushroom Bourgingnon

Serves approx 6-8 (half the recipe I orginally made- feel free to halve again)

Ingredients:

  • 5 shallots - coarsley chopped
  • a bag of baby carrots- approx 10-12 - sliced
  • a pack of green beans- approx 2 handfuls
  • 3 garlic cloves - crushed
  • 400g chestnut mushrooms
  • 400ml red grape juice
  • approx 2 tbs red wine vinegar
  • 250ml veg stock
  • 3 tbs tomato puree
  • 1 heaped tbs vegan gravy powder (or cornflower, as the Bisto powder I used was mainly cornflower)
  • a handful of fresh herbs- I used rosemary, sage and thyme.

Method:

And the garlic, carrots and shallots to a large pan with 2 teaspoons of oil of choice and cook for approx. 3 minutes. Cut the mushrooms into quarters, add to the pan along with the green ebans (and any other veg) and cook for another 3-5 minutes.

Meanwhile mix the gravy powder/cornflower in a small bowl with a little of the grape juice to form a thick smooth paste. Add this to the pan along with the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil and then cook until it looks thickened and 'glossy'- approx 10 minutes. Add some finely chopped fresh herbs in the final five minutes of cook time- reserve some to sprinkle to serve if desired.

Serve immediately with mashed potato or alongside other dishes. A wedge of crusty bread would be great too!

Note: I ate leftovers the next day and it tasted amazing, the flavours seemed even richer. Therefore, I think this would also be a great prep-the-day-before dish! 

vegan parsnip soup
quinoa cranberry brussel sprout salad.jpg

These were the other savoury delights from the event... I also created a new flavour of 'bliss ball' for the after sound bath treat along with some warmed spiced apple juice.
 

ginger orange and mint choc bliss balls.jpg

These were ginger, orange, goji and turmeric bliss balls. Deliciously festive! I will get this on the blog soon... but if you want to give them a go, use any basic bliss ball recipe (dates and ground nuts) and add a few goji berries, ground ginger ground turmeric and orange zest to taste. 


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Mini Christmas Pudding Porridge... takes just 3 mins all in!!

This was my epic breakfast last weekend. It looks like dessert, to be honest it is totally worthy of 'bressert' status. For dessert use the juice as noted and sprinkle the coconut sugar. Job done!

christmas pudding porridge 2a.jpg

You could prepare the mix ahead of time too and just let it sit for an hour or so, possibly overnight, I haven't tried it that way but I don't see why it wouldn't work. 'Overnight Oats Christmas Pudding Porridge', ha ha! The best thing ever to wake up to on Christmas morning... with absolute minimal prep!

It literally takes three mins to make from start to finish! (if you use a microwave- see my notes below).

I make servings like this using a silicone egg poacher - so handy, the perfect size and they are flexible so the contents come out so easily. I highly recommend investing in one for you single serve cakes and such like (not eggs!) ;-)

What will you be making on Christmas day morning?

Are you more sweet or savoury?

I'm such a sweet porridge girl so that's been my go-to to make for my family these last few years. If you haven't already, I highly recommend trying these too- the bakewell pie and the classic festive baked oatmeal that kicked it all off!

christmas pudding porridge 3a.jpg

Recipe: Mini Christmas Pudding Porridge!

Serves one

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup porridge oats
  • 2 tbs ground nuts of any kind
  • 1/4 cup apple puree
  • 1/4 cup mixed dried fruit (a mix of some of these: raisins/sultanas/currants/cranberries/gojis)
  • 1/2 tsp spice or more to taste (I used a little of mixed spice & cinnamon)
  • 1 heaped tbs flax
  • 1/4 cup water (or juice for extra sweetness)

Method:

Mix everything together well in a small bowl.

Spoon into a small circular microwaveable domed dish- I use an egg poacher (so great for mini cakes!!) Press firmly and smooth the top.

Microwave for 90 seconds on high power. Carefully loosen and tip out onto serving plate and dress with vegan yoghurt or cream plus any extra fruits and spices, I used gojis, but a cranberry compote or some festive jam would be amazing! If you prefer an even sweeter porridge sprinkle a touch of coconut sugar, it was fine for me without.

*Notes: I rarely use a microwave these days but I didn't want to turn on the oven on for this tiny dish, I also find it crisps/dries up more in the oven and this works best when the moistness is maintained. By all means try the oven but don't overcook- cover loosely in foil and make sure middle is still very moist!

If you try the microwave option but are making multiple puddings- cook one at a time or increase the timing- I have only tried cooking one.

christmas pudding porridge 4a.jpg
christmas pudding porridge 5a.jpg

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