Posts tagged gluten free
Veggie pesto pine nut squares

This veggie pesto bake is a wonderful summer recipe, especially using fresh basil from the garden!

I wanted to make this recipe for my family at the weekend. I found the photos in my archives from when I first shot the recipe last year for realfoodsource using their new ingredient range, but I couldn't find the actual recipe anywhere!

veg pesto squares 2a.jpg

I have made variations on it - these sweet potato rostis in particular, so I knew the rough idea. I figured I'd have to wing it and hope for the best.... it turned out really well!

Instead of making it as squares as per the original photos, I cooked it in a square oven dish and served it up hot with a huge salad. The squares are still amazing though.

This is best made with spiralized veggies for a pretty ‘curly whirly’ effect but you could use a julienne peeler or a coarse grater. I used a mix of carrot, courgette and a little onion but you could use fewer or different ingredients such a sweet potato or parsnip if you prefer. You could also bake this mix into pre-portioned muffin cups.

To save time I used bought free-from pesto in a jar, but you could make your own, or use hummus with herbs added to it.

veg pesto squares 4a.jpg

Recipe: Veggie pesto pine nut squares

Makes approx 12 squares (a brownie sized pan)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups spiralized vegetables (I courgette, 2 medium carrots and 1 red onion)

  • ¼ cup almond or cashew paste (optional)

  • 1/2 cup vegan pesto (or regular pesto or hummus and fresh basil)

  • approx. ½ tsp salt (this may depend on the pesto etc used)

  • approx. 3 tbs water

  • A handful of extra fresh basil, roughly chopped

  • 1 cup chickpea (gram) flour

  • ¼ cup pine nuts (up to ½ cup more if preferred)

Method:

Spiralize or julienne the veggies, chop a little to avoid very long ribbons.  Set aside.

Mix together the wet ingredients and add to the coat the veggies (taste test and add salt and pepper as desired). Add the gram flour last and mix to coat well. Add an extra splash of water if the mix doesn’t appear quite wet enough to coat evenly. Mix through the pine nuts now or set aside to press into the top if preferred.

Press the mix firmly into a lightly greased brownie sized tin- the mix should be approx 2cm thick. Smooth the top and press in the pine nuts.  Bake at 180C for approx 25-30 mins until golden. Serve hot or allow to cool and cut into squares- great for lunchboxes or picnics when served cold. Will keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

veg pesto squares 3a.jpg

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Summer Berry Crumble Bars

I made this oat crumble as a surprise 'bressert' for my boyfriend last weekend. His favourite fruit is rhubarb and I had a few stalks in the garden that I wanted to use up.  I wanted a super healthy breakfast crumble that was indulgent enough for dessert (hence bressert).

I had planned for this to be enough to last us for breakfast ABD dessert late in the day.... but we ate it all for breakfast ;-)

vegan berry oat crumble .jpg

I first made this oat crumble recipe for my 'Not Just For Goldilocks' book, so I won't share it in full right here, BUT I will share with you a great spin-off in the form of these bars. I made the bars in the photos below initially for Real Food Source last year and using the same principle as the crumble I made them again.

These bars are quite soft and cakey with a crisp top, which is how I love them. I used a combination of oats, ground almonds and tiger nut flour for the topping, but other flours in place of tiger nuts and almonds would also work.

They also have a great nutritional boost by way of chia seeds which are also used here to thicken and bind the base and fruit layer.

These are perfect served hot with some vegan for a little indulgence or with a dollop of plain vegan yoghurt for a breakfast option.

tiger nut crumble bars 3a.jpg

Recipe: Summer Berry Crumble Bars

Makes approx 12 squares

Ingredients:

Crumble:

  • 1 ½ cup oats

  • 1/2 cup ground almonds

  • 1 cup tiger nut flour (or other flour such as wholemeal, spelt or a gluten-free blend)

  • ½ cup coconut oil– melted

  • approx. 2 tbs coconut syrup (to taste)

  • 2 tbs chia seeds and 3 tbs warm water (mixed to gel)

Berry Layer:

  • 1 heaped cup stewed fruit (I used a combination of apple, rhubarb and raspberries)*

  • approx. 1 tbs maple syrup

  • 2 tbs chia seeds

  • ½ cup rough chopped nuts of choice for topping (optional)

*I used approx 2 small/medium apples, 2 medium stalks or rhubarb and a large handful of raspberries (I didn't measure precisely but it equated to a good cup of fruit once cooked down)

Method:

Mix the oats, ground almond and tiger nut flour dried with the melted coconut oil and syrup. Set aside approx. 1/4 of this mixture for the topping (or more for a thicker topping).

To the remaining mix, add the chia ‘gel’ to help bind. Press the crumble mix firmly into an 8” square pan- it should be approx 1cm deep.  Bake for approx 15 minutes at 180C until just golden.

Meahwhile stew the fruit in a saucepan, adding a little syrup to taste as the rhubarb and raspberries are tart. No extra liquid is required as the fruit will release it's own. Add the chia seeds during the last few minutes to help thicken.

Remove the base crumble from the oven and spread the fruit layer evenly over the top. Add the reserved crumble mix, plus extra chunky nuts if desired.

Bake for another 5 minutes or so until the topping is golden and the fruit bubbling.

Serve hot or cool (note: the bars slice better when cool)

 

tiger nut crumble bars 1a.jpg
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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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'Golden Bars'... Turmeric Granola bars (perfect 'back to school' snack!)

So turmeric is kind of a big deal at the moment in the health and wellness world... turmeric lattes and golden milk is now pretty much mainstream!

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I first made these bars a few months ago (when the photos were taken) and have since made them so many times with slight tweaks to the mix-ins depending on what I have to hand... they are perfect for festival food and camping trips, full of good nutrition, great sustenance for a mini meal or snack that keep you going for ages, and robust to pack!

I also realised they would be perfect for lunchboxes or after school snacks now back to school season has hit. Equally, they'd be great for breakfast-on-the-go, or a healthy mid morning/afternoon snack at work.

These were actually a spin on these amazing chocolate banana squares... featured in my 'Not Just For Goldilocks' ebookThey taste more dessert-like than snack like.

As all of my favourite recipes the variations really are endless- just be mindful to keep the proportions of wet and dry the same.

Tell me... what are you favourite 'back-to-school' or breakfast-on-the-go snacks?

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Recipe: Golden Granola Bars

Makes approx 12 squares

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 large mashed bananas
  • ¼ cup nut butter of choice
  • ¼ cup ground turmeric*
  • 2 ½ cups rolled oats
  • 1 packed chopped dried fruit (I find cranberries, dates, apricots best)
  • ¼ tsp black pepper (don’t omit as this activates the turmeric)
  • 2 tbs ground ginger or cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 cup chopped nuts and seeds
  • ½ cup cacao nibs or dark chocolate drops (not shown in this photos but are a great addition)

*or equivalent fresh turmeric root blended into the water

Method:

Blend the water with the bananas, nut butter and fresh turmeric (if using) until very smooth.

In a separate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and then add the banana mix slowly, making sure the everything is fully coated (it’s easy to get pockets of dry pieces if you are not careful!). If the mixture is too thick, add a touch more water.

Note: taste test the mix before baking and add a little syrup/coconut sugar only if needed.

Spoon the mixture into lined and greased brownie tin so that it is approx 2cm thick. Press firmly and smooth the top. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

turmeric oat bar 3a.jpg

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Chocolate Avocado Pudding (with medicinal mushrooms!)

I have been adding medicinal mushroom powder to everything recently- well mainly anything chocolatey as the colour and flavours are perfect masked!

I bought a selection of organic medicinal mushroom powders from here and mixed them together into one blend tub which I keep in the fridge. I like to have a teaspoon a day in a chocolatey dessert or as hot drink with some cocoa and/or vanilla bean.

medicinal mushroom powder ready to mix into chocolatey porridge

medicinal mushroom powder ready to mix into chocolatey porridge

There are many reported benefits of medicinal mushrooms... I was first intrigued by the articles I read up on how mushrooms could help with focus (something I really struggle with as my creative brain fires off on all tangents!) I had also been aware of them at many health food shows but hadn't really explored them at that point. 

There are estimated to be over 5 million different species of mushrooms, yet only 270 are currently classified as ‘medicinal’ with their potent anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and immune-enhancing qualities. Some of the most popular are reishi, chaga and cordyceps- which are the three types I have.

This pudding recipe is a spin on a classic avocado chocolate pudding, and in putting this post together I realised I didn't actually have any other form of avocado pudding on this blog - every vegan food blogger has an avocado pudding!! ;-) (Now I do too!)

This recipe serves one (or two smaller servings), but I have also tried it with great success by multiplying and making a huge batch of pudding mix then freezing in muffin cups- perfect pudding portions at the ready!

You could mix other mild favoured superfood powders in if your preferred- such as maca or baobab or leave them out all together.

Bonus- this recipe only takes two minutes to blend up!

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Medicinal Mushrooms

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding with medicinal mushrooms

Serves 1-2

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium ripe avocado
  • 1/2 cup medjool dates (approx 3-4)
  • 3 tbs raw cacao (or cocoa powder)
  • 1 heaped tsp cashew or macadamia butter*
  • 1/2 cup water*
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp medicinal mushroom powder (optional)
  • Tiny pinch of sea salt
  • Approx. 1 tsp maple syrup - only if needed

* You could also substitute the nut butter and water with 1/2 cup coconut milk.

Method:

Blitz all together in a small food processor/blender until super smooth. Taste and add a tiny drop of maple syrup if extra sweetness is desired. Spoon into a serving bowl and allow to chill a little to set if desired. 

I served mine with crushed frozen raspberry pieces and desiccated coconut. You could also add an extra layer of fruit at the bottom of the serving bowl.

Recipe: Chocolate Avocado Pudding With Medicinal Mushrooms

 

 

 

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Home made chocolate... with a twist!

This was a totally last minute recipe, an idea that came to me yesterday morning and I so whipped up and posted over at Real Food Source all within a matter of an hour. Boom! Super productivity... or maybe I just had a chocolate craving. Ha yeah, that's probably more like it! ;-)

So here I have a super simple last minute Easter recipe for you... this would also make a great gift or treat anytime of the year too!

I love making my own chocolate and lately I have been adding all sort of nutritious ingredients to give it a boost and turn a treat into a health experience. I used the Energise powder blend from real food source, but you could use any you had to hand- maca, lucuma, baobab, beetroot, ace to name a few. I haven't been brave enough to try with greens powder but there is no reason why it wouldn't work, i'm just not sure on how much the flavour will come through.

I used the 'as raw as it gets' chocolate couverture blocks for the most nutritional rich option, but any dark chocolate base would work well, then simply add your extras. The coconut oil helps thin the chocolate mix which is needed to maintain a good consistency when adding dry powders so don't omit this.

I added orange extract, partly because choc-orange is my favourite flavour but also because I want to hide any possible hints of the powders coming through. You could also use almond, mint or rosewater extracts too. I added freeze dried berries on top as I was trying them out for the first time but you  could add anything you like- raisins, chia, crushed nuts or even my Wholeplus Toppers (I made another batch with those on top!)

The options are literally endless! It's the kind of recipe I love :-)

Recipe: Home Made strawberry Chocolate

Recipe: Home Made Chocolate... With A Twist!

Ingredients: 

*note: you don't need to add extract, but depending on the powders used the flavours may come through and I found that adding an extract best compliments the chocolate and strawberry topping.

Method:

Chop the couverture coarsely and then melt carefully in a water bath (or similar) along with the coconut oil and orange extract, until fully melted.

Stir the Energy blend (or powders if using) through the melted chocolate leaving no lumps. Pour onto a lined baking sheet and spread to approx. 3-4mm thick (silicone liners are best as it makes it easy to peel the chocolate slab off) or alternatively pour into chocolate moulds.  Add a generous sprinkle of freeze fried fruit last to decorate. 

Chill for an hour to set.  Best served from the fridge.

This recipe was created for Real Food Source as I made it for them whilst testing their ingredients. 

Enjoy and have a beautiful Easter!

Recipe: Home Made strawberry Chocolate

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High protein pizza base... in minutes!

I never really worry much about getting protein on a vegan diet as my focus on real whole foods of maximum variety typically does that by default, but it is nice to know that it's easy to put together a high-protein meal when needed- particularly something like this pizza when the base itself gives a great protein boost and you can top it up with anything you like knowing that I've got a well balanced meal in the bag!

vegan High Protein Pizza Base

In addition it's always nice to have an answer to the question 'where do you get your protein?' and also offer a simple option for those who are looking for high-protein veggie-based meals.

oh and did I say... Pizza?

Yay, pizza :-)

The pizza base contains just three ingredients- quinoa, almonds and flax (plus any herbs if you wish to add them). Each ingredient is in itself a great source of protein, amongst other nutrients, Plus it couldn't be easier to make in minutes. Such a winner!

You can top the base with anything you like, I'm not a fan of fake vegan cheeses so I used home-made hummus mixed with tomato purée and then just any veggies I had to hand. This base also freezes beautifully as I have now done on multiple occasions since I first created the recipe. It makes for an amazingly speedy last minute dinner!

vegan High Protein Pizza Base

Recipe: High protein pizza base

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa

  • ½ cup ground almonds

  • 2 tbs flax

  • 1-2 tsp mixed herbs (optional)

  • ½ tsp salt

Pizza topping:

  • 1 tbs tomato puree

  • 2 tbs hummus

  • 1 cup worth finely chopped veggies of choice- tomato, onion, bell pepper, courgette and sweeetcorn work well.

Method:

Process all ingredients together until you have a well blended slightly sticky dough. It should still be easy enough to handle and roll. I found it didn’t stick to my rolling pin at all but if this is a problem for you that’s the running pin with a little dry ‘flour’ of some kind- such as fine almond flour or protein powder. Attentively press out into pizza bases with your hands.

Once you have rolled the dough to approximately 3-4mm thick, bake at 180C for 10-15 minutes until sealed then flip over and bake for a further 10 minutes until just beginning to turn golden.

You can remove from the oven and allowed to cool and then freeze at this point or simply add all your pizza toppings and bake for 10 minutes until cooked and golden.

vegan High Protein Pizza Base
vegan High Protein Pizza Base

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My daily boost... revealed!

This is a recipe post that's a little bit different from the norm in part because it's all shot through my iPhone, not my usual slick pics of the finished product! Also because I realised that this is something I do nearly everyday yet haven't told you about before!

I realised that sometimes I forget to tell you about the little simple things I do every day, the things that make a big difference to me yet are so simple and barely a 'recipe'... however that's probably all the more reason I should!

I don't really talk much about supplements and 'superfood' powders and I will clarify here that I do not think that either are absolutely necessary or a replacement for a heathy plant based whole food diet BUT I do think they can have a important place and I want to share with you my thoughts and how I get a boost of goodness in one easy, tasty hit!

It's not going to be a lengthy post all about supplements, I just want to mention quickly what I do you take and why. B12 (not available in non-animal products) and Vitamin D (pretty essential for climates such as the UK with little sun especially in winter!) 

I also aim to take a probiotic every day, alongside drinking kombucha and eating homemade sauerkraut when possible (great for digestion and good bacteria).  I hate pills and capsules as I just can't swallow them.... BUT top tip here! Just empty the probiotic capsules into a smoothie or the energy pudding as shown below and it's so much easier as you cant taste them and they blend right in! This was a game changer for me when I started doing this abut a year ago.

On to the 'energy pudding'. I have been buying various powders as listed below and blending my own mix made from equal amounts and storing this in a tub kept in the fridge (all powders should be kept cool for optimum freshness- fridge or freeze.) I also usually add the probiotics when I make the pudding up and I then also add a tiny bit of sweetnesss (unless I used banana to mix) often by way of 1/2 tsp sugar free jam.

I either eat this as it is for a mini snack, or if I want something more substantial I add a couple of tablespoons of chia seeds and a little extra liquid and let sit to firm up for a few minutes. 

For me it's a total winner when I want a little boost in the morning but not a full on breakfast (I don't often like eating much before late morning or if i'm training first thing), or the chia pudding serves me well as a post work out snack. Or make a bigger portion and have a spoonful here of there throughout the day. Options.... options!

You can add your own powders and mix-ins of choice but I have listed my favourites below (the ones I use most often are in bold). To make life even easier, Real Food Source have just started selling a new 'Energise' blend which pre-mixes many of these powders to save you buying your own individually. I now use this as a base and add my other favourites to it.

BASE: approx. 1/3 cup soy yoghurt, coconut yogurt, one mashed banana or chia pudding

POWDER OPTIONS I LIKE:

  • acai powder
  • beetroot powder
  • raw cacao powder
  • baobab powder
  • goji powder (or whole berries)
  • maca powder
  • lucuma powder
  • greens powders (add a little at a time as this is likely to have most flavour impact)

SWEETENER: (a tiny touch to taste): fruit juice, banana, sugar-free jam, stevia, maple syrup.

TOPPINGS: if you want extra indulgence or just want to change things up a bit you can add nuts, granola, chopped fruit, or as I do my Wholeplus Toppers as a sprinkle on top!

I created a FREE recipe book for Real Food Source using their energy powder blend. Great for inspiration for using various powders as an addition to my super simple daily boost! Their blend contains: white chia, raw caca, baobab, maca and coconut milk powder for a creamy finish.

You can grab the book here!


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