Kale & Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Crunchy Chickpeas

 

If you have been following me for a while you know how much I love cauliflower, especially when is roasted. It’s possibly one of my favourite vegetables and what I love the most is that is so versatile and great for heart warming, filling dinners. Although I am not the biggest fan of raw kale it works really well in this recipe as it gets much softer when massaged with the dressing. I love how the roasted chickpeas add so much texture and crunch.

Ingredients:

Serves 2

For the kale:

3 cups of destemmed and roughly chopped kale of your choice (I have used curly kale)

For the roasted chickpeas

½ can of chickpeas drained and rinsed

a glug of olive oil

1 tablespoon of Love Raw Immunity Boost blend

1 teaspoon of cumin powder

½ teaspoon of curry powder

½ teaspoon of smoked paprika

½ teaspoon of sea salt

Pinch of black pepper

For the cauliflower

½ head of a large cauliflower broke down into florets

A glug of olive oil

1 tablespoon of Love Raw Immunity blend

½ teaspoon of salt

Pinch of black pepper

For the dressing:

3 tablespoons of runny tahini

1 clove of garlic crushed

The juice of ½ lemon

1 teaspoon of miso paste

About 2-3 tablespoons of water to thin it out (use less or more depending on the consistency you like)

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Start by making the dressing: place all the ingredients into a bowl and with a whisk mix everything together adjusting with water until you reach the desired consistency.

Reserve about 1-2 tablespoon of the dressing for drizzling and pour the rest over the kale and with your hands massaged it for few minutes until the leaves start to wilt slightly.

Cover the bowl and leave the kale salad onto one side while you are preparing the rest.

With a towel pat dry the drained chickpeas and place them on a baking tray covered with parchment paper. Add the glug of olive oil and all the spices, give the tray a good toss so all the chickpeas get evenly coated in the oil and spices. Place the tray in the oven and bake them for 30 minutes until the chickpeas turn really crispy and crunchy.

Place the cauliflowers florets into a baking tray, toss them with the oil and all the spices. Use your hands to rub the spices onto the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in the oven and cook it for 25 minutes until the edges start turning golden brown.

To serve the salad: place the kale in a large salad bowl, add the cauliflower florets and the crunchy chickpeas. Drizzle with the extra dressing and enjoy!

This is salad is also great to be enjoyed the next day so store any leftover in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Double Chocolate & Chili Raw Brownies

 

These bites are so simple to make and yet so incredible indulgent and satisfying. I love to make a batch of them on a Sunday so I have got plenty of healthy treats for the week ahead. The frosting is by far my favourite part, so rich, creamy and decadent. Who would have guessed it’s only made with 3 ingredients?? I absolutely love the spicy notes of Goodio chilli chocolate and if you want to add an extra kick just sprinkle some dried chili flakes on top.

Ingredients:

For the base:

1 cup of almonds (pecans or cashews will work as well)

1/3 cup of buckwheat groats (optional but will add an amazing crunchy texture)

about 15 pitted medjol dates (if not using medjol you might need more and you might need to soak them in some water for ½ hour)

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

2 bars of Goodio Chilli Chocolate – about 80 gr

For the chocolate frosting

15 pitted dates- ( same as for the base)

3 heaped tablespoon of raw cacao powder

2 tablespoons of water

Dried chilli flakes to sprinkle on top (optional)

Start by making the base: in a food processor place the nuts and pulse for about 1 minute until they become a coarse flour. Add the buckwheat groats and pulse again for only few seconds. You still want to have a crunch from them. Add the melted chocolate, coconut oil and the pitted dates and blitz for another minute until you have a sticky dough ( the mixture should be sticky when pressed between your fingers).

Line a brownie tin with a some baking paper. Remove the mixture from the food processor and pour into the baking tin. With your fingers press it down and try to spread it across the tin and evenly as possible. Place it in the freezer to set for at least 1 hour.

To make the date frosting layer: place the pitted dates and raw cacao powder into the food processor.  While the food processor is blitzing add gradually the water.You want to let the food processor works for at least 2-3 minutes to get the mixture a smooth as possible. If you find the mixture is still quite thick and clumpy add more splash of water.  You want to have a creamy and spreadable kind of consistency.

Remove the brownies from the freezer. With a spatula spread the frosting on top of the nutty base. You might want to use your hands as it tends to be quite sticky. Sprinkle the top with chili flakes (if using).

Place the tin back in the freezer for at least another hour. Before serving cut it into slices and enjoy!

Keep them in airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 2 weeks.

 

 

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Wyld Wood Cider Grilled tempeh with fondant potatoes and roasted tomatoes salad

This is the perfect recipe for summer gatherings or for a lazy Sunday lunch. Although cider is normally used to cook meat it works perfectly well when paired with vegetables too. Especially Wyld Wood cider that only uses organic apples, and is entirely gluten free. If you are concerned about the alcohol content don’t worry as it will all evaporated during the cooking process leaving only lots of flavour.  But if you fancy a little tipple, the cider is delicious to enjoy in a small glass in the sun J The tempeh gets all crispy and it’s so delicious when served with the fresh summer salad and the gooey fondant potatoes.

 

Serves 2

Ingredients:

For the cider potatoes:

6 medium floury potatoes

2 tablespoons of olive oil

2 garlic cloves, bashed

few sprigs thyme

300ml Wyld Wood Cider

300ml vegetables stock

For the cider tempeh:

1 block of tempeh about 300gr

3 tablespoon of tamari sauce

300ml of Wyld Wood Cider

For the courgette and roasted tomatoes salad:

2 medium size courgettes

1 cup of cherry tomatoes

A handful of rocket

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 tablespoon of dried mix herbs

A generous handful of fresh basil finely chopped

I also like to add about ½ cup of cooked quinoa to the salad but that’s optional

 

Ideally 3-4 hours before marinate the tempeh. Simple cut the tempeh into 1 cm thick strips, place them in a wide bowl and pour the cider over until they are fully covered. Add the tamari sauce and give it a gentle stir.

Start by roasting the tomatoes. Preheat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius. Slice in half the tomatoes and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for 40-50 minutes until they start to look like sundried tomatoes. Don’t roast them at higher temperatures otherwise they will just get all mushy. Once the tomatoes are cooked leave them onto one side.

While the tomatoes are cooking grilled the courgette. Slice them in thick slices and place them on a griddle pan. Cook them on each side for 2-3 minutes until they have some charred stripes. Cook them in batches and once they are cooked place them into a bowl with the tomatoes. Add the fresh rocket, the quinoa (if using) and the chopped basil. Drizzle some olive oil and season with salt & pepper.

Halfway through cooking the tomatoes start preparing the fondant potatoes. Peel potatoes and trim the two longer sides so potatoes lie flat on both sides. Heat the oil in a frying pan large enough to hold all of the potatoes. When the oil is hot, fry on both sides until dark golden, around 10-15 mins, then add the bashed garlic.

Pour in enough cider and stock to go halfway up the side of the potatoes. Simmer for 20 mins, then turn and cook the other side for 20 mins. Top up with more cider and stock if the liquid evaporates. Transfer to oven for 10 mins at 180 degrees Celsius until cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated.

While the potatoes are finishing to cook in the oven start cooking the tempeh. Place a griddle pan on a medium heat. Wait a couple of minutes until it’s really hot. Add the tempeh strips and cook onto each side for 2 minutes. Don’t discard the marinade! After they starting to go slightly crispy add the cider-tamari marinade and cook for roughly 10 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated.

Serve the grilled tempeh with the courgette and tomatoes salad and the cider fondant potatoes.

 

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Green Goddess Macadamia Pesto Pasta

I absolutely love pesto, is by far one of my favourite pasta sauce. I love playing around with different flavours and ingredients combinations and this one has been my latest obsession. I love using macadamia as they are so buttery and they create the creamiest of the texture. By mixing in some roasted tomatoes and grilled courgettes this dish burst with gorgeous summer noted perfect for lazy al fresco dinners.

Ingredients:

¾ cup of macadamia nuts

A generous handful of fresh basil leaves

1 cup of chopped spring onions tips ( only the green part not the white)

2 tablespoons of olive oil

The juice of 1 lemon (use half if you don’t like too lemony)

1 tablespoon of One Earth Green Goddess

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast

½ clove of garlic

Salt & pepper to taste

Pasta of your choice (I have used brown rice spaghetti)

For the roasted tomatoes & courgette:

About 2 cups of cherry tomatoes

A splash of olive oil

Salt & pepper to taste

To sprinkle on top: dried chilli flakes and hemp seeds (optional)

Place the macadamia in the food processor and blitz until you have a coarse mixture. Add all the other ingredients and blitz again for at least 1 minute until you have a creamy consistency. If you find the pesto too thick add a splash of water or more olive oil.

For the roasted tomatoes: slice the cherry tomatoes in half and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle the tomatoes with some olive oil and sprinkle with some salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta of your choice according to the cooking instructions. Mix about 2 tablespoon of pesto in each plate and sprinkle with the fresh chopped chives.

Store the leftover pesto in a jar in the fridge for few days.

 

 

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Cherry Chocolate Bars

 

Cherries are currently in season in the UK and I just can’t get enough of them! There is nothing better than chocolate and cherries and this recipe if just the perfect example! These bars have got a crunchy, nutty base, a gooey middle layer and super chocolately coating. They are the perfect mid afternoon pick me up but I warn you, they are highly addictive!

For the base:

1 cup of coconut flour

3 tablespoons of almond butter (preferably a runny one)

½ cup of oat flour

1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

6 tablespoons of date syrup

3 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

A splash of vanilla extract

For the cherry jam:

1 ½ cup of frozen cherries

2 tablespoons of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of date or maple syrup

For the chocolate coating:

3 bars of Goodio Coconut chocolate – roughly 120gr of good quality dark chocolate

Start by making the base: in a bowl mix together the ground almond, raw cacao and coconut flour. Add the almond butter, date syrup and coconut oil. Combine all the ingredients together until you have a sticky and solid dough.

Line a brownies tin with some parchment paper. With your hands spread the mixture into the tin. Press down with your fingers until all the dough is evenly spread. Place the tin in freezer to set.

In the meantime make the cherry jam:

Place the cherries in pan with a splash of water on a medium heat. Cover with the lid and bring it to boil. Once the fruit start to bubble away turn the heat down to a simmer. Add the chia seeds and maple syrup. Cook the jam on a low heat for about 20-25 minutes until it becomes gloopy and thick. Don’t worry if it’s slightly runny when still hot, it will thicken up during cooling process.

Remove the tin from the freezer and spread the cherry jam on top of the base. Place it back in the freezer to set for at least another hour.

Melt the chocolate in a bain marie. Remove the tin from the freezer and cut it into slices or squares.

Dip the slices into the chocolate and place them to set on a baking rack. Make sure to put some backing paper or aluminium foil underneath the rack as some of the chocolate will drip down.

Let the bars set until the chocolate is completely solid again. Speed the process by putting them in the freezer. Enjoy! Store the bars in the fridge or freezer for few weeks.

 

 

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Strawberry & Cream Cheesecake Slices

These cheesecake slices are hands down one of the best desserts I have ever made! I know I say this a lot but the combination between the chocolate base, the coconut cream and the strawberries is just pure heaven!

If you want the perfect dairy free cream kind of consistency full fat coconut milk and cashews is definitely the way forward. When blended together they result in the creamiest and the silkiest of the cream! (if that makes any sense J ) I have used freeze dried strawberries but if you struggle to find them just go ahead and use fresh one.

You can store any leftovers in the freezer for few days but I guarantee you that you will have hardly any!

For the base:

 

1 cup ground almond

4 tablespoons of raw cacao powder

5-6 pitted medjol dates

1/4 cup of date syrup

2 tablespoons of cacao nibs (optional but it adds a lovely crunch)

For the “cheesecake filling”:

1 cup of raw cashews soaked overnight or for at least 8 hours

1/4 cup of melted cacao butter

200 ml of full fat coconut milk

3 tablespoons of maple syrup

A splash of vanilla extract

1 cup of freeze dried strawberries

1/3 cup of fresh strawberries + few extra for decorating

 

Place all the ingredients for the base into a food processor and blitz until you have a sticky mixture when pressed between your fingers. Transfer it to a brownies tin covered with baking paper. With your hands press down the mixture until it’s evenly spread across the tin. Place it in the freezer for about ½ hour to set.

To make the cheesecake filling: drain and rinse the soaked cashews and place them into a blender. Add the coconut milk, melted cacao butter, vanilla extract and maple syrup. Blend really well until the cream is completely smooth and silky.

Roughly chop the freeze dried strawberries and slice the fresh strawberries. Add them to creamy mixture and give it a stir. Pour the cream on top of the base and with a spatula or the back of a spoon spread it evenly across the tin. Top with few fresh strawberries cut in half.

Place the cheesecake to set in the freezer for 2 hours. Remove the cheesecake from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Cut into slices and enjoy! Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer for few days.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Caffe Latte Chia Smoothie bowl

Although I normally don’t drink coffee I have to admit that coffee and chocolate is by far one of my favourite combination. You can as little or as much coffee as you like, I prefer adding only a splash just to give the chia pudding that lovely coffee flavour. For the chocolate smoothie I love using One Earth Chocolate Dream blend as apart from having raw cacao it also has carob, vanilla, beetroot, chlorella and baobab.

This smoothie bowl is the perfect indulgent summer breakfast or the perfect afternoon treat!

 

Ingredients:

For the coffee latte chia pudding:

¼ cup of chia seeds

1 heaped tablespoon of coconut yogurt

½ cup of almond milk

A splash of black coffee, add more if you like to have a stronger coffee flavour

1 tablespoon of maple syrup (optional)

For the chocolate smoothie

1 frozen banana

½ avocado

1 tablespoon of almond butter

3 heaped tablespoons of One Earth Chocolate Dream Blend

Almond milk to blend

Toppings:

I personally like to top it with sliced bananas, granola & dark chocolate chunks

Ideally the night before you want to make the café latte chia pudding so it’s nice and creamy In the morning. In a mixing bowl mix the chia seeds with the almond milk, coconut yogurt and the coffee. Mix all together. It’s best to use a whisk to combine all the ingredients together  to avoid any lumps.

Cover the bowl with some cling film or a plate and let it sit in the fridge for at least 1 hour or even better overnight. The chia pudding is ready when is thick and gloopy.

To make the smoothie simply place all the ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth and creamy. You can use more or less almond milk depending on how thick you like your smoothie.

To serve pour the smoothie into a bowl and top it with the chia seeds pudding. Add the toppings of your choice and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

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A Celebration of Plants – The Best Monday at the Leckford Estate with Waitrose

A couple of days ago I was lucky enough to get invited to attend Waitrose Summer Garden Party at their incredible Leckford Estate  which is by far one of the most stunning places I visited in the UK. The vast estate covers 4,000 acre estate near Stockbridge, Hampshire.  The estate was purchased in 1929 by John Spedan Lewis, founder of the John Lewis Partnership, and Waitrose have been farming it now for nearly 90 years.

Leckford Estate grows a wide range of delicious produce for Waitrose and the farm shop including  mushrooms, apples, pears, cider, apple juice and flour. Being such a foodie it was so interesting to see where some of the products I buy everyday come from.

We started our tour in the blooming nursery home to the National Collections of:  Buddlejas, Clematis viticella, and the Gilchrist Collection of Penstemons. As naturalist, John Spedan Lewis studied the flora and fauna intensely whilst living at the Estate. The most popular butterfly, attracting plant and shrub is the Buddleja which I completely fell in love with although I have to admit it was really hard to pick a favorite as we were surrounded by some many gorgeous flowers!

 

We continued our walk through lusciously green fields until we arrived at the Water Garden which was definitely the most breath taking garden I ever had the honour to walk into.

This vast water Gardens covers around seven acres and was originally created by the Beddington family during the early 1900’s. The water gardens became part of the estate in 1942 and since then the gardens have been nurtured and developed to become the finest, famous water gardens. What impressed me the most was the gorgeous array of different plants, trees and colourful all surrounded by the most peaceful of the silence (apart from us loud bloggers screaming in delight).

We carried on our walk into what I can only describe as one the most idyllic, secluded, picturesque spot where 2 large tipi were standing in front of us. Under the tents the most gorgeous dining table was awaiting for us packed with the most stunning flowers, herbs and pots. It was literally the dreamiest lunchtime setting!

There were plenty of alcoholic and no alcoholic drinks on offer, I immediately went for the apple juice which is produced on the estate and it was no jokes the best apple juice I have ever tasted! As a little canape we had some mushroom risotto arancini which were creamy and moist on the inside and crunchy on the outside.

The starter was a courgette, spelt and cumin fritter, parsley and cashew salad which was just so delicious! I literally could have eaten 3 or 4 of them as they were so packed with flavours and texture 🙂

For main we had roasted cauliflower, savoury maple granola, picked radish and lettuce puree which of course I devoured it in less than 5 seconds as it was tasty! I am a huge fan of roasted cauliflower and that for me was just the perfect dish bursting with gorgeous seasonal flavours!

Last but not least, dessert! Coconut pannacotta with fennel, sour cherries, clementine and puffed quinoa. This was pretty special for me as I haven’t had pannacotta since transitioning to a plantabsed diet 4 years ago! It was so creamy and fluffy and the fennel and cherries surprisingly went so well together. There were plenty of different  vegan British wines to accompany every dish buy I just stuck with my apple juice all the way through as it was so delicious!

This very thought through menu for me was an incredible example of how tasty, delicious and creative vegan food can be, is definitely not only about tofu! If you have been following me for a while you know how passionate I am about sharing my love for plantbased food so it was so great to see Waitrose embracing the love for plants creating a stunning menu which everybody (veggie and meat eaters) loved and enjoyed.

The day couldn’t get any better until we walked to the other side of the lake to make our own bouquet with exquisite British flowers. I am huge pink fan so I literally picked every pink flower I had in sight! An expert florist helped us to put the bouquet together making the best present I could have taken home with me.

Sadly it was time to go home! The time seriously flew by and I was so sad to leave this gorgeous Jane Austin, picture perfect, corner of the world to head back to London. It was definitely one of the best experience of my life and I so grateful to Waitrose to have made me appreciate even more how gorgeous and stunning our planet is.

 

 

 

 

 

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Apple Pear & Raspberries Crumble Bites

 

Summer is by far my favourite season. Not just because of warm and longer days but also because of the abundance of juicy and sweet seasonal fruit. This dessert bring together 3 of my favourite summer British produce: pear, apple and raspberries into a delicious and light summer pudding. I love the contrast of textures between the crunchy base, the gooey jam and the crispy crumble. It’s great on its own but I personally love serving it with a generous dollop of coconut yogurt and some fresh berries

Ingredients:

For the base:

1 cup of oat flour ( I just grind some porridge oats in my blender)

1 cup of ground almond

2 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

2 tablespoon of almond butter (runny almond butter works best)

3 tablespoon of maple syrup (please add more if you feel is not enough)

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

For the jam layer:

2 apples (skin on) – I have used Jazz Apples, chopped in bite size pieces

1 ripe pear (skin on),chopped in bite size pieces

½ cup of frozen or fresh raspberries

2 tablespoon of chia seeds

2 tablespoon of coconut sugar

½ teaspoon of vanilla essence

For the crumble layer:

1/2 cup of jumbo rolled oats

1/3 cup of shredded coconut

3/4 cup of almonds (pecans will work as well)

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

2 tablespoon of maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

Optional: almond flakes to sprinkle on top

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

To make the base: place the oat flour, ground almond and the cinnamon into a bowl. Add the almond butter, maple syrup and coconut oil and combine together first with a spoon and then with your finger. If the dough is too dry add a dash of almond milk or water.

You should have quite a hard and a bit sticky dough. Transfer the mixture into a brownies baking tin covered with parchment paper, With your fingers press down the mixture until is evenly spread across the tin. With a fork makes few holes in the dough so it will not puff up during the baking.

Place it in the oven and bake for 20 minutes until it goes slightly golden around the edges.

While the base bakes make the jam filling: in a sauce pan place the chopped apples and pear with a splash of water, cook it gently for 5 minutes. At this point add the raspberries, vanilla essence, chia seeds and coconut sugar. Cook the jam on a low heat for another 10 minute. The chia seeds will help to thicken it up.

Remove the baking tin from the oven and leave it on one side to cool down.

To make the crumble topping: place the nuts, oats and coconut in a food processor and pulse it for few seconds. Don’t over process it, you still want to have a chunky texture. Remove the mixture from the food processor and place it into a bowl. Add the melted coconut oil, cinnamon powder and maple syrup and mix it well until everything is all coated in the maple and coconut mixture.

Spread evenly the  jam onto the baked base then top it with the nutty crumble making sure all the surface is covered. If using sprinkle the flaked almond on top and bake in the oven for a further 15 minutes. You don’t want to over baked it as the jam will dry out too much, just baked it until the top crumble start to become golden brown around the edges.

Once out of the oven leave it in the tin to cool down completely otherwise it will be likely to fall apart. Slice it into squares and enjoy!

 

 

 

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Chocolate & Blueberry Cheesecake Bites

These bites have been my latest favourite summer dessert. They are so easy to make and they will last in the freezer for ages so they are the perfect pick me up to have when you are craving something sweet.

Although might sound a bit unusual I love the flavour combination of blueberries and chocolate. I love the contrast of the richness of the cacao with the fresh note of the berries, definitely a winner in my books!

To the “cheesecake” layer I have added YourSuperfoods Energy Bomb blend which is a mix of Acai, Guarana, Maca and Lucuma. Apart from being a perfect flavour match for this recipe it also adds tons of antioxidants and the natural caffeine in the Guarana promote focus and alertness which makes it perfect for that 4pm energy slump!

Makes about 10-12 squares depending on the size

 

Ingredients:

For the base

1 cup of dessicated coconut

1 cup of almonds

1 cup pitted medjool dates ( about 10-12 dates)

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

½ cup of raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon of cacao nibs (optional but adds a nice crunch)

For the blueberry layer

1 cup coconut cream

1 cup cashews soaked in water for at least 8 hours or overnight

2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil

1/2 cup of frozen blueberries

3 tablespoons of date nectar or maple syrup

2 tablespoons of YourSuperfoods Energy Bomb  https://yoursuperfoods.eu/collections/your-superfoods/products/energy-mix

Toppings:

About 40-50 gr of melted chocolate to drizzle on top

Fresh blueberries to decorate

 

Start by making the base: place the almonds and coconut in a food processor and blitz until you have a coarse flour. Add the pitted dates, raw cacao powder, coconut oil and cacao nibs (if using). Blitz again for a minute or so until you have a sticky mixture when pressed between your fingers.

Transfer the base mixture to a brownies tin covered with baking paper. Spread the mixture across the tin and with your hands press it down until it’s evenly distributed. Place the tin in the freezer to set while you are making the blueberry layer.

Drain and rinse the soaked cashews and place them into a blender. Add all the other ingredients and blend for 2-3 minutes until everything is completely smooth and creamy. If your blender is struggling add a splash of almond milk or coconut milk. I wouldn’t recommend to use a watery non dairy milk (like rice or oat) as it will result in a less creamy consistency in the cheesecake.

Pour the blueberry cream on top of the base and spread evenly with the back of a spoon or spatula. Place the tin back in the freezer to set for at least 2 hours.

Remove the tin from the freezer 10 minutes before serving. Cut the cheesecake into squares. Drizzle with the melted dark chocolate and decorate with some fresh blueberries. Eat straight away and enjoy!

Store any leftover slices in an airtight container in the freezer for few weeks.

You can find out more about Yoursuperfoods range here: https://yoursuperfoods.eu/

 

 

 

 

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