Swedish meatballs with mushroom gravy and creamy mash

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Since my bestfriend is Swedish and she is absolutely obsessed with swedish meatballs I had to come up with an healthier alternative. For this recipe I am using the meatballs from my previous post ” cashew and tempeh meatballs, they work absolutely perfectly!

For the mushroom gravy:

2 cups of minced chestnut mushrooms

1 small white onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 teaspoon of coconut oil

1 cup of vegetable stock

3/4 of a cup of almond milk

2 tablespoon of corn flour

For the creamy mash:

4-5 white potatoes

1/2 of a celeriac

2 teaspoon of English mustard

3/4 of a cup of almond milk

salt and pepper to taste

chopped parsley to serve

Start by making the mash by boiling the peeked potatoes and celeriac for about 20 minutes. Once the veggies are soft, drain them and place them into

Heat up the coconut oil in a sauce pan and frying gently until they become translucent. Add the minced mushrooms until browned. At the point start adding gradually the vegetable stock until the mushrooms are soft and all the liquid has been absorbed.

In a separate pan heat up the almond milk and add slowly the corn flour, whisking throughout to avoid any lumps. Quite quickly a thick cream should start to form. Add the almond cram to the mushroom sauce and adjust of salt and pepper if needed.

At this point the vegetables for the mash should be cooked. Drain them and place them in a separate bowl. Use a potato masher to purée them, stir in the mustard and the almond milk until the desired consistency is acquired. Finally add salt and pepper to taste.

Fold gently the meatballs into the mushrooms gravy so they are fully coated with the sauce. To serve place some mash and cover with the sauce and the meatballs. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

 

 

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Cranberry and orange scones with cashew cream and berry compote

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As Christmas approach supermarkets are starting to stock up on classic Christmassy food, like fresh chestnuts, dates and obviously cranberries. I have to admit before this recipe I rarely have used dried cranberries in cooking or baking as they are normally full of sugars ( does anybody know why?!) but when I found a pack of unsweetened cranberries in my local organic store I know I finally had to include them in my baking.

Maybe because of the temperatures dropping but lately I am always finding myself craving something sweet especially at mid afternoon, and if there is something which I love about England is the classic afternoon tea. These scones are just simply perfect for any 4pm sugar cravings and even as an after dinner dessert. The orange flavour compliments perfectly the tartness of the cranberries and because I kept them quite low sugar they can also be enjoyed as a breakfast on the go, maybe with some almond butter smothered on top, you get the idea 🙂

Now, if you want to go the extra mile I would totally recommend to make the cashew cream and the super speedy berries compote. I promise you it just taste divine all together; the silky creaminess of the cashew, the sharp sweetness of the berries uhmmm is literally a match made in heaven!

ingredients

1 cup of ground almonds

1 cup of ground oats

3/4 cup of almond milk

2 teaspoon of orange essence

the zest of 1 orange

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed + 2.5 tablespoon of water

1/4 of a cup of coconut oil

1/3 of a cup of maple syrup or honey

1/2 cup of unsweetened dried cranberries

cashew cream:

1 cup of cashew soaked for at least 3 hours or overnight

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 tablespoon of maple syrup or more to taste

1/4 of a cup of almond milk

berries compote

1 cup of frozen berries

1 tablespoon of maple syrup or more to taste.

Start by making the flax egg. Mix the ground flax seeds with the water and set aside until it forms a gelly consistency.

Mix all the dried ingredients into a bowl: ground almonds and oat flour.

In a separate bowl mix the wet ingredients: almond milk, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, orange essence, orange zest and the flax egg. At last add in the dried cranberries and mix everything vigourosly. Combine the wrt ingredients with the flours until a sticky dough forms.

Shape the dough into small balls and place them on a baking tray lashed with parchment baking paper and bake them in the oven for 45-50 minutes.

While the scones cooked make the cashew cream and berry compote.

For the cashew cream simply blend the soaked cashew, almond milk, vanilla extract and the maple syrup into a blender until a thick cream starts to form. Place it in the fridge to set even further.

For the berry compote put the frozen berries into a pan with a splash of water on a low heat. Let the berries simmer for about 10-15 minutes and then add the maple syrup or honey. After 10 minutes all the water should be absorbed and they  should start to thicken up resulting in a jam kind of consistency.

Once the scones are baked and golden brown remove them from the baking tray and let them cool for at least 15 minutes. I like to have mine still warm with a thick layer of cashew cream and a dollop of compote and lots of hot piping tea 🙂

 

 

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Tempeh and cashew “meatballs”

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I am normally not a big fan of tofu or soy products, but in this recipe tempeh just worked perfectly as it has quite a meaty texture making this meatballs soft and dense, exactly what you would expecting from regular meatballs.

In case you are not familiar with tempeh it is made from soy beans but it hasn’t been heavily processed like tofu. To be more specific tempeh is actually made from fermented soy beans, fermentation increase the ability of our body to absorb all the nutrients and vitamins making also the digestive process much easier.

I love having these meatballs with a super simple tomato and basil sauce and brown rice pasta but I think they will work really well also in salad, dipped in hummus or maybe with mash potatoes and a mushrooms gravy, the possibilities are endless!

They have been my mid-week supper super hero for the past few weeks as they really filling, full of flavour and immensely comforting, especially after a long day at work. I hope you ll enjoy them too!

Ingredients

for the meatballs:

200g of tempeh

5-6 sun dried tomatoes

1/2 cup of cashew soaked in water for at least 3 hours

A big handful of fresh basil

1 tsp of dried oregano

1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed + 2.5 tablespoon of water

1 small white onion

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 cup of ground almonds

2 tablespoon of nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste

gluten free breadcrumbs for rolling

olive oil for frying

your favourite type of pasta

your choice of tomato sauce

Start by making the flax egg, simply mix the ground flaxseed and the water and set aside until it becomes like a thick paste.

chop finely the onion and the garlic and sauté in a pan with a bit of oil until they become translucent.

in a food processor blitz the soaked cashew until they acquire a creamy consistency. Add the crumbled tempeh, sundried tomatoes, basil, oregano, ground almonds, nutritional yeast, the sautéed onions and garlic and the salt and pepper. Process all the ingredients until a sticky dough starts to form. Transfer it to a bowl and start to roll smal balls with your hands. Roll the meatballs into a plate with breadcrumbs until they are fully coated and set them aside. Add enough oil to a frying pan to form a thin layer then add your coated meatballs in smal batches. Fry the meatballs for 5 minutes rolling them around the pan until all the sides are browned.

At this point prep the any pasta you like to cook as well as heating up your favourite tomato sauce.

to serve top the cooked pasta with the meatballs and pour over the tomato sauce, sprinkle with nutritional yeast and chopped fresh basil.

 

 

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Orange Rosemary and polenta cake

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This cake just looks so pretty and radiant! I am big fan of oranges in sweet treats and baking and this stunning cake is definitely my latest obsession. Because you are going to use whole oranges(skin included)in this occasion I would recommend to buy organic as you can be sure to eat full pant based goodness.

The mix between the polenta and the ground almonds create quite a dense and moist consistency, while the rosemary adds a warm flavours making this cake the perfect dinner party dessert.

Ingredients:

Coconut oil for greasing

2 oranges

150g of polenta

150 of ground almonds

270 g of coconut sugar (or more depend how sweet you like it) + some extra for sprinkling

3 tablespoon of milled flaxseeds + 6 tablespoon of water

1 tablespoon of finely chopped rosemary

for decoration:

the zest of 1 orange

chopped pistachios

Start by greasing a springform cake tin.put the whole oranges (skin included)in a pan and cover completely with water. Bring to boil and cook for about an hour until soft. Take off the heat and set aside to cool. Once cooled off cut in half and remove the pips.

Mix the milled flaxseeds with the 6 tablespoon of water and leave it on side until they form a jelly kind of paste.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. In a food processor whizz up the oranges until thy be one a purée. Best in the flax “egg”, the polenta, the ground almond, the coconut sugar and the rosemary.

Pour the mixture into the cake and sprinkle with some coconut sugar. Bake in the oven for 1 hour until the cake is golden.

Once the cake has cooled down remove it from the tin and decorate with the orange zest and chopped pistachios.

 

 

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Pumpkin and pecan parfait

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This is probably one of my favourite pumpkin dessert. It’s creamy and decadent but at the same time is super light and fresh, perfect after a big meal like Thanksgiving or Christmas lunch. I have served in quite big glass bowls as it was just for me and my boyfriend but I think it will look very pretty served in small glass jars with maybe a cute ribbon around them to make it look extra special for your guests.

Make 2 large bowls or 4 small ones

 

For the pecan crust:

1 cup of pecans

7 medjool dates

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

For the pumpkin cream:

3/4 of a cup of cashew soaked for at least 5 hours or overnight.

1 cup of pumpkin puree (you can buy canned pumpkin puree or you can steam fresh pumpkin and mash it in a food processor)

1/2 cup of maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon powder

3 tablespoon of light tahini

3 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 pinch of salt

For topping:

250g of coconut yogurt

chopped pecans

Start by making the crust: place the pecans into a food processor until a coarse flour start to form. add the pitted dates and the coconut and keep processing it until it becomes a sticky dough. Remove it from the food processor and distribute it among your cup or bowls to create the first layer about 2 cm thick. You can press the crust down in order to create a cheesecake kind of look or you can leave it more a crumble. Cover the bowls with cling film and place them in the fridge to set.

To make the pumpkin cream: drain the cashew and rinse them thoroughly. In a food processor or in a high speed blender add the soaked cashew, pumpkin pure, tahini, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt, blend everything until smooth. You should process or blend your cream for at least 2-3 minutes as you want to make is super silky and lump free.

Take the bowls with the crust out of the fridge. Pour the cream evenly in each bowl until the bowl are almost full. Place the bowls back in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.

Just before serving add a generous dollop of coconut yogurt on each parfait and decorate with some pecans.

It keeps in the fridge for at least a week.

 

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Two grains risotto with hazelnut and kale pesto

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With the temperature seriously dropping all my body craves is comforting, soul warming food. In all honestly the idea of a salad for dinner really doesn’t appeal me anymore! I am sure when eventually the temperatures will raise again I will start to fancy more raw food but for the moment I have got to be clever and trying to still get lots of green goodness into my daily routine. This recipe is actually a very good example, even if you don’t like kale I promise you, you will love this dish! The kale is kind of in disguise with the fragrant basil, crunchy hazelnut and sweet pumpkin, it’s still there giving you all his green super power but the flavour is subtle, perfect for kale first timer!;)

Make 2 large bowls

Ingredients:

1 small pumpkin of your choice

for the risotto:

3/4 of a cup of millet

3/4 of a cup of quinoa

2 cups of vegetable stock

1 small onion

3 cloves of garlic

salt and pepper to taste

for the pesto:

1 cup of chopped kale

1 bunch of basil

1/2 cup of hazelnuts

the juice of 1/2 a lemon

1 clove of garlic

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

1 flat tablespoon of nutritional yeast

salt and pepper to taste

to decorate:

mixed seeds ( pumpkin seeds,sesame seeds etc…)

Start by roasting the pumpkin. Heat the oven at 180.

Wash the pumpkin, cut it in half, with a spoon remove all the seeds and slice it length way. Put the slices onto a try with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. With your hands rub the seasoning  into the pumpkin slices. Roast for at  least 20 minutes until soft.

To make the risotto: chop as finely as possible the onion and the garlic. In a saucepan heat a tablespoon of olive oil and start gently frying the onion and the garlic. In a colander rinse the millet and quinoa. Once the onion is translucent add the grains into the pan together with the vegetable stock. Cook the risotto on a low heat stirring from time to time until all the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa and millet are tender.

While the risotto is cooking make the pesto: in a food processor put the kale, hazelnuts, basil, nutritional yeast, lemon juice olive oil, salt and pepper and the garlic. Pulse for a couple of minutes until the pesto has a creamy consistency, if you feel is still too thick you can add gradually a bit of water.

Once the risotto is cooked fold in the pesto and add some pumpkin seeds if you want an extra crunch. Serve the kale pesto risotto with the slices of pumpkin on top, a drizzle of olive oil and mixed seeds to decorate.

 

 

 

 

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Saffron millet risotto with garlicky wild mushrooms

 

Maybe because I am Italian but there is something so comforting, almost soothing about a big bowl of creamy risotto at the end of a long day. I have decided to use millet in this recipe not just because is an interesting alternative to rice, but also because is packed with so much goodness! Millet is a great source of copper, magnesium, manganese and fibre. It.s completely gluten free and I find slightly easier to digest than brown rice.

Ingredients

for the risotto

1 cup of millet

1 tablespoon of olive oil

2 1/2 cups of vegetable stock

1 onion

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 teaspoon of saffron powder

2 tablespoons of coconut milk (optional)

for the garlicky mushrooms

about 300 g of mixed wild or exotic mushrooms ( I bought an already mixed mushrooms pack in my local supermarket)

3 cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon of chilli flakes

A bunch of fresh thyme

a squeeze of lemon

Start by making the risotto.  Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium heat.Finely chopped the Onion and the garlic cloves and transfer them to the pan. Fry the onion and garlic gently until the become translucent.Rinse the millet under fresh water and add it to the pan together with vegetable stock, coconut milk and the saffron powder. Cook the millet for about 20 minutes until all the liquid has been absorbed and the millet is thick and creamy. Adjust with salt and pepper.

while the millet is cooking start to prepare the mushrooms. Place the garlic cloves into a garlic crusher and fry them gently in a separate pan together with the chilly flakes. Wash and chop the mushroom, add them to the pan with the garlic and chilli flakes. Cook the mushroom on a medium heat for about 8-10 minutes. Chopped the fresh thyme, add it to the mushroom once they have finished cooking.

to assemble the risotto simply plate the millet and pour the mushroom on top, add a generous squeeze of lemons  and add extra thyme for decoration.

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Spicy apple porridge with parsnip cream

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After sweet potatoes brownies, pumpkin pie and beetroot chocolate cake I thought why the poor parsnips don’t get involved in sweet dishes? I know exactly what are you thinking but trust me this super silky, smooth parsnip cream will change your mind especially if you have it with a comforting, sweetly spicy bowl of porridge. Parsnips in my opinion are completely underestimated, they are actually jammed packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, calcium and  fiber, making this generally considered boring vegetable our close to home superfoods!

I would recommend to make the parsnip cream the night before you are having the porridge, or even few days in advance, as it will help to give it a thicker consistency.Store it in a air tight jar in the fridge and it will last for at least a week.

Make 2 generous bowls of porridge

Ingredients:

Parsnip cream:

1  medium size parsnip

1/2 cup of almond milk

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teaspoon of maple syrup(or more if you feel it needs more sweetener)

Spicy Apple porridge:

1 medium size Apple, grated.

1 cup of old fashioned oats

2 cups of almond milk

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of ginger powder

1/2 teaspoon of all spice powder

Possible toppings:

goji berries

chia seeds

almond butter

kiwis or other fresh fruits

To make the parsnip cream peal the parsnip, chop it into bite size pieces and steam it for about 15-20 minutes until soft and tender. Transfer it to a blender and add the almond milk, cinnamon and maple syrup. Blend it until smooth. Pour the cream into a jar or air tight container and let it set in the fridge overnight. This is totally optional but it helps the cream to have a thick and silky consistency.

for the porridge: pour the 2 cups of milk into a sauce pan onto medium-low heat. Once the milk starts to warm up add the 1 cup of oats, the grated Apple and all the spices. Cook the oats for at least 5-10 minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure the porridge doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Once all the liquid has been absorbed and the oats are cooked down divide the porridge into two bowls. Serve it with a generous spoonful of the parsnip cream, goji berries, chia seeds and the fruit of your choice. To take it to the next level add some almond butter and you will go to breakfast heaven!;)

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Coconut and orange truffles


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These are the easiest and the quickest sweet treat ever! They literally take 10 minutes to whip up and they totally hit the spot when you crave something sweet and morish at the same time. The coconut shreds and the coconut oils create a fudgy and creamy consistency, while the orange zest add a hint of tanginess making these truffles taste absolutely irresistible! Completely gluten free and refined sugar free,these little guys are also packed with incredible fatty acids from the coconut which are so important for healthy, glowing skin.

Make about 10 balls

Ingredients:

1 cup of dried coconut + about 1/2 cup for rolling the truffles

1/4 of a cup of coconut oil

2 tablespoon of rice malt syrup or honey ( you want to use quite a sticky sweetener that will help the truffles to stick together)

2 teaspoon of orange extract

the zest of 1 orange plus extra for decorating

Simply put 1 cup of coconut shreds, the coconut oil, the maple syrup and the orange extract into a a food processor and pulse for about 2 minutes until a sticky dough ball starts to form. Remove it form the food processor and put into a bowl and fold in the orange zest. Shape the dough into small balls gently rolling them between your hands. Coat the balls in coconut shreds and place in the fridge to set for at least half an hour. Before serving sprinkle them with some orange zest.

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Oaty banana and blueberry breakfast muffins

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Up to a couple of years ago I used to think that the so called “breakfast muffins” sold in most coffee shops were actually a good for you breakfast, they had few pumpkins seeds on top of them, the label claimed full of fibre etc.. You get the drill. Well, little I know they normally tend to be full of refined sugar, fat, preservativd and they actually have very little “good for you” ingredients. There is something very comforting and quite decadent about have cake or muffins for breakfast so I had to come up with a seriously nourishing recipe which actually make you start the day in the best way. These muffins are completely sugar free as the (very ripe) bananas act as natural sweetener, the oats are full of fibre and will help you feeling full until lunch time and finally the blueberries add some incredible antioxidants and vitamins. Super easy to make, these beauties will seriously make you look forward to get up in the morning!

Ingredients:

2 mashed ripe bananas

2 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

3/4 of a cup of almond milk or any other non diary milk

2.5 cups of oats

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or vanilla powder

2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 cup of frozen or fresh blueberries

to decorate:

a handful of blueberries

oat flakes

maple syrup ( optional) but it gives the muffins a nice shine

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and grease with some coconut oil a muffin tin.

Start by grounding the oats into flour in a food processor. Put the flour into a mixing bowl and add the baking powder and the cinnamon. For the wet ingredients: melt the coconut oil on a very low heat until it’s completely liquid, pour it into a clean bowl and add the mashed bananas, the almond milk, the apple cider vinegar and the vanilla extract. Whisk everything together and pour the mixture into the bowl with the oat flour, gently fold in the blueberries. Once all the ingredients are well combined pour the batter into the muffin tin, filling about 3/4 of each tin. Press down few blueberries on each muffin and sprinkle with some oats. Brush them with a bit of maple syrup for a golden shiny coat.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick come out clean. Leave them to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

They taste absolutely heaven with a generous dollop of almond butte spread on top.

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