Zero Waste Picnic Feast

Glorious British Summer! There is nothing better than enjoying a sunny day, spending time outside and tucking into some sensational food, obviously! 😉

This plant-based feast is just perfect for any outdoor gathering. Although it might seem convenient to grab ready-to-go food from supermarket, nothing will ever beat a homemade, nourishing meal.  Plus, making from scratch is a great way to save unnecessary, single use packaging! All the dishes below are super easy to make and they last in the fridge for up to 5 days, so if you have any leftovers you can just pop them into your lunch box. The roasted vegetables are a great addition to any pasta sauce or to some cooked quinoa or brown rice. If you have any leftover tofu, use it in stir fries or buddha bowls to add a great source of plant-based protein.

The falafels are perfect to be frozen which is why I love to make a large batch so I have got enough for the week ahead. They are delicious dipped into my Mediterranean guacamole but they are just as amazing on their own. I mean, nothing beats a good falafel, right? 🙂

For this plant-based feast I have collaborated with Pyrex utilising their Cook & Go range of super strong glass containers, which I have been using non-stop this past few weeks. The Pyrex range stands head and shoulders above the competition as they are made from borosilicate glass. This provides extreme resistance, making them incredibly versatile and ideal for cooking in the oven, storing in the frige or freezer, re-heating in the microwave or oven and lunch on the run.

I have been using glass containers for years to store my food in the fridge or for a lunch box so I couldn’t be happier to have upgraded to this gorgeous new Pyrex range, which not only looks stylish and sleek but will also help me cut down on packaging and food waste.

Coriander Falafels:

Ingredients:

2 cups of chickpeas soaked for at least 12 hours

2 tbsp of tahini paste

1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove

A generous bunch of fresh coriander

1 tbsp of lemon juice

3/4 of a cup of chickpea flour

1 tsp of cumin powder

Plenty of sea salt

`Coconut oil for frying

Herby Roasted Summer Vegetables:

Ingredients:

1 courgette cut into slices

1 aubergine cut into half-moon slices

2 peppers, deseeded and cut into bite size pieces

2-3 garlic cloves

1/2 tbsp of dried thyme

1/2 tbsp of dried oregano

A generous glug of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Mediterranean Guacamole:

2 ripe avocados

1 cup of chopped cherry tomatoes

A bunch of fresh basil finely chopped

The juice of 1/2 lemon

Salt to taste

Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Hummus:

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tbsp of tahini paste

1 garlic clove

2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

The juice of 1/2 lemon

3-4 sun-dried tomatoes

A handful of fresh basil leaves

Optional: 1/2 tsp of sweet smoked paprika

Salt to taste

A dash of water depending on the desired consistency

Miso Glazed Tofu 

1 block of firm tofu (about 300gr)

2 tbsp of Tamari or soy sauce

1 tsp of brown miso paste

1 tsp of maple syrup

1 garlic clove crushed

1 tbsp of sesame oil

Start by preheating the oven at 200 degrees Celsius

For the herby roasted summer vegetables: Add all the sliced vegetables into a large roasting tray (I have used a large Pyrex Cook & Go glass rdish to save on washing up!). Drizzle with some olive oil and add all the dried herbs. Bash the garlic cloves with a large knife, keep the skin on and add them to the tray. Finally season with salt and pepper. Give the tray or glass dish a shake so all the veggies are nice and coated. Roast them in the oven for 18-20 minutes.

For the miso glazed tofu: chop the tofu into cubes and place aside. In a largee Pyrex glass bowl, mix togetherh the miso paste, tamari sauce, maple syrup, crushed garlic and sesame oil until you have a smooth marinade. Add the tofu cubes and toss them around so they are all coated.

Transfer them to a roasting tray or into a large Cook & Go dish and pour over the tofu any excess marinade. Place the tray or glass dish in the oven together with the veggies and cook for roughly 20 minutes.

For the falafels: Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add them to a food processor with all the other ingredients. Blitz until you have a chunky paste. The mixture will be slightly wet so before rolling into balls wash your hands to prevent sticking. If you find it too wet add more chickpea tflour. Heat up a little bit of coconut oil in a frying pan(I used the Pyrex Expert Touch frying pan). Once really hot add the falafels to the pan. Cook them on each side for 2-3 minutes until they start to brown. Leave them to one side while you are making the dips.

For the sun-dried tomato hummus: drain and rinse the chickpeas, add them to a food processor with all the other ingredients. Add the water gradually (if needed) until you reach the desired consistency.

For the Mediterranean guacamole: Add the peeled avocados to a bowl, or smaller Cook & Go dish for food on the dmove and add all the other ingredients. Mash with a fork until you have a creamy consistency.

Once everything is ready, pop all of your creations into Pyrex Cook & Go dishes, clip on the leak proof/sairtight lids and you are ready for a serious picnic feast!

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Mocha Smoothie Bowl

I just love coffee and chocolate together, is just a match made in heaven! If you normally order a mocha at your local coffee shop I am sure you will love this recipe.

For a barista style espresso I have used TASSIMO My Way L’Or espresso which goes so perfectly with the richness of the raw cacao powder.

Try to use as little almond milk as possible to keep the smoothie super thick and creamy, you will literally feel like you are having dessert for breakfast! 😉

Serves 1:

Ingredients:

1-2 frozen bananas

1/2 avocado

1 tbsp of raw cacao powder

1/2 tbsp of cashew butter

1 shot of espresso – I have used TASSIMO My Way L’Or espresso

Enough almond milk to blend

A pinch of sea salt

Toppings:

I love granola, some extra slices of banana, coconut coconut chips and cacao nibs but please feel free to use whatever toppings you like!

This recipe couldn’t be simpler! Just place all the ingredients into a blender and add the almond milk gradually.You want to try to keep it as thick as possible so don’t add too much liquid.

Pour the smoothie into a bowl and add the toppings of your choice! Enjoy!

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TASSIMO My Way & Cashew Iced Latte

When it comes to coffe I am definitely a bit of a snob. I don’t have a coffee everyday but when I do it definitely needs to be a good one . I normally would pop down to  my local coffee shop but since I had Tassimo My Way coffee machine I can easily make a barista style coffee at home.

I like to keep it quite simple so I normally go for a smooth black americano or a strong and rich espresso. But since it has been so hot lately in the UK i have been loving an iced cold latte made with 1 espresso shot, lots of iced and whatever non dairy milk I have on hand.

What I love about Tassimo My Way is the ability to tailor your drink to make it as strong as you like. You can choose temperature, volume and intensity of every single drink and then save your settings for next time . And you can definitely taste the different strengths in your coffe!

For my iced latte I have been loving using L’OR Espresso Fortissimo and which has got a full body and a gorgeous aroma and I like it to keep it quite “short”, I then add ice and milk.

If I fancy a hot drink I have been using Costa Coffe Americano and I set it on low strength and quite high volume so I can make myself a big mug of piping hot coffee to sip throughout the morning.

Other features that I love about the machine:

  • Large water tank – so it doesn’t need to be refilled after only a couple of drinks
  • No cleaning required – there is virtually no clenaing to be done while using this machine
  • Stylish look – I love its sleek and stylish look, it’s also not too big so it will fit perfectly on any kitchen counter.

Here is my quick recipe for the best homemade cashew iced latte:

½ cup of cashews soaked overnight or for at least 3 hours

1-2 pitted dates (depending on how sweet you like it)

A dash of vanilla extra or powder

1 ½ cups of filtered water

1 shot of expresso – I have used L’Or espresso fortissimo

Plenty of ice cubes

Drain and rinse the cashews. Add them to a blender with the water and blend until you have a creamy and frothy milk. Strain the milk through a nut milk bag or through a double cheese cloth . Gently squeeze the nut milk bag until all the liquid is out and you get left with the cashew pulp. Give the blender a quick rinse and add in the milk with the dates and the vanilla extract. Blend again until completely smooth. Pour the milk into a glass with plenty of ice and then add the espresso shot . Mix together and enjoy!

TASSIMO My Way is available at major retailers and electronic shops.

This blog post is sponsored by TASSIMO My Way.

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Tesco Fuss Free Food

Tesco has come up with what I think it’s a genius idea of adding dietary and lifestyle filters which allow you to complete your online shopping as usual or via the app, whilst being able to filter your product search into categories such as vegan, vegetarian, low fat, gluten free and many more.

I tested these new lifestyle and dietary filters myself when I did a online shop last week and I can honestly say it was a breath of fresh air! 

All I had to do was to select “vegan” from the filters available and in just one click all the vegan products available are all in one page.

I have been eating a plantbased diet for almost 5 years now so I do find it easier to navigate supermarket aisles than I did at the very beginning, but with new products constantly launched into the market it’s hard sometimes to keep up! Tesco new dietary & lifestyle filters take away any second guessing and make shopping tailored to your specific’s dietary requirements easier than ever! 

In my shopping last week I went all out for a BBQ/ garden party so I bought some Tesco Spicy Bean Burgers, some Tesco curly fries, vegan mayo and after I ticked the no gluten filter I also found some gluten free and vegan burger buns which I probably would have never found otherwise! 

This blog post is sponsored by Tesco.

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Rhubarb & Strawberry Breakfast Parfait

This has been one of my favourite breakfast lately. I absolutely love rhubarb and strawberries and I have been making the most of them while they are still in season here in the UK. It’s great to make the compote in advance so you always have some on hand when it comes to breakfast or for a sweet snack. I personally love serving it in this parfait stye with some crunchy granola and creamy coconut yogurt but it’s also delicious on toast or on top of porridge! 

 

Makes a small jar of compote – preparation & cooking time: 25 minutes 

For the compote:

1/2 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries 

1/2 cup of roughly chopped rhubarb 

1 1/2 tbsp of chia seeds 

1-2 tbsp of Natvia Natural Sweetener 

A dash of vanilla extract (optional)

About 3-4 tbsp of your favourite yogurt (I used coconut)

An handful of granola of your choice 

Extra strawberries for topping 

1- To make the compote simple place the fruits into a pan with a dash of water. 

2- Cook the fruit until it starts it bubbles, turn the heat down and add the Natvia Sweetener, vanilla and put the lid on. 

3-Cook the compote for 15-20 minutes until the fruit is all mushy and has a jam kind of consistency. 

4-Add the chia seeds, give it good mix and remove it from the heat. Leave it onto one side to cool down and to thicken up even further. 

5-Once cold place it into a jar or air tight container. It will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

6-To assemble the parfait simply place the granola at the bottom of jar, add a generous amount of the compote, top with the yogurt and add some fresh strawberries on top. Enjoy! 

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Peach Galette

Peaches are by far one of my favourite summer fruit and they are now finally in season! Nothing beats a juicy and sweet peach on a to summer day! Although they are great on their own they are super versatile too and perfect in baking. This summer galette is so easy to make and all you need is juts a bunch of simple ingredients. I just love the crunchy pastry topped with the juicy peaches! You cab serve as it is or to make it even more delicious add a dollop of coconut icecream or yogurt!

Serves 4-5 people – preparation/baking time 1 hour and 20 minutes 

Ingredients:

2 cups of spelt or white flour 

1 1/2 tbsp of Natvia Natural Sweetener 

1/4 cup of coconut oil – soft but not completely liquid 

A pinch of sea salt

For the filling:

3-4 ripe peaches

1/4 cup of apricot jam + extra to brush the pastry and the peaches 

1-Add the flour to a large mixing bowl. Add in the Natvia Sweetener and the sea salt. Mix together.

2-Add the coconut oil and start to mix with your hands, crumbling the oil into the flour. 

3-Gradually start to add some water, about 3-4 tbsp. Keep working the mixture with your hands until you have a solid dough. 

4-Line a large baking tray with some parchment paper and place the dough ball in the middle. 

5-Dust with some flour a rolling pin and start to stretch the dough into a round shape about 1/2 cm thick. 

6-Spread the apricot jam on the base keeping a circle shape and leaving about 2cm margin around the edges. 

7-Turn the oven on at 180 degrees Celsius. 

8-Slice the peaches into thin slices and start displayed them into a round circle on the base of the galette. Make sure there are no gaps between slices. 

9-Crimp the pastry around the fruit. Don’t worry if it looks a bit rustic, that’s the look we are going for! You can get excess pastry off the edges if you want.

10-Gently brush some apricot jam on the pastry and on the peaches to give them a glaze look once baked.

11-Cover the top pf the galette with some foil to prevent from burning and place it in the oven. 12-Bake for about 60 minutes. After 45 minutes remove the foil so the peaches can get nice and golden. 

12-Remove the galette from the oven and brush some more apricot jam to give it a lovely shine.

13-Let it cool down completely before cutting into slices. Enjoy! 

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Sweet Potato & Berry Smoothie Bowl

Nothing beats a cold and refreshing smoothie bowl when the weather gets hot! Since it has been so lovely and warm here in the UK I have been loving having this smoothie bowl for breakfast, sometimes even lunch! Adding a sweet potato to a smoothie might seem a bit weird but trust me, it’s a game changer! It create the most gorgeous and creamy consistency, it will literally feel you are having pudding for breakfast!  For this recipe I have used Vita Coco Coconut Water which is rich in potassium and electrolytes, perfect to rehydrate the body after a sweaty workout or during a hot day.

Ingredients:

Serves 2 

1 frozen bananas 

About 1 cooked and frozen sweet potato

1 cup of frozen berries of your choice – I have used a mix of blueberries and raspberries 

1 tablespoon of nut butter of your choice – I have used peanut butter 

3/4 cup of Vita Coco Coconut Water – or more if your blender is struggling 

Toppings:

Granola 

Sliced banana 

Fresh berries 

Coconut chips 

Or anything you like!

Simply place all the ingredients into a blender and add gradually the almond milk. Blend until creamy and smooth. You want to achieve a ice cream kind of consistency.  Scoop it out and pour into bowls. Top with the toppings of your choice and enjoy! 

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Potato & Pea Pakoras

Pakoras were by far our favourite street food Snack during the epic Indian Vegan Adventure with Intrepid Travel. We had them in endless occasions and they were utmeluy delicious! Crispy on the outside with soft and spicy vegetables on the inside. For this recipe I have used potatoes and peas but in India pakoras are virtually made with anything, cauliflower and broccoli are other great alternative. As they are deep fried I love serving them with a fresh and crunchy salad but they will absolutely delicious just by themselves! 

Ingredients:

250gr of chickpea flour 

50gr of plain white flour 

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda 

1 teaspoon of chilli powder 

1 teaspoon of curry powder 

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder 

About 300gr of white potatoes cut into small cubes 

1 small white onion, finely chopped 

1/2 cup of frozen peas 

1 teaspoon of salt 

1 tablespoon of lemon juice 

Oil for frying ( I have used sunflower oil)

To serve: I love serving pakoras with a fresh and crunchy salad to balance the flavour of deep fry food 

Into a large bowl mix tougher the flours, bicarbonate of soda, chilli powder, curry powder, turmeric and salt. Add the lemon juice and then gradually add in some water to until you have a runny/ pancakes style batter.  Add in the chopped potatoes, onion and peas and mix well until all the vegetables are coated.

Heat up a generous amount of oil into a deep frying pan until a breadcrumbs start to drizzle when dropped into it. When the oil is hot carefully dropped about 1 tablespoon of the mixture into the oil in batches for about 5-6 minutes each. Once cooked rest them on plate cover with paper towel to absorb excess oil.

Serve them while still warm with some crunchy fresh salad.

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Lemon & Yogurt Super Green Pasta

Summer is officially here and nothing says summer more than coconut! 

I have been absolutely loving using the Provamel coconut range in my savoury and sweet recipes as I really like the subtle sweetness of the coconut without being too overpowering. 

For overnight oats, chia pudding and smoothies I have been using Provamel Rice with Coconut drink which is organic and gluten free. Because of its natural sweetness it also works perfectly in baking recipes. 

As a great alternative to yogurt, I have been loving Provamel Soya with Coconut alternative to yogurt Free From Sugars. I love the fact that is completely sugars free so it actually works so well in savoury dishes such as curry and pasta sauces, like the below recipe. 

Lemon & Yogurt Super Green Pasta

I am officially obsessed with this pasta! It’s so creamy and decadent, but fresh and light at the same time! It might sound a bit weird to add an alternative to yogurt to a pasta sauce but trust me it really works! I have used Provamel Soya with Coconut alternative to yogurt Free From Sugars which goes so well with the fresh flavours of the vegetables. The addition of the lemon zest is probably my favourite part, as it adds a zingy kick to the dish. This a great quick and easy recipe for those mid-week dinners when you really don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. It’s also a great dish to sneak in lots of vegetables without even realising it. 

The sauce will be enough for 2 people 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Provamel Soya with Coconut alternative to yogurt Free From Sugars 

2-3 broccoli florets 

1/2 cup of frozen peas 

2 spring onions finely chopped 

1 garlic clove crushed 

About 100gr of asparagus cut in half

The zest of 1 lemon + the juice (make sure to use unwaxed lemons!)

1 tbsp of nutritional yeast 

Plenty of salt and pepper

Serve it with pasta of your choice

In a frying pan add a bit of oil and the finely chopped spring onions, cook them for few minutes until they start to soften. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute, be careful not to burn it!

Fill a large pan with boiling water. Add in the broccoli florets and asparagus. Depending on your taste cook for 4-6 minutes. I like to keep my vegetables quite al dente so I make sure I don’t overcook them.

Remove from the pan but don’t throw away the water, you will use it to cook the pasta.

Put the asparagus to one side and add the broccoli to the pan with the spring onions. Add in the Provamel Soya with Coconut alternative to yogurt and give it a quick mix. Add in the nutritional yeast, the zest of the lemon plus the juice salt and pepper. Either with a hand blender or a normal blender, blend the sauce until super smooth and creamy (I have used my normal blender as I find it works best).

 Cook the pasta in the same pan as the vegetables according to the cooking instructions. Just a couple of minutes before it’s ready, add in the frozen peas. Drain the pasta and peas and pour the yogurty sauce on top. Mix in the cooked asparagus. Add a generous sprinkle of black pepper and some extra lemon zest. Serve straight away while still warm. Enjoy! 

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Chocolate & Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies

Nothing beats chocolate and peanut butter! Especially the they are both in a cookie! These sandwich cookies have been my latest obsession! Not only they are super easy to make, they are also lusciously indulgent! The chocolate biscuit is just perfect paired with the creamy peanut butter layer and the melted chocolate on top is just the icing on the cake! For this recipe I have used vegan nougat chocolate but please feel free to use any chocolate you like! 

Makes about 10-11 cookies – Preparation time 15-20 minutes- Baking time: 15 minutes 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of oat flour ( just place some porridge oats in a blender and blend until you have a flour kind of consistency) 

1/2 cup of ground almonds

4 tablespoons of raw cacao powder or cocoa powder 

1/2 cup of melted coconut oil 

1/4 cup of Natvia natural sweetener

5 tablespoon of almond milk 

A dash of vanilla extract 

1 tablespoon of runny nut butter of your choice 

1 teaspoon of baking powder 

A pinch of salt 

For the peanut butter filling:

About 2 tablespoons of smooth peanut butter

Optional: 1 teaspoon of maple syrup if you like it a bit sweeter 

For the chocolate coating- This is totally optional! The cookies are amazing as they are but if you are a chocolate addict as I am you might want to drizzle them or covered them in chocolate:

70gr of good quality melted chocolate of your choice (i went for a vegan nougat one)

1- Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. 

 2- In a large bowl mix together the oat flour, ground almonds, Natvia Natural Sweetener, salt, baking powder and raw cacao powder. 

3- In a separate bowl whisk together the melted coconut oil, almond milk, nut butter, vanilla extract and nut butter. 

4- Pour the wet ingredients together with the dry ingredients and mix well until you have a thick not too sticky dough. 

5- Dust your working surface with some flour and with a rolling pin gently roll out the dough.It will be quite fragile so you will be able to cut only a couple of cookies at the time. Another option is to just tear a small bowl of dough and flatten it down into a cookie shape with your hands.

6- Place all the cookies on a baking tray covered with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. 

7- Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool down completely for 15-20 minutes.

8- If you are using the maple syrup simply mix it with the peanut butter. 

9- Add about 1 teaspoon of peanut butter on each cookie and cover it with another one. 

10- Dip it into the melted chocolate or drizzle the chocolate on top and place them in the fridge to set for 10-20 minutes. Enjoy! 

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