Pumpkin Caramel Slices

Autumn is definitely upon us and there is nothing that gets me more excited than pumpkin! It’s probably one of my favourite vegetables as I love how it can be easily used in savoury and sweet dishes. This is one of my favourite ways of using them. The peanut butter pumpkin caramel is just to die for! These pumpkin snickers are just the perfect treats to keep in the freezer for when a sugar craving strikes. They have a nutty and gooey base, super caramel middle layer and a crunchy chocolate coating which I made using MIA 70% dark chocolate.

Ingredients (Makes about 8-10 bars):

For the base:

2 cups of ground almonds

3 tablespoons of almond butter

1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil

6 tablespoons of maple syrup or agave nectar

For the pumpkin caramel:

1/2 cup of maple syrup

1/3 cup of runny peanut butter (almond butter will work as well)

2 tablespoon of coconut oil

3 tablespoons unsweetened pumpkin or butternut squash puree

1 to 2 teaspoon of mixed spices (depending how much flavour you want to add to the caramel)

A pinch of sea salt

For the Chocolate coating

2 bars of Mia dark chocolate – melted

¼ cup of roughly chopped pecans

Method

Line a brownie tin with some parchment paper

For the base, simply mix all the ingredients into a bowl until you have a sticky kind of cookie dough consistency. Transfer the dough to the tin and with your fingers press it down and spread it across the tin as evenly as you can. Place the tin in the freezer while you are making the pumpkin caramel.

For the Pumpkin Caramel, in a small pan whisk together the maple syrup, peanut butter, coconut oil, pumpkin puree, mixed spices, and sea salt over medium-low heat until completely smooth and silky. About 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool for about 10 minutes.

Next pour the caramel on top the base and shake the tin around to make sure it gets evenly spread. Place the tin back in the freezer to set for at least 1 hour.

Remove the tin from the freezer and slice it into bites. With a fork dip them into the melted chocolate and sprinkle on top of the chopped pecans. Place the bars into a tray covered with baking paper. Place them back into the freezer to set for around ½ hour.

Any leftover can be stored in the freezer.

 

Continue Reading

Mushroom & Lentil Ragu

This recipe is definitely one of my favourite comfort food recipes. It’s the ideal dish to have on a cold night after a long day at work. It will make your heart and your belly sing with joy. What I love the most about it is, that although it’s super filling and scrumptious it’s made with only wholesome, good for you ingredients. I am so thrilled about the Sainsbury’s launch of its new vegetarian and vegan range. It’s so refreshing to see a leading UK supermarket offering more delicious and plant-based alternatives. The mushroom mince is such a clever idea and it works perfectly in all those dishes where you would normally use meat mince.

This rich and creamy ragu although ideal with pasta is also great with some brown rice or quinoa or with some crunchy bread. If you really want to go the extra mile whip up this 3 minutes almond “parmesan” which adds a lovely crunchy texture and cheesy flavour.

This recipe will make a large pot of ragu which will last in an air tight container in the fridge for 4-5 days or you can also freeze it.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil for frying
1 small white onion, finely chopped
2 medium-sized carrots, finely chopped
1 pack of Sainsbury’s Mushroom Mince
3 cloves garlic, minced
1cup of cooked brown lentils
1 tin of chopped tomatoes or Italian passata
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves + extra for sprinkling
1/4teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 tablespoon of dry basil
1 teaspoon of miso paste (optional but adds a depth of flavour)
Pasta of your choice – I have used linguine

For the Almond Parmesan:
1/2 cup raw almonds
1/4cup nutritional yeast
sea salt to taste
1teaspoon olive oil
1teaspoon of white miso paste (optional but add an extra cheesy/salty flavour)

Start by making the almond parmesan. Simply place all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until you have a crumbly kind of consistency. Set onto one side while you are making the sauce.
Heat the olive oil in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and carrots. Cook for about six-eight minutes, until the onion starts to turn translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute, stirring from time to time to prevent from burning.
Add the mushroom mince to the pan and keep on cooking for four to five minutes.
Add the lentils, tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and all the herbs to the pan. Stir the mixture well, and bring it to a boil. Reduce it to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes on a very gentle heat. If the sauce becomes too thick add a splash of water.
When the sauce is 15 minutes from being done, heat a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions. Drain the pasta and add a splash of olive oil to prevent from sticking.
Divide the pasta into bowls and top with the bolognese sauce. Serve the pasta with some extra fresh thyme, cracked black pepper and the almond parmesan.

This recipe is in collaboration with Sainsbury’s.

Continue Reading

My Favourite Avocado Garlicky Mushroom Toast

This is probably one of my most liked/ commented picture on Instagram. I get asked over and over again how I cook my mushrooms so I thought i finally share this easy peasy recipe. It’s by far my favourite weekend breakfast/ brunch and I religiously have it every Sunday. The garlicky mushrooms just go so well with the creamy avocado and the crunchy sourdough. Try it! I promise you will thank me later 😉

Makes 2 large slices of toast

Ingredients:

for the mushrooms:

About 250/300gr of chestnut mushrooms – these are my favourite but any mushrooms of your choice will work
1 clove of garlic -crushed
1 tablespoon of olive oil
a generous splash of tamari sauce
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves
a sprinkle of black pepper

For the avocado:

1 ripe avocado
the juice of 1/2 lemon
a pinch of sea salt or pink Himalayan salt

2 slices of bread of your choice – I love crunchy sourdough

Start by cooking the mushrooms. Wash them and slice them. Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute, keep stirring from time to time to prevent from burning. Add the sliced mushrooms, the tamari sauce and cook for about 8-10 minutes until all the water from the mushrooms her evaporated. Add the fresh thyme and black pepper.

To prepare the avocado simply mash it down with a fork and add the lemon juice and salt. Toast the bread and spread a thick layer of the avocado on top and mushrooms. Enjoy!

Continue Reading

Veggie Loaded Brunch Bowl

Serves 2

Ingredients:

1 block of firm tofu
1 white onion finely slices
`between 2 and 4 cherry tomatoes vines
about 250gr of chestnut mushrooms sliced
2 Strong Roots avocado halves
about 6 Strong Roots Spinach bites
About 250gr of Strong Roots garlic roasted sweet potatoes
2 tablespoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika
1 clove of garlic crushed
a handful of fresh thyme leaves
Salt & pepper to taste

I also like to serve this breakfast on a bed of peppery rocket and some rye bread but that’s optional.

Start by slow roasting the cherry tomatoes. If you are using vine cherry tomatoes juts leave them as they are, place them on a baking tray with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt and bake them in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

Place the Strong Roots spinach bites and garlic sweet potatoes on a tray and bake them in the oven for
To make the tofu scramble heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add the finely sliced onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. With your hands crumble to tofu and add it to the pan together with the turmeric and smoked paprika. Cook for about 10 minutes, keep stirring from time to time.
To cook the mushrooms heat up one tablespoon of olive oil and add the crush garlic, cook for a couple of minutes, keep stirring from time. Add in the mushrooms. Cook the mushroom for 8-10 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the mushrooms are soft and squidgy. Season with some salt and pepper and add the thyme leaves.

To assemble the bowl add in the rocket (if using) top it with the tofu scramble, garlic roast sweet potatoes, spinach bites, vine tomatoes and the sliced avocado. Serve with some toasted bread.

Continue Reading

Creamy Tomato Cannelini Beans

I have recently noticed that most of your questions are always related to the easiest and simplest recipes which I might only show on my stories. My everyday porridge, pastas or buddha bowls are always the ones that get the most messages and comments. I, mistakingly, take these super simple recipes for granted. Forgive me if I sound like a big head, but I can help but thinking: “Surely everybody know how to make a basic tomato sauce?” Well, it looks like not everyone knows how to do it and lots if you want to know how.

So I have got all the good intentions to start uploading more simple and basis recipes, those kind of recipes which are some of my favourite staple, everyday ones. The first one is this tomato cannelini beans which I love and adore especially during the cold winter months. It’s great with some crunchy sourdough on the sides or served with some quinoa or even pasta! the choices are endless 🙂

Ingredients:

For the tomato sauce:

1 small white onion – finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic – crushed
1 tin of chopped tomatoes or Italian tomato passata
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes (optional)
an handful of fresh thyme leaves plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon of olive oil fir frying
salt & pepper to taste

2 cups of cooked and drained cannelini beans- if you are using tinned ones 1 can should be fine.

Heat up the olive oil into a frying pan and add the chopped onion. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring from time to time until the onion soften and becomes translucent. Add in the crushed garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the tinned tomatoes and chilli flakes. Cook the tomato sauce for about 10-15 minutes until it start to thicken up. I like my sauce to be super smooth so I like to transfer it into a blender until it’s creamy. I then pour it back into the pan and add in the beans. Add the fresh thyme and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. Enjoy while hot!

Store any leftovers in an airtight container for 5-6 days in the fridge.

Continue Reading

Vanilla Waffles with Blueberry Compote

These waffles are just the best weekend breakfast! They are such a treat and they are super easy to make. I love how filling and delicious they are especially when combined with the blueberry compote and creamy coconut yogurt. To make them even more scrumptious I like to drizzle them with some peanut butter.

Makes about 2-4 waffles depending on the size of your waffle iron

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cup of white spelt flavour (this is my favourite flour to make waffles with as they turn out really fluffy)
1 1/4 cup of creamy almond milk
1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
1 tablespoon of One Earth Vanilla Villa blend – if you can’t find it add 1 teaspoon of vanilla powder or extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
a pinch of pink Himalayan salt or sea salt

For the Blueberry compote:

1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberry
1 teaspoon of chia seeds
1 tablespoon of maple syrup (optional)

Toppings:

I love serving these waffles with some coconut yogurt, peanut butter and extra maple syrup.

Start by making the blueberry compote. Simply place all the ingredients into a pan and put it on a medium heat with a splash of water. Let it bubble away for 10-15 minutes until it reach a jam kind of consistency. Leave it onto one side while you are making the waffles.

Pour the almond milk into a bowl and add in the apple cider vinegar. Let it sit for about 10 minutes until the milk starts to thicken and becomes similar to buttermilk. In a separate bowl mix together the flour with baking powder, salt and One Earth blend.
Add the coconut oil and maple syrup to the milk mixture and give it a stir. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry one and mix everything together until you have a smooth batter.

Let it sit for 5 minutes while the waffle iron is heating up. Pour the batter into the iron and cook according to the manufacturer instructions, I cooked mine for about 15 minutes. Serve the waffles straight away with the blueberry compote, coconut yogurt and fresh berries. Enjoy!

Continue Reading

Blueberry & Hazelnut Oat Cookies

These cookies are so ridiculously easy to make! They are completely fail proof and they taste incredibly delicious. They are perfect as a snack or even for a breakfast on the go. I love the crunchiness of the hazelnuts and the fresh burst of the flavour from the blueberries. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the middle. I love having them with a cup of tea in the afternoon or sometimes as a post dinner sweet treat.

Makes about 10-12 cookies

Ingredients:

1 very ripe banana
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries + extra for decorating the cookies (optional)
2 tablespoons of milled flaxseeds + 4 tablespoons of water
1/2 cup of almond butter (peanut butter will work as well)
1 1/2 cup of jumbo oats
1/2 cup of ground almonds
3 -4 tablespoons of roughly chopped hazelnuts
3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons of maple syrup or date nectar
a dash of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking powder
3 tablespoon of almond milk
pinch of sea salt

Start by preheating the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

In a small bowl mix together the flaxseeds with the water. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until it becomes gloopy.

In a large mixing mash up the banana with a fork. Add in the melted coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, almond milk and the flax mixture. Give it a good mix. Add in the oats, ground almond, chopped hazelnuts and baking powder. Mix everything together. Finally gently fold in the blueberries.

Lay a baking try with some parchment paper. Scoop out about 1 tablespoon of the mixture for each cookies and with your fingers press it down into a round shape. The mixture is quite sticky so things can get messy! 🙂

Bake the cookies in the oven for 18-20 minutes until they start to turn golden brown around the edges. Let them cool in the tray for 10 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Continue Reading

Tempeh “Meatballs”

This is one of those recipe where I juts can’t help but compliment myself as it’s sooo tricking delicious! 🙂 I have played around with the different recipes for veggie “meatballs” and this is the definitely the best one to date. These little guys are super meaty and filling and they work perfecty with a rich tomato sauce and a comforting bowl of pasta. If you are not a fan of tempeh or tofu please trust me when I say that you are going to like this one 🙂 The tempeh texture and flavour basically disappeared when mixed with all the other ingredients and you are just left with a meaty flavoursome ball. Ok, that sounded completely wrong, but you know what I mean, right? 🙂
Make a batch on Sunday and I promise you your weekday dinners will be never be so delicious as you can serve with some roasted veggies, mash potatoes, or crumbled up in a salad or buddha bowl.

Makes about 10-12 balls depending on the size

Ingredients:

200gr of tempeh
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
1/3 cup of unsalted cashews
1 tablespoon of milled flaxseeds + 3 tablespoons of water
1 small white onion finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon of miso paste (brown or white, they will both work perfectly)
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 tablespoon of olive oil for frying
1/2 cup of ground almond + extra for dusting – you can also use bread crumbs

My favourite way of serving these “meatballs” is with a simple basil and tomato sauce and some brown rice tagliatelle or spaghetti.

For the tomato sauce:

1 small white or red onion finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed (you can use more if you like extra garlicky)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes or passata
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
a generous handful of fresh basil leaves roughly chopped + extra for serving
1 teaspoon of salt

Start by making the “flax egg”: in a small bowl mix the flaxseed with the water and let it sit for 10 minutes until it becomes gloopy.

Heat the tablespoon of olive oil in frying pan and add the sliced onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes on a gentle heat until the onion has soften and become slightly translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute continuously stirring to avoid burning. Remove the pan from the heat and leave onto one side.

In food processor add the roughly crumbled up tempeh, add the cooked onion and garlic, cashews, “flax egg”, nutritional yeast, miso paste, ground almond, salt and pepper. Start blitzing until you have a kind of sticky kind of paste.

with your hand scoop out the mixture and roll it into small balls. Dust them in the ground almonds or breadcrumbs.

To cook the meatball you can either fry them or bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius, flipping them half way for about 20-15 minutes until slightly crispy on the sides. Make sure you bake them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, otherwise they will get stuck yo the bottom.
I personally prefer to fry them as I like them really crispy on the outside.
To fry them add about 2 tablespoon of oil into a large frying pan and once it’s hot pop in the meatballs, cook them onto each sides for about 3 minutes.

To make the tomato sauce add the oil and the diced onion to a pan, cook for 5-7 minutes on a gentle heat until the onion has soften and it’s slightly translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute keeping stirring. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper. Put the lid on, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for about 20 minutes. Adjust with salt if needed. Just before serving add in the basil leaves and give it a stir. Place some of meatballs into the pan with the tomato sauce and give it a quick toss. Serve with the pasta of your choice, extra basic leaves and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast (optional).

Continue Reading

Butternut & Spinach Festive Tart

This tart is super versatile, you can either serve it as a main with lots of roasted veggies or it’s great as a starter too, plus make great leftovers for the next few days. The tofu combined with the butternut squash create the creamiest of the consistency perfect with the flaky crust. I personally love serving it with some maple roasted carrots and some extra butternut squash.

Ingredients:

1 roll of shortcut pastry ( I bought Jus roll which is vegan)
1 block of firm tofu (about 350gr)
1 cup of baby spinach (you can also add another extra cup, depending on how much you like your greens ;))
1 white onion finely sliced
3 clove of garlic crushed
1/2 butternut squash peeled and cut into bite size pieces
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons of unsweetened almond milk
2 tablespoons of fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon of finely chopped sage leaves
Salt & pepper to taste

Place the butternut squash cubes into a baking tray. Drizzle with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. give it a shake and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until soft.

While the butternut squashHeat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add in the sliced onion and cook it for about 5 minutes until soft and slightly translucent. Add in the crushed garlic and keep cooking for another minute keeping stirring to prevent from burning. Remove from the heat and leave it onto one side.

Place the tofu into the food processor and add in the spinach, nutritional yeast, herbs, almond milk, salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 of black pepper). Blitz for few moments until you have a creamy mixture. Add in half of the cooked butternut squash, reserving the other half for topping the tart. Pulse for few moments until the squash is roughly incorporated (it doesn’t have to be super smooth).

With some oil (I have used coconut oil) grease generously a cake/tart tin. Roll out the pastry and fit it into the tart tin, cutting out any excess pastry. Spread the filling into the tart case. Even it out with a spatula.
Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the edges start to turn golden. Remove the tart from the oven and leave it to cool for about 5 minutes. Top it with the remaining butternut squash pieces and serve straight away!

Continue Reading

Orange Hot Chocolate

The colder season is definitely here to stay for a while and when the temperatures drop there is nothing better than a comforting and creamy hot chocolate. This is by far my favourite dairy free hot chocolate recipe. I went all out and used Mia 70% dark chocolate instead of using raw cacao powder. The result is an utterly silky, decadent and glossy hot chocolate which will brighten up any grey day. I love adding the fresh orange flavour as it goes so well with the richness of the dark chocolate. To make this hot chocolate even more decadent whip up some coconut cream and I promise you will be in heaven!

For the hot chocolate:

Serves 2

1 can of coconut milk
60gr of Mia Dark chocolate – melted
1 teaspoon of orange essence
2 tablespoons of maple syrup (add more if you like it sweeter)

For the coconut whipped cream:

1 can of full fat coconut cream chilled in the fridge overnight (this is a very important step, please don’t skip it!)
A teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of agave nectar or maple syrup

Optional:

Serve with some fresh orange zest and extra chocolate shavings

Place all the ingredients for the hot chocolate into a blender and blend for a couple of minutes until you start to have a foamy kind of liquid. Transfer the chocolate to a pan on a medium heat. Warm up the chocolate for about 5-10 minutes. Using a whisk stir from time to time to make sure it doesn’t burn.

To make the whipped coconut cream:

Remove the coconut milk from the fridge. With a spoon scoop out the thick creamy layer which should have formed top. Don’t use the liquid/watery part (you can use it in smoothies or curries)
Place the coconut cream in a deep mixing bowl and with an electric whisker work the cream for at least 5 minutes. You should have a fluffy, airy kind of cream at the end. If not keep whisking.

To serve pour the chocolate into glasses or mug and top with a generous dollop of the coconut cream, orange zest and grated chocolate.

Continue Reading