Flax & Chia Pancakes with Caramelised Mango

These pancakes are the perfect weekend breakfast! 

One of my favourite combinations of all time is mango and coconut, they both have a gorgeous tropical flavour and just work so well together. These pancakes are so easy to make and the caramelised mango is the perfect topping! 

For this recipe, I’ve used Provamel Rice with Coconut drink which gives the pancakes a naturally sweet and coconutty flavour. I love serving them with a big dollop of Provamel Soya with Coconut alternative to yogurt Free From Sugars, fresh raspberries and crunchy coconut chips.

Makes about 8-9 pancakes 

Ingredients:

1/2 tbsp of milled flaxseeds + 1/2 tbsp of chia seeds + 3 tbsp of water 

1 tbsp of maple syrup 

1 cup of Provamel Rice with Coconut drink 

3/4 cup of oat flour (just place some oats into a blender and grind them until you have a flour)

1/4 cup of wholewheat flour

1 teaspoon of baking powder 

A pinch of sea salt 

For the caramelised mango:

1 ripe mango peeled and cut into cubes or slices 

1 tbsp of coconut sugar 

Start by mixing the flaxseeds and chia seeds with the water. Leave the mixture to one side until it starts to become gloopy (about 10 minutes). Add the Provamel Rice with Coconut drink and maple syrup. Whisk everything together.

In a large bowl mix together the oat flour, wholewheat flour and sea salt. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mix and whisk together. Try not to overtax it as it will result in a heavier batter. Leave for 10 minutes to one side while you are preheating the pan and cooking the mango.

Add the coconut sugar into a pan with a splash of water. Bring to a boil and when it starts to bubble add in the chopped mango. Turn the heat down and let the mango caramelise for about 5-10 minutes. When all the water has evaporated and the sugar has a become a sticky syrup the mango is ready.

Add a little bit of oil to a large nonstick pan with about 2 spoonfuls of the batter for each pancake. Cook the pancakes on one side and when they start to form some bubbles on top, flip them onto the other side and cook for 2-3 minutes. Repeat the process until you have used all the batter.

Serve the pancakes straight away with the caramelised mango, a dollop of Provamel Soya with Coconut alternative to yogurt Free From Sugars, fresh berries and a drizzle of maple syrup.

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Cassava Mini Pesto Pizza

I always like to experiment with new ingredients that’s why I was so excited to play around with Tropical Sun cassava flour for the first time. In case you are not familiar cassava is a root vegetable and consequently the flour is gluten free and grain free, making it a great alternative for celiacs or if you following a paleo diet. Cassava is also a great source of calcium, phosphorous, potassium and manganese.

These mini pizzas turned out so well I will definitely making them again! The pesto goes perfectly with light “cheesy” flavour of the cassava and the mix of toppings add so much flavour and texture.

 

Makes between 4-6 mini pizza 

Ingredients:

For the pizza base:

3 cups of Tropical Sun Cassava Flour 

1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil 

1 cup of unsweetened almond milk 

2 teaspoon of baking powder

A generous pinch of sea salt

For the pesto:

1/3 cup of pine nuts 

2 cups of fresh basil leaves 

2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast 

1 clove of garlic – crushed 

The juice of 1/2 lemon 

2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil 

A pinch of salt to taste 

Toppings:

About 5-6 asparagus spears – cut into pieces 

1 red onion -peeled and cut into thin slices 

A handful or roughly chopped sun-dried tomatoes 

A sprinkle of vegan cheese (optional)

Start by making the pesto. Simply place all the ingredients into a food processor and bliss until you have a fairly creamy consistency. Add a dash of water if the pesto is too thick. Leave it onto one side while you are preparing the rest.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees Celsius.  

In a large bowl mix together the cassava flour, salt and baking soda. Add the almond milk and olive oil and start mixing first with a spoon then with your hands. Mix everything together until you have a thick and quite sticky dough.  Dust your surface with some extra flour (it can be any flour, it doesn’t have to be cassava) and dust your rolling pin as well. Tear out a small ball of dough and gently stretch it out into a round shape. 

Place the mini pizzas onto a large baking tray covered with parchment paper. Bak the pizza bases in the oven for about 5 minutes. Remove them form the oven and spread 1 tablespoon of the pesto onto each pizza. Add all the toppings and place them back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Remove the pizzas from the oven and enjoy while still hot!

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Kale & Cherry Tomato Tart

This tart is the perfect main dish for any dinner party, family gathering and even just the perfect picnic show stopper. It’s one of those dishes which normally get people saying: “ I can’t believe it’s vegan!” The crust is flaky and buttery and the filling has a very creamy, almost ricotta cheese kind of texture. The tofu really works wonder in this dish! Although is so delicious and feels so indulgent is still packed with gorgeous greens and please please don’t skip the slow roasted cherry tomatoes! They are a really key ingredient in making this tart utterly scrumptious! With their natural sweetness they balance perfectly the earthiness of the kale. To add extra goodness I have used Udo’s Choice beyond Greens powder which is a blend of organic barley, oat wheat and alfalfa grassed combined with algae particularly rich in vimtamins K & B12, folic acid, iodine and iron.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of oat flour

1/2 cup of almond flour 

1 1/2 tablespoons of chilled in the fridge coconut oil 

3 tablespoons of cold water 

1/2 teaspoon of salt 

For the filling: 

1 block of firm tofu – about 280gr 

1 cup of destemmed and washed kale – you can add a bit more if you are a fan of greens 🙂 

250gr of cherry tomatoes 

1 small white onion -finely sliced 

3 cloves of garlic – crushed

2 tablespoons pf nutritional yeast 

1/2 tablespoon of Udo’s Choice Beyond Greens

A generous handful of fresh basil -roughly chopped  + extra for sprinkling on top 

1 tablespoon of almond milk 

1 tablespoon of olive oil 

1 tablespoon of dried mixed herbs

1/2 teaspoon of salt 

1/2 teaspoon of pepper 

Preheat the oven at 150 degrees Celsius.

Slice the cherry tomatoes in halves, place them on a baking tray and drizzle some olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper. Let them slowly roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes until super squishy and sweet. Leave them onto one side

To make the crust in a bowl mix the oat flour, almond flour and salt. Add in the chilled coconut oil into pieces and pinch it with your hands while mixing it with the flour. Add in the water and keep working the dough until you have a firm dough. Place it in the fridge to set for about 1/2 hour.

Grease a tart case with some coconut oil. With your fingers press the dough into the tart case until it covers the base and the sides. Prickle the base with a fork top prevent from puffing up during the cooking time. Place the tart in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius and bake for 10-12 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool for 10-15 minutes.

Add the olive oil to a pan and once hot add in the sliced onion. Cook for 5-8 minutes until it starts to become translucent. Add in the crushed garlic and cook for another minute stirring from time to time to prevent from burning. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it onto one side.

To make the filling place the tofu, kale, cooked onion and garlic, nutritional yeast, Udo’s choice green powder, basil, almond milk, mixed herbs, salt and pepper into a food processor and pulse for few seconds until all the ingredients are well combined. Pour the filling into the tart case spreading it with a spatula. Place the tart back in the oven at the same temperature for another 20 minutes until the top feel kind of solid and it starts to turn golden brown. Remove the tart from the oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes. Add on top the roasted cherry tomatoes and extra fresh basil leaves. Serve while still warm or slightly cold. Store any leftover in an airtight container the fridge for 3-4 days.

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Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi is probably one of my favourite Indian dish, I made it endless times and everytime I love it a bit more. My obsession for Aloo Gobi has reached new levels after my epic Indian Vegan Food Adventure with Intrepid Travel. Needless to say the one I had in India was out of this world! We had it at one of the home cooked dinner a the lady actually showed us how to make it andI just fell in love even more by the simplicity of this recipe. What makes a huge difference is the addition of the curry leaves, they might be a bit harder to find but they add so much flavour to the dish! 

Serves 2-3 people 

Ingredients:

1 small head of cauliflower or 1/2 of a large one 

1 small white onion finely chopped 

2 garlic cloves crushed 

4 medium size potato chopped into small cubes 

1 fresh chilli finely chopped 

1 tablespoon of mustard seeds 

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder 

2-3 curry leaves 

1 tablespoon of coconut oil for frying 

To serve: fresh coriander,  chapati or roti bread, unsweetend coconut yogurt.

Chop the cauliflower into florets and lightly steam them (or boil them) for 5 minutes until slightly tender but not too soft. Drain them and set them onto one side. Reserve the cauliflower water.

Add the coconut oil into a large pan and once hot add the chopped onion, the mustard seeds, turmeric and the curry leaves. Cook for few minutes until the onion starts to soften. Add in the crushed garlic. Add in the chopped potatoes. Add some of the cauliflower water just enough to cover the potatoes. Cover the with the lid and cook on a low heat for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft. Add in the cauliflower florets and mix all together. Season with salt and sprinkle with lots of fresh coriander leaves.

Serves it with some warm chapati and some coconut yogurt.

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Mexican Pulled Jackfruit Tacos

These tacos are probably my favourite thing to make when I have guests over for dinner. The pulled jackfruit is just so incredible delicious and packed with flavour, it will surprise anyone sceptical of eating fruit for dinner 🙂 I have used Tropical Sun jackfruit in brine which is so versatile and easy to use in any savoury dishes. The jackfruit itself doesn’t have much flavour (as it’s unripened) so it will soak up perfectly any sauces or marinades you will cook it with. I absolutely love the all the smoky spicy flavours combined with the fresh guacamole and tangy coconut yogurt, definitely a dish which I will make over and over again! 

Ingredients:

For the pulled jackfruit:

1 can of Tropical Sun Jackfruit 

1 red onion finely diced 

3 clove of garlic crushed 

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika 

1 teaspoon of ground cumin 

1 teaspoon of ground coriander 

1/2 cup of tomato puree

1 tablespoon of maple syrup 

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

1 fresh chilli finely chopped (leave it out if you don’t like it too hot)

Salt and pepper to taste 

For the tacos:

A handful of rocket leaves or lettuce

8-10 cherry tomatoes diced 

A bunch of fresh coriander roughly chopped 

2 ripe avocados – 

The juice of 1 lime + extra for serving 

2-3 tablespoon of unsweetened natural coconut yogurt 

Chilli flakes to sprinkle (optional) 

Corn tortillas of your choice

Drain the tinned jackfruit.  With your hands crumble it into small pieces/ strips.

Add the chopped onion to a pan with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Fry the onion for few minutes until slightly golden and translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minutes, stirring from time to time to prevent from burning. Add in all the spices and a dash of water if needed. Add the jackfruit, tomato puree, apple cider vinegar, fresh chilli (if using) and maple syrup. Turn the heat down and put the lid on. Keep cooking for about 15 -20 minutes. If it becomes too dry and start stick to the pan add a dash of water.

While the jackfruit is cooking peel the avocado and mash them into a chunky guacamole, add the lime juice and a pinch of salt. 

Once the jackfruit is ready warm up the tortillas by placing them on a hot pan for about a minute on each side. Fill the tortillas with the pulled jackfruit, some fresh rocket, a dollop of guacamole, a drizzle of coconut yogurt and a sprinkle of chilli flakes (if using). Enjoy! 

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Dosa Wraps with Spiced Potatoes

This recipe has been inspired by my Vegan Food Adventure with Intrepid Travel. I had the chance to experience an incredible Vegan Food Tour where I definitely taste some of the best food I ever had!

Dosa was by far the favourite meal I had in India. So simple and yet so flavoursome and Delicious it quickly become the group’s favourite dish too! The first one we had was actually on the side of the motorway on our way to Agra. We stopped at the petrol station and we definitely didn’t expect to east something so delicious! 

When it comes to the filling of the dosa the options are really endless! I went for something super simple with this spiced potatoes but other greta addition are cauliflower, carrots or sweet potatoes. 

Ingredients:

For the dosa wraps:

1 cup of chickpea flour 

1 cup of brown rice flour 

1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda 

About 400 ml of water 

For the potato filling:

2 large potatoes 

1 small white onion -finely sliced 

1 garlic clove – crushed 

1 piece of ginger (about a thumb size) peeled and finely chopped or grated 

1 fresh chilli – finely chopped 

1 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds 

1 teaspoon of turmeric powder 

The juice of 1/2 lime

Oil for frying 

Salt & pepper to taste 

Scrub and peel the potatoes, chopped them into pieces and steam them or boil until soft. Roughly mash them with a fork.

In a large frying pan heat up a glug of oil. Add the chopped onion and cook for few minutes until it starts to soften. Add in the chopped ginger, mustard seeds, crushed garlic and chopped chilli. Fry for another minutes or so making sure to stir from time to time to prevent the garlic from burning. Add the potatoes to the pan and mix everything together. Add the juice of the lime. Turn the heat off, put a lid on to keep the warm and leave them onto one side while you are making the dosa pancakes.

To make the dosa batter mix the 2 flours into a pan with the bicarbonate of soda. Gradually add in the water and keep whisking until you have a smooth and runny batter. 

Heat up a glug of oil into a large non stick pan. Once hot add about 2 spoonful of the batter, make sure to twist the pan straight away so the batter cover the whole surface. As soon as the top starts to bubble gently flip it on the other side. 

Repeat the process until you have used all the batter. Spread the potato filling in the middle of each dose and enjoy dip it in your favourite chutney.

 

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Raspberry & Peanut Butter Scones

I have been so obsessed with these scones lately, they are so simple to make and yet so delicious! I absolutely love the combination between the rich flavour of the peanut butter and the tartness of the raspberries, is literally a match made in heaven! For this recipe I have used spelt flavour but if you want to keep it gluten free just swap it with some oat flour.  All you have to do is blend some gluten free oats ultimo they reach a flour kind of consistency.

If you want to take these scones to the next level serve them with a dollop of the raspberries compote which is also so delicious with porridge or on toast.

Makes 8 scones – Preparation time 10 mins- Baking time 20 minutes 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cup of spelt flour – If you want to keep them gluten free you can swap it with oat flour 

1/2 cup of ground almond

1 tablespoon of runny and smooth peanut butter 

1/2 cup of melted coconut oil 

1/4 cup of Natvia Natural Sweetener 

4 tablespoons of almond milk 

1/2 cup of fresh raspberries 

1 teaspoon of baking powder 

A pinch of salt

These scones are absolutely delicious by themselves but if you want to take them to the next level I like to serving them with a very simple chia raspberry jam:

2 cups of fresh or frozen raspberries 

1 tablespoon of chia seeds 

Optional: 1 teaspoon of Natvia Natural Sweetener 

To make the jam simply place all the ingredients into a small pan and let it cook on a medium/low heat for about 10 minutes until the raspberries are all mushy and you have a puree kind of consistency. Let it cool onto one side while you are making the scones.

1- Preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius. 

2- In a large bowl mix together the spelt flour, ground almond, Natvia natural sweetener, baking powder and salt. 

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

4- Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour. Start mixing with a spoon, when it starts to become quite thick add in the fresh raspberries. Try to incorporate the raspberries as best as you can. Finish to mix everything together with your hands until you have a dough kind of consistency.

5-Cover a large baking tray with some parchment paper.  

6-Shape the dough into a round ball and flatten it down with your hands until you have a roughly 2 cm thick round cake. Slice it into 8 triangles and move them apart so they don’t touch each other. 

7-Bake them for 18-20 minutes until they start to go slightly golden on the outside.

8-Remove them from the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes (they are a bit fragile straight out of the oven) and enjoy them by themselves or with a dollop of the raspberry chia jam.

 

 

 

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India Vegan Food Adventure

A beautiful mess and organised chaos, those are first things that come to my mind when I think about my incredible trip to India with Intrepid Travel.

It’s safe to say that I never considered myself a group tour kind of traveller. I have been lucky enough to have travelled in different countries and I always enjoyed the freedom of travelling by myself. Well, Intrepid Travel’s India Vegan Food Adventure has completely changed my mind. I always thought tours would take their guests to touristy restaurants or to those spots considered a “safe bet”.  Without our incredible guide Chetan, I would have never experienced four amazing home cooked dinners (which are by far some of the best meals I’ve ever had). I wouldn’t have felt safe to eat so many different delicious street foods (you’d normally be advised not to eat from street food stalls) and I would have probably struggled to avoid ghee (a clarified butter from northern India that is widely used to cook any dish, vegetarian or not). 

I am so excited that as of 2019 Intrepid Travel is launching three incredible Vegan Food Adventures to India (the one I went on!), Thailand and Italy. Whether you are vegan or not I cannot recommend this tour enough! The only way I can describe it is a full-on immersion in Indian culture and cuisine. I had some of the best food of my life and I feel like I have learned sooo much about India’s amazing culture in such a short space of time. I know it wouldn’t have been the same without Intrepid Travel! The tour is already available for bookings, check it out here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/trips/HHZV 

I was also lucky enough to travel with an incredible bunch of like-minded fellow foodies, read more about them here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/meet-team-behind-vegan-food-adventure/

Below you will find my travel diary, I really hope you enjoy it and I hope I can somehow transport you to all the incredible places I have been.

DELHI 

We started our epic Vegan Food Adventure in Delhi, by far one of the most overwhelming cities I have ever visited. Our super knowledgeable guide Chetan took us around the narrow streets of old Delhi to taste some typical Indian street food. The highlight was definitely the deep-fried chickpea samosas (Chetan made sure they were cooked in oil), which were full of fragrant flavours and with a lovely spicy kick at the end.

We continued our tour and we visited Jama Masjid, a local mosque, we then headed back into the chaotic streets of Delhi where we paid a visit to one of the many chai wallahs who has been selling the famous chai tea for over 35 years! Now, it’s basically impossible in north India to have dairy free chai, so our guide Chetan brought a carton of soy milk with him. Needless to say, it was utterly delicious and obviously the best chai I have ever had! We carried on through the intricate streets of Delhi to get to our lunch destination. It was a very small restaurant on the side of the road overflowing with locals (we were the only western people) and again Chetan made sure our food was cooked in oil not ghee. My favourite thing was cauliflower stuffed paratha dipped in a green chutney, so full of flavour! 

After lunch we headed to the Sikh temple and to the Sikh community kitchen, which offers up to 19,000 free vegetarian meals every single day! It was so fascinating to see this incredibly organised huge kitchen working so harmoniously to provide free delicious food. We had a go at making chapatis too (with various results) and it was definitely one of those memories which will stay with me forever.

After an hour long drive we arrived at Greenr, a California-inspired vegetarian café with all the food a vegan can dream of! We had delicious smoothies and juices, kombucha, sweet potato and cassava fries, hummus and raw desserts. Everything was utterly delicious, and we loved the chilled vibes so much! For dinner we were invited to one of Intrepid Travel tour guide’s homes where we had the chance to learn some cooking skills from her incredibly talented mum. We obviously had a real feast and I had a second go at making chapatis (better this time). After dinner they dressed us all in traditional Indian outfits (us ladies we all wore gorgeous saris) and they taught some Bollywood dance moves. It was so much fun, and it was so great to be part of the life of an Indian family for one night.

JAIPUR 

With a dedicated van we left Delhi and we headed to Jaipur, also known as the Pink City. Our first stop was a kachori restaurant where we had the chance to try some traditional Indian snacks. We had the famous kachori which is basically a veggie curry between two slices of bread dipped in a chickpea batter and deep fried. It was so delicious! Full of flavour but not too spicy. Chetan also brought some traditional Indian sweets made with cashew and almonds. The almond one tasted like marzipan and they were both dangerously addictive! 

We then headed into Jaipur Old Town and as in Delhi everywhere was buzzing with life.

For dinner we were guests of another lovely Indian family who showed us how to cook pakora and jeera potatoes. They were so simple to make but so delicious! I will definitely make them again (watch this space). We then had dinner together in their beautiful courtyard and we watched a puppet show with some music which they organised for us. Cannot thank this family enough for this incredible experience! 

Day 2 in Jaipur started at dawn, we went out around 5 o clock in the morning to catch the sunrise over the water palace. It was so lovely to see the city not quite as busy and buzzing as during the day. After the sunrise we went to the fruit and veggie market which was literally heaven! You guys know how much I love my fruit and I can honestly say Indian mangoes were just the best mangoes I’ve ever tasted!

 

After a quick breakfast at the hotel we headed to the majestic Amber Fort, a huge castle with incredible long walls stretching for kilometres. It really felt we were in the middle of a Game of Thrones episode! 

We went back to Jaipur of another stroll in the city and we also had the chance to visit the textile district, where everything can be made to measure and delivered to your hotel! That’s what I call first class service! 🙂

In the evening we caught a Bollywood movie and then it was bedtime as after such an early start I was exhausted.

KANOTA 

We left the beautiful Jaipur to make our way to Kanota, a small town between Jaipur and Agra. In Kanota we had an overnight stay at the beautiful Kanota Castle, home to Jaipur royalty. The castle was sprawled over a vast land with gorgeous gardens, trees and incredible silence which was a stark contrast to what we experienced so far. In the Kanota Castle they also filmed some of the Marigold Hotel movie scenes, it was utterly decadent and for 24 hours I definitely felt like an Indian princess! 

We had dinner with the family which still owns the castle and it was so interesting and fascinating to hear the tales about their great grandfather who built the castle in 1876. It was by far one of the most charming hotels I have ever stayed and that night I really slept like a queen.

Bright and early in the morning we left to reach Agra. For lunch we had take-out little boxes which a restaurant on the side of the road had made for us, it was by far the best packed lunch I have ever had! Pakoras, jeera potatoes, paratha and some lovely dipping sauce, my lunch box will never taste the same! 

AGRA

Agra was as buzzing and busy as Delhi, if not more! Our first activity was to visit the spice market which was intoxicating, literally! The smell of spices was so strong we just couldn’t help coughing or sneezing!

For dinner we got to enjoy another incredible homecooked meal from a family who taught us a little bit about Mughlai cuisine which is traditionally really rich in meat and dairy products. They made a lighter version for us focusing on vegetables instead. They taught us how make a fried potato dish which traditionally would have yogurt in it, but they substituted it with cashew cream instead, it was so delicious! (another dish I definitely want to remake at home). It was bed time again after dinner as we had to get up at 3.45 the next morning to visit the iconic Taj Mahal.

At 4.10 in the morning we were all ready to go. We got to the Taj Mahal just before 5 and I can proudly say we were the first in line and for about 10 minutes we had the palace all for ourselves! (it can get really crowded especially during the day time)The Taj Mahal was built by Shah Jahan for his wife and mother of his 13 children. As she was dying he promised her to build something utterly unique, so she would have never been forgotten. It was without the shadow of a doubt an incredible experience especially visiting it at sunrise. The light was golden, and it felt so peaceful and magical.

Sadly, it was time to leave Agra but before starting our 5-hour drive back to Delhi we stopped for lunch at Sheroes Hangout, a cafe run by women survivors of acid attacks. Although the restaurant is vegetarian they prepared a full vegan lunch just for us. We also had the chance to watch a short documentary about the stories of these women, most of the acid attacks were actually performed by members of their families. Not surprisingly we were all in tears, it was so emotional to hear all the pain that these women had to go through in order to be where they are now. It made me appreciate even more what I have back home which most of the time I just take for granted. Thanks to this cafe and this charity these women now have a career, something they can be proud of and also a chance to spread awareness about acid attacks in India.

After such an emotional lunch we were back onto our minibus on the way to where we started, Delhi. When we got to Delhi we had our final dinner in a restaurant just on the side of the road, which once again I would have probably never gone to if I was by myself. The restaurant specialty was dosa which quickly become the group’s favourite dish. Dosa is a thin pancake traditionally made with rice flour (gluten free) and is stuffed with a variety of different things, we had it with potato, cauliflower, raisin and dipped into a coconut chutney. I just loved the crunchy pancake with the soft filling, another recipe I definitely have to remake at home! 

Sadly, the next day it was time to say goodbye to my amazing vegan family as the Vegan Food Adventure was officially over! You have no idea how sad I was to say bye to our wonderful team, to our invaluable guide Chetan and to Intrepid’s travel staff members which have definitely made our stay extra special. 

I have been back from India for just over 2 weeks now and I am already day dreaming of visiting this truly unique and beautiful country again. I have never felt so constantly fascinated by my surroundings, everything everywhere was mesmerising, exciting and stimulating. I don’t think anyone could ever get used to India, from constantly honking, stray dogs, holy cows peacefully strolling alongside the traffic, cheeky monkeys eating stolen mangoes on a scooter, incredibly pungent smells of street food, spices and open sewers, to impeccably ladies dressed in bright saris with ink black eyes, India is everything and more than your body and soul can ever take in.

India is also an extremely vegan-friendly country, the variety of fresh produce and veggie dishes was just incredible, you can find out about it more here: 

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/india-vegan-food-guide/

TOP 5 HIGHLIGHTS: 

1- Visiting the Sikh temple community kitchen in Delhi and making chapatis. It was so fascinating to see so many volunteers coming together and somehow managing a super organised kitchen which provides up to 19,000 free meals every day! 

2- Visiting Amber Fort in Jaipur. It was just so vast and magnificent, and it really felt like the time stopped.

3-  Trying street food. The buzzing and at times overwhelming streets of India will stay with me forever, I felt myself constantly looking at market and food stall vendors, so many different dishes and much fresh produce on offer! 

4- Home cooked dinners. I will be forever grateful to Intrepid Travel to have brought me to 4 different homes where I had the chance to learn how to cook from mothers and grandmothers, something absolutely priceless.

5-Taj Mahal. They say, “you haven’t seen India if you haven’t seen to the Taj Mahal”, although I am not sure I necessarily agree but the visit to the Taj was definitely one of those pinch-me moments. So majestic, jaw-dropping and beautiful especially when visited during the golden hour of sunrise.

WHY I WOULD RECOMMEND INTREPID TRAVEL:

1- Intrepid Travel is against any animal exploitation, so they don’t include any activities where wild or domestic animals are mistreated on their itineraries. This includes elephant rides, snake charming, zoos, aquariums and more. They also actively discourage their travellers from supporting or taking part in these activities. 

2- Intrepid Travel is committed to reducing single use plastic consumption on their trips where possible. For example, we were invited to bring our own reusable water bottles with us, so we could refill them with filtered water when we had the chance.

3- Intrepid Travel supports and gives back to the local communities they visit on their tours. The Sheroes Hangout, which we were lucky enough to visit, is an example of one of the charities they support as part of their Intrepid Foundation. https://www.theintrepidfoundation.org/ 

Want to try out an Intrepid Vegan Tour for yourself? Check out their full range of vegan adventures here:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/vegan-food-adventures

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Courgette Yam Fritters

Summer is finally here and so it’s one of my favourite summer veggies, courgette! I seriously like them in any way, shape or form but this super simple fritter recipe might as well be my new favourite way of eating them! For this recipe I have used Tropical Sun Yum flour which is a great gluten free flour alternative as well as an excellent source of soluble fibre and complex carbohydrates.

These fritters make a great starter especially if served with the coconut yogurt sauce or they also ideal for outdoor picnics or packed lunches, the options are really endless! 

Ingredients:

4 cups of shredded courgette (about 4 medium size courgettes)

2 finely chopped spring onions

2 garlic cloves crushed 

1 tablespoon of flaxseeds + 2 tablespoons of water 

1/2 cup of Tropical Sun Yam Flour 

1/4 cup of breadcrumbs (use gluten free if needed) 

1 tablespoon of chopped parsley 

1 tablespoon of chopped dill 

2 teaspoons of sea salt + black pepper to taste 

2 tablespoons of coconut oil for frying 

To serve:

I love serving these fritter with a minty yogurt dip:

1 pot of unsweetened coconut yogurt (about 120gr)

1 tablespoon of finely chopped fresh mint 

The juice of 1/2 lemon 

Salt and pepper to taste 

In a small bowl mix together the milled flaxseeds with the water. Leave it onto one side until it becomes thick and gloppy.

Place the grated courgettes into a cheese cloth or cotton napkin and start squeezing out all the water. Make sure you do this properly as you want to get out as much liquid as possible, otherwise the fritters will be quite soggy and not very nice. 

Once you are done with the courgette place them in a large mixing bowl and add the flaxseeds mixture, the Yam flour, breadcrumbs, spring onions, parsley, dill, salt and pepper.

Mix everything together until you have a kind of sticky mixture. If you find the mixture too wet add a bit more breadcrumbs + flour. Shape the mixture into round patties and place them in the fridge to chill for 30 minutes (this will help to firm them up).

To make the yogurt dip simply mix the yogurt with the finely chopped mint, lime juice and salt.

Heat up the 2 tablespoons of coconut oil into a large frying pan. Once very hot add in the fritters. Cook them onto each side for about 3 minutes until they are slight brown and crispy. Cook the fritters in batches and place them on some kitchen paper to get rid of the excess oil.

Serve the fritters while still warm (although they are great cold too) with the coconut yogurt and a simple salad.

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Sweet Potato Pizza

 

Nothing beats a fully loaded pizza! Although I love a traditional wheat crust this sweet potato version is equally delicious with the bonus of being filling without leaving you feel heavy and ultra nutritious. I used Vita Coco coconut oil in the base which makes it extra moist and fluffy. I love making my own 5 minutes tomato sauce but if you are short of time feel free to use a shop bought one. The toppings are obviously everything when it comes to pizza so the more the merrier! My favourite are artichoke hearts, juicy olives and vegan nut cheese.

Ingredients:

Make 1 large base

For the base:

1 and 1/2 large sweet potato – about 5 cups of sweet potato cubes – peeled

1 1/4 cup of spelt flour

1/4 cup of chickpea flour (also called gram flour)

1 teaspoon of chia seeds + teaspoons of water 

1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar 

1 teaspoon of salt 

1 tablespoon of melted Vita Coco Coconut Oil 

Optional: 1 tablespoon of mixed trued herbs 

For the tomato sauce:

1 small red onion – finely diced 

1 garlic clove – crushed 

1 cup of tomato passata

A generous handful of fresh basil 

Toppings (please feel free to change these according to your personal taste)

Artichoke hearts 

Red onion rings 

Olives

Rocket 

Cherry tomatoes 

Vegan nut cheese (or any cheese of your choice)

Place the sweet potato cubes in a pan and either steam or boil them. Cook them until they are tender when pierced with a fork.  Remove them from the pan and let them cool down for about 10 minutes.

In a small bowl mix together the chia seeds with the water. Let it sit for 5 minutes until you have a sort of gloopy gel. 

Once the potatoes have cooled down mash them with a fork until you have a smooth puree. Add the chia gel and give it another mix. Add the all the remaining ingredients and mix everything well together until you have a thick sightly sticky dough. It shouldn’t be too wet, you should be able to handle with your hands. If it’s too sticky add a bit more spelt flour,

 Line a large baking tray with some parchment paper and spread the mixture into a round pizza shape. Bake in the oven at 200 degrees celsius for 25-30 minutes until the edges are golden brown. 

While the pizza is cooking make the tomato sauce. Add the diced onion to a pan with a dash of olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes until the onion starts to soften and slightly translucent. Add the crushed garlic and cook for another minute. Add the tomato passata, fresh basil and cook for 10-15 minutes on a low heat. Once the tomato sauce is thick and creamy blend it quickly by just using an hand blender. 

Remove the pizza base from the oven and spread the passata on top. Top with the cherry tomatoes, artichoke, olives and onion and place it back into the oven for another 5 minutes.

Finally top the pizza with the rocket and the vegan cheese and enjoy! 

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