Sweet Potato, Kale and Stilton Spelt Quiche

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Recently I’ve been replacing the flour in so many recipes with spelt. It adds a whole new dimension to a dish, giving it more texture and a rich, nutty flavour. And this quiche is no exception. The tangy stilton and sweet potato balance the flavours perfectly, making it a substantial meal with just a side of fresh salad. 

I’ve kept this quiche in the fridge for a week of dinners, taken it as a packed lunch and also served it at dinner parties where it’s disappeared within minutes. It’s just as delicious cold as it is straight from the oven.

Sweet Potato, Kale and Stilton Spelt Quiche
 
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Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 250g spelt flour
  • 110g butter at room temperature
  • 1 medium-large egg
  • 5g salt
  • 1 tbsp cold water
  • For the filling:
  • 1 small brown onion
  • 1 medium -large sweet potato
  • 2 handfuls kale
  • 125g stilton
  • 5 medium-large eggs
  • A generous grind of black pepper
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl
  2. Rub the butter into the flour until it forms fine crumbs
  3. Crack the egg into the mix and use your hands to slowly bind the mix together and work the egg in until the dough forms
  4. Finally add the water to soften the dough slightly and work in until the dough is smooth
  5. Put the dough into the fridge for half an hour
  6. Once chilled, place the dough onto a square of greaseproof paper
  7. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  8. Place another square on top and roll the dough until it is about 5mm thick
  9. Peel off the top layer of paper and gently pick the rolled dough up with the bottom layer of paper still there
  10. Carefully turn the dough upside down on the paper and into an 8-inch push-up tart tin
  11. Gently push the dough right down and trim the edges
  12. Put one of the squares of paper into the tin and pour in a jar of baking beans (you can also use dried pulses if you don't have these)
  13. Bake the pastry with the beans for 15 minutes and remove to cool
  14. Meanwhile, chop the onion really finely, and the sweet potato into 2cm cubes
  15. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and fry the onion until soft and clear
  16. Remove and set aside, then fry the sweet potato until softened, adding the kale after about 5 minutes to wilt
  17. Carefully arrange the onion, and sweet potato into the pastry case and crumble the stilton and scatter the kale over the top
  18. In a separate bowl, beat the 5 eggs with black pepper
  19. Pour the eggs over the fillings in the pastry, mixing in slightly with a fork if needed
  20. Put the quiche back into the oven for 25 minutes
  21. Rest for 5 minutes and serve with a simple side salad

 

 

Roast Brussels Sprout, Squash and Goat’s Cheese Salad

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Christmas is coming round so quickly and I can’t believe it was a whole year ago I was releasing a recipe a day throughout December for my Advent Calendar (you can still find all of these recipes on my site). Unfortunately my time and creativity didn’t stretch to another 24 recipes this year, but I have added a few special festive treats that I hope you’ll enjoy as much as I am!

My favourite way to eat winter vegetables is honey roasted… a huge plate of them. They’re perfect and so warming at this time of year and full of goodness to balance out all of the festive treats! I truly believe that the more you add to a salad, the better it becomes. With the right flavour and texture combinations, a salad can be the most delicious and filling meal. I love the soft, sweet squash and sprouts in this salad that contrast with a tangy goats cheese and crunchy pomegranate seeds.

Roast Brussels Sprout, Squash and Goat's Cheese Salad
 
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Recipe type: gluten free, grain free
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 2 large handfuls of curly kale
  • ½ a medium butternut squash
  • 3 cups brussels sprouts
  • 1 small pomegranate
  • A small round of tangy goat's cheese
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp himalayan or sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  2. Cut the sprouts in half and the squash into cubes and spread out on a baking tray
  3. Drizzle with 1tbsp of the olive oil, honey, salt, pepper and thyme and roast for approx. 25 minutes until soft and golden
  4. Meanwhile, place the kale and remaining olive oil in a large bowl and massage for about 5 minutes to soften
  5. Towards the end of the squash and sprouts cooking, turn off the oven, spread the kale onto another tray and place in the oven for the last 5 minutes so that it softens and crisps at the edges (keep watching to ensure it doesn't burn!)
  6. Remove from the oven and place the kale in bowls, then top with the roast squash and sprouts
  7. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and sprinkle over the salads and crumble the goats cheese on top
  8. Finish with freshly ground black pepper

 

Broccoli and Feta Salad With Mint Dressing

quinoasalad quinoa salad 2

This is the kind of salad that my friend Ruby would describe as “one of those salads with too much in” but this is my favourite kind! I love a wholesome, nutritious salad that is a meal in itself.

Every element of this salad contributes to the overall flavour, without overpowering it. The tangy pomegranate seeds contrast with the creamy yoghurt and feta and the mint keeps it really fresh. I like to cook my broccoli al denté so that it maintains its bite.

I really hope you like this salad as much as I do, it makes the perfect meal or side at any time of the day!

Broccoli and Feta Salad With Mint Dressing
 
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Recipe type: gluten free, grain free, vegetarian
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ½ cup buckwheat groats
  • ½ head broccoli
  • 1 cup frozen edamame
  • 1 small pomegranate
  • 50g feta cheese
  • ½ cup almond flakes
  • 1 tbsp greek yoghurt
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh mint
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. In a frying pan, lightly toast the almond flakes on a low heat for a couple of minutes and set aside
  2. Finely chop the broccoli, including the stems
  3. Cook the quinoa and buckwheat on the hob until almost soft
  4. About 3-4 minutes before the end of cooking, add the edamame and broccoli to lightly cook through. Then remove from the heat, drain and rinse
  5. Place the mixture in a bowl with the salt, pepper, cumin and paprika and mix well.
  6. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate, crumble the feta and mix in
  7. In a separate small bowl, mix the yoghurt, olive oil and mint
  8. Drizzle the dressing over the salad and serve with the toasted almonds on top

 

Aubergine and Chickpea Moroccan Stew

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Moroccan food isn’t something I make often, but when I made this stew I promised myself it would become a more regular thing. This one-pot vegetarian dish is full of goodness and high in protein, making it the perfect dish to cook up and divide into portions which can be kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen for when you need a quick, nourishing meal. If you have a sweet tooth like I do, this dish is so satisfying as the apricots and cinnamon give it a really sweet, comforting taste which is a great contrast to the spicy chilli. However, if you have a more savoury palette the apricots can easily be omitted and the cinnamon reduced and it’s a win win situation! Similarly, you can reduce the amount of chilli if you aren’t a fan of hot food, or use a coconut or soya yoghurt for a vegan version.

Aubergine and Chickpea Moroccan Stew
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, grain free, vegetarian
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 medium-hot chilli (optional)
  • 3 large beef tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 litre vegetable stock or bouillon
  • A handful of dried, unsulphured (brown) apricots, chopped (optional)
  • A large handful of fresh coriander, plus extra for serving
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp greek, coconut or soya yoghurt (per person) for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan on the hob on a medium heat
  2. Roughly chop the onion and chilli and add to the pan and fry gently until soft and then add the stock, bringing to a simmer
  3. Peel and dice the carrot and add to the pan along with the bay leaves and spices
  4. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then roughly chop the beef tomatoes and add to the pan
  5. Cut the aubergine into 1cm slices and add to the pan with the chickpea
  6. Add the chopped coriander and continue to simmer the stew for a further 10 minutes until the vegetables are soft
  7. Turn off the heat and add the apricots if using
  8. Serve in bowls topped with yoghurt and coriander

 

 

Chilli and Lemon Prawn Courgetti

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Salads are great in the summer, especially when it’s so warm you don’t feel like eating much. But sometimes you just need something light and fresh that still feels like a substantial meal. This dish is the perfect meal for a quick and easy summer evening, but also special enough for a dinner party or guests. They would never believe it only took you 10 minutes to make!
 
 
 
Chilli and Lemon Prawn Courgetti
 
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Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 medium-large courgette, spiralised
  • 8-10 pre-cooked prawns
  • 1 tbsp finely grated parmesan or similar hard cheese
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • A handful of pine nuts
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Keep the same pan on the heat and add the olive oil. Finely chop the garlic clove and fry for about a minute
  2. Turn the heat up to medium and add the courgetti, prawns and lemon juice
  3. Heat for about 3 minutes, constantly tossing so that the courgetti and prawns are heated through
  4. Add the parmesan, chilli flakes and salt and pepper and toss through the courgetti
  5. After another minute, remove from the heat and serve, topped with the toasted pine nuts
 

Hot and Sour Miso Soup

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Miso soup is a really quick and easy dish, and something I don’t make often enough. Hopefully that will change now! I was really craving miso soup for a few days, and when I finally got round to making it, I just kind of threw in a few extras and voilà! This soup recipe was born! I have always been a fan of spicy, tangy, comforting Asian soups but have never quite managed to recreate one myself until now.

What I love about this dish is the simplicity and versatility. I have given you my exact ingredients below so that you can recreate my soup, but you can actually just use the base of this and add whatever you like, or whatever you need to use up! The dish is completely vegan excluding the prawns, and you could always add some tofu for some extra protein, or even some meat if you wish! It really is a dish for everyone. And although it may look super fancy and impressive, it actually only takes 10-15 minutes to whip up, making it perfect for a healthy, comforting evening meal.

Hot and Sour Miso Soup
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3-4 salad onions
  • 1 medium-hot chilli, depending on tastes
  • 2cm cube fresh ginger
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli
  • 1 tbsp miso paste (I use Clearspring Brown Rice Miso)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • A handful of fresh coriander, plus extra to garnish
  • A large handful of bean sprouts
  • Two handfuls of fresh greens (I use 1 handful of kale, stalks removed and 1 handful of spinach)
  • 50g soba noodles (I use 100% buckwheat)
  • 6 pre-cooked king prawns (optional, leave out for a vegetarian or vegan version)
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • A pinch of salt
  • A wedge of fresh lime to serve
Instructions
  1. Place the coconut oil in a large saucepan and melt on the lowest heat
  2. Chop the onions and chilli finely and grate the ginger and add to the oil
  3. Cook gently for 1 minute
  4. Add the water and turn up the heat slightly
  5. Add the broccoli and gently simmer for 2 minutes
  6. Add the miso paste, tomato purée and stir well until dissolved into the water
  7. Add the bean sprouts, greens, coriander, cumin, salt and pepper and simmer for a further minute
  8. Finally, add the prawns and noodles, turn the heat down low and simmer for 4-5 minutes until the noodles are soft and the prawns cooked through
  9. Gently pour the soup into a bowl and garnish with extra coriander
  10. Squeeze the juice from the lime wedge over the soup and serve piping hot with chopsticks and a spoon

 

Saag Paneer

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Flash back to three years ago when I was living in Leicester as a student, this dish was a relatively staple part of my diet. Described by many as the UK’s curry capital, Leicester is a vegetarian’s dream. I lived on a road with three vegetarian Indian restaurants serving an array of authentic Indian and Indo-Chinese dishes, all of which you could go to and pick up a takeaway or have thali for less than £5. Since leaving Leicester and moving to London, I have never found a Saag Paneer dish quite as good. Once restaurant even served me some wilted spinach topped with melted cheddar!!

So, I made it my mission to create a Saag Paneer as similar to my favourite takeaway as I could. And I think this is a very successful attempt. What’s more, this dish is full of spices and immune-boosting fresh ingredients, and I have used yoghurt to add a creaminess rather than a thick cream. I have even added a vegan and dairy-free option where you can replace the paneer and yoghurt. People often see Indian food as fattening and very rich, whilst forgetting the amazing healing benefits of Indian spices. This recipe proves that you can still create an authentic, indulgent dish from scratch that can be enjoyed by everyone, completely guilt-free!

I hope you love this dish as much as I do and enjoy cooking it for families and friends. But perhaps not dates, because as my friends pointed out, they did leave my small kitchen with their hair nicely infused with a curry aroma! If you are cooking this recipe in a small or enclosed space without an extractor fan, you could cook down the curry paste in advance!

Saag Paneer
 
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Recipe type: Indian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500g spinach
  • 450g (2 packets paneer)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 hot chillies, depending on your tastes
  • 1.5 inch cube of fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp brown rice syrup
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 cup water
  • Or for a vegan version (saag aloo)- three large potatoes and soya or coconut yoghurt
Instructions
  1. Finely chop the onion, garlic, chilli and one of the tomatoes and add to a food processor
  2. Grate the ginger and add
  3. Add the garam masala, cumin and turmeric to the food processor
  4. Blend until a relatively smooth paste forms
  5. In a large pan or wok, heat the oil on a medium heat
  6. Add the curry paste along with the bay leaves and cook for 20 minutes, constantly stirring to release the aromas and cook the onion and garlic
  7. Preheat the grill to 200 degrees celsius
  8. Meanwhile, place the spinach in a steamer and wilt (you may have to slowly add more as it cooks down)
  9. Once wilted, add the spinach to the food processor and blitz until it is puréed
  10. Chop the paneer into cubes and spread on baking paper or foil on a large baking tray
  11. Grill the paneer for approximately 15 minutes until the edges are golden
  12. Once the curry paste has cooked for 20 minutes, add the spinach and mix until completely combined
  13. Add the salt, pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, brown rice syrup and the other tomato, roughly chopped
  14. Cook for a further 10 minutes and taste, adding more salt if needed
  15. Add the cooked paneer cubes to the curry and stir in until coated
  16. Add the cup of water gradually and cook for 10 more minutes so that all of the flavours combine and soak into the paneer
  17. Turn off the heat and stir in the yoghurt and serve immediately with rice
  18. For the vegan version, omit the paneer and dairy yoghurt- peel and cube and parboil the potatoes. Toss in oil and bake in the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes until the edges are slightly crisp. Add the potatoes to the curry at the same time you would the paneer, and stir in vegan yoghurt in place of dairy yoghurt at the end.

 

Lebanese-Style Stuffed Aubergine

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This is such a simple and delicious dish that is great eaten either hot or cold, making it the perfect light main course, side dish for a dinner party or packed lunch! Lebanese flavour combinations are some of my favourite and there is so much experimenting you can do. This recipe combines a spicy quinoa and kale mix with the delicate, soft aubergine . The tahini-yoghurt dressing cools down the chilli and the pomegranates add a crunchy sweetness.

I have given the ingredients for one medium-large aubergine but you could increase the quantities to feed the family or serve at a dinner party!

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Lebanese-Style Stuffed Aubergine
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free
Serves: 1-2
Ingredients
  • 1 medium-large aubergine
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • ½ litre vegetable stock
  • 1 handful of curly kale, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder or chilli flakes
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp salt
  • A small handful of fresh parsley
  • ½ tsp ground sumac (optional)
  • 2 tbsp greek/soya/coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • A handful of pomegranate seeds to garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Prick the aubergine with a sharp knife and place on a baking tray, roasting whole for about 25 minutes until the middle of the aubergine is soft when tested with a knife. Once soft, remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the quinoa and kale in the stock for about 12 minutes on a low heat
  4. Remove from the heat and drain well, then replace into the pan
  5. Mix the spices, salt and parsley into the quinoa
  6. Gently cut the aubergine in half lengthways and scoop out most of the flesh, adding this to the quinoa mix
  7. Using a fork or potato masher, mash the aubergine into the quinoa until well combined
  8. Place this mix back into the aubergine halves and place back into the oven for about 10 minutes to crisp up slightly
  9. Meanwhile, mix the yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil in a jug until combined
  10. Remove the aubergines from the oven and put into a dish or straight onto plates
  11. Drizzle the yoghurt dressing over the aubergines and sprinkle with pomegranates
  12. Serve immediately or leave to cool and store in the fridge

 

Spinach and Coconut Soup

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Sometimes making soup can seem like quite a lot of effort, waiting for all of the vegetables to soften to the point where you can blend them. This is the ideal soup to quickly whip up on a weekday evening or any time you want a speedy, delicious dinner as you do not need to wait for anything to cook other than the onion and garlic. I like to always keep some good quality sourdough or gluten free bread on hand so that I can make a quick, satisfying dinner! Although this soup isn’t particularly thick, it is surprisingly filling and provides you with such a good boost of essential minerals, such as iron. For a thicker soup you can reduce the amount of stock or increase the amount of spinach to make it go further. The coconut compliments the spinach really well and adds a sweetness. Once again, you can reduce the amount of coconut to taste. I hope you all find this as easy to make and tasty as I do!

Spinach and Coconut Soup
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, grain free
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 150g spinach (1 large bag)
  • ½ bar coconut cream (I use biona, you can use the oil from the bar to cook the onions) plus extra for decoration
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp hot chilli powder
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil on a medium heat in a large pan
  2. Finely chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan, cooking for about 5 minutes until soft
  3. Add the stock, coconut cream, paprika and chilli and stir until the cream has melted into the stock
  4. Add the spinach and turn off the heat
  5. Leave for about two minutes until the spinach has wilted and then blend with a hand blender until the soup is smooth

 

Kale, Coconut and Aubergine Dhal

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This is a recipe that I have developed over time to the point of perfection. The fragrant asian spices, the texture of the kale and lentils, the softness of the aubergine and the sweetness of the coconut all come together in this dish to create something so spectacular. If you need some healthy January inspiration but you can’t face cold salads in this weather, then this is the one! The fresh spices provide some excellent immune-boosting properties which are perfect for fighting off Winter colds, and the kale gives you that iron and B-vitamin boost your body might so desperately be needing right now! Aubergine has always been one of my favourite vegetables, and adding it to this dish was such a good move as it acts like a sponge, soaking up the coconut milk along with so much flavour from the tomato, spices and coriander.

Now January has begun I feel so ready to get back into a routine, eat lots of warming and nourishing foods and get fit and strong! Although this dish is so full of goodness, it also feels like the ultimate treat so you will not feel at all deprived! The recipe makes enough for four people, so why not nourish the whole family? Or alternatively be greedy and keep it all for yourself so that you have a delicious dinner to come home to every evening 😉 What are your New Year’s resolutions?

Kale, Coconut and Aubergine Dhal
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, grain free
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup dried split yellow lentils
  • 1 can coconut milk (Or 2 inches of a creamed coconut bar and 1 cup water)
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 3 large handfuls of kale
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown onion
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • A 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 medium chilli
  • A handful of fresh corriander
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Place the lentils in a saucepan and cover with water
  2. Boil for around 30 minutes until cooked and soft
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  4. Dice the aubergine and place in a roasting tin and drizzle with the olive oil
  5. Roast for around 20 minutes until soft but not too browned
  6. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion, garlic and chilli
  7. Heat the coconut oil in a deep pan or wok on a low heat and add the onion, garlic and chilli and cook until soft
  8. Add the ginger, garam masala and cumin and mix well to release the flavour
  9. Add the chopped tomatoes and coconut milk or cream and water and continue to cook until the coconut is well combined (this will take longer if you're using creamed coconut)
  10. Remove the aubergine from the oven and add to the pan
  11. Add the kale and mix well, leaving this on a low heat for around 10 minutes to shrink down and soften, stirring occasionally
  12. Once cooked, drain the lentils and add the the pan
  13. Chop the coriander and add along with the salt and pepper
  14. Mix everything well and add a little bit of water if the dhal is too thick
  15. Leave to simmer for a further 5-10 minutes to combine the flavours
  16. Serve with brown rice or rotis

 

Leftover Roast Vegetable Crumble

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It is always difficult to be creative after Christmas with your recipes, especially when you have spent so long building up to the big day. And there is always lots of food to use up that you have no idea what to do with! This is one of my favourite, easy meals that is delicious and nutritious and uses all ingredients that you will already have in your cupboard! The nutty flavour of the rich sauce compliments the sweetness of the parsnips and the bitterness of the sprouts perfectly in my dish, but you could use any vegetables you have. And for me, the more topping the better as it really makes this feel like a substantial meal. Alternatively, if you are stuck for side dish ideas and you have guests, this would be a great option! Serves two-three as a main or four as a side!

Leftover Roast Vegetable Crumble
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 medium parsnips
  • Approx. 15 brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1.5 tsp honey/brown rice syrup
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup cashews
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1.5 cup water
  • 1 heaped tsp wholegrain mustard or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 4 slices bread of choice (I used sourdough but you could use a gluten free option)
  • 1 tbsp seeds of choice (I used sunflower)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Peel and chop the parsnips into batons and place in a large roasting dish
  3. Chop the sprouts in half and also add to the dish
  4. Drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive oil and 1 tbsp of the honey or syrup over the veg and bake for approximately 20 minutes until soft
  5. Alternatively, use leftover, pre-roasted vegetables
  6. Meanwhile, place the nuts, water, pepper, salt, garlic, mustard/vinegar and 1 tbsp of the nutritional yeast into a processor or high speed blender and blend until smooth
  7. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and either transfer to individual baking dishes or leave in one large dish and add the peas
  8. Pour the nut sauce mixture over the top and mix until well combined
  9. In a separate bowl, break the bread into breadcrumbs and stir in 1 tbsp of the nutritional yeast
  10. Add the other 1 tbsp of olive oil and mix until combined
  11. Spread the breadcrumbs over the top of the vegetables until they are evenly covered
  12. Drizzle with the other 0.5 tbsp honey or syrup and place back into the oven for about 10-15 minutes until the crumble is golden brown and crisp and the sauce is bubbling
  13. Serve immediately

 

Honey and Thyme Roast Winter Vegetables

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This one is a delicious but simple side dish. It is important to pay attention to the vegetables that will accompany your main meal and ensure that they are really tasty and nourishing. For a completely vegan version, you can replace the honey here with brown rice syrup. I love the sweetness that the honey or syrup brings to this side, it balances out the slight bitterness of the sprouts perfectly and slightly caramelises the vegetables. A small amount of thyme makes a meal taste so festive and flavoursome. Don’t forget to season the vegetables well with a good amount of high quality salt (I use himalayan) and pepper. This recipe serves 4 as a side!

Honey and Thyme Roast Winter Vegetables
 
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 large carrots
  • 4 medium parsnips
  • Approx. 15 brussels sprouts
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp pure runny honey, or brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Peel and chop the carrots and parsnips lengthways into batons and place into a lined roasting dish
  3. Cut the sprouts in half and set aside (these take less time to cook)
  4. Drizzle the olive oil and apple cider vinegar over the vegetables and sprinkle on the salt and pepper
  5. Toss the vegetables until the oil is evenly distributed
  6. Drizzle the honey or syrup over the vegetables and garnish with the thyme, breaking off some of the leaves so that they are loose
  7. Roast for about 15 minutes and then remove from the oven and add the sprouts
  8. Mix the sprouts into the other vegetables to ensure they are covered with oil and place back into the oven
  9. Roast for about another 20 minutes until golden brown

 

Smoked Paprika and Rosemary Coconut-Roast Potatoes

potatoes

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These are honestly the best roast potatoes I have ever made. Roast potatoes can still be a healthy treat and don’t have to be covered in animal fat! If, like me, you won’t be having meat with your Christmas dinner and want to make your side dishes a bit more interesting, this is the perfect thing. The flavours are not too overwhelming, and the coconut oil gives the potatoes such a crispy finish with a fluffy centre when you bite into them. If you don’t like smokey flavours, I would recommend substituting the smoked paprika for regular paprika, or a pinch of cayenne if you like a kick! I use Biona Cuisine coconut oil for things like this as it is steamed so it doesn’t hold such a coconut flavour. This is recommended if you don’t want to taint your potatoes. This recipe serves 4 as a side.

Smoked Paprika and Rosemary Coconut Roast Potatoes
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 medium sized roasting potatoes
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (I use Biona Cuisine)
  • 1 tbsp rosemary leaves, chopped
  • ¾ tsp sea salt or himalayan salt (or to taste)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
Instructions
  1. Peel the potatoes and chop into pieces, about an inch thick
  2. Place the potatoes in a large pan with boiling water and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the potatoes are soft when tested with a knife
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a roasting tray
  4. Drain the potatoes in a colander and shake well so that they become 'fluffy'
  5. Place into the roasting tray and put the coconut oil on top (the heat from the potatoes will melt it)
  6. Once melted, toss the potatoes until they are evenly covered in the oil
  7. Add the rosemary, salt, pepper and paprika and toss again
  8. Roast for approximately 25 minutes until crispy on the outside!

 

Thyme, Mushroom and Hazelnut stuffing

stuffing

 

I can’t really take complete credit for this recipe. I first tried it when my lovely friend Claire made it as a vegetarian option for her Thanksgiving dinner. And since then, I have adapted it and eaten it as my main dish for Christmas dinner. The rest of my family eat it as a side along with their meat. It is the perfect balance of moist yet crispy, and the hazelnuts provide such a lovely texture. The real flavour comes from the thyme, the mushrooms and the leak. It is not a strong flavour, although the thyme is most prominent, making for a real Christmassy treat. I tend to use good quality, rustic sourdough as the base, but you could use a bread of your choice, especially if you avoid gluten. The stuffing reheats perfectly in the oven, and therefore it is great for Boxing Day too!

Thyme, Mushroom and Hazelnut stuffing
 
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Recipe type: gluten free, dairy free, sugar free
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 1 large leek
  • 1 large onion
  • 10 chestnut mushrooms
  • 5-6 slices rustic sourdough or gluten free bread
  • ¾ litre vegetable stock (or ½ litre if not using the egg)
  • 2 tbsp thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius and toast the hazelnuts for 10 minutes or until the skin starts to crack
  2. Remove from the oven and leave to cool
  3. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a deep pan or wok on a low temperature
  4. Finely chop the onion, leek and mushrooms and add to the pan
  5. Cook for approximately 10 minutes until soft
  6. Pour the mix into a large glass or ceramic roasting dish
  7. With no need to clean the pan, add the vegetable stock, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer on a low heat
  8. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes to reduce
  9. Meanwhile, rub the hazelnuts together to remove most of the skin and roughly chop with a knife, adding to the roasting dish
  10. Break up the bread roughly into crumbs and add this to the roasting dish
  11. Sprinkle on the thyme and use a wooden spoon to mix all of the ingredients in the dish together
  12. If using the egg, make a well in the middle and crack it into the mix
  13. Using a fork, beat the egg and mix into the rest of the ingredients
  14. Turn the oven up to 180 degrees Celsius
  15. Pour the liquid from the hob over the bread and vegetable mix evenly
  16. Place in the oven for approximately 30-40 minutes until the top is crisp but not too browned (you may need slightly longer if not using the egg)
  17. Serve as a main for vegetarians or as a side with meat

 

Mulled Red Cabbage

redcabbage

This is a recipe that I have made every Christmas for the last few years, and has become a family favourite. It is quite simple and doesn’t require too much attention (other than ensuring nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan) and therefore is an easy dish for multitasking whilst you focus on the rest of your Christmas dinner. This makes for a great side dish no matter what the rest of your Christmas dinner involves, and is a bit more interesting than just boiled vegetables, which is especially welcome if you are vegetarian or vegan! This recipe will serve 4 as a side.

Mulled Red Cabbage
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, grain free
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ½ a red cabbage
  • Juice of ½ an orange
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Shred the cabbage with a knife into long, thin pieces
  2. Place in a deep pan with the water and put on a medium heat
  3. Place a lid on the pan and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the cabbage begins to soften
  4. Drain out half of the liquid and add the orange juice
  5. Peel, core and dice the apple and add to the cabbage with all of the spices, salt and pepper
  6. Cover again and turn the heat down to low and simmer until the apple is soft and cabbage completely cooked (about a further 15 minutes)
  7. Mix the apple and spices into the cabbage well, drain and serve immediately

 

Raw Coconut Mylk Chocolate Almonds

chocnuts chocnuts2

 

There is something so festive about Christmas markets and I have visited quite a few in the past couple of years. The crisp, winter air and the smell of mulled spices and log fires, there is nothing better to get you in the mood for all the festivities. I love the idea of all of the snacks that are served, even though not many are particularly healthy! Candied and chocolate nuts and fruit have become such a tradition, especially in Berlin where I visited last year, and are so addictive. This year I decided to create my own perfect snacking food, incorporating almonds, one of my favourite nuts, and one of my best recipes for raw chocolate. Adding coconut cream to this raw chocolate gives it a rich, satisfying milk chocolate texture, but in a dairy free way. I love the idea of dusting the chocolate with a festive spice, but you can adjust this part to your own tastebuds!

Raw Coconut Mylk Chocolate Almonds
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, grain free
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 100g almonds
  • 1 heaped tbsp. coconut oil or cacao butter
  • 1 inch piece of coconut cream bar or the cream from 1 can coconut
  • 1.5 tbsp maple or brown rice syrup
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg for dusting (optional)
Instructions
  1. Gently melt the coconut oil or cacao butter and coconut cream in a small over a bain marie
  2. Once melted, stir in the syrup, cacao powder and salt until well combined
  3. Place in the fridge for about 10 minutes until the mix becomes slightly thicker but not solidified (make sure you keep checking!)
  4. Remove the chocolate from the fridge and add the almonds and mix until they are all covered
  5. Line a flat baking tray or large flat plate with baking paper and spread out the almonds onto the paper
  6. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you wish to use and place into the fridge so that the chocolate sets
  7. Keep in the fridge and serve in small bowls or paper cones

 

Thyme-Roasted Warm Vegetable Salad

 

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salad2

salad

This recipe has both a vegan and non-vegan version. I know a lot of you don’t eat cheese, and I don’t eat it often but as I am not intolerant I do indulge from time to time, especially when it’s Christmas! Having said that, this recipe is equally as delicious without cheese, and why not add some cashew cheese instead?! The salad is full of flavour from the thyme, onion and other seasonings, and is so warming that it feels like proper comfort food. This would make the perfect salad to share with guests or family, and also the perfect break from all that heavy christmas food! The ingredients below serve two as a main dish or four as a side.

Thyme-Roasted Warm Vegetable Salad
 
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Recipe type: gluten free, grain free
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 2 large handfuls mixed salad leaves (I like rocket, spinach and watercress)
  • 2 medium fresh beet bulbs
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 cup crumbled goats cheese or feta or cashew cheese (optional)
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • A handful of mixed seeds (Or Punchfoods Mega Omega)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • A few chilli flakes (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Finely chop the onion and place in a lined, deep roasting tin (important to put this at the bottom so that it steams and softens rather than going crispy)
  3. Peel and chop the beetroot and squash into cubes and add to the tray
  4. Sprinkle the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and chilli flakes over the veg
  5. Then remove the thyme leaves from the stalks and sprinkle over
  6. Using a wooden spoon, toss the veg slightly to combine the ingredients, keeping most of the onion at the bottom
  7. Cook in the oven for about 30 minutes until the vegetables are soft
  8. Meanwhile, prepare the salad leaves in a bowl, or separate bowls if serving as a main meal
  9. Place the mixed seeds in a dry frying pan and toast for about 5 minutes on a low heat, then set aside
  10. Remove the vegetables from the oven once done, leave for about 5 minutes, then add to the salad leaves along with the goats cheese if using, so that it softens slightly
  11. Sprinkle on the toasted seeds and serve immediately

 

Warm Apple and Walnut Quinoa Salad

applequinoa

I love how versatile this dish is. It is perfectly delicious on its own, or served as a side with roast veg, fish or meat. It also makes a great stuffing. Why not try it stuffed into a large flat mushroom or a winter squash? It wouldn’t even be out of place as a meat substitute on your Christmas dinner plate. Full of protein from the quinoa and walnuts, this is a really satisfying meal or side. And I am currently obsessed with the complimentary tang that apples can bring to a lot of savoury dishes! (Did you see my parsnip and apple soup?!)

One of the best things about experimenting in the kitchen is discovering unusual combinations that work really well! Sage is a herb that I have never used much in the past, but has become a real favourite of mine this winter. It compliments winter vegetables so well and works perfectly in stews and risotto. Sage has a really hearty, comforting flavour which makes it a great addition to any vegetarian dish, especially if you are using the dish as a meat substitute! I really hope you all find this recipe as versatile as I do, and I would love to see how you decide to use it!

Warm Apple and Walnut Quinoa Salad
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free
Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (preferably homemade or without palm oil)
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 medium eating apple
  • 1 small brown onion
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • ½ tbsp coconut oil
  • 10 fresh sage leaves
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • A good amount of freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Place the coconut oil in a medium pan on a low heat and melt
  2. Finely dice chop the onion and add to the pan and cook for about 5 minutes until soft but not browned
  3. Add the stock and the quinoa to the pan and bring to a simmer
  4. Simmer for approximately 5 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, peel, core and dice the apple
  6. Add the apple, sage, smoked paprika and black pepper to the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes until the quinoa is cooked and the apple soft
  7. Turn off the heat and gently mash with a fork to blend the apple in slightly
  8. Add the chopped walnuts and stir
  9. Serve with more walnuts and fresh sage leaves on top

 

Roast Parsnip and Apple Soup

parsnipsoup

 

This soup has always been one of my favourite Autumn recipes, it is warming and comforting with something a bit special. The apple adds just enough flavour to compliment the parsnip and balance the sweetness. The parsnip creates a smooth, creamy and substantial dish that makes a satisfying meal. If I have some extra parsnips, I love to top this dish with some honey-roast parsnip crisps. The crunch of these compliments the soft soup perfectly. I will also be posting the crisp recipe very soon so stay tuned!

Making a family batch of soup on Christmas Eve has become a tradition in our household before we all head out for a Christmas drink and some carols. I usually return home during the day, so the Christmas Eve meal is something special as it is our first meal together in quite a while! We serve the soup alongside a baked camembert and some homemade bread and it is the perfect dinner. Warming and comforting for the night ahead, and not too filling before the big event the next day!

Roast Parsnip and Apple Soup
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, grain free
Serves: 5
Ingredients
  • 4 large parsnips
  • 1 cooking apple
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional)
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock (preferably homemade, or a boullion without palm oil)
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium chilli
  • 6 large sage leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp mild curry powder
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • Black pepper
  • A pinch of ginger
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Cut the parsnips lengthways into sixths and place on a lined baking tray
  3. Drizzle the honey and olive oil over the parsnips and sprinkle with black pepper
  4. Roast for approximately 45 minutes until soft but not crispy
  5. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a large pan on a low heat
  6. Finely chop the onion, garlic and chilli and add to the pan and cook for 10 minutes until soft
  7. Add the stock and herbs and simmer on a low heat
  8. Peel and core the apple and cut into cubes, adding to the stock
  9. Once the parsnips are cooked and the apple is soft, remove the parsnips from the oven and add to the stock
  10. Simmer for a further 5 minutes
  11. Turn off the heat and after 5 minutes, blend until smooth
  12. Add more black pepper and salt to taste and serve

 

 

Indian Inspired Kale Salad

bhel

If you’ve travelled to India or visited restaurants such as Dishoom, you will be familiar with the popular street food ‘Bhel Puri’. Traditionally this dish contains puffed rice and lots of Indian textures and spices. I had wanted to try massaged kale for a while, and after visiting Dishoom, I decided that the flavours and textures of Bhel would perfectly compliment this. I took the key elements of this dish and the peanuts, pomegranate, red onion and tomato add so many different textures and natural flavours that only a little seasoning is actually needed. The coriander is perhaps the most essential ingredient as this is where much of the flavour comes from, providing a traditional, indian twist to the dish.

The crunch in this salad means that you eat it slowly and really digest all of the nutrients, and it is also surprisingly filling, making for a great dinner or packed lunch! The recipe makes two portions and when left overnight, the kale becomes even softer as its structure is further broken down. I hope you all enjoy this dish as much as I do!

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Indian Inspired Kale Salad
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, grain free
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • Approx. 4 large handfuls of curly kale, thick stems removed
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 very small red onion
  • A large handful of raw peanuts
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • A generous pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Place the kale into a large bowl, remove all of the thick stalks and add the olive oil
  2. With clean hands, rub the kale together and 'massage' for approximately 5-10 minutes until it becomes soft and is no longer bitter to taste
  3. Add the lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and sugar and mix until combined with the kale
  4. Gently toast the peanuts in a frying pan on a low heat for about 5 minutes until slightly browned
  5. Meanwhile, chop the tomato and onion really finely, adding less if you are not keen on too much raw onion,and add these to the kale
  6. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate and into the kale mix
  7. Finely chop the coriander leaves and add these along with the peanuts
  8. Mix all of the ingredients well and serve

 

Butternut Squash and Feta Buckwheat Risotto

risoto2

This is one of my favourite dinner party dishes to serve recently as it is hearty, filling and warming, and can be made in large quantities relatively easily and inexpensively. I have served this dish to a few friends and, vegetarian or not, they have loved this meal. The wholesome grains combine with the feta and squash to create a creamy, satisfying texture that is not too unusual to friends who are not quite accustomed to my particular diet!

This is the perfect time of year to make warming, one-pot meals in bulk that will last the week, whilst the markets are brimming with an array of squashes. This recipe generally makes enough for 3-4 people, or the perfect meal for two with enough leftovers for the next day!

 

Butternut Squash and Feta Buckwheat Risotto
 
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Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • ½ cup crumbled feta, plus extra for garnishing
  • 6 fresh sage leaves, plus extra for garnishing (optional if using stock)
  • 1.5 cups buckwheat groats
  • 1 cup short grain brown rice or quinoa
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp himalayan salt (reduce amount if using stock, taste before adding)
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 1.5 litres of filtered water or homemade stock
  • A handful of pine nuts, toasted (optional, for serving)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Peel and chop the butternut squash into inch cubes and place in a roasting tray, drizzling with olive oil
  3. Roast for about 30 mins until soft (you can do this the day before and keep in the fridge to save time)
  4. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil on a low heat in a deep pan or wok
  5. Chop the onion finely and add to the pan and cook until soft
  6. Rinse the buckwheat and rice/quinoa and add to the pan, mixing until coated in the coconut oil
  7. Add 1 litre of the stock or water and turn the heat up to medium
  8. Simmer for 15 minutes until the buckwheat and rice have softened slightly
  9. Now add the herbs, spices, salt and pepper and simmer for a further 5 minutes, adding more liquid if necessary
  10. Now add the butternut squash, and using a masher, mash it into the buckwheat and rice
  11. Turn the heat down to low
  12. Add the crumbled feta and mix into the risotto until it becomes melted and creamy
  13. Serve topped with toasted pine nuts, crumbled feta and a sage leaf or two

 

Roast Tomato, Carrot and Pepper Soup

soup

This recipe is one of my go-to soups for Autumn. It is so warming and hearty, and feels like a really substantial meal. I used to make it all the time when I was at University as it is cheap and easy and makes about 3-4 portions. It can also be frozen so that you have it on hand for emergencies when you need a healthy meal and have no time!

The honey or rice syrup infuses into the vegetables as they cook, which I find really brings out the flavour of the soup, but it would taste just as good without as the basil adds so much taste as well. Nutritional yeast is also a great addition, particularly for vegans, as it adds essential minerals and gives extra flavour. I always add this right at the end to add the maximum amount of flavour and to avoid killing any of the goodness. I recently have this new found love of adding seeds to everything, thanks to the wonderful Punchfoods who provide these in easily transportable packs! Sprinkling seeds onto soup is a great way of adding texture, protein and some essential fats!

 

 

Roast Tomato, Carrot and Pepper Soup
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, grain free
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 7 large vine or beef tomatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 2 large bell peppers
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 25g fresh basil leaves (about one pack)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey (optional, or brown rice syrup)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 tbsp mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • A pinch of ground ginger
  • A pinch of hot chilli powder, depending on tastes
  • 1 litre of cold water
  • Mixed seeds to serve
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius
  2. Chop the carrots and peppers length ways and place on a lined baking tray
  3. Drizzle with olive oil and the honey (if using) and place into the oven for about 15 minutes until soft but not too browned
  4. Chop the tomatoes in half and add these to the tray and cook for a further 10 minutes
  5. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil in a large pan on a medium heat
  6. Chop the onion finely and cook in the coconut oil for about 10 minutes until soft
  7. Finely chop the garlic cloves and add, cooking for a further 2 minutes
  8. Add the water to the pan and turn down the heat so that this gently heats through
  9. Add the mixed herbs, salt, pepper and a few torn basil leaves to the water
  10. Once soft, remove the vegetables from the oven and add them to the pan of water
  11. Turn the heat back up to medium and gently simmer for about 10 minutes
  12. Add the rest of the basil leaves, tearing them as you go, and turn off the heat
  13. Add the nutritional yeast, paprika, ginger and chilli powder to the pan
  14. Using a hand blender, gently blend the soup to your preferred consistency (you could also use a processor for this)
  15. Serve with a sprinkling of seeds and your bread of choice

 

Fig Salad with Orange and Sesame Dressing


figsalad2

 

figsalad

 

This is my favourite salad at the moment. it feels so seasonal and fresh, whilst giving me a much needed boost of raw fruit and veg and healthy fats. The combination of the sweet figs and tangy tomatoes works really well with the light dressing, and the colours are just stunning. It is also really filling so it makes for a great lunch or dinner, or for an impressive side at a dinner party! Make the most of the delicious, sweet figs whilst they’re in season!

Fig Salad with Orange and Sesame Dressing
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, grain free
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 ripe avocado, chopped
  • 2 figs, chopped into 6
  • 2 handfuls salad leaves
  • 7 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds
  • ½ tbsp pine nuts
  • 3 orange segments
  • 1 tsp tahini
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ tsp salt
Instructions
  1. in a dry frying pan, lightly toast the pine nuts and mixed seeds until slightly golden and set aside
  2. Place the salad leaves, tomatoes, figs and avocado into a bowl
  3. Sprinkle the seeds and pine nuts on top
  4. In a small jug, squeeze the juice from the orange segments
  5. Stir in the tahini, salt and pepper until well combined
  6. Drizzle over the salad and serve immediately

 

Aubergine and Courgette Bake with Cashew Béchamel

auberginebake

auberginebake2

 

I have been meaning to post this recipe for a while as it is something I have made quite a few times, even for carnivorous friends who have given it the seal of approval. It makes for a great hearty, comforting dish in the winter but is also delicious as a light dinner alongside salad in the summer. The dish is the perfect plant based alternative to a lasagne and tastes similar to vegetable lasagnes I have made in the past. I often go to my local farmers market on a sunday morning and stock up on fresh, local and organic vegetables (so much cheaper than the supermarkets!). So there is plenty of room with this dish to experiment with different vegetables that are in season at the time. I would love to hear which vegetables you are adding!

Aubergine and Courgette Bake with Cashew Béchamel
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, grain free
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 large aubergine
  • 1 large courgette
  • 2 handfuls of Spinach
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes or a small jar of passata
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 white onion
  • A handful of fresh basil or parsley
  • 75g cashews, soaked overnight or for at least 2 hours
  • ¼ cup filtered water
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. Place the soaked cashews into a processor along with the water, lemon, nutritional yeast and a large pinch of salt
  2. Process until smooth and the consistency of a sauce, adding a tiny bit more water if needed, and set your béchamel aside
  3. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  4. Slice the aubergine and courgette and place in a roasting dish
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for about 20 minutes until soft but not browned
  6. Meanwhile, finely chop the onion and add to a frying pan on a low heat with a teaspoon of olive oil and cook until soft
  7. Once soft, add the garlic and cook for another minute
  8. Then add the tomatoes and simmer gently for 5 minutes, seasoning well with salt and pepper
  9. Stir in the fresh herbs and turn off the heat
  10. In a roasting dish, layer up the different elements, starting with the aubergine and courgette
  11. Then add a layer of tomato, then spinach, then a layer of béchamel
  12. Repeat this once more and your bake is assembled
  13. Place back into the oven and cook for about 15 minutes until piping hot
  14. Leave for a few minutes before serving

 

Lebanese Roast Pepper and Chickpea Salad


lebanese salad lebanesesalad2

This is one of my go-to quick and easy salads when I’m stuck on what to make for packed lunches. It is really simple but so delicious and I never get bored of it. I have always loved lebanese flavours and since travelling to the Middle East I have become even more obsessed. The spices and herbs used to flavour the salad provide the perfect balance so that you don’t need to add any fatty, oily, sugary dressings! I have given the basic quantities for this recipe, but you could add whatever you have to hand. I particularly like adding some feta or halloumi for a non-vegan option. The portions of this recipe should make enough for three days packed lunches, perfect when you can just take it out of the fridge and go!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Lebanese Roast Pepper and Chickpea Salad
 
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Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups of either (or a mix of) brown rice, quinoa or buckwheat groats
  • 2 Large bell peppers (I like red and orange)
  • 1 Can of chickpeas or 1 cup of soaked dried chickpeas
  • About 15 mint leaves
  • 1 tsp Smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp z'aatar, cumin or sumac
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Salt
  • A generous amount of ground black pepper
  • Other toppings of choice to add on the day include: vine tomatoes, cucumber, feta, avocado, spinach and parsley
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Cut the peppers into strips and place on a roasting tray
  3. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
  4. Roast for around 20 minutes until soft but not charred
  5. Meanwhile, cook the grains in a pan of water on a medium heat for about 20 minutes until soft
  6. Drain, put in a large bowl and leave to cool
  7. Drain the chickpeas and add these to the bowl
  8. Chop the mint leaves finely and mix these into the chickpeas and grains
  9. Add all of the spices and mix well
  10. Once the peppers are roasted and cooled, add these to the mix
  11. Place the salad in the fridge and serve with your toppings of choice

 

Sweet Potato, Cashew and Coconut Curry

curry   This curry is the ultimate immune boost if you’re feeling under the weather. It is packed full of goodness and has so much flavour. Over the course of a few years I have served this dish in some form to many friends and family members, but I think this is my final recipe if followed exactly! I was really excited to finally find some fresh turmeric in London recently, which I grated into this curry. It gave it such a deep colour and flavour and has great anti-inflammatory properties which can help with so many minor and seasonal illnesses. If you can’t find the fresh variety, ground turmeric is still a really beneficial addition to your meal. The smell of the fresh onion, garlic, ginger, chilli and turmeric cooking in coconut oil is so heavenly that you can sense how much goodness is going into this one dish. I have given exact measurements of ingredients in this dish but you could easily experiment or adapt the curry to whatever you need to use up from your fridge! If you wanted to add some extra protein then chickpeas, tofu or chicken would make the perfect addition depending on  your diet. A big bowl of this curry is the perfect meal on its own, but it is equally as delicious served with organic brown rice or toasted sourdough bread and yoghurt, great for sharing with the whole family!

Sweet Potato, Cashew and Coconut Curry
 
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Recipe type: Vegan, glutenfree, dairy free
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1.5 inch long piece of turmeric, grated (or 1 tsp ground turmeric)
  • 1.5 inch square piece of fresh ginger, gratred
  • 1 chilli (optional, and depending on the heat you like)
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • A pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp honey/maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled chopped into inch pieces
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped into strips (I used yellow)
  • A good few handfuls of leafy greens (I used organic chard from the farmers market)
  • 1 can coconut milk, or half a bar of coconut cream
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 50g cashews for serving
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a deep pan or wok
  2. Add the onion and pepper and cook until slightly softened
  3. Then add the garlic, chilli, ginger and turmeric and cook until all are softened but not browned
  4. Add the garam masala and mix through, then add the coconut milk or cream
  5. If using coconut cream, add 500ml cold water straight away
  6. Bring to a boil and simmer for one minute, whilst adding the cumin, cinnamon, paprika, salt and pepper
  7. Add the sweet potato cubes and leave to simmer for about 10 minutes until the potato has softened
  8. Add the chopped tomatoes, honey or maple and leafy greens and stir in well
  9. Simmer for a further 10 minutes and add more spices to taste if required
  10. In a separate pan, lightly toast the cashews on a medium heat
  11. Serve in bowls, topped with the toasted cashews

 

Vegan Bean Chilli

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Having just returned from the hot, hot heat of Dubai, I’m feeling a little chilly (ha!) and in need of some warming, hearty food. This is the perfect time to share my vegan chilli recipe with you. This is such an easy, cheap and filling meal which is perfect for feeding friends and family. I made up double this recipe to feed my flatmates and friends at a dinner party a couple of weeks ago and it went down a treat! I made it up the night before and then baked it in the oven the next evening. I often find dishes like this taste even better the next day as the flavours have time to develop and intensify.

The other great thing about this recipe is that you can serve it with so many different sides, meaning you can make up a batch for the week and not get bored! We had ours with some organic sour cream and grilled plantains, but I would strongly recommend trying it with baked sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa or avocado too. I’d love to hear if you have any other ideas for great chilli accompaniments! Enjoy 🙂

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Vegan Bean Chilli
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 chillies, heat depending on your tastes
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can beans of choice (kidney, borlotti, black beans etc.)
  • 1 medium aubergine
  • 10 small chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 tsp maple syrup or honey
  • A pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper/
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or even better some fresh leaves)
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • A pinch of clove or cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to around 180 degrees celsius, prick the aubergine and bake whole for around half an hour until soft and wrinkly, then remove and leave to cool
  2. Meanwhile, heat the coconut oil on a medium heat in a large pan and gently fry the onion, garlic and chilli until soft
  3. Chop the mushrooms to around 2cm pieces and add to the pan until they start to release some liquid
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes until simmering gently, then turn the heat down to low
  5. Drain the beans in a sieve and rinse until all the coating is removed then add to the chilli
  6. Add the maple syrup and all of the seasoning (fresh leaves last) and continue to simmer the chilli so that the flavours are released
  7. Once simmered for around 15 minutes, scoop the flesh out of the aubergine skin and add to the chilli
  8. Mix the chilli until the aubergine is well combined and heated through (this is what gives it such a meaty texture)
  9. Serve with sides of your choice

 

Super Green Pasta

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One of my favourite comfort foods is a generous, hearty bowl of pasta. A creamy sauce is an added bonus. There are so many varieties of pasta around now that make dishes like this enjoyable and guilt free. For this particular one I used buckwheat pasta as I love the nutty, wholesome flavour it gives.

A recent obsession of mine has been to use a creamy, cashew ‘bechamel’ sauce as a base for so many recipes. It works so well every time and is s great alternative to dairy. The creamy sauce in this dish has so many hidden nutritional benefits and adds an impressive colour to the meal! The recipe is simple, quick and does not create much washing up! It mainly uses (healthy) cupboard staples so you don’t have to go out and buy loads of special ingredients.

This meal is great eaten hot or cold, so you could make extra and take it for lunch the next day! You could even add in some other vegetables to bulk up the meal and add even more nutritional value. The sauce should also keep in an airtight jar for up to a week for a quick, stir-in one pot meal in the evening. It is preparation like this that saves me so much time!

 

Super Green Pasta
 
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Recipe type: vegan, gluten free, dairy free, paleo
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 20g cashews
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 large handful kale or spinach
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • The juice of half a lemon
  • Black pepper
  • Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tsp oregano or basil
  • 75g gluten free pasta (I used buckwheat pasta)
  • Another large handful of spinach to serve
  • 6 cherry tomatoes to serve
Instructions
  1. Place the cashews, water and one handful of kale or spinach in the blender and blend until smooth
  2. Chop the garlic cloves finely
  3. In a frying pan, heat the coconut oil and lightly cook the garlic but do not brown
  4. Add the cashew mixture from the blender and heat on a medium to low heat until it begins to thicken
  5. Then add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and seasoning and stir until combined
  6. Simmer on a low heat until the sauce is a thick, creamy consistency
  7. Meanwhile, cook the pasta to al dente
  8. When cooked, turn off the heat, drain and then place back in the pan with the spinach so that it wilts
  9. Mix in the pasta sauce and serve with cherry tomatoes

 

Simple, Nourishing Vegan Stir Fry

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This is such a quick, easy and versatile dish that creates an instant, nourishing supper. Perfect after a long day! Although I’ve included a list of ingredients, pretty much anything goes with this dish and it’s such a good way to use up any left over fresh ingredients that you have to hand.

Simple, Nourishing Vegan Stir Fry
 
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Recipe type: Vegan, gluten free
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • A small handful of cashew nuts
  • ½ red onion, chopped into medium pieces
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 small carrot finely chopped lengthways
  • 5 small chestnut mushrooms, cut into thirds
  • Large handful or two of kale
  • About a thumb's width of noodles- buckwheat, brown rice or millet
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • A splash of good quality, raw tamari
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp organic honey (or brown rice syrup)
  • Fresh, finely chopped chilli (optional)
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp tahini
Instructions
  1. In a wok, lightly toast the cashews on a low heat and set aside in your serving bowl
  2. Heat the coconut oil in the wok and add the onion, carrots, chilli and kale, then the mushrooms and bean sprouts about two minutes later
  3. At the same time in a separate pan of boiling water, cook the noodles
  4. Drain the noodles and add to the stir fry
  5. Add the tamari, honey and ginger and heat stir through until combined
  6. Mix in the sesame seeds and serve in a bowl
  7. Drizzle with tahini and top with the toasted cashew nuts

Signature Buckwheat Pizzas

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This recipe quickly became my signature dish because it is so versatile and a winner with friends and family, vegetarian or not! Once you get the hang of the method it’s really quick to make! I always make up two or three bases along with a big batch of the tomato sauce and I freeze the leftovers. That way I can take them out to defrost before work and I have a healthy, unprocessed ready meal waiting for me at home!

Signature Buckwheat Pizzas
 
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Makes 2-3 bases
Recipe type: Gluten Free
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • For the base:
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • ⅔ cup milk of choice (I use almond milk)
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp honey or brown rice syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • For the topping:
  • 1 jar or can of organic passata
  • 1tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 medium brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • About 10 fresh basil leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • A pinch of ground ginger and smoked paprika
  • Toppings of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  2. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and once mixed make a hole in the centre
  3. Break in the egg and beat into the mix along with the honey or brown rice syrup and then slowly add the milk until combined
  4. Line a baking tray with baking paper and splash a generous tablespoon of olive oil onto the baking paper
  5. Put 2-3 tablespoons of mixture onto the baking paper (depending on desired size) and use a spatula to spread the mixture into a circle or square shape, approximately 0.5cm thick (the texture will be a bit like cake mix but the oil will help it to spread)
  6. Bake for approximately 10 minutes until very light golden brown (the mixture should be cooked but still quite spongey and not crisp)
  7. Meanwhile make the topping by heating the coconut oil in a wok or frying pan
  8. Chop the onion and garlic finely and frying on a low heat until soft
  9. Add the passata and simmer on a low heat, and add the seasoning to taste
  10. Once the sauce has slightly reduced, remove from heat and add the basil
  11. Spread 2-3 tablespoons of the topping over the cooked base
  12. Top with desired toppings (I'd recommend slightly roasting hard vegetables first) and cook for approximately 7-10 minutes until golden brown at the edges.