Category: Quick

Watermelon and I have never gotten on well but now I’d like to take the time to apologise to watermelon. I’m sorry that I lumped you in with all the other melons (I’m looking at you, disgusting honeydew) when you are infact delicious. Also apologies to my husband Brian who has been telling me that watermelon is the greatest ever for like the last six years and I refused to believe him. He is right about food almost all the time and I really should just listen to him!

Now that’s out of the way – I have another snack food to review. The kind folks over at Ape sent me some of their coconut curls to try. They come in two flavours, lightly salted and lightly peppered.

They have no added sugar, are gluten-free, high in fibre and they’re dried into the curls instead of being fried! They are also under 110 calories if you’re into that sort of thing.

I really enjoyed the coconut curls – especially the lightly salted ones. They’re crunchy but not too chewy and not overly salty. After I shot the photos for this post I stuffed the rest of them into my mouth. I think they would make a really great crouton on top of a savoury salad – especially the lightly peppered ones!

I decided to make a fruit salad with the coconut curls – a nice texture change between soft mango and the icy crunch of watermelon. Watermelon, salt and lime go very well together so the lightly salted coconut curls work really well here. A refreshing summer breakfast or dessert.

You can find Ape on their website, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

INGREDIENTS

  • 200g watermelon, cut into small chunks
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into small chunks
  • 1 packet of Ape lightly salted coconut curls OR 20g coconut chips + 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • Juice of half a lime
  1. In a bowl combine the watermelon, mango and lime juice. Toss together until coated. Sprinkle over the coconut curls and dig in!
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I’m on a personal challenge of sorts to try to eat as many unusual mushrooms as possible. Ever since my husband found us wild morels during our honeymoon earlier this year I’ve tried chanterelles, enoki, shiitake, oyster and chicken of the woods.

I managed to find fresh ceps (or porcini) on sale yesterday! One of my favourite things to eat for breakfast is mushrooms on toast – usually chestnut mushrooms so I decided to work on a fancy version using the porcini.

If you can’t find porcini, sub them with a blend of fleshy mushrooms such as oyster or chestnut.

INGREDIENTS

  • 140g fresh porcini mushrooms, dry brushed and scraped of any dirt
  • 50g asparagus, cut into thin ribbons (I use a vegetable peeler)
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 small sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp vegan butter
  • 2-3 slices toasted sourdough bread (mine was a wholemeal sourdough)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. If your mushrooms are dirty, use a dry pastry brush and sharp knife to gently scrape away any dirt or grit. Cut the mushrooms into slices and set aside.
  2. Heat a completely dry cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed frying pan on a low heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for 3 minutes or until some of the mushrooms take on a little colour. If your mushrooms are very big, they may release some liquid. Boil off the liquid for about 2 minutes.
  3. Whilst the mushrooms are cooking prepare the asparagus, snap off the tough ends of the stem and discard. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the asparagus into thin ribbons.
  4. Once the mushrooms have taken on some colour, add the butter, asparagus and minced garlic. Stir well to make sure the butter is evenly distributed.
  5. Cook for another 3-4 minutes until the mushrooms are soft and a little golden on the edges.
  6. Sprinkle on the fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper and serve on toasted sourdough bread!
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I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve failed at making nut butter in my blender. When I’m with my husband in the U.S we have the Vitamix and it’s a total beast. It makes butter in about 3 minutes flat. Over here, I have a not-at-all powerful food processor and a Magimix blender. I tried making it in the food processor and the nuts just whirled around looking all sad.

Today I finally cracked making it in the Magimix! Here’s to the forthcoming 20lbs of almond butter I’m going to stuff into my face. I used pecans here because they are the CANDY of the nut world and I don’t see pecan butter in the shops at all. I also added some cashews to make it a little bit creamier. IT TASTES SO DAMN GOOD.

Then I spread it all over some gluten-free chia crackers and topped it with nectarine slices and hemp seeds. Bliss. You can obviously eat it however you like!

This recipe makes one small jar. If you feel like having more around just increase the pecans to 2 cups and the cashews to 1 cup. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup raw pecans
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1/4-1/2 cup neutral tasting oil such as vegetable or sunflower
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, scraped
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

  1. Begin by roasting the nuts. In a dry pan over a medium heat add the nuts. Stir occassionally, until the nuts begin to release their smells and turn brown. They will colour quickly – be careful not to burn them. Remove from the heat.
  2. Pour the nuts into the blender, add 1/4 cup of oil and begin blending. At first you may need to push the nuts into the blender blades. I used a rolling pin for this.
  3. Scrape down the sides then continue blending on high for about 3-10 minutes depending on your blender. If the mixture is still lumpy and doesn’t flow around the blades smoothly, add a little more oil. It will feel like the nuts will never, ever blend but they will!
  4. Once the nuts are blended into a smooth butter consistency, add the salt, vanilla and cinnamon. Blend on low to combine.
  5. Pour the butter into a jar and allow to cool before slathering on everything.
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Recently I had this absolutely amazing cold-pressed pecan milk. I was raving about it so much I passed the bottle around to pretty much everyone who was within 3 feet of me to try it. Then I sent my husband a whole bunch of photos on Whatsapp of it with the caption “PECAN MILK!!!!”.

So obviously I had to recreate it at home. I clearly don’t have a cold-press juicer just lying around so I’m using my trusty blender for this one.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups of pecans, soaked overnight or soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 vanilla bean pod, split and the seeds scraped out
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked pecans. Add them to the blender with the water and blend on high until smooth.
  2. Pour the liquid into a nut milk bag over a large bowl and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Discard the pulp or use it in baking.
  3. Pour the milk back into the blender and add the vanilla, maple syrup, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Blend until combined. Pour into a bottle and chill in the fridge.
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I don’t eat gluten-free very often. I happen to be quite a big fan of it (hello seitan) but I understand that it can make some people pretty ill!

These breakfast cookies take about 20 minutes to make. Sweetened with maple syrup and golden raisins! Because of the quinoa flour these cookies have the bonus of having protein – so you can shove one of these cookies in the mouth of the next person that asks you where you get your protein from!

(The beautiful walnut scoop and pinch pot I’m using in these photos is from Luke of Hope in the Woods)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup Gluten-free oats
  • 1/2 cup Grade B Maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup Coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup Almond butter
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • 2 tsp Vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp Sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Golden Raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 350f. In a saucepan add the coconut oil, almond butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, salt and vanilla. Heat on a medium heat until all the ingredients are melted together. Whisk until smooth.
  2. In a bowl add the quinoa flour and oats. Pour in the melted mixture and stir together. Add the golden raisins and mix to combine.
  3. Scoop out  two teaspoon amounts of mixture and roll into a ball using your hands. Place on a silpat or baking parchment lined tray and then press them down using a fork.
  4. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes, rotating half way until they are golden and firm to the touch.
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As this is my first 4th of July married to my lovely American husband I felt like a little celebration was in order. Coincidentally we got our first bumper crop of blackcurrants from the garden! Ten minutes later and my mum and I had dessert for what turned out to be the hottest July day on record!

Happy Independence Day to all the Americans out there!

INGREDIENTS

  • 150g strawberries, hulled and cut into quarters
  • 50g blackcurrants, stems removed (sub blueberries to keep the red, white & blue theme!)
  • 50g strawberry mixed grain muesli or muesli/granola of your choice
  • Coconut cream scraped from the inside of 1 can of refrigerated coconut milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 tbsp Grade B maple syrup

  1. The night before place your coconut milk in the fridge. When you are ready to make the coconut cream, remove it from the fridge and turn it upside down. Scrape out the coconut cream into a bowl and save the water for a smoothie.
  2. Scrape the vanilla bean and add the vanilla to the bowl with the maple syrup. Using a hand whisk or an electric mixer beat until fluffy.
  3. Layer your parfaits (we used tumblers) starting first with the strawberries, then 2 tbsp of coconut cream then blackcurrants, muesli, coconut cream and so on until your glass is full. Top with more strawberries. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.
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Breakfast is always a constant battle for me. I love to eat it but I lack the time in the morning – in reality I have about 10 minutes to make it. I tend to go with the easy option of toast more often than not. Sometimes if I’m organised the night before I’ll make oatmeal and stick it in my trusty Thermos flask so it’s still warm in the morning.

Recently I was thinking about muesli – I love it but I find the store bought stuff so boring! Dusty oats with hard dry raisins…no thanks. So I decided to make my own.
This muesli is packed with all the goodies I enjoy. It’s also naturally gluten-free and refined sugar free!

 I’m using dehydrated strawberries but if you don’t own a dehydrator feel free to sub with freeze dried or store bought!

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 cups rolled oats or gluten-free oats
  • 1 cup puffed quinoa (you can find it online here)
  • 1/2 cup sprouted buckwheat
  • 1/2 cup dehydrated strawberries (cut into chunks, dehydrated for 18 hours at 45c)
  • 1 cup dried white mulberries (find them online here)
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts

  1. In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. Mix with a spoon or your hands until everything is well combined. Store in an airtight container or jar. Serve with cold non-dairy milk or yogurt.
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Fresh turmeric is sort of hard to come by here but I went on a special pilgrimage to Wholefoods for this recipe. You might want to wear gloves if you’re using the fresh stuff as it turns your hands yellow! Feel free to sub with the dry stuff if you don’t want to go on a pilgrimage like me!

These are perfect picnic food!

INGREDIENTS

  • 240g chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4cm piece of fresh turmeric, peeled and grated or 1 tbsp dried turmeric
  • 25g bunch of parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Zest and juice of half a lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat the oven to 375f. Line a baking tray with silpat or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a food processor combine all the ingredients and process until a dough forms. Using a teaspoon spoon scoop out the falafel dough and roll into balls using your hands.
  3. Place the falafels on the baking tray and repeat until all the mixture is used up. I ended up with 16.
  4. Bake the falafels for 20 minutes, turning once or until crispy. Serve with hummus in wraps or with salad!

 

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Since the dawn of aquafaba and the vegan meringue bandwagon I’ve been using a lot of cans of chickpeas. Usually, I’m more bothered about the liquid than the chickpeas themselves. This weekend, I was doing some recipe testing using aquafaba as an egg replacer and ended up with a can of chickpeas that I had no use for.

Normally I would make Isa’s chickpea of the sea faux tuna salad but I had been thinking about protein rich work snacks and so the spiced roasted chickpea was born. You can use these as a salad topping (hello, protein crouton) or just eat them as a snack!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

  1. Preheat your oven to 350f. Melt the coconut oil in a small saucepan and set aside.
  2. In a bowl, add the chickpeas and spices. Pour over the coconut oil and stir thoroughly until the chickpeas are well coated in spices and oil.
  3. Bake on a non-stick baking tray for 20 minutes or until golden and crispy, turning half way.
  4. Once cooled, store in an airtight container in the fridge.
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One of my absolute favourite things to drink in the US is the yerba mate drinks by Guayaki! Unfortunately I can’t get them here in the UK so I decided I would have to make my own version. Here I’m using berries to flavour my yerba but feel free to experiment – one of my favourite Guayaki flavours uses elderflower!

The tea is made from the leaves of the Yerba Mate shrub. It has a grassy taste similar to green tea. Yerba may reduce allergy symptoms and help with diabetes and high blood sugar. Because Yerba Mate contains compounds that suppress appetite many people drink it before meals to promote weight loss. However, for me, it’s bonus is in its caffeine. As someone who is coffee caffeine sensitive (as in jitters, anxiety, general feelings of death) Yerba Mate is a welcome relief. You’ll be pleased to know there’s no nasty crash either!

If you own a juicer, feel free to juice the fruit in the way you normally would. I will be using the straining method in this instance.

INGREDIENTS

To brew the tea

  • 1 pint of cold water or 1 pint of warm but not hot water (if the water is boiling, the tea will take on a bitter taste)
  • 2-3 yerba mate teabags (I use Teapigs)

To make the juice

  • 125g blueberries
  • 150g raspberries
  • 1 cup of water

For the blend

  • 3 tbsps maple syrup
  • Ice (optional)

  1. The night before you want to drink the tea, pour the water into a jug and add the tea bags. Cover and leave in the fridge to brew. If you’re pressed for time, you can brew the tea with warm water the following day and add ice to cool.
  2. In the morning, add the blueberries and raspberries to a blender with 1 cup of water. Blend until a thin juice forms.
  3. Using a nut milk bag or double muslin, strain the juice into a bowl. Discard the pulp.
  4. Return the juice to the blender. Discard the yerba mate teabags and add the brewed tea to the blender. Add the maple syrup. Blend together, adding more sweetener to taste.
  5. Serve chilled with ice.
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