Vegan

KIDS TREAT // PEANUT BUTTER KRISPIES

This is another recipe I've managed to salvage from the most disastrous month of my blogging life (see here and then here). My kids go absolutely nuts for this recipe (see what I did there? Nuts... PEAnuts. Oh, never mind) and they love to help make them.

These are perfect for parties, weekend snacking and also gifting to friends. They are super-easy, no bake little delights and they are perfect for getting the kids in the kitchen. Yes, the recipe calls for golden syrup, and it's more sugar heavy than I remember it being (actually, possible the most unhealthiest recipe i've ever posted, ha!) but every now and then doesn't hurt, does it? Hence the word TREAT.

Peanut Butter Krispies

Ingredients (makes 16):

  • 1 cup golden syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups salted peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups rice krispies

Method:

  1. Line a large baking pan with greaseproof paper.
  2. Place the syrup and sugars in a large saucepan over a medium heat and stir well to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil then remove from the heat.
  3. Stir through the peanut butter and mix well before stirring through the vanilla and rice krispies. 
  4. Spread onto the lined pan and allow to cool completely before slicing.

 

SNACK ATTACK // SALT & VINEGAR CHICKPEAS

One of my favourite things to eat in the whole world, when i'm craving a quick snack, is a good old packet of Salt & vinegar crisps. However, I am 37 years old now and I may be coming to the realisation that I can't juggle them into my mouth whenever I feel like it. 

Enter Salt & Vinegar chickpeas! I know some (most) of you will be looking at me as if to say "as if some roasted chickpeas are going to suffice a crisp craving" - but trust me on this one, because they REALLY do. I consider myself quite the crisp expert, and when I reach for these instead, i'm just as happy. Honest.

Why not make a load for your Christmas snacking? Just keep them in an air-tight container so they keep their crunch.

Salt & Vinegar Chick Peas

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of chickpeas
  • 3/4 cup cider vinegar
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper

Method:

  1. Drain and rinse your chick peas, then lay them in a medium sized saucepan and pour over the vinegar. You want each chickpea to be mostly covered, so add more vinegar if you need to.
  2. Bring to the boil and then immediately remove from the heat. Soak for 1.5 hrs.
  3. Heat your oven to 200c (400f, GM6) and then drain your chickpeas.
  4. Line a roasting tin with greaseproof paper and spread out the chickpeas so they are not piled on top of each other. Drizzle with olive oil, 1 tsp salt and a sprinkle of black pepper.
  5. Roast for 25 - 30 mins, checking after 20 as you don't want them to burn.
  6. Whilst they are still hot, sprinkle with another 1-2 teaspoons of salt, depending on taste.

SWEET POTATO BROWNIES

So, Day 1 of trying to revive some of my old recipes. I'm starting with these Sweet Potato Brownies because they are so delicious and absolutely perfect for this time of year, when it's blowing a gale out and you just want to make a brew and settle down with something sweet.

Sweet Potato Brownies (makes 10)

Ingredients:

  • 600g sweet potatoes
  • 14 medjool dates
  • 2/3 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 4 tbsp raw cacao
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c (350f, GM4) and peel and chop your sweet pots into chunks before steaming them for about 20 mins, until totally soft, right through.
  2. Blitz the cooked potatoes with the pitted dates in a food processor until you get a thick sticky mixture, set aside.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the almonds, brown rice flour, cacao, cinnamon and salt before adding the date and potato mixture. Pour in the maple syrup and stir everything together really well to fully combine.
  4. Place onto a large baking dish, lined with greaseproof paper and bake for 20 mins, before testing the middle of the bake with a skewer. If it doesn't come out dry, bake for another 5 mins.
  5. Remove from the hot dish and allow it to cool for AT LEAST 15 minutes so it sticks together and firms up as it does. 
  6. Once cooled, cut into 10 brownies.

 

CHIA SEED & PASSION FRUIT PORRIDGE

Tangerine Canteen Chia Seed & Passion Fruit Porridge

This is one of my favourite breakfasts & it's so easy to do. You prep it the night before (or in the morning if you fancy this as more of a healthy pudding after dinner) and leave it to soak in the fridge. The chia seeds will absorb any of the flavours you add and will expand dramatically in size, bursting with all the goodness they hold (omega 3 fatty acids, calcium, iron, antioxidants, potassium to name just a few)! Then in the morning, a quick stir & some nice toppings & you're good to go. It's really filling and when I do have this for breakfast I never feel the need to snack before lunch.

The toppings I've chosen to add here were because I wanted a not-too-sweet but zingy breakfast, but really any combination works as the base to this breakfast is pretty neutral. Fresh raspberries & raisins are also good as are blueberries & raw honey. For a really luxurious porridge though, try some sliced banana & cacao nibs which are really good if you are warming the porridge before serving.  I generally eat this cold in the summer but warm through (before adding any fresh toppings) on a chilly morning.

Chia Seed & Passion Fruit Porridge

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup milk of your choice (I use almond)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup or agave
  • 1/2 kiwi fruit, peeled & sliced
  • 1/2 passion fruit, scooped

Method:

  1. Mix your chia seeds with your milk and maple syrup. Stir well & then cover & pop in the fridge overnight.
  2. In the morning, give them a stir to separate some of the seeds that may have stuck together. Add any dried fruit here & your fresh toppings if you are having it cold.
  3. If you want to warm this through, then transfer to a small saucepan & gently heat until warm before transferring to your bowl to add your fresh toppings.

RAW VEGAN LASAGNE

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Last night a lasagne saved my life.... as the song goes.

One of the things I had been looking forward to the most during my Raw Food Challenge, was testing out a raw lasagne. I've been looking at them grace the screens of various food blogs for ages, but it wasn't until I tasted one that I knew I wanted in! The recipe I'm about to share is an adapted version of the one I found in Raw Food, Real World which is a book I'd recommend to anyone considering a raw food lifestyle.  This recipe has 3 main components; the tomato sauce, the pesto sauce & the 'cheese' layer, which all need to be made separately, then compiled together - just like the real deal. I really am in love with this recipe & I hope the 'raw' tag doesn't send people running for the hills! I hope you like it - I've made it twice this week already & I know it will be a staple round here from now on.

Raw Vegan Lasange (Makes 6 portions)

Ingredients

For the tomato sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh sun-dried tomatoes, soaked for 2 hrs (If you want to use fresh in oil, that's ok, just drain well & pat dry)
  • 2 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 small onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp agave nectar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • pinch hot chilli flakes

For the pesto sauce:

  • 2 cups basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch sea salt

For the cheese sauce:

  • 2 cups raw pine nuts, soaked for 1-2 hrs
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (found in all health shops, and some supermarkets)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 6 tbsp water

Additional Ingredients:

  • 3 large courgettes (different colours look pretty!), slice lengthways
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • basil leaves to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Make your tomato sauce by whizzing up the tomatoes, onion, lemon juice, oil, salt, agave, & chilli flakes in a food processor. Blend until fairly smooth, but still textured. Set aside.
  2. Make the pesto sauce by putting the basil leaves, pecans, extra virgin oil & salt into a food processor & whizz up until well combined, but still a little chunky.
  3. Make the cheese sauce by whizzing up the drained pine nuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, salt. Gradually add the water and keep blending until the mixture become soft, light & fluffy.
  4. In a large bowl, toss the sliced courgettes with a drizzle of olive oil & some salt & pepper. Mix well until everything is combines & the slices are equally covered.
  5. Start layering up your lasange, by placing the courgette strips first (about 3), followed by the 1/3 of the tomato sauce spread over and add the 1/3 of the pesto sauce & 1/3 of the cheese sauce on top in small dollops. Repeat x3
  6. Serve immediately, or sit at room temperature for a couple of hours before serving.
  7. Any leftovers will taste amazing the following day, just refrigerate.

WHITE BEAN SALAD

White Bean Salad

I love a good bean salad. One that's herby, fresh & served with a delicious dressing is one of my favourite meals to eat on a Summers evening. Give me this, with an ice-cold glass of Pinot Grigio & I'll be your best friend.  Give me this, with an ice-cold glass of Pinot Grigio & a copy of the Ikea catalogue & I'll probably kiss you.

Now, i know some of you are once again hating the fact that this has raw onion* in, but what can I say apart from that I love onions, raw or otherwise! Apart from being tasty (ha!) - they are very good for you. Not only do they help balance your blood sugar levels but they have a fairly high sulphur content which is an important mineral for healthy skin and efficient detoxification of the liver. Perfect if you're a fan of consuming generous helpings of Pinot Grigio or Ikea catalouges.

*Psssst: you can totally replace the onions with chives and I won't mind ;) I like to serve this piled up on some toasted sourdough and drizzled with a little more of the dressing for a light summery meal.

This recipe is the second in a  series of collaborations with  M&S Food.  All the ingredients are available from M&S stores. You can find the previous recipe HERE.

White Bean Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 tins of cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp agave (light brown sugar will also work)
  • 1/4 tsp Worcester sauce
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Mix together the cannellini beans, sliced onions, most of the parsley and basil in a large bowl. Season with a 1/4 tsp of coarse salt & 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, stir & set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the garlic, agave, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 3/4 tsp salt, Worcester sauce, red wine vinegar, lemon juice & olive oil. Taste before adjusting seasoning as desired.
  3. Pour most of the dressing (reserving a little to serve) over the beans and mix well. Refrigerate until needed.

This salad is best served after it has chilled for a couple of hours, but it will keep for up to 3 days in the fridge.