Month: January 2014

Curried Lentil Soup with Carrot + Coriander Dumplings (Gluten Free + Vegan)

curried lentil & dumpling stew
We spent our entire saturday morning in 3 carpet/wood flooring superstores and it was sooooo bad. Bad because I hate these places at the best of times, bad because I feel I should take a greater interest and enthusiasm for the flooring that goes down in our home (especially considering the financial outlay) and bad bad bad because we just couldn’t make a choice – oh golly! Instead we left with several quotes and unfinished business but I’m never going back there, no way. I really do want some nice flooring but it’s the time (it’s a lot) and effort that goes into choosing whilst getting caught up in the maze of DIY-ers frantically filling their trolleys like they know exactly what they’re doing. I guess I just need to be one of those people, someone who loves everything DIY, but I’m not. I’m the person who likes the nice house but without ever entering a huge superstore, I’m more than happy to choose online, at home and in comfort! The thing is you just can’t choose flooring online, it just doesn’t feel right….oh I know, first world problems hey!

lentil dumpling stew

Anyway, it’s food like this that gets me through car crash mornings such as hanging out in DIY stores in a confused state!! A real good, homely, comforting, major silly healthy lentil stew with the best dumplings ever. Oh yes.

curried lentil & dumpling stew

I’m gonna put myself out there now and say this is probably one of my favourite meals just for how wonderfully feel good and delicious it is. This is a complete meal in itself with plenty of protein and four servings of veggies served with grain and dairy free dumplings. I just gotta say these dumplings are better than those dumplings you used to love…..you know the ones and with healing onion, garlic, chili, ginger and turmeric this stew is sure to warm and nourish you all winter long….spring and summer too.

Right, time to call the DIY superstore and finally make that decision!

curried lentil & dumpling stew

Curried lentil soup with carrot + coriander dumplings

(serves 2)

soup:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
small piece of ginger, chopped finely
2 sticks celery, chopped finely
2 large carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 cup red lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon each of cumin, coriander, turmeric + cinnamon
1 heaped teaspoon curry powder
2 handfuls greens, shredded
chili + coriander for dressing

dumplings:
1 cup chick pea (gram) flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 small carrot, grated
1 tablespoon coriander, chopped
2 tablespoons soya yoghurt
1/2 cup water

method:

1. Heat the olive oil over a low heat + add the first 6 ingredients, stirring until softened + aromatic.
2. Add the lentils, broth, spices + greens, keep on a low heat for 15 minutes. You may need to add more water if it over thickens, or add a teaspoon corn flour if it needs thickening.
3. Whilst the soup is simmering make your dumplings by combining the flour, salt + baking powder. Once combined add the carrot, coriander, soya yoghurt + water to form a sticky cookie dough mixture.
4. Form 6 dumplings by hand or alternatively spoon the mixture directly into the soup. The balls should sit on top without sinking. Cover the pan + simmer for a further 15 minutes.
5. Serve dressed with chopped chili + coriander.

Sugar + Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Freezer Fudge

coconut topped vegan fudge

Imagine a recipe which took just a couple of minutes to throw together, was full of nothing but whole, healthy, superfood ingredients and was tasty as hell.No dairy, no sugar fudge

This sugar + dairy free fudge is one of those recipes. Zero added sugar and no dairy. 100% natural ingredients. Yummy. Yes it’s possible. Oh my oh my!!Sinless fudge

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like fudge including me but have you try finding dairy free fudge in the supermarkets? I can’t. Plus, most fudge is packed full of sugar, so much so it’s often far too sweet. This chocolate coconut fudge is rich, deeply chocolatey, and just sweet and creamy enough. That’s all I’m asking for and this delivers.A slab of sinless fudge

I really love chocolate and coconut as a combo (hello bounty) and the coconut gives this fudge a creamier nuttier taste to make up for the missing dairy. I prefer using apple sauce as a filler/sweetener as I find banana can give a strange after taste, especially if it isn’t really really ripe. This should be stored in the freezer and removed 10 minutes before eating to allow it to soften slightly. Please don’t expect a replica of pick ‘n’ mix fudge as this is entirely different, for a start it really is good for you and is best enjoyed cold from the freezer.Coconut chocolate fudge......sinless

Sugar + dairy free chocolate coconut fudge

(makes 6 squares)

4 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons finely shredded coconut/powder (blend if it’s too coarse)
2 tablespoons coconut milk
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 tablespoon cocoa
pinch fine sea salt

method:

1. Gently melt the coconut oil over a low heat. Meanwhile add the coconut powder + milk to a cup + microwave for 30 seconds. It should be like a thick paste.
2. Add the coconut paste + the remaining ingredients to the pan + stir well to fully combine.
3. Transfer to a parchment lined container, sprinkle with coconut if desired + freeze for 30-60 minutes.
4. Remove from the freezer, slice + devour. Store in the freezer + remove 10-15 minutes before eating.

 

 

Simple Spiced Cookies (Vegan)

christmas spiced cookies

When I was a kid I used to make these incredible ginger, crunchy, hollow biscuits that everybody seemed to love, including me. They must have been pretty good ‘cos I was literally making them every Saturday! I miss them. Simple spiced cookies

Anyway, these are not those biscuits but I will be having a little think about sourcing that old recipe for old times sake. These are a bit different from my childhood favourite as for a start they’re softer with no crunch and don’t contain any dairy (this is a good thing of course) but they are packed full of ginger and other warming winter spices. Think Christmas cake; orange, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon……love, love, love these flavours. Oh, these are quick too, super simple to throw together and ready in a jiffy. I actually think it would take longer to drive to the supermarket and buy a packet of ginger nuts! They have currants in too, I like currants, they seemed to have been forgotten about. It’s all about raisins and sultanas so I buy currants to keep the love alive! It’s true isn’t it?Simple spiced cookies

There’s no rubbish in these either, wholegrain, low gluten and no dairy, yep just wholesome healthful ingredients. This is my kinda cookie. This should be everybody’s kinda cookie!Simple spiced cookies

Simple Spiced Cookie

(makes 12-15)

1/2 cup currants
1 cup spelt flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon + ginger
1/4 teaspoon each of nutmeg + all-spice
3 tablespoons vegan butter
1 flax or chia egg (1 tablespoon of seeds to 3 of water)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup powdered sugar
juice + zest of orange

method:

1. Preheat oven to 175ºC. Combine the first 6 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
2. Combine the remaining wet ingredients in a measuring jug. You will need to melt the butter for 20 seconds in a microwave.
3. Add the wet mixture to the dry + combine thoroughly to form a sticky cookie dough.
4. Using a teaspoon scoop, form small cookies + place on a lined baking tray. Bake for 15-20 minutes until lightly browned. Allow to cool before removing.
5. Mix the sugar + enough orange juice to make a thick syrup. Drizzle over the cookies + zest the orange zest over the top.

Grain Free Chocolate Cup Cake (Gluten free + Vegan)

grain free chocolate muffin

I’m still on a quest to perfect my grain free, eggless muffin – just those words themselves sound challenging. I like a challenge and I’m so there on this one because these are oh so light and fluffy despite not having the ‘hold together’ sticky doughy substance of a regular egg based muffin. I don’t think they’re supposed to though, hello – eggless, grainless……but but but these are whole food cup cakes, 100% plant powered and healthy as hell – they’re not meant to be like those other ‘plastic’ muffins. These grain free chocolate cup cakes hold themselves together just fine. C’mon, almond flour, coconut flour and cocoa are fully involved, enough said.grain free chocolate muffins

And they are so worth it. So wholesome. So smooth. So chocolatey. So low in sugar yet high in protein with none of those nasty trans fats but rather a little of the heart healthy ones. Just the ticket to get you through til teatime. These grain free chocolate cup cakes don’t need icing per se but really, what does need icing? Everything of course, including these! This simple chocolate icing is rich, silky and very chocolatey, taking these from tasty to damn right delicious. A good place to be.chocolate grain free cup cake process

I love topping mine with coconut (in any form), goji berries, crunchy seeds and dark chocolate chips. You just top yours with whatever takes your fancy.chocolate grain free cup cakes

Grain free chocolate cup cakes

(makes 10)

3/4 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda + bicarbonate soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups almond milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
1 flax egg or regular egg (1 tablespoon flaxmeal: 3 of water)
1/4 cup non dairy yoghurt
1/4 cup apple sauce

icing:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1. Preheat the oven to 180 ºC. Add all the dry ingredients to a bowl + combine well. Whisk all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl + add to the dry mixture. Combine thoroughly but do not over mix. Depending on the brand, coconut flour has a tendency to absorb liquid so you may need to add a little extra milk.
2. Line a muffin tray with 10 cases + spoon the mixture into the tray.
3. Bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
4. Allow to fully cool before icing.
5. Combine icing ingredients over a low heat + spoon over each cup cake. Top with whatever tickles your fancy. Allow to set.

Way too Healthy Emergency Breakfast Cookies

breakfast cookies

You know how sometimes there’s a post claiming something really is the healthiest thing ever, like ever, ever? Like cookies that aren’t really that healthy, yeah it’s mostly not that true. Tragic. Of course I don’t do that here.

Way too healthy emergency breakfast cookiesSo I’m not gonna tell you about the health benefits of this cookie. I’m not even gonna tell you that these are gluten free, or that they’re dairy free also. And these cookies contain no saturated fats whatsoever. I won’t bother telling you that these way too healthy emergency breakfast cookies are good enough for breakfast and in fact probably a lot healthier than many breakfasts out there. In fact they’re definitely healthier than most breakfasts. Really.Way too healthy emergency breakfast cookies

Just take a look at the ingredients list (I know!). Not just a New Year ‘let’s be good’ cookie but a cookie to replace all rubbish and junk filled cookies out there.
Now we can grab a cookie(s) for breakfast, guilt free. It doesn’t need to be an emergency either.

A healthy breakfast cookie

These contain most of my favourite brekkie ingredients: nut butter, oats, brown rice, raisins, COCONUT, almonds. Gosh I love all these things so of course they’re gonna go in this cookie and make my day. Yay.Delicious, whole, plant based ingredients

For those days where you gotta leave in a rush, can’t stomach a full on breakfast or just want something delightful to snack on throughout the day! Oh, they dunk well too.Healthy breakfast cookies

Way too healthy emergency breakfast cookies

(makes 12-15)

wet:
1/2 cup apple puree/sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup/honey/agave
1/4 cup smooth nut butter of choice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

dry:
1 1/2 cups gluten free oats
1/2 cup puffed brown rice cereal
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup crushed almonds (any nut or seed would work well)
1/4 cup flame raisins (or dried fruit of choice)

method:

1. Heat oven to 180ºC + line a baking tray with parchment paper. Combine all the wet ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl add the dry ingredients + mix well.
2. Combine the wet + dry, combining thoroughly.
3. Using your hands or a spoon (i’m a hands on girl) form small lumps/balls + place on the baking tray. Flatten slightly.
4. Bake for 25 minutes + allow to cool fully before removing. These stay good for up to a week.

Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal

carrot cake bake
I must admit I don’t at first think of carrots for breakfast but carrot cake, yes. Carrot cake in oatmeal form, yes oh yes. In oatmeal form topped with maple drenched salted nuts and seeds, yes, yes and yes. This breakfast is kind of a big deal for me. It tastes just like carrot cake but with all the nasties right outta there. See, it’s a big deal.A slice of carrot cake baked oatmeal

I ate this for breakfast warm and my it was sooo good. I also ate it cold the next day and it was even more delicious, cakier, sweeter, doughier, spicier. The great thing is you really don’t even need a plate and fork as it’s perfect for just picking up and eating on the go. Gosh, this kind of food is me food, me all over, in baked carrot cake oatmeal form!DSC_9363

The great thing is it’s pretty much as healthy as regular oatmeal or granola and packed full of healthy fats and protein. Plus you squeeze in a carrot first thing! This is the kind of breakfast that’ll keep you going until lunchtime, no blood sugar crashes in sight and packed full of delicious healthy ingredients. But then again this doesn’t even have to be brekkie as it’s way good enough as dessert. Amen. Delicious healthy ingredients

It was hard not to eat the whole tray. Severe restrain was exercised here. I wish I was more like Russ with his self control, maybe it’s a guy thing! Not that self control needs to be exercised as it’s so healthy but I mean I ate three pieces compared to his one………where’s the sharing eh?!! Not to worry as I’ll be making more of where this came from and might next time do an apple pie version, or pumpkin pie, or pineapple cake, chocolate brownie baked oatmeal……………………..A slice of carrot cake baked oatmeal

Here’s to having more desserts for breakfast and starting the day right with pudding!Carrot cake baked oatmeal

Baked carrot cake oatmeal

(serves2-4)

dry:
4 medium carrots, peeled + grated
1/4 cup raisins
2 cups oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg + ground ginger
2 tablespoons soft brown sugar
pinch of salt

wet:
2 cups almond milk
2 tablespoons flaxseed combine with 6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla

topping:
1/3 cup each of walnuts, sunflower seeds + pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons melted vegan butter

method:

1. Preheat oven to 200ºC. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Seperately whisk the wet ingredients together fully.
2. Add the wet to the dry + combine thoroughly. Transfer mixture to a baking dish, allowing to soak for 30 minutes.
3. Combine the topping mixture + spread evenly over the oats. Bake for 25 minutes or until set + browned on top.

Acai Berry Detox Bowl

acai berry detox bowl

Ah acai, acai. Or rather ah-sigh-EE, ah-sigh-EE! I first met acai when I was in Brazil where they sell it on the streets everywhere, usually in the form of acai bowls or cups. You cannot miss them, they really are everywhere. Lovely piercing purple dollops on every street corner. The thing is, it’s damn cheap in South America and you pay a pretty penny here for it but the desire to get reunited with acai was too strong and I really HAD to have some. Yeah when I think of Brazil these bright purple cups are high up there on my list of Brazil memories, funny the things that stick with us!

Acai cup

Having this again made me remember why I love it so much! Memories of Copacabana beach and the beach vendors selling bright vibrant purple acai bowls topped with all sorts of things. This is super refreshing and truly feel good food. It’s more filling than it looks as it contains a hefty amount of fruit which adds to the thick consistency and more importantly the turbo charged vitamin and mineral antioxidant content. This is truly good mood food.Acai cup in the blender!

Acai is more than just a pretty face and a hard to pronounce berry. It’s wonderful stuff, the superfood of superfoods and is one of the planet’s highest sources of antioxidants. As such this acai berry detox bowl is packed with mega health benefits, here’s just 5 of so many:

high in a particular antioxidant (called anthocyanins but you don’t care about the name right?) that lowers cholesterol
aids weight loss and reduces negative effect of high fat diets
high in fibre and detoxifying
anti-ageing
energy boost, combats fatigue and exhaustion.Beautiful acai + the toppings!

It’s not a smoothie, it’s not ice cream, it’s not frozen yoghurt, it’s a cleansing acai bowl for any time. A thick, sweet, berry infused superfood soft serve.Pretty acai cup

Make it thick or thin, dark or light, acai will never let you down. My new favourite snack!Acai cup

Acai berry detox bowl

(serves 1)

1 frozen banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blackberries
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon almond butter
handful spinach leaves
1 heaped tablespoon acai powder
berries, seeds, sliced banana + coconut for topping

Blend all the ingredients on high speed until smooth + creamy. A thick frozen yoghurt consistency is best. Top with delicious things and enjoy.