quick

Pineapple + Ginger Cake – Dairy free + Gluten Free

I’ve had this tin of pineapple for sooooo long, ages actually, ha ha! I really do love my pineapple but much prefer the fresh variety so that’s why it’s been sitting around, plus Russ is my chief pineapple chopper-upper! Don’t worry, it was still in date 🙂 The truth is, I’ve been so lazy with the blog lately and it’s been kinda hard to pull my finger out and get moving with things and when I opened the cupboard and saw this tin, my irrational pregnancy hormones got the better of me and I HAD to use it. This cake is so quick to throw together and whilst it’s cooking for an hour I have no excuse but to listen to my hypnobirthing tracks. At least I’ve finally gotten rid of that can of pineapple!

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

So yeah Russ and I will be hypnobirthing this August! So far it seems to be working really well for me and it’s already helped put some of the usual pre-birth anxieties at bay. Society seems to be full of so many negative images and messages towards birth but if you actually look past these and filter through there are plenty of positive images. Hypnobirthing teaches you to retrain your brain to see yourself as the capable, prepared, adaptable and strong person that you are, perfectly able to birth your child in a calmly excited manner. It’s surprising how much we tell ourselves otherwise, whether that originates from the media or friends and family. The only downside of hypnobirthing is that most people don’t really get it, seeing it as some sort of ‘trance induced’ birth. This couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s more so a preparation tool before birth to ease birthing anxieties and prepare for the physical aspects of labour by mindfulness, deep breathing and hypnosis tracks. It’s a bit of a commitment – about 40 minutes a day to be precise but I think it’ll be more than worth it come birth time. Added to that the 30 minute hypnosis track is so relaxing, I actually look forward playing it and relaxing more than I ever felt possible. I know already that this is going to help me immensely before and during the birth. In the meantime, I’ll keep reminding people that I won’t be hypnotised during labour but rather utilising the techniques of mindfulness, breathing and visualisation I’ve learnt so far.

pineapple & ginger vegan cake

Anyway, my digestion has been pretty good so far through this pregnancy but I do think I’ve been glutenizing myself a lot lately, what with toast, pittas, pasta – it’s all too much. Hence the gluten free cake plus I’ve been dying to try out Bob’s Red Mill variety of GF flours. I’ve gotta say, pretty impressed. Shame we don’t have it more readily available here in the UK but it’s easy enough to make yourself. Not being gluten intolerant I wont be swapping every time but it’s nice to make a change and cook for all sensitivities and preferences.

vegan pineapple & ginger cake

The cake’s ready and Russ is doing nursery stuff (mural, shelves and cot building) so time to make a cuppa and slice this gingery thing! See ya sooner rather than later…………..

Pineapple + ginger cake

2 tablespoons chia seeds + 6 of water
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup pineapple juice (from the can)
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 cup GF flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill all purpose)
1 heaping cup grated carrot
1 can pineapple (227grams, 137 grams drained- keep pineapple juice for recipe)
sesame seeds, optional

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180º Celsius + grease a 7 inch cake tin.
2. Add the ‘chia egg’ to a mixing bowl + allow to gel. Add the oil, syrup, juice + combine well.
3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl + combine well. Transfer to the greased cake tin, sprinkle with sesame seeds + bake for 60 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

No fish, no mercury, sustainable, 100% vegan…just healthy 😉
Vegan tuna mayo sweetcorn rolls!

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

Vegan Tuna Mayo Sweetcorn Rolls

(serves 2)

1 can chickpeas, drained
1 carrot, peeled + grated
2 tablespoons sweetcorn
2-3 tablespoons vegan mayo or make this

  1. Add the chickpeas, carrot, sweetcorn + mayo to a small bowl + combine evenly.
  2. Spread on whatever the devil you like!

Wholegrain Blueberry Banana Muffins

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Since I’ve been pregnant I literally cannot get enough of blueberries, it’s kinda weird the amounts I’m getting through! I must say I am getting a little sick of eating them straight from the box, plus I seem to demolish packets at a time. Naturally when it comes to recipes, I’m thinking blueberry dense muffins. It’s also nice to finally be craving something sweet as opposed to my oily and salty obsessions of late (okay I admit it, I’ve been hooked on crisps or potato chips or whatever!). So it just has to be a good solid muffin. Blueberries galore of course, like too many almost.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

But I hate (that word isn’t even strong enough) it when you get a ‘blueberry’ muffin and there’s like 3 solitary blueberries in the whole thing. It almost seems a tad on the criminal side and definitely a complete rip-off, an utter cheat. So I made sure this disaster would not happen here. Amen.

There’s actually nothing quite like warm wholegrain blueberry banana muffins, moist and fruit-packed and jam packed with the goodness of whole grains. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy sweet treats a lot more when I know they’re not full of white sugar, white carbs and toxic margarines. There doesn’t seem to be any excuses anymore as there are so many alternative flours and sweeteners out there now and not to mention a myriad of much healthier oils to substitute for margarine and butter. And I’m not saying this in a ‘oh she doesn’t know how to enjoy herself’ kinda way, but I reckon if it tastes better and it is in fact miles better for your body then it’s a no brainer, right?

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

I used xylitol to cut the energy a little but regular raw sugar, maple syrup or agave would be completely fine. If you possibly can (‘cos I cannot) allow to cool before attempting to remove from papers. Just sayin’, as it’s kind of annoying when it all gets stuck in there and nobody likes sucking on a muffin case. Although I will do this if necessary.

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

It’s one of those dry bits, wet bits, add-to recipes….easy peasy. Oh and it’s so quick, gotta love the quick ones.

It goes without saying these would be good with chocolate chips too but for me, it’s all about the blueberries right now. I’m sure it’ll be a new food obsession next week………….

wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

Have a great day 😉

Wholegrain blueberry banana muffins

makes 10

dry bits:
1 1/2 cups wholemeal flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup xylitol
wet bits:
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 large banana, mashed (can be subbed with 1/2 cup apple sauce)
1 cup almond milk + 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
the best bit:
1 heaping cup blueberries (I used frozen)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 200 ºC + line grease or line a muffin tray with cases. Add the first 4 dry ingredients to a large mixing bowl + combine fully.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients in a separate bowl + add to the dry ingredients to form a smooth batter.
  3. Fold through the blueberries + carefully spoon the mixture into the muffin tray to 3/4 full.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Remember to allow to cool or else you’ll be sucking on a muffin case!

3 Ingredient Vegan Chocolate Caramels

Better than rolos 😉

 Vegan Rolos

Sometimes only caramel will do, and at other times only chocolate caramels will do. Thank heavens for these 3 ingredient beauties. Not only are they 100% plant based, but contain only 3 ingredients and take no time to put together. I reckon I can make these quicker than Russ can drive to the supermarket and buy some Rolos! But why would you anyway – these chocolate caramel treats are uber healthy, natural and perfect for an afternoon accompaniment to a cuppa tea!

vegan rolos

Have you got dates? Have you got peanut butter? What about some dark chocolate? No, well you can make your own with coconut oil, maple syrup and cocoa powder 😉

vegan rolos

Do you have 10 minutes free today? Yep, well looks like you’ll be eating these too! Enjoy!

Vegan Rolos

3 ingredient vegan chocolate caramels

(makes 12-15 balls)

1 cup dates + pinch sea salt
1 heaping tablespoon smooth natural peanut butter
25 grams dark dairy free chocolate

Pulse/blend the dates + pb until smooth. Form 12-15 small caramel balls. Melt the chocolate. Coat the caramel balls with deliciously dark chocolate, remove with a toothpick + freeze for 15 minutes. Remove + devour. These can be stored in the fridge or freezer.

Artichoke Spinach Spelt Crust Pizza + 5 ways to make your Pizza Healthier

In my mind pizza is a full on hassle laden thing to make, hence I rarely make it but what’s up with me? This is quicker than most evening meals I make! Oh and delicious too, really delicious. Plus there’s something therapeutic about making your own dough from scratch and flinging it around like a pro. I’ll definitely be having homemade pizza more as it is EASY! Plus we all know pizza is good. So good that no one should ever have to do without, whether you’re gluten free, dairy free or full on raw, there’s a pizza for everyone!

vegan pizza

I never did buy into the thick doughy bases with more cheese than veggies but that’s just me.

Vegan pizza
The thing is pizza can be really quite a healthy meal depending on the crust and toppings so here’s a couple of suggestions on how to lighten up your favourite pizza:

– Use half the cheese you normally would or ditch it all together. With a focus on tasty quality ingredients and a well made dough, the cheese is secondary anyhow.
– Ditch white refined bases and swap to wholewheat, spelt or wholegrain gluten free varieties.
– Make a thinner crust for a less dense and calorific pizza.
– Load it with colourful veggies and lots of fresh greens.
– Or if you really wanna lighten up the load and ditch the carbs altogether use a cauliflower crust.

vegan pizza

Just make the pizza of your dreams 🙂 This is the pizza of my cravings. Artichokes, spinach, red onion, a little dairy free ‘parmesan’ + chili. That’s it.

vegan pizza

Artichoke + spinach spelt crust pizza

(makes 2 small pizzas or 1 big one- 2 people tops)

spelt crust:
2 cups spelt flour
1 1/2 teaspoons quick-rising yeast
1/2 teaspoon himalayan sea salt
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon xylitol or sugar
2/3 cup warm water

tomato sauce (shop bought or this one is nice)
toppings: cooked artichokes, spinach, red onion, olives, chili, dairy free cheese.

1. Preheat oven to 200 ºC (if using a pizza stone, preheat this too). Combine warm water + yeast + sit for 10 minutes. Add to the remaining ingredients, stir well, knead for 10 minutes + allow to sit for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, prep your pizza topping ingredients, stretch the dough out onto a pizza stone or baking tray. I sprinkle a little cornmeal on the pizza stone to prevent sticking or if using a baking tray just a little oil.

3. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Enjoy your masterpiece!

Aduki Paprika Stew with Sweet Potato Apricot Dumplings (GF + Vegan)

Because food ruts happens to us all!

Russ and I can get a little stale with our vegan stews. You know how it is, if it aint broke don’t fix it and if it’s your favourite then of course you wanna eat that and not experiment with other stuff. But there’s only so much black bean squash stew and spanish chick peas you can eat before looking at each other and laugh. It’s like a food rut that you choose to be in!

Anyway, this recipe is the result of a Saturday late morning dabble, a rummage through the cupboards and fridge and this stew happened.

Vegan Aduki Bean Stew

Aduki beans, sweet potato, kale, gluten free, zero dairy. Let’s do this.

It is what it is. A healthful, superfood packed stew suitable for vegetarians, vegans, gluten free guys, lactose free kids and hell bent carnivores.

Food for EVERYONE.

aduki bean stew

The beans and mushrooms provide substance, the dumplings give good comfort and the smokey spice of the paprika and apricots give a sweet warmth. It is delicious! I still love my black bean squash stew and Spanish chick peas, I always will!

aduki bean stew

I have no more words. See you soon.

Aduki bean stew vegan

Aduki Paprika stew with sweet potato apricot dumplings

(serves me + Russ)

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
1 carrot, chopped into small pieces
10 mushrooms, chopped
2 handfuls kale, torn
1 can aduki beans, drained (240 grams)
1 can chopped tomatoes + 1 of water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
seasoning

dumplings:
1/2 cup GF flour
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 apricots, chopped finely
1 small cooked sweet potato, flesh only
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon soya yoghurt
1 teaspoon chopped dill or parsley
seasoning

method:
1. Heat olive oil over a low heat + add the first 4 ingredients until softened.
2. Add the remaining ingredients + simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add more water if necessary.
3. Combine the dumpling ingredients to form a cookie dough consistency. Form 6 small dumplings or spoon the mixture straight into the pot. Cook, cover for a further 15 minutes.
4. Serve with a sprinkle of herb + crusty bread. Why not?

 

Dairy Free Chocolate Birthday Cake

No not my birthday, mine’s July! I took this to my brother’s 40th tea party at my Mum’s house. She’s a good kid.

vegan birthday cake

So yeah, when you go over to the vegan side, mainstream cake is like really hard- eggs, butter, milk etc. It’s one big animal party in a cake. The thing is I like some chocolately dense cakeage and I knew I had to do something about it, so I made this. It really is like your average sponge, nothing ground breaking but hey I wasn’t trying to break any plant based cake ground but rather master a simple Chocolate Cake. I just swapped each animal ingredient for a plant ingredient such as coconut oil and nut milk. YUM! Of course I topped it with kiddy sprinkles, I was trying to be popular 😉 and make an appealing looking chocolate cake.

Vegan birthday cake

The other thing is I am pregnant, 5 months pregnant and I figured I will soon have the responsibility of being able to knock up a chocolate sponge that’s delicious and healthy too. C’mon, what Mum can’t make cake? Crikey, still can’t get used to that word.

I love how this is wholegrain with no dairy and no unrefined sugar. I know a few peeps who would knock me for this in a ‘oh let your hair down girl, it’s a birthday!’ I just say ‘bugger off’, life’s already short and ‘my’ cake is delicious and healthy and the bonus is it wont make you feel sluggish, collapse your bowls later in life, or cause a nice bit of type 2 diabetes. Steady on!

Vegan chocolate cake

It’s so easy too and takes 3 minutes to knock up with ALL the ingredients available at your local Sainsbury’s. The thing is if you don’t have coconut oil, use another vegetable oil such as canola, same goes for xylitol, just use raw cane sugar or maple syrup (but please do get involved with xylitol as it’s truly amazing stuff).

Not having an overly sweet tooth, chocolate cake has been on my to do list for a while, yeah who else can say that?! Anyhow, it’s done now and the result was: SUCCESS.

Vegan birthday cake

I have 4 nieces and they all ate this…..and enjoyed it too. There was a non vegan sponge and carrot cake too at the party. Fact is THIS vegan birthday cake got eaten first, seriously! Ashamed to say this recipe makes a pretty small cake, so next time I plan to double the ingredients and sandwich two seven inch cakes or make a larger single layer!

My work here is done.

Vegan birthday cake

Vegan Chocolate Cake

(8 slices, big ‘uns)

1 1/4 cups spelt flour
3/4 cup xylitol
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup almond milk
1 tsp distilled white or apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup coconut oil

chocolate topping:

4 tbsp margarine
1/2 cup xylitol
2 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract

sprinkle with anything

method:
1. Preheat oven to 180 º CELSIUS. Sift flour, baking powder + cocoa into a large mixing bowl. Add the xylitol + salt, combining thoroughly. In a measuring jug, mix the remaining ingredients + add to the dry mix. Using a whisk, combine the mixture thoroughly resisting the urge to drink it all.
2. Transfer to a greased 7 inch cake tin. Bake for 30 minutes.
3. Remove + cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, combine all the chocolate topping ingredients in a small pan over a high heat and stir until smooth, silky + fully combined. This will thicken as it dries so glaze cake within 5 minutes + top copiously with yummy things like berries, cocoa nibs, sprinkles or anything that takes your fancy.

Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake

I love dried fruit so it’s no shock that fruit cake is one of my favourite cakes. Actually, it IS my favourite cake. Raisins, sultanas, dates, apricots, currants, cranberries, blueberries – all of ’em, I love them. So it was hard for me growing up with a sister who picked the raisins out of her muesli, the currants out of her buns, the dates out of her puddings and turned her nose up at a moist iced wedding cake! What is she mad!? It actually stumped me because there is nothing nicer than a thick slice of fruit cake, to me anyhow. A big statement but so true.

Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake

It seems that everybody’s Nan or Mum makes the best bolied fruit cake recipe ever so I’m not claiming this is the best by any means but it’s certainly free of any animal products (love that of course), is possibly a little lower in sugar, undoubtedly wholegrain too. This vegan boiled fruit cake is already a winner to me. Ok, this is better than your Mum’s and your Nan’s, sorry.

vegan boiled fruit cake

So why is this vegan boiled fruit cake better than your Mum’s?

It’s vegan- yippeee. I DON’T need cow stuff in my cake and nor do you!
It’s lower in sugar, dried fruit is pretty sweet already right?
Hello wholegrain. Spelt flour is pretty impressive when it comes to baking and much higher in fibre and lower in gluten than your average white flours. Spelt flour is a good friend.

So yeah it IS better than your Mum’s AND your Nans – so so sorry but it’s true.

vegan boiled fruit cake

Oh and another thing, fruit cake isn’t just for Christmas but all year surely. There is nothing better than a pot of tea and a wedge of fruit cake in the afternoon, or evening! Oh and the smell of freshly baked fruit cake is pretty hard to beat for me too.

Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake
Enjoy and get fruity.

Vegan Boiled Fruit Cake

120 grams vegan butter
1/2 cup raw brown sugar
400 grams mixed fruit
1/4 cup chopped cherries
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon bicarbonate soda + 1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon mixed spice
1 cup almond milk
1/4-1/2 cup water
2 cups spelt flour

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 160ºC + line a 7-8 inch cake tin.
2. Meanwhile add all the ingredients apart from the flour to a pan over a low heat + simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Allow to cool before adding the flour. Once the flour + fruit mixture is thoroughly combined transfer to the cake tin + bake for 1 hour or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
4. Allow to cool on a wire rack before serving.

Polenta Taco Pizza (Gluten Free + Vegan)

Who doesn’t like pizza?

polenta GF pizza

I really like it but rarely eat it these days seeing as it is so hard to find gluten free or even healthier alternatives. I just don’t have the stomach for doughy, heavy, stretchy glutenous pizza bases. Which is why I love (am loving!) polenta based pizzas! Not only does it allow for a gluten free base but it really is so much tastier than wheat pizza – really.

I’m not sure I’ll bother with regular pizza again after this. Polenta is pretty magical stuff, like instant pizza dough but way more delicious and gluten free. Why are we not seeing more polenta pizza out there, c’mon Zizzi and Pizza Express – get with the program!

polenta pizza

Seriously, this is so quick, no yeast, no rising, no kneading, no resting but rather instant dough that you can form into the pizza of your dreams whether that be thin, fat, round, square or mighty irregular! This is a vibrant, nutrient dense easy peasy pizza crust! The smoked chipotle sauce and a little avocado later and you have a Mexican polenta pizza for one. Just double the recipe if you care to share. I didn’t feel much in the mood for sharing mine.

polenta GF vegan pizza

Don’t buy pre-made pizza – make polenta pizza because it really is that easy and have a personal polenta pizza party.

polenta GF vegan pizza

Polenta taco pizza

for the crust:
1 cup polenta
2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil

for the sauce:
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons chipotle paste
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 garlic clove, crushed

toppings:
tomatoes, sliced
green bell pepper, sliced
sweetcorn
avocado
preferred vegan cheese

method:
1. Heat the water in a small pan until bubbling + slowly pour in the polenta, stirring continuously until smooth + thick. Turn off the heat + stir through seasoning + olive oil.
2. Preheat oven to 200º C. + line a baking pan with parchment paper (I used a round 8″ pan).  Pour the polenta mixture into the pan + flatten with the back of your spoon, allowing for a thicker crust. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
3. Bake for 30 minutes. Prepare sauce + toppings whilst base is in the oven. Remove pizza + top with all toppings apart from avocado + bake for a further 10 minutes.
4. Remove + serve with copious amounts of avocado + wedges of lime for a taco inspired pizza.

Gluten + Dairy Free ‘Snickers’ Pancakes

snickers pancakesDessert for breakfast is sometimes the only way forward. Chocolate. Peanuts. Caramel. Pancakes. I shouldn’t think it gets much better than this. Well not in pancake world anyhow! I wish I had more creativity at breakfast but I always stick to my oats and a thousand trillion toppings. It’s only when I have something like this that I tell myself – ‘eat more pancakes, you crazy person’. Everybody should be eating more pancakes….as long as they’re plant based and super good for you!snickers pancakes

So not only was I trying to jazz up my pancakes ‘Snickers’ style but was also trying to perfect my gluten and dairy free pancake and I tell you what, this was right on target. Utterly delicious actually. You know they’re a success when you literally cannot wait to make them again and eat the whole damn lot. snickers pancakes

These Snickers pancakes have an ever so slightly sweet taste (I figured they didn’t need much sugar when they’re studded with chocolate + drowned in caramel sauce!), a nuttiness from the wholesome gluten free flour, creaminess from the almond milk and flax and they rose like a treat too! So happy with that.pancakes glorious pancakes

You gotta expect a slightly denser pancake when your using GF flour and no eggs and these were still much lighter than I envisaged. Let’s face it, who wants a pancake you could break into someone’s house with? Not me and in taste terms these are miles better than any white processed pancakes I’ve had in the past. I’d always recommend using roasted nuts as the taste is way better and makes them super crunchy too. These Snickers Pancakes are really very delicious. I want them again, right now. snickers pancakes + caramel sauce

Gluten + dairy free ‘Snickers’ pancakes

(serves 2)

1 cup all purpose gluten free flour (I used Dove’s Farm)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon flaxseed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup crushed roasted peanuts
1/4 cup dark dairy free chocolate chips
raw caramel sauce or shop bought

method:

1. Combine the first 4 dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Meanwhile add the milk, apple cider vinegar, flax + vanilla extract to a jug + whisk thoroughly.
2. Add the wet mixture along with the coconut oil to the dry ingredients + mix thoroughly. Stir through half the peanuts + half the chocolate chips.
3. Grease a non stick pan with coconut oil + scoop 1/4 cup size amounts of the mixture onto the griddle pan. Allow to brown (about 2 minutes) on one side + flip for another 2 minutes. Transfer to a warm oven whilst cooking the remaining pancakes.
4. Top with the remaining peanuts + chocolate chips. Drizzle generously with caramel sauce + revel in all this snickers glory.

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