Raw Choco Nut Brownies

Brownie1 I’ve made a few variations of this recipe (hence the variety of photos) and the thing I love is how much mixing and matching you can do depending on what nuts/flavours are your favourite (I love almonds) also this recipe was made depending on what I had in the cupboard, as with all recipes, it’s always fun making a batch and then amending it to make it perfect for you.

Ingredients:

[Makes roughly 24 square brownies]

  • 50g Almonds
  • 85g Cashew Nuts
  • 100g Pitted Dates
  • 10g Walnuts
  • 30g Peanut Butter
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 30g Cacao Powder (Can use cocoa powder)
  • Optional: 50g Desiccated Coconut
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon
  • Almond Milk/Water to make it more blendable

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I put all the ingredients in my Vitamix and blended, if it gets really tough add some water or almond milk, you want it to be blendable but also thick enough to squash into brownies. Often you will probably need to use a spatula to move everything towards the blades of the blender and then pulse. Remember that the harder you work to blend, the smoother the brownies will be, if you want chunkier brownies you don’t need to blend as much (see photos I made smooth and chunky variations).

Flatten onto a tray with a baking sheet on it and place in the fridge/freezer until hardened, if you use a metal baking tray this will be quicker.

Serve, enjoy!

GG

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Note: The two photo variations are with and without the desiccated coconut, one is with cacao and the other cocoa powder and also mixing up the nut ratios. Have fun!

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Spinach Squash Lasagne with Cashew Ricotta

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I’ve been MIA for a little while longer than usual, I’m sorry, I’m in the middle of some major exams (please send me love and light), however to make it up to you I’ve got a good one; I felt myself getting a bit mundane with my dishes as I’ve wanted to focus on revision (and went through a phase where I was OBSESSED with looking at recipes and trying out new things) but I was neglecting my food and I wanted to return. This is my happy return.

Ingredients:

[Serves 2 – tastes even better as leftovers]

  • 100g Cashew Ricotta (See Recipe below)
  • 1/2 Kabocha Squash (these are GREAT delicious and very healthy but if they’re not available you can use butternut)
  • 2 Courgettes
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, minced
  • 2 Small Onions, chopped
  • 1 Can/ Carton Chopped Tomatoes (Can also use some kind of tomato sauce)
  • 200-250g Spinach (depending on how much you like it, I went for the full 250g)
  • 250ml Vegetable Stock
  • Optional:Basil Leaves and a “cheese” of your choice (I used some delicious Vegusto) to decorate

Preheat oven to 220°C

Cut the squash into chunks and steam them until soft, meanwhile steam the spinach (I had to do this in quite a few batches and had a bit of a conveyor belt system going, once one batch is done, squeeze it out in a colander and add to a mixing bowl with the cashew ricotta).

Meanwhile add chopped tomatoes, garlic, onion and stock in a pot and leave simmering while some liquid evaporates.

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Once the squash is soft add to the spinach ricotta mixture and mash together.

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Prepare your “lasagne” sheets: slice the courgettes using a peeler with slices and wide as possible (I tried using a mandolin slicer it didn’t want to work). Line a baking dish with one layer of courgette, add half of the ricotta/spinach mixture, give it another layer of courgette then by this point the tomato sauce should be a nice consistency (I drained off some liquid).

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Add a layer of tomato, another layer of courgette (you see where this is going- we alternate) then remainder of ricotta/spinach mixture, followed by a final layer of courgette. Decorate with the remainder of the tomatoes, some “cheese” pieces (can use nutritional yeast) and place in the oven for around 15-20 minutes (doesn’t need long there’s nothing that needs cooking and I couldn’t wait!), at some point check on it and add the basil leaves as they dry out quickly.

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To Make the Cashew Nut Ricotta “Cheese”

(this makes more than the lasagne needs but it’s delicious and so versatile)

Ingredients:

  • 75g Cashew Nuts
  • 10g Pine Nuts
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Nutritional Yeast

Soak 75g Cashew Nuts for around 24 hours (I soaked them even longer, when they just begin to ferment you get that ricotta taste as opposed to a regular cream cheese).

When ready, roast pine nuts in a pan for a few minutes until golden

In a bullet (can use normal blender and pulse – you want it chunky) add all ingredients and blend/pulse until you get a chunky ricotta consistency – voila! Taste it – delicious ricotta! Also works well with jam in a toastie 🙂

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Enjoy!

Gina x x

Coconut Miso Soup (v)

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TASTY GOODNESS.

I put all the things I like in a bowl and ended up in Japan and I like Japan so it was a good evening.

This was quick and easy and delicious and I’m still in a good mood from it.

This is also the debut of a cute bowl my parents gave me to feature soup on my blog.

You can (as always) mix and match the vegetables to what you have, this worked well but miso is always delicious with mushrooms for a different option.

[Serves 2/3 as a Main Dish, 4/5 as a Starter]

Ingredients:

  • 500ml Miso Stock
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Chunk Ginger, maybe 1 Tbsp
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 3 Carrots, thinly sliced
  • LOTS of Cabbage! (2/3 Cups, chopped)
  • Optional: chopped spring onion

Blend up the Miso Stock, Garlic, Ginger, Coconut Milk and Toasted Sesame Oil until it’s all smooth. Pour it out through a sieve to eradicate any foam and take it to the hob adding the carrot and cabbage (and optional spring onion).

I then left this on the hob on low, cleaned all my dishes and took it off so I suppose leaving it on low for 10 minutes does the job.

Serve and Enjoy!

Yumyum miso.

Gina

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Pesto (v)

PestoI’ve been avoiding pesto for a few weeks now. It used to be an absolute culinary staple for me and my recipe was so so tasty, but after I started being really meticulous about what I was consuming I realised I was putting a LOT of olive oil in it. Now, olive oil isn’t bad but you don’t want to be having more than a few tablespoons in a day (this was more). I was faced with the task of making a recipe I loved healthier and still maintaining delicious-ness. If you haven’t guessed yet by this post being in existence I did it, see below.

Makes the total amount in photo, one heaped ramequin.

Ingredients:

  • 10ml Olive Oil
  • 60g Sundried Tomatoes
  • 10g Pine Nuts
  • 1 Big Handful of Fresh Basil
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (or “cheese” alternative)
  • 1/2 Cup Water

Roast the pine nuts on the hob until they turn golden.

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend to your desired consistency.

Not that you are likely to eat all of this yourself but in case you did it all totals to 300 calories, and a hell of a lot less fat than my last batch.

Can be served with pasta, rice or maybe THE UNBELIEVABLY DELICIOUS GNOCCI I JUST MADE. Hopefully by the time you read this I’ve already put it up, so see above 🙂

Love and Light,

GG

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Spiced Parsnip Soup (v)

Parsnip Soup

Sometimes I forget how tasty parsnips are. They are so tasty that I was worried I was going to eat them all while they were steaming…

Luckily I didn’t (I did eat a few pieces) and this soup turned out great. I’m learning that the secret to a good soup is to keep it simple and focus on one or two vegetables, often you can think it’s better to max out on nutrients and put a bit of everything in there, or you worry you don’t have enough flavour but you just need to have faith that one or two is enough. Simple is delicious.

Also I learned a new Vitamix trick, I like my soups chunky, with varying degrees of chunkyness, and I know that if you whack the whole mixture into the Vitamix and throw it on high you’ll have a very smooth soup (and admittedly for some soups that works really well) but it’s fairly commonplace to transfer some if not most of the mix in, blend and then return it for some thick and some blended. This time I did that TWICE (see instructions) by making some of the soup smooth, transferring it back to the pot and then putting a second load in the Vitamix and pulsing, the results were great and I had three different thicknesses in there.

[Serves 2]

Ingredients:

  • 2 Parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks (Around 180g)
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, minced
  • 100g Cannellini Beans (soaked)
  • 1/2 Tbsp Fenugreek
  • 1 tsp Cumin
  • 500ml Vegetable Stock
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast (or “Cheese” of your choice)
  • Optional: Fresh Rosemary

Steam the chunks of parsnip until soft (probably around 15-20 minutes), putting some sprigs of rosemary in there as well brings out a really nice flavour.

Roast the Cumin and Fenugreek in a frying pan for 2 minutes (tasty smell!) and then added the garlic and shallot and cover them in the spices for around 5 minutes.

In a saucepan add all the ingredients to the vegetable stock and cook for around 5-10 minutes. Here comes the Vitamix trick (can be done in any blender) transfer 3/4 mixture into Vitamix (try and leave some chunkiness especially the beans because they’re always nice whole in a soup), blend this on high until smooth, transfer back to the saucepan and stir. Optional (advised) extra: place a second load into the Vitamix (maybe half) and give it some quick pulses to loosen it up then put it back in for a super variety of thickness.

Serve, and always do enjoy.

Gina

x

 

Leek and Lentil Soup (v)

Leek and Lentil Soup

Happy Easter! Here’s a light (but very filling) lunch to make up for the chocolate.

I’m really into lentils at the moment and this soup is probably my favourite soup that I’ve made so far it was simple to make, extremely filling and tasty.

I am at this very moment looking into getting some new crockery to mix up the images a bit, I love the look of thai bowls or even some wooden just to really give your eyes their worth. I’m sorry the picture isn’t more exciting, it’s always difficult when you’re taking pictures in a state of hunger (this bowl was empty approx 35 seconds later).

Serves 2 [technically speaking it came to around two bowl-fuls but I did eat both]

Feel free to mix around the ingredients I imagine this would be delicious with kale or cabbage, also an important note if you like a thicker soup, it would be delicious with added potato, I added hemp protein powder (workin’ on my abs) so it was thickened considerably and would be great without it but a potato would be perfect for extra thickness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Leeks
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 500ml Vegetable Stock (Marigold Swiss you know me)
  • 60g Red Lentils
  • Optional: 1/2 tbsp nutritional yeast, ground pepper

Start the lentils off by covering them in cold water in a saucepan and bringing them to the boil. Then reduce heat (I like to add 1/4 tsp vegetable stock) and cover for 15 minutes.

Chop onions, leek and garlic and fry them in a bigger pot (if you wanted to add the nutritional yeast, this is where that goes in for an added cheesy flavour). Stir vegetables until they have softened and pour in the vegetable stock. Leave to simmer for around 7-10 minutes then pour half to three quarters of the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth (this all depends on how chunky you would like it). Reunite the blended and unblended vegetables and serve with the lentils on top, perhaps adding some ground pepper.

Enjoy.

GG

x

Almond Falafel

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Almond Falafel 2

This. This is pretty darn delicious if I may say so myself. I’ve seen walnut falafel in a supermarket before but the ingredients were terrible (too few walnuts, too much god know what etc etc) so I decided to see if I could see what me and the Vitamix could create. I went with almonds instead of walnuts because the nutritional value always appealed to me over any other nut so I essentially buy them in bulk to make almond butter/ anything else. Walnuts can be used in place if they take your fancy.

The smell that fills your kitchen as these are roasting in the oven is extremely enjoyable. You can serve this as an entrée, put them in a wrap, I ended up popping them in with a salad for lunch.

[Makes 14 Falafels]

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Almonds Soaked Overnight (Or soak for a few hours, or even, if you’re desperate as they are but with a touch of water)
  • 1 Date (pitted)
  • 1/8 Cup Sesame Seeds
  • 1.5 Tbsp Parsley
  • 1.5 Tbsp Coriander
  • 2 Tbsp Oregano
  • 1/4 tbsp Cumin (or a bit more, I don’t really like cumin)
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic (or 2 small)
  • 1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • Some Black Pepper

Pre-heat your oven to 170°C

In a blender/magic bullet/food processor, blend Almonds and Date until it’s like a thick purée.

In a mixing bowl, add the remaining ingredients and mix by hand (if at any point it’s a bit dry, add some olive oil or even water if you’re oil conscious)

When it’s thoroughly mixed, form and press them into falafel balls.

Place on a baking tray in the oven until they look crispy (around 30 minutes).

Serve and Enjoy!

Gina

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