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17 September 2017

Pumpkin Rösti w/ Chanterelle Mushrooms & Spinach

Sometimes, or perhaps most of the time we cook because we need to eat, but there are also those special times where you cook for the love of it, for the art of the food and the delicious flavours, you enjoy the proceess and relax into your task.

This next recipe is one of the latter, where a few more steps may be involved, but it's more than worth it. Autumn pumpkin & waxy potatoes, with sauteed onion and smoked garlic, combine into a twist on a classic Swiss dish, served up with a side of vegan crème fraîche, chantarelle mushrooms, wilted spinach and more of that earthy, woody smoked garlic, reminding you of cold nights around an open fire. I first had rösti in Switzerland almost 10 years ago now, inside a cozy little pub near the ski slope on our first night, sheltering from the cold, the fire roaring, tucking into the most perfectly cooked rösti, creamy all the way through and all crisp on the outside.

9 September 2017

Smoky Chili Butternut Mac 'n' Greens

Creamy, smoky, slightly spicy macaroni with green veg...inspired by the classic mac n cheese, with a healthier twist to make it a perfect every day meal. If you're looking for a more traditional mac n cheese - you'll find the recipe for my ultimate vegan cheese sauce here, but this is an everyday version of the comfort food...easy to prepare at the end of a long day and full of warming comfort, perfect for the damp autumn weather.

It may look like a lot of spices and if you don't already have most of these on hand, you can swap it for a couple of tsp of a mixed spiced blend that contains chili and smoked paprika..such as fajita or jerk seasoning. I love the combination of the slightly sweet butternut squash with the deeply savoury miso paste and tanginess of the vinegar and lemon juice, paired with those smokey, spicy notes....this is just so warming and feels like a hug in a bowl.

2 September 2017

Vegan White Chocolate Matcha Blondies

The lovely people at Pure Chimp sent me some of their matcha to try out, I thought long and hard about what to test it out on and I just loved the sound of white chocolate matcha blondies. Whilst there's no way to make blondies completely healthy, true to my blog, I found a way to sneak some extra nutrition in there. I researched loads of recipes and I couldn't find one blondie recipe that included both matcha and avocado, but there were plenty of smoothies, so the flavour combination obviously does work, though it's definitely an acquired taste. White chocolate and matcha are also a match made in heaven, as well as vanilla, the matcha just intensifies the creamy white chocolate, whilst adding it's own unique flavour and charm and vanilla just makes everything taste better, it's a fact! I also added a single raspberry to each blondie, any more would make them soggy, but I just love the pop of fresh tart raspberry flavour in the mix of earthy, creamy notes. 

I adapted from this recipe, swapping out the butter for avocado, the vanilla soy yogurt for eggs, using free from white chocolate and I also reduced the amount of sugar, as the white chocolate and yogurt are already very sweet. With all the swaps, you might wonder why I still used white sugar; nutritionally sugar and syrups like maple or agave are very similar and they will all raise your blood sugar... the only true 'no added sugar' recipes are those made with sweeteners, but personally I would rather just eat sugar and have less of it. Fibre, protein and fat can also help you blood sugar not to spike - avocados are high in fibre and contain good fats, whilst the soy yogurt contains some protein, helping to control your blood sugar. Avocado is also high in vitamin E, B vitamins, potassium, copper and vitamin C.

28 August 2017

Pizza Waffles

It could be argued that there's nothing better than freshly baked bread, the smell, the fluffy texture, still hot and steaming inside....unless of course, you take that bread dough and stuff it with pizza sauce and vegan cheddar, then cook it in a waffle iron, to create pizza waffles! All hot and crisp, oozing with melted cheeze, dipped in more of that delicious, herby pizza sauce...you just can't beat it! This is the perfect snack to share with company, especially this bank holiday Monday...These pizza waffles are a great recipe to make for kids, but adults will definitely appreciate their glory too!

The sauce is a simple one, made up of tinned tomatoes, tomato puree and some seasoning, but it's so incredibly flavourful! I used a vegan cheddar flavour cheeze for that extra bit of sharpness, but feel free to use your favourite. I also used a wholemeal seeded bread mix for the dough, to add some nutrition but also for convenience. You simply add water, wait an hour (the airing cupboard is a great place for bread to prove) and you've got fresh dough! I used a 500g bread mix which made 12 delicious pizza waffles. You can even freeze some of the dough if you don't need it and use it again for next time and if you can find ready made vegan pizza dough in your area then you can use this too. 

20 August 2017

Chocolate Hazelnut Buckwheat Granola

Chocolate Hazelnut Buckwheat Granola, or if I'm being more accurate, double-chocolate hazelnut buckwheat granola. It's a wonder how something packed with such nutritious ingredients can taste this incredible, but it really does. I packed this granola full of delicious ingredients like hazelnut butter, mulberries, cocao nibs, cocao powder, plus a few more.

I've wanted to make buckwheat granola since I came back from Slovenia and I finally decided on what flavour I was going to make - this granola may seem like it has a lot of 'fancy' ingredients, but I based it on all my favourite things at the moment and if you know where to get the items cheapest, it will cost a lot less!  I've recently discovered cocoa nibs really cheap in aldi and I bought the mulberries at half price in a health-food shop, but you could always use dark chocolate chunks and raisins instead.