Walnut ‘Meat’ Tacos with a Fresh Pineapple Salsa

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Walnut ‘Meat’ Tacos with a fresh Pineapple Salsa

I have had a couple of requests to upload the recipe for these walnut meat tacos.  I am a huge fan of Mexican food and love how social it feels, sitting around eating with your fingers and downing a couple of mojitos!  I would love to say the recipe is my own, but I have adapted it slightly from Aine Carlin’s The New Vegan.  I have made these tacos for my pop up low FODMAP brunch and the launch event I did with Makrobios.  They are super fresh, crunchy and the walnut ‘meat’ really is ‘meaty.’   They work perfectly as a vegan starter or as finger food and if you are interested into getting into the raw food movement this is a great introduction.

If you want to make this in advance I would recommend making all the elements separately, but fill the lettuce taco shells at the last minute or they will go soggy.  Also try and get the best quality walnuts you can, preferably organic as it will really make a difference to you finished dish.  My version of this recipe is low FODMAP as well as gluten free and vegan.

Walnut ‘Meat’ Tacos with a Fresh Pineapple salsa – serves 4 – 6 as a starter

130 g Organic Walnuts (I used Makrobios organic walnuts)

5 sun dried tomatoes and a tsp of their oil

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried coriander

1/2 tsp smoked paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper

1/2 tbsp of gluten free soy sauce

2 tbsp of olive oil (I used Clear Spring)

2 – 4 little gem lettuces, depending on their size

For the Salsa:

1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled and diced

1 yellow pepper, diced

a handful of chives, finely chopped

juice of one lime

a handful of fresh coriander chopped

An avocado, cut into thin slices and extra fresh chopped coriander for serving

Put the walnuts into a food processor and pulse into a coarse rubble. Add all the other ‘meat’ ingredients except the lettuce and pulse until it forms a crumbly ‘meaty’ texture.

For the salsa, simply combine all the ingredients together, mix and leave for a few minutes for the flavours to develop.

To build the tacos, separate the lettuce leave and spoon a little of the walnut meat into the centre.  Top with a slice of avocado, a spoonful of the salsa and a sprinkling of extra coriander.

 

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Baobab Bircher Muesli with Balsamic Roasted Cherries

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Baobab Bircher Muesli with Balsamic Roasted Cherries

Greetings from Krakow!  I have escaped the rain of Helsinki, for the rain of Poland!!  I have spent the day on a communist tour, travelling around in an old trabant and taking in the sites, culture and vodka! of Nowa Huta.  This will be my last baobab collaboration recipe with PONA .  I have loved getting to know the product and hopefully have given you some ideas of how to use baobab and boosted my nutritional levels at the same time.  I won’t repeat the benefits of adding baobab to your diet, but if you want more information visit http://www.pona.fi or look back at my previous posts.

This has to be one of my favourite breakfast dishes.  Creamy oats flavoured with baobab, apple, banana and cinnamon and topped with sweet juicy balsamic roasted cherries.  Like strawberries, balsamic vinegar really brings out the sweetness and flavour of the cherries, while the baobab adds a citrusy tang which helps bring the whole dish together.

You can easily make all the elements the night before and they will keep for 2 – 3 days.

Finally there is still time to use my discount code VEGEBRIT to get 20 % off your baobab order at http://www.pona.fi/shop until the end of the day (24.6.) so get your order in soon!!!

Baobab Bircher Muesli with Balsamic Roasted Cherries – serves 2 -3 

3 dl of organic oats (I used Myllärin gluten free oats)

5 dl almond or oat milk

2 tsp PONA organic baobab powder

1 ripe banana, grated

1 apple, grated

1/2 tsp of cinnamon

a pinch of salt

For the cherries:

150 g fresh cherries, halved (de-stoned weight)

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

a drizzle of olive oil

grated apple, toasted pecans, almonds and poppy seeds to decorate

Add all the bircher muesli ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Cover and leave overnight for the oats to soften and the flavours to develop.  To be honest the bircher is even better after a couple of days.

To roast the cherries place them in a bowl, drizzle with a little oil, then stir in the syrup and vinegar.  Spread on a lined baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 mins at 180 degrees c.  until soft and juicy.

Spoon generous helpings of the bircher into bowls, top with the cherries and sprinkle with a little fresh grated apple, poppy seeds and toasted nuts.

 

 

 

Orange, Baobab and Banana Pancakes

 

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Orange, Baobab and Banana Pancakes

Recipe 5 of my collaboration with PONA.   Today I decided to treat myself to a lazy Sunday breakfast and what could be better than a plate of fluffy pancakes.  These pancakes are super easy, but packed full of flavour.  Banana, Orange and Baobab is a match made in heaven. They make a great addition to any brunch, breakfast or after dinner treat, not to mention they are also far healthier than a traditional pancake and contain loads of potassium, vitamin C, anti-oxidants and more.  Naturally sweetened with banana and dates,  I served mine with maple syrup as an extra indulgence, but you can easily just pile them with sweet summer fruit.  The baobab helps make the pancakes super fluffy, so there is no need to add baking powder or bicarbonate of soda.

You only have one week left to use my discount code VEGEBRIT and get 20% off your order of organic Baobab powder at http://www.pona.fi/shop.  PONA is currently offering free delivery too, so there is no excuse not to order.  Check my other Baobab recipes  Baobab, Blackcurrant, Cardamom, Coconut Ice-PopsBaobab Carrot Falafel with Pea and Basil Hummus and Tahini SauceChocolate Orange Baobab Cake with Citrus Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting and Baobab and Turmeric Latte and you will see just how versatile Baobab can be to the vegan cook.

Orange, Baobab and Banana Pancakes – makes around 6 

45 g oats

3 medjool dates, de-stoned

1 small ripe banana

4 tbsp rice flour or other gluten free flour

1 tsp PONA’s Organic Baobab powder

zest of an orange

pinch of salt

2.5 dl of Oat Milk

vegetable oil/ coconut oil for frying

berries, slices of fresh orange, maple syrup, yoghurt etc for serving

Place the oats in a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse flour, add to the flour, orange zest and salt in a large bowl and set to one side.

Add the milk, dates, banana and baobab to the food processor and blend until smooth.  Pour into the dry ingredients and whisk well until you have a thick smooth batter.  Add a little extra milk if too thick.

Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook spoonfuls of the batter until golden, flipping once.

 

 

Baobab Carrot Falafel with Pea and Basil Hummus and Tahini Sauce

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Baobab Carrot Falafel with Pea and Basil Hummus and a Tahini Sauce

Part 3 of my collaboration with PONA.  If you have already added baobab to your smoothie bowl, yoghurt and cakes then why not try adding it to a savoury dish!  I have been really surprised just how versatile baobab can be.  These Baobab Carrot falafel are so good and easy to make.  Not only have I packed the bowl with loads of fresh veggies, but the baobab adds an extra nutritional boost.  Baobab can be particularly beneficial for vegans as it is packed full of Vitamin C and iron (vitamin C is necessary for the absorption of iron).  The baobab also really brings out the sweetness of the carrot and its addition removed the need to add flour to the recipe.

It may be raining here in Helsinki, but I guarantee this light fresh dish will make you feel like summer has come.  The crispy falafel work well hot or cold, so can easily be made in advance for a summer picnic or a party.  I recommend making the fresh, zingy pea hummus the day you intend to eat it, or the hummus will lose some of its vibrant green colour.  You can also serve the falafel in wraps, with homemade flatbreads, or as a tasty canapé topped with a spoon of hummus and some fresh micro herbs.

If carrot is not you thing then why not try my Beetroot Falafel Bowl and simply replace the flour with health-boosting baobab.

Finally remember you still have chance (until 24.6) to get a 20% discount off your order from PONA with my exclusive discount code VEGEBRIT. Click on the link or visit http://www.pona.fi/shop.

So why not start your summer off on the right foot and give baobab and my falafel a try, you definitely won’t regret it!

Baobab Carrot Falafel with Pea and Basil Hummus and Tahini Sauce – serves 4

For the Baobab Carrot Falafel:

250 g organic dried chickpeas, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed (I used Makrobios)

a handful of fresh coriander

a small red onion, finely chopped

2 small carrots, grated

a good pinch of smoked paprika

a good pinch of cardamom

a good pinch of cayenne pepper

4 tsp of PONA‘s organic Baobab powder

salt and pepper

oil for frying

 

For the Pea Hummus:

200 g frozen peas, defrosted

1 tsp of dried cumin

a handful of fresh basil

a splash of olive oil

a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice

salt and pepper

 

For the tahini sauce

1 dl of extra thick coconut milk

1 tbsp tahini

Fresh vegetables, leaves etc to serve

Start by making the pea hummus and tahini sauce.  For the hummus, add all the ingredients into a food processor and season.  Pulse, adding a little extra oil or water if necessary, until you have a hummus like texture.

To make the sauce, simply whisk the coconut milk and tahini together until smooth.

For the hummus, squeeze as much liquid as possible from the grated carrots and then add with all the other falafel ingredients into a food processor.  Season with salt and pepper.  Pulse until the falafel begin to come together.  You may have to do this in batches if you have a smaller machine.  The falafel will be easier to form if some of the mix is more finely blended.  Shape the mixture into falafel balls or mini patties, it should make around 30 falafel.  If you find that your mix falls apart it may be as you have left too much liquid in the carrots.  You can solve this by adding a little chickpea/ gluten free flour.   Shallow fry in batches until golden brown and crispy.

I served my falafel in a bowl with lambs leaf lettuce, chopped carrot, pepper, radish, avocado, cucumber, spring onion, yellow tomatoes and a mound of fresh pea hummus.  I then drizzled my falafel with a generous helping of tahini sauce

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Orange Baobab Cake with Citrus Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

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Chocolate Baobab Cake with Citrus Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

Here is my second recipe using PONA’s Baobab powder.  Remember you can get a 20 % discount off your order using my exclusive discount code VEGEBRIT at http://www.pona.fi/shop until 24.6.  PONA sources their baobab from a local co-op in Zimbabwe and have a commitment to only using organic fruit powder.  One of baobab’s biggest strengths is its versatility.  With high levels of fibre, it works well in cakes, breads and baking.   If you haven’t read my previous post, I will quickly repeat what a super food powerhouse baobab is, it contains:

  • 10 times more antioxidants than blueberries
  • More calcium than milk
  • More iron than red meat
  • More potassium than a banana
  • More magnesium than spinach
  • The high content of vitamin C allows for a better absorption of iron

So it is great for anyone wanting to boost their nutritional levels and for those on a vegan diet looking for another source of these essential vitamins and minerals.

This cake was inspired by Cat Elliot’s paleo mud cake.  I have mixed it up a little and serve this cold with a baobab citrus cashew cream cheese.  Baobab really boosts any citrusy flavour as well as helping the cake and icing to set properly.    The cake is super moist, wheat free and not too sweet.  It lasts well in the fridge and I topped mine with poppy seeds, edible rose petals and chopped toasted pecans.

Chocolate Orange Baobab Cake with a Citrus Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

Dry Ingredients:

200g of ground almonds

35g of raw cacao powder

4 Tbsp of PONA’s organic baobab powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

a pinch sea salt

 

Wet Ingredients:

3 tbsp of chia seeds

50g  of fresh blueberries blended with 1 dl of water

1 and 1/4 dl of maple syrup

2 tbsp melted coconut oil

zest of an orange

 

For the cashew Cream Cheese:

3 tsp PONA’s Baobab powder

125 g  cashews, soaked overnight, drained and rinsed

juice of 1/2 an orange

Zest and juice of a lime

1 tbsp coconut oil, melted

maple syrup (optional – see note below)

 

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees c. and grease and line a 22 cm round loose bottom cake tin.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and set to one side.  In another bowl add the chia seeds and 9 tbsp of water, stir and allow to thicken for a couple of minutes.  Stir in all the other wet ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.  Pour into your cake tin and bake for 35 – 40 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean.  Set to one side and allow to cool completely, preferably in the fridge.

Meanwhile make the cashew cream cheese.  Add all the ingredients, except the maple syrup, into a food processor and blend until super smooth and creamy.  Depending on how juicy you fruit is, you may need to add a little more juice or water, but remember the icing will get thicker as it cools in the fridge.  If you prefer a sweeter icing, add maple syrup to taste.  I chose to colour my icing with a little beetroot juice, but you could also use fruit powder, or simply leave it plain.

Carefully remove the cake from the tin.  The cake is fairly soft, however it will firm up the longer it is chilled.  Spread the cake with the cashew cream cheese.  Finally I decorated my cake with toasted pecans, poppy seeds and dried rose petals.

Allow the cake to chill in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving, this will allow the icing to firm and make the cake easier to cut.

 

Organic Baobab Powder – Collaboration with PONA and Webshop Discount Code

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Baobab Berry Smoothie Bowl, Yoghurt with Baobab, Cherries and Granola, Baobab Tumeric Latte

As  I have mentioned before I have been super busy with a number of projects, but now you will begin to see the fruits of my labours!  I have been lucky enough to try out PONA’s Organic Baobab powder.  PONA is a word in Shona meaning to heal or get better.  The company, based in Helsinki, was set up by three good friends who share a commitment to ethically sourced products and working with smaller local producers.   Baobab is an African super fruit, full of dietary fibre and packed with nutrients.  Baobab has more anti-oxidants than any other fruit, has more iron than red meat, and has high levels of potassium and magnesium.  The fruit dries while still on the branch, naturally producing an organic superfood powder.  It has a lemony citrus taste and can be added to yoghurt and smoothies, stirred into water to create a nutritious drink and can also be used in baking, pancakes and ice cream.  Baobab also thickens, which helps to quickly create jams and add depths to sauces, marinades and compotes.

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PONA’s Organic Baobab Powder

It has been great to get to know the product and see how versatile it can be.   I will be posting a series of recipes and hope to give you an idea of how Baobab can easily be added into your diet to boost your dishes and intensify citrusy fruity flavours.  PONA’s Organic Baobab powder is currently available in John’s Coffee Shop and Kuuma. However if you order online now (9.6. – 24.6.) with my exclusive discount code you will get 20% off your order!  Go to PONA’s webshop at http://pona.fi/shop/ or click on one of the links in this post, and use the discount code VEGEBRIT to get a 20% discount off their Baobab powder (unfortunately it is currently only available in Finland).

I began by simply adding a teaspoon or two to boost my smoothie bowls and yoghurt (pictured above) and moved on to this Baobab Turmeric Latte.  It is a super easy way to introduce yourself to using Baobab, not to mention it is packed full of healthy goodness!  So why not give PONA’s Baobab a try?  During the next two weeks I will be posting more Baobab recipes from cakes and pancakes to bircher muesli and ice pops so you can get an idea of what can be done with this superfood powder.

Baobab Turmeric Latte – makes 2 lattes

4 dl almond milk

1 heaped tsp PONA’s Organic Baobab Powder

1 heaped tsp turmeric

2 tsp maple syrup

2 small cinnamon sticks

4 cardamon pods, crushed

a good pinch of ground ginger

a pinch of pepper

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Baobab Turmeric Latte

Pour the milk into a small pan and slowly heat, add all the spice ingredients and allow to infuse for 3 – 5 mins.

Pour through a sieve into 2 cups and top with a little extra cinnamon.  If you wish you can whisk the milk, or whizz it up quickly in a heat proof blender to create some foam before serving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Rolls with a crunchy Peanut Dipping Sauce

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Rainbow Rolls with a Crunchy Peanut Dipping Sauce

It finally feels as is summer is coming to Finland.  The snow has stopped and my balcony furniture has been brought out of storage!  Today we have been cycling around Helsinki and enjoying terrace season at Birgitta.  The weather inspired me to make these beautiful rainbow summer rolls.  They are so colourful and simple to make.  I love the crunchy fresh vegetables with the peanut dipping sauce.  Feel free to add tofu or another source of protein as you wish, but I kind of like these in all their veggie glory.

Rainbow rolls with peanut dipping sauce – serves 2 – 3 people

10 Rice paper spring roll sheets

1 pack of vermicelli rice noodles

colourful veg for filling (avocados, peppers, cucumber, carrots, red cabbage etc)

shoots, cress or crunchy lettuce

small bunch of coriander or mint

For the sauce:

4 tbsp crunchy peanut butter

2 tbsp gluten free soy sauce

2 tbsp coconut or palm sugar

juice of 1/2 lime

1 tsp sriracha chilli sauce

Soak the rice noodles in hot water for ten minutes until they soften.  Meanwhile dip the rice papers in warm water and layer between damp sheets of kitchen paper/ paper towel and leave for 2 minutes until they become soft and semi-transparent.

Take a sheet of rice paper and place you veg in tight rows in the centre of the round. Top with a handful of drained rice noodles, a little of the fresh herbs and a bunch of shoots or lettuce, depending on what you are using.  Fold over the top end of the rice paper, roll the sides over the filling and finally fold the bottom end to seal the filling into the roll.  Repeat until you have used up all your rice papers.

To make the dipping sauce, simply whisk together all the ingredients and then thin a little with some warm water.

Update! 

I have been lucky enough to test New Whites new product.  While I normally try to use vegan products I have some vegetarian readers.  New Whites is made from 94 % egg white and is packed with protein.  So for any vegetarians reading, this is a good edition to the rainbow rolls if you want to up your protein.

 

 

Exciting times

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Primrose’s Kitchen Raw Beetroot and Ginger Muesli

I have been quite busy recently, but these are exciting times!  Next week I am helping Makrobios.fi with a launch event for a range of new products they are bringing to Finland.  The theme of the evening is healthy snacks and party food.  I will be preparing some vegan finger food, there will be talks from the brands and the people attending will get to decorate my smoothie bowls.

One of the product ranges is Primrose Kitchen’s mueslis and granolas.  Whilst I normally make my own granola, I have to say they are really good.  They are vegan, gluten free and don’t contain any nasty additives.  Above I paired their raw beetroot and ginger muesli with my cacao and maca smoothie bowl.  I always think beetroot and chocolate work well together.  I still have four flavours to try, the courgette and cacao looks particularly good.

It is really nice to get involved in something outside my own kitchen and hopefully it is the first of many collaborations and events.

I will be posting some pictures from the event and reporting how it went, for now I am just looking forward to meeting everyone who is attending and crossing my fingers that they like my food.

UPDATE!

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Primrose’s Kitchen Courgette cacao granola

I am pleased to report the courgette cacao granola is crazy good.  My favourite so far, it worked really well with yoghurt, fresh fruit, medjool dates and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses.

Hummus recipe – 4 ways

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Hummus – 4 ways

Did you know that yesterday was international hummus day?  If you have been following my blog, you will know my love for the almighty chickpea.  It is incredibly versatile and of course they are used for the base of most hummus.  I didn’t have time to post this yesterday, but I celebrated hummus day in style with four different types of hummus.  Below is a base recipe which you can then add different flavours and mix up your hummus styles.  Pictured above are a pea and mint hummus, a beetroot hummus, a roasted red pepper and garlic hummus and finally a hummus flavoured with zhoug, a yemenite spice paste with fresh coriander, parsley and cloves.  I actually think the zhoug was my favourite.  I picked up a jar last time I was in the UK and it adds a spicy herb flavour which really brings the hummus alive.

On a side note, I made a batch of Irish soda bread to serve with my hummus.  I used my Vegan Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Irish Soda Bread recipe, but just left out the chocolate, sugar and cranberries and topped the bread with loads of seeds before baking.

Basic Hummus recipe

250 g canned chickpeas (retain the chickpea water from the can)

2 tsp dried cumin

2 tsp dried coriander

1/2 tsp of dried garlic powder

1/2 tsp dried onion powder

1 heaped tsp tahini

good squeeze of lemon

a glug of olive oil

a good pinch of salt

Add all the ingredients to a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Add a little of the chickpea water if the mix is too thick.  Check the seasoning and add more of any of the spices or salt as required.

For the Zhoug hummus

simply add 2 tbsp of zhoug paste to hummus and stir through

For the Beetroot hummus

Peel 300 g of beetroot and cut into chunks.  Sprinkle with oil and salt and roast in the oven for 40 mins until tender at 180 degrees.  Once cool add to the hummus and pulse until thoroughly combined.  I usually leave out the garlic, onion powder and tahini as I think it gives a more beetrooty flavour.  You will also probably need to add a little extra chickpea water or oil or the mixture will be very thick.

For the Roasted Red Pepper and Garlic hummus

Cut two red peppers into chunks and roast with 2 cloves of garlic in the oven for 30 mins at 180 degrees, until the peppers begin to char.  Squeeze the roasted garlic from their cases and add with the red peppers and a tsp of smoked paprika to the hummus and pulse until thoroughly combined.  I think this works best with an extra squeeze or two of lemon juice.

For the Pea and Mint Hummus

This hummus does not use the base recipe above.  Simply add 200 g of defrosted frozen peas, a handful of fresh mint, a squeeze of lemon juice, a glug of olive oil, a good pinch of salt and 2 tsp of dried cumin to a food processor and pulse until smooth.  Add a little water if the mixture is too thick.

Vegan Rice Pudding with Oranges and Roasted Vanilla Rhubarb

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Rice Pudding with Oranges and Roasted Vanilla Rhubarb

Sometimes I crave something comforting, especially when it is still snowing here in Helsinki mid way through May!! This rice pudding is super creamy and satisfying.  It works perfectly with fresh oranges and roasted rhubarb, the tart fruit cutting through the rich soft rice.  I added 1 tbsp of maple syrup, but to be honest it doesn’t really need it.  I was trying to recreate the tinned ambrosia rice pudding from my youth, which is incredibly sweet, so I indulged in the extra syrup!.  However I would definitely leave it out if you are having this for breakfast.  The porridge is good both hot and cold, so make a big batch and leave the rest in the fridge to enjoy when you want.  If the porridge gets too thick just add a splash more milk.

Vegan Rice Pudding with Oranges and Roast Vanilla Rhubarb – serves 2 – 3

120 g Pudding rice

4 dl of roasted almond milk

2 dl of extra thick coconut milk

1 dl water

a good pinch of salt

seeds from a vanilla pod or 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder

1 tbsp maple syrup (optional)

For the Rhubarb:

200 g rhubarb

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

1 large orange

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.  Add all the porridge ingredients to a large pot and cook on a low temperature for 45 mins, stirring regularly.  Add a little extra milk or water if the porridge becomes too thick.

Meanwhile roast the rhubarb.  Clean and cut the rhubarb into 3 – 5 cm pieces and  arrange on a baking tray.  Cut the orange in half and put one half aside. Zest one of the halves and sprinkle over the rhubarb with the coconut sugar.  Squeeze over the juice and give the rhubarb a good mix.  Roast for 20 -25 mins until the fruit is soft and tender, but retains it shape.

Serve the porridge with slices of orange from the retained half and the roasted rhubarb.

Avocado and Basil Raw Tart

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Avocado and Basil Raw Tart

This was my first attempt at a raw savoury tart, but it definitely won’t be my last.  Although Spring still isn’t quite sure whether it has arrived in Finland yet,  I wanted to try a summery recipe.  The avocado, basil and spinach pesto filling is super fresh and tasty and works well with a topping of crunchy seeds and nuts.  The base is adapted from a recipe from Aine Carlin´s The New Vegan.  Just make sure you give the grated carrots a really good squeeze or your base will end up soggy!  If I was making this for a party or brunch I think I would make individual tarts, so I would get a cleaner finish.

Avocado and Basil Raw Tart – makes one 36 cm x 10 cm tart or equivalent size

For the base:

2 small carrots, peeled and finely grated

120 g walnuts

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

1/2 tbsp ground coriander

1/2 tbsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp ground paprika

1 and 1/2 tbsp coconut oil

3 sun blush/ semi-dried tomatoes

freshly ground salt and pepper

 

For the filling:

50 g fresh basil

25 g spinach

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp sunflower seeds

1 tbsp pine nuts

a good slug of olive oil

a generous handful of almonds

a good squeeze of lemon or lime juice

freshly ground salt and pepper

3 – 4 avocados, depending on their size

For the base, start by squeezing out as much juice as possible from the carrots.  Add to a blender with all the other ingredients and pulse until it begins to come together.  Spoon into a tin lined with cling-film or baking paper and flatten tightly to form the base and sides of the tart.  Put into the fridge for an hour to set.

Meanwhile make the filling.  Add all the ingredients, except the avocados into a blender.  Pulse to form a thick pesto.  Taste and add more oil, juice and seasoning if necessary.

Peel and destone the avocados.  Mash a little with a fork, but leave some chunks for bite. Stir in the pesto, and pour into the base.  Refrigerate for another hour.

Remove from the tin and decorate as you wish.  I used almonds, pistachios, sunflower, pumpkin and poppy seeds, chopped sun-dried tomatoes and some fresh basil.

 

Vegan Eton Mess

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Vegan Eaton Mess

I have already had a crazy busy week and it is only Wednesday, so only time for a quick post.  This time for another veganised english classic.  Eaton mess is a mix of cream, strawberries and meringue.  It couldn’t be easier and tastes great.  It is also a great way to use up any over ripe strawberries and the water from your chickpea can.  You can find my recipe for vegan chick pea juice meringue here.  One note, chickpea meringue tends to soften very quickly when it comes into contact with something wet like cream, so I would recommend folding in all the ingredients just before serving.

Eaton Mess – serves 4

400 g strawberries

250 ml plant based whipping cream

1 – 2 tbsp sugar

meringue

Start by blending half the strawberries into a puree.  Pass through a sieve and stir in the sugar (use as much or as little as you like, but remember the meringue is very sweet).

Chop the remaining strawberries into pieces, whip the plant based cream and break the meringue into chunks.

Carefully fold the strawberries and meringue into the cream.  Pour in the blended strawberries and stir lightly to create a marbled effect.

Spoon into bowls and enjoy.

Date and Raisin Energy Balls

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Date and Raisin Energy Balls

I have recently been trying to cut down the amount of sugary snacks I eat.  This simple energy ball / bliss ball, recipe is super easy and the best thing is you can have fun with the decoration and ingredients.  Although these balls contain some fruit sugar from the dried fruit, they contain no refined sugar and the oats help keep you fuller for longer.

The recipe below is for the basic ball recipe, I have not included decorations as you can feel free to use whatever you have available.  Just a few examples include coconut, cacao nibs, bee pollen, dried flowers, fruit powders, pistachios and toasted almonds.  I love the combination of medjool dates, raw cacao and maca powder as I think it gives the balls a malted chocolate caramel flavour.

Date and Raisin Energy Balls – makes 15 – 20 balls 

90 g raisins, soaked overnight or see note below

90 g medjool dates, destoned

100 g gluten free oats

3 tbsp almond butter

2 tbsp cacao powder

2 tsps maca powder

1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp whole almonds (you can easily swap these for pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts etc)

a pinch of salt

1 tsp of vanilla essence (you could use a few drops of almond essence if you prefer)

Drain any remaining water from you raisins and add along with the other ingredients to a food processor.  Pulse until the mixture begins to come together.  If you mixture is too dry add a few drops of water.  It should be sticky and chewy, but not so sticky that you cannot roll it into balls.

Roll teaspoons of the mixture into balls and then roll again in any decoration you wish.  You can also leave the balls plain, they are still super tasty.

Store in an airtight container or jar to prevent them from drying out.

If you are in a rush and forget to soak your raisins overnight, you can shorten this step by covering the raisins in boiling water and leaving them to soak for 20 -30 mins.  However I would recommend leaving them to soak as long as possible, so the balls are extra juicy and nice.

 

Bombay Green Masala Curry

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Bombay Green Masala Curry

Curry’s are great, tasty, easy to make and good for using up left over veggies.  This Bombay Green Masala curry is coconut milk based and full of fresh coriander, ginger, lime and chilli.  I found this recipe whilst flicking through an old Jamie magazine, but have adapted it to make it vegan friendly.  I had a some left over chickpeas, a packet of Jalotofu and some spinach which worked really well.  I served the curry with a fresh lemon chutney, black rice from Makrobios and naan bread.  If you have any leftovers, it tastes even better the next day!

Bombay Green Masala Curry – serves 4

oil for frying

3 large onions, cut in half and sliced thinly

270 g packet of tofu, cut into bite size pieces

1 can of chickpeas, drained

large handful of fresh spinach

For the Sauce

4 dl coconut milk

100 g coriander

30 g unsalted peanuts

3 cloves of garlic

2 green chilli

juice of 2 limes

3 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp coconut sugar

1/4 tsp turmeric

toasted almonds, rice, naan, mango chutney or anything else you like to serve

Take a large saucepan and start by frying your onions in a little oil over a medium heat.  Continue frying, stirring occasionally,  until they turn golden brown (around 20 – 30 mins).  Remove half the onions and reserve for later use.

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Meanwhile add all the sauce ingredients, except half the lime juice, into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Once the onions are cooked add the sauce to the saucepan and cook for 2 – 3 mins.  Turn the heat down and add the chickpeas and tofu.  Allow to simmer for 15 mins.

Just before serving stir in the spinach and allow to wilt.  Squeeze in the remaining lime juice and check the seasoning, adding a little salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve sprinkled with the remaining fried onions.

Vegan Beetroot Granola Recipe

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Vegan Beetroot Granola

I have noticed a growing trend for adding a savoury element into what would normally be a sweet dish.  Think porridge with sweet potato, smoothie bowls with carrot or cucumber and here, my beetroot granola.  I love beetroot and it adds an earthy sweetness to the granola, not to mention it looks great.  I have tried to use as little refined sugar as possible, sweetening the granola with apple sauce and a little maple syrup.  However if you have a sweet tooth, feel free to add a couple of table spoons of coconut or muscovado sugar.  I served mine with some blueberries, coconut yoghurt and sliced plums.

Beetroot Granola

200 g Beetroot – roughly 1 medium size or 2 small beetroot

180 g large gluten free oats (I used Myllärin)

50g pumpkin seeds

50 g sunflower seeds

50 g pecans or hazelnuts

50 g whole almonds

2 tbsp dried ginger

2 tbsp cinnamon

pinch of salt

50 g cranberries

50 g dried apricots chopped

125 g sugar free apple sauce

3 tbsp oil

4 tbsp maple syrup

Start by wrapping you beetroot, skin on, in foil and roast in the oven at 180 degrees for 1 – 1.5 hours until they are super soft. Leave to cool. Meanwhile mix the oats, nuts and seeds in a large bowl.

Peel your beetroot and place in a food processor with the apple sauce, syrup, salt, cinnamon and ginger. Blitz until the mixture is smooth. Pour over your dry ingredients and mix thoroughly making sure everything is well coated with the beetroot mixture.

Pour onto a lined baking tray and bake at 170 degrees for 40 mins. Every 10 mins or so, give the granola a mix to allow it to toast evenly and prevent it from burning.

Once ready allow to cool and finally mix in the dried fruit.