Asparagus Courgette Artichoke Spelt Stir fry with Garlic Basil Pesto

In a bid to eat more vegetables my family and I are trying out some vegan alternatives to our evening meals.

This recipe is tasty and filling, packed full of vitamins and due to the spelt protein also. Give it a try and let me know your thoughts!

Ingredients

300g Green asparagus tips

1 small courgette

150g mushrooms

100g cooked artichokes

200g spelt

4 tbsp wild garlic pesto (recipe below)

Salt & Pepper to taste

Ingredients (wild garlic pesto)

40g wild garlic

5g fresh basil

30g pumpkin seeds

1tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

3tbsp olive oil (I used truffle infused)

1tbsp water

1tbsp lemon juice

Salt & Pepper

Method

  1. Cook spelt according to packaged instructions and drain any excess water.
  2. Cut courgettes lengthways and thinly slice, cut the asparagus spears in half and slice the mushrooms.
  3. Heat up a large pan and add 1tbsp of olive oil. Fry the courgettes until lightly brown.
  4. Add asparagus and fry for 3mins. Add the mushrooms and artichoke hearts and fry for another 3mins. Add in the cooked spelt and mix well.
  5. Mix in the wild garlic pesto and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Love cake….the Persian way!

I’ve seen many versions of this cake and have been desperate to recreate it to see if it truly is as good as it sounds. Well verdict is it’s better than I ever imagined…

Imagine flavours of almond, cardamom and rose with a light soft crumbly cake that melts in your mouth. Simply divine! Many of the ingredients are used in Indian deserts so I was drawn to these flavours from the recipe alone.

You can make this as a healthy version and cut the sugar content or replace with Stevia. Either way you will not be disappointed.

Recipe below…

Ingredients

  • 2 cups / 200g ground almonds (almond flour)
  • 1 1/2 cups / 165g semolina
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 120 g / 8 tbsp unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar , packed (150g)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (150g)
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 g / 1 cup plain yoghurt
  • Zest of one orange
  • 50 g / 2 oz raw pistachios , chopped or slivered (or almonds)

SYRUP:

  • 1/3 cup / 85 ml lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup / 70g white sugar
  • 3 tbsp+ rosewater (adjust to taste, start with less)

Method

  • Preheat oven 180C/350F (standard) or 160C/320F (fan). Grease and line a 22cm/9″ cake tin.
  • Mix ground almonds, semolina, baking powder, nutmeg and cardamom in bowl.
  • Beat butter and both sugars with an electric beater until incorporated. Add eggs, beat until smooth. Then add yoghurt and orange zest, beat until smooth.
  • Add dry ingredients. Stir until mixed through.
  • Pour into pan, smooth surface. Scatter over pistachios.
  • Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour, until skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Poke 30 – 40 holes all over the cake using a skewer (poke all the way through). Pour warm syrup over while cake still hot. Leave to soak for 1 hour+ before removing from pan. Cool then slice to serve.
  • Decorate with dried rose petals or dust with icing / confectionary sugar
SYRUP:
  • Place ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to simmer and stir to dissolve sugar. Simmer for 2 minutes. Keep warm (or reheat) for pouring.

 

Cucumber & mint mini muffins with rosewater buttercream

My absence from the blog scene has many layers of life issues but it all began at the time when I blended my finger (yes gruesome I know) whilst baking…. so life then takes over with all its ups and downs and personal matters that I’d rather save for another time… 3mths later and I’m only just getting down to some new recipes.

I’m back for now with a little something sweet that will tickle your tastebuds. Small bite sized and packed full of flavour! Cooking with salad or vegetables in a muffin or cake doesn’t sound right but how moorish can a carrot cake be?

Hold that thought and try these beauts! Strong scent, flavour and a combination that actually worked…. here comes the recipe

Ingredients

  • 200g cucumber (about half a cucumber)

  • ½ cup (about a handful) fresh mint leaves

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 115g (½ cup) coconut oil (or butter), softened

  • 150g (3/4) coconut sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2 eggs

  • 150g (1⅛ cups) self raising flour

  • Pinch of salt

  • For the Rose Water Buttercream:

  • 75g (1/3 cup) butter, softened

  • 150g (1⅛ cups) powdered icing sugar

  • 1 tsp rose water (I used more as I love rose water)

  • 1-2 tablespoons milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Line a 12 cup muffin tray or a larger mini muffin tray.
  2. Leave the skin on the cucumber and de-seed it by cutting it in half lengthways and scraping the seeds out with a teaspoon. Cut into chunks and puree until smooth in a blender. Add the mint leaves and lemon juice and blend until smooth.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each one in well.
  5. Stir in ⅓ of the flour (with the salt), then add ⅓ of the cucumber and continue alternating until it is all combined.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool slightly in the tin then cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For the Rose Water Buttercream:

  1. Beat the butter, icing sugar, rose water and 1 tablespoon of milk together until smooth and fluffy. Add more milk if necessary to make it a frosting consistency. Keep in the fridge until ready to ice the cupcakes.

  1. Pipe the buttercream evenly in the centre of each muffin

  1. Garnish after icing with a small sprig of fresh mint.

Enjoy! Let me know how they turn out if you try this recipe.

Rose en Rose Raw Cheescake🌹 

Still experimenting but this one is definitely a winner and one to be repeated in my kitchen. 


Growing up in India my sister and I would sample the taste of rose petals from our garden wrapped around sugar granules… may sound odd but the taste was devine and a delicacy we looked forward to! So when trying to conjure up a Raw Cheescake flavour – rose just seemed to be different enough to excite me. It’s subtle and you only need a hint but it truly tasted amazing and was polished off within hours by all the family.
Here’s the recipe if you are adventurous enough to try it!

Ingredients – Base

  • 1 1/2 cups Pecan nuts (soaked)
  • 12 Medjool Dates (pitted)
  • 2tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh Red Berries (any)

Ingredients – Cheescake

  • 3 cups Cashew Nuts (soaked)
  • 8tbsp Lemon juice
  • 6tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 5tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 2tbsp Rose Water
  • 2tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2tsp Salt

To finish

Decorate with edible Rose Petals

Method

  1. Blitz all the base layer ingredients and line a spring form cake tin (9 inch), then place in the freezer to set for 1 hr
  2. Blend all the cheesecake layer ingredients until smooth texture, taste and add more lemon juice/salt/maple syrup to taste.
  3. Spoon out the mixture over the base layer and evenly spread, then freeze for 5hrs.
  4. Once set remove from freezer and carefully release from tin and transfer to a serving dish. 
  5. Decorate the top of the cheesecake generously with edible dried rose petals. Simples!

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did! 🌹

Coffee & Walnut Brownie Cake

coffee walnut brownie cake

In a quest to kick start some healthy eating ahead of the summer months, I am exploring alternatives for my sweet-tooth. Many of my friends are trying out sugar free and dairy free diets, and what I am discovering is that it can be easy to reduce, and often, cut out the ‘nasties’ with a little thought and upfront preparation. I have always had a penchant for sweet food and denying all such food just sends me into a spiral of extremely bad food choices. So a little here and there keeps me balanced…and what is even better is a healthy alternative that is guilt free!

So here it is, my first attempt at a raw dessert! A coffee and walnut brownie cake – sugar free, dairy free, gluten free…but definitely not nut free!

Before I share the recipe below – I need to point out that I am not vegan. I sometimes try some vegan foods and raw foods but I still enjoy consuming ‘protein’ in other forms. Being a food lover means I want to try everything and then decide what to include into my regular diet. I also love baking, and although you don’t ‘bake’ as such with this dessert…it was rewarding nonetheless and has opened up the desire to try more.

My family and I devoured this and I would say it served 8-10 ppl. The cake is quite rich so a smallish slice is sufficient with some herbal tea 🙂

RECIPE

Ingredients

Brownie Base:

  • 100g walnuts
  • 50g blanched hazelnuts
  • 100g medjool dates (pitted and chopped)
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • A splash of water, as needed

For the cake:

  • 3 frozen bananas, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g walnuts, soaked for 20 minutes
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 decaf espresso shot

Topping:

  • 50g walnuts, some finely chopped and some roughly
  • handful of goji berries
  • 50g cacao butter
  • 2 heaped tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 decaf espresso shot
  • 1 tbsp stevia powder

Method

Brownie Base

  1. Soak walnuts, hazelnuts and chopped dates in water for 20 minutes to soften.
  2. Drain them and pulse in a food processor until they begin to form a rough batter.
  3. Add a splash of water to help the processor.
  4. Add the cacao powder and flaxseed, transfer to a bowl and knead for a few minutes with your hands.
  5. The batter should be quite tough but still pliable, and hold well together.
  6. Press into a lined 8″ spring-form tin.
  7. Leave in the fridge to firm up.

Cake

  1. Again, soak the nuts and chopped dates for 20 minutes, then drain.
  2. Blend at high speed in the food processor or blender, adding the espresso, vanilla extract and water as you go.
  3. When the mixture is smoother, add the frozen bananas and keep blending until perfectly smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour over the brownie base in the spring-form cake tin and store in the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Topping

  1. Roughly chop the cacao butter, and place in a bowl over some boiling water and let it melt. Once melted, vigorously whisk in the cacao powder, stevia and espresso, then set aside to cool for five to ten minutes.
  2. Carefully take the cake out of the spring-form cake tin. Drizzle/spread the cacao sauce over the cake (depending on the consistency). Then finish off with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts and goji berries.
  3. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes or so.

Thinking of deconstructing another family favourite – Carrot Cake next into a raw dessert…let me know if that would be of interest to share?

Mint Choc Protein Smoothie

Im kicking myself that I’ve not tried this before! An incredible craving buster of a smoothie.

For many of you your New Year’s health kick probably started a week ago but with my extra week off work I’m only just feeling the need to be healthy. It’s bad, I know, but at least I’m honest.

Still craving chocolate, sweet treats and stodgy food but trying my best to avoid these from today.

Try this amazing recipe, it has made me realise just how easy being healthy can be… use the right ingredients and you don’t need to cut out what you love entirely.

Mint Chocolate Protein Smoothie

Ingredients 

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  • 1-2 drops of pure peppermint extract
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • 1 small scoop of cocoa powder
  • Some chopped dark chocolate (for garnish)

Method

  • Add all ingredients except the dark chocolate to a blender
  • Blend for 5 sec to ensure all ingredients are combined (or longer if a less powerful blender)
  • Pour into a tall glass and garnish with the dark chocolate

Hey presto … nothing easier and now my ‘go to treat’ when I’m missing my desserts! 

Frittata Frittata!

I just felt like frittata!

If you love eggs then this simple recipe will hit the spot… perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner.

Kale, Feta and Pea Frittata

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 4cloves of finely chopped garlic
  • Kale- Two handfuls chopped
  • Peas- 1/2 cup
  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 7-8 eggs beaten
  • Feta Cheese- half a block crumbled

Method

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet.
  2. Add the garlic and fry for 30sec until lightly brown.
  3. Add the kale and sauté for 3mins.
  4. Add the peas and cook together for a further 1min. Add salt and paper to taste.
  5. Pour the eggs into the pan, covering all the ingredients and mixing to evenly spread.
  6. Sprinkle the feta over the top of the skillet and cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5mins.
  7. Once the eggs are cooked and brown around the edges (but undercooked in the middle), place the pan under a grill and cook until browning on the top and eggs are almost cooked.
  8. Transfer delicately to a large plate and serve!


Light, fluffy and with a little chilli sauce it’s perfect!

Let me know if you try this.

Fluffy American Style Buckwheat Pancakes


This easy recipe is a must for pancake fans who want to try a healthier version! (Makes 3-4)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (75g) buckwheat flour
  • 1/3 cup (100ml) almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder *
  • 1 tsp coconut oil, for cooking

INSTRUCTIONS 

Whisk together the egg with the almond milk. Sift the buckwheat flour and baking powder into a bowl with the liquids, whisk until smooth. The batter should be thick but pourable, feel free to add a touch more liquid or flour for your desired consistency.

Heat a frying pan on low to medium heat.

Roughly pour a ladel of the pancake batter into the frying pan and cook for 2-3 minutes or until small bubbles appear. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes.

Transfer to a plate and continue cooking the remaining batter.

* Make sure your baking powder is aluminium and gluten free if gluten intolerant

I cooked mine as above with no sugar or butter, and added berries, grilled bacon and maple syrup (honey would also be nice).

You can also make batches of these pancakes and freeze them. To enjoy at a later time all you need to do is pop them in a toaster to lightly heat through and enjoy a quick breakfast.

Yummy but healthy comfort food!

Lunchtime treat

When I’m feeling run down and need a good detox there’s nothing better than this lovely pick me up!

Energy boosting fennel, beetroot, celery and pear! Hits the spot and means I can have a healthy drink with my lunch (chicken, couscous and some protein punching nuts)…feel better already 👍🏼

 

Sashimi Sashimi!

If you’re struggling for healthy, carb free, sugar free lunches then sashimi is most definitely a tasty alternative. There are so many lunch places now offering fresh sashimi or sushi boxes. I have found one that does a mixed Tuna and Salmon Sashimi in a pack with soy sauce, wasabi, pickled ginger and chopsticks. Its not cheap but buying sashimi grade tuna and salmon is not easy, so not a lunch I would bring from home!

I had the above for my lunch today, consuming a good amount of protein without any fat, salts or added impurities.

Nutritional Facts

  • 1 piece of Tuna Sashimi
    • 31 Calories
    • 0.067g Saturated Fat
    • 6.63g Protein
  • 1 piece of Salmon Sashimi
    • 41 Calories
    • 0.357g Saturated Fat
    • 6.13g Protein

So by my calculations (I didn’t manage to finish it all) I consumed 247 calories, 1.339g Saturated Fat, 44g Protein! Blasted it! That’s not bad for a lunch – I can afford a treat later now 🙂