Lemon and Herb “Cheese” Spread

 

Nutritional yeast, if you’ve not heard of it you might be wondering what in the world is that? It’s a deactivated yeast that adds a slightly nutty or tangy flavour to savoury dishes. I grabbed my first tin of it about a year ago. To say I was a little sceptical is an understatement,  but it didn’t take long to get me hooked. It resembles commercial fish food flakes but don’t be put of by this, please. It adds such a delicious tang a je ne sais quoi that I sprinkle it onto  just about every savoury dish I can.

DSC_0405.JPG

This recipe here my friends is gold. A vegan cheese spread perfect for those with milk allergies/intolerances or for those just trying to reduce the amount of animal products in their diet (go you!). I’ve tried a lot (A LOT) of the commercial vegan cheese brands and have found the majority to be unpalatable, inedible in fact. Having searched several recipes for a vegan cheese spread and several attempts at making  it I think I cracked it here.

DSC_0410

Lemon and Herb “Cheese Spread”

Ingredients

400g Firm Tofu

4 tablespoon Nutritional Yeast

1 large Garlic Clove crushed

2 tablespoons of Lemon Zest

6-8 tablespoons of Lemon Juice

½  teaspoon Salt

¼ teaspoon Black Pepper

½ cup Chives, finely chopped

¼ cup Parsley, finely chopped

Method

Place all of the above ingredients into the large bowl of a food processor, start with 6 tablespoons of lemon juice and add extra to your own taste. Whizz everything together until everything is combined and  you have a relatively smooth “cheese”.

DSC_0398.JPG

Delicious served on toast or mixed though vegetables or pasta, just like you would any other cheese really. Hope you enjoy!

Note* Keeps for a week, stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

Ratatouille

One of my all time favourite summer dishes is ratatouille. Simple, delicious and bursting with the flavours of summer. When  I lived in France (many moons ago it seems) I would head down to the Saturday market and grab all of the ingredients, amongst other things, to make a big batch of this for the week ahead. There I would use fresh tomatoes  as they were so juicy and perfectly ripe. I use passata in the recipe as good quality ripe tomatoes aren’t always so easy to come by. If you can find some ripe and juicy tomatoes substitute them in for the passata.

DSC_0247

Served hot or cold it makes for a delicious side dish or served alone with some cous cous (my personal favourite) to soak up all the juice.

 

Ratatouille

Ingredients

1 large Red Onion, peeled and sliced

2 cloves of Garlic, crushed

1 medium Aubergine, diced into 1cm cubes

1 large Courgette, sliced into 1 cm thick rounds

1 Red Pepper, cut into thick slices

1 Green Pepper, cut into thick slices

250 ml Passata

1 tablespoon of Olive Oil

1  Bay Leaf

2-3 sprigs of Fresh Thyme

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Black Pepper

Handful of Fresh Basil

DSC_0240.JPG

Method

  • Place a large heavy based saucepan over a medium heat. Add in the olive oil.
  • Once the oil is heated add in the onion and cook until the onion has softened and starts to take some colour.
  • Now add in the garlic, stir about until it turns golden brown.
  • Add in the aubergine, red pepper, green pepper and courgette. Fry these off for a few minute to give them some colour.
  • Add in the passata, salt, pepper, thyme and bay leaf, stir everything together.
  • Lower the heat to a low flame and leave to simmer for 20-25 minutes, until all the vegetables are cooked.
  • Place in a serving dish and sprinkle over some fresh basil.

 

Enjoy! X x

Salted Caramel Overnight Oats

So I think this sounds a lot fancier than it is. In reality it requires four ingredients and very minimal effort to make this flavour bomb. I found the CoYo salted caramel a few weeks ago and oh my word this stuff is unreal. I didn’t think it would taste as good as it does so perhaps that has helped in my positive reaction. I was eating it on it’s own, then I had a lightbulb moment. Imagine having this for breakfast. BAM salted caramel overnight oats was born.

DSC_0228.JPG

Salted Caramel Overnight Oats (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients

1 x 125g pot of Coyo Salted Caramel Coconut Milk Yoghurt Alternative

1 Cup of Oats

1 Cup of Coconut Milk (Tetra pack, not canned)

Few drops of Vanilla Extract

DSC_0226.JPG

Method

  • Place all the ingredient in a bowl or jar and stir together until everything is combined.
  • Leave in the fridge overnight, or a least a few hours.

The next morning serve out a portion and top with your favourite fruit (I love strawberries) and maybe even a cheeky dollop of peanut butter. Enjoy! x

Sweetcorn Fritters

These sweet and spicy sweetcorn fritters are one of my staples. I love my sweet breakfasts (hello overnight oats) but these savoury pancakes make a welcome addition to the brunch table. They can be whipped up in minutes making them perfect for when I’m in need of something delicious but running short on time. Double up the recipe and you have lunch for tomorrow!

16252294_1425612324124413_1742466239291779874_o

Sweetcorn Fritters (Serves 2)

Ingredients:

1 Cup Sweetcorn

1 large Egg

½ teaspoon of fresh red chilli

1 spring Onion

2 tablespoons of Fresh Coriander

¼ cup Flour

¼ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon Baking Powder

DSC_1342.JPG

Method:

  • Hold aside ⅓ cup of sweetcorn.
  • Roughly chop the chilli, spring onion and coriander and place in a blender with   ⅔  cup of sweetcorn, egg, flour, salt and baking powder.Blend until you have a thick smooth batter.
  • Stir in the remaining sweetcorn you set aside
  • Place a small amount of oil in a frying pan and place over a medium heat.
  • Add small amounts of batter (about 2 tablespoons per fritter, but make them bigger if you want) to the pan to make your fritter.
  • Once golden on one side, about 3-4 minutes, flip and cook for about 2 minutes on the other side.
  • Serve with a poached egg on top, delicious!!

Squash and Lentil Soup

You know it’s autumn when there are squash and pumpkin recipes EVERYWHERE. Why would you expect any different from me?

dsc_1188

Autumn to me is the return of stews and soups, food that feeds the soul and warms you from the inside out. This soup is made almost weekly chez mois.  It’s not complicated, in fact it’s embarrassingly simple, but delicious nonetheless. It’s simplicity is why I keep coming back to it. Perfect to make during the week, it takes no more than 30 minutes from beginning to end.

dsc_1190

Butternut squash makes this soup so creamy and velvety without actually having to add any cream in. My Grandma always added red split lentils into her soup. Although I can never manage to make soup that tastes just like hers the lentils definitely take me back. Not only do they add great flavour but they add a punch of plant based protein to the soup too which is always a winner.

Squash and Lentil Soup  (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

1 medium Butternut Squash, peeled and chopped

3 medium Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 medium White Onion, peeled and chopped

⅓ Cup of Red Split Lentils

1 litre of Vegetable Stock

1-2 teaspoons of Black Pepper

dsc_1187

Note:Try to chop all of the vegetable in similar size, about a centimeter cubed should do the trick. You want them to be ready when the lentils are, better you cook the lentils longer than overcook the vegetables

Method:

  • Pop all of the ingredients into a heavy bottomed saucepan.
  • Place the saucepan on the hob over a high heat, bring the soup to the boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Allow the soup to simmer away for 15-20 minutes until the vegetables are tender and cooked through.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before blending, either with a stick blender or in a free-standing blender. Serve.

Told you it was simple. I like to serve this with a few crunchy seeds and some fresh parsley. Make a big batch of this at the beginning of the week and you have a quick and delicious lunch ready to go. Enjoy x x

Cashew,Brazil and Vanilla Butter

I’m a nut butter addict, it’s no secret. If I see a new nut butter on the shelves I have to have it, regardless of how many half eaten jars there are in my cupboard. I’d never really thought about making my own nut butter. I thought why bother when I can buy perfectly good peanut butter from the supermarket. Enter the influence of social media, I saw so many people making their own I just had to see what all the fuss was about. The great thing about making your own is you can really jazz up the flavours as much as you want, and I love jazzy flavours.

DSC_1076.JPG

Every time we go to the supermarket we buy bags of nuts and ultimately we end up with lots of half eaten bags. I wanted to use up what we had and thus Brazil and Cashew Butter was born. You could of course keep this raw and not roast the nuts at all, but roasting the nuts gives the nut butter a much more intense flavour which I personally prefer.

Cashew, Brazil and Vanilla Butter ( Makes 2 x 200ml Jars)

Ingredients:

2 cups of Cashew Nuts

1 cup of Brazil Nuts

1 Vanilla Pod, or equivalent of extract or paste, chopped into pieces

½ teaspoon of Sea Salt Flakes

DSC_1077

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • Toss the nuts onto a baking tray and spread out evenly.
  • Place the nuts into the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until they turn slightly golden, keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn.
  • Once roasted remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • When the nuts are cool place them in a food processor along with the vanilla pod and sea salt. Blend until a nut butter forms. This can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on your blender. If it gets a bit stuck you can always add in some oil to help it along but I find cashews and brazil nuts blend quite easily.
  • Pour the nut butter into jars and hide in a deep dark cupboard to stop yourself eating the whole batch.

If you want to make this sweeter you can always add in some honey, maple syrup or other sweetener to taste. I like it just as it is 🙂

Miso Aubergine

Miso. What can I say other than this stuff is nectar. I jumped on the band wagon for this one way too late, I genuinely don’t know how I have gotten through 28 years on this earth without it. I bought some barley miso quite a while ago having seen it in a recipe and never actually ended up making said recipe.  It was starting to gather dust so  I decided to finally put it to good use this past weekend.

DSC_1024

I’d never tasted  other than in miso soup, I had my preconceived ideas of that it would taste like. I ate some straight out of the packet and it was not what I expected at all,  it’s quite like soya sauce, savoury, tangy, salty and totally delicious.

So what to use it in? I’m always trying to create veggie dishes that are going to give me the “meatiness” I need from  a main meal. Let’s be honest here are only so many chickpeas and lentils a girl can eat. Aubergine provide just that and this tangy miso sauce makes them utterly delicious and a great addition to my mid week meals.

DSC_1021.JPG

Ingredients

2 medium Aubergines

Sauce:

2 tablespoons of Brown Miso

1 teaspoon of Honey

1 tablespoon of Lime Juice

1 small Red Chilli, finely chopped

½ teaspoon of  Freshly Grated Ginger

1 clove of Garlic, crushedMethod

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce together in a  bowl and set aside.
  • Take the aubergine and split in half  lengthways.
  • Place the aubergine halves on a baking tray and cover each half with a ¼ of the sauce mixture.
  • Pop the aubergine into the preheated oven for about 40 minutes until they are soft and slightly caramelised. You may need to cover with foil part way through the cooking to stop them from burning.
  • Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.

DSC_1010
I prefer to eat these at room temperature rather than piping hot, but that’s a personal preference. Make an extra few and keep them into fridge for an easy lunch or dinner through the week. Perfection. x x

Spiced Carrot and Apricot Bites

 

You may or may not have realised that I love my raw food bars or energy bites. The best grab and go snacks out there that aren’t full of junk. At the moment I’m running from one job and another with little time in between. I need something quick that’s going to give me a good boost of  energy but also something that isn’t going to be super heavy in my stomach. Especially important if I’m going to practice/teach yoga or go for a run.These bites are packed quick and slow release carbohydrates making them perfect choice and a perfect furl for a workout.

DSC_0834

I wanted to make some nut free bites for a change, though you can always add a handful in or sub the tahini for your nut butter of choice. I love cardamom and will always put in 4 pods. If your not so swung on it start with 2 pods and increase to your own taste.

Spiced Carrot and Apricot Bites (Makes 12)

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Oats

½ cup of Medjool Dates (Roughly 5 dates)

½ Cup “ready to eat” Dried Apricots

½ tablespoon of Tahini or Coconut Oil

¼  teaspoon of Lemon Zest

¼ teaspoon of Salt

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

2-4 Cardomom Pods, seeds removed

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon of Ground Ginger

½ cup of grated Carrot

DSC_0848

Method:

  • Place the oats in a food processor and blend until they form a flour. Tip the flour out into a bowl and set aside.
  • Now place the rest of the ingredients, except the carrot, into the food processor. Blend until a rough paste is formed and the ingredients and completely mixed.
  • Now you can add the oat flour and grated carrot into the mixture and  blitz until everything is combined.
  • Take a small spoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands. Continue to do this with the rest of the mixture.
  • Place on a plate (or into a lunchbox) and allow to cool in the fridge, option always to skip this step and chow down on them straight away.

DSC_0840
I grab two of these for a snack on my way out the door in the morning or evening. They’re great crumbled into yoghurt for an easy breakfast or more substantial snack.

Have a great week! x x

Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast

French toast doesn’t appear often enough on the breakfast table in my house. This might be as my other half claim not to like it. He’s French by the way, which in my head this makes no sense whatsoever.

I  on the other hand love the stuff. It’s such an old favourite.  My favourite version as a youngster being made with stale baguette, cooked until crispy  and slathered with ketchup. Quite honestly it’s still somewhat of a guilty pleasure. In my attempt to be a positive (not perfect) role model, I decided to steer away from the ketchup and swap it for compote.

DSC_0197

Here’s my sweet version which is quite honestly like eating a pudding for breakfast. Never a bad thing as far as I’m concerned. Cinnamon and vanilla make this such a  warming and comforting breakfast, perfect for these cold winter mornings. It’s best made with day old bread to stop it going too mushy, I love to use sourdough but use whatever tickles your fancy.

Cinnamon Vanilla French Toast

Ingredients:

4 slices of sourdough or 2 large pieces of regular sliced bread

1 egg

¼ cup of milk

½ teaspoon of ground Cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1-2 teaspoons of Coconut Oil,  for frying

DSC_0182

Method:

  • Beat the egg. milk, cinnamon and vanilla together in a wide bowl.
  • Take a large frying pan and place it over a medium heat. Add 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil.
  • While the pan is heating up take each slice individually into the egg mixture, making sure each slice is thoroughly coated in the egg mixture. You want the egg mixture to soak into the bread  but you don’t want the bread to get too soggy that it’s falling apart.
  • Place the bread slice into the frying pan and fry until it is golden and crispy on one side, then slip over and fry the other side until that becomes beautiful and crisp.

DSC_0196.JPG

 

That’s pretty much it. Simple yet delicious. Here I’ve served it with a quick blackberry “compote”- as quick as defrosting half a cup of frozen blackberries in a pan with 1 teaspoon of honey or sweetener of your choice. It’s great with just some fresh fruit , yoghurt or honey too.
x x

Carrot Cake Oats

I love a good variation on porridge and this is my current favourite. I don’t want to say I got sick of my creamy banana oats but I certainly needed a change. I made a batch of these totally off the cuff one morning when my parents were visiting, they were a hit. I have since taste tested them on two other victims and they have thankfully survived and given their approval.

DSC_0072

I’ve been making extra big batches of this and simply eating it straight from the fridge as a snack. Yep, I enjoy cold porridge. I think this came about through necessity and it just grew on me. That said I would definitely recommend serving these hot, admittedly cold porridge is not to everyone’s taste.

I love to add a good drizzle of honey for some extra sweetness and sprinkle of crushed walnuts to add a good crunch.  

DSC_0058

Carrot Cake Oats (Serves 2-3)

Ingredients

Base:

  • 1 cup of Oats
  • 2 -2½  Cups of Milk ( I love rice milk for it’s natural sweetness)
  • 1 cup of Grated Carrot
  • ⅓  cup of Raisins
  • 2  teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly grated Nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract
  • ½  teaspoon of Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of Orange Zest

Optional toppings:

  • 1/2 cup Walnuts, Crushed
  • 2-3 tablespoons of Honey

 

Method

  • Place all ingredients for the base into a medium size pot. Stir until combined.
  • Place the pot on the hob over a medium low flame. Stir the porridge continuously until most of the milk is absorbed, this takes 5-10 minutes. I like my porridge on the thin side. Once you have reached your desired consistency remove the pot from the stove.
  • Pour the porridge into serving bowls and top with some crushed walnuts and a good drizzle of honey.

DSC_0069

This really is one of the most comforting things you could have for breakfast. Without being cliché ,but totally being, you can really have your cake and eat it.

Have a lovely weekend x x