Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bored of oatmeal? Try millet porridge!

We do make alot of porridge and smoothies for breakfast at ours, they are so easy and tasty they are a no brainer stand by in the mornings. However the girls (and I) do get bored easily with the same old thing so we like to change it up a bit when we can. Smoothies are fab for the reason that there are a gazillion types of flavour combinations out there to play with. Porridge can be a little trickier to keep interesting though and that's when switching grains can be a saving grace.... Fia's favourite type of porridge is made with millet and I have to say it is my preferred grain for brekkie too!

It is quick to make and can be jazzed up with fruits and nuts for quite an exotic feel. The texture keeps some 'bite' to it too which I really like, it kind of reminds me of rice pudding as a child. It's a pretty amazing thing when you feel like you're starting the day with a pudding right?

This is the recipe I use the most at home, but you can dress up millet porridge pretty much any way you would with regular oatmeal, so give it a try next time you're stuck with the oatmeal blues...!

Millet porridge

2 cups of millet, soaked overnight and drained
1 1/2 cups (375ml) of water
2 cups (500ml) of milk of your choice (almond works really well!)
Pinch of sea salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
8-10 chopped dried apricots (the dark unsulphured kind) or dates
1/4 cup almond slivers or pistachio nuts, plus extra for sprinkles!

Add the millet, water, salt, spices and dried fruit to the pan. Bring it up to a boil and then reduce to simmer for around 5-10mins until the liquid is nearly all absorbed. Keep and eye on it and stir from time to time to stop it sticking. Add the milk and keep cooking until you have a thick and creamy porridge. The grains won't go completely to mush, this is a good thing, it's what gives it the nice texture!
 Top with the extra nuts and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup and you're done!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Beets four ways and beet-carrot cake saves the day!

Last night I decided I was going to make an epic juice for breakfast, enough for all of us and some for tomorrow to save on time. Will and I set the alarm and we got scrubbing, peeling and chopping some 30 carrots and 30 beets! Then, a little way into the juicing, our beloved juicer went out with a bang. Literally. The plastic snapped and the force of the veggies shot the juicing attachment out like a cork!

We bought our juicer second hand, so we forgave it even though I had a real 'nooooooo' moment. It was doubly forgiven when we realised we can buy new attachments rather than having to replace the whole new juicer (which wouldn't have been so fun this close to Christmas)... phew!

But this left me with rather a dilemma... What to do with an enormous pile of prepped veg?

After a nifty suggestion from a friend we decided on a big batch of slaw, but that barely put a dent on it! We were going to make soup (another fab suggestion from a friend) but the girls protested as I made soup for lunch yesterday. So I did a bit of searching and came across a fab recipe for carrot and beet cake on the net.

You can see the original recipe here, but I played with it a little to make it refined sugar free. I also made some other changes, using spelt flour instead of regular, reducing the amount of oil (and I used extra virgin olive), sunflower seeds instead of nuts and I upped the vegetable content a bit (I mentioned the batch of juice was to be ginormous right?). We also used a delicious Belgian spice mix called 'Speculaas' that we were given from a wonderful friend in place of the mixed spice- they are very similar in taste so either will work out just fine! The basic amounts are the same so I really cannot take credit for this delicious cake but i'm sure glad I found this recipe to play with- this beet-carrot cake saved the day!

Beetroot and Carrot Cake

2 flax eggs
1 mashed banana
180ml extra virgin olive oil
30ml (2 tbsp) nut or oat milk
100ml organic rice syrup
150g grated carrot
150g grated beetroot
225g whole spelt flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 tsp speculass (or mixed spice)
100g sunflower seeds
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
In a large bowl, cream together theflax eggs, rice syrup and oil until light and frothy. Add the milk, grated vegetables, flour, bicarb, sunflower seeds, salt and spices and stir to mix. Pour into a lightly greased cake tin and bake for around 40mins until golden brown, or test with a cocktail stick to check the mixture is cooked through.

Leave to cool for 10mins before turning out on a rack to finish cooling. I topped the cake with organic marscapone cheese sweetened with a little stevia and sprinkled over some goji berries, but you could serve it up as it is with some plain organic yoghurt on the side and it would taste just as delicious!

SO there it is, a yummy way to use up grated beets and carrots! The coleslaw turned out well too AND we had them roasted alongside our veggie burgers for dinner....So thats a grand total of beets and carrots four ways today (including the small glass of juice we made before the big bang!).

Recipe for the veggie burgers to follow very shortly so stay tuned!

Veganized 2016

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Jaguarundi the King of Cats and guest post for The Broccoli Hut!

Been a while I know.... We had a sad time recently, our beloved cat Jaguarundi passed away at the young age of six. He had heart disease and despite the best food and medication it was just his time. He was the loveliest cat who used to follow me around everywhere and had a real comic character. He certainly has left a big void in the family. We adopted him and his brother from a rescue centre as kittens a month before Fia was born so he has always been around for the girls. His brother Chaak missed him terribly the first couple of weeks but is now enjoying being spoiled and the total centre of attention. He has become almost a lap cat (unusual for him- he usually likes to be out hunting!) and is sleeping in Jaggies place at the end of the bed. I am yet to work out if this is a mark of tribute to his brother or a 'haha I'm top cat now' declaration! Still we all miss 'Jaggie the King of Cats' and here are some pictures as tribute to him!

Now, with the frosty mornings and the Christmas music and goods in the shops, I'm starting to feel very festive and inspired again!

Even more exciting, I was super honoured to write my second guest post for the amazing Broccoli Hut. With this new feeling of festivity I created a delicious, quick and easy raw mince pie recipe that can be thrown together right at the last minute, perfect for this busy time of year. Check it out here!

So I guess it is also time to start planning my Christmas shopping! The girls have started their lists and right at the top are Rolling Stones T-shirts (That's my girls!!). Fia also would love a sewing machine so we are on the hunt for an old reconditioned manual one. After speaking to a friend this makes the most sense as they have more control over it than the electric ones and not being reliant on a plug, it is far more mobile. I am yet to see one that doesn't cost a whole loadda money though (darn vintage being all the rage!) so failing that I like these bright coloured mini sewing machines at John Lewes....

How's your plans coming along, have you started yet?!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

What I ate Wednesday and my first guest blog post :)

Welcome to another 'spooky' What I ate Wednesday! Thanks again to Jen at Peas and Crayons for hosting this fun event!

Well let me tell you, it's all been happening recently! With my new business up and running and spending lots of time in the kitchen creating new dishes I've all but neglected my blog. So you know what I needed? A little 'oomph!' When Caroline over at The Broccoli Hut made a call out for guest bloggers while she is busy planning her wedding, I jumped at the chance to help! This was just the thing I needed to get me writing again. But, I am honestly deeply honoured that she agreed. I really admire her health and taste driven blog and am a frequent visitor, I really recommend you give her a visit!

You can read my guest blog post for The Broccoli Hut, 'sopa de ajo blanco' here :)

So what have I been eating this week? The answer is ALOT! Monday and Tuesday have been experimental days, so Tuesday there was way too much food around the house and I found myself munching all day long....

For breakfast yesterday we demolished the remains of the very tasty raw pumpkin (less) pie recipe that I created over the weekend, it was delicious. And being raw and including vegetables, I didn't even feel guilty about eating it for breakfast! This is an awesome halloweeen recipe you guys.

For a mid morning snack I enjoyed a delicious chocolate orange Nakd bar with a a cup of pukka mint green tea. I adore these bars, they are my saving grace and I don't know what I'd do without them.

For lunch we ate squash stuffed with rice and lentils, a green salad and some of my hubby's delicious home made sauerkraut- the beetroot one!

In the afternoon we all snacked on my failed attempt to make oaty cookies- they fell into a gazillion pieces and became a kind of granola. But we ate it anyway! Sorry I have no picture however, they really weren't looking their best!

The girls and I also had fun making healthy spooky halloween treats. These cute apple slices with 'teeth' are a great idea and one I saw on Just add Cayenne a couple of weeks back. The idea came from a site which has tons of cool healthy halloween treats so we'll be making more of those as Halloween gets closer! So much fun to make the girls had a blast!

Yesterday we ate a ton of sopa de ajo blanco. I made a big batch and we ate it for dinner and will be having it again for lunch today!

So what a day- much more sweet food than I usually eat, but all very tasty. Today I'm going to enjoy a chilled out day eating leftovers and spending more time enjoying the beautiful outside while we still can....!

Ellie x

Monday, 15 October 2012

Super Halloween treat- Raw pumpkin (ok, squash) pie

So.... It's suddenly feeling really very Autumnal here right now- yesterday we went kitted out with hats and gloves for the first time since the Summer ended. So you know what that means? Halloween and Bonfire Night are just around the corner!

Halloween is such fun for us, we always make a trip to the fabulous Blenheim Palace to go on a Halloween treasure hunt and along to Riverford's Pumpkin day to watch cooking demos, puppet shows, do fun crafts, and, most important of all, choose our pumpkins for carving. They have the most amazing selection of pumpkins I've seen here, the closest thing to the American 'Pumpkin Patch' you can get. There is really something about choosing your pumpkin right from a farm in the open air, it is so much more magical than buying them from the supermarket. Check them out if you're in the UK, there may be a Riverford farm near you!

Feeling very festive last week, I decided to make a popular Autumn treat at our house- Pumpkin pie. Only this time I went for a raw version. It was a total experiment and although I guesstimated the amounts and just kept my fingers crossed, it turned out perfect first time! I do have a slight confession mind.... It isn't actually pumpkin. You see, raw pumpkin just didn't taste as good. Something about the roasting process brings out its natural sweetness and makes it taste delicious, but raw it just tasted bland. You can make it taste sweeter of course, by adding more maple to your recipe, but I really do try to keep added sugars to a minimum. For this reason I went for squash (butternut in this case) and I'm saving the pumpkin for my baked pie recipe! ;)

I did make use of some tasty pumpkin seeds in the crust however, so it isn't completely pumpkin-less!

For the sweetener I used maple. This is not raw, but it is a natural sweetener often used in raw recipes for its delicious almost smoky flavour and rich mineral content. If you can find yacon syrup or coconut nectar these would both be an amazing alternative! . Agave syrup is also frequently used in raw foods. The more I look into agave though, the more uncomfortable I am about using it and so I try to avoid it (though I'll eat it on occasion). Do some research and decide for yourself which sweetener works best for you- remember ALL sweetener should be used in moderation, even the 'healthy' ones!

Raw pumpin (ish) pie

For the base:
1 cup of walnuts
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
7 meejool dates, pitted
Pinch of himalayan or fine sea salt

For the filling: Set 1:
2 cups of cubed squash (I used butternut)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
Pinch of himalayan sea salt
1/4 cup maple syrup (you could use coconut nectar or yacon syrup)

For the filling: Set 2:
1 cup of cashew nuts soaked overnight and drained
Zest of 1 lime
Juice of two big limes (3 smaller)
1 cup of nut milk- I used a mix of homemade cashew and hemp milk
The seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 1/4 tsp alcohol and sugar free vanilla extract
Just over 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil- around 85ml

First of all make your base. Blitz the nuts and seeds first until they re fine crumbs, then add the dates. Pulse the mixture until it forms a 'dough'. Press this out into a 22cm loose bottom flan/pie dish to form the crust and set aside while you make the filling.

The filling for this recipe is assembled in two parts to achieve maximum creamyness!
Tip set 1 ingredients into a food processor and blitz until as smooth a texture as you can achieve. It will still look quite 'rustic' at this stage, but don't worry-They'll get blended up later on to make it completely smooth. The smoother texture you can achieve now, the easier that will be!

Tip set 2 ingredients into a blender and blend until creamy smooth. Although this is quicker in a high speed blender, any blender will do, it will just take a little longer. Take the processed set 1 ingredients and add these also to the blender. Continue blending until well mixed and creamy- you don't want any lumps at this stage as this is the final stage of the filling.

Pour the mixture into the pie dish  and pop in the fridge for around 6 hours (or overnight) until it has set. That's it! Serve with some raw vanilla ice cream for a perfect Halloween treat.

Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

What I ate, on a very busy Tuesday! :)

Hey all!

Welcome to my 'What I ate Wednesday' post (hosted by the fabulous Jenn at 'Peas and Crayons!') It's been a while since I did one of these, and I've been meaning to forever....

It's been a pretty busy time for us- as always right now! I am starting up my nutritional business which is needing lots of time invested, as well as looking after my girls, homeschooling and planning our 10yr wedding anniversary celebrations! Although loving being busy, you know what I did yesterday? I cheated with the food side. Totally. I called Will at work and had him stop at the Natural grocery store and buy ready meals! GASP! The horror! (This is totally my halloween angle, hehehe) Though it's not really that bad at all, we all have those days, and sometimes the 'holiday' from making the food and taking the stress off when you're busy is more important. Besides, I made garlic kale and a massive salad to go with it AND this meal is just about the cleverest thing I ever saw in the food processed world- I had to share!

It is made by this company called Amy's, we bought the black bean enchiladas. The meal does not come in a plastic dish, but a cardboard one. It is all organic and is dairy free and wheat free. The corn tortillas are made using traditional ingredients and there is not a hint of sugar or preservatives anywhere on the ingredients. Even the water used is filtered water! So I know it's not the most optimal thing to eat a ready meal, but seriously, this meal saved me last night when I was feeling overwhelmed by things to do- we all get those days sometimes!

And I had plenty of creative moments too! I also ate yesterday:

For breakfast, a green smoothie with banana, apple juice, chia seeds and the green tops of the fennel. First time I've used the fennel herb in a smoothie and it turned out perfect! Really tasty and different, with a very mild aniseed flavour to it. This is a fab halloween drink- alien slime the girls called it!

For lunch we made brown rice, mushroom and walnut burgers which were delicious! 'Why do these taste all ricey' asks Dorrie. 'Because they have rice in!' I replied. 'Ahhhh' she says all knowingly and very smug- this child has a pretty good palate already ;) I added in some leftover carrot pulp from juicing the day before and used flax to hold them together.They held, but not perfectly so this recipe needs some tweaking.

When snack time came around we cooked up a tasty treat as the girls had a friend coming over to play. We made peanut butter oat flap jacks, sweetened with honey and binded with coconut oil. Another experiment dish, they also need a little tweaking- they crumbled a bit too much, and as such weren't photo worthy- sorry!

I've started planning some healthy and all RAW halloween treats and hope to have those ready for you next week, so excited by these. Today I'm off to stock up on boxes of rasins to hand out to the kids. Although in England Trick or Treating is no way as huge as it is in the States, we live on an old US airbase and I'm pretty sure the tradition just stuck around here. We get TONS of kids calling, last year I actually ran out of rasins, then turned to our fruit bowl, then finally had to send them away empty handed with an apology! I need to plan better this year for sure....

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Raw chili chocolate truffles and the tooth fairy visits! us!

My baby girl lost her first tooth! What an exciting day it was for her too. This tooth has been wobbly for ages, I mean at least 2 months- nearly three, she's been waiting a loooong time for this event. Being of a wonderful mixed heritage (English, North American and Argentine) she was super lucky to have both the tooth fairy and ratoncito come visit her which totally made her day!

I think it is easy to overlook such important moments in children's life in the western world as trivial. The rituals that mark growing up seem to have been long gone and we forget how much of a big deal this is to a child. To Fia this was HUGE. The grin on her face said it all, and she wanted to chat about this all day long. So we did. We chatted about the different cultures and what they do with their teeth, and we made sure she knew that this was important to us too, that we get it. She really wanted to mark the day with something special, so we tied a ribbon to a tree and she asked for her new tooth to be strong like the tree. A little thing that gave her a lot of joy. What rituals do you guys have in your family when it comes to losing baby teeth? Does the tooth fairy visit or do you do something else?

So, in celebration of Fia's first tooth, I'm posting my recipe for raw chili chocolate truffles- a celebration recipe if ever there was one. I've been keeping these close to my heart for a future recipe book, but really they are too delicious to not share. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do :)

They are best stored in the fridge to firm up a little, but remove them around 30mins before you want to eat them so they are not too cold. They make the perfect after dinner truffle so I usually pull them out of the fridge right before we sit down to eat dinner.

Raw chocolate chili truffles makes 30 (ish!)
250g cashew nuts
14 meejool dates, pitted and roughly chopped
2 tbsp raw cacao powder.
8 drops of medicine flower vanilla extract (or use the seeds of 1 vanilla pod)
1 tsp mesquite powder (use 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon if not available)
Pinch of Himalayan salt or fine sea salt
For the dusting:
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp of ground cayenne pepper- adjust amount to your taste
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

In a food processor, blitz the cashews until they are as fine as you can get them. The perfect consistency is when they start almost making a butter at the very bottom but are like ground almonds on top. Give them a stir to remove the smooth part from the bottom of the processor bowl.
Add the cacao powder, vanilla, mesquite (or Cinnamon), and salt, and whizz briefly to combine. Lastly add the chopped dates. Blitz again until the mix starts to come together into a dough. It needs to be mouldable and not too crumbly in texture.
Next make the dusting. Sprinkle the cacao, cinnamon and cayenne onto a tray and mix together with a spoon.
Then take small pieces of the 'dough' and roll them into ball shapes with your hands. Pop them on the tray and roll them around in the coating by tilting the tray in different directions. When they have a nice even coating, remove them to another plate. Keep on going until you have used all the dough and all the truffles are coated.
Put them in the fridge until required!

Such a simple recipe, but really tastes out of this world. You can go crazy with flavours for these truffles too. Try ground cardamon and orange with cacao or mint extract for an after dinner minty truffle or roll them in coconut for a snowy looking winter truffle. Really the combinations are endless!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Mushroom mince and a rockin' chili recipe

We're on a chili kick right now, I love chili and now the weather has turned cold it's just what I fancy (though I have a recipe for a raw version that'll still give you that warm feeling too!). Usually when I make a veggie chili I use lentils to bulk it out (Tex-Mex style chili was easily one of my favourite things to eat), but last week I came up with a whole new idea....

When we're cooking vegetarian, we don't like to use quorn or soya mince as these are quite processed products - I've not got anything against them, it is just our preference. I was going to cook up a classic chunky veggie chili, the kind where you bite into large chunks of delicious vegetables but we had some organic chestnut mushrooms in the fridge that needed using up.

Now that's not a problem I hear you say - just bung them in too! So I'll explain.... The problem is, my girls tell me they don't like mushrooms at all, 'no way are we eating them' they say, 'they are disgusting'. Funny thing is, they LOVE mushroom burgers. They really do. They also love mushroom pate. So I reckon it is more of a texture thing with them than a taste. I thought rather than chop them up and have the girls complain, I'd blitz them up fine in the food processor to kind of thicken the sauce while also being less 'mushroomy' in texture. What I discovered was, it came out just the texture and look of veggie soya mince. Brilliant. The finished texture of the chili was really 'meaty' and the flavour rich from the mushrooms, they declared it the best chili ever. I have to agree with them and it was cheaper and healthier than any meat or meat substitute. Win win all round!

So here is my first ever recipe with 'mushroom mince'. You saw it here first people! Well... maybe! I am definitely going to use my mushroom mince in pasties and shepherds pies from now on, I look forward to sharing those with you soon :) I think you could use pretty much any mushrooms for this. I went with chestnut for the brown colour and slightly richer texture and the fact that they're so easily available. I think it would be super delicious with some shiitake thrown in there too, or portabello would make a really rich tasting dish.

Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)
A little coconut or olive oil; for sauteing
1 large onion, diced
1 fresh chili, diced finely (optional-I leave this out for the girls)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 tomatoes, diced
1 cup of dried mixed beans, soaked overnight and drained
3 corn on the cob, kernels cut from the corn (you could substitute with frozen)
400ml passata sauce
600ml filtered water
1 pack of chestnut mushrooms
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground turmeric powder
Pinch of cayenne powder (you can up this if you want a fiery result, I do when not making it for the girls)
2 tsp ground paprika
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp dried or fresh oregano
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tbsp liquid amino's (optional, but does enhance the taste)
Ground pepper to taste

First make your mince. Add the mushrooms to a food processor and blitz (highly scientific!). When you blitz them, be careful not to over process them or they'll turn into a pate, you want a 'mince' like consistency, it needs some 'bite'.
In a large pan, heat the oil  in a large saucepan and saute the onion and garlic (and chili if using) until just beginning to turn brown. Add the tomatoes and cook another 2mins. Next add the spices, beans and water and bring to a boil. Pop a lid on, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for around 30mins.
Add the passata, oregano, mushrooms, corn, salt and pepper, cocoa powder and amino's if using, stir well to mix and continue to cook with the lid on for another 40-50mins until the beans are soft and the chili is thickened. You can remove the lid to thicken the sauce even more depending on how thick you like the sauce to be.
Garnish with fresh coriander, avocado slices and manchego and feta cheese if you like :)

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Foraged apple bakewell tart- refined sugar free, gluten free and delicious!

Right now it seems I have an eye for apples. I see them everywhere while out and about, though it seems that everybody else does too- there's always loads at the top of the trees just out of reach, while the lower branches are bare! I did find a good few good 'uns in my village however- near the park- that were ready and reachable for foraging.

I was going to make a crumble with them but fancied something almondy, so decided on an apple bakewell tart. Has this been attempted before? I couldn't say for sure, but most likely somebody has tried it! Has it been made gluten, refined sugar and dairy free however? Most probably not!

The result of the experiment was really delicious and it's something I'll definitely make again. It was also a great recipe to make with the girls as the pastry needed no rolling out, just pressing into the pan which is great 'messy' fun, and there were plenty of apples to grate too.

My amounts for this recipe are complete guesstimates, so you may not want to try this if you like to work with exact measurements. You'll need something of a trained eye to make sure the consistencies are right, but I'll describe them best I can to help you out. I've said it before, but I think cooking this way is pretty liberating, just kinda throwing it in and using your eye to get it right. It may not have a perfect pastry or finish that would get past the judges of 'The Great British Bake Off'- but who cares! It's tasty and pretty healthy and relaxed to make, I'm ok with that...

Just please excuse the photo's, as I couldn't find the camera anywhere, I was in a rush and I resorted to my camera phone. I'll re-photograph at some point!

Pastry ingredients:
2 cups buckwheat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
2 tbsp coconut oil
A good glug of olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
Enough water to bring it to a soft dough

Add the flours, oils and salt to a food processor. Combine till it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Keep the machine on and slowly add water, a little at a time, until it suddenly clumps together to create a ball of dough. Be careful to only add a little water at a time as it suddenly comes together- too much water and it'll be sticky.

Tip the dough into a 9 inch spring form cake pan and with your hands, press the pastry to cover the bottom and about 5cm up the sides of the pan to form a crust. You could use a loose bottom flan dish here too- whatever you prefer, as long as it is deep enough to hold the filling. When it is at about 5cm high and pretty even depth on the bottom, use your knuckles to press the edge down slightly- this gives a pretty crimp and a finished pie depth of around 4cm.

Middle layer Ingredients:
3 tbsp fruit juice sweetened jam (I used apple and elderberry- raspberry or blackberry would work well too)
5 apples, skin left on, cored and cut into quarters. You can use whatever variety you like- this actually works well with cooking apples for a less sweet finish.

Grate the apples and set aside in a bowl- this is a great job for older children!
Spoon the jam evenly over the bottom of the pie crust- you want enough to cover the whole bottom but it shouldn't be too thick.
Next make a layer of grated apples, pressing them gently down to compact them slightly in the pan.

Topping ingredients
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 cup (ish) almond milk (or milk of choice)
1 tsp sugar free almond extract
2 flax eggs
1-2 tbsp maple syrup or rice syrup
125g ground almonds (I know its this amount as I used a small packs worth!)
1 tbsp brown rice flour
3 tbsp arrowroot flour
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Grated zest of 1 lemon

Add the flours, almonds, lemon zest and bicarb to a bowl and combine.
In a jug, add the lemon juice, almond milk, almond extract, maple and flax eggs and whisk together. Tip the contents of the jug into the dry and mix to make a smooth batter- a similar consistency to if you were making a sponge cake. You can add extra milk to loosen the batter if you need to, to get it to this consistency.

Pour over the apples and bake in the oven for around 30mins until a cocktail stick comes out from the centre clean, and the pastry edge is golden.

Cool in pan for 5 mins before removing to cool.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Bye summer, hello Wedding vow planning!

Well what a summer! We have had a holiday in a yurt, weekends away, family from abroad, visiting families in the UK, birthday celebrations, hanging out with old friends and visiting new, foraging and playing and it has all been great! Today I looked out the window at the rain and wind and realised that summer is truly over, a good excuse to put on a cosy jumper and write a little on here....

Earlier in September I mentioned working on my daughters raw birthday cake. She requested a raw chocolate cake that looked like a fairy meadow! It worked out great, though unfortunately our fairy chocolate moulds weren't so great so there were not as many fairies as we wanted, but still, it looked very pretty and she was so pleased it hardly matters. I made chocolate avocado 'mud' frosting and the 'grass' icing was made green with spirulina. The meadow was awash with edible flowers with a goji berry fairy path. It looked pretty sweet and here's a picture of the final cake in all it's glory. That saw the end of the Bedford families brithdays for this year- phew! Now time to plan a raw 10th wedding anniversary cake!

Will and I's 10 year wedding anniversary is coming upon us fast! We always said we'd renew our vows at 10 years, but boy did it sneak up on us.....

So why renew our vows you might say (actually alot of people say)?

For us, a few reasons. Our original wedding was very beautiful but not without its stresses! Will didn't arrive in the UK till just a few weeks before our wedding so he wasn't able to be involved in the planning at all - in fact I remember at one point being pretty concerned he'd even get the airfare together to come over!

It was a stressful time financially and we were without a home, staying at various family members houses while we could work out a plan. Will had just graduated and we had no money at all, we relied on the generosity of family and friends to make our wedding happen, and they pulled off some pretty impressive stuff to make it happen for us so for that we are so very greatful - but it just didn't feel very 'Ellie & Will'. And as beautiful as my dress was, even that I think didn't feel quite right somehow! I was so worried about things that I spent the whole of our wedding day with a migraine, it so bad I hardly ate and only managed a sip of the toast!

But lets not get carried away. I am not regretting the way it happened, it happened because we had amazing family and friends to help us. It happened this way because we just wanted to be married as quickly as we could so we could be together and start our life together (was slightly tricky with the 'pond' between us!). The rest of the stuff is not as important as exchanging our vows and becoming Mr & Mrs Bedford - it was all this latter part which made it special. As special as it was, we knew it would be important to do it again in a way that was exactly Ellie and Will one day.

It now seems to us there is an even bigger reason to renew our vows 10 years down the line. We have grown together as a couple, proven our love and commitment. We got through the first few years of living on pearl barley and carrot 'stoup' and come out the other end! We've reached a place more meaningful and even deeper than we were when we originally met. We've had two amazing girls who have changed us in ways we'd never have imagined and taught us so much about life. This has got to be worth celebrating right?! Back then, we we marked out our 10 year anniversary as a date for this ceremony, it also happens to be the infamous 21.12.12 - which having met in Belize studying the Maya we think is pretty awesome a date for our 10th anniversary!

So the planning starts now! We have lined up an amazing venue, which is built up on ethical values - so amazing and true to our beliefs. I'll tell your more about it when we confirm! For now lets talk about the dress....

Is it right to wear a wedding dress at a vow ceremony? The jury according to the rules of etiquette is out! Some people say yes, some say no. Most agree the dress can be pretty formal and red carpet worthy - which to me often do look like wedding dresses. A few years ago Kate Moss wore a vintage 30's silk wedding gown for a celebrity bash so I say this is quite a blurry line! I'd agree no head dress and veil, but flowers I think would work, you wear a corsage to a prom, so why not flowers at a vow renewal? Most etiquette agrees that you can re-wear your old wedding, but my dress is way too big on me now, and anyways, it doesn't feel very 'me'. Anyway, when did I ever listen to etiquette! ;)

My dress has a story, and a very cool one at that. My Mum happened upon an amazing 1930's velvet and lace dress in Sussex, just by chance. Or fate you might say. I adore the style of the 20's and 30's and love velvet so when the lady who owned the dress let mum bring it up to Oxfordshire for me to try it on (I know!) and it fit EXACTLY, my decision was pretty much made! It feels like it was made for me. I love it. My mum is so clever :)

It does have quite a bit of staining though so if anybody has tips on how to remove it, please suggest away!! The local eco dry cleaners said even regular dry cleaning would not remove stains that old so would be a waste of money, and I hear once velvet has a stain it can be doomed.... Never one to be defeated I'm sure there is a way to at least reduce the staining, and I have 3 months to find it!

Monday, 3 September 2012

As the Summer fades, celebrate Autumn with a pear ice lolly!

As the blazing (ahem) days of summer come to an end and the colourful crispness of autumn begins, we still have a little extra time before the freezing cold sets in to make and enjoy an Ice lolly or two. Especially one using autumnal fruits and warming spices.... The first pears are ripe and ready right now so I was inspired to create a creamy pear Ice lolly to celebrate this changing of the seasons.

Ok, so this isn't rocket science- but it is a nice flavour combination you may not have thought of for a lolly, and I need some slack at the moment - I am working on my raw fairy cake masterpiece for Fia's 6th birthday.... ;)

Pear Ice Lolly's (makes 6-10 depending on mould size)

2-3 big juicy pears- they must be super ripe, great way to use up slightly bruised pears!
1-2 cups of fresh or pre-made almond milk
1 tbsp honey (optional)
Pinch of cinnamon

Blitz together in a blender until smooth, pour into Lolly moulds and freeze for around 4 hours until set. Easy.

Friday, 31 August 2012

Hello kitty raw cheesecake maddness!

Time has flown away from me this month - I cannot believe August is ion its final day and I have only posted once this month! What a month it has been. Busy, jam packed with fun, but with a few tricky situations to navigate through too.

Our cat Jaguarundi has not been well at all and was just diagnosed with heart disease. I have been spending a lot of time researching alternative things to help him rather than just relying on medication. We have a wonderful vet who is also on board and looking into it with us which is really awesome and I am sure we can do something more to help him, he is such a beautiful and soppy cat and is a member of our family so I take this duty pretty seriously! So instead of creating delightful dishes I have been reading research into omegas and homoeopathy for kitties.

We've also just been enjoying the summer (it is summer right? The weather is telling me otherwise!) hanging out with the girls and seeing friends. Then suddenly the week of Dorrie's 4th birthday was rushing upon us. She very politely requested a raw strawberry cheesecake that looks like 'Hello Kitty' for her birthday.
Never one to shy from a cooking challenge I took this request on board and got my thinking cap on. I very nearly came close to making a plain raw cheesecake and sticking a figurine on the top, but seriously, I knew that was not the best I could do and she had such a vision for her cake, it deserved my full attention. My days quickly became full of hello kitty and raw cheesecake recipes, taking priority over everything else....

At the start, I debated making a face using fruit for the eyes, nose and whiskers, but was worried it would end up just looking like some random cat, and Dorrie would know the difference, believe me. Also was the question how would I make the cheesecake cat shaped - it is not so easy to carve a raw cheesecake as it is a real cake!

So I looked through the Internet for inspiration and stumbled across the 'Hello Kitty' restaurant in Beijing. Seriously, you guys need to check them out, they even have burger buns that looked like hello kitty! What struck me though was how creative they were with their designs. Never as simple as a 'cut out' kitty shape for a dish, they instead make use of little groupings of hello kitties, use stencils for garnishing (even the plates) and create elegant but fun dishes - definitely no fruit faces and figurines here....!

So I decided to do a basic double layer strawberry and lemon cheesecake and decorate it with artsy toppings inspired by this restaurant. I went for an acai berry powder stencilled hello kitty face, a mini cheesecake 'basket' with a raw white baobab chocolate kitty face peeking out the top, some acai raw chocolate and goji circular decorations, and neat piles of fruit, with more raw white baobab chocolate kitties around the edge of the cake. Now it sounds like hello kitty chaos I know, but it worked - the result was pretty, arty and undeniably; 'Hello Kitty'.

The only slight disappointment for me was that when I decided (last minute) on adding some acai juice to the bottom layer (for extra nutritional punch and flavour), I didn't compensate enough with the coconut oil so that layer was a little soft- it resulted in a not too neat looking icing effect rather than my desired layered stripe effect - but it tasted pretty great and nobody complained! And a lesson was learnt - do not experiment at the last minute on important birthday cakes......

To serve I made a thick jam like strawberry sauce that was not only raw, but super packed with nutrition thanks to the addition of the amazing powerhouse that are chia seeds. To Make it, simply blitz the following in a food processor:

200g frozen strawberries
1 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
1 1/2 tbsp raw acacia honey (perfect for its mild flavour - you can use agave for a vegan option)

So here to finish is the picture of the raw cheesecake of all cheesecakes, complete with all natural non-toxic pure beeswax candles.

Now fast approaching is Fia's 6th birthday- so excuse me if I go AWOL again, I'll be trying to design a raw chocolate cake with a flower fairy garden on the top.......  ;)

Monday, 20 August 2012

The most luxurious homemade deodorant ever!

I have just found a way to take natural deodorant from 'alternative' to luxurious, it's all in the way you view it people, deodorant can be special!

We have been using natural deodorants for about 3 years now, to avoid the chemicals and the aluminium found in the standard ones. And while some have been pretty decent, none so far have been completely up to the job which is pretty frustrating.

Why it never occurred to me to make it myself earlier I'm not sure, but I started about 3 months ago when I realised we nearly always had the ingredients to make a good deodorant right here in our kitchen cupboards!

This version I created is pretty similar to the many doing the rounds on the net right now (clearly we are not as crazy as many of our friends think!) and these are the quantities that worked out pretty good for me. So far I can happily say that it works better than any of the natural deodorants I have tried so far (yipee) and has the benefit from smelling and feeling absolutely rich and silky smooth and delicious on your skin.

I am a huge fan of the glamour and style of the 1920's and 30's, so wanted to capture this essence with my deodorant. Storing it in a super pretty glass jar embossed with cockle shells, reminiscent of the gorgeous 1920's glass beauty jars, has meant putting on deodorant now feels more like a decadent treat rather than part of a boring or necessary routine. Seriously, it is such a pleasure to use. You can scent this with whatever essential oils you like. For my hubby we went orange, tee tree and lavender, but for those glamorous natural spirits out there, I say choose amber, hyacinth, orange blossom and vanilla for a real 1920's scent. Every morning I am now whisked back to a time of silent movies, screen sirens and flapper dresses, and all this from putting on deodorant! That's gotta beat a quick blast form a spray can surely...?

Just one caution though - if it gets hot, and your deodorant melts, make sure you stir it before each use as the bicarb will fall to the bottom. We learnt this the hard way! After a really hot week of using the deodorant without stirring before use, the bicarb settled, and when we finally reached the bottom part of the jar, it was way too harsh (way too much bicarb to coconut ratio)- think sandpaper under your arms! The result was sore underarms. The easiest solution if you live somewhere warm is to keep it in the fridge!

Next batch I make I'm going to try adding some bentonite clay and reduce the bicarb so will post a follow up :)

5 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp cacao butter
1/4 cup arrowroot
1/4 cup bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp pure vitamin E (or contents of 2 capsules)-this is optional
15 drops of essential oil*

*To make the 1920's scent use 3 drops of amber, 3 of sweet orange, 3 of hyacinth or rose and 5 of vanilla.
For the lavender scent use 5 drops each of lavender, sweet orange and tea tree.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Beetroot maddness! Beet smoothie, Beet, apple & strawberry Ice lollies & an award!

Summer has hit us with a BANG! We have gone from rain drenched to scorchio over night in England. Finally we have the weather to enjoy the lollies and popsicles, smoothies and juices that we've all been craving.... but what to put in them? Beetroot of course! Beets are in season and we have a ton at the moment in our veg boxes- luckily for us, we love it. Not only is it wonderfully good for you, it tastes especially delicious when juiced- the flavour is earthy and sweet. It blends really well with other juices such as carrot and apple, and pairs well with sweet fruits like melon and strawberries. So we took those ingredients and we had some beet fun in the kitchen.

The result was a delicious smoothie for Will and I and some Ice lollies (popsicles) for the girls! Win win!

Beet-Maca smoothie (serves 4)

5 large beets, juiced
2 carrots, juiced
3 apples, juiced
Juice of 2 limes
3 bananas
1/4 of a cantaloupe melon, seeds and skin removed
2 tsp maca powder
2 handfuls of ice
Handful of fresh mint leaves (optional)

Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve right away!

Beetroot, apple and strawberry Ice lollies- makes 6 lollies

Juice of 3 large beets
Juice of 2 apples
Juice of 1 carrot
Juice and zest of 1 lime
6 large strawberries

Allow 1 strawberry per ice lolly. Finely slice each one and pop into the lolly moulds- place slightly up the edges so you can see the strawberries in the finished lolly- this looks cool!
Sprinkle a little lime zest into each mould.
Top to nearly full with the beet, apple and carrot juice and pop a lolly stick into each one.
Freeze for a couple of hours or until set!

CAUTION! Beets stain! I gave the girls these lollies while in the paddling pool ;) Outside is a good place to enjoy them and keep away from light clothes!

Also another super cool thing happened while we were away on holiday in Wales, I got nominated by Miss Messy of  'Mess makes food' and Gghie from The Red Apron for the 'One Lovely Blog Award'! This is so cool, especially as it has the word 'lovely' in it- that is a pretty flattering word, as important as the food is, I hope people do think of this blog as lovely!

It is also a great honour to be nominated from these guys. Both their blogs are inspiring,so much so I'm nominating them both back!
Thanks so much for the nominations guys :)

The rules of this award are as follows:

1. Link back to whoever  nominated you.
2. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
3. Nominate 11 bloggers.

So here are my 11 facts about me:-
  1. I went to the University of Brighton and studied History of Decorative Arts and Crafts
  2. I worked as a window dresser for a year at Brighton's amazing (now sadly closed) department store 'Hanningtons'.
  3. I cannot sing. But I love to sing!
  4. I cannot click my fingers. This amuses my 5yr old daughter who can click her fingers...
  5. My favourite band are the Rolling Stones.
  6. I love the seaside, especially coastal walks. I don't do sunbathing...
  7. My favourite colour is green.
  8. The Phantom of the Opera is my fave musical.
  9. The top country on my list of places to visit is Romania. One day I'll make it there :)
  10. I dislike computers, but spend alot of time on them!
  11. I'd love to add herbalism (especially British and Native American) to my studies one day...

The bloggers I nominate for this award are:

  1. Purple Veg
  2. Food, fork & good
  3. The not so desperate chef wife
  4. Vintage kitchen notes
  5. The tornadic kitchen
  6. Figalicious
  7. a healthy jalapeno
  8. What a healthy family eats
  9. Crave
  10. The red apron
  11. Mess makes food

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Meadows and red clover risotto

Weeds. Chances are you've got them growing in your garden. I think they have a bad rap;  people often spend a huge amount of time removing them from their gardens in order to get that 'manicured' lawn look. I can understand the allure of a tidy lawn-  it certainly makes playing garden golf and ball games easier with the children... but... there are a gazillion reasons why you could let your garden re-wild and become a meadow!

  1. As you don't have to spend so much time keeping the lawn trim, you can simply be enjoying the great outdoors instead :)
  2. Your garden will become a haven for bees and butterflies and other insects which are under threat
  3. It is so pretty. Your green grass with have yellow, white, purple, pink and blue blossoms all over, a truly beautiful picture to look out onto...
  4. You can eat the weeds! Dandelion, plantain and clover to name a few. These wild plants and flowers are packed with so much nutrition, you don't need to eat that much of it to get benefits. Free superfoods!
  5. If you have cats, they like to hide in the grass. It is the perfect hiding place for them to lie in wait to attack your feet when you're out putting the washing on the line....
Ok so maybe not a gazillion reasons, but needless to say, our garden frequently looks like a meadow. Until we are forced to mow it sporadically so we don't breach our tenancy agreement that is! Right now we have so many wild plants growing, it really is beautiful, the lawn is awash with clover, and we have many many little miner bees buzzing around.

As there is so much of it, I thought the bees wouldn't miss a few flowers so I decided to make a red clover risotto with it - and it tasted divine! 

Red clover risotto serves 4

2 handfuls of red clover flowers, rinsed well and chopped roughly
1 large red onion
2 cloves garlic
1 red bell pepper
2 handfuls of fresh parsley, chopped fine
vegetable stock
2 cups of short grain brown rice
2 cups of fresh broad beans or peas
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
Sea salt and black pepper

Heat the olive oil in a pan over a very low heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute on a very gentle heat for 10 mins. Add the rice, clover and vegetables and enough stock to cover the rice and come above 2cm over the top, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer.
Simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender - keep an eye on the rice and if it is getting too dry add more stock.
When the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked (with a little bite left to it), add the parsley, salt and pepper. If you are making the non-vegan option, add the cheese now. Stir to mix and serve with a green salad.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Liebster blog nomination, banana bread and we're off to Wales!

Hello! This is just a little check in as I should be packing- we're off to Wales tomorrow to stay in a Yurt- woohoo! I'm so excited, despite the weather forecast of rain, rain, rain and a little thundery storm or two... At least the yurt is already up, we won't have to get soaked while setting up a tent, one of the major bonus' of 'glamping'!

This morning we saw my fabulous Sister in Law leave to go home back home to the States :( We had such a lovely time while she visited and the girls adored having her here. She had to leave early for her flight so for a quick and easy breakfast I made a 'bung it in' banana bread last night (she is a self confessed fan of banana bread). It's literally a blend and mix recipe, where you really don't have to be accurate at all, a little more or less liquid or flour really won't hurt. It tastes amazing served warm with some coconut oil or organic butter and a great breakfast recipe to make the night before if you're up and about early the next day. Enjoy :)

Oooh- another cool thing, I've been nominated for a Liebster award from Emma over at Food, Fork and Good! How exciting is that? It seems to be my lucky week with awards :) I'm honoured to have been nominated by Emma as she is a fabulous blogger, I truly enjoy reading her blog as it always makes me smile, so thanks a million!

A quick google of this award seems to be that it is a bit of a mystery as to how it originated, very cool, and very weird! But, the rules are pretty simple and are as follows.....
1. Thank your nominator (and link back!). 
2. Nominate 5 other blogs, with less than 200 followers and post a comment on each blog letting them know they have been given the award. 
3. Copy and paste the award onto your blog.

And that's it! Pretty simple, pretty fun, and again I get to nominate some super cool folks for the award!

My nominees are (in no particular order):
  1. Just add cayenne
  2. Mess Makes Food
  3. The Wanderers Journal
  4. Vintage Kitchen Notes
  5. The Red Apron
Congrats guys, you are all fabulous bloggers and totally ROCK! :)

Easy peasy banana bread

2 1/2 cups of whole spelt flour (or regular wholemeal flour)
1 heaped tsp of bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup of currants
6 prunes
2 bananas
1 cup of milk of choice
Juice of half a lemon
2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax and 6 tbsp water)
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp sugar and alcohol free vanilla extract

Add the flour, bicarb, salt, cinnamon and currants to a large bowl and stir. No need to sift or be delicate!
Add the remainder of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blitz till smooth (ish)
Tip the wet mix to the dry and stir to combine.
Pour into a greased loaf tin and bake for around 40mins, until a cocktail stick comes out clean when it is inserted in the middle.
Tip onto a rack and leave to cool slightly before serving!

Excuse the poor picture, I just managed to photograph it in the nick of time!

*Veganized Jan 2016

Friday, 29 June 2012


My posts are going to be a little sporadic over the next few weeks as we are litterally all over the place! We're visiting Essex, Sussex and Wales (in that order) and I'll be checking in now and again when I get a chance, but not very reliably... So here's a little recipe for the road (complete with dodgy camera phone pictures)!

For those of you who make nut milk, what to do with the leftover pulp is a topic that will frequently come up! I often throw it in with my baking; it works particularly well in spelt soda bread, wholegrain scones, pancakes and drop scones. You can also make many raw recipes with it such as truffles and cakes. It can be pretty useful to have on hand to 'bulk' out recipes too. If you have only a little avocado leftover in the fridge, adding some nut pulp along with traditional guacamole ingredients makes it into a delicious dip - a truly frugal recipe that I've named 'Nutamole!'

Hopefully I'll have a whole lot of new creations to share with you guys when I get back from our travels! Bye for now,
Ellie x


1/2 avocado
1 Cup of nut pulp
2 tomatoes, deseeded and chopped
1/4 red onion, diced as small as possible
1 clove of garlic, grated or diced fine
1/4 fresh chilli, finely chopped
Juice of a lime or 1/2 a lemon
Handful of fresh corriander, roughly chopped (optional)

Mash all the ingredients together in a Pestle and Mortar until you reach the consistancy you prefer. I think it is nice kindda left chunky!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Mexican style pancake enchiladas...

Sorry for being absent for the past two weeks (yikes, where does the time go?) We have had my (lovely) Sister in Law visiting from the States and I am super busy studying right now :) It has been a very fun couple of weeks, but I'm taking a breather from revision to post a delicious and fun recipe for you: my take on black bean burritos!

We love Mexican food, it is not something we eat too much for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it is hard in the UK to find the real deal corn tortillas and secondly masa harina is also hard to find and can be quite pricey too! The regular supermarket corn tortillas are full of additives and sugars so not something I'd like to use. So I had a brainwave, a way to make my masa stretch while retaining the authentic flavour: buckwheat-masa pancake burritos.

This is one of my most exciting creations yet, Fia can actually eat 3 of these at one sitting, I have no clue where she puts them, but she seems to find extra space for these burritos! They are so delicious, the flavour of the messa is subtle, and the cocoa and mesquite add an extra dimension that really makes them special.

There are quite a few different steps for this recipe - it certainly isn't a quick recipe and I dedicate a good block of time to it when I make it. But please don't be put off. You could certainly make up the pancakes the night before and keep them in the fridge till you're ready to make the dish, that would speed it up, as does using pre-cooked canned beans!

Stage 1: Make the pancakes.

2 cups buckwheat flour
1 cup masa harina
1 egg replacer equivalent (such as organ brand)
2 tbsp coconut oil (for cooking with)

Add the flours to a large bowl, and gradually stir in 1 1/2 litres water and the egg replacer. Mix till well combined, stand 10 mins.

Heat a half a tsp of coconut oil in a heavy bottom pan (I use a cast Iron skillet) and coat well. Tip out any excess oil, you just want to stop the pancake from sticking, but not let it fry!

When the oil is quite hot, pour in a ladle full of the batter and tip the pan to swirl the batter, evenly coating the bottom. When you start to see bubbles popping up all over the pancake and the edges start to lift a little, flip it over and cook a further couple of mins.

Don't be upset if the first pancake just doesn't work, this nearly always happens to me, it just means  that the pan was not yet quite at its optimal heat, the next one should work just fine.
Repeat, adding a tiny bit more oil to the pan every 3rd pancake or so to ensure it doesn't stick, until all the batter is used up. Set the pancakes aside, or in the fridge for the next day if you are making them ahead.

Stage 2: The beans.

Add 280g of soaked (over night), drained black beans to a pan of water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat and cook on a rapid simmer until they are soft. While they are cooking prepare the sauce;

Stage 3: The sauce.

650ml passata
400ml water
1 tsp oregano
pinch cayenne
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
2 cloves garlic diced fine
1/2 tbsp cocoa
1/2 tbsp mesquite
2 tbsp arrowroot
3 tbsp coconut oil

In a large pan, melt the coconut oil, then add the flour and cook for around 1 min. It will thicken up slightly and be the base of your sauce. Add to the oil/flour mixture the garlic and cumin and cook for a further minute. At this point, stir in the passata gradually to incorporate the flour mix, then the remainder of the ingredients (quite easy really, bung it all in there!) Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for around 40mins until the sauce is thickened.

Stage 4: Make the filling.

8 mushrooms, diced nice and small
1 clove garlic
1 large spring onion
2 tsp coconut oil
2 ladles of the above sauce
700g cooked, drained black beans

While your sauce and beans are cooking, you can make the filling! Seriously, this dish is a juggling act isn't it, I can just about fit all 3 pans on my stove all at once which is why it is easier to get the pancakes out the way earlier!
In a skillet or pan, Saute in the coconut oil all the vegetables until lightly golden in colour. Add 2 ladles of the enchilada sauce (saving the remainder for poring over the enchiladas) to the vegetables and mix well.
When the beans are ready, add these to the sauce and vegetables and combine well.

Stage 5 (we're nearly there!): Assembling!

If you like your enchiladas really saucy, In a large oven proof dish, pour a ladle of sauce into the bottom and spread around. This makes a little saucy bed for the pancakes to lie on! I often skip this step.
Take a pancake, spoon 2 tbsp of the filling down the middle, and fold each side over to make an enchilada- there is no need to seal the ends. Place in the dish, seal side down. Keep going until you have used up all the pancakes and covered the dish. I usually have a little filling left over, i then spoon it in between any gaps i can find!
Pour the sauce over the top of the enchiladas as evenly as poss and it is ready to go in the oven! 

Recipe Veganized Feb 2015.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Versatile blogger award!

Wow, this is soooooo super exciting, I have been awarded my first blogger award, The Versatile Blogger award! It was SUCH an amazing surprise today to log in and find this nomination. I cannot stop grinning now :)

So a huge thank you to Versatile Blogger award winner Aimee Gonzalez of Bargain Bites for nominating me for this award, to get a nomination is awesome, but to get one from as amazing a blogger as she, is even cooler. Check out Bargain Bites people, it is a blog that truly has something for everyone, the recipes are vibrant, delicious and inspiring.

Part of the fun of this award is that you get to pay forward the cool vibes. Upon receiving the nomination you;
  • Thank the Blogger who nominated you.
  • Include a link to their site.
  • Include the award image to your post.
  • Include the award image on your blog.
  • Give 7 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 15 other bloggers for the award, including links to their sites
  • Let those bloggers know they have been nominated
So here are my 7 facts about me.....
  1. My hubby and I met in the Jungle while on an archaeological dig in Belize- cool story huh?
  2. I adore cats. All cats. Cats rock.
  3. Despite keeping up my blog and being active on the web, I still have a major technology aversion, in fact it seems if you put me near and electrical device, there is a high chance I'll break it...
  4. I am a fan of art deco and the arts and crafts movement, a day in Charleston house is my idea of heaven :)
  5. I am passionate about healthy eating and holistic lifestyles, and enjoy thinking up creative ways to get children inspired in this area!
  6. I recently started yoga, it hurts.
  7. I feel blessed. I have an amazing family, two beautiful and bright daughters, a genius for a husband and great friends. As a family we strive towards living in a holistic community.
So now for the fun bit, my chance to pay it forward. These are my nominations for the versatile blogger award, blogs that I visit or follow that are inspiring, unique, fun and pretty amazing!
  1. Fragrant Vanilla Cake 
  2. Home cooking adventure
  3. Just Add Cayenne
  4. The Roasted Root
  5. Food, Fork and Good
  6. Better with veggies
  7. The Broccoli Hut
  8. Toxic Foodie
  9. A little bit of Spain in Iowa
  10. Peas & Crayons
  11. Culture THIS
  12. Quirky Cooking
  13. I heart Natural Beauty
  14. Kitchen Herb Wife
  15. Bargain Bites (ok I know they already have the award, but they deserve it!)
I'll be back tomorrow with a new recipe that I'm very proud of, so please stop by then!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Roasted Tempeh in a peanut sauce

This is an adaptation of a recipe called 'Javanese roasted Tofu' from my trusty Whole Foods Market Cookbook (love, love this book)! The original recipe calls for Tofu which I switched for tempeh, I also cut the amount of honey down, upped the lime and added more veg. I steamed the tempeh first to keep it moist before roasting as it has a very different texture to tofu and I think it would dry out if it was pre-roasted first as with the tofu.

Will and I really enjoyed this and it went down pretty well with the girls, though they are not the biggest fans of tempeh they did eat most of it... next time I'll definitely try with the tofu!

Roasted Tempeh with a peanut sauce

1 pack of tempeh (227g/ 8oz)
1/2 cup peanut butter (no sugar added)
1/4 cup tamari sauce
2 tbsp unpasturized honey
1/2 water 
2 tbsp lime juice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups slice bell peppers
1 head of brocoli
Handful of cashew nuts

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C degrees.
Slice the tempeh block into 6-8 slices and steam for ten minutes. You could use a bamboo steamer if you have one, I used my oven top steamer, whatever works for you!

In a bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, tamari, honey, water, lime juice, garlic, cayenne and salt.
In an oven dish that has a lid, layer the tempeh slices over the bottom and pour over half the sauce. Top with the vegetables and pour the remaining sauce over the top.

Pop the lid on and bake in the oven for 25-30 mins until bubbling. Serve with brown rice and garnish with cashews.