Friday, 29 June 2012

Nutamole!

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


Nuttamole!

Ingredients
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.

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

Method:
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.

Ingredients
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

Method:
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.

Ingredients
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

Method:
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!

Method:
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

Ingredients
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

Method
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.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

What I ate for the Jubilee!

What a weekend it has been here in Britain! People went bunting crazy, flew the Union Jack, dressed in blue, white and red and whole streets were closed for parties. We are now (I suspect) absolutely partied out from our four days of fun and festivities for the Diamond Jubilee!! I loved seeing the country and communities unite and get together for a good old fashioned knees up in celebration. And what an achievement for the Queen. I have so much respect for her and the Royal Family and all that they do, I for one would find a life of service amazingly exhausting, I am not sure how she has done it for this long!

We spent Monday with friends at their village street party and it was tons of fun. We made (slightly) healthier versions of traditional street party food and joined in the festivities. The girls had a blast chalk drawing in the road (when will they get a chance to do that again?!) and even the weather came through for us in the afternoon... I was amazed at the stamina of our girls who having been up super late the previous night, still managed to stay awake till 10 before we made our way to watch the lighting of one of over four thousand beacons in honour of Her Majesty. What fun! (If a little chilly).

So here's the run down food wise, the food was a lot more heavy than we're used to; but hey, it was the Jubilee......






Brekkie:
The usual! I always start the day with a glass of water with a tiny pinch of Himalayan sea salt. This was followed by porridge topped with coconut milk, sunflower seeds, ground flax and raw honey ;)


Snack:
A cuppa tea with coconut milk and a read through my Margarete Pattern cookbook; inspiration for the tea party.....


Lunch:
Nothing fancy! We enjoyed a tofu, millet and sesame burger that was amazingly delicious, before whizzing out to get supplies for the party.... These burgers are one of the only 'convienience' products I'd regularly buy, they have minimal ingredients, no added oils and are incredibly tasty. Check them out here: http://www.naturalgrocery.co.uk/ProductDetail.aspx?prod_code=5034467000131


Tea:
Amazing street party fare! We had a brown rice salad made by our friends, organic cream cheese (I would use vegan cream cheese) and cucumber sandwiches and kamut flour scones filled with creme fraiche (as a vegan I'd use coconut yoghurt), berries and fruit juice sweetened strawberry jam! Washed down with plenty of water. Delicious! :)







Friday, 1 June 2012

Our fave drinks bottles & a picnic lunch!

We're always on the look out for non-toxic alternatives and drinks bottles are a top one as we try to avoid drinking out of plastic where we can! For us there are two makes that are by far the best around, one is a stainless steel bottle by One Green Bottle, the other is a strong glass bottle by Lifefactory.

The glass ones are the ones I really like- glass has been around as a safe storage medium for soooooo long now, and these clever people have cased their bottles in a protective silicone cover which is not only funky, but it really does work to make it 'unbreakable'. I mean we've dropped these onto a pavement before and they bounce! Awesome.  We also found that many schools are finally taking on board a healthy eating policy, so require clear water bottles sent in with children (to check they have only water and not sugar drinks); these glass bottles tick that box perfectly too which is an advantage over the stainless steel.

Check out the 9oz size, perfect for young children to take to school!

http://www.lifefactory.com/kids/9-oz-beverage.html


The stainless steel also has its advantages, it is lighter and the small curvy version is easier to carry around by a younger child so if you have a little one at preschool, this could be an easier option. Saying that, my youngest gets along fine with the glass, I guess it comes down to personnal choice!

These little ones are perfect for pre-schoolers!

http://www.onegreenbottle.com/bottles/350ml-stainless-steel-bottles


Both companies do sippy bottles for toddlers and a range of sizes and lids so there is bound to be one to suit every preference.

They also both fit into our amazing planet box lunch box case superbly. Here is what we packed in our take out picnic lunch, really lovely idea for an outdoor lunch in the park (or school or work lunch)....


We have from left to right;  Organic plain yoghurt with sunflower seeds and raw honey, kale crisps, Wholewheat khobez flatbreads filled with hummous and salad, goji berries, tomato slices and alfalfa sprouts. :)