Tuesday, 27 August 2013

lettuce and spring onion tart

I love quiche, but as you guys know I try to eat as close to a 100% plant based diet as possible. Now and again I slip up along the way, but for the main part I succeed! The usual version of a vegan quiche is made it with tofu, but as we don't eat tons of tofu, I went online to search through some of my favourite blogs to see what else is out there.

I didn't have to look for long when I came across this entry for mexican crustless chickpea quiche on 'Sprint 2 the table' and I was totally intrigued. Laura uses a chickpea style batter (similar to socca) for the filling which (in my opinion) is no short of genius! By the way, if you guys haven't checked this blog out, please do, its full of amazing, healthy and delicious inspiration,you'll love it.

The original version is crust-less but I really fancied a traditional quiche/tart feel to the dish so I made mine with a gluten free crust (with some thrown in carrot pulp for extra goodness). The filling was dictated by the contents of my fridge (we have so much lettuce, we're gonna look like lettuce) and I felt a little decadent so I used some vegan cheese too. I don't use it often and I definitely see it as a special occasion food, but now and again I think what the heck and go to town with it. I have discovered a lovely brand called vegusto that is soy and gluten free and we really like their 'no-moo piquant' cheese.

For the crust
1 cup rice flour
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup teff flour
1 cup carrot pulp (optional)
A glugg of olive oil or 1 tbsp coconut oil
Pinch of sea salt
Cold water to mix

For the filling
2 cups chickpea (gram) flour
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cups of water (or veg stock)
1 head of romaine lettuce, shredded
2 spring onions, sliced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 cup of vegusto cheese (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees.
First make the crust. In a food processor, blitz together the flours, carrot pulp, olive oil and sea salt very lightly until just mixed. Then slowly add enough cold water until it makes a dough. Turn the mix out and press into a lightly oiled flan dish until you have a nice even crust. Prick the bottom of the crust with a fork and cook for around 10 mins until very light golden.

Take out of the oven and sprinkle over the shredded lettuce, green pepper and spring onion. In a bowl mix together the chickpea flour, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper and water until smooth. Pour into the tart crust, covering all the veggies. If using, finish with a sprinkle of the vegan cheese.

Bake this for around 20-25mins until set and golden, cool slightly before cutting into slices. We enjoyed this with a lovely green salad and wholegrain mustard.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Good Hemp seed review

This is the first of what I hope to be many reviews. There are some amazing brands out there making such wonderful products and I am excited to be sharing these with as many of you as possible (and I can already tell I'm going to have great fun doing it too!)

So, we're off to a pretty good start with a brand that I'm no stranger to... Good Hemp!

Good Hemp are an awesome company. They make a variety of products from hemp including seeds, oil, milk and protein powders. Hemp does not require the heavy use of fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides and there are many uses for the whole plant from food to building materials making it a hugely sustainable crop. Hemp is certainly a crop for the future and one I'd like to see more of.. I also LOVE that Good Hemp grow all their hemp in the UK which is great news if you're concerned about your carbon footprint!

They very kindly sent me a variety of goodies to review, this week I'm reviewing both the original and the Italian seed varieties to review which had me jumping for joy as I had never tried the flavoured seeds before! Stay tuned for my reviews on their milk and oil.

Original hulled hemp seeds
These (like all varieties of Good Hemp's seeds) come ready shelled which is pretty handy, and in a re-sealable pot to help keep them fresh. They have a very light nutty flavour and creamy texture and are amazing blended into smoothies and elixirs. We also added them to our museli and they went down a treat with the girls.

Italian flavour hemp seeds
Try the Italian herb seeds on pasta as a vegan alternative to Parmesan. OMG. Amazing. Really. The slight nuttiness of the hemp still comes though and is not overpowered by the herbs, and you can really taste all the herbs. These seeds would also taste amazing on salads, vegan pizza, pretty much any kind of pasta I can think of, in falafel mixes, on potato wedges, kale crisps, or go ahead and eat them right off the spoon which is how my youngest daughter asked for them.

The other seed flavours available are Asian spices and sweet cinnamon and I'm definitely going to keep my eye out for those- I can already imagine the sweet cinnamon sprinkled over raw vanilla ice cream.... Mmmmmm.

You can buy their products in health stores or online at  www.GOODHempNutrition.com

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Gomasio kale crisps (kale chips for our American friends!)

I'm not sure if I have ever actually posted a kale crisp recipe before. I think I've probably left it as there are a gazillion versions of kale crisp recipes out there, but, these are a long standing staple in our home and this version is way too good not to post!

Kale crisps are great just with a little sea salt and sometimes we add a little cider vinegar and nutritional yeast to make them cheesy. We cook ours in the oven as we don't have a dehydrator but if we had one, I'd use that for sure to make them a raw recipe. Either way you get delicious salty, crispy treats that are packed with nutrients. The only drawback? Bits of green kale get stuck in your teeth....

I made these gomasio kale crisps in a moment of inspiration as I had a ton leftover in the fridge. Luckily, it was amazing and made the best flavoured kale crisps I have ever tasted. Ever. So I am delighted to share this recipe with you. You can make your own gomassio (It's pretty easy) or you can buy it ready made in health stores- whatever works for you!

2 bunches of kale
2-3 tbsp gomasio
1 tbsp melted coconut oil

Preheat the oven to 180 (160 fan).

Tear the kale off the stem and rip the leaves into crisp size pieces. Wash and spin dry thoroughly. Add them to a large baking tray and massage the oil into them making sure each leaf is coated well. Sprinkle over the gomasio and lightly mix with your hands. Place them into the oven- now these crisps can turn very quickly, you'll need to keep an eye on them! After 8-12 mins, turn them over and separate them out a little more so they all get a chance to get nice and crispy. Cook a little longer until crisp. Enjoy!