Quarantine baking: spiced banana bread / muffins

When life hands you mushy overripe spotty bananas – put them to good use!

This recipe has no added sugar due to the overripe bananas being naturally very sweet, but if you’d prefer something sweeter, add 1/2 cup of brown sugar as well. 

Ingredients 

  • 3 very overripe mushy bananas (the more spotty the better)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 + 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 + 1/2 cups self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp ginger

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C
  2. Mix the wet ingredients
  3. Add the dry ingredients
  4. Pour into loaf tin or muffin cases and bake until a skewer comes out clean (will take ~ 25 minutes for the muffins but about 45 minutes for the loaf; start checking with a skewer as soon as the top is browned).

Easy Pumpkin Salmon Gnocchi

This is “cooking” for when you don’t have time to cook (i.e. me around exam time!).

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

  • Packet of store bought pumpkin gnocchi
  • 150g hot smoked salmon, flaked
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp garlic infused olive oil
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley and basil, finely chopped

Method

  1. Cook the gnocchi as per the packet directions in a pot of boiling water. Once cooked, drain and return to the pot but off the heat.
  2. While still warm, stir in the spinach, herbs, oil, salmon and lemon juice. Serve immediately.

Vegan Chickpea Stew

I was at a loss as to what to name this. It’s technically not a curry. It is more like a tagine in texture, just not cooked in a clay tagine pot. Whatever you call it, it’s delicious, earthy, and packed full of veggies!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 300g passata
  • 3/4 cup vegetable stock
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 small potato
  • 1/4 medium sized butternut pumpkin
  • 1/2 large eggplant
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1.5 tsp Ras el Hanout (or Moroccan spice mix)
  • 125g baby capsicums
  • 3 large carrots
  • Handful fresh flat leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic chives
  • Spinach leaves, cherry tomatoes and brown rice to serve

Method

  1. Dice the potato, pumpkin, eggplant, capsicums and carrots into large chunks of similar size.
  2. In a large fry pan over medium heat, briefly sauté the garlic in olive oil until fragrant.
  3. Add the potato, pumpkin, carrots, 1/2 cup chicken stock and passata with the spice mix and bring to a simmer until soft (about 15 minutes).
  4. Add the eggplant, capsicums and fresh herbs, and continue to simmer until soft (about 5-10 minutes).
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the chickpeas. Serve with fresh baby spinach and brown rice, with cherry tomatoes to garnish.

Vegan Pumpkin Soup

Warms the soul as well as the belly!

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

  • 200g butternut pumpkin
  • 4 large carrots
  • 125g can coconut cream
  • 4 fresh sage leaves
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • Chives to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and roast the pumpkin and carrots until soft and golden. Allow to cool slightly.
  2. Place the roasted pumpkin and carrot, sage, rosemary, stock and coconut cream in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Alternatively, place the mixture in a large bowl or saucepan and blend with a stick blender until smooth.
  3. Serve hot with chives on top.

Breakfast berry oat protein bars

A mouthful to say and a mouthful to eat! Another delicious creation on my never ending quest to keep my scrub pockets full of snacks….

Ingredients (makes 8)

  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup vanilla pea protein (I use Botanika Blends)
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 and 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 2 tablespoon liquid coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Method

    Preheat the oven to 200*C. Line a slice tray with baking paper.
    Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl until well combined.
    Add the wet ingredients and stir well.
    Add the frozen berries and mix through.
    Spoon and flatten the mixture into the slice tin, bake until set (about 30-40 minutes) and allow to cool before slicing into 8 pieces. Store wrapped in baking paper in the freezer or in an air tight container in the fridge.

Pumpkin, banana and rhubarb loaf

This was an experiment I’ll admit, but it was a rather delicious one. This is a great way to use up any leftover roast / boiled pumpkin as well as old bananas. The rhubarb is entirely optional and was just what I had in the fridge!

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal, 1/2 cup buckwheat flour and  1/2 cup vanilla pea protein  –> BUT you can substitute ALL of this with 1.5 cups of plain flour of your choice + 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 over-ripe bananas (must be over-ripe for this to work!)
  • 100g roasted or boiled pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk (or whatever milk takes your fancy)
  • 2 tbsp Nuttalex olive oil spread (or just use butter or coconut oil)
  • If using rhubarb – bake 4 stalks of rhubarb until soft, then mush with a fork until it forms a rough puree

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C and line a brownie tin with baking paper.
  2. Place the pumpkin, banana, milk, eggs and butter in the blender and blend until smooth.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flaxseed, buckwheat, protein powder and baking soda, then stir in the mixture from the blender until well combined.
  4. Pour into the baking dish and swirl in the rhubarb by placing small blobs on top and dragging through the mixture with a butter knife.
  5. Bake until firm and risen (about 25-30 minutes). Allow to cool, the cut into slices (I find it easier to cut into 9 chunks, and then cut these in half through the middle).

Nacho Average Burrito

Here’s one for the meal prep list for vegetarian burritos on demand!

Ingredients 

  • 1 can mixed beans
  • 1 large red capsicum, chopped
  • 200g mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 large kale leaves, deveined and chopped
  • 200g fetta cheese, crumbled
  • 250g cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
  • 1 packet wraps +/- salad leaves

I mix the beans, capsicum, mushrooms, kale, fetta and tomatoes until well combined, then divide into air-tight containers and freeze until needed. Then just defrost the mixture, decant any water that may have been produced in the defrosting process, and wrap in your wrap (I also add lettuce or baby spinach and sometimes avocado for a bit of freshness just before serving!).

Honey I Stuffed the Pumpkin

While we’re all getting into the full swing of our New Year resolutions, I thought I’d share a few of my recipes from the festive season – starting with this stuffed pumpkin.

I’ve seen many variations of this concept over the past few weeks, and mine is nothing fancy. But it was super easy and vegan / gluten friendly too!

Ingredients

  • 1 large butternut pumpkin, halved
  • 1 cup black rice
  • 200g vegan cheese (I used a vegan version of Persian fetta)
  • 1 tbsp each of sunflower seeds, cranberries, pepitas
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp lemon infused olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C.
  2. Place the pumpkin halves cut side up on a baking tray. Remove the seeds and bake until soft enough to scoop out a portion of the flesh in the middle (about 30 minutes).
  3. Cook the rice as per the instructions (or you can cheat by using a supermarket microwave version). Mix the rice with the seeds and olive oil until well combined.
  4. Scoop out a small portion of the pumpkin flesh. Fill the hole with the rice mixture, then top with the vegan cheese and bake until the pumpkin is soft (another 15 minutes should do).
  5. Serve hot, or portions can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer for 1 month. Enjoy!

Carrot and Parsnip Gratin

After I made my amazing mushroom cauliflower sauce, I remembered I had bought some parsnips from the market. Time to make gratin!

Ingredients (serves 2 as above)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C. Lightly grease a baking dish with olive oil.
  2. Grate the carrot and parsnips. Mix with the sauce and pour into the dish.
  3. Sprinkle with quinoa flakes and then mozzarella. Bake until cheese is melted and golden (approx 20 minutes).