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.

Pie Maker Savoury Muffins

After a recent baking spree for night shift, I can now truly appreciate why people are going nuts over these pie makers!

You’d be surprised at what people can create in such a short space of time with one of these (a real bargain considering they’re only $29 from Kmart). For some epic recipe ideas, definitely look up the Australian Kmart pie maker recipe group on Facebook!

As part of my experimentation, I made an old recipe of mine, a cross between a muffin and a frittata – a fruffin if you will (because mufftata sounds a bit risky).

I made two different flavours of these by changing the spice, otherwise the base recipe is the same!

Ingredients (makes 12)

Method

  1. Turn on the pie maker.
  2. Beat the eggs, then add the milk, flour, yogurt and spice mix and stir well to combine.
  3. Place spinach leaves at the base of the pie mould, then pour 1/8th cup of filling mixture on top. Place a small piece of cheese, then add another dollop of filling mixture to cover.
  4. Cook in the pie maker until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes). These will cook more evenly the more full the mould is.
  5. Store in an airtight container in the fridge if they don’t all get eaten!

Spiced Protein Porridge

Hooray! The weather is FINALLY cool enough for the first protein porridge of the season!

Ingredients (serves 1-2)

  • 3/4 cup rice flakes or oats
    1/2 cup almond milk
    1 tbsp flaxseed
    2 tbsp vanilla pea protein
    1/2 tsp chai spice (or cinnamon / cardamom)
    Banana and almond butter for serving

Method

  1. Mix the rice flakes, milk, protein, flaxseed and spice together in a bowl.
  2. Microwave on high for 2.5 minutes.
  3. Serve topped with banana and almond butter. Easy!

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.

Raspberry Chia Sauce

I went to cooking school in Paris. While I was there, we learned how to make “Canard avec fruites rouge” (duck with red fruits), which was essentially a pan fried duck with amazing raspberry sauce. In my usual habit of trying to recreate things, I tried to make my own raspberry sauce, but with a slightly thicker texture – and so this raspberry ‘jam’ was born. Note that it is supposed to be tart like cranberry sauce rather than sweet like strawberry jam, so don’t get a fright if you put in on your toast and something tastes a little odd!

Ingredients 

  • 200g raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/8 cup white chia seeds
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tsb balsamic vinegar (flavoured ones work well here, I used fig and guava with success)

Method

  1. Using a fork, gently mash the raspberries. Add the water and vinegar and stir to combine.
  2. Add the chia seeds and continuously stir until starting to thicken. Put aside in the fridge for 5 minutes and stir again (if too thick at this stage, add small amounts of water until it thins out). Return to the fridge until ready to serve.

For example – roasted turkey with spinach, slaw and a sweet potato and pumpkin smash! 

Roasted Cauli Salad with Tahini Turmeric Sauce

Another easy meal-prep option that’s vegan and gluten friendly, packed full of nutrition with a hint of spice!

Ingredients (serves 4) 

  • 1 small cauliflower
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 200g pumpkin
  • 4 large kale leaves, washed and de-veined, then finely chopped
  • 1/8 cup cranberries
  • 1/8 cup flaked almonds
  • 1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt (can use plain Greek instead)
  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp turmeric

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Wash and chop the cauliflower, eggplant and pumpkin into similar sized pieces. Roast the cauliflower and eggplant on the same tray until slightly charred around the edges (about 40 minutes), and roast the pumpkin until soft and golden (about 30-40 minutes).
  3. Make the yogurt sauce by mixing the yogurt, tahini and turmeric until well combined.
  4. To assemble the salad, place the kale on the bottom, then top with the vegetables, then add the yogurt sauce, and sprinkle the almonds and cranberries on top.

Muesli Banana Bites

Banana bites, doo-doo doo-doo-doo. (It’s a Muppet joke, sorry).

These tasty morsels are deliciously moreish, full of fibre and make for a satisfying snack that’s easy to hide in my scrub pocket!

Ingredients (makes 12)

  • 2 large over-ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk or mylk (I used hazelnut coconut milk for something different!)
  • 1/2 cup flaxseed meal
  • 1 cup raw muesli
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour (can substitute with almond or hazelnut meal)
  • 2 tbsp melted cocoa butter (can substitute for Nuttalex or butter or coconut oil)

Method

  1.  Preheat the oven to 200*C and grease or line a 12 cup capacity muffin tray.
  2. Mash the banana and mix with the eggs, milk and butter until combined.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients together, then add the wet ingredient mix and mix well.
  4. Pour into the muffin tray and bake until golden (15-20 minutes).
  5. Serve warm with natural peanut butter or a squirt of maple syrup!

If you like them a little sweeter, try adding 2 tbsp maple syrup into the mix, or experiment by adding some chopped dates or raw dark chocolate – yum!

Pumpkin Spiced Porridge

It’s only cold here for about 3 months of the year, which means there are 12 weeks of prime-pumpkin-porridge-tasting time to be enjoyed!

Ingredients (serves 2) 

  • 200g butternut pumpkin
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 cup quinoa flakes
  • pinch of pumpkin spice (I use 1 tsp cinnamon with 1 tsp cardamom, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp ground ginger and 1/4 tsp ground cloves)
  • coconut or Greek yogurt and flaked almonds to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200*C. Skin and chop the pumpkin into small pieces and roast until soft and golden (approx 20-30 minutes).
  2. Place the pumpkin, spices and almond milk in a blender and process until smooth.
  3. Use the ‘pumpkin smoothie’ as a base to cook the quinoa flakes, on a saucepan over medium heat. Stir continuously (particularly the bottom so it doesn’t stick) until the flakes are soft and the mixture is thick and creamy. If you need to add more liquid, add more almond milk as you go.
  4. Top with yogurt and flaked almonds just before serving.

Tip: The most time-consuming part is roasting the pumpkin. So, roast a large pumpkin early in the week so that there’s plenty on hand to make porridge whenever you fancy!

Breakfast Bowls – an update

As someone who works long and busy hours, sometimes without a meal break, I am an advocate for having a healthy start to the day regardless of what shift I’m working. If that means eating oats and yogurt before work at 9 pm then so be it!

I am a huge fan of the breakfast bowl (and breakfast in a jar for that matter), because why have just boring old processed breakfast cereal when you can have something much more filling, with more texture, more protein and more flavour, without all the hidden nasties?

I like to keep my yogurt plain because I enjoy the tartness of it, and I tend to use Chobani 0.5% fat plain natural yogurt because of the protein content. However, if you’re looking for something sweeter, just add a drizzle of honey or sweetener of your choice to the yogurt in each of these recipes, or use a brand that you enjoy. If you’re dairy intolerant or vegan I highly recommend the Luz Almond range which taste much nicer than the soy alternatives I’ve tried!

To thicken the yogurt to make a pudding-like consistency, I add pea protein powder (which also helps to keep me full for longer).

A few of my recent favourites;


Yellow Overnight Not-Oats 


Mix 1/4 Lupin flakes, 2/3 cup plain natural yogurt, 1/8 cup shredded coconut and 1/2 tsp vanilla essence and leave soak overnight. Top with whatever you like, but I chose flaked almonds, nutritional yeast (from The Source Bulk Foods) and freeze dried mango pieces.


The Pink and Green Scene 


2/3 cup of plain natural yogurt swirled with 2 tsp Matcha Maiden matcha and 2 tsp Just Blends freeze dried dragon fruit powder, topped with flaked almonds, buckwheat and the Coles ‘Power and Go’ seed mix (which includes linseeds, chia etc).


Choc Beetroot 


2/3 cup plain natural yogurt mixed with 2 tsp raw cacao and 2 tsp Healthy Life beetroot powder, topped with almonds, walnuts, cranberries, buckwheat and strawberries.


Matcha Apple Ginger


2/3 cup plain natural yogurt mixed with 2 tsp Matcha Maiden Matcha, topped with green apple, flaked almonds, Bask & Co granola and pieces of Ginger Party ginger.


Choc Greens 


2/3 cup plain natural yogurt mixed with 1 scoop Isowhey vanilla pea protein, a pinch of stevia,  1 tsp greens powder and 1 tsp matcha, topped with tigernuts , cacao oats+chia mix from The Chia Co, cacao nibs and a squeeze of Sweet Freedom Choc Shot (a fruit based clean cacao sauce).


Peanut Butter Jelly Time 


Blend 4 large strawberries with 1/3 cup coconut water, then mix with 1/4 cup white chia seeds and leave set overnight to make a strawberry ‘jam’.

Mix 2/3 cup plain natural yogurt with 1 scoop vanilla pea protein, 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter and 1 tsp maca powder, then swirl with the strawberry mix and top with smooth peanut butter.