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.

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.

Lemon quince Pterodactyl wings

Sorry for the radio silence! Between studying for fellowship and moving, I’ve barely had time to function this year.

Now, I know this is not my normal kind of recipe, but if these make dinner easy and delicious for anyone else who’s busy like me then I’ll be happy! These enormous turkey wings were cooked in my brand new oven, and what can I say, I’m impressed!

Ingredients

    Turkey wings (about 800g which was 5)
    2 tablespoons quince paste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170*C.
  2. In a bowl, mix the lemon olive oil and quince paste together. Spread the mixture on top of the turkey wings.
  3. Wrap the turkey wings all together in a parcel of baking paper (so that the quince doesn’t burn) and bake until cooked through (about an hour). Allow to rest before serving with your favourite greens!

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! 

Honey Mustard Pumpkin Seeds

Don’t throw out your unwanted pumpkin seeds – turn them into this tasty snack instead!

Ingredients

  • 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp honey

Just multiply the recipe for bigger quantities, works a treat! I’ve also thrown in buckwheat groats and tigernuts to increase the volume before and they taste amazing. 

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C and line a tray with baking paper.
  2. Toss the pumpkin seeds with the honey and mustard, then roast until golden – be vigilant as these can burn quickly, then only need 8-10 minutes max!

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!

The Secret to Sexy Salads

There is nothing sexy about soggy lettuce (unless you have a niche fetish for damp foliage, in which case, best of luck to you!). We’ve all had those superb salads that make us revalidate healthy eating as a delicious life decision, as well as those other inferior salads that leave our souls and stomachs empty inside.

So what is the secret to constructing a truly sexy salad? It’s all to do with balance. Balance the textures, balance the flavours, and rejoice in the tasty nutritious harmony that results!  For the novice home cooks, this may sound easier said than done, but fear not – follow this simply guide and you’ll be well on your way to salad stardom.

Balance the macros
First of all, make sure to include a mixture of carbs, protein and fats; this will ensure your salad will actually keep you full. Some suggestions include;

  • – carbs: quinoa, rice, buckwheat, pasta, freekah, potato, pumpkin
  • – protein: beans, lentils, chicken, salmon, tuna, lean cuts of red meat, haloumi, tofu
  • – fats: avocado, olive oil, nuts



Add the foliage 

There’s no rule saying you must use lettuce! Try different varieties of fancy lettuce, beetroot leaves, spinach or kale for something mild, rocket for something spicy, or celery leaves for a more aniseed flavour.



Balance the flavours

This is the slightly tricky part but it gets easier with practice! Aim for three of the five tastes of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and savoury. Some suggestions include;

  • – sweet: mango, orange, peaches, tomatoes, sweet potato, pumpkin, a drizzle of honey
  • – sour: apple cider or white wine vinegar
  • – bitter: lemon, lime, grapefruit
  • – salty: salt obviously, seafood
  • – savoury: miso, grains


Balance the textures

Now this is how you boredom bust your salads! Think about what you’ve already got and go through a little mental checklist. Have I got something crunchy? If not, add nuts or seeds. Have I got something soft / squishy? If not, add soft cheese, tofu, avocado, pumpkin etc. Have I got something in between? If not, think about your vegetables like capsicum, corn, beans etc.



Dress your salad

Always leave the dressing until you’re just about to serve to prevent your bottom from going soggy (the salad I mean). Rather than the calorie laden high sugar dressings from the supermarket, I often choose for a small sprinkle of oil (try macadamia, avocado, olive or rapeseed) and a spritz of vinegar (like balsamic, apple cider or white / red wine vinegar).

Ta-dah! You are now well on your way to slaying at salads. See, you can make friends with salad after all!