Raspberry Cheesecake [vegan and gluten free]

Raspberry vegan cheesecake

What’s going on with this heat? Last week we were moaning that it felt like winter, now we’re in the midst of a bloomin’ heatwave! I’m definitely NOT complaining. I love the heat. I love having all the doors and windows open. Love the amazing sunsets. And love actually wearing my summery clothes. When the weather reaches these dizzy heights I cling onto my childhood memories, when I’m sure summer holidays were definitely sunnier than they appear to be these days. Perhaps I have a rose tinted view of those idealistic days, when the only care was what time the ice cream van was rocking up, or which tree we’d be climbing. But, summer memories definitely involve summer berries that’s for sure. And what better way to enjoy the raspberries you’ll be a picking than in this super tasty Raspberry Cheesecake. 

Raspberry vegan cheesecakevegan cheesecakevegan raspberry cheesecake

Raspberry Cheesecake
For the base:
150g medjool dates
100g almonds
60g oats
50g coconut oil (melted)

For the filling:
1 block firm tofu
225g raspberries
50g coconut oil
1 tbsp rice/fruit/agave syrup

  • In a food processor, blend the dates, almonds and oats until thoroughly chopped. Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan on a low heat and blend with the nut mixture, it should combine slightly.  
  • Add to your tin (I used mini tart tins), press down firmly using your hands and pop in the fridge for a couple of hours to set.
  • Drain the tofu, and blend in the processor until smooth. Add the raspberries, and blend until smooth and creamy.
  • Melt the coconut oil and add along with the syrup and blend once more until combined.
  • Spread evenly over the base and leave in the fridge for another few hours until firm.
  • Top with fresh fruit.

Get picking those raspberries 🙂

Veronica x

Basil Pesto Carrot Gnocchi [vegan and gluten-free]

Pesto gnocchi

This basil pesto carrot gnocchi may just be my favourite thing EVER! I mean, I’m not going to lie, this is not a weekday dinner – making your own gnocchi is a faff that’s for sure. This is definitely more of a weekend meal, one to take your time and not stress over. I promise, it is worth the effort though, for sure!

But, this delicious pesto you could make any day of the week. Mix it through some pasta for a quick simple weekday dinner, or stir it through some courgette ribbons and add it to your lunchtime salad. You’ll never want to buy another jar of pesto once you’ve made your own!

Vegan pesto gnocchi

Vegan pesto gnocchi

Basil Pesto Carrot Gnocchi
Serves 4

For the pesto:
120g pine nuts
1 1/2 tubs of basil (the pots you can buy in the supermarket)
70ml olive oil
1 clove garlic
Salt and pepper

  • On a medium heat, toast the pine nuts in a dry pan for five minutes.
  • In a food processor, blitz the garlic clove and basil. Add the toasted pine nuts and olive oil and blend together until it’s as fine as you want it to be. 
  • Season with salt and pepper.

For the gnocchi:
6 medium carrots
400g potatoes
180g rice flour
Salt and pepper

  • Peel and boil the potatoes until cooked. In a separate saucepan, peel and boil the carrots until cooked.
  • Once they are both cooked, in a food processor, blend the cooked carrot until smooth, add the potatoes and mix until both are combined and no longer lumpy (use a potato masher if you don’t have a food processor).
  • Add the rice flour and season with plenty of salt and pepper and blend together until a doughy consistency is formed.
  • Shape into small balls using extra flour (this bit gets quite messy) and lay out on greaseproof. I used a fork to flatten them out a little and to give them an even shape.
  • In a pan of salted boiling water, lower to a simmer, then place the gnocchi into the water (you may need to cook half at a time so it doesn’t clump together).
  • The gnocchi will take two – four minutes to cook, once it has risen to the surface it is ready. Using a slotted spoon strain the excess water and place on a plate.
  • Heat the pesto in a pan on a medium heat, and add the cooked, strained gnocchi. Stir the pesto thoroughly through the gnocchi. Serve straight away.

Happy gnocchi days 🙂

Veronica x

Strawberry Ice Cream

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Despite the weather being a bit very crappy during June it looks like Summer has started to arrive. Wimbledon marks the start of Strawberry season for me, and hopefully all the rain won’t ruin crops this year, because we’ve got A LOT of strawberries to eat!

This creamy strawberry ice cream is the perfect dessert to cool down on a hot summer’s evening especially with some more strawberries PLUS it’s so easy to make. I always thought of ice cream as being a pain in the butt to make, but this is super simple. Just make sure you’re not rushing out so you can keep going back to the freezer for the first few hours to whip it up and ensure you have a creamy ice cream.

Strawberry_ice_creamVegan_ice_cream vegan_ice_cream

Strawberry ice cream
600g strawberries
800ml (2 tins) coconut milk
100g xylitol
2 tbsp agave syrup
1 tspn vanilla extract

  • Wash and de-stalk the strawberries.
  • In a food processor, empty the coconut cream and mix until smooth.
  • Add the strawberries and mix together with the coconut cream until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the xylitol, agave syrup and vanilla extract and blend through.
  • Empty into a suitable tub/tin that will survive in the freezer and pop in the freezer.
  • Every 30 minutes, stir through to stop large crystals forming, you’ll need to do this four or five times, basically the more times the better – you’ll get a smoother creamier texture and thank yourself when eating it.

Happy summertime 🙂

Veronica x

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Salad

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I don’t know about you but I find it hard to come up with inspiring lunches to get me through my work days. All too often I reach for a tub of houmous and some oatcakes or a boring salad with some greenery, cucumber and tomatoes, nothing that exciting to look forward to (although I do love a tub of houmous). But I’ve really been working on livening up my salads. I work in the middle of nowhere and the nearest shops are a five minute drive away, and I’m reluctant to head to M&S for an expensive lunch. I’ve been working on a new evening routine that means I spend a little time preparing a tasty lunch, yes, it does mean taking time out of your evening, but trust me you’ll be thanking yourself at lunch time the following day! I encourage you to join me and try this salad it’ll have you counting down the hours until your lunch break. In fact, this recipe will make enough for three or four days, so if you’re happy with eating the same thing for a few days you’re laughing!

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Sweet potato & quinoa salad with lemon tahini dressing
Makes 3-4 servings

80g quinoa
280ml water
50g almonds
20g sunflower seeds
1 sweet potato
3 garlic cloves
Olive oil
2 tsp tahini
1/2 juice of lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 romaine lettuce
A handful of cherry tomatoes
Quarter of cucumber
Handful of coriander

  • Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a baking tray in an 180C oven. Chop the sweet potato into cubes and along with the garlic cloves, throw in the baking tray. This takes about half an hour to cook.
  • Meanwhile, bring the water to boil in a saucepan and add the quinoa, simmer for 15 minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. 
  • In a frying pan, lightly toast the almonds and sunflower seeds for 5 minutes on a medium heat.
  • Chop the lettuce, coriander, tomatoes and cucumber and put in a large bowl.
  • In a mug, mix together the tahini, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar and olive oil until smooth, season with salt and pepper.
  • Mix the quinoa in with the salad. Once the sweet potato is cooked add that to the bowl and then stir through the dressing and the almonds and sunflower seeds. Keep refrigerated.

Happy salad days!

Veronica x

Quinoa & Cacao Energy Bars

Quinoa-cacao-energy-bars

Sorry we’ve been a bit slack posting new recipes on here as consistently as we were doing – we haven’t disappeared, promise! If you follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram you may have seen that we have launched a YouTube channel, which is very exciting, it turns out making videos is pretty time consuming, but lots of fun! Do check our first video out, and let us know what more you want to see on there. We love to hear from people – so don’t be quiet! Also, make sure you subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any new videos we post. : )

Quinoa-cacao-barsAnyway, let me catch you up with some other news…I (Veronica) completed the London Marathon back in April, in a respectable 4 hours and 34 minutes, just shy of my 4.30 target, I pushed myself as hard as possible to get that time, so am super pleased. I don’t want to lose my fitness, and I know its pretty easy to slack off and get lazy, so I’m making sure I still make it to my local running club and regularly attend the parkruns in my area. I will definitely be booking another event in soon as I always need something to train for! But, before all that I am about to head off on holiday and enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation, in beautiful Greece.

You may remember I was looking at different ways of ensuring I was getting a good supply of protein into me, especially after long training runs. My friend recently introduced me to some delicious energy bars that she found in her local supermarket that were vegan and packed full of goodness, they were soooo good! Unfortunately they were a little too high in natural sugars for my liking, plus they were super expensive. I was sure I could make my own that used much less sugar and were a much cheaper alternative – and I did! These taste pretty much the same and cost a fraction of the price! After a little tweaking of my recipe to ensure they don’t crumble apart when you pick them up, they are now ready to share with you.

Quinoa-cacao-bars

Quinoa & Cacao Energy Bars
Makes 12 slices

160g almonds
110g medjool dates (or soaked dried dates)
100g cashew nuts
50g quinoa
100g sultanas
2 tbsp cacao powder
3 tbsp brown rice syrup
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp sunflower seeds

  •  Place a medium saucepan over a high heat and add the quinoa, turning down to a medium heat. Keep shaking the quinoa whilst it pops, it takes a few minutes – note it doesn’t puff up like popcorn.
  • In a food processor add the almonds and blend until chopped. Add the dates and combine with the almonds.
  • Add the cashews, sultanas, cacao powder, popped quinoa and brown rice syrup and blend some more.
  • Melt the coconut oil over a medium heat and add to the food processor along with the sunflower seeds, and blitz for one last time.
  • Everything should now be thoroughly mixed together, line a baking tray with greaseproof paper, and pour all the mixture out. Using a spoon spread the mixture out over the tray and then using your hand press down firmly.
  • Refrigerate overnight and then they’re ready to eat, I keep them in the fridge until they’re eaten so they stay firm.

Enjoy : )Veronica x

 

 

Nettle & Wild Garlic Quiche

Nettle-&-Wild-Garlic-Vegan-Quiche

The weather might be all over the place but the budding leaves and green shoots aren’t fooled, Spring is most definitely here. I get pretty excited when everything starts bursting into life during Spring. The first leaves of Spring always seems extra green and vivid especially after the long grey months of winter. 

Nettle and wild garlic are an amazing Spring green combination. Last year I paired them together in these savoury Buckwheat Crepes which are just so delicious! This year I was inspired by a vegan flan I had whilst on holiday and decided to recreate something similar at home. I opted for creamy cashews and a wholewheat spelt flour topped with crunchy toasted seeds.

Nettles have to be one of the easiest wild foods to forage, they can be found pretty much everywhere and are easily recognised by most of us. Wild garlic is a little trickier to find but is also common. I always get wild garlic in my veg bag during Spring and you would probably find it at your local farmers market if you can’t find any near where you live.

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Nettle & Wild Garlic Quiche

Nettle tips: Harvest the nettles when young and pick only the top few leaves. Wash throughly in a bowl of cold water and don’t forget to use rubber gloves when handling!

For the pastry:
175 g Wholemeal Spelt Flour
75 g Coconut Oil + Extra for Greasing
2-3 tbsp Cold Water
Pinch of Salt

For the filling:
350g Cashews 
3 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
250g Nettles
Small bunch of Wild Garlic
1 Small Onion
1 tsp Caraway Seeds
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
3 tbsp Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
3 tbsp Toasted Sunflower Seeds
3 tbsp Toasted Sesame Seeds

  • Soak the cashews in water (preferably filtered) overnight.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a flan dish with coconut oil. Measure the spelt flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. If your coconut oil is melted at room temperature, place it in the fridge for half an hour first. Add the coconut oil and use you finger tips to rub together the flour and coconut oil until you get a breadcrumb consistency. 
  • Add in a tablespoon of water at a time and use you hand to bring together the mixture until it forms into a ball.
  • Roll out on a floured surface and line the flan dish with the pastry. Press the pastry down, trim off the edges and prick a few holes in the pastry with a fork. If you have them, cover the pastry with baking paper and hold down with ceramic baking beans.
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  • Whilst the pastry is cooking fry the onion on a little coconut oil for 10 minutes until it starts to caramelise. Add the caraway and fennel seeds, fry for a few more minutes then add in the nettles and stir until they begin to wilt down. Roughly chop the wild garlic and add to the frying pan, stirring until both the nettles and wild garlic have wilted. Then remove form the heat and set aside to cool.
  • Drain and rinse the cashews and add to a food processor with the nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Blitz for a few minutes until you get a smooth and creamy consistency. 
  • Stir the cashew mixture together with the nettle and wild garlic and over the pastry and spread out evenly. Top with the toasted seeds and gently press them down into the cashew mix.
  • Place in the fridge to set for 2 hours. Serve chilled with salad.

Enjoy! Amy x

 

Apple & Parsnip Soup

Apple-&-Parsnip-Soup

I love this time of year – the lighter evenings and the sunnier days. Yes, spring has sprung and I for one am glad! Despite the sunnier days I still haven’t turned my back on some warming foods, after all there is still a chill in the air. In fact, I was on a run the other day and all the weather was thrown at me during those three and a half hours (Yep – that’s my longest run for the marathon done). I came home and was frozen, soup was the only thing that warmed me through.

We’re still in the hungry gap right now so whilst spring is bringing lots of fresh new greens, we’re still relying on the last of winter’s crops until new season produce is ready. But there are still some parsnips and apples knocking around and they happen to make the tastiest soup I’ve ever made. Yes, a bold claim indeed, but seriously this is a winning combination. And the coconut yoghurt makes this soooo good. You could always swap this with some canned coconut milk if you’ve not got any to hand. I bought it in our local health food shop.

Apple-and-Parsnip-Soup

Apple and Parsnip Soup
Serves 4-5 

1 onion
3 parsnips
2 apples
2 sticks of celery
1 litre vegetable stock
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp coconut yoghurt
salt and pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

  • In a large pan heat the olive oil on a medium heat
  • Chop the onion and soften in the pan for 3-4 minutes
  • Peel and chop the apples and parsnips and add to the pan along with the chopped celery
  • Add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil, simmer for 30 minutes
  • When the vegetables have softened add the cumin and cinnamon. Blend using a stick blender until all smooth
  • Stir through the coconut yoghurt and season with salt and pepper

V x

Citrus Carrot Loaf

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It’s so nearly almost kind of Spring that it’s just mean! Tuesday was insanely warm and sunny, it was the kind of early Spring day that makes you remember how awesome warm weather and sunshine is! Remember those days of leaving the house without a coat and wearing sunglasses! 

So whilst we await the full bloom and warmth of Spring, here’s a yummy, sunny citrus carrot loaf to keep us going. Good old carrots are always in season and you really can’t beat a good carrot cake! There’s plenty of delicious citrus fruits to be found at the markets from sunny Spain and when combined with carrot cake, add a delicious zesty note. Be sure to hunt out organic oranges and lemons otherwise you’ll be zesting in nasty wax likely to be made from shellac, yuk!

Citrus-Carrot-Loaf Vegan-Citrus-Carrot-Loaf

Citrus Carrot Loaf

1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water
125g ground almonds
100g spelt flour
50g oats
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
40g coconut sugar
2 medium carrots, grated (approx. 110g)
60ml coconut oil, melted
Zest of 1 organic orange
Zest of 1/2 an unwaxed organic lemon

  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease a loaf tin with coconut oil.
  • Whisk the ground flax and water together in a cup and set aside.
  • Place all the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl and stir together.
  • Place the grated carrot in a separate small bowl, add the melted coconut oil and the flax mixture which should have formed a gelatinous consistency. Mix together and add into the dry ingredients, stirring together until just combined.
  • Pour into the loaf tin and top with a few thin slices of lemon and orange.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer or knife inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

Enjoy! Amy x

Green Smoothie Bowl

Green Smoothie Bowl

I’m right in the peak of training for the London Marathon. In fact, I don’t have too many more big runs before the BIG run itself. Eek! I’ve been pushing myself harder this year, I know I can reach the distance but I want to improve my time and get round in 4 hours and 30 minutes, and that means knocking off at least 30 seconds every mile if not more. It doesn’t sound a lot and it is doable, but have I got it in me to do it over 26.2 miles? I hope so.

I have been working on my post running nutrition, which I don’t think I’ve taken too seriously before and I’m feeling the effects. One thing I struggle with after a long run is fatigue. Not only do I feel physically exhausted but I am emotionally exhausted too. It is best to give me a wide birth because I probably will snap your head off! So, this protein packed seasonal smoothie bowl is the perfect post run or exercise smoothie to chow down on that will help your muscles to recover and also help with the crash of fatigue.

Smoothie bowl

green smoothie

Green Smoothie Bowl
(Makes 2 small bowls)

1 Pear
1 Apple
3 Stalks of kale
2 tspn Hemp protein powder
450 ml Almond milk
3 tspn Chia seeds
Handful of Almonds
4 tspn Hemp seeds
Handful of Pumpkin seeds

  • Slice the apple, pear and de-stalk the kale.
  • Add to your blender with the hemp powder and almond milk.
  • Blitz until smooth and creamy.
  • Pour into a bowl and top with the almonds, hemp seeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds (or toppings of your choice).

Veronica x

Beetroot & Black Bean Burgers

Beetroot-burgers

We love eating by the seasons and seeing how the passing of the year brings a whole different array of food to our tables. Living in the heart of a city I particularly love the connection my local veg box gives me to the changing seasons, weather and produce. There’s nothing like a wet, muddy carrot to spark the connection between the weather we’re having to the food that’s growing, or maybe that’s just me… vegetable romantic?

At this time of year, when the winter veg starts running out and the new season crops haven’t quite kicked in, it can seem like there isn’t that much exciting produce around. For sure there are plenty of greens to be had but when it’s still decidedly wintery outside, it can be hard to get excited about salad and I actually LOVE salad. But I don’t see this as the down-side to eating by the seasons. I see it as the fun, challenging side. How can I make the most delicious, satisfying, yummy meal out of a cabbage…. uh hello Winter Veg Stir-fry!

In fact I’ve actually had people say to me, oh yeah it seemed good getting a local veg box at first but then we just ended up getting loads of beetroot and just didn’t really know what to do with it. Well it just so happens that we bloody love beetroot (is that some kind of beetroot joke there, blood… who knows) and we don’t want beetroot putting anyone off eating seasonally!

We really do love it, just check out these recipes…

Chocolate Beetroot Cake
Roasted Beetroot & Raw Green Salad
Roasted Beetroot Rissotto
Celeriac & Marinated Beetroot Salad
Vegetable Crisps

So I wanted to share a really exciting, super delicious, hearty recipe to inspire those who might think eating seasonally is boring and restrictive and show that it is exciting and most importantly delicious! 

Beetroot-and-black-bean-burgers Vegan-beetroot-burgers

Beetroot & Black Bean Burgers
Makes 8 burgers

3 large beetroot (approx. 650g)
1 cup uncooked black beans
150g oats
1 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dill

Serving options:
bread rolls
salad leaves
alfafa sprouts
fried onions
fried chestnut mushrooms 

  • Soak the black beans overnight in double their volume of water. (I often don’t plan ahead to do organised stuff like this so just cook them for double the amount of time).
  • Rinse and drain the beans and place them with fresh water in a saucepan. Cook on a medium heat, covered for 1 hour until tender and soft.
  • Once your beans have started cooking, pre-heat the oven to 180C before peeling and chopping the beetroot. Place in a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil, sprinkle with the dill and season with salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly and cover with foil, roast for 45 minutes then set aside to cool slightly. 
  • When the beans are cooked drain them and run under cold water to cool. Add them to a food processor with the beetroot, oats and spices. Pulse for a couple of minutes, scraping down the sides regularly until you have a fairly smooth consistency.
  • Shape into burgers and place on a lightly oiled baking tray. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes which help gives them a firmer consistency. You can skip this step if you don’t mind them a little squishy, or are really hungry.
  • Bake in the oven for 25 minutes at 180C, flipping hallway through. Serve in bun with toppings of your choice and a large side salad. Or skip the gluten and serve with sweet potato wedges.

Amy x