Watermelon and Lime Ice Lollies [vegan]

Watermelon and lime ice lollies

You may have noticed some changes over these sides – if anyone does read these ramblings! Amy has taken a step back from the blog, she is no longer fully vegan (due to some health reasons) and felt the time was right to step away. You can read more about it here. So, now you’ve just got me and I hope we can get to know each other a bit better! 

When I made these ice lollies we were in the midst of a sunny spell. These sunny spells don’t last long in good old Blighty and it’s definitely not the weather for these refreshing ice lollies.

I bought myself some the ice lolly moulds for the summertime and then they took about two months to arrive, just in time for Autumn, that’ll teach me for resorting to Amazon! Anyway, if the warmer weather does make a reappearance get your melons out and try these bad boys! 

Watermelon and lime lolliesWatermelon and lime ice lollies

Watermelon and Lime Ice Lollies

800g watermelon
1 lime juice
1 tbsp agave syrup

  • Slice and de-skin the watermelon, then in a food processor blitz until smooth.
  • Add the lime juice and agave syrup and blend together.
  • In your ice lolly moulds pour the liquid and freeze overnight.
  • Makes 6 ice lollies.

Veronica x

Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Houmous

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A super speedy recipe to liven up your houmous. You can’t beet some roasted beetroot AND garlic, and this makes a really sweet flavour combination. Forget your pickled beetroot THIS is where you can truly appreciate the awesomeness of beetroot. 

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Roasted Beetroot and Garlic Houmous
240g (1 tin) chickpeas
2 tbsp tahini
2 beetroots
3 cloves garlic
1/2 juice of lemon
Handful of fresh coriander
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
2 tbsp water

  • Peel the beetroot and chop into small chunks. In a baking tray, roast the beetroot and garlic cloves in the oven for 35 minutes with a drizzle of olive oil.
  • Meanwhile, blend the chickpeas in a food processor along with the tahini. Add the lemon juice. 
  • Once the beetroot is cooked, add it to the chickpea mix. Peel the skin of the garlic cloves and pop in the mixture, and drain any excess olive oil into the processor too.
  • Blend until smooth, this may take awhile depending on the power of your blender.
  • Add the coriander and season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy

Veronica x

Blueberry and Nectarine Upside Down Cake [vegan]

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I’m not sure if this is best described as a cake, it is probably more of a pudding. Whether you’ve got peaches or nectarines to hand, this tasty upside down cake is so fruity, plus the lemon zest gives the sponge an extra zing! I think it is definitely best eaten whilst warm from the oven, but you can always add some custard to warm a cold slice up.

We are in the midst of the british blueberry season, so make sure you grab a couple of punnets and stock up your freezers.

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Blueberry and Nectarine Upside Down Cake
120g spelt flour
120g self-raising flour
60g caster sugar
1 tspn baking powder
200ml oat milk
70ml vegetable oil
2 x nectarines
2 x handful blueberries
Zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • Line the bottom of a 7 inch cake tin with greaseproof paper and oil the sides of the tin. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
  • Slice the nectarines and lay them and a handful of blueberries in the bottom of the tin.
  • In a mixing bowl – add the flours, sugar and baking powder. Stir in the oat milk and oil and add the juice and zest of the lemon, plus another handful of blueberries. Once mixed together pour over the nectarine and blueberries.
  • Bake for 40 minutes until a skewer comes out clean.

🙂

Veronica x

Courgette Fritters with Thai Peanut Sauce [vegan and gluten-free]

vegan courgette fritters

I promise I’m not lying when I say these courgette fritters may just be my best creation so far! When I had my allotment my kitchen was overrun with courgettes. It turned out planting five courgette plants meant you had about 50 courgettes to consume, and if you didn’t tend to your plants regularly they would look more like marrows. So, 50 marrow sized courgettes meant we were eating a heck of a lot of the vegetable! We had to get inventive with our mealtimes. I made this delightful courgette loaf that used some up. We used to have these fritters at least once a week, but now i’ve upped the fritter game with this peanut sauce AND it’s definitely a game changer. So if you’ve found yourself in a courgette predicament right now, or you’re wondering what else can you do with courgette other than slicing them and boiling them, THIS recipe has definitely got your name on!

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Courgette Fritters with Thai Peanut Sauce
750g courgettes
1 red onion
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
100g rice flour (or alternate flour)
1 tspn ground coriander
1 tspn cumin
1 chilli (finely chopped)
180ml oat milk
1 tbsp flax seed
Handful of fresh coriander (chopped)
1 juice of lime
Salt and pepper

For the peanut sauce:
2 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp tamari soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tspn dried chilli flakes (or fresh chilli)
1/2 lime juice
1 spring onion
40ml water

  • Grate the courgette and onion. Leave to drain for 10 minutes in a sieve and then squeeze and remaining water out of the mixture -the drier the better.
  • In a pan, melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil and sauté the courgette, onion and garlic cloves for 5 – 10 minutes,
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, ground coriander and cumin and stir the spices through.
  • Once the courgette mix has cooled slightly, add to the flour mix, along with the chilli, milk, flax seed, lime juice and coriander. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Melt the other tablespoon of coconut oil and spoon the mixture into patties and cook on a medium high heat. Turn over once they have crisped up on the bottom. They will take about 10 – 15 minutes to cook through.
  • Meanwhile, to make the peanut sauce – add the peanut butter to a bowl, along with the soy sauce, sesame oil and maple sauce – stir until creamy and smooth.
  • Add the dried chilli flakes, lime juice and finely chopped spring onion, along with the water to make a runnier sauce, add more or less water depending on how thick you prefer the sauce.
  • I served it with courgette ribbons and the peanut sauce drizzled all over them – super tasty!

Peace and love
Veronica x

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. 

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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

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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.

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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

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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