Category Archives: Light bites

Creamy Sweet Potato Dip

Creamy Sweet Potato Dip

Anyone who knows me knows that I love sweet potatoes, they’re my all time favourite vegetable and I could happily eat them for every meal! Since I’m so obsessed I’m always trying to find new ways of eating them which seems to just further my obsession! Until last week my sweet potato brownies were the favourite, with my cinnamon and paprika wedges coming in a pretty close second, however, I then discovered the beauty of a creamy sweet potato dip and everything changed! This might be the perfect autumn dish, it goes with just about everything, enhancing all original flavours and adding an incredible creamy texture that just makes you so happy! It’s an incredibly simple recipe too with its strength lying in the perfect balance of a few deliciously subtle flavours that compliment each other perfectly. The sweet potatoes are steamed and then blended with chickpeas and homemade almond milk to make a wonderfully smooth, buttery base. This is then enhanced by adding tahini, which boosts the creaminess, apple cider vinegar and lemon, which together create a delicious tang; tamari (gluten free soy sauce), which adds a salty touch; and finally mixed herbs, sage leaves and chilli flakes to add a final layer of flavour! It’s pretty awesome. I’ve been loving it mixed with roasted autumn veggies – squash, potatoes, carrots, beets and delicious steamed greens, as well as using it as a dip for crudités and as a spread of homemade toast! I’m yet to find a situation in which it doesn’t taste incredible! Of course it’s so good for you too as each mouthful is full of energising plant-protein thanks to the chickpeas, almond milk and tahini. As well as lots of vitamin A from the sweet potatoes, which is essential for strengthening your body’s immunity against infection, as well as helping your body to build and maintain clean, glowing skin. The sweet potatoes are also filled with antioxidants and amazing anti-inflamatory properties, which is so important for keeping you healthy!

On another note I have two awesome things for you – firstly I’ll be uploading another great video for you tomorrow, this time focusing on how to make quinoa taste amazing with my recipe for roasted squash and pine nut quinoa! And secondly after the amazing popularity of my cooking classes I’ve organised five more, which I am so excited about, and I’ll release the dates on the events section on Monday! Have a beautiful Saturday everyone.

Creamy Sweet Potato Dip

Makes one big bowl

- 3 small sweet potatoes or 2 medium ones

- 1 cup of chickpeas

- 1/2 a cup of almond milk

- 1 tablespoon of dried mixed herbs

- 1 tablespoon of tahini

- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

- 2 teaspoons of tamari (gluten free soy sauce)

- 2 sage leaves

- 1 lemon

- salt and a sprinkling of chilli flakes to taste

Start by peeling the sweet potatoes, then chop them into small pieces and place these in a steamer. Steam for about twenty minutes until they are really soft and easy to mash with a fork.

At this point remove the sweet potatoes from the steamer and allow them to cool for a few minutes. While they cool squeeze the lemon and then place all the remaining ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth, then add the sweet potatoes and blend again until perfectly creamy. Then serve! You can serve it warm or cold, I love it both but warm in the winter is awesome!

Almond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed Bread

Superfood Bread

I’ve always been a bit nervous of making a delicious gluten free, vegan, super healthy bread, it just seemed like a very daunting and slightly impossible task, but after the success of my burger buns two weeks ago I realised that it was time to attempt it and what a simple success it was! I can’t tell you how easy this recipe is and how insanely awesome it tastes, it also left me feeling like a serious domestic goddess: seriously I was jumping all around my kitchen in such excitement! The bread is just perfect, with a beautifully rich, wholesome, nutty flavour and a wonderfully soft texture. It’s so great to have bread back in the house again too and I’ve been really enjoying slices of it toasted with all my favourite toppings – think creamy avocado with lemon juice, chilli salt and sliced tomatoes; homemade almond butter with banana slices and medjool dates; roasted red pepper hummus with bean sprouts and black pepper, healthy nutella with pieces of roasted hazelnuts… the list is just too awesome!

Something tells me this might be my most popular recipe yet and I know it’s something that a lot of you have been asking for for a while so I hope you love it! This type of nut and seed bread is so popular at the moment and seems to be popping up on blogs everywhere so I’m sure you’ll have come across similar versions on places like Green Kitchen StoriesOh She Glows or My New Roots (three of the best blogs ever) as well as lots of paleo versions using eggs not psyllium. I’ve changed the consistency of the typical bread though to make is smoother and softer as I like my toast to have a more traditional texture that kind of melts in your mouth, although I’ve left some whole pumpkin and sunflower seeds in there for a little crunch! Mine’s also totally gluten free as most of these types of recipes use oats, so I’ve moved to brown rice flour to make it easier for you all.

Almond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed BreadAlmond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed BreadAlmond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed Bread

Makes one loaf

- 2 cups of cold water

- 1 and a 1/2 cups of pumpkin seeds

- 1 cup of buckwheat or brown rice flour

- 1 cup of almonds

- 1/2 a cup of sunflower seeds

- 3 heaped tablespoons of psyllium husk powder

- 2 tablespoons of chia seeds

- 2 tablespoons of dried mixed herbs (I used herbs de provence but basil, rosemary, thyme, oregano etc are all great)

- salt and pepper to taste

Unfortunately there is no substitute for the psyllium husk powder – they work to stick the loaf together and I’m so sorry but they’re just essential for the recipe, I tried it without them and it was just too crumbly! They’re really easy to get hold of though, every health food shop sells them and google has endless links to sites that sell them too.

P.S. I just changed the recipe a little to the original changing the quinoa flakes which lots of you were struggling to find and instead using brown rice/buckwheat flour, I’ve also taken out the flaxseeds. I find this version works much better and I hope you do too!

Almond, Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed Bread

Simply place the almonds and one cup of the pumpkin seeds in a food processor and blend for a couple of minutes until a smooth flour forms. Transfer this flour into a bowl and stir in the remaining half a cup of pumpkin seeds plus the buckwheat flour, sunflower seeds, psyllium husks, dried herbs and salt. Stir the mix well before gradually pouring in the water.

You’ll then need to let the mixture sit for an hour or so to let it fully absorb all the water and firm up. During which time you can heat the oven to 180C.

Once the mix is nice and firm (I mean really firm, it can’t even be a tiny bit runny – if it is then add another spoon of psyillium) grease the base of a loaf tin with coconut or olive oil, pour the mix in and firmly press it down with a spoon or spatula. Then place the bread in the oven and bake for forty minutes to an hour, until the top begins to brown and you can pull a knife out of the middle without any mix sticking to it. Finally, slice, smother in your favourite toppings and enjoy!

I normally store the bread in the fridge as it makes it last longer, and if you want to freeze it that works too, I normally slice it before freezing first though to make toasting easier!

Lettuce Salsa Wraps

Lettuce Salsa Wraps

Lettuce Salsa Wraps

Summer is finally here! The sun is shining, it’s warm and beautiful and everybody seems to be just a little bit happier. It really is the best season! Anyway with the warmer weather comes a different set of food cravings: it’s all about light, delicate, easy dishes that leave you feeling so refreshed and energised, and these lettuce wraps are the perfect answer to your summery needs. The soft buttery leaves are filled with a delicious salsa made up of juicy tomatoes, tangy red pepper pieces, fresh basil leaves, sweet yellow corn, crunchy bean sprouts and creamy bites of avocado, all drizzled with lemon juice and olive oil and a sprinkling of pink himalayan salt. Are you drooling yet? I am! It’s healthy eating at its best, so simple yet so satisfying. All the flavours are wonderfully subtle, which means that none of them outshine each other but instead blend together perfectly to create perfect bites of delicious summer happiness.

Lettuce Salsa WrapsLettuce Salsa WrapsLettuce Salsa Wraps

Serves 2:

- 8 big leaves of butter lettuce (the softest type of lettuce)

- 2 big tomatoes

- 1 red pepper

- 1 avocado

- 1/2 a cup of sweetcorn

- 1/2 a cup of mixed bean sprouts (if you don’t have these use chickpeas)

- a handful of fresh basil leaves

- 1 lemon

- extra virgin olive oil

- salt

Lettuce Salsa Wraps

There’s not really much of a recipe here, it’s more of an assemblage of raw ingredients! All you need to do is chop the avocado, tomatoes and red pepper (discard the seeds) into tiny bruschetta-style cubes. Then chop the basil leaves into fine pieces. Mix all the chopped ingredients in a bowl with the corn and bean sprouts. Squeeze the lemon and stir this in, along with a drizzling of olive oil and some salt to taste.

Wash the leaves and then fill them with salsa and enjoy!

Chickpea and Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

Chickpea and Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

I tried this recipe for the first time this week and I was so awesomely surprised by how wonderfully easy and totally delicious it turned out, it’s such a winner! It tastes like a perfect mix of focaccia, pizza and flat bread, nice and doughy yet still thin enough and ever so slightly chewy. Just so good. The basil leaves and sun-dried tomatoes give it the most incredible flavour, subtle and fresh, which means that it totally complements whatever you pair it with. I’m especially obsessed with dipping it into my warm spinach and artichoke dip, but it really tastes amazing with everything. This summer it made for the perfect summer lunch alongside a salad made up of rocket leaves tossed with roasted butternut squash, raw zucchini slices, avocado, cherry tomatoes, almonds, bean sprouts, extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice. I’ve also tried it with hummus and red pepper, little pieces torn up and dipped into soup and even spread with almond butter and dates – it seems to go with everything! It’s so healthy too, filled with an incredible amount of fibre and energy-boosting plant protein, and really easy – you just throw it in the oven and go!

Chickpea and Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

Makes one flatbread, about 10 x 5 inches

- 2 cups of chickpea flour

- 2 cups of filtered water

- 1/2 a cup of fresh basil leaves

- 1 cup of sun-dried tomatoes

- 1 lemon

- 1 tablespoon of tahini

- 2 tablespoons of dried mixed herbs, I use mix herbs de provence, oregano and thyme

- 1 teaspon of miso paste or tamari

- 1 heaped teaspoon of paprika

- a sprinkling of chilli flakes

- salt and pepper

Chickpea and Sun-Dried Tomato Focaccia

Pre-heat the oven to 190C. Then juice the lemon and place it’s juice with all of the other ingredients – except for the sun-dried tomatoes – into a food processor. Blend until smooth.

Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into bite-sized chunks and stir them into the mixture.

Pour the mixture into a baking tray either lined with baking paper or olive oil and bake for 25-30 minutes until the top is set and you can stick a knife through and pull it out clean.

Then serve and enjoy!

carrot coconut soup

Carrot, Ginger & Coconut Soup

Carrot, Ginger & Coconut Soup

London’s been absolutely freezing this week, which means one thing – a serious need for hearty, warming foods. I know most people don’t usually associate vegan style food with this way of eating, but it actually really works. I’ve been living off meals like roasted brussel sprouts with quinoa, pomegranates, sautéed mushrooms and sweet potatoes, mixed veggie pasta with my homemade tomato sauce, raw brownies with banana sauce, spinach based stir fry’s and delicious soups, my favourite of which has been this carrot, ginger & coconut soup – it is just amazing! The perfect winter warmer. The blend of carrots, celery and parsnips creates a deliciously sweet flavour that echoes the vegetables earthy origins, while the coconut milk takes their creamy consistency to the next level, making the soup taste smooth and velvety! So it appears hearty and decadent, yet still so wonderfully healthy and nourishing. The uniqueness of this soup, however, lies is the ginger which adds an insanely incredible zing to every mouthful, leaving a wonderful after taste that just makes you want more and more! Ginger is also one of nature’s most powerful digestion aids, so it’s great to get a good dose of it in regularly.

The soup tastes amazing just as it is but for extra awesomeness I like to add toasted pumpkin seeds and sautéed mushrooms – it makes the dish more filling as sometimes soup isn’t quite enough to keep you going from one meal to the next!

carrot coconut soupIMG_0363

Serves 2

- 6 carrots

- 4 parsnips

- 2 sticks of celery

- 3 cups of boiling water

- 3 tablespoons of coconut milk

- 1 knob of ginger, about an inch long

- 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

- a sprinkling of chilli flakes

- 1 teaspoon of paprika

- salt & pepper to taste

Optional:

- 4 portobello mushrooms

- a large handful of pumpkin seeds

Carrot, Ginger & Coconut Soup

Start by peeling the carrots and parsnips, then chop them and the celery into small-ish slices. Place the veggies into a sauce pan with the peeled ginger, paprika, chilli flakes, salt & pepper.

Add the boiling water to the pan and then allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Once the veggies are cooked transfer them and their water into a blender with the coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. Blend until creamy – you may want to add more water at this point depending on how you like your soup.

While it blends chop the mushrooms in half, then thinly slice them. Sauté them in a frying pan with olive oil, dried mixed herbs, chilli flakes and salt, adding in the pumpkin seeds as they begin to brown.

The pour your soup into bowls and place the mushroom seed mix on top – you can add a swirl of coconut milk too if you’re feeling fancy! Enjoy!