Moroccan Matbucha

Matbucha

Matbucha… the absolute staple in every Moroccan’s fridge, and at its best when it has just been made and is still warm. It’s something I grew up eating. My mum would make it every single Friday and we’d have massive spoonfuls of it on big chunks of hot bread. Now I tend to favour healthier breads but the matbucha stays the same! This is my mum’s original recipe (thanks Marge!) I hope you all love it…

Ingredients (this makes enough for a couple of people. If making for a dinner party, double the ingredients)

1 tin organic chopped tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cloves garlic, sliced in half
Half a red chilli, chopped (add the whole thing if you like it really hot!)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
1 tsp sugar

Method

Chuck it all into a smallish saucepan and simmer on a low heat for about an hour. Yes, it really is that easy! Do taste along the way to see if it needs more paprika, cumin, salt or chilli.

Enjoy your taste of Morocco!

Love,
Lauren

Vegan Pesto

Vegan Pesto

A quick and simple recipe for a yummy, healthy pesto that also happens to be high in vitamins and vegan…

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado
Quarter cup extra virgin olive oil
5 tbsp lemon juice
5 Brazil nuts
Handful pine nuts
2 cloves garlic
Handful kale
Pinch Himalayan salt

Method

Simply place all the ingredients, apart from the kale, into a food processor and blitz until fully incorporated. If it’s too thick add some more olive oil. Once ready add the kale and blitz once more until you can see little bits of the kale incorporated.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Original Arab Israeli Hummus

Original Hummus

Firstly, please excuse the poor quality of the picture; my husband took my camera to work so I’m using my phone and it’s a bit ‘shadowy’. Anyway, onto the important part! HUMMUS! I’ve already posted on here my Turmeric Hummus and Roasted Red Pepper Hummus recipes, but I thought I’d do plain, original hummus.

There is a place in Jaffa (Israel) where I go to every time I’m there. It’s run by Arab Israelis and if you didn’t know about it, you’d never go in because it looks like a dive! It’s one small room with wooden tables, plastic chairs and the only thing they serve is hummus and drinks! They make the hummus in the morning, early,  and they close when it runs out. You go in (no later than midday otherwise there’s none left) sit down, they ask what you want to drink and then bring you a plate of hummus and some pitta bread and you just sit there dipping away. It’s seriously the most amazing tasting hummus in the world and I’m trying to replicate it myself and this is the closes I have come…

Ingredients

2 tins organic chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
Quarter cup purified water
2 tbsp tahini paste
5 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp olive oil
Half tsp Himalayan salt
4 cloves garlic, minced

Method

Simply blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until completely smooth – it really is as easy as that! Enjoy with gluten free bread, crackers, rice or quinoa cakes or veggies.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Turmeric Hummus

Turmeric Hummus

The search for healthy snacks is never ending in my house. I don’t like big meals so I tend to eat little and often so there is nothing better for me than some homemade hummus with some carrot or celery sticks or some gluten-free crackers. Check out my roasted red pepper hummus – that one was to die for (and the picture is way better than this one!) I didn’t have too much time today, I just needed to blitz it in the blender and go. I wanted to use turmeric as it is such an amazing anti-inflammatory and I try to use it in as much food as I can.

Ingredients

2 tins organic chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
Quarter cup purified water
2 tbsp tahini paste
5 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
Half tsp Himalayan salt
Half tsp garlic salt
1 tbsp turmeric

Method

Simply blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until completely smooth – it really is as easy as that! Enjoy with gluten free bread, crackers, rice or quinoa cakes or veggies.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

 

 

Homemade Chocolate Sauce

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Great for pancakes, baking and a million other recipes. Here is our chocolate sauce – dairy free and refined-sugar free.

Ingredients

1/4 cup  cacao butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
1/3 cup cacao powder
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter (optional)

Method

Put all ingredients in a saucepan and cook on a low to medium heat, stirring quite regularly. If it’s too thick, add more coconut oil, if it’s too runny, add more cacao powder, and if you like it sweeter, add more maple.

Easy as that!

Love,
Lauren

Simple Homemade Tomato Sauce

tomato sauce

Every freezer should be stocked with this simple and healthy tomato sauce – it can be used in a myriad of different dishes, and makes life easier for busy moms! Just got home from work and need to make dinner in under half an hour? Defrost this sauce and serve it with some buckwheat or quinoa pasta for a quick but still nutritious family meal.

Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and antioxidants, particularly lycopene. Researchers recently found a connection between tomatoes and bone health, concluding that tomatoes can help to prevent osteoporosis. They are also important for heart health, and have long been hailed as the anti-prostate cancer food of choice.

I like to make up a batch of this sauce and then freeze some of it in ice trays, so that I have small portions handy for my son’s meals (I use 2 – 3 cubes for him) and freeze the rest in one portion for a family meal.

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Ingredients

2 large onions, chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
6 large cloves of garlic
1/2 cup of red wine (optional)
1.3kg fresh tomatoes, roughly chopped, including seeds
small handful of fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 cup dried dates
3/4 tsp himalayan salt
a few leaves of fresh basil

Method

Fry the onions in the olive oil until caramelised. Add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Add the wine. There should immediately be a cloud of steam, and a strong smell of alcohol. This is the alcohol in the wine cooking off – so don’t worry, there won’t be any alcohol left over in the sauce. You can omit the wine, but it adds depth of flavour.

Add the tomatoes, thyme, bay leaves and dates. Turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer for a minimum of 30 minutes. An hour or longer is better – the longer it simmers the more the flavours develop.

Remove the hard stalks of the thyme and then put the sauce in a blender or food processor. For pasta sauces I like a chunkier texture so will use a food processor. For a smoother sauce (for example, for pizza) use a blender. Add the salt and basil and blend until you have the desired consistency. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Traditionally tomato sauce would have quite a bit of sugar added (you’d be mortified to learn how much sugar there is in store-bought tomato sauce or ketchup!) I avoid this by adding the dates. If you feel that it needs more sweetness, add more dates or raw honey or organic maple syrup. If you feel that it needs more acidity, use fresh lemon or organic apple cider vinegar. This all depends on the natural flavour of the tomatoes you’ve used, so just taste and see!

Use immediately or freeze for future use.

Below are examples of how I would use this sauce:

tomato sauce 2

Here I roasted some aubergine with olive oil, salt and black pepper. I added it to the sauce along with some fresh chilli and basil. Served with buckwheat pasta.

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I fried onion, garlic, carrot, red pepper, broccoli and chilli in olive oil. I added the sauce, cooked brown basmati rice, shredded poached chicken and fresh coriander.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Basil Pesto

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This is my dairy-free version of pesto (traditionally you would add parmesan,) and using a combination of cashews and sunflower seeds makes it more economical.  If you have pine nuts, feel free to use them! If you have a nut allergy you could replace the nuts with more seeds.
This will keep in a jar in the fridge for about a week, or you could make a big batch when you have lots of basil and freeze it in smaller portions. I often freeze sauces in an ice tray, and then put the cubes into a freezer bag. That way you can just defrost a few cubes at a time, instead of the whole lot.

I’ve given alternatives in case you feel like a change, or if you don’t have the correct ingredients on hand.

Ingredients

80g fresh basil leaves (or replace 40g with fresh spinach)
1/2 cup raw cashews (or macadamias)
2 tbsp raw sunflower seeds (or pumpkin seeds)
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
juice of 1 lemon, or to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

Method

I like my pesto chunky so I make it in a food processor, but you could do it in a blender if you prefer it smoother. Simply throw in all the ingredients and pulse until you have the desired consistency. As with all our dips & sauces, taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary to the way you like it!
I find that this makes the perfect consistency for using as a dip or spread, but if you want to use it as a sauce for gnocchi for example, add a few drops of water just to loosen it up a bit.

Health and happiness!

Love,
Raine