Sweet Potato & Spinach Slow Cooker Curry

sweet-pot-spinach-curry

Mid-week meals are all about ease and convenience, without it being convenience food as such. Everything we have at home is fresh and cooked from scratch but that doesn’t mean it needs to take hours to cook; with a slow-cooker you just shove it all in and come back to it when you want to eat it. The only time-consuming thing that still stands is the peeling and chopping… sorry, I can’t change that for you (or for me, unfortunately!)

I apologise in advance to my Indian friends for what I am labelling as ‘curry’; I know this isn’t exactly an authentic curry, but let’s just call this a Jewish curry! It’s fast, easy, and filled with fresh ingredients and spices.

As those of you who have followed me for a while know, Braxton has had spices in his food since I started weaning him so he’s very used to these flavours.

Ingredients

1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large white potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can full fat coconut milk
1 cup organic vegetable stock
Half tsp garam masala
Half tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Half a bag of spinach

Method

The inside bit of my slow cooker is hob-safe which means I can brown the onions and garlic in coconut oil over the hob first without dirtying another pan, which is the whole point of using a slow cooker; ease. If yours doesn’t have this feature just brown the onion and garlic in a frying pan first, then add them to the slow cooker.

Now add the rest of the ingredients except for the spinach, give it a bit of a stir and turn the slow cooker on.

About an hour before you’re going to serve, add the spinach and mix it in. The heat will make it wilt into the mixture.

Love & health,
Lauren

Beetroot Mash

beetroot-mash

How gorgeous and bright does this look for a dull winter’s day? I just love the colours of nature and colours are a great way to entice children to eat vegetables. Beetroots are full of nutrients and are such an important vegetable.

Beetroots are an excellent source of folte so a great food to eat when pregnant or trying to conceive. They are also high in iron, potassium and fibre and are great for the heart. Generally an all-round wonderful vegetable.

I had a bunch of fresh beets in the fridge and juiced a few but wanted something warm so I decided to make this beetroot mash. It’s more like a beetroot puree really as I blended it. So creamy and soft and moreish.

I made something very similar a while back and added horseradish, so if you like a kick to your mash, try that one out!

Ingredients

2 beetroot
5 white potatoes
Quarter cup almond milk
Quarter cup vegetable stock
Himalayan salt & black pepper to taste

Method

Peel and chop the beetroots and potatoes.

Put the potatoes in a saucepan with boiling water and boil. If you have a steamer saucepan, put this over the top of the potatoes and put the lid on so they can steam and boil together. If you don’t, boil or steam the beets separately.

When they are both soft, mash the potatoes with a masher.

Add the beets to the blender and blend until smooth, then add the potatoes, stock, almond milk, salt and pepper and blend until puree-like.

Add more stock or almond milk if you need.

Love & health,
Lauren

Roasted Vegetable Pasta (Gluten Free) with RawSpiceBar Chipotle Spice Mix

roasted-veg-pasta

I was recently sent this month’s spice collection by RawSpiceBar. I’d never tried their spice mixes before so thought I’d give this one a go and added their Chipotle Salt spice mix to a roasted vegetable pasta, to make a normal everyday meal a bit more exciting.

It tasted amazing and what I love about it is that all the spices are organic, ethically sourced, sugar-free, gluten-free, paleo and vegan.

If you like flavour but are not too sure how to incorporate it into every day cooking, head over to RawSpiceBar and sign up to their monthly spice box and receive 3 freshly ground, recipe-ready flavour kits, direct to your door each month.

Ingredients

Brown rice pasta (enough for however many people you’re cooking for)
1 courgette
1 red pepper
2 red onions
Extra virgin olive oil
Half a tin of tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 sachet RawSpiceBar Chipotle Salt mix
2 cloves garlic, sliced
Half tsp paprika
Half tsp cumin
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Chop the vegetables and add them to a large bowl and drizzle the olive oil over, then pour the RawSpiceBar mix over and mix well.

Put onto a baking tray and bake for around half an hour.

In a small saucepan add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin and leave on a low light, stirring quite often. Season more as needed. You’ll want to leave this on the heat for about the same amount of time that the vegetables are in the over, around half an hour, so don’t cook the pasta until the end.

When the sauce has thickened and looks ready, boil the pasta as per the packet instructions.

Once ready, drain the pasta in a colander, preserving a smidgen of water back.

Add the tomato sauce to the saucepan and mix well, then add the vegetables and mix.

Serve immediately.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

 

Creamy Vegan Mash

creamy-vegan-mash

Mashed potatoes have to be creamy. No use having dry, lumpy mashed potatoes – it’s just not worth it! I was just using almond milk and dairy-free spread but I’ve now found a way to make it even creamier – by adding stock!

Braxton has been a little bit unwell and didn’t want to eat anything that he had to chew so I added my homemade stock to this and it really made him happy. See what you think…

Ingredients

About 7 white potatoes
125ml low sodium or homemade vegetable stock
Half a cup almond milk
2 tbsp dairy free non-hydrogenated spread / ‘margarine’
1 tsp dried parsley
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Method

Peel and chop the potatoes and put them in a pan of boiling water and bring to the boil.

Once soft, drain in a colander, holding a tiny smidgen of water back, then transfer all back to the pan.

Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes and once they are as smooth as you can get them, add the stock, almond milk and margarine and mix well.

Now add the parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Add more stock if it is not creamy enough and just keep adding to your desired creaminess!

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Sweet Potato & Zucchini Noodles with Creamy Cashew Sauce

cashew-cream-sweet-potato-zucchini-noodles

This is a recipe from the Veggie Steady Cook cookbook we had made from all our recipes from the day, so I can’t take credit for it as it’s not my recipe – but I made it the other day and swapped some of the ingredients to make it dairy free and it was so yummy. Check out the post I wrote about VSC if you haven’t already. This dish is such an awesome vegan recipe. I think I drowned the ‘noodles’ in the sauce a bit too much but the sauce was too delicious! I had it for dinner with a vegan, organic schnitzel.

Ingredients

1 sweet potato
2 zucchini
1 cup spinach
1 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tbsp chopped basil
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp ground ginger
1 cup cashews
2/3 cup buckwheat or farali flour
125g vegan margarine
2-3 cups almond milk
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp mixed herbs

Method

Cashew sauce:
Soak the cashews in hot water for 30 mins.

Blend in the food processor and add ½ cup of almond milk

White sauce:
In a pan, heat the margarine and add the flour.

Add milk and stir gradually until it becomes thick and the lumps disappear.

Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and dried herbs.

Noodles:
Spiralize the sweet potatoes and zucchini and blanch in hot water for about 4-5 minutes then drain.

In a pan mix the cashew sauce into the white sauce, add spinach, basil, paprika, pepper and ground ginger and mix well.

Add the sweet potato and zucchini noodles into the sauce and mix,

Love & health,
Lauren

Quinoa with Lentils, Butterbeans and Vegetables – Vegan dinner

quinoa-and-lentils

I can’t take credit for this one; my husband made it. He has really got into this way of life over the past year or so, especially since having Braxton. It used to be something he was happy for me to do and would eat what I cooked because, well, it was yummy so he couldn’t really complain! But now he’s actually into it himself and loves being in the kitchen coming up with new and interesting recipes. He doesn’t bake, but he loves to cook savoury food and cooks for us a lot these days.

My kitchen is closed on the weekends – I just don’t have the energy to cook much during the weekends except to make food for Brax, so Daniel often makes us a Sunday night dinner and this was this week’s creation. You can literally add anything you want but we just used what we had at home.

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa
Half cup lentils
2 sweet potatoes
1 head broccoli, cut into florets
1 tin organic butter beans
1 tin organic sweetcorn
1 cup frozen peas
1 red pepper
1 tsp bouillon
Coconut oil
Olive oil
Himalayan salt & black pepper

Method

Peel and dice the sweet potato, put it on an oven tray, drizzle some coconut oil, salt and paprika and put it in the oven for 20 mins.

Take another oven tray, cut the red pepper into smallish pieces, drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil and put that in the oven alongside the sweet potato for 20 minutes.

While they’re in the oven, put the quinoa and lentils into a saucepan, cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, add the bouillon, turn down the heat and put the lid on. It will take around 20 minutes to make but keep checking and mixing, adding more water if needed.

Steam the broccoli for around 6-7 minutes

Boil the peas in some hot water – this should only take around 5 minutes then put them in a bowl with the sweetcorn, broccoli and butterbeans.

Once the sweet potatoes and peppers are ready add them to the bowl, then once the lentils and quinoa are ready, you can add this too.

Give it a good mix and add salt and pepper, and any other herbs you may like.

Love & health,
Lauren & Daniel

 

 

Moroccan Brown Rice

moroccan-brown-rice

The best thing about being half Moroccan is, by far, the food. Who doesn’t like Moroccan food? Moroccan grandmothers are renowned for their cooking skills and my grandmother was one of the best.

My mum grew up in the East End of London – you literally couldn’t find a bigger disparity between my dad’s upbringing in Casablanca and my mum’s in the East End! Pie and mash versus apricot chicken tagine, fish and chips versus almond couscous, bacon butties versus cinnamon and turmeric spiced rice, and so on.

But luckily for me, my mum is an amazing cook and learnt all the dishes from my grandmother when she met my dad and so I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up eating the most beautifully tasting food, not just thanks to my mum but also all my dad’s sisters.

I have learnt a lot of the dishes myself and although some of them are very intricate, there are also ways of incorporating the flavours and spices into everyday dishes like rice. Rice is a really hard thing to get right so I hope this post helps you perfect it.

I made this for our dinner alongside some other bits and Daniel and Braxton both love it. I hope you do too.

Ingredients

1 cup brown basmati rice
Enough purified water to cover the rice
1 tsp bouillon
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cinnamon
Handful almond flakes
Handful sultanas
Himalayan salt and black pepper, to taste

Method

Put the rice in a saucepan and cover with water, but make sure the water comes up about an inch over the rice. I have a Brita kettle and usually boil the kettle first to pre-boil and purify the water, then pour it over once it’s boiled. Give it a mix and add the bouillon and wait until it starts bubbling. Once the bubbling starts, give it another mix, turn the heat down to low and put the lid on.

It will take about 20 minutes from here but you need to give it a stir every 5 minutes or so. If you see the water has gone down too much and the rice isn’t nearly ready, add some more water. The heat is down on low and the lid is on so the steam will cook it more than the water.

Once there is only a very tiny bit of water left at the bottom, after about 15 minutes, add the turmeric, cinnamon, salt and pepper and mix, then add the almond flakes and sultanas and give it another mix and leave the lid off until the water has disappeared but only just.

Serve straight away.

Love & health,
Lauren