Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

stuffed-peppers

Look at my wrinkly peppers! 🙂  I recently came back from Spain and they seem to ‘stuff’ a lot of food there so it inspired me to do stuffed peppers. My mum always made them for us growing up so not sure why I don’t do them more often – probably because she made them with meat so I associate it with that but I’ve made these delicious veggie ones and they turned out so yummy.

You can of course leave out the goat’s cheese if you want them vegan. We don’t eat cow’s milk dairy here and rarely even goat’s milk but I don’t mind the odd bit of goat’s cheese and Braxton really loved it too. The lentils and beans mean this meal is filled with plant-based protein.

Ingredients (for 2 people)

2 large red peppers
1 cup brown basmati rice
Half a cup of lentils
1 tin organic black beans
1 zucchini
1 tbsp bouillon
¼ tsp cumin
Himalayan salt and black pepper
A bit of soft goat’s cheese, cut up in very small cubes

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Cook the rice first according to the instructions, along with the lentils in the same saucepan. They both take quite a while so allow ample time.

When it has been cooking about 10 minutes, add the bouillon.

Once the water from the rice and lentils is very nearly all evaporated but there is still a tiny bit at the bottom, drain the black beans or kidney beans and add them. Mix them through the rice and lentils and leave on a low heat for a minute.

Now grate the zucchini directly into the saucepan and mix that around. Add the cumin, salt & pepper and mix. Now add the goat’s cheese and mix. Save a few pieces of goat’s cheese for after. Turn off the heat.

Cut the tops off the peppers and take out the insides and wash thoroughly.

Place them on a baking tray upright and fill with the rice mixture.

Put them in the oven for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes add a few pieces of the goat’s cheese to the top and leave in for another 5-10 minutes.

Serve hot.

Love & health,
Lauren

Lemon & Coconut Energy Balls

Lemon Coconut Energy Balls

So I was attempting to make some almond butter but my Vitamix stopped working so before the almonds got smooth enough I was left with a thicker butter. I didn’t want it to go to waste so I just mixed them with dates and other bits to make some energy balls.

I love the combination of lemon and coconut – it’s so summery and refreshing.

Ingredients

1 cup almonds (soaked for 6 hours)
1 cup dates
2 tbsp maple syrup or 1 tbsp Natvia (for lower GI or diabetics use Natvia)
Zest and juice from 1 lemon
2 tbsp desiccated coconut and more to coat

Method

After the almonds have soaked, rinse and pat them dry, then put them in the blender and blend until a thick buttery consistency forms.

Now add the dates and blend until incorporated.

Add the maple, zest, lemon juice and coconut and blend until combined.

Spoon the mixture into a bowl as it’s easier to work with than when it’s in the blender. Get a clean plate and start rolling the mixture into small balls in your hands and put them on the plate.

Once they are all made, sprinkle the desiccated coconut over them and roll them around to coat them completely.

Chill in the fridge for 4 hours before eating and keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Apple & Redcurrant Crumble

Apple & Redcurrant Crumble 1

Following on from the post about my mum going to the farmer’s market when she was in Suffolk, other than the summer squashes, she also bought me some lovely redcurrants. I have to say it’s not something I usually buy but they are so pretty and I had loads of apples (and was entertaining, as usual!) so I thought, why not make a crumble. It’s a real British dessert and redcurrants are typical of the ‘English country garden’ so it worked really well.

Just like the Natvia natural sugar substitute I use in this (and many other) recipe, redcurrants have a lower glycemic index value than many other fruits. They are also really good for the hair and skin and, just like its cousin the blueberry, the redcurrant is a great antioxidant. All in all I’d say this crumble is essential for your general wellbeing!

Ingredients

For the fruit layer:
A large handful of redcurrants, picked off the stalks
2 apples, peeled, cored and chopped
Juice of 2 oranges, reserve the zest of 1 orange
1 tsp Natvia
2 tbsp honey

For the crumble:
1 cup rolled oats
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup almonds, soaked for 6 hours
60ml coconut oil
40ml raw honey

Method

Firstly, remember to pre-soak the almonds. Drain, rinse & pat them dry.

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

In a saucepan combine all the fruit layer ingredients. Simmer for around 10-15 minutes until tender. Once softened, pour into an oven-proof dish.

For the crumble, put the oats, ground flaxseed, salt, vanilla, cinnamon, orange zest and almonds into a food processor. Process until a crumb-like texture forms. Add the coconut oil and honey and combine well. Spread over the rhubarb mixture.

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes until the crumble is golden and the sauce is bubbling up around the edges. Best served warm, but also delicious served at room temperature for breakfast the next day, with some coconut yoghurt. This was Braxton’s breakfast for 2 days in a row!

Apple & Redcurrant Crumble 2

Love & health,
Lauren

Vegan Lemon & Poppy Seed Muffins

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

I love muffins and cupcakes, but I try to stay away from the ones packed with refined sugar, gluten and dairy these days. My favourite was always lemon and poppy seed so I thought I’d try to make my own today. I’m loving using my Natvia natural sugar substitute and wanted to try it in muffins and they turned out beautifully – a real indulgent afternoon snack with a cup of herbal tea!

Ingredients

2 flax eggs (mix 2 tbsp ground flax seed with 5 tbsp water and leave aside in a bowl)
¼ cup vegan margarine / non-dairy butter/spread (room temperature, soft)
¼ cup Natvia
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbsp lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp almond milk
2 tbsp poppy seeds
2 tbsp maple syrup (optional, omit for diabetics or low GI)

Frosting:
2 tbsp non-dairy butter / marge at room temperature
2 tbsp Natvia
2 tbsp lemon juice

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a cupcake / muffin baking tin with cupcake cases.

Prepare your flax eggs by mixing the flax seeds and water in a bowl and setting aside.

Put the margarine in a bowl and whip with a fork or a handheld whip.

Add the Natvia and mix, then add the flax eggs and mix until totally combined.

Add the vanilla, lemon juice and lemon zest and combine.

Now add the buckwheat flour, slowly, and mix as you go until you have added it all, then add the baking powder, then the almond milk and poppy seeds and mix until incorporated.

Spoon the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake for around 12 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean but they are still fairly moist.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

 

Summer Berry Smoothie Bowl

Summer berry smoothie bowl

The never-ending battle of making breakfasts interesting and fun yet healthy and nutritious for our little ones! Braxton loves smoothies and that is his breakfast most morning but in the summer we can cool it down even more with a delicious, creamy smoothie bowl. There are so many amazing berries available at the moment and berries are excellent anti-oxidants so these were thrown right into our smoothie bowl!

You can really pack these with superfoods to ensure you are getting the best possible amount of nutrients into your kids at the start of the day. I always put acai berry powder in my smoothies as it’s such an incredible anti-oxidant so is great for the immune system, and chia seeds as they are pure protein and the best time of the day to have protein is the morning. Then I decide which out of the following I want to include also: flax seeds, lucuma powder, maca powder, bee pollen, baobab powder, hemp seeds. If you have all these superfoods stocked in your pantry, you will be ensuring your family a great start to each day.

By the way, smoothie bowls are more like ice cream and smoothies are just smoothies.

Ingredients

2 frozen bananas (cut them in slices and set them on a plate to freeze, at least the night before)
Handful frozen blueberries
5 frozen strawberries
Handful redcurrants
Handful damsons or elderberries
Dash of almond milk (or oat, rice or coconut milk)
3 dates
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp acai berry powder
1 tsp chia seeds
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp hemp seeds

Optional toppings:
Strawberries
Blueberries
Redcurrants
Damsons
Desiccated coconut
Chai seeds
Cherries – stones removed

Method

Put all the ingredients into the blender and blend until an ice cream-like consistency forms and finish with your choice of toppings.

Brax eating smoothie bowl This is how much Brax loved his smoothie bowl!

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

Non-Boring Runner Beans!

A&C Green Beans

I just love when Abel & Cole send me a sweet little recipe idea in my weekly box. This week they sent over a bunch of runner beans (which I found really boring growing up!) with a bit of inspiration for them and they turned out beautifully and are no longer boring! A perfect accompaniment to any meal.

Ingredients

A bunch of runner beans
A drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp tahini paste
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
Pinch Himalayan pink salt
Pinch garlic salt
Chilli flakes (optional but gives it a kick!)

Method

Cut the ends off the beans and wash them.

Heat the olive oil in a griddle pan (you can use a normal frying pan but this charred them really nicely) then add the beans once hot.

While they are cooking away, mix all the other ingredients in a bowl.

Once the beans start to char, add the sauce and mix well and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Serve and enjoy!

Healthy & happiness,
Lauren

Flapjacks For Breastfeeding Mamas (& everyone else!)

Sticky Oaty Flapjacks

My friend just had a baby and was really determined to make breastfeeding work. I always found that the best gift anyone could bring me after having the baby was food. And healthy food. You don’t have time to cook so you just have to take whatever anyone gives you or whatever is convenient which usually means you eat really badly for the first few months. Not only is this not good for our bodies but of course whatever you eat goes through to your milk so it affects the baby too. One of my biggest struggles after having Braxton was trying to maintain my healthy diet when I was just too exhausted to cook and of course when he slept, I didn’t want to be in the kitchen, I wanted to sleep!

I also really struggled with breastfeeding – it didn’t come easily to me at all – but I got there eventually. I was told to eat lots of oats to increase my supply so I eventually got into the kitchen to make some flapjacks as the store-bought ones are just so full of sugar. They were so yummy and such an easy snack to have next to me during those early days of being absolutely ravenous every time he even approached my boobs! So I made these for my friend also and thought I’d share the recipe.

These are also fab for baby led weaning, I’d suggest just omitting the sunflower seeds.

Ingredients

250g organic rolled oats
15 dates (if they’re big, 20 if they’re smaller)
Quarter cup ground flaxseeds
3 tbsp sunflower seeds
5 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp peanut butter
5 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp chia seeds mixed with 8 tbsp water

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a silicone baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Soak your dates for about half an hour in purified water so they soften and once they’re soaking, mix the chia seeds with the water and leave aside to set.

Heat the coconut oil in a pan and add the peanut butter and maple. Once combined add the dates and mix, then put it all in a food processor.

Blend until smooth, then add the oats and chia mix and blitz a little bit but you still want the oats to be in solid pieces.

Tip into a bowl and add the sunflower seeds an mix around until they are evenly spread throughout the mixture.

Now spoon the mixture into the prepared baking tin and bake for 12-15 minutes. Check it at 12 minutes and see if the top is starting to go golden, if it is, take them out. They need to be moist and not overcooked.

Leave on a cooling rack until completely cool – if you cut them while they are hot they won’t stick together.

Once cool cut into squares and store in an airtight container.

Love & health,
Lauren

 

Lentils, Broccoli & Cumin for Babies

Lentil Broccoli Cumin

Once again, I literally just made what I had at home! Although I do give Braxton meat (only organic, free-range from trusted sources), I like him to get a lot of his protein from plant-based sources and lentils are great for this. They are also cheap and go a long way. Broccoli is just full of bioavailable calcium, better than any sort of calcium you can get from dairy, so he has quite a lot of broccoli in his diet.

Cumin is great for digestion so it’s a really good spice to add when first weaning to help their tummies adjust. It is also an antiviral so great to give if baby has a cold.

Ingredients

1 organic broccoli
Half a cup of lentils – I used red lentils here
Half tsp cumin
1 cup of vegetable stock (homemade or low salt version if store-bought)

Method

Put the lentils in a pan with the stock and simmer until cooked – they can take a while. Add more water as needed until they are fully soft.

While the lentils are cooking, steam the broccoli for about 7 minutes. You don’t want to over-steam it.

When both are cooked, put in the blender with the cumin and blend to desired consistency.

Love & health,
Lauren & Braxton

 

Pea & Edamame Fritters (for baby led weaning and generally humans who like food!)

Pea Edamame Fritters

You all know how much I love my weekly Abel & Cole organic food delivery and last week, I got a bag of peas in their pods which was such fun. I also had some edamame in the fridge so decided to add them and make some fritters as they are great for baby led weaning and I do like to give Braxton some food he can hold with each meal even if I am spoon feeding him also.

Ingredients

Half a cup of fresh podded peas (you could use frozen if you can’t get fresh of course)
Half a cup of edamame beans (shelled)
2 eggs
1 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp buckwheat flour
Handful chopped parsley
Handful chopped mint
Half a lime
Some coconut oil

(see below for optional dipping sauce)

Method

Beat the eggs in a bowl and add the chia seeds.  Mix, and leave to soak for 5 minutes. While they are soaking, add the peas and edamame to a saucepan of boiling water and boil for 5-7 minutes, until they have softened but not overcooked.

Drain the peas and edamame and add them to the egg mixture then add the buckwheat flour, parsley, mint and lime. You can add a little Himalayan salt if you want or keep it salt free for young babies.

Heat some coconut oil in a pan then spoon about 2 tbsp of the mixture into the pan. It will be too runny to shape it into patties, you just have to spoon it onto the pan how it is and it will take shape. Do a few at a time but don’t fill up the pan too much, you can do it in stages. They only need around 3-4 minutes on each side and remove when they are golden on both sides.

I made a little dipping sauce to dip them into by putting quarter cup olive oil, half an avocado, 6 brazil nuts, handful pine nuts, handful of mint and some Himalayan salt into the blender.

Health & happiness,
Lauren

Raw Vegan Cappuccino Brownies

Cappucino Brownies

Perfect healthy brownies! So gooey and fudgey and delicious and amazing as a chocolatey treat for the kids that is still full of nutrients with no naughty ingredients…

Ingredients

½ cup pecans
¾ cup hazelnuts
2 cups dates, pitted and soaked in water for half an hour
1/3 cup cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp finely ground coffee (I like Elite instant coffee) and some extra for sprinkling

Optional creamy top layer:
1 can coconut milk (full fat) – put this in the fridge for at least 4 hours before it is needed
3 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp cacao powder

Method

Put the pecans and hazelnuts in the food processor and blend until they make a fine meal but just before the point that they start turning into a butter.

Spoon the mixture away from the blades. Drain the dates and squeeze a little of the excess liquid off them then add them to the blender with the nuts and blend until well combined.

At this point you can either add the rest of the ingredients to the blender or you can spoon the mixture into a large bowl and mix it all in with a large spoon if you find it easier – sometimes I prefer doing it in a bowl, just make sure you mix really well.

Line a square silicone baking tray with baking paper and grease with some coconut oil then spoon the mixture in and even out with a spoon. Put it in the freezer for an hour.

For the creamy top layer: open the can of coconut milk and spoon out the creamy layer at the top. The liquid part after that can be used for cooking. Put it in a saucepan and heat on a low heat then when it starts simmering add the coconut oil, maple syrup and cacao powder and mix well until melted in. Do not let it boil.

Once the bottom layer has frozen, add the top layer, wait until it has cooled then put it in the freezer for another 2 hours.

Remove from the freezer, cut into squares and sprinkle with some more coffee. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.

Love and health,
Lauren