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

 

 

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

 

 

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

Mint Chocolate Energy Balls & Some Info On Essential Oils

Mint Chocolate Energy Snack Balls

I’m loving my essential oils at the moment – I’ve really been getting into EOs since finding that Frankincense helped my postpartum arthritis flare as it’s such a great anti-inflammatory. I made a Frankincense oil rub for my joints by mixing it with coconut oil (this is called using a carrier oil to dilute the EO a little) which I rub on twice a day. I add it to my diffuser so that it lets out the steam into the room and I take it internally. You can’t ingest all EOs, only high-grade ones. The Frankincense I use is from a company called Free Your Senses but another great company where you can buy a box of 10 EOs of your choice is doTERRA. You can really do so much with them: you can use them as perfume instead of putting the highly toxic perfumes on your body, you can use them in cooking, make creams, lotions, bath wash, deodorant and oils, you can diffuse them, and I even use the doTERRA lavender oil with coconut oil on Braxton’s feet each night before bed to calm him, especially if he is teething.

In this recipe I used doTERRA peppermint oil.

This is a great post-workout snack as it’s so high in plant-based protein. It’s also a great snack generally for the whole family as a ‘treat’ with no nasties.

Ingredients

1 cup almonds
1 cup dates
2 drops doTERRA peppermint oil
2 tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of Himalayan salt
Quarter cup pistachios (to roll in)

Method

First, as always, soak your almonds overnight. This is very important. Also, soak the dates for about 2-3 hours to soften them. All soaked in purified water.

Drain the almonds and pat them dry with a bit of kitchen roll and put them in the blender. At this time, drain the dates and leave them draining in the sink while you blend the almonds.

Turn the blender up and blend until the dates form a meal, and start becoming a bit buttery. Spoon it away from the edges and the blade, then add the dates and blend until totally incorporated.

Now add the peppermint oil, cacao, maple and salt and blend again. Tip into a large bowl, mix with your hands if you need to to get the last bits incorporated.

Get a plate ready and now start rolling them into small balls and place them on the plate. Once you have finished the mixture and all the balls are rolled, ground your pistachios in a pestle and mortar. They shouldn’t be ground too finely as you still want decent size chunks.

Roll each ball into the pistachio mix so it is completely covered and return to the plate.

Once they are all covered with the pistachios, put the plate in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving. You can keep them in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and you can also keep them in the freezer and defrost in the fridge an hour before you want to eat them.

Love & health,
Lauren

Double Decker Banana Cake

double-decker-banana-bread-2

It has taken a while, but I have definitely perfected my banana cake recipe (it’s slightly different to my banana bread) although I seriously underestimate my amazing new oven and every recipe seems to need 5 minutes less than in my old oven so the sides are very slightly overdone. I wanted to make this one a bit more exciting than plain banana cake as we were entertaining so I halved the mixture and added cacao to one half to create a double-decker effect. I hope you love it as much as we all did – it got eaten pretty quickly!

Ingredients

4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 heaped tbsp. coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp chia or flax seeds
4 tbsp filtered water
1 cup buckwheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean syrup or vanilla extract
¼ cup almond milk
3 tbsp cacao powder
1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Method

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

Mix the chia or flax seeds in a small bowl with the water and set aside so it can set.

Mash the bananas in a large bowl and add the coconut oil and maple, then add the chia / flax mix and mix well.

Now add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.

Move just under half the batter into another bowl and add the almond milk, cacao powder and vanilla, and, if using, mix in the chocolate chips.

Pour the plain batter into the loaf tin then add the chocolate batter on top. I made it a double-decker but if you want a marbled effect you can cut through the batter with a knife so that the top layer sinks down to the bottom layer in places.

Slice a banana length ways and add to the top of the cake and put it in the oven for 35 minutes, or until a fork comes out clean.

Leave on a wire rack to cool then turn out of the loaf tin onto a plate.

Delicious served with peanut or almond butter!

Enjoy!

Love and health,
Lauren

 

 

Orange, Cardamom & Fig Cake

 

2.JPG

I have been making a gluten / dairy / refined sugar-free chocolate orange cake for years and it’s a favourite of my husband and his family. It’s the dessert they request from me most often. I’ve recently discovered my love for cardamom in cakes and I thought, what tastes go better together than orange and cardamom? So I amended my chocolate orange cake slightly to add cardamom and figs.

This cake is gluten free, dairy free and refined sugar-free but it is not vegan as it uses eggs.

It may seem like it would be a difficult cake to make but it’s actually really easy to throw together, the only bits that need a little bit more attention are the figs that will be on the top of the cake, and grinding the cardamom seeds but to honest, neither of these things are difficult, just a little more time consuming.

I made it this weekend for dessert for a BBQ we were hosting and it went down a treat.

Orange Cardamom Fig Cake 2

 

Ingredients

2 large oranges
6 free-range eggs
250g ground almonds
200g coconut palm sugar
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of Himalayan salt
The seeds of 10 cardamom pods
5 or 6 fresh figs

To garnish:
A drizzle of honey or agave nectar
Flaked almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Put the oranges in a saucepan big enough to be able to cover them with water. Boil for about an hour or until very soft and you can see the skin opening.

Cut into quarters and leave to cool on the chopping board for about 10 minutes. Remove seeds.

Put them in the food processor / blender and blitz until they become a pulp. Add the eggs while the food processor is still working (on a low speed until you put the lid back on) as this will aerate the eggs. Blend well and leave it to the side for the moment.

In a large bowl mix the ground almonds, palm sugar, baking powder and salt. Then open up all the cardamom pods, put them in a pestle and mortar or coffee / spice grinder and grind until they are no longer whole. Once ground, add to the flour mix.

Now spoon the orange mixture into the dry mix and mix really well. Make sure to get all the flour from the bottom and sides of the bowl. Set aside for a moment.

Cut a sheet of baking paper to fit a 23cm springform cake tin and place it at the bottom of the tin then grease generously with coconut oil on the paper and the sides of the tin.

Cut the figs into fine slices and layer them over the bottom of the tin. Once totally covered, add the cake mixture and put it into the oven for 40-45 minutes. Your fork should come out clean but wet – this cake has to be moist.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack for at least an hour – this is important. Once cool, slowly release the buckle of the cake tin and remove, then put a large plate on top of the cake and slowly turn it upside down to release the cake onto the plate. Remove the baking paper.

Sprinkle a handful of flaked almonds on top and drizzle with honey or agave and serve.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Nutty Brownies with White Chocolate Topping

White Chocolate Brownies

I needed something indulgent for my birthday this week and what is more indulgent than a chocolate brownie with a white chocolate topping? I had never actually used raw cacao butter as a topping and I didn’t know how it would solidify on top of a brownie but I gave it a go and was so happy with the result. These brownies are just delicious. Soft on the bottom with the crunch of the nuts and crunchy white chocolate on the top.

The cacao offers heaps of bioavailable protein and the nuts and flaxseeds offer omega-3 essential fatty acids. These are gluten free, wheat free, grain free, dairy free, refined-sugar free, egg free and are vegan.

Brownie
1.5 cups almonds, soaked overnight
½ cup ground flaxseeds
½ cup raw cacao powder
½ cup dates, soaked overnight
4 tbsp coconut oil
4 tbsp organic natural maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch Himalayan salt
Handful dark chocolate chips

Topping
250g raw cacao butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp organic natural maple syrup

Method

Line a square cake tin with a piece of baking paper at the bottom.

Drain the almonds, pat them dry with a piece of kitchen roll then put them in the food processor and blitz until mainly a meal but still with some chunks as this is nice for the brownie.

Then add the rest of the brownie ingredients except for the chocolate chips and blend well. Turn out into a bowl and add the chocolate chips and mix well with a large spoon.

Press into prepared cake tin and put in the freezer while you make the topping.

To make the topping just put the cacao butter in a pan over a very low heat and very gently melt. Once melted add the rest of the ingredients.

Wait for the topping to totally cool before taking the base out the freezer and pouring this over the top. It will seem very transparent but it will harden. Put it in the fridge for an hour then cut into slices.

Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

 

 

Healthy “Oreos”

 

My son loves Oreos, so I wanted to come up with a healthier version for him.
Buckwheat is gluten-free and is considered a wholegrain, even though it is not in fact a grain. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure; contains antioxidants and easily digestible protein; is high in fibre and helps to combat diabetes.
I’ve used coconut blossom sugar to replace regular sugar. While it is still a sugar and shouldn’t be consumed in large amounts (like any form of sugar) it is a much better option than processed cane sugar. It’s made by evaporating the nectar of coconut blossoms, so is raw, unrefined and unbleached. This means that it retains nutrients, notably zinc, iron, calcium and potassium. It also contains a fibre called inulin, which makes it much lower GI than regular sugar.
A good rule to remember is that not all calories are equal – you always want your calories to be as nutrient dense as possible. So if you are going to have a treat which contains some form of sugar, rather go for a natural form of sugar which has a higher nutritional value.

Ingredients

For the cookies:
110g organic virgin coconut oil
110g organic coconut blossom sugar
2 eggs
55g raw cacao powder
1/2 tsp organic vanilla powder or extract
1/4 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
280g buckwheat flour
2 tbsp ground flax (you can grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder or use pre-ground)
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
2 tbsp water

For the filling:
1 cup raw cashews
60ml raw honey
30ml coconut oil
1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp vanilla powder
1/4 tsp Oryx desert salt


Method

Preheat the oven to 180 C.

Sift the cacao powder to remove lumps. Combine with the other dry ingredients and set aside. Cream the coconut oil and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time while beating. Add the dry ingredients and combine well. Add the water only if the dough is a bit dry or crumbly.

Dust your work surface with extra flour and roll the dough out to about 2mm thickness. Cut out into 5 or 6cm circles. Bake on a cookie tray lined with baking paper or silicone mats for 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool.

To make the filling, combine all the ingredients in a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Sandwich two cookies together with the filling and allow to set.
Makes 24 cookies.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Lauren & Raine

White Chocolate and Flaxseed Blondies

White chocolate flax blondies

I love an afternoon snack with a matcha latte, and especially as I’m breastfeeding, I need extra energy but I have to make the effort to eat healthy snacks with great nutrients in them so I added flaxseeds to this one for omega 3 essential fatty acids – essential when breastfeeding. These went down a treat in my house and unfortunately I wasn’t left with many for myself!

Ingredients

1 tbsp coconut oil
50g cacao butter
3 tbsp organic natural peanut butter
3 eggs
Pinch Himalayan salt
2 tbsp flaxseeds
70g coconut palm sugar
2 tbsp pure maple
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g ground almonds
Vegan white chocolate chips

Method

Preheat the oven to 160. Line a square silicone baking tin with baking paper and grease with coconut oil.

Melt the coconut oil and cacao butter in a heat-proof bowl over a saucepan with boiling water. Once it’s melted, add the peanut butter and stir until it all melts in together.

Remove from heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl and once beaten, add the coco palm sugar and whisk with a fork until totally combined. Then add the salt, vanilla and maple and mix.

Add the peanut butter mixture and mix well, then add the ground almonds and flax and mix until combined.

Flatten the mixture out into the prepared baking tin and put in the oven for 20-25 minutes. In my oven it only needed 20. You want it to be moist but cooked through but don’t overcook otherwise it will go dry.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Overnight Oats with Mulberries

Overnight Oats Mulberries

It’s Vitamin K central round my house! As you have probably gathered from my recent posts, I am upping my natural intake of vitamin K in the last eight weeks of pregnancy to prevent having to give my baby the injection after birth. Mulberries are the highest natural source of Vitamin K so I’m stocking up! And what better way to have mulberries than in their natural form, to sweeten up my overnight oats. This was a really delicious breakfast bowl, I’m stuffed! And so satisfied.

Ingredients

1 cup gluten free, organic, rolled oats
2 cups almond milk
1 tbsp almond butter
1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Toppings:
Handful of dried white mulberries
1 banana, chopped
A sprinkle of desiccated coconut

Method

Simply put the ingredients (excluding the toppings) in a bowl, mix well, cover, and leave in the fridge overnight. You don’t need to add the maple syrup, just depends how sweet you like it.

When you’re ready to eat it, add the toppings. Simples!

Enjoy,

Love,
Lauren