Lunchtime Quinoa Salad (in preparation for the week)

Quinoa salad

Stuck on what to make as a healthy lunch? I also find quinoa salad to be such a good, easy and healthy option and today I made a HUGE batch of it which means it will last me until at least Wednesday. Cooking healthy food does take time and preparation, but this took me ten minutes to make and I’ve now got lunch for a few days. You can add homemade tahini with it or have it with other hot, steamed veg on top, on its own, or with any meat or fish-based protein if you like, although quinoa is a complete protein so you don’t actually need it if you don’t want it.

I always use whatever vegetables I have to hand so just use whatever you have in the fridge!

Ingredients

1 cup organic quinoa
1 red or orange pepper
1 red onion
1 fennel
7 chestnut mushrooms
1 tin organic sweetcorn
1 courgette (zucchini), spiralized
1 lemon
Himalayan salt and black pepper

Method

Make the quinoa as per the packet instructions.

While it’s cooking, chop all your veg up into small pieces.

Once the quinoa is ready, let it cool a bit before adding it to the bowl of veg, mix well with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

TIP: if you want more flavour add a tsp Bouillon to the quinoa while it’s cooking.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Buckwheat Waffles

GF Waffles

I have this problem at the moment: I want nothing more than to have a lie-in on the weekend but my belly wakes me up and tells me it needs food! So I left my husband in bed this morning and went to make us both some yummy, guilt-free waffles. This is a variation on the last batch of waffles I made (which you can see here), as these ones are not vegan. They are, however, gluten-free, dairy-free, refined sugar-free and simply delicious πŸ™‚ fun to make with the kids too. (The cleaning of the waffle iron is not such fun though!)

Ingredients

1 cup buckwheat flour
1 and half tbsp coconut palm sugar
1 and half tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Pinch salt (I used Himalayan)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup almond milk (can also use coconut milk, hemp milk or oat milk)
4 tbsp vegan margarine or coconut oil, melted but at room temperature
2 eggs
1 tbsp maple syrup

Toppings of choice: I used maple syrup and almond butter

Method

Preheat the waffle iron as you want it extra hot.

Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl: buckwheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt & cinnamon.

In another bowl mix the wet ingredients and whisk together: milk, eggs, margarine and maple.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry and mix really well, making sure all flour is incorporated from the bottom of the bowl.

Pour the batter onto the hot waffle iron and leave for around 10 minutes, or until you can see they are crunchy on the outside. This recipe makes 4 waffles, and my iron holds two at a time so I put the first two in the oven on a low heat to keep them warm while I made the next two.

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Raw Chocolate & Coconut Mousse

Chocolate Coconut Mousse

Pregnancy has got me craving something sweet after a meal (or all the time?!) and although I am totally happy with my 80%/20% lifestyle in which, during the 20% I allow myself to eat out, have the odd pizza or have a processed chocolate bar, I have to remember that my continued remission is not something to take for granted; it is a product of continuous maintenance on my part and that maintenance comes in the form of diet and homeopathy. If I get slack on either one I could see the arthritis coming back at any point and now, more than ever, with a baby on the way, I need to make sure that I stay strong and healthy, especially because carrying extra weight could also impact my joints if they are not kept healthy and supple enough. It is constant work, this keeping healthy business, but I can’t think of anything more worth it.

Sometimes people say to me, ‘we can’t afford to eat organic’ or ‘I don’t have time to make those meals’. In some cases this is very true, but a lot of people who say these things to me would happily go out on a Saturday night and spend Β£150 on a meal, or buy a new pair of shoes, or spend the evening in front of the TV. There is nothing more precious than our health and prevention is better than cure so ditch the dinner out and save yourself some money and put it towards buying organic, and spend an extra hour in the kitchen once or twice a week preparing fresh lunches and snacks like this one here. I have to sacrifice many things to be able to afford organic food, superfoods and my supplements, and it shouldn’t just be a case of ‘well that’s ok because you had a disease but I don’t’. Because if you ever get diagnosed with something, from arthritis to cancer or the millions of others that people suffer from, you will wish you did all you could to prevent it, for you and your children. There are ways around EVERY SINGLE HEALTH ISSUE, you just need to be willing to work hard enough and remember that a lifetime consuming the chemicals that are found in every single thing you eat or drink that isn’t organic, WILL lead to disease. Don’t do it to your bodies, not in this day and age when there are so many options. Enjoy an organic, superfood lifestyle! And if you need any help getting started, feel free to drop us a line so we can help.

Ingredients

Chocolate mousse layer:
Half cup pecans
1 frozen banana
Half an avocado
Half a cup of almond milk
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
1 tsp maple syrup
Half tsp vanilla extract

Coconut mousse layer:
2 frozen bananas
The cream from the top of a can of organic coconut milk (save the watery part for cooking)

Optional toppings:
Raw cacao covered goji berries
Desiccated coconut

Method

You will need a high speed blender to make the ‘ice cream’ from bananas. I use a Vitamix.

Put the pecans in the blender and blend well until they form a fine meal. Then add the banana and blend until smooth, followed by the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth. Add this to fill just over half a small glass.

Wash the blender out then add the 2 bananas for the coconut layer until smooth but not melting, then add the coconut cream and blend quickly so combined but not melting.

Add this to the top of the chocolate layer then top with your choice of toppings. I used cacao covered goji berries and desiccated coconut.

I hope you all enjoy this as much as my husband and I will enjoy it after our dinner tonight!

Love,
Lauren

P.s. I had some leftover from the coconut layer so I used this as a milk / yoghurt replacement with my homemade granola this morning. Was lush!

Coconut mousse granola

Gluten-free Biscotti

Biscotti

Biscotti are a family favourite so I knew I had to come up with a healthier version of these traditional Italian biscuits. They are wheat- and grain-free, and I’ve used some stevia, allowing me to cut the amount of coconut sugar in half. I love to have them with a cup of tea or hot chocolate while I’m working on the blog πŸ™‚

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups almond flour
1 1/2 cups raw almonds
1/3 cup coconut sugar
1/3 tsp stevia (or replace with an additional 1/3 cup coconut sugar)
pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
1 tsp aluminium-free baking powder
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Method

Preheat the oven to 160 C.

Place 1 cup of the almonds in a blender or food processor and grind finely. Chop the remaining 1/2 cup almonds roughly. Combine both with the almond flour, coconut sugar, stevia, salt, baking powder and zest.

Beat the eggs and vanilla. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the egg into it. Use a fork to pull the dry ingredients into the egg, mixing as you go. It may look like the mixture is too dry, but just keep going and it will come together. Use your hands to fully combine if necessary, and then shape it into a ball.

Dust your work surface with a generous amount of almond flour. Divide the dough in half, and then shape each half into a log about 7cm wide and 3cm high. Place both logs onto a baking tray lined with baking paper or a silicone mat, or greased with coconut oil.

Bake for 25 minutes, remove from the oven and allow to cool. Turn the oven down to 140 C. Slice the logs at an angle and about 1.5cm thick. Slicing at angle will give you the traditional biscotti shape. Lay the slices out on the baking tray and return to the oven to dry out; 30 – 40 minutes, depending on how you like them.

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Lime & Coconut Cream Pie (with a chocolate base!)

Lime & Coconut Cream Pie

Well this one surely has to make it into the Two Kitchens hall of fame! It’s made from avocados so it is so great for increasing your essential fatty acid intake. Avocados just have such a huge range of health benefits so the more we can get them into our diet the better. I’ve also used cacao for more plant-based protein and all of the other ingredients are organic wholefoods free of gluten, wheat, dairy, grains, sugar and egg. This is a totally vegan and paleo recipe and so super creamy and indulgent!

Ingredients

Base:
125g pecans, soaked for at least 4 hours then drained
30 pitted medjool dates
1 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp organic maple syrup

Filling:
The flesh from 5 avocados, ripe but not brown in any places
Juice of 4 limes
3 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup maple syrup
4 tbsp coconut cream

Toppings:
Zest from 2 of your limes
Desiccated Coconut

Method

Once you’ve soaked your pecans, simply put them in the blender until they are a meal, then add the rest of the base ingredients and blend until smooth.

Cut a piece of baking paper the same size as the bottom of a round springform cake tin and place the baking paper at the bottom then grease all over with coconut oil. Put your base mixture into it and smooth it down with a spatula until it is compact. Place it in the freezer for 20-30 mins.

Next, add all the filling ingredients to the clean blender and blend until it looks like a smooth mousse.

Once the base is ready to come out of the freezer, smooth the filling on top and put in the freezer for an hour and a half. It needs to be firm but not frozen. Take it out and sprinkle desiccated coconut and lime zest on the top then keep it in the fridge straight away (after serving or before).

Enjoy!

Love,
Lauren

Raw Grasshopper Pie

Grasshopper Pie

Grasshopper Pie is an American favourite, using Oreo cookies for the crust with a mint cream filling. While I’ve never had the original version I’ve always liked the sound of it so I came up with this raw recipe.
Not only is it free of all the bad stuff like refined sugar and flour, it’s packed full of nutritious goodness in the form of avo, coconut and almonds. My son loves it and I love watching him eat something so healthy and yummy!

I’ve used agar (also called agar agar) to set the filling. It is made from a Japanese seaweed and is a very strong setting agent, so be sure to be precise with your measurements. Also be aware that agar powder and agar flakes require different measurements, so you would have to convert if using flakes (1tsp powder is equal to 1tbsp flakes.)

Ingredients

For the crust:

2 cups raw almonds, soaked for four hours, rinsed and layed out to dry (while this step is not necessary for the recipe to work, it’s always good to soak your almonds to release the digestion-inhibiting enzymes)
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 tsp Oryx Desert Salt
150g fresh medjool dates (about 8 dates)
2 tbsp organic virgin coconut oil

For the filling:

400ml organic coconut milk
2ml agar powder
200g avo flesh (ie. weighed without skin or pip) this is about 1 1/2 Avon
40g organic virgin coconut oil
pinch of Oryx Desert Salt
120g raw honey
8 drops organic peppermint essential oil
1/2 tsp spirulina or wheatgrass powder (this is optional – it simply gives you a more intense green colour for your filling)
15g raw chocolate

Method:

Place the almonds, cacao powder, salt and 2 tbsp coconut oil in a food processor. Remove the pips from the dates and roughly chop them. Add to the food processor. Process until you have a fine crumb which sticks together when pressed. Turn the mixture into a loose-bottomed pie dish or a pretty glass serving dish and press to about 5mm thickness. Refrigerate.

Place the coconut milk in a saucepan and sprinkle the agar powder over the top. Whisk thoroughly. Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 3 minutes exactly. Agar needs to boiled to be activated, but its setting properties are destroyed if it is brought to too high a temperature, so use a timer! Allow to cool to room temperature.

Place all the ingredients for the filling, except the chocolate, into a blender and blend until completely smooth. Taste to see if you are happy with the sweetness and the mint flavour, which you can adjust if you like. Pour into the crust. Grate the chocolate over the top, and refrigerate until set (at least 4 hours.)

Health & happiness!

Love,
Raine

Double Chocolate Cookies

Double Chocolate Cookies

It’s tough being pregnant and health-conscious! But what time could be more important than now to watch what I eat? The growth and health of my baby is solely dependent on me – that’s a lot of pressure! So I need to make sure I’m consuming only the healthiest, most nutritious organic produce but that’s not always easy; as we know, everything healthy takes preparation. I must admit, I have succumbed to the odd store-bought chocolate biscuit over the last few weeks as the serious chocolate cravings hit, but I try to make a batch of something sweet yet healthy once a week or once a fortnight so I have stuff on hand.

Today we looked after our 18 month old niece (good practice!) and while she had her afternoon nap I whipped up these bad boys, adapting from a recipe by Wholesome Patisserie. Not only did they 100% fully satisfy my craving (and I’m not lying, they really did – even more so than the store-bought processed stuff!) but my niece loved them too and we got to have them warm out the oven when she woke up. That’s what I call Sunday afternoon bliss! I hope you like them as much as we all did πŸ™‚

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients:
1 heaped tbsp ground flax seeds
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup almond butter
1 and quarter cups coconut palm sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp Himalayan or Oryx salt
3 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder
1 1/2 cups buckwheat flour
2 tsp almond milk
Half cup dairy free (or your choice of) chocolate chips

Method

Preheat oven to 180Β and line 2 baking trays with parchment paper.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the ground flax and 3 tbsp filtered water and set aside for 2-3 minutes or until it has thickened up. Then whisk the flax egg one final time.

Now add the wet ingredients to the same bowl with the flax egg; solid coconut oil, almond butter, brown sugar, coconut sugar and vanilla. Beat the mixture until smooth and well combined.

Add in the baking soda, baking powder, salt and cacao, beat the mixture well. You may have to knead a bit with your hands to get it fully incorporated, then beat or knead in the buckwheat flour with the almond milk until smooth and well combined.

Now mix in the chocolate chips.

Take a small piece in your hands and roll into a ball then flatten into a cookie shape and place on prepared baking tray. Make sure to leave enough room between each cookie as they will rise.

Put them in the oven for 12-15 minutes then remove them and leave to cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. After that you can either eat them warm or wait until fully cooled before storing them in an airtight container.

Enjoy the decadence!

Love,
Lauren

Deliciously Ella’s Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet Potato Brownies

I love Deliciously Ella’s recipes and always meant to get round to making these so here they are! Funny, you’d think, using sweet potato as the main ingredient but it really works! I have a dinner party tomorrow night where I’ve been asked to make gluten, dairy and sugar free desserts so this is going to be one of them.

For the recipe and more amazing healthy recipes go to http://www.deliciouslyella.com

Love,
Lauren

Spelt Flour Banana Bread

Spelt Banana Bread

Everyone loves a bit of banana bread in the afternoon with a cup of tea, right? And everyone loves it more when it’s guilt free! I’ve tried this recipe with coconut flour, buckwheat flour and spelt flour and spelt seems to give it the most moist consistency. This is wheat free but not gluten-free as spelt does in fact contain gluten but the gluten in spelt has a different molecular make up which means that the body handles it differently. Gluten is a sticky substance with a consistency like glue (hence the name) which is difficult to digest (imagine chewing gum finding its way through your system) but which also gives dough its elasticity and allows bread to rise.

As the genetic make-up of spelt is different to wheat it is a grain that many people who suffer wheat intolerance or sensitivity may be able to use. The molecular structure of the protein in spelt is both brittle and soluble, allowing it to be assimilated more easily, so give it a go and see how it makes you feel. I know I’m totally fine with spelt; it never bloated me and never made the arthritis flare…
This really is a fool-proof recipe that always works!
Ingredients
Wet ingredients:
3 extra ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup vegan margarine or coconut oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp almond milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 free range organic eggs
Dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cups spelt flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
Method
Preheat the oven to 180 and grease a loaf tin with coconut oil.
In a medium bowl, mix all the wet ingredients, mashing the bananas first.
In another bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix really well until well combined.
Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 40-45 minutes or until a fork comes out dry but you still want it moist inside!
Tag us in pictures of this one on Instgaram if you make it please! Our Instagram is @twokitchensonelifestyle
Love,
Lauren

Vegan Waffles (Gluten, dairy & refined-sugar free)

Waffles

I finally treated myself to a waffle maker and boy oh boy was it worth it! I had some ideas for gluten, dairy and sugar free waffle recipes so I started experimenting and today’s one came out perfectly… enjoy this, guilt free πŸ™‚

Ingredients – (serves 2. For more, double ingredients)

1 and quarter cup buckwheat flour
1 cup almond milk
1 very ripe large banana
6 tbsp pure organic maple syrup
Pinch Himalayan salt

Method

Heat up your waffle iron and let it get really hot while you do the rest.

Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until really well combined.

Gently pour some of the mixture into the waffle mould and shut lid slowly. I found they turned out best when left for 7-10 minutes.

Top with maple syrup or fruit of banana ice cream…

Love,
Lauren