Beetroot & Carrot Salad with Dukka

This fresh, sweet salad is the perfect vehicle for my favourite crunchy condiment, dukka. Dukka is an Egyptian dip/sprinkle made with toasted nuts, sesame seeds and spices. It is absolutely stunning – earthy, nutty, warmly spiced with the most intoxicating fragrance. Use it the traditional way as a dry dip (dunk bread in olive oil then into the dukka and devour) or as a crunchy topping for endless salads, soups, stews… you’ll find any excuse to use it once you have a jar in your pantry. Beetroots are in season now and perhaps eating them raw is the most delicious way? Let me know your favourite beetroot recipes in the comments.

Liz x

Ingredients

For the dukka:

  • 250g mixed nuts (or use just the traditional hazelnuts)
  • 4 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • optional tsp of salt

For the salad:

  • 3 carrots, julienned
  • 3 beetroot, julienned
  • a large handful of chopped parsley
  • the juice of half a lemon
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a very small clove of garlic, crushed or finely grated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. To make the dukka, toast the nuts in a dry, hot frying pan until they start to take on some colour. Stir often whilst toasting to avoid burning any. Allow the nuts to cool a little before tipping them into a food processor. Pulse to roughly chop the nuts before adding the other smaller ingredients.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds, fennel, coriander and cumin in the dry, hot frying pan next. They will start to pop and smell incredible. Tip them in with the nuts and pulse the processor again until you have a fairly uniform, crumbly mixture. Careful not to over-process, you want crunch and texture, not powder. You can add salt at this stage if you like too.
  3. Allow the dukka to completely cool before storing in a clean jar. Use within one month for optimum freshness and flavour.
  4. To make the salad, add the julienned carrots and beetroot to a salad bowl along with the chopped parsley. Mix the lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and seasoning and pour over the salad. Toss well and just before serving, sprinkle over the dukka. We ate it alongside a parsnip pilaf (next recipe) and some natural yoghurt.

Beetroot & Walnut Ragu

This plant based ragu is delicious, nutritious and has a gorgeous texture. The earthy sweet beetroots, wholesome lentils and crunchy, nutty walnuts all mingle perfectly to make a really delicious, vibrant pasta sauce. It is wonderful in layers in a lasagne too. If you are not a fan of beetroot, simply swap it for mushrooms and carrots. We do have a lot of brilliant beetroots coming out of our own fields now though, so this recipe is a great way to enjoy this locally grown, seasonal vegetable. Beetroots are brimming with goodness – iron, potassium, antioxidants and more!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 sticks of celery, finely diced
  • 250g beetroot, finely diced
  • 150g raw green/brown lentils, rinsed (or use two tins of cooked lentils)
  • 100g walnuts, crushed/crumbled into lentil sized pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 500ml vegetable stock

Method

  1. In a wide, heavy bottomed pan, on a medium heat, cook the onion, celery and beetroot with the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Stir often and after around 8 minutes, the vegetables should be softened.
  2. Then add the lentils, walnuts and flavourings (the garlic, capers, fennel seeds, bay leaves, oregano, chilli and thyme). Stir and cook for a couple of minutes to wake up the flavours in the seasoning. Then add the glass of wine and let it bubble until it is nearly evaporated.
  3. Pour in the tin of tomatoes, the tomato puree and the vegetable stock and pop the lid on the pot. Simmer for 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the sauce is rich. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and keep an eye on the liquid levels, you may need to add a splash of water if it starts to look dry.
  4. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed with more salt or pepper and serve over freshly cooked pasta. Enjoy!

Vegan Bibimbap Bowl

Bibimbap means mixed rice and we are totally in love with the concept and flavours of these colourful Korean bowls. We eat versions of this so often, it’s our go-to dinner when we are stuck for inspiration. They’re a great way to use up leftovers or odds and ends from your veg drawer too. Eat with hot sauce and kimchi – a spicy, sour fermented cabbage full of flavour and so much goodness for your guts – we stock a really good one or search here in the blog to make your own. Traditionally topped with a raw or fried egg, we prefer some scrambled tofu. Here’s the very loose and flexible recipe which you should totally make your own. Enjoy!

Liz x

Ingredients

  • Cooked rice (hot or cold)
  • kale, garlic, salt
  • mushrooms, soy sauce
  • carrots, sesame oil, soy sauce, lime juice, sesame seeds
  • scallions
  • silken tofu, salt, pepper, turmeric
  • kimchi
  • hot sauce

Method

  1. Cook rice or use leftover rice and make a cold bowl.
  2. Rinse your kale and strip out the tough stems. Finely slice the stems and place in a pan with a little oil and some sliced garlic. Sauté gently until they start to soften, then add the wet leaves and a sprinkle of salt. Stir fry to wilt the leaves, you may want to add a little splash of water to help them wilt.
  3. Slice the mushrooms and sauté with a little oil until they start to colour. Then add a splash of soy sauce and let the mushrooms cook for a few minutes until they are dark and delicious.
  4. Grate or julienne carrots. Mix them in a bowl with a splash of soy sauce, a drizzle of toasted sesame oil and a squeeze of lime. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  5. Scramble tofu by stirring silken tofu in a hot pan with some butter, salt, pepper and a pinch of turmeric. Break it up into lumps and sauté until it’s hot through.
  6. Slice your scallions and assemble your bowls. Start with rice then top with a portion of all the other sides. Stir and dig in!

Homemade Twix Bar

The Twix bar is so iconic! Well known for its biscuit base, caramel centre and topped with chocolate. Would you believe me if I said these are sugar free, wheat free, dairy free and an utterly delicious alternative. #guiltfreetreats

The date and almond caramel filling is divine, make extra and use it for dipping apple slices, in brownies, on porridge or add it to smoothies.

Find all the ingredient needed in the groceries section, most of which are in compostable or reusable packaging.

Lou 🙂

Ingredients: Makes 8-10

  • For the base
  • 100g coconut flour
  • 80g coconut oil, melted
  • 60ml (4 tbsp) honey or maple syrup
  • For the caramel
  • 6 pitted dates
  • 40g coconut oil , melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 100g almond butter (or cashew butter)
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 4-6 tablespoons of hot water
  • To finish:
  • 100g good quality dark chocolate

Method:

  1. Line a small tray (4x8inch approx) or lunch box with parchment paper.
  2. Start by making the base, measure the coconut flour, melted coconut oil and maple syrup into a mixing bowl. Stir well to combine.
  3. Spoon into the tray and push down to flatten. Tip use an extra piece of parchment paper the size of the tray put it on top of the base and push to flatten with the palm of your hand. Chill the base for 5 minutes.
  4. For the caramel add all the ingredients to a small blender, pulse to blend and add the hot water as needed- you might not need it all. Blend until smooth, the consistency should be thick and not too loose.
  5. Spoon the caramel onto the base and smooth with the back of a spoon until its nice and even. Chill for at least 1 hour.
  6. After this time cut into bars and place on a wire rack or plate.
  7. Melt the chocolate gently in a pot or in the microwave.
  8. Spoon the melted chocolate over top of the bars and chill for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Saag Aloo Gobi

Saag aloo gobi = greens potatoes cauliflower. It’s a classic Indian side dish, a drier curry, delicately spiced and absolutely delicious! We find it easier to mostly make it in the oven and then quickly finish it off on the hob with the spinach/kale and lemon juice. It is honestly gorgeous, we make it so often to go with our weekly bowl of dal or chickpea masala. Or to make it a meal in it’s own right, add a drained tin of chickpeas or some chopped extra firm tofu to the pan for some protein. Don’t stress if you don’t have the brown mustard seeds or cumin seeds, just leave them out. Top with sliced chilli for an extra kick. I hope you really enjoy it.

Liz x

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cauliflower, cut into florets
  • around 6 medium potatoes, cut into bites
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • black pepper to taste
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 200g chopped kale/spinach

Method

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200C and find a large oven and hob safe dish (or you can just use a deep oven dish). Tumble in the chopped onion, cauliflower and potatoes then drizzle with the oil.
  2. Add the whole spices, curry powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper then mix well with your hands to evenly coat each bite with the seasoning.
  3. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked through. Check and stir the dish every 10 minutes to ensure an even bake.
  4. Now place the pan on a hot hob and stir through the lemon juice and kale/spinach. Cook until the greens are wilted. Alternatively, if you are using a baking dish that is not safe on the hob, wilt the greens separately then stir through with the lemon juice.
  5. Serve hot with rice and dal or chickpea masala. Enjoy!

Quick Chickpea Masala

This rich, delicious and nutritious chickpea masala is a staple in our Indian-food-obsessed house. It’s thrifty, using just a few tins, a tbsp of spice blend, onion and garlic, and is fairly quick to put together. You could definitely make it in a slow cooker too if you like. I would not claim that this is an authentic chana masala recipe from the north of India, but this simplified version is the way we like to make it. I love making my own fresh and fragrant spice blends and have included my garam masala recipe at the end of this blog, but of course you should feel free to use a ready made blend or if you cant find one you can even substitute with curry powder. Garam masala is intensely fragrant, with warm and sweet notes, not really like the western invention ’curry powder’ which relies on turmeric and fenugreek for that classic ’curry’ fragrance, so if you do make a switch, it wont be a masala as such, but it will still be a gorgeous chickpea curry. No stress, either way you will really enjoy it with rice or flatbreads and coriander.

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 4 big cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil (or coconut oil or ghee)
  • 1 tbsp garam masala (see recipe below or use ready made)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tins of chickpeas
  • 1 tin of full fat coconut milk
  • salt to taste
  • fresh coriander and cooked rice or naan bread to serve

Method

  1. Use a blender or smoothie maker to blend the onion and garlic into a paste. Fry the paste in a heavy bottomed pot with the oil and garam masala until browned. Over a medium heat, this should take around 8 minutes. Keep stirring, the spices and onion mix will start to stick on the bottom of the pot, that is a good thing. Simply loosen all that flavour with a splash of water and scrape up and stir into the sauce with a wooden spoon.
  2. Add the tomato purée, then briefly blend the tin of tomatoes and add that to the pot too. Simmer and stir for around 5 minutes to reduce this gravy.
  3. Drain and rinse the chickpeas and add them into the tomato gravy along with the solid coconut cream from the top of the tin of coconut milk. Season with salt to your taste, then simmer for another 10 minutes or so until the masala has thickened up and the chickpeas have absorbed the delicious flavours.
  4. Serve sprinkled with fresh coriander over rice or scooped up with naan breads. We also like ours served with a potato, cauliflower and kale side dish, recipe for that coming up next!

GARAM MASALA SPICE BLEND

Garam masala is an intensely fragrant, warm and sweet, Indian spice blend, essential in many Indian recipes. There are many different regional (and household) variations and this is mine. Use it in the chana masala recipe above or to add extra flavour to your next pot of dal. It’s also a gorgeous rub or seasoning for anything you’d like to roast in the oven or grill. Garam masala fries are amazing!

Measure these whole spices into a small blender or spice grinder and grind into powder:

  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp cardamom seeds (or whole pods)
  • 1 tbsp black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds

Then add these ground spices and blend again to evenly combine:

  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp chilli powder

Store in a clean, dry, airtight container and don’t forget to label it. I like to reuse jars for my spices. It is best to make small batches and use whilst fresh, within 6 months.

Energy balls – nut free

Whats the best thing about a homemade snack? For me its knowing exactly what has been added plus adding exactly what I like! I’ve been making these little energy balls for my kids and I for almost 5 years. I keep them nut free so the kids can take them to school in their lunch boxes. I make big batches so I can freeze the extra and grab them from the freezer to have with a coffee or to take on a car trip or picnic. They are little nuggets of goodness and much better than anything you’ll pick up in the shops!

You’ll find all 5 of the ingredients you need in our online groceries.

Enjoy,

Lou 🙂

Ingredients – makes 22 approx

Method

  1. To make the balls: Add the dates to a bowl and cover with boiling water to soften.
  2. Meanwhile blend the oats, seeds, coconut, cocoa powder.
  3. Drain the dates and add them to the blender. Blend until it looks like a thick paste. If it looks dry and won’t roll add a dash of boiling water and blend again.
  4. Roll into balls – big or small- whichever you prefer. Add the extra coconut to a wide bowl. To help the coconut stick, wet your hands and roll the balls again then add to the coconut.
  5. Store in a container in the fridge for a week or freeze them for 3 months.

Macaroni with Creamy Butternut Sauce

Classic macaroni, the ultimate comfort food, but with a delicious nutty, creamy, butternut twist. This is a great sneaky way to get extra veg into kids, and into ‘less keen on veg’ adults too of course! Butternut squashes have become a bit of a staple so we always try to keep them in stock, and it’s no wonder. They are full of flavour and nutrients, most notably vitamins A, C, magnesium and potassium (one portion of butternut provides over 450% of your RDI for vitamin A and over 50% of the RDI for vitamin C). You can of course substitute the roasted butternut in this recipe with any roasted winter squash or even sweet potato. Enjoy!

Liz x

Butternut Sauce Ingredients

  • 500g peeled and chopped butternut squash
  • 150g nuts/seeds, soaked in water to soften (cashews, sunflower seeds, blanched almonds…these work really well but any nut or seed you prefer will work fine too)
  • 1 tbsp miso paste
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a drizzle of olive oil for roasting the squash

Method

  1. Turn your oven on to 200C. Get your nuts or seeds into a bowl and cover with water. Drizzle the squash with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Get it into a roasting dish and roast until soft.
  2. When the squash is soft, let it cool a little. Meanwhile drain the nuts/seeds and then blend all the ingredients together. Add a splash of water, enough to get the sauce into a smooth, creamy consistency. Taste and season with salt and pepper as you like.
  3. Now the sauce is ready to heat and stir through freshly cooked pasta. It will keep well in the fridge for 3 days or can be frozen in portions to last much longer.

Ribollita (Tuscan Soup)

Happy New Year! How are you? We are keeping cosy and filling up on loads of veggies with regular servings of delicious ribollita. This Tuscan soup/stew is full of flavour and is so nourishing. Highly recommend getting this into your rotation, it’s a hit with the whole family. And it is the most delicious way to use up stale bread and avoid food waste! The bread really must be stale so that it keeps the right texture and doesn’t get all gummy, so next time you find that half of your loaf has gone stale, make this. Serve with or without cheese as you like. An extra drizzle of extra virgin olive oil doesn’t go amiss either. Enjoy!

Liz x

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more to serve
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 sticks of celery, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 6 large kale leaves, leaves torn and stalks finely chopped
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin white beans, drained
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • stale bread, torn or cut into chunks
  • grated cheese to serve, optional

Method

  1. Sauté the onion, carrot and celery with the oil and a pinch of salt for around 5 minutes until they start to soften.
  2. Add the garlic, rosemary and kale stalks and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  3. Then add the red wine vinegar, tomatoes, stock cube, beans and around 500ml of water. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer for around 10 minutes then add the kale and turn off the heat. Stir to wilt the kale into the hot soup.
  5. Serve over stale bread chunks in large bowls and top with optional grated cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Asian Noodle Bowl w/ soy roasted parsnips

This dish makes for and tasty quick supper. Noodle bowls are a great way to use up leftover veggies. They work well for cooked veg and grated or thinly sliced raw veg too as well as using soft herbs to finish it off.

It’s a great dish too if you’re fighting winter colds, just amp up the ginger and garlic to ward off the sniffles!

Any noodles will do, Chinese thin ones, rice noodles or even spaghetti, if you are stuck.

Lou 🙂

Ingredients: serves 2

  • 2 parsnips, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon soya sauce
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 carrot, peeled into ribbons
  • 2 spring onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds to sprinkle on top
  • 200g noodles – cook as per packet
  • For the sauce:
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sweet chilli
  • 2 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated (about 1/2 inch)
  • 1-2 fat clove garlic, grated
  • salt and pepper to toaste

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven 180c.
  2. Prepare the parsnips first. Clean them and chop into chunks add to a bowl.
  3. Add 2 tablespoon of soy sauce, a teaspoon of oil and 2 tablespoon of maple syrup to the parsnips, toss to coat and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked. (Alternatively air fry at 170c for 12 minutes approx) Toast the sesame seeds in the over at the same time for 5 or so minutes.
  4. In the meantime cook noodles as per the packet- usually 8 minutes in boiling salted water.
  5. Clean the carrot and peel it into ribbons, set aside.
  6. Chop the spring onions into long fine sliced, and roughly chop the coriander.
  7. To make the sauce add the soy sauce, oil, sweet chilli sauce, honey to a bowl. Add in the grated ginger and garlic, add salt and pepper if needed. Whisk well.
  8. Heat a frying pan on a medium heat, add in the sauce stir and cook for 1 minute, if it catches add a dash of water.
  9. Add the cooked noodles, toss to coat, add the roasted parsnips. Toss to mix.
  10. Divide between 2 serving bowls.
  11. Top with carrot ribbons, chopped spring onion and coriander and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.