Moroccan Chickpea & Sweet Potato Stew

This stew is a great winter warmer. It is jammed packed full of anti-inflammatory ingredients to help keep colds at bay! You can make it on the hob or it works equally well in a slow cooker.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 3 small sweet potatoes
  • ½ cauliflower
  • 1 tins chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1 tins tomatoes
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • Large bunch of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 2-3 minutes
  2. Add spices and toss to coat. Sauté until onions become soft
  3. Peel and chop the sweet potato into 2” cubes. Add to the pan and stir well to coat with the seasoning
  4. Add chickpeas, tomatoes, and stock. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes
  5. Chop cauliflower into large florets. Add cauliflower to the pot and stir well
  6. Cook for a further 10 mins until the cauliflower is fork-tender
  7. Turn off the heat and add lemon juice
  8. Serve into bowls and top with fresh, chopped coriander
  9. If desired, serve with cooked brown rice or quinoa

Healthy Vegan Apple Crumble

It’s autumn and who doesn’t love an apple crumble?! This recipe replaces butter with coconut oil so that is vegan and uses Xylitol instead of sugar. I’m not a fan of sweeteners, however, in this recipe I’ve used xylitol as it is very sweet so you need far less of it than sugar. However,I would not recommend consuming large amounts of it.

Antioxidant rich apples can help to prevent heart disease, weight gain and reduce cholesterol

Ingredients:

Apple Compote:

  • 10 small cooking apples
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

Oat Topping:

  • 230g oats
  • 50g chopped almonds
  • 55g xylitol
  • 85g coconut oil

Method:

To make the Apple Compote:

1.Place the apples and cinnamon into a pan with a little water and cook until softened and starting to break up

To make the Oat Topping:

1.In a large bowl mix together the oats, almonds, xylitol and coconut oil with your hands until it looks like breadcrumbs

2.Put the apples into the bottom of a heat proof dish, cover with the crumble mix and bake for 25mins at gas mark 4 / 180 or 160 if fan

Pumpkin, Red Pepper and Tomato Soup – Vegan & Gluten-Free

This is a great autumn soup, hearty and healthy. Pumpkin is in season and we are just coming to the end of British tomato season, this is a great way to use up and left over tomatoes. Pumpkins contain Vitamin A which aids vision, beta-carotene which plays a role in fighting cancer , fibre which can help you lose weight and help your skin and Vitamin C to help ward off colds.

Ingredients:

Makes 6 portions

  • 1 small pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 3 red peppers
  • 10 tomatoes
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 1tsp ground cumin
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 2tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tins chickpeas (or any beans you fancy)
  • 3 large handfuls of spinach

Method:

  1. Cut the pumpkin into chunks, about 2” in size, cut the peppers and tomatoes into quarters
  2. Place the pumpkin, pepper, tomatoes, spices and coconut oil into a large saucepan. Put a lid on the pan and heat the vegetables to allow them to caramelise slightly
  3. Add the stock and tomato puree and boil until the pumpkin is soft
  4. Using a hand blender roughly blend the soup so that there are still some chunky bits in it
  5. Add the chickpeas and heat them through
  6. Serve the soup and place a small handful of spinach on top of each bowl

Veggie Chilli

I’m not a big fan of meat replacement products as they are often highly processed, however sometimes it is good to use them if you are cooking a vegetarian dish for meat eaters. This recipe can be made without the meat replacement as it is packed full of goodness from the beans. Some meat replacements are not vegan so leave out if you are making this as a vegan dish. You can use any beans you like but kidney beans are particularly good as they absorb lots of flavour.

Kidney beans are a great source of cholesterol lowering fibre. The high fibre content also makes them a great option for diabetics as they help to prevent blood sugar spikes after eating a meal. Kidney beans are a great source of protein too.

If that’s not enough to persuade you to eat more kidney beans then how about the fact they contain high levels of vitamins and minerals including molybdenum, folate, copper, magnesium, iron and potassium.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 chilli (to taste)
  • 200g mushrooms
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ¼ tsp marmite
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 1 tin black eyed beans
  • 200g quorn mince (optional)

Method:

  1. Slice the onion, finely chop the garlic and chilli
  2. Heat the oil in a pan and then add the onion, garlic and chilli. Cook until the onion softens
  3. Slice the mushrooms, carrots and courgette and add to the pan and stir well
  4. Cut the pepper into chunks and add to the pan
  5. Add the cumin powder, marmite, tomato puree and tin tomatoes. Stir well and reduce the heat and simmer
  6. Drain the beans before adding to the pan along with the quorn mince. Stir well and simmer for about 15 minutes

Lemon Truffles

These lemon truffles are a great healthy treat for when you are in craving something sweet. I make a batch and freeze them and then take a few out in a morning and they are defrosted by mid morning ready to eat.

Don’t like coconut? Simply roll them in something else such as rose petals, cacao or leave them plain.

As well as being a good source of energy and fibre dates are packed full of vitamins and minerals including: calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Combined with the almonds these truffles are a great way to boost your brain power!

Ingredients:

(makes 20, depending on size)

  • 125g raw almonds
  • 170g pitted dates
  • 2 lemons
  • 20g desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Place the almonds on a baking tray and bake for 10mins at gas make 4/180C. Alternatively you can buy unsalted roasted almonds
  2. Chop the almonds in food processor
  3. Juice the lemons then add lemon juice and dates into the machine. Blend until they are all coarsely mixed
  4. Put the coconut into a small bowl
  5. Using your hands, form little balls
  6. Roll the balls in the coconut

Bone Strengthening Smoothie

I’m loving being able to have green smoothies again, during the early stages of my pregnancy I couldn’t face green smoothies but really missed them! This smoothie is quick and easy to make as well as being delicious! The spinach provides a good source of iron and the lemon helps the absorption of the iron.

Apples, bananas and spinach all help to strengthen your bones. Apple skin contains the flavonoid phlorizin which may help to prevent bone loss associated with the menopause. Bananas contain high levels of potassium which slows urinary calcium loss associated with a diet high in salt. Whilst a single serving of spinach provides twice the RDA of Vitamin K, which is important for maintaining healthy bones.

Ingredients:

  • ½ a banana
  • ½ an apple
  • 1 handful spinach
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 250ml almond milk

Method:

  1. Peel the banana and remove the core from the apple
  2. Place all of the ingredients in a high speed blender and blitz until smooth

4 Ingredient Coconut Chocolate Bars – Vegan and Gluten-free

These bars are so quick and easy to make and hit the spot when you need a sweet hit. They are similar to a ‘bounty bar’ but without all of the added sugar!

There is lots of conflicting information about coconut oil at the moment, some say it is the best food ever whilst others think it is too early to say whether it lives up to its health claims. Personally, I use coconut in a number of dishes as I believe it is important to have some saturated fat in your diet and I don’t eat butter or red meat so I think it is ok to have a small amount of coconut for saturated fat. Whilst these squares are high in calories they are nutrient dense and I can’t eat more than one of these at a time so it is better than eating a sugar laden snack.

Ingredients:

(Makes about 15 depending on size)

  • 170g unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 100ml coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100g 85% dark chocolate

Method:

  1. Place the desiccated coconut in a high-speed blend on the highest setting for 5 minutes
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a pan
  3. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup to the blender and blitz until well combined, the mixture should stick together when squeezed between your fingers
  4. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and place the mixture into the tin, press the mixture down firmly into the tin
  5. Place the baking tray into the freezer for about 30 minutes to set
  6. Once the coconut mixture has set cut it into squares
  7. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water and then dip the coconut squares into the chocolate until covered. Once coated in chocolate return the squares to the grease proof paper lined baking tray
  8. Place the chocolate covered squares back into the freezer to set. Once they have set place the coconut squares in to an air tight container and store in the freezer

Quick and Easy Butternut Squash 7 Grain Salad

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Rachel Kelly’s book The Happy Kitchen. I made a few tweaks to it including adding 7 grains to it to make it more filling. I love this recipe it is super easy to make and can be made in advance, just leave adding the avocado until ready to serve so it doesn’t go brown.

Spinach is great for every part of the body as it is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.

Spinach is particularly good for your colon due to the high levels of flavonoids which protect the body from cholesterol and free radicals. The folate in spinach is good for a healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your brain function, memory and mental clarity.

Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Sprinkle chilli flakes (to taste)
  • 1 250g packet of quick cook 7 grains
  • 200g spinach (washed and ready to eat)
  • 2 avocados
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6
  2. Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1” cubes, place on a baking tray and toss in the oil and chilli flakes
  3. Bake the butternut squash for 20-30 minutes, until tender. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool
  4. Cook the grains according to the packaging, I got them from Tesco and they just need to be boiled for 10 minutes. Once cooked drain and leave to cool
  5. To make the dressing , place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork
  6. Chop up the spring onions and avocado
  7. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, add the dressing and stir well

Healthy Rhubarb Flapjack – Vegan

If you are in need of an energy fuelled sweet treat then this flapjack is just the thing for you. Sports clients and busy mums equally love it as it is so quick and easy to make and it can be frozen. Personally I freeze it in individual portions and then take one out in the morning and by mid morning it has defrosted.

Oats are a slow release carbohydrate and can help to lower cholesterol levels. Along with being packed full of fibre they contain a number of minerals including magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc.

Ingredients:

  • 300g oats (or gluten-free oats)
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 200g dates (chopped finely in a food processor with splash of water)
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 100g sultanas
  • 3tbsp honey
  • 200g rhubarb, orange and ginger compote

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients, except the rhubarb, together and stir well
  2. Put half of the mixture into a greased and lined try, push it down firmly
  3. To make the rhubarb compote place 200g rhubarb in a pan with the juice and zest of 2 oranges and 1cm root ginger, grated. Cook until the rhubarb has broken down but not too runny
  4. Put the rhubarb compote on top so that it is a layer on top of the flapjack mix
  5. Add the remaining mixture and press down so that the rhubarb is in a layer in the middle of the flapjack
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes at gas mark 5
  7. Slice whilst warm and leave to cool

Chocolate Avocado Bites

These avocado chocolate bites are delicious, they melt in your mouth like a truffle! They are higher in sugar than my normal recipes but I came up with them as a snack to be eaten whilst breastfeeding when your body needs  extra energy (and things that can be made in advance)! The addition of avocados means these bites are packed full of nutrients, much more than a standard truffle!

Making these bites takes about 10 minutes to make and then you leave them to set in the fridge for a couple of hours before rolling them into balls. They couldn’t be easier to make! Oh and they are vegan and gluten-free!!

These are a snack to have occasionally in the same way you would a chocolate truffle.

Ingredients:

Makes 20, depending on size

  • 1 avocado
  • 1-2 tbsp almond milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 100g 70% chocolate
  • 20g desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Blitz the avocado with a slash of almond milk until smooth
  2. Add the vanilla, and ground almond and blitz again
  3. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of water (bain marie)
  4. When the chocolate is melted remove from the heat and stir in the avocado mixture until well combined. Cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours until firm
  5. Remove the mixture from the fridge and roll into small balls, roll in coconut and then place them in the a container in the fridge until you are ready to eat them