Spicy Balsamic Butternut Squash

1501160938928A simple and delicious recipe for you all today. Butternut squash is a massively under-used veggie, considering its something so delicious. It feels like it’s somewhere between a sweet potato and a pumpkin flavour-wise.

This butternut squash recipe requires minimal prep, and you can then just leave it to look after itself in the oven. Even though butternut squash may seem a bit autumnal, its great added to big salads in summer- which is why I’m giving it to you now. You can also use this root veg as a side in any meal where you would usually use sweet potato, and so make it all year long. I personally love it with omelettes and greens, or veggie burgers and a side salad topped with feta…

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • 1 medium butternut squash, end removed, seeds scooped out, and flesh cut into small chunks
  • Balsamic vinegar (NOT “balsamic dressing”), approx. 2tbsp
  • Chilli flakes, to taste (I went with about 2tsp)
  • Salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Italian herbs 1tsp
  • 2 garlic cloves, VERY finely sliced

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Vegan Banoffee Cheesecakes (quick and easy!)

IMG_20170720_185805_776Since the last vegan cheesecake recipe I posted was such a success with you lot, I decided to make another flavour variation of this easy dessert. This particular flavour was actually made for my brother, who can never turn down a banoffee pie- and who told me that these cheesecakes were the first thing I’d made that didn’t “taste healthy” but tasted “like normal food”. Any other banoffee pie fans out there: you’re welcome.

 

Ingredients (Serves 9)

For the base

  • 8 medjool dates, soaked for 10 minutes in boiled water, then drained
  • 1 cup oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of cinnamon – just a tiny one, omit if you don’t like cinnamon

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Salted Dark Chocolate-Coconut Popcorn…

IMG_20170630_202628_446About a week ago I was approached by SkinnyPop about- you guessed it- popcorn (brand name kind of gave it away there). Basically, SkinnyPop want to know what flavours I think would compliment the natural taste of popcorn the best.  The brand make popcorn that is preservative, artificial flavour, GMO, trans fat and gluten plus dairy free. I love the idea of minimal ingredients in my popcorn, but also big flavours. The best flavour combos that various bloggers come up with are the ones that SkinnyPop get will be getting made into recipe cards. Seems like fun, and right now my competitive streak is showing…

You’ll only need to grab a few ingredients for this recipe, as its very much a throw-it-all-in snack, perfect for a movie night. Feel free to eat the entirety of the final product, but I gave this to my dad and even he said it was very rich due to the dark chocolate and coconut, so we split it in two. Depending on which dark chocolate you use this is veggie/vegan suitable as we aren’t using butter, but coconut oil for a bit more of a coconut hit. Let me know what flavour combos you would want to see in popcorn below (I might have to make a couple of popcorn snack posts in the future. Preferably featuring peanut butter).

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 packet SkinnyPop Naturally Sweet Popcorn
  • 1dsp* melted coconut oil
  • 1.5tsp desiccated coconut
  • 1tsp cocoa or cacao powder
  • 10g dark chocolate, very finely chopped, or chocolate chips
  • 1 pinch sea salt, or pink Himalayan salt if you’re feeling fancy (this cuts through the sweetness. I know sweet/salt isn’t for everyone, but I HIGHLY recommend it).

*dsp= desert spoonful (roughly 7.5g)

 

Method

  • Grab your popcorn and throw it into a bowl. Sprinkle on the cocoa or cacao, and toss it up.
  • Pour on the coconut oil, followed immediately by the desiccated coconut. Toss again.
  • Final step. Throw the dark chocolate over the popcorn, sprinkle on the salt to taste, toss it all up one final time…
  • …and dig in.

Raspberry & Vanilla “Cheesecakes” (Vegan-Friendly & Easy!)

1498728094582For so long I have wanted to have a go at making a vegan cheesecake. The only thing that has prompted me to do so is moving home to Bradford, where these kind of desserts are pretty much unheard of. Which means I have to try and perfect making my own.

What has always put me off it the super-long list of ingredients for these cheesecakes. Admittedly, this list is longer than my usual recipes, but you actually only need 10 ingredients in total. All of them can be bought in a supermarket, or if you have a small “Express Supermarket” between that and Holland & Barratt’s (I got my cashews from the H&B’s fruit and nut ‘Pick N Mix’ section as it worked out slightly cheaper). These cheesecakes also don’t take that long to make, and are not difficult in the slightest. The longest thing you have to do is wait for your nuts to soak, and then chill everything.

Ingredients (makes 10 cheesecake cups)

For the base

  • 8 dates, soaked for 10 minutes in freshly boiled water
  • 1 cup oats
  • Pinch of salt
  • OPTIONAL: pinch of cinnamon

Continue reading “Raspberry & Vanilla “Cheesecakes” (Vegan-Friendly & Easy!)”

Savoury Oats (Eggs, Asparagus & Mushrooms)

IMG_20170616_095955_473

Savoury porridge. Are you feeling disgusted or intrigued? Either way, just for me, please give it a go. You might surprise yourself.

In this porridge bowl we have mushroom, asparagus, salt, black and white pepper, and two runny-yolked eggs. This combination meaning that you have a lovely, balanced breakfast containing low GI carbohydrates in the oats (they digest more slowly, meaning they don’t spike blood sugar and keep you fuller for longer), a source of protein and healthy fats in the eggs, and one of your ‘5 a Day’ in the asparagus and mushrooms- as well as plenty of vitamins and minerals, which the fat in the egg yolk is going to help the body absorb. This is one super-charged breakfast bowl, and a great alternative if you want to change it up a bit from fruit and nut butter on your porridge. My biggest tip with this dish is not to skip the seasoning: white pepper is amazing with eggs, and the salt and pepper combo is going to give the oats some oomph (they smell great when they’re cooking).

I happened to love this combination of salt and pepper oats, eggs, and veggies- but I’m interested to hear what you think, so let me know in the comments below if you decide to try this. Lets get started…

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Cocoa-Hazelnut & Raspberry Balls

IMG_20170613_181509_507Well, I promised a recipe using the cocoa-hazelnut butter I reviewed a couple of days ago, and here it is!

Today we have a quick and easy recipe for a snack that you can keep in your fridge for times of need. These little snack balls have a rich chocolate-hazelnut, and sweet-tangy raspberry taste. The texture is almost creamy too, due to the oats mashed together with the nut butter. In fact, these remind me of a healthier after-dinner truffle…

Ingredients (for 16 balls)

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup hazelnut butter
  • 1/8  cup maple syrup
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 80g frozen raspberries, defrosted in the microwave and mashed to a puree
  • 1tbsp chia seeds
  • 1tbsp almond milk
  • 2tbsp cacao

 

Method

  • In a large bowl combine the oats, chia seeds, 1tbsp cacao, and cinnamon. To this add the nut butter, and the maple syrup, stirring well to combine. Add in the almond milk and beat together well. Now beat in the raspberry puree, until a soft dough-like mixture forms.
  • Using a tablespoon measurer create 16 balls. Roll them to a smooth texture. Empty the other tbsp. of cacao into a dish, and roll each ball in the cacao.
  • Store in the fridge for 3-5 days in an airtight tub. Enjoy!

 

Easy Banana Protein Pancakes

(which actually taste good- because we all know they usually don’t!)

As the weather gets warmer, I sometimes find myself not wanting porridge for breakfast. I feel such a traitor saying that, but it is undeniably true. And so about a week ago I began a search for some breakfast alternatives. Overnight oats are a great option (loads of recipes on this blog), I tried a breakfast trifle using lucuma , omelettes are nice and light, shredded wheat is good- but then came these pancakes, and I am now converted. IMG_20170531_083814_327

I’ve tried egg and banana pancakes before and they were -quite frankly- absolutely shite. In no way can you simply mix banana and egg together and magically have that give birth to a pancake. I also found they didn’t fill me up at all. These pancakes do use a base of banana and egg, but we’re adding in oats to keep you full, protein powder to also up the satiety level and help build those muscles (I need them to carry several 1kg tubs of PB home from Holland & Barratt’s, and according to Spark Nutrition’s recipe calculator, for the recipe as it is above you’ll be getting 24g of protein) , some baking powder for fluffiness, and  “cinnamon” for some more sweet dessert-like taste.

Okay, they aren’t your momma’s pancakes, but I have been making these at least three times a week with different combinations of toppings (see recipe), and I’m sure you’ll be hooked too (they taste way better than the classic egg-and-banana sin of a pancake). They’re quick, can be made ahead and reheated, and are a lovely, less stodgy alternative on a lazy summer’s morning. Be sure to pile on some toppings and tag me in you IG pictures…

 

Ingredients

  • 1 large, ripe banana
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 heaped tbsp. protein powder (I use the Pulsin Pea Protein, and this is approx. 10g of the product)
  • 1/2tsp baking powder
  • Cinnamon, to taste
  • Cooking spray

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