farmers’ market pasta salad (V, GF)

August is the best month for spending time making salad. So much fresh produce to use, form ripe tomatoes to herbs, lettuce and hot radishes.

But what to do with all your gorgeously ripe vegetables? A solid pasta salad, that’s what.

Pasta salad is literally the answer to every summer mealtime question – what to eat for lunch at the office? Pasta salad. What to eat on a busy Saturday? Pasta salad. What to bring to your friend’s barbecue? You guessed it.

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a really good matcha swirl cake

Matcha is everywhere these days – from lattes to mochi (sweet Japanese treats), this vibrant green powdered tea has taken over the world.

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I wasn’t always a fan. I am now; it’s a welcome alternative to coffee, and the perfect mid-afternoon way to refresh and reset. Iced or warm, I couldn’t imagine my life without it. But my first experience was less than pleasant; I remember the thick, watery liquid coating the inside of my mouth with cloying bitterness.

Let me tell you what a well prepared, good quality matcha is not:

  • bitter
  • drying on the tongue
  • sticky in your mouth
  • lumpy or clumped
  • dull in colour

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seasonal green tofu satay

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Who else is a big fan of:

  • A quick, weeknight dinner
  • A great desk lunch
  • A recipe that tastes phenomenal regardless of which vegetables are in season
  • A saucy dish that pairs well with any type of grain, noodle or flatbread
  • A magic sauce that’s basically as versatile as a curry paste

Well, then I’ve got the recipe for you. This tofu satay is zesty, mild, #healthyAF and achievable for the most beginner of cooks. You need practically zero knife skills, and a cheap blender will do the trick (and some pots and pans, obviously!).

I like this take on satay because it isn’t sweet and even the smallest of corner supermarkets will have what you need. Traditionally, satay sauce is made with brown sugar and is fairly complex on the ingredient front. There are lots of shortcuts you can take, which honestly don’t compromise on flavor at all. This is far from being a traditional version – the addition of coriander gives it a green color and fresh ginger a nice bite.

If you don’t have whole peanuts, peanut butter works too. If you don’t have fresh ginger or garlic, ground will work too. If you don’t have fresh chillies, dried will work too. But the sauce has an extra degree of magic if you use fresh ingredients.

The real magic of this recipe is that you can use any vegetable that’s in season. In the winter, you can use carrots, pumpkin or mushrooms. In the spring and summer, you can use courgette, aubergine or cauliflower.

When it comes to protein, this magic sauce will also work beautifully with chicken or prawns, chickpeas or a chicken alternative. I paired mine with tofu for a vegan-friendly option – if you choose tofu, a firm kind will work best. If you’re a fan of crispy, crispy tofu, I’d recommend shallow frying it ahead of time until all sides are crisp.

ingredients

makes 2-3 servings, depending on how hungry you are!

For the sauce:

  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger (unpeeled), quartered
  • 2 big cloves of garlic
  • 1 handful of peanuts (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 handful fresh coriander leaves, with stalks
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon miso
  • 1/2 red chilli
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water

For the rest:

  • 2 servings of your favorite vegetables, e.g. 1/2 head of broccoli, 1/2 aubergine, 5 large mushrooms…
  • 1 block tofu, 1 tin chickpeas, 2 chicken breasts or other protein of choice
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

To serve:

  • your favorite cooked grain (I had wild rice)
  • spoonful of coconut yoghurt
  • sprig of coriander

method

  1. Heat the toasted sesame oil on medium heat and cook your protein along with your vegetable for at least 10 minutes to allow the vegetables to break down and the protein to cook on all sides. If you are cooking tofu ahead of time, cook the vegetables separately and add tofu at the end.
  2. In the meantime, make the sauce. Combine all the ingredients in a blender cup (I used a nutribullet) and blitz until thick and slightly textured. Add more water if necessary – it should have the consistency of a thick pesto.
  3. Once the vegetables have reduced, add the sauce to your pan and cook for 10-15 minutes. This will cook out the raw garlic and help the sauce thicken up. Feel free to thin out the sauce using water or coconut milk/yoghurt at this point to prevent it from sticking.
  4. Serve with a side of grain, some extra steamed vegetables, a dollop of yoghurt and enjoy!

This recipe will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze. Best enjoyed within a 2-day window in my opinion!

I made this recipe in collaboration with FoodSpace; a website which allows you to save recipes, create shopping lists and links to your instacart account for a super streamlined experience! Check them out here: https://www.foodspaceapp.com

buckwheat + quinoa autumn harvest bread (GF)

Hey team. It’s almost winter. And warm breads and pastries straight out of the oven sound so good right now.

 

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Which is why my mum and I made this quinoa and buckwheat bread. My mum used to make this killer potato and feta bread from Delia Smith, and it’s freaking delicious, but I felt like something a little less potato-ey, y’feel me?

 

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Buckwheat flour is super versatile and very affordable. It doesn’t give that weird spongyness that you get from ‘all purpose’ gluten free flours, which usually contain rice flour and various gums. And quinoa provides a nice chewy texture, just like potato. Add an egg, bake for 50 minutes (I know, it’s a while), and you’ve got yourself a fresh, fibre rich loaf. It was gone within minutes.

We added walnuts, red onion, rosemary and a few lonely olives we found in the fridge. If you eat cheese, feta or goat’s cheese would work a dream, with a drizzle of honey. This recipe has endless possibilities. Make it sweet with some chocolate chips or honey and a handful of oats!

Our fridge was stocked with an abundance of cheese, which would be the perfect complement to this bread, but hummus or smashed avocado would be delicious, too.

 

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eco-conscious pointers for this recipe:

  • try to find local quinoa; I’ve seen English quinoa in health food stores before
  • try to use eggs from a local farm or market; they’re so much nicer, trust me
  • we used walnuts and olives because that’s what we had on hand. This bread is a great topportunity to use odd scraps of food, so go wild and empty your fridge!
  • we cooked a double batch of quinoa so we would have leftovers for the week, which means less electricity used for our next quinoa-based meals
  • this bread is a great side to lots of dishes, so if you’re roasting something, bake them both at the same time

 

 

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ingredients

75 gr dry quinoa
175 gr buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 large egg
2 tbsp milk of choice (we used oat)
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
1 handful olives (about 10)
1 red onion, sliced
2 sprigs of rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 handful walnuts, chopped
1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

 

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method

  1. Cook quinoa according to instructions until well cooked (we went for about 18 min) and drain under cold water to cool down
  2. Mix quinoa, baking powder, flour, egg, milk, mustard, salt and pepper by hand until just combined. This is a sticky bread so don’t worry too much about it not holding together smoothly. It’s lumpy and that’s how it should be!
  3. Add in olives, chopped onions, rosemary, walnuts and anything else you want to add (feta, seeds, sundried tomatoes…) and combine.
  4. Before you run to wash your sticky hands, transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle lightly with olive oil. We topped ours with the remainder of the onions and walnuts.
  5. Shape into a flat-ish loaf. This bread won’t rise much, so its shape depends on your preference. If you like slim slices, flatten it more, almost like a focaccia, like we did. Make sure it si evenly spread to ensure even baking.
  6. Bake into a preheated oven (170C, fan) for 50 minutes.
  7. You could let it cool before eating but where’s the fun in that? We sliced ours straight away and enjoyed with delicious Prosciutto Cotto.

 

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ayurvedic + gut-friendly savoury oats

A warming bowl of porridge is so much more than a plate of food. Share it with a friend and it becomes a topic of conversation. Make it after a long day and it becomes a source of comfort. Let your imagination run free and it becomes a creative outlet.

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how to make the best gut-healing oatmeal

Oatmeal, porridge, whatever you wanna call it. One thing: treat it like risotto.

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Oats are like the perfect middle-ground between incredibly indulgent and incredibly nutritious.

I was probably born with a spoonful of oats in my mouth. Wherever I was, at home, at school, on holidays, oats always made an appearance. Except my oat consumption has changed drastically since those dairy and microwave days. I actually used to pour cornflakes on top of my porridge. That crunch was everything. Now it just comes in a different shape (i.e. spoonfuls of PB)!

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old order blood vampire chia jam

Happy Halloween! Oh wait, is it still too early for you? Well, not for me!

See, I wouldn’t say I’m obsessed with Halloween, but it’s bordering obsession. As soon as October hits, I start thinking about decorating/buying pumpkins/complaining about there not being enough Halloween parties advertised already/scrolling through Pinterest Halloween boards.

 

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You get the picture.

And this is why I’m brining you #healthoween! I came up with the idea because, you know, Halloween is really candy-corn-and-sweets-galore. And as a fructose intolerant kid, trick or treating was never that interesting to me. A plastic pumpkin full of mini Mars bars and gummy bears? Ehm, gimme some crisps.

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#septemberwhole30: a perfect paleo plate

Hello lovelies 🍒

I hope everyone’s Whole30 is going well so far!

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It has been 5 days since we all started, and I must admit the emotional rollercoaster is the real deal. I thought everyone was being dramatic, but I’ve experienced my fair share of ups and downs this week.

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