Friday, 1 April 2016

Quinoa Burrito Bowls

Our household has a transient and picky population of our young adults/ teens and their friends, so bowls they can grab and fill with whatever proportions they like of something brightly-coloured and inviting are the way to go for meals. That way, whatever time they drift in or however soon they rush off there's always healthy food available. Mexican flavours always go down well too. We usually serve tortilla wraps or chapattis so they can have "proper" burritos if they want, but cook quinoa or rice as well for them to make up their very own, on-trend bowls. Who needs Nando's?
We cook quinoa, make up guacamole (recipe here), prepare salsa (an idea here), salad and a vegan cheese (pictured is a mashed tofu-based one with tahini, salt, lemon and yeast flakes but there's a cashew-based one here). The main part of the bowl, however, is the beans. I don't normally make them very hot and spicy because tastes- and moods- in our house vary and the salsa provides optional heat. For a smoky recipe, see here. If you like the look of the beans in the pictures, here's the recipe:

Serves 4-5:
500g cooked red kidney beans
1 tab oil
1 can (400g) chopped tomatoes
450g diced mixed vegetables (try cabbage, sweet potatoes, green beans, courgettes, peppers, sweetcorn etc.)
2 tsps seasalt
1/2 tsp compound hing
a small pinch of chilli powder
2 tsps ground cumin
1 tab ground coriander
2 tsps dried oregano
2 tsps cacao/ cocoa powder
1 tab tomato puree
  • Saute the veggies with the oil and salt until they are soft. While this is happening, add the hing, chilli, cumin and coriander.
  • Add the tomatoes, oregano and cacao/ cocoa and gently simmer, stirring in the beans and tomato puree.
  • Layer your bowls with quinoa, the beans, salad, guacamole, olives, vegan cheese and/ or cashew sour cream and salsa.

Monday, 28 March 2016

Chocolate, Date and Walnut Wholewheat Muffins

There's nothing like a batch of freshly-baked muffins with your favourite hot drink...

We hope you all enjoyed Easter Bank Holiday weekend, and just in case you didn't get enough chocolate here's a somewhat healthier spin on a favourite sweet snack; chocolate muffins. If you're in the mood for baking, these treats are simple to make and they'll make your kitchen smell gorgeous while they're cooking, too. 
With wholemeal flour, coconut sugar and coconut oil as the main ingredients you can go ahead and have that second  third one because they'll have a lower GI (glycemic index measure), more fibre and less chloresterol than regular muffins. As if you needed an excuse anyway. C'mon; let's get baking!

(Makes 14 large muffins; more if you use fairy cake tins and cases)
400g wholemeal flour
250g coconut sugar
5 tsps baking powder
3 rounded tablespoons cocoa powder
50g walnuts, chopped
50g stoned fresh dates, chopped
400ml unsweetened soya milk/ your favourite plant milk
150ml melted coconut oil
1 tsp natural vanilla essence
  • Prepare your cake moulds and get the paper cases out ready. Preheat your oven to 180C.
  • Mix the flour, coconut sugar and baking powder together in a large bowl. Stir in the walnuts and dates, making sure the dates don't stick together.
  • Whisk together the coconut oil, soya milk and vanilla and add to the dry mixture.
  • Beat for a minute or two, then put into the paper cases. Tip: use a mechanical ice cream scoop for this; it's fast, accurate and mess-free!
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes on the middle shelf of your oven.
  • Get the kettle on and put your feet up...