Soaked Rice with Beetroot, Apple and Fennel Salad

A salad is all about how you dress it! 

This particular salad was dressed with soaked brown rice, mint sauce and home grown chard leaves and kale flowers. The reason for sharing is two main points: the soaked rice and the home grown additions!

I’ve been soaking my porridge oats overnight ready for breakfast for some years now, but for some reason I had not done the same with the grains I use for lunch and or dinner. The thing is when I prepare my porridge I am also usually making dinner so it’s a two birds one stone situation and yet when making breakfast it hadn’t dawned on me to prep lunch! Until now.

I have a sensitive digestive tract and grains are not my best friends when it comes to ease of digestion, yes liquorice and other digestive aids help, plus eating slowly and not over consuming all help, but ultimately soaking the grains really makes a huge impact on the texture, taste and ease of digestion, in my opinion it improves the overall experience in every way😀.

The salad was a simple grated salad dressed with a mix of tahini, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon and a pinch of salt, as my herb garden grows various herbs will be added to play with the flavour and feeling of the salad, however within the salad are already some homegrown beauties including kale flowers and chard leaves, homegrown always does and always will taste best and will be the best for you, I’m looking forward to the salad that’s close to 70% homegrown 😜🌱. 

Ultimately this salad looked great, tasted awesome, was hydrating and satiated my appetite and personally I think the secret lay within the soaking of the rice and the homegrown ingredients.

It’s all about how you dress a salad so go ahead and have fun with it.

To you all in great health.

Matt

Vegan Dahl Stuffed Marrow

Marrow season has passed and I meant to share this awhile back, but life happens.

In its simplest form I filled a marrow with Dahl Lentils and vegetables and it was great.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Marrow
  • 1 cup of red split lentils (3cups water)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes (ideally your have fresh ones, being honest I went for the tin this time🤔)
  • 1-2 tsp of Garam Masala spice mix
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • A glug of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh date
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • A variety of vegetables to your liking.

Method:

Add the lentils and water to a pan bring to the boil and simmer, add the rest of the ingredients to a blender to make your sauce and mix till smooth. Prepare the marrow by cutting it in half and then cut each half down the middle and clean out the seeds from the middle, place the 4 marrow slices on a baking tray and pre heat your oven.

Once the lentils have cooked add the sauce and any vegetables you want to, no need to over cook at this point as it will cook in the oven, this part is more for the benefit of making your marrow filling.

Pour the filling into the marrow slices cover in foil and place into the middle of your oven on high heat (I’m not good at looking what temp I cook at, I’ve simply figured out how food comes out great from my oven😀). It roughly took 30 minutes for the marrow to cook to a point where it slid of the skin.

I personally was a big fan of this dish, it was simple and very tasty, it can serve 4, but we shared it between 2. 

Enjoy.

Matt

Ostara’s naming celebration cakes (vegan)

On the 1st of June we as family and friends gathered on a plot at Stanmer Park where the mood and spirits were high, the heavens opened to bring a fresh supply of rain for the surrounding wild life, it reminded of the saying ‘do not wait for the storm to pass, instead learn to dance in the rain’. This was for sure the case, it can be easy to let the weather dampen and raise your spirits, but if you remain inwardly present you see the beauty in all expressions, not to mention that great cake always saves the day no matter the weather.

The vegan cakes I made were inspired by this recipe Pineapple and Banana Cake

That link will also give you the base recipe, however as is the case with all creation and what I always actively encourage is add your own twist, your own jazz into anything you make, with this in mind I have added my twists below, but am grateful for the original inspiration that came from the linked recipe.


For base ingredients follow this link Pineapple and banana cake.

  • I added an extra 50g of hemp flour to add that nutty hemp flavour, to bind and strengthen the cake, I love strong cakes, fluffy sponge cakes are not my flavour, but they maybe yours.
  • I used coconut syrup instead of honey, simply because it jumped of the shelf at me whilst shopping and I hadn’t used it before and was curious, I think honey worked out better for flavour in my opinion.
  • I used a coconut and hemp oil mix instead as it was on special offer, no real difference hear except I’m a big fan of hemp, however most of its nutritional benefits are lost through cooking so it doesn’t warrant being a replacement unless like I did, you find it on special offer.
  • The rest I kept the same.

The Topping

Here’s my Jazz✌️

Avocado and Chamomile Chocolate with rose pet the decoration.

  • 140g – cacao butter
  • 150g – cashew nuts
  • 3 – baby avocados
  • 60ml – mix of honey and coconut syrup
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt
  • Dried rose petals for decoration

Method

It should be noted that I soaked the cashews and then mixed them with the sweetener and cacao butter after it had been melted alongside a tbsp of coconut oil in a Bain Marie, then during the mixing process I noticed the consistency was all wrong, it had lost its smoothness, however fear not, I threw in an extra 50g of dry cashew nuts and turned the mixture green with the whizzing of 3 baby avocados, I added extra sweetener to amend for the extra fats going into the mix, after I had made the mixture and saved it from ruin there was enough to sink a small ship, we refrigerated the excess and used it to fill medjool dates YUM is all I can say about that and that if you fly and roll with your mistakes magic happens. Once the mixture had setted I iced the cake and decorated with the rose petals.

Oh yes avocado chocolate works.


Now I made two cakes so you guys and the guys who attende are and were in for a real treat, those who know me know I cannot roll up to a celebration without chocolate cake it’s rude not to😀. 

I used the same base recipe which can be found following this link Pineapple and Banana Cake

This time my chocolate and cherry cake had some real jazz played to make it super awesome.

  • The most notable difference is the chocolate, I used 150g of Wonky Willys dark cooking chocolate, which may not be available in countries outside the U.K those in the U.K can grab some easily enough from Waitrose, but I chose it because it’s the best quality. You add the chocolate in by melting it alongside a tbsp of coconut oil in a Bain Marie and then whizz it up with the other blended ingredients.
  • I also added 2 tbsp of Cacao powder to the dry ingredients (if you gonna do it, do it properly and with style)😜
  • Note that all ingredients have been doubled I used a 12inch cake tin for this baby.
  • The size meant an extremely long cooking time, at least 2 hours to get it cooked right through, plus I kind of burnt the edges so I shaved the outer edge off the cake, life with out those last minute obstacles and challenges is no life😀.
  • Cherries replaced the pinapple and I used good old fresh cherries (remember to remove the stones).
  • Again hemp flour was added, I used roughly 50g.

The icing.

  • This was very simple, I simply melted down to bars of cooking chocolate and added some coconut syrup to the Bain Marie, add to your liking. Whilst the chocolate was melting I placed cherries cut in half round the perimeter of the cake, then once the chocolate had melted I simply poured it over the cake and made sure it went round the cherries, this then acted like glue to keep the cherries in place. Simple, but rediculously yummy.


Both cakes were fantastically yummy and there is plenty of room to play with recipes as you see fit.

Enjoy.

Matt

Creamy Hazelnut & Cacao Mousse

I love hazelnuts, cacao and mousse. This is a great combo and it produced a real thick and creamy mousse just how I like it.😀.

Ingredients:

  • 10-12 hazelnuts (soak in water for one or more hours)
  • 8 fresh dates (pit the dates)
  • 1 dried prune
  • 1 tbsp of flax seed
  • 1 tsp wheatgrass powder
  • 2-3 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp cacao butter
  • 1 pinch of sea salt
  • 2 baby avocado 
  • 1 tbsp wild forest honey
  • 300ml of filtered water

Note: the above quantities are estimates, I rarely if ever exactly measure or count anything out.

Method:

I use a Vitamix, in the Vitamix I fill it up with water just above the blade and then I add the nuts, seeds and dried fruit, I leave them to soak for an hour or so.

Upon return I place the rest of the ingredients into the Vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy.

Serve with a smile on my face and happiness in my heart for a cacao party is about to begin.

For extra creamy results leave in the fridge overnight.

Enjoy

To you all in great health

Matt

Vegan Portobello Pizza 

It does still confuse me how the cost of vegan pizzas are so high, but fortunately this high price has encouraged me to make my own, the market will be what the market will be and I can only change that by taking back my power of choice and exercising that power.

I must confess the bases are shopped bought, but if you have time to do so home made pizza bases are the best option by far.

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 10inch pizza base
  • Organic Tomato Passata Sauce
  • Organic Garlic Purée (again you can squeeze your own and boom you’ve stepped up a gear),
  • Organic Sun Dried Tomatoe purée 
  • 1 – Portobello Mushroom
  • 1/4 of a Red Pepper
  • A few Black Russian Kale leaves
  • 1/2 a Red Onion
  • A generous portion of Vegan Cheese (I used the Soy free version)

Method:

Put the purée on the base first then add the Passata, evenly spread over the base. Next add the onions followed by the kale then the portobello mushroom and finish with the pepper and cheese. 

Note you can slice and dice to your liking and you can change the order, I also have a feeling olives, sun dried tomatoes and asparagus would have been awesome with a glug of garlic fused olive oil to cover, be as creative as you like and joyous in the knowledge that it costs less than half the shop or restaurant bought pizzas, plus it’s fresh and lovingly made by you.

To you all in great health.

Matt

Cherry Chocolate Smoothie BLISS (vegan)

Wow, I managed to make in my humble opinion the best smoothie ever, I mean it can be improved of course, but thus far it’s number 1.

Ingredients:

  • 1 litre of hemp milk (you can make hemp milk, however this time I bought some from the shop)
  • 4-6 tbsp of cacao powder (technically I poured the remainder of the bag into the jug, which I guess is about 4-6tbsp)
  • 2 bananas 
  • 1 punnet of cherries (here’s one way to improve, source them locally and be patient for them to come into season, oops, I was caught out by the devious special offer).
  • 10 squeezes of honey (regular old squeezable honey, here again you could up your game and use wild raw, local honey).
  • 1tsp of wheat grass powder (I used organic freeze dried powder)

Method:

Simply throw it all into a high speed blender, remember to take the stones out of the cherries, apart from that, throw it in with love and due diligence press the power on and whizz until it’s thick a creamy. Then my friends you have the best smoothie ever and bliss will be yours. 😀

  
To you all in great health

Matt

A Zesty Healer

For those of you who are parents you will know that as one falls ill the dominos tumble down upon all, well it doesn’t have to be that way and of course it’s not, but when it does happen it’s great to have a little champion like the Zesty Healer in your corner who can help bring all the troops back to great health.

There are many useful tools one can use to embrace the common cold, however none pack a punch like the Zesty Healer, ok that’s not entirely true either, but it definitely boosts your immune system.

Please note that this drink is less about taste and more about healing and whilst taste can indeed help heal a person it is not a requirement of this concoction and yet you can take the edge of it by adding more apples or cucumber should you wish.

The curious thing about this healing elixir is this, it is only really palatable when one is not well, my son who is 5 years old and daughter who is 9 months old both have drunk this mix and it’s had its desired effect, however when well it gets rejected.

Ingredients

  • 1 Grapefruit 
  • 4 oranges
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 apple
  • 1/3 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • An inch or so of fresh ginger
  • A little less of fresh turmeric root

Method

All the ingredients simply go through a juicer, I personally use a Hurom Slow Juicer. One note remember to take the skin of the oranges and grapefruit and I used unwaxed lemons which meant I could keep the skin on them, everything else cut to size if needed and send it on through. Enjoy.

To you all in great health

Matt