Banana & Apple Muffins

Gluten free, dairy free, egg free and no added sugar – perfect afternoon snack the whole family can enjoy.

 

When I’m sad, I bake! When I’m happy, I also bake! Considering the news today (passing the YES vote, woohoo!), I decided to experiment!

My two toddlers’ appetites have increased significantly over the past few weeks and it’s really hard to keep up.

They are eating 5 meals a day; breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, so needed to find ways to make it less expensive and still get nutrients into them. I have to constantly think on my feet and create new things as they get bored really easily.

These muffins have all the fruit they were eating in the afternoon with the added carbs, yogurt and milk. They have no added sugar (the apple and coconut act as the sweetener) so they won’t be bouncing off the walls…hopefully!

My family Is in no way celiac, but I try and limit our gluten intake, especially when we like having seitan (mock meat which is really gluten heavy) here and there, so you could substitute for plain flour if that’s what you have at home!

I am so pleased these turned out so well and taste bloody go od! At least my afternoon tea is sorted if they don’t like them!

Like all baked goods, they are best served and enjoyed fresh but will last in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days if they are left in a cool spot on the bench or fridge.

 

Ingredients

1 cup gluten free flour

½ cup desiccated coconut

2 teaspoons of baking powder

2-3 ripe (blackish) bananas

2 granny smith apples, peeled and diced

½ teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (vanilla extract or essence would work too)

½ cup coconut yogurt

½ cup soy milk

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius /350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the dry ingredients
  3. In a separate bowl, mash ripe bananas well and then stir through coconut yogurt and vanilla paste
  4. Add banana mix to dry ingredients and stir until well combined
  5. Then stir through milk and apples
  6. Divide mixture into a greased muffin tray and cook for 25-30 minutes, depending on your oven*
  7. Allow to cool before serving and enjoy!

 

*I only have muffin pan that yields 6 muffins, so depending on the size of your muffin tray, the cook time may vary even more

Sweet Potato & Polenta Muffins

Polenta chips meet savoury muffin, win win!

It’s been a while since I’ve post as I’ve been busy looking after my twins, they are becoming more and more cheeky every day!

I’ve still been creating recipes and writing them down, but get interrupted when typing them up by four little hands bashing the computer LOL

The day before my groceries got delivered and I was struggling to find a snack to satisfy my toddlers. They became bored with my usual go to polenta chips, so had to think on my feet!

Looked in the fridge and I saw some sweet potato and I thought I could make this work and attempted to throw together something that in the end resembled savoury muffins and they devoured them, winning!!

I’ve used the Orgran egg replacer (readily available in Woolworths and Coles or speciality stores) as the binding agent, I use this all the time when baking, it’s less than $4 usually and equals about 66 eggs.

These are so simple and the perfect lunch box filler or food on the go!

 

Ingredients, yields 6 large muffins, or 12 smaller ones

1 cup gluten free flour (regular flour will work too)

¾ cup polenta

2 cups (about 280g) grated sweet potato

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 tablespoons of the Orgran egg replacer and 4 tablespoons of water

1 cup soy milk, almond or rice milk would work too

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Grease muffin tray with olive oil spray
  3. Mix dry ingredients together
  4. Make up the “eggs” and add milk
  5. Add to dry ingredients then add the grated sweet potato and mix until well combined
  6. Divide the mixture into the greased muffin trays and bake for 20 mins (you may need to adjust cook time if you are making smaller muffins)
  7. Allow to cool and enjoy!

 

Polenta Chips

An old favourite of mine, easily turned vegan!

It’s been a while so I thought I would post one of my go to finger foods for my toddlers.

This yields about 24 “chips” and barely lasts a day in our household, although they will keep in an airtight container for a couple of days. Everyone expects these at every family function I attend.

You can omit the vegan Parmesan if you like (or just use regular), I like the extra flavour it brings to the chippies.

I have tried making these with soy milk too, but found almond milk has a more neutral flavour.

When I cook, I try not to add salt to most things because I serve to my two toddlers, you can always add salt, you can’t take it away! Plus, the stock seems to be salty enough for recipes like these.

Enjoy x

Ingredients

2 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (Massel brand is vegan)

2 cups of almond milk

1 cup of polenta

2 – 3 sprigs rosemary

1/3 cup of Oliana Parmesan

Serve with any sauce you like, I’ve used Vegenaise

Method

  1. Bring water and stock to the boil
  2. Reduce heat to a medium/low heat
  3. Add polenta slowly and whisk until combined, continue whisking until it becomes thick, it should be the consistency custard although grainier, if that makes sense?
  4. Turn off heat and add Parmesan, stir until well combines
  5. Line a baking tray (I use a brownie tray which is about 17cm x 27cm x 2cm) with a spray of olive oil
  6. Pour polenta mixture into tray using a spatula to get all of the mixture out.
  7. Allow to cool on bench for about 30 minutes or until it’s cool enough to put in the fridge.
  8. Place in fridge for 1-2 hours to until it’s really firm
  9. Slice in the tray, then turn out onto a lined baking tray, separating so there is room for the outsides to get really crunchy.
  10. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C / 375 degrees F
  11. Spray with some olive oil and garnish with rosemary before putting in the preheated oven
  12. Bake for about 35- 45 minutes, depending on your oven.
  13. Allow to cool and then serve!

Pancakes

Coconut, cocoa and chia seed pancakes

 

Breakfast time at our house is chaos, especially when the toddlers are teething, something they will always eat are pancakes!

This recipe yields 6-8 pancakes, which my two chowed down.

Each serving (3-4 pancakes) has around 25g of chia seeds in them which equals around 8 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrate, over 10 grams  of fibre and 5 grams of protein.

They take about 2 minutes to make and another 6-8 minutes to cook and can be made easily with older kids helping.

Ingredients 

1 cup of regular flour

½ cup desiccated coconut

1/3 cup of chia seeds

1 tablespoon of cocoa powder

½ teaspoon of salt

½ teaspoon of baking powder (this well help the pancakes to get fluffy)

½ teaspoon of cinnamon

1 cup coconut milk (or any other vegan milk, I love the taste of coconut milk)

1 tablespoon of maple syrup

2 tablespoons of Orgran egg replacer (mixed with 4 tablespoons of water, mixed well in separately in a medium bowl)

Vegan butter

Blueberries to serve

Optional – maple syrup

Method

  1. Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl until they are well combined
  2. In the bowl that has the egg replace, add maple syrup and coconut milk until combined
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well
  4. In a medium non-stick fry pan over a low-medium heat, add about a teaspoon of vegan butter, allow to melt and then add pancake mixture (about 2 tablespoons per pancake).
  5. Cook for about 3-4 minutes each side, place on paper towel to allow to cool and serve with your favourite fruit and extra maple syrup if desired!

 

Beet Wellington

This is not your usual Sunday Roast.

I have always been a fan of Masterchef and this dish is inspired by one of the guest chefs, Flynn McGarry, who was 17 when he appeared with his pressure test version of Beet Wellington in 2016. 

He was described as the “Justin Bieber” of food (obviously because he produces banger dishes, nothing to do with his age).

I have had this recipe earmarked for the longest time, but never had the time to recreate it and then I realised, I will never have the time, especially with two toddlers clinging to me in the kitchen!

My version follows the principles of the dish and has far less steps. To save time, I’ve used vacuum sealed beetroot you should find in most local grocery stores. The Oliana feta melts into these little gooey pockets of glory so make sure you get some in each bite!

*To save time, you can throw mushrooms, leek, garlic and spinach in a food processor and pulse until chunky, call me weird, but I have hand chopped everything because I find it therapeutic!

Serves 4-6 (depending on how hungry you are!) 

Ingredients

2 sheets of puff pastry

Olive oil

1 leek, trimmed and diced

300g of mushrooms, diced

1 cup of baby spinach, finely sliced

3 garlic cloves, minced or cut finely

Vegan milk to brush to seal

100g vegan feta, cut into chunks (I have used the Oliana brand)

Salt & pepper

250g of vacuum sealed beetroot

Leaves of spinach to use in the wellington (I have used the spinach from my garden)

Greens to serve – I have used purple broccolini from my garden on this occasion

Balsamic glaze (you can use store bought too!)

½ balsamic vinegar

2 tablespoons of maple syrup 

Method

  1. Over a low-medium heat, heat oil and leeks stirring until they become translucent.
  2. Add garlic, mushrooms and spinach until cooked through, set aside to cool, once cool add the feta
  3. Spray a bread loaf tin with olive oil and place 1 sheet of puff pastry in the middle, save the other sheet to use as the bottom and sides, depending on the size of the tin you are using, you’ll need to cut to size accordingly.
  4. Once you have the bottom and sides lined, line with spinach
  5. Place half of the mushroom mix in
  6. Add whole beetroots, pressing down so they are embedded in the mix, you’ll see, the beetroots I got were quite large, so I have cut the other half and placed them like a puzzle piece.
  7. Place the other half of the mushroom mix on top, carefully filling in any gaps you can see
  8. Place more spinach of top
  9. Cut the remaining puff pastry and place on to
  10. Brush the pastry with soy milk and then fold all of the sides in and brush again, ensuring it’s tight, otherwise it will fall apar
  11. Place in fridge for about 30-45 minute
  12. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenhei
  13. Turn out onto a lined baking tray, brush with more soy milk and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the pastry is golden
  14. In a small sauce pan, bring the balsamic vinegar and maple syrup to the boil and boil for 10 mins until it reduces to half, set aside to cool
  15. Slice and serve (it may fall apart, that’s OK!) with your favourite greens

Beet Wellington ImageBeet Wellington Image 1Beet Wellington Image 3Beet Wellington Image 4DSC_0370

 

Spring Citrus Cake

Spring is officially here! Ok, well officially Spring started a couple of weeks ago, but the weather has finally sorted itself out and the wind has gone!

Completely different to the chocolate cake I made for hubby’s dad, I made this to take to my parents for afternoon tea, especially if you aren’t so much of a sweet tooth like my dad and I.

It’s surprisingly moist and goes perfectly with a spring cocktail or a cup of tea.

Dry

1 cup plain flour

1 cup of coconut flour

½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

½ cup coconut sugar (brown sugar will work fine)

Juice and rind of 1 lemon

Wet

½ cup of coconut yogurt (I’ve used the Nakula brand)

½ cup of coconut oil, melted

1 cup of almond milk (I have used the Inside Out brand)

Slices of citrus of your choice – I have used oranges and grapefruits

Coconut sugar

Coconut oil spray

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 355 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Spray a bread loaf or cake pan with coconut spray
  3. Place sliced citrus decoratively on bottom of the pan, set aside
  4. Combine all of the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir until combined
  5. In another medium bowl, mix wet ingredients together until combined, add to dry ingredients and stir until combined (the batter should be quite thick)
  6. Pour into pan and use the back of a spatula or your fingers to even out the mixture.
  7. Bake for 26-30 minutes (this will vary depending on the size of the tray you have used and your oven)
  8. Remove and carefully turn out on to wire tray, sprinkle with additional coconut or brown sugar while it’s still hot (it will dissolve nicely)
  9. Serve while warm by itself, with more yogurt or a scoop of vanilla ice cream 😊

Chia Pudding

Turmeric and coconut chia pudding

The weather is heating up, so it’s time to ditch the porridge and go for something more refreshing! Make this tonight so it’s ready to cool you down tomorrow, it’s going to hit 30 degrees in Sydney!

It’s really hard not to take ingredients that are yellow and black and make them look desirable, but it tastes so much better than it looks.

Turmeric has a really lovely subtle flavour and also has great anti-inflammatory properties, which help fight cold and flus and also can assist with weight loss.

This is a great breakfast or afternoon snack the whole family can enjoy and will keep those little tummies full for a long time with all of the good fats! For best results, make the night before. If you don’t have chia seeds, regular oats would work too!

Ingredients
1/3 cup chia seeds

1/3 cup desiccated coconut

1/3 cup diced pitted prunes

2 teaspoons maca powder (optional)

¼ cup ground flaxseeds

2 tablespoons turmeric powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon nutmeg

1 teaspoon of Himalayan salt

Dash of fresh cracked pepper

1 tsp vanilla paste (Queen’s)

1/3 cup hemp seeds

1/3 cup maple syrup

1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk (I’ve used the Inside Out brand)

To serve use your favourite yogurt, coconut flakes, fresh seasonal berries and maple syrup

 

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients. It’s important that you mix the ingredients well before you place in the jar, this will ensure there aren’t any clumps of chia!
  2. Pour into jar or container to set for a few hours, overnight is best!
  3. Serve with yogurt and berries and enjoy!

Vegan Pulled Pork

The flavour of this dish is undeniably delicious so I wanted to recreate a vegan version, after all the meat is purely a vessel for the sauce!

This version uses canned jackfruit, which can be found at most Asian grocers and will take only about 45 minutes from start to finish compared to the 5-6 hours the meat alternative takes.

Jackfruit is naturally quite sweet so you won’t need to add as much sugar that’s usually prevalent in regular BBQ sauce recipes and this version uses maple syrup instead of brown sugar and also half passata, half tomato sauce.

This dish is the perfect alternative to take away and uses ingredients you should have lying around in your pantry (except the jackfruit), but pick some up next time you see it, it costs under $2 a can! Make sure you stock up because I guarantee this dish will soon become your favourite!

It can be used in Gyro’s, Nachos or burgers; so say goodbye to expensive Friday & Saturday night take away  and give this a crack.

 

Hope you enjoy !

* If you are serving to littlies you can omit the chilli powder, although my two are demons for chilli!

Serves 4 comfortably

Ingredients

Spice rub

2 teaspoons garlic powder (fresh is fine too)

4 teaspoons smoked or sweet paprika (I’ve used smoked)

½ teasoon of chilli powder

2 teaspoons of salt

Sauce

Olive oil

1/2 red onion, diced

½ cup passata

1 cup water

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup of brown sugar

1 tablespoon of Worcestershire

2 Cans of 324g jackfruit, drained and rinsed

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 390 degrees fahrenheit
  2. In a large pot, add oil and onion stir for a few minutes until it becomes translucent
  3. Add all of the other sauce ingredients, stir
  4. In a large bowl, add spice run ingredients, mix well and then add jackfruit, ensuring each piece is covered, add to pot with sauce
  5. Bring to boil and allow to cook for 10 minutes

dsc_0246.jpg5. Remove jackfruit with a slotted spoon and place on lined baking tray(s), so they are evenly spread leaving the sauce in pan

dsc_0249.jpg

6. Bake for 30 minutes, remove from oven and use the back of the spoon to break apart before adding back to sauce

DSC_0251

 

7. Serve on a burger with coleslaw and avo, top nachos, add to a pizza or use as a filling for Gyros – the options are endless! I’ve served on with the Smith & Daughters Brazilian Slaw (I omitted the olives + mushrooms)

 

 

 

 

Roast Cauliflower Soup

Mediterranean inspired roast cauliflower soup with zaa’tar flat bread 

Growing up I wasn’t a huge fan of soups, but now I can’t get enough of them! (must be my old age)

Soups are now my go to “set and forget”. Great for a meal prep, families and also bloody cheap!

The sun is finally out and this is perfect spring soup to enjoy in the sunshine or freeze for a inevitable cool change that will come in the next few weeks.

Ingredients

Large head of cauliflower

1 large leek, trimmed and diced

Garlic (whatever you desire)

300g mushrooms

2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks

2 cups veggie stock

2-3 cups of water (depending on desired thickness)

Sumac

Fresh oregano to garnish

Your favourite flat bread – I’ve used Mountain Bread 

Zaatar

Olive oil

Yogurt to serve – I’ve used the Nakula brand, plain flavour

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 190 degrees Celsius/375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place cauliflower on an oven tray, coat with olive oil and a dusting of sumac, roast for about 15-20 minutes
  3. In a large soup pot, place olive oil, garlic and leek stir until translucent.
  4. Add mushrooms and cook for a few more minutes
  5. Add the cauliflower, potatoes, stock and 1-2 cup of water and bring to boil
  6. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer until cauliflower and potatoes are falling apart – this should take about 20-25 mins, blend to desired consistency, adding more water if needed
  7. Using a stick blender, blend until smooth
  8. Meanwhile, take your favourite flatbread, drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with zaatar and place in the oven for about 5 mins, depending on the thickness of the bread.
  9. Divide soup and serve with flat bread and yogurt
  10. DSC_0309

PSA: Father’s Day!

Coconut Chocolate Cake

I can still remember the first time I had chocolate and zucchini brownies, my sister made them for a family function and they were bloody tasty (not that I would admit it to her! 😉).

This is my version as a cake using coconut flour, flakes and oil to sweeten the cake up naturally.

Father’s Day on Sunday presents the perfect opportunity to get your family to eat vegan – I promise they won’t even notice!

I want my kids to have a healthy relationship with food and understand bringing them up without any exposure to sugar would be crazy, so when I cook at home I try and add vegetables to traditionally sweet things, this recipe is the perfect example and uses zucchini to achieve a moist texture and avocado to get the mousse really creamy.

I have used the Pacific Organic’s range throughout this recipe!

Ingredients

Dry

1 cup coconut flour

1 cup regular flour

½ cup coconut flakes

½ cup cocoa powder

½ cup coconut sugar (if you don’t have coconut sugar, brown sugar will work too)

½ teaspoon of baking powder

1 teaspoon of salt

Wet

2 zucchinis, grated

1 cup of Almond Milk (I’ve used the Inside Out brand)

½ cup melted coconut oil

½ cup coconut cream

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (I’ve used the Queen Organic brand)

Coconut oil spray (olive oil is fine too!)

Mousse recipe

2 ripe avocados

1 tablespoon of cocoa

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

1 teaspoon of salt

½ cup coconut cream

200g dark chocolate, melted and cooled (I’ve used Lindt 78% Cocoa)

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste (I’ve used the Queen Organic brand again)

Coconut flakes and fresh raspberries to serve

Method

  1. In a medium size bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients, stir until well combined
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a large glass bowl, add the remaining wet ingredients, except the zucchini and stir well. Once well combined, add zucchini
  3. Pour dry mix over the zucchini slowly incorporating until the dry mix is done. You should have a really thick batter, this is how it’s meant to look (it’s quite a dense cake)
  4. Spray two bread loaf tins (or one large brownie tray) and spread the mixture evenly between two trays, using the back of a spatula to ensure the mixture is level
  5. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes (depending on the thickness and size of your tray, it may take longer)
  6. Turn both cakes onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely
  7. When the cakes are cool, combine all of the mousse ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth, scraping down sides if needed with a spatula, this will take about 45-60 seconds
  8. Place 1 cake on a serving tray (if you’ve used one tray, skip this step!) and spread icing on the first layer, add the additional layer, ice again and garnish with coconut flakes and fresh raspberries