Posts in Healthy Eating
Raw beetroot, cacao and chilli brownies

These brownies are somewhat controversial; I've had mixed responses to them and they certainly divide the crowd, mainly due to the addition of hot chilli flakes. I think that the 3 main flavours compliment one another well, yet you can also taste (and see!) the beetroot, cacao and chilli individually. Raw cacao powder is made from cold-pressed cacoa beans, as opposed to cocoa powder which is made from roasting and grinding the beans. This ensures that the chocolate-y taste we know and love is there, but that the beneficial nutrients are not lost in the cooking process. With the combination of beetroot, nuts, dates and cacao powder, these brownies are very good for you but will satisfy your sweet craving or mid-afternoon slump. If you are not a spice lover, reduce the chilli content to your taste.

Makes 12 brownies

Ingredients:

For the brownies:

Pinch of salt

For the topping:

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tsp chilli flakes

350g beetroot

200g cashew nuts

250g dates

150 ground almonds

50g raw cacao powder

1 tsp chilli flakes

Instructions:

Prepare the beetroot by cutting off the leaves and stalks, and the knobbly bits at the top and bottom of the bulb. (Don't throw the stalks away; reserve and use them for a soup or stir-fry). Chop the bulbs in half and place in the food processor (no need to remove the skin; just scrub off the mud!).

Add the cashews, dates, almonds, cacao powder, chilli flakes and salt to the beetroot and whizz everything together. The mixture will need quite a bit of processing; continue until everything is combined.

Push the mixture in to a 20cm by 20cm baking tray lined with non-stick paper.

For the topping, melt the coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl (I put the bowl in the microwave on full power for 10 seconds). Stir in the cacao powder and mix together. Spread this mixture over the brownies.

Sprinkle the chilli flakes on top and leave to set for a few hours in a fridge or freezer. When hard, cut in to 12 pieces. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for much longer.

P.s. Don't forget to checkout more of Alice's yummy recipes on her blog (thoughtfulforkfuls.com)

A Chat with Alice Kabala: Veganism, Comfort Food and Seasonal Recipes!

alice for blogIf you're looking for some veggie inspiration, look no further. Alice Kabala, the Chef at Great Shelford and food blogger, creates delicious, seasonal and healthy recipes. Feeling fancy and want to get in the kitchen? Check out her blog at Thoughtful Forkfuls. Haven't got the time but have a growling stomach? Come to the Great Shelford studio to try a super yummy meal. Carry on reading for a quick insight into Alice... What inspired you to become vegan?

A: I’ve been a vegetarian since I was about 6 or 7, and then when I moved out from home I started thinking more about the sort of impact that our diets have on animals, the planet, and different people. Vegetarianism started to make less sense to me because animals are still intensively farmed for the dairy and egg industry, and if I wanted to be an ambassador for animals and think of animal welfare, then I thought that I should go completely vegan. I also studied environmental science at university so that allowed me to become more aware about food sustainability and food security, and again choosing a lower impact dietary choice on the planet just seemed to make sense to me. It’s the amount of meat that we are eating all over the world that isn’t sustainable, and anyway which we can all help individually is very important.

 

What does a typical day, food wise, look like for you?

A: I snack quite a lot and frequently so I eat smaller amounts. Also, because I’m in the kitchen, I’m often tasting throughout the morning so when I get to lunch I’m not starving hungry. I usually start the day in Winter with porridge, but I’m feeling less like that now. I’ve actually started to become a green smoothie person which I never thought would happen but I like to throw in nuts, oats, different fruits, chia seeds, mint – different things just to make it more exciting. I will tend to choose healthy snacks, like carrots and hummus, dried fruit, those kinds of things. For lunch I will eat soup or a salad, whatever I’m making that day, and then for dinner again just something that’s different to the other meals I’ve had because I try quite hard to have a varied diet, so things like curry, stir-fry, fajita wraps, all different kinds of things.

alice food for blog

Do you have any foodie inspirations?

A: I like Yotam Ottolenghi - he has some really interesting recipes for vegetarians and vegans. I generally admire and respect all of the big foodies out there who are advocating a more plant based diet. I think they’re very important in terms of glamourising veganism. Someone like Jamie Oliver who’s done loads of work with school meals and factory farming helps to raise awareness of these issues - whilst also being a very likeable character it really helps in terms of getting that message out there. In terms of specifically vegan chefs, I tend to use a lot of food blogs – sometimes the best recipes are from people who aren’t well known, but who have just set up a free blog.

 

What’s your go-to comfort food?

A: I like things in tortilla wraps, like falafel and hummus wraps or just beans and guacamole, because it reminds me of street food and being at festivals and I really love that way of eating. It’s messy and fun and good for a group of people for a more casual setting.

 

How did you come to work at Camyoga?

A: I was still finishing my degree and I was looking into what career I might go into and I originally wanted to stay within the field of food sustainability, but my main passion was cooking and I thought it would be great if I could do this for a living, whilst promoting a more sustainable way of eating if you’re cooking and people are enjoying it. So I just looked for job adverts online and found this one. I didn’t think there was a chance of getting it because I hadn’t had any professional kitchen experience but I applied, bought some falafels to the interview which went down well and I got the job.

 

Have you got anything you’d like to add to the menu in the future?

A: Not specifically, but I do like to challenge myself and try new things. I don’t tend to plan as such, I like to cook with the seasons, for example getting a vegetable box with the best veggies from that week locally, and being forced to create something with just those ingredients. We have these herbs that one of our clients brings in and they change weekly so we don’t know what we’re going to get. It’s nice to think, oh wow, we’ve got this so I’ll make that, and that sort of thing.

What makes you happy?

A: Listening to music, eating food, and being with the people I love of course.

5 Ways to Sneak More Veggies into Your Diet

We all know that vegetables are great. And we all know we need to eat more of them, but there are only so many salads you can munch on in a day and so many carrot sticks you’re willing to chomp on – so how can you get more vegetable goodness into your daily diet enjoyably and easily? Even if you are a plant based powerhouse yourself, maybe you know someone who needs a little convincing before they join the veggie tribe, or maybe you have a child who will not eat anything green. Here are 5 ways to sneak more veggies into your diet without you even noticing!

5WaysVeg         5WaysVeg25WaysVeg3                      5WaysVeg4

Don't fancy cooking yourself? Our Chef Alice makes fresh dishes every day, so you can simply pop in for something yummy and even take it with you if you're in a hurry!

 

Courgette noodles with mint, almond and sun-dried tomato pesto

It's been a while but I've finally got the spiralizer back out of the cupboard! We have had an abundance of herbs delivered by one of our very generous clients today, and I decided to use them in my favourite way: pesto. Using courgette instead of pasta is great if you're cutting out gluten from your diet, or even if you just fancy a lighter alternative to the Italian staple. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can create flat courgette noodles by using a vegetable peeler and just peeling off strips off the courgette. The mint, almond and sun-dried tomato pesto might seem quite thick, but as you start to combine it with the courgette, moisture is released from the vegetable so you don't want the mint, almond and sun-dried tomato pesto any runnier or it'll become too wet. In this vein, it's important to dress the courgettes noodles just before serving as it doesn't keep well at all and if it sits for too long, you will end up with a pile of water at the bottom of your bowl!

For a more substantial dish, the pesto works wonderfully served hot with real spaghetti. I would use 300g spaghetti for this amount of pesto, and combine it with around 400ml of the cooking water from the pasta to loosen up the sauce a bit. For some greens, 300g peas instead of the tomatoes is always a winner with pesto and pasta.

Finally, feel free to play around with the ingredients. Pesto is a great way to use up any herbs you have lying around, and you could use any nut or seed (instead of almonds) and any citrus fruit (instead of lemon). For an Asian twist, you could use peanuts, coriander and lime, like in this quinoa recipe.

 

Serves 4 hungry people

 

Ingredients:

For the pesto:

60g almonds

60g sun-dried tomatoes (or 40g dried, re-hydrated with hot water and then drained after 20 minutes)

25g mint

Zest (2 tsp) and juice (75 ml) of 1 lemon

3 cloves of garlic

60g raisins

90g extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

For the rest:

1200g courgette

300g cherry tomatoes

10g mint

 

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C. When hot, toast the almonds on a baking tray for 10 minutes and then remove.
  • Whilst the almonds are toasting in the oven, it's time to spiralize! 1200g courgette makes around 900g of courgette noodles (or 'courgetti'), but hang on to the discarded bits- you can thrown them in a soup or grate them in to a salad.
  • To make the pesto, simply blend all the ingredients in the food processor, wiping down the sides regularly. It takes a while to grind the almonds to a smooth paste so be patient.
  • Chop the tomatoes in to quarters, and roughly chop the extra mint. Combine it all (with your hands!) in a big bowl until everything is incorporated. Enjoy!
Peanut-Ginger-Sesame Cookies

It's National Cookie Day today, guys. As far as we're concerned, whoever came up with that concept deserves a medal. We felt we just had to share this yummy peanut-ginger-sesame cookies recipe with you. We admit this is not our own recipe, it's from one of our favourite vegan cookbook "Veganomicon", which you should totally check out if you're looking for delicious vegan recipes. Don't be put off by what looks like a long list, it's really straight-forward and these bad boys are totally worth it!

 

10488147_10155724847915122_3500151050558020904_nHere's what you need:

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup nonhydrogenated vegan shortening, softened

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter

1/4 cup brown rice syrup

1 1/4 cups sugar (plus additional sugar for rolling)

1/2 cup soy milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

5 ounces candied ginger, diced finely

1/3 cup each white and black sesame seeds (or just use 2/3 of one kind)

Here's how to do it:

- Preheat the oven to 175C, grease 2 cookie sheets

- Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon -> set aside

- Cream shortening (light and fluffy) with whisk, approx. 3 mins

- Add peanut butter, rice syrup, sugar, soy milk, and extracts -> continue beating until creamy (4-5 mins)

- Stir in flour mixture (with spatula or wooden spoon)

- Add chopped candied ginger -> stir until forms very firm dough (can use hands)

- Roll tablespoon of the dough into small balls

- Roll each ball in sesame seeds and a little sugar, place on cookie sheet (leave 1 1/2 inches between each cookie)

- Flatten balls slightly and bake for 10/11 mins (if you prefer them less chewy and firmer, bake for 14 mins)

- Remove from oven, cool and finally: hide from the cookie monster!!!

Enjoy!!! Love to here your feedback on these. Give them a go :-)