Loaded Sweet Potato Skins

Loaded Sweet Potato Skins

When it comes to dinner, there is nothing better than something easy and we know that everyone loves a baked potato.

AND !

They love it even more when it’s a Sweet Potato that’s loaded up with some truly good and tasty things.

We made 2 fillings with these:-

Filling 1

Some diced red pepper and steamed sweet corn (which we cut off the cob) lightly fried up with some cajun seasoning.

Filling 2

Finely diced leek with grated carrot, lightly fried.

Mix the fillings with the mashed sweet potato, load them back into the skins and place them under the grill.

Top them off with this cheesy cashew nut sauce and you have a truly delicious meal.

ENJOY !

 

Sticky Sweet Potato and Peanut Butter Brownies

Sweet Potato and Peanut Butter Brownies

Seeing as today is supposedly the most depressing day of the year, or Blue Monday as some people call it, we thought we would share something quick and easy that is bound to cheer you up.

After all, what’s better than chocolate + peanut butter + nice sticky brownies ?

The fact that they’re pretty damn food for you, that’s what’s better !!

Nothing processed.

All natural.

And all totally tasty too !!!

Ingredients

250g cooked sweet potato, mashed

50g dried oats

1 ½ tsp baking powder

50g cacao powder

2 tbsp peanut butter

1 tsp vanilla

6 tbsp honey – if you don’t want to use honey, then try some maple syrup or agave.

Putting it Together

  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C and line a baking tray with grease proof paper.
  • Gently heat the peanut butter, vanilla and honey until it is smooth and easily stirred.
  • Once it is melted down, mix it into the mashed sweet potato and stir together well.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the dried ingredients making sure that every is well combined and mixed through.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (not the other way round) and combine everything together well.
  • Place the mixture into your lined baking tray and press down evenly – you can do this by placing another sheet of grease proof paper on top and pressing it down.
  • Place into the oven and bake for 25 minutes. It may look a little undercooked when you remove it from the oven but it does firm up as it cools down.
  • If you find that it is a little too sticky, cover it up and place it in the fridge for a few hours as your sweet potato may not have been drained enough before mashing it up.
  • We served it up drizzled with some melted chocolate mixed with peanut butter and sprinkled with some almond flakes.

Sweet Potato Brownies

A Berry Nice Blast !

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Smoothies are a great way to give you a boost. They’re quick and easy to make and don’t leave you with much to clean up afterwards as well.

Sometimes, during the day, we need a quick blast of energy and too often, we turn to the “wrong” things or, should we say, the things that just give us a temporary boost and then we’re left looking for something else AND feeling low on energy too.

This quick blend is packed full of nutrients and good stuff.

Why not give it a go ?

Ingredients

1 small cucumber, peeled and diced

1 large handful spinach

1 handful mixed frozen berries

1/2 avocado

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 large orange

1 cup coconut water

Putting It Together

Simply chuck everything into your blender and blend until nice and smooth and creamy.

ENJOY !!

The Pesto That’s “Better than Pesto” Pesto

Nut Free Pesto
Pesto Served With Courgette Spaghetti and Fresh Tomato

Now that’s a bit of a mouthful for a title but when it comes to traditional Pesto, did you know that it contains 2 of the Top 8 Most Common Food Allergens – dairy and nuts !

Pesto is such a versatile “thing” to prepare and can be used in so many different ways.

It’s also packed full of flavour and is one of those simple, go to things we can keep in the fridge to for those busy moments when we don’t have much time.

Not to mention that it is really quick and easy to prepare.

BUT ! For people with allergies, it really can be a tricky thing and, as a result, they often go without.

So some time ago, we made it our mission to find a way to prepare a pesto that anyone could enjoy but that didn’t forgo on flavour.

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Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds are little bombs of goodness.

Pumpkin Seeds – one of the best, most alkaline sources of nutrition you can eat. They’re high in iron and magnesium, and contain a larger amount of protein than chia or flax. They’re also rich in B vitamins and are the only seed to actually have an alkalizing effect on the body, though many others are considered alkaline in nature. This means pumpkin seeds help counteract acidity and at the same time, provide the support your body needs to feel its best. They even contain amounts of anxiety-relieving trytophan, an essential amino acid, which helps improve serotonin levels.

Sunflower Seeds – Sunflower protein is a complete protein because it provides all of the essential amino acids. This powder has a high concentration of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs Valine, Leucine and Isoleucine), which are well known for their ability to promote muscle growth and strength.

The combination of flavours also gives this Nut Free Pesto a delicious “cheesy” taste and you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything either.

Why not give it a go and let us know what you think ?

Ingredients

20g Fresh Basil

1 Clove Garlic

125g Pumpkin Seeds

125g Sunflower Seeds

75ml Olive Oil

Juice of 2 Lemons

100g Fresh Spinach

½ tsp Sea Salt (if not using toasted seeds)

Water (if needed)

Putting it Together

Place the basil, garlic, pumpkin and sunflower seeds into a food processor and blend for about 15 seconds, just to start breaking down the seeds.

If your seeds are not toasted, you can add in the sea salt.

Whilst the food processor is on a slow speed, slowly pour in the lemon juice and olive oil.

As you do this, the mixture will get a bit smoother. Add in the spinach a bit at a time and blend until it reaches your desired consistency.

If you think the mixture is too thick, simply add in a little bit of water.

This Pesto will last up to a week when stored in an air tight container in the fridge.

Nut Free Pesto 2
Nut Free Pesto Served With Chickpea Flatbreads

Tofu Greek Salad

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As you might know from a previous recipe we posted, dairy is an issue for me.

And one salad that I really enjoy is Greek Salad.

The flavours and combination of ingredients is one of my favourites. But one ingredient is a challenge and that is the Feta Cheese.

Tofu is something that many people who follow a plant based diet use a lot yet it can be quite “boring” to cook with. It doesn’t have much flavour unless you buy a flavoured variety but that often comes with loads of other “added” things.

Yet once you get the hang of it, it is a pretty versatile ingredient and can be used in many different ways.

So we put together this recipe for our favourite salad, using tofu instead of the typical feta cheese.

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When using tofu, it’s a good idea to make sure you “press” as much of the fluid out of it as possible – this just makes it easier to cook with (depending on what you’re making) and stops it from breaking apart so easily. We do this by putting it in a large bowl, placing a saucer over it and balancing something heavy on top of it.

Why not give it a go ? You might be pleasantly surprised.

Ingredients for Dressing

3 tsp dried oregano

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small handful fresh mint leaves

50ml lemon juice

50ml olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

Ingredients for Salad

½ Block Tofu, pressed and diced

1 small red onion, halved and finely sliced

1 small cucumber, peeled and diced

225g cherry tomatoes, halved

10 black olives, pitted and halved

Salad Greens or Fresh Baby Spinach

Putting it Together

To make the dressing, simply place all ingredients in a small container and blend with a hand held blender. You can also do this in the nutribullet.

Place the diced tofu and sliced red onion into a bowl and pour over the blended dressing. Gently toss so that everything is coated in the dressing and set aside for about 30 minutes so that the tofu and onions marinade together.

Once the tofu and onions are marinated, add the remaining ingredients, toss gently and season to taste.

Serve with salad greens or some fresh baby spinach for a delicious side salad.

 

 

Vegan Cheesy Almond Cream Sauce Stuff

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When we’re preparing meals at our Retreat for our Guests, we get to meet a lot of people who can’t do dairy.

And I am one of them too.

I love cheese, don’t get me wrong. BUT ! My body has different ideas and I feel pretty rotten when I eat it.

My nose gets all bunged up. I get the sniffles and headaches and I won’t even mention what happens to my stomach so, I do my best to avoid it as much as I possibly can which can sometimes be challenging.

So finding ways to enjoy that cheesy taste with some meals is a personal mission. Selfishly, why should I miss out because I can’t do dairy ? And I have found that it is that personal mission that makes the whole “experimenting” process a lot of fun.

Around the Retreat, we have (quite literally) 100’s of almond trees and at this time if the year, they really are beautiful as they start to blossom.

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And almonds are DELICIOUS. Slightly sweeter than most other nuts, they’re packed full of good stuff but we’re not going to go into that.

It was these nuts that inspired this delicious cheesy sauce.

As they are slightly harder than most other nuts, you do need to soak them in hot water for a while, just so that they soften up and are easier to use. If you don’t have the time, or are in a rush, then you need a REALLY good blender when making this so soaking them for a while in hot water, or even overnight, is better.

This sauce is delicious. We use it on baked potatoes, as a dip and even with nachos !!

AND !!!! You can “cook” this cheese – we placed it on top of some Loaded Sweet Potato Skins and placed it under the grill for it to “bake” a little bit – the taste was pretty amazing ! ! !

ENJOY !

Ingredients

200 g almonds (soaked like we mentioned)

1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed

75ml fresh lemon juice

75ml olive oil

100ml water

1 tsp salt

Chilli flakes (optional)

Putting It Together

Once your almonds are softened, add them (along with the other ingredients and HALF THE WATER) to your blender and slowly blend.

It will look like it’s not doing much at first – almonds are slightly harder so take a little bit of work. The longer you blend it, the smoother it will get.

As it is blending, slowly add in a little bit more water until it reaches a nice, smooth and creamy texture. You might not need to add all of your water either so just add the remaining water in a little bit at a time.

When it is nice and smooth, use it as you wish.

 

Can You Ketchup ?

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It can be said that the key to a delicious meal is the sauce that binds it together.

And who doesn’t love ketchup ?

It’s good with almost everything.

Yet sometimes, the ones we get from the store are packed full of artificial flavouring and preservatives and you’re getting more sugar and “fake stuff” than anything else.

Using sun dried tomatoes for a deep and rich flavour, fresh lemon juice to “zing” it up and apple cider vinegar to add a little punch, this Sun Dried Tomato Ketchup is super simple to make and tastes SOOOOOOOOO good !!

Why not give it a go ?

In this picture, we had our ketchup with Sweet Potato and Red Pepper burgers and a delicious leek and carrot stirfry so I guess we’ll have to post the recipe for those soon.

Ingredients

75g sun dried tomatoes
75ml lemon juice
50ml balsamic or apple cider vinegar
50ml olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
150ml water

Putting it Together

  • Soften the sun-dried tomatoes by soaking them in the water for about 30 minutes. Keep the water aside once they have finished soaking.
  • Once the sun dried tomatoes are slightly soft, place all ingredients except for the olive oil into a blender.
  • Blend on a low speed and slowly pour in the olive oil, blending until it reaches a smooth consistency.
  • Once it is smooth, turn the blender on to HIGH for about 30 seconds.
  • If you think the mixture is too thick, simply add in a little bit more water.
  • This Ketchup will last up to 2 weeks when stored in an air tight container in the fridge.

It’s a Banana Blast

Yogi Blend 1

Yogi Blends are a pretty great way to start the day.

You combine the comforts of a milkshake with the goodness of a juice and the consistency of a thick smoothie to create a meal in a glass that will keep you going.

And you won’t want it to end either.

You know what’s even better ?

They’re so quick and easy to make – simply get all your ingredients ready (you can even prep them up the night before) and then chuck them all into your blender or nutribullet. Switch it on and blend until it’s nice and creamy and you’re good to go !!

We’ve created a selection of Yogi Blends for a new book for our Retreat (don’t worry, we will share more about this with you pretty soon) so we thought we’d share one with you today to try out.

ENJOY !

INGREDIENTS

1 cup Almond Milk (use a different milk if you don’t do nuts)

1 Banana (peeled, obs)

1 handful Strawberries (fresh or frozen – for us, a handful is 4 or 5)

1 teaspoon Peanut Butter (leave out if you don’t do nuts)

1 small tub Soya Yogurt (unsweetened)

1 small handful ice

WHAT TO DO

Simply place all the ingredients into a blender or nutri bullet and blend until smooth.

Welcome to #fuelitforward

The countdown is now officially on.

We’ve completed the hard work, put in the hours of writing and recipe creation and soon, FUEL will be ready for you to invite into your kitchen (and home) to help you start living a healthier and happier life.

Fuel Cover LARGE copy

As cliché as it sounds, writing FUEL has truly been a journey.

One that has had its fair share of challenges.

One that we almost quit at a few stages.

But there was something bigger driving us as it grew and developed and one that is probably the true passion behind a “simple” recipe book.

Without going into too much detail here, we learned that eating (and preparing meals) was more than just putting food on a plate and serving it to people.

For us, it was a way of sharing one of the things that had helped us change our lives – good food.

So as we approach #fuelday, we came up with #fuelitforward.

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A simple concept where YOU get to share something forward to someone you believe needs a little help and support, maybe some gentle encouragement or just a sign that someone believes in them.

We have faced our fair share of struggles in the past and I (Gareth) as The Bouncing Chef, have received some of my greatest help and support from some truly special people around me.

People who encourage me to keep going when my challenges feel like they are going to overwhelm me.

People who support me.

People who offer me advice and help that has truly changed the way I live my life.

02 Sundry - Family

Living with Bipolar and Schizophrenia can be tough at times.

It has led me down some dark and frightening alleys and in the past, has contributed towards me making some decisions I sometimes regret.

But one of the things that has helped me hugely over the last few years was simply taking my focus off myself and helping other people.

It just so happened that, through circumstances, I stumbled (or should I say, was forced) into cooking for people.

At first, I found it extremely difficult. The added pressure and stress of preparing food for people had an adverse effect on my own personal mental health challenges.

But each meal I prepared, I poured my heart and soul into.

I pushed myself to learn.

I pushed myself to create new things.

06 Sundry - Eat Mindfully

And in doing so, I started to slowly realize that “someone” had a gift for not just cooking, but also for sharing one of the most important things ever with people – eating good, healthy food.

And that is where #fuelitforward stems from.

The willingness to share something with someone in the hope that it fuels them on to take better care of themselves.

To look after themselves.

To have a better relationship with food which, in turn, helps them have a better relationship with who they are.

07 Sundry - Respect Your Body

As we approach #fuelday, we have decided to give people the opportunity to nominate someone they feel needs some help and support right now.

We (Jeroen and I) have put together a selection of “things” that have truly helped us on our journey.

And every few days, we will be sharing these with you.

You will need to tag them in the relevant posts and we will randomly draw the names of who will get the gifts.

At the end of the day, the best way to truly own something in your life is to give it away to someone who needs it just like you needed it and for us, there is no greater gift that doing that.

So there you have it !!

We hope you enjoy it and we do hope you take part because at the end of it all, we have a pretty cool opportunity for you to nominate yourself in too and we can’t wait to share it with you all.

Let’s start to #fuelitforward together.

Welcome To The Bouncing Chef

If you’ve found this website, it may mean a few things: –

  • You have heard about our book, FUEL, and you’re here to find out a little bit more.
  • You could be searching for that little “something” that you feel might just be missing – we call it the “bounce.”
  • You’re looking for more fun, some simple healthy food or maybe some different ways to exercise.
  • You know that life is a short and precious gift and that there is so much more to it than what’s going on right now.

Whatever your reason for being here, we just want to say thank you for clicking on the link that brought you here and we hope that we can support you in finding that missing piece or simple to get the bounce back in your step.

 

 

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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