Let’s Go Crackerzzzzz !

Mixed Seed Crackers

Let’s face it !

We all like crackers.

Crunchy biscuits that we can grab when we’re on the run.

But so many of the ones we buy from the stores these days are packed full of not-so-good stuff and, quite frankly, a little tasteless.

So making something that is tasty, but also really versatile, is important to us because when you’re in a rush, you want something that tastes good rather than simply something to fill a hole.

Nuts and seeds are little power pockets of goodness and when used in the right combination, they not only taste good but they really give you nutrient reserves a boost.

Fibre and omegas and protein are all vital for good bodily function and these Mixed Seed Crackers are filled to the brim with them all.

What’s great is that once you have the base ingredients right, they are also really easy to “flavour up” by simply experimenting with a few different combinations.

We’ve added chilli flakes for a kick and reduced our water and replaced it with lemon juice for a refreshing flavour.

Smoked paprika gives them a (obviously) smoky flavour and adding garlic powder creates a really grown up taste too.

Mixed Seed Crackers
Use Them As Bases For Snacks

They can be used as crackers with hummus and dips or you can crumble them up and use them as croutons with your soups.

AND ! They keep for quite a while if you store them in an airtight container so they’re there for those moments we mentioned earlier.

Give them and go and get crackered up ! ! !

Mixed Seed Crackers
Serve Them Up With Hummus For a Quick Snack

ENJOY !

Ingredients

125g Sunflower Seeds

125g Flax Seeds

50g Chia Seeds

2 tbsp Dried Oregano

2 tbsp Dried Basil

1 tsp Salt

200ml Water

Putting Them Together

  • Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C
  • Set aside 3 tbsp flax seeds and the chia seeds
  • Place all seeds in a blender and blend until ground to a powder.
  • Place ground seeds into a bowl, add in the whole flax seeds, chia seeds and dried herbs and mix in half of the water so that it all comes together.
  • Add in the remaining water and mix together well so that everything is combined – it will form a thick dough-like mixture and will be a little bit sticky.
  • Place mixture onto a lined baking tray and press flat using your hands so that it is about 5mm thick – we like to use a large flat baking tray when doing this.
  • Score the crackers with a knife – this makes them easier to break apart when ready.
  • Place into the oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the crackers are dried through and the edges are starting to crisp.
  • Remove from heat, allow to stand and cool and then break apart.
  • These can be stored in an air tight container for up to 10 days.

Roast Tomato and Chickpea Soup

Roast Tomato and Chickpea Soup

When I was growing up, there was ONE soup that Mom always used to make for us when the weather was chilly.

TOMATO SOUP !

It was our favourite and we used to LOVE it so when it comes to nostalgic meals that bring back happy memories, Tomato Soup is definitely one of those things I think about.

The flavours and the smells just remind me of quiet nights with my Mom and my Sister sitting down to eat a big bowl of soup.

And what I loved even more was when we were allowed to have our soup in a mug – there was something special about that because we felt like grown ups !

As time goes by, we sometimes forget about those nostalgic meals from years and years ago so when I was missing my Mom a few months ago, I decided to create a soup to dedicate to her.

It’s really easy to make and when we served it up at our Retreat, we topped it off with some fresh rocket and finely sliced sun-dried tomatoes for added flavour.

Roast Tomato and Chickpea Soup

Adding the chickpeas makes it rich and creamy and smooth, especially when you blend it up for a little longer and the olive oil on top – that just  makes it posh !!

I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together and maybe today is one of those days that I will be making up a big pot of this !

ENJOY

Ingredients

1 kg tomatoes, roughly chopped

2 red onions, roughly chopped

1 large handful basil, roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1 small handful fresh rosemary, roughly chopped

4 stalks celery, roughly chopped

Juice of 2 lemons

25ml olive oil

50ml balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon ground pimento

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 tablespoon honey

1 tin cooked chickpeas

500ml water

Putting it Together

  • Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees C
  • Place all ingredients (except the chickpeas and water) into a roasting pan and toss together until everything is nicely coated.
  • Place in the oven for about 45 minutes, checking it every now and then to give it a quick mix.
  • Once the onions are soft and the tomatoes are cooked through, place everything in a blender, including the water and chickpeas, and blend until smooth. You don’t want the tomatoes to be too dry as the juices are delicious.
  • Return the blended soup to a lightly heated pot and allow to come to the boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes.
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve with some rocket, finely sliced sundried tomatoes and a drizzle of olive oil.

Carrot and Courgette Pesto Fritters

Carrot and Courgette Pesto Fritters
Carrot & Courgette Pesto Fritters Topped With Guacamole

Pesto is an amazingly versatile food stuff to have in the fridge because you can, quite literally, use it with anything.

Sometimes, I babysit for my brother-from-another-mother and when we have our slumber parties, pesto is ALWAYS requested. The kids LOVE it and they will even eat it straight up with a spoon.

Their favourite meal – broccoli with pesto, pesto rice and chicken nuggets !! We simply steam the broccoli, toss it in some pesto and mix it in with the rice so it kind of like makes a pesto fried rice. And then, we always have to have extra on the side so we can dip the nuggets into it.

Green Allergen Free Pesto
Pesto served With Courgette and Chickpea Flatbread makes a great afternoon snack

Anyway !!

I love to make my own Pesto because, well, because I am not nuts about nuts and cheese doesn’t agree with me. Apparently, according to the kids, it’s better than the Pesto from the shops so I regularly send a batch home with Jeroen for them to enjoy.

But sometimes, pesto and pasta can get a bit boring so finding new ways to add flavour and nutrients to meals is fun.

Fritters are GREAT ! They’re quick and easy and you can do them in batches, keep them in the fridge and they can be eaten for just about any meal.

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Have them for breakfast with some scrambled egg and spinach.

Add them to a salad for lunch at work.

Or serve them hot with some steamed vegetables for dinner.

AND !

Them’s is well simple to make too !!

Why not give them a go ?

Ingredients

200g Carrot, grated

200g Courgette, grated

4 large tbsp Green Pesto

4 heaped tbsp Ground Flax Seed

Sunflower Oil

Flour

Putting them Together

  • In a large bowl, combine the grated carrot and courgette with the flax seed and pesto and mix together well until everything is nicely coated.
  • Allow to stand for about 15 minutes – you will notice that the flax seed starts to turn the mixture slightly thicker and it will hold together.
  • Lightly heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan.
  • Take 1 tablespoon of the mixture and press into a ball, dust lightly with some flour and using your hands, press lightly to form a slightly flattened shape about 1 cm thick.
  • Place gently into the heated oil and fry for about 1 minute. Turn gently and fry on the other side until golden brown.
  • Remove from the pan and allow to drain on some kitchen roll.
  • Repeat until the mixture is finished.
  • If you feel that the mixture is to thin (this could be due to the water content of your courgette) then simply add in some more ground flax seed.

Please let us know how you get on and why not head over to our Facebook Page and give us a FOLLOW 🙂

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 !

 

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.