Chard and Feta Filo Parcels
My lovely father in law has a beautiful little garden, which he likes to tend to every day. He grows beans, eggplants and chard among other things and loves to give me a parcel of veggies whenever I go over. It’s a bit like getting a farmers market delivery every month and I immediately get to work thinking about what new recipe I can make that will do his produce justice.
This is a play on spanakopita, but it much simpler than that and uses chard instead of spinach! I served it with a side salad and we had it as a main, but you could easily serve it as an appetizer.
Mr. B has started a nodding rating system to indicate how much he likes a dish (bobble head to come) and this one gets 4/5, missing one star purely as it is a savoury rather than sweet dish!
- 1 head of chard
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 150g sheep cheese feta
- 1 pack of filo pastry
- 1 cup coconut oil
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- Salt and pepper
- Put a pan of salted water on to boil
- Preheat the oven to 350f
- Heat 1tbsp. coconut oil and cook the onion gently for 10 minutes till translucent
- In the mean time wash the chard and strip the leaves away from the stalks
- Chop the stalks into small pieces and add them to the onions, add salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes
- Add the chard leaves to the hot water and cook for 1 minute, drain and cool immediately under cold running water. Drain and squeeze as much excess water out as you can. Roughly chop the leaves.
- In a bowl crumble the cheese together with the onions, chard stalks and chopped leaves. Set aside to cool.
- Remove the filo from the packet and lay it out
- Take out one layer and brush with coconut oil, add a second layer on top and repeat
- Place two heaped tablespoons in the middle of the sheet and fold inwards to create a square parcel. Brush with coconut oil, flip and brush the back
- Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and bake for c. 30 minutes or until golden brown
- Once out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes and serve whole or cut into half on the diagonal to create two triangle halves
- Serving suggestion – accompany with a side salad of rocket, extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of lemon zest (the acid in this salad will help cut through the richness of the feta)
Chocolate Chip Chickpea Cookies
This is a super easy recipe for one of those days when you just need a cookie straight out of the oven
The wonderful thing about this cookie is that it tastes and smells like a normal chocolate chip cookie but has no flour or sugar. Doesn’t that just blow your mind?! I didn’t think this one would make it through my sweet tooth tasters, but they loved it!
This takes 5 minutes prep time and c. 15 minutes in the oven, making it quicker than ordering insomnia cookies on seamless (a Mr. B move when I am away…)!
- 1 can chickpeas
- ½ cup natural almond/peanut butter
- 5 tsp. vanilla extract
- ¼ dairy free milk
- 1 tsp. gluten free baking powder
- A pinch sea salt
- 50g vegan chocolate chips (cacao nibs if you want no sugar and/or a textural contrast)
- Pre-heat the oven to 350c
- Blend all the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips
- Fold in the chocolate chips
- Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper/baking parchment
- Spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet, one heaped tablespoon per cookie and squish it down
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until lightly brown
- Serve warm or cool
Raw, Vegan Beetroot Ravioli
I love this recipe from vegan food and living by Juliette Bryant. It is raw and so takes little time to create. It tastes super luxurious and creamy due to the cashews with the nutritional yeast creating the sensation of a silky cheese sauce.
Beets are best eaten raw as they loose some of their vibrant color and nutrients when cooked. This marinade softens them, making the texture more like pasta than beet.
2 large beetroots
For the marinade
- 60ml olive oil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp. tamari
For the filling
- 300g pre-soaked cashews
- 115ml water
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
- ½ tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- Chives and parsley (optional)
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Finely slice the beetroots into thin disc shapes and place them into a bowl with the marinade and leave covered for 4 hours. This will soften the beetroots.
- Place all the filling ingredients into a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth
- Place a dollop of filling onto the beetroot and then cover with a second piece of beetroot to make the ravioli
- Garnish with a sprig of parsley
Gorgeous Gooey Black Bean Brownies
Why would I want to eat a healthy brownie, when I could eat a rich, deep, gooey chocolaty brownie instead?
What if this was one and the same thing?!
Introducing the gluten free, flour free, dairy free, nut free brownie. It is super easy and takes around 20 minutes, using my trusted blender.
The secret ingredient here is undetectable, as per my trusted tasters and with black beans as the main ingredient, you can be rest assured that you have had at least one of your five a day!
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tbsp. raw cacao
- ½ cup oats
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup maple syrup
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. gluten free baking powder
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
- Pre-heat the oven to 350c
- Combine all the ingredients, except the chips, into the blender
- Stir in the chips and pour into a cake pan, sprinkle some extra chips over the top
- Place in the oven for 15 mins and let cool for at least 10 mins before serving
- If a little soft when you take it out of the oven, place in the fridge and the brownies will firm up
Black Beans (above)
My grandma’s samosas were famous. She served them at family meals and everyone would dive in as soon as they arrived. I remember my mum selling them at school fundraisers when I was a kid and people ordering them for parties of their own. She must have made tens of thousands of them through her lifetime and they were always perfect
I did not want to try and replicate my grandma’s samosa recipe as I think I would be in the kitchen for a lifetime and never get close without her special ingredient of grandma love, so I made my own version with a similar taste profile
I hope you enjoy a bite-sized version of my heritage, modernised for the new generation of grandma inspired cooks
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- ¼ cup diced onions
- 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
- 1lb baking potatoes, boiled, cooked, peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- ½ cup peas
- 2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
- Vegan Filo Cups
For Chutney Tasha.Kitchen recipe
- Heat the coconut oil, add the coriander seeds and cook until darkened (2 minutes)
- Add the shallots and ginger and cook until soft
- Add the diced, cooked potatoes and sauté until golden (3 minutes)
- Remove from the heat and add peas, lemon juice, salt, garam masala and cayenne, tossing gently to combine
- Let the filling cool completely
- Heat the filo cups (2 minutes till crisp), add the filling and serve with a little chutney (2016 recipe link above) and a lot of love
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
This chocolate treat has three main ingredients and takes not time at all in a blender. It is dairy free, gluten free, nut free, refined sugar free and high in protein. It has a deep, decadent texture and ‘you won’t believe it’s made of tofu’, which is a wonderful ancient healthy ingredient that takes on the taste of whatever you are making. Here it is really used for the silky texture and in blind tastings no one would ever guess it is the main ingredient.
I like to serve it with lots of berries to cut through the richness of the mousse, it also adds a little color to the plate. I have also added a little gold fairy dust here, for a magical finish.
- 300g soft silken tofu
- 80g vegan chocolate
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- ½ tsp. vanilla essence
- Pinch of salt
- Melt the vegan chocolate using a heat proof bowl over a pot of hot water, don’t let the bowl touch the water
- Stir the chocolate until it melts completely and then take it off the heat to cool for a few minutes
- In the mean time, prepare the tofu by taking it out of the packaging, squeeze a little to get rid of some of the water, then blend till smooth
- Add the chocolate and rest of the ingredients
- Transfer into glasses or ramekins, serve with berries to cut through the richness
Courgette and Corn Fritters
These are a great little snack or starter filled with tasty vegetables. They remind me of my grandma’s Pakora’s but are made with corn flour instead of chickpea flour, both of which are gluten free so we are in luck, either way
The wonderful thing about this dish, is the texture, it is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside (any of your from the UK and old enough should understand this reference from the old Dime advert :))
I adapted this from Robin Swallow’s recipe, from Manna Café in London. I baked these instead of frying them and used coconut oil instead of sunflower
These are Mr. B approved. The recipe makes c.12 and they were gone in less than the time it took to write this blog!
- 2 small courgettes/zucchini, grated
- 175g corn kernels
- ¼ bunch fresh coriander, chopped
- 115g masa harina (white corn flour)
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ tsp. paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- Grate the courgettes and then place them into a bowl and sprinkle with a little salt. Let sit for 10 minutes
- Take the grated courgettes and place into a clean tea towel. Squeeze out all the liquid and place into a clean bowl. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl of dry courgettes
- Mix with your hands until well incorporated and the mix holds together, add a little water if you need to
- Take 1 tbsp. full of mix and shape into a small patty or ball, continue with the rest of the mix
- Take the coconut oil in your palm and cover the fritters
- Bake for 30-40 minutes until crisp
Serve with choice of sauce, I like sweet chilli for this