Summer corn custard with blackberries, sage and roasted hazelnuts

FullSizeRender-41

‘And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer’

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is an elegant vegan dessert bursting with summer flavours and combining the texture of silky corn custard, juicy tart blackberries and toasty crunchy hazelnuts

I am not one with a sweet tooth, like Mr. B. so this desert really suites me as it has a little salt in the custard base, making for a salty sweet combination that dances a tango on your tongue

The recipe is from Vedge, the exciting vegan cookbook out of Philadelphia using innovative techniques and flavour combinations to elevate the humble vegetable to its rightful place

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn
  • 1/5 cups vegan cream (mayonnaise/aquafabba can be used)
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp. agave nectar or raw honey
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. agar
  • 1 tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 2 sage leaves, cut into chiffonade (thin strips)
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup shelled, skinned hazelnuts, chopped

Method

  • Shave the kernels off the cobs into a medium saucepan
  • Add the vegan cream, coconut milk, agave, vanilla, salt and the agar. Heat over a medium heat, stirring occasionally until it comes to a boil, about 10 minutes. Keep the mixture at a rolling boil for c. 5 minutes to allow the agar to fully dissolve, stirring occasionally.
  • Carefully transfer the mixture to a blender, add the cornstarch and blend for 30 seconds
  • Strain the contents through a sieve into a clean saucepan, bring just to a boil and immediately remove from the heat
  • Ladle the custard into six ramekins, or glasses if you don’t have any
  • Allow the custards to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes before transferring to the refrigerator. Let them chill for at least 2 hours before serving
  • Toss the blackberries in a small bowl with the sage, lemon juice and remaining 1 tbsp. agave, cover and refrigerate until ready to use
  • Place the hazelnuts in a small sauté pan, sprinkle with the remaining ½ tsp. salt and dry roast over a medium heat until golden brown (the smell is amazing). Allow the nuts to cool
  • When the custards are ready to serve, toss the hazelnuts with the blackberries, then spoon some on top of the custard.
  • Serve immediately

Quinoa Granola Bar (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Granola Bar

‘Each day is a gift, don’t send it back unopened’

I like to eat every two hours or so, little and often is my motto, so it’s important to have healthy easy snacks with me at work and when I travel. I like this recipe as it can be used as a snack or a homemade granola and is another recipe to add to my love affair with quinoa collection, as Mr. B calls it. It is relatively easy and can be adapted to whatever you have in the cupboard. This recipe is an adaptation of a recipe from the ambitious kitchen, a beautiful healthy food blog from an inspiring author who used healthy food and blogging to overcome her eating disorder.

A slight detour…

As I was writing the first sentence of this blog, ‘I like to eat every two hours’ I was struck with gratitude for being able to say that.

Some people don’t have the luxury of eating once a day, not only in developing countries due to poverty levels and famine but also in our own back yard.

Two organisations that are dedicated to this cause are Mary’s Meals, which supplies food at school in developing countries, to help lift children out of the cycle of poverty, www.marysmealsusa.org and the Woman’s Lunch Place in Boston, www.womenslunchplace.org, which aims to supply at least one good meal per day as well as helping to restore dignity and hope to vulnerable woman. I support these two charities and would urge you to read about they work they do. They certainly help me to be more mindful when I sit down for a meal.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • ½ cup uncooked Quinoa
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • ¼ cup vegan dark chocolate (can use non-vegan chocolate if preferred)

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Add oats, Quinoa and pumpkin seeds to a large baking sheet, spreading evenly
  • Toast for 10 minutes
  • Once toasted pour into a glass bowl and add the chia seeds
  • Whilst baking, melt the almond butter in a shallow pan on a low heat, add the coconut oil, salt, honey and vanilla
  • Once melted, take off heat and allow to cool slightly
  • Add to the mixture and combine
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper and pour the mixture in, spreading out
  • Melt the chocolate and drizzle over the top
  • Place mixture into the freezer for 10-20 minutes or until hardened
  • Remove from the freezer and cut into 8 bars, use any that has crumbled as granola

Beetroot Chocolate Pot (Vegetarian/Gluten Free/Nut Free)

FullSizeRender-40

I am always trying out new and interesting dessert recipes to satisfy Mr. B’s sweet tooth and when I found this recipe in Verge, one of my favorite veggie cook books, it seemed the perfect balance between healthy yet indulgent

This is a rich and impressively heady desert and easy to make given the few ingredients and little process. The recipe serves, 2-4 people, but I would suggest it for 4-6 at least, due to the decadence

The beetroot can not be seen as the deep purple is swallowed by the chocolate (see picture below for the proof it is in the pudding…), so if you want your guests to know that there is beetroot, then you may want to sprinkle some crushed beet chips on top

Ingredients

  • 2 cups bittersweet chocolate chips, use dairy free chips for the vegan option
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup red beetroot juice

Method

  • Place the chocolate chips in a medium bowl
  • Heat the coconut milk in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the cornstarch and salt, whisking to ensure that it is fully dissolved. The cornstarch will start to thicken the coconut milk after a few minutes, as soon as this happens, stir in the beet juice and then strain through a sieve over the chocolate chips
  • Whisk the chocolate mixture thoroughly until all of the chips are melted. Portion the mixture into serving dishes and chill for at least 1 hour to set

FullSizeRender-39

Quinoa Risotto, Arancini with a herbaceous dipping oil

IMG_4907

IMG_4914

This recipe was adapted from Hemsley and Hemsley’s, the art of eating well and gives you a great main and canapé. It’s one that I won’t mention to Mr. B’s mum since she is Italian and would not approve of me calling something a risotto not made of rice.

The ‘risotto’ is made from Quinoa, a great protein dense substitute to rich with the added bonus that it cooks quicker also, so no standing about the stove stirring. The leftover risotto also gives you this neat little canapé, which is baked and therefore a healthier version of the authentic Italian Arancini, which is deep-fried and very addictive.

The recipe can be adapted to your taste. The broth can be vegetable or bone broth, the cheese can be taken out and replaced with vegan cream cheese, or bacon can be added, just make sure it is crispy!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 250g white Quinoa (soaked overnight)
  • 1 tbsp. white wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 700ml vegetable stock (or bone broth)
  • 50g Peas (frozen or fresh)
  • 125g blue cheese (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • Sea salt and pepper

Method

  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan over a medium heat and gently fry the onion and celery for c. 8 minutes, until softened
  • Add the drained Quinoa to the pan, stir and leave for a minute until the Quinoa is almost sticking to the pan
  • Add the white wine or cider vinegar, stir to deglaze the pan of all the sticky bits
  • Pour in most of the broth, turn up the heat to bring t the boil and then turn down to a simmer
  • After 8-10 minutes of cooking the Quinoa should be cooked and tender, add in the peas, they will cook in a few minutes
  • Switch off the heat, stir in the blue cheese, parsley, thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve half which should be enough for 2 portions and keep the rest to make Arancini

Arancini

Ingredients

  • 40-60g chickpea flour
  • 2 portions of the risotto
  • Mint and parsley oil (see recipe)
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 180c/250f
  • Mix the chickpea flour into the leftover risotto and combine well
  • Take 1 tbsp. of risotto and roll into balls, place on the baking tray
  • Bake for 20-30 minutes until golden. Serve with mint and parsley oil for dipping

Mint and Parsley Oil

Ingredients

  • 180ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 30g fresh parsley, chopped
  • 10g fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients in a mortar and pestle and mull together
  • If you don’t have one, just make sure the herbs are chopped finely and mix together in a bowl
  • Ready to serve with the Arancini or use as a salsa verde

Beet tartare

Processed with MOLDIV

Life is your canvas…paint it with your dreams!

My dreams are normally full of food. If you know me well and see me staring off into the distance, you’ll know its because I am thinking about my next meal, the meal I just had or a recipe I am working on. It is therefore natural for me to combine food and art.

Beetroots have such amazing colors, my favourite is the deep ruby red because of the colour but also the antioxidant qualities you get with it.

This recipe is my healthy vegan version of beef tartar using those beautiful red beets to create a hearty, beet tartare. The dish has a lovely crunch and salinity from the capers and a smooth heat from the mustard.

I loved playing with this dish, as when you have finished you have a pink paint and a white cream cheese base to play with. It lets your inner artist (and child out) and what could be more fun than that!

This is a Tasha. Kitchen original, feel free to copy, creativity should be shared!

Ingredients

  • 2 small beets
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • 1½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. vegan cream cheese (see prior recipe)
  • Chives, chopped (for garnish)

Method

  • Preheat an oven to 350c
  • Bake the beetroots in salt for 40 mins or until slightly tender
  • Remove from the oven and let cool
  • Once cooled chop into roughly 1cm x 1cm pieces
  • Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oil, and salt.
  • Transfer beets to a small bowl and mix with the dressing
  • Smear plate with the vegan cream cheese and place the beetroot on top using a cookie cutter or ramekin
  • Garnish with chopped chives

Popcorn Beets

Popcorn Beets

‘Creativity is a way to share your soul with the world’

This is my healthy vegan version of Amanda Cohen’s popcorn beets, which have been deemed better than popcorn shrimp by the food critics.

Mr. B loves popcorn shrimp, so although I haven’t tried Cohen’s dish, I was inspired to make my own version and see what he thought.

Cohen’s version is soaked in buttermilk spiked with bourbon and deep-fried. I wanted to make a healthier and dairy free version, so I soaked mine in almond milk and baked them to make them vegan and a guilt free snack. She served her dish with a green curry sauce; I used vegan cream cheese and jalapenos to replicate the creamy and spicy compliments.

Mr. B loved this dish, noting it as moreish (as shown by the disappearance of the dish in 5 seconds) and addictive. Success! Thanks Amanda Cohen for the inspiration!

This is a tasha.kitchen original recipe, feel free to copy it, creativity should be shared!

Ingredients

  • 2 red beetroots
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¾ cup almond milk
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 tbsp. vegan cream cheese
  • I tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced

Method

  • Preheat an oven to 350c
  • Bake the beetroot in salt for 20 mins until slightly tender
  • Take them out and let cool, once cooled chop into roughly 2cm x 2cm pieces
  • Pour almond milk into a shallow bowl/dish and cornmeal into another
  • Coat the beet pieces with the milk and then the cornmeal
  • Place pieces on the a baking tray with coconut oil and place in the oven
  • Flip over half way and back until the cornmeal is hard
  • Sprinkle sea salt on the pieces
  • Serve with vegan cream cheese and slices of jalapeño

Goat Curry and naan bread (Dairy free, Gluten Free, Paleo)

Cooking is love made visible.

Goat curry

I am of Indian decent as you can tell from any pictures of myself and even from my Tasha. Kitchen emoji, but as a child I never quite connected to my Indian heritage. The reasons for this are quite logical; I was born in the UK, my family are Christian not Hindi, apart from my Grandma and I was never taught any Indian language.

It was only as I grew older that I realised culture was much more than where you are born and what language you speak. The Indian culture at least as I have observed it through living with my Grandma is about community and connection. She would open her home up to anyone, for lunch, tea or just a chat. She talked to everyone on the high street and brought them chocolate or samosas on their birthdays. I would often come home from school and be greeted by people I had never met before. Food very much played a part in this, she would make lots of Indian snacks to serve people with their tea –  tikki, samosas, pakora’s –  there were always plenty of tasty morsels being offered around.

One of my favorite days of the week was Sunday when we would gather as a family (and invite others to join us) for lunch after church and meat curry would often be a central dish. This goat curry is in honor of those Sundays, which I miss so much. My grandma used to cook curry’s for days to give depth and tenderness to the meat; we would smell that beautiful aroma and often end up smelling of that aroma too! I used a slow cooker and cooked this for 36 hours, but you can cook it for a few hours if you don’t have time. Having cooked this dish, I can say that I have much more appreciation of how long it takes to make a curry that tastes anything like my grandma’s and if I could go back, I would have the extra spoonful my Grandma offered me, every single time.

This recipe comes from myheartbeets.com, an Indian Paleo website that I recently found. Thank you Ashley for your amazing recipes and for helping connect back to my grandma and my roots.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds goat meat
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 5 inch knob fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 2 tsp. salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1-2 Serrano pepper, minced
  • 1 small (14 ounce) can organic diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. garam masala add more to taste

Method

  • In crock pot/slow cooker, add all ingredients listed except tomatoes, water and garam masala (you will add this at the end)
  • Set to high and cook for 4 hours, stirring the curry every hour or so
  • After four hours, add tomatoes, garam masala and water. Cook on high for another hour or until the meat is tender
  • If you don’t have a slow cooker, cook the onions till translucent for 2-5 mins, then add the garlic and garlic for 30 seconds
  • Add all the spices and stir till mixed in, but make sure not to burn, next add the goat meat and brown
  • Add in can of tomatoes and garam masala and cook for as long as possible, 60-90 minutes minimum

3 Ingredient Paleo Naan (Indian bread)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Almond Flour
  • ½ cup Tapioca Flour
  • 1 cup Organic Coconut Milk
  • Optional salt

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Heat a non-stick pan over a medium heat and pour batter
  • Once the batter fluffs up and looks firm/mostly cooked, flip it over to cook the other side (be patient, this takes a little time) and serve hot