Open Kraut Sandwich

This recipe is a perfect example of how ferments can brighten up any meal.

Ingredients
Serves 1

Two slices of kale bread
Hummus
Avocado, sliced or smashed
Smoked Salmon
Beetroot + Fennel Kraut
Sprouted Seeds

Method
- Spread the bread with a generous helping of hummus.
- Top with a layer of avocado, a few small slices of smoked salmon and a pinch of sprouts, before finishing with a forkful of Kraut.
- Enjoy!

Chocolate Mousse

This chocolate mousse can be made in five minutes and eaten right away.  Keep a can of coconut milk in your fridge at all times and you'll never be far from a chocolate fix.  It's also a 'free from' crowd pleaser and the perfect thing to whip out at dinner parties.  You have been warned: you will not be able to stop making and eating it.

Ingredients
Serves 2

250ml tinned coconut cream or coconut milk with 70% or more coconut solids – I use this one
25g raw honey
10g raw cacao
5g lucuma (optional)

Tip: You can also use the solid part from a can of coconut milk – just put the whole thing in the fridge and scoop out the solid part to use as the cream.

Method

- Refrigerate the coconut cream/milk for six hours or more.

- When you're ready to make the mousse, add the coconut cream, cacao and honey to a bowl.  Whisk for 3-5 minutes, or until aerated and light.

- Spoon into teacups or ramekins and refrigerate until you need them (or eat straight away, if you like). 

- Serve with a sprinkling of cacao powder, cacao nibs, raspberries, or anything else that takes your fancy.

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Krautamole

I, like many, have an out of proportion love for guac.  My recipe? I keep it simple and follow some basic ratios, nothing fancy.  On this occasion, however, I thought I'd spice things up a bit.  Kraut and avocado were made for each other.  The sour, salty flavour that kraut takes on as it develops is just what's needed in guacamole and somehow gives a deeper, rounder flavour than lime juice on its own.   I've used a turmeric and black pepper kraut in this recipe, but a plain kraut or my green chilli and coriander kraut would work equally as well.

Ingredients
Makes 1 small bowl

1.5 medium avocados
Juice of ½ lime or lemon
Pinch sea salt
Drizzle olive oil
1tsp chopped coriander
1tbsp sauerkraut – I prefer a plain kraut, turmeric and black pepper or green chilli and coriander

Method

-        Cut in half and de-stone to avocados.  Scoop out the contents into a bowl.

-        Add the lime/lemon juice, the salt and olive oil and mash with a fork.

-        Add the kraut and chopped coriander and lightly stir to combine.

-        Serve with a little more kraut and coriander leaves sprinkled on top.

Pea Fritters with Tzatziki

Ingredients

For the fritters
Makes 12 palm sized fritters
1 large leek
2 cups of frozen peas, defrosted
1 courgette
2 cans of butter beans
1.5tsp of caraway seeds
Sea salt and pepper
5 eggs
Olive oil

For the tzatziki
Makes 1 small bowl
3 inch piece of cucumber, peeled and de-seeded
1 clove of garlic, minced
100ml coconut yoghurt
A good pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper
A drizzle of good quality olive oil

For the tzatziki;
- Finely chop the peeled and de-seeded cucumber, wrap in a sheet of kitchen paper or muslin and squeeze most of the moisture out. Sprinkle the cucumber with sea salt and combine with the minced garlic and coconut yoghurt in a small bowl. Season to taste.  Place in the fridge.  Remove and drizzle with olive oil just before serving.

To make the patties;
- Slice the leek and steam or sauté in some olive oil until soft.
- Blitz the courgette and peas in a food processor until you have a mixture somewhere between coarse and fine. Put into a bowl and add the steamed leeks.
- Drain both cans of butter beans and blend in the food processor until smooth. Add to the veg along with the caraway seeds and mix well to incorporate. Season to taste.
- Whisk the egg and add to the mixture.  Mix until everything is well incorporated.
- Heat some olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat.  Use your hands to form palm-sized patties - the mixture will be quite wet but just firm enough for you to form work with.
- One by one, place the patties in the hot pan. Don’t pack them in too tightly; leave enough room so that you are able to turn them.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes on each side, or until crisp and golden brown.
- Remove from the pan and serve with some mixed salad leaves, a wedge of lemon and the tzatziki.

Mint Choc Chip Smoothie

Now that Spring has well and truly sprung, it's time to refresh the breakfast routine.  This mint chocolate chip smoothie is super fresh and provides you with a pep in your step when you most need it.  It's so good that I'd happily have it for pud, too.

Ingredients
Makes 2

300ml coconut milk
1 frozen avocado
1/2 frozen banana
1 small handful spinach
25 mint leaves, save a few to garnish
2 medjool dates
1tbsp cacao nibs, plus extra for sprinkles

Method
- The night before, chop the avocado and banana and pop in the freezer.  I actually keep a bag of both topped up in my freezer throughout the spring/summer months - you never know when you're going to need some ice cream!
- Blend all ingredients, apart from the cacao nibs, until smooth.
- Add the cacao nibs and pulse to combine.
- Serve in a glass topped with some mint leaves and a sprinkling of cacao nibs.

Chocolate Orange Nut Butter Cups

I was never much of a Reeses fan so didn't really understand the obsession with peanut butter cups... until I made them.  These are in a league of their own; dark, orangey, sweet, salty and creamy all at once.  So easy to make and well worth it.

Ingredients
Makes 12-15

175g cacao butter
125g cacao powder
90ml maple syrup
Zest 1 orange
Pinch salt
Cashew butter
Cacao nibs

You will need: a mini muffin tin or mini muffin/truffle cases.  If using mini muffin cases, arrange them on a baking sheet.

Method

- Melt the cacao butter in a bain-marie.  Remove from the heat and add the cacao powder, maple syrup, orange zest and salt.  Stir until smooth.

Fill the muffin holes/cases one third of the way up with the melted chocolate.  Pop in the fridge for 5-7 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and spoon a little cashew butter on top of each of the chocolate discs before filling the rest of the hole/case with chocolate.

Sprinkle with cacao nibs and return to the fridge until completely set.

Breakfast Loaf

Breakfast when you're paleo or gluten/dairy free can be quite a challenge.  You eventually tire of smoothies and porridges, and sometimes would just like something on toast.  This breakfast loaf has got you covered.  It's quite close textured and similar to rye bread.  It's high in protein thanks to the eggs and serves up a helping of veggies, making it a bit of an all rounder.  I love to eat it with avocado, an egg and a little sprinkling of sea salt and pepper.  

Ingredients
Makes 1 loaf

200g sunflower seeds, ground
50g linseeds – ground or ground flax
180g kale
4 eggs
Generous pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper

Optional – 2tbsp pesto

Method

- Preheat your oven to 180C.

- Line a loaf and with greaseproof paper.

- Blitz the sunflower seeds in a food processor until you have a fine crumb.

- Blitz the linseeds in a food processor, or if using, add the ground flax to sunflower seeds.

- Add the kale to the food processor with the sunflower seeds and linseeds and blitz until everything is roughly the same size.

- Add the eggs, salt, pepper and pesto (if using) and blitz one last time until well incorporated.

- Spoon into the lined loaf tin and level off with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

- Bake in the oven for 50-55minutes, until it is dark golden and has a firm crust.

- Cool in the tin before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Basic Kraut

If fermenting your own veg is something you've put off for fear of doing it wrong, put it off no longer.  This basic kraut is a doddle to make and there really isn't much room for error.  Roll up your sleeves and get massaging some cabbage...

Ingredients

2 organic cabbages (white or red)
Sea or Himalayan salt
1.5tsp caraway seeds

You will need: a large mixing bowl and a clip top jar (such as Kilner or Fido), approx. 1L.

Method

- Wash and sterilise your jar using boiling water or a short cycle in the dishwasher.

- Wash and dry the cabbage. Check for any bruised or rotten looking bits and remove where necessary.

- Remove two outer leaves from the cabbage by cutting at the base of the spine and carefully peeling off, keeping in tact where possible.  Put to one side.

- Weigh the mixing bowl you’re using.

- Quarter the cabbage and shred.  The thickness is up to you; I prefer to use a mandolin, which gives me a thin consistent shred.  Place the shredded cabbage into a large mixing bowl and put the cores to one side, if you have any left.

- Now weigh the mixing bowl with the cabbage in it and work out how much the cabbage weighs.  Work out what 2% of the cabbage weight is – that’s how much salt you need to use.  For example, 500g cabbage = 10g salt.

- Sprinkle the cabbage with the salt and add the caraway seeds - mix with your hands and massage a little before putting to one side for 30mins, giving the salt time to work its magic.

- After 30 minutes has passed, the salt should’ve drawn the liquid from the cabbage and there should be a little pool of it in the bottom of the bowl.   If there isn’t, massage for 5 or so minutes to release more liquid.

- Pack the cabbage into the jar, tamping with your hand/a rolling pin between layers.  When all the cabbage is in the jar, pour in any remaining liquid leaving a 1-2inch gap at the top.  There should be enough liquid to cover the cabbage – if there isn’t, make up a salt brine solution using filtered water and sea/Himalayan salt at 1tsp salt per 200ml water.  Pour in enough to cover the cabbage.

- Tear the outer cabbage leaf you removed at the beginning to form a circle slightly bigger than the jar.  Place this on top of the shredded cabbage and wedge to secure.  If you have any cabbage cores left, place these on top to act as a weight. 

- Secure the lid and leave to ferment at room temperature for approx. 2 weeks, at which point taste it to see if it’s to your liking.  If it is, pop it in the fridge.  If not, leave out for a couple more days before tasting again.

 

 

 

Banoffee Pie Sundae

This is a fabulously healthy (and low sugar) alternative to traditional banoffee pie.  The coconut yoghurt adds a probiotic hit to your pud and the flax/oats provide some much needed fibre.

Ingredients
Makes 2 large or 4 small

Date caramel:
3 pitted medjool dates
3tbsp coconut milk
Soaking liquid reserved from dates

Biscuit base:
45g macadamias
30g oats (replace with ground flax to make it paleo)
Small pinch salt
2tsp coconut oil
2 pitted medjool dates

1 banana, sliced

Coconut yoghurt

Method

- To make the date caramel: soak the dates in a little boiling water – put to one side.

 - To make the biscuit base: Preheat oven to 180C.  Blitz all ingredients in a food processor, empty onto a lined baking tray and press firmly to .5cm thickness.  Bake in the oven for 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown, tossing a few times throughout.  Remove and allow to cool completely before crumbling.

- Remove the dates from the soaking liquid and put in the food processor along with the coconut milk.  Blend until smooth, adding a little of the soaking liquid to loosen if needs be.  Pass through a fine mesh sieve to make is super smooth.

- In two glasses, layer the sundae, starting with 2 spoonfuls of the biscuit, a spoonful of the caramel, a few slices of banana then a dollop of yoghurt.  Repeat until you reach the top of the glass or the mixture runs out – whichever comes first.

Chaga Latte

Superfood powders are great fun and deliver some really interesting flavours.  They're generally not a staple in my kitchen but when I discover one that is delicious and extremely good for me (the nature of superfoods), I hold on to it.

If you're trying to cut down on your coffee consumption for whatever reason, I highly recommend you give this a try - it has a very similar flavour profile.  

Ingredients
Serves 1

1 mug cashew milk
1tbsp coconut oil
1/2-1tsp chaga mushroom powder (depending on how much 'coffee' you like to taste) - I use this one
1/4tsp ground cinnamon
1tsp maca powder
1tsp grass fed collagen powder (optional)

Method

-        Place all ingredients in a small saucepan and warm over a low to medium heat.

-        Using a stick blender, milk frother or hand whisk; blend until all ingredients are combined and lovely and frothy (the coconut oil and collagen helps with this).

-        Pour back into the measuring mug and sip away.

Sprouts, Chestnuts & Chorizo

Believe it or not, you can eat sprouts on days other than Christmas.  They're actually in season from September to March, and it's high time we made more use of them.  This is a great one pan meal that's ready in a flash.

Ingredients
Serves 1 as a main or 2 as a side

200g bacon lardons or chorizo, cubed
Large pinch smoked paprika (omit if using chorizo)
1/2tsp cumin seeds
150g sprouts, trimmed and quartered
100g cooked chestnuts
Large handful kale
1 free-range egg
Olive oil
Sea salt and cracked black pepper

Method
- Heat the oil in a medium frying pan or skillet over a medium flame

- Add the lardons/chorizo to the pan and stir-fry until almost crisp. Add the cumin seeds and paprika, if using.

- Add the sprouts and crumble the chestnuts into the pan, fry for 2-3 minutes before adding the kale and cook for a further 1minute before making a well in the centre to crack the egg into.  Pop a lid on and cook until the white is set and yolk runny (if that’s how you like it)

- Season to taste and sprinkle with paprika or dried chili flakes.

Fermented Aubergine Chutney

Good things come to those who wait and this chutney is no exception.  It was initially made for the guests at the Maison Fish retreat I cooked at in October last year, but I never got around to using it.  Two and a half months later, I gave it a taste and it was so lovely I just HAD to share it with you.

Ingredients
Makes 1 Large Jar

3 medium aubergines, thoroughly washed and chopped into 1 inch cubes
2 red onions, peeled, trimmed and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled, trimmed and finely chopped
1 red chili, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
Large Handful coriander stalks, washed and finely chopped
Good quality coarse sea salt.  I use Maldon, Celtic or Cornish Sea Salt.

Method

You will need: a glass jar.  I prefer a clip top such as Kilner or Fido.

 - Sterilise your jar using boiling water, 15mins in a 140C oven or a quick cycle in an empty dishwasher.

- Weigh all ingredients – this will allow you to calculate the amount of salt needed.  For every 500g, 2tsp salt is required.

- Place the chopped aubergines in a colander or sieve and sprinkle with 2tbsp salt (this does not come from the above allowance).  Mix to coat all pieces.  This will extract some of the liquid that can taste bitter.  Place over a bowl (to catch the liquid) and weigh down with a plate and jar or similar.  Set aside, preferable for 1-2hrs.

- Once the time has passed, rinse the aubergines and place in a large bowl along with the rest of the ingredients and the required amount of salt.

- Massage well with your hands for 5-10 minutes, until a substantial amount of liquid has been released.  You may want to wear gloves to avoid any chili mishaps later on!

- Pack into your jar and tamp each layer firmly.  You want the brine to rise above the vegetables.  Weigh down using a fermentation weight or wedge under the shoulder of the jar using a cabbage leaf as the cover.  You can also use

- Leave to ferment at room temperature (between 16-22C) for a minimum of 2 weeks, at which point you can taste it.  The longer the better, I think, but it all depends on your personal taste.

- Keep an eye out for mould and remove any suspicious looking pieces.  If the vegetables remain submerged in the brine, all should be fine!

Chocolate Fudge Cookies (Paleo)

Gluten free, dairy free, grain free, low sugar cookies that actually taste good can be hard to come by.  They're often overthought and contain too many annoying ingredients.  These were whipped up on an evening of chocolate cookie desperation and they turned out so well, I thought I had better share the recipe.

Ingredients
Makes 8

50g ground almonds
30g cacao powder
80g smooth cashew/almond butter
20g cacao nibs
35g macadamias, roughly chopped
Pinch sea salt
Large pinch vanilla powder
1/2tsp baking powder
1 egg
1.5tbsp coconut oil, softened
4-5tsp raw honey

Method

- Preheat your oven to 180C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

- Place all ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat with a spoon until well combined and the consistency of peanut butter.

- Spoon the mixture on to the tray (about a dessert spoon per cookie) and smooth into a round that’s about 2cm thick.

- Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  Allow to cool on the tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.  They should be soft on the inside and (almost) crunchy on the outside, just like an armadillo.

Christmas Kraut

Christmas lunch wouldn't be the same without braised red cabbage.  Which is why I am super excited about this recipe.  Everyone wants to get ahead by making parts of the turkey dinner in advance.  Why not kill two birds with one stone and make a gut loving, probiotic rich Christmas red cabbage that you can easily scoop from the jar on Christmas Day.  It'll help your digestion during the eating marathon that Christmas Day is so famous for, too.

Ingredients
Makes 1 x 1L jar

1 red organic cabbage
2-3 organic apples
Zest from 1 organic orange
1tsp mixed spice
Optional: 1 small organic red onion, finely sliced
2tsp sea salt per 500g vegetables

You will need: 1 x 1L clip top jar or a collection of smaller recycled jars.

Mehtod

- Sterilise your jar using boiling water from the kettle, in a 140C oven for 20 minutes (the rubber gasket will need to be removed for this one) or by running though an empty cycle in the dishwasher.

- Wash the fruit and veg in clean water and weigh to determine how much salt you will need to use.

- Save the outer leaves from the cabbage - whole if possible - for later use.  Shred the rest of the cabbage.  Core and grate the apples.

- Place in a large mixing bowl along with the orange zest, mixed spice and onion if using.

- Sprinkle with the salt before firmly squeezing/massaging with your hands until a little liquid appears.  At this point, you can either continue to massage, or cover with a tea towel and leave for 20 minutes for the salt to draw the rest of the juices from the vegetables.  Either way, you are aiming for about a saucer of liquid (more is great!) to form in the bottom of the bowl.

- Pack the kraut into the sterilized jar and tamper down between layers to ensure it is tightly packed and covered by liquid.  Pour in any remaining liquid from the bowl.

- Once all the kraut is packed into the jar, check that it is submerged in brine (the cabbage liquid).  If not, top up with a brine mixture of 1tsp sea salt to 200ml spring/mineral water.

- Use the outer cabbage leaves as a kind of duvet, tucking the kraut in and keeping it submerged.

- Leave on your kitchen worktop away from sunlight and heat giving appliances, or somewhere that is between 16-22C for at least a week, at which point, you can taste it to see if it has soured enough for you.  If so, transfer to the fridge to eat as and when.  If not, leave for another couple of days before tasting again.

Paleo Carrot Cake Porridge

I am currently experimenting with grain free eating and have chosen the worst season to start... PORRIDGE SEASON!  Naturally, I had to find a grain free alternative to warm my cockles on these freezing mornings.

Carrots would seem like the obvious choice here, just look at the title.  But I find sweet potato/winter squash give a creamier/smoother and more indulgent porridge.

Ingredients
Serves 1

75g winter squash/sweet potato
35g apple (optional)
30g crushed macadamias (other nuts and seeds also work)
Pinch sea salt
Large pinch ground cinnamon
Large pinch ground nutmeg
Pinch sea salt
Zest ½ orange
50ml cashew (or other plant based) milk
80ml coconut cream
1 egg, whisked

Method

-        Grate the carrot and apple, or blitz in a food processor.

-        Crush the macadamias in a bag with a rolling pin, in a pestle and mortar or in a food processor, until you have a fine-medium crumb.

-        Place all ingredients, minus the egg, into a saucepan and cook over a medium heat until the carrot is soft.

-        In the final few minutes, add the egg and stir vigorously to combine.  Cook for a further 2 minutes.

-        Serve with coconut yoghurt, (toasted) pecans and any fruit topping of choice.

Get ahead…

The night before:

-        In a saucepan over a medium heat, cook a batch of grated apple and carrot with the spices and milks until soft andcpurée like.  Cool and refrigerate until the next morning (this purée will last in the fridge for a couple of days so can be used for the next few mornings.  You could even freeze in batches and defrost overnight).

-        Crush the macadamias and keep in the fridge or freezer.

The morning of:

-        Heat the purée with the macadamias.

-        Add the egg in the final few minutes.

Pumpkin Spice Latte

It's a bit of a cheek calling this one a latte, as coffee is absent (not to say it has to be).  it's more of a warm and warming smoothie... It contains all of the spices you'll ever want for in winter and is the perfect hug in a hug for the most blustery of days.

Ingredients
Serves 1

75g pumpkin or winter squash, cooked
1 mug (approx. 200ml) cashew milk
1tsp coconut oil
1tsp (5ml measure) chai spice
Extra pinch cinnamon
To garnish – a dob of coconut cream and a dusting of cinnamon

Optional: 1tsp collagen (to boost gut healing properties)

I think this is perfectly sweet as is, but if you need to, add 1/2tsp raw honey

Method

- Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

- Heat gently in a saucepan.

- Serve in a mug, top with coconut cream and cinnamon.

Miso Quinoa Patties

These are a delicious addition to abundance bowls, salads or wrapped in a lettuce leaf and eaten like falafel.

Ingredients
Makes 8 patties

150g quinoa
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
200g frozen peas, crushed
2 handfuls spinach, chopped
2tbsp dark (brown rice) miso paste
1tsp nori flakes
3 eggs
Sesame oil (for frying)

Method

 - Place the quinoa in a saucepan and cover with double the amount of cold water.  Bring the water to the boil and cook for 15 minutes.  Once cooked, leave to sit with the lid on for 5 minutes.

-  Add all other ingredients to the quinoa and mix to combine.

- Heat some oil in a frying pan and shape a palm-sized patty in your hands before frying.  Repeat until all the mixture has been used – you may need to fry in batches).

- Fry for 3-4 minutes on each side until lovely and golden.

Moringa Rice Porridge

This is a great way to use up leftover rice.  it makes for the perfect meal, any time of day.

Moringa is a deliciously green superleaf which is high in protein and fibre, as well as a whole host of vitamins and minerals which boost energy, skin health and immunity, whilst aiding digestion and stress reduction.  Find out more about this superfood here.

Ingredients
Serves 2

2 cups pre-cooked short grain brown rice
1 cup coconut cream
Splash water
1-2 small cloves garlic, finely chopped
1tsp Moringa powder
Generous pinch sea salt
Cracked black pepper
2 small handfuls spinach, chopped
Garnish: toasted coconut flakes, chopped spinach, pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds

Method

- Put the rice, coconut cream, water and Moringa in a small saucepan. 

- Heat on a medium flame, stirring occasionally, until gently bubbling. 

- Add the chopped spinach and stir to combine.

- Season to taste.

- Cook until piping hot.

- Garnish and serve.