vegetarian

Caramel Topping

There are no words…. Well maybe ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’. Yep. It’s that good, and easy. I mean 3 ingredients, there are no excuses for not making this. They’re not even weird ingredients like ‘mesquite powder’ or ‘saffron threads’ (seriously, what’s with saffron? That gear is like $3million an ounce. Not even joking. It’s not like it’s unicorn dust!). Anyway, that was a tangent, these are simple, easy to find ingredients. Your supermarket will have them, it’s not too late. Go now.

I used this as a warm topping for some homemade ice cream but it would also be a great filling for caramel tarts, caramel slice, as a cake icing, adding to some protein balls, straight from the jar or anything else splendidly caramel you can think of. If you think of other cool caramel uses be sure to share them in the comments below. No-one likes a selfish-Sally. Nothing against the Sally’s of the world.

15 fresh dates, pits removed
100g coconut oil/ghee or butter (I used ghee)
2 cups full fat coconut milk

Blend everything in a food processor or high speed blender until smooth. Transfer to a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 mins. You can add extra coconut milk if you want a thinner sauce, keep in mind it will thicken up in the fridge. Use as a caramel topping on anything you fancy. Your finger? I wouldn’t judge.

Nut Free No Bake Fig & Quinoa Bars

That title is WAAAYYYY too long but at least you know what your are signing up for right?! You can add nuts to this in place of the seeds and you could bake it if that tickled your fancy….. Then they would just be ‘Fig & Quinoa Bars’, much more succinct to say but a little more work to actually do. I’m not into that, and I’m impatient to eat this stuff. Baking creates timeframes that I just don’t dig today so ‘no bake’ it is.

So, I’m BAAAACCCCKKK! Baby Grace is now 10 days old and is a super cool little human but I thought it was time to stop the #babyspam and give you some food back….. Well after this last little bit of spam because she is bloody cute.

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Isn’t she just squishable!!

Ok, so back to food. This recipe contains quinoa (as do some of my others in the archives) so it’s not strictly ‘paleo’…. GASP! Send the paleo police round, I am sure I can convert them with this deliciousness anyway and seriously, a bit of quinoa here & there isn’t what is causing the global obesity, diabetes and heart disease epidemic we are fighting is it? Substitute it for something else if it offends you or you don’t tolerate it.

375g dried figs, soaked in boiling water for 15 mins, then drained
250g coconut oil (or butter or ghee)
125g pumpkin seeds
125g sunflower seeds
150g quinoa flakes
1/4 cup honey (or maple syrup/ rice malt syrup/ coconut nectar)
1/4 cup tahini (or nut butter of your choice)

Melt together the coconut oil, honey & tahini. Once melted transfer to a food processor with the soaked figs & blend until a smooth paste forms. Add remaining ingredients and process until just combined (you can do that by hand if you like). Transfer the mix into a baking paper lined tray (I used a large rectangular slice tin), press down evenly and pop it in the fridge for a few hours to set before slicing into bars or squares. This freezes really well and is a great option for school lunch boxes or a sweet treat when the mood strikes you.

Whole Roasted Cauliflower

I love cauliflower, even though it does smell like fart sometimes…..My research tells me that fart-smell of cooked cauliflower is actually due to the sulfur containing compounds in it that are exacerbated by cooking. The good news is, that even though it might be a bit on-the-nose, cauliflower & other cruciferous veggies are powerhouses of nutrients and brilliant for supporting detoxification of our body. You will be pleased to know that this recipe didn’t result in a stink-filled kitchen. Boom. Go make it.

1 tsp turmeric powder
Good pinch of salt
& cracked pepper
1/2 tsp garam marsala
1 cup coconut yoghurt (or full fat natural yoghurt)
Head cauliflower, stalk trimmed & leaves removed

Preheat the oven to 180C. In a bowl mix all ingredients except the cauliflower to combine well. Using your hands (or some sort of implement if you are feeling fancy), rub the yoghurt mix over the cauliflower to completely coat it. Place on a baking paper lined tray or in an oven dish & bake for 30-40mins until cooked through. It will depend on the size of your cauliflower how long this takes, it could take an hour. Pop a knife in the middle of it to test if it is ready, it should feel like a ‘ripe pear’ in terms of firmness.

Choc Gingerbread Fudge

This is stupid easy. Like even a total kitchen muppet can nail this recipe. It only has 4 ingredients, you can substitute the Buttered Up for some other nut or nut-free butters of your choice. Obviously it won’t be as awesome as my Buttered Up version but you do what you need to to get this fudge in your mouth.

1 jar Buttered Up No-Nuts Gingerbread Flavor (190g)
1 jar Buttered Up Chocolate Cake Batter Flavor (190g)
16 fresh dates, pitted
4 tbs coconut oil

Add the Gingerbread Flavor to the food processor with 8 of the pitted fresh dates and 2 tbs coconut oil and blend until a smooth paste forms. Press this into a small baking paper lined tray (I used a mini loaf tin) and press down to an even layer. Pop this in the freezer to start to set. Add the Chocolate Cake Batter flavor to the food processor with the remaining dates & coconut oil & blend again to a smooth paste. Press this on top of the Gingerbread layer to form your second smooth layer then pop it in the fridge to set for a few hours. Once set, I drizzled mine with a bit of Buttered Up melted Nothing But Coconut butter because I can, and it’s delicious. You can leave that bit out or drizzle with some melted dark chocolate. Slice into squares and store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer.

Roasted Tomato & Basil Soup

Soups are such an easy way to cram a whole load of nutrients into one bowl. You can chuck in any veggies that are still in the fridge and are starting to look a little sad or even add some leftover cooked meats. This week I had a slow cooked turmeric chicken and veggie casserole thingy that I just didn’t feel like so I threw it all in a big pot with some bone broth, heated it up, blended it to smooth & dinner was served. Using homemade BONE BROTH is a great way to get loads of minerals, calcium, magnesium and gut-healthy gelatin into yourself too, it’s super easy to make and I keep a few frozen batches in the freezer all the time. You know why your nana used to make chicken soup when you were sick? Because over 70% of your immune system is in your gut, if your gut isn’t healthy you get sick all the time! Heal and nourish your gut with nutritious homemade stock/broth to keep that immune system healthy…. See, nana’s know their $hit.

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Hot Choccy

It’s hot chocolate kinda weather today so here you go. Chocolate fiends pay attention NOW! On our recent trip overseas Trav & I became mildly addicted to Italian Hot Chocolate…. Trav more so than me, he even had a tantrum after we trekked halfway across Paris to get what someone online had touted as ‘Paris’ best hot chocolate’, only to find that the shop was no longer there. It’s was the kind of hot chocolate that you want to eat with a spoon it’s so thick but I am fairly certain it was NOT even slightly nourishing and loaded with sugar & God knows what else.

This version contains some awesome healthy fats, antibacterial, anti microbial & anti fungal properties from the coconut cream, a cracker dose of magnesium from the raw cacao & super dark chocolate & the gelatin provides a nice protein boost and is brilliant for the health of our skin, hair, nails, digestion, immune system & joints. It is like dessert in a mug.

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Pancakes with Strawberry Ginger Syrup

You know I thought this whole ‘baby brain’ biz was just a farce….. But I am actually getting dumber by the day and am CONSTANTLY misplacing things. I lost my water bottle the other day…. Found it in the bathroom cupboard a few days later. I am not sure how I am going to function in society if this gets any worse. Anyhow, on to the food.

Sometimes, especially on Sunday nights, we have ‘breakfast for dinner’. This generally involves bacon, eggs, sautéed kale, mushrooms…. You get the gist. This week when Trav suggested ‘breakfast for dinner’ my pregnant brain went straight to pancakes. I added zucchini to them so that Pebbles (current nickname for the growing bub) was getting some veggies in too.

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Pesto Base Quiche

So I am 17.5 weeks into this pregnancy & so far things are pretty good. I had a bit of that fab old fun they call ‘morning sickness’ all day, every day up until about 10 weeks where I spent all day feeling really hungover (& mighty pi$$ed off it wasn’t even the result of some great champagne) and couldn’t stomach anything I cooked or stand the smell of things like my beloved coconut oil! Since then I have been well, no weird cravings yet & I am back on board with coconut oil and at the stage affectionately referred to as ‘the too many pies’ stage of pregnancy…… I don’t really look pregnant, just a bit fat or like I ate 7 pies for breakfast. It’s hot.

This baby won’t make you look like you just ate 7 pies, is super easy, super tasty, & makes a fabulous brekkie, lunch or dinner option. You can add any fillings you like for a high protein, low carb feast and can jam as many veggies in as you like.

Base-

1 cup PESTO (you can use any type you like)
1 cup flaxseeds, ground
2 tbs coconut oil/ghee

Filling-
10 eggs
1 zucchini, grated
Extra 1/2 cup pesto
Anything else you would like to add to your quiche, I added sliced capsicum & sweet potato chopped into small cubes

Preheat the oven to 180C. For the base, add all the ingredients to the food processor & mix well until completely combined. Press into a greased tart tin or springform tin so that it covers the base & up about 5-8cm on the sides. Pop it in the oven for 10-15 mins until it is just firming up then remove & set aside.

Add the eggs, pesto & zucchini to a bowl or food processor & mix well to combine. Add any other ingredients you like now and stir through. Pour onto the pre-baked base ensuring the egg mix does not come up higher than the tart base on the sides. If you have extra mix left you can pour it into some muffin tins and make some mini fritattas. Turn the oven down to 160C and pop the quiche in for 45mins to 1hr or until it is firm in the centre. Once you take it out of the oven, allow to cool for at least 30mins before slicing.

Lemon Cheesecake Balls

Remember the time I made that Probiotic Nut Cheese that was like a vegan/paleo version of cream cheese? Well, I also did you a mighty great favour & made some delicious cheesecake balls out of it, I’m nice like that….. Not nice enough to share them (I need them to grow the human inside me, I’m not being selfish) but I will share with you the recipe. Get these suckers in your guts, they are great for gut health with all those splendid probiotics, low in sugar and have some fabulous healthy fats. You’re welcome.

2 cups cashew cheese

Zest & juice 1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla powder or extract
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 tbs chia seeds (maybe 1-2 tbs more if your mix is too wet)
1 tbs maple syrup (or rice malt syrup) or stevia

Ok, so this is about as difficult taking a shower. You add everything to a bowl, you mix it well, you let it sit for about 10mins so the chia seeds can do their thang & absorb some moisture, then you roll them into balls & pop them in the fridge. If the mix is still too wet to roll after 10mins add the extra chia seeds & let it stand again for another 10 mins. These store well in the freezer as well. Just try & only eat one.