Sundried tomato, veggie lasagne with rosemary cashew cream cheese

Veggie lasangna with cashew cheese

Last week I managed to persuade my whole house to participate in a detox week…well 5 days because some of us had parties at the weekend and none of us have the will power to arrive at a party and dance away with a soda in hand. So we gave up sugar, coffee, dairy, all grains/legumes, alcohol and any non grass fed animals. It all seems to be going well apart from the coffee heads and Jase got pissed because all he wanted was bacon. I made this vegetable lasagne one night because I haven’t done much experimenting with cashew cheese and I was keen to find out what the hype was about and whether I was going to turn my nose up…I am a big fan of le fromage you see. Well it was actually really good and when smeared all over a lasagne it did trick you into thinking you were eating a cheesy béchamel.

The detox week went pretty well until on Friday night I got a little overexcited about partying with my buddy Anna because Jase was out of town. I decided it would be a super idea to skateboard to town in a floor length kimono, handbag on my arm, hmmm this is already sounding quite ridiculous and I didn’t even mention that my penny board is bright pink. It didn’t take long for the first injury…you see town is downhill so you get some speed up and then you out of control, so I slowed myself down by grabbing onto a rose bush….what a clever dick! That was the first bloody incident. Then we went to a Mexican party at Anna’s friends, drank margaritas, ate tacos and had a swell time. Then hey, next good idea, lets skate home. Skating uphill went ok, then we got to our road which is unfortunately for me a natural bowl. So before I knew it I had decided to bomb the hill from the top, kimono flowing in the wind a bit like a super hero cape, it was awesome I was going really fast but then the speed wobbles hit. I had one of those slow motion moments when your like hmmm this is going to end with my face on the pavement. So smash, I tarmac planted at about 30 k/ph, I think head first because I still have a giant egg on my head, and grazes all down the side of body, and a lovely one on my forehead too. So lesson learnt….don’t drink margaritas and skate, and also, get better at skating! Anyway Jase now thinks I am a badass with all the tough stickers all over my body so I’m feeling pretty cool.

all4

Veggie lasagna with cashew cheeseCashew cheese

1 cup cashews (soaked for 2-4 hours)
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp and ½ tsp nutritional yeast
2 slices of a shallot (roughly a tsp chopped)
¼ cup water
sea salt (needs quite a few big pinches) pepper and dried rosemary or any other herbs you fancy

Tomato sauce

1 shallot finely sliced
2 big garlic cloves sliced
1 sprig of rosemary with the leaves taken off
2-3 tbsp olive oil
4 medium tomatoes roughly chopped
½ cup sundried tomatoes
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
handful of basil leaves

Vegetables

4 small courgettes, sliced thinly lengthways
1 red pepper cut into about 3 big pieces around the core
2 big handfuls of spinach
 

First soak the cashews for 2-4 hours in cold water.

If using actual dried sundried tomatoes soak them too in boiling water for about an hour.

You can get started on the courgettes by slicing them lengthways into thin strips and grilling them, I used the bbq but a griddle pan on a high heat or the oven will do fine too. Drizzle them in a little olive oil and grill until they are soft and have some charred lines. Do the same with the red pepper.

Wilt the spinach in a big frying pan with a little olive oil and some seasoning and set aside.

For the tomato sauce, on a medium heat fry the shallot and rosemary until soft, then add the sliced garlic followed by the chopped tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes have softened and some start to fall apart. Blend with the sundried tomatoes, basil, apple cider vinegar until smooth…oh and add some seasoning.

Now you can start assembling the lasagne. Spoon a bit of the tomato sauce on the bottom of your dish and spread it evenly. Then layer over the courgette, a teeny bit more tomato sauce, the wilted spinach and grilled sliced peppers. Finish with the remaining tomato sauce, a sprinkle of extra sundried tomatoes and some dried rosemary.

Heat it up in the oven at 180˚C for about 30 minutes until hot

While it’s in the oven you can make the cashew cheese. Drain the cashews and give them a rinse with cold water then put all the ingredients in a food processor, they normally have a smaller bowl bit for when you are doing small quantities. Pulse away until it goes really smooth, mine took ages so I just left it going for a few minutes so don’t panic it will get smooth eventually.

Check it for seasoning, it does need quite a lot of salt and you can keep adding more dried herbs and yeast to make it taste cheesier. If you wan’t it runnier just add a splash more water etc.

When the lasagne is hot, spoon over the cashew cheese layer and serve away for totally fake cheesy goodness!

Photos Jase Hancox, Colab Creative

 

Cauliflower rice salad with mango, red pepper, herbs and The Fat Radish curry sauce

IMG_2956It’s my last week in the UK before I fly home to beautiful Wanaka and my handsome Mr who I won’t have seen for over 6 weeks! I am getting super excited but then I have had to say quick hello’s and goodbyes to lots of people which of course sucks, although showing my best pictures and describing my life in an extremely positive light has hopefully tempted a few to come visit.

I’ve been hiding out in Dorset for most of my trip, London is far too scary and stressful and there are a lot of pretty odd people there who don’t walk past and say hello which is a change from extremely chirpy Wanaka. So I have been wellied up, walking dogs, cooking lots for my Mum and apparently todays task is clearing out all my stuff. My room is most definitely about to become a guest room….sad face!

This recipe was inspired from THE FAT RADISH Kitchen Diaries cookbook which I just bought a load of to give out as presents. I would have got one for myself but books take up way too much valuable weight in a strict long haul suitcase. Anyhoo, when I ran off to live in New York for 2 months about 4 years ago I got put in touch with the crazy clever English boys Ben and Phil who started up The Fat Radish and boy oh boy have they done a sweet job. The restaurant is just ridiculously cool, and the food is so fantastically fresh, colourful and homely. They have a real farm to table vibe with vegetables being the star of the show (FYI they were totally the creaters of the Kale trend). I worked in the kitchen for their events company Silkstone which meant I got to cater at some incredible venues and I was over the moon inspired but what they were up to. Oh just thinking about it is making me want to jump back on a plane to that crazy city! If you ever travel to NYC it’s a must visit in the Lower East Side and the book has a gazillion delicious looking recipes that will make you want host a party and pretend your cool like them living in New York.

cauliflower rice salad

cauliflower rice salad
cauliflower rice
Serves a crowd…probably around 6 
 
1 cauliflower, cut in florets
1 red pepper, diced into small squares
2 small spring onion, finely sliced
handful coriander, roughly chopped
handful parsley, roughly chopped
2 handfuls rocket, roughly chopped
½ mango, cut into small squares
4 tbsp of The Fat Radish curry sauce

First off make the curry sauce recipe from below. Then steam the cauliflower florets until tender, around 10 minutes then leave aside to cool in a colander so they dry off.

While it’s cooling prep the veg to go into the salad.

Pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice, don’t go crazy or it will go too smooth. Chuck it all into a big bowl, mixing through all the chopped herbs and vegetables and about 4 big spoonfuls of the curry sauce. It will take some seasoning so don’t be shy with some crunchy sea salt and pepper.

Serve at room temperature along with a green salad.

THE FAT RADISH curry sauce
makes 2 ½ cups (too much sauce for the recipe but it’s amazing added to just about anything!)
 
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 green apple, peeled cored and thinly sliced
1 (2 inch) knob of ginger, peeled and minced
1 kaffir lime leaf  (or 1 lime zested and juiced)
1 ½ tbsp curry powder
2 tsp turmeric
1 can coconut milk
salt, pepper
 
Place the oil in a saucepan set over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, apple, ginger, lime leaf, curry powder and turmeric and cook until softened, about 10 mins. Add the coconut milk and simmer for another 10 mins. Remove to cool and blend till smooth and season. 

Wild rice, kale and roasted squash salad with avocado and chilli dressing

147-37410012

So I have landed in my new home…beautiful Wanaka, New Zealand! After falling in love with the place 2 months ago when visiting for a friends wedding, and meeting a certain someone I made the decision to be totally spontaneous and move. If you make these kind of decisions quick then I feel like you have less time to think them through properly. So I packed up my life in Switzerland into my teeny little Polo, not sure how I managed to fit everything in but it happened. Then I drove across France to get back to the UK, which was just a casual 20 hour drive after getting nailed in traffic as soon as the ferry pulled up in Dover. I spent the next week hanging out in Ibiza with my family at my brothers ridiculous house that he built, soaking up as much sun as I could before emigrating to another winter….this is where my decision lacks any logic!

I spent my last week catching up with friends and family, receiving grillings and interviews about why oh why I am suddenly running to the other side of the world. Unpacking to pack again, and selling all kinds of things that wouldn’t quite fit in my suitcase.

And now I have made it to my new home….and it’s COLD! I mean it’s beautiful and amazing like you wouldn’t believe and I am extremely excited to be here. However it feels funny leaving the excitement that spring brings of longer days to then be curled back up in front of the fire thinking of winter warmers. And sadly for my lovely readers in the northern hemisphere my recipes are all going to be back to front with Autumn kicking in instead of Summer recipes.

So here is a delicious autumn salad, full of all kinds of healthiness with a little chilli kick to warm you up if like me your thermalled up to the max, or you just live in England where it’s cold most of the time!

144-37410008 080-37280011 074-37280005

Serves 4 as a main

3/4 cup wild rice/black rice/brown rice
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into thumb sized chunks
2 red onions, peeled then cut in half and into wedges
1 big handful of curly kale
1 tbsp crushed coriander seeds
1-2 red chillies, finely chopped (depending on the strength and your taste)
1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
1 avocado
2 small limes, 1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges for serving
Big handful of fresh coriander roughly chopped
1 lemon zested
2 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
extra virgin olive oil

First preheat your oven to 180C. Crush your coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar and mix them with the chopped squash, red onions with a couple of glugs of olive oil, salt and pepper.

When the oven is hot, roast the veg for about 45 mins, turning halfway through. The veg are ready when they are a golden and soft through, take them out and leave to cool.

While the vegetables are roasting, rinse the rice until the water comes out clear, then cook according to packet instructions.

To make the dressing, purée the avocado in a bowl with the lime juice and plenty of salt and pepper. In a separate bowl mix the chopped garlic and chilli with 4 tbsp of olive oil.

Wash and dry the kale and break into bite sized pieces, then massage the avocado and lime dressing into it.

When everything is ready mix it all gently together and season, you may want to add more lime/lemon juice or olive oil, it is also good with a spoon of natural yoghurt stirred through. Serve with the lime wedges and an extra sprinkle of sesame seeds.

Bon Appetite!

Photos Aneta Mak

Aubergine, spinach and chickpea lasagna with feta and tomato sauce

veggy lasagna-2

This was the best by accident recipe ever!

I made a whole load of spinach, chickpea and feta puffs the other week for my friends birthday and had some filling left over. Soooo first I had it with scrambled eggs as a hangover breakfast after the party…totally hit the spot! Then I chucked it in some pasta for lunch, also a winner. Then, slap you round the face fantastic, I used it as a layer in an aubergine parmigiana and boom, flavour explosions! I have had it about every other day for the past week playing around with the recipe, and word has spread and all my friends are making it and even their friends too. It’s like some sort of veggie lasagna mania has started…I’m not going to lie…I feel pretty cool right now!

Anyway cut to the chase here is my groovy recipe.

veggy lasagna

Serves 3

Tomato sauce
800g tinned plum tomatoes ( this will make too much but then you can have some in the fridge)
4 cloves of garlic, finely sliced
1 handful fresh basil leaves
olive oil
 
2 aubergines, cut lengthways into 1 cm strips or discs
 
The green layer
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 big shallot, sliced
130g spinach..either fresh and wilted or frozen, with the water squeezed out
1 cup feta
1 cup chickpeas
1 egg
½ ground coriander
½ lemon zested
handful fresh coriander leaves

First off preheat your oven to 180˚C.
To make the tomato sauce, thinly slice the garlic and gently fry in about 3 good glugs of olive oil. You want the garlic to sizzle gently but not turn coloured at all. Watch it carefully because if it burns your sauce will just taste of burnt garlic. Once your at the point where you don’t dare to cook it any more add the tinned tomatoes and basil, give it some seasoning love and leave to bubble slowly on a low-medium heat for about 30 mins -1 hour. If it gets too dry and thick you can just add a splash of water. When it’s ready give it a quick blast in a blender to get it smooth.

For the aubergine, lay out the strips on some baking paper and bake in the oven until they are soft, normally 30-45 mins.

While thats all going on chop your shallot and garlic quite fine and gently sweat off in a pan with some olive oil until it’s soft.

Hopefully you are lucky enough to have a magimix for the next bit, if you don’t you can just chop all the next ingredients together and mix in a bowl.

Chuck everything for the green layer and the cooked shallot and garlic into the magimix bowl with seasoning and pulse a couple of times until it’s all combined but still chunky, too much mixing will turn it into a green puree!

When everything is ready you can start layering it up into a dish. First spoon tomato on the base, then layer up the aubergine and then the green layer and carry on the same until you reach the top. You should have loads of tomato sauce and you want that as your top layer. Sprinkle with some feta on top to finish it and then stick it in the oven until it’s bubbling hot. About 30 mins. Don’t be alarmed if it looks a bit like slop!

Serve it with a crunchy green salad. Bon spanking appetit!

Sprouted kitchen – Chickpea and pistachio falafel

falafel

After a summer of travelling about the place, I am now back home in the mountains and the bonus is my best cooking pal is back too. Both of our boys are away and we are getting back into the swing of how we used to spend our days chatting on the chairlifts about what we were going to cook that evening, however now it’s the summer so we are messaging over skype which is 100 times less glam than shoop shooping in the snow. This recipe is from Sprouted Kitchen which is one of my favourite blogs, it has loads of yummy veggie stuff, pretty pictures and a cookbook I am yet to get my hands on.

When I was 18 I became a little bit falafel obsessed, me and my friend Philly used to work moments away from Portobello road and Mustafa and his falafel stall. After we appeared again and again me and Mustafa bonded over the fact that he would always ask how spicy I wanted the sauce on top and I always said mild and every time it blew my head off. He lured me back by handing out free falafel balls while we waited in the queue so I forgave him but banned him from putting his lethal bottle of hot sauce anywhere near my wrap….excuse the double entendre.

This recipe is so good with the addition of pistachios and loads of herbs…the more the better in my opinion. Keep testing the mixture and seasoning and don’t be shy to add some more spices and chilli. Get creative in what you wrap them in too, we used lettuce but you could use pitta, or make a bigger patty and stick it in a bun like a veggie burger, or just add them to a big green herby salad with some yoghurty dressing. Also for toppings do whatever you feel like, guacamole, tomato salsa, tzatziki, humous, chilli sauce and loads of herbs it really is up to you and what you have in your fridge.

We decided on a simple colourful tomato salsa, feta mixed with coriander yoghurt and a bit of tzatziki wrapped in the biggest lettuce leaf I could find!

Makes about 15-20 falafel balls

12 sprigs of mint
12 sprigs of coriander
1 cup of shelled pistachio nuts
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 garlic cloves
1/2 red onion
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chickpea flour or any other kind of flour
1 tsp baking soda
big pinch of salt
 
Tomato salsa
big handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 garlic gloves, finely minced
little bit of chilli finely chopped
drizzle of olive oil
squeeze of lemon
salt and pepper