Inspired Sushi

Healthy Recipes

This vegan sushi looks delicious! We’ve made some before, but we’ll definitely be giving this version a try at some point. Yep, sushi making definitely does not get any easier than this! Thanks for sharing guys. ūüôā

Pear & Pretzel

Vegan sushi lovers can exist too! This is a start of a beautiful thing people. We were led to believe that uninspired avocado and boring carrot rolls were all sushi had to offer to vegans, but with a change in perspective and a little creativity we came to realize we were so so soooooo wrong. Looking at sushi through a vegan eye opened the door to a billion and one new possibilities. Let’s fall in love with sushi now… the right way!


Our Recipes:

This is our favorite, most eye catching version of sushi we have created, but it is also the most labor intensive of the bunch. DO NOT let this discourage you from trying sushi at home because trust us you basically can’t go wrong. We’ve made rolls dozens of ways so use this as a base and be bold with your modifications. If you do try something…

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Slow Cooker Middle Eastern Stew [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep: 30-35mins
Cooking Time: about 4 hrs (*On a high heat setting)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, colander, large/non-stick frying pan, frying spatula, large measuring jug, slow cooker

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, K & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugar, salt and saturated fats. 

Here’s one last quick recipe to take you into the weekend folks (because we just couldn’t help ourselves)!¬†

Slow cooking is never sexy, far from it, but the proof is¬†definitely¬†in the pudding (or stew in this¬†case)! It’s perfect for producing¬†a final product that is always flavourful, tender and ridiculously easy to prepare (although occasionally this cooking process may take a little more practice and persistence than we would like!). Whether your a student or someone who is just looking to save some time and money- a slow cooker is definitely¬†worth the investment! ūüôā

So as we’ve previously mentioned, we love Middle Eastern flavours and combining them with ‘slow cooking’ sounded like a¬†great idea to us! We took a bit of time looking into some different combinations (to our previous M.E recipes!).The result-¬†we came up with this delicious stew that is quickly becoming one of our favourites! Just combine a medley¬†of Middle Eastern spices and flavourings, some traditional and perhaps less or non-traditional ingredients (creamy Charlotte¬†potatoes anyone?!), and you are¬†left with a delicious stew that just keeps tasting better and better as the days go on.¬†

A few other good things to note include:

  • Preserved lemon paste is cheapish and economical (for us); we can easily adapt¬†it into other recipes so the jar won’t be left to collect ice crystals¬†at the back of our fridge! We think that this lemon note is quite important; if you cannot find it or prefer not to buy it, try experimenting with a little lemon juice and a fair chunk of freshly ground lemon rind instead.¬†
  • To save time you can buy some harissa paste (like we have), or to save some money¬†you can try making your¬†own; the Kitchn‘s version looks like a great (and tasty!) place to start!¬†
  • We combined a few spices for our Middle Eastern spice blend, one being a mixed spice mix. Our ‘ground mixed spice mix’ contained: coriander seed, caraway seed, ginger, fennel seed, nutmeg, cloves and turmeric. There are various versions of ‘mixed spice’ but it’s not the same as ‘allspice’.
  • This stew is quite fibrous, but¬†you can always adapt it by using less veggies! Also keep the veggies as chunky or as small as desired (but for cooking ease, try to keep them all as uniform as possible).
  • As the stew’s liquid is at a minimum/bowl, we wouldn’t recommend adding ‘grains’ to it. It does however go very nicely with a small piece of flat bread or pitta!¬†
  • When looking for crushed sumac berries (it’s also labelled¬†as just ‘ground sumac’).¬†

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā


NB: Red pepper, mixed spice, oil, frozen ingredients and parsley are not shown here.


+++++++++Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā



1.¬†Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Wash the bell pepper, remove its stem and core and then chop into¬†¬Ĺ-1 cm pieces. Wash and roughly chop the potatoes. Wash the aubergine, trim the top and then roughly chop it into bite-sized (or 1″) pieces. Wash the olives and then roughly slice them (if using) .

2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Tip: Need to reduce the fat? Use less oil or a low-fat cooking oil spray instead! Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the bell pepper, potatoes and aubergine. Scatter over the Middle Eastern spice blend (2g of each: Ground Cinnamon, Cumin & Mixed Spice Mix & 3g Crushed Sumac berries). Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir to coat in the spices. Gently fry for a further 4-5 mins. Tip: If preferred, you can also cover the pan with a lid to help soften the vegetables.

3. In the meantime, boil 950ml of water in a kettle. Prepare 800ml of vegetable stock according to the packet instructions.

4. Transfer the vegetable mixture into a slow cooker. Place the pan back over the heat. Add 2-3¬†tbsp of water. Swirl it around to help ‘deglaze‘ the pan. Transfer this liquid into the slow cooker. Add the tin tomatoes, cooked chickpeas, 50g dried cranberries and black olives (if using), 9-14g¬†harissa paste and 10-15g¬†lemon paste. Pour in 800ml vegetable stock and 150ml freshly boiled water. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Cook on a high heat setting for about 4 hours, or on a low heat setting for 7-8 hrs.

5. If preferred, steam or boil the green beans and spinach and then add them to the stew once it’s finishing cooking. Alternatively, snap the green beans into halves. Defrost the beans and spinach. Roughly chop the cubes of spinach into smaller chunks. Add the defrosted beans and spinach into the slow cooker 30 mins before the end of cooking. Cover with a lid. Cook for a further 30-45 mins.

6. Serve warm. Ladle into a large bowl and garnish with a little¬†fresh parsley. Serve with some flat bread or a small pitta (wholemeal, multi-grain or GF- we’ll you decide!)


Tip: Refrigerate any leftover stew in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. This stew is best served ‘warm-hot’ but never boiling. Alternatively, store and¬†freeze; defrost, re-season (if preferred) and reheat within 1-2 months.¬†


Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Basil & Walnut Pesto [Vegan]

Healthy Recipes

Yields: about 160ml
Serves: 8
Prep & Assembly: ‚ȧ10 mins
Type: Sauce, Dip, Spread
Tools: Colander, chopping board, sharp knife, grater, manual juicer (*optional) food processor, silicone spatula, resealable container


Pesto is another simple, go-to sauce that everyone can make at home!¬†Don’t be put off by foodie’s dos and¬†don’ts; it can suit ANY¬†budget and/or palate. In fact we’d be very surprised if everyone loved our combination of pesto flavours! Nonetheless, whether you like it extra ‘cheezy’ or zesty, made with fresh basil or rocket, strictly plant-based or not, the choice is yours and the end result will be the same; a delicious and quick sauce that is always bursting with flavour and colour!¬†Quite honestly, the¬†colour is probably half the allure (at least for us)!¬†

Anything with a shade of green that vibrant surely has to be healthy, right? 

Yes and no. As we’ve previously mentioned, it can be¬†healthful; containing nutrients including: protein, fibre, vitamins C & E, calcium, iron and a good source ‘good fats’ (mono and¬†polyunsaturated!). However,¬†by nature pesto recipes are also¬†high in calories (particularly¬†fat)¬†and/or salt; especially¬†if you make it using¬†a higher ratio of cheese. So it’s¬†not something we have very often, or¬†in any great quantity, but that only¬†makes it all the more¬†special¬†when we do¬†decide¬†to whip some up! ūüôā

We have explored using different nuts and/or herbs or¬†flavours; traditional pesto uses pine nuts, but generally almonds, walnuts and/or sunflower seeds suit our¬†budget. If you have never tried it with nutritional yeast, we highly recommend it; it has as a lovely nutty and ‘cheezy’ element that help give your plant-based pesto a more true and authentic¬†taste. We’re not food snobs, but we can offer one piece of advice to make sure that you have a great pesto experience- use fresh ingredients! Stale nuts and ten day¬†old store-bought basil will not do, but those who love pesto are probably already aware of this!¬†

If you’re a pesto¬†fiend, you might remember some of our other pesto’s we have tried: olive-based, zesty spinach and some adapted avocado¬†and asparagus-based versions¬†too!

Whatever flavour you¬†chose, the process is¬†always¬†easy (well, mosty!)…

Especially if you utilise a quick and modern method like we have; food processors can save you a lot of time! If you do not have one, you can always apply oodles of cooking enthusiasm and try grinding up a batch in a pestle and mortar, or place all of the ingredients into an appropriate dish/cup and blend it with a stick blender instead. If you do plan on using a pestle and mortar, the oil should probably be the last ingredient that you add (otherwise things might get a bit messy)! 

We hope you that enjoy¬†this batch as much as the others. We think it’s¬†the perfect accompaniment to: a¬†delicious¬†pasta dish, as a tasty sandwich spread, thinly spread over a pizza base or dolloped on top of your¬†pizza,¬†drizzled over some steamed new potatoes or asparagus, or as tasty summer dip (but enjoy it mindfully of course!).¬†

Have a great weekend and happy cooking everyone! ūüôā


Oh, if anyone has a minute to spare…¬†it would be greatly appreciated if you could please check out this link! It’s a petition for a BBC ethical cooking show! It would the first of its kind; the idea is actually pretty exciting. It¬†would be nice to tune into a¬†Saturday¬†cooking show that wasn’t about braising beef and¬†saut√©ing¬†vegetables in a half a block of butter… but one (as the campaign director Bridget Irving states) “that¬†reflects the diversity of the UK” – where it can cater to the ever growing number of f/t vegans and over a million dedicated vegetarians!¬†Hopefully it¬†will gain enough signatures and interest and come to¬†fruition.¬†


++++++++¬Ĺ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Lemon (1 tsp zest & 15-30ml lemon juice)
++++++++2                   Garlic Clove (fat ones!)
++++++++80g              Fresh Basil
++++++++60ml            Extra Virgin Olive Oil
++++++++30g              Walnut pieces
++++++++¬ľ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Asafoetida
++++++++                     Pinch of Salt & Ground Black pepper
++++++++2-2¬Ĺ tbsp ¬† Nutritional Yeast Flakes

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā



1. Wash the lemon, grate 1 tsp of zest (or more if preferred) and then juice half of it. Tip: Store the other half of the lemon in your fridge; add a wedge of it into your morning tea, or squeeze some juice over a fresh salad or pasta dish! Peel the garlic. Wash the basil; remove the leaves from its stems.

2. Place the lemon zest and 1 tbsp of juice into a food processor. With the food processor¬†running, drop the garlic down the pouring spout. Blend until it’s blitzed.

3. Add 4 tbsp oil, 30g walnuts and¬†¬ľ tsp asafoetida. Season the mixture with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Blend until the nuts are smoothish and creamy. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture off the sides and the lid, back down into the base. Add 2-2¬Ĺ tbsp nutritional yeast (depending on your preference). Mix¬†until combined. Tip: The mixture will still not be¬†completely¬†smooth, but this is OK.

4. Add the basil. Blend until completely processed. Taste and season as necessary; add more lemon juice, yeast, salt and/or seasonings if preferred. Tip: If you would like a slightly thinner consistency, add a little water (1 tbsp of water at a time) until your desired consistency is achieved.


Tip: Refrigerate any leftover pesto in an air-tight and resealable container; consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively freeze in a container or ration and then freeze it in smaller portions; use several (small) resealable containers, baggies or an ice cube tray for easy pesto and cooking convenience!


Mince Pies [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 16 -26 (*Dependant on the pastry.)
Prep & Chilling Time: 40-45 mins
Cooking:15-16 mins
Type: Dessert
Tools: Manual juicer, grater, food processor, kitchen scale, measuring jug, silicone spatula, kitchen film, pot w/lid, wooden spoon, rolling pin, muffin tins, cooling rack


Here’s another great¬†Christmas¬†recipe¬†that you can make in advance- mince pies! Tick them off your holiday check-list early this year; bake, freeze, defrost and reheat them over the xmas holidays! In fact, they might even last a tad bit longer; they take about thirty¬†minutes to defrost, so that may help to defer all the ‘little elves’ from munching through them so quickly!

When we make ours, we always create¬†our own shortcrust pastry, especially with ground almonds and almond extract (so delicious!), but we’ve never taken the time to make the filling, silly eh? We always succumb¬†to the convenience of prefabricated jars of mincemeat which are just far too sweet and always make you regret eating it! So this year we¬†stopped being silly and made our own; if we only knew how easy it was we would have started this¬†tradition¬†ages ago!¬†

With the aim of reducing the overall ‘added sugar’ content in these beauties, we opted to omit the sugar from the¬†pastry completely…and¬†keeping¬†with the Christmas theme, substituted it with an¬†orange juice mixture. However, we have added sugar¬†to the list of ingredients, so the choice is yours. Our pastry uses¬†standard vegan margarine; if you are after a flakier/gluten free pastry, try using come vegetable shortening/fat (as you’ll need about twenty percent less than margarine), a mixture of both or even¬†some odourless¬†coconut oil, but just be mindful of the saturated fat!

Our filling, well it’s quite red, but that because there is a lot of cranberries! You can use less and/or substitute for another fruit(s) (cherries and red currents would be nice), or more dried fruit instead. The great thing about using cranberries is that they are relatively cheap and help to offset some of the sweetness of the dried fruit and sugars!

We have tried to mimic our favourite¬†Christmas-y/brand name mince pie flavours; the wine was added on a whim as we were originally going to add juice (you can thank the supermarket sales for that gem!). If you don’t fancy wine, try substituting¬†it for some fresh orange, apple ¬†or¬†pomegranate¬†juice, plain water, or¬†dietary preferences depending, mulled wine, brandy and/or port- just adjust the quantities to your own personal taste and potency!¬†

*One top thing to note is that our filling makes enough for about twenty-six pies (the cooked weight yields 700g!), but our pastry only stretches into sixteen! So you can: increase the pastry mixture, slightly reduce the filling mixture or save and bottle the remaining mince pie filling in a sterilised bottle. 

Overall these little pies were lovely and nothing quite beats making your homemade shortcrust pastry and filling! If you’re a fan of these delicious morsels, you should really try giving it a whirl! It’s time consuming (well a little), but not too difficult. Just crank up the¬†festive¬†tunes and imagine how good your house will smell with¬†the¬†aroma¬†of fresh, buttery, hot out of¬†the oven shortcrust pastry and wafts of spiced and boozy fruit! Delicious!

Make sure to keep watching this space for more delicious/festive recipes next week! 

Have a great weekend and happy baking everyone! ūüėÄ




Need an easy-print recipe? Print here ūüôā



Wash the orange, grate the zest and then juice it (reserve the zest for the filling later on). Place the juice, almond extract, ¬ľ tsp salt and 2 tsp of unrefined cane sugar (if desired) into a large measuring jug.¬†Mix together, dissolving the salt and sugar.

Place the margarine, flour, ground almonds and xanthan gum into a food processor (or large mixing bowl if you do not own one). Pulse until the texture is similar to fine breadcrumbs and comes together. Tip: Alternatively mix the mixture with your hands or a large fork until the same texture is produced.¬†Pour the orange juice mixture into the food processor. Process until combined; the mixture will be quite chunky, but not dry (if yours is dry add 1-2 tsp of cold water). Tip: You will have to use a spatula to help remove some of the mixture from the sides of the container as you process it, back down into the centre as it has a tendency to ‘bunch up’.



Transfer the dough onto a clean work surface.¬†Divide it into three portions. Roll into balls. Place each ball onto a sheet of kitchen film; wrap and seal. Flatten each ball into a disc. Transfer into the fridge and refrigerate for 30 mins. Tip: Refrigerating the dough will help make it ‘firmer’ and easier to work with.¬†



In the meantime, prepare the filling. Wash the cranberries in a colander. Wash, peel, remove the core and then dice the apple. Juice the satsuma.


Next, place a non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add the wine and sugar. Stir together. It will start to simmer quite quickly, when this happens add the cranberries, apple, satsuma juice, dried fruit, orange zest, spices, sweetener, vanilla paste and almond (or lemon) extract into the pot. Stir to thoroughly combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Cover with a lid. Cook for 20 mins, allowing the flavours to meld, the cranberries to burst and soften and the mixture to slightly thicken. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Leave the lid ajar and allow it to cool.



Meanwhile, grease or line a mince pie or standard muffin tin with a little oil or margarine or a liner. On a clean, floured surface place one disc of pastry (leave the remaining pastry in the fridge until you are ready to use it). Gently knead and soften it with your hands for a minute.¬†Roll it out to a ¬ľ cm thickness. Use a small tumbler or something suitable¬†for the size of your tin to stamp¬†out 16 discs. Tip: Measure¬†the top of your tin with a small glass to make sure it is¬†not too big or too small; it should be roughly the same size as the tin.

Gently press each pastry disc between your fingers (slightly stretching it) before placing it into the base of the tin. Gently press and shape it into the base. Tip: Use a little pastry to patch up any tears of holes that might appear (this is OK!). Repeat until all sixteen discs have been placed.


Heat the oven to 200¬įC/400¬įF. Roll out the remaining dough to a 1/8cm thickness and then cut out the shapes to top your pies- we opted for modern stars!


Fill ease pie case with ¬†about 1 heaped dessert teaspoon¬†of pie filling. Place the top shape over the filling. Gently press and seal the edges. Tip: If you are completely covering the top of your pies, pierce it with a fork a few times to allow the steam to escape whilst it’s baking!

Some of these are overfilled! We had to scoop a little out to make sure the lids attached!



We baked the remainder in this silicone muffin case; we wouldn’t recommend it as they do not bake as well!



Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 12-16 mins or until lightly browned around the edges and firm. Remove and transfer onto a cooling rack. Allow to cool slightly before eating.¬†NB: We cooked ours for 18 mins- but this was too long (the pastry was a little hard… but it’s nothing that a little oat cream won’t fix)! We’ll try 13-15 mins¬†next time and then leave the pies in the tins for 3-5 mins once they’re removed from the oven.



Store in an air-tight and resealable container and consume within one week. Alternatively, wrap and store them in an air-tight and resealable container; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.


Nutritional Info (approx. per pie w/o sugar added to the pastry):
175kcal, 1.7g protein, 24.5g CHO, 8g Sugar, 7.2g Fat, 1.3g S/fat, 1.2g Fibre, 0.3g Salt
**Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Homemade & FreeFrom Energy ‘Flapjacks’ (or ‘Bites’!) [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8-16
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-40mins
Cooling Time: 20mins

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, omega 3 & 6, phosphorus, zinc and per serving is low in salt and has a moderate quantity of added, sugar and fat!

We simply love oats! From a simple and tasty bowl of porridge to some delicious muffins or slightly more indulgent crumbles or flapjacks! With all of this cooler weather that has suddenly rolled in, we are definitely craving fuel, an oaty-based snack‚Ķwhich got us thinking; a while ago we tried a leading plant-based bar which had ‘peanut flour’- gorgeous to say the least but at 90p a bar you can forget it!

So last week we decided to prepare an ‘almost’ flapjack with two great food loves of ours (peanut butter and oats!). So, ‘almost’ because the texture is slightly spongy and not crispy and/or oily, simply because it does not contain a tonne of typical golden syrup and butter, in addition¬†to¬†the fact that ground peanuts and peanut butter do not make it very authentic either!¬†

As¬†the bars are energy packed, we’d advise to halve them into ‘bites’ and enjoy them as a healthy snack on the go, for those colder winter days to come; whether you’re out Christmas shopping or enjoying a long wintery walk in the snow! However, enjoy them as an occasional bar¬†and save yourself a few pennies!

Overall we were happy with the result! There is¬†certainly¬†a huge margin for adapting these lovelies- let the sky be your limit! In terms of alterations, there isn’t many. We have advised using a little more milk, a little less flax and that the dried cranberries are optional, but you could reduce the quantity and just keep a few for added texture!¬†If you want to help reduce the fat, try using less peanut butter or adapting the recipe with almonds instead.¬†We definitely recommend¬†toasting the peanuts, or any nuts that you use before grinding them (we forgot to!); it’ll really help bring out their lovely nuttiness!¬†

We think that these bars were¬†just sweet enough, but it you have a ‘sweeter tooth’ than us you could perhaps try:

  • using a sweetened protein powder or DF milk.¬†
  • adding some¬†ripe¬†and¬†mashed banana (or your¬†favourite¬†fruit!).¬†
  • omitting some of the cranberries and/or dates for more fruit syrup or try using some¬†fresh fruit juices (apple, pineapple etc.) instead! Of course you could always try omitting the syrup altogether and just use¬†ripe bananas- they always make everything really (naturally) sweet!

Happy GF, DF and refined¬†sugar free baking everyone! ūüôā



++++++++7                Pitted Dates (60g)
++++++++55g            Unsalted Peanuts (toasted)
++++++++2 tsp          Virgin Coconut Oil (20g)
++++++++¬ľ Cup ¬† ¬† ¬† Natural Peanut Butter (80g)
++++++++30g           Soya Isolate Powder (unsweetened)
++++++++1¬ľ cup ¬† ¬† ¬†Almond Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
++++++++2 cups       Porridge Oats (GF if required) (180g)
++++++++1¬Ĺ Tbsp ¬† ¬†Ground Flax Seed (30g)
++++++++1-2             Pinches Table Salt
++++++++1 tsp          Ground Cinnamon (3g)
++++++++¬ľ Cup ¬† ¬† ¬† Fruit Sweetener (Your favourite: agave, carob, date, etc!) (55g)
++++++++1/3 cup     Dried Cranberries (Naturally sweetened)*Optional (50g)





1. Place the dates into a bowl. Pour in some freshly boiled water, enough to cover them. Cover the bowl with a large plate. Allow to soak for 8-10 mins.


2. In the meantime, heat a small, non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the peanuts. Dry-fry until lightly toasted. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly. Transfer into a food processor. Pulse until a ‘fine-ish’ flour is achieved. Transfer the ground peanuts into a large mixing bowl. Tip:¬†Fancy some added texture?¬†Save some of the nuts, roughly chop and then add them¬†into the raw¬†flapjack mixture later on!


3. Remove the dates from the water with a slotted spoon. Transfer them into the¬†food processor with 6-8 tbsp of its ‘soaking’ water. Pulse until mostly smooth. Add the coconut oil and peanut butter. Pulse until smooth and combined.


4. Heat the oven to 180¬įC/350¬įF. Grease (or line with a liner) an 8X8″ baking tin.


5. Place the protein powder into a shaker bottle (or just use a large bowl if you do not own one). Add the milk. Shake (or whisk if applicable) until all of the powder has dissolved.


6. ¬†…Time to work those biceps! ūüôā

NB: Add the milk and the date mixture into the ‘well’ at the same time and mix together. Do not mix the milk and the date mixture separately (as we have shown here); it’s easier to do it all in one simultaneous step…but the choice is yours! ūüôā

  • Place the oats, ground flaxseed, salt and cinnamon into the same bowl as the ground peanuts. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Make a well in the centre of the oaty mixture.
  • Pour the milk and date mixture into the ‘well’.
  • Using a silicone spatula or large spoon mix until thoroughly combined.
  • Add the dried cranberries and/or chopped pieces of peanuts (if applicable). Stir through.¬†Tip: The mixture will be a bit ‘tacky’, but this is OK!


7. Place the mixture into the greased tin. Use the back of your spatula or a piece of parchment paper to help press it evenly down into the tin, making it as flat and as even as possible.


8. Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 16-19¬†mins or until just lightly browned and firm to touch. Remove and allow the mixture to cool in the tin for 20 mins before slicing (that’s just enough time to make and have a perfectly cooled cup of tea!).

Tip: Loosen the sides of the baked mixture with a dinner or palate knife before slicing. Also slice the mixture into rectangles/’bars’ and then remove and allow them to cool on a cooling rack before slicing into smaller ‘bites/squares’.

We baked ours for 18 mins in a fan-assisted oven.

Our ‘bites’ ready for the freezer!


Meatless Monday: Carrot, Sesame & Lime Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking Time: 35-40 mins (*Dependent upon skill & the number of kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, veggie peeler, measuring jug, non-stick pot, ladle, blender, resealable container

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving contains a low quantity of added sugar, salt and a moderate quantity of fats!


Hi everyone- happy Monday! ūüėÄ

For those regularly participating in Meatless Mondays, following a plant-based diet or just fancy a meat-free meal, here’s a¬†delicious,¬†healthful¬†and easy recipe for tonight’s dinner- Carrot, Sesame &¬†Lime Soup!

Our soup has minimal prep, cooking and assembly! You can taste every delicious ingredient for what it is, but it has truly produced a fantastic combination of flavours! #limemakeseverythingbetter

We thought it was about time we had updated last year’s carrot soup recipe (as tasty as it was!) with another one that can use any carrot (#loveuglyvegetables) and will inspire you to eat this healthy more days than none! ūüėõ In fact, it’s a great recipe for using up your ‘end of days’ veggies and houmous;¬†one of Hugh’s¬†‘waste not tips’¬†(as seen on TV) was to add old houmous into your soup! So if you don’t have tahini, or maybe it’s just not your thing, try adding your leftover houmous instead. If you do, let us know how you get on! ūüôā¬†For those a little weary of using tahini¬†(or lime), try adding a little, tasting, adding and tasting as you go!

We only used one tin of beans, yes ‘tinned’ (kick our butt back to the shop to buy more dried beans!), but would definitely add twice as much¬†next time around. You’ll also notice that we were trying to be ‘artistic’ with the garnishes, but all the toppings ended up being ‘super tasty¬†additions’; we added thin slices of raw red onions every¬†day!¬†

We¬†thoroughly¬†recommend curling up with a bowl of this soup… accompanied with a big hunk of¬†crusty multi-grain (or just your favourite!) bread.

Happy cooking! ūüôā


Quick Foodie Facts:

  • Carrots are a cheap, versatile, delicious and a nutritious¬†root vegetable that come in a variety of colours! Enjoy them raw or cooked in a sweet or savoury dish! They’re a great source of¬†Vitamin A and fibre and also contain: Vitamin C, calcium, potassium (just to name a few!) amongst many other great nutrients!¬†
  • Tahini is a delicious and ‘calorific’ paste made from¬†sesame¬†seeds and oil. It’s a great source¬†of: B-Vitamins, minerals¬†(such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc) and Mono & Poly Unsaturated¬†fats!

It’s a staple in many¬†cuisines¬†including but not limited to: Cypriot, Greek, Middle Eastern and North¬†African. It can be served au natural (as a dip or seed-based spread!) or as a flavouring component to soup, sauces, salad dressings, houmous, dips, baked goods, desserts or even as an egg-free binder for egg-free or plant-based cooking and/or baking! Check out some of our other recipes that include tahini for some further inspiration!¬†




+++++++++900g             Carrot
+++++++++500g             Sweet Potato
+++++++++200g             Banana Shallots
+++++++++5g                   Garlic Clove (1 fat one!)
+++++++++1.5L                Vegetable Stock (low-salt/GF if required)
+++++++++¬Ĺ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ground Coriander (1-2g)
+++++++++¬Ĺ tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Ground Turmeric (1g)
+++++++++                       Ground Black Pepper
+++++++++2                     Limes
+++++++++1/3 cup          Tahini
+++++++++240-480g     Cooked Butter Beans (1-2 tins or 120-240g Dried/Cooked)
+++++++++200ml           Unsweetened Almond Milk (fortified)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here.¬†ūüôā



Wash, peel, trim the ends and roughly slice the carrots. Wash, peel and roughly chop the sweet potato. Peel and roughly slice the shallots. Peel the garlic.



  • Heat 1.5L of water in a large non-stick pot over a medium heat. Bring to a boil.
  • Add the stock. Whisk to dissolve. Add the carrot, sweet potato, shallots, garlic, 1-2 g ground coriander and 1g ground turmeric. Season it with a few grinds of black pepper. Stir together. Cover with a lid.¬†Bring back to a boil. Simmer and cook for about 8-10 mins or until vegetables have¬†softened.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.


In the meantime, wash the limes, grate some zest (as much as you like, but we used the zest of both limes!) and then juice them.


A. Transfer the soup mixture (as much as possible!) into a blender. Add the lime zest and juice and tahini.
B. Blend until smooth and creamy.
C. Drain and wash the beans (if applicable) and place them into a pot or large and resealable container (as we did for our meal prep).
D. Transfer the puréed soup into the pot or container. Repeat steps one and two until all of the soup has been puréed.
E. Add the DF milk into the blender (when you have finished puréeing the soup). Quickly pulse to help remove any bits of soup stuck to the sides of the blender.
F. Transfer the DF milk into the soup.
G. Stir together. Taste and season it as necessary.

Tip:¬†Don’t have a blender? Use a food processor or¬†a hand-held stick blender and blend the soup in the pot instead!



Warm the soup in a pot over a medium-low heat and do not allow to boil (if applicable).

Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with fresh coriander, sliced onion, seeds, a wedge of lime or a piece of dehydrated lime, a drizzle of tahini or whatever takes your fancy! Serve with a large piece of warmed multi-grain crusty bread, pitta or toast.



Refrigerate any leftover soup in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, freeze the soup in one or more containers; defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Persian-Inspired (Jewelled) Rice W/ Tahini Sauce & Baked Falafels [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes, Meatless Monday

Rice Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking Time: 40 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, manual juicer (optional), large/non-stick frying pan (with a lid), frying spatula, large bowl, large wooden spoon, measuring jug, fork

Notes: The rice contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium and (per serving) is low in salt, sugar and saturated fats! 

Middle-Eastern dishes are just¬†fantastic! With so¬†many great colours, flavours and¬†aromas,¬†how can you¬†not want to¬†replicate¬†some of this magic at home?!¬†So we hope that you’re happy to hear that our¬†Persian-Inspired (jewelled!) rice with homemade tahini sauce ticks all of these boxes!

We paired this rice dish with something that we haven’t had in a while but is certainly worth the effort, our¬†baked ‘green’ falafels! Sometimes store-bought¬†varieties¬†just don’t compare; ours are not dry or greasy, lacking flavour, nor do they comprise of a huge price tag! The only change that we made this time around was using¬†spinach instead of kale. Trying making them a day ahead (as we did), or as part of your weekend meal prep¬†for¬†recipe¬†ease.

Sometimes the more ‘authentic jewelled rice’ recipes can end up being quite pricey, especially if you have to buy all of the ingredients at once! We¬†recommend¬†adapting it to suit your kitchen; choose a few¬†ingredients that you really love and combine with with a great spice blend such as a delicious¬†ras-el hanout and a pinch of¬†turmeric (instead of saffron) to¬†still give your rice a gorgeous golden hue!¬†Top this dish with our¬†delicious homemade tahini sauce or some natural soya yoghurt and you’re good to go!

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā



Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā



Prepare the falafels first! Check out our delicious recipe here. Alternatively you can bake or reheat your favourite store-bought brand!


Once the falafels are in the oven, prepare the rice. Peel and finely chop the garlic and onion. Wash, peel, trim the ends and chop the carrot into thin match-stick pieces. Wash the orange; remove all of the zest and juice. Tip: A cheese grater works well for this!  Dice the apricots.


Cooking The Rice!

1. Add 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil into a large, non-stick frying pan. Heat it over a medium-low setting. Tip: Alternatively use some low-fat cooking oil spray! 
2. Add the garlic, onion and carrot. Gently fry for 3 mins or until softened.
3. Add your favourite spice blend or all of our recommended seasonings. Stir to coat. Gently fry for 20 seconds or until fragrant.
4. Add the rice and orange zest. Stir to combine.
5. Pour in the orange juice, stock, rose water and agave. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid or a sheet of aluminium foil. Bring to a boil.
6. Simmer and cook for 25 mins or until the rice has absorbed all of the water. Tip: Dependent  upon your brand/type of rice, you might have to add a couple extra tablespoons of water during the cooking process.


Remove from the heat. Leave covered until served.


In the meantime, prepare the pomegranate, mint and pistachios.

Annoyingly our pomegranate had some mould- silly ASDA! ¬†So we did not get as much of the fruit as we would have liked! ¬†ūüė¶

1.¬†Make an approx. ¬ľ cm cut into the centre of the pomegranate (all the way around). Do not cut all the way through or you will damage the fruit.
2. Carefully grasp both sides and gently pull it apart into two halves.
3. Place one half (fruit side down) into the palm of your hand over a large bowl. Tip: Wear an apron or a dark coloured shirt as the next step can be messy!
4. Firmly hit the back of the fruit with a large wooden spoon or with the back of your other hand to release the fruit. If the pomegranate is ripe enough, a good few bashes should release all of the fruit!
5. Pick any bits of pith out of the bowl and discard them. Repeat steps three, four and five with the other half of the fruit.
6. Wash the mint, remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them.

Roughly chop the nuts. Dry-fry (=heat them in a dry frying pan!) and lightly toast them if preferred.


Prepare the tahini sauce. Wash and remove the parsley leaves from its stem and then roughly chop them. Juice the lemon. Place the yoghurt, tahini, peanut butter and lemon juice into a measuring jug. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add the parsley and stir though. Taste and season it with salt and/or pepper as necessary.


Spoon the cooked rice into a large serving bowl. Garnish with the apricots, pomegranate seeds, mint and pistachios.


Top with the falafel and a dollop or two of tahini sauce!




Refrigerate any rice leftovers in a resealable and air-tight container (ideally within an hour after cooking); reheat and consume within 1-2 days. Alternatively you can freeze the rice and/or falafels; defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

Refrigerate the tahini sauce in an air-tight and resealable container and use within 3-5 days.

Tip: When reheating, always check to make sure the rice is steaming hot all the way through and do not reheat the rice more than once. 

Creamy Sweet Potato & Orange Soup W/ Smoky BBQ Tofu ‘Croutons’ [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking Time: 65-300 mins (*Dependent upon how long you marinade your tofu!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board(s), sharp knife, kitchen paper, mixing bowl, measuring jug, large pot, blender, resealable container (*optional), baking tray, parchment paper

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B3, B5 & B6, beta-carotene, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc and (per serving) has a moderate quantity of added sugar, salt and fats!  

…And this year’s love affair with soup continues; we’re really looking forward to all of the lovely new flavours that lie ahead!

Perhaps you remember our delicious Spicy Sweet Potato Soup (with rice noodles!) we introduced you to earlier this year?

Well either way, here’s an updated sweet potato soup recipe! This one isn’t spicy; it’s creamy and velvety with a lovely twist of orange, topped off with some¬†delicious marinated pieces of smoky BBQ¬†flavoured tofu ‘croutons’. ¬†

These marinated ‘croutons’ are oh so¬†tasty (and made with a labour of love)! Our end product tasted pretty similar to vegan sausages! Yummy! Unfortunately with (most) tofu, unless you buy¬†pre-marinated¬†brands, you will have to¬†marinate it¬†for a substantial¬†amount of time (or fry it¬†in a tonne of oil!) …otherwise¬†it¬†won’t¬†necessarily develop a jaw-dropping flavour!

If¬†you are short on time, just put the tofu into the¬†refrigerator¬†overnight and cook it as or when it’s¬†needed! In fact, you could just as easily place the soup ingredients into a slow cooker overnight (on a low-heat setting), and then¬†pur√©e¬†the lot the next¬†day! Hmmm, since there is no roasting, baking or mashing involved, why don’t you double the¬†quantity¬†and then freeze half?! Creating a¬†soup that is satisfying and simple?! Sounds good to us! ūüėÄ

Quick Foodie Facts & Tips:

  • One serving of this soup will provide you with about 3.5 servings of vegetables towards your 5-A-Day!
  • The¬†quantity¬†of our¬†tofu marinade is enough to thoroughly flavour two blocks of tofu (so reduce the quantity and seasonings as appropriate)!¬†
  • Add less stock for an even thicker soup!
  • Reheat the soup with the tofu ‘croutons’ mixed through (or not!); it’s super tasty either way!

Happy cooking and have a great weekend everyone! ‚̧



+++++++++++++++++800g        Firm Tofu (= 2* Tetrapaks)
+++++++++++++++++4tbsp        Soya Sauce/low-salt (or Tamari as a GF option)
+++++++++++++++++2.5tbsp     Maple syrup
+++++++++++++++++4.5tbsp     Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++¬Ĺ¬†tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† Asafoetida
+++++++++++++++++2g              Smoked Paprika
+++++++++++++++++¬Ĺ-1tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† English Mustard
+++++++++++++++++2-3g          Garlic Salt
+++++++++++++++++760g         Sweet Potato
+++++++++++++++++300g        Baking Potato
+++++++++++++++++200g        Carrot
+++++++++++++++++280g        White Onion
+++++++++++++++++1.5L           Vegetable Stock (low-salt/ GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++3g             Ground Coriander
+++++++++++++++++                 Ground Black Pepper (16 grinds!)
+++++++++++++++++30ml        Orange Juice (1 large orange)
+++++++++++++++++125ml       Almond Milk (unsweetened & fortified)



1. Drain and then press the tofu between two heavy or weighted plates or chopping boards for 30 mins to express any excess water. Drain. Pat it dry with some kitchen towel. Tip: if preferred, line the bottom plate (or chopping board with some kitchen towel to help absorb the liquid.

Drained and dried.


2. Place the tofu onto a chopping board. Slice it into five slices (lengthways) and then make five more cuts with your knife (horizontally). Chop each section into halves (*step 4) to get about 1cm cubes. Transfer the cubes of tofu into a large mixing bowl or casserole dish.


3. Prepare¬†the marinade. Pour 4tbsp soya (or tamari) sauce, 2.5tbsp maple syrup and 4.5 tbsp oil into a large measuring jug. Add ¬Ĺ tsp asafoetida, ¬Ĺ-1tsp English mustard and 2-3 g garlic salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined.


4. Pour the marinade over the tofu. Gently toss (using your hands) or a silicone spatula to thoroughly coat. Cover the bowl with kitchen film. Place it into the fridge for up until 4-6 hrs (if possible) tossing once.Tip: The longer you allow it to marinate, the better it will taste!


5. In the meantime, prepare the soup (now or if preferred, closer to the time it’s being served)! Wash, peel and then roughly chop the sweet and baking potato. Wash, peel, trim the ends and then slice the carrot. Peel and roughly chop the onion.

Keep Calm Picture: courtesy of


6. Bring a large, non-stick pot with 1.5L water to the boil. Add 1.5L vegetable stock. Whisk until dissolved. Add the sweet and baking potato, carrot, onion, 3g ground coriander and a few grinds of black pepper. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Simmer and cook for about 10-12 mins or until softened. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly.


7.¬†A) In the meantime, juice the orange.¬†B) If you have a stick blender, feel free to pur√©e the soup whilst it’s still in the pot. If not, transfer it in batches into a blender. Pulse until the soup is smooth, creamy and combined. Whilst the blender is running, add 30ml¬†orange juice ¬ľ cup almond¬†milk to thoroughly combine all of the ingredients. Transfer the soup into an air-tight and resealable container or back into the pot (as appropriate).


8.¬†Once the tofu¬†has finished marinating, preheat the oven to 200¬įC/400¬įF. Line a baking tray with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Transfer the tofu over the tray in a single layer. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for 30-40 mins or until slightly crispy around the edges and lightly browned. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.


9. Reheat the soup over a low heat just before serving; do not allow it to boil.


10. Ladle the soup into a serving bowl. Garnish¬†with the tofu ‘croutons’; add some sliced spring onion, chilli flakes and pumpkin seeds (if desired)!


Tip: Refrigerate and store any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container (store the tofu in a separate container!); reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Smoky Roasted Tomato & Chickpea Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4-6
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 60mins

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in sugar, salt and sat fats! 

Warming up with a bowl of soup this time of year is truly one of life’s little pleasures. If you love soup as much as we do then you’re in luck (as we have plenty to choose from)! For inspiration, check¬†here! ¬†ūüôā

Nearly a year ago we introduced you to a delicious roasted tomato and basil soup (with lentils)! As we approach soup season and sadly the end of the UK tomato season once again, we decided to revamp our tomato-based soup. The result: dancing taste buds and another easy recipe for everyone to prepare!

Yes, this soup really made an impression on us, so much that we are having it again this week!

So go on and enjoy a bowl full of beautifully roasted and smoky tomatoes, sweet red onion, green bell pepper, garlic and tender chickpeas. It goes great when served with some warmed pitta bread, perfect for soaking up of all of these delicious flavours right until the end!

Tip: The smoked paprika really does amplify the flavour of the roasted tomatoes, so if you can, purchase a high quality brand (as it really will make a difference in this case)!

Happy cooking everyone!




++++++++++++++++++++800g            Salad Tomatoes
++++++++++++++++++++180g             Red Onion
++++++++++++++++++++220g            Green Bell Pepper
++++++++++++++++++++8g                 Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++4-6g             Smoked Paprika
++++++++++++++++++++2-3 tbsp      Extra Virgin Olive Oil
++++++++++++++++++++1 tbsp           Maple Syrup
++++++++++++++++++++                     Salt & Ground Black pepper
++++++++++++++++++++240g            Cooked chickpeas (approx.1 tin/in water)
++++++++++++++++++++400ml          Vegetable Stock (low-salt/ GF if required)



1.¬†Heat the oven to 190¬įC/ 375¬įF. Line a roasting tin with a silicone mat (if necessary); our tin was¬†looking a¬†little shabby so we had no choice!

2. Wash, remove the stems and then halve the tomatoes. Peel and chop the onion into wedges. Wash, remove the core, deseed and then roughly chop the bell pepper.

3. Place the tomatoes cut-side up into the roasting tin and then arrange the onion, bell pepper and garlic around the them. Sprinkle over 2g of the smoked paprika. Drizzle over the olive oil and maple syrup. Season with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper.


4. Place the tray onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 30-35 mins or until softened and slightly crispy around the edges. Remove. Allow to cool slightly.


5. Drain and wash the chickpeas. Peel the skin from the garlic clove and then discard it.


6. Place the tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, garlic, all of the cooking juices from the tin and 200ml of vegetable stock into a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Quick tip: You can use the remaining vegetable stock to help gather any remaining bits of purée veggies from your blender. Just add, pulse and then pour into the container or pot with your existing soup.


7. Pour into a resealable and air tight container (if meal prepping!) or non-stick pot.


8. Add the chickpeas, remaining vegetable stock and the remaining smoked paprika (depending on your taste). Stir until combined. Taste and season it as necessary.


9. Place the pot over a medium-low heat and reheat until warm (if applicable).


10. Ladle the soup into a bowl, garnish with some plain/unsweetned soya yoghurt and chives (if desired) and serve with a warmed wholemeal or GF pitta bread !




Refrigerate any leftovers in an air tight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-4 days. Alternatively, store and freeze; defrost, reheat and consume within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Almost! Fig Newtons [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 16
Prep & Cooking Time: 45 mins

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, zinc and (per serving) is low in salt, sat fats and contains a moderate quantity of sugars! 

If you’re like us, you’ll always have oats (#addicted) and a tonne of spices in your kitchen cupboards… and maybe even some dried fruits?! On this occasion we happened to have some tasty figs hiding in the ‘back and¬†beyond’ too! So instead of devising some sort of cake, tart or muffin, we¬†decided to whip up something that we haven’t enjoyed in over fifteen¬†years-¬†fig newtons!¬†

These ‘Almost! Fig Newtons’ are fantastic! Sure, ours are more like¬†squares¬†than little figgy, ‘pie/cookie-parcels’,¬†but¬†subsequently¬†they contain a lot less fat and sugar as a result! The combination of baked oats and figs, in¬†addition¬†to this blend of spices and flavourings really make these¬†delicious morsels something that you could eat everyday (but all good things should be in moderation right)?!

Luckily moderating them is made easier by the fact they freeze really well! I think next time we might even try experimenting with another flavour; apple, blueberry or strawberry would work quite well, but it’s impossible to pick just one… there are just too many flavours to choose from!

So, whatever your preferred ‘newton’ flavour may be,¬†we hope that you enjoy one with your next cup of tea or especially when¬†blogging!¬†ūüėČ

Have a great weekend and happy baking everyone!



+++++++++++++++++++++180g        Dried Figs
+++++++++++++++++++++100g        Porridge Oats (+ 5g for topping)
+++++++++++++++++++++220g        Plain GF Flour (or a quinoa flour)
+++++++++++++++++++++¬Ĺ¬†tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† Baking Soda
+++++++++++++++++++++2g            Ground Cinnamon
+++++++++++++++++++++2g            Ground Ginger
+++++++++++++++++++++1g             Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++60ml        Rapeseed oil
+++++++++++++++++++++45ml         Agave Syrup
+++++++++++++++++++++125ml       Soya Milk (unsweetened & fortified)
+++++++++++++++++++++¬ľ¬†tsp ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Vanilla Paste¬†(*optional)



Boil some water in a kettle. Place the figs into a small saucepan. Pour over the boiled water. Allow them to soak for 8-10 mins or until softened.


In the meantime…

  • Place the oats into a food processor and pulse until a flour consistency is achieved. Transfer the oat flour into another bowl. Add the GF flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk and stir together until thoroughly combined.
  • Place the oil, syrup, soya milk and vanilla¬†extract(*if using) into a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  • Spray a square baking tin with some low-fat cooking oil or grease with a little oil.

Make sure to grease all sides of the tin!


Preheat the oven to 180¬įC/350¬įF.

Make a ‘well’ in the centre of the dry ingredients.¬†Pour in the wet ingredients. Mix together until a dough forms. Tip: If it’s a little dry, add a splash of milk.



Place half of the dough into the baking tin. Spread and press it evenly over the base of the tin.



Remove the figs from the water with a slotted spoon (but reserve the water). Transfer the figs into the food processor. Add 4 tbsp of the reserved water. Pulse until smooth.



Pour and spread the fig mixture evenly over the dough base.



To assemble the top layer you can either:

A) Use a rolling pin and roll the remaining dough over a lightly floured piece of parchment paper (large and wide enough to cover the figs) and then carefully slide and transfer it over the fig layer.

B) Flatten pieces of the remaining dough between your hands and place them together like a jig-saw over the layer of fig. Use some parchment paper or a silicone spatula to help manipulate it, covering the figs as evenly as possible.

We went for option B and then sprinkled over a layer of oats!



Place the tin onto the middle oven shelf. Bake for about 25 mins or until lightly browned. Remove. Place the tin onto a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before cutting.



Slice into sixteen squares and enjoy!


Wrap any remaining squares in kitchen film and then freeze in an air tight and resealable container; defrost and consume within 2 months.

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Roasted Butternut Squash, Apple & Walnut Soup [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves 6-8
Prep, Cooking & Assembly: 80-120 mins ( *Dependant on skill or kitchen helpers!)
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Chopping board, sharp knife, 2*baking trays, silicone mat(s) (or kitchen foil), veggie peeler, mixing bowl, blender, resealable container (*optional)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, omega-3+6, calcium, iron, potassium and per serving (based on six servings) is low in salt, free sugars and saturated fats. 

It’s now officially Autumn, so we should all be making the most of this season (and our local¬†markets!) by sourcing some of¬†nature’s delicious squashes and root¬†vegetables (just to name a few!); all of which can be enjoyed in some hearty, healthful and flavourful¬†soups, stews, warm salads or casseroles!

This soup has some beautifully roasted butternut squash, apple and banana shallots, giving it a delicious and satisfying natural sweetness. A dash of chutney, nutmeg and walnut oil really help to round things off, providing a tasty, wholemeal and seasonal feel. Enjoy it on its own or with some warmed wholemeal pitta bread! 

We used some swede (as we had some to spare!), but it became a tasty ‘background note’ to this soup. Butternut squash is always a winner in our book, but if preferred, substitute it for some pumpkin, acorn squash or sweet potato instead. Please check out some of our other soup recipes here for more tasty, seasonal and satisfying recipes!

Happy Cooking everyone! ūüėÄ


NB: We did not end up using the maple syrup and we used one more apple than shown here!



+++++++++++++++++++++200g       Banana Shallots
+++++++++++++++++++++8g            Garlic clove (about 2)
+++++++++++++++++++++                Low-Fat Oil Spray
+++++++++++++++++++++580g       Swede
+++++++++++++++++++++640g       Braeburn Apples
+++++++++++++++++++++30g         Plum & Apple Chutney (GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++1.8kg       Butternut Squash
+++++++++++++++++++++3g            Dried Sage
+++++++++++++++++++++2 tbsp     Extra Virgin Olive Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++500ml    Vegetable stock (low-salt/DF; GF if required)
+++++++++++++++++++++1.5L         Water
+++++++++++++++++++++1-2g        Ground Nutmeg
+++++++++++++++++++++3 tsp       Walnut Oil
+++++++++++++++++++++                Walnut pieces, chopped and/or toasted (*optional)



Trim the ends off the shallots and discard. Place the shallots and garlic onto a lined baking tray. Spray and coat with a little low-fat cooking oil.



Wash, peel and then chop the swede into cubes. Wash, peel, remove the core/seeds and chop the apple into rough pieces.

Normally we wouldn’t peel our apples, but the skins can give an unwanted bitterness to the soup!



Place the swede into a large mixing bowl. Add about¬†¬ľ of the quantity of chutney. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Mix to coat.



Place the swede and apple onto the same baking tray as the shallots and garlic.


Heat the oven to 190C/375F. Line another baking tray with some parchment paper.


In the meantime, peel, trim the ends, deseed and then chop the squash into 1 inch cubes.



Place the squash into a large mixing bowl. Add the remaining chutney, 3g dried sage and 2 tbsp of olive oil (alternatively use some low-fat cooking oil). Mix to thoroughly coat.



Transfer the squash onto the lined baking tray, spreading it as evenly as possible.



  • Place the baking tray with the swede and apple mixture onto the lower oven shelf. Roast for about 30-35 mins or until tender and slightly crisp around the edges; turning the mixture and rotating the tray in the oven at least once.
  • Place the baking tray with the squash onto the middle oven shelf. Roast for about 35-40 mins or until tender and slightly crispy around the edges; turning and flipping the squash at least once.

Our roasted veggies! Remove and allow to cool for at least 5-10 mins.



Once cooled, peel the skin off of the shallots and garlic. Transfer the vegetables and apple (in batches) into a blender along with a little of the vegetable stock and/or water. Blend until smooth and creamy.

Alternatively, transfer the mixture (and liquids) into a large non-stick pot and blend with a stick blender until smooth.



Transfer the puréed vegetable mixture into a large and resealable container or a large, non-stick pot (if applicable). Repeat until all of the vegetables have been puréed. Add any remaining water, 1-2g nutmeg and 3-4 tsp walnut oil. Stir to combine. Taste and season as necessary. Reheat the soup over a low heat until warm (if applicable).

NB: If a thinner soup is preferred, add more water than we have previously advised! Ours went into this plastic tub; the joys of meal prepping!



Serve warm. Ladle the soup into a bowl. Garnish with a drizzle of walnut oil and/or some walnut pieces and fresh chives (if desired) and for the extra hungry, serve with a piece of warmed wholemeal pitta bread!




Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable and air tight container; reheat and consume within 4 days. Alternatively portion and freeze the soup in several resealable and air tight containers (do not overfill); defrost and reheat within 1-2 months.

Recipe updated:19/02/16

Tofu & Veggie Ravioli + 5 Minute Marinara Sauce [Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6-8
Yields: about 24 ravioli
Prep: 60-90 mins
Cooking Time: 3-5 mins
Type: Main Meal
Tools: Mixing bowl, silicone spatula, kitchen film, frying pan, food processor, bowl, rolling pin, large plate, large pot(s)

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & K, carbohydrates, protein, fibre, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese,potassium, has no added sugars and per serving  is low in salt* and saturated fats*! 

Who loves pasta dishes?! We do! Apart from preparing pasta sauces, we’ve never attempted making our own pasta. It truly is a labour of love- one that needs to be respected; we’re sure we have broken the hearts of many Italian grandmothers‚Äô‚Ķ as they look at our finished product in despair! Sorry! Maybe we should consult with L at Bubblesandbooyah¬† or Kiana at The Italian Vegan way of Life on this matter?!

Our ravioli does not look¬†authentic, that’s for sure…more anaemic! This is because typical¬†ravioli recipes use several eggs, which gives it its standard yellow/beige appearance; not ideal for us following plant-based diets! If this is a big issue for you, try using fresh herbs, spices (make sure it complements your filling) or perhaps some cooled, green vegetable water (from the drained spinach) instead of the plain water the recipe instructs to help colour your pasta.

For anyone that has attempted GF baking or has prepared GF pastry or dough…it’s not very straight forward! To say that it’s daunting might be a bit of an understatement! However, this feeling passes- it’s quite liberating preparing a whole meal from scratch (apart from growing your own foods of course!). We’re¬†not going to lie though; this recipe can be quite time consuming, especially if you do not own any pasta gadgets, are new to the ‘pasta making world’ or using GF dough for that matter.

If you have the patience and the desire to make GF ravioli, then you‚Äôre in good hands! Ours was really tasty (we can’t stress that enough!) and the finished product was ‘respectable’…well, it definitely looked ‘homemade’, perhaps by people¬†that doesn’t really know what they‚Äôre doing?! …Well, that might be partially true! ūüėõ

We¬†admit there is a science to it, one that we are¬†still working on!¬†If you are have stronger, GF pasta making skills than we¬†do, or any advice or tips it would be greatly appreciated!¬†We have also included another marinara sauce recipe. This one is slightly different from our other recipe¬†that we supplied you with last week; it’s ultra-quick and thrifty! If you do decide to use a store bought brand instead, as always, be mindful of the salt, sugar and fat contents!

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā


Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. ūüôā



NB: If you have a ‘tried and true’ GF or standard dough recipe, feel free to use that instead!



Nutritional Info (Prepared Ravioli Only)

NB: To reduce the fat content further, omit the olives and the tahini from the filling.

*Low in salt and saturated fats based on eight servings.




Prepare the dough. Place 300g rice flour, 60g corn flour, 80g potato starch, 8g xanthan gum, 1g basil, 2g thyme and 2g salt into a large mixing bowl.



Mix until combined. Make a ‘well’ in the centre of the mixture.



Add 1 tbsp oil and 300ml cold water.

NB: Make sure you use cold water! Hot water will make the corn flour, potato starch and xanthan gum turn into a horrible mess.



Use a spatula; stir and combine the mixture until the dough is smooth and tacky.



Place the dough onto the middle of a piece of kitchen film.



Wrap and completely seal. Place it into the fridge for a minimum of 20 mins.


In the meantime, prepare the filling.


Place the spinach into a microwavable bowl; defrost in the microwave. Drain. Place the bread into a toaster. Gently heat until lightly brown and crispy. Place it into a food processor. Peel and dice the shallot and garlic. Wash, dry and finely dice the mushrooms. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell pepper. Wash, peel and finely grate the carrot. Drain, rinse and dice the olives. Wash and chop the basil leaves; discard most of the stems. Place the bread in the food processor. Process it until breadcrumbs are achieved; remove and transfer into a small bowl.

The amount of bell pepper we have advised is approx. half a pepper…so this is why we have suggested to use the other half in the marinara sauce.


Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium-low heat. Spray it with some low-fat cooking oil. Add the shallot and garlic. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened.

NB: We used four ‘sprays’.



Add the mushrooms, bell pepper and carrot. Gently fry for 3-5 mins, or until softened and most of the water has been removed. Remove from the heat.

NB: We used two more ‘sprays’.



Meanwhile, drain the tofu. Place it into in the food processor. Pulse until creamy.



Transfer it into a large mixing bowl.



Transfer the vegetable mixture into a separate bowl. Allow it to cool slightly.



Place the spinach and olives into the frying pan. Gently fry for 1-2 mins; allow the spinach to steam-dry slightly. Gently separate/shred some of the fibres with a fork. Remove from the heat.



Add the vegetable and separate spinach mixture, along with the basil, breadcrumbs, oregano, thyme and tahini into the large mixing bowl. Mix and thoroughly combine.


Add the flour. Mix to combine.



Let’s Assemble The Ravioli!

Disclaimer: We¬†will be¬†commentating¬†on the best ‘working scenario’ (based on our¬†previous¬†failures and current mistakes); occasionally the pictures may not seem in sync or an accurate representation of¬†each step. So please bare with us- we’ll get there in the end!

Tip:¬†If you have a ravioli mould/tray or cutters- dig them our of your cupboards and use them!¬†Otherwise let’s prepare these ravioli’s using this ‘freestyle’ method.


Prepare a clean and lightly floured work surface. Tip: have a large plate, a little dish of water and some spare flour nearby.

We were  ambitious and thought we could make the ravioli in 2 stages instead of four! Two words- fat chance!


Divide the dough into four pieces/balls. Place one piece onto the work surface and re-wrap the remaining dough. NB: This dough tends to dry out quickly, so always re-wrap it!¬†Knead the dough into the flour until it is slightly ‘less’ tacky.¬†Roll the dough into a long and narrow-ish strip (approx. 12″x4″).

We measured the dough and these were the approx. dimensions. Please feel free to experiment! NB: We feel that this is about as thin as this dough would allow without it falling apart!



Test and try to lift the dough slightly. Tip: you need to make sure it’s not sticking to the work surface (if it is, add a little more flour) and that it’s not going to completely fall apart when moved.

We¬†tested our dough by re-rolling it onto the rolling pin. NB: The dough on this rolling pin represents half the quantity of dough. It wasn’t long after this picture that we¬†divided the dough into four working pieces.



Roughly mark the dough into six equal squares.



Spoon and place the filling onto the centre of one side of the dough.

NB: This represents the maximum amount of filling you can use.


Cut the dough down the middle. Separate the dough into two strips. Tip: a quicker method would be to fold the half without the filling over the other half of the dough. Press, mould, shape and then cut out the¬†individual¬†ravioli’s.¬†


Gently re-roll the strip (without the filling), creating a slightly larger and¬†thinner half. Tip: we¬†have suggested this because GF dough is less forgiving/stretchy than normal wheat-dough (because of its¬†wonderful powers it obtains from¬†gluten) and you have to make sure it’s going to cover all of the ravioli! However, if you are using half of the amount of filling, you may be able to skip this step entirely.



If you’re brave enough, place and align the re-rolled strip over the top of the other strip (with the filling). Gently press down in-between each piece; helping to shape the ravioli. Gently cup and continue to shape each piece with your hands; allowing the dough to wrap around the filling. Cut and separate the six¬†pieces. Pinch the edges of each ravioli together and then fold the edges up and over itself; crimp and press to seal the ravioli. NB: You might have to complete¬†this step with the help of a wet fork.

If your a little clumsy with GF dough or with the ravioli-making process (like myself)….you can do what I did (explained below!)



After you have re-rolled the strip, cut it into six separate pieces. Cut the other strip (with the filling) into six separate pieces. Individually place each piece re-rolled piece of dough over a piece of the prepared dough (as shown).

i.e. prepared dough with filling.


Cup and shape the ravioli dough around the filling with your hands. Pinch the edges of the ravioli together and then fold the edges up and over itself; crimp and press to seal the ravioli (as we have previously mentioned, a wet fork is great for this step!).

We’re¬†¬†sorry about the lack of pictures at this stage! Our¬†hands were covered in flour and filling- neither of which you want smeared on your camera!



Place all of the prepared ravioli’s onto a clean plate. Cover¬†and¬†seal with a piece of kitchen film.¬†Repeat these steps with the remaining three pieces/sections¬†of dough and filling until all of it has been used.

To stop them drying out!


Now might be a good time to place two large pots over a medium heat and bring to the boil; it can take some time to heat the water. However, if you are slower at this process, just wait until you’re finished- there’s no need to add more potential stress into the equation!

You can use one large pot….if you have it…and/or if your brave enough to man-handle over ten ravioli’s cooking at once!


All twenty-four¬†ravioli’s ready to go!



If you haven’t already, place two large saucepans over a medium heat and bring to the boil.¬†Meanwhile,¬†prepare our ‘5 minute thrifty marinara sauce’ (if applicable)! Just open the tinned tomatoes and then place all of the sauce ingredients into a blender.¬†Blend until smooth.¬†Pour into a small pot.¬†Place the pot¬†over a medium-low heat. Gently heat the sauce to low-grade simmer and then reduce the heat. Cover with a lid; keep it over a low heat setting until served.

We ¬†saved some for later in the week and some for now… ūüôā


Cooking The Ravioli!

Once the water begins to boil, place about 4-5 pieces into each pot using a large, slotted spoon;¬†reduce to a medium heat. Loosely cover with a lid.¬†Once the ravioli’s start to rise to the top and/or the water comes to more of a rapid boil- remove the lid. Cook the ravioli’s for 3-5 mins or until tender.

NB: Ours took approx. 4 minutes to cook.



Remove them with the slotted spoon. Place them into a large colander (not onto a plate like we have in this picture!). Cover with some kitchen foil and allow them to drain.

NB: They don’t get a chance to drain properly on a plate…which means extra water added to your sauce! :/



Repeat these steps until all of the ravioli has been cooked.

All in all the cooking process was a success! There were a few that lost a corner on the way out of the pot but that’s trivial! Previously, we’ve had ravioli’s that have disintegrated whilst cooking because we¬†allowed the water to boil too rapidly…lol (it wasn’t really that funny at the time)! ¬†Cooking 101: DO NOT allow you ravioli’s to ride tidal waves in your saucepan!



Serve warm. Spoon the ravioli into a large bowl or pasta dish. Ladle over the sauce. Season it with some black pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh basil and/or chopped tomatoes (if desired).

NB: This picture represents 2 servings (*Based on the ravioli serving 8).

It might be advised to wear a red t-shirt; it depends on how ravenous you are! J/K! We are all ‘mindful’ eaters. ūüėÄ



Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container; reheat and consume within 3-5 days. Alternatively, freeze in an air-tight/resealable container; defrost, reheat and consume within 3 months.

NB: Do not store uncooked ravioli in the fridge overnight. We¬†attempted this once (trying to save time with food prep for the next night), but the next day they were all a bit soggy…and cooking them didn’t improve matters! We’re¬†not one-hundred percent¬†sure as to why this occurred…and unless you do, we wouldn’t recommend it!


If preferred…

  • The world is your oyster! Make the¬†filling your own! Just make sure to decrease/remove the water content of any vegetables used (by lightly frying/steam-frying) before preparing your ravioli.
  • If gluten is not of concern, try using wholemeal or grade ’00’ flour instead, along with salt, oil and water (and maybe some eggs if you’re not vegan!); adjust the quantities accordingly and omit the xanthan gum.
  • Use our marinara recipe, your own pasta sauce, or drizzle a little olive oil over the pasta¬†(and garnish with herbs) just before serving!



¬†If anyone prepares this recipe- send us some pictures! We’d love to see¬†how you got on and of course, your thoughts!

Curried Parsnip Soup (V, GF, SF, Low-Fat!)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6
Prep & Cooking time: 50 minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, protein, fibre, potassium, calcium, iron, no added sugars and is low in fats!

This soup has a lovely creamy texture and has a naturally sweet¬†and very satisfying taste. The parsnips work great¬†as a ‘blank canvas’- absorbing all the fantastic¬†spices!¬†



+++++++++++++++++++++++++1L          Vegetable stock (Low-sodium, DF, GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1L          Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1kg       Parsnips
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g     White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g          Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Ground Cumin
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1g          Ground Coriander
+++++++++++++++++++++++++3g          Curry Powder
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Salt
+++++++++++++++++++++++++               Ground black pepper
+++++++++++++++++++++++++150ml   Soya milk (fortified/unsweetened)



Nutritional info:

NB: You can reduce the salt content further by:¬†swapping some of the stock with extra water and/or DF milk and by not adding any¬†additional¬†salt (add more spices instead!)to the soup; make sure your¬†spices do not contain¬†any¬†‘added salt’.¬†




Place a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. Add the stock and water. Stir together. Bring to the boil.

NB: Our vegetable stock contained turmeric.



In the meantime, wash, peel, trim the ends and then chop the parsnip into slices. Peel and chop the onion and the garlic.




Add the parsnip, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander and curry powder to the saucepan. Season it to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir together. Cover with a lid. Reduce the heat. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove from the heat.



Allow the soup to cool slightly.



Transfer the soup into a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

NB: You might have to complete this step in batches.



Transfer the soup back to the saucepan or a large plastic container.

NB: Ours went into this plastic container; lunch prep for the next 3 days! ūüôā



Pour in the DF milk.



Stir together.



Place the saucepan over a medium-low heat (if applicable). Heat to warm.



Serve warm. Ladle into a serving bowl. Garnish with some: herbs, nuts, seeds, croutons or soya yoghurt (if desired).

Ours was garnished with black pepper, dried chives and soya yoghurt.



Serve with some GF¬†bread or a roll (if desired). ūüôā

NB: This represents one portion of  the parsnip soup. We served ours with some low-fat houmous and homemade GF bread!







If preferred…

  • Try a different combination of spices and flavours. Make it Moroccan, Thai-flavoured etc!
  • Swap approximately 200g of the parsnips for peeled baking potatoes.
  • Increase the volume of the fortified DF milk for some extra¬†nutrients!

Homemade Sun-Dried Tomato Houmous

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 8
Prep & Assembly Time: 30 mins
Type: Side, Dip, Sandwich filler
Tools: Sharp knife, chopping board, cheese grater, food processor, spatula, resealable container

Notes: This recipe contains:  B-Vitamins, Vitamins C & E, carbohydrates,  protein, fibre, calcium, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and per serving is low in added sugars, salt and saturated fats!

We think that homemade houmous is ridiculously cheap to make and its taste triumphs most store bought brands!

This recipe is extremely adaptable and easy to execute. Experiment with the flavours; add chillies, cooked beet root, roasted bell peppers, pesto, carrot, or various spices instead of sun-dried tomato.

Some other good things to note include:

  • Tahini paste can be¬†pricey, but the recipe doesn’t require a lot; you might¬†find it cheaper in¬†some ethnic shops and it lasts up to 3 months from opening!
  • Use some fresh/soaked sun-dried tomatoes instead of the puree or anything else you’d prefer to flavour it with.
  • Fresh is best! Try using a dried variety of chickpeas; soak overnight, drain and cook before using in the recipe.
  • Make and utilise your own tahini paste; its just toasted sesame seeds and olive oil.
  • If you have the time, make an extremely smooth houmous with skinless chickpeas!

Happy cooking everyone! ūüôā



++++++++++++++++++++++8g            Garlic Clove
++++++++++++++++++++++30ml       Lemon juice (juice of one lemon)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++¬† Lemon zest ¬†(of ¬Ĺ a lemon)
++++++++++++++++++++++400g       Tin Chickpeas (or about 210g dried and cooked)
++++++++++++++++++++++30ml       Olive Oil (+ 5ml extra for garnishing)
++++++++++++++++++++++60g         Sun-dried Tomato Puree
++++++++++++++++++++++60ml       Tahini paste
++++++++++++++++++++++60ml       Water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++  Salt
++++++++++++++++++++++2g            Sweet Paprika
++++++++++++++++++++++8g            Sesame Seeds



1. Peel the garlic. Wash the lemon, grate some zest and then juice it. If applicable, drain and wash the chickpeas.

2. With a food processor running, drop the garlic into it. Process until it has been finely diced. Scrape all of the garlic to the bottom with a rubber spatula. Add the lemon juice and zest, chickpeas, oil, puree and tahini. Blend until creamy. Add the water. Blend until combined. Taste and season it with some salt. If a thinner houmous is preferred, just add more water.

3. Transfer the houmous into a resealable container. Garnish with some oil (if desired), paprika and the sesame seeds.

4. Serve it with some warmed pita, crackers, crudités, as a sandwich spread with some vegetables or in your favourite falafel wrap!


Tip: Refrigerate any leftovers; consume within 3-5 days.

A batch of tasty falafels to company it! Yum!