Healthier Baked & Roasted Christmas Tubers & Roots!

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep: 25-30 mins (Dependant upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Baking/Roasting: ≤45 mins
Type: Side Dish
Tools: 1 Large pot, vegetable peeler, sharp knife, 2 baking trays/tins, parchment paper/kitchen foil

Notes:

Would Christmas be the same without some tasty and easily prepared baked/roasted vege?! Nah! Where authentically roasted potatoes might make it to a lot of UK dining tables this Christmas, we have made some healthier ones that everyone can enjoy; ‘Free From’ with a flavourful twist- perfect!

Instead of roasting our potatoes in two inches of oil or goose fat (bleh- no way!), we have coated them in a delicious dressing of rapeseed oil, garlic salt and rosemary! I mean if you’re going to have some ‘baked’ potatoes on Christmas, they’re going to have to be super tasty; a lovely seasoning, slightly crispy skin and fluffy internal texture. 

As for our parsnips and carrots, they were seasoned with oil and maple syrup, but we are opting for some cheeky apricot and ginger (or perhaps spiced plum!) chutney on the big day! Yes, whole-roasted veggies that have with minimal prep, that can look quite ‘chefy’ on your plate when served and are absolutely sweet and delicious! 

Happy cooking and Happy Holidays everyone! 😀 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++1kg            Baby New Potatoes (or your favourite roasting potatoes!)
++++++++++++++600g        Parsnips
++++++++++++++600g        Carrots
++++++++++++++2                Sprigs Rosemary
++++++++++++++2-3 tbsp   Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++++++1 tsp          Garlic Salt
++++++++++++++                  Salt
++++++++++++++                  Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++1-2 tbsp    Maple Syrup or Apricot and Ginger or (Spiced Plum!) Chutney

 

Directions

1. Wash and scrub the potatoes. Chop any larger pieces into halves or quarters if necessary. Tip: Having your potatoes roughly the same time will help them cook at the same rate!

2. Place the potatoes into a large pot of cold water over a medium heat. Cover with a lid. Bring to the boil. Allow them to cook for 6-8 mins or until just tender. Tip: This is par-boiling, great for cooking ease! 

3. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF. Line two baking trays/tins with some parchment paper or kitchen foil (if necessary).

4. Wash and peel the parsnips. Wash and scrub the carrots. Wash the rosemary, remove its leaves from its stem and roughly chop them. Tip: Save time and bake your root vegetables whole! 

5. Drain the potatoes in a colander. Allow them to dry (just slightly). Place them into a large mixing bowl. Pour over 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add 1 tsp of garlic salt. Add the rosemary. Season it with a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss to coat. Tip: Looking for a really low-fat option? Spray them (and your root vegetables!) with some low-fat cooking oil instead! 

6. Place the potatoes into one of the baking trays/tins in a single layer. Try and leave as much space as possible between them. Tip: Overcrowding your pan will cause your vegetables to steam rather than roast! 

7. Place the parsnips and carrots onto the other baking tray/tin in a single layer. Pour over 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil and 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup (or chutney). Using your hands, rub and coat the vegetables in the oil and syrup (or chutney). Season it with a few grinds of black pepper.

8. Place the potatoes onto the middle oven shelf and the parsnips and carrots onto the shelf below. Bake/roast the potatoes for 30-40 mins, or until cooked through and lightly browned and crispy; turning/tossing at least once. Bake the parsnips and carrots for 40-45 mins or until tender and lightly browned; turn at least once. Remove.

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover veggies in an air-tight and resealable container; reheat (if preferred) and consume within 3-4 days.

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Vegan Truffles (without a coconut aftertaste!)

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 30
Prep: ≤15 mins
Chilling: 75 mins
Assembly: 35 mins (Dependant on skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Tools: Pot and bowl (or a double broiler!), spatula, whisk, a large/wide dish, cling flim, teaspoon or melon baller, parchment paper, mini muffin casings.

Notes:

This recipe is a real gem for those looking for a great ‘Free From’ Christmas alternative. It’s a dairy free, soya free, gluten free, nut free and ‘coconut-tasting free’ chocolate dessert- our silky smooth and deviously rich vegan truffles! 

This type of of dessert recipe is not something you will see frequently or typically see on our blog, because let’s be honest, consuming these everyday, week or month is not eating2health! However, it is Christmas and we wanted to help provide you with another vegan/dairy-free recipe that the whole family can enjoy without a huge price tag! Forget paying a small fortune on brand name dairy free truffles, these are a fantastic, cheap and an easy alternative!

After doing some cursory searches, it seems that there is more dairy free truffles with coconut cream and/or coconut oil (as you can infer from our recipe title- we’re not big on coconut!) as opposed to DF cream alternatives- and were not talking about the ‘health food versions’! After a tasty trial run (with oat cream!), we have created our own take on vegan truffles! A few good things to note about this recipe include:

  • Overall, the prep is ridiculously easy. The oat cream (as it contains a bunch of natural and added thickens), thickens the chocolate truffle mixture straight away. As a result, the mixture sets quite quickly in the fridge; it took one hour and fifteen minutes; faster than most vegan truffle recipes out there! As for the assembly, turn it into a family event; having a little helper(s) will help speed up the assembly!
  • A ‘melon baller’ is the perfect size scoop for these truffles. We initially tried using an ice cream scoop, but it was too big! We were more successful using a small teaspoon to gather some of the mixture; we created thirty bite-sized truffles!
  • When shaping the truffles, mould the mixture gently and quickly in your hands (as it has a tenancy to go a little slimy with body heat) – which is why we don’t recommend ‘rolling’ the mixture in between your hands!
  • If you mould and shape a bunch of truffles before coating them in one of your delicious toppings, you’ll notice they’ll start forming a thin skin, but this is OK! They will still be a bit ‘tacky’, but this will actually make the dipping and coating process a little easier! 
  • The kid in you will want to dip and coat your truffles in some random OCD pattern (it is Christmas afterall!), however it’s quicker to dip several truffles in one topping and then move onto the next one… but this is only a suggestion! We are not trying to be a Christmas Grinch! 😛
  • The flavouring of this mixture is versatile! Instead of vanilla, add a drop of brandy, rum or coffee, use a flavoured bar of chocolate instead of plain, push a small nut or dried fruit into the centre of your prepared truffles, add crushed nuts to the truffle mixture before setting it, or simply mix it up by using numerous toppings. We opted for stem ginger, toasted coconut, cocoa powder, roasted hazelnuts and toasted pistachios! We aimed for a balance of flavours and textures; they are all tasty, but nuts are definitely our favourite! Mmm, hazelnut!

These truffles are great for dinner parties, seasonal holidays and/or when you are looking for a great, personable and edible gift! Just place the truffles in some fun and festive mini muffin casings and then gift them in a small and decorative box- your friends will be so pleased! This recipe is also great for those that want a ‘little something’ at Christmas, but do not want to be faced with four pounds of leftovers to finish off or to push onto others before the New Year! #excessive-baking-doesnt-help-anyone

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Odourless coconut: it’s steamed to remove it’s coconutty taste, it’s just a shame that it doesn’t reduce it’s saturated fat content too!

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++++++300g      70% Dairy Free Dark Chocolate
+++++++++++++++++60g        Odourless Coconut Oil (at room temperature)
+++++++++++++++++170ml     Oat cream (at room temperature)
+++++++++++++++++1 tsp        Vanilla Paste

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

 

Directions

  • If applicable, fill your double broiler with some water and melt the chocolate according to your manufacturing guidelines. If you’re like us (and do not own one!), find a suitable pot and bowl and create an impromptu DIY broiler! Depending on the size of your pot, fill it with ¼ cold water, then place a bowl that is large enough to sit over the top of (not inside) of the pot NB: We used a small pot and filled it with about one inch of water; we didn’t have any larger bowls or pots that ‘matched’ in size, but use a larger combination if you have it. Tip: Only put enough water to gently heat and melt the chocolate; the water should not be touching the base of your bowl whilst cooking!
  • Place the pot and bowl over a medium-low heat. Break up the chocolate and add it into the bowl. When the water boils, reduce to a simmer and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring it with a spatula or spoon as it does. Tip: If you’re using a standard pot and bowl, this can take about 6-8 mins, so be patient.

 

Once the chocolate has melted, remove the broiler or pot and bowl from the heat. Add the coconut oil and stir through until it is completely melted. NB: We added it after transferring the chocolate into a dish (as you’ll see in the next step); it’s recommended in this order because the chocolate will start cooling down quite fast once it leaves the ‘warm bowl’ and it’s important to melt all of the oil! 

 

 

  • Carefully remove the bowl from the pot (it will still be hot!). Pour the mixture into a large and wide dish (we used a casserole dish!). Use a silicone spatula to help scrap out all of the melted chocolate. Tip: A large and wide dish makes it easier for when you need to scoop out your mixture, it will also allow it to set quicker in the fridge and this type of dish (at least for us) fits into our fridge with more ease.
  • Whilst whisking, pour in your oat cream. Whisk until the cream is thoroughly combined. Add the vanilla paste and fold it through with your spatula. Use the spatula to scrape down the sides, so that all of the chocolate is at the base of the dish. Cover with a sheet of cling film. Place into the fridge for 1h15mins or until the mixture is firm yet pliable.

 

In the meantime you can:
  • prepare any tasting toppings you might be using!
  • find your mini muffin casings.
  • line a plate with some parchment paper .
  • get a separate tray or plastic container to transfer the prepared truffles ready.
  • wash your dishes!

 

 

Remove the truffle mixture from the fridge.

 

 

Scoop some of the mixture using a teaspoon or melon baller. Place it into the palm of your hands and shape/mould it into a ball. Place it onto the lined plate until you roll it in your toppings! Once you have quite a few, dip and coat them into your toppings (if applicable); gently roll the truffle between your hands to secure any larger toppings (like nuts!) Place the truffles into mini muffin casings and then onto your separate tray (or into a container as appropriate). Repeat until all of the mixture has been used. Tip: We made thirty small truffles! 

 

 

Place the truffles into an air tight and resealable container and return them to the fridge for about 15 mins to firm up.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate the truffles in an air tight and resealable container (layer between sheets of parchment paper if necessary); best consumed within 7-10 days.

 

*Nutritional Info/(approx. for 30 servings): 83 Kcal, 1g Protein, 3.6g CHO, 3g sugar, 6.8g Fat, 4.3g S/Fat, 0.02g Salt
*NB: Based on using our ingredients without any added toppings. Looking for a topping that is lower in fat and sugar, dust with some cacao powder. For some lower-fat nut options, stick to  ground almonds, peanuts, chestnuts or pistachios. Alternatively, placing one nut into the centre of each truffle will contain less fat than coating it in chopped nuts!  

Decadent Cranberry & Orange Sauce

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 25-30
Prep: ≤8 mins
Cooking:15 mins
Tools: Non-stick pot, whisk, orange press or juicer and grater

Notes:

What types of sauces and/or condiments do you like to have around during the festive period?  Cranberry sauce is top of our list, particularly because of the seasonality of fresh cranberries!

This year we tried to replicate a store-bought variety, which is quite tasty, but couldn’t source any lingonberries! In retrospect, we could have bought some lignonberry jam and added this to the sauce instead of fruit sweetener! C’est le vie!

Our sauce has minimal added, unrefined sugar (per serving) and every spoonful has a lovely rich and deep seasonal flavour; you can’t go wrong with cranberries, orange and spice! 

We added a small glass of wine, but diet permitting you could add some port (generally not vegan!), brandy, mulled wine, prosecco or champagne instead- just adjust your other ingredients as appropriate! It’s good to note that the stronger the alcohol and/or the more spices that you use, the more aromatic your sauce will be! However, if you would prefer not to add alcohol, you could try substituting it for some fresh pomegranate or red grape juice instead! 

As we got to trial this before the festive season, we still have plenty in the fridge and more than enough for Christmas, Boxing Day and beyond. This is great because it will be one less thing to make on the day! In fact, if you can make it a day or two in advance, your sauce will be bursting with flavours that continue to grow by the day! Our top tip would be to make sure you downsize your ingredients (as appropriate) to meet your dinner party needs- unless you want to be eating this into the New Year! 😀

Happy cooking everyone!

 

 

 

Ingredients

+++++++++++++300g        Cranberries (or a mixture of cranberries and lingonberries)
+++++++++++++3                Oranges (=200ml juice & 1 tbsp orange zest)
+++++++++++++125ml        Red wine (Merlot)
+++++++++++++60g           Unrefined Golden Caster Sugar
+++++++++++++2-3 tbsp   Fruit Sweetener (your favourite)
+++++++++++++½ tsp         Allspice
+++++++++++++                  Pinch of Salt
+++++++++++++2 tsp          Corn Flour

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Place the berries into a colander and wash under cold running water. Tip: Alternatively you can leave them to soak them in a large bowl of water.

2. Wash the oranges, grate some zest and then juice them.

3. Place a non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Pour in the wine. Add the sugar. Stir together.

 

4. When the mixture starts to simmer (bubble), add the berries, orange juice, ¾ of the zest (save a little for a garnish later on), 2-3 tbsp of sweetener, ½ tsp allspice and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Cover with a lid.

 

5. When the mixture starts to simmer again and/or you hear the berries starting to burst, turn the heat down slightly. Allow it to simmer for 15 mins or until the berries have softened and the sauce has thickened slightly.

 

6. Meanwhile, create a ‘slurry’. Place the corn flour into a small dish with equal parts water. Whisk and stir until it’s dissolved.

 

7. When the sauce has finished cooking, pour in the slurry (whilst whisking at the same time). Keep whisking for about a minute or until the sauce thickens slightly and develops a lovely sheen! Remove from the heat. Allow to cool slightly before serving. Tip: The sauce will continue to thicken as it cools, so do not ‘overdo’ the corn flour! Serve in a dish garnished with the remaining orange zest (if desired)!

 

8. Enjoy cold, at room temperature or slightly heated!

 

 

Tip: If you have a spare pickle, olive or jam jar to spare, sterilise it, fill it with the leftover sauce and then keep it refrigerated and use within 2 weeks! 

Vegan Bread Stuffing

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 6-8
Prep: 20-30 mins (Dependent upon skill and/or the number of kitchen helpers!)
Cooking: 40 mins
Type: Side Dish
Tools: Pot, mixing bowl, a large baking tray/tin or casserole dish, aluminium foil

Notes:

We hope that all of your festive planning is finally coming together? If you’re still deciding on some simple, tasty or perhaps traditional Christmas side dishes, check out or Vegan Bread Stuffing! It’s a ‘healthier’ holiday ‘comfort food’- one that is modernised, easy, cheap, simple and that everyone can enjoy!

My original recipe came from my mother; I had no idea how ‘old fashioned’ and/or popular this recipe was until I did a cursory search! I took the original and made a few tweaks including: adding more vegetables and herbs, making sure it was completely plant-based and of course using less oil/fats! 

Typically this stuffing would end up stuffed inside a turkey, but not in this case! It’s a deliciously seasoned and toasted mixture of bread and veggies that goes great with a tofu loaf, mushroom gravy and roasted Brussels sprouts!  😛

If you are after a GF version, swap standard bread for some GF bread or bread rolls instead. Just bear in mind that as GF bread tends to be smaller, you might need to use a bit more of it and/or a little less stock or water in the preparation and baking stages.

If preferred (or if you have them to hand), use all fresh herbs instead! Also, we think that the addition of apple and/or toasted walnuts (or pecans) would also go down a treat! 

Happy cooking everyone! 🙂

 

Ingredients

++++++++++12                Slices Stale Bread
++++++++++1                  Garlic Clove (a fat one!)
++++++++++1                  Brown Onion (or 2 banana shallots)
++++++++++2                 Bell Peppers (Red & Yellow)
++++++++++5                 Sticks Celery
++++++++++3                 Medium Carrots
++++++++++1                  Sprig Fresh Rosemary
++++++++++5-6 tbsp    Rapeseed Oil
++++++++++                   Salt & Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++10 tbsp       Vegetable stock (low-salt) or Cold Water (approx. 3/4 cup)
++++++++++2g                Dried Sage
++++++++++2g                Dried Thyme
++++++++++¼ tsp          Asafoetida (or onion powder)
++++++++++5g               Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley (*optional)

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Chop the bread into 1″ cubes (or smaller if preferred) and set aside. Tip: If your bread isn’t quite stale enough, toast it in a toaster on the lowest heat setting for about one minute.

2. Peel and dice the garlic. Peel and finely chop the onion. Wash, remove the stem and core and then finely chop the bell peppers. Wash, trim the ends and then finely chop the celery. Wash, peel, trim the ends and finely chop the carrot. Wash the rosemary, remove the leaves from its stem and roughly chop them.

3. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF. Get out a large baking tray, tin or casserole dish; line with foil or parchment paper (if necessary). NB: We used a casserole dish!

4. Heat 1 tbsp of oil (or spray some low-fat cooking oil instead) in a large, non-stick pot over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion. Gently fry for 1-2 mins or until softened. Add the bell pepper, celery and carrot. Gently fry for a further 3-4 mins of until just softened. Remove from the heat. Season it with a little salt and a few grinds of black pepper to taste. Tip: If preferred, you could ‘steam-fry’ the vegetables instead at this stage!

5. If you are using vegetable stock, prepare it now.

6. Place the bread into a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle over 2g dried sage, 2g dried thyme and ¼ tsp of asafoetida (or onion powder). Season it with ¼ tsp salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Toss together (with your hands or salad tongs) to thoroughly coat. Pour over 7 tbsp of the stock (or water). Tip: If you are not using stock, make sure to season it with a little more salt and pepper instead and if you are using fresh herbs, the more the merrier!

7. Add the fried vegetable mixture into the mixing bowl. Drizzle over 3-4 tbsp of rapeseed oil. Toss to thoroughly coat and combine.

8. Transfer evenly into your baking tray, tin or casserole dish. Sprinkle over the rosemary. Cover with a sheet of aluminium foil. Place into the oven and bake for 25 mins.

9. Remove from the oven and discard the foil. Drizzle over the remaining stock (3 tbsp) and add an additional 1-2 tsp of oil (if preferred). Toss and coat. Place back into the oven. Bake the stuffing for an additional 15 mins or until the top is lightly browned and crispy. Remove. Garnish with some freshly chopped parsley leaves (if desired).

10. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Refrigerate any leftovers in an air-tight and resealable container. Reheat and consume within 3 days. NB: Best reheated under a grill or on a low heat setting in the oven; microwaving it will make the bread soggy!

Recipe updated: 19/02/16

Mushroom Gravy (Vegan & Gluten Free]

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 2 or 4 (small servings)
Yields: 600ml
Prep: 35 mins
Cooking: ≤5 mins

Notes:

This delicious mushroom-based gravy comes from the Eat2Health kitchen just in time for Christmas, but it’s perfect for any holiday or meal that requires gravy! It’s plant-based, gluten free, takes minimum effort to prepare (yep, super easy folks!) and provides maximum taste satisfaction! 

The delicate porcini mushrooms give a lovely meaty texture, whilst the potato starch helps to make it velvety smooth! The combination of the mushroom stock, rosemary, garlic and soya sauce all goes towards producing a gravy that has many deep, savoury and wholesome flavours! It’s perfect for drowning your potatoes, or covering some delicious legume or pulse-based sausages, burgers, meatballs or ‘loaves’!

We found the ‘thickness’ of the gravy to be just right; even after spending a night in the refrigerator it was not too gelatinous! However, if you prefer a thinner gravy, just add a little less starch. Also, if you feel it is too thick the next day, just add a splash of water and then reheat; make sure to reheat this gravy in a non-stick pot over a low heat (or in a microwave for minimal time) until hot- but do not allow it to boil! 

For cooking ease, prepare this a day in advance! The flavours will be just as delicious (if not more so) the next day!

Happy cooking everyone and stayed tuned for more tasty, festive recipes! 😀

 

 

Ingredients

++++++++++++++++++++600ml    Cold Water
++++++++++++++++++++2 Sprigs  Fresh Rosemary (4g)
++++++++++++++++++++1               Vegetable Stock Pot or Vegetable Stock Powder
++++++++++++++++++++1 tbsp      Soya Sauce (low-salt or use Tamari for GF)
++++++++++++++++++++                Ground Black Pepper
++++++++++++++++++++20g         Dried Porcini Mushrooms
++++++++++++++++++++5g            Garlic Clove (1 fat one!)
++++++++++++++++++++3 tbsp     Potato Starch
++++++++++++++++++++1 Tbsp     Rapeseed Oil

 

Need an easy-print recipe? Print here. 🙂

 

Directions

1. Boil 600ml water in a kettle.

2. Meanwhile, wash the rosemary, remove the leaves and then roughly chop them.

3. Place the rosemary, stock pot (or powder), soya (or tamari) sauce and freshly boiled water into a measuring jug. Add a few grinds of ground black pepper. Whisk to dissolve the stock. Add the mushrooms. Stir to combine. Allow the mixture to sit 30 mins so the mushrooms can rehydrate, the flavours meld and the rosemary can soften.

 

 

4. In the meantime, peel and finely dice the garlic. Place the starch into a small bowl (or dish) with equal parts cold water. Whisk with a fork to dissolve. Tip: You have just created a ‘slurry’!

 

5. Once the mushrooms have rehydrated, remove them with a slotted spoon, and transfer into a separate dish. Gently cut up the larger pieces with some kitchen scissors.

 

 

 

6. Re-whisk the ‘slurry’. Whilst stirring the broth, pour the slurry into the measuring jug. Whisk until combined.

 

As much as I like to multi-task, I cannot whisk whilst taking a photo! 😛

 

 

7. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pot over a medium low heat. When hot, add the garlic and mushrooms. Gently fry the mixture for about 1 min. Pour in the broth whilst continuously whisking. Keep whisking until the gravy has thickened. Remove from the heat. Taste and season it as necessary. Tip: The gravy will not take long to thicken (only about a minute); at the end the gravy will have a gorgeous sheen! 🙂

 

 

 

8. Serve warm. Ladle over your roasted vegetables, mashed potato and many other plant-based goodies you intend to have during this festive period, and all of the delicious meals you have lined up in the New Year ahead!

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Refrigerate any leftover gravy in an airtight and resealable container; reheat and consume within 2-3 days. Alternatively pour the (cooled) gravy into an air-tight and releasable container or freezer baggie; defrost, reheat and consume within 2 months