Vegan No bake Cheesecake Cups

img_0302

Ok so I haven’t been this excited about a new treat recipe for a long, long time! I’d been meaning to come up with a vegan friendly ‘cheese’ cake cups recipe for a while and now I finally whipped up the perfect one (although there’s always room for improvement hey). This cuppies are rich, smooth, slightly fudgy and a tinsy bit crunchy – basically everything you want in a dessert. They’re gluten free, dairy free and vegan friendly. Prep time is a bit longer than usual, however it is worth it and they will last you for up to two weeks in the fridge. As these are quite rich in taste and very filling, they are perfect for sharing (or not, who am I to judge :).

Recipe (yields 12 ‘cheesecake’ cups)

Bottom layer

  • 150g oat flour (gluten free)
  • 120g almond flour
  • 50g cacao powder
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut butter
  • 100g finely chopped roasted peanuts and almonds

Middle layer (‘cheesy’ bit)

  • 150g soaked cashews
  • 120g coconut cream (the creamy bit on top, leave the water in the can)
  • 3-4 tbsp almond milk
  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 50g coconut sugar

Top layer

  • 100g dark chocolate (85%, no dairy)
  • 1 whole can coconut cream
  • 3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • 6 small peanut butter cups

Mix all the ingredients for the bottom layer in a bowl, using your hands to form a large ball. Take 12 greased silicone cupcake cups (or use a cup cake pan and line it up with paper cups) and spread the dough evenly in the cups, about a good inch thick. You will be left with extra dough, but I have a great solution for that (and it involves peanut butter 😀 – stay tuned). Put the cups in the freezer while you move on to your second layer.

Mix all the ingredients for the second layer using a stand mixer to get a smooth and thick texture (if needed, add more almond milk). Spread a thick layer of the the mixture in the cups (almost to the edge of the cups) and put back in the freezer.

For the third layer, melt dark chocolate, coconut cream, coconut sugar and coconut butter in a sauce pan on low heat until nicely thick and silky. Swirl on top of the ‘cheese’ layer and put it in the freezer for about 15 minutes. Cut the chocolate peanut cups in half and press each half gently on top of the cheesecake cups. Keep these lovelies in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Enjoy!

Love,

AS

 

Lentil and Carrot Soup with Roasted Chickpeas

img_0283

Crisp and cold days call for winter warmers and soups! I am a big big fan of veggie soups as you can be as creative as you want to be and it’s one of the simplest (and yummiest) ways to get your veg in! The only thing that’s better is having them in your cake – but about that, another time, another post 🙂

This soup is as simple as it gets. All you need is a can of organic lentils, some carrots, chickpeas  and spices and you are good to go! The roasted chickpeas give this soup a nice touch and a crunchy twist. They’re also great as a snack or to have with greek or goat yoghurt as an alternative to you porridge for breakfast. An all-round winner food!

Recipe (yields 4 portions)

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 medium size carrots, chopped
  • 150g cooked chickpeas (canned work as well)
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • handful of fresh herbs (mint, parsley, thai basil, coriander)
  • salt and pepper

Heat a medium size cooking pan, melt the coconut butter and add the onions and chilli flakes. Cook until the onions are translucent before adding the carrots. Cook for about 3 minutes and add enough water to cover all the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then add lentils, turmeric, salt, pepper and extra water if needed. Lower to medium-low heat and cook for about 20-25 minutes. In the meantime, place the chickpeas on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Season chickpeas with flaky salt, pepper, olive oil, cayenne pepper and fresh herbs. Roast in the oven for about 15-20 minutes on 200ºC, shaking the tray occasionally so they roast evenly.

When the soup is done, use a stick blender and blend until smooth. Add extra salt and pepper if needed, pour the soup on plates and top with roasted chickpeas. Voila, told you was super simple!

Enjoy!

Love,

AS

 

 

Lush Ox Cheek Stew

img_0190

Since the last three recipes have been vegan friendly, I think it’s high time I shared one for all us meat enthusiasts out there. Now, when it comes to meat stews, I am probably one of the biggest fans as I’ve probably made over hundreds of different stew variations in my life and I have to say that this one is one of my all time favourites! Ox cheeks may not appear frequently on your menu but trust me, they should!

Ox cheeks, also known as beef cheeks are, as the name suggests, taken from the cow’s cheek muscles and are thus a very lean cut that’s packed with flavour and very affordable – in fact it’s known as one of the ‘cheap’ cuts. For best results, it’s best to cook them for a couple of hours on low heat, either on the stove or in the oven. This is the perfect recipe for a Saturday or Sunday as you can leave it to cook while you get on with your house chores and catch up on your favourite Netflix shows.

Recipe (yields 4 portions)

  • 500g ox cheeks, diced in chunky pieces
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can white broad beans
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • olive oil
  • salt an pepper
  • handful of fresh herbs (parsley, basil, mint)

Use a large saucepan and melt the coconut butter. Add the onions and chilli flakes and cook until onions become translucent. Add the ox cheeks and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring so the meat doesn’t stick to the pan. Season with salt and pepper and add a cup of water. Once the water evaporates, add the canned tomatoes and another cup of water and lower the heat. Leave it to cook for about 30 minutes, then add the beans. Cook for another 3-4 hours on low heat, adding water as needed. Once it’s done, add fresh herbs and season to taste. Serve with brown rice pasta and feta cheese.

Enjoy!

Love,

AS

No Bake Vegan Friendly Billionaire Bites

img_9883

I’d never been super enthusiastic about raw treats, simply because I always thought that desserts can’t really taste good if they are not baked. But once I tried a no bake granola for the first time (that will be on the blog at some point, bare with) I started experimenting more with making raw treats. And I have to say these billionaire bites are definitely my favourite so far. There’s just the right amount of gooey-ness from the date and peanut butter middle, crunchiness from the bottom cookie dough layer and chocolate decadence on top! SOOOOO GOOD! I’m not going to lie guys, these are super addictive – you have been warned 🙂 You can keep these in the fridge for up to three weeks and they are perfect to bring to work when you need some ‘destress’ sugar fix or to the gym for that refuel treat after a gruelling workout.

Recipe (yields 16 medium size bites)

Cookie dough:

  • 125g oat flour
  • 50g almond flour
  • 50g toasted hazelnuts, pulsed
  • 5 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 70g dark chocolate (85%), chopped

Fudge:

  • 180g dates
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp almond milk
  • 3 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter, melted

Chocolate topping:

  • 50g dark chocolate (85%)
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • coconut sugar (extra to sprinkle on top)
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter

Take a medium size brownie tin, grease it and line it with parchment paper. Mix all the ingredients for the cookie dough and spread it evenly in the tin. For the fudge, put all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse it until you get a smooth gooey mixture. Spread it on top of the cookie dough layer. For the chocolate topping, melt all the ingredients in a  sauce pan on low heat and spread it on top of the two layers. Let the chocolate set for a while and then sprinkle coconut sugar on it. Leave the bites in the fridge for at least an hour before cutting them into squares. You can keep these in the fridge for up to three weeks, however if you’re anything like me, they will be gone much sooner than that.

Enjoy!

Love,

AS

Thai Lentils Vegan Winter Warmer

img_0218

I know what you are thinking – the self-proclaimed biggest meat eater is posting yet another vegan recipe?! Now, it is true that I love my meat but I also like experimenting with meat-free dishes as they can be just as delicious. I particularly like to use legumes as alternative protein source, not just because of their taste but also because they make a great thickener. So this spicy winter warmer jewel will not disappoint guys! It’s luscious, thick and full of flavour – the ultimate comfort food! You can make it ahead for the week and it’s the perfect option for a night in when all you want to do is snuggle on the couch with a bowl of warm and nutritious food. And it’s soooo simple to make! Perfect to have on its own or with rice. By the way – would you guess that the secret ingredient is cacao powder?! 🙂

Recipe (yields 4 portions)

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 big sweet potato, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 can organic green lentils (no added salt)
  • 1 tbsp chilli paste
  • 1/2 can organic chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cacao powder
  • 1/2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp coconut butter
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp fresh parsley

Heat a large pan, melt coconut butter and add the red onions. When the onions become translucent, add the chilli paste, turmeric, cacao and curry. Stir well and after about 3 minutes, add the sweet potatoes and about 5 spoons of the liquid from the lentils. Cook for about 5 minutes, then add lentils with the remaining liquid. Lower to medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes before adding the chopped tomatoes and coconut cream. Stir well and add fresh thyme and parsley. Cook for another 20-25 minutes on low heat, adding water if needed and stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Let it sit for about 5-10 minutes before serving over brown rice or just on its own. Told you, super simple!

Enjoy!

Love,

AS

Meat-lover approved Vegan Curry

img_0200

I know I haven’t posted anything for a while and I deeply apologise for that! The past two weeks have been mental though – both with work, catching up with friends and trying to get everything sorted on time before the holidays. Is it just me or do you ever feel like Christmas is the most joyful, yet stressful time of the year? All the shopping, late nights, catch ups, midday bubblies and baking are super fun, but always leave both me and my family feeling absolutely shattered! No wonder why we so often get sick on Christmas. That said, it’s still my favourite time of the year by far 🙂

Anyhow, after the holidays I always have the need to tone it down with the treats and regain balance in my nutrition. But I’m not talking going into extremes and living off just salads, god no – I love life too much! I’m talking about making more wholesome, nutritious, veggie-boosted meals and cutting down on sugar and dairy. I also tend to make chicken and beef broth more often this time of the year as they help heal the gut from all the booze and food indulgences.

Another dish I love to make whenever I need to recover from rich food, yet still want something comforting is vegan curry. Now for a big meat-eater such as myself, that may come as a shocker but it does happen to me that I need the occasional  ‘break’ from  meat. But trust me, you really don’t miss it here as this curry is seriously luscious, full of flavour and on top of great taste it has both quinoa and chickpeas so you’re still getting loads of protein. I mean, even my dad had seconds when I made it for him and he doesn’t even like curry! Additionally, it’s a great dish when you’re meal prepping for the week as it stays in the fridge for several days and is convenient for freezing too. I love it with wild rice, but it goes great with white rice, couscous or even barley or spelt.

Recipe (yields 4-5 portions)

Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 100g cavolo nero, roughly chopped
  • 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 medium size carrots, chopped
  • 1 red pepper (Romano), chopped into chunky squares
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 can coconut milk (2 if using low fat)
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 1/2 – 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2-3 handfuls fresh coriander
  • 2 tbsp coconut butter
  • salt, pepper

Heat a large pan, melt the coconut butter and sweat the onions with chilli flakes until they become translucent. Add sweet potatoes and carrots, and continue stirring for roughly 5 minutes. Add water (just enough to cover the potatoes and carrots) and cook until boiling. Then add chickpeas (including the liquid) and simmer for another 10 minutes on medium heat. Add coconut milk, season with salt, pepper, curry powder and turmeric. Add cavolo nero, red pepper, quinoa and a handful of coriander. Cook for another 20-25 minutes before adding the remaining coriander. Let the curry sit for 10 minutes and serve with rice (I usually go with wild rice, but regular will do) and some chopped fresh coriander.

Enjoy!

Love,

AS