Thursday, 1 September 2016

Baked apples with blackberry coconut cream


It's September! Always sad to see the end of summer but I really love September too. I always get that 'back to school feeling' even though it's ages since I left school! I actually used to like the start of a new school year......getting my haircut, new school shoes, then catching up with friends I hadn't seen all summer, new class teacher, new timetable...... then the novelty wearing off after a few days and feeling really depressed that it's ages till Xmas holidays!....
I especially love autumn food - pumpkin soup, blackberries, apple crumble, more soup. I've been busy making new treats for the Yard Yoga juice bar (www.yardyoga.com) , so if you're in the area, drop in! Yard yoga had a visit from a blogger recently who wrote this post which very kindly gave an amazing review of my Mint Matcha energy balls. It's a lovely blog, so check it out if you're interested in vegetarian food. www.hippiewholefood.wordpress.com 
So, for this month's recipe I'm lucky enough to have 2 apple trees and a blackberry bush at my new house so.........here's what I did with them!

Serves 2- double or triple to serve 4 or 6.

Preheat oven to 180c

2 baking apples
FILLING ingredients
2 heaped teaspoons butter or coconut oil
1 heaped tablespoon chopped pecans
1 heaped tablespoon chopped dried apple or raisins
1 teaspoon mixed spice (ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon)
2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey or brown sugar

Take the centre out of the apples- great if you have an apple corer but if not you can used a sharp knife and then scoop the inside out with a teaspoon as I did. (Be careful if you're doing it this way- I nearly cut my finger off!- ,but then I am someone who probably shouldn't be allowed to play with sharp things in the kitchen😉
NB Make sure you don't go through the bottom of the apple - you're basically making a container for the filling.


2 chop the pecans up. Mix with the rest of the filling ingredients.
Stuff the apples with the filling and place them in a baking dish and into the oven for about 40 mins. (The apples should be soft and cooked through and look something like this.....


While the apples are cooking -make the blackberry cream. You need
200g blackberries
2 tablespoons maple syrup
150g coconut yogurt- I used CoYo.(you can use plain Greek yogurt if you prefer).


Blitz the blackberries with a stick blender. Push through a small to get the pips out.

Put the sieved Berries into a saucepan with 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Bring to the boil and then reduce the  heat a little so its still bubbling but not going crazy (don't worry you don't need to be too exact!) Keep stirring with a wooden spoon so it doesn't stick to bottom the of the pan. You want it bubbling away for 5 mins, then remove from heat - put the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool.
Once cool mix in the coconut yogurt.


When the apples are done remove from the oven and serve with the berry cream.

Happy autumn everyone!


Monday, 1 August 2016

VEGETARIAN PASTA BAKE


Welcome to the August post of Rabbit food! - It's the last month of summer, so I feel I should be posting a summery recipe. Yesterday I went out to lunch and ordered a dish called "summer in a bowl" which I thought would be a great title for today's post. It turned out to be a bowl of lettuce leaves with a few pieces of melon that my sister nicked (and possibly a bit of very bland dressing?- hard to tell)......nothing wrong with it, but I did come home still super hungry and in need of some Nutella toast)
However its a bit cooler today and the forecast this week is rain, rain, wind, and er ....a bit more rain.  Can't beat the good old british summer!! but colder weather calls for heartier meals - so summer in a bowl will have to wait for another time. Maybe next month. Indian summer in a bowl? watch this space......!

serves 2   preheat oven to 180 c

ingredients
225g tomato pasta sauce
50g mushrooms
50g left over veg (in this case, some sweet potato and broccoli) if you don't have any left over veg you could use a mix of onion, carrot, celery, sweetcorn, peas, courgette...........anything else you can think of!
100g pasta (I used buckwheat pasta)
handful of cheese ( I used vegan cheese)
1 1/2 cup soymilk  (or any other milk of your choice)
2 slightly rounded tablespoons flour (rice flour used here)
1 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil or other light cooking oil
salt and pepper

1.  for the tomato pasta sauce - you can use shop bought or make your own. I make my own simple sauce by putting 1 tin of peeled, chopped tomatoes, 1 tablespoon sundried tomato paste, salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon date syrup, and some Italian dried herbs. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for about 30 -45 mins depending on how thick you want it.

2. chop the mushrooms up and stir fry in a little rapeseed oil or light olive oil until softened and starting to brown. Add in the left over veg. Mix the tomato sauce into the veggies and combine with a wooden spoon. Place in the bottom of a baking dish (this one is 20 cm by 15 cm)


3 Cook your pasta as per instructions on the packet - nb different pastas will take different cooking times - I always add a spoonful of light olive oil to the cooking water to stop the pasta sticking.  When cooked, drain and cover the tomato veggie layer of the dish.


4  to make the white sauce, take 1 1/2 cups of soymilk and 2 slightly rounded tablespoons gluten free flour. (I used riceflour) . 
5 make a Roux, by adding 1 1/2 tablespoon rapeseed oil or other light cooking oil, to the saucepan. add in the flour and mix well together (I use a little whisk) Add the milk little by little, stirring all the time . If you use a whisk it should prevent any dreaded lumps - but don't panic if you do get lumps - just strain the mix through a sieve. Season to taste. I also like to add a spoonful of Dijon mustard to the white sauce to give it some more flavour. If you want to do that, add it in as you're whisking in the milk.
6  When the white sauce has thickened, pour over the pasta. Then sprinkle over a handful of grated cheese (I used vegan cheese - you can use any cheese you like).
7, Then slice your tomato and use to decorate the top. scatter with some torn, fresh basil.


8 bake in the oven for about 30 mins till the top is starting to brown.

served here with lettuce, or should I say " summer in a bowl" ;)


ps for those of you who caught last month's post and have been waiting with baited breath to find out what the mystery veg i'm growing in the greenhouse is - it turned out to be.................drumroll..................Broccoli. Really tiny broccoli - as soon as it got any bigger than this it all started to flower. Epic fail! - It's all down to the carrots now!




Friday, 1 July 2016

MINTED PEA & ASPARGUS DIP. MUSHROOM & WALNUT DIP.


I can't believe we're in July! I know my posts have been pretty random over the last couple of months with the move etc, but from now on I will be posting a new recipe on the first day of every month. I'm all settled into my new house now & loving having my own little garden.


My friend & I planted some veggies with her little girl - the lettuce was so easy & tasted amazing, the carrots are doing their thing............but this one seems to be taking over the greenhouse and we can't remember what it was! (didn't save the packet). We're thinking butternut squash or broccoli?
If anyone knows, drop me a line! Otherwise, I guess we'll just have to wait and see what it develops into (if the snails don't get it first).


So, onto today's recipes. One of the questions I get asked the most is for ideas for savoury snacks. So here you are! Two dips/spreads which are great to have in the fridge as a healthy standby when you need to reach for a snack but are short on time. You can spread them on toast, have them as a dip with crudites or tortilla chips, or just on their own with a spoon.
The first one is very green, full of nutrients, and very versatile.


MINTED PEA & ASPARGUS DIP    makes 4- 6 servings.

300g frozen peas
150g asparagus
about 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
juice of 2 limes or 1 lemon
4tablespoons of lemon infused olive oil (if you can get it - or just regular olive oil is fine if not.)
salt & pepper to taste.



1. Leave the peas to one side to defrost.
2. Steam the asparagus for a few minutes until tender. (if you don't have a steamer you can just put the asparagus in a saucepan, add just enough water to cover them, bring to the boil, cover the pan with a lid and leave them to cook for a few minutes - they will absorb all the water, thus retaining all the nutrients. If they absorb all the water but are still not cooked, just add a little more water.
3 using a stick blender, blitz the defrosted peas, asparagus, fresh mint and lime/lemon juice. It's up to you how smooth you want the dip to be. 
4 Add the olive oil, season to taste and you're done! 
5 You can add to this recipe & make it your own by adding some cream cheese, mayo or vegenaise (yess!!!) or just adding in some spring onion or chives.

ok, next up is the MUSHROOM & WALNUT DIP.   makes about 4 servings.

200g mushrooms ( I used shitakes because they have more health benefits & a stronger taste, but any mushrooms are fine)
100g walnuts
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons tamari (gluten free soy sauce)
bunch of chives, chopped.

1. Heat the oil over a medium high heat in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms and stirfry for a few minutes until they're soft, cooked and just starting to brown.
(if the mushrooms have absorbed all the oil but are not cooked, just add a little water to the pan and keep stir frying until they are cooked.)
2 blitz the walnuts up in a blender. add the mushrooms, tamari, some black pepper and blitz again. until you have a nice creamy dip/pate.  You can add some chopped chives or any other herbs of your choice, and some soy cream is nice too.
3 Eat!



Monday, 20 June 2016

RAW BANOFFEE NUTTY TART



I've been so busy the last couple of months, what with moving house & starting a new catering project, the blog has been horribly neglected, so when I dropped by yesterday I was amazed to find that it was still attracting lots of visitors, even in my absence.
While this shows my presence here isn't really needed! - I still thought I owe you a new recipe, so here it is - & it's worth waiting for (if I do say so myself!).
This is the first blog post from the new house! For the last few weeks I've been camping at the old house with no fridge, hot water or oven - but I'm all moved in now - more importantly my cat & whippet are now in residence which makes it feel like home!


For the last few weeks Rabbit food has been supplying gluten free treats to the new juice bar at Yard Yoga in forest row. (www.yardyoga.co.uk). There is a raw citrus tart & a raw chocolate tart  - both gluten free, sugar free & vegan. Also 3 different flavour energy balls, fresh juices, smoothies and delicious teas & coffees.


So, since i'm in tart making mode, I've come up with a new recipe for the blog & If you want to give it a go, here it is.
.
BASE
150g raisins
100g gluten free rice krispies or cornflakes
125g cashew butter
2 tablespoons coconut oil

FILLING
100g pitted dates, 125g water

TOP LAYER
100g fresh banana (peeled weight)
1 tablespoon date syrup
50g coconut flour
100g cashew butter

TOPPING
10g dark chocolate or raw chocolate
handful of peanuts (or pecans or cashew nuts
you could also decorate with some banana chips.

1 To make the base. put the base ingredients into your blender and blitz really well until it's a nice sticky mess.


2 Grease or line a tart tin. (I use a loose bottom tin as it's so much easier to get the tart out). Press the base into the tin (as shown).


put into fridge for a few hours (or freezer for an hour).
3 bring the water to the boil. add the dates & cover with a lid or a plate. leave to cool.
4 once cool, blitz the dates & water together using a blender to make a thick date paste.
5 spread the date paste onto the tart base.
6 blitz together the banana, date syrup & cashew butter. add in the coconut flour. Spread on top of the date paste.
7 grate the chocolate over the top, add the nuts of your choice and return the tart to the fridge for a few hours.
8. remove the tart from the tin, cut into slices and eat !
(please excuse the edges! I'm a rustic cook!



Tuesday, 17 May 2016

BREAKFAST TO GO - summer adventures


Life is chaos at the moment! my new house will be ready in about ten days time, so I'm surrounded by to do lists, boxes & my pets are feeling the stress, which is stressing me further!


I also have an exciting new venture, because over bank holiday weekend the Yard Yoga juice bar is opening (www.yardyoga.co.uk) and Rabbit food will be supplying the energy balls & GF, vegan gingerbread yogis. So it's all happening at once, and although quite stressful, also really exciting & lots of positive changes ahead.


So, to today's recipe. I'm thinking ahead to summer holidays/trips/weekends away/festivals. I've found one of the most challenging things about having Coeliac disease is staying with friends or in a hotel - places where the kitchens handle gluten containing foods all the time, and breakfast in particular is usually when gluten is a staple in the most western diets. Cereal, Toast, waffles, pancakes, porridge & muesli with regular oats.......  I'm a firm believer that a good breakfast sets you up for a good day ahead, so one of the best options is to take something with you that is full of nutrition, quick & easy to prepare & of course delicious, and this recipe ticks all the boxes.
Yes it's a bit annoying to have to think ahead, but living with Coeliac disease or Gluten intolerance means it's so worth it to avoid getting glutened.
This recipe is perfect if you're going camping or festivaling this summer as it really is fuss free, once you've done the prep at home.

                            
Makes 1 serving

2 - 3 tablespoons Gluten free oats or Buckwheat flakes (or a mix of both)
1 tablespoon goji berries
1 tablespoon freeze dried strawberries
1 tablespoon cashew nuts
1 tablespoon hemp seeds or milled chia seeds
1 tablespoon dried skimmed milk/ dried soya milk/ powdered almond milk/ whey powder etc


If you're staying overnight with friends or in a B&B/hotel, you can make this up and then put it in a plastic ziplock bag, then tip it into a bowl ready to add some boiling water.


Or you can make it up in a disposable takeaway cup , then just add water when you want to eat it. I know that's not very environmentally friendly, but if you're not going to have access to a bowl, then it's an option.



                                                Yummm.....

another version is


3 tablespoons gluten free oats or buckwheat flakes
1 scoop vegan chocolate protein powder ( I like dr Mercola)
1 tablespoon hemp seeds



Chocolate porridge, make some tea, herbal tea or coffee & you're all set for a delicious GF start to the day.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

CHOCOLATE CHIA PUDDING & CHIA SEED JAM



Food fashions, just like any fashions come and go. I was watching a tv show about food trends across the decades & remembering how the "poptart" was the thing to have for breakfast in the 90's whereas porridge was only for grandmas...............whearas now.........
I actually remember my own poptart phase (even though I burnt my mouth on them on a daily basis & I never really liked the taste of them? go figure - slave to fashion.)
These days, I'm my own person & take the trends I love & leave the ones I don't.
Chia seeds have been something I left - well alone. I've always been adamant I hate the texture of chia pudding - & more often than not I'll use ground chia seeds instead of whole ones.

That being said, I came up with the first recipe whilst away on holiday when GF supplies were limited to say the least, & I have to sheepishly admit that it was pretty delicious & i'm almost converted!
I'm late to the party, I know, but they are a useful addition to a GF diet, & apart from using them as an occaisional egg replacement, these are my 2 favourite ways to have them.

first up Chocolate chia pudding. This is a great breakfast, because you're getting a good dose of protein in first thing. (you don't need to use Mercola vegan protein powder, any protein powder of your choice would be fine).


200ml almond milk
25g scoop Dr mercola vegan chocolate protein powder.
3 tablespoons chia seeds
(decorated above with grated raw chocolate and a slice of blood orange)

1. mix the vegan chocolate protein powder in with the almond milk. (using a blender or a shaker cup)
pour into a cup or small bowl and mix in the chia seeds. Cover and leave for a good few hours for the chia seeds to soak into the liquid.
2.  eat!

Ok, so chiaseed jam.
I love nut butter & jam on toast, but this is a much less sugary version, and also so much quicker & easier than making your own jam, which involves using thermometers, and sterilising jars, and sealing them with wax or something (so not my thing).



1 cup blueberries
the juice 1 orange
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon brown rice syrup.  (or honey) 



blend all the ingredients together with a stick blender (it doesn't need to be super smooth, you just want the blueberries to be mushed up a bit.

transfer to a saucepan. heat the mixture over a medium high heat until it starts to bubble, then reduce the heat until its stopped bubbling and leave on the stove for about five minutes, until it starts to thicken.
stir with a wooden spoon from time to time to stop it sticking to the bottom.
then remove from the heat, place in a jar and store in the fridge until you want to use it.


     That's it for today! - see you in two weeks.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

TOFU BOLOGNESE


Hope you all had a happy Easter - mine was pretty quiet because it seemed like everyone I know went skiing this year - apart from me, left at home! - I did have a couple of visitors over Easter weekend though. They came from the farm opposite, were super cute & now I reeaaally want some ducks....


This is a recipe that I came up with Tuesday. Tuesday evenings are the times I come up with some of my best recipes. Reason being, I get my Ocado food delivery on a Wednesday morning, so by Tuesday evening the fridge/cupboards are looking pretty bare & I have to be creative!
So, last week, I had a block of Tofu, Tin of plum tomatoes, some frozen shitake mushrooms in the freezer, half an onion, a carrot - threw it all together and voila!  It turned out pretty yumm and I made it again at the weekend. So if you want to give it a go, here's how I did it.

200g block firm Tofu
1 large carrot
1/2 red onion
1 tin peeled plum tomatoes
100ml red cooking wine
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
100g of fresh shitake mushrooms (or any other mushrooms if you can't get shitakes)

1 empty the tin of tomatoes into a saucepan with the red wine, tamari soy sauce & the shitake mushrooms. bring to the boil, then reduce to a low heat & leave simmering away gently.
2 peel and finely chop the red onion. Chop the carrot into small pieces.
3 Heat a tablespoon of light olive oil, rapeseed oil or other mild flavoured cooking oil, in a frying pan over a medium high heat.
4. Add the shallot and and stir fry until the onion has softened and and is starting to brown.


5 Although I love the taste of shitake mushrooms, I find they can be a bit rubbery, so at this point I roughly blitzed the sauce with a stick blender. Before doing this I removed some of the whole tomato pieces, then added them back in afterwards, so that the sauce would have a bit of texture.
6. Add the onion and the chopped carrot to the tomato mix and return to the heat - again bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and leave simmering away for about 15 mins, or until the carrot is cooked. If the sauce is too thick you can add some stock or more wine, and if it's too liquid, just turn up the heat a little so that it reduces down.
6 meanwhile blitz the tofu in your blender until it resembles "mince".


7 Add to the tomato pasta sauce and stir in well. Leave on the heat to warm through and then serve.
8 served with gluten free pasta ( I like brown rice pasta - tastes great and holds it's shape well).
drizzle with tahini for a dairy free option (shown at the top of the page), or some grated cheese, (shown below).