Healthy living recipes

Carrot- pepper vegetable spread

Recently I’ve been into making veggie spreads. “Veggie-what?” I hear you say. Think of it as an alternative spread for your morning toast, purée for pasta sauce, filling for a lasagne or all round genius way for effortlessly increasing the amount of veggies in your diet.

I like to roast my veggies as roasting adds a great depth to the flavour.

To make a simple three veggie spread you’ll need:

3 carrots

2 parsnips

2 red bell peppers

Dollop of olive oil

Spices: nutmeg, chilli, salt

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cut the veggies lengthwise into a similar thickness. Coat the veggies with oil and roast for 40min or until they’re turning soft and starting to brown.

Put all ingredients and spices into the food processor and blend until smooth. Enjoy!

Leftover pumpkin bake

This year my husband was super keen to carve a pumpkin 🎃 Since this is our first Halloween as a family of three, he was excited to set a new tradition. Having researched lots of designs, he opted for a simple smiley face, which is now proudly decorating our window sill.

I absolutely hate wasting food so I was keen on using the pulp of the carved pumpkin.

I made this pumpkin bake and it was a real hit. My husband and I ended up finishing the entire tray in one go and we ended up buying another pumpkin just to make it again. I served it with some garden salad, seed mix & tahini sauce, which lifted it to another level.

As always, this recipe calls for only few ingredients and spices, making it a winner if you’re looking for a wholesome dinner ideas on a budget.

To serve 6 (or two very hungry adults), you’ll need:

Pulp from a carving pumpkin

3 medium potatoes – grated

2 carrots – grated

1 onion – chopped

1 stalk of rosemary

Salt & chilli to season

Dollop of rapeseed oil

Start off by pre-heating the oven to 160C.

Chop the onion and fry it until caramelised. Add in grated carrots and fry for 5mins until they start to brown. Add chopped rosemary & seasoning.

Next add potatoes and pumpkin to the mix and stir thoroughly until the veggies are evenly mixed. Transfer the mix to a baking tray.

Bake the mix for 40 minutes at 160C and 20min at 190C if you want it to go golden.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

Vegan pumpkin-pepper mac’n’cheese

This vegan mac’n’cheese has become a staple food in our home. I’ve made it for birthdays, dinner parties & just as a comfort food in rainy autumn days and it’s gone down a treat every time. With only 5 core ingredients and some warming spices, this is a winning dish for anyone looking for simple dinner ideas.

I’ve used pumpkin as a main ingredient, but squash will work a treat too.

To serve 6 you’ll need:

500g pasta

1/2 pumpkin

5 bell peppers

1 onion

5 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tbsp coriander seeds – ground using pestle & mortar

1 tbsp chilli flakes

Salt & ground nutmeg to season

Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Peel & cube pumpkin (save the seeds for roasting) and core bell peppers. Place the pumpkin cubes & bell peppers in a roasting pan, add dollop of olive oil and roast until your veggies start to brown. Roasting veggies will give a great depth to the flavour, but you can also boil or steam if you prefer.

Next chop the onion and fry until caramelised. Add salt, coriander seeds & nutmeg and fry for another minute until spices warm up.

While the onion is caramelising, boil pasta according to the instructions on the pack.

Transfer onions and roasted veg to the food processor or a blender. Add nutritional yeast and blend until very smooth.

Pour the mix over pasta and stir well until combined. Garnish with some seeds & greens & serve immediately.

Apple-butternut squash soup

Yesterday was my husband’s birthday. I wanted to host a small dinner party with the family to celebrate. Since I have a small toddler, I usually tend to do easy-to-cook batch-type food that doesn’t require much prep, but is fragrant and full of flavour.

I made an apple-squash soup as a starter and it went down so well I wanted to share the recipe with you. To make the soup you’ll only need 3 core ingredients and some spices.

To serve 6 you’ll need:

4 apples

1 butternut squash

2 onions

Spices: few shakes of cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, chilli, 2 bay leaves

Drizzle of olive oil for roasting

Start off by preheating an oven to 180C.

Peel the squash and cut it into small chunks. Save the squash seeds to roast later. When roasted they will make a delicious topping.

Drizzle the squash with an olive oil and roast for about an hour until soft & golden.

Cut the apples into quarters and remove stems. No need to peel or core the apples, they will blend nicely. Roast the apples in the oven for approximately 20min or until golden.

Whilst the squash and apples are roasting, chop onions and fry them in a pot over a medium heat.

When onions have turned golden, add roasted squash and apples. Cover the veggies with a boiling water, add seasoning & spices and simmer for 5min. Whilst the soup is simmering, toast squash seeds.

Take the soup off the hob and blend using a hand blender. Enjoy straight away.

Cauliflower-lentil soup

I love making soups when I’m short of time. It’s a delicious way of packing in lots of veggies, whilst spending very little time prepping ingredients.

Here’s a cauliflower-lentil soup which turned out to be a real hit in our house.

You’ll need:

1 whole cauliflower with leaves

3 carrots

1 onion

1/2 cup of red lentils

3 bay leaves

Salt, chilli, rosemary, sage – to taste

Dollop of olive oil for frying

Start off by chopping peeled onion and frying in olive oil. Whilst onions are frying roughly chop carrots.

When the onions start to caramelise, add chopped carrots and continue to fry for another 3 minutes.

Separate cauliflower florets & leaves and add to onion & carrots. Next cover veggies with boiling water and bring the soup to the boil. Add lentils, seasoning and spices and simmer on medium heat for 25min or until lentils are soft.

Blend with a hand blender until smooth. I served the soup with roasted chickpeas, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts & a drizzle of sesame oil, but it’s delicious as is.

Preserved aubergines in oil

This year I accidentally become a keen gardener. It all started with planting a couple of grow bags of potatoes and soon after escalated into growing huge array of different crops – tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, peas, beans, squash, strawberries, salad, carrots and lots more 🤗

I was keen to grow crops that are typically hard to buy loose and aubergine was a good contender for this.

This year’s harvest was very small. Since I didn’t use any chemicals or veggie feed, my purple beauties grew as small as a size of a fist.

I was keen to preserve the little harvest I had so here is my take on aubergines preserved in oil. And oh my, they turned out so well, you’ll love this recipe 🍆✨

These aubergines will be perfect in any salad, pasta, in sandwiches, as pizza topping or just enjoyed on their own.

To make two 300ml jars you’ll need:

20 small aubergines or approx. 5 medium size

300ml rapeseed oil

2 stalks of rosemary

6 cloves if garlic – peeled & roughly chopped

Bunch of sage

2 tbsp salt

Dollop of apple cider vinegar (or any other)

Start off by cutting aubergine into 1 cm thick slices. Sprinkle with salt and leave for an hour until aubergine gives out water.

Next squeeze out the liquid and grill aubergines on the griddle pan until softened.

Drizzle apple cider vinegar on top of grilled aubergine slices & hand mix until thoroughly coated.

Sterilise jars and add a dollop of oil at the bottom of the jar. Next line aubergines in layers, adding sage, rosemary & garlic between the layers.

When the jar is filled, slowly pour over rapeseed oil, ensuring all pieces are covered. Poke with the fork to ensure all air bubbles have surfaced – this is very important otherwise aubergines will start to ferment after few weeks. Seal the jars and store in the fridge up to 8 weeks.

Chocolate-hazelnut spread

This is a recipe I get asked about the most. Here’s my take on a healthy version of Nutella. This hazelnut-cacao spread is amazing on a toast, baked in brownies, cakes, used as icing or just enjoyed on its own. All you need to make it is four simple ingredients & a food processor.

To make a 300ml jar you’ll need:

2 cups roasted hazelnuts

7 tbsp maple syrup

3 heaped tbsp raw cacao powder

2 tbsp coconut oil

Start off by grinding hazelnuts in a food processor until they turn runny. Next add all the rest ingredients and stir well. Spoon into a jar and enjoy!

Banana-blueberry bread

This blueberry-banana bread is seriously good. With no added sweeteners it’s surprisingly indulgent. It contains only few ingredients and takes very little prep time.

I used porridge oats and oat flour as I like the contrast in texture, but you can use just oat flour if you like your banana bread smooth.

You’ll need:

3 very ripe bananas + 1 extra for garnishing

200g frozen blueberries

1 cup porridge oats

1 cup oat flour

5 tbsp coconut oil – melted

1 tbsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

Pinch of nutmeg

Pre-heat the oven to 180C.

Mash the bananas with the fork until a smooth consistency forms. Add all other ingredients except blueberries and mix until everything is well combined. Next fold in blueberries and pour the dough into the baking tray.

Add garnish & bake for 45mins. Take out of the oven and enjoy whilst warm.

Blueberry – apple ice lollies

This two-ingredient ice lolly is a life changer. It’s so refreshing and delicious, and with no added sugar it makes a perfect treat. Best of all – it takes literally seconds to make.

To make a few ice lollies simply add a handful of blueberries to the ice lolly mould and pour over apple juice. Leave in the freezer until solid (2-3hrs). Enjoy!

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