Author: joanne

Christmas Mincemeat (Vegan and GF)

Growing up in England, one of my strongest associations with feasting at Christmas includes mince pies! These days I make my own mincemeat and tend to experiment with different variations every year. Although the recipes generally include a mix of fruit, dried fruit and spices, one of the beauties of modern mincemeat is that it is extremely flexible and forgiving. Some years, I have been ambitious enough to make candied peel from scratch. Not this year, however! Still, regardless of how it evolves, mincemeat with its distinct taste and aroma will always be a holiday favourite of mine.

This is the first mincemeat recipe I have tried that uses a Dutch oven rather than the stove-top method. The slow cooking of the mincemeat in the oven over 90 minutes fills the kitchen with the familiar and delicious aroma of dried fruit and spices.

Triple Layer Tahini or Caramel Bars (Vegan and GF)

Traditionally, treats have been considered unhealthy as they tend to be processed foods, high in calories with little if any nutritional value. They can also contain harmful levels of added sugar, sodium and fat. In some ways, this “unhealthy” aspect of treats seems to defeat their intended purpose if the rituals of celebrating, rewarding or consoling includes eating potentially unhealthy ingredients.

Even though a lot of the WFPB treats contain healthy and nutritious ingredients, they still need to be consumed in moderation especially if they are part of a weight loss plan. However, there is no doubt in my mind that all treats are not created equal so next you are looking for food to treat yourself, why not give one of these healthy and nutritious WFPB treats a try?

Quick and Easy Lunches (Vegan and Gluten Free)

Today lunch is generally a light meal eaten around midday and usually includes foods such as soups, salads and sandwiches. I have always tended to eat the same thing for this meal which is a salad with some form of bread on the side. Even though eating similar meals day after day tends to make it easier when grocery shopping for a small household, it can become limiting when trying to provide the body with a variety of nutrients. For this reason, it helps to have some quick and easy ideas on hand.

A nutritious lunch can help us stay full, alert and energized throughout the afternoon and so there is less temptation to snack. However, as a healthy lunch can sometimes be challenging to plan for, these savoury toasts are quick and easy to prepare and can include a variety of tasty and nutritious toppings to provide a satisfying healthy meal with a variety of nutrients.

Apricot and Peanut Recovery Bars

After any endurance event the body needs time to recover so it can reenergize itself for next time. For the body to recover more quickly, another important piece is choosing the right foods.
This is one of the challenges I face as I often don’t feel like eating after strenuous activity. However, these tasty apricot and peanut butter bars provide a great mixture of healthy ingredients that I find appealing even right after a workout to help kickstart the recovery process..

If you are not athletically inclined, the good news is that recovery bars are not just for after sports! There are lots of situations in life that involve recovery and the one most of us experience at some point is stress. Much like a workout, the “fight or flight” response of stress can impact the body leaving it needing recovery. As this can come in the form of time, rest and healthy sustenance, these decadent bars make a great recovery treat for even the worst of days!

Raw Sweet Potato Salad with Curry Almond Sauce

When it comes to eating vegetables, I am not a big fan of crunching them uncooked and generally prefer roasted, stir fried or even boiled.

Despite this, I did enjoy this raw sweet potato salad with a curry almond sauce! I had prepared a similar dish many months ago in which the sweet potato spirals were stir fried for about 5 minutes before adding them to the salad which softened them slightly. However, this recipe is authentically raw! As it involves no cooking, it is great for a summer meal when you don’t want to turn the stove on or, alternatively, it can be served as a light side dish to add a fresh flavour and crunch to a warm, winter meal.

Apple and Blackberry Crumble (Vegan and Gluten Free)

One of my favourite desserts from childhood is the classic crumble with either an apple and blackberry or rhubarb base. As my cooking now involves quite a different array of ingredients than it did at one time, it is always a bonus when one of the classics can be adapted to a vegan and gluten free version. I have tried a number of variations and this Apple and Blackberry Crumble recipe seems to most closely resemble the original texture.

Oat and Apple Biscuits (Vegan and Gluten Free)

What comes to mind when you think of a biscuit? My guess is that it probably depends on where you live! Having grown up in one country and then lived most of my adult life in another, I have found there are several words that are used quite differently in each country. One of these is the humble biscuit!

Double Blueberry, Lemon and Almond Granola

There is nothing quite like the sweet taste of a fresh, ripe blueberry. These small, plump berries with their deep, rich color are amazingly versatile and their fresh, fruity flavour can serve to enhance many foods as well as being a delicious addition to a variety of dishes including pancakes, pies, tarts, muffins, sauces and cakes.

This double blueberry, lemon and almond granola is vegan and gluten free and full of wholesome ingredients and by making your own, you can control the amount of sugars, fats and overall ingredients to suit your preferences.

Matcha Chocolate Avocado Emoji-Buns

It is interesting what a difference a smile makes, and it is so true that like attracts like and a smile begets a smile.

Despite the name, these Matcha Chocolate Avocado Emoji-Buns have no avocado in them. They are basically a sweet bread shaped like an avocado with matcha in the main dough to give a green avocado colour and cacao powder in the portion which represents the avocado stone. Once they are baked, the Emoji expressions are painted on with an edible marker. Their faces are simply to make you smile!