Maple roasted roots with Stilton & walnuts

Posted in: N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Loaded with winter goodness, this is a crowd pleaser for carnivore and vegetarian guests alike. Served at room temperature, it has a particularly special place in my heart for allowing me to prep in advance so I can focus my efforts on the perfect mulled wine. I’ve done a mix of veggies here, but you can equally double up on sweet potatoes and drop all other roots. I’ve opted for an orange dressing with stilton and walnuts for a nod to the festive season, but feel free to sub for your favourites.

Maple-roasted-roots

Feeds 6 as side

INGREDIENTS

3 sweet potatoes
4 medium sized carrots
4 beetroot
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric (for anti-bacterial gut health)
Pinch sea or Himalayan pink salt
70g stilton or blue cheese
Fistful / 50g walnuts, lightly dry toasted in a pan or oven – a couple of mins
1 tbsp dried cranberries

Dressing

Juice of 1/2 orange
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
Himalayan pink or sea salt and black pepper
1 tsp crushed, dried chillies – optional

METHOD

Pre-heat oven to 200C. Slice carrots and sweet potatoes lengthways into wedges and beetroot into quarters. Line, skin side down onto a baking tray and roast for approx. 35 mins, gently turning the veg a couple of times throughout. You’re aiming for crispy wedges; soft in the centre with slightly charred edges.

Roast-veg-prep

Set aside the veg to cool slightly – you don’t want them to turn to mush by adding the citrus and olive oil too quickly. Mix the dressing ingredients.

In a large bowl gently combine the dressing with the veg (I use my hands). At this stage, you can set aside in the fridge for the flavours to develop.

When ready to eat / prep, transfer veg to a large platter, layering with the cheese, cranberries and nuts. Topping with parsley also adds colour and freshness.

Serve as a main for vegetarians and / or alongside your turkey or meat of choice.

Coconut & mushroom scrambled eggs

Posted in: DF, S, SF, V, WF

Crunchy yet creamy; seductive yet wholesome; filling yet bloat free; these are scrambled eggs as, I’d hazard a guess, you’ve never had them. I’m addicted. Knowing my appreciation for his native nut, and Wholesome Seduction, #ChefRaheem of Old Harbour Hotel in Kerala worked his magic on countless coconut incarnations for ‘Madam’. Every one created with health and healing in mind. Raheem’s an artist and doctor all in one. And my unfailing inspiration.

Coconut-scrambled-eggs

Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

1 dsp coconut oil
2 eggs
Dash coconut (or cow’s) milk
Salt and black pepper – I like sea or Himalaya pink salt
½ carrot, grated
1 tbsp mushroom, or spinach. Or both.
1 tbsp desiccated coconut

Optional extras:

1 tbsp spinach, finely sliced
1 dsp cabbage, finely sliced – I like this for added crunch
¼ onion

METHOD

On a medium flame, set coconut oil to heat in a frying pan. Meanwhile whisk eggs with milk and salt. Set aside.

Sauté carrot and mushroom (+ any other optional extras) in the hot coconut oil for 1-2 mins – you want the veg to remain crunchy.

Add whisked eggs, stirring until cooked and fluffy. Add in most of the desiccated coconut, remove from the heat immediately and serve.

Top with the remaining coconut and a side of roasted tomato or toasted rye bread. I like Village Bakery for taste and because there’s no added yeast (yeast = bloat and lethargy for me).

ChefRaheen-and-Vineetha

Click here for why I fell in love with coconut oil and here for the best ones to buy

Cacao, nut & berry super shake

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Super shakes are fast becoming as key to a cafe menu as coffee; even Pret’s now in on the cacao & almond milk smoothie action. As such, I’ve been developing recipes for yoga pop-ups, independent cafes and the somewhat larger, Gather & Gather. This is my favourite.

It’s hard to restrict the reasons to love this shake to just a few words, but the fact it tastes like chocolate milk and is actually good for you, is probably key. It’s also super quick to make (-5 mins) and can be eaten on-the-go so ideal for busy schedules. In terms of health tick boxes, think: protein, energy, anti-oxidants, vegan, no refined sugar, dairy free blah blahhh wheat free blahhhh. One friend’s even convinced cacao kick starts her day more than coffee; tall order but I like it.

cacao,-nut-&-berry-shake

Feeds 1

INGREDIENTS

1/2 dsp coconut oil
2 tbsp frozen berries
1/2 banana (frozen if possible)
1 dsp cacao
4 dates
1 dsp almond butter, tahini or peanut butter
150ml almond milk – I love Rude Health
200ml water

METHOD

If the coconut oil’s set (probable unless you live in a tropical climate), transfer to a cup immersed in hot water. Leave to melt while you make the smoothie.

Put all the remaining ingredients in the order listed above to your blender – I use a stick blender to keep washing up within 1 minute.

Blitz till smooth, add in the melted coconut oil and blitz again.

Tip: Frozen fruit works particularly well in smoothies, adding a thick, frappe like texture. I keep bananas in the freezer for this very reason. It also eliminates the black banana overnight syndrome.

For reasons I recommend Rude Health’s almond over all others, click here: From the streets: Rude Health dairy free milks 

Mushrooms with poached egg & spicy sesame

Posted in: DF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Make the most of wild mushrooms while they’re in season with this uber recipe. OK, so the picture is of the less sophisticated (and less expensive) chestnut mushroom. A technicality. Just proof this dish works with any fungi you can get your hands on. In my quest for the meatiest, most comforting version of this mushroom classic, I’ve played around with the ingredients a lot. As such, you don’t need the seasoning, but I find it cranks everything up a notch, while adding protein and being more filling. Similarly, you can lose the egg; I have a bit of a thing for gooey yoke running into crunchy, chilli salt coated mushroom denseness.

Mushrooms & poached egg with spicy sesame
Feeds 2

INGREDIENTS

400g chestnut mushrooms
2 slices rye or sourdough. I love Village Bakery 100% rye
20g / knob of coconut oil (or butter) – this works incredibly well!
sea salt
black pepper
thyme, leaves picked
2 eggs
1 dsp extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 dsp cream cheese or creme fraiche – Vegan’s, you can drop this.
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp Sesame & rosemary spice – optional

METHOD

Brush mushrooms clean and slice into chunky strips. Set bread to toast and butter to heat in frying pan, adding mushrooms once bubbling.

Keep on a high heat and season with salt, pepper and thyme. Leave to cook for 3 – 4 minutes, tossing just once during cooking. Too much stirring causes the mushrooms to stew.

While your mushrooms are cooking, set eggs to poach for 4 mins. You don’t want these to overcook so I tend to leave this until the mushrooms are just about done so I can pop on top at the very end. Alternatively, you can do olive oil fried eggs.

Squeeze lemon onto mushrooms and fold through the cream cheese. Transfer toast to plates and drizzle with olive oil.

Top each with mushrooms, Sesame & rosemary spice and poached egg. Sprinkle with some thyme leaves and black pepper and serve.

Mushrooms-&-poached-egg

Also delicious without the seasoning or the cream cheese.

Courgette & feta fritters

Posted in: LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Bowing to yogi petitions for veggie fritter recipes on a recent Italian yoga retreat, here’s an option which uses the last of the summer’s British courgettes and involves minimal effort. I have it on good authority (my favourite yoga teacher, Molly) that having followed this recipe, dinner party plates were licked clean. Note: don’t be put off by the word ‘fritter’, just enough oil to stop the batter from sticking is all you need; these are skinny!

Courgette-&-prawn-fritters

Makes 12 fritters, feeds 4

INGREDIENTS

150g chickpea flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric (for gut health)
black pepper
2 limes, juice of
½ red Kashmiri chilli, chopped
8 spring onions, chopped
2 tbsp coriander, chopped
2 courgettes, grated
100g feta, chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil. Or your choice of oil.

METHOD

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. In stages, add 100ml water and the lime juice and stir until you get a thick batter, removing any lumps.

Add the spices, salt, chilli, spring onions and herbs, followed by the courgette and feta.

Dollop coconut oil into a frying pan and set over a medium heat. When very hot, add your mix (1 heaped dsp per fritter) and flatten to 2cm thick.

Cook for 2-3 mins on one side and 1 on the reverse. Or until your fritters are a reddish brown. Coconut oil gives a lovely crispness, and countless health benefits in the process!

Serve hot.

Continuing in the spirit of all things Italian, dollop with Basil pesto, avocado and cottage cheese or Labneh (hung yoghurt) from the Larder. For the meat eaters among us, it’s hard to beat the bacon, avocado & Pitt Cue Co. chipotle ketchup combo.

zucchini-fritters-&-avacado

Podere-Conti-Yoga-

Gorgeous yogi gurus Molly and Gabby. My inspiration.

For London gourmet yoga pop-ups click on Secret Yoga Club. Gabby dedicates all of her time to organising (far too reasonably priced) yoga evenings hosted by renowned yogis, washed down with a meal by equally respected chefs. Trullo and The Little Cooking Pot to name a few. Gabby’s resourcefulness and energy never fail to blow my mind.

For more info on Tuscan Travel Pick and agriturismo see Podere Conti here.