SPRING PEARL BARLEY AND SPINACH RISOTTO (V+, V, NF, ChF)

SPRING PEARL BARLEY AND SPINACH RISOTTO (V+) (V) (NF) (ChF)

Sometimes I LOVE eating crunchy, raw food with crisp, fresh flavours. And sometimes, when the nights are still a little bit colder, I need a nice, warm foodie-cuddle. That’s when I seek out warm, yummy comfort food. Nothing too heavy, you understand, but just the right balance between naughty and nice to put a big smile on my face.

As I write this post, London is making a slow but steady transition into spring. And, with spinach so in season at the mo’ I just couldn’t think of a better time to make and share this wonderful recipe; my first savoury dish on the blog. Cool! I call it my lovely Spring Pearl Barley and Spinach Risotto, based on a recipe in the amazing River Cottage Veg Everyday Cookbook!

PRETTY VEGAN PEAR CAKE (V+, ChF)

PRETTY VEGAN PEAR CAKE (V+, ChF)

I have a go-to recipe, a one-size-fits-all-yet-it-still-comes-out-totally-fab-and-is-so-easy recipe; this is essentially it. Of course, I make minor changes to suit my mood, to adapt to what’s in the cupboards and adjust to what’s in season, but in essence it’s the same basic, fabulous, easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy recipe.

When I was taking the pictures of this cake for the blog, my son kept trying to bite into the cake. True story. He was so taken by its lovely aroma and yummy presentation. After a good 15 minutes of begging and some serious competition worthy foot stomping I gave in and cut him a slice…and another and…Ironically, I particularly like the pictures where the cake is actually cut, so am utterly grateful for his impatience! Counting my blessings.

Inspired by a recipe from Abel and Cole!

pear cake 2

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES (V+, P, GF, NF, ChF, GrF)

CHOCOLATE COVERED STRAWBERRIES (V+) (P) (GF)(NF) (ChF) (GrF)

What makes for a good match? In a marriage I believe you need friendship, respect and good communication. But I also think personally, another key feature of a successful partnership is having a husband whose strengths help mitigate my weaknesses, compliment my personality and bring out the best in me. And today’s recipe is indeed like the perfect partnership – here you have two star ingredients that were destined to be together. On the one side you’ve got the deep, rich, bitter creaminess of dark chocolate and on the other you’ll find tangy, juicy, sweet and fresh strawberries…YUM!

strawberries collage 1

Do you know what else I love about this recipe? It’s a great way to spend quality time with your child, bond and share your love of healthy food. So, for the photo shoot I got my son into the kitchen – he was a super assistant by the way, pinching the strawberries with the skewers and, much to his delight, getting involved in dipping the fruits (and his fingers) in warm, dark chocolate. After taste testing a number of chocolate covered strawberries, we went into the garden to pick some flowers and then arranged them together with the strawberries like a fun little flower bouquet. My son was proud of his work and I was proud of him!

UPDATED! RUSTIC VEGAN CARROT CAKE (V+, ChF)

UPDATED! RUSTIC VEGAN CARROT CAKE AND RAW VEGAN FROSTING (V+, ChF)

PLEASE NOTE: The photos for this blog post and the recipe slightly improved in December 2015.

MY FIRST POST. OMG!

Ok, so let’s get this straight – this cake sadly doesn’t really count towards your 5-a-day (although at a push and if you twist my arm I may let this one pass for adding ½ of your daily requirements ;)). BUT this creation is a healthier choice than the non-vegan carrot cakes you find in most shops and cafes. Plus, as you’ll find with this recipe, a little bit of naughty mixed with a little bit of nice can be quite delicious. In fact, this cake is super delicious and most of the people who eat it are completely and utterly amazed that it’s vegan! 

There are two ways to make the cake – I use the 20cm cake tin without icing if the cake is just for us at home. Spelt flour doesn’t rise so much, so it ends up being a relatively flat but utterly scrumptious cake. If I want to be a bit dramatic - as I wanted to be here, for this photoshoot -, I used 3 very shallow 15-cm cake tin and iced it. The simple, single layer cake requires more time in the oven though than the 3 layered cake (see below for details). 

This recipe is based on one I found in the beautiful Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook. I bought the book just before I moved to eating a mainly plant-based diet. It seemed suuuucccchhh a shame to have this amazing book and not be able to cook from it, so I decided to ‘veganise’ some of the recipes. This is the result of one of my attempts. Enjoy!

COLAGE1NEWCARROTCAKE