Maybe this year you can tell yourself to leave the animals alone and cook some delicious plant-based alternatives. I have several options in my ebook – they do not take a lot of time to prepare. Cauliflower steaks can be served along with all roasted veggies and beautiful cranberry red cabbaged and even cranberry sauce (picture above). My lentil roast is out of this world and both layers can be served separately (you can make more and use some for your canapes). It is better served slightly cold as it needs a bit of settle time before cutting but it could be reheated and served with my red wine vegan gravy.
This can be roasted along with carrots, parsnips, and potatoes. You prepare the vegetables first, roast for 20 min and then add marinated cauliflower for another 20 minutes. In the meantime, you reheat your lovely red cabbage, make cranberry sauce if not made, and reheat the gravy. This is a budget option but very delicious and you could serve whole cauliflower (picture above) for a stunning centerpiece. Below it is served with mashed potatoes which I formed in metal rings on the plate so it looks neat. You could pan-roast some thin slices of potatoes and again put in metal rings for mini-towers and a neat look.
You could also serve the cauliflower-like this with roasted vegetables around it.
Lentil Roast with chestnut and smoked tofu filling
I absolutely love love this dish. I made several times and every time is even better as I experiment with more flavors. This is very delicious with cashew/horseradish sauce and cranberry sauce on homemade rye bread.
Chestnuts add a little bit of sweetness and I mix them with soaked sun-dried tomatoes, tomato paste, and fresh herbs. It is also perfect on bread on its own.
I also love leftover curry next day. Beautiful warming spices. You can use the chopped roasted veggies or any other leftover food. I love it with roasted sweet potatoes and pineapple pieces.
I hope you enjoy these few dishes and check my dessert options (Vegan Tiramisu – just saying) and cheeze board as well as some healthy drinks which leave as refreshed rather than with a heavy headache next day.
Everything you need is in my ebook guide to help you this Christmas.
Enjoy this delicious summer recipe!
Pea 'Burger' with Cashew Salad Cream
Thanks to the peas, chickpeas and seeds this 'burger' recipe is protein packed making it great addition to summer BBQ. The seasoning gives it a depth of spicing ideal to be served alongside lemony cashew nut mayonnaise or homemade guacamole
- 50 g sweetcorn, tinned
- 200 g garden peas
- 240 g chickpeas
- 30 g fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 30 g fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 75 g glutne free flour (I use gram)
- 1 tsp hot paprika
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tbsp sunflower seeds
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1 large galric clove, crushed
- 1 tsp sea salt or to taste
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper or to taste
- 6 tbsp coconut oil to fry or other oil like avocado
- 70 g cashews, soaked
- 30 ml white wine vinegar
- 30 ml oilive oil
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 60 ml water
- 4 g nutritionla yeast
- 1/8 tsp Dijon mustard (or mustard powder)
Pour warm water over the peas to deforst. Once thawed drain off the water.
Place the onion, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper and spices into a food processor and pulse to start to combine.
Next add sweetcorn, the peas, chickpeas and flour to the food procesor and blitz until mixutre starts to look smooth in texture
Then add the seeds , pulse to incorporate
Form the burgers by placing 4 tbsp of mixture into the palm of one hand and use the other to mould the mixutre into a large puck shape. Place burger on to a tray lined with baking parchment. Continue to make burgers with the reminaing mixture, then cover the tray with cling film and chill for 30 minutes - 1 hours to firm up (it really makes a difference)
Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F/Gas4. Add oil to the pan and fry each side for 5 min. After that add them onto the baking tray
Cook the burgers for 15 minutes in the oven or until warm in the center
Serve with salad, BBQ sauce, homemade ketchup
This is a great base for any burgers. You could replace peas with beans or beetroot (I would use one medium raw grated). It is a great burger for batch cooking and freezing already cooked. You can then defrost and reheat on BBQ or in the oven.
I love August! This month reminds me of harvest time back in Poland. I used to spend all my holidays in the rural village helping on the farm, looking after animals and collecting hay. I remember to this day riding on a haystack on a tractor back to the barn. I am not so sure it would be considered safe today! We spent the days outdoors, fishing and picking wild food – loads of berries, apples, plums and mushrooms. We really did not do any shopping in big supermarkets, we ate what we found. Therefore, I thought I would write this blog to remind everyone what is currently in season as well as share this lovely vegan quiche recipe which can be used with any of the harvested veggies.
When we are in line with the seasons we source the energy from the growing food. We also help the environment by buying local (please check if the apples did not fly from New Zeland e,g). If you have time you can start preserving some of the goodness for autumn and winter months. I love making tomatoes passata and preserve it for the winter months (tomatoes in winter taste horrible). You can also ferment some food (cabbage, ridge cucumbers) to keep your gut healthy and happy.
Vegetables – aubergine (watch my video for the harissa marinated aubergine recipe – simple), broad beans (watch my video for broad beans guacamole), broccoli, carrots, fennel, french beans, garlic, peas, peppers, radishes, spinach, tomatoes, watercress, new potatoes, samphire
Fruit and Nuts – apricots, billberries, blueberries, cherries, jostaberries, gooseberries, greengages, raspberries, red currants, strawberries
Wild – blackberries, elderberries, hazelnut (you need to be quick as squirrels like those too), nettle (delicious in pesto), pennywort, sea beet, wild marjoram, wild thyme
Plant Based Nutrition
It is really important that you know what nutrients you get from food. A healthy lifestyle means being aware of what we put in our bodies, how we feel and what we need to eat to stay healthy and thrive. Plants are full of phytonutrients and phytochemicals needed for all the functions and healthy cells. They help our body to fight off free radicals by supplying antioxidants (eg berries). Please check the list below for some guidance. You probably heard about 5 a day but actually we should eat plants 9-10 a day (the portions size is approx 80g).
Protein – rice & beans, quinoa (complete protein), buckwheat, hemp seeds, hummus, lentils, pulses and nuts
Super Proteins -hemp powder, chlorella, spirulina, blue green algae
Iron – dried fruit (should be eaten in small amounts due to sugar content), leafy greens, tofu, whole grains (borwn rice, buckwheat, bulgar, millet, quinoa) – Vit C allows better absorption
Calcium – leafy greens, molasses, tahini, sesame seeds (you can even make mylk from soaked sesame seeds)
Omega 3 (ALA) – flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, hemp seeds
Omega 3 (EPA & DHA) – algae based supplements
B Vitamins (1,2,3,6) – leafy greens, nuts ,seeds, whole grains and beans
B12 – enriched nutritional yeast, enriched coconut mylk (it is recommended to take supplement)
Choline ( this nutrient is required to make acetylcholine, keeping the nervous system healthy) – brassica greens, shiitake mushrooms, supplements
K1 (important for bone health and wound healing) – kale, broccoli, spinach, swiss chard, beetroot leaves , mustard greens
K2 (bone and heart health) – natto, fermented soy, supplements
Below is one of my favorite recipes. Enjoy and share your pictures on Instagram tagging WellbeingSeekers.
Enjoy Monika xxx
Vegan Asparagus Quiche
This lovely recipe uses chickpea flour instead of eggs and cashew nuts for creaminess. It is a great lunchtime or dinner option for your protein part of the meal. You can use spinach or broccoli spears or even tomatoes or cauliflower instead of asparagus.
- 100 g ground almonds
- 100 g gluten free oats, ground into flour
- 100 g linseed
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- 70 g virgin rapeseed oil
- 115 ml water
For the Filling
- 150 g cashew nuts, lightly toasted
- 450 ml water
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 50 g gram flour (chickpea)
- 70 g virgin rapeseed oil or olive oil
- 1 bunch asparagus, hard stems trimmed off
- 1/2 onion pan fried
- 1/2 lemon juice to taste
For the pastry
Grind the almonds, oats and linseed separately in a food processor or a blender. Mix together in equal parts in a large mixing bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix together using a fork, as the mixture will be too sticky. Let it rest for 5 minutes
Crumble the dough evenly over the base of the quiche tin. Starting from the center of the tin, press the mixture evenly into the tin, working your way outward and up the sides of the tin. Prick the pastry case so that air can escape. Place the tin into the fridge for 10 minutes.
Next, bake the pastry case at 170C for 15-16 minutes or until lightly golden and firm to touch. Set aside to cool while you finish preparing the filling. Increase the oven temperature to 180C.
For the filling:
Blend all the filling ingredients together, except for the asparagus and fried onion (if using), until smooth and creamy. Check the consistency and adjust seasoning, adding splashes of almond milk, lemon juice and salt if necessary
Meanwhile trim the tough base off the asparagus
Spread the custard filling over the ready tart case and arrange asparagus on top. Place the quiche into the oven.
Bake the quiche, uncovered at 180C for 20-30 minutes, until the quiche is just set and has a golden colour.
For the best results, cool the quiche for 15-20 minutes on a cooling rack before attempting to slice. The crust may crumble slightly when sliced warm, but not to worry
The filling may be quite loose, but it will set during baking - Trust me. It can be served with side salad and simple green pesto or dressing.