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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. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Resting time15 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Author: Monika

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 170C/150fan/Gas3 and lightly grease a round 25cm quiche tin.

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

Notes

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.