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Oat and banana breakfast bars 

These are great to make as part of Sunday meal prep and a nutrient packed grab and go breakfast! 

Ingriedents:

1 cup porridge oats

1 banana 

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp nut butter

1 tbsp honey 

1 tbsp ground flaxseeds (optional)

1 tbsp cacoa powder (optional)

Handful each of:

Pumpkin seeds

Coconut chips 

Flaked almonds

Roughly chopped walnuts (or any other nuts of your choice)

Fresh blueberries (optional)

Method:
Turn the oven on to 200c and line a small baking dish with baking paper.

Mash the banana in a bowl and mix in all of the dry ingredients.

On a low heat warm up the nut butter and honey in a sauce pan until they are mixed together. Pour this into the banana mixture and mix until all combined.

Spoon the mixture into the baking tray, you will need to press down the mixture with the back of the spatula to compact it.

Cook in the oven on the middle shelf for around 20 minutes or until it starts to brown at the edges.

Once ready, remove from the oven and let it cool before cutting into either 6 squares or 3 bars depending on how much you will want. 

They will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week. Eat them plain on the go or have them with a big dollop of nut butter 👌🏽

The great thing about this recipe is that you can add as many or as little ingredients as you like! Use more seeds, less nuts, more fruit, add dried fruit or even some chocolate chips! Give it a go! 

Black bean dip

A super quick and easy recipe! The black beans give it a great texture and nutty flavour while the paprika, garlic and cumin give it good kick!

Ingredients:

400g tin organic black beans

Half tsp each of the following:

Paprika

Ground cumin

Pink salt

Black pepper

2 garlic cloves

A good gulg of extra virgin olive oil

Method:

Put all the above items in a food processor and blend until smooth. Voila! Its the most delicious, creamy dip and a great way to pack in the protein, fibre and micronutrients 💪🏽 

Keep on an airtight container in the fridge, enjoy with sliced peppers, tortilla chips or on the side of a green salad! 

Easy homemade granola 

I love granola for breakfast but when buying them from the shop they contain so many extra ingredients which aren’t really necessary and it’s so simple to make it at home! I use the following as the base to all my granola creations:

Ingredients:

3 cups Scottish rolled oats

1/2 cup organic honey (I use Hilltop raw honey) or for vegan alternative use 1/4 maple syrup and 1/4 coconut sugar

1 tbsp coconut oil

The rest is up to you and you can be as creative as you wish! For this batch I added

1 tsp of ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground cloves

1/2 tsp ground ginger

Handful of nuts – I usually go for whole almonds, pecans or hazelnuts

Handful of slivered almonds

Handful of pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup desiccated coconut or coconut flakes

Pinch of salt

For chocolate granola add cacao powder to the dry mix and dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs when the granola has completely cooled

Method:

Turn the oven on to 180 degrees to warm.

Mix all the dry ingredients together and warm the coconut oil and honey (or maple syrup and coconut sugar) together in a saucepan. Once combined add and the coconut oil and melted add it to the dry mixture and mix well so it is all coated.


Place evenly on a baking tray lined with baking paper and place in the oven on the middle shelf. Let roast for around 15-20 minutes checking regularly. If you want clusters do not mix it, however if you like it slightly loose then mix it regularly. It can burn quickly so make sure you don’t go too far!

Once browned remove and let cool completely. For clusters, wait till it’s completely cooled and the break it up into bite sized pieces and store in an air tight container. It can last up to 2-3 weeks but in my house it barely lasts a week!!!

Serve on yogurt, or chia pudding with fruit, on top of toast with nut butter or just munch on it when you go in the kitchen!! 🙈

Vegan almond and avocado pesto 

Ingredients:

Half an avocado 

4 tablespoons ground almonds 

1 pack fresh basil

3 garlic gloves

Juice of half a lemon

Olive oil – a good glug! 

Salt and pepper to taste 

Method:

Blend the avocado, garlic, basil leaves with the lemon juice and some olive oil till chopped and slightly smooth. 

Remove and mix in the ground almonds, salt, pepper and remaining olive oil. It should fall of the spoon so if need be add more olive oil. Serve with hot pasta or drizzle on pan fried fish 👌🏽 

Warm butter bean and grilled vegetable salad

I love a hearty salad and as the autumnal days are slowing creeping in I’m looking for warm salads full of colour and flavour. This is a favourite of mine and it’s so quick and easy to make during the week. 

Serves two 

Ingredients:

250g organic butter beans

1 red pepper

1 medium courgette

1 red onion

1 block of halloumi

Handful chopped parsley

Half a packet of mixed salad leaves 

Olives (black or green sliced – your preference)

Olive oil

Salt and black pepper to season

Half a thinly sliced red chilli (de-seed if you prefer)

Lemon

Feta cheese

Method:

Turn the oven on at 200 degrees (if grilling halloumi in the oven) alternatively you can fry the slices in a dry non stick frying pan (no oil required).

 

Cut the halloumi into 1cm strips and place on an oven tray slightly apart, grill in the oven on 200 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until brown.

 

Chop the courgette into medium slices. Deseed the red pepper, slice in half and then into quarters or eighths if you prefer smaller chunks. Peel and half the onion and cut into medium slices. Add these to a griddle with a drizzle of olive oil and grill on a med-high heat. The high heat gives the vegetables a charred taste and stops the water releasing from the courgettes and onions. 


Stir the vegetables frequently to avoid them burning on one side– they will cook within approximately 10 minutes.

 

I find the above method of grilling vegetables quite quick, but if you have more time you can grill them in the oven as well or use your own method. 

In the meantime, wash and drain the butter beans. Mix in the chopped parsley, salad leaves, olives, salt and pepper, red chilli and crumble in the feta cheese. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.


Once the vegetables are ready, mix them into the butter beans and serve immediately topped with the grilled halloumi and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Brie, mushroom and rocket spaghetti 

I went into autopilot cooking this meal and forgot to take step by step pictures – sorry! 

Serves 1

Ingredients 

200g cooked Spaghetti (I used whole grain spelt)

4 large chestnut Mushrooms

30g Somerset Brie 

Handful of spinach and rocket

Knob of Butter

Few glugs of Olive Oil 

1 tsp garlic powder

Handful of chopped parsley 

Black pepper and salt

Method

Boil the spaghetti as per the instructions. I usually add olive oil and salt to the water when boiling any pasta.Wash and slice the mushrooms and cook them in a non stick frying pan on a high heat (this prevents the water for releasing) with the butter and olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, black pepper and salt. 

Once cooked mix in the chopped parsley, spinach and rocket, set aside.

Once the spaghetti is ready (al dente is my preference) drain at it to the pan with the mushrooms, spinach and rocket. Ross it together making sure the spaghetti is well coated and add in the chopped Brie, adding it at this stage ensures it melts but also maintains its pieces. Brie is a delicious cheese and will give the spaghetti a great creamy texture. Serve immediately with a final drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley to finish. 

This meals goes perfectly with a glass of chilled white wine! You could also try swapping the spinach for kale – if doing this then sauté the kale with the mushrooms so it cooks slightly. Enjoy! 


Easy creamy pasta sauce

Ingredients:

For the sauce:

500g baby plum tomatoes 

2 small red onions or 1 large

5 garlic cloves 

Half a thinly sliced red chilli 

3 tbsp Olive oil

Handful of basil leaves 

A tin of chopped tomatoes 

For the pasta:

175g baby Spinach 

Two tablespoons Greek yogurt 

Salt and pepper

Oregano 

Heat a frying pan with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Dice the onions and crush the garlic cloves, once the oil has warmed up add the onions, garlic and red chilli along with a teaspoon of salt. Put a lid on the pan and allow the onions to sweat for about 10 minutes until they turn translucent in colour. 


Meanwhile, chop the baby plum tomatoes (I cut them in half so the sauce is a little chunky) and add the tin of chopped tomatoes. Let this simmer with the lid on for around 15-20 minutes. 


If the sauce seems a bit runny, put the gas on high still with the lid on to allow some of it to reduce and thicken. Once reduced, turn the gas off and stir in two tablespoons of Greek yogurt. This will give it a nice creamy and thick texture! That is all there is to it! The sauce is ready! 

It’s such a versatile sauce I use it for pasta, baked eggs and chorizo stew! If I use it for anything other than pasta I do not add the yogurt so it’s more tomatoey rather than creamy. 

Tonight I’m simply using it for pasta sauce so read on if you wish to know how the rest of the recipe goes. 

Place the spinach on top of the sauce and put the lid back on – this will allow it to wilt but not cook in the steam.
Meanwhile boil the pasta as per the instructions – I used fresh egg lumaconi pasta from sainsburys which boils into large shells. Turn the oven onto 200 degrees. 

Once the pasta is ready, drain and rinse with cold water this removes the starch and stops the pasta sticking together. Return the pasta to the saucepan and add the sauce to it. Mix it together and transfer to a non stick baking tray. Tear up a mozzarella ball and scatter on top. Sprinkle with some dried oregano and black pepper.


Place the tray in the oven for around 5-10 minutes until the mozzarella melts and begins to turn brown. Serve immediately with a green salad and some garlic bread if you wish!