Breakfast, Children's Nutrition, Dairy-free, Gluten free, Kids meals, Recipes

Best baked beans

I have had a “best baked beans” recipe for a long time now, but every time I make it, I tweak it – anyone else do that? Now that we’ve been a couple of months sans-Heinz over in rural northern Sweden I have had plenty of practice and plenty of tweaks and boy, is this THE recipe I have for you now!!!

If you think you don’t have time to make beans and that they couldn’t possible stand up to the comparison of your favourite can – think again, I promise you will not be disappointed 😉

(Serves 4)

Ingredients:

  • Little olive oil for frying
  • ½ onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed / finely chopped
  • 2 rashers of streaky bacon (optional, but highly recommended)
  • Pinch ground cumin
  • Pinch ground coriander
  • 250 mls tomato passata
  • 1 400g tin cannellini beans (or 100g dried beans soaked overnight then boiled for approx. 90 mins until cooked)

Method:

  1. Gently fry the onions and garlic in a little oil for 2-3 minutes on a medium temperature, stirring so they don’t burn, then add the bacon (if using) and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until it’s all cooked through
  2. Add the passata, coriander and cumin and bring to the boil before adding the beans.
  3. Cook through for 10 minutes or so until everything is piping hot.

What are your cupboard staples that could use a tasty and healthy makeover?

Dairy-free, Dinners, Gluten free, Recipes

Brain-healthy Salmon Salad

For those of you who read my previous Good Mood Food post on supporting mental health through the Covid-19 lockdown and looking for inspiring recipes, this is such a lovely simple but wonderfully supportive salad. Eating the right fats is so important for brain health, as it getting sufficient proteins and the variety of different vitamins and minerals we need to keep all the process running effectively to keep us on an even keel and feeling great.

For the salad:

  • 1 chicory (endive) sliced, or other salad leaves
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1 small beetroot, grated
  • 1/2 a large or a whole avocado, sliced
  • 1 pre-cooked salmon fillet (simply bake for 20 minutes or pan fry in advance) This is delicious served warm or cold
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds

For the dressing:

  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Method:
1. Mix the salad dressing ingredients together in an empty jam jar, and shake well to mix
2. Assemble the salad ingredients on a plate, then drizzle over the dressing (there will be plenty spare for another day, just use as much as you like for taste)

Dairy-free, Gluten free, Recipes, Sweet treats, Vegan

Raspberry cashew “cheesecakes”

These cheese-less “cheesecakes” are made with high-protein cashew nuts on a base of dates and pecans. There is still a reasonable amount of sugar included, but it’s not refined sugar (meaning it carries lots of great nutrients along with it), and blood sugar spikes should be better counteracted by the protein, fat and fibre content. Plus, if you’re following a gluten and/or dairy free diet or undertaking “veganuary” then these are a show-stopper dessert for which where nobody’s going to feel they’re being deprived of a proper treat!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients

For the bases:

  • 150g madjool dates, destoned
  • 125g pecans

For the toppings:

  • 125g cashew nuts*, soaked in water for at least an hour, then drained
  • The juice from one lemon
  • 100mls coconut oil, melted, plus a little extra for greasing
  • 160mls coconut cream
  • 100mls maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 100g raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • Freeze-dried raspberry pieces (optional)
    *Please buy fair trade – it really does make a difference!

Method:

  1. Grease a 12 hole large muffin tin with a little coconut oil, and lay a strip of greaseproof paper across each hole with just a little of each end sticking out above the top (this is to aid in removing the cheesecakes from the tin once frozen, trust me, it’s worth the effort!)
  2. Blitz the dates and pecans in a high-speed food processor until they start to combine and stick together into a sort of dough, then split the mixture out evenly between each of the 12 muffin tin holes and press down with the back of a spoon or the base of a small glass
  3. Next, wash out the food processor and now blitz together the drained cashew nuts with the lemon juice, coconut oil, coconut cream, maple syrup, vanilla bean extract and raspberries until it’s completely smooth
  4. Evenly pour the cashew nut mixture over each of the bases, sprinkle over some freeze-dried raspberry pieces (for aesthetics), and pop the tray into the freezer for at least 2 hours, or until the cheesecakes are frozen solid
  5. To serve, remove from the freezer and allow to stand for about 10 minutes before carefully removing them from the tray using the tip of a knife and the greaseproof “handles”. You may wish to leave them to stand for a little longer so that they are a bit softer and easier to eat, but I usually can’t wait that long! Store the extras back in the freezer or keep them covered in the fridge for a few days.