Vanilla cream cake with seasonal fruit

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This may sound like a totally indulgent and luxurious dessert but really its not so bad for you at all! The ‘cream’ filling is made from raw cashews and coconut milk which is fluffy and flavoursome and so much better for you than a regular cream filling! Along with a nut base and fresh seasonal fruit on the top it’s the perfect guilt-free treat. My mum has been going all out and taking a slice for her morning tea at work, piled high with sweet figs and tangy passionfruit it’s the perfect morning indulgence. It would also be beautiful on an afternoon high tea platter.

The cream cake filling is scented with vanilla beans and raw local honey which adds not only sweetness but floral fragrances making it the perfect backdrop for whatever seasonal fruit you have on hand. I have chosen figs and passionfruit as our garden is bursting with them both at this time. Plus, the sweetness from the figs and tang from the passionfruit work beautifully together. I would also say mango and raspberries would be a delicious topping. Strawberries, kiwifruit, peaches and even cherries. Choose whatever fruit you have available in abundance and by doing this you will be getting the tastiest option. Sprinkle a few little mint leaves on top and you have a picture perfect and flavour packed treat!

For the base, I have chosen to use mainly buckwheat groats as these make the dessert a little lighter, there’s only so many nuts we can have, right?! But by including a few walnuts the base still has a delicious nutty flavour and is packed with nutrients.

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Notes about the recipe

I like to make the cream cake and place it sliced in a tupperware in the freezer without adding the topping. This way it will last up to 1 month frozen. Before serving I simply remove the desired amount of slices 30 minutes prior and top with the fresh fruit topping. 

To achieve a really creamy filling it is best to use a high speed blender, such as a vitamix. 

Vanilla & honey cream cake with seasonal fruit 

makes approximately 16 slices

Ingredients

for the base

  • 1/2 C raw walnuts
  • 3/4 C buckwheat groats (buckinis)
  • 1/2 C shredded coconut
  • 8 fresh dates, pitted
  • 4 dried figs
  • 2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
  • a pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

for the cream filling

  • 2 C raw cashews (soaked overnight)
  • 1/2 C full fat coconut milk
  • 2 T raw honey (or maple syrup)
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil

for the topping (choose whatever locally grown, seasonal fruit you have available)

  • 1 C sliced fresh figs
  • 4 passionfruit, pulp only
  • a few fresh mint leaves
  • edible flowers to decorate, if desired

Method

  1. Start but soaking your cashews overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  2. For the base, place the walnuts, buckwheat and coconut into a processor and blitz for about 1 minute, or until a rough crumbly textures is achieved. Add the dates, dried figs, coconut oil, sea salt and cinnamon before processing again until a sticky texture.
  3. Press this mixture firmly into a lined 20×30 cm tin. Place into the freezer.
  4. For the cream filling, drain the cashews and place in a high speed blender along with all the other filling ingredients. Blitz for 2-3 minutes or until a VERY creamy texture is achieved. Check the balance of flavours as you may need to add a little more honey if you’ve got a sweet tooth.
  5. Pour the filling over the base and place back into the freezer to set for 4-6 hours. Once completely set slice into 16 bars. If serving now top with fig slices, passionfruit pulp and mint leaves and let sit for 30 minutes to thaw.
  6. Otherwise store the slices in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Enjoy!

Show me your creations by tagging #goodnessgraciouskitchen on Instagram xx

 

 

 

 

Cacao & Ginger energy bars

University goes back today, school has been back for a few weeks and I’m sure most of you have been back at work for at least the last month. For me, this means long days at uni filled with chemistry labs and the need something delicious and energising to keep me sustained. I have previously posted the recipe for my Nutty fruit cake, which is a great snack while you’re on the run and is often found in hanging around the bottom of my bag. These bars are another delicious snack and with the addition of cacao which is full of antioxidants, magnesium and iron they really will give you a boost.

I must admit though that these energy bars don’t travel nearly as well as the indestructible Nutty fruit cake however they are just as delicious enjoyed at home with a big cup of tea or a glass of fresh nut milk. Filled with the rich taste of cacao and spicy ginger these are the big kid addition of a chocolate bar so if you want to make them for some little people reduce the ginger and perhaps addd a little honey for a sweeter version.

Cacao & ginger energy bars

makes 16 bars

Ingredients

  • 2 C rolled oats, gluten free is necessary
  • 1/2 C pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1 C pitted dried dates soaked in just boiled water for 10-20 minutes
  • 2 C puffed quinoa or millet
  • 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 1- 2 pinches flaky sea salt
  • 3/4 C tahini
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp  freshly grated ginger

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees celsius. Place the rolled oats and pumpkin seeds on a baking tray and pop it into the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the oats are just golden and smelling delicious.
  2. Meanwhile, line a 20x30cm lamington tin with baking paper and set aside. Drain the dates, place in a small bowl and mash with a fork into a sticky smooth paste. Add in the tahini, coconut oil and ginger, mixing to combine.
  3. In a large bowl mix the puffed quinoa, cacao powder and sea salt. Add in the toasted oats and pumpkin seeds.
  4. Finally spoon over the date/tahini mixture and mix quickly to combine.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared tin and press down firmly with your palm. You may want to wet your hands very slightly to stop the mixture sticking to you!
  6. Place in the fridge to set for about 4 hours before slicing into bars.

 

 

Raw banana crepes

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A few weeks ago I had the most divine breakfast at a beautiful cafe in Perth called The little shop of plenty. They had raw banana crepes on the menu and I knew right away i had to taste them! They were nothing like traditional crepes but absolutely delicious in their own way. Since then, I have had them on my mind and when we had some over ripe bananas hanging around I knew the time was perfect. Plus, it was a Saturday night when I started so I couldn’t resist the thought of waking up to a slow Sunday morning with raw banana crepes!

I have flavoured the crepes with a little cinnamon as it always goes so perfectly well with banana and adds another dimension of sweetness. It’s also loaded with antioxidants and anti-innflamatory properties, so win win! We then filled the crepes with beautiful fresh figs and passionfruit from our garden, coconut cream, a little mint and some raw honeycomb my Dad collected from the bees. It was a sensational combination and I urge you to try it! Otherwise the crepes are delicious with whatever seasonal fruit is available or even almond butter and honey. Let you imagination run wild!

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Notes about the recipe 

You will need a dehydrator to make the crepes. I have a large sunbeam one which wasn’t too expensive and does the job well. The time will depend on your dehydrator settings but as stated in the recipe mine took 4.5 hours at 70 degrees celsius.

This isn’t your regular cope so don’t expect anything fluffy and light. Rather these are chewy in texture and really quite filling.

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Raw banana crepes

Serves 3-4  

Ingredients 

  • 4 ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbs chia sees
  • 1/4 C filtered water
  • To serve: fresh figs, passionfruit, coconut cream, honey comb, mint and edible flowers. Feel free to use any seasonal fruit you have available. 

Method

  1. Place the bananas, cinnamon, chia and water in a high speed blender and pulse until very smooth and creamy.
  2. Pour 1/4 C onto a lined dehydrating tray and move the tray in a circular motion to evenly spread the mixture into a circle. Repeat until all the mixture is used.
  3. Dehydrate at 70 degrees celcius for 4.5 hours, or until dry and not sticky.
  4. Gently peel off the baking paper. The crepes will keep in an airtight container with paper between each one for up to 1 month.
  5. To serve slice the figs and scoop out the passionfruit pulp. Fill the crepes with the figs, passionfruit, a drizzle of coconut cream, a little honeycomb a few mint leave and  edible flowers. Roll up and enjoy the beautiful fresh flavours!

Enjoy! Show me your crepes on Instagram @goodnessgraciouskitchen #goodnessgraciouskitchen

 

Summer Goddess Salad

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What could possibly be better for you than a huge platter piled high with vibrant green leaves, sprouts, crisp cucumber, sweet sun-ripend tomatoes, creamy avocado, spicy radishes, tangy blueberries and a lemony dressing?! Nothing! It’s time for you to enjoy the best of what summer has to offer, so head to your veggie patch, community garden or local farmers market and find some seasonal greens to whip up this bowl of nourishment. I can’t promise you’ll end up looking like a summer goddess but I can promise you’ll feel like one. And its all about whats on the inside, right?

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Summer Goddess Salad 

Serves 4 as a side

Ingredients 

  • 1 head of butter lettuce
  • 1 head of baby cos lettuce
  • 100g baby rocket
  • 100g pea sprouts
  • 150g yellow pear tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes), halved
  • 50g blueberries
  • 2 radishes, thinly slices
  • 1 avocado, large dice
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers, sliced
  • edible flowers to garnish (borage, nasturtium, pansy)

Lemony vinaigrette

  • 1/2 white salad onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
  • salt and cracked pepper

Method 

  1. Wash the lettuces together while pulling the leaves off the stem. Then spin dry all the leaves and place wrapped in a tea-towel in the fridge. This ensure beautifully crisp leaves.
  2. Wash the rocket and pea sprouts together, spin dry and place wrapped in a tea-towel in the fridge.
  3. To make the vinaigrette combine the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper. Once mixed add the onion slices and set aside.
  4. To assemble the salad cover a large platter with 3/4 of the lettuce leaves. Pile over the rocket, pea sprouts, cucumber, tomatoes, radishes and avocado. Add in the rest of the lettuce leaves before sprinkling on the blueberries and edible flowers.
  5. Dress the salad just before serving.

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Enjoy!

Show me your salads on Instagram by tagging #summergoddesssalad and #goodnessgraciouskitchen

 

 

 

My vegan lasagne

I write this after feasting on another lasagne for dinner and I really could not hold this recipe from you anymore. It’s delicious and worthy in every kitchen, whether you’re vegan or not. I am also thinking it would be the perfect addition to a christmas eve dinner, so it’s just in time for you to start your planning!

This past year lasagne has been making a regular appearance on my dinner table. It’s simple to make vegetarian lasagne but I found it a little trickier to make it vegan and still keep all the delicious and comforting flavours. I have made mushroom lasagne, creamy carrot and lentil lasagne, eggplant lasagne with lemony ricotta and the list goes on. But this recipe is my absolute favourite. It’s creamy, hearty, warming and oh so satisfying.

The layers consist of lentil bolognese, which to me is one of the greatest things ever, a vegan béchamel sauce, grilled vegetables, fresh spinach and all topped off with a home-made vegan parmesan. I used some fresh spelt pasta but choose whatever pasta you like although try and make it a healthy choice.

Notes about the recipe

I often make the lentil bolognese as an easy midweek meal over raw zucchini noodles, spelt pasta or quinoa. Please do try this as it is a delicious alternative to the regular spaghetti bolognese.

The lentil bolognese can be adapted with whatever vegetables you have on hand, celery is great and sweet potato too. The mushrooms add a nice richness so if you have them on hand do include. I often just throw in any extra vegetables hiding at the bottom of the fridge.

I like to buy a large jar of charred capsicum from selected supermarkets or gourmet food stores, they taste delicious and are great addition to many dishes.

It may seem like a huge ingredient list and mammoth task but its not too complicated and most parts can be made in advance.

Lentil, eggplant and zucchini  lasagne 

Makes 1 very large lasagne with 8-10 serves

Ingredients for the lentil bolognese 

  • 1.5 C whole green lentils, preferably soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 200g swiss brown mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely diced
  • 1/2 a large red chilli, finely sliced
  • 1 tin crushed tomatoes
  • 4 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 C chopped fresh italian herbs, chopped (basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary)
  • 1/4 C chopped and pitted kalamata olives
  • 1/4 C charred capcicum, finely chopped
  • 1/4 C good quality red wine
  • Himalayan salt and freshly cracked pepper, to season

Ingredients for the béchamel sauce

  • 2 Tbsp cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp chickpea flour
  • 2 C unsweetened plant milk (cashew, almond or soy)
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • Himalayan salt and white pepper, to season

Ingredients for the raw vegan parmesan 

  • 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tbsp walnuts
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Himalayan salt and freshly cracked pepper, to season

To assemble

  • 1 large eggplant (aubergine), sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • Cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Spelt or gluten free lasagne sheets
  • 2 C fresh spinach or chard leaves

Method 

  1. If soaking the lentils in advance simply place in a large bowl and cover generously with filtered water and a squeeze of lemon.
  2. To cook the lentils drain off the soaking water (if applicable) and place in a saucepan with 2 bay leaves and cover generously with water. Bring to a gentle simmer  before covering and cooking for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
  3. To start the bolognese heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the chopped onion and sauté over medium heat for 5 minutes. The onion needs to gently sweat rather than colour. Add in the garlic, mushrooms, carrot and chilli while continuing to cook gently for another 5 or so minutes.
  4. Add in the tin tomatoes, then 2 C of water, followed by the tomato paste, fresh herbs, kalamata olives, charred capsicum and red wine. Bring to a simmer before covering and cooking for 35-45 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. To make the béchamel sauce gently heat the olive oil in a small sauce pan. Add in the chickpea flour and cook for 2-3 minutes. Slowly add the milk a little at a time, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk over a gently heat until it starts to thicken and bubble. Let it cook for another 2 minutes before taking off the heat. Add the nutritional yeast, nutmeg and season to taste. Set aside.
  6. To make the vegan parmesan simply finely chop the sunflower seeds and walnuts and combine in a small bowl with the nutritional yeast and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Lastly, preheat a grill to high. Brush the eggplant and zucchini slices with olive oil before placing in a single layer under the grill. Cook each side for around 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
  8. Finally its time to assemble. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. In a large baking or lasagne dish (30 x 20 cm) place a spoonful of lentil bolognese. Spread over the base of the dish before following with pasta sheets, lentil bolognese, grilled zuchinni and eggplant, fresh spinach/chard and a drizzle of the béchamel. Continue these layers until all ingredients are used, making sure you save 1/4 of the béchamel for the final top layer. Sprinkle over the raw parmesan and cover with a lid. Bake for 40-45 minutes, before removing the lid and baking for a further 15 minutes.
  9. Leave to sit for 10 minutes before serving. I like to pop a few potatoes in at the same time for delicious whole baked potatoes. I also serve with a fresh green salad.

 

 

 

Banana and dark chocolate cookies

Over the past couple of months I have been making these cookies when I have an overflowing bowl of ripe bananas and a need for something sweet other than banana bread. The bananas add a beautiful sweetness and chewy texture while also making these cookies a great energy boosting snack.

I have trialled these on a car trip, where they travelled well and satisfied all the passengers, even my sister who usually complains that nothing is sweet enough. The cookies also made an appearance on a bicycle ride with me today and they were the perfect halfway snack to keep us satisfied until lunch.

Without the chocolate I would be inclined to say these would also make a fabulous breakfast on the run, seeing as they are made of some of the usual breakfast suspects like oats, almonds, buckwheat, chia and coconut.

Banana and dark chocolate cookies

makes approximately 20 large cookies

Ingredients 

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (the riper, the sweeter)
  • 1/2 C cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 C raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • 1 1/4 C buckwheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 C rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
  • 1 C almond meal
  • 1 C desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 75g dark chocolate (75% cocoa or more), roughly chopped

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
  2. In a small bowl or jug combine the mashed banana, olive oil, honey and vanilla. Whisk with a fork to combine and set aside.
  3. Sift the buckwheat flour and baking powder into a large bowl then stir in the other dry ingredients.
  4. Add the banana mixture and mix to combine. Finally add in the dark chocolate.
  5. Roll large tablespoons of the mixture onto the prepared trays and flatten with your palm (they won’t spread when cooking).
  6. Place into the preheated oven and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Cool on a wire rack before enjoying with a cup of tea!

Spiced veggie patties

So, university is out for the year and I now have three clear months ahead of me to fill with cooking, yoga, running, swimming and adventuring! Somewhere in there too I will have to find a REAL job to sustain my summer of fun! Anyway to start with I am looking forward to lots of relaxation after a busy few weeks of study and exams. So today you would find me spread out on the couch in the sunny front room of my parents house with a cup of tea and a big appetite to share one of my favourite recipes with you.

Veggie patties are a bit of a staple for me. They are super quick, easy, cheap and can be served in a multitude of ways. I love to wrap them up in a pita with lots of fresh salad in summer or roll them into balls and serve with a rich tomato sauce and pasta in winter. They are just so versatile and always a hit, even with my meat eating friends.

By combining rice and lentils your body receives all 20 essential amino acids, which makes these patties a complete protein source (yes I did lean something this year!). It is very important for vegetarians/vegans to combine different protein sources to ensure they are  consuming complete proteins and these patties make is super easy! With lots of veggies and spices too it makes them an all round winner!

Spiced veggie patties 

Makes approximately 20 patties

Ingredients 

  • 1 C red split lentils, soaked overnight or as long as possible
  • 1 C brown rice, soaked overnight or as long as possible
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, ground
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds, ground
  • 1/2 tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 1 medium zucchini (courgette) , grated
  • 1/2 C parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 C spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 C currants
  • 1/4 rolled oats
  • 1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. If soaking the lentils and rice, place in separate large bowls and cover completely with filtered water, add a squeeze of lemon and leave.
  2. Drain the lentils and place in a saucepan with 2 C filtered water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and cook for 20 – 25 minutes or until reduced into a thick paste. Set aside.
  3. Drain the rice and place in a saucepan with 1.5 C filtered water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil, turn the heat to very low, cover with a lid and cook for 35 minutes. Do not lift the lid during the cooking process. After 35 minutes the water should be evaporated and the rice fluffy. Set aside.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees fan forced. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  5. Place the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the cooked lentils and rice and mix again. The mixture should be sticky and hold together when pressed. If too wet add another 1/4 C rolled oats. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Roll the mixture into 2 balls and flatten out on the tray. Brush with oil before placing in the preheated oven to cook for 20 minutes before flipping and finish off for another 15 minutes.
  7. Serve with salad, coconut yoghurt, toasted almonds, avocado and pomegranate or wrapped up in a pitta with fresh salad.

Enjoy!

Show me your patties on Instagram #goodnessgraciouskitchen