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

 

 

 

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!

Almond butter and blueberry smoothies

Right now this is my go-to smoothie combo. If I could, I would have it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I just can’t stop raving about it! Apart from telling all my friends various times, I also thought I better not let you beautiful readers down and give you this super quick and luxurious smoothie, so you too can rave about it.

It’s packed with almond butter and chia to make it super thick and creamy while also providing you with a generous dose of good fats and a complete source of protein. Cacao powder adds a rich but subtle chocolate taste while also being a great source of magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron and potassium.  Maca powder is an ancient vegetable that is great for balancing hormones, relieving stress and boosting energy with a delicious malt flavour. It is best to start with a little if you have not had maca before and gradually increase the amount to suit your taste.  These ingredients really make this a super feel good smoothie far any day of the week! Plus blueberries and bananas, could it get any more super?!

Almond butter & Blueberry smoothie

serves 1 hungry soul for breakfast or 2 as a snack

Ingredients

  • 1 C almond milk
  • 3 frozen bananas
  • 1 heaped tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 C fresh blueberries, to serve
  • Dried rose petals, chia, cacao nibs  and almond butter, to serve if desired.

Method

  1. Measure and place all the ingredients, except the blueberries, into the blender in the order listed.
  2. Blend on high for 1 minute or until thick and creamy.
  3. Pour into 1 large bowl or two smaller jars and pop into the freezer for 5 minutes. The chia seeds will gel and make the smoothie extra thick.
  4. Meanwhile wash your blueberries and slice some in half. Prepare any other toppings you wish to include.
  5. Remove the smoothie/s from the freezer and top with the blueberries and (almond butter, chia, rose petals and cacao nibs).
  6. This smoothie needs a spoon!

Enjoy! Show me your smoothies on Instagram #goodnessgraciouskitchen

 

 

 

Baked mushroom and tofu spring rolls

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Amazingly I have now been on holidays for two weeks and am only now getting around to posting a recipe! Time has just been flying by with lots of cooking, beach walks, running, picking citrus, playing with the chookies and exploring the beautiful south west where my parents live. So here I am with a new recipe that is quick enough to be whipped up by all of you on holidays as well as those who are not so lucky.

Lately I have been feeling a little tropical and craving asian inspired food, even though on average its only been about 12 degrees! Think fruity smoothies with lime and coconut, fresh herb salads, fried brown rice, gado gado and these spring rolls. The fabulous thing about these is that they are baked not fried, which creates a much healthier snack without compromising on flavour or texture. The outside doesn’t achieve the same colouring but it is still crisp to the bite and the filling remains beautifully steamed inside. We enjoyed these for lunch along with the suggested add ins and all three of us were completely satisfied.

Feel free to get creative with the filling and add in other asian vegetables depending with what you have available. Fresh capsicum and thai basil would be great additions.

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Baked mushroom and tofu spring rolls

Serves 3 as a meal or 6 as a snack

Ingredients 

  • 2 T sesame oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 spring onions, thinly sliced
  • a thumb sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
  • 250g button mushrooms
  • 1 whole dried chilli, finely chopped
  • 100g firm tofu, crumbled
  • 1 C green cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 C purple cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1/4 C chopped coriander
  • 2 T tamari
  • 1 carrot, julienned
  • 50g brown rice vermicelli noodles, cooked according to packet directions
  • 1 packet (~20) round rice paper sheets
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil

To serve

  • Peanut sauce, recipe follows
  • Tamari
  • Lime wedges
  • Coriander, purple cabbage and carrot
  • Broccolini, steamed

Method

  1. To make the mushroom filling, heat the sesame oil in a large frypan then add the spring onions, garlic and ginger and stir fry for a couple of minutes or until fragrant and beginning to colour. Add the mushrooms and chilli and continue to stir fry for 5 minutes. Then add the tofu, half the cabbage, the coriander and continuing to cook for another 5 minutes. Stir through the tamari and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Prepare a bowl with lukewarm water to dip the rice paper sheets in, place a damp tea towel on your work surface and line a large baking tray with baking paper. When the mushroom mixture is ready, soak the rice paper for 30 seconds then place on the damp tea towel and load up with the mushroom filling, noodles, carrot and both types of cabbage. Roll up from the end closes to you folding the sides in as you go, (follow directions on rice paper packet). Place on the prepared tray and continue until all the filling is used.
  3. Brush the prepared rolls with the EVOO and place in the preheat oven for 15 minutes. Turn and cook for another 10-15 minutes. Serve immediately withe the suggested sauces and vegetables.

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Peanut dipping sauce

  • 1/3 C natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp tamari
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 tsp hot chilli sauce

 

Method 

Simply combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Add in 1-2 tbsp just built water to thin to your desired consistency.

Enjoy, and hopefully I can transform those of you suffering in the winter chill to a sunnier place with these flavours.

 

 

 

 

Christmas cookies

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I can’t believe its the festive season again, already! I have been a bit slow at getting into the Christmas spirit but here is the first of hopefully a few Christmas recipes. As of yet we don’t have a christmas tree up in our home but the smell of these cookies wafting around has reminded us that once again ‘its the season to be jolly’!

I wanted these cookies to be a mix between traditional gingerbread and shortbread but without the butter, eggs, refined flour and sugar. They are beautifully spicy, almost buttery from the coconut oil and with a lovely crisp texture, perfect for dunking in your afternoon cup of tea. I have shaped mine into a few giant gingerbread men as i had a really cool cookie cutter from my late Grandmother but regular gingerbread would also be delicious! I have also shaped some stars and christmas trees which are great presented in a little bag or mug as a christmas present.

Get your kids in the kitchen to help you with this easy, healthy recipe and enjoy the start of a beautiful festive season!

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Christmas Cookies

Ingredients

1 C rolled oats, gluten free if necessary

1 C almond meal

½ C rice flour

1 t gluten free baking powder

1 t ground ginger

1 t ground cinnamon

1 t ground allspice

½ C raw honey

½ C unrefined coconut oil

1 t vanilla extract

¼ – ½ C plant milk, I used almond

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line 2 large trays with baking paper.

Pulse the oats in a blender/food processor to achieve a rough flour consistency. Place the oat flour into a mixing bowl along with the almond meal, rice flour, baking powder and spices. Combine.

Melt the honey, coconut oil and vanilla extract over a bowl of boiling. Add to the dry ingredients along with enough plant milk to achieve a dough consistency. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.

Sprinkle rice flour over your bench top and roll the dough out to roughly ½ cm thickness. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters. I used giant gingerbread, star and Christmas tress cutters. Use a little mixed peel and flaked almonds to make eyes and buttons.

Carefully place onto the lined trays and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Perfect served to impromptu Christmas visitors with a cup of tea.

Enjoy!

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Nut butter cookies

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Peanut butter seems make everything delicious, whether it be sweet or savory it is usually a taste sensation. These cookies are no exception, with peanut butter being the star ingredient and cacao nibs giving that lovely rich chocolate crunch they are ridiculously delicious. Of course these do not have to be made with peanut butter, almond, brazil nut or a combination would achieve the same texture. But through my experience I have found peanut to be the winner.

The mix freezes really well and can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. I like to make a big batch of the cookie dough so whenever i have unexpected guests i can just roll some onto the tray, bake and then have delicious fresh cookies to serve!

I have posted about the benefits of cacao before but just to refresh, it is the raw unprocessed cocoa bean that is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. So enjoy the chocolate that is good for you!

You can make your own peanut butter by slow roasting 1 1/2 C raw peanuts until golden and shiny. Then simply place in your high speed blender and blend until the oils have released and your desired consistency is achieved (slightly crunchy or smooth).

Peanut butter and cacao cookies, makes 20

1 C gluten free rolled oats

2/3 C buckwheat flour

1 t baking powder

1/3 C cacao nibs

1/3 C macadamia oil or coconut oil

1/2 C coconut nectar

1 C natural peanut butter

1/3 C tahini

1 t vanilla extract

 Method

Process the oats in a food processor until a course flour consistency. Place in a large mixing bowl and add all the other dry ingredients (buckwheat flour, baking powder, cacao nibs), combine.

Melt the wet ingredients (macadamia oil, coconut nectar, peanut butter, tahini and vanilla) in a saucepan over low heat.

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until all combined.

Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Use a tablespoon to scoop the mix and roll into balls. Place on the tray and flatten slightly.

Bake for 10 -15 minutes or until golden brown. They will be soft but when they cool will crisp up.

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Enjoy!

Breakfast in a jar

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As you may know by now, I love a delicious breakfast that can be prepared the night before! When I have to rush to work I like being able to grab my breakfast jar as I head out the door, knowing it will fill me up until lunch time. This breakfast in a jar is no exception. With creamy chia, slightly tart rhubarb and crunchy sweet buckinis it will satisfy all your cravings and you won’t be tempted by a pastry or muffin.

I also love how easy this is to prepare at night. It’s really just a matter of mixing it all up, and if you wish making enough to last a few breakfasts.

Chia seeds are the highest plant source of omega 3, fibre and protein as well as boasting a range of vitamins and minerals. It’s a great vegan protein source as it contains all 9 essential amino acids. Chia will help you have luscious hair, glowing skin and strong nails.

I like to serve my chia with a tart rhubarb compote, its easy to make and delicious. Just slice 4 stalks of rhubarb into 1 inch size pieces and combine in a pan with the juice of 1 lemon, 2 T coconut sugar, the seeds of a vanilla pod and a little fresh ginger. Cook over low for 5-10 minutes, until just soft. Refrigerate until required.

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Chia and rhubarb parfait

Serves two

4 T chia seeds

1 C coconut milk

1/2 C coconut water or filtered water

Seeds from a vanilla pod or 1 t vanilla bean extract

1/2 C Rhubarb compote

2 T buckinis

1 t bee pollen

1 T coconut flakes

Method

Combine the chia, coconut milk, coconut water and vanilla in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning spoon out half and layer in a jar with the rhubarb, buck inis, bee pollen and coconut flakes.

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Enjoy!