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Magic Mousse Jars

This dessert is such a winner! Not only is it visually stunning it’s deceptively easy to make. Unlike a traditional mousse made using eggs, cream and sugar this magic mousse is 100% vegan and is made using avocado, silken tofu and coconut yoghurt as the base. Stay with me! I know this combination of ingredients aren’t obvious choices for a dessert but when they are blended with rich melted dark chocolate, smooth salty peanut butter and juicy raspberries they transform into the most deliciously decadent mousse. The really fun part is the layers. Each mousse is individually layered in a jar then topped off with more raspberries, shavings of chocolate and cacao nibs. So each time you dip your spoon in you get a different combination of flavours and textures. This is the perfect dessert to make for your special someone, yourself or make ahead for a dinner party when you want to wow your guests.


Magic Mousse Jars
Serves – 4    Prep – 20 min    Set – 30 min     Difficulty – medium

Ingredients
Chocolate mousse
1 large avocado
1/2  medium banana
100g of 85% dark chocolate
3 tablespoons of maple syrup
Raspberry mousse
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup vanilla coconut yoghurt
2  tablespoons of chia seeds
Peanut butter mousse
2 – 3 tablespoons peanut butter
1 300g packet silken tofu
2 tablespoons of maple syrup
To serve
chocolate shavings
cacao nibs
fresh or frozen raspberries
nuts/seeds

Method
start with the raspberry mousse. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend to a smooth, thick mousse forms. Put the raspberry mousse in the fridge and allow to set while you make the other layers.
For the peanut butter mousse add all the ingredients to a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy with no lumps of peanut butter. Taste and add more maple or PB if you think it needs it. Scrape the mouse into a bowl and set aside.
To make the chocolate mousse add the avo, banana and maple syrup to the food processor (don’t worry about cleaning in between) blend until smooth. Melt the dark chocolate either in the microwave or in a bowl over a pot of hot water. With the blender on slowly pour the melted chocolate into the avocado mix. Blend until all the chocolate combines with the avocado and a smooth mousse form.
To assemble your magic mousse get 4 jars or glasses and gently spoon the mousses in one layer at a time. I did peanut butter/raspberry/chocolate but you can do any order you like. Top with raspberries dark chocolate shavings and cacao nibs. Place in the fridge and allow to set for 30min before serving.

Watermelon & Strawberry Salad with Zingy Green Sauce

The first time I had tried a watermelon salad was at a small restaurant where I used to work. I thought they were crazy putting a watermelon salad on the menu. Who would order that? apparently everybody. It was one of the most popular dishes on the menu and we frequently sold out on balmy summer days. The salad was pretty simple. Just fresh chunks of watermelon, rocket leaves and feta drizzled with a pesto sauce but man was it good! The sweet watermelon worked perfectly with the herby sauce and the creamy feta tied everything together making it feel like more of a meal. Obviously, I’ve made my version of this salad 100% plant-based and swapped the cheese for a creamy, slightly spicy tahini sauce, added a few extra veggies for crunch and juicy strawberries because summer is all about fruit. You could also add cooked chickpeas or lentils if you want something more substantial.

Not only is this salad a match made in flavour heaven it’s also a  perfect nutritional partnership. The vitamin C from the fruit increases your absorption of iron from the leafy greens. But why does that matter? Your body uses the iron to carry oxygen to all your cells through your blood. So if your low on iron your body isn’t getting the amount of oxygen it needs making you feel tired and generally blah. Together they also pack a mean antioxidant hit and load you up on fibre. Yay plants! Make this salad in the peak of summer when the watermelon and strawberries are their most red and juicy selves.

Watermelon & Strawberry Salad With  Zingy Green Sauce

Serves – 4    Prep – 15     Difficulty – Easy   

Ingredients
2 cups of watermelon (about 1/4) cubed
250g strawberries
4 cups of spinach/watercress
5 radishes
2 spring onions
2 small Lebanese cucumbers
4 Tablespoons Dukkah
Green Sauce
1 large handful of mixed herbs (basil, mint, parsley, coriander)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup tahini
1 green chilli
1 clove of garlic
juice of 1 lime
salt + pepper

Method
Start by preparing the sauce. Add all the ingredients to a food processor/ blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste, add a little more herbs, salt, lime juice if needed. You can add a dash of h2o if the sauce is too thick.
To prepare the salad wash and dry the greens lay on a serving plate or salad bowl. Thinly slice the radish, spring onions and cucumbers. Halve the strawberries. Arrange the salad fruit and veg nicely on top of the greens and sprinkle the Dukkah over the top. Drizzle with the green sauce just before serving. Bon appetite. 

Lemon Grass & Coconut Soup

This Fresh and light coconut broth is the perfect meal to kick-start your healthy eating in 2018. Its the love child of Coco-nutty tom kha soup & fragrant hai green curry. Lemongrass, ginger, Kaffir lime leaf & fresh herbs are blended with coconut milk & veggie stock to create a delicious broth which is simmered gently then ladled over brown rice noodles, broccolini and tofu. I love topping this soup off with fresh cucumber and bean sprouts for extra crunch. Snow peas, boy choy and capsicum also work amazingly. If you want an extra green kick you can blend a handful of spinach into the broth.

This soup is great if you want to calm and soothe your tummy after an indulgent silly season. Lemongrass, ginger & mint are digestion superstars! They’re full of compounds that can help ease common digestive symptoms like bloating, nausea & cramps. You can also use the leftover herbs to brew a delicious tummy tea and sip throughout the day.

Lemongrass & Coconut soup
Serves – 2 hungry people     Prep 15     Cook – 10     Difficulty – Medium    

Ingredients
For the Broth
1 stalk of lemongrass
1 cup mint
1 cup coriander
1-inch knob of fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon white miso
1 tablespoon tamari
1 fresh lime
1 can coconut milk
1 cup veg stock

To serve
brown rice noodles, cooked
1 bunch broccolini or other Asian greens, steamed
1 cup bean sprouts
1 small cucumber, chopped
250g firm tofu, cut into cubes
toasted sesame seeds
Fresh chilli, sliced (optional)


Method
1. Start by cooking your rice noodles, steaming your veggies and chopping your cucumber, tofu and chilli so they ready to go when the broth is done.
2. Roughly chop the garlic, ginger and lemongrass making sure only to use the white end of the lemongrass as the top green half is too fibrous to blend.
3. Add the chopped garlic, ginger and lemongrass to a blender or a medium saucepan if using a stick blender along with the other broth ingredients, reserving the lime and a few sprigs of mint and coriander for serving. Blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Transfer to a medium saucepan ( if not already in one) and simmer on a low heat for 8 – 10 minutes to warm through and cook out the raw garlic flavour.
5.  When the broth is warmed through squeeze in the lime juice and stir to combine.
6.  In two large bowls layer the rice noodles, steamed veg & tofu then pour the coconut broth into the bowls. Top with the fresh cucumber, bean sprouts, sesame seeds and chilli.
Eat and enjoy!