Category Archives: Recipe

Raw Orange and Cacao Energy Bars

Ridgeway snacks to power us from Ogbourne St George to Uffington. Trying out a new raw bar blend with orange zest and cacao nibs. See you at the White Horse!

As part of my 2015 Adventure Goal to complete the Ridgeway this year, I’ve been experimenting with raw snack bars to power me through the miles. This is the latest, receiving a 10/10 rating from my walking buddy. I make these in my Froothie Optimum 9400 which does a great job of grinding the nuts into a fairly fine powder and makes it easier to bind together the ingredients in the bars, but you could also use a food processor or other blender to make these.

Raw Orange and Cacao Energy Bars

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 cups cashews
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes
  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 1 heaped tbsp of cacao nibs (I recommend Naturya Organic Cocoa Nibs)
  • a small pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. In a food processor or blender pulse cashews until coarsely chopped.
  2. Remove half of the cashews. Continue processing the remaining cashews until finely ground. Combine with the coarsely chopped cashews.
  3. Add the prunes, dates and orange zest to the food processor or blender and blitz into a paste.
  4. Add the cacao nibs and the nuts to the food processor / blender (don’t add all of the nuts at once – you might not need all of the nuts to bind theses together; it depends on the moisture content of your dried fruit). Blitz until everything has congealed together. Check the consistency – if it’s super sticky, add more nuts.
  5. Line a small container with cling film (I used a 4′ tupperware). Press the mixture into the dish with your hands.
  6. Refrigerate for half an hour and then cut unto pieces.

See also:

Winter Guacamole with Pomegranate and Dukkah

Winter Guacamole with Pomegranate and Dukkah

This is some well-traveled guacamole. It started at a cocktail party in Berlin. Or rather, in the hours before the cocktail party began. The hosts were my friends Rachel and Dave who I were visiting for Thanksgiving – me, Rachel and Dave go way back and have a happy history of expat Thanksgivings together. And on this particular Thanksgiving, they had the genius idea of having a Thanksgiving Eve cocktail party.

But back to the guac… pre-party, we went to the Turkish Market on the bank of the Maybach for provisions, and somewhere amongst the spices, pomegranate, dolmades, and traditional Turkish Heisser Apfel Ingwer Punch, an avocado score was found. A gentleman at one of the vegetable stalls sold us a whole box of avocados for a mere 2 euros. An idea was forming…

Requisite avocado...

One of my visions for the cocktail party was guacamole to pair with the Mexican Martinis I planned to make. The challenge in Berlin – and many parts of Europe – is that it’s really hard to find fresh coriander. Maybe it was the Turkish influence but in my mind I started to evolve my idea of guacamole to use other herbs. I also needed an alternative to tomato which is woefully out of season in wintertime Germany. There at the Turkish market, stalls laden with bright red pomegranate and big bundles of parsley, the solution was practically screaming at me.

When we got home, we realized that the aforementioned gentlemen was eager to dispose of his avocados because they were insanely ripe. But even after discarding the truly worst of the bunch, we were still left with an ample supply of avocados to play with. The guacamole was assembled as all guacamole should be… throw your ingredients into a bowl, mix, taste and adjust as you go. Our ingredients were avocado, red onion, lemon juice, pomegranate, parsley, salt and lots of pepper. The icing on the avocado cake, however, was the final flourish of dukkah sprinkled on top.

Dukkah

In case you’re not on the dukkah bandwagon yet, it’s basically just a mix of toasted spices, nuts and seeds that have been coarsely crushed. You can buy dukkah in the shops now, but it’s so much better when you make it yourself. There are an infinite number of ways to make dukkah, but I personally like Ottolenghi’s dukkah recipe. If you don’t feel like making the whole thing, even a pinch of freshly toasted cumin seeds, or a sprinkle of toasted chopped pistachios, will take this guacamole to otherworldly dimensions!

Winter Guacamole with Pomegranate and Dukkah

This concoction – guacagranate? pomemole? – was so successful we made it again the next day. And it made a reprise again this last winter solstice at our tamale party in France where, again, cilantro was impossible to come by. But even back in the UK, where cilantro is readily available (a reminder of how lucky we are to live amongst such food abundance), I still go back to this, especially as we’re still in the midst of winter, and tomatoes aren’t even worth buying at the moment.

Also, for the record, the Mexican Martinis were wildly successful and went down perfectly with the guacamole – and the games, which went on until nearly 5am! Total success!

Winter Guacamole with Pomegranate and Dukkah

When I’m making guacamole, I typically allow for one avocado per person, so scale this up appropriately to your group size!

Ingredients

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • juice from half a lemon
  • salt and pepper
  • dukkah for garnish (I like Ottolenghi’s dukkah recipe)

Method

  1. Mash the avocados in a bowl – don’t go too crazy, try to keep some chunks in there for texture.
  2. Stir in the pomegranate seeds, parsley, red onion, lemon juice, a good pinch of salt and a hefty grind of fresh black pepper.
  3. Mix together and taste – at this point I often end up adding more salt, pepper and lemon. But you could also add more of everything as you wish!
  4. Serve in a bowl garnished with the dukkah.

Winter Guacamole with Pomegranate and Dukkah

With thanks to my awesome friends Rachel and Dave for entertaining my avocado fantasies (and treating me to the most amazing weekend in Berlin!).

Kadawe champagne stop

Also seen on Great British Chefs.

 

Things I’m Making With This Ginormous Pumpkin

Why I do #crossfit: so I can tame beasts like the Crown Prince! Which I happen to have thanks to a generous green thumb at @crossfitcirencester.

This pumpkin was gratefully received from one of my fellow Crossfitters, and it’s quite a beast! Especially for one person. But it’s a high-quality challenge, and I’m ready to take it on. Fortunately pumpkin keeps very well so there’s no huge rush and I have plenty of time to try lots of different recipes. Here are a few of my plans but further suggestions are most welcome.

  • Pumpkin Soup – Good, simple, reliable; something to add to the freezer soup stash for easy weekday lunches. I’ll either go for the classic curried pumpkin soup, though I spotted this squash soup seasoned with mixed spice on Kavey’s blog that sounds happy, like pumpkin pie in soup form (I’ll sub the bacon brittle for toasted pumpkin seeds)
  • Pumpkin Hummus – Inspired by Kellie’s Roasted Pumpkin Hummus. I have made this once already and I’m not certain the pumpkiny-sweet hummus is for me. It definitely requires balancing with lots of toasted pumpkin seeds and a potent garnish (berbere, smoked paprika, piment d’Espelette or similar). My favorite dipping implement for this is broccoli or straight up raw kale.
  • Pumpkin Laksa – Adapting Demuths recipe for Laksa Lemak from Rachel Demuth’s Green World Cookbook.
  • Pumpkin Curry – Another gem from Rachel Demuth. A bit unusual with the orange juice, but all the better for it.
  • Roast Pumpkin and Walnut Salad – Yes it’s another Rachel Demuth recipe. What can I say? She rocks the veg! I think I’ll roast the walnuts with a bit of chilli.
  • Veggie Chilli – Either a winter riff on Mardi’s seasonal Summer Veg Chilli, or a twist on Abbey’s Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chilli (using pumpkin in place of sweet potato).
  • Sambar with Pumpkin – From Jenny Chandler’s excellent book Pulse: Truly Modern Recipes for Beans, Chickpeas and Lentils, to Tempt Meat Eaters and Vegetarians Alike
  • Pumpkin Bread? I’m not really doing the wheat thing at the moment but Laura’s Savory Pumpkin Loaf is pretty tempting, and could be particularly fitting for imminent Imbolc celebrations and its associated sheep cheese consumption.
  • Pumpkin Smoothie? I have a pumpkin pie smoothie in my book, but Helen’s Pumpkin and Cranberry smoothie looks like a lot of fun, too.
  • Frittatas. Lots of frittatas. With kale.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Roasted pumpkin salad with walnuts and Homewood Cheeses' pickled ewes cheese

Pumpkin Curry

Homemade Raw Bars with Agen Prunes

https://www.flickr.com/photos/spacekadet/15602952264/

I first became acquainted with Agen prunes when I went to Gascony in 2012. As my friend Mardi (the venerable blogger at eat live travel write) puts it: “if someone thinks they don’t like prunes, give them one of these and they’ll change their mind.” It’s totally true.

Agen prunes (pruneaux d’Agen) have been developed to have the perfect balance of sugar and acidity. They are moist, delicious and very addictive. I always bring some back with me when I go on my France road trips.

Agen prunes

Speaking of road trips, while I was cruising along the autoroute last December from Gascony to the ferry terminal in St Malo, snacking on prunes and daydreaming about car snacks (and Armagnac, also good with Agen prunes), I got to thinking that these prunes would make a great alternative to dates in a homemade raw snack bar recipe. I’m talking about snack bars of the Larabar / Nakd bar variety; basically a nut and dried fruit mush, expensive to buy, delicious to eat, and actually really easy to make at home.

Dates are the default fruit binder in homemade raw bars, but they are SO sugary that it makes me wonder if these raw bars are any better for you than a Snicker’s bar (for your reference, a “Cashew Cookie” Larabar has 230 Calories and 18g of sugars while a Snickers bar has 250 Calories and 27g of sugars – food for thought!).

Agen prunes

Not long after I got home I tested my Agen prune theory. It turns out that the prunes are even better than dates for binding the ingredients together, and they have almost half of the sugar as dates. I love their flavour, less cloyingly sweet than dates and with a character all of their own.

In this recipe I’ve combined the prunes with walnuts, a nut which I’ve always found a nice compliment to prunes, and are also purported to be “the healthiest nut” for their high level of antioxidants. I also added cinnamon (I love cinnamon) and coconut flakes (I love the texture), though you could keep it pure and simple and omit these ingredients, or get creative and add your own spices and add-ins.

Homemade Raw Bars with Agen Prunes

And so, from my Gascony road trip, a new road trip snack is born! And this isn’t only for road trips – I’m going to be bringing these on hikes and bike rides, too.

Lastly, if you think you have to go all the way to Gascony to get their delicious prunes, fear not – Waitrose now stocks them, and no doubt a Google search will reveal more online stockists. (Even so, you should go to Gascony, because it’s amazing!)

Prune, Walnut, and Coconut Bars

This is a good basic template for making all manners of homemade raw bars. Sub all or some of the prunes for other dried fruit; the walnuts for cashews, almonds or a mixture; add other spices like nutmeg, ginger or cocoa; experiment and have fun! For more raw bar inspiration, check out my previous post on making homemade Larabars.

Ingredients

  • 1.5-2 cups walnut halves or pieces (depending on the prunes, you may need more or less nuts to get them to bind)
  • 1 cup pitted Agen prunes
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes (or shredded coconut)
  • 1-2 Tbsp shredded / desiccated coconut
  • a good pinch of cinnamon
  • a small pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, pulse walnuts until coarsely chopped.
  2. Remove half of the walnuts. Continue processing the remaining walnuts until finely ground.
  3. Add the prunes to the nuts along with the salt and cinnamon. Process a few more seconds until everything is combined.
  4. Empty mixture into a bowl and stir in the reserved walnuts and the coconut flakes.
  5. Line a small container with cling film (I used a 4′ tupperware). Sprinkle some of the shredded coconut on the bottom of the container. Press the mixture into the dish with your hands. Top with the rest of the shredded coconut and press down gently so it sticks to the top.
  6. Refrigerate for half an hour and cut unto pieces.

Homemade Raw Bars with Agen Prunes

I traveled to Gascony from Wiltshire, UK, by car and by ferry, using Brittany Ferries to cross the channel from Portsmouth to St Malo. Brittany Ferries also sails to Caen, La Havre, Roscoff, Cherbourg Santander and Bilbao, all perfect launch pads for your road trip to Gascony, for prunes, Armagnac and whatever other Gascon goodies strike your fancy.

Also seen on Great British Chefs.

Pumpkin Soup with Homemade Curry Powder

Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Homemade Curry Powder
This time of year we’re all craving food that will lift us from the winter doldrums, excite the tastebuds, and negate the effects of holiday indulgence. This spiced pumpkin soup ticks all of the boxes, while still remaining true to the season and totally comforting.

Of course, curried pumpkin soup is a classic, but this recipe takes it up a notch by using homemade curry powder which is such a huge step above from the shop-bought stuff. Freshly ground whole spices are intensely more fragrant and flavoursome than pre-ground spices, which quickly go stale while sitting on the shelf.

The soup itself is very simple – you need little more than pumpkin (or other winter squash), onion, oil or butter, water and of course, the curry powder, which itself isn’t spicy so if you’d like a bit more heat in your pumpkin soup, feel free to add some cayenne or a chopped red chilli. I love this soup garnished with Greek yoghurt and toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), but a good vegan standby is coconut milk and chopped coriander.

I do my soup-blending and spice-grinding in my Optimum 9400 blender which conveniently blends both wet and dry ingredients. But you could also use an immersion blender, spice grinder, coffee grinder, and so on to get the job done.

Spiced Pumpkin Soup with Homemade Curry Powder

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp butter, coconut oil or a neutral oil like grapeseed
  • 3 pounds of pumpkin or other winter squash (crown prince, butternut, kabocha, etc), peeled and cut into 2-3cm cubes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (see below)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 cups vegetable stock or water

Optional garnishes

  • Greek yoghurt
  • Coconut milk
  • Toasted seeds
  • Sliced spring onions
  • Chopped coriander

Method

  1. Put the butter or oil in a large pot on medium-high heat. When hot, add the pumpkin and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the curry powder, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, give it a stir and cook until fragrant (a minute or so). Add the stock and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the pumpkin is totally soft (about 30 minutes).
  3. Puree the soup with an immersion blender or jug blender (if using a jug blender, let the soup cool a bit as hot liquids can be explosive when blended!).
  4. Serve hot with garnishes if you’d like.

Homemade Curry Powder

Ingredients

  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg pieces
  • Seeds from 5 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • One 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dried curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground fenugreek

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients except the fenugreek in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly toasted and fragrant. During the last few moments, add the fenugreek.
  2. Let everything cool and then grind to a fine powder (you can use a high powered blender for this, or a spice or coffee grinder). Store in a well-sealed container. This will keep nicely for a few months.

For more healthy blender recipes, check out my fellow #jumpstart15 comrades:

Chargrilled Romanesque Cauliflower Salad

Chargrilled Romanesco Cauliflower Salad

I am an ardent lover of cauliflower. And as a veggie lover who sidelines as a mathematician, a mathematical cauliflower is an extra special thing. Enter the Romanesque cauliflower (also known as Romanesco or Romanesco broccoli), a beautiful example of a Fibonacci fractal in the natural world, with buds arranged in an enchanting logarithmic spiral. It’s always a special day when one of these arrives in the Riverford box. And a special vegetable like this requires special treatment.

Riverford Box

Romanesque cauliflower has a flavour and texture pretty close to that of regular cauliflower, so I drew on my existing cauliflower know-how for inspiration. Yotam Ottolenghi has a recipe for Chargrilled Cauliflower with Tomatoes, Dill and Capers that I adore. In particular, I love the effect of chargrilling the cauliflower, which has the same crisp, caramel-like appeal of roasted cauliflower, but is fresher and lighter because the cauliflower gets steamed before chargrilling, and is then tossed with a light vinaigrette while still warm.

Chargrilled Romanesco Cauliflower Salad

This salad gets the same chargrilling treatment, but instead of tomatoes (far too summery for this time of year), I added raisins, red onion and dill, plus a splash of sherry vinegar and a sprinkle of toasted sliced almonds. It’s a strange combination of ingredients but it works really well. For a complete meal, you could could add some chickpeas, cooked quinoa or even fish (good quality tinned tuna is actually fantastic with this and makes for an easy lunch).

Chargrilled Romanesco Cauliflower Salad

I use a little honey in the dressing but you could easily use maple syrup or agave for a vegan salad. This salad ticks the gluten-free, low-fat, low-carb boxes, too.

Chargrilled Romanesque Cauliflower Salad with Raisins, Almonds and Dill

Serves 4 as a side dish

Ingredients

  • 1 head of Romanesque cauliflower (or normal cauliflower)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp honey (or maple syrup or agave for a vegan version)
  • 3 Tbsp raisins
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1 small handful of dill, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Method

  1. Whisky the honey with the sherry vinegar then toss with the onions, raisins and a pinch of salt. If you have time, leave this mixture for 30 minutes or so to give the raisins a chance to plump and the onions a chance to soften.
  2. Cut the Romanesque cauliflower into florets and steam for about 4 minutes, so that it’s tender but still has a crisp bite to it.
  3. Meanwhile, heat up a grill pan (or your outdoor barbecue) on a high heat. Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil then grill, turning occasionally, so that it gets nice black crispy bits on all sides.
  4. Place the chargrilled cauliflower in a bowl and toss with the vinegar-onion-raisin mixture. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Add more olive oil if you’d like.
  5. Serve the salad sprinkled with sliced almonds and dill.

Bourbon and Spiced Pecan Ice Cream

Spiced Pecan and Bourbon Ice Cream

There are four parts to this recipe, each of which stand on their own as beautiful things, but together totally become one of those instances of a sum being more than the parts. The four parts are:

  1. Spiced Pecans
  2. Vanilla custard
  3. Bourbon
  4. Homemade Waffle Cones

Making ice cream cones with @thelaundry

The ice cream was inspired by a few things:

  1. A house guest who wanted to learn to make ice cream.
  2. The holidays, where pecan pie is a family tradition that has long eluded me – I’m just not a big fan of pecan pie. Too rich. Too sweet. But I love pecans. And I love ice cream.
  3. Gloria Nicol, who taught me how to make ice cream cones a few weeks ago using the recipe in Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home and Gloria’s cool ice cream cone making contraption.
  4. My dad’s love for butter pecan ice cream. I didn’t go home for Christmas this year, so I’ve been looking for all kinds of excuses to make things that remind me of my Chicago home.
  5. David Lebovitz’s book, A Perfect Scoop.
  6. I love Bourbon.

The spiced pecans in this totally rock my world and I’ve since made them again to use for other purposes – they’re great on salads, or just to eat as their own.

Bourbon and Spiced Pecan Ice Cream

This recipe explains how to make custard on a stove top, but if you have a high-powered blender like a Vitamix or Froothie, you can also make custard in a blender.

  • 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup (150g) sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 2 cups (500ml) heavy cream
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) bourbon (I like Makers Mark)
  • 1 batch of Spiced Pecans (recipe below).

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the milk with a paring knife, then add the bean pod to the milk. Cover, remove from heat, and infuse for one hour.

2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the vanilla extract, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.

6. Remove the vanilla bean and freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. During the last minute or so of churning, add the bourbon pecans to the machine (reserve a few pecans for garnish if you’d like).

Spiced Pecans

  • 2 Tbsp egg whites
  • 1/4 cup (60g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground chile
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (200g) pecans

Method

  1. Preheat the oven 300F / 150C. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.
  2. Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl. Stir on the sugar, spices, vanilla and pecans. Spread the coated nuts evenly on the baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring twice during baking, until the coating has hardened onto the pecans and they are nice and dry. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  4. For ice cream, chop them coarsely before mixing into the custard.

Oh look, I made a picture with some text on it!

Bourbon and Spiced Pecan Ice Cream

This is my submission to Kavey’s Bloggers Scream for Ice Cream, inspired by ice cream showstoppers!

Tropical Spirulina Yogurt Smoothie

So it seems spirulina makes smoothies look like something out of Ten Forward. This is cool to me. #trekkie

The Neptune green appearance of this spirulina yogurt smoothie would make it a fitting item on the bar menu at Ten Forward (or the Chalmun’s Cantina if you’d like). The super sci-fi color comes from – you guessed it – the combo of yogurt and spirulina. Meanwhile, the addition of pineapple and banana make it delicious and refreshing.

Why this is good for you:

  • Banana is loaded with potassium
  • Spirulina adds iron, magnesium, protein and B12 to the party
  • Yogurt adds more protein, plus live cultures, calcium and vitamin D
  • Just half a banana and a small slice of pineapple means this smoothie isn’t a sugar bomb

This smoothie is inspired by the Passion 4 Juice Master, one of the highlights of Juice Feast. This smoothie uses whole pineapple rather than juiced pineapple so it can all be done in the blender (I use a Froothie Optimum 9400).

Spirulina Yogurt Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 200g plain natural yogurt
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1-inch round slice of pineapple, skin removed and cut into chunks
  • 5g spirulina (about one heaped teaspoon; I use Naturya spirulina)

Method

  1. Put everything into the blender (I use a Froothie Optimum 9400) and blitz until smooth. Serve on ice and enjoy!

 

Warm Tofu With Garlic Sauce and Sesame

Warm Tofu with Garlic & Sesame Sauce

This recipe could equally be called “The Easiest Way Ever To Make Tofu Taste Delicious”. It doesn’t involve any of the usual tricks people try to make tofu palatable: there’s no pressing or marinading or pan-frying or grilling. But the result is even better than you often get with some of these techniques.

The idea is simple: simmer tofu in water for a few minutes until its nice and hot. While that cooks, whip up a simple quick savory sauce, heavy on the chilli and garlic. Remove the tofu and place in a shallow bowl, then serve the tofu with garlic sauce.

That’s it.

Warm Tofu with Garlic & Sesame Sauce

The warm tofu basically becomes a sponge for the marinade, in this case, a potent garlic sauce that’s well seasoned with garlic, spring onions, soy sauce, a good dose of chilli and finally, a smattering of sesame seeds for flavor and texture.

It all comes together in about 10 minutes. Add some steamed rice and vegetables (broccoli works really well here) and you have a complete meal in no time flat that’s tasty enough to wow your friends. In fact, this is one of my favourite meals to serve lunchtime guests (Kavey in particular) when time is better suited to conversation and catching up rather than excessive amounts of extravagant cooking.

Warm Tofu in Garlic Sesame Sauce

Inspired by Lillian Chou’s recipe on gourmet.com.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 400g package of firm tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped spring onions
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, and coarsely ground with a mortar and pestle
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (or tamari for gluten free)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red-pepper flakes (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

Method

  1. Put the tofu in a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer then keep covered on a low heat while you make the sauce.
  2. Mash the garlic in a mortar and pestle (or with the side of a knife) with a pinch of salt. Stir the mashed garlic together with remaining ingredients.
  3. Lift the tofu with a spatula or slotted spoon out of the water and transfer to a shallow bowl. Spoon the sauce all over the tofu and serve.

Warm Tofu with Garlic & Sesame Sauce

Ultimate Evergreen Spirulina Smoothie

Ultimate Evergreen Spirulina Smoothie

This is one of my go-to post-swim breakfast smoothies that gets its awesome coniferous color from spirulina, a blue-green algae that I’ve been enjoying in my smoothies lately. Spirulina is touted for its high concentration of plant-based B12 and protein, making it a pretty cool supplement for vegans and vegetarians. Now, this could all be in my head, but I actually feel better for it – this spirulina smoothie after a swim seems to give me enough oomph to power through til lunch (including a pre-lunch CrossFit session as is my routine these days).

How does spirulina taste? Let’s be honest here: it’s an algae so it tastes a bit like seaweed and takes some getting used to. I’ve actually grown to like its flavor. Plus, this spirulina smoothie has a lot more stuff going for it: pineapple, lime, avocado… serve it in a salt-rimmed glass, garnish it with some flaked coconut and make an event of it.

Ultimate Evergreen Spirulina Smoothie

This spirulina smoothie features prominently in the 7-Day Juice Feast. It’s made by juicing pineapple, apple, cucumber and lime then blending it with avocado and spirulina. Yep, you need a juicer and a blender for this one. But as the song says: it takes two to make a thing go right. And this spirulina smoothie is so so right. I’ve been using an Optimum 9400 blender and Optimum 600 Slow Juicer to get the job done and I can’t recommend them enough.

Ultimate Evergreen Spirulina Smoothie

  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1 apple
  • 1/4 cucumber
  • 1/2 lime, peel removed
  • 1 tsp spirulina (I use Naturya spirulina)
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 heaped tsp psyllium husk (totally optional)

Method

  1. Juice the pineapple, apple, lime and spirulina.
  2. Blend the juice with the avocado, spirulina and psyllium husk until silky smooth.
  3. Serve and enjoy!