Trombone Squash Rounds

​As ever, things have been getting on top of me slightly these last few months, I am working on it, promise! But apologises for the long gap between posts. I’ve been in a slight rut recently just eating the same meals over and over again so haven’t felt too inspired to write about any recipes but I realised that I’ve become slightly obsessed with a particular side dish. So I thought I’d share this one as it may appeal ☺

My dad has an allotment not too far from my parents house which means throughout the year I get gifted with all sorts of goodies from summer berries to winter squashes. And the big plus is that I know no chemicals have been used to help them grow, it’s just all natural goodness. It does however mean I get various things that I then can’t always find in the supermarket.  Recently there has been trombone squash a plenty at my parents house and I’ve not been able to eat them quick enough (trust me, not for lack of trying). When I first got given one of these I had no idea how to cook it and as I don’t normally cook similar stews to my mum I’ve been experimenting.

I stumbled into this really simple recipe and just became a bit obsessed with it, it’s just little squash rounds or wedges (how I cut them seems to change daily) with paprika and veggie seasoning, all bunged in the oven until soft on the inside and starting to crisp on the outside. Sounds simple but I love it.

Ingredients
450g trombone squash (peeled and cut into circles)

1 tbsp.  Coconut Oil

2 tsp paprika

2 tsp concentrated vegetable seasoning (e.g. maggi)

Method

1. Pre heat the oven to 200°c, place the coconut oil on the tray and place in the oven until the coconut oil has melted.

2. Ensure the oil covers the tray and sprinkle half of the vegetable seasoning and paprika so it mixes in the oil slightly. Add the rounds evenly spaced on the tray and sprinkle over the remaining seasonings.

3. Place in the oven for roughly 15 minutes, turning after about 10 minutes. 

4. Once the rounds have started to go a bit soft in the middle, turn the oven down to roughly 150°c to start crisp up the  edges slightly without burning for 5 minutes.

5. Take out the oven and serve alongside your main dish.

Nutritional Information

Serves 1

Calories: 150

Protein: 3.1g

Carbohydrates: 31g

Of which is sugars: 12.4g

Fibre: 12.4g

Fat: 0.0g

Of which is saturated: 0.0g

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Gluten Free Vegan Lentil Chilli

​As the British Summer that never began has now come to a close, I’ve started swapping my salads for stews and chia puddings for chocolate quinoa (recipe to come). What I love most about this type of weather is that it’s so easy to batch cook for the week ahead which for someone like me is perfect, if I don’t have all my meals planned and usually prepared then I end up all off track and before I know it I’ve eaten a whole bag of granola bars in one sitting. But when I get planning, boy, do I plan.


So, all ready to get the saucepans out, I’ve also been experimenting with some more vegan dishes and there are just so many recipes out there to try that suit this brief! I was getting some inspiration on pinterest and stumbled upon this little beauty from littlebroken.com that has made the last couple of days at work when it’s wet and windy.
Ingredients

450g Red Lentils

1 Onion

1 Red Pepper

2 Tins of Tomatoes

950ml Vegetable Stock (gluten free if necessary)

4 cloves Garlic

4 tsp Chilli (mild or hot depending on your preference)

1 tbsp mixed herbs

2 tbsp Preferred Oil (I went with coconut)

Handful fresh Parsley


Method

1. Finely chop the onion and add to a saucepan pan with the melted oil on medium heat, once they start to brown add in the crushed garlic cloves and chopped red pepper and cook for another of minutes. 

2. Add in the chilli powder and herbs then stir in, incorporate the lentils and once all coated add the tomatoes and stock.

3. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for around 50 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

4. Take half the mixture and pulse in a food processor until smooth then add back into the original mixture.

5. Top off with a bit of chopped parsley and serve.


Nutritional Information

Serves 7

Calories: 293

Protein: 17.9g

Carbohydrates: 32.4g

Of which is sugars: 8.1g

Fibre: 10.9g

Fat: 7.5g

Of which is saturated: 3.8g

Protein Packed Stuffed Breakfast Peppers

I don’t think there’a any meal I put quite as much time into thinking about as breakfast. I know people always say that it’s the most important meal of the day, but honestly I think it’s just my favourite. There’s such a variety of what you could have, hot or cold, sweet or savoury. I think for anyone who saw the picture of my birthday breakfast the other week at one of my favourite restaurants (Annie’s burger shack in Nottingham, they also offer EVERY option on their menu as veggie or vegan, as well as catering for gluten free) you would have seen that my ideal breakfast is a mix of sweet, savoury, hot and cold. Who says you can’t have it all?
Back to reality in terms of what do I want for breakfast this week, I spent a few hours looking on pinterest and flicking through my various cookbooks and I thought that I would have a go at some stuffed peppers. What I found really appealing about this is there’s no need to follow a strict recipe, you can just fill it with what you like and tweak as you go to your personal preference. However, if you do want some inspiration, why not try my protein packed stuffed peppers. Perfect for a quick and easy breakfast, whether it’s before a run or ready to drop in your bag to take to work.

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Ingredients
6 Peppers, chopped in half
6 Eggs
12 Tablespoons of Water
100g Feta Cheese (I like the one that some with sundried tomatoes)
150g Tinned Sweetcorn
155g Lean Smoked Bacon Lardons
2 Shallots, chopped

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Method
1. Preheat the oven to 150°c
2. Take the chopped shallots and bacon lardons and gently fry off in a pan until just cooked and the shallots have softened then leave to one side.
3. Take the  halved peppers and scrape out the insides until you have a nice cup to hold your filling as so. This does take a little while if you’re prepping enough for the week, but be patient!

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4. In a large mix bowl, beat all the eggs together. Add all the water and beat until full incorporated. Add in all the feta (draining any oil beforehand if you buy the feta in oil and sundried tomatoes like I do) and sweetcorn and mix again.
5. Lay all your peppers onto a greased oven tray to prevent the bottoms sticking/burning to the pan, try to balance them so when you pour in the mixture it won’t spill, this may take a bit of fiddling about.
6. Add the shallot and lardon mixture to your eggs, if you do it earlier the heat may start to cook the eggs slightly, so try to leave it as late as possible.
7. Fill your peppers with the mixtures, ensuring that they don’t spill over and place in the oven.
8. Cook for roughly 20 minutes, depending on the size of the peppers. Keep a check and once the filling starts to look firm take them out and leave them to cool.
9. If you’ve made them a head of time, just give them a couple of minutes in the microwave until warmed through (timings will vary depending on the size of each pepper) then enjoy.

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Nutritional Information
Serves 6 (2 halves per serving)
Calories: 228
Protein: 17.3g
Carbohydrates: 11.7g
Of which is sugars: 8.0g
Fibre: 3.5g
Fat: 11.8g
Of which is saturated: 3.9g

Peanut Butter Raworeos

With the weather now starting to warm up (if we ignore the dismal weather last weekend), I’ve  been trying to find some recipes that don’t involve me melting away in the kitchen for hours on end. So instead I spent a few hours flicking through pinterest for some inspiration when I came across ‘‘Fettle Vegan’  with an amazing recipe I just had to try of some raw, healthy oreos. I did tweak the recipe slightly, because what’s better than oreos? Peanut butter oreos, of course!  So here are my peanut butter raworeos. Now they did need a couple of hours prep, to allow the filling to set nicely but they’re definitely worth it. I’m not going to lie, I ate far too many and couldn’t even resist having them on a non treat day as well.
The calorie information does seem quite high but I didn’t make that many out of the mixture I had, I don’t think I rolled the base out thin enough so I ended up with 5 monster cookies! Well worth it, but obviously you can make them slightly smaller with a bit less filling in each to bring it down if you wish, but sometimes it’s nice to be a bit indulgent.

Ingredients
¾ rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup cashews (75g)
½ cup crunchy peanut butter
2 ½ tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cacao powder
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoons vanilla essence

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Method
1. In a food processor blitz together the oats and cacao powder until you have a rough flour. Then add the dates. As my processor isn’t the strongest one going, I have to gradually add them 2-3 at a time to stop it burning it. It does take a while but eventually it will  come together in a well mixed dough. Remove from the processor and place in a bowl and leave in the fridge to cool as it will be warm and sticky after mixing.
2. To make the filling, mix together all the ingredients with the exception of the peanut butter in the food processor until you get a smooth filling, then gradually stir in the peanut butter until it starts to thicken up and you get the desired amount of peanut buttery goodness. I know some people don’t like too thick a texture but I love it.
3. Leave to cool in the fridge for a couple of hours until it’s started to firm up and it able to  e spread.
4. About 10-15 minutes before you want to start building the cookies, remove the dough from the fridge so it starts to warm up slightly making it easier to roll out. Then roll out and cut out cookie shapes until you use all the dough (making sure it’s an even number) and place onto a parchment paper lined tray.
5. Remove  the filling from the fridge and spread/dollop the filling evenly over half of the cookies and build. Hey presto all made 🙂
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Nutritional information
Calories: 429
Protein: 10.4g
Carbohydrates: 49g
Of which is sugars: 25.7g
Fibre: 7.4g
Fat: 23.7g
Of which is saturated: 7.6g