Quinoa, Sweet potato, Herbs and Barberries Fritters with Saffron and Orange Yoghurt

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My year of maternity is nearly coming to an end. As I’m writing this I only have two more weeks at home with baby Harry before he starts full time with the child minder and I full time at work. I have mixed feeling about this, part of me is really excited about getting back to work but the other part is dreading not spending the day with Harry and not being able to pick up Casper from school. But I know that both boys will be in good hands until I pick them up.
We have been eating really healthily  during my maternity leave as I have had the time to plan and try new meals. This has left us feeling better and provided us with extra energy, well needed with a new baby. Eating health is a lifestyle that I’m not intending to stop, so going back to work will mean having to get super organised with my meal planning and do some food prep during the weekend. Without a plan it’s easy to opt for a take away or a bag of fresh pasta when you get back from work late and dying from hunger. But with everything easily available in your fridge, and a plan on the wall there is little chance of failure.
I will share my planning and meal prep ideas in a future post but now I would like to share the recipe for these fritters. They take a bit of work but are well worth the effort.
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Chocolate Cake with Christmas Spiced Orange Syrup, dairy and gluten free

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My Ecuadorian friend Susanna visited Europe a few weeks ago to participate in a chocolate fair here in London and one in Paris. She develops some of the best chocolate that I have ever tasted. She kindly left me with a bag of chocolate couverture to do something tasty with.
Montecristi Chocolate is an organic chocolate couverture named after one of the most iconic towns in the region of Manabi, Ecuador. Susanna buys the cacao bean directly from the farmer at a fair price and produces the finished product in the country of origin. This benefits the local economy and the small scale farmers.
The cake recipe I came up with is both dairy and gluten free. I have tried to keep the amount of refined sugar to a minimum, using agave syrup as a substitute. The coconut oil is a perfect match with the chocolate that has hints of tropical fruit. To make the cake more festive I made a spiced orange syrup and served with freshly cut orange segments.

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Spiced Red lentil, sweet potato and coconut soup

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I set out to make a Dal but changed my mind half way through cooking and ended up with this delicious and healthy vegan soup, packed with goodness and perfect for a cold winters day.
I didn’t make the soup too spicy as I wanted my baby Harry to have a taste but if you like heat then add more chilli. My father will travel to London from Sweden tomorrow and stay with us for the week. I’m planning to make this soup for him, he loves spicy food so I will probably triple the amount of chilli and serve Harry something else…… …..continue reading

Fennel Gratin with Parmesan and Almond crust

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The first time I ever had a fennel gratin was  during a work trip in Italy. The gratin I enjoyed there was rich in butter and bread crumbs. It was delicious!
I now wanted to recreate a similar dish but in a healthier way. I have made this Parmesan and almond crust a few times now and really enjoy the dish as a side to fish or meat or on it’s own with a green salad.

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Roasted Roots and Quinoa Salad

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I have been making many roasted vegetable salads lately. There are two reasons for this, first of all I love roasted vegetables and secondly they are great when you try to cook and have a unpredictable 8 month old baby to care for. I sometimes prepare the vegetables during his morning nap. This makes the dinner preparation so much easier. The salad can be served warm or cold, on it’s own or as a side with meat or other vegetable dishes.

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Black Rice Salad with burnt Corn and Avocado

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I know we are coming into colder weather but I had to post the recipe for this salad as it’s so good. I have made it three times now and won’t get bored of it. I will probably make it a few more times while there is fresh corn at the green grocer. The salad is great on it’s own or as a side to meat or fish. When I made it for a party the other week, we ate it with corn nachos.
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Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Curry with Coconut

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Today we went up to Highgate woods as Casper was invited to one of his friends birthday party. The party had a Star Wars theme so the wood was filled with little Stormtroopers, one Darth Vader (Casper) and an Owl. It started of with a nature trail, followed by lunch and cake in the woods. Once the sugar from the cake kicked in, the four year old’s turned in to little wilding’s, chasing after each other with light sabers.
All though it was a sunny day I got cold as the tree canopy doesn’t let through much light. When we got home I cooked this warming curry packed with vitamins and flavour.
The total time to make the curry is about 45 minutes. We had it just on it’s own but is goes really well together with rice or bread.

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Seed Crackers with Fennel

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When I was pregnant with Harry I always made sure I had a box of these crackers in my draw at work. They give you instant energy and satisfaction when you have cravings or feel hungry between meals. Goes really well together with soup, salad or on their own.
I mentioned these crackers in my previous post of Butternut Squash Soup and I finally had a chance to make them. Having a seven month old baby makes you a master in trying to use your time efficiently however, all doesn’t always go to plan as you might be waking up to a new tooth poking through or him trying to learn a new skill. We have been suffering from teething pain for the last few weeks but I think we are out on the other side!…….until the next one…………… …..continue reading

Spiced Butternut Squash Soup with Coconut and Coriander

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I have always liked autumn. There is always a sense of something new to come, and I feel full of expectations. I remember being younger and feeling this excitement before going back to school after a long summer holiday. Still young but not so young, I now have a son who just started school. His first week went really well which was a big relief.
September has been amazingly mild and sometimes hot. We have had days with temperature of 30°C. But now it’s starting to feel like autumn is upon us. This soup is nice and warming and super fast to make, just over 30 minutes. I like it hot so I add a fair amount of chilli however alter this to taste. I normally make seed crackers with fenel seeds to go with the soup but run out of time today. I will make sure to share the cracker recipe soon as it’s a great snack.
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Cinnamon, Seed and Nut Granola

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Granola is my go to breakfast. I make a jar every other week. Depending on what I have at home, the granola turns out differently each time. I have made this batch with a generous helping of cinnamon, as this adds a great flavour, and chopped almond. I pack my granola full of seeds and nuts but you could also add some dried fruit. Remember that if you are adding dried fruit, mix this in and bake in the oven for the last 5 or 10 minutes or you end up with burned crunchy bits in your breakfast bowl.
I normally eat the granola with some natural yoghurt and add some fresh berries or fruit depending on what’s in season. Raspberries, blueberries, grated apple…… the chose it yours.
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