Pesto Courgetti with Cashew Cheese Sauce

Hello Moms,

This week I am sharing our Pesto Courgetti recipe that is so loved in our household, it’s so tasty and it’s also really perfect for Summer evenings. It is vegan-friendly, gluten and dairy free, however, this dish will leave you feeling fully satisfied without any heavy feeling.

It is packed with nutrients for example courgettes contain abundant levels of manganese and vitamin C that help to keep the heart strong.  It contains significant quantities of potassium, folate, and vitamin A all of which are important for maintaining good health.

The pesto is made from basil which contains high levels of antioxidants, magnesium and a range of vitamins, such as vitamin A, K and C.  Interestingly basil contains antimicrobial properties that fight viruses and also has DNA-protecting flavonoids!

The cashew cheese sauce is full of goodness too, cashews contain a powerhouse of proteins, essential minerals, including copper, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Cashews also contain vitamins such as vitamin, B1, B2, B3, B6, folate, vitamin E and vitamin K.

So Moms, as I’ve said before this dish not only tastes great, but you can also rest assured in the knowledge that your family is getting a jam-packed nutrient dense meal!

So let me share this recipe with you:

To make the Pesto:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed fresh basil (large stems removed)
  • 3 tbsp pine nuts (can also use walnuts, my preference though is pine nuts)
  • 3 large garlic cloves (add more garlic if you are like us ;0)
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3-4 tbsp nutritional yeast (see link below)
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt and pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-6 tbsp of water (more if needed)

Method:

  • Add all the ingredients to a food processor or blender except the olive oil and water
  • Blend on high until a loose paste forms
  • Then slowly add the olive oil as the machine is on and scrape downs the side as needed
  • Then add 1 tbsp water a time until you reached the desired consistency
  • Taste the pesto and season

To make the Cashew Cheese sauce:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashews (recommend you soak the cashews first (at least 3 hours) better for digestion and also removes phytic acid)
  • 1/4 cup of water (more water if you want it a thinner consistency.. whatever way you like it, experiment…)
  • 1/2 lemon juiced
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper (optional)
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder

Method

Blend all the ingredients together in a high-speed blender until you reach your desired consistency. For this recipe, I like to leave it a bit chunky (almost like a cottage cheese consistency) however that’s totally up to you.

To make Courgetti:

  • Simply take 2 washed courgettes and place them on a spiralizer, we use the Hemsley and Hemsley spiralizer (link below)

Voila! toss the courgetti in the basil pesto and add a dollop of cashew cheese on top and you have just created a healthy, delicious and beautiful meal. Issey loves this especially the courgetti ;0

As always moms  I’d love to hear from you, please let me know if you decide to make this dish and what you thought of it… :0

Love and Best wishes,

L X

 

Notes: Serves approx 4 portions

Credits:

Lovingitvegan 

Minimalist Baker

References:

Hemsley & Hemsley Spiraliser 

Nutritional Yeast  

Courgettes 

Basil 

Basil 

Cashews 

 

Delicious Chocolate cake with home-made ice-cream

Hello Moms,

This week I’m sharing a super easy flourless and eggless chocolate cake.

I made it this weekend for my sister Jean as it’s her birthday. Everyone enjoyed it especially Issey, and the interesting thing is that nobody knew (besides Rok) that it was made with butternut squash, yes that’s right!  And, what’s even more surprising that there is no flour, and no eggs in this, so if you are having a break from gluten, dairy and/or eggs then this one is a super treat for you to enjoy.

It’s really rich so a slice goes a long way and I paired it with some homemade non-diary raspberry ice-cream.  This is a sort of guilt-free dessert and won’t leave you feeling like you’ve overindulged.

My favourite thing about this dessert though is that it contains butternut squash 🙂 Butternut squash is extremely nutritious, it protects the skin, promotes eye health, can reduce chronic disease, improves digestion, lower cholesterol, build strong bones, and lowers blood pressure, what a list!!  What’s more it contains vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, dietary fibre, zinc, protein, folate, potassium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, pantothenic acid, and manganese.

Not bad having all that in a chocolate cake…. 😉

So you are probably wondering how this cake stays together – so here are the yummy ingredients:

For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup cacao or cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • Filling from a medium (cooked) butternut squash
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 dark chocolate cooking bars
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil

For the dairy-free ice-cream:

  • 4 bananas (cut up and frozen overnight)
  • 1 cup of frozen raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of almond milk

 

Method

Cake

  1. Turn on the oven to 180 degrees, cut the butternut squash lengthways and rub with coconut oil. Place in the oven for approx 40-45 mins until it starts to go a little brown.
  2. Melt together coconut oil and dark cooking chocolate.
  3. Once butternut squash is cooked and cooled, scoop out the butternut squash and add the cacao, coconut sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and salt together in a bowl.
  4. Prep an 8in springform pan and grease lightly with coconut oil.
  5. Then whisk in the coconut oil/chocolate with the other ingredients and mix all together.
  6.  Pour into cake pan and bake at 180 degrees for about 35-40 mins.
  7.  Let it cool completely and voila!

 

Dairy free ice-cream

  1. Add frozen banana pieces to the blender.
  2. Then add in the almond milk and vanilla extract and blend.
  3. After the mixture starts to become creamy, then add in frozen raspberries.

chocolate cake

So it’s that easy! And once the cake has cooled down I recommend you store it in the fridge overnight, that is if you can wait that long… ;0

Serve with fresh raspberries and yummy dairy-free ice-cream! A winner I say!

So Moms, as always I love to hear from you… and if you give this lovely cake a try please let us know how you get on…

Best wishes and love,

L X

Calories:

Cake: 201 calories per serving (approx 12 servings)

Dairy-free Ice-cream: 77 calories per serving (approx 6 servings)

 

Credit: Show me the yummy 

References

Butternut squash benefits 1

Butternut squash benefits 2

 

Baked aubergine with lemon dressing

Hello Moms,

This week I am sharing one of my favourite dishes, baked aubergine with lemon dressing… (or as it’s known across the pond – eggplant)

It’s really delicious and a hit in our household. It’s a perfect summer dish, which you can have as a starter, a side dish or even for lunch.  We normally add some french beans to make it a complete meal (I’ll share the french bean recipe in another post, as I think you’ll enjoy that one too). It’s also very quick to prepare so in no time you’ll have this one whipped up ;0

Lately, I’ve been craving aubergines and I always listen to my body if it’s craving a certain food… I’m so glad I have this recipe ;0

Did you know that the aubergine is actually classed as a berry and not a vegetable…  They are so good for us as they contain a tonne of nutrients, such as manganese, vitamin B1 &  B6, vitamin C, niacin, potassium, folate, vitamin K and copper. And, they are also a good source of dietary fibre.

The flavonoids found in aubergines play an important part in heart health, as they contain phenolic compounds which can actively reduce blood pressure. And, contained in the aubergine skin is a potent antioxidant called nasunin which prevents iron accumulation and neutralizes free-radicals!

So where’s the recipe I hear you say – here it is: 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large aubergines, cut into 1cm rounds
  • 2 tbsp tamari (fermented soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 lemons squeezed and half a rind of lemon
  • 200ml of kefir (fermented milk)/yoghurt or
  • For non-dairy/vegan option –  200ml of coconut yoghurt
  • Sea salt and black pepper

Garnish:

  • A small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp of toasted cashew nuts and pumpkin seeds chopped and sprinkled over the dish
  • 1 red chilli sliced (optional)

Method:

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.

2 Spread the aubergine rounds on the baking tray. Mix the tamari, honey and
sesame oil in a bowl and pour evenly over the aubergine. Or if you have time, it’s nice to marinate in the fridge for a few hours before cooking.  Bake for 20–25 minutes
until soft and golden.

3 Meanwhile, mix the juice of the lemon and the lemon rind with the kefir/yoghurt, salt and pepper.

4 Place the aubergine rounds on a large serving dish. Drizzle over the lemon dressing
and garnish with the coriander, mint, chilli and toasted nuts/seeds.

So that’s all there is to it moms, let me know if you make this dish and what your thoughts are and/or whether you have a favourite aubergine dish in your house?

As always I love to hear from you, love and best wishes,

L X

Calorie Count: 343 per serving (this dish serves 2)

Credit:

Detox Kitchen

References:

Number 1

Number 2 

Number 3

Number 4

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Chocolate Mousse

Hello Moms, this week I want to share something short and sweet :0

It’s a healthy chocolate mousse recipe and it’s frequently made in our house because firstly it’s so easy to make but more importantly, it tastes so yummy!

The main ingredients include Avocados, Cacao and Coconut milk!

From my research:

  • Avocados are extremely nutritious as they have healthy fats (which means they help lower bad cholesterol), they contain important minerals such as iron, copper, and potassium and are a good source of the B vitamin, folate.
  • Cacao is a super nutritious as it contains antioxidants (20 times more antioxidants than blueberries), magnesium, iron, and fibre! (note I always add cacao to my daily smoothie too)
  • Coconut milk also contains iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. The trace elements present in coconut milk are responsible for the regulation of electrolytes, nerve control, muscle relaxation, and the production of energy in the body.

So overall pretty nutritious!

Issey absolutely loves this dessert and I don’t mind her having it as it has lots of nice healthy ingredients and it always fills her up! It’s also a hit with the rest of the family too, they never suspect the avocado ;0

Finally, if I have nuts in the cupboard I will often roast a few and chop up and sprinkle over the top which adds another dimension 🙂

Usually, this dessert serves about 2 large portions , this is enough for our family 🙂 you may need to double up the ingredients depending on your household…

So what’s the recipe I hear you ask?!!

Here you go, the ingredients include:

  • 1 large bar of good quality dark chocolate (usually buy at least 85% dark chocolate or sometimes I use vegan chocolate)
  • 1 ripe avocado peeled and stone removed
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 small can of coconut milk (I use organic and full fat)
  • 2 large tbsp of cacao powder (I use true organic cacao powder)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 banana

Method:

  • Start by melting the dark chocolate in a heatproof bowl over boiling water until fully melted and set aside
  • Next add the avocado, banana, maple syrup, cacao, vanilla extract, can of coconut milk and the melted dark chocolate to the blender. (note if you ever find it’s too dry just add a little more coconut milk)
  • Once blended, scoop out into dessert bowls and place in the fridge to set, I usually give it about an hour…
  • Once fully set you can sprinkle some nuts (roasted cashews, almonds or hazelnuts work well) and/or berries (with some mint) over the top and serve

It’s that easy!

Other variations of this recipe include adding the juice of a freshly squeezed orange, instead of adding the banana, this also tastes really great!

So moms, please let me know if you make it and what you think… maybe you have your own tasty desserts that are a hit with your little ones if so I’d love you to share with us…

Best wishes,

Love L X

 

Other Info 🙂

Approx Calories per serving: 403 based on 3 servings

References:

Calorie Calculator: 

http://www.myfitnesspal.com

Avocados:

https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/all-about-avocados#1

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/health-benefits-avocado

Cacao:

http://dailysuperfoodlove.com/2852/21-fantastic-benefits-of-cacao/

http://truefoods.ie/product/organic-raw-cacao-powder/

Coconut milk:

https://draxe.com/coconut-milk-nutrition/

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/benefits-of-coconut-milk-for-skin-hair-and-health/#gref

Recipe credits:

Mind Body Green

We are so Vegan