WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

Recipes, rituals and other stories to realign the body and mind

DINNER

CELERIAC AND CHESTNUT TAGLIATELLE CARBONARA

Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman3 Comments

This is a bold statement to make but i'm going to go ahead with it anyway. This, my dear friends, is better than pasta. Maybe, dare i say it, even better than courgetti. 

INGREDIENTS

1-2 Medium Celeriac
2 Tins Coconut Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt or Tamari
1/4 Teaspoon Mustard, optional
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
4 Tablespoons Water
2 Tablespoons Tahini
2-3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
Ground Black Pepper
Fresh Herbs of choice - I like rosemary, tarragon, parsley or basil
100g Chestnuts, pre-cooked or roasted in olive oil

+ Can also use this brazil nut cheese recipe for the sauce. 

METHOD

Start by preparing the sauce. Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the salt, pepper and garlic. Sauté for 1-2 minutes before adding all of the remaining ingredients. Simmer over a very low heat whilst you turn your attention to the celeriac tagliatelle. Cut the earthy, soily and bumpy outer edges of the celeriac off and discard of them. Cut the celeriac in half if it is large, or slot the entire thing into your spiraliser. + If you don't have a spiraliser (you should) use a julienne peeler, or a normal peeler to make fatter, flatter pasta ribbons. When the celeriac is all spirallised, add it to a pan of water and steam for a few minutes to soften it. Keep an eye on the sauce, stirring constantly and adding water if it is thickening or sticking to the pan. Add the chopped chestnuts and stir through, then either arrange the celeriac tagliatelle across the number of bowls you have to serve, and pour the sauce equally over each portion, or add the sauce to the saucepan and stir it through the celeriac pasta before serving. Garnish with fresh herbs, nutritional yeast and a drizzle of olive or truffle oil. 

PARSNIP, CELERIAC AND QUINOA BURGERS

Snacks, Vegetarian, Gluten free, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment

These patties are a quick and easy way to get in plenty of vegetables, vitamins and nutrients. Blenders are a godsend for many reasons, one of them being that they make it possible to disguise and/or completely reinvent vegetables into something far more delicious and flavoursome. Making pesto with kale or spinach and adding vegetables to homemade houmous are two of my favourite quick and easy blender recipes, as well as vegetarian burgers and patties, like these. The great thing about both pesto/spreads and burgers/patties is that they are both perfect for using up leftovers too. There are no real foundations, meaning you can add pretty much anything to them, and as long as they stick and combine properly, you’ve got a vibrant and filling meal in an instant. If in doubt - make patties. They are total crowd pleasers. You can serve them as snacks or canapés, starter or sides, or make a real meal out of them and serve them with plenty of sides as you would a normal burger. These are great in the summer, but just as good during the winter when the best ingredients are in season, and in abundance.

INGREDIENTS
Makes 8-10

2 Parsnips, grated
1 Carrot or 1/2 Sweet Potato, grated
1/2 Celeriac, grated
5 Medium Spinach, Kale or Broccoli Stems, chopped
1 Egg
180g Quinoa, cooked
1/2 Cup Sunflower Seeds or Nuts of Choice
1 Clove Garlic
60g Cup Buckwheat Flour
1/4 Cup Ground Almonds
1 Tablespoon Fresh Dill
1 Tablespoon Fresh Rosemary
1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1 Teaspoon Sumac
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
Pinch Salt

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 160c. Line a baking tray with baking paper, or grease the tray with a little coconut oil.

Blend the sunflower seeds in a blender or food processor for 10 seconds. Add the greens or broccoli and garlic and blend for about 20 seconds until everything is finely chopped.

Transfer to a large bowl, and grate in all of the vegetable ingredients. Mix to combine and then add the cooked quinoa, fresh and dried herbs, flours, salt, oil, egg and nutritional yeast. Mix with a wooden spoon and bring the mixture together with your hands once it has reduced in stickiness. 

If the mixture is too wet, add more buckwheat flour or ground almonds. If it is too dry, add a little extra oil. Form the mixture into flattened burger shapes, or into small balls if you wish to make them more like falafels.

Place them on your prepared baking tray, careful not to place them too close together. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

GOJI TAHINI DRESSING

INGREDIENTS
1/2 Cup Goji Berries
3 Tablespoons Tahini
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
Juice of Half an Orange
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger or Fresh Ginger, grated
1/2 Teaspoon Raw Honey
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2-3 Tablespoons Water

METHOD
Start by softening the goji berries. Place the berries in a small bowl and cover them with boiling water. Leave to sit for about 5-10 minutes, then drain the berries and put them into your blender or food processor. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on the highest speed for 2-3 minutes. If the mixture seems to thick or isn’t becoming smooth enough, add a little more water, but the longer you blend it for the smoother it will become.

Serve from a jug as a dressing or in a small bowl as a dip.

SAVOURY TAHINI DIP

INGREDIENTS
3 Tablespoons Tahini
5-6 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Tamari
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
+ Sweetener of choice, optional

METHOD

Simply mix all of the ingredients in a small bowl or add to a blender and blend on a slow speed until combined.

MACADAMIA AND AMARANTH BREAD SAUCE

Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

 

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Amaranth or Quinoa
100g Macadamia Nuts or Brazil Nuts
120g Ground Almonds
1 Tin Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Water or Homemade Vegetable Stock
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1 Organic Stock Cube or 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
2 Bay Leaves
1 Onion or 2 Tablespoons Onion Seeds
4-5 Peppercorns
4 Cloves
1 Teaspoon Nutmeg
Sprig or Fresh Thyme
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic
Olive oil, Ghee or Coconut Oil
1-2 Slices of Gluten Free Bread, or 1-2 Gluten Free Bread Rolls (or more almonds)

METHOD

Start by making the creamy sauce. Blend the macadamia nuts with 50ml of cold water. Blend on the highest speed for 2 minutes, until smooth. Pour the creamy mixture into a medium saucepan and add the bay leaves, onion (chopped roughly) or onion seeds, fresh herbs, peppercorns, cloves and garlic. Simmer on a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, to infuse the milk.

Meanwhile, make the amaranth/quinoa base. In a large separate saucepan, add 2 1/2 cups of water to whichever you decide to use. I used amaranth as it binds to become a lot thicker than quinoa, but both will work. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 25-35 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as amaranth and quinoa have the tendency to suddenly absorb all of the liquid, so you may need to keep topping it up. 

Once all of the liquid has been absorbed and once the amaranth/quinoa has become completely soft (amaranth will take a little longer than quinoa), remove from the heat. Pour the mixture into a food processor or blender and blend for 20-30 seconds until smooth. Return to the saucepan and add the coconut milk, salt, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water or stock, and the stock cube or nutritional yeast. Simmer on a low heat.

Strain the macadamia nut milk mixture into a large jug, getting rid of the peppercorns, bay leaves, onion, garlic and the rest of the herbs. Pour the strained milk into the saucepan with the blended amaranth/quinoa and increase the heat slightly. Stir in the ground almonds and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the mixture begins to thicken. At this point, you can add the slices or gluten free bread or bread rolls, torn into small pieces. I made mine using only ground almonds which worked well, but for a thicker, lumpier end result, you might want to use some gluten free bread. 

Once the mixture has thickened, pour into a bowl or jug to serve. 

CHRISTMAS LEFTOVERS ABUNDANCE BOWL WITH ORANGE TAHINI MAYONNAISE

danielle coppermanComment

This recipe came about as I frantically cleared my fridge before going home for the Christmas holidays. I had just co-hosted F.east - a supper club/film club which myself and my friend kicked off with a festive theme, so my fridge was chocka full of leftovers. This recipe is more inspirational than it is instructive. There’s really not a lot to it, but I want to inspire you all to face your fate with leftovers, and make each days ingredients more delicious than the previous. The key to keeping the same ingredients from becoming boring and monotonous is in the dressings. Chutneys and dressings instantly transform a meal and are the quickest thing to make. Each day after Christmas, experiment with different dressings, jams, chutneys and slaws to ensure the sight of sprouts and chestnuts doesn’t make you want to eat your stocking.

INGREDIENTS
Serves One

3/4 Cup Shredded Chicken or Turkey (or other cold meat of choice)
1/4 Cup Coconut Brussels Sprouts / Boiled Brussels Sprouts / Seared Brussels Sprouts
1/2 Cup Leftover Roasted Vegetables (parsnip/carrot/sweet potato/beetroot)
1/4 Cup Chestnuts, roasted
1-2 Handfuls Fresh Spinach Leaves, or choice of other leaves
2 Handfuls of Mung Bean of Alfalfa Sprouts, optional

ORANGE TAHINI MAYONNAISE DRESSING (BEST EVER)

3 Tablespoons Tahini
Juice of Half Fresh Orange (zest, optional)
3 Tablespoons Olive oil
3 Tablespoons Cold Filtered Water
1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Raw Honey or Manuka Honey
1/2 Teaspoon Tamari or a Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Teaspoons Poppy or Chia Seeds, optional

METHOD
This is one of those recipes that is so easy it feels like cheating. Simply choose your ingredients (or find whatever you have leftover in the fridge) and combine them all nicely in a bowl. Start by arranging the leaves across the base of the bowl and then build it up with the meat and vegetables. You can also add pulses, nuts and seeds if you have them. 

For the dressing, place all of the ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bottle or a jug and stir continuously, adding a little more oil or water to thin it, depending on how you prefer the texture. 

Drizzle the dressing over the salad and either serve like that, or take a few minutes to coat the salad ingredients in the dressing, tossing and mixing the meat and vegetables with your hands.

Top with chopped nuts and seeds (even tastier if you toast them in tamari) and enjoy.

CHESTNUT, QUINOA AND BRUSSELS NUT ROAST

Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

I am no vegetarian, but this nut roast… it’s quite something. Something - perhaps not something to replace the turkey and ham that’ll sit atop my table this christmas - but something never the less. I have never made or even eaten nut roast, so this was quite a blind baking session for me. I didn’t really know what it was supposed to taste like, or even look like, and it certainly isn’t the most beautiful thing you will ever make, but it is delicious. At least, this version is, even if i do say so myself. 

Nut roast doesn’t look or sound particularly appealing, and although it is a traditional vegetarian option when it comes to roast/christmas dinner, it is very underrated in my opinion. It is just as delicious and flavoursome as stuffing is, and isn’t dissimilar in taste or texture, but the beauty of this nut roast is that it is crammed full of vitamins, nutrients and plant-based protein. Most nut roasts (and stuffings for that matter) are bulked out with breadcrumbs and flour, which can be strenuous on your digestive system, especially if you suffer from a wheat or gluten intolerance. These ingredients make the nut roast extremely bland and stodgy, so I wanted to rework this vegetarian crowd pleaser into something that would actually please a vegetarian, and a non-vegetarian for that matter. My recipe uses cooked quinoa and ground almonds instead to bind the vegetables, nuts and seeds, which are not only easier to digest but also exceptionally higher in protein, fibre and valuable nutrients. As the name suggests, nut roasts involve a lot of nuts. However, although nuts are incredibly nutritious and a great source of protein (particularly for vegetarians who can sometimes find it hard to get enough protein from their food), too many can also cause complications within the gut. For that reason, I have reduced the amount of nuts in this recipe, and increased the amount of vegetables.

+ You can experiment with your own combination of vegetables, nuts, seeds and herbs in this recipe, and the great thing is that the more you add the better it tastes. I’d recommend prioritising the sweet potato, chestnuts, ground almonds and as many herbs as possible, as these are the foundations that make it all come together, but other than that, add what you like!

Serve this as a vegetarian main, a vegetarian stuffing alternative or as a side to accompany meat dishes if you are feeding meat-eaters. It also makes the perfect starter as it isn’t dissimilar to seed & nut bread, so is brilliant with chutneys, soups, cheeses or as part of a canapé spread. I baked mine in mini loaf tins, serving one per person alongside the mains.

INGREDIENTS

1 Cup Quinoa
1/2 Large Sweet Potato, baked
20g Apricots or Dates, chopped
60g Brazil Nuts, chopped
30g Pine Nuts or Pistachios (any nuts will work), chopped
1 1/2 Cup Ground Almonds
3 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon Tahini 
1 Red Onion
40g Chickpeas, optional
1 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
2 Tablespoons Tamari
1 Egg
250g Chestnuts, chopped
A Few Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
A Few Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
1 Cup Brussels Sprouts, shredded
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds
1/3 Cup Sunflower Seeds
3 Tablespoons Linseeds
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon or All Spice
1 Teaspoon Sumac
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Fresh Sage, chopped

Oil of choice, for frying/greasing

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 170c. 

Start by blending the sunflower seeds, half of the pumpkin seeds, the herbs and the chickpeas in a blender or food processor until they resemble a bread crumb consistency. Transfer them into a large bowl and set aside.

In a frying pan, sautee the onion, garlic, brussels and chestnuts in ghee, olive oil or coconut oil. Add the tamari and lemon juice and sear until the vegetables are completely soft. Place in a bowl then add the ground almonds chopped nuts eggs etc all flavours. mash and knead into a ball. press into a tin and bake. 

Meanwhile, measure all of the other ingredients, apart from the egg, into the bowl with the ground seeds and herbs. When the vegetables are soft, add them to the dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon, mashing the ingredients with the back of the spoon to combine them. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and then stir it into the mixture thoroughly.

When all of the ingredients are combined, press into a greased loaf tin, mini loaf tins or a muffin tray, to make individual single serving portions. Alternatively, to make canapés or to make vegetarian stuffing, form into 2 inch balls.

Bake for 45-65 minutes, depending on whether you are baking a large loaf, or smaller individual ones - which will take less time to cook.

RECOMMENDED CONDIMENTS

PARSNIP APRICOT GINGER CHUTNEY

1 Large Parsnip
1/2 Large Cooking Apple
1 Inch Chopped Ginger
1 Cup Water
Juice of Half an Orange
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
1/2 Cup Chopped Apricots
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
2 Teaspoons Agave or Coconut Palm Sugar
2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds
1 Tablespoon Baobab or Maca, optional

METHOD
Place all of the ingredients apart from the chia seeds into a large saucepan, and simmer on a medium heat. Once the chopping and dicing is out of the way, chutney is easy work. Leave it to simmer and soften, checking occasionally to make sure there is enough water in the pan. Keep topping it up with cold water if the fruit begins to stick to the bottom of the pan. After about 20-25 minutes, check the fruit to see if it is soft enough. Add a little more water, then remove from the heat, transfer to a blender and blend for 5 seconds. If you prefer your chutney chunkier, don’t blend it. Pour into a bowl, jar or airtight container and stir in the chia seeds. Let sit for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, and when the chia seeds have swelled slightly, seal the container and store in the fridge. 

Serve with the nut roast, or spread an even layer over the top and sprinkle with herbs or crushed chestnuts to garnish.

TRUFFLE TAHINI DRIZZLE

INGREDIENTS

1-2 Tablespoons Truffle Oil
6 Tablespoons Olive or Avocado Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Tamari
2 Tablespoons Tahini
1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
Water, to thin (optional)

METHOD
Simply mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, or use a blender for a smoother result. Serve as a dip, or thin with a little water and serve as an optional dressing to drizzle over the nut roast.

+ This dressing is wonderful on salads too, and instantly transforms tasteless salad leaves and vegetables, making them creamy and delicious.

Serve with Celeriac Brazil Nut Slaw.

    CACAO AND CUMIN RAGU WITH BUCKWHEAT BURRITOS

    Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment
    IMG_2147.JPG

    This recipe is inspired by my aunty claire, who just a few days ago made the best ragu i’d ever tasted. Slight lie, as, of course, only your own mothers homemade ragu or lasagne is the best, but, my aunty's came closely behind. When we asked her her secret, she said ‘cumin’. When we nodded and continued eating she added ‘and high percentage dark chocolate’. That stopped us in our tracks, forks just inches away from our mouths. We pondered it for a moment and then decided, yes, wow, how genius is that, it really works. We loved it all the more once we knew it had chocolate in it, and i immediately wanted to get home and master a recipe for cacao mince - my own dairy-free, superfood take on a traditional dish (not sure what the italians would have to say about that though).

    Ragu is the ultimate comfort food. I remember when i first moved away from home i would make myself vegetarian ragu at least once a week. It was easy, quick and is so warming in winter months. The flavour the cacao adds to this recipe is a deeply comforting one. It adds a unique richness to the meat, and although you wouldn’t expect it to work with a sauce of tomatoes and red peppers, it really does. It somehow disappears amongst the other ingredients, bringing all of the flavours together to make a dark, creamy sauce, filling it with unique flavours. Cacao has the ability to bring out the true flavours of foods that it is combined with, which is what makes this dish different to just about any other dish you have ever tried.

    This recipe is fairly straight forward, however I would advise you take quite a bit of time over it, giving it your full concentration in order for it to become as delicious as it can. It will only take you about forty minutes to perfect the meat, but the longer you leave it to cook and simmer, the more the meat will absorb all of the important ingredients. And if, like me, you are going to go all out and make an entire Burrito Spread, allow another hour or so to prep the sides, and really excel in the buckwheat burrito department.

    INGREDIENTS
    Serves 4-5

    3 Tablespoons Cacao Powder
    1 Tablespoon Cumin
    10 Medium Tomatoes
    2 Pointed Red Peppers (Bell Peppers will work well too)
    2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    4 Tablespoons Water, as and when
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    1 Handful Fresh Basil Leaves
    1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
    1 Teaspoon Tamari
    1 Tablespoon Onion Seeds or 1 Onion, diced (I don’t like onions but there’s no reason why you can’t chuck some in to increase the flavour)
    1 Teaspoon Sumac
    3-4 Sage or Bay Leaves
    1/2 Cup Shaved Broccoli
    2 Large Handfuls Spinach Leaves
    3 Cloves Garlic
    400g Good Quality Organic Minced Beef or Turkey Meat

    Optional
    1 Teaspoon Oregano
    1 Small Glass Red Wine
    1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock (I personally think the nutritional yeast does the job of a stock cube, so this isn’t essential).

    METHOD

    Pour the olive oil into a large pan and add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, basil, broccoli, salt, tamari, nutritional yeast, onion seeds, lemon juice, spinach and chopped peppers, and simmer for 20 mins on a medium heat. Remove from the heat, let cool momentarily and then transfer into a blender. Blend on high speed for 2 minutes, until more or less smooth, then return to the pan. Add the mince, cumin, cacao powder and all of the other ingredients and simmer for 30-40 minutes on a medium to low heat. After about 20 minutes, place a lid covering the pan 2/3 of the way and continue to simmer until the meat has absorbed most of the liquid.

    + You can make this more quickly if you are in a rush, and can merely simmer the sauce with the mince until the meat if cooked through. However, the longer you leave it, the more flavoursome the meat will become, and the less runny the sauce will be.

    SERVING SUGGESTIONS

    Buckwheat Burritos (Below)

    Olive Oil and Lime Guacamole (Below)

    Fennel, Spinach and Kale Salad (Below)

    Solid Coconut Milk (Instead of creme fraiche)

    Cauliflower Rice (Below)

    Courgetti, Black Bean Spaghetti or Gluten Free Pasta

    Plain Quinoa or Buckwheat

    + Save any leftovers in the fridge to take for lunch, adding to a salad or enjoying with quinoa and avocado.

    Burritos are an incredible invention. They make it acceptable to have a million forms of carbs in one meal, as well as, for that matter, a million types of food in one meal. You can literally add anything to a burrito, the same way you can with fajitas. The wonderful thing about a tortilla wrap is that you can pile on as much of absolutely anything you like and tailor it to your needs. Burritos also bring out a sense of certainty in a person. No matter how much you manage to fit into your wrap and no matter how creative you get, you will, with great determination, be able to eat it. Whether it is in a dignified manner, well, that’s another story.

    My version of a burrito is much lighter than one you might find at a street food vendor, and doesn’t leave you feeling positively comatose or full of regret upon completion. I have replaced the refined ingredients with, of course, natural ones which promise to love and nourish your insides, and consequently your outsides. You won’t feel bloated, and you won’t be prone to developing greasy, spot-studded skin after just the first bite. I have replaced white rice with cauliflower rice, and refried beans with tahini puy lentils or black beans. I have included one of my favourite guacamole recipes and a simple salad full of flavour and texture - but not too much to take the attention away from the meat. You can add whatever you like to yours, and you can experiment with your own fillings, but the essentials are of course the meat, the rice, the guacamole and the refried beans. Oh, and the sour cream, but we’ll use Coyo for that…

    BUCKWHEAT BURRITOS

    250g Buckwheat Four
    1 Large Egg
    1 Tablespoon Psyllium Husk Powder (not essential - if you don't have this the recipe will work without)
    Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
    700ml Water
    Coconut Oil, for frying

    METHOD
    whisk all together then ladle into a frying pan lightly greased with coconut oil. i experimented with about 3mm thick and even thinner, but the thinner ones were more crispy which meant they didn’t fold well (just what you need for a burrito). the thinner ones i broke into pieces and they made really good tortilla chips for guacamole and salsa.
    Keep about 3mm thick, heat on medium heat for 5 minutes each side. It will feel spongy inside, so keep cooking if it feels a little raw.

    + To make TORTILLA CHIPS simply pour about half the amount of mixture into the saucepan and spread it around so that it coats the entire base of the pan, but is extremely thin. Cook in the same way as above, but for a little less time. Keep flipping, and when each side it toasted nicely and beginning to brown, set aside on a plate to cool. As it cools, it will become even crunchier, and after about 5 minutes you can break it into rough pieces or chop into triangles to recreate Dorito like Tortilla Chips. You can sprinkle coconut oil, desiccated coconut, nutritional yeast, turmeric, cumin or any other spices you desire on top to add flavour.

    + You can even use the above recipe to make naan breads. Simply keep the mixture to nearer 1 - 1.5 cm thick, and cook as directed above. I would add crushed garlic, ground almonds and desiccated coconut to the top wet layer and either fold the mixture over itself or add a little extra mixture to cover these additional flavours.

    OLIVE OIL GUACAMOLE

    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    Generous Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
    1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Lime Juice
    2 Ripe Avocados

    METHOD
    I don’t like onions which is why I don’t put them in guacamole. I don’t stick to any general rules when it comes to guacamole at all, no chopped tomatoes either. I prefer it smooth and all the more creamy, but you can add chopped tomatoes, raw or spring onions and garlic if you wish. A refreshing variation is to add diced fennel before or after the blending process, which I strongly approve of.

    Simply add all of the ingredients to a food processor or blender and blend on high speed for 2-3 minutes, until smooth. If you like a few chunks, blend only for about 2 minutes.

    FENNEL, SPINACH AND KALE SIDE SALAD

    1 Bulb of Fennel
    3 Large Handfuls Fresh Spinach Leaves
    1 Handful Fresh Kale Leaves

    METHOD
    You can add absolutely anything to this salad. The spinach and kale are a great base and the fennel adds a refreshing flavour and a juicy, crunchy texture. Drizzle with lemon, lime or fresh orange juice as well as the zest, if you want to. Enjoy in or beside your burritos.

    WARM TAHINI PUY LENTILS

    3 Tablespoons Tahini
    150g Puy Lentils, Cooked
    Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt
    2-3 Tablespoons Water or Almond Milk
    1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
    2 Tablespoons Coconut Milk - optional

    METHOD
    Place the lentils and salt into a small pan on a low heat. Add the water or nut milk and stir to combine. Simmer and stir this way until the lentils become soft and begin to form more of a paste. Remove from the heat and stir through the tahini, coconut oil and coconut milk - if using. Pour into a bowl and serve as an alternative to refried beans.

    CAULIFLOWER RICE

    1/2 Large Cauliflower
    Leftover Fennel - optional

    METHOD
    I love this recipe as it is so simple. Everyone is always amazed when i serve it and they always agree it is much more flavoursome and of course far less stodgy than conventional rice. Simply chop the cauliflower and place it in a food processor or blender. Blend on a medium to high speed for as little as 30 seconds, depending on the sizes of the chunks of cauliflower - it may need longer. When it has become a rice/cous cous consistency, either warm gently in a saucepan, frying pan or microwave, or transfer to a bowl and serve raw.

    COYO COCONUT YOGHURT OR SOLID COCONUT MILK

    CANNELLINI WHITE BEAN AND SWEET POTATO QUISOTTO

    Vegetarian, Lunch, Dinnerdanielle coppermanComment

    November is here and, like most November’s, you’re probably cursing its premature arrival, certain that we should still be in October. November is a stressful month for many reasons. The weather gets colder, the days get darker, christmas gets closer and before you know it, the year is already over again. This means more colds, more early nights, more last minute shopping and get-together plans and more New Years Resolutions. It depends which way you look at it. Let’s forget all of that for a moment and think about the fact that food has never tasted so good, duvets have never felt so comfortable and staying in is far more enjoyable than going out anyway. This is the perfect time to wrap up indoors, to get creative with this seasons most nourishing foods and take time to make truly great food for you and your loved ones. Autumn is one of my favourite times of the year in terms of fresh produce. Everything is so hearty, earthy and flavoursome and I love cooking with soft vegetables and soft fruits, making everything into warm, nourishing concoctions.

    Now, although the weather is unusually warm for this time of year, there is still a sense of urgency to rush into the house after a long journey home and slam the door in the face of darkness. I mean, I started my journey home from one part of London at 3pm the other day and by the time I’d gotten back over ground, it was pitch black. The nights are chilly and the darkness makes me feel like we are living under some kind of winter blanket, even though I’m not wearing gloves yet. All I want to do is get into the kitchen and straight back out of it so I can enjoy some wholesome, homemade food from the comfort of my bed or on the sofa. There is nothing more soothing than a bowl of steaming goodness, like a hearty soup, a thick, creamy risotto or nourishing stew. And with any one-pot recipe, you can just keep adding to it. You can add spices and herbs, homemade stock or broth, spinach or kale that may look like it’s seen better days. In a one pot, everything combines into a unique amalgamation of flavours, food groups and most importantly, nutrients, so cram as much in as you can, and be sure to make enough for leftovers for times when hibernation seems more appealing than cooking. 

    This recipe is similar to my Crown Prince Quinoa Sotto - something I made over a year ago now, when I first started this blog. This recipe is quicker and easier though, as it doesn’t require cooking the sweet potato or pumpkin separately. You literally add everything to one big pan and let it all simmer together. Risotto was my favourite meal before i changed my dietary habits, but it always made me feel uncomfortable afterwards - too full to move and not especially nourished. This recipe doesn’t use cream, cheese, butter, sugar or processed risotto rice like most recipes do. It uses coconut milk, fresh herbs and quinoa, making it high in fibre, protein and low gi sugars, and low in starchy carbohydrates, grains, gluten and dairy (absolutely free from them, in fact). Enjoy playing around with this recipe, as there is always room to add more. I always add greens like spinach, diced broccoli or grated courgette as they cook down and become so soft you hardly notice them. 

    INGREDIENTS

    1 Tin Cannellini Beans
    1 1/2 Cups White Quinoa
    1 Tin Coconut Milk
    1/2 Cup Water
    1 Medium Sweet Potato (or pumpkin, squash or beetroot)
    1 Handful Basil, Sage or Coriander
    1-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt or 1 Teaspoon Tamari
    120g Chickpeas
    2 Cloves Garlic
    1 Teaspoon Lemon Juice
    2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
    3 Tablespoons Tahini
    1 Teaspoon Cumin
    1 Teaspoon Coconut Oil
    1/4 Teaspoon Fresh Chilli or Chilli Flakes

    OPTIONAL EXTRAS
    Cooked Puy Lentils
    Peas
    Spinach
    Kale
    Diced Broccoli
    Grated Courgette

    METHOD

    Start by making the quinoa as this is your base. Use a large saucepan leaving space for you to add and build, and cover the quinoa in twice its amount of water. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat and leave it to simmer. 
    In a blender, blend the chickpeas, lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, garlic and 2 tablespoons of the tahini until smooth. This is a quick houmous recipe which adds a delicious creaminess to the sauce. You can also use shop bought organic houmous if you have it. Once smooth, set aside.
    When the water is draining away from the quinoa and it is more or less cooked, add the 1/2 cup water, the coconut milk (solid and liquid), the cannellini beans, grated sweet potato and fresh herbs and stir to combine. Keep on a low-medium heat, stirring constantly and adding water or plant milk if the mixture is becoming too thick. Add the salt or tamari and the nutritional yeast, then stir in the houmous and coconut oil. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, adding your extra vegetables of choice. When everything is soft and all of the flavours have simmered nicely together, remove from the heat, season one last time and serve. 
    I like to serve mine with a dollop of coconut milk or cashew nut cream, or sprinkled with baked basil or kale chips for extra crunch. My Savoury Qnola, which will be available in the New Year, is also delicious on top.

    BLACK BEAN SPAGHETTI WITH VEGETARIAN RAGU

    Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman1 Comment

    Today I found myself walking past Planet Organic trying to think of something I needed, to give myself an excuse to go inside. I do this a lot, and every time I go to a health food shop for one thing, I exit with at least 4, and sometimes this doesn’t even include the thing I went in for in the first place. They are dangerous places, even more so when you’re hungry, or, like I was today, feeling creative and easily inspired.

    On my way to the till having picked up what I needed, I passed through the pasta isle. I used to eat pasta almost every day when I was at school. I would come home from school ravenous and make a bowl of pasta with cheesy baked beans. I know. Grim. But it tasted incredible. But since changing my diet, I haven’t had pasta once, and to be honest, my body doesn’t crave it. I admit my eyes do sometimes, as well as my nostrils. If i see a saucy pasta dish on a TV advert or walk past an Italian restaurant which smells as if it is actually built of basil and cheese, then I almost begin to miss it. However, in my opinion, it is always the sauce and the toppings that give a pasta dish any flavour at all. This is why I love making courgetti, because it is the same texture as regular spaghetti and doesn’t taste of much at all. The only difference is it isn’t doughy - other than that it tastes, in my opinion, just the same once it’s covered in sauce. The important thing is to keep the sauce relatively healthy too, monitoring your use of cream, cheese and processed meats. The recipe below is completely dairy free, vegan and vegetarian.

    Like most things in the shops, ‘healthy’ pasta is likely to contain a lot of ingredients you don’t recognise and these are ultimately things your body wont recognise either. All sorts of flours, stabilisers and emulsifiers may be present, amongst other ingredients. Most of these products are also high in starchy carbohydrate and sugar, and really aren’t that good for you at all. I tried Quinoa Spaghetti about a year ago now and loved it, but it still filled me up a little too much and although it was gluten and grain free, still felt quite stodgy to digest. So when I walked past Black Bean Spaghetti today, I had to investigate the packaging further. There were two ingredients: Organic Black Beans (92%) and Water (8%). This sounded instantly better than what surrounded it on the shelf as it was made for completely natural ingredients. No flour, not additives. Just beans and water. I was completely sceptical about putting it in my basket but felt so inspired that I had to give it a go. The store was out of turkey mince and I knew I had a fresh cauliflower at home, so I enjoyed mine with Cauliflower Ragu. Such a winner.

    INGREDIENTS
    A Packet of Black Bean or Edamame Spaghetti (ExploreAsian), or Homemade Courgetti
    6 Medium-Large Tomatoes
    15 Small Tomatoes
    Handful of Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
    2 Handfuls of Spinach Leaves (or kale), chopped
    1 Large Garlic Clove, chopped or crushed
    1-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    1/2 Teaspoon Salt
    A Few Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
    1 Teaspoon Dried Mixed Herbs - Oregano, Sage and Thyme work well
    1/2 Large Cauliflower (you can also use quinoa instead which makes a delicious high protein vegetarian ragu with the same texture and consistency)

    METHOD
    Start by making the sauce as the courgetti will only take a few minutes and the black bean pasta only needs about 6 minutes to simmer. Chop the tomatoes into small chunks and pour a teaspoon or so of olive or coconut oil into a saucepan. Once melted, add the tomatoes to the pan followed by the basil leaves and the garlic. Stir in the spinach or kale along with the nutritional yeast, salt, dried herbs and other seasoning you may like to use. Cook over a medium to low heat for about 20 minutes. 
    Meanwhile, chop the cauliflower and make it into a rice consistency. Doing this will add texture to the sauce (as well as more vitamins and nutrients) and resembles the texture of mince meat very closely. Start by chopping the cauliflower edges into small pieces and place in a food processor or blender. Take the stalks and the tougher inside of the cauliflower and dice finely before adding to the blender. Blend for about 10-20 seconds. You only need to pulse it briefly as the pieces will break up instantly and you want to avoid making it into some kind of puree. 
    Once the sauce is reducing and becoming thicker, add the cauliflower rice or ‘mince’ to the sauce pan and stir until evenly coated. Simmer for another 15 minutes in order for the cauliflower to become a tiny bit softer and also to absorb the flavours of the sauce.
    Now make the ‘pasta’s’. Boil about 2 cups of water in a saucepan and then add the black bean spaghetti. I used about 1/5 or 1/4 of the packet for one serving. Simmer for 5-8 minutes, depending on how you prefer your pasta cooked. I like mine al dente so I drained mine after about 6 minutes. 
    Take your spiralizer or julienne peeler and start making the courgetti. You don’t really need both - i basically bought a courgette in case i really didn’t like the black bean pasta. But i did, so in the end i used both which obviously increased the variety of nutrients. I used just under half a courgette, peeled into spaghetti with my julienne peeler. You can also use a whole courgette if you don’t have/want black bean spaghetti, or you can leave the courgetti out if you just want to use the black bean spaghetti.
    Place the courgetti into a bowl and drain the black bean spaghetti. Add this to the courgetti and mix to combine with your hands. Give the sauce one last stir and season before pouring over the ‘pasta’s’. I recommend string the sauce through the pasta to coat it evenly. Top with a little nutritional yeast or organic cheese if you are not dairy intolerant, and add chopped pine nuts or seeds for extra flavour and texture and to further increase the nutrient content.

    SWEET POTATO, KALE AND CARAMELISED GARLIC TART

    Snacks, Vegetarian, Lunch, Gluten free, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment

    I made this pie around thanksgiving, inspired to use yams. You could definitely chuck some shredded turkey in there to make it a proper thanksgiving pie, and making it a perfect solution for leftovers. The base is one i have experimented with before in sweet tartlet recipes. To make it savoury i just added extra salt and two of my favourite flavoursome ingredients: sumac and nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast has been cropping up a lot lately which is good because it is a rich source of protein, and is vegan. People refer to it as ‘the vegan cheese’ because it has a nutty, cheesy kind of flavour. In my opinion it is a godsend, as i never thought i could live without cheese; but this satisfies my cravings. Just about. It is such a versatile ingredient to work with. You can eat it raw and simply crumbled onto salads, or work it into any baked good recipe. It particularly brought the flavour out in my Miracle Bread (which you should definitely try - very easy). Nutritional yeast boots the nutrient levels in any meal and is perfect for instantly adding flavour to something bland and uninspiring. 
    Next, the herb thats having a moment in all of my savoury recipes right now, sumac. This was introduced to me by my sister recently and is also to thank for its tasty nutritional boost. It has been used for years for its medicinal properties including being anti-fungal, rich in antioxidants and also anti-inflammatory. It is full of vitamin C and omega 3 fatty acids, helping to prevent illnesses and cardiovascular disease. It has been proven to help remove free radicals from the body. Research also suggests that sumac is effective in helping with hyperglycaemia, diabetes and reducing obesity. It has a tart, slightly astringent kind of taste when eaten alone, but is also cheesy in its own unique way and brings something really amazing to any recipe it is incorporated into. Sumac is a berry which is dried and then ground, which is the form i use it in in my recipes. It sounds exotic but it is super easy to get hold of. 
    This tart requires quite some concentration. It isn’t difficult, but its a bit like a roast dinner; you need to time things well and keep an eye on a lot of things at once. To prep, you can start by dicing the greens and chopping the cauliflower and broccoli florets into a rice consistency and then set them aside. Also you can thinly slice the beetroot before you start the body of the tart, just to be organised. Once that’s sorted you just need to keep an eye on the sweet potato whilst you make the perfect savoury tart base.
    Take time over this one - it should be made for a lazy lunch or to accompany a warm dinner. Savour it, and enjoy it in company; you wont be able to stop talking about the flavours as they come through one by one. You wont get bored, lets put it that way.

    INGREDIENTS
    (
    Makes one large pie of 18-20 small tartlets)

    BASE

    150g buckwheat flour
    150g ground almonds
    1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    30g coconut oil, soft
    2 eggs
    1 teaspoon agave
    salt
    1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
    1 tablespoon ground sumac
    1 tablespoon nut milk or water

    FILLING

    4 eggs
    2 Large Sweet Potatoes, cubed
    2 handfuls of kale
    10 brussels sprouts, chopped finely
    2 tablespoons original coyo or dairy free yogurt
    1 raw beetroot, sliced
    Handful of spinach (or greens of choice)
    3 Cauliflower florets, chopped finely into a rice
    3 Broccoli florets, chopped finely into a rice
    1 Tablespoon nutritional yeast
    1 Tablespoon ground sumac
    6 Garlic Cloves

    METHOD

    Preheat the oven to 170c. 
    In a large saucepan boil the sweet potato cubes until soft. Whilst they cook, make the base. 
    Mix all of the base ingredients in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until a dough begins to form. When it does, form into a ball and wrap tightly in cling film. Leave to chill in the fridge for 10 minutes. (You can get away with leaving this step out if your dough is dry enough and seems to be moulding successfully).
    Press the mixture into the bottom of a tart dish. Press the mixture down firmly with the back of a spoon, and at the edges of the tart tin too. Make sure the pastry is compact otherwise it will crumble.
    Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes, a little longer perhaps, if your pastry seems quite thick. Remove and set aside.
    Whilst you wait for the sweet potato to get soft enough to mash, in a small saucepan heat a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add the garlic cloves, whole or halved, along with a splash of water, pinch of salt and drop of agave or raw honey if desired (this will caramelise them). Simmer for about 10 minutes, adding a little more water if it evaporates instantly. The cloves should brown a little and become soft.
    When the sweet potato is soft enough put half in a bowl and leave half to drain in a sieve. Mash the sweet potato in the bowl until a puree forms. Press the sweet potato puree onto the bottom of the tart until the entire base is covered.
    Next, slice your beetroot thinly, and layer several slices on top of the sweet potato puree, until the entire base is covered.
    Now scatter a handful of diced, raw brussels (you can cook these if you like - either will work) on top of the beetroot layer. Do the same with your finely chopped kale and spinach, and any other leafy greens you may choose to use. Be sure to leave half your amount of greens for the top layer.
    Now take the cubed sweet potato and the garlic cloves and fill the pie evenly. Scatter the remaining greens on top of the sweet potato, followed by the diced cauliflower and broccoli florets.
    In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs thoroughly. I added Organic Coyo to make the tart creamier, but that is not essential. You could leave it out or substitute it for tinned coconut milk. Whisk continuously for about 2-3 minutes and then gently pour over the tart filling. You may need to rearrange the fillings to allow the egg to spread throughout the layers.
    Bake for another 40-50 minutes. It may take longer depending on the amount of your fillings. To be sure it is cooked thoroughly, test the middle of the tart with your finger. If it feels jelly-like, it needs longer. Alternatively you can test it with a knife and if it comes out of the middle of the tart clean, thats a sure sign it is ready.

    AUBERGINE ALMOND SATAY

    Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

    INGREDIENTS

    1-2 Aubergines, depending on hunger levels or number of mouths to feed
    2 Tablespoons Coconut, Olive or Sesame Oil
    2-3 Tablespoons Almond or Cashew Butter
    Fresh Ginger, finely chopped
    1 Tablespoon Tamari
    2-3 Tablespoons Coconut Milk, tinned or from a carton (solid milk from the tin will add a thicker, creamier texture but normal coconut milk will still add a wonderful flavour and help to thin and combine the ingredients).
    A Few Drops of Agave
    2 Cloves Garlic, crushed
    1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice

    METHOD

    Preheat oven to 180c. Fill a medium pan with about two inches of water. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat. Place your steamer in/on the pan and place the aubergine – sliced lengthways – into the steamer. I use a small metal steamer that looks like a sieve. If you have a proper layered steamer, use this as you normally would. Place a lid on the top and leave for 10 minutes. The aubergines should be soft when you remove them. Transfer the steamed aubergine to a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil of your choice. The sesame oil gives this dish an amazing flavour but if you don’t have any, olive or coconut will work fine to crisp up the edges of the aubergine. Bake in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. 
    Meanwhile, make the sauce.

    In a bowl, combine the remaining oil, nut butter, coconut milk, tamari, agave, lemon juice, diced garlic and crushed ginger with a fork. Mash the nut butter to disperse it into the rest of the mixture and whisk to combine. When the aubergine is slightly crisp but still incredibly soft, remove from the oven and pour the sauce over evenly. You can stir the sauce through the aubergines and serve like that or even leave the sauce separate and serve as a dip. Create a little aubergine fondu.

    Top with toasted or raw nuts and/or seeds. I also like lemongrass coconut yogurt. Simply take 3 tablespoons of original Coyo or solid coconut milk and place in a blender. add some fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of fresh lemon juice. Blend until combined and serve on or with the aubergine. You could also add mint to the blender to add flavour.

    ALMOND, PAPRIKA AND COCONUT CRUMBED WEEKEND CHICKEN

    Lunch, Gluten free, Dinner, Brunchdanielle coppermanComment

    It is what it is. It's chicken, and even if it's not the weekend, this will make you feel like it is. With not hydrogenated fats or deep frying involved, and no wheat or dairy either, this chicken is a nourishing alternative to a popular fast food take away choice. Enjoy with avocado mayonnaise, salad, sweet potato wedges and some homemade dairy free slaw.

    INGREDIENTS
    (Enough for two chicken breasts)

    2 Eggs
    1 Cup Ground Almonds
    1-2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
    2 Teaspoon Paprika
    1 Teaspoon Cumin
    Salt
    2 Teaspoon Mixed Dried Herbs
    2 Teaspoon Sumac
    2 Chicken Breasts, chopped
    Ground Garlic/Crushed Garlic/Garlic Salt, optional

    METHOD
    Chop the chicken into strips just over an inch wide. In a small to medium bowl, whisk the eggs together with a fork until combined. In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients. Take one piece of chicken at a time and dip it in the egg mixture first. Meanwhile, heat some coconut or olive oil in a pan/griddle pan. Coat the chicken in egg entirely before then dipping it into the dry mixture. Roll the chicken in the crumbs thoroughly until evenly coated. Gently transfer to the pan which should be hot and repeat this process until all of the chicken is coated and in the pan. Fry on a medium heat for about two minutes before flipping to cook the other sides. Keep cooking until the crumbed outside begins to brown and become slightly crispy. Cut a strip through the middle to see if it is fully cooked before removing from the heat and serving.
    You could use turkey for an even healthier, leaner variation or even salmon or cod. I would recommend maybe using a fillet of fish and coating it whole before baking in some oil in the oven. It will taste better than if you were to fry it. You could do this with the chicken too if you aren’t short of time.

    THE DETOX KITCHEN

    Travel, Wellbeing, Review, Lunch, Lifestyle, Brunch, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

    It didn’t take me long to decide how I felt about The Detox Kitchen – the newest addition to london’s community of healthy eateries. To see a large bowl of fresh guacamole on the counter as I walked in was enough to get me interested. A menu the size of an entire wall boasting revitalising juices as well as a huge variety of food had me quite literally transfixed. And noticing anthropologie paraphernalia in every corner - as if at home in my own kitchen - made me want to sit down and never leave. Which was lucky, as it’s obvious upon entry that grab-and-go is hardly their ethos. With a sense of calmness and a chilled atmosphere (just what I like), natural light coming in through a huge window overlooking the cobbles of kingly street and amazing service, it couldn’t be more inviting.
    detox-kitchen1-300x212.jpg
    detox-kitchen4-300x199.png
    I arrived at The Detox Kitchen late on their second day of business. Only one lonely bowl of salad remained and the fridge was looking smugly empty. I took this as a good sign and quickly grabbed a pot of Quinoa with Cashew Pesto before anyone else did. I also bought some mind-blowing Wild Garlic and Spinach soup to take home with me. As a quinoa addict this is a strong statement but the quinoa pot was one of the best quinoa combinations I had ever tried. The flavours were amazing and the ingredients were ‘so fresh and so clean’ – in the words of Outcast. My only regret was not having arrived earlier, as I spent most of my time gazing at the menu and thinking about their egg rolls. Luckily for me there remained some baked goods on the counter so I tucked in to a Banana Muffin, which of course was delicious and light, and left me feeling clean – not a effect many muffins can have on people.

    I love anywhere with salads on display because you know what you’re getting and your decisions are visually educated. The prices here too are very affordable, unlike many specialist health joints that the general public view as only places the rich and famous visit. You can take away handpicked salad boxes for lunch, choose from a selection of small pots or trail-mixes to take on-the-go with you if you are time-poor, busy or travelling a lot, or stock up on healthy staples to take home, like their large pots of soup or bags of cereal. And if you have more time, sit inside and watch the world go by over a fresh pot of tea and a wholesome plate of food. The drinks menu is also phenomenal with a large selection of smoothies and juices. On my second visit I had a Lemon & Ginger tea, and half expecting a soggy Twining’s tea bag I was excited to see vibrant, brightly coloured ginger slices and the juiciest chunks of fresh lemon floating atop my hot water. This attention to detail was enough to confirm that anything you find at The Detox Kitchen will be as fresh, pure and wholesome as it possible can be.

    The Detox Kitchen is definitely one of my favourite new eateries in London and I can’t wait to go back for a proper wholesome lunch. I love their philosophy and what they stand for, I love the location and the interior of the eatery, the people are incredibly friendly and the food is spot on. The menu features pretty much all of my favourite meals and snacks, meaning I can finally eat out and not have to redesign the entire menu or mix and match a selection of sides in order to have something half healthy. They have mastered the balance between eating healthily and still being able to enjoy your food. There are no skimpy salads and nothing is disallowed - just lovingly made food created by people passionate about real, nourishing, feel-good ingredients. The salads are interestingly dressed vegetable dishes - as opposed to bland, wilting salad leaves commonly associated with ‘healthy eating’ - and the brownies by the till – which I hear they are already gaining a reputation for – are a sure sign that The Detox Kitchen lifestyle is not a boring, monotonous, tasteless one. Founder, Lily Simpson points out “Healthy food can be brilliantly tasty. It can fill you up, and yes, you can have pudding”. That pretty much sums it up.

    Visit their website for information on the delivery side of the business. They offer fresh food plans delivered to your door whilst you sleep, so all you have to do to keep healthy and feel great is plate up. You can choose from a selection of packages all of which consist of fresh, wholesome ingredients developed by their team of nutritionists and top chefs. Expect to start your day with a vibrant shot of wheatgrass or a greens juice, enjoy a wholesome protein or vegetarian evening meal and allow yourself a satisfying, guilt-free dessert.

    A SHED YOU WILL WANT TO LIVE IN

    Travel, Review, Lifestyle, Dinnerdanielle coppermanComment

    Tucked away on a roadside in Nottinghill is not much more than, well, a shed. What caught my eye was the beautiful, cosy garden patio covered in fairy lights and foliage in front of the building. It looked like a tiny house in Italy until i took a closer look and realised there was a menu on the wall, and a damn good one at that.

    This was a one off in terms of how our usual dinner plans go. We had never heard of The Shed, we hadn’t been recommended to go there and we hadn’t read any reviews about it. So it was a pleasant surprise, once we’d finished a good 8 sharing plates of mind blowing food, to find gushing reviews of it online when we got home. A very happy coincidence, and perhaps the most successful impulsive dinner choice I’ve ever made.

    Inside, the atmosphere was intimate and cosy, and as it was a Saturday, it was humming with hungry locals. They all obviously knew what to expect because there was a sense of excitement among the place. We, on the other hand, had to be talked through the procedure and then wait patiently, half expecting to be disappointed.

    The menu is divided into Mouthfuls, Slow cooking and Fast cooking. Each heading is quite self explanatory, but this was a new breakdown of food for us, so it took us a while to order. They recommend that you share each plate, which is small, or order more than one per person if your companion is not a sharer. We ordered 6 to begin with, between two of us, and got stuck in to each dish as and when they arrived, tasting each unique, flavoursome dish and salivating over them together. Each dish was different which kept our tastebuds amused and satisfied, but also seemed to send them into overdrive, as we ended up ordering two additional plates. We couldn’t stop.

    The dishes were controversial combinations of amazing ingredients, including chorizo puree on giant asparagus, and cured pollock with lemon mayonnaise and marigold. The fantastic menu changes daily and is made up of Sussex produce sourced from the owners’ youngest brother (whose roots are firmly planted in Nutbourne, as a farmer) and other local suppliers. “Growing, foraging, great cooking and great company have always been the order of the day, and this ethos has been brought to life at The Shed”; by three extremely talented brothers.

    "RESERVATIONS AND WALK-INS ARE WELCOME AT THE SHED, SO LONG AS YOU’RE READY TO ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES, JUMP ON THE COMBINE HARVESTER AND GET STUCK INTO SOME HARDY EATING, DRINKING AND MEMORY MAKING".

    Well, that just about sums it up.

    DISHOOM | THE DISHIEST PLACE IN LONDON

    Travel, Review, Lifestyle, Dinner, Brunch, Breakfastdanielle coppermanComment

    Let me introduce to you a brand new brunch; the kind where a white dusty bloomer is replaced by warm, crispy naan and any sight of a builders tea is enriched with a hundred spices you can’t pronounce the name of. Upon entering Dishoom – a sixties style Bombay diner off a little Shoreditch (or soho) side street - a multitude of aromas swarm towards you, possessing you so much that you momentarily forget how to say ‘table for two please’. Dizzied by the spiced air and in awe at the effortless, inimitable interiors, my good friend Charlotte and I followed our waitress to a comfy cushioned booth glowing in the morning sun. The waiters are incredibly relaxed (so we got on very well here, bleary eyed on a Sunday) and imply the most popular dishes, without imposing on your decisions. My word of advice is to trust them; you will thank them later.

    We go instantly weak at the knees at their description of the chai latte and take them up on the offer whilst we scan the menu in confusion. Naan bread at 10am in the morning? Spiced tomato relish at 10am in the morning? Green chilli omelette? At 10am in the morning? We thought we’d got it so wrong, having more or less professed in the art of hunting down london’s top brunch spots until now. However, we stuck it out - gave it a chance - mainly because we trusted the décor, the chic gold lamp that sat between us, and the look on fellow customers’ faces as they saw their Bun Maska swerving through the restaurant towards them, eyes gleaming as they envisaged it bathing in their perfectly cooled chai, just moments away from being drowned in warm, chocolately spices. 
    Our chai arrived and we both closed our eyes in slow motion as we took a sip, reopening them with a synchronised ‘hmmm’, before ordering a bowl of nutty house granola and a baked egg naan roll. We weren’t sure what to expect but as soon as the granola came we knew the egg naan would not disappoint. It was hands down the best granola I’ve ever eaten; perfectly roasted, perfectly sweetened and spiced to, well, perfection. The buttery crunchiness went hand in hand with the creamy chai, and the table was emptied before the egg naan arrived. We were half expecting some kind of multicultural Indian French toast but were pleasantly surprised after our sweet starter to receive a savoury serving of eggs, tomato and fresh coriander wrapped in thin, baked naan bread. The ingredients were so fresh and the naan was so light and crispy and evident in every mouthful it had been cooked just seconds before delivery. Never before have i tried a naan bread so thin yet so chewy and somehow able to melt in your mouth.

    not our brunch but the sort of thing you can expect to walk past as your enter the restaurant in the AM.

    I soon returned to Dishoom for dinner having eyed the menu and noticed pretty much all of my favourite foods, as well as a signature house dahl which needed to be done. There is always a queue and due to inevitable popularity you cant book on weekends. However, with a serious selection of cocktails and small plates, no one could feel too put out waiting at the atmospheric bar, in a huddle of excited customers in happy-weekend-mode. I had a chilli, rose and pomegranate martini which sounds ominous but really Hit. The. Spot. The dinner itself is definitely worth the wait if only for the green coriander chutney which I always have to order thirds of. A sweet tangy companion for the gigantic masala prawns and dry chargrilled chicken tikka, and a perfect dip for a fish cluster or okra fries. The abundance of flavours and spices are strong and mind-blowing at the same time, it’s almost impossible for your taste buds to keep up, and ordering small plates to share you get the bonus of dipping and mixing one juicy dish with another. The dinner was much healthier than the breakfast, with plenty of protein dishes, a few vegetarian options and sides of curried greens. Just go easy on the rice, you order several plates to share and I would honestly say you don’t really need it. If anything, get the garlic naan, which is thin, light and seemingly easy on the metabolism, and perfect for mopping. 
    I will warn that you get so caught up in a frenzy of making your way around each dish and experimenting with mixing and making all sorts of different, flavoursome combinations that you kind of forget you’re eating and that your body has a limit. Every time i have eaten here for dinner i have sat back with a sigh having tried almost everything with everything, twice, and then realised that my stomach isn’t so impressed with my behaviour. Everything is so new and all the flavours are so different that it is almost like a game rather than a mealtime. The portions are really valuable sizes and with lots of protein you get full quickly. Thankfully they only have two ‘sauce’ curries on the menu whilst everything else is chargrilled and dry so nothing if too rich or creamy (apart from the dahl) to leave you feeling sluggish at all. What you feel is satisfaction, if also a little over-indulgence. 
    To finish, cinnamon ice cream is recommended or coconut sorbet on a stick, if your mouth is too on fire for a hot chai. Alternatively, a Lassi is a fitting choice, and ultimately sooths the mouth, which would otherwise be buzzing all night long.

    Shoreditch is my favourite of the two, more spacious and atmospheric than the Soho restaurant, and has a bigger bar area for your weekend wait. 7 Boundary, London, E2 7JE.

    SWEET CURRIED QUINOA WITH MINTED AVOCADO AND BEETROOT SLAW

    Snacks, Lunch, Dinnerdanielle coppermanComment

    Tonight most people will be having a TV dinner and/or eating take out from their laps. For me take out night was usually friday night - the one night of the week when my father was allocated dinner duty. If he was feeling incapable of fajitas from a step-by-step kit or an easy spag bol, he’d be straight on the phone and the next thing i knew we were speeding home from the Indian with a hot, smelly bag of steaming deliciousness balancing between my feet, whilst i tried to feed him our free loyalty popadoms as he drove. Many of you are probably somewhat healthier and if takeaways do exist in your life my guess is they’re from the Wholefoods hot food counter or maybe a fresh sushi bar. I still love a take away now and then - mainly when i return home as theres just something about a cosy night in with your family, some movies and some comfort food. Not all take aways are bad though, only stereotypical things like greasy chinese, pungent indian, unappetising kebabs and burger bar pizza's. But nowadays, you can do takeaways much more virtuously, and can pretty much have any kind of food, from any kind of place, delivered to your door. So many places offer delivery now and with apps like Quiqup, you practically never need to cook again. Or go out, for that matter. (this could get very dangerous indeed). I learnt this particularly during my visit to New York where i stayed with 3 guys who hadn’t cooked in months, thanks to Seamless. But for those of you who disagree entirely with the concept, make your own version of take out food (the idea of quick take-out instead of arduous cooking is lost here completely) like a chinese with vegetable rice instead of white rice, an indian without the naan bread, or some kind of hippy pizza made from vegetables and quinoa (more on that another time). Tonights recipe is inspired by indian curry. It is not a curry though. It is simply a spiced, korma infused side dish as well as one of the quickest things you will ever make.

    I went through a phase of making healthy curry a lot a few months ago and alternated between coconut milk green thai with prawns, and sweet potato korma with chicken, prawns or grilled aubergine and greens. It is really easy to make healthy curry as long as you don’t make lazy curry, i.e. using additive-laden ready made sauce. Instead, use fresh ingredients, lots of fresh vegetables and herbs, unprocessed liquids like coconut milk and organic meat. The recipe for the quinoa in this post however is less like a ‘saucy’ curry and more like curried rice - or curry infused quinoa. It almost reminds me of paella, or how i’d imagine it to be if the Indians were to rework it. As this recipe is relatively dry compared to normal curries it would work brilliantly cold, stirred into a salad as well as serving curry purposes. A flavoursome recipe perfect with added chicken or as a side to pretty much anything. I imagine it tastes amazing maybe added to a broth or stirred into soup too. I enjoyed mine with the following sides which are both refreshing and flavoursome in very different ways. The slaw was almost like a chutney and the minty avocado puree replaced what used to be cucumber mint sauce or creme fraiche on my plate, back in the day.


    SWEET POTATO CURRIED QUINOA WITH GRILLED AUBERGINE

    INGREDIENTS
    Serves 2-4

    1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
    1 Roasted, Boiled or Steamed Sweet Potato or Squash, chopped
    Pinch of Salt
    1 Tablespoon Sumac
    1-2 Teaspoons Garam masala
    1 Teaspoon Cumin
    Curry Powder (optional/to taste)
    Ground Coriander
    Fresh Coriander
    Pinch of Ground Ginger or 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ginger, grated (optional)
    2 Tablespoons Solid Coconut Milk
    Handful of Spinach or Kale, wilted/sauteed
    Water

    METHOD

    Start by cooking the quinoa in double its amount of water (in this case, 2 cups water). Bring to the boil then reduce to simmer for 15-25 minutes, depending on the size of the seeds. Once the quinoa is fully cooked and has absorbed all of the water used for boiling, leave the quinoa in the pan. Add the sweet potato to a blender with a little water and blend until a paste begins to form. It doesn’t need to be fully pureed and be sure to leave some of the cooked sweet potato aside if you would like a few whole pieces in the curry. Transfer the paste into the pan with the quinoa and add the spices, salt and coconut milk. Mix with a fork or a wooden spoon and combine the sweet potato entirely so that the quinoa is evenly coated. On a very low heat, re-heat the quinoa and add some water if you think the mixture needs thinning. If you are scared of making it too runny, don’t be, as the quinoa will continue to absorb the water if you heat it for long enough. Mix constantly until everything is combined and add the wilted greens if you are using them. Alternatively, dice the tops of some broccoli florets into the pan too to increase you green intake for the day. Leave on the heat until everything is combined and hot enough to serve.

    I would suggest adding diced chicken or turkey or even prawns to this recipe to make it more of a meal. Alternatively you can add more vegetables or increase the amount of sweet potato used. Serve hot and remember to save any leftovers, because there is quite simply nothing like coming home to cold curry in the fridge, or having a delicious ready meal waiting for you when you can least be bothered to cook.


    BEETROOT, COURGETTE AND CARROT SLAW

    INGREDIENTS

    1-2 Tablespoons Mustard
    3 Tablespoons Coconut milk (tinned, at room temp)
    2 Raw Beetroots
    2 Carrots
    1 Cup Cabbage
    Pinch of Salt
    1 Teaspoon Sumac
    1-2 Teaspoons Lemon juice

    METHOD
    Simply grate all of your vegetables or shred them in your food processor. Place them together in the same bowl and mix and toss to combine. Add the salt, sumac and lemon juice and then mix again before spooning in the coconut milk and the mustard. If the coconut milk is especially stiff you may need to mash it gently with your fork before mixing it into the vegetables. Mix until the coconut milk and mustard have blended completely into the vegetables and until everything is combined and fully coated. Add a tablespoon of water if you think the mixture is too thick and dry. It really depends on what consistency the coconut milk is at when you use it. 


    MINTED AVOCADO

    INGREDIENTS

    1 Ripe Avocado
    2 Tablespoons Water
    A Splash of Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
    1 Tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
    1/2 Grated Carrot or Courgette
    Large Handful of Fresh Mint Leaves
    Pinch of Salt

    METHOD:
    Simply pace all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2 minutes until completely smooth.

    This dip is a smoother version of mashed avocado or guacamole and is more like a cream than most other dips. This side is extremely refreshing and is perfect for a curry dish or something spicy and flavoursome if, like me, you are a former condiment addict. I used to love creme fraiche with curry or fajitas for a cooling taste sensation.

    + Also delicious with kale chips, sweet potato chips, courgette chips, raw vegetables and raw crackers as well as on homemade seeded toast. It is so versatile and because it doesn’t have an overpowering flavour, it would work well served with sweet things too, instead of whipped cream.