WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

VEGAN

HIGH VIBE HYDRATION . WALNUT, TAHINI, HEMP AND BANANA SMOOTHIE

Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Recipe, Drinks, Dairy Free, Breakfastdanielle copperman2 Comments

For me, liquid nourishment is a key method for feeling good through food. It's easy. It's quick. It's powerful. And it's always, always delicious. It's also very adaptable - you can swap in and out certain ingredients if you don't have the exact supplies that a recipe calls for, and it hardly notices once everything is blended together. I start every day with a liquid. Sometimes it's a hot drink (either lemon and ginger juice or an adaptogen dissolved in hot water or nut milk) and others it's a more filling option, like a smoothie, shake or smoothie bowl. I tend to use whatever ingredients I have in the kitchen, making things up as I go along usually. That's another great thing about liquid creations. You can really get creative and improvise, and you almost always end up with something wonderful. It's hard to go too far off track, as you can keep adapting until you're happy with the taste. I've decided to start 'High Vibe Hydration' as a regular feature on the blog, as I want to share all of my super quick and creative drinks recipes with anyone stuck for time, and also stuck for cooking motivation. The drinks I create are usually done so through weary, bleary eyes before I've properly woken up, and require no effort and no real recipe structure. The method is generally 'add everything to a blender and blend until smooth' which isn't really a recipe at all. The truth is, everyone knows how to make a smoothie. It's just the flavour combinations and the ingredients choices that some people get stuck with. High Vibe Hydration is here to inspire and enhance your smoothie experience, one unexpected ingredient combination and one superfood at a time.

INGREDIENTS

(Makes 2 medium smoothies or one large one)

30g Almonds*
20g Hemp Seeds*
35g Walnuts*
230ml Water*
100g Banana, ideally frozen
5g Maca
1g Cinnamon
Pinch Himalayan Pink Salt
20g Tahini
Ice Cubes (about 6)

* If you don't have whole nuts and seeds, use 250ml pre-made plant based milk instead

ELEVATE IT

all or a combination of:

1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Mucuna Puriens
1/2 Teaspoon Ashwaganda
1/2 Teaspoon He shou wu
1/2 Teaspoon Chaga

METHOD

If you are not using pre-made nut milk, start by adding the almonds, walnuts, hemp seed and water to your blender and blend on high speed until a smooth milky consistency is reached. Then add the banana, cinnamon, tahini, salt and ice cubes, along with any adaptogens / superfoods from the Elevate It ingredients list. Blend again on the highest speed for 1 minute until the mixture becomes thick and silky smooth. Serve instantly, over extra ice or enjoy as a smoothie bowl, topped with Qnola / nuts / seeds / fruit.



+ Add one large handful of fresh spinach or mixed salad to create a greener option without altering the flavour too much

+ For a fruit-free version, use avocado instead of banana

 

LEMON, ACAI, BEETROOT AND BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE

Snacks, Sugar Free, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle copperman3 Comments
PHOTO CREDIT: RITA PLATTS / LOUIE WALLER

PHOTO CREDIT: RITA PLATTS / LOUIE WALLER

Here's one for the weekend. There is no day more fitting than a Sunday, to upload a recipe dedicated to cheesecake. A healthy, raw, vegan, dairy free, gluten free, sugar free, grain free, and dangerously nourishing cheesecake, to be exact. 

This cheesecake is too good for words, and when I try to describe it to someone it comes out more in some kind of expressive facial dance combined with approving noises. There's really no way for me to put it into words. You won't understand until you've tried it yourself.

I recently met Rita and Louie through Rita's agent, who was interested in setting us up as three innocent girls with an unconditional love of good food, styling food and photographing food. Needless to say, we got on extremely well and spent an entire day positioning crumbs strategically, and eating enough cheesecake/eton mess/savoury muffins (recipes to follow) to feed an entire picnic party. It was a good day.

Since it's Sunday, you might be planning to spend the evening preparing food for the week ahead. You might be soaking some quinoa, making chia seed pudding to store in the fridge, or batch cooking stews or curries to chill or freeze, to have on hand as an instant meal for when you're short of time. I think this weekend, though, you should ignore your structured schedule, soak some cashews, de-flesh a coconut and concentrate on preparing to make this tomorrow. (It requires about 2 minutes to whack open a coconut and pour some water over a few handfuls of cashews, so if you are really serious about your week ahead, you could easily do this as well as prepping your usual meals). 

This recipe doesn't require any cooking, so once the prep is prepped, its a pretty easy and instant process from there. The food processor and blender will do the hard work for you (i remember making cheesecakes when i was younger, bashing away with a rolling pin for what seemed like hours, to crush a packet of digestive biscuits into a suitable base). The hardest part about this recipe is waiting for the cheesecake to set, but if you pre-occupy yourself with licking the blender clean, you'll hardly notice the time pass.

The base is made from nuts, coconut and dates, and is naturally sweet. As it sets in the freezer it develops into a crunchy, biscuity texture, which is hard to believe when it is in its blended phase. The fillings' main components are soaked cashews and coconut flesh. The two ingredients combine perfectly together to create a rich, creamy, mousse-life consistency. The coconut flesh adds some kind of airy bounce to the texture, whilst the cashews make it creamy and thick. Free from dairy, rich in protein, healthy fats and antioxidants and bursting with fresh, natural, vibrant colours and flavours, there is really nothing to stop you from making this.

+ If you have a nut allergy, try making the base with buckwheat groats, sunflower and hemp seeds, and the filling with coconut flesh, pine nuts (actually a seed, safe for most people with nut allergies) and solid coconut milk or the flesh from 1 avocado.

RAW BISCUIT BASE

INGREDIENTS
(makes one large cheesecake. If you have any left over, use it to top the cheesecake, or to make a few miniature ones)

1 Cup Raw Almonds
60g Desiccated Coconut
50g Raw Cashews
200g Medjool Dates
1 Large Handful Walnuts
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
Salt
Zest of 1 Lemon - optional
1/2 Cup Toasted or Activated Buckwheat Groats - optional (adds an amazing extra crunch to the base)

METHOD

Place the desiccated coconut, buckwheat groats (if using), almonds, cashews and walnuts into a food processor, and pulse on a high speed for 1 minute, until they break down into a flour consistency with some small chunks. Add the dates, vanilla, salt, coconut and zest, if using, and pulse for a further 1-2 minutes.

+ With the coconut oil, melted or room temperature will both work. If you are using room temperature, though, concentrate on scraping thin layers of it into the food processor, rather than adding great big chunks, as this will encourage the mixture to blend more smoothly and easily.

Once the mixture has become almost dough like, but still a little crumbly looking, transfer it into a dish (can be round or rectangular, or you can even use individual miniature moulds). Spread the mixture around evenly, then use the back of a spoon or your bare hands to press the mixture firmly into the base of the tin. Make sure the mixture reaches the sides, and make it as compact as possible to ensure the finished cheesecake won't crumble and break. As you flatten it, it will begin to look more like a conventional cheesecake base.

Place in the freezer whilst you prepare the fillings.

ACAI, BEETROOT AND BLUEBERRY LAYER

INGREDIENTS
(makes one large cheesecake. If you have any left over, use it to top the cheesecake, or to make a few miniature ones)

1 Cup Coconut Flesh (If you can't get hold of this, you can work without it, but it creates the perfect texture)
2 Cups Cashew Nuts, soaked for at least 2-4 hours, preferably all day or overnight
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
2-4 Tablespoons Agave, or natural sweetener of choice (to taste)
120g Fresh Blueberries - not frozen
2 Tablespoons Acai Powder
2 Tablespoons Beetroot Powder (can also use grated beetroot if you don't have the powder - or omit the beetroot altogether)

+ You can also experiment with flavours here, using unsulphured apricots, fresh mango, lime juice, avocado or goji berries instead of blueberries. 

METHOD
(Allow about 45 minutes setting time, or leave in the freezer until ready to serve and transfer to the fridge 20-30 minutes before serving).

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Use a tamper if you have one, to help the mixture to blend. Add a little more coconut oil or nut milk if the mixture is too thick and lumpy. Scrape down the sides after 3 minutes, and blend for a further 1-2 minutes on the highest speed of your blender, until the mixture is entirely smooth. It should resemble the consistency of custard or creme fraiche. 

Once smooth, pour the mixture over your prepared base. You can mix in some chopped fresh berries or goji berries, or simply lay some chopped berries/fruit along the base before covering with the mixture. Make sure you leave enough room for the top layer.

If you want to make a 3 layered cheesecake, return to the freezer and proceed with the top layer. If you want the make a marbled affect cheesecake, don't place this layer in the freezer. Set aside whilst you prepare the top layer.

LEMON CREAM LAYER

1 Cup Coconut Flesh (If you can't get hold of this, you can work without it, or try using 1 cup solid coconut milk instead)
2 Cups Cashew Nuts, soaked for at least 2-4 hours, preferably all day or overnight
1/4 Teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt
3/4 Cup Coconut Oil, melted
1/2 Cup Almond Milk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract/Bean Paste/Fresh Seeds
2-4 Tablespoons Agave, or natural sweetener of choice (to taste)
Juice of 3 Fresh Lemons

METHOD
(Allow about 45 minutes setting time, or leave in the freezer until ready to serve and transfer to the fridge 20-30 minutes before serving).

Place all of the ingredients into a blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Use a tamper if you have one, to help the mixture to blend. Add a little more coconut oil or nut milk if the mixture is too thick and lumpy. Scrape down the sides after 3 minutes, and blend for a further 1-2 minutes on the highest speed of your blender, until the mixture is entirely smooth. It should resemble the consistency of custard or creme fraiche. 

If you are making a 3 layered cheesecake, remove the cheesecake from the freezer and pour this top layer over the berry layer. Return to the freezer and allow to set for at least 45 minutes. 

If you are making a marbled affect cheesecake, pour this mixture on top of the berry layer, ensuring you cover the berry layer entirely, and reach the edges of the tin/dish. Then, use a teaspoon to gently swirl and spread the mixtures into each other. Be careful not to smudge or spread or stir too much, or you will just end up with a pale purple cheesecake, which will still taste delicious but won't look as fun. Make small, gentle movements and don't over do it.

Return to the freezer and set for at least 45 minutes. You can store the cheesecake in the freezer until you are ready to eat it, and transfer it to the fridge 30 minutes before serving, to allow it to soften slightly.

+ Store in the freezer for months, before or after serving. You can make it in advance and store it before a big event, or simply keep any leftovers in the freezer, so as not to waste any.

VEGAN AND NUT-FREE AVOCADO MAYONNAISE

Snacks, Summer, Vegan, Vegetarian, Lunchdanielle copperman3 Comments
 

Mayonnaise is another one of those things that, when you embark upon a healthier journey through life, you think, 'God, I'm gonna miss you'. I certainly did. Before i knew anything about food and the importance of feeding our bodies sensibly, I had mayonnaise with everything. I whenever I had it, it covered my entire plate, not just a small fraction of it as it was designed to have done.

This recipe seriously puts mayonnaise to shame. Homemade mayonnaise isn't actually that unhealthy, as long as you use organic, free range eggs and good quality oils. However, it takes a bit of effort. Shop bought mayonnaise is mainly just chemicals, emulsifiers, additives and colourings in a bottle. So, seriously, do not eat it. This recipe is made with actual, real ingredients. The main ingredient is avocado, which is high in protein, fibre and healthy fats. The texture of the avocado combined with the oil is even creamier than normal mayonnaise, and makes the egg yolk you find in conventional mayonnaise recipes really unnecessary. This recipe is ridiculously simple and quick. All you need is to ensure the avocados are so ripe they are almost inedible, and a blender which will do the work for you. No hours of hand whisking involved!

INGREDIENTS

2 Ripe Avocados (preferably so soft that you wouldn't actually want to eat them on their own)
1/2 Cup Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
A Gentle Splash of Apple Cider Vinegar
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt

+ OPTIONAL
Organic Wasabi Paste (Biona), Fresh Garlic, Black Pepper, Capers, Nutritional Yeast

METHOD

Slice the avocado in half, tap your sharp knife into the stone and pull it out. Score each half of the avocado vertically and horizontally and then gently scoop or squeeze out the flesh. Place the flesh into a blend or food processor along with the lemon juice, salt, apple cider vinegar and any other herbs or spices you choose to use. Blend on a medium speed. Gradually add the olive oil, a few drops at a time. Add more and more, until the mixture combines. It should be blending smoothly and should become thick. As you add more oil, increase the speed of your blender or food processor. Blend smoothly for 1-2 minutes, scraping down the sides if you need to.

Serve cold as a condiment for meat, fish, raw vegetables, salads, crackers, gluten free toast, eggs, quinoa or buckwheat burritos, or as a dip for raw vegetables and sweet potato chips/wedges.

 

BLACKBEAN HOUMOUS

Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

I could never get tired of grazing. I love to snack and if theres any kind of dip in sight, I'm straight in there. Houmous is such a versatile dip and and something I was first introduced to by my father. My earliest memories of it are associated with Friday nights when he would come home from work a little earlier than usual, put on his favourite 'chill-out music' and crack open a tube of Pringles and a tub of trusty houmous. As well as this TGIF mood, I also associate houmous with other happy occasions, such as picnics, summer and having guests over. It was also my obsession during exam periods at school (a not-so-happy occasion), and I only wish i'd made it from scratch and experimented more with flavours then, as I would have gotten a lot more from it. This recipe not only uses protein-rich chickpea's which are a great source of natural energy, but also contains black beans (which contain yet more protein and aid digestion) and sweet potato (high in antioxidants and known to contribute to weight loss due it is high, high fibre content). So it may seem like a mere dip, a side to your meal or an afterthought, but in fact you're using an entire meals worth of vegetables in one dip. Well, what do you know? This houmous has become a concentrated source of wonderful nutrients.  There's almost no need for the rest of the meal, so rest assured that it is entirely acceptable to eat it on its own, by the spoonful. 


INGREDIENTS

4-5 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tin Chickpeas, drained
1 Tin Black Beans, drained (can also use cannellini beans)
1/2 Sweet Potato, chopped and steamed (optional - if you omit, just increase the bean quantity by 1/2 a cup)
Small Handful Fresh Basil Leaves
1-2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
2 Tablespoons Smooth Tahini
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
1-2 Teaspoons Fresh Lemon Juice
Handful of Fresh Basil or Rosemary

Optional
1 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast

METHOD

Start by steaming the sweet potato. After about 8-10 minutes, when it is soft, add it to your blender. Now simply place all of the remaining ingredients into a high speed blender and blend for 2-3 minutes. Add more salt or lemon juice to taste and your choice of herbs (I like fresh basil, fresh rosemary and dried sumac). Scrape down the sides as the beans have a tendency to fly high, and blend for another minute or so, until the mixture is completely smooth and as creamy as is absolutely possible.

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.