WELL BEING & OTHER STORIES

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

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Earth Day 2019: Earth-Friendly Tips From 13 Inspiring Insiders

Essentials, Inspiration, Lifestyle, Natural Living, Rituals, Sustainability, Vegandanielle coppermanComment

You know by now that I’m super conscious of the damage we are doing to our planet, and constantly striving to reduce my impact on the environment (unless it’s a positive one!). I love discovering new products and ways to swerve more commercial products or ways of doing things which - it’s becoming clearer and clearer - use up devastating amounts of energy and/or resources. Wherever possible, I opt for sustainably and ethically produced goods, ideally made with limited or no packaging, and made from either recycled, recyclable or biodegradable materials that won't stick around on our planet or disrupt our atmosphere for decades after we’ve disposed of them.

As with many things, there is so much to learn, and there are endless new products and methods to discover. That’s why, this Earth Day, I asked some of my friends of whom are on their own sustainability journeys, to share some of their favourite or recently-adopted eco-friendly life hacks. I am constantly finding new inspiration and discovering new things to try in order to do my bit, and I hope that by sharing several stories from people at different stages on their own sustainability journeys will inspire you to try at least one or maybe even all of them.

Happy Earth Day 🌎#ProtectOurSpecies

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Millie Mackintosh, model, entrepreneur & author

How do you make an effort to reduce your impact on the planet on a daily / weekly / monthly basis?

1. I use eco-friendly cleaning products (I’m currently loving Method)
2. I recycle
3. I use food storage boxes rather than cling-film in the fridge
4. I always carry a metal or glass water bottle to avoid buying bottled water in plastic or single-use glass
5. I’ve stopped using plastic cotton buds and straws
6. I have a keep cup for take-out coffee
7. I like to buy clothes from brands that used recycled fabric
8. I only eat meat once a week and am eating a lot more plant-based in general

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Cora Hilts, Founder of Reve en Vert

What’s one of the most important pieces of advice you would give to someone trying to make more conscious and sustainably lifestyle choices?

My two tips for living a more sustainable lifestyle are to educate yourself and to look outside of your own personal desires a bit more. Educate yourself with reliable news stories, get interested in science, watch things like Conspiracy and David Attenborough’s Our Planet. You will likely find yourself wanting to change rather than thinking of it as something taxing you have to do. And think of personal desire secondary to our collective needs - it’s just one Evian for my yoga class, it’s just one steak I am craving, it’s just one jump in the car. We are all contributing to this massive problem of pollution and emissions, so either think ahead or go without from time to time - it won’t hurt you, and it certainly won’t hurt the planet.

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Eva Ramirez, wellness & travel writer

What’s one recent change you’ve made in your routine to reduce waste?

I’ve become a lot more conscious of food waste recently, and I’m far more conscious about not letting things like a bruised plum or bunch of wilted parsley - which I would have otherwise thrown out - go unused. It’s made me a bit more creative in the kitchen, and my food processor and slow cooker have certainly got more action (I’ve been making pestos, soups and vegetable curries where wilted ingredients get completely disguised) and I feel a lot better about the food I’m eating too. I’m also using my freezer a lot more to avoid things going off and to waste - something my grandma is particularly proud of!

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Caroline Deisler, plant-based fitness blogger

1. Eating a plant-based diet has so many environmental benefits and it motivates me even more to promote that lifestyle. I feel more connected to our wonderful planet than ever before and love the feeling of eating a colorful diet that doesn’t involve any cruelty.

2. Other switches I made to reduce my environmental footprint is to get around by bike instead of Uber! I feel so much better as well, getting some fresh air instead of being stuck in traffic. :-) I‘m also really trying to cut down my plastic consumption 🙌🏼 I now have reusable shopping bags, reusable fruit & veggie bags for the fridge and got a water filter installed under the zink to stop buying plastic bottles.

+ I will also launch my swim line @caroswim_ this summer and put a big focus on sustainability. All materials are eco friendly, either partly or fully made from recycled materials and the packaging involves no plastic as well which I‘m really happy about. :-)

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Melissa Hemsley, chef and author

What’s your favourite go-to recipe to use up ingredients on their last legs, to avoid things going to waste?

An easy and delicious way to clean out the fridge, not waste food and make something great for a breakfast / packed lunch / snack is to do a "Friday Frittata" . Anything goes, you don't even need to chop anything, sometimes it's grated onion, carrot and cheese, sometimes I just tear up the ends of soft herbs like basil or dill and the last of the limp rocket. It's always different, always delicious and it's about 5 minutes of effort.

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Madeleine Shaw, author & blogger

Can you share your top 3 favourite eco-friendly tips?

1. Picking up the odd fruit & veg - As well as local markets, lots of big supermarket chains are now putting on display loose and often mis-shaped fruit and veg! These poor little guys normally become waste, so I like to pick these up and make a veggie hot pot with them, where it doesn’t matter how they look.

2. Turn on Aeroplane mode - I feel like my phone is always dying on me, and before it does, I need to urgently put in on charge. But, I've consciously tried to start putting it on aeroplane mode to save the battery and save electricity. A small change, but it means I get some time off of my phone and also helps lower my carbon footprint.

3. Who am I ordering from? - I have started to be more conscious about the companies I order stuff from, whether it's food, clothing or toys for Shay. I like to look at their values and also how they wrap and package the products that get sent to me. There are so many choices online for buying stuff, and it only takes 5 more minutes to find a more sustainable company for the things you need.

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Olivia Crighton, founder of Glasshouse Salon

Can you share some simple tips for anyone wanting to clean up their beauty and hygiene regimes? And any other habits you’ve adopted and would like to share?

  1. When it comes to my beauty cupboard, I’m a big fan of using Yoni’s plastic free and 100% organic cotton tampons. The material is designed to biodegrade after use and is free from the potentially harmful chemicals included in traditional feminine care products.

  2. I have also recently started using the OrganiCup. I learnt that the average woman uses up to 11,000 single use tampons in her life, so this is a great way to significantly reduce bathroom waste.

  3. I’ve also swapped my toothbrush for a bamboo Truthbrush and have been using beauty products that are packaged in glass, paper or aluminium as much as possible.

  4. I’ve followed a plant-based diet for many years now, but recently I have been making the extra effort to cook more at home and avoid processed and packaged foods to minimise packaging and lower my carbon footprint. I think it’s important generally to consider the environmental output of the foods you eat, choosing to opt for locally grown and organic produce where possible.

  5. It’s difficult to avoid buying all the sweet children’s outfits I come across for my daughter, but I really feel the fashion industry’s carbon footprint and nasty bi-products that contaminate our oceans cannot be ignored any longer. I try to minimise the number of new outfits I buy and opt for second hand options whenever I can. When I do buy a new piece however, I’ve found that buying higher quality items from more sustainable materials last longer, helping me to buy less overall.

  6. For any new mums, I’d also recommend looking into alternatives for basic baby items such as reusable, washable and biodegradable nappies, and biodegradable baby wipes. Traditional nappies can take up to 400 years to decompose and can contain harsh chemicals that could be bad for baby and for the environment too.

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Genevieve Gralton, founder of Underbares

Tell us what it’s like running an ethical, sustainable brand, and any personal daily habits you’d like to share on reducing waste and avoiding single-use items:

In my personal life, I intentionally avoid purchasing single-use plastics by always carrying a bag with me for groceries, a S'well bottle, and, if picking up food on the go, avoiding any extra packaging or plastic silverware! For my business, Underbares, all of our packaging is either created from recycled materials, biodegradable, or full recyclable. There's a lot of waste in the world--I don't want to add to it

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Zanna Van Dyke, fitness blogger

What’s one major change you’ve made recently in a conscious effort to love and care for the Earth, and how can we all do our bit to keep our immediate and local natural surroundings thriving?

The main change I have made is raising my awareness of our impact on the natural environment in day to day life. If I see trash in nature, I pick it up. It is as simple as that. Removing plastic, glass or cardboard from the natural environment helps reduce the risk of it impacting wildlife and causing further damage.

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Sjaniël Turrell, natural make up artist

I think the most effective change I’ve made over the last while was making the decision to start using only reusable wash cloths instead of wipes for changing nappies at home and only using wipes (biodegradable of course) on the run. I’m busy and exhausted most of the time so I would love to be one of those mums who only uses rewashable nappies, but as a freelancer without a nanny or cleaner I have to be realistic about what I could manage from day to day. Using washable cloths instead of wipes at home has changed my wipes usage from 3-4 packs per month to about 1 pack every 3 - 4 months - it’s one small change but I was amazed at how much of a difference it made!

Secondly, I have started using balm and oil cleansers to remove makeup with an organic cotton muslin that I can wash out after each use - I do this before washing my face with my favourite gentle cleanser from Twelve Beauty. This has saved me on using copious amounts of disposable cotton pads which I couldn’t live without before.

These aren’t massively life altering changes but I believe if we all make these small doable changes our collective choices have massive implications on positive impact for the earth. It’s about numbers of people making changes, not numbers of things for one person to change.

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Phoebe Torrance

What are some of your favourite eco-friendly swaps you have made over the years?

Firstly, stopping eating red meat - after a while I didn’t even miss it, I actually started to feel healthier and got my iron from sources like veggies, nuts and seeds. Secondly, bringing my reusable coffee cup everywhere I go - it even gets you money off in shops. Thirdly, using reusable makeup remover cloths which you can wash after use and re-use. And finally, always bringing my own tote everywhere, where, again you save money not having to pay for a plastic one! It’s about making little steps yourself that make a huge difference, and if we all did several small things, there would be a real change!

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Pauline Hansen, Founder of Pama London

You make gorgeous activewear from natural materials. What’s something you’re particularly proud of or excited about this year?

I’m super excited to be working with Econyl which is going to be one of our newest fabrics used in our leggings and bras. It’s made out of plastic waste from the oceans, meaning it not only recycles plastic waste, but also contributes to cleansing the oceans too! Our new Moon & Stars collection is all about cleaning up the oceans and preserving it. The products are also all recyclable, creating a circular economy for the journey of our clothes. I believe people should buy more clothes made with fabrics like Econyl, and that would be my top tip to anyone wanting to make positive changes to their habits. Buy less clothing and other things made from synthetic materials, and more

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Pip Roberts, Yoga Teacher

What ‘s your favourite life-changing adaptation been in your daily routine?

Ditching pre-made / shop-bought mylks. Environmental reasons go beyond the impact of cattle farming and back to the single use plastics we use for milk, so I am making an effort not to use tetra-packed mylks.

I blitz up vegan milk (my favourites are oat (so cheap!) and black sesame), in the vitamix each morning, storing any left over in the fridge in glass bottles for later.

Get going with this eco-friendly starter pack

Must See Sustainability Documentaries & Environmental Documentaries

The Best Eco-Friendly, Ethical & Independent Activewear Brands and Their Best Pieces

Essentials, Lifestyle, Movement, Natural Living, Style, Sustainabilitydanielle coppermanComment
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Since embarking on my journey of living a more eco-friendly life, I have come across so, so many incredible brands doing amazing and conscientious things. I could go on and on about them all, and I will, but in this instance, let’s talk about activewear.

This was a natural progression for me since initially developing my awareness of health and wellness through fitness. In fact, fitness is where it all started for me, since, as a model, this was something I became growingly aware of and interested in in order to stay fit and in shape. Then, as my interests expanded and spread across different industries, including food, mindfulness, beauty and environmental issues, I began to seriously question the fashion industry and its ethics. And since my daytime wardrobe is predominantly activewear-based these days, I felt super inspired to apply all that I’ve learnt about the fashion industry and sustainable style to my activewear sourcing.

So, or you’re hitting the gym hard in the quest to earn your Thanksgiving and Christmas binges, I think these activewear brands have something for you. Or, if you welcome this time of year as one to hibernate completely, excusing yourself from any extra activity that isn’t absolutely necessary, the pieces these brands create have extra stretch and are super soft and flexible, so are ideal, exercise or not.

Girlfriend collective

Girlfriend activewear is easily one of my favourites, for their simple yet functional designs, and such a vast array of unique block colours. I love their Lite range, made with Econyl - which contains recycled plastics retrieved from the ocean. Their opinion: “Old fishing nets look better on you than they do at the bottom of the ocean”.

Pama

Combining eco friendly fabrics and sustainable practices with fashion to create chic, high-performance activewear, Pama were one of the first environmentally mindful activewear brands I ever came across. I adore that their products are made from natural materials like bamboo and charcoal, and they are so beautiful and wearable. I practically live in their chakra shorts during the summer.

Vyayama

Vyayama is another of my first and favourite discoveries in natural activewear. They use only natural fibers which are OEKOTEX® certified, sourced sustainably and made ethically. Their designs are super unique, and whilst some of their prints are lively, they are incredibly wearable and chic unlike a lot of bright and over the top patterns rife in activewear these days! It’s all so comfortable and I live in this even when I’m not working out!

Peak and Flow

Peak and Flow’s mantra goes something like this: “For us, sustainability isn't just about the selection of better materials and where we create the product, it's also about creating clothing that is built to last, cross-functional and reduces how much you need in your wardrobe. We work tirelessly to make every stage of the product lifecycle better for the planet”. I like supporting companies whose values align with my own, and I also like these, which are made from recycled ocean plastics, recycled industry waste and recycled plastic bottles.

Sports Philosophy

Sports Philosophy’s products are made with carefully sourced materials that are breathable, sweat-wicking, UV-protective and piling-resistant. Everything is ethically done, and they even have their own charity which fights child labour within the fashion industry. Find out more here.

Silou

This independent brand from London offers super chic, body-enhancing designs, all of which are ‘mindfully manufactured’. This new bralette is a fave.

Phat Buddha

Based in NY, Phat Buddha make flattering collections for all body shapes, so you don’t have to be a super slender yogi in order to pull off their designs. Their crops are super cute, and these V-neck leggings are insanely flattering for any body shape. They use organic materials, most of which are completely and safely biodegradable.

Adrenna

Adrenna was born from the desire to pursue a more intelligent and environmentally conscious way of producing and enjoying activewear, without having to sacrifice style, function or quality. Adrenna are passionate about tackling mass-production, so they only produce what and when is needed. Their activewear also minimises impact on the environment, since they produce in small batches, source locally and work as much as possible to zero-waste production. What’s more, Adrenna offer made-to-order services, and, using the finest technical eco-fabrics from Italy, allows you to customise certain features of your activewear.
This sports bra, which comes in several colours, is such a flattering and functional shape.

Allbirds

Allbirds are one of my favourite shoe brands, and they are doing incredible things. Their shoes are made with technical and functional materials, and are 100% natural. You won’t find any cheap or synthetic materials, and these shoes, although slightly pricier than most, are build to last, and also to leave as little an impact on the planet once you’ve done with them. Made from wool, recycled bottles, castor bean oil, trees and sugarcane made into Sweetfoam soles. I live in these and these.

Milochie

A super sustainable company on many levels, Milochie products are made with 92% Tencel®, Miloflex® - whic is an incredibly sustainable material, made from wood-pulp which comes from sustainably harvested Beech trees that are turned into fabric using a super-efficient closed loop system, that re-uses 99% of its waste. The fibres of their products are also naturally anti-bacterial, sweat-wicking, and biodegradable. I love their patterned shorts.

Vaara

Vaara is by far one of the most beautiful activewear brands, and every pieces is insanely aesthetically pleasing. The designs are simple and chic, not too bright and totally wearable, even when you’re not heading to a workout. They’re the kind of leggings you wouldn’t be embarrassed to be caught wearing on a late night supermarket run for emergency snacks. Material-wise, they select the finest materials, caring for the detail and working with only the best manufacturers in the world to thoughtfully tailor each piece. I’d say functionality is more suited to yoga and pilates than high intensity workouts, and love this set and these shorts are perfect for the summer.

Varley

Varley’s designs performance driven, timeless, wearable pieces that you will come back to again and again. They differentiate themselves through innovation, product performance and quality, and whilst sustainability is not something they shout about, they use high-quality materials and produce in much smaller batches compared to activewear giants. I love their super elegant Walsh Bra and pretty much any of their leggings; all of which come in a vast array of colours and patterns.

Alternative Apparel

Eco-friendly, organic, recycled, Fair Labor Certified and Green Business Certified, Alternative Apparel have a variety of clothing, not specifically activewear, but you’ll find some loungewear and loose-fitting tees and leggings. Their garments are crafted with sustainable materials & processes, including organic & recycled materials, low-impact dyes & water-conserving washes, and all of their packaging is biodegradable.

Outdoor Voices

I love the ethos at Outdoor Voices of making working out fun. “We believe in going out and Doing Things. Moving our bodies and having fun. Let's let go of our expectations, rules, should’s and should nots. Let's have fun, be free, make discoveries, make friends, and make progress. Let's start #DoingThings together”. They use just four core materials and source textiles sustainably, including their sustainably-sourced merino wool and recycled polyester made from water bottles. They have a relatively small collection, producing in smaller batches than your usual high street stores.

Groceries Apparel

Made from 100% organic recycled materials, Groceries Apparel offer all kinds of items, from daywear to intimates. I love their bras and tees to throw over my core activewear pieces.

Sharehope

Sharehope are doing so, so many great things, and too many for me to list here. Find out about them here and check out their do-good leggings.

Evveervital

A beautiful range of athleisure apparel made with innovative materials that are ethically sourced and responsibly manufactured, without sacrificing style, quality and performance. Take a look at this, this, this and this.

Reformation

I adore everything Reformation, especially this statement: “Being naked is the #1 most sustainable option. We’re #2”. Everything they create is super ethical and sustainably done, their own-brand made in small batches and their site also supporting other small brands doing things they approve of. Check out their activewear picks here.

Free People

Just about everything.

Riley Studio

I love Riley Studio’s loungey collection, and wear the hoodies everytime I go running, or to get me from a to be; or more specifically from home to class. Through extensive research and development we aim to source fabrics that have been created from waste materials or from natural fabrics that are biodegradable. Sustainability is at the core of our philosophy and we are working towards becoming part of a circular economy by choosing fabrics such as ECONYL®, which is infinitely recyclable. In an attempt to also alleviate the plastic waste crisis across the globe, we use fabrics such as rPET, which is made from PET packaging and industrial waste.

Threads 4 Thought

Threads for Though use sustainable materials and create products that leave an innately smaller impact on our environment, support in-need communities, and assist in changing the narrative of ethical standards within the fashion industry. Their ‘Reactive’ collection uses recycled plastics, and their other collections are all just as virtuous.

Boody

Boody use OEKO-TEX certified bamboo to make their beautiful basics, and buying from them you can rest assured that you’re supporting fair wage production and positive work ethics. Their products are all vegan and they even use eco-friendly packaging. I love their underwear, their leggings and this cami body. Find out more here.

Pact

“We believe in crafting clothing differently: Sustainable materials, kindness towards humans and the softest clothing you’ll want on every layer”. Pact’s products are organic and fair trade and are made without toxic chemicals, and steer well clear of sweatshop/child labor. Sounds like the kind of brand we need more of, right? Browse here.

Shift to Nature

“At Shift to Nature we set about sourcing high quality products that are made carefully from certified organic textiles, responsibly to those who make it, and with consideration to our customers. We source beautiful clothes and bed linen from both Australia, Europe and India”. Shop not just activewear, but a variety of wardrobe basics and essentials like underwear, here.

Carrot Banana Peach

Carrot Banana Peach is an organic plant based clothing brand, created almost twenty years ago and inspired during a trip to the rainforests of Malaysia. The collections they carry include bamboo yoga clothing, banana fitness clothes, soybean retreat wear and Aloe Vera clothing and accessories. So clever!

Live The Process

I love anything Live The Process do, especially this: “Live The Process is ethically made in America by women who are dedicated to creating your high quality product. Our high standards of care for this creative process come from our dream to make the world a better place. From the cutting of our luxurious fabrics to the packaging that your items are shipped in, we make sure every step of our process is helping achieve our goal of reducing environmental impact and embracing American labor.” Every piece they make is so effortlessly beautiful yet functional; just take a look at this, this, these and these and then try not to buy everything else on the site.

Assist Your Workouts

I use these in every single workout I do at home.

These are complete game changers and take your home workout to new levels.

Cardio that’s actually fun.

Intensify your workout with one of these or these.

Not just for pilates, these and these are amazing for all kinds of ab, thigh and glute reps.

To go with you everywhere and to avoid excessive plastic bottle consumption.

One of my favourite post-workout snacks: in this flavour, this flavour, this flavour and this flavour.

Experiment with pre-workout supplements or drinks, for endurance and stamina.

Try adding these and / or these to your daily routines, which are known to assist in fat burning and muscle repair.

Springshine Vegan Lemon Curd Crumble

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Seasonal, Spring, Summer, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
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I’ve always been a fan of crumble, and from a young age was obsessed with lemon curd, so I recently thought, why not combine the two and see what happens? The love child of this experiment developed into a beautiful lemon curd crumble; creamy and tart on the bottom, crisp and crunchy on the top. It is the ultimate flavour sensation, with its flavoursome fruit layer coupled with the creamy, coconutty crumble topping.

This recipe is bright in colour and vibrant with flavour, and reminds me of the first sign of sun in the spring, and the warmth and light of the summer. It is light, with sour and acidic notes, whilst also being incredibly refreshing. Using fresh lemons, it contains an abundance of vital vitamins and minerals. Lemon season starts roughly around late winter / early summer, and runs right through to the warmer months, and eating seasonally, you can rest assured you are getting in all the goodness that nature intended for you to have access to at this time of year.

I love serving this warm as a dessert, with either plant-based ice cream (I like soy, coconut or cashew) or homemade vegan cashew cream sauce or custard. You could also use single or double cream or plant-based cream or creme fraiche (I love anything by Oatly). I also love it chilled from the fridge, served with fresh or stewed berries, either as a breakfast, a snack or a chilled dessert.

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Components

For the vegan lemon curd

60g coconut oil, melted
juice and flesh of 4 lemons
zest of 1-2 lemons
100g honey, coconut sugar or other natural sweetener of choice
3-4 tablespoons arrowroot powder*
6 tablespoons soy yoghurt or solid coconut milk from a tin (can replace with other yoghurt of choice such as coconut, oat or almond yoghurt. Those who eat dairy can also use probiotic dairy yoghurt or double cream)

* If you are not vegan, you can use 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks instead of the arrowroot, using the same method as below).

For the topping
100g ground almonds
100g desiccated coconut
2-4 tbs honey
1 tbs coconut sugar
50g coconut oil
20g grated lemon zest

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Method

Preheat the oven to 160c. Lightly grease a heatproof oven dish with coconut oil or line with greaseproof paper.

Start by mixing the topping ingredients in a medium bowl using a wooden spoon, then crumble into breadcrumb-like clumps with your fingers. Place in the freezer to stiffen whilst you prepare the lemon curd layer.

To make the vegan lemon curd layer, measure the lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon flesh (removing the remaining flesh from the lemon skin using a metal spoon and / or your fingers), coconut oil and honey or other sweetener of choice into a medium saucepan over a medium to high heat. Immediately whisk in the arrowroot, adding 2 tablespoons first, then whisking until fully combined, before adding the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons gradually. If the mixture seems thick enough after 2-3 tablespoons of arrowroot, you don’t need to add the 4th tablespoon. Whisk again to combine thoroughly.

Continue to heat over a medium to high heat, until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. It should become smooth, quite gloopy and glossy. During one of my test runs, a lot of the oil separated and sat on the surface, but if this happens, simply remove from the heat and whisk vigorously until the mixture comes together smoothly again.

Once the mixture has become thick and smooth, remove from the heat and whisk the mixture a final time to ensure it remains creamy and doesn’t separate.

Now whisk in the soy yoghurt or solid coconut milk (or whichever alternative you might be using), one tablespoon at a time, until smooth.

Pour the mixture into your prepared dish and then cover with the crumble mixture. Place in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crumble begins to brown and crisp.

Vegan Nachos with Vegan Queso Fundido Sauce & Tofu Chilli / Chorizo

Dairy Free, Condiments, Dips + Spreads, Gluten free, Recipe, Sides, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment

I’ve never really been the sort of person to order nachos in a restaurant, but recently, at my new favourite place in NYC, Jajaja Plantas Mexicana, I did. I love a creative vegan / plant-based / healthy spin on conventional recipes, and so was tempted by these fully loaded vegan nachos. And they were, in my opinion, better than any diner-style, grease-ridden nacho fare you’ve tried before. And more functional and nutritious too! Just hear me out.

This recipe involves plant-based variations of common nacho toppings, such as cheese (which is replaced by a cashew and vegetable based cheese sauce) and meat (which is replaced by a vegan, tofu-based alternative). This is such a simple recipe, really, and you can customise it in as many ways as you like, in terms of the variety of toppings you use. I love to keep it relatively simple, opting for cubed or mashed avocado, this incredible queso fundido sauce, and either meat or a vegan alternative. You could also add black beans, homemade refried beans (basically just pureed or mashed pinto beans with a few spices), sour cream or vegan sour cream, chillis, homemade tomato salsa; I could go on and on.

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This recipes genuinely takes about half an hour to make and assemble. The queso fundido probably takes the longest, as theres cooking time factored in for the vegetables involved, but most of the hard work is done by the blender. The tofu ‘meat’ is super quick and simple, and then all you’ve got to do is whack it on top of a bunch of tortilla chips, or better yet, serve them in separate bowls and let those eating with you pick and mix their own toppings.

You could also serve this queso fundido cheese sauce and tofu chilli / chorizo ‘meat’ with tortilla wraps, adding salad, rice or other grains and vegetables to make a burrito-style dish. Or, serve them in a bowl with salad leaves and brown rice or other grains, for a more filling meal.

iBuen provecho!

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Components

1 bag tortilla chips
1 ripe avocado, cubed or mashed
Fresh coriander
1-2 limes, cut into wedges

For the Vegan Queso Fundido Sauce

1 large carrot, chopped
150g potato, cubed
5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or sunflower oil
1/2 teaspoon juice from a fresh lemon or lime
8 tablespoons nutritional yeast (can substitute this for vegan cheese or conventional cheese, for non-vegan)
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tamari
75g raw cashews
150g-200g unsweetened plant-based milk (or water)
Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional
1/2 teaspoon garlic and / or onion powder
A few handfuls of vegan cheese (or conventional cheese for non-vegan)
1/4-1/2 fresh red chilli or 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder or chilli flakes

For the Tofu Chilli / Chorizo

1 tablespoon coconut oil, olive oil or sunflower oil
200g firm tofu (could also use tempeh)
100g mushrooms, diced into tiny pieces
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
1 tablespoon tamari
1 tablespoon garlic powder (or 1 fresh garlic clove, minced)
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

Optional
1/2 fresh red chilli, diced

Method

Start by making the queso sauce.

Bring the potato and carrot to the boil in a medium saucepan over a high head. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the potato and carrot become soft, but be careful not to overcook them, as if the potatoes become too soft and starchy, they won’t blend as well.

In a saucepan, combine 3 tablespoons of oil, lemon or lime juice, nutritional yeast and / or vegan cheese or conventional cheese, apple cidre vinegar, turmeric, paprika, coriander, tomato puree, mustard and tamari and sauté over a medium heat. Stir to combine and then add the cashews and finally your plant-based milk of choice. Stir continuously to combine and simmer until the potato and carrots are cooked.

Then, add the potato and carrots to the frying pan mixture, remove from the heat and stir a final time to combine.

Transfer to a high speed blender and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, then blend for 1-2 minutes, until smooth. Blend on the highest speed possible and, if necessary, add a splash more oil, plant-based milk or some boiling water to help the ingredients to run through the machine smoothly. Blend until the mixture becomes a thick liquid texture with absolutely no lumps. Depending on the strength and speed of your blender, this could be up to 4-5 minutes.

Once you are happy with the consistency, transfer to a bowl and set aside. You can either place in the fridge if you plan to serve cold, or leave at room temperature and heat up in a saucepan before serving. If using the extra vegan cheese or conventional cheese from the ‘optional’ ingredients list, transfer the blended mixture back into a saucepan and add the cheese. Stir over a medium heat to combine, until melted. If using vegan cheese or conventional cheese, I’d suggest serving it hot, as it may tend to solidify as it cools.

Next make the tofu chilli / chorizo. Simply heat the oil in a frying pan and then crumble the firm tofu into the pan, using your hands. Crumble the tofu until it makes a consistency similar to mince meat.

Next, add all of the remaining ingredients to the pan, and stir to combine. Cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously, for 10 minutes, until the tofu begins to brown and toughen slightly.

Remove from the heat and either keep in the pan if you plan to top the tortilla chips with it, or transfer to a bowl if you plan to serve on the table.

Finally, arrange the tortilla chips on a plate and either serve all of the components individually on the table, or top the tortilla chips with the toppings, as desired. I added the cubed avocado first, then the tofu chilli / chorizo, and then the queso fundido sauce (either chilled or heated through). I’d also add a dollop of smashed avocado and a handful of fresh coriander, as final garnishes. Now would be the time to add any other toppings, too, such as black beans, refried beans, sour cream, tomato salsa, etc, or work the ingredients into burritos.

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The Only Dessert You Need This Winter (which could also double up as a nourishing breakfast just FYI)

Recipe, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winterdanielle coppermanComment
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I grew up adoring rice pudding, but not especially or necessarily the homemade kind. I was ecstatic at just the site of a little blue and yellow Ambrosia rice pudding pot. Wrong, I now know.

This version, you’ll be pleased to know, is not inspired by those but instead came about after I tasted the best rice pudding of my life; made by a patisserie chef at my sister's old place of work, The Quality Chophouse, and pretty much equal parts cream and sugar, whisked to silk with eggs and completed with fresh vanilla seeds.

This variation is, of course, adapted to the distinctive characteristics of my Well Being nutritional principles; free from gluten, dairy and refined sugar, and made with pure and unprocessed ingredients in their most natural forms possible.

This pudding is super rich and creamy, and the warming vanilla lends not only an unbeatable flavour but an aroma like no other; sweet, comforting and calming in some way. I often make this for guests, and then enjoy any leftovers in the morning, either chilled or heated up to breed porridge’s more indulgent cousin. I suggest you do the same.

Components

200g pudding rice (can also use brown or white short grain, or try with quinoa, millet or buckwheat, but be prepared with more liquid, incase needed)
500ml plant-based milk, like almond milk or coconut milk (in a carton)
1 tin tinned coconut milk
1 teaspoons vanilla extract plus 2 fresh vanilla pods (can also use vanilla extract, paste or powder)
4-5 tablespoons coconut sugar (or other natural sweetener of choice)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive oil, avocado oil, flax oil, chia seed oil)
Pinch of salt

Optional
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon maca 
1 teaspoon lucuma
2 tablespoons tocos
Raw choc chunks or cacao powder

Method

To start, measure the pudding rice or other rice or grains of choice into a medium saucepan and cover with your plant-based milk of choice, the tinned coconut milk, salt, vanilla pod seeds (adding the whole stick to stew), vanilla extract, coconut sugar, cinnamon, maca or lucuma (if using) and oil of your choice.

Bring to the boil over a medium to high heat for 5-10 minutes, and then reduce to a simmer for 10-20 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the kind of rice or grain you use. If the mixture becomes too dry before the rice is fully cooked through, add a splash or water. 

When you are happy with the consistency, stir in any of the remaining optional ingredients. I like stirring in raw chocolate chunks for a slightly chocolate variation, but you could also try 1-2 tablespoons cacao powder.

Top with any extra toppings of your choice. I love to heat fresh fruits (usually berries or citrus fruits) in a saucepan with a little lemon juice to stew them, and then pour them on top of the rice pudding. You could also serve with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, a jam, syrup or homemade sauce (like cacao chocolate sauce or date caramel). I love making this chocolate spread and thinning it with a little boiling water to pour on top.

Serve hot.

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Well Being Book Recipe ~ Beetroot, Carrot + Coconut Soup

Brunch, Dinner, Lunch, Recipe, Well Being Book, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
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This hearty soup uses ingredients associated with the root chakra (page 326), which works to keep us grounded with the Earth’s energy and, when balanced, can increase confidence, energy and openness. Signs of a blocked or misaligned root chakra include short temper, lack of motivation, anxiety and general frustration. Eating foods associated with this chakra can help to release these emotions. Serve with Magic Vegetable 'Bread' Rolls (page 314), toasted Miracle Bread (page 314), or Crackers (page 178).

Components

Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a starter

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil 1⁄2 red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
5g fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
3 large beetroots, peeled and chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
600ml vegetable or bone broth (preferably homemade, page 315)
2 × 400ml cans (800ml) coconut milk
1 tsp dried thyme or lemon thyme
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Elevate it:
Juice of 1⁄2 lime

Method

In a large saucepan or stockpot, heat the oil over a medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, ginger and coriander and sauté for 5 minutes.

Add the beetroots, carrots and broth. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the beetroot is soft.

Allow to cool slightly, transfer to a blender (work in two batches if necessary) and add the coconut milk. Blend on a medium speed for 30 seconds and then increase to the highest speed for 10 seconds. Add more broth or water to thin the soup if it is too thick.

Return to the saucepan, add the thyme, season to taste with salt and pepper and add the lime juice, if using. Heat through, then divide among bowls and serve immediately.

Top with Nut Parmesan Sprinkle (page 313), a knob of Avocado 'Butter' (page 308), herb-infused oil (page 313) or a swirl of extra coconut milk.

Blend any leftovers with a can or two of chickpeas, to make a vibrant root- vegetable dip.

Mango Tofu Curry; Two Ways

Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten free, Recipe, Vegan, Winter, Autumndanielle coppermanComment
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Ah, I’m excited to share this one with you and I really, really hope you make it. This was an impulsive experiment last week, to keep me occupied whilst cooped up indoors with my first proper cold in years. A few days prior, my sister had mentioned a really good mango tofu curry she’d been making on repeat recently, and I immediately wanted in.

Not only are the days getting shorter, the evenings darker and the weather, well, worse, we’re also all more prone to illness this time of year. There are more viruses in the air and our immunity weakens as the weather gets colder. We need more from our food and we need different things from our food. Warming and soul-soothing stews, one-pots, dahl’s and curry’s replace light and refreshing summer salads, snacks and light meals. We turn to more heartier meals using more grounding and deeply nourishing ingredients.

This curry in particular is abundant in all kinds of spices, which have been used for decades in many traditions for healing from within. Needless to say, it really sorted me out and lifted many of my symptoms in under 24 hours.

I’m aware that mango isn’t the most seasonal ingredients right now here in London, but it adds such an incredible flavour and texture to this dish. You could omit it or replace it with something like banana (trust me), apricots (fresh or dry), or other fruits or vegetables if you want something a little more inline with October.

I made two variations of this; one Indian-style korma and one Thai-style green curry. My favourite is definitely the korma (pictured), but the Thai-style green curry is delicious in an entirely different way. It’s a little lighter and more refreshing.

This recipe is a total crowd pleaser, and quick and easy to make, is ideal for busy weeknights or batch-cooking and filling the freezer on weekends. You could double the recipe anytime you make it and keep some in the fridge for the rest of the week, and some in the freezer for instant ready meals.

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Components

Serve 2-4

½-1 white onion*
2 cloves garlic *
2 teaspoons ground garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika powder
Salt
Black Pepper
2 tablespoons oil (I used coconut but you could also use ghee, sunflower or other vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric (or 1 teaspoon fresh & grated)
1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (depends on personal taste)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom (if you can only find pods, crush them in a pestle & mortar)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon tomato paste (or 2 large fresh tomatoes)
1 fresh chilli or 1/4 tsp chilli powder or flakes
1 mango, chopped into cubes (about 200g chopped weight)
1 block tofu, chopped (about 200g)
1 courgette, sliced into half moons
1 tin coconut milk
Juice of 1/2 a lime
4 tablespoons ground almonds
Handful of flaked almonds, to top

* I can’t eat garlic or onion due to an intolerance, so I tested this recipe without them as well, and, for anyone else in a similar position, it works perfectly well if you’d prefer not to use them.

Method

Start by heating the oil in a frying pan and, once hot, add the onion, garlic, tofu and courgette. Stir fry for a few minutes, flipping continuously, and then add the mango, tomato paste (or tomatoes), fresh chilli and spices. (You could also blend the onion, garlic, tomato paste, fresh chilli if using and spices in a small spice blender before cooking, or dice / mince the onion at least, as it a nicer texture in the sauce than having them as large chunks). Either way, fry for about 10 minutes, until fragrant and until the tofu is beginning to brown and crisp on the outside.

Next, add the lime juice and then the coconut milk. Stir to combine and then add the ground almonds.

+ Now would be a good time to put some brown rice or other grains on to cook, to serve with your curry.

Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 10-20 minutes, until the sauce reduces and thickens. Add a splash or water if the mixture becomes too thick for your liking. I personally like the sauce thick, but added a little water to loosen it a little before serving.

Lastly, transfer to bowls and serve over your chosen grain.

Top with a pinch of fresh coriander and a handful of sliced almond.

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Thai-Style Green Curry

Components

2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or coconut oil or other plant based oil)
1/2 - 1 onion

2-3 cloves garlic
150g firm tofu
, sliced
1 courgette or 1 aubergine, chopped

1 mango (about 200-300g)
1 stick lemongrass, bashed
1 tablespoon ginger, grated or diced
1-2 red or green chillies (depending on personal taste)
1-2 teaspoons dried coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 - 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
Juice of 1/2 a lime

1 tablespoon tamari

1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 can coconut milk
20g nori or other seaweed
1/4 - 1/2 cup water
1/2 - 1 teaspoon chilli powder or flakes (to taste)
Handful fresh coriander
Salt and black pepper

Optional
50g bamboo shoots
A few kaffir leaves
1/2 teaspoon galangal
Small handful of Thai basil leaves

Bok choy, broccoli or mange tout snap peas
1-2 fillets of cod or other white fish (depending on number of servings)
250g king prawns, raw + sliced

Method

Start by heating the oil in a wok or frying pan. Fry the onions and garlic for 2-3 minutes until fragrant and beginning to brown and then add the tofu and courgette or aubergine. Fry for 5 minutes, until the tofu begins to brown, and then add the mango and the chilli.

Next, stir in the spices and ginger, followed by the lime juice, tamari and rice vinegar. Stir to combine and then add the coconut milk and seaweed. Stir again and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Season, to taste, and add extra chilli, chilli powder or flakes until you are happy with the flavour and spice. Add the fresh coriander and serve, either with brown rice or another grain or gluten free noodles.

Almond & Adaptogen Ananda Mouthfuls

Dairy Free, Gluten free, Recipe, Snacks, Sugar Free, Sweets + Desserts, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle copperman2 Comments
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I love to make some variation of these simple snacks every few weeks, and they're especially convenient if I am traveling a lot. I love to take them with me for the journey, and if i have the facilities where I am staying abroad, I always make them if I am staying somewhere for a while, as they are super easy to make and provide functional nutrition in an instant. They are high in protein, healthy fats, fibre and essential vitamins and minerals, and are a delicious way to incorporate a dose of your favourite adaptogens and / or tonic herbs if you want other ways to use them. Depending on the adaptogens you use, these mouthfuls have a host of physical and mental health benefits, and the bonus is that they taste like chewy caramels. Enjoy!

Components

50g gluten free oats (or cashews)
50g ground almonds (or whole almonds)
A generous pinch of salt
1 tbs vanilla vegan protein powder (i use The Welle Co or Innermost Health)
1 heaped teaspoon cinnamon
150g medjool or other soft dates (pitted and halved)
1.5 tablespoons coconut oil (soft, or melted)
60g almond butter or cashew butter, or a mixture of both

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)

1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, ground or whole almonds, salt, protein powder, cinnamon and adaptogen powder of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars, (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set) and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Salted Peanut version

Components

50g gluten free oats
80g roasted peanuts
Pinch of salt (don't use if your peanuts are already salted)
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract, or vegan or whey protein powder
250g medjool dates
50g peanut butter (could also use other nut butter)
1 tablespoon coconut oil, room temp

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)

1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, peanuts, protein powder and adaptogen powders of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend for a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy, and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set), and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Cacao version

Components

50g gluten free oats
100g walnuts (can also use almonds or cashews, or a mixture)
4 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla powder or extract or vegan or whey protein powder
Pinch of salt
250g medjool dates
50g almond butter (can use other nut butter too)
2 tbs coconut oil

Optional adaptogens: (use one or several of the following, or add your own preferred adaptogens or tonic herbs)
1/4 teaspoon pearl
1/2 teaspoon ashwaganda
1 tablespoons tocorionels
1 tablespoon cacao
1 teaspoon he shou wu, cordyceps, reishi or chaga

Method

Start by blending the oats, walnuts or other nuts, protein powder and adaptogen powders of choice in a food processor, on the highest speed, until they form a fine, flour-like consistency. 

Next, add the dates and then blend again until the mixture becomes doughy and perhaps even forms a large, sticky ball. 

Next, add the coconut oil and the nut butter and blend for a final time. The mixture should be smooth, sticky and doughy, and may even begin to form a doughy ball. It should not be wet or paste-like. You should be able to handle it with your hands and it should hold together when you press or squeeze it.

Finally, roll the mixture into balls, or form into bars (using individual moulds or pressing into a dish or loaf tin and then slicing into individual bars once they have set), and store in the fridge or freezer. I keep some in the fridge for an instant snack, and some in the freezer as they will keep for much longer, and take just seconds to thaw.

Vegan Aquafaba Mayonnaise

Anytime, Condimentsdanielle coppermanComment
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I just wanted to chime in with a V quick and easy yet mind blowing and magical recipe which I think you all kind of need. I have an almond & cashew and an avocado mayonnaise recipe in my book, but this I wish I had discovered and experimented with before I wrote my book as it really deserves to be in there. This recipe is way simpler, cheaper, easier, lighter and smoother than the other recipes (which are still delish don't get me wrong) and requires only 6 ingredients and under 2 minutes of your time. It will make the perfect condiment to accompany your picnics and barbecues this summer. The search for the greatest vegan, plant based, all-natural mayonnaise is over. You're welcome.

Components

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon smooth / dijon mustard or mustard powder (optional)
60lm of the water drained from a tin of chickpeas (known as Aquafaba - what a fun new word)
2 teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar or White Wine Vinegar
180ml sunflower oil (plus more if needed)
A generous pinch of himalayan pink / sea / rock salt
You can also add a few drops of natural syrup, if you are used to a slightly sweeter flavour

Process

Simply measure all of the ingredients apart from the oil into a tall container / jug. Using a hand blender / immersion blender, blend for around 45-60 seconds, until frothy. Then, very gradually, begin to add the oil whilst the blender is still running. Add the oil slowly, bit by bit, making it last for around 1-2 minutes. Lift the blade out of the mixture from time to time to allow air to circulate and for an even blend. Once all of the oil is used up, you should have a fully emulsified result; a thick, creamy and smooth mayonnaise with a glossy texture. If you want it even thicker, add up to 60ml more oil (you really shouldn't need to though).

Season with extra salt, lemon juice or vinegar, to taste.

+ If you don't have an immersion blender, you can do this in a standard blender too. I haven't tried it but I'm sure it will work fine. It might be wiser to double the measurements in order to give your blender more to work with. I sometimes find if the blender isn't full enough, it doesn't blend so effectively.

Store covered or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Savoury Vegan Picnic Tartlets

Dairy Free, Dinner, Gluten free, Lunch, Recipe, Seasonal, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetariandanielle coppermanComment
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Since the sun has finally decided to stay out long enough for the chance of al fresco dining, I've got the perfect recipe to liven up otherwise predictable picnic / barbecue fare. I first tested and shot these recipes in Autumn, hence the roasted grapes, brussels sprouts and chanterelle mushrooms. However, I figured they're still relevant because they're so incredibly customisable. If you've read the introduction of my book you'll know I am all about encouraging people to have a flexible and adaptable approach to cooking. Many people are terrified by this idea, however, I find being open to free-styling in the kitchen is more enjoyable and results in more creative and more personalised dishes.

The gluten free pastry shells in these recipes are the same, and there are two cheesy base options; one made from cashews and the other, a nut-free alternative made with white beans. But the rest of these recipes - the fillings and flavours - are entirely adaptable. Each season, try something new. For now, here are a few summer-inspired suggestions:

Roasted Courgette & Asparagus
Roasted Aubergine & Spinach
Roasted Cabbage & Fennel
Pea & Mint
Roasted Carrot & Garlic
Roasted Tomato & Basil
Or sweet options, with smashed berries, jams / marmalades (ideally homemade / handmade and made with natural ingredients without added sugar or additives) nectarines, figs, apricots and other seasonal fruits.

+ Or for summery alternatives for the below options, simply replace grapes with cherries, brussels with cabbage and chanterelle mushrooms with mushrooms currently in season.

The Basics

Depending on your fillings, I think the easiest way to make these is to start by making the pastry shells and the cream cheese fillings first, setting them aside whilst you prepare your chosen fillings. If roasting your fillings, it may save time to roast the fillings first, whilst you prepare the pastry dough and the cream cheese mixture. If you are not roasting your fillings, I would begin by making the pastry shells first, and preparing your cream cheese mixture and toppings of choice whilst the pastry shells bake.

Makes 1 medium tart, 6 medium - large tartlets, or 10-12 small muffin tin tartlets. The images show medium-large tartlets

The pastry

Components

80g Almond flour
90g buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp Salt
20g coconut oil, room temp (not melted)
1 teaspoon Dried rosemary
5-6 Tbsp Cold water
Sesame or onion seeds - optional

Process

Preheat the oven to 170c.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a spatula to combine all of  the dry ingredients.

Next, add the oil and mash and stir using a fork to form a crumbly texture.

Next, gradually add the water. Add 4 tablespoons first and then 1-2 more tablespoons if the mixture seems too dry or crumbly and isn't forming into a dough easily.

Once doughy, form into a compact ball and then break into sections, depending on how many tart trays you are using and depending on the size of them. Grease the trays lightly with a little coconut oil and then press the mixture down firmly into each tin, spreading evenly along the base and pressing up the sides too. The mixture should be around 5mm thick.

Place the pastry shells into the preheated oven and bake for 10-12 mins, until beginning to brown. Leave to cool before filling.

The Cashew Cream Cheese

Components

120g Soaked Cashews
40ml Water
12g Nutritional yeast
Salt
Pepper
1/2 tsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Lemon juice
5 tablespoons Olive oil

Process

Combine all the cashew cheese ingredients in a high speed blender and blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Pour into a bowl or container and set aside or chill in the fridge whilst you prepare the fillings.

The white bean cream cheese

Components

1 tin white beans (200g drained weight)
50ml extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoons natural salt
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1⁄4 teaspoons lemon juice
1⁄4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
20g coconut oil (melted) or extra olive oil
2 tablespoons hot water

Simply add all the ingredients to your blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl or container and set aside or chill in the fridge until needed. 

Assembling the tarts

Roasted grape, brussels and hazelnut with cashew cream cheese

8-10 large brussels sprouts (or chopped cabbage)
200g red grapes, roasted (could also use fresh figs)
A pinch of fresh rosemary - to garnish
Hazelnuts or walnuts - to garnish

Process

Preheat the oven to 200c.

Slice the brussels into quarters, lengthways - so you have a few discs rather than wedges. Pierce the grapes as best you can with the tip of a sharp knife and then place in a baking tray, keeping the grapes and brussels at separate ends if possible. Drizzle with olive oil and salt and then bake for 45 minutes, until they begin to shrink and soften.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before assembling into the base of your pastry shells and before topping with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture.

When ready to assemble, simply place a few teaspoons of the roasted grapes and brussels into the base of your pastry shell, then top with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture. Smooth the mixture and then top with extra roasted grapes and / or brussels. 

Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

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Chanterelle & garlic with white bean cream cheese

Components

200g chanterelle mushrooms (or other mushrooms), sliced
4-6 whole or chopped cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons olive or coconut oil
1 tablespoon miso (optional)

Add the oil to a saucepan and once heated, add the garlic. When the garlic begins to brown, add the mushrooms and miso and stir to combine. Sauté over a medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the mushrooms begin to soften and the mixture begins to caramelise.

Allow to cool slightly before assembling into your pastry shells and before topping with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture.

When ready to assemble, simply place a few teaspoons of the mushroom and garlic mixture into the base of your pastry shell, then top with your cashew or white bean cream cheese mixture. Smooth the mixture and then top with extra sauteed mushrooms and garlic mixture and / or nuts, seeds or herbs of choice. 

Serve immediately or allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to enjoy.

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Vegan Mushroom & Walnut 'Neat-ball' Meatballs

Vegetarian, Vegan, Dinner, Recipe, Gluten freedanielle coppermanComment

I've never been much of a meatball eater, but for some reason I felt drawn to try my hand at a meat-free version of them this week. Although I occasionally eat meat (only really chicken and fish), I love discovering dishes that use innovative plant-based ingredients to replicate meaty or meat-based products. Whilst I don't mind tofu or tempeh, nothing feels as rewarding or tastes as good as using fresh ingredients in their whole form to make something entirely new and innovative from scratch. For this, I turn to mushrooms. Their rich, earthy and meaty flavour and juiciness add a deep flavour to any dish they are used in, and I find they make offer a really flavoursome alternative to meat, unlike tofu and tempeh which don't taste of much at all. 

These mushroom 'meatballs' are full of flavour (with the help of fresh and dried herbs) and cook to the perfect texture; juicy and chewy in the middle, crisp on the outside. I stirred them through an simple homemade basil and tomato pasta sauce and served them with gluten free spaghetti, but you could also use shop-bought sauces, red or green pesto or serve them with your favourite homemade sauce. I've left recipes for homemade passata and sundried tomato pesto from my book, below.

Components

Makes 10-15 'meatballs', serving 2 main meal portions

300g chestnut or button mushrooms, sliced (you can use a selection of any kind of mushroom - portobello would also be nice)
2-3 tablespoons coconut or olive oil, for frying and greasing
50g walnuts (can also use other nuts or seeds such as almonds or pumpkin seeds)
50g gluten-free oats
8 tablespoons ground almonds
50g sun dried tomatoes (or 4 tablespoons tomato puree / paste)
1 handful fresh spinach
1 garlic clove (optional)
About 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
A few leaves of fresh basil
A few sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried herbs (I like oregano, basil and thyme)
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
2 tablespoons ground flaxseeds (aka linseeds) or milled chia seeds
4 tablespoons buckwheat flour (or other gluten-free flour)
Pinch of salt or 1 teaspoon tamari

Elevate it
20g black or green olives
1/2 teaspoon Reishi powder
1/2 teaspoon Shilajit powder

Method

Preheat the oven to 180c.

Start by slicing the mushrooms a few times lengthways and then cut them in half down the middle. In a frying pan, fry the mushrooms and garlic (if using) in 1-2 tablespoons of your chosen oil. Fry for around 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms soften and begin to brown and caramelise slightly. Meanwhile, start making the base for the 'meatballs'.

Measure the walnuts and oats into a food processor and pulse until they become a flour-like consistency. Add the ground almonds, sun dried tomatoes (or tomato puree), spinach, fresh rosemary, fresh basil, fresh thyme, dried herbs of choice, paprika, tamari (or salt) and ground flaxseeds or milled chia seeds and blend again until the mixture forms a thick paste. 

Once the mushrooms are done, transfer just over half of them to the food processor, and reserve the remainder on a chopping board to cool. Blend a final time, for about 30 seconds, until the mushrooms combine into the paste. Scrape the mixture into a medium mixing bowl.

Dice the remaining mushrooms into small chunks and stir them through the paste mixture. Then add the buckwheat flour (or other gluten-free flour) and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon to combine.

Grease a baking tray with a little oil and then form the mixture into small balls using your hands. Make them the same size you'd expect a standard meatball to be; about 1 or 1.5 inches by 1 or 1.5 inches. Place them a little apart on the baking tray.

Place in the pre-heated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, until brown and crisp on the outside. 

Add the 'meatballs' to your desired sauce or serve as you wish. They are quite falafel-like, so could also be enjoyed added to salads or served with houmous as a snack. I love them either in pesto, tomato pesto or tomatoey pasta sauce, or stirred through mushroom gravy and served with potatoes.

+ Alternatively, you could flatten these into burger shapes and either bake in the oven or throw on the barbecue; they work perfectly!

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Sun Dried Tomato Pesto

Serves 2-4

Components

80g sun dried tomatoes
60g fresh tomatoes (any size, roughly chopped)
1 handful fresh basil leaves
80ml extra virgin olive oil
50g almonds or cashews
1 tsp lemon juice or 1⁄4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 crushed garlic clove
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
pinch of salt
pepper

Method

Blend the sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, olive oil, nuts of choice, lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, garlic, nutritional yeast and salt in a high speed blender or food processor until smooth but still slightly chunky. If you'd prefer a smoother consistency, simply blend for longer until you are happy with it. Season further, to taste.

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Passata

Serves 2-4

2 red peppers, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
1⁄2 white onion or shallot, chopped
1–2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
60ml water or stock (or unsweetened plant- based milk) 
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
handful of fresh basil leaves
1⁄2 red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
Pinch of salt
Ground black pepper

Method

Arrange the red peppers, tomatoes, onion and garlic on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Roast for 25–30 minutes, until the vegetables become soft and the peppers begin to darken at the edges. Heat 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat. Once hot, add the chilli, if using, and sauté for 4–5 minutes. Add half the roasted vegetables. Put the remaining vegetables in a blender, add the water or stock and nutritional yeast and blend on a high speed for 20–30 seconds, until smooth. Pour into the pan with the chilli and whole roasted vegetables and heat through. Season to taste. When you are happy with the flavour, either add the cooked pasta to the pan to coat it in the sauce, or divide your pasta among bowls and pour the sauce over the top. Garnish with basil, a drizzle of the remaining extra virgin olive oil and an extra sprinkle of salt and pepper. Add black olives, flaked tuna or anchovies and spinach to the sauce for a puttanesca-style pasta dish.