Homemade: The Holy Trinity (nordic porridge/mushroom soup/carrot cake muffins/spaghetti bolognese)

So, you’re probably wondering why you’re getting four recipes where you’d normally get one. It’s great right? This month, as we’re exploring colour, I thought I’d delve into ‘how to eat the rainbow’, or in less pretentious terms: how to get a bit of variety in our diets.

Lately, there’s been an exploration in trying to get more fruit and vegetables into our diets. Now, it’s said we should be eating 10 portions of fruit and veg everyday – seems like a lot ey? So, this month I’m seeing if it’s actually possible. I’m being a human guinea pig essentially. Eating a wide range of colours of fruit and veg whilst also getting 10 portions a day. Each post will have breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack including my best meals from the month.

This week we’ve got: Nordic Porridge, Green Mushroom Soup, Carrot Cake Muffins and Spaghetti Bolognese. Not only do they contain all the varieties of fruit and veg that you need but they’re tasty. Why? They contain the secret to any good tasting meal. The Holy Trinity of flavour. Salt, sugar and acid. Without these three crucial ingredients a dish can often taste bland. Example? The Spaghetti Bolognese contain sea salt (salt), balsamic vinegar (acid) and dates (sugar) and my god it is the best tasting spag bol I’ve had (even if I do say so myself).

So give these and go. Maybe start implementing 10 a day, eat the rainbow and the Holy Trinity of flavour into your lives. It’s worth it.

Nordic Porridge with Caramelised Banana

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Sometimes a bowl of porridge is just what is needed in the morning. The gooey oats topped with fruit, nuts and seeds or maybe a drizzle of maple syrup is not only nourishing our body but also our minds. It’s the ultimate comfort food. Try this nordic spice porridge with the sweetness of the banana and you might understand where I’m coming from.

Serves one

50g oats soaked in 125ml water for 30 minutes
125ml plant milk (I use almond or oat milk)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cinnamon (plus an extra pinch)
pinch of nutmeg
squeeze of lemon juice
pinch of sea salt
pinch of black pepper
1 apple, grated
handful of raisins
1 banana, chopped
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup

  1. Put the soaked oats, milk, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, black pepper and salt into a saucepan and put on a medium heat whilst stirring intermittently.
  2. Meanwhile melt the coconut oil in a frying pan.
  3. Add the maple syrup and a pinch of cinnamon and stir.
  4. Once the maple syrup is bubbling, add the chopped banana and fry until the banana goes golden brown.
  5. Once the oats start to bubble take off the heat and serve. Pile the banana, apple and raisins on top and enjoy!

Watch a video on how to make it here:

 

Green Mushroom Soup

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This is a healthy spin on the normal creamy mushroom soup. Not only is the beige of the mushrooms replaced with a bright green but this soup is light, creamy and packs a punch of flavour. Plus, it’s dead easy to make.

Serves two

250g chestnut mushrooms, peeled and chopped
a big handful of kale
a big handful of spinach
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1/2 tsp honey
1 x 400ml can of coconut milk
pinch of chilli flakes
salt and pepper

  1. Add the chopped mushrooms to a saucepan with a drizzle of oil, the white wine vinegar and chilli flakes. Cook until the mushrooms have browned.
  2. Add the kale to the pan and cook until wilted.
  3. Put the mushrooms and kale in a blender along with the rest of the ingredients and blitz until smooth.
  4. Pour back into the pan and heat until the soup just starts to bubble.
  5. Serve with a glug of oil and a sprinkling of black pepper.

 

Carrot Cake Muffins

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I’ve never been a huge carrot cake fan yet after these bad boys I’ve seen the error of my ways. These are light and fluffy muffins with a smear of cream cheese on the top. They feel as though they are doing your body some good whilst giving you that flavour hit. A definite mid-morning or afternoon pick me up or after tea snack. Either way, these are so good with a cup of tea.

Makes 8 muffins

Preheat the oven to 190ºC (or 170ºC for fan ovens)

200g carrots, peeled and grated
2 eggs (or if vegan, 2 tbsp flax seed + 6 tbsp water)
175g coconut sugar (or brown sugar) + 2 tbsp
150ml extra virgin olive oil
200g wholemeal spelt flour
3 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
zest of one orange
110g sultanas
50g desiccated coconut
50g pecans (plus extra for decoration)
1 tbsp lemon juice
juice of one orange
1 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon
200g cream cheese (or if vegan, 1 can of coconut milk stored in the fridge)

  1. Roast the pecans in the oven for five minutes until browned.
  2. Whip together the eggs, sugar (175g) and oil until light and fluffy.
  3. Sift in the flour, mixed spice, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder. Pour in the bran remaining in the sieve. Mix together.
  4. Add the zest, sultanas, coconut and pecans and stir until throughly combined.
  5. Divide the mixture into eight muffin cases in a cupcake tray.
  6. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile combine the lemon juice, orange juice and remaining coconut sugar to form the glaze.
  8. Once the muffins are cooked stab them delicately with a fork and pour over the glaze. Leave to cool.
  9. To make the icing, simply mix together all the ingredients until combined. (If using coconut milk, remove the hard layer of the milk and use this for the icing)
  10. Once cooled, spread the icing over the cakes and crumble over the remaining pecans.

 

Puy Lentil Spaghetti Bolognese with Butternut Squash 

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This is a satisfying tea which you can whip up in fifteen to twenty minutes and a firm favourite in our house. The combination of the dates, balsamic vinegar, cayenne chilli powder and sea salt mixed with the oh so tender puy lentil makes this dish a winner. It’s definitely better than any meat bolognese I ate before turning vegetarian. I’m not usually a fan of spiralised veg but butternut squash really works here and you’re getting another cheeky vegetable in there. However, it can be easily replaced with wholewheat spaghetti.

Serves three

1 red onion, diced
3 small carrots, peeled and diced
2 or 3 dates
1 clove of garlic, chopped
250g cooked puy lentils
400ml passata
1 tbsp tomato puree
pinch of cayenne chilli powder
salt and pepper
1 butternut squash, peeled and spiralised (or wholewheat spaghetti)

  1. Fry the onion, carrots, garlic and dates in oil on a medium heat for 5 minutes or until browned.
  2. Add the puy lentils, passata, tomato puree, cayenne and balsamic vinegar. Mix, season with salt and pepper and let this bubble away for 10 minutes.
  3. Serve with the butternut squash or spaghetti and possibly a small grating of cheese. Voila.
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