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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Sweet Potato and Cauliflower Dhal

Tom here,

This is a staple bulk recipe for me, being high protein and very filling without being too high calorie (I don't think it needs rice with it). I had a tub of it at work with me today, and unfortunately the lid of the tub was not as secure as I can guess the rest of what happened. However, when viewing my lentil covered bag all my supervisor could say was how good it smelled! So for Aliesha; (as promised) here is the recipe -

Ingredients: (serves around 5)

1 medium Onion
1 tbsp Oil (I use coconut but olive or anything will work fine)
4-5 cloves Garlic
1 inch fresh Ginger (or 2 tsp ground)
1 medium Red Chilli
1 small Sweet Potato
1 1/2 cups chopped Cauliflower
1/2 cup chopped Broccoli
1 small Red Pepper
1 cup Red Lentils
1 cup Green Lentils
1 tsp Tumeric
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Curry Powder
1 can Chopped Tomatoes
1/4 tin Coconut Milk/1 inch Creamed Coconut/3 tbsp Coconut Milk Powder (I have used all of these depending on what was in my cupboard)/equivalent quantity of coconut flavour
3 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Black Pepper
1 Stock Cube (Kallo vegetable is what I normally use)
Boiling Water (enough to cover your vegetables, probably around half a litre but will depend on the size of your pan)
1 cup Spinach

This recipe could work perfectly with meat (I would imagine chicken would go well), add this with the garlic, ginger and chilli and make sure you brown the meat all over before adding the vegetables.


Chop the onion into a pan and fry with the lid on until soft
Add the garlic, ginger and chili and fry for a couple of minutes (and meat if using)
Cube the potato and add with the cauliflower and broccoli
Sweat for ten minutes or so with the lid on.
Add the lentils and stir through, then add the spices and mix thoroughly
Sweat for another 5 minutes
Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for a few minutes, then add the soy sauce, stock, coconut, water and pepper (and more salt if needed)
Mix everything and simmer for 20 minutes or so until everything is cooked (stab. The potato to see as this will most likely take the longest to cook)
Turn off the the heat and add the spinach
Leave to wilt for 5 minutes and then serve!

This freezes absolutely fine and is one of those meals that just gets better after a couple of days in the fridge (perfect for bulk cooking). Also the basic dhal can be spiced however you like, and any vegetables will work really! Let us know any suggestions at

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Bacon & Sweet Potato Hash Browns

Jess again!

Just a quick one today, as this is a pretty simple recipe. In my attempt to figure out how a paleo diet would work out for me, my one biggest issue was breakfast. Oats are my staple; porridge is my favourite thing ever. Am I really going to stop eating it for good? Of course not. But I wanted to at least have some paleo-friendly breakfast options, and I haven't got my head around eating eggs yet (I will try but right now, I really don't like them in any form) so I came up with this beautiful recipe. Bacon, sweet potato hash browns. Now this is an American hash brown, not an English one. When I ordered hash browns in Waffle House in America, I was pretty weirded out by the plate of fried potato they gave me, but I appreciate it is really the same thing as a potato-patty. This took me about 20 minutes to make, so I wouldn't make it every morning, but it's definitely one to try if you have a little time or at the weekends.

Ingredients (serves 1)
Bacon (I used 1/4 smoked gammon steak because that's what i had, but a couple of slices of back bacon would work too, or whatever you prefer)
1 small sweet potato (or half a large), grated
1 apple, half grated half chopped
Optional - spinach, paprika, salt & pepper to season, 1 tsp flaxseed

Heat a frying pan. Cut the bacon into thin strips and fry. I dry fried; use coconut oil if you want to, olive oil if you're not that fussed about it being paleo, whatever. Mix the grated sweet potato and apple together, and throw in the pan, spreading out so it covers the pan and ensuring the bacon is mixed in.
 <3 bacon

Fry on one side for about 3-4 minutes, then (as much as possible) flip it over in one piece and fry on the other side. Obviously adjust the cooking time depending on how crunchy/cooked you want it. Add the chopped apple and fry for another minute or so. At the end, I added a little paprika and spinach, and then some salt and pepper on top. I also added a tsp of flaxseed for a little nutritional boost but that's entirely optional.

It was amazing. I usually deny myself bacon but this was so worth it. The apple compliments the taste of the bacon and the texture of the sweet potato so well. And based on my ingredients, my portion was only 230 calories. Which is less than my porridge usually is after I've added all my fruit and nuts and seeds to it. I think this recipe could be varied based on what you feel like - an Asian inspired one with some spring onions, ginger and soy/tamari sauce would be great if you added some salmon. This recipe would also work fine without the bacon if you are vegetarian/vegan (or if you don't like bacon, but let's be honest here, you do). Let us know how it goes!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Jess Tries Paleo(ish)


So, I've become a little obsessed with going to the gym recently. For instance, last week I did three 3+ hour sessions (as well as normal length sessions on the other days) and I'm trying to take strength training a little more seriously (mainly because my knee hurt too much to run, it's feeling better now so I'll see how things pan out but I'm kind of enjoying improving my strength a lot more right now). I won't post about my training because I am utterly clueless. Maybe someday, I'll post one of those amazing before and after photos with a slightly chubby version of me on the left and me with my six pack on the right, but Tom will have to stop making me cupcakes before this is achieved.

Anyway, in an attempt to start seeing real results in the gym, I have to clean up my diet. So after a lot of research, I'm going to give a paleo diet a bit of a go (sorry vegans). I don't know if I'll ever be able to do it 100% and I certainly can't afford to keep up with the organic side of it right now, but I'm going to try to cut grains from my diet as much as possible (saying goodbye to my morning porridge is going to be the hardest thing I ever do food wise, even harder than giving up chocolate for lent has been). I'm not keen on eggs, but I'm going to attempt to make them work for me. Already being gluten free will make the transition a lot easier though, as I don't eat that many carbs anyway and sweet potato is already my favourite. Also, a lot of paleo recipes use bacon. And it's a long time since I allowed myself bacon, so this could be good.

Before you do anything else, have a look at some of the recipes on these two blogs and then you will realise why I want to try this diet. I want to try every recipe these guys have come up with. And maybe I will someday - pineapple stuffed chorizo burgers sound too amazing for words. But right now, I'm trying to come up with ways to replace porridge in the mornings and relatively cheap meals that don't require too much hassle because I don't have much time for cooking when I'm in the lab for hours on end and working out for the remainder of my waking hours.

My first consciously paleo meal today:

Baked Turkey with Roasted Pepper, Mushroom and Garlic Spinach

Now, when I made this, it didn't occur to me that agave nectar might not be paleo since it's vegan friendly. But apparently honey is more paleo friendly than agave. But anyway, I baked my turkey in agave and it was yummy.

Serves 2
2 turkey breasts
(optional - 2 tsp honey or agave nectar)
1 bell pepper
1/2 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic
1 cup spinach

Quite simply, coat the turkey in whatever you choose (1 tsp agave nectar per turkey breast worked great for me) and bake in the oven at 180C for 15-20 minutes (until its not pink inside but do not overcook).  Cut a bell pepper (I went for orange) in half and roast for about 15 minutes, until it is softened and starting to brown slightly. Then fry the roasted pepper, mushrooms and garlic in a little  oil (use coconut if you have it, I didn't) until softened. Then add the spinach and fry until wilted, this took me just 1-2 minutes.

 I added a bit of lemon, as I do to most things

Sweet and Salty Carrot Chips

I can't take credit for these, I found them on Gabby's G Free blog and they are a great little snack or meal addition. Just take as many carrots as you want to use, cut them how you want to eat them (I went for a mixture of rounds and batons) coat in cinnamon, salt and oil (I omitted the oil and added a tablespoon of tamari instead) and bake in the oven for 10-20 minutes (depending how crispy you want them). And there you have it, sweet and salty carrot chips. I served these, with mangetout, alongside my turkey and spinach and it was amazing.

This meal came to 280 calories, with approximately 40g protein. So a great post workout meal (and yes, I have saved the other half for tomorrow night after the gym).

I can't promise to stick entirely to paleo meals, because I will just end up giving in and gorging on grains. But I am going to try to phase them out gradually, and with meals like this maybe it won't be so hard. Let me know if you have any good paleo blogs or recipes! Hopefully Tom and I will find a way to combine vegan and paleo cooking somehow...wish us luck!

Zero Calorie Food!

Well, almost.

I was recently killing time in Selfridges in the Trafford Centre and I found the health food section (oh no). And it's pretty incredible. A great gluten free selection of pasta, bread, granola (maple pecan, passionfruit pistachio, mango macadamia...heaven) packet mixes and bits and pieces, along with a sports nutrition bit with protein supplements and a diet food bit. Which is where I found ZERO CALORIE noodles, rice and pasta. That's right. You may have heard of them before, but they're fairly hard to find. The noodles are made from Glucomannan fibre and the pasta is made from Moyu. I do not know what these things are and I am too scared to find out but I haven't read anything bad about them so I am assuming that they are healthy for human consumption. Here are the websites if you want to have a little look before you spend your money on these (they are expensive, obviously) : They are suitable for all dietary requirements, including gluten free and vegan, so they are obviously a great choice for Tom and I.

Now, as I wasn't sure what they would be like, I didn't waste my time making nice recipes to go with these bizarre things. I wouldn't be happy if I wasted an evening making a nice teriyaki sauce for it to go in the bin because my noodles were gross. So I cheated and used a Blue Dragon packet teriyaki sauce (which was a teeeny bit bland but fine) with the noodles and a Lloyd Grossman sweet red pepper and tomato pasta sauce (which is really nice).

To cook both the noodles and the pasta, you open the packet and drain the fluid off. At this point, do not smell it. It smells gross. Sorry. But once you drain and rinse the pasta/noodles, its completely taste and odorless. So drain, rinse and then boil for about 3-5 minutes. Then rinse again and leave to the side whilst you prepare your sauce.

 The noodles whilst cooking. They came out with a fairly normal noodle texture and just absorbed the taste of the sauce.

 Sorry, got a little excited and ripped the packet open before I took a picture.

For the noodles, I fried some courgette, mushrooms, mangetout and green pepper in coconut oil and teriyaki sauce and added prawns. For the pasta, I went for courgette and mushrooms with olive oil, with chicken added. I added a little paprika to the sauce too.

 Teriyaki Prawn Zero Noodles

Mediterranean Vegetable and Chicken Slim Pasta

The pasta was a slightly more unusual texture than the noodles, and I think in future I would stick to the noodles as they were both nicer and cheaper. Amazingly, these were both ridiculously filling. Obviously unless you eat them completely plain there will be calories in your meal (for mine, there was 176 in the pasta meal and 180 in the noodles) but this is significantly less than normal carbs. 

The verdict on these products? I like them, but I am a student and thus they will not become part of my weekly shop. I might buy them occassionally but they are expensive (in Selfridges, £1.89 for noodles and £2.99 for the pasta). However, they were fun to try out. They are probably not a great idea if you're exercising a lot because you do actually need carbs to replenish your body afterwards, but if you're pretty sedentary and on a diet (and rich) then definitely give them a go. I also still have slim rice to try which I haven't got round to yet. And Tom has some zero noodles too so hopefully he will add a nice recipe too. 

Let us know if you have any recipes using zero cal carbs!

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Reece's Cupcakes

Tom and Jess today!

Okay so for various reasons (not least because of our ongoing and undying love affair with peanut butter AND the recent discovery that Sainsbury's basics peanut butter is both amazing and cheap) we decided that a drizzly saturday REQUIRED cupcakes - and what better way to adapt our newly formed muffin recipe than into the greatest sweet on the planet - reece's pieces. The icing alone was good enough, but combined with chocolate cupcakes - unbeatable.

This recipe has quite a few specialist ingredients BUT it is vegan, gluten free, protein-filled and overall not incredibly unhealthy (except for the icing, but trust us, it's worth every calorie).

You're going to need the ingredients for the garbanzo muffins but with a few extra tweaks: makes around 10 (fairly large) cupcakes

1/2 cup Gram Flour (or chickpea or garbanzo beans - these things have too many names)
1/2 cup Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (I use Doves Farm)
1/2 cup Oats
1/2 cup of Soft Brown Sugar
3 tsp Soya Protein Powder (or substitute for 1 tbsp Cornflour)
3 tbsp Carob Powder (or you can use cocoa powder if you prefer)
3 tbsp Soya Butter
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 ripe Bananas
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Distilled Vinegar
1/4 cup Peanuts
1/2 cup Almond Milk (or any other dairy free alternative)
10 1/2 tsp Black Cherry Jam
10 1/2 tsp Peanut butter

Make these in the same way as the garbanzo muffin recipe (, substituting the spices for the carob powder, the raisins for the peanuts and adding the peanut butter and jam to the centres.

Next you want to make up a batch of Jess' peanut butter frosting (the very definition of icing on the cake!) using:

1/3 cup Peanut Butter (use whatever type you prefer, other nut butters would work too if you wish!)
1/3 cup Dairy-free Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Paste (this is an absolute necessity. And once again, worth every penny)
A few splashes of non-dairy milk (we used almond)
1 1/2 cups Icing Sugar
Optional - 2 tsp Maple Syrup (we used agave here)

For instructions see the second part of the recipe here (

Spread this on top in around a centimetre thick later, eat the rest of the bowl using you spoon/fingers/hands/face/tongue, and then enjoy!

Garbanzo Banana Muffins (with Cherry Jam Centres)

Tom today,

Okay so after having made my housemate the most ridiculously non-vegan, wheat-filled black forest gateau for his birthday, I decided I needed something sweet for myself to have for the party (I'm only so strong when comes to cake). I found gram (garbanzo or chickpea) flour in Sainsbury's a couple of days before and had been meaning to try out a recipe with them. For once, the internet was totally unhelpful so I decided to just wing it and see how they came out. Surprisingly they were an absolute hit and every single muffin (except for the one I hid in my cupboard for breakfast) was eaten! There's quite a lot of ingredients in these, and someone who know's more what they're doing couple probably cut them down a bit, but I was just adding a bit of this and that to experiment and get the right consistency. After I've had a bit more experience of gluten free baking I will probably come back and edit this. Anyway, for now, here are chickpea muffins with black cherry jam centres - yes, this is 100% necessary, trust me, you don't want to miss out.

Incidentally, no one guessed what they were made from!

Ingredients: makes 10 small muffins

1/2 cup Gram Flour (or chickpea or garbanzo beans - these things have too many names)
1/2 cup Gluten Free Self Raising Flour (I use Doves Farm)
1/2 cup Oats
1/2 cup of Soft Brown Sugar
3 tsp Soya Protein Powder (or substitute 1 tbsp Cornflour)
2 tsp Cinnamon
1/8 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
3 tbsp Soya Butter
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 ripe Bananas
1/4 cup Raisins
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp Distilled Vinegar
1/2 cup Almond Milk (or any other dairy free alternative)
10 tsp Black Cherry Jam

The vinegar here probably seems a bit weird, don't worry you won't taste it at all. Quite a few vegan recipes use extra baking powder to give cakes a lightness that eggs would normally give them, but to make sure you can't taste the baking powder, you have to add a bit of vinegar to neutralise it (I've tried it without - it's really really gross - still managed to get all of my friends to try them though, endlessly funny!). As this is gluten free as well I thought it would be a good idea to try this. If you have a soya allergy substituting the butter for oil will work fine, but again the cakes may be a bit denser - maybe sunflower spread would work. Also DON'T TRY THE MIXTURE! It tastes all beany and horrible from the chickpea flour - as is often the case with gluten free recipes - don't worry though, it tastes good once it's cooked.


Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius
Combine all the dry ingredients (except the baking powder and sugar) in a sieve and sift into a mixing bowl
Add the sugar (do make sure to break up any lumps beforehand though - much easier)
Rub in the butter (I only used a spoon to do this roughly)
Mix in the oil
Mash the bananas, and mix in along with the raisins
Add the baking powder and vinegar and mix thoroughly
Mix in the milk bit by bit until the muffins are a thick consistency - you may not need all of this
Grease and line your muffin tin with cases (or I used squares of greaseproof paper, I just think it looks nice!)
Fill the muffin cases to just over half way
Add a generous teaspoon of jam
Top up the muffin cases to full (I like mine to rise over the top of the case - use less if you want them more like cupcakes)
Bake for 20 minutes - until a knife comes out clean (except for the jam...)
Cool on a wire rack

Once they were cooled I drizzled them with a bit of lemon icing for a nice effect (just combine half a lemon with 3 tbsp icing sugar in a mug and then drizzle over using a spoon). This recipe is easy enough to adapt to other flavours if you prefer. Anyone who comes up with a peanut butter themed recipe will win...everything. Ever. As always, let us know any suggestions you come up with at

Friday, 8 March 2013

Walnut Roasted Squash

Tom today!

My housemate James is a proper bargain hunter, and recently he found us an offer to get four veg boxes (from the riverford company) for 20 pounds. As a result we've had a nice variety of vegetables we've been trying out new recipes with. This is a variation on a recipe I make quite a lot with roasts. Here I've really extended the Asian flavours, and the walnuts and pumpkin mix well.

Ingredients (serves 4 as a main or around 6 as a side dish):

1 Japanese Pumpkin
3 cloves Garlic
1 Red Chili
1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
4 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 tbsp Sake
3 tbsp Olive oil
120g Walnuts
Salt and Pepper (around a tsp of each)
1 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbsp Sea flakes
1/2 Red onion


Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Peel the pumpkin, then halve it and scoop out the seeds (I find it much easier to do in that order)
Chop into 1 cm chunks
Dice the garlic and chili finely
Crush the walnuts and slice the onion roughly
Throw everything in a roasting tin
Add the oil, sake, seeds, soy sauce and spices
Season to taste
Toss everything to mix and coat it all
Bake until the pumpkin is soft - around 35 mins
(If you find that quite a lot of liquid is coming out, you might like to turn the oven up for the last 15 minutes to boil off the liquid and crisp up the pumpkin slightly)

This is quite a simple recipe, and goes really tasty with the sweetness of the raisins in the baked cabbage recipe (link). Hope you enjoy it!

Baked Cabbage

This is just a quick simple recipe that I made as a side dish for a roast dinner with the Walnut Roasted Squash (link), but was tasty enough (in my opinion) to warrant a blog post - and my housemate agreed (despite offering me the whole cabbage saying 'I don't want it because you can't make it taste good.') I think I succeeded. Yes, I'm being smug.


1/2 White Cabbage
2 cloves Garlic
1/4 cup Raisins
Pinch of Salt
Good grinding of Pepper
1 tspBalsamic Vinegar
1 tsp Olive Oil


Shred the cabbage
Chop up the garlic
Add all the ingredients and toss in a roasting tin (as you can see my is the same one that has been used many times in posts)
Bake for 40 minutes until soft and brown round the edges
Serve with other roast vegetable, potatoes and any main dish!

Hazelnut and Carrot Loaf

This is the recipe that I made with my family on actual christmas day. It went down extremely well with both me and my non-vegan family who enjoyed it as a kind of stuffing-esque side dish. It made a nice change from the parsnip and cashew nut roast (which I love but have made every roast dinner since I went vegan). This made two small loaf tins, both of which I cooked and one which I froze for a later date (which worked fine!).


125g Chopped Hazelnuts
125 Wholemeal Breadcrumbs
2 tsp Olive Oil
1 medium Onion
2 large Carrots
2 sticks Celery
2 cloves Garlic
1 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Sage
1 tsp Mixed Herbs
1 tsp Nutmeg
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Courgette
100g Red Lentils
1/2 cup Mushrooms


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Chop the onion roughly and fry in oil until soft
Grate the carrot, and chop the celery, mushrooms and garlic and add these to the pan
Fry these until soft
Add the nuts, breadcrumbs and spices and mix thoroughly
Cook the lentils in salted water until soft, strain and add these to the pan
Remove from the heat, and stir through the soy sauce
Place half into a loaf tin (/a quarter into two tins if making two)
Using a peeler, make thin slices of the courgette
Layer these onto the first layer of the loaf
Cover with the rest of the mixture, and then smooth down
Bake for 40 minutes, until browned and relatively set
Either turn out into a plate and serve or leave to cool and then freeze

Not much else to say with this recipe. If you think it's lacking in seasoning a bit crumble half a vegetable stock cube on before the soy sauce, or use a teaspoon of Bouillon. I didn't think it really needed t though. I'm sure other nuts would work with this as well, almond would go nicely I think! Let us know how yours go at

And a very belated happy Christmas from the Scurr household!

Vegan Gluten Free Protein Granola Bars

Update 17/3  

Since I originally made these bars, I've done a little tweaking to reduce the sugar and calories whilst not losing the protein content, and they currently sit at 215 calories with 10g protein.

2 cups/160g oats
1/2 cup milled flaxseed
55g soy protein powder
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup raisins
50g omega sprinkle (a seed mix from holland and barratt, but any seeds will do)
1 banana
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1-2 tbsp cinnamon
5 dates

The only difference in method here is I quickly made up a little date syrup by mashing some pitted dates with some water for 5 minutes and drizzling this over the oaty mixture before toasting it. I would have properly made date syrup the night before if I had planned ahead, but I didn't. It seemed to work OK though, and I will get better at using dates. Also, I used 1/4 cup agave for the oat mixture, and 1/4cup in the banana-nut butter mixture. Unfortunately, as yummy as maple syrup and golden syrup and honey were in the old recipe, I needed to cut the sugar down. I also added some water to the whole mixture before putting in the dish and baking to try to keep the bars a little more moist as they dried out a bit last time. You could use milk (dairy or non) but I didn't have any to hand and water is calorie free I suppose. These bars maybe aren't quite as tasty as they were, but they're a lot healthier and will give you less of a sugar rush, so are probably better...

Jess and Tom today!

So, as we've both been working out pretty hard lately (Tom running millions of miles everyday, Jess complaining about her knee as she runs as far as she can and goes to a million Les Mills classes at the gym every week) and have been finding our diets fairly restrictive when it comes to sports nutrition, we decided to invent a vegan, gluten free, chocolate free protein bar. This is kind of 2 recipes in one, as we decided to play around with carob too. The protein bars are a take on our monkey bars which, if you've tried them, are just the best. I know a lot of protein bar recipes are raw but these baked ones are so good.


1 tablespoon vegan spread (we used sunflower, most recipes recommend coconut oil but we didn't have any to hand today)
1/2 cup carob powder
1tsp agave nectar
1tsp vanilla

Melt the fat (whichever you use), stir in carob powder over heat, add a little vanilla and agave to taste. Simple. Then, we poured this onto cling film on a plate, and wrapped it in another layer, and squashed it down nice and flat. Then we stuck it in the fridge/freezer to set.

Protein Bars

2 cups oats
1/2 cup flax seed (absolutely love the Linwoods one with sunflower seeds and goji berries in!)
1/4 cup oat bran
1/2 cup soya protein powder (50 grams)
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/2 cup raisins
2 tablespoons cinnamon (or 3 or 4....)
2 tablespoons jam (optional but a nice sweet addition)
4 tablespoons maple/golden syrup (this time we used 3 maple to 1 golden but any combination works fine)
1 apple, grated

1/2 cup agave nectar
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup almond butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk (your choice, we used Alpro hazelnut milk)

So, as per the monkey bars, mix the oats, flax, bran, nuts, syrup and cinnamon in a baking dish and toast in the oven at 180C for 10 minutes, stirring halfway. Remove from oven and leave to cool.

Mash banana and add agave and almond butter, cook on the hob until the mixture is runny, remove from heat and add vanilla, salt and a drop of milk. You can also add more cinnamon here. We did.

When cooled, mix the oaty mixture, protein powder and banana-butter mixture. Add a grated apple and raisins (or whatever dried fruit you fancy) to this and add the milk. Mix thoroughly so that the ingredients are all coated and form a slightly doughy consistency. Spread half of this mixture in the bottom of the baking dish you are using, then spread jam on top of this if you are using it, and then we placed our carob flakes (yes, they came out as flakey bits but they taste nice anyway) on top of the jam. Then add the rest of the mixture and press down so that it is compact and neat. Then bake for 18-20 minutes.

And the result is high quality, high protein, vegan, gluten free granola bars. Using the above quantities, made into 14 servings these bars provide approximately 275 calories and 10g protein. So they're perfect to eat before or after a run or session in the gym. And they taste SO good. If you don't want to use soya protein powder, use whichever you prefer. We don't have much experience with protein additions yet so we'll add more recipes as we get more used to using it!

Avocado Salsa

Tom here,

This is another simple recipe, but one I make all the time. There are very, very few meals that aren't improved by a bit of fresh salsa. Curry - salsa, beancakes - salsa, roast dinner - salsa, you get the idea.

Ingredients: serves two

1/3 Cucumber
1 Tomato
1/2 Avocado
1 Red Chili
1/2 Red Onion
1 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/2 Chestnut Mushroom
1/3 Carrot


Chop everything roughly into a mixing bowl
Add the balsamic vinegar and toss to mix

I wanted to keep this recipe light and healthy, but if you prefer you can add a dash of olive oil for richness.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Mini Apple Pie

Tom here,

This recipe has become my new favourite thing ever. Made it for the first time a few days ago and have made it most nights since! It's super easy, super quick, and low calorie, all of my favourite things!


1 Apple
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Brown Sugar
1 Biscuit (I used special gluten free and vegan ones, you can use whatever you prefer - I'm thinking ginger biscuits could be epic)


Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius
Peel the top centimetre of your apple (much much simpler to do this before I discovered!)
Cut around the core and discard it
Place the flesh in a mug
Using a spoon, hollow out the apple, throwing away the core and putting the flesh in a mug as you go (make sure to leave enough inside the apple that it holds together still)
Add the sugar and cinnamon to the flesh and mix
Spoon the flesh back into the apple until level
You'll probably have some left over - save this for now
Cover the bottom of your baking dish with water
Place the apple in the centre, and top with your biscuit
Spoon the remaining flesh around the edge - this will cook with the water and make a lovely sauce while keeping the biscuit moist
Cover with tinfoil and bake for 25 minutes
Remove the tin foil to brown the top for another 5-10 minutes as needed
Serve and enjoy!

This recipe works out to around 150 calories, but obviously that depends largely on the biscuit used (and the size of the apple!)

A tiny pinch of ground cloves would add a nice flavour as well.