Greeeennnnn!

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Just a quick one, I feel bad for not posting recently. Busy crazy life like stuff! So here so a crazy green one for your consideration… before i go on holidays for a week! ( Guilty face… is there an emoticon “guilty face”?)

Greeeennnnn!

  • A inch in diametre of wheatgrass
  • One TINY apple
  • Half a cucumber
  • A thin slice of organic ginger*

*non organic can have been irradiated!

Greeeeennnn!

Greeeeennnn!

I tried it without the apple- dear lord god it was awful! Uber green and a burst of energy. I had it before doing some yoga antioxidants to protect my cells!

Xs Aissa

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Side Stretches for Stormy Weather

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Hey! Stormy Grey Bank Holiday Sunday here! Think we were spoilt last summer and the Irish weather has returned to it’s normal cloudy setting. So I haven’t even gone out yet today and it is 3pm in the afternoon. On the upside I leisurely browsed for a good yoga routine to follow and found a great one! Side stretches… “Oooo” I hear you say with wondrous excitement! Indeed it is wondrous- I am stretched in places I didn’t know needed stretching… I actually feel taller! Certainly more awake after the headstand at the end- nothing like blood to the head to make one think a bit clearer!

So with no further ado….

Vanilla Berry Summer Sponge Cake, Strawberry Mint Sorbet- Vegan & Gluten Free

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I made Seasonal Rhubarb & Orange Crumble Cake a little while ago. I was quiet happy with it, especially the texture. So I thought I could adapt it for further use! I have to apologise though- there are pics of the sorbet but the cake pictures are not up to par. I thought I took a picture of my berries- nope. I thought I took a picture of the cut cake- showing the crumb and melted berries in it- nope…I just ate it. So I will put a pic of the Rhubarb cake in so you get an idea of the cakes texture at least! 😦

It has a creamy caramel colour due to the coconut blossom sugar.* It has a lovely fruity flavour, as one would expect, what with it having berries in it. It is the fruit puree that gives it an overall … fruity almost summery taste. I used some defrosted organic mixed berries I had, but fresh ones would of course be great too. Lots are in season here now, we had such a lovely spring there seems to be a bounty crop this year! This cake would make lovely faery cakes (cupcakes). Just reduce your cooking time by five or six minutes.

Dark Vanilla Berry Summer Sponge Cake

  • I cup of apple and strawberry puree (200g)
  • Three and a half dessertspoons of melted coconut oil
  • A quarter cup of xylitol
  • A quarter cup of coconut blossom sugar
  • A third of a cup of hot water- for right near the end
  • A third of a cup of buckwheat flour
  • Half a cup of ground almonds
  • Two thirds of a cup of fine maize meal
  • An eighth of a teaspoon of himalayan pink salt or sea salt
  • One teaspoon of vanilla powder- two pods/ teaspoons of extract
  • One teaspoon of gf & aluminium free baking powder
  • Half a teaspoon of gf & aluminium free baking / bread soda
  • One teaspoon of gf cornstarch
  • Two/ three dessertspoons of defrosted or fresh berries
  • I used a mix and chopped the strawberries so everything was the same size

* If you would prefer it the more traditional pale colour you can use all xylitol or replace the coconut sugar with agave and increase the dry ingredients by a few dessertspoons.

Method:

You will need a 7.5inch/ 20cm cake tin, if using a metal one be sure to line the base.

Preheat your oven to 170C/340F/ or 180C/350F if not a fan oven.

There are lovely sugar free mixed organic fruit purees you can get here by Clearspring. If you cannot get your hands on something similar then just sugar free apple puree will do.

Grab a perspex bowl and pop in your fruit puree and coconut oil. Put them into your preheating oven, this is so your coconut oil melts and your puree warms. Add in the xylitol and coconut blossom, stir stir stir and you will find the sweet stuff melts into the mixture.

In another bowl and throw in your flours, salt and vanilla powder. Sieve in the baking powder, soda and cornstarch. Mix and make sure there are no lumps.

Now for the fast bit. Ensure your cake tin is at hand. Add your hot water to the wet ingredients, mix through and pour into the bowl of dry ingredients. Stir until there are no dry lumpy bits and toss in your berries and give a quick stir. Pour into your cake tin and put straight in the oven. The hot water starts to react with the soda so it can’t be left sitting about the place.

The batter

The batter

It takes about 25 minutes. It is done when coming away from the sides of the tin, the top has little cracks and if you stick a skewer or knife in it  comes out dry.

Under exposed cooked cake!

Under exposed cooked cake!

Rhubarb Crumble Cake on the windowsill!

Rhubarb Crumble Cake on the windowsill!

Enjoy with vegan vanilla ice-cream (suggestion not an order). OR with….

Strawberry Mint Sorbet... melting

Strawberry Mint Sorbet… melting on my windowsill.

Strawberry Mint Sorbet

  • About two and half cups or 250g of frozen strawberries
  • Two dessertspoons of organic dark raw agave
  • Four big mint leaves

Soo I took the leaves off my Irish strawberries, washed them and popped them in the freezer over night. I advice chopping the berries before freezing, as even in the crazy strong jug blender the whole ones were like little rocks bopping about the place. They took ages to blend.

Frozen strawberry rocks

Frozen strawberry rocks

This is so easy. Put the CHOPPED frozen berries, agave and mint in your blender/ food processor and blend them to a liquid. Put in a freezer safe container and put in the freezer for at least three hours. Or use an ice-cream sorbet maker!

Blended nearly sorbet- what a colour!

Blended nearly sorbet- what a colour!

If you are good at quenelle-ing you can do that..or pop it in a ramekin like I did!

Hope you enjoyed the berry fest! Xs Aissa

 

Red Pepper Hummus & Wacky Wasabi Poppy Seed Dressing Vegan & Gluten Free

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I seem to be going through a dip, sauce and spread phase. The one in my last post kicked it off I think. The “Sweet Red Pepper Hummus” I just enjoyed with my salad-y dinner. I accidentally lashed an overpowering amount of black pepper powder in it at the end…I ate some of the hummus that I had to fish out because of the pepper and my eyes are still watering! Got my circulation going at least 🙂 So I would just stick to using your sense both taste and common and not looking away as you pour said peppery pepper.

The “Wasabi Poppy Seed Dressing” is made extra yummy by some cooked shiitake. It almost tastes mustard like with the hot wasabi and brown rice vinegar. It was lovely with the aduki chicory salad that night. But first…..

Sweet Red Pepper Hummus

  • One large pointed sweet red pepper
  • A cup or 240g of cooked or sprouted chickpeas
  • Two dessertspoons of whole dark tahini
  • One clove of garlic – two if using a less powerful hand blender
  • A squeeze of lemon juice
  • Three or four dessertspoons of water
  • Three dessertspoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • A third of a spoon of powdered black pepper
  • A third of a teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • A bare half of a teaspoon of ground cumin
  • A teaspoon of sweet raw miso paste*
  • A pinch of sea salt or a tsp of nutritional yeast flakes

*no miso? use a half teaspoon of tamari for an unami flavour

Roughly chop your pepper and garlic. Throw everything into your blender/ food processor and blend. Or use a hand blender in a bowl- you may need a little more water. If using a can of organic chickpeas with no added ingredients in it you can use some of the water from the can- as it has a chickpea flavour.

That is it super simple sweet and spicy red pepper hummus. Adding naturally colourful foods where you can =  bonus nutrients and antioxidants! Serve in a pretty bowl with a sprig of parsley!

The red pepper hummus seems to have brought the sun out... or maybe it is a coincidence

The red pepper hummus seems to have brought the sun out…perhaps just a coincidence!

And now… next!

“Wacky Wasabi Poppy Seed Dressing”

Cooked bit:

  • Approx. five or six or so organic shiitake mushroom
  • A dessertspoon of coconut oil
  • A teaspoon of nigella seeds
  • About ten twists of black pepper
  • Three cloves of garlic- finely chopped

Throw in the blender bit:

  • Quarter cup of a vinegar mix
  • I used brown rice and apple cyder vinegar*
  • A quarter a small onion chopped – approx. two dessertspoons
  • Four dessertspoons of poppy seeds
  • Third of a teaspoon of wasabi powder**
  • Eighth of a teaspoon of sea salt- but check if it needs more
  • A teaspoon of maple syrup
  • Three/ Four dessertspoons of extra virgin olive oil

*real vinegars traditionally fermented

**if wasabi is unavailable you could grate a teaspoon of horseradish

Method

So wash your shiitake and slice. Put a pan/ wok on a medium high heat. Melt the coconut oil and leave for a minute. Put in your nigella seeds and let them sizzle. Add in your pepper and chopped garlic. After leaving the garlic cook and soften add in your shiitake. Reduce the heat to medium. Keep an eye, give them the odd stir. The mushies will be done when they have shrunk and are nice and shiny. Take off the heat and let the mix cool.

Mushrooms!! Looking mushroom-y

Uncooked Mushrooms. Looking mushroom-y.

Put all the “throw in the blender bits” in the blender and add in the “cooked” bits. Blend! I have a setting on my jug blender for dip type things. It basically blitzes for a few seconds on and off at the start and then blends at a high speed for 30 second. It should start to thicken and emulsify. I gave a couple of five seconds blitz-iseses at the end.

wacky wasabi poppy seed dressing..on my windowsill

Wacky wasabi poppy seed dressing..on my windowsill

It was lovely with the aduki wilted wild chicory yoke I made. Also great on the spiralized side salad. Really mustard like! Got your dose of fermented food, and antioxidants with fabulous poppy seeds too!

Incase you would like to see..here’s the salad.

cucumber, carrot and onion and lemon juice...on my windowsill

cucumber, carrot and onion and lemon juice…on my windowsill.

i would like to point out that I do not keep all my food on my windowsill. I do actually bring it inside and eat off a plate at the table. Hope you like my foray into dips sauces and spreads. Think I will be back to my usual healthy sweet stuff next time. Xs Aissa

Vibrant Green Thai inspired Dinner- Vegan & Gluten Free

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Last week I was sick of all my dinners, I am always happy to have a big salad and veggies, but sauce wise I felt like I had been eating variations of the same thing for weeks! Though most of my vegan cookbooks lean towards the sweet I have a precious few that vary. I was gifted a fab book called “Fresh” from the Canadian veggie restaurants of the same name. The wonderful Denise gave it too me, she also improved my life by sharing her water kefir babies when mine died in a tragic accident.

The recipe here is a blend inspired by two of the recipes. One is their “Tiger Noodles” and the other is their “Peanut Lime Dressing”. So here is my..

As green as the grass

As green as the grass

Vibrant Green Thai Inspired Dinner

Dressing/ Sauce- the cooked bit

  • One big dessertspoon of organic raw coconut oil
  • Half a teaspoon of nigella seeds
  • One medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • Three cloves of finely chopped garlic ( I used purple )
  • One de-seeded medium hot chilli pepper chopped
  • A baby finger tip of organic chopped ginger *
  • A baby finger tip of organic chopped turmeric**
  • A few dessertspoons of chopped fresh coriander/cilantro
  • A teaspoon of coconut blossom sugar
  • Five twists of black pepper
  • Less than an eight teaspoon of sea salt

*org as it can have been irradiated otherwise

**if unavailable you can use a half teaspoon of org ground

Dressing/ sauce-the bits you blend with the cooked bit

  • Two handfuls of de-stemmed coriander
  • A dessertspoon of brown rice vinegar (the proper fermented no sugar stuff)
  • Two dessertspoons of fresh lime juice- one tiny lime in my case
  • One dessertspoon of tamari (again the real fermented stuff, gluten free too!)
  • Two dessertspoons of natural unsalted peanut butter
  • Another finger tip of chopped org ginger
  • Two dessertspoons of soft coconut milk from the top of a can***
  • Scant quarter cup of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
  • Scant half cup of cold pressed sunflower oil

***do not do the whole can of coconut milk in the fridge thing, you want it soft. I had a curry tonight with the rest of the coconut milk. you can do the hard creamed coconut just soften it with a little warm water.

Noodles and veg bit!

  • Enough buckwheat soba noodles for two people or your appetite****
  • 125g/ 3 cups of organic baby spinach
  • A cup of organic frozen peas
  • Two dessertspoons of toasted cashews
  • Some chopped coriander/cilantro for sprinkling when serving

**** I actually used sweet potato and buckwheat noodles- very nice

Method:

Get a wok on a medium high heat and add your coconut oil. Let it melt and heat for a minute. Add in your nigella seeds and black pepper and let them sizzle. Add in your onions, salt, ginger and turmeric. Cook until onions are softening add in your coconut sugar. Keep stirring until sugar melts and everything is coated. Add in your garlic. When onions are transparent add in your chopped coriander/cilantro. Set these aside to cool. Once cooled bung in your blender/ food processor.

Now boil a kettle and get water on for your noodles.

Using the same ring but a different pot, obviously! Let the dry pan warm for a minute. Toast your cashews until they just start to turn golden- don’t stray they burn easily… I speak from the experience as someone with no attention span. Set to one side.

Put your noodles on to cook. Mine only take 5-6 minutes.

Put all the ingredients for your dressing in the blender- put the sunflower oil in too. BUT NOT THE OLIVE OIL. Start blending and drizzle in the olive oil as it blends. If you can’t pour into your blender/ food processor then just put it in at the start. Blend and watch it turn a beautiful vibrant green!

GREEEEENNNNN!

GREEEEENNNNN!

Put your wok that you cooked your ingredients in earlier back on a medium heat. Rinse your fresh baby spinach and the peas ( to get the ice off). And throw into the wok to cook and wilt. Throw your cooked noodles into the spinach and peas and fry for a few minutes. Take off the heat, add your cashews and pour half of your scrumm-y yummy vibrant green dressing over the noodles and stir through. Check for seasoning- add more black pepper or salt if needed. Serve with a sprinkle of coriander/cilantro and with more of the dressing on the side!

Tasty, green and healthy.. and not another tomato sauce!! 🙂 Hope you try it out!!

Here is evidence of what a tidy cook I am….

healthy debris

healthy debris

Xs Aissa

No Bake Nutty Banoffe Pie – Vegan & Gluten Free

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We have been having a bit of (lowers voice to a whisper) “summer weather” here recently- shh or we might scare it away!  Warm weather = ripe bananas calling out to be dessertified. Hence Banoffe!

This is my second version of this pie. In the first version I did a base with medjool dates and I just found the fudge-y gooey-ness of the dates just a bit too fudge-y and gooey! Also the taste a little too strong. That said it went down well with my work mates so feel free to blend up four medjool dates instead of using the maple and agave syrup in this one. There will be a lot of either ors in this e.g. I blended cashews but I will give the measure in the recipe for substituting cashew butter if you would prefer to use that.

No Bake Nutty Banoffe Pie

  • Half a cup of cashews soaked over night

Drain the cashews and blend with two dessertspoons of the soaking liquid. I did not blend it completely smooth as I wanted the odd chunk.

Press in Crust

  • One and a half generous cups of ground almonds
  • Three dessertspoons of chopped toasted almonds /almond flakes
  • Two dessertspoons of desiccated / shredded coconut
  • An eighth of a teaspoon of pink himalayan salt or sea salt
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla powder / insides of one pod
  • Three ground apricot kernels
  • OR a quarter teaspoon of natural almond extract
  • One dessertspoon of organic raw coconut oil
  • Two dessertspoons of the blended cashews
  • OR one and a half dessertspoons of cashew nut butter
  • Two dessertspoons of maple syrup
  • Two dessertspoons of raw agave syrup

Banana Bananas Banana-y topping

  • The rest of the blended cashews
  • OR One and a half dessertspoons of cashew nut butter plus two dessertspoons of non dairy milk
  • Three large ripe bananas or four medium ones*
  • One dessertspoon of organic cold pressed coconut oil
  • Half a teaspoon of runny tahini paste
  • Two dessertspoons of the set coconut from the top of a can of coconut milk**
  • OR two dessertspoons of hard creamed coconut mixed to a tick paste with some warm water
  • Two dessertspoons of chia seeds
  • Optional: one dessertspoon of roughly ground cacao nibs
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla powder/ insides of one pod
  • A square of dark chocolate for grating on top

*when I say ripe I mean mostly brown skinned. If just ripe you could add a teaspoon of maple syrup to the mix.

** the rest to be used in a curry

Crust Method

So you need a 20cm or 7.5 inch pie tin. Rub it with a little raw coconut oil so you can get the pie out afterwards.

First chop and toast your almonds/ almond flakes and set to one side.

toasted almonds

toasted almonds

Mash your coconut oil with the blended cashews. Add in the rest of the wet ingredients.

Mix your dry ingredients- except the toasted almonds. Add the dry to the wet mashing it together really well. It should be sticky but not sloppy- like a slightly wet drop cookie mix. It should be holding together 🙂 Now add in your toasted almonds and stir through evenly.

Crust mixture pre the toasted almonds

Crust mixture pre the toasted almonds

Press the crust into the pie tin as evenly as you can. It will make a thin crust. Cover and pop in the fridge while you make the topping.

Press in crust

Press in crust

Banana Bananas Banana-y Topping Method

Get the rest of the blended cashews (or cashew butter and some non dairy milk) add in the coconut oil, the tahini, the creamy coconut (or the creamed one you’ve made into a paste) and either one large banana or two medium ones and blend together- or really really really really mash LOTS!

Next roughly mash in another banana- the reason for doing them separately is to give different textures. Add in the vanilla, chia seeds and ground cacao nibs.

The topping- pre the pretty

The topping- pre the pretty

Now so, take the crust out from the fridge. Pour your mix on top and spread evenly. Get your last banana and slice really thinly- like a few mm thick. Decorate your pie with the slices. Next grab your square of dark vegan chocolate and grate it over the top. Cover it up again and leave to set in the fridge. I didn’t decorate it with banana the last time- I think the banana decorating should probably wait until you are serving it it incase they turn black.

Banoffe in (shh) Sunshine! I actually nearly threw it out the window...

Banoffe in (shh) Sunshine! I actually nearly threw it out the window instead of gently placing it… oops, flying banoffe pie.. ? Or maybe it just wants to fly- I ramble.

There you have it – Nutty No bake Banoffe Pie! Hope you try it out! Xs Aissa

 

 

 

Get you going 30min Yoga!

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So I was browsing through Yoga videos, thinking I may share what I end up following since it is world yoga day! ( a bit controversial in India – so I have read ). I had a bit of a blah week health and energy wise – summer bugs trying to take me down! So my yoga practice was a bit intermittent and more restorative in nature. I wanted to follow a more energising routine to-day. So “Power Yoga” it was. It really felt a bit like a gym work out at points during the first half and to be honest I don’t think my energy levels were quite up to the level I thought they were. That said I feel stretched, warm and relaxed having done it!

If you want to get your circulation going and work on your strength as well as flexibility this would be a good one to follow.

Enjoy X Aissa

cute downward dog sketch

cute downward dog sketch!

Homemade Oat & Cashew Milk! Vegan ( gluten free if you use the right oats! )

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I was out and about yesterday and bought lots of organic salad leaves and yummy stuff at the farmers’s market. Walked home on a warm but extremely windy June day. All sorted for a my big salad for dinner. All my food shopping sorted, until I realised I forgot to get dairy free milk! Which would be okay but I really wanted it for my forever evolving Not so smooth energy smoothie for breakfast! Necessity is the mother of invention, or prevention of procrastination, as I have intended to make my own for ages.

Vegan milk on my windowsill!

Vegan milk on my windowsill!

You will you need to leave to stuff soak over night if you want it for your break-ie !

Homemade Oat & Cashew Milk – makes over : 600ml / a pint / 2.5cups

  • Half a cup of organic fine rolled oats (Gluten free if you like!)
  • Three dessertspoons of cashews / cashew pieces
  • Less than an eight of a teaspoon of pink himalayan salt or sea salt
  • Generous Two and a half cups of boiled water- leave to cool for a minute
  • Half a medjool date
  • Half a teaspoon of vanilla powder
  • Some extra water to so you can have it thinner if you like
  • Optional: I think a pinch of cinnamon could be lovely too!

So put your oats in a sieve and give them a rinse. I put them a big jug but you could soak them in a bowl. Add in your cashews and salt and stir them together. Add in the hot water. Leave to sit over night.

Next day.

You will notice everything will have swelled up. Now you want to pour it all through a sieve. Over a bowl or straight into your blending contraption. I blended mine in a jug blender, would work in a food processor and as long as you don’t leave lots of cashews in a hand blender would work too.

Use a spatula to press the mixture in the sieve. You will see thick creamy liquid coming through. Keep pressing until you are bored or it looks like you have gotten as much out as you can. I picked out the cashews as I went and threw them into the liquid to make the milk extra fabulous. If you are having porridge for breakfast you can cook the soaked oats up with the rest! Soaking your oats pre cooking is a good idea anyway as it helps break the phytates down and makes the oats more digestable.

Onwards!

Add in your halve medjool date and half a teaspoon of vanilla powder. Blend as if you are making a smoothie. I tasted it and found it lovely and creamy but a little rich for me ,so I added in another third of a cup of water. I gave it another blitz just to mix it up. Et Volia! Ta-Da! Homemade oat and cashew milk! 

Ready to be smoothie-d! :-) Breakfast is saved!!!

Ready to be smoothie-d! 🙂 Breakfast is saved!!!

Hope you try it! It was super easy! Xs Aissa

 

Quick and Zesty Pickled Cucumber Salad! Vegan & Gluten Free

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My wonderful partner was, yet again, cooking me dinner and said it would be lovely to have pickled cucumber with it. Just to give a refreshing acidic side to our onion-y, lentil tomato sauce. My task was set. Had I a few days notice as opposed to forty-five minutes, I could have actually pickled, fermentation style, some cucumber, but this is healthy next best. I imagine it would get yummier if you have the time leave it for a couple of hours!

I used a spiralizer but you could use a potato peeler to get thin strips, or if you are the daring type and like to risk your fingertips you could use a mandolin (shivers all over 😉 )

Quick and Zesty Pickled Cucumber Salad

  • One organic cucumber- spiralized
  • One small organic carrot- spiralized
  • A quarter cup of proper fermented brown rice vinegar
  • A tablespoon of real fermented tamari (gluten free )
  • Two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil/ sesame oil
  • A teaspoon of grated ginger
  • A dash of mirin
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Five or six twists of black pepper
  • A third cup mix of lightly toasted sunflower & poppy seeds
  • Toast the seeds with an eighth teaspoon or pinch of himalayan pink salt/ sea salt

Grab a salad bowl. Whisk together your vinegar, tamari, oil, mirin, pepper, ginger and lemon. Add in your cucumber and carrot, mix so that it is all covered in the liquid.

Everything in the bowl

Everything in the bowl

Press mixture down so it is covered and leave to macerate for thirty minutes.

The toasted seeds

The toasted seeds

 

Toast the seeds with the salt, in a dry pan on a high heat for about a minute. The sunflower seeds should be barely changing colour. Add in the seeds when you are about to serve – so they are still crunchy!

Quick and zesty pickled cucumber salad!!

Quick and zesty pickled cucumber salad!!

There you have it Quick and easy zesty pickled cucumber salad! Hope you like it. Xs Aissa

 

Seasonal Greens & Nettle Soup! Vegan & Gluten Free

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This is the brightest greenest soup I have ever made, I just feel healthier in the glow of it! It only took 45 minutes from start to finish including taking photos! Nettles come in to season in spring and that season lasts until the end of May. They become to old tough and stingy after that! That said they still sting a bit- so handle with care! Traditionally they would be picked in the countryside or out of your own garden. It is the shocking reality of city life that I bought mine, but I am grateful that the McNally organic farm stall realised that urban dwellers would also like nettles! My Dad grew up having this iron and silica rich food in his diet, but my first attempt at cooking them went terribly wrong. I simply over cooked them and the soup became incredibly sour. If cooked for only a minute or so they lend the soup a lovely lemon fruity and green flavour.

Spinach, chard, nettles, chives & wet garlic

Spinach, chard, nettles, chives & wet garlic

Mostly nettle soup would be made with a base of potato, I am not a fan of the starchy spud and I already have enough tomatoes in my diet to cover my nightshade consumption quota! I used a base of organic cauliflower and carrots, my extra seasonal goodies I have young spinach, rainbow chard, chives and wet garlic! If you cannot get your hands on nettles try some rocket, Persian cress or mustard greens!

Lovely spinach

Lovely spinach

Seasonal Greens & Nettle Soup

  • Three cloves of Wet garlic
  • A dessertspoon of raw coconut oil
  • A teaspoon of Yellow mustard seeds
  • A teaspoon of Nigella seeds
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder*
  • Two bay leaves
  • Lots of Black pepper
  • A dash of Mirin – for sweetness
  • Two medium carrots chopped
  • Half a large head of Cauliflower- chopped
  • Two cups of vegan stock- homemade or bought**
  • Approx. 400g of young Spinach
  • I used half a bunch of the Rainbow Chard in the picture
  • Approx. 300g of Nettles ( I used two thirds of the nettles in the pic below)
  • A couple of dessertspoons of chopped chives
  • Half a cup or so of hot water for thinning soup a bit after blending
  • Optional: 100ml/ half a cup of vegan cream
  • Optional: A few dessertspoons of cashews or a ripe avocado instead of the vegan cream!
  • As an after thought I think it would be good with one diced onion
  • Extra chopped chives serving

*Not very Irish but very good for you

**I used half an organic onion stock cube to two cups of boiling water, cubes are of course hydrolysed veg protein free!

Fantastically spiky nettles!

Fantastically spiky nettles!

Method

Start by melting your coconut oil in a deep saucepan on a medium heat. Add your mustard and nigella seeds and let sizzle for a minute. Add in your (onion if using) wet garlic and some black pepper. Let cook for another minute or two, don’t leave the garlic burn or it will be bitter.

Add in your chopped carrots and cauliflower. Pour in your stock. Add your bay leaves and turmeric. Let these simmer and cook for about seven minute, just until the cauliflower is cooked. Meanwhile while you wash your spinach – very well. Throw in your chives and washed spinach. Give it a few stirs, leaving the spinach wilt.

Soup base

Steamy Soup base

Next is the hide and seek game with the bay leaves! Try and find them and take them out before you get to blending. Take the mixture off the heat and then get to blending! A hand blender should be fine. I used a jug one, be careful ladling the mixture into your blender, it will be piping hot!

Pre first blend

Pre first blend

Now magically green!

Now magically green!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If using a jug blender pour the soup back into the saucepan and back onto a medium heat. Add your half a cup of hot water to thin out the soup a little. Add your mirin. Taste to check for seasoning. I added more black pepper, but it didn’t need any salt.

Wash your nettles, take your time, wash them well to avoid gritty bits later! Usually people chop off the tough ends of the stalks, if you are using a hand immersion blender you may want to do this. You would probably be best advised to use gloves, or be careful not to tip of the stinging leaf edges. I didn’t bother removing the stalk ends, I just threw them into the colander and rinsed them in the sink.

Pop them into the saucepan, stir them through so that the are covered by the soup. The leaves will begin to wilt quite quickly. Remember you are only cooking them for a minute or so. You are going to blend it all anyway so any tough stalks don’t matter.

Again with the blending! If using a jug blender and you decide to go for cashews or avocado blend them first with a ladle of the soup. If using an immersion blender use the avocado and just chop it and throw into the soup before blending. Alternatively whiz up your soup just until the nettles are blended and then add in your 100ml of vegan puoring cream of choice and blitz again just to mix it through.

Nettle Soup

Nettle Soup

Serve with a sprinkle of chives and a swirl of vegan cream or milk! TADA! Seasonal Nettle Soup! Hope you try this quite traditional green extravisganza! (ignoring the turmeric! 😉 ) Xs Aissa

P.S more stuff on nettles: Nettles NutritionNettles in Herbalism