A controversial hummus of the zucchini variety.

I know. I’m sorry. Perhaps you think I have lost the plot with this one…

It IS hummus, but instead of using chickpeas, I wanted to find something a wee bit lighter. We currently have zucchini coming out of our eyeholes, so I thought why not use this gigantic phallic vegetable for a new and exciting hummus-y paste?

I’m sure you can probably think of a few reasons why not…. But give it a go.

Its a bit runnier than your average hummus, due to the moisture content of the zucchini. I found that letting it sit overnight in the fridge thickened it up a bit, but if you want it less runny, try grating the zucchini first and squeezing the moisture out of it before blending with the other ingredients. You could also add a handful of nuts or seeds (cashew is always a goodie) to give it a bit more texture.

If you can’t tolerate or avoiding legumes, its a good option. Hummus purists may weep a tear or two, but I think its a tasty alternative.

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini (or just one big daddy), peeled and chopped, excess moisture squeezed out

1/2 cup tahini

3 garlic cloves (to keep the boys and girls away)

1-2 tbsp olive oil

juice of one lemon

1-2 tsp cumin (or other herbs and spices you like)

sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

Method

Pop it all in your food processor and whiz away until it resembles hummus. Sprinkle some toasted seeds on top and serve with chopped veggies, or maybe a large hunk of steak, if that tickles your fancy.

photo-2

Balls.

photo 2-2

An enticing title, agreed? I shall try not to disappoint.

I made these balls on a lazy Sunday, when I felt like being a good wifey and making wholesome treats from scratch.

There are plenty of recipes for this kind of thing on the inter web, this is my take on them. If you can’t find/ can’t afford fresh medjool dates, just get the ordinary kind and soak them for a few hours to make them all nice and moist… Also, if you want to use different nuts, give it a go and find a combo that works for you πŸ™‚

BallsΒ Of Fun

Ingredients

2 cups walnuts (whole or pieces)

1 cup sunflower seeds

1 cup shredded/desiccated coconut

2/3 cup cacao powder (or just plain old cocoa powder will work too)

8 fresh dates, pitted and chopped up (or dried, just soak for a few hours first)

1/4 cup of water

pinch of sea salt

Method

  • Combine walnuts, sunflower seeds, dates and coconut in food processor. Pulse until combined.
  • Add cacao powder, salt, and water and process until mixture forms a dough.
  • Make the dough into wee balls by rolling between your palms. Or big balls. Whatever you’re into.
  • Pop them on a tray or container and chill to let them get hard.
  • Eat dem.

You likey?

Vegetarians Gone Wild

I’m writing this post from Lyon airport, having said goodbye to my lovely Brenazet family earlier today. They were so fun, loving life on their idyllic farm, eating amazing meals together every day and constantly learning and trying new things. It’s inspiring to find people who genuinely love their lives and don’t even feel like they need to holiday, because home is so lovely!

After a hearty breakfast of green smoothie and some buckwheat hazelnut porridge (awesome stuff), Mariken sent me on my way with a little snack pack and instructions to let her know when I arrive safely in London. Elza the dog jumped up and gave me a smooch too, which was cute.

I spent the majority of yesterday helping them set up a Mail Chimp newsletter campaign and linking it to all of their social media, which is the sort of thing that comes easily to me (it’s my generation) but can be a real chore for people. Always nice to know you’re really helping the people you stay with, because sometimes it feels like you are getting an amazing experience for nothing. Days filled with yoga, meditation, cooking, gardening, cleaning, and amazing food are the best working days EVER.

My last few days involved a lot of cooking, yoga, a trip to Mariken’s local ‘Old Lady Yoga’ (which I secretly loved, even if it was all in French and included lots of pelvic tilting), crazy thunderstorms, dreamy sunsets and much laughter.

Basically I’m just going to post a bunch of photos of food, because I cannot describe in detail all the things we made. Mariken has a spectacular kitchen and array of recipes, during summer she cooks for the guests every day so she’s a bit of a pro at making healthy food for many mouths.

Get ready to drool….

20140524-183350.jpg
Raw vege pasta, quinoa, garden salad
20140524-183402.jpg
Buckwheat and oat flour pastry, filled with silver beet and soft tofu
20140524-183413.jpg
Beetroot and Walnut Dip
20140524-183422.jpg
Bean Salad
20140524-183428.jpg
Plate of Goodness
20140524-183436.jpg
Red Quinoa- Stuffed Tomatoes
20140524-183443.jpg
Avocado & Almond Butter Chocolate Mousse
20140524-183452.jpg
Raw carrot cupcakes with cashew coconut icing, Apple cake.
20140524-183501.jpg
Smoothie greens! Yes, that is nettle.

 

Needless to say I’m going to miss having the means to make all that. But I have a bounty of recipes now. I sort of made up the chocolate mousse, so I shall share it with you. Mariken declared it the ‘best chocolate mousse she has ever tasted’, which is high praise.

Marvellous Mousse

To feed 2-3 people:

1 large ripe banana

1 ripe avocado

2 large tbsp almond butter

2-3 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp maple syrup/agave/honey or whatever your preferred sweetener is.

1 tbsp chia seeds

anything else you think would be tasty….

 

whizz it it all up in your blender, adjust the amounts to suit yourself, serve in little pots with a sexy adornment (I used cacao nibs). If you can wait, put them in the fridge for an hour and let the chia seeds do their thing.

You don’t need much because it is very filling, what with all the avocado and nuts.

Mouuuuthgasm!

 

A farewell sunset
A farewell sunset

Off back to London now, for birthday celebrations, family time and probably some MEAT. Funnily enough, today as I was leaving Mariken was cooking up one of their chickens. Usually they are vegetarian, but yesterday they discovered that one of their chickens was eating the eggs.

So they chopped it’s head off and made coq au vin. Waste not, want not.

Au revoir France! I still only understand a pathetic amount of your language (“inhale, exhale, left foot, right foot, relaaaax”), but I think that’s okay.

 

My new favourite thing.

Guess what? It’s food related. Yup.

Today I made gluten free, sugar free, dairy free if you don’t count eggs, banana bread! Wowzer!

I know what you’re thinking, what the shit is in it then? Because I am so generous I’m going to share with you.

1 oz raisins
1/2 c warm water
5 ripe bananas
2 cups gluten free flour blend
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Soak raisins in the water (preferably overnight but I was too impatient)
2. Process the bananas and raisins together in blender
3. In bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt
4. In large bowl beat together oil, eggs and vanilla
5. Add banana purΓ©e to the liquid mixture
6. Stir in dry ingredients (don’t overdo the mixing)

Bake in a wee loaf tin at 180 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

We also made a loaf with spelt flour, which didn’t need quite so much oil. Gluten free baking can be quite dry so you want to up the moist ingredients. I hate the word moist but it was the only one that would do in this situation. Sorry.

In other news, today there has been much hail in Combe Martin. All the Martians came out to play. Kayla and I realised that we hadn’t been outside in about 3 days so we rugged up, approximately 7 layers of clothing, and weathered the storm for a walk to the beach. I darn nearly got beached by a gigantic demon wave while Kayla stood bravely at the waters edge, until she realised her gumboots were leaking then she too ran for cover. We clambered up through the ‘doggy exercise’ zone, realised it was a dead end and had to hop a fence, fell in some bushes, nearly ripped my pants, stood on the cliff and felt philosophical for a while until I realised I was freezing.

Went home and ate some green things, followed by banana bread. Everything’s better when followed by banana bread.

Here’s a pic of my green juice this morning, it isn’t really anything to do with my blog post today but I just want to show you all how tasty my breakfast is.

20140213-194523.jpg

Tomorrow is my day off, time to PAAARRTAAAYYYY!! Or just take a bath with lavender essential oils. Either one.