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Breakfast, Lunchbox, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw

Vegan Plant-Powered Waffles

Be good to your body. You’re the one who has to live in it. Convenience foods aren’t designed to keep you alive in the long term. We now know these products make you fat and ill. Erm, what’s convenient about that? As Bill Murray observed, whoever snuck the ‘s’ into fast food is a clever little bastard.

The month of January has a peculiar Pavlovian effect on us homo sapiens. Counting calories becomes an acceptable form of penance, like compulsively listening to Liveline. It’s pointless! Hear me out. Nine calories from fat will make you feel fuller for longer. It’s that tickety boo feeling you get from avocado on toast, that makes you feel like a supped-up Pokemon, right? But nine calories from sugar will be burned up much quicker, and have you snacking straight away like an Angry Bird on acid. Discovering the difference between feeling like a superhero, or a demented cartoon character, was a pretty special moment for my bod.

Choosing food on the basis of only calorie intake is about as useful as choosing your life partner on how quickly they can cycle. It might come in handy, on a very special occasion. But for day-to-day well being both physically and emotionally, it’s pretty much useless. Am I making much sense?

 

what-does-lucuma-look-like

 

I reckon a healthy diet is not about restriction – it’s about inclusion. When you start including loads of new flavours and wholefoods into your kitchen, your health will start to look after itself without the coercion of a draconian diet. Yes, you might lose a few pounds on a calorie-controlled diet – but most of that will be personality. So let’s start recruiting kickass ingredients to rock your kitchen in 2017.

 

Chestnut Waffles

1 cup chestnut flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of flaky sea salt
1 scoop protein powder or oat bran or wheatgerm (entirely optional)
2 & ¼ cups plant-powered milk such as oat’s milk
1/2 cup apple puree
4 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil or butter, melted
Good squeeze of lemon

 

Combine all the dry ingredients into one bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients into a separate bowl. Now add the first to the second, belting out any lumps from the mixture. Leave overnight in the fridge. Alternatively, you can fire ahead straight away but the flours do benefit from a little settling.

Pour ½ cup’s worth (around 125ml) in the centre of your preheated waffle maker. Cook according to your manufacturers guidelines, but preferably on the low side. This is usually 2 minutes on my Sage waffle maker, until the machine beeps.

These waffles are amazing with a poached egg, or sandwiched together with almond butter.

 

 

In other news…. I got to talk Michael Fassbender, Michelle Obama, tweezer fetishes and former fiancés to NYC’s Newswhistle. Very groovy! You can read the interview here.

demo the virtuous tart

Breakfast, Lunchbox, Sides, Vegan &/or Raw, x For Freezer x

Umami Grenade – nori paste

Ocean vegetables are the Biggest Thing since Ron Burgundy’s sideburns.

Calling them ocean veg is, of course, diplomatic speak for seaweed. We Irish seem to think seaweed is only useful for deflecting annoying children on the beach. In fact, seaweed is full of anti-aging love bombs and disease-fighting lignans. But you already knew that, right?

So why don’t you eat more of it? I understand. It’s hard to get your head around those slimy straps of ominous weed. But I bet you horse into it at your local sushi bar, eh?! Yes – that shiny green wrapper cavorting on your sushi roll is called nori; the most popular form of seaweed in the West.

nori-paste

 

Nori is ace. One serving of this Japanese nori paste will give you just under half the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of iron. No iron, no mojo. Women in particular need more of this blood building mineral. Not saying why.

Both nori, and its brothers and sisters in the ocean veg world, deliver a cargo of calcium for strong bones. Not worried about your bones? You should be, especially if you’re female. One in four Irish women will suffer an osteoporotic fracture in their lifetime. That number jumps to one in every two women, over fifty. it’s a serious problem, one that, admittedly, ocean veg ain’t gonna solve. But think of it as artillery, along with weight bearing exercise like pilates which bones love.

At a recent Irish Osteoporosis Society annual meeting, speakers addressed Ireland’s unique problem. We have one of the highest fracture rates in the world. So eating dairy is definitely not curing the calcium conundrum. Clearly it’s more complex than scarfing into cheese. Our levels of vitamin D are intimately linked to calcium’s absorption, so I vote serving this calcium-rich nori paste with mackerel, high in vitamin D.

 

nori-paste-japanese

Nori Paste

This nori paste is a game changer, and will have your synapses doing somersaults. I now bestow this recipe upon you, with deference to my food crush Katie Sanderson. Hallowed be the paste. I hope it has you frolicking on the dance floor well into your nineties, and lepping after lovers.

 

10 sheets of nori
2 tablespoons coconut sugar or palm sugar
1-2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soya sauce
100ml (3.5 floz) water

 

Using a scissors, roughly chomp the nori sheets into bite sized pieces. Migrate to a saucepan, and add your choice of natural sugar, some brown rice vinegar and the soya sauce. If you are coeliac, you can find wheat-free soya sauce called tamari which will work beautifully. Leave everything to chillax for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, cook on a gentle heat with 100ml (3.5 floz) water. Remove from heat after 10 minutes, or when the nori collapses into a paste. Store in an air tight jar once cooled, and keep for up to 7 days in the fridge. Indecently tasty stuff.

 

 

 

Lunchbox, Treats & Snacks, Vegan &/or Raw, x For Freezer x

Back-to-School Bonbons

Nut-free bonbons for your little chap’s lunchbox.

A total game changer for their dimples and their diet.

 

back to school recipes

 

I made these at Electric Picnic last weekend, and used them as currency into the VIP porter-loos (oxymoron?) Must is a great master.

Those of you who didn’t manage to get your mitts on my cookbook at EP, my publishers have promised to give you 20% off online orders with free postage & packaging ANYWHERE in Ireland. Groovy, eh? Think of it as a highfive for your health.

Just use the code … EP2016 … when checking out. The special offer for The Virtuous Tart cookbook link is here. And also here for The Extra Virgin Kitchen paperback.

Much love to your pots and pans,

SJ x

 

 

ENERGY GRENADES

Makes 30

 

 

1 & ½ cup squidgy medjool dates

Nearly 1 cup of Linwood’s milled sunflower & pumpkin seeds (or use a coffee grinder to mill the seeds yourself)

3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil

1 tablespoon spirulina or wheatgrass powder

4 tablespoons raw cacao or cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon real peppermint extract

Sea salt (for adults)   

 

 

 

Belt everything in a food processor (not a blender) until it forms a dough ball. Pinch a small blob off, and roll between your fingertips into a chocolate bonbon. You’ll get about 30 of these.

Chill until set. They also keep really well in the freezer, for lunchboxes later in the month.