Treats & Snacks

WFH PrOat Bars (haute bars?)

Heard of hemp protein? It comes from the same plant species as marijuana, but hemp is entirely legal and non-psychoactive. Sorry. My childer have it in their smoothies and these lunchbox proat bars. Proats (protein & oats) are simple to make, cheap, highly nutritious and crazygorgeoustasty.

Hemp protein powder contains all 8 essential amino acids to give it bragging rights in the plant kingdom, as well as a nice dose of omega-3 and iron. Omega-3 fats are important for gym bunnies as they help quench inflammatory markers and heal bruised tissue. More importantly, omega-3 fats feed your brain and not your waistline. We like.

Hemp’s rich store of iron is responsible for helping oxygen to Access All Areas and make you feel like a backing dancer for Beyoncé. Spinach pales in comparison – tough luck Popeye.

And finally, a word on flax seed. They help your pipes. A lot. And offer another round of omega-3 artillery.

Use whatever protein powder you have – I won’t mind. Much.

To make 8 bars:

80g oats

2 tablespoons hemp protein powder (or more oats)

3 tablespoons milled flaxseed

3-4 tablespoons maple or rice syrup

5 tablespoons runny tahini

Generous flurry of flaky salt

1 In a food processor or blender, blitz the oats and protein powder (if using) into a fine flour.

2 Tumble into a large bowl with the remaining ingredients and mash together with a fork and muscle. If your oats soak up all the liquid straight away, it’s worth adding another splash of tahini or syrup. Both the oats and the flax need liquid to make them more digestible. And if your tahini is super thick, you might benefit from adding another drop.

3 Line a loaf tin with parchment, and squash the mixture down. Freeze for 30 minutes, before cutting into bars and storing in the fridge. We love drizzling chocolate over ours, or extra sea salt. Serve them to moody teens or sporting nuts, and watch them prostrate your genius.

Salads & Suppers

Vegetarian Scallops

King oyster scallops make a dazzling alternative to turkey for any vegetarians in your orbit this Yule. Takes a mere 3 minutes to whip up from start to finish. So this recipe might just save Christmas (and your adrenal glands)!

Mushrooms are humming with beta-glucans. These nifty compounds do sha-mazing things for our bodies. They help lower cholesterol by forming a viscous gel that grabs excess cholesterol and moves it through your digestive tract much like La Cucaracha. Beta-glucans also slow down digestion, which in turn stabilizes blood sugar levels and minimizes the release of insulin or fangs (as conducted by my own scientific experiment).

Quite apart from their nutritional kudos, these mushroom scallops taste crazy-good. Hope they find a plate near you.


6 king oyster mushrooms

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons ghee, butter or olive oil


Remove the mushroom stems from their caps. Keep the caps for another use (soup, stir fry, pickle, stock).

Slice each stem into 4 thick discs, resembling scallops. You can score each ‘scallop’ crisscrossing their diameter on each side if you fancy. This will help grab more flavour when they hit the pan, but is not integral to the recipe.

Massage the smoked paprika, salt and olive oil into the shroom scallops.

Heat a large sauté pan, cast iron griddle or frying pan over medium-high heat. Tip in the butter, ghee or olive oil. Wait until it’s hot enough to hear gentle sizzling noises when you swirl the pan.

Now pop in a few of your shroom scallops, being mindful not to overcrowd the pan and cause the poor chaps to sweat rather than sear.  Colour on both sides. Basting the hot ghee or butter over the scallops will help prevent the fat from burning, and quickly colour your scallops. When both sides are golden brown, remove and add the next batch, doting the pan with fresh butter. Repeat until all the scallops are done.

Serve hot with pureed parsnip or sweet potato. Gorgeous.

x For Freezer x

Warm Chickpea Summer Salad

The trillions of microflora that can be found in the gut play an essential role in supporting strong immune and digestive systems. At any one time, your gut can contain 1.5kg of bacteria. Giving them some TLC is pretty darn important in my experience, especially if you’ve had a recent course of antibiotics. I’ve joined forces with Bio Kult, bringing you a fibre-rich recipe to pimp up your pipes (see cookery demo at the bottom of this post) .

Fibre is a good source of fuel to get the party started for your gut’s metropolis of microflora. That, and a good serving of natural yoghurt on top. If you’re interested in learning more about the brilliance of our very own internal ecosystem, then I highly recommend Gut by Giulia Enders from your local book store. It’s so incredibly witty, intelligent and informative. Plus, it might just change your life.

Serves 6-8 as mains or side dish

2 tablespoons butter, ghee or olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
2 large onions, diced
6 fat cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 fat thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and minced
1 tin chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons ground curry powder
2 tins chickpeas
500g rainbow chard, baby spinach or cavolo nero, sliced
Natural yoghurt, to serve

.

Heat the butter over a hot flame and tumble in your cumin and mustard seeds. As soon as they start to pop (30 seconds), turn down the heat and add the onion. Sweat for 10 mins until softened before adding the garlic and ginger. Cook and stir for another 3-5 minutes until the onions have caramelised and before the garlic burns. Pour in the tin of tomatoes and cook down for 5 minutes until thick (see video above).

Parachute in the curry powder, sliced greens, and the drained chickpeas. You can loosen up the dish by adding a little chickpea juice from the tin. The greens need a few minutes to wilt down into the dish. Cook for a further 5 minutes before seasoning, plating up, and serving with poppadoms or rice and natural yoghurt.