Raw Millionaire’s Shortbread

Another great raw treat which is also great for pre and post workout food. I took this to the gym with me and about 15 people tried it seemed very impressed.

I first heard of this delight at a vegan potluck when my friend’s daughter Amy made a batch. Her’s were much more eye pleasing and tasted just as good. Unfortunately I don’t think I’m ever going to be good at making food look professional, but I’m learning with time.

Biscuit Base

Ingredients:

  • A large handful of dates
  • A large cup of almonds (preferably soaked for 12 hours and then rinsed)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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Method:

Grind all ingredients in a blender until the mixture is sticky and has the consistency of crushed digestive biscuits (similar to a traditional cheesecake base). Grease a dish with coconut oil and then press the mixture into the dish, packing it tight.

Caramel Layer

Ingredients:

  • Half a  jar of light tahini
  • Half a small bottle of maple syrup
  • Two tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1tsp vanilla extract

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Chocolate Topping

Method:

Blend all ingredients until smooth and then pour over the “Biscuit” base. Put dish in freezer for around 15-20 minutes to allow the “caramel” to set.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp raw cacao (or unsugared coco powder)
  • 2 tbsp agave syrup
  • 3 tsp coconut oil

Method:

Simply put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix by hand. The mixture starts to set quite quickly, so it is a good idea to put the bowl inside a larger bowl filled with hot water to keep it soft. Once your “caramel” has set, pour the chocolate on top spreading it evenly and then return your shortbread to the freezer to set. Once the chocolate is hard, remove your Healthy Millionaires Shortbread from the freezer, cut in to squares and serve!

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Raw Coconut & Date Cookies

These cookies were a hit with everyone who ate them and we will definitely be making them again. They are stocked full of good carbs such as dates and bananas, so they are great to eat about an hour before exercise. They are also jam packed with protein from the flax and pumpkin seeds. Combine that with the good carbs and you also have a great post workout snack too, or you can just have them as a cheeky dessert.

We decided to make these cookies raw because we love raw food. It’s always so full of flavour and the health benefits are enormous. For example when you cook food, you denature (destroy) the enzymes contained within that food, some of which are very beneficial to your health. Also with green vegetables, the vitamins and minerals contained within them tend to be water soluble, so if you cook them in water you will lose a lot of nutrition. (Personally I prefer to roast, dehydrate or eat all of my veg raw.)

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas.

A large handful of pumpkin seeds, chopped coarsely.

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200 grams of milled flax seed.

200 grams of shredded, unsweetened coconut.

8 dates, chopped and depitted. (We buy ours with the pits already removed.)

3/4 bottle of agave nectar

2 tsp. cinnamon

Method:

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients. We used a potato masher. Be patient with this because it can take a while to get to the right consistency. It was a workout making these cookies in the first place.

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Make into cookie shapes and place on grease proof paper on a dehydrator tray. (If you don’t have a dehydrator you can now choose to bake for 15 minutes or you can eat them just as the dough.)

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Dehydrate for approximately 15 hours if you want them to still be slightly soft and gooey inside.

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Thai Green Curry

Thai green curry is a favourite in our household. It’s full of flavour, protein, greens and it can be served with rice or a salad depending on the time of day. (I try and get most of my carbohydrates in before lunch so I can burn them off at the gym in the evening.)

There are three elements to this dish. The curry itself, the sides and the paste. This recipe uses a paste which has been created from scratch. If you choose to buy a jar of ready-made green paste, be careful because some brands contain lots of extras like refined white sugar and even shellfish.

Paste Ingredients:

1 stalk lemongrass, thinly sliced, OR 3 Tbsp. frozen prepared lemongrass

1/4 can coconut milk

1-3 Thai green chilies OR jalapeno

1 large bunch chopped coriander leaves & stems

1 shallot, chopped

4-5 cloves garlic

1 thumb-size piece ginger, sliced

1 Tbsp. soy sauce

2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. ground white pepper (available in most supermarket spice aisles)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

Side Ingredients:

A handful of alfalfa/radish sprouts

1 carrot

1 courgette

White rice

A sprinkle of fresh or dried coriander

Curry Ingredients:

1 + 1/2 cups medium-firm tofu, cubed, OR canned chickpeas (your choice)

1 green bell pepper, chopped into bite-size pieces

1 packet of chopped green beans

3/4 can coconut milk

250ml vegetable stock

A generous sprinkle of basil

Method:

1)      Place all ‘paste’ ingredients in a food processor or blender and blitz to create a fragrant green curry paste.

2)      Place a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add all the green curry paste you just made. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance.

3)      Add the tofu or chickpeas. Stir-fry until well saturated with sauce.

4)      Add the stock. Stir and reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer 5 minutes.

5)      Add the coconut milk, plus vegetables and continue simmering 5-7 minutes, or until softened. Then turn the heat to the lowest setting and allow the flavours to infuse.

6)      In the meantime, place your preferred amount of white rice into a pan of boiling water and follow the cooking instructions on the back of the pack. Drain and mix with some chopped coriander.

7)      Place your sprouts on the plate.

8)      Grate the carrot and courgette into strips. (I used the blender grater function for this to save time.)

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9)      To get them into nice balls, place them into a small bowl and place upside down on the plate. Remove and they will stay in place. The same applies to the rice if you wish.

10)   Now it’s time to plate up the curry and enjoy!

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Amico Bio Holborn

For Mykey’s birthday I decided to take him out for dinner. His favourite food is Italian so Amico Bio was an obvious choice. The restaurant itself was really easy to find and was very close to Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. We had a lovely seat near the window and the restaurant itself was very homely and well decorated.

To start with we had some red wine. It was very full bodied and had a slightly sour taste to offset the berries. Unfortunately I can’t remember which one it was on the menu. What I do remember is that Mykey said it was one of the tastiest red wines he has ever had. This makes for a happy Emzy! 🙂

We did not have to wait very long for our starters. I had a tomato and basil soup with crunchy croutons and Mykey had bruschetta al pomodoro i.e tomato bruschetta. Us being us, we tried each others. Mine was incredibly fresh, like they had just blended it right then. You could taste the basil for once, unlike most tomato and basil soups I’ve had. The tomato bruschetta was crunchy, crisp and fresh with a hint of extra virgin olive oil on the bread.

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For our main course I ordered risotto integrale del giorno i.e wholemeal risotto of the day which was asparagus. Mykey ordered pizza of the day which was vegan buffalo mozzarella and tomato. Both were freshly made again, but we didn’t have a very long wait between courses. The pizza was authentic Italian: thin, crispy and full of flavour. The risotto needed a little bit of salt and pepper, but other than that it too was delicious and very filling.

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We took so long talking about food and having a good time, the clock ticked far faster than we had anticipated and we didn’t have time for dessert due to a certain Killswitch Engage gig, but it would have been a vegan cheese board. Yes you heard that right! We will definitely be going back again and will definitely be having that cheese board.

The whole meal including drinks cost £40 which is very reasonable for a central London location. I’d give this restaurant a 8/10 only because of the need for seasoning on my main and it needed a few more vegan options on it’s 100% vegetarian menu.

http://www.amicobio.co.uk/Food-Menu

Everyday Chickpea & Quinoa Salad

The British summer is finally upon us and what do you need on a hot summer’s lunchtime or evening? A light, refreshing but filling and healthy salad. I got this recipe from, “Appetite for Reduction.” It is written by the guys who wrote Veganomicon and all the recipes contain less than 450 calories each. So it’s a great book if you’re working on a calorie deficit which you should be if you’re trying to lose weight and body fat.

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Ingredients: Salad

2 big handfuls of quinoa that you have already pre-cooked in boiling water for 20 minutes, drained and allowed to cool. (To make this raw you could use sprouted quinoa.)

1 small red onion, sliced thinly.

1/2 a romaine lettuce, chopped however you like.

1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed. (To make this raw you could use sprouted chick peas.)

Ingredients: Dressing

A large handful of cashew nuts. (The non-flavoured or salted kind.)

A large shallot, chopped finely.

A dash of balsamic vinegar.

2 teaspoons of dijon mustard.

1 teaspoon agave nectar

A pinch of sea salt.

Method:

In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the salad ingredients together and leave to one side.

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Then place the cashews and shallot into a food processor and pulse on and off  to get them chopped up quite finely.

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Add the rest of the dressing ingredients and pulse on and off for a couple of minutes until you have a type of paste to pour on top.

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Then eat your delicious salad which is only 375 calories and has 17g of protein. Get in!

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