recipes for healthy living

Tag: vegan

Summer Veg Carbonara

We are just back from a visit to Lake Garda, stunning scenery, amazing food and 12 days of work free bliss. I have a dream that some day I might spend more of my days enjoying La Dolce Far niente but in the meantime the memories of stunning scenery, delicious food, local markets as well as the extra few pounds and 23 mossie bites I brought home with me, live on.

The markets in Verona were full of courgettes and various other squash which inspired this recipe for a summer time carbonara. Use a gluten free pasta if you can as the flavour of the vegetables and the carbonara sauce more then mask the slightly sluggish taste of the pasta.


Summer vegetable carbonara
Serves 4-6
6 slices of pancetta cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 tbasp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
1 clove of garlic peeled chopped and mashed
8 oz courgette or other squash of choice cut into long slices about 2″ each
1 large red pepper deseeded and cut into long strips
4 oz mascarpone whipped and loosened with a further 4 tbsp olive oil
1oz Parmesan grated
1 lb Spaghetti or Linguine – preferable gluten free

Bring a large pan of well salted water to the boil.
Cook the pancetta over a medium heat until crisp about 5 minutes.
Pour off most of the fat which renders, add 2 tbsp oil and cook shallot and garlic until they soften about 5 minutes.
Add the peppers and courgette and cook, stirring occasionally until tender.
Season well, remove from the heat and keep warm.
Cook the pasta according to instructions until al dente.
Drain reserving some of the pasta water and put the pasta back into the pasta pot.
Add the peppers and courgette and gently mix toegher.
Add the mascarpone mix and using 2 large forks bring the pasta and veg through the mixture.
Add some of the reserved pasta water to loosen, add the grated Parmesan and bring to the table to serve.

Vanilla & Rapsberry Ice Cream – Dairy Free

This is the nicest ice cream recipe I have come up with yet. Making the creme anglaise rather than relying on blending nuts or other fruit meant that it had a far nicer creamer texture that feels like proper ice cream in your mouth. I used almond milk to make it and it worked really well. If you have other berries use them in place of the raspberries. My two at home are pretty hard to please but this was really popular (well I’m judging from the grunts as it was been eaten as my benchmark for satisfaction. Being able to offer Eva dairy ice cream with no dairy actually in it was a great feeling – everyone ate it and I didn’t even mention it was different from what can be bought in the shops.

dairy free raspberry ice cream

4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cornflour
1 3/4 cups scalded Almond Milk

250gr organic raspberries
4 tbsp framboise liqueur
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean

Put Raspberries into a pot with the liqueur and bring to the boil.
Take off the heat and leave to infuse until cool.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, or until very thick.
Reduce to low speed, and add the cornflour and beat until incorporated.
With the mixer still on low, slowly pour the hot milk into the eggs.
When fully incorporated, pour the custard mixture back into a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until thickened.
The mixture full be very light and airy at first but will gradually thicken and coat the spoon.
Keep the heat down low or the mixture will scramble and there is no recovery.

When cool, pour the sauce through a fine strainer and stir in the vanilla extract and vanilla seeds, if using.
Churn the mixture in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions until almost churned
Transfer to a plastic container and stir in the raspberries and liquid and place in the freezer until ready to serve.

Serve with some more fresh raspberries for a delicious creamy dairy free ice cream.

Dairy Free IceCream


Vegan Raspberry Chocolate Fudge Tart

Raspberry Fudge Tart II


No eggs, No sugar, No Flour, No butter….Can’t be a cake can it? Actually its a rather yummy one and very easy… Full of really healthy ingredients like walnuts, dates, avocado (YES Really!) and imagined up on a snowy day and all gone that night thanks to a very hungry husband. Quite similar to my raw chocolate cake from here but with a lovely raspberry flavour.

200gr walnuts
15 pitted dates
5 tbsp cocoa powder
5 drops chocolate bitters essence (optional)
5 tbsp coconut oil, softened at room temperature
100g raspberries

Chocolate Fudge topping
150gr good quality chocolate drops or a chopped chocolate bar
1/2 avocado
100gr raspberries

Oven at 160C

Blend the walnuts until like a rough flour
add the dates and pulse till combined
Add the cocoa powder, bitters and coconut oil and pulse a few more times
Tip into a bowl and add the raspberries and stir / lightly mash – you don’t want to completely mash the raspberries, just enough to combine
Tip into a spring form pan, flatten with an offset spatula and bake at 160C for about 20 minutes

Make the topping by melting the chocolate and leave to cool slightly before tipping into a blender with the avocado and raspberries and blend till lovely and fudgey
Spread over the cake, top with some more raspberries and leave to set
Lovely with some raspberry coulis from here or cream if you indulge.

Quick Cauliflower Soup Moroccan Style

For me roasted cauliflower is probably one of my favourite veggies, I love the taste of it straight out of the oven and could eat plates of it. So when I found a recipe for Cauliflower soup in Red Magazine, I starting thinking about how I could spice it up a bit to add a hit of heat and combine some of it roasted into the recipe. The result is this which I hope you enjoy, as well as the lovely flavor, you also get Vitamins C and B6, some Fibre, Folic acid as well as cancer protecting substances and anti bacterial compounds. Watch out for the cooking time as I think the trick with cauliflower is to make sure its not overcooked, apart from the impact on the vitamins & minerals, the flavour tends to dissipate and become a bit bland.

I made this on what turned out to be a really hot day – I had no idea the weather was going to be so nice, it is Ireland after all. It was still great despite the heat, I’m thinking about making more soups if I can put the mockers on soup weather and guarantee a bit more sun!.

Serves 4
1 large cauliflower cut into small florets (reserve 3 florets to one side)
1 tsp each of cinnamon, ground cumin and coriander
1 tbsp harissa paste and more to serve
1 litre of vegetable stock
50 gr flaked almonds

Thinly slice the reserved florets and place them on a tray and into the oven to roast for about 8 minutes until golden brown. Set aside until you are serving the soup.
Toast the flaked almonds for about 5 minutes until golden and reserve 4 tsps for serving.
Heat a tbsp of oil in a saucepan and fry the spices and harissa paste for about 2 minutes until the flavour is released and the paste is cooked.
Add the cauliflower florets and toss to coat.
Add the stock and flaked almonds, bring to the boil and turn down to a gentle simmer until the cauliflower is just cooked – about 15 minutes.
Blend until smooth and serve with a topping of the roasted cauliflower florets, some extra almonds and a drizzle of harissa paste if you want even more heat.

Raw Chocolate Bars


Lucuma is a flavored tropical fruit native to Peru. I’ve not seen the fruit much here in Ireland but have been reading up on its use as a replacement sweetener for baking, Having ordered it some time ago from i-herb, I have been busy trying out some recipes –  as a sugar replacement, it is considered superior to sugar, being an excellent source of  fibre, vitamins and minerals. It has lots of beta-carotene, niacin (B3) and iron. In my opinion, it is also better than agave syrup which I don’t like using due to its fructose composition – actually I would rather use sugar. The Lucuma I used is raw, vegan and organically certified. Tastewise it tastes quite creamy, not floury as you would expect tasting it raw and it also has a reasonable base sweetness but not the obvious sweetness of sugar.

I used it to make these raw chocolate bars and they are delicious and easy to make:-

Raw Chocolate Bars

For the base
200g mixed nuts including brazils, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts
1 tsp pink Himalayan salt, or any other good-quality salt
150g dates, stoned and chopped

For the filling
2 medium sized ripe avocados
80g coconut oil
1 vanilla pods, seeds only or 1 tsp vanilla extract
100gr 70% Dark Chocolate
3 tbsp cocoa
3 heaped tbsp Lucuma powder – If you cant get this, I suggest you use 40gr coconut palm sugar)
Pinch of salt

Line a tin approximately 6 by 10″ with cling film overlapping the edges so you can pull it out.
Blend the nuts and dates until you have a crumby mixture which is a bit sticky.
Press into the base of the tin and put into the fridge to set
For the filling, blend everything together until really smooth – I suggest you blend for at least 5 minutes for a lovely glossy mixture then pour onto the base.
Leave to set in the fridge for a couple of hours and cut into fingers and enjoy.


%d bloggers like this: