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Pumpkin & Ginger Soup

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pumpkin soup

Here is a tasty pumpkin&ginger soup recipe, great all autumn long, not only for Halloween.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1 kg pumpkin
  • 2 shallots
  • 75 g ginger
  • a few sprigs of fresh herbs , such as chives, mint
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 litre organic vegetable stock
  • 125 ml coconut milk , plus extra to serve
  • ½ tablespoon chilli powder
  • 1 lime

Preparation:

  1. Deseed and roughly chop the pumpkin, peel and chop the shallots, then peel and finely grate the ginger. Pick and finely chop the herbs.
  2. Place the pumpkin, shallots, ginger and some oil in a large saucepan and sauté until soft.
  3. Add the stock, coconut milk and chilli powder. Season, then bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes.
  4. Blitz in a food processor then serve with the fresh herbs, lime juice and a splash of coconut milk.

Bon appétit!

Vegetable Spagetti

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spagetti

A great alternative to traditional pastas and they have the added benefit if being nutrient dense as well as being gluten free. There are no nasties, just the good vegetables and a healthy dose of fibres, vitamins and minerals.

Wholewheat pasta contains more than twice the fibre of white refined pasta, so is always a great switch to make – not only will it keep you feeling fuller for longer, it’ll give you a more sustained level of energy.

Ingredients

  • 50g dried green lentils
  • olive oil
  • 10g dried porcini
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 50ml red wine , (optional)
  • 1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 160g wholewheat spaghetti
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 40g breadcrumbs
  • 20g Italian hard cheese

Preparation:

  1. Tip the lentils into a small saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain, return to the pan and season lightly with sea salt, black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
  2. Meanwhile, place the porcini into a small bowl, just cover with boiling water and leave to rehydrate.
  3. Peel the onion and garlic, trim the celery and finely chop together. Pick and finely chop the rosemary leaves.
  4. Heat a splash of olive oil in a medium pan over a medium-low heat, add the chopped veg, bay and rosemary, then cook gently with a lid on for 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  5. Turn the heat up to medium-high, pour in the red wine (if using), then leave to bubble and cook away.
  6. Finely chop the porcini and add to the pan, along with the soaking water, leaving any gritty bits behind.
  7. Tip in the tomatoes, breaking them up with a spoon as you go, then add half a tin’s worth of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a medium-low heat and cook for 10 minutes, adding the lentils as soon as they’re drained and ready.
  8. Cook the spaghetti in a pan of boiling salted water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente, which means that it should be soft enough to eat, but still have a bit of bite and firmness to it.
  9. Pick the thyme leaves into a bowl, add the breadcrumbs and ½ a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, then toss to coat. Toast in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until lightly golden, stirring regularly.
  10. Remove the bay leaf and mash the sauce gently with a potato masher, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
  11. Scoop out and reserve a cupful of the pasta cooking water, then drain the spaghetti and tip back into the pan. Add the sauce and mix together, loosening with splashes of cooking water, if needed.
  12. Divide between your bowls, sprinkle with the herby breadcrumbs, grate over the cheese and serve.

Creamed Spinach

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What can be better than a side of creamy, nutmeg-infused spinach?

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 1 kg frozen chopped spinach
  • 100 g unsalted butter , (cold)
  • 100 g Cheddar cheese
  • 100 g plain flour
  • 100 g rolled oats
  • 250 ml crème fraîche

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  2. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic, then place in a large frying pan on a low heat with 2 tablespoons of oil and the oregano.
  3. Finely grate in half the nutmeg and fry gently for 10 minutes, or until soft but not coloured, stirring regularly.
  4. Add the spinach, turn the heat up to medium and cook down for 15 to 20 minutes, or until any liquid has evaporated.
  5. Meanwhile, roughly chop the cold butter, grate the cheese and place in a food processor with the flour, oats and a pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Pulse into a nice crumble texture (or rub together by hand), then remove to a plate.
  6. Put the cooked spinach mixture into the processor (there’s no need to clean it), then add the crème fraîche and blitz for 1 minute.
  7. Taste and season to perfection, then tip evenly into a baking dish (20cm x 30cm). Sprinkle over the crumble and bake for around 45 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

3 Recipes Kids Love

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Making cookies, cakes, pinwheels, muffins and ice blocks are firm favourites in our house. But have you ever stopped to consider what you child is learning while they’re helping you in the kitchen? It’s probably more than you think.

Many teachers are integrating kitchen garden programs and cooking activities into their curriculum because there are so many educational benefits across a variety of learning areas. 

French Bread Pizzas

  • French bread pizza is so easy to make because you use store bought French bread as the pizza crust. You don’t have to make homemade pizza dough.
  • To make the French bread pizza, sliced a loaf of French bread in half, lengthwise, and top it with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and your favorite toppings. Josh used sausage, caramelized onions, and roasted red peppers for this pizza. The joy of making French bread pizza? You can use whatever toppings you want! Feel free to add mushrooms, spinach, artichokes, pepperoni, pineapple, fresh basil, tomatoes, whatever pizza toppings you love!
  • Bake the pizza until the cheese is melted. Slice the French bread pizza and serve warm. Kids and adults love this easy pizza recipe! It is perfect for busy weeknight dinners or easy entertaining.

Set up a toppings bar and let little ones customize their own creations.

Pecan Sugar Cookies with Sprinkles

Basic pecan shortbread cookies made with just butter, sugar, flour, vanilla extract, and finely ground toasted pecans. Great recipe for the holidays – Christmas and New Year’s Eve. 

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 oz unsalted butter , room temperature
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup pecans , toasted, finely ground
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Toast pecans at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 5 minutes. Watch carefully to make sure they don’t burn – they burn easily. Cool them off completely. 
  2. To make finely ground nuts, place toasted pecans into food processor and process until finely ground.

How to make pecan shortbread cookie dough:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter, sugar until creamy. Add vanilla and continue beating. 
  2. Add 1/2 cup finely ground pecans and beat to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine flour and salt, then add mixed flour and salt to the creamy butter-sugar mixture. Do not overmix, just enough to combine all ingredients and form a cookie dough.

How to shape cookie dough:

  1. Shape dough into 4 logs of different thickness (to make cookies of different radius – large and small). 
  2. Wrap each log in plastic wrap and put wrapped cookie dough in the freezer for 30 minutes, then in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

How to bake pecan shortbread cookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 Fahrenheit. 
  2. After cookie dough has been in the freezer and in the refrigerator, unwrap plastic and slice each log into thin cookie slices. 
  3. Place cookie slices on parchment-lined ungreased baking sheet, spacing 1 inch apart. 
  4. Bake for about 15 minutes, don’t let the cookies get brown. 
  5. After about 15 minutes of baking, transfer cookies to wire rack to cool.

Watermelon and Berry Fruit Salad

One of the Best Vegan Lasagnas

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Tofu-cashew ricotta, red lentil marinara and loads of fresh spinach, this lasagna is protein packed with 26 grams per serving and is sure to satisfy!

Ingredients for 4 servings:

1 cup dried red lentils
(2) 25-ounce jars marinara sauce
1 cup raw cashews
16 ounce firm tofu, patted dry with paper towels
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, from about 2 lemons
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
2-3 cups baby spinach
1 box lasagna noodles, whole grain or gluten free if needed
Double recipe Easy Vegan Mozzarella Cheese

Preparation:

  1. First, cook your red lentils. Add 1 cup dried red lentils and 3 cups of water to a medium pot. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Drain the lentils in a fine strainer, and then add to a large bowl. Add both jars of marinara to the bowl with the lentils and mix to combine. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Make the Cashew-Tofu Ricotta: Add the cashews to a food processor and process until fine and crumbly. Then add the tofu in chunks, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, salt, basil, oregano and garlic powder to the food processor. Pulse until well combined and pretty smooth.
  4. Assembling the lasagna: Add about 1 cup of marinara sauce to the bottom of a large 9 x 13 inch casserole dish or lasagna pan. Spread it around evenly. Next add 4-5 lasagna noodles (uncooked). Spread half of the Cashew-Tofu Ricotta on top of the noodles. Top with half of the spinach. Add about 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the spinach, then place 4-5 lasagna noodles on top. Spread the rest of the Ricotta over the noodles, then the rest of the spinach. Place 4-5 more noodles on top of the spinach, and then pour the rest of the sauce over the top, evenly.
  5. Cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour. Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving. (see below if using optional mozzarella topping)
  6. While the lasagna is cooking, make your Vegan Mozzarella Cheese, if using.
  7. If using the mozzarella topping, simply remove the lasagna after 40 minutes of cooking in the oven. Spoon on the mozzarella, and pop it back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Remove, let cool for at least 15 minutes and serve.

Wild Rice Salad

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Whether you call it a salad, a dressing, or a stuffing, this wild rice side dish is a perfect addition to any dinner.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 400 g mixed rice, such as Camargue, wild, long-grain
  • 150 g mixed nuts
  • ½ a bunch of fresh basil , (15g)
  • ½ a bunch of fresh mint , (15g)
  • 75 g dried apricots
  • extra virgin olive oil

Preparation:

  1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions until tender. Drain, then allow to cool.
  2. Roughly chop the mixed nuts, pick and roughly chop the basil and mint leaves, then roughly chop the apricots.
  3. Combine with the rice, season with sea salt and black pepper, then drizzle with oil. Serve with grilled meat or fish.

Spicy fish soup with udon noodles

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The original recipe is spicy, but you can adapt it the way you prefer!

Ingredients for 4 servings:

200 gr. (7 oz.) of salmon
150 gr. (5,3 oz.) of shrimps (already cleaned)
200 gr. (7 oz.) of udon noodles
500 ml. (16,9 fl.oz.) of vegetable broth
4 spring onions
2 pak choi cabbages
1/4 of red onion
1 tsp. of chopped ginger
1 tsp. of tom yum spice paste
1 tsp. of spicy chili paste
1 tbsp. of soy sauce
25 ml. of extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. of sesame oil
juice of half lime
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

1.In a wok brown the finely chopped onions with few tbsp. of olive oil and chopped ginger. Add tom yum spice paste, sesame oil and spicy chili paste. Mix everything with a wooden spoon and cook over high heat for few minutes.
2.Add diced salmon and shrimps, lower the heat and cook everything for approx. 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then add the pak choi cabbages cut into strips and gradually pour the broth letting everything boil for approx. 30 minutes.
3.Boil the noodles for 2 minutes in a pot with salted boiling water. When ready, drain them and put them in the fish soup. Cook for another minute adding the lime juice a little salt and a pinch of black pepper to taste.
4.Serve with a few slices of raw red onion and a bit of chopped parsley (optional).

Bon appétit!

Colorful Stuffed Chicken

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Cooking chicken may be sometimes boring, but this recipe is the opposite of boring, flavorless chicken breast. It’s literally packed with colorful flavor. Bonus: It tastes great!

Ingredients for 4 servings:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced into half-moons
3 medium tomatoes, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
2 yellow bell peppers, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 c. shredded mozzarella
Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 400°. Make slits in each chicken breast, being careful not to cut through completely, and stuff with zucchini, tomatoes, bell peppers, and red onion.
  • Drizzle with oil and season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with mozzarella.
  • Bake until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink inside, 25 minutes.
  • Garnish with parsley before serving.

Bon appétit!

Grocery Tips to Make Your Food Last Longer

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Throwing away food isn’t just wasteful — it’s also hurting our planet.

It might not seem like you’re wasting all that much, but it adds up.  That’s why we propose you several hacks to help you keep the fruits and vegetables fresh for more time.

Did you know you make your bananas ripen more slowly with this plastic wrap trick?

What you need:

A bunch of bananas

Plastic wrap

Instructions:

1. Cut a long, thin strip of plastic wrap.

2. Wrap it around the crown of the banana bunch.

3. Store on the counter top.

Vinegar is your ally when you want to keep your berries fresh

What you need:

Fresh berries

1/2 cup of white or apple cider vinegar

5 cups of water

A large bowl

Instructions:

1. Put the berries into a bowl, then add your vinegar and water.

2. Mix thoroughly, then drain the berries and let them dry completely.

3. Store in the fridge

Left-over salad? Keep it fresh for later!

fresh grocery

What you need:

Fresh greens

Paper towels

Plastic wrap

Container

Instructions:

1. Wash and dry your greens thoroughly, then place them in a bowl.

2. Layer paper towel on top of your greens, then seal tightly with plastic wrap.

3. Store in the refrigerator.

4. Replace the paper towel throughout the week as it becomes damp (it’s absorbing moisture from the greens!).

You can even store asparagus, cilantro, or parsley in the fridge for longer with this easy method

fresh grocery

What you need:

One bunch of asparagus, cilantro, and/or parsley

Instructions:

1. Trim 1 inch off the bottom of the stem of the asparagus or herbs.

2. Fill wide mouth jar or container with 2 inches of cool, filtered water and place the asparagus/herbs in the jar.

3. Cover the jar with a plastic bag and store in the fridge.

Enjoy your grocery for longer and save the planet!

Romantic Molten Lava Brownie

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Romantic brownie cake

Are you in love and you want to show your dear one just how much you care about him?

Here is a romantic recipe that will surely impress: Molten Lava Brownie

Ingredients for 2 servings

  • 1 box brownie mix, prepared according to package instructions
  • cooking spray
  • 4 chocolate truffles
  • mixed berries, to serve
  • mint, to garnish
  • ice cream, to serve
  • chocolate sauce, to serve, optional

Preparation

  1. In a large bowl, prepare the brownie mix.
  2. Spray 2 ramekins with the cooking spray.
  3. Place a spoonful of the brownie batter into each ramekin, then place two chocolate truffles in each dish.
  4. Spoon more brownie batter over the top of the truffles, until the ramekin is about ¾-full. Smooth the batter evenly over the truffles.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, then cool for another 25 minutes.
  6. On the serving plate, place the berries and the mint in a corner.
  7. To ensure that the brownie comes loose, run a knife around the edges of each ramekin before inverting the dish onto the center of each plate.
  8. Serve with ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
  9. Bon appétit!