Roasted Vegetables

Just a few years ago, having vegetables on the side would have been something your kids might squirm about. They’d be reluctant to eat whatever green stuff that was. It wasn’t sweet and that meant they didn’t care for it.

Fast-forward to 2020 and voila! Everybody’s a vegan....well, at least for Veganuary. No worries. Whether you’re actually vegan, trying it out for a month of two, or simply eating more vegetables to spruce up your diet, this roasted vegetables recipe is yours to keep. Trust me when I say, the kids will love it too!

As with any recipe you can feel free to tweak it where the spices are concerned. I’ve outlined a basic way to spice these veggies up, but you can add your own mixes to make it taste the way you like.

Raw veggies (prepped) with Caribbean (macaroni) pie in the background

Roasted Vegetables

  • Prep time: 3mins
  • Total time: 23mins
    Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Sides/ Vegan/Quick recipes/ Lunch
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 carrots
    2tbsp olive oil
  • 1tbsp garlic seasoning
  • 1tbsp Moroccan/Mediterranean spice mix
  • 1tsp salt
  • Optional:
  • 10 baby plum tomatoes
  • Olives for topping
  • Feta for topping
  • Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Chop cauliflower and broccoli into chunks (slice from stem, not from florets)
  • Slice carrots
    Place on baking tray
  • Pour oil and seasoning and toss till coated
  • Place in oven and bake for 20mins or until tender.

Sugar-Free Fruit Cake

Yes, you read the title correctly....a SUGAR FREE FRUIT CAKE! A sugar-free cake! As in a cake without creamed butter and sugar. A cake without a cup or two of that brown or white powdered stuff. Lol. Yes! Yes! And yes!

This cake is so simple that you can share the making process with your little ones (if you have any). Or simply impress guests with your skills by whipping up a cake for brunch or dessert in 30mins! They won’t be able to tell if you’re a newbie or a professional chef.

Prep time: 10mins

Total time: 45mins

Yield: 1 small cake

Category: Dessert


Ingredients:

1 cup Medjool dates, chopped

1 cup prunes, chopped

1 cup. raisins

1 cup unsweetened orange juice 

1 cup. enriched flour

1 cup almond nuts, chopped

1 stick  (4 ounces or 1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp.  cinnamon

1/4 tsp. nutmeg


Instructions:

Preheat oven at 325F/177C. 

Beat eggs and vanilla together in a large bowl. 

Combine dates, prunes and raisins with warmed orange juice. 

Melt the butter and stir into fruit mixture. 

Mix the flour, baking soda, and spices together in a bowl. 

Add flour mixture to the beaten eggs. 

Stir in the fruit mixture. 

Add chopped almonds. 

Pour into a prepared baking dish

Bake for 25-30mins. 

Date Cinnamon Challah

I stumbled across challah bread recipes online one day in a bid to find bread a recipe that was dairy free, as I had run out of milk. I tend to use very little dairy in my day to day cooking, but where baking bread was concerned, I had a soft spot for pouring in the milk until that fateful day when I googled dairy-free bread.

Seriously, what a heaven sent! This bread is almost foolproof and can be tinkered with the make your own version to suit your taste. I’ve made it with honey and maple syrup as my sweeteners before. Then there’s the filling. The nice swirly bit inside that makes the bread finish as soon as it’s cool enough to be chewed (no joke). The more challah I make, the larger the appetites waiting for the loaves at the end of the cooling rack.

I’ve made two varieties of this bread; this date cinnamon challah and an apple cinnamon challah (click the link to get the recipe) both of which are as perfect as it gets for french toast. French toast for me represents brunch and let’s face it, who doesn’t appreciate a nice brunch? Or breakfast? Or challah any time of the day? Lol.

Date Cinnamon Challah

  • Prep time: 1 3/4hours 
  • Total time: 2hours 30mins 
  • Yield: 1-2 loaves 
  • Category: Bread/ Breakfast and Brunch
  •  
  • Ingredients:

3-4 cups flour 

1/2 cup honey/maple syrup 

7oz packet of yeast 

1 cup warm water (plus more if needed to bring dough together)

2eggs 

1/2 cup oil

1 tsp salt 

The filling:

100g date paste

2tbsp honey/maple syrup 

1tbsp cinnamon 

Egg wash:

1tbsp honey/maple syrup 

1egg white 

Instructions:

Mix one tbsp of honey/maple syrup in half cup of warm water.

Stir in one satchel of yeast (if you mix it into the water it froths quicker and a lot more than if you just empty it in)

Cover and leave for 5-6mins or until frothy.

In a large bowl mix flour, salt, honey/maple syrup and one egg plus one yolk (save egg white for egg wash).

Empty yeast mixture into the bowl and stir to combine.

Add more water (if necessary) until dough is almost one piece.

Pour in oil and knead until smooth (5-10mins)

If dough becomes too sticky, add more flour until well kneaded.

Place dough in a well greased bowl and cover.

Let rise for an hour or until doubled in size.

Empty dough onto floured surface and punch down to remove air bubbles

Flatten slightly and put 1/3 of the filling on top.

Fold over the edges/bottom of the dough to cover the topping

Flatten and repeat with 1/3 filling

Fold over once more and put the rest of the filling on top

Fold over one last time.

Cut the dough into three sections and roll each into a log.

Longer logs (not too thin) result in longer loaves while thicker logs result in thicker, shorter loaves.

Braid the logs into one long braid (using these braiding instructions)

Once braided, transfer to lined/greased baking tray, loaf tin or preferred baking sheet.

Cover loosely and let sit for 45mins.

Near the end of the time, pre-heat the oven to 425F/218C.

Prepare egg wash and gently brush loaf with mixture.

Bake in pre-heated oven for 15minutes then lower the oven temperature to 350F/176C for a remaining 30minutes (or until the bread sounds hollow when the underside is knocked).

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

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Garlic Butter

This garlic butter is a simple, yet delicious addition to breakfast and brunch. Try it with any type of flatbread, challah, roti, toast or....you understand my point. It works with virtually any type of bread.

I usually use it to make garlic butter flatbread which my tiny food critics can't get enough of.

  • Prep time: 5mins
  • Total time: 5mins
  • Category: toppings and additions/sauces
  • Ingredients:
  • 1/2 stick of salted butter
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 tsp dried herbs (I use oregano, thyme and basil. You can add chilli as well).
  • Instructions:
  • Slice butter into 5 pieces and place in a bowl.
  • Sprinkle all remaining ingredients onto butter pieces.
  • Place bowl in microwave and melt butter.
  • Remove from microwave and stir when melted.
  • Return to microwave for an additional 20 seconds or until butter begins to bubble.
  • Use as desired.

Sweet Potato Frittata

This sweet potato frittata is an easy breakfast or brunch dish which is bound to impress even the pickiest of eaters (trust me, I have two bite sized food critics). A few chops, a microwave and some oven time would have you wondering why you've never tried making sweet potato frittatas before.

In essence, a frittata is one big baked omelette, but hey, it's called a frittata, so let's stick to its given name. But, just like an omelette, you can go nuts and add just about anything in it. Plus you have the bonus of not having to struggle to get that perfect flip that chefs (and some show offs) do. Your frittata, with the help of a nicely greased oven dish, will slide right out onto your plate without the stress.

  • Prep time: 6mins
  • Total time: 30mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: Breakfast and brunch/ dinner
  • Ingredients:
  • 1 cup sweet potato (cubed and microwaved for 3mins)
  • 3 strips of turkey rashers (cut into small pieces)
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese (I use Red Leicester)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground seasoning (I use garlic seasoning, sometimes peri peri to grind. It depends on your taste)
  • 1/4 tsp dried herbs (I use a mix of oregano, thyme and basil)
  • 5 eggs (lightly beaten)
  • Optional:
  • 1/4 cup of cream/ milk (beaten in with the eggs)
  • Instructions:
  • Preheat oven to 175C/347F
  • In a small greased baking dish, place all ingredients except eggs, spread out evenly.
  • Pour egg mixture evenly into dish to cover dry ingredients.
  • Bake for 20mins or until firm (like an omelette. lol)

Enjoy your frittata. If you've tried our recipe, be sure to comment below and share it with a friend!

Coconut Filling

Coconut filling can be used in a variety of dishes. It is a great pastry filling, short crust (for coconut rolls) and flaky (for coconut tarts). It can also be used to fill coconut turnovers.
I use it as a staple in my raw cacao date balls to give it more flavour and crunch.

  • Prep time: 2mins
  • Total time: 10mins
  • Yield: 5tbsp
  • Category: toppings and additions
  • Ingredients:
  • 5tsbp desiccated coconut
  • 1tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4cup honey
  • 1cup water
  • Optional:
  • 1/4tsp ginger
  • Instructions:
  • Place all ingredients in a pan and boil on medium heat until all the water has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat and add to desired dish.

Granola (Vegan Friendly Recipe)

Have you ever spent your heard earned cash on granola? Sigh. Do you have in your mind that it must be difficult to make on your own? Or that perhaps it may be time consuming? Think again!

Granola remains one of the easiest snacks/ desserts/ toppings/ breakfast recipes to whip up. Also, there are so many different ways you can make it to suit your palate....mix away, create your own granola combination! C'mon, release that inner chef (well, sort of, this dish isn't really complicated enough to require chef expertise).

My kids usually enjoy granola with yogurt or on it's own (trying to fight one another for the biggest clusters). It's easy to take with us on a day out so I won't have to dip into my pockets to buy a snack (quite possibly the SAME snack) for them when they want a break from having fun. Or as soon as they step out the door...or on the train...or the bus...or...you get the point. Kids always want something to eat don't they? lol.

  • Prep time: 10mins
  • Total time: 30mins
  • Category: dessert/ breakfast/ snack/ toppings and additions
  •  
  • Ingredients:
  • 3cups rolled oats
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 2tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup of honey (sub 3/4 cup maple syrup for vegan recipe)
  • 1/2 cup shaved/flaked coconut
  • 2tbsp oil
  • Optional:
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup of seeds and nuts (pumpkin seeds. sunflower seeds, peanuts, any combo works)
  • 1/4cup Chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1/4cup popped quinoa
  • Tips:
  • Don’t wait for the granola to get crunchy in the oven. It does that all on its own once it cools down. Cook until it is the colour that you want.
  • Instructions:
  • In a large bowl, mix together oats, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg (if using cacao powder).
  • In another small jug, mix together honey/maple syrup and vanilla.
  • Pour 3/4 wet ingredients into dry ingredient mix and stir until combined.
  • Pour oil into jug with remainder of wet ingredients.
  • Pour contents of jug into the granola mix and gently fold to create "clumps"
  • Feel free to add more liquid ingredients (honey/maple syrup) to create more clumps.
  • Fold in the nuts/seeds and popped quinoa into the granola mix.
  • Gently tip the granola mix onto a well greased/lined baking sheet.
Strawberry purée, strawberries and granola

 

In a preheated oven (180C), place the baking sheet for 10mins.
Gently fold granola to reposition, trying not to break apart the clusters.
Place in oven for an additional 10mins, checking often to be sure that granola is not being overdone.
Around two minutes before you remove the granola from the oven, sprinkle the flaked coconut and return to oven to toast.
Once the granola is “browned” enough for you...or once the 20mins cook time is up, remove from oven and leave to cool.
At this point, do not stir.
Sprinkle raisins/sultanas on warm granola to let soften.
Once cooled...enjoy!

Don’t forget to share our recipes with your friends and if you’ve tried our granola...comment below. Let us know how it turned out.

Popped Quinoa

Popped Quinoa can be a great addition to so many dishes. The crunch it adds can take your desserts, salads, rice and many other dishes to another level.

Quinoa is essentially a protein which is a wholesome part of balanced diet. It contains all 9 essential amino acids. Who knew these little balls could mean so much to your body!

I add popped quinoa to my raw cacao date balls, granola, raw cacao date bars, smoked salmon salad, a topping to my chia pudding, honey roasted nuts, yogurt, breakfast cereal, porridge,

Tips:

  • Always use medium to slightly lower heat.
  • If using a pan, place enough quinoa to cover the base of the pan, no more.
  • The popping process happens quickly.
  • When the popping slows, that means it is finished.
  • Try to buy pre-washed quinoa (I've used unwashed quinoa before, but it has a somewhat different taste. If you buy quinoa, then wash it, it takes a couple hours to dry and pop in the oven on low heat.)
  • Keep the pan moving. You can use a wok or a deep pan with a lid. Whichever you choose, be sure to keep shaking it about to prevent overheating and burning.
  • Prep time: 1min
  • Total time: 5mins
  • yield: 5tbsp
  • category: toppings and additions
  • Ingredients:
  • 5tbsp quinoa
  • (Optional): 1tsp oil
  • Instructions:
  • Place the pan/wok onto the stove on medium heat.
  • When hot, pour desired amount of quinoa into pan/wok.
  • If using a pan, place the lid on to cover quinoa.
  • When the popping begins, keep moving the pan side to side so that the quinoa rolls around inside.
  • Open frequently to make sure pan is not smoking.
  • If the pan begins to generate smoke, lift away from heat and keep shaking quinoa around until pan cools.
  • When popping slows, remove from heat altogether.

Sticky Date Cinnamon Rolls (no refined sugars)

This sticky date cinnamon roll is one of those recipes where once you've tasted it, you start doubting its refined sugar-free-ness (new words to describe!). It doesn't try to compete with regular cinnamon buns because it seriously is in a taste class of its own. It is definitely worth the time you'd spend staring at the dough hoping for it to rise faster. 

When I make a batch of these at home, they are literally gone within the hour. Those serving sizes do defeat the objective of making healthier cinnamon rolls, but hey, we have to indulge somewhere along the way right?

These sticky cinnamon date rolls are perfect for impressing the family over the holidays. Guests would definitely enjoy this sweet treat, and their waistlines will thank you later. Dates and maple syrup or honey, present a healthier alternative to the usual sugar-laden desserts we often come across. So indulge, take the time to create this masterpiece, your sweet cravings will disappear. You're welcome!

sticky refined sugar free date cinnamon rolls
Sweet, Sticky, Cinnamon Date Rolls
  • prep time: 15mins
  • rest time: 1 1/2 hours then 45mins
  • baking time: 20mins
  • yield: 12 servings
  • category: dessert
  •  

Ingredients:

  • Dough:
  • 270g of flour (you can mix half and half of white and whole wheat or use all white)
  • 3tbsp of honey (substitute maple syrup for vegan rolls)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 7g packet of yeast (fast action)
  • 1 egg (substitute 3tbsp of aquafaba for vegan rolls)
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 240ml milk or water (substitute almond milk for vegan rolls)
  • 1tbsp melted butter plus extra for greasing (substitute olive oil for vegan rolls)
  • Filling:
  • 240g date paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp butter (substitute coconut oil/olive oil for vegan rolls)
  • 2 pinches of salt
  • (optional: 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts plus more for sprinkling)
  • Glaze: (optional)
  • 2tbsp honey/maple syrup
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  •  
  • Instructions:
  • In a large mixing bowl combine flour and salt.
  • In a small container (that you can cover, pour 1/4cup warm (not cold) milk/water/almond milk then stir in 1tbsp honey/maple syrup.
  • Add packet of yeast to mixture and cover for about 7mins or until foamy.
  • stir in egg/aquafaba, remaining honey/maple syrup and vanilla extract.
  • Pour yeast mixture into flour mixture then pour in milk/water/almond milk until the dough comes together.
  • Pour in melted butter/olive oil and knead for 2mins.
  • Empty dough onto a floured surface and knead for a further 10mins being sure to stretch the dough in the kneading process.
  • When the dough becomes slightly shiny and smooth, return to a greased dish and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Place in a warm place (not hot) to sit for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
  • When the dough is almost finish resting/raising prepare your filling.
Filling the dough
  • Filling Preparation:
  • In a small pan, heat up all filling ingredients except butter.
  • Bring to boil, stirring to combine (I use a fork to mash my date paste in this step).
  • When thoroughly combined and most of the water has boiled away, remove from heat, stir in butter and set aside to cool.
  •  
  • Making the Rolls:
  • Once the dough has risen, punch down to remove air bubbles and turn out onto a floured surface.
  • Rolls the dough out to create a flat rectangle (about 40cm x 20cm)
  • Spread the paste evenly (and to your desired amount) across the dough.
  • Any leftover filling can be spread on the greased baking tray.
  • (I often sprinkle more cinnamon across the filling once I have spread it)
  • Take the longer side of the rectangle and roll it carefully to create a log.
  • With a sharp knife, cut the log into 12 sections.
  • On the well greased/lined baking tray, place the rolls swirls facing upwards and leave for 45mins to sit covered with a light kitchen towel.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and bake rolls for 18-20mins.
  • When they are almost ready, prepare your glaze mixture.
  • Once they've come out of the oven, turn them out onto a rack to cool and immediately pour all of the glaze onto them to soak in.
Refined Sugar Free

Let us know if you had a chance to try our delicious sticky date cinnamon rolls. Don't forget to share with your friends!