We hope you are well and enjoying the start of summer. The last few months we have been busy and are proud to announce the release of our first digital books. Visit our shop to find out more.
One of our publications is a plant-based children’s book, ‘These Little Figgies‘. The other, is a recipe book inspired by our sold out event: More Thyme for Plantain (2017), where thyme and plantain featured in every course. For the next month we are letting you guys decide what to pay for them. We would love your feedback on the recipes. Always feel free to share your creations with us!
The garden is also shaping up well. We are attempting to grow some game changing plants, if successful we would love to do a seed-share with our newsletter family. If you’re interested or know someone who is, get them to register for the mailing list.
At the end of this month (Friday 31 July) we will be delivering an online cooking class with the Refuge Cafe from Lewisham, to assist them in their fundraising efforts. Please join us and pay attention to the socials in the lead up as we will be getting everyone prepared for it. We’ll be making an old family recipe: Trinidadian callaloo, and if the slugs let us we will be using some lovely greens from our garden. Hope to see you there!
We are trying to organise a little flavour adventure in the U.K. We will be camping, cooking outdoors and using the best ingredients that we can find from our various locations. We will be sharing our recipes with our VIPs, so do sign up for the VIP newsletter.
It’s been an extra-ordinary couple of months for everyone. (finally understand what that word really means…)
Cutting our holiday short wasn’t the greatest thing that we’ve ever done. That aside we’ve been trying to make the best of lockdown by spending more time in the kitchen, a no-brainer really. To see more about our trip to the Caribbean and what we discovered, become a VIP for free by following the link.
We would definitely recommend getting busy in the kitchen if your looking for something to occupy your time with. There’s no better moment to invest in your health than now by taking control of what you eat. Make it exciting and nourishing – it helps.
Scarcity of flour aside… it’s OK food wise .
Trying to keep shop trips to a minimum keeps us on our toes.
We’ve got a few great meal ideas to share: this is our lockdown pizza .
300 g white rye flour
250 g organic plain flour
2 g yeast
2/3 tsp bicarbonate of soda (no baking powder)
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
3 dates (de-seeded)
200 ml water
100 ml boiling water
1 tbsp sea moss gel (optional)
1) Blend dates, water, apple cider vinegar and sea moss in a blender to make smoothie.
2) Sift flour, yeast and bicarbonate into a large bowl (if you have a dough mixer it’s so much easier).
3) Add oil to flour. Then combine boiled water with smoothie to make a warm mixture.
4) Make a well in the flour and slowly add liquid until a dough ball forms. If your using a dough mixer, mix on a low speed for 2 minutes, scraping the sides of mixing bowl.
5) Dough mixer: mix on a high speed for 3 minutes.
By hand: knead for 10 minutes until you get a smooth dough.
6) Cover your mixing bowl with a damp tea towel and leave in a warm dark place for a minimum of 1.5 hours.
3 sun dried tomatoes
150 ml water
Seasoning peppers (if unavailable use 1/2 bell pepper de-seeded)
1 medium tomato
1 tbsp tomato purée
1/2 clove garlic
1 tbsp oregano
4 pitted olives
1) Combine all the ingredients together and blend in a blender or with a handheld immersion blender and set aside.
There’s no need to pre-cook this sauce it’s ready to go .
Wild Garlic Pesto Ingredients:
Wild garlic season is here so keep your nose out on walks in case you come across some. Check your favourite foraging book for tips on how to locate and harvest this. We were looking for old trees in a damp environment and we smelt it before we saw it! Give it a thorough wash before using (or buy some if you see it).
1 handful of wild garlic
15 g basil
1 handful of rocket
1/3 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp agave
Simply combine all these ingredients and blend to the consistency you prefer, we like a mixture of textures in ours so not too smooth.
Thinly roll out dough to 12 inches diameter.
To top pizza, add sauce first, spreading evenly across the base. Then sprinkle ground walnuts. We liked to then stuff thinly sliced olives in the crust of the pizza by pressing them down on the slightly thicker dough on the outside.
Simply scatter the remaining toppings evenly across the pizza being careful not to over-do it.
Put pizza into a pre-heated oven as hot as it goes for 8 – 10 minutes and you have a pizza worth staying home for.
Is it just us or did January feel like a long month! We are welcoming in the shorter month of February and the lighter days. This month has been all about chocolate and sea vegetables (sounds like a strange combo, but suspend your disbelief). If you’d like to know more about what we’re cooking then become a VIP for free by following the link.
Our smoothie challenge started off great, but then life got hectic, so we probably averaged 4 smoothies a week. This led us to discover a little life-hack with our marine phytoplankton supplement. When we couldn’t make a smoothie we started to mix 1/4 tsp of this nutritious sea vegetable with a shot of water and a shot of ginger pressé. The juice disguised that sushi seaweed flavour really well. So far eczema is improving, but we’re not sure if it’s the plankton or increased water consumption. Fingers crossed it keeps improving.
Seamoss, while being mineral rich, also acts as a great emulsifier and preservative. We’ve been using our seamoss gel and sous-vide machine to create delectable truffles. We hope to be receiving taster pack of seamoss from St Lucia soon. When we do, we will let you know if it is The One!
We have almost finished our e-book based on ideas from our sold-out pop-up, More Thyme for Plantain. For those of you on our VIP Mailing List, we will be sharing some of the recipes for free.
We have been experimenting with ways to cook mushrooms and are totally reconsidering how we see this delicious fungus. Rather than a side, think of it as the star of your meal. This means using chunky portions and trying to buy the mushrooms clusters that are now available through the Wicked brand and some farmers markets. Interestingly, mushrooms that have been grown outside in partial sunlight, contain well over your RDA of vitamin D. If you’re not sure about your shrooms, place them in midday sun for 15 minutes.
We are starting to get inspiration for a very special pop-up dining experience. We will let you all know when details are finalised, but let’s just say it will be elegant, delicious and educational.
This March we will be jetting off to St Lucia and Dominica to visit our families and introduce them to our little man. We are VERY excited, although a little nervous about the long haul flight with a 20 month old. We will also be doing some flavour research into street food and island food history. We will be sure to share some stories with you on our return.
A new year, a new start and lots of resolutions! We’d like to share some of our Veganuary life-hacks and recipe ideas, so read on for food inspiration. If you’d like to know more about what we’re cooking then become a VIP for free by following the link.
We celebrate the little guys and all the strength they bring. Marine phytoplankton is an incredibly nutritious and sustainable food source. It is packed with vitamins, omega-3 and all of the amino acids (protein) you need. It helps your body to create new healthy cells, and isn’t that what a New Year is all about? Renewal, growth and healing. Marine phytoplankton is a micro algae found in our oceans. It is responsible for 90% of the earth’s oxygen! Say what? That’s right- 90%. This month we have been introducing this little fella into our diet, cloaking the pond flavour in ginger, banana & peanut butter smoothies. We’re really hoping the plankton helps eczema as some research suggests- we will keep you guys posted.
Oh yes we’ve done it… we’ve joined a gym. We actually joined in December because we didn’t want it to feel like a New Year fad. So far, so good. Combining classes, swimming, workouts and spa time, we’re managing to stop it from feeling boring. We are loving those exercise endorphins and are somehow finding a way of balancing childcare with self-care. Take that, 2020!
We have set ourselves the target of producing a PDF of our cookbook by April. So many people have been approaching us to ask about its release. It seems like you guys really want some fast, easy, tasty and nutritional plant-based recipes. So, as publishing takes a while, we are going to get you a digital version ASAP. The morning after our New Year’s eve party, we mastered our Oh-Mega Pancakes recipe… we say party, but it was more like a toddler’s sleepover, with all adults crashing out at just gone midnight. Rock ‘n’ Roll baby. At least it meant we were clear headed when feeding our guests on the first morning of the year. Join our VIP mailing list for a sneak preview of the pancake recipe and to be the first to hear about the PDF release.
We will be experimenting with chocolate making, using our favourite mineral booster, seamoss. Let’s see how many truffles, chocolate bars and cakes we can get ready for February 13th, Black Love Day.
Can we commit to a smoothie challenge? We are aiming to create a smoothie a day (all with marine phytoplankton). We are determined to set 2020 off to a beautiful start.
This month the cold has really started to set in. The British climate means that the tastiest fresh veg you are going to find at this time of year is squash and kale. We’ve been adding warmth to our evenings with vibrant soups packed full of goodness.
What We’ve Been Cooking | Seasonal Soup
We were supposed to work at our Crystal Palace Market stall and had bought lots of kale to make our Kosmic Kale Salad. Unfortunately we were all ill and so had to cancel. This left us with a kale heavy fridge! We decided to make an iron & vitamin A rich soup, to help us with our recovery.
Creamy Kale Soup | Serves 10
What you need:
2 packs kale
1/2 pack watercress
1/2 pack spinach
4 spring onions
dash of rapeseed oil
1/2 pack coriander
2 large white onions
1 block cream of coconut
1 litre boiling water
1 tbsp thyme
1 large clove garlic
salt & pepper to taste
Roughly chop onions and soften in a large pan with a little oil.
Add thyme, chopped plantain and garlic; sauté until onions caramelise.
Add coconut cream block in pieces and stir until it softens.
Add boiling water and simmer until coconut dissolves.
Add kale and simmer for 2 minutes
Add spinach, watercress and coriander. Blend
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, squeeze of lime, spring onion finely sliced and some crusty sourdough bread.
Here is a round up of what we’ve been doing this month. If you’d like to know more about what we’re cooking, get discounts and special invites, then become a VIP by following the link.
Matoke Green Bananas: originate from East Africa
We have rediscovered soups. We have some really tasty recipes, using seasonal veg… in the U.K this is limiting us to squash and kale. But you know there’s a lot of life you can breathe into meals using the right seasoning and sourcing the best veg you can.
We’ve tried out British hemp flour in our pizza dough- a great source of protein and omega-3 don’t-cha know. We’re really getting into the power of hemp. It’s much overlooked, but if you’re plant-powered it’s well worth doing some research into how you can get it into your life. We’re using hemp oil and flour to give our bodies a boost. We’re also learning about hempcrete- an alternative to concrete that is sustainable and actually helps to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
We have cooked Matoke green bananas in so many different ways your head would spin. You can use them as a potato alternative. They are a great source of B6 and help your body to absorb calcium. We find cutting off the ends and boiling them in skins for a couple of minutes helps us to peel them more easily.
Become a VIP to find out more
We will be planning our plant-powered cooking class with Life After Hummus. VIP’s will receive a gift from us if they attend.
We will take our foray into hemp products to the next level and create a British hemp oil pesto, all locally sourced. Become a VIP to find out more
To become a VIP and enjoy free recipes, special offers, and invites to private events please click here.
This Lidl challenge does have several components and uses 4 techniques: sauce making, caramelising, blanching and pastry making. It’s a good one to do as a duo or more, so call some friends over and get in that kitchen! We had some jackfruit in our fridge so added that to the mix. If you don’t have any jackfruit to hand, then why not grate some courgette, or add mushrooms? Basically use something that you DO have in your fridge and cut it small enough that it will cook easily.
This pie is tasty hot or cold, so you can take it to work for lunch (#foodenvy) or heat it up at home for dinner.
By now you are probably a seasoned pro at vegan bechamel sauce. For this recipe we kept it extra simple.
5 parsnips (approx cubed)
5 shallots (cut into thirds)
drizzle of date syrup
2 bay leaves
6 sprigs of thyme
1/2 cup jackfruit (optional)
1/2 cup kamut flour
1/2 cup rye flour
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp mixed spice
2 tbs coconut oil
1/4 cup coconut mylk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Bechamel Sauce: 1/2 a cup chickpea flour (or flour of your choice), 2tbs rapeseed, 1 tbsp coconut oil, 1/2 cup coconut mylk, 1 tsp mixed spice, 1 tsp salt.
Preheat oven to 200C
Mix flours, baking powder, salt, all spice, mixed spice and coconut oil together using your hands to make a crumbly texture. Then add coconut mylk and water gradually, until it comes together in a dough. Set to one side.
Caramelise shallots in a frying pan with a little oil, thyme and a drizzle of date syrup
Boil saucepan of water with bay leaves and then chuck in chopped parsnips, blanching them for 5-10 minutes
Peel and slice fresh jackfruit
Roll out dough (thickness of 10 pence) and place into a greased ceramic dish (approx 35cm diameter, 5-8 cm deep). We cut our leftover dough into palm trees for decoration (waste not, want not)
Blind bake your pastry in oven for 10 minutes, or until base has crisped up a bit. We covered our crust with foil, to prevent it getting too brown at this stage.
Mix together your shallots (be sure to remove thyme stalks), jackfruit and parsnips with your bechamel sauce. Then pour into pastry lined dish.
Bake for 25-30 minutes
Make a roux by gently heating rapeseed and coconut oil, add mixed spice and gradually add chickpea flour, until oil is fully absorbed. Then gradually add coconut mylk to create a thick creamy sauce. Add salt and stir in.
Creamy, nutty & rich. Delicious served with avocado salad & toasted pumpkin seeds.
We used 5 aubergines for this treat. It is so delicious, we recommend you put your leftovers in a tupperware straight away, otherwise you will keep going back for more and have none for tomorrow. We’ve used some of the plants from our urban garden in this one; enter: basil, oregano, rosemary & thyme. This saves money and time. Winning.
We already had loads of these ingredients in our cupboard, but feel free to remix this recipe so you can use up your own veggies and herbs.
3 cups of soaked, pressure cooked chickpeas
1 leek sliced
handful of wild garlic, thyme & rosemary
1 jar of passata
1/4 butternut squash finely sliced (0.5cm)
Bechamel Sauce: 1/2 a cup kamut flour, 1/4 cup toasted walnuts, 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds, handful of thyme, 2tbs rapeseed, 1/2 cup hemp mylk, oil, water
Preheat oven to 190C
Sweat leeks, wild garlic, thyme & rosemary in a large saucepan
Add your cooked chickpeas and passata
Cut aubergine into 1 cm thick slices, lengthways and griddle
Once you’ve made your bechamel sauce (see below), it’s time to start layering up in a casserole dish. Chickpea passata at the bottom, then butternut squash slices, followed by bechamel sauce and then aubergine. Repeat until dish is full. Top off with bechamel
Bake for 30 minutes
Blend up nuts with thyme
Make a roux by gently heating rapeseed oil and gradually adding kamut flour, walnuts and pumpkin seeds until oil is fully absorbed. Then gradually add hemp mylk. Top up with enough water to create a thick creamy sauce. Avoid burning flour, adding liquid gradually is the key and to keep stirring
Tangy & fragrant, with the right amount of spice and plenty raw veg
For this recipe we used Lidl’s spinach (£0.79) and baby corn (£0.69). The other veggies/ spices were just what we had in our kitchen. You can use your own vegetable mix or keep it simple and just use the spinach and corn. Perilla oil has a high omega 3 content which is great for your noggin. It taste quite like sesame seed oil, which is another oil best served uncooked. Tamarind concentrate will add that Caribbean twang and can keep in your fridge for ages. In our cookbook we will have a Chine 5 Spice recipe, but for now you can use a shop bought a packet (no judgement)!
1/8 scotch bonnet
1 good knuckle of ginger
1 tsp Chinese 5 spice (we make our own but you can buy pre-mixed in shops)
1 garlic clove
2 ltr water
1 tsp salt
2 tbs tamarind concentrate
1 tbs date paste (or a sweetener of your choice)
1 tsp coconut cream (block)
1 spring onion
large handful of spinach, baby corn, micro herbs, mange tout
1 tsp (per serving) sesame oil/ perilla oil
Chop up your aromatics (scotch bonnet, ginger, garlic, onion) and put them in a saucepan with boiling water
Add Chinese 5 Spice, salt, tamarind concentrate, coconut cream, date paste. Simmer for 10 minutes
Spiralize your courgette. (if you don’t have a spiralizer you can grate the courgette or use noodles)
Quarter your baby corn, slice your spring onion and spinach
Put a tsp of oil in each bowl, add all your raw veggies and then pour your broth over the top
Fruit Coulis | 6 Servings
Like a fresh melon virgin mojito. Great in coconut yogurt or on toast.
We added some mint from our urban garden and a kiwi, to Lidl’s price drop gaia melon (£0.99) and easy peeler satsumas.(£0.65). You all know we love seamoss, so this recipe wouldn’t be complete without it. For those that don’t know, Seamoss contains 15 of the 16 essential minerals that you need to function healthily. These minerals support the healthy functioning of your blood, bones and muscles; the foundations of a healthy body. We clean it thoroughly and create our own sea moss gel. This can easily be added to smoothies, sauces and cakes. It can act as an egg replacement and is an excellent binder.
1 handful of mint
1/4 cup seamoss (you can use agar instead- follow instructions on packet)
1 tsp maple syrup (or your own choice of sweetener)
Blend up all of your ingredients and leave in fridge to chill
Proving that eating well doesn’t have to be expensive, we will be using the fruit & veg on offer at Lidl and posting our quick, tasty recipes. Try out what we share and let us know what you think. Lidl challenge, big reward.