Julie’s Vegan Pizza

If your kids are anything like mine, then there’s a good chance that pizza is one of their favourite dishes. The problem with a lot of store bought pizzas is that they can be high in fat, high in calories, and also contain additional additives and preservatives that aren’t going to do your health any favours!

My recipe for vegan pizza is a simple way to create a fresh, healthy pizza that the kids will still love – all four of mine certainly do!

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The bases that I recommend are the stone-baked variety from BFree Foods. In case you didn’t catch my last blog post, I’m now a Brand Ambassador for this incredible company,! BFree Foods provide allergen-free foods so that more people can enjoy amazing tasting dishes!

To make two pizzas, you will need the following ingredients:

    • 2 BFree pizza bases
    • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced long-ways
    • 1 yellow pepper, de-seeded and thinly sliced long-ways
    • 10 stalks of tender-stem broccoli
    • 2 handfuls of rocket
    • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
    • 2 heaped Tbsp of tomato paste
    • 2 white onions, thinly sliced into 1/2 moons
    • 2 tsp of paprika
    • 2 Tbsp of pine nuts
    • Olive oil
    • Agave syrup

Begin by pre-heating your oven to 200C and preparing all of your ingredients.

Take the sliced onions and fry at a medium to high heat with a splash of olive oil. Once the onions have begun to soften, which should take around five minutes, you can then add one tablespoon of agave syrup. This will allow the onions to caramelise, so leave them to do their thing for a further few minutes. After this time, you can remove them from the heat and set aside.

Next, in a food processor, whizz the tinned tomatoes with the tomato paste and one tablespoon of the agave syrup until smooth. Set this aside as you’ll be using it as your red sauce.

Place the red and yellow peppers on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil over them. Roast in the oven for ten minutes, as they just start to get soft.

Place the broccoli in a shallow pan and cover with 2cm of water. Heat at a medium heat for just five minutes. You can then drain and remove from the heat.

Now it’s time to create your pizza!

Slather the BFree pizza base with your red sauce, top with the caramelised onions, red and yellow peppers, and the broccoli. Each pizza should then get a tablespoon of pine nuts and a sprinkle of paprika!

Cook for 10 minutes (pine nuts will be perfectly toasted) and once out of the oven, top each pizza with a handful of rocket. Enjoy!

BFree Foods Pizza Julie Montagu Vegan

Don’t forget to check out the BFree Foods website for these pizza bases, as well as to see the other amazing foods that they have in their range. You can also like their Facebook page to stay up to date with what they’re up to!

Sweet Potato and Pear Donuts

One of the most common questions people with children ask me is, “How can I make healthy sweet snacks for my kids”?  This recipe is just the thing if you want to appeal to your child’s sweet tooth but also fill them with a snack that’s going to nourish them! All four of my children absolutely love these donuts and when there’s a plate of them in the kitchen I’m much happier for them to be snacking between meals! Traditional donuts are completely nutritionally pointless and full of all the bad stuff we want our children to avoid SO getting them hooked on these instead is a great move!

I use a lot of coconut based products in this recipe which is where a lot of the goodness comes from. Coconut in most forms is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It also has a high lauric acid count which encourages HDL (good) cholesterol levels in the body. Studies have suggested that consuming coconut regularly will have anti-aging, anti-carcinogenic and anti-thrombotic (blood clot reducing) effects.

To make 12 of these mini donuts you#ll need the following ingredients:

1 sweet potato, grated
1 pear, peeled and grated
1 Tbsp. chia seed soaked in 3 Tbsp. water
1/4 cup coconut sugar
3 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
90g coconut flour
90g buckwheat flour
2 Tbsp. flaxseeds, ground
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the glaze:

1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut butter, melted
1/2 tsp. honey

AND for a chocolate glaze:
1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut butter, melted
1/2 tsp. honey
1 tsp. of cacao

sweet_potato_pear_donuts_the_flexi_foodie2So, to get started, pack 1 cup of your shredded sweet potato and place it in your food processor along with your shredded pear, soaked chia seeds and coconut sugar. Once it’s well combined, add the remaining ingredients and mix into a soft but wet batter.

Next, preheat your oven to 180C/350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using your hands roll the batter into large golf ball shapes and then slightly flatten it out on the baking sheet. I used the back of a pastry tip (about 1 inch diameter) to create the donut holes. You can keep all of the donut hole batter to create another donut at the end.

Bake the donuts for 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden and a toothpick comes out dry. Allow the donuts to cool before you ice. In separate bowls, combine the ingredients for the icings and spoon over the donuts and spread. Top with coconut flakes, goji berries or cacao nibs! Yum!

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Radish Avocado Salad with Chia Tahini Dressing

I’m always looking for quick, easy salads that I can just chop up and whip together and this is one of them.   But lately I’ve been reading about the MANY benefits of radishes and wanted to incorporate them into something yummy and thus this recipe was born.  I get it, radishes aren’t the tastiest of all veggies out there, but combined with a killer dressing or dip, you’re getting a delicious treat with SOOOOOOO many benefits!

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So let’s talk radishes! First of all, they’re kind of pretty to look at and the health benefits are unbelievable……Radishes are a serious Super Hero Food that come in a little package.  Researchers at India’s Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University found that radishes induce apoptosis – meaning they kill cancer cells. Compounds called isothiocyanates and anthocyanins are found in abundance in radishes and have been proven effective in the fight against cancer in several studies.  If you have chronic bronchial flare-ups, sinus infections or asthma, radishes can act as a natural decongestant.  They’ve been shown to lower cholesterol, manage diabetes and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels.  The water and fiber content make radishes surprisingly filling, and the lack of calories (19 calories per cup!) puts them at the top of the “best diet” foods. The surprising number of nutrients found in these small vegetables means you aren’t skimping on nutrition while cutting back on fats, sugars and carbs.  So, let’s eat this Super Hero food, like now!

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so if you’re anything like me…. I always wanted to make them work in a recipe but it’s sort of hard, right?  Well, not anymore.  Here is a quick and delicious recipe to whip up for lunch or even for a dinner party!

Serves 3-4

2 cups radishes, diced

1 cup red pepper, diced

large handful of black olives

large handful of coriander, chopped

1 small avocado, diced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 spring onion, chopped

Chia Tahini dressing

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons tahini

1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds

juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoons fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon tamari

1 tablespoon agave or honey

pinch of himalayan sea salt

pinch of chill powder

fresh coriander and spring onions for garnish

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In a large pretty bowl add all the ingredients for the salad.  Blend all the dressing ingredients in a food processor until smooth.  The dressing will be quite thick but when you mix it through the salad it will become thinner.  Toss until well combined and garnish with the coriander and spring onion.  Enjoy!

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Now this is what I call a truly Super Food, Super Hero Salad!  If you like this blog post then why not LIKE my Facebook page or check out my website at www.juliemontagu.com for more healthy lifestyle tips!

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Warm Dal with Spinach (from ‘tibits at home’ cookbook)

First and foremost, HUGE apologies for the 2  month delay in posts!  We’ve had a very busy summer and then getting all 4 kids back to school and other work life bits has consumed me…… until NOW!  So, posts are officially back and I’m so excited that they are!  I can feel the chill in the air in London that Autumn has officially arrived – and I love it!  The crisp air, the leaves falling and my kids playing so much sport…… every weekend has definitely made me crave something warm and grounding!

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So when I was sent a lovely cookbook called ‘tibits at home’ from the incredible tibits restaurant – I couldn’t wait to cook from it! Not only is there a restaurant in Soho (London), but there are locations in Zurich, Winterhur, Berne and Basel.  tibits has been serving healthy vegetarian food for over a decade and was established by three brothers and the according to the Guinness Book of World Records, their restaurant in Zurich is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world!  The cookbook is filled with delicious, seasonal recipes and it was hard to choose which one to do for this blog!  But after much deliberation, the Warm Dal with Spinach won!  So, let’s get started….

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Grab yourself these ingredients:

250g red lentils

1 onion

1 garlic clove

20g fresh ginger

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

500g fresh spinach

400ml coconut milk

200ml water

freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

1/2 lemon, juiced

P1040086I was lucky enough to have some super fresh, organic spinach on hand from my inlaws kitchen garden.  I especially love the photo of the spinach in the basket, basking in the sunny autumn day!  But remember you can use any dark green leafy vegetable if you don’t have spinach on hand…. kale works just as well too!

P1040114Serves 4 as a main and 6 as a side….. you decide!

Method:

1.  Cook the lentils for about 8 minutes in water and then drain.

2. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.  Peel the ginger and grate finely.  Heat a frying pan, then add the oil and sweat the onion until transparent.  Add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry for 1 minute, until the mixture develops its fragrance.

3.  Wash and pluck the spinach, add to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4.  Add coconut milk and water, and stir well.

5.  Add the drained lentils, mix in well and cook for a further 5 minutes.

6.  Season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice.

P1040121Serve in warm bowls with some wholewheat pita bread or brown rice or maybe just a simple side salad!  YUMMY!  The flavours in this recipe are perfection.  And I love it that it has turmeric, the new queen of spice that research says may help ward of dementia and reduce the risk of cancer.  I’m in!  Be sure to check out ‘tibits at home’ cookbook at www.tibits.co.uk and also their restaurants too!  I’m lucky enough to be heading to their Soho location in mid-October to check out their Autumn menu and will be posting my review here!  So stay tuned!!!!

And if you like this post then why not like my Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Instagram!

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Rose Chocolate Truffles

Let’s face it, the reality is that 3 out of my 4 kids are boys.  And boys are like dogs: they need to be walked at least three times a day!  2 of my boys are WAY into their sports – from rugby to football to cricket and then there’s our frosting on the cake, Nestor, who is 6 and the baby of the family.  When asked what he wants to be when he’s older…. he proudly replies:  ‘David Attenborough.’  So, in order to keep up with these active sportsmen and an explorer-to-be, I’ve got to fuel them with some REAL energy, some REAL foods, some NON-chemical, NON-pacakged, NON-processed foods.  So the gist of the recipe was created for my boys…. but then I do have ONE girl and I needed to include something a bit girlie, right?  And that’s where the Rose Water came in and so in all fairness, these power truffles are 3/4 boys and 1/4 girl.  I think I managed to please everyone in the family with this one……. now that’s a first!

ImageGrab yourself these cool ingredients: For 16 truffles (4 for each child if you have 4 kids!)

20 dates, de-stoned

2 Tbsp. coconut butter or oil

2 Tbsp. cacao powder

3/4 tsp. carob powder

2 tsp. lucuma

2 Tbsp. chia seeds

and the final ingredient:  1 tsp. rose water (so amazing)

You will also need Goji Berry powder, Blueberry powder and ground almonds for dusting.  The flowers in the photos are optional, but highly recommended if you have a girl!

ImageTake all ingredients and either blend in your high speed blender or simply just use your food processor to create a gorgeous paste.  Scrape out as much paste as you can into a bowl and use about a heaped teaspoon per truffle – roll in your hands to create a lovely, round ball.

ImageNext, roll those amazing truffles in some goji berry powder, blueberry powder or ground almonds.

ImageAnd Voila!  Takes no time at all to appease everyone in the family, including yourself!  If you’re having a dinner party, these are great incredibly healthy ‘after-dinner’ treats with some fresh mint tea!  These deliciOSO treats have NO refined sugar.  I used my favourite sugar replacement…. Dates…. instead.  Here are my FOUR top facts about amazing dates.

  1. Dates are free from cholesterol and contain very low fat and are also rich in vitamins and minerals.
  1. They are a rich source of protein, dietary fiber and rich in vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B5 along with vitamin A1 and C.
  1. Dates help improve the digestive system as it contains soluble and insoluble fibers and different kinds of amino acids.
  1. Dates are great energy boosters as they contain natural sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose.

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To learn more about my online programmes such as the Green Smoothie Challenge for Juice Cleanse, head to my WEBSITE HERE for more details.

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