Back to Basics: Sweet potato wedges

Sometimes there’s nothing better than enjoying a bowl of wedges, especially sweet potato ones! This past weekend a good friend came over for a catch up and instead of cooking dinner for us, I made these wedges along with a healthy platter consisting of vegetable crudités, baba ganoush, goat cheese, olives and gluten free crackers.

It enabled me to enjoy catching up instead of being in the kitchen cooking, and if I do say so myself it was a great way to entertain!

Seasoned wedges

I used paprika, along with salt and pepper, to season the wedges as it gave them a slightly earthy flavour.

Spread out

Make sure you spread out the wedges on the baking tray to allow them to become slightly crispy, not soggy.

All cooked

As I was a little pressed for time, I cooked these on 210C/410F for 30 minutes however if you have more time you can reduce the oven temperature to 200C/400F and cook for 35-40 minutes.

Enjoy whilst hot

It is best to enjoy these immediately however they can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days.

Back to Basics: Sweet potato wedges

Serves 2-4 people (depending on how hungry they are)

Ingredients: 

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, washed
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt, extra for serving
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • Serve with hummus

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 210C/410F and line baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Cut the sweet potato into 16 wedges then add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add paprika, pepper, salt and coconut oil to the bowl.
  4. Mix together to coat the potato wedges.
  5. Spread out on prepared baking paper and bake for 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  6. Season with extra salt, serve with hummus then enjoy!

Please note: my wedges were not crunchy, just slightly crispy as that’s how they are meant to be!

These sweet potato wedges are also a great accompaniment to fish, beef, chicken, lamb or even a gorgeous salad!

Emma Lauren Food: One year on…

I cannot believe it has been one year since I started Emma Lauren Food and what a year it’s been. Thank you all so much for your support and positivity over this time, it’s been overwhelming since the beginning and such an amazing experience.

Reflecting back on the recipes created this past year, I thought I’d share some of my personal favourites with you all:

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Raw fig raspberry pistachio cheesecake

Raw fig raspberry pistachio cheesecake: This is probably my favourite photo of the year; the vibrant colour combination of the berry pink and lime green really complement one another. It’s also been very popular as many of you have recreated this cheesecake and thoroughly enjoyed it with your family and friends – thank you for sharing these photos with me too!

Lorna Jane: Move Over Sugar eBook

Move Over Sugar: Lorna Jane eBook: This was a very proud moment for me as four of my original recipes were featured in Lorna Jane’s Move Over Sugar eBook. To be part of such an amazing eBook filled with healthy and delicious recipes is a real honour. I’ve since been featured in Lorna Jane’s 12 Days of #MNBXMAS with my Raw festive fruit tart which was also a ‘pinch me’ moment!

Chocolate for breakfast

Basic pancake batter: If you follow me on Instagram, you would know I rarely go one week without enjoying pancakes – quite often making them twice or three times a week! I love the variety of toppings that can be added to the basic pancakes to enhance their flavour and keep them exciting. This photo just really shows that having chocolate for breakfast isn’t all that bad for you!

Mango, macadamia and basil salad

Mango, macadamia and basil salad: This photo reminds me of summer in Australia – the vibrant colours really showcase just how fresh and healthy this salad is. When I see this photo it also brings back memories of the celebratory Christmas dinner I had with my university friends after we finished our final exams, definitely memories I will cherish forever.

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Raw vanilla and cacao hazelnut cake: I made this spectacular cake for my Mum’s birthday last year. What I loved most about it was not only how delicious it was, but the fact that my Oma (Dutch for Grandma) devoured it, and if my memory serves me right she actually went back for seconds! Knowing that a healthy cake was enjoyed by all generations was a really big tick in my books!

Superfood balls

Superfood balls: I absolutely love to snack throughout the day. It keeps my energy levels high and stabilises my blood sugar. These superfood balls are a filling yet nutritious ball that fills that in-between-main-meals void. I also love the bright specks of colour, especially from the red goji berries.

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Roasted vegetable quinoa salad: Last but not least, this was my very first blog post exactly one year ago. Over the past year I’ve often frequented this post as it reminds me of how much I have grown as a person and how this blog has developed over time. I still make a version of this salad every now and then, for old times sake.

I would like to thank you all so much for your continued support, without your positivity and feedback Emma Lauren Food would definitely not be what it is today. I am so excited for what the next year will bring and I can assure you there are a number of projects currently in the works that I cannot wait to share with you all!

Love,

Emma Lauren x

Emma Lauren

Roasted pumpkin stuffed with moroccan spiced lamb

Pumpkin is one of my favourite roasted vegetables, the sweet yet nutty taste gets me every time. Instead of enjoying it as a side dish, I wanted to make it the main focus for a change.

The flavours in the moroccan spiced lamb really complemented the earthiness of the roasted pumpkin and I just know this is going to be a favourite dish of mine during winter – actually, make that, during all seasons!

One butternut pumpkin half

I used butternut pumpkin/squash as its shape acts as a ‘boat’ that can hold the moroccan lamb mixture without if falling over the sides.

Moroccan spices

The spices in this dish include cumin, paprika and cinnamon – you could definitely add fresh chilli or chilli flakes if you’d like some heat. When cooked, the spices become aromatic and fill the room with a beautiful earthy fragrance.

Adding the red lentils

I always associate red lentils with moroccan food; maybe it’s due to their rustic red colour. The lentils add extra bulk to the dish in the way of flavour and texture.

Moroccan lamb mixture

This dish is vegetable friendly, virtually any variety in your fridge could be used. This is great for those nights when you have a few vegetables to use up or need some extra nutrients!

Flesh scooped out

Once the pumpkin is cooked, scoop enough flesh out to create a ‘boat’. I kept about 1cm from the edges and made sure there was still enough pumpkin flesh on the bottom so the moroccan lamb mixture didn’t seep through.

Ready to fill the pumpkin

As I don’t like waste, I added the scooped pumpkin flesh and seeds to the lamb mixture along with the coriander for extra moroccan flavour.

Nearly ready to be enjoyed

As you can see, the pumpkin has now been filled and is piled quite high. I love the colours in this dish – it really goes to show just how beautiful healthy food can be.

Mint yoghurt dressing

This mint yoghurt really sets off the moroccan spices as it brings an element of freshness to the earthiness.

Decorated and ready to be enjoyed!

This dish will keep for two days in a sealed container in the fridge. Store the mint yoghurt separately and serve on top once reheated in the oven.   

Roasted pumpkin stuffed with moroccan spiced lamb

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 butternut pumpkin halves, washed
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP paprika
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 3 tomatoes, washed and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, washed and diced
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, washed
  • 1/2 cup coriander stalks and leaves, washed and roughly chopped – extra leaves for decoration
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt or natural greek yoghurt
  • 1/4 cup mint, washed and finely sliced
  • 2 TBSP pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 2 TBSP pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Place butternut pumpkin halves on baking paper and roast for 45 minutes.
  3. Add coconut oil to a large frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Cook onion, garlic and ginger for 2 minutes.
  5. Add cumin, paprika and cinnamon then stir for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
  6. Add lamb mince and cook for 5 minutes or until brown then stir through lentils for a further 1 minute.
  7. Add beef stock, tomatoes, celery, spinach leaves, salt and pepper then reduce to a simmer for 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed.
  8. Remove pumpkin from oven and spoon flesh from inside the pumpkin.
  9. Roughly chop the flesh and add to lamb mixture, along with coriander.
  10. Fill pumpkin with lamb mixture then return pumpkin to the oven for 20 minutes.
  11. Mix yoghurt and mint together and set aside.
  12. Remove pumpkin from oven, transfer to a plate, top with mint yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander leaves, pistachios and pine nuts. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • If there is leftover lamb mixture it would be delicious over some cooked quinoa or brown rice!
  • Also, to make it vegan/vegetarian – omit the lamb and use chickpeas instead, and use vegetable stock instead of beef stock.
  • You can use any vegetables you like – grated carrot, mushrooms, zucchini, capsicum and corn would all work really well in this dish.
  • You can definitely eat the pumpkin seeds and skin!

Although it seems as though there are a lot of ingredients, once broken down into spices and vegetables, there really isn’t much to it. It’s definitely worth making and I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did!

Mini salted caramel chocolate tarts

My younger sister moved interstate this week and as she loves chocolate I made her a little going away treat. It’s also Valentine’s Day tomorrow and what kind of day would it be without a little chocolate?!

These mini salted caramel chocolate tarts are an ideal size to satisfy any chocolate craving as they are quite rich. They incorporate two of my favourite flavours: chocolate and salted caramel. So, they are definitely a winner in my books!

Mini Salted Caramel Chocolate Tarts

Raw tart crust

I used almond meal as the main ingredient in the crust as it’s quite fine in texture and ensures the base is fairly light in comparison to the ganache.

Crumbly crust

Once processed, your crust should be crumbly and easy to mould together. The coconut oil brings the ingredients together and solidifies once placed in the freezer to prevent the crust from falling apart.

Salted caramel filling

This salty yet sweet filling complements the decadent chocolate ganache. It breaks up the flavours and allows your palate to experience different tastes all in the one bite.

Ready to set!

Once the crust has been moulded and the centre has been filled, the tarts are ready to be set! These could easily be eaten just like this but I do prefer that extra layer of decadence. After all, if you’re going to enjoy a treat you might as well go all out!

Rich, decadent chocolate ganache

The cacao butter lends the ganache a richness and ensures the chocolate doesn’t melt quickly. If you don’t have cacao butter, you can replace it with coconut oil but it will melt quicker.

Little morsels of heaven

I love the rustic look of these tarts, especially the little peaks the chocolate ganache forms once decorated.

Pure decadence…

These mini tarts will keep in the fridge for up to three days in a sealed container or in the freezer for up to one week in a sealed container – just make sure you allow them time to slightly defrost before consuming.

Mini salted caramel chocolate tarts

Makes 14 mini tarts

Ingredients:

Crust
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 6 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil, extra for greasing mini tart pan
  • 2 TBSP cacao powder
Salted caramel filling
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 2 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Chocolate ganache
  • 1/2 cup cacao butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder
  • 4 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Grease 14 mini tart pans with coconut oil.
  2. Process all crust ingredients in a food processor for 2-3 minutes or until well combined.
  3. Roll into 14 even sized balls and place in the greased tart pan. Gently press down in the centre and mould into a tart shell.
  4. Mix salted caramel ingredients together in a bowl with a spoon until smooth.
  5. Place caramel filling inside tart crust and set in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  6. Process chocolate ganache ingredients together in a food processor for 2-3 minutes or until smooth.
  7. Spoon on top of caramel filling and ensure it is completely covered.
  8. Set in the freezer for a further 20 minutes or until hardened.
  9. Remove mini tarts from pan by running a knife around the edge of each tart and using the same knife to pop the tart out from the bottom. Enjoy!

Note: we enjoyed these mini tarts with dairy free ice cream!

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all for tomorrow, I hope you indulge in a healthy chocolate treat!

Back to Basics: Apple Crumble

This past weekend I graduated from university with my double degree! After four years of study it feels amazing to be finished this chapter of my life and I am definitely ready to start my career.

Graduated.

Apple crumble was always a staple dessert in our house growing up as it was the only dessert my Dad would eat. I think it was because he thought it was ‘healthy’ as there were apples in there… To continue the tradition and my ‘Back to Basics’ series, I wanted to make my own version of apple crumble that is actually healthy.

Seasoning the apples

As the apples become sweet when cooked, they actually don’t require a lot of sweetener. I used coconut palm sugar but you could use 100% pure maple syrup, honey or coconut nectar instead.

Crumble base

To ensure the oats are fine, I processed them with the cinnamon and coconut before adding the remainder of the crumble ingredients. This results in a light crumble mixture that is easy to enjoy!

Nearly finished…

The dates and coconut oil bring the oat mixture together and lend a slight chewiness to the crumble.

Crumbly mixture

Once processed, the crumble mixture is ready to be spread over the seasoned apples and will become slightly crisp on top once baked.

Ready for the oven!

The crumble will keep in the fridge for up to three days; just ensure it is covered with plastic wrap or a secure lid. If you don’t want to bake it straight away, it too will keep in the fridge covered for three days before being baked.

Back to Basics: Apple Crumble

Serves 8
Ingredients:
Filling
  • 6 green apples, washed and diced
  • 3 TBSP coconut palm sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
Crumble
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 TBSP cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 8 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Mix all filling ingredients together in a large bowl.
  3. Place in the bottom of a 25cm oven proof dish.
  4. Place oats, cinnamon and coconut in a food processor then process for 3-5 minutes or until fine in texture.
  5. Add dates, coconut oil and vanilla extract to the food processor then process for an additional 2-3 minutes or until it resembles a crumble texture.
  6. Sprinkle crumble mixture over filling until completely covered.
  7. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until golden.
  8. Serve with dairy free ice cream or dairy free yoghurt. Enjoy!

Note: I used CoCoLuscious coffee ice cream – it tasted delicious with the apple crumble!

**This recipe is not gluten free as it contains oats. Use quinoa flakes as a gluten free alternative.

Earthy and sweet dessert!

Well, it’s safe to say this was a hit with my Dad and the rest of my family. So, I guess this healthy version will become a staple in our house once again!