Carrot cake quinoa porridge

This week it’s been overcast and rainy on the Gold Coast, signalling a cool change into winter. Thus meaning only one thing for me at breakfast time: porridge, and quinoa porridge at that!

During the cooler months, it can be a bit boring to just top your porridge with the same ingredients day in day out, so it’s nice to spice it up by adding flavours when cooking. Here’s the first of many porridge flavours for you to enjoy this coming winter… carrot cake!

Creamy carrot cake quinoa porridge. Emma Lauren Food.

Cooking the carrot

It’s important the carrot is cooked through so you’re not eating raw carrot for breakfast. It is also a great way for kids to get some extra vegetables in their daily diet – as they wouldn’t expect to have them hidden in their porridge! Just a little tip, if making it for children grate the carrot even finer and ensure it’s completely mixed in so they won’t see the flecks of orange.

Creamy carrot cake quinoa porridge. Emma Lauren Food.

Creamy consistency!

Cinnamon and nutmeg are warming spices which are ideal to incorporate into your breakfasts on those cooler mornings. These spices, among others, aren’t just for flavouring dishes they are also beneficial to your health.

Creamy carrot cake quinoa porridge. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to warm you up!

This porridge surprisingly tastes like carrot cake and is a real treat to enjoy for breakfast!

Creamy carrot cake quinoa porridge

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 2 TBSP coconut yoghurt
  • 1 TBSP raisins
  • 1 TBSP coconut chips or shredded coconut
  • 1 TBSP walnuts, chopped
  • 1 tsp almond or walnut butter

Method:

  1. Place quinoa, carrot and almond milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Cook for 10-12 minutes or until creamy, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger, and continue to cook for two minutes.
  4. Stir through coconut yoghurt, raisins and coconut chips.
  5. Serve in bowl and place chopped walnuts and nut butter on top. Enjoy!

What’s your favourite porridge flavour?

Roasted vegetable quinoa salad with pesto

I cannot believe it has been a week since Melbourne Cup, as the year goes on time just seems fly by! To celebrate Melbourne Cup at work we all brought in a dish to enjoy for lunch whilst watching the race. I hope you backed a winner!

I made this roasted vegetable quinoa salad with pesto as it caters for almost all dietary requirements as it’s gluten free, vegan, dairy free and can be made nut free by swapping the pine nuts for pumpkin seeds in the pesto.

Basil pesto

My very first post was a quinoa salad (actually, very similar to this one) and remembered how delicious it was. It’s really the perfect dish as it feeds a lot of people, it’s very tasty and you can use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge.

I added lemon juice to the pesto as it lends a freshness to this otherwise heavier salad due to the roasted vegetables.

Salad ready to be served!

This salad will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to 3 days.

Roasted vegetable quinoa salad with pesto

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 4 cups vegetables (I used carrot, sweet potato, red and green capsicum, potato, pumpkin and zucchini), all thoroughly washed and diced*
  • Coconut oil
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 2 cups basil, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/8 cup macadamia oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Place vegetables onto baking paper and coat with just enough coconut oil.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool down.
  4. Place basil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and garlic in the food processor. Process until everything is combined. Slowly add macadamia oil (you may not need 1/8 cup) and continue to process until it forms a paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Mix together the cooked quinoa, roasted vegetables and spinach leaves in a large mixing bowl.
  6. Fold through the pesto and mix until the quinoa and vegetables have all been coated. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • If you like to keep the skin on your vegetables (like me) ensure they are washed thoroughly to remove all the dirt
  • This is delicious when topped with hummus and sliced avocado!
  • I doubled the recipe for Melbourne Cup and it served 10 people easily
  • If you don’t use all the pesto, keep it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days!

What’s your favourite dish to bring to a friend’s party/work function?

Shaved parsnip and carrot chips

It’s been a stunning weekend on the Gold Coast! As it’s my last semester of university I’ve been making the most of the time with my friends. It’s an exciting time for us all to be moving onto the next stage of our lives, but is also marks the ‘end of an era’.

With this in mind I had some friends over for dinner last night and everyone contributed a delicious dish. I made my vegan spelt pizzas as they are simple yet tasty and don’t require hours of cooking.

Delicious dinner!

Now onto the shaved parsnip and carrot chips recipe. A few weeks ago now I made these as I felt like something crunchy – they are a great substitute for potato chips!

Shaved vegetables!

To shave the parsnip and carrots, I used a vegetable peeler as it ensures an evenly sliced chip.

Coated in coconut oil

Try not to overcrowd the baking tray as then the chips won’t become crunchy.

Crispy chips.

These are best eaten immediately otherwise they will lose their crunch.

Shaved parsnip and carrot chips

Serves 2 as a snack or serves 4 as a main meal accompaniment 

Ingredients:

  • 1 parsnip, washed and peeled
  • 2 carrots, washed and peeled
  • Coconut oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the parsnip and carrots.
  3. Lightly coat with coconut oil and place on lined baking trays.
  4. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, turning every 6-7 minutes to make them crispy.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and serve! Enjoy!

Served on top of grass-fed beef.

They can be eaten by themselves as a snack or on top of beef or fish to keep your dinners interesting!

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Quinoa chickpea vegetable salad with hummus

Since Sunday I have been down in Melbourne as I am completing an internship for three weeks as part of my university studies! As I’m a self-confessed foodie I have already been sampling the delicious food Melbourne has to offer. So, I thought I’d share some meals with you..

Vegan shepherd’s pie with salad and chutney!

I enjoyed this gluten free vegan shepherd’s pie from The Organic Food and Wine Deli in Degraves St Melbourne CBD, for lunch on my first day. It was absolutely delicious and really reasonably priced!

Delicious dinner at Mamasita’s!

I caught up with a good friend at Mamasita’s, Collins St Melbourne CBD, last night for dinner. Although there was about a 30 minute wait to be seated, I believe it was well worth it. We enjoyed their signature corn, a taco each (I chose the fish) and their chickpea fritters – these were my favourite of the night! The entire restaurant is gluten free, yet the most surprising part was the bill. All of this only cost us $20 each – such great value! I highly recommend eating here, but do be prepared to queue!

So now onto the recipe…

As I’m working 9-5 days I’m experiencing what it really is like having to cook after a busy day at work. I believe the words ‘simpler is better’ are very appropriate to use here!

Chopped vegetables

This salad is very simple and you can basically use whatever vegetables you have in the fridge.

Cooking away

The quinoa and chickpeas add an element of protein to this filling salad.

A little tip – cook a lot of quinoa on Sunday and store it in a sealed container so you can add it to dishes throughout the first part of the week!

Simple, healthy dinner

This salad will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to two days – perfect to take for lunch the next day!

Quinoa chickpea vegetable salad with hummus

Serves 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1/2 zucchini, washed and finely sliced
  • 1/2 eggplant, washed and finely diced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, washed and finely diced
  • 1/2 head broccoli, washed and cut into florets
  • 3 mushrooms, finely sliced
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup rocket, washed
  • 3 TBSP hummus
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Place a large frypan over medium heat and add coconut oil.
  2. Add in carrot, zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, broccoli and mushrooms, and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add cooked quinoa, cumin and chickpeas to vegetables. Cook for a further 5 minutes.
  4. Stir through rocket, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately with hummus.
  5. Enjoy!

Note: goat cheese would work really well with this salad!

As I’m down in Melbourne for three weeks, I welcome any suggestions from you for healthy cafes/restaurants for me to try!

Vegan chickpea patties

When I have a busy week ahead I always make sure my food is prepared in advance. This is to prevent me from reaching for anything in sight when hunger strikes.

These chickpea patties are great to have on hand to add into salads, used as a filling in a wrap or top with hummus or pesto for a delicious snack.

Main ingredients

The main ingredients in the patties are chickpeas and pumpkin seeds. They are both full of protein and fibre which will keep you fuller for longer.

Adding some colour

The carrot and parsley not only add colour but extra nutrients to the patties.

‘Flax egg’ as a binding agent

As I’ve mentioned before here, flax eggs are a vegan replacement for eggs. They act as a binding agent and help keep the patties together.

All set for baking

These chickpea patties can be cooked in a frypan however I prefer to bake them as it means no extra oil is required.

Dinner is served

These patties will keep in the fridge in a sealed container for up to four days.

If you want to freeze them, do so before baking and layer between baking paper to prevent them from sticking together. Defrost the patties before baking and do so as per the instructions below.

Chickpea patties

Makes 11 medium-sized patties

Ingredients:

  • 2 x 250g cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds/pepitas
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, washed
  • 1 TBSP macadamia oil
  • 3 TBSP flaxseed meal
  • 1 TBSP water

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix flaxseed meal and water together in a bowl to make the flax egg. Set aside for 5 minutes or until thickened.
  3. Place chickpeas and pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Process for 2 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Add carrot, garlic, parsley and macadamia oil. Process for a further 2 minutes or until combined.
  5. Add flax egg and process for a final 2 minutes or until all combined.
  6. Roll into balls, place on prepared baking tray and press down gently to flatten.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes then flip and bake for a further 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with salad and enjoy!

Colourful dinner

I always try to eat a rainbow everyday!

How do you plan ahead with your food for a busy week? I’d love to hear any hints you might have!