Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf

It’s my first week back in Melbourne since my travels and it’s been absolutely FREEZING! I’ve been drinking lots of herbal tea and making winter meals to keep me warm. Here’s something many of you didn’t know about me, I’ve never actually had a ‘proper’ winter before. Yes I’ve visited places during the winter and have seen snow multiple times but to live in a city where I can wear a winter coat and boots day in, day out is quite exciting for me.

Along with embracing the winter fashion I’ll also be making plenty of hearty meals that are full of nutrients. If you would like to be the first to receive these healthy yet hearty meals straight to your inbox, just hit ‘follow’ and enter your email on the right side of this page –>

So, here’s just a few things that I’ve been making/buying this week.

Healthy Winter Dinner. Emma Lauren Food.

Easy winter dinner

The above meal is one of my go-to weeknight dinners as along with being healthy it is simple, quick and tasty. After a busy day at work and in this cold weather all I’ve been craving is warming foods. By adding warming spices such as cinnamon and cumin to the sweet potato it really brings out the flavour of the vegetable – try it out next time you’re roasting some!

Healthy Pantry. Emma Lauren Food.

Stocking up my healthy pantry

This week I’ve been stocking up my healthy pantry – two of the health food stores in my area have had ‘super saver’ days (one 20% off and the other 15% off) so how could I not buy anything?! Although initially it is quite an outlay, these products will last me a long time and I know I can make/create a lot of different recipes with this selection.

Healthy Pantry. Emma Lauren Food.

Another healthy haul!

As I’ve moved to a new area in Melbourne, one of the first things I did was check out my local health food store and find out when their ‘super saver’ days are. It is common for health food stores to have 15% off on the first Saturday of every month, but make sure you ask and put it in you calendar as you can make a real saving!

Almond milk latte. Emma Lauren Food.

Almond milk latte from Organica, Melbourne

Before heading to the Prahran Markets to buy some fresh produce for the week, I stopped by Organica for an almond milk latte. It was just what I needed as it was quite cool – as you can see by the number of layers I’m wearing! I haven’t eaten there yet, but they have some great raw vegan slices, healthy salads and soups and takeaway meals.

Roasted pumpkin stuffed with moroccan spiced lamb. Emma Lauren Food.

Saturday night dinner

This was last night’s dinner and boy did it go down well. Made with organic grass fed lamb mince and fresh vegetables all sourced from the markets it was just what I needed. You too can make this roasted stuffed pumpkin with moroccan spiced lamb – it’s actually one of my favourite recipes. The best part is I have plenty of leftovers so tonight’s dinner is sorted.

Now for the vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf recipe. I made this at the start of the week as a quick breakfast option and to enjoy at morning tea. It’s actually a vegan and gluten free version of this loaf.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Dry ingredients

Almond meal is a light flour that’s also gluten free and grain free (it’s basically ground almonds). The additions of chopped almonds add a crunchiness, the coconut adds a slight chewiness and the quinoa flakes add bulk to the loaf.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Chia ‘egg’

As I’ve mentioned previously, a chia ‘egg’ is just chia seeds mixed with water. It’s a vegan substitute that acts as a binding ingredient just like a regular egg does – plus it has the added nutritional benefits of chia seeds!

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

In separate bowls

Once the dry and wet ingredients have been separately mixed, it’s time to combine them. Make sure you gently fold them together in the larger bowl so the blueberries don’t break/bleed their colour too much.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Loaf mixture

All mixed together now and you can really see the different elements that make up this deliciously healthy loaf.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Prepared loaf tin

I always line my loaf tins to ensure the baked good can be easily removed. Plus, it means less cleaning up as you just need to wash it in hot soapy water without having to scrub bits of loaf off the tin.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to be baked

The loaf needs to be pressed into the tin to ensure a nice, even top. I sprinkled a few extra chopped almonds on top just for decoration, feel free to do the same!

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Golden on top!

Just how a loaf should look – golden and crunchy on top! Enjoy a slice of this healthy loaf with some almond butter and a cup of tea, or just by itself.

Make sure you allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing as it is quite delicate!

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to be devoured

This loaf will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.

Vegan blueberry quinoa coconut loaf

Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup quinoa flakes
  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 6 TBSP water
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt*
  • 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Grease or line loaf tin with baking paper.
  2. Combine almond meal, baking soda, shredded coconut, almonds and quinoa flakes in a large bowl, set aside.
  3. Combine chia seeds and water in a bowl, set aside for 2 minutes or until liquid has absorbed.
  4. Stir in vanilla extract, coconut oil, coconut yoghurt and blueberries into chia ‘egg’ bowl.
  5. Fold wet and dry ingredients together.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared loaf tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely in loaf tin.
  7. Slice with a bread knife and enjoy!

Notes

    • Substitute the coconut yoghurt for 1/2 cup mashed bananas
    • Make sure you allow the loaf to cool completely otherwise it may crumble.

I’ve already sliced the up into individual portions and have them all wrapped up, ready to take to work for the week!

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Breakfast jars

Firstly, Happy Mother’s Day to my beautiful Mum and all the amazing Mum’s today! I hope you’ve had a wonderful day surrounded by your loved ones. Unfortunately I was unable to spend the day with mine but last weekend I surprised her in Sydney for early celebrations and what a weekend it was!

Brunch at Bread & Circus. Emma Lauren Food.

Brunch at Bread & Circus

On Saturday morning we went for brunch at Bread & Circus in Alexandria and I had the ‘summer on toast’ – it was honestly the best brunch I’ve had in a long time! Such simple ingredients yet so delicious – goats chevre, heirloom tomato, torn basil, chilli flakes and lime on essene bread with a side of eggs. Perfection.

This definitely provided me with more than enough fuel for a full day of shopping with Mum!

Sydney. Emma Lauren Food.

Stunning Sydney day

After a busy shopping day on Saturday, Sunday was more low-key with a family lunch. Sydney really turned on the weather – it actually felt like I was back on the Gold Coast…

Almond milk latte from Anvil Coffee Co. Emma Lauren Food.

Sunday morning coffee

My younger sister and I enjoyed our early morning coffees and a walk around the beautiful Kirribilli streets before heading to the family lunch. In Kirribilli, Anvil Coffee Co is a great cafe located on the wharf. Much to my surprise they served almond milk and had quite a nice menu too – I gauged this only from reading it not actually eating anything.

It was really special to spend quality time with my family last weekend as it’s such a rarity these days; but I can assure you we definitely make the most of our time together when it does happen.

Anvil Coffee Co, Sydney. Emma Lauren Food

Quality sister time + coffees

I cannot believe it’s been one month since I moved to Melbourne! My morning routine has completely changed – from early morning exercising, cooking a big breakfast and driving to work I now exercise in the evenings, eat breakfast out of a jar (most days) and take the tram to work.

If you follow me on Instagram you may have noticed my multiple breakfast jar posts, such as the one below…

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Fig and tahini breakfast jar

These have become my go-to breakfast as I make them the night before and grab it on my way out in the morning. I use a jar as it’s easy to carry and the food travels well in it, plus I like to make my food look appealing so the clear jar assists with that!

As you can see in the photo above there are a number of elements to my breakfast jar – granola, fruit, cinnamon, yoghurt and nut/seed butter.

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

The ‘granola’

This granola only takes 5 minutes to make and you can add in whatever granola ingredients you have in your healthy pantry. Lately I’ve been using buckwheat groats and chia seeds as the base as they absorbed the liquid and provide bulk to the granola. The pumpkin seeds add a crunch and the coconut, well I really just love coconut… so I add it in for extra flavour.

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready for assembling

Once the fruit is cut and the granola is made, it’s time for the fun part! A little tip, if you’d like your breakfast to look artistic use a teaspoon when layering the ingredients as they won’t end up on the sides of your jar if you’re careful enough.

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Tomorrow’s breakfast is made

For the jar, I actually use an old nut butter jar – about 400g. Just thoroughly clean it out and peel off the label then you have a non-toxic way to enjoy your breakfast!

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Cacao avocado spread + figs

Here’s some flavour inspiration for you! The cacao avocado spread + figs has probably been one of my favourite combinations so far – I think it’s the decadence of having chocolate for breakfast that gets me time and time again! Plus, the avocado really makes the spread creamy so it’s indulgent yet guilt-free!

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Chocolate tahini spread + strawberries

This will keep in the fridge for up to two days (depending on the fruit used) in your sealed glass jar!

Breakfast jars

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP chia seeds
  • 2 TBSP coconut flakes
  • 2 TBSP buckwheat groats
  • 2 TBSP pumpkin seeds
  • 2 TBSP almond milk/milk of your choice
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 TBSP nut butter or this or even this
  • 2 TBSP coconut yoghurt/yoghurt of your choice
  • Fruit of your choice, sliced

Method:

  1. Place chia seeds, coconut, buckwheat, pumpkin seeds and almond milk in a bowl to make the ‘granola’.
  2. Mix until well combined then set aside for two minutes, or until liquid is absorbed.
  3. Layer, in a glass jar, the nut butter, granola, cinnamon, fruit and yoghurt until filled to the top.
  4. Place lid on tight and store in the fridge overnight. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • You can add any ingredients you like to the ‘granola’ – goji berries, bee pollen, sunflower seeds, cacao nibs, quinoa flakes, oats, etc. would all work well!
Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Chocolate tahini spread + blueberries + plums

The colours in this jar are so vibrant and make me enjoy breakfast that little bit more…

Breakfast jars. Emma Lauren Food.

Blueberries + apple + chocolate tahini spread

What are your thoughts on the breakfast jar?

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 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!

Frozen raspberry ginger coconut yoghurt

This past week I have been a bit under the weather and was looking for a soothing snack. I decided to make my own frozen yoghurt, but with coconut yoghurt. I added the raspberries for their antioxidants and the ginger to help my immune system (and to scare away my cold) – it seems to have worked a treat!

This frozen coconut yoghurt is the perfect dish to eat when you’re sick or to cool you down this coming summer.

Creamy goodness!

Frozen raspberry ginger coconut yoghurt

Serves 1

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup coconut yoghurt
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Method:

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender/food processor.
  2. Blend/process for 3-5 minutes until well combined.
  3. Serve and eat immediately. Enjoy!

What soothing snacks do you eat when sick?