Lamb, pumpkin and eggplant curry

We’re already into our last month of winter but I’ve been warned that Melbourne doesn’t actually get warm until November. So that means more curries, soups and stews for me. Which isn’t a bad idea as I haven’t been well … Continue reading

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!

Raw gingerbread tart

Yesterday family friends were coming over for morning tea and there weren’t any healthy treats in the house to enjoy with our morning coffee. This just wouldn’t do! So, I decided to whip up a raw tart and as I wanted to keep with the Christmas theme, gingerbread flavour it was.

I realise I’ve posted two raw tarts in a row but many of you were asking specifically for this recipe to enjoy over Christmas. So, here it is…

Base ingredients

I used sultanas in the base as they add a very natural sweet flavour which contrasts with the ginger spiced filling.

Pressed into the tart pan

As with all my cakes and tarts I always grease and line the pan. This ensures your creation can be easily removed from the pan and all your hard work does not go to waste.

Roasting the walnuts

I acknowledge the maple walnuts are not ‘raw’ however the tart definitely needed something crunchy yet decorative on top. These certainly fit the bill and really enhance the overall aesthetic and flavour of the tart.

Cinnamon and maple syrup flavoured

I like to utilise the same ingredients just in a different way in many of my recipes. I used the same flavours from the tart base for the maple walnuts to ensure the flavours all tied together.

Keep moving them…

It is important to keep moving the walnuts once they are out of the oven the second time around to ensure they don’t stick together.

Morning tea is served

This raw tart will keep in the freezer in a sealed container for up to two weeks.

Raw gingerbread tart

Serves 16

Ingredients:

Base
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1 cup almonds
  • 4 fresh medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
Filling
  • 2 cups cashews
  • 1 1/2 cups almond milk
  • 2 TBSP ginger, spice
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 TBSP 100% pure maple syrup
Maple walnuts
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 TBSP cinnamon

Method:

  1. Place all base ingredients in a food processor and process for 3 minutes or until crumbly.
  2. Press into a 22cm tart pan which has been lightly greased with coconut oil and lined on the bottom. Smooth with the back of a wet spoon then place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  3. Place all filling ingredients into a Vitamix or food processor and process for 5 minutes or until smooth.
  4. Pour into tart base and even out with a spatula.
  5. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or until solidified.
  6. Decorate with crushed maple walnuts, cut into 16 slices and serve. Enjoy!
Maple walnuts
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Spread walnuts on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  2. Place in the oven and roast for 8–10 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove walnuts from oven and set aside to slightly cool.
  3. Combine the maple syrup and cinnamon in a small bowl.
  4. Add walnuts to the bowl and coat in mixture.
  5. Spread coated walnuts and the rest of the mixture on the same lined baking tray and return to oven for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven once cooked and with a spoon keep moving for the first few minutes to prevent them from sticking together.
  • If there are maple walnuts left over, enjoy them as a sweet snack!

Are there certain flavours that signify Christmas to you?

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?