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

Chocolate chip cookies

Ciao from Sardinia! I’m currently sitting by the resort pool soaking up the Mediterranean sun which is a change from the cooler Parisian weather we experienced last week.

Sardinia. Emma Lauren Food.

Soaking up the sunshine

Sardinia is such a beautiful island, just off the coast of Italy. We are here visiting some very good family friends who have been coming here for many years and certainly know the best places to go.

Sardinia. Emma Lauren Food.

Brunch

Food is such an important part of the culture over here and there is a real emphasis on high quality, fresh produce. There was certainly no shortage of food over brunch and was such a great way to start our week here.

Sardinia. Emma Lauren Food.

Breakfast

The simplicity of the food here has really impressed me – vegetables drizzled with good quality olive oil and seasoned with salt to bring out the flavour. Light and delicious – I’ve definitely had to hold myself back from going for seconds a number of times!!

Now, to share with you a recipe I made before leaving Australia: chocolate chip cookies. These are a classic cookie with a healthy twist – so you can still enjoy them without the ‘guilt’.

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food

Chia egg

The chia egg is used in the same way as the flax egg – it acts as a binding ingredient for the cookies, plus they are full of omega 3s!

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

One bowl required

Only one bowl is required for these cookies – just how I like to cook. This also means less cleaning up!

I’ve used quinoa flakes as a main ingredient in these cookies as they provide bulk and add a protein element.

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Homemade chocolate chips

These are homemade chocolate chips however you can use dairy and sugar free chocolate chips that can be purchased from your local supermarket in the health food section or local health food store.

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Rolled into balls

These are great bite-sized cookies, perfect for a mid-morning or afternoon treat. They don’t require too much effort but really hit the spot if you’re after a chocolatey hit.

Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Cooling…

These cookies will keep in a sealed container in the pantry for up to three days or in the fridge for up to one week.

Chocolate chip cookies

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups quinoa flakes
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 chia egg*
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips – dairy and sugar free*

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Mix quinoa flakes, coconut oil, coconut nectar, shredded coconut and chia egg together in a large bowl.
  3. Add chocolate chips and mix until well combined.
  4. Form into 12 cookies and place onto prepared baking tray, then press down lightly.
  5. Bake for 10 – 12 minutes or until lightly golden.
  6. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy with a cup of tea. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • The chia egg is made using 1 TBSP chia seeds with 3 TBSP water. Allow to sit to for 2-3 minutes until water has been completely absorbed.
  • I used homemade chocolate and cut it into pieces. As mentioned earlier in the post, you can purchase dairy and sugar free chocolate chips instead.
Chocolate chip cookies. Emma Lauren Food.

Ready to be enjoyed!

We only have a few days left in Sardinia before head through Italy. I’m certainly learning a lot about eating gluten, dairy and sugar free whilst travelling through Europe – cannot wait to share these experiences with you all when I’m back in Australia soon!

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?

Green chickpea vegetable curry

I’m sure many of you who work full-time understand this already but after a busy day at work it’s difficult to find the motivation to cook a healthy meal.

Since starting my internship in Melbourne last week, I’ve realised the way to tackle this problem is to be organised. The more prepared I am at the start of the week, the easier it is to eat healthily during the week. As there are no excuses not to eat healthy when I have all the ingredients in the fridge!

Green curry paste

I bought this curry paste from Coles in the Asian section. It’s a healthy yet convenient way to add instant flavour to your meal.

Cooking away…

I understand traditional curries require hours of cooking however this is an easy recipe that requires limited cooking time and is full of flavour!

Full of greens

What is great about this curry is that you can use whatever vegetables you have – feel free to add some chicken if you want too!

Quick, healthy curry

This curry can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for two days – or great for lunch the next day!

Green chickpea vegetable curry

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 TBSP coconut oil
  • 2 TBSP green curry paste
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 TBSP ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 bunch shallots, washed and sliced
  • 1x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch pak choy, washed and sliced
  • 1 cup green beans, washed and sliced
  • 1x 400g can coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa

Method:

  1. In a large frypan over medium heat melt coconut oil.
  2. Add green curry paste, garlic, ginger and shallots and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
  3. Add chickpeas and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add pak choy, green beans and coconut milk, then simmer for a further 5-7 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with cooked quinoa. Enjoy!

How do you add flavour to your meals?