Saturday, 28 May 2016

buddha bowl

This Buddha bowl was delicious and super easy - I was after something quick (little bit hungover - needed sustenance ASAP) and I had some things in my fridge that needed used. 

Buddha bowls can be adapted in many ways, but as a general rule I try to include some sort of healthy grain, greens, legumes/beans and whatever else I want/need to use just gets chucked in!

I won't list a specific recipe because you can change this up in so many ways, but here is a list of what I included in this particular bowl:
  • Black rice
  • Roasted sweet potato slices
  • Raw red cabbage
  • Mango
  • Steamed black kale
  • Roasted chilli and garlic chickpeas
  • Sprouted buckwheat
  • Fermented salsa (the last of the jar - need to make more immediately!)

Roasted chickpeas are delicious and so simple to make. I used a tin of organic chickpeas, rinsed and patted dry. Sprinkle over some hot chilli powder, smoked paprika and garlic granules and bake in the oven @ 180° for around 30 mins :)

P.S. I said I would report back on the fermented salsa! I've been using it for about a week now and I'm hooked. It's so much more flavoursome than 'normal' salsa. I've been using it with salads, sweet potatoes, tortilla chips (bold!) and everything else in between. For a recipe that was so simple (chop everything and chuck in a mason jar with some pink salt) this was insanely good..! I will continue to make this regularly because it's a great option to have in the fridge - thumbs up!

Friday, 27 May 2016

pistachio, pomegranate and pink Himalayan salt chocolate bark

This chocolate turned out so good! And it took all of about ten minutes to make - even better! 

I used 85% cocoa chocolate to try to make this as healthy as possible. I've seen many variations of this recipe - using different dried fruits, nuts and seeds.

  • 2 large bars of dark chocolate - the higher % cocoa you can get, the better!
  • 2 handfuls of shelled pistachios, chopped in half
  • 1 pomegranate - seeds extracted from fruit - for tips on how to do this check out this link


To melt the chocolate you will need a pot, some water and a heat resistant bowl. Add some water to the pot and bring to the boil. Lower heat to medium and place your bowl on top of the pot - there should be no spaces between the pot and the edges of your bowl. Ensure that the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl. Crack chocolate into pieces and add to bowl. Stir continuously until chocolate is fully melted. Pour melted chocolate onto a silicone baking sheet (you also can use greaseproof paper on top of a baking sheet). Spread chocolate out - you can make it as thin or thick as you like! Sprinkle toppings onto melted chocolate while it is still hot. Place baking sheet into fridge for a couple of hours to harden. ENJOY. 

Thursday, 26 May 2016

veggie stirfry with black rice noodles

I picked up these black rice noodles recently and I've been dying to try them with something! Stirfry is one of those tasty, easy dishes that's perfect for evenings when you just can't really be bothered 'cooking'.

This recipe is really simple and uses minimal ingredients - most of which you will probably already have in your fridge/cupboard.

Note: When making stirfry I find that I always over/under cook broccoli so I now just steam it and add it in at the end, this way it gets cooked properly and retains its lovely green colour!

  • Tbsp of sesame seeds - lightly toasted in pan and set aside
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos
  • 3 cloves of garlic (I love garlic!)
  • Thumb sized piece of grated ginger 
  •  Red bell pepper
  • Yellow Bell pepper
  • Half a head of broccoli
  • 1 sliced carrot
  • Handful of peanuts
  • 1 tbsp vegan 'chicken' stock powder (I use Massel - you can find this on Amazon!)
  • 1 carton of chestnut mushrooms
  • 2 sliced spring onions
  • Warm water as required 
  • Optional: Cornflour - you can use this if you want the sauce to be thicker
  • Your choice of side - rice/rice noodles/cous cous - cooked per package instructions 


Heat some sesame oil in a non stick pan on medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, and carrots and stir fry for 2 minutes. Add peppers, mushrooms and peanuts and stirfry for a further 2 minutes. Whisk together aminos, 'chicken' stock powder, a few tablespoons of water and cornflour (if desired) then add this to the pan. Stirfry for a further two minutes then serve with your choice of side. Top with sliced spring onions and toasted sesame seeds. 


fresh summer rolls with sesame tofu, basil and mint

These summer rolls are crunchy, light and quick to prepare (once you get the hang of working with rice papers!). Options for fillings are endless - any crunchy vegetable combo will taste great - I've since made another batch with rice noodles in the middle, this makes the rolls much more filling.

There are a couple of different rice papers you can use - bigger papers can be folded at both ends then rolled and cut in half (burrito stylee!), the smaller ones - which I used - can be folded up at the bottom then rolled. Having tried both methods I definitely feel like the smaller sheets are easier to work with, so may be a good choice if it's your first time too!

Ingredients - Rolls
  • 16cm rice paper sheets
  • Handful of beansprouts - blanched
  • Bunch of basil
  • Bunch of mint
  • A few sprigs of coriander
  • Bell peppers sliced into sticks
  • Carrots sliced into sticks
  • Cucumber sliced into sticks
  • Sliced spring onions
  • Tofu fried in sesame oil then cut into strips

Ingredients - Sauce

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp aminos
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Pinch of chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 clove garlic - grated
  • Warm water to thin as required 


Whisk all sauce ingredients together until the mixture reaches a smooth consistency - if the mixture is too thick, add warm water to thin as required. Set sauce aside.

Before preparing the rice paper rolls set a bowl of warm water next to you - you will need this to soften the sheets. Submerge a sheet in the water for about 15 seconds, you'll want to remove it before it's completely softened or it'll be impossible to lay out flat. Lay out flat on a plate and dab the top of the sheet with a clean cotton towel to remove excess water. Layer on your crunchy veggies, herbs and tofu. Fold the bottom of the sheet then roll. DONE. 

Serve right away with peanut dipping sauce :) 

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

fermented salsa

Having only recently become aware of the benefits of eating fermented foods I've been really looking forward to trying out a recipe of my own - the only thing holding me back was finding a decent mason jar. I managed to pick one up a few days ago so wanted to try this recipe straight away! 

Eating fermented foods introduces beneficial bacteria into our digestive systems which in turn can improve digestion, boost immunity and there are claims that they can even reverse some diseases. 

This salsa is sitting on my counter fermenting as we speak - I'm so excited to try it! I'll report back with pictures/review once I open. I plan to allow it to ferment for around 2/3 days on the counter and then move it to my fridge to be used - it will last for around 8 months in the fridge, however mine will probably be done by the weekend :) 


  • 8 large vine ripened tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 chilli (I used red) 
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 tablespoons of pink Himalayan salt (you can also use Celtic/sea salts)
  • Your choice of spice - I used half a teaspoon of cumin, half a teaspoon of hot chilli powder and half a teaspoon of smoked paprika


Chop all ingredients to desired size - I recently invested in a little Philips chopper, this has saved me so much time (and so many tears where onions are concerned!) when cooking. Transfer to a bowl and add lemon/lime juices, salt and spices. Give this a good stir around and transfer to mason jar. Leave mason jar on counter for 2/3 days and once this time is up, transfer to fridge to keep cool.


Thursday, 19 May 2016

Bún Chay (Vietnamese Veggie Noodle Salad)

Bún Chay is one of those dishes that will never get boring. The combination of fresh aromatic herbs along with crunchy fresh veggies, crispy sesame tofu and sweet/salty/sour sauce will keep me coming back to this recipe time and time again! This dish is so quick to throw together and is perfect for warm summer evenings. 

I used carrot and cucumber for this particular bowl but you can throw in whatever needs used in your fridge - I usually add some beansprouts too but I forgot on this occasion! Fresh bell peppers, sugar-snap peas and radishes will all work a treat in this dish.

The herbs are what give this dish such a fresh and interesting flavour - so don't be shy when adding them! 

  • 2 servings of dried rice vermicelli
  • 225g pack of Clearspot Naturally Smoked Tofu (or a firm tofu of your choice)
  • Sesame oil
  • A few handfuls of chopped lettuce
  • A handful of beansprouts
  • Half a cucumber sliced into sticks
  • 2 carrots sliced into sticks
  • One handful each of fresh chopped basil, coriander and mint - plus some sprigs left over for decoration
  • Chopped salted peanuts to top (I had none so I used toasted sesame seeds instead - still good!)
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos (you can also use soy sauce)
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 grated clove garlic
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar

Start by making your sauce - whisk all ingredients together and set aside. 

Cut your tofu block into squares about half an inch in thickness. Press these with some kitchen towel to remove excess water. Add a tbsp of sesame oil to a pan and heat on med-low heat then add tofu squares and fry for about 10 mins. Once this time is up, turn over and fry the other side for about 5 mins (or until nice and crispy). Remove from pan and allow to cool for a few minutes - once cool, chop into cubes and set aside. 

While your tofu is frying prepare your rice noodles per the package instructions. Once these are ready, rinse with cold water and set aside.

Arrange your lettuce, carrots, cucumber, beansprouts and fresh herbs in bowls. Add rice noodles to each bowl and pour over sauce. 

Add tofu cubes and garnish with chopped peanuts and leftover herb sprigs.



Friday, 13 May 2016

summer salad feat. avocado rose attempt 1

The sun is STILL shining here in Belfast - summer has lasted longer than a day, yay! I really crave salad when it's sunny outside so here we have a random assortment of fruits (blueberries were a weird but good addition!) / veggies I found in the fridge, teamed with steamed baby spuds.

I've been seeing avocado roses all over Instagram recently - I've been dying to try making my own, so behold my first attempt! It turned out okay, however I will definitely cut the slices thinner next time.. If you're trying this please remember to use a firm (but still ripe!) avocado - mushy avos will just collapse.

Check out this link if you're interested in attempting your own avocado rose!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

banana-berry nice-cream

Summer has finally decided to rear it's lovely little head here in Belfast, this can mean only one thing - ICE-CREAM!

None of the shops local to me sell vegan ice-cream (yet-!!) so I decided to whip up some nice-cream using only fruit and a tiny bit of coconut milk - this more than satisfied my sweet tooth and left me feeling relatively guilt free. 

  • 3 frozen bananas - peel and chop before freezing
  • Handful of frozen mixed berries 
  • Punnet of fresh blueberries
  • Handful of fresh strawberries
  • Any dairy free mylk - coconut, almond, rice and soy mylks are all good for this!
  • Poppy seeds for topping - this is all I had, however any nut/seed combo will work.
  • Fruit for topping


Using a high speed blender, blend together all of the fruits with a dash of coconut milk. Bear in mind that it's better to add a little milk at first then increase if needed, if too much is added the mixture will take on a smoothie consistency as opposed to ice-cream. Once blended spoon into a bowl and top with fresh fruit and your choice of nuts/seeds, et voila! DIG IN. 

There are endless possibilities where nice-cream is concerned so I'll definitely experiment more in future! I think I'll try it using frozen mango next, and possibly some frozen avocado to add some extra creaminess :) 
© the gentle lentil. All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates by pipdig