Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing

Get ready to roast all the winter root vegetables until they are sweet and soft then pile them on top of buttery millet and garnish with a yoghurt-based roasted garlic and marjoram dressing. This dish is comforting, super simple, and filled with good-for-you, fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSometimes on a Tuesday night on the way home from the gym you get a call from your little sister telling you that she is going to hospital because she has pains in her chest. Sometimes you feel powerless because there is nothing you can do so you need to go home and do something that keeps your hands busy because otherwise you will go crazy. So you go home and peel and chop and roast vegetables while eating roasted almonds and dark chocolate. Or so I hear. Note: she is now home and fine. Not a heart attack just a strained chest muscle. Phew. Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNot only are winter vegetables the best for keeping worried hands busy, they are exactly what my body is craving right now. I love all the winter vegetables in their sweet, carbohydrate-storing glory – parsnips, beetroot, sweet potato, swedes, turnips – send me your root vegetables and I will love them. Winter vegetables are hardy, they grow in the rough, hard, cold ground to nourish us all winter long. And when you blast them with heat they will reward you with sweetness, straight from the earth.Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI used a mix of my favourite winter root vegetables in this dish, and you can replace the ones that you aren’t too fond of (I am aware that not everyone shares my love for swedes – the vegetable, not the people) with your favourites. The most important thing to remember when roasting a large amount of vegetables is to make sure that your pieces are all roughly the same size. This way they will cook in a similar amount of time and you won’t have crunchy beets and soggy sweet potatoes. Ick. These, mostly uniformly sized, chopped winter veggies were cooked through and soft, but not squishy, and the mix of vegetables provided contrasting flavours in each bite. See, even in the middle of winter variety abounds!Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI paired my roasted vegetable gems with millet. I love this ‘pseudo-grain’ (it’s really a seed) for it’s naturally buttery flavour, and how easy it is to prepare. Much like quinoa it goes into a pot on the stove, boils, simmers, sits and voila! Ready to serve in under 20 minutes! The yoghurt sauce was inspired by aioli. I love aioli, but I’ve never tacked it at home (yet…). I had some thick Greek yoghurt, some garlic, and marjoram in the fridge. Roasted garlic is my siren song, so into the oven it went where it turned from sharp edged fresh garlic to golden, molten roasted garlic heaven. Mmmm. The plain sweet, roasted vegetables and buttery millet welcomed the herbed garlic yoghurt dressing perfectly. Gather your favourite winter vegetables and let’s make this tonight!Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 4

Note: the vegetables listed below are what I used in my dish, but feel free to replace them with your favourite winter veggies!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium beetroot
  • 1 large swede
  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1 large parsnip
  • 5 large shallots (substitute two red onions)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked millet
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock

Dressing

  • 1 head of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons fresh marjoram leaves (substitute oregano if you’d like)
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt
  • 2 tablespoons verjuice/lemon juice
  • Salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C (400F) and line a large rimmed baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. Peel and chop beetroot, swede, sweet potatoes, and parsnip into fairly uniformly sized pieces, just larger than a playing dice. Peel shallots and slice in half.
  3. Place chopped vegetables onto baking tray, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap head of garlic in foil and place on tray too. Roast vegetables for 25-30 minutes or until soft in the centres.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, prepare the millet. Rinse millet thoroughly and then place in a medium sauce pan with vegetable stock. Place over high heat and bring to the boil. Once the millet is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and place the lid on the sauce pan. Cook for 15 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat, allow it to rest for 5 minutes and then fluff with a fork.
  5. To make the dressing. Peel and quarter shallot. Place into a small food processor with marjoram and whizz until finely chopped. Squeeze heads of roasted garlic out and add to food processor. Whizz until combined.
  6. Add yoghurt, verjuice, and salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
  7. Divide millet between plates, top with vegetables, and garnish with yoghurt dressing.

Roasted Root Vegetables with Millet and Roasted Garlic Marjoram Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free

Creamy, hearty, curry-spiced soup with a bright, crunchy, spicy chickpea and seed sprinkle that will comfort you through any winter night. The secret: this soup is entirely vegan and gluten free. The creaminess comes from cauliflower, split peas, and the secret ingredient: cashews. Set the stove to simmer, it’s time for comfort food.Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI am a serial list maker, and also, sometimes, a cereal list maker. I have a notebook that I carry around with me that I fill with lists and recipes and plans. Lists of things I want to bake, places I want to visit, things to do, shopping lists, packing lists. I have pads of sticky notes everywhere: in my car, multiple stacks on my desk, next to the bed, in the kitchen, in my handbag. I find these notes in the most unlikely of places, and each re-found list brings questions of what I was thinking/baking/making at the time. Sometimes the ideas are wonderfully delicious (like these tostadas and those cupcakes), and sometimes I just don’t remember what I was thinking (Xigua? Good Scrabble word apparently). At the moment we are preparing to move into our new house – cue massive list explosion!Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAs a result of all these lists I sometimes lose the recipes that I want to make right now! (Although, I do have a master list of recipes…) So when the latest Donna Hay magazine showed up, and after I had pasted sticky notes on nearly every page. I promised myself that I would make one of the recipes right now! After all this issue is filled with warming winter recipes that are perfect for our cold, misty evenings.

Tonight, when while we prepared to travel to join family in farewelling Nanny we needed a little comfort, so soup was just the right fit. We sorted through ties, found (and untangled) pantihose (seriously, how do they get so tangled?), ironed shirts, and listened to history radio shows, and all the while this hearty soup bubbled on the stove ready to offer comfort and warmth.Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeEverything in this bowl is comfort. Cumin, coriander, and mustard seeds warm gently over the stove and mingle with garlic and onion to form a solid flavour base for this hearty vegan soup. Yellow split peas and cashews offer valuable plant-based protein and melt into the other ingredients and become the support for the key players cauliflower and corn. In fact, this soup is entirely plant-based. Despite its heavy, creamy texture, there is no cream. All of the silken smooth texture comes from blending the cooked split peas and softened cashews with the cauliflower. No one would be any the wiser if you didn’t tell them about the absence of cream. I don’t think they’ll mind be fooled when bellies are warmed and spoons are scraping the bottoms of bowls.Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTo top off these creamy bowls you make a quick, crunchy topping of chickpeas, mixed seeds, garlic, and an echo of the same spices used in the soup with just a touch of sugar. Sprinkles aren’t only for cupcakes, don’t you know. The perfect partner to a bowl of creamy soup is a crunchy, spicy topping and this one provides. I can just imagine how amazing it would taste as a topper for avocado toast too! This sprinkle is a pumped up version of dukkah. All your spicy, nutty, sweet topping dreams come true. Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNeed a list for this soup? Here you go:

  • Healthy – check
  • Hearty – check
  • Warmly spiced – check
  • Creamy – double check
  • Weeknight friendly – check

Check dinner off your list tonight with my Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle.

Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle

(Adapted from: Donna Hay, Issue 81)

Gluten Free | Vegan | Serves 4 | Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to a month

Ingredients

Soup

  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium head cauliflower (about 500 grams)
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, ground
  • 1 cup yellow split peas
  • ½ cup unsalted cashews
  • 1.5 L low sodium vegetable stock
  • 2 ears of corn

Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

Method

  1. Peel and finely dice brown onion. Peel and crush garlic. Chop cauliflower into florets and chop the stem into chunks.
  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, and garlic and sauté until spices are fragrant and onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add cauliflower, split peas, cashews and vegetable stock. Increase the heat to high and bring pot to the boil.
  4. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Simmer the soup for 30 minutes or until the split peas are tender and the cauliflower is falling apart.
  5. Remove soup from the heat and use a hand held (immersion) blender to purée soup to desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Place soup back on a low heat to keep warm. Chop the kernels from the corn and add to the soup. They will cook gently while you make the seed sprinkle.
  7. While the soup is simmering, make the spiced chickpea and seed sprinkle. Peel and thinly slice garlic. Heat olive oil in a small frying pan. Add chickpeas, and garlic and saute until garlic is softened, about 2 minutes. Add seeds, spices, and sugar and sauté until golden, about 1 minute.
  8. Serve soup in deep bowls and top with spiced chickpea and seed sprinkle.

Curried Cauliflower, Split Pea, and Corn Soup with Spiced Chickpea and Seed Sprinkle | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free

Tender, moist, warmly spiced pumpkin cake topped with cinnamon sugar sprinkled cream cheese frosting makes this gluten free Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting the perfect simple, everyday cake. A little sweet treat is just what your day needs!

Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI’ve finally broken out of my reading rut! Earlier this year I was steamrolling through books, but then I hit a bit of a rut. You know when you’ve just finished something awesome and then everything else you start reading just seems….meh. I chomped through Andie’s heart-touching memoir, and nibbled away at Gretchen Rubin’s ruminations on happiness, (yes, books are like food to me) but then I just couldn’t get into anything that I picked up. I’ve been flirting at the edges with the latest neuroplasticity book, which is fascinatingly tasty, but dense and needs to be digested slowly. And then I started on Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects as a bedtime snack. I could not put it down. I kept going back for just another bite, and another, until I was totally consumed by the story. If you don’t mind a little darkness, I highly recommend picking this one up.

Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSpiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeJust like my last read, you won’t be able to stop yourself going back for bite after bite of this simple, spicy pumpkin cake. I found myself in the kitchen on Sunday night cutting tiny sliver after tiny sliver off a single piece before I finally relented and took a whole slice back to bed and snuggled up with my book. The combination of pumpkin, deeply sweet brown sugar, cinnamon, and a touch of nutmeg is my winter siren song.

Pumpkin puree has a magical effect in baked goods: it makes things deliciously cake-y. When added to cookies this can be a problem, but in a cake combined with brown sugar and Greek yoghurt, pumpkin makes magic. So tender, so light, and so can’t stop/won’t stop.

Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis gluten free cake is not a fancy, multi-layered affair. but it’s simple, sweet, and charming. A simple mix of my favourite gluten free flours ensures a tender crumb, but if you aren’t cooking for gluten free tummies, feel free to swap the brown rice, white rice, and sorghum flours for 180 grams of wheat or spelt flour. The results will be just as sweet and delicious.

Though I’m sure this cake would be just as tasty plain, in my opinion you really can’t serve it without the fluff vanilla and cinnamon kissed cream cheese frosting. Oh, this frosting. It’s an easy but stunning combination of cream cheese, milk, icing sugar, and good quality vanilla extract, but it is the perfect finishing touch to the spicy cake beneath. I like a thick layer of frosting on my cake, but if you are more of a frosting-conservative, you could cut the recipe in half for a more moderate coating. Once you spread the thick, creamy frosting over the cooled cake you sprinkle the whole thing with just a touch of cinnamon sugar. Simple, but stunning.

Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

This is the cake to keep in your kitchen when you know you have guests dropping by because everyone needs a little sweet in their day.

Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Gluten Free | Makes 1 8-inch square cake | Keeps for up to four days in an airtight container in the refrigerator

* To make pumpkin purée: peel and chop about 3/4 cup pumpkin. Place in a microwave safe bowl with a small amount of water and microwave in 2 minute bursts until the pumpkin is soft all the way through. Cool completely and mash or blend until smooth.

Ingredients

  • 70 grams brown rice flour
  • 60 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams white rice flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 80 grams butter, softened
  • 150 grams brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree (see notes)
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt

For the frosting

  • 150 gram cream cheese (full fat is best)
  • 3 cups icing sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). Grease and line an 8-inch pan with baking paper.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together brown rice flour, sorghum flour, white rice flour, baking powder, spices, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions.
  5. Add vanilla extract and pumpkin puree and beat in.
  6. Add flour in two parts alternating with the yoghurt. After each addition mix until just combined.
  7. Spoon batter into the pan and smooth the top.
  8. Bake for 40 -45 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
  9. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool before frosting.
  10. To make the frosting place the cream cheese in the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes.
  11. Add icing sugar, vanilla extract, and milk and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  12. Mix together the caster sugar and ground cinnamon in a small bowl.
  13. Smooth frosting over the top of the cooled cake and then sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.

Spiced Pumpkin Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan

Big bowls of spice roasted vegetables paired with winter herb scented quinoa makes for a hearty, healthy and comforting winter dinner. This is my kind of two pan dinner for easy, healthy, winter dinners.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | VeganI’m not about winter. I’m not about the cold, the chapped lips, the running from my car to the gym and to my house just to be warm. I’m not about the drippy noses and pantyhose. I’m a born and raised Queenslander. Give me hot, humid, hairstyle-destroying days, long hours of bestial sunshine, and skies that turn black and crack with lightening, flooding rains that turn streets into rivers. But, given that I have yet to become a billionaire who can winter somewhere more appropriate (Hawaii? Southern California? South Coast of France?) I am learning to do winter.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeYes, I’m 28 years old and still learning how to do winter. To coax myself into ‘the cosy months’ I am layering my clothes; taking long walks in cheek-slapping winds under brilliant blue skies; snuggling in bed with a good book (or two) and my new leopard print pyjama pants (embrace that 80s tackiness); spending time finding the perfect skinny chai latte; and roasting all the vegetables.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe’ve spoken before about my love for roasting vegetables at high temperatures until they surrender their starchiness to sweetness and become nature’s candy. That’s what roasted vegetables are folks, nature’s sweet candy. This recipe features sweet winter carrots, red capsicum, and onions roasted with warming spices until the spicy-sweet-savoury reaches the perfect tipping point – and you only need one sheet pan and one medium saucepan to create this hearty, healthy, winter meal.

This two-pan supper was inspired by my Dad who has a knack for creating delicious, savoury suppers in just one pot. He call’s them ‘The Bob Specials’. You never quite know what’s going to be in the pot, but once it has stewed and simmered for a while the results are always delicious. My recipe is filled with veggies, and chickpeas and my favourite winter spices and pairs perfectly with some fluffy rosemary and thyme flecked quinoa. This makes enough for two, but is easily doubled or tripled to feed your family, or provide leftovers for delicious healthy meals all week long.

Together, we are going to do winter right.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2-3 (easily multiplied) | Time: 40-45 minutes | Leftovers keep well for up to three days refrigerated in an airtight container

Make it for your meat lover: this bowl would go well with some roasted chicken breast, or even a crispy-skinned fillet of salmon.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large carrots
  • 1 medium red capsicum
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 fat cloves garlic (or 4 skinny ones), crushed
  • 1 cup chickpeas (400 gram tin, drained and rinsed)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Method

  1. Before starting the quinoa, preheat your oven to 200C (400F).
  2. Place quinoa and vegetable stock in a medium sized saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Place on stove over a medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Once the stock is boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, and put the lid on the saucepan. Cook, without stirring, for 20 minutes. Then, remove from the heat and leave for 5 minutes before fluffing the grains with a fork.
  3. While your quinoa is cooking, line a baking sheet with aluminium foil.
  4. Top and tail carrots and dice into small chunks. Core and dice capsicum, and peel and dice onion. Place all vegetables on baking sheet. Drain and rinse chickpeas and place on baking sheet with vegetables.
  5. Drizzle over olive oil and sprinkle on crushed garlic, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and use clean hands to thoroughly toss the vegetables to ensure they are covered in the oil and herbs.
  6. Roast vegetables and chickpeas in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or until your carrots are soft all the way through.
  7. When the vegetables are done roasting, stir the chopped thyme and rosemary through the cooked quinoa.
  8. To serve: divide quinoa between serving bowls and top with roasted vegetables.

Paprika Roasted Vegetables with Winter Herb Quinoa | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Gluten Free | Vegan

Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little baked treats are made of. In my house, spice reigns supreme especially when the nights grow darker and winter deepens. Warm yourself by the oven and make a batch of my Ginger and Apple Muffins to share with some sweet friends.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWere you taught the ‘what little girls are made of’ rhyme as a child? I remember hearing ‘sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of’ now and again as a little girl. As a grown woman, I like to think that I have grown up to be a good mix of sugar and spice, but I just know my personality errs on the spicy side most of the time. Oh, and I have a surprisingly salty vocabulary (that’s what comes from being an ex-Navy cook’s daughter) that comes in handy from time to time (especially when you forget to use a tea towel to grab a sheet pan out of the oven…

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten FreeWhen it comes to baking I am definitely a spice lover. Opening each different jar or grating and grinding the fresh spices instantly whisks me away. Spices connect us to other places and times. The scent of cardamom is my Danish grandmother’s kitchen where abelskiver are cooking on the stove. Cinnamon is the bakery in New York where my best friend and I recovered from a long flight. And ginger, ginger is my Mum dunking gingersnap cookies into ice cold milk on a summer afternoon. Ginger is home.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThese muffins are for cold mornings in the kitchen, tramping around in stocking feet and brewing strong black builder’s tea, chopping dusky skinned apples and waking up slowly to the aroma of ginger and brown sugar warming in the oven. These Ginger and Apple Muffins are damp and sweet from brown sugar and golden syrup and studded with chunks of tart apple. They bake up tall and generous and make a house smell like home. Invite someone over, anyone, these muffins are gluten free and vegan so everyone can enjoy them, or eat them alone with only a book and the slow-rising sun for company.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Ginger and Apple Muffins

Vegan | Gluten Free | Makes 12 large muffins

Ingredients

  • 80 grams brown rice flour
  • 80 grams buckwheat flour
  • 80 grams white rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup rice bran oil (or other flavourless vegetable oil e.g. grapeseed)
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 100 grams brown sugar
  • 2 medium apples (Sundowner are my favourites)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a 12 cup muffin tin with baking papers.
  2. In a large mixing bowl whisk together brown rice flour, buckwheat flour, white rice flour, baking powder, salt, and spices.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together almond milk, oil, golden syrup, and brown sugar until smooth and well combined.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  5. Quarter and core one of the apples, and chop into cubes. Mix into batter until distributed.
  6. Divide batter between muffin papers.
  7. Quarter and core the second apple. Cut into thin slices and place a few on top of each muffin.
  8. Bake muffins in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  9. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, then remove. These are best eaten the day they are made, but can be wrapped in plastic wrap (once completely cooled) and frozen for up to two months.

Ginger and Apple Muffins | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Vegetarian | Gluten Free

Let the winter light in. Golden-skinned pears coupled with salty feta, hearty quinoa, and toasty walnuts in a salad that’s all about celebrating the nourishment of winter produce.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSometimes I eat chocolate like it’s my job. Sadly, it’s not my job, and sadly a woman cannot live on chocolate alone. (Although, I am willing to give it a try!) Because woman cannot live on chocolate alone, and this one cannot afford to keep buying new pants if she did live on chocolate alone, there is the salad. I am all about the salad as you know by now. And, as you know by now I’m not talking about your backyard barbecue iceberg lettuce and pink tomato species. I’m talking about Big.Fat.Salads.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeBig, fat, juicy, hearty salads full of grains and interesting greens, and crunchy, nibbly bits that you want to save until last. I’m about the salty and the creamy and the crispy fresh bite. I’m about salads that leave you full after you eat them, not wondering where your second course is. This is my latest Big.Fat.Salad. Our base: hearty, protein-packed quinoa. Our interesting green: handfuls of peppery baby rocket. Our crispiness: sweet, seasonal Bosch pears with their golden skin left on. Our crunchy nibbly bits: roasted walnuts. Add some salty feta and a maple, mustard and verjuice dressing and you have the perfect winter salad.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI have tasted so many incarnations of the fruit, nut and cheese salad. In fact, if there is one on the menu it is often the first place my tastebuds go. I have fond memories of a beetroot, apple, candied pecan and goat cheese salad on a blustery afternoon in San Francisco; pear, walnut, and blue cheese salad at the Coronado in San Diego; and oh so many in between. There are myriad incarnations of this simple but delicious formula, and this mix is my latest obsession. The addition of quinoa makes this a suitably substantial lunch salad, or a hearty but light dinner. Open up the curtains, and settle in for season, let the winter light in and make some Big.Fat.Salads.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 2 (easily multiplied)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup dry quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 4 cups baby rocket leaves
  • 1 large Bosch pear (you can substitute another variety if these aren’t available)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta

For the dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons verjuice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a fine mesh sieve. Place washed quinoa into a medium saucepan with vegetable stock and place, uncovered, over medium-high heat. Bring quinoa to the boil. Once it is boiling, cover with a tightly fitting lid and reduce to a simmer. Cook without stirring for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes then fluff grains with a fork. Cool to room temperature.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking preheat oven to 180C (350F) and spread walnuts over a baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes or until fragrant. Remove and allow to cool.
  3. Make the dressing: place all ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until combined.
  4. Once the quinoa is cool assemble the salad. Place rocket and quinoa in a large bowl. Quarter, core, and thinly slice pear and add to the bowl. Add dressing and toss well to combine.
  5. Portion salad onto plates and sprinkle over toasted walnuts and crumbled feta.

Pear, Quinoa, and Walnut Salad | Gluten Free | Vegetarian | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free

Filling, healthy comfort food perfect for autumn evenings. Chunks of sweet pumpkin roasted in cumin pair with a pilaf of brown rice studded with plump dried apricots and toasted cashews highlighted with fresh, peppery rocket and a spicy lime and coriander dressing. This is a simple, easy to make meal made with high flavour ingredients to satisfy your tastebuds and quell comfort food cravings.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOn Saturday night I rescued a dog. I was out for a second walk in the afternoon (after some major cupcake testing) when I came across a very friendly, very lost looking, little white dog. There were no open gates nearby, no owners calling out for the puppy to come back, so I approached and gently picked the little puppy up. She obviously belonged to someone because she was plump and well-cared for and very friendly. After knocking on doors in the street for 20 minutes, and encountering some helpful neighbours, I still had a little puppy with no home.

Luckily we have a 24 hour vet close by, so with the help of one of the neighbours and his rope-tying skills (it’s a good thing to live near a marina in these times) the little pup and I walked the 3km to the vet in the growing dark. Though we were complete strangers to each other, our companionship was thick and fast. When we reached a road I would carry the little pup across and in turn she would snuggle into my chest and keep me warm from the wind. On arrival the vet scanned the pup and luckily found a microchip with all the owner’s details. I knew that in an hour or so my little walking companion would be safe and sound in her parent’s arms. Lesson learned: when the universe leads you to go on a second walk in the afternoon you should listen. It feels good to do good sometimes.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeAfter my walk back home through the chilly night I was cold and wishing for a bowl of something hearty to soothe a hungry belly. I needed spice and whole grains and sweet roasted winter vegetables. This salad was exactly what I was craving.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeIt all starts with a pot of brown rice boiled with spices and chunks of golden butternut pumpkin rolled in cumin and olive oil and roasted until they are soft and golden. These two are joined by fresh peppery rocket, sweet dried apricots and crunchy roasted cashews. The dressing is easy to whisk together, lime juice, fresh coriander, and more spices. Every layer of this salad echoes a mix of spices. The result is a simple, easily-made salad with layers of flavour and texture. This is healthy, nourishing, autumn comfort food at its best. Being kind and nourishing to your body gives you the reserves to be kind and nourishing to others.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 4 as a light meal | Leftovers will keep in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days

Ingredients

  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
  • 3 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 small butternut pumpkin (500-600 grams)
  • 1/4 cup cashew halves
  • 4 cups baby rocket leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander

Method

  1. Gather all your spices so that you know you have everything you need.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  3. Place brown rice in the bottom of a heavy-based saucepan along with 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Place over a medium heat and toast until spices become fragrant. Turn the heat to low and add the water. Be careful as it may sputter a little. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Once boiling,  and reduce to a simmer. Cook, without stirring for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, drain the excess liquid and allow to cool.
  4. While rice is cooking prepare the pumpkin. Peel butternut pumpkin and dice into large-ish cubes (about 2.5cm/1 inch cubed). Place on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil and then sprinkle on 2 teaspoons ground cumin. Roll the pumpkin around so that everything is coated in oil and spice. Roast in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender all the way to the centre. Add the cashews in the last 5 minutes of cooking to roast them.
  5. Once your pumpkin, cashews, and rice are cooked you are ready to assemble the salad.
  6. Place rocket leaves and apricots into a large bowl. Add pumpkin, cashews and rice.
  7. Whisk together lime juice, remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, remaining spices, salt and pepper. Pour dressing over the salad and toss gently but thoroughly. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top and serve.

Cumin Roasted Pumpkin and Brown Rice Moroccan Salad | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free

Our autumn has finally arrived and the time has come for big pots of soup filled with sweet, blistered, roasted vegetables and hearty warming spices. This Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup is my latest favourite and the chickpeas, quinoa, and roasted sweet potato, capsicum, and parsnip make the perfect antidote to the cold dry winds whispering through our creaky bay cottage.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI moved in full-time with Chris nearly a year ago to the day. Last night I found myself nesting in what has become our little home, and the beginning of our story together. I tidied and fussed and plumped up pillows until Chris finally said to me ‘you are really comfortable here now aren’t you?’. As I stirred a big pot of vegetable and quinoa soup on the stove I realised how at peace I am here now. After living with my parents my whole life, without even a move away for university, I was unsure and a little nervous when I first moved in with Chris. I knew the idiosyncrasies of my parents and they knew mine. I had all of my things, and all of my routines. And I had no idea how to live with someone else.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSharing your space with someone you are in love with places you on a steep learning curve, especially if you want to be successful. You learn their routines, their patterns, and habits very quickly. There is some tip-toeing at first, but you have to be brave enough to open yourself up to critique and learn to make the space your home too. Over the past year Chris has seen me through the every day muck and mire, through the singing in the kitchen while cupcakes bake to the crumpled on the bed in tears because I can’t make the clouds in my head go away. There have been early morning races to the emergency room, midnight runs to the local ice cream shop, and sunset walks where we argue about gender politics, action movies, and everything in between. I have brought my books into the house – the one thing that makes a space truly mine, and worked out a truce with the postage stamp kitchen – cleaning up as you go is key. These four walls have become my house too, but the man beside me, eating soup and laughing at John Oliver, is what really makes this house a home.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis hearty vegetable, quinoa, and chickpea soup was born out of an abundance of autumn vegetables hanging around in our refrigerator at the end of the week. The flavoursome vegetable foundation of the soup is all of my favourite autumn vegetables: capsicum, sweet potato, carrot, and parsnip roasted with fresh rosemary, oregano, and thyme. While the vegetables were cooking I boiled up some quinoa and sauteed red onion, a decent dose of garlic, and a rich array of spices. Once the vegetables and quinoa are cooked, the whole lot is combined in the pot and gently warmed. The scent of roasted herbs and warmed spices will fill your house and chase away any chill. Turn your house into a home with big bowls of this belly warming soup served with love to the ones who make that house a home.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 6 | Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. Reheat in a saucepan over a gentle heat until bubbling.

Ingredients

  • 2 small sweet potato (~250 grams each)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium capsicum
  • 1 medium parsnip
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 large red onion
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1.5L vegetable stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 400 gram (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Peel and dice your sweet potatoes (about the size of a playing dice). Chop up carrots, parsnip, and capsicum into medium chunks. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until vegetables are soft in the centre and starting to caramelise on the edges.
  3. While the vegetables are cooking, prepare the quinoa. Rinse quinoa thoroughly and place in a large saucepan (about 3L capacity) with 2 cups of room temperature water. Bring to the boil. Once boiling reduce to a simmer and cover with a lid. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain and set aside until needed.
  4. Peel and dice red onion and crush garlic cloves.
  5. Using the same large saucepan heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Saute onion and garlic until the onion is translucent. Add cumin, paprika and coriander and cook until fragrant ~ 2 minutes. Add tomato paste, vegetable stock, and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and cook for 10 minutes. Remove bay leaves and reduce to a simmer.
  6. Add chickpeas, roasted vegetables (and any juices from the pan), and cooked quinoa. Cook until warmed through. Serve.

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Quinoa Soup | Vegan | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan

The crisp, cool weather has finally arrived and you need a homemade breakfast that will warm you up and keep you energised with healthy, good for you whole grains, nuts and seeds with a sprinkling of sweetness to keep the autumn chill at bay. My Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa and Blueberry Granola is your new seasonal breakfast favourite (and you can have chocolate for breakfast!).

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeDid anyone else read the ‘I Spy’ picture books as a kid? They were a hot commodity in my school library, and had to be patched and repaired by the librarians as they passed from hand to hand and generation to generation. I always feel like eating granola is sort of like playing ‘I Spy’. How many goodies can you spot in each spoonful? If you look closely at my new favourite granola recipe you will see delightful morsels in every bite!

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI’ll go first! I spy with my little eye something beginning with B! Buckwheat! Whole buckwheat groats make up half the grains in this granola mix. The heat from the oven crisps them up and gives this breakfast a crunchy base and buckwheat is high in slowly digested carbohydrates, protein, iron, zinc, and selenium. Did you spot something beginning with A? That would be the almonds! Coated in spices and maple syrup they boost the protein and healthy fats, including Vitamin E, which is important for healthy skin, eyes, and hair. And what about the letter S? Seeds! Of three different kinds: chia, pumpkin, and sunflower! A triple-treat of vitamin-boosting, fibre-containing, cholesterol lowering delight!

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe buckwheat base is boosted with gluten free rolled oats, but you could use quinoa flakes if you do not tolerate oats. The oats, buckwheat, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds are tossed with cinnamon-spiced cocoa and then mixed with a kiss of maple syrup and olive oil for sweetness, stickiness, and crispiness. An important note: If you like your granola extra chunky then do not stir your granola during baking time. Press it down with the back of your spoon and just check to make sure it isn’t burning at regular intervals (see recipe below).

The chocolate here is subtle, but feel free to throw in some dark chocolate chips for an extra sweet chocolate boost. I gave a jar of this to Mum as a chocolate alternative for Easter, and even if you are over chocolate (is anyone ever over chocolate, really?) for a little while, a cheeky little cocoa treat at breakfast is just the thing to warm you up at the start of leaf change. Serve it with yoghurt and a little fruit for a quick breakfast, or grab a handful as a healthy snack on the go. This Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola is sure to become a favourite in your house too.

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola

Gluten Free | Vegan | Makes about 2 1/2 cups | Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks

Ingredients

  • 1 cup gluten free rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup buckwheat groats (uncooked buckwheat)
  • 1/3 cup almonds
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl stir together oats, buckwheat, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, salt, and cinnamon until well mixed.
  3. In a small jug whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix carefully with a wooden spoon until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated.
  5. Spread granola over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the spoon to encourage some clumping.
  6. Bake in pre-heated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check and stir every 10 minutes to ensure the granola does not burn.
  7. Once cooked, remove from oven, stir in dried blueberries, and allow to cool completely before serving or storing.

Crispy Buckwheat, Cocoa, and Blueberry Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Roasted Sweet Potato and Spiced Chickpea Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free

Tender roasted sweet potatoes and chickpeas coated in spice come together in this salad with a sweet mustard dressing for a light seasonal dish with colour and flavour.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Spiced Chickpea Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day everyone! I don’t have any leprechaun/whiskey/shamrock inspired treats to share with you today, but I do have a big green salad with potatoes. Well, they’re sweet potatoes, but just concede the point to me please. I woke up at 4.30 a.m. and wore my shirt inside out to the gym this morning and didn’t realise until I got home again. In other words, it’s Tuesday. Salad might not be a traditional Saint Patrick’s Day meal, but March in Queensland is most definitely not cabbage and corned meat weather (currently 29C/85F), and stew is still a foreign concept on the faraway winter horizon. Thus, I humbly offer you a sweet potato and spiced chickpea salad.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Spiced Chickpea Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeCubes of sweet potato are transformed into tender roasted morsels in the oven while the chickpeas get rolled with spices and crisped in olive oil on the stove top. Once they’ve both come to room temperature they unite with fresh baby spinach and thinly sliced onion before the whole salad meets sweet and spicy honey mustard dressing. I am not a huge fan of too-sweet honey mustard sauces, so this one packs a double mustard punch with both Dijon and wholegrain mustards and gets an extra flavour boost from a squeeze of lemon.

We enjoyed this as part of our family feast on Saturday night and I had leftovers for lunch for the next two days. I would recommend adding the dressing to each serving as you go so that the leaves don’t get too soggy. The salad holds up quite well for about three days as long as you keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If you are looking for a fresh and light dinner tonight try this salad, I hear it tastes great with a generously buttered slice of Irish Soda Bread on the side and maybe some Irish Coffee Ice Cream for dessert?

Roasted Sweet Potato and Spiced Chickpea Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Roasted Sweet Potato and Spiced Chickpea Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing

Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Serves 4 as a light meal or 2 more substantially

Make it vegan: replace honey in dressing with maple syrup.

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 750 grams / 1.6 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (400g) can chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin seeds
  • 1 small red onion
  • 5 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Pinch of salt and black pepper

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Peel sweet potato and cut into large cubes (1.5cm cubed). Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and bake until golden on the outside and soft in the middle. This should take about 30-40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Drain and rinse chickpeas and drain well to remove most of the water. Place on several layers of paper towel and pat dry. Allow the chickpeas to dry on towels for about 10 minutes.
  4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy bottomed fry pan over medium heat. Add chickpeas, paprika, and cumin and stir well to coat. Fry chickpeas for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to avoid them sticking and burning. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
  5. Peel and thinly slice red onion and place in a large bowl with the baby spinach. Add chickpeas and sweet potato and toss well to combine.
  6. To make dressing: combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and whisk vigorously to combine.
  7. Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Spiced Chickpea Salad with Honey-Mustard Dressing | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life