Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | gluten free | vegan

Mornings are hard. Let’s all acknowledge that and move on because I have found the solution: make a breakfast that you can’t wait to leap out of bed to eat! Cue my latest, and greatest, granola recipe: Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola! Get those bowls and spoons ready folks!Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI got very excited in a health food store the other day. I’m sad to report that this happens quite often, and not just in health food stores. The abundance of awesome new ingredients to try in a different grocery store has me busting into rhyme, and the taste of the first sweet summer peaches can induce worrisome dancing. If you’ve been around me and food, you have seen some manifestation of the excitement that comes from me finding something tasty or new. Anyway, what had me excited this particular afternoon was the discovery of buckwheat flakes! As in, buckwheat kernels that have been rolled into wholesome oat-like flakes, but not oats! As soon as I had a box in my hot little hands I just knew that I wanted them to feature in a new granola recipe.Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis gluten free, vegan granola recipe is an absolute winner and probably my best granola recipe ever. Ever. Just look at those clumps! I love chunky, clumpy granola and this recipe is perfection! It starts with a base of super gluten free grains. The aforementioned buckwheat flakes, which behave like oats in this recipe and provide a super stable base to build on, are joined by buckwheat groats (for super crunch), and raw quinoa. So much the crunch.Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeTo these grains of goodness (actually, both buckwheat and quinoa are seeds) we add walnuts, chia seeds, mashed banana, a touch of maple syrup, cocoa powder, and a dash of instant espresso powder because some mornings we need to put the coffee in our breakfast as well. Granola is one of the best things to make for yourself. Not only do you save money but you can customise it to suit your tastebuds. This granola was exactly what my tastebuds wanted. It’s crunchy and interesting, every bite brings something different. There’s crispy bits and the slightly chocolaty binding holding it all together and it’s a not too sweet a start to your morning. I paired mine with tart protein-rich Greek yoghurt and some sweet seasonal blueberries. It’s also great for snacking on, or for dessert with a sneaky square or two of dark chocolate.

Come on folks, take back your mornings and get a great start with my Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola!Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola

Gluten free | Vegan | Makes about 5 cups | Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Note: If you do not require a gluten free diet, or you can buy certified gluten free oats where you live, you can substitute the buckwheat flakes for 1 cup of rolled oats.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flakes (see note)
  • 1 cup buckwheat groats (kernels)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 large banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 cup banana chips (about 100 grams)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160C (320F) and line a large, rimmed, baking sheet with baking paper.
  2. In a large bowl mix together buckwheat flakes, buckwheat groats, quinoa, walnuts, chia seeds, salt, cinnamon, and cocoa powder until very well mixed.
  3. In a small bowl whisk together mashed banana, oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract and instant coffee powder until very well blended.
  4. Pour wet mixture over dry blend and mix well with a wooden spoon until there are no pockets of dry mixture.
  5. Spread out over the lined baking sheet and press down slightly with the back of the wooden spoon. This will help the clumps to form.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. Switch the position of the tray halfway through baking time to ensure everything browns evenly.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Once cooled, break into clumps and mix banana chips through the granola.
  9. Store or serve and enjoy!

Mocha Banana Buckwheat Granola | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

If you are looking for more granola inspiration check out these delicious nibbles around the ‘net:

Spicy Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | gluten free | vegan

You need to make these tonight. Spicy peanut sauce coats zucchini noodles stuffed inside sweet roasted capsicums for a vegan, gluten free dinner that tastes sinful, but is secretly healthy – and super easy!Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI love peanut sauce dishes. You can just put another notch in the ‘Things Amy loves that contain Peanuts’ list that I’m sure everyone is keeping. Basically the list reads: everything. If there is a way to add peanut butter to a dish I will find it. This dish is no exception. The peanut sauce that coats the zucchini noodles is everything a peanut sauce should be: deeply peanutty with a hint of sweetness, a dash of astringency, and a good dose of spice. I have so many memories of a peanut satay sauce that my sister and I were both in love with during high school. I don’t think either Mum or Dad were particularly fond of it, but they let us ride out our teenage cravings. Plus, they were getting dinner cooked for them, so I guess that was a win on their behalf 😉Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeFast forward to today and I’d much rather create my own sauces than get them from a bottle – it’s all about customisation, and avoiding any unnecessary additives, right? And making your own spicy peanut sauce is easier than getting the ‘safety plastic’ off a shop bought bottle. Anyone else unable to get that stuff off? Just me? Moving on.

These roasted capsicums are fancy enough to serve to company, but easy enough for everyday, and while the peanut sauce is decadent, they are actually quite healthy! Rather than using noodles I made zucchini ‘noodles’ and coated them in the peanut butter sauce then stuffed them inside the roasted capsicums. Result: delicious and healthy.Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe spicy, savoury peanut sauce coated noodles are a great contrast to the sweet roasted capsicums. And the capsicums act as perfect containment for every single drip of peanut sauce. You can’t let that deliciousness escape!Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis dish comes together in six simple steps:

  1. Cut capsicums in half and remove seeds.
  2. Bake.
  3. Prepare noodles and sauce and mix.
  4. Stuff capsicums.
  5. Bake again.
  6. Serve.

Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeFor those six simple steps you are rewarded with layers of flavour in every single bite. To take this to the next level I couldn’t help but garnish it with extra salted peanuts and some chopped spring onions for a little extra crunch. Every bite is a mouthful of molten sweet roasted capsicum, spicy peanut sauce soaked zucchini noodles, crispy spring onions and salty-crunchy peanuts. It’s everything a Wednesday night needs without being so heavy you want to hibernate for the rest of the week. Bonus: your kitchen will smell like the best Asian restaurant in town as these flavours mingle in the oven.Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums

Gluten free | Vegan | Serves 2 as a main or 4 as a light meal or appetiser | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium size red capsicums (bell peppers)
  • 1 large zucchini (or 2 medium)
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (ensure this is gluten free)
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • Sprinkle of chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/3 cup roasted salted peanuts
  • 1 spring onion, thinly sliced

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F).
  2. Cut your capsicums in half and remove the core and seeds. I like to leave the little green tops because I think they look cute.
  3. Place capsicum halves cut side down in an ovenproof baking dish. Mine was about 6 x 8 inches.
  4. Bake capsicums for 20 minutes and then remove from the oven.
  5. While the capsicums are baking, prepare your filling.
  6. Using a vegetable spiraliser or a julienne peeler create long thin ‘noodles’ from your zucchini.
  7. Crush garlic into a medium mixing bowl and whisk together with peanut butter, lime juice, brown sugar, grated ginger, and chili flakes.
  8. Toss zucchini ‘noodles’ with peanut sauce gently but thoroughly until they are coated in the mixture.
  9. Pile zucchini into capsicum halves. Spoon any extra sauce over the noodles.
  10. Bake for a further 20 minutes or until the tops of the noodles are golden.
  11. Remove capsicums from oven. Toss together salted peanuts and spring onions and top the capsicum halves.
  12. Serve with a green salad and enjoy!

Peanut Zucchini Noodle Stuffed Roasted Capsicums | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan

This fusion of flavours creates a bowl of creamy, savoury broth filled with zucchini noodles, quinoa, corn and spring onions that will have you begging for seconds. And it’s perfect for weeknight meals – you can have this gluten free, vegan meal on the table in under 20 minutes!Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOur new neighbourhood smells good. Not just like night breezes stirring jasmine into the air good, but like ‘I want to eat whatever our neighbours/the people down the road/that amazing looking restaurant is making tonight’ good. In less than five minutes no matter what we are craving Chris and I can find cuisine from all over the world. There is a cluster of shops down the road from us that are all Korean: coffee shops, supermarket, barbecue, and amazing takeaway. Then there’s the larger intersection that is suburban dining bliss with cuisine from India, various Chinese provinces, Japanese (not just sushi), and a random Italian restaurant. Our neighbourhood smells awesome. But, being mostly reasonable people (unless there happens to be chocolate ice cream in the house), we try to limit our takeaway and dining out to once a week for the good of our wallets and our wardrobes.Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeLiving in this divine smelling neighbourhood has made me more interested in combining interesting flavours and branching out from my usual Mediterranean/Australian slanted cooking. I’m taking baby steps to find new ingredients in not only our local big chain supermarket but also in the little ethnically themed grocery stores that are all over our neighbourhood. I’m inspired to take the new flavours and marry them with old, comforting familiar flavours – and give them the Thoroughly Nourished Life healthy twist.Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThis weekend started some new flavour adventures with my acquisition of some white miso. I’ve only rarely had miso soup in the past (sometimes it is neither gluten free nor vegetarian) but I found a brand in our local store that fits my requirements! I was inspired to create my own version of this recipe that would be perfect for umami craving nights when takeaway tempts from outside the door.Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI used zucchini noodles for that all important slurp factor, fresh sweet spring corn, heapings of garlic, and added some quinoa for garnish and extra protein. This soup was ready in under 20 minutes and the flavour combination delivered big time! Tahini contributes a creaminess without the heaviness of cream and with the added health benefits of being high in calcium and other nutrients. Miso is the ultimate background umami and savoury flavour: deeply satisfying and hits all the flavour buttons we are searching for when sometimes we crave not-so-good-for-us foods. I slurped up a big bowl of zucchini noodles and savoured the creamy, savoury broth with its garnish of quinoa, spring onions, and sesame seeds. I can’t wait to make this again!

This soup is really adaptable to whatever you have in your fridge too. If you don’t have leftover quinoa you could use leftover rice or millet. If you have omnivores in your house this would go wonderfully with some cooked, shredded chicken. Just get ready to slurp up your zucchini noodles and beg for more!Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2 (easily multiplied)

Ingredients

  • 2 medium zucchini
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/3 cup white miso paste (ensure this is gluten free)
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cob of corn
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa (or other leftover grain)
  • 1/3 cup chopped spring onions (about 1 spring onion)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Method

  1. Use a julienne peeler or vegetable spiralizer to turn your zucchini into long thin ‘noodles’. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Crush garlic and saute until garlic is fragrant.
  3. Increase heat to medium. Add miso, tahini and water and cook until miso and tahini are dissolved, about three minutes.
  4. Add zucchini noodles and cook until they start to soften, about three or four minutes.
  5. Chop kernels from the cob of corn and add to the broth. Cook for another two minutes.
  6. Divide between two bowls and garnish with cooked quinoa, spring onions and sesame seeds.

Tahini Miso Zucchini Noodle Soup | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with Quinoa, Feta and Chilli | Gluten Free | Vegetarian

A bright midwinter vegetarian soup filled with gnarly root vegetables, fresh greens, and herbs, and topped with a simple spicy quinoa garnish. This soup makes the most of deep winter greens and hardy winter vegetables. Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comI’m a greens-loving girl. I love big bowls of crunchy freshness, smoothies packed with spinach, and I’ve been known to snack on broccoli stems while making dinner. (It’s okay Mum I’m still eating cookies too.) In the middle of a biting winter night though, there is nothing more soothing than a big bowl of thick, flavoursome soup and this one comes packed with the goodness of greens too!Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup 1Celeriac is the ugly duckling of the vegetable world. It looks nubbly and knotted and really rather ugly. But just like that aesthetically challenged duck, when celeriac comes into its own it brings a singular beauty to the world, or your dinner table in this case. Celeriac tastes like the halfway point between celery and potato. Creamy, with a bit of a bite. You can roast it, mash it, or you can make delicious and hearty Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with it. Celeriac is joined by the ultimate greens: kale and broccoli. Say hello to a boost of iron, vitamins A, C, and E, folate, and calcium! Bye bye winter colds!

This soup is so easy. I made it on a Monday night and enjoyed a boost of greens at lunchtime all week long. While you are sipping on a hard-earned cup of tea and massaging high-heel tortured feet (or sipping diet coke and wearing sweaty gym clothes like I was) you peel and chop a few parsnips, some onion, a large celeriac and a few cloves of garlic. Then pop the whole lot into some vegetable stock with a few large tablespoonfuls of herbs and let it bubble away while you relax for thirty minutes. Add some roughly chopped kale and a head of broccoli and you are just a puree away from hearty green heaven.  Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.comThis soup is made extra hearty and filling by the addition of a dollop of spicy quinoa. While the soup bubbled away I boiled up some quinoa, and then let it cool to room temperature before tossing through some flavoursome extra virgin olive oil, chilli flakes and crumbled feta cheese. Every mouthful is a slurp of creamy, green, herby soup accompanied by the hearty chew of quinoa, salty feta, and a slight bite of chilli. Simple but perfect. Just what a midweek dinner should be. Serve up Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with Quinoa, Feta and Chilli for dinner tonight!Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Celeriac, Parsnip, and Greens Soup with Quinoa, Feta and Chilli

Vegetarian | Vegan adaptation: replace feta with chopped black olives | Gluten Free | Serves 4

Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or frozen for up to a month. Reheat on the stove over a gentle heat.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 large parsnips
  • 1 large celeriac
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups (1 litre) low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 bunch of kale

For the quinoa

  • 3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 60 grams feta, crumbled (or olives for vegan option)
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)

Method

  1. Peel and dice onion into medium chunks.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat and add onion. Sauté until tender.
  3. Peel and crush cloves of garlic and add to onion.
  4. Peel and dice parsnips and celeriac into large chunks. Add to pot and sauté a few minutes until the edges of the vegetables begin to soften.
  5. Add dried herbs and pepper and stir to coat vegetables in herbs.
  6. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Once the pot is boiling, reduce the heat to very low and cover the pot with a lid. Simmer for thirty minutes or until vegetables are very soft.
  7. While soup is cooking prepare the quinoa. Place rinsed quinoa into a medium sauce pan and bring to the boil. Once the water is boiling cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes without stirring then remove from the heat and stand for five minutes. Then stir in salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Allow to sit until serving.
  8. Once the soup has been cooking for thirty minutes roughly chop the kale and broccoli (including stem) and add to the pot. Cook for a further ten minutes then remove from the heat.
  9. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until smooth. Place over a low heat to keep warm.
  10. Stir crumbled feta into quinoa.
  11. Ladle soup into bowls and top with quinoa mixture.

Celeriac, Parsnip, Greens and Quinoa Soup | Vegetarian | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life | thoroughlynourishedlife.com

Thai Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Vegan | Gluten Free

Spicy chickpeas in creamy red curry and coconut sauce top healthy sweet potato noodles for an easy, healthy dinner that’s ready in less time than it takes to wait for delivery!Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifePut down that takeaway menu! Let’s make a healthy dinner to start the week. This dinner is filled with classic Thai food flavours updated with a healthy nourished life twist. You can have all those savoury, spicy, sweet flavours you crave in this lighter, updated version of red curry with noodles. I love Thai flavours. There are so many layers of spices, herbs, and fresh ingredients that come together to create truly crave-worthy food.

Eating Thai food at a restaurant can be challenging for people who need to eat gluten free though because you are never quite sure of what sauces the kitchen is using, although I am lucky that Chris and I have found one or two spots near us that are gluten-free aware. And, let’s face it, eating Thai food at a restaurant also means I am going to order a big dish of white rice (yes, sir, that is all just for me) and perhaps an adult beverage or two. Not really the vibe I want to start my Monday night with. And takeaway food always comes in way too big containers that are somehow mysteriously empty by the time I’ve finished an episode of True Detective…Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeMost of the time, for the sake of our health, wallet, and my skinny jeans, I would rather cook at home. Our fridge is always loaded with fresh vegetables and with a few other store cupboard ingredients you can whip up easy, healthy Thai inspired food at home in less time than it would take for the delivery man to find your house and for you to find PJs you are comfortable answering the door in. This red curry chickpea dish is ready in under twenty minutes! How’s that for fast food!
Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeThe most important thing about making healthy food taste delicious is layering flavours. When your tastebuds are happy and satisfied you truly feel like you have eaten a meal, not some shadow of a dish with the label healthy slapped on it (I’m looking at you tasteless restaurant garden salad). In this dish we start with a flavour base of finely diced red onion, capsicum, and garlic. We add a healthy dose of red curry paste, canned chickpeas, light coconut milk, and a squeeze of lime. So many flavours that meld together! While our curry stays warm we shred some sweet potatoes with a julienne peeler (you could use a fancy spiralizer or a mandoline slicer instead) then quickly fry them off with cumin and a few chilli flakes for extra heat!

With the scent of red curry and coconut mixed with fresh, floral coriander leaves you will feel like you have been transported to your favourite Thai spot. But here, you can wear PJs and watch Game of Thrones in bed. You know, like some of us do….Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

 

Thai Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles

Vegan | Gluten Free | Serves 2 (easily multiplied) | Leftovers keep nicely for a day or two in the refrigerator

Note about heat: adjust the amount of red curry paste used for less heat if you are sensitive, or if you are serving this to kids. You can also leave out the chili flakes from the noodles to reduce the heat.

Note about meat: For my omnivorous friends, this also works well with chicken breast. Your cooking time may be a little longer as you need to ensure the chicken is cooked all the way through. I recommend dicing into 2cm cubes if using chicken.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 large red capsicum
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 heaped tablespoon red curry paste (adjust to taste – see note)
  • 400 gram can chickpeas, drained and well rinsed
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • Sprinkle of chili flakes (see note)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Fresh coriander leaves to serve

Method

  1. Peel and finely chop onion and finely dice capsicum.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, capsicum, and garlic and fry until onion is translucent.
  3. Add red curry paste and cook for 1-2 minutes stirring. Add chickpeas and stir to coat completely in curry paste. Pour in coconut milk and stir to combine. Reduce to heat to it’s lowest setting and allow to simmer.
  4. Peel sweet potato and shred into long thin strips using a julienne peeler.
  5. Heat remaining olive oil in a small frying pan. Add shredded sweet potato, cumin and chili flakes and cook, stirring until sweet potato is softened.
  6. Place sweet potato noodles into bowls. Stir lime juice into chickpea mixture and then divide between bowls.
  7. Sprinkle over coriander leaves to serve.

Red Curry Coconut Chickpeas with Sweet Potato Noodles | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan

Spicing up weekday meals is easy with these Spicy Chickpea Tacos. Filled with chickpeas, sundried tomatoes, capsicum and onion and finished with a lime and coriander spiked guacamole, these prove that everyday food can be super special too.Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOur house is filled with half-stuffed boxes, Mum and Dad have more boxes ready for me at their house, I have lists upon lists in every conceivable place, and our keys are probably being cut right this moment! That’s right! We are almost on the move! Thank you all so much for listening to me get excited about the events of the next few weeks for the last eighteen months. Thank you for coming along for the ride, and all the encouragement you have given us along the way. There is always a spare seat at the table.Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeOf course, getting prepared to move – and filling in all the paper work – no one warned me about all the paperwork! And having marathon meeting days at the office leaves very little time for thinking about dinner. I am happy with salad most nights when I have been busy, but there are nights when I want my leaves wrapped in a corn taco, my chickpeas seasoned heavily with spices, and a big dollop of creamy, coriander and lime scented guacamole right on top. These tacos are essentially one of my favourite salads wrapped up in a gluten free corn taco for easy handheld convenience – no fork necessary, which is a good thing because I think they’re next on the packing list!Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeNot only are these tacos super easy to eat, they are a snap to prepare and super healthy! You can have these on the dinner table in under 30 minutes, which makes them perfect for quick weeknight meals. These gluten free, vegan tacos are packed with lean protein (chickpeas), heaps of veggies, and healthy fats (avocado) these are a healthy fast food option for when you want dinner on the pronto without sacrificing your healthy eating goals. Let’s review: easy to eat, easy to make, packed with healthy ingredients. Oh and what about flavour?Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeWe start with a plain corn taco. Not much to see here, but a great foundation for layering our flavours onto. Add some fresh, crispy lettuce. I used baby cos – bright, green, and crunchy! We sauté canned chickpeas with capsicum, spring onions, garlic, sundried tomatoes, chilli flakes, cumin, and paprika – this chickpea is filled with the best savoury and spicy flavours! And the crowning glory of this flavour creation: creamy avocados, whipped with garden fresh coriander and a squeeze of lime juice. These tacos might be simple, but they hit every flavour and texture note required for true satisfaction: crispy, creamy, salty, savoury, sweet. My Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole have it all!Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole

Gluten Free | Vegan | Serves 2

Note: I served mine with some grated cheese. If you are vegan, leave this out or use your favourite ‘cheese’ product.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 400 gram can chickpeas, rinsed thoroughly
  • 1/2 medium red capsicum, diced into small pieces
  • 2 spring onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
  • 1 medium avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup (packed) coriander leaves
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled and chopped
  • Salt and black pepper

To serve

  • 4 small (6 inch) soft corn tacos, heated
  • 1 small baby cos (or other crispy green salad leaves)
  • Grated cheese (optional)

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add capsicum and garlic and saute until capsicum is softened.
  2. Add chickpeas, spring onions, sundried tomatoes, paprika, cumin, and chilli flakes (if using). Cook, stirring, until chickpeas are warmed through.
  3. While chickpeas are cooking, make guacamole. Place avocado, coriander, lime juice, and onion into a small food processor and process until avocado is mostly smooth. I leave a few chunks for interesting texture. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. To serve, place a taco on your plate, top with lettuce, chickpea mixture, guacamole, and cheese (if using).

Spicy Chickpea Tacos with Coriander Guacamole | Gluten Free | Vegan | Thoroughly Nourished LifeSo, dear reader, any smart packing tips? Any favourite taco flavours?

 

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce | Gluten Free | Vegan

Crunchy toasted tortillas filled with sweet roasted butternut pumpkin, hearty black beans, creamy avocado, and spicy coriander and roasted poblano sauce. This vegan, gluten free dish makes a great week night meal, or a memorable winter lunch with friends!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeGrowing up ‘Mexican-inspired food’ meant one of two meals: beef tacos, or taco spuds. I still love a good taco (now with beans) and taco spuds are one of the true pleasures in life, especially when piled high with cheese and really fluffy guacamole. Now, my definition of Mexican-inspired food has grown considerably, thanks to lots of American friends on the internet, and some time in California, spiritual home of the taco and tostada.

I love the ease of tostadas – just a really crunchy tortilla or soft taco really. You can top them with any combination of vegetables, beans (or meat), cheese, and sauce that you like, then fold and crunch your way through. Or, you know, be ladylike and eat them with a knife and fork. I prefer to eat these with my hands. It’s so much more fun that way!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeWhen I think of Mexican food I usually think first of bright red sauce, fresh tomatoes, and salsa. But there is so much more to explore in the fusion of Mexican and other cuisines, or taking inspiration from the seasons. Winter heralds the season of sweet, dewy butternut pumpkins and creamy plump avocados, both of which pair beautifully with smoky black beans, and my bright roasted poblano, coriander, and lime sauce. It’s not exactly authentic, but these vegan, gluten free tostadas celebrate winter’s seasonal produce and have all the elements that will have your taste buds craving for just another messy delicious bite.
Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeMy roasted poblano sauce is bright with fresh coriander and lots of lime juice. The roasted poblanos are a soft heat. If you want more spice, try dicing up a green chilli and adding it to the blender with the coriander. This sauce would also make a great addition to guacamole, or as a quick topping for grilled vegetables or meat. In these tostadas the sweet cubes of roasted butternut pumpkin combine with creamy chunks of avocado and spicy poblano sauce in every bite and assault your tastebuds from every angle.

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten FreeThese Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce do make a great week night meal, but add a few margaritas (or a sweet dry white wine), maybe some salsa and chips, and you have the perfect menu for a sunny winter lunch with friends.

There’s something endearing about this sort of get your hands dirty food. People have to drop pretensions and just come to the table just as they are. Dig your hands in, connect with your food and just have some fun. Connecting through food with the people you love, now that’s the most authentic dish no matter where you are.
Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten Free

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas with Roasted Poblano Sauce

Serves 2-3 | Gluten Free | Vegan

Ingredients

For the sauce

  • 2 poblano chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 cup (packed) coriander leaves
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Small onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

To assemble

  • 500 grams butternut pumpkin
  • 6 small gluten free corn tortillas (I used these ones)
  • 400 gram can black beans
  • 1 small avocado

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 200C (400F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. First, make the sauce. Place chilies onto one of the baking trays. Roast until the chili’s skin has softened and blackened. This will take about 30-40 minutes. Turn the chilies over every ten minutes. Once chilies are cooked allow to cool to room temperature.
  3. Place chilies into small food processor (or a blender) and add garlic, coriander, and lime juice. Process until combined but still a little chunky. Dice onion and stir through the sauce along with the salt and pepper. Set sauce aside until needed.
  4. Peel butternut pumpkin and cut into playing dice-sized pieces and place them on the baking tray. You can re-use the chili tray and paper (it makes for less clean up!).
  5. Roast until the pumpkin is soft to the centre, about 20 minutes. Keep warm until serving.
  6. Place corn tortillas in a single layer on the second baking tray. Bake for 5 minutes on one side, then flip over and bake for 5 minutes on the second side. This will crisp up the tortillas.
  7. While the tortillas bake, drain and rinse black beans. Place in a small sauce pan and warm gently over a low heat.
  8. Dice avocado in preparation.
  9. To assemble: place a tortilla on your plate, top with roasted pumpkin, warmed beans, and dice avocado. Drizzle roasted poblano sauce over the top. Dig in!

Pumpkin, Black Bean and Avocado Tostadas | Vegan | Gluten Free

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

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

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