Indonesian gado gado

Indonesian gado gado

A great salad by itself and a wonderful, Asian inspired accompaniment to a spicy fish dish. Just close your eyes and you can hear those palm trees rustling and feel warm sand beneath your toes!

Serves 4 as a side dish or starter:

3 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cm (1/2”) chunk of fresh galangal (or ginger), finely chopped
2 tbsp sambal oelek (Indonesian chilli paste) or 2 small red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
200g (3/4 cup) organic peanut butter
Approximately 60 ml (1/4 cup) organic soy sauce
Approximately 2 tbsp coconut nectar
Zest and juice of a lime
120ml (1/2 cup) coconut milk

In a small saucepan gently fry off the shallots, garlic, ginger and chilli until soft. Off the heat add all the other ingredients, except the water. Bring this mixture up to a low simmer and stir until all the ingredients have combined. Check the seasoning and add a little more soy sauce and/or coconut nectar, if necessary. You are looking for the consistency of pouring cream; so add the water, a little at a time, until this is achieved. The sauce can be made up to a few days in advance and stored in the fridge. It also makes a great dip for cooked chicken, or add it to a simple stir-fry to lift the flavour.

1 tbsp turmeric powder
Approximately 200g (1 cup) new potatoes – cleaned and halved
100g (3.5oz) French green beans – trimmed
A handful each of shredded white and green cabbage, finely sliced red peppers and bean sprouts
A small handful of fresh coriander, chopped
4 eggs – hard-boiled

Add the turmeric to a large pan of water and boil the new potatoes until just cooked, not too soft. While the potatoes are cooking steam (or boil) the green beans for just a few minutes. Arrange all the vegetables onto a platter (or individual plates), top with chopped egg and drizzle over the peanut sauce. This salad can be prepped in advance, just add the eggs and satay at the last minute. If you are catering for vegans, serve the egg on the side so guests can add it if they want. The great thing about this dish is you can mix and match the ingredients, using an array of fresh vegetables.

Basic Hummus


100g (1/2 cup) raw chickpeas
Juice of a lemon
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sweet paprika
4 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste) optional
6 tbsp organic, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil

Himalayan pink salt and pepper to taste

Start by soaking the chickpeas in plenty of cold water overnight, it is possible to cook from raw but it takes about two hours. When ready to make the hummus, drain the chickpeas and rinse well. Boil the chickpeas in plenty of water until tender, approximately 30-40 minutes. When they are cooked, drain and rinse in plenty of cold water. Tip all the ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth. The texture is very dependent on personal taste; make it as coarse or smooth as you like, even reserve some whole chickpeas to mix in at the end. Season the hummus and add a little more olive oil, if too dry. Serve with raw vegetables or use to top a baked potato.

Try adding other ingredients to vary the flavours, fresh herbs, spring onion and roasted peppers work well. At the cafe we do a great dish of roasted sweet potato with burnt aubergine hummus; use the recipe above and blend in a whole charred and roasted aubergine.

French bean with mustard & tarragon

green bean and sesame

Serves 4-6 as a side dish

600g French beans, tailed (also try using a mixture of mange tout and runner beans)
300g peas (fresh or frozen)
1 clove garlic, peeled
Grated zest and juice of a small lemon
2 tsp sesame seeds
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp nigella seeds
1/2 tsp of crushed, dried chilli
4-5 tbsp chopped tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and blanch the beans for 3-4 minutes, lift out with a sieve and immediately plunge into cold water. Repeat with the peas but only cook for a minute. Drain off the refreshed greens, dry and place into a large serving bowl.

In a mortar pound the garlic clove with some sea salt and mix in the zest and juice of the lemon. In a small pan dry fry the sesame seeds until lightly toasted. Pour the contents of the pan over the beans, followed by the garlicy lemon mixture; stir through the dish and season to taste. Scatter over the nigella seeds, chilli and tarragon, give the salad one final toss and serve.

This dish also works well hot; lovely with roasted chicken for a lazy weekend lunch.

Cannellini beans with chilli and fresh herb

cannellini beans with chilli & fresh herbs 2

Serves 6 as a side dish –
400g (14oz) dried cannellini beans – soaked overnight in plenty of cold water.

For the chilli sauce:
6 cloves garlic, peeled
A 2cm (1”) chunk of fresh ginger
4-5 red chillies, deseeded, adjust the number of chillies depending on how hot you like it!
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Approximately 60g (1/4 cup) coconut nectar
A little organic apple cider vinegar

For the salad:
3 bell peppers, deseeded and coarsely chopped
4 spring onions, chopped
A small handful of fresh coriander and mint, chopped
2 tbsp black onion seeds
2 radishes, thinly sliced

Start by cooking the beans in plenty of water; bring to the boil, removing the scum off the surface at regular intervals. After about 10 minutes reduce the heat, cover and simmer for an hour or so – the beans should be soft but not breaking up. Do not add any salt, as this will toughen the skin.

While the beans are cooking make your chilli sauce, blitz all the ingredients in a food processor. Scrape the sauce into a small pan and heat gently. Cook for 5 minutes, taste and adjust the flavours by adding more lemon juice, vinegar and coconut nectar, until it is to your liking. The end result should be hot, sweet and sour. The sauce is quite fiery but you can adjust how much you add to the salad, using a little organic, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice to create a less spicy dressing than just the chilli sauce alone.

Once the beans are cooked, rinse them in plenty of cold water and place in a large bowl. Add the chopped peppers, spring onions, herbs and onion seeds, then stir through enough chilli sauce to coat the beans. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve decorated with the radish. This dish also works well hot as a vegan main.

Apple crumble with homemade granola

apple crumble

Serves 6

Set the oven to 160°C / 325°F / Gas Mark 3

For the granola
450g (5 cups) organic porridge oats (gluten free if possible)
120g (1 cup) each of flaked almonds, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
100g (3/8 cup) coconut nectar
A good pinch of Himalayan pink salt
A little (3-4 tbsp) melted coconut oil

Start by making the granola, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, taste and adjust the sweetness if necessary. Line a large roasting tin with baking paper and spread the granola mix in a thin layer. Bake in the oven until golden but not overly brown, this should take about 40 minutes. It is helpful to turn the granola with a spatula as you bake it; this will make sure it cooks evenly and will stop it from setting into a solid lump. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Once cool, break it up into bite-sized pieces. You can store the granola in an airtight container and use any left over from the crumble for breakfast or a quick snack.

Set the oven to 200°C/ 400°F / Gas Mark 6

For the filling
4-6 large apples
A splash of organic apple cider vinegar
Juice and zest of a lemon
100g (3/8 – 1/2 cup) sultanas
1 tbsp each of ground cinnamon and nutmeg
1 tsp ground mixed spice
2 whole star anise
A little coconut nectar
50g (1/2 cup) coconut blossom sugar

Peel and core the apples and chop into large pieces, plunge the chunks into a large bowl of water, with the cider vinegar, to stop them from discolouring.

Place all the ingredients, including the peeled apples, into a large saucepan and heat gently. Cover and simmer until the apples are cooked, only add a little water if the apples begin to stick to the bottom of the pan. Check the sweetness and add a little more coconut nectar if necessary.

To make the crumble, spoon the cooked apples into a baking dish and sprinkle over the granola, enough to cover the apple base. Sprinkle over the coconut blossom sugar, this is optional but does add a lovely caramelised sweetness and an extra crunch to the topping. Bake in the oven until bubbling hot and brown, about 30 minutes.


Raw chocolate truffles

85 large

For the basic truffle mix
150g (1 cup) chopped, Medjool dates
Approximately 100g (1/2 cup) soft coconut oil (must be the texture of soft butter not liquid)
70g (1/2 – 5/8 cup) raw cacao powder
A little coconut nectar, approximately 4 tbsp

To coat the truffles
100% raw cacao powder
Desiccated coconut
White sesame seeds
Finely chopped nuts

In a food processor, puree the dates until smooth, add a little water if needed. Next blend in all the other ingredients for the basic truffle mix until you have a butter icing consistency. The mixture needs to be firm enough to hold its shape when rolled into a ball, if it is too soft refrigerate until it has hardened up a little.

Shake your chosen coating into a large bowl then roll the truffles into bite-sized balls and drop into the coating. Toss the truffles around the bowl until completely covered, gently remove them and place on a lined baking tray in the fridge.

You can try adding flavours to the basic truffle mix like orange or peppermint oil and experiment with different coatings; finely chopped, dried berries work well to.

Chocolate and Beetroot Cake

beetreoot cake

Chocolate and beetroot is a match made in heaven; there is an earthy sweetness to beetroot that adds a natural sugar note to the denser chocolate flavours. This cake has become one of the biggest hits in the café, as it is dense and rich but full of goodness; a small slice goes a long way!

1 x 24cm (9”) round cake tin – lined with baking paper

Set the oven to 170°C / 340°F / Gas Mark 4

600g (4 1/2 cups) cooked and pureed beetroot
500g (3 cups) roughly chopped, pitted dates
120g (1 cup) 100% cocoa powder
100ml (3/8 cup) warm, melted coconut oil
5 eggs
150g (1 1/4 cups) ground almonds
2 tbsp baking powder
A little coconut milk (if necessary)
Coconut nectar (for extra sweetness if needed)

Start by cooking the beetroot. I find that pureed beetroot is a great staple to have in the fridge, great in salad dressings, to make a quick soup and obviously for baking. Cut the beets into large chunks (no need to peel) and bring to the boil in plenty of water, cook until very soft. Rinse in cold water, the peel should now slide off, and puree. Pop the puree into a tub and keep in the fridge.

While the beetroot is cooking, pop the pitted dates into a small pan, cover in water and bringing up to a simmer for approximately 10 minutes, or until they start to swell and soften. Drain off and reserve the majority of the liquid (this can be used to sweeten other dishes), puree the cooked dates until smooth.

Beat together the beetroot, dates and cocoa powder. Stir in the warmed coconut oil (note that it must be warm otherwise it will solidify into small lumps on contact with any cold ingredients) followed by the eggs. Lastly, beat in the almond flour and baking powder until smooth. The mixture should be a soft, spoon-able texture so add a little coconut milk if it is too stiff. Taste and add coconut nectar, if extra sweetness is needed. Spoon the cake mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for about 45 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean (a little gooey is perfect!).

This cake is lovely served warm with a dollop of thick Greek yoghurt or cashew cream (see Blog), or cool the cake and ice with chocolate fudge icing (see Blog).

Raw Chocolate Cheesecake

choc cheesecake

Line a 20cm (8”) spring form tin, lined with baking paper

For the base
300g (2 1/2 cups) raw cashew nuts
4-6 tbsp sesame seeds
50g (1/4 cup) coconut oil, melted
3-4 tbsp coconut blossom sugar (use coconut nectar as a substitute)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Blend in a food processor until crumbed, press into the prepared tin and chill.

For the filling
200g (1 1/4 cups) raw cashew nuts
Approximately 120ml (1/2 cup) apple juice
2 tbsp nut butter (cashew or almond are good (see page…….)
90g (3/8 cup) coconut oil, melted
90g (1/4 cup) coconut nectar
60g (1/2 cup) raw cacao powder
Pinch of Himalayan pink salt

Tip the cashew nuts for the filling into an airtight container and pour over the apple juice, make sure the nuts are covered in liquid, add a little water if needed. Cover the container and allow the nuts to soak for a minimum of two hours but preferably overnight. When ready to make the filling, drain off most of the liquid from the nuts and reserve. Blend the nuts into a smooth paste, adding a little of the reserved fruit juice to loosen to a very thick but spoonable consistency, think something between clotted cream and whipped cream. Once done add the other ingredients and blend until smooth. Adjust the sweetness, if necessary and spoon into the prepared tin. Freeze until set.

Cashew Cheese

cashew cream

This is a perfect recipe for a vegan alternative to a soft cream cheese. It makes a great spread or use to add a creamy, cheesy flavour to sauces. Omit the garlic and Dijon mustard and you have a perfect cream cheese alternative to make a vegan cheesecake!

120g (1 cup) raw cashews
Approximately 60ml (¼ cup) filtered water
30g (¼ cup) nutritional yeast*
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Himalayan pink salt and pepper to taste

Start by soaking the cashew nuts over night in plenty of cold water. When ready to make the cheese drain off the cashew nuts and simply put the nuts, half the filtered water and all the other ingredients into a food processor and blend until thick and creamy. The texture should be similar to smooth humus, if the mixture is too thick, add a little more of the filtered water you have in reserve. Once blended to the correct consistency spoon into a container and place in the fridge, the cheese will harden when chilled.

Try adding chopped fresh herbs, cracked black pepper or red chilli to make any number of variations.

*Nutritional yeast has a strong flavour that is described as nutty, cheesy, and/or creamy, which makes it popular as an ingredient in vegan recipes in place of cheese. It can also be used to flavour stocks, soups, sauces etc.

Carrot Cake

77 large

To fit a small roasting tin (30cm by 20cm (12” by 8”) or a 24cm (9”) round cake tin, lined with baking paper.

Set oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4

For the cake
Approximately 4-5 carrots (200g / 7oz), grated
1 ripe banana, mashed
300g (3/4 cup) coconut nectar, plus a little extra
4-5 eggs
100g (1/2 cup) coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
1 tsp mixed spice
150g (1 cup) raisins or sultanas
270g (2- 2 1/4 cups) ground almonds (almond flour)
90g (3/4 cup) Gram flour (chickpea flour) or rice flour
1 tsp Himalayan pink salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2-3 tsp baking powder

For the ‘cream cheese’ frosting
1 portion of soft cashew cheese (see below)
60g (1/2 cup) coconut oil
100g (1/4 cup) coconut nectar
Zest of an orange

For the cake
Start by mixing together all the wet ingredients and then add in the spices and dried fruit. Sieve in the gram flour (occasionally this flour can clump together so sieving is an essential step). Next, beat in the ground almonds, salt, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder – (if you have a food processor I would do everything in this; starting with grating the carrots then adding all the ingredients in order).

Test the cake batter for sweetness and add extra coconut nectar only if necessary.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared tin and bake in the centre of the oven for approximately 35-45 minutes. The cake is done when the surface springs back when gently pushed or a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.

For the topping
Beat together all the ingredients; adjust the sweetness by adding more coconut nectar, if necessary. Pop in the fridge until needed.

When the cake is completely cool, spread over the frosting and serve.