Food

Green Lasagna with Butternut Squash & Courgette (Zucchini)

It was somewhat of a challenge to name this recipe. Is lasagna really lasagna without a tomato sauce? I’m sure many Italians would react in horror to such a thing, but we assure you that this dish is a special one, no matter what label we decide to put on it. The thing is, although we both love lasagna, neither of us are huge fans of tomato sauce. It’s pretty hard to find sweet and delicious tomatoes in England and we often end up being disappointed with their flavour, especially compared to our days living in Spain. When we set out to create this recipe a few weeks ago we had some incredible looking broccoli & cauliflower that was locally grown and calling out to be used. And so, the green lasagna was invented. We hope you love this as much as we do. It became an instant favourite for us and even though it has a few parts that you need to prepare, it’s definitely worth the effort.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash

The layers of our green lasagna are compiled from lasagna sheets, a delicious green sauce packed with veggies, a creamy white sauce made with oat milk, and layers of butternut squash & courgette (zucchini). You can use any lasagna sheets to make this, but we love the green lentil pasta sheets by the brand Explore.

Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash
Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli Green Sauce & Butternut Squash

Green Lasagna Bake with Butternut Squash & Courgette

Ingredients

(Our baking tray is roughly 12 x 9 inches.)

For the green sauce:
750ml vegetable stock (home made or vegetable stock cube)
200g broccoli, chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
1 cup spinach (packed)
200g cauliflower, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

For the white sauce:
1 litre oat milk
3-4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
6 tablespoons spelt flour
2 tablespoons white miso (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

also:
400g butternut squash, thinly cut into as wide slices as possible
2 medium courgettes, thinly sliced
18 sheets lasagna pasta (we use a gluten free green lentil brand)
olive oil
oregano

Method

To make the green sauce:
Add the stock, onion, broccoli, cauliflower and half a teaspoon of salt to a saucepan and bring to a boil. cook for around 10 minutes. Then add the spinach and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Check the seasoning, add black pepper and salt to taste. Turn off the heat and blend the whole mix until completely smooth using either an immersion of normal blender.

To make the white sauce:
Add all of the oat milk to a sauce pan and gently bring to a simmer. Sprinkle in the flour gradually while whisking to combine. Don’t worry if it’s a little lumpy at this stage. Continue to gently simmer the sauce while whisking for 10 or so minutes until well thickened. Add the nutritional yeast, miso and season generously to taste. Ideally allow the sauce to cool for a while in order to continue thickening.

Assembling & cooking the lasagna:
When both your sauces are ready, assemble the lasagna. We like to sprinkle plenty of oregano and drizzle olive oil between the layers. This is the order we like to put it together, starting from the bottom:
A layer of white sauce
Pasta sheets
A layer green sauce
Butternut squash
A layer of white sauce
Pasta sheets
A layer green sauce
Pasta sheets
Combination of green/white sauces (depending on how much is left)
Courgettes on top with olive oil and oregano

Bake in the oven at gas mark 6, covered with a lid or flat baking tray for approximately 30 minutes. Then remove the cover and cook for another 15 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a knife will go easily through the pasta. Allow to cool slightly before serving.


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Mini Chickpea Quiches with Mushroom, Spinach & Onion


Hey friends, we’re so excited to be sharing more meal recipes on here after a long hiatus at the beginning of the year. We’re fast approaching the time of year for picnics and eating outdoors, which also happens to be our favourite way of eating and sharing foods. We’re looking forward to upcoming months filled with long walks, beach visits and light evenings. These mini vegan quiches are a great addition to any picnic or lunch spread. They’ve been a regular go-to lunch for us for quite a while alongside a big salad, fermented vegetables and a tasty dip or two. This is an adapted version of our chickpea frittata recipe that we posted many moons ago, but this version has a much nicer texture and is easier to eat on the go!

Chickpea flour is often packaged as gram flour and can be found in most health food shops or in asian supermarkets (it’s often used in Indian cooking). We love the way it takes on different flavours and how you can be so creative with what combination of herbs, spices and vegetables you use. For this recipe we’ve chosen mushroom & spinach because it’s a classic favourite and we almost always have these in the fridge. Feel free to add or swap for whatever vegetables you prefer or have in.

Vegan Mini Chickpea Quiche Mushroom Spinach Onion
Mini Chickpea Quiches with Mushroom Spinach Vegan
Mini Chickpea Quiches with Mushroom Spinach Vegan

Vegan Mini Chickpea Quiches with Mushroom, Spinach & Onion

Ingredients (makes 6)
For the batter:
1 cup of chickpea flour
1 and 1/3 cups of water
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika

For the filling:
1 onion, sliced
100g of chesnut mushrooms, finely chopped
a handful of spinach, finely chopped
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of ground oregano
1 large sprig of rosemary
1 and 1/2 teaspoons of smoked paprika
olive oil (or different oil of choice)

Method
1. In a silicone muffin tray (or a greased normal muffin tray) divide your onions into 6. Then into each quiche add a 1/4 teaspoon of oregano, rosemary and paprika. Then add a teaspoon of olive oil into each and mix well.
2. Cook onions in the oven for 6-7 minutes at gas mark 6. (If you’re using a silicone muffin tray a helpful tip is to place it on top of a flat baking tray, otherwise it will be difficult to move without spilling the filling)
3. While the onions are cooking add all of the batter ingredients to a small mixing bowl or jug and whisk well to combine.
4. Take the tray out of the oven and divide the mushrooms and spinach between the 6 quiches. Fill them as much as possible as they will cook down. Return the tray to the oven and cook for a further 5-6 minutes.
5. Remove the tray from the oven and pour the batter into each quiche mould. You don’t need to mix them. Place the tray back into the oven and cook for 25-30 mins until golden and firm.
6. Once cooked allow to cool slightly before removing the quiches from the moulds with a butter knife.


Have you tried cooking with chickpea flour before?

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Spring Herbal Vinegar with Dandelion, Nettle & Comfrey

For us, the season of Spring is a beautiful and abundant time for making herbal medicine. Herbal vinegars are one of our favourite things to make this time of year and have become a real staple in our kitchen. Infusing herbs in raw apple cider vinegar is such a simple, delicious and effective way of drawing out the potent minerals and vitamins from the plants. Head out into nature and you’ll be sure to find many wild herbs that you can bring back to the kitchen. Often, we can be lured into believing that health has to come from expensive superfoods or supplements, but these wild herbs have many medicinal properties and are completely free to forage (or can be grown easily at home).

Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle
Spring Herbal Vinegar Dandelion Nettle

Although this vinegar is rich in nutrients, the main reason we make it again and again is because it tastes so delicious. It’s an amazing ally to have in the kitchen to make tasty salad dressings, blend into dips and sauces, add to soups or stews or even put on roast vegetables for a burst of flavour. Even though this is a recipe, we invite you to be creative and adapt it depending on what you have growing or can forage, what flavours you like or what medicinal qualities you’d like to include (for example, if your family suffers a lot with sore throats then thyme would be an excellent herb to add). We also have a recipe for the well-loved Fire Cider Vinegar that is amazing for fighting viruses. Below we’ve listed some more ideas for herbs/roots/ingredients that work really well:

Spices/etc
Garlic
Onion
Ginger
Orange/Lemon Peel
Cloves
Cardamom
Chilli
Cinnamon

Herbs
Dandelion leaves or root Tarragon
Mint Lemon Balm
Oregano Sage
Fennel Bay Leaves
Stinging Nettle Comfrey Leaf
Rosemary Nasturtium petal
Thyme
Dill
Chives


In our Spring Herbal Vinegar that you see pictured, we used dandelion leaf, nettles, rosemary, comfrey leaf, bay leaf and sage. Our preferred vinegar is raw apple cider vinegar because of the flavour and live cultures it contains, however you can use other varieties like red or white wine vinegar.

Method
1. Using your hands or a pair of scissors, cut or tear your chosen herbs into small pieces and lightly fill a clean jar. You don’t want to overpack the jar. Any ingredients like garlic or ginger should be finely diced.
2. Next, pour the vinegar over the herbs and fill the jar.
3. Using the end of a wooden spoon, push down the herbs and allow any air bubbles to rise to the surface.
4. Screw on the lid of your jar. Vinegar reacts with metal so using a plastic lid is preferred. However, if you don’t have this you can place a piece of baking paper between the jar and the lid (as seen in the photo).
5. Label the jar with the date and leave for 4-6 weeks. We like to leave ours on the kitchen surface and give it a shake every few days with some good intentions!
6. After 4-6 weeks you can strain the vinegar and compost any herbs or plant material. Now the vinegar is ready to be enjoyed!

DSC_7722.jpg

What herbs are growing near you this time of year?
Have you ever made a herbal vinegar?

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Herbal Infusions for Vibrant Health - Nettle & Oatstraw Infusion

I once read a wise herbalist recommend drinking herbal infusions instead of water and this advice has stuck with me ever since. Once I felt the potency of these infusions for myself, I understood how they could lead to more vibrancy, more energy & better immunity. Herbal infusions are also delicious, refreshing, calming, hydrating, beautifying - the list goes on, and there’s an abundance of herbs and combinations you can enjoy. We hope this post inspires you to try making your own infusion and enjoy all the beautiful herbs that are growing this Springtime!

herbal infusions

What exactly is a herbal infusion?
A herbal infusion or herbal brew is when a herb (or combination or herbs) are steeped in hot water for a long time (between 4-12 hours). Unlike a herbal tea bag, this is a strong brew, meaning that much more of the plant’s medicinal qualities, vitamins and minerals are extracted by the water. Steeping the herbs in a closed jar stops the water-soluble vitamins from escaping in the steam. It’s common to brew the herbs overnight, & then strain away the plant matter the next morning. You can then drink this infusion throughout the day, or refrigerate it and drink it within 2 days.

What herbs can you use?
There are so many delicious and nourishing herbs that you can work with. Our advice is to do some research on some different herbs in your area or that are available for you to buy dried and see which ones you feel most called to. Some of our favourites are nettles, lemon balm, chickweed, red clover, dandelion, oat straw, hibiscus, comfrey leaf, rose petals & raspberry leaf.

Recipe for Nettle & Oatstraw Infusion

This is one of my favourite infusions as it’s so delicious and mineralising. Nettles are full of vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium. It was the first herb that I infused and remains my go-to ally! Oatstraw helps regulate the nervous system and has an incredible sweetness to it. I find it such a calming and soothing herb to work with.

*note - this recipe uses dried herbs. If using fresh (which I really enjoy and recommend), then you want to use a lot more plant matter. If using fresh I will fill the jar 2/3 full with fresh herbs, depending on how much I can forage.

2 parts Nettle Leaf
1 part Oatstraw

  1. In a large mason jar (that holds around 1 litre) add 4 tablespoons of nettle leaf and 2 tablespoon of oat straw. (you can also use a French Press and adjust the amounts depending on how large your container is).

  2. Bring water to boil and then fill the jar up to the brim.

  3. Cover and steep overnight (or between 4 - 12 hours).

  4. Strain the infusion, composting the plant matter. Enjoy 2-3 cups a day. The infusion will keep refrigerated for 2-3 days.


If you have any questions regarding herbal infusions please comment below <3
Is this your first time trying herbal infusions? If not, what are your favourite herbs to work with?