Maple glazed carrots with honey comb

Maple glazed carrots with honey comb
Maple glazed carrots with honey comb
Maple glazed carrots with honey comb
Maple glazed carrots with honey comb

I have decided to do something a little different this year. I am going to be sharing a few recipes on how to have a full plant-based Christmas! Including the roast. These are my maple glazed carrots. If you are ok with having raw organic honey then you can add the honey comb and glaze them with honey. If not stick to the maple and they will be just as delicious! You could even top them with some roasted almonds. Keep your eyes out for the recipes to follow! They will make your Christmas not only a delicious one but one that is better for the environment, your health and of course the animals! If you are in a place in your life where you are eating meat, there is no judgment here. Listen to your body and make sure you source ethical meat free of growth hormones etc. Being mindful of the meat you consume and how much is a start to a healthier life! These carrots will make a delicious side no matter what. 


Serves 4 as a side

Instructions:

  • 450 grams baby carrots
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey (100% maple syrup, not the processed one)
  • 5 cardamom pods crushed
  • salt and pepper
  • 20 grams honeycomb
  • edible flowers

Instructions:

Preheat the oven 180°C

Place the carrots and cardamom in a large bowl with the coconut oil. Toss until evenly covered. Pop them into an oven proof deep dish. Cover with the maple syrup, season to taste and roast for 40 minutes until golden and sticky. 

Meanwhile, crush the honeycomb into small pieces. Once the carrots are ready, pop them into a serving dish. I like to stack mine high on a plate. Sprinkle with honeycomb or nuts and decorate with edible flowers. 

Serve hot and as a side to my Christmas Cauliflower roast. 

-Melissa 



 

Baked camembert with blackberries and spiced pecans

Baked camembert with blackberries and spiced pecans
Baked camembert with blackberries and spiced pecans

Christmas is around the corner and I am always on the hunt for fun recipes that are quick and simple. No one wants to stand and cook for hours if you don't have to. This recipe is a win because it is utterly delicious and will take you 20 minutes to make! The spiced nuts are heaven and in my opinion a dish all on their own! Get ready for a cheese crime scene. If you are anything like me I know that you will be victorious scoring the most nuts! Don't be shy to mix up the berries. I just like the blackberries as they are tart and compliment the sweet nuts perfectly! 


Serves 5 as an appetizer,  

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams pecan nuts, halved
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted  
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 250 grams camembert, choose one that is in a container to bake.
  • 1 1/2 cups blackberries plus a few to decorate
  • 1/4 lemon freshly squeezed
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • fresh thyme to garnish
  • crackers of your choice for serving.

Instructions:

Preheat the oven 180°C

Place the nuts on a roasting tray and roast for 10 minutes to release the flavours. 
Meanwhile, add the butter, sugar, and spices along with two tablespoons of water to a pot over a medium heat. Let the mixture reduce but keep an eye on it as it can burn easily. Let the mixture bubble and start to thicken. Once the nuts are ready add them to the pot and stir until they are evenly coated. 

Line the roasting tray with wax paper. Spread the nuts out on the wax paper and pop them back into the oven for 10-15 minutes. 

When you add the nuts to the oven also add the camembert. It takes about 10-15 minutes to warm up. 

In a small pot add the blackberries, lemon, and honey. Bring to a simmer and let it reduce for 5-10 minutes until it reaches a jam-like consistency.

Once the cheese and nuts are ready remove them from the oven. Let the nuts cool for 5 minutes. Add the cheese and crackers to your serving plate. Top the cheese with the berries and nuts. Add a few fresh berries and sprinkle over thyme leaves. 

Serve hot and get ready for cheese heaven! 

-Melissa 


 


 

Duck and Pumpkin Bowl

Duck and Pumpkin Bowl

Duck is a beautifully rich meat that is packed with flavour. If you enhance that with other complimentary ingredients then you can create a real showstopper. Play around with citrus and chili or keep things simple and fresh like this recipe! 


Ingredients:

For the Bowl:

  • 1 small butternut, quartered and seeds removed
  • 1 red onion, quartered
  • coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 duck breasts
  • 1 handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • 80g pistachios, shelled and chopped
  • ½ cup red cabbage, sliced

For the dressing:

  • 2 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 1 fresh red chilli, chopped (discard the seeds if you don’t like heat)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 4 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the butternut and onion in a roasting tray with 1 tablespoons of coconut oil. Mix together the chili flakes, coriander, and cinnamon and sprinkle over the vegetables, tossing together with the oil until evenly covered. Season to taste.

Pop the roasting tray into the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Keep an eye on the onions, crispy bits are delicious but burnt is never tasty.

While the vegetables are roasting, place the duck breast, skin side down, into a large frying pan. Place the pan over medium heat. You want the pan to be cold and heat up with the duck in it. (Cooking tip: when you are cooking a high-fat meat, cook it without adding oil as it will cook in its own fat). Cook for ten minutes. The duck skin will slowly render and crisp, cooking out the fat. Once the skin is a golden colour and looks crispy, turn the breasts over and cook for a further three minutes. When done, remove the breasts and place on a wooden board. Cover with foil and let rest for five minutes.  Once rested, slice into half centimeter pieces.

In a large bowl, toss together the mint and spinach.

In a separate cup mix together all the ingredients for the dressing and pour over the mint and spinach leaves to make a salad base for your bowl.

Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven when done. Roughly chop the butternut and add the onions to the salad base and toss together. I like to add my butternut on top later separately for presentation, otherwise, you can just roughly chop it up and add in with the onions.

Finish off with the duck, red cabbage, coriander, and pistachios and enjoy.  

Health fact:

Pistachios have fewer calories than any other nut and they are a rich source of potassium and vitamin K. Potassium works to regulate fluid balance in the cells and body. Remember that raw and unsalted is always the best.

-Melissa 

Buckwheat porridge with caramelized banana

Buckwheat porridge with caramelized banana

*Serves 1

This is a really great meal if you are bored with your usual, mundane breakfast. It is easy, delicious and different. Banana is decadent and sweet paired with the crunch of the almonds this breakfast is enough to satisfy any cravings! 


Ingredients:

  • 300g buckwheat
  • coconut oil
  • 1 ½ cups almond milk
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste
  • 1 teaspoon agave or raw honey
  • 1 banana, sliced to your liking
  • 1 handful raw almonds

Instructions:

Soak the buckwheat in water overnight, then drain and rinse.

In a medium frying pan over a medium heat add a teaspoon of coconut oil and fry the buckwheat until golden brown, about five minutes.

Add the almond milk, cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, and honey. Let simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Dish the porridge into a bowl and set aside.

In the same frying pan, add a teaspoon of coconut oil and the banana and fry on a medium heat until sticky and caramelized, roughly five minutes. Once caramelized, add the banana to the porridge. Top with almonds and serve.

Health fact:

Buckwheat is high in fiber and gluten-free. Combined with the turmeric which is anti-inflammatory, this breakfast will pack a punch, and what is breakfast for if not for energy!

-Melissa 

 

Seared Ostrich Fillet with Citrus

Seared Ostrich Fillet with Citrus

*Serves 2

Ostrich is a meat that can be commonly found in most South African supermarkets. It has a rich, gamey taste to it and you can pair it with sweeter accents such as fresh fruits or a berry sauce for some great combinations.


Ingredients:

  • 230g ostrich fillet
  • 1 orange, zested and juiced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tamari
  • salt and pepper 
  • coconut oil
  • 2 oranges, segmented
  • 1 generous handful rocket
  • 80g raw almonds, toasted
  • olive oil

Instructions:

Add the ostrich, along with the orange zest, juice, garlic, and tamari, to a bowl. Toss together and cover the bowl. Pop it into the fridge for an hour or overnight if you have time.

Remove the marinated ostrich from the fridge. Add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a medium pan over a high heat. Add the ostrich fillet and sear on each side for two minutes. Once ready, remove from the heat and let rest for a further five minutes. You can cover it with a piece of foil so it doesn’t get too cold. Once rested, slice the ostrich and season to taste.

Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, remove the membranes of the orange segments.  In a medium bowl, layer the rocket and fresh oranges along with the sliced ostrich fillet. Top with the toasted almonds and drizzle with olive oil to serve.


Health Fact:

Ostrich is a lean meat and a great alternative to beef. It is also readily available in South African supermarkets.