Christmas Chocolate Chia Trifle

Christmas Chocolate Chia Trifle
Christmas Chocolate Chia Trifle
Christmas Chocolate Chia Trifle
Christmas Chocolate Chia Trifle

Trifle is a tradition in my family. I am hosting Christmas this year and I have decided to do a plant-based one because not only do I want a healthier Christmas but I want to show my family how easy it is to become mindful of the amount of meat and animal products we consume. You don't have to be vegan for this, you just have to care more about your environment and your body and think do I need as much as I take?  
I have been eating healthier and my body has been thanking me for it. Your will to if you give it a go. I don't want to have a full-blown sugar binge if I don't have to. I mean just look at this Trifle. Does it not tick all the boxes on every level? My mouth is watering just looking at it! You can play around by adding different nuts, nut butter and dark chocolate. 

It's so easy to make and a lot quicker than a normal Trifle. Plus it is refined sugar-free, gluten free and dairy free! 


Makes 2-3 glasses depending on glass size

Ingredients:

Chia layer:

  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 1 tablespoon 100% maple syrup 
  • 1 cup almond milk 
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk

Chocolate mousse layer:

Other layers:

  • 1/2 cup sugar-free granola - You can find great options at your local health store.  
  • 1 - 2 fresh bananas sliced 
  • 50 grams pecan nuts, chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • Banana bread *optional. You can bake a vegan bread or find one at your local health store. 
  • fresh cherries *optional 

In a medium pot over a medium heat add all ingredients for the chia layer. Bring to a simmer stirring often. Once the chia seeds begin to absorb the liquid, about 5 minutes of simmering, turn the heat off and set aside. The other option if you have time is to combine all ingredients and leave them in a jar in the fridge overnight. 

In a tall glasses begin assembling your trifle. Begin with two tablespoons of Chia pudding, then two tablespoons of chocolate mousse. Add the sliced banana. Top with granola and nuts and repeat ending off on a chocolate layer. Top the trifles with granola, almond butter and torn pieces of banana bread. 

Christmas Vegan Eggnog!

Christmas Vegan Eggnog!
Christmas Vegan Eggnog!
Christmas Vegan Eggnog!
Christmas Vegan Eggnog!

This year has been the year of connecting with my health. As most of you know I have created a book on mindful eating which is coming out this coming year April (I'm so excited I can pop). After creating something so near and dear to my heart I decided I had to live my brand and heal my relationship with food. So I took my health seriously. I cut out dairy, gluten, and sugar. Why? Because I didn't feel good after eating it. You should give it a try then see how you feel! I learned that being healthy is not black and white and it sure as hell isn't about perfection. It's about making lots of little changes as often as you can. It's about the small things adding up to the bigger picture. So are there days that I have a little sugar? Of course! But I try my best to honour my body with balance and real food. I also let go of when I indulge and allow myself to enjoy. This way I don't feel deprived and it stops me from binging. 

As the festive break is upon us I wanted to reframe my thinking. I don't want it to be about "falling off the wagon" then the tedious climb in January to "get back on it". I've had that mentality my whole life and it has never worked. That is why I have created some healthy recipes for you guys. They are going to be around my table this year. They are just as indulgent and won't leave you wanting for sugary empty calories that will do only harm leaving you with 'food comas' and sugar crashes. I know you will enjoy them and I hope that you share your creations with me! Give something different a try this year! Who knows, your body might thank you for it! 


Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond milk 
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk 
  • 1/3 cup macadamia nuts (soaked overnight or for at least 1 hour)
  • 6 majool dates 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste 
  • 1 tablespoon 100% maple syrup 
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • pinch of ground cloves 
  • pinch of salt 
  • two shots brandy *optional 

Instructions: 

Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender and blend until smooth. Serve immidiately with holiday cheer!

-Melissa 

 

Roasted sweet potato with walnut and parsley pesto

Roasted sweet potato with walnut and parsley pesto
Roasted sweet potato with walnut and parsley pesto
Roasted sweet potato with walnut and parsley pesto
Roasted sweet potato with walnut and parsley pesto

This recipe is an ode to my sweet friend Rose. She is a marvelous cook and first shared this recipe with me a while back. It is insanely good and with sweet potato being one of my all-time favourite foods, I had to recreate this recipe and share it with you guys. The secret to a gooey sticky sweet potato is too let it roast as long as possible to get the crunchy edges and to let its natural sugars caramelized. Ten minutes before you remove it from the oven, drizzle with some olive oil and let them roast a little more. Don't make your wedges too small or the bulk of them might burn. This is an amazing recipe for any dinner table and although it is a side, everyone will treat it as the main affair! 


Serves 5 as a side

Ingredients: 

  • 1kg sweet potato washed and cut into wedges. 
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • wax paper
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 90 grams walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Maldon salt for serving
     

Instructions:

Preheat oven 180°C.

Place the cut sweet potato into a large bowl along with the coconut oil. Toss until evenly covered. Line a large roasting tray with wax paper. Line the wedges up on the tray skin side down and season with salt and pepper. Pop them into the oven and roast for an hour and 10 minutes. Turning them at the 45 minutes. 10-15 minutes before they are ready, drizzle them with some olive oil and let them finish up roasting. 

Meanwhile, in a food processor add the parsley, lemon juice, walnuts, garlic and olive oil. Blend until you reach a smooth creamy consistency. Season to taste and fold through the lemon zest. 

Once the sweet potatoes are golden brown (I like my edges crunchy) remove from the oven. Add a few dollops of pesto to the wedges and toss the wedges gently until evenly covered. 

Add to your serving bowl, sprinkle with Maldon salt and serve hot!

Merry Christmas 

-Melissa

 

Cauliflower Roast for Christmas - Plant based celebrations!

Cauliflower Roast for Christmas - Plant based celebrations!
Cauliflower Roast for Christmas - Plant based celebrations!

This recipe is a cracker for those of you celebrating a plant-based Christmas. It really is wildly delicious and super easy to make. The cauliflower goes melt in your mouth tender and soft. I first saw this recipe done by Jamie Oliver. I tweaked it slightly and decided this was going to be the main event around my Christmas table. I hope you guys enjoy it and give it a try. Whether you are eating meat or living a vegan lifestyle this recipe is a game changer and something different. 

On a side note - Thank you to everyone who has supported my blog this year and for the journey so far. This coming year is going to be a great one with many changes and I cannot wait to take them on! I am going to be sharing even more of my health journey thus far in hopes of inspiring you to make the little changes in your life and your kitchen.

Merry Christmas! 


Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cayanne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 medium cauliflower head
1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
salt and pepper
400 grams cooked and peeled tomatoes
1 handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
50 grams chopped almonds
Zest of 1 lemon

Instructions:

Preheat oven 180°C

In a small bowl mix together all the spices and the coconut oil. 
Peel the cauliflower and score the bottom into a cross shape.
Place the cauliflower in a heavy-based ovenproof pot. Using the spice/oil mix evenly cover the whole cauliflower massaging it into all the grooves. Give it a little extra love!
Sprinkle with the coriander seeds and top with salt and pepper. Close the lid and pop it into the oven for one hour. 
On the hour mark take the cauliflower out of the oven. Add the tomatoes to the pot on the side of the cauliflower and pop it into the oven for a further 15-20 minutes.

Once it is golden brown remove it from the oven.  
Add the parsley, almonds and lemon zest. Top with a squeeze of lemon. 

Serve hot with one of my delicious sides such as maple glazed carrots! 

-Melissa 

 

 

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